Five Shermans for one Panther ?

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
Yngwie J.
Member
Posts: 310
Joined: 10 May 2003 17:49
Location: Norway

Five Shermans for one Panther ?

Post by Yngwie J. » 21 Jun 2003 18:06

I keep running into these statements which claims that five Shermans was lost for every Panther knocked out, and similary four ( or five ) Shermans to every Tiger.

Could someone please explain to me what this statements are based on ?

TIA,
Yngwie J.

ChristopherPerrien
Member
Posts: 7050
Joined: 26 Dec 2002 00:58
Location: Mississippi

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 21 Jun 2003 19:55

US tankers use to say that it took 4 or 5 Shermans to knock-out a Panther or a Tiger. 2 would distract the german tank while 2 went around the flank. Generally, We would lose 2 or 3 tanks knocking out one German tank.

Luckily, German tanks were not that numerous as casualties could get much worse in if you got to fighting formations of German tanks- platoons and companies. Though in larger battles like this , commanders of tank units can skew success either way.

Losing say three out of 5 tanks to knock out one tank may seem excessive, but considering the defender always has an advantage and also that Shermans are inferior to these germans tanks , a 3 to 1 loss rate is not that bad.

Also consider this The Russians with their T-34 I am sure lost many times more tanks per panther or Tiger loss, than the American did with their marginal Sherman. I would blame this on inferior Russian tank crews and the much better "tank country" in Russia where the longer ranges favor the German's excellent "optics".

Darrin
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 17 Apr 2002 10:44
Location: Canada

Post by Darrin » 21 Jun 2003 22:38

ChristopherPerrien wrote:US tankers use to say that it took 4 or 5 Shermans to knock-out a Panther or a Tiger. 2 would distract the german tank while 2 went around the flank. Generally, We would lose 2 or 3 tanks knocking out one German tank.

Luckily, German tanks were not that numerous as casualties could get much worse in if you got to fighting formations of German tanks- platoons and companies. Though in larger battles like this , commanders of tank units can skew success either way.

Losing say three out of 5 tanks to knock out one tank may seem excessive, but considering the defender always has an advantage and also that Shermans are inferior to these germans tanks , a 3 to 1 loss rate is not that bad.

Also consider this The Russians with their T-34 I am sure lost many times more tanks per panther or Tiger loss, than the American did with their marginal Sherman. I would blame this on inferior Russian tank crews and the much better "tank country" in Russia where the longer ranges favor the German's excellent "optics".

The study may of also been done with ger claims compared to thier own recored loses. Even the ger thought they overclaimed by almost a factor of two which was pretty close to reality. 2-3 western tanks per panther des and 4-5 T34 per panther des might be close to reality.

Panthers and tigers weren´t the avg tank including all spgun anytime of the war. The panther side arm was much more vulnerable to any alllied tank shells then the tigers were.

Even whittman got 100+ confirmed kills and he was one of the top aces the ger army produced. But in reality half of the numbers may not be accurte so its more like 50-60 kills. But he didn´t start directly in tigers he actually started in the arty in a short 75 mm stug III. Early in rus if not before. I would be suprised if he didn´t lose at least one vechicle during his 4+ years of war. Also his ratio was inflated due to early ger vicories in rus during 41-42. His ratio from this point on must have been lower then earlier. One of the other reasons why the tigers tended to do well was all those expericed ger crews were conc into tanks that were very hard to kill. The panther were more vul had less experianced crews combined with more reliability problem earlier on.

I´d be extremly suprised if the panthers did as well as most people suspect. Tigers maybe but they were always to few to really make a difference to the over all situation. The avg ger tank and crew eff may have been an order of magnitude better than the allied tanks. The more numeorus allied tanks meant the ger tanks were lucky to kill 3 before getting knocked out themselves from 43 onwards.

The reality of the westen and east tank des ratio for all tanks and sp guns permantly knocked out for any and all reason. About 3-1 for all of 43 on the east front. It was proably a bit better then this in 44 on the EF but not much and about roughly around 2-1 in 44 on the west front.

ChristopherPerrien
Member
Posts: 7050
Joined: 26 Dec 2002 00:58
Location: Mississippi

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 21 Jun 2003 23:52

Dang Darrin I believe we are in agreement, I expected when I saw your name on last post , I went , oh hell, here comes another one of them number crunching arguements. Great now I have to go find a fight elsewhere. :D

Well Yngwie, since night and day agree on this issue, I would say you have your answer.

Darrin
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 17 Apr 2002 10:44
Location: Canada

Post by Darrin » 22 Jun 2003 00:13

ChristopherPerrien wrote:Dang Darrin I believe we are in agreement, I expected when I saw your name on last post , I went , oh hell, here comes another one of them number crunching arguements. Great now I have to go find a fight elsewhere. :D

Well Yngwie, since night and day agree on this issue, I would say you have your answer.

I´m sorry I´ll try harder next time.

Later in the war the tiger acctually became more vulnerable. The tiger front went from 100mm with no slope to even thicker with major slope and about the summer of 44 was the point of change so thier was no increased vul in the front not even relative.

But the tiger eseentially had 80mm of side and rear arm for the whole war. No actual increased vul here but a relative increase. By 1944 there were more and more 17lb sherman, 90mm TD, 76mm sherman and TD with HVAP ammo and T34-85 with APCR ammo. Even without special ammo these later weapons could punch a hole through the side of the tiger at a much more respectable distance then the earlier allied guns. But few got the chance to try.

Caldric
Member
Posts: 8077
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:50
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by Caldric » 22 Jun 2003 08:23

Darrin can you confirm these numbers?

US Built Tanks: 88,604

German: 23,056

Not sure if these are total including SPG's or just pure tanks like PzIII PzIV, Shermans...

Darrin
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 17 Apr 2002 10:44
Location: Canada

Post by Darrin » 22 Jun 2003 15:17

Caldric wrote:Darrin can you confirm these numbers?

US Built Tanks: 88,604

German: 23,056

Not sure if these are total including SPG's or just pure tanks like PzIII PzIV, Shermans...
The ger built about 30,000 tanks and 20,000 spguns. Stugs jagpanzers etc... But this extends all the way back to the first tank built in the 30s. If you counted the american tanks the same way it would also be higher than yours. I´m not really sure of the exact number but probably over 100,000. Even the rus couted the same way as the ger would have 130,000 tanks and spguns made plus 15,000 LL.

Darrin
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 17 Apr 2002 10:44
Location: Canada

Post by Darrin » 22 Jun 2003 16:31

Darrin wrote: Even whittman got 100+ confirmed kills and he was one of the top aces the ger army produced. But in reality half of the numbers may not be accurte so its more like 50-60 kills. But he didn´t start directly in tigers he actually started in the arty in a short 75 mm stug III. Early in rus if not before. I would be suprised if he didn´t lose at least one vechicle during his 4+ years of war. Also his ratio was inflated due to early ger vicories in rus during 41-42. His ratio from this point on must have been lower then earlier. One of the other reasons why the tigers tended to do well was all those expericed ger crews were conc into tanks that were very hard to kill. The panther were more vul had less experianced crews combined with more reliability problem earlier on.

Yes aparently even whitman lost 4 or more tanks. His real des allied tank to his tanks was proably around 15-1 and he was one of the best using one of the best tanks. This number was inflated due to early ger victories in rus during 41-42.

Yngwie J.
Member
Posts: 310
Joined: 10 May 2003 17:49
Location: Norway

Post by Yngwie J. » 22 Jun 2003 23:14

Thank you for responding Gentlemen,

In guess I can say with confidence, the next time I encounter such a claim, that these numbers are highly exaggerated.

Do any of you happen to know the "kill-loss ratio" for the M-18? I remember reading somewhere it had the best statistics of any WW2 AFV.

Thanks,
Yngwie

Return to “USA 1919-1945”