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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 > W. Allied Armor

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W. Allied Armor Discuss all non-Axis and non-Russian armor here. [seeking companion website on Allied Armor for this forum]

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  #61  
Old 30 Jul 08, 05:02
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Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
I said that one page ago more or less.
Huh? What? Must have dozed off!
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  #62  
Old 30 Jul 08, 11:01
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Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
Let's not forget the US and it's allies fielded, perhaps, the best light tank of the war too.


M24 Chaffee


Image from www.wdif.net. Copyright retained by owners.
Unquestionably the best light tank to see service in WW2, IMHO, although it was a very late arrival; just in time for the Battle of the Bulge, so it only saw active service for the last five months of the European war.
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  #63  
Old 30 Jul 08, 11:23
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Originally Posted by Cowboy31a View Post
"Simply stated, all the info i provided is to indicate that the US did not have inferior tanks to the Germans."
First, it depends on what you mean by 'inferior'. For instance, the M4 Sherman had combined attributes of speed, reliability and sheer mechanical stamina that would have made Panther crews totally green with envy. On the other hand, if you're talking about the combination of gun/armour slugging power, then no need to say which was the 'inferior' tank there. When enthusiasts talk about 'superior' or 'inferior', it tends to be the more 'obvious' attributes of fighting potency - gunpower and armour - that get the most attention. They tend often to undervalue or even overlook reliability, mechanical robustness, user friendliness, ease of shipping, easier use of bridges and bridging equipment, easier transport, greater economy of resources etc.

Second, it depends on what you mean by what the US 'had'. Having a design undergoing trials on testing grounds back home is one thing. Having it actually available in time and in useful numbers, to the troops who have to do the fighting in the field, is quite another matter altogether. Yes, we understand the reasons why things panned out the way they did, so there's no need to go over them ad nauseum but this would have been small consolation indeed to any Sherman crew that was confronted with a Panther or Tiger. It's just as well that for this final stage of the war, the Allies combined together - East and West - did have other critical assets like near total air superiority, manpower superiority, massive material superiority etc. It's also just as well that the German armoured forces in this period were fighting with dwindling numbers of available tanks, with crews often more hastily trained and in a desperate defensive war of ever diminishing returns.

In the final analysis and against the overall strategic situation, I believe that both the Soviet Union and the USA made the 'right call' in standardizing on one main medium tank design for the duration of their participation in the conflict.
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Last edited by panther3485; 30 Jul 08 at 11:26..
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  #64  
Old 30 Jul 08, 14:51
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The British had a similar AA gun, but it had no sights for ground attack. If you wanted to use a British weapon outside the way their tactics specified, give it up! The only time I remember was when they used the 24 pounder as a antitank weapon
If memory serves a British Major on returning to England after the evacuation from France 1940, made a report out stating his personnel experiences with British 90mm(?) AA being used against German tanks and causing carnage. The report was circulated and instructions were issued for there usage against ground targets during any German landing in England. However after the threat passed it seems that this potential lethal usage was forgotten.

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  #65  
Old 30 Jul 08, 14:54
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Weren't British tanks (Churchill) superior to almost any other, in being able to climb steep terrain? This ability saw British tanks appear in the most unlikely positions in Italy 43-45, where they faced no German armour because it was unable to reach these positions?

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  #66  
Old 30 Jul 08, 15:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
Weren't British tanks (Churchill) superior to almost any other, in being able to climb steep terrain? This ability saw British tanks appear in the most unlikely positions in Italy 43-45, where they faced no German armour because it was unable to reach these positions?

Regards
That was part of the Infantry tank design, the engines gave allot of power, and Torque and such, but low speeds. The Infantry Tank was designed to be able to go where a grunt could so needed some pretty good cross country performance.

Memory brings up a story were the Germans Dug in their AT weapons facing the only possible way the allied panzers could attack from, knowing that the slope on the other flank was impassable to armour.

The Predictable happened (a Swarm of Churchill's), and the Jerries reported after wards something like:
" We where attacked by a mad tank battalion which had scaled impossible heights and made me withdraw".
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  #67  
Old 30 Jul 08, 18:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
"Weren't British tanks (Churchill) superior to almost any other, in being able to climb steep terrain? This ability saw British tanks appear in the most unlikely positions in Italy 43-45, where they faced no German armour because it was unable to reach these positions?"
Yes, as Listy says. Whatever its 'drawbacks' (slow speed and smallish turret ring, for example), the Churchill had outstanding climbing and terrain crossing capability. This positive attribute was to some extent at least reflected in the Centurion (even though it wasn't an 'infrantry' tank), which proved itself in the Korean war. The terrain in many areas was very hilly and the Cent was a more capable climber than any of the other principal UN tanks in theatre.
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Last edited by panther3485; 30 Jul 08 at 18:56..
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  #68  
Old 30 Jul 08, 19:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Yes, as Listy says. Whatever its 'drawbacks' (slow speed and smallish turret ring, for example),
The Churchill was able to mount a 75mm, Just like most of its contemporaries. And Considering when it was designed, this isn't that bad a thing. Where it failed was in the 1945-1950 period where it lost its ability to keep on up gunning.
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  #69  
Old 30 Jul 08, 21:10
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Wasn't in Africa were a British Tank Regiment had taken the high ground and the Germans couldn't get tanks up to knock them off. I believe those were Churchill tanks. It forced the Germans to stop an attack and plug mind you plug up the side of other hills to get their 88s into place. It slowed the German advance up by about 15 hours.
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Old 30 Jul 08, 21:37
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Question for my British/Commonwealth friends. I read somewhere that British units received the M-24 during WWII. Perhaps only in limited numbers. Can anybody confirm that?
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Old 30 Jul 08, 22:15
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Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
Question for my British/Commonwealth friends. I read somewhere that British units received the M-24 during WWII. Perhaps only in limited numbers. Can anybody confirm that?
I think that's correct. I think that's where it got its name from. Like I believe some units got M8 Greyhounds too.
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  #72  
Old 31 Jul 08, 00:15
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Still too small, especially given the size and weight of the tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Listy View Post
"The Churchill was able to mount a 75mm, Just like most of its contemporaries. And Considering when it was designed, this isn't that bad a thing. Where it failed was in the 1945-1950 period where it lost its ability to keep on up gunning.
Yes, that's why I added the 'ish' to small! But in its standard form it had effectively 'lost its ability to keep on up gunning' before the end of WW2. Consider also that the Cromwell was able to mount the same 75mm and it wasn't as big or heavy as a Churchill. The Churchill came on the scene a bit later than a number of other WW2 British tanks but the turret ring was still on the small side for the size of the tank. Remember how earlier versions had the larger gun hull mounted a la Char B?
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Old 31 Jul 08, 01:42
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I thought the Cromwell was designed to mount a HV 75mm. While the Churchill was made with 2Pdr's, 6Pdr's and 3" howitzers in mind.

It was the failure Of the Cromwell chassis to mount the HV-75 and the experiments in Italy and North Africa that mounted the M3 75mm on the Churchill that gave them both the same gun.
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Old 31 Jul 08, 05:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listy View Post
"I thought the Cromwell was designed to mount a HV 75mm. While the Churchill was made with 2Pdr's, 6Pdr's and 3" howitzers in mind.

It was the failure Of the Cromwell chassis to mount the HV-75 and the experiments in Italy and North Africa that mounted the M3 75mm on the Churchill that gave them both the same gun."
Regardless of the respective routes the two tanks took to carrying the 75mm gun, the essential point - I believe - was that in this configuration the Cromwell in 1944-45, at IIRC about 28 tons, was arguably just adequately gunned for a tank of its size and weight at that time but the late war Churchill at 40 odd tons was definitely under-gunned by the same criterion.

Efforts to mount the 17pdr required widening of the hull and enlarging the turret ring. This pushed weight up to near 50 tons IIRC and necessitated revised suspension and running gear; in other words, re-designing the tank, to produce what would have become the 'Black Prince' (A43), unofficially known as the 'Super Churchill'. However, this was not proceeded with.
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Old 31 Jul 08, 06:01
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Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
"Question for my British/Commonwealth friends. I read somewhere that British units received the M-24 during WWII. Perhaps only in limited numbers. Can anybody confirm that?"
Quote:

"Because of its relatively late start in production, the M24 was not extensively exported under the Lend-Lease program. The only significant recipient was Britain, which ordered 842 but received only 203 in 1944 and 99 in 1945. They were deployed in small numbers in April 1945, replacing Stuart light tanks in the last few weeks of the war. Units known to have used them included the reconnaissance squadrons of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and the reconnaissance troop of the 8th Hussars with the 7th Armoured Division."

Page 16, 'M24 Chaffee Light Tank 1943-85', Steven Zaloga & Jim Laurier, Osprey
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