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Armoured warfare - The development in armoured warfare and the organization of armoured forces during WW II advanced an an accelerated rate urged on by the demands of modern warfare. In a few years Canada's armoured forces had developed from a small training force equipped with obsolete tanks to powerful armoured forces up to divisional strength. The foundation of the armoured forces were the armoured regiments.

The Sherman Tank - workhorse of allied armoured forces

By 1944 these regiments were balanced heavily armed forces built around the american designed Sherman tank. The Sherman produced in large numbers in the U.S.A and Canada was a versatile, fast and capable medium tank. Although at a disadvantage in one-on-one engagements with the heavier German tanks, the numbers that Shermans were deployed in in conjunction with the overall allied all-arms capability including artllery support and ground-attack aircraft made Canadian armoured regiments equipped with the Sherman formidable forces.

SHERMAN TANK: medium tank armed with 75 mm gun. The mainstay of allied armoured forces including the British Columbia Dragoons.


The Dragoons fighting to take Point 204 encountered a combination of German infantry, anti-tank and armoured forces supported by artillery and protected by minefields. The parachute infantry of the 1st Fallschirmjager Division were fanatical in battle and well-equipped with infantry weapons including extremely effective machine guns and specialized anti-tank weapons such as the "Panzerfaust" which fired rocket propelled anti-tank projectiles. German armoured forces included self-propelled guns mounting powerful ant-tank guns such as the much feared 88mm. German tanks varied from the medium Panzer IV armed with a 75 mm gun, to the very dangerous Panzer V or Panther armed with a long 75 mm gun and the even more fearsome Tiger tank mounting an 88mm gun capable of defeated all allied armour at long range.

German Panzer IV medium tank. Armed with a 75 mm gun, good armoured protection including add-on armoured skirts the IV was the mainstay of German armoured forces from 1942 to the end of the war. Not as dangerous as heavier German tanks it still posed a considerable threat to allied tankers.

PANTHER (Pz Mk V) - The Panther was designed as a counter to the impressive Soviet T34 encountered on the Russian front. A fast, heavily armoured vehicle with sloped armour and a very effective long 75 mm gun, the Panther was a severe threat to allied tank forces whenever they encountered it.


TIGER 1 - The Tiger was a very heavily armed and armoured tank that earned a fearsome reputation amongst allied tank crews. Its frontal armour was very thick and its 88mm gun could defeat allied armour at extreme range. For all its strength it has weaknesses such as its relatively slow speed and mechanical problems. Tigers were deployed in relatively small numbers usually within special heavy tank battalions. That said when encountered they presented a special danger. It was common tactics for up to five Shermans to be engaged against a single Tiger in the hope of outflanking it and destroying it with the Sherman's higher rate of fire directed against the Tiger's thinner side and rear armour.



















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