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Sherman vs Tiger?

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flatstiger69 #1 Posted Sep 05 2017 - 20:40


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  Over and over again, U-tube, Facebook etc. you always see articles comparing The Sherman medium against a tiger.

But when you look at the small numbers of Tigers produced, and the large number of PZ IVs, and Stuggs, I would guess a Sherman would be more likely to come across one of those instead of a Tiger.

    How would you rate a Sherman against one of those?


mongoosejake #2 Posted Sep 05 2017 - 20:44


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Ok, just to keep it simple:


Sherman vs Pz IV: Basically a mostly fair fight without a big advantage either way. Both have weaponry can punch through the other, and both are somewhat similar in size (Sherman's just a bit taller) so generally it would come down to who saw who first and in turn fired a on-target shot first.


Sherman vs Stug: Stug will generally get the first shot off, and that normally equals the winner in a actual combat situation. Also, the Stug is so low that it will be harder to hit even once it's position is known.

Devildog8 #3 Posted Sep 05 2017 - 21:02


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The low silhouette of the StuG III (7 feet high vs 9 feet) made it ideal for ambush tactics. Against the Americans it's likely going to be on the defense and well hidden. It will probably get one or two aimed shots off at an advancing Sherman before the M4 can return fire. The StuG III's 75 mm KwK 40 L/48 gun could penetrate the M4A1's front armor at 1000 meters or more (except the gun mantlet).


Unlike other, heavier Wehrmacht armored vehicles, the StuG III was built in large numbers, over 10,000 though the best information I have says only 1,600 were deployed on the Western Front. And it was mechanically reliable. Unlike heavier German tanks which look fearsome on paper but few were built and many broke down, Shermans faced a large number of Stug IIIs.

The most important variable is the M4A1's gun. Is it using the low velocity M3 75mm/L40 gun or the M1 76mm high velocity cannon? Despite its poor anti-armor performance, the 75mm was retained because of it's superior high explosive shell. US tanks spent most of their time fighting infantry.


If our M4A1 has the 75mm gun, it's in trouble. It will struggle to penetrate the StuG III's 80mm of frontal armor at 500 meters. It is seriously outgunned. Its best bet is to fire a white phosphorous round to blind the StuG III while the M4 maneuvers for a side shot, or withdraws and calls in artillery, or calls in a buddy to flank the StuG III. WP could even cause a German crew to panic and bail out believing their vehicle is on fire.


An M4A1 with the 76mm high velocity gun is in a much better position. With a normal AP shell they can reliably penetrate a StuG III at 1000 meters. With an HVAP (High Velocity Armor Piercing) shell they could do it at 2500 meters. Unlike the Germans, the US was well supplied with specialty ammunition. If they can see the StuG III, they can destroy it.


In a close range fight, the M4 has some clear advantages. Not only does the M4 have a turret, but it has a powered turret allowing it to put the gun on target fast. The StuG III lacked a turret and could only traverse their gun about 25 degrees, and had to do it manually, before they had to turn the entire hull, a clumsy operation after which the gunner would have to reacquire the target.

Armored vehicles, if they're smart, don't operate alone. They operate with infantry. Here, the M4A1 has the advantage. The M4A1 was well suited to fighting infantry with three machine guns (a 30 cal in the bow, another mounted co-axially, and a commander's 50 cal), two of which could be fired while buttoned up. The StuG III G usually had only one machine gun. It was mounted behind a gun shield on top of the vehicle meaning a crewman had to expose themselves to operate it. Some StuG IIIs were modified with a co-axial machine gun as well.


Unfortunately I don't have specific M4 vs StuG III statistics. For further reading you might look into Steven Zaloga's books particularly M10 Tank Destroyer vs StuG III Assault Gun. The M10 was built on the M4 chassis, and carried a 3-inch gun similar to the M4's 76mm. On the other hand, it lacked armor and had an abysmally slow turret.


Just some info I looked up for ya...enjoy

FrozenKemp #4 Posted Sep 05 2017 - 21:19


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View Postflatstiger69, on Sep 05 2017 - 14:40, said:

But when you look at the small numbers of Tigers produced, and the large number of PZ IVs, and Stuggs, I would guess a Sherman would be more likely to come across one of those instead of a Tiger.


This is, in fact, true!  There was a tendency among some to label any enemy vehicle a "Tiger".  A Sherman was far more likely to run into one of the other vehicles.  There were a lot more Panthers in France than Tigers, I believe.  (Not sure about numbers of Pz IVs vs Panthers.) 

Viper69 #5 Posted Sep 05 2017 - 21:36


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tigers were best used in ambushes on the western front. Micheal Wittman is one. My favorite armored vehicle of WW2 was the panther. It had the look. Too bad it was plagued with final drive issues early on. But yeah for some reason shows and articles all talk tiger tiger tiger. You are right the panzer 3,4 and the variants mounted used with those chassis were the workhorses of the armored branch of the german army.

Pipinghot #6 Posted Sep 05 2017 - 21:56


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Well, the short answers are:

1) Sherman vs. Panzer IV was pretty much an even fight (if you ignore all other factors on the battlefield and they just happen to get into a 1vs1 fight).

2) Sherman vs. StuG, it depends on who spots who first. StuG's destroyed a lot of tanks during the war, but they were better in a defensive role when they were shooting at tanks advancing through pre-determined paths. If the Shermans (or any other turreted tanks) were able to turn things into a battle of maneuver the StuG's were at a significant disadvantage due to the fixed-forward gun.


For some more info:

The StuG series of vehicles were the most produced vehicle type by Germany during the war and (as far as I know) were credited with the most enemy vehicles destroyed as well as the highest kill ratio of any type of German vehicle.


Production numbers:


StuG III (using Panzer III chassis) = 9,413

StuG IV (using Panzer IV chassis) = 1,141

Panther (using Panzer V chassis) = 6,132

Tiger I (using Panzer VI chassis) = 1,350

Tiger II (using Panzer VI chassis) = 490


Kill numbers:

This is a more complicated topic. Kill numbers are harder to come by, and you have to wade through a lot of myths, like the myth of the 5-1 ratio required for Shermans to kills Panthers or the myth that Shermans were fiery death traps. In addition to these myths, it's hard to know how the various vehicles performed in tank-vs-tank combat because it was so rare. You have to remember that infantry and air power don't exist in WoT but they are important factors on real battlefields. For example, only about 25% of the missions assigned to armored vehicles in WWII involved actions against other armored vehicles, and even then they did these were not purely tank-vs-tank fights. It was extremely rare for tanks to fight other tanks without having infantry in the same battle, and of course infantry and artillery destroyed a lot of tanks.


You might also be interested in this article by The Chieftan:


Edited by Pipinghot, Sep 05 2017 - 22:00.

Ken_McGuire #7 Posted Sep 05 2017 - 22:35


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May I suggest taking a look at this talk from Wargaming's own The_Chieftain?


Edited by Ken_McGuire, Sep 05 2017 - 22:35.

flatstiger69 #8 Posted Sep 07 2017 - 04:11


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   What I've been hearing really reinforces what I've felt like all along. The Sherman wasn't as bad of a tank as it's reputation  leaves you to believe.

The tiger was a really GREAT tank, but as mentioned it's lack of numbers meant that the odds were a Sherman crew would "usually" have a even chance in battle unless his luck ran out and stumbled on a tiger.

   Other then the Tiger or a stationary 88, the Sherman was just as good as any other German tank out there.  





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