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Rnd 3 Grp A - PzKpfw IV (Germany) vs M4 Sherman (USA)

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  • #16
    Haven't voted yet but I'm going to think hard about this one. At the moment, these two look pretty close to me so it won't be an easy decision; although I do at present feel to be in favour of the Sherman, if only by a small whisker.

    Need time to think on it more.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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    • #17
      i vote for Sherman. shame on it's designers that it never had enough armour, and worst, a decent gun! pz IV, from ausf F, had the 75mm L/48 gun, and the only Sherman with a good gun was the Firefly, a Sherman IV converted to take a 17 pounder (76,2mm) gun. if a gun so powerful fit the turret ring, why US didn't upgunned the Sherman with the AA 76mm, or maybe the 90mm? great numbers are a good way to win a war, but tell this to the killed in "Tommy coocker"! nevertheless, i vote for Sherman for it's use to this day, upgunned, of course!

      _____________________________________________
      War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory.
      Georges Clemenceau

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Marathag View Post
        Soviets seemed to think the Canadian built Valentines more reliable than other UK built ones
        Were the Churchills that they used made in Canada?

        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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        • #19
          If cheap, more or less reliable and capable of mass production is significant and influential - then Sherman. If quality of the product is important - then PzKpfW IV.

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          • #20
            This is a real challenge.

            As for influence, I dont see much from either design finding its way into other tanks, not much inspiration gathered from either by the developers of other tanks.

            The Sherman was something of a wartime expedient, designed with whatever was in the parts bin, produced using whatever technologies the manufacturers had available and designed to adapt whatever contingencies the designers could think of at the time: Large turret ring for bigger guns (a 105mm howitzers was part of the package from the start, 3" guns soon came into the picture), roomy hull for different engine types etc. But that does not appear to have been much of an inspiration for anyone designing tanks post-Sherman.

            The Panzer IV was no expedient, it was designed very carefully over many years, the first marks - Ausf. A and B - being little more than prototypes and pre-production models and the following marks being produced in very small numbers (total production of Ausf. A to F was just over 1000 machines). And still, for all that tinkering, the Panzer IV was constantly underarmoured, underpowered, undergunned and generally not very well designed. It was ecplipsed completely by the T34, resurrected by the KwK 40 and reached its zenith with the Ausf. G in 1942, the first and only time in the war when the Panzer IV achieved some degree of balance as a design, primarily because of the substantial firepower delivered by its gun. Then the tinkering started again, overburdening the design with armour and trying to compensate for all the overengineering found in a typical pre-war design.
            Nothing much to be inspired by there either! Obviously, the Germans distanced themselves from every bit and part of the Panzer IV, when they moved on to new designs after 1941, clearly showing that there wasn't much to be gained from examining the aging clanker.

            I'll give the Panzer IV a smalle edge in influence for inspiring the US Army to mount a 75mm gun in their medium tank.

            EDIT: And then perhaps not, as the US 75mm heavily influenced the British to move away from guns, heavily focused on AP to guns with a true dual capability. I.e. from 1943 onwards, they based the own 75mm gun on the US ammo and later issued a usefull HE round for their 17-pdr. So influence is a tie, really

            As for significance...

            The Sherman served everywhere from desert to jungle, from the entry of the US into the war in 1941, all through the war and a long way into the post-war era and on every front, east and west and against all enemies of the US. It was widely exported/Lend-Leased both during the war and post-war. It also formed the basis for a multitude of SP-guns in the US Army, which also saw lots of service post-war.

            The Panzer IV was around only in small numbers until 1942/43 and only survived past 1943 because the Germans couldn't afford to dump it. It paid a significant contribution to the German Army in WWII, but there were many other designs doing just as much. The Panzer IV saw no significant export succes, less than 400 being exported, and saw no combat outside Europe and North Africa, save the few that the Syrian Army dug into the Golan post-war.

            In this case, significance decides the contest and the Sherman runs the Panzer IV into the ground on that one. So Sherman for me.
            Last edited by cbo; 17 Aug 14, 08:51.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              Mark IV. It was actually a better tank than the death trap Sherman "Tommy Cooker".
              Here in lies the problem with this poll.
              John

              Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by kurt tank 152 View Post
                i vote for Sherman. shame on it's designers that it never had enough armour, and worst, a decent gun! pz IV, from ausf F, had the 75mm L/48 gun, and the only Sherman with a good gun was the Firefly, a Sherman IV converted to take a 17 pounder (76,2mm) gun. if a gun so powerful fit the turret ring, why US didn't upgunned the Sherman with the AA 76mm, or maybe the 90mm? great numbers are a good way to win a war, but tell this to the killed in "Tommy coocker"! nevertheless, i vote for Sherman for it's use to this day, upgunned, of course!
                If I could remind you the Sherman had more armor than the Tiger.
                The Sherman had a 75mm, 76mm, 105mm, 17pdr and could have been gunned with the 90mm of the Pershing. Post WWII the Israelis mounted a high velocity 75mm CN 75-50 and a more powerful French 105mm Modele F1. I don't understand discussing the Shrman as though it was fielded with only one gun.
                The concept of the Sherman as burning more than any othr tank has been overdiscussed here and everywhere to the extent that it should be a warning sign when it is brought up. Did the PzIV have wet stowage for ammo to reduce fires?
                John

                Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JBark View Post
                  Here in lies the problem with this poll.
                  I don't think the poll is the problem.
                  "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                  Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                  • #24
                    Easy one for me.

                    Don't even understand the discussion. Quickness of the M4's design means little, AFAIC, the result is far more important. The result was a great marriage between industry and product, a logistic masterpiece. WWII required versatility, mobility, durability, reliability and numbers. The battlefields would be won by the armored vehicle that possessed these features and as studies showed, most often would make use o f a high explosive firing gun like the M3 75mm, finding its origins in the French 75. In offering the above features the M4 would serve on the deserts of North Africa, the jungles and coral islands of the South Pacific, and the numerous climates and terrains of western, southern and eastern europe. The M4 would be used by all the major allied powers to stop the axis forces of WWII, the single greatest armed conflict in the history of mankind. I don't know how many other weapons can make such a claim and have such an INFLUENCE on history.

                    I don't see any comparison in the Mk IV that is anywhere as significant as that of the M4.
                    John

                    Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                      I don't think the poll is the problem.
                      Agreed, I think.
                      (Suffering from jet-lag so I'm not sure of much.)
                      John

                      Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
                        For what it's worth, the 7.5 cm gun on the Pz.Kpfw.IV is specifically why the medium tanks M3 and M4 were armed with the 75 mm gun M3.
                        A low velocity L/24 used for close support vs a true dual purpose L/40 that could fire decent HE and an AP round that could penetrate all German and Italian tanks when first deployed?

                        If the L/24 was all that, why the Germans rush the F2 Specials to N.Africa where the Grants were operating in the Summer of 1942?

                        Before the F2 showed in Africa, the tanks British crews worried about seeing was the Mk III with the 50mm gun, not the MkIV D

                        As I said earlier the US was more influenced by the French than what the British or Germans were doing in 1939 and 1940

                        Look at the Char B1. The US was testing the T5E2, Medium tank with a 75mm pack howitzer in the side sponson in April 1939



                        The British were clamoring for a tank that could fire HE accurately at long range to suppress AT guns as much as have AP capability for Armor. This was learned in France, reenforced in Africa

                        The dedicated CS tanks were not doing the job for the British any more than the Mk IV Ds were doing for the Germans.

                        The US determined a few things that a tank needed for modern 1940 Blitzkrieg

                        Radios for Platoon communication as well as to HQ

                        Reliability

                        plentiful machine guns

                        All round AP capability in a turret, since the US couldn't cast a large enough turret for the 75mm based off the M1897, slightly enlarged the M2 Turret would have to go with the M5 37mm gun in a turret, and the 75 in the sponson like the prototype T5E2, even though in 1940 it was realized that the 37mm was inadequate for Medium tanks

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JBark View Post
                          Did the PzIV have wet stowage for ammo to reduce fires?
                          They did have armored ammo bins, that did almost the same thing.

                          The big problem with the M4 was ammo stored above the tracks, and too many ready rounds stored around the turret ring

                          The Panther also did this sponson stowage, and had trouble with ammo fires.

                          In Korea, it was found that draining the glycol did not hurt the survivability
                          of M4s

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Marathag View Post
                            As I said earlier the US was more influenced by the French than what the British or Germans were doing in 1939 and 1940
                            Still, it was the Panzer IVs in 1940 that made the US Army decide that the future belonged to the 75mm rather than something smaller. US Tank Destroyer doctrine also came from their analysis of the 1940 battles. So I think it is fair to say that US tank design was influenced by the fighting in Europe, even if the technological solutions choosen to adress the issues raised by that fighting were very much of French origin.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by JBark View Post
                              Easy one for me.

                              Don't even understand the discussion. Quickness of the M4's design means little, AFAIC, the result is far more important. The result was a great marriage between industry and product, a logistic masterpiece. WWII required versatility, mobility, durability, reliability and numbers. The battlefields would be won by the armored vehicle that possessed these features and as studies showed, most often would make use o f a high explosive firing gun like the M3 75mm, finding its origins in the French 75. In offering the above features the M4 would serve on the deserts of North Africa, the jungles and coral islands of the South Pacific, and the numerous climates and terrains of western, southern and eastern europe. The M4 would be used by all the major allied powers to stop the axis forces of WWII, the single greatest armed conflict in the history of mankind. I don't know how many other weapons can make such a claim and have such an INFLUENCE on history.

                              I don't see any comparison in the Mk IV that is anywhere as significant as that of the M4.
                              John, I tend to lean towards the M4 too; just not so heavily as you do.

                              ... and don't forget, so far as the progress and outcome of WW2 was concerned, a great deal depends on timing.
                              "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                              Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                                John, I tend to lean towards the M4 too; just not so heavily as you do. :laugh
                                Understood, it's simply this comparison and the comments on this thread that throw me. The Pz Mk IV ?
                                John

                                Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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