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Tanks, Kicking the Tires.

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by KodiakBeer, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I'm often embarrassed by my lack of knowledge on armor, so it was nice to run across this YouTube channel that cuts through all the bullshit and myths surrounding WWII tanks. The man behind this started out as a trooper in the Irish Defense Forces driving a Chieftain tank, then emigrated to the US, joined the National Guard, got a commission and ended up commanding a US tank platoon in tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. In effect, he's been both the the filthy enlisted man crawling through the bowels of a tank with a wrench, and the guy in charge with knowledge of tactics and strategy.
    Well-rounded as they say.
    You can find him on YouTube as "The Chieftain." A handle he picked up as a nod to both his Irish roots, and the beloved Chieftain tank he started on. He crawls through old tanks pointing out odd engineering quirks that would never occur to anyone that never had to live or work on one of the damned things.
    In the vid series below he makes the case that that the Panther wasn't as much over-engineered (the standard line), as badly laid out. For example, if you can't get at the transmission to do routine maintenance without pulling out everything in the interior of the tank, you probably won't do the routine maintenance, and thus your transmission is liable to fail much earlier than would otherwise be the case.





    In this one he looks (rather favorably) at the Sherman.




    In addition to thorough reviews of tank types, he has a number of lectures on the background of WWII tanks - the political infighting, logistics, manufacturing and so on. This YouTube channel is a gold mine of information and anyone interested in WWII tanks would do well to subscribe.
     
  2. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

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    I enjoy his shows. He thinks rather well of the Sherman. He has a video on Youtube, the name of which escapes me, of him delivering a lecture on US armor in WW2. It's worth a watch.
     
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  3. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I like Moran.
    There are bits & pieces that one might still debate (aren't there always), but on the whole he's been a solid ally of the 'stop repeating crap' school of tankophilia.

    The postwar Frenchies rated their Panther transmission life between complete rebuilds at 150km...
     
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  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    He has several lectures on US Armor in WWII, as well as other more general warfare talks. There's quite a large collection of vids on his channel, and all of them interesting and educational.

    .
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    His Sherman talk rumbles on, fighting the good fight against Cooper's excrable 'Death Traps' etc. (and another recent book that I won't mention as it's like a summoning spell for its slightly shouty author.)

    If looking for more Youtube tankishness, I'd also recommend Bovington's Tank Chats.
    Mostly much more bite-size, but anything put together by David Fletcher is always worth taking in. he's one of the giants whose shoulders Moran etc. stand on.
    David Fletcher's Tank Chats - YouTube
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Right, but he makes the case that it was the at least partially the lack of access (and thus inability to do routine maintenance or a quick replace of the transmission) that was the larger problem with the layout of the Panther. In part two (I think) of the three-part Panther series he shows that you basically had to strip most of the interior of the tank to get at the transmission even to change the fluids or do some other minor thing. You simply couldn't do those things in the fast paced environment of wartime movements and thus your weak transmission shit the bed even earlier than it would otherwise.
    It's the same with the engine itself, almost a complete lack of access without a maintenance crew with heavy equipment.

    I've wondered about this in the past, the question of German design that prohibited the crew from doing many of the things that an American or British tank crew could do in the field. They seem to have a blind spot there that runs through all of their armor design.

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  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    You'll like this from the Weald Foundation chaps. Similar issue:

    wefwefwefweff.JPG
     
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  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I do follow Tank Chats, but they seem to have a blind spot for the most common tank types, and in any case the chats are a bit general and don't really really "kick the tires" as they say. Still interesting, but they don't have the depth of Moran up above. I'm disappointed in both channels for not covering the Panzer IV. It's the most common German tank, so boring I suppose... But, being the most common it's of more interest to me. The Sherman, the T34, and the Panzer IV are (to me) the defining tanks of WWII in Europe.

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  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe that it was, more specifically, the final drives that were the problem, not the transmission in general. As such, German final drives in all of their tanks were weak, not just the Panther.
     
  10. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Watch the videos.


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  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Why? When every source that I have read, including contemporary German reports, has little to say about the Panther having severe transmission problems. Now, the final drives, that is a different story.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The warfare in the East and West were different. Generals of Germany did not Allways do well on both sides. I guess the t-34 and KV series made Hitler think big but it did not work for the mobile warfare and better ground attacking planes in the west.Kph
     
  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The "Chieftain's Hatch" has been around for some time now. It is an offshoot of Nicholas Moran's association with Wargaming America and the "World of Tanks" game. I do like his videos and they are full of interesting information.
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Perhaps because many/most sources (on any WWII subject) are lazy repeats of some original source, which may or may not be correct. Of course any transmission and gearbox, especially on something as heavy as a tank, needs regular maintenance. Those fluids need changing, that leaky hose needs replacement and so on. The same holds true of the engine and every other moving part on a tank. For lack of a nail the horseshoe doesn't get changed and the horse goes lame and the battle is lost, or something...
    Moran checks the sources, but does something that none of them do. He crawls into the guts of the tank and verifies (or debunks) those sources with his own observations, and he has the specialized tanker gearhead background to give an intelligent opinion on those subjects.

    He isn't always at odds with the prevailing sources, he just as often verifies and then amplifies on those sources rather than debunks them. It's good stuff.

    .
     
  15. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Thanks, Kieth, I have not read his reports and will begin to do so as it sounds analytical more than repetitious of cliches. Besides, I am overly fond of the Chieftain since I saw one in a live fire demonstration at Bovington....... upset my whole schedule of trying to be an academic but worth every minute. A beautiful machine of war.. I know the world has gone over to MBT smoothbores but I love the closely rifled barrels on British main armament.

    I have long thought the MK 1V, M 4, and T-34 were the main battle tanks of WW2. One of my jobs as a teen was to check fluids and hoses on our TD 8 International dozer that my dad trusted me to do so meant a lot to me as it was a valuable piece of equipment and I took it very seriously. It helps today to relate to tank maintenance. Maintenance is life or death on working machinery and ease of same is paramount.
     
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  16. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    That's funny, Gaines. Was only discussing with someone yesterday that, despite the engine thing, Chieftain was a damned fine looking machine.
    Maybe that recumbent driver & cast turret front bringing a certain raciness to things. Maybe more likely that it was the MBT I saw most as a kid at Army shows etc.

    5ed6e1264d1dbe1e600057eb73714f66.jpg
     
  17. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    Seems like a great channel, ill be sure to give it a look.
     
  18. Owen

    Owen O

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    I never knew the (southern) Irish had Chieftains .
     
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Is Comet the last Tank they had?
    You've made me think. I know FA about modern Eire AFVs. Thought they had some Leopard but not sure.
     
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    All their armor currently carries a toucan logo.
     

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