AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

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

Post by RichTO90 » 04 Apr 2008 18:31

RichTO90 wrote:The total received by the Commonwealth to that date I'm uncertain of, but belive it was about 12,000 of the 15,000-odd eventually shipped.
It looks like by about 30 May 1944 some 13,643 M4 early types had been shiped to the Commonwealth? A total of 17,181 of all types were shipped through 1 September 1945.

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

Post by Username » 04 Apr 2008 19:30

Great Info here
BTW, production ended with its last acceptance of 75 in January 1944. And anyway, it was available, and used heavily in Normandy, they were standard support weapons for armored infantry battalions and mechanized cavalry, but they weren't tanks, so I'm unclear what you mean?
I thought they may have been used in place of M4/105 in tank battalions? No source, just an impression

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

Post by RichTO90 » 04 Apr 2008 19:53

Username wrote:Great Info here
BTW, production ended with its last acceptance of 75 in January 1944. And anyway, it was available, and used heavily in Normandy, they were standard support weapons for armored infantry battalions and mechanized cavalry, but they weren't tanks, so I'm unclear what you mean?
I thought they may have been used in place of M4/105 in tank battalions? No source, just an impression
It's actually an interesting, if somewhat circular development. Originally the 75mm Pack Howitzer was mounted on a halftrack as the T30 HMC to provide fire support for the armored infantry, mechanized cavalry and light tank battalions. And, in the original armored regiment organization, they were to be in an assault gun company to provide the regimental commander with an indirect fire capability, as well as an HE capability for the two (later one) light tank battalions under his command. But the halftrack carriage was always intended to only be an interim solution, with the M8 HMC being the objective solution. But by the time it began being fielded, the armored division was changing organization, eliminating the light tank battalion, and it had already been decided to field the M4 (105mm) as the medium tank assault gun. Which left the M8 HMC as the supporting weapon for the mechaninzed cavalry and the armored infantry, and in the few remaining separate light tank battalions. Then the final evolution occurred in November 1944 since the deployment of the M24 Light Tank eliminated the last need for the HE capability of the M8 in the light tank battalions and began to void the need for it in the mechanized cavalry as well. And, it was decided that the armored infantry required more firepower as well, so the M8 was to be replaced there by the M4 (105mm) as well. Essentially, by early 1944 there was little role for the M8 HMC.

Of course the final culmination of the increase in firepower was the postwar division organization, that envisaged the infantry regiment cannon company being replaced by a company of M26E4 (105mm) and the antitank company with the M26E3 (90mm).

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

Post by Username » 05 Apr 2008 00:24

RichTO90 wrote:
RichTO90 wrote:The total received by the Commonwealth to that date I'm uncertain of, but belive it was about 12,000 of the 15,000-odd eventually shipped.
It looks like by about 30 May 1944 some 13,643 M4 early types had been shiped to the Commonwealth? A total of 17,181 of all types were shipped through 1 September 1945.
Very interesting stat. A bit off topic but still part of my wondering 'Where did all the Shermans go??'

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

Post by RichTO90 » 05 Apr 2008 02:20

Username wrote:Very interesting stat. A bit off topic but still part of my wondering 'Where did all the Shermans go??'
Dear me, didn't we just go over this? :D Maybe I'll give you the short answer?

Total Production:
M4 with 75mm 33,671
M4 with 76mm 10,883
M4 with 105mm 4,680
Total M4 49,234

Lend-Lease M4 shipped:
To the British Empire
With 75mm 15,256
With 76mm 1,335
With 105mm 593
Total 17,184
To Canada (not included above)
With 75mm 4
To France
With 75mm 755
To USSR
With 75mm 2,007
With 76mm 2,095
Total 4,102
To American Republics
With 75mm 53
Total Lend-Lease 22,098

Known US losses were:
Total Losses 12th AG to 12 May 1945 was 3,255
Total Losses 15th AG to 14 September 1944 was 588
Partial Losses 6th AG 15 August – 1 May 1945 was 295
Total Losses II Corps, Tunisia, 15 March-9 May 1943 was 60
Total Losses Seventh Army, Sicily was 8
Total Losses 1st AD, Tunisia, 14-21 February 1943 was 94
Total Known US Losses 4,300

Rebuilt and training tanks in the US 6,874-2,145 Lend-Leased (included above) = 4,729

Actual on hand and unit requirements were:
Total on hand with units of 12th AG as of 5 May 1945 was circa 3,738
Total T/E 12th AG as of 30 April 1945 was 4,184
Total on hand with units Seventh Army as of 30 April 1945 was 996
Total T/E Seventh Army as of 30 April 1945 was 1,029
Total T/E 15th AG as of 1 May 1945 was 561
Total T/E PTO as of 1 May 1945 was 789
Total T/E CONUS and en route was 240
Total on hand with units was circa 6,324
Total T/E with units was 6,731

US Army reserve requirments totaled roughly 2,309

Total conversions to other types (M35, TRV, etc) was 3,610

So 49,234-22,098-4,300-4,729- ~6,500- ~2,309-3,610 = 5,688 unaccounted for as of circa 1 September 1945.

Part of that is uncounted losses and USMC strengths in the Pacific, I simply don't have a whole lot of data for those, but perhaps 1,000 is a fair estimate? That leaves about 4,600-odd, which actually isn't very many as these things go. Consider that the 1st QTR 1945 production was 4,076 and 2nd QTR 1945 was 2,687, ending the run and that, like the 4,729 rebuilt ones that weren't Lend-Leased, most of those may never have left CONUS (reportedly in February 1945 there were about 7,000 still in the US)? Certainly at the end of the war large numbers were put into reserve in protective containers for possible later use.

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

Post by Username » 05 Apr 2008 03:02

Hey, don't feel bad. I think there is a great gap in Panther production and use.

Thanks

Just an afterthought..how many went down in ships?

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

Post by bf109 emil » 06 Apr 2008 01:14

Good point/question as the panther was perhaps Germany's best tank in overall design in WW2. The fuel consumption of the Tiger II made them a fuel pig, and Tiger I with non-sloping armour, where made excessively heavy to compensate for this. The 75 on the panther had more penetrating power then did the heralded 88. This is maybe the same lime-light the Spit got in the BoB where nearly every German crew downed, where shot out of the sky by a spit??? or so claimed as to what there adversary was flying.

AFV loss rate...is their a break-down, as to number lost to say mines, mechanical, anti-tank guns, panzerfausts, aircraft ordanance,battle vs.panzer IV, panzer V (panther), panzer VI (tiger I), or perhaps a king tiger II. I was hoping more for say tank losses, as say..sherman, churchill.

Is there a kill ratio for sherman-to-axis tanks, as well as churchills, and fireflies where said to be converted and put into British and Canadian units at 1 firefly for 4 shermans. I know these where the first targeted by anti-tank guns, and German crews, for the 17 pounder barrel length gave these tanks away, and where considered equal to the 88 so received or garnered to be targeted first.

Unsure as to how many went in the drink. I think at Omaha, because of resistance at the beach head, most where released in to deep water, and 27 out of 30 went to the bottom of the channel in the first wave...making beach life more deadly to gun-fire. I re-call a saying in saving private Ryan, where the sargent said, we need some god-damn armour on the beech is what we need...but this show portraits the German soldier as being kinda lame in fighting, as scene in the town of Romel...Then again if Speilburg would have done his homework...the Mrs. Bixby speech, by Marshall, he would have known was a fake, or fraud, as Lincoln did write this, but Mrs Bixby had only 2 sons, one fighting in North and one in the south...and when she received this letter, she was so disgusted and hated Lincoln, she tore it up!!!!as she claimed another 3 sons for insurance money, or army pay benefits...

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

Post by Michael Dorosh » 06 Apr 2008 05:36

bf109 emil wrote:Is there a kill ratio for sherman-to-axis tanks, as well as churchills, and fireflies where said to be converted and put into British and Canadian units at 1 firefly for 4 shermans. I know these where the first targeted by anti-tank guns, and German crews, for the 17 pounder barrel length gave these tanks away, and where considered equal to the 88 so received or garnered to be targeted first.
Sherman-to-Axis kill ratios seem kind of beside the point given the relative disparity of deployments of tank units in the various theatres, the burden of attack being on the Allies, and the number of other ways for an Allied tank to get knocked out - anti-tank guns, anti-tank rockets, mines.

The 17-pounder Shermans ("Firefly" seems, like "Scott" to have been a postwar designation liberally applied retroactively by scale modellers and other hobbyists more often than the actual tank crewmen did before VE-Day) were also not universally issued. JonS probably has better info on this than I do; I think the South Alberta Regiment, at least, waited to receive theirs after landing in Normandy in August. The 1st Canadian Tank Brigade went through Sicily and Italy without any, and at least one regiment (14th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Calgary Regiment)) received only 4 upon arriving in Belgium in February/March 1945, which were then put into a four-vehicle troop of their own.

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

Post by Username » 12 Apr 2008 14:20

RichTO90 wrote:Essentially, by early 1944 there was little role for the M8 HMC.
.
Some info on its final role...
Cavalry

Reconnaissance in the armored divisions was performed by the armored reconnaissance battalion -- in the heavy division -- or by the cavalry reconnaissance squadron, mechanized -- in the light division. These units were identical, except that the battalion was organized as companies, the squadron as troops (although the light tank unit was a company in both organizations). In addition, each armored regiment had a reconnaissance company and each infantry division a reconnaissance troop (organized the same as below), while each tank battalion had a reconnaissance platoon.


The mechanized cavalry squadrons were organized with three Cavalry Troops, lettered A to C, each equipped with 13 M8 armored cars and jeeps; an Assault Gun Troop, E, with six M8 HMC; a Light Tank Company, F, with 17 M5 Stuart, or later M24, tanks; a Service Company; and an H&H Company. The armored divisions reconnaissance squadron was identical except that it had a fourth Cavalry Troop, D, and the Assault Gun Troop had eight M8 HMC. Infantry divisions each had a single cavalry reconnaissance troop.

Cavalry groups were usually assigned to corps, but were occasionally attached -- by squadron -- to divisions. Cavalry was primarily intended for reconnaissance missions. However, during the war they were usually employed in defensive, economy of force, security, or screening missions. Armored field artillery, engineer, and tank destroyer units reinforced the cavalry groups for most missions.

Interestingly, the cavalry groups were almost never called to perform their primary duty: Later analysis showed that pure reconnaissance missions accounted for only 3 percent of their activities. The remaining 97 percent of missions assigned included: defensive operations (33 percent); special operations "including acting as mobile reserve, providing for security and control of rear areas, and operating as an army information service" (29 percent); security missions "blocking, screening, protecting flanks, maintaining contact between units, and filling gaps" (25 percent); and offensive operations (10 percent).

Thirteen mechanized cavalry groups fought in Europe. They were the 2nd (2nd and 42nd Squadrons); 3rd (3rd and 43rd Squadrons); 4th (4th and 24th Squadrons); 6th (6th and 28th Squadrons); 11th (36th and 44th Squadrons); 14th (18th and 32nd Squadrons); 15th (15th and 17th Squadrons); 16th (16th and 19th Squadrons); 101st (101st and 116th Squadrons); 102nd (38th and 102nd Squadrons); 106th (106th and 121st Squadrons); 113th (113th and 125th Squadrons); and 115th (104th and 107th Squadrons). In addition, the 117th Squadron served with the Seventh Army in Southern France and the 91st Squadron served with the Fifth Army in Italy.
Finally, a number of separate mechanized cavalry troops existed, among them the 56th (which remained in the U.S.) and the 302nd assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in the Pacific.
From...

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/ww ... valry.aspx

A bit away from the main topic but still interesting. The M8 GMC, since it was used along with M8 Armored cars was probably called something besides 'M8' by the troops that used it. It was an assault gun much the same as the M4/105mm was. In any terms, it was a AFV and it certainly fits in with teh title of this thread.

I have always thought that it might also have been fitted with the 57mm weapon and had a HVAP round issued to make a mini-Hellcat. But by the time of the ETO the Hellcat was available and was also used with these Cav units (attached) since they had the speed to keep up. But that is way off topic.

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

Post by RichTO90 » 12 Apr 2008 17:35

Username wrote:
RichTO90 wrote:Essentially, by early 1944 there was little role for the M8 HMC.
.
Some info on its final role...
Er, uh, yes, I know? You see I wrote that. :D 8-) :lol:

Of course it is now about 13 years old, at least in its earliest incarnation as an appendix in Hitler's Last Gamble, but yes, I probably should have said that "there was little future role for the M8 HMC"? It was already becoming clear that the near-term deployment of the M24 Light Tank would vitiate the need for the M8 in the mechanized cavalry, which left its sole remaining place as a support weapon in the AIB, and even there it seems likely the desire for addtional firepower and protection meant the M8 HMC simply had little future. Essentially it was a weapon system designed to meet a requirement in 1942-1943 that was only deployed in significant numbers in 1944.
A bit away from the main topic but still interesting. The M8 GMC, since it was used along with M8 Armored cars was probably called something besides 'M8' by the troops that used it. It was an assault gun much the same as the M4/105mm was. In any terms, it was a AFV and it certainly fits in with teh title of this thread.
Why yes, they did call them something, typically "SP"s or "M8 HMC"s or "assault guns" and the like, as variations of the official nomenclature. As I said before, there is no indication that anyone in the US Army at the time ever used the term "Scott", and the whole naming thing was a Britishism anyway, there is little to indicate that US Army use of those terms was a wartime habit and some strong indications that it was a postwar thing. And yes they do fit into the title of the thread, except the thread is based upon analysis done by Geoffrey Sinclair of the data I provided him, which did not include the M8 HMC. :)
I have always thought that it might also have been fitted with the 57mm weapon and had a HVAP round issued to make a mini-Hellcat. But by the time of the ETO the Hellcat was available and was also used with these Cav units (attached) since they had the speed to keep up. But that is way off topic.
Er, the M18 in its original prototype was a 57mm GMC. :D And all kinds of things were stuck on top of the M3/M5 Light Tank chassis, including a Pak 40, but that doesn't mean it was a great idea? But an HVAP round wouldn't work well in the 57mm M1 and there was no US APDS production for it and damn little British. The only unit I can confirm got some 6-pdr APDS was the 2nd Division in December 1944.

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

Post by Username » 12 Apr 2008 19:38

Well, 37mm guns and 75mm howitzers were less of a great idea in 1944. Having Cav units that could fire a more effective AP ammunition, like the 57mm, would have been an improvement. The Germans had a HVAP round that worked in the 50mmL60 weapons. I see no reason that it could not have been engineered in a 57mm weapon?
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Re: AFV Loss Rates in US 12th. Army Group

Post by Michael Dorosh » 12 Apr 2008 20:11

Username wrote:Well, 37mm and 75mm howitzers were less of a great idea in 1944. Having Cav units that could fire a more effective AP ammunition, like the 57mm, would have been an improvement. The Germans had a HVAP round that worked in the 50mmL60 weapons. I see no reason that it could not have been engineered in a 57mm weapon?
37mm howitzers?

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

Post by RichTO90 » 12 Apr 2008 20:48

Username wrote:Well, 37mm guns and 75mm howitzers were less of a great idea in 1944. Having Cav units that could fire a more effective AP ammunition, like the 57mm, would have been an improvement. The Germans had a HVAP round that worked in the 50mmL60 weapons. I see no reason that it could not have been engineered in a 57mm weapon?
Sorry, but I'm not sure I follow? And I think I just said precisely that, the M3/M5 Light Tank and M8 HMC were debveloped for a 1942 requirement and were becoming obsolescent in 1944. But why develop a poor 57mm substitute for a better 76mm weapons system? And develop it on a chasis that was already recognized as inadequate? In any case they had already played around with a 57mm Light Tank, the T7, which proved inadequate and was "improved" into a tank so heavy it was reclassified as a medium....and promptly dropped.

And I'm afraid since you were using the US Army nomenclature of "HVAP" that I thought that was what you were talking about, my fault. HVAP in US Army parlance was an armor piercing, tungsten cored shot in a rigid body, also know as APCR (armor-piercing-composite-rigid). But the German round you refer to, was not of that type, it was a different concept, where the tungsten core was mounted in a carrier body of minimal cross-section, where only limited bearing surfaces and the drive surface were full-bore, which is why if was known as Pfeil or "Arrow" shot. But the British round developed for the 57mm was yet a different type, an APDS round. And the problem is that each is a different development type. APDS-type rounds did not function well when applied to US-designed gun tubes, due to the rifling design and in any case the 57mm was a license production of a British design, adapted to American manufacturing. But the development of the APDS round was British and production was begun quite late, with limited quantities first available in June 1944 for D-Day. In the meantime US Army Ordnance was occupying its time developing the APCR round, for the 75mm, 76mm, 3-inch, and 90mm and saw no need to try to develop such a round for the 57mm, since developing a different round was a British purview....it was a British gun after all and the same occurred with American guns used by the British.

So there is no reason it couldn't have been so developed, but it wasn't and nor was there a need perceived for such a development.

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

Post by Username » 12 Apr 2008 21:52

Er, uh, why did the Germans put a 50mm weapon in this thing late in the war?

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

Post by Username » 12 Apr 2008 21:54

But why develop a poor 57mm substitute for a better 76mm weapons system?
I am saying to develop a better substitute for a 37mm gun and 75mm howitzer (on the light tank chassis). Not a 76mm weapon system. I suppose you mean a substitute for the M18 Hellcats? Well, that is not what I am saying.

again..
The mechanized cavalry squadrons were organized with three Cavalry Troops, lettered A to C, each equipped with 13 M8 armored cars and jeeps; an Assault Gun Troop, E, with six M8 HMC; a Light Tank Company, F, with 17 M5 Stuart, or later M24, tanks; a Service Company; and an H&H Company. The armored divisions reconnaissance squadron was identical except that it had a fourth Cavalry Troop, D, and the Assault Gun Troop had eight M8 HMC.
If you look at the weapons in these units, there are 37mm guns in both the M8 armored cars (I don't dare call them greyhounds), 37mm guns in the the light tank company (M3/M5) and the 75mm howitzer in the M8 GMC. Hopefully, they carried plenty of bazookas.

Since upgunning the M8 armored car is not a real possibility, the M5 chassis vehicles would have been better off carrying something harder hitting. In real combat, they often had to have some TD asset attached (M18 or what have you).

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