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For Want of a Gun

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  • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Sorry, I meant 1000 dead... That was his claim... He claimed over 2,000 total and have fired of about 1.5 tons of small arms ammunition...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Severloh
    Okay that is more unreasonable.
    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

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    • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
      Look up total Allied tank losses for that period, according to their records...
      The German kill claims are actually not that too much excess of the allied or soviet (generally) in WW2. The battle of the bulge losses are around that of reality.

      US and Soviet forces overclaim more aggressively than the Germans.

      In the first two months of normandy, it was ~2,700 claims vs 1,700 tank kills actual.
      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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      • Originally posted by cbo View Post
        Indeed - and that same lesson was to apply to tanks in general into the 1970ies. There was a brief period in 1943-44 where you could pile enough steel armour on a tank to be near invulnerable, but that would result in a tank of 50 tons and more with resulting cost and complexity, restricted mobility and whatnot.

        Vs long 8,8cm guns, sub-caliber and HEAT ammunition, the game was really up by late 1944


        I dont think the 76mm sucked - it just needed better ammunition. After all, it fired the standard APC round at 780 m/s which is about the same as the German 7,5cm L/43/46/48 guns (between 740 and 790 m/s).
        They did quite a bit of testing during the war to find out just how much armour would be needed to be immune to the German L/71 88mm.

        Due to lack of information on how well US cast armour stood up to enemy projecticles they did a series of tests on this subject.

        Immunity is given by the following thicknessess:-
        88mm APCBC fired from Kwk 43
        Range 150 yards - Velocity 3275 ft/s

        Angle Thickness of cast armour
        60 deg 3 inches
        51 deg 4 inches
        49 deg 5 inches
        45 deg 6 inches


        What was interesting with the US 76mm was more the possibilities the 3 inch had.

        3" gun M7
        Length of bore 150 inches (50.0 calibers)
        Rifling 28 grooves right hand twist one turn in 40 calibers.
        Chamber capacity 205.585 cubic inches

        76mm M1A1
        Length of bore 156 inches (52.0 calibers)
        Rifling 28 grooves right hand twist one turn in 40 calibers.
        Chamber capacity 142.6 cubic inches





        The cartridge for the 3 inch had more propellant then the 76mm to reach the same velocity, but it was no where near filled to it's limit unlike the 76mm one. The safety factor in the 3 inch gun was much higher so it was able to fire with a much hotter load.

        For whatever reason they never went ahead with these, either concerns over barrel wear perhaps and the likely cut down in number of total firings the gun could do for it's life, or wanting to keep performance uniform with the new 76mm.


        The Canadians had this to say on the subject in 1942.

        "The 3-In. T12 gun, which is virtually the remodeled U.S. 3-in A.A. gun mounted in this way, is the most desirable weapon yet produced for front line artillery work with tanks. It is a tank buster in the true sense of the word, and it will, in this writer's opinion, be capable of taking on anything in the way of a tank that the enemy can produce. It's present muzzle velocity is stated as 2650 f/s/. but it has been intimated that the development of a super-charge will give performance close to that of the British 17-pr., which gives over 3000 f.s. This gun has a sufficient safety factor to be able to use super-charge ammunition, while the 76mm - the new 3" which is considered for the M4, having a safety factor of approximately 1.5? could not.

        The U.S. Ordnance, when designing this buffer and recuperator, had in mind the possibility that it might be used with the British 17-pdr. There is still this possibility, and we are informed that the British production of the 17-pr. barrels is such that some might be diverted for use on this mount. We have not as yet been advised that the British have developed a satisfactory buffer and recuperator of their own for the use of a 17-pr. in a turret. In any event there appears to be sufficient 3-in. barrels available in the U.S. and, if necessary, the 76-mm is still available and can be used."


        Ignore the sabot information, but using a more energetic propellant you can see what they could pull off in the 76mm with a bit more velocity. So imagine what the 3 inch could do if pushed to it's limit using standard propellant.

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