Sherman Tank Performance

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Pips
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Sherman Tank Performance

Post by Pips » 13 Aug 2015 12:00

Came across this video on another site.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNjp_4jY8pY

Makes for a fascinating view of the effectiveness of the Sherman. Provides a well balanced, nicely researched argument that the Sherman tank was a better performer than is given credit for.

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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paulrward » 22 Oct 2015 17:57

Hello Mr. Pips ;

I have watched the video by Mr. Nicholas Moran, and made a number of notes of the errors in fact and conclusions that he has made.

First, he is correct that the doctrine of the U.S. Army was that the infantry divisions were supposed to have divisional armor formations ( GHQ Tank Battalions ) attached with which they could engage enemy strong points and enemy armor. What he either does not understand, or neglects to mention, is that these attached battalions were to be equipped with the M6 Heavy Tank, which had sufficient frontal armor to stand up to enemy tanks and emplaced guns.

Unfortunately, the M6 was cancelled to allow for the production on more M4 Shermans, and the M26 was continuously stalled by 'The Army Ground Forces' ( translation: Patton ) so that there was no heavy tank in the Tiger/Panther class available for the GHQ Battalions or the Armored Divisions during 1944. The GHQ battalions were equipped with M4 Shermans, which were therefore fighting in a scenario for which they were not designed. Some attempts was made to up-armor the M4, in the form of the M4A3E3 Assault Tank, ( known as 'Jumbos' by their crews ) but this was at best a palliative.

Moran states that Patton had no input of tank development. This is short sighted at best. What Patton, and his circle of 'Armor Generals' did have was input on what they wanted their divisions to be equipped with. In other words, if they were asked if they wanted to be re-equipped with M26s, they could say, " No, we don't need them. We want to stick with the M4. It is faster, more maneuverable, more logistically supportable and has a proven maintenance record with a large experience base among the crews and the maintenance staff. Don't give us M26s, just give us more Shermans ! " This would have the result of stalling the introduction of the M26, as more senior officers, such as Eisenhower and Marshall would then have justification in refusing the M26, as, after all, " The men in the front lines don't want them ! "

As for Mr. Moran's evaluation of casualties, He states that in the entire U.S. Army during WW2, only some 1400 armor crew were KIA. According to Belton Y. Cooper's book, 'Death Traps', the Third Armored Division ALONE had 648 tanks totally destroyed, with another 700 knocked out in combat, but subsequently repaired. This is almost 1350 tanks put out of action in combat in ONE SINGLE DIVISION ! If we have just one man killed in each tank that was knocked out, that is roughly 1350 men KIA in just the Third Division. Add in the other divisions, and you can quickly see that Mr. Moran's numbers are questionable at best.

Now, Mr. Moran disparages Mr. Cooper's book as being a 'Memoir'. This is what personal history is. Memoirs of the men who were there. And one thing that Cooper describes is how, as Armor casualties mounted, men were drafted from the infantry divisions, given a one morning course in how to drive the tank, allowed to fire one or two rounds from the gun, and then the tanks, with three man crews made up of infantrymen, were sent into battle. He describes how they repaired 17 tanks, trained up crews for them, and within four hours, 15 of the tanks had been knocked out in a tank vs. tank battle, with horrific results for the crews.

I wonder: were these dead infantrymen driving unfamiliar M4s added to that list of the 1400 men killed in the Armored Forces ? Hmmmmmmm.....

So, I have to give Mr. Moran a D- on his scholarship.

Respectfully ;

Paul R. Ward
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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Oct 2015 20:21

paulrward wrote:
As for Mr. Moran's evaluation of casualties, He states that in the entire U.S. Army during WW2, only some 1400 armor crew were KIA. According to Belton Y. Cooper's book, 'Death Traps', the Third Armored Division ALONE had 648 tanks totally destroyed, with another 700 knocked out in combat, but subsequently repaired. This is almost 1350 tanks put out of action in combat in ONE SINGLE DIVISION ! If we have just one man killed in each tank that was knocked out, that is roughly 1350 men KIA in just the Third Division. Add in the other divisions, and you can quickly see that Mr. Moran's numbers are questionable at best.
The numbers are correct (more or less) and you are being led astray by a book that deserves no place in any debate on this subject.

3rd AD had the highest tank losses by far of all the 15 US Armored Divisions.

The next highest tank casualty numbers are for 7th AD at 490 with (probably) 2nd AD at 390. So you see how the numbers drop as soon as you start looking at divisions other than 3rd AD
Rank by loss:
1 - 3rd AD c.800 losses
2 - 7th AD c.500 losses
3 - 2nd AD c.400 losses
4 - 4th AD c.270 losses
5 - 6th AD c.220 losses
6 - 9th &10th AD c. 210 losses each
7 - 12th AD c.160 losses
8 - 14th AD c.140 losses
9 - 5th AD c.135 losses
10 - 11th AD c.110 losses
11 - 8th AD c. 80 losses
12 - 13th AD c. 30 losses
13- 20th AD c. 20 losses
14 - 16th AD 0 losses

It is obvious from the above why the Sherman knockers love the 3rd AD numbers and why the try and make out they were the norm when in fact they were exceptional.

Loss rates of 200%+ in an Armoured Unit are nothing exceptional. If you bother to crunch the Tiger Abteilung numbers you will find many that mirror the 3rd AD experience
paulrward wrote: And one thing that Cooper describes is how, as Armor casualties mounted, men were drafted from the infantry divisions, given a one morning course in how to drive the tank, allowed to fire one or two rounds from the gun, and then the tanks, with three man crews made up of infantrymen, were sent into battle. He describes how they repaired 17 tanks, trained up crews for them, and within two days, 15 of the tanks had been knocked out in a tank vs. tank battle, with horrific results for the crews.

I wonder: were these dead infantrymen driving unfamiliar M4s added to that list of the 1400 men killed in the Armored Forces ?
Not true. Bunkum, did not happen.

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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paulrward » 23 Oct 2015 02:24

Hello Mr. Kenny ;

If you add up your number of tank losses in your posting, , you get appx 3000 tanks lost. Are we to believe that the KIA figure of some 1400 men in the tank formations is correct ? That implies that, for each two tanks knocked out in battle, only one man lost his life.

I find that very hard to accept, especially when you consider that it was the standard
procedure on both sides to continue to shoot at an enemy tank until it had lit on fire.

Mr. Kenny, regarding the account by Belton Cooper of the loss of 15 tanks in the 33rd Armored Regiment, you stated, " Not true. Bunkum, did not happen. "

According to Christer Bergstrom's ' The Ardennes: 1944-1945, page 365, I quote, " An American attempt to break through on 8 January cost the 3rd Armored Division's 33rd Armored Regiment a loss of 15 Sherman tanks. "

This is precisely the date and location given by Belton Cooper in his book. Since these men who were in these tanks were from the infantry, then according to Mr. Moran, they were not part of the roughly 1400 armored crewmen he believes were killed in the European campaign.



Respectfully ;

Paul R. Ward
Sheman recovery.jpg

( Photo and caption taken from Christer Bergstrom's ' The Ardennes: 1944-1945 )
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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Oct 2015 03:49

paulrward wrote:
If you add up your number of tank losses in your posting, , you get appx 3000 tanks lost. Are we to believe that the KIA figure of some 1400 men in the tank formations is correct ? That implies that, for each two tanks knocked out in battle, only one man lost his life.
Nowhere does it say they were all 'knocked out in battle''.

paulrward wrote: I find that very hard to accept, especially when you consider that it was the standard
procedure on both sides to continue to shoot at an enemy tank until it had lit on fire.
The numbers (for penetrations per tank KO) show that it was not standard to keep firing at damaged tanks.
paulrward wrote: Mr. Kenny, regarding the account by Belton Cooper of the loss of 15 tanks in the 33rd Armored Regiment, you stated, " Not true. Bunkum, did not happen. "

According to Christer Bergstrom's ' The Ardennes: 1944-1945, page 365, I quote, " An American attempt to break through on 8 January cost the 3rd Armored Division's 33rd Armored Regiment a loss of 15 Sherman tanks. "
It is untrue to claim infantry were forced into tanks as 3 man crews. That is bunk. Given the acute infantry shortage it is not even a remote possibility.

The UK 11th Armoured Division suffered 400 KIA in the tank Regiments and 958 in its infantry Regiments. The Polish Armored Division had 191 tankers KIA and 795 of its infantry KIA. If you claim (as you are) that a full 50% of 3rd AD KIA were tankers then it was indeed exceptional (it wasn't).
Tank crew losses are always lower than Infantry losses. Always.


http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3&t=123000

The data from surveys done on tank crew casualties is very clear. Tales of flocks of Shermans bursting into flames whenever a Tiger comes within 5 miles roasting the entire crew are rubbish.

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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paulrward » 23 Oct 2015 04:52

Hello Mr. Kenny ;

You wrote: " It is untrue to claim infantry were forced into tanks as 3 man crews. That is bunk. Given the acute infantry shortage it is not even a remote possibility. "

To quote Belton Cooper, Death Traps, page 210 ( pb edition ) : " The 33rd Armored Regiment had sent us 17 tank crewmen who had limited experience with tanks in combat. These men had come in as replacements themselves only a few days before. The G1 had sent 35 men who had just gotten off the boat in Antwerp a few hours earlier and didn't seem to have received previous indoctrination. We asked how many had previous experience with tanks, and they all replied negative. Most had never been in a tank or even close to one. "

Mr. Kenny, these men from Antwerp were replacements. They had no assigned unit, and were sent to any unit that requested men. In this case, it was the 33rd Armored Regiment. Their bad luck....

They had 17 men with slight experience, and 35 men with no experience. That made 17 three man crews, with one man left over.


Mr. Kenny, the M4 was not a bad tank. It was simply being misused. It was not designed to go up against other tanks, but was rather designed to fight enemy infantry, destroying machine gun nests and pillboxes, allowing the friendly infantry to move past and exploit the breakthrough that the tanks created. This was the Armored Doctrine that was developed by George Patton, Heinz Guderian, and B.H. Liddel Hart. The Germans called it Blitzkrieg. It was simply a reaction by the officers who had endured four years of mud in the trenches to keep the war in the green fields beyond.

The U.S. Army doctrine, which Mr. Moran mistakenly believes did not exist, specifically tasked the Tank Destroyers with the mission of engaging enemy tanks. This is why Patton, in the Louisiana War Games of 1940, spent so much time trying to outrun the 'enemy' tank destroyers with his tanks. He wished to prove that tanks were superior to tank destroyers, and push the U.S. Army into an offensive doctrine using armored forces rather than a defensive doctrine using tank destroyers.

He succeeded, both in the maneuvers, and in his efforts to force the U.S. Army into an offensively oriented doctrine. However, this meant that for the rest of the war, Patton had to maintain the illusion that fast medium tanks were superior to both the slow, heavy breakthrough tanks and tank destroyer formations.

The Germans, of course, deployed both turret-less tank destroyers ( Panzer-Jager ) and tanks with high velocity guns well suited for anti tank work. They ( the Germans ) had been taught this lesson when they encountered the T34, some of which had a high velocity 75mm gun. The tanks that the U.S. Army encountered in 1944-45 in France and Germany were designed, either from the ground up, or by evolution, to be dual purpose weapons, that is, they could be either tanks or tank destroyers. In effect, they were what is now called a Main Battle Tank. And, it is significant that the M4 Sherman was the LAST AFV that the U.S.Army ever ordered with a short, low velocity gun until the versions of the M60 were ordered with the Shillelagh.

So, the M4 with the low velocity gun wasn't a bad tank. It was just a lousy tank destroyer.


Mr. Kenny, you wrote, " Tales of flocks of Shermans bursting into flames whenever a Tiger comes within 5 miles roasting the entire crew are rubbish."


There are accounts I have read of interviews conducted after the war of Sergeants who were tank commanders in the Armored Divisions, and who revealed that they were ordered by superior officers never to engage German tanks unless the odds were three to one in favor of the Americans. These orders were verbal orders, and when the Sergeants were asked by the interviewers if the orders were ever put in writing, they replied, " Are you crazy ? "


Respectfully ;

Paul R. Ward
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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Oct 2015 05:20

paulrward wrote:


There are accounts I have read of interviews conducted after the war of Sergeants who were tank commanders in the Armored Divisions, and who revealed that they were ordered by superior officers never to engage German tanks unless the odds were three to one in favor of the Americans. These orders were verbal orders, and when the Sergeants were asked by the interviewers if the orders were ever put in writing, they replied, " Are you crazy ? "
I am sorry but I just have not got the time to go back over the basics with you. Perhaps someone else will help you out. In the meantime I hope you and Mr Cooper's book have a nice time together.

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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paspartoo » 23 Oct 2015 10:31

The Sherman was not a bad tank in 1942 or 1943 plus its main opponent in that period was the Pz III, a vehicle that was undeniably inferior in firepower and armor. However by 1943 the Germans had reequipped their armored forces with the Pz IV as the main tank and that version had the 75mm kwk 40 gun which was lethal against the T-34 and M4 Sherman (could destroy both from long distances of over 1km).

With the Pz IV and Stug III having this gun, plus the small number of Tigers the Sherman had definitely lost its initial advantage. In Italy the terrain did not favor large armored concentrations so it is understandable that the US planners did not want to modify the tank at that time.
In 1944 the Sherman had to go up against these vehicles plus large numbers of the Pz V Pather, a vastly superior vehicle in armor and firepower (655 Panthers were with Western units on June 10 1944).

According to a Soviet study in the period summer 1943 - March 1945 the probability of the T-34’s armor being penetrated if hit was from 88-97%. The Sherman had armor similar to the T-34 and faced the same weapons so this statistic should also apply to it. That’s where you get the characterization of a deathtrap.

In 1944 the Sherman was very vulnerable to all the German A/T weapons. The US certainly needed a vehicle with better firepower and protection and they got it but too late to have an effect on the war (M26 tank). Note that after the war this ‘heavy’ tank became the new ‘medium’ vehicle of the US Army.

So in effect both sides have valid arguments for different time periods. Trying to argue that the M4 was a fine tank in 1944-45 is frankly moronic.
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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paulrward » 23 Oct 2015 17:25

Hello Mr. Paspartoo ;

Thank you for the excellent analysis. I thoroughly agree, the time element is crucial. It also points out the fact that the U.S. industrial production system, while capable of producing incredible amounts of material, also had the flaw of tending to develop a certain amount of momentum, that is, once it started to produce a large quantity of a certain item, it tended to continue to produce it long after it was no longer optimum to do so. Thus, we ended up with over 100 escort carriers, thousands of P-40 fighters, and about 3 million model 1903A3 rifles, many of which were never used in combat.

Any study of the M4 tank has to look at it's predecessors, the M2 and M3. Both were designed around the idea of fast moving, hard striking blitzkrieg type tactics that the 'Armored Force' believed would be the future of warfare.

Unfortunately, the Russians changed the game in 1941 when they discovered that the best weapon they had against the Panzers was the roughly 20% of the T34s in service that had been equipped, ( over the objections of some Soviet authorities ) with a high velocity 75mm gun.

This created the environment wherein the first 'armor duels' took place, and dramatically changed the course of development of all future AVFs.

If one compares the T34, the Panther, and the M10 Tank Destroyer, there really isn't a dimes worth of difference between them. ( A fact that the Germans exploited with sheet metal and paint in the Battle of the Bulge ! ) In effect, the T34 with the high velocity gun and the Panther were not what the U.S. Army would have called Tanks, they were instead what would have been labeled 'Tank Destroyers'.

It is regretable that at no time did anyone simply attach large number of M10s / M36s / M18s to the Armored Divisions to serve as spearheads to the attacks. An additional layer of frontal armor could have been extemporized at the depots to give them better resistance to HV fire, and this would doubtless have reduced the carnage and improved the moral of the tank forces.

The M26, really, in a sense, could almost be described as an 'American Tiger'. Very similar in size, armor, armament, and speed, it fulfilled the same function. One only has to wonder what the result would have been if formations of M26s had been rushed to the front in the autumn of 1944 and had been able to engage PzKw VIs in large scale actions.

Mr. Moran also discounts the obstacles that the 'Army Ground Forces' placed in the path of the M26. In the July 1944, they attempted to have the M26 'down-gunned' to a 76 mm gun. They then, in August, tried to block the Ordnance Department from placing the M26 into production until the Armored Force Board had tested and approved all of the production modifications. Finally, in early December, when the first lot of M26s were ready to be shipped to Europe, the Army Ground Forces tried to insist that they instead go to the Armored Force in the U.S. for testing and 'certification of battleworthiness'.

The fighting in the Ardennes finally tipped the scales, and Marshall himself got involved in getting the M26 to Europe.

Mr. Moran then claims that, due to the failings of the M26, in Korea they were replaced by the M4 Shermans. In point of fact, the M4s replaced the M26s in Korea after the war had ground to a halt, and the U.S. was withdrawing forces and equipment, including M26s, which were sent back to the U.S. or Europe, while refurbished M4s were sent to Korea to serve with the Korean Army. In effect, the U.S. was keeping the best tanks, and giving the obsolete tanks to it's ally once the fighting was over.


One point of disagreement that I have with Mr. Moran's entire method of research is that he seemed to rely almost entirely on written documents and official sources. For example, he dismissed the idea that General Patton had any input on armored vehicle design. He seems never to have heard that, in the course of two months in 1912, Patton returned to the United States from Europe, and, with no official backing, caused a complete re-design of the Cavalry Saber that would be issued starting in 1913. The new saber, the M1913, was a weapon totally designed for attack, with very poor defensive utility. This typifies Patton's mind set, and was, in my opinion, the primary reason for his rejection of Tank Destroyers and their doctrine.


Respectfully ;'

Paul R. Ward
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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by stg 44 » 23 Oct 2015 18:38

paspartoo wrote:The Sherman was not a bad tank in 1942 or 1943 plus its main opponent in that period was the Pz III, a vehicle that was undeniably inferior in firepower and armor. However by 1943 the Germans had reequipped their armored forces with the Pz IV as the main tank and that version had the 75mm kwk 40 gun which was lethal against the T-34 and M4 Sherman (could destroy both from long distances of over 1km).

With the Pz IV and Stug III having this gun, plus the small number of Tigers the Sherman had definitely lost its initial advantage. In Italy the terrain did not favor large armored concentrations so it is understandable that the US planners did not want to modify the tank at that time.
In 1944 the Sherman had to go up against these vehicles plus large numbers of the Pz V Pather, a vastly superior vehicle in armor and firepower (655 Panthers were with Western units on June 10 1944).

According to a Soviet study in the period summer 1943 - March 1945 the probability of the T-34’s armor being penetrated if hit was from 88-97%. The Sherman had armor similar to the T-34 and faced the same weapons so this statistic should also apply to it. That’s where you get the characterization of a deathtrap.

In 1944 the Sherman was very vulnerable to all the German A/T weapons. The US certainly needed a vehicle with better firepower and protection and they got it but too late to have an effect on the war (M26 tank). Note that after the war this ‘heavy’ tank became the new ‘medium’ vehicle of the US Army.

So in effect both sides have valid arguments for different time periods. Trying to argue that the M4 was a fine tank in 1944-45 is frankly moronic.
I thought the 50mm L60 could take down a M4 Sherman at normal combat ranges?

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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paspartoo » 24 Oct 2015 09:16

stg 44 wrote:
paspartoo wrote:The Sherman was not a bad tank in 1942 or 1943 plus its main opponent in that period was the Pz III, a vehicle that was undeniably inferior in firepower and armor. However by 1943 the Germans had reequipped their armored forces with the Pz IV as the main tank and that version had the 75mm kwk 40 gun which was lethal against the T-34 and M4 Sherman (could destroy both from long distances of over 1km).

With the Pz IV and Stug III having this gun, plus the small number of Tigers the Sherman had definitely lost its initial advantage. In Italy the terrain did not favor large armored concentrations so it is understandable that the US planners did not want to modify the tank at that time.
In 1944 the Sherman had to go up against these vehicles plus large numbers of the Pz V Pather, a vastly superior vehicle in armor and firepower (655 Panthers were with Western units on June 10 1944).

According to a Soviet study in the period summer 1943 - March 1945 the probability of the T-34’s armor being penetrated if hit was from 88-97%. The Sherman had armor similar to the T-34 and faced the same weapons so this statistic should also apply to it. That’s where you get the characterization of a deathtrap.

In 1944 the Sherman was very vulnerable to all the German A/T weapons. The US certainly needed a vehicle with better firepower and protection and they got it but too late to have an effect on the war (M26 tank). Note that after the war this ‘heavy’ tank became the new ‘medium’ vehicle of the US Army.

So in effect both sides have valid arguments for different time periods. Trying to argue that the M4 was a fine tank in 1944-45 is frankly moronic.
I thought the 50mm L60 could take down a M4 Sherman at normal combat ranges?
Frontally i don't think so, (for the hull probably at point blank) . For the sides yes. The Sherman's 75mm gun on the other hand could destroy the Pz III even frontally from long (ish) ranges. The Sherman was undeniably superior.
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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 24 Oct 2015 17:00

Trying to argue that the M4 was a fine tank in 1944-45 is frankly moronic.
Well it was at least equal to its contemporaries , the Pz IV, T-34, Cromwell. Automotively and logistically it was a "fine" tank. It could go further and broke down less than the others(not sure vs Cromwell). Which helped logistically and tactically. Though the differing engine schemes caused some problems(examples-spark plug shortages for the multibank, more varying engine parts needed in stock).

IMO -The worst points for the Sherman were,
1) It was slightly taller, which cuts both ways
And more important
2), it had a higher ground pressure, which is a serious thing in the tankin' business in soft soils. The Easy 8 , fixed this some with its wider tracks but they were still not as wide as the others. IIRC

However, the Sherman had excellent FM radios in every Sherman, which is the best asset to have on any tank, as being able to call Artillery and Air Support, gives one poor little Sherman a-lot of firepower, besides being able to coordinate with other tanks and units. The whole AM/FM issue is rather interesting and US tank commo in WWII is where we get the saying "Crystal Clear", it is about US tank radios in WWII.* https://books.google.com/books?id=-Ay3t ... nd&f=false

After the installment of wet-storage , I would say it was the best Medium tank of the war. I am still on the fence about the M4's 75mm vs 76mm gun issues. But the M1 76mm with AT ammo did give it similar performance to the F-34 and KwK 40 of the other Med.TK's.

Only thing I can't comment on, which is very important also, is which tank was the best to sleep on or in , given a full or partial crew. Sleeping/resting conditions are important to tankers or any soldier FTM, as a rested soldier is better than a tired one.

All this is not moronic, rather it is the thinking of a real "DAT" -Dumb Ass Tanker :milwink:

*This seems an interesting book: Crystal Clear: The Struggle for Reliable Communications Technology in World ...

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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by Juha » 24 Oct 2015 22:27

paulrward wrote:
It is regretable that at no time did anyone simply attach large number of M10s / M36s / M18s to the Armored Divisions to serve as spearheads to the attacks. An additional layer of frontal armor could have been extemporized at the depots to give them better resistance to HV fire, and this would doubtless have reduced the carnage and improved the moral of the tank forces.
Not real! If you think a second, you should understand that an open topped AFV wasn't suitable as a breakdown vehicle. 88s firing airbursts would be deadly, even light mortars were deadly against them, mortar bomb into open turret and you have a vehicle kill and 3 dead crewmembers. Infantrymen didn't need a Panzerfaust to knock one down, a handgrenade would do.
paulrward wrote:The M26, really, in a sense, could almost be described as an 'American Tiger'. Very similar in size, armor, armament, and speed, it fulfilled the same function. One only has to wonder what the result would have been if formations of M26s had been rushed to the front in the autumn of 1944 and had been able to engage PzKw VIs in large scale actions.
The problem is Tiger I production stopped in Aug 44 and the production of Tiger II began in Jan 44 and Tiger II was superior to M26 in firepower and protection. Of course if the bulk of the rare HVAPs, bulk of them went to TD units in the real world, had been given to M26s, they would have been capable to penetrate the turret front of the TII, at least on paper. Tiger fans claim that the frontal armour of TII was never penetrated during the WWII, I doubt the claim, but have not ever tried to check it.

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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paspartoo » 25 Oct 2015 07:27

ChristopherPerrien wrote:
Well it was at least equal to its contemporaries , the Pz IV, T-34, Cromwell. Automotively and logistically it was a "fine" tank. It could go further and broke down less than the others(not sure vs Cromwell). Which helped logistically and tactically. Though the differing engine schemes caused some problems(examples-spark plug shortages for the multibank, more varying engine parts needed in stock).
I should have made it clear that my problem is with those that try to build up the Sherman as some kind of wondertank. There was a time when the M4 was supposed to be a deathtrap and now (at least online) people try to make it into a war winner etc. I’ve noticed Zaloga in his latest books tries hard to do that (and fails). The M4 was what it was, trying to turn into a war winner or a deathrap is wrong.


ChristopherPerrien wrote:
However, the Sherman had excellent FM radios in every Sherman, which is the best asset to have on any tank, as being able to call Artillery and Air Support, gives one poor little Sherman a-lot of firepower, besides being able to coordinate with other tanks and units.
The lead tank in a group had receiver and transmitter, the rest had receivers. At least that’s what I’ve read.
ChristopherPerrien wrote:
After the installment of wet-storage , I would say it was the best Medium tank of the war. I am still on the fence about the M4's 75mm vs 76mm gun issues. But the M1 76mm with AT ammo did give it similar performance to the F-34 and KwK 40 of the other Med.TK's.
The F-34 gun of the T-34/76 was not on the same level as the US M1 or the German Kwk 40. As for modifications like wet storage they constantly upgraded the performance of the vehicle but the truth was that the Sherman had several flaws that don’t get much attention. Problems with armor quality, it took a long time to install a commander cupola, the fist types didn’t even have a dedicated gunner’s sight, then the gunsight was of poor quality, etc.

Like I said neither a deathtrap or a war winner.
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Re: Sherman Tank Performance

Post by paspartoo » 25 Oct 2015 08:00

Regarding the Sherman's radio this from Zaloga's 'Sherman medium tank 1942-45', p11:

'initially three out of five tanks had a receiver only but by late 1944 the whole platoon usually had receivers and transmitters'.
A simple economist with an unhealthy interest in military and intelligence history.....
http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.com/

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