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

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  • JBark
    replied
    Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
    I've got a combat report of a British 75mm armed Sherman in Normandy that knocked out 2 Panzer IV's, 2 Tigers and a Panther in a single action. The Tigers were knocked out at 1000 and 1400 yards respectively.

    Another 75mm Sherman in the same report knocked out a Panther and a Tiger. The Tiger was penetrated frontally from 120 yards.

    The Sherman was much more effective against the bigger enemy tanks than is generally assumed.

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  • Don Juan
    replied
    I've got a combat report of a British 75mm armed Sherman in Normandy that knocked out 2 Panzer IV's, 2 Tigers and a Panther in a single action. The Tigers were knocked out at 1000 and 1400 yards respectively.

    Another 75mm Sherman in the same report knocked out a Panther and a Tiger. The Tiger was penetrated frontally from 120 yards.

    The Sherman was much more effective against the bigger enemy tanks than is generally assumed.

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  • JBark
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    The American Army made the decision to keep producing large numbers of M-4 Shermans instead of stopping production or retrofitting better main guns. The Ordinance Department did have several proposed modifications including a better main gun. It was felt by the guys in charge that large numbers of slightly inferior tanks would negate any advantage small numbers of better German tanks in the field. The same guys also stated the Panther would not be produced in large numbers and was just another heavy tank. They thought it would be produced at a similar rate as the Tiger.

    None of these guys ever went and fought in a Sherman in a combat unit. That might have changed their mind!

    Pruitt
    Please keep in mind that the lion's share of the work done by an M4 was not against other tanks. If it did meet another tank it could easily have been a Pz IV...more probable by the numbers. The 75 that everyone wants to put down did a fine job in its HE role and oddly enough could and did kill cats within the common combat range of the ETO.

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  • andrewza
    replied
    Originally posted by cbo View Post
    They are two rather different things, though. The 105mm being a low-velocity howitzer and the 76mm being a high velocity cannon. The 76mm was larger, heavier and put a lot more pressure on the mount that did the 105mm. The 76mm also launched its projectile using a lot more pressure, resulting in much more energy being applied.
    Talking about the Israel Super Sherman's that could kill a T55

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  • cbo
    replied
    Originally posted by andrewza View Post
    hell they put a 105mm in to the Sherman so a 76 should of been easy.
    They are two rather different things, though. The 105mm being a low-velocity howitzer and the 76mm being a high velocity cannon. The 76mm was larger, heavier and put a lot more pressure on the mount that did the 105mm. The 76mm also launched its projectile using a lot more pressure, resulting in much more energy being applied.

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  • DogDodger
    replied
    Are you using the weapon data sheets in the back of the book? My copy says that the M62 could penetrate 3.7" (93 mm) at 500 yards and 3.5" (88 mm) at 1000 yards. Strange that our copies differ. The Kw.K.40 L/48 firing Pzgr.39 could penetrate 96 mm and 85 mm at the same distances and target angle according to Chamberlain and Doyle. Be aware that test plates and even the definition of "penetration" may vary from country to country, but failure of US 76 mm ammunition upon impact was reputed to have contributed to the gun's not living up to expectations.

    I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I take no offense to anyone being skeptical of unsourced claims. Gabel wrote of veteran tankers being happy with the 75 mm gun in Seek, Strike, and Destroy.

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  • kurt tank 152
    replied
    Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
    The muzzle velocity of the Kw.K.40 L/48 was 790 m/s when firing Pzgr.39. The 76 mm gun M1 series fired the M62 APC projectile at a 2600 ft/s, which is essentially equal when the metric conversion is applied.

    See above. The industry provided a higher-velocity gun that the users provided some resistance to. In the end the 76 didn't live up to expectations, but it was a large improvement over the 75 mm gun as far as armor penetration goes.
    [/QUOTE]The muzzle velocity of the Kw.K.40 L/48 was 790 m/s when firing Pzgr.39. The 76 mm gun M1 series fired the M62 APC projectile at a 2600 ft/s, which is essentially equal when the metric conversion is applied.

    See above. The industry provided a higher-velocity gun that the users provided some resistance to. In the end the 76 didn't live up to expectations, but it was a large improvement over the 75 mm gun as far as armor penetration goes. [/QUOTE]

    in R.P. Hunnicutt's book Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank, states that penetration of armor of M62 apc at 30 degrees from vertical:
    500m -93mm, 1000m -92mm. i don't know if these figures are correct, because the 1mm difference within 500 metres. for the Kwk 40 L/48 i've found no data. i base my comments in the few combat reports and testimonials i have, from former US and GB tank crews. one of them even faced Michael Wittman's Tiger. his tank shot the Tiger 3 times at 200 yards and the shots bounced off. you say US tankers preference of short 75mm, i have no data to back this up, but you know what you say.
    anyway, thanks for correctings comments i have made.

    ______________________________________________
    Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.
    Plato

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  • DogDodger
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    Don't you mean the M4A3E2 "Jumbo"? And that's what we get when we click on the link anyway.

    Other than the typo, great post there mate! +1.
    Ah, you are of course correct; thanks for catching the mistake.

    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    The first British Firefly was a MkIV Sherman, ie a M4A3. This is because the Yanks would only give us one. It was the traverse mechanism iirc that only allowed Shermans 1, IV and V to be converted. Source David Fletcher .
    Where does Fletcher say this? Thanks. Fletcher has a picture of the prototype Firefly, based on an M4A4, in The Universal Tank, complete with wooden gun barrel. M4A3 (of which the UK received a grand total of 7 through lend-lease) may have been used as a mockup or test example, but the type was considered "not acceptable" for Firefly conversion. The list of requirements according to the Ministry of Supply included "Wide mantlet, petrol driven engine, hydraulic traverse, and M34A1 mount. If a tank does not have all these essentials, it cannot be converted to 17-pdr." The Oilgear traverse mechanism was preferred specifically.

    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    The American Army made the decision to keep producing large numbers of M-4 Shermans instead of stopping production or retrofitting better main guns. The Ordinance Department did have several proposed modifications including a better main gun. It was felt by the guys in charge that large numbers of slightly inferior tanks would negate any advantage small numbers of better German tanks in the field. The same guys also stated the Panther would not be produced in large numbers and was just another heavy tank. They thought it would be produced at a similar rate as the Tiger.

    None of these guys ever went and fought in a Sherman in a combat unit. That might have changed their mind!
    The better gun was produced. Those "guys" asked the users what they wanted, as referenced, and the armored divisions that had actually seen combat didn't want a 90 mm gun; they essentially got what they asked for. Even on the eve of the Normandy invasion, veteran tankers were happy with the 75 mm gun M3 and were loathe to replace it with the 76 mm, which fired a weaker HE shell; had larger ammo which meant less stowed rounds and more difficulty in handling; and had an almost blinding muzzle blast. Ordnance tests on the 3"/76 mm guns were wrong, but the users were not exactly putting pressure on the designers for more powerful guns until after Normandy. By then, of course, the 76 mm had already been in production for half a year.

    Originally posted by kurt tank 152 View Post
    because the Kwk40 L/48 was much more powerful than any gun it used but 17 pounder
    The muzzle velocity of the Kw.K.40 L/48 was 790 m/s when firing Pzgr.39. The 76 mm gun M1 series fired the M62 APC projectile at a 2600 ft/s, which is essentially equal when the metric conversion is applied.

    i said it's easy to point out mistakes now, what i keep in mind is how brave M4 crews were facing these tanks i've mentioned with it. i'm not underrating Sherman, i'm criticizing US tank designers and industry for not managing upgunning the Sherman.
    See above. The industry provided a higher-velocity gun that the users provided some resistance to. In the end the 76 didn't live up to expectations, but it was a large improvement over the 75 mm gun as far as armor penetration goes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    The American Army made the decision to keep producing large numbers of M-4 Shermans instead of stopping production or retrofitting better main guns. The Ordinance Department did have several proposed modifications including a better main gun. It was felt by the guys in charge that large numbers of slightly inferior tanks would negate any advantage small numbers of better German tanks in the field. The same guys also stated the Panther would not be produced in large numbers and was just another heavy tank. They thought it would be produced at a similar rate as the Tiger.

    None of these guys ever went and fought in a Sherman in a combat unit. That might have changed their mind!

    Pruitt
    You are absolutely correct.

    The Sherman was an exceptional strategic weapon, great at the operational level, and still tactically effective.

    What the Sherman actually represents is the US WW2 economy's ability to win a war. There was no way the US was going to lose WW2. The Sherman represents the US economy's strengths, just like the Mustang.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    The American Army made the decision to keep producing large numbers of M-4 Shermans instead of stopping production or retrofitting better main guns. The Ordinance Department did have several proposed modifications including a better main gun. It was felt by the guys in charge that large numbers of slightly inferior tanks would negate any advantage small numbers of better German tanks in the field. The same guys also stated the Panther would not be produced in large numbers and was just another heavy tank. They thought it would be produced at a similar rate as the Tiger.

    None of these guys ever went and fought in a Sherman in a combat unit. That might have changed their mind!

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • JBark
    replied
    Originally posted by kurt tank 152 View Post
    all due respect also, i've made my point, not by putting words in your mouth as you put on mine. when i said Firefly isn't a M4? never. never said that M4 hadn't many variants. the possibility of combat with Tiger, Panther, and even Pz IV from ausf F and on (because the Kwk40 L/48 was much more powerful than any gun it used but 17 pounder), of course justified upgunning the M4. i said it's easy to point out mistakes now, what i keep in mind is how brave M4 crews were facing these tanks i've mentioned with it. i'm not underrating Sherman, i'm criticizing US tank designers and industry for not managing upgunning the Sherman. Sherman won the war, i vote for it.
    Apologies. Certainly didn't want to put words in your mouth. Sorry you think I did. You had lamented the designers that the Sherman never had enough armor or a decent gun so of course I wonder why since the designers made a machine capable of being uparmored beyond that of the Tiger and receive guns of extreme power. When people throw in the 17pdr as a side note as you did it seems they are not crediting the Sherman with carrying this gun. Simply saying the M4 needed to be upgunned because you felt it would meet certain tanks X number of times is not justifying, in my book. Give some data that really makes this point. Please do some reading, neither the US tank designers nor the industry kept the M4 from getting the gun you think it needed...this decision was made by the army. As I've pointed out the M4 could and did take a gun more powerful than the 88 of the Tiger I.
    Part of the problem I see in this discussion is you limiting your view of the M4 to WWII. Agreed, you voted for the M4 here but your description of a weak gunned Tommy Cooker is not doing this tank justice. If you do some reading you will come to find that that puny little 75 tore a big ass hole in the Wermacht.

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  • JBark
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    Outstanding post, John.

    +1.

    If I was to add anything at all, it would only be to say that the Tiger tanks probably (by my own "guesstimate") accounted for no more than 1 percent (if that) of the Sherman's engagements in WW2. So far as German tanks in the 1944-45 period are concerned, PzKpfw IV and Panther were both much more common. Then there were the very many other types of AFVs in the German OOB. Then the AT guns; then the enemy strongpoints; then the concentrations of enemy infantry and so it goes on.

    In any case, this particular poll is on the significance and influence of the German PzKpfw IV compared with that of the M4 Sherman so the Tiger isn't even a question here.

    ... and I'm still rather inclined towards the Sherman.


    Edit: I see PzKpfw IV as a very worthy opponent in this Round, but for me it's gonna be the M4 Sherman. Locked in.
    Thank you. Damn glad to see someone put a number on it. Thanks for that too.

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  • andrewza
    replied
    Originally posted by cbo View Post
    The US had a 76mm armed Sherman in 1942. As DogDodger points out, they just didn't like the way it performed. As the users did not really want the 76mm armed vehicle at this point, they settled for the longer development leading to the 1944 Sherman with the larger turret and 76mm gun.
    The British, on the other hand, had their back to the wall in 1943 and had to come up with something to get the 17-pdr in a tank, hence the Firefly.

    In 1952, the US Army faced a similar crisis, suddenly experiencing a massive demand for tanks to arm its many new allies through the MDAP program. The plans for stuffing a 76mm gun into the 75mm turret was dusted off and the modified tanks were shipped to some NATO countries, Yugoslavia and Pakistan.

    As it turns out, the 76mm gun in the 75mm turret is not nearly as cramped as the 17-pdr in the same turret and could easily have worked in 1942/43 IF someone had pushed for it. But no one really did until 1944 and at that time, the upgraded Sherman was already comming off the production line.
    hell they put a 105mm in to the Sherman so a 76 should of been easy.

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  • cbo
    replied
    Originally posted by kurt tank 152 View Post
    i liked your very informative link, but how come 3 inch AA gun was too big to fit in the same turret the 17 pounder could? the 76 mm turret for Sherman (designed for T-23) was bigger than short guns previous models. i'm not saying you're wrong, i'm thinking WHY US couldn'd do the upgunning easily done by the British with the Firefly.
    The US had a 76mm armed Sherman in 1942. As DogDodger points out, they just didn't like the way it performed. As the users did not really want the 76mm armed vehicle at this point, they settled for the longer development leading to the 1944 Sherman with the larger turret and 76mm gun.
    The British, on the other hand, had their back to the wall in 1943 and had to come up with something to get the 17-pdr in a tank, hence the Firefly.

    In 1952, the US Army faced a similar crisis, suddenly experiencing a massive demand for tanks to arm its many new allies through the MDAP program. The plans for stuffing a 76mm gun into the 75mm turret was dusted off and the modified tanks were shipped to some NATO countries, Yugoslavia and Pakistan.

    As it turns out, the 76mm gun in the 75mm turret is not nearly as cramped as the 17-pdr in the same turret and could easily have worked in 1942/43 IF someone had pushed for it. But no one really did until 1944 and at that time, the upgraded Sherman was already comming off the production line.

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  • kurt tank 152
    replied
    Originally posted by JBark View Post
    All due respect sir I didn't think you made one. You want to offer that the British gunned M4 is not an M4, I don't agree. You want to ignore that the M4 was fielded in many variants, one a heavily armored "breakthrough" tank, I think this is not correct. You state that the possibility of combat with the Tiger tank justified upgunning the M4 at some point during WWII and I don't agree with this at all. You point out that the M4 had a measly 75mm gun (highly regarded during WWII) but for some reason ignore ALL the guns it did go to war with and that these should be considered when rating this tank (and the fact that this versatile machine could have gone to battle with the turret and gun of the M26.)
    So what "point" did I miss?
    That industry, btw, was pretty busy arming the world, cut it a break if it didn' do all you think it should have.
    all due respect also, i've made my point, not by putting words in your mouth as you put on mine. when i said Firefly isn't a M4? never. never said that M4 hadn't many variants. the possibility of combat with Tiger, Panther, and even Pz IV from ausf F and on (because the Kwk40 L/48 was much more powerful than any gun it used but 17 pounder), of course justified upgunning the M4. i said it's easy to point out mistakes now, what i keep in mind is how brave M4 crews were facing these tanks i've mentioned with it. i'm not underrating Sherman, i'm criticizing US tank designers and industry for not managing upgunning the Sherman. Sherman won the war, i vote for it.

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