Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Sherman 76 and T34/85 perceptions versus reality

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Walter_Sobchak, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    The Brits had their own doctrine and their own thinking which led them down this path. The fact remains, as I know it, that reactions from men in the field was indicating no urgent need to upgun the M4. We might have had an interest in putting 90mm's in the field in '43 but not in an M4.

    No need to make it sound so problematic. The US was not alone in squabbling over armor doctrine or design. Panzer Leader is a good insight into how messed up this can be.

    Best remember that getting the 90mm in to a tank was pretty much a waste of time.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Everything seemed pretty reasonable up to this
    Why?
     
  3. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    It wasn't needed. Reading this study one should realize that that the winner of tank v. tank engagements was not decided by the bigger gun or heavier armor but typically by who got off the first shot. Anything that helped a tank crew get off the first shot would be an edge in their favor.

    Did getting the M26 in the field help the war effort in any way?
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    I think you are misreading the results of said study. Otherwise why not continue with 37mm guns or indeed multiple 37 or even 50 cals. Indeed the study clearly states:
    Having a more effective AT weapon directly relates to B. There's also the question of how often engagements specifically frontal engagements were conducted against the cats. In the latter case the 90mm gun would definitely have helped the allied tankers.
    That's a rather absurd question to ask. The M26 came so late that it had very little influence on the course of the war. They did kill a number of opposing tanks though and in situations where a 75mm Sherman or even a 76mm armed one would probably not have. I think it's quite clear that a Sherman armed with a 90mm gun would have been quite useful even if introduced in numbers as late as the fall of 44.
     
  5. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    The study did not include combat between Axis armor and Allied AFV's using solely 37mm or .50cal guns so I don't think they can offer a conclusion about the effectiveness of these guns. If such vehicles were included they would probably suggest that these guns should not be used in an AT role.

    One can conclude any number of things from b...turret rotation? crew training? command communication? tank mobility? I think if the study was going to suggest a more powerful main gun it would have said it in no uncertain terms.

    This is your question?

    I don't see how it is an absurd question. Above I've said that getting the 90mm in a tank was a waste of time and you asked why. Working under the premise offered by Zaloga, that the 90mm Sherman would not get to the ETO any faster than the M26, I am now asking what good did the M26 do?
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    It seems you don't have much trouble suggesting what the report would say about things it does not address.
    Yet when I do so you call it to question? Without reading the entire report and it's rational your speculations are no more well founded than mine.
    What was studied and why is fundamental to an understanding of what sort of conclusions were drawn. Without it makeing defintive claims is flawed.
    Of coures it was. It was completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. The introduction of a handfull of tanks in the closing months of the war, especially what amounted to test models, could not have had a significant effect on the conclusion no matter what.
    The premise appearse to be seriouisly flawed. For one thing it presumes work didn't start on it until latter than it could have. Furthermore the M-26 suffered delays that a 90mm armed Sherman would not have. Indeed this source suggest that production could have started in 42:
    Armored Thunderbolt: The U. S. Army Sherman in World War II - Steven Zaloga - Google Books
    And latter in that document it referes to it taking months to get a 90mm armed Sherman to the theater as opposed to the year expected for the M-26. The latter was still suffering from a number of teathing problems by the way. The former could have been speeded up if a less throughly tested vehicle was acceptable (as it apparently was for the M-26).

    It seems to me that your conclusions that a 90mm tank was a waste of time for the US in WWII is rather unwarrented.
     
  7. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    230
    Some of those questions had already been answered in threads before. The British found that frontal shots accounted for 1/3 of Sherman tanks lost in Normandy, which is far less than one would suspect but still highly significant. How many times have you read Panther and Tiger crews winning a tactical engagement after shrugging off round after round of hits on their frontal armor? There were numerous platoon and company fights that would have gone differently if the Americans had a better tank gun. To say that certain mistakes were made is not the same as to imply incompetence or dereliction of duty on the part of the Allies. Standardization was key to avoid the mistakes made in the First World War, even if some sacrifices were made unknowingly.
     
  8. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    This is called projection I believe. I don't believe your statment is accurate.

    Best then you read the report.

    Yet you seem to be saying a 90mm tank was important. I don't understand. Show why it was important if you can.

    I don't know where you get that idea. Ordnance worked on many things through the course of the war, it doesn't mean they were good ideas or wepons we needed. The section of Thunderbolt you chose there talks of a 90mm gun mounted to the M4 chasis but deemed a bad gun for AT work. This is hardly where you start with upgunning a tank, especially since the T53 was an open topped SPG. The M4 had only just started hitting the field in numbers through 1942 why on earth would there be a reason to up gun to a 90mm at this point? Where would there be a "battlefield need" for such an AFV?



    What document? Can you quote that or point it out. I looked but can't find it.

    Really? We won the war without the contribution of a 90mm tank, didn't we? If you can present an arguement for the above claim I would appreciate it. An arguement, not statements that we experimented with this gun or that gun, not statements from this general (or Lieutenant) that a big gun was needed. An arguement should show that there were heavier losses in our forces than in those with heavier AT guns in their tanks. Just a suggestion if you need it.
     
  9. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    71
    Some people put too much emphasis on limited situations. Yes the Tiger was great in ambush, but it was all but useless at other times. The Sherman was made for mobile warfare, not to fight other tanks and so a heavy gun was not considered an issue. The second problem is forgetting that tanks are always adapting and so today's top of the line is tomorrows out of date. The t34 had the same issue as the Sherman, it outclassed German tanks for a year and then it needed upgrading by 1944 to the JS.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    A rather dangerous process even with the entire document to work from.
    What statement?
    Is it available for free online somewhere then? The link you gave just had a summary I believe.
    I believe it could have been important of course we'd have to agree on what was meant by that. Certainly some of the things Triple C mentioned are relevant. The moral impact of having a tank gun that one knew could take out any opposing tank is also not to be completely disregarded. In a previous discussion someone mentioned that invariably asked what improvement they would want in a tank US tankers in Europe stated a better gun as being number one.
    Well I gave a source I believe. What did you think I meant?
    If you can put an open topped turret on a vehicle there's a good chance with some more work you can put a closed top one. If it handles one 90mm gun if there's another whos physical dimensions aren't that far off it can be adopted. As for why work on a better one when you are just fielding a new one that's what they did with the M3 medium. Indeed they started work on the M4 even before they fielded the M3 I beleive. History teaches that weapons evolve quickly in war time and it pays to be prepaired. Indeed one need only look at the advances being made in naval and arial weapon systems.

     
  11. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    I'm guessing you don't understand me.

    Look what I posted. Look at the quote above. That statement. See how it works?

    The link I gave was where you can buy the document. If you do that we can both discuss this from an informed standpoint. I will no longer discuss the report with you since you simply want to pretend you know what the report discusses while remaining ignorant of its complete contents.

    Moral impact or morale impact? What does that mean? You still make no attempt to show how a 90mm would be important. The GI's wanted better field rations too...that's not how decisions are made in wartime.

    You gave another source that you have not read so you know only a little of what it says and understand less.

    This is the problem with trying to discuss a book you haven't read. It's not an open topped turret it is an open topped SPG. The gun had many problems for AT work and was cancelled for this reason. Again, a battlefield need had not been established. Research and progress in weaponry should continue but this does not translate to upgunning before a need is established. The need for standardization is far more important in a war like WWII so keeping as many guns the same caliber, which is working fine in 1942, makes far more sense than changing simply to evolve. If you read Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank you might get a sense of the great machine of armament progress that was working in the US and how many experiments like this went on. Because they put it together doesn't mean it worked.

    What is the name of the document and no, I can't find the specific statement.

    Quite different. The P-51 and Garand were used extensively through the war with many made and issued. A whole lot of screaming was done for the need of a tank with a 90mm gun but somehow we got through the war without it. The M-26 did make it to Europe and contributed little. Very little.

    The Germans had no tank that was invulnerable. There are numerous accounts of M4's with 75mm guns taking out Tigers and Panthers.

    You made this statement:
    "It seems to me that your conclusions that a 90mm tank was a waste of time for the US in WWII is rather unwarrented."

    I'm asking you to give it some validity in any way. Give me something in the form of a well thought out, researched argument that proves the 90mm tank was not a waste of time.

    The problem here is you have no problem talking about reports and books you have not read. You make statements you can't back up. Unless you show me that you have actually read any of what you discuss I will not debate this further.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    That's a distinct possiblity.
    I thought you ment something from a previous quote. Projecting from a document that you don't have all of us obviously dangerous or at least prone to error. Even if you have the original document if it doesn't clearly spell out why it was written, what the limitations and assumptions are it can be. For instance up gunning the tank could have been viewed as outside the scope of the document.
    I saw nothing in your postings to indicate that you had read the entire document. I haven't pretended to know what's in it quite the opposite.
    It means that tankers appreciate having a gun that they know can take out the opposition.
    You are the proponent for it being unimportant. You have yet to do any better.
    Or not. There were any of a number of systems that came to be because soldiers or sailors suggested a better way.
    On the other hand my point here was that they were rating a better gun above more armor, more powerful engine, etc.
    That's your opinion which I am prone to give less and less weight to.
    I'll admit I missed that.
    The problem was with the mechanism for determinng the need. If one projects that ones opponent will improve their vehicles then that should help determine need. That wasn't the way the armored force worked in WWII.
    If a 90mm armed vehicle had been in the works in late 43 as it could have been the US could have switched over to it and phased out both the 76mm gun and later the 75mm gun. Then you have a weapon that's better pretty much across the board and as you say one caliber rather than 3.
    The document's name is in my post but here's the link again:
    Armored Thunderbolt: The U. S. Army Sherman in World War II - Steven Zaloga - Google Books
    See page 128.
    Not really if we accept your arguement. The allies would have won the war without them so what difference did they make? Obviously they were a waste.
    By the same token we would have gotten through the war without the P-51 or the Garand.
    But of course 90mm guns did make it there ealier and made some considerable contribution did they not? If the M-36 proved so valuable why would a vehicle with better turret armor be a "waste". Your critieria is unreasonable and thus your conclusions are as well.
    Indeed but frontally they certainly seemed that way to US tankers. While "kills" were scored even frontally it took a considerable amount of luck as well as skill. How much more effective would the US army have been if this were not the case?

    Indeed I did. I feel I've backed it up pretty well too. On the otherhand your rational for it seems to be throughly flawed.

    That's your view of things. From what I see you've made an off the wall statment based on a very tenuous rational. I've pointed out a number of flaws in it which you ignore while quibbling about details that are irrelevant.
     
  13. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    Remarks like this are incredible. You come to a history forum, discuss a study, tell me I misread the results of a study that you have never read. That's incredibly disingenuous and now you go on to say you made no attempt to pretend you knew what was in it. I'm not sure the moderators will let me publicly describe you as I like...with your permission I will pm you. I have seen high school children come to forums and try to discuss books and papers they had not read. I thought those days were over.

    I must say I am not familiar with people referring to books as documents. Did you know this was a book? Have you read this one? Have you read Hunnicutt's Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank ? It is considered the bible on the Sherman's history. Do you own any books on the Sherman or do you only educate yourself by reading the few pages Google and Amazon will show you?

    As long as you want to finally bring it up yes, the M-36 saw service. This discussion has been about a 90mm tank and the M-36 does not qualify. As long as you use the word criteria you must know that the criteria for a tank and a tank destroyer are different as their doctrine is as well. "So valuable" numbered at about 1600, so they did not save the world. My conclusions are sound and you offer no argument and you never will. You don't have one.


    That's a joke. You've made no attempt to back up anything. You have no argument.

    Irrelevant details? Like P-51's and Garands? I'll make my statement again.

    The effort to get a 90mm tank to Europe for combat was a waste of time. It made no contribution in the war effort. Our enemy was long defeated and we were able, with our superior combined arms offensive ability, to kill any and all armor the Germans had. Our enemy was outnumbered and incapable in any way of holding us off in the or the Russians in the east. Early in the war when time made it possible to get such a tank in the field no need was seen. Surveys in 1943 of armored commanders in the field showed that no desire existed to up gun. Many commanders wanted to stay with 75's as this was the gun most needed by their tankers. Commanders knew that an increase in the gun size could increase the weight of the tank, slowing it down. A tank's mobility is far too important to be lost for gun size. A tank by nature is a weapon designed to fight the troops unable to fight back against it; infantry, supply, communication, etc., this is why its ammunition load it primarily high explosive rounds. A tank is the best weapon to fight another tank and that being said studies showed that fighting in the ETO by Allied armor showed no disadvantage to Axis armor due to armor thickness or lack of gun power. Much press was made of the fact that we did not have the "best" tank by people that don't understand what goes in to making a good fighting machine, that reliability and durability, two of the most important assets of the M4, made it a much better AFV than the unreliable, high maintenance Panther. The M-26 was a waste of time because it wasn't needed; we had all we needed to kill Panthers and Tigers and our enemy was defeated.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Are they?
    That is a strawman. I never said you misread the study. Given that you seem to misread what I said though it's not at all impossible. [/quote]
    I must say I am not familiar with people referring to books as documents.[/quote]
    ??? I'm amazed that one wouldn't consider them as such.
    As I have pointed out if "saved the world" is your criteria for important nothing qualifies as "important". You have an absurd defintion of important and your conclusions are consistant with that. In the face of your inability to comprehend that I guess your coments about me not haveing an argument is also consistent.
    That it made very little contribution to the war effort does not mean it was a waste of time. Furthermore had it not been for a number of mostly beurocratic problems it could have been fielded earlier and made more of a contribution. I agree it still would have had little impact on when the war ended but that is hardly the only criteria for judging the value of something.

    As for the following I'll snip the portions I agree with.
    That is dependent on the opposition though isn't it? Otherwise why move up from mgs and 37mm guns?
    Infantry can't fight back against tanks? I think history shows otherwise. Tanks were designed to help breach static defences and exploit such breaches as well as counter attack opposing breakthroughs and to help defend positoins. The ammo load out reflects the expected opposition and the mission.
    Really. Lets see those studies.
    It wasn't a waste of time because it would have been useful to have had it earlier and it or something like it was clearly needed in the post war world.
     
  15. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    Let's play your game and be done with your lying ways. In post #64 you said:
    "I think you are misreading the results of said study. Otherwise why not continue with 37mm guns or indeed multiple 37 or even 50 cals...."

    In my last post I said:
    "You come to a history forum, discuss a study, tell me I misread the results of a study that you have never read."

    Now you say you never said it. Where did post #64 come from? This is obviously a lie. I suggest you choose another tactic in your postings.

    ??? I'm amazed that one wouldn't consider them as such.[/QUOTE]

    It is not the common usage of the word.

    Perhaps you might investigate literal and figurative speech?

    We started the war with a medium tank using a 75mm gun. Why do you continue to suggest we regress to 37mm and .50cal? This makes no sense. Yes, what the opposition has is important. It seems you are finally grasping the concept of battlefield need. Our reports from the field in 1943 were that the gun we had was

    Again you need to learn to understand literal and figurative speech. Yes, the ammo load of a tank shows its true mission...HE in greatest quantity.

    What exactly would be the benefit? You already asked me for free sources so you are not interested in making an investment in your education. The source I have given you has two studies. If you want to be spoon fed I am not the person to do so.

    This is your argument? Well done. Very well presented.

    "Clearly"? If it so clear you should be able to present another supportive argument as you did just above.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'm usually quite careful with what I say. This case is not an exception. Notice I said "I think you misread" it. I then proceeded to point out why. If you can't tell a conditional from a non conditional statement that does indeed provide additional, all be it indirect, evidence that I may be correct.

    It isn't?
    Document | Define Document at Dictionary.com
    What does document mean?
    In the abscence of any evidence one way or the other in a conversation such as this I assume that the literal is meant. Figurative speech serves to increase confusion and disagrement from IMO.
    In the years prior to our invovement most countries fought with tanks armed with these weapons. Based on that the same logic you use would suggest they were good enough and working on a 75mm armed tank prior to the war was a waste. In this case the army looked ahead to the threat and both the Grant and the Sherman were best in class when first introduced at least against their axis opponents.
    Just as documents from 1939-1940 and indeed into 1941 would suggest a 37mm gun was adeqate at the time. However if one examined the trends over the years from 1939 to 1943 even limiting oneself to the material available to the US Army of that time one could make a pretty good case that a low velocity 75mm gun would no longer be completely adequate in the near future. That some in the US army were aware of this is pretty clear as well.

    Substituteing insult and claims of figurative speech doesn't support your contention. Your absurd defintion of what constitutes a waste of time discredits it by itself without any need for me to go further especially since you have shown yourself unwilling to discuss this in a reasoned manor.
     
  17. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    You are not correct. You are only interested in playing games, putting up smoke screens and telling more lies. The above indicates you have no ability to be responsible for what you say not honest about your mistakes. "I think you misread..." tells us what you think and believe. In this case you are telling me I misread something you have not read. The gall for such behavior is unbelievable. No conditions change the lie.

    Learn how to use a dictionary. (it might help your spelling.)

    You truly thought that I meant 1600 M-36's had "saved the world" in WWII? Truly? You either have no argument to make and out of desperation nitpick silly little things like this in some strange hope of scoring a point in your own mind or there is something wrong with your mental processes. Which is it?

    Again in desperation you are twisting around rambling nonsense, trying to make a point where there is not one. My logic has nothing to do with the contradictory gibberish you offer above. Play the game all you like it is impressing no one.

    Reasoned?? What a joke. Your arguments have been childish and ridiculous. You have tried to get away with discussing a book and study which you have never held and read. I make no insult. Anything I have called you is just.
     
  18. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    11
    Well, this thread seems to have gone off topic....
     
  19. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    I am sorry for my part in that.
     
  20. JBark

    JBark Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    21
    With reference to topic I am in the midst of trying to read a number of the books that I think may be responsible for the phenomanom that you refer to in the OP. I have just finished Rude Mechanicals and in the past have read Faint Praise and The Business of Tanks. I try to go through the bibliographies of the books I read on tanks, Like Zaloga's Armored Thunderbolt and find out where the criticism's come from. The above are books I have seen in many books I've read on armor so I felt them to be high on the list. Most are out of print and too expensive so I get them on inter-library loan (most libraries don't keep them.)

    The lat one I read, Rude Mechanicals, is a criticism of Britain's inability to make a decent tank through most of the war and that the tank they relied on was only the Sherman. The author writes what appears to be a fairly informed history of Britain's difficulties during the war and also discusses what else was found afield by other nations. His description of the T-34 is overdone on the praises. He describes the 76mm gun as big and makes it sound like it could kill anything it hit. he makes no mention of the shortcomings of the 2 man turret nor does he mention the huge numbers of T-34's that were killed despite the sloped "heavy armor."

    This book was first published in 1987 and I have to think that so much was known about what the west did and so much was still hidden about what went on in the east. After reading a book like this I wonder about the credibility of the author because some of what he writes is just plain wrong. I wonder how much we can trus the books people are saying are the accurate books about the T-34 because they were written so long after the fact when so much was done to suppress the reality.
     

Share This Page