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Best (and worst) Tanks of WWII - Album on Imgur


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WulfeHound #21 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 05:09

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View PostKamahl1234, on Oct 10 2016 - 22:56, said:

No, I refer to the tank's armor not being entirely up to snuff as time progressed, just like how the Panther's was, as on "reveal" the Panther was quite well armored.

 

The T-34 was largely innovative due to sloped armor and very cheap production cost (not innovative but a big plus for the Soviets, due to overwhelming numbers).

 

Ah, I see. By 1943 (according to Zaloga in Armored Champion) the T-34 was obsolete and rather unfortunately the efforts to uparmor it or produce new designs (see T-43) didn't work as well as hoped.

railer1999 #22 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 05:26

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Funny fact. I was one of the people who stated the list as nonsense. I commented against the list about how crappy it was. Guess what, the author decided to block me without even refuting my points properly.

Edited by railer1999, Oct 11 2016 - 05:29.


WulfeHound #23 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 05:34

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View Postrailer1999, on Oct 10 2016 - 23:26, said:

Funny fact. I was one of the people who stated the list as nonsense. I commented against the list about how crappy it was. Guess what, the author decided to block me without even refuting my points properly.

 

I haven't blocked you either on Imgur or here, and yes I did refute your points properly

Walter_Sobchak #24 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 08:02

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I've always found the complaint that the gun on the Panther was poor because it did not have a fantastic HE round to be a pretty weak argument.  The Panther had many problems, but the gun certainly was not one of them.  

railer1999 #25 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 09:01

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View PostWulfeHound, on Oct 11 2016 - 04:34, said:

 

I haven't blocked you either on Imgur or here, and yes I did refute your points properly

 

So where are my comments then? 

railer1999 #26 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 09:13

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View PostWulfeHound, on Oct 11 2016 - 02:47, said:

 

The engineering faults of the Panther such as the poorly designed final drives and transmission? The Rube Goldberg-esque turret drive? The poor fuel economy? The inconsistent steel quality? The turret shot trap that was never fully fixed even with the Ausf. G?

 

And no, the Panther was not "the best" in all categories. It had worse armor everywhere than other tanks in its weight class and suffered even worse reliability. It also fitted a gun that was more meant for a tank destroyer, not a medium tank. The Panther fails spectacularly as a proto-MBT, as it lacks the mobility and multipurpose firepower. (I personally think the T-34 was the first MBT, as it combined good armor, good mobility and reliability, and a decent gun for the time)

 

The Sherman had more than enough armor against the most common German AT guns (PaK 38, PaK 40, and able to bounce KwK 36/FlaK 36 rounds at long range). Considering the worst-armored Sherman (1942 production small hatch M4A1's with flawed plate) had 107mm effective and the better examples had upwards of 120mm effective against 75 and 88mm AP rounds, yes, the Sherman was decently armored for its weight. As for your last statement, even with the 75mm it could destroy the most common German armor from upwards of 700-800m, and could punch through the Tiger's side at just under 700m.

 

Edit: rossmum has a much more thorough thread on the flaws of the Panther, you can read it here

Well here's my opinion

 

Yes its gun was more meant to be for tank killing than infantry support. But isn't that what the Panther was meant for? The Panther was designed to counted Soviet T-34s. Not to be an infantry supporter like the M4 Sherman. They will have to sacrifice most things to gain something better. The T-34 was good on mobility but that's only because it is lighter. Like all Russian tanks in WW2 T-34 was extremely cramped and it was not as protected as the Panther or the Tiger.

 

The Sherman was only immune against MOST anti tank guns. The Germans were using long 75 and 88. Yes the Sherman did have 90-100mm of effective armor. But the German 75 and 88 guns proved them to be quite worthless. There was even one incident where multiple Shermans were wiped out by 1 Panzer IV.

The Sherman was great when it came to infantry support but was not very good at tank combat. Killing a German tank is also questionable. Against a Panther the Sherman stands very little chance. In Frontally the Sherman can only destroy the Panther by shooting its turret ring which is a hard task. One miss and the Sherman crew is screwed. Yes the Sherman could destroy the Panther by hitting its side armor which was thinner but the Panther would most likely destroy the Sherman before it even goes to the side. In 1v1 combat the the Sherman is no match for the Panther. The Tiger is a different issue. The 75 could BARELY penetrate the Tiger's armor(even when loaded HVAP). In order to penetrate the side or rear armor of the Tiger the Sherman had to be super close to it. If the crew makes a slight mistake why hitting its armor in the wrong angle then the crew is completely screwed. Even the 76mm guns could barely do it. I never heard of a case where a Sherman tank ever destroyed a Tiger. 


Edited by railer1999, Oct 11 2016 - 09:20.


Guy4123 #27 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 09:42

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View PostCaptain_Rex33, on Oct 11 2016 - 03:25, said:

I'm going to say I disagree, not because the tanks were particularly effective... but because for me when I'm looking at these things I prefer to focus on the engineering, which something about the german designs just strikes a cord with me... I love the look of the KT and panther... the boxy shape that somehow still utilizes curves. I also like the look of the guns being more meaty and just making the whole thing look more like a tank. I'm not saying the Sherman or T-34 were bad tanks, they weren't... but personally when I look at a Sherman I simply do not get the same sense of power. though I cannot speak from the perspective of having one of these things baring down on me. I also really like the T34 because it has a similar shape to the german tanks with the sloped hull... but personally I find tanks like the IS and KV series to simply be ugly, they just look too flat and industrial in a sense.

 

TL-DR (summery):

german tanks were meh... but DAMN they are sexy

 

You don't like engineering, you like aesthetics.

 

View Postrailer1999, on Oct 11 2016 - 08:13, said:

Well here's my opinion

 

Yes its gun was more meant to be for tank killing than infantry support. But isn't that what the Panther was meant for? The Panther was designed to counted Soviet T-34s. Not to be an infantry supporter like the M4 Sherman. They will have to sacrifice most things to gain something better. The T-34 was good on mobility but that's only because it is lighter. Like all Russian tanks in WW2 T-34 was extremely cramped and it was not as protected as the Panther or the Tiger.

 

The Sherman was only immune against MOST anti tank guns. The Germans were using long 75 and 88. Yes the Sherman did have 90-100mm of effective armor. But the German 75 and 88 guns proved them to be quite worthless. There was even one incident where multiple Shermans were wiped out by 1 Panzer IV.

The Sherman was great when it came to infantry support but was not very good at tank combat. Killing a German tank is also questionable. Against a Panther the Sherman stands very little chance. In Frontally the Sherman can only destroy the Panther by shooting its turret ring which is a hard task. One miss and the Sherman crew is screwed. Yes the Sherman could destroy the Panther by hitting its side armor which was thinner but the Panther would most likely destroy the Sherman before it even goes to the side. In 1v1 combat the the Sherman is no match for the Panther. The Tiger is a different issue. The 75 could BARELY penetrate the Tiger's armor(even when loaded HVAP). In order to penetrate the side or rear armor of the Tiger the Sherman had to be super close to it. If the crew makes a slight mistake why hitting its armor in the wrong angle then the crew is completely screwed. Even the 76mm guns could barely do it. I never heard of a case where a Sherman tank ever destroyed a Tiger. 

 

The Panther was designed to replace the Panzer IV as the German main tank in use and as such should of been designed to deal with all types of enemies reasonably well which is what the Sherman was designed for, not just infantry support (same with the T-34). It failed in that task for numerous reasons besides the AT focused gun.

 

The highlighted line is kind of silly for you to say. What's the point in making a tank completely immune to every single German gun if you can only get 1000 of them to theatre while you can make one that's immune to, as you said, MOST German guns and get 30k of them to theatre. Combined arms doesn't work if you don't have enough arms to go around. You probably haven't heard about Shermans killing Tigers much because Tigers were extremely rare to see. Only the British really saw any number of them on the western front. The Americans only saw a few of them and often mistaked Panzer IV's for Tigers. Not surprising they look extremely similar from afar. I think The Chieftain found only 3 actual instances of Americans encountering Tigers in Europe during his research.

 

EE has posted after action reports of Shermans vs Panthers multiple times around here which highlight the Shermans being much much more effective against Panthers weather on the defensive or offensive. Most tank battles were decided by who shot first and the Shermans had a much easier time getting their gun on target than the Panthers due to shoddy optics setup for the Panthers gunner (another designed flaw never rectified).

 

Theirs also no point in designing your main tank and compromising it's ability to perform all rolls well to combat an extremely rare enemy foe like the Tiger. That's what the Germans did and it failed miserably. Take the Jagdtiger for instance. They were built to combat.....nothing. The allies had nothing that needed a 12,8cm AT gun 250mm thick pillbox to be pointed at it yet they still built them and tried to design them to be imperious to everything. They just ended up extremely overweight, underpowered, mechanically unreliable, and being built in too few numbers to affect anything (even if they did make it to the battlefield)



WulfeHound #28 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 14:35

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View Postrailer1999, on Oct 11 2016 - 03:01, said:

 

So where are my comments then? 

 

To be completely honest, I don't know. I can't find my responses to your comments as well.



EnsignExpendable #29 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 15:33

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View PostTjtod, on Oct 10 2016 - 22:47, said:

Why were the Tiger and Panther so heavy for what they were?

 

They weren't, originally. As the VK numbers imply, they were supposed to be 45 tons and 30 tons respectively, a very reasonable weight for a heavy and medium tank. Then the design just kind of ballooned out and nobody was willing to sacrifice something to slim it down. This consistently happened with German designs. The Maus, for example, was "only" supposed to weigh 100 tons at inception.

 

On the other hand, when the increase in thickness of the T-40's roof increased the mass by 17 kilograms, the Soviet designers compensated for the weight in other components. 

 

View PostWulfeHound, on Oct 10 2016 - 23:09, said:

 

Ah, I see. By 1943 (according to Zaloga in Armored Champion) the T-34 was obsolete and rather unfortunately the efforts to uparmor it or produce new designs (see T-43) didn't work as well as hoped.

 

There were T-34s with 60 mm of front armour produced. They were deemed unnecessary. Later there was a T-34-85 with 75 mm of front armour designed and tested, again deemed unnecessary. The Americans came to the same conclusion in Europe: even if the standard Sherman was uparmoured to resist 50% of frontal shots, the downsides of that would have outweighed the advantages. The Jumbo Sherman in the west and the IS in the east were enough for specialized action that required more armour.

 

View Postrailer1999, on Oct 11 2016 - 03:13, said:

Well here's my opinion

 

Yes its gun was more meant to be for tank killing than infantry support. But isn't that what the Panther was meant for? The Panther was designed to counted Soviet T-34s. Not to be an infantry supporter like the M4 Sherman. They will have to sacrifice most things to gain something better. The T-34 was good on mobility but that's only because it is lighter. Like all Russian tanks in WW2 T-34 was extremely cramped and it was not as protected as the Panther or the Tiger.

 

The Sherman was only immune against MOST anti tank guns. The Germans were using long 75 and 88. Yes the Sherman did have 90-100mm of effective armor. But the German 75 and 88 guns proved them to be quite worthless. There was even one incident where multiple Shermans were wiped out by 1 Panzer IV.

The Sherman was great when it came to infantry support but was not very good at tank combat. Killing a German tank is also questionable. Against a Panther the Sherman stands very little chance. In Frontally the Sherman can only destroy the Panther by shooting its turret ring which is a hard task. One miss and the Sherman crew is screwed. Yes the Sherman could destroy the Panther by hitting its side armor which was thinner but the Panther would most likely destroy the Sherman before it even goes to the side. In 1v1 combat the the Sherman is no match for the Panther. The Tiger is a different issue. The 75 could BARELY penetrate the Tiger's armor(even when loaded HVAP). In order to penetrate the side or rear armor of the Tiger the Sherman had to be super close to it. If the crew makes a slight mistake why hitting its armor in the wrong angle then the crew is completely screwed. Even the 76mm guns could barely do it. I never heard of a case where a Sherman tank ever destroyed a Tiger. 

 

The Panther was a medium tank. The job of a medium tank is to fight alongside infantry. It was not designed or employed as a tank destroyer.

 

There was also one incident where an inferior force of Shermans clowned a bunch of Panthers and PzIVs. Plus there's the Battle of Arracourt, where again, the Shermans triumphed over panthers. You can't judge an entire tank design by one battle. 

 

The Sherman didn't have to shoot the Panther in the turret ring to destroy it. In British tests, 75 mm APCBC that hit the gun mantlet caved in the hull roof and likely would have caused an ammunition fire. The Panther's metal was very, very bad.

 

Sherman vs. Tiger is a played out theme as well. In Soviet tests, the Sherman has no problem penetrating the Tiger's armour from several hundred meters away. Soviet Shermans could also handle Tigers just fine.  

 

 


Edited by EnsignExpendable, Oct 11 2016 - 15:42.


Anlushac11 #30 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 20:55

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Germans had a different philosophy. US and Soviets designed a jack of all trades tank. Germans designed a tank for one or two jobs.

 

Heavy tanks were intended to assault enemy positions and create a breakthrough which the faster medium tanks could exploit. US used mediums for infantry support because they had nothing else. Germans developed a whole family of specialized infantry support vehicles. SturmInfantriegeschutz 33, StuG III, StuH 42, Brumbar, etc.

 

Germans had Tigers, Soviets had KV's, Brits had Churchill's, US at first had none, designed and never used some (T1, T14, and M6), then built M4A3E2 "Jumbo's". Later 105mm armed Sherman's can be added to the assault role.

 

There were standing orders that Tigers were not to be used in infantry support role. They were to be kept as mobile reserve to counter attack enemy armor. Tigers would be sent in, then often pulled out and moved to a different spot on the line. When Tigers started becoming even more rare Panthers were often used. If deployed properly Panthers often did well, if deployed badly they often suffered greater losses. 

 

German medium tanks were intended to use their mobility to flank a enemy. Before saying Panther mobility sucked one should watch the Swedish Army test of various WW2 western designs, one of which as a Panther.

 

Ironic that people like to praise the PzIII while Daimler Benz was not at all happy with the PzIII. Notes from a meeting Nov 15th 1939 between Daimler Benz Engineers and Directors mention that Daimler did not want to use the torsion bar suspension since it was more difficult to repair, took up too much room in vehicle, and caused the Panzer III to be a "extraordinarily unstable gun platform".

 

Krupp also did not want to produce a torsion bar system for similar reasons. Krupp had designed a updated PzIV, the BW.40 which would have used a reinforced and upgraded suspension that had three bogies per side with pairs or larger diameter road wheels. and a triple raidus steering gear and improved transmission. The weak point of the Panzer IV was a weak suspension that would not allow further up armoring of the side hull or the turret. The BW.40 would have also received the Maybach HL 120 410hp engine.

 

You can say PzIV's leaf spring suspension was archaic and obsolete but it worked, was easy to repair, and cheap to produce.

 

The VK20.01M started with a PzIV shaped hull with a torsion bar suspension with coil srping setup at front and rear.   

 

VK20.02M design was a PzIV sized vehicle with the same armor angles as the Panther. Would have used torsion bars, Schachtellaufwerk suspension design with six 880mm diameter road wheels on a 474mm wide track, and a Maybach HL90 motor. Armor was to have been 50mm UFP/LFP, 40mm upper and lower sides, and 30mm rear.

 

Not much is known about the VK24.02M. MAN documents refer to the design and MAN mentions it as part of design evolution to Panther but to date  no plans have been found.

 

On November 1941 the VK30 requirement was issued. Germany's Designers and Engineers were against a 30 ton design arguing that the VK24 designs were all but done while a 30 ton design would mean starting from scratch over. it would mean less tanks and that German Army bridges could not support a 30 ton tank (It was later found that limit of the bridges was 45 tons which meant Panther could squeeze across carefully).

 

Daimler Benz created the VK30.01D or DB which weighed about 32 tons.

 

MAN presented the VK30.02M which weighed 42 tons. In a attempt to improve chances at getting contract and to speed development MAN tried to incorporate pre existing parts from Tiger design. The double torsion bar system was a excellent design and a novel way to increase suspension travel but at expense of interior height. The vehicle height was also required by the decision to use the Maybach HL210 motor. Panther standard tracks were same as Tigers transport tracks. Panther was intended to use Tiger road wheels but IIRC this didnt happen for whatever reason.

 

In essence for VK30 requirement Daimler presented a 32 ton design and MAN presented a 42 ton design, this moved to 43 tons when front hull was upgraded from 60mm to 80mm. Panther Ausf D weighed 43 tons, Panther ausf A weighed 45 tons. Panther Ausf G weighed 44 tons, 46 tons if steel rimmed road wheels were used.

 

IMHO Panther was a design that was too close to cutting edge for a German Industry was not as advanced as it liked to claim. The fact that Panther was rushed straight into production when it should have spent a year in development didnt help. Worth noting that Panther production quality was so bad that Germany had to set up rebuild centers to rebuild new Panthers to bring them up to standard. Some units got Panthers so badly produced the units refused to accept the vehicles til problems were fixed.

 

In disagreement with Ensign Expendable the Panthers armor was not so much crap as a crap shoot. Quality varied from very bad to very good. In one case documented IIRC by US Army's Watertown Arsenal Brits tested armor made for Panthers after war. Armor was found outside air cooled in racks. Brit tests showed the armor was a good quality mixture but was not properly hardened. Brits took the armor sample, reheated to anneal, and then properly quenched in Arsenic salts, retested and found it met standards for US and Brit armor acceptance.

 

In another case armor tested in 1941 showed small amounts of Molybdenum in the armor - less than US thought was acceptable for armor. Tests of 1942-43 showed even less Molybdenum present, almost down to trace amounts and by 1944 gone from armor. Germans substituted other materials such as Boron and Vanadium and tests show the armor as poured was still not bad. The Bottleneck seems to be in bad heat treatment. IMHO the problem is Germany was suffering from lack of Arsenic Salts needed to properly quench the plates. While not as good there is a technique that allows for water quenching, then air cooling to a certain degree, then reheating and re quenching in water

 

As much as I hate to say it Germany would have done much better putting the VK30.02D design into service with IMHO a improved version of 7.5cm KwK 40 but with barrel lengthened to L/55. VK 30.02D should have also stayed with the originally intended Mercedes MB507 air cooled diesel. 

 

I also believe Hungary's 44M TAS design would have done better than the Panther. A Hungarian Military commission examined Panthers in Germany and said this is too complicated, we cant produce this,  We need a easier to produce design so they developed a Panther clone which was lower, lighter, better armored, had a similar gun, and was easier to produce.

 

Interesting to point out that Panther II used Tiger I's single torsion bar system

 

 



WulfeHound #31 Posted Oct 11 2016 - 22:44

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The issue with building the diesel was very few vehicles used that fuel in the German army (which would have pushed the already strained logistical system even further), and the setting aside of aluminium for aircraft production (despite hundreds if not thousands of tonnes of the metal tied up in the brewing industry). Plus the Daimler-Benz design's turret ring was too small to mount the KwK 42 safely and increasing the size of the turret ring would have made redesigning nearly the entire hull a necessity.

railer1999 #32 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 04:10

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Oct 11 2016 - 14:33, said:

The Sherman didn't have to shoot the Panther in the turret ring to destroy it. In British tests, 75 mm APCBC that hit the gun mantlet caved in the hull roof and likely would have caused an ammunition fire. The Panther's metal was very, very bad.

 

Sherman vs. Tiger is a played out theme as well. In Soviet tests, the Sherman has no problem penetrating the Tiger's armour from several hundred meters away. Soviet Shermans could also handle Tigers just fine.  

 

 

I agreed with most of the things you said except for these.

Also I wasn't saying that the Sherman was horrible due to this "one battle". I said that the Sherman's armor was quite worthless because almost any German anti tank gun could easily penetrate it like butter.

 

From what I've heard the Panther's armor was bad only at LATE PARTS of the war when Germany was forced to reduce or no longer use certain critical alloys in the production of armor plate, such as nickel, tungsten and molybdenum which resulted in lower impact resistance levels compared to earlier armor. 

 

EDIT

"Easily" take out a Tiger? The first source you showed is what happened in testing and not actual combat. Then I'd say that any Tiger and Panther crew can destroy a Sherman in 1-2km away only because Kurt Knispel succeeded on doing it(this barely happened in actual combat).

 

The second source. You're taking this one incident as a count? Then what about this? There's an incident where a Sherman managed to face a Tiger. The Sherman was only about few inches away from the Tiger's front hull. It fired against it multiple times and every shot it fired bounced off. 

 

"Technically" a Sherman could destroy a Tiger but not easily. In normal situations the Sherman will almost always lose.

 


Edited by railer1999, Oct 12 2016 - 05:05.


WulfeHound #33 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 04:24

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>any German AT gun

Except you know, the PaK 40 at combat range, KwK 36 at ~900-1000m, PaK 38 at shorter distances, 37mm PaK 36 at any range frontally, and so on. Yes, the KwK 42 and KwK 43 could easily penetrate the Sherman at longer distances, but here's the thing: those weapons were not that common.



railer1999 #34 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 04:56

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View PostWulfeHound, on Oct 12 2016 - 03:24, said:

>any German AT gun

Except you know, the PaK 40 at combat range, KwK 36 at ~900-1000m, PaK 38 at shorter distances, 37mm PaK 36 at any range frontally, and so on. Yes, the KwK 42 and KwK 43 could easily penetrate the Sherman at longer distances, but here's the thing: those weapons were not that common.

 

I said ALMOST any anti tank gun. How come you only mention the 37mm gun and not the 75 and 88? 75 not common? Panthers were quite common along with Panzer IVs. If they were not common then why will they be listed as the Sherman's common enemy? 

Edited by railer1999, Oct 12 2016 - 05:05.


WulfeHound #35 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 05:09

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View Postrailer1999, on Oct 11 2016 - 22:56, said:

 

I said ALMOST any anti tank gun. How come you only mention the 37mm gun and not the 75 and 88? Not common? Panthers were quite common along with Panzer IVs.

 

I did mention the 75mm and 88mm. Those are the PaK 40 and KwK 36. The 50mm PaK 38 and 75mm PaK 40 were the most common AT guns available in the German arsenal

railer1999 #36 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 06:32

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View PostWulfeHound, on Oct 12 2016 - 04:09, said:

 

I did mention the 75mm and 88mm. Those are the PaK 40 and KwK 36. The 50mm PaK 38 and 75mm PaK 40 were the most common AT guns available in the German arsenal

 

and the most common 75 PaK40 had 0 issues on penetrating the Sherman. 

WulfeHound #37 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 07:13

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View Postrailer1999, on Oct 12 2016 - 00:32, said:

 

and the most common 75 PaK40 had 0 issues on penetrating the Sherman. 

 

Using 0 degree penetration data (based on German test plates and using the DeMarre equation with references to both the 75mm L/43 and L/70), the 75mm L/48 will penetrate ~133-142mm of armor at 0m. Out past 500m or so, the L/48 will struggle to penetrate a late-model Sherman glacis.


Even the 88mm L/56 will struggle to penetrate the Sherman's glacis at around 1000-1500m and this was reflected in combat (North Africa), where long range 88mm fire often bounced off.


Edited by WulfeHound, Oct 12 2016 - 07:17.


Zinegata #38 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 09:04

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View Postrailer1999, on Oct 11 2016 - 16:13, said:

Well here's my opinion

 

Yes its gun was more meant to be for tank killing than infantry support. But isn't that what the Panther was meant for? The Panther was designed to counted Soviet T-34s. Not to be an infantry supporter like the M4 Sherman. They will have to sacrifice most things to gain something better. The T-34 was good on mobility but that's only because it is lighter. Like all Russian tanks in WW2 T-34 was extremely cramped and it was not as protected as the Panther or the Tiger.

 

The Sherman was only immune against MOST anti tank guns. The Germans were using long 75 and 88. Yes the Sherman did have 90-100mm of effective armor. But the German 75 and 88 guns proved them to be quite worthless. There was even one incident where multiple Shermans were wiped out by 1 Panzer IV.

The Sherman was great when it came to infantry support but was not very good at tank combat. Killing a German tank is also questionable. Against a Panther the Sherman stands very little chance. In Frontally the Sherman can only destroy the Panther by shooting its turret ring which is a hard task. One miss and the Sherman crew is screwed. Yes the Sherman could destroy the Panther by hitting its side armor which was thinner but the Panther would most likely destroy the Sherman before it even goes to the side. In 1v1 combat the the Sherman is no match for the Panther. The Tiger is a different issue. The 75 could BARELY penetrate the Tiger's armor(even when loaded HVAP). In order to penetrate the side or rear armor of the Tiger the Sherman had to be super close to it. If the crew makes a slight mistake why hitting its armor in the wrong angle then the crew is completely screwed. Even the 76mm guns could barely do it. I never heard of a case where a Sherman tank ever destroyed a Tiger. 

 

The issue here is that statistically the biggest killer of Allied tanks was not Panthers - it was instead towed anti-tank guns. It didn't matter that the Panther had good front armor - over 75% of the surface area is not the front and in any case most crews bailed out or ran after the first hit.

 

Indeed, the first engagement involving the Panther - an attack by the 12th SS's Panther battalion against the British - ended in a fiasco because the Panthers were essentially shot to pieces by a couple of hidden 6-pounder guns (supported by a few Shermans working in concert). That the big bad Panthers kept getting killed by what was at that point the puniest gun in the Allied arsenal demonstrates the stark vulnerability of most tanks to a well-concealed anti-tank weapon.

 

War is not a Trump Card battle. You do not win by out-statting your opponent. It is a competition of different systems, and the harsh reality of Nazi Germany's situation is that the most cost-effective way of destroying enemy tanks was using smaller anti-tank weapons like anti-tank guns or panzerfaust. Sure, these weapons weren't as mobile as tanks - but by 1944 the tactical mobility of most German units was already nearly non-existent anyway due to enemy air superiority.  Sure, these units also suffered heavy human losses - anti-tank guns and panzerfaust usually getting eliminated easily by Allied infantry once they reveal themselves - but at this point Germany still had plenty of bodies. What they didn't have was gas to power a 45 ton tank.

 

The only armored vehicles that were in fact still cost-effective by 1944 were Panzerjaeger - meaning the non-turreted armored vehicles like the Marder or assault guns like the Stug. It didn't matter if the Marder had almost no armor - the point is that it's small enough that the Allied tankers wouldn't even see it before it got to fire and knock out a couple of Allied tanks before repositioning.



Zinegata #39 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 09:19

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View Postrailer1999, on Oct 12 2016 - 11:56, said:

 

I said ALMOST any anti tank gun. How come you only mention the 37mm gun and not the 75 and 88? 75 not common? Panthers were quite common along with Panzer IVs. If they were not common then why will they be listed as the Sherman's common enemy? 

 

Lol, no. The Panthers were not common; this is a myth manufactured by Stephen Ambrose based on the fact that he does not understand the grade school concept of fractions.

 

Panthers were theoretically half the tank park of most Panzer Divisions by 1944 - the stat most cited for the "common Panthers" myth - but the Panzer Divisions themselves were a rarity even in the earliest days of the war. At most they were one-fifth of the German Army, and even within those Panzer Divisions only one battalion in six had Panthers (the rest of the battalions were Mk IVs, Panzergrenadier, Recon, or Artillery units). Simple multiplication of these two figures shows that at best only 1/30 battalions were Panther battalions.

 

In practice it was even less than that because of all of the maintenance problems of the Panther. To demonstrate: by the end of the war - based on the very last report made on April 10 - the Germans had a grand total of 44 tanks left working while hundreds of thousands of men were still fighting for Berlin.

 

The most common anti-tank weapon for most of the war was in fact the 50mm PAK, which accounted for the majority of the kills up to 1943. This is because the gun was lighter and much more common - every Infantry Division (even the really bad ones) had around a battalion's worth of them, and Infantry Divisions were 80-95% of the army. Of the bigger guns, most but not all Infantry Divisions tried to have at least one battery of 75mm L48s (if very lucky it was mounted on Marders or other light Panzerjaeger chassis); but they were not equipped with the long 75mm L70 or the 88s. The former was essentially reserved primarily for armored vehicles - notably the Panther and the Jagdpanzer - which were armored vehicles that were doctrinally prohibited from being parcelled out in support of the infantry. The 88s meanwhile were kept in their own battalions and were typically seen as Corps-level assets; kept in reserve for really large and dire enemy tank attacks (like Operation Goodwood, where one such battalion inflicted heavy losses on a British tank regiment).

 

The late-war tank casualties were inflicted primarily by anti-tank guns (50%, mostly the 75mm L48 or the 50mm), followed by Panzerfaust (1/3 of the losses). Mines are a distant third and losses to enemy action were below even mine losses. 

 

One thing to note here is that Allied tank crews - just like German ones - were human and do not stupidly stand still and allow their tanks to take multiple anti-tank gun hits. Crews on both sides almost always bail out or back off the moment a tank gets hit. If they don't you will usually find the account attached to a Medal of Honor citation or other equivalent award (often posthumously). 


Edited by Zinegata, Oct 12 2016 - 09:31.


Zinegata #40 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 09:26

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View PostWulfeHound, on Oct 11 2016 - 10:47, said:

 

The engineering faults of the Panther such as the poorly designed final drives and transmission? The Rube Goldberg-esque turret drive? The poor fuel economy? The inconsistent steel quality? The turret shot trap that was never fully fixed even with the Ausf. G?

 

And no, the Panther was not "the best" in all categories. It had worse armor everywhere than other tanks in its weight class and suffered even worse reliability. It also fitted a gun that was more meant for a tank destroyer, not a medium tank. The Panther fails spectacularly as a proto-MBT, as it lacks the mobility and multipurpose firepower. (I personally think the T-34 was the first MBT, as it combined good armor, good mobility and reliability, and a decent gun for the time)

 

The Sherman had more than enough armor against the most common German AT guns (PaK 38, PaK 40, and able to bounce KwK 36/FlaK 36 rounds at long range). Considering the worst-armored Sherman (1942 production small hatch M4A1's with flawed plate) had 107mm effective and the better examples had upwards of 120mm effective against 75 and 88mm AP rounds, yes, the Sherman was decently armored for its weight. As for your last statement, even with the 75mm it could destroy the most common German armor from upwards of 700-800m, and could punch through the Tiger's side at just under 700m.

 

Edit: rossmum has a much more thorough thread on the flaws of the Panther, you can read it here

 

To date I have yet to see any Panther fanboy name an actual battle that the Panther won. They always tell a story, but are unable to name the date or the location of the engagement. Even the units involved on both side remain mysteriously unknowable when the Panther dominating ETO battlefields was supposedly one of the most common features of the war.






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