Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by JBark, Mar 14, 2011.
What does that matter? Ask why they use the fuel they use, not which fuel do they use.
I think Zaloga has already answered your question.
A tank that is penetrated but not destroyed can catch on fire as gasoline is flammable and the vapors can ignite.
Diesel's flash point is much higher.
7 May 1945.
If it is your desire simply to be a wise ass then save your replies for someone else.
Gentleman, please remember the topic of this thread...myths about armor of WWII. Thanks.
No it was a serious question.
If you are talking about 1942...
Then I agree, the Sherman was a superior tank.
if you are talking about 1944-1945 it certainly wasn't.
Indeed it is. I don't see any evidence presented to support the claim that these are "myths"
I tend to agree with Syscom on this, I'd like to see some evidence to the contrary for the above statements if you are able to produce it.
BA-MA,IIW 805,5-7 (cited in "Va Banque" P 103):German booty in 1941
BA-MA =German Bundesarchiv-Militararchiv :more primary does not exist
2:Battle of Hannut
3)Wiki gives the German tanklosses of Brody as 200,the Russian source you have mentioned,as 400,the German archives (BA-MA,III W 805/5-7) are giving (incomplete) German tanklosses till 31 july as 579,IMHO,Wiki and the Russian source are doubtfull.
Wiki gives the Russian tanklosses as 8OO,the Russian source as 725(the Russian source is a memory from a Russian commander .I am surprised that you are mantioning such a source,while you are rejecting ACG as no primary . To use memoires as a source is not very serious .
As the Sherman had a better reliability,to say that he was inferior,is not very serious .
As there were few Tiger tanks in 1944-1945,the chances for a Sherman to meet a Tiger were not great,thus saying that the Sherman was inferior in that period,is not very serious .
What do numbers have to do with quality? if numbers were the only factor the Germans, that had less than half the tanks the Soviets had, would have been stopped at the border. I would also be very careful when comparing losses, losses to breakdowns for the advancing army are close to zero, broken tanks can usually be repaired unless the tank burns out, and most tank "total losses" are vehicles that could have been repaired but had to be left behind when retreating. So comparing the raw loss numbers does not tell the whole story.
BTW are we forgetting about the T-28? one should be very careful about assuming all soviet 1941 "mediums" were T-34s.
AFAIK tank battles, some of them pretty big, did happen in 1941 and the tank heavy soviet formations suffered badly for lack of supporting arms. Large numbers of direct tank kills by the Luftwaffe I find hard to believe looking at the difficulties aircraft have in causing damage to armoured vehicles, indirect kills by disrupting the already poor soviet logistics, and leaving the tanks stranded, I find much more believable.
IMO the T-34, and the KV that was probably the 1941 top tank, were part of the reason the reason Barbarossa failed, the main reason was of course that soviet morale held and the occasional success a well handled T-34 and KV force did achieve helped to keep morale just as the thick armour of the late war heavies helped the Germans a few years later.
I agree that the T-34 is a great tank, but was its running gear developed from an American called Christie ?, one flaw with the early models was a 4 man crew which ment the commander having to control the gun, allways a bad option when it battle (most of the german medium tanks had 5 crew) with the commander not being able to observe and relay orders. but I can only agree with what a German general said 'just build T-34 instead of designing a new medium tank'.
The Cristie suspension was used on earlier Soviet tanks but I don't think the T-34 did so. Note that most modern tanks use 4 man crews. The T-34/76 on the other hand had a small turret I believe which didn't have room for a gunner, loader, and TC. Lack of a turret basket was also a problem. The Germans were probably better off with late model Pz-IVs than they would have been with T-34s although a reengineered T-34 might have made sense.
Check any of the numerous books on fighting in the ETO and you will read accounts of one on one tank duels between Shermans where the Sherman comes out on top. Even Death Traps describes such battles. Would you like to provide proof of the myth? As to the burning I offer what I said before, we are one of the countries fighting WWII where the free press was allowed near free reign and would write any story, no matter what the degree of truth. I can't believe that killed tanks from Germany were not burning (probably because I've seen pictures of them) and I have certainly read of T-34's burning (T-34 In Action.) The ammo in a T-34 is stored ina the turret, certauinly vulnerable enough to be set off when penetrated yet we don't hear about all the T-34's that burned. Could it be because of less access to the Russian battlefields and knowledge of what went on there? Can you offer proof that the Sherman burned more than other tanks?
Rather the opposite. From: M4 Sherman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So the early versions were about on par with the Pz-IV and the wet-stowage ones considerably better.
Sounds about right for the Pz IV. As far as the Tigers, Panther, later Stugs, etc. are concerned just bear in mind that the chance of burning out is dependant upon penetrations, not overall hits taken. I believe that the term Ronson has more to do with the fact that German AT weapons were very effective relative to the Sherman's armor therefore the likelihood of a penetration per hit was quite high. That isn't necessarily a knock on the Sherman as it is more evidence that the Germans and Soviets were in a very fast paced technology race with each other for armored supremecy in the East, thus the potent German AT weapons. The Germans ran into the T34 and KV in June 1941 and were forced to field more potent AT weapons immediately, the Allies didn't encounter heavy German tanks in appreciable numbers until Normandy.
Comparing to the cats is a bit more difficult. The type of hits and penetrations are also a consideration. I've heard that most of the German AP rounds had some sort of HE filler where a lot of the allies didn't. This could increase the probability of burging. The average German AT gun (whether mounted in a tank, other vehicle, or towed) was also probably larger calliber and HEAT rounds (such as the Bazooka and Panzerfaust) also would be more likely to intiate fires. The sample size on the cats may also be a problem. The larger number of penetrations may also reflect a greater tendency to put one in to make sure or even a "let's see what our gun will do against them" events as I don't think the OR teams went in until the area was well secured. I've also read that it usually took a little while for a tank to brew up at least enough time that crew could evacuate in many circumstances. This combined with the numbers of allied tanks could also account for additional hits and penetrations. I think I've also seen other numbers posted in discussion groups here and there. They were close but I think the Panther in particular had a better chance of burning. Not sure if I've ever seen numbers for the T-34.
The people claiming that the Sherman was no good,should better go to the Sacred cows and Dead horses section and look on the thread :These poor old Shermans,it took 5 to kill a Tiger (started by T.Gardner) and,then,they should learn that the Sherman was not worse than other WWII tanks .
Maybe,they also should remember that the mission of a tank was not to search and destroy enemy tanks,that it is not wise to compare tanks as if they were football players (who was better Pele or Platini,or an other one,IMHO also a stupid question )
I don't know I think Joe Namath was better than either of them
That is a point that many seem to forget however is that the purpose of tanks wasn't (or shouldn't have been) to destroy enemy tanks. It was to help the armies of which they were a part win battles, camapaigns, and wars.
I agree to the spirit of what your saying, tank vs. tank comparisons are rather shallow. The only point I wanted to shed light on was that German AT capability relative to the Sherman's armor was very favorable to the Germans and was likely the reason for calling the Sherman tank a "Ronson". I would believe that most tanks would be described as "lights the first time every time" if the lethality of the weapon used against it was the same as the average German AT weapon relative to the Sherman's armor. A Pak 40 (Panzerfaust, Schreck, 88mm, etc) will most definately penetrate a Sherman on the first hit, where as an Allied Bazooka, 57mm or 75mm isn't likley to have the same destructive effect on a Panther or Tiger. So strictly speaking of the "Ronson" nickname, I think it has everything to do with the AT weapons the Germans had relative to the Sherman's armor. We have a stat for tanks burning out after being penetrated, but is there a stat out there for number of hits taken before there was a penetration? So sure, everyone's tanks pretty much burned out the same after being penetrated, but the key is you actually have to penetrate to begin with. So if pretty much everything in the German's AT inventory could penetrate the Sherman on the first hit and the Sherman burned out the majority of the time after the first penetration, then there is your "Ronson". Its not a knock on the Sherman, its a tip of the hat to German AT weapons.
these are very good points,but,they never will succeed to convince the tankboys,for whom the idea that an ATW could destroy a tank is a sacrilege nly a tank can destroy a tank .For the tankboys,the truth is :tanks and tankbattles decided WWII
So if pretty much everything in the German's AT inventory could penetrate the Sherman on the first hit and the Sherman burned out the majority of the time after the first penetration, then there is your "Ronson". Its not a knock on the Sherman, its a tip of the hat to German AT weapons.
I know you don't really mean first hit, it's a relative thing. There is a show on our cable ON Demand (you can watch it whenever you want) inventory for the Military Channel, the show is called Great Tank Battles. I've watched them and they bounce back and forth between newsreel type film and computer generated depictions of the battles. They interviewed a German veteran who talked of firing on a Sherman from his Panther and hitting it twice in the glacis with no kill registered; the rounds bounced off due to the angle (even though the range was pretty darn close.) One bounced upward and took a chunk out of the barrel. The third shot was the kill. They showed the tank years later. Oh yes, it did burn but they left it there????
There are a number of questions here. For instance M4 Sherman: Was It Really That Bad? | Socyberty seems to indicate that the nickname "Ronson" was not by any means a common one during the war. In North Africa I don't see the Sherman as being that much more out classed than the German tanks with the exception of a very few Tigers. After wet storage it seems to have been far less flamable than even the cats although as pointed out there were more overmatching weapons by that point in time. Somewhat relevant to this are crew survival rates and from the stats I saw some time ago (so my less than perfect memory is in play here) there wasn't much difference between US tanks or indeed between German, British, or US tanks. Soviet tanks on the otherhand (including their Shermans) had a significanlty lower crew survival rate. Furthermore most crews were killed outside their tanks from what I recall. Which does bring to question of whether or not such nicknames were deserved. Along said lines I've also seen it posted (but no sources so take it for what it's worth) that in general the Soviet nickname for a tank with a crew of n was "a grave for n brothers". Another factor which hasn't been mentioned here is that Sherman was usually on the offensive which meant it was subject to more threats. While I disagree that the weapons listed would "most definately penetrate a Sherman on the first hit" they would often do so and AT mines were a serious threat as well. Furthermore it was much easier for infantry with AT grenades or Panzerfausts to ambush an attacking tank that it was for US infantry to do the same to defending German tanks. It would help to know just whent these nicknames appeared and how common they were.