The destruction of the 193rd Tank Battalion

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
DadGEW
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Re:

Post by DadGEW » 10 Jul 2015 05:15

Peter H wrote:http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... awa-8.html

April 19th 1945:

At 1330, since it was now evident that infantry would not be able to reach them, the tanks received orders to return to their lines. Of the thirty tanks that had maneuvered around the left end of Kakazu Ridge in the morning, only eight returned in the afternoon. The loss of twenty-two tanks on 19 April in the Kakazu area was the greatest suffered by American armor on Okinawa in a single engagement.The tanks had operated wholly without infantry support. Four of the twenty-two were armored flame throwers, and this was their first day in action. Some crew members of tanks destroyed by antitank gun fire dug pits under their tanks and remained hidden forty hours before they escaped, incredibly unmolested by the scores of Japanese within 100 yards. "
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My Dad served in Okinawa the 193rd tank batallion (company A). I remember him telling us about hiding in the foxhole a long time and a "highranking officer" mysteriously appeared and told them to follow him or else they would die in the foxhole that night. Some of the crew followed and when they were in safety the "high ranking officer" vanished. My Dad was always convinced that they were rescued by an angel.

Dad's discharge papers list him as 193rd tank batallion, Company A, 27th Infantry Division. He received a purple heart for injuries there--he was patched up and put back to the lines just like they did the tanks "on the fly" to get them to safety. I wish I could hear more real life stories from these guys. Dad didn't talk about the war much and was haunted by this battle and losing his friend, Jimmy Mock.

LineDoggie
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Re: The destruction of the 193rd Tank Battalion

Post by LineDoggie » 11 Jul 2015 03:28

193rd also used M3 Lee & M3 Stuarts on Makin island
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

Mil-tech Bard
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Re: The destruction of the 193rd Tank Battalion

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 13 Jul 2015 14:43

The Chicago Boyz weblog has a 2013 column on the Kakuza Ridge engagement of the 193rd TB and makes the argument that the Japanese were listening to the 193rd's FM radio chatter before and during the engagement.

See --

History Friday: Technological Surprise & the Defeat of the 193rd Tank Battalion at Kakuza Ridge
Posted by Trent Telenko on 30th August 2013
http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/38455.html

In April 1945 the US Army’s 27th Infantry Division launched an attack against the Kakuza Ridge position held by the Imperial Japanese Army on Okinawa with the 193rd Tank Battalions 30 thirty tanks, self-propelled assault guns, and attached armored flame throwers from the 713th Flame Tank Battalion. When the battle was over, 22 of the 30 armored fighting had been destroyed in a coordinated ambush by Japanese anti-tank guns, artillery, mortars and suicide close assault teams. Among the dead was the battalion commander of the 193rd, on whom blame was laid for attacking without American infantry in close support. This battle is referenced in almost every narrative account of Okinawa as proof of the tougher defenses American soldiers and marines would face in an invasion of Japan.

It turns out that while this particular narrative has a great deal of truth, it isn’t the whole truth and hides the most important one. In a photo film negative image of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s comment that “In war, The Truth must have a bodyguard of lies,” This narrative has a huge lie buried in a bodyguard of truth.

The most important truth of this battle was that American troops suffered a technological surprise. The Japanese were listening to the SCR-300, SCR-500 and SCR-600 series frequency modulated (FM) radios of American infantry, tanks and artillery forward observers at Kakuza Ridge (and other battles through out the Pacific in 1945) with Japanese Type 94 (1934) Mark 6 walkie-talkie radio that was issued to every Japanese infantry battalion.

bwc153
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Re: Re:

Post by bwc153 » 10 Apr 2018 10:04

DadGEW wrote: My Dad served in Okinawa the 193rd tank batallion (company A). I remember him telling us about hiding in the foxhole a long time and a "highranking officer" mysteriously appeared and told them to follow him or else they would die in the foxhole that night. Some of the crew followed and when they were in safety the "high ranking officer" vanished. My Dad was always convinced that they were rescued by an angel.

Dad's discharge papers list him as 193rd tank batallion, Company A, 27th Infantry Division. He received a purple heart for injuries there--he was patched up and put back to the lines just like they did the tanks "on the fly" to get them to safety. I wish I could hear more real life stories from these guys. Dad didn't talk about the war much and was haunted by this battle and losing his friend, Jimmy Mock.
Do you know if his friend Jimmy was also Company A, or even which platoon? I found my grandpa, Wayne H Chapel, on a shipping manifest for an unmentioned part of the 193rd en route to Okinawa when I was trying to track down which unit he was in, and I've been cross-referencing names with anywhere I can find in books, forum posts, etc to see if I can find a match. Jimmy/James Mock appeared on this shipping manifest too.

My Grandpa was a tank commander in the 193rd, and like your father, didn't talk about his experiences much because of the trauma's he experienced there. Almost all information came from his wife - who unfortunately passed away before I was born, so all my information comes from information passed to me by relevatives who she told. The story I heard from my dad was that A bunch of tanks were moving down a saddle of two hills and was ambushed. Tanks were getting knocked out and their crews bailing and hiding in ditches or under the tanks. My grandpa's tank was knocked out, and while getting his crew out of the tank, the tank was hit again and he got shrapnel in his back. At some point one of his friends, unfortunately I do not know their name, was injured in the leg and could not walk. Wayne and him wanted to leave, almost everyone else wanted to stay and wait for help. Wayne, him, and maybe some others, left. Everyone who had stayed was shot or bayoneted by the Japanese. Due to the fact this story was passed on to me some detailes were lost or distorted, unfortunately - so perhaps this account is describing the retreat from Kakazu, or the detail of when my grandpa's tank was destroyed was rolled into the initial ambush, as another relative's information they gave me from my grandma described the burning and bulldozing of Kakazu village.

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My apologies for the thread bump. I originally made an account to PM DadGEW, but anti-spam measures on new accounts prevent me from sending messages, so I figured I'd add some additional meaningful info to the thread on top of my attempt to get his attention.

Lookingforinfo
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Re: The destruction of the 193rd Tank Battalion

Post by Lookingforinfo » 04 Aug 2021 13:02

bwc153

My Grandpa, was ambushed around what I believe was Sugar Loaf Hill. He was also a tank commander. Their ambush started when my grandpa came across a down tree in the route. Before he knew it his tank was on fire and everyone in it was Dead. He started to crawl out the Hatch when he realized his leg was mangled!Off and out of his burning tank, he crawled to a nearby cave while the rest of the ambush took place. He knew he needed to get back towards friendly's. He realized his leg was slowing him down and was losing to much blood so he took out a tourniquet and his Bayonet and removed the rest of his leg. After what must have felt like an eternity, He started crawling again in the direction he thought was friendly's but being in a fog of blood loss and morphine, he was crawling into a Japanese patrol that found him. He thought he was dead for sure when they came across him, but the Soldier who found him believed he was an officer holding intelligence. They took him to a field hospital were they fed him fish heads and gave him medication to prep him for interrogation. After 9 Days he was liberated by his buddies! Its unbelievable that the Pacific isn't studied more in History!

Lookingforinfo
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Re: The destruction of the 193rd Tank Battalion

Post by Lookingforinfo » 07 Aug 2021 14:24

Here is the newspaper Article I found for his story, I will get the original - smaller to fit the scanner done by a professional and then re-upload a better version. This was only screenshots to fit file size, I apologize and will update soon!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: The destruction of the 193rd Tank Battalion

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Aug 2021 02:22

About the only thing I could add to this would be from the experience of the Marine tanks on Betio Island November 1943. The M4 tank company that made it ashore attacked as they were trained @ the Army tank school. That is drive into the enemy defense for the shock effect, fire on them from the rear, and "circulate on the objective". Losses in this attack were heavy & at the end of the day two tanks survived intact. A couple more were repaired for the subsequent two days of battle. The surving crewmen were criticized from two directions. By the rifle regiment officers for not sticking close to the infantry & giving them covering fire, & from the tank battalion staff who accused them of not using proper 'School' doctrine tactics.

Eventually the Marines ran their own local tank tactics schools where versions of sticking with the rifle companies were the doctrine. Also the rear fender phones were added so the infantry leaders could actually communicate with the tank crew. This was identical to what we practiced in the 1970s & 1980s.

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