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  • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    A huge proportion of the Soviet tank force was actually Shermans...
    Don't be too sure of that. The Red Army received about 5000 M4A2 Shermans, split fairly evenly between 75mm and 76mm gun tanks, mostly in 1944. T-34 production between June 1941 and May 1945 was approximately 50,000 tanks, or ten times the number of Shermans received. 35,000 T-34-76 were built before mid-1944, the remainder being T-34-85.

    Coincidentally, Shermans started to arrive in early 1944, at the same time as the T-34-85 was introduced. Some 15,000 T-34-85 were produced from then until the end of the war, or three times the number of Shermans that were received in the same period. There were also thousands of IS-2s, SU-85 and SU-100 produced during that time. Sorry, but the claim that "A huge proportion of the Soviet tank force was actually Shermans" is completely false. Check your sources.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    Last edited by Scott Fraser; 12 Dec 12, 16:21.
    Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

    A contentedly cantankerous old fart

    Comment


    • Originally posted by IronDuke View Post
      I would rate T34/85 as superior to Sherman. Remember, we're talking 1944 here.

      I think there were around 4000 lend lease Shermans in 44/45 and the Soviets produced around 30000 tanks in that period off their own back, so I'd question the adjective "huge" here as well.
      Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
      Don't be too sure of that. The Red Army received about 5000 M4A2 Shermans, split fairly evenly between 75mm and 76mm gun tanks, mostly in 1944. T-34 production between June 1941 and May 1945 was approximately 50,000 tanks, or ten times the number of Shermans received. 35,000 T-34-76 were built before mid-1944, the remainder being T-34-85. That's roughly ten times the number of Shermans.

      Coincidentally, Shermans started to arrive in early 1944, at the same time as the T-34-85 was introduced. Some 15,000 T-34-85 were produced from then until the end of the war, or three times the number of Shermans that were received in the same period. There were also thousands of IS-2s, SU-85 and SU-100 produced during that time. Sorry, but the claim that "A huge proportion of the Soviet tank force was actually Shermans" is completely false. Check your sources.

      Regards
      Scott Fraser
      Let us say c4000 M4's vs c10000 T-34/85's in 1944. I'd call that more than a small contribution.

      Originally posted by IronDuke View Post
      3 months?

      About week or 10 days?

      Well, you have a gap in September/October here. Shall we say November to February for the bad weather? 3 more months.

      but come spring 45, the W Ally tanks are more appropriate.

      Two months. Although I'd argue any western Allied armour is more appropriate here because the Germans don't have much left.

      Panther seems to win all bar 10 days in the first 10 months, although we haven't called September/October yet.

      Which is the period of the breakout and the period of the collapse.

      It isn't much really is it, Nick?
      Remember I was given ratings based on the Panther in defence and the W Ally mediums in attack.

      Let us assume the reverse was true with the Germans having M4's and the US having Panthers.

      The Germans would still have the edge in Normandy, with the 75mm more than suitable at taking out the Panthers from the sides.

      Cobra and the following exploitation phase would fail as all the US Panthers broke down.

      When the weather broke for the worse, the Panthers greater flotation will help tactically, but offset by having an engine that can overheat in aprox 30 minutes.

      Originally posted by IronDuke View Post
      I'd also argue that such was the state of German resistance following Normandy, and such was the (lack of) success of Allied large scale encirclements during the pursuit, you didn't need the Sherman, a pair of walking boots and a wheelbarrow would have done the trick.
      That is fair enough post Rhine, with some Churchill units being converted to A/C's as more suitable afv's.

      Tanks need to be seen in context of the role they are required for. Panthers always had a problem with their final drives which prevented them being used effectively in the AD role of breakthrough and exploitation.
      Originally posted by IronDuke View Post
      Were Panthers ever used for this much?
      Does not matter. If they cannot perform the main medium tank role, they are failures as a medium tank.

      The above shows the importance of reliability, since an immobile tank is next to useless.

      To use another example, which tank is better - the 6pdr Crusader III (production start May 42) or the Panzer IIIL (production start June 42). The German tank had better armour, but this was offset by the superior performance of the 6pdr over the German longer 50mm. The British tank was also much faster, lighter and with a greater radius of action. That's theoretically 2 out of 3 wins for the British tank - HV gun and mobility over armour. Actually the Crusader was considered a failure due its unreliability.

      A tank needs to have a minimum amount of mobility to be considered a success. Reliability is a key ingredient in determining if a tank is mobile to a satisfactory level.
      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 IronDuke View Post
        Are you suggesting there were no veterans or experienced soldiers within the ranks of the greener British formations?
        Wouldn't be many, would there. Some cross posting of officers but on the whole until a unit - the battalion or regiment - had been in action few of its members would have seen action either.


        The German tank formations in 1944 were not the same as 1940. At Mortain, many bailed out under air attack to hide in ditches by the side of the road. Experienced men would have understood you were safer inside than out.
        Which German tank formations had come under rocket attack from aircraft in 1940? (or 41, 42, 43)

        Comment


        • The Tiger tank unit histories are a maintenance history as much as a combat history. A ballpark guess would be that these units typically had little more than 60% of their armor operational at any given moment with the rest under operation in the shop.

          The impression I have is the fact that the Tigers fought without peculiar distinction until it was called upon to intercept enemy armored groups and be a defensive tank destroyer. In this role it excelled, at least on the Eastern front. But when these units were deployed in the West, the terrain and the tactical situation (particularly enemy air superiority and spotter planes, less open country) did not play to their strengths so there are fewer entries like 'the company destroyed 15 T-34s today without loss...' and so forth.

          Since the Panther G was close to the Tiger's reliability, I'm thinking that the records of the Panther battalions would bear some similarity, especially since both fought defensively.

          Originally posted by IronDuke View Post
          Probably not, but one mitigating factor I've seen raised in several contexts is a possible lack of spare parts. Everything can break down or be damaged, so operational readiness is in part a question of how efficiently you can get the weapons repaired and back in the fight.

          At least one source (whose name escapes me at the mo) did question the spare part problems, though, so I wouldn't push this any further than the above without further digging.

          Regards,
          ID

          Comment


          • Originally posted by m kenny View Post
            Well something was having an effect on German tanks.
            June losses:
            125 Pz IV
            80 Panthers
            19 Tigers

            July:
            149 PzIV
            125 Panther
            14 Tigers

            start of August (before the flight):
            45 Pz IV
            49 Panther
            15 Tigers .

            That's 623 before the start of the dash for home.

            Combined Aug/Sept losses:
            593 Pz IV
            540 Panther.
            95 Tiger
            Of course "something was having an effect": the Soviets accounted for the majority of German armor losses.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • Those figures are west front, normandy in particular. The Germans fielded 2,000+ tanks and assault guns. The greater half of German armor was deployed in the east during this timeframe.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                Of course "something was having an effect": the Soviets accounted for the majority of German armor losses.
                It may be of interest to note there were more German tanks in the West in June 1944 than there were in the East.
                There were of course vastly more Stug. in the east than in the west so overall AFV totals favour the east.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  Let us say c4000 M4's vs c10000 T-34/85's in 1944. I'd call that more than a small contribution.
                  Don't forget to factor in maybe 15,000 T-34-76 still in service (last deliveries were in mid-1944), the remaining KV-1s and another 3500 IS-2s. Soviet tanks (not including assault guns) outnumbered M4A2s by eight or ten to one.

                  Regards
                  Scott Fraser
                  Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                  A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
                    Don't forget to factor in maybe 15,000 T-34-76 still in service (last deliveries were in mid-1944), the remaining KV-1s and another 3500 IS-2s. Soviet tanks (not including assault guns) outnumbered M4A2s by eight or ten to one.

                    Regards
                    Scott Fraser

                    Nor Valentines, Churchills or even the odd Cromwell.

                    However, 3500 IS-2's in service appears a bit high, considering one regiment (battalion effective) of said tanks per Front (army group).

                    However, ID's point was that Soviet tanks were superior to US ones. I'd say they each had their strengths and weaknesses, and that the M4 and T-34 were roughly comparable.

                    I don't rate the IS-2, even less the KV-1. They both fail on basic attributes for their class. the Soviets certainly did not like the KV's, and the ammo load and armour quality on the IS-2's was always suspect.

                    Moving away from specific types, and towards classes in general, each category has a function. Depending on how a nation decides to fight, the tanks employed need to reflect that strategy, and therefore be useful tactically. For example, the Germans favoured manoeuvre, since they had potential multiple enemies of their broad borders. Each had to be defeated quickly. Britain favoured firepower in WW2. They were prepared not to take ground, due to WW1 experiences, but instead to kill the enemy through firepower rather than manpower.

                    Tanks are part of the team. A particular tank performance needs to be considered as if it is the right tool for the actual job.
                    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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