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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 04 Oct 17, 00:08
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
If you look further you might find that the same cannon is better known as the French 1897, made famous in World War I. The 75 came in a M2 and 3 which went into the M3 series tank and M4 series tanks. The gun was also lightened and modified to be fitted into B-25's and the M-24 tank. The gun could penetrate Mark III's and Mark IV's up to the G model.

The M6 was better known as a Infantry Support weapon. Newer 75 and 76 guns were better at armor piercing.

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It was based on the French 1897 but it was longer and had a sliding block breech rather than a Nordenfelt screw breech. Essentially an M4's gun on a light tank - very good HE capability and decent AP for a light tank (as you noted). There was also WP and HC ammo for it. This puts it at the top of the list for firepower in WWII light tanks.
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  #32  
Old 04 Oct 17, 03:41
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Originally Posted by NoPref View Post
It was based on the French 1897 but it was longer and had a sliding block breech rather than a Nordenfelt screw breech. Essentially an M4's gun on a light tank - very good HE capability and decent AP for a light tank (as you noted). There was also WP and HC ammo for it. This puts it at the top of the list for firepower in WWII light tanks.
You mean equal to The Valentine XI. This does not mean the Mk III was superior to the M24, just that it had equal firepower, and was available earlier.
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  #33  
Old 04 Oct 17, 07:10
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
For example, best light tank in the ETO 1945 is almost certainly the Chaffee, nothing else comes close.
It's really in a field of one though, isn't it, as no-one else was creating new light tanks at this point.
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  #34  
Old 04 Oct 17, 10:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Juan View Post
It's really in a field of one though, isn't it, as no-one else was creating new light tanks at this point.
I was wondering if the Cromwell could count? In the 11th AD, the Cromwell regiment was attached to the armoured infantry battalion, with the the Sherman rgts attached to one motorised infantry battalion each, to create 4 mini brigades. The Guards linked their namesakes together, so that the Grenadier Guards had Sherman's and armoured infantry, Coldstream and Irish Guards had Shermans and motorised infantry, and the Welsh Guards had Cromwells and motorised infantry. Again they formed 4 mini brigades within the division. Cromwells here would not count as light tanks, since they were used as mediums.

However, the 7th seemed to have kept the standard structure of one armoured and one motorised infantry brigade intact. This means that the 8th Hussars, with their Cromwells, would have remained the Divisional Armoured Recce Regiment, at least on paper. I say on paper, since the division also had the 11th Hussars Divisional Armoured Car Regiment. I do have the book 'Churchill's Desert Rats in North-West Europe: From Normandy to Berlin', but do not have it to hand.
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  #35  
Old 04 Oct 17, 10:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I was wondering if the Cromwell could count? In the 11th AD, the Cromwell regiment was attached to the armoured infantry battalion, with the the Sherman rgts attached to one motorised infantry battalion each, to create 4 mini brigades. The Guards linked their namesakes together, so that the Grenadier Guards had Sherman's and armoured infantry, Coldstream and Irish Guards had Shermans and motorised infantry, and the Welsh Guards had Cromwells and motorised infantry. Again they formed 4 mini brigades within the division. Cromwells here would not count as light tanks, since they were used as mediums.

However, the 7th seemed to have kept the standard structure of one armoured and one motorised infantry brigade intact. This means that the 8th Hussars, with their Cromwells, would have remained the Divisional Armoured Recce Regiment, at least on paper. I say on paper, since the division also had the 11th Hussars Divisional Armoured Car Regiment. I do have the book 'Churchill's Desert Rats in North-West Europe: From Normandy to Berlin', but do not have it to hand.
The Cromwell was a cruiser/medium tank that may sometimes have been used in the light tank role - just as
The Valentine was an infantry tank that the Soviets used in a light tank role.
The Skoda 38 series was a light tank that got used in the medium tank role
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  #36  
Old 04 Oct 17, 12:54
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I was wondering if the Cromwell could count? In the 11th AD, the Cromwell regiment was attached to the armoured infantry battalion, with the the Sherman rgts attached to one motorised infantry battalion each, to create 4 mini brigades. The Guards linked their namesakes together, so that the Grenadier Guards had Sherman's and armoured infantry, Coldstream and Irish Guards had Shermans and motorised infantry, and the Welsh Guards had Cromwells and motorised infantry. Again they formed 4 mini brigades within the division. Cromwells here would not count as light tanks, since they were used as mediums.

However, the 7th seemed to have kept the standard structure of one armoured and one motorised infantry brigade intact. This means that the 8th Hussars, with their Cromwells, would have remained the Divisional Armoured Recce Regiment, at least on paper. I say on paper, since the division also had the 11th Hussars Divisional Armoured Car Regiment. I do have the book 'Churchill's Desert Rats in North-West Europe: From Normandy to Berlin', but do not have it to hand.
The problem with the Cromwell was that it was too noisy, and farted too much exhaust smoke, for the recce role, which was why the ARR's were mostly used as standard armoured regiments.
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  #37  
Old 04 Oct 17, 13:57
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Originally Posted by Don Juan View Post
The problem with the Cromwell was that it was too noisy, and farted too much exhaust smoke, for the recce role, which was why the ARR's were mostly used as standard armoured regiments.
That could just mean it would not make a decent 'light' tank .

I've been checking the Canadian AD's OOB and it appears they used Shermans in their armoured recce regiments, including Sherman II, V, VC and IB's. Never really thought of a Firefly as a light tank, nor a tank with a 105mm howitzer!
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  #38  
Old 04 Oct 17, 14:39
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I dunno ... light means the most firepower in the lightest machine , to me.

If so, it's hard to beat this fella -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3_Stu...0004z89h67.jpg

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  #39  
Old 04 Oct 17, 15:40
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The best might've been?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Which do you think are the contenders for best light tank of WW2?

A 'light' tank is one that is used for scouting, screening and otherwise supporting other elements. Scouting and screening are self-explanatory, but other roles include the Stuarts role of using 37mm canister shot to remove the threat of Japanese infantry kamikazi charges against Shermans.

The tank need not be initially designed as such, but used in that role, often because they were obsolete as mediums....

The short list should include imho:

Panzer II Luchs
Panzer 38t
M3/5 Stuart
M24 Chaffee
Light Tank Mk VI
Valentine
Fiat L6/40
BT-7
T-70
Type 95 Ha-Go
Hotchkiss H35

The wiki list is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catego...II_light_tanks

The slow Valentine and H35 may initially seem out of place, but the far heavier Cromwells equipped the recce regiments of the British Armoured Divisions?

So which do you think are the contenders for best 'light' tanks of WW2.
The 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage T70, better known as the M18 "Hellcat" Tank Destroyer. A big fan was Col. Andrew Bruce, then Dir. of the (Tank) Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center (later retired Lt. Gen.), but as a light tank, not a Tank Destroyer.

"Bruce was convinced that the T70 would make an excellent light tank, and so he pressed one of the pilots on a reluctant Armored Force Board at Fort Knox for evaluation. The Armored Forces Board rejected its use as a light tank in January 1944 arguing that it lacked sufficient overhead armored protection. The real reason was that a new light tank sponsored by the Armored Force, the M24, was already reaching production and a second type would have been redundant."

"The initial production plans for the M18 under the November 1943 program was for 1,000 in 1943, 3,600 in 1944 and 4,386 in 1945 (of which 7,386 were for the US Army and 1,600 for Lend-Lease recipients). Ultimately, the program was substantially trimmed back from the original objective of 8,986 to a mere 2,507. There were three principal reasons for this.

First, the AGF's insistence that half of all tank destroyer battalions use towed anti-tank guns dramatically reduced the need for self-propelled tank destroyers.
Second, Lend-Lease recipients such as the Soviet Union and Britain showed little interest in the design.
Third, by the time it reached combat in the summer of 1944, it became evident that the 76mm gun was inadequate to deal with the German Panther tank, and the emphasis shifted to rushing the M36 90mm into service as quickly as possible."

- "M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer, 1943-97" - Steven Zaloga
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  #40  
Old 04 Oct 17, 15:53
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The PZ38t was probably the only tank the Germans had that was on par with the Stuarts.
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Old 04 Oct 17, 15:59
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Originally Posted by Marmat View Post
The 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage T70, better known as the M18 "Hellcat" Tank Destroyer. A big fan was Col. Andrew Bruce, then Dir. of the (Tank) Destroyer Tactical and Firing Center (later retired Lt. Gen.), but as a light tank, not a Tank Destroyer.

"Bruce was convinced that the T70 would make an excellent light tank, and so he pressed one of the pilots on a reluctant Armored Force Board at Fort Knox for evaluation. The Armored Forces Board rejected its use as a light tank in January 1944 arguing that it lacked sufficient overhead armored protection. The real reason was that a new light tank sponsored by the Armored Force, the M24, was already reaching production and a second type would have been redundant."

"The initial production plans for the M18 under the November 1943 program was for 1,000 in 1943, 3,600 in 1944 and 4,386 in 1945 (of which 7,386 were for the US Army and 1,600 for Lend-Lease recipients). Ultimately, the program was substantially trimmed back from the original objective of 8,986 to a mere 2,507. There were three principal reasons for this.

First, the AGF's insistence that half of all tank destroyer battalions use towed anti-tank guns dramatically reduced the need lot self-propelled tank destroyers.
Second, Lend-Lease recipients such as the Soviet Union and Britain showed little interest in the design.
Third, by the time it reached combat in the summer of 1944, it became evident that the 76mm gun was inadequate to deal with the German Panther tank, and the emphasis shifted to rushing the M36 90mm into service as quickly as possible."

- "M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer, 1943-97" - Steven Zaloga
Lacked sufficient overhead armour protection ! It didn't have any -it wasn't a tank let alone a light one! It was an SPATG
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  #42  
Old 04 Oct 17, 16:40
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Ah, but ...

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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Lacked sufficient overhead armour protection ! It didn't have any -it wasn't a tank let alone a light one! It was an SPATG
... that's the beauty of the M18 in the light tank role, unimpeded vision, multiple sets of eyes for "RECONNAISANCE"! One man's impediment is another's advantage. "Scout" cars for example were often open topped.

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Old 04 Oct 17, 17:45
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Originally Posted by The Exorcist View Post
I dunno ... light means the most firepower in the lightest machine , to me.

If so, it's hard to beat this fella -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3_Stu...0004z89h67.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmat View Post
... that's the beauty of the M18 in the light tank role, unimpeded vision, multiple sets of eyes for "RECONNAISANCE"! One man's impediment is another's advantage. "Scout" cars for example were open topped.

The British often removed the turrets of their Stuarts in the recce role. It means a lighter, smaller, more fuel efficient, greater range afv, with superior flotation. Firepower of a unit is very important, but sometimes an individual needs to remain stealthy, and this includes tanks, especially in the recce role.
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Old 04 Oct 17, 18:18
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A big advantage of the Stuart in the recce role was its rubber tracks, which were much quieter than steel tracks. Don't know if the M24 also had rubber tracks, but I suspect it did.

The recce role differs according to terrain. In the desert you needed something to fend off enemy armoured cars at a distance, and attacking aircraft, and the contact distances were so large that engine/track noise was less important. In Italy and NWE, where contact distances could be very close, low noise becomes much more important.
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Old 04 Oct 17, 18:41
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Quote:
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A big advantage of the Stuart in the recce role was its rubber tracks, which were much quieter than steel tracks. Don't know if the M24 also had rubber tracks, but I suspect it did.

The recce role differs according to terrain. In the desert you needed something to fend off enemy armoured cars at a distance, and attacking aircraft, and the contact distances were so large that engine/track noise was less important. In Italy and NWE, where contact distances could be very close, low noise becomes much more important.
Having experience of some deserts (not in war time) I would point out that in early morning sound travels a hell of a long way. Certainly in the Arabian desert I've been woken by vehicles miles away
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