WW II Armor ????

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 22WRF, May 7, 2006.

  1. wolfgang2000

    wolfgang2000 New Member

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    I promis you that if the bean counters had to go into combat with the Sherman it would have had better armor and gun.

    You can quote all the stats in the world, but every WW2 tanker that I've seen interviewed, when asked if they would rathered a sherman or a tiger, they pick the tiger. That was both US and Brit. tankers. Stats don't mean nothing on the cutting edge.
  2. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    And just like in ANY war, a substantial number of GERMAN tankers at many stages of the war, ESPECIALLY from 1944 on, would have told you they WISHED they had a Sherman rather than their broken down Tiger or Panther, or while dreaming of the "good old days" of Panzer MOBILITY instead of sitting in ambush waiting for a couple of lucky shots before they DIED or SURRENDERED. Of course AFTER the war, probably NONE would say that... :cool:

    And while many ISRAELI tankers in Shermans may have preferred facing the Syrian, Jordanians and Egyptians in an M60 or a Centurian, they would rather have been in the Super Sherman than a T55!

    I would be surprised if ANY US tankers in the war would have NOT said they wanted the bigger gun and the armor of a Tiger or a Panther, that in fact is a STUPID question, who WOULDN'T???? BUT I guarantee you they would want that ARMOR and GUN on a SHERMAN chassis, with a SHERMAN gyroscopic sight, with a SHERMAN engine, SHERMAN transmission, and SHERMAN tracks! NOT on a German one!!!


    THAT information is the "misinformation." Those same soldiers will ALSO probably tell you that all the artillery they ever received was from "88s!" I've taked to MANY verterans! And EVERY armored formation they ever faced was SS! BEWARE of anecdotal information, it cuts BOTH ways....

    While soldiers CAN be the BEST sources of information about the war and their experiences, they can ALSO be the WORST sources of Historical fact....

    It AIN'T statistics...it's the FACTS. The M4 and M4A1 and variants were the BEST we had, and our best was BETTER than "good enough" for MOST demands of US Armored Warfare in WWII, and SUPERIOR in just about ALL the other ratings over ANY other WWII tanks EXCEPT in Gun and armor....and the while the 75mm was ALSO "good enough" for most uses, the HV 76mm was only SLIGHTLY outclassed by the Germans as a tank gun...

    The FACTS remain that US (and British) soldiers in M4s WON THE WAR, and the "myth" of the idea they won it MERELY on nymbers FIRST appeared after the war from GERMAN military writers trying to "explain" away the defeat of their OBVIOUSLY superior tanks....
  3. Polish, where are you getting such information? Maybe it's true, but that's not what I've read from accounts written after the war by German tankers. You suggest these men were prevaricating for political reasons, but why should they? The war was over and most of them just wanted to forget it. True, the Tigers and Panthers did break down, but so did the Shermans. We just had a much more efficient and well-supplied support staff to repair them, especially after the Normandy landings in 1944, and what is far more important, the fuel to make them run (at least most of the time). When the shell meets the armor, I'd sure rather have thick German steel around me than the tin-foil thickness the M4s possessed. It's also kinda nice to know that if you shoot back, your round will penetrate the enemy's tank before he's even in range to shoot at you. The ragheads found that out the hard way at 73 Easting in the first Iraq war. :D No, Polish. It just won't wash. German tanks were not perfect by any means, but taken as a whole, they were--tank for tank--far better than the Shermans.
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Oh , do you mean the (how Morison aptly refers to them) the "Post-war Alibi Papers" of the German Generals and "Honorable" German Officer's corps?

    What do you EXPECT???


    I'm talking of the MANY accounts of WARTIME German soldiers (the FEW experienced tankers that were LEFT) who DID envy the American and Allied equipment, and DID complain of the breakdowns, fuel consumption, and DID "towards the end" reminisce about the "Blitzkrieg years" and WISH they had equipment that could still do that, not ONLY the fuel!!!


    Haven't YOU read any of the accounts of Germans complaining about "Fuel leakage," "fragile transmissions," "lousy ammo" (OK, the slave labor had something to do with THAT...)the MAYBACH was ALWAYS an issue, they NEVER got that right, always at LEAST "one size" too small for the size of whatever AFV they put it on!)

    You tell ME. Would you REALLY rather be on the side with all the otherwise PRISTINE Tigers and Panthers "abandoned" on the side of the road with MINOR breakdowns, or in the column of MOVING M4s driving AROUND them ALWAYS advancing towards WINNING the war???? The PICTURES at the end of the war especially, but ALSO many times at the BEGINNING and MIDDLE as well tell a story. Heck, even the Panzer IIs and IIIs in Africa and Barbarossa had no "maintenance" record to be PROUD of! Hell, the ENTIRE war was an adventure for German Tankers every morning just to see if their stuff would START.

    YES you see the OPPOSITE, OCCASIONALLY, but if EVER the Germans are rolling through a column of American, British, or Russian (after Stalingrad) stuff , the Allied stuff was obviously KNOCKED OUT. But The photos of KNOCKED OUT columns of US stuff is MATCHED at BEST, and I would say SURPASSED by many times, of US tanks advancing through columns of KNOCKED OUT German stuff!

    And I've read several accounts even RECENTLY about the "interleaved" getting disabled by just MUD, much less FROZEN Mud. I'm SURE that the panzertruppen whose job it was to get up at 3:00 EVERY morning to start and tend the BONFIRE under the Tiger or Panther just so they MIGHT be able to respond to a daybreak attack always wondered why the SHERMANS and T34s, never needed THAT.
  5. No, not those, though I have read them as well. I was referring to accounts I've read by common soldiers who served as tankers during the last year or so of the war. I agree, the stuff published by the officers and high ranking Nazi Party officials is mostly BS. I thought Albert Speer's Inside the Third Reich was particularly obscene. Doenitz's Ten Years and Twenty Days was better and more balanced, but even he was trying to justify his actions more than write an accurate historical account.

    In more recent years there have been some interviews done of surviving tank crewmen and they have universally said the Tiger, for all its faults, was a far more solid weapon than the Sherman taken overall. Whether it is true or not is debatable, but most of those interviewed blamed the faults more on Germany's failing logistical support system than on the tanks themselves.
  6. JohnGerald

    JohnGerald New Member

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    I must refer y'all, with greatest respect, to John Mosier's "The Blitzkrieg Myth" in which he provides impeccable data for his conclusion that, except for the T 34, all WW II tanks were poorly engineered. The conclusions he reaches on tactics and the actuality of the battle events are controversial, but thought provoking.
  7. I definitely must take a look at Mosier's books, John. Thanks for mentioning him on this and other threads. It sounds like he may have some interesting thoughts.
  8. JohnGerald

    JohnGerald New Member

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    His conclusions are controversial because "accepted" history was written by the Brits and French, he claims, who were trying to whitewash their abysmal political and military decisions. His data, at least insofar as I have the same texts, are valid, but regardless, he makes one think, which is a useful habit, IMHO.
  9. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Yeah, but you have to BEWARE Historians with an "agenda," does he have any grudge AGAINST the Brits or French that you can recognize?

    I'm not sure I buy COMPLETELY the fact that the Histories were written by the British especially to whitewash their war record.

    One of the FIRST books I read on WWI in High School was "The Donkeys" which was a study of the FAILURE of the British High Command AND political leadership in World War I, written by a British Historian, that was SCATHING about the lack of British "initiative" and traced through memos and writings of the Gemerals how they just fed British troops into the meat grinders of the Somme and Paschaendale long after it was obvious to anyone that they were going nowhere.

    He also did hatchet job on British civilian war planners on many aspects, the main one I remember is the "shell shortage" that directly caused many unnecessary British deaths on the battlefield. I BELIEVE it was written in the 40s or 50s...maybe earlier...but then again probably NOT right after the First war, which would maybe HELP your point, Hhhmmmm.

    Thank you for reminding me of it, I think I still have that book around here somewhere, I may have to reread it!:)
  10. I entirely agree, Polish. One must look for a possible agenda with any book that profoundly challenges established facts unless there is awfully good evidence to back it up. Revisionist historians abound of late, most of whom are out to make a name for themselves, the truth be damned. I don't know about that guy because I have not yet read his work, but it is well to be cautious.

    Ever read The Marble Man by Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Polish? It's a Revisionist view of Robert E. Lee. He had the unmitigated effrontery to attack Marse Robert, the Saint of the South! :eek: :D Actually, it is a pretty well written book, but it is a highly unbalanced and wholly negative interpretation of Lee.
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