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Top 5 Tank Destroyers

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by JagdtigerI, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    If he is not right then prove it. If you can't provide an actual source then T.A. is going to get the benefit of the doubt on this one.
     
  2. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    After WWII the US chucked the TD concept. Tanks were to fill both the offensive role of infantry and truck killing as well as the primary anti-tank weapon. Armed with the 90mm L/53, the Pershing had little time for TDs.

    There are plenty of people far more knowledgeable about technical matters than I on this forum. The M5 tank's smoother turret traverse is a relatively well documented in anecdotes and secondary literature. Someone who has a copy of Hunnicut can probably find the technical reference; I am almost positive that Roger Ford's M4 Medium Tank stated this as well.
    The confusion over the 3-in. naval gun and 76mm notwithstanding, Dugan was a veteran of the armored division and is a historian quoting from a primary source. Rose could be wrong or Dugan could be wrong or he just made it up, but I don't think so.
     
  3. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    How do you know they are smoother simply by 'seeing both in operation' were you inside actually aiming the gun of both tanks? If not how do you really know?

    I have looked all over the net for anything to do with the smoothness of turret traverse and the most I can find is links continuously point out how smooth the British tanks were compared to the German ones, as well as the RAF bomber turrets.

    just one of the links

    ARMOUR
     
  4. Hellcat15

    Hellcat15 Member

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    I'm a big fan of the M18
     
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  5. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The main reason for the electrical turret being smoother than the hydralic version is simply that the electric used a "twist handle" like a motorcycle throttle coupled with an internal rheostatic switch. In the hydralic version it is either "on or off". There is only the hand control to make final adjustments. The electric can go "full speed" toward the area, slow to a "creep" with a lower electrical output, and then switch to a completely manual "fine sighting" for the end shot adjustment.

    That is how I see the difference at least. Very like the old push-buttons on analog radios in your older cars. You push the pre-set button and it goes to the "area" with a jump, then use the rheostatic tuning knob to bring in the station with precision.
     
  6. Sentinel

    Sentinel Member

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    A tank veteran of the Vietnam War era once told me that electric turret traverse had an advantage when a vehicle was damaged or penetrated. In a hydraulic turret, jets of hot, high-pressure oil from broken lines would make any situation worse for the crew.
     
  7. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    The Pershing is just another clear example that the US weren't any better than the Germans when it came to determining wether a vehicle was ready for service or not. The tank was even more unreliable than the Tiger Ausf.B for crying out loud, and yet it recieved four times as much maintenance than the Tiger ever did.

    Smoother, no. Sorry but it is quite simply hogwash to say the least. The turret traverse in German tanks was/is just as smooth, albeit usually slower.

    Considering that he obviously never sat in a German tank his words are quite frankly worth nothing. His ignorance on German equipment stands out clearly when he mentioned the optics, US optics never even approached the German optics when it comes to lens quality/clarity, field of view and field usability/practicality, and this btw is a extensively documented fact.
     
  8. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    I doubt that. It is a safe bet that more panzers shot at General Rose than you have ever seen in the safety and comfort of museums sixty years after the fact. When you start to promote something you have read once in a book by denigrating a veteran armored commander, especially someone of Maurice Rose's stature, your words are worse than nothing.
     
  9. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    Triple C,

    You can doubt it all you want, but fact of the matter is he clearly shows that he knows very little about German armour and obviously never sat in a Panzer. Otherwise how come his words go completely against those of whom actually tested all nations tanks ? Take for example the Aberdeen evaluations, Meppen evaluations or the Bovington evaluations, they all concluded that the German optics were far superior. Also nothing is mentioned about US tanks supposedly having a smoother turret traverse.
     
  10. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    Proeliator,

    This is absolute nonsense. Multiple people have provided reasons why the German's turret was less smooth. Yet all you have done is deny it. It is impossible to hold and argument with you. Until you are able to admit you are wrong about some things, you will never learn anything on this site. Please don't tell me you just state the facts.
     
  11. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    No they haven't, they have made unsubstantiated claims, that's all, and there's a big difference.

    I'm not denying anything, I'm simply correcting mistakes. Go read the Allied test results of the Panther, no complains about the smoothness of the turret traverse is made. And upon testing the Tiger they actually commented that the slow traverse made precise aiming easier. In all tests it is also made abundantly clear that German optics are far superior to any that the Allies possessed.

    In short there is nothing out there to substantiate the claim that the Sherman had a smoother turret traverse than any German tank, only that it in general had a faster traverse. Interestingly the Tiger Ausf.B was initially provided with an electric turret traverse motor, but the hydraulic system was found to be just as good and was therefore used instead.
     
  12. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    German turret traverse is based on engine speed in their later model tanks. That is, the engine rpms determined hydraulic pressure and in turn the rotation rate. So, if the driver is changing speeds, changing gears, or making any other adjustment to engine speed the traverse rate will change too. This means laying the gun and final adjustments are almost certainly going to be done by hand. You cannot expect the engine speed to be constant enough to make fine adjustments hydraulically.

    The slow traverse speed is a problem. There are repeated instances of US tanks getting their rounds on target first where turret rotation by both sides in an engagement was required. This is a huge advantage in tank combat.
     
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  13. Mibo

    Mibo Member

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    I am taking no sides in this argument, because i do not know anything on the matter.

    But, i'd really like to see the test results, just because i am interested. So any links? Or books?
     
  14. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Something else to keep in mind. Actually there were three different traverse systems used in the Sherman turret traverse drives.

    The electro-hydraulic design was one which used electrical power to run a hydraulic pump and motor system right at the connection to the turret gears. There were two companies which produced these for the war effort, the Oilgear (the best of the two) system, and the Logansport system. However the most common power traverse was the completely electric design from the Westinghouse company, which used electrical motors coupled with a rheostatic twist-grip the gunner used.

    It was this electrical design from Westinghouse which was normally installed due to shortages of the electro-hydaulic designs, that were the most admired. The less used Logansport was too sensitive for real ease of control, and also tended to not work when it ran afoul of inconsistencies of machining of the turret gears (a common problem).

    Both the Westinghouse electrical and Oilgear electro-hydraulic equipment were reliable, and able to function smoothly and rapidly with minor gear inconsistencies in the turret gears. None of them relied upon engine speed to maintain power for the turret traverse, since they all functioned off of either engine generated or battery power electricity.
     
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  15. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Oh, really?

    The only opinion Rose had that contradicted "those of whom actually tested all nation's tanks" was his comment on optics. And as a person who actually fought tank battles in a tank, he unerstood the nuances of tank ergonomics that people who research this in air conditioned rooms do not.

    The superiority of US optical devices was not in opitcal quality, it was in the design, ease of use and the numbers installed in a tank. Sherman tank gunner had a periscopic/telescopic sight that had a far wider field of view than the German gunner's telescopic sight. With his periscope, the American gunner can actively scan the battlefield for threats when idle and engage targets quicker than his German counterpart. German gunner was blind if the tank is moving, and must wait for his TC to give him the exact bearing of his targets if his turret was not pointed at the right direction. The difference was two sets of eye balls versus one in keeping SA.

    His other comments are in complete agreement with researchers. Sherman's turret traverse was faster and smoother according to Steven Zaloga and Roger Ford, with whom you disagreed. The gyrostabalizer's value was questioned by some of the same experts, but none denied it was highly desirable equipment according to the veteran tank crews that learned how to use it. His commpliments to German high-velocity gun and higher quality armor is self-evidently correct.

    The fact of the matter is that Maurice Rose was the most highly esteemed tank division commander in the First Army. Unlike Patton, he actually had a solid reputation for technical knowledge in machines and motorized vehicles. He always led his command in combat at his most forward elements. His command tank was literally at the tip of the US Army during the American breakout in Normandy. I would most certainly say that such a commander would take a lively interest in the technical specifications of German tanks--do you have any evidence to the contrary?
     
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  16. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    Some of you are clearly unaware of how the German turret traverse system actually worked. There were 2 different speed settings; one relying on engine rpm (For quick emergency traverse), the other one only needed the engine to be running and always ran at the same speed regardless of engine rpm, a simple pressure valve making sure that the hydraulic power/speed was always kept the same = providing a smooth and consistent traverse speed in situations that demanded it. The Tiger Ausf.E only had the first speed setting which was 6 degrees a second, which was slow enough to be used for precise target acquisition.

    Where did Steven Zaloga or Roger Ford ever claim that the Sherman's turret traverse was smoother ?

    Sorry but the German optics were not just of higher quality they were infact also the easiest to use, and last but certainly not least they provided the gunner a wider & clearer field of view. And again this is very well documented. On top of this the German gunsights featured some smart and very precise range finder & adjustment scales, allowing German gunners to make first round hits at ranges a lot greater than what any Allied gunner was capable of, providing German tanks with a very big tactical advantage.

    Furthermore some German tanks, such as the Tiger Ausf.B and mid production Ausf.E and onwards featured a wide field of view periscopic sight for observation.
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Quite so.

    Eg:
    I'll take Gerry's word on this, not only as he's a proven gentleman, who never patronises anyone and has shown an exceptionally serious approach to the history of his regiment, but also because he was there, fighting in some famous (infamous even!) tank actions & thus appreciates fully that no action has ever taken place on a clean white sheet of statistical paper.
    Gerry has said a couple of times to my memory that the German Mk.IV was seen as the bigger threat in Italy largely based on it's ability to respond to threats in that terrain more quickly with a faster traverse (other British tank veterans have agreed on this particular point).

    Gerry's excellent website:
    The North Irish Horse

    ~A

    PS. No.1 tank destroyer?
    ~Rust? :shifty:
     
  18. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    After what model panzers did the Germans began to rely on engine-speed-dependant turret traverse systems? When they upgunned the Mk IV with L43 and Mk III with L60?
     
  19. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The first round advantage cannot be overlooked. It is very significant. The following formulae describe this process:

    Probability of kill = Prob of hit x prob of penn x prob of lethal damage x prob of weapon working right.

    While this simplifies the actual problem, it is a good starting point. Non-penetrating hits may still disable an AFV. They could also cause a morale crisis with the vehicle crew. But, for now let's stick with the above.

    The probability of surviving a hit therefore is:

    Ps = 1 - Pko

    The probability of successfully engaging an opposing vehicle there for is:

    Pse = Pk x Ps

    or

    Pse = Pk x (1-Pko)

    Now, where one tank fires first the forumla becomes:

    Pse = Pk x (1-Pko(1-Pk))

    You can play with the values but, the tank that fires first is generally going to win even with a low probability of a kill per round.
     
  20. Hanz Gooblemienhoffen

    Hanz Gooblemienhoffen Member

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    Well even though this debate seems dead...ill add mine for fun:

    5. Jagpanther: Cant beat 80mm sloped and a L71..though point taken that there weren't that many and it certainly had its share of "teething technical issues".

    4. Archer 17 pnder- while the backward mounted 17 pounder seems "silly"..the punching power of the 17 pounder is not. For the AP power alone, and its ability to scoot (after all its facing the right direction to get the heck out!) ill give it 4th place.

    3. Marder II and III- while these SP guns had their own issues I would give 3rd to them jointly for the simply reason that it was a "great idea" and good use of Germanys limited resources.

    2. Su 152. this to me is equal to the su100 but with inferior AT capabilities...only due to lower velocity thus making it tricky to hit moving targets. But this SPG could absolutely obliterate any tank that existed in ww2. Firing a 48.8 kilogram round at 600 meter/sec it impacted with the kinetic energy of two Chuck Norris'. It simply cannot be overstated...you do not want to be on the other end of this baby. Its nickname "Zveroboy" (animal killer) was earned obliterating Panthers and Tigers. Its main draw back being limited ammo, two piece ammo and low velocity..which is why Su 100 wins.


    1. SU-100. I know everyone loves German and US vehicles..but this SPG was simply the best. Solid AP protection and one the deadliest guns produced in WW2 in terms of AP and HE. I would happily put this baby up against anything on the allied or Axis side. Though truthfully its optics were not great for the first run but steadily improved.

    To me though not a Russian invention...they certainly perfected the SPG...in my (overinflated..snicker) opinion.
     

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