Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

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Michael Kenny
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Apr 2018 14:51

critical mass wrote:
Three of the six turret side hits are dents, and therefore incomplete penetrations.
I count 3 clear holes and two hits of the turret side with holes in the roof plate behind them which is a penetration. The extreme RH hit is not clear enough to say yea or nay. It could be either.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by MarkF617 » 18 Apr 2018 15:36

Critical mass said:
Had the allies felt the need to make their aequivalent, it would need to conform to the breakthrough idea and provide a high degree of resistence vs commonly employed german anti tank guns (75mm PAK40/ 88mm FLAK18 in 1942/43 but 75mm L/70 and 88mm PAK43 in 1944/1945), the level of armor required for such an AFV would be prohibitively high and might cause poor compromises.
This is why the Churchill Black prince project was dropped.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by LineDoggie » 18 Apr 2018 16:18

WEISWEILER wrote:Due to the repeated design and production delays, initially only 20 Pershing tanks were introduced into the European theater of operations - after the Battle of the Bulge(thus in 1945). The Ardennes showed the serious mismatch between Allied and German armor. The 105 mm Shermans hadn't solved the problem.
105mm Shermans were never intended to be tank killers but "Assault Artillery" in Tank Bn's which was why they were not in the line companies but the Bn HQ. The idea being they were Direct Support and to offer greater protection than the M7HMC
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Apr 2018 17:35

WEISWEILER wrote:I found something entirely different as reason. If we agree that the T26 was a worthy counterpart of the Tiger, and we ask why he wasn't deployed earlier, here's something to consider. An article that says it was (strongly) delayed cause of a discussion inside the army. There was opposition against the concept of a heavy tank for practical reasons. I don't know much about the source but it's an interesting view to elaborate I think.
Oh dear God it never dies... :roll:

First, the T26 was never intended as a "counterpart of the Tiger" worthy or not. It was intended as a medium tank with 90mm gun and increased armor. The concept originated with Gladeon Barnes and was first expressed by him as early as 22 March 1943 in a confidential memo, probably to General Lucius Clay, Assistant Chief of Staff for Materiel, Army Service Forces, who had authorized procurement of 250 Medium Tanks T23 two days earlier.
"With the emergence of the new German Panther and Tiger tanks, efforts began within the Ordnance Department to develop a heavier tank to compete with them. This resulted in the T25 and T26 series which built upon the earlier T23.
Given that as of 22 March 1943, the Americans and British had agreed the Tiger was unlikely to be encountered in large numbers and that full understanding of the Panther "threat" did not "emerge" until over a year later, the idea that T25 and T26 were a "result" of that "emergence" is hogwash.
Devised in 1943, the T26 saw the addition of a 90 mm gun and substantially heavier armor. Though these greatly increased the tank's weight, the engine was not upgraded and the vehicle proved underpowered. Despite this, the Ordnance Department was pleased with the new tank worked to move it towards production.
Ordnance in this case was Brigadier General Gladeon Barnes, Chief of the Technical Division of the Ordnance Department, who was the greatest champion for the T26. Yes, he was "pleased with the new tank" and steadily tried to move it to production, along with his other favorites, the Heavy Tank T1 and the Medium Tank T23. However, a large part of his pleasure was confined to their gasoline-electric drive systems, which had certain virtues, but more faults, especially in terms of weight penalties. In any case, he repeatedly attempted to get authorization for serial production of types before the designs were even finalized, drawn up, and long before pilots were constructed and tested. Essentially, he repeatedly attempted end runs around the procurement process, ignoring end-user requirements and simply practicalities such as will the damned thing work as designed?
The first production model, T26E3, possessed a cast turret mounting a 90 mm gun and required a crew of four. Powered by the Ford GAF V-8, it utilized a torsion bar suspension and torqmatic transmission. Construction of the hull consisted of a combination of castings and rolled plate. Entering service, the tank was designated M26 Pershing heavy tank. The name was selected to honor General John J. Pershing who had founded the US Army's Tank Corps during World War I.
No, the T26E3 entered service as the Heavy Tank T26E3. The designation M26 indicated standardization, which occurred on 29 March 1945, long after it had entered service and after it entered combat. "Pershing" was never recognized as a designation in wartime, but was an unofficial appellation, promoted by the Ordnance Department and picked up by newsmen and soldiers.
Production Delays:

As design of the M26 came to completion, its production was delayed by an ongoing debate in the US Army regarding the need for a heavy tank. While Lieutenant General Jacob Devers, the head of US Army forces in Europe advocated for the new tank, he was opposed by Lieutenant General Lesley McNair, commander Army Ground Forces. This was further complicated by Armored Command's desire to press on the M4 and concerns that a heavy tank would not be able to use the Army Corps of Engineers' bridges.

Supported General George Marshall, the project remained alive and production moved forward in November 1944.
This is quite possibly the single most misunderstood and poorly reported incident of the war for the U.S. Army. Jacob Devers helped contribute to the confusion, by waffling over his requirements (first wanting a 90mm-armed tank then not wanting it), but the actual sequence was essentially this.

22 March 1943 - BG Barnes confidential memo suggests development of a T23 with 90mm gun in two types, one with heavier armor
3 June 1943 - ASF authorizes production of 40 T25 and 10 T26 for ordnance and service test
24 June 1943 - Gen. Devers, CG of ETOUSA nonconcurs on requirement for the T26, instead wanting 3 of the 12 theater-allotted separate tank battalions equipped with 90mm-armed T25, 1 with 76mm-armed T20-series, and 2 with 105mm-armed T20-series (the rest would consist of 75mm-armed M4)
4 September 1943 - BG Barnes glibly tells British representatives that they should substitute request for the T26 for the T14 telling them the "T26 has been thoroughly tested and when it comes out, it will be fool-proof.” The first T26 pilot was not completed until January 1944.
13 September 1943 - Barnes refuses request from MG Gillem, CG of the Armored Command, for 1,000 90mm-armed M4 telling them it would be "too unbalanced"...about the same day Barnes requests authorization to produce 500 T23, 500 T25, and 500 T26.
3 October 1943 - ASF refuses Barnes' production request under the rather sensible grounds that two of the types did not exist even in pilot form and the T23 production pilot had not even been completed (two engineering pilots existed).
13 November 1943 - Gen. Devers reverses himself and requests 250 T26 for the ETOUSA. Still no pilot exists of either the T25 or T26.
16 December 1943 - Gen. Marshall confirms Devers' request and directs procurement of 250 T26 (later confirmed with the new CG ETOUSA, Eisenhower, in January 1944)

BTW, yes the Engineers were greatly concerned and rightfully so...the T26 exceeded Army regs for bridge size and weight limitations and also exceeded the handling capabilities of most common landing craft and ships as well as many ship and harbor cranes.
While some claim that Lieutenant General George S. Patton played a key role in delaying the M26, these assertions are not well supported. Ten M26s were built in November 1943, with production escalating at the Fisher Tank Arsenal. Production also commenced at the Detroit Tank Arsenal in March 1945. By the end of 1945, over 2,000 M26s had been built. In January 1945, experiments began on the "Super Pershing" which mounted the improved T15E1 90mm gun. This variant was only produced in small numbers. Another variant was the M45 close support vehicle which mounted a 105 mm howitzer."
No, ten T26E3 were built in November 1944, not 1943 (your source also gets the number of crewmen wrong, it was five, not four). The first T26 was actually a T26 pilot with the gas-electric drive Barnes insisted on trying, completed on 3 January 1944 at DTA. The first Fisher-built T26-series was a T26E1 with standard hydromatic transmission, completed in February, with the rest of the ten completed by the end of June 1944. Initial engineering and service testing of the nine T26E1 revealed a number of changes were required, most importantly WRT ammunition stowage and fire control, but including numerous other detail changes. The redesign, eventually designated T26E3, was authorized for limited production and the first production pilot T26E3 was completed 31 October 1944.

I would agree though that 25 T26E1-1 (T26E4) was producing "small numbers" of them. :D
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Yoozername » 18 Apr 2018 18:28

Why didn't the Allies build their own Tiger? I haven't read through the whole thread, but the point about simple logistics may not have been brought up.

One logistical issue, one the Germans wrestled with, is that a AFV like the Tiger, was best kept in separate battalions. Having a heavy vehicle with a unique gun and ammunition (electric fire), as well as tracks/engines/etc. and all the other transportation needs, meant that these low production vehicles were also concentrated somewhat in small areas (and needed specialized mechanics and had their own 'trains'). They were best kept in the vicinity of railheads. Committing them meant that the number of runners would almost certainly fall quickly to 50% or so, and defending the non-runners, or evacuating them, became another strain.

AFVs with increased weight have non-linear maintenance needs compared to lighter tanks. A 60 ton tank does not need twice the maintenance as a 30 ton tank, it is more like triple or more. As many know, floating AFV across the Atlantic was a major logistical issue.

The Germans themselves were ending the production of Tiger I in mid-1944. They saw it had its glory days, and weapons were being fielded that made it an expensive proposition and target. I don't get some of the static here regarding who holed who but it isn't worth the bandwidth IMO. The Tiger I had had its day by the middle of 1944.

Fielding heavy armor means fielding heavy recovery vehicles and it is a logistical load that one has to deal with. The Germans used multiple vehicles to recover the KO's Tigers or Tigers themselves, causing an extra strain on a heavy tank.

The post WWII army did think that having light tanks (M41), and mediums (M4A3E8) and heavies (M26 etc.) was the way to go. This didn't last that long before the MBT concept became the SOP in most armies.

I would say that most Nation's automotive technical abilities in WWII could not field AFV greater than 50 tons in weight and expect the reliability of a 30 ton tank. The Germans being on the low end of that spread BTW.
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Cult Icon » 18 Apr 2018 18:31

The Tiger/Panther armor's utility was mainly against massed soviet AT guns and the T-34/76 & Sherman 75.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by yantaylor » 18 Apr 2018 20:39

CM, I wonder if the allies thought that by 1944, they didn't really need a heavy break through tank, I know we had the Churchill with its thick armour and a multitude of weaponry, but any serious German defenses were probably took by troops supported by artillery and air power. The tanks would be used as support to destroy any real opposition, but I would think that the types used would be flame-thrower and petard armed tanks rather than main battle tanks.

Yan.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Apr 2018 22:32

Yoozername wrote:I would say that most Nation's automotive technical abilities in WWII could not field AFV greater than 50 tons in weight and expect the reliability of a 30 ton tank. The Germans being on the low end of that spread BTW.
Yep, automotive and logistical limitations real world pretty much trump any idea of simply building a copycat "Tiger".

In automotive terms the T26E3 exceeded the capability of the Ford GA-series engine and the Torqmatic transmission. Most may not know that the primary reason the Medium Tank T20 failed was because the Torqmatic 30-308 transmission as developed from the Torqmatic 900-T as used in the GMC M18 and Light Tank M5 simply never worked as designed. It took months more of development before it could be made to work - sort of - in the T25 and T26 and it was always a major source of failures in the T26E3 and later M26, going into Korea.

In logistical terms the T26E3 was a huge headache. By late-1942, after designing, redesigning, upgrading, and putting patches on it, the standard floating treadway bridge had reached its practical weight limit, which was 35 tons. At the same time, Ordnance kept scaling up the weight of tank projects (often despite requests from the Armored Board to keep weight down), also by late 1942 they were projecting 40-tons. At that point, the Chief of Engineers put his foot down, lobbying Marshall and resulting in the issuance of a new edition of AR 850-15 on 28 August 1943, which limited the size and weight of combat vehicles. The limit for tracked combat vehicles was 124" width and 35 ton weight...the T25E1 was 127 inches wide and weighed almost 38 tons combat loaded, the T26E1 was 138.3 inches wide and weighed almost 44 tons. Ordnance got around the restriction by ensuring the tanks were no more than 124 inches wide with the tracks and part of the suspension removed, glossing over the practical loss of operational mobility the provision required. When ZEBRA landed in Europe, specially reinforced tank transporters were employed, along with a specially surveyed route requiring reinforced bridges...even the standard Bailey had to be modified to enable the T26E3 to cross.

In terms of landing craft and ships, all wartime craft were effectively designed assuming a 40-ton heavy tank, 25 ton medium tank, and 16 ton light tank. By January 1945, when planning the landings at Iwo Jima, Navy and Marine Corps planners were confronted with the simple fact the updated Medium Tank M4-series weight exceeded the LCM-3 safe load limits. Luckily they were just receiving the newer LCM-6, but that could not accommodate the T26E3. The T26E3 also could only be fit on the LCT-5, LCT-6, and the LCT-8 due to issues with deck and ramp strength and exit widths. Finally, the standard Liberty had a single 50-ton rated crane accessing its hold #2, while many ports also had few mobile or fixed cranes rated for that weight.
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Sheldrake » 19 Apr 2018 00:27

yantaylor wrote:CM, I wonder if the allies thought that by 1944, they didn't really need a heavy break through tank, I know we had the Churchill with its thick armour and a multitude of weaponry, but any serious German defenses were probably took by troops supported by artillery and air power. The tanks would be used as support to destroy any real opposition, but I would think that the types used would be flame-thrower and petard armed tanks rather than main battle tanks.

Yan.
One problem with heavy breakthrough tanks was that by 1945 there was no such thing as an invulnerable breakthrough tank. No tank could have enough armour to slough off a hit from an 88mm shot - or even an 76mm APDS.

Post WW2 AFV designs can be positioned within a triangle of armour, protection, and fire power. The German Leopard and French AMX 30 favouired mobility and firepower over protection. The British Chieftain was protection and fire-power over mobility.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Sheldrake » 19 Apr 2018 11:22

Oh and here is another explanation at the end of this talk by David Fletcher
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuDuBwA ... A5Vujkpjd8

For the cost of one tiger II you could build nine Shermans. One Tiger Battalion (45 tanks) or enough tanks (405) for one and a half armoured brigades?

In financial terms one tiger battalion costs about the same as one and half divisions worth of medium tanks. Or putting it another way if it takes five Shermans to knock out a Tiger, they are overpriced at nine times the cost!
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Apr 2018 12:08

1 Armoured Brigade = 3 Regiments. A Regiment is roughly an Abteilung.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by critical mass » 19 Apr 2018 16:10

Michael Kenny wrote:
critical mass wrote:
Three of the six turret side hits are dents, and therefore incomplete penetrations.
I count 3 clear holes and two hits of the turret side with holes in the roof plate behind them which is a penetration. The extreme RH hit is not clear enough to say yea or nay. It could be either.
The impacted plate was not penetrated in three of six hits. The holes in the roof in two of the cases do not necessarely need to be logically connected to the plate failure in the first place and may have a secondary cause (f.e. structural failures, splinter damage, overpressure caused by burning ammunition, ...).

I understand that the british termed "penetration" to everything which had a crack through without the projectile defeating the plate (similar to US AB(L)) but "perforation" where the passage of the projectile through the plate was effected (similar to US NB(L)). By other standarts, only the latter would be considered as a penetration.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Apr 2018 17:06

critical mass wrote:


I understand that the british termed "penetration" to everything which had a crack through without the projectile defeating the plate.............
To start with I am not 'British' and secondly i approach subjects such as this from the practical end. If you get hit and as a result your hull is breached then that is a penetration. I don't faff about with angle of attack/shatter gap or any other theoretical conclusions that shell A can never break through plate B.
I am a simple soul. If I find an example where 75mm Shermans attack a Tiger frontally and that Tiger ends up with two hull breaches that alarm the crew enough that they bale out and run away (see EPSOM and the fate of Tiger '114' from sSS Pz Abt 101) then that is a frontal penetration. I ignore the 'fact' that physics tells me it could never happen.
I discount all talk about 'lucky' shots which seems to be the standard way to dismiss and explain every instance where an M4 75mm renders a Tiger hors de combat.
I never get involved with any argument that uses a graph and needs a slide-rule to translate. I look for an example where a 75mm penetrates a Tiger frontally and if I find such an example them I am confident of my conclusion that yes a 75mm did penetrate that Tiger frontally. I leave the slide-rule crowd to endlessly pontificate about the many reasons why they believe my conclusion to be 'wrong'.


Tiger 114. The top half of the drivers visor was blown off and shell splinters entered and started a small fire. A second round was also deflected into the crew compartment.
Tiger-114-Rauray- captured (14).jpg

I posted this earlier in the thread about a TII penetrated 'frontally'

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic ... 0#p2134460
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by critical mass » 19 Apr 2018 17:07

Sheldrake wrote:Oh and here is another explanation at the end of this talk by David Fletcher
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuDuBwA ... A5Vujkpjd8

For the cost of one tiger II you could build nine Shermans. One Tiger Battalion (45 tanks) or enough tanks (405) for one and a half armoured brigades?

In financial terms one tiger battalion costs about the same as one and half divisions worth of medium tanks. Or putting it another way if it takes five Shermans to knock out a Tiger, they are overpriced at nine times the cost!
I don´t think that US production costs and german production costs can readily be compared without a serious effort in normalization and standartization of data. First of all monetary costs alone are largely irrelvant in isolated economies and therefore do not constitute a reliable measurement scale for production effort. The germans never managed to obtain US production efficiency and thus, were deprived of the ability to manufacture a medium tank approaching US (or soviet) production cost terms.

A more realistic comparison would be with the german manufactured Pz IV and it doesn´t support -at all- the idea that You could get nine medium tanks for one TIGER:

RM 103 462 price tag for Pz. IV Ausf. F1/2 & -G. Assembly work time: 1,400 manhours
RM 250,800 price tag for Tiger Ausf. E. Work time:

I don´t have the work time for Tiger I here but I suppose it´s probably short of the 13,000 manhours required to fullfill the presumption that nine mediums could be obtained for one TIGER.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Apr 2018 18:59

critical mass wrote:I don´t think that US production costs and german production costs can readily be compared without a serious effort in normalization and standartization of data. First of all monetary costs alone are largely irrelvant in isolated economies and therefore do not constitute a reliable measurement scale for production effort. The germans never managed to obtain US production efficiency and thus, were deprived of the ability to manufacture a medium tank approaching US (or soviet) production cost terms.
I agree...to a point and have no desire to have guaporense show up under an assumed name to restart his economic prestidigitation again. :lol:

I think where the Germans "failed" WRT production efficiency is they persisted in trying to use heavy industry methods to produce tanks. The U.S. did so as well, viz., ALCO, Baldwin, Pressed Steel Car Company, Pacific Car & Foundry, Pullman Standard, and Federal Machine and Welder, production versus Detroit Tank Arsenal and Grand Blanc Tank Arsenal. For example, from June 1941 to August 1942, Baldwin, Pressed Steel, and Pullman Standard averaged 29.5, 41.6, and 41.75 completed Medium Tanks M3-series monthly respectively. DTA averaged 231.6 per month.

It is odd that the most modern "mass-production" facility, Nibelungerwerk, never achieved its designed capacity.
A more realistic comparison would be with the german manufactured Pz IV and it doesn´t support -at all- the idea that You could get nine medium tanks for one TIGER:

RM 103 462 price tag for Pz. IV Ausf. F1/2 & -G. Assembly work time: 1,400 manhours
RM 250,800 price tag for Tiger Ausf. E. Work time:

I don´t have the work time for Tiger I here but I suppose it´s probably short of the 13,000 manhours required to fullfill the presumption that nine mediums could be obtained for one TIGER.
I think more realistic is the comparison between Pz IV and Panther...the Panther was only moderately more expensive, but possibly as effective in many ways as the Tiger for less than half the cost and much more effective than the Pz IV for about the same cost.
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