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#61 Rich

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 1229 PM

didn't General Patton say that perfect was the enemy of good enough?

Between the Armor Force leadership and Ordnance sometimes I think that it is a miracle we built tanks at all

 

Maybe if Chaffee hadn't fallen ill...

 

Patton may have said it, but the aphorism in variants goes back at least Shakespeare and Voltaire.

 

Chaffee began by focusing on the tank-heavy organization, which proved unworkable...possibly his most important legacy was ensuring the separate tank battalions were available for the infantry rather than breaking up armored divisions for the purpose (although in a sense that was done in the ETO on occasion). However, the real loss in Chaffee's death was his access to Marshall, which was especially felt by Devers after the War Department reorganization in March, which eliminated the "special" status of the Armored Force as a quasi-independent experimental organization under the CoS and placed it under AGF. While McNair was not actually the bogeyman he is usually painted, he was not the officer to supervise the doctrinal development of a new organization. To a degree he had the same effect on the TD Command and the Airborne Command.

 

The other problem with the ambivalent nature of the Armor Force was that its role was developing doctrine, organization, and equipment then training up the force in CONUS. It lost control of those units when they deployed, which meant that it was continuously downsizing as an organization from early 1943 and so lost justification for its commanders rank and thus his authority in the Big Army. Chaffee and Devers were lieutenants general commanding as the Chiefs of the Armor Force, Gillem was a major general commanding as Commander of the Armored Command. Scott, who replaced Gillem, was a major general commanding as Commander of the Armored Center. The loss of authority was directly related to the loss of rank and title.



#62 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 1258 PM

Most everything I have encountered on McNair paints him as a rather hidebound officer of limited imagination but of course he was killed in action so his side of the story doesn't get told...

I am pretty sure he jacked the TD force badly but TD should've probably been integrated to the regular armor from the get go. (I suppose it did have to be tried)

In any event, when I feel like the US Army officers in charge were substandard and I start to despair then I can look at British Tank Development and feel better!

The separate tank battalions were a fantastic idea but it does seem like the infantry commanders had a little trouble learning the maintenance needs of the tankers.  Harry Yeide's book is a very enjoyable romp through the less glorious life of a tanks that aren't part of a regular Armored Division.

It was all much closer to being a disaster than one would think reading through modern history books.  The participants at the time were doing what they thought was right and for the most part it worked out but in many cases the loss of a nail nearly cost us a kingdom...

I read a memo about GMC CCKW production where an enormous amount of trucks couldn't be finished because of delays with axles and components.  A month is a long time when the Axis powers are on the march



#63 Rich

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 1517 PM

Most everything I have encountered on McNair paints him as a rather hidebound officer of limited imagination but of course he was killed in action so his side of the story doesn't get told...

I am pretty sure he jacked the TD force badly but TD should've probably been integrated to the regular armor from the get go. (I suppose it did have to be tried)

In any event, when I feel like the US Army officers in charge were substandard and I start to despair then I can look at British Tank Development and feel better!

The separate tank battalions were a fantastic idea but it does seem like the infantry commanders had a little trouble learning the maintenance needs of the tankers.  Harry Yeide's book is a very enjoyable romp through the less glorious life of a tanks that aren't part of a regular Armored Division.

It was all much closer to being a disaster than one would think reading through modern history books.  The participants at the time were doing what they thought was right and for the most part it worked out but in many cases the loss of a nail nearly cost us a kingdom...

I read a memo about GMC CCKW production where an enormous amount of trucks couldn't be finished because of delays with axles and components.  A month is a long time when the Axis powers are on the march

 

McNair gets a lot of flak, especially since Ordnance got to tell its side of the story, which was very self-serving, and he didn't. Even most of his statements get taken out of context. His famous "Certainly it is poor economy to use a $35,000 medium tank to destroy another tank when the job can be done by a gun costing a fraction as much." is often used to denigrate his recommendation to organize towed tank destroyers in January 1943, which takes it 18 months out of context. He aid that on 17 July 1941 at the conclusion of the Third Antitank Conference. He was there because he had basically written the book on Army antitank doctrine to that point and so was a SME. However, the full context of what he said is also somewhat different, "...the counter-attack long has been termed the soul of defense. Decisive action against a tank attack calls for a counterattack in the same general manner as against the older forms of attack. A counterattack, of course, may be delivered by other tanks, but the procedure is costly. There is no reason why antitank guns, supported by infantry, cannot attack tanks just as infantry, supported by artillery, has attacked infantry in the past. Certainly it is poor economy to use a $35,000 medium tank to destroy another tank when the job can be done by a gun costing a fraction as much. Thus the friendly armored force is freed to attack a more proper target, the opposing forces as a whole." He wasn't making a flippant remark.

 

Even the decision to organize the towed battalions seemed reasonable at the time given the destruction German heavy antitank artillery had done in North Africa.

 

Nor did he "create" the Tank Destroyers. That was Marshall, who created them just as he had the Armor Force in order to break the impasse between the Chiefs of Infantry, Artillery, and Armor as to who would do the job - both Infantry and Artillery argued for absolute control while Armor refused anything to do with it (to its later regret). McNair was more directly responsible for the decision to make the tank destroyer battalion a divisional attachment rather than to assign them to divisions permanently, which was part of his obsession with maximizing unit effectiveness and manpower limitations through unit pooling...logical, but it had problems only revealed by operational experience (the worst was possibly the "orphan battalion" syndrome, which affected the other pooled combat units as well, such as the tank and AAA battalions, which became semi-permanent attachments to divisions. Simply put, the Armor and Tank Destroyer Group Headquarters was in doctrinal limbo, especially given they were typically commanded by an O5 or O6 rather than a general officer.

 

However, the nitty-gritty of chassis and guns was a bit below the fray for McNair. He gave recommendations and either concurred or non-concurred on Ordnance Committee items through his liaison, just as did Armor, the Tank Destroyers, Ordnance, and industry representatives...but it was Army Service Forces which had the ultimate say so as the holders of the purse strings...and yet Brehon Somervell never seems to be the focus of criticism.



#64 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 0844 AM

thanks for the extra insight,

It's great to get the extra point of view because it does show how much is hidden in the regular histories.

I'll look into Somervell for good measure



#65 BillB

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 0853 AM

thanks for the extra insight,

It's great to get the extra point of view because it does show how much is hidden in the regular histories.

I'll look into Somervell for good measure

I can't say if it's the same in the US stuff, but on this side of the Pond it is more a case of what is missing from the official histories, often through deliberate omission. :( 

 

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#66 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 1205 PM

 

Most everything I have encountered on McNair paints him as a rather hidebound officer of limited imagination but of course he was killed in action so his side of the story doesn't get told...

I am pretty sure he jacked the TD force badly but TD should've probably been integrated to the regular armor from the get go. (I suppose it did have to be tried)

In any event, when I feel like the US Army officers in charge were substandard and I start to despair then I can look at British Tank Development and feel better!

The separate tank battalions were a fantastic idea but it does seem like the infantry commanders had a little trouble learning the maintenance needs of the tankers.  Harry Yeide's book is a very enjoyable romp through the less glorious life of a tanks that aren't part of a regular Armored Division.

It was all much closer to being a disaster than one would think reading through modern history books.  The participants at the time were doing what they thought was right and for the most part it worked out but in many cases the loss of a nail nearly cost us a kingdom...

I read a memo about GMC CCKW production where an enormous amount of trucks couldn't be finished because of delays with axles and components.  A month is a long time when the Axis powers are on the march

 

McNair gets a lot of flak, especially since Ordnance got to tell its side of the story, which was very self-serving, and he didn't. Even most of his statements get taken out of context. His famous "Certainly it is poor economy to use a $35,000 medium tank to destroy another tank when the job can be done by a gun costing a fraction as much." is often used to denigrate his recommendation to organize towed tank destroyers in January 1943, which takes it 18 months out of context. He aid that on 17 July 1941 at the conclusion of the Third Antitank Conference. He was there because he had basically written the book on Army antitank doctrine to that point and so was a SME. However, the full context of what he said is also somewhat different, "...the counter-attack long has been termed the soul of defense. Decisive action against a tank attack calls for a counterattack in the same general manner as against the older forms of attack. A counterattack, of course, may be delivered by other tanks, but the procedure is costly. There is no reason why antitank guns, supported by infantry, cannot attack tanks just as infantry, supported by artillery, has attacked infantry in the past. Certainly it is poor economy to use a $35,000 medium tank to destroy another tank when the job can be done by a gun costing a fraction as much. Thus the friendly armored force is freed to attack a more proper target, the opposing forces as a whole." He wasn't making a flippant remark.

 

Even the decision to organize the towed battalions seemed reasonable at the time given the destruction German heavy antitank artillery had done in North Africa.

 

Nor did he "create" the Tank Destroyers. That was Marshall, who created them just as he had the Armor Force in order to break the impasse between the Chiefs of Infantry, Artillery, and Armor as to who would do the job - both Infantry and Artillery argued for absolute control while Armor refused anything to do with it (to its later regret). McNair was more directly responsible for the decision to make the tank destroyer battalion a divisional attachment rather than to assign them to divisions permanently, which was part of his obsession with maximizing unit effectiveness and manpower limitations through unit pooling...logical, but it had problems only revealed by operational experience (the worst was possibly the "orphan battalion" syndrome, which affected the other pooled combat units as well, such as the tank and AAA battalions, which became semi-permanent attachments to divisions. Simply put, the Armor and Tank Destroyer Group Headquarters was in doctrinal limbo, especially given they were typically commanded by an O5 or O6 rather than a general officer.

 

However, the nitty-gritty of chassis and guns was a bit below the fray for McNair. He gave recommendations and either concurred or non-concurred on Ordnance Committee items through his liaison, just as did Armor, the Tank Destroyers, Ordnance, and industry representatives...but it was Army Service Forces which had the ultimate say so as the holders of the purse strings...and yet Brehon Somervell never seems to be the focus of criticism.

 

McNair opposed heavier tanks because he was trying to get as much army transported to the combat theaters by the very limited amount of shipping available.  He also didn't want assets tied up by organic assignment to units which didn't need it all of the time.  He felt that proper recon could identify masses of enemy armor and that centrally assigned TD could then be massed against the tanks.  When stuff ifs permanently  assigned, it is hard to get it centralized.  When it is centralized, it is much easier to attach it out or to "put it in support of".  Did all of MacArthur's divisions need organic TD battalions?  Did the Europe divisions need TD battalions on a day-to-day basis?



#67 Rich

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 2234 PM

McNair opposed heavier tanks because he was trying to get as much army transported to the combat theaters by the very limited amount of shipping available.  He also didn't want assets tied up by organic assignment to units which didn't need it all of the time.  He felt that proper recon could identify masses of enemy armor and that centrally assigned TD could then be massed against the tanks.  When stuff ifs permanently  assigned, it is hard to get it centralized.  When it is centralized, it is much easier to attach it out or to "put it in support of".  Did all of MacArthur's divisions need organic TD battalions?  Did the Europe divisions need TD battalions on a day-to-day basis?

 

In digging, I've come to find it is much more complicated than that. Fundamentally, NO ONE in the War Department really much wanted heavy tanks, but they were blindsided by Roosevelt, just as with the aircraft and antiaircraft issues. In May 1940, Lynch the Chief of Infantry, expressed interest in a heavy tank to augment the light and medium designs and to keep up with the Joneses (i.e. the Germans). It led to the development of the T1 series, but after the Armored Force was created the interest went away and in 1941 it was only proposed as a pilot run of 50 for the US Army and 50 for the British. Then on 3 January 1942, Roosevelt announced he wanted 500 heavy tanks by the end of the year, so much of 1942 was consumed in figuring out how to make the T1 work and get it into production, only to have the end users all announce they could care less. So very little did McNair really have to do with it.

 

The issue of "heavier tanks" as opposed to heavy tanks came up later in 1943, when the Engineer Corps got the AG to freeze the weight limitations set in AR 850-15 to 35 tons for tracked vehicles and limited the acceptable width of vehicles. It got the Navy vote too, since they had programmed the designs of the LST, LCT, and LCM based upon 27-ton medium tanks and 40-ton heavy tanks, since that was what the Army had told them...back in 1941 to plan on. It also affected the design of the Liberty and Victory ship winches and cranes. Again, little to do with McNair.

 

He also had little really to do with TD doctrine and weapons design, which was the purview of Bruce and the TD Center...his input was most felt in 1941 as the "antitank expert" at the AT conferences, but then he became fully involved in creating and training all ground forces. In which he over and over tried to rein in the excesses of the TD Center's organizations...with good justification - antitank commandos anyone? Yes, he preferred towed guns over SP artillery - and TD's were SP artillery - but then, all US Army Artillerymen tended to prefer towed guns, well into the 1970's, which was a holdover from the earlier prjudice for horse versus mechanical draft.

 

He also had little patience with "perfect solutions". When Jake Devers did his about face regarding the 76mm-armed Sherman, McNair had no compunction about turning that then scarce resource over to the TDs, who said they would make use of it. The delay in fielding a 76mm-armed Sherman was the fault of the Armored Command and Devers, not of AGF and McNair.

 

And yes, attachments for TDs made sense. In the same way, it was decided that a specialized "jungle" division for the Pacific made little practical sense, which was good since it allowed standard divisions to go to either theater with little advance notice. OTOH, while MacArthur's divisions did not need TDs on a daily basis, it turned out that the ETO and MTO divisions did benefit from regular attachment...the problem was that not enough were available, just as enough tank battalions weren't available, because it was believed the pooling principle would obviate the need for a one-to-one ratio of those battalions to divisions.



#68 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 1252 PM

 


And yes, attachments for TDs made sense. In the same way, it was decided that a specialized "jungle" division for the Pacific made little practical sense, which was good since it allowed standard divisions to go to either theater with little advance notice. OTOH, while MacArthur's divisions did not need TDs on a daily basis, it turned out that the ETO and MTO divisions did benefit from regular attachment...the problem was that not enough were available, just as enough tank battalions weren't available, because it was believed the pooling principle would obviate the need for a one-to-one ratio of those battalions to divisions.

 

Rich:  On 30 June 1944, there were 78 TD battalions active.  This should have been more than enough for the divisions in Europe.  On VE Day there were 68 active.



#69 Rich

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 1948 PM

Rich:  On 30 June 1944, there were 78 TD battalions active.  This should have been more than enough for the divisions in Europe.  On VE Day there were 68 active.

 

Uh, yes, there were 78, but that is ony part of the story. Of those, 7 SP and 1 towed were in the MTO for 6 infantry and 1 armored division. Another 2 towed and 4 SP were in the Pacific for 18 divisions (and 1 more about to deploy). In the ETO there were 22 SP and 8 towed for 15 infantry divisions, 4 armored divisions, and 2 airborne divisions...all well and good. The remaining 18 SP and 16 towed were in CONUS, along with all the rest of the divisions - 41 of them...and the divisions were deploying faster than the TD battalions were getting ready. On top of that, the ETO resisted towed battalions from the beginning and sought to change them over to SP, which complicated things.

 

So by 1 January 1945, there were 56 TD battalions in or in route to the ETO, for 58 divisions there or about to deploy...and the scramble to continue to re-equip the towed battalions as SP continued.

 

OTOH, it was a better fit for resources than the original plan, which envisaged 222 TD battalions...



#70 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 0858 AM

 

Rich:  On 30 June 1944, there were 78 TD battalions active.  This should have been more than enough for the divisions in Europe.  On VE Day there were 68 active.

 

Uh, yes, there were 78, but that is ony part of the story. Of those, 7 SP and 1 towed were in the MTO for 6 infantry and 1 armored division. Another 2 towed and 4 SP were in the Pacific for 18 divisions (and 1 more about to deploy). In the ETO there were 22 SP and 8 towed for 15 infantry divisions, 4 armored divisions, and 2 airborne divisions...all well and good. The remaining 18 SP and 16 towed were in CONUS, along with all the rest of the divisions - 41 of them...and the divisions were deploying faster than the TD battalions were getting ready. On top of that, the ETO resisted towed battalions from the beginning and sought to change them over to SP, which complicated things.

 

So by 1 January 1945, there were 56 TD battalions in or in route to the ETO, for 58 divisions there or about to deploy...and the scramble to continue to re-equip the towed battalions as SP continued.

 

OTOH, it was a better fit for resources than the original plan, which envisaged 222 TD battalions...

 

Europe did a lot to get rid of the towed battalions by saving the M10 from the battalions upgrading to M36 and using them to convert the towed battalions.  To fault Bruce, he considered the M10 and M36 as "interim solutions".  The M18 was his "ultimate TD".  I wonder what the results would have been if the TD had pushed for a Hetzer type of vehicle on the Stuart chassis instead of the thin-skinned open top turrets.



#71 Rich

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 1137 AM

Europe did a lot to get rid of the towed battalions by saving the M10 from the battalions upgrading to M36 and using them to convert the towed battalions.  To fault Bruce, he considered the M10 and M36 as "interim solutions".  The M18 was his "ultimate TD".  I wonder what the results would have been if the TD had pushed for a Hetzer type of vehicle on the Stuart chassis instead of the thin-skinned open top turrets.

 

As of 1 January 1945, there were still 10 towed battalions in Europe with 2 more in route, 2 towed in Italy, and 2 towed in CONUS. Nine of those in Europe converted to SP in the few months before the end of the war, the 2 in CONUS were disbanded. However, it is difficult to "fault" Bruce at all, since the military characteristics of the SP gun carriage required by the Tank Destroyers was established as early as October-November 1941...and it was not met by the M10/M36. So in fact they were "interim solutions" in every sense of the words. :D

 

Nor did the Tank Destroyers ever desire a Hetzer-type solution...and I doubt such would have worked much better on the 17-ton chassis of the Light Tank M5 than it did on the 11-ton chassis of the 38(t)? Something on the order of the 25 ton Panzer III...or the 27 ton Medium Tank M3 was needed, but by that point why not just build the 29 ton M10/M36 or, better still, the 20 ton M18, which was what was desired in the first place. :D



#72 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 1414 PM

you can see how honest men thought they were doing the right thing at most of the steps along the way and we are certainly coaching long after the game has been played.

I did know about the Navy having sized everything to fit way in advance but I always felt like the Navy could've improvised a solution to get some heavier tanks over if they had become available.

Really, the crappy shells were a bigger hindrance than anything mechanical.  I bet we could've shot a hotter round with no changes to the tubes. 

At least in the Stuart the capacity of the tube is far in excess of any 37mm load you could fit in it.  There's room in the casing for more powder than spec calls for



#73 Rich

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 1438 PM

you can see how honest men thought they were doing the right thing at most of the steps along the way and we are certainly coaching long after the game has been played.

 

Yep, very well put.

 

 

I did know about the Navy having sized everything to fit way in advance but I always felt like the Navy could've improvised a solution to get some heavier tanks over if they had become available.

 

Oh, they did "improvise" quite a bit, from contracting the Seatrain to get Sherman tanks shipped to Egypt, to converting oilers to LST (albeit that was a RN suggestion). The problem arose from laying out plans based on Army specs and then having the Army change the specs after the ships (and bridges - the Engineers had the same problem) were built. So you have improvisations in order to get ZEBRA across European Baileys and head-scratching moments in order to get the T26 to fit through the LCT and LST and over the ramps.

 

 

Really, the crappy shells were a bigger hindrance than anything mechanical.  I bet we could've shot a hotter round with no changes to the tubes. 

At least in the Stuart the capacity of the tube is far in excess of any 37mm load you could fit in it.  There's room in the casing for more powder than spec calls for

 

The problem was that adding propellant what have either have exacerbated or failed to solve the problems with shatter due to poor heat treatment, over-size HE cavities, and defective base-detonating fusing. Those were "solved" for the 90mm...but never got to the Tankers during the war...and were simply ignored WRT 76mm since HVAP would supposedly solve it all, which ignored slope problems and so on. The state of Army Ordnance's understanding of penetration and penetrators was pretty primitive, especially when compared to the USN, until 1944-1945.



#74 Briganza

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 0901 AM

 

thanks for the extra insight,

It's great to get the extra point of view because it does show how much is hidden in the regular histories.

I'll look into Somervell for good measure

I can't say if it's the same in the US stuff, but on this side of the Pond it is more a case of what is missing from the official histories, often through deliberate omission. :(

 

BillB 

 

Oddly enough this brings us back to Slim. I have not read it in a number of years but I think it is in the forewords to Slim's Unofficial History.

 

He said he was waiting for a meeting at the War Office and picked up the Official History of the Mesopotamia campaign. He was a little perturbed that the fighting  he was involved in only got one line and so decided to write Unofficial History.  This covers his time from teaching to taking over command in Burma.  He was about to leave the army as a Col and become a writer just as war started 9his career seemed to have stopped with no hope of moving on). At this point he had been writing short stories and articles in the paper (the Mail I think). It is a good read and covers parts of pre war Northwest frontier clashes, his staff college work and engagements in the Middle East around Iran.



#75 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 1338 PM

 

you can see how honest men thought they were doing the right thing at most of the steps along the way and we are certainly coaching long after the game has been played.

 

Yep, very well put.

 

 

I did know about the Navy having sized everything to fit way in advance but I always felt like the Navy could've improvised a solution to get some heavier tanks over if they had become available.

 

Oh, they did "improvise" quite a bit, from contracting the Seatrain to get Sherman tanks shipped to Egypt, to converting oilers to LST (albeit that was a RN suggestion). The problem arose from laying out plans based on Army specs and then having the Army change the specs after the ships (and bridges - the Engineers had the same problem) were built. So you have improvisations in order to get ZEBRA across European Baileys and head-scratching moments in order to get the T26 to fit through the LCT and LST and over the ramps.

 

 

Really, the crappy shells were a bigger hindrance than anything mechanical.  I bet we could've shot a hotter round with no changes to the tubes. 

At least in the Stuart the capacity of the tube is far in excess of any 37mm load you could fit in it.  There's room in the casing for more powder than spec calls for

 

The problem was that adding propellant what have either have exacerbated or failed to solve the problems with shatter due to poor heat treatment, over-size HE cavities, and defective base-detonating fusing. Those were "solved" for the 90mm...but never got to the Tankers during the war...and were simply ignored WRT 76mm since HVAP would supposedly solve it all, which ignored slope problems and so on. The state of Army Ordnance's understanding of penetration and penetrators was pretty primitive, especially when compared to the USN, until 1944-1945.

 

You did have the problem that the Air Force production had sucked up the supply of tungsten to make machine tools leaving little for the ground forces munitions production.



#76 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 1409 PM

Most everything I have encountered on McNair paints him as a rather hidebound officer of limited imagination but of course he was killed in action so his side of the story doesn't get told...

I am pretty sure he jacked the TD force badly but TD should've probably been integrated to the regular armor from the get go. (I suppose it did have to be tried)

In any event, when I feel like the US Army officers in charge were substandard and I start to despair then I can look at British Tank Development and feel better!

The separate tank battalions were a fantastic idea but it does seem like the infantry commanders had a little trouble learning the maintenance needs of the tankers.  Harry Yeide's book is a very enjoyable romp through the less glorious life of a tanks that aren't part of a regular Armored Division.

It was all much closer to being a disaster than one would think reading through modern history books.  The participants at the time were doing what they thought was right and for the most part it worked out but in many cases the loss of a nail nearly cost us a kingdom...

I read a memo about GMC CCKW production where an enormous amount of trucks couldn't be finished because of delays with axles and components.  A month is a long time when the Axis powers are on the march

Getting all-wheel drive vehicles into the field in quantity was hampered by a lack of high volume gear cutting machine tools.  Prior to the war, it was a boutique specialty and no one had planned for quantity production.  This was especially true for the "super-heavy" trucks (4 ton and up) for which there had been little planning.  As a result, the CCKW were badly overloaded and mistreated trying to substitute for the heavier trucks in line haul.

2



#77 Rich

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 1327 PM

 

You did have the problem that the Air Force production had sucked up the supply of tungsten to make machine tools leaving little for the ground forces munitions production.

 

That is yet another one of those "accepted truisms" of World War II I have yet to find concrete evidence for. If you have any hard sources for that I would appreciate it.

 

From what I have found, the problem was that at the beginning of the war 50%-75% of U.S. tungsten was imported. So it became a priority metal with a stockpile objective set in 1939 of 29,000 short tons versus a actual stockpile of 7,000 short tons when assessed on 1 January 1942. So acquisition and stockpiling became the real objective in order to meet an artificial requirement. So a crash resource and conservation program began - steel plants were ordered to substitute molybdenum for tungsten in production and other restrictions were placed on use and extensive mine expansion and exploration was undertaken domestically. Priorities were assigned to production of tungsten-carbide machine tools and for tungsten plating in engine valves and other such, but there was no real restriction for a supply for projectiles...however Ordnance, in it eternal search for a better mousetrap, decided to expend its research on saboted rounds initially and ignored the "simple" APCR design for two years. I have found no evidence of problems getting tungsten-carbide for the sabot research.






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