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Best Commanders Tank - Europe 12/44-5/45

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    The 90mm HVAP was a failure. It could not penetrated a Panthers glacis, nevermind a Tiger 2. Another hard nosed round was developed, but arrived too late.

    We can ignore the 90mm HVAP since it was no more effective than a standard AP round. The 90mm HE round was also less effective than the Shermans 75mm HE round.
    What is your source for the 90mm HVAP being a failure? Nominally, it penetrated about 100mm more armour than the APC round.

    Perhaps this is just propaganda?

    As for the 90mm M71 HE round, it carried nearly 40% more explosive than the 75mm M48 round. Shell design matters, of course, but you will have to come up with a source to prove that the M71 was less effective than the M48.

    In the West, tanks usually get hit on the turret front and hull sides. The turret front was 4" thick, thus able to cope with most German 75mm's. The Christie suspension meant that the Comet had spaced side armour, ie able to deal with HEAT rounds. The hull front and deck armour were the only real deficiencies of the Comet
    .

    102mm of vertical armour could be defeated even by the L/48 gun, but it would of course begin to struggle once the angle of impact grew. However, aside from the front turret, the rest of the tank could be penetrated by most threats at normal combat ranges.

    As for the lower hull side armour, the outer plate was 29mm, the inner plate 14mm with a small gap between them. That is not going to keep out a Panzerfaust and certainly not a Panzerschreck. You need a lot more armour and a lot more space to get that effect from spaced armour.

    The British '77mm' HE round was better than the Shermans 75mm round, and therefore better than the Pershings HE. Its APDS was better than the APCR round of the 90mm.
    What 77mm round are you referring to? AFAIK it fired the same ammo as the 17-pdr and the HE round available for most of WWII was not particularily good. They may have recieved some of the HC rounds late in the war, but you need to provide a source for that fact and the fact that it was somehow better than the 75mm M48.

    The same goes for your argument, that 77mm APDS was "better" than 90mm HVAP. The data I've seen suggest that the 90mm HVAP was so superior in penetration to the 77mm APDS that it continued to be so even at long range where APDS has an inherent advantage from dropping its sabot, reducing drag.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by cbo View Post
      What is your source for the 90mm HVAP being a failure? Nominally, it penetrated about 100mm more armour than the APC round.

      Perhaps this is just propaganda?
      I can be wrong and never shy from admitting it. It was only a relative failure from what was expected of it, not an absolute one, hence the improved M82 round. The 90mm T30E16 (apcr) round theoretically punches through 7.9" armour at 1000 yds, more than enough to take on a King Tiger or Panther, but as your posted article states, even under test conditions against an already compromised tank:
      IT WILL DEFEAT THE GLACIS PLATE OF THE "PANTHER" AT RANGES UP TO 450 YARDS AND OF THE "KING TIGER" AT 100 YARDS RANGE. UP TO RANGES OF 800 YARDS THE SHOT WILL PENETRATE THE GUN MANTLET AND TURRET FRONT OF BOTH THE "PANTHER" AND "KING TIGER" TANKS.
      This still makes it a useful round, just not as good as expected.
      Originally posted by cbo View Post
      As for the 90mm M71 HE round, it carried nearly 40% more explosive than the 75mm M48 round. Shell design matters, of course, but you will have to come up with a source to prove that the M71 was less effective than the M48.
      While the 90mm round does have more HE, the 75mm round was found to have a greater shrapnel effect. There is more to effectiveness than mere HE quantity. The source for this is on this forum .
      Originally posted by cbo View Post
      102mm of vertical armour could be defeated even by the L/48 gun, but it would of course begin to struggle once the angle of impact grew. However, aside from the front turret, the rest of the tank could be penetrated by most threats at normal combat ranges.

      As for the lower hull side armour, the outer plate was 29mm, the inner plate 14mm with a small gap between them. That is not going to keep out a Panzerfaust and certainly not a Panzerschreck. You need a lot more armour and a lot more space to get that effect from spaced armour.
      Do you know the distance between the two plates and its effect on survivability, or is it an assumption? The fact remains the crews were happy with the levels of Comet armour, and jerry cans fitted to the side of the turrets defeated HEAT rounds.

      As for standard German 75mm AT weapons able to penetrate 102mm of armour, of course they could sometimes do so, but 89mm was considered good enough by those who made tanks in quantities. You only meed to look at the turret frontal armour of later Shermans and T-34's to know that this is evidently obvious.
      Originally posted by cbo View Post
      What 77mm round are you referring to? AFAIK it fired the same ammo as the 17-pdr and the HE round available for most of WWII was not particularily good. They may have recieved some of the HC rounds late in the war, but you need to provide a source for that fact and the fact that it was somehow better than the 75mm M48.

      The same goes for your argument, that 77mm APDS was "better" than 90mm HVAP. The data I've seen suggest that the 90mm HVAP was so superior in penetration to the 77mm APDS that it continued to be so even at long range where APDS has an inherent advantage from dropping its sabot, reducing drag.
      I've checked my source for my comments on this round and not happy with all of it, so you may be right in part or even all.

      Don Juan has stated there is a new book out on the Comet soon, so I will wait to purchase that before making additional comments on the 77mm round.
      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
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      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
        77mm APDS was the same projectile as the 17 pounder, so the improvement in accuracy was simply down to the 77mm being an inherently more accurate gun. 10% allocation of APDS in NWE is correct, the War Office requirement being 20%. I'm quite surprised that APDS was being used to "shoot in" the gun, seeing what this ammunition did as regards barrel wear.

        I believe that there is a comprehensive book due very soon on the Comet which, among much else, will include a table of the relative accuracy of the APCBC and APDS ammunition.
        Any idea what the book will be called?

        Paul
        ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
        All human ills he can subdue,
        Or with a bauble or medal
        Can win mans heart for you;
        And many a blessing know to stew
        To make a megloamaniac bright;
        Give honour to the dainty Corse,
        The Pixie is a little shite.

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        • #49
          Regarding the Pershing-
          Shortly afterward, also at Elsdorf, another T26E3 knocked out a Tiger I and two Panzer IVs.[40] The Tiger was knocked out at 900 yd (820 m) with the 90-mm HVAP T30E16 ammunition.[35] Photographs of this knocked out Tiger I in Hunnicutt's book showed a penetration through the lower gun shield.[41]
          That was at the end of February. The Pershing took 13 hits without a penetration.
          I'd call that a pretty damn good tank for the money.
          "Why is the Rum gone?"

          -Captain Jack

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
            Regarding the Pershing-


            That was at the end of February. The Pershing took 13 hits without a penetration.
            I'd call that a pretty damn good tank for the money.
            Yep.
            While the turret front was a max of 4.5", good enough to cope with 75mmL40 guns, its sloped 4" glacis was superior even to the Panthers. Its similarity in slope and thickness to the IS-2's hull front meant it would be Tiger 2 proof, given that the Soviet heavy hull front was..



            http://afvdb.50megs.com/usa/m26pershing.html

            And I read 16 hits without issue .
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            • #51
              Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
              While the 90mm round does have more HE, the 75mm round was found to have a greater shrapnel effect. There is more to effectiveness than mere HE quantity. The source for this is on this forum .
              But then again, there is more to effectiveness than mere fragmentation effect. Fragments is good against personel and un-armoured targets, but if you want to deal with wooden and/or earth bunkers, you need to look at penetration against those types of targets. And here the 90mm is much better than the 75mm.

              As for the fragmentation effect, the 75mm produces more but ligther fragments. This means that at short range from the blast, the 75mm has an advantage but as you reach 50 meters, the two shells produces the same number of effective fragments, the 90mm items being slightly heavier.

              If you look at the ability of fragments to do damage to materiel, rather than people, one could look at the figures for fragment penetration of 3mm mild steel plate. Here things start to even out at 20 meters as the fatter 90mm fragments begins to compensate for the lower number of fragments.

              Source is "Terminal Ballistic Data Volume III" September 1945.

              Do you know the distance between the two plates and its effect on survivability, or is it an assumption? The fact remains the crews were happy with the levels of Comet armour, and jerry cans fitted to the side of the turrets defeated HEAT rounds.
              I could probably look up the distance, but you really dont need to. 29mm + gap + 14mm will do very little to defeat a Panzerfaust round that would happily chew its way through 6mm + 28cm gap + 100mm steel armour, which is just one of the many combinations of spaced armour tested by the British. The space needed to be about 76cm to have an effect with this combination of plates.
              In case of the jerry can, you sometimes see references to HEAT being defeated by thin, flimsy items. There seems to be some mechanism with these, that caused the HEAT rounds to fail. Solid plate is a different matter.

              As for the 77mm HE, I assume they had the same available ammo as the 17-pdr:
              1. HE/T Mk 1
              2. HE/T Mk 2
              3. HE/HC/T Mk 1
              4. HE/Super/HC/T Mk 1
              5. HE/Super/HC/T Mk 2


              No. 1 and 2 on the list seems to be the standard HE shell available all through WWII. The difference between them is the fuze. Seems that they were found in a normal velocity version 885 m/s and a low velocity version 540 m/s. Not sure if the latter was available in WWII, but its seems like it.

              No. 3 is the High Capacity shell with HE filler. Not sure if that was available in WWII. This seems to have been available only as a low velocity version.

              No. 4 and 5 are High Capacity shells with even more HE filler. The difference is the fuze. Not sure if these were available in WWII. These seem to have been available only as a low velocity version.

              I dont have any data on the amount of HE filler, fragmentation etc. but more HE and reduced velocity would suggest a more capable round.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by cbo View Post
                But then again, there is more to effectiveness than mere fragmentation effect. Fragments is good against personel and un-armoured targets, but if you want to deal with wooden and/or earth bunkers, you need to look at penetration against those types of targets. And here the 90mm is much better than the 75mm.

                As for the fragmentation effect, the 75mm produces more but ligther fragments. This means that at short range from the blast, the 75mm has an advantage but as you reach 50 meters, the two shells produces the same number of effective fragments, the 90mm items being slightly heavier.

                If you look at the ability of fragments to do damage to materiel, rather than people, one could look at the figures for fragment penetration of 3mm mild steel plate. Here things start to even out at 20 meters as the fatter 90mm fragments begins to compensate for the lower number of fragments.

                Source is "Terminal Ballistic Data Volume III" September 1945.
                Against soft targets you appear to agree that the 75mm is superior to the 90mm. If you do I agree.

                Against harder targets the 90mm might be better than the 75mm, but the Soviets found their T-34's 85mm HE was not effective against really hardened targets, unlike the IS-2's 122mm. While the US 90mm might be superior to the US 75mm round in some respects, it might not have been good enough when it counts, 90mm HE being less effective than the Soviets 122mm HE after all. Potential advantage vs actual ability can be a real difference, much like the theoretical effect of US 76mm AT round vs Panthers and Tigers, compared with practise.

                The US 75mm HE round was truly one of the unsung winners of WW2. It's why US commanders did not want an 'upgrade' to the 76mm before D-Day.

                Originally posted by cbo View Post
                I could probably look up the distance, but you really dont need to. 29mm + gap + 14mm will do very little to defeat a Panzerfaust round that would happily chew its way through 6mm + 28cm gap + 100mm steel armour, which is just one of the many combinations of spaced armour tested by the British. The space needed to be about 76cm to have an effect with this combination of plates.
                In case of the jerry can, you sometimes see references to HEAT being defeated by thin, flimsy items. There seems to be some mechanism with these, that caused the HEAT rounds to fail. Solid plate is a different matter.

                As for the 77mm HE, I assume they had the same available ammo as the 17-pdr:
                1. HE/T Mk 1
                2. HE/T Mk 2
                3. HE/HC/T Mk 1
                4. HE/Super/HC/T Mk 1
                5. HE/Super/HC/T Mk 2


                No. 1 and 2 on the list seems to be the standard HE shell available all through WWII. The difference between them is the fuze. Seems that they were found in a normal velocity version 885 m/s and a low velocity version 540 m/s. Not sure if the latter was available in WWII, but its seems like it.

                No. 3 is the High Capacity shell with HE filler. Not sure if that was available in WWII. This seems to have been available only as a low velocity version.

                No. 4 and 5 are High Capacity shells with even more HE filler. The difference is the fuze. Not sure if these were available in WWII. These seem to have been available only as a low velocity version.

                I dont have any data on the amount of HE filler, fragmentation etc. but more HE and reduced velocity would suggest a more capable round.
                Not too sure where you are going with this. Concerning the capabilities of the 77mm HE round I said this:
                I've checked my source for my comments on this round and not happy with all of it, so you may be right in part or even all.
                Since I've stated that I have publicly considered my information on the 77mm to be suspect, and that you edited out that part , are you merely trying to win?

                If you are, I declare you the winner .
                How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  Against soft targets you appear to agree that the 75mm is superior to the 90mm. If you do I agree.

                  Against harder targets the 90mm might be better than the 75mm, but the Soviets found their T-34's 85mm HE was not effective against really hardened targets, unlike the IS-2's 122mm. While the US 90mm might be superior to the US 75mm round in some respects, it might not have been good enough when it counts, 90mm HE being less effective than the Soviets 122mm HE after all. Potential advantage vs actual ability can be a real difference, much like the theoretical effect of US 76mm AT round vs Panthers and Tigers, compared with practise.

                  The US 75mm HE round was truly one of the unsung winners of WW2. It's why US commanders did not want an 'upgrade' to the 76mm before D-Day.
                  The Soviet 122mm round had substantially more HE than any of the <100mm rounds being discussed by both you and cbo. The effectiveness of such a large shell in the AT role improved as the Germans ran out of manganese and started to produce a more brittle steel than previously. Couple this with the sheer percussive effect against any hard target and plenty can be said in favour of more explosive.

                  Not too sure where you are going with this. Concerning the capabilities of the 77mm HE round I said this:Since I've stated that I have publicly considered my information on the 77mm to be suspect, and that you edited out that part , are you merely trying to win?

                  If you are, I declare you the winner .
                  The variables include the weight of explosive, the type of explosive, how tightly packed, any additives, explosive crystal size, the weight of the shell casing and the resultant peak pressure the explosive generates (and additional volume of gases). We're gonna need a PhD in explosives to figure out which shell gave the best bang.
                  Last edited by broderickwells; 20 Dec 16, 03:51.

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                  • #54
                    I voted IS-II, because I figured noone else would, and by Gum, i was right about that too.

                    I would want russian ruddedness, that great big 122mm gun, sloped armor with the wide tracks, and a heavy beast at that.

                    Survivability over everything else for the commander.

                    Lose a single tank from the company, battalion, and thats one thing, lose a commnaders vehicle, and you might be able to confuse the entire unit and keep on knocking out tanks due to communications failures!

                    Drusus
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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                      The Soviet 122mm round had substantially more HE than any of the <100mm rounds being discussed by both you and cbo. The effectiveness of such a large shell in the AT role improved as the Germans ran out of manganese and started to produce a more brittle steel than previously. Couple this with the sheer percussive effect against any hard target and plenty can be said in favour of more explosive.
                      The Soviets certainly thought so as well, hence the IS-2 remaining a battle tank well beyond WW2.
                      Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                      The variables include the weight of explosive, the type of explosive, how tightly packed, any additives, explosive crystal size, the weight of the shell casing and the resultant peak pressure the explosive generates (and additional volume of gases). We're gonna need a PhD in explosives to figure out which shell gave the best bang.
                      Exactly. I might appear pro British much of the time, but with some pieces of kit the US got totally right.

                      The US 75mm HE round was magnificent, better than both the 90mm and 76mm rounds. This round changed British tank armament in WW2, it was that good.
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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
                        Survivability over everything else for the commander.
                        The above post has been edited .

                        The IS-2 had really bad survivability for a tank. While the hull was one of the best in WW2 period, second only to the Churchill, the turrets armour was too hard. This meant non penetrating hits were causing splinters to shred the crew. Even if you survived being wounded, the turret hatches were too heavy to open for any damaged individual.

                        In Western tanks, penetrations usually meant 1 killed and 1-2 wounded from a 5 man crew. In IS-2's, non penetrating hits could mean 3 killed out of 4, since the wounded couldn't escape out of the heavy hatches.

                        However, as a Commanders tank from a Soviets POV, you might be right.
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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
                          Any idea what the book will be called?

                          Paul
                          Available here, old chap.
                          "Looting would not be tolerated within the Division, unless organised with the knowledge of C.O.'s on a unit basis."
                          - 15/19 Hussars War Diary, 18th March 1945

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                            The above post has been edited .

                            The IS-2 had really bad survivability for a tank. While the hull was one of the best in WW2 period, second only to the Churchill, the turrets armour was too hard. This meant non penetrating hits were causing splinters to shred the crew. Even if you survived being wounded, the turret hatches were too heavy to open for any damaged individual.

                            In Western tanks, penetrations usually meant 1 killed and 1-2 wounded from a 5 man crew. In IS-2's, non penetrating hits could mean 3 killed out of 4, since the wounded couldn't escape out of the heavy hatches.

                            However, as a Commanders tank from a Soviets POV, you might be right.
                            I'm not sure that spalling was that lethal. A tank turret is a fairly crowded environment, with lots of hard objects to deflect spalls, and momentum transfer was not exactly perfect. And late-war Soviet tanks usually had two split-leaf turret hatches. What was lethal to all turret occupants was HEAT. This could often get the hull crew as well, as the stream of superheated metal and gas had to go somewhere once it reflected of the turret inside wall.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                              I'm not sure that spalling was that lethal. A tank turret is a fairly crowded environment, with lots of hard objects to deflect spalls, and momentum transfer was not exactly perfect. And late-war Soviet tanks usually had two split-leaf turret hatches. What was lethal to all turret occupants was HEAT. This could often get the hull crew as well, as the stream of superheated metal and gas had to go somewhere once it reflected of the turret inside wall.
                              In addition to this, I have some reservations about the conclusion regarding armour quality on IS-2 turrets or, for that matter, over the tank generally.
                              This is not to say that I disagree with Nick per se; because, IIRC based on some evidence of sampling the problem of over-hardening was indeed real.
                              Rather, it's that from my reading that the finished quality of the large armour castings on Soviet tanks during WW2 was very far from being consistent, even in the final year of the conflict.
                              IMO it's therefore reasonably likely that the range of variability included the outcomes of armour hardening processes.
                              For this reason, I'm extremely wary of "hard and fast" sweeping conclusions.
                              Last edited by panther3485; 23 Dec 16, 07:01.
                              "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                                The US 75mm HE round was magnificent, better than both the 90mm and 76mm rounds. This round changed British tank armament in WW2, it was that good.
                                But incapable of killing late model German tanks. The purpose of HE is to attack fortified targets, buildings and so forth, not to defeat other tanks.
                                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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