5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

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Richard Anderson
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Sep 2020 00:57

Delwin wrote:
16 Sep 2020 19:52
Still - even with properly functioning projectiles 76 mm/3-Inch the penetration would not be sufficient. Of course shattering "helped' a lot...
Well, the 3"/76mm projectile issue was so problematic that we don't really know what the penetration of the guns should have been. Ordnance "calculated" that the APC should have penetrated the Tiger I and inferred that it would also penetrate the Panther...except that it couldn't. How much of that was wishful thinking, poor testing processes, and poor analysis is anyone's guess now, since there isn't a good paper trail for what actually happened...I don't know if Ordnance covered its tracks postwar, certainly Barnes actively tried to shift blame to the Armored Board and AGF, so it is possible. I do know that Aberdeen produced specially machined test projectiles for gun testing and have often wondered if that may have skewed test results, but again that is a trail that is hard to follow. Lastly, there is the issue of the quality of the test plates they fired at...American machined plate was more ductile than German, so that may have been an issue.
Fully agree - it is highly unlikely that (even if the gun was available) anybody would have contemplated using UK. On the other hand - 17-pdr history clearly shows that it was perfectly possible to put into even "small" turret so putting bigger gun into T23 should not be a problem. Actually it was fully possible to modify the turret for 90mm.
Actually, I'm not sure that would be perfectly possible, although it would be imperfectly possible. :lol: The 17-pdr Mark IV was developed to mate with the trunnions and trunnion bearing surfaces of the M34A1 Gun Mount as found on the 75mm-armed Medium Tanks M4-series, which were mounted on the inner face of the mounting. The M34A1 also had a convenient "hole for the co-axial telescope and can be readily machined in the bottom center to facilitate maximum depression". Perhaps perversely, Ordnance designed the M62 Gun Mount for the 76mm-armed T23 and M4, with the trunnions and trunnion bearing surfaces on the outer face of the mount. :roll: It is also unclear if the telescope mounting would fit. All that means that the 17-pdr Mark IV would have to be redesigned again to make it work. (In reality, the change in the trunnion design was for a good reason, it moved the gun forward in the mounting, improving room in the turret and the balance of the gun, but still... :lol: )

It's seemingly minor issues like these that can turn out to have unintended consequences.
Yes, but 17-pdr ABCBC was widely available while HVAP sadly not. Zaloga quotes documents requesting "one-off" requirement for 43000 pieces for ETO (half for 76mm and half for 3inch) and 10000 monthly afterwards. This was estimated level of requirements - which makes actual deliveries heavily insufficient.
Actually, the 17-pdr APCBC did not begin full-rate production until the second half of 1944 and it was relatively scarce, as was 17-pdr HVDS (APDS), until September-October 1944. Before that the typical round available was the 17-pdr APC...but the test results at Isigny were from APCBC.

Anyway, yes, production of APCR was inadequate, only 27,000 rounds of 3"/76mm was produced in 1944...and just 57,000 rounds in the first half of 1945. The 10,000-round per month goal was achieved in November, but by then only 17,000 total were produced. The British, without the massive machine tooling requirement of the Americans, were better able to shift tungsten carbide to "wasteful" projectile production than the Americans were. More damning though was that American Ordnance did ZERO to improve the standard 76mm AP or APC rounds, but did for 90mm AP rounds.
That's other story- I believe that final negative view of McNair and concept of TDs is partially unfair. It needs to be stated that because of this imperfect idea US Army (UK as well) obtained fine piece of (mostly) mobile ATGs with well trained crews which perfectly matches the approach other armies - also cheaper than contemporary tanks. One may even say that to some extent even better than Germans or Russians - OK, they fielded heavier guns and more armor but open (although the covers were welcomed addition) turret has its advantages. Germans from the very beginning trained tank crews to act "button up", increasing their situational awareness, which is critical on the battle field. Additionally - turret itself has its very significant advantages. Consequently defensive use of the TDs was very effective - despite insufficient guns. Of course - offensive use of TDs did not make much sense.
I tend to agree. It would have been better if the TD Command had been placed under the Armored Force, but that was branch politics, which the American Army excels at.
Polish 1st Armoured had M10 17-pdr in Normandy but they started in August 1944.
Yes. The only others I have traced are the Canadian AT Rgeiments:

1st Anti-Tank Regiment, RCA (1st Cdn Div)
27th, 51st, 57th, 90th Atk Batteries, each with:
-2 Trps 6pdr ATG/FAT, 1 Trp17pdr ATG/FAT
-Oct 44 3 Trps 6pdr ATG/FAT except 90th Battery with 2 Trps Littlejohn 2pdr ATG/Jeep

2nd Anti-Tank Regiment, RCA (2nd Cdn Div)
18th, 20th, 23rd, 108th Atk Batteries, each with:
-1 Trp 6pdr ATG/Carrier, 1 Trp 17pdr ATG/FAT (replaced Fall 44 by Half-track), 1 Trp M10 (3") (replaced Spring 45 by 1 Trp Archer)

3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, RCA (3rd Cdn Div)
4th, 52nd, 94th, 105th Atk Batteries, each with:
-2 Trps 6pdr ATG/Carriers, 1 Trp M10 (3")
-Aug 44 1 Trp 6pdr ATG/Carrier, 1 Trp 17pdr ATG/Half-track, 1 Trp M10 (3") (replaced Dec 44 by 1 Trp Archer)

4th Anti-Tank Regiment, RCA (5th Cdn AD)
16th, 49th Atk Batteries, each with:
-2 Trps 6pdr ATG/FAT (replaced mid-44 by Half-track), 1Trp 17pdr ATG/Crusader or Sherman AGT
82nd, 98th Batteries, each with:
-3 Trps M10 (3"), replaced Oct 44 by 3 Trps Archer

5th Anti-Tank Regiment, RCA (4th Cdn AD)
3rd, 65th Atk Batteries, each with:
-3 Trps 17pdr ATG/Crusader AGT
14th, 96th Atk Batteries, each with:
-3 Trps M10 (17pdr)

6th Anti-Tank Regiment, RCA (2 Cdn Corps)
33rd, 56th Atk Batteries, each with:
-3 Trps M10 (3"), replaced Aug 44 by 3 Trps M10 (17pdr), replaced Nov 44 by 3 Trps Archer
74th, 103rd Atk Batteries, each with:
-3 Trps 17pdr ATG/Ram AGT

7th Anti-tank Regiment, RCA (1 Cdn Corps)
15th, 111th Atk Batteries, each with:
-3 Trps M10 (3"), replaced Dec 44 by 3 Trps M10 (17pdr)
104th, 113th Atk Batteries, each with:
-3 Trps 17pdr ATG/Crusader AGT
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Stone
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Stone » 17 Sep 2020 03:41

To aid this discussion I’ve attached several reports that describe some of the armament and tactics used by the US armored units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945. These methods were used to overcome some of the Sherman Tank’s weapon limitations.

The majority of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.

I’ve posted these reports in the subjects 'US Armored Weapons & Tactics In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945’ and ‘Field Modifications Made To US Tanks & Vehicles’ on the USA 1919 - 1945 section of the website.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 13 July 1944 -WP -XXX111.png
BattExp- Weapon ImprovUS - 14 February 1945 - M66 Heat-1 -XXX111.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -30 March 1945 -WP -XXX1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 8 March 1945 - Gyrostabilizer -XXX111.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 12 August 1944 -Tips -XXX1.png
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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Sep 2020 03:05

I found the remark in #9 of section 4 interesting.

Thanks again Mr Stone for posting this item.

Richard Stone
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Stone » 18 Sep 2020 03:25

I’ve attached several reports that describe the use of sandbags and logs by the US armored units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945 to provide additional protection. Two of the reports discuss changes made to the tank's machine guns to provide additional firepower.

The majority of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.
BattExp - ArmorModifUS - 31 August 1944 - Sandbag Armor -XXX1.png
BattExp - ArmorModifUS - 29 September 1944 - Sandbag Armor -XXX1.png
BattExp - ArmorModifUS -11 April 1945 -Log Proctection -XXX1.png
BattExp - ArmorModifUS - 11 April 1945-Tank Crew & MG -XXX1.png
BattExp - ArmorModifUS - 3 May 1945 - MG Change -XXX1.png
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Richard Stone
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Stone » 19 Sep 2020 04:28

I’ve attached several reports that describe more of the tactics and armaments modifications used by the US armored units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945. These methods were used to overcome some of the Sherman Tank’s weapon and armor limitations.

The first report was copied from the 81st Tank Battalion March 1945 After Action Report. All of the other reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.
81st Tank Batt- March 1945 -Sandbag Armor.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -11 January 1945 - 30 cal MG -XXX1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -13 August 1944 - Agression- XXX1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -3 January 1945 -XXX1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -26 October 1944 - M16 -XXX1.png
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paulrward
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by paulrward » 19 Sep 2020 15:27

Hello All :

In Posting # 173 in this thread, I stated to Mr. Ironmachine :
..........He also stated that they added armor to their tank after the Bulge, when
restrictions on adding external armor were relaxed. ( He stated that General Patton had
issued orders that NO tank crews were to add sand bags or extra plates to their tanks, to
avoid slowing them down, but after the Rhine Crossing, this order " Just sort of went away,
and guys began adding extra stuff. " ) He also stated that, on his tank, and many others,
the crews did NOT use bags of sand, but rather took sandbags, and mixed river stones,
sand, and concrete, filling the bags and securing them on the tanks, and then wetting them
down.
After the concrete had hardened, it became like stone, and was very resistant to shell
hits. He described how one M4 Sherman in his platoon took a direct hit from an 88mm gun
on the frontal concrete bags, and while it blasted a hole in the layer of bags, and ' beat the
hell out of the front armor plate ' it did not penetrate, and the crew were uninjured,
though
badly shaken up !.......

In is posting # 214, Mr. Richard Stone Posted the following :

Tanks - Sandbags.jpg

I leave the veracity of the man I spoke to up to the judgement of the members of this Forum.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Sep 2020 16:46

Re: Post 215 section 'II Armored Comments' line b caught my eye. The use of fuze delay vs targets in forest (and buildings) was SOP for us in the artillery. For the more sophisticated a mix of delay and point detonating fuze would have been used to create a mix of air and ground bursts in a forested target area.

I'm waiting to see Mr Stone post one of these describing the use of delay fuzes on open ground to create air bursts :) Something I was never trained for, & would have been considered a safety problem in training back in the day.

Michael Kenny
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Sep 2020 17:00

paulrward wrote:
19 Sep 2020 15:27



I leave the veracity of the man I spoke to up to the judgement of the members of this Forum.

Where did he confirm this?
Screensfffhot_174.jpg

Given the claim he trained on M3 mediums in England in 1944 I would say his veracity is suspect
paulrward wrote:
14 Sep 2020 23:43
He had been in the 4th Armored Division, had trained in England, on M3 Lees,
where he got his training as a tank driver.
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Michael Kenny
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Sep 2020 17:03

There is a pair of photos that suggest firing trials were carried out to see if sandbags made any difference

M4 Sandbags frontal hits (2).jpg
M4 Sandbags frontal hits (1).jpg
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paulrward
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by paulrward » 19 Sep 2020 19:10

Hello All :

To Mr. Kenney :
Tanks - M3 Lees in England.jpg

Here are two photos I found showing M3 Lees being used by the U.S. Army in England for training in 1942-
Now, obviously, they might have ended up in North Afrika - but perhaps some might have been retained
on that Green and Sceptered Isle by the U.S. Army and subsequently used for training. The fact that
he was trained to drive the tank in England implies that he had no training in the United States. I
recall he stated that he was asked by a Sergeant if he could drive ( " Hey, any of youse knows how to
drive a car ? " ) and that he was then offered a chance to join the Tanks. I DO NOT recall if this occurred
in the U.S. or in England, only that, he stated he learned to drive a tank in an M3 Lee IN ENGLAND .

Mr. Kenny, the day these conversations occurred, the Wargame Club I was a member of had staged a
wargame utilizing 1/285 scale ' Micro-Armor' tanks and vehicles, on a large set of geomorphic hex maps
that we had previously used for playing PanzerBush and the extensions to that game that subsequently
became PanzerLeader and other games. We were using what was then a new set of rules, produced by
the Wargames Research Group of Britain.

When the Sergeant mentioned the M3 Lee, one of the organizers of the game immediately dug into
the modified fishing lure box that he used to store the model tanks, and produced an M3, painted up
in Olive Drab. The Sergeant held it on the palm of his hand, pointed to it, and said, " Yeah, that's it-
you can see it had the gun on the side - I sat in the driver's seat right there...."

So, he mentioned the M3 Lee, and when one was placed in his hand, was able to point out where
the driver sat.


Now, Mr. Kenney - as for the two photos - are those photos of the same tank ? They look very similar
to me.

The Sergeant did NOT mention that he thought that sandbags would assist penetration, only that they
were added late in the war, and that one tank in his platoon had survived because of them.

I guess he didn't have access to Mr. Stone's voluminous set of records ....


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Michael Kenny
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Sep 2020 19:24

paulrward wrote:
19 Sep 2020 19:10




Here are two photos I found showing M3 Lees being used by the U.S. Army in England for training in 1942-
Now, obviously, they might have ended up in North Afrika - but perhaps some might have been retained
on that Green and Sceptered Isle by the U.S. Army and subsequently used for training. The fact that
he was trained to drive the tank in England implies that he had no training in the United States.
Try and pay more attention. 4 AD did not arrive in the UK until 1944. Keep Googling and see if you can find a more plausible way to save face.

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Sep 2020 21:35

Michael Kenny wrote:
19 Sep 2020 19:24
paulrward wrote:
19 Sep 2020 19:10
Here are two photos I found showing M3 Lees being used by the U.S. Army in England for training in 1942-
Now, obviously, they might have ended up in North Afrika - but perhaps some might have been retained
on that Green and Sceptered Isle by the U.S. Army and subsequently used for training. The fact that
he was trained to drive the tank in England implies that he had no training in the United States.
Try and pay more attention. 4 AD did not arrive in the UK until 1944. Keep Googling and see if you can find a more plausible way to save face.
The only American units to bring Medium Tanks M3 to England were three of the four 1st Armd Div medium tank battalions, plus the 751st Tk Bn, 752d Tk Bn, and 755th Tk Bn, and most of those they took to North Africa. So roughly 381 tanks including spares. All went to North Africa and the survivors were then turned over to the French in early 1943.

The 4th Armd Div transitioned entirely to the Medium Tank M4, in the US, months before deploying to the UK where they drew a full set of M4/M4A1, including 105mm-armed assault guns, possibly the first to be so issued in theater. Why an anonymous sergeant would "train" on a tank that was declared Limited Standard in April 1943 and Obsolete in April 1944 is beyond me.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

paulrward
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by paulrward » 19 Sep 2020 21:43

Hello All :

To Mr. Kenny :

All right, EXACTLY WHAT happened to all the M3 Lee tanks that were in the U.S. Army inventory IN ENGLAND
after Operations Torch and Husky ? Did they all simply evaporate ? Were they shipped back to the
ConUS to be scrapped ? Or Were they painted Pink with ' Hello Kitty ' on the turrets for use in cartoons ?

Or, were they used for training of new tank crews, just as they were being used at Fort Knox ? After
all, if you can free up an M4 Sherman for use in the front lines by using an M3 Lee for training, that
would make perfect sense to any American.

I have even found photos of M3 Lees in Northern Ireland being used for training - But the man I spoke
to never mentioned Ireland. He said England.


Now, Mr. Kenny, here is an opportunity for you to save face: I want you to go research the history of
EVERY SINGLE M3 Lee tank that was ever shipped by the U.S. Army for use in England, by serial number,
and tell me exactly where each one was from 1942 on. By Month. And, if any were being used for
training, as well as being converted into tractors, recovery vehicles, etc, surely you must have records.

And, we must recall, that in April 1944, the M3 Lee was declared ' Obsolete ', having been replaced by
the M4 Sherman. So, can you tell us, Mr. Kenny , EXACTLY WHAT happened to all the M3 Lees left in
England in 1943-1944 ?

So, Mr. Kenny, do you have any proof that the 4th Armored Division did NOT use M3 Lee tanks, which
had been reclassified as obsolete, for training purposes in the days leading up to D-Day ? If so, please
let us all know.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Michael Kenny
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Sep 2020 22:04

paulrward wrote:
19 Sep 2020 21:43


So, Mr. Kenny, do you have any proof that the 4th Armored Division did NOT use M3 Lee tanks, which
had been reclassified as obsolete, for training purposes in the days leading up to D-Day ?
Yes.
Cast-iron proof.
A man I met in 1970 at my local wargame Club told me that no member of 4AD ever trained on an M3 Lee in 1944. He also advised that anyone claiming otherwise was lying.

Richard Anderson
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Sep 2020 22:35

Michael Kenny wrote:
19 Sep 2020 22:04
paulrward wrote:
19 Sep 2020 21:43


So, Mr. Kenny, do you have any proof that the 4th Armored Division did NOT use M3 Lee tanks, which
had been reclassified as obsolete, for training purposes in the days leading up to D-Day ?
Yes.
Cast-iron proof.
A man I met in 1970 at my local wargame Club told me that no member of 4AD ever trained on an M3 Lee in 1944. He also advised than anyone claiming otherwise was lying.
Ah, the old proof of a negative conundrum...absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, blah, blah, blah.

Or, OTOH, Eric W. Freiwald, The Building and Training of the 4th Armored Division: 1941–1944, PhD diss., Temple University, 2002. Eric did a very nice and complete study of the matter. I was lucky enough to work with him for three years before I retired.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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