[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
  [Lone Sentry: Photographs, Documents and Research on World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"Tanks in Burma" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on performance of British and Japanese tanks in Burma was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 7, Sept. 10, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The following remarks on the use and performance of tanks in the Burma campaign represent the opinion of a British officer who participated in this fighting. They are not complete comments on the subject, since they were given in the form of answers to specific questions.

The U.S. Light M3 was found to be extremely reliable; the engine gave no trouble, overheating did not occur, and excessive oil was used only when the 100-hour overhaul period was exceeded. The sponson machine guns had been removed. It was not considered that their retention would be useful for jungle fighting since they are fixed in position, consume ammunition uneconomically, and, the space occupied is required for radio sets, etc.

It was considered that the emission of smoke from the rear of tanks would be of use in jungle fighting.

No tanks were set on fire by ammunition being hit.

Larger tanks could have been used in the campaign.

If searchlights had been available they could have been very useful in night actions.

Canister for the 37-mm guns to be used in close-quarter work against personnel would have been very useful.

Mortars on carriers to fire smoke shells would have been of value.

The Japanese used prussic-acid bombs against tanks on only one occasion. Molotov cocktails were used against British tanks, and had some temporary effect on morale but none on materiel since they burned on the outside of the tank.

Japanese tanks were small, low, and light, and poorly armored. They were knocked out by British and American tank guns at 1,200 yards. There was little chance to observe the effectiveness of antitank weapons against the Japanese tanks. The Japanese avoided tank-versus-tank actions, saving their tanks for use against unarmored troops.

The Japanese were rarely able to stop British tanks except in villages.


[Back] Back to Articles by Subject | Intel Bulletin by Issue | T&TT by Issue | Home Page

Web LoneSentry.com