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  • Salvage, recover, and general cleaning up

    OK, I know most units would attempt to recover their own damaged vehicles, but what about the burnt-out wrecks, the lost equipment, and all the enemy vehicles, equipment, munitions, and gear that would litter battlefield, especially in the wake of an advance?

    The Germans were especially adept at using captured vehicles and small arms in large numbers, even to the point of assigning their own nomenclature to certain types.

    Who was responsible with what nation? I heard stories of wrecked vehicles from both sides littering the Russian battlegrounds for years after the war. Is that true?
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

    The Germans were especially adept at using captured vehicles and small arms in large numbers, even to the point of assigning their own nomenclature to certain types.

    Who was responsible with what nation? I heard stories of wrecked vehicles from both sides littering the Russian battlegrounds for years after the war. Is that true?
    One advantage the German's had was time to integrate captured equipment into their armed forces.

    After they gained control of Czechoslovakia they had some time before the war began to integrate new equipment into their formations.

    Same with the fall of France. They had a year to integrate some of the French equipment into their armed forces.

    Some of the captured arms factories in Belgium where kept open making equipment for the Germans. I've read the FN Hi Power was used by some German formations.
    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
      One advantage the German's had was time to integrate captured equipment into their armed forces.

      After they gained control of Czechoslovakia they had some time before the war began to integrate new equipment into their formations.

      Same with the fall of France. They had a year to integrate some of the French equipment into their armed forces.

      Some of the captured arms factories in Belgium where kept open making equipment for the Germans. I've read the FN Hi Power was used by some German formations.
      That's true. But they also type-standardized PPHsh 41s (chambered to 9mm), Lee-Enfield rifles, Soviet mortars and AT guns, and thousands of trucks and support vehicles.

      But basically, who cleaned up the battlefields?
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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      • #4
        The Germans were able to incorporate many countries weapons into the German military. They kept the weapons factories going in Austria, Belgium, Czechoslavakia, France, Denmark and Italy. The Germans never really caught up on their need for weapons. They used Soviet weapons as well as Commonwealth. They never met a captured vehicle they did not use until it wore out! The spare parts issues were horrendous! Just try and get Italian truck parts in Russia! In the last days of the war, the Germans used any captured weapons they could find!

        The German soldier loved the Willys Jeep and any foreign Sub Machine Gun!

        Pruitt
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        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

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        • #5
          I had these in my basket for years .
          Silent for the first ,and sounded for the 2nd.Sorry the Film Bulletin 171 is very poor in quality ,but the commentary is useful.



          That rug really tied the room together

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          • #6
            In WW2 British responsibility for battlefield recovery of AFVs etc lay with REME Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. In the early war years they used a collection of obsolete tanks with various winches and derricks attacked but then a specialised vehicle the Churchill Armoured Recovery Vehicle Mark 2 was introduced. This had the armament removed and a derrick at the front and a large winch mounted at the rear with cables that ran over the turret to the derrick. Post war these were replaced with Centurion tank recovery vehicles but when reviewing REME's computerised records system in the mid 70s I found some of the Churchills still on the books. Britain was using Armoured Recovery vehicles as early as 1917 based on both the Mk IV tank and the Gun Carrier Mk I
            Last edited by MarkV; 01 Feb 16, 10:21.
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              In the '70s I met a "chief" in Algeria who had collected armored vehicles right after the war and restored them. He claimed to have the largest armored force in Africa and I had no reason to doubt him. He gave me and my friends a ride in an M-3 halftrack and then had his drivers chase each other around in tanks. It was surreal.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                That's true. But they also type-standardized PPHsh 41s (chambered to 9mm), Lee-Enfield rifles, Soviet mortars and AT guns, and thousands of trucks and support vehicles.

                But basically, who cleaned up the battlefields?
                For the most part, specifically designated engineer units.

                After WII, the battlefield detritus stayed around for many years before the American Army, in places like Belgium, got around to collecting all of it and hauling it to specially designated collecting points for disposal like this one.



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                • #9
                  Possibly the world's first salvage tank - built on a Gun Carrier chassis. Oddly although the drivers cab is fully armoured the winchman had no protection. The reason for the man in naval uniform is that the RNAS were responsible for transporting tanks to the tankadrome in France, This continued to be the case even after the formation of the RAF so that even though the RNAS had effectively ceased to exist from 1/4/1918 a single special RNAS squadron continued to exist for this purpose until 1919.
                  Attached Files
                  Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                  Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                  • #10
                    WW2 REME Armoured recovery vehicle http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/3...RV%20Kk-II.jpg
                    Later some Shermans were also converted
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                    • #11
                      The US Army was particularly good at "Hoovering" a battlefield of damaged equipment. They had the equipment in sufficient number to tow or haul in everything to large yards where it was collected, if for no other reason, just to keep it out of enemy hands.

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                      • #12
                        Still, ...

                        ... alot of these remain:










                        This is my favourite:



                        Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                        OK, I know most units would attempt to recover their own damaged vehicles, but what about the burnt-out wrecks, the lost equipment, and all the enemy vehicles, equipment, munitions, and gear that would litter battlefield, especially in the wake of an advance?

                        The Germans were especially adept at using captured vehicles and small arms in large numbers, even to the point of assigning their own nomenclature to certain types.

                        Who was responsible with what nation? I heard stories of wrecked vehicles from both sides littering the Russian battlegrounds for years after the war. Is that true?
                        "I am Groot"
                        - Groot

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                        • #13
                          To answer the original question, the US Army had Ordinance Corps units which took care of heavy equipment and weapons. They operated salvage collecting points and depots. Civilian labor in France and Belgium were employed to help.The Quartermaster Corps had the task of collecting recycling uniforms and supplies. Captured German artillery was used to form some units when they had captured enough for parts and ammo to be maintained. Fuel was a big item that Patton used in his dash across France. He tried to hide the amount he was capturing so it wouldn't be taken from 3rd Army. Rations and coal were used too but some was turned over to help the local populations in the liberated areas.

                          from some research notes I have:

                          October 1944: Around this time the US forces start to make use of captured
                          artillery and ammunition, in some cases equipping US units with German
                          weapons like the 10.5cm howitzer, or using captured ammunition in the
                          155mm howitzers and 81mm mortars. A lot of ammunition was captured when the French ports were finally captured besides dumps overrun after Operation Cobra.


                          During WWII American troops utilized the German 88, FLAK 18, FLAK 36 and FLAK 42. The US Army printed TMís for the 10.5cm leFH M18 and M18M. This howitzer could fire American ammunition, the American M2 and the German M18 were designed from the same gun, but, I donít know if they ever actually used them.

                          I donít know of any other foreign artillery pieces used by the American Army.

                          There were also TMís printed for the MG34 and MG42 machine guns, but I donít know that these were ever used, either.

                          Found this item which mentions the U.S. Army using captured artillery due to ammunition shortages:

                          http://www.robomod.net/pipermail/soc...er/009135.html

                          Use of German 10.5 cm weapons and 88s are mentioned, as well as the use of captured German ammunition.

                          I suspect they were ad hoc, other than the French howitzers, indeed the 155mm Howitzer Model of 1916 or 1917 were the same weapons used by the American Army. I know that we used some 155mm Guns, (GPF) that were captured from the French in North Africa. They were also identical to the guns of that type used by the US Army.

                          The American Army, for some reason, has an aversion to using captured equipment. There is also the very real problem of different types of sighting equipment, availability of graphic firing tables to compute firing data, ammunition supply and the real possibility of booby trapped guns and ammunition. The US Artillery were newer, very good designs, well integrated and controlled by the various Fire Direction Control centers (FDC). The addition to non-standard pieces would only have complicated the issue. The use

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marmat View Post
                            ... alot of these remain:










                            This is my favourite:
                            That middle one is a Tiger I!

                            The hull looks to be in decent shape-why hasn't anyone salvaged it?
                            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                            • #15
                              Some German guns in US hands:

                              Flak 36:


                              8.8cm Pak 43 I know that 3rd Army had at least a battery of these they used.



                              Another 8.8 Flak. A big reason these were popular was the Luftwaffe had lots of them in the West and unlike the Heer, these guns usually had lots of ammunition stored with them.



                              The units that used these were usually designated Field Artillery Battalion, Provisional.
                              The reason using such guns was popular was first, there was little danger of the crews being mistaken for enemy so no real fear of amicide unlike other equipment could cause.
                              Second, there was no restriction on their use of ammunition. They could fire everything they had whenever they wanted.

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