Sherman a tank or a tin?

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Darrin
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Post by Darrin » 01 Jun 2003 01:31

ChristopherPerrien wrote:One last thing America had the best equipment of anybody in the war in just about every area , planes, ships, except late subs, radios, artillery, except AT guns, trucks, small arms except MGs, hell even chow.

Why did we stay with a tank of "marginal" performance for 5 years 1940-1945 ?

History is written by the victors some of the truth gets "marginalized", buried by feel-good propaganda because it is "icky". Hell we won.
A lot of burned-up tankers made sure we did. RIP fellow tankers

The sheman was not evan an itch in 1940 they first produced and used by late 42. May 45 makes less than 3 years. But you are right in one repect they kept using them long after the war all through korea and into the late 50s. But that is more than the 5 years you quote abouve. If they didn´t have the best tank of the war then thier was probably some reason why. Look to my above message for an answer.

Another example at morooco not a single sherman could wade ashore the area had to be sized by stuarts and then the shermans lifted in at ports. Imagine trying to do that with pershings in normandy. The difficulty of finding ports with heavy, intact cranes to actually try this. Not to mention siezing the port with only sturats supported by inf in the face of the german army.

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 01 Jun 2003 01:38

Good excellent post.

I suppose America just did not have the resources to build a better tank since we were arming the rest of the world.

That the western allies could keep thier tank des down to 2:1 levels against the better ger tanks
You said it!!!!!!

Look, I conceed the arguement. I gave up looking at technical details of equipment long ago. I have more interest in the people who fought the war rather than their equipment nowadays. TO SOME PEOPLE THE MACHINES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE MEN WHO USED THEM
OR THEIR OPNION OF THE EQUIPMENT THEY USED.

Whoops my cap lock got stuck. Like I said you can spout all the number's you want and I don't argue with them. You are right.

One thing,
. More 75mm rounds sent in a set and limited ship space than the 76mm rounds. Also the smaller and lighter rounds take less stell and exp to manufacture. The logistics savings is very important.
I can see how how this might be very important to a US tanker fighting
Tigers and Panthers. But I guess smaller bullets are more important than men.

The Sherman tank was a tin because it was out of place . It was out of place, because of bad "logistcal considerations", bad doctrine ,and a failure of the Allied High Command to adapt to changing battlefield conditions.

Perhaps someone else can take up the sword for this side of the arguement, but in the face of all these numbers disguised as facts, I surrender.

Hey yall won the arguement by attrition, funny irony.

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Post by Darrin » 01 Jun 2003 02:03

ChristopherPerrien wrote: Sad fact is by the time the best Sherman got out to the units there were few actually tankers left due to casualties, many US tank crews were nothing more than converted new infantry men with a few hours training, perhaps you did hear that the US army just about shutdown its tank school at fort knox sshortly after the invasion because High command figured they had plenty of tankers in "good?" tanks.

I believe that onlyied Tactical air power and a preponderance of artillery allowed us to win the "tank battle" in the the west.

I've heard of this hapening for the CW army at normandy which suffered the disportae share of cas at this ealy point in jun and jul. But the overall avg and tank crew shoratages were not so bad. Also almost anyone could fulfile the loaders duties with a day of traing. Ánd even the radio could be operated by any trined radio man he did not have to be á tank crew.

Now if you truly think arty not ATGs casued the death of a large numbers of ger tanks then you are still thinking fantasy not reality. It may have been as low as 5% of the total see normandy 44 by zetterling.

Also while the allies had large number of tac figther bombers they had no dedicated ground attack planes like the gers. The US ftr bombers were just ftrs equipped with ONLY MGs. No canons what so ever. The US ftr bombers relied mainly on bombs which had an avg miss distance under test not reality conditions of over 100m. The CW tended to favor rockets more but even these had an avg miss distance in test cond of over 50m. Plus the rockets had only a small HE warhead of 60lb compared to the much larger bombs carried by the US ftrs. Plus in an actual test aginst the panther its 80mm front was said to be invulnerable to these rockets. You could image the same was true to tigers I and II everywhere plus other vehicles with an 80mm protection such as the panzer IV front. In test cond a plane firng an entire salvo of 8 rockets together had a 2.5% chance of actually hitting a tank size target. After looking at the reality of the sit maybe as many as 10% of the ger tanks were des by allied aircraft. See normandy 44 by zetterling again.

Also the TDI people developed many different anylsis of WWII for the US army. IT seems it was exrtrmly unusual for the air components in total to account for even 10% of a battle in 44.

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Post by Darrin » 01 Jun 2003 03:02

Chris,

Actually I thought very much like you to start with. It became apparent to me a bit earlier that that the shermans were not so badly armoured for its size/weight and that its crew survial was as good as the other tanks. What it was was badly guned esp in the US army until almost too late in the war. Like I said once if the first HE 76mm shell doesn´t work use a second. If the first AP 75mm shell does not work you can use a second. I too thought the pershing or tiger copy should not be that hard to do. These tanks would be of such quality as overcome whatever inherit disadv they possed. I was disuaded of this by rich anderson a very excelent historian at the TDI instiute. And the more I think about it the more convinced I am I was wrong.

But improving US sherman guns earlier was a real possibility. Until just after normandy thier was no cry from the army for this. The US had made them more in case and to supply rus and the CW who both wanted them. The CW wanted them in case thier 17lb did not work as well as hoped and gave most of them back to the US to use late in 44. It wasn´t until ealry july that the 76mm shermans were demonstrated to patton in eng who accepted them for use in the army.

As well as some ways to try to accerate a better gun on the sherman I have´t mentioned yet. They could have predicated this case and made the first turrent larger. They could have tried harder to put the 76mm gun into the 75mm turrent. But even in 43 thier was no real cry from the army.

Darrin

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 01 Jun 2003 03:16

Since I gueess we beat the topic to death I guess we can veer a little. :)



Plus the rockets had only a small HE warhead of 60lb compared to the much larger bombs carried by the US ftrs
I don't know about 60lb of tnt being a small warhead.
Also being facicious, I do not think airplanes engaged Tanks head on.
Speaking of which the 8 50.cal calibers on P-47 could make cheese (swiss) out of the top deck armor of many tanks. I believe the Typhoon had 20mm cannonn but I could be wrong.

German tanks had glass top deck armour, primarily as a sacrafice for thicker front armor, and their assumption that they would have air superiority, I don't think they gave much thought to very accurate or massive artillery fire either.

I think the Falaise Gap proves how effective Air planes were against armor in then open in fact the only time a German tank could move was at dark , bad weather, or under trees. "Jabo's", they were feared the most by German tankers of any Allied weapon, So me an account that doesn't agree. 10%????? I don't think so. And massed artillery fire stopped many German armor assaults in their tracks (pardon the pun).
Read some accounts.

There are not five loaders on a tank, and operating them old transitor radio's was a professional skill , otherwise why did every army have people trained for this job if anyone could do it. You can't just put a soldier in tank and call him a tanker, actually you call them tank riders hopefully they won't get themselves killed by their own equipment, but I do not know I was only on tanks for 8 years. Good Tanking is a rare skill
it takes at least two years hard training to be competent at it.

True I am going alittle father than Jun1944 , and the Hedgerows but I am trying to include the "big picture".

Overall I say this is all a good topic.

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 01 Jun 2003 03:32

that its crew survial was as good as the other tanks. What it was was badly guned esp in the US army until almost too late in the war.
This I agree with, but both the Germans and the US and Brit made a serious error by using gasoline engine, horrible idea . The russian hadd it right. But I suppose this was another case of logistics over lives.
Hell the US kept gas s engines in tanks until the mid 70's, DUMB!!
It became apparent to me a bit earlier that that the shermans were not so badly armoured for its size/weight
This I agree and disagree teh Sherman weighed much more than a Mk IV (10-15 tons), but its armour does not seem to have been "better". Why ?.
The Radial engines cause the Sherman to be about 2-3 taller than it should be , but to this day American tanks are too tall.

Like I said America had some bad-ass weapons why did we not have a bad-ass tank? Keeping the Sherman costs needless lives.

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Post by Second try » 01 Jun 2003 11:49

Let me add jut a few words :)

Tigers in Tunesia-threatment was found minor-reports about broken down,unreliable Panther D-s in Russia,rare meetings with them in Italy,.What more,the italian front was much likely an infantry front -not mobil armored-warfare.

The Sherman had the superseeder in the beginning of 1944,the T25,lighter (but still heavier than the M4) and more mobile than the T26 (the Pershing),the same armament though less heavily armored,refused.Still,the completely lack of first hand experience with clashing big cats in larger numbers.

Late war PzIVs weighed about 25 tonnes,Shermans 29-32 tonnes depended on the actual variant. the heavily armored assult tank M4A3E2 weighed 38 tonnes.

In 1943,under firing trials against captured Tigers,the hull down front driver plate was penetrated over 1800 meter with the 76mm gun.Everyone was satisfied.

In the field-no one expected this-76mm APC projectiles shattered and failed when faced Tiger frontal armo at close ranges due the TO HIGH OVERPENETRATION RATIO when the projectile nose heavily deformed at high velocities so the 90mm gun came up.

The gun was not worse than the german long 75,the ammunition was.

In august,1944 HVSS Shermans with T26 turret (90mm gun)had been refused because fears interrupting the production of the T26E3 that was under troubleshooting ("Sir...give us just one more week...we will ready...or two...."),this took long until November.

The 90mm gun was a much more potent weapon,it fired better ammunition and was able to kill Tigers and Panthers from the front even withthe conventional M82 APCBC-HE-T.

In January,1945,the glacis armor of the Panther was penetrated at 1006 meters with improved T33 AP(BC) under test trials of the Zebra Mission.

At Elsdorf 27th February,1945,A Tiger was killed by two frontal penetrations at 900 meters.

Things came out like this,the germans also gave up strategical mobility they used many types of tank and assault guns,the americans wanted to keep up an OFFENSIVE army,all divisions the same power,the same logistic demand,reliability, except tank engines.

Christopher,you buy anything what you want,my view is that-what a relevant information-mechanical warfare in a long war for itself is hardly surviveable for the soldiers and crews... :wink:


P.S: have you ever problems with starting a diesel engine in winter? :roll:

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 01 Jun 2003 17:25

As to winter? We had mostly electrical problems with diesel engine tanks in the winter.Granted I do not recall anything colder than -20 C.

Since you brought it up , you go fight a Tiger tank with your 76mm Sherman and and high overpenation ratio.

You see all these numbers are "slide rule warfare". There is a huge difference between theory and application. Of course that is impossible to explain to anyone who does not know both.

I suppose you want an architect to build your house instead of a carpenter.

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Post by Second try » 01 Jun 2003 18:23

ChristopherPerrien wrote:As to winter? We had mostly electrical problems with diesel engine tanks in the winter.Granted I do not recall anything colder than -20 C.

Since you brought it up , you go fight a Tiger tank with your 76mm Sherman and and high overpenation ratio.

You see all these numbers are "slide rule warfare". There is a huge difference between theory and application. Of course that is impossible to explain to anyone who does not know both.

I suppose you want an architect to build your house instead of a carpenter.
Only if you insist :P ,architects are goood chaps :roll: whatever :lol:

I've the documentation about firing test against captured Tigers during 1943 used a large variety of tank guns,I can show them if you want to :wink: Of course there is a huge difference-as you said-between TESTS and practice as Tiger had been penetrated over 1800 meters ,no one cared more about them :oops: "yes,the 76mm will work nicely" ,the ooops was the following:at the ballistic limit the shatter gap was not appeared.... 8O In Normandy,engagement ranges were much closer ones...

The so called Tiger was purely lucky in same aspect..

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Post by Darrin » 01 Jun 2003 20:30

ChristopherPerrien wrote:
that its crew survial was as good as the other tanks. What it was was badly guned esp in the US army until almost too late in the war.
This I agree with, but both the Germans and the US and Brit made a serious error by using gasoline engine, horrible idea . The russian hadd it right. But I suppose this was another case of logistics over lives.
Hell the US kept gas s engines in tanks until the mid 70's, DUMB!!
It became apparent to me a bit earlier that that the shermans were not so badly armoured for its size/weight
This I agree and disagree teh Sherman weighed much more than a Mk IV (10-15 tons), but its armour does not seem to have been "better". Why ?.
The Radial engines cause the Sherman to be about 2-3 taller than it should be , but to this day American tanks are too tall.

Like I said America had some bad-ass weapons why did we not have a bad-ass tank? Keeping the Sherman costs needless lives.

Well if you still think the shermans were 10-15 tons heavier than a panzer IV then your facts are all figments of your imiganitation. Further discourse seems pointless.

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Post by Darrin » 01 Jun 2003 21:47

The only tank the sherman 76mm gun had a problem pen was the tiger I front arm. IT could do it but not only for sure at point blank range. But by the summer of 44 the tiger I was disappearing and only tiger IIs remained. Whose front hull along with the panther front hull was not normally vul to the 76mm even using HVAP. Both of these tanks copuld be easily des from the sides and rear by the normal 76mm ammo. The panther was the more numerous of the two and it could be easily killed from the sides and rear using normal 75mm sherman ammo. There was no such thing as invulnerable heavy tanks running around the battlefield in 44-45 even the sherman could and did kill tigers and panthers.

Now at least according to the books I read the allies ended up getting ashore at normandy and fighting all the way to cheqslovakia. They won the battle dispite not having the best tank around and using something that many consider a death trap or stell coffin. The sherman appeared to be good enough to ensure victory for the allies which is all you can ask for weapons. Nothing is perfect and in any war people and tanks die. Reality unfortuantly sets limtis which not all of us can see.

Well in 1941 the very first diseal tanks in the world are introduced. The rus T34 and KV but not all the other T60, 70 and SU 76s built during the war. Does that meam everyone else should copy this imediatly. Well no allied or ger tank built during the war was a diseal. As someone else said the US neaver used a diseal until the 70s. If no one else copyies the invovation then the breakthrough can not be that great or comes with certain disadvantages.

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 01 Jun 2003 22:46

Well after three books on tanks , I must have about 35. I found a book
That had the MkIV J model ( the last model)as weighing 27 tons and the M4A3 HVSS weighing 32 tons . So there is a 5tons difference in some late models . The first two books put the difference at 12tons obviously not the same models .

I am sure one of you armchair -tankers has the various combat weights of the MkIV models and Sherman Models , I may dig a little tonight into my library, These were just three books I had laying around, not really as technical as many books I got buried.


I forgot who said about the M2 being a light tank true there was a M2 LT. But if you knew a little more you would know that there was also an M2 medium tank which never went into production which was the basis for the M3 and M4 medium, and I think it was designed in 1927 but I could wrong on the year.

All this said remember America ran off their best tank designer "Christie" because he was too radical. Now, we still use some of his design features.

Ia have to do some arranging tonight , I willtry to find some boks so I can battle you people on your "turf" ( should not be too difficult) as I use to be a number nut too. However Many things cannot be explained to someone who has never operated or worked on a tank.
C'ya later.

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Post by Darrin » 02 Jun 2003 03:22

Second try wrote:
In 1943,under firing trials against captured Tigers,the hull down front driver plate was penetrated over 1800 meter with the 76mm gun.Everyone was satisfied.

In the field-no one expected this-76mm APC projectiles shattered and failed when faced Tiger frontal armo at close ranges due the TO HIGH OVERPENETRATION RATIO when the projectile nose heavily deformed at high velocities so the 90mm gun came up.

Yes the problem was a shatter gap from 1000 m and beyond you got true pen with no lat angle. You also got pen from an almost point blank range as well the round shatters but still allows pen.

But shatter was not just an american problem even the ger and rus had problems. In fact the 37mm and 88L56 rounds had to be redisiged after the war began to reduce this problem. Even the 50mm round seemed to have a shatter problem during the war that the ger never picked up and corrected even though they used it for thier arm quality control test. The ger had 5 years of combat by normandy to get it right and were still not perfect and even if they were shatter would still occur. Yet the us was somehow stupid if after only minor combat before normandy they didn´t find and correct these problems.

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Post by Panther » 02 Jun 2003 07:09

I might have missed something, but the japanese tanks were not that famous during the war. It might just have been me, but I almost totaly missed that chapter. Their own tank production etc?
Maybe all of this fell into shadow as fleet and flight were their proffesions?

Thanks again for your time and comments!

Regards Panther

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Post by Second try » 02 Jun 2003 18:30

Darrin wrote:
Second try wrote:
In 1943,under firing trials against captured Tigers,the hull down front driver plate was penetrated over 1800 meter with the 76mm gun.Everyone was satisfied.

In the field-no one expected this-76mm APC projectiles shattered and failed when faced Tiger frontal armo at close ranges due the TO HIGH OVERPENETRATION RATIO when the projectile nose heavily deformed at high velocities so the 90mm gun came up.

Yes the problem was a shatter gap from 1000 m and beyond you got true pen with no lat angle. You also got pen from an almost point blank range as well the round shatters but still allows pen.

But shatter was not just an american problem even the ger and rus had problems. In fact the 37mm and 88L56 rounds had to be redisiged after the war began to reduce this problem. Even the 50mm round seemed to have a shatter problem during the war that the ger never picked up and corrected even though they used it for thier arm quality control test. The ger had 5 years of combat by normandy to get it right and were still not perfect and even if they were shatter would still occur. Yet the us was somehow stupid if after only minor combat before normandy they didn´t find and correct these problems.

Exactly! For the others,nose shattering was occured at overpenetration ratio 1,05 and over 2000 feet/sec due the GREATLY INCREASED nose stress (when the metal was pushing away faster) that did not bode well for the nose of M62 APCBC-HE-T despite of using armor piercing cap :?

The 75mm M61 APCBC-HE-T used by the M3 gun of the Sherman had much lower impact velocity (all under 2000 fps)values and the nose hardness was satisfactory,at least I don't know about any its opposite :),anybody else don't, too .

The 90mm M82 APCBC-HE-T-along with the 76mm-these are the best documented projectiles from world war era-nose damage was calculated minimal by all impact velocities 8O

What more,solid-without inert he filler and cavity-,pointed nosed P projectiles without a ballistic cap (only with windscreen by the T33 and T43 90mm AP,AP for 105mm T8 gun) had better armor multipliers for sloped armor over 40 degree for some reason.Armor piercing-caps also absorbed impact energy and decreased penetration against homogenous armor but aid it against face-hardened.

The 90mm M3 L/52 gun with T33 AP with 2850 feet/sec muzzle velocity could pen the Panther glacis at longer range than the King Tiger with its own dreaded Kwk43 L/71 3280 feeet/sec despite its overpenetration (204mm vs 189mm against vertical armor WITHOUT side angle at 1000 meters)

Overall,the best impact characteristics against sloped armor had been owned by the russian blunt nosed APHE with a simple ballistic windscreen.

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