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Mar 18 17 3:12 PM
Mar 18 17 4:12 PM
Mar 18 17 4:51 PM
Mar 18 17 5:17 PM
Mar 18 17 6:44 PM
ChrisPat wrote:The UK upgunned significantly earlier; 17pdrs were in service in large numbers long before the US moved beyond 3".
In this case the end users were being fed faulty intelligence on "Situation, Enemy Forces"
Mar 18 17 7:27 PM
ChrisPat wrote: CW anti tank and tank were better off on both counts immediately after D day when it mattered.
Leaving US tankers still with no better gun than two years before
and not much to gain by asking the TDs to do the job of destroying tanks with the guns they'd had that same two years before.
Mar 18 17 9:12 PM
Let's look at the US Army's situation just prior to D-Day...
Mar 18 17 9:26 PM
Cody2 wrote:If your suggesting that the US Army never should have adopted it's "tank destroyer" doctrine and the resulting designs, I'd agree fully. I think it should have avoided it's tank destroyer designs, but went with a M4 style design with closed top turrets, at first upgraded to a 3" gun, and later a 90mm gun. At the same time running the 105mm gun upgrade, and when nothing else can be produced, continuing the 75mm gun production.
This would fit the philosophy of tank gun upgrades shouldn't be expensive, while at the same time being the most competitive unit the Army could field. The guns and their shells were already in the US Army's inventory, with production set up, and stockpiles just about every where. The cost to the upgrades for new units should be quite minimal, mostly just modified gun designs, and new turret designs for an existing hull, engine, and drive train. This should make it fairly logistically easy to accomplish as well.
Of course this doesn't guarantee that every tank the US fields can penetrate the forward armor of a Panther, or that any of them could, BUT that's likely the best units that the US could have fielded toward the end of 1943 and 1944 for a price. It would be up to local tank commanders to use their equipment wisely.
This is only relatively clear to me however, because I've got hindsight. Going off what the US Army knew in 1942, and what it knew in 1943 from both early war combat, and pre-war exercises, I don't think any of this was really clear. The US Army didn't have anywhere near enough pre-war exercises to get this properly figured out. More exercises starting in the 1920s and ongoing in the early to mid 1930s with variations in the umpire rules would have likely been very useful, BUT I'm not sure how they would have gotten Congress to pay for it.
Mar 18 17 9:32 PM
Mar 18 17 9:38 PM
sergeante wrote:This statement, and everything you write subsequently, misses the point entirely. The US Army simply lost the plot when it came to AFV gun upgrades. Everybody else upgraded their guns because they realized that if they could do it, everyone else would do it.
the Germans had already adopted the KwK 42 as a medium tank gun
which the Russians were fielding a heavy tank with a 122 mm gun,
were preparing to produce a tank destroyer with a 100 mm gun,
Mar 18 17 9:45 PM
Mar 18 17 9:52 PM
Dave AAA wrote:The British and Soviets up gunned at almost exactly the same time as the United States.
Really? The end users having neither need nor desire for a new weapon that would complicate their lives for no good reason not an excuse? Okey dokey then.
Considering that they didn't have to ship them across half a continent and then across an ocean, I'm not at all surprised. I would strongly suspect that on 6 June 1944 there were more M4Ax(w)76 in existence than Firefly Shermans even if only a few were in England.
Mar 18 17 10:08 PM
Dave AAA wrote:What the US needed was a 90 mm armed 35 ton tank in production by January 1943. This would have required significant investment in tank design capability some years before the war. That wasn't going to happen. The US might have been able to get a 76 mm Sherman and a 90 mm armed M10 in production as soon as early 1943 if they had seen an urgent need for them. That need was not apparent so it took several months longer than it might have to get a much better turret than they contemplated a year earlier. A better testing regime would have shown problems with the 3 inch/76 mm but the only way they could tell their testing wasn't good enough was to wait for real world experience.
It's funny that people like to concentrate on American shortfalls in tank design (and most other things for that matter) while paying a lot less attention to those of other nations.
Mar 18 17 10:48 PM
sergeante wrote:The British had a gun superior to the US 76 mm in the field from the first day of Overlord.
The Soviets had an equivalent gun (85 mm) in thousands of T-34 tanks for Bagration (June 22).
They also had a superior gun (122 mm) in the JS-II heavy tank, with four regiments (80 tanks) available for Bagration.
The Germans of course were putting the Panther in the field as a standard tank from late '43.
Simply put, it was better to be wrong one way than the other, and everybody seemed to know it, except for the US.
Though there is some truth in the notion that US logistics lines were longer, it only argues more in favor of pulling out all of the stops to have highest effectiveness on a unit-for-unit basis
The US had access to both British and Soviet experience. But the US did
not hear what it didn't want to hear, nor see what it didn't want to
Mar 18 17 10:54 PM
IcelofAngeln wrote:....and at the same time Army Ordnance was *also* making a very good AT gun out of the 90mm AA gun, and fitting it to AFVs. As you yourself observe, the 76mm was equivalent to the German 75/L48 and Soviet 85- in other words the principal AFV gun of both armies (in the Soviet case, the T-34/85 wasn't deployed in significant numbers until Bagration, simultaneous with Normandy).
While you describe the 76 as "DOA," the only alternative would have been to develop, produce and deploy an all new, much heavier tank with the 90mm.... which ultimately we did in the Pershing. Not changing over to the M26 from the M4 immediately was a conscious decision and not at all an irrational one given the logistical realities. Tigers and King Tigers were never numerous enough in the West to merit such an enormous undertaking and slowdown, and the Panther, while a threat, was not some invincible supertank relative to the M4(76) and M18 any more than it was to the T-34/85 and SU-85 (note that the Red Army never regarded the JSII as the "standard tank;" it, like the Tigers and KVs, was a specialized limited-production heavy).
Sure, we can "what-if" as much as we like- "what if" the M-6 didn't suck, "what if" Ordnance had miraculously invented a SHV 3-incher that would fit on a Sherman, "what if" Napoleon had a B-52 at Waterloo.
This is kind of a surprising position for you to be taking, Sgt, given that it's rather directly opposite to the position you have often taken in the 5.56mm debate: that more of "good enough" is preferable to less of "better."
Mar 18 17 11:22 PM
Mar 18 17 11:37 PM
Mar 19 17 12:11 AM
Mar 19 17 12:14 AM
IcelofAngeln wrote:Was the 17# "better" than the 76? It was certainly better as a pure tank-buster, yes; but in pretty much every other way it was a limited and problematical gun.
As my above; as a tank buster yes, so why not in a Tank Destroyer?
It seems that most of this thesis is based on the fortuitous chance that one inspired British officer bypassed official Ordnance doctrine and succeeded in bodging a very good AT gun into a relative handful of Shermans. Good for him. Nothing but praise. But it's a little silly to blame the US Army for not anticipating the lottery numbers, especially when they were at the same time installing their own 3" HV gun into regular production tanks without the fit, ammo capacity, ROF and HE issues.
Again, TD units' equipment vs CW anti tank units?
Mar 19 17 2:56 AM
ChrisPat wrote:Still people ignore that US anti tank - not tank - did not receive a new weapon for two years while everybody else did. While CW forces anti tank units were getting 17pdrs, APDS for 6pdrs, Archers and 17pdr M10s.
As my above; as a tank buster yes, so why not in a Tank Destroyer?
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