Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

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EKB
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by EKB » 27 Feb 2019 15:56

j keenan wrote:
27 Feb 2019 10:10
EKB wrote:
27 Feb 2019 06:42
The Panther had a well earned reputation for burning fiercely. The high-powered shells brimmed with propellent that fed fires inside the tank and so did fluid from cut hydraulic lines. Even when the Panthers were not in combat, engines tended to burst into flames on long road movements. Technical changes were made to fight engine fires, but reports from Normandy suggested there was little improvement. Railway transport was the Panther’s best friend.
Strange as the the I/SS-Pz.Rgt.12 moved to the front over a long road march 140 km plus with out any losses, rail transport was to save fuel as Pz.V G was an improvement on the mark D.
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Yoozername » 27 Feb 2019 16:32

''Researcher Carey Erickson performed a detailed analysis on the original test photographs supplied with the Isigny report. He concluded that the Panther Ausf. A tank labeled as No. 1 and listed as having only average plate had in fact a face-hardened glacis plate. This can be observed by the characteristic flaking that occurs only when face-hardened armor is penetrated by an AP projectile. Erickson explains that encountering a face-hardened glacis plate on a Panther Ausf. A tank was not impossible because it could have come from leftover stocks to meet production quotas as German tank production was under greater pressure to put weapons into the hands of the Panzer divisions by 1944.''
The Panther glacis plates may have come from existing stocks. In early 1943, when they were made, it would seem that Tiger I side armor would be about the only 8 cm plates being produced in quantity. Not face hardened, but harder than most. After May 43, I believe Panzer IV and StuG III G were being built with 8 cm plates. So, it could be that the armor plates were being cut up from a similar source. Just a theory, of course.

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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Feb 2019 18:29

Avalancheon wrote:
27 Feb 2019 15:51
Don't be too quick to dismiss this. We haven't adequately explored all the possible explanations.

''Researcher Carey Erickson performed a detailed analysis on the original test photographs supplied with the Isigny report. He concluded that the Panther Ausf. A tank labeled as No. 1 and listed as having only average plate had in fact a face-hardened glacis plate. This can be observed by the characteristic flaking that occurs only when face-hardened armor is penetrated by an AP projectile. Erickson explains that encountering a face-hardened glacis plate on a Panther Ausf. A tank was not impossible because it could have come from leftover stocks to meet production quotas as German tank production was under greater pressure to put weapons into the hands of the Panzer divisions by 1944.''

''Erickson also notes that it took nine hits into the hard outer surface of the face-hardened armored Panther tank labeled No. 1 to make it susceptible to penetration. Pictorial evidence also shows that the Panther tank labeled No. 3 and described as having had significant prior battle damage with extensive cracking across its glacis plate. This damage should have excluded tank No. 3 from even being part of the testing process. Erickson makes the valid point that the Panther tank labeled No. 2 with the best plate reflected the true quality of Panther glacis plates for most of World War II and not the face-hardened armored Panther tank or the battle damaged example used at Isigny.''

-Panther: Germanys Quest For Combat Dominance, by Michael Green.
So if I understand it correctly, photo analysis cannot tell if a particular tank has burned out, but it can identify face-hardened armor? :D (BTW, sorry if I am mixing your argument with that of Yoozername, but if I have read you correctly in the past you mirror some of his views as well?)

Anyway, yes, C. Erickson has long made that claim, IIRC most vociferously at TankNet, where we used to tussle occasionally. The problem with his theory though, is that the requirement for face-hardening the armor in Panther production was deleted on 30 March 1943. With that understanding, Thomas Jentz remarked, "based on the backlog of precut, heat treated and welded components, completed Panthers without face hardened glacis plates would have first appeared in August 1943." (Jentz & Doyle, Germany's Panther Tank, p. 29) However, production of the Ausführung A began in August 1943, when MNH completed its first 3 vehicles. The bulk of Ausführung A production was completed September 1943-June 1944 and the tanks delivered to I./Panzerregiment 3. between 27 January and 28 February 1944.

So the belief then has to be that there was so many pre-cut face-hardened plates that they continued to be used in Ausführung A, even after 754 Ausführung D had been produced in the months after the order to cease face-hardening had been issued. Furthermore, it then has to be believed that somehow one of these Ausführung A produced with face-hardened plates was issued to I./Panzerregiment 3., nearly a year after the order to cease face-hardening had been issued...and then coincidentally that it was then lost, nearly intact, captured by the Allies and used in the test at Isigny, so that C. Erickson could then apply his photo-analysis skills to identify "characteristic flaking that occurs only when face-hardened armor is penetrated by an AP projectile".

It is a rather extended chain of assumptions and coincidence. How much more or less reasonable is it to assume that the "characteristic flaking" identified in old photographs was incorrect?
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critical mass
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by critical mass » 27 Feb 2019 18:38

I remain sceptical that ANY FH ever was used in an application, where it was intentionally required to defeat oblique impact AP of apprx. cal/t. All evidence I have come across from 1942, 1943, 1944 points towards the fact that WaPrüf, Krupp, B.V. Rheinmetall were keenly aware that FH works best in low obliquity and RHA in high obliquity applications. That´s why battleships had CA for belts and RHA for decks since half a century. Using FH in a sloped plate entailed lowered ballistic resistence, and that hardly was a secret. Pz IV and StuG had near vertical plates which recommended for FH plate. Plus, FH does not with 80mm and flame hardening. It´s more effective in lower section thicknesses, ranging from 17 to 50mm max. While they could employ electric induction heating to also make deeper, surface hardened plate, this required a different and alloy richer steel anaylsis, which was unwanted. I have never seen a BHN measurement supporting the thesis that glacis was FH, either, and I suppose this should have been known fairly well as it was a complete departure from expectations.

I can believe that they face hardened turret side walls, less likely side hull plates, in some early model Panthers (FH does cause significant warping in thin but long plates).

Flaking is not the best indicator of FH. It can point to this issue but You need to know not only the plate but also how the projectile (or its remains) looks like before jumping to conclusions. German RHA plate is intentionally heat treated to a slightly elevated hardness, closely approaching the 1st ductile-brittle transition point for optimum ballistic resistence against capped AP. However, this also entails a larger frequency of brittle failure charackters, of which flaking is one, discing and plugging another.
Last edited by critical mass on 27 Feb 2019 18:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Feb 2019 18:41

Avalancheon wrote:
27 Feb 2019 15:17
Exactly. It was widely known that the Germans were struggling to maintain quality control on their plates by 1944.
Sorry, but now I'm getting confused? :lol:

Are you agreeing with the C. Erickson that said that the Panther tested at Isigny was an Ausführung A with face-hardened glacis or the C. Erickson I remember that argued, vociferously, for years on TankNet that German quality control of their plates WAS maintained until the end of the war?

And are you arguing that the results at Isigny reflected a face-hardened glacis or the German's struggle to maintain QC?

Or all of the above?
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critical mass
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by critical mass » 27 Feb 2019 18:56

Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Feb 2019 18:41

Are you agreeing with the C. Erickson that said that the Panther tested at Isigny was an Ausführung A with face-hardened glacis or the C. Erickson I remember that argued, vociferously, for years on TankNet that German quality control of their plates WAS maintained until the end of the war?
The official service acceptance specifications for proof of armor plate in regard to ballistic resistence increased initially and then was maintained even with Ersatz analysis armor steels thorough the war. The special test plates for ballistic trial actually became somewhat noticably tougher towards wars end judging by the fact that they caused increased issues with proof of 75mm and 76.2mm Pzgr39 projectiles acc. to Dr. Wagenknecht of B.V. (and we know that those late 44 ones were better than ´42 or 43 ones).

However, specification is one thing and variance is another. Many TIGER2 plates of E-analysis are recorded to have been rejected. One might view it as if this only determines that QC was not tolerating sub par quality. Yet, this also points towards the fact that a larger proportion of the manufactured plates had *some* issues. Speaking from a bayesian statistical perspective, if You test lots in sizes of, say, 20 plates each, and five out of ten lots are rejected, this will have ramifications on Your posterior probability that some of the plates in the remaining 5 lots are not trouble free...

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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Feb 2019 19:09

critical mass wrote:
27 Feb 2019 18:56
The official service acceptance specifications for proof of armor plate in regard to ballistic resistence increased initially and then was maintained even with Ersatz analysis armor steels thorough the war. The special test plates for ballistic trial actually became somewhat noticably tougher towards wars end judging by the fact that they caused increased issues with proof of 75mm and 76.2mm Pzgr39 projectiles acc. to Dr. Wagenknecht of B.V. (and we know that those late 44 ones were better than ´42 or 43 ones).

However, specification is one thing and variance is another. Many TIGER2 plates of E-analysis are recorded to have been rejected. One might view it as if this only determines that QC was not tolerating sub par quality. Yet, this also points towards the fact that a larger proportion of the manufactured plates had *some* issues. Speaking from a bayesian statistical perspective, if You test lots in sizes of, say, 20 plates each, and five out of ten lots are rejected, this will have ramifications on Your posterior probability that some of the plates in the remaining 5 lots are not trouble free...
Well summarized. The problem is that despite the probability of some plates having issues - as well evidenced in various photographs - we continue to see the circular argument from C. Erickson and others, "but their manufacturing and QC standards prevented that from ever happening". :D

I think we agree that Erickson's analysis based on the Isigny photographs is questionable.
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Michael Kenny » 27 Feb 2019 19:28

Avalancheon wrote:
27 Feb 2019 15:51

''Researcher Carey Erickson performed a detailed analysis on the original test photographs supplied with the Isigny report. ............
If all the photos were shown then I could check to see if there are other pics of these panthers.

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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Yoozername » 27 Feb 2019 19:40

I don't know if there are any Panther glacis penetration pictures from Kursk...I can post this ricochet apparently from a D...looks like RHA to me...
DPV.jpg
IF the glacis was indeed FH, THEN the welds between the interlocking glacis, and lower hull, would be attempting to weld a face hardened intersection, to the interior of the lower hull plate. Generally, a tricky, and actually bad idea.
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Avalancheon » 28 Feb 2019 02:07

Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Feb 2019 18:29
So if I understand it correctly, photo analysis cannot tell if a particular tank has burned out, but it can identify face-hardened armor? :D (BTW, sorry if I am mixing your argument with that of Yoozername, but if I have read you correctly in the past you mirror some of his views as well?)
Thats has nothing to do with any claim I made. I was never involved in any argument about burned out tanks.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Feb 2019 18:41
Sorry, but now I'm getting confused? :lol:

Are you agreeing with the C. Erickson that said that the Panther tested at Isigny was an Ausführung A with face-hardened glacis or the C. Erickson I remember that argued, vociferously, for years on TankNet that German quality control of their plates WAS maintained until the end of the war?
You mix apples and oranges. I was agreeing with CMs statement that brittle armor plates were caused by the method of heat treatment the Germans used in 1944 onward. Some of the plates suffered from temper embrittlement which gave them reduced protection. This was a historical consensus since about the 80s, and anyone who disagrees with it is wrong.
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Feb 2019 18:41
And are you arguing that the results at Isigny reflected a face-hardened glacis or the German's struggle to maintain QC?

Or all of the above?
I do not claim as an undisputed fact that the tank labelled as No. 1 had face hardened armor. I'm saying that it is a possibility that was dismissed too quickly, without adequate discussion.

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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by j keenan » 28 Feb 2019 09:38

EKB wrote:
27 Feb 2019 15:56
viewtopic.php?p=1970317#p1970317
You didn't answer the question in that thread, so I don't see the point of the link

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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Feb 2019 16:19

Avalancheon wrote:
28 Feb 2019 02:07
Thats has nothing to do with any claim I made. I was never involved in any argument about burned out tanks.
Oh, so you actually missed where I said "sorry if I am mixing your argument with that of Yoozername"? So now you are confirming you do not agree with him or that you just have no opinion on the matter?
You mix apples and oranges. I was agreeing with CMs statement that brittle armor plates were caused by the method of heat treatment the Germans used in 1944 onward. Some of the plates suffered from temper embrittlement which gave them reduced protection. This was a historical consensus since about the 80s, and anyone who disagrees with it is wrong.
Huh? Yeah. someone is really getting confused. You declared "Don't be too quick to dismiss this. We haven't adequately explored all the possible explanations" and then trotted out C.G. Erickson's claim that the Isigny Panther was an Ausführung A somehow manufactured with a face-hardened plate. Now you are saying the problem was "temper embrittlement", which has nothing to do with face-hardened armor and nothing to do with anything I argued for or against.

Now, instead you say you are agreeing with critical mass's statement, which must mean you actually agree with "I remain sceptical that ANY FH ever was used in [the Panther]"?

So what then was the point of your original post disagreeing with me?
I do not claim as an undisputed fact that the tank labelled as No. 1 had face hardened armor. I'm saying that it is a possibility that was dismissed too quickly, without adequate discussion.
Oh, yeah, okay then.
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Feb 2019 16:49

Avalancheon wrote:
27 Feb 2019 15:17
But as for the questions about the protection (or lack thereof) offered by the Shermans armor, that is kindof relevant. Even a 'mere' medium tank should be able to offer some protection from enemy anti-tank guns. On paper, the M4A3 should be able to shrug off hits from a 75mm L48 gun from medium range. But we've found no evidence of them doing this in combat.
Sorry, somehow I missed this. There may actually be a very simple explanation. The tanks in question are actually the M4A3 75mm and 76mm (w) and the M4 and M4A3 105mm with 47 degree hull front of the "Ultimate Medium Tank M4 series" (the M4A2 with 47 degree hull front in the series were mostly shipped to the USSR). The thing is, they did not start appearing in the ETOUSA until mid-August and late September 1944 and in relatively small numbers, about 509 M4A3 75mm, of which 250 were actually M4A3E2...so not really the type in question. Another 589-odd M4A1 and M4A3 76mm (w) were shipped June-September 1944 and were issued to units July-October, but the M4A1 again did not have the 47 degree hull front - it was a cast hull design. Of course, further shipments arrived November-December (but always in quantities insufficient to build up a strong replacement tank reserve - a major bone of contention between the ETOUSA and the War Department).

Anyway, what that means is that distribution of the new tanks in the late summer and fall of 1944 was very diffuse, spread between numerous units. Except for one case, the 9th AD. For some reason, which I have never been able to track down, it was issued a complete set of new M4A1 and M4A3 76mm (w), just in time for one of its battalions to go into action with CCR against 2. Panzer and Lehr in the Ardennes, where the Panthers had little problem defeating the new hull front. Otherwise, most of the improved tanks simply don't appear in significant numbers, especially in the photographic record, until very late in 1944 and then in 1945.
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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Yoozername » 28 Feb 2019 18:48

I believe the British would have been aware of the early Panther tank's armor, and indeed most systems, better than any Western combatants. They did receive a Panther (433?) from the Soviets. I believe a D model without zimmerit probably from Kursk. They encountered Panthers in Italy also (pre-D-Day). If anything, they should, by 1944, be testing for FH armor and chemical analysis and probably shooting at the tank before D-Day. I thought mobius might have posted a link to that here.

CM is entirely correct regarding the chemical make-up, and the need for precision quenching, etc. to make the lack of Moly and such work out. The US analysis of the chunk of Panther armor confirms this. So, it is probably best to have the actual Panther serial numbers used during the test shoots, correlate that with the time frame regarding the switchover from alloys used in the German armor, and factor that into a discussion.

Considering the British also occupied a Panther Plant post-war (MAN?), they should know more than anyone if they got the records also.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a954952.pdf

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Re: Picture of a Sherman withstanding a clean hit of a pak40 or better

Post by Michael Kenny » 28 Feb 2019 19:14

Yoozername wrote:
28 Feb 2019 18:48
I believe the British would have been aware of the early Panther tank's armor, and indeed most systems, better than any Western combatants.
The first time they got a Panther to test was Spring of 1944. The Russian sent one and another was captured in Italy. There was no time to do a full examination before the invasion.
Yoozername wrote:
28 Feb 2019 18:48
They did receive a Panther (433?) from the Soviets. I believe a D model without zimmerit probably from Kursk.
Already answered:
Michael Kenny wrote:
27 Feb 2019 20:49
It is a Panther captured at Kursk and shows it in the UK. It arrived spring 1944 and they did a quick 'test' of it before The Invasion. This report was the birth of the 'deflect a shot off the mantlet into the crew compartment' fable.
Kursk Panther at Bovington (4)-tile.jpg
Kursk Panther at Bovington (1)-horz.jpg


Yoozername wrote:
28 Feb 2019 18:48
They encountered Panthers in Italy also (pre-D-Day). If anything, they should, by 1944, be testing for FH armor and chemical analysis and probably shooting at the tank before D-Day.
They never got a Panther fully tested before D-Day.
Screensb vbhot_2.jpg
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