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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II

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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #16  
Old 13 Jun 17, 19:57
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The Old Gang weren't asked to produce anything: Stern et al took it upon themselves to waste time and effort with TOG. The specifications for the A20, which Fletcher describes as "in effect, a modernised version of the Mark VIII International of 1918," were set in September 1939 and outline drawings were finished the next month. Initially, the A20 was even intended to be turretless so that it could use a WW1-like unditching beam. Stern didn't approach the General Staff with his assembled crew until 6 weeks after work on the the A20 had begun, and work on their mockup wasn't begun until February 1940.

TOG and the A20 were designed independently.
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  #17  
Old 13 Jun 17, 22:54
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
But they still had a strong influence on the design, all round track and the angle og the front of that track. Even the original heavy gun between the front horns on the Mk I echoes an unbuilt WW1 design.
Form follows function.

The A20 specs included being able to climb a 5 foot parapet. That would dictate the angle of the front of the track and all round track was necessary to obtain the height.

The A22 design was scaled down from the A20, so it inherited the same general appearance.

The A20 had two 2 pounders (hull front and turret) and it was the A22 design which upgraded the hull gun to a short 75mm.
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  #18  
Old 14 Jun 17, 18:06
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Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
The A20, whence the Churchill was broadly derived, was initiated before The Old Gang burst back onto the scene.
The Old Gang designs were bad, really bad. Makes me wonder if there was not another agenda involved. It could also mean that designs were limited by unrealistic and bureaucratic constraints, the length/width of the machines being an obvious defect.
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  #19  
Old 14 Jun 17, 21:01
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Concerning the British, when they got kicked out of France, poor quality tanks were blamed. A few months later, with the same tanks, the British defeat of the Italians was certainly helped by reliable hard hitting cruisers, and 'excessively' armoured infantry tanks.
It wasn't the quality that was blamed, it was the numbers.
The Germans knew the secret of successful armoured warfare, concentrate your tanks at the point of attack.
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Old 15 Jun 17, 18:43
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Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
It wasn't the quality that was blamed, it was the numbers.
The Germans knew the secret of successful armoured warfare, concentrate your tanks at the point of attack.
Quality of British tanks were certainly blamed by the general, Robert Evans, of the British 1st Armoured Division in France. A10's were particularly lambasted. Perhaps surprisingly, these failures more than proved their worth in N Africa with their armour, gun and reliability. It should be remembered that an indecent amount of tanks went to France in 1940 without ammo, sights, spares or even guns. This is the failure of the man in charge, not the tank itself.

With Blitzkrieg, the illusion of power is more important than any particular piece of lit, and this certainly includes tanks. Most German tanks at this time (1940) were Panzer I's and II's, which are bad tanks in themselves. However, the fact that the mere presence of multiple tanks having a psychological effect is important. This was especially true during the particular time period of 39-41, when the Allied response, particularly the British, was one of panic. Despite the fact that the better tanks of the Heer, the III and IV, could be easily handled by the French heavies, given the chance is irrelevant in the bigger picture.

At the start of their expansion in 41/2, the Japanese proved inferior kit was not an impediment to a successful invasion. This includes their inferior tanks. Not one design used in numbers was even equal to the Stuart. Then you have the Sherman, effectively a Tiger tank in comparison to Japanese tanks, but with immense reliability.
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  #21  
Old 15 Jun 17, 22:37
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
It means the tank is dominant on the battlefield, rather than the firepower of artillery or numbers of infantry.

Essentially it alone breaks the enemy, or is truly the dominant entity on the battlefield.
I would think this would be attributed to the folks using it and how they used it. I should think that what we've learned, that tactics prevail, would show us that which tank it is does not matter.
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  #22  
Old 17 Jun 17, 06:16
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Originally Posted by Jazsa View Post
I wonder about the reputation of the T34. Post war it is roundly considered to be one of the best tanks of world war 2 but this is just not true. Once you start looking into its performance the legend quickly unravells. The T34 looks good on paper which has helped it reputation in the history books. And of course it had sloped armor, one of the first, which is often used as an example of its ability. As a tactical armored vehicle its battle performance was severely lacking.

Simply put the T34 had terrible situational awareness which absolutely destroyed its battlefield performance. It was poorly built and had reliability issues far worse than the German cats. Yes, later developments such as the 3 man turret sore the T34s battle performance improve, but not to any level that made it stand out. The only thing it really had was numbers.
I'd agree with you that some of the post-war history writing has overstated the capabilities of the T-34. But you are also simplifying things far too much.

The historical record showing that the T-34 had a profound effect on the German Army in 1941 is well established.

The T-34 surpassed anything the Germans had in terms of firepower, protection and mobility and if you have a distinct advantage in all three categories, you have a superior tank, regardless of having two man turrets.

In 1941, T-34s were not very numerous and the Germans managed to deal with the Soviet armoured forces because they were badly handled. Still, if you asked German tanks in 1941 what they wanted, they wanted a T-34 or something equivalent. And until they could have that, they wanted more firepower, better mobility and better protection.

Once the Germans improved the firepower of their tanks in 1942, the advantages held by the T-34 declined and by 1943 the tables had turned.

For the period 1940-42, the T-34 was a very impressive tank, despite of its deficiencies. In 1942-44 the advantages it previously held were negated by German developments, making the 1943 T-34 something of a death-trap. When it got a three man turret and an 85mm gun in 1944, it settled in as a basic, but effective medium tank.
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  #23  
Old 20 Jun 17, 16:06
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I would think this would be attributed to the folks using it and how they used it. I should think that what we've learned, that tactics prevail, would show us that which tank it is does not matter.
It did not matter in 1940 when lines were too tin, generals were incompetent, and troops untrained and underpaid.

By 44, we can deduce that since Western tankers were better trained than most of their German counterparts, and that honours tended to be even in similar fight, German tanks were better tactically, since W Ally Crews were better.

It should be noted that I used the word tactically, since compared to Western Mediums, German tanks were not going very far, and usually down to design flaws, not lack of fuel. Patton said he could not do with the cats what he did with his Shermans and he is probably right.
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