AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
User avatar
Michael Emrys
Member
Posts: 6002
Joined: 13 Jan 2005 18:44
Location: USA

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

Post by Michael Emrys » 21 Apr 2008 19:50

An off-topic post has been removed.

Michael
Incoming fire has the right of way.

User avatar
Michael Emrys
Member
Posts: 6002
Joined: 13 Jan 2005 18:44
Location: USA

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

Post by Michael Emrys » 21 Apr 2008 19:53

Username wrote:The broad topic of 'AFV Loss Rates in US 12th Army Group' has brought up many discussions. I will edit my posts to reflect the many issues being addressed.
What would be the most beneficial would be if you would simply start a new thread reflecting your interests, which I gather are rather tangential to the original topic of this thread—which was a relatively simple intention of providing an accounting of the AFV losses for the US 12th. Army Group.

Michael
Incoming fire has the right of way.

Andreas
Member
Posts: 6938
Joined: 10 Nov 2002 14:12
Location: Europe

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

Post by Andreas » 22 Apr 2008 09:16

An offtopic post was removed by me.

All the best

Andreas

Username
Banned
Posts: 166
Joined: 10 Apr 2006 20:24
Location: co

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

Post by Username » 22 Apr 2008 11:13

Michael Kenny wrote:The losses for 3rd AD taken from Cooper are the highest losses for any of the Divisions. The 600+ total losses would roughly give a 300% turnover.

Below is taken from Zaloga's Osprey title 'US Armored Divisions 1944-45 '(Battle Orders no. 3) a full complement of Mediums would be in the region of 200 tanks and lights around 160


US Armored Divisions 1944-45 ETO

Division ........2........3 ........4.........5 ...... 6.......7.......8......9......10.....11.......12.....13......14....16....20
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mediums
lost ........ 290.......632.....216......116....196.....360.....58....162.....181....72......129.....27.....101....0.....17

Lights
lost ..........n/a.......173.......52......19......24.....130......21....50... ..31....37.......30......8.......36.... 0..... 2
ratio.........n/a........3.6.......4.1.....6.....8.2...2.8....2.8..3.24...5.64...1.9...4.3..3.4...2.8..0..8.5
5) The three armies seem to have used their light tanks in about the same way and so lost them at about the same rate, over the period from 13 October 1944 onwards, once First Army Ardennes losses are discounted.
The above quote was from the first post. Given the difference in light tanks lost compared to Medium tanks lost in the divisions, some conclusions can be drawn.

Units such as the 5AD were using Armor differently (see previous post)

http://www.5ad.org/

RichTO90
Member
Posts: 4238
Joined: 22 Dec 2003 18:03

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

Post by RichTO90 » 22 Apr 2008 14:59

Username wrote:The above quote was from the first post. Given the difference in light tanks lost compared to Medium tanks lost in the divisions, some conclusions can be drawn.
What conclusions? :roll:
Units such as the 5AD were using Armor differently (see previous post)
Which "previous post" mentions either 5AD or a different use of armor? :roll:
Where does this website support either "some conclusions" (which ones and what are they) or that "5AD were using Armor differently"? :roll:

RichTO90
Member
Posts: 4238
Joined: 22 Dec 2003 18:03

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

Post by RichTO90 » 22 Apr 2008 16:06

Username wrote:The first Tiger I destroyed by the British was by a six pounder using standard ammunition? It achieved side penetrations due to the Tiger turning the wrong way. It also appears to be some lone vehicle from the accounts. In other words, it was not being used in an effective manner with support weapons.
The first twoTiger I, of s.Pz.-Abtl. 501. were knocked out by British 6-pdr antitank guns of the 72nd AT Regiment, RA, using standard APCBC on 20 January 1943. And yes, from the flank, that is the favored way to knock out any tank. But what caused them to be "turned the wrong way" was that they were attacking a well emplaced British position, it was the small arms fire forcing them to button up that blinded them that led to them turning partly broadside on.

BTW, in no accounts was it a "lone vehicle" or unsupported. See http://northirishhorse.net/documents/RA ... eport.html and Tigers in Combat. There were at least two Tigers, six Panzer IIIN and an armored car in the action, that were also knocked out, although the second Tiger and the other vehicles were recovered. KG Lüder also had II./Panzergrenadier-Regiment 69. and was part of the divisional-size operations of KG Weber, that included as well infantry of Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 756 and the entire operational assets of the battalion, 14 Tiger I and possibly 20 Panzer IIIN at the start of the action.

But the first encounter between Tiger I and British 6-pdr armed tanks (Churchills of the North Irish Horse) also resulted in the loss of two Tigers on 27 February 1943. The first was engaged head on at 500 to 600 yards and knocked out, again using APCBC, the second then tried to maneuver and was caught from the flank and also knocked out. See http://www.northirishhorse.org/addenda/tiger.html , http://northirishhorse.net/wwII/diary/1943-2.html , and http://northirishhorse.net/wwII/BattleReports/3.html

Username
Banned
Posts: 166
Joined: 10 Apr 2006 20:24
Location: co

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

Post by Username » 23 Apr 2008 00:52

An infantry company and a tank company working in close support of each other were called "married companies". In this Combat Command it was the rule to have married formations whenever action was in the offing. Each tank had one squad, or a part of a squad, of infantry with it. Sometimes the infantrymen actually rode on the tanks, but more frequently traveled in their own half-tracks, a half-track following each tank. The infantry quite frequently had to dismount in order to clean out small pockets of enemy infantry and bazooka men that might have caused a serious problem to the tankers. The tankers and doughboys lived and worked together so that the smoothest of operating teams might be developed. This combination had been conceived by General Oliver but due to the short training time available in the United Kingdom was not properly tested in the field prior to combat operation.
A source for this quote is needed.

Michael: moderator


http://www.5ad.org/
Last edited by Username on 23 Apr 2008 13:32, edited 1 time in total.

Username
Banned
Posts: 166
Joined: 10 Apr 2006 20:24
Location: co

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

Post by Username » 23 Apr 2008 00:58

As far as the first post in this thread, the author seemed to be concentrating on Sherman losses. Especially trying to develop a 75mm vs. 76mm loss ratio 'theory'.

But from the data above, at least for the light tanks, it seems that there is certainly a wide enough difference in light tank losses that it deserves mention.

The independant tank battalions might have differences in light tank vs medium losses also.

And, yes, the 57mm was under-rated vs. armor.

Username
Banned
Posts: 166
Joined: 10 Apr 2006 20:24
Location: co

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

Post by Username » 24 Apr 2008 15:32

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/s ... 216&page=2

interesting data on tank losses

Annex 1: Total tank losses to 31 January 1945

Stuart M3A1/M3A3: UK 66*, 21 Army Group 201, 15 Army Group 107, N. Africa 115, Middle East 638, India/SEAC 5<>, lost at sea 129.
Stuart M5A1: UK *, 21 Army Group 80. N. Africa and Middle east figures for 12/44 unavailable. India/SEAC nil, Lost at sea nil.
Sherman: UK nil, 21 Army Group 1855, 15 Army Group 814 (+), N. Africa 169, Middle east 222 (12/44 figures not available but estimate = nil), India/SEAC 4 <>, lost at sea 272 but includes 20 to Turkey.
Cromwell: UK 307><, 21 Army Group 464, none elsewhere/at sea.
Challenger: 21 Army gruop 18, none elsewhere/at sea.
Churchill: UK 219, 21 Army Group 365, 15 Army Group 62 (+), N. Africa 73 (+), Middle east 3 (+), lost at sea 64.

*includes some M5A1. (+) 12/44 figures unavailable - estimated 92 Shermans only
<> excludes losses 1/44. >< includes 280 non-operational type in process of being written off (engines being salvaged).

Annex 2: Battle losses 21 Arrmy Group to 31.12.44

June: Sherman 66, Cromwell 42, Churchill 16.
July: Sherman 186 Cromwell 28 Churchill 17.
August: Sherman 547 Cromwell 143 Churchill 142, Challenger 2.
September: Sherman 115 Cromwell 7 Churchill nil, Challenger nil.
October: Sherman 490 Cromwell 174 Churchill 56 Challenger 11.
November: Sherman 158 Cromwell 36 Churchill 81 Challenger 1
December: Sherman 157 Cromwell 5 Churchill 21 Challenger 1

Total 1944: 1739 435 335 15

Cannonade
Member
Posts: 183
Joined: 03 Feb 2010 23:11

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

Post by Cannonade » 04 Feb 2010 23:11

RichTO90 wrote: I'm afraid you misunderstand the situation and the system. When conceived the M4 and M4A1 were intended to be the Standard M4 for the US Army, but the problematical supply of the Wright/Continental radial meant that alternate engine sources needed to be found. For the US Army that meant the M4A3, utilizing the Ford inline gasoline engine. The M4A2 and the M4A5 with diesel engines were always Limited Standard for the US Army, meaning they were only issued if no other type was available. The M4A4 IIRC was Substitute Standard, meaning they would be issued if Standard wasn't available and instead of Limited Standard, since it was gasoline-engined, but it was rare to find it issued since supply of M4, M4A1, and M4A3 was usually sufficient. By 1944 when the various engineering improvements were introduced to production M4, the M4A3 became the preferred Standard for the US Army while the M4 (105mm) was the only other series to be considered Standard, while the M4A1 (76mm) was considered Substitute Standard (the diesel-engined M4A2 76mm was only Limited Standard and was shipped as Lend-Lease).
Here are several corrections to the above paragraph.

Radial engines for the M4 medium tank were found to be underpowered and suffering from several problems that affected operations; for example, after sitting for a while the engines had to be turned over periodically to prevent oil from building up in the lower cylinders and causing engine problems when started. LTG Devers, Chief of the Armored Force ordered testing of various engine types in seach of a more lighter, more powerful, and dependable engine. The Ford was found to be superior. The Ford was not an "inline" engine. It was a V8 developed from an existing design for a V12 aircraft engine. There are three diesel powered medium tanks listed in the Ordnance Catalogue. They are the M4A2, M4A5, and the M4A6. The M4A5 was the Canadian Ram.

Cannonade

RichTO90
Member
Posts: 4238
Joined: 22 Dec 2003 18:03

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

Post by RichTO90 » 05 Feb 2010 02:05

Cannonade wrote:Here are several corrections to the above paragraph.
Ack! I did say it was an inline engine didn't I? And I forgot the poor Ram getting stuck into the M4 lineage. :D

But on the other hand, here are a few corrections for you. :lol: :wink:

BTW, welcome to AHF. With your apparent interest in tanks you might do well to check out TankNet also. It's a Grate Sight. :wink:
Radial engines for the M4 medium tank were found to be underpowered and suffering from several problems that affected operations; for example, after sitting for a while the engines had to be turned over periodically to prevent oil from building up in the lower cylinders and causing engine problems when started.
I was not in fact addressing engine problems in my post, so it is a bit unfair to claim these are corrections I believe? Especially since the Ordnance Catalog did not address those problems, but rather states the engine alternatives were developed "To avoid conflicting with the Air Forces, whose need for engines was equally imperative..." (p. 38 as reprinted in The American Arsenal) That rationale is also confirmed by the production historu of the War Productions Board, 1 September 1945. It could also be questioned if they were underpowered, since they had greater output per weight than the alternates (400 HP out of 1,137 pounds compared to the closest competitor the GAA with 500 HP out of 1,560 pounds). The problem with the radials was also well known, since the Army had been using them for quite a number of years and had accepted the compromise. I would also have thought that if reliability was the issue rather than requirements for engine production that the radial production would have ended a bit earlier than it did?...March 1945 for the M4 and July 1945 for the M4A1. :D
LTG Devers, Chief of the Armored Force ordered testing of various engine types in seach of a more lighter, more powerful, and dependable engine. The Ford was found to be superior.
Yes, that's why it was standardized. Which I thought was what I said? :wink: BTW, Devers as Chief of the Armored Force was a major general, he recieved is promotion to lieutenant general when he was assigned as commander ETOUSA.
The Ford was not an "inline" engine. It was a V8 developed from an existing design for a V12 aircraft engine.
Mea Culpa! Mea Culpa! Mea Maxima Culpa! I knew that... :cry:
There are three diesel powered medium tanks listed in the Ordnance Catalogue. They are the M4A2, M4A5, and the M4A6. The M4A5 was the Canadian Ram.
Sorry, no, the M4A2 and M4A6 were diesels, but the M4A5 (Ram) used the Continental gasoline radial just like the M4 and M4A1
Cannonade
Are you by any chance of the Society of Saint Barbara? :)

Thanks for keeping me on my toes...I hope I can return the favor. I'm going to try to get to your other posts re Barkmann but my time is a bit dicey this weekend, although at least the snow gods aren't going to dump on me again...I hope. You raised a number of very good points and made me think of some other issues; I really look forward to talking with you.
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Cannonade
Member
Posts: 183
Joined: 03 Feb 2010 23:11

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

Post by Cannonade » 05 Feb 2010 02:41

Rich,

Thank you for the prompt, lengthy, and friendly reply. It is much appreciated. I look forward to discussing the US Armored Forces with you. I tend to get lost in answering long posts, so I hope you will not mind if I sometimes respond in smaller bites.

You are right to point out that the M4A5 (Ram) was not diesel powered. It had one of those radial engines. Frankly, I often have trouble keeping the different models and variants straight, even when I have a book open in front of me while I type.

Devers was a LTG while Chief of the Armored Force. Devers was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on 22 September 1942. The following May, after serving nearly two years as Chief of the Armored Force, Devers was sent to London where he assumed command of the European Theater of Operations.

I like the artillery, but am not a member of any professional societies like the Order of Saint Barbara.

I stumbled across the Barkmann question shortly after reading "Spearhead" with the accompanying G-3 Supplement. It took me good a while to get around to posting a response to your comments, and when I did, I found that I had forgotten most of what I wanted to say, and had to go back and review the materials again. Anyway, if I can keep up, perhaps we can revisit the discussion, and uncover some new information together.

OK, I've gone about as far as I can with this one. Will write more later about the engines.

Thanks again for your welcoming reply, and for keeping me on my toes as well. (Lord knows I need it.) :)

Cannonade

RichTO90
Member
Posts: 4238
Joined: 22 Dec 2003 18:03

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

Post by RichTO90 » 05 Feb 2010 05:27

Cannonade wrote:Devers was a LTG while Chief of the Armored Force. Devers was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on 22 September 1942. The following May, after serving nearly two years as Chief of the Armored Force, Devers was sent to London where he assumed command of the European Theater of Operations.
That's what I get for relying on memory rather than the West Point Register. I thought I remembered the promotion and transfer being congruent. Too bad he wasn't promoted earlier and the Chief of Armor wasn't a more powerful position. He had an uphill fight with Somervell and McNair regarding his ideas on improving the equipment of the Armor Force to match the doctrinal requirements of the arm. I've often wondered how much his transfer to ETOUSA was a result of his militancy about improving armor and whether his continuing that militancy in the fall of 43 in England was partly responsible for him being shunted off to the Med? I suspect that the Campaign in NWE would have been very different if somehow he had managed to get a field command with First Army...or better yet 12th Army Group. Oh well, idle speculation.

BTW, Devers was an artilleryman as well...all the best were. :D
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

User avatar
bf109 emil
Member
Posts: 3627
Joined: 25 Mar 2008 21:20
Location: Youngstown Alberta Canada

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

Post by bf109 emil » 05 Feb 2010 11:17

There are three diesel powered medium tanks listed in the Ordnance Catalogue. They are the M4A2, M4A5, and the M4A6. The M4A5 was the Canadian Ram.



Sorry, no, the M4A2 and M4A6 were diesels, but the M4A5 (Ram) used the Continental gasoline radial just like the M4 and M4A1
Canadian built M4A1 where named the grizzly and differed from their American Shermans by...The main difference between the "Sherman" and "Grizzly" tanks were the use of CDP tracks and an idler with 13 teeth instead of 17 teeth.

powered by a Continental R975-C1...

The valentine, albeit mostly sent to Russia was likewise a diesel powered Tank utilizing either AEC diesel - 131 hp or
GMC diesel - 138 hp...but based upon the valentine diesel powered chassis was the Archer SPG...using a GMC 165 H.P. diesel

sourcedhttp://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/can/Canada.htm

regarding the M4A5 Canadian Ram... Named M4A5 on the American books, the chassis was actually a very heavily modifed M3. No M4A5 tanks were made in the United States or used by American soldiers. sourcedhttp://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/Unit ... M4/M4.html

Cannonade
Member
Posts: 183
Joined: 03 Feb 2010 23:11

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

Post by Cannonade » 05 Feb 2010 17:39

Rich,

I finally realized why you asked about Saint Barabara. I picked my screen name sort of at random. It was the first thing that came to mind when I signed up, probably because I just finished reading a book about cannon. :)

I’m not much of a tank guy, especially from the technical standpoint. It just seems necessary to have a working knowledge of their development and implementation in order to better the ground war in Europe.

OK,… I had absolutely no idea that the Ordnance Department procured medium tanks powered by the radial engine until the spring of 1945. It must have been out of sheer necessity since the R975 Continental engine was found to be underpowered and lacking endurance (reliability) when subjected to off-road conditions in hilly terrain so it was easy to avoid a conflict with the Army Air Force by looking for other, more suitable power plants. By comparison the GAA Ford had more power, and after some minor adjustments to the design, better reliability than the radial. (The GAA had 450 horsepower. Apparently later versions had 500.) The GAA was also viewed more favorably by tank crews as a result of its higher horsepower and torque. The authors of The Ordnance Department: Planning Munitions for War, conclude; “Had production capacity been great enough, the Ford engine would unquestionably have been adopted as the one and only power plant for American medium tanks.” With diesel powered tanks banned by the army for use overseas, and the Chrysler powered tanks were used for lend-lease, I guess the R975 radial was all that was left when Ford was unable to produce enough GAAs.

Cannonade

Return to “USA 1919-1945”