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Did the M4 Sherman really have bad defence?

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by ChaosSamusX, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    I think it should also be pointed out that the Americans usually enjoyed a 2:1 superiority in tank versus tank engagements, far less than the 5:1 claimed by a mystery source. Generally, in the engagements I have read about, an attacking force of panzers regardless of tank type needed to outnumber the defending Americans substantially in order for it to be successful, if just to give the American artillery more targets.
     
  2. ChaosSamusX

    ChaosSamusX recruit

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    Thanks alot guys, your comments gave me just what I needed. Also, I am reading the Sherman Vs. Panzer IV Thread. Somebody said the M4A1 and the T-34/76 were equal and I had to manually restart my heartbeat.
     
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Samus, if you have something to add to that debate go ahead and do it there, no problem ;)
     
  4. Firefoxy

    Firefoxy Dishonorably Discharged

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    The M4 Sherman 75mm main gun needed to be more powerful and it lacked thick armour for protection of it's crew.
    New version Sherman FreFly M4A4 makes up for that mistake.
    England did have one great tank after all.
     
  5. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    It should also be mentioned that a lot of factors go into tank design and where they operate. The T-34 had a lot of good design features that made its defects less glaring. The M4 design had its virtues, its survival rate was good against equal competition. It could fire while moving which gave advantage to good crews. It had a great maintenance reputation. Many of the competing designs spent more time being fixed from mechanical failure than combat damage. The M4 was a very versatile chassis. It was a good enough that a better design did not get produced until the Pershing came out.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I guess the Red Army often decided to just build tanks fast ( specially T-34, I recall it would be like 24 hrs in Leningrad winter 1941 the fastest time to build a new T-34 for full action (?) ) and not care so much of possibly repairing them if they were hit and left in the battle field. Much more energy was devoted to getting the tanks back and repairing them in the Western Allied and German side.

    My father later on ( in the Finnish Army in the 60´s and 70´s ) said that the Soviet soft skin and lightly armored vehicles they had in use were just perfect for warfare as they were built with reasonable cheapness, worked all right in the combat area, if hit you did not really get sad if you had to leave it there and get a new one instead. And back to combat area...
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Not really Kai, maybe so at the beginning but the Red Army at some point I have no idea when, maybe after they had started to regain ground, came to understand the value of recovering vehicles. Some of these were stopped for trivial mechanical reasons but had to be abandoned anyway, others were burnt hulks, but many could be recovered and put to use again with more or les work. They called this service the "remont" ("remount", same as for horses). I have somewhere photos of remont parks, including of PzIII depots to be converted to SU-76i ;)
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Would love to hear more of the Red Army repair crew work.

    But anyway, after Kursk the Red Army almost always got all the tanks etc that were left in the battle field as they continued forward ( =westward) and the Germans retreated leaving theirs behind.
     
  9. SMLE shooter

    SMLE shooter Member

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    There is 3 myths I can think of , it took 3 Shermans to kill one Tiger, and 5-1 .and 7-1. Personally I do believe that the Sherman had bad armor. It was called the Ronson, the Ronson was a ciggarette lighter that was always supposed to light. I have said the same thing and I was eaten alive about it I am not sure if what your'e saying is out of Irony.:2Xpray:
     
  10. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    And yet you were the one who stated that it took "5 Shermans firing at once to destroy a Tiger" :rolleyes:.
     
  11. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    Yes, SMLE, that was meant to have a pop at the ones who believe the Sherman was bad.

    Like JCF said, you did say it took 5 shermans to take out a Tiger.

    If you read other people's posts you will know it did not have bad armour.
     
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  12. SMLE shooter

    SMLE shooter Member

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    Then why was it called a Ronson?. I have heard it from everywere that the Sherman didn"t have good armor. I have 28# ww2 dictionaries, here is the name of another book [ The German Soldier] by DR. S. Hart.:D:)
     
  13. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I'll try and remember to dig out my stuff on this and post up some more info at some point.
     
  14. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    SMLE.

    The German tanks "Brewed up" as many times if not more times than most Shermans. Just the idea of the Shermans crappieness has been well documented by the Tigerz r kool type of people.

    Start looking at both sides of the coin if you want to study anything.
     
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  15. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    And of course some German tanks had a tendancy to "Brew Up" with out even being hit or in combat LOL.
     
  16. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    And they also tended to brew up gallons of fuel that could have been used in more efficient tanks.
     
  17. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    An example from my Armor Reliability thread,

    "Just finished Zetterling & Frankson's book the "Korsun Pocket" (an excellent read BTW). I was amazed by some of the statistics they found in the archives. One of the more interesting was that during the month of February 1944 the 1st Pz Army lost 35 tanks to enemy fire and 87 to mechanical failure and "spontaneous ignition". Another shocker is that I./Pz.Reg.26 had 67 Panthers on 26
    Jan 44, by 20 Feb 44 they had 2, but only lost 9 to enemy fire 57 were in the shop."

    http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/27850-armor-reliability.html
     
  18. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    Do you have any figures for the number of Shermans in the shops under similar circumstances?
     
  19. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I think I asked that in my thread but I don't think anyone posted any for Shermans and not any for Shermans lost due to "spontaneous ignition"
     
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Once again the point has to be made that good or bad, by Normandy (heaviest use of the M4 surely?) the Armour type/thickness had little bearing anyway.
    Attacking HV guns in excellent defensive positions the armour could have been twice as thick and still be cut through like butter. Even the heaviest front plate fielded by any side as fitted to Churchill was vulnerable. Balancing that against excellent reliability, solid production infrastructure, and a rather more controversial selection of guns, you hopefully start getting closer to a more relevant assessment of Sherman.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     

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