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Most survivable tank


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#1 Hummel

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 07:53 PM

Okay, this one has been niggling at me.
What do you think was the most survivable tank of WW2? I figure it this way:
You're in a tank and it takes a catastrophic hit. It IS going to explode in the rather immediate future. What tank would be the best to be in so that you survive the experience.
Forget that you might be an SS guy bailing out at Kursk where you don't have much chance once you have gotten out of the tank. Just the immediate getting out. You might consider the different positions in the tank -- I would imagine that being the commander would be the best, no? Right near a hatch in most tanks, right? I would also imagine that being the gunner would be the worst place, buried way down deep among all that high explosive ammo and a really heavy gun that might fall on you.

Anyway, thanks for responding.

#2 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 08:47 PM

Some that wouldn't make the list:

Pz III: No hatches for the driver and hull machinegunner. They have to crawl back into the turret to get out.

M3 Stuarts. The two hull crew have to open the flaps in front of them to crawl out. The hull machinegunner in particular has a very small area to crawl through.

T34/76 the hull gunner is trapped in the tank and must exit through the turret. The driver can open his flap but it is fairly large and heavy so if he is dazed or wounded this would be very difficult to accomplish. The large single hatch on the 41 and 42 models is hard to open due to size and weight.

Most British tanks. Small hatches are a major problem on most of these. They also tend not to put many, particularly for the crew in the hull in odd spots making getting out difficult even on normal entry and exit occasions.

#3 Hummel

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:46 PM

Yah, I was thinking of one of the well-designed super-heavy tanks such as an IS-III or an M-26 or maybe a Konigstiger. Any thoughts on them, please? Oh, along the same line . . . does anyone have any idea on tank crew casualties in Europe please? Even a website showing them would be welcome. Okay, off I go to take care of the wife. Ciao again.

#4 Jaeger

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:21 PM

I'm reading Tank Men just now. According to the book the wireless man and the gunner were the most likely to be killed in a brew up.

As for tank type it varied from 3-9 seconds before the thing went up.
'We march. The enemy is retreating in transport. We follow on foot.' Lt.Neil McCallum 5/7 Gordons 19th November 1942

#5 Sentinel

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:10 PM

From the shots of the M3 Medium "Grant" tank in the movie Sahara, it seemed to be generously endowed with side hatches, and not very cramped. I don't know if the tank was modified for the film, but it seemed more easily exited than most others - despite its shortcomings in other factors.

#6 Sloniksp

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:25 PM

I would guess any tank using gasoline would be more prone to explode than one using diesel.

The T-34s, however; used high explosive shells which would serve as a double edged sword when getting hit.
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#7 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:04 AM

I would guess any tank using gasoline would be more prone to explode than one using diesel.

The T-34s, however; used high explosive shells which would serve as a double edged sword when getting hit.


The big danger is ammunition. Storing it in the turret is highly dangerous so, tanks that do that are more likely to detonate. Seperate ammunition is also far more dangerous so tanks like the IS series or the Jadgtiger are far more prone to explode when hit.
Gasoline generally just burns and diesel will too if it gets hot enough. But, comparatively, this is minor compared to ammo. The T 34 didn't detonate easily mainly because the ammunition is all stored in the bottom of the vehicle in metal suitcases so it is well protected in the event of a hit and not likely to explode.

#8 Sloniksp

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:09 AM

The big danger is ammunition. Storing it in the turret is highly dangerous so, tanks that do that are more likely to detonate. Seperate ammunition is also far more dangerous so tanks like the IS series or the Jadgtiger are far more prone to explode when hit.
Gasoline generally just burns and diesel will too if it gets hot enough. But, comparatively, this is minor compared to ammo. The T 34 didn't detonate easily mainly because the ammunition is all stored in the bottom of the vehicle in metal suitcases so it is well protected in the event of a hit and not likely to explode.


A good point T.A.
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#9 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:59 AM

I'm reading Tank Men just now. According to the book the wireless man and the gunner were the most likely to be killed in a brew up.


The casualty surveys found that it made no difference where you were in a tank. Casualties were equal for all the crew.
And of course the safest place was IN your tank. More tank crew were killed OUTSIDE their tanks than in (this includes those who bale out and are killed by gunfire ect when escaping)

#10 Duckbill

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 02:34 AM

The casualty surveys found that it made no difference where you were in a tank. Casualties were equal for all the crew.


So according to your surveys the tank commander up in the turret was just as likely to be killed or wounded as anyone else in the tank if they hit an antitank mine. This is counter-intuitive, but very interesting.

Do these surveys differentiate between killed and wounded based on position in the tank? Are they differentiated by type of tank, and causality?

Do these surveys of yours include tank casualties sustained during exploitation operations or are they limited to the less mobile fighting in Normandy?

Are these surveys statistically reliable? Have they been examined using multiple regression analysis?

Duckbill

#11 Hummel

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 02:34 AM

See now, that leads me to yet another, albeit related, question: If you were going to bail out of your tank into a combat environment, which tank would you want to bail out of and where? No weasel behavior here such as "I would bail out of my tank as the last bomb fell from a Lancaster just as we crossed into Switzerland and escaped the crazy nazi regime". You're in a tank with your buddies. Your tank gets hit. It WILL explode in 30 seconds. What nationality would you most survive as, and what in what battle would you have the best chance to survive?

#12 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:00 AM

So according to your surveys the tank commander up in the turret was just as likely to be killed or wounded as anyone else in the tank if they hit an antitank mine. This is counter-intuitive, but very interesting.

Do these surveys differentiate between killed and wounded based on position in the tank? Are they differentiated by type of tank, and causality?

Do these surveys of yours include tank casualties sustained during exploitation operations or are they limited to the less mobile fighting in Normandy?

Are these surveys statistically reliable? Have they been examined using multiple regression analysis?

Duckbill


I dunno. You better ask the authors.
One of them lives in the Virginia area last time I contacted him. L. Van Loan Naisawald is the name. I am sure you could track him down .
However his conclusions can be found in ORO-T-117. A Survey Of Allied Tank Casualties In World War II. Section-'Personel Casualties', pages 33-43 and Tables XX-XXV
Examples:
Table XXV
753rd Tk Bn had 7 killed in tanks and 13 outside. 758th 11 outside and 12 inside. 760th 20 inside 29 outside.

Casualty by Position Table XXI. Based on 48 Light Tanks (192 crewmen)
30 Commanders
31Gunners
32 Drivers
32 Bow Gunners

A nice little graphic (Figure 8 between pages 5 &6) shows Percentage of tank crew casualties broken down by crew position.
Medium tanks ranged from 57% commanders to 47% drivers and Light Tanks 67% bow gunner /driver to 63% drivers.



Other information gathered by the Canadian South Alberta Regiment August 1st 1944-May 4th 1945 found that 10 men were killed by Artillery/AT shot inside the tank and 20 outside. 6 died of small arms fire in the tank and 16 of small arms fire outside the tank.

#13 Duckbill

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:30 AM

I dunno. You better ask the authors.



Seriously, until we get the answers to my questions, there is no way of knowing the statistical validity of the survey, much less its applicability to the total population od armor casualties suffered by the Western Allies during the course of the war in the ETO.


A nice little graphic (Figure 8 between pages 5 &6) shows Percentage of tank crew casualties broken down by crew position.

Medium tanks ranged from 57% commanders to 47% drivers and Light Tanks 67% bow gunner /driver to 63% drivers.


I am all in favor of nice little graphics and percentages, but without some hard data to back them up, they don’t really tell us much.

Other information gathered by the Canadian South Alberta Regiment

August 1st 1944-May 4th 1945 found that 10 men were killed by Artillery/AT shot inside the tank and 20 outside. 6 died of small arms fire in the tank and 16 of small arms fire outside the tank.


As a statistical sample, this is far too small to be of any use when applied to the total population of tank casualties suffered by the Western Allies in the ETO. I must point out that the number of men who were killed inside the tank vs outside the tank carries no surprises. However, this is the alleged experience of a single regiment. Please explain how this information might be accurately extrapolated to represent the larger population to which you previously referred.

Duckbill
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#14 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:51 AM


until we get the answers to my questions, there is no way of knowing the statistical validity of the survey,

but without some hard data to back them up, they don’t really tell us much



As a statistical sample, this is far too small to be of any use when applied to the total population of tank casualties suffered by the Western Allies in the ETO.



I can do no more than use your own words to explain this to you:


You have been provided with a source.

Refutation of this source is your responsiblity, not mine. Nor am I required to provide the author's sources for your examination.

If you wish to refute the source I've cited, then have at it.


One bit of help. The Survey overall is based on a sample of 12,140 Allied tank casualties from all theaters of operations. Thus it is by far the largest survey ever carried out on the subject.

Edited by m kenny, 07 August 2010 - 04:07 AM.


#15 Duckbill

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:12 AM

I can do no more than use your own words to explain this to you:

You have been provided with a source.

Refutation of this source is your responsiblity, not mine. Nor am I required to provide the author's sources for your examination.

If you wish to refute the source I've cited, then have at it.


Sources you have provided, but they do not support your contention that they apply to all armor casualties sustained by the Western Allies in the ETO. Thus, it is not your sources that I have to refute, it is merely the manner in which you misuse them. Please tell me how your sources can provide a viable statistical basis for the vast extrapolation you have made.

vey overall is based on a sample of 12,140 Allied tank casualties from all theaters of operations. Thus it is by far the largest survey ever carried out on the subject.


The sample size of the survey is important, as is its provenance. A sample of armor casualties taken from all theaters of operation cannot from a purely statistical standpoint be used in the manner you claim. Simply put, it has to be evaluated in terms of many statistical variables in order to be valid. One which I previously mentioned is the variable of exploitation vs the more static warfare seen in Normandy. Another might be found in the penetration of the West Wall, or for that matter urban warfare. These, and many other variables are highly relevant to any reliable statistical outcome.

Duckbill

Edited by Duckbill, 07 August 2010 - 04:24 AM.

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#16 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:23 AM

Sources you have provided, but they do not support your contention that they apply to all armor casualties sustained by the Western Allies in the ETO. Thus, it is not your sources that I have to refute, it is merely the manner in which you misuse them. Please tell me how your sources can provide a viable statistical basis for the vast extrapolation you have made.


Please consult ORO-T-117. The information you seek is contained within.



As a statistical sample, this is far too small to be of any use when applied to the total population of tank casualties suffered by the Western Allies in the ETO. I must point out that the number of men who were killed inside the tank vs outside the tank carries no surprises. However, this is the alleged experience of a single regimentPlease explain how this information might be accurately extrapolated to represent the larger population to which you previously referred.


You are mistaken. I gave data for a sampling of 3 US Tk Bns as well

Table XXV
753rd 7 killed in tanks and 13 outside.
758th 11 outside and 12 inside.
760th 20 inside 29 outside.


Please read more carefully in future.

#17 Duckbill

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:32 AM

Please consult ORO-T-117. The information you seek is contained within.





You are mistaken. I gave data for a sampling of 3 US Tk Bns as well

Table XXV
753rd 7 killed in tanks and 13 outside.
758th 11 outside and 12 inside.
760th 20 inside 29 outside.

Please read more carefully in future.


I see you have resorted to selective editing to make it seem that I have missed something. Of course, anyone who goes back to read my post will see that I was specifically using the numbers you gave for the Canadian South Alberta Regiment to make a point. Please do not resort to such simplistic shenanigans in the future.

Rest assured that the addition of the casualties from three tank battalions still falls far short of the statistical requirements demanded by the broad extrapolation you attempted to make.


Duckbill

Edited by Duckbill, 07 August 2010 - 04:33 AM.
changed "in" to "by"


#18 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:52 AM

Please post the data you have (or its location) that refutes or contradicts the findings in ORO-T-117 in regard to Allied Tank Crew Casualties I posted earlier.

I suggest you consult First US Army, Report Of Operations 23 Febuary to 8 May 1945, Annex 6, Appendix 4 before forming any hasty conclusions.

#19 Duckbill

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 05:05 AM

Please post the data you have (or its location) that refutes or contradicts the findings in ORO-T-117 in regard to Allied Tank Crew Casualties I posted earlier.

I suggest you consult First US Army, Report Of Operations 23 Febuary to 8 May 1945, Annex 6, Appendix 4 before forming any hasty conclusions.


As previously stated, the problem is not with your source. It is your attempt to use it as a basis for a broad extrapolation to encompass all armor casualties suffered by the Western Allies in the ETO.

Your attempt to include a report from a single army is equally misleading, as it can only be used to infer total armor casualties, not as a basis of statistical proof.

Duckbill

#20 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 05:17 AM

7545 of the casualties were suffered June 1944-May 1945 In Western Europe.

Total ETO Tank losses for the same period (Rounded, 23 tanks adrift))

UK 4500
US 6000

Using the rough guide of 2 casualties to 1 total loss gives a casualty total of 31500.
Thus roughly 25% of ETO casualties surveyed in ORO-T-117.

Edited by m kenny, 07 August 2010 - 04:33 PM.
changed 'losses' to 'casualties' in last line


#21 JBark

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:17 PM

SHENANIGANS! YOU CAN'T HANDLE SHENANIGANS!

(Sorry folks, couldn't help myself.)

#22 JBark

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:43 PM

kenny

Interesting stats. I would have thought the crew positions would indicate better survivability for certain men, commander has easy exit for example. In thinking further it occurred to me that the commander was also far more succeptable to sniper and artillery airburst fire and the turret is often an easier target and possibly penetrated more often...possibly.

I know you have a pretty extensive libray, how did you acquire the report you are referring to? (I've seen it in a few bibliographies.)

#23 Duckbill

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:36 PM

7545 of the casualties were suffered June 1944-May 1945 In

Western Europe.

Total ETO Tank losses for the same period (Rounded, 23 tanks adrift))

UK 4500
US 6000

Using the rough guide of 2 casualties to 1 total loss gives a casualty total of 31500.
Thus roughly 25% of ETO losses surveyed in ORO-T-117.


A rough guide? That's not very convincing.

Roughly 25%? Again, not very convincing.

Does it strike you as odd that your total tank losses just happen to round to even numbers, and that these numbers happen to be even at 4500 and 6000 respectively? Rather, why doesn't it strike you as odd, is perhaps more to the point?

Your multiple rounding of numbers and use of the "rough guide" provides results that cannot be statistically reliable. They might well be in the ball park, but the manner in which you present them is questionable at best.

Having these reports is one thing, but knowing how to present and use them in a cogent manner is quite another.

All I am trying to accomplish here is to point out the rather basic fact that your methodology is flawed.

Duckbill

#24 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 05:09 PM

Interesting stats. I would have thought the crew positions would indicate better survivability for certain men, commander has easy exit for example. In thinking further it occurred to me that the commander was also far more succeptable to sniper and artillery airburst fire and the turret is often an easier target and possibly penetrated more often...possibly.


Commanders in Meduim tanks were 10% more at risk than the next crew position so they were slightly (depending how you class 10%-anal people who want to go to 5 decimal places excepted) more exposed.

I know you have a pretty extensive libray, how did you acquire the report you are referring to? (I've seen it in a few bibliographies.)


It took me a long while to track it down. There are 3 copies in Libraries in the USA (one at Carlisle) and I was right on the point of paying something like $150 for a photocopy (it is a loose bound paper) when one was given to me for free by Richard Anderson Jnr!
How is that for coincidence?

Posted Image



I intend to put it all out eventualy but it consists of over 100 pages of text, 36 tables and 30 illustrations . Some of the tables were very poorly reproduced and I had to spend a great deal of time redoing them in a much clearer format. The core of the Study is Tables I & II.
2 sheets of data 18 columns by 30- 40 had to be redone and checked several times for errors. It took me a while!

This was what I had to deal with originaly:

Posted Image

I had to get higher resolution copies of around half the tables in order to redo them.

#25 m kenny

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 05:41 PM

Does it strike you as odd that your total tank losses just happen to round to even numbers, and that these numbers happen to be even at 4500 and 6000 respectively? Rather, why doesn't it strike you as odd, is perhaps more to the point


Not odd in the least. I said I rounded them so whats the problem?
This is not an area where the numbers are fixed.
Depending on dates you can get different totals. There are no fixed totals that can be agreed upon as precise and 100% completely accurate.
I suggest that if you have any problems with the British tank loss total you contact Bovington Tank Museum and inform them you have doubts about the figures they have listed in the
"Half Yearly Reports on the Progress of the Royal Armoured Corps" for June 1945, losses in 21st Army Group NW Europe
These are copies of original wartime documents kept at the UK PRO at Kew. I am sure they will listen to your fears and put a caution on the documents so no further historian will be fooled by this useless information.


losses in 21st Army Group NW Europe 1944-45 were -
Stuart M3 series .....248
Stuart VI ...............185
M24 .........................2
Sherman.............. 2712
Cromwell ...............609
Challenger................39
Comet ....................26
Churchill ................656

Total.................... 4477 (or 4500 rounded)

For US totals I depend on Richard Anderson Jnr and I believe you had recent interaction with him on another forum so you are aware of his work in this area.

M26...........................................2
M4 Medium Tank.................... 4,365
M4 Medium Tank (105mm)...........174
M3/M5/M24 Light Tank ......... ..1,507
Total tanks............................6,048

A rough guide? That's not very convincing.

Roughly 25%? Again, not very convincing.


Produce your own data if you are not satified.


Your multiple rounding of numbers and use of the "rough guide" provides results that cannot be statistically reliable. They might well be in the ball park, but the manner in which you present them is questionable at best.

Having these reports is one thing, but knowing how to present and use them in a cogent manner is quite another.


Thats just liddle 'ol me. Rough, Uncogent and unknowing.
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