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  • Cromwell or Sherman?

    I've read that British units equipped with the Sherman were happy to "up-grade" to the Cromwell tank, principally for reasons of improved armor. Whether or not this is true, I'm curious as to which you consider the better tank overall. Let's assume that the Shermans in question are not the Firefly variant or American versions (upgraded with the 76mm).

    If you were a British tanker, which would you rather take into battle in Normandy?

  • #2
    Cromwell VII thanks very much.
    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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    • #3
      Right there with ya, Gerry!

      Of course, I'm partial to the idea of a Firefly, but...

      I'm thinkin I'd rather take in a Cromwell, too!


      On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
        Cromwell VII thanks very much.
        Could you perhaps express your reasons for your choice, in order to enlighten us less informed minds?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Demon_Llama View Post
          Could you perhaps express your reasons for your choice, in order to enlighten us less informed minds?
          probably easier to sum up with the idea of More grunt in the engine bay, roughly similar amour, and the cool riveted look.
          Oh and Ammo bins with covers and the same gun.
          Winnie says
          ---------------------------------
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          It was an Accident."
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          • #6
            I once read that the Desert Rats were not very happy at swopping their Shermans for Cromwells... they didn't like them at all initially.
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            Is not lost in darkness
            Over the fruitful earth
            And athwart the seas
            Hath passed the light of noble deeds
            Unquenchable forever.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
              I once read that the Desert Rats were not very happy at swopping their Shermans for Cromwells... they didn't like them at all initially.
              That is from Patrick Delaforce book - Churchill's Desert Rats: From Normandy to Berlin with the 7th Armoured Division .

              Initially they were not happy at all, and the first few pages describes their (gloomy) thoughts on the tank. However, once its more psitive virtues were realized it was a prefered choice (essentially enhanced protection from increased agility, lower height, less likely to brew up if penetrated and turret rotation speed).

              A cabinet paper in the national archives, kept secret for years, also states that the Cromwell outperformed the Sherman. The Sherman could be upgunned sucessfully, while the attempt to do so with the Cromwell (the Challenger) was considered a failure.
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              • #8
                Sherman over Cromwell, but Comet over the Sherman. But then it also depends on which Sherman chassis you are talking about. I'll take an M4A3E8 over a lot of other tanks.
                Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

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                What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Demon_Llama View Post
                  Could you perhaps express your reasons for your choice, in order to enlighten us less informed minds?
                  Faster, lower, safer, better turret armour, better suspension. Until they start putting 76mm guns on allied mediums (Brit or Yank) the Cromwell is the way to go.
                  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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                  • #10
                    The more common Mark IV Cromwell in Normandy had worse armor protection than the Sherman but at that point the Sherman better armor was not stopping much in that high velocity environment.

                    One big thing the Cromwell had going for it was the ability to pivot on the spot, something most British tanks after the Churchill had, but no US tanks had (not until the M48 Patton), and which only a few German tanks had (but often could not use since it stressed the weak reliability).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                      Faster, lower, safer, better turret armour, better suspension. Until they start putting 76mm guns on allied mediums (Brit or Yank) the Cromwell is the way to go.
                      As a tanker, you should know better . The troops prefered the Cromwell over the M4.

                      I've read the reports about armour vs gun in ww2, and they don't ring true.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wokelly View Post
                        The more common Mark IV Cromwell in Normandy had worse armor protection than the Sherman but at that point the Sherman better armor was not stopping much in that high velocity environment.
                        Ahhh, but Cromwell IV could 'haul ass' like no other medium tank in Europe in 1944. You right about the armour,... 60mm, 80mm, or 100mm was not going to stop the high velocity German guns at normal combat ranges. Moreover,... a large percentage of tanks of both sides were shot in the side, so the front armour was not always facing incoming fire.
                        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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                        • #13
                          Purist

                          My post answering yours was bang out of order. I publicly apologize. While there is an excuse in the fact I was a tad over the limit on hearing the news my youngest twin was going to live, there is no excuse for bad manners.

                          Sorry.
                          Nick.
                          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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                          • #14
                            What were the factor's that prompted the installation of the 17pdr in the Sherman and not in the Cromwell? I know that the Challenger program was a flop, but don't know why the Cromwell wouldn't accept the 17pdr.
                            "You listen to the ol' Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night......"

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                            • #15
                              The Sherman for several reasons:

                              Automotively, the Sherman is superior. Up to about 20 mph it gives a far better ride than a Cromwell. The later's Christie derived suspension gives a bouncy ride by comparison.
                              There is no comparing the reliability of the Sherman's drive train with that of the Cromwell. The later is far less reliable.
                              The Sherman generally has better radios and a better setup for them. The Sherman also has a small donkey motor that allows the crew to keep the radios on and battery charged without running the main engine like you have to in a Cromwell.
                              Visibility is better from the Sherman than from a Cromwell, particularly when the Sherman is fitted with a commander's cupola.
                              From a crew comfort and workload point of view the Sherman has it hands down. That is why it was more popular with the crews.

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