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Old 30th November 2017, 09:44 AM   #1
kookbreaker
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All about Tonks! Errr...Tanks!

So since the other thread was supposed to be about Generals preparing for the last war but sidled up to a discussion about tanks its probably a good idea to make a thread about WW1 & WW2 tank design. I'm sure we'll end up talking about modern tanks as well if this gets going.

Subjects may include:
  • Tanks that never were
  • Why certain tanks sucked or were awesome or were bizarre
  • "What were they thinking?" odd moments in tank design.
  • .etc. No point in me limiting topics

So for Tanks that Never Were (at least not in production) I like to look at the US Medium Tank M7. This was supposed to be a light tank that could carry a Sherman level 75mm but quickly bloated into a 29 ton Medium tank that held no advantage over the Sherman - yet tons of money was still spent on its development. Eventually the M24 would become the US Light Tank.
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Old 30th November 2017, 10:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post

So for Tanks that Never Were (at least not in production) I like to look at the US Medium Tank M7. This was supposed to be a light tank that could carry a Sherman level 75mm but quickly bloated into a 29 ton Medium tank that held no advantage over the Sherman - yet tons of money was still spent on its development. Eventually the M24 would become the US Light Tank.
Speaking of the M24... what do people think of the US's fascination with light tanks? I seems like - by late war - most other countries didn't use light tank formations to nearly the same degree, preferring medium tanks (Cromwell etc).

Should the US have just built more Shermans?
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Old 30th November 2017, 11:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Speaking of the M24... what do people think of the US's fascination with light tanks? I seems like - by late war - most other countries didn't use light tank formations to nearly the same degree, preferring medium tanks (Cromwell etc).

Should the US have just built more Shermans?
No, we should have built more Pershings. A tank that was at least level to anything Germany had except the King Tiger. Many tank crews lives would've been spared had we gone with half as many Pershing's than Shermans. Its one of the allies big blunders of the war really.
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Old 30th November 2017, 11:25 AM   #4
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Some interesting test data on various guns and projectiles fired on a Panther test subject.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...o5SzJZNWJfdS1R

Interesting to note the performance of the humble 6pdr against a big cat.
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Old 30th November 2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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Not sure if anyone could afford to go half-and-half with the heavies. Well, I suppose the USA could afford it technically, but it would have been very expensive nevertheless. Still, at least SOME heavies to help the mediums along would have gone a long way.

That said, a better medium would also have gone a long way.
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Old 30th November 2017, 11:37 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
No, we should have built more Pershings. A tank that was at least level to anything Germany had except the King Tiger. Many tank crews lives would've been spared had we gone with half as many Pershing's than Shermans. Its one of the allies big blunders of the war really.
Obviously it's a better tank in a stand up fight but presumably Pershings might have been a little more challenged in the "Light Tank" role?
(Sherman: about 30 tons and 450 hp, Pershing: about 40 tons and 450ish hp)

and in Korea (from wiki):
"the automotive deficiencies of the M26 in the mountainous Korean terrain became more of a liability, and so all M26s were withdrawn from Korea during 1951 and replaced with M4A3 Shermans "
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Old 30th November 2017, 11:39 AM   #7
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
No, we should have built more Pershings. A tank that was at least level to anything Germany had except the King Tiger. Many tank crews lives would've been spared had we gone with half as many Pershing's than Shermans. Its one of the allies big blunders of the war really.
It wasn't a blunder.

There were very good reasons for not deploying the Pershing, not least it was fat, slow, unreliable and would have vastly complicated logistics.

Besides, the M4 was well able to deal with the vast majority of threats that it faced. Tiger II's were very rare indeed, with the entire production run being < 500 units and itself was a ghastly piece of over-engineered rubbish, clocking in at an appalling 59% reliability rate.

The overwhelming majority of enemy AFV's encountered in north west Europe in '44-'45 were Stug III and Pz IV and the bog standard 75mm equipped M4's had no problem dealing with them.
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
It wasn't a blunder.

There were very good reasons for not deploying the Pershing, not least it was fat, slow, unreliable and would have vastly complicated logistics.

Besides, the M4 was well able to deal with the vast majority of threats that it faced. Tiger II's were very rare indeed, with the entire production run being < 500 units and itself was a ghastly piece of over-engineered rubbish, clocking in at an appalling 59% reliability rate.

The overwhelming majority of enemy AFV's encountered in north west Europe in '44-'45 were Stug III and Pz IV and the bog standard 75mm equipped M4's had no problem dealing with them.
Pershings were more medium-heavy than heavy tanks. They actually weighed less than Panthers (this is more a response to another poster). Maybe they weren't perfect but the US Army should have had something by 1944.

Sorry, but it took almost silly amounts of complacency for SHAEF to go into Normandy with nothing better than 75mm armed Sherman tanks. Various generals were (figuratively) screaming for better tanks even before then (ie Devers). They didn't just fare poorly against Tigger II's. They were well inferior to Panthers, and PzIV (with the 75mm/48), not to mention various AT guns, and self propelled AT.

Casualties were appaling.

(URL here that i was going to post but can't since my original account is deleted, corrupted, or something)

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Old 30th November 2017, 12:09 PM   #9
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Exactly as above. Pushing up the size was the big mistake the Germans made. They lost reliability and gained logistics problems. Plus. bigger tanks means bigger transporters and bigger bridging equipment.
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:19 PM   #10
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Pershings were more medium-heavy than heavy tanks. They actually weighed less than Panthers (this is more a response to another poster). Maybe they weren't perfect but the US Army should have had something by 1944.

Sorry, but it took almost silly amounts of complacency for SHAEF to go into Normandy with nothing better than 75mm armed Sherman tanks. Various generals were (figuratively) screaming for better tanks even before then (ie Devers). They didn't just fare poorly against Tigger II's. They were well inferior to Panthers, and PzIV (with the 75mm/48), not to mention various AT guns, and self propelled AT.

Casualties were appaling.

(URL here that i was going to post but can't since my original account is deleted, corrupted, or something)
The M26 was a busted flush. It was underpowered and unreliable. Introducing it in numbers would have vastly complicated logistics for no real value.

I'd love to see a source stating how M4's performed poorly against PzIV's.

They did pretty well against Panthers at Arracourt.

How were casualties appalling? Average losses per M4 destroyed were 0.37 fatalities and 0.8 wounded. US casualties in tanks were just over 3% compared to 18.5% for infantry.
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Speaking of the M24... what do people think of the US's fascination with light tanks? I seems like - by late war - most other countries didn't use light tank formations to nearly the same degree, preferring medium tanks (Cromwell etc).

Should the US have just built more Shermans?
Light Tanks were useful in the reconnaissance role. British forces still use a light tank for recce, the Scimitar.
Fast and low profile, they see and run if they are used correctly.
You just have to remember they are recce vehicles not battle tanks, don't force them to go head to head with an enemy tank or emplacement. and you are OK.
British recce companies had a mix of light tanks and Cromwells to back them up if they got into a fight, these were as fast as a light tank but armed and armoured on a level with a Sherman or PZ IV.
Stuart ight tanks were used with their turrets removed and a ring or pintle mounted .50cal as a tracked recce car right up to the end of the war.
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Exactly as above. Pushing up the size was the big mistake the Germans made. They lost reliability and gained logistics problems. Plus. bigger tanks means bigger transporters and bigger bridging equipment.
Yes, and bigger rail cars to get them from factory to dock, and bigger ships to ship them across the ocean, and then the added complication of maintaining a stock of spares and all the trained engineers and mechanics.....
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:23 PM   #13
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Where a mistake was made was with the Tank Destroyers. the M10, M18 and M36.
They looked like tanks, (the M10 and M36 sharing the same lower hull and suspension etc as a Sherman adding to the look) and to infantry commanders in the field they were tanks. Unfortunately they didn't have the armour of a tank and their turrets were just lightweight open topped enclosures. They were self propelled anti tank guns. hey would regularly getmangled when forced in to the tank role.
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
The M26 was a busted flush. It was underpowered and unreliable. Introducing it in numbers would have vastly complicated logistics for no real value.

I'd love to see a source stating how M4's performed poorly against PzIV's.

They did pretty well against Panthers at Arracourt.

How were casualties appalling? Average losses per M4 destroyed were 0.37 fatalities and 0.8 wounded. US casualties in tanks were just over 3% compared to 18.5% for infantry.
Yes but infrantymen outnumbered tank crewmen by a huge factor. Even in an armored div there were no more than a 1000 tank crewmen versus about 10,000 in an infantry div (also there were infantrymen in an Arm Div), and the US Army had about 10 times as many infantry divisions as armored.

I don't know about poorly against PzIV's they were just about on a par with them (with the 76mm M1).

As for source, see Death Traps by Belton Cooper (again I cant post a link).
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Yes but infrantymen outnumbered tank crewmen by a huge factor. Even in an armored div there were no more than a 1000 tank crewmen versus about 10,000 in an infantry div (also there were infantrymen in an Arm Div), and the US Army had about 10 times as many infantry divisions as armored.

I don't know about poorly against PzIV's they were just about on a par with them (with the 76mm M1).

As for source, see Death Traps by Belton Cooper (again I cant post a link).
You do realise I quoted casualty rates not casualty numbers? Don't you?

Belton Cooper's Death Traps is not a reliable source. Cooper was a mechanic responsible for recovering knocked-out tanks and Death Traps is a memoir, not a researched historical work.

As he only ever saw knocked-out M4's its not surprising that he had a biased view of them. He never got to see healthy, happy M4's frolicking in the fields of France.

What's more Cooper presents as facts things that he surmises or outright fabricates and veers off into hyperbole.

Its not a valid source. Don't use it.

Here is a more thorough debunking

https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/01/2...htraps-part-1/

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Old 30th November 2017, 12:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
You do realise I quoted casualty rates not casualty numbers? Don't you?

Belton Cooper's Death Traps is not a reliable source. Cooper was a mechanic responsible for recovering knocked-out tanks and Death Traps is a memoir, not a researched historical work.

As he only ever saw knocked-out M4's its not surprising that he had a biased view of them. He never got to see healthy, happy M4's frolicking in the fields of France.

What's more Cooper presents as facts things that he surmises or outright fabricates and veers off into hyperbole.

Its not a valid source. Don't use it.

Here is a more thorough debunking
I thought you meant 3% of all US war casualties were tankers, and 18% were infantrymen?? There were more than 6 times as many infantrymen as tank crewmen.

The .37 per tank strikes me as too low to be believable, unless it includes tanks abandoned rather than destroyed by enemy fire.

ETA: and in the comments section of your linked article:

"Having said all of this, the Sherman (especially the 75mm variants) was a weak AT weapon. The flawed US Tank Destroyer doctrine had the Shermans mostly mounting a low velocity 75mm gun. Even at point blank range, the Sherman could not penetrate a Tiger or Panther. It did do well against PZ IVs, however. Sherman optics were also not as good as German optics and it did get mired in the mud more often because of its track design."

The US Army would have been better served with something better, even if it was in addition to the Sherman rather than replacing it. It was a great infantry support tank.

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Old 30th November 2017, 01:02 PM   #17
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What do the experts think of the Swedish Stridsvagn 103? No turret- fixe gun aimed using suspension and tracks.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I thought you meant 3% of all US war casualties were tankers, and 18% were infantrymen?? There were more than 6 times as many infantrymen as tank crewmen.

The .37 per tank strikes me as too low to be believable, unless it includes tanks abandoned rather than destroyed by enemy fire.

ETA: and in the comments section of your linked article:
It really doesn't matter if you find it believable or not, these were the results of a US 1st Army study of over 500 knocked out tanks.

Another study, also done by the US 1st Army on 898 knocked out M4's found and average casualty rate of 0.98 per tank (killed and wounded).

Quote:
"Having said all of this, the Sherman (especially the 75mm variants) was a weak AT weapon. The flawed US Tank Destroyer doctrine had the Shermans mostly mounting a low velocity 75mm gun. Even at point blank range, the Sherman could not penetrate a Tiger or Panther. It did do well against PZ IVs, however. Sherman optics were also not as good as German optics and it did get mired in the mud more often because of its track design."

The US Army would have been better served with something better, even if it was in addition to the Sherman rather than replacing it.
The highlighted bit is demonstrably not true. See the test results I posted further up the thread, and the M4 was already being up-gunned with the 76mm by D-Day.

What were they going to replace it with? The M4 saw service in Korea and Yom Kippur. It remained a competitive design into the 1970's. Guess it must have really sucked then?

It was arguably the best tank design of the war, and apart from the T34, no other tank WWII tank enjoyed such longevity.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:14 PM   #19
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Btw, if we're talking "I wonder what they were smoking" kind of designs, I would humbly nominate the Vickers A1E1 Independent. No less than 5 turrets, nearly impossible to steer, tank tears itself apart when trying to turn, etc.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
What do the experts think of the Swedish Stridsvagn 103? No turret- fixe gun aimed using suspension and tracks.
It's actually not very unusual a design, except for using the suspension instead of a mantlet, once you remember that it's NOT a tank, it's a tank destroyer. It's really an evolution of what a WW2 German tank destroyer used to look like, and a couple of British ones too at that. With modern technologies, yeah, you can make that work.

As a tank destroyer, it's also not supposed to fire in all sorts of angles on the move. This thing would ideally wait in an ambush position, take a couple of tanks out, and bugger right off if the going gets too tough. In that role, you don't really need to traverse that gun very fast, and the low height also helps.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Btw, if we're talking "I wonder what they were smoking" kind of designs, I would humbly nominate the Vickers A1E1 Independent. No less than 5 turrets, nearly impossible to steer, tank tears itself apart when trying to turn, etc.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
What do the experts think of the Swedish Stridsvagn 103? No turret- fixe gun aimed using suspension and tracks.
Good idea but it has problems.
Using the suspension for elevation means that to give it a good range the wheelbase has to be kept relatively short.
This restricts the length of the tank which puts restrictions on the width of the vehicle and more importantly the total weight.
This in turn restricts the amount of armour, size of the gun, number of rounds, total fuel etc.
Having to aim a fixed gun means the tank can only fire while stationary. It has to turn the entire vehicle to engage flank targets, it effectively restricts it to firing from pre planned positions.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:36 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Btw, if we're talking "I wonder what they were smoking" kind of designs, I would humbly nominate the Vickers A1E1 Independent. No less than 5 turrets, nearly impossible to steer, tank tears itself apart when trying to turn, etc.
The SOviets had their own attempt at a multi turreted "Land Battleship" in the T-35.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-35

It was not the disaster that the AIEI was,but it was still a failed design.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I thought you meant 3% of all US war casualties were tankers, and 18% were infantrymen?? There were more than 6 times as many infantrymen as tank crewmen.

The .37 per tank strikes me as too low to be believable, unless it includes tanks abandoned rather than destroyed by enemy fire.
Its pretty accurate. But different nations did have different ways of considering what was 'knocked-out' as far as tanks went. The US considered a tank knocked out if it wasn't back in service within 24 hours, while Germans didn't consider a tank lost until there was absolutely no chance of recovering it (which is why when Germany realized there was no re-taking France from the Allies their figures look like nukes were suddenly used).

Quote:
ETA: and in the comments section of your linked article:

"Having said all of this, the Sherman (especially the 75mm variants) was a weak AT weapon. The flawed US Tank Destroyer doctrine had the Shermans mostly mounting a low velocity 75mm gun. Even at point blank range, the Sherman could not penetrate a Tiger or Panther. It did do well against PZ IVs, however. Sherman optics were also not as good as German optics and it did get mired in the mud more often because of its track design."

The US Army would have been better served with something better, even if it was in addition to the Sherman rather than replacing it. It was a great infantry support tank.
There wasn't much call, frankly. You realize that American tanks encountered the Tiger I all of 3 confirmed times in the Northern European campaign? Frankly the 75mm had a better HE round that the 76mm or 90mm and was of more use. As for the Tiger II, well, wasn't one of those taken out by a Greyhound armored car?

I'll add to the chorus of stating thet 'Death Traps' is a terrible source to judge the Sherman on. The Sherman was reliable, tough, and numerous. Wasting resources developing a heavier tank was playing the German's game and the Germans weren't playing that game very well.

For fun here is Nicholas (The Cheiftain) Moran discussing the Sherman Tank and its qualities on C-SPAN.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?433629...k-world-war-ii

During the Q&A period someone asks him about Belton Cooper and how he would convince him. The reply "I would ask him: 'of all the Sherman crewmen you talked to, how many were alive?'?"
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:51 PM   #25
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As far as taking on the big German stuff, the British and Commonwealth forces got round it by putting the 17pdr in to a 75mm gun Sherman and making the Firefly. Even then the 75mm had a far better HE round and as the war progressed and fewer tanks were encountered this was more important than the AP capability so there was never any plan to completely replace the standard 75mm Sherman.
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Old 30th November 2017, 02:02 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
As far as taking on the big German stuff, the British and Commonwealth forces got round it by putting the 17pdr in to a 75mm gun Sherman and making the Firefly. Even then the 75mm had a far better HE round and as the war progressed and fewer tanks were encountered this was more important than the AP capability so there was never any plan to completely replace the standard 75mm Sherman.
Also note that US could have had the 76mm in the Sherman much earlier but the crews (specifically the turret crew) looked at the turret which was now super-cramped with this bigger gun (which was smaller in the 75mm design) and said "Nope!". The Commonwealth tankers had the same issue but put up with it.
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Old 30th November 2017, 02:22 PM   #27
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Here is a Website with more information about Sherman variants than anyone will ever want to know.
If you model Shermans this is a bible.

http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/index.html
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Old 30th November 2017, 02:22 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
As far as taking on the big German stuff, the British and Commonwealth forces got round it by putting the 17pdr in to a 75mm gun Sherman and making the Firefly. Even then the 75mm had a far better HE round and as the war progressed and fewer tanks were encountered this was more important than the AP capability so there was never any plan to completely replace the standard 75mm Sherman.
Also worth pointing out that while the Tiger I had OK all-round armour, it wasn't fantastic. Yes it was really good against 2pdrs but at 100mm effective frontal, it was about the same as the M4 and T34.

Meanwhile the Panther had a very effective frontal glacis but its overall armour scheme was horribad - the mantlet tended to deflect shots down through the roof over the driver and the 40mm side armour could literally be penetrated by anti-tank rifles. This for a tank that weighed about the same as a Centurion!
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Old 30th November 2017, 02:39 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Also worth pointing out that while the Tiger I had OK all-round armour, it wasn't fantastic. Yes it was really good against 2pdrs but at 100mm effective frontal, it was about the same as the M4 and T34.

Meanwhile the Panther had a very effective frontal glacis but its overall armour scheme was horribad - the mantlet tended to deflect shots down through the roof over the driver and the 40mm side armour could literally be penetrated by anti-tank rifles. This for a tank that weighed about the same as a Centurion!
It is all to do with the lessons learned from the big tank battles in North Africa and Russia.
These battles in open country started with opposing vehicles seeing each other at longish distance and turning towards each other. They chose to concentrate on frontal armour and gun size which was fine if all your battles were in open country and head on but a fatal flaw in close country.
To do this they built an all new tank rather than evolving an existing design and the new engine was unreliable.
Instead of concentrating on improving the Panther they made another leap in size to the Tiger 2 and compounded the reliability problems.

As for the Tiger 1, remember it was Sherman Firefly tanks that got Whitman and the rest of his unit .
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Old 30th November 2017, 02:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Meanwhile the Panther had a very effective frontal glacis but its overall armour scheme was horribad - the mantlet tended to deflect shots down through the roof over the driver and the 40mm side armour could literally be penetrated by anti-tank rifles. This for a tank that weighed about the same as a Centurion!
And the Soviet Union had a looooooooooooot of Anti-Tank Rifles.

Also often unmentioned is that German steel, especially late in the war, was very brittle and prone to spalling and even cracking under HE round fire.

The German 'Big Cats' were really pigs.
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Old 30th November 2017, 02:50 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post

As for the Tiger 1, remember it was Sherman Firefly tanks that got Whitman and the rest of his unit .
Was it Hans noting in the other thread that SS Units tended to have a 'YOLO' complex and did their own thing on the battlefield as they pleased? Wittman's (who was probably more propaganda that skill) death seems a perfect example of this.
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:15 PM   #32
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Yeah, it was me. As I said there, Sepp Dietrich actually got decorate for disobeying a direct order that came directly from Hitler. You know, when the whole army got the order to stop and fortify across a canal, instead of advancing on Dunkirk, the dude did a YOLO charge across the channel and up a hill the very next morning. And they pinned more bling on him for it.

Eventually they apparently got tired of disobeying everything that came through the Heer and pretty much just went, "Screw you, guys! I'm making my own HQ! With blackjack! And hookers!" Well, not in those exact words, but they did make their own HQ.

Though as mentioned in the other thread (I think it was Hubert), they were not the only ones. Rommel got promoted for his "Ghost Division" stunt, where even his superiors had no idea where the hell he is and WTH he's doing. Then proceeded to go all offensive in Africa when he was supposed to just reinforce the Italians, AND then sassed the HQ for not giving him the supplies and reinforcements for his little offensive. While they were busy gathering those supplies for Barbarossa.

But, hey, he was BFF with Hitler, so what can ya do, eh?
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:29 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Meanwhile the Panther had a very effective frontal glacis but its overall armour scheme was horribad - the mantlet tended to deflect shots down through the roof over the driver and the 40mm side armour could literally be penetrated by anti-tank rifles. This for a tank that weighed about the same as a Centurion!
Not really, no. Or rather only on paper, and only for a limited time.

While the 14.5×114mm round used by the Soviets TECHNICALLY could just about penetrate 40mm at armour with the tungsten-core ammo, that was at 100m or below and if you hit exactly perpendicular... and if you were very lucky. The very high speed and small core meant that actually the tungsten round had a pretty high probability to shatter on impact instead of penetrating anything, especially if you didn't hit exatly perpendicular to the armour.

AND that only lasted until they added those sheet metal skirts, anyway. Those were enough to deflect even 45mm rounds enough so they didn't penetrate most of the time, so AT rifles didn't have a chance any more either.


Besides, if you're seriously comparing it to the '45 Centurion, that one only had 38mm armour on the sides... So, really, WTH is your point? That at around the same weight (but not really: the Centurion was about 20% heavier) the Centurion actually had weaker sides? How the heck is that supposed to be disparraging for the Panther?
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:37 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

AND that only lasted until they added those sheet metal skirts, anyway. Those were enough to deflect even 45mm rounds enough so they didn't penetrate most of the time, so AT rifles didn't have a chance any more either.
It happened enough that they felt the need to add those skirts, and that was more weight on an already severely overburdened transmission.
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:38 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The SOviets had their own attempt at a multi turreted "Land Battleship" in the T-35.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-35

It was not the disaster that the AIEI was,but it was still a failed design.
Actually, I'll disagree with your last paragraph: it was EXACTLY the same disaster as the A1E1. Same 5 turrets, bad length to with ratio, and all

Arguably even a bigger disaster, since it actually got put into production
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:48 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, I'll disagree with your last paragraph: it was EXACTLY the same disaster as the A1E1. Same 5 turrets, bad length to with ratio, and all

Arguably even a bigger disaster, since it actually got put into production
At least the T 35 did not pull itself apart if it tried to move.....

But ,yeah, it was a bad design. I suspect the only reason it saw production was the Stalinist obsession with bigness.
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:51 PM   #37
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The last combat between Shermans and PZ IV's that I know of happened in 1973, when the Israeli Super Shermans met some modernized Syrian PZ IV in the fighting on the Golan Heights.
The last Shermans to be on active service were probably those in Chile. As the Israelis phased out the Super Sherman in the 70's they sold them to Chile, where they remained on active service until replace by Leopard Ones in 1999.
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:55 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
It happened enough that they felt the need to add those skirts, and that was more weight on an already severely overburdened transmission.
Those skirts were added mostly because of 45mm rounds -- which really is what most Pathers were lost to before those skirts -- not miraculously-lucky point-blank exactly-perpendicular hits from AT rifles, and using the very rare tungsten-core ammo to boot.

Especially since the PTRD only had 5000 copies produced during the whole war, and the less reliable PTRS even less. So I'm not sure what makes people assume that THAT was the overwhelming factor in redesigning the Panther. I mean, by way of comparison. the 45mm AT guns produced alone are as follows:

- 45mm anti-tank gun M1937 (53-K): 37,354 guns
- 45mm anti-tank gun M1942 (M-42): 10,843 guns
- 45mm BT-7 tanks, all variants, anwhere between about 3000 to over 5000, depending on whose numbers you believe
(the earlier 45 mm anti-tank gun M1932 (19-K) was probably all but gone from units by the time of the Panther, so I'm not gonna add that one.)

But yeah, let's pretend that it was about 8000 AT rifles that scared the crap out of Panthers
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Old 30th November 2017, 03:56 PM   #39
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Wheras the French used Panthers up to 1949 since they had nothing else available, but tossed them aside as soon as they could.
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Old 30th November 2017, 04:03 PM   #40
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I have been following the development of a movie called Panzer88. Sadly it did not get funding. It was a showcase of paper panzers and real German tanks fighting a monster in Russia. The special effects would have taken place at Peter Jackson's WETA workshop in New Zealand. Peter Jackson made an early start and made a plastic replica PzKpfw IV G.

The main tank in the movie was a King tiger with, of all things, Schürzen.
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