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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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  #31  
Old 18 Dec 16, 08:05
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Allied self propelled artillery like the M-7 Priest and the M-12 although not a true assault gun were still very effective in infantry support. Of course the gun could be moved around more easily in fluid engagements. An example of the M-12 was presented here by T.A. Gardner post #17. They were the allies verion of the German Hummel, Marder, and Wespe.

M-7 Priest's were also used as battlefield transport during some allied infantry operations to keep up with the tanks spearheading the attack. Much like a halftrack I suppose. An example of this was the dusk attack during Operation Totalize. This allowed for the ability of the infantry to operate in close coordination with the tanks.

M-7 Priest


M-12


Getting back to the true assault guns the Germans were constantly coming up with newer versions of them as the war progressed. One of the more popular ones was the Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer with 2,584 being produced in 1944-45.

Total production StuG III 75mm L-24: 824

Total production StuG III 75mm L-43/L-48: 8,587

Total production StuG IV L-48: 1,006

The watershed year for the output of German assault guns was 1944 with 7,766 models manufactured. This is including all of the true fully armored assault guns and tank hunters. Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger, Hetzer, Jagdpanzer IV, Pz IV/70(V), Pz IV/70(A),

Regards,Kurt
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  #32  
Old 18 Dec 16, 11:07
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The British Army had a number of Priests they we not using. The British preferred to use the 24 Pounder over the 105 Howitzer. The British were set up to supply the 24 Pounder. The Americans sent the Priests while the British were in North Africa when the British took whatever the Americans sent.

Before using them to transport troops the British removed the 105 Howitzer and added an armor patch to where the gun was. They also removed the turrets off of Canadian Ram tanks to produce Armored Personnel Carriers. Both had open tops and were vulnerable to artillery. While not perfect, the conversions were an effective use of vehicles not being used.

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  #33  
Old 18 Dec 16, 18:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The British Army had a number of Priests they we not using. The British preferred to use the 24 Pounder over the 105 Howitzer. The British were set up to supply the 24 Pounder. The Americans sent the Priests while the British were in North Africa when the British took whatever the Americans sent.

Before using them to transport troops the British removed the 105 Howitzer and added an armor patch to where the gun was. They also removed the turrets off of Canadian Ram tanks to produce Armored Personnel Carriers. Both had open tops and were vulnerable to artillery. While not perfect, the conversions were an effective use of vehicles not being used.

Pruitt
The APC you're talking about was a Canadian innovation known as the
Kangaroo.

The 25 pdr SPG gun was called the Sexton.

Sexton I was based off of the Ram tank, Sexton II the Grizzly.

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  #34  
Old 19 Dec 16, 17:33
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Kanonenjagdsherman

Perhaps the US Army could've made something like this:

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  #35  
Old 19 Dec 16, 20:49
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Perhaps the US Army could've made something like this:

Sure, but why? It could afford to make enough Sherman's with a turret to meet its needs- far and away more tanks per capita than the Germans. Why accept a less capable, turretless vehicle for the sake of a few more, when you have more than enough.
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  #36  
Old 20 Dec 16, 15:27
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
That was just theory. In practice rank destroyers were not used as they were intended to but were employed as a combination of multipurpose ersatz-tanks and self-propelled artillery.
One can also question the rationale of German practice of producing so many variations of StuGs, jagdpanzers, assault tanks and other stuff. In most cases they offered little real advantage for the task of supporting infantry compared with "normal" tanks. In other words separate battalion equipped with "normal" tanks would work just as well. AFV design after war mostly went with more or less universal MBT, the assault guns happened to be a dead end.
The AG were cheaper to build allegedly three for the price of two and could mount a gun bigger than that would fit the turret of the tank version on the chassis. The CIS role of the vehicle was taken by CS versions of British tank designs. So the role for the vehicle did exist. After encountering the better armoured tanks in the SU there was a demand for the German vehicle to be able to defeat that threat. I think that the nature of the fighting on the Eastern Front, lead to the increasing use of the AG as DT resulting in Jagdpanzer IV and V designs. The German industry had a through put problem the AG was one way in which it could be addressed. British industry was facing different problems. The US found it easier to continue producing more rather than burning in a new line variant.
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  #37  
Old 21 Dec 16, 14:19
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What do you mean by the "nature of fighting on the Eastern Front"?
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  #38  
Old 21 Dec 16, 14:39
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It's actually very simple (run out and fetch a four year old child) the Axis were fighting a poor mans war and the West a rich mans. The assault guns were cheaper and used less resources but were less flexible, conventional tanks cost more but had better all round capability
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Old 21 Dec 16, 20:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
It's actually very simple (run out and fetch a four year old child) the Axis were fighting a poor mans war and the West a rich mans. The assault guns were cheaper and used less resources but were less flexible, conventional tanks cost more but had better all round capability
Not completely correct, but I understand where you are coming from later in the war. The Germans were using assault guns, when more was being spent on their army than other nations, right at the beginning of WW2. The whole point about assault guns was that artillery could keep up with infantry, the reason why many WW1 German officers, inc Manstein, thought the Kaiser's Spring Offensive failed. Certainly, lack of artillery support meant failure later in that campaign.

.....

I personally believe that the West was right to use self propelled artillery, like the Sexton and M7 Priests, rather than assault guns, like the Stugs and SU-76's. Assault guns generally have superior AT ability, but HE is far more important.
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  #40  
Old 23 Dec 16, 08:03
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Originally Posted by dutched View Post
The AG were cheaper to build allegedly three for the price of two and could mount a gun bigger than that would fit the turret of the tank version on the chassis. The CIS role of the vehicle was taken by CS versions of British tank designs. So the role for the vehicle did exist. After encountering the better armoured tanks in the SU there was a demand for the German vehicle to be able to defeat that threat. I think that the nature of the fighting on the Eastern Front, lead to the increasing use of the AG as DT resulting in Jagdpanzer IV and V designs. The German industry had a through put problem the AG was one way in which it could be addressed. British industry was facing different problems. The US found it easier to continue producing more rather than burning in a new line variant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
It's actually very simple (run out and fetch a four year old child) the Axis were fighting a poor mans war and the West a rich mans. The assault guns were cheaper and used less resources but were less flexible, conventional tanks cost more but had better all round capability
The only problem with that reasoning is that the Germans did not build StuGs because they were cheaper, they build them because they decided it was the best solution for their infantry support needs.

StuG III -> Was built in the chassis of a first-line tank, the Panzer III. It worked, so they continued using that chassis as a basis to the wars end, but that has nothing to do with cost.

StuG IV -> Only came about because one of the main producers of StuGs (Alkett) was bombed at a time when there was an increased need for StuGs. Nothing to do with cost. T
Jagdpanzer IV -> Was designed as an improved StuG to fullfill the same role - infantry support and anti-tank defense.

Panzer IV/70 V -> Essentially and improved Jagdpanzer IV, i.e. a StuG.

Panzer IV/70 A -> A last ditch attempt at making something usefull out of the Panzer IV tank and the only StuG-type vehicle actually made as a tank replacement. Still, a lot of them ended up in StuG or Panzerjäger units rather than being tank replacements in armoured regiments.

Jagdpanzer 38 (Hetzer) -> Due to the previously mentioned bombing of Alkett, Czech factories were to build StuG IIIs. As they could not handle a vehicle of that size, a StuG was designed around available parts that the factory could handle. Same type of vehicle, same role as the StuG, nothing to do with economy.

Ferdinand/Elefant -> A heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

Jagdpanther -> A heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

Jagdtiger -> Another heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

What continues to puzzle me, is that the development of the StuG in the German Army 1935-1945 and what drove it is well known. So why does this faulty economy-argument keep popping up? There is not a shred of evidence that anyone in Germany ever thought of the StuG that way.

Particularily as StuGs were not all that cheap. Not counting weaponry, the StuG III cost 85% of the cost of a Panzer III. It cost 80% of a Panzer IV. So best case scenario would give you 5 StuGs in exchange for 4 tanks.
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  #41  
Old 23 Dec 16, 08:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
Sure, but why? It could afford to make enough Sherman's with a turret to meet its needs- far and away more tanks per capita than the Germans. Why accept a less capable, turretless vehicle for the sake of a few more, when you have more than enough.
The 90mm gun might have come in handy

But you are spot on in terms of economy. If you can build 10.000 Shermans, why make them as StuGs to get an additional 2.000? Even less, if you use a bigger and more expensive gun.

And if the US Army had percieved a need for a 90mm Sherman in 1943, they could've made it as a tank.
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Old 23 Dec 16, 08:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post
The only problem with that reasoning is that the Germans did not build StuGs because they were cheaper, they build them because they decided it was the best solution for their infantry support needs.

StuG III -> Was built in the chassis of a first-line tank, the Panzer III. It worked, so they continued using that chassis as a basis to the wars end, but that has nothing to do with cost.

StuG IV -> Only came about because one of the main producers of StuGs (Alkett) was bombed at a time when there was an increased need for StuGs. Nothing to do with cost. T
Jagdpanzer IV -> Was designed as an improved StuG to fullfill the same role - infantry support and anti-tank defense.

Panzer IV/70 V -> Essentially and improved Jagdpanzer IV, i.e. a StuG.

Panzer IV/70 A -> A last ditch attempt at making something usefull out of the Panzer IV tank and the only StuG-type vehicle actually made as a tank replacement. Still, a lot of them ended up in StuG or Panzerjäger units rather than being tank replacements in armoured regiments.

Jagdpanzer 38 (Hetzer) -> Due to the previously mentioned bombing of Alkett, Czech factories were to build StuG IIIs. As they could not handle a vehicle of that size, a StuG was designed around available parts that the factory could handle. Same type of vehicle, same role as the StuG, nothing to do with economy.

Ferdinand/Elefant -> A heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

Jagdpanther -> A heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

Jagdtiger -> Another heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

What continues to puzzle me, is that the development of the StuG in the German Army 1935-1945 and what drove it is well known. So why does this faulty economy-argument keep popping up? There is not a shred of evidence that anyone in Germany ever thought of the StuG that way.

Particularily as StuGs were not all that cheap. Not counting weaponry, the StuG III cost 85% of the cost of a Panzer III. It cost 80% of a Panzer IV. So best case scenario would give you 5 StuGs in exchange for 4 tanks.
They were nevertheless much cheaper than fitting a turret which would require a bigger tank to carry that weight of gun.
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  #43  
Old 23 Dec 16, 08:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
What do you mean by the "nature of fighting on the Eastern Front"?
The German army faced more armour, which could be dealt best by picking off at greater distances. Hence the necessity of long ranging AT guns on preferably mobile platforms. An expedient to do this is adapting existing vehicles to such tasks. Simply said the former armoured Infantry support gun becomes an armoured AT gun or even would be ersatz Panzer.
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Old 23 Dec 16, 09:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post
The only problem with that reasoning is that the Germans did not build StuGs because they were cheaper, they build them because they decided it was the best solution for their infantry support needs.

StuG III -> Was built in the chassis of a first-line tank, the Panzer III. It worked, so they continued using that chassis as a basis to the wars end, but that has nothing to do with cost.

StuG IV -> Only came about because one of the main producers of StuGs (Alkett) was bombed at a time when there was an increased need for StuGs. Nothing to do with cost. T
Jagdpanzer IV -> Was designed as an improved StuG to fullfill the same role - infantry support and anti-tank defense.

Panzer IV/70 V -> Essentially and improved Jagdpanzer IV, i.e. a StuG.

Panzer IV/70 A -> A last ditch attempt at making something usefull out of the Panzer IV tank and the only StuG-type vehicle actually made as a tank replacement. Still, a lot of them ended up in StuG or Panzerjäger units rather than being tank replacements in armoured regiments.

Jagdpanzer 38 (Hetzer) -> Due to the previously mentioned bombing of Alkett, Czech factories were to build StuG IIIs. As they could not handle a vehicle of that size, a StuG was designed around available parts that the factory could handle. Same type of vehicle, same role as the StuG, nothing to do with economy.

Ferdinand/Elefant -> A heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

Jagdpanther -> A heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

Jagdtiger -> Another heavy StuG - nothing to do with economy.

What continues to puzzle me, is that the development of the StuG in the German Army 1935-1945 and what drove it is well known. So why does this faulty economy-argument keep popping up? There is not a shred of evidence that anyone in Germany ever thought of the StuG that way.

Particularily as StuGs were not all that cheap. Not counting weaponry, the StuG III cost 85% of the cost of a Panzer III. It cost 80% of a Panzer IV. So best case scenario would give you 5 StuGs in exchange for 4 tanks.
If you are right show us the named StuG Brigaden equipped with Jagdpanzer IV Jagdpanzer V and Jadpanzer VI and even Jadgpanzer 38 (t) for completeness. You have not convinced me, more over the German army had a bit of a problem finding a 'home' for their Sturmartillerie hence the rise of the independent StuG Brigade.
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Old 23 Dec 16, 14:57
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The allies didn't need purpose built AGs as they had already tank variants to do the job:
British : Churchill VIII with the 95mm howitzer
Americans: M4(105) with a 105mm howitzer
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