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Best Offensive Tank - Battle of France 1940

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  • Pz IV(D) vs A10 (IIA)

    Tank
    IVD vs A10

    Gun
    7.5cm Kw.K 27* (80 rnds AP and HE) vs 2pdr 100 rounds AP only or 3.7" Howitzer 40 rounds HE or Smk
    Mg ammo: 2700 mg rounds vs 4050 mg rounds**

    Armour
    Turret
    Mantlet: 35mm* vs 30mm
    Front: 30mm vs 30mm
    Side: 20mm vs 26mm**
    Rear: 20mm vs 30mm**

    Hull
    Nose: 30mm** vs 22mm
    Drivers Plate: 30mm vs 30mm
    Upper side: 20mm vs 28mm**
    Lower side: 20mm vs 22mm*
    Rear: 20mm vs 30mm**

    Mobility
    Max Speed: 42km/h* vs 40km/h
    Max Range: 210km vs 236km*
    BHP/ton: 13.2** vs 10.7
    Grade: 30' vs 35'**
    Step: 60cm vs 91cm**
    Fording: 80cm vs 91cm**
    Flotation: 0.83** vs 1.05

    *means slight advantage to one tank. ** means real advantage to one tank.. All imho.
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    Comment


    • A couple of millimeters of armor is not some big advantage. It's barely any advantage at all. Now, if the armor difference was 20mm, yea that's significant. 5 to 8mm? Makes no real difference whatsoever.

      For example, Nick gives the Pz IV a * for the front of its turret having 5mm more than an A10. Then he gives the A10 a ** for having 6mm more side turret armor. One millimeter difference is no difference at all, nor is 26mm versus 20mm. At 500 yards a 37mm, a 2 pdr, a French 25mm, a 47mm, and the 75/24 are all coming in for a visit with the crew.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        A couple of millimeters of armor is not some big advantage. It's barely any advantage at all. Now, if the armor difference was 20mm, yea that's significant. 5 to 8mm? Makes no real difference whatsoever.

        For example, Nick gives the Pz IV a * for the front of its turret having 5mm more than an A10. Then he gives the A10 a ** for having 6mm more side turret armor. One millimeter difference is no difference at all, nor is 26mm versus 20mm. At 500 yards a 37mm, a 2 pdr, a French 25mm, a 47mm, and the 75/24 are all coming in for a visit with the crew.
        You are forgetting the time frame.

        You need to remember the AT weapons the Heer was facing at this time. We are talking Boys AT rifles, Hotchkiss 25 mm anti-tank gun, and French Puteaux 37mm SA 18 cannon, the latter on well over two thousand five hundred R-35's and H-35's, with up to 40mm of armour. The 2pdr is vastly superior to the 37mm Kw.K 36, with dealing with such tanks, and the Germans were smart enough to equip their AT tanks with this apparently inferior 37mm gun rather than a 75mm howitzer. Against heavier French tanks, the 2 pdr is the superior weapon system. Further, from the limited info available, the 94mm howitzer fired a superior HE round.

        Since we are talking about firepower, a dual AT/HE weapon is preferable, and the 7.5cm Kw.K 37 generally fits the bill. It's why Zaloga chose the Pz IV as the general best tank for this period after all. However, British armour, while considering the 75mm M3 gun as an excellent all purpose weapon, needed non HE 6/17pdr AT and 95mm HE weapons in their squadrons. The important element was that the basic tank was the same, ie could have a range of weapons, eg the Sherman.
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        Comment


        • Generally, TAG, I agree. Both tanks compared are variations on "lightly armoured"and neither are immune to the average AT gun in the other guy's army. Contrast this with the Char 2B or the KV-1. Moving on, the A10 has a definite advantage in fording depth and step, but loses on bhp/tonne and flotation.. The A10 has a slight advantage on gradient, but that depends on how well the ground holds together, and a 10% greater range - not huge. However this is all quibbling against the one real mistake: a multipurpose gun is a huge advantage.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
            Generally, TAG, I agree. Both tanks compared are variations on "lightly armoured"and neither are immune to the average AT gun in the other guy's army. Contrast this with the Char 2B or the KV-1. Moving on, the A10 has a definite advantage in fording depth and step, but loses on bhp/tonne and flotation.. The A10 has a slight advantage on gradient, but that depends on how well the ground holds together, and a 10% greater range - not huge. However this is all quibbling against the one real mistake: a multipurpose gun is a huge advantage.
            The Kw.K 37 was not a multipurpose gun. It was a howitzer with a useful AT round against very light armour. Against c2600 R-35 and H-35's its AT round is bouncing off. The IV fails against decent armour, and its HE round appears to be about less than half that of the 3.7" howitzer carried on the CS A10's.
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            Comment


            • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
              The Kw.K 37 was not a multipurpose gun. It was a howitzer with a useful AT round against very light armour. Against c2600 R-35 and H-35's its AT round is bouncing off. The IV fails against decent armour, and its HE round appears to be about less than half that of the 3.7" howitzer carried on the CS A10's.
              The 7.5cm is very much a multipurpose gun. Against light armor it can use AP rounds. Against heavier tanks like the Char B1 or Matilda it can throw HE to take of a track or just concuss the crew.
              I doubt that many R 35 or H 35 crew would be amenable to having a couple of 7.5 cm HE rounds slam into their tank and detonate. That would be a lot more effective than a 2 pdr round zinging off either one.

              As for the 3.7", we've pretty much seen convincing evidence that the vehicle rarely, if ever, carried an HE round. We've also seen that that gun isn't the paragon of accuracy as well.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                The Kw.K 37 was not a multipurpose gun. It was a howitzer with a useful AT round against very light armour. Against c2600 R-35 and H-35's its AT round is bouncing off. The IV fails against decent armour, and its HE round appears to be about less than half that of the 3.7" howitzer carried on the CS A10's.
                Correct on a technical level. Restating, it had multiple types of ammunition and was capable of delivering HE, AP, and smoke rounds (and probably a few others). By comparison the A10 could deliver either AP, or smoke, and occasionally He. The latter was a reasonable shell but the range and accuracy less than the KwK 37. Meanwhile, please stop focusing on assuming a tank v tank fight with the French: this is the Battle of France and the LW was doing that job, along with the field artillery, AA artillery and AT artillery.

                Comment


                • Again, I'm not really sure what the basis is for assuming that the 3.7" howitzer was "less accurate" than the 7.5cm KwK 37. The whole point of howitzers is that they are low velocity, so that the shell drops as vertically as possible on a "horizontal" (i.e. dug in) target. Also the lower the velocity, the easier it is for the tank to operate in turret-down positions against visible targets.

                  I haven't seen any reliable information as to the relative proportion of smoke/HE shells in the A10 CS, but for the 3" howitzer equipped Crusaders and Matildas, the proportion of smoke to HE was 2:1, and HE was commonly used.

                  One thing that might have adversely affected the accuracy of the 3.7" is if it was shoulder-elevated like the 2 pounder, rather than gear elevated. That would be something worth confirming.
                  "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

                  Comment


                  • Apologies with the tardy reply, but I have MAN FLU. Preferred my bed to the net.
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    The 7.5cm is very much a multipurpose gun. Against light armor it can use AP rounds. Against heavier tanks like the Char B1 or Matilda it can throw HE to take of a track or just concuss the crew.
                    I doubt that many R 35 or H 35 crew would be amenable to having a couple of 7.5 cm HE rounds slam into their tank and detonate. That would be a lot more effective than a 2 pdr round zinging off either one.
                    The 7.5cm Kw.K 37 was not a true multipurpose gun. It had a potentially effective AP round, just like the British 95mm or US 105mm howitzer HEAT rounds later in the war. Both the later British and US AT rounds were superior to their 75mm guns in armour penetration, and at almost all ranges. The fact that these weapons were not used as the main armament is for a whole host of reasons, most of which are obvious.
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    As for the 3.7", we've pretty much seen convincing evidence that the vehicle rarely, if ever, carried an HE round. We've also seen that that gun isn't the paragon of accuracy as well.
                    Irrelevant on HE rounds. Not only were few supposed to be carried, on route to France, the British 1st armoured division left their HE on the docks. Further, one regiment didn't even get its smoke (3 RTR iirc).

                    Evidence on relative accuracy between the 3.7" QF 'Mortar' and 75mm L24? Both are likely to be unacceptable for tank combat.
                    Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
                    Again, I'm not really sure what the basis is for assuming that the 3.7" howitzer was "less accurate" than the 7.5cm KwK 37. The whole point of howitzers is that they are low velocity, so that the shell drops as vertically as possible on a "horizontal" (i.e. dug in) target. Also the lower the velocity, the easier it is for the tank to operate in turret-down positions against visible targets.
                    I think both weapons can be considered relatively inaccurate, otherwise these type of guns would have been more common.
                    Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
                    I haven't seen any reliable information as to the relative proportion of smoke/HE shells in the A10 CS, but for the 3" howitzer equipped Crusaders and Matildas, the proportion of smoke to HE was 2:1, and HE was commonly used.
                    The 'best' figure I've seen is 10% HE and 90% Smk. It appears that the British considered that each separate army element (infantry, artillery, armour) would fight their equivalent opponents first.
                    Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
                    One thing that might have adversely affected the accuracy of the 3.7" is if it was shoulder-elevated like the 2 pounder, rather than gear elevated. That would be something worth confirming.
                    I cannot confirm this, but the previous mediums with their 3pdr and 3.7 howitzers do appear to be both shoulder elevated, and likely to have been continued with the A10.

                    http://ciar.org/ttk/mbt/afv_weapons_...arks_i-iii.pdf
                    Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                    Correct on a technical level. Restating, it had multiple types of ammunition and was capable of delivering HE, AP, and smoke rounds (and probably a few others). By comparison the A10 could deliver either AP, or smoke, and occasionally He. The latter was a reasonable shell but the range and accuracy less than the KwK 37.
                    DJ has answered this, but I care to expand .

                    S Zaloga chose the Pz IV as the 'best' tank for this period in Armored Champion, based purely on firepower, and he is correct, up to a point. He stated that it was because while the IV's AP was bouncing off any decent French tank, the 75mm was a very decent HE lobba. The fact that the projectile fired by the the CS A10 was greater than the entire round weight of the Kw.K 37 indicates it was probably far more powerful in this role.
                    Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                    Meanwhile, please stop focusing on assuming a tank v tank fight with the French: this is the Battle of France and the LW was doing that job, along with the field artillery, AA artillery and AT artillery.
                    The Germans won despite having fewer tanks and generally inferior tanks in many respects.

                    With respect to armament, I do do agree the Pz IV armament was overall superior to the A10. Full stop. A 75mm was about the right Just like I believe the 75mm M3 was a better overall weapon than many considered an inferior weapon system. To give a relevant example, Montgomery wanted the US 75mm as his tank gun for D-Day, and he was probably right. However, about a month later, he also wanted a decent holepuncher, and superior HE when necessary. About 25% dedicated AT in 6/17pdr and 10% HE in 95/105mm weapons actually worked in British formations, the ones that actually faced the bulk of German armour in Normandy 44 and won.

                    What this means is that the while the German 75mm is overall superior to both the 2pdr and 94mm, it does not replace them. The 75mm is a better overall weapon than both, but you need the other two options first.
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                    Comment


                    • I was early to vote but late to comment. I still stand by my vote ,though the discussion has been interesting and informative,well up to the sites high standing and on more than one occasion caused me to doubt my vote.However I still cant see how any competent German general would chose the 1V over the A12.A force equipped solely with 1Vs would be sorely pressed unless its opponents were equipped solely with A10s armed with two pounders.Imho.I hope I haven't got the situation completely wrong,and must admit that I have not done a great deal of research.Mainly the internet ,Chamberlain and Ellis ,a few books and pamphlets on the 1V and a general interest in the European theater of WW2.And I am an old codger addicted to WOT
                      Wack tac mac hey.
                      Regards.
                      Grishnak.

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