This Classy WWII Training Vid On How To ‘Crack A Tank’ Is Everything You Ever Wanted


Oh, how military training videos have changed. There was a time before PowerPoint, back when training videos were produced with the artistic panache and style of Casablanca. Back when men were men, and they didn’t worry about things like political correctness, or that smoking gives you cancer.

Your instructors were slick warriors in pink and greens, America’s business suit, and they wanted to give you the skinny on how to take out the enemy’s armor and win the war. Don’t believe me, check out the 1943 U.S. Army training video Fighting Men: Crack That Tank, and see for yourself.

“I figure a tanker knows more about tanks than anybody else,” an unnamed sergeant in the video muses as he takes a casual sip from his beer. “We know where they’re strong — and brother, they are strong. But we know where they’re weak, too, and that’s what I think you guys oughta know, even if I do give away some trade secrets. You stick with me and I’ll give you the real dope on what you oughta do.”

So, what’s the “real dope” America’s infantrymen need to survive an encounter with those “German Blitz buggers,” as the narrator says? The short answer: Shoot the hell out of them with rifle grenades.

Related: This Psychedelic 1970s Airborne Recruitment Video Is Vintage Gold »

Other helpful tips, laid out in the full video, include: Sticking it out in your fighting hole until the enemy armor is well within range of your unit’s heavy weapons, or a molotov cocktail; pouring on small-arms fire to ensure a tank crew “buttons up” the hatches, which limits their vision; and for the love of God — do not run.

If you run, “that’s just what those Nazi gunners are waiting for,” the narrator cautions. “Now remember that when you get itchy feet. Make a break for it, and you’re a dead duck. Not only that, you open up a hole for the enemy infantry, and those rats know what do with holes.”

So there you have it, that’s all you need to survive an encounter with a World War II-era tank, but seeing as that’s already over and done with, let’s take a different cue from our narrator and grab a beer, a smoke, and a stool at the bar.

Soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Southern Afghanistan, June 10th, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Trent)

Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)

Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.

Read More
Audie Murphy (U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

Read More
A Purple Heart (DoD photo)

Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Read More
Ships from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 transit the Pacific Ocean Jan. 22, 2020. DESRON 23, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.

Read More
Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar Temores and his family. (GoFundMe)

When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.

Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.

"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.

Read More