You seem to be under the delusion that I don't know what I'm talking about. That is incorrect.
Yoozername wrote:I see, two wrongs make right. Very good.
Um, no, please don't start resorting to strawmen or arguing things I haven't said; its better to leave that sort of thing to posters who don't know what they're talking about.
First, the targets fired upon by armor and tank destroyers, whether direct or indirect, were predominately "soft" and the ammo loads usually carried reflect that.
Second, by "saving their bacon" I was referring to the shortage of artillery ammunition, especially the standard 105mm HE round, suffered in the ETO and MTO in the fall and winter of 1944, which resulted in stringent rationing orders from 12th Army Group and Fifth Army. That was a shortage created by Congressional interference in procurement after the "iron mountain" scandal in North Africa...Congresscritters junketing to the Med were horrified to find large stockpiles of ammunition unused and asked why the Army was so inefficient in ordering and shipping ammunition.
Except the 76mm/3inch projectile was widely hailed as junk. The Sherman 75mm HE was widely hailed as better (not that better than others but somewhat better). Neither as good as a 105mm but, again, believe the oft-trotted-out BS if you want. Harassing rounds saved the bacon. What next?
"Junk"? No, it didn't do what it was supposed to when confronted with high obliquities and armor harder than what it was tested against. The initial problem was discovered at Shoeburyness in May 1944 when it was found the base detonating fuze on the 3"/76mm was acting before penetration was complete, resulting in incomplete penetration. A related problem discovered about the same time was insufficient final heat treating for hardness on the nose and shoulders of the APC round, which could lead to nose failures, projectile shattering, and other not so good things. And it was the same for both the 76mm and 90mm APC, which led to using monobloc AP...which suffered from other problems ("...simple AP shot was more effective than APC in penetrating under-matched armor at all angles of impact and was more effective than both APC and HVAP shot at penetrating moderately overmatched armor (where the armor was no thicker than 1.25 times the diameter of the shot) at all angles of impact greater than approximately 45°. On the other hand, APC was found superior to AP in penetrating greatly overmatching armor, (where the armor was thicker than 1.25 times the diameter of the shot) at angles between 20° and 45°, but both APC and AP were greatly inferior to HVAP and HVAPDS striking at low angles of impact against heavily overmatching armor targets.) (From my research in the BRL studies).
Fundamentally, prior to the founding of the BRL in the late 30's at Aberdeen, the understanding of the mechanisms of penetration and the design of penatrators was not well understood in the Army (and of course they wouldn't go and ask the Navy about its research).
Also, many TDs and tank battalions needed artillery supervision to actually perform the indirect mode. Many lacked training or had not used it and if you think they were used for close support indirect dream on, they had to drag them into the front lines and shoot direct (spin that somehow, I dare ya). 3 inch and 76mm needed a reduced charge (fixed) round as said before. And the ammunition is long and it would take truckloads of these long-brass to feed a mission.
The problem was observed fire within the tank battalion, it required trained artillery observers and the preference was for one per company. However, if tied into an artillery program, all that was required were aiming stakes and a gunners quadrant and sight, which were standard equipment in the tank and TD battalions. There the fire was observed and corrected by a trained artillery observer and was done on a regular basis. It helped that a lot of officers in the tank and TD battalions were actually Artillery Branch (along with Infantry, Cavalry, and Engineers).
Arguably, the US used German weapons and ammunition (German 105mm projectiles were compatible) along with British 25 pdr. to get a real artillery substitute. And, the 'shortage' was actually an excessive consumption of ammunition in response to the schedule not being met. The need to change out so many 105mm barrels at the same time also contributed to this 'shortage'. There is another back story in regards to the manufacture of 105mm shells but I don't want the thread to get further side-tracked.
Basically two field artillery battalions used German equipment for an extended period of time, but the use of the 25-pdr was a post-Ardennes expedient that lasted a few weeks. And, no, the shortage was very real that had nothing to do with "changing out barrels".