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Sherman vs Panther etc.

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by HESH, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The problems identified with the DB design were the lack of a completed turret, the smaller turret ring that could not accept the Rheinmetall turret design, a less desirable suspension making for a less steady gun platform, the engine compartment was not separate from the crew compartment, and a shorter cruising range.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I think all of your factors were correct except # 2. The Germans invented the diesel engine and such an engine is no more "sophisticated" than a regular gas engine-probably less. The Kriegsmarine had somewhat of a lock on all diesel fuel for their subs and other ships that had diesel engines.
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but emphatically no. You can as easily say "just looking at the apple and the coconut you can see the family resemblance there."

    Because it was the first MAN design to see production. Otherwise, the family resemblance to the VK 20.02 (M) is there.

    Sorry, but this misunderstands how the two came about. The Medium Tank M3 was an expedient adaptation of the existing Medium Tank M2A1, intended to fulfill the requirement expressed by the Chief of Infantry, Major General George A. Lynch on 5 June 1940, for a medium tank for the Infantry, which at that time had purview over tank development, mounting a 75mm gun. The requirement for the Medium Tank M4 was expressed by the new Armored Board on 31 August 1940, which was for a Medium Tank for the new Armored Force that assumed authority over tanks from the Infantry on 10 July 1940. The Armored Force accepted the Medium Tank M3 as an interim design, recognizing that American industry did not then have the capability of producing a tank with a turreted 75mm gun, which was its requirement.

    The "family resemblance" is solely in the use of vertical volute spring suspension, which was also found in the Light Tank M3, Light Tank M5, Light Tank M2, Combat Cars M1, M2, Medium Tank T20, T22, and T23. Other suspension systems were similar, such as the Horstmann, but used coil rather than volute springs, so otherwise also have a "family resemblance". The use of Wright-designed radial engines could also be describved as a family resemblance, but it was decided on as the engine of choice for light tanks by the Army in the mid 1930s and for medium tanks with the decision to adopt the Medium Tank T5.

    Sorry, but that was a separate development.

    The exact same problem was found in American tank production (and aircraft production for that matter). The American solution was to continue manufacture until the changes could be introduced into the assembly line, usually on parallel lines in succession, while those tanks completed without modifications were modified at Z/I depots before shipment overseas or by the installation of special modification kits installed overseas, typically by Ordnance HAM (Tk) companies. The various "quick fix" modifications introduced in 1943 are probably the best known, but there were other, less obvious, modifications done as well.

    What would you call the tank intended to equip the "leichte kompanie" of a Panzer Abteilung other than a "light tank"? It remained the intended tank for the "leichte kompanie" from 1938 through 1943, when it was replaced by the Panzer IV throughout one Abteilung in the Panzer Regiment...even though the Panther was intended to replace both.

    The first intention was to replace the troubled Panzer III, which was in October 1939. Near the same time, in September 1939, a project began to replace the Panzer IV, which was also seen to have limitations. The two came together, along with the MAN torsion-bar project from fall 1940, to compete for the new design requirement sparked by BARBAROSSA in November 1941. There was little reaction to the French tanks, but yes, the Panther was intended for mass production...DB, MAN, and Demag's plant were all designed as assembly line production as opposed to the station assembly methods used by Henschel and Krupp. Nibelungenwerke was also designed and built for assembly line production of the Panzer IV...it was intended to convert it to Panther production, but the potential loss of time and production meant the Panzer IV was continued.

    Yes, that's true...but doesn't have much to do with the point I was making.
     
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  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Guderian in Panzer Leader, chapter 2, prewar development of the panzer force, describes the panzer battalion (English translation) as comprising three companies of light tanks and one of mediums. The light tanks were to carry an antitank gun, 37 or 50mm, the mediums a 75mm intended for firing HE or smoke or for engaging targets outside the range of the lights. Otherwise the two types were quite similar: hull and coaxial machine guns, wireless, comparable speed and armor, and five-man crew/three-man turret which largely determined the size of the vehicles. Thus the light tank was only slightly smaller than the medium.
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. The Germans suffered the same problem with weight creep as other nations. It was one of the Panzer III's problems...along with suspension issues and transmission issues. Then, as its gun became less and less effective despite increasing to the 5cm k and then the 5cm l, it came full circle and had the same gun as the original "mittlere" tank, the Panzer IV, with its 7.5cm k. However, that is a reflection of the prewar assumptions engineers made about automotive capabilities, which were pretty much a universal. It drove tactical considerations, the most common of which was that tanks needed to be designed and deployed in three weight classes according to automotive capabilities as well as road and bridging capacities. Thus, everyone assumed that a light tank was necessary for maneuver, supported by a slower, less maneuverable heavy tank with a bigger gun, and then a heavier still, ponderous tank with heavy armor and gun for breakthrough of fortified positions. The thing was the lack of compact, reliable, high-power, hi-torque engines made the last the least practical, so it got deferred or was put lower on the requirements ladder.

    The realities of the wartime gun armor race threw all the prewar assumptions out the window, but it took a while for the planners to accept the changes. It is interesting that the Germans looked at a 20-ton replacement for the Panzer III in December 1938 just nine months before they began designing a 20-ton replacement for the Panzer IV :D before expanding to a 23-ton and 24-ton possible replacement...and then the realities of the BARBAROSSA experience led to a 30-ton design, which ended being 45 tons.

    For the Americans, planning centered initially around a 19-ton (17 metric ton) medium that quickly grew to 27 tons (24.5 metric ton), then to 30 tons (27 MT), and finally 35 tons (31.7 MT). Just that growth had a profound impact on landing craft and tactical bridge design, causing problems that resulted in artificial restrictions to the size of American tanks. However, it was engines that were the main problem and where they were so far behind Germany.
     
  6. harolds

    harolds Member

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    So, the Leichte Pz actually was a Mittel Pz. after all! Now the Pzs I and II were truly LIGHT tanks.

     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but by weight, which was essentially a bridge classification. Part of the confusion is the assumption that the Pz I and II were "only" training tanks. They were used to work out the doctrine as an interim design, like the Medium M3, but the objective tanks were the Pz III and IV, in their complimentary roles. The Pz I and II remained to fill out the battalion strength for a time, but were then relegated to reconnaissance and liaison roles at battalion and regimental headquarters. Before BARBAROSSA the light Pz III and medium Pz IV distinction remained in the battalion and the tanks planned replacements, the 20-ton and the 24-ton tanks were supposed to continue the distinction. Again, it was not until November 1943 that the distinction was eliminated.
     
  8. HESH

    HESH Member

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    I think the Germans should have gone for a 36t tank we their main tank and then use the rest as stop gaps until enough of that main tank is in service to take over, but no hitler got what he wanted... The maus etc... The idea behind the E-series was good, universal parts for all tanks, but I can't help but think they could done it a bit simpler...
     
  9. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

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    Question: which of those tanks can accommodate a 90mm gun and maybe more armor for fighting in 1944 or later?
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Which are "those tanks"? For the Americans, the T23 eventually could "accommodate a 90mm gun" as well as more armor...it was called the T26 and eventually became the M26.
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Panther had severe engine problems when first entered battle in Kursk. They caught fire, tanks would not move...I have not read how this was fixed but in Kursk the Panther units were pretty much a useless tank force.
     
  12. HESH

    HESH Member

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    I thought that was more the Ferdinand?
    A useless tank force indeed, but not a useless bunker force.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    There was competition of the Tiger tank producers and Mr Porsche lost it. The 90 Porsche Tigers were turned into Ferdinads, later on the name was changed to Elephant, I think this was for the ones that were sent to fight in Italy.
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Panther steel was getting weaker in 1944 due to loss of several minerals.

    Panther tank - Wikipedia

    "
    Panther crews were aware of the weak side armour and made augmentations by hanging track links or spare roadwheels onto the turret and/or the hull sides.[63] The rear hull top armour was only 16 mm (0.63 in) thick, and had two radiator fans and four air intake louvres over the engine compartment that were vulnerable to strafing by aircraft.[64]

    As the war progressed, Germany was forced to reduce or eliminate critical alloying metals in the production of armour plate, such as nickel, tungsten and molybdenum; this resulted in lower impact resistance levels compared to earlier armour.[65] In 1943, Allied bombers struck and severely damaged the Knaben mine in Norway, eliminating a key source of molybdenum; supplies from Finland and Japan were also cut off. The loss of molybdenum, and its replacement with other substitutes to maintain hardness, as well as a general loss of quality control, resulted in an increased brittleness in German armour plate, which developed a tendency to fracture when struck with a shell. Testing by U.S. Army officers in August 1944 in Isigny, France showed catastrophic cracking of the armour plate on two out of three Panthers examined."
     
  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The 75mm KwK L/70 gun of the Panther was due to be upgraded to KwK L/100 for the Panther II ( which didn't make it beyond prototype stage) housed in a turret of similar design to the Tiger II. The Panther chassis and trurret ring size precluded installation of an 88mm gun.

    Bore shouldn't be confused with overall performance. We've discussed here before - the two types of '88' for the Tiger I & II. A shell for the KwK 43 looks massive when stood alongside one for the KwK 36 of the Tiger I.

    ( Above info taken from 'German Tanks Of World War II' by F von Senger und Etterlin ( A&AP 1971 )
     
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  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Panther II

    Panther II

    Old info from the past.....

    I think the hull´s dimensions are much the same except stronger, side hull 60 mm and frontal armor 100 mm. There was only one Panther II, with the old turret so the new one was never tested. In spring 1944 the new panther 2 was decided not to be mass produced instead more reliable panther I´s were built.
    New 75 mm gun was used.
     

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