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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 02 May 17, 19:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Spalling was a problem for all forces, not just the Soviets.
It would be intresting to know if Tiger I also had problems with spalling before production deteriorated. It had the highest quality of armor achieved by Germany, and was apparently also tested superior to the best enemy armor. Was spalling also a problem in prime production Tiger I?

Also could it be this was the best armor achieved during the war?

Last edited by FireGodHamster; 02 May 17 at 19:34..
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  #32  
Old 03 May 17, 22:29
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Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Of course, you first have to find a Sherman survivor, () since they didn't fare too well when hit, but a little research will turn up what you want.
I think you have to make a decision here, is it difficult to find Sherman survivors (you have the right to believe this is difficult) or do you prefer to believe Sherman survivors. It would seem to me that if thre are not many survivors then who are you talking to?

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Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
One of the most interesting aspects of this issue is the dichotomy between the armor "experts" and the actual surviving Sherman crew members. I always listen hardest to the guy who was actually there...the crew member. British Sherman crews are especially critical of their Shermans.
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If I talk to a Sherman crewman there is the possibility that the man spent his war experience in one, two or three Shermans. Hard to say, but what we can say is that we are getting the viewpoint of ONE MAN'S EXPERIENCE. Hardly indicative of what happened in 49,000+ Shermans in various armies, various nationalities. Personally I would believe that and expert like Zaloga, able to go through numerous records from the war, is able to offer me a view which is more accurate about the service of that tank on whole.
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  #33  
Old 04 May 17, 06:22
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
If I talk to a Sherman crewman there is the possibility that the man spent his war experience in one, two or three Shermans. Hard to say, but what we can say is that we are getting the viewpoint of ONE MAN'S EXPERIENCE. Hardly indicative of what happened in 49,000+ Shermans in various armies, various nationalities. Personally I would believe that and expert like Zaloga, able to go through numerous records from the war, is able to offer me a view which is more accurate about the service of that tank on whole.
Even if one must qualify a person's role in an event, the eyewitness with experience should not be underplayed in their value to history. The survivor I offered was an officer who served in and commanded a Sherman battalion for three years of war. I think that is one person who has a valuable insight, especially coming from someone within a regime for political reasons that routinely denigrated the Lend-Lease tanks.

A single man with war experience has something to say to even an expert who probably has never been in combat. And to rely on a single expert for your knowledge? Remember the root of the word expert: ex means "out of" and pert means "impudently bold".
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  #34  
Old 04 May 17, 06:36
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Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
Remember the root of the word expert: ex means "out of" and pert means "impudently bold".
BS

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from Latin expertus known by experience, from experīrī to test
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  #35  
Old 04 May 17, 07:17
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
BS
You did get a sarcasm alert. Chris Donnelly, a British expert on the Soviet Army back in the 1980's, introduced himself that way at a conference--apparently, he recognized the looseness of the title.
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  #36  
Old 04 May 17, 07:20
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Just checked Zaloga's Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two (which followed four years after his Osprey T-34 booklet publication). While he mentions the "poor ergonometric design" in the Soviet tank turrets in his discussion of the T-34, he made no note of the spalling effect.
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  #37  
Old 04 May 17, 07:27
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Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
You did get a sarcasm alert. Chris Donnelly, a British expert on the Soviet Army back in the 1980's, introduced himself that way at a conference--apparently, he recognized the looseness of the title.
There is a current tendency to denigrate the information, analysis and advice offered by those who have spent considerable time and effort in building a knowledge of a particular subject - especially if that advice is at odds with one's preconceptions. It's another form of 'alternative facts'.

Experts should never be given a blank cheque and one should be prepared to challenge them at all times but it is unwise to ignore them or dismiss them out of hand.
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  #38  
Old 04 May 17, 07:30
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
There is a current tendency to denigrate the information, analysis and advice offered by those who have spent considerable time and effort in building a knowledge of a particular subject - especially if that advice is at odds with one's preconceptions. It's another form of 'alternative facts'.

Experts should never be given a blank cheque and one should be prepared to challenge them at all times but it is unwise to ignore them or dismiss them out of hand.
"Every disaster movie starts with a scientist being ignored."
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  #39  
Old 04 May 17, 07:51
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Experts should never be given a blank cheque and one should be prepared to challenge them at all times but it is unwise to ignore them or dismiss them out of hand.
I had anticipated your etymology lesson, but it would have taken the edge off the humor.

I am in complete agreement with your comment. It is good historical methodology to garner all types of sources, establish their bona fides, hold multiple perspectives, and discern differences in perspectives while synthesizing the material to a conclusion.
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  #40  
Old 04 May 17, 10:33
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
If I talk to a Sherman crewman there is the possibility that the man spent his war experience in one, two or three Shermans. Hard to say, but what we can say is that we are getting the viewpoint of ONE MAN'S EXPERIENCE. Hardly indicative of what happened in 49,000+ Shermans in various armies, various nationalities. Personally I would believe that and expert like Zaloga, able to go through numerous records from the war, is able to offer me a view which is more accurate about the service of that tank on whole.
If you read the memoirs of those who policed up and repaired damaged Shermans, hundreds of them, there is little doubt that spalling was an issue.

As someone who has conducted countless investigations, I side with MM: practical experience is worth any amount of examination of records.

Even if a researcher is diligent and completely unbiased, he is still dependent upon: the scope of the records he has access to, the integrity and completeness of the records-keepers themselves, the accuracy of the reporting system that assembled the raw data, and the motivations of the system itself.

Soviet records are notoriously geared to self-promotion. US records were submitted with an eye towards personal career status, and so forth.

Research by men who have never been to war is akin to pornography written by virgins.
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  #41  
Old 04 May 17, 11:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Statements of surviving Sherman crewmen. It's a standard effect of HE impacting the outer surface of a steel hull - the impact produces spalling on the inner hull. It is not, as inaccurately posted, a phenomena solely of Soviet tanks. Sherman tanks were supposed to spall less because they were cast, but if you look at the metallurgy, forged or rolled armor produced better linear alignment and more resistance to spalling...and Sherman hulls, as one can clearly see, presented a lot of relatively flat surface to enemy gunners...the entire side of the hull for starters.
What Sherman crewmen? Just something you heard from a drunken vet at 4 in the morning?

I have no doubt that Sherman crews might experience spalling, but that does not necessarily make it a problem. If it behaved just like any other tank, that it was hardly an issue. And I would think that just about any tank will show spalling effects if it is hit hard enough by a non-penetrating hit like a big HE round or HESH.
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  #42  
Old 04 May 17, 11:25
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
If you read the memoirs of those who policed up and repaired damaged Shermans, hundreds of them, there is little doubt that spalling was an issue.
Then let's see a source provided then. This is a history forum after all. So let's do this the proper way. Please provide a source with proper citations.

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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
As someone who has conducted countless investigations, I side with MM: practical experience is worth any amount of examination of records.

Even if a researcher is diligent and completely unbiased, he is still dependent upon: the scope of the records he has access to, the integrity and completeness of the records-keepers themselves, the accuracy of the reporting system that assembled the raw data, and the motivations of the system itself.

Soviet records are notoriously geared to self-promotion. US records were submitted with an eye towards personal career status, and so forth.
Given your background, you must also be aware of the problems with relying solely on eyewitness accounts. One only has to look, for example, at the air war during World War Two, to show the problems with relying solely on those who were there. Overclaiming, claims for types that didn't exist, misidentification of types used are common when looking through first person accounts. Eyewitness accounts [practical experience], being created by fallible human beings, are only part of the picture and suffer just as much from bias, self promotion, integrity issues etc as the records you are so quick to disparge. The records were, after all, created by many of the same people who had 'practical experience' as you call it. Good history does not rely on one 'perfect' ,'unimpeachable' source but uses many types of information to form a complete picture. Just as any good investigation should.

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Research by men who have never been to war is akin to pornography written by virgins.
What an incredibly myopic comment. You've essentially just called for the shutting down of almost all historical study. If only those who've had direct experience doing something have the authority to write about it, good bye study of the Ancient World [no one alive today has direct experience of living then]. Of course that can be applied to any historical period up to the last 100 years [ being generous]. No more medieval studies [no one living have ever been a medieval person] , close down all Napoleonic studies as all the actual experiencers are no more than dust, no more Civil War studies as there's no one living who's actually truly experienced being a Civil War Soldier, slave or other person of that time. And so on and so on.

It's a great way to keep the study of history focused. As the last person from an era or time period of study dies, shut down all further study because all the witnesses who really know how things were are dead and any records or archival evidence are tainted and compromised.

So time to shut down the forums ! History is dead!

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  #43  
Old 04 May 17, 11:48
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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Given your background, you must also be aware of the problems with relying solely on eyewitness accounts. One only has to look, for example, at the air war during World War Two, to show the problems with relying solely on those who were there. Overclaiming, claims for types that didn't exist, misidentification of types used are common when looking through first person accounts. Eyewitness accounts [practical experience], being created by fallible human beings, are only part of the picture and suffer just as much from bias, self promotion, integrity issues etc as the records you are so quick to disparge. The records were, after all, created by many of the same people who had 'practical experience' as you call it. Good history does not rely on one 'perfect' ,'unimpeachable' source but uses many types of information to form a complete picture. Just as any good investigation should.
Yes and no. Humans can be unreliable in single instances outside their life experience, but on the other hand while an engineer can tell you everything possible about the design of a power train, only a veteran driver can tell you whether it suits the purpose or not.


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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
What an incredibly myopic comment. You've essentially just called for the shutting down of almost all historical study. If only those who've had direct experience doing something have the authority to write about it, good bye study of the Ancient World [no one alive today has direct experience of living then]. Of course that can be applied to any historical period up to the last 100 years [ being generous]. No more medieval studies [no one living have ever been a medieval person] , close down all Napoleonic studies as all the actual experiencers are no more than dust, no more Civil War studies as there's no one living who's actually truly experienced being a Civil War Soldier, slave or other person of that time. And so on and so on.
History is a hobby, not a science. A 'historian' reporting on war who has never seen war, never marched on poor rations for days at a time, who never endured the rigors of field life, is nothing more than a tourist relating exciting stories of his trip abroad. He has no contextual basis for any insight. At best he can parrot what the records state.

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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
It's a great way to keep the study of history focused. As the last person from an era or time period of study dies, shut down all further study because all the witnesses who really know how things were are dead and any records or archival evidence are tainted and compromised.

So time to shut down the forums ! History is dead!
History is a hobby, not a science.

A man who has been to war will have something in common with veterans of every era.

A man who sat on his butt reading X number of books about a period is simply a voyeur.
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  #44  
Old 04 May 17, 12:24
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
A man who has been to war will have something in common with veterans of every era.

A man who sat on his butt reading X number of books about a period is simply a voyeur.
Thank you for sharing your interesting opinion. I hope you practice what you preach and refrain from voicing your opinions on things on which you have no first person experience. Being that you are not black, a woman, a politician, a practicer of Islam or a resident of any other country but the United States as far as I can tell from your posting history, I'm sure you are careful to recuse yourself and not express opinions on any matter relating to these topics as you are "simply a voyeur' when it comes to these matters.

Given your obvious contempt for the study of history, it might be worthwhile to avoid wasting your time in the historical areas of the forum and allow the rest of us "hobbyists' to twiddle our thumbs and make up stories to amuse ourselves while you carry on dispensing your 'truth' elsewhere.

Life's too short, right?
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  #45  
Old 04 May 17, 12:56
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Some spalling is to be expected in any tank, it is a natural result of Newtons laws and caused by the same effect that applies in Newton's cradle (that executive toy with the steel balls hanging in a row - strike one end and the ball at the other flies away.), The degree to which it happens will depend upon a number of factors including the thickness of the armour, what it's made from, the nature of the round that hits it and what force that applies (eg. is it an ordinary HE shell, tungsten cored or a HESH round specifically designed to cause major spalling) but the propensity to spall will always be there - as the fat scotsman said "ye canna change the laws of physics".

There was a WW2 historian on the beeb this week who pointed out that what endeared the 'Sherman' to the Allied high command was the way it could be turned out in large numbers and its mechanical reliability. He pointed out that 50% of German armour losses were due to mechanical failure, described the complexities of the Tiger's transmission and gear system and observed "plonk an 18 year old in the driver's seat and you know its going to fail soon". Back in the 1980s I was at a somewhat boozy computer conference in Hanau (my fault I was the organiser) and party to a discussion between a former German 18 year old who had been plonked in the driving seat of a Tiger II and a British Israeli who had been similarly plonked in a Sherman (to deal with the Egyptians). It emerged that the Tiger had been a right s*d to drive.

Now to the ordinary crewman the concern would naturally have been "will the armour keep out an enemy round - I wan't to go home after all of this?" and in the case of a Sherman versus a Tiger the answer would usually be no. But Sherman v Tiger engagements were rare and for the high command the ability to swamp the battle area with tanks would be of higher priority in terms of "winning the war". For the cannon fodder inside the tanks a different viewpoint may have prevailed. But the Allies did win the war.
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