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Old 06 Oct 17, 17:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Given that the proportion of mediums increased significantly in most AD's 1943 onwards (2nd and 3rd are exceptions), there was certainly a change in opinion concerning the use of lights as the main attacking arm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thfabn View Post
As the war went on the light tanks were becoming less effective, thus they became a smaller proportion of the tanks in the various armies.
Definitely. Later in the war--i.e., after getting actual experience at armored warfare--the US Army had changed its tune. The 19 December 1944 edition of FM 17-33 Tank Battalion says,
Quote:
The light tanks may be used--
(1) On reconnaissance and security missions.
(2) To feel out the enemy and develop weak spots in the enemy position for an attack by the medium tanks.
(3) To screen the advance of other tank units when enemy resistance is light or when the situation is vague.
(4) As a fast maneuvering force to attack the enemy flank or rear, or to exploit a success.
(5) To draw enemy armor into a trap. [Yikes!]
(6) On terrain impassable for medium tanks.
(7) To protect the flanks of the medium tanks during the attack.
(8) When medium tanks are not available, to accompany infantry and assist its advance by destroying enemy positions.
(9) To assist the infantry in mopping up.
So while exploiting a breach or attacking the enemy's rear is still listed, reconnaissance and security had by late 1944 become the primary mission of US Army light tanks, contrasting heavily with thought two years prior.
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