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Differences in quality of armour ?

Discussion in 'The Tanks of World War 2' started by Skua, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    I have read claim after claim that German armour was of superiour quality to the armour of the other participating nations. I´ve seen no sources so far which confirmes this, however, except for the lower quality of Italian armour and the fact that Soviet armour was usually harder, and slightly more prone to shatter.

    The hardness of the armour varies with the thickness of the armour, and German, British and American armour of similar thickness are, as far I can tell, of similar hardness.

    Let the debate commence. :grin:
     
  2. Danyel Phelps

    Danyel Phelps Active Member

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  3. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    Well I dont know about tank armour but in naval armour according to Brown (Tiornu may be able to jump in here if he is watching but he is a 'ship guy') then the USN didn't show the advances Britain and Germany did so would tank armour show the same advances?
     
  4. 2ndLegion

    2ndLegion New Member

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    Definately not.

    Ship armor is very different then tank armor.

    For example all American and Jappanese Carriers used wood instead of metal for the deck.

    Imagine if a tank had any part of it made of wood.
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I doubt you'll find much cross-over between tank and ship armor.
    Large ships usually have to different kinds of armor. Face-hardened armor, most common in vertical surfaces, rarely appears in thicknesses less than 100mm. Homogenous armor is used for thin plating and for most horizontal protection.
    The "recipe" for face-hardened armor was not remarkably different among the various navies, except maybe for Japan. More important was the way it was prepared. The US used extremely thick faces. An unfortunate result of this is the idea that US armor was worse (usually accompanied by a percentage figure). The thick face gave poorer performance against large shells and better performance against smaller shells, so any single percentage figure will be correct only in specific instances depending on the angle of the hit, the type of shell, and the size of the shell. The only ones who appear to have noticed this scaling effect were the Italians, who thus used thick faces for cruiser armor and thin faces for battleship armor.
    The British and Americans had the best homogenous armor, but the differences in shell-resistance are less pronounced with homogenous armor.
    The Japanese used an armored flight deck in Taiho. The wood of flight decks was not intended as armor, nor was the metal of US and Japanese flight decks (except Taiho and the postwar Midway).
     
  6. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    The FT-17's idler wheels were made of wood, with a steel rim.

    Pedantic Apprentice strikes again! :lol:
     
  7. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    The tolerences for German armour hardness were very high, as were the tolerences for thickness - in fact, the German tanks which were tested after the war by the US almost all had thicker armour than specified in the vehicle specifications.

    The Russian armour hardness tolerences were higher, but as the US tests revealed, the armour rarely followed specifications, and in some cases the armour plates were not processed at all, making them very soft.

    Christian
     
  8. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    Danyel, I looke through the page you posted ( thanks btw, very interesting page indeed ). It says that american armour produced before November 1943 was flawed, same thing about British armour produced until some time in 1944. Nothing is mentioned about German armour, however. Does this mean that German armour did not suffer the same problems ?

    Tiornu, you wrote that face-hardened armour rarely appeared in thicknesses less than 100mm. I thought it was more the other way around, at least with tanks, that face-hardened armour was rarely thicker than 50-60mm.
     
  9. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I can't make any intelligent comments on tank armor. But really thick homogenous armor was an exception in warship construction. The Americans used it in late battleship turrets and maybe conning towers. But I can't recall offhand any others carying homogenous armor of more than c9in. The Soviets were having all sort of armor production problems on the eve of WWII, so they might have resorted to odd choices for the SoSo and Kronshtadt classes.
     
  10. Danyel Phelps

    Danyel Phelps Active Member

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    If you look more in depth it gets in to the different methods of manufacturing armo, and it has an entire section devoted to explaining how they measure armor hardness and quality.
     
  11. sonofecthelion

    sonofecthelion New Member

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    What about the armour on a German 'Maus' or a British 'Matilda' they were pretty tough.
     
  12. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    They were thick, sure, but were they good? This topic AFAIK is about the quality of armour, not the thickness (only relative thickness).
     
  13. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    toward the end of the war the quality of the german armour decline as the situation worsened, due to proper material, shortages and the stop of supply
     
  14. KBO

    KBO New Member

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    U.S. RHA armor was of somewhat the same quality as German RHA armor, but, U.S. Cast armor was very weak and many shermans were actually made of cast armor ("Sry Danyel"). This would also axplain why the front glacis plate on cast armor shermans would be pierced at 3500m by the 88mm Kwk36, wich it did with "ease" as sometimes described.. :eek:

    KBO
     
  15. Danyel Phelps

    Danyel Phelps Active Member

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    The M4A1 was cast. The A2, A3, and A4 were RHA.
     
  16. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    The British and Americans had the best homogenous armor, but the differences in shell-resistance are less pronounced with homogenous armor.


    In 1891, an American called Augustus Harvey discovered that a stream of water played on a cooling armor plate would "face-harden" it to a depth of several inches. Withing two years, "Harveyized" steel was manufatured by Harvey subsidiaries in England and yhtoughout continental Europe. Harvey steel was metallurgically quite similar to Krupp armor plate , which appeared in 1893..However, Krupp plate was found 20-30% stronger than Harvey's, and when alll other armor shattered to pieces,Krupp plate never even cracked. Thus, Krupp Krupp-cemented tye (K.C) which was quickly addopted by all other powers-Krupp simply liensed his armor patents, and earned royalties of about $US 45 per ton..
     
  17. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    The 'Harveyized' steel, as I see it, would have the disadvantage that any tensions will be 'trapped' in the cooled steel, which would otherwise even out during notmal cooling. This would create a harder surface, but also make it far more brittle.

    Regarding British armour plates, I've been told that they were so hard/brittle that they would sometimes spontaneously break before being mounted...

    Christian
     
  18. KBO

    KBO New Member

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    And in 44 there were alot of M4A1's in Europe...

    KBO
     
  19. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    On the other hand cast armor did not have any tendency to break or shatter at the welding lines, which became a great problem with German tanks once the quality of thir armour got worse and worse by the end of the war.
     
  20. KBO

    KBO New Member

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    well then were talking weldings not armor, because late in the war the Germans were in short supply copper alloys and raw materials, wich were needed for proper weldings..

    I dont remember exactly wich months, but in some month's the supplies of alloys and raw materials where so short that the weldings on the tanks build in that month would suffer.. But then there would sometimes be enough supplies and then the weldings would be ok.. however later in the war these supply issues became worse...

    KBO
     

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