Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Arlo, Nov 7, 2007.
Sherman every day and twice on Sundays
I like the M3 Stuart, for no other reason than it was the first tank model kit I ever built.
Soviet tankers called all tanks 'a coffin for 'x' brothers', where x is the number of crew. I've read this about Lee's, T-34's and Churchills just from memory.
I read somewhere that Russians actually liked lend lease Sherman tanks. They were fast , easy to maintain and had padded seats. All in all , I might prefer a T34/85.
This week, it are the Vickers Medium, again.
Largely as despite a mass of 'bits & pieces' on it, some quite detailed, it's dawned that I have no single book specifically dedicated to what was a pretty significant vehicle.
(Yeah, 'of the war'. Mersa Matruh. Training/reserve. Nyah.)
You may have opened a 278 page can of worms there...
If semantic digressions are permitted then: why the blankety blank is "Sherman Ronson" in the poll options? On the one hand I've seen numerous counter-arguments that the nickname is a myth. On the other I'm sure that if such a nickname was used people would have just said "Ronson" not "Sherman Ronson"!
PS A13 was far better than the A9 or A10.
And then there's the Matilda 1 aka A11.
Because the forum member who set up the poll didn't know any better, was trying to be cute, or both.
Either way, any knowledgeable member here would see through the smoke and understand the misguided jab for what it was, as you did.
Think Bod's reply asking if he meant 'Firefly' might have legs too.
Better looking, most definitely. A13 better tank than the A10, highly doubtful.
What are we talking about here? Manufacturing quality? Battlefield performance?
Well, where do I start?
>Helmut K., assault gun commander<
I believe that early versions of the Sherman were vulnerable due to the positioning of Ammo rather than it was gas powered. In any case , both issues were resolved.
Training reserve? Pah!
A Sqn, 1RTR were rushed up to Mersa Matruh to man the very same in April '41 in an operational role - albeit rather last ditch defence sort of thingy.
debunking the Ronson myth by hard data from contemporary studies:
https://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Ballistics/Term/ORO-T-117_Allied_Tank_Casualties_WW2.pdf (166 pages)
According to the report, the overall burn rate for US, British, and Canadian casualties from gunfire was 65.1%. This reflects also analysis of wrecks many hours or days after the battle. The study also analyzes the crew survival rate (about 50% overall), confirmation that many brew-ups occured after the crew had bailed out. By theater, the burn rate was 83.5% in North Africa and Italy but dropped to 61.4% in Western Europe, explained by the gradual increase in wet stowage Shermans.
I may have overstated the case. I think it would be interesting to do a comparison of the tank according to later tank priorities in the war, like reliability and so on. Would you be interested? (I'd have to look them up, but by mid-42 I think reliability was at the top of the list)
I have Peter Brown's photohistory books on the tanks to refer to, but haven't done so yet. Don't think if I have anything better with regards to resources.
I did note that according to wikipedia, the A10 had the better range. Obviously it also had better armour. I don't think the turret machine guns were played much of a role, and would rate the two tanks basically equal in firepower. Would you agree/disagree?
I think that Nicholas Moran ("The Chieftain") rated the A10 turret very highly in regards to "fightability" in his Inside the Hatch video of the inside of the tank. It was a real thrill to me to watch that as who else has ever been able to get inside one of these tanks? I don't remember if he has done the A13 though.
The first A13 has been done by David Fletcher, former librarian and curator of the Tank Museum. It was actually Tank Chat no 1. Nice guy by the way.
Comparing the A10 with the earlier A13 is interesting. In David Fletcher's book, The Great Tank Scandal page 31, criticisms are levied at the A10, such as being too slow, unreliable and bad thin tracks. This was from a report by general R Evans of the 1st Armoured Division from his experiences in France. However, on page 75, concerning N Africa, the A10 was praised for their reliable engines and simple transmissions (that's English for complete drive train, not just the gearbox), and that tracks and suspension also stood up well. The actual tank that was noted for having bad tracks in both France and the desert was the A13.
The reason why the A10 was replaced by the A13 was that General Le Q Martel, had witnessed the Christie suspension at speed in the Soviet Union, and decided it was the way forward for cruiser tank design. In fact, what was really needed was a Universal tank, not an Infantry and Cruiser. The Centurion came close, the 2nd heavy cruiser. The 1st heavy cruiser was the A10, overlooked right concept, and very decent tank.
The semantics to do with what is a tank has a lot to do with intra-service politics. It was about drawing boundaries between whether an AFV would be operated by the armoured corps, artillery, infantry or some new tank destroyer arm. The different arms had different techniques and philosophy.
The German distinction between turreted tank and turretless assault gun divided the panzer arm from the sturmartillerie - although by the end of the war Panzer battlaions might be equipped with turretless StuG or Panzerjaeger. The growth of the sturm artillerie can be attributed to the Panzer arm policy of hording tanks in Panzer Divisions - championed by Guderian. The artillery arm steppedin to offer penny packets of AFVs to siupport infantry formations which could not call on tank support.
David Fletcher singled put the Charioteer as one of the worst British tanks. But his main criticisms could all have been made about the M10, M18 and M36 tank destroyers.
But if you read the reports by the delegation from anti tank wing at the Royal School of Artillery about what the anti tank arm in Normandy wanted from an SP anti tank gun Charioteer ticked all the boxes. The Gunners really liked the M10 fitted with a 17 pounder. Their suggested improvements were an enclosed turret and a coaxial machine gun- which more or less described a Sherman Firefly. M10 users seem to have hated the turretless Archer - the historian of one regiment said what a useless weapon that could only fire over its backside...
Fletcher may not have liked the Chaioteer as a tank but it was an Anti tank gunner's dream. Back in the 1980s the last trace of the RA anti tank gunnery were the Swingfire and Striker heavy ATGWs. There was a troop per battlegroup. These added a different weapon system to an armoured battlegroup, one that allowed for precision weapons from behind cover using the dismounted remote. In 1983 the Gunners gave them to the RAC where the Swingfire Troop was seen as the least popular command in the regiment. These were tin cans not tanks - pure penis envy...
What metrics are you using for your better/worse than judgement?
Given a choice, the users would take an A13 over an A10 every time. It had nothing to do with looks.
Well said, Sheldrake. There is just one bit I seem to recall about the Charioteer which really would have been a problem and that is SUPPOSEDLY that someone in the turret needed to get out while the gun was in action or there wouldn't be room. However it's not impossible that this is a myth or some users had a problem and other users did not. One Canadian account talks about the Number One of the Archer dismounting in action due to lack of room but I've never seen that elsewhere.
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