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

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

Post by RichTO90 » 12 Apr 2008 23:16

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.
Sorry, but I think you are getting confused? There was a "better substitute for a 37mm gun and 75mm howitzer on the light tank chassis)", it was the M24 Light Tank, combining the HE capability of the M8 HMC with the AP capability of the M4 75mm Medium Tank. And you were talking about putting a 57mm onto an M3/M5 chassis (doesn't fit unless you want to bolt it on top) when you already have the M18 GMC. Why?
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 :D ), 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).
Again, why? Replacement for the M5 Light Tank was planned as early as 1942 when the development project for the T7 Light Tank began. By October 1943 a mockup of the M24 was ready and it was standardized in July 1944, while at the same time the M5 was regraded substitute-standard. So why go to the time and trouble of refurbishing what is recognized as an aging weapons system when the plan was to replace it?

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

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

Post by RichTO90 » 12 Apr 2008 23:18

Username wrote:Er, uh, why did the Germans put a 50mm weapon in this thing late in the war?
Is this supposed to be a trick question? :D

Because they wanted to. And were able to. :lol:

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

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

Post by Username » 12 Apr 2008 23:20

Sorry, but I think you are getting confused? There was a "better substitute for a 37mm gun and 75mm howitzer on the light tank chassis)", it was the M24 Light Tank, combining the HE capability of the M8 HMC with the AP capability of the M4 75mm Medium Tank. And you were talking about putting a 57mm onto an M3/M5 chassis (doesn't fit unless you want to bolt it on top) when you already have the M18 GMC. Why?
Why? Because the Army landed in the ETO in the summer of 1944 WITHOUT M24. It didn't reach the field till the end of the year. So whether you like it or not, an army that was designed/fielded under 1942-1943 specifications went to war in 1944.

Did the M24 in fact replace the M5 tank company AND the M8 GMC? Or just M5?
Last edited by Username on 12 Apr 2008 23:42, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Dorosh
Member
Posts: 246
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:04
Location: Calgary, Alberta

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

Post by Michael Dorosh » 12 Apr 2008 23:42

Username wrote:Why? Because the Army landed in the ETO in the summer of 1944 WITHOUT M24. It didn't reach the field till the end of the year. So whether you like it or not, an army that was designed/fielded under 1942-1943 specifications went to war in 1944.
What kind of tank is designed and put into production in a matter of weeks? I'm not aware of anyone in the Second World War pulling off such a feat. Not sure what the point is here. All the armies in the ETO in 1944 were using doctrine and equipment developed in 1942, whether it was on the steppes or in North Africa. Retrofitting weapons to existing vehicles is another story, so you may be mixing apples and oranges with your armoured car example. But the Germans routinely used older weapons and older vehicles in combination - the 3.7cm anti-tank gun was fitted to the SdKfz 251, for example, in armoured infantry units to provide punch for platoon commanders' vehicles - not necessarily as a "tank hunter." The 5.0cm gun on an armoured car is evidence of nothing in and of itself.
Last edited by Michael Dorosh on 12 Apr 2008 23:45, 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 » 12 Apr 2008 23:45

Who said anything about weeks? And I am talking about field modifying equipment if needed. The British certainly adapted guns to already existing designs. Namely the 17#FireSherman and also the Churchill (?) was adapted to carry a Sherman 75mm.

Michael Dorosh
Member
Posts: 246
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:04
Location: Calgary, Alberta

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

Post by Michael Dorosh » 12 Apr 2008 23:47

Username wrote:Who said anything about weeks?
Weeks are what months are made out of the last time I checked. I certainly stand to be corrected on that...

The point being, which I'll state again, that all the armies in Europe were using equipment in 1944 that had been the result of combat experience in 1942. This isn't a revelation to anyone.
And I am talking about field modifying equipment if needed.
No you're not. Your exact words:
So whether you like it or not, an army that was designed/fielded under 1942-1943 specifications went to war in 1944.
Designing isn't the same as field modifying. Pick one and talk about it.

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

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

Post by Username » 13 Apr 2008 00:51

Sherman tanks were certainly depot/field modified. Again, see Death Traps. Initial designs of the sherman had many vulnerabilities. I recall Cooper stating he worked with British ordnance personnel and improved his divisions AFV even before the invasion. Armor was added primarily.

M8 Armored cars had a field kit that was installed whenever the vehicle reached a rear echelon maintenance area.

Sherman 'Jumbos' had 76mm guns installed as a gun mod. British shermans had 17#r. Churchills had some sherman 75mm.

Sherman/M5 vehicles had cullin cutters, etc added in the field.

So I see no reason that a field mod could not have put a 57mm in a turreted M5-AFV. Even if just some of the cav M5-chassis types had some, it would put more organic bite into thier operations. I suppose that M18 TD were everywhere?
Last edited by Username on 13 Apr 2008 01:44, edited 3 times 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 » 13 Apr 2008 00:58

The fact is that the US Army ended up fighting 1943 vehicles (Panzer IVlong/StuGlong/Panther/Tigers) in 1944. They brought 1942 class vehicles. They had previous knowledge of the enemy AFV before D-Day. They faced another wave improvement (Hetzer/Jagdpanzer) also. It really does not matter when a design is started, it matters when it is fielded. So this statement...
The point being, which I'll state again, that all the armies in Europe were using equipment in 1944 that had been the result of combat experience in 1942. This isn't a revelation to anyone.
...is just wrong.

They certainly had people within the US Army that wanted 90mm guns BEFORE D-Day. It was shot down by the clowns in charge. So they landed with old-school 75mm AFV and also light tanks with 37mm. The wonder-gun 76mm arrives soon and is seen as a mistake. The whole time-table gets shot to hell and they burn up artillery ammo like it can not be delivered fast enough.

So up-gunning M5 chassis to carry 57mm, putting 90mm weapons into something like a M7, mounting PAK40's on chassis much like a Marder, should have been done.

In retrospect, perhaps the Americans were better off in the hedgerows? What if the allies had all chose to come ashore in open country?

But my premise is that the US should have at least field modified some vehicles to carry better weapons. The promise of Pershing Tanks (is that correct?) and M24's for all, did not come soon enough. The 37mm class weapon was dropped from most armies by 1944. Its HE was a joke (base-fuze) and AP out-classed. To think that cav units were going to blaze a trail with this gun (in M8 armored cars and M5 tanks) was delusional. If you have read the cav units tactics, the way they were supposed to use the vehicles, you might be surprised. A buddy of mine's father was in the 4th armored and was in the cav. They drove around with 'one-foot-out'.

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

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

Post by RichTO90 » 13 Apr 2008 03:33

Username wrote:Why? Because the Army landed in the ETO in the summer of 1944 WITHOUT M24. It didn't reach the field till the end of the year. So whether you like it or not, an army that was designed/fielded under 1942-1943 specifications went to war in 1944.
Yet again, I think I just said that? And I'm not sure whether I "like it or not" emters into it at all? There are quite a few things in this world that just are - liking or disliking them doesn't change them.
Did the M24 in fact replace the M5 tank company AND the M8 GMC? Or just M5?
You still appear confused? The M24 Light Tank replaced the M5 Light Tank, why would anyone chose to replace a howitzer with a tank? The M8 remained as a wartime appendage, disappearing at the end.
Who said anything about weeks? And I am talking about field modifying equipment if needed. The British certainly adapted guns to already existing designs. Namely the 17#FireSherman and also the Churchill (?) was adapted to carry a Sherman 75mm.
Why yes, exactly, who said anything about weeks? The M4 17-pdr was a product of mutiple attempts to get a 17-pdr on a tank chassis by summer 1944 and was essentially a fallback in case the others failed, which most did. But the development began in April 1943, after the fruits of some months of preliminary work in Australia with Sentinel. And the result, about 8 months after development began in April 1943, was a production prototype in December 1943, in turn resulting in initial issues in May 1944. So we're talking about 13 months in fact, plus the six months or so of preliminary work in Australia that showed the idea was feasible.

And the Churchill NA worked because the 75mm M2 and the 6-pdr had essentially the same requirements in terms of mounting and turret space - it was a fairly simple conversion.

Which, BTW, should make it obvious to you why it was not possible to fit a 6-pdr/57mm into the turret of an M3/M5?

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

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

Post by RichTO90 » 13 Apr 2008 03:46

Username wrote:So I see no reason that a field mod could not have put a 57mm in a turreted M5-AFV. Even if just some of the cav M5-chassis types had some, it would put more organic bite into thier operations. I suppose that M18 TD were everywhere?
Really? What part of "it didn't fit" are we misunderstanding here? The M5 had a 46 3/4-inch turret ring diameter, so was approximately 20 inches smaller than the RAM and 25 inches smaller than the M4. But yeah, yeah, it could have been made to fit....sheesh

And why did mechanized cavalry require "organic bite"? Or tank destroyers for that matter? You brought up the idea of attaching tank destroyer elements to cavalry, which was pretty rare anyway?
Last edited by RichTO90 on 13 Apr 2008 04:55, 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 » 13 Apr 2008 03:59

What part of 'your sarcasm is weak' do you need drawings for?

http://www.jedsite.info/tanks-mike/mike ... /m8a1.html

yep obvious
And why did mechanized cavalry require "organic bite"? Or tank destroyers for that matter? You brought up the idea of attaching tank destroyer elements to cavalry, which was pretty rare anyway?
Wait for the book. There will be plenty of drawings for you.

Image
Last edited by Username on 13 Apr 2008 04:29, edited 1 time in total.

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

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

Post by RichTO90 » 13 Apr 2008 04:29

Username wrote:The fact is that the US Army ended up fighting 1943 vehicles (Panzer IVlong/StuGlong/Panther/Tigers) in 1944. They brought 1942 class vehicles. They had previous knowledge of the enemy AFV before D-Day. They faced another wave improvement (Hetzer/Jagdpanzer) also. It really does not matter when a design is started, it matters when it is fielded. So this statement...
The point being, which I'll state again, that all the armies in Europe were using equipment in 1944 that had been the result of combat experience in 1942. This isn't a revelation to anyone.
...is just wrong.
No, in fact it isn't. And were you a little more aware of the development cycle of any the vehicles you mentioned you might realize that? Or of what the Allies "knew" prior to D-Day.

Pz-IV (l) was a 1937-era vehicle, its adaptation to the KwK 40 L-43 and later L48 was anything but simple, and the result overstressed the suspension, drivetrain, and chassis, probably materially leading to the low readiness rates found in it. And the concept began in July-August 1941, with a prototype completed in November and first production in April 1942, getting in the hands of troops around July. And those were complete factory builds they were not depot modifications. StuG-III (l) was similar.

Similarly the Tiger I antecedents lead back to September 1938 and a design order of May 1941, production didn't begin until well over a year later.

Nor was Hetzer an "improvement" it was a desperate attempt to maintain the usefulness of a production line incapable of producing more modern vehicles. Which is also something similar to the story of the JgPz-IV.

What matters is design, production, and fielding.

And, as far as the Panther goes, the first complete Allied technical assessment of a Panther was dated 6 June 1944. How many Allied tankers do you think were reading it while crossing the Channel?
They certainly had people within the US Army that wanted 90mm guns BEFORE D-Day. It was shot down by the clowns in charge. So they landed with old-school 75mm AFV and also light tanks with 37mm. The wonder-gun 76mm arrives soon and is seen as a mistake. The whole time-table gets shot to hell and they burn up artillery ammo like it can not be delivered fast enough.
Really? You should be able to tell us all then who these "clowns" were and exactly what they "shot down" and when? And exactly why the 76mm was a "mistake"? And what "time-table" got messed up and why that resulted in excess artilery consumption? :roll:
So up-gunning M5 chassis to carry 57mm, putting 90mm weapons into something like a M7, mounting PAK40's on chassis much like a Marder, should have been done.
M5 and 57mm, sorry, doesn't fit, I'm getting a bit tired of repeating it. so maybe I won't get tired of retracting it? :D The M8 HMC Modified does at least show that the idea might have been feasible, but it still doesn't show it was a good idea, especially at a time when what was needed was more medium tanks?


90mm in an M7 - been there, done that, not a real workable idea really, and you need to find 90mm guns for them (oh, wait, let me fill in your next line for you "well, gee willikers, they didn't need any antiaircraft guns so the would have known there was plenty if they had just been as smart as me"). Instead they put them in a slightly more finished design, the M36.
Why would the US Army want to mount Pak 40's on chassis like Marders? But if you want Marder-like designs from US Army Ordnance with a Pak 40 equivalent, there were quite a few, but they were replaced almost immediately by a batter "tank-like" version, the M10.
In retrospect, perhaps the Americans were better off in the hedgerows? What if the allies had all chose to come ashore in open country?
Is that meant as a non sequiter? :roll:
But my premise is that the US should have at least field modified some vehicles to carry better weapons. The promise of Pershing Tanks (is that correct? yep, in 1948) and M24's for all, did not come soon enough. The 37mm class weapon was dropped from most armies by 1944. Its HE was a joke (base-fuze) and AP out-classed. To think that cav units were going to blaze a trail with this gun (in M8 armored cars and M5 tanks) was delusional. If you have read the cav units tactics, the way they were supposed to use the vehicles, you might be surprised. A buddy of mine's father was in the 4th armored and was in the cav. They drove around with 'one-foot-out'.
Methins you have been reading a bit too much of the Screed Belton? Which, don't get me wrong, is a great memoir and he was a wonderful guy - I met him - but as a history of the development and fielding of US Army tanks in World War II it falls a bit short. The vissicitudes of US Army tank development and production were many and very complex, believe me, I've been trying toi write the book for a while and have barely scratched the surface.

So where exactly was it said that mechanized cavalry was to "blaze a trail" by fighting for it?

"MISSIONS.-a. The principal mission of the reconnaissance squadron is to obtain the information required by
higher authority and get it back to the interested commander in time to be evaluated and acted upon.
b. While the squadron is capable of executing counterreconnaissance and certain offensive and defensive operations,
the division commander, before assigning such other missions, should consider the availability of other troops more
suitable to perform them and the relative importance of the missions compared with reconnaissance." (FM 2-30, Cavalry Field Manual: Cavalry Mechanized Reconnaissance Squadron, 29 March 1943)

"3. MISSION. The cavalry reconnaissance troop, mechanized, is organized, equipped, and trained to perform reconnaissance missions. Other types of missions are given only in the furtherance of a reconnaissance mission of the troop or the squadron of which the troop is a part, unless no other troops are available for other types of operations for the division or other larger unit. Reconnaissance missions are performed by employment of infiltration tactics, fire, and maneuver. Combat is engaged in only to the extent necessary to accomplish the assigned mission." (FM 2-20, Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop Mechanized, 24 February 1944)

The cavalry was never intended as an offensive arm by itself, and there were real concerns that arming them too heavily would distract them from their primary mission, a debate about reconnaissance that continues to this day.
Last edited by RichTO90 on 13 Apr 2008 04:56, edited 3 times in total.

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 » 13 Apr 2008 04:44

An off-topic post by Username has been removed by moderator.

Michael

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 » 13 Apr 2008 04:47

RichTO90 wrote:The cavalry was never intended as an offensive arm by itself, and there were real concerns that arming them too heavily would distract them from their primary mission, a debate about reconnaissance that continues to this day.
I think this is the key point to keep in mind in the present debate. It is not readily apparent to me that rearming M5 tanks with 57mm cannon, even if feasible, would make them significantly more survivable in combat. It might in fact, tempt the tankers to take risks for which they were not really capable of meeting.

Michael

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

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

Post by RichTO90 » 13 Apr 2008 04:49

Username wrote:What part of 'your sarcasm is weak' do you need drawings for?
Sarcasm? Me? :D
yep obvious
And what part of 'it wouldn't have been available before the M18' did you missunderstand? :roll: Which in fact means it would have had possibly a three month window - September-October-November 1944 to be fielded before the M24 Light Tank. And which also misses the minor problem that it wasn't Light Tanks that were needed then and the other minor problem thatfundamentally Light Tanks never were a problem in that sense.

The notion that it could have been used as a substitute for the M5 is interesting, but unlikely, the so-called 'M8A1' (it was actually officially known as the "M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage Modified") had limited ammunition stowage, was grossly overweight, and was not a "field modification", which is the most problematic part of all this. You seem to believe that American tank manufacturing capability was essnetially unlimited, which was not the case. So, do you want to dutz about with a barely workable M8 HMC with a jury-rigged M3 75mm gun on it, probably delaying production of other vehicles?

BTW, I had forgotten about the Modified, good catch, it means that however unlikely it appears spacewise, the 57mm could have been made to fit, but making something fit and making it workable isn't quite the same thing.

Return to “USA 1919-1945”