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The best weapon of WW2?

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by Onthefield, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    I was doing research on the atomic bomb and compared it to all the other major weaons of WW2; now in spite of the destruction the bomb had, was it the best weapon. I wonder out of all the major weapons of destruction-the Curtiss P-40, M-1 Garand, stick grenades, Super Tiger tank, submarines, the atomic bomb, B-17, and the rest of the weapons of WW2, which was the best or most effective in it's purpose and jobs? :confused:
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    At the moment I have two "favourites":

    The 88 mm gun ( especially AT although was used in about all purposes )

    the "Tallboy" bomb
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    This could be debated endlessly but straight in, I'd agree with Kai about the 'dreaded 88'.
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    interesting but the 8.8cm was devised as a during and post WW 1 weapon........whatever.

    the most dramatic has to be the V-2 or atom bomb
     
  5. Erich Hartmann

    Erich Hartmann Member

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    The best weapons?

    Well....the MP-40......of course!
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Can I just say WELCOME BACK !! to the near-legendary Erich Hartmann ? [​IMG]
     
  7. Heartland

    Heartland Member

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    I'll go for something as unglamorous as an artillery piece - the trusty Soviet 76.2mm gun. Artillery inflicted the majority of casualties during WWII, and the 76.2mm (in various models) was prolific on the eastern front.

    Many versions also doubled as AT (and even AA ) guns with good performance. Cheap, easy to transport, low maintenance, etc, etc.
     
  8. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    it was the cheif Soviet AT piece right up to war's end. The German heavy SS Panzerabteilung 503 in the east ran up or over this thing constantly......what was the German nick name for this gun if anyone knows ?

    ~E
     
  9. Heartland

    Heartland Member

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    Wasn't it something along the lines of "crash-boom", because the high velocity of the shell meant the impact came before the sound of the gun firing?
     
  10. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    or the Rausch-boom ? I think you are right though........

    ~E
     
  11. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Not a major weapon of distruction, not even used much, but my current preference is the Gurkha Kukri. I have one and they are the finest knives on the planet, razor sharp, heavy enough for some serious work and bloody frightening to be on the other end of one would imagine. I read one particular story where Gurkhas advanced towards a Japanese held tree line on the flank of some Scots, as the Scots began to charge suddenly all the sounds of battle were drowned out by a howl as the Gurkhas drew their Kukris (the HQ on a hill near by saw a flash as the blades were raised) and charged past the Scots into the wood, witnesses reported finding numerous fully loaded rifles along the edge of the wood where the Gurkhas dropped them as they charged in with just their blades.

    Ok, so maybe not the most common or most dangerous, definatly not vital to the allied victory but definatly a great weapon.
     
  12. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    So Stefan, was this knife a Scot knife or who was it designed by? Also for the general populace, what in your opinion was the best plane of the entire war, all countries included?
     
  13. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Ok, potted history of the Kukri:

    Ancient Egypt, the pharoes soldiers carried a sword with a long, curved blade, the sword was called the Kopesh. Now it is believed that this developed into the sword carried by the Greek Hoplite, called a Kopis. This bladeform is beleived to have been brought to Northern India by the Macedonians under Alexander in the 4th century BC, this led to numerous similar blade shapes in India, particularly in Nepal (it is rather more complicated than this involving the occupation of Nepal and a revolution by the Gorkali people) where two kinds of fighting blade became very important, the long curved sword (Kora) and a shorter blade used more as a tool than for fighting, this was the Kukri.

    [​IMG]

    Three of the blades I have referred to are pictured above, note the key features that show the liniage, i.e. a blade that curves forward which tends to produce what is known as a 'sweet spot' on the inside of the curve, this part tends to be rediculously sharp (I am VERY careful with knives and still manage to cut myself regularly without even noticing it) whilst the base of the 'drop' is hard and capable of seriously heavy duty cutting.

    [​IMG]

    And this is a beautiful WW2 type Kukri, not the similarities to the blades above, particularly to the Kopis. The Kukri is a fantastic weapon and tool, capable of being used both as a knife, a dagger and an axe. The Gurkhas are a race of Nepalese mountaine men who live high in the Himalayas, when the East India Co managed to pick a fight with them the Gurkhas won but so respected the British troops they gave something like a hundred men to the British crown. Ever since then the Gurkha people see it as a great honour to serve in the Gurkha units in the British and Indian army, they have a reputation as some of the most loyal and efficient soldiers in the world. I am currently reading a memoir of a chap who served with them in Burma and am constantly amazed by the way these men faced all kinds of hardships with characteristic cheerfulness and professionalism. It is hardly surpriseing that the British officers who commanded them saw it as an honour.

    Best plane of the entire war? Well for the time it saw action the Hurricane, failing that the Spitfire, both because they are beautiful, great aircraft in their own right and they saved our arses (in Britain anyhow). I don't want to get into any kind of firepower vs power:weight ratio argument, I just happen to really like these two (rather fashionable) aircraft.
     
  14. No.9

    No.9 Ace

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    Scots (not necessarily military) may carry a Dirk in their sock. A short 'dagger' type knife, nothing like a Kukri. The Kukri is a traditional tool of the Nepalese area, characteristic of but not exclusive to the Gurkhas. Most salient points are well put at,
    http://www.army.mod.uk/brigade_of_gurkhas/history/Kukri_History.htm

    No.9
     
  15. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    The scottish Dirk is a small dagger with a long, narrow triangular blade. It is decended from the so called 'bollok dagger' of the middle ages. They are mainly designed for fighting and eating, no where near as much use as a Kukri.
     
  16. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    Concerning tanks, what was the most effective tank of the war on all fronts in all countries?
     
  17. reddog2k

    reddog2k Member

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    I would have to say the T-34 or the Tiger.

    The Tiger was a excellent tank with it's heavy armor, and large gun it was almost invincible in combat, but it had it's drawbacks mainly that it was difficult to produce, and the Germans were unable to support them. Many Tigers were abandoned because of mechanical failure, running out of fuel, and running out of ammunition.

    The T-34 was the best tank during the first 2 years of the war. It's 76mm gun could fire could fire a shell at a speed of roughly 2500 feet per second twice as fast as the Panzer IV's 75mm gun could fire. The T-34s sloped armor was able to deflect most projectiles. In addition to this the T-34 was cheap and easy to produce and maintain. During production the T-34 required only one fifth the amount of steel a Panther needed.
     
  18. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    In terms of loss / kill ratio the German Tiger. In overall terms, the lowly Sherman. It was used on every front of the war from Europe to Asia to the Pacific. The Russians used it in quantity. Practically other Allied nation used it as well. In the Pacific it was the equavelant of the Tiger in performance against the Japanese.
    While the T-34 was in some ways a superior vehicle, the Sherman in overall performance outdid it.
     
  19. reddog2k

    reddog2k Member

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    While Soviet units did use the Sherman T-34s far outnumbered them. The USSR produced more tanks than any nation during the war.

    The T-34 and the Sherman do share some characteristics mainly they were both easy to produce, and maintain, but the T-34 was far better in combat, because it had sloped armor, a better gun(the first T-34s were equipped with 76mm guns later models were equipped with 88mm guns), the T-34 had a wider track which allowed for better cross country performance, another major advantage of the T-34 is that it used a deisel engine opposed to the gasoline engines of the Shermans.

    In the western front 1 Tiger was lost to every 3 Shermans, and in the eastern front 1 Tiger was lost to every 4 T-34s. This statistic is misleading because most Tigers on the western front were lost due to air or artillery attack, mechanical failures, or running out of fuel or ammunition.

    Two tanks that don't recieve as much credit as they should are two soviet heavy tanks KV-1 used in the early part of the war, and the IS-3 used in the later part of the war.

    [ 28. September 2003, 08:12 PM: Message edited by: reddog2k ]
     
  20. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    While Soviet units did use the Sherman T-34s far outnumbered them. The USSR produced more tanks than any nation during the war.

    The T-34 and the Sherman do share some characteristics mainly they were both easy to produce, and maintain, but the T-34 was far better in combat, because it had sloped armor, a better gun(the first T-34s were equipped with 76mm guns later models were equipped with 88mm guns), the T-34 had a wider track which allowed for better cross country performance, another major advantage of the T-34 is that it used a deisel engine opposed to the gasoline engines of the Shermans.

    [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]On the plus side for the Sherman was far more reliability. The track alone had roughly 4 times the life of a T-34's and it didn't get thrown anywhere near as frequently. The engine and transmission were also far more reliable and far more easily maintained. Armor and guns on both were roughly equal. True, the T-34 had a better armor layout but, the actual thickness was roughly the same even considering slope. The Shermans supplied to the Soviets were diesel models (as were those used by the USMC). The US Army chose gasoline models because they wished to simplify supply of fuel by making all vehicles gasoline powered having started off that way. Switching to diesel would have created a logistics bottleneck, not that it wasn't thought of.
    The Sherman also had big advantages in having a 3 man turret, far better optics and, refinements like variable speed power traverse. The T-34/76 buttoned up (a necessity as the commander was also the gunner)was virtually blind. Unless a target presented itself to its front, a T-34/76 was unlikely to spot it. Hence one major reason so many blundered into destruction at the hands of the Germans.
    In guns, the 76 mm on the T-34 is almost identical in performance to the Sherman's 75mm. Likewise, the Soviet 85mm is very similar in performance to the US 76mm. There really isn't anything to choose between the two. With HVAP rounds the US 76 is noticably superior.
    The T-34 did have superior cross country mobility. That certainly was one area where the Sherman was at a deficit.
     

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