From the Woolner Family
© Leslie Woolner Bardsley
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Frank Woolner
Journalist, Headquarters, 3rd Armored Division

Written in 1944


A section of men who work together can be a thoroughly efficient tank destroyer team. Here again the prime requisites are fire power and cunning to out-think the enemy. Make your objective the tank driver. Hunt him as you would a beast. Ambush him, lie in wait for him; remember that he's cooped up in a big, roaring vehicle and that his vision is so limited that he is practically blind. He's big - you can't miss seeing him. You're small - if you are properly camouflaged, he'll never see you. Don't get excited. Wait for your prey. Let him come right to you. The noise of his motors will never hurt you and the closer he comes the closer he is to sudden death. If the enemy tank driver passes within 20 feet of you, he is cold meat, for his guns can't operate at that range. Get close. Let him have it where it hurts most. Kill him and don't ever entertain a single thought of mercy. The enemy will have no mercy on you. It's kill or be killed. Remember that the German who yells "Kamerad" and throws his hands up over his head probably has a grenade in either hand. Let him have it and he'll be a good German.

Where will you hit him, and how? There are dozens of ways. Give him a rifle grenade in the suspension system. A standard hand grenade may do the job, but the rifle grenade is more accurate and will pierce armor. Use a bazooka if you have one. Its spalding action will throw tiny bits of red hot metal whizzing around the inside of that tank like shrapnel. Use a molotov cocktail. That's made up of gasoline and oil mixed in a glass bottle. Smash it against his turret so tht the gas will spill down through the back deck ventilators and run all over his red hot motor. Right then and there your tank will burst into flame - and there are no German soldiers who choose to roast alive. They'll pop out of the nearest exit. Remember that you are trained to be a killer. Mow them down.

The prime mission is to stop the tank. If you blow off a part of the suspension system, a chunk of track or a bogey wheel, the tank stops and you can destroy it at your leisure with prepared charges. Or, your artillery can then drop a couple of shells where they can do the most good.

To a well-trained American tank destroyer soldier, a tank is nothing more than a big steel coffin. It's a sucker for punishment. Even a fifty caliber slug will gum up suspension systems and may weld the turret solid if it is placed right. .30 caliber rifle and machine gun fire will effectively put periscopes and small arms slits out of action, and an open hatch is an invitation for an American grenade. Take all of these things into consideration when you hunt the German. He's been doing pretty well for the past three years but his luck is running out now. From here on in it's your show. The American tank destroyer soldier has been given the best of instructions. He knows infantry tactics and armored force techniques. He's been well schooled in commando warfare, in explosives, mines, and in the latest methods of close quarter fighting. If the German thinks he knows how to kill he has a big surprise coming. The black cats of Tank Destroyer Command must have no mercy, no compunction against the use of garrot or knife. When you see a German soldier, waste no time. Kill him as quickly as possible. Cut him down. Let someone else take the prisoners. Your job is the motto of the TD's. Remember it: Seek, Strike, Destroy.

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