I'm a big fan of the history of WW2. Recently I saw Fury for the second time and think it is a great movie and recommend it to anyone interested in WW2.
There are a few problems I have with the film and wish it could be redone. The ending was wrong, along with a few other things. I became obsessed with this. So I set to formulate a plan for a disabled Sherman tank, and only 5 guys, to defend against an attack by 300 SS troops on the supply lines for a division of US troops. I became emotionally involved with my plan. I'm good at visualizing things. The mission was of great importance so you have to give your life for it if necessary. The movie could have been so much better. I would like to know what anyone thought about the movie and my plan. What would YOUR plan be if you were the commander a disabled Sherman tank in this predicament?
At the end of the movie the gunner “Bible” asked the tank’s commander Collier "What is your plan?" The only “plan” that Sergeant “Wardaddy” Collier had was play dead until surrounded, then shoot the first German to open a hatch, throw a few grenades out the hatch, and open up with only the bow 30 and the cannon. Turns out it was a stupid plan. A tank commander as experienced as Sgt Collier (N. Africa to Germany) could have done better. He should have planned to fight for less than 10 minutes using all 4 guns, and many grenades, then escape running the other way, under cover of smoke grenades. Patton had ordered tankers to improve their frontal armor, which Fury did NOT. They had 3 flimsy logs hanging from each side.
What they needed to do was kill about 50 - 100 enemy and seriously injure another 50 - 100, and disable all vehicles, to cripple the Nazi counterattack against the supply line for a US division of 10,000 troops. In the first few minutes of the ambush, they could inflict enough damage. The biggest worry to the tankers should be a great number of soldiers carrying panzerfaust anti-tank rockets, which had a range of 30 to 60 yards, depending on the type. Also, tankers should know that a grenade is an ideal weapon to defend a tank against infantry. Just throw grenades out the hatches. Everybody outside is in trouble. They should always carry at least 100 grenades and 50 smoke grenades to cover retreat.
The tank should have thicker timber logs hanging from the sides. These logs serve two functions. They stop panzerfaust rockets and they are used to cross deep mud. They should also have reinforced their frontal armor using sand bags, tank wheels, and metal plates, tied or welded to the hull. They should have stacked sand bags in front of both top-mounted machine guns. Leave all the hatches wide open, like any survivors are gone. This is critical to the success of their ambush, for the enemy to let their guard down. The 76mm was previously elevated and carefully sighted down the road, then the turret turned away to not appear as a threat. The tank looks very dead from a distance. The enemy may stray too close and bunch together, to view the apparently dead Sherman, to their peril.
Since the crew will exit the tank through the belly hatch, they should put debris, timber or rocks, in front of the tank to conceal the view under the tank. Since the tank is facing the approaching enemy column, they want the enemy's view under the tank blocked. Ellis is ready to fire the bow 30, Sgt Collier is inside the turret, ready to pop up and fire the top 30 from behind sand bags, and Gordo is hiding behind the turret ready to fire the 50, also behind sand bags. ALL ammo cans are close at hand next to each gun for quick reloading. Bible is ready to sight and fire the 76mm as quickly as possible, firing one high explosive (HE) shell every 5 seconds, angled down at close range to throw shrapnel, rocks, and dirt at the enemy, firing continuously for about 3 minutes (36 shells), HE shells to disable vehicles, decimate troops, and destroy supplies.
The plan for the cannon, after disabling all enemy vehicles, focus on ONE side of the road, while the 3 machine guns sweep the other side. That way the cannon doesn’t waste time traversing left and right, allowing a higher rate of fire, into the same spot, as the enemy scatters off the road, running INTO the cannon fire. The cannon fires 5 shells at the same spot, just off the road but in front of the enemy, to create a shot-gun effect. The cannon firing low to blast rocks and dirt, along with shrapnel, at the enemy. The crew will try to keep the enemy in FRONT of the tank, at a distance, to prevent the enemy flanking left or right for 5 minutes.
When the SS column reaches 5 or 10 yards away, Gordo is hiding behind the turret, and he starts lobbing grenades as fast as he can, one grenade every 4 seconds. He is protected behind sand bags stacked in front of the 50 cal. They have several buckets full of grenades handy behind the turret, and a bucket full of smoke grenades. When the first grenade explodes, that signals the 30 cals to open up. After Gordo throws a dozen grenades, he also opens up on the 50 cal. Three machine guns and a cannon, firing continuously for 3 minutes should do the job to cripple the counterattack. For a few precious minutes the enemy will be too busy running and dodging bullets and grenades, so they cannot effectively return fire, but only for a few minutes. Ellis continuously fires the bow 30, and Gordo and Collier continuously fire their guns. At the same time, Bible is firing the cannon with Grady reloading as quickly as possible. The first minute is most critical because the enemy will quickly spread off the road and make harder targets. The crew needs to inflict most of their damage in the first minute.
They need to kill or seriously injure all enemy close to the tank, and avoid being encircled by panzerfausts. After several minutes of continuously firing several cans of 30 caliber ammo, Sgt Collier drops down into the turret and all the way to the floor, and exits through the floor hatch. He crawls on his belly under the tank to the rear to get up and cover Gordo who is firing the 50 cal. Collier has his assault rifle, all his side-arm ammo, and a few buckets full of grenades and smoke grenades to cover their retreat. Bible fires the cannon for another minute or two, with Grady reloading. After firing 40 or 50 HE rounds, Bible fires a smoke shell at point blank range to signal retreat. Then Collier and Gordo starts lobbing smoke grenades from behind the tank. Bible and Grady drop to the floor to exit through the floor hatch, crawling to the rear with their side arms and ammo, while Ellis and Gordo continue firing.
After a few minutes of continuous firing, Ellis is the last to exit the tank through the floor hatch. Gordo continues firing the 50 cal, with the other 4 crew covering him. Then Gordo jumps down to the ground to shelter behind the tank with the other crew. They all throw smoke grenades to cover their retreat. After it gets smoky, each crew throws a few more grenades far into the smoke screen, so the enemy stays flat on their bellies and heads down.
The ambush took under 10 minutes. All surviving crew take their side arms, all their ammo, a full canteen of water, and run like hell, zig-zagging towards the tree line. They split up with the plan to converge somewhere safe in about 15 minutes. The enemy will be so stunned from the intense punishment, they may not even send a pursuit squad, but are forced to attend to their many seriously wounded. If a pursuit squad is sent, they make an easy target for ambush. The SS attack on division supply lines was disabled by the heroic crew of Fury.