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StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)


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So somehow it is okay to complain about initial design/components issues of tanks you don't like and bash them all you want, but not to hold other tanks up to the same standard. Okay -_-

 

I brought the objections to the A57 up again, because I was asked to... but next time I will simply make only an original statement and not provide any further clarification or replies when asked again.

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1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

I also wasn't able to find the old article on the Soviet trials of the M4A4; not sure if it was deleted or I am simply mis-remembering things. As far as I am aware, Pasholok's articles are usually not based on the actual Soviet archives, but rather on Western sources such as the British sources mentioned by you. E.g. he cites the US National Archives Records Administration and R. P. Hunnicutt's book on the Sherman.

 

The A57 engine was rejected by the the Canadians (as option for the Ram tank), the US Army and the Soviets, which makes me really question the British data and methodology. When the A57 was first tested in the United States on Aberdeen Proving Ground, it performed well, but upon closer inspection it became apparent that it had overheated and damaged seals and bearings:

 

8wsivrz.pngB2yGMeL.png

 

From "The Ordnance Department: Planning Muniitons for War" of the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army's 1955 series "United States Army in World War II".

The later 400 hours trials also held at Aberdeen Proving Ground are not really a valid representation of actual performance, at least according to Peter Samsonov, these tanks were essentially given unlimited maintenance and spare parts for everything that was not directly the engine, while the test conditions were mild.

 

 

Pasholok's original article linked at the bottom of the English-language version cites Материалы ЦАМО РФ among its sources, presumably for the Soviet tests he went over where the engine performed "flawlessly?"

 

Canadian consideration of the A57 for the Ram sounds interesting. Production of the Ram, of course, was well underway before any A57-engined tanks entered service (fifteen Rams  were ready for shipment by January 1942 and 39 more were awaiting accessory installation; 22 Ram IIs were produced by that March), so had it been offered to Canada significant redesigns of the Ram would presumably have been necessary. Such a redesign scheme may have been deemed not worth it as in February 1942 the Director of Mechanisation Colonel MacFarlane recommended that Canada change over to Sherman production ASAP; a tripartite subcommittee recommended the next month that Montreal Locomotive Works and Canadian Pacific Railways' Angus shop change to Sherman production in 1943.

 

The tests referenced in Planning Munitions for War, occurring in February 1942, were likewise performed before the M3A4 was first accepted for service in June 1942. As that book goes on, "Except for the weight problem, none of the reported difficulties proved insurmountable..." and concludes, "...after several improvements the engine ultimately gave a remarkable account of itself." If during the APG tests referenced by Ross the A57s were provided with lavish maintenance, it would follow that the other engines were as well, and the A57s still excelled compared to them. FWIW, I tend to agree with Toxn that the pendulum of online opinion seems to be swinging past the centerpoint of the Sherman bad-Panther good/Panther good-Sherman bad continuum. All I've read, however, indicates the A57 was not the problem child, and the radials, for example, were more of a pain. :)

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4 hours ago, SH_MM said:

So somehow it is okay to complain about initial design/components issues of tanks you don't like and bash them all you want, but not to hold other tanks up to the same standard. Okay -_-

 

I brought the objections to the A57 up again, because I was asked to... but next time I will simply make only an original statement and not provide any further clarification or replies when asked again.

 

 

You are the one who went on a rant about how you don't like people having tank comparison discussions. And now you're whining about not being able to compare tanks bits?    :timwhat:

 

 

Maybe try sticking to topics you actually know about instead of spewing out a long confusing rant about people discussion things on a discussion forum.  

 

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On 2/4/2021 at 3:14 PM, SH_MM said:

 

That is also why its silly to make any statements on the best tank - there are different ways to operate a tank, different requirements and different capacities. For the Brits the Panther might have been a bad tank (even though they copied the concept in some form to create the Centurion, but whatever...), but for a German or Soviet tank commander the M4 Sherman might have been a bad tank. That is why most such arguments are usually bullshit.

 

If only we had some kind of test report from a country with similar doctrinal requirements to Germany but without the same institutional problems, so that we could get a more clear picture of the Panther's flaws. This is asking too much, but it would be even better if they tested a bunch of them a whole lot, so that we could know it wasn't just that they got a lemon. And I mean, I'm just out in fantasy land here, but what if they also had access to the original factories and spares, so that they could actually maintain the things if need be?

Oh.

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On 2/4/2021 at 12:14 PM, SH_MM said:

 

 

Eo8x4vF.png

 

 

 

 

 

The positions of (some) crew members are cramped? Well, this was a WW2 tank for fuck's sake. Pretty much all of them were cramped. The Panzerkampfwagen III and IV were more cramped, the M3 Lee/Grant, the Firefly variant of the M4 Sherman, etc. Every tank in WW2 was cramped if you apply modern ergonomic standards... even the Sherman. The Sherman however was also an incredible tall target. The gun wasn't awkward to load from a modern perspective, but by WW2 standards the huge size of the shells was uncommon and akward. I don't remember exactly if it was the Firefly or the Pershing, but in one of these tanks the loader had to rotate the round taken from the ready rack in both axis in order to load the gun. That was awkward.

 

 

 

 

I bring this back up In the spirit of not letting bullshit history spread. 

 

 

Are you trying to paint the Sherman 75 tanks as hard to load? The early versions could put out 15 rounds a minute with a good loader. The rounds for the 75mm M3 gun were not considered overly large, and they were not overly heavy.    Also, if you're not sure of something, maybe you shouldn't try and use it to make some weird point.  

 

http://www.theshermantank.com/wp-content/uploads/M3-gun-data-image.png

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

 

If only we had some kind of test report from a country with similar doctrinal requirements to Germany but without the same institutional problems, so that we could get a more clear picture of the Panther's flaws. This is asking too much, but it would be even better if they tested a bunch of them a whole lot, so that we could know it wasn't just that they got a lemon. And I mean, I'm just out in fantasy land here, but what if they also had access to the original factories and spares, so that they could actually maintain the things if need be?

Oh.

 

Post-Kursk early Panther evaluation by Soviets - in short: engine kept braking over and over again. Even when the tank did only 220 km in the test, the engine broke three times, transmission and final drive worked well, the report is overall positive bar the engine reliability (and side armour - it's notable that Soviets already in this early report consider Panther to be more of a tank destroyer than a tank per se), but the driven distance is very short and in total the engine did less than 14 hours in the testing. On the other hand it's early Panther known for being an unreliable disaster on tracks and before introducing the lowered rpm range.    

http://www.tankarchives.ca/2014/04/panther-trials.html

 

Per this February 1944 German field report the Panther engine worked for 700-1000 km. For comparison Peter adds a field report from Soviet 6th Guard Army with overall lifespan of their vehicles (including M4A2 which is rated same as T-34 at 2000-2500 with individual machines at 3000+ km).

http://www.tankarchives.ca/2013/06/tank-reliability.html 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

Are you trying to paint the Sherman 75 tanks as hard to load? The early versions could put out 15 rounds a minute with a good loader. The rounds for the 75mm M3 gun were not considered overly large, and they were not overly heavy.    Also, if you're not sure of something, maybe you shouldn't try and use it to make some weird point.  

 

http://www.theshermantank.com/wp-content/uploads/M3-gun-data-image.png

 

 

15rpm isnt exactly great in comparison when the french report has this to say about panther rof A rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute is only permitted in exceptional cases when circumstances so dictate.

 

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36 minutes ago, holoween said:

 

15rpm isnt exactly great in comparison when the french report has this to say about panther rof A rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute is only permitted in exceptional cases when circumstances so dictate.

 

 

According to the Soviet test report (posted above) the practical rate of fire for Panther was 6-8 per minute. 

 

20 rpm for Panther is IMHO nonsense and absolutely impossible to achieve (you really can't do this every 3 seconds). Have you seen the round, the space around the breech and where the rounds are stored? 20 rpm is practical rate of fire for tiny 37 mm or 2pdr gun where you can load by one hand. 

 

15 rpm for 75 mm is great (it was for sure less in practical situations).  

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29 minutes ago, holoween said:

 

15rpm isnt exactly great in comparison when the french report has this to say about panther rof A rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute is only permitted in exceptional cases when circumstances so dictate.

 

 

15 RPM is amazing, when the gun and recoil mechanism can do it all day long if it has too.  Lets take a look at what the report says.

Quote

 During rapid rate of fire it is not uncommon to be forced to break off firing when the recoil of the gun has reached its permissible limit (cease fire).

­ A rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute is only permitted in exceptional cases when circumstances so dictate.

These refer to a limitation in the gun of the Panther.  The recoil mechanism required time to recuperate from the forces of repeatedly firing the gun.  After a few rounds, the gun needed a period of cease-fire.  This is not uncommon for high-velocity cannons.

 

We know why you just didn't quote the passage now don't we. 

 

20 rounds permitted only under exceptional cases, and limited by the recoil mechanism.  The M3 gun is also capable of 20RPM on stand, without having to worry about the recoil mechanism failing. Still, this is very impressive for the Panther, and everyone was impressed with the gun, it was the rest of the tank that was a hot Nazi mess. 

 

 

If you think a Panther fired 20 rounds per minute on a regular basis, you might be a wehraboo.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Beer said:

 

According to soviet test report (posted above) the practical rate of fire for Panther was 6-8 per minute. 

 

20 rpm for Panther is IMHO nonsense and absolutely impossible to achieve (you really can't do this every 3 seconds). Have you seen the round, the space around the breech and where the rounds are stored? 20 rpm is practical rate of fire for tiny 37 mm or 2pdr gun where you can load by one hand. 

 

15 rpm for 75 mm is great (it was for sure less in practical situations).  

Yeah, I bet the only way they did it is in the early days when they just piled lose ammo into the turret basket... and then only until that ammo and ready racks were gone.  Maybe when the whole crew was feeding the gun when they were acting as an artillery battery. 

 

This was what was so amusing about SH-MM complaining about the Shermans HUGE ACKWARD rounds.  I mean LOL. 

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8 hours ago, Beer said:

Even when the tank did only 220 km in the test, the engine broke three times, transmission and final drive worked well,

 

Basically, another nail in the coffin of the "150km final drive" myth. The french report is valid and good, but it is totally clear for me that who typed it, made a mistake. Humans arent perfect, and mistakes occur. Such typos can appear anywhere, I actually met one in a soviet AFV manual too. 

But eventually, the correct (and in my opinion quite realistic) 1500km value can still be considered BAD and does NOT dispel the fact that the final drives were indeed the weakest point of the Panther. 

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1 hour ago, Beer said:

 

According to the Soviet test report (posted above) the practical rate of fire for Panther was 6-8 per minute. 

 

20 rpm for Panther is IMHO nonsense and absolutely impossible to achieve (you really can't do this every 3 seconds). Have you seen the round, the space around the breech and where the rounds are stored? 20 rpm is practical rate of fire for tiny 37 mm or 2pdr gun where you can load by one hand. 

 

15 rpm for 75 mm is great (it was for sure less in practical situations).  

 

First i agree that 20rpm isnt really a practical rate of fire especially for longer durations. It is however a reasonable indicator that the loaders position isnt as bad as represented by the chieftain who btw also uses the hull storage for some reason to demonstrate how bad it is rather than the "ready" ammo in the turret.

 

55 minutes ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

15 RPM is amazing, when the gun and recoil mechanism can do it all day long if it has too.  Lets take a look at what the report says.

 

We know why you just didn't quote the passage now don't we. 

 

20 rounds permitted only under exceptional cases, and limited by the recoil mechanism.  The M3 gun is also capable of 20RPM on stand, without having to worry about the recoil mechanism failing. Still, this is very impressive for the Panther, and everyone was impressed with the gun, it was the rest of the tank that was a hot Nazi mess. 

 

 

If you think a Panther fired 20 rounds per minute on a regular basis, you might be a wehraboo.

 

 

I didnt quote the entire passage because the question was if the panther or sherman in this instance had rate of fire limitations based on how quickly the gun can be loaded so in effect is the loaders position well enough desigened with the assertion being panther would be bad. The french having to write this limitation down does tell that it was at least possible for some period of time to achieve this rate of fire (if you dont have to switch targets see the soviet report).

 

Also nice going immediately resorting to calling me a wehraboo for drawing a comparison based on the documents were given because it doesnt support the panther being terrible.

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10 minutes ago, holoween said:

 

First i agree that 20rpm isnt really a practical rate of fire especially for longer durations. It is however a reasonable indicator that the loaders position isnt as bad as represented by the chieftain who btw also uses the hull storage for some reason to demonstrate how bad it is rather than the "ready" ammo in the turret.

 

No, it's not an indicator of anything related to Panther. That is a technical limit of the gun alone not a rate of fire achievable when installed in the tank. Those are two very different things. 

 

Chieftain used ammo stored in the sponsons because there was no ammo stored in the turret in most of Panthers. AFAIK the rounds were too big to fit in the turret. 

pzpanther-charakter3.jpg

 

Left is Ausf.D, right is Ausf.G I think. 

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1 minute ago, Beer said:

 

No, it's not an indicator of anything related to Panther. That is a technical limit of the gun alone not a rate of fire achievable when installed in the tank. Those are two very different things. 

 

Chieftain used ammo stored in the sponsons because there was no ammo stored in the turret in most of Panther. AFAIK the rounds were too big to fit in the turret. 

pzpanther-charakter3.jpg

 

I was just about to correct my post i meant the vertical ammo in the hull which is far easier to access.

 

Also limitations that never matter are not put into such reports.

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12 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

 

Basically, another nail in the coffin of the "150km final drive" myth. The french report is valid and good, but it is totally clear for me that who typed it, made a mistake. Humans arent perfect, and mistakes occur. Such typos can appear anywhere, I actually met one in a soviet AFV manual too. 

But eventually, the correct (and in my opinion quite realistic) 1500km value can still be considered BAD and does NOT dispel the fact that the final drives were indeed the weakest point of the Panther. 

 

 

I think there is a good chance of it being a typo, but the final drives were a problem. The final drives being an issue are even documented in the boo Bible, Panther Tank the Quest for Combat Supremacy by Jentz documents the horrible operational rate of this tank from start to finish. 

 

The idea that having a supply chain, that keeps spare parts available for a tank, means that tank isn't actually reliable is really bad argument. You can't punish a Nation in an argument for knowing about logistics, and designing tanks to be easily maintained and repairable by the soldier.  Not saying it was you who made this argument, @heretic88 but it was spewed somewhere in this thread.  The items Shermans needed to stay running were things like, sparkplugs, fuel filters, road wheels, or bearings for them from wear and tear from those long road marches across Europe! Basically the little things everyone knows wear out, the big mechanical bits like the Tranny, Differential and Final drivers under normal use just don't wear out that fast. Most restored shermans, even one used as a demo bulldozer, that smashed down a HUGE neighborhood in Oakland California in the 50s, require no restoration work other than some external bolt replacements and a good paint job.  Trying to paint the Sherman as un reliable is a fucking travesty to history. 

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15 minutes ago, holoween said:

 

First i agree that 20rpm isnt really a practical rate of fire especially for longer durations. It is however a reasonable indicator that the loaders position isnt as bad as represented by the chieftain who btw also uses the hull storage for some reason to demonstrate how bad it is rather than the "ready" ammo in the turret.

 

I didnt quote the entire passage because the question was if the panther or sherman in this instance had rate of fire limitations based on how quickly the gun can be loaded so in effect is the loaders position well enough desigened with the assertion being panther would be bad. The french having to write this limitation down does tell that it was at least possible for some period of time to achieve this rate of fire (if you dont have to switch targets see the soviet report).

 

Also nice going immediately resorting to calling me a wehraboo for drawing a comparison based on the documents were given because it doesnt support the panther being terrible.

 

Make better arguments, get thicker skin. 

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8 minutes ago, Beer said:

 

I'm sorry if you don't understand written text. 

 

" During rapid rate of fire it is not uncommon to be forced to break off firing when the recoil of the gun has reached its permissible limit (cease fire).

­ A rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute is only permitted in exceptional cases when circumstances so dictate."

 

I dont know how you can read this as being only a theoretical limitation to the rate of fire because you cant acheive it anyways. The way that is written sais to me they can achieve this rof at least for short periods of time but shouldnt unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you keep in mind how variable loading time for a round can be (1 round lap loaded and anotehr few already unfastened in their racks for quick access or even simply laid into the turret unfixed while in a defensive position) i dont see the possibility of the panther reaching 20rpm for 3-5 rounds as impossible.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, holoween said:

 

" During rapid rate of fire it is not uncommon to be forced to break off firing when the recoil of the gun has reached its permissible limit (cease fire).

­ A rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute is only permitted in exceptional cases when circumstances so dictate."

 

I dont know how you can read this as being only a theoretical limitation to the rate of fire because you cant acheive it anyways. The way that is written sais to me they can achieve this rof at least for short periods of time but shouldnt unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you keep in mind how variable loading time for a round can be (1 round lap loaded and anotehr few already unfastened in their racks for quick access or even simply laid into the turret unfixed while in a defensive position) i dont see the possibility of the panther reaching 20rpm for 3-5 rounds as impossible.

 

It is a techical limit of the gun. It doesn't say anything about it's installation. It only says that it shall not be fired at such ROF - the gun. It doesn't say anything about how it is loaded or if that is in Panther. It means that if you put it in a bunker with two or three loaders they shall not fire it faster. It is a limit of the gun, nothing more nothing less. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, heretic88 said:

 

Basically, another nail in the coffin of the "150km final drive" myth. The french report is valid and good, but it is totally clear for me that who typed it, made a mistake. Humans arent perfect, and mistakes occur. Such typos can appear anywhere, I actually met one in a soviet AFV manual too. 

But eventually, the correct (and in my opinion quite realistic) 1500km value can still be considered BAD and does NOT dispel the fact that the final drives were indeed the weakest point of the Panther. 

I've always leaned towards this as well.

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35 minutes ago, Beer said:

 

It is a techical limit of the gun. It doesn't say anything about it's installation. It only says that it shall not be fired at such ROF - the gun. It doesn't say anything about how it is loaded or if that is in Panther. It means that if you put it in a bunker with two or three loaders they shall not fire it faster. It is a limit of the gun, nothing more nothing less. 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, the mechanical limit of the gun, usually established on a fixed test mount on a range. The M3 Gun was also 20 RPM, but the recoil mechanism did not fail after a short number of rounds like the Panthers gun. 

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Let’s all take a breath, mates; it’s getting a little heated in here, and we’re better than that. 
 

I think arguing about whether the 7.5cm KwK42 or 75mm M3 is the better weapon is like arguing whether the M1 Thompson or the Kar98k is a better gun. They’re quite different, the M3 being (effectively) a lengthened howitzer that can use AP shells, while the KwK is a dedicated anti tank weapon. A better comparison would be the 76mm M1 (or 17 pdr) which was an anti tank weapon from the start. 

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On 2/6/2021 at 6:26 AM, Beer said:

Post-Kursk early Panther evaluation by Soviets - in short: engine kept braking over and over again. Even when the tank did only 220 km in the test, the engine broke three times, transmission and final drive worked well, the report is overall positive bar the engine reliability (and side armour - it's notable that Soviets already in this early report consider Panther to be more of a tank destroyer than a tank per se), but the driven distance is very short and in total the engine did less than 14 hours in the testing. On the other hand it's early Panther known for being an unreliable disaster on tracks and before introducing the lowered rpm range.    

http://www.tankarchives.ca/2014/04/panther-trials.html


I love how this tank is driven a comparable amount of distance to the French reported lifespan of their final drives, and @heretic88declares it "another nail in the coffin of the 150km final drive myth". Completely ridiculous, and shame on you for being so flagrantly dishonest about it. There's no inspection of the final drives given in that report, which just means "they didn't break". Also, the tank (singular) was driven on roads and highways exclusively, while the French Panthers were used operationally for two years. In the French report, they explicitly describe driving on "rocky terrain", so it seems entirely reasonable to suppose the 501st took them off roading from time to time. This produces substantially greater stresses on a tank's drives, which might neatly account for the discrepancy.

Now, could the "150km" figure be a typo? Certainly. It's certainly an extreme figure, and would require, oh, I dunno, the Germans to have used something like undersized straight-cut final drive gears to be believable. The fact that the final drive assembly for a US 30 ton tank looks like this:

vYuHIPj.jpg

and the final drive assembly for a German 45 ton tank looks like this:

dGktjYv.png

[EDIT: I erred here, the image I had previously inserted, located here, is of a Tiger I final drive. I have replaced it with an image from Spielberger of the Panther's final drives]

Ought to be a clue for us.

I think where some people get confused is that the short lived final drives and the problematic and difficult to swap transmission of the Panther are often brought up together. I think this gives some the idea that every 150km (which is like, a couple tanks of gas) Panther crews were pulling the turret and changing out the whole transmission. No. The final drives on the Panther were changeable from the outside:

db6953743fa82c4b7080193a318d522a.jpg

So it's not completely absurd to suggest that the French rode their Panthers hard and kept having to stop to pull final drives. It's actually fairly reasonable.

It is, however, certainly dishonest to say that a test of one early vehicle driven only on roads is comparable to an experience report written by an entire unit operating 50 vehicles over 2 years, and that this figure disproves the French tests. In order to continue here, you must admit, it is simply what you prefer to believe.

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11 minutes ago, Lord_James said:

Let’s all take a breath, mates; it’s getting a little heated in here, and we’re better than that. 


We are? I remember this forum being a bunch of expats from WoT NA, who self-styled as cavemen who hunted wehraboos for sport. But I'm sure you're right. ;)

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