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Why not a British/US T34?

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  • Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
    Off the mark by a wide margin... <snip>
    No, actually its dead centre of the target. And you just proved my point about being contrary for the sake of being contrary.

    It would be rather surprising to find that a better gun was *not* being developed for Sherman after 1942 but this does not mean Sherman was not seen as a more than adequate design. The 75mm still outperformed both the US and British 76mm guns in the infantry support role (with tanks carrying more HE than AP) and since that was, and is, the primary role of a tank, the Sherman was "fit for purpose", more so.

    As for the Ardennes the bulk of the losses suffered by the US Army were infantry losses and not tankers. And since the US retained the battlefield the number of write-offs was comparitively low. While a combat command from both 9th and 10th ADs (effectively a tank and infantry battalion) were expended in trying to stop a panzer corps in front of Bastognes, remnants of both commands were still inside the siege lines when the city was relieved and they possessed Sherman. It was Sherman who rolled into St Vith with 7th AD and held the psition for a week before those Sherman tanks rolled out again, leaving the fields littered with wrecked German tanks. Third AD fought in the fog at La Glieze and Stoumont and it was the Sherman that stopped Mk IVs, Mk Vs and Mk VIs, cutting off Pieper and destroying his command.

    At Celles on Christmas day it was Sherman of 2nd AD that shattered the Mk IVs and Mk Vs in a running battle. It was Sherman that lead the relief of Bastogne, even if the job was fought with uninspiring tactics (not the fault of the Sherman). It was Sherman that pressed the counterattack from the north and south that met at Houffalize and closed the Bulge. Far from Sherman being a handicap for the US Army in the Ardennes it was an effective, flexible weapon capable of going where it was needed, when it was needed. Its gun, 75mm or 76mm, did its job and the Germans lost massive amounts of kit they could not replace while Sherman rolled out of the forest and over the Rhine and on across Germany.

    Hardly a piece of kit to sniff at because it didn't have a uber-kanon.
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by clackers View Post
      Exactly why should we take you seriously, John? Aren't you just a Sherman fanboi?
      I don't think name calling is necessary.
      John

      Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
        Regarding the Sherman............. :
        Can I pick your brains on this book review?

        http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-...stRecentReview

        Do you think the review is a fair portrayal of the book's contents?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
          Overall the M4A3E8 was probably the best Sherman type as a complete package of WW2. White states:

          Operation Grenade took place in February 1945. 76mm versions, nevermind Easy 8's, can be seen to be in relatively short supply even at this very late stage of the war. Given the production might of the US arsenal, this is an unacceptable failure of those in charge of supply to equip the sharp end with upgraded M4's
          I understand the point but this does not diminish the value of the M4 series but simply point out a failure at some upper decision making level.

          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
          Further, the AT performance of most M4's is questionable, only offset by the bravery and skills of the crews compared with their opponents. This is why superior German tank flotation is constantly mentioned by US crews. Montgomery had stated that once the correct tactics had been worked out, the German heavies could be countered. The US correctly deduced that by fielding superior numbers of M4's forward, there was a greater likelihood of many able to get flank or rear shots in. This tactic was negated once the autumn rains arrived and the Shermans became more roadbound. This is why flotation is mentioned so often by tankers in Whites report, as the lack of maneuverability diminished the Shermans ability to outflank the enemy.
          We have seen from study (Data on WWII Tank Engagements) that the M4 faired well in tank v tank engagements. I'm not sure why you make the assumption that the crews would all be thinking of autumn when surveyed in March. One would think frozen winter ground might be their more recent experience and come to mind when surveyed...unless prompted with leading questions. I think similar questions that we see about the M36 were offered about the M4 and this is why we see the men discuss flotation so often. Minor point but worth mentioning I think. Yes, we know flotation to be an issue with the M4, one that was addressed.


          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
          If the M4 had been upgraded earlier, and those versions in greater numbers, and we know it could have been, then the M4 could have been one of the wonder weapons of WW2. It was decided to make more average models instead. I believe that was the wrong decision. Once the Autumn rains arrived, M4 losses were such that the US was unable to supply their own army with enough mediums, nevermind supply their allies. This fact alone suggests my opinion is not without some merit.
          Your opinion has merit, no doubt. My point is that I don't assess the value of the tank within the confines of an arbitrary date. I go from May '45 and everything prior when I look at the M4 series. Yes, there are decisions on armor thickness and gun (and others) that with our current hindsight we can pick apart, but I don't see these as diminishing the machine.
          John

          Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

          Comment


          • You are back to addressing me directly in your posts. I have to wonder why the change.

            Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
            Reading and comprehending are entirely different. The former is a learned function which to me resembles something akin to mechanistic behavior. The latter involves mental acuity and intellect much more than formal education; for how else would great thinkers, bereft of higher education, ascend to the heights they achieve?
            So you will start with a personal assault, questioning whether I can comprehend what I read. Well done.

            Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
            Willful misunderstanding, for whatever reason, is also possible.
            More attack on me. Brava.

            Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
            To recap your stated positions on various threads; you refused to accept the battlefield experience of armor veterans...

            There are many reasons why. The simplest reason is that they are generally speaking from a very emotional position and are often not offering an opinion that I need. Consider the survey Panther has done such a great job putting together, trying to cover so many aspects of a sound evaluation of a tank. Veterans don't have this data and probably don't care about most of it. Do the vets care whether a tank is easily produced, easily maintained, etc.? No, they ones offered in these discussions focus on the gun and armor...let's not forget flotation. I don't think anyone still involved in this thread doesn't know the armor thickness, gun performance and flotation of the tanks we are discussing.

            Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
            ...wanting to hear the opinions of general officers and academics. Now that these have been provided to some small extent you demand statistical data.
            Once again examine what is being offered. Are the opinions discussing gun, armor and flotation or are they discussing the machine and its merits on a strategic, logistic and tactical level.

            Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
            From this behavior, it is easy to think that if this new demand is fulfilled in some way, you will latch on to yet another bit of frothy flotsam in one more desperate attempt to save face.
            I have no need to save face as there is no way to lose face in this discussion. The notion that I might lose face in an online forum discussion is alien to me. I'll let you think about why you think in such terms. Inviting statistical data should not be a challenge if your arguement is so strong. Try to spend more time gathering the data and presenting it and less time thinking of ways to attack me personally.

            Originally posted by Sleepy Head View Post
            I end with the words of General Omar Bradley. For the remainder of the war our tank superiority devolved primarily from a superiority in number rather than the quality of tanks we sent into battle.
            I always get a feeling of disgust when I read statements like that. It wouldn't hurt to know the context of the statement, of course. The value of the opinion of such an accomplished general is hard to ignore but it all comes down to context, doesn't it? Is a tank that runs and runs and runs for days with little or no maintenance really inferior to a machine that overheats 30 mins. in to combat? If Bradley is discussing gun/armor he is right. Is that all we are discussing here? We are discussing a machine that had multiple roles and many, many criteria on which to judge it, not just a gun with a slab of armor in front of it.
            John

            Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
              No, actually its dead centre of the target. And you just proved my point about being contrary for the sake of being contrary.

              It would be rather surprising to find that a better gun was *not* being developed for Sherman after 1942 but this does not mean Sherman was not seen as a more than adequate design. The 75mm still outperformed both the US and British 76mm guns in the infantry support role (with tanks carrying more HE than AP) and since that was, and is, the primary role of a tank, the Sherman was "fit for purpose", more so.

              As for the Ardennes the bulk of the losses suffered by the US Army were infantry losses and not tankers. And since the US retained the battlefield the number of write-offs was comparitively low. While a combat command from both 9th and 10th ADs (effectively a tank and infantry battalion) were expended in trying to stop a panzer corps in front of Bastognes, remnants of both commands were still inside the siege lines when the city was relieved and they possessed Sherman. It was Sherman who rolled into St Vith with 7th AD and held the psition for a week before those Sherman tanks rolled out again, leaving the fields littered with wrecked German tanks. Third AD fought in the fog at La Glieze and Stoumont and it was the Sherman that stopped Mk IVs, Mk Vs and Mk VIs, cutting off Pieper and destroying his command.

              At Celles on Christmas day it was Sherman of 2nd AD that shattered the Mk IVs and Mk Vs in a running battle. It was Sherman that lead the relief of Bastogne, even if the job was fought with uninspiring tactics (not the fault of the Sherman). It was Sherman that pressed the counterattack from the north and south that met at Houffalize and closed the Bulge. Far from Sherman being a handicap for the US Army in the Ardennes it was an effective, flexible weapon capable of going where it was needed, when it was needed. Its gun, 75mm or 76mm, did its job and the Germans lost massive amounts of kit they could not replace while Sherman rolled out of the forest and over the Rhine and on across Germany.

              Hardly a piece of kit to sniff at because it didn't have a uber-kanon.
              I'll address the last point first. The British report contained here, suggests that the Sherman would be best served by upgunning. This was done as fast as possible, with just a few dozen 17pdrs at D-Day to over a hundred dozen (1235 iirc) by 5.5.45. I would suggest that shows a need. The report here tells of men who want a more powerful gun to take on the Germans, and lament the lack of APCR for their 76mm. I would suggest that shows a need also.

              Throughout the NWE campaign, it has been shown that the losses sustained by Shermans and the Cats, whether on the attack or on the defence, were about the same in similar situations. If you are saying that the Sherman was a better tank than the Cats, then you are stating the US crews were inferior to their counterparts, for the outcome in combat to be the same.

              I realise it is unfashionable, not received wisdom and certainly not the done thing, to suggest US tankers were better than their German counterparts, but all the information is there to support the superiority of US tank crews (all W Ally tankers actually).

              Just by listening to the crews accounts, they advance in machines against what they consider more formidable opponents. That takes courage. Then they are usually able to get into a position to get the first shots off, although they have several disadvantages in tactical mobility. That shows expert driving and field craft. They then often fire first, and get several hits in first before the enemy reacts, despite inferior optics. That shows gunnery/commander skill.

              Given that honours were about even in the same tactical situations then:
              US Crew capability + Sherman capability = German crew capability + Panther capability.
              If you state the Sherman was better, then the US crew must be worse.
              That's bollocks I'm afraid, and not supported by the evidence.
              How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
              Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle
                ...Throughout the NWE campaign, it has been shown that the losses sustained by Shermans and the Cats, whether on the attack or on the defence, were about the same in similar situations. If you are saying that the Sherman was a better tank than the Cats, then you are stating the US crews were inferior to their counterparts, for the outcome in combat to be the same....
                Your words not mine

                Originally posted by Nick the Noodle
                ...I realise it is unfashionable, not received wisdom and certainly not the done thing, to suggest US tankers were better than their German counterparts, but all the information is there to support the superiority of US tank crews (all W Ally tankers actually)....
                Depending on the formation, US tank units were certainly better than many German ones,... especially in 1944. Green US formations made the usual errors all green troops did and paid the usual price.


                Originally posted by Nick the Noodle
                ...Given that honours were about even in the same tactical situations then:
                US Crew capability + Sherman capability = German crew capability + Panther capability.
                If you state the Sherman was better, then the US crew must be worse.
                That's bollocks I'm afraid, and not supported by the evidence.
                Again,... your words and your conclusion not mine. I have never attempted to compare Sherman to Pz V,... pointless.

                All I have stated is that Sherman went into action against Pz IV, V and VI, the TDs, AGs and other toys. Sherman came out on top,... repeatedly. Draw your own conclusions.
                The Purist

                Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  I'll address the last point first. The British report contained here, suggests that the Sherman would be best served by upgunning. This was done as fast as possible, with just a few dozen 17pdrs at D-Day to over a hundred dozen (1235 iirc) by 5.5.45. I would suggest that shows a need. The report here tells of men who want a more powerful gun to take on the Germans, and lament the lack of APCR for their 76mm. I would suggest that shows a need also.
                  If I could throw in a reminder the second "report" you refer to is not an official report.

                  Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  Throughout the NWE campaign, it has been shown that the losses sustained by Shermans and the Cats, whether on the attack or on the defence, were about the same in similar situations. If you are saying that the Sherman was a better tank than the Cats, then you are stating the US crews were inferior to their counterparts, for the outcome in combat to be the same.
                  We know (Zaloga points it out in Thunderbolt) that the majority of the work an alliied tank did in the ETO was not tank v tank fighting, as Purist pointed out. His statement of superiority over the cats, as I read it, was not limited simply to that arena. I would point out the many logistic and strategic advantages of the M4 over the cats as evience of superiority.

                  Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  I realise it is unfashionable, not received wisdom and certainly not the done thing, to suggest US tankers were better than their German counterparts, but all the information is there to support the superiority of US tank crews (all W Ally tankers actually).
                  Late in the war, IIRC, the majority of the panzer crews were less experienced and could not receive adequate training due to shortages and combat manpower need. In some respects I would say allied tankers were superior.

                  Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  Just by listening to the crews accounts, they advance in machines against what they consider more formidable opponents. That takes courage. Then they are usually able to get into a position to get the first shots off, although they have several disadvantages in tactical mobility. That shows expert driving and field craft. They then often fire first, and get several hits in first before the enemy reacts, despite inferior optics. That shows gunnery/commander skill.
                  "Several disadvantages" in tactical mobility? Could you name several? Yes they had inferior optics but when facing certain tanks...the Panther for instance, they had superior visibility and faster turret rotation.

                  Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  Given that honours were about even in the same tactical situations then:
                  US Crew capability + Sherman capability = German crew capability + Panther capability.
                  If you state the Sherman was better, then the US crew must be worse.
                  That's bollocks I'm afraid, and not supported by the evidence.
                  I would suggest that this is a gross oversimplification of an engagement. This also ignores that Purist's statements were about more than the tactical situation when offering the M4 as superior to the cats. Look at it in terms similar to the judgement criteria Panther has set up not simply on the level of tank v tank.
                  John

                  Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

                  Comment


                  • Note your tormentor has finaly decided (after he was outed) to come clean and reveal his identity

                    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122014

                    It is good to see formerly banned members (plural) allowed back into the forum.
                    Researcher, Tanker, Duckbill, Little Joe et al..........

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                      Your words not mine



                      Depending on the formation, US tank units were certainly better than many German ones,... especially in 1944. Green US formations made the usual errors all green troops did and paid the usual price.




                      Again,... your words and your conclusion not mine. I have never attempted to compare Sherman to Pz V,... pointless.

                      All I have stated is that Sherman went into action against Pz IV, V and VI, the TDs, AGs and other toys. Sherman came out on top,... repeatedly. Draw your own conclusions.
                      I don't need to draw my own conclusions. General White stated:
                      In my opinion, the reason that our armour has engaged the German tanks as successfully as it has is not due by any means to a superior tank but to our superior numbers of tanks on the battlefield and the willingness of our tankers to take their losses while maneuvering to a position from which a penetrating shot can be put through a weak spot of an enemy tank.
                      Bold is mine.

                      The Sherman came out on top due to its numbers and superior crews, not because it was a superior tank.
                      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                      Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                        I don't need to draw my own conclusions. General White stated:Bold is mine.

                        The Sherman came out on top due to its numbers and superior crews, not because it was a superior tank.
                        Bingo.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                          Again,... your words and your conclusion not mine. I have never attempted to compare Sherman to Pz V,... pointless.
                          You may not have attempted the comparison, but it was a common subject among officers and enlisted men during the war.

                          All I have stated is that Sherman went into action against Pz IV, V and VI, the TDs, AGs and other toys. Sherman came out on top,... repeatedly. Draw your own conclusions.[/QUOTE]

                          The conclusion is the "Sherman came out on top" because of superior numbers, superior crews, and superior combined arms warfare -- not because of an overall superiority of the tank itself.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by JBark View Post
                            If I could throw in a reminder the second "report" you refer to is not an official report.
                            It is still a report from the US 2nd AD General to Eisenhower.

                            Originally posted by JBark View Post
                            We know (Zaloga points it out in Thunderbolt) that the majority of the work an alliied tank did in the ETO was not tank v tank fighting, as Purist pointed out. His statement of superiority over the cats, as I read it, was not limited simply to that arena. I would point out the many logistic and strategic advantages of the M4 over the cats as evience of superiority.
                            The M4 is certainly superior to any Cat as a complete package.

                            Originally posted by JBark View Post
                            Late in the war, IIRC, the majority of the panzer crews were less experienced and could not receive adequate training due to shortages and combat manpower need. In some respects I would say allied tankers were superior.
                            I would suggest that post Boccage, the overall standard of the W Ally tankers was superior.

                            Originally posted by JBark View Post
                            "Several disadvantages" in tactical mobility? Could you name several? Yes they had inferior optics but when facing certain tanks...the Panther for instance, they had superior visibility and faster turret rotation.
                            You already know of two - flotation and the ability to make neutral turns since you have mentioned them yourself. Lets add maximum speed: Panther 38mph, Korean Sherman M4A3E8 with Ford V8 went max 34.1mph according to Zaloga. Most Shermans went far less (source).

                            Originally posted by JBark View Post
                            I would suggest that this is a gross oversimplification of an engagement. This also ignores that Purist's statements were about more than the tactical situation when offering the M4 as superior to the cats. Look at it in terms similar to the judgement criteria Panther has set up not simply on the level of tank v tank.
                            The formula is not such an oversimplification. Panzers and Shermans performed similarly well in the same tactical circumstances. If the Shermans were better than the opponents tanks, then they must have been let down by their crew. I don't buy that for one second.

                            I don't rate the Panther, as most posters here know. I'm just pointing out that the Sherman is NOT an excellent tank, just a reliable one available in vast numbers .
                            How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                            • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                              The 75mm still outperformed both the US and British 76mm guns in the infantry support role (with tanks carrying more HE than AP) and since that was, and is, the primary role of a tank, the Sherman was "fit for purpose", more so.
                              Armored Force doctrine imposed different roles on the medium tank, all of which were enveloped within combined arms warfare. By 1944 the Sherman was no longer able to fulfill those roles effectively. Case in point is the mission of armored division s to engage enemy armored units.

                              Comment


                              • Ok, so when did a US armoured division fail in its mission to defeat a German fromation on the other side of the hill.

                                Normandy? Nope

                                Alsace-Lorraine? Nope,... they actually shot to pieces a numerically and technically superior force in just few days. The rest of the campaign was infantry support. Not well led but still a success in the end

                                Southern Holland in the fall? Hmmmmm,... nope. More infantry support.

                                The Ardennes? Nope,... a resounding victory of American arms at all levels. Even here it was mainly infantry support except at a few sharp points

                                The Rhineland? Nope. Bit of a switch from infantry support to cavalry mount,... Sherman managed it quite well.

                                The Ruhr? Not hardly. More cavalary stuff.

                                Central Germany? The Elbe? The dash to the Czech border? Nope, nadda and uh-uh. Sherman did go from infantry support to cavalry mount rather effectively though.

                                Its obvious that Sherman was technically up to the job. All those German tanks were not killed from outer space and their heavier armour did not prevent poor ol' Sherman from shooting holes in them. Loss statistics also do not show a great imbalance between German and Allied losses, although this is no measure of success since tanks, TDs and AGs on both sides were killed by any number of methods.

                                The fact remains the Allies won and they won handily with Sherman. It wasn't even really a contetst.
                                The Purist

                                Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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