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


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On 2/5/2021 at 10:39 AM, Beer said:

See both USA and USSR who mastered the unification and serviceability

Can't comment on USSR but since there were such an immense range of radically different configurations of "Sherman", support was a nightmare.  Yes, that is a modern retrospective judgement.  The trade off was production and quantity delivered.  Never mind the quality, feel the width.  Production wins wars.  The guy who can bring the most to the fight and keep bringing more wins - always.  So "best"has many values, all relative.

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1 hour ago, DIADES said:

Can't comment on USSR but since there were such an immense range of radically different configurations of "Sherman", support was a nightmare.  Yes, that is a modern retrospective judgement.  The trade off was production and quantity delivered.  Never mind the quality, feel the width.  Production wins wars.  The guy who can bring the most to the fight and keep bringing more wins - always.  So "best"has many values, all relative.

 

The Sherman "nightmare" is massive overstatement in comparison with the German mess. They had dozens of different AFV and hundreds of variants. That was a completely different scale of nightmare. 

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2 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Wonder why... Maybe because whole eastern europe was under soviet influence? German stuff, especially heavy weapons didnt fit in that military structure. So they had to go. Also dont forget that spare parts werent manufactured anymore.

 

That is not true, sorry. ČSLA used Pz.IV till 1954, StuG.III till 1960 and Hetzer till 1963 (even 12 Marder III and 38 LT-38 Pz.38(t) were used). Also the Panthers and Bergepanthers were officially addopted and withdrawn in 1955 but the issue is that the standard tanks just sit in the depots. Nobody used them for anything more than few occasional drives and a movie production. The Bergepnathers were used and even several standard tanks were rebuilt to them because the army lacked heavy ARV (it had also 8 Cromwell ARV and later many Cromwells were rebuilt to makeshift ARVs). Some of the ex-German weapons were uven used in combat in Slovakia against Bandera units in 1945-47 (AFAIK mainly LT-38). 

 

It will probably surprise you but the most numerous tanks of our army after the war were British ones and it stayed like that well into 50'. It was 190 Cromwells/Centaurs, 20 Challengers and 30 Stuart VI. The second most numerous were German and only the third were Soviet ones. In numbers it was 42% British, 36% German and only 22% Soviet (we had more StuG than T-34 well into fiftees). The transition to Soviet machinery didn't even start until after 1950. Prior there was still ongoing domestic tank program which was later killed (largely for political reasons) and replaced by Soviet vehicles (pity because the domestic designs were a very curious mix of all AFV schools taking something from every side of the conflict).  

 

The argument that heavy tanks were not fit into the military structure doesn't hold water too. We had a heavy self-propelled regiment till 1956 which had officially a Panther batallion - but the Panthers were just stored. AFAIK the actually used machinery was a batallion of ISU-152 and a batallion of StuG.III. The plan was to rearm the unit with IS-3 but that never happened because of (wise) decision to concentrate on MBT only.  

 

PS Sorry for slightly different years than in previous post. It comes from the fact that the service of StuG.III didn't end with their sale to Syria. Only 12 were sold and the rest (95 pieces) continued serving in ČSLA till 1960.  

 

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7 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Yes, after the war! :D And in 1945, the T-34, even the /85 was already obsolete.

 

There is a good book about this. In fact the best about the T-34. Robert Michulec, Miroslaw Zientarzewski - T-34 Mythical Weapon. Yes, its not a pleasant read for T-34 fanboys. But history doesnt care for fanboys. 

Engine life was around 150 hours. "Great" achievement... Very "reliable" engine... poor build quality, non functioning air filters, etc... Of course it got better by 1944, but this problem was truly fixed only after the war. Engine was also prone to overheating thanks to poorly designed and made cooling system.

And then the "magnificent" gearbox. For which you sometimes need a sledgehammer to shift gears. Not a myth, a fact, confirmed by hungarian tankists too. Check the CIA report about the captured T-34/85. It had 741km in the clock. The gearbox was already in very bad condition, all thanks to its incredibly primitive design. Americans judged it "already failed". 

I talked to old tankists who served on T-34s, and they weren really enthusiastic about it. Reliability was a definite problem. 

The french report about the problems with turret traverse on slopes also applied to the T-34/85.

 

Wonder why... Maybe because whole eastern europe was under soviet influence? German stuff, especially heavy weapons didnt fit in that military structure. So they had to go. Also dont forget that spare parts werent manufactured anymore. 

I really like the argument that "The T-34 and Sherman were used until the '90s and lots of stuff were based on them, but the german stuff were technological dead ends..." Yes. Germany lost the war... And then they didnt really had an army for ten years. And when they finally reorganized, they already found themselves in either NATO or WP. So germans on either side had to adapt. There was no place of further development of ww2 designs. 

 

So basically, you've lost this argument so hard you're trying to make it about the T-34 instead of facing up to the reality of the Panther. Don't think we didn't notice!

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6 hours ago, Beer said:

(pity because the domestic designs were a very curious mix of all AFV schools taking something from every side of the conflict).  


Off topic, but do you plan to make posts on these like you did the “interwar Czech bits”? 

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19 minutes ago, Lord_James said:


Off topic, but do you plan to make posts on these like you did the “interwar Czech bits”? 

 

I can write something short, why not.

 

By the way one of the test vehicles which is relevant to this particular German thread was a Tiger equipped with an autoloader (yes, that thing known to WoT players as armament of the Škoda T-25 existed, unlike the tank itself). AFAIK that was the only Tiger not scraped after the war but sadly it didn't survive and there are no photos I know about :( 

 

Several Königstigers which were left here ended sadly all scraped (they were nearly all broken or destroyed but few pieces were just stuck in mud). People back then had different prpblems than to think about museum exhibits of the future... 

 

Topic on :) 

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14 hours ago, heretic88 said:

non functioning air filters

 

This one stands out to me, because the only report I have ever seen where the T-34's air filters didn't work (as opposed to working poorly) were when it was tested at Aberdeen.

 

And the reason for that was very simple - the early T-34 they had was equipped with Pomon-type air filters, which are an oil bath filter, and for some reason the US testing crew never oiled it.

 

It is not a big shock that an oil bath filter fails without oil.

 

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18 hours ago, DIADES said:

Can't comment on USSR but since there were such an immense range of radically different configurations of "Sherman", support was a nightmare.  Yes, that is a modern retrospective judgement.  The trade off was production and quantity delivered.  Never mind the quality, feel the width.  Production wins wars.  The guy who can bring the most to the fight and keep bringing more wins - always.  So "best"has many values, all relative.

 

 

You're just making stuff up. LOL "radically" different Shermans still interchanged most parts, and the US Army used the M4 and M4A1 until the A3 came along and the M4 and M4A1 are the same tank.   Why don't you provide a source for these amazing takes of yours. 

 

Did you read up on the T2O series, so you can see how bad your other argument was?

 

 

You're arguments are such trash, you're trolling us right?   

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8 hours ago, TokyoMorose said:

This one stands out to me, because the only report I have ever seen where the T-34's air filters didn't work (as opposed to working poorly) were when it was tested at Aberdeen.

Then check the CIA report. The captured T-34/85 uses the later multicyclone filter, and it had an incredibly low efficiency. The earlier oil bath filters didnt work at all, no matter if it was oiled or not. The problem was solved in 1955 with the introduction of the excellent VTI-3 filters

 

Edit: "The cleaners were of such low efficiency and low dirt capacity that, in dusty operation, they should have been cleaned at least once each day and preferably several times if any appreciable engine protection were to be obtained." CIA report about the multicyclone filters

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48 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

Then check the CIA report. The captured T-34/85 uses the later multicyclone filter, and it had an incredibly low efficiency. The earlier oil bath filters didnt work at all, no matter if it was oiled or not. The problem was solved in 1955 with the introduction of the excellent VTI-3 filters

 

Edit: "The cleaners were of such low efficiency and low dirt capacity that, in dusty operation, they should have been cleaned at least once each day and preferably several times if any appreciable engine protection were to be obtained." CIA report about the multicyclone filters

 

Cleaning once per day is within spec for multicyclone, which was certified to meet its filtration quality for 20 hours without cleaning. Air purity was kept at 100% (within margin of testing error) to densities of 3 grams per cubic centimeter - with is reasonably dusty.

It should be mentioned cleaning multicylcone (or cyclone) is actually quite simple. Like any cyclone-filtering vacuum cleaner all you do is disconnect the dust bin, dump it out, and reconnect it.

 

The CIA report is based on an NK tank that was battered to hell and back and not properly maintained for its years with the DPRK. It is unsurprising elements of it were damaged.  And on the other hand, we have combat experience corroborated by German and Japanese reports of really quite vast and long-ranging movements in Bagration and Manchuria by Soviet armor.

 

Oh, and dust cleaning with filters is not some magic process either - if a filter lasts longer between cleaning it is purely because the filter has more dust capacity, and will take proportionally longer to clean. You spend about the same amount of time overall cleaning any dust filter of a given configuration for a given volume of dust, irregardless of the fine details that differ it. (Note how cleaning a vacuum cleaner of a standard size is basically the same work irrespective of brand and design features)

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8 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Lost? Its not me who is clinging to a single source...

 

On 2/6/2021 at 6:08 PM, Sturgeon said:

 

This is tiresome. See this thread? You are arguing with exactly the same group of people, but now they're 8 years older and wiser. Based on your posts, it looks like you might even be working off that thread, at least you are making the same arguments.

 

Do I know why the Bergepanther is listed as having 4200 km final drive life in Jentz? No. It was probably taken out of a manual. It could have been for any number of other reasons. That does not mean we should ignore the experience of the French, Littlefield, and even Heinz Friggin Guderian.

 

This is a very old, stale, and tired argument. Did Panther final drives have severe problems? Yes, Guderian talks about it and practically everyone else who ever drove the damn things talks about it too. Is it possible to put final drives in a Panther that do not break after 150km? Yes, probably. Did the Germans have such final drives which were superior in either configuration or material as to eliminate the problem? Seems unlikely but really anything is possible. Does this excuse the tank from being a veritable shit show from start to finish and a virtual disaster for the German war effort? Not at all.

 

Case closed, end of discussion.

 


To say you're "not arguing in good faith" is a criminal understatement. At this point, you're just acting a clown, and I'm happy to let you do so. Carry on.

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11 hours ago, heretic88 said:

 

Edit: "The cleaners were of such low efficiency and low dirt capacity that, in dusty operation, they should have been cleaned at least once each day and preferably several times if any appreciable engine protection were to be obtained." CIA report about the multicyclone filters

Just like the filters I used on M1A1. Not saying that T-34 filters were as good as the filters on the M1A1, but even modern filters need to be serviced daily under dusty conditions if you want your tank to work right.

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Indeed, during ODS crews found that the engine air filters of the Abrams required cleaning after as little as 6 hours of desert operation, and daily even when the engine was not started. As a result, 2/2 ACR, for example, went to battle with three times the normal stock of engine air filters.

 

While we're on the subject, TM 9-759 for the M4A3 from September 1944 says of dusty conditions: "Even when the above precautions [avoiding other vehicles' dust clouds as much as possible and not exceeding speed specified for whatever gear being used] are taken, it may be necessary to clean the carburetor air cleaners and the air cleaner on the filter pipe as often as every two hours. If the air cleaners are kept clean and their oil level is maintained, little damage to the engine will result. It is possible to wear out the engine in one hour or less if the air cleaners are neglected." TM 9-731B from January 1943 for the M4A2 says, "The frequency of servicing air cleaners depends on the dust and sand conditions encountered. Under extreme dust and sand conditions, service air cleaners every eight hours to prevent premature engine wear." TM 9-754 from January 1943 for the M4A4 also advises, "The air cleaners should be cleaned daily when the vehicle is operated over dusty terrains..." TM 9-731A from December 1943 for the M4 and M4A1 says the air cleaners should be drained, cleaned and refilled "[d]aily, when operating on dirt roads or cross country, or every 250 miles, when operating on paved roads or during wet weather..." And for completeness's sake, TM 9-756 from December 1943 for the M4A6 instructs that air cleaners are serviced "[e]very 5 to 60 hours of operation, depending on dust conditions..." and that they are to be drained, cleaned, and refilled daily. Also, "Every 100 miles, remove air cleaners, wash all parts, and reoil."

 

So for the CIA engineers to complain that the T-34-85's oil bath air cleaners needed to be serviced daily in dusty conditions to provide decent protection seems strange. When the report says of the subject's "wholly inadequate engine intake air cleaners", "Several hundred miles in very dusty operation would probably be accompanied by severe engine power loss" or "The cleaners were of such low efficiency and low dirt capacity that, in dusty operation, they should have been cleaned at least once each day and preferably several times if any appreciable engine protection were to be obtained", one wonders if they had read manuals for their own country's vehicles. The T-34-85's air cleaners may well have been inefficient and of low dirt capacity, but the fact that they needed servicing at least daily in dusty conditions does not per se seem to be good supporting evidence. Some type of quantification would have gone far in supporting that assertion.

Edited by DogDodger
left out the publication year for TMs 9-731B and 9-756
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14 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

I will note you did not deny trying to change the subject to the T-34.

That was to show the double standards and hipocrisy. 

One vehicle that had reliability problems, but generally performed well in combat is an utter piece of trash, one of the worst tanks ever.

The other vehicle that also had just as many reliability problems, generally performed badly in combat, is a good piece of equipment... Of course, for some people, the first vehicle is a black sheep, and the second is a "holy cow" or something like that... 

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31 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

That was to show the double standards and hipocrisy. 

One vehicle that had reliability problems, but generally performed well in combat is an utter piece of trash, one of the worst tanks ever.

The other vehicle that also had just as many reliability problems, generally performed badly in combat, is a good piece of equipment... Of course, for some people, the first vehicle is a black sheep, and the second is a "holy cow" or something like that... 

   Are you serious?

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1 hour ago, heretic88 said:

That was to show the double standards and hipocrisy. 

One vehicle that had reliability problems, but generally performed well in combat is an utter piece of trash, one of the worst tanks ever.

The other vehicle that also had just as many reliability problems, generally performed badly in combat, is a good piece of equipment... Of course, for some people, the first vehicle is a black sheep, and the second is a "holy cow" or something like that... 

I think you're stretching massively if you're going to claim that the T-34 had "just as many" reliability problems as Panther.

 

Here's a quick sanity check: during the early part of Barbarossa, parts of the German front moved around 1500km (around 16km per day) against heavy resistance during a three-month campaign season. Similarly, during the last phases of the war parts of the Soviet army were moving around 1000km (around 11km per day) during a similar time period against organised German opposition. In both cases the factors limiting operational tempo were opposition and supply rather than the mechanical limits of the equipment involved.

 

During Kursk, however, the Germans moved barely 100km over the course of twenty days (around 5km per day). During this time, the units operating Panthers were losing something like 8% of their vehicles a day due to mechanical breakdowns. At the end of some of the fiercest fighting of the war the ratio of combat-damaged tanks needing repairs to broken-down tanks was still 50/50, and only 10 out of the original 200 vehicles were actually operational.

 

Even granting that this was the debut of a type which is often stated as being "rushed into service" (despite a more than 5-year development cycle), there is just no way that the German army could have sustained the operational tempo that they achieved at the beginning of the war with a tank force made up of Panthers. The Soviets, meanwhile, seem to have kept up more or less fine with their T-34s.

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5 hours ago, heretic88 said:

One vehicle that had reliability problems, but generally performed well in combat is an utter piece of trash, one of the worst tanks ever.

The other vehicle that also had just as many reliability problems, generally performed badly in combat, is a good piece of equipment... Of course, for some people, the first vehicle is a black sheep, and the second is a "holy cow" or something like that... 

 

OMG, let's agree to disagree and move on. 

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15 hours ago, heretic88 said:

That was to show the double standards and hipocrisy. 

One vehicle that had reliability problems, but generally performed well in combat is an utter piece of trash, one of the worst tanks ever.

The other vehicle that also had just as many reliability problems, generally performed badly in combat, is a good piece of equipment... Of course, for some people, the first vehicle is a black sheep, and the second is a "holy cow" or something like that... 

 

What I find most amusing about this is that the attitude he attributes to us towards the T-34 is entirely his own invention. Nobody mentioned the T-34 (except Beer, and only in passing) before he brought it up. It's clear and obvious whataboutism he's using in a very pathetic attempt to disguise the fact the he got absolutely reamed for a new garbage chute size in this argument.

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I'd also just like to chime in and point out the circumstances surrounding the war time production T-34s, since those are the ones Heretic88 wants to focus on in particular, where their production lines had to be completely disassembled and moved across the continent, and the things were basically being thrown out as quickly as possible with very little regard for Q/C, due to the fact that the USSR was literally fighting for it's survival and had an obsolete vehicle pool that dearly needed replacement even before the war broke out.

 

Do you really think equating the reliability of the Panther to something like that is doing it any kind of favor? (Especially when the evidence points to it being even worse)

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17 hours ago, heretic88 said:

That was to show the double standards and hipocrisy. 

One vehicle that had reliability problems, but generally performed well in combat is an utter piece of trash, one of the worst tanks ever.

The other vehicle that also had just as many reliability problems, generally performed badly in combat, is a good piece of equipment... Of course, for some people, the first vehicle is a black sheep, and the second is a "holy cow" or something like that... 

 

Yes the old unreliable r34.... So unreliable that during the recent ukraine festivities we have MULTIPLE documented instances of t34's parked on display in the weather for the last 7 decades being started in short order and driven into battle.

 

Truly a disgrace that some impudent curs had the gall to call these moscovite failure tractors tanks!

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22 hours ago, Toxn said:

During Kursk, however, the Germans moved barely 100km over the course of twenty days (around 5km per day). During this time, the units operating Panthers were losing something like 8% of their vehicles a day due to mechanical breakdowns.

It is true. The early Panther D was definitely horrible, probably one of the most unreliable tanks of the war. But it is a big error to apply the problems of the D to the later A and G models. Lots of problems were fixed, especially in the engine & associated components. 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

It is true. The early Panther D was definitely horrible, probably one of the most unreliable tanks of the war. But it is a big error to apply the problems of the D to the later A and G models. Lots of problems were fixed, especially in the engine & associated components. 

 

 

This breaks the improvements down very well:

 

https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/02/08/from-the-editor-panther-reliability/

 

In general: the engine got worked on extensively (the changes being minutely detailed), with non-specific fixed applied to the transmission and final drives.

 

By 1944 you're looking at the following:

- Engine: maximum lifespan of 1800 km (unknown average)

- Transmission: maximum lifespan of 1800 km (unknown average)

- Final drives: maximum lifespan unknown, replacement rate at around 3% of vehicles per day (ie: horrific)

- Tracks: maximum of 1800 km (unknown average)

 

Basically: Panthers were, in the best case, around 70% as reliable as T-34s (maximum lifespans of components being reported at around 2500 km) only if you exclude the final drives. If you include the final drives then they were an unmitigated dog-show compared to more or less anything.

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16 hours ago, Toxn said:

This breaks the improvements down very well:

 

https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/02/08/from-the-editor-panther-reliability/

 

In general: the engine got worked on extensively (the changes being minutely detailed), with non-specific fixed applied to the transmission and final drives.

 

By 1944 you're looking at the following:

- Engine: maximum lifespan of 1800 km (unknown average)

- Transmission: maximum lifespan of 1800 km (unknown average)

- Final drives: maximum lifespan unknown, replacement rate at around 3% of vehicles per day (ie: horrific)

- Tracks: maximum of 1800 km (unknown average)

 

Basically: Panthers were, in the best case, around 70% as reliable as T-34s (maximum lifespans of components being reported at around 2500 km) only if you exclude the final drives. If you include the final drives then they were an unmitigated dog-show compared to more or less anything.

 

 

And look at how many of the sources for Walt's post are from Jentz, the Lord God of the boos!

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