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Best tank gun of WW2???

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Ernst_Barkmann401, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    How about the 105? Very good in the HE department and with HEAT rounds you can pretty much penetrate anything you can hit.
     
  2. Drucius

    Drucius Member

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    The 77mm was not a cut down 17pdr, it was a completely new gun developed by Vickers.
     
  3. Drucius

    Drucius Member

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    And yet there it is in Challengers and Firefly's (ie's?) killing Wittmans right, left and centre.

    17pdr my choice.
     
  4. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    my choice is the 85mm usd on the t34/85 and the su-85,for what its worth,cheers.
     
  5. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    I'm not saying the 75mm M3 is the best just that one make take into account the whole spectrum of operations not just the tank versus tank issue.
     
  6. Hanz Gooblemienhoffen

    Hanz Gooblemienhoffen Member

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    Here is the accuracy table I mentioned earlier for the 88mm KWK 36 L56:

    Ammunition: .......Pzgr 39 ........................Pzgr 40 ..................................Gr 39 HL

    Range: ...............Practice/Combat% ................... Practice/Combat%.............................Practice/Combat%
    100M _______100/100 __________100/100_____________ 100/100
    500M _______100/100__________ 100/100______________ 100/98
    1000M ______100/93____________ 99/80_______________ 94/62
    1500M _______98/74 ____________89/52_______________ 72/34
    2000M _______87/50____________ 71/31_______________ 52/20
    2500M _______71/31____________ 55/19
    3000M _______53/19

    Source: New Vanguard Tiger I Heavy Tank (osprey series). Terry Jentz and Hilary Doyle 1993.

    Unfortunately they do not mention the source they pulled this information from.

    But its still interesting...if any one has similar info for any of these "guns" would love to see it.

    Sorry for uglyness of chart.
     
    Sparviero likes this.
  7. Gewer Gunner

    Gewer Gunner Dishonorably Discharged

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    I would say the german 88mm it is a killer agianst tanks it was also good as a aa gun to.
     
  8. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    The 7.5cm KwK42 L/70 & 8.8cm KwK43 L/71 take the prize quite effortlessly. They were both amongst the most powerful & accurate guns ever to be mounted on a tank during WW2, and their optics were unrivalled.

    And despite what some here have claimed vibration wasn't really an issue on tank guns, infact I have got to ask for a source on these claims cause by all accounts these long guns were the most accurate fielded during the war.

    Fact is that tank guns are made from such high quality steel and from such a large amount of steel to begin with that vibration really isn't going to prove an issue. On the other hand the increased muzzle velocity and gyroscopic stability provided by the longer barrel WILL affect accuracy, and that in a positive way. Hence why these longer guns performed better in actual dispersion tests. Another important thing which will affect how accurate the gun is is the optics with which it is provided, and again here the German guns were ahead of the rest, sporting the best optics in the world.

    In several dispersion tests conducted by Krupp in 1943 & 44 the 8.8cm KwK43 L/71 gun mounted on the Tiger Ausf.B and provided with the 2.5x to 5x Turmzielfernrohr 9d achieved the following average in accuracy against a 2x2.5m target:

    8.8cm 10.2 kg PzGr.39/43 APCBC (1,000+ m/s)
    100m = 100%
    500m = 100%
    1,000m = 100%
    1,500m = 95%
    2,000m = 85%
    2,500m = 74%
    3,000m = 61%
    3,500m = 51%
    4,000m = 42%

    A 50+ % hit rate at 3.5km when range was known is amazing to say the least, and just goes show that a miss had more to do with the gunner than the gun. Infact it is also mentioned explicitly in German manuals for both the Tiger & Panther series.

    The 8.8cm KwK36 L/56 & 7.5cm KwK42 L/70 for comparison:

    8.8cm 10.2 kg PzGr.39/1 APCBC (773+ m/s)
    100m = 100%
    500m = 100%
    1,000m = 100%
    1,500m = 98%
    2,000m = 87%
    2,500m = 71%
    3,000m = 53%

    7.5cm 6.8 kg PzGr.39/42 APCBC (925+ m/s)
    100m = 100%
    500m = 100%
    1,000m = 100%
    1,500m = 100%
    2,000m = 92%
    2,500m = 73%
    3,000m = 55%

    From the Tigerfibel, the operational manual for the Tiger tank:

    "You are at fault, not the gun!
    Out to 2000m the 8.8cm hits its mark. First at 3000m does it miss 1 out of 3 shots. At 4000m every 4th shot hits."

    [​IMG]
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Or were they? The very first post refers to them as "over specialized", I don't see you addressing that issue at all.
     
  10. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    Well they outperformed the competition by a huge margin, which is why they were better. I dont see how they were overspecialized? Is it the average HE capability of the 7.5cm KwK42 L/70 to which you are refering?

    As for the KwK43 the new Spgr.Patr.43 developed for this gun actually packed 100 grams more explosives than the older Spgr.Patr.36 for the KwK36. (1000g vs 900g of Amatol explosives)
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    I have a local park I'd quite like to obliterate.
    So I'll choose the RW61 thank you very much.
    Where do I send my cheque?

    [​IMG]

    ~A
     
  12. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    Hehe, now the RW61 might be classified as an overspecialized gun if you ask me :)

    Wanna bring down a building though and there wasn't a better gun around for the job :explosion1:
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Were they? I'm not an expert by any means but was their AT performance really that much better than for instance the British 17lb gun or the US 90. If you are just talking the gun then comparing P(H) to systems that aren't using the same fire control is somewhat problematic. But as the initial post implied the best tank gun, especially during WWII, isn't just a function of AT performance.

    I certainly haven't made up my mind on this one yet. Indeed I'm not even sure the question makes sense. However you've a fair way to go in forming a conclusive argument.
     
  14. froek

    froek Member

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    And if that isn't enough you can always use the 800 mm K (E) gun.
     
  15. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    The 8.8cm KwK43 & 7.5cm KwK42 were both more powerful guns, and the 7.5cm KwK42 actually had a better HE round than the 17 pdr. Which also counts. On top of that the German guns featured far better optics with a clearer & wider field of view with also a very smart and precise build in range finding scale. (The triangular mill method)

    No ofcourse not, other things need to be considered as-well. All in all the 8.8cm KwK43 & 7.5cm KwK42 were simply better, they were more accurate, featured better optics, better penetration power, decent to great HE capability, electrical priming, semi automatic breech etc etc.. they were engineering marvels no less.

    Not sure what else needs be taken into consideration but the following, but you're welcome to point out what I'm missing so far:

    Penetration power
    Accuracy
    HE capability
    Weight
    Optics
    Functionality
    Power
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Then you are talking weapon system and not guns. As for being more powerful a quick look has at:
    Armour penetration table
    Lists the 88 as pentrating ~240mm at 100m and the 75 as penetrating ~190
    Whlie the US 90mm gun is listed as having 270mm with the most advanced round at:
    American Anti-Tank Gunnery Data, Shell Types and Armour Penetration Capabilities
    And this site gives it 250mm at 1,000 yards

    And if you are taking the HE round into acount there's always the 105mm armed Shermans which have a pretty respectable AP HEAT round.

    Of course if most powerful is your criteria then the Maus pretty much clenches it doesn't it?
    Well how the weighting functions for one. But optics are hardly part of the gun. You haven't mentioned reliability but I'd expect that to be pretty high for the German gun. HE quality is certianly a major factor and one that would be weigted differently by differnt players. Not sure how you are defining functionality or how you are measuring it.
     
  17. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    lwd, I wouldn't put too much faith in those penetration stats, they are pretty odd to say the least and don't correspond well with what is presented by most other sources.

    In actual tests the guns performed as follows:

    Penetration against 30 degree inclined armoured plates:

    8.8cm KwK43 L/71
    Projectile: 10.4 kg PzGr.39/43 APCBC
    Muzzle Velocity: 1,000+ m/s
    100m = 202mm
    500m = 185mm
    1,000m = 165mm
    1,500m = 148mm
    2,000m = 132mm

    7.5cm KwK42 L/70
    Projectile: 7.2 kg PzGr.39/42 APCBC
    Muzzle Velocity: 925+ m/s
    100m = 138mm
    500m = 124mm
    1,000m = 111mm
    1,500m = 99mm
    2,000m = 89mm

    7.62cm 17pdr L/55
    Proectile: 7.7 kg Mk.8T APCBC (Solid, no bursting charge)
    Muzzle Velocity: 884+ m/s
    91m = 149mm
    457m = 140mm
    914m = 130mm
    1,371m = 120mm
    1,828m = 111mm

    9.0cm M3 L/55
    Projectile: 10.91 kg M82 (late) APC
    Muzzle Velocity: 853 m/s
    91m = 135mm
    457m = 129mm
    914m = 122mm
    1,371m = 114mm
    1,828m = 106mm

    8.8cm KwK36 L/56
    Projectile: 10.2 kg PzGr.39/1 APCBC
    Muzzle Velocity: 773+ m/s
    100m = 120mm
    500m = 110mm
    1,000m = 100mm
    1,500m = 91mm
    2,000m = 84mm

    These figures are from actual test results. But to further complicate matters abit the Germans tested their guns against higher quality plates than the British and the Americans did. And on top of this the Germans had a different and more strict criteria for what was to be determined as a successful penetration.

    In German tests atleast 2/3rds (66.6%) of the projectiles fired had to penetrate the plate completely in order for it to be defined as an average penetration performance at said range. The British were abit less strict and only demanded that 50% of the projectiles fired penetrated the plate completely in order for it to be established as average. The Americans demanded only that 50% of the projectiles fired partially penetrated the plate in order to be established as an average penetration performance. So this obviously makes a direct comparison between the guns by using the penetration results above impossible, and we gotta look at the actual power of the guns themselves in term of kinetic energy pr. square area to determine which gun was more powerful.

    I borrowed the information below from a poster from another forum:

    8.8cm KwK43 L/71
    Total Kinetic Energy: 5200 KJ
    Kinetic Energy pr. cm^2: 85.49 KJ

    7.5cm KwK42 L/70
    Total Kinetic Energy: 3080 KJ
    Kinetic Energy pr. cm^2: 69.7 KJ

    7.62cm 17pdr
    Total Kinetic Energy: 3001 KJ
    Kinetic Energy pr. cm^2: 65.8 KJ

    9.0cm M3 L/53
    Total Kinetic Energy: 3980 KJ
    Kinetic Energy pr. cm^2: 62.56 KJ

    There's nice list on all guns to be found here on another forum, it even lists penetration results obtained at the Aberdeen proving grounds, I borrowed the last information above from here:
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww2-general/wwii-tank-gun-specifications-22607.html
     
  18. SSDasReich

    SSDasReich Member

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    definitely the 88mm L/71. It had amazing range, accuracy, and penetration. It could penetrate 165mm (193mm with the PzGr. 40) or armor at 1,000 meters and had an 100% (85% in combat accuracy at that range (when fired at a 2 x 2.5m steel plate).
     
  19. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    I am no expert but the author of this article think the difference in penetration criteria is basically negligible. Plate quality is another business all together.
     
  20. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    Hi Triple C,

    Well the US Navy criteria called for 50% of the rounds fired to only partially penetrate the plate, while the Brits, for their bigger guns atleast, demanded that 50% of the round fired completely penetrated the plate. The Germans demanded 2/3rds (66.6%) of the projectiles fired completely penetrated the plate. The difference in the end was that German guns penetrated from 10% to 15% more armour in British & US tests.
     

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