“Motor Sounds.” An Update to Post of June 26, 2014

Back last June I posted comments about whether or not American soldiers could recognize tanks as being German, based solely on the sound of their motors. While it seems that they couldn’t, I did find the following story from the February 20, 1945 edition of “The Railsplitter,” the unit newspaper of the 84th Infantry Division, that may be of interest:

771st Tankers Outwit Tiger

It took a mad game of hide and seek around battered buildings in a Belgian town, but five members of an American Sherman tank managed to knock out a larger, heavier, and more powerful German Tiger tank.

The chase began when an accompanying 84th infantryman rushed out of a building into which the Tiger had just fired. He said the Jerry tank was on the other side of the building.

Tank Commander Sgt.John W. Rogers of the 771st Tank Battalion found the Krauts were already making hasty preparations to fire upon his tank crew. Both tank commanders knew they would have to maneuver with haste before dealing the other a death blow. This started the race.

When Sergeant Rogers could no longer hear the motor of his enemy, he and his crew figured the Germans had secretly withdrawn to another spot in the town to lay an ambush.

The Americans countered by placing their tank at a strategic road junction camouflaged behind a small hill. There they waited for the Tiger. After a short time the Germans approached from the direction of a flanking side road, evidently believing the Sherman tank was still parked where they last saw it.

When the Krauts came within close range of their guns, the Americans opened fire with all weapons. The Tiger went up in flames.

Other members of the American crew were Cpl. Joseph D. Nagra, Cpl. Walter B. Lewis, T/5 Francis T. Wollyung and Pfc. John W. Shatzer.

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