Tanker Tuesdays

| June 25, 2019

Tanks and heavy armor are fascinating subjects. The Roman Army had siege towers, and before that, the Greeks would form a turtle, a squad of soldiers holding shields overhead while those in the front and on the sides blocked spears and arrows with their shields held vertical. The Parthians had their warhorses wearing flexible armor to protect them on the battlefield.

This time, we have a reprisal of the Battle of 73 Easting, out there in the desert.

Pop some popcorn and enjoy the video. It’s part of a series.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Historical

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I realize you’re Navy, but that photo is an M-109 Self Propelled howitzer, not a tank. 😉

RGR 4-78
Slow Joe

The turtle is a Roman legion formation.
The Greek hoplites just raised their shields, like everybody else, but the Romans formed the turtle, with 360 protection, shields all around.

You are right about the Parthians though. They were the original cataphracts. The Byzantines copied it from them, even though the word cataphract is generally associated with Byzantium.

SSG Kane

My first first?

SSG Kane

Damn it! Nope.

Well, here’s my tank story:

I was a young newly promoted USAR SPC4 freshly graduated from Ft Leonard Wood’s School for Young Boys Who Were Smart Enough Not To Go To Ft Benning.

It was my first AT and we were doing joint training with a National Guard Armored Company.

I was tasked with leading a four man to assist with building a fighting position for an M60 tank in the wild scrubs lands near Boise Idaho.

We followed the tank out to the position in back of a five ton dump truck and set to work. After a couple of hours, the tank crew was picked up in a HMMWV and we were left to our own devices.

To my credit, I didn’t do anything to the take but build a fighting position around it and camouflage the shit out of it.

It was text book perfect, and when we were done, we loaded up the five ton and left it there…sans crew.

That night, while shivering in a hasty fighting position, I suddenly hear my name being screamed into the night. I go rushing back only to get snatched up by a group of tankers and hauled into their TOC.

A screaming fest ensued. “What did you do with the tank?” I couldn’t wrap my head around what was happening and so I kept replying “Nothing” while wondering what the hell those privates had done to the tank when I wasn’t looking. Did they actually take a shit in the commanders seat like they’d been joking about? Had they disconnected the battery leads? Had they welded all the viewing ports shut? I honestly didn’t know but I wasn’t going to dime them out. No, I’d figure it out and let my Squad leader sort it out.

That wasn’t what they were asking about at all. They wanted to know what I’d done with the tank, as in where did I put it?

Part of me couldn’t help but feel proud…I’d cammoed the tank so well, no one could find it.

SSG Kane

Now for the rest of the story…

After getting yelled out we went out and did a hands across the desert trying to find this thing in the dark.

We were unsuccessful, and so more yelling ensued.

Eventually my 1SG found out what was happening and burst into the TOC. He was an old school Vietnam vet, who used to do things like tear off a chunk of C4 and light it to warm his coffee. He was bat shit crazy and I was terrified of him, even if I wanted to be like him when I grew up.

His eyes crazy, he asked if I knew where the tank was. After I told him no, he asked if I’d signed for the tank. When I said no he told me to get the fuck out of there.

I would love to say that I really had camouflaged a tank so well that they never found it.

They did find it…emplaced and camouflaged 1K from where it was supposed to be.

And yes, the tank commander was a 2nd LT.

A Terminal Lance Coolie

As usual, giving butter bars maps and compasses proves to be a terrible idea.

Excellent job on the camo work, though!

SSG Kane


Knowing what I know now, I likely would have pegged him as one of “those” LT’s. You know the ones…by rank they should be a PL or an XO and instead they are a TC/Squad leader.

But I just saw the shiny and figured “Well he knows what he’s doing”

A Terminal Lance Coolie

Hey, you did precisely what they told you to, and no more. LT didn’t sign the tank over to you, so not your problem.

Oh yes, I know the type. Quite well, actually. Except this one somehow slipped through the cracks and actually became the company XO. He was so bad at passing word down from Battalion that my buddy and I (made company clerks by virtue of knowing what Microsoft Word and Excel were and how to use them) developed a close relationship with the Alpha and Charlie clerks so we could get word on things Battalion was asking for early in the week, when they announced they wanted it by COB Friday, instead of at 1530 Friday, as we were trying to see it for the weekend.

I got my best lesson in why 2nd LTs need their hands held at 29 Palms, as a combat instructor for Mojave Viper, right before I got out. I swear the whole bit of land nav where they teach you how far you need to be away from various metal things to not mess up the compass goes in one ear and out the other. Had two near misses with live 155 fire landing near their own trucks instead of the target a klick or so away in the middle of the desert. To my credit, I didn’t even flinch when one of those estray shells hit about 150m from the truck I was observing, nearly 2km from the target.


I resent that remark. As a 2LT I was a quite competent land navigator. Of course by the time I left the Benning School for Wayward Boys, I had completed multiple day and night land nav/compass courses and Ranger School, where if you couldn’t show the evaluator where you were on the map, you just flunked that patrol. As a 2LT in the 509th, I had to learn how to navigate with only a map from the cupola while traveling at 15 to 30 mph in an M113. However, in my career I encountered more than one butter-bar who was navigationally challenged.

A Proud Infidel®™



LMAO!!! Kane you must have been at Sunny GAWDAM Gowen Field! 🙂 The place where if it weren’t for one hill and a boatload of ravines/coulees/ditches there would be no terrain. The Yakima of Idaho.

That’s a funny as heck story.

SSG Kane

Thank you. I tell it better in person.

SSG Kane

Thank you!

My unit was out of Twin Falls, ID but sadly I can’t remember where that AT was. It was the only one I did with that company. I just remember we stayed in a run down motel just outside of Boise for our first night.

The description sounds right though. Scrub oak for miles, and terrain that appeared to be flat until you tried walking through it only to discover hip deep ravines and ditches…


Twin Falls? People live there? 😉


Oooooh is it share tanker stories day?
Joined the National Guard after 13 years USMC infantry. Became a tanker because I was tired of carrying everything on my back. Became a 19K via OJT. Went to OCS because BC promise me my own tank platoon. Branched Armor, went back to the same BN.

Off to OBC. There were a few prior enlisted in my class, mostly ROTC college boys and a few West Pointers (50-50 split on great guys/douchebags).

So we’re out for out 10 day war at the end of OBC. My crew is 2 college boys and an SGI. I’m up in the TC hatch with a cold Coke chatting with the SGI when one of the college boys asks “Where did you get the Coke?”
“Out of the cooler”
“What cooler?”
“The one in the sponson box”
“You brought a cooler?”
“Where are you getting ice?”
“You know where we do LOGPAC every night? Did you ever notice the gas station 200 meters away?”
“You brought money to the field? Did the instructors say you could go to the store?”

The SGI and I just looked at him with pity.

Sidenote, as soon as I commissioned, my division transitioned from a Armor Division to a light infantry division.

SSG Kane

You can try and take the infantry out of the man…but by God the Army will make sure the man stays in the Infantry


Is it share tanker stories today?

I am going to sit back and enjoy the stories. From the 113 to the Abrams, this is gonna be some funny shit.

Just An Old Dog

I spent 20 years, Almost all in Combat Arms MOS with Tank detachments and Tankers all around, The only tanks I ever so much as climbed on and got inside were a Russian T-55 and a T-62 though..

Slow Joe

Dang, man.
You are like, old…


Some day SJ, you too will be old. That is, if you live that long.

I’m thinkin’ not.


Enough said.


Beware the old man, in a profession where men die young…


Oh, the things I’ve seen and smelled…

Was OPFOR Platoon once on an AT exercise, we got yelled at because we weren’t in the right place where the Blue force ‘expected’ us to ambush them, and waxed an entire Armor Company (This was almost a year before Heartbreak Ridge was released, and I swear the write of that scene had to be in my unit)

Watched an M113 completely vanish in front of me when it went through some scrub, ended up falling sideways into a forgotten dugout emplacement the size of Delaware, luckily none of the crew were killed, but busted up pretty bad.. we pulled it out with an M88 and it drove back to the motor pool just fine.

My very first TC right out of boot was a 1LT who spent 9 years in the Israeli Army as a Tanker, out in the field once as OPFOR, some grunt hits him in the head from behind with a huge rock with the word “GRENADE” written on it. (I know this because it hit me in the had in the gunners seat after it fell in)
Never saw anyone leap off a tank that was doing ~12 MPH so fast in my life.

(Wasn’t me but saw it happen) Kids, always, ALWAYS remember to close your driver’s hatch when fording, in spite of how confident the new 2LT is on how deep that creek SHOULD be.

And lastly, words of wisdom from my most favorite foul-mouthed E-7 DI/Instructor in D-2-1 Ft Knox, “Tanks are designed with a sole purpose to kill, they don’t give a shit WHO they kill”


I tried several times to verbally stop a M113A2.

Didn’t work out so well.

each time…

Welcome, Olaf.


Shoulda got a can of “stop it”

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Thanks, 26Limabeans.

Sir, there has got to be a great story behind that name.

5th/77th FA

Tanks for all the stories troops. Good stories will help to get us beyond this sad time.

Nice howitzer (be His name) Ex. Now let’s turn in the Book to Ch 19 v 11.

Slow Joe

WTF? Shit is going to hell.
In my current run of Civilization 6, Arabia founded Protestantism, Rome got Sikhism, the Greeks got Shinto, and Mongolia, of all places, got Islam.

I ain’t playing this game anymore.

Man, how can you get history so wrong?
Artificial Intelligence ain’t that intelligent yet.

Slow Joe

Florida Georgia Line – Dirt.

Greatestest song evah..!

Slowest Joe

You guys are so boring.
It looks like after 2000 all you dudes go to sleep.
I can’t get a reaction to my half-trolling after 2000.

You guys suck dick, man…
I mean, for real?
Yoiu donnn’t drink beer and whiskey?


5th/77th FA

Nah Man, we ain’t asleep. We’re just using the “big gun” to satisfy some leg’s lonely disappointed wife!…(smirk)



Slowest Joe

I don’t know what the heck you oldsters listen too.
But we listen to fuckin heavy metal.
The heavier the better the workout.

This one dedicated to the 10th Mountain.

Slow Joe

Crossed swords for the win!


If by ‘crossed swords’ you are referring to the patch of my beloved 10th Mountain, they are bayonets, not swords. Crossed to form an X for the Roman numeral 10.


“Crossing Swords” is a completely different thing.

Slow Joe

If you like Disturbed…

Slow Joe

Tis an old song.
But it has over 700 million views.

Just so iu don’t think I am closed minded and I on;y listen to Heavy Metal/


OK Joe, you want heavy?


Is it share tanker stories today?

I am going to sit back and enjoy the stories. From the 113 to the Abrams, this is gonna be some funny shit.


Ok, might be a dumb question, but what in the world does that SP have it’s gun stuck in?


See the license plate on the M109? German.

That SP has it’s gun stuck into the equivalent of Marvin the Martian’s Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator./smile


That was actually my first thought Claw


My second thought was: German = Nazis

Nazis = Illinois Nazis

“I hate Illinois Nazis” (H/T to Joliet Jake)/s


Great movie!, though you might have to explain the reference to Slow Joe.. guessing he won’t have a clue.


Believe it or not, it’s a howitzer silencer. Seriously.



Thanks Hondo!

“Apparently the locals don’t like the sound of freedom.”.. best line in that article!


I looked all over the internet and have been trying to find some video of those being used, but so far have not been able to do so.

I really want to see video of those in action!

FWIW the German word for that device is “Schalldaempfer”.

They also make one for tanks. Here is a link:


Slow Joe

Well, I don’t know shit about singing, but ….

Slow Joe

This is a cover by American millennials.
The original song is from a British band called “Bring me the Horizon”.
Excellent band, by the way.
But these millennial dudes really make me, well, ignore the song., to be polite.

Notice the incels in the band, despite the two girls fronting the effort.

Slow Joe

Or, you might like this one bettar….

Slow Joe

Yes. This is the shit Millenials listen to.

Slow Joe

I laughed my ass off with this take on female metal.


It’s cute how ‘shocked’ she is like she never heard Metalcore growling.

Kinda hard to believe she’s in the biz and never heard this stuff.

Side note, Linzey Rae from The Anchor is killing it with the Growl and she has some decent cooking vids 😉



After you finish listening to that millennial crap, how about something GOOD for a change?