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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:00 AM   #511

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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
Because pop culture tank history of WW2 is based largely on post war German propaganda accounts and historical references to death traps, etc. When they do consider tanks they nearly only consider how they do fighting one another in one on one, head to head, fair fights. They don't talk combined arms, they don't talk strength, support, logistics, simplicity, reliability, nor do they discuss the uncomfortable fact that by and large tank vs tank, even in small unit, was exceedingly rare. That there was a reason barely any AP rounds were carried in tanks, in lieu of HE, because that's what they used. Why more MGs were added to tanks. That there was a greater fear from American tankers from getting hit with shoulder fired AT weapons then a Tiger.
The Chieftain did a nice presentation /roundtable on that with a host of experts including Zaloga. He presented allied tank casualties. They were actually staggeringly low. The only real losses of tanks were Brit/Canadian at the breakout, and to a lesser extent initial stage of the Bulge.

Edit: of course Soviet casualties we're very high, followed by German.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:14 AM   #512

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What's wrong with Sherman's? They were equal to all but big cats, which were rare. They played havoc with Panthers. They were reliable, effective, and easy to manufacture. Plus only the Valentine was in every theater of war besides the Sherman.

In Korea they we're quite effective against both infantry and T34/85s.
I dont know ask why US army changed combat doctrine after WW2. Also I dont think a tank's only job is to destroy other tanks.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:21 AM   #513
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Originally Posted by zincwarrior View Post
The Chieftain did a nice presentation /roundtable on that with a host of experts including Zaloga. He presented allied tank casualties. They were actually staggeringly low. The only real losses of tanks were Brit/Canadian at the breakout, and to a lesser extent initial stage of the Bulge.

Edit: of course Soviet casualties we're very high, followed by German.
Yeah, I've watched all of those, really top notch info presented, some of the best minds on WW2 tank warfare all in one group. Good stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oLY4FOrnjc
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:22 AM   #514
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I dont know ask why US army changed combat doctrine after WW2. Also I dont think a tank's only job is to destroy other tanks.
What are you referring to? The false claim that US Army tank doctrine wasn't to engage tanks?
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:29 AM   #515

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What are you referring to? The false claim that US Army tank doctrine wasn't to engage tanks?
If an enemy tank attacks of course I dont mean US tank crews will not engage that tank. But I was saying US Sherman tank was more about to support infantry like early Panzer IV with low velocity guns. But I never claimed tank crews dont engage when enemy tank is spotted.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:40 AM   #516

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I was refering to Zaloga

'US doctrine put undue emphasis on the use of tank destroyers to deal with tank threat, even after the Tunisian campaign raised real question about the viability of the doctrine."

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=...lution&f=false
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:47 AM   #517
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If an enemy tank attacks of course I dont mean US tank crews will not engage that tank. But I was saying US Sherman tank was more about to support infantry like early Panzer IV with low velocity guns. But I never claimed tank crews dont engage when enemy tank is spotted.
Yes and no, but what follows isn't for you, but for everyone.

First, let's talk Germans. The only infantry German armor supported in the early stages of the war were those assigned to the motorized infantry regiments, who combined with the one motorized artillery regiment, were organic to a panzer division. German armor always supported infantry, just as infantry supported armor, while artillery supported both, because German panzer doctrine was to fight a war of mobility with combined arms task forces, the kampfgruppe. Low velocity guns are better at delivery more explosive shells, with more fragmentation effects that high velocity due to case thickness being thinner, allowing for more HE weight per shell. But the Panzer IV still possessed AP shells, it could still kill tanks, though it did it much more poorly than even an early war Sherman. When the Sherman first saw heavy combat in '42-43, it was easily the best tank on the battlefield (considering there were almost no heavy panzer battalions deployed against the US Army or British till Normandy).

Second, let's tanks in the US Army. They operated in two types of units. The Armored Division, where it too served in fully mechanized armor (to include one light tank company per battalion), mechanized infantry, self propelled artillery combined arms task forces called combat commands. And medium tanks served in separate tank battalions directly assigned to a corps, usually semi-permanently assigned to specific triangle infantry divisions, with enough of them every infantry division on the line had their own tank battalion assigned (which the Germans couldn't come close to achieving).

Now tactics. Nobody, not even the Soviets, picked the strongest known portion of the enemy line and purposely attacked it. Not the Germans with the Panzers, nor the US Army's Armored Divisions or conventional triangle Infantry Divisions. They were supposed to find and then attack known weak points, break through the lines, and then the armored divisions would exploid the breakthrough. Which means attacking the points of the German enemy line where Panzer divisions weren't assigned. Germans massed their tank regiments and brigades in panzer corps, so in theory, if the US, British, Russians attacked some place where the local Panzer corps was not located, then we'd not encounter much in the way of tanks (besides the scattered attached units, like heavy battalions, or panzerjaegar). Bypass strong, attack weak. Germans did it, Russians, did it, British did it, Americans did it.

The reality of combat was that tank vs tank did happen (but rare) and even the armor manuals state that when this happens, our tanks are to fight their tanks. And also in reality, often times armor has to attack strongholds (far too common unfortunately). But in the long run, most tanks, German, Russian, British, or American, would not be in daily combat fighting armor, regardless of where they were, they'd be fighting infantry, so like you wrote, yes, the 75mm M3 gun was better than the 76mm (though the 90mm surpassed the 75 and 76 in HE and AP). So by and large the Sherman was perfectly fine for service as an infantry tank as long as those using them knew its limitations, which all tanks, including Tigers possess.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:50 AM   #518

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Agree to that.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 11:57 AM   #519
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I was refering to Zaloga

'US doctrine put undue emphasis on the use of tank destroyers to deal with tank threat, even after the Tunisian campaign raised real question about the viability of the doctrine."

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=...lution&f=false
To expand on the context, he's writing about defensive use.

The US Army designed its armored forces based on lessons learned from Poland and France. We were not planning on fighting an active defense like Germany chose from 43 onwards. We were planning on purely offensive operations and strategy. However, we also knew we were fighting an enemy who massed its armor into very effective and highly mobile combined arms teams who'd historically been used to attack positions of the line held not by enemy armor, but by infantry divisions who could not stop the might of a full Panzer corps on the attack (numerous panzer divisions and motorized infantry divisions). The answer was a force of tank destroyers, self propelled and towed, which could be raced forward to the rear of the collapsing infantry divisions' sector and stage a defensive line. This battalion meant we didn't need to commit our exploitation force for a defensive operation, instead we could use it otherwise (like hitting an exposed flank, cutting into a salient, conducting a spoiling attack elsewhere, etc).

It was an utterly sound doctrine and design in theory. Even North Africa proved it when a TD battalion was largely responsible for contain the Kasserine debacle when the leading regiment of Armored Division rode hell bent straight into a heavy panzer battalion who knew they were coming. What ruined the TD was that the US Army were rarely on the defensive because the Germans could rarely afford to go on the attack, and when they did our infantry divisions could generally hold their own. So option 1 is either don't use these forces, or option 2 is to use them differently than planned.

On the attack, towed field guns assigned to tank destroyer battalions suck. And McNair had prioritized them over self propelled because they were cheaper and easier to make. So a whole lot of towed guns were ineffective, which is really the only hit on McNair and the TD branch, the overemphasis on towed vs self propelled.

The other problem was when self propelled TDs were used offensively as infantry support. They lacked the armor and extra machine guns necessary for proper survivability. Which is what ultimately killed the concept, the realities of war said the best tank destroyer was another tank, because only a tank has the proper survivability necessary to survive a fight against infantry, artillery, and armor, whereas the self propelled TDs the US used, and to some extent German and Russian varieties too, only excelled at fighting armor.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 12:11 PM   #520
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aggienation
Violence means physical force, tone down the hyperbolic rhetoric yourself.
One among others since 3 pages

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zincwarrior
Zaloga (bad spelling I am sure) is a very authoritative source on WW2 tanks and tank guns.
I know
I read Zaloga, the spelling is good
steven Zaloga is clear about this:
https://books.google.fr/books?id=Quv...ampion&f=false

Quote:
"What was the best tank of World War II? This book argues that there was no single 'best tanks in World War II'. While the Tiger may have been the best in the summer 1943...
What makes a tank great? The most obvious is the holy trinity of tank design: armor, fire power, mobility."


The Tiger has a clear superiority in armor, firepower.
The Sherman has a superiority in mobility. When this asset cannot be played in areas that do not allow maneuvering (Normandy for example), it is a carnage:

https://archives.library.illinois.ed...man-tanks-ww2/
Quote:
“The 3rd Armored Division entered combat in Normandy with 232 M4 Sherman tanks. During the European Campaign, the Division had some 648 Sherman tanks completely destroyed in combat and we had another 700 knocked out, repaired and put back into operation. This was a loss rate of 580 percent.”
I think the argument to try to show that the Shermans tanks didn't have any serious weaknesses compared to the Tigers is a nonsense.
Indeed, pretending to show that there were a lot of tanks destroyed, but it wasn't serious is wobbly.
Having fewer tanks destroyed is even better and it doesn't say that the Sherman was better than the Tiger.
Actually it says the contrary.

In the Battle of the Bulge the Shermans can't use their mobility either.

Shermans vs Tigers: Tank Wars at the Battle of the Bulge | The National Interest Blog

Quote:
"Allies Outgunned, Outmaneuvered

As their British and Canadian allies had already learned, the GIs and their officers soon came to respect the resolute fighting qualities of their enemy. They discovered, with considerable chagrin, that although they possessed a greater abundance of weapons, some of these were decidedly inferior to those of the Germans."


Quote:
"The most powerful tank of World War II, a single 67-ton Tiger II could hold up a dozen Sherman tanks, and often did. Known variously as the Tiger B, King Tiger, and Royal Tiger, the Tiger II carried a crew of five, had a 600-horsepower engine and a maximum speed of 21.74 miles an hour, and boasted a cruising range of 105.57 miles.

It could knock out with ease any Allied tank at considerable range, and its armor was so thick (1.58 inches to 7.09 inches) that few British or American weapons could destroy it. Fortunately for the Allies, production of the Tiger II behemoths was constantly disrupted by Anglo-American bombing raids and shortages of raw materials, so only 489 of them had entered service by the time the war ended."


However, it is true that when the Shermans could use their mobility, they were able to win great victories against the German tanks.

One more book of Zaloga
https://books.google.fr/books?id=et8...Zaloga&f=false

And a picture of the most fearsome tank on the Western Front
Click the image to open in full size.
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