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Harry Yeide

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Posts posted by Harry Yeide

  1. I have barely had time to scratch the surface of CMBN, but as a Mac user and early OSX adopter, it is a thrill that the drought is over. Old hands may remember that CMBO was the game that inspired me to write my first book, "Steel Victory," which I realized could be a great story after I started going through the tank battalion records at the National Archives looking for scenario fodder. I missed being able to play the games that came along afterward, but I kept writing, despite having a day job because I'd gotten hooked. Seven more books worth of hooked to be precise. These include several more books on armor at the battalion level and below ("The Tank Killers" about the TD force, "Steeds of Steel" about the mechanized cavalry, and "The Infantry's Armor," where I expanded the story of the separate tank battalions to all theaters of the war and reworked the material on the ETO to incorporate the infantry's perspective, which I should have done in the first place.) I have loaded the Normandy chapters of these three books into the Public Folder of my website (http://web.mac.com/yeide/World_War_II_History/Home_Page.html) to give some context to the game you are playing. I hope you find them interesting.

    While you're there, check out "Fighting Patton," due out in September.

    Thanks, Battlefront!

  2. The show was bad history in many cases. The story about the spotter plane and naval gunfire is not reflected in the official records. The counterattack by the 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique on 8 and 9 November was defeated in some rather desperate fighting at the classic Combat Mission tactical level. Patton 360 also said the TDs at El Guettar were spread out across the valley floor, when in fact they were arrayed along the crest of the hills. The whole thing was closer to a docudrama on Meth.

  3. Originally posted by Aco4bn187inf:

    Lots of great photos on the site. Nice to see the amphibious vehicles.

    By the way, Harry, do your books cover the use of amtraks in the ETO? I've seen a few photos of their use in Holland, and wondered how many units actually had them.

    Commonwealth forces used amtracs in Holland. For the Roer River crossing, the 739th Tank Battalion supplied twenty-seven tank drivers to operate LVTs, which ferried personnel and equipment across the Rriver during the assault. The swift current forced the battalion to discontinue use of the LVTs. The 747th Tank Battalion was issued LVTs for the Rhine crossing, and between 24 and 26 March made 1,112 roundtrips across the Rhine in support of the Ninth Army.
  4. Due to Apple's "upgrade" from .Mac to the self-indulgent "MobileMe," the software I've used to build and maintain my web site appears to be going away. I have had to reconstruct the thing in iWeb (bleach). The new address is: World War II History by Harry Yeide. To encourage folks to visit and update any links to my page, I've added a bunch of pictures to the "More Tank Photos" and "More TD Photos" sections. Cheers!

  5. Originally posted by John Kettler:

    Harry Yeide,

    The big, hard to hide one? Got it. Saw one of those years ago outside the Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning, where, BTW, they have both a Tankgewehr and

    a Fliegerfaust/Luftfaust. Also, what's your take on the veteran's story that started this thread?


    John Kettler

    I've been through the AARs of every TD battalion, separate tank battalion, and armored division, and I suspect that a story that good would have shown up elsewhere. Could be, but....
  6. Originally posted by John Kettler:

    Harry Yeide,

    I presume the tank you're referring to is the one that smashed in the front of the building? There were two lost at Stavelot in earlier action, according to the account. The incident I remember best from my own Bulge reading was at Trois Pont, where an American 57mm antitank gun hit the lead King Tiger in possibly the only worthwhile place: smack in the track, not only breaking it, but bottling up the entire rest of the column since the bridge was only one King Tiger wide.


    John Kettler

    Yes, the one that backed into the building. The TD battalion had been performing security duties, and the fight in Stavelot was the first time the men had fired shots in anger. Not bad.
  7. Originally posted by John Kettler:

    Found this fantastic site, which seems to have superb research, tank pics to die for (many I'd never seen), excellent maps, detailed analysis, and priceless imagery for scenario designers and grogs alike showing the key ground. Has Shermans bouncing rounds off King Tiger fronts and an M10 getting a flank kill.



    John Kettler

    Mighty good. The King Tiger knocked out in Stavelot was done in by a towed gun from the 825th TD Bn in the crew's first combat action.
  8. Originally posted by dieseltaylor:

    Thanks Harry,

    Where did that come from? My gut feeling is that this would have been light bocage rather than the anywhere else. So if I locat the sector ....

    It seems to me the key was the selection of the terrain and the very important artillery bombardment to beat the Germans up prior to being stomped. A very cunning plan.

    The Press claims for the plow[plough] do seem over the top. Certainly BF's interpretation seems bizarre and given its unsatisfactory implementation probably should have been left out of the game. Of course skilled designers have found away around it by avoiding tall hedges in later scenarios or using trees to even up the game.

    The account is from the 741st TB's AAR. The 2d Infantry Division formed part of V Corps and attacked through heavy bocage east of the main VII Corps attack. The end of the story was that the sortie worked great, but the division soon enough ran into heavy German resistance. Planners had not taken into account that the Germans typically held most of their infantry strength back at an MLR hundreds of yards to the rear of the first line of defense.
  9. There are plenty of AARs that mention use of the hedgerow cutters, but except for those armored outfits that wound up in the hedgerow country around Brest, the "Culin phase" was pretty short. The best example of the cutter's use en masse was the "sortie" mounted on 26 July by the 2d Infantry Division with the 741st Tank Battalion and several cavalry units. The AAR reads:

    With the new [Rhino] device, it was felt that the unit would be enabled to operate with more freedom, as the hedges were much less an obstacle than they had been before. . . .

    The Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, after conferring with Lieutenant Colonel Skaggs, conceived a plan for the use of tanks in the next attack that would very nearly approximate the manner of using tanks in open country suited for tank combat. This plan, which came to be called a sortie, involved the maximum number of tanks, equipped with the Rhino device, that could be brought into position, allowing for the variation of the terrain. In most cases the full number of tanks could be used. The tanks would be placed in position at the line of departure and the infantry elements withdrawn several hundred yards in rear, for safety purposes. At H-hour a barrage of timed fire would be laid down over an area from 300 to 500 yards in depth past the [line of departure]. The tanks would advance rapidly under the airbursts, smashing hedges and uprooting enemy emplacements in the zone of action, at the same time placing a maximum amount of direct cannon and machine gun fire on the enemy. After breaking the enemy defenses the tanks would return to the line of departure, establish contact with supporting infantry, and resume the attack with the infantry-tank team.

    On 26 July, 1944, at 0600, this battalion attacked in support of the 38th and 23d Infantry regiments, with the line of departure south of the St. Lo-Berigny road. . . .

    The attack started on schedule and the tanks smashed through the hedges on the tank sortie. With their cannons blasting and machine guns stuttering, the tanks were an awe-inspiring spectacle as they churned their way through the enemy positions after a crashing barrage of timed fire. The enemy was obviously stunned by the ferocity of the attack, as not a single tank was lost on the initial sortie. Hundreds of German infantrymen were killed as they lay in their foxholes, and then ground under the tracks of the onrushing tanks. Machine gun emplacements were ripped out of the hedges by the impact of the Rhino devices, and the enemy lines, to a distance of 300 to 500 yards, were a shambles.

    At H+20 [minutes] the tanks returned from the sortie, joined the infantry half of the team and resumed the onslaught at H+30.

    [End quote]

    The use of TNT versus cutters was more a matter of timing rather than primary versus secondary methods. The use of hedgerow cutters was banned until Operation Cobra. By that time, 60 percent of the tanks involved had been fitted with devices. Within days, most armored units had broken loose from the hedgerows.

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