Hmmm…Dan beat me to it…and with less sarcasm!
Hmmm…Dan beat me to it…and with less sarcasm!
Sloped armor (glacis) at the base of medieval castle towers and walls actually provided multiple functions…they not only provided thicker armor against mining or ramming, it also provided a thicker base to support thicker and higher walls, and the slope of that glacis was used as a ricochet point so that defenders could drop large rocks from above…the rocks would then ricochet at considerable velocity, almost horizontally into attackers. Everybody has a plan until they get a rock in the face!
also made it more difficult to use ladders. Assault towers could not get close.
Ah. righto. a few Band-Aids but not the required alterations. learning things.
Learning by doing??
Engineers can try again, some others can’t
or, as the saying goes:
If at first you don’t succeed,
then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.
you are most correct sir. Nothing spectacular about the Sherman except it was fairly reliable, and great off road speed. To be exact, one German Officer once said it was faster than they could traverse the turret. The sloped armor concept was good, but not near as good as proposed. That 75mm gun would punch a hole in it at 1500 yards with little problems.
In the states, they had no fear of a German bomber hitting the factory. That being said; they didn’t just have a couple plants building tanks, but many! If you look at their locations, you also see that the steel plants were not far away. The Midwest is what killed Germany when they converted the auto plants into tank and aircraft plants. They actually created an issue with the rail roads and lack of heavy duty flat bed rail cars! Another look is something very dear to the Russians. They had no serious trucks in 1940, and needed them badly. Studebaker came to the rescue, and just converted one of the assembly line (said to be the most modern auto assembly line in the world). They then had trucks rolling out their ears. It took Rolls Royce roughly 30 days to make a Merlin engine. (give them a break as they were never geared up for high speed production). The Army came in and spoke with Herb Greene about manufacturing the Merlin, and brought blue prints and several complete engines. Six weeks later they were about 70% tooled up (on the old Packard V12 assembly line). Packard made some changes in the engine to aid assembly and machining. When Herb and his engineers got done their first batch was one a day, and everybody is happy. The next batch shot up to three a day with some more minor changes in the machining process. Now they are going wild at 90 a month. When Herb and the boys got done it was 16.5 engines a day, seven days a week. The foundries couldn’t keep up with them! The Army actually asked them to slow down a little bit. Then we go a hundred fifty miles south. Allison was doing their own V12 engine at about four or five a day, when the Army asked them to increase production rates. They built a new plant in Maywood (about six miles south), and literally out paced the usage by a huge margin. At one time they had 16,500 engines stored away. Russia sends a delegation to Speedway, and asked for spare engines. How many do you need was the answer. They sent them 10,000 engines in one shipment! In 1943 the Army told them not to do any more development work on the V1710 engine (even though they had three engines on the test stands that made over 3000hp.) That’s when General Electric and Allison opened a secret engineering area and started designing a couple jet engines. In the Indianapolis area alone there were smaller factories turning out final drives and drive train parts faster than they could use them. Germans once said that we were build armor faster than they could manufacture ammo and get it to the front.
Brits never used hydro static drives in the forties or even early fifties. The first true hydro static drive TACOM used was the XTG411 used in SPG’s for the western world, Yet they’d been used in earth moving equipment for ages. Even the vaunted CD850 was not a true hydrostatic drive. The Abrams was probably the first to go in production
what was it?
I think you maybe right, as I was writing after a few beers
your are right to a certain extent. The way the tank drivers acted had a lot to do with final drive breakage. They did beef them up in the A and maybe even more with the G. The real issue was the engine was over taxed and need to be bigger.
The advantage the 88 had over the 75 was in the high explosive shells. More high explosive rounds are fired than anti tank.
The Sherman Firefly was a good compromise. You have a reliable chassis and a hard hitting gun. I am not as sure if the Firefly’s explosive round was better than the US 76mm.
I think the best combination would be a mix of Sherman 105’s and Fireflys.
during tests run by the Army, they could see little difference between the 17 pounder and the 76mm round. This doesn’t make one better than the other, but simply means your not going to have to retool the turret.
The generic 75mm round in the Sherman was often felt to be a better round than the 76mm when shoot HE. I could easily see the 88mm HE being quite a bit better than the 75mm round. The U.S. installed the 105mm howitzer in the Sherman, and the Germans did the same thing in the Stug. For an HE round this was the way to go, but also didn’t do nearly as well against another tank.
Metallurgy; of the armor, the welds holding it together, and of highly stressed parts in the engine and transmission, particularly with regards to material substitutions.
The quality of the fire control and communication equipment.
Workmanship indicating manufacturing quality and the effect of blockades and strategic attacks.
Production quantities and rates.
Protection and vulnerabilites.
Knowledge about the gross configuration of the vehicle were not that pressing or particularly useful. General arrangements are not that helpful without knowing the factors that drive the designs and/or if those factors don’t apply to you. For example, the Sherman was tall because it designed to accommodate a drive shaft coming out of a tilted, large, radial aircraft engine. If you aren’t using radials to power tanks, that knowledge is not useful. If you captured only an M4A2 or M4A3 with a much lower drive shaft, the height of the tank and the wasted space would be puzzling and worthless for your designs.
I was thinking of platoons being a mix of the 105 Shermans and Firefly’s as being a way to go.
Since the M10/M36 didn’t use radial engines they were able to lower the overall height of the vehicle. Why didn’t the US just pop a Sherman turret on top and create a (possibly) more effective tank (at least lower and more difficult to spot), plus sloped armor all around. I believe the turret ring was the same diameter. They could even have put the 76 mm turret on top, and the Brits could have placed a Firefly turret. A new tank using currently available parts!
This was due to doctrine at the time. The idea was that tanks were not supposed to fight other tanks, hence separate tank destroyers. The TD was basically a self-propelled AT gun. Shermans’s were Infantry Support tanks.
Also, only early Shermans (M4 and M4A1) used radial engines. The M4A3 forward used conventional V style engines.
Yes, I understand the A/T doctrine, but I’m not suggesting using a tank destroyer as a tank. If you put a tank turret on an M10/M36, it is no longer a tank destroyer, but a tank. I also realize that M4A3’s onwards used a variety of V engines, but manufacturers didn’t want to interfere with production by redesigning the hull so M4’s retained the same basic hull shape for the rest of their lives, but M10/M36’s were already on the production lines.
Are you suggesting that the tank division refused to touch M10/M36 design because it was designed for A/T use? Didn’t they even experiment? What a ****ed-up narrow-minded mind-set!
I’m sure it was thought of and may have been tested/experimented with. But the limited money at the time was needed and spent elsewhere. It all comes down to money and each side is trying to get the money to build their pieces of equipment; Armor, Infantry (TD Bns were initially part of INF branch), Artillery, etc… The Armor Branch didn’t even want tank destroyers as they wanted the new 90mm guns for their next tank in development, the M26.
Also, the M10/M36 hulls proved to be not that superior to existing Sherman hulls. They really weren’t that different; juts new upper hulls. Shermans were adequate and were working. Why fix it if it isn’t broken?
But not in sufficient quantities? I understand the M36B1 (M36 turret on M4A3 Sherman hull) was a result of an urgent requirement for 90mm gunned TDs and the turrets could be provided quicker than new hulls. While the turrets could be back-fitted to the earlier M10A1 TD hulls these were is short supply and (I understand) lacked the power traverse required by the heavier 90mm turret.
This is not a million miles away from the “birth” of Charioteer - a stop-gap project whereby a 20 Pdr turret was mated to a Cromwell hull in the 1950s. As it happened, 20 Pdr guns were being produced faster than the Centurion tanks they were destined for, so the British Army took the rather daring, yet pragmatic step to marry them up to the still existing workable Cromwells. As it happened, it was almost a step too far as the Regular Army didn’t want that much to do with them so in the end they were passed to the Territorial Army (think Reserves) who as ever, were grateful for whatever scraps they could get from the Regular’s table
Essentially, it appeared to be a bit of tactical liability, but such was the fear, probably rightfully, engendered back then of the Soviet heavy tanks and tank destroyers.
Incidentally, Accurate Armour produce an excellent straightforward conversion kit for the Charioteer - in 1:35.