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Myths Of American Armor With Nicholas Moran

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Markus Becker, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    After the first batch or two I think you are correct mostly if not all diesel. They could have been using this as more reasons to go with the diesel option as well. The logistical arguments should have been enough but especially as there wasn't a great deal of trust between the East and West at that point they might have figured that the more and stronger arguments they had the better.
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    AFAIK, all of the gasoline Shermans required was 80 octane or better. IIRC, the half tracks and truck were between 68-72, but would need to reference the requisite Technical Manuals.
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I don't know what octane German gas was,but Peiper once said that all his armor was pretty damned peppy after they filled up on American gas at Bullingen.
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    Guderian was personally close to Hitler for years, to begin with. In 1943-44 he headed the panzer force as inspector general of armored troops and in 1944-45 he was chief of the general staff, so it is easy to document his influence in many areas. Patton headed just one US army among nine in the field. Their positions within their respective hierarchies were very different, Patton being much the less influential of the two.
     
  5. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    #76, 3b
    Shot traps, US hadn't figured out sloped armour.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It hadn't?

    I see a lot of sloped and angled armor on the M2 medium tank.
    [​IMG]

    Same with the M3 Lee/Grant...Lots of slopes
    [​IMG]

    The problem with the M3 Lee/Grant is one of space...Not that the US was to dumb to figure out the benefits of sloped armor. The big ol' sponson-mounted 75 precluded using sloped side armor on the right side. The sponson-mounted 75 also necessitated that the 37mm turret had to be offset to the left of center of the tank, this offset precluded the use of sloped armor on the left side. There was simply no way for the M3 to have sloped side armor and remain within an acceptable width or have enough room for weapons and crew.
     
  7. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Although the plates are angled, there are plenty of shot traps. As well as being riveted which weakens the armour. The turrets were not sloped until the introduction of the Chaffee, me thinks.
     
  8. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    It wasn't that American engines were terribly unreliable it's just that Russia's were better.

    It was a matter of the Russian T-34 engine having been a practical work of art by '42. While their aluminum diesel engine had plenty of teething troubles in 40/41 it was revised again and again. By 42 Western gas engines beat it in terms of overall displacement but that's about it. And lets be honest. The T-34 was mainly complete in '40 with small adjustments over it's time in service. Standardization being key. Russia had their tank designed and prototyped before the war as well as being the largest producer of inter war tanks. While America spent 40/41/42/43 playing catch up in terms of experience, design, and industrial capability.

    Suffice to say there is no need for an tank engine unless you want to build a tank and until 40 Congress fought tooth and nail against military expenditures.

    The M3/M3A1/M3A2 Grant started with the Wright Radial engine.
    The M3A3 changed to the GM 6-71.
    The M3A4 changed to the Chrystler A-57.
    Some M3/M3A1 changed to Guiberson diesels due to lack of Wright Radials.

    The Sherman's not any prettier. Begging engines from air production and the like.
     
  9. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Wonder what the life expectancy of a Russian tank vs US tank was in ww2.
    Unsure if US tanks would survive long hauls /lower maintenance -better than the Russian counterparts. Have read where the lend lease tanks were greatly appreciated in comparison to local equipment.
    I dunno really.
     
  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Also Ford GAA

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_GAA_engine

    Edit:

    The T-34 had quite a bit more displacement that any of the Sherman engines,

    The Wright was 975 CI, the twin 6-71s had 852 CI combined, the A-57 was 1253 CI and the Ford was 1100 CI

    The T-34's V-12 was 2367 CI
     
  11. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    Nearly every tank has angled plates somewhere.
    A Sherman with sloped armour as a concept would have looked like the M 10.
    If you think at the successes of the german "Blitzkrieg"-campaigns in 1940/41, it is obvious that they were obtained with mobile, reliable tanks, which weren't heavily armed or armoured. Therefore, the Sherman was a consequent design for mobile warfare in open countries but not the ultimate battle tank.
     
  12. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Correct but the M4 was a design dating back to 1940/41, when the US assumed that most German tanks were Mk.IV with low velocity 75mm guns.

    Anyway, Cooper's and Nick's focus on the protection of the M4 and crew losses IMO misses the point. Yes, the M4 wasn't immune to German tank and AT guns in 1944 when Cooper's division entered combat for the first time, however the M4 had entered combat in 1942 already and right from the start it was not immune to German tank and AT guns.

    I have yet to find evidence that this terrified or even troubled the British in the western desert. No cases of Marder- or Pak40 fever reported. Same picture a year later in Italy. A Pz.IV or a Stug were respected but not feared.

    I think the real issue with the M4 and the whole ‘deathtraps’/Tiger fever was not armour but firepower! A Marder, Pak40, Stug, Pz.IV could kill an M4 but an M4(75mm) could just as easily kill them. Tiger and Elephants had enough frontal armout to make them immune to the 75mm gun but they were so rare that running into an enemy AFV an M4 could not kill almost never happened.

    That’s what changed in 1944. Confrontations with Tigers became more frequent, not to mention the much more common Panther. Now not being able to kill an enemy AFV became a much more frequent occurrence. If M4’s would have had the guns and the ammo to penetrate the frontal armour of said German tanks at normal ranges nothing would have changed from the tankers perspective: “They could kill you, you could kill them.”

    But M4’s had the wrong guns and ammo. 75mm shells bounced off glacis plates even at very short ranges and that must have undermined the confidence in the M4.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'd like to see some evidence to support this positoin. I know that some of the prototype T-34 exibited pretty impressive reliablity but my impression was the production versions during the war didn't come close to those.
     
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  14. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Seconded.

    The Wright radial was a proven aviation engine, the Multibank was complicated but also reliable.
     
  15. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    How much more frequent? According to http://www.lonesentry.com/panzer/tiger-tank-normandy.html
    the Germans deployed 3 indepedent heavy tank (Tiger) battalions in Normandy. The 130th Panzer (Lehr) Div also had a handful of PzKw VI in Normandy as well. The total number of Tigers was apparently about 130-140 maximum, and probably somewhat less at any given moment. I gather that the Panther was much more common, but how much more? Does anyone have the figures? The more specific this discussion can be, the better.
     
  16. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    It is too complicated to give a firm number. Though the nominal strength of the 3 Tiger Abteilung was 135 tanks (45 each) by July 1st SS 101 were down to 30, Heer 503 then arrived with 45 first week in July but they lost 13 Tigers in one day on July 18th. SS 102 arrived in dribs and drabs and never had 45 Tigers in service at any tme. Given the high turnover in damaged Tigers I reckon early July would be a peak of around 50 in action at one time. The 8 Tigers in Lehr (fkl 316) never did anything. The 3 Tiger I never saw any action and the 5 TII might have fired one or two shells at advancing US Forces in mid August but nothing of any importance. 2 further kp (kp = company) of Tiger II then entered Normandy 12 from SS 101 and 12 from Heer 503. The 503 Tigers saw limited action in one/twos but again nothing of any note. SS 101 Tiger II's did see action against US Forces again in small sections. So a total of 126 Tiger I & 41 Tiger II were encountered in Normandy but never as massed Units.
    The number of Panthers would total c 6-700 and Pz IV c.900.
     
  17. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Terry, don't forget the Panthers. They were much more numerous and just as immune from frontal hits.
     
  18. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    You question my historical fact checking? Here's the proof.

    [​IMG]

    I've been taking these little suckers like popcorn since my cortical spinal hernia surgery on the 23rd.
    So trust me the nice little pills wouldn't lie. :dazed:
     
  19. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

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    I'm not an armor guy, but admire the zeal displayed by those who are. I am, however, a diligent researcher, so can sometimes recognize an important clue in areas outside my interest. Please forgive if this is already widely known, but poking around on the 'net, I found this $1.99 download of Survey of Allied Tank Casualties of World War II:

    http://www.merriam-press.com/surveyofalliedtankcasualtiesinworldwarii.aspx

    I have ordered from these guys a time or two in the past, so they are legit. Many of their listings can be found for free elsewhere on the 'net, so might be worthwhile to do a search for the title before paying (yes, I'm that cheap).

    Good luck.
     
  20. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

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    I love it when the Sherman and US armor in general gets vindicated, great video! :dance4:

    In the one part of the video where Mr. Moran mentions about mounting the 17 Pdr on the Sherman made the interior of the turret cramped, I've also heard that the gun had to be mounted sideways as well as a hole needing to be cut at the back of the turret to make room for the gun when it fires, and because of the size of the 17 Pdr the crew was reduced to 4 men, well I'm curious if mounting the T-23 turret on the Sherman Firefly's would've alleviated these issues?
     

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