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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
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Why W.Allies used whole war obsolete tanks ?
AlfredCZ
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 05:15 AM UTC
Why USA & UK used whole war obsolete tanks against German armors ? Sherman have high siluette, poor low velocity gun, weak armor (except Jumbo), HVSS version and Firefly have better gun, but still was under armored and any German tank or tank destroyer from mid war can penetrated it on one hit. Cromwell was tragic tank, it was fast - but thats is all. Soviet forces have from begin on war better tanks - T-34 was fast, have angled armor, primitive optic but better cannon and can penetrate any Panzer in sight (except Tiger I), and US & UK havenīt any tank as was KV and IS series - heavy armoured, with high velocity gun when can kill any Panzer in sight... US runs whole war on obsolete Sherman with nickname "Rohnson" from their germans enemies... and all tanks in W.Allies arsenal can be kill on long range by "88" FLAK on first day of war to D-Day. In 1945 coming Pershing, with was fast, with stabilised high velocity gun and heavy armor - but in small counts... Why W. Allies High Command used obsolete types of tanks, which canīt penetrate German Panzers in one shot - but Germans have tanks and tanks destroyers with high velocity and highly penetrates guns (not Tiger I and King Tiger only, too Ferdinand/Elephant, mid war production Panzer IV, naturally an Panther family and on end of war unepenetreteable JagdTiger, which can destroy only Fighters Bombers with Missilles or heavy bombs). Many casulties on W. Allies tank forces was for it used a obsolete tanks. But i donītknow - why ? Because Sherman or Cromwell was cheap ? But in Air Force W.Allies used high-tech Fighters which was deadly enemy for Luftwaffe, but in battlefield have Panzerwaffe all aces in hand... And Germans can hit W.tanks in any place - and on 90 % it was a sure kill. (And can used cheap and fast machines as was Hetzer with low silhuette, good armor and excellent gun. Hetzer was derivat from absolute obsolete Czech Praga 38 - and after all it was deadly Tank destroyer...) But W.Allies havenīt good tank Destroyer.... Wolverine was tragic mistake and casemate TD as Hetzer or Su-85/100 never used in W. arsenal... I donīt understand, why wasnīt begin production of Pershing earlier ? Pershing was really Tiger/Panther Killer... But coming in ī45... Not before or short after Normandy and never used in Battle of Bulge...
GTDeath13
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 05:29 AM UTC
These might provide some answers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNjp_4jY8pY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwIlrAosYiM&t=48s
Removed by original poster on 03/05/20 - 04:31:12 (GMT).
Garrand
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 05:55 AM UTC
I would challenge that the T-34 had a better gun than the Sherman. The F-34 in terms of penetration was not significantly different compared to the 75mm M3, except that an APCR shell was developed for it & not the M3 (that being said, the 76.2mm APCR shell was only "hot" at close ranges...above 1000m you might as well use APCBC shells). Also the 85mm was not significantly different from the 76.2mm M1A1, actually slightly worse in many cases, especially when firing APCR shells (M1A1 could penetrate 157mm at around 500m, D-5 around 100mm at the same range), so I don't think the comparisons are quite as straight-forward.

Both the Sherman & the T-34 were designed to be churned out as fast as they could, as many as they could, whereas German designs were really peacetime tanks used during wartime. And the Germans eventually paid the price for it.

Damon.
GTDeath13
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 05:57 AM UTC
Just to add a comment about the Sherman:

Sometimes military equipmeent is all about getting the job done, not with the easiest, not with the best way but getting it done. And the Sherman surely did its job.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 06:22 AM UTC
In general terms— simplicity and mass production. You could produce 20 Shermans in the time it took to produce a single Tiger II, and those 20 Shermans would be easier to keep running. The Germans couldn’t compete with production or ease of maintenance and plentiful spare parts. The allies could simply overwhelm German quality (although that’s debatable too, as German armor towards the end became less reliable) with overwhelming quantity. Also, standardization of equipment meant it was easier to maintain items, the Allies had 2-3 main armored types (mostly Sherman based) , whereas the Germans had 4-5 main types (for the most part with dissimilar components between types). Bottom line, quantity is a quality all in its own.
VR, Russ
jphillips
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 06:29 AM UTC
The Germans and Soviets were able to field bigger, heavier and better-armored tanks because they didn't have to ship them across the Atlantic. But the Sherman had a few important strengths. It had a very powerful engine for its size and could climb hills that stymied the heavier German machines. It was narrow enough to cross most European bridges. And best of all, it could be mass-produced. If a Sherman broke down (although mechanically reliable, no design is perfect) it could be abandoned and replaced; repair teams could recover it later.
obg153
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 06:42 AM UTC
The OP may be mostly correct that "one-on-one," German tanks outgunned the Sherman. But he seems to miss the point (mentioned by others) that German tanks were often overwhelmed by sheer numbers. While your Panther/Tiger is lining up a shot at one Sherman, three or four others are busy getting behind it or close enough to get a kill shot. Same goes with Russian armor. Best example may be at Kursk. The Russians lost probably a thousand tanks, but the Germans also lost several hundred, and were never able to recover from those losses.
corsair924
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 07:37 AM UTC
Also consider the other advantage of superior numbers
(like 20-30 times as many);
I can have a force facing you and have another elsewhere pushing through your weak spots and attacking your support and logistics, immobilizing and making 'soft-kill' on your superior weapons.
The Germans ended up leaving numerous AFVs behind after minor damage, things that would have been repaired or replaced after a day or two in an American repair depot.
TopSmith
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 08:02 AM UTC
Many German tanks were lost for non combat reasons. Mechanical reliability is an important factor that must be considered.
Yes we could(and probably should of) have built the firefly version in the US and could have produced the Persing sooner but the fear was makeing changes would create a slow down in production. Somehow our generals were always a year behind what was currently needed in armor. They were reactive, not proactive in armor development.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 08:18 AM UTC
"Amateurs talk about strategy and tactics. Professionals talk about logistics and sustainability in warfare."

Often attributed to Omar Bradley, it's a common military saying and truism.

The US and its Commonwealth Allies fought a GLOBAL WAR, unlike the Germans, the Soviets or the Japanese.

Tanks not only had to be produced in significant numbers (significant being more than the enemy by at least the minimum ratio required by an attacker to overwhelm a defender - 3:1), but those tanks also had to be deliverable to combat theaters all over the world by ships and port facilities that were limited in capacity.

Then those same tanks had to be maintained, serviced and repaired at forward facilities by soldiers using the minimum tools with spare parts that also had to be produced and then delivered all around the world.

Unlike the Soviet tanks which could be recovered from the battlefield and sent right back to the factories to be remanufactured, US and Commonwealth tanks had to be robust and reliable enough to be immediately available in combat in significant numbers. Both the Germans and the Soviets were able to use interior lines of communication to send material back to the homeland or interior, but that was not possible for the US and Commonwealth.

The Sherman tank did not have to be the very best tank, one on one, it just had to be the best tank available on a global scale in numbers sufficient enough to win the war, which it did. That's the only measure that really counts in the end.

Obsolete? Not even.
Dinocamo
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 08:33 AM UTC
[quote]Also the 85mm was not significantly different from the 76.2mm M1A1, actually slightly worse in many cases, especially when firing APCR shells (M1A1 could penetrate 157mm at around 500m, D-5 around 100mm at the same range), so I don't think the comparisons are quite as straight-forward./quote]

I disagree. Aside from the APCR, the 85mm can penetrate more with its regular AP rounds than the US 76mm. Using the penetration table from the Soviet to compare to Western penetration table is kind of apple to orange because they use different criteria for testing. The 100mm at 500m for the 85mm APCR is the indication of using different criteria tables.

Back on the main subject. In short, "Logistic wins wars". Obsolete logistic is way worse than obsolete equipment. Vietnam war was an example of obsolete equipment (NVA) vs a somewhat obsolete logistic (USA).
AlfredCZ
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 11:10 AM UTC
So, i think a Sherman was dangeours for itīs own crew. When was hit by German High Velocity gun - 75mm or 88mm - it was in flames. It is very famous duel, when on Operation Barbarossa one damaged KV-1 stops german advence near Vilno. And be knock out a 88 a day later. But allies ignored Heavy tanks, with heavy balistic protection... I donīt understand, why Allies used a tanks, with minimal balistic protection against "88". Acht Acht was used from first day of WW2, it was a ultimate weapon on battlefield, with high velocity armor piercing ammunition..... and can kill Sherman on range of 3Km ! With one shot. Allied tank crews have low chance to survive battle with most advanced Panzers. On sky have Allied superiority over German JagdWaffe. Spitfire was still developed and was better and better. T-Bolt have devastating fire power (shootgun) and was very durable. P-38 was ace maker in Pacific. Mosquito was uncatchable figher bomber. Tempest can knock out last version of piston engined and first jets. And Mustang demoralized and destroy japanese and german air force... But in whole time, when USAAF and RAF have nevest fighters - G.I. used Shermans. IS-2m or ISU-152 can destroy Tiger on long range - with one hit. In famous war tape - a battle in Cologne was duel Panther with Sherman - Panther fire one shot - and Sherman was in flames. So, on battlefield incoming a Pershing - and - voilá - one shot on Panther - and german beast was penetrated, second - and was in flames. And Pershing can survive direct hit from Tiger with minor damaged... Pershing is the same cathegory as IS-2m. Fast, heavy armored with devastating fire power. And low silhouette. But Sherman was medium tank- Panther is medium tank. Caliber of itīs cannons is similar - but Sherman in duel 1:1 canīt deadly competitor for Panther. Naturally, not Firefly or Achilles with great 17 pounds gun. But it isnīt only in gun. The basic tank is still sherman or wolverine TD. When allied must sacrifice three or five Sherman on one Panther or Tiger it was casaulties on HUMAN power - not at AFV only. Every duel was 10-12 dead tankers.... on Allied Side. And this i donīt understand. Allied tank crews must fight on tanks with "paper armor". Panther,Tiger, long barreled Panzer IV, Hetzer can penetrate Sherman on any angle, on any side on long range with one shot. Pershing can penetrate all Panzers and Panzerjagers. On Sherman was low percentage of survability of tank crew. When we must go against enemy, and their cannons can we destroy on long range, and we must he hit tree times... and their front armor we canīt penetrate on 1m... This must make a frustration and depress ! It was a strategy - Many dogs were sure dead for Tiger. But still was here a human aspect. This is as i think....
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 01:14 PM UTC
Alfred, I don't think the Sherman was an obsolete tank. Under armored, yes, but not obsolete, the Sherman has served in somebodies army with upgrades for over 50 years. Paraguay might still be using 3 up gunned Argentinian "Repotenciados" http://www.theshermantank.com/sherman/shermans-in-allied-use-and-use-around-the-world-after-wwii/

The United States was caught unprepared for WWII. The M3 Grant was basically a rush job to field some sort tank. Using what worked from the Grant (suspension & drive train) the Sherman was born. Almost 50,000 were made, more than ALL German tank production total !
The Panther & Sherman had similar range & speed, with the Panther having the better gun. 5,000 Panthers to 50,000 Shermans, WOW!
Stalin once said, "quantity is it's own quality".
Hitler held up the start of the "Battle of Kursk" to wait for 300 or so unproven Panthers that broke down. Who knows what would of happened if he hadn't given the Russians time to prepare !
Most German armor was over engineered. Shermans were simple to work on and had a high rate of availability. Easier to recover too when broke down.
Yes, the Panther was superior in armor & Firepower, lacking in reliability. The Sherman was a fire trap and under armored and under gunned. Many brave, young men died horrible deaths in both tanks. But if the Paraguayans are still using their 3 Shermans those "bones" are 75 years old ! So, not obsolete !
A good debate !
PzDave
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 01:42 PM UTC
WW2 was a "come as you are" war. We were able to plan many aircraft even before the was. but we were able to build 35,000 Shermans because they were ready to go. The Russians built the T-34 and the KV Series because they were ready to go and most of their tanks were based the two chassis.
The Russians and the USA had "War Production" Boards who decided what to build. The Germans were all over the map.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 02:38 PM UTC
Old Shermies are still knocking around, but I doubt anyone in the Paraguayan Army believes that they are ready to go up against hardly any armored force.... Let alone against any modern MBT. Of course, when it comes to going to war, "You run what you brung". Today's infantry AT stuff would deal with those "up-gunned" Shermies quite rapidly.

The US and Canada and the USSR - the really big tank-producers - went to war with some stuff fairly well worked out and ready to produce. Mostly simpler stuff, maybe (specially the T-34) rather less-then-crew-friendly and sometimes crudely-built, but ready to go and in great numbers.

Germany entered Russia with actually a pretty limited amount of effective armor - the Pz. I, Pz. II, and many of the Pz. III were all seriously out-gunned and actually - specially I and II - out-armored. The "borrowed" Pz. 35(t) and -38(t) were at the edge of their combat worthiness, too, and out-classed both in fire-power and armor by the T-34 and KV tanks. (and pretty much by all the lend-lease Shermies, Grants, Valentines, etc., too). The Germans had the big edge in training, doctrine, and experience, enabling them to do well up to early 1943. They played catch-up by 1943 and struggled to design and build "winners" - design is a complex process, and bring new tech into production isn't easy. And, while there were some good designs, they were complex, expensive, slow to make, and increasingly hampered by the air war over Germany. And there were way too many competing designs and ideas - no real focus or guidance or coordination. A story of too complex, too few, too late. While The US and Commonwealth stayed on what they had developed, and resisted trying to "switch too many lanes" - let's just go get the job DONE. And we did.
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 02:47 PM UTC
The Panther was a 46-ton tank, in the same weight class as the IS-2 Stalin and the M26 Pershing. By Allied standards, it was a Heavy. This was reflected in its absurdly low reliability (mean time between failures for its final drive gear alone was 150 kilometers), and its small production numbers. On the first day of the Battle of Kursk, over half the Panthers broke down or caught fire between the railhead and the start line of the attack.

Training also mattered. In September, 1944, the US 4th Armored Division annihilated three brand-new Panther Brigades in the Lorraine fighting, and all the Shermans involved had the older 75 mm gun.

Germany built about 6,000 Panthers, 1,350 Tigers, and 484 King Tigers. In just over three years, the US delivered 48,234 Shermans.
Scarred
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 04:23 PM UTC
A lot of what the OP is posting has been discussed ad-nauseam on this site and many others. The Sherman was no more prone to burn out than any other German tank. As has been said by many there is no evidence that they were call "Ronsons" because they lit every time. The burning issue was mostly fixed with wet stowage of ammo. But to me it sounds like the OP got a hold of "Death Traps". Fielding a new tank would have slowed the war's conclusion which would have given Germany more time to continue it's use of V1's and V2's, slaughtering millions in the death camps and develop weapons that could change the war. A lot of what is said about the Panther and Tigers was overblown. The panther was unreliable until later models came out and the Tigers I and II were over-engineered and had reliability issues.

If Germany hadn't kept fielding new tanks but knuckled down and just produced Panthers it might have been a different outcome with 10's of thousands of Panthers against the Sherman.

But that is an armchair debate that has been argued to death too.

And the Sherman didn't fight alone. Close air support, artillery and infantry helped defeat German heavies.



taylorrl
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 04:45 PM UTC
I would suggest reading Steve Zaloga's "Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II" for a good analysis of the various tanks in WWII.

Rick
DickJones
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 08:34 PM UTC



I knew before even finishing the OP's post that someone would post this tired old video. Didn't think it'd be the first reply.

That video is totally destroyed here, over 24 pages:

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=217290&sid=b1755f989c9413d7e104da0764fbf978

I've always taken that guy as a borderline zealot. Claiming that only 1,400 US armor crewmen died in WW2 is preposterous.
Johnnych01
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 09:38 PM UTC
This is slightly off topic, but in the spirit of the discussion and highlights comments by Ivanhoe and others regarding the over engineering the German war machine carried out.
It was in a program I was watching and it concerned the Walther P38 pistol. As with most German manufacture, and as with their tanks and aircraft, they went down the small group of skilled artisans making an individual pistol/SMG/tank or aircraft as opposed to the U.S conveyor belt mass produced method.

In one month in late 1944, they produced over 90,000 P38 pistols, of that number, only about 45,000 made it to front line issue. The rest were recalled or not dispatched due to failures or failing quality control and then instead of a simple repair they were re-melted down and the whole Pistol made from scratch.

When you think of this in the whole big picture of German manufacture during WW2, think of how much time, energy,resources were wasted in this process, its staggering when you think this was going on with all small arms, weapon platforms etc. Over engineering on a biblical scale.
AlfredCZ
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 10:23 PM UTC
I think - a used a sherman in whole war time was for me a little absurd - USAAF not used for example a P-40... or P-39 for 1941-45 in first line... And i know, Shermie was used (with excellent results) in IDF as iSherman and Super Sherman... and can knock out T-54/T-55 and T-62 of arabian forces... And in Balcan war was used by all sides - side by side w. T-34/85. So i think a Sherman have a weak armor its tall silhuette isnīt good for ambushes. And British tanks was another story.... I know, W.Allies have excellent air support and air superiority, but i donīt understand why isnīt developed a heavy armoured tank what can absorbed one or two direct hit from long rifled guns -and survived. Shermie have a new carriage, new guns, new turrets - but still have weak armor. And when Germans met a T-34 - they developed Panther with sloped armor. Sherman was still a tin coffin - and in combat is on first place a survive of crew not ? So, i think a Pershing coming too late, and upgraded from Sherman to Pershing may coming in 1944, after D-Day... And i think a german monsters as Tiger I and Kingtiger or Panther was too expensive, with weak engines, poor mobility and obsolete carriage. Best carriage have T-34 and Cromwell - christie system - and Pershing/KV/IS - with torsion bars.And W.A never used a high caliber guns what knock out all on battlefield (i mean a 122 or 152mm guns used in IS and ISU), or 128mm on Jagdtiger. Probably it is a real logistic and industry problem - so we make an Shermie - ok - we make still a Shermie. But aircraft industry isn t make still a P-40 or Airacobra - and developed a send it to battlefield an Mustang, or B-29. And B-29 was ultimate weapon and demonstration of american-hi-tech. So, Sherman is demonstrate of american pragmatism ? And when Sherman can kill any german tank (but mostly in "hound pack" tactic),and was useable with long rifled high velocity guns - what is Cromwell ? Cromwell have the same system of carriage as T-34, but was under gunned and under armored. In Villiers Boccage shot Cromwell on Wittmans Tiger I from 2m - and without effect. (And yup, i know, Wittman was killed when was ambushed by Canadian Shermie with short gun - luck shot... Cromwell havenīt a chance, isnīt it true ?
Removed by original poster on 03/05/20 - 10:26:01 (GMT).
Removed by original poster on 03/05/20 - 10:33:29 (GMT).
Dinocamo
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Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 - 10:29 PM UTC
Hey OP, "Logistic wins war", and to understand it, please use logic instead of myths and misconceptions. Most people, modellers, gamers, and enthusiastic here are trying to help you to understand thing. Yes, we can have opinion on what is better, but history is already written. Nevertheless, I will break some stuff down for you.

1- You are very focused on tank v tank. Then you also talk about "human aspect". The role of a tank is to support infantry. Instead of look forward to tank v tank at 1km, you can look at 1 Sherman tank vs 100 mens at 1km, 200 mens even, without any already stationed long range AT. There you get an idea of "human aspect" .

2- Panther 75mm and Sherman 76mm are vastly different. Yes, the bore is similar, but that's the only thing they are close. It is like comparing 7.62x25 pistol round to 7.62x51 Nato round. Same bore, bot same power in the slightest. And Sherman has more powerful High explosive, which is better vs structure and human (return to point 1)

3- Larger number = more ground coverage, denying infantry advancement while slowly but surely moving up.

4- German heavies (including panther) were extremely expensive to build and maintain. Even if 1 Panther can fight 5 Shermans, 1 Panther cost 5 times more and longer to produce because the 5 Sherman built at the same time. German crews also required higher and longer training, which is a huge logistic issue, in another word, the manpower is also more expensive. You can't just drop anyone in a tank and expect them to main the tank at its peak performance, if they can even know what they are doing. (Back to point 3)

5- Killing power at 3km is possible, but that's the ambush/defensive range and with prepared land mark preferences and expert crews. Even then it was extremely rare to occurre due to the hit probability. And at 3km, just need a shoot, doesn't matter hit or miss, you are signalling of your ambush and give the rest of the opponent an opportunity to plan a counter.

Soviet Beast slayers are in the same case. They kill stuff far away, a few kilometres, ONLY IF they hit, yet they are not made for accuracy at such distance.

6- Even if you are stronger, you are not invincible and to lose. It would hurt the moral for looking at a machine supposed to be unbeatable going down.

Even if they lose some, but they still win, it will be a force to keep the moral on, because of the mentality "if we stop, we waste their sacrifice for the victories we got" and showing that nothing is unbeatable beast are. It is a moral momentum booster that is needed in any war.