A cut-rate Gaston taught U.S. infantry how to kill tanks

The U.S. Army made a lot of training videos for World War II. Think of them as the PowerPoints of yesteryear. And when it was time to teach infantry to fight tanks, the Army hired an actor that looks suspiciously like the character Gaston and then filmed him drinking beer in a hunting lodge.

anti-tank-tactics-world-war-II-staff sergeant gaston

(GIF: YouTube/PeriscopeFilm)

Seriously, even the lights hanging from the ceiling are similar. He’s one dentally-challenged sidekick away from being this guy…

Gaston Disney screenshot

(Screenshot: YouTube/Theano Sakalidou)

Considering the fact that the new Beauty and the Beast revealed that Gaston was a veteran, it’s starting to look like Disney based their character on an old War Department training film.

But while Gaston is known for being an idiot, the staff sergeant in the training film knows his stuff. He’s a tanker who takes a little time out to teach infantryman how best to destroy armor.

He starts with how small arms can be used to force tankers to “button up,” diving into their hatches. Once the tanks are buttoned, they can be completely blinded by rounds hitting the view slits and periscopes:

anti-tank-tactics-world-war-II-infantry-small arms

(GIF: YouTube/PeriscopeFilm)

Then, it’s time for grenadiers to try and shoot the crew through the armor with anti-tank rifle grenades:

anti-tank-tactics-world-war-II-infantry-grenades

(GIF: YouTube/PeriscopeFilm)

But if the tanks make it past the grenadiers, the rest of the riflemen can throw Molotov Cocktails at the fleeing armor:

anti-tank-tactics-world-war-II-infantry-molotov cocktail

(GIF: YouTube/PeriscopeFilm)

All of these were real weapons and tactics in the fight against German armor, and Gaston helped make it happen.

You can see the whole clip — and learn how to destroy Axis tanks — below:

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