Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Yoozername
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Yoozername » 30 Nov 2016 20:32

ChristopherPerrien wrote:A tank is considered an offensive weapon/asset and a fairly expensive one at that , to use one defending , involves a marginal cost, between using a tank , and using a cheaper yet more specialized asset, the tow-anti tank gun , or its motorized version , the tank destroyer.

Ironic ways to say it , "Don't use armor on defense'. or "Armor is wasted on defence", :milwink:
The M10 cost more than a sherman tank.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Nov 2016 20:50

Yoozername wrote:The M36 was created in spite of the TD folk. Basically, it was created under the need for a SP to break through the Siegfried line or some other excuse.
Nope. The T71 antecedent was in the failure of the T53 GMC, which used a standard 90mm M1 AA gun as its armament. On 21 September 1942, Barnes ordered development of a tank gun version of the 90mm that would fit in the recoil system of the 3" gun on the M10 GMC. The first was completed and installed at Aberdeen at the end of December 1942. However, testing by the end of January 1943 revealed the conversion, similar to the original conversion of the 3"/76mm-armed Sherman, would not work. The gun unbalanced the already precariously balanced M10 turret and exaggerated the problems with the mechanical traverse. The result was a complete turret redesign. A mockup was completed in May 1943, but it was September before the complete T71 with the new turret was tested at Aberdeen. Meanwhile, McNair and AGF were pushing for the T71, while the Tank Destroyer Command was busy refusing it. Further testing at Knox in November and December revealed further necessary modifications before production was approved in April 1944...with the TDs still objecting. McNair, as usual, left it to the field forces to decide, but in May the ETO came back with a resounding no.

It was 5 July when Holly was dispatched with Ike's letter urgently requesting 90mm-armed tanks and tank destroyers (not 6 June, that is a typo in the General Board Report).
"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

Yoozername
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Yoozername » 30 Nov 2016 20:58

"Nope"? I don't quite catch your "Nope". I said "The M36 was created in spite of the TD folk."

You then go on and say..."Tank Destroyer Command was busy refusing it." Can you explain what "nope" I am not getting???

Maybe you can cite some source?

here's a quick wiki...
In October 1942, the Ordnance Department tested mounting the experimental 90 mm gun T7 into the turret of an M10 tank destroyer. General Andrew Bruce, head of the Tank Destroyer Force, objected to the project, favoring the M18 Hellcat, but was ignored. The mounting of the 90 mm gun was straightforward, but the gun proved too heavy for the M10's turret. A new turret was designed that incorporated power traverse and a massive counterweight to balance the gun. The first two M36 prototypes, designated 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage T71 were completed in September 1943. Initially, a request for full production was denied as 90 mm guns were already being studied for use on tanks, but Army Ground Forces approved the project in October 1943, and tests began. The ring mount on the left side of the turret for the .50 caliber Browning M2HB antiaircraft machine gun was changed to a pintle mount at the rear. It was decided that production vehicles would use the chassis of the M10A1 tank destroyer, as significant amounts of M10A1s were available, and it was determined that the M10A1 had superior automotive characteristics. After testing, an initial order for 300 vehicles was issued. The T71 was designated upon standardization on June 1, 1944 as the 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36

Yoozername
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Yoozername » 30 Nov 2016 21:05

BTW I have had discussions like this in the past and mentioned that Bruce was in the Pacific....
World War II[edit]

Major General A.D. Bruce (standing) during World War II
Following the outbreak of World War II, Bruce was assigned to organize a new tank destroyer center. He chose Killeen, Texas for the new camp, and named it Fort Hood for General John Bell Hood.[4] On September 9, 1942, he was promoted to major general. The following year he became commander of the 77th Infantry Division. Under his leadership the group participated in campaigns in Guam, Leyte, and Ryukyu. At Leyte, in the Philippines, the division was responsible for taking Palompon, the last main port the Japanese held on the island. During the ten-day battle for that area of the island, from December 21 through December 31, 1944, the division estimated that they had killed 5,779 Japanese soldiers and taken 29 prisoners, with only 17 Americans killed, 116 wounded, and 6 missing in action.[6] For his service the government of the Philippines later awarded him the Philippine Legion of Honor, the Philippine Liberation Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation.[2]

Richard Anderson
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Nov 2016 22:07

Yoozername wrote:"Nope"? I don't quite catch your "Nope". I said "The M36 was created in spite of the TD folk."

You then go on and say..."Tank Destroyer Command was busy refusing it." Can you explain what "nope" I am not getting???
Sorry, my fault for being distracted replying to purblind ignorance rather than your much more intelligent responses.

The "nope" was in reference to the "Siegfried Line" comment. It was produced as part of the general effort to produce more powerful "punching" weapons.

If you are interested in an impartial view, then find a copy of Faint Praise, which lays things out without the sneaky erasure of dates and chronology followed by some.
"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

Yoozername
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Yoozername » 30 Nov 2016 22:24

I have to share the experience I have as working for a defense contractor. This, of course, was in a modern peacetime setting (pre-Iraq). To think that anyone person, like Bruce, could have as much sway in regards to equipment boggles my mind. To think that Battlefield commanders, Patton, Montgomery, Bradley, etc., would not have more influence also rubs me as crazy. The way its done now has no resemblance to WWII.

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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Richard Anderson » 30 Nov 2016 22:59

Yoozername wrote:I have to share the experience I have as working for a defense contractor. This, of course, was in a modern peacetime setting (pre-Iraq). To think that anyone person, like Bruce, could have as much sway in regards to equipment boggles my mind. To think that Battlefield commanders, Patton, Montgomery, Bradley, etc., would not have more influence also rubs me as crazy. The way its done now has no resemblance to WWII.
Fundamentally, it is a selective blindness by those who only seek to fulfill their confirmation bias. Having worked as a contractor for the government, but not in DOD spaces, as a contractor working in DOD spaces, and as an independent contractor working from home, those who find their bogeyman in McNair, or Bruce, or whoever, while seeing the savior in a Devers, will never acknowledge the complexity of the system they are commenting on.

For example, Devers, by reacting first hot and then cold to Barnes, possibly derailed the M4 76mm project by as much as six months. McNair wished above all else to fulfill the requests of the theaters of war, and, as you have noticed, that could be fickle in the extreme. Barnes pushed for his electric drive despite all lack of interest from Armor, ASF, AGF, and the using theaters, but at the same time did push for increased gun power...as did Devers, Gilliam. However, when they also advised Ordnance of their concerns regarding ammo stowage and gun ergonomics Ordnance tended to brush them off. One reason they kept going back to the 75mm was Ordnance's dangling the carrot of a 75mm automatic gun in front of them. And so on.

It isn't a subject conducive to the preconceived opinions of Google Rangers.

Meanwhile, as I said, Patton was doctrinaire and tended to follow what the War Department said, especially after the slapping and "forgot the Soviets speech" incidents.

Montgomery doesn't suffer as much opprobrium for forcing the armoured brigades to act as tank brigades, while eschewing the tank brigades because they insisted on keeping the Churchill.

Bradley was sneakier than Barnes in that he not only got to dictate the writing of much of the initial history, he also managed to outlive everyone and so dictated how his input was viewed.
"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

Yoozername
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Yoozername » 01 Dec 2016 04:52

I often wonder how "out" Patton was? That is, was he privy to some of the invasion details? I say this since he had honeymooned in Normandy. As a veteran, he would have had to have noticed the terrain.

In any case, whoever the fault should be placed on, I think the lack of HVAP (especially since the Germans and Soviets were using it...and both regretting its cost BTW) or Sabot (it was being developed slooowwwwlly by the US) or even a super-bazooka (it was a program also)...etc. The US had MANY programs it seems, and very little direction of effort.

ChristopherPerrien
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 01 Dec 2016 20:41

Yoozername wrote:
ChristopherPerrien wrote:A tank is considered an offensive weapon/asset and a fairly expensive one at that , to use one defending , involves a marginal cost, between using a tank , and using a cheaper yet more specialized asset, the tow-anti tank gun , or its motorized version , the tank destroyer.

Ironic ways to say it , "Don't use armor on defense'. or "Armor is wasted on defence", :milwink:
The M10 cost more than a sherman tank.
Asset Cost is a lot more than just a piece of equipment in this case. But to go with you just solely on equipment "cost" the M10 required a lot of extravagant "engineering" to put a 3inch gun to work on the turret it had, hence it may have(did) had a higher cost than a basic M4. Same as jury-rigging home improvements in the end often costs more than just buying a new part to begin with. Note: I believe the M10 also had some power plant alterations , but with the myriad engines and modifications to Sherman , I don't recall the details and certainly don't recall the dollar signs there and can't compare the two. Did the M10 cost more than a later model 76mm E8 Sherman? IDK . Also, the M4 gained economies of scale making a lower cost because so many were made compared to the M10, unit cost has to be seen through that as well.

HOWEVER, I was talking total ASSET/ specialization costs. Which includes not just the cost of one hunk of metal and the "beans" counted there, but the crew and especially the training of that crew , support and organization, and using a hammer when you need a screw-driver or vice versa. An asset made to function on offense or an all-purpose asset is going to cost more than an asset primarily for defense.
Particularly when you are talking using a tank rather than an AT gun. Of course motorizing an AT gun adds to the cost of that item of equipment , but as a dedicated/specialized asset (which includes a lot of other costs), the tank is still going to cost more, particularly if you go using and losing one in the wrong way, when something cheaper/specialized to doing that job(defending against tanks) is around.
Last edited by ChristopherPerrien on 02 Dec 2016 01:12, edited 4 times in total.

histan
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by histan » 01 Dec 2016 21:02

For those people interested in US doctrine relating to the use of tanks and Tank Destroyers a quick five minutes on Google will provide you with the following:

FM 17-10 Armored Force Field Manual: Tactics and Technique dated March 1942
FM 18-5 Tank destroyer Field Manual: Organization and Tactics of Tank Destroyer Units dated June 16th 1942
FM 17-33 Armored Force Field Manual: The Armored Battalion, Light and Medium dated September 18th 1942
FM 17-30 Armored Force Field Manual: Tank Platoon dated October 22nd 1942

These four show the position of US doctrine before they began fighting in Europe.

FM 17-100 Armored Forces Field Manual: The Armored Division dated 15 January 1944
FM 18-5 War Department Field Manual: Tactical Employment Tank Destroyer Unit dated 18 July 1944
FM 17-33 War Department Field Manual: Tank Battalion dated December 1944

These three show the evolution of US doctrine in the light of experience gained as the war in Europe progressed.

It is worth looking at what is said about Tank versus Tank Combat

From FM-17-10:
1942 Doctrine 01.jpg
1942 Doctrine 02.jpg
1942 Doctrine 03.jpg
1942 Doctrine 04.jpg
From FM 17-30
Doctrine Tank Platoon.jpg
Later doctrine to follow.

I leave it to others to comment about whether this suggests that tanks were to "run away" when encountering other tanks.

Regards

John
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MarkN
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by MarkN » 01 Dec 2016 21:12

Indeed. Posters really ought to read up on the subject which they wish to add their commentary to.

Tanks and tank destroyers were developed for two different purposes: one to attack, the other to defend. The tank was to fight on the move, the tank destroyer was to fight stationary from prepared positions. And so on.

Nothing to do with cost. If it was, the US Army would have done away armour completely and issued a bazooka and a jeep to every GI. ;)

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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 01 Dec 2016 21:36

Richard Anderson wrote:[
Meanwhile, I do not know where you googled your information that the T12 "could not depress it's gun below 5 degrees" and was mounted on "pillow blocks", but it is as ill-informed as the rest of your screed. "The gun was carried on Mount M3, a mount adapted from the 75-mm Gun Carriage M2A3. It could be elevated from - 10’ to +29O and could be traversed 19’ to the left and 21’ to the right." (Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items, Volume I, 1 March 1945, p. 35)
Rich while all this is fine. I am actually wondering about the gun depression if it was because of the first made experimental nature of the T12 (SPM or GMC?) that it might have actually had a depression of 5 degrees instead of the 10 degrees in the actual/later 75mm GMC. Could be they moved mount a couple inches or something between the T12 and the GMC? Or was it was 10 degrees from the start? I.E Might the 5 degree thing have some truth behind it?

However in the big picture the difference of 5 degrees would not have made any difference for the T12 or GMC while firing on flat ground at enemy tanks as tanks are 5-6 feet tall so consider such comments accumulated on that probably "misinformed" as to any problems in the Philippines, but where a 5 or 10 degree difference really would have been noticeable would be firing at nearby grounded enemy soldiers. The "dead space" which AFV operators worry about. WHich might have been even more worrisome for the T12, as it appears it was not equipped with a machine gun or a machine gun mount.

Guess I may need to dig out Hunnicutt , IDK.

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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Yoozername » 01 Dec 2016 22:53

MarkN wrote:Indeed. Posters really ought to read up on the subject which they wish to add their commentary to.

Tanks and tank destroyers were developed for two different purposes: one to attack, the other to defend. The tank was to fight on the move, the tank destroyer was to fight stationary from prepared positions. And so on.

Nothing to do with cost. If it was, the US Army would have done away armour completely and issued a bazooka and a jeep to every GI. ;)

Really? I suggest you do the reading up. Tank Destroyers main function is to Destroy Tanks. Fight stationary? No, how you can have even read through this thread and claim that is beyond me.

The whole TD 'experiment' tried to eliminate antitank artillery pieces completely towarsd the end of the war(after they were ordered by reducing the number of M10/M18 battalions) and taking those units (M3 3 inch) and converting them to M36/M18 towards the end of the war. That means taking them out of the line and crash-coursing them in the AFV and sometimes in a different gun (90mm instead of 3 inch).

The TD program produced not only specialized vehicles and guns, they took valuable manpower away from the other Army needs. It introduced parts logistic issues and even fuel needs (diesel M10s). IMO the whole thing stank of no real direction or understanding of the actual needs of units on the battlefield. To use M10s as artillery and claim it as an asset also disregards the logistics of hauling lots of long brass ammunition to deliver a low payload projectile. The number of HE fired vs. AP was over 10:1.

And, in the case of the 57mm used in Armored Infantry units, they did substitute bazookas.

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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by MarkN » 01 Dec 2016 23:38

Yoozername wrote:Really? I suggest you do the reading up. ... Fight stationary? No, how you can have even read through this thread and claim that is beyond me.
Yes, really. Try reading the contemporary tactical manuals and the doctrine rather than comments by anonymous posters on the internet. FM 18-5 Tank destroyer Field Manual: Organization and Tactics of Tank Destroyer Units dated July 18th 1944 being your go-to document of choice.

Edited to clarify.
The earlier 1942 FM 18-5 did indeed suggest fighting on the move. However, the change came about for a reason l presume. What could that have been?

Yoozername
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Re: Tanks Role Not To Fight Tanks??

Post by Yoozername » 02 Dec 2016 01:20

You answer your own questions is my suggestion.

6. MISSION. a. Primary mission. The primary mission of
tank destroyer units is the destruction of hostile tanks
by direct gunfire.

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