Military History |
World War II
Did Tanks Reverse in Combat during WW2?
Posted 23 Jul 2003
Excerpt by James Doty on Crossfire Discussion Forum
For whomever asked about what tankers do in a given situation: Most tank commanders back up directly by reversing. They do not make a big loop unless out of contact with enemy forces. The tank commander and loader (depending on the vehicle) are responsible for guiding the driver back. In defensive positions, tankers try never to enter the position from the front, always enter and exit from the rear because the tracks will give your position away.
In the "Forgotten Soldier" Guy Sajer - a member of Grossdeutchland - describes some T-34s attacking through a minefield. Most were knocked out but once through the remaining two tried to retreat back through the minefield. They did this by turning around and going for it. They didn't reverse.
On the other hand I've read accounts of Tigers backing up through streets.
My other observation is that if crew have to be outside the tank to guide it when it does go backwards, then they are more vulnerable.
All up, in Crossfire, I'd say vehicles can't reverse (which is the default anyway, as no stands can reverse in Crossfire). This simulates that crew knew it was faster to turn around, and in the cases where they didn't the crew were more exposed which is simulated by enemy firing at Rear ARM.