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

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  #316  
Old 14 Apr 12, 18:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
As for neutral turns, the Germans fortified hamlets and villages to control the roads. If the mud is such that the M4 is forced to stick to the roads, then the ability to be able to turn in place to counter a close tank is going to be useful.
Neutral turning ability seems to be overrated by "experts" since the veterans all point to the speed and 360 degree rotation of the M4's power traverse when engaging a threat from behind.

Quote:
I think it is just a case of considering the actual circumstances that the crews fought within, and the men simply reflect that situation.
Yes, exactly the point.

Last edited by Sleepy Head; 14 Apr 12 at 19:52..
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  #317  
Old 14 Apr 12, 19:59
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
As we all know a survey can create bias if the questions are badly worded.
Do you happen to know if the questions are badly worded?
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  #318  
Old 14 Apr 12, 21:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
Do you happen to know if the questions are badly worded?
Well, being extremely lazy, Google how do make a questionnaire.
There are some good pointers to be found on the web. It takes a bit of practise.
Put one or two together yourself on simple day to day subjects.
Find some willing people to complete your questionnaire.
From what I remember of the top of my head:
a/ Avoid leading questions.
b/ Try to use dichotome questions. Answers Yes/No, Black/white, Right/wrong, Agree/don't agree. etc.
c/ Open questions need to be well formulated.
d/ Read through your questionnaire after a day or two to see if it still makes sense.
e/ Let someone else read through it, to find out if they understand the questions.
f/ Keep the questions as simple as possible.
g/ Don't ask too many questions.
h/ Write a good concise into to the questionnaire.
i/ If you use scaling in the answer limit the choice. Par example: bad/mediocre/good

Remember they pay people to make a good survey so it is not that easy.

Hope this helps.

Ed.
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Last edited by dutched; 14 Apr 12 at 21:49..
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  #319  
Old 14 Apr 12, 21:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutched View Post
Well, being extremely lazy, Google how do make a questionnaire.
There are some good pointers to be found on the web. It takes a bit of practise.
Put one or two together yourself on simple day to day subjects.
Find some willing people to complete your questionnaire.
From what I remember of the top of my head:
a/ Avoid leading questions.
b/ Try to use dichotome questions. Answers Yes/No, Black/white, Right/wrong, Agree/don't agree. etc.
c/ Open questions need to be well formulated.
d/ Read through your questionnaire after a day or two to see if it still makes sense.
e/ Let someone else read through it, to find out if they understand the questions.
f/ Keep the questions as simple as possible.
g/ Don't ask too many questions.
h/ Write a good concise into to the questionnaire.
i/ If you use scaling in the answer limit the choice. Par example: bad/mediocre/good

Remember they pay people to make a good survey so it is not that easy.

Hope this helps.

Ed.
You miss the point, and that is my fault.

As I understand it Bark was addressing a specific survey related to a report and speculating on its possible inaccuracy due to faulty wording. My intention was to ask how he knew the wording was wrong if he had not seen it? To me it seems he was laying the ground work to dismiss the survey results if it did not agree with his preconceived notions about the Sherman tank.
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  #320  
Old 14 Apr 12, 23:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
The ability of an individual to accurately recollect past events is entirely dependent on his level of cognitive function. That is to say, many older people are mentally fit and active, and have excellent memories because their noggin still works the way it is supposed to.
All of them? They couldn't possibly be wanting to remember? They couldn't be at that point in life where no one really listens to them, no one really seeks them out for input (I am assuming they are retired) so when someone does ask them about their experiences they are quick to answer. Of course when you ask a group a question like this the chances of getting an answer everyone agrees on is pretty good - the guy offering a different opinion might be too scared to stand out (he would be possibly showing his memory as failing.) Do you know what it is like to be in your 80's?

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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
In this instance I was talking with men who fall squarely into this group. For this reason I give them a solid 10 on your subjective scale. I deal with WWII veterans on a regular basis and have a great deal of experience in talking with men who possess cognitive powers that range from 1 to 10. This makes me a pretty good judge of such things, and I accept what I hear, at least in part, on this basis. For this reason I also chuck out a great deal of what I hear, and keep only the parts that can be corroborated by other veterans or written sources.
I guess we have to take your word on all of this. You have no trouble determining between a lucid man making a truthful, accurate statement and one making a statement that is false and he needs to do so to protect his ego. Both men would rate a ten but how do you tell the difference? You tell us you can so I guess we have to believe this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
The veterans in question were not attempting “to remember something they experienced 67+ years ago.” They were discussing how they handled ammunition for the main gun while in action, a matter of training and performance which is much unlike the realm of an “experience.” For example, their discussion about ammunition handling ranged from indirect fire missions to direct fire support in both offensive and defensive actions.
My father serviced machine guns for fighters and ground attack aircraft for the 13th Air Force stationed at Clark Field, Phillipines. He was trained in how to take apart the M2 blindfolded and put it back together. Trained. My father was quite lucid in his 80's but I doubt he could tell me how to take apart the machine gun after 60 plus years. Do you? (He has passed so don't suggest I ask him.) Tell me how you asked them these questions please.

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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
Here is the question at hand. Do I accept the statements of these veterans or the unsupported claim of someone who has not manned a Sherman tank in combat?
You haven't asked the someone his sources. Of course we could ask you the same question since we are not "hearing" anything from veterans but from you. We know nothing of you and your methods of obtaining information...if you have.

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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
The answer is crystal clear. Unless someone (TA Gardner? You?) can come up with a source that says otherwise I and other reasonable persons will have to go with what the veterans said about handling main gun ammunition inside the Sherman, which was; the Asst. Driver was not involved. They also had a little laugh at the claimant’s expense, but that was to be expected under the circumstances.
I would offer to you that I have read TA's posts on this and other sites for a few years now and consider him very well informed and his opinions always posted in a well thought, well presented manner. All I know about you is what I see in your short history and the feeling that you posted this sort of stuff before, with absolutely no proof. I say again, absolutely no proof. I will choose to believe TA if this is all I have to go on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
So what we need is someone to prove the veterans wrong by coming up with a good, solid source that says otherwise. If that happens I will let them know. No doubt they will be grateful for the correction.

Source? Anyone?
Yes, we are waiting too. I hope you don't consider what you have offered as a source. No offense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
As an aside, it is my impression that most experts on the Internet have had precious little experience or interaction with WWII veterans, and as a result have a badly skewed understanding of how, among other things, tanks were actually manned and fought by their crews. This is not a slam since there is only one way to really, fully understand it …. You had to be there. Second best is to talk with as many veterans as possible and listen carefully to what they have to teach you.
Since this is what you claim to do I would expect you to say this. I really don't think the people that read of history are getting a bad view simply because they don't talk to veterans. It is nice if you can but hardly a necessity. Belton Cooper wrote an interesting and informative book, gave it an attention getting title but unfortunately filled it with opinions that I for one find useless. Btw, aren't you professing to be an expert on the internet?
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  #321  
Old 14 Apr 12, 23:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
Do you happen to know if the questions are badly worded?
Do you know anything about the "report"? Anything at all?
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  #322  
Old 14 Apr 12, 23:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
I spent the past few days with some WWII veterans, and among them were a few men who crewed Sherman tanks in battle. Since they spent a good amount of time in combat I think it is safe to say they were experienced. At least among them were 2 Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, and a battlefield commission, all of which tells me they were experienced.

Anyway, I mentioned what you wrote about the hull gunner (Asst. Driver/Bow Gunner) handing main gun rounds to the loader. It led to a discussion around the table with the end result that no one there could figure out just how the Asst. Driver/Bow Gunner could "turn around and pull rounds ... to hand to the loader." According to them the basket was in the way most of the time, and even if the Asst. Driver/Bow Gunner could turn around to get to any rounds, it would have been slower and more dangerous to have him trying to hand them to the loader. Keep in mind the inside of a Sherman was very cramped when occupied by five men and all their gear. Also, the only way out of the tank for the Driver and Asst. Driver was either through their hatches or via the bottom hatch so there was no room for the Asst. Driver to turn around and try to handle main gun rounds.

None of these veterans ever saw it done, or heard of it before. Since they all had considerable experience in Sherman tanks during WWII, they expressed an interest in hearing where you got this information, and asked me to ask you. I've promised to let them know what you say as soon as I hear from you.

Thanks.
Although only recommended "as time permits during the action," the 5 August 1944 edition of FM 17-67 Crew Drill and Service of the Piece, Medium Tank M4 does instruct the M4 driver and assistant driver to pass ammo from the forward or turret floor racks to the gunner or loader to refill the turret ready racks or to save the ammo in the ready racks by using the hard to get to rounds first.
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  #323  
Old 15 Apr 12, 00:21
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Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
Although only recommended "as time permits during the action," the 5 August 1944 edition of FM 17-67 Crew Drill and Service of the Piece, Medium Tank M4 does instruct the M4 driver and assistant driver to pass ammo from the forward or turret floor racks to the gunner or loader to refill the turret ready racks or to save the ammo in the ready racks by using the hard to get to rounds first.
Thank you for providing the citation.

However, that's not the same thing as TA Gardner was saying. He was referring to the asst. driver's handling ammunition as a component of the rate of fire while in combat. That is the way I posed the question to the veterans. I did not ask them if the asst. driver or driver ever handled ammunition since I already knew they did.... just not during actual combat. Or if they did it was an unusual thing, not standard practice of experienced crews.

The FM is a restocking/ammo shifting issue rather than one which affects the rate of fire in combat. As the FM implies by its wording, in actual combat neither the driver or asst. driver would be available to handle rounds for the main gun.
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  #324  
Old 15 Apr 12, 00:29
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
Do you know anything about the "report"? Anything at all?
Please don't try to change the subject because you got caught with your pants down. Some people might think it a superficial attempt to avoid taking responsibility for your comment.

To recap... you said do not know the wording of the veteran survey and went on to imply that it might be poorly worded. The obvious result of your line of reasoning is that the survey is probably flawed. You have a well established practice of discarding veteran data that suggests the Sherman tank was not up to snuff in combat against the heavier German tanks while accepting only that which supports the opposite.
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  #325  
Old 15 Apr 12, 00:43
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
All of them? They couldn't possibly be wanting to remember? They couldn't be at that point in life where no one really listens to them, no one really seeks them out for input (I am assuming they are retired) so when someone does ask them about their experiences they are quick to answer. Of course when you ask a group a question like this the chances of getting an answer everyone agrees on is pretty good - the guy offering a different opinion might be too scared to stand out (he would be possibly showing his memory as failing.) Do you know what it is like to be in your 80's?

I guess we have to take your word on all of this. You have no trouble determining between a lucid man making a truthful, accurate statement and one making a statement that is false and he needs to do so to protect his ego. Both men would rate a ten but how do you tell the difference? You tell us you can so I guess we have to believe this.

My father serviced machine guns for fighters and ground attack aircraft for the 13th Air Force stationed at Clark Field, Phillipines. He was trained in how to take apart the M2 blindfolded and put it back together. Trained. My father was quite lucid in his 80's but I doubt he could tell me how to take apart the machine gun after 60 plus years. Do you? (He has passed so don't suggest I ask him.) Tell me how you asked them these questions please.

You haven't asked the someone his sources. Of course we could ask you the same question since we are not "hearing" anything from veterans but from you. We know nothing of you and your methods of obtaining information...if you have.

I would offer to you that I have read TA's posts on this and other sites for a few years now and consider him very well informed and his opinions always posted in a well thought, well presented manner. All I know about you is what I see in your short history and the feeling that you posted this sort of stuff before, with absolutely no proof. I say again, absolutely no proof. I will choose to believe TA if this is all I have to go on.

Yes, we are waiting too. I hope you don't consider what you have offered as a source. No offense.

Since this is what you claim to do I would expect you to say this. I really don't think the people that read of history are getting a bad view simply because they don't talk to veterans. It is nice if you can but hardly a necessity. Belton Cooper wrote an interesting and informative book, gave it an attention getting title but unfortunately filled it with opinions that I for one find useless. Btw, aren't you professing to be an expert on the internet?
By all means believe whomever you wish. After all you have made it abundantly clear, here and on other threads, that you do not believe veterans when their actual experience conflicts with your preconceived notions about Sherman tanks.

No I am not professing to be an expert. I am attempting to share what I have learned from real experts, the veterans who actually took Shermans into combat. You just don't like what I am reporting, and it certainly colors your responses.
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  #326  
Old 15 Apr 12, 01:15
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It is at times like this, that I would love to be able to climb into a Sherman and position myself in either the Driver's or Assistant Driver's station to see just how this would be done.
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  #327  
Old 15 Apr 12, 03:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
I did not ask them if the asst. driver or driver ever handled ammunition since I already knew they did.... just not during actual combat.
Ah, I see. When you said,
Quote:
...no one there could figure out just how the Asst. Driver/Bow Gunner could "turn around and pull rounds ... to hand to the loader"...Keep in mind the inside of a Sherman was very cramped when occupied by five men and all their gear. Also, the only way out of the tank for the Driver and Asst. Driver was either through their hatches or via the bottom hatch so there was no room for the Asst. Driver to turn around and try to handle main gun rounds...
I took it to mean that you actually didn't think there was room for the drivers to pass ammo from the sponson or turret floor racks to the turret crew. Sorry for misunderstanding.
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  #328  
Old 15 Apr 12, 05:34
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Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
It is at times like this, that I would love to be able to climb into a Sherman and position myself in either the Driver's or Assistant Driver's station to see just how this would be done.
It would certainly help, wouldn't it?
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  #329  
Old 15 Apr 12, 07:15
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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
Please don't try to change the subject because you got caught with your pants down. Some people might think it a superficial attempt to avoid taking responsibility for your comment.

To recap... you said do not know the wording of the veteran survey and went on to imply that it might be poorly worded. The obvious result of your line of reasoning is that the survey is probably flawed. You have a well established practice of discarding veteran data that suggests the Sherman tank was not up to snuff in combat against the heavier German tanks while accepting only that which supports the opposite.
That is why he will not be using the following in detail to prove the value of the M4 in combat .

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  #330  
Old 15 Apr 12, 13:35
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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
Please don't try to change the subject because you got caught with your pants down. Some people might think it a superficial attempt to avoid taking responsibility for your comment.
No attempt on my part to change the subject, I plan to discuss it as much as possible. I brought it to this discussion...RIGHT? I just wonder if you have any idea what the report is about since you feel willing to guess about why I question the methodology behind the "report."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
To recap... you said do not know the wording of the veteran survey and went on to imply that it might be poorly worded. The obvious result of your line of reasoning is that the survey is probably flawed.
By all means, go further with this...or would you rather talk about something you know about?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
You have a well established practice of discarding veteran data that suggests the Sherman tank was not up to snuff in combat against the heavier German tanks while accepting only that which supports the opposite.
I have no reason to discard the statements made in the "report." What are you talking about?

Interesting that someone so new to this forum knows about a well established practice.
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