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Military History/Infantry riding on tanks in WWII

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Question
Hello Paul,

I've been researching my father's service in an Armored Infantry Battalion (Rifle Company) in WWII. During an ambush in a small town in Germany, several soldiers were killed or wounded while riding on top of tanks.

My question is, since these rifle, machine gun and mortar squads used Half Tracks for transportation, during what conditions were they be required to dismount and ride on tanks?

Thanks!
James

Answer
Greetings
There are several reasons.  You can dismount a tank faster than a half track.  Not all infantry units had halftracks so a tank ride was a feet and time saver.  Typically you would ride a tank to near an enemy held town and dismount and hunt for infantry with anti tank weapons thus helping the tanks to engage enemy armor.  Also high command would order for infantry to ride on tanks and skip the half tracks.  The Soviets even welded hand holds on their tanks for infantry to use.  

I hope this helps and check out this book.

World War II Infantry Tactics (2): Company and Battalion
By Stephen Bull

Also check out the links

http://www.amazon.com/World-War-Infantry-Tactics-Battalion/dp/1841766631/ref=sr_

https://books.google.com/books?id=uvQEpunbddwC&pg=PA58&lpg=PA58&dq=tank+riding+world+war+2&source=bl&ots=SkhZRFKHU9&sig=SVnjsY3V1mnWyoEumA0BFW1R08A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFkQ6AEwDGoVChMIy4zTiM7SyAIVxlseCh1aeAP6#v=onepage&q=tank%20riding%20world%20war%202&f=false


http://balagan.info/armoured-infantry-tactics-of-ww2  

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Paul Sutton

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I can answer questions on World War Two weapons, tactics, and strategy. I can answer questions on Weapons systems and their development. I can answer guestions on Space exploration history. I am a World War 2 expert. I study Military Weapons Systems and the usage of those systems.

Experience

I work for Saint Petersburg College as a TRS or Technology resources specialist. I read 10 to 15 books a year on World War 2 and weapon systems. I also have a BA in History from USF.

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I have a BA in history from USF.

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