76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
yantaylor
Member
Posts: 895
Joined: 20 Mar 2011 14:53
Location: Cheshire

76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by yantaylor » 02 Jul 2019 11:27

Hi everyone.

How numerous was the 76mm Sherman during the battle of the bulge? The three in question are these;
M4A1(76)W
M4A2(76)W
M4A3(76) HVSS

Can anyone please tell me is these AFVs saw action in the Ardennes and with what units.

Thanks guys
Yan

LineDoggie
Member
Posts: 563
Joined: 03 Oct 2008 20:06

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by LineDoggie » 05 Jul 2019 18:18

All US Armored Divisions in the Ardennes had the 76mm variant(Less the Diesel engine M4A2 versions) along with the older 75mm versions

1AD/2AD/3AD/4AD

the 76mm versions came into frontline use at Normandy
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

yantaylor
Member
Posts: 895
Joined: 20 Mar 2011 14:53
Location: Cheshire

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by yantaylor » 06 Jul 2019 16:15

Thank Linedoggie, it is just that a friend of mine who served in the US army as a Infantry Colonel, said that during the battle of the bulge, the 76mm Sherman was pretty rare.

Yan

Stiltzkin
Member
Posts: 1078
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 12:29
Location: Germany

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Stiltzkin » 06 Jul 2019 18:15

Thank Linedoggie, it is just that a friend of mine who served in the US army as a Infantry Colonel, said that during the battle of the bulge, the 76mm Sherman was pretty rare.
There were 244 of them (16th Dec. 1944 status), 226 with VIII corps, 168 with 9th AD, 58 with the 7th AD, but not all were committed. I do not know the exact distribution of their variants. You would need to get a hold of their individual unit records.

LineDoggie
Member
Posts: 563
Joined: 03 Oct 2008 20:06

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by LineDoggie » 07 Jul 2019 01:25

Stiltzkin wrote:
06 Jul 2019 18:15

There were 244 of them (16th Dec. 1944 status), 226 with VIII corps, 168 with 9th AD, 58 with the 7th AD, but not all were committed. I do not know the exact distribution of their variants. You would need to get a hold of their individual unit records.
The Armored Division TO&E for 14 Sept 1943 shows a ''Light Armored division'' (like 9th ) had a all up strength of 186 Medium tanks (M4/M4A1) , 77 Lights (M5/M5A1). I would find it hard to believe 9th had only 28 75mm Medium tanks
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

Stiltzkin
Member
Posts: 1078
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 12:29
Location: Germany

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Stiltzkin » 07 Jul 2019 01:52

The Armored Division TO&E for 14 Sept 1943 shows a ''Light Armored division'' (like 9th ) had a all up strength of 186 Medium tanks (M4/M4A1) , 77 Lights (M5/M5A1). I would find it hard to believe 9th had only 28 75mm Medium tanks
I was referring to 76mm variants, the 9th had 168 76mm Shermans. 18 105mm Sherman "howitzer" and 83 M5s for a total of 269 tanks. These are Anderson's figures presented in Bergströms Ardennes book. Zaloga lists 297 76mm variants for the 16th. These were with the units that met the German offensive. One explanation could be of course that they are simply bunched up, 75+76 for the 9th.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4087
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jul 2019 03:02

Stiltzkin wrote:
07 Jul 2019 01:52
The Armored Division TO&E for 14 Sept 1943 shows a ''Light Armored division'' (like 9th ) had a all up strength of 186 Medium tanks (M4/M4A1) , 77 Lights (M5/M5A1). I would find it hard to believe 9th had only 28 75mm Medium tanks
I was referring to 76mm variants, the 9th had 168 76mm Shermans. 18 105mm Sherman "howitzer" and 83 M5s for a total of 269 tanks. These are Anderson's figures presented in Bergströms Ardennes book. Zaloga lists 297 76mm variants for the 16th.
Those figures are for on hand, not TO&E.

9th AD had 82 Light Tanks M5, not 83. It also had 8 Medium Tank M4 "dozer" tanks, which likely were 76mm-armed again, but that is not confirmed. The 9th AD was somewhat unique that it arrived in Europe as the "tank shortage" of the fall-winter of 1944 was temporarily easing and when virtually all the tanks arriving and in depot were 76mm-armed variants, so was completely equipped with them. While the shortage of tanks had led to 12th Army Group instituting a temporary TO&E change, reducing the number of "gun" (i.e., 75mm and 76mm-armed) tanks in the "light" armored division to 150, the division was technically over-strength.

Overall, First Army reported 297 Medium Tank M4 (76mm) on hand and 21 in short-term repair on 16 December. It also had 490 M4 (75mm) on hand and 94 in short-term repair, 104 M4 (105mm) on hand and 9 in short-term repair. So the 76mm was 37.7% of operational strength.

No distinction was made between M4A1 and M4A3 76mm in the unit reports, just as no distinction was made in the different types of 75mm armed Medium Tanks M4. The early deliveries in April-July were M4A1, while the first M4A3 began arriving in July and August. HVSS was not seen widely until after the conclusion of the Battle of the Bulge; it is doubtful if any HVSS-equipped M4 fought in the battle.
"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

Stiltzkin
Member
Posts: 1078
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 12:29
Location: Germany

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Stiltzkin » 07 Jul 2019 03:25

Those figures are for on hand, not TO&E.
I never said that they were (refers to first line), nor does Bergström or Zaloga list "dozers". He also lists 83 M5s (for the 9th and 82 for the 7th) and quotes you, so he must have mistyped that.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4087
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jul 2019 06:46

Stiltzkin wrote:
07 Jul 2019 03:25
Those figures are for on hand, not TO&E.
I never said that they were (refers to first line),
Nor did I say you did. I was clarifying that for Linedoggie and others.
nor does Bergström or Zaloga list "dozers".
Not my problem. 12th Army Group did.
He also lists 83 M5s (for the 9th and 82 for the 7th) and quotes you, so he must have mistyped that.
I know he "quotes" me since I sent him the information when he asked me for it. I am not responsible for any transliteration errors or the gross misinterpretation of the loss data he indulged in.
"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

Stiltzkin
Member
Posts: 1078
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 12:29
Location: Germany

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Stiltzkin » 07 Jul 2019 18:58

I am not responsible for any transliteration errors or the gross misinterpretation of the loss data he indulged in.
You mean these? What is wrong with them?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

rcocean
Member
Posts: 492
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by rcocean » 07 Jul 2019 18:59

Overall, First Army reported 297 Medium Tank M4 (76mm) on hand and 21 in short-term repair on 16 December. It also had 490 M4 (75mm) on hand and 94 in short-term repair, 104 M4 (105mm) on hand and 9 in short-term repair. So the 76mm was 37.7% of operational strength.
So, IOW, 6 months after D-Day, the 75 mm Sherman was still outnumbering the 76mm by almost 2-1. That's pathetic. No wonder the US tankers were upset. Not only was the 76mm not good enough to take on the Panther, but we didn't even have enough of them. Did Bradley or Ike do anything to speed up the delivery of the M-36 jackson or the 76mm SHerman? We can't blame it on McNair, since he was killed during Operation Cobra.

Stiltzkin
Member
Posts: 1078
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 12:29
Location: Germany

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Stiltzkin » 07 Jul 2019 19:32

So, IOW, 6 months after D-Day, the 75 mm Sherman was still outnumbering the 76mm by almost 2-1. That's pathetic. No wonder the US tankers were upset. Not only was the 76mm not good enough to take on the Panther, but we didn't even have enough of them. Did Bradley or Ike do anything to speed up the delivery of the M-36 jackson or the 76mm SHerman? We can't blame it on McNair, since he was killed during Operation Cobra.
Yes, but I would argue that: a) You do not need a full park of 76mm Shermans. b) There were other means of combatting them (AT Guns, TDs, HEAT etc.) c) the 75mm variant was not completely powerless, nor was its primary task to combat the heavies (and also still useful against a variety of enemy armoured vehicles). The Soviets frequently found themselves in a worse situation, yet historiography continually overemphasized the inadequacies of US AFVs, while praising Soviet performance.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4087
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jul 2019 19:35

Stiltzkin wrote: You mean these? What is wrong with them?
Nope, his speculation on American losses in December, pp. 320-323. It was this that apparently led the late and unlamented ChristianMunich down his crazy-train path of speculation.

I already remarked on the minor error between 82 and 83, but have not bothered to check the others.

Oh, BTW, Christer continually referred to these being my "calculations". They were not, they were the figures reported by 12th Army Group and its armies, I merely transcribed them into a spreadsheet.
"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

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4087
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by Richard Anderson » 07 Jul 2019 19:39

rcocean wrote:
07 Jul 2019 18:59
So, IOW, 6 months after D-Day, the 75 mm Sherman was still outnumbering the 76mm by almost 2-1. That's pathetic. No wonder the US tankers were upset. Not only was the 76mm not good enough to take on the Panther, but we didn't even have enough of them. Did Bradley or Ike do anything to speed up the delivery of the M-36 jackson or the 76mm SHerman? We can't blame it on McNair, since he was killed during Operation Cobra.
Um, if you can stop distracting me maybe I can finally get my book finished in which I address many of these subjects (Chapter 22, Where are the Tanks?). Meanwhile, two short answer.

1. There were 2,331 Medium Tanks M4 in England on 31 May 1944. Of those, between 64 and 114 were 76mm-armed.
2. Medium Tank M4 production began in January 1944.
3. The War Department calculated it took 75 days from requisition to frontline delivery,,,experience demonstrated it took 120 days or more.
"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

LineDoggie
Member
Posts: 563
Joined: 03 Oct 2008 20:06

Re: 76mm Shermans in the Battle of the Bulge

Post by LineDoggie » 07 Jul 2019 20:34

rcocean wrote:
07 Jul 2019 18:59


So, IOW, 6 months after D-Day, the 75 mm Sherman was still outnumbering the 76mm by almost 2-1. That's pathetic. No wonder the US tankers were upset. Not only was the 76mm not good enough to take on the Panther, but we didn't even have enough of them. Did Bradley or Ike do anything to speed up the delivery of the M-36 jackson or the 76mm SHerman? We can't blame it on McNair, since he was killed during Operation Cobra.
Remember the 75mm had a better HE round than the 76mm and most often a Sherman was used in infantry support, not tank vs tank
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

Return to “USA 1919-1945”