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The Tiger/Sherman Ratio [Assistance Request]

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Otto, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    I think the 5 to 1 debate should also include Panthers because in many ways they were superior machines. I also think what often gets overlooked in these debates is how the combat vehicles were optimized for the roles that they were expected to fulfill. The heavy German tanks were developed as answers to the t34 in this regard they were successes. However then a question must be asked. Could these vehicles have fulfilled the t-34s or m4s role as the armor component of a sustained advance? I don't believe they could. They were too unreliable too complicated and not optimized enough for mass production in my opinion.
    I think the 5 to 1 ratio debate is just too simplistic to give an accurate understanding of the relative merits of the combat systems involved, but it does give us a good starting point to get deeper into tank evolution during ww2.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not sure that you can make a case for the Tiger being developed as an answer to the T-34 since the design on it started in 1937 and the Germans didn't see T-34 before that date at least in action.

    IMO asking if the Tiger could fulfill the role of a medium tank is the wrong question. The question is whether a medium heavy mix is worthwhile or not. I can see arguments either way. Despite a few experiments the US Army has tended toward an answer of "no" to that question. Others have concluded otherwise.
     
  3. green slime

    green slime Member

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    "Others"? Who? Just curious.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In the immediate aftermath of the war the Soviets and the British (I think) designed and produced heavy tanks. The US even experimented in that direction briefly (in response to Soviet efforts for the most part I believe) producing our first 60+ ton tank with a 120mm gun and a very questionable suspension. The Army ended up giving what few they got to the Marines who didn't keep them long. By the 60's I think everyone gave up on them.
     
  5. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    There is a grain of truth in this. I think it was US heavy Bomber crews who were forbidden from eating beans because of the effects at high altitudes.

    According to bruno friesen in Panzer gunner; the party trick of German tank drivers was to be able to break wind with every gear change, practiced on a chair in the bar. A Panzer IV driver was expected to have enough intestinal gases for six forward and one reverse gear, while the Tiger driver needed enough for eight err "eruptions" as this had seven forward gears.

    This must have demanded a diet high in legumes and cruciferous vegetables such as Erbsensuppe or Sauerkraut washed down with Pilsner - as well as a degree of sphincter control.....
     
  6. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Yes, I think it was by mutual consent, when they all realized just how hopelessly outmoded the Heavy tank had become.

    The British Conqueror (withdrawn 1966), the US M103 (1974), and the Soviet T10 (withdrawn from frontline service in 1967).

    That said, today's MBT's have the same weight, and same size guns, as those "heavies". It's just engine and armour performance have increased. So you could argue Medium tanks have morphed into Heavy tanks, now that their performance matches expectations.

    It's also handy that the support (supply, logisitics, & transportation) can now more easily cope with these size behemoths.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think that heavy tanks may still have made some sense for the Soviets. They weren't looking at having to support them over the distances that the US needed to. The shear number of tanks also meant that say 10% heavies would be an appreciable number. Note that the US only built 300 M103's and the Army never operated more than 80 (at least according to Wiki). The US army also phased them out in 63 the Marines hung on until they could get M60s to replace them (another 10 years) which is more an indication of how hard the Marines found it to get modern equipment than an indication of how useful they were. So the US army only played with them for about 5 years. The Soviets on the other hand were building them right up to 1966 and an estimated 6,000 heavy tanks were built by them in the post war years. It's not clear how long they kept using them in other than "front line" units either.
     
  8. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Yes. The Soviets kept the IS3 in service for years, following it up with the T10 which also stuck around for a while afer the Soviets passed them to other countries. (It was still listed in tank guides in the late 1970s.) The British produced the Conqueror and we came up with the M103, both armed with 120mm guns. Heavy gun tanks were indeed a dead end, and neither we nor the British stuck with the concept for very long.
     
  9. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    All AFVs crews stink after being closed down for a day or so, or just living on the beasts for a few days.

    There is a certain German smell, or used to be when most people smoked. A German railway station bar or guardroom had a very different smell. There was a German drains smell to German barracks. One characteristic British smell is the old football stands - stale beer, meat pies, bovril and Woodbines - with an undertone of urine.

    The Japanese considered the Europeans to have a strong body odour from our meat rich diet.

    SP artillery men stink. The sulphurous combustion products of gunpowder have a similar effect to flatulance that eating asparagus has to urine. Gun detachments were notorious - thought this may have had somehting to do with a diet of composite rations and curry powder washed down with beer.
     
  11. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    Ya I can imagine that after living without showers for weeks at a time the combatants might be able to smell each other at considerable distances indeed. Though before I heard this gentleman say it I never considered it.
     
  12. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    Any who... back to the Tiger vs Sherman debate..
    After considerable research on the subject and much digging through historical archives and also carefully studying the technical merits of each vehicle I have come to the unbiased and scientific conclusion that...Tigers suck and Shermans rule!!
     

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