Sherman Tank

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Sherman Tank

#1  Postby Rome Existed » Aug 23, 2012 4:37 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns6l7sCoWX4[/youtube]

Sick of watching History Channel shows that portray the Sherman Tank as the American King Tiger? If so then this vid is for you. It shows just how much of a disadvantage the Sherman crews had.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#2  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 23, 2012 5:45 am

The Panzer, in every respect, I think, was superior. We just kept coming with boatloads of Shermans. There's one sitting at the front gate of an airbase near me.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#3  Postby biscuit » Aug 23, 2012 5:49 am

ooops thought this would be a thread about masturbation :?

leaves hurriedly :oops:
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Re: Sherman Tank

#4  Postby Matt_B » Aug 23, 2012 7:45 am

Sure, the Sherman was far from a super-tank, but it did pretty well for something that wasn't really designed to take on other tanks. I don't recall the US Army managing to lose a major tank battle after D-Day, for all the supposed might of the Panzers. They also conveniently forgot to mention the M18 in that clip which did prove highly effective against all the German armour.

Also, most allied tanks were not killed by the German super-tanks like the Panther and the Tiger - they were incredibly rare on the battlefield - but by far the biggest threat was the StuG III, an assault gun based on the antiquated Panzer III. On paper, it'd appear even less capable in every way than the Sherman, of course.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#5  Postby Seabass » Aug 23, 2012 8:29 am

Rome Existed wrote:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns6l7sCoWX4[/youtube]

Sick of watching History Channel shows that portray the Sherman Tank as the American King Tiger? If so then this vid is for you. It shows just how much of a disadvantage the Sherman crews had.



I have never, ever, ever, in my entire life, seen the Sherman portrayed as a supertank, or some sort of American equivalent to the King Tiger. And I've read/seen a lot of WWII history. It is usually portrayed as a shitty, lightly armored, flammable, medium tank, with a very steep front that had a tendency to catch too many projectiles, with the sole advantage being that it could be easily mass produced.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#6  Postby Rome Existed » Aug 23, 2012 8:51 am

Seabass wrote:
Rome Existed wrote:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns6l7sCoWX4[/youtube]

Sick of watching History Channel shows that portray the Sherman Tank as the American King Tiger? If so then this vid is for you. It shows just how much of a disadvantage the Sherman crews had.



I have never, ever, ever, in my entire life, seen the Sherman portrayed as a supertank, or some sort of American equivalent to the King Tiger. And I've read/seen a lot of WWII history. It is usually portrayed as a shitty, lightly armored, flammable, medium tank, with a very steep front that had a tendency to catch too many projectiles, with the sole advantage being that it could be easily mass produced.


You should watch more of the History Channel. Can probably find them on Youtube. Not that it's surprising considering the History Channel now does shows on how the Bible is historically accurate and Aliens.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#7  Postby Rome Existed » Aug 23, 2012 8:52 am

Matt_B wrote:Sure, the Sherman was far from a super-tank, but it did pretty well for something that wasn't really designed to take on other tanks. I don't recall the US Army managing to lose a major tank battle after D-Day, for all the supposed might of the Panzers. They also conveniently forgot to mention the M18 in that clip which did prove highly effective against all the German armour.

Also, most allied tanks were not killed by the German super-tanks like the Panther and the Tiger - they were incredibly rare on the battlefield - but by far the biggest threat was the StuG III, an assault gun based on the antiquated Panzer III. On paper, it'd appear even less capable in every way than the Sherman, of course.


Well, that's because most of the Heer was in battle against the USSR. However, the kill ratio was heavily in the German's favour. For every one of their tanks knocked out they knocked out a few American tanks. Cold comfort to the American crews in those tanks that their lives could be spent more easily.

Stugs, like many German Tank Destroyers, had low profiles, which meant that they could hide quite easily. Shermans on the other hand were quite tall.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#8  Postby Matt_B » Aug 23, 2012 11:57 am

Rome Existed wrote:Well, that's because most of the Heer was in battle against the USSR. However, the kill ratio was heavily in the German's favour. For every one of their tanks knocked out they knocked out a few American tanks. Cold comfort to the American crews in those tanks that their lives could be spent more easily.


Meh. You can play that one both ways. Most American tank crews spent their time facing German infantry who were taking vastly higher losses, all because their leaders were indulging their wank fantasies in building small numbers of super-tanks rather than addressing the practical needs of their army.

And the Germans did ever so well against the USSR too, didn't they?

Stugs, like many German Tank Destroyers, had low profiles, which meant that they could hide quite easily. Shermans on the other hand were quite tall.


Yes, you will get a much lower profile if you forego the turret, but then you'll have a vehicle whose only real use is killing tanks from ambush positions in a defensive battle, and is useless for supporting infantry and exploiting breakthroughs which is what the Sherman was generally used for. Compare the StuG to the M18 Hellcat if you must, but it's apples vs oranges to the Sherman.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#9  Postby Varangian » Aug 23, 2012 1:15 pm

I read in some military magazine that one of the reasons the M4 was preferred over heavier, better armoured tanks, was that the Americans could ship three M4s instead of two heavies. While the M26 wasn't available until the final days of the war, the 42 tons vs the M4's 32 tons bear this out. One problem was the gun; when the Brits upgunned it with the 17 pdr (Sherman Firefly), they got a tank with better punch. What crippled the Germans was lack of fuel, no great numbers of superior tanks, and lack of air superiority. When the Germans called the shots, they could deal a lot of destruction, but that was in battles. The overall strategic initiative and freedom of action was lost since the summer of 1943. When the western Allies landed in Normandy, the Wehrmacht had already suffered 80% of the total losses during the war on the Eastern Front. Hitler clearly bit off more than he could possibly chew.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#10  Postby Rome Existed » Aug 23, 2012 1:32 pm

I don't get the claim of 3 mediums to 2 heavies. Surely 2 heavies are better than 3 mediums, especially when the opposition you're going up against has mediums with guns as powerful as heavies!
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Re: Sherman Tank

#11  Postby Sgt Kelly » Aug 23, 2012 2:32 pm

Rome Existed wrote:I don't get the claim of 3 mediums to 2 heavies. Surely 2 heavies are better than 3 mediums, especially when the opposition you're going up against has mediums with guns as powerful as heavies!


You're looking at this exclusively from a tactical point of view, which is more or less the mistake the Germans made. They (predominantly Hitler) were obsessed with building the tank that would totally dominate the battlefield. They succeeded pretty well, but it didn't win them the war.

A good tank design is as much about the logistics of building it, training crews to use it, getting it to the front, maintaining it and supplying it as it is about how well it actually performs in battle. People like Patton and Guderian understood this very well, which is why they weren't pushing to get the heaviest, meanest mofo tank, but to get the one that delivered the best overall performance.

The standout successes of WW2 in this regard are the T-34 and the M4. Neither ruled the battlefield, but they weren't exactly pushovers either, especially not after a number of design improvements were made. The thing is they were always on hand in sufficient numbers to get the job done. Whereas the Germans exacted a heavy toll when they had their übercats on hand, which didn't happen anywhere near often enough to have an impact on the overall picture, they got the living shit kicked out of them when they didn't, which was near enough all of the time.

The Soviets didn't have to worry about shipping their tanks across an ocean and so they could have the best of both worlds. By the end of the war they were mainly using only two different types of chassis though : the T-34 chassis for the medium tanks and tank destroyers and the KV chassis for the heavies.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#12  Postby Rome Existed » Aug 23, 2012 3:01 pm

The US though had a large industrial base so it's not like they'd be able to build 50k Shermans but only 800 heavies.

The T-34 though was upgraded with a powerful gun, the Sherman never was.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#13  Postby Sgt Kelly » Aug 23, 2012 3:32 pm

Rome Existed wrote:The US though had a large industrial base so it's not like they'd be able to build 50k Shermans but only 800 heavies.


The Americans could probably do whatever they turned their mind to at that stage. The same discussions tend to rage about why they never produced an answer to the German MG42. The answer is roughly the same : because the Browning did a good enough job, so don't upset the system and just keep churning them out.

The T-34 though was upgraded with a powerful gun, the Sherman never was.


Yes it was, from february 1944 on it was fitted with the M1 76mm tank gun, which was comparable in performance to the Soviet 85mm and the British 17 pounder (which as someone has already mentioned was fitted on Shermans delivered to the Brits to make the Firefly).

An end of war M4A3E8 is quite a different proposition from the M4A1, these puppies could give Tigers and the like a real run for their money.

Some were also fitted with 105mm Howitzers for infantry support. These things could fire shaped charge shells that would also ruin your day regardless of how many inches of rolled steel you were encased in.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#14  Postby Matt_B » Aug 23, 2012 3:37 pm

Rome Existed wrote:The US though had a large industrial base so it's not like they'd be able to build 50k Shermans but only 800 heavies.


Had they been sufficiently prescient before the war to have designed a heavy tank that could have gone into production in 1941, they probably could have made tens of thousands of them. However, they weren't and it wasn't until 1943 that they'd got a practical design for a heavy tank in the T-26. This was stalled for the better part of a year because of doctrinal issues, but eventually went into production as the M26 Pershing, arriving in Europe in small numbers by the end of the war. Had they decided to go with it without hesitation, they could probably have had a few hundred by D-Day, rising to maybe a couple of thousand by the end of the war.

There simply wasn't a better US tank that could have been mass produced in the same numbers as the Sherman, so they were always going to make up the bulk of the armour.

The T-34 though was upgraded with a powerful gun, the Sherman never was.


Sgt Kelly has already answered this but, they stuck with the original 75mm gun on the bulk of Sherman tanks right until the end of the war for the simple fact that they were mostly fighting infantry. Only the relatively small number of units that were tasked with directly fighting German armour had the need for anything more powerful.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#15  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Aug 23, 2012 3:38 pm

Rome Existed wrote: It shows just how much of a disadvantage the Sherman crews had.


The Germans fondly referred to them as Tommy Cookers since they had a tendency to roast their British occupants if hit right.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#16  Postby Rome Existed » Aug 23, 2012 3:40 pm

The Americans nicknamed them Ronsons after a popular brand of cig. lighter that was advertised as lighting on the first try.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#17  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Aug 23, 2012 3:46 pm

I didn't know that one. :D
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Re: Sherman Tank

#18  Postby Ironclad » Aug 23, 2012 3:53 pm

Sherman: Good range, fast in its day & easy to fix.
The Panzer IV had half the speed off-road (>10mph) & shorter range, it was also a bastard to fix, so I read. Over 8,000 Panzer IV tanks are made at Krupp industries, the allies made 48,000 Shermans. Panzer III was flawed, I don't know the numbers made, but not enough German tanks were ever made & certainly not enough Tigers. Had Hitler just waited a little longer before going into Poland & then tasking Krupp to produce much more steel then we'd have a different European map, perhaps.
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Re: Sherman Tank

#19  Postby Rome Existed » Aug 23, 2012 4:02 pm

What was the flaw with the Panzer III?
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Re: Sherman Tank

#20  Postby Ironclad » Aug 23, 2012 4:24 pm

It spend much of its production life under-gunned, the turret ring was not suitable for upgrading the gun for one, though I think there were 4 variants in weaponry. The PZ-III was superior in its way, the 3-man turret was adopted by many, for example. Perhaps common with all tanks but the side armour could be opened up with most weapons on the battlefield. It was a great tank, produced in large numbers.
The machines hull was provided for the more superior StuG Assault Gun, a lower profile nasty.
Last edited by Ironclad on Aug 23, 2012 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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