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Any one lesson learned in tank design during WW2?


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Necrophore #21 Posted May 23 2018 - 02:00

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Turrets?

Altwar #22 Posted May 23 2018 - 02:11

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View Postzed2204, on May 21 2018 - 22:25, said:

I think USSR and US got it right but the US seems to have forgotten it
Build tanks that are cheap and fast to produce, easy to maintain and stick to few models that use similar parts
It is better to have many mediocre tanks than few very good ones, even if your machines are very superior few of them can't cover big fronts
The few Tigers and Panthers the Germans had, even though superior couldn't cover their flanks and got outanuvered and overwhelmed by Sherman's and T34s often cut out and forced to abandon and destroy their own tanks
Keep it simple and stupid

 

This is something that concerns me with respect to the US's modern arsenal.  The littoral combat ships, the F-35 multi-role fighter planes and other systems designed to do a lot of things with fewer and smaller platforms in theater seem to really slim down the margin for error while ramping up costs.  Yes, its great that one of these platforms can replace several other ones but that also means when one is down, the effectiveness of several are lost.   Do a few of these very expensive systems really reduce the cost of less technologically advanced alternatives?  Can they really replace several with one?



ket101 #23 Posted May 23 2018 - 02:23

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View PostNecrophore, on May 23 2018 - 11:00, said:

Turrets?

 

As I said before, S tank.

 

Also, hardly developed during WWII.  In fact, not even a tank-only concept.  You can go back as far as the US Civil War (USS Monitor), at least.


Edited by ket101, May 23 2018 - 02:25.


stalkervision #24 Posted May 23 2018 - 02:30

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 22 2018 - 17:25, said:

Why do people keep talking about sloped armor as being something developed in WW2?

 

Here, have a WW1 tank.

http://tank-photogra...umur-france.jpg

 

Or a different WW1 tank...

http://tank100.com/w...3-knocked_B.jpg

 

Very definitely includes sloped armor.

 

I'm not sure there was any one particular lesson. The idea of the 'universal tank' was certainly taking hold, but it's not as if development of Conqueror, T-10 or M103 were cancelled as a result. The issues of radio communications or maintenance were already well known. Maybe ergonomics took a slightly larger emphasis, but even at that, part of it was because of the increase in technology over time.

 

Russian propaganda bias about the T-34 of course !   :hiding:

xtc4 #25 Posted May 23 2018 - 18:11

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If I was going to pick one thing, I would say the need for good radio communications. The early war German tanks were out-classed by many of the opposing tanks in terms of the classic mobility-firepower-armor trilogy. Yet the German tanks rolled over the opposition because they were coordinated with each other and with supporting infantry, artillery and air by good radio communications. Many opposing tanks had poorly-organized communications -- or even no radios at all. By the end of the war, all tankers recognized that good communications were essential.

Edited by xtc4, May 25 2018 - 16:43.


Arty_Did_Nothing_Wrong #26 Posted May 24 2018 - 08:55

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 22 2018 - 17:25, said:

Why do people keep talking about sloped armor as being something developed in WW2?

 

Here, have a WW1 tank.

http://tank-photogra...umur-france.jpg

 

Or a different WW1 tank...

http://tank100.com/w...3-knocked_B.jpg

 

Very definitely includes sloped armor.

 

I'm not sure there was any one particular lesson. The idea of the 'universal tank' was certainly taking hold, but it's not as if development of Conqueror, T-10 or M103 were cancelled as a result. The issues of radio communications or maintenance were already well known. Maybe ergonomics took a slightly larger emphasis, but even at that, part of it was because of the increase in technology over time.

 

The Chieftain has spoken...

 

But on a more serious note you could say there was one lesson learned from WWII: Don't build Super Heavies... The Germans with their Maus, Russians with their IS-7 ( Granted designed in 45', and built/tested in 46'/47' ), Americans with our T95, Britain with the Tortoise*... It seems like more or less with the end of WWII, or close thereafter nations realized that Super Heavy tanks were a waste of resources and learned their lesson in thinking overly big.

 

But that's just me grasping at ideas.

 

 

* I know Tortoise is classified as an Assault Tank, but it fits the Super Heavy category weight wise as it weighs more than the IS-7.


Edited by Arty_Did_Nothing_Wrong, May 24 2018 - 08:56.


zed2204 #27 Posted May 24 2018 - 12:58

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View PostAltwar, on May 23 2018 - 02:11, said:

 

This is something that concerns me with respect to the US's modern arsenal.  The littoral combat ships, the F-35 multi-role fighter planes and other systems designed to do a lot of things with fewer and smaller platforms in theater seem to really slim down the margin for error while ramping up costs.  Yes, its great that one of these platforms can replace several other ones but that also means when one is down, the effectiveness of several are lost.   Do a few of these very expensive systems really reduce the cost of less technologically advanced alternatives?  Can they really replace several with one?

Even if one tank is largely superior ot it's opposition it is still not preferable if that comes at the cost of numbers the ability to maintain them operational and supplied behind the enemy lines

The tank isn't really meant to fight other tanks as it's main operational doctrine, it is supposed to exploit the breakthrough ( not necessarily achived by the tank force itself ) penetrate the rear of the enemy line and destroy it's communications, the tank vs tank battles occur when the enemy is forced to use it own tank force as the only thing that can react to the advancing spearheads

So a large number of advancing tanks are harder to counter by a small although superior one, at the same time a small spearhead will be cut out and isolated and run out of fuel and ammo without even getting the opportunity to face the inferior tanks

 

As for planes a small number of planes means not only a smaller coverage but the planes having to do way more sorties putting strain on the machine and pilot and increasing the chance of lose that can be easily replaced because of overcomplicaion 

 

And overcomplicaion means a lot more significant decrease in war production spend per unit compared to piece time, more, more complicated parts = more factories ( targets ) and more workers away from the front


Edited by zed2204, May 24 2018 - 13:09.


StrachwitzPzGraf #28 Posted May 24 2018 - 16:10

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 22 2018 - 17:25, said:

Why do people keep talking about sloped armor as being something developed in WW2?

 

Here, have a WW1 tank.

http://tank-photogra...umur-france.jpg

 

Or a different WW1 tank...

http://tank100.com/w...3-knocked_B.jpg

 

Very definitely includes sloped armor.

 

I'm not sure there was any one particular lesson. The idea of the 'universal tank' was certainly taking hold, but it's not as if development of Conqueror, T-10 or M103 were cancelled as a result. The issues of radio communications or maintenance were already well known. Maybe ergonomics took a slightly larger emphasis, but even at that, part of it was because of the increase in technology over time.

 

Reading the comment about sloped armor... I don't think the poster means "developed" in WWII -- their point seemed to be that designers better understood the benefits of sloped armor by the end of the war. 

 

Early German designs certainly didn't account for sloped armor benefits.  And, much of my reading emphasizes that the German were "surprised" by the T34 -- part of that surprise was because of the T34 armor design.  Captured tanks were obviously studied by the Germans and armor design elements incorporated into the Panther.

 

BTW -- I know I am at high risk here when dealing with a true tank design/history expert... but had to express my opinion based on my reading and interpretation of the other posters "sloped armor" comment -- and besides my last name is Moran too... so relational privilege.  ;)

 



FrozenKemp #29 Posted May 24 2018 - 17:49

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I find it hard to come up with one thing because each nation was in a different situation at the start of the war.  

 

Germany needed to learn something about reliability, but the US seemed to know from the start that it was very important.

Many pre-war designs didn't have sloped armour, it's true, but Russia's T-34 did. 

 

I know this seems kind of stupid, but maybe "there will be a continued need to provide more powerful tanks"?  Even Germany, which started the war with Pz IIIs and IVs, eventually didn't have much use for the IIIs and the IVs would be overloaded by the war's end.  (The weight of the long 75mm gun and other components put the suspension under excess strain.)  I don't know how clear it was at the start of the war that there would be a tank arms race.

 


Edited by FrozenKemp, May 24 2018 - 17:50.


1Sherman #30 Posted May 24 2018 - 18:20

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View PostNot_Connery, on May 19 2018 - 14:18, said:

 

How do you mean?

 

According to Steven Zaloga, the "tanker's choice" is the tank that will keep its crew alive and kill everything it sees, while the "commander's choice" is the tank that will always get the job done, will work cohesively with the rest of the military forces, and will ultimately contribute to winning the war.

 

Examples of the "tanker's choice" are such machines as the Tiger I and II, the Panther, the Jagdpanther, the Elefant, and the Jagdtiger. These are all very big, very impressive-looking machines with thick frontal armour and dedicated AT guns. However, you need to remember that these are also tanks so bad they make the Bob Semple tank look like a Centurion; They were overdesigned, under-tested, drained far too many of Germany's resources at a time where they couldn't afford to be wasted, and constantly broke down because of suspensions, engines, and drivetrains that were meant for vehicles half their size, and when they broke they couldn't be fixed because you needed a crew on the level of Michael Wittman to even figure out where things went. Instead of being the world-beating weapons Hitler wanted them to be, they only hastened his inevitable defeat.

 

Examples of the "commander's choice" include the M4 and its variants, the T-34 and its variants, and even the Panzer IV and Stug III. These were all very capable machines that could be made quickly with little drain on resources, could be maintained and fixed by almost anyone on the rare occasions they broke, could adapt to any situation and overcome almost any foe by playing to its strengths, and most importantly, they worked well with the rest of the forces they fought alongside as part of the bigger picture, which is why the Americans and Russians won the war. To see further examples of what I mean, you need only look at what kinds of tanks were successful after WW2 ended. Early MBTs like the Centurion, the T-54, and the Patton built off the example set by the M4 and T-34 and as such are regarded as some of the best tanks ever made.

 

In summary, the "tanker's choice" is selfish and short-sighted, only caring about surviving day-to-day, regardless of the cost to the war effort. The "commander's choice" has the foresight and strategic mind to be able to see what is needed to support the rest of the forces you're working with and ultimately get the job done.



1Sherman #31 Posted May 24 2018 - 18:26

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View Postzed2204, on May 22 2018 - 06:25, said:


The few Tigers and Panthers the Germans had, even though superior 

 

 

Here, allow me to correct the Wehraboo notions that have poisoned your thought process.

 



Kenshin2kx #32 Posted May 24 2018 - 18:39

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.... hmmm scratches head ... that's a tough one ... I am guessing that a fairly universal lesson post WWII as a developmental trend was that there is a definite point of diminishing returns to how much armor should be applied to a 'tank'  ... while tanks did get heavier post WWII ... they tended to do so with a better balance within the trinity of firepower, mobility and armor.  In short, relatively speaking, the trend to limit 'raw' armor in favor of high tech forms of protection, firepower and greater mobility



FrozenKemp #33 Posted May 24 2018 - 18:44

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View Post1Sherman, on May 24 2018 - 12:20, said:

Early MBTs like the Centurion, the T-54, and the Patton built off the example set by the M4 and T-34 and as such are regarded as some of the best tanks ever made.

 

 

Were these really "commander's choice" tanks as opposed to tanker's, or even both?  In the case of the Centurion AFAIK they wanted a universal tank which used the Meteor engine to drive a tank with pretty heavy armour, a pretty good gun and pretty good mobility.   I mean, maybe it didn't have the maximum amount of armour it might have had, but wasn't the specification something like "upper glacis should not be penned by the German 88"?  I could be wrong, though. 



Kenshin2kx #34 Posted May 24 2018 - 19:03

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View PostFrozenKemp, on May 24 2018 - 07:44, said:

 

Were these really "commander's choice" tanks as opposed to tanker's, or even both?  In the case of the Centurion AFAIK they wanted a universal tank which used the Meteor engine to drive a tank with pretty heavy armour, a pretty good gun and pretty good mobility.   I mean, maybe it didn't have the maximum amount of armour it might have had, but wasn't the specification something like "upper glacis should not be penned by the German 88"?  I could be wrong, though. 

 

As I read the balancing factors ... the thought kept popping into my mind ... so, why not a really good/great cannon with the best compromise for armor and speed as mitigated by the most advanced (available) powerplant?  Scratches head, I think I would prioritize the design criteria as such ... (hopefully less confusing than my kneejerk rambling above), IMO the engineer should start with the powerplant first ... determine motive potential  which should indicate weight range limits for intended performance goal for a given amount of armor .. then most advanced cannon.


Edited by Kenshin2kx, May 24 2018 - 23:43.


1Sherman #35 Posted May 24 2018 - 21:19

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View PostFrozenKemp, on May 24 2018 - 17:44, said:

 

 pretty heavy armour, a pretty good gun and pretty good mobility.  

 

Those are commander's choice specs right there. Jack of all trades, master of none is what allows you to adapt to the situation and overcome your enemies.



shapeshifter #36 Posted May 26 2018 - 01:14

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View PostStrike_Witch_Tomoko, on May 19 2018 - 08:53, said:

 

 

1. Sloped armor helps

2. Heavier tanks with thicker armor does not make them better

3. medium, multipurpose tanks are the most efficient due to their ability to fill in all roles

4. turreted tanks are superior to fixed gun tanks

5. Russia sucks to invade during winter. even if your tank has a hot as hell engine

6. bigger gun doesn't mean better.   german 7.5, 8.8, and 10.5  outperform the 122, 152 of russia.   

7. World of Tanks LIES when it comes to the 57mm....in game its insanely good.  in real life. its like a early war british tank.

8. Central turret location makes for the easiest gun stablization if you don't have the tech.

 

 

and a special one for America.   if you don't put a reverse gear in your paper armored tank destroyer.   the tank crews will hold a grudge against you.

 

The 57mm sucked? other then the HE round in what way?

 

 



Strike_Witch_Tomoko #37 Posted May 26 2018 - 01:19

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View Postshapeshifter, on May 25 2018 - 17:14, said:

 

The 57mm sucked? other then the HE round in what way?

 

 

 

57mm vs tiger tank.  it was worthless.

 

but in WoT  its pen, dpm, and reliability eat stuff alive



shapeshifter #38 Posted May 26 2018 - 01:34

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View PostStrike_Witch_Tomoko, on May 25 2018 - 19:19, said:

 

57mm vs tiger tank.  it was worthless.

 

but in WoT  its pen, dpm, and reliability eat stuff alive

 

So you think it's penetration in WoT is to high?

 

The MK V which does the following in game

 

AP 110 mm

APCR 180 mm

 


And in reality

 

MK V

 

APCBC

120 mm @ 0

94 mm @ 30

 

APCR

? @ 0

124 @ 30 deg

 

APDS

183 mm @ 0

146 mm @ 30

 

 



WaywardChild #39 Posted May 26 2018 - 16:25

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Following the argument of "Commanders Choice" -v- "Tankers Choice" I believe the American and Russian doctrine was more like "We got more bodies to waste then the Germans". I'm not going to do the research but I believe more German soldiers lived to fight another day after their tank was hit then the Allies did. The Allies just had more bodies to waste. I would argue that if the German strategy would have been mass produce the Panther and JagdPanther and played a more defensive roll the Allies time would have been much tougher. The advent of  ground attack aircraft kinda screwed the tank anyway. If you wanna pick one thing that was learned in WWII about armored vehicles is just that, Strike Aircraft win every time.

ket101 #40 Posted May 27 2018 - 00:25

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View PostDeathbyGMaC, on May 27 2018 - 01:25, said:

Following the argument of "Commanders Choice" -v- "Tankers Choice" I believe the American and Russian doctrine was more like "We got more bodies to waste then the Germans". I'm not going to do the research but I believe more German soldiers lived to fight another day after their tank was hit then the Allies did. The Allies just had more bodies to waste. I would argue that if the German strategy would have been mass produce the Panther and JagdPanther and played a more defensive roll the Allies time would have been much tougher. The advent of  ground attack aircraft kinda screwed the tank anyway. If you wanna pick one thing that was learned in WWII about armored vehicles is just that, Strike Aircraft win every time.

 

A tanker's rebuttal: https://www.youtube....h?v=AirRXwbo8Mg

 

Wouldn't be absolutely sure about more German soldiers surviving their tank.  English and US tanks were pretty good at that, believe it or not.  German tanks tended to carry a lot of ammunition, which sometimes didn't work out so well for the crews.  Like Wittmann's Tiger,  which had the ammo go up, removing the turret and all trace of the crew.






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