Tankers Training Film

| February 11, 2019


This is a 1943 Army training film from the Army’s “Fighting Men” training series. It’s labeled “Restricited”, so you probably shouldn’t watch it, unless you’ve got a clearance for it.  I thought the Old Tankers in the crowd might like to see it.

The narrator is Dick Purcell, whose accent has to be the Bronx or Brooklyn from that period. The “now, look, see….” almost makes him sound like Edward G. Robinson.

It almost appears that the Panzer tanks were less well-equipped with armor than ours were, but those used in this film don’t appear to be the full-sized versions.



There is also a film in the “Fighting Men” series about the bazooka.  The 2.36 inch M1 rocket launcher was introduced in June 1942, and the improved M1A1 in August 1943. It was named the “Bazooka” after a custom-made musical instrument used by then-popular radio comedian Bob Burns. The M9 bazooka, introduced in June 1943, was a major redesign and improvement of the original weapon. – History of the Bazooka.


Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Army, Big Army, Historical, War Stories

Comments (23)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    I had no idea the Molotov was GI issue.
    That was great!

    Maybe Claw has the NSN and nomenclature.

    • Claw says:

      Nope, Sorry, no NSN for a Molotov exists. They are a local manufacture item only. However, they fall under the Federal Stock Class of 1040, which is the same class as used for Flame Throwers, Smoke Generators and like items.

      So what you do is prepare a WWII/Korea-Era Standard Form S1-798, (nowadays upgraded to DD Form 1348-1) line out the words “Machine Gun” and insert “Molotov Cocktail”, then submit the request and quantity needed to your supporting Smoke Generating Chemical Company Supply NCO./smile

  2. Skyjumper says:

    When ever I hear that “tune”, these lyrics seem to pop into my head……(smile)

    “You’re in the army now,
    you have to milk a cow
    You’ll never get rich,
    you son-of-a-bitch,
    you’re in the army now”.

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    It’s labeled “Restricited”

    Saw that but there was no FBI warning about all the actors certified to be 18 years or older.

  4. 2banana says:

    “You can’t stop a tank with a bare chest..no matter how much hair you have on it…”

    Roger Sarge!!!!! No idea what that means but let’s go crack tank!

  5. Skyjumper says:

    The narrator had me at……”barbecue Heiney”. (grin)

  6. M48DAT says:

    I think I have a boner. It’s been a while.

  7. 5th/77th FA says:

    We in the Field Artillery are usually the FIRST to call tanks what they are….Targets!

    Y’all did notice in the video how those 105s were busting up those rolling pill boxes/death traps with indirect and direct fire? Just saying.

  8. jonp says:

    Smoking and drinking beer in an official Army film about tank warfare in WW2? Doesn’t he know that stuff will kill you?

  9. Mr. Pete says:


    I’m thinking you posted this special for me, being the old armored cab guy that I am!

  10. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Like a Marching Cadence I remember from a t shirt shop in the late 70’s:
    I wanna be an Armored Crewman
    Live a life that’s almost Human –
    In my Tank I’ll feel no danger –
    I’ll run over Airborne Rangers…

  11. Messkit says:

    Always with the negative waves, man.

  12. Jarhead says:

    Former 1811 USMC tanker here…no clearance needed. Still had my secret decoder ring from the Spidey Man days. In RVN we had the hand-me-downs M48A3 from the Army. Worked well until one ran over a large artillery shell created as an anti-tank mine. The big ones did a job, to the point of flipping over upside down some of our 52 ton (fully combat loaded) units. An RPG on the other hand, would bore right through a tank. A hit on the left side was usually a quick end to tank and crew as the 90 MM rounds stood up on that side. Off and on a Gook was ground to a flat uncooked hamburger when it was possible to run over them. Damn I miss the adrenaline rush, as well as the camaraderie from a crew of four. Tankers in RVN were notorious for a tradition of uncivilized behavior when back in the rear. Early on was a gunner on a flame tank when we hit a mine. Fortunately it was small enough to only rock the tank, but gave me some thought later on as to how I could have become a crispy critter. Never will forget mixing our own napalm right on top of the tank in 55 gallon barrels, then pumping into the large reservoir. In spite of the occasional bad memories, I could have not have been any happier in any other MOS.