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M4 Sherman "The Right Tank for the Wrong War"

M4 Sherman

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BillT #61 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 01:15

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View PostIe_Shima, on Sep 14 2017 - 10:40, said:

There was also the US tank doctrine at the time.  At that point, tanks were seen as infantry support and infantry support only, much like CVs were supposed to support the BBs of the navy and not actually take a front stage role.  Christies designs all relied on speed and maneuverability and were supposed to exploit breakthroughs, much like how Germany and later Russia and Patton would do.  But that was the exact opposite of what the current doctrine was.  

 

Your posting was excellent, but I have to push back on this point.  At the time Christie created his T3, the US Army's infantry arm was indeed in charge of "tank" development.  But the cavalry was also issuing requirements for armored vehicles to mechanize the traditional role of cavalry, including reconnaissance and exploitation.  They just weren't allowed to put cannons in them or call them "tanks", so they carried only machine guns and were designated "combat cars".  So the situation at the time was similar to that in Britain, with its separate Infantry and Cruiser tanks.  Christie's designs fit the cavalry mission very well.



Lethalhavoc #62 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 01:18

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View PostBillT, on Sep 14 2017 - 19:59, said:

 

Well, yeah.  That's the nature of alternate-history discussions.    The fact that things didn't turn out this way is very strong evidence that things wouldn't have turned out this way :-)  but it's still fun to speculate about what might have been.   Not only is it entertaining, it's also educational, because it forces you to learn about why things turned out as they did.

 

I just can't see the connection to the Christie suspension and a would be American T-34.

To me it's like saying that i have a typewriter and a dictionary, and just because they're the same types as Ernest Hemingway's i'll use them to write an original The Old Man and the Sea.

Invention just doesn't work that way.



Swoony #63 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 04:23

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View PostIkanator, on Sep 11 2017 - 14:40, said:

 

Well, it couldn't have been WWI. Advances in tank design and construction after WWII limited its later use. And regardless of whatever you might think of its tactical limitations there was an extent to which the logistics factors that effectively put limits on its weight and size overrode other considerations. As the Germans found out to their dismay what were arguably the best tanks in the world at that time were pretty much useless if you couldn't get enough of them to where the battles were being fought.

 

Also, if I understand things correctly, there was a problem with our doctrine. Tanks were not seen initially as primary anti-tank platforms. That role was to be filled by anti-tank guns and dedicated tank destroyer formations using specialty vehicles. Tanks were to be used for infantry support, and more importantly making and exploiting breakthroughs in weak sections of an enemy line. The Germans did not have such doctrinal hang ups and did not have to worry about making their tanks small and light enough to be easily shipped on freighters and railroad cars to get where they were going. So it is not too surprising that they could get tanks that were better one on one in an anti-tank role than an M4 was.

 

When all is said and done at the end of the day it comes down to the saying that I have heard attributed variously to either Lenin or Stalin. "Quantity has a quality all its own". The problem is that if you're relying on the quantity side of that divide then you have to be willing and able to take some serious lumps if necessary. We did so. We produced overwhelming numbers of M4s compared to what the Germans could produce of their designs and we were able to get them where we needed them and keep them supplied. The Germans' quality advantage was not sufficient to overcome that and so while they were able to "win" various tank vs tank engagements, they also lost more tanks than they could afford to and thus the war as a whole.

 

Could we have produced a heavier tank? We had the Pershing, we just did not have it in large numbers. The Pershing based on what I have heard was able to fill the tank vs tank role pretty well. Then the question becomes, if we had attempted to seriously mass produce the Pershing instead of the M4, could we have gotten enough of them where we needed them to actually get the job done that needed to be done? That's the question that I can't answer. I don't know the extent to which logistical considerations would have limited the Pershing's ability to be shipped in large enough numbers to have been the primary tank that we used. But I would be willing to bet a cold beer that given what I have heard about problems with shipping controlling the design of the M4 we might not have been able to get enough Pershings into the European theater fast enough to have made the Normandy breakout if not even the landings themselves possible.

 

The only ''good'' German tank was the Panther... the rest were total garbage bins. German's quality advantage?! :teethhappy:

PrimarchRogalDorn #64 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 04:38

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View PostSwoony, on Sep 14 2017 - 22:23, said:

 

The only ''good'' German tank was the Panther... the rest were total garbage bins. German's quality advantage?! :teethhappy:

 

You misspelled "Panzer III, IV, and StuG III"

BillT #65 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 15:58

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View PostLethalhavoc, on Sep 14 2017 - 19:18, said:

 

I just can't see the connection to the Christie suspension and a would be American T-34.

 

It's not just the Christie suspension, it's the entirety of his designs.


The connection is that the Christie T3 tank became the Soviet BT-1.  I mean the exact vehicle Christie built.  This was led to the entire BT- line of tanks (BT-2, BT-5, and BT-7), which were excellent in their day but obsolete by 1941.  The BTs were considered cavalry tanks (the T-26 was the equivalent for infantry support), but the Soviets decided to create a "universal" tank.  That was the A-32 prototype, which was based heavily on the BT design and retained its suspension and angled armor -- both of which were Christie's creations.  If you look at photos of all these tanks the heredity is obvious.

 

So, if just buying an example of the Christie tank could lead the Soviets to the excellent T-34, it's tempting to wonder what the US could have done with that same prototype plus Christie's ongoing technical expertise.  No, of course it wouldn't have been exactly the T-34, but it might have been something at least as good, and which gave us a better path forward than the M2 Medium tank, so that by the time Britain was begging for our help we could have sent them something better than Grants, and when we hit the Normandy beaches it would have been in tanks better than Shermans.

 

And sure, there are a lot of reasons this probably wouldn't have happened (even if Christie hadn't been such a jerk that nobody wanted to work with him).  We might have lost our way due to lack of interest, lack of funding, political fights between infantry and cavalry, or maybe even because the tanks we adopted were actually better for us than a T-34-like design. 



Ie_Shima #66 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 17:08

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View PostBillT, on Sep 15 2017 - 01:15, said:

 

Your posting was excellent, but I have to push back on this point.  At the time Christie created his T3, the US Army's infantry arm was indeed in charge of "tank" development.  But the cavalry was also issuing requirements for armored vehicles to mechanize the traditional role of cavalry, including reconnaissance and exploitation.  They just weren't allowed to put cannons in them or call them "tanks", so they carried only machine guns and were designated "combat cars".  So the situation at the time was similar to that in Britain, with its separate Infantry and Cruiser tanks.  Christie's designs fit the cavalry mission very well.

 

At the point Christie offered the M1928 to the US military, the Defense Act of 1920 had been in place for, as you can guess, 8 years.  This little document, among other things, placed all tanks and tank development under the US Army's Infantry branch.  Any tanks, like the M1, M2, and M3 series that the Cavalry received had to be begged and pleaded from the Tank Board, and few were manufactured.  For example, from the end of WWI to 1935, the US built or acquired a grand total of 15 tanks.

Even so, the US only had three active Cavalry divisions at the outset of war, and most likely had far fewer before then.  Compared to the infantry, that made up the majority of the Army, and therefore had president over what was chosen, meaning infantry tanks like the M2 medium were built instead.  As such, any hope of Christie's design becoming a cavalry tank like the Crusader or Cromwell is a pipe dream.

 

 

Only a handful of "cavalry" units were actually used during the war, mainly as full mechanized (mechanized meaning AFVs, but not tanks) scouting battalions and divisions for high command.  They were not used as a breakout force, they were not used to exploit attacks, they were used as scouts.  There wasn't a need for Christies' design because they wouldn't have been used in the way the design was built for.  Much like their German counter parts, the Americans used the Jeep, or the M8 Greyhound armored car, similar to the Sd. Kfz, or the Kettenkrad, Kubelwagon, and Schwimmwagon.  This wasn't because the didn't have a fast tank, its because

 

The cavalry's combat cars did eventually evolve into the M3/M5 Stuart light tank, but these were not used by the Cavalry, and were instead supplied to either the Marines in the Pacific, where their 37mm guns were still effective against Nipponese armor, or to the armored divisions supporting the infantry in Europe, to be used as light scout tanks and infantry support where the bigger M4s couldn't get to.  

 

The final nail in the coffin was the Battle of Kasserine Pass, where the US and Britain finally scrapped their light tank divisions since they were no longer useful and had been shredded by the larger German tanks.  

 

Amusingly, the M5 Stuart's finest hour came after WWII, when it was considered woefully obsolete by the US.  The National Chinese Army, or ROC (Republic of China) acquired 21 tanks that the US had left in the Philippines.  These were used to great affect at the Battle of Guningtou, where the PLA tried to land an amphibious force on Kinmen island, and was met at the surf by a trio of Stuarts, who had bogged down the night before on maneuvers.  When the tanks eventually ran out of ammo for both their 37mm and MGs, the crew used the tanks as assault rollers, crushing the PLA troops under their treads.  These tanks along with the help of a nearby ROC gunboat, who had violated orders to leave the area because the crew was making bank off selling peanut oil on the black-market, successfully held off the PLA invasion, earning the Stuart the nickname, the "Bear of Kinmen"



Kenshin2kx #67 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 18:43

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View PostIe_Shima, on Sep 15 2017 - 06:08, said:

 

At the point Christie offered the M1928 to the US military, the Defense Act of 1920 had been in place for, as you can guess, 8 years.  This little document, among other things, placed all tanks and tank development under the US Army's Infantry branch.  Any tanks, like the M1, M2, and M3 series that the Cavalry received had to be begged and pleaded from the Tank Board, and few were manufactured.  For example, from the end of WWI to 1935, the US built or acquired a grand total of 15 tanks.

Even so, the US only had three active Cavalry divisions at the outset of war, and most likely had far fewer before then.  Compared to the infantry, that made up the majority of the Army, and therefore had president over what was chosen, meaning infantry tanks like the M2 medium were built instead.  As such, any hope of Christie's design becoming a cavalry tank like the Crusader or Cromwell is a pipe dream.

 

 

Only a handful of "cavalry" units were actually used during the war, mainly as full mechanized (mechanized meaning AFVs, but not tanks) scouting battalions and divisions for high command.  They were not used as a breakout force, they were not used to exploit attacks, they were used as scouts.  There wasn't a need for Christies' design because they wouldn't have been used in the way the design was built for.  Much like their German counter parts, the Americans used the Jeep, or the M8 Greyhound armored car, similar to the Sd. Kfz, or the Kettenkrad, Kubelwagon, and Schwimmwagon.  This wasn't because the didn't have a fast tank, its because

 

The cavalry's combat cars did eventually evolve into the M3/M5 Stuart light tank, but these were not used by the Cavalry, and were instead supplied to either the Marines in the Pacific, where their 37mm guns were still effective against Nipponese armor, or to the armored divisions supporting the infantry in Europe, to be used as light scout tanks and infantry support where the bigger M4s couldn't get to.  

 

The final nail in the coffin was the Battle of Kasserine Pass, where the US and Britain finally scrapped their light tank divisions since they were no longer useful and had been shredded by the larger German tanks.  

 

Amusingly, the M5 Stuart's finest hour came after WWII, when it was considered woefully obsolete by the US.  The National Chinese Army, or ROC (Republic of China) acquired 21 tanks that the US had left in the Philippines.  These were used to great affect at the Battle of Guningtou, where the PLA tried to land an amphibious force on Kinmen island, and was met at the surf by a trio of Stuarts, who had bogged down the night before on maneuvers.  When the tanks eventually ran out of ammo for both their 37mm and MGs, the crew used the tanks as assault rollers, crushing the PLA troops under their treads.  These tanks along with the help of a nearby ROC gunboat, who had violated orders to leave the area because the crew was making bank off selling peanut oil on the black-market, successfully held off the PLA invasion, earning the Stuart the nickname, the "Bear of Kinmen"

 

Shakes head .... so what it boils down to is the reality that 'preparedness' and the effectiveness in war has as much to do with (if not more) luck, the least damaging internal politics and in some rare cases, small enclaves of visionaries that actually succeed against the establishment to create the right tool, at the right time.   Meh ... it depresses me to think of how many soldiers died because some 'siloed' strategic planner discovers (after the fact) that they were badly mistaken on likely scenarios and or equipment needed.  Now, I'm not implying that human planners should be godlike in their predictive potential, but rather that it would be expedient (to put it mildly) to promote a more rational process of evaluation to override (if necessary) the red tape and intra-agency infighting.  Thus in this case, with the competition for scarce resources by the Infantry and Cavalry ... the odd thought comes to mind ... begin with the acquisition premise that maximizes the return on the precious monies and materials 'invested' into the project- in the form of a joint intra-agency venture to create something closer to a 'universal' or at the very least 'more versatile' cross branch vehicle.  

 

... and in this case, there was effective potential for this with the collaboration on a light tank that was designed from the get go to be functional in both desired arenas ... by way of designed for modularity and premeditated design emphasis on broad use capacity.  Thus you start with the premise of a fast, light tank with decent offensive capacity then add in the additional idea or design consideration for role overlap ... Scout?  Light? Infantry Support?  Medium Lite?  etc.  So, like the Russians you start with something like the BT-2 ... a close copy with stage 1 modifications to militarize the design ... this is then followed up by hmmmm ... Calvary is harping on maintaining speed, maneuverability and range (and of course usable armanent) ... the Infantry want better ... well, Infantry Support ... and they both want better armor protection for the crew ... hmmmmm ... 

 

Okay guys, it boils down to horses ... we can reasonably accommodate all of the above if we had the engine capable of generating the load carrying capacity and performance ... <scribble scribble draw draw erase, draw erase draw>  Engineer at the back raises hand ... ah, aero engines are state of the art ... light, high output, fairly compact and right now, we have ... lets see ... hmmm Allison is working on a liquid cooled V-12 ... normally aspirated all the horsepower and torque we would need ... <scribble scribble scribble ... larger engine compartment ... ruggedized cap at 600 hp 700 hp?  <Jim run ball park figures HP to goal performance for Cav> ... scribble erase cross out ... scribble fuel volume ... hmmm ... stress on christie suspension ... considerable but doable <Hey bob, any word on Torsion?> ... widen tracks to reduce load ... scribble ... maximize turret ring for widest range of arms choice and crew comfort/ergonomics ... guys! thoughts on cannon ... BBW!  (Best Both Worlds)  then BCBW! (Best Compromise Both Worlds)  then BSRV! (Best Single Role Variant)  ... 

Okay, hold of on BBW ... concentrate on BCBW ... hmmm  High Velocity 75?  with integrated large caliber mortar into the turret ... high low vel mix of shells same tube?  Dual cannon turret AT/Howitzer?   ... hey what about single LARGE caliber ... <back of the room>  depends how large... turret stress and internal volume ... best we can do is make beegest sturdiest turret ring and see how far we can go ... and I mean sturdy, the whole purpose of the turret is to bring the cannon to bear ... now IF we can't do this with a full turret we'll need alternates ... <I vole pedestal mount!>  <Hey, how about removing the turret completely ... >   Guys ... Guys! back on track ... start with turret ring/turret ... we have some time  (best overall compromise) ... its not like we go to war tomorrow! :D  so, hypothetically said in say 1934? 


Edited by Kenshin2kx, Sep 15 2017 - 19:09.


RC_1140 #68 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 19:32

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Would have been interesting to see more 76mm armed M4's as well as more E2's. 

Ie_Shima #69 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 19:41

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View PostKenshin2kx, on Sep 15 2017 - 18:43, said:

 

Shakes head .... so what it boils down to is the reality that 'preparedness' and the effectiveness in war has as much to do with (if not more) luck, the least damaging internal politics and in some rare cases, small enclaves of visionaries that actually succeed against the establishment to create the right tool, at the right time.   Meh ... it depresses me to think of how many soldiers died because some 'siloed' strategic planner discovers (after the fact) that they were badly mistaken on likely scenarios and or equipment needed.  Now, I'm not implying that human planners should be godlike in their predictive potential, but rather that it would be expedient (to put it mildly) to promote a more rational process of evaluation to override (if necessary) the red tape and intra-agency infighting.  Thus in this case, with the competition for scarce resources by the Infantry and Cavalry ... the odd thought comes to mind ... begin with the acquisition premise that maximizes the return on the precious monies and materials 'invested' into the project- in the form of a joint intra-agency venture to create something closer to a 'universal' or at the very least 'more versatile' cross branch vehicle.  

 

... and in this case, there was effective potential for this with the collaboration on a light tank that was designed from the get go to be functional in both desired arenas ... by way of designed for modularity and premeditated design emphasis on broad use capacity.  Thus you start with the premise of a fast, light tank with decent offensive capacity then add in the additional idea or design consideration for role overlap ... Scout?  Light? Infantry Support?  Medium Lite?  etc.  So, like the Russians you start with something like the BT-2 ... a close copy with stage 1 modifications to militarize the design ... this is then followed up by hmmmm ... Calvary is harping on maintaining speed, maneuverability and range (and of course usable armanent) ... the Infantry want better ... well, Infantry Support ... and they both want better armor protection for the crew ... hmmmmm ... 

 

Okay guys, it boils down to horses ... we can reasonably accommodate all of the above if we had the engine capable of generating the load carrying capacity and performance ... <scribble scribble draw draw erase, draw erase draw>  Engineer at the back raises hand ... ah, aero engines are state of the art ... light, high output, fairly compact and right now, we have ... lets see ... hmmm Allison is working on a liquid cooled V-12 ... normally aspirated all the horsepower and torque we would need ... <scribble scribble scribble ... larger engine compartment ... ruggedized cap at 600 hp ... scribble erase cross out ... scribble fuel volume ... hmmm ... stress on christie suspension ... considerable but doable ... widen tracks to reduce load ... scribble ... maximize turret ring for widest range of arms choice and crew comfort/ergonomics ... guys! thoughts on cannon ... BBW!  (Best Both Worlds)  then BCBW! (Best Compromise Both Worlds)  then BSRV! (Best Single Role Variant)  ... 

Okay, hold of on BBW ... concentrate on BCBW ... hmmm  High Velocity 75?  with integrated large caliber mortar into the turret?   ... hey what about larger caliber ... <back of the room>  no, no ... turret stress and internal volume ... best we can do is make beeg sturdy turret ring ... and I mean sturdy, the whole purpose of the turret is to bring the cannon to bear ... now IF we can't do this with a full turret we'll need alternates ... <I vole pedestal mount!>  <Hey, how about removing the turret completely ... >   Guys ... Guys! back on track ... start with turret ring/turret ... we have some time  (best overall compromise) ... its not like we go to war tomorrow! :D

 

​I wish it was that easy, and hind sight is always 20/20, but building a tank that can be used in all situations is going to result in complete chaos, at least it would have back then.  Building a modular tank that you could mix and match parts like a giant Mr. Potato head would be hell to design and manufacture.  

 

Going off your idea, lets start from the bottom.  What type of suspension would be best for all roles, fast attack, heavy armor, big gun?  Can you make a suspension that can carry the weight of a 10 to 20 ton armor package and enable the same tank to travel at 50mph over soft ground with an assault package?  Can it withstand the shock and recoil of a large caliber gun like a 120mm cannon or even a 203mm howitzer?  How easily can the suspension be fixed if something breaks, or replace in the field?  Can it be manufactured with little trouble or resources?  

 

Can the engine handle both light weight, high speed travel and heavy weight slow, speed travel?  Will it need to be modified depending on which operational package is used?  Can the engine withstand the different stresses coming from high speed or lots of weight?  Can you build or design an engine that can fit inside a tank hull without compromising the tanks characteristics?  Will it outweigh the suspension limits?  Is it easily accessible with all packages, or is it blocked by some?  How easily can the engine be fixed, maintained or replaced in the field?  How hard is it to manufacture and install?

 

Can the hull fit all the operational packages that will be used?  Will the hull easily accept all of the different modifications that could be used?  Will it need to be changed or fixed to accept the packages?  Will the hull be to cramped for the crew if some packages are used, or to spacious if others are used?  How badly will the interior layout be changed between packages?  Can each weapon used in each package be fired and loaded with ease, or is there difficulty?

 

How easily can the armor be swapped out with other packages, will it need special tools to switch them?  Can the armor be fixed or repair if damaged with the same speed and efficiency between packages?  Does the armor cover the tank equally in all spots, or is there gaps depending on the package?  

 

Can all available weapons be used with ease inside the tank, regardless of the package installed?  How much ammo of different types fit inside the tank, depending on the package?  Will the different weapons make the tank cramped, or dangerous for the crew when in combat, or on the move?  Will the crew need different training depending on which weapon is used, or will you need different crews for each package?  Can each weapon reach the same area, regardless of the package, or will some be limited?  

 

What about the silhouette of the tank, can it change with the different packages?  What about the sighting of the tank, how far can the crew see, will it be limited on some packages?  What about the size of the tank, can it fit in the same areas with different packages?  

 

What about changing out the different packages?  Can it been done in the field with few tools by the crew itself, can it be done in the field workshops with a more specialized tools and trained mechanics, or will it need extensive time behind the lines with very specific tools and highly trained men?  What is the turn around time between swapping packages, is it more difficult to swap certain packages?  

 

These are just what I could come up with off the top of my head, me being a college student with no design or military experience.  Imagine what a real military designer can find out with training and skill?  

 

 

In real world practice, I seem to recall an instance during the Cold War.  I can't remember if it was a NATO nation or a Warsaw Pact nation, but they did try a modular tank.  They ran into a problem when the crew weren't trained to every weapon that was installed in the tank, and weren't capable of using some of the weapons at all.  The tank itself was deemed to complicated and difficult to build, maintain and support, and the project was eventually scrapped.  

 

The US navy has tried using modular weapon packages on some of its newer ships, but I don't know if they worked or not.  


Edited by Ie_Shima, Sep 15 2017 - 19:48.


Kenshin2kx #70 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 21:07

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View PostIe_Shima, on Sep 15 2017 - 08:41, said:

 

​I wish it was that easy, and hind sight is always 20/20, but building a tank that can be used in all situations is going to result in complete chaos, at least it would have back then.  Building a modular tank that you could mix and match parts like a giant Mr. Potato head would be hell to design and manufacture.  

 

<Kenshin2kx>  Very true ... we don't know what we don't know ... but we can compensate for ignorance ... by presupposing that we don't know squat and thus start as early as possible, with as much information as available - for the longest possible development gestation period affordable ... so yes, difficult, but IMHO, worth the result, especially in lives.

 

Going off your idea, lets start from the bottom.  What type of suspension would be best for all roles, fast attack, heavy armor, big gun?  Can you make a suspension that can carry the weight of a 10 to 20 ton armor package and enable the same tank to travel at 50mph over soft ground with an assault package?  Can it withstand the shock and recoil of a large caliber gun like a 120mm cannon or even a 203mm howitzer?  How easily can the suspension be fixed if something breaks, or replace in the field?  Can it be manufactured with little trouble or resources?  

 

<Kenshin2kx>  From the bottom ... start with the Christie Suspension (with early realization that it has it weight limits and potential durability issues)  So the design starts as Fast Attack, armor as allowed by suspension ... annnnd the question, what else can it reasonably do?  One previously mentioned possibility ... Recoilless Rifle (backblast and  shell velocity assessed as key areas for improvement, and of course, 'off the shelf where possible  ..."  ... but if nothing is available, then expedient growth as calculated cost factor.  Keep in mind, the thought of Torsion Bar suspension was known at the time, so the idea was thrown out in the hypothetical as 'future growth potential beyond a light medium design ..." 

 

Can the engine handle both light weight, high speed travel and heavy weight slow, speed travel?  Will it need to be modified depending on which operational package is used?  Can the engine withstand the different stresses coming from high speed or lots of weight?  Can you build or design an engine that can fit inside a tank hull without compromising the tanks characteristics?  Will it outweigh the suspension limits?  Is it easily accessible with all packages, or is it blocked by some?  How easily can the engine be fixed, maintained or replaced in the field?  How hard is it to manufacture and install?

 

<Kenshin2kx>  Interestingly, the Allison 1710, IIRC was designed to be fairly versatile and robust to begin with ... with actually much fewer moving parts than its British counterpart the Merlin (which was converted into the Meteor Tank engine starting with used aircraft parts deemed non airworthy ... so at a guess, I'd say the potential was there ... just not used for the Allison.  As for the torque vs. speed ... that would primarily left to the range intended by transmission gearing (which as a transmission module would be in line with weight increase in particular.  A potential saving grace here is that we are dealing with a light vehicle that is being designed to flex somewhat into the next weight class ... so engineering compensation can (and should be emphasized as design intent mitigation) ... and not something left to some desperate last ditch experiment to see if it blows up and kills everyone.

 

Can the hull fit all the operational packages that will be used?  Will the hull easily accept all of the different modifications that could be used?  Will it need to be changed or fixed to accept the packages?  Will the hull be to cramped for the crew if some packages are used, or to spacious if others are used?  How badly will the interior layout be changed between packages?  Can each weapon used in each package be fired and loaded with ease, or is there difficulty?

 

<Kenshin2kx>  When I stated "modularity" I added the added descriptor 'wider range or more versatile' so take that as the caveat 'within design reason and scope' ... the goal being fewer classes ultimately, not one universal tank ... so bascially a light tank in this case that could be spread to do more roles fairly effectively at minimal extra cost (beyond the design and initial purchase).

 

How easily can the armor be swapped out with other packages, will it need special tools to switch them?  Can the armor be fixed or repair if damaged with the same speed and efficiency between packages?  Does the armor cover the tank equally in all spots, or is there gaps depending on the package?

 

<Kenshin2kx>  So by class, it would be a light to moderately armored vehicle ... bolt on armor could be added as standardized packages (as compensated by engine hp margins, but more limited by suspension considerations ... thus a cap on up armoring beyond Medium lite effectiveness.  So the original 'light' could flex to fulfill the role of agile medium Lite with offensive teeth, but beyond that the consideration for the true medium tank that flexes to Heavy Lite would be an elevated class design (with the possible use of an uprated Allison V-1710  and likely Torsion Bar test path).

 

Can all available weapons be used with ease inside the tank, regardless of the package installed?  How much ammo of different types fit inside the tank, depending on the package?  Will the different weapons make the tank cramped, or dangerous for the crew when in combat, or on the move?  Will the crew need different training depending on which weapon is used, or will you need different crews for each package?  Can each weapon reach the same area, regardless of the package, or will some be limited?  

 

<Kenshin2kx>  Part of 'sweating the details would be to allow turret dimensions the largest practical volume while maintaining ballistic effectiveness, weight and manufacturing capacity ... this early start on the idea of a turret (likely cast, or possibly riveted (not sure where America was on arc welding)  ... this large volume would then determine the viability of available cannon that could be fitted (by space and recoil factors) ... and the consideration for an open pedestal based installment of perhaps larger caliber providing that adequate buffering for recoil proves sufficient ... so, all of this would be made possible by the luxury of time in testing to see the reality of what actually works and what is only good 'on paper'.

 

What about the silhouette of the tank, can it change with the different packages?  What about the sighting of the tank, how far can the crew see, will it be limited on some packages?  What about the size of the tank, can it fit in the same areas with different packages?  

 

<Kenshin2kx> To anticipated degrees the design should change sillouette profile with something like a change of turret (to say open topped pedestal mount) ... but overall, even bolt on armor (I would guess) would not significantly alter say height of the vehicle.

 

What about changing out the different packages?  Can it been done in the field with few tools by the crew itself, can it be done in the field workshops with a more specialized tools and trained mechanics, or will it need extensive time behind the lines with very specific tools and highly trained men?  What is the turn around time between swapping packages, is it more difficult to swap certain packages?

 

<Kenshin2kx> One of the nice things of having more time to design ... this gives you time to devote to things like ergonomics, 'worst case scenarios' ,  repair and general usage overall ... so the intent would be to make all envisioned 'packages' site friendly and any specialized tools kept to absolute minimum, and would be integrated into the vehicle toolbox (unless we're  talking major upgrade) in which case, the tools would still be part of a package delivery to be set up at base camp or depot.

 

These are just what I could come up with off the top of my head, me being a college student with no design or military experience.  Imagine what a real military designer can find out with training and skill?  

 

<Kenshin2kx> Good thoughts and observations all ... I have enjoyed this mental excercise ... thumbs up.

 

In real world practice, I seem to recall an instance during the Cold War.  I can't remember if it was a NATO nation or a Warsaw Pact nation, but they did try a modular tank.  They ran into a problem when the crew weren't trained to every weapon that was installed in the tank, and weren't capable of using some of the weapons at all.  The tank itself was deemed to complicated and difficult to build, maintain and support, and the project was eventually scrapped.  

 

<Kenshin2kx> Excellent insight ... which prompts both the KISS principle and fairly well known truism about what is not broken does not need to be fixed (or relearned in this case) ... so you start with as close to a culturally derived 'universal' perception, understanding or learning ... steering wheel?  gas and break pedals?  Clutch?  Then you work on consolidating a common point of module integration say, cannon traverse mechanism or targeting optic ... lets take targeting optic ... so, the scope the gunner uses has the same position and construction ergonomics for all subset cannon offerings... with reticle range compensation markings per specific cannon tailored to the  exact model for optimal results.

 

The US navy has tried using modular weapon packages on some of its newer ships, but I don't know if they worked or not.  

 

<Kenshin2kx> The concept of multifunction and or modularity  for effective versatility is IMHO the future (if anything, training and familiarity should be able to compensate for the limits to what humans can design and manufacture) ... everything in the context of keeping you alive or for killing those who intend the same to you ... is of paramount importance,  being that those left alive at the end of an effective engagement are ... the winners.

 


Edited by Kenshin2kx, Sep 15 2017 - 23:56.


Lethalhavoc #71 Posted Sep 15 2017 - 22:21

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View PostBillT, on Sep 15 2017 - 10:58, said:

 

It's not just the Christie suspension, it's the entirety of his designs.


The connection is that the Christie T3 tank became the Soviet BT-1.  I mean the exact vehicle Christie built.  This was led to the entire BT- line of tanks (BT-2, BT-5, and BT-7), which were excellent in their day but obsolete by 1941.  The BTs were considered cavalry tanks (the T-26 was the equivalent for infantry support), but the Soviets decided to create a "universal" tank.  That was the A-32 prototype, which was based heavily on the BT design and retained its suspension and angled armor -- both of which were Christie's creations.  If you look at photos of all these tanks the heredity is obvious.

 

So, if just buying an example of the Christie tank could lead the Soviets to the excellent T-34, it's tempting to wonder what the US could have done with that same prototype plus Christie's ongoing technical expertise.  No, of course it wouldn't have been exactly the T-34, but it might have been something at least as good, and which gave us a better path forward than the M2 Medium tank, so that by the time Britain was begging for our help we could have sent them something better than Grants, and when we hit the Normandy beaches it would have been in tanks better than Shermans.

 

And sure, there are a lot of reasons this probably wouldn't have happened (even if Christie hadn't been such a jerk that nobody wanted to work with him).  We might have lost our way due to lack of interest, lack of funding, political fights between infantry and cavalry, or maybe even because the tanks we adopted were actually better for us than a T-34-like design. 

 

But, then we need to look to the British, who purchased a number of Christie designs and based their entire "cruiser" tank line on them.

None of which had any of the robust T-34 qualities, which has been my point.

In fact, only the Cromwell and Comet were considered successful.

 

As i had pointed out, just having the basic tools, doesn't mean the outcome would be the same or even similar, invention and inspiration are different for everyone.


Edited by Lethalhavoc, Sep 15 2017 - 22:23.


Horribad_At_Tanks #72 Posted Sep 16 2017 - 20:17

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View PostKenshin2kx, on Sep 15 2017 - 12:43, said:

 

Shakes head .... so what it boils down to is the reality that 'preparedness' and the effectiveness in war has as much to do with (if not more) luck, the least damaging internal politics and in some rare cases, small enclaves of visionaries that actually succeed against the establishment to create the right tool, at the right time.   Meh ... it depresses me to think of how many soldiers died because some 'siloed' strategic planner discovers (after the fact) that they were badly mistaken on likely scenarios and or equipment needed.  Now, I'm not implying that human planners should be godlike in their predictive potential, but rather that it would be expedient (to put it mildly) to promote a more rational process of evaluation to override (if necessary) the red tape and intra-agency infighting.

 

You just nailed the human condition in a paragraph. Everything we do is a compromise from war to culture to how to farm. Seldom in human history has the logical course ever won out over the feels of the masses and the infighting of the elites. We are an illogical set of upright primates who only seem to advance in stumbles and moments of epiphany with the bulk of our condition being chaos and constant squabbling over the most banal of issues. Our only saving grace has been our innate ability to adapt to most any situation even(some might say especially) those of our own making. So yes winning ww2 was a lot of luck and the dice falling the right way and there are a zillion stories which bear this out. One might even say ww2 was never really won because it just morphed into a long series of wars and conflicts that rage unbroken to this day.



Ie_Shima #73 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 14:56

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View PostHorribad_At_Tanks, on Sep 16 2017 - 20:17, said:

 

You just nailed the human condition in a paragraph. Everything we do is a compromise from war to culture to how to farm. Seldom in human history has the logical course ever won out over the feels of the masses and the infighting of the elites. We are an illogical set of upright primates who only seem to advance in stumbles and moments of epiphany with the bulk of our condition being chaos and constant squabbling over the most banal of issues. Our only saving grace has been our innate ability to adapt to most any situation even(some might say especially) those of our own making. So yes winning ww2 was a lot of luck and the dice falling the right way and there are a zillion stories which bear this out. One might even say ww2 was never really won because it just morphed into a long series of wars and conflicts that rage unbroken to this day.

 

To that extent, look at WWI, not WWII.  Most historians agree that WWI, the "Seminal Catastrophe", was the start of the modern era.  Without it, we don't see Germany, pissed from the reparations at the end of the war, elect a demagogic maniac to lead them.  We don't see Italy invade Ethiopia, Albania, or Greece.  The Ottoman Empire, the "Sick Man of Europe", still struggles on, so its middle eastern lands aren't broken into Egypt, Syria, Jordan, or the others.  The Austro-Hungarians are still around, so no Anschluss, or Hungary becoming communist.  Africa remains colonial, but with German colonies scattered through it, instead of mostly British and French ones.  

 

We don't see Churchill become PM, because there isn't a war for Chamberlin to screw up with.  De Gaulle doesn't become the leader of France, since there was no war to bring him to power afterwards.  Roosevelt doesn't get a fourth term, since, again, no war to make people fear a leadership change.  The Kaiser is still in charge of Germany, so no Weimar Republic to spiral into dept.  The Tsar doesn't get toppled, since war-caused shortages don't ravage Russia, leading to no Stalin, or later on down the line, no Mao. 

 

With many leaders gone, we don't see the Chinese civil war, because the Chinese communists don't exist, because there's no USSR to look to for an example, and no leaders like Mao to lead them: China stays as one big republic and some feuding warlords.  Poland doesn't exist, since Russia and Germany don't get carved up after the war, so Danzig stays Prussian.  America, with no history of intervention at all, ignores the rest of the world, and doesn't bother to get involved in any of the smaller civil wars going on.  

 

(Complete speculation below)

 

With no Nazi Germany, or Fascist Italy to support the Nationalists, and no USSR to support the Republicans, the Spanish civil war drags on fair longer than ours did, with the Republicans eventually pulling out a hard-fought win thanks to support from Mexico and eventual intervention from France and Britain, but the country is totally destroyed.  

 

Japan, with no war to be gimped by the Allies in, doesn't get mad at Britain, France, the Netherlands, or any of the other nations, potentially preventing the takeover of Manchuria, or the invasion of China.  With no war atrocities to spoil relations with other Asian nations, they become the leading force for modernization in the area, and sort of the "Big Brother" to Asia, much like the US was to the Americas.  No reason to get America to cut off trade with Japan, so no Pearl Harbor.  

 

The British and French Empires still stagger onward, with no war to give colonies a taste of local control.  No Partition of India, thanks to no anti-Muslim sentiment from fighting the Turks, Britain doesn't make the Lucknow Pact.  No offer of dominion, since there is no war to create such a need.  We don't see the later Indo-Pakistani wars don't happen, since no Pakistan or independent India.  

 

With not break up of nations in the Middle East, and America just not giving enough sh*ts to get involved, and no Israel to generate hatred from all quarters, everyone hates the Turks instead of the US, leading (potentially, no real firm theory here) no 9/11, or at least not on US soil.   

(Speculation over)

 

With no war to drive invention, planes don't get real jumpstart, delaying aircraft development for decades.  No radar, since there was no need to develop such a system.  Rocketry never takes off, since there was no military applications for it, meaning no Space Race ,and not forgetting the fact that the USSR doesn't exist, no Cold War either.  No naval treaties to limit battleships, or replace them with carriers, means dreadnoughts stay the dominant naval force in the world.  War gas doesn't get invented, delaying medical necessity for years, not to mention other factors delaying the advancement, leading to worse medical practices overall.  

 

Lastly, with no dragging trench warfare, no need for Britain to invent a metal box on treads with some guns sticking out the side.  



mattwong #74 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 17:19

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Sure, each war is influenced by the last, but that's just because the future is influenced by the past.  Wars still have definable beginnings and endings.

Klaatu_Nicto #75 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 17:37

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Two time Medal Of Honor recipients speech about war but that's not Butler in the video.

 

Spoiler

 


Edited by Klaatu_Nicto, Sep 18 2017 - 20:46.


Ie_Shima #76 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 18:51

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View PostKlaatu_Nicto, on Sep 18 2017 - 17:37, said:

Two time Medal Of Honor recipients speech about war.

 

Spoiler

 

 

​Buddy, the last person to receive two Medals of Honor was GySgt. Charles F. Hoffman, in 1918.  there hasn't been one since.  Whoever that hell that it, he is a fake and a liar, not to mention incredibly disrespectful to the real men who risked their lives in such a way to deserve the medal once, not in the least twice.  

Kenshin2kx #77 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 18:55

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View PostIe_Shima, on Sep 18 2017 - 07:51, said:

 

​Buddy, the last person to receive two Medals of Honor was GySgt. Charles F. Hoffman, in 1918.  there hasn't been one since.  Whoever that hell that it, he is a fake and a liar, not to mention incredibly disrespectful to the real men who risked their lives in such a way to deserve the medal once, not in the least twice.  

 

Good garshness, I never dreamed that there would be someone awarded TWICE our nation's highest military achievement award ... bows down ... 

Ie_Shima #78 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 19:06

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View PostKenshin2kx, on Sep 18 2017 - 18:55, said:

 

Good garshness, I never dreamed that there would be someone awarded TWICE our nation's highest military achievement award ... bows down ... 

 

​Actually, there were 19 men who received the medal twice, though GySgt. Hoffman and the four others receiving two medals during WWI were marines, who received both the Army MoH and Navy MoH for the same action.  Its the other 14 men who committed two separate acts of heroism, 7 of whom did so in two separate wars.  

 

I'm not certain if that clip above is a case of stolen honor, or if it is meant to be satirical, because I'm in class and can't watch it with sound.  Either case, whoever that man is, he is a member of the lowest scum on earth.  No one with any sense of personal honor would dare to try something like that, and anyone who does should be tarred and feathered.  


Edited by Ie_Shima, Sep 18 2017 - 19:10.


Klaatu_Nicto #79 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 20:14

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View PostIe_Shima, on Sep 18 2017 - 09:51, said:

 

​Buddy, the last person to receive two Medals of Honor was GySgt. Charles F. Hoffman, in 1918.  there hasn't been one since.  Whoever that hell that it, he is a fake and a liar, not to mention incredibly disrespectful to the real men who risked their lives in such a way to deserve the medal once, not in the least twice.  

 

That is Butler's speech but that's not him in the video.

 

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler is well known for having later become an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.

 

By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.

 

In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations. A final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler's testimony.

 

In 1935, Butler wrote a book titled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular activist, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists, and church groups in the 1930s.

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Smedley_Butler

 

 

 



Ie_Shima #80 Posted Sep 18 2017 - 20:31

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View PostKlaatu_Nicto, on Sep 18 2017 - 20:14, said:

 

That is Butler's speech but that's not him in the video.

 

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler is well known for having later become an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.

 

By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.

 

In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations. A final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler's testimony.

 

In 1935, Butler wrote a book titled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular activist, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists, and church groups in the 1930s.

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Smedley_Butler

 

 

 

 

​I stand corrected, but you should at least edit your original post to show that, while the speech was from a true recipient of two MoH, the man giving the speech is not.  





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