Jump to content
Sturgeon's House
Jeeps_Guns_Tanks

The M4 Sherman Tank Epic Information Thread.. (work in progress)

Recommended Posts

I have no content to add, I just wanted to say that when he was on comieboo TS, The_Warhawk said that a comprehensive review of sherman-ology would be a huge undertaking, due to the mass of variants, probably second only to a comprehensive review of T-72-ology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no content to add, I just wanted to say that when he was on comieboo TS, The_Warhawk said that a comprehensive review of sherman-ology would be a huge undertaking, due to the mass of variants, probably second only to a comprehensive review of T-72-ology.

 

Yeah, I figure this will be a multi month undertaking.  I figure Version 1 will be ready in a month or so for the WOT forums, and it will have all the basic stuff covered, then I'll get into all the variants etc. 

 

I think the most daunting task in the near future is going to be putting notes in.  

 

Anyway, what do you guys think so far? Any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, ok this thing has gotten so long; it won’t fit in one post. How should I handle this?

 

I'm up to 16,853 words, and added sections about the crew, and 11 different factories that produced the Sherman. I also expanded and cleaned up the opponents section and went through the whole thing tweaking several times. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hmmm, ok this thing has gotten so long; it won’t fit in one post. How should I handle this?

 

 

I'm up to 16,853 words, and added sections about the crew, and 11 different factories that produced the Sherman. I also expanded and cleaned up the opponents section and went through the whole thing tweaking several times. 

 

 

 

 

Add it in subsequent posts. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zaloga took these graphs and crunched the numbers to get his figures.

bxwWdOS.png

eIk3lrf.png

ALSx0Hd.png

 

I would use this with conjunction with Zaloga's commentary. 

 

Forczyk's Commentary on Death Traps

Death Traps, a poorly written memoir by Belton Y. Cooper promises much, but delivers little. Cooper served as an ordnance lieutenant in the 3rd Armor Division (3AD), acting as a liaison officer between the Combat Commands and the Division Maintenance Battalion. One of the first rules of memoir writing is to focus on events of which the author has direct experience; instead, Cooper is constantly discussing high-level or distant events of which he was not a witness. Consequently, the book is riddled with mistakes and falsehoods. Furthermore, the author puts his main effort into an over-simplified indictment of the American Sherman tank as a "death trap" that delayed eventual victory in the Second World War.
 
Cooper's indictment of the Sherman tank's inferiority compared to the heavier German Panther and Tiger tanks ignores many important facts. First, the Sherman was designed for mass production and this allowed the Allies to enjoy a 4-1 superiority in numbers. Second, fewer than 50% of the German armor in France in 1944 were Tigers or Panthers. Third, if the German tanks were as deadly as Cooper claims, why did the Germans lose 1,500 tanks in Normandy against about 1,700 Allied tanks? Indeed, Cooper claims that the 3AD lost 648 Shermans in the war, but the division claimed to have destroyed 1,023 German tanks. Clearly, there was no great kill-ratio in the German favor, and the Allies could afford to trade tank-for-tank. Finally, if the Sherman was such a "death trap," why did the US Army use it later in Korea or the Israelis use it in the 1967 War?
 
There are a great number of mistakes in this book, beginning with Cooper's ridiculous claim that General Patton was responsible for delaying the M-26 heavy tank program. Cooper claims that Patton was at a tank demonstration at Tidworth Downs in January 1944 and that, "Patton...insisted that we should downgrade the M26 heavy tank and concentrate on the M4....This turned out to be one of the most disastrous decisions of World War II, and its effect upon the upcoming battle for Western Europe was catastrophic." Actually, Patton was in Algiers and Italy for most of January 1944, only arriving back in Scotland on 26 January. In fact, it was General McNair of Ground Forces Command, back in the US, who delayed the M-26 program. Cooper sees the M-26 as the panacea for all the US Army's shortcomings and even claims that the American offensive in November 1944, "would have succeeded if we had had the Pershing" and the resulting American breakthrough could have forestalled the Ardennes offensive and "the war could have ended five months earlier." This is just sheer nonsense and ignores the logistical and weather problems that doomed that offensive.
 
Cooper continually discusses events he did not witness and in fact, only about one-third of the book covers his own experiences. Instead of discussing maintenance operations in detail, Cooper opines about everything from U-Boats, to V-2 rockets, to strategic bombing, to the July 20th Plot. He falsely states that, "the British had secured a model of the German enigma decoding machine and were using it to decode German messages." Cooper writes, "not until July 25, the night before the Saint-Lo breakthrough, was Rommel able to secure the release of the panzer divisions in reserve in the Pas de Clais area." Actually, Rommel was wounded on 17 July and in a hospital on July 25th. In another chapter, Cooper writes that, "the British had bombed the city [Darmstadt] during a night raid in February," and "more than 40,000 died in this inferno." Actually, the RAF bombed Darmstadt on 11 September 1944, killing about 12,000. Dresden was bombed on 13 February 1945, killing about 40,000. Obviously, the author has confused cities and raids.
 
Even where Cooper is dealing with issues closer to his own experience, he tends to exaggerate or deliver incorrect information. He describes the VII Corps as an "armor corps," but it was not. Cooper's description of a counterattack by the German Panzer Lehr division is totally inaccurate; he states that, "July 11 became one of the most critical in the battle of Normandy. The Germans launched a massive counterattack along the Saint-Lo- Saint Jean de Daye highway..." In fact, one under strength German division attacked three US divisions. The Americans lost only 100 casualties, while the Germans suffered 25% armor losses. The Official history calls this attack "a dismal and costly failure." Cooper wrote that, "Combat Command A...put up a terrific defense in the vicinity of Saint Jean de Daye..." but actually it was CCB, since CCA in reserve. On another occasion, Cooper claims that his unit received the 60,000th Sherman produced, but official records indicate that only 49,234 of all models were built. Cooper claims that the 3rd Armored Division had 17,000 soldiers, but the authorized strength was about 14,500. Can't this guy remember anything correctly?
 
Cooper's description of the death of MGN Rose is virtually plagiarized from the official history and a number of articles in ARMOR magazine in the past decade reveal that Rose was an extreme risk-taker. Reading "Death Traps," the uninitiated may actually believe that the US Army was badly defeated in Europe. Cooper even claims that, as the 3rd Armored Division approached the Elbe River in the last days of the war that, "with our division spread out and opposed by three new divisions, our situation was critical." If anybody's situation was critical in April 1945, it was Germany's. Actually, the 3rd Armored Division had one key weakness not noted by Cooper, namely the shortage of infantry. The division had a poor ratio of 2:1 between tanks and infantry, and this deficiency often required the 3AD to borrow an infantry RCT from other units. While the much-maligned Sherman tank was far from perfect, it did the job it was designed for, a fact that is missed by this author.
 
Extra Comments

Check out the fighting at Arracourt in September 1944 where standard M4s from 4th AD destroyed two brigades worth of Panthers for only 14 Shermans, a kill ratio of better than 5-1. Yes, the German tankers at Arracourt were rookies and the US tankers had the advantage - just like Barkmann and Whittman had over Allied tankers in June 1944. That's war. At Arracourt, Shermans routinely destroyed Panthers. For more, check out my upcoming book Panther vs T-34 for more info on Panther's actual abilities. Certainly it would have been great if the Sherman had a better main gun in June 1944, but the "Sherman was a bad tank" school are only looking at one aspect. The Sherman's mechanical reliability was a far more important factor than a gun with better penetration. I keep looking for instances where German tanks "slaughtered" US tanks in 1944-45 (ie kill ratios of 2-1 or 3-1 or better) and can't find any major such instances (2-3 tanks lost 1 1 Tiger or Panther, yes, but not whole companies like on the Eastern Front.

 
 

Actually, comments such as "It took about 5 Shermans to kill 1 Panther, of which the Panther would kill 3" are not facts, they are unsubstantiated opinions. Any analysis of actual tank losses reveals that US tank losses were not three times German tank losses or even double. Far More US tanks were destroyed by AT guns and Panzerfausts than German tanks and the humble StuG III accounted for far more successes than Panthers. One look at the German tank "aces" reveals that aside from Barkmann(Me -> Barkmann's success is very questionable, Richard Anderson suggests Barkmann knocked out two Stuarts and come trucks at his corner), there were few Panther aces on the Western Front, but a fair number of successful Pz IV and StuG III commanders. US tank crew losses were not catastrophic as you are suggesting, heavy in some units, but far less than infantry units. On the other hand, the Panzerwaffe had far fewer veterans by December 1944 and had to fight a two-front war (three if you count Italy). The idea that the Sherman was only suitable for the Pacific is ipso facto absurd, since it was the Sherman that won the war in the ETO. If we had to wait for the Pershing, the war would either have dragged into 1946 or the Soviets would have been sitting on the Rhine.

 

I also have some information in this thread about the M4 and its casualty rates. There's some cool statistics there like 29% of frontal hits of Tigers and Panthers were penetrations. 

 

Geez, am I getting my math right? Based on Zaloga's charts there were 30 Sherman vs Panther engagements, wherein a total of 20 Shermans were destroyed in exchange for 72 (!) Panthers. Total Shermans engaged was around 200 versus 150 Panthers.

 

Some kill ratio for the Panther.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geez, am I getting my math right? Based on Zaloga's charts there were 30 Sherman vs Panther engagements, wherein a total of 20 Shermans were destroyed in exchange for 72 (!) Panthers. Total Shermans engaged was around 200 versus 150 Panthers.

 

Some kill ratio for the Panther.

 

I believe that data also holds up my assertion that the advantage of being a Sherman in a US armor formation is a greater advantage than being on the defensive or firing first, but not both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FACT: All Shermans look beautiful in the glow of the late-afternoon sunlight.

Vne32Pt.jpg

 

Also, I never wanted to really complain, but I always thought this guy should have been marked as an M4A1E8, but I'd feel like such a nerd for even suggesting it

 

 

Nice, and it is an M4A1E8, or M4A1 (76)W with HVSS. Though the W is a tad redundant, since all large hatch hulls were wet, well except the 105 gun tanks. ;)

Edited by Jeeps_Guns_Tanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny thing about the M4A1E8, it was the very last version to leave the production line.  The final models were produced in August of 45, after production of all other models had stopped.  If you want to see more M4A1E8 tanks, go to Indiana.  There are 13 of them on display in front of various veterans halls and public parks in that state.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Report of The New Weapons Board - War Dept. - April 27th 1944

 

Tanks: Combat troops have definite ideas as to what improvements should be incorporated in tank design. First, the Board inquired as to what they considered the most important features in atank. The replies were unanimous: the gun was of first consideration; second came dependability;third-whatever armor they could get after the first two requirements were met; fourth-nothing was to be introduced in stowage or otherwise that would interfere in any way with carrying the maximum amount of ammunition. With respect to the gun for the medium tank, they demand larger caliber and higher velocity. The T25 and T26 tanks with the 90-mm gun meet the requirement for more gun power, as does the M4 tank with the 76-mm gun. With respect to ammunition, they want nothing to interfere with ready rounds and they are willing to forego watered ammunition containers if this additional protection involves reducing the number of rounds of ammunition that can be carried. The M4 tank is good and is well liked by everyone.However, the fact that the M4 is the outstanding tank of the war to date should not deter us from giving them a better one, especially when a tremendous improvement in battle efficiency may be attained.

 

I am intrigued that, according to this document, tankers didn't seem to care about wet storage if it meant reducing ammo capacity by any amount. This also sorta refutes idiots who claim that [x] tank was bad because they have a replacement for it already. Why wouldn't you want to give troops a better tank even if the one you have already works fine? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Report of The New Weapons Board - War Dept. - April 27th 1944

 

 

 

 

I am intrigued that, according to this document, tankers didn't seem to care about wet storage if it meant reducing ammo capacity by any amount. This also sorta refutes idiots who claim that [x] tank was bad because they have a replacement for it already. Why wouldn't you want to give troops a better tank even if the one you have already works fine? 

 

Same thing happening right now with the M4 and M855. "They sought replacements, which means they were defective". It's a political game, just trying to dig at your opponent in any way you can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I don't know of any tanks just sitting around in Cali, this state sucks for that kinda thing. 

 

I did know that little fun fact, I can't remember if I noted it above in the M4A1 section. 

Its funny, Cali has several private collections and museums, but very few tanks outside of VFW or American Legion halls.  Whenever I am feeling in need of some company of the Sherman variety, there is a M4A3 on display about a ten minute drive from my house.  I also have a few M60's, an M48 and a M43 SPG within ten minutes of my house.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's mainly old ships and old airplanes here in Washington state with old artillery parked in front of the usual places. Fort Lewis has an interesting collection of old armor at its museum which is visible from I-5 and if you don't mind being in the same zipcode where Brock works.

 

Fort_Lewis_Military_Museum_-_tanks_in_ya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Collimatrix
      Shortly after Jeeps_Guns_Tanks started his substantial foray into documenting the development and variants of the M4, I joked on teamspeak with Wargaming's The_Warhawk that the next thing he ought to do was a similar post on the T-72.
       
      Haha.  I joke.  I am funny man.
       
      The production history of the T-72 is enormously complicated.  Tens of thousands were produced; it is probably the fourth most produced tank ever after the T-54/55, T-34 and M4 sherman.
       
      For being such an ubiquitous vehicle, it's frustrating to find information in English-language sources on the T-72.  Part of this is residual bad information from the Cold War era when all NATO had to go on were blurry photos from May Day parades:
       

       
      As with Soviet aircraft, NATO could only assign designations to obviously externally different versions of the vehicle.  However, they were not necessarily aware of internal changes, nor were they aware which changes were post-production modifications and which ones were new factory variants of the vehicle.  The NATO designations do not, therefore, necessarily line up with the Soviet designations.  Between different models of T-72 there are large differences in armor protection and fire control systems.  This is why anyone arguing T-72 vs. X has completely missed the point; you need to specify which variant of T-72.  There are large differences between them!
       
      Another issue, and one which remains contentious to this day, is the relation between the T-64, T-72 and T-80 in the Soviet Army lineup.  This article helps explain the political wrangling which led to the logistically bizarre situation of three very similar tanks being in frontline service simultaneously, but the article is extremely biased as it comes from a high-ranking member of the Ural plant that designed and built the T-72.  Soviet tank experts still disagree on this; read this if you have some popcorn handy.  Talking points from the Kharkov side seem to be that T-64 was a more refined, advanced design and that T-72 was cheap filler, while Ural fans tend to hold that T-64 was an unreliable mechanical prima donna and T-72 a mechanically sound, mass-producible design.
       
      So, if anyone would like to help make sense of this vehicle, feel free to post away.  I am particularly interested in:
       
      -What armor arrays the different T-72 variants use.  Diagrams, dates of introduction, and whether the array is factory-produced or a field upgrade of existing armor are pertinent questions.
       
      -Details of the fire control system.  One of the Kharkov talking points is that for most of the time in service, T-64 had a more advanced fire control system than contemporary T-72 variants.  Is this true?  What were the various fire control systems in the T-64 and T-72, and what were there dates of introduction?  I am particularly curious when Soviet tanks got gun-follows-sight FCS.
       
      -Export variants and variants produced outside the Soviet Union.  How do they stack up?  Exactly what variant(s) of T-72 were the Iraqis using in 1991?

      -WTF is up with the T-72's transmission?  How does it steer and why is its reverse speed so pathetically low?
       
       
    • By LoooSeR
      Hello, my friends and Kharkovites, take a sit and be ready for your brains to start to work - we are going to tell you a terrible secret of how to tell apart Soviet tanks that actually works like GLORIOUS T-80 and The Mighty T-72 from Kharkovites attempt to make a tank - the T-64. Many of capitalists Westerners have hard time understanding what tank is in front of them, even when they know smart words like "Kontakt-5" ERA. Ignoramus westerners!
       
       
         Because you are all were raised in several hundreds years old capitalism system all of you are blind consumer dummies, that need big noisy labels and shiny colorful things to be attached to product X to be sold to your ignorant heads and wallets, thats why we will need to start with basics. BASICS, DA? First - how to identify to which tank "family" particular MBT belongs to - to T-64 tree, or T-72 line, or Superior T-80 development project, vehicles that don't have big APPLE logo on them for you to understand what is in front of you. And how you can do it in your home without access to your local commie tank nerd? 
       
       
         Easy! Use this Putin approved guide "How to tell appart different families of Soviet and Russian tanks from each other using simple and easy to spot external features in 4 steps: a guide for ignorant western journalists and chairborn generals to not suck in their in-depth discussions on the Internet".
       
       
       
      Chapter 1: Where to look, what to see.
       
      T-64 - The Ugly Kharkovite tank that doesn't work 
       
         We will begin with T-64, a Kharkovite attempt to make a tank, which was so successful that Ural started to work on their replacement for T-64 known as T-72. Forget about different models of T-64, let's see what is similar between all of them.
       
       
       

       
       
         
       
       
      T-72 - the Mighty weapon of Workers and Peasants to smash westerners
       
         Unlike tank look-alike, made by Kharkovites mad mans, T-72 is true combat tank to fight with forces of evil like radical moderate barbarians and westerners. Thats why we need to learn how identify it from T-64 and you should remember it's frightening lines!
       

       
       
       
      The GLORIOUS T-80 - a Weapon to Destroy and Conquer bourgeois countries and shatter westerners army
       
         And now we are looking at the Pride of Party and Soviet army, a true tank to spearhead attacks on decadent westerners, a tank that will destroy countries by sucking their military budgets and dispersing their armies in vortex of air, left from high-speed charge by the GLORIOUS T-80!

      The T-80 shooting down jets by hitting them behind the horizont 
          
    • By EnsignExpendable
      Since I clearly have too much time on my hands, and Jeeps has a pretty cool tread going on, I decided that I'm going to do the same thing, but for T-34s. Here's a quick sample that I whipped up last night, I'm probably going to cover major exterior features of at least wartime T-34s and T-34-85s, then we'll see. I'll update the document in batches per organic time period rather than some arbitrary year-based cutoff. 
       
      Post constructive criticism and the T-34-iest pics you got
    • By SuperComrade
      About to read a (stolen) copy of



      Let the games begin!
×
×
  • Create New...