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Mar 19 17 3:00 AM
Mar 19 17 3:22 AM
sergeante wrote:It would have taken a clarity of vision and unity of purpose that the US authorities clearly didn't possess.
Mar 19 17 3:46 AM
Mar 19 17 11:18 AM
Dave AAA wrote:
The 17 pounder was introduced at the same time as the 3 inch gun. How is that a newer weapon?
In several ways.
Design; the US 3" is essentially the WWI AA gun in new roles, the British equivalent was the very limited use of their WWI 3" AA similarly. The 17pdr was an entirely new design.
Deployment; British AT units in 1942 had mostly 6 pdrs with a very few 17pdrs if any, IIRC the Pheasants actually got to the troops in '43. There were certainly 2pdrs still in secondary theatres and IIRC still in first line too. Their SPs were wheeled and unarmoured in most cases - the portees - and wheeled with some armour in the Deacon. US TDs at the same time had half track mounted 75mm or some M10s with 37mm somewhere but I believe not actually TD but Inf units.
For D-day the CW AT forces had towed 17pdrs, Archers and Achilles with some 6 pdrs retained where their handiness was useful. US TDs had towed 57mm and 3" with many more M10s.
CW minimum went from 2pdr to 6pdr, maximum from 6pdr to 17pdr. Their SP changed beyond all recognition. US minimum went from 37mm to 57mm, maximum from 3" to the same, SP remained the same maximum but eliminated the minimum.
The Germans were still using the PaK 41 as their standard AT gun in 1945 and it was introduced before the Western Allied weapons.
I think you mean the 7.5cm PaK40, PaK41 was the limited use 7.5/4.2(?)cm squeeze bore weapon. The PaK40 is about the same in effect as the 3" US and British but considerably less effective than the 17pdr which is about the same as an 8.8cm FlaK36 in effect though not much bigger than the Pak40.
The M36 was ready before the M10c and in production before Archer
But not issued where the targets were.
- a 1942 gun on a 1939 chassis with an eccentric configuration no one has tried since.
1943 IIRC but able to deestroy '50s targets given '50 ammunition. The "eccentric" configuration was used by the US for 37mm SP and by the French for probably the most effective tank destroyer of the Baattle of France. Archer has to be seen as what it was; a truly self propelled AT gun, not a tank hunter, a hunting tank or a Tank Destroyer. As such it fits in neatly as being easier to get into or out of position quickly than a towed 17pdr but hugely easier to conceal and harder to hit than a 17pdr M10. It's smaller than a Hetzer which I've read as being "low to the ground and the devil to spot" by someone who had to.
Because the US had their own 76.2 mm AT gun developed at the same time as the British one for the same niche capable, so they thought, of servicing the same targets.
There's your trouble.
Unlike the British, they also had a fall-back option which was the 90 mm gun.
32pdr was the next British step but turned out to be both unnecessary and tactically unwieldy. We see here the same simplistic equivalence taken with UK / German AT guns. "The 5cm Pak38 was about the same as the 6pdr but came earlier so the Germans were better and left CW forces behind, The 7.5cm PaK40 was about the same as the 17pdr so again the Germans left the CW behind". You could just as well say the 6pdr was significantly more powerful than the PaK38 and the 17pdr very much more powerful than the PaK40 so Britain's "equivalent" guns overmatched the German ones. In truth the guns were not equivalent and the two nations AT equipments were out of step in both time and capability. Same for the US / UK compatison, the 3" is not the "American 17pdr" nor the 17pdr the "British 3"".
As soon as American troops started to complain about the 3 inch gun, they put the M36 into production.
As soon as British troops with 6pdrs or 75mm saw a task better suited to 17pdr they called them up from a couple of miles away or, if they identified the task in the planning stage, deployed the 17pdrs, tank, SP or towed, right from the start.
US troops with 57mm, 75mm or 3" who saw a task for 90mm could look forward to somebody cutting metal some time real soon.
Mar 19 17 5:27 PM
maximum from 3" to the same, SP remained the same maximum but eliminated the minimum.
I think you mean the 7.5cm PaK40,
but able to deestroy '50s targets given '50 ammunition.
the 17pdr which is about the same as an 8.8cm FlaK36 in effect though not much bigger than the Pak40.
But not issued where the targets were.
The "eccentric" configuration was used by the US for 37mm SP and by the French for probably the most effective tank destroyer of the Baattle of France.
32pdr was the next British step but turned out to be both unnecessary and tactically unwieldy.
As soon as British troops with 6pdrs or 75mm saw a task better suited to 17pdr they called them up
Mar 19 17 6:41 PM
Mar 20 17 12:06 AM
Mar 20 17 3:56 AM
ChrisPat wrote:Archer was in service Sep '44 into the '50s for both UK and Egypt.
The eventual replacements for both BAT and 17pdr were AT missiles as in all western armies.
All, I say again all, ground launched AT missiles are fired from the halt.
Fireflies were also sent to Italy
The US forces had precisely nil 90mm or 76mm.
3" and 76mm were not almost equal to 17pdr, far from it.
Mar 21 17 4:39 AM
Mar 21 17 5:54 AM
Dave AAA wrote:This would mean that the US would need to know that their 76.2 mm AT gun was not as as good as they thought at least a year or more than they did. They also needed to know that the Panther was going to be deployed in unprecedented numbers for a heavy tank, and until May 1944 that's exactly what they thought the Panther was.Deciding that they needed better gun than the Germans ended up developing is not reasonable extrapolation of data, but clairvoyance.
Mar 21 17 6:25 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. Lack of numbers was not the only reason the British parceled Fireflies out one per platoon; a 5-firefly platoon would have in effect been a TD unit not a tank unit.
Yes, the Germans continually up-armored the Mk IV- to the extent that the late versions suffered *heavy* automotive penalties and breakdowns thanks to overweight that its engine, transmission and suspension were never designed for. And note that, even uparmored, it still had less (effective) frontal armor than the M4. By the end of the year, the M4A3E8 was in practically every respect not just an equivalent but superior tank to the IVH and IVJ which it encountered far more often than the Cats. It also proved in Korea to be superior to the "magnificent" T-34/85.
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.
No, neither we nor anybody else produced a tank like the Panther- until Centurion, too late for the war. You weren't going to get Panther-level firepower and protection on 35 tons. Not gonna happen. We designed the T20/1/2/3 series, but (sensibly) decided they weren't enough of an upgrade to make the switch-- other than nicking the turret and gun. We designed a pretty good heavy tank, but decided - maybe or maybe not wisely - that we didn't need it (until it was too late to make any difference). What we did produce- and mass-produce - was a tank which was at least as good if not better than the German and Soviet standard tanks (and was far more reliable than either), and didn't give up much if anything to the Cromwell. Only with the Comet, quite late, did anyone field a decidedly superior medium tank (I don't care what the Germans called the Panther, it wasn't a medium).
It's a truism that the Soviets did the heavy lifting in the war against Hitler. Well, they did all that heavy lifting with a tank which, contemporary variant for contemporary variant, wasn't as good as the M4 series. But it was certainly good enough.
Mar 21 17 6:37 AM
Cody2 wrote:It doesn't look so much like the US Army didn't listen to stuff they didn't want to hear, at least with how quickly the M36 was developing, but more like they didn't really know what they were doing.
Mar 21 17 10:58 AM
Ummm...I'd like to see you justify "far more often than the Cats." Both the Mk IV and Mk V were in panzer divisions in equal numbers, and that the panzer brigades encountered in Lorraine were all Mk Vs, that's an extraordinary claim. And extraordinary claims...well, you know.
Except that the British didn't ignore a good thing when they saw it. US Army Ordnance thought the 90 mm gun was the wave of the future. But it got no support from Ground Forces. Ground Forces had no better reason than its mistaken battle need policy and McNair's complacence about the Tiger, even in the face of clear and relatively timely evidence -- Sidi Bou Zid, FEB 43 -- that the Tiger was going to be a problem.
Now, could the US Army have been more realistic about policy and less self-satisfied in attitude? Well, everybody else was. Germany, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain all understood that there was an active arms race in AFV protection and armament. The US had the wherewithal to observe this, both before and after it entered the war. Even before it was officially allied with Great Britain, it had attaches and observers that were being given timely information on what the British were learning in combat against the Germans. IMO it's actually an indictment of the higher authorities in the US Army that better care wasn't taken to have at least a hedge capability AFV with the most powerful gun available.
Mar 21 17 12:21 PM
Mar 21 17 2:18 PM
Mar 21 17 3:05 PM
Easy. Tank availability rates. The Panther was a notorious unreliable and difficult to work on vehicle, much like many of the German cats. Units that had the Panther tank usually reported an average operational availability rate of 35% in 1944; it never got any better.
The Panzer IV on the otherhand was more proven and reliable. It had an average operational availability rate of 65%; almost double that of the Panther.
So, Allied tankers were almost twice as likely to bump into a running Panzer IV compared to a running Panther tank. That enough justification?
Army Ground Forces opposed sending the M26...
AGF had a very pragmatic policy; don't send untested vehicles into combat, as bad things will happen. The front lines are not a good place to be testing brand new, untested military hardware!
And the Tiger wasn't a major problem for the US Army; for one, the US Army knew that the Tiger was a limited issue vehicle in the first place, and that US tankers and tank destroyers have gotten the upper hand on the Tiger regardless once they got their doctrine and tactics right, such as what happened at El Guettar... 57 German vehicles, which included Tiger I's, attacked around 31 M3 GMC's, a small number of 37mm portee's and 12 M10's. The end result was the German attack was stopped, with 52 of 57 vehicles knocked out and destroyed, while the Americans lost 27 of the M3 GMC's, and about half of the M10's.
The US Army was working on better vehicles and getting bigger guns into their tanks since they entered the war. However, the US Army was pragmatic in that they would not release a vehicle into service unless it could be proven to be better than the existing vehicles, and combat capable.
Mar 21 17 9:21 PM
Mar 21 17 9:37 PM
Dave AAA wrote: They didn't have a working 76 mm turret until they put them into production, so more 76 mm Shermans were out. they deployed the ones on hand before the troops wanted them, so they can't actually be faulted there.
The 76mm was essentially a 3" lightened, hardly a world shattering idea. If anyone wanted to upgun the Sherman something the like of the gun in the Sherman based M10 is a pretty obvious start.
They could have had M36 TDs instead of M10s, but , and had the foresight to have them ready for production/conversion, but the idea that the Germans would suddenly deploy a "medium" tank twenty tons heavier than its predecessor was simply not foreseeable.
A need for better anti tank guns than the 75mm and 3" was foreseeable to the British and Soviets.
And while we're patting the British on the back for having a better three inch AT gun than everyone else, lets not forget that they actually downgraded their AT capability in their own British-made tanks by adopting the 75 mm in lieu of the 6 pounder and took nine months longer than the US to get a successful up-gunned tank into production.
Then award another pat on the back for getting an AT gun marginally more powerful than the 90mm into action in early '43, on SP mounts and tanks in limited numbers by the time they landed an army directly into battle alongside the US and in increasing numbers from then until the - earlier into production - successfully upgunned US Shermans with markedly lesser AT performance began to reach the troops alongside the TDs with marginally lesser performance.
US tank and anti tank guns fell behind their Allies and their foes before D day and never caught up. There are reasons for that but it's still not a good performance.
Mar 22 17 2:41 AM
ChrisPat wrote:The 76mm was essentially a 3" lightened, hardly a world shattering idea.
A need for better anti tank guns than the 75mm and 3" was foreseeable to the British and Soviets.
Then award another pat on the back for getting an AT gun . . .
US Shermans with markedly lesser AT performance
US tank and anti tank guns fell behind their Allies
Mar 22 17 4:51 AM
Stop the breathless hyperbole. The front line is the only place that new hardware can ultimately be tested.
Seems kind of Pyrrhic to me. In a successful defense one would expect to lose only a fraction of one's force, not almost all of it. That's the whole point of having effective guns.
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