"it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

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Yoozername
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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Yoozername » 09 Mar 2019 18:14

I have yet to find anything that says it was not a postwar construct and feel I have searched pretty diligently, but if you have evidence that it was used in wartime, please let us all know. :D
I never said either way, reading is fundamental. So read closely...

It is just a stupid thing to say. No one sent 5 shermans to deal with 1 Tiger. Ever. No one ever tabulated, post-battle, that it chalked up that way. Does 1 sherman get to live? That is, the exchange ratio is 4:1? Does the last sherman and Tiger fire at the same time? Shells pass each other, and then hit each other, making it a clean 5:1?

It is just stupid and leads to the same bleating that is taking over here.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Yoozername » 09 Mar 2019 18:15

jpz4 wrote:
09 Mar 2019 17:56
Michael, just for my understanding, is that percentage based on vehicles left on the battle field or does it include vehicles that made it off as well? Either number would be interesting, but would tell somewhat different things.

(I'm asking because this reminds me of the story of the US Navy analysing damage sustained by their planes to improve their armor... But those were the survivors. Planes with catastrophic damage never made it home. Examining wrecks left on the battle field would not be the whole sample set either.)
It has been discussed if you search under his posts.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Michael Kenny » 09 Mar 2019 18:21

jpz4 wrote:
09 Mar 2019 17:56

I'm asking because this reminds me of the story of the US Navy analysing damage sustained by their planes to improve their armor... But those were the survivors. Planes with catastrophic damage never made it home. Examining wrecks left on the battle field would not be the whole sample set either.
That is a famous OR paradox. If you have a large number aircraft that just make if home with massive damage in (for example) the left rear rotary widget and you find that no aircraft ever get back showing damage on the port-side left-handed gasket thingamabob then the temptation is to remove armour from around the thingamabob and place it around the widget.
Fatal error.
The massive damage to the widget proves that it is not critical to the aircraft integrity. If it were critical then no aircraft would make it home with damage in that area.
The lack of any damage to the thingamabob means that aircraft hit in the thingamabob never make it home Obviously the thingamabob is critical to the aircraft so the best thing to do is increase the armour around the thingamabob.
counter-intuitive but the correct response!
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 09 Mar 2019 18:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Michael Kenny » 09 Mar 2019 18:25

Yoozername wrote:
09 Mar 2019 18:15


It has been discussed if you search under his posts.
Been discussed and disputed many times. Disputed but never refuted.
Fact is the basis for the claim '75% of all hits on the Panther penetrated' is solid. The data is there to confirm beyond all doubt.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Mar 2019 18:34

Yoozername wrote:
09 Mar 2019 18:14
I never said either way, reading is fundamental. So read closely...
Nor did I say you did, either way, rather I asked if you have evidence for it. So, yes, reading is fundamental, but try not to read meaning too much into what you are reading.
It is just a stupid thing to say. No one sent 5 shermans to deal with 1 Tiger. Ever. No one ever tabulated, post-battle, that it chalked up that way. Does 1 sherman get to live? That is, the exchange ratio is 4:1? Does the last sherman and Tiger fire at the same time? Shells pass each other, and then hit each other, making it a clean 5:1?
Well, yes, of course its a stupid thing to say, which is why it was probably never really expressed that way. It took a newspaper editorial after all, working off the muckraking by Hanson Baldwin, to get to the equally stupid (if at least a historically correct quote) it took "three of our Shermans to knock out a Tiger."
It is just stupid and leads to the same bleating that is taking over here.
Bleating? As in the sheep's chorus that it "took five Shermans to knock out one Tiger"?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Steve Wilcox » 09 Mar 2019 21:20

jpz4 wrote:
09 Mar 2019 17:56
Michael, just for my understanding, is that percentage based on vehicles left on the battle field or does it include vehicles that made it off as well? Either number would be interesting, but would tell somewhat different things.
It was a sample of 22 Panthers on the battlefield.
See pdf pages 330-333:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a951850.pdf

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Yoozername » 10 Mar 2019 01:42

Bleating? As in the sheep's chorus that it "took five Shermans to knock out one Tiger"?
As in people repeating their observations or agendas into threads. Warfare is a very complex human experience...saying "they counted X hits out Y things, and that is all that matters, so there"....not only is simple-minded, it seems to a have a cause and effect on threads in this section of the forum...hence, I linked another section, which the OP may peruse.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Mar 2019 02:14

jpz4 wrote:
09 Mar 2019 17:56
Michael, just for my understanding, is that percentage based on vehicles left on the battle field or does it include vehicles that made it off as well? Either number would be interesting, but would tell somewhat different things.
The OR surveys Michael Kenny and I quoted were based on samples of German tan ks found on the battlefields of Normandy. Few Tigers or Panthers escaped. About half were destroyed by their own crews when they ran out of fuel or broke down in the flight to escape encirclement. These were also inspected. While a few German tanks did make it back to Germany, these were the exceptions. There is no magic group of Panthers or Tigers that were spirited away after surviving of dozens of non penetrating hits.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Avalancheon » 10 Mar 2019 05:07

Michael Kenny wrote:
09 Mar 2019 12:25
Avalancheon wrote:
09 Mar 2019 10:06
But there is clearly a belief that the Panther\Tiger was highly superior to the Sherman tank, to the point that you couldn't beat them without numerical superiority.
The same survey mentioned in replies above found the 'burn rate' was 82% for the Sherman, 80% for the Tiger & PzIV and 63% for the Panther.
Also that the penetration rate was 62% for the Tiger, 75% for the Panther, 100% for the Pz IV and 95% for the Sherman

Example: 75% of all hits on the Panther penetrated and 63% of Panthers burned when hit.

It puts the 'Ronson' claim in perspective.
LOL, thats not the first time you've used that study as a fallback.
Michael Kenny wrote:
05 Jan 2019 07:21
Avalancheon wrote:
05 Jan 2019 06:05

A 75mm or 76mm shell will leave a nice little splash mark on the front of the tank, and make just enough noise to put the crew on alert.
75% of all hits on a Panther penetrated.
CM has had to correct you twice, now.
critical mass wrote:
05 Jan 2019 16:42
Michael Kenny wrote:
09 Mar 2019 12:25
75% of all hits on a Panther penetrated.
MK,
You might want to modify the words of Your response, considering that Avalancheon referred only to the "front" of tank and Your response does, as far as I recognize, also cover (mainly) hits from the flanks (without pointing out this subtle but important difference).

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Avalancheon » 10 Mar 2019 05:26

Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Mar 2019 16:58
I myself have done research into this topic. This is the oldest reference I have found of the legend:

"Specifically, the Panther and the Tiger tanks, according to the fighting men, are far superior to our Shermans. It is said that it takes three of our Shermans to knock out a Tiger." ("Death of a Myth”, Washington Post, 22 March 1945. This editorial was reprinted by the New York Herald Tribune, European Edition, 5 April 1945. It was clipped out and sent by Lieutenant General John C.H. Lee, Deputy Theater Commander, ETOUSA under Eisenhower, to General Holly who included it in Appendix C, ETOUSA Armored Fighting Vehicle and Weapons Section, Final Historical Report: Covering Period D-Day to VE Day and VE Day to Final Inactivation (6 June 1944 to 24 May 1945), (NP: 1945), Records of the ETOUSA (SHAEF) AFV&W Section, RG 492, NARA II.
Fascinating. So we finally have confirmation that the legend actually has its origins in the war itself, and that it wasn't a postwar construct (as others have claimed). The numbers are different, of course, but some variation is to be expected as per the Chinese whisper. A three to one myth during the war became a five to one myth after the war, as it spread among more people and became subject to permutation.
Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Mar 2019 16:58
I see a veteran, singular, making a statement in 1965 that it was a four-to-one ratio for Panthers and an eight-to-one ratio for Tigers.

Yes, there was clearly a belief that the Panther was superior...and a partially imagined belief (given how infrequently American tankers in the ETO actually encountered Tigers) that the Tiger was even more superior, but the way that belief took hold and its effect is slightly different than I suspect most believe.
Nothing surprising about that. Legends that spread by word of mouth are nebulous things, which mutate as they are transmitted from speaker to speaker. Its never easy to trace their origin unless you have something in writing, which you have thankfully provided. The exact number of Panthers/Tigers specified in the myth is less important than the fact that the Allies believed their tanks were that much inferior to the German cats.
Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Mar 2019 16:58
The famous "I.D. White letter" is something of an anomaly and it is unclear exactly why White ignored Eisenhower's direct request that he not “make a general staff study out of this matter” and instead turned out a voluminous 168-page reply written on 20 March. In fact, White really only answered one of Eisenhower's three requests, the last: "(a) Your own personal convictions about the quality of our tank equipment as compared to the German, and having in mind the necessity of our shipping our materiel over long distances to get it to the battle field; (b) Your opinion as to the ability of the new T-23 [sic, Eisenhower meant T-26] with the 90 mm gun, to meet the Panther on equal terms, and (c) A digest of the opinions of your tank commanders, drivers, gunners, and so on, on these general subjects." Eisenhower was actually asking for a critique of the T26, not the M4, so made the same query to both divisions...which may explain White's confusion since the 2d AD hadn't received any T26 at that point - they went to the 3d and 9th AD. Anyway, Rose's reply was more succinct (five pages) and to the point: “It is my personal conviction that the present M4 and M4A3 tank is inferior to the German Mark V [Panther]”. On (b) he said, “It is my opinion that the new T26 with its 90mm gun is capable of meeting the Panther tank on equal terms.” For (c), Rose included commentary gleaned from officers and enlisted men, most of whom felt the only way to knock out a Panther was with artillery or air power. Typically, one enlisted man said, “We can’t compare with the Jerry tank”.
That General White sure was a real jerk. How dare he make a mountain out of a molehill and investigate the non-existent superiority of German heavy tanks. All he did was give rise to rampant speculation among anti-war journalists and cause the public to question the War Department. Not to mention discouraging the troops. He should have been court martialed for that little stunt!

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Mar 2019 12:18

Mr Speaker, can I refer to the debate in this House on 2nd August 1944 on the War Situation in which my honourable and gallant friend the member for Ipswich raised the matter of the inadequacy of our tanks. (Columjns 1532-1535

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1 ... 9cbbbf9e78
My experience as a soldier has been that I know how good and how bad my weapons are, and my grouse is that the House of Commons does not do more about it. I find that to be the point of view of almost every soldier I talk to. I spoke to a friend of mine, who is the commander of a squadron of a very famous regiment, about the relative merits of the Sherman tank, of which we have heard so much to-day, and the Tiger. He told me: "I know what happens, because it has happened to me twice. My squadron, goes over and bumps into one of these Tigers. There are four bangs and there are four of my tanks gone." So far as I know, we have nothing in production which is a complete answer to the Panther or the Tiger.
So here is a member of Parliament saying that in a fight between a Sherman squadron is that four Shermans are knocked out before the Squadron can do anything about it. The Gallant member for Ipswich was major Richard Stokes MC (Labour) and a critic of Churchill's national government. (he raised the Bombing of Dresden the morning afterwards. He was also from a family who had a major impact on military technology. His uncle invented the light portable 3" Stoke's Mortar widely copied as the 81mm Mortar). His informant was probably Major Bob Crisp DSO MC RTR.

The problems that the allies had is that that attributed too much significance to the physical component as opposed to the conc eptual and moral compoents of tank warfare. Here is another quote by Stokes from the same debate
I will repeat what a responsible general told me, after he had seen the Sherman tank and its 17-pounder gun, the American tank with the gun which was not built for it. Anybody who knows about tanks knows that you first decide about the gun, then about the armour, then about the speed. He said: "Relatively speaking, to-day, we are just as far behind the Germans as we were in 1940."
So there was a widespread belief that German success in 1940 was due to more numerous and better tanks - an untruth that may have hindered allied thinking in 1944. Had it been widely known that the Germans succeeded in 1940 despite having fewer and less well armed or armoured tanks then it might have been easier to persuade allied tank crews to rely on tactics.

Hansard also has some comments about tactics against Panthers. Note too the comment about the Germans having a five times advantage this time in range.
I want to read a letter I received, dated 7th July this year, from a fighting soldier in Normandy. He says this:

"The Panther is a terrific tank, and I have closely examined many of them, which is more than the Tank Board has done. It is impenetrable in front but curiously thin on the side."
That is not good enough. That is pretty well what the Prime Minister said. He said that the Panther is vulnerable on the side but you cannot get the devil—I beg your pardon, Mr. Speaker—you cannot get this enemy tank always in the flank, when you have to face them hull down and especially when they are in defensive positions. It is preposterous we should try to palm off the issue by saying we have a tank which can shoot the other tank through the side.


Mr. Bevan
That is what caused the failure to break through at Caen.

Mr. Stokes
I have heard stories about a 6-pounder gun putting out Tigers. Of course if you put the shot through a window it will put out a tank, but a gunner does not expect to do that every time. This 75 mm. gun is no use as an anti-tank gun and not very much use as an anti-personnel gun because it is a 6-pounder gun bored out, with a muzzle velocity of 2,050 ft., which is far too low to penetrate any modern armour. It bounces off the outside of the Panther.

I would very much like to be allowed an hour of the time of this great Assembly to develop this issue of tanks. The last time we tried to do so we were put into Secret Session, and as I said on another occasion, that was only to defend the Government because I did not learn anything in that Debate which I did not know before. I do emphasise that responsible people, fighting soldiers—and I hope the Foreign Secretary will reassure us on this point—say that to-day we are as far behind as we were in 1940, relatively speaking. We have the A.22 called the Churchill, and the A.27 called the Cromwell, which has a 75 mm. bored-out gun which is no use against tanks, and we have the Sherman, which is a very good tank. But the other chaps have got 88 mm. guns firing a 24-1b. shot—dead killers at 2,000 yards. It is really no fun for a soldier, however gallant he may be—it really is pretty nerve-racking—going into action against somebody who has a range of something like five to one against him. I hope that the Government will re-assure us that something is to be done and done at once, not because the armament may be necessary—we all hope that with the events that are happening to-day the whole show will collapse before Christmas —but because this is not good enough for the fighting soldiers.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Mar 2019 12:27

Avalancheon wrote:
05 Jan 2019 06:05
thats not the first time you've used that study as a fallback.

Nor will it be the last. Contemporary testing is impossible to refute with evidence of deliberate falsification..
The fact that 75% of hits on a Panther penetrated is not welcome news to people who think like you so they feel compelled to try and dispute the facts. A chorus of Pavlovian barking!
By the way you are confused by the terminology. It is not ' a fallback' but a 'a source'.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Mar 2019 12:55

Avalancheon wrote:
10 Mar 2019 05:07
[

CM has had to correct you twice, now.

Did he?
critical mass wrote:
17 Sep 2018 14:38
The ORG study I referred to earlier gives an valid example of M4 and PANTHER casualties from a similar battlefield study.
The sample is therefore cross validated. Yes, 75% of all hits went through the PANTHER´s, which were knocked out and studied in this sample. This is not a bad figure, considering the hit distribution (sides primarely). Particularely if compared to the virtually complete absence of scoops in the 64 hits, which went through the 40 knocked out M4 tanks from the same sample with an astonishing 98%.

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Yoozername » 10 Mar 2019 15:03

Perhaps taken out of context...but it mentions his maths in regards to force ratio...the guy that writes this is a bit of a yahoo...
Virtually never did a scrap take place with fifty German tanks against fifty American or twenty against twenty. The proportion was usually five American to one German, even ten to one, rarely if ever less than two to one.
“Tank versus Tank”

Lieutenant Colonel Albin F. Irzyk

Headquarters, 8th Tank Battalion

From MILITARY REVIEW

January 1946

Volume XXV, Number 10

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Re: "it took 5 sherman to destroy 1 tiger"

Post by Yoozername » 10 Mar 2019 16:10

Michael Kenny wrote:
10 Mar 2019 12:27
Contemporary testing is impossible to refute with evidence of deliberate falsification..
Your Nelsonian Knowledge, like most of your topic-derailing, is quite extensive.

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