panzer IV versus the sherman of doom

German weapons, vehicles and equipment 1919-1945.

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Post by Rich » Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:24 am

Duplicate Post
Last edited by Rich on Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Rich » Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:43 am

Let me try again.
phylo_roadking wrote:Well, they weighed in at 42 tons already, and speed down to 24 mph....
Actually 22 IIRC, but the real concern wasn't spead it was ground preassure and the assumed problem if the VVS bottomed out over rough terrain at speed, ptentially breaking the springs. But the supposedly crap VVS proved to be surprisingly robust in service and the addition of a heavier spring meant the problem evidently was never encountered.
Do you have any figures for their casualty rates??? Despite the heavier armour...THAT much slower was just making them a target, as well as the habit of putting them at the head of columns as a break-through tank!
So you are of the Jackie Fisher school of "armor is speed"....excuse me "armour"? :D In fact it made little or no differance, loss rates on the M4A3E2 were very low, by the end of January 1945 only 33 of the 250 shipped to US forces in Europe had been written off, and IIRC only 50-odd were lost in total. So probably just a 2 percent loss rate, rather lower than the 12.3 percent loss rate for Sherman gun tanks over the same period.

They were very robust tanks. The first lost was to multiple hits by an 88 at 800 yards that hit it on the transmission cover without penetrating, but the concussion causing it to stall. The Germans then hit it multiple times without penetration, around six more hits IIRC, before a freak shot penetrated the gunners sight aperture, setting off the ready rounds and popping the turret.
What I meant about the cork vs rubber seal issue - the cork thing was known about for ages lol it affected most vehicles in the Desert after all. So the assessments were done after long use and experience. The Sherman's issues would only have shown up after a similar time.
Er, I think that was the point I made a couple of posts ago?
Question....who actually carried out that maintenance??? In the case of lendlease aircraft you have US personnel whether as "private contractors working for Lockheed/Boeing etc.", or US service personnel doing the conversion training - and just not talked about (Like the US crewman who actually sighted the Bismarck from that famous Catalina, just along for the ride LOL), but in the case of US tanks in british service in the Desert, where units converted in-theatre - who did the conversion training and trained the crews?
Conversion training was initially done in the Middle East by US contractors and Army personnel. Once training was done at the Delta Ordnance complex the FDS did the same at the unit and formation level. So operational and maintenance training was simultaneous.

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Post by phylo_roadking » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:10 am

In other words - it was STILL faster than the Churchill LOL Pity the magic formula couldn't have arrived sooner. Don't mean "Armour is speed"....but certainly the lack of it gives your enemy a better-aimed shot lol

Are there any examples of those conversion personnel sneaking into combat with British tankers? Or perhaps much earlier....like on Stuarts in 1941? :-)
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Post by Rich » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:43 am

phylo_roadking wrote:In other words - it was STILL faster than the Churchill LOL Pity the magic formula couldn't have arrived sooner. Don't mean "Armour is speed"....but certainly the lack of it gives your enemy a better-aimed shot lol
Actually reports indicate that the principal shortfall seen in most tanks was lack of acceleration, not speed.
Are there any examples of those conversion personnel sneaking into combat with British tankers? Or perhaps much earlier....like on Stuarts in 1941? :-)
Sure, IIRC Humphrey Bogart and the crew of Lula Belle. :D 8) :wink:

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Post by Reb » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:02 am

"A glass of water will cost you a rifle..."

cheers
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Post by phylo_roadking » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:32 am

LOL crew????? Ah, you mean the man with five pairs of arms! ;-)
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Post by Rich » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:01 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:LOL crew????? Ah, you mean the man with five pairs of arms! ;-)
Very funny. Here is the summary of repairs for the desert. I'm afraid I remembered the oil and coolant leaks as fuel leaks, but I'm still digging through reports. Note that the number of jobs and the number of tanks doesn't match, some required more than one repair.

From: Summary of Work, 7 Armd Div Workshops R.A.O.C., Covering Period 18 November-26 December 1941 (WO 169/3861: Appendix C to CRME/1915/AFV, February 1942)

I. Received Repaired Evacuated
Crusader 134 95 39
Cruiser Mk. IV 30 5 25
General Stuart 61 11 50
Cruiser Mk. I & II 17 2 15
Valentine 10 6 4

III. Summary of Common Repairs
(a) Crusader – Mechanical Faults
Engine Oil Filter Leak 7
Engine Oil Leak main gallery pipe 16
Water leak, pump 15
Water leak, hoses and gaskets 5
Main fan driving sprocket 29
Fan idler sprockets 2
Fan idler sprocket spindles 7
Compressors 12
2-pdrs, faulty 6
2-pdrs, changed 7
Gearbox and steering levers changed 5
Front suspension lever 3
- Total 120
- Battle Casualties 39
(b) Cruiser Mk. IV – Mechanical Faults
Gearbox adjusted 1
Engine overhaul 2
- Total 3
- Battle Casualties 2
(c) General Stuart [no mechanical faults noted]
- Battle Casualties 9
(d) Valentine – Mechanical Faults
Engine clutch 2
Suspension overhaul 1
Injection overhaul 2
- Total 5
- Battle Casualties 3

IV. Common Reasons for Evacuation [mechanical only, battle damage not transcribed]
(a) Crusader
Engine seized – gaskets burned out 4
(b) Cruiser Mk. IV
Brake drum 2
Engine clutch 8

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Post by phylo_roadking » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:23 pm

oh dear, poor Crusader!

A lot of pipework and cooling system problems there! A symptom of being designed in Britain but deployed in the Desert?

Rich - do you have a report for comparison from the same workshop say 6 months or a year earlier? I'd be interested in seeing - knowing how despite the prototype work going on, a lot of british cruiser types were just derivatives or earlier types - if the same types of problems were being worked on on other Cruiser types pre-Crusader......
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Post by Rich » Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:25 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:oh dear, poor Crusader!

A lot of pipework and cooling system problems there! A symptom of being designed in Britain but deployed in the Desert?

Rich - do you have a report for comparison from the same workshop say 6 months or a year earlier? I'd be interested in seeing - knowing how despite the prototype work going on, a lot of british cruiser types were just derivatives or earlier types - if the same types of problems were being worked on on other Cruiser types pre-Crusader......
Well, earlier reports are most just serviceable/unserviceable and I alrady posted some of those I thought? Basically, the unservicceability rates for the cruisers seemed to stay firmly above 20 percent throughout. I'll see if I can post more later.

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Post by phylo_roadking » Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:50 pm

British tank design of the first three years of the war is remarkable for each new mark of Cruiser etc. not fully addressing the problems of the old - which is, after all, one of the main reasons to develop a new type! Some actually managed to be worse in many ways than their predecessor :-(....meanwhile a number of new deisgns were going through a VERY slow prototyping stage, where redesign followed redesign, leading to innumerable delays, when each incarnation showed less performance/reliability improvements over the last than was expected....while being vastly bigger improvements than was accepted between uptaken cruiser types!

And to think in other threads we're castigating the GERMANS for the way they designed and sourced their armour!
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Post by Rich » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:03 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:And to think in other threads we're castigating the GERMANS for the way they designed and sourced their armour!
Er, yes, and to think that in this thread you're castigating the AMERICANS for the way they designed and sourced their armor! :D :wink:

BTW, what do you mean "sourced"? :?:

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Post by phylo_roadking » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:13 am

No, the Americans were in the "privledged" position that they could maake up performance holes etc. but simply producing a specialised unit to do the job, thats of course a great way if you can do it, but sadly very few other combatants could :-(

Didn't mean "sourcing" as in numbers, meant as in the commercial competion between designers, the priviledges given to Party favourites, designs - like the Elefant - being ego-driven instead of by practicality. Bit like the unholy mess at the Air Ministry. The Heerswaffenampt seemed to loose control early on in the war, and instead of being the controlling authority - which it should have been - you have the ridiculous case of individual party bigwigs sponsoring pet projects or stopping others.

A bit like in the UK - where every aircraft company owner knew that the key to getting his latest model uptaken....even if there were problems....was getting Churchill there to see it in person! Hence the advent of the Typhoon/Tempest family, even though the high-altitude performance issues were clear from the very start of testing and it was universally recognised it was not going to be the Spitfire replacement it was designed to be.
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Post by Rich » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:58 am

phylo_roadking wrote:No, the Americans were in the "privledged" position that they could maake up performance holes etc. but simply producing a specialised unit to do the job, thats of course a great way if you can do it, but sadly very few other combatants could :-(
Sorry, but I still don't follow what you mean by that? Nor am I sure how the US was privledged except in terms of industrial potential. But the sad facts of life are that the US economy prior to the war was probably in the worst shape of any of the future major belligerants, in 1937 the economy suffered as nearly as bad a collapse as the original in 1929-1932.

That industrial potential did mean that when manufacture began, that a large number of equipments of all types could be built. That was fine for the aircraft industry, where there had been sufficiant civilian financing and development prewar to enable US designers to maintain a cutting edge. And luckily for the US Army the development of the artillery arms equipment in the 1920s was advanced enough to be translated directly into new but mature designs in 1940-1941.

But that simply didn't happen with tanks. Engines were catch as catch can. VVS soldiered on into 1944 because it was a simple inexpensive system that had been well tried during the 30's and could be used as it was. Torsion-bar development didn't even begin until 1942.

So the US tanks were the antithesis of "specialized" - they were cookie cutter designs. But the basic systems - of necessity - were simple enough that they were adaptable to some other uses.
Didn't mean "sourcing" as in numbers, meant as in the commercial competion between designers, the priviledges given to Party favourites, designs - like the Elefant - being ego-driven instead of by practicality. Bit like the unholy mess at the Air Ministry. The Heerswaffenampt seemed to loose control early on in the war, and instead of being the controlling authority - which it should have been - you have the ridiculous case of individual party bigwigs sponsoring pet projects or stopping others.
My read was that there wasn't quite as much of that as is commonly supposed. Elefant was a special case, two competing designs, one "cutting edge" and one more pedestrian. But it was Porsche IIRC who decided more or less to spend his effort in producing a large pre-production run without a contract, the decision to accet them was more or less a "bail out" to aide the company, something that happened, and still happens in every government-industrial complex.
A bit like in the UK - where every aircraft company owner knew that the key to getting his latest model uptaken....even if there were problems....was getting Churchill there to see it in person! Hence the advent of the Typhoon/Tempest family, even though the high-altitude performance issues were clear from the very start of testing and it was universally recognised it was not going to be the Spitfire replacement it was designed to be.
I always liked Tempest. :D But Typhoon was kind of problematic, mostly because of the wing.

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Post by phylo_roadking » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:30 am

ok, less "specialised" should maybe have said "focused" like the M10. Which you have to have if you're relying on a jack-of-all-trades.

The development of the E-series is a similar case - Hitler ordered work to halt totally, but it continued on the QT, and the surviving pictures of the test hull on the proving ground shows some major gold braid in attendance! Or the proverbial Maus :? which only survived because of his sponsorship and desire.

Not just the Typhoon's wing, the Napier engine proved to be much less than promised at first :-( Ran out of breath at altitude like the Allison engined-Mustangs, and the RAF hated the cartridge starting system at the time.
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Post by Rich » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:37 am

phylo_roadking wrote:ok, less "specialised" should maybe have said "focused" like the M10. Which you have to have if you're relying on a jack-of-all-trades.

The development of the E-series is a similar case - Hitler ordered work to halt totally, but it continued on the QT, and the surviving pictures of the test hull on the proving ground shows some major gold braid in attendance! Or the proverbial Maus :? which only survived because of his sponsorship and desire.
Okay, I see what you mean now, but everybody had those issues to a greater or lesser extent. It's part of the military-industrial complex and it doesn't matter a damn whether it's operating in democratic or totalitarian state or not. :(
Not just the Typhoon's wing, the Napier engine proved to be much less than promised at first :-( Ran out of breath at altitude like the Allison engined-Mustangs, and the RAF hated the cartridge starting system at the time.
Yeah, but even if the Napier had worked that wing was problematic at altitude or in a dive, but it sure as hell wasn't going to break easily. :D

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