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ThePointblank wrote:You are totally ignoring the reliability and mechanical durability of the German tanks.
Dave AAA wrote:
Perhaps not, but they had in tanks nine months before the UK managed to get a comparable gun into a successful production vehicle.
Well, actually not. Churchill Gun Carrier was limited production, the gun was (very) comparable. How successful it was will be a matter of assessment as it was left behind by time but its characteristics are firepower about on a par with later StGIII, mobility quite a bit less, protection quite a bit more.
For the production vehicles you have in mind whoopee do. CW units had guns able to deal with the targets they found in Normandy. Who cared when they were built?
I'd be very interested in why the British overbuilt the 17 pounder in 1941/42 when they had no reason to foresee much heavier German tanks considering that other AT guns of the same vintage were comparable to the American 3 inch gun.
Maybe looking at what they were planning and had inflicted on others with I tanks, maybe just carrying on as normal. 2pdr was significantly more powerful than the 37mm guns of the early war years although less so than some of the 47mm one; 6pdr, even with the shorter barrel was a lot more powerful than the 5cm PaK38 and the Sov 45mms, if UK had any great detail on those. Alternately they knew they could put the WWI 3" AA gun on a low angle mount but decided to do better.
As for the Soviets, they did see that their 76 mm gun needed to be replaced, given that it was more or less comparable to the American 75 mm. Their replacement, in service at the same time as the 76 mm, was not better as an AT gun.
Which Sov 76mm gun? There's three field / AT ones and several tank ones. Which replacement?
But that didn't need to be paired up with other tanks in the same troop because they didn't have a useful HE round
The 17pdr HE rounds were a matter of deliberate choice, rather like the US tank guns. A lesser HE capability was chosen to simplify the aiming of it by way of common ballistics with the AP. That was judged to be a mistake and corrected later. Had the US produced a suitable AT gun of the type we are discussing they might not have made that mistake / decision n the first place and could have corrected it just as easily.
until quite late and were still a barely suitable, single purpose kludge. The Firefly was not a suitable general purpose tank, unlike the 76 mm Sherman, but a specialized AT platform.
Which is why it did not remain in service long. Britain had three Armd Divs in NW Europe in '44-'45, Guards, 7th and 11th. Gds had and kept Shermans with their Fireflies rising to 50% as the new HE became available, 7th had and partially kept Cromwells with Challengers then Fireflies, 11th had Shermans with Fireflies and replaced them all with Comets in the winter of that campaign. That's in the armd regts, recce in all three had Cromwells with Fireflies / Challengers and replaced them with Comets as production allowed, 11th getting theirs with their armd regt wagons.
Which still leaves aside the guns fitted to vehicles specifically intended to destroy tanks and those for the same task on towed mounts.
Really? So how did they fall behind the Soviets? You do realize the 85 mm was less effective as an AP gun at that time than the US 76 mm, right?
You do realise the 100mm and 122mm were entering srvice as the 76mm was? The latter in tanks after being in use and proving a handy beast killer on SP mounts some time before? Sov AT doctrine was different to US and different again to British.
And why limit comparisons to the Allies? What 25-30 ton German tanks had a better gun than the 76 mm?
Germany had not limited tanks to sizes suitable for maritime transport. For the US that made sense but Germany had no need for that specific weight of tank. What Germany had done was upgun their PzIVs to a rough equivalent of the 76mm and 3" long before.
What were the standard German and Soviet divisional AT guns in mid 1944?
German - There wasn't one. What you had you did the best you could with.
Sov - not sure but I do know that firstly AT doctrine was different and secondly the Red Army was actually being told to make do with less; Sov industry came off of full war production in '44 and recruiting and training dropped such that front line rifle coys had about 60 to 70 men. You can't make simple comparisons assuming western ideas and attitudes were in place, they were not.
Getz wrote:ThePointblank wrote:You are totally ignoring the reliability and mechanical durability of the German tanks.
I don't think that's the slightest bit relevant to the question "should the US army have got the 90mm gun into service sooner?"
In spite of their much vaunted mechanical unreliablity, it is a point of historical fact that Panthers and Tiger did make it to the front lines where they proved very difficult to destroy with 75mm and 76mm guns. The fact that the German crew probably had to nurse it there with extreme care is of precisely zero interest to the poor sods at the sharp end who have to try and deal with it with inadequate tools.
ThePointblank wrote:You are totally ignoring the reliability and mechanical durability of the German tanks.
Chris Pat wrote:
Churchill Gun Carrier was limited production,
CW units had guns able to deal with the targets they found in Normandy.
Who cared when they were built?
they knew they could put the WWI 3" AA gun on a low angle mount but decided to do better.
Which is why it did not remain in service long
Britain had three Armd Divs in NW Europe in '44-'45, Guards, 7th and 11th.
German - There wasn't one.
Which Sov 76mm gun?
The 17pdr HE rounds were a matter of deliberate choice,
You do realise the 100mm and 122mm were entering srvice as the 76mm was?
Germany had not limited tanks to sizes suitable for maritime transport.
What Germany had done was upgun their PzIVs to a rough equivalent of the 76mm and 3" long before.
You can't sustain a battle over multiple days if large numbers of your tanks break down and need maintenance over the course of the battle.
So, when you state "Panthers were more durable in combat," you mean that while a Panther tank could take the return fire, it was often more likely to be found sitting at the side of the road abandoned by the crew during a battle because it had broken down!
No, new hardware needs to be tested under test environments BEFORE they are to be issued to the troops to ensure that the equipment will meet the requirements and is sufficiently reliable prior to use!
With a combat record as horrific as the Panther's debut at Kursk, that should put any doubts down as to whenever the battlefield is a proper location to be conducting testing.
Consider the cost of the losses involved. No one can deny that a half-track is significantly cheaper to build than a tank.
And it has been postulated that the heavier than expected American losses was due to a misunderstanding of the tank destroyer doctrine by the troops, as it was felt that the tank destroyers were perhaps a little overaggressive in charging the German tanks. This was addressed in later copies of the doctrine, which de-emphasized aggressive actions.
IcelofAngeln wrote:I think that there is an overdose of hindsight in this thread.
It was clear to both the British and the Americans that their tanks needed upgunning. Both began work on mounting a 76mm HV antitank gun. As it turned out, the British gun was a much better AT gun than the American- but one would need a time machine to go back to 1943 and tell Army Ordnance "scrap your project and license the British design."
What the Americans did know was that the 17-pounder was very big and couldn't be made to fit in a Sherman turret without a severe degree of cramping and great penalties in crew efficiency- not trivial considerations. Nor would the 17-pounder ever have fit in the Hellcat, one of the principal drivers of the 76mm project.
Also, the 76mm wasn't "best," but it was good enough. The number of encounters with Panthers at ranges where the penetration differences would have mattered very much were pretty darn small: the 76 could penetrate the Panther's mantlet at typical combat ranges, and flank and rear at practically all real-world ranges. The number of US encounters with Tigers approached nil; and even the 17-pounder couldn't penetrate a King Tiger frontally at less than nearly point-blank.
the 17# like the 6# was a pure AT weapon, a specialized heavy sniper rifle.
As for the 90mm- well, the British made no effort at all to get their 94 mm into a tank until well after the war. The Americans at least designed the M26; and while it was long delayed by McNair and it took Marshall's intervention to put it into production, McNair was not in fact a complete idiot: the M26 wasn't ready for prime time, it proved to be underpowered and unacceptably prone to breakdown. Only with the M26E2 > M46 did we turn it into a reliable MBT.
ThePointblank wrote:Panther's didn't prove to be as good as expected,
the Panzer Lehr prefered the Panzer IV in that type of combat
When you have a tank that is that mechanically fragile, the numbers of breakdowns will reduce the combat capabilities of units equipped with such tanks
with the corresponding increased draw on logistics.
I don't think I need to tell you that the logistics of taking care of a large number of vehicles with those kind of maintenance requirements gets prohibitive fast, and gets prohibitive fast no matter what country you are.
And also despite the Panther tank being on paper, superior to the Sherman, you totally ignore that the Panther's could not turn the tide of battle if they were so superior on paper.
And post war analysis by the French who also operated Shermans and Panther's indicated that while the Panther had a number of very good attributes, there were a number of serious flaws with the Panther as a tank, which I've gone over.
The French also noted that once the commander has identified a target, it takes between 20 and 30 seconds until the gunner can open fire, as the gunner had no general observation capabilities other than the primary gunnery sight, with its fairly narrow field of view, regardless of magnification. The Sherman had a unity sight mounted on the roof for general observation for the gunner, allowing the gunner to observe the target with a fairly wide angle sight to lay the gun, and by 1943, there was a direct vision scope for the gunner as well.
While the Panther's sights were very good in terms of their clarity and the reticles were generally more effective, in general, the Shermans usually were able to lay onto and engage their targets much faster, resulting in the Shermans having the first shot advantage.
All of which is irrelevant to implementing the 90 mm in some way that would have gotten a reasonable number onto the NWE battlefield in mid 1944.
The discussion at hand is not whether it did kinda-sorta okay, but whether it really was the ultimate capability that could have been provided to the US AFV crewman in mid 1944.
Didn't seem to handicap the Panther (or the Tiger) so much in practice.
If you're conducting an ambush, the first shot advantage is your's to begin with.
If, for example, you're fighting with a Panther that's already shooting at you, well... rotsa ruck, GI.
Nope. Just placing it within its proper context. So what if Panthers had lower availability rates? They were still available to some extent, and each tank lasted longer on average.
Pure horsesh!t, young Jedi. A panzer division wasn't only tanks. It wasn't even mostly tanks. In 1944 a panzer division had 4 or 6 battalions of infantry, 3 battalions of artillery, an antitank battalion, an antiaircraft battalion (with 2-3 batteries of 88 mm), a recon battalion, an engineer battalion, and all of the usual support units. And, oh yeah...2 tank battalions. So yeah, having a high number of tanks break down isn't a positive, but it's not a disaster, or even a major setback. For example, the Panthers at Kursk were in direct support of the Grossdeutschland division. (I sure hope you didn't delude yourself into thinking you were schooling me on Panthers at Kursk.) Even after most of those tanks were disabled, the division continued to attack for several days.
Uhhh...no. As long as the tank was broken down within the German lines, it was recovered and repaired. That's what happened most of the time. In cases where the German position collapsed catastrophically, they lost a lot of everything -- if not broken down on the side of the road, simply abandoned for lack of fuel or engineering support to clear or prepare routes or by destruction from Allied air or artillery.
It needs to be tested to meet a minimum standard of quality and usability. As already pointed out -- to you specifically -- "minimum" means different things in different cases. All of that has only a limited relationship to combat testing, which is a thing. Proving grounds testing just doesn't find everything out.
You're simply ignorant. Kursk was in fact delayed so the Panther could be used. It wasn't a case of testing in combat. It was a case of using a new, imperfect capability, brought up to the best standard that it could be. because it was believed that it could be decisive. It wasn't anything different than the DD tank, daylight bombing outside the range of fighter cover, or any other setback caused by material unpreparedness.
By what metric, Sunshine? Present a list of expectations that some German authority actually published at the time. We'll discuss how well the Panther met them.
In the immediate sense? Yes. Over time? only if those tanks are sh!t in combat as well. That's because a tank that's as good at fighting other tanks as the Panther will do plenty of good work while its running.
WTF are you talking about!? A mobile division's daily supply draw is mostly in fuel and artillery ammunition. We're talking in the hundreds of tons. Some individual tank repair parts, like final drives, might be heavy, but the whole tank automotive repair part requirement is maybe a few tons per day at most.
I don't think you know crap enough to tell anybody much. A full strength panzer division had thousands of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and prime movers -- that's not an exaggeration -- and hundreds of AFVs besides tanks. The logistics difficulties caused by even the most maintenance-intensive tank type just weren't that great, compared to the logistics requirements of all the other vehicles..
The Panther couldn't fight all of the air, artillery, and infantry the Allies brought to Normandy. Nor could it fight all of the replacement tanks the Allies had. Let's say a Panther tank got KOed while killing three M4s. That tank might take weeks to replace. The M4s would be replaced within days, maybe even within 24 hours.
Didn't seem to handicap the Panther (or the Tiger) so much in practice. Heck, StuGs with periscopic artillery sights and very limited traverse were some of the most effective tank killers available.
IcelofAngeln wrote: If anyone needs to be faulted, it should be Army Intelligence for failing to pick up on the fact the Germans were making Panther their standard divisional tank, not a limited-production heavy.
Dave AAA wrote:To be fair, Bayerlein was speaking about the Panther under one particular set of circumstances, the very close country in Normandy, where the Panther's advantages of improved speed. flotation, protection, and armament were not able to brought to bear. Under other circumstances, it was a formidable, though far from invincible, opponent to Allied armour.
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