Thank you very much for the very comprehensive information, Bob. I am always so impressed by the knowledge people on this forum have! Your father does seem to have had rather strange MG training!
The training made a lot of sense, although it consumed a lot of resources.It was beautifully designed psychologically. The men, thinking that they were training to be better and better tank gunners, were getting more and more upset at the poor marksmanship. It must have effectively combatted "tank panic".
After the "MG training", the men trained to knock out tanks with "geballte Ladnung", six "potato masher" grenade war-heads wired about a seventh complete "stick grenade" as fuze and detonator. (The fuze in the Steilgranate was in the handle. These grenades were primarily concussive, not fragmentation. Seven warheads was quite an explosive brew.)
One man in my father's class knocked out three Brit tanks in two days. He lay in a shell-hole as a tank attack went past him, looking for a tank with the roof hatch open due to the enormous heat inside. When it went past he ran to the rear and grabbed the ridge in the middle of each track cleat and let the returning track pull him to the top of the tank. (I examined the Mark V in the lobby of the IWM to see if this was possible, it clearly is.) Then dropping the geballte Ladnung (literally "balled charge") into the
tank compartment. With the explosive effect, fuel tank, hot engine and exhaust, ammunition about, the tank and crew would be generally destroyed. I assume the brave soldier got his Iron Cross First Class. (My father only got his Iron Cross in 1921, as in 1916 he (and others) had killed his company CO, and for the rest of the war he got no decoration (except for his wound badge; they could hardly deny him that), nor any promotion, although he commanded a small sub-unit, and should have been a NCO.)