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

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  #361  
Old 17 Apr 12, 00:50
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Bog handling rounds

I was going through one of my books, Inside the Great Tanks, and found a series of pictures of the inside of a Sherman. As I looked at a couple of shots of the bow gunner's seat I read the caption which mentioned that he might hand rounds up and it was not uncommon for his seat to be reversed to make this easier.

This book is written by Hans Halberstadt. He mentions going to the Patton Museum for his pictures and that the staff there accomodated him by moving the tanks for his pictures. He also mentions input from a number of experts, theonly name I recognized was that of Zaloga. I mention this because he does not offer a formal bibliography.
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  #362  
Old 17 Apr 12, 00:59
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Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
I deliberately picked a day when there were very few visitors; I explained that I was a very keen lifetime WW2 tank enthusiast; and I asked very nicely. After all, I thought, the worst they could do is say no. I was lucky and they said yes.
Part deux- I recently had surgery on my hand and took a book in to pre-op, Sledgehammers. While reading I was approached by the anestisiologist who asked to see what I was reading. After seeing the title he said "Want to see a picture of my tank?" He comes back with a picture of his Fox (idiot doesn't know a tank from an armored car). He tells me about it, the fun he and his boys had with it, selling it. Only cost $37,000 but fuel cost was too high...even for him.

I asked him how to get in an M4 and he told me to go to the local vehicle shows and I should find someone nice enough to let me in one. I have a mission. He cautioned me that I probably will not have an easy time getting in and out so I have more reason to lose a few.
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  #363  
Old 17 Apr 12, 01:18
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
While reading I was approached by the anestisiologist who asked to see what I was reading. After seeing the title he said "Want to see a picture of my tank?" He comes back with a picture of his Fox (idiot doesn't know a tank from an armored car). He tells me about it, the fun he and his boys had with it, selling it. Only cost $37,000 but fuel cost was too high...even for him.
You let an "idiot" administer anesthesia to you? Very funny.
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  #364  
Old 17 Apr 12, 01:20
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The opinions general officers regarding the Sherman’s effectiveness against the heavier German tanks are important for a variety of reasons. Here is an excerpt from General Marshall’s assessment of the Sherman in his Biennial Report for 1945. (from Johnson’s “Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers.”)

We designed our armor as a weapon of exploitation. In other words, we desired to use our tanks in long-range thrusts deep into the enemy’s rear where they could chew up his supply installations and communications. This required great endurance – low consumption of gasoline and ability to move great distances without breakdown.

But while that was the most profitable use of the tank, it became unavoidable in stagnant prepared-line fighting to escape tank-to-tank battles. In this combat our medium tank was at a great disadvantage, when forced into a head-on engagement with the German heavies.


It is odd that some people believe the White Report proves the greatness of the Sherman tank because the official US Army History of the Armored Force; “Mobility Shock and Firepower” cites the White Report on p. 462 as a source describing the inferiority of the Sherman. Instead of praising the Sherman, the history attributes the ultimate success of American armored forces to a combination of aggressive leadership, maneuver, combined-arms actions, air support, and sheer numbers – not better equipment.
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  #365  
Old 17 Apr 12, 03:50
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You let an "idiot" administer anesthesia to you? Very funny.
When I had my last surgery (a couple of months ago), I never met the anaesthetist until just before I was wheeled into theatre. For all I know, he could have been an idiot too (but rather unlikely, I hope). Nothing like living on the edge!
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  #366  
Old 17 Apr 12, 04:35
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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
The opinions general officers regarding the Sherman’s effectiveness against the heavier German tanks are important for a variety of reasons. Here is an excerpt from General Marshall’s assessment of the Sherman in his Biennial Report for 1945. (from Johnson’s “Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers.”)

We designed our armor as a weapon of exploitation. In other words, we desired to use our tanks in long-range thrusts deep into the enemy’s rear where they could chew up his supply installations and communications. This required great endurance – low consumption of gasoline and ability to move great distances without breakdown.

But while that was the most profitable use of the tank, it became unavoidable in stagnant prepared-line fighting to escape tank-to-tank battles. In this combat our medium tank was at a great disadvantage, when forced into a head-on engagement with the German heavies.

It is odd that some people believe the White Report proves the greatness of the Sherman tank because the official US Army History of the Armored Force; “Mobility Shock and Firepower” cites the White Report on p. 462 as a source describing the inferiority of the Sherman. Instead of praising the Sherman, the history attributes the ultimate success of American armored forces to a combination of aggressive leadership, maneuver, combined-arms actions, air support, and sheer numbers – not better equipment.
Great post. There lies the problem of the M4. It was the wrong tank for the type of war fought in the west, both in the broad front strategy employed, and due to the weather hindering tactical options to cope with the heavies. It was also not heavily armoured enough, nor had the ability to cross really bad terrain to be the most suitable machine in the Far East or Italy.

On the Eastern Front it may have been a different matter. D Fletcher told me that Zaloga said the M4A2 was highly popular in the Red Army, but offered no other details. However, given the vastness of this front, the real assets of the M4 can be seen to be highly suitable for the huge distances employed, ie operational mobility, good soft factors, great reliability and easy to maintain. This is the campaign that the Sherman appears most suitable for.
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  #367  
Old 17 Apr 12, 11:27
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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
You let an "idiot" administer anesthesia to you? Very funny.
I was shocked when they didn't give me a choice of anesthesiologist and nurses. Hey, I did choose my surgeon though.
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  #368  
Old 17 Apr 12, 12:12
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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
It is odd that some people believe the White Report proves the greatness of the Sherman tank because the official US Army History of the Armored Force; “Mobility Shock and Firepower” cites the White Report on p. 462 as a source describing the inferiority of the Sherman. Instead of praising the Sherman, the history attributes the ultimate success of American armored forces to a combination of aggressive leadership, maneuver, combined-arms actions, air support, and sheer numbers – not better equipment.
Is there something you want to discuss about this? Don't be shy. Oh, just for accuracy's sake, is the truncated sentence you put in italics a quote?
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  #369  
Old 17 Apr 12, 13:04
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Another general officer weighs in on the Sherman tank.

It is my personal conviction that the present M4 and M4A3 tank is inferior to the German Mark V..

From the five page response to Eisenhower’s 18 March request for an assessment of the Sherman vs Panther by MG Maurice Rose (3AD) dated 21 March 1945. (The Eisenhower Papers, p. 2535.)
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Old 17 Apr 12, 13:12
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I was shocked when they didn't give me a choice of anesthesiologist and nurses. Hey, I did choose my surgeon though.
My guess is your "idiot" anesthesiologist forgot to bleed a sufficient amount of oxygen into the ventilator while he had you under. Of course the sat monitor should have caught that small error, but then an "idiot" would probably forget to turn it on. That would explain the poor judgment which rises from diminished cognitive ability caused by severe hypoxia. So far, you rate a solid 5 on the Bark Scale.
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Old 17 Apr 12, 13:26
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When I had my last surgery (a couple of months ago), I never met the anaesthetist until just before I was wheeled into theatre. For all I know, he could have been an idiot too (but rather unlikely, I hope). Nothing like living on the edge!
If the general public knew how many “accidents” there were with anesthesia they would be more careful about who the let put them under. Here in the US you can reject the anesthesiologist chosen by the surgeon and select your own so long as he/she is on staff at the hospital where you are going to have the surgery. In many states it only takes a little effort to find out if the anesthesiologist has any issues with the state medical board, where he/she went to school, Mexico is not good for example, or has moved around from place to place a lot (In trouble in one state? Go to another and start over so long as you did not lose your license.) I always do this when the doctor first says I have to have surgery, unless it is an emergency procedure, because I ask the surgeon who the anesthesiologist is going to be. I do not use CRNAs (anesthetists).
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Old 17 Apr 12, 14:35
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My guess is your "idiot" anesthesiologist forgot to bleed a sufficient amount of oxygen into the ventilator while he had you under. Of course the sat monitor should have caught that small error, but then an "idiot" would probably forget to turn it on. That would explain the poor judgment which rises from diminished cognitive ability caused by severe hypoxia. So far, you rate a solid 5 on the Bark Scale.
When the little guy sitting on your shoulder tells you "come on, try to show off...show them how much you know" you don't have to oblige. You can say no.

Just say no.
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  #373  
Old 17 Apr 12, 14:41
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Originally Posted by Sleepy Head View Post
Another general officer weighs in on the Sherman tank.

It is my personal conviction that the present M4 and M4A3 tank is inferior to the German Mark V..

From the five page response to Eisenhower’s 18 March request for an assessment of the Sherman vs Panther by MG Maurice Rose (3AD) dated 21 March 1945. (The Eisenhower Papers, p. 2535.)
Why don't you tell us what General White had to say about the Sherman...or didn't you read that survey?

What do you think about the Sherman?
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  #374  
Old 17 Apr 12, 14:53
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Great post. There lies the problem of the M4. It was the wrong tank for the type of war fought in the west, both in the broad front strategy employed, and due to the weather hindering tactical options to cope with the heavies. It was also not heavily armoured enough, nor had the ability to cross really bad terrain to be the most suitable machine in the Far East or Italy.
Tanks !!! for the compliment.

Everything I've seen shows the tank crews wanted a bigger main gun. They would have liked more armor, but if given a choice between the two would have gone for the 90mm gun.

Quote:
On the Eastern Front it may have been a different matter. D Fletcher told me that Zaloga said the M4A2 was highly popular in the Red Army, but offered no other details. However, given the vastness of this front, the real assets of the M4 can be seen to be highly suitable for the huge distances employed, ie operational mobility, good soft factors, great reliability and easy to maintain. This is the campaign that the Sherman appears most suitable for.
According to the book "Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks" the Soviets liked their "Emcha's." A very interesting excerpt from the book can be found in the July-August 1996 issue of Armor Magazine. Like their Western comrades, the "Emchisti" had to find novel methods to make up for the Sherman's inferiority to the heavier German tanks.

On a personal and unrelated note I have been busy obtaining military service information for a friend's obituary. It makes me sad every time I do this, but at least some of the veterans I have known have the right information in their obituaries. This particular friend was in the thick of fighting during WWII (ETO) as a PFC. when he decided to make a career in the army. He went to his battalion commander a West Pointer and asked for help in applying to USMA. He was given the test during the very last days of the war, proctored by the battalion commander. He passed and went on to attend the USMA. After a long successful career he retired as a bird colonel.


He told me the more senior cadets were not allowed to haze new cadets who had served in combat. These no-combat upperclassmen did not take this very well, and there was some lingering tension over the fact that the new cadets were bona fide combat veterans and immune from serious hazing.

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  #375  
Old 17 Apr 12, 15:32
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The Sherman was *precisely* the right tank (if not a perfect tank) for the western Allies in Europe in 1944. While the report notes the 30 ton Sherman had problem against 45-67 ton German tanks, these tanks were the exception and not the rule (despite the myth that every German tank is a Tiger). The only reason the Sherman on the US sector did not ride roughshod over the German landsers in Normandy was because of terrain and issues connected with the post-invasion build up, not because of German tanks, or assualt guns or AT guns . Once the US mech/motor formation pushed clear of the bocage the Germans did not and could not stop them. Sherman executed its role as designed.

In the British sector the bulk of losses were, again, not due to German heavies but a combination of AT guns, LATW, medium tanks and assault guns and artillery The heavies occupy a proportionally lower status in this hoerarchy but a disproportionately high status in the mythology. Here, once the German reserves were exhausted, Sherman again played the role it was designed for.

Sherman was not a perfect tank but it was an excellent design. It is hard to see how, with the information available to the boffins in 1943 and the first 1/2 of 1944, any other tank would be considered necessary. Everything else is simply second guessing for the purpose of argument.
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