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

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  #1  
Old 19 Jun 16, 18:06
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For Want of a Gun

I stumbled upon this on Amazon, I'm saving my pennies 'cause I love a conspiracy.
51aOC4VX1GL._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Here's the blurb that goes with it. I can't wait.
This remarkable story exposes the Sherman tank scandal of World War II, involving some of the biggest American names and stretching from the White House and Pentagon to factories and battlefronts. Outgunned by more powerful German opponents, the inferiority of American tanks led to some of the worst setbacks of the war, prolonging it in Europe. US tankers ultimately prevailed, but over 60,000 armored division soldiers were killed and wounded; their preventable sacrifice inspired the Hollywood movie Fury. Included are striking images of the Sherman's adversaries (photographed exclusively at the National Museum of Cavalry and Armor), along with original equipment, documents, period propaganda, and vintage photos of Sherman tanks in action. As a German officer noted, "I was on this hill with six 88mm antitank guns...Every time they sent a tank, we knocked it out. Finally we ran out of ammunition, and the Americans didn't run out of tanks."
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  #2  
Old 19 Jun 16, 21:45
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I stumbled upon this on Amazon, I'm saving my pennies 'cause I love a conspiracy.
Attachment 70031
Here's the blurb that goes with it. I can't wait.
This remarkable story exposes the Sherman tank scandal of World War II, involving some of the biggest American names and stretching from the White House and Pentagon to factories and battlefronts. Outgunned by more powerful German opponents, the inferiority of American tanks led to some of the worst setbacks of the war, prolonging it in Europe. US tankers ultimately prevailed, but over 60,000 armored division soldiers were killed and wounded; their preventable sacrifice inspired the Hollywood movie Fury. Included are striking images of the Sherman's adversaries (photographed exclusively at the National Museum of Cavalry and Armor), along with original equipment, documents, period propaganda, and vintage photos of Sherman tanks in action. As a German officer noted, "I was on this hill with six 88mm antitank guns...Every time they sent a tank, we knocked it out. Finally we ran out of ammunition, and the Americans didn't run out of tanks."

We've been here more than once.

While the infantry in AD's had heavy losses, tank crew casualties tended to be very light indeed in comparison.

Further, the 75mm medium velocity gun on the Sherman was one of the very best guns of WW2, despite decades of opinion.
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Last edited by Nick the Noodle; 19 Jun 16 at 21:51..
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  #3  
Old 19 Jun 16, 22:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

We've been here more than once.

While the infantry in AD's had heavy losses, tank crew casualties tended to be very light indeed in comparison.

Further, the 75mm medium velocity gun on the Sherman was one of the very best guns of WW2, despite decades of opinion.
I love the "scandal" part. I think this is more curiosity than anything. Somwhast like watching a car accident...just can't turn away.

Enjoying the tournament? France is looking a little weak.
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  #4  
Old 19 Jun 16, 22:44
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This guy has been spamming multiple armor forums with talk of this book, sometimes acting like he is not the author. It seems the book is a rehash of a poorly-received dissertation he wrote. I definitely wouldn't buy it without seeing some reviews first.
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Old 19 Jun 16, 23:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
. It seems the book is a rehash of a poorly-received dissertation he wrote.
That is putting it mildly.

His tutor described it as "agonizing" and that DeJohn must suffer from "Alzheimer’s disease." DeJohn sounds like a "crackpot," that his arguments are "absurd," that the thesis read like "a comic book for 5-year olds," that it was "amateurish," that it was "exaggerated melodrama," "juvenile melodrama," and "juvenile rhetoric," "monotonous agony," "juvenile argumentation," a "hissy fit in print."

The way the author posts on author forums confirms all the above.
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  #6  
Old 20 Jun 16, 04:14
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Actually it would be interesting to see if he has any new "ammunition" for the "anti-sherman" argument.

Currently Zaloga dominates the Sherman argument and he makes the Sherman look like the best tank of WW2.
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Old 20 Jun 16, 09:06
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Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
Actually it would be interesting to see if he has any new "ammunition" for the "anti-sherman" argument.
Highly unlikely given the extraordinary criticism of his tutor. If you saw how he posts in forums or had any interaction with him you would have a good idea what to expect from the book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
Currently Zaloga dominates the Sherman argument and he makes the Sherman look like the best tank of WW2.
There are a number of balanced works on the Sherman in the last few years by a variety of authors and this seems to have gotten up the nose of a few. Those who do not like this reasoned approach resort to smear and hyperbole in order to try and restore the myths. They even make up silly claims like 'Zaloga.........................makes the Sherman look like the best tank of WW2. '
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  #8  
Old 20 Jun 16, 19:13
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Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
Actually it would be interesting to see if he has any new "ammunition" for the "anti-sherman" argument.

Currently Zaloga dominates the Sherman argument and he makes the Sherman look like the best tank of WW2.
Zaloga is right when he states that the Sherman was the best tank in the world upon its introduction. The USA got it totally right for 1942.

The problem with upgrading the Sherman was down to weight. US shipping was restricted to around 30 tons or so per tank, if you wanted to export in plentiful supply. The US built the best tank they could, given that restriction, and a bloody good one it was too.

Unfortunately, technology proceeds, and while the Sherman had numerous upgrades, it was clear that on a one on one basis, it was getting left behind in the technology race.

Zaloga is wrong to state the Sherman was the generals choice of best tank in 45. His book of best tanks starts with basically Soviet designs as best, then German, with the US best actual tanks at the end. I more than suspect that he was targeting a particular audience. I wouldn't choose almost any Sherman over a Comet, except perhaps a Jumbo, and then I would choose a Churchill VII instead.

Zaloga's Armored Champion is interesting, albeit flawed imho.
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  #9  
Old 20 Jun 16, 20:09
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The story doesn't have to be true to get past the publisher.
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Old 22 Jun 16, 00:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
This guy has been spamming multiple armor forums with talk of this book, sometimes acting like he is not the author. It seems the book is a rehash of a poorly-received dissertation he wrote. I definitely wouldn't buy it without seeing some reviews first.
Good to know, thanks.
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  #11  
Old 22 Jun 16, 22:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m kenny View Post
That is putting it mildly.

His tutor described it as "agonizing" and that DeJohn must suffer from "Alzheimer’s disease." DeJohn sounds like a "crackpot," that his arguments are "absurd," that the thesis read like "a comic book for 5-year olds," that it was "amateurish," that it was "exaggerated melodrama," "juvenile melodrama," and "juvenile rhetoric," "monotonous agony," "juvenile argumentation," a "hissy fit in print."
Mike, in all fairness you've nearly copy and pasted the above description without giving the full story. DeJohn was involved with some sort of legal struggle with his school and ended up winning a suit of some kind. He may very well be a crackpot but the person using that description, along with others at Temple, had a bone to pick with DeJohn and may well be showing their bias against him.
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  #12  
Old 22 Jun 16, 23:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Zaloga is right when he states that the Sherman was the best tank in the world upon its introduction. The USA got it totally right for 1942.

The problem with upgrading the Sherman was down to weight. US shipping was restricted to around 30 tons or so per tank, if you wanted to export in plentiful supply. The US built the best tank they could, given that restriction, and a bloody good one it was too.

Unfortunately, technology proceeds, and while the Sherman had numerous upgrades, it was clear that on a one on one basis, it was getting left behind in the technology race.

Zaloga is wrong to state the Sherman was the generals choice of best tank in 45. His book of best tanks starts with basically Soviet designs as best, then German, with the US best actual tanks at the end. I more than suspect that he was targeting a particular audience. I wouldn't choose almost any Sherman over a Comet, except perhaps a Jumbo, and then I would choose a Churchill VII instead.

Zaloga's Armored Champion is interesting, albeit flawed imho.
Nick - I agree with some of what you say here and disagree as well. Yes, M4 came in to the war looking very good, of this all agree I think. From reading Hunnicutt et al I simply don't think there was a call to upgrade any more than they did. If they did find a need they wanted on the M4 other than what was done I'm not sure they would have found the time to design, fit up, test and work into production any changes. The M4 was doing the job it needed to do, blow stuff up. The tanks we had in both armored and infantry divisions were doing just that, the important job for armor in WWII, tossing HE. Zaloga makes the point very well, and for me this is something that distinguishes his last book from others, that armors main role was not anti-armor. We have also seen the studies that emphasize that technology would not win the armor v. armor fight while tactics would.

I think you oversimplify his book and his choices for best tank. I think it is important that he offered a tanker's choice and commander's choice and broke down the war in terms of time. I think he sees the dependability of the M4A3E8 as reason enough to call it commander's choice, in addition to numbers and its use of HVAP ammo and this makes sense. This choice surprised me a bit but I was more surpised by the M26 as the tanker's choice as I recall my read in Hunnicutt on this tank as coming away with an unimpressed feeling.

I don't see Zaloga as trying to push any M4 as the best tank of WWII. My recollection is that he doesn't think this exists and he pretty much spelled that out in Armored Thunderbolt, I thought. I saw Armored Champion as an excellent work (though I didn't agree with all the choices) in that he explained what went on at different times during the war, how a tank could excell at that time and most importantly what his extensive research showed. I only hope that there are more people out there on the horizon willing to do work like this and write it up. I hope he has more work coming up as well.
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Old 23 Jun 16, 00:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I stumbled upon this on Amazon, I'm saving my pennies 'cause I love a conspiracy.
Attachment 70031
Here's the blurb that goes with it. I can't wait.
This remarkable story exposes the Sherman tank scandal of World War II, involving some of the biggest American names and stretching from the White House and Pentagon to factories and battlefronts. Outgunned by more powerful German opponents, the inferiority of American tanks led to some of the worst setbacks of the war, prolonging it in Europe. US tankers ultimately prevailed, but over 60,000 armored division soldiers were killed and wounded; their preventable sacrifice inspired the Hollywood movie Fury. Included are striking images of the Sherman's adversaries (photographed exclusively at the National Museum of Cavalry and Armor), along with original equipment, documents, period propaganda, and vintage photos of Sherman tanks in action. As a German officer noted, "I was on this hill with six 88mm antitank guns...Every time they sent a tank, we knocked it out. Finally we ran out of ammunition, and the Americans didn't run out of tanks."
John, can't believe you're wasting your hard-earned cash on that piece of folded arse-paper.
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Old 23 Jun 16, 06:34
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Quote:
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Mike, in all fairness you've nearly copy and pasted the above description without giving the full story. DeJohn was involved with some sort of legal struggle with his school and ended up winning a suit of some kind. He may very well be a crackpot but the person using that description, along with others at Temple, had a bone to pick with DeJohn and may well be showing their bias against him.
Look into his case and see he won on a indirectly linked issue. Nothing about his thesis. He also pursued a case against Carlisle saying that they were biased against veterans (they would not employ him-he lost) and tried to link the two issues in some big conspiracy theory. He tried to blackmail the University to get his grade and failed.
He posts like a child with claims like 'lots of photos of tanks. Tigers, Panthers and Elefants'. I have had PMs from him so I am pretty confident I have the measure of the man.
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Old 23 Jun 16, 06:37
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Amazon does allow people to review books.
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