AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by David Thompson » 15 Apr 2008 21:01

Username -- Our readers come here for sourced, verifiable information on the topics under discussion. If you disagree with what another poster has written, please rebut it with sourced information, and avoid personal remarks. That way, neither you, the readers nor the moderators will waste any time getting at the facts being discussed.

RichTO90
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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by RichTO90 » 15 Apr 2008 21:18

Username wrote:Rich made an earlier sarcastic remark about troops reading reports on the boats going over on D-Day. If you look at the dates and the actual publications (Tactical Trends, Journal of Recognition), then it disputes his earlier claim (that he may have edited by now). That is, the troops AND the Powers that Be had previous knowledge of virtually all armor they would face!
Pardon me, but I edit when I find I have made a mistake, as when you reminded me of the M8 HMC Modified, or when my spelling is so bad as to be indescipherable, even to me.

But yesterday I posted "Panther was something of an unknown quantity. It was known that a successor existed, but it wasn't until the publication of the 4 November 1943 Tactical and Technical Trends was published that first information of the type was available. And that was based on a rather garbled and self-serving Soviet assessment that among other things claimed it was "much easier to knock out" than the Tiger, that 54mm [sic] or larger AP or HE rounds were effective against the turret front at up to 800 meters, and that "Large caliber artillery and self-propelled cannon can put the Panther out of action at ordinary distances for effective fire. The inclined and vertical plates can be pierced by armor-piercing shells of 45 mm (1.78 in) caliber or higher." In other words implying that the "inclined" front plate could be penetrated by 45mm?" The edit made was in the following paragraph, as noted, when I corrected my original statement that the TIA was issued with a 6 June date (so much more apropo) rather than the 5 June date and to indicate that it was based on the 30 May British report, which is something I noticed on re-reading it.
And the intel was correct. To not have at least a contingincy plan in place was criminal. As you can read in my earlier post regarding the 90mm gun development, forces were jockying for having this weapon pre-D-Day.
Why yes, the intel was correct of course. :roll: I forgot about all those penetrations by 45mm rounds and all those cases where a machinegun and small arms fire blinded and disabled a Panther? All those "large caliber" Allied guns that could put it out of action at "ordinary distances"?

And yes, that was intended as sarcasm. :roll:
Rich can snipe and nickle-and-dime this thread. He can nit-pick and post partial data. You seem to be OK with that. But I think you should consider your moderation methods. And I do not PM.
Partial data?
:D :roll: :lol:

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Username » 15 Apr 2008 21:24

yes, partial. You keep ignoring this?
The following is a description of the tank: (It should be noted that practically all data contained in this report come from Russian sources).

Weight - 45 tons
Crew - 5
Armament - 75-mm (2.95 in) gun, long barrel, (1943); 1 machine gun, MG-42, 7.92-mm
Ammunition - 75 rounds (AP & HE)
Motor - Maybach, gasoline, 640 hp in rear of tank; the gas tanks are located on either side of motor
Cooling system - water
Ignition - magneto
Armor - front of turret and cannon shield 100 mm (3.94 in); upper front plate 85 mm (3.45 in) 57° inclination; lower front plate 75 mm (2.95 in) 53° inclination; side and rear plate 45 mm (1.78 in); top of turret & tank and bottom of tank 17 mm (.67 in)
Dimensions:
width - 11 ft 8 in (same as the PzKw 6)
length - 22 ft 8 in (1 1/2 ft longer than the PzKw 6)
clearance - 1 ft 8 in (10 cm)(3.9 in) more than the PzKw 6)
Caterpillar section - drive sprockets at front; rear idlers; 8 double rubber-tired bogie wheels 850 mm (33.46 in) in diameter on either side; torsion suspension system; hydraulic shock absorbers located inside tank; metal caterpillar tread 660 mm (25.62 in) wide
Maximum speed - 50 km hr. (approx. 31 mph)
Range - 170 km (approx. 105 miles)

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by RichTO90 » 15 Apr 2008 21:38

Username wrote:yes, partial. You keep ignoring this?
Why no, no more than you have been ignoring the argument I have been making? :roll:

That is a specification list, the assessment is the text stuff that I have been quoting and you have apparently been ignoring.

Mind you, they do appear to have miscounted the ammo stowage, gotten the angle of inclination of the front upper and lower plate off, along with the thickness, and a few other understandable errors, since it was second-hand after all, just like the assessment....

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Username » 15 Apr 2008 22:00

Finally, from the Intelligence Report...


http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/panther/index.html
"New Heavy Tank: The Pz. Kw. 5 (Panther)" from Intelligence Bulletin
U.S. intelligence report on German Panzer V (Panther) tank, from the Intelligence Bulletin, January 1944.
[Editor's Note: The following article is wartime information on enemy tactics and equipment published for Allied soldiers. In most cases, more accurate data is available in postwar publications.]





NEW HEAVY TANK: THE Pz. Kw. 5 (PANTHER)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the Pz. Kw. 6 (Tiger) became standard, the Pz. Kw. 5 (Panther) was still in an experimental stage. Now that the Panther has joined the German tank series as a standard model, a general description of this newest "land battleship" can be made available to U.S. military personnel. Much of the data presented here comes from Russian sources, inasmuch as the Pz. Kw. 5 has thus far been used only on the Eastern Front.

The Panther (see fig. 1) is a fast, heavy, well-armored vehicle. It mounts a long 75-mm gun. Weighing 45 tons, the new tank appears to be of a type intermediate between the 22-ton Pz. Kw. 4 and the 56-ton Pz. Kw. 6.[1] The Panther has a speed of about 31 miles per hour. It corresponds roughly to our General Sherman, which the Germans have always greatly admired.

The following table of information regarding the Pz. Kw. 5 will be of interest:

Weight _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 45 tons.
Width _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 11 ft 8 in (same as the Pz. Kw. 6).
Length _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 22 ft 8 in (1/2 ft longer than the Pz. Kw. 6).
Clearance _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 1 ft 8 in (3.9 in more than the Pz. Kw. 6).
Motor _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ gasoline, 640 hp, in rear of tank (the gas tanks are on each side of the motor).
Cooling system _ _ _ _ water.
Ignition _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ magneto.
Caterpillar section _ _ _ drive sprockets at front, rear idlers; 8 double rubber-tired bogie wheels, 33.5 in in diameter, on either side; torsion suspension system; hydraulic shock absorbers inside tank; metal caterpillar tread 25.6 in wide.
Armor _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ front of turret and cannon shield, 3.94 in; upper front plate, 3.45 in, 57° angle of slope; lower front plate, 2.95 in, 53° angle of slope.
Armament _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 75-mm gun, long barrel; one 7.92-mm machine gun (MG 42).
Ammunition _ _ _ _ _ _ 75 rounds (AP and HE).
Maximum speed _ _ _ _ approx 31 mph.
Range _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ approx 105 mi.
Crew _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 5.


It is believed that the 75-mm gun is the Kw. K.[2] This tank gun is a straight-bore weapon with a muzzle brake, and has an over-all length of 18 feet 2 inches.


Figure 1.—New German Heavy Tank: the Pz. Kw. 5 Panther Tank.


Although equipped with the same motor as the Tiger, the Panther has lighter armor and armament. For this reason it is capable of higher speed and greater maneuverability. The Panther is also provided with additional armor plate, 4- to 6-mm thick, (not shown in fig. 1) along the side, just above the suspension wheels and the sloping side armor plate.

When a flexible tube with a float is attached to the air intake, the Panther has no difficulty in fording fairly deep streams. There is a special fitting in the top of the tank for attaching this tube.

Like the Pz. Kw. 6's, the Pz. Kw. 5's are organized into separate tank battalions. During the summer of 1943, the Germans used many of these new tanks on the Russian front.

Although the Russians have found the Pz. Kw. 5 more maneuverable than the Pz. Kw. 6, they are convinced that the new tank is more easily knocked out. Fire from all types of rifles and machine guns directed against the peep holes, periscopes, and the base of the turret and gun shield will blind or jam the parts, the Russians say. High explosives and armor-piercing shells of 54-mm (2.12 inches) caliber, or higher are effective against the turret at ranges of 875 yards or less. Large-caliber artillery and self-propelled cannon can put the Panther out of action at ordinary distances for effective fire. The vertical and sloping plates can be penetrated by armor-piercing shells of 45-mm (1.78 inches) caliber, or higher. Incendiary armor-piercing shells are said to be especially effective, not only against the gasoline tanks, but against the ammunition, which is located just to the rear of the driver.

The additional armor plate above the suspension wheels is provided to reduce the penetration of hollow-charge shells. According to the Russians, it is ineffective; antitank grenades, antitank mines, and Molotov cocktails are reported to be effective against the weak top and bottom plates and the cooling and ventilating openings on top of the tank, just above the motor.

However, it should definitely be stated that the Pz. Kw. 5 is a formidable weapon—a distinct asset of the German Army.

1. With certain alterations the Pz. Kw. 6 may weigh as much as 62 tons. For an illustrated discussion of the Pz. Kw. 6, see Intelligence Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 10, pp. 19-23.
2. Kampfwagenkanone—tank gun.


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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by JonS » 15 Apr 2008 22:41

Interesting that they refer to the Sherman as, well, a Sherman in that report. People keep saying that was a British-only or post-war affectation.

BTW, Lewis, you might want to go back and re-read what Rich actually said about about reports on the Panther and the timing and sourcing thereof. The report you've quoted is obviously the one based solely on Russian information.
Last edited by JonS on 15 Apr 2008 22:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Username » 15 Apr 2008 22:43

A British report regarding the Panther turret at least. Pre-D-Day but barely.
Conclusion
In the early years of the Second World War a number of countries, most notably Germany, found that using obsolete tank turrets as improvised fortifications was a simple and effective way of utilising outmoded equipment that would otherwise have been scrapped. As the tide of the war turned, however, and the Germans became increasingly desperate, tank turrets from production models, most notably the Panzer V Panther, were used in this way. The existence of such turrets, despite air superiority and the breaking of the German Enigma codes, came as a complete surprise to the Allies. Initially, as mentioned above, they believed that the Germans had resorted to using the Panther turrets in this way because, either there were technical problems with the running gear, or Allied bombing had severely disrupted production. However, neither of these assumptions were correct. Indeed, 3,126 Panthers were produced in the last 12 months of the war from a total of 5,976 German tanks produced. The emplaced Panther turret was a standard installation that offered the defenders many advantages, in particular: all-round operation; a small target area; protection for the crew. The turret's immobility was undoubtedly a major disadvantage; once the crew opened fire they would give away their position and leave themselves exposed. But this was more than compensated for by the factors outlined above, as Allied tank losses during the battle for the Hitler Line demonstrated. A report written after the battle summed it up: 'The turrets are almost invisible till they fire and, when located, there is very little to shoot at and unless the turret happens to be pointing elsewhere it will not be penetrated either by the 75 mm or 6-pdr guns.'

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by JonS » 15 Apr 2008 22:56

Username wrote:A British report regarding the Panther turret at least. Pre-D-Day but barely.
Well, an unsourced, second-hand interpretation of a British report, but why split hairs?

Anyway. The Hitler Line. Late May 1944. Barely a fortnight before D-Day for NEPTUNE. Call it a couple of days by the time the report gets written and makes it's way back to England.

Scene: External. Invasion fleet is fully loaded and starting to head across the English Channel.

Scene: Internal. Eisenhower is having a conference with senior political, air, army, and naval commanders.

Eisenhower: "Hold up guys. We have to call the whole thing off. We've got this intel report from the Limeys in Italy about some dang turret emplacement just south of Rome. Seems they can destroy them, but only by maneauvering."

All: "Ah, well, we can't do that."

Eisenhower: "Right. So we're going to call off NEPTUNE and wait till next year, when we'll have plenty of 76mm Shermans and Monty's boys will have plenty of Fireflies. Call back the fleet, and unload the boats."

All: "Good call."

Lone voice from down the back: "But ... what if the Germans have another new turret next year?"

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Username » 15 Apr 2008 23:40

Is this a movie script? can we call it 'A Turret Too Far?'

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by RichTO90 » 16 Apr 2008 00:50

JonS wrote:Interesting that they refer to the Sherman as, well, a Sherman in that report. People keep saying that was a British-only or post-war affectation.
I think it is probably due to it being in part a transliteration of a British report? There was a lot of cross-pollination :D going on. I have seen many of these same reports before, in their original British version, in some of the Eighth Army war diaries.

The 5 June (British 30 May) 1944 report, which must have been something of an eye opener for those tankers who saw it before landing and encountering a Panther. Compare it to the previous versions, especially see 2.1.(1). versus "Although the Russians have found the Pz. Kw. 5 more maneuverable than the Pz. Kw. 6, they are convinced that the new tank is more easily knocked out." (November, repeated in January).

"SECRET
AFV&W Section
Hq., ETOUSA
APO 887
5 June 1944

Memorandum:
To: Armored Divisions, Separate Tank Battalions, and TD Battalions in ETO.

German Mk V (Panther) Tank
1. A captured Panther tank has been examined and an appreciation of its vulnerable points has been made by reasonable assumptions. Reliable figures based on test firing are not available since vehicle is required for investigation of performance and fighting qualities. (Based on Memorandum, “German Panther Tank”, British War Office, 30 May 1944)
2. Frontal Attack.
a. Glacis Plates
(1) 17 pdr and 76mm APC are ineffective against this plate even at 200 yards, due to high degree of tilt (57o)
b. Turret Front
(1) 17 pdr APCBC will penetrate at 1250 yards.
(2) 76mm APC will penetrate at 200 yards.
(3) 75mm APC ineffective.
c. A hit by 75mm, 76mm, 17pdr APC or 75mm, 76mm, 105mm HE on the area under or at the side of the gun mantelet will cause lethal damage. The probable success of HE attack in this area is ude to weakness in the supporting of the roof plate over the driver and co-driver and in the design of the escape hatches.
d. With the Panther advancing at angles between 30o and 60o, attack at fighting range by either 75mm, 76mm or 17pdr APC in the corner of the pocket at each side of the hull nose will damage the final drive.
e. Firing at tracks should prove effective.
3. Side Attack.
a. Turret
(2) The turret sides will be defeated at the following ranges:
(a) 76mm and 17 pdr APC over 2000 yards.
(b) 75mm APC over 1750 yards.
b. Hull
(2) Superstructure (42o slope)
(a) 76mm and 17 pdr APC over 2000 yards.
(b) 75mm Shot APC over 1000 yards.
(2) Sides (0o slope)
75mm, 76mm, 17 pdr APC over 2000 yards.
c. HE Attack.
This should be directed between the upper length of the track and the floor of the sponsons.
4. Rear Attack.
a. 76mm and 17 pdr APC will penetrate turret at and hull at ranges over 2000 yards.
b. 75mm APC will penetrate turret at 1750 yards and hull at 1600 yards.
5. Other forms of attack.
a. The radiators and gasoline tanks are located in the rear engine compartment and serious damage can be caused by blast or shell fragments against the turret rear.
b. The air inlet and outlet louvers are set in the rear deck and occupy 35% of its total area. It is thus apparent that this is most vulnerable to HE air bursts, motor [sic] bomb and grenades, or to small arms attack from the air.
c. The all round vision cupola seems to provide the only means of vision and since the cupola is located well to the left side, the right side must be blind for some 54 feet from the vehicle.

* All penetration figures are based on 30o angle of attack."

(My transcription from Decimal File 470.8 "German Tk.", NARA RG492, Records of the ETOUSA (SHAEF) Armored Fighting Vehicle and Weapons Section (AFV&W Section).)

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Username » 16 Apr 2008 01:42

German Pz Kw 5 -- Additional Information" from Tactical and Technical Trends
A U.S. intelligence report on German WWII Panzer V ("Panther"), from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 40, December 16, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]




GERMAN PZ KW 5 -- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The receipt of more recent information supplementing the data on the German PzKw 5 (Panther) tank as described in Tactical and Technical Trends No. 37, p. 5, makes it possible to furnish additional details.

The overall appearance of the Panther closely resembles that of the Soviet T-34, particularly as to inclined armor plate, cone-shaped turret and Christie-type suspension wheels. It should be emphasized that the type and arrangement of driving sprockets and bogie wheels is one of the most important aids to prompt identification and destruction of enemy tanks (see reference p11, armor skirting on German tanks).

By American standards, the Panther should be classed as a heavy tank, not a medium.

a. Dimensions

(1) Lengths

Overall length, including gun 29 ft 1 in
Overall length, excluding gun 22 ft 7 1/2 in
Length of hull 22 ft

(2) Widths

Overall width 11 ft 3 in
Width over tracks 10 ft 9 in
Width of superstructure 9 ft 9 1/2 in
Width of hull 6 ft

(3) Heights

Overall height 9 ft 6 1/2 in
Ground clearance 1 ft 7 in

(4) Diameters

Inside diameter of turret ring 5 ft 5 in


b. Armor

Position of Plate Thickness Angle to Vertical
in Degrees

(1) Turret

Front (including gun mantlet) 3.93 in 0
Sides and rear 1.77 in 25
Roof .66 in 90

(2) Hull and Superstructure

Front nose plate 2.95 in 53
Driver's front plate 3.34 in 57
Superstructure sides 1.77 in 42
Hull sides 1.77 in 0
Tail plate 1.77 in 30
Belly plate .66 in 90
Skirting plates .19 in 0


The armor appears to consist of rolled plate except for the gun mantlet which is a casting. The skirting plates extend down to about 30 inches above ground level.

c. Armament

The armament consists of one 75-mm tank gun Kw.K 43, turret mounted, one 7.92-mm machine gun, coaxially mounted; and six electrically-fired smoke projectors in two sets of three on either side of the turret. The 75-mm tank gun is a straight-bore weapon having a muzzle brake with an overall length of 18 feet 2 inches.

d. Suspension

Front sprocket drive, large, disk-type interleaved, rubber-tired bogie wheels on eight load-carrying axles each side of the tank. Independent torsion bar springing. All units are fitted with shock absorbers.

e. Track

Track width 2 ft 2 in
Pitch of track 6 in
Diameter of track pin 0.9 in
Links per track 86
Ground contact, front to rear bogie wheel centers 12 ft 9 1/2 in
Ground contact by measurement on ground 13 ft 5 1/2 in
Width of track between centers of track plates 8 ft 6 in
Width of track between edges of track plates 10 ft 8 in
Track pressure (Russian report) 11.7 lb (per sq in)


f. Miscellaneous data

Ammunition carried 75 rounds of 75-mm (2.95 in) shells, 2500 rounds of 7.92 mm (MG)
Sighting arrangement Binocular sighting telescope on left of 75-mm gun
Gasoline (2 tanks) capacity 165 gals
Ventilation An electric fan in the turret roof above the coaxial machine gun.
Pistol ports One in each side and one in rear of turret.


It has been reliably reported that due to the angle at which the armor is placed (practically none of the armor is vertical) the Panther is the most formidable of German tanks.



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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2008 01:53

The thread is going round in circles. What is the point of repeatedly reposting long tracts measurements just to highlight the DATE?
We know that Russian reports were made in 1943 but what is so hard to understand in the simple statement that the Allies did not get a full evaluation until mid 1944

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Username » 16 Apr 2008 02:12

I am showing that the allies in the west had probable cause.

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Michael Dorosh » 16 Apr 2008 02:49

Username wrote:I am showing that the allies in the west had probable cause.
To replace all their doctrine, all their light tanks, and all their medium tanks before D-Day?

They had the tank they needed to win the war with. I present as evidence - the fact they won the war.

I'm not trying to be flip. What is the number of Panthers and Tigers encountered by Allied formations in the west post-Normandy? Your argument is that because the Sherman fared poorly in battle in terrain and doctrinal conditions it wasn't suited for, it should have been replaced, ignoring the fact that after August, the Shermans (and Stuarts) largely performed exactly as expected - as infantry support in the case of the former, and as recce vehicles in the latter case.

So what is the problem? Upgunning every light tank and medium tank in the ETO to a 90mm medium-heavy would have been expensive, and unnecessary. I present as evidence - the fact they didn't try.

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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by JonS » 16 Apr 2008 03:14

Username wrote:I am showing that the allies in the west had probable cause.
Probable cause to do what? Postpone D-Day indefinately as they jump on a merry go round of holding up ops to prepare new equipment in response to new information, which in turn will be superceded by new information, then yet newer information?

*pfft*

That isn't a plan. It's a cop out.

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