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GH_Klingstroem
07-01-2005, 07:39 AM
I dunno too much about them. How good were they really on the western front and the eastern front. The germans gave it the name "tommy cookers" since it caught fire easely. Which was the main german tank to fight it in 1944 when the allied forces had landed in normandie and was the sherman as weak as I hear all the time?!!? On discovery channel the other day though, they said that the sherman tank was very good and that the germans respected it highly but then I have also heard that the shermans rounds used to bounce off the german tanks... well was it good or bad?!

thx

FritzGryphon
07-01-2005, 07:45 AM
Good or bad is a useless generalization. So is everything you'll see on TV. Go read up on it and make your own decision.

In general, it was realtively fast and manueverable, but poorly armed and armored. Cheaper, too.

It was not a match for the armor it faced, but it didn't have to be due to numbers. A popular tactic was to rush heavy armor in a group. Losses might occur, but the Shermans could manuever to shoot the side or rear of the enemy tank(s).

GH_Klingstroem
07-01-2005, 07:51 AM
yeah you are right I shouldnt have used the words good or bad. I just wanted to finish my post quickly http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

But still, was it a good weapon only because it came in number and was it generally worse than german tanks?!

Abel29A
07-01-2005, 07:52 AM
It was really bad at first but got better as they upped the armament and made the fueltank/ammo storage better protected. The british Firefly version with a 17pnd gun could hold its own against PzIV's and working in groups they could tackle PzV's and even PzVI's.

The ratio for succesfull engaements were usually in the range of 4-5 Shermans to be able to defeat a PzV or PzVI.

That being said - there werent really many PzV and PzVI to go around - so they usually fought PzIV and StuG - which the Shermans could compete with.

I remember reading a account of a German 88 crew defending a narrow passage in Italy. After being attacked by wave after wave of Shermans the Germans were finally forced to withdraw because 'Wir habt keinen ammunition mehr!" So the Sherman wasnt rated highly amongst the germans in 43 early 44.

The Sherman did have two redeeming features though - it could be churned out in great numbers and it was failry easy to apply field modifications. The crews often resorted to attaching all sorts of extra armor - metal sheets, girders and mesh was popular in an attempt to defeat the efficient hollow-charge rounds of the german AT's.

Oh.. And another nickname for the Sherman(used by the british) was Ronson - it lights every time http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

PBNA-Boosher
07-01-2005, 08:00 AM
Poor old Shermie. US Army didn't figure its tankers were worth keeping. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Still, it could be worse. We could have been stuck using its predecessor, the M5A1 Stuart, or "Stuey."

mtnman4
07-01-2005, 08:02 AM
The Sherman was a "capable" medium tank manufactured in the thousands during the war.
Without going into particulars, the armor was thin & the shape of it was flat (except for the turret). It boasted a 75MM cannon, 2-.30MG. One in the hull, one in the turret next to the cannon & a .50 on top. Due to it's light weight, it was faster & more manueverable than the german tanks but do to it's low velocity gun & the much thicker armor of the germans the rounds usually did "bounce off". The couldn't compete with the germans head on so they would try & gang up on one or shoot at it from behind where the armor was much thinner.
They "Lit up" so easily because they ran on gasoline & not deisel fuel which has a much lower ignition temperature. Overall what saved them is sheer overwheming numbers.

As for the germans. In 1944, their big 3 main tanks were the Panzer V "Panther" armed with a high velocity 75mm cannon (made to compete with the Russian T-34 on the eastern front, the Panzer VI "Tiger" armed with the same 88mm gun the germans used in their anti-aircraft batteries, & introduced around the time of the battle of Bastogne, the King Tiger, also armed with an 88mm gun and heavily armored but very slow. There were many other pieces of armor on both sides but the Sherman & these 3 german "heavy" tanks did the brunt of the fighting.

Capt.LoneRanger
07-01-2005, 08:06 AM
I guess he said "Wir haben keine Munition mehr" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

But it is really a good quote, as the Sherman always lacked the neccessary armor against German guns, and they also had a smaller caliber with less powerfull rounds.
There were several version a few month after they were put in service, most of them with barrel replacements (longer barrels to increase accuracity and muzzle-velocity), repositioned and additionally armed fuel-tanks and ammo-storage.

Far more "versions" were out there with field modifications. These included additional armory of the front, by placing sandbags and spare-track-parts there, side protections for driver and MG-Gunner, a repositioned HMG from the back of the turret to positions where it could be operated from the hatch, broader tracks, etc.
The most common and immediate modification was the removal of the white US-stars on the sides of the turret. They were visible for hughe distances and German AT-crews used to aim straight for it, as it also was one of the most critical areas of the tank, with ammo storage, crew and vital systems located there behind a relatively thin wall.

The biggest advantage over most German tanks was the somewhat smaller fuel consumption and the bigger speed and maneuverability.

Aaron_GT
07-01-2005, 08:16 AM
We could have been stuck using its predecessor, the M5A1 Stuart, or "Stuey."

The M3 Lee/Grant was the predecessor, developed from the M2 medium. The M3 was a stop gap developed from the M2 until the M4 could be developed. The M2 had some novel design features that harked back to the WW1 infantry tank notion (lots of machine guns, and even deflectors to bounce rounds into trenches).

The M5A1 was developed from the M3 light tank, in turn from the M2 light tank.

The running gear design and general design methodology was similar between the light and medium tank programs up until the M24 light and M26 heavy (which spawned the M47-48-60 series) came along.

The M5A1 was not the design predecessor to the M4 Sherman.

Aaron_GT
07-01-2005, 08:21 AM
There were several version a few month after they were put in service, most of them with barrel replacements

Actually most of the major revisions (A numbers) were produced concurrently and represented different hull construction techniques and/or engine types. This was a strategy to allow different manufacturing sectors to contribute, plus an insurance against problems with any particular engine type. So you had plain M4, M4A1 with a cast hull, etc, etc.

Utchoud
07-01-2005, 08:40 AM
S! All,

Check http://www.onwar.com/tanks/index.htm for technical and production data of WWII armor. Many beautiful 4-view drawings and so on. My favorite source.

Utchoud

GH_Klingstroem
07-01-2005, 08:47 AM
thx for all replies guys!

Abbuzze
07-01-2005, 08:57 AM
If you want to try it, "Panzerelite"(the old one) it‚¬īs very good, graphics are a bit obsolete, but very nice, you will learn a lot about tactic and differnt tanks.

A big advantage of german tanks was the optic.
They had the possibility to estimate the distance to the targt. Like our crosshair ring that is set to 100m they had a small triangel, which was set to 3m at 500 so if you now aprox. the hight of a tank and you see it twice as big you know he is at 250m. If he fills 2/3 of this triangle 750m. (long time ago, so maybe the figures are wrong)

Sherman gunners didn‚¬īt had a similar possiblity so they used sometimes the coaxial MG, if they hit the enemy tank with it, they count the time till they heard the ping, and sec*333m they had the distance but you need to hit with the mg first then you need to hear the ping, not that easy, later allies tanks got a similar optic.

Gryphonne
07-01-2005, 09:12 AM
What surprises me is how many people dare to say the Sherman was maneuverable while they forget that the Tiger was one of the most maneuverable tanks in the world at the time.

The Sherman had horrid performance in muddy/soft terrain because of it's narrow tracks (ground pressure) and didn't have the hydraulically operated regenerative steering the Tiger possessed. The Tiger could turn around completely using only 3.50m, the Sherman could do no such thing! Also, unlike the myth, the Tiger was fast, real fast. At a whopping 56 tons the 38km/h roadspeed was only 2km/h slower than the 31-36 tons lighter Pz IV and Pz III.

Also, on the contrary to what many might believe (looking at the losses for Shermans in the west), the Tigers, King Tigers and Panthers were not the Shermans main opponents. The most likely opponent the Sherman would face in late 1944 was either a StuG III Ausf. G or Pz IV Ausf. G/H/J or even no tank at all (AT guns instead).

EDIT: in reply to the original post. When the Sherman was irst introduced in Africa it was quite effective against the Panzer III and early Pz IV. After 1942? No such thing. Sure, it could still kill the German main tanks but the Germans could fight back well beyond that range because of superior ballistics and optics. It wan't until the introduction of the Sherman 76 that the American tank gunners had a gun compareable to the 75/L48. The Sherman was not a good tank in terms of fighting- and staying power. It was good because it was reliable (See below though) and was easy to produce.

As for reliability, before you go off again saying that German tank were unrealiable, the workhorse of the German army the Pz IV had an operational percentage quite similar to, for example, the Panther and the former one is considered to be very reliable. The German heavy tanks required a great deal of skill to drive, and that is where things got bad. Quantity vs Quality, we all know what happened.

Regards,

Gryphon

Dtools4fools
07-01-2005, 09:16 AM
Sherman was pretty good when first encountered in Africa. Germans had very few long barreled 75mm PzIV at the time that could compete.

In any case the Sherman with 75mm gun was about on par with PzIV long 75mm gun. Armor was insufficient on both tanks (ie could not keep 75 shots out most of time), the German hhaving thicker frontal armor but not sloped. Sloped but thinner on the Sherman. Sherman was faster and faster turret (important to lay your gun quickly), Pz IV had better optics and gun.

Long 76mm armed Sherman (or Firefly) would move the balance in favour of Sherman compared with Pz IV.

Tendancy to catch fire was overcome with later models (wet storage of ammo).
Sherman was fast, however it could not pivot on the spot (turn one track back, one forward), had to lock on track and "drive around" it with the other. Very few tanks could turn on spot in WWII, some Germans (Tiger, Panther chassis, not sure about III and IV) and some British (was it Cromwell and Churchill? not sure here anymore).

Only German tank encountered in significant numbers which was certainly superior was Panther (around 5000 build, in late war 44-45 roughly about as numerous as Pz IV). Fast and manouverable, excellent gun and frontal armor which had a good chance to keep rounds out.
Several tank hunters (Jpz IV, Hetzer, Jagdpanther) with their thick and well sloped armor could cause headache for Sherman's as well but not being MBT they had theri own limitations.
****

whiteladder
07-01-2005, 09:24 AM
As for the germans. In 1944, their big 3 main tanks were the Panzer V "Panther" armed with a high velocity 75mm cannon (made to compete with the Russian T-34 on the eastern front, the Panzer VI "Tiger" armed with the same 88mm gun the germans used in their anti-aircraft batteries, & introduced around the time of the battle of Bastogne, the King Tiger, also armed with an 88mm gun and heavily armored but very slow. There were many other pieces of armor on both sides but the Sherman & these 3 german "heavy" tanks did the brunt of the fighting.


This makes a interesting comparison with the "I was shot down by a Spitfire" reports whenin actuality pilots were down by lesser aircraft.

I would image if you ask most Sherman crews what knocked them out they would say Tiger or Panther.

The truth is Tiger1, Tiger 2 and Panthers made up a relatively small part of the production. Even in 44 when Panther production was in full swing other types were numerically more important.

production for 1944

PZ III 3850
PZ IV 6625
PZ V 4003
PZ 38 2356
PZ VI 1061


Total wartime production for the main fighting types was as follows. ( all variants )

PZ III 14916
PZ IV 13310
PZ V 6408
PZ 38 6549
PZ VI 1907

Dtools4fools
07-01-2005, 09:40 AM
The truth is Tiger1, Tiger 2 and Panthers made up a relatively small part of the production. Even in 44 when Panther production was in full swing other types were numerically more important.

production for 1944

PZ III 3850
PZ IV 6625
PZ V 4003
PZ 38 2356
PZ VI 1061

Rightly so.
Except for the Panther which is second numerous. Allied tankers would met Panthers regularly in 44 (if they met German armor at all...). PzIV, Stug III and Panther being the most common to be encountered.

This number look like total chassis numbers to me, Pz III being Stug III therefore, Pz 38 mostly Hetzers, some of the PzIV being StugIV and Jpz IV.
****

TAGERT.
07-01-2005, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
I dunno too much about them. How good were they really on the western front and the eastern front. The germans gave it the name "tommy cookers" since it caught fire easely. Which was the main german tank to fight it in 1944 when the allied forces had landed in normandie and was the sherman as weak as I hear all the time?!!? On discovery channel the other day though, they said that the sherman tank was very good and that the germans respected it highly but then I have also heard that the shermans rounds used to bounce off the german tanks... well was it good or bad?!

thx Sherman tank won the war, be sure!

Blutarski2004
07-01-2005, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
I dunno too much about them. How good were they really on the western front and the eastern front. The germans gave it the name "tommy cookers" since it caught fire easely. Which was the main german tank to fight it in 1944 when the allied forces had landed in normandie and was the sherman as weak as I hear all the time?!!? On discovery channel the other day though, they said that the sherman tank was very good and that the germans respected it highly but then I have also heard that the shermans rounds used to bounce off the german tanks... well was it good or bad?!

thx


A reasonable description ofthe Sherman tank series would go like this -



Good features -

> Extremely reliable.
> Good range.
> Great track life.
> Quiet (rubber treads)
> Excellent HE performance of original 75mm gun.
> Rapid turret traverse.
> Radio and intra-crew comms.



Bad features -

> High ground pressure (poor performance in soft ground.
> High target silhouette.
> Poor armor protection against 75mm+.
> High fire risk until introduction of wet ammo storage, then average fire risk.
> Poor AP performance of both 75mm and 76mm guns (these were sufficient against German Mk IV opposition - they mere mutually vulnerable to one another at typical battle ranges - but scandalously bad against German Mk V and Mk VI series.
> Mediocre gunsight optics.
> Problems with those models powered by radial engines.
> Gasoline fuel fire risk (all diesel M4's went either to the US Marines in the Pacific or to the Soviets).


The biggest problem with the Sherman was its poor main gun AP performance, both the 75mm and the later 76mm. The 75mm was useless against the frontal aspect of German Panthers and Tigers; the 76mm only provided a minor improvement. Its second greatest problem was a lack of protection. Generally speaking a fair hit from a 75mm or greater high-velocity gun was a kill at any reasonable battle range. The typical 1944 Sherman was frontally vulnerable to the Panther 75mm/L70 out to 2500 yards or more. A lot has been made of the statistic that the average tank-versus-tank engagement range in NWE was only 600 yards. It bears consideration, however, that this statistic implies half of such engagements occurring at ranges greater than 600 yards. And even at 600 yards, the Panther and Tiger frontal armor was pretty much invulnerable to the Sherman.

To get an interesting perspective on the M4 Sherman experience in battle, pick up a copy of DEATHTRAPS - the war experience of the ordnance officer of the US 3rd Armored division in NWE. It is still around in paperback.

VW-IceFire
07-01-2005, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
I dunno too much about them. How good were they really on the western front and the eastern front. The germans gave it the name "tommy cookers" since it caught fire easely. Which was the main german tank to fight it in 1944 when the allied forces had landed in normandie and was the sherman as weak as I hear all the time?!!? On discovery channel the other day though, they said that the sherman tank was very good and that the germans respected it highly but then I have also heard that the shermans rounds used to bounce off the german tanks... well was it good or bad?!

thx
I haven't done much reading on the Sherman but the key attribute to the Sherman was not its firepower, strength, durability, or speed. Its main attribute was numbers. The Sherman was easily constructed, easily built, and easily shipped across the Atlantic for use.

It was no match one to one against a Panzer VI but that wasn't too much of a problem because its sheer mass of available numbers solved that issue.

I'm not sure if it was well respected or not. Not sure what improvements made of it either. Some of the other guys here are mentioning some interesting things so no doubt there was some improvement.

snafu73
07-01-2005, 10:13 AM
I've always thought it strange how highly regarded the T-34 was compared to the sherman, because if you compare the technical specs - they're virtually the same, I think the only stand out features of the T-34 over the sherman are the superior suspension and lower profile.

I read in the book 'Death traps' by Belton Y. Cooper that the spontaneous combustion problems with the Sherman was solved by using 'wet stowage' for the ammunition, the popular myth has always been that it was the petrol powered engines that caused the 'brewing up' problem.

I think it was in one of Ambrose's books that he remarked how general Patton was asked if he thought the allies needed a 'heavy' thank in time for the D-Day landings to take on the heavy German armour and the reply he gave was no, tanks are'nt for fighting other tanks!

Personal oppinion,
Best Allied tank = Comet
Best Axis tank = Panther Mk V

Dtools4fools
07-01-2005, 10:23 AM
Looked up Germnan armor production numbers for 44:

Wespe - 144
Marder - 323
Grille - 346
Hetzer - 1,687
Stug III - 3,849 (plus 173 Pz conversions)
Pz IV - 3,126
Stug IV - 1,006
JPz IV - 769
JPz IV/70 - 767
Brummb√¬§r - 215
Hornisse - 133
Hummel - 289
M√¬∂belwagen & Wirbelwind & Ostwind - 320
Panther - 3,777
Jagdpanther - 226
Tiger I - 623
Tiger II - 377
Jagdtiger - 51
Sturmtiger - 18

Nice summary, Butarski!
****

fordfan25
07-01-2005, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
I dunno too much about them. How good were they really on the western front and the eastern front. The germans gave it the name "tommy cookers" since it caught fire easely. Which was the main german tank to fight it in 1944 when the allied forces had landed in normandie and was the sherman as weak as I hear all the time?!!? On discovery channel the other day though, they said that the sherman tank was very good and that the germans respected it highly but then I have also heard that the shermans rounds used to bounce off the german tanks... well was it good or bad?!

thx

first this is what i know about them from books ect.

to start with one resone thay got a bad rap was thay were never ment to take on other tanks. thay were built as infintry suport, not tank killing. how ever thats what thay were used for more times than not lol. if thay had been used for what thay were ment to be used for thay would have been considerd a great wepon. but its like takeing a p-51 and tring to make a low level dog fighter or a stratigic bomber out of it.

with that said,looking at it in the roll it was actully used in it was mediocer at the start of its use at best. its main gun was not up to the task of killing the larger german tanks and seeing as it was never disigned to go up aginst heavey tanks it armor was not up to takeing hits from those big guns on the german heavy tanks. also if im not mistaken it used gas wich turned it into a zipo "much like the hellcat,corsair we now have in this game http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif". it was how ever fast and manuverble and like most amaricen made products of the time it was very relible. Also it was cheap and easy to mass produce.

Now as the war progressed new versions of the tank was built with larger cannons and thicker armor wich closed the gap a good bit between it and its adversaires.

Gryphonne
07-01-2005, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by fordfan25:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
I dunno too much about them. How good were they really on the western front and the eastern front. The germans gave it the name "tommy cookers" since it caught fire easely. Which was the main german tank to fight it in 1944 when the allied forces had landed in normandie and was the sherman as weak as I hear all the time?!!? On discovery channel the other day though, they said that the sherman tank was very good and that the germans respected it highly but then I have also heard that the shermans rounds used to bounce off the german tanks... well was it good or bad?!

thx

first this is what i know about them from books ect.

to start with one resone thay got a bad rap was thay were never ment to take on other tanks. thay were built as infintry suport, not tank killing. how ever thats what thay were used for more times than not lol. if thay had been used for what thay were ment to be used for thay would have been considerd a great wepon. but its like takeing a p-51 and tring to make a low level dog fighter or a stratigic bomber out of it.

with that said,looking at it in the roll it was actully used in it was mediocer at the start of its use at best. its main gun was not up to the task of killing the larger german tanks and seeing as it was never disigned to go up aginst heavey tanks it armor was not up to takeing hits from those big guns on the german heavy tanks. also if im not mistaken it used gas wich turned it into a zipo "much like the hellcat,corsair we now have in this game http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif". it was how ever fast and manuverble and like most amaricen made products of the time it was very relible. Also it was cheap and easy to mass produce.

Now as the war progressed new versions of the tank was built with larger cannons and thicker armor wich closed the gap a good bit between it and its adversaires. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Sherman was not "fast" nor maneuverable, compared to other tanks, or even the Tiger.

Abel29A
07-01-2005, 11:08 AM
About the whole Shermans blowing up thing - it was mentioned earlier that it was the ammo storage, not the petrol engine that was the problem.

I agree on this - as far as I know the germans also used petrol engines. Their limited quantity of Diesel was earmarked the Ubootflotte.

Freelancer-1
07-01-2005, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:

The biggest problem with the Sherman was its poor main gun AP performance, both the 75mm and the later 76mm. The 75mm was useless against the frontal aspect of German Panthers and Tigers; the 76mm only provided a minor improvement.



Tell that to the crew in the Panthers and Tigers. I know I would be a little rattled if hit with a 76mm shell no matter what I was in.

Freelancer

Cragger
07-01-2005, 11:17 AM
There is a downside to disel fuel when talking about it catching fire. While it is harder to ignite disel fuel then gasoline it is far more tenacious, it doesn't evaporate as quickly and is alot harder to put out then a gasoline fire as its as close as one can get to kerosene without it being kerosene.

249th_Harrier
07-01-2005, 12:37 PM
Lets compare mid '44 Sherman to mid '44 Panther:
Panther pluses:
-Thicker front armor
-Better gun for AT (higher velocity, flatter trajectory)
-Better gun optics (more accuracy)
-Better "float" (better for off-road travel)
-Better crew survivability: this means better average crew experience and morale
Panther minuses:
-Expensive
-Difficult to mass produce
-Difficult to maintain
-High fuel consumption
-Mediocre side and rear armor thickness
-Heavier: More difficult to recover when damaged, can't use certain bridges, more difficult to transport by rail or ship
-Worse reliability

The lower fuel consumption and better reliability of the Sherman meant it had less of a logistical "tail". This meant you could keep more tanks active with the same amount of supplies. When reacting to attacks by the enemy, this means you can move more units faster, and have more tanks where you need them most. Patton refused to start recieving Pershings for this reason. The Germans continued to build Pz IV due to these logistical reasons as well as cost. In a semi-static defense, like in the Normandy hedgerows, the Panthers had a clear advantage. In a mobile battleground like the battle of the bulge, the Panther was less effective. Logistical issues prevented them from covering a lot of ground, and reduced their availability for combat. This resulted in piecemeal attacks where allied AT guns, TDs, infantry, and artillery could work in coordination to defeat them.

Slickun
07-01-2005, 01:11 PM
Like the other posters have said:

When first introduced, the Sherman was a good tank.

US doctrine had "Tank Destroyers" taking on enemy tanks. US tanks were for infantry support.

The real question is why did it take so long for the US to have a replacement for the Sherman? Its an interesting read about political, financial and beaurocratic fumblings.

Meanwhile, US Tankers suffered.

lrrp22
07-01-2005, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by Gryphonne:

The Sherman was not "fast" nor maneuverable, compared to other tanks, or even the Tiger.

'Maneuverability' has very little to do with the ability to pivot stear. The Sherman was maneuverable in the sense it could accelerate and change directions quicker than a Tiger. The difference between pivot and differential steering doesn't amount to much in a mobile engagement. Besides, pivot steering is a d@mn good way to throw a track.

StellarRat
07-01-2005, 02:19 PM
I think the T-34 was more highly regarded because it was diesel powered (less fire hazard) and was far more manueverable on soft ground because of the wide tracks. Plus it was way ahead of it's time. Gun was comparable to the M4 and I think the armor was slightly better (though thinner in spots) in the T-34 due to the excellent sloping of the hull and turret. It was also easy to produce and relatively reliable (though I don't know how it compares to the M4 in this aspect.) Like the M4, later models of the T-34 were upgunned and armored.

It give the Germans real fits when it first went into battle and forced them to design much better tanks to defeat it.

Blutarski2004
07-01-2005, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:

The biggest problem with the Sherman was its poor main gun AP performance, both the 75mm and the later 76mm. The 75mm was useless against the frontal aspect of German Panthers and Tigers; the 76mm only provided a minor improvement.



Tell that to the crew in the Panthers and Tigers. I know I would be a little rattled if hit with a 76mm shell no matter what I was in.

Freelancer </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... I probably could have told that to the Panther and Tiger crews. A Sherman crew on the other hand ...... ;-)

It was not unusual for Tigers and Panthers to absorb multiple 75mm/76mm frontal hits and remain in action.


Continuing on my line of thought here - the Sherman was a terrific tank - if viewed in the light of the pre-war doctrinal assumptions which dictated its design. The real issue is that the doctrine was faulty. The price paid for continued reliance upon a tank design unsuited to true tactical conditions was that, by the late 1944, the US armored forces were running out of trained tank crewmen due to casualties hugely in excess of attrition predictions. By the Battle of the Bulge, tank crews were going out short-handed or with hastily drafted infantrymen as fill-ins.

Gibbage1
07-01-2005, 02:28 PM
Well the Shirman was an infantry tank. It was not ment to take on tanks like the larger German armor, but give troops some armored support. The anti-take German armor toar up the Shirmans, but numbers won.

The reverse is true in the Pacific. The Shirman was a monster of a tank compaired to the Japanese tanks.

BSS_CUDA
07-01-2005, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:
Well the Shirman was an infantry tank. It was not ment to take on tanks like the larger German armor, but give troops some armored support. The anti-take German armor toar up the Shirmans, but numbers won.

The reverse is true in the Pacific. The Shirman was a monster of a tank compaired to the Japanese tanks.


/me wonders about the whole Japanese bamboo and rice paper mentality, they did seem to build their tanks like they built there aircraft

MRsteve
07-01-2005, 03:13 PM
Hi all,
I think it was the lack of spelling skills that let the Shirman down....any opinions? lol

See you in the sky!
Steve

Gibbage1
07-01-2005, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by BSS_CUDA:

/me wonders about the whole Japanese bamboo and rice paper mentality, they did seem to build their tanks like they built there aircraft

Lack of material?

p1ngu666
07-01-2005, 03:31 PM
http://premium1.uploadit.org/pingu666///sherman1.jpg

http://premium1.uploadit.org/pingu666///sherman2.jpg

im surprised the **** thing worked with a engine like that.

tiger was heavy, so it certainly less nimble than a sherman, and the turret was slow to turn.

t34 is iconic, like ak47 it just worked http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Aaron_GT
07-01-2005, 03:33 PM
> Quiet (rubber treads)

Having been in close proximity to Shermans, Stuarts, Hetzers, Pz IVs etc whilst running (along with various other tracked and half tracked WW2 vehicles) they are all loud!

One of the disadvantages of rubber shoed tracks occured during a reenactment in which the unit tank was an M5 rather than the usual Sherman (Actually a Canadian Gizzly, essentially the same apart from the tracks, radio, etc). It was required to go up a grassy incline. The grass was wet, and the tank was not loaded with ammunition and so on and had insufficient traction to get up the incline, which was embarassing to say the least.

One of the big advantages of the Sherman, especially when combating the likes of Panther and Tiger was the gyro stabilisation of the main gun which gave the crews an enhanced chance (if still not a great one) of firing back when on the move. Given the effectiveness of the German optics and guns on the Panther and Tiger (the optics on the late war Schmalturm were adopted in the M47) maneouvering was important.

With regard to turret traverse it is worth noting that the last versions of Pz IV deleted the auxillary turret traverse mechanism such that with the engine off (e.g. in a static position when fuel was in short supply) only hand traverse was available and it was very easy for them to be outflanked.

I've been in a Sherman, just rigged for reenactment purposes without ammunition and other stores inside. I hate to think what it would have been like to have been in one fully kitted out. I think only being in a sub could be more claustrophobic!

Tools4Fools wrote:

In any case the Sherman with 75mm gun was about on par with PzIV long 75mm gun.

er.. no

Aaron_GT
07-01-2005, 03:37 PM
-Mediocre side and rear armor thickness

The Panther's side and rear armour was well sloped and more than adequate.

What it did suffer from were problems with engine cooling (a more powerful engine than anticipated had to be shoehorned into the engine compartment due to the Panther being a bit overweight) that required additional (and precious) fuel to be forced through, to then be burned off afterwards. This led to additional complexity (and also the reputation for fuel leaks - it was actually deliberate!). This meant a whole host of bits hanging off the back of the tank in terms of exhausts and secondary fuel burners that were vulnerable to being shot at.

Aaron_GT
07-01-2005, 03:40 PM
It was no match one to one against a Panzer VI but that wasn't too much of a problem because its sheer mass of available numbers solved that issue.

As Stalin said, numbers have a quality of their own.

With regards to the T34, one theoretical advantage was the ability to run on wheels without tracks to allow self-powered long distance transport without transporters or track wear (tracks in WW2 didn't have an awfully long lifetime on a tank). I am not sure if this feature was actually used, though.

Aaron_GT
07-01-2005, 03:43 PM
Lack of material?

Not really. The Japanese tank was intended to be an infantry support tank in terrain where they would act as mobile pill boxes but where the terrain wasn't really suitable for tanks. So small tanks with armour enough to defend only against small arms fire and with short barreled guns were what was required. A bit like the FT17 of WW1.

The Pz IVD was also a thinly armoured infantry support tank, although mounting a larger calibre main gun.

Zeus-cat
07-01-2005, 04:08 PM
Someone else mentioned the book Deathtraps in this thread. The author was Belton Cooper and he was in the quartermaster corp for the Big Red One division of the US Army from D-Day until VE Day. He specialised in armor. The Big Red One's Shermans suffered a 600% casualty rate in less than a year according to Mr. Cooper. This is a great book and I can't recommend it strongly enough if you like armor. The section where he talks about what he thought the worst job in the army is was is fascinating.

Anyway, he thought the Sherman was a bad tank because it was forced to fight heavy German armor and it was never designed to do that. General Patton wanted an infantry support tank and that's what he got. Tank destroyers like the M-10 and M-36 were the way Patton wanted to deal with German armor. Too bad it didn't work.

I won't repeat what Gryphonne has already said in his posts, because I would say the same thing.

Get Belton Cooper's book.

Zeus-cat

BigKahuna_GS
07-01-2005, 04:45 PM
S!



Slickun Posted Fri July 01 2005 12:11
Like the other posters have said:
When first introduced, the Sherman was a good tank.
US doctrine had "Tank Destroyers" taking on enemy tanks. US tanks were for infantry support.
The real question is why did it take so long for the US to have a replacement for the Sherman? Its an interesting read about political, financial and beaurocratic fumblings.
Meanwhile, US Tankers suffered.


There is some excellent analysis points being brought up but I was waiting for someone to bring up this point. Well said Slick.

Tank designs, armor, firepower, and tactical deployment went right to the very top of the food chain. The "Top Brass" was resistant to the "Main Battle Tank" or "Heavy Tank" philosophy and were fearful that up-gunned and heavily armored tanks would engage/seek out tank duels with enemy tanks rather than support the infantry. Basically the AGFC (Army Ground Forces Command) feared "tank hunting" vs infantry support, as that role was reserved for tank destroyers.

Hence the M4 Sherman was to support the infantry and the M-18 Hellcat with a long barrel 76mm M1A2 gun was classified as a "Tank Destroyer". The M-18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer was lightly armored and relied on it's speed and agility. The M-18 Hellcat was also known as the M-24 Chaffe light tank--road speed 40mph.

The M4 Sherman went through more modifications and experimentations than any other american tank at that time. The M4 Sherman was the most widely produced tank of the war (including the T-34), a total of 49,230 Shermans were built.

Basic M4 Sherman engagement doctrine of german heavy tanks was 5-Shermans to 1-Panther. Even with these tactics, it was estimated that 3 Shermans were being lost for every single german heavy tank (loss ratio)--not good.

Some M4 Sherman Varients in WW2 :

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/m4a1_zaloga1.jpg
M4-Sherman D-Day Amphibious

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/dndozer-7.jpg
M4-Sherman Dozer
There was also a mine sweeper version with an elevated/rotating front roller and chains that struck the ground.

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/sherman_szaloga1.jpg
M4-A3E8
76mm long barrel gun with improved armor. Some models had a 90mm gun and were considered "Tank Destroyers". The Marines had a twin barrel flame thrower varient in the PTO.


http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/m4a3e8_cheehongahn1.jpg
M4A3E8 105mm Howitzer


http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/szjumbo-5.jpg
M4-Sherman King Cobra or "Jumbo" model
Special Assualt model for Normandy Operation Cobra
Up-gunned with 76mm gun and extra armor

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/cdvm4a3-2.jpg
M4A3 Calliope

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/lpm18-1.jpg
M18-Hellcat Tank Destroyer

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/szm26-1.jpg
M26-Pershing First True US Heavy Tank ETO 1945 90mm gun (About Time)
January 1945, a single M26-Pershing destroyed 2 Pz.KpfwIV's and 1 Tiger One model. The Ordance Department feels vindicated as they had lobbied long and hard for a heavily armed heavy tank to fight the germans on equal or better terms.

Somethings that where not mentioned about the German Heavy Tanks:

The Panther, Tiger & King Tiger all used the Maybach HL 230 GASOLINE engine and were in for the same trouble as all tanks that used gasoline powered engines.

Some models of Panther and Tiger tanks used interleaved road wheels (staggered). As these roads wheels got covered with mud, the mud could freeze causing the road wheels to jam and the tanks could not move. This often happened on the eastern front and soviet tank crews would plan early morning attacks on german heavy tanks to exploit this problem.


http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/german/migpanth-2.jpg
Interleaved road wheels when coated with mud and frozen often jammed.

The Tiger I tank turret rotated very slowly requiring 15 seconds for a 360-degree rotation. If the power drive unit failed it took 750 hand cranks to accomplish the same turet rotation and at a much slower pace. German Heavy tanks as a group had slow turret rotation.


___

StellarRat
07-01-2005, 04:59 PM
"The M-18 Hellcat was also known as the M-24 Chaffe light tank"

They are not the same vehicle. The Chaffe was a true light tank with a closed top turret. The Hellcat was open topped with a 76mm gun and I THINK the Chaffe had a 75mm.

BigKahuna_GS
07-01-2005, 05:23 PM
S!



"The M-18 Hellcat was also known as the M-24 Chaffe light tank"


Rgr that. The same tank body was used for both tank models---look at the picture I provided of the M-18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer.


__

p1ngu666
07-01-2005, 05:30 PM
same chassis http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif
amazing how many different things they stuck on various chassis.

Aaron_GT
07-01-2005, 05:38 PM
amazing how many different things they stuck on various chassis.

For a giggle see some of the things that they managed to sick on a Pz I chassis!

BigKahuna_GS
07-01-2005, 06:21 PM
S!

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/szhst-1.jpg
M4 Sherman Chasis as a tractor

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/mcm4.jpg
M4 High Speed Tractor and 155mm Long Tom


http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/m18hellcat_pjohnston1.jpg
Another pic of the M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/jmm24-9.jpg
M24 Chaffe Tank

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/szcroc-5.jpg
http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/szcroc-6.jpg
M4 Sherman Crocodile
Special semi amphibious model for water crossings


http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/britain/churchill_moreno1.jpg
Churchill Mk VII , North-West Europe, 1944‚‚ā¨"45

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/britain/crocodile_nakiya2.jpg
Churchill Crocodile


__

WWMaxGunz
07-01-2005, 07:00 PM
Only Aaron mentioned the late war gyro-stabilized turrets. Firing on the move when there
are more than a couple of you gives some chance of flanking positions.

Nobody mentioned the Littlejohn tapered-bore barrel adapters. I dunno how many were used.

If you measure reliability as the mean distance between breakdowns, the heavies were not
exactly reliable. Get a parts count for the Tiger I and the same for any non-specialized
Engineer model Sherman. And an MDBB for the Tiger II, please!

Although for the count, for the Germans a Tiger I could beat 20 Shermans but as it was
said by one German, and then the 21st Sherman comes up the hill. What a waste.

From the rear, even a Tiger I is very vulnerable. There is a confirmed incident of one
being knocked out by an M8 scout car's 37mm gun at about 30 yards. Right through the rear
armor and killed the engine. Side armor was vulnerable to 75mm with more than short barrel
at not long range but not having to be close either. And range does matter just looking at
penetration charts.

I think that heavy armor was supposed to be stopped first and then hit with heavy arty or
air attacks, but we have people who will swear none of that would kill heavy tanks. Yeah,
the crews just ran off and left them because they knew they were safe.

Also sometime read the citation of Audie Murphy in the south of France and what he did with
a 50 cal from the top of a burning tank, and for how long. The Germans had armor there.

I like the T-34 line the best 41-45 in spite of not good sights and few to not all with
radios. The machines themselves were very good design, the most advanced in the world in
1941 when they first showed up. I think it's a joke to compare the original Sherman 75mm
to the original T-34 75mm which was a full barrel gun. Later Sherman with 76 long or 17lber
and you still have the T-34/85 with better AT and AP as well.

TheCrux
07-01-2005, 07:14 PM
p1ngu666, could you possibly repost the photo of the A57 multibank engine a bit smaller? Thet's the first good look I ever got at one but I can't see but a third of the image without scrolling side/side-up/down.

rfa0
07-01-2005, 08:04 PM
The Sherman was neither particularly fast nore manueverable. It was a decent tank by 1942 North African standards but by 1944 it was out of its league in Europe. The US Army just had its head up its butt as far as tanks. They wanted tanks primarily for infantry support, not for tank v tank battles. A lot of brave Sherman crews paid with their lives because of that attitude.

rfa0

BigKahuna_GS
07-01-2005, 08:07 PM
S!


Littlejohn tapered-bore barrel adapters

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/sgun.htm


http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/sgun3.gif

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/sgun.jpg


The Littlejohn Adaptor

The Czech designer Janacek (which translates as "little John") was working on squeezebore weapons and ammunition in the late 1930s. The principle was similar to the Gerlich taper bore, but achieved by adding an adaptor to the muzzle of an existing gun, rather than by using a specially-made tapered barrel. Work continued in Britain during the war, leading to the adoption of the "Littlejohn adaptor" for the 2 pdr tank/anti-tank gun (40x304R) and the associated flanged projectiles, designed to be squeezed down from 40mm to around 30mm. The lightweight projectiles, known as APSV (armour piercing super velocity) were fired at very high velocities, resulting in a considerable increase in armour penetration. Two marks were issued, the Mk 2 projectile being longer and heavier because of the addition of nose and ballistic caps. The 2 pdr Littlejohn saw service in armoured cars and light tanks.

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/sguntank.jpg

Various other weapons were tried with Littlejohn adaptors and ammunition, including the 37 mm gun used in the American "Locust" light tank. However, it has only recently been rediscovered that a Littlejohn "S" gun was also tested. The Public Record Office in Kew, London, contains a report (ref: AVIA/8/857), illustrated with photographs of the gun and ammunition. This concerns air tests in May 1944 of a Hurricane IID with a Littlejohn adaptor fitted to an "S" gun, and some modifications to the breech to deal with the different projectiles. The test was not favourable as the gun/ammunition combination did not function with sufficient reliability, and no further records have been found.

Another approach to achieving the best of both worlds was the squeezebore gun, of which there were two basic types; the Gerlich and the Littlejohn. In both, a projectile fitted with flanges to fit a large caliber barrel was squeezed down to a smaller caliber before it left the muzzle. The difference between them was that the Gerlich guns had tapered barrels whereas the Littlejohns had normal barrels with a tapered attachment fitted to the muzzle, in principle not unlike a shotgun choke. These worked very well and both saw limited service in WW2, the Gerlich in some German AT guns and the Littlejohn (named after the Czech designer, Janecek, which translates as little John) in some Allied armoured car and light tank guns. Their main problem, apart from the cost of the tungsten-cored ammo (and in the case of the Gerlich, the expensive barrel manufacturing) was that they could only fire this type of ammunition; they could not fire full-calibre HE shells. For this reason, they lost favour as soon as a better solution emerged.

In fairness, the 2 PR remained useful in the Far East against the thinly armoured Japanese tanks and also enjoyed a more successful life as an armoured car and light tank weapon. In the latter application, its armour-piercing performance was boosted in 1943 by the addition of the Littlejohn squeezebore adaptor. This was designed by a Czechoslovak called Janecek (Littlejohn in English) and consisted of an attachment screwed onto the muzzle which squeezed specially designed 0.45 kg tungsten-cored skirted shot down to about 33mm calibre, increasing the muzzle velocity to 1,280 m/s and the armour penetration to 88mm at 450m. The result was a precursor of the armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS) tank ammunition, but it had the significant disadvantage that HE shells could not be fired unless the adaptor was unscrewed; not always practical in the heat of battle!

____

Slickun
07-01-2005, 08:29 PM
Great stuff, all.

You should see all the cool stuff the Brits added to their Shermans for D-Day. The Americans called them "funnies".

They ended up wanting a bunch of them before it was all over.

ImpStarDuece
07-01-2005, 08:53 PM
Actually, the British had a specialised armour development section known as 'Hobart's Funnies".

n March of 1943 Major General Sir Percy Hobart, who had commanded the famous British "Desert Rats" armored division in North Africa, was charged with developing, training and using a variety of special-purpose armored fighting vehicles to lead the Allies into France. Hobart was put in charge of Britain's 79th Armoured Division, devoted to that purpose.

The 79th was a result of British experiances at Dieepe, where troops were left exposed and helpless against enfilladed MG nests, strong points, barbed wire and fortified emolacements. Specialised armour was developed to assist with both the landng and initial operations phase of the invasion of Europe.

The 'funnies' included the Churchill AVRE with a massive 290mm 'Spigot' mortar, designed for demolishing blockhouses and the like. It fired a shell roughly the size of a small garbage can.

A 'Sherman Flail' or 'Crab' was also developed. A large steel drum with chains that ended in steel weights were mounted on arms at the fron of a Sherman and rotated by a powerful little engine. The flails would whip the ground and explode any mines they come in contact with.

The 79th were actually the ones who made the canvas screen for the Duplex Drive tanks work effectively. While very few of the US Sherman DDs made it to the beach the 79ths Churchill DDs had a much better record. Off Omaha Beach the US launched 32 DD Shermans to support the 1st Infantry Division. All but 5 sank or were destroyed before they got to shore. Of the 40 Churchill DDs launched off Sward, 33 made it to the beach.

The Fascine, essentailly a massive ****** of wire bound logs. was developed to help cross anti tank ditches, as was the Bobbin, a massive canvas roller that the tans travelled over to decrease ground pressure and make sure the tanks didn't become mired.

A little more sophisitcated than the Fascine was the ARC Armoured Ramp Carrier; one of the very first armoured bridge layers. The turret of a Churchill was stripped off and replace with a front and rear ramp that extended about 20 meters and could be used to get up seawalls, over concrete obstacles and cross anti tank ditches. Similar to the ARC was the SBG Small Box Girder, a detatchable bridge that could support more than 40 tons and measured about 10 meters.

Nimits
07-01-2005, 09:15 PM
The Sherman was as much of an intelligence failure as anything else. It was specifically designed to outgun and outfight the Panzer III and the short-barrelled Panzer IV. The British 8th Army were in fact glad to get them in 1942, as they generally faster and more powerful than the rest of the British and Axis tanks in the theater, and for a few short months was probably the best tank available to either side on the West (the early T-34/75s were arguably better, though their firepower and armor were not significantly superiar to that of M4). Even in 1943-1945, when it was called on for infantry support or to fight later model Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs, it generally gave as good as it got. The is one of the advantages of the Sherman; it was so cheap and prevelant on the battlefield that it was rare for an American unit not to have armor support available (unless the terrain completely prevented it), so that, even if German heavy and battle tanks dominated their portions of the battlefield, the other 3/4 of the front belonged to the Shermans. It was't until the Shermans ran into the Tiger Is in 1943, and later Panthers and Tiger IIs, that tankers realized the inadaquacies of the Sherman.

GR142_Astro
07-01-2005, 11:32 PM
Kahuna, some good info but be careful.

M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer and and M24 Chaffee Light Tank are NOT the same chassis. They are completely different designs from the ground up. I think the torsion bar road wheels are throwing you off. I think these two rear views will illustrate the differences.

http://www.ferreamole.it/images/m24/02.jpg

http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/lsm/dhmg/images3/10617.jpg

For the record the Hellcat, made by Buick, was one of the fastest armored vehicles of WW2. I mean fast by even todays standards. A big Tiger I isn't much good when marauding M5A1s and M18s are in your backfield shooting the **** out of your fuel trucks and supply lines.

As for the M4 high speed tractor being based on the M4 Sherman, that is another error. Maybe the M4 is throwing you off? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif The M4 tractor shares much more in common with the M3/M5 series:

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/szhst-1.jpg

http://www.ferreamole.it/images/m24/m5a1.jpg

Check out that huge rear idler wheel that actually rolls against the ground. Just for comparison, the M4 Sherman again:

http://www.tamiyausa.com/images/product/087/32505/header_3.jpg

BigKahuna_GS
07-02-2005, 01:14 AM
S!



Astro--M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer and and M24 Chaffee Light Tank are NOT the same chassis. They are completely different designs from the ground up. I think the torsion bar road wheels are throwing you off. I think these two rear views will illustrate the differences.



Hya Astro,

The website I took the pics from said the M-18 and M24 shared componets and chasis. This doesn't mean there right, or that possibly it was more on the componet side or that the chasis was modified.

http://www.battletanks.com/images/M24_Chaffee-2.jpg
http://www.battletanks.com/images/M18_Hellcat-1.jpg
http://www.battletanks.com/images/M18_Hellcat-3.jpg
http://www.battletanks.com/images/M24_Chaffee-1.jpg

In one of my tank books at home "The Illustrated History of Tanks"
it says "The M-24 Light Tank dubbed the Chaffe by the British, served as the basic model for a range of specialized vehicles including the M-18 Hellcat with a long barrel 76mm gun. It's chasis was also used for the M-41 Howitzer Motor Carriage." pg24

The road speed for both the M24 and M18 is 40mph.


As for the M4 Tractor, I agree it looks more like the road wheel assemblys of the M5. But again the web site said it was from the chasis of a M4 Sherman. Possibly the chasis was modified to the required size needed.
I cant find anything else on the specs.

Then again maybe they used the M7 chasis.

http://www.battletanks.com/images/M7_Lt-Med-1.jpg
1941 - USA M7 Light/Medium Tank
Armament-: I - 75mm gun
2 - 0.3" MG
Engine: Wright R975, 9 cyl. Whirlwind
radial, gas, 340 hp
Speed: 30 mph
Range: 100 miles
Weight: 25 tons

Commissioned as a successor to the popular M5. Never
developed past the prototype stage. Grew in weight to
a medium tank. Only 7 built. Could not compete
with the M4 Sherman.



http://www.battletanks.com/images/M4_w_Flamethrower-1.jpg
1942 - USA Sherman M4 w/flame thrower
One of many flame thrower devices on M4 series vehicles



http://www.battletanks.com/images/M36_slugger-2.jpg
1943 USA Gun Motor Carriage M36 "Slugger"
Mounted on a M4A3 Sherman Chassis.
Armament: 1- 90mm gun in new turret
1- 0.5" MG AA
Engine; Ford GAA, V-8, gas, 500 hp
Speed: 30 mph
Range; 150 miles
Crew: 5
Weight: 31 tons

Entered service in Europe in late 1944. Proved very
successful in anti-tank role. Equipped with 90mm gun.
Replaced M-10. The high velocity converted AA gun with AP
ammunition, could destroy Panthers and Tigers at long
range.



http://www.battletanks.com/images/M6A2-3.jpg
http://www.battletanks.com/images/M6A2-2.jpg
1941 - USA M6A2 Heavy Tank (Experimental)
Armament: 1 - 3" gun (modified AA gun)
1 - coaxial 37mm AT gun
3 - 0.5" MG
1 - 0.3" MG
Engine: Wright G-200, radial, 9 cyl, air
cooled, 800 hp
Speed: 22 mph
Range: 100 miles
Crew: 6
Weight: 50 tons
Only 40 built. Trials led to M-26 tank series. Designed
to break through defenses in the European theater. Used
GE electric transmission. This is a sole survivor.



__

Aaron_GT
07-02-2005, 01:37 AM
40mph is overoptimistic for an M24 - 30 to 35mph is more reasonable. 40 mph is pessimistic for an M18 - 45-50mph is more reasonable.

BigKahuna_GS
07-02-2005, 01:55 AM
S!


40mph is overoptimistic for an M24 - 30 to 35mph is more reasonable. 40 mph is pessimistic for an M18 - 45-50mph is more reasonable.


Hya Aaron,

I am just posting the speeds as they are listed in my book and website.


__

BigKahuna_GS
07-02-2005, 02:06 AM
S!
This website seems to reflect the speeds more as you stated Aaron. So far I have seen the range of the M24 at 34-40mph and the M18 from 40-55mph, interesting.



http://www.battletanks.com/images/M24_Chaffee-1.jpg
1943 USA M24 Light Tank "Chaffee"

Armament: 1 - 75mm gun
1 - 0.5" AA MG
2 - 0.3" MG
Engines: Twin Cadillac Model 44T24, V-8 gas 110hp each
S peed: 34 mph max.
Range: 100 miles
Crew: 5
Weight: 18 tons
Lightweight 75mm gun adapted from aircraft use. Lightly armored, served as a fast efficient reconnaissance vehicle. Formed basis for a new family of armored vehicles. Over 5000 were produced but did not reach Europe until late 1944. After WWII served with many US allies including the French in Indo-China, serving with distinction at the battle of Dien Bien Phu.



http://www.battletanks.com/images/M18_Hellcat-2.jpg
1943 - USA M18 Gun Motor Carriage "Hellcat"
Armament: 1 - 76mm gun
1 - 0.5" MG AA
Engine: Continental, 9 cyl., radial air-
cooled, gas, 340 or 400 hp
Speed; 55 mph
Range; 105 miles
Crew: 5
Weight; 17 tons

Much smaller and lighter than M-10. Over 2,500 built.
Only AFV designed specifically for TD. Excellent
power-to-weight ratio. Fastest production AFV of WWII .
Used "shoot and scoot" tactics. Also used as an assault
gun and Self-Propelled Artillery. Used the same 76mm gun
as the Sherman. Light weight and a 400 hp engine gave it
excellent speed and mobility. One of the best Tank Destroyers
of WWII.


__

jugent
07-02-2005, 02:17 AM
The Sherman tank was good in 1941 but outclassed in 1942.
If I would have been in it, I would have jumped out.
It was like a Me-109E against Spit XIV.
Its only advantage was the superior number.

Gryphonne
07-02-2005, 04:20 AM
Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
Only Aaron mentioned the late war gyro-stabilized turrets. Firing on the move when there
are more than a couple of you gives some chance of flanking positions.

Nobody mentioned the Littlejohn tapered-bore barrel adapters. I dunno how many were used.

If you measure reliability as the mean distance between breakdowns, the heavies were not
exactly reliable. Get a parts count for the Tiger I and the same for any non-specialized
Engineer model Sherman. And an MDBB for the Tiger II, please!

Although for the count, for the Germans a Tiger I could beat 20 Shermans but as it was
said by one German, and then the 21st Sherman comes up the hill. What a waste.

From the rear, even a Tiger I is very vulnerable. There is a confirmed incident of one
being knocked out by an M8 scout car's 37mm gun at about 30 yards. Right through the rear
armor and killed the engine. Side armor was vulnerable to 75mm with more than short barrel
at not long range but not having to be close either. And range does matter just looking at
penetration charts.

I think that heavy armor was supposed to be stopped first and then hit with heavy arty or
air attacks, but we have people who will swear none of that would kill heavy tanks. Yeah,
the crews just ran off and left them because they knew they were safe.

Also sometime read the citation of Audie Murphy in the south of France and what he did with
a 50 cal from the top of a burning tank, and for how long. The Germans had armor there.

I like the T-34 line the best 41-45 in spite of not good sights and few to not all with
radios. The machines themselves were very good design, the most advanced in the world in
1941 when they first showed up. I think it's a joke to compare the original Sherman 75mm
to the original T-34 75mm which was a full barrel gun. Later Sherman with 76 long or 17lber
and you still have the T-34/85 with better AT and AP as well.

The Tiger wasn't ultra vulnerable from the rear. That is a myth. The side armour was just as thick as the rear armour. In fact the side armour is a tiny wee bit more vulnerable; with the lower hull behind the roadwheels being 60mm thickness @ 0 deg. and the side upper hull armour 82mm @ 0 degrees. Compare that to the rear armour of 82mm @ 8 degrees. According to PRO document WO 185/118, "DDG/FV(D) Armour plate experiments" 8 degrees gives approximately a 1.01 multiplier (effective armour now ~83mm)

The Russian 76.2mm and US 75mm are pretty much the same thing. The US 75mm even has better AP performance due to higher ammo quality. Russian rounds were notorious for bad heating processess which made most of them brittle.

As for the US 76mm, again close to the Russian 85mm. Both being about equal to the 75/L48. The 17 pdr was far superior to any of these.

For all the above munitions however, the thickness/diameter ratio is unfavourable against say, a Tiger. Against common foes, the guns are quite sufficient.

Gryph

JamesBlonde888
07-02-2005, 05:05 AM
More fantastic US (UnServicable) hardware.

The only reason a Sherman would survive an encounter with German armour is because the German's shell pssed right through it without exploding. All those who whine about not being able to tankbust with .50 cal's should go fire at a Sherman for quick relief.

Aaron_GT
07-02-2005, 07:13 AM
The Sherman tank was good in 1941 but outclassed in 1942.

It wasn't introduced until 1942, so couldn't have been good in 1941.

If it was outclassed in 1942, I'd love to know what by - certainly not the mainstay of the German forces of the time, the Pz III.

snafu73
07-02-2005, 07:43 AM
For anybody that's interested here's a couple of short clips of British tankers talking about their experiences.

http://www.hallgraphics.co.uk/HG_TSET_samples_WTarrant.htm

http://www.hallgraphics.co.uk/HG_TSET_samples_JStenner.htm

Xiolablu3
07-02-2005, 08:05 AM
Dont forget the Shermans had to 'get to the battle' too.

Its no good having a big heavy tank that you have to transport over the channel and 400 miles across land just to get to the battle.

Better to take 4 Shermans than 1 heavy Tank. (Lives weren't valued as highly at that time)

Dtools4fools
07-02-2005, 03:05 PM
Tools4Fools wrote:

quote:
In any case the Sherman with 75mm gun was about on par with PzIV long 75mm gun.


er.. no

err...why?

If I may know?
(not comparing guns themselves but the two tanks)

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Aaron_GT
07-02-2005, 05:41 PM
I thought your comparasion was regarding the guns in this instance. The 75mm relatively short gun in the Sherman was no match for the 75/L48 gun in the Pz IV. My "er no" comment was based on a comparasion of 75mm guns only.

WWMaxGunz
07-02-2005, 08:30 PM
The first T-34's from 1940 had the L11 gun, a 76/L30. But that was 1940 when the
rest of the world was running much smaller stuff in anything but heavy tanks.
These were on Russian medium tanks, production started July 1940.
Muzzle velocity appx 612 m/s, varied with quality of ammo. Only about 400 T-34's
had that gun, production of those guns ended in 1939.

In 1941 they were already fitting T-34's with the F34 gun, a 76/L41.
Muzzle velocity appx 660 m/s. That gun was first tested in a T-34 very late in 1940.

The next gun upgrade was to an even longer ratio barrel 85/L54, with muzzle velocity
of APHE at 792 m/s and a special light (APDS?) BR-365P round with 1200 m/s at muzzle.
But those didn't go into action until March 1944.

Shermans... first ones had the M2 75mm, muzzle velocity of AP at 1926 f/s, 587 m/s.
Is that the 75/L38 that many people characterize the Sherman as only ever fielding?

Then the M3 75mm, AP muzzle velocity 2300 f/s = 701 m/s and with the more advanced
shells (APCBC M61), able to penetrate about half again the armor as with standard AP.
But it doesn't give the standard of penetration here, what % of the shell must clear
through the plate but 100mm armor at 30 degrees at 500m range and 93mm at 1 km range,
same angle is not shabby. I see this gun listed as a 75/L40.

The later 76.2mm gun also known as the 3" shows the same kind of performance with
APC M62 ammo and not much less with APHE. I read that one had 2600 f/s (792 m/s) at
muzzle and had azimuth indicator and elevation quadrant to be used for indirect fire.
I see two models of the 76mm gun listed, the M1A1 and the M1A2. There is also an HVAP
shell with muzzle velocity 3400 f/s (1036 m/s!) with penetration 158mm at 30 degrees
at 500m and 133mm at 1 km same angle. I somehow think that hull and turret side armor
of those Tigers may not be always resistant to that gun and ammo.

But what years, what models had what guns since they were mixed over time I do not have
right now. Initial M4's I see dating 7/42 to 1/44, over 6700 made. The first 76mm gunned
M4's I see started in 1/44 and at least 8,000 made by end of war.

Loki-PF
07-02-2005, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by Gryphonne:
What surprises me is how many people dare to say the Sherman was maneuverable while they forget that the Tiger was one of the most maneuverable tanks in the world at the time.

The Sherman had horrid performance in muddy/soft terrain because of it's narrow tracks (ground pressure) and didn't have the hydraulically operated regenerative steering the Tiger possessed. The Tiger could turn around completely using only 3.50m, the Sherman could do no such thing! Also, unlike the myth, the Tiger was fast, real fast. At a whopping 56 tons the 38km/h roadspeed was only 2km/h slower than the 31-36 tons lighter Pz IV and Pz III.

Also, on the contrary to what many might believe (looking at the losses for Shermans in the west), the Tigers, King Tigers and Panthers were not the Shermans main opponents. The most likely opponent the Sherman would face in late 1944 was either a StuG III Ausf. G or Pz IV Ausf. G/H/J or even no tank at all (AT guns instead).

EDIT: in reply to the original post. When the Sherman was irst introduced in Africa it was quite effective against the Panzer III and early Pz IV. After 1942? No such thing. Sure, it could still kill the German main tanks but the Germans could fight back well beyond that range because of superior ballistics and optics. It wan't until the introduction of the Sherman 76 that the American tank gunners had a gun compareable to the 75/L48. The Sherman was not a good tank in terms of fighting- and staying power. It was good because it was reliable (See below though) and was easy to produce.

As for reliability, before you go off again saying that German tank were unrealiable, the workhorse of the German army the Pz IV had an operational percentage quite similar to, for example, the Panther and the former one is considered to be very reliable. The German heavy tanks required a great deal of skill to drive, and that is where things got bad. Quantity vs Quality, we all know what happened.

Regards,

Gryphon

All too true Gryph! Good to read peoples posts that love WWII armor as much as I do.

On other *very* important tidbit about the tiger that most people don't know. When and if a tiger became disabled (bogey or track problems) it was in deep doo-doo.

The only thing that could tow a tiger was another tiger and they were never in large suply

Dtools4fools
07-03-2005, 05:52 AM
The only thing that could tow a tiger was another tiger and they were never in large suply

Or 2 heavy prime movers (those bigger halftrack look-alikes).
Carius indeed describes many, many times recovering disabled Tigers from the battlefield. It seems that the tankers themselves made every effort themselves to recover their Tigers with their units vehicles. Having a small supply of brandnew Tigers supports this.

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tjaika1910
07-03-2005, 06:24 AM
I saw a program on Discovery covering this topic. It more and less concluded that the numbers and versality of the Sherman made it a winner, against superior Tanks.

I felt that the experts on tanks totally ommitted some keyissuses (and so far in this thread too).

1. Lack of fuel.

2. Allied air superiority.

The Sherman didnt win the war, a good tank wasnt needed to win the war.

A tiger could not show in the open, where it would have all the advantages against Shermans. It would be taken out by air. It could not move around so much either because of fuelshortage, something the offensive in Ardennes showed. So they lay in ambush instead as an expensive antitank gun.

The allies would be better off finishing the war with the ressurses they had, instead of using time and resourses to come with a new design.

After the war, the Jagdtiger (I think) became the design for post war tanks.

Dtools4fools
07-03-2005, 06:46 AM
the Tiger was fast, real fast. At a whopping 56 tons the 38km/h roadspeed

Indeed not slow. However Carius mentions that they usually drove at around 20km/h - even on the roads - not to put too much stress on the gearbox/engine. A stop of a few minutes to check the engine wa sneeded every hour/two hour as well. Then the Tiger would be very reliable (contrary to believe of many).

So it seems that Tigers top speed is only good for a WAP kind of thing and a good driver needed for it as well.

Question is could other tanks (Pz IV, Sherman, T-34, Chromwells, whatever) achieve a faster speed over SUSTAINED over longer periods of time? Or did same restriction apply?
Dunno myself.

Ground pressure of Tiger was not worse than early Shermans, supsension was very good (albeit with the freezing issue mentioned earlier), wide and short layout of the tank made for good handling, turning on the spot was an advantage (in narrow spots, between bldgs, etc, or simple to turn you tank quickly towards a threat), all in all it had good cross country capabilities.

Certainly large number produced of Shermans (and T-34) is one of it big advantages; better to have a mediocre tank than no tank...
And several of mediocre tanks can overcome a single good one.
But that won't make the single tank itself any "better", the tanker in it still would prefer to have a good tank as well.

With the US industrial output I think they could easily have produced a Panther like tank in great numbers and deploy it to front line units and keep them going as well.

I like Saburo Sakais comment in his book that when he first saw steel paneled runways type (not sure anymore where, was it in Guadalcanal?) he really felt Japan wopuld loose the war - how could they win against an opponent who so much steel at hand to build runways out of it while they had trozubles to get enough aircraft and other hardware?
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Dtools4fools
07-03-2005, 06:50 AM
After the war, the Jagdtiger (I think) became the design for post war tanks


Uhh?

Rather the Panther:

Strong frontal armor, good manouverability and speed, gun that can deal with enemy armor.

The all around heavily armored and slow √ľbertank was certainly not the design concept of succesful postwar tanks.

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tjaika1910
07-03-2005, 06:55 AM
You are probably correct. Remember from the program that they used one german tank as an example of future design. Didnt remember quite which one it was.