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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 ?
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 12:21 AM UTC
Alfred was busy in this thread too:
https://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=246429&ord=&page=1
That thread was started by AUSTanker (Christian M DeJohn) to promote his book 'For Want of a Gun: The Sherman Tank Scandal of WW II'
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 12:27 AM UTC
I wonder why the Germans also used obsolete tanks?
If we, for the sake of argument, say that the Sherman was obsolete. How could it be that Germany continued to use the Pz IV which could be knocked out by an obsolete Sherman.
The Germans kept adding extra armour to it but it could still be knocked out. Why did Germany continue to use these obsolete Pz IV's?


Tigers and Panthers could also be knocked out by Shermans but that was in specific circumstances so that doesn't count here.
Scarred
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 01:22 AM UTC
I forgot about that thread. That was a good one.

So he came here nearly 4 years later to bring this up again. SMH.

As they say "haters gonna hate".

I abhor those who refuse to read and study a subject but base their opinions on one sole source of information that has been disproved over and over again.

But you cannot dissuade fanboys. They will hate Shermans with a passion and love love love their german armor.

But armchair warriors are like armchair quarterbacks. They got a lot to say after the fact even tho they have never been in that sort of situation and never will.
Zildjian1819
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 02:18 AM UTC
Well, any tank back then could be defeated from the side and rear and top. As I said before head to head. I have to correct myself. I knew TWO former WW 2 Sherman crewmen. BOTH said they couldínt keep a full crew because German anti- tank and tank gunís would kill them. They didínt like Shermanís because of this.Not reliability, number of them built,etc. My cousin was an M-46 driver in Korea. If you donít believe Cooperís book,whatever. I knew 2 Sherman tankerís who I got MY info from. I believe THEM.And they didínt lie.
Scarred
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 02:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I donít do video games, but I read true history books.And Iím talking tank vs tank in a duel. Not air or artillery support. I mean which tank is going to deflect on coming AP shot. Not reliability, track or engine life,etc. Iím talking penetration and protection.



Well, your user name points to a gamer. Or a drummer.

And they may not of have lied but at their age their memories should be suspect and everyone knows how old folks like to spin yarn.
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 02:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Cooper was a REMF . . . No disrespect for Cooper. . .



One might say that it is hard to claim you aren't disrespecting the man when just three sentences earlier you called him a Rear Echelon Mother [auto-censored]er, a well-known pejorative term.

Something to think about.

KL
Scarred
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 02:54 AM UTC
I was a REMF. My career had two aspects. Strategic or tactical. I spent about half my career as a REMF in those humongous listening sites and on T-burg in W. Berlin. The rest I was in humvees either on the FLOT or behind the enemy shutting down their comms. I'm not insulted being called one. It's what I was.
Armorsmith
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 02:55 AM UTC
Bottom line is that modern wars are not determined by individual combat. If that were the case we would all be speaking German for some time now. That said I'm reasonably confident in saying that if you asked German commanders if they would rather have 1 Panther or Tiger or 10 Shermans they would choose the latter. Official TOEs are one thing but count for nothing if those vehicles are non operational or combat ready. So, if you have 1 Tiger or Panther there is a very high probability that it will not be combat ready. By the same token even if 90% of you 10 Shermans are not combat ready you still have at least 1 combat ready machine. No weapon, no mater how powerful or superior to the enemy's is worth a damn if it doesn't work or is not available when needed. In the case of the Tiger and Panther the crews were confident in their machines and their morale was good, but there was always a question with commanders (operational and strategic) as to their availability in sufficient numbers to conduct operations successfully. American commanders were generally free of such worries. Before everyone jumps on that there are of course numerous exceptions but we are speaking in generalities here not specific cases.

As mentioned several times already it ws not the design philosophy of the Army Ordnance Bureau to produce heavy tanks. There was also the issue of domestic and in theater rail and bridge capacity and sea lift. And, as someone else pointed Operation Cobra and the subsequent race across France was tailor made for the Sherman and could hardly have been achieved with heavier, slower, and less reliable tanks. One could also argue that the inability of the logistical system to keep up with the Allied advance was a greater deterrent to a more rapid victory than German tanks.
Zildjian1819
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:03 AM UTC
They had better tanks than pz 3 and 4. All we had were Shermanís and a few T.D.ís.
Zildjian1819
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:05 AM UTC
Drummer,68 yrs. old.
marcb
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:06 AM UTC
This is a discussion that only exists in modelling and online gaming, and predominantly among those who exclusively build German tanks. It seems more about an emotional need than anything else.

The question is stripped of battlefield reality/ complexity.The information used, is often already disputed. The tone is often emotional and tends to show poor debating skills, or a good grasp of the reliability of historical sources.

Many modellers are not historians, and just reading a lot of popular history books, does't make you one. (It also doesn't make you develop a "feel for the battlefield", as some claim.)

Steven Zaloga once mentioned that you don't need the best tank to win, but a tank that's good enough.

Btw, the Tiger I was already criticized by it's users in 1943:
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/articles/tiger-panzer-vi-evaluation-reports-part-2-s-pz-abt-506-october-1943-by-rob-schafer.html



Scarred
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Drummer,68 yrs. old.



My sister played for years. Was she any good? Couldn't say. She'd get behind her kit and everyone would take off with me leading the way.
SdAufKla
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:11 AM UTC
To add another perspective on this general question, consider the state of AFV technology between the Germans and the French during the Blitzkrieg.

French armor at the time was generally by every technical measure equal or, in most one-on-one comparisons, quite superior to its German counterparts.

One might well turn this observation (true or not) about the Sherman tank on its head and stick it in the "way-back machine" and ask how it was that the "obsolete German tanks" were able to win against the French with their "superior" tanks?

The French had the advantage in both counts during the Blitzkreig - better tanks, more tanks and interior lines of communication. Using the anti-M4 argument, the French should have handed the Germans a resounding thumping.

The final outcome is not one of ONLY technology OR just logistics.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

They had better tanks than pz 3 and 4. All we had were Shermanís and a few T.D.ís.



Funny that they lost the war ....
Better tanks, better soldiers, better ships, better subs, better aircraft, better at losing, they were simply better at everything.
Zildjian1819
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:22 AM UTC
All you have is hear say and theories. I donít think youíd forget your buddies getting chopped up by AP shot. My dad, his brothers ,my father in law,his brothers FIRST HAND accounts not B.S.These men were in their 40ís when I got their info,so I donít think they forgot much. I was born 7yrs. after WW2. Whereíd you get your info? Ever watch Battle 360 about the Enterprise in WW2? My father -in-law served on it and he verified every account shown on that program. To the day he died he dreamed of the Jap dive bombers.Not in a good way.So donít insult my friends and relatives by your ďtheoriesĒand saying they forgot incidents. I have fact.They are where I get my info...by the men who served.
ReluctantRenegade
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Funny that they lost the war ....
Better tanks, better soldiers, better ships, better subs, better aircraft, better at losing, they were simply better at everything.



They even had a better homo sapiens variant (or so they thought at least) called "‹bermensch". Didn't really help them neither...
Zildjian1819
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:29 AM UTC
Panther or Sherman HEAD TO HEAD. You in Sherman. Which would YOU rather be in?Thats what Iím saying. Sherman is dead meat...1 shot kill.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Panther or Sherman HEAD TO HEAD. You in Sherman. Which would YOU rather be in?Thats what Iím saying. Sherman is dead meat...1 shot kill.



The subject of this thread is why the western allies continued to use the Sherman tank. It is not about which tank would win in a head to head frontal duel. That scenario isn't the most common one. If it had been Germany would have won the war.

I would rather be a crewman of that Panther stuck in the repair shop at the maintenance company since it broke down again.
Fighting from ambush or attacking across open fields against hedgerows where the enemy can hide are quite different.
I would like to see what would happen if US tank units were defending behind hedgerows against Panthers attacking across an open field.
Armorsmith
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 03:56 AM UTC
Marc- excellent point. Personal reminisces, memoirs and war stories are not the same as historical facts and must always be taken with a grain of salt.

Mike- also an excellent point vis a vi French vs German armor in May 1940 and with regard to to other elements that determine the final outcome.
Frenchy
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 04:27 AM UTC


H.P.
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 05:03 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I would like to see what would happen if US tank units were defending behind hedgerows against Panthers attacking across an open field


This scenario is answered in Jonathan Trigg's "D-Day Through German Eyes, How the Wehrmacht lost France". On 7th June 21PD attacked the bridgehead and lost the best part of a company of PzIVs to hull down Shermans and AT guns on Periers Ridge. A couple of days later 12SS lost several Panthers which were flanked and all shot up from the side. Nor should we forget that Wittman's Tiger was destroyed near Cintheaux because it was likewise flanked. In this action, four Tigers were knocked out in a few minutes.
The points that many people in this discussion are missing:
1) The heavier German vehicles were developed in a panicked reaction to the combat encounters of the T34 and KV1 and II. The increased armour and armament were intended to give the Germans combat superiority over these tanks. If Russia was taken in isolation, i.e. Germany had not declared war on the U.S, the kill ratio over T34s on the Eastern Front was 6:1 to the Germans. Even though the Russians were massively outproducing the Germans in units, the Germans were killing tanks faster than the Russians could produce them. Many of the Russian tanks lost at Kursk were Shermans, Lee/Grants or even Valentines and Churchills (early marks) supplied by Lend Lease. This was not admitted by the USSR at the time. These vehicles just made up the numbers. The Russians lost a lot more tanks than the Germans at Kursk, some German units had MORE serviceable vehicles at the end of the battle than the beginning. The point was that the Russians sacrificed tanks for time and space which the Germans ran out of.
2) Dogma was different between the two sides. The US Army did not expect tanks to fight tanks, that was the function of the TD Force. To some extent this thought also featured in the Wehrmacht's thinking; most British tank losses in North Africa were due to being lured by panzers onto "Pakfronts" of AT guns. Also bear in mind that EVERY US division had at least a battalion of tanks attached, even IDs (the British equivalent was the Independent Armoured Brigade). This was not the case in the German army. Some German IDs had Stugs or Panzerjagers, but the only divisions that had fighting tanks were Panzer divisions which were in the minority. To put it crudely, any tank is better than no tank.
3) The Germans were completely unable to produce Tigers and Panthers any faster than they did. They DID consider standardising on the Panther, but fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately for us), saner councils prevailed. A better argument would be if they had standardised on the Stug, which was cheaper, quicker to produce and vehicle type for vehicle type destroyed more enemy tanks than any other. They were only really suitable for defensive operations, but that was what Germany was undertaking from 1943 onwards.
4) If we look at the break-out from Normandy (operation Cobra et seq), the Sherman was absolutely the right tank for the job. No German vehicle, not even the Pz IV, could have kept up the speed and distance of Patton's advance. This led directly to the battles of the Falaise Gap, in which the German Westheer was destroyed. Even greater advances at greater speed were undertaken by British Cromwell equipped units subsequent to this.
5) German tankmen found the long gun on the Panther a nuisance in Normandy, particularly in the Bocage. They found that the PzIV fulfilled all they needed.
6) Bearing in mind how many Shermans (and T34s) were made it is hardly surprising that they continued to be used for years post-war. The only Axis built vehicles used post war were Panthers (used by two French battalions in the 40s and early 50s until the spares ran out), PzIVs (used as late as the Six Day War by the Arabs), Hetzers (Swiss amongst others) and Sdkfz251 (a development, the OT-810 was used by the Czechs until the BTR series came online). Interestingly, no battle tank created by any nation post-war has used interleaved roadwheels like those on the Tigers and Panthers.
obg153
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 05:14 AM UTC
OK, so you knew 2 Sherman tankers & your father-in-law,, and they had terrifying experiences during the war. I don't see that it's insulting to say that their experiences do not translate into supporting the claim that Shermans were "death-traps," and should have been scrapped from use or production. Or that everyone who ever crewed in a Sherman would have rather had a bigger, more potent ride. I had a terrible crash in a Honda once, but that doesn't mean I believe Hondas should be scrapped and never be produced again, or that anyone who's ever ridden in a Honda hates them.
Zildjian1819
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 05:19 AM UTC
One last time: What Iím saying is that the 2 Sherman crew men that I knew, they would prefer Panther or Tiger. That from the Sherman crew menís mouths.Not books.
Zildjian1819
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 05:23 AM UTC
Do you know or knew any Sherman crew men? Do you get you facts from books? Do you discount Coopers book? Why not discount all books then.
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2020 - 05:41 AM UTC
The perceived imbalance between the Sherman and the heavy German tanks was actually debated in the British Parliament. It so happened that an officer in a British tank unit was also an MP and he raised it in the House, much to the embarrassment of Churchill and Monty (who had also gone on record as saying that the Sherman and the standard 75mm gun were all that was needed for NWE). The issue was not resolved before the war ended, notwithstanding the introduction of the 17Pdr (which could only be fitted into the Sherman by turning it on its side and dispensing with the hull machine-gunner, to allow the longer ammunition to be fitted in), or the development of the Cavalier (a 17Pdr equipped Cromwell, a particularly awkward looking design), Comet and later Centurion. The fact that the Allies won, in no way invalidates feelings of inferiority felt by tank crews when faced with the heavier German tanks. This was exemplified by misreporting of all German tanks as Tigers, which feature in virtually all contemporary accounts. PzIVs wearing schurtzen could be visually mistaken for the boxy shape of the Tiger at a distance or in poor light. Panthers were equally misidentified and there were cases of even Stugs being reported as Tigers. This shows that there was a real, genuine fear of the German heavies. There are even accounts of Allied crews, seeing the tanks around them "brewing up", abandoning their tanks BEFORE they were hit! There are even documented cases of Pershings or Fireflys being fired on by their own side, as "every tank with a long gun was German"!
But this doesn't alter the fact that in the Sherman, the Allies had a good overall all round design that was easy to manufacture. Overall it wasn't the best, but it was good enough.