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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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  #46  
Old 04 May 17, 14:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
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?
I have a degree in military history. It was free and easy to get.

I'm a non-white with extensive experience with muslims, women, managed two political campaigns, served in the military, experienced a wide variety of personal and group violence, and lived overseas for years, I have the basis of experience to comment in all those areas.

I remain in the history areas to help people understand what is and isn't real. I don't have contempt for history, just for those who claim knowledge without any basis of experience save reading others' works.

Its no difference than economists who have never held a private sector job.
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  #47  
Old 04 May 17, 14:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
I have a degree in military history. It was free and easy to get.

I'm a non-white with extensive experience with muslims, women, managed two political campaigns, served in the military, experienced a wide variety of personal and group violence, and lived overseas for years, I have the basis of experience to comment in all those areas.

I remain in the history areas to help people understand what is and isn't real. I don't have contempt for history, just for those who claim knowledge without any basis of experience save reading others' works.

Its no difference than economists who have never held a private sector job.
I've never been a police officer but have "extensive" experience with law enforcement (cough), meaning I am fully qualified to comment on all things police related - so much so that I can ignore things like quantifiable data or published accounts and rely upon anecdotes and vague assertions which demand to be respected. Thus you can trust me when I say that police officers are gunning down innocent black men in droves - the data may say otherwise, but those with "experience" know it to be true.

Data is for feckless academics: real knowledge comes from personal anecdotes.

Now if you'll excuse us, we're off to tell all these so called doctors that they're a bunch of hacks for dismissing the works of Galen and Hippocrates.
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  #48  
Old 04 May 17, 15:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
I've never been a police officer but have "extensive" experience with law enforcement (cough), meaning I am fully qualified to comment on all things police related - so much so that I can ignore things like quantifiable data or published accounts and rely upon anecdotes and vague assertions which demand to be respected. Thus you can trust me when I say that police officers are gunning down innocent black men in droves - the data may say otherwise, but those with "experience" know it to be true.

Data is for feckless academics: real knowledge comes from personal anecdotes.

Now if you'll excuse us, we're off to tell all these so called doctors that they're a bunch of hacks for dismissing the works of Galen and Hippocrates.
You don't have a very good grasp of history or politics, so it doesn't surprise me that you base of knowledge extends into other areas...

There's a reason why some degrees of 'science' and others are 'of the arts'.

It is all frame of reference. You would not want instruction on canoeing from a man who had never been near a body of water nor seen a watercraft. You wouldn't accept a pilot who had never sat in a plane before.

So why do you accept narratives of battles from a guy who wasn't there, knows nothing of the military or the skills involved, and bases his opinion solely upon accounts written by others who were not there?

If his only effort was to read books, then what does that say about his commitment?

Mark Twain had an appropriate saying: War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; moon talk by a poet who hasn't been to the moon, isn't."

History written by a man who has a background of actual experience will have depth and context. History written by an academic is fiction based on records at best, unfounded conjecture at worst.

Like I said: virgins writing pornography.
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  #49  
Old 04 May 17, 15:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
You don't have a very good grasp of history or politics, so it doesn't surprise me that you base of knowledge extends into other areas...

There's a reason why some degrees of 'science' and others are 'of the arts'.

It is all frame of reference. You would not want instruction on canoeing from a man who had never been near a body of water nor seen a watercraft. You wouldn't accept a pilot who had never sat in a plane before.

So why do you accept narratives of battles from a guy who wasn't there, knows nothing of the military or the skills involved, and bases his opinion solely upon accounts written by others who were not there?

If his only effort was to read books, then what does that say about his commitment?

Mark Twain had an appropriate saying: War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; moon talk by a poet who hasn't been to the moon, isn't."

History written by a man who has a background of actual experience will have depth and context. History written by an academic is fiction based on records at best, unfounded conjecture at worst.

Like I said: virgins writing pornography.
Thank you for sharing your interesting opinion again based on your extensive unbiased experience. It seems we must agree to disagree on what makes real history and how it is to be written so let's call the debate closed since it is off topic to this thread. Please feel free to start a thread on the subject in the general history part of the forum if you wish to continue this discussion.
Thanks again for your contribution to this debate and letting everyone know where you stand on the study of history.
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  #50  
Old 04 May 17, 23:38
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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Please feel free to start a thread on the subject in the general history part of the forum if you wish to continue this discussion.
I agree with this, or continue by PM with your fascinating, meaningful discussion.

I like to think this thread could become quite entertaining as long as the contributions are what I had in mind: that anyone can share the most standout, oddest or fascinating snapshots from their own personal knowledge (the "that few know" is perhaps not totally fitting), without needing to have reasons for a thread and a discussion around something.

It could be fun, but only as long as it stays on point all the facts shared so far have been very interesting, especially the one about the noise from shell impacts (doubt I'd ever get the idea to look that up myself), so please feel free to continue.

Last edited by FireGodHamster; 04 May 17 at 23:48..
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  #51  
Old 05 May 17, 01:31
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Quote:
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.
I was not addressing the issue of spalling, only the comments about believing the word of veterans v. experts. If you read my post, look at the words I quoted and what I said regarding them you should be able to draw this conclusion...maybe.

I've read Cooper's book, which falls into the category you describe. His accuracy (lack of it) and exageration are widely known. He struck me as a man that on the one hand could offer a story worth hearing but on the other could not put a proper perspective on his war experience.

"Hundreds" of Shermans? That's not many compared to 49,000+, is it?

Quote:
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.
I have so often heard that eye-witness accounts are taken with a grain of salt. Didn't American tankers talk about all the Tigers they encountered and years later we know this is bunk? It's easy to find accounts of how difficult fighting the Panthers was but we now find that the studies done show that our tanks held there in on many occasions against Panthers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
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.
A researcher (I'm thinking of those that I've read that write the books on armor, Zaloga for example) has access to many records from many sources. In Armored Champion Zaloga made use of Soviet records in addition to many others, offering a perspective that most G.I.'s would not be able to. I have often heard a similarity in the accounts of veterans interviewed and have wondered what was causing similar responses (similar wording) from different interviewees. Are the interviewers asking open ended questions? Are they guiding the respondent? "Tell me how tough those Tigers were?" gets a response about an event that may never have happened. Age also clouds the memory and leaves opens the possibility of blending ones own experiences with those others have shared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Research by men who have never been to war is akin to pornography written by virgins.
Can you be a virgin and watch/read a lot of porn and turn around and write it yourself?
I don't see why a man can not accurately research war without having served. If you consider the reading and such that people that post hear do as research then I think you might want to re-examine that belief.
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  #52  
Old 07 May 17, 09:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post
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.
"To tell the truth, we were afraid of being posted to fight in the foreign-made tanks: The Matildas, Valentines and Shermans were coffins. True, their armour was more ductile and didn't produce splinters, but the driver sat separately and if you'd turn the turret and the tank was knocked out of action like that, the driver could never bail out. Our tanks were the best. The T-34 was a superb tank."
Aleksandr. Sereevich Burtsev, Red Army tanker


This guy is a veteran and he was there. And you cannot really accuse him of being a Sherman-fanboy. Yet, the only advantage he sees with the Sherman is that its armour did not spall like the T-34.
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  #53  
Old 07 May 17, 09:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Ditch, trench and obstacle crossing.
As response to: "The meaning and effect of the raised first and last roadwheels on the Churchill and how it originates back from the first British tanks in WWI"

Wrong on all accounts. The purpose of the raised roadwheels was to reduced the amount of track in contact with the ground on hard surfaces, making the tank easier to manouver. Once the tank hit soft ground, it would sink in and put all the track in contact and increase flotation. Thus, when looking at the ground pressure of these tanks and comparing it, one should take into account whether the figures represent a pressure on a flat surface or when sunk into the ground.
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  #54  
Old 08 May 17, 18:45
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
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.
Anything about the Tigers intrest me so anything more you can tell me about him it would intrest me. Did he say why was it a s*d to drive?
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  #55  
Old 09 May 17, 18:52
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Edited post.

Quote:
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.
USA armour plate quality was extremely good in WW2. They had the resources and ability, and a lack of being bombed to make it so. Their BHN was also about perfect. Harder meant more spalling (eg IS-2), and softer meant less actual protection. Spalling may have been a problem, but not in the same league as other nations tanks, eg Soviets and late German tanks.

The reason that Shermans were continued to be sent to W Europe was for two reasons. The first was that they were perfectly adequate, and given that war is not fair, actually equal to even tanks like the Tiger.

The second was that why their weight, in most marks, did not change much, the latter Shermans only looked like their earlier counterparts, underneath the skin, they were different. This is the 'failure' of the Sherman. A tank crew wants to be in the 'best' tank. German 'Cats' had more gun, more armour, and often more apparent mobility. Shermans still looked like the same 1942 winner, while the Germans mediums were now about twice as big. The Nazi's were masters at the propaganda game, but as Patton said, he could not have done what he did with German machines.

To use a real world example, in the 1970's the Japanese entered the motorbike market in force. British bikes were more powerful, looked smarter and felt better when riding one. Japanese bikes were reliable. You could just start a Jap bike and you could get to where you then wanted. The same could not be said the same with British bikes in the 70's. They always leaked oil from some point and needed much maintenance. As a single bloke, bike maintenance is a fun pass time. However, as soon as you got a girlfriend, you want to spend your time more, er, productively.

A tank is an offensive weapon. It needs to be used quickly and immediately. Reliability is the key ingredient. When designing the Centurion, reliability came first, and we know how effective that was.

OTOH, the tank is as much about psychology as effectiveness. After all, infantry takes and hold ground, while artillery is the killer. This is where the 'Cats' wins.
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  #56  
Old 10 May 17, 02:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Edited post.


USA armour plate quality was extremely good in WW2. They had the resources and ability, and a lack of being bombed to make it so. Their BHN was also about perfect. Harder meant more spalling (eg IS-2), and softer meant less actual protection. Spalling may have been a problem, but not in the same league as other nations tanks, eg Soviets and late German tanks.

The reason that Shermans were continued to be sent to W Europe was for two reasons. The first was that they were perfectly adequate, and given that war is not fair, actually equal to even tanks like the Tiger.

The second was that why their weight, in most marks, did not change much, the latter Shermans only looked like their earlier counterparts, underneath the skin, they were different. This is the 'failure' of the Sherman. A tank crew wants to be in the 'best' tank. German 'Cats' had more gun, more armour, and often more apparent mobility. Shermans still looked like the same 1942 winner, while the Germans mediums were now about twice as big. The Nazi's were masters at the propaganda game, but as Patton said, he could not have done what he did with German machines.

To use a real world example, in the 1970's the Japanese entered the motorbike market in force. British bikes were more powerful, looked smarter and felt better when riding one. Japanese bikes were reliable. You could just start a Jap bike and you could get to where you then wanted. The same could not be said the same with British bikes in the 70's. They always leaked oil from some point and needed much maintenance. As a single bloke, bike maintenance is a fun pass time. However, as soon as you got a girlfriend, you want to spend your time more, er, productively.

A tank is an offensive weapon. It needs to be used quickly and immediately. Reliability is the key ingredient. When designing the Centurion, reliability came first, and we know how effective that was.

OTOH, the tank is as much about psychology as effectiveness. After all, infantry takes and hold ground, while artillery is the killer. This is where the 'Cats' wins.
Many good points. One can conclude that tankers would prefer maintenance over productivity (not the same as motorcycle productivity.)
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  #57  
Old 14 May 17, 12:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post
"To tell the truth, we were afraid of being posted to fight in the foreign-made tanks: The Matildas, Valentines and Shermans were coffins. True, their armour was more ductile and didn't produce splinters, but the driver sat separately and if you'd turn the turret and the tank was knocked out of action like that, the driver could never bail out. Our tanks were the best. The T-34 was a superb tank."
Aleksandr. Sereevich Burtsev, Red Army tanker
Pretty sure that both the Sherman and Matilda had escape hatches in the floor, and that in all three tanks the driver could still get out via the turret. Not that either of these methods were ideal, or even always possible, but I don't think it was as simple as the driver always being trapped by the orientation of the gun.
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  #58  
Old 14 May 17, 16:16
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Originally Posted by Don Juan View Post
Pretty sure that both the Sherman and Matilda had escape hatches in the floor, and that in all three tanks the driver could still get out via the turret. Not that either of these methods were ideal, or even always possible, but I don't think it was as simple as the driver always being trapped by the orientation of the gun.
The Sherman had a floor hatch, but it was under the hull-gunners position. For the driver to use it, the hull-gunner had to get out first and the driver would have to crawl across the transmission. An alternate escape route would be through the turret, but that require that the turret crew had evacuated the turret first, as the driver would have to wiggle himself into the loaders position, under or past the gun and out the commanders hatch. In later versions, he could crawl out the loaders hatch.

Compared with the front hull flap on the T-34, all these options, including the drivers hatch, were more difficult. So I can see why someone familiar with the T-34 would see the Sherman as less easy to evacuate for the driver..
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Old 23 May 17, 23:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireGodHamster View Post
Maybe this could be an entertaining thread.

Tell something intresting about armor that few people might know.

'Armor' meaning the whole topic about AFV's, not the material.
The reason being that few bother to look? .......Good Lord! You did round a few up, I take it back.
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Last edited by lcm1; 23 May 17 at 23:10..
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Old 24 May 17, 01:39
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JBark JBark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post
"To tell the truth, we were afraid of being posted to fight in the foreign-made tanks: The Matildas, Valentines and Shermans were coffins. True, their armour was more ductile and didn't produce splinters, but the driver sat separately and if you'd turn the turret and the tank was knocked out of action like that, the driver could never bail out. Our tanks were the best. The T-34 was a superb tank."
Aleksandr. Sereevich Burtsev, Red Army tanker


This guy is a veteran and he was there. And you cannot really accuse him of being a Sherman-fanboy. Yet, the only advantage he sees with the Sherman is that its armour did not spall like the T-34.
No possibility that he is biased toward Soviet equipment, is there?
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