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luftluuver
09-15-2007, 04:36 PM
Report of Heer Committee on Panzer Development with reference to analysis of a captured M4A4 tank.

This report is being hampered by the proclivity of the engineers to faint in shock, or fall on the floor laughing as they conduct their analysis of this American tank. An inability to type without having to shake a head in disbelief is resulting in an unacceptable amount of typos.

Armor: We have yet to figure out the secret behind American metallurgy. Every test we have tried indicates that the thickness of armour should not be expected to stop PaK rounds, even from a medium 75mm, yet obviously the Americans have a reason to think they should. Perhaps we have captured a pre-production model made of inferior steel which was sent to the front by accident?

Weapons: Decent machineguns, if a low rate of fire. We are disappointed that we did not receive with the tank the real armour-piercing ammunition to test. The training rounds which came with it are being used to make amusing light shows on the test armour from a Pz V. Engineers have found that when combined with quantities of schnapps, a memorable experience can result from this show.

Engine: They have got to be joking. Have we been sent a decoy tank? This thing has five engines, and it'll still only do 35km/h. We thought Americans were supposed to be good at making engines. Transmission seems decent though, I wonder if we should copy it? No, on second thoughts, those guys in black coats over there might take exception to the concept that the Americans can do something better than us. Besides, for some reason they can't neutral-steer. Bizarre.

Optics: Note to self. Do not visit an American optician. I hope their dentists are better.

Suspension: Obviously American dentists must be better. With a ride like this, all the crews' teeth will have jarred out of place, without highly specialised dental protection.

Conclusions: The only possible merit to this design must be that it is easy to make. They'd better hope they can make a lot of them.

Brain32
09-15-2007, 04:48 PM
Gold http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

DKoor
09-15-2007, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by Brain32:
Gold http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif +1

"Engine: They have got to be joking." priceless.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

JG52Uther
09-15-2007, 04:59 PM
Just reading a book now about operation Totalize. The shermans were totally outclassed and really just deathtraps to their crews.
The advantage they had was in numbers.I would have found that post funny if i had not been reading that book.

joeap
09-15-2007, 05:04 PM
Question, everyone compares Shermans to Tigers. There weren't that many Tigers. How did they do against Panzer IVs? Stugs? Panzer IIIs? Pak 75s?? Seriously.

R_Target
09-15-2007, 05:06 PM
I guess you can say one good thing about the M4. It was better than the M3.

MB_Avro_UK
09-15-2007, 05:07 PM
German troops called it the 'Tommy Cooker' because it caught fire easily. (Reference to British tank crews).

It was also known as the 'Ronson' for obvious reasons.

I remember reading somewhere that it took 10 Shermans to destroy a Tiger..

But the Sherman Firefly with a 75mm gun was a different weapon. Was it Fireflies that destroyed Wittman's Tiger and his troop?


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

luftluuver
09-15-2007, 05:19 PM
real report on the Churchill

"The Germans compared the Churchill not only to their own tanks but to the Russian machines they were now encountering in the east. And it did not compare favourably. The vehicle' says the report 'offers nothing worthy of consideration by technical personnel, nor has it any new constructive features either in the metallurgical field, or in the field of weapon technology'. The 3 inch howitzer was 'bad and old fashioned'; the 2-pounder 'left behind both in construction and effectiveness' while the 6-pounder's performance 'does not approach that of Russian guns of the same calibre'. Ammunition revealed no new or noteworthy features and, as for armour it was seen as very thick but of poor quality and did not compare well with German or Russian plate. They also claimed that the tracks were brittle and of clumsy design which fractured ev ery time it received a direct hit. Photographs seem to indicate that the Churchills abandoned at Dieppe had the heavy, studded cast track made from a material described as B.T.S. 3. Discussing performance the Germans noted that the tracks made so much noise that they believed it would be impossible for anyone to use the radio while the tank was moving. No similar complaint is heard from British sources but the Germans made the point that when the tank halted to use its radio it provided a good opportunity to knock it out. Not that this was regarded as a problem. As the report sums up ' The shape is also not modern. In conclusion it may be said that the English Churchill tank, in its present form, is easy to combat'."

JG6_Oddball
09-15-2007, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by joeap:
Question, everyone compares Shermans to Tigers. There weren't that many Tigers. How did they do against Panzer IVs? Stugs? Panzer IIIs? Pak 75s?? Seriously.

there were 1500+ tiger type I and 500+ tiger type II (konig=king tiger)built, the stug and panzer 3's were outclassed by the sherman but by 44 the stug IV and panzer auf N (i think ) had better guns, armor on the panzer 4 was about the same as the sherman but the STUG 4 had lighter armor. if you want to read about german tanks http://www.achtungpanzer.com/ is a great site

S!

p.s if we did not have air superiority we would have been in big trouble, as the battle of the bulge showed


""Panzerkampfwagen IV in Action !
On February 7th of 1944, few remaining Panzer IV tanks from the 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking" spearheaded the attempt to breakout from the Cherkassy Pocket against largely superior Soviet force. During the breakout, SS-Untersturmfuehrer Kurt Schumacher commanded two Panzer IVs, which counterattacked a Soviet tank company destroying in the process some 8 T-34 tanks. On the next day, Schumacher alone engaged another Soviet tank company and during both actions destroyed some 21 Soviet AFVs. For his achievement, he was awarded the Knight's Cross.

On the afternoon of June 11th of 1944, the 8th Company of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment (12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend") counterattacked the attempt by Canadian 6th Armored Regiment (along with support units) to capture the area of Le Mesnil-Patry. The 12th SS Panzer Regiment commanded by SS-Obersturmfuehrer Hans Siegel destroyed some 37 Shermans, while losing 2 Panzer IVs and forcing Canadians to retreat.

SS-Unterscharfuehrer Willy Kretzschmar, who commanded Panzer IV of the 5th Company of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment (12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend") destroyed some 15 Allied tanks during the Normandy battles, including the heavy fighting at Caen area."" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

249th_Maico
09-15-2007, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by R_Target:
I guess you can say one good thing about the M4. It was better than the M3.

Its hard to immagine that when war finally came Americans had to go face Panzers in this...

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1242/1357747033_73aa1486aa_b.jpg

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-15-2007, 05:38 PM
Whos laughing now? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/crackwhip.gif

S!

Waldo.Pepper
09-15-2007, 05:46 PM
I remember reading somewhere that it took 10 Shermans to destroy a Tiger..

The standing order of the Normandy campaign in the RAC was that if attacking Tigers or Panthers you need 4 Shermans or Churchills and you should expect to lose three of them. This is mentioned in a great book called Caen: Anvil of Victory.

As for the German evaluation of the Churchill. The comment about stopping to use the radio is I think rather nonsense. All tanks of the era stopped to fire (if they were interested in hitting their target) This would have been the reason behind the good opportunity to kill a tank. The radio comment is I think a bit of kicking the man when it is down, and I think a bit of jocularity.

JG6_Oddball
09-15-2007, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
German troops called it the 'Tommy Cooker' because it caught fire easily. (Reference to British tank crews).

It was also known as the 'Ronson' for obvious reasons.

I remember reading somewhere that it took 10 Shermans to destroy a Tiger..

But the Sherman Firefly with a 75mm gun was a different weapon. Was it Fireflies that destroyed Wittman's Tiger and his troop?


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

I saw 2 different interviews with sherman tank commnaders, they were both asked "what did you do when encountered a tiger" they both paused and said "we found an excuse to get out of there...and we did" , like waldo said standing order for dealing with tigers...you didnt fight it alone, as for the firefly it came alittle to late.

SeaFireLIV
09-15-2007, 06:03 PM
Well, in the Sherman`s favour they were easier to repair, wheras tigers were too complex. I think this is why we sometimes see pictures of whole abandoned tigers in almost perfect condition sat on the side of the road.

Anyway, the US learned from it, creating tanks like the M1a2, etc.

Waldo.Pepper
09-15-2007, 06:06 PM
as for the firefly it came alittle to late.

There were only enough Fireflies to equip one tank in each troop during the Normandy campaign. I had the pleasure of speaking with several tank veterans over the years. Including one who served in a Firefly during the campaign. A Desert Rats alumnus who served as a driver in a Crusader - and lastly an Uncle of mine who was in a Sherman (of all things) in Normandy.

Sergio_101
09-15-2007, 06:09 PM
In reality the 30 cylinder Chrysler powerplant
proved the most reliable of the 5 basic powerplants
the Sherman was built with.
It was 5 Chrysler flat head six cylinder automotive
engines geared to a common output shaft.

It was smooth, quiet and VERY reliable.
Three drawbacks, it was bulky, heavy and water cooled.

A quote from "AHES"

"Chrysler produced the A57 by combining five 6-cylinder in-lines for a total of 30 cylinders!
The engine developed 370 hp @ 2,850 crankshaft rpm and was used in the M3A4 (109) and M4A4 (7,499)."

"Cadillac built a 16-cylinder two V-8s. It developed 220 hp @ 3,400 rpm and powered the M24
(4,371), M5 (2,074), M5A1 (6,810), LVT3 (2,962), M8 (1,778), M37 (150), M19 (300) and M19A1."

http://www.enginehistory.org/Features/Tanks/Chrysler_23.jpg

The A57 was the most reliable powerplant built for the Sherman.
A few still run!


Sergio

Blood_Splat
09-15-2007, 06:19 PM
Heck the sherman tank crews had to improvise. They were a very brave bunch.

stalkervision
09-15-2007, 06:23 PM
"Armor: We have yet to figure out the secret behind American metallurgy. Every test we have tried indicates that the thickness of armour should not be expected to stop PaK rounds, even from a medium 75mm, yet obviously the Americans have a reason to think they should. Perhaps we have captured a pre-production model made of inferior steel which was sent to the front by accident?"

The secret of american armor was the fact that the american's realised putting too much armor on the sherman would slow it right down so they actually made the armor very light as in the Misubishi zero example so that armor piercing rounds would go right threw the tank without the least bit of resistance and exit the tank with little if any battle damage having occured to the vehicle.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

except for the odd crewman that got in the way and exited the vehicle with the said round.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Jagdgeschwader2
09-15-2007, 06:38 PM
We should of gone in with Pershings. Things would have been quite different.

http://home.earthlink.net/~jagdgeschwader26/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/persh1.jpg

A victim of the Pershing.
http://home.earthlink.net/~jagdgeschwader26/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/snap3.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~jagdgeschwader26/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/jagdgeschwader2s3.jpg

waffen-79
09-15-2007, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Blood_Splat:
Heck the sherman tank crews had to improvise. They were a very brave bunch.

+1 I salute those brave man

as for the review, obviously a fake but LOL

jadger
09-15-2007, 06:45 PM
jagdgeschwader2, is that Panther in front of the Koeln (Cologne) cathedral? if not, where?

P.S. The reason Shermans were called "Ronsons" is because Ronson was a lighter manufacturer, and their motto was "lights on the first strike"

Bewolf
09-15-2007, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by jadger:
jagdgeschwader2, is that Panther in front of the Koeln (Cologne) cathedral? if not, where?

P.S. The reason Shermans were called "Ronsons" is because Ronson was a lighter manufacturer, and their motto was "lights on the first strike"

That indeed is the front of the cologne cathedral. Been there many times, exactly where that panther is.

Jagdgeschwader2
09-15-2007, 07:24 PM
Yep, there was a great post on this incident in another forum. The post detailed the encounter blow by blow and even showed how the site looks today.

A video of the incident. Not the same old video you've seen before. The engagement occurs near the end of the clip.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-oDnst7fAEU

This shows the scope of the damage to the city. Sad what people can do to each other.
http://home.earthlink.net/~jagdgeschwader26/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/trotman2.jpg



http://home.earthlink.net/~jagdgeschwader26/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/jagdgeschwader2s3.jpg

Bremspropeller
09-15-2007, 07:31 PM
A Sherman can not be killed by cal fifties, can it?

mortoma
09-15-2007, 07:48 PM
It did take us a while to catch up as far as tanks. The Sherman was better than nothing but the high profile made it easy to spot and hit.
Pershings were a little too late.

jarink
09-15-2007, 08:12 PM
Not only were Shermans easier to make, they were vastly more reliable in the field than nearly every single type of German tank. The rubber-padded tracks, while slightly lowering mobility, also meant that they lasted much longer than all-steel tracks. For those of you who have never changed a track (aka "broken track") on an armored vehicle, it's nothing to sneeze at.

Most commanders would rather have a dozen decent tanks available for a battle than 3 awesome tanks in a repair depot.

VMF-214_HaVoK
09-15-2007, 08:38 PM
Shermans relied on speed and numbers. I do not think this is new information.

S!

HerrGraf
09-15-2007, 11:38 PM
The original post is hilarious.
In a more serious note, the M4 was not as bad a tank as some claim. Yes, it was undergunned and it did not have the heaviest of armor. It was mechanically better than any other tank of its period- able to motor vast distances without breakdowns. The later versions were better protected against internal fires and had better tracks for movement over soggy ground. Also received the heavier 76mm gun.
Against the later (heavier) German tanks it found itself at a 1 to 1 dissadvantage. It was not intended to take on this armor one on one. That was supposedly left to the tank destroyers (M19 or M36 for example).
Supposedly the reasons for using the M4 for so long in Europe was because of shipping space. Two or three M4s could be shipped instead of only one heavy tank. It is unfortunate that the M4 wasn't upgunned in late 1943 or very early 1944. It would have been much more usefull after June 6th.
One has to remember that when introduced into battle in 1942 it was an outstanding tank. If one wants to talk about c*#@ tanks, then lets discuss the Japanese tanks.

joeap
09-16-2007, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I remember reading somewhere that it took 10 Shermans to destroy a Tiger..

The standing order of the Normandy campaign in the RAC was that if attacking Tigers or Panthers you need 4 Shermans or Churchills and you should expect to lose three of them. This is mentioned in a great book called Caen: Anvil of Victory.

As for the German evaluation of the Churchill. The comment about stopping to use the radio is I think rather nonsense. All tanks of the era stopped to fire (if they were interested in hitting their target) This would have been the reason behind the good opportunity to kill a tank. The radio comment is I think a bit of kicking the man when it is down, and I think a bit of jocularity. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

10 Shermans??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif Methinks that is a very large exaggeration. Even what Waldo posted is somewhat of a myth or needs qualification. Check out this fascinating thread at the Achtung Panzer forum:

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55232%5B


This post in particular
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=762164&postcount=56

Really tanks didn't fight one on one, like a Davis vs. Goliath or 5 vs. 1 like some martial arts film as a multitude try to take down master. COMBINED ARMS as the post above says.


The Germans were becoming very adept at the defence after widespread experience in the east. Tigers and Panthers lying in wait wouldn't necessarily do so acrest a hill in full view and alone (although forward defence on forward slopes practically taunting Allied armour was not uncommon), but in a carefully camoflaged position with supporting arms. Using ammunition with less flash and smoke, the AXIS Tank's first shot would hit advancing allied armour. Allied armour would start to manouevre, but Commanders would first duck under fire through the hatch before attempting to ascertain where the shot came from from within the restricted confines of the turret.

This would not be easy. Assuming the target could be found, a vehicle or two might well scoot and shoot in it's general direction whilst the others manouevred for the flank shot. However, the Germans would be alive to this and tanks moving for that flank shot might well find a hitherto quiet, undetected and nicely positioned Stug or MK IV on the Tiger's flank that would get a round off when the opportunity presented itself.

Equally, infantry armed with mines or Panzerfaust could be encountered and against the more all round armoured Tiger, the 75mm that armed most Normandy Shermans was not really guaranteed to penetrate anyway even if it got the side shot. the Panther yes, the Tiger...by no means necessarily.

Therefore, taken as a whole, the engagement might well cost five Tanks to get the Tiger, but the Tiger may only have hit the lead tank, one of the manouevring Tanks and maybe a Flanker that scratched it and stood still too long laying on another shot. 2-3 Allied tanks, though, might have been lost to Stug/MK IV flankers or concealed infantry.

Usually though, the Tiger would marked and plastered by arty...the supporting infantry forced to reatreat or be killed...or the Tiger run out of ammo or break down and the crew get away cause spare parts and fuel was not coming through thanks to Allied air interdiction of supply lines. Mean time the Shermans would have lots of spares, spare tanks too, lots of backup, and punch through weak parts of the lines. They did just fine against infantry, with infantry support of their own, and the Russians seemed to like them too, even though they had the T-34.

No question I'd rather be in a Tiger than a Sherman, but I'd rather be in the armies with the Sherman and everything else they had than the army with the Tigers. (No political or nationalist meaning intended)

ibeagle
09-16-2007, 06:41 AM
Actually, Rommel was in awe of the American standardization of equipment, making the logistics vastly simpler than the German. Every armys logistical tail wags the dog. Tactics are developed to counter superior enemy equipment. Sherman defeats MG42 though - that counts for something.

Dtools4fools
09-16-2007, 07:10 AM
Most commanders would rather have a dozen decent tanks available for a battle than 3 awesome tanks in a repair depot.

Hmmm, the point is the US could have afforded and maintained a LARGE fleet of Pershings/Panthers/BigCats.

To my knowledge Tiger I, Panther and PzIV percentage regarding frontline readyness isn't too different (once theeting troubles were fixed).

And the tankers themselves preferred to sit in the best tank, not in the inferior one. Screw the commander...

Plus thousands of Russian inferior (but still decent for that time on paper) tanks available to commanders were outclassed by much less German tanks early in Russia...

Sherman was a decent tank, about what the PzIV was for the Germans.

Sherman improved time after time, with the long 76mm and Firefly, HVSS suspension and tracks, wet storage of ammo, etc, etc.
A certain lack of firepower and armor was never overcome for the majority of Sherman tanks however - and that's two of a MBT most important caracteristics!

A decent AVERAGE tank available in large numbers.
Point is the US could have afforded a GOOD tank in large numbers...

Pershing showed the trend and that they did learn their lesson. Just a little late...

****

Dtools4fools
09-16-2007, 07:24 AM
Funny initial report, btw.

But if would have been written different if it had been written in Northern Africa when the Sherman was first encountered...

There were precious little PZIV 'specials' (with long 75mm gun) around at that time...

*****

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 07:26 AM
Listening to a Veteren speaking on the subject - The British forces just called in Typhoons with rockets whenever they came up against a Tiger or Panther.

5% direct hit rate on tanks with rockets, SO 2 typhoons with 8 rockets (16) would usually take out a single Tiger or Panther.

At the very least it would scare it half to death and make it retreat.

IIRC they tried to avoid going up against them with their own tanks. They had Cab ranks of Typhoons circling above, so they used them whenever they could, and a Tiger is a perfect time to bring in the fighter bombers and save a few Shermans and Churchills.

There is a video somewhere of a British Tanker who chased Michael Vitmann down the road into the village in Villers Bocage, when he knowcked out all those BRitish tanks. The Tanker hoped to get a shot into the Tigers rear, but as he came through the village, to his horror, the Tiger had turned round and was now heading straight for him.

He got off 3 shots. They all bounced off.

Wittman got off 1 shot. It didnt bouce off...

The British Tanker was blown out of the top, the rest of his crew killed.

I am not sure if he said what tank he was in, I will try and find it...

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 07:56 AM
FOund it,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u97bUSOmlhw&mode=related&search=

Another good clip of the first Tiger tank captured by British forces in Tunisia, a lucky shot from the Churchill jams the turret and the crew panics, leaving a perfect example of a Tiger for the Allies to study...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD9UdQxE70c

Dtools4fools
09-16-2007, 08:05 AM
Xiolablu3,

That 'just call in the 2 Typhoons with 8 rockets each and the Tiger is dead' approach did not work in reality to my knowledge.

Typhoons (or any air attack) killed much, much less tanks then thought.

You might chase them (or nearby infantry)away, abandon their positions or attack, but out right destruction of a tank by simply sending in 2 Tiffies, I doubt that very, very much.

Where do you get those numbers from, btw?

****

Tux-UK
09-16-2007, 08:11 AM
I think in reality combined arms and artillery support defeated those Cats that reached the battlefield, along with the over-aggressive use of those vehicles often compromising their superior long-range combat capabilities. Air support from Typhoons, Il-2s, P-47s, etc. killed full AFVs (IIIs, IVs, StuGs, etc) only very rarely, and Cats almost never. Admittedly, CAPs were extremely useful for the interdiction of support units and soft-skinned supply trains, and also for the suppression of infantry in certain circumstances. That was what made it crucial - the difference between a dead tank and an empty, unsupported tank is negligible.

As far as the Sherman is concerned, it was a first-rate tank when it was first manufactured, and until it encountered 'special' Pz IVF2s it outclassed the vast majority of AFVs that it encountered. As it was up-gunned with the 76.2mm and then the 17-lbdr, it remained competitive and very able to defeat the vast majority of German AFVs. Even the 75mm-armed variants still competed with Pz IIIs and IVs on pratically equal terms. The 'Jumbo' variants packed a 105mm assault howitser, and had heavier frontal armour than a Tiger! Once Cats were encountered, the Sherman was usually (excluding the 17-lbdr-armed Firefly) incapable of defeating them frontally. Panthers were, however, vulnerable to flank or rear shots from any Sherman, and the 76mm-armed Shermans could readily penetrate the turret-front with the HVAP ammo that was increasingly available throughout late '44. Tigers were almost inpenetrable by Sherman '75 rounds, but the '76, again, solved that problem once the Tiger was flanked.

Basically, as far as I have been able to ascertain during the course of all my reading, the Sherman was an excellent medium tank that remained competitive throughout the war, and was generally more readily maintained than German AFVs. You can compare the 75mm-armed versions to the T-34/76, and the up-gunned variants to the T-34/85: Both were sufficiently armoured to fight the vast majority of Panzers on equal terms, and the more heavily-armed types were usually capable of killing the 'heavies' given the appropriate tactics.

Tux-UK
09-16-2007, 08:15 AM
For the sake of argument I'm pretty sure the average air-ground rocket used by the allies was incapable of penetrating a Pz V or VI, even given a direct hit. The HE rockets may stun/ panic the crew or damage the tracks/ optics, but I don't think they often used to destroy the tank.

luftluuver
09-16-2007, 08:26 AM
From this thread, http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/6611019985

The average hit probability of the Typhoon + rocket projectiles against tanks, in combat, was 0.5% (5% in training). The average miss distance was 60 yards IIRC (later showing improvement to around 40 yards with a better sight). The average miss distance with Typhoons + bombs was 120 yards. All results from Operational Research, examining the battlefield immediately afterwards.

Tony Williams

In June 1943 the RAF's order of preference in weapons for use against tanks was given as: 1st 40 mm S gun; 2nd 20 mm cannon with Mk III AP ammunition; 3rd RP with 25 lb AP head; 4th RP with 60 lb HE head; 5th .50" Browning HMG; 6th 9 lb AT bomb. Only the first three of these were considered to be serious anti-tank weapons. Some comment on these preferences is necessary. The 20 mm AP Mk III, as mentioned in Chapter 1, was a tungsten-cored round of considerable performance which was, in the end, not adopted. The RP with 25 lb AP head could penetrate 70-80 mm, which compensated to some extent for its lack of accuracy. The RP with 60 lb HE head was discounted against tanks as it could only penetrate 25 mm, but this assessment rather underestimated the cataclysmic effect of detonating such a large charge against a tank.

Tony Williams, Flying Guns World War II

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 08:32 AM
Apologies, I thought it was 5% in combat.

However, air attack always made the Tigers/tanks/any vehicles retreat extremely fast and broke morale.

Look at any German Tank footage from 1944 - they are covered in branches and constantly scanning the sky...

Air Attacks certainly had some effect on Tanks :-

I posted this quote in the rockets and bombs thread :-

'German accounts clearly attribute the failure of their attack on 7
August to the fighter-bombers. The commander of 2nd Panzer Division,
von Luttwitz, later recalled that his tanks had made a swift advance
of about ten miles when suddenly the fighter-bombers appeared,

They came in hundreds, firing their rockets at the
concentrated tanks and vehicles. We could do nothing
against them and we could make no further progress.

Hans Speidel, then the Chief of Staff of the German Army Group B,
later wrote of Mortain that

it was possible for the Allied air forces alone to wreck
this Panzer operation with the help of a well co-ordinated
ground-to-air communication system.'



'Interrogation of prisoners has shown without question
that German tank crews are extremely frightened of
attacks by RP...Crews are very aware that if an RP
does hit a tank, their chance of survival is small.
It is admitted that the chances of a direct hit are
slight; nevertheless, this would hardly be appreciated
by a crew whose first thought would be of the disastrous
results if a hit was obtained.'

'Of the 133 armoured vehicles of all types located by the ORS in the
'Pocket', only 33 had been the victim of any form of air attack. The
remaining hundred had been destroyed by their crews or simply
abandoned. Air attacks were far more effective against soft-skinned
vehicles. Of 701 cars, trucks and motor cycles found in the 'Pocket',
325 had been the victim of attack from the air, the majority of the
others being abandoned by their crew'



For a veteran to say 'When we came up against a Tiger we called in rocket Typhoons', they surely musdt have had some impact on the German tanks.

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 08:38 AM
See how accurate this guy is with his rockets on the railway track :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwN3ZvIe6Yc

FOund this neat video on the Tempest while looking for rocket videos!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKq51LdJ-ZU&mode=related&search=

Tux-UK
09-16-2007, 09:07 AM
The accuracy of the railway attack is impressive, but hitting any point along a long line is far easier than hitting a single particular point on the line. Also, the aircraft don't appear to be under fire, allowing them to take nice, long, smooth attack runs.

I don't think there's any doubt that a direct hit from an RP would damage a tank, and probably stun the crew. In some cases the latter may feel the need to bail out. The same principle was behind the occasional attempt to 'ping' heavy tanks to death, on all fronts, by massing otherwise inneffective guns/ HE ammunition against a single armoured target until the crew gave in or the optics and other external equipment was so wrecked as to force the vehicle to withdraw.

Neither do I doubt that the effect of air attack on the morale of enemy troops could be devastating. During certain battles on the Eastern Front the attacking German troops wouldn't bother to advance until the next wave of close air support arrived, because it had such a devastating affect on the average Russian soldier's will to stick his head up and open fire.

ElAurens
09-16-2007, 09:21 AM
To understand why the Sherman was what it was, one must understand the makeup/hierarchy of the US Army.

During the development of the Sherman the US Army armor side wanted a longer barreled, high velocity gun. They were overruled by the senior branch of the US Army, the Field Artillery, who saw the tank as little more than mobile artillery and demanded (and got) a lower velocity gun with a much longer barrel life.

That's right. The more politically connected branch chose the gun for the Sherman because they said it had to have a 5000 (as I recall) round barrel life, not understanding that no tank would ever fire that many rounds during it's life cycle.

As for light tanks, I think that that is one area where the US had the best on the field. both the M3 Stewart and the M24 were superior to any other light tank deployed. However, if you foolishly waste them in head to head duels with mediums they come off second best. Can't blame the tank for that.

Phil_K
09-16-2007, 09:23 AM
The advantages of the Sherman are all the unsexy ones: Reliable, field-maintainable, made from standardised parts, simple to manufacture, dimensioned and weighted for optimum overseas freighting etc.

It loses a biggest-**** contest with the Panther and Tiger no problem, but even then as the Firefly and later the Israeli's proved, it wasn't developed nearly as far as it could be by the end of the war. If it had, I'm sure it would be a candidate for one of the greatest tank designs ever.

249th_Maico
09-16-2007, 09:42 AM
If one wants to talk about c*#@ tanks, then lets discuss the Japanese tanks.

Wow, that is really funny. I thinks they were more like infantry suport vehicles.
Here I am in Guam with an example
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1355/1305240013_600edc5b1d_b.jpg

Dtools4fools
09-16-2007, 09:48 AM
retreat extremely fast

Now that sounds right to me.

Just 5% hit probability and 'tank is DEAD' paints a completely different picture.

The railway attack is impressive but:

- salvoes are fired. And they seem to fall quite far apart.
To me it looks like it would be very, very difficult to hit a tank with those rockets.
With an aimed shot. More like aiming and then hope that one will hit home...

When salvoe is fired you see rockets 'spiraling' (far from a straight line) off the racks. Think that would seriously reduce chances of a aimed hit.

On the 05.% and 5% training sorties, is that per attack or per rocket fired? Anyone knows?

My guess is per attack on which target is hit with salvo of rockets fired, as it looks salvo was they way they were used.

****

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by Tux-UK:
The accuracy of the railway attack is impressive, but hitting any point along a long line is far easier than hitting a single particular point on the line. Also, the aircraft don't appear to be under fire, allowing them to take nice, long, smooth attack runs.




I totally agree.

Just a bit OT for you guys but this video made me laugh. I found it when looking for tank and rocket videos on Youtube :-

Its Hans Ulrich Rudel (famous Stuka pilot), along with Adolf Galland in tha background, at the end of the war.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lw3ozfutplo&mode=related&search=

there I was studying these 'Legends of WW2'... these 'Icons of bravery'....

and then I noticed the guy taking a leak in the background...

Sorta brought me back down to earth! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

leitmotiv
09-16-2007, 10:12 AM
Below is the best work on the history of the Sherman, its terrible flaws, and how Patton decided the American armored divisions went into battle in Normandy in Shermans instead of Pershings. Author was the 3rd Armored Division's maintenance officer from Normandy until the end of the war. In sum: the Sherman was far worse than you can imagine.

http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/feature.pages/death.traps.htm

Korolov1986
09-16-2007, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Below is the best work on the history of the Sherman, its terrible flaws, and how Patton decided the American armored divisions went into battle in Normandy in Shermans instead of Pershings. Author was the 3rd Armored Division's maintenance officer from Normandy until the end of the war. In sum: the Sherman was far worse than you can imagine.

http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/feature.pages/death.traps.htm

I feel it's worth noting that, from Patton's perspective, he *was* on the right track. The problem arises when they tried to fight a battle that the M4 wasn't designed to do.

JadehawkII
09-16-2007, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by Tux-UK:
For the sake of argument I'm pretty sure the average air-ground rocket used by the allies was incapable of penetrating a Pz V or VI, even given a direct hit. The HE rockets may stun/ panic the crew or damage the tracks/ optics, but I don't think they often used to destroy the tank.

I think you better go back and check again. The average so called rocket had quite a punch and the British preferred the Typhoon carrying eight rockets having 60-lb armor-piercing warheads did in fact do serious damage to these tanks. The Americans typicaly used up to ten 5-in HVARs or high-velocity aircraft rockets depending on their mission profile. They did not have to penetrate the tank, just busting off the wheels and tank treads was all they had to do. That tank was good as dead and even when they busted the optics, tank was nearly useless too.
More so the Panther as they were more numerous than the Tiger. If they can kill Train engines, trust me, they can and have done so to Panthers and Tigers.

The Ninth Air Force of the Americans were created mostly for ground combat as such as the Second Tactical Air Force of the RAF. It was their business. If this was not happening, then tell me why several photographs I have show the Germans went as far as to weld spaced armor plating over all the engine intakes, vents and also to the top of the turret. Why? because their roofs and tops were being penetrated by both artillery, rocket and in some cases gun fire as well.
One modification that was incorporated in April of 1944 production of the Tiger I starting with Fgst No 251075 using wooden deecking over the top of the upper fuel cells to catch both shaprnel and bullet splash. So you see, this did in fact happen and the Germans were aware of it and incorporated modifications to combat this problem. In March of 1944, the Germans increased the turrets top thickness from 25mm to 40mm to help combat this problem, however they also did not do the same for the engine deck.

Whatever they could not do with the rockets, they always carried the 500lb bomb in case of the Ameicans which nearly always cause fatal damage to the German tanks.

stalkervision
09-16-2007, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by 249th_Maico:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If one wants to talk about c*#@ tanks, then lets discuss the Japanese tanks.

Wow, that is really funny. I thinks they were more like infantry suport vehicles.
Here I am in Guam with an example
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1355/1305240013_600edc5b1d_b.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Japanese tanks weren't all that bad as infrentry support but they were useless in one on one tank battles with uparmored and gunned american tanks. There were follow on better armored and gunned designs for better japanese tanks but they never came out into large production..

luftluuver
09-16-2007, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by JadehawkII:
Whatever they could not do with the rockets, they always carried the 500lb bomb in case of the Ameicans which nearly always cause fatal damage to the German tanks. Yah but they had to hit them or at least hit very close by.

Rockets had a miss distance of 40 to 60yds while bombs had a miss distance of 120yds.

Zeus-cat
09-16-2007, 11:40 AM
Shermans were not designed or intended to fight main battle tanks. They were designed as infanty support vehicles that could travel at "high" speed once the enemy front lines had been penetrated. Sort of like horse cavalry was used against foot infantry 100 years earlier.

Destroying tanks was the job of the M10 and M36 tank destroyers.

This was what American military planners had intended. Of course, with 20/20 hindsight, we know it didn't work out that way.

Dtools4fools
09-16-2007, 12:19 PM
I thought anti-tank rockets were 25lb HEAT warhead (85mm penetration at 0 angle) and 60lb was pure HE (25mm penetration IIRC)?

Then there were rockets with AP projectiles as warheads, but those were not very good as the vlocitiy was to low to allow sufficient penetration.

Where you got the number of near-misses from?
****

Warrington_Wolf
09-16-2007, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by stalkervision:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 249th_Maico:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If one wants to talk about c*#@ tanks, then lets discuss the Japanese tanks.

Wow, that is really funny. I thinks they were more like infantry suport vehicles.
Here I am in Guam with an example
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1355/1305240013_600edc5b1d_b.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Japanese tanks weren't all that bad as infrentry support but they were useless in one on one tank battles with uparmored and gunned american tanks. There were follow on better armored and gunned designs for better japanese tanks but they never came out into large production.. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>It looks more like Jurassic Park istead of Guam to me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif.

leitmotiv
09-16-2007, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by Korolov1986:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Below is the best work on the history of the Sherman, its terrible flaws, and how Patton decided the American armored divisions went into battle in Normandy in Shermans instead of Pershings. Author was the 3rd Armored Division's maintenance officer from Normandy until the end of the war. In sum: the Sherman was far worse than you can imagine.

http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/feature.pages/death.traps.htm

I feel it's worth noting that, from Patton's perspective, he *was* on the right track. The problem arises when they tried to fight a battle that the M4 wasn't designed to do. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The author makes it clear the Sherman was obsolete in terms of battleworthiness, and a nightmare off road because its narrow tracks and high center of gravity caused it to bog easily or even tip over. It was the worst possible choice for a medium in 1944-45. Patton was selected as the Army's tank expert to make the choice for the American medium for the invasion, and he chose badly. Considering the Sherman had already been in contact with Tigers in Tunisia, Panthers in Sicily, and the far superior to the Sherman, Pz IVG/H, Patton's thinking was incomprehensible. Most important, the Sherman was easily penetrated by the standard Heer anti-tank gun, the 75mm PAK, which had been in service in 1943.

FluffyDucks2
09-16-2007, 03:15 PM
I dont know why some of you are still perpetuating the MYTH that rocket armed aircraft were able to knock out tanks(that is Main Battle Tanks).

The British Army engineers/intelligence teams did after action surveys on western european battlefields on all knocked out tanks(MBTs). Their conclusions were that NO tanks(MBTs) were destroyed by airborne rockets AT ALL. Some may have been damaged but NONE actually destroyed.

Bakelit
09-16-2007, 03:17 PM
While the 75mm VVSS Sherman certainly was not that good a main battle tank there are some things in its favour.

1)It was continually improved (like the PanzerIV)and around in great numbers. With the later T26 turret with 76mm gun and the even later HVSS running gear this was becoming quite useable just as the war ended (M4A3E8).

2)Most german tanks were not Panthers or Tigers.
Of my two grandfathers only one ever saw a Panther and none a Tiger in the whole war. The infantrymen used to mainly work with StuGIIIs and from time to time may have seen a platoon of Panzer III and IV.

3) The Sherman users usually attacked and a prolonged armored attack was costly even back then, see the massive russian AFV losses even late in the war.

4) That the Sherman often was impressive enough to the german grunt was told to me when I was in hospital years ago and spoke a former german naval soldier. In late 1944 he was with a retreating mixed unit in Belgium when they were subject to fire from Shermans. The tanks kept out of close defence weapon range and shot methodically at hastily dug trenches. The old man said with every shot he saw his life passing by and everyone around was in total fear and men died all around.

So take this from a german, the M4 was not that bright a design in its initial form, but it was around in masses and that also counts.
Imagine being a german tank commander, with low fuel and ammunition. You get attacked frontally and count several adversaries. You may hit two or three but by then a third or fourth might have already outflanked you...

Shermans and T34 wore the german army down on the ground together with their respective armies artilleries ...

stalkervision
09-16-2007, 04:05 PM
if you have or can get a copy of the tank combat sim from a few years ago "panzer elite" I highly recommend playing it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif When doing combat from a german tank it will soon become clear what saved the allies, "sheer numbers of shermans and other allied tanks". You may be able to kill many many shermans but there will always be one more flanking your position to shoot you in the side or rear where your thinner armor is... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

also allied artillary will kick the living cr-ap out of you if you stay in a position for very long at all.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

what the allies always do to you is grab you by the nose and kick you in the as-s! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

luftluuver
09-16-2007, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Dtools4fools:
I thought anti-tank rockets were 25lb HEAT warhead (85mm penetration at 0 angle) and 60lb was pure HE (25mm penetration IIRC)?

Then there were rockets with AP projectiles as warheads, but those were not very good as the vlocitiy was to low to allow sufficient penetration.

Where you got the number of near-misses from?
**** From this thread, http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/6611019985

The average hit probability of the Typhoon + rocket projectiles against tanks, in combat, was 0.5% (5% in training). The average miss distance was 60 yards IIRC (later showing improvement to around 40 yards with a better sight). The average miss distance with Typhoons + bombs was 120 yards. All results from Operational Research, examining the battlefield immediately afterwards.

In June 1943 the RAF's order of preference in weapons for use against tanks was given as:
1st 40 mm S gun;
2nd 20 mm cannon with Mk III AP ammunition;
3rd RP with 25 lb AP head;
4th RP with 60 lb HE head;
5th .50" Browning HMG;
6th 9 lb AT bomb.

Only the first three of these were considered to be serious anti-tank weapons. Some comment on these preferences is necessary. The 20 mm AP Mk III, as mentioned in Chapter 1, was a tungsten-cored round of considerable performance which was, in the end, not adopted. The RP with 25 lb AP head could penetrate 70-80 mm, which compensated to some extent for its lack of accuracy. The RP with 60 lb HE head was discounted against tanks as it could only penetrate 25 mm, but this assessment rather underestimated the cataclysmic effect of detonating such a large charge against a tank.

Quoting Tony Williams, Flying Guns World War II

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by FluffyDucks2:
I dont know why some of you are still perpetuating the MYTH that rocket armed aircraft were able to knock out tanks.

The British Army engineers/intelligence teams did after action surveys on western european battlefields on all knocked out tanks. Their conclusions were that NO tanks were destroyed by airborne rockets AT ALL. Some may have been damaged but NONE actually destroyed.

This came from that very report, I picked out the most relvant bits around a year ago, and now I cant seem to find the whole report online any more, so this is all we have... :-

'German accounts clearly attribute the failure of their attack on 7
August to the fighter-bombers. The commander of 2nd Panzer Division,
von Luttwitz, later recalled that his tanks had made a swift advance
of about ten miles when suddenly the fighter-bombers appeared,

They came in hundreds, firing their rockets at the
concentrated tanks and vehicles. We could do nothing
against them and we could make no further progress.

Hans Speidel, then the Chief of Staff of the German Army Group B,
later wrote of Mortain that

it was possible for the Allied air forces alone to wreck
this Panzer operation with the help of a well co-ordinated
ground-to-air communication system.'



'Interrogation of prisoners has shown without question
that German tank crews are extremely frightened of
attacks by RP...Crews are very aware that if an RP
does hit a tank, their chance of survival is small.
It is admitted that the chances of a direct hit are
slight; nevertheless, this would hardly be appreciated
by a crew whose first thought would be of the disastrous
results if a hit was obtained.'

'Of the 133 armoured vehicles of all types located by the ORS in the
'Pocket', only 33 had been the victim of any form of air attack. The
remaining hundred had been destroyed by their crews or simply
abandoned. Air attacks were far more effective against soft-skinned
vehicles. Of 701 cars, trucks and motor cycles found in the 'Pocket',
325 had been the victim of attack from the air, the majority of the
others being abandoned by their crew'

So you see, rockets were 'effective' against tanks, as in they caused them damage and serious problems.

If you lose the battle, and dont control the battlefield afterwards, then a busted track is effectively a lost tank. Even more crews abandoned their tanks in the face of rocket attacks.


More first hand info :-

'Mr Mackenzie was a Sergeant in the Royal Signals, attached to a headquarters unit rather than frontline troops.
" It was learnt that a couple of Tiger tanks along with approximately 100 infantry had been bypassed by our forward troops, and were dug in a wood a few hundred yards up the road. The three tanks attached to our HQ had got up, but two of them were ˜brewed up' [hit by enemy guns and immobilised]. Apart from our own personal arms, we had nothing! We expected them to attack us that night, so every man slept with his weapon and ammunition, ready for a do! I didn't mind the infantry, but tanks! You can't knock them out with personal arms fire. Went to bed resigned to the fact that we would be for it! Woke up surprised to find we were OK! An hour later, twelve rocket-firing Typhoons came over, the first time we had seen them in action! What a sight, what a terror. They got those tanks alright."

from :-

http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/memory_fighting.htm


'German commanders were shocked at the magnitude of the air attacks at Mortain, which would be repeated before the month was out at Falaise. On the ground, the 30th Infantry Division stood firm, repulsing the German forces that did close to engage them. Air had saved the day at Mortain, at least preventing a local German success that might have prolonged the campaign in France. As Eisenhower reported:

The chief credit in smashing the enemy's spearhead, however, must go to the rocket-firing Typhoon planes of the Second Tactical Air Force. They dived upon the armored columns, and, with their rocket projectiles, on the first day of the battle destroyed 83, probably destroyed 29 and damaged 24 tanks in addition to quantities of "soft-skinned" M.T. [Motorized Transport]. The result of this strafing was that the enemy attack was effectively brought to a halt, and a threat was turned into a great victory.'

http://www.aero-web.org/history/wwii/d-day/14.htm


The result of this probably inevitable compromise was that only two-thirds of 21st Panzer Division was available for the vital counter attack towards the coast. Chances of success were further reduced by the time lost in re-grouping the Division. It took precious hours to bring men and vehicles over the limited number of crossings of the River Orne, whilst the streets of Caen were blocked with rubble as a result of continuous Allied air and naval bombardment, as well as by crowds of fleeing civilian refugees. As the first tanks eventually emerged from the western suburbs of the town, they were themselves subjected to air attack by rocket-firing Typhoons, and six were knocked out.

It was not until about 4pm that Oppeln's group began deploying near the village of Lebussey, north of Caen. At the same time, General Marcks, commanding 84th Corps took personal charge of the deployment of Group Rauch, which would face the dominating high ground of Periers Rise, still thought to be German-held. Underlining how vital the attack was, Marcks told Oberst von Oppeln-Bronikowski: "If you don't succeed in throwing the British into the sea, we will have lost the war."

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/dday/counterattack.aspx



I think we can safely say that rocket attacks were very effective against German armoured columns, better against the soft skinned stuff than hard skinned, but none are totally safe. A German armoured column has lots of support vehicles and supporting infantry. Rockets make a real mess of everything.

Korolov1986
09-16-2007, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
The author makes it clear the Sherman was obsolete in terms of battleworthiness, and a nightmare off road because its narrow tracks and high center of gravity caused it to bog easily or even tip over. It was the worst possible choice for a medium in 1944-45. Patton was selected as the Army's tank expert to make the choice for the American medium for the invasion, and he chose badly. Considering the Sherman had already been in contact with Tigers in Tunisia, Panthers in Sicily, and the far superior to the Sherman, Pz IVG/H, Patton's thinking was incomprehensible. Most important, the Sherman was easily penetrated by the standard Heer anti-tank gun, the 75mm PAK, which had been in service in 1943.

Given a choice, I'd probably prefer to walk into combat with a pistol rather than employ a Sherman; but the fact is, the problems you attribute to the Sherman would go double for the Pershing.

Consider that the Pershing is 10 tons heavier, yet uses the same engine as the Sherman - I think that gives a perfect idea of what the Pershing would have been like.

Again, the Sherman was a good tank, but one has to remember that it was designed for a completely different doctrine than what was used. The fault lies with the strategy used, not with the equipment.

That said, *I* would have chosen the Pershing - but the benefit of hindsight is strong.

Bewolf
09-16-2007, 05:08 PM
Hey, that kind of thinking would make all equipment in the world super per definition..if not, then it's only used wrong. Even a bow is a superb weapon then..it's not the bows fault when it is used against rifles.

Seriously, I never understood the shermans high praise. Yes, it was easy to manufacture. Yes, it was reliable and in numbers. But, it did not do a good job as a "tank". Now everything can be made into making it appear more shiney then it really was. But when it all comes down, it is about the indivudal tank crew that has to pay the price for beeing used (and wasted) in "huge quanities" as that beeing a "quality of it's own".

A tank must be both, easy to use and reliable..AND surviveable. In the letter category it failed miserably. Given the huge industrial capacity of the US, a better tank like the Pershing in huge numbers would have been a possibility. It basicly was, in the european theatre, relativly to its opponents, a very reliable deathtrap.

Abbuzze
09-16-2007, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by Zeus-cat:
Shermans were not designed or intended to fight main battle tanks. They were designed as infanty support vehicles that could travel at "high" speed once the enemy front lines had been penetrated. Sort of like horse cavalry was used against foot infantry 100 years earlier.

Destroying tanks was the job of the M10 and M36 tank destroyers.

This was what American military planners had intended. Of course, with 20/20 hindsight, we know it didn't work out that way.

Thats right, we have to keep in mind that this was very much WW1 tank tactic style.
Also german strategy was planned in the same way at the beginning. A very good example are the PanzerIV with the short 7,5cm cannon at the beginning at the war. This idea of infantery support tanks were also very apperant in the french army - with known results.
Using "good" tanks (CharB for example) in such a limited way is a waste.
I don´t know how often the Sherman was used in such a way (as a mobile artillery).

The problem was that the Shermans were used as a main battle tank. Of course it was possible to produce it in high numbers, but it was needed in this numbers.

luftluuver
09-16-2007, 05:22 PM
The Americans were offered the T-34. With their engineering inginuity and manufacturing expertise it could have been turned into a superb tank.

Korolov1986
09-16-2007, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
Hey, that kind of thinking would make all equipment in the world super per definition..if not, then it's only used wrong. Even a bow is a superb weapon then..it's not the bows fault when it is used against rifles.


Let's not forget that the bow is:

- Nearly silent
- Very deadly
- Not as complex as a firearm

In short: use the bow when you need those three advantages.



Seriously, I never understood the shermans high praise. Yes, it was easy to manufacture. Yes, it was reliable and in numbers. But, it did not do a good job as a "tank". Now everything can be made into making it appear more shiney then it really was. But when it all comes down, it is about the indivudal tank crew that has to pay the price for beeing used (and wasted) in "huge quanities" as that beeing a "quality of it's own".


I don't think anybody here has said the Sherman was larger than life. I think we all concede that the Sherman was a good tank - DEPENDING on your definition of a tank.

The definition of a tank when the Sherman was being made was a armored infantry support unit that functioned as a modern cavalry unit. That may not be true *now*, but at the time that's what it was. Taking on other tanks was supposedly the domain of tank destroyer units.



A tank must be both, easy to use and reliable..AND surviveable. In the letter category it failed miserably. Given the huge industrial capacity of the US, a better tank like the Pershing in huge numbers would have been a possibility. It basicly was, in the european theatre, relativly to its opponents, a very reliable deathtrap.

I'm pretty sure they could of had vast numbers of Pershings available by late '44, but not earlier. The reason being that the Pershing was only in development in '42, when the Sherman was already in production by that point.

To reiterate what was already said: would you rather have 10 tanks available now rather than 3 tanks unavailable in the repair depot? Such was the dilemma the Germans found themselves in. And we all know how that turned out for them.

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 05:24 PM
I think a major factor was actually getting the Tanks into action quickly.

The majority of the time, the Shermans would not be up against a Tiger or a Panther - they would be up aaginst light anti tank weapons and infantry. A Sherman is a powerful tank when up against plain infantry with maybe a HE STUG. - and this was often the case.

It was bad luck for the SHerman/Churchill crews when they actually did come up against Tigers/Panthers.

How hard would you guys think it would be to get a Pershing across the channel and into the battle as compared with a SHerman?

COmpare fuel, logistics, space on the ships, unloading onto the shore, etc etc.

Would you say 2 Shermans for one Pershing? or maybe 3 or even 4 SHermans?

Another problem for the allies is that 'Anti Tank gun to Tank' COmbat is always favourbale to the defender. Its very easy to hide an 88mm or a 17 pounder gun in amongst trees and knock out 3 or 4 tanks for the loss of one cheap AT gun.

SHermans did the job at El Alemain when Monty built up a good force before attacking, and this was versus the best commander of WW2. Rommel.

I guess the problem was that we didnt have a real 'Heavy' tank for the situations that needed it. The Sherman was a pretty good medium tank when compared with Panzer 3's and 4's, but the Limeys and Yanks needed a decent heavy tank for when the situation called for it.

leitmotiv
09-16-2007, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by Korolov1986:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
The author makes it clear the Sherman was obsolete in terms of battleworthiness, and a nightmare off road because its narrow tracks and high center of gravity caused it to bog easily or even tip over. It was the worst possible choice for a medium in 1944-45. Patton was selected as the Army's tank expert to make the choice for the American medium for the invasion, and he chose badly. Considering the Sherman had already been in contact with Tigers in Tunisia, Panthers in Sicily, and the far superior to the Sherman, Pz IVG/H, Patton's thinking was incomprehensible. Most important, the Sherman was easily penetrated by the standard Heer anti-tank gun, the 75mm PAK, which had been in service in 1943.

Given a choice, I'd probably prefer to walk into combat with a pistol rather than employ a Sherman; but the fact is, the problems you attribute to the Sherman would go double for the Pershing.

Consider that the Pershing is 10 tons heavier, yet uses the same engine as the Sherman - I think that gives a perfect idea of what the Pershing would have been like.

Again, the Sherman was a good tank, but one has to remember that it was designed for a completely different doctrine than what was used. The fault lies with the strategy used, not with the equipment.

That said, *I* would have chosen the Pershing - but the benefit of hindsight is strong. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have you ever seen a Pershing?! It was low-slung with broad tracks---the very opposite of the Sherman. It had excellent traction and stability. The decision to go with the Sherman was like the AAF's decision to remove the supercharger from the P-39---one of those howlers which flew in the face of evidence from the front of what was needed.

http://www.geocities.com/davesrcmodels/images/pershing.jpg

joeap
09-16-2007, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:

Have you ever seen a Pershing?! It was low-slung with broad tracks---the very opposite of the Sherman. It had excellent traction and stability. The decision to go with the Sherman was like the AAF's decision to remove the supercharger from the P-39---one of those howlers which flew in the face of evidence from the front of what was needed.

http://www.geocities.com/davesrcmodels/images/pershing.jpg
To repeat what Xiola asked, how many Pershings could be carried in a Liberty Ship? Could enough have been shipped over before D-day?

leitmotiv
09-16-2007, 05:46 PM
Read the book. The Army was ready to mass-produce and stockpile the Pershing for the invasion. Pray, what good did numbers of Shermans accomplish? Makes as much sense as advocating the Soviets should have built masses of T-60s instead of T-34s. The author noted 3rd Armored, his division, lost so many tank men due to the horrible defensive characteristics of the Sherman that, by the Bulge, they were sending Shermans into action with three-man crews.

http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/feature.pages/death.traps.htm

luftluuver
09-16-2007, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Have you ever seen a Pershing?! It was low-slung with broad tracks---the very opposite of the Sherman. It had excellent traction and stability. The decision to go with the Sherman was like the AAF's decision to remove the supercharger from the P-39---one of those howlers which flew in the face of evidence from the front of what was needed. Sure take the GE away from the B-17. GEs were in short supply and the bugs had not been completely worked out of them. Do ppl need to be reminded of the P-38 in the ETO? At least they had a second engine to get them home from deep in German territory.

On the Pershing

Although many armored commanders favored the Pershing, by some accounts the tank debate continued until Lt Gen George S. Patton, the Army's leading tank expert, entered the fray. Patton favored the smaller (and supposedly more mobile) Sherman. In A War to Be Won, authors Millet and Murray make the assertion, without supporting evidence, that George S. Patton blocked introduction of the M26 with its 90mm gun, which they claim could have been in full production in early 1944. In Death Traps, Belton Cooper also accuses Patton of blocking introduction of the M26, illustrating that this notion may be widespread. None of these authors offer their readers a clue as to what Patton actually did or when he did it, probably because they do not have one.

In fact, George Patton was not involved in the decision to produce 250 T26s. The possibility that he would have inserted himself into the process in September 1943, when LTG Leslie J. McNair (responsible for ground force doctrine and equipment) was involved, is not credible. Possible production of the T26 in April 1944 is nearly as difficult to sustain. After the war, Ordnance spokesmen argued that McNair's opposition to an additional production order in September 1943 delayed production of the tanks. No one interfered with the order of May 1943 for 10 T26s, but prototypes were not completed until February 1945. In September 1943, the tank was still in the blueprint stage. Further, to begin production in April 1944, Ordnance would had to have found some way to rush the prototype into production, but the prototype was unsatisfactory to the users. At the time, not even the Ordnance Department predicted production before the fall of 1944. The production of the first 20 T26E3 was begun in November 1944 and the Ordnance Department it proposed that they came be sent to Europe immediately in order to try them in combat.

leitmotiv
09-16-2007, 05:49 PM
How can I take seriously an unattributed citation, LL?

luftluuver
09-16-2007, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
How can I take seriously an unattributed citation, LL? I don't care if you do or you don't. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

leitmotiv
09-16-2007, 06:03 PM
The standard reference on the Pershing, for serious people interested in this matter, and not forum natterers, is:

PERSHING: A HISTORY OF THE MEDIUM TANK T20 SERIES. R.P. Hunnicutt. Feist Publications, 1996. ISBN 1-112-95450-3

Alas, I don't own it.

In the U.S. you can get it free by requesting it from inter-library loan from your local public library.

Korolov1986
09-16-2007, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Have you ever seen a Pershing?! It was low-slung with broad tracks---the very opposite of the Sherman. It had excellent traction and stability. The decision to go with the Sherman was like the AAF's decision to remove the supercharger from the P-39---one of those howlers which flew in the face of evidence from the front of what was needed.


First off, get off your damn high horse. My grandfather worked on a lot of this equipment from the 50s to the 60s, so I do have some passing knowledge of various US armored equipment in use from that period. If you want to get snotty about it, then take a look at these specs:

M26 Pershing
Weight 41.9 tonnes
Length 6.33 m
Width 3.51 m
Height 2.78 m

M4 Sherman
Weight 30.3 tonnes
Length 5.84 m
Width 2.62 m
Height 2.74 m

*GASP!* OMFG! The M4 and the M26 are almost exactly the same in dimensions! Whodathunkit? Yet we can still see the M26 being over 10 tons heavier than the M4. Regardless of the width of the tracks, that's a lot of extra weight, no? Combined with the fact that the M26 used the same engine as some M4 types, had some transmission problems, and the disadvantages of the M26 become quite clear.

Again, I'm not saying the Sherman was the greatest tank ever designed in the universe. I'm saying the Sherman was the best option available at the time, in sufficient quantities, for the perceived tasks it would have been used for.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Pershing is a better tank than the M4. By the same token, there is no doubt in my mind that the Panther is a better tank than the M4. I'll repeat what has been said all along: 10 tanks available now, or 3 tanks in the repair depot?

Hawgdog
09-16-2007, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by VMF-214_HaVoK:
Whos laughing now? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/crackwhip.gif

S! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

TheBandit_76
09-16-2007, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
The Americans were offered the T-34. With their engineering inginuity and manufacturing expertise it could have been turned into a superb tank.

I love when fools try to talk armor...pure GOLD.

The T34 suspension was taken from American Walter Christie who sold them the design. The US Army passed on it.

As far as the original post, nice troll attempt. Tigers were not even a speedbump for the US Army but they made nice press for the poor German populace back home who were desparate for any glimmers of hope.

Walter Christie Design

http://www.combatmission.com/articles/usmedtanks/pics/devel4tn.JPG

Now on a lighter note, the Germans should thank their almighty God that these three bad boys didn't show up 1 year earlier. The one-sided reaming the germs took would have been unbearable to read about. Can you say PWN?

http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/images/p80shootingstar-8.jpg

http://library.thinkquest.org/04oct/01014/images/m26.jpg

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/AirShows/Gillespie2005/Highlights/SkyraiderWithSpeedBrake.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

luftluuver
09-16-2007, 08:59 PM
Do I smell a barnyard? Yup, be sure.

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 10:29 PM
SUspension make a whole tank you know... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

The gun, engine, armour all just appear magically when you put the suspension in... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Xiolablu3
09-16-2007, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by TheBandit_76:
As far as the original post, nice troll attempt. Tigers were not even a speedbump for the US Army but they made nice press for the poor German populace back home who were desparate for any glimmers of hope.



I am sure the poor US tanker who bled to death in the clip after being hit by the Panther would argue with you about that if he could.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif


Tigers were terrifying for any Allied solider/tanker who came up against one on the battlefield.

Waldo.Pepper
09-16-2007, 11:09 PM
Tigers were terrifying for any Allied solider/tanker who came up against one on the battlefield.

Indeed! Not disputing this in the least, as it is accurate as all get out. Additionally, I have always found the following words quite persuasive.

"You could see a Tiger of Panther quite easily even when the Germans made efforts to hide them. What you really had to watch out for was the Hetzer or Jadgpanzer hiding under a tree."

I.E. something turretless on the smallish side.
Complex world guys. Lots of threats to worry about.

TheBandit_76
09-16-2007, 11:24 PM
Sorry ladies, the war is lost. The Tiger I was just a speedbump and had NO effect on the outcome whatsoever. In contrast, the the M4 truly did win the war.

I'm sorry, but there it is.

OMG, nooooooooo it's a Tiiiiiger!!! Oh, nevermind......the final drives have fallen out on the road. Chalk one up to Nazi slave labor who somehow forgot a few bolts.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

As for the ones that did run long enough to make it to the front lines.........bye bye!

Ok, how about one with its entire hull blown away.

http://www.panzerworld.net/pictures/00079.jpg

MrMojok
09-16-2007, 11:42 PM
I hear somethingawful.com has some pretty cool tank pictures. Try hotlinking from there.

Bewolf
09-17-2007, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by Korolov1986:
Let's not forget that the bow is:

- Nearly silent
- Very deadly
- Not as complex as a firearm

In short: use the bow when you need those three advantages.

Didn't serve the native americans very well, don't you think? In this regard I will confess the sherman was the perfect tank for jungle environments fighting the japanese. Superiour to almost anything the japanese fieleded and very reliable in terrains were logistics were a nightmare. In this, it was a good weapon.

But, it was not specialized tank for certain roles and only employed in such ways, it was was the "mainstay" tank of the US army. And in this role, it was "not" a good tank. The same way bows are "not" good weapons when it comes to real warfare against rifles.



I don't think anybody here has said the Sherman was larger than life. I think we all concede that the Sherman was a good tank - DEPENDING on your definition of a tank.

The definition of a tank when the Sherman was being made was a armored infantry support unit that functioned as a modern cavalry unit. That may not be true *now*, but at the time that's what it was. Taking on other tanks was supposedly the domain of tank destroyer units.


No, it was not even true back in those days. By the time the sherman was introduced tank doctrines had moved on already, at least in Europe. It was much more a prewar concept then anything modern, even at that time.



I'm pretty sure they could of had vast numbers of Pershings available by late '44, but not earlier. The reason being that the Pershing was only in development in '42, when the Sherman was already in production by that point.

To reiterate what was already said: would you rather have 10 tanks available now rather than 3 tanks unavailable in the repair depot? Such was the dilemma the Germans found themselves in. And we all know how that turned out for them.

The availability of the Pershing is debateable, even if ordererd soon enough, I give you that. I also do not know how reliable it was, but I suppose considering the good shape of the US industry and its access to all major material ressources would have made it much better then german tanks in this regard.

The thing about those 3 german tanks in the repair depot...those at least, and more important, their crews, at least surived. I do prefer 3 tanks in the repair depot then 3/4 out of 10 tanks destroyed on the battlefield.

K_Freddie
09-17-2007, 02:07 AM
My grandfather was a (AFAIK) sherman tank gunner then commander during the Italian campaign. He survived the North African campaign to Italy. He never wanted to talk about it, but as a kid I would go with him to the M.O.T.H. club on most sundays, where all his WW2 army pals would gather.
He could never forget ... RIP http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Jasko76
09-17-2007, 02:22 AM
Originally posted by TheBandit_76:
Sorry ladies, the war is lost. The Tiger I was just a speedbump and had NO effect on the outcome whatsoever.

And Shermans had very little to do with this outcome.

joeap
09-17-2007, 05:13 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Read the book. The Army was ready to mass-produce and stockpile the Pershing for the invasion. Pray, what good did numbers of Shermans accomplish? Makes as much sense as advocating the Soviets should have built masses of T-60s instead of T-34s. The author noted 3rd Armored, his division, lost so many tank men due to the horrible defensive characteristics of the Sherman that, by the Bulge, they were sending Shermans into action with three-man crews.

http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/feature.pages/death.traps.htm

Well, you had already convinced me, so I will read it. I just hope I can find it easily as i have a list of books unfound and unread.

joeap
09-17-2007, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by Jasko76:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TheBandit_76:
Sorry ladies, the war is lost. The Tiger I was just a speedbump and had NO effect on the outcome whatsoever.

And Shermans had very little to do with this outcome. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes +1, http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif etc.

SeaFireLIV
09-17-2007, 05:20 AM
Originally posted by TheBandit_76:


I love when fools try to talk armor...pure GOLD.

As far as the original post, nice troll attempt.
:

Well, this is a rather hypocritical post. This coming from the guy who started a flamefest thread about the P51 outtturning zeros with his `authentic` proof of the guncam in which he can`t tell the diff between the zero and a 190! On top of that adds no other actual evidence at all, just like he`s doing here!

Be careful who you call fools lest you be called and become a bigger fool yourself.

The-Pizza-Man
09-17-2007, 05:45 AM
The Americans could have always put the sentinel into production instead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinel_tank
http://www.mheaust.com.au/Aust/Research/Sentinel/sentinel13.htm

K_Freddie
09-17-2007, 05:54 AM
Originally posted by TheBandit_76:
...pure GOLD.

Ohhhh boy! A new catch phrase http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

The-Pizza-Man
09-17-2007, 06:36 AM
I found this it's interesting reading

http://www.awm.gov.au/cms_images/histories/34/chapters/14.pdf

This part was particularly interesting

"The pre-war conception of fast, lightly armoured tanks for reconnaissance has not withstood the rapid development of tank and anti-tank weapons . The War Office has advised that inadequately armoured tanks are a death trap"

That was said on November 11 1940

Dtools4fools
09-17-2007, 07:03 AM
I'll repeat what has been said all along: 10 tanks available now, or 3 tanks in the repair depot?

Is a Pershing atumatically less reliable because its 10tons heavier?
And the country which was able to build carriers by the dozens, liberty ships by the hundreds and warplanes by then thousands (including the massive factories for B-29's and B-24's) would not have been able to put 10 Pershings in the field instead of 10 Shermans?

Oh, yeah.

Pershing wasn't ready because some people thought no need for it and because they started to work on it too late.
They simply made a mistake. Yes, even Americans do make mistakes some times...
They corrected that mistake and tank development past Sherman shows the results.

If the 'good enough' approach would have prevailed there wouldn't be a M1A2 today...
****

jasonbirder
09-17-2007, 07:37 AM
Yes the Sherman was reliable and yes the Sherman was available in numbers, but given the economic and manufacturing capabilities of the Allies should our Armoured troops really have been sent to Battle in a machine, that when face by German Armoured opposition, was a death trap to its crews? Its all well and good saying that we could comfortably afford to lose 4 or 5 Shermans for every Panther/Tiger and come out ahead on the exchange, but thats cold comfort to the crews killed or wounded paying the price for that exchange.

As far as the original post, nice troll attempt. Tigers were not even a speedbump for the US Army but they made nice press for the poor German populace back home who were desparate for any glimmers of hope.
As for a speedbump, the poor performance of the Allied armoured divisions - their reluctance to exploit opportunities and the slow speed of their advance is what ensured the war ran on into 1945, with the consequent horrors faced by many of the occupied countries during the winter of 1945/45, the suffering and deaths of many in POW and concentration camps etc etc and its effect on the shape of post war Europe.

Kurfurst__
09-17-2007, 07:41 AM
I've always found the 'more tanks instead of better tank' argued with... supply reasons.

Five Shermanss/T34s/PzIVs are definitely much harder to supply than a single Pershing/Panther.

Von_Rat
09-17-2007, 09:11 AM
the poor performance of the Allied armoured divisions - their reluctance to exploit opportunities and the slow speed of their advance is what ensured the war ran on into 1945


you do realize that the advance across france after the breakout from normandy, was one of the fastest in history right?

mistakes were made of course that caused the war to last to 45, but that had nothing to do with armor divisions advancing to slow across france. the mistakes were of a operational nature and also had nothing to do with what tank the armor divisions were equipped with.

Phil_K
09-17-2007, 09:27 AM
I dunno, I think the whole quantity/quality argument is kind of unproveable. It would certainly take a whole team of dedicated historians a long time to come up with a balanced judgement. And of course it depends on the degree of difference in quality, and equally the degree of difference in quantity.

There's no doubt that the Tiger and Panther were better tanks than the Sherman, but what with the greater quantity of Shermans combined with the greater Allied strength in air power, artillery etc., in this instance the quality margin enjoyed by the German tanks wasn't decisive.

OK, maybe if you had double the number of Tigers and treble the number of Panthers it would have been.

Also, Western Allied strategy was fairly conservative; they were generally concerned with occupying ground than aggressively taking it, so again it plays to the Sherman's strength of quantity. The Germans were generally slowly worn back along an extended front rather than broken and encircled. The Pershing would obviously be more suited as a "Breakthrough" weapon, so it would seem perverse if the one Allied general most disposed to exploitation, Patton, would prefer the Sherman.

That said the Pershing would have taken up more shipping space, had greater fuel consumption, and would not have the same proven reliability (which is not to say it was inherently unreliable), so unless the German quality margin REALLY started to make itself felt, or the Allied supreme command suddenly became converted to Soviet-style explotiation tactics (and managed to persuade their troops of their benefit), I understand completely why the US Army stuck with the Sherman.

Phil_K
09-17-2007, 09:31 AM
Also I remember seeing an interview with a Russian ex-tank crewman on battlefield.ru where he stated that the M4A3E8 was much superior to the T34/85.

Might even be bothered to try and find it again.....

Blutarski2004
09-17-2007, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
you do realize that the advance across france after the breakout from normandy, was one of the fastest in history right?


..... I believe it was about 600 miles (1,000km) in 2 weeks.

Sergio_101
09-17-2007, 11:55 AM
Love these Sherman flame fests.

Ok, for openers.
Patton made the correct decision on the Sherman over the Pershing.
Shermans were a tad faster, more maneuverable and three could be
shipped to one tank destroyer or Pershing. ad to that the fact that
the Sherman was already available in massive numbers.
It was an obvious choice.

Pershing was the best tank for it's day. Do the numbers.
Speed, firepower, good armour and reliabity.

But I believe Joe Stalin said "Quantity has a quality all of it's own".

Shermans powered by Chrysler and or Caddilac were extremely reliable.
As reliable as the family car.

(By the way, no P-39 ever flew without a supercharger. It's a myth.
It is the first stage exhaust driven turbocharger that was deleted.
The engine mounted supercharger was never removed.)

The Sherman reliability was no myth. Reliable tracks, transmissions
and engines designed to last a few hundred thousand (smooth) miles in a passenger car
made them a tankers dream.

What Shermans were used for was primarily spearheading the attacking/advancing front.
Many uses were placed apon their backs, and even tank vs tank.
Not the best place for a sherman.

Behind the Shermans came the tank destroyers and later Pershings.

Most of the above is obvious, nothing new.

Shermans turned out to be the best tank of WWII, not as a tank vs tank weapon, but
as a weapon overall. Sherman was an excellent weapon.

Pitting a Sherman against a Tiger is like pitting a soldier with a AK-47 against
a sniper with a .50 cal single shot rifle.
The guy with the AK will never get within rnge.

sergio

faustnik
09-17-2007, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
you do realize that the advance across france after the breakout from normandy, was one of the fastest in history right?

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

M4s were definately a factor in this advance. Their ability to travel long distances with few mechanical failures was key. Look at the 4th ADs push to Bastogne in severe conditions for an example of durability of the US vehicles.

JtD
09-17-2007, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:

Shermans turned out to be the best tank of WWII, not as a tank vs tank weapon, but
as a weapon overall.

So what exactly did it do no other tank of the time could have done?

Xiolablu3
09-17-2007, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:


Shermans turned out to be the best tank of WWII, not as a tank vs tank weapon, but
as a weapon overall. sergio

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

You are completely wrong, it was the Churchill which was the best tank of WW2.


SOme hilarious posts being made today....

jasonbirder
09-17-2007, 12:24 PM
I believe it was about 600 miles (1,000km) in 2 weeks
As I have it as just under 700 miles from Caen to Berlin by road...thats quite impressive http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You're obviously refering to the drive south to link up with the Anvil landing across countryside not occupied by German troops and predominantly occupied by the Maquis

faustnik
09-17-2007, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by JtD:

So what exactly did it do no other tank of the time could have done?

Travel long distances in rough conditions without high breakdown rates. M4s, T-34s, and PzIVs were mechanically reliable. Out of those three mechanically solid tanks, the M4 would rate the most reliable.

When it was introduced in 1942, the M4 was also a very effective anti-tank and anti-infantry weapon. This was the initial British opinion:

First reports from the Western Desert indicate great satisfaction with the Sherman. Position of gun has enabled maximum concealment in hull down position combined with good observation by commander. Have definite evidence of enemy tanks including Mark IV special being destroyed at two thousand yards. Troops are saying send us more Shermans earliest.

The failure to upgrade the M4 quickly enough was a major problem. After the disaster in the Ardennes, M4s were quickly up-armored and ammuntion was improved. Under official orders, the 3rd Army increased frontal armor of it's M4s' by 1 to 2 inches. On some tanks standoff armor was introduced. Quantities of HVAP ammo in each tank were increased. Tanks with HVSS suspension with wider tracks were introduced in quantity to improve mobility over soft terrain.

All of these improvements could have, and should have, been done before the D-Day landings. The British warned the US about the Panther threat, but, the warnings were ignored.

JtD
09-17-2007, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:

So what exactly did it do no other tank of the time could have done?

Travel long distances in rough conditions without high breakdown rates. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

A BT-7 could have done the same but faster. Does it make it a better tank than the M4?

faustnik
09-17-2007, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:

So what exactly did it do no other tank of the time could have done?

Travel long distances in rough conditions without high breakdown rates. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I disagree. The BT-7 was not in the same league as the M4 with regard to mechanical reliability. I'm not talking about how fast the tank can move, but, the amount of ground it can cover without breaking down. Did you read the rest of my post JtD?

A BT-7 could have done the same but faster. Does it make it a better tank than the M4? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bewolf
09-17-2007, 01:08 PM
Great. So it was not only a relaiable, but also a s fast death trap.

Waldo.Pepper
09-17-2007, 01:26 PM
All tanks of the era (and to a certain extent tanks today) were hell to serve in. But the Sherman's excellent suspension made it hell with a n @ss pad.

JtD
09-17-2007, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by faustnik:

Did you read the rest of my post JtD?

No, I always try to offend people by interrupting them, since this isn't possible on a message board I grew the habit of only reading the first sentence. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

But - the Soviet troops were equally enthusiastic when they received the first BT-7 in 1935.

Do you have any numbers regarding the reliability of any of the tanks you mentioned?

What do you think would have happened to the reliability of the M4 had it been produced and manufactured in the Soviet Union?

And, assuming that it's reliability really was that much better than anything elses, why would that make it the best tank of WW2? Do you think that had the Germans had two Shermans for every Panther, they would have fared better? Or had the Soviets had not a single M4 in 1941 instead of some T-34's, they would have stopped the Germans in the suburbs of Moscow nonetheless?

faustnik
09-17-2007, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:

Did you read the rest of my post JtD?

No, I always try to offend people by interrupting them, since this isn't possible on a message board I grew the habit of only reading the first sentence. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, interesting attitude.



Do you have any numbers regarding the reliability of any of the tanks you mentioned?

No solid numbers comparing it to Soviet armor, only the accounts of Soviet tankers. Try this for reference, it's very interesting reading:

http://www.amazon.com/Commanding-Red-Armys-Sherman-Tank...id=1189630667&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Commanding-Red-Armys-Sherman-Tanks/dp/0803229208/ref=sr_1_1/104-8919064-8735135?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189630667&sr=8-1)



What do you think would have happened to the reliability of the M4 had it been produced and manufactured in the Soviet Union? There is no doubt that the factories in the USSR operated under rough conditions. The excellent facilites that were used to produce the M4s added greatly to the reliability of the design.


And, assuming that it's reliability really was that much better than anything elses, why would that make it the best tank of WW2?

I wouldn't label it "the best", that seems silly. I'm only pointing out the fact that its mechanical reliability made it a useful and effective weapon.



Do you think that had the Germans had two Shermans for every Panther, they would have fared better? Or had the Soviets had not a single M4 in 1941 instead of some T-34's, they would have stopped the Germans in the suburbs of Moscow nonetheless? Uhhh..no. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

JtD
09-17-2007, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by faustnik:

There is doubt that the factories in the USSR operated under rough conditions. The excellent facilites that were used to produce the M4s added greatly to the reliability of the design.

Did you forget a "no"?

As for the rest, glad we agree on all accounts. Also thanks for the book advice.

faustnik
09-17-2007, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
Did you forget a "no"?

Oops, yes I did, thank you.

Blutarski2004
09-17-2007, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by jasonbirder:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I believe it was about 600 miles (1,000km) in 2 weeks
As I have it as just under 700 miles from Caen to Berlin by road...thats quite impressive http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You're obviously refering to the drive south to link up with the Anvil landing across countryside not occupied by German troops and predominantly occupied by the Maquis </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... It's just shy of 700 miles from Caen to Berlin as the crow (or the airliner) flies. But 3rd Army's general route of advance (or what ultimately became 3rd Army) was first south from Avranches through Rennes, then east through Le Mans, Orleans, Troyes, Dijon, and ultimately spreading out to occupy the line Metz/Nancy-Luxembourg. They only linked up with the Anvil advance at Dijon. From that perspective, 600 miles makes sense. And I think that it was in many ways more a feat of logistics than of arms.

Was German resistance light and disorganized after the breakout from Normandy? I'd say mostly, but it was by no means non-existent. We don't criticize Rundstedt or Army Group B for that when we discuss their great advance through the Ukraine toward Stalingrad and Rostov during Operation Blau.

erco415
09-17-2007, 05:38 PM
Vis a vis John Boyd, wouldn't the M4 be the ideal tank?

Von_Rat
09-17-2007, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by jasonbirder:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I believe it was about 600 miles (1,000km) in 2 weeks
As I have it as just under 700 miles from Caen to Berlin by road...thats quite impressive http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You're obviously refering to the drive south to link up with the Anvil landing across countryside not occupied by German troops and predominantly occupied by the Maquis </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i was referring to everything from the breakout at st.Lo onward. including the drive into belguim in which the brits racked up impressive advances.



jeez alot of people here no almost nothing about how tanks were really used then. 1 vs 1 engagments did happen of course, but they werent the norm. if the allies spotted a tiger their 1st reaction wasnt to throw 4 or more shermans at in in a suicide attack. they bombed the dam thing, or called in arty. that failing they would try to bypass it.

to many people think of war in game terms. they look at a tanks stats and say its uber or its the suxxors. they dont look at the big picture. well war is not a game.

Von_Rat
09-17-2007, 08:30 PM
From that perspective, 600 miles makes sense. And I think that it was in many ways more a feat of logistics than of arms


isnt there a saying that amatuers argue tactics, real generals think logistics.

Zeus-cat
09-17-2007, 08:36 PM
jeez alot of people here no almost nothing about how tanks were really used then. 1 vs 1 engagments did happen of course, but they werent the norm. if the allies spotted a tiger their 1st reaction wasnt to throw 4 or more shermans at in in a suicide attack. they bombed the dam thing, or called in arty. that failing they would try to bypass it.

You are correct, but artillery and air support aren't always available. Bad weather and night time grounds aircraft and makes long-range artillery support tricky or impossible. There are times when you simply need to punch through and the Sherman just wasn't very good at that.

I never understood why they took so long to upgrade the side armor and the main gun once those deficiencies became obvious.

I guess the same reason they kept the bazooka in the field when the Germans had the panzerfaust and panzershrek.

Von_Rat
09-17-2007, 08:38 PM
im not saying the sherman was a great tank. in those circumstances, yeah it sucked.

but on the whole it wasnt that bad for what it was actually used for. and single handily battling tigers or even panthers wasnt what it was normally used for.

Blutarski2004
09-18-2007, 05:51 AM
Originally posted by Zeus-cat:
I never understood why they took so long to upgrade the side armor and the main gun once those deficiencies became obvious.

..... Prior to the Normandy landings, IIRC, stockpiled Shermans in the UK were fitted with applique armor on the frontal quarters of the turret and on the hull superstructure side beneath the turret. It still was not sufficient; the Sherman remained vulnerable to German tank and anti-tank guns (75mm+) at any reasonable European battle range. Only the late-war "Jumbo" carried a respectable degree of armor and overloaded the chassis in doing so.

IMO, the most effective design alteration to the Sherman was the installation of wet storage for its ammunition. This saved a lot of crewmen from frying alive in their tanks.



I guess the same reason they kept the bazooka in the field when the Germans had the panzerfaust and panzershrek.

..... I agree that the Panzerschreck was a superior weapon, but the US Bazooka had a considerably greater effective range than the early models of the Panzerfaust.

Xiolablu3
09-18-2007, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
im not saying the sherman was a great tank. in those circumstances, yeah it sucked.

but on the whole it wasnt that bad for what it was actually used for. and single handily battling tigers or even panthers wasnt what it was normally used for. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

Bewolf
09-18-2007, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
im not saying the sherman was a great tank. in those circumstances, yeah it sucked.

but on the whole it wasnt that bad for what it was actually used for. and single handily battling tigers or even panthers wasnt what it was normally used for.

You are certainly right.

The problem is...Panthers and Tigers and Jagdtigers and Hetzers and Panzer IVs and StuGs and PaKs and Panzershrecks and Panzerfäuste were used to battle Shermans.

Zeus-cat
09-18-2007, 08:01 AM
..... Prior to the Normandy landings, IIRC, stockpiled Shermans in the UK were fitted with applique armor on the frontal quarters of the turret and on the hull superstructure side beneath the turret. It still was not sufficient; the Sherman remained vulnerable to German tank and anti-tank guns (75mm+) at any reasonable European battle range. Only the late-war "Jumbo" carried a respectable degree of armor and overloaded the chassis in doing so.

IMO, the most effective design alteration to the Sherman was the installation of wet storage for its ammunition. This saved a lot of crewmen from frying alive in their tanks.

I thought the applique armor was a field add-on in Normandy by crews who figured out that a hit on the armor over the ammo storage areas was a one-way ticket to heaven. Eventually, the armor became an official mod and was applied at depots.

Dtools4fools
09-18-2007, 08:16 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
im not saying the sherman was a great tank. in those circumstances, yeah it sucked.

but on the whole it wasnt that bad for what it was actually used for. and single handily battling tigers or even panthers wasnt what it was normally used for.



Yep, agree, it did the job and therefore was capapble to its task.

However the could have done the job even better with a better tank.

They did have logistics and raw materials, manufacturing, etc. to produce and support a fleet of better tanks of same number.
No excuses here.

They reason why it didn't happen is because they screwed up, they started developing that tank too late. Therefore that tank, the Pershing, came into picture late...

US tankers would have been a much happier bunch if they would have had Pershings from D-Day on...

Gladly this 'good enough' attitude has changed today...
******

csThor
09-18-2007, 08:29 AM
Are there any substantial reports on serviceability issues of german tanks available or is all that "more in the workshop than in the field" derived from the all-too obvious attempts of calming the masses by the US Army Command? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

I own(ed) a rather ancient game by Microprose called "1944 - Across the Rhine" which dealt with armored warfare in 1944. The game itself was so-so, but the documentation was first class. Imagine - one 100-page book for the historical aspect and another 100-page book for the gameing aspect. *sigh of 'those were the good times'*
Unfortunately I don't have it here (stored it at my parent's house) but I have some shady memories of a chapter dealing with the Sherman's problems when dealing with german armor. One specific example was the "Battle of Puffendorf" and the "aftermath". Please note that I'm doing this from memory so it might be a little "inaccurate".

When the Allies reached the the Westwall in late 1944 they encountered increasing resistance. One US Armored Division (IIRC the 9th) attacked the Westwall near a small village named Puffendorf (just beyond the german-dutch border north of Aachen) where it ran into two formations of german armored troops with Tigers and Panthers. The battle itself was rather short and ended in a draw (due to Allied air superiority and a lack of reserves on the german side) the US public started asking questions about the Sherman because many tankers were sending home frustrated letters about the inability of the Sherman to face german armor. IIRC US DoD tried to cover up the issue and released reports of how often german tanks would break down and how good the Sherman was. One Major (who was - IIRC again - even responsible for tank procurement) even wrote some kind of fantasy report on how the Sherman was the best tank on the battlefield and how much the Tiger s*cked. The delicate issue here was - the documentation said that this particular Major had refused to support any orders for the Pershing because he refused to accept that the US Army doctrine for tank warfare (tank combat is not taking place, that's for the tank destroyers) was for the dustbin. After Puffendorf, when the New York Times (or was it Washington Post http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif ) released a worried article on "The Sherman Issue" (based on letters written by tankers) he was ... ummm ... transfered away because of the false article and his general refusal to adapt to new developments.

Of course there is the possibility that Microprose made up a lot of this stuff so I can't vouch for it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Jaws2002
09-18-2007, 08:49 AM
The only reason Sherman performed resonably well in Europe was the MASSIVE support it got in the field.
This tank was fighting for US Army and at that point in time it didn't have to fight enemy tanks because they were engaged by Artilery and Aircraft whenever possible. Also nobody bombed daily their suplies and support teams.

Now think of it the other way. How would the Sherman compare if it was a german tank and had to fight American Panthers, Tigers, Panzers and Jagd panzers, with all the support US gave it's tanks.
Or how would German shermans do against American T-34/85's.

I think it would be a tureky shoot.

jarink
09-18-2007, 09:00 AM
Interesting article....
EXPLODING A FEW MYTHS ABOUT WORLD WAR II ARMOR (http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/pool.pages/armor.myths.htm)

Granted, someone will point out that this was written by a US Army officer and posted on 3ad.com, but I think most of the points given are valid, especially regarding the legacy of German WWII tank designs. Russian designs had a far greater impact and influence than any other country's.

faustnik
09-18-2007, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
im not saying the sherman was a great tank. in those circumstances, yeah it sucked.

but on the whole it wasnt that bad for what it was actually used for. and single handily battling tigers or even panthers wasnt what it was normally used for.

VRat is exactly right, the Sherman, according to official Army policy, was never supposed to engage German armor. They were under the delusion that the tank destroyer arm would handle encounters with enemy tanks. The 75mm M3 gun which armed all of the Shermans at D-Day was a very effective anti-infantry gun. It fired a powerful high explosive round.

Even before D-Day a Sherman had been developed with the 76mm M1 gun. This gun had better AP ability than the 75mm but, did not fire an HE round as powerful as the older 75mm. The 76mm guns were left in England during the invasion, because the Army did not want its Shermans hunting German armor. After the Panther crisis experienced in Normandy, the 76mm armed Shermans were quickly shipped over.

The problem for Allied armor was that the Germans had already developed weapons and tactics that were very effective in dealing with the T-34. German 75mm and 88mm guns, panzerfaust and panzershreks were going to knock out anything fielded against them. Even the JS-2s suffered greatly at the hands of the German anti-tank weapons.

As mentioned earlier, the best method of dealing with German tanks and AT defenses was airpower, or artillery, both of which the Allies had in quantity. We talk about the Fw190 compared to the P-47, or whatever dogfight matchup we think is interesting, but, the fact is that the Allies owned the airspace over France. In addition, the US had very effective artillery. A common tactic used by M4s was to fire an smoke artillery spotter round at German armor. The German tanks would frequently withdraw because they knew what was coming.

The British were well ahead of the Americans in their understanding of the German armor threat. They equipped every Sherman platoon with one Firefly. The Firefly's 17lbr could deal with Tiger Is and Panthers if encountered giving the Shermans a fighting chance. Later in the war the number of Fireflys was greatly increased, giving the British Shermans plenty of AT ability.

Bewolf
09-18-2007, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by jarink:
Interesting article....
EXPLODING A FEW MYTHS ABOUT WORLD WAR II ARMOR (http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/pool.pages/armor.myths.htm)

Granted, someone will point out that this was written by a US Army officer and posted on 3ad.com, but I think most of the points given are valid, especially regarding the legacy of German WWII tank designs. Russian designs had a far greater impact and influence than any other country's.

Not an entirely bad article, but I feel it is based as much on myths as the ones it wants to counter. basicly it states all the known counter arguments also seen on forums when it comes to tank discussion. the truth probably is more to find in the middle.

Just to give a few examples.

Yes, the Tiger I was not an offesive tank, that is entirely correct. But when it really came into service, after the Battle of Kursk, Germany fought a defensive war anyways, and the Tiger was perfectly suited for this.

Yes, the Panther D was very unreliable, undoubtly. But the A and G Versions were much, much better in this regard.

I never heared about the myth the King Tiger was the most influential tank of the war. That must be an entirely american thing.

Blutarski2004
09-18-2007, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jarink:
Interesting article....
EXPLODING A FEW MYTHS ABOUT WORLD WAR II ARMOR (http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/pool.pages/armor.myths.htm)

Granted, someone will point out that this was written by a US Army officer and posted on 3ad.com, but I think most of the points given are valid, especially regarding the legacy of German WWII tank designs. Russian designs had a far greater impact and influence than any other country's.

Not an entirely bad article, but I feel it is based as much on myths as the ones it wants to counter. basicly it states all the known counter arguments also seen on forums when it comes to tank discussion. the truth probably is more to find in the middle.

Just to give a few examples.

Yes, the Tiger I was not an offesive tank, that is entirely correct. But when it really came into service, after the Battle of Kursk, Germany fought a defensive war anyways, and the Tiger was perfectly suited for this.

Yes, the Panther D was very unreliable, undoubtly. But the A and G Versions were much, much better in this regard.

I never heared about the myth the King Tiger was the most influential tank of the war. That must be an entirely american thing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... The author of that article seems just a tiny bit biased to me.

Blutarski2004
09-18-2007, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Jaws2002:
The only reason Sherman performed resonably well in Europe was the MASSIVE support it got in the field.
This tank was fighting for US Army and at that point in time it didn't have to fight enemy tanks because they were engaged by Artilery and Aircraft whenever possible. Also nobody bombed daily their suplies and support teams.

Now think of it the other way. How would the Sherman compare if it was a german tank and had to fight American Panthers, Tigers, Panzers and Jagd panzers, with all the support US gave it's tanks.
Or how would German shermans do against American T-34/85's.

I think it would be a tureky shoot.


..... Look at the tanks the Germans took into France in 1940 or into Russia in 1941. Pz I's and II's, Pz III's with 37mm and short 50mm guns, Pz IV's with short barrel 75mm support guns (the Pz IV with long 75mm didn't appear until mid-1942), and God knows how many Czech Pz 35 and 38Ts. They didn't win those campaigns on tank quality; they won with superior doctrine, tactics, and communications. I think there is more to it than just comparisons of iron.

Blutarski2004
09-18-2007, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by Zeus-cat:
I thought the applique armor was a field add-on in Normandy by crews who figured out that a hit on the armor over the ammo storage areas was a one-way ticket to heaven. Eventually, the armor became an official mod and was applied at depots.


..... This is from "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper (p.25):

"From our experience in North Africa, it had been belatedly recognized that both the M4 and the M4A1 were inadequately protected. Thus, we had arranged with the British main ordnance deport at Warminster to modify all of our M4 tanks by putting one-inch armor patches over the three ammunition boxes and quarter-inch armor inside the sponsons and also underneath the turret. We also put an additional two-inch armor patch in front of the driver's periscope and the assistant driver's periscope on the front of the glacis plate. All the new tanks coming off the production line in the States already had this modification before they were shipped to England."

As I think it over, this rally speaks only about the 3rd Armored Division. Other units may have done their modifications in France.

I do think that the wet storage conversions were done in the field.

luftluuver
09-18-2007, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
..... The author of that article seems just a tiny bit biased to me. Yes, only just a tiny bit. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Phil_K
09-18-2007, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by csThor:
Are there any substantial reports on serviceability issues of german tanks available or is all that "more in the workshop than in the field" derived from the all-too obvious attempts of calming the masses by the US Army Command? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif


I understand that a historian called Niklas Zetterling (who I think is German) has attempted a thorough analysis of the German performance during the Normandy campaign, and as part of that an estimate of comparative losses. From what I understand (though I haven't checked in detail) the proportional losses in Allied and German tanks are less flattering to the Germans than is generally supposed.

The trouble though is that both sides were very sketchy on what constituted a tank "loss". Many German "losses" were tanks abandoned during rapid Allied advances. Whether these where due to mechanical breakdown, lack of fuel, or simply crews running away as their best chance of survival, is generally unrecorded. Also, Allied losses are thought to be compounded by their lower inclination to repair badly damaged tanks (as there was always another one to replace it, which was not a luxury the Germans had).

I believe that the Allies reported more losses to both mines and A/T guns seperately, than they did to enemy armour. The Germans correspondingly reported more losses to A/T guns and air attack.

Most of the arguments on the relative merits of Allied/German tanks are fairly speculative (e.g. 5 Shermans to 1 Tiger, Tigers and Panthers more frequently breaking down etc.), which is a result of the lack of any supporting data backing up these positions. I believe Zetterling has at least made an attempt to rectify this, though it may also be the case that much data supporting ANY opinion on the performance of World War 2 tanks, has probably been lost in the understandably sketchy record-keeping habits of the combatant armies.

Anyway. Zetterling's book is here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0921991568/panzerworld-21

Phil_K
09-18-2007, 01:13 PM
Althougn, in fairness, if they had kept better records, we'd all be less able to enjoy the pleasures of talking b0ll0cks, wouldn't we?

GerritJ9
09-18-2007, 01:46 PM
The most influential tank of WW2 is undoubtedly the T-34. Overall, though it had its faults, it was better than any tank the UK or US fielded.
Bottom line is, in which tank would YOU prefer to serve? Certainly not the Sherman methinks.......

TheBandit_76
09-18-2007, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by Jaws2002:


Now think of it the other way. How would the Sherman compare if it was a german tank and had to fight American Panthers, Tigers, Panzers and Jagd panzers, with all the support US gave it's tanks.
Or how would German shermans do against American T-34/85's.

I think it would be a tureky shoot.

Nyet.

The Sherman did just fine with the T34 and beyond. In fact the Sherman was 1 or 2 in the longest serving tanks in history. Yeah, it was just awful.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif




http://www.armyrecognition.com/europe/Belgique/exhibition/Tanks_in_Town_2006/pictures/Tanks_In_Town_2006_ArmyRecognition_001.JPG

MEGILE
09-18-2007, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by TheBandit_76:

Yeah, it was just awful.







http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

Xiolablu3
09-18-2007, 02:49 PM
Wow, thats a big gun...Compare it with the Sherman in the background.

Is that the British 17 pounder 'Firefly' version?

Kurfurst__
09-18-2007, 02:58 PM
I think it's the Israeli 'Super Sherman', probably with either the 75mm long gun from the Panther the French toyed with.. and IIRC the Isrealies also managed to put somehow a 105mm gun on it, too...?

(Look mom, no Google!)

ploughman
09-18-2007, 02:58 PM
That'll be some israeli super sherman thing. Engine mod, gun mod, enemies who couldn't arrange a piss up in a brewery etc.,

ploughman
09-18-2007, 02:59 PM
Ah, I see Kurf beat me to it.

luftluuver
09-18-2007, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Wow, thats a big gun...Compare it with the Sherman in the background.

Is that the British 17 pounder 'Firefly' version? Looks like an Israeli M-51 with a French CN-105-F1.

The gun was cut back 1.5m and designated D1504,

Kurfurst__
09-18-2007, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
..... Look at the tanks the Germans took into France in 1940 or into Russia in 1941. Pz I's and II's, Pz III's with 37mm and short 50mm guns, Pz IV's with short barrel 75mm support guns (the Pz IV with long 75mm didn't appear until mid-1942), and God knows how many Czech Pz 35 and 38Ts.

Yeah that's true, but also look up the 'tanks' they faced in Russia in 1941.. yup, the T-34 they come up against in smaller batches were superior, the KVs they come up against in even smaller numbers were almost invincible to most tank guns, unless firing tungsten-cored ammunition...
... and there of course you'll also find thousends of small, totally obsolate, thinly armored and poorly gunned Soviet tankettes, which simply could not survive even against the small Czech Pz.38(t)...


They didn't win those campaigns on tank quality; they won with superior doctrine, tactics, and communications. I think there is more to it than just comparisons of iron.

Yup, valid point. A Tiger, Panther was of course giving technical edge. What actually made those Tigers, Panthers and even Pz IVs deadly is that they were manned by crews like Wittman's, with three years of tank warfare behind them on the Russian steppe... OTOH the guys driving those Shermans did not see single flash from an enemy tank gun yet. Most US and UK divisions landing in France were totally green.

Tux-UK
09-18-2007, 03:15 PM
Just a small point: I don't think the longevity of the T-34 and Sherman designs can necessarily be held up as evidence of their superiority relative to any of the German, or even any of the British designs. Had Germany won the war I'm quite sure the Panther and Panzer IV would have served in the armies of occupied nations/ non-combatants just as long as the Sherman or T-34 did, and the latter pair would have been relegated to the scrap yard. Equally, if the British hadn't emerged from the a**e end of WWII as bankrupt and denuded of resources as they did they might have retained some 'clout' internationally, and Comets and Challengers might have been commonplace the world over.

Only dominant world powers can afford to sow their old equipment across the world in return for a pittance + political favour.

[EDIT:] By Challenger I meant Centurion, naturally... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Kurfurst__
09-18-2007, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Bewolf:

Yes, the Tiger I was not an offesive tank, that is entirely correct.

By God it was ! The whole Tiger-thing goes back to the need for a 'Durchbruchswagen', a breakthrough tank. The Tiger was meant to be a heavy tank, something that is the armored fist of the Pz Div, something that smashes enemy defences and laughs at their AT fire.. opening up a gap in which medium tanks can pour in and expand the results, without heavy losses to the actual strike force.

The fact that the Tiger was used mainly for defensive operations was simply the result that the Allies got the initiative by the time the Tiger appeared on the scene, but even then, the picture of Tigers just laying in ambush, holding up enemy forces single-handedly is a false one.. anybody who reads the operational history of heavy Tiger tank battalions will realize that soon. Yup, Tigers lay in ambush sometimes, usually when the rest of the Tigers were busy doing counter-attacks along the very agressive tactics and doctrine of the German army, which tended to be offensive even on defense through the whole war.

The though behind was simple : even if a defensive point was lost, the best thing to do, they thought, was the throw everything to the newly occupied enemy positions, before the enemy forces have any chance to dig in, and reinforce that position.

stalkervision
09-18-2007, 03:25 PM
I have to agree with Kurf on this one. if you read the excellent book "Panzer aces" by Franz Kurowski tigers were almost always used in an offensive role if possible..

faustnik
09-18-2007, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Tux-UK:
Comets and Challengers might have been commonplace the world over.

[EDIT:] By Challenger I meant Centurion, naturally... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Centurions sure saw a lot of action in many areas. It took a lot of hard lessons in WW2 but, the British brought themselves back to #1 in tank design with the Centurion.

Von_Rat
09-18-2007, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jaws2002:
The only reason Sherman performed resonably well in Europe was the MASSIVE support it got in the field.
This tank was fighting for US Army and at that point in time it didn't have to fight enemy tanks because they were engaged by Artilery and Aircraft whenever possible. Also nobody bombed daily their suplies and support teams.

Now think of it the other way. How would the Sherman compare if it was a german tank and had to fight American Panthers, Tigers, Panzers and Jagd panzers, with all the support US gave it's tanks.
Or how would German shermans do against American T-34/85's.

I think it would be a tureky shoot.


..... Look at the tanks the Germans took into France in 1940 or into Russia in 1941. Pz I's and II's, Pz III's with 37mm and short 50mm guns, Pz IV's with short barrel 75mm support guns (the Pz IV with long 75mm didn't appear until mid-1942), and God knows how many Czech Pz 35 and 38Ts. They didn't win those campaigns on tank quality; they won with superior doctrine, tactics, and communications. I think there is more to it than just comparisons of iron. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


DAMMMM you beat me to it.

agreed 100% ,,, imo the german tanks in those campaigns were much more inferior to the best enemy tanks, than the sherman was to tigers or panthers. what even more enlighting is in those campaigns not only did the germans have crappier tanks, they also had less of them than their opponants.

to many here have a gamers mentality when it comes to warfare, they look at a tanks stats and try to draw conclusions about armored warfare from that. they don't look at the REALLY IMPORTANT things like those that you listed.

to that list i would add logistics. it was the german logistics failure that cost them moscow.

Bewolf
09-18-2007, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:

Yes, the Tiger I was not an offesive tank, that is entirely correct.

By God it was ! The whole Tiger-thing goes back to the need for a 'Durchbruchswagen', a breakthrough tank. The Tiger was meant to be a heavy tank, something that is the armored fist of the Pz Div, something that smashes enemy defences and laughs at their AT fire.. opening up a gap in which medium tanks can pour in and expand the results, without heavy losses to the actual strike force.

The fact that the Tiger was used mainly for defensive operations was simply the result that the Allies got the initiative by the time the Tiger appeared on the scene, but even then, the picture of Tigers just laying in ambush, holding up enemy forces single-handedly is a false one.. anybody who reads the operational history of heavy Tiger tank battalions will realize that soon. Yup, Tigers lay in ambush sometimes, usually when the rest of the Tigers were busy doing counter-attacks along the very agressive tactics and doctrine of the German army, which tended to be offensive even on defense through the whole war.

The though behind was simple : even if a defensive point was lost, the best thing to do, they thought, was the throw everything to the newly occupied enemy positions, before the enemy forces have any chance to dig in, and reinforce that position. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I stand corrected. Then again I was thinking in Blitzkrieg Terms. Maybe a bit too narrow a view.

luftluuver
09-18-2007, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
to many here have a gamers mentality when it comes to warfare, they look at a tanks stats and try to draw conclusions about armored warfare from that. they don't look at the REALLY IMPORTANT things like those that you listed.

to that list i would add logistics. it was the german logistics failure that cost them moscow. Not just for tanks. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Tux-UK
09-18-2007, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tux-UK:
Comets and Challengers might have been commonplace the world over.

[EDIT:] By Challenger I meant Centurion, naturally... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Centurions sure saw a lot of action in many areas. It took a lot of hard lessons in WW2 but, the British brought themselves back to #1 in tank design with the Centurion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Aye, that's true. I tend to think it would have seen far more action given the conditions I outlined above though.

Does anyone know whether the T-44 saw much use, or was it quickly replaced by newer designs? I'd tend to consider that, rather than the '34 or the IS series, the contemporary of the Centurion or the Pershing. I'm not sure the Germans had a true 'medium' tank design in the works at war's end, did they? The Panther itself was a heavy by anyone else's standards, let alone the Panther II or any of the other projects I know well...

luftluuver
09-18-2007, 04:12 PM
Panzer aces

1.Kurt Knispel –168 Kills (sPzAbt. 503)
2.Otto Carius – 150+ Kills (sPzAbt. 502)–Tiger I--Knight's Cross 5/4/44, Oak Leaves 7/27/44.
3.Johannes (Hans) Bolter-- 139 Kills (possibly 144) (sPzAbt. 502) Tigers– Knight's Cross 4/16/44, Oak Leaves 9/10/44.
4.Michael Wittman – 138 Kills (sS.S.PzAbt. 101 Liebstandarte)–Tiger I–Knight's Cross 1/14/44, Oak Leaves 1/14/44 with Swords, 6/25/44.
5.Hans Sandrock – 123 Kills (assorted AFV last unit HJ )
6.Paul Egger – 113 Kills (s SS Pz. Abt. 102)–Tigers– Knight's cross 4/28/45
7.Fritz Lang– 113 Kills (StuG. Abt. 232)
8.Arno Giesen – 111 Kills (Das Reich)
9.Oberfahnrich Rondorf"”106 kills (sPzAbt. 503)–Tigers
10.Feldwebel Gaetner ( Gartner?)– 103 Kills (sPzAbt. 503)–Tigers
11.Karl Koener – 100+ Kills (sS.S.PzAbt. 503)–Tigers–Knight's Cross 4/29/44.
12.Albert Kerscher – 100+ Kills (sPzAbt. 502)–Tigers–Knight's Cross 10/23/44.

Whittman only ranks 4th.

Von_Rat
09-18-2007, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
im not saying the sherman was a great tank. in those circumstances, yeah it sucked.

but on the whole it wasnt that bad for what it was actually used for. and single handily battling tigers or even panthers wasnt what it was normally used for.

You are certainly right.

The problem is...Panthers and Tigers and Jagdtigers and Hetzers and Panzer IVs and StuGs and PaKs and Panzershrecks and Panzerfäuste were used to battle Shermans. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i agree about the PaKs and Panzershrecks and Panzerfäuste
but there were more than a few times when the germans didnt even have 100 panzers of any type on the whole western front, heck there were times they had less than fifty. for those times when they did have more than that, somtimes alot more, well thats when airpower and arty came in mighty handy.

luftluuver
09-18-2007, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Tux-UK:
Does anyone know whether the T-44 saw much use, or was it quickly replaced by newer designs? I'd tend to consider that, rather than the '34 or the IS series, the contemporary of the Centurion or the Pershing. I'm not sure the Germans had a true 'medium' tank design in the works at war's end, did they? The Panther itself was a heavy by anyone else's standards, let alone the Panther II or any of the other projects I know well...
There was only about 200 T-44s built. It had trouble mounting the 100mm gun and the T-54 soon replaced it which is why T-34/85 construction continued til 1947.

Von_Rat
09-18-2007, 04:33 PM
kurfurst wrote
Yeah that's true, but also look up the 'tanks' they faced in Russia in 1941.. yup, the T-34 they come up against in smaller batches were superior, the KVs they come up against in even smaller numbers were almost invincible to most tank guns, unless firing tungsten-cored ammunition...
... and there of course you'll also find thousends of small, totally obsolate, thinly armored and poorly gunned Soviet tankettes, which simply could not survive even against the small Czech Pz.38(t)...


by the same token the germans only had smaller batches of panthers and even smaller numbers of tigers on the western front in 44, comparably speaking of course, not in raw numbers. also i think your understating the numbers of soviet tanks, besides t34 or kv, that could stand up to german tanks in 41. they werent all tankettes.

in 1940 practically all the allied tanks were equal to or superior, somtimes vastly superior to the german tanks.

Kurfurst__
09-18-2007, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
kurfurst wrote<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Yeah that's true, but also look up the 'tanks' they faced in Russia in 1941.. yup, the T-34 they come up against in smaller batches were superior, the KVs they come up against in even smaller numbers were almost invincible to most tank guns, unless firing tungsten-cored ammunition...
... and there of course you'll also find thousends of small, totally obsolate, thinly armored and poorly gunned Soviet tankettes, which simply could not survive even against the small Czech Pz.38(t)...

by the same token the germans only had smaller batches of panthers and even smaller numbers of tigers on the western front in 44, comparably speaking of course, not in raw numbers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Tigers were rare, but they were specialized vehicles organised into specialist units.

Panthers were definietely not rare, in fact they were meant to be the only German medium tank to be produced, and the Pz IV was only kept in production due to the pressing need of tanks and industrial limitations for assembling such a large vehicle - quite simply not all factories could cope with the task. Same reason btw for the Hetzer, only reason it existed was that the Skoda factories could not handle the larger StuGs chassis.. back to the Panther, the 1944 plain normal Pz Div was supposed to have one Regiment of Panthers, and one Regiment of Pz IVs in it's OOB, ie. 50-50% Panzervier and Panther mix, though in practice it was closer to 40-60% in favour of the Pz IV. Panthers were just very inconviniently numerous by D-Day..

Of course where the 1941 USSR and 1944 France scenario differs is that all three major German types - Pz IV, V and VI, and their tank destroyer variants - had guns that could punch holes easily into Allied armor. Even the Pz IV was deadly to any Allied tank at considerable distances, and quite well armored itself (at least it's true for the hull, that matched the Tiger's side thickness). Same wasn't true for most Soviet tank(ette)s in 1941. Some had only the 20mm Shvak cannon mounted, some had only MGs, some had 45 mm low velocity guns, and there was trouble with Soviet AP munition lacking an AP-cap through the war. Bad news since German tank's armor plates were face hardened, and the projectiles shattered on impact regardless of 'paper' armor-vs-gunpower tables.. (though there's an analouge with that with the US long 3" gun ammo, which tended to shatter as well due to a too soft AP cap). To put it bluntly, there were literally thousends of Soviet tanks in 1941 that were incapable at all to win clashes against even the lighter German armor, as their armor was light, and their guns was capable of no more than marking the tank as a target for Panzers..


in 1940 practically all the allied tanks were equal to or superior, somtimes vastly superior to the german tanks.

That's actually quite untrue. It's a similiar focusing on the 'big' (and rare) Allied tanks of 1940 like the focus on the Tiger in 1944 battles, instead of the really numerous mediums that fought most battles. French tank crew layout was just hopeless, the tanks themselves spread thin, usually nullifying any advantage they had in armor and gunpower - speaking of the best French tanks at the time, the Somua 35 and the Char B here. The numerous small French infantry tanks with their very low velocity 37mm guns were hopeless against enemy armor, even if rather well armored for their size. The BEF situation was somewhat different. They had cruiser tanks, fast tanks with a good gun (2pdr) with paper armor designed to only withstand infantry weapons and fragments from shells, but even 20mm cannons mounted in the Pz II and some armored cars (some which were more heavily armored..) could kill them with ease, as could every single AT weapons in the German army; the other kind was infantry tanks that slow, heavily armored and had no kind of AT capability at all - namely the Matilda I ridiculusly slow, and armed with only a HMG. The Matilda II was only around in penny pocket numbers in the BoF, enough to make a local headache to the advancing Germans, but little more than that.
Then there were some tankettes again, mixing all the bad characteristics of both cruiser and infantry tanks : fast, paper armor, no guns just MGs and HMGs...

That is not to say the Panzertruppen were not quite a ragtag force themselves in 1940 , with plenty of old Pz IIs around, heavy reliance of the otherwise quite solid Czech light tanks, inaduquate numbers of Pz IIIs, the 5cm gun just missing the action, and even fewer Pz IVs... but at least their tank layout was good, they had a tank doctrine and tactics, and the tanks themselves technically capable enough to fight most enemy tanks.

Von_Rat
09-18-2007, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Tigers were rare, but they were specialized vehicles organised into specialist units.

Panthers were definietely not rare,

Panthers were just very inconviniently numerous by D-Day..
__________________________________________________ _________________

compared to shermans the panther was a rarity.
as i said before there were more than a few times the germans had less than 100 panzers of all types on the western front.



__________________________________________________ __
To put it bluntly, there were literally thousends of Soviet tanks in 1941 that were incapable at all to win clashes against even the lighter German armor, as their armor was light, and their guns was capable of no more than marking the tank as a target for Panzers..
__________________________________________________ _____

as i said before i think your underestamating the numbers of soviet tanks that could stand up to german tanks.



__________________________________________________ __________
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">in 1940 practically all the allied tanks were equal to or superior, somtimes vastly superior to the german tanks.

That's actually quite untrue. It's a similiar focusing on the 'big' (and rare) Allied tanks of 1940 like the focus on the Tiger in 1944 battles, instead of the really numerous mediums that fought most battles. French tank crew layout was just hopeless, the tanks themselves spread thin, usually nullifying any advantage they had in armor and gunpower - speaking of the best French tanks at the time, the Somua 35 and the Char B here. The numerous small French infantry tanks with their very low velocity 37mm guns were hopeless against enemy armor, even if rather well armored for their size. The BEF situation was somewhat different. They had cruiser tanks, fast tanks with a good gun (2pdr) with paper armor designed to only withstand infantry weapons and fragments from shells, but even 20mm cannons mounted in the Pz II and some armored cars (some which were more heavily armored..) could kill them with ease, as could every single AT weapons in the German army; the other kind was infantry tanks that slow, heavily armored and had no kind of AT capability at all - namely the Matilda I ridiculusly slow, and armed with only a HMG. The Matilda II was only around in penny pocket numbers in the BoF, enough to make a local headache to the advancing Germans, but little more than that.
Then there were some tankettes again, mixing all the bad characteristics of both cruiser and infantry tanks : fast, paper armor, no guns just MGs and HMGs...

. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


once again i think your understating the numbers of allied tanks that were more than capable of demolishing panzers.

if you get hard numbers maybe you can convince me, otherwise no.



------------------------------------------------------
and the tanks themselves technically capable enough to fight most enemy tanks.
----------------------------------------

ditto for the sherman.

Zeus-cat
09-18-2007, 06:33 PM
For all those who think the Sherman was a great tank, read Belton Cooper's book. The 1st division had over a 600% casualty rate on Shermans from D-Day to VE day. Ouch.

Von_Rat
09-18-2007, 06:43 PM
i dont think anybodys saying the sherman was a great tank, just that it was sufficent to get the job done.

btw infrantry units also had comparable causalty rates, in the hundreds of percent.

polak5
09-18-2007, 06:58 PM
What about the sherman's beer holder is did its part http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Von_Rat
09-18-2007, 08:11 PM
heres some tank numbers from 1940

allied

soma s35 410
char b1 bis 403


german

pz3 381
pz4 290

by these numbers the allies big tanks weren't rare, they outnumbered the german big tanks. not to mention they are greatly superior in both armour and gun strength.

also the french had 200 medium tanks the d1 and d2. which were capable of destroying pz4s.

also all french light tanks carried a 37mm gun comparable to the gun on the pz3 or the czech tanks. plus they had better armour.

and this isnt even taking into account the brit tanks.

face it, it wasnt uber german panzers that won in 1940. they won with superior doctrine, tactics, and communications, like the other poster said.

when i get a chance i'll look up 1941 soviet tank numbers by type.

BfHeFwMe
09-18-2007, 08:28 PM
US doctrine was very different. Tanks rarely operated without direct artillery coverage. It was the triad doctrine, tanks, field artillery, and mobile infantry, hence the hell on wheels moniker and the triple triangle arm patches of the armored divisions.

Tanks only needed to find tanks, the field artillery was there take care of the rest. And no one did artilley like the USA, no one!

HerrGraf
09-18-2007, 09:28 PM
Some folks here are convinced that the M4 is a pile of poop. Sorry, but you are dead wrong. True that it was not a great tank such as the Centurian, but it was mechanically a great tank. The armor was fair, the main problem was its main gun. If your gun will only penitrate a heavy tank at close range then it matters little what your armor is vs. a big cannon. A Sherman Jumbo with only a 75mm gun is in the same boat that any other M4 is. It will be penitrated before it can get into range to do the penitrating.

The Fireflys were greatly feared by the German armor, so with a proper gun the M4 can hold its own. There were some experiments to try to mount a 90mm into the M4, but the U.S.Army finally got over its reluctance to field a "heavy" tank.

When on the defence the M4 did to the Axis armor a goodly amount of damage. Whitness the Battle of the Bulge. (Yes I know that it was a combined arms defence.) When able to choose the field of battle one can make the best of ones better attributes. Remember that the M4 was the most numberious of allied armored vehicles present to stop the German advance. Also note that in Korea that the M4 was more than capable of taking on T34-85s. Not at all too bad for a pile of poop that some think it is supposed to be.

Antiarmor is not the only job for tanks. Infantry support is a prime requesite for tanks and the M4 is very good in that respect! As I stated before, as the war got longer the M4 was improved in a myriad of ways and should not be thought of only by its early 1944 standards.

It may not be a world beater that won the war single handed, but it has many good attributes that many do not want concider. Many of its foes were heavy tanks, not a medium as the M4 was. A high silouette and a weak gun were its main failings. Mechanical reliability, easy to maintain, good crew comfort and able to travel long distances without breakdown were its main assets.

While I would not want to be in a M4 that was being shot at by a 88mm or long 75mm, it was a tank that from a planner viewpoint fit the bill. It was there when needed. Was there in large numbers and easy to keep in supply (there's that logistics again). It also took lots of modifications. Hardly a pile.

huggy87
09-18-2007, 10:32 PM
If I was a general and had to choose between 50,000 M4s and 5,000 panthers, well there would be no choice. The M4 wins hands down.

If I was a sergeant tank commander, well I think I would take the panther.

JtD
09-18-2007, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by huggy87:
If I was a general and had to choose between 50,000 M4s and 5,000 panthers, well there would be no choice. The M4 wins hands down.

If I was a sergeant tank commander, well I think I would take the panther.

That's not quite a valid comparison, you are comparing numbers of a nation that made best use of mass production and did this with a single main tank model starting in 1942 with a nation that didn't even go to full war economy for most of the conflict and built numerous tank designs and the one you chose only started in 1943.

Assuming the Panther would need three times the working hours of the Sherman and twice the raw material and considering that a smaller number of tanks would be easier on logistics, the question would rather be if you'd prefer 50000 Shermans over 25000 Panthers. This is not as easy to answer as your numbers game above.

As a side note, from 1942 to 1944 the Germans produced about 31000 tanks and tank destroyers. Should have been easy for a nation like the USA to build 25000 Panthers then.

WRT the T-34 and other heavy Soviet tank designs in the early stages of the Eastern front, they had a significant impact on the German pace of advance. I remember two comments from my grandfather, who pointed out that the T-34 was impossible to take out with the standard 37mm gun and hard to take out with the 50mm AT gun the German AAA/AT units used at that time, so it would usually be required to use the 88mm gun. Rare thing, hard to give to every single fast unit, using rare ammunition. It was a considerable problem.
He also commented that the Soviet tanks could just be started up under any condition, turn the key and they run, while the German tanks would usually need a long warm up procedure before they were ready for battle in winter. It should be pretty obvious that half an hour warm up time can be too long if quick reaction is needed.

Kurfurst__
09-19-2007, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
heres some tank numbers from 1940

allied

soma s35 410
char b1 bis 403

german

pz3 381
pz4 290

by these numbers the allies big tanks weren't rare, they outnumbered the german big tanks.

Typical strawmen arguement. Nobody said that French tanks were rare. It was said that Matilda IIs were rare OTOH, I recall something like a few dozen being in France at the time. The rest of the British tanks, though having a good layout, being fast and well armed, presented little difficulties to Panzers or ATGs teams, as they were thinly armored.

The point is that while you're saying in generic terms that Allied armor was superior, most of it actually weren't. By May 1940 the French army got about 2800 light infantry tanks (R-35/H-35), 384 heavy Char B, 416 of the well armored an armed Somua S-35s, and had over 2000 old but modernized Renault FT-17s from the Great War.

Of these, only the Char B and S-35s had chance to beat German armor, but their layout was so flawed they always started from a massive tactical disadvantage. The vast majority of the French tanks the Germans would face were R-35 and H-35 light tanks, that could not hurt Panzers much with that stubby little 37mm gun.


not to mention they are greatly superior in both armour and gun strength.

_FRENCH_ tank layout was hopeless, the commander having to be loader and gunner as well as having to observe the terrain for which his only means was a limited FOV visor on the one-man turret, while unable to 'unbutton', and unable communicate with the others taks without a radio.. Yup, big guns, big armor, also totally blind, confused and isolated. And most action, be it infantry or armored is about outsmarting and outmanouvering the enemy instead of slugging it out head on.


also the french had 200 medium tanks the d1 and d2. which were capable of destroying pz4s.

But they did not, the French had more tanks, many big tanks and they just didn't. It was already explained why. Flawed tank doctrine, flawed tank design.


also all french light tanks carried a 37mm gun comparable to the gun on the pz3 or the czech tanks. plus they had better armour.

37mm gun on the light tank H-35 and R-35 had a muzzle velocity of 388 m/sec... with such low MV, it did apesh!t against enemy armor. The Pz III's 3.7cm gun had a MV of 762 m/sec, the czech 3.7cm gun was IIRC a bit hotter actually. Hardly comparable.


and this isnt even taking into account the brit tanks.

Well, account for them then, please.


face it, it wasnt uber german panzers that won in 1940. they won with superior doctrine, tactics, and communications, like the other poster said.

Just for the record, I never said a word about the 'uber german panzers' in existance in 1940. I merely noted that the popular picture of Uber French and British tanks being norm on the battlefield in 1940 is just as flawed as the picture of an all-Tiger Panzerwaffe of 1944.

when i get a chance i'll look up 1941 soviet tank numbers by type.[/QUOTE]

Kurfurst__
09-19-2007, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
Assuming the Panther would need three times the working hours of the Sherman and twice the raw material and considering that a smaller number of tanks would be easier on logistics, the question would rather be if you'd prefer 50000 Shermans over 25000 Panthers. This is not as easy to answer as your numbers game above.

I have a some numbers of labour hours needed to assemble a Panther vs. a Pz III. The Panther only takes about 15% more time than the MUCH smaller Pz III. Of course that's just assembly of the parts already manufactured, but it gives a hint that bigger tanks are not that much harder to produce. OTOH, raw materials were not that much of a concern for the Germans, they had plenty of steel (unsurprisigly)), production bottlenecks and transportation was the main headache for them.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 03:02 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
Assuming the Panther would need three times the working hours of the Sherman and twice the raw material and considering that a smaller number of tanks would be easier on logistics, the question would rather be if you'd prefer 50000 Shermans over 25000 Panthers. This is not as easy to answer as your numbers game above.

I have a some numbers of labour hours needed to assemble a Panther vs. a Pz III. The Panther only takes about 15% more time than the MUCH smaller Pz III. Of course that's just assembly of the parts already manufactured, but it gives a hint that bigger tanks are not that much harder to produce. OTOH, raw materials were not that much of a concern for the Germans, they had plenty of steel (unsurprisigly)), production bottlenecks and transportation was the main headache for them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wasn't the Panther also only just a bit more expensive then the Panzer IV? It's along time since I saw the prices.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
heres some tank numbers from 1940

allied

soma s35 410
char b1 bis 403

german

pz3 381
pz4 290

by these numbers the allies big tanks weren't rare, they outnumbered the german big tanks.

Typical strawmen arguement. Nobody said that French tanks were rare. It was said that Matilda IIs were rare OTOH, I recall something like a few dozen being in France at the time. The rest of the British tanks, though having a good layout, being fast and well armed, presented little difficulties to Panzers or ATGs teams, as they were thinly armored.

The point is that while you're saying in generic terms that Allied armor was superior, most of it actually weren't. By May 1940 the French army got about 2800 light infantry tanks (R-35/H-35), 384 heavy Char B, 416 of the well armored an armed Somua S-35s, and had over 2000 old but modernized Renault FT-17s from the Great War.

Of these, only the Char B and S-35s had chance to beat German armor, but their layout was so flawed they always started from a massive tactical disadvantage. The vast majority of the French tanks the Germans would face were R-35 and H-35 light tanks, that could not hurt Panzers much with that stubby little 37mm gun.


not to mention they are greatly superior in both armour and gun strength.

_FRENCH_ tank layout was hopeless, the commander having to be loader and gunner as well as having to observe the terrain for which his only means was a limited FOV visor on the one-man turret, while unable to 'unbutton', and unable communicate with the others taks without a radio.. Yup, big guns, big armor, also totally blind, confused and isolated. And most action, be it infantry or armored is about outsmarting and outmanouvering the enemy instead of slugging it out head on.


also the french had 200 medium tanks the d1 and d2. which were capable of destroying pz4s.

But they did not, the French had more tanks, many big tanks and they just didn't. It was already explained why. Flawed tank doctrine, flawed tank design.


also all french light tanks carried a 37mm gun comparable to the gun on the pz3 or the czech tanks. plus they had better armour.

37mm gun on the light tank H-35 and R-35 had a muzzle velocity of 388 m/sec... with such low MV, it did apesh!t against enemy armor. The Pz III's 3.7cm gun had a MV of 762 m/sec, the czech 3.7cm gun was IIRC a bit hotter actually. Hardly comparable.


and this isnt even taking into account the brit tanks.

Well, account for them then, please.


face it, it wasnt uber german panzers that won in 1940. they won with superior doctrine, tactics, and communications, like the other poster said.

Just for the record, I never said a word about the 'uber german panzers' in existance in 1940. I merely noted that the popular picture of Uber French and British tanks being norm on the battlefield in 1940 is just as flawed as the picture of an all-Tiger Panzerwaffe of 1944.

when i get a chance i'll look up 1941 soviet tank numbers by type. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


you stated and i qoute
__________________________________________________ ____
"It's a similiar focusing on the 'big' (and rare) Allied tanks of 1940" ________________________________________________

the french were allied werent they????

i see what others mean when they talk about your selective memory.



the numbers are there to see.

the s35s and chars outnumbered the pz3 and pz4s , it is only YOUR OPINION that the bad layout was a fatal flaw. by all accounts when on the occaisions that s35s and chars met pz3s and pz4s in open battle they slaughtered them. i have accounts from those battles right in front of me.

the gun on the h39 was more than capable of killing pz3 and 4s.

speaking of **** guns we shouldnt even be talking about the pz4 if were considering tank vs tank, its 75mm low velocity gun was pretty poor against the big allied tanks except at very close range.

if your going to bring doctrine into that means you lost, thats my agrument not yours.

Kurfurst__
09-19-2007, 03:28 AM
The short-barred 37mm SA 18 L/21 gun of the H-35 was 'capable' of penetrating 20mm of armor at a point blank range of 100m at 30 degrees angle of impact.
The H-39's longer, 'more than capable of killing pz3 and 4s' 37mm SA 38 L / 33 could hope or 27 mm under similiar circustances. Both guns were hopeless at range for AT work.

The 47mm SA 35 L/32 gun fitted to Char Bs and S-35s may hope for 36mm at 100m.

The Pz III had 30mm frontal armor, the Pz IVs 30+30mm), and 21m at 1000 meters.

The Pz IV (and StuG B) with their short barrelled 7,5cm guns were firing Gr.38 Hl/A HEAT rounds in 1940 for anti-tank purposes. Ballistics were of course poor, but these AFVs were meant to support infantry. They were hardly useless against tanks firing this ammunition, which penetrated 70mm regardless of range. MV was 450 m/sec.

Keep arguing.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 03:35 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:



the numbers are there to see.

the s35s and chars outnumbered the pz3 and pz4s , it is only YOUR OPINION that the bad layout was a fatal flaw. by all accounts when on the occaisions that s35s and chars met pz3s and pz4s in open battle they slaughtered them. i have accounts from those battles right in front of me.

the gun on the h39 was more than capable of killing pz3 and 4s.


Care to share those numbers? Because, by all accounts, the crew layout of french tanks "was" a major flaw. That is not just Kurfürsts opinion, but in line with all I heared and read about that subject.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 03:35 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by huggy87:
If I was a general and had to choose between 50,000 M4s and 5,000 panthers, well there would be no choice. The M4 wins hands down.

If I was a sergeant tank commander, well I think I would take the panther.

That's not quite a valid comparison, you are comparing numbers of a nation that made best use of mass production and did this with a single main tank model starting in 1942 with a nation that didn't even go to full war economy for most of the conflict and built numerous tank designs and the one you chose only started in 1943.

Assuming the Panther would need three times the working hours of the Sherman and twice the raw material and considering that a smaller number of tanks would be easier on logistics, the question would rather be if you'd prefer 50000 Shermans over 25000 Panthers. This is not as easy to answer as your numbers game above.
__________________________________________________ _________________

[QUOTE]

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 03:41 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 03:47 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:



the numbers are there to see.

the s35s and chars outnumbered the pz3 and pz4s , it is only YOUR OPINION that the bad layout was a fatal flaw. by all accounts when on the occaisions that s35s and chars met pz3s and pz4s in open battle they slaughtered them. i have accounts from those battles right in front of me.

the gun on the h39 was more than capable of killing pz3 and 4s.


Care to share those numbers? Because, by all accounts, the crew layout of french tanks "was" a major flaw. That is not just Kurfürsts opinion, but in line with all I heared and read about that subject. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

major maybe, fatal no, because if it was such a fatal flaw how come in the battle of gembloux gap those "fatally flawed french tanks" even though outnumbered destroyed 160 german tanks and severly damaged many others. the french lost 105 tanks, but many of those losses were from 88s and air attacks.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 03:50 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

if you read who i qouted he meant panthers.

actually i think it was 2 for one m4 vs m26, though i could be mistaken because the dimensions arent that differant. weight maybe?

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 03:53 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:



the numbers are there to see.

the s35s and chars outnumbered the pz3 and pz4s , it is only YOUR OPINION that the bad layout was a fatal flaw. by all accounts when on the occaisions that s35s and chars met pz3s and pz4s in open battle they slaughtered them. i have accounts from those battles right in front of me.

the gun on the h39 was more than capable of killing pz3 and 4s.


Care to share those numbers? Because, by all accounts, the crew layout of french tanks "was" a major flaw. That is not just Kurfürsts opinion, but in line with all I heared and read about that subject. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

major maybe, fatal no, because if it was such a fatal flaw how come in the battle of gembloux gap those "fatally flawed french tanks" even though outnumbered destroyed 150 german tanks and severly damaged many others. the french lost over a hundred tanks, but many of those losses were from 88s. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What types of german tanks were destroyed?

Why was this kinda battle the exception, not the rule?

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 03:57 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

if you read who i qouted he meant panthers.

actually i think it was 2 for one m4 vs m26, though i could be mistaken because the dimensions arent that differant. weight maybe? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Possible. Though there as well, the Pershing was not twice as heavy as the Sherman.

All in alll, the Pershing was comparable to the Panther, and this thread is not so much about direct comparison between Panther/Tiger against Shermans and other armor, but more in the lines of the Shermans shortcomings and its better replacement by the Pershing.

The Sherman/Panther comparison was a whole different ballgame thrown in between, the question of what is general preferable. A low cost mass produced tank or a rather hightech one?

The US settled for the latter nowadays, just like Germany back then, preferring high class over numbers. Only the soviets stayed with this kinda thinking.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 04:08 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:



the numbers are there to see.

the s35s and chars outnumbered the pz3 and pz4s , it is only YOUR OPINION that the bad layout was a fatal flaw. by all accounts when on the occaisions that s35s and chars met pz3s and pz4s in open battle they slaughtered them. i have accounts from those battles right in front of me.

the gun on the h39 was more than capable of killing pz3 and 4s.


Care to share those numbers? Because, by all accounts, the crew layout of french tanks "was" a major flaw. That is not just Kurfürsts opinion, but in line with all I heared and read about that subject. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

major maybe, fatal no, because if it was such a fatal flaw how come in the battle of gembloux gap those "fatally flawed french tanks" even though outnumbered destroyed 150 german tanks and severly damaged many others. the french lost over a hundred tanks, but many of those losses were from 88s. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What types of german tanks were destroyed?

Why was this kinda battle the exception, not the rule? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

it doesnt breakdown the losses by type but by the account it was pz3s and pz4s fighting against h39s and chars.

it was the only large scale tank vs tank action of the campaign. there were other smaller ones i could research if you wish. but by my reading french tanks did well in a stand up fight. they just didnt get many chances for those.

the french had to withdraw because of the breakthrough at sedan.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 04:09 AM
Made a bit of research:

Sherman:
Weight 30.3 tonnes (66,800 lb)
Length 5.84 m (19 ft 2 in)
Width 2.62 m (8 ft 7 in)
Height 2.74 m (9 ft)
Crew 5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver)
Armor 19 - 91 mm
Primary
armament 75 mm M3 L/40 gun

90 rounds
Secondary
armament 1x .50 cal Browning M2HB machine gun
300 .50 rounds
2×.30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns

4,750 .30-06 rounds
Engine Continental R975 C1 gasoline
400 hp (298 kW) gross @ 2400 rpm
350 hp (253 kW) net @ 2400 rpm
Power/weight 14 hp/tonne
Suspension Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS)
Operational
range 120 miles @ 175 US gal (145 imp. gal) / 80 octane
193 km @ 660 l / 80 octane
Speed 38.5 km/h (24 mi/h) (brief)


Pershing:

Weight 41.9 tonnes
Length 6.33/8.65 m
Width 3.51 m
Height 2.78 m
Crew 5 (Commander, Gunner, loader, driver, co-driver)
Armor 25 mm to 110 mm
Primary
armament 90 mm Gun M3
70 rounds
Secondary
armament 2 × Browning .30-06
5,000 rounds
1 × Browning .50 cal.
550 rounds
Engine Ford GAF; 8-cylinder, gasoline
500/450 hp (373/336 kW)
Power/weight hp/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
Operational
range 161 (road) km
Speed 40 km/h (road)
8.5 km/h (off-road)



The Pershing was only 10 tons heavier, and actually faster then the Sherman.

Blutarski2004
09-19-2007, 04:10 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Weight also must be considered. The Pershing was about 1.5x heavier than the Sherman. Without doing the density math, I'd venture to say that weight rather than dimension was the major influencing factor. Ships (and railcars for that matter) are limited by weight and volume in what they can carry. The optimal cargo loadout has an overall weight to volume ratio of about 2240 lbs to 40 cu ft (or one metric ton to one cubic meter). Both are expression of the density of seawater. If you are suddenly faced with shipping tanks that weigh 50 pct more for the same approximate volume, it affects the permissible density of other cargo. It's a complicated cost.benefit calculation, more than simply comparing physical dimensions.

Add to that the necessity of shipping and logistically stockpiling a completely different array of maintenance and repair components and ammunition.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:

it doesnt breakdown the losses by type but by the account it was pz3s and pz4s fighting against h39s and chars.

it was the only large scale tank vs tank action of the campaign. there were other smaller ones i could research if you wish.

the french had to withdraw because of the breakthrough at sedan.

Yes, I actually read about this once myself. But, it was one of a kind battle, the complete exception of the rules of a typical engagement back then. In all honesty, I'd be cautious to quote this one time event as proof or the superiourity of french tanks just because they managed to get the germans on "their" ground once. Else the french must have have faired much better in this cammpaign, contrary to history.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Weight also must be considered. The Pershing was about 1.5x heavier than the Sherman. Without doing the density math, I'd venture to say that weight rather than dimension was the major influencing factor. Ships (and railcars for that matter) are limited by weight and volume in what they can carry. The optimal cargo loadout has an overall weight to volume ratio of about 2240 lbs to 40 cu ft (or one metric ton to one cubic meter). Both are expression of the density of seawater. If you are suddenly faced with shipping tanks that weigh 50 pct more for the same approximate volume, it affects the permissible density of other cargo. It's a complicated cost.benefit calculation, more than simply comparing physical dimensions.

Add to that the necessity of shipping and logistically stockpiling a completely different array of maintenance and repair components and ammunition. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, going by the data I found (on wikipedia, may be very welll flawed) the weight increase was only around a 1/4 more. Shermans 30 tons, Pershings 40 tons. No idea if this infleunces ship destribution to the same degree.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 04:26 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
The short-barred 37mm SA 18 L/21 gun of the H-35 was 'capable' of penetrating 20mm of armor at a point blank range of 100m at 30 degrees angle of impact.
The H-39's longer, 'more than capable of killing pz3 and 4s' 37mm SA 38 L / 33 could hope or 27 mm under similiar circustances. Both guns were hopeless at range for AT work.

The 47mm SA 35 L/32 gun fitted to Char Bs and S-35s may hope for 36mm at 100m.

The Pz III had 30mm frontal armor, the Pz IVs 30+30mm), and 21m at 1000 meters.

The Pz IV (and StuG B) with their short barrelled 7,5cm guns were firing Gr.38 Hl/A HEAT rounds in 1940 for anti-tank purposes. Ballistics were of course poor, but these AFVs were meant to support infantry. They were hardly useless against tanks firing this ammunition, which penetrated 70mm regardless of range. MV was 450 m/sec.

Keep arguing.

i will

not all shots were frontal. the german puny 37mm couldnt penetrate s35s or chars at range frontally either. they had a hard time with flank shots even.

somthing you conviently dont mention.

the german 1940 tanks just didnt have the kinda supriority against allied tanks that the panther and tiger had against the sherman. yet they won.

so did the sherman for that matter.

you can argue till your blue in the face. your never going to convince me the p3s or 4s werent as inferior to allied tanks as shermans were to panthers.

oh i see you remembered the french were allied.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 04:31 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

it doesnt breakdown the losses by type but by the account it was pz3s and pz4s fighting against h39s and chars.

it was the only large scale tank vs tank action of the campaign. there were other smaller ones i could research if you wish.

the french had to withdraw because of the breakthrough at sedan.

Yes, I actually read about this once myself. But, it was one of a kind battle, the complete exception of the rules of a typical engagement back then. In all honesty, I'd be cautious to quote this one time event as proof or the superiourity of french tanks just because they managed to get the germans on "their" ground once. Else the french must have have faired much better in this cammpaign, contrary to history. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

im not going to type out every engaugment, this was the only large scale one so i chose it.

the whole point is that the french lost because of flawed doctrine and stratergy. the german tanks, despite kurfys rantings didnt have a same kind of superoity over allied tanks that the panthers/ tigers had over the sherman. yet they still won.

people were using armor and gun stats comparing panthers to shermans. its only fair to use the same stats comparing p3s to chars somas.

Fox_3
09-19-2007, 04:37 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Weight also must be considered. The Pershing was about 1.5x heavier than the Sherman. Without doing the density math, I'd venture to say that weight rather than dimension was the major influencing factor. Ships (and railcars for that matter) are limited by weight and volume in what they can carry. The optimal cargo loadout has an overall weight to volume ratio of about 2240 lbs to 40 cu ft (or one metric ton to one cubic meter). Both are expression of the density of seawater. If you are suddenly faced with shipping tanks that weigh 50 pct more for the same approximate volume, it affects the permissible density of other cargo. It's a complicated cost.benefit calculation, more than simply comparing physical dimensions.

Add to that the necessity of shipping and logistically stockpiling a completely different array of maintenance and repair components and ammunition. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You would also have to widen and or strengthen all of your bridging equipment.

Kurfurst__
09-19-2007, 04:43 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
the german tanks, despite kurfys rantings didnt have a same kind of superoity over allied tanks that the panthers/ tigers had over the sherman.

Care to quote me where I say such..?

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 04:49 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
the german tanks, despite kurfys rantings didnt have a same kind of superoity over allied tanks that the panthers/ tigers had over the sherman.

Care to quote me where I say such..? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

well then wtf are we arguing about. that was MY POINT when you butted in.

my point was that you didnt need uber tanks to win. and that the germans didnt have uber tanks in 1940, yet they won.

so did the sherman in 44, even though it was inferior to panther.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 04:53 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

it doesnt breakdown the losses by type but by the account it was pz3s and pz4s fighting against h39s and chars.

it was the only large scale tank vs tank action of the campaign. there were other smaller ones i could research if you wish.

the french had to withdraw because of the breakthrough at sedan.

Yes, I actually read about this once myself. But, it was one of a kind battle, the complete exception of the rules of a typical engagement back then. In all honesty, I'd be cautious to quote this one time event as proof or the superiourity of french tanks just because they managed to get the germans on "their" ground once. Else the french must have have faired much better in this cammpaign, contrary to history. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

im not going to type out every engaugment, this was the only large scale one so i chose it.

the whole point is that the french lost because of flawed doctrine and stratergy. the german tanks, despite kurfys rantings didnt have a same kind of superoity over allied tanks that the panthers/ tigers had over the sherman. yet they still won. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Actually I think both of you are right to a degree. I still do believe, from all I read and from pure sense of reason, that a tank layout that put so much work onto single crewmembers is an inherent designflaw whenever it comes to coordinates attacks and not just mere infantry support or mobile pillbox tactics. No matter the other merits such a tank possesed. Naturally a tank is only so good as within the tactics and doctrin it is used, and how well it is adapt to use its advantages in combination with other arms.

And here the disagreement starts. The german tanks, by pure numbers of armor and guns, were much better used and capable within their tactics even against harder tanks like the french ones during 40 then Shermans were in 44/45. A tank that can't see enough also can't effectivly try tpp counter encircling manoevers by opposite smaller tanks. It was much harder for shermans flanking german tanks then it was for german tanks to flank french ones. Due to the same limititaions, to my knowledge, the german tanks also had a higher rate of fire then their french counterparts in the 40ies.

Regular Shermans were dead meat once encountering heavier german tanks, because the tank destroyer line of thinking did not work out. All what saved them was the disastrous german logistic situation as well as artillery and aircraft superiourity enjoyed by the allies. You do not always have artillery support though when you try to use tanks in their intended role as offensive breakthrough weapons swiftly trying to get into the opponents back to wreak havoc on its rear areas. That me thinks is also the reason why the americans never really managed large encircling manoevers, the Falaise Pocket an exception, but even that one only because the germans stupidly tried to counterattack when in fact they should have retreated into the other direction.
Also, by those stats I found the Pershings were actually faster, thus rending the "mobility" argument of the advantages going to the Sherman kinda mood.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 05:00 AM
all those french flaws could also be put under the heading of tank doctrine.

people were using armor and gun stats to compare sherman to panther tiger. i used the same argument to compare p3s to chars somas.

doctrine was the deciding factor imo. not gunstats or armor.

bad doctine also cost the allies in 44. but not enough to cause them to lose like the french did.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 05:03 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
all those french flaws could also be put under the heading of tank doctrine.

people were using armor and gun stats to compare sherman to panther tiger. i used the same argument to compare p3s to chars somas.

doctrine was the deciding factor imo. not gunstats or armor.

bad doctine also cost the allies in 44. but not enough to cause them to lose like the french did.

Very true. but unlike the french the allies had:

1. the initiative

2. overwhelming superiour numbers, with 3/4 of the Wehrmacht comitted to the eastern front.

3. an actually working command structure.

Blutarski2004
09-19-2007, 05:06 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Weight also must be considered. The Pershing was about 1.5x heavier than the Sherman. Without doing the density math, I'd venture to say that weight rather than dimension was the major influencing factor. Ships (and railcars for that matter) are limited by weight and volume in what they can carry. The optimal cargo loadout has an overall weight to volume ratio of about 2240 lbs to 40 cu ft (or one metric ton to one cubic meter). Both are expression of the density of seawater. If you are suddenly faced with shipping tanks that weigh 50 pct more for the same approximate volume, it affects the permissible density of other cargo. It's a complicated cost.benefit calculation, more than simply comparing physical dimensions.

Add to that the necessity of shipping and logistically stockpiling a completely different array of maintenance and repair components and ammunition. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, going by the data I found (on wikipedia, may be very welll flawed) the weight increase was only around a 1/4 more. Shermans 30 tons, Pershings 40 tons. No idea if this infleunces ship destribution to the same degree. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... OK, you made me pull out my reference books! The following data from the US Army Aberdeen Proving Ground.

36.3 tons - M4A4 (75mm)
37.1 tons - M4A3E8 (76mm)

46 tons - M26

These are all described as "combat weight", which I assume includes crew, fuel, ammunition, and stores. The average shipping weight ratio probably sits somewhere around 1.3x. Stowage-wise the penalty would remain, but would not be so severe.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
all those french flaws could also be put under the heading of tank doctrine.

people were using armor and gun stats to compare sherman to panther tiger. i used the same argument to compare p3s to chars somas.

doctrine was the deciding factor imo. not gunstats or armor.

bad doctine also cost the allies in 44. but not enough to cause them to lose like the french did.

Very true. but unlike the french the allies had:

1. the initiative

2. overwhelming superiour numbers, with 3/4 of the Wehrmacht comitted to the eastern front.

3. an actually working command structure. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i know im just getting tired of typing so im not listing everything.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 05:15 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
all those french flaws could also be put under the heading of tank doctrine.

people were using armor and gun stats to compare sherman to panther tiger. i used the same argument to compare p3s to chars somas.

doctrine was the deciding factor imo. not gunstats or armor.

bad doctine also cost the allies in 44. but not enough to cause them to lose like the french did.

Very true. but unlike the french the allies had:

1. the initiative

2. overwhelming superiour numbers, with 3/4 of the Wehrmacht comitted to the eastern front.

3. an actually working command structure. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i know im just getting tired of typing so im not listing everything. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

fair enough, it just needed to be pointed out. One always also has to take into account how a weapon performs if a doctrine is flawed or can't be maintained. I think the german tanks had much more potential for improvisation in this, as became clear during the french campaign as well as in in Russia against T34s that enjoyed equal superiourity in stats but were beaten nevertheless. Now the shermans lacked stats AND were out of doctrine.
Just do the maths outside of nationalistic ego.

luftluuver
09-19-2007, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
2. overwhelming superiour numbers, with 3/4 of the Wehrmacht comitted to the eastern front.

More like just over 2/3 for AFV strength. Zaloga has ~2000 in the west and ~2900 in the east.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 05:24 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
2. overwhelming superiour numbers, with 3/4 of the Wehrmacht comitted to the eastern front.

More like just over 2/3 for AFV strength. Zaloga has ~2000 in the west and ~2900 in the east. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Still almost 3000 tanks annd their veteran crews the allies did not have to face, especially in the opening stages of the Invasion. I'd call that significant.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 05:28 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.


I think in the course of this thread it was said the "Pershing" (not the Panther, but the Pershing would be the propper US equivalent) was only a bit larger in dimensions, by far not reaching even the 2 Shermans for 1 Pershing space requirement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Weight also must be considered. The Pershing was about 1.5x heavier than the Sherman. Without doing the density math, I'd venture to say that weight rather than dimension was the major influencing factor. Ships (and railcars for that matter) are limited by weight and volume in what they can carry. The optimal cargo loadout has an overall weight to volume ratio of about 2240 lbs to 40 cu ft (or one metric ton to one cubic meter). Both are expression of the density of seawater. If you are suddenly faced with shipping tanks that weigh 50 pct more for the same approximate volume, it affects the permissible density of other cargo. It's a complicated cost.benefit calculation, more than simply comparing physical dimensions.

Add to that the necessity of shipping and logistically stockpiling a completely different array of maintenance and repair components and ammunition. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, going by the data I found (on wikipedia, may be very welll flawed) the weight increase was only around a 1/4 more. Shermans 30 tons, Pershings 40 tons. No idea if this infleunces ship destribution to the same degree. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... OK, you made me pull out my reference books! The following data from the US Army Aberdeen Proving Ground.

36.3 tons - M4A4 (75mm)
37.1 tons - M4A3E8 (76mm)

46 tons - M26

These are all described as "combat weight", which I assume includes crew, fuel, ammunition, and stores. The average shipping weight ratio probably sits somewhere around 1.3x. Stowage-wise the penalty would remain, but would not be so severe. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks, learned something new.
So the question kinda remains of whatis preferable, 50.000 Shermans vs a hypothetical 25.000 Pershings, yes?

luftluuver
09-19-2007, 05:39 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
Still almost 3000 tanks and their veteran crews the allies did not have to face, especially in the opening stages of the Invasion. I'd call that significant. Gee ~2900 AFV spread along some 2000mi or so of front compared ~2000 AFV spread along a 100mi front.

I think you need to look at the German OoB for June 1944. Yes be sure the 21st Panzer Division, the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, 2nd SS Division Das Reich, the 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen and the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg were a bunch of rookies dispite their previous battle experience.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 05:40 AM
actually those numbers come from jtd and he was talking about a 50,000 shermans vs a hypothical 25,000 panthers being produced by the usa.

the reason for panthers instead of pershing is because he was replying to another poster who used panthers in his example.

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 06:07 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
Gee ~2900 AFV spread along some 2000mi or so of front compared ~2000 AFV spread along a 100mi front.

I think you need to look at the German OoB for June 1944. Yes be sure the 21st Panzer Division, the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, 2nd SS Division Das Reich, the 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen and the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg were a bunch of rookies dispite their previous battle experience.

Funny. I must have completly missed saying the ones in France were Rookies. Thanks for reminding me. Please point me towards it?

csThor
09-19-2007, 06:16 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
it doesnt breakdown the losses by type but by the account it was pz3s and pz4s fighting against h39s and chars.

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=6699

Gives pretty much the picture:

3. PzD

PzBfWg : 29
Panzer I : 117
Panzer II : 129
Panzer III : 42
Panzer IV : 26
armored cars : 56 (including 23 with a 2.0cm L/55 gun)
3.7cm PaK L/45 : 51
2.0cm FlaK 30/38 : 24
8.8cm FlaK L/56 : 9
7.5cm leIG : 24
15cm sIG : 8
10.5cm leFH : 24
15cm sFH : 12
+ attached M.G.-Btl.7 : 12 3.7cm PaK L/45
+ attached II./Flak-Lehr-Rgt : 9 8.8cm FlaK L/56 and 24 2.0cm/3.7cm FlaK


4. PzD

PzBfWg : 15
Panzer I : 141
Panzer II : 111
Panzer III : 40
Panzer IV : 24
armored cars : 56 (including 23 with a 2.0cm L/55 gun)
3.7cm PaK L/45 : 51
2.0cm FlaK 30/38 : 24
8.8cm FlaK L/56 : 9
7.5cm leIG : 24
15cm sIG : 8
10.5cm leFH : 48
15cm sFH : 24
+ attached Pz.Jg.Abt.654 : 12 3.7cm PaK L/45
+ attached M.G.-Btl.7 : 12 3.7cm PaK L/45



TOTAL XVI. Panzerkorps

tanks : 674 (including 132 Panzer III and Panzer IV + )
armored cars : 112 (including 46 with a 2.0cm L/55 gun)
3.7cm PaK L/45 : 138
2.0cm / 3.7cm FlaK : 72
8.8cm FlaK L/56 : 27
7.5cm leIG : 48
12cm sIG : 16
10.5cm leFH : 72
15cm sFH : 36
+ 14 infantry/motorcycle battalions



2e DLM

Hotchkiss H35 : 84
Somua S35 : 88
armored cars : 107 (including 40 Panhard 178 and 67 AMR33 / AMR35 ZT1)
47mm SA37 L/53 AT guns : 8
25mm SA34/37 L/72 AT guns : 12
25mm AA guns : 6
75mm Mle1897 field guns : 24
105mm field guns : 12
+ 3 infantry/motorcycle battalions



3e DLM

Hotchkiss H35 : 22
Hotchkiss H39 : 129
Somua S35 : 88
armored cars : 40 (Panhard 178)
47mm SA37 L/53 AT guns : 8
25mm SA34/37 L/72 AT guns : 12
25mm AA guns : 6
75mm Mle1897 field guns : 24
105mm field guns : 12
+ 3 infantry/motorcycle battalions



TOTAL French cavalry corps

Hotchkiss H35 and H39 : 235
Somua S35 : 176
armored cars : 147 (including 80 Panhard 178 and 67 AMR33 / AMR35 ZT1)
47mm SA37 L/53 AT guns : 16
25mm SA34/37 L/72 AT guns : 24
25mm AA guns : 12
75mm Mle1897 field guns : 48
105mm field guns : 24
+ 6 infantry/motorcycle battalions






France

"¢ 411 tanks (including 176 Somua S35 and about 60 Hotchkiss with a 37mm L/33 SA38 gun)
"¢ 147 armored cars
"¢ 40 AT guns
"¢ 12 AA guns
"¢ 72 field guns
"¢ 6 infantry/motorcycle battalions



Germany

"¢ 674 tanks (including 132 Panzer III and Panzer IV)
"¢ 112 armored cars
"¢ 165 AT guns (including 27 8.8cm FlaK L/56)
"¢ 72 AA guns
"¢ 108 field guns (including 72 10.5cm leFH sometimes used in direct fire against the French tanks)
"¢ 54 infantry guns
"¢ 14 infantry/motorcycle battalions


I don't have time to read the linked article in-depth ATM, but the destruction of many german tanks were attributed to the excellent french 25mm and 47mm AT guns as well as the artillery.


Originally posted by Von_Rat:
it was the only large scale tank vs tank action of the campaign. there were other smaller ones i could research if you wish. but by my reading french tanks did well in a stand up fight. they just didnt get many chances for those.

the french had to withdraw because of the breakthrough at sedan.

That battle simply tells that direct comparisons of tank vs tank only make a difference if the environment doesn't favor one side (= most of the time the french fought without support by other arms while the combined arms concept was a core principle of the Wehrmacht). Here the only two really "battle-ready" french formations held up two german units (which contained a load of Panzer I and Panzer II) and achieved their mission orders (hold up german advance). That's it - and further conclusions cannot be drawn regarding tank strengths/weaknesses or similar stuff.

Dtools4fools
09-19-2007, 08:00 AM
Not that Wiki WWII production (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II) is the most accurate picture, but these numbers certainly show the trends.

Looking at those numbers I'm pretty sure the USA could have build those 25'000 Pershings. Even 35'000 or 40'000. And shipped over to Western Europe.
35'000 Pershings need less logisitcs and shipping tonnage. Because fuel, ammo (and crews) have to be brought over as well...

One diffrence in comparing Russian/French tanks to German tanks early war is that Russian/French tanks had serious disadvantages. No 5 crew layout, lack of radios, lack of cupolas, etc, etc. This disadvantgae hampered their usefulness in battle and helped the German tankers.

These disadvantages did not exist when comparing Panthers, Tigers and Shermans.

****

JtD
09-19-2007, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
your making big assumptions there and your forgeting shipping space. which was a prime reason to stick with m4 i believe.

25,000 panthers wont help you if their 3,000 miles away.

Not as big assumptions as you may think and I am also confident that I can ship a Panther for every two Shermans. Unless of course I build ships specialized to transport Shermans and try to transport Panthers with them. Eventually I could ship 2 Panthers for every 3 Shermans which leaves the question what I do with the 10000 Shermans 3000 miles away?

luftluuver
09-19-2007, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
Funny. I must have completely missed saying the ones in France were Rookies. Thanks for reminding me. Please point me towards it? So sorry for I took it as you were saying all the vets were in the east. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

Bewolf
09-19-2007, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
Funny. I must have completely missed saying the ones in France were Rookies. Thanks for reminding me. Please point me towards it? So sorry for I took it as you were saying all the vets were in the east. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No problem. I prolly could have worded it better. No harm done.

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by csThor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
it doesnt breakdown the losses by type but by the account it was pz3s and pz4s fighting against h39s and chars.

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=6699

Gives pretty much the picture:

3. PzD

PzBfWg : 29
Panzer I : 117
Panzer II : 129
Panzer III : 42
Panzer IV : 26
armored cars : 56 (including 23 with a 2.0cm L/55 gun)
3.7cm PaK L/45 : 51
2.0cm FlaK 30/38 : 24
8.8cm FlaK L/56 : 9
7.5cm leIG : 24
15cm sIG : 8
10.5cm leFH : 24
15cm sFH : 12
+ attached M.G.-Btl.7 : 12 3.7cm PaK L/45
+ attached II./Flak-Lehr-Rgt : 9 8.8cm FlaK L/56 and 24 2.0cm/3.7cm FlaK


4. PzD

PzBfWg : 15
Panzer I : 141
Panzer II : 111
Panzer III : 40
Panzer IV : 24
armored cars : 56 (including 23 with a 2.0cm L/55 gun)
3.7cm PaK L/45 : 51
2.0cm FlaK 30/38 : 24
8.8cm FlaK L/56 : 9
7.5cm leIG : 24
15cm sIG : 8
10.5cm leFH : 48
15cm sFH : 24
+ attached Pz.Jg.Abt.654 : 12 3.7cm PaK L/45
+ attached M.G.-Btl.7 : 12 3.7cm PaK L/45



TOTAL XVI. Panzerkorps

tanks : 674 (including 132 Panzer III and Panzer IV + )
armored cars : 112 (including 46 with a 2.0cm L/55 gun)
3.7cm PaK L/45 : 138
2.0cm / 3.7cm FlaK : 72
8.8cm FlaK L/56 : 27
7.5cm leIG : 48
12cm sIG : 16
10.5cm leFH : 72
15cm sFH : 36
+ 14 infantry/motorcycle battalions



2e DLM

Hotchkiss H35 : 84
Somua S35 : 88
armored cars : 107 (including 40 Panhard 178 and 67 AMR33 / AMR35 ZT1)
47mm SA37 L/53 AT guns : 8
25mm SA34/37 L/72 AT guns : 12
25mm AA guns : 6
75mm Mle1897 field guns : 24
105mm field guns : 12
+ 3 infantry/motorcycle battalions



3e DLM

Hotchkiss H35 : 22
Hotchkiss H39 : 129
Somua S35 : 88
armored cars : 40 (Panhard 178)
47mm SA37 L/53 AT guns : 8
25mm SA34/37 L/72 AT guns : 12
25mm AA guns : 6
75mm Mle1897 field guns : 24
105mm field guns : 12
+ 3 infantry/motorcycle battalions



TOTAL French cavalry corps

Hotchkiss H35 and H39 : 235
Somua S35 : 176
armored cars : 147 (including 80 Panhard 178 and 67 AMR33 / AMR35 ZT1)
47mm SA37 L/53 AT guns : 16
25mm SA34/37 L/72 AT guns : 24
25mm AA guns : 12
75mm Mle1897 field guns : 48
105mm field guns : 24
+ 6 infantry/motorcycle battalions






France

"¢ 411 tanks (including 176 Somua S35 and about 60 Hotchkiss with a 37mm L/33 SA38 gun)
"¢ 147 armored cars
"¢ 40 AT guns
"¢ 12 AA guns
"¢ 72 field guns
"¢ 6 infantry/motorcycle battalions



Germany

"¢ 674 tanks (including 132 Panzer III and Panzer IV)
"¢ 112 armored cars
"¢ 165 AT guns (including 27 8.8cm FlaK L/56)
"¢ 72 AA guns
"¢ 108 field guns (including 72 10.5cm leFH sometimes used in direct fire against the French tanks)
"¢ 54 infantry guns
"¢ 14 infantry/motorcycle battalions


I don't have time to read the linked article in-depth ATM, but the destruction of many german tanks were attributed to the excellent french 25mm and 47mm AT guns as well as the artillery.


Originally posted by Von_Rat:
it was the only large scale tank vs tank action of the campaign. there were other smaller ones i could research if you wish. but by my reading french tanks did well in a stand up fight. they just didnt get many chances for those.

the french had to withdraw because of the breakthrough at sedan.

That battle simply tells that direct comparisons of tank vs tank only make a difference if the environment doesn't favor one side (= most of the time the french fought without support by other arms while the combined arms concept was a core principle of the Wehrmacht). Here the only two really "battle-ready" french formations held up two german units (which contained a load of Panzer I and Panzer II) and achieved their mission orders (hold up german advance). That's it - and further conclusions cannot be drawn regarding tank strengths/weaknesses or similar stuff. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



after a quick skimming of that account, it sure doesnt sound like all the french tanks were "hopeless" and "flawed" to me.

not when they use phrases like "The Somua S35 tanks open fire and slaughter systematically the German tanks at long range."

csThor
09-19-2007, 12:35 PM
A Somua was one of the better tanks of 1940 when talking about the firepower/armor combo. And the 47mm cannon was definitely the best AT weapon available in Western Europe in that year - it easily surpassed the german 37mm Pak 35/36 and the czech 47mm AT guns available to the germans.

Unless, of course, we count the 88mm Flak as AT gun, that is. *tongue-in-cheek-grin* http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Von_Rat
09-19-2007, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by csThor:
A Somua was one of the better tanks of 1940 when talking about the firepower/armor combo. And the 47mm cannon was definitely the best AT weapon available in Western Europe in that year - it easily surpassed the german 37mm Pak 35/36 and the czech 47mm AT guns available to the germans.

Unless, of course, we count the 88mm Flak as AT gun, that is. *tongue-in-cheek-grin* http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

agreed,.

this whole argument got started because some are denying the advantages some french tanks had in armor and firepower, by saying these advantages were nullified by the crew layout.

i only brought up this battle because if crew layout really did nullify the french tanks superoity in guns and armour, this battle sure didnt show it. at most it made the french tanks somewhat less effective, but by this account they still sound dam effective, bad crew layout or not.

Blutarski2004
09-19-2007, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
i only brought up this battle because if crew layout really did nullify the french tanks superoity in guns and armour, this battle sure didnt show it. at most it made the french tanks somewhat less effective, but by this account they still sound dam effective, bad crew layout or not.


..... Early T34s had the same issues: 2 man turret, no radio, no observation cupola for the TC.

GerritJ9
09-19-2007, 01:49 PM
True, but in all other respects the T-34 was superior to ANY tank in 1941- sloped armour, very effective 76mm main gun, good range thanks to its diesel engine, etc. The Sherman never had a significant advantage over its opponents- and it most certainly was not the revolutionary tank the T-34 was.

Abbuzze
09-19-2007, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
i only brought up this battle because if crew layout really did nullify the french tanks superoity in guns and armour, this battle sure didnt show it. at most it made the french tanks somewhat less effective, but by this account they still sound dam effective, bad crew layout or not.


..... Early T34s had the same issues: 2 man turret, no radio, no observation cupola for the TC. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was less the layout, but more the wrong tactical use.

WWI style - using a tank as an infantery support, allocating them over the whole front. Hopeless against a fast moving german tanks groups. When french tanks counterd german, they were localy outnumbered, so the french army could not stop the the Wehrmacht tanks.
German troops without tank support on the other side were in troubles because of the french tanks at the side of the infantery. But then this french forces were often allready flanked by german tank forces.
It was not a layout problem. It was the old way they fought.

Blutarski2004
09-19-2007, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Abbuzze:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
i only brought up this battle because if crew layout really did nullify the french tanks superoity in guns and armour, this battle sure didnt show it. at most it made the french tanks somewhat less effective, but by this account they still sound dam effective, bad crew layout or not.


..... Early T34s had the same issues: 2 man turret, no radio, no observation cupola for the TC. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was less the layout, but more the wrong tactical use.

WWI style - using a tank as an infantery support, allocating them over the whole front. Hopeless against a fast moving german tanks groups. When french tanks counterd german, they were localy outnumbered, so the french army could not stop the the Wehrmacht tanks.
German troops without tank support on the other side were in troubles because of the french tanks at the side of the infantery. But then this french forces were often allready flanked by german tank forces.
It was not a layout problem. It was the old way they fought. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... I don't disagree. I was only pointing out that the technical criticisms of the French tank designs were similar to those levelled (validly IMO) toward the T34. In 1941 the T34 was only available in small numbers and was penny-packeted along the line by the Russians in much the same manner as the French spread their infantry tanks. The Germans won on both fronts due to their superior doctrine (concentration of force at the focal point, then rapid and deep penetration) and their better appreciation of the tank tactics (the 5 man crew, good observation and tactical communications).

Kurfurst__
09-19-2007, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
after a quick skimming of that account, it sure doesnt sound like all the french tanks were "hopeless" and "flawed" to me.

*sigh*

The strawmen continues. Are you only capable to deal with absolutes, and completely incapable of understanding what positions others put forward? It very much seems so. But you only hurt your own credibility with such failings, not mine.

'All French tanks' were not hopeless. The light tankettes like the R-35 and H-35 were. Their guns were simply far too week to engage the German tanks, and their armor was light, their layout was a handicap, and they were slow to top it.. The French guns capabilities have been shown, feel free to ignore those facts. These light tanks made up the bulk of the French armored force, and you can jolly dance around that fact until you see it fit. The opposing tank forces quality was in fact much more closer to each other than you wish to believe. Both sides fielded a large number of light tanks in service, but the French generally had numerical superiority in all categories. I am sure the French Army in 1940 would have loved to have Somouas instead of those 2000+ R35/H35 light infantry tanks, but they didn't have that luxury.

The point being made that the common notion that Allied tanks were qualitatively superior in 1940, and that the Wehrmacht was facing an enemy armored forced composed of superheavily armored S-35s, Char Bs and Matilda IIs is a false one.

But, if you repeatadly failed to grasp the meaning of this statement, I see little hope that it's actual meaning will sink in anywhere in the near future. You just keep coming up with paranoid strawman arguements as if somebody would write off the whole French tank force on the whole.


not when they use phrases like "The Somua S35 tanks open fire and slaughter systematically the German tanks at long range."

Phrases used by an article written by a member of the Axis history forum, probably of the age of you or me are rather irrelevant to the facts, and it tells little more than the author is probably fascinated with French tanks, in particularly the Somua 35.

Fact No.1 : In the said engagement one of the best equipped French tank units, concentrating in fact about half of the entire S-35 force met up two standard German units, mostly being composed of light tanks and a smaller number of medium tanks Pz III and IV, with the bulk being 258 Pz Is with no AT capability at all, and 240 Pz II with limited AT capability. The battle itself played hand to the French tank's strenhts, they could play their static slugfest game with their heavier Somuas, in which their layout failings were of less consequence, and their protection was greatly increased by the fact that many times they were in hull down position, presenting a very small target to start with. That was the kind of engagement the French army prepeared for : static warfare. Unfortunately that kind of warfare was the exception in 1940, engagements where the tanks ability to be a pillbox counting more than it's ability to manouver, flank and have good situational awareness and coordination were rare. In those rare engagements the heavy French tanks excelled, while loosing a dozen other engagements elsewhere at the same time which weren't following the exception under the rule of manouvering warfare.

Fact No. 2 : The battle itself was rather more complex than the primitive picture what you'd like to believe, which is something like Somuas 'slaughtering' German tanks en masse, while all French artilerry and AT guns doing nothing, then these gallant knights in their Somua armor falling in an unfair fight against Stukas and 88s and never to enemy tanks, because that would be sooo dishonesting.. Balloney.

Fact No. 3 : My statements regarding the very limited use for the most numerous H-35 (and the similiar R-35) against enemy tanks is confirmed even by that article.

Fact No. 4 : The French still had lost, leaving the battlefield and the damaged tanks to the Wehrmacht, despite these advantages they enjoyed.

Fact No. 5 : Considering the above facts, and fact that the French Somuas in this battle enjoyed numerical superiority over German tanks (176 Somuas vs. 132 Panzer III and Panzer IV, which could actually engage each other with a hope of success, the H-35/PzI/II was not in the same weight class obviously), it's difficult to find a convincing evidence based on the comperative losses even here that even if these losses are attributed to the Somuas merits (armor and gun), rather than some other factor mentioned above.

What, 1.5 times better loss rate against a force that is attacking against hull down tank positions, and has fewer 'heavy' tank types..? It would be a rather poor analouge with Tiger heavy battalions which quite typically enjoyed a 8 to 15 : 1 'exchange rate' vs. enemy tanks, making the use of the word 'slaughter' rather more appropriate..

Waldo.Pepper
09-19-2007, 05:04 PM
So its settled then.

A Sherman can out turn a Tiger.

jarink
09-19-2007, 08:05 PM
No matter what it's faults (and I'm shocked no one has yet brought up the crappy optics fitted to Shermans that all but precluded accurate long-range fire), the Sherman did certainly have it's uses...
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif
http://www.greatdreams.com/war/sherman_flamethrower.jpg
http://www.secondworldwarhistory.com/imgs/m4_shermand.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Sherman_crab_flail_tank.jpg/634px-Sherman_crab_flail_tank.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/Sherman_DD_tanks_crossing_the_Rhine.jpg

By far the best version for fighting other tanks:
The M4A3E2 "Jumbo" with a 76mm gun
http://www.brickmania.com/store_pages/store_images/Sherman_Jumbo.jpg

luftluuver
09-19-2007, 08:31 PM
The Sherman 17Pdr Firefly was mentioned. The problem with this gun was it was not that accurate though if did manage to hit its target, the target was destroyed.

I have a question on the Sherman with the radial engine. Did the engine have to turned over (pulled through) by hand like radials on a/c?

mortoma
09-19-2007, 08:56 PM
What about the Sherman report on the German??
Sorry I could not resist the lame humor.....

Von_Rat
09-20-2007, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:
after a quick skimming of that account, it sure doesnt sound like all the french tanks were "hopeless" and "flawed" to me.

*sigh*

The strawmen continues. Are you only capable to deal with absolutes, and completely incapable of understanding what positions others put forward? It very much seems so. But you only hurt your own credibility with such failings, not mine.

'All French tanks' were not hopeless. The light tankettes like the R-35 and H-35 were. Their guns were simply far too week to engage the German tanks, and their armor was light, their layout was a handicap, and they were slow to top it.. The French guns capabilities have been shown, feel free to ignore those facts. These light tanks made up the bulk of the French armored force, and you can jolly dance around that fact until you see it fit. The opposing tank forces quality was in fact much more closer to each other than you wish to believe. Both sides fielded a large number of light tanks in service, but the French generally had numerical superiority in all categories. I am sure the French Army in 1940 would have loved to have Somouas instead of those 2000+ R35/H35 light infantry tanks, but they didn't have that luxury.

The point being made that the common notion that Allied tanks were qualitatively superior in 1940, and that the Wehrmacht was facing an enemy armored forced composed of superheavily armored S-35s, Char Bs and Matilda IIs is a false one.

But, if you repeatadly failed to grasp the meaning of this statement, I see little hope that it's actual meaning will sink in anywhere in the near future. You just keep coming up with paranoid strawman arguements as if somebody would write off the whole French tank force on the whole.


not when they use phrases like "The Somua S35 tanks open fire and slaughter systematically the German tanks at long range."

Phrases used by an article written by a member of the Axis history forum, probably of the age of you or me are rather irrelevant to the facts, and it tells little more than the author is probably fascinated with French tanks, in particularly the Somua 35.

Fact No.1 : In the said engagement one of the best equipped French tank units, concentrating in fact about half of the entire S-35 force met up two standard German units, mostly being composed of light tanks and a smaller number of medium tanks Pz III and IV, with the bulk being 258 Pz Is with no AT capability at all, and 240 Pz II with limited AT capability. The battle itself played hand to the French tank's strenhts, they could play their static slugfest game with their heavier Somuas, in which their layout failings were of less consequence, and their protection was greatly increased by the fact that many times they were in hull down position, presenting a very small target to start with. That was the kind of engagement the French army prepeared for : static warfare. Unfortunately that kind of warfare was the exception in 1940, engagements where the tanks ability to be a pillbox counting more than it's ability to manouver, flank and have good situational awareness and coordination were rare. In those rare engagements the heavy French tanks excelled, while loosing a dozen other engagements elsewhere at the same time which weren't following the exception under the rule of manouvering warfare.

Fact No. 2 : The battle itself was rather more complex than the primitive picture what you'd like to believe, which is something like Somuas 'slaughtering' German tanks en masse, while all French artilerry and AT guns doing nothing, then these gallant knights in their Somua armor falling in an unfair fight against Stukas and 88s and never to enemy tanks, because that would be sooo dishonesting.. Balloney.

Fact No. 3 : My statements regarding the very limited use for the most numerous H-35 (and the similiar R-35) against enemy tanks is confirmed even by that article.

Fact No. 4 : The French still had lost, leaving the battlefield and the damaged tanks to the Wehrmacht, despite these advantages they enjoyed.

Fact No. 5 : Considering the above facts, and fact that the French Somuas in this battle enjoyed numerical superiority over German tanks (176 Somuas vs. 132 Panzer III and Panzer IV, which could actually engage each other with a hope of success, the H-35/PzI/II was not in the same weight class obviously), it's difficult to find a convincing evidence based on the comperative losses even here that even if these losses are attributed to the Somuas merits (armor and gun), rather than some other factor mentioned above.

What, 1.5 times better loss rate against a force that is attacking against hull down tank positions, and has fewer 'heavy' tank types..? It would be a rather poor analouge with Tiger heavy battalions which quite typically enjoyed a 8 to 15 : 1 'exchange rate' vs. enemy tanks, making the use of the word 'slaughter' rather more appropriate.. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


fact one: you fail to grasp that in 1940 the chars somas and mattys outnumbered the p3s 4s. because of this fact the other lighter tanks are irrevlent to this dicussion, except for the fact that many of them like the h39s could kill p3s and 4s. the same cant be said for the pz2s which couldnt dent somas or chars. the whole point of this discussion is that the germans in 1940 had fewer large tanks with weaker armor and guns, yet still won.

fact two: your repeated attempts to write off the large allied tanks are pathic. true they had defects, but so did german tanks. the panzers number one flaws were poor armour and weak guns. the same defects that shermans had when facing panthers. thats the whole point of the discussion, which you also lack the ability to grasp.

fact three; in that battle the major cause of loss among the larger allied tanks wasnt german tanks, its was from the lw and at guns. the actually exchange rate tank vs tank is unknown but was certainly better than 1.5 to 1. especially given that the germans had total air control plus the vaunted 88s were on the scene. not to mention that they had better tank doctrine. if large french tanks suffered so badly from hopless crew layout as YOU stated earlier, it sure didnt effect them much in this battle.

fact 5; as with german planes, you cannot accept that all ww2 german equipment wasnt uber.

Sergio_101
09-20-2007, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
The Sherman 17Pdr Firefly was mentioned. The problem with this gun was it was not that accurate though if did manage to hit its target, the target was destroyed.

I have a question on the Sherman with the radial engine. Did the engine have to turned over (pulled through) by hand like radials on a/c?

Mag switches off, there was a hand crank.
yes, you had to purge the oil from the bottom cylinders or
risk fowling the plug(s).
Like an aircraft engine hydraulic lock could also occour.
Same issues, same cures. Pull the bottom spark plugs.

After so many turns the mags were turned on and off you went.

I could be wrong, but I believe in all cases it was an inertia starter.

Sergio