The armored unit
The Americans made use of the so-called “cafeteria” system in putting together their divisions. Several special units were added to a division, depending on their mission in combat.
If a lot of rivers had to be crossed combat engineers were added; If extra artillery was needed then they chose cannon companies to add. This was also the case with anti-aircraft defense and anti-tank units. These were called tank destroyers, their logo was a tigers’ head, devouring caterpillar tracks. The tank eating tiger!
The idea behind tank destroyers was to build both light and fast tank killers, equipped with a superior gun. These tank destroyers were intended to operate in “wolf Packs”. When a tank battle was going on, they would suddenly appear, make a number of fast kills and then disappear again swiftly.
Typical for a tank destroyer was, apart from speed, heavy armament and light armor, a fully rotating open-topped turret, to obtain a maximum of sight and also an opportunity to combat from the turret with infantry enemies.
There are two special tank destroyers the M18 Hellcat and the M10 on a Sherman chassis.
A tank destroyers unit had been added to the 28th. Original photos show that an M20 was present in Munshausen.
After breakfast and roll call the men take up maintenance. They grease and fill up the tanks. The generator to propel the turret is tested. The turret itself is tested, by hand and hydraulically. Ammunition for the gun is collected by a jeep and cart at the armorers’. They also bring some ammo for the .50, the .30 and the carbines.
They practice putting up the .50 and .30 on their tripods as fast as possible. During these exercises at 11.15 suddenly a message comes in from HQ: there’s something going on near Hosingen on the Sky-line Drive. The M20 an M18 are prepared to go. The engines get started up and after a lap through the village they go on their way, preceded by a jeep
Just after they ’ve left the village a motor courier brings the news: false alarm! and they turn back. The vehicles are parked. They service their vehicles . If they’re lucky there’s just enough time for a coffee in the village.
Later they go back for lunch in the camp.
After lunch and roll call another message comes in, and off they go again. This time it’s serious! They drive down to a gun post outside the village and here they join the artillery in shelling German positions on the river Our.
Just before the Show they return to camp and park their vehicles. The remainder of their ammo is brought back to the armorere. They attend the show, join Thanksgiving Dinner and of course the party in the bar!.