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Dumb alt.history things


FaustianQ
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As this is a dumb alt.history thing, I decided it belongs here, not in the AFV section (despite being about AFV armament), because that's serious discussion about real things. I think I've brought this up on TS before, but I think I have a case for an alternate US armament for WW2.

 

First, the US Army during the 20s-30s has access to a rather good anti-tank weapon for the time period, the 6 pounder Mk3, 5 and 7 hotchkiss used in coastal defense. No, this isn't Mr.Williams inspired, rather it's something the US has in number that actually exceeds the performance of most of the guns 1930. Unlike his theory, the US met most of the performance requirements in reality, a 2.72kg shell @ 683m/s. This is already good enough for a 30s weapon

 

Theoretical US 57mm: 2.72kg @ 683m/s, 634kj

US 37mm M5/6: .87kg @ 884m/s. 340kj

German 50mm KwK38: 2.04kg @ 745m/s, 565kj

French 47mm SA37: 1.72kg @ 855m/s, 629kj

British 40mm: 1.08kg @ 853m/s, 393kj

Russian 45mm 20-K: 1.4kg @ 760m/s, 404kj

 

As you can see, the French lead based on similar energy, smaller crosssection for improved penetration with a much higher velocity. although only at shorter ranges. But unlike the SA37, the US 57mm would be available in very large numbers during the 30s, the US already had a mount developed for it in the M1921, and they could easily put it into a 3 man turret.

 

Going further, The US pack howitzer might be potentially used to replace the 75x350 entirely. The US pack howitzer is 75x272, and interestingly enough another similar US projectile has similar dimensions and nearly the same performance as the 75x350, the obsolete US 76x273 for the 1902 field gun. I think, with a focus on using 76mm projectiles. the pack howitzer could be modified to fire a 6.8kg AP projectile @ 580m/s and meet most of the needed requirement for a dual purpose gun, while being smaller and likely interchangable with the theoretical 57mm gun, by the late 30s. Keep in mind, the US had a mount for the pack howitzer already developed, again for the M1921, so development time of a competent 76mm gun in a three man turret would be small.

 

I also think that beginning in 1938, the US interest in the British 6 pounder could lead to something better. The 6 pounder is known to have been modified to fire a 75mm projectile, so firing a 76mm projectile is not out of the question. My theory is thus - the US starting in 1939 begins by blowing out the casing of the 6 pounder to accept US standard 76mm projectiles, resulting in something like a 76x420 with a 6.8kg projectile @ 745m/s velocity. Something like this could be ready for the Sherman in 1941, resulting in a more highly effective tank for the entire war. I could forsee greater pressure on Ordnance to push the 76mm M1 gun to 853m/s, thus more effectively competing with the 17 pounder in the antitank role for TDs and HV Shermans. This also ends up making the Chaffee useful vs T-34-85s later on in Korea.

 

I've been thinking of a larger alt.history scenario and this is a bit key. If it's unfeasible, then a bit of it falls apart, but I think it it can work. I however lack the skills to mathmatically figure out whether it is possible.

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