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Best Tank in Normandy

Discussion in 'The Tanks of World War 2' started by Commando, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Commando

    Commando recruit

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    I watched a video recently that had an interview with a Sherman commander on it. He said that near the end of the war the Germans were so desperate that they would hide in the ditches along a road, and when the Shermans would go past, they would fire their Panzerfausts at the lead tanks, and then come out of the ditches with their hands up. He also said that the American tankers were so angry that usually they would not accept the surrender, but just gun the Germans down!
     
  2. wozwasnt

    wozwasnt New Member

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    I thought most German tanks were knocked out by airstrikes or were abandoned due to breakdowns or lack of fuel.

    I think that if I had to be in any tank to go one on one with any other tank of the Normandy campaign then I'd pick the King Tiger.

    This thread is slightly confusing because it starts with the question - "Which is the Best" tank", then goes on to ask "which was the biggest, toughest most powerful tank"


    The First question is difficult to answer as there's a lot that goes into the "Best" tank.


    The Sherman was reliable, rugged and cheap, easy to build and produced in huge numbers but it had weak armour, high silhouette and the majority were armed with the 75mm gun which really wasn't powerful enough. The up gunned 76mm and the 17pdr (Firefly) were really up to task considering the armour it was up against.

    Pz IV's which has been so far been overlooked was probably on a par with the Sherman. It was well tried and tested, reliable, easy to produce, had a powerful gun but had rather thin almost vertical armour.

    The Panther initially had problems but these had mostly been sorted out by the time of the Normandy campaign. It had good well sloped frontal armour but its side armour was rather thin (though it was sloped and thicker then the Shermans ). Its 75mm gun was one of the most powerful guns around. They were available in large numbers though luckily for the allies nowhere near as many as the Sherman.

    The Tigers and King Tigers were very powerful and heavily armoured but were costly, complicated to build, needed lots of maintenance to keep them running and were only available in limited numbers.




    So for "The best tank of the Normandy campaign" the Panther gets my vote for the following reasons.

    A - well armoured
    B - well armed
    C - good mobility
    D - good reliability


    The second question is easy - The King Tiger was the biggest, toughest most powerful tank in the Normandy campaign (though it wasn't there at D-Day).
     
  3. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    The largest single cause of loss for German tanks was penetration by gunfire.
    In total over 60% of all losses were due to direct enemy action
     
  4. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

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    And how much was US loss from direct enemy fire owerall? I think it is much more then 60%.

    Panther was decent tank indeed,but his gun was underpowered for He purposes,anti infantry fight and he had only front armor strong,rear and side armors was easy to penetrate eaven from great distances.Early Panther allso had "shoot trap" what caused that front turet hit bounce directly in hull top armor.
     
  5. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    the long 75 kwk42 L/70 was as good as the 88 kwk36 L/56
     
  6. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Without knowing or having any statistics to go by it is foolish to start guessing percentages, you may think it is whatever figure you wish but without knowing you are plucking figures from the air.

    There are a couple of points that I think are important to consider though. First the US on the ground was on the offensive against Germans (i.e. more likely to encounter emplaced guns in defensive positions or Panzerfausts and Panzershrecks than the Germans were likely to encounter Allied anti-tank countermeasures) and the capabilities of the Luftwaffe were considerably restricted compared to the 9th AAF and TAF in the west, so I would be very surprised if the US losses to ground fire weren't a higher percentage.

    Different circumstances and opposition will lead to different results.
     
  7. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    From a sample of 2065 US tank casualties in The ETO 1051 (50%) were lost to gunfire.
    The UK sample was 1048 tanks of which 621 (59%) were lost to gunfire.

    Canada samples 294 of which 161 (55%) were lost to gunfire.

    It seems super tank or not the figures are all pretty much the same.

    In N Africa the UK gunfire % loss was 78% in a sample of 1123 tanks
    The USA had 62% in 1942 and 45% in 1943 but working from a low total of 37 and 81 losses

    To clarify the German totals of 60% losses TO ENEMY ACTION only 43% of their casualties were due to gunfire
     
  8. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    D/P

    d/p
     
  9. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    .

    It should be pointed out that the allied kept the battlefield and could do some salvage, while the Germans lost plenty who couldn't be extracted after Falaise
    including the ones in workshops

    .
     
  10. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    It is worth pointing out that on the few occaisions when the Germans did mount an armoured attack in Normandy they were beaten off by Allied Anti-Tank gunners.
     
  11. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    Yep by 44 the blitzkrieg was only alive in some deluded German brain

    it must be added that the U.S. artillery was in fact awesome , if hardly reported and the fly-boys of Air Chief Marshal Leigh-Mallory claimed the scalp of panzer Lehr ( and a couple of hundred G.I too :oops: )

    .
     
  12. wozwasnt

    wozwasnt New Member

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    Don't forget that the Panther was a medium tank and for a medium tank it had excellent front armour and its side armour was better then other tanks of its class ie. Sherman, T34.

    People keep making the mistake of comparing it's armour to that of heavy tanks like the Tiger.
     
  13. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    plus the panthers armour was sloped unlike the PIV and PIII it was to replace thus making more effective for less mm

    FNG
     
  14. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

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    First of all scroll back to my previus post,i sayed HE capability on panther is to weak.

    Second Panther is much heawyer from T-34 and the Sherman tank. Hes weight was nearly 45 tons,T34 weight is 26.5 tons,betther to compare panther with IS-2 who has weight of 46 tons. Germans had diferent standard in proclaming some AFV to be light,medium etc,they looked the main gun. Remember that PzIV was allso medium tank and it is not eawen close to panther in weight , armor,but it is in caliber 75mm. Now match firepower of Panther and IS-2, and ovkors armor. Panther has only 40-50mm side armors.
     
  15. wozwasnt

    wozwasnt New Member

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    The Panther and IS-2 were designed for different roles on the battlefied. The Germans were shocked when they discovered the T-34 and the Panther was built to combat this threat.So it was built mainly as a tank killer. The IS-2 however was built as a breakthrough tank and was intended to be used mainly against infantry etc which is why the HE ability was considered more important.

    Also as a medium tank the Panther was ment to be the main battle tank of the german army with a few heavy tank formations of Tiger II's. The Allies had Shermans and T-34/85's as their main battle tanks with Pershings and IS-2/3's used in smaller numbers.

    The only problem was that Geman manufacturing could never keep up with demand due to lack of materials and allied bombing, unlike the Allies which could produce almost endless numbers of tanks completley unhindered
     
  16. Commando

    Commando recruit

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    That's why the strategic bombing campaign against Germany was so important.
     
  17. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

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    Actualy panther tank was to costly to produce,and PzIV was cheap and realiable,so it remained to be skelet on tank corps. Russia did not made so many T-34 because they was extreme good ,they did it because it was extreme cheap,and easy to manufacture. But newerless, if u match break trought tank and tank killer on same weight who shoud win?

    Allys made Pershing to late to do some diference,and USSR made IS-3 to late so it did not see any combat probably. IS-2 was produced on time and he did had significant impact on WW II.
     
  18. Commando

    Commando recruit

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    Panzer V also had various mechanical problems, and as you said it was costly to produce.
     
  19. Commando

    Commando recruit

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    I found this quote the other day "Great mind discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, Small mind discuss people." might I add my own quote to it? "But the GREATEST minds discuss Tanks." :grin:
     
  20. sinissa

    sinissa New Member

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    Lets get it straight: Germans did not had bad doctrine of constructing the tank. They did not had enought human resources to make mass production of cheap tanks,so that tryed to make betther tanks. On otther side Allys had much more crews for tanks so they did what was best for them.True,best way is to combine tanks to pull max from them but in conflict like WWII it is not allways possible. Panther,for his weight had just too thin side armor to be good enought.
     

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