Jump to content


Photo

Sherman vs the Panzer IV


  • Please log in to reply
889 replies to this topic

#21 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12,051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle
  • Interests:USMC Tanker, Historian

Posted 19 July 2010 - 1119 AM

....
Oh yes, something the youngins of today can relate to : the Panzer IV has BETTER gas mileage !
Sherman : 340 liters per 100 km .
Panzer IV : 225 liters per 100 km !

Uh, with which engine?

Wright radial M4, M4A1
Ford GAA, M4A3
Chrysler 5-bank, M4A4

and then the diesels:
twin GM, M4A2
Caterpillar, M4A6

#22 nitflegal

nitflegal

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,558 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Armor, martial arts

Posted 19 July 2010 - 1126 AM

All in all the Sherman BETTER be better. It is an about 5 years newer design. Not just that, the Panzer 4 design was done at a time there was no real “yardstick” for a modern tank (WW2 era) design. The US designers also had a look at P 3 and 4 characteristics when designing the Sherman, so I heard.

I don´t accept the “ease of production” song and dance either without someone doing a whole lot of research, methodical counting of welds and components. Without a book or thesis by some student of mechanical engineering, count me sceptical.

Same goes for the reliability thing. I doubt there is a large difference. It seems one would want the Tiger and Panther reliability standard to apply to the smaller P´s too.
(Some account has to be made to the differing capabilities of the maintanence and spare parts availability of German and US repair units. Concerning engines, somewhere along the TN history mention was made of miserable German motor oil quality. For that they held up pretty good.)

The P 4 is good tank and compares well to Sherman, is NOT outclassed by the Sherman and was able to do it´s tasks as well as the Sherman.
Try and compare what P 4 were up against and their value and same for Shermans.



Oh yes, something the youngins of today can relate to : the Panzer IV has BETTER gas mileage !
Sherman : 340 liters per 100 km .
Panzer IV : 225 liters per 100 km !


I don't have it with me, but IIRC Zaloga's "Armored Thunderbolt" book covers this fairly well with researched numbers>

Matt

#23 Detonable

Detonable

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 696 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 July 2010 - 1700 PM

How did their dimensions compare? Didn't the radial engine give the Sherman a fairly large height, i.e., make it easier to hit?

#24 DKTanker

DKTanker

    1strdhit

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,596 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 19 July 2010 - 1749 PM

How did their dimensions compare? Didn't the radial engine give the Sherman a fairly large height, i.e., make it easier to hit?

M4 was only 6 cm taller. The Mark IV was considerably wider than the M4 which made it look relatively shorter.

#25 kamel

kamel

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 37 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arse end of Oz.
  • Interests:All kinds of anti-social stuff that would horrify care bears.

Posted 19 July 2010 - 1939 PM

One of the most damning indictments of the M4 was that it was a "burner". Given that the main source of conflagration was exposed ammo, did PzIVs also brew up as readily, but just didn't get the publicity?


I think that you'll find that the bad rep of Shermans in terms of fire was mostly due to the early versions with unprotected ammo.

I've seen published statistics that showed that the PZ4 [and panther] were just as prone to catastrophic fires as the early sherman... which if you look at the ammo storage, isn't surprising.

#26 mkenny

mkenny

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 164 posts

Posted 19 July 2010 - 2158 PM

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

#27 Hittite Under The Bridge

Hittite Under The Bridge

    Would you like to touch my monkey?

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,491 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 July 2010 - 2229 PM

Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine.

#28 seahawk

seahawk

    military loving leftist peace monkey

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,463 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The land where time stands still

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0120 AM

Just look at Pz-IV hull and then at Sherman hull and count weld lines on both.


That can also be a design decision. If you have more factories able to produce smaller patches of armor plate, it might makes more sense to do more welding, compared to using larger plates. But in general I think that the older design (IV) was also optimized for older production capabilities in Germany.
I know that here in Essen the big factories were producting metal, but also there were a few old and small 18XX vintage factories along the Ruhr Valley that were also making armor plate for weapons production. Obviously they could not make large plates.

#29 bojan

bojan

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,734 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Belgrade, Serbia
  • Interests:Obscure tanks and guns.
    Obscure facts about well known tanks and guns.
    Obscure historical facts.

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0217 AM

That can also be a design decision. If you have more factories able to produce smaller patches of armor plate, it might makes more sense to do more welding, compared to using larger plates...

But then you have to transfer all those plates to single location adding more money and time to the pile.

But in general I think that the older design (IV) was also optimized for older production capabilities in Germany.

Yes, Pz-IV production line was way more primitive compared to Sherman's or even T-34's. IIRC Panther solved this problem somewhat (IIRC wasn't it only marginally more expensive then Pz-IV).

I know that here in Essen the big factories were producting metal, but also there were a few old and small 18XX vintage factories along the Ruhr Valley that were also making armor plate for weapons production. Obviously they could not make large plates.


Hence need to make tank more complicated so that small manufacturers can contribute, but you are rising price and time needed. On the other hand you do not really have a choice and your industrial base does not allow anything else.

#30 seahawk

seahawk

    military loving leftist peace monkey

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,463 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The land where time stands still

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0249 AM

I agree with you, though I still believe that the easier production of the Sherman was not only a result of the design but also of the industrial capacity of the US.
Germanies industrial base was not on the same level, especially not if you consider that the IV was an older design.

Apart from that the 3 main suppliers for armor plate were based in the Ruhrvalley. Krupp in Essen, Eisen- und Hüttenwerke in Bochum und Dortmund Hörder-Nüttenverein in Dortmund. Ther many smaller firms helped in cutting the platres and in the Cemetation process.

#31 Jonathan Chin

Jonathan Chin

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 420 posts
  • Interests:Military history, infantry weapons, tanks.

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0335 AM

Versicle homogeneous steel plate with 80mm of thickness was theoretically "immune" to Soviet 76 and US 75 at 500 meters and over--but I am sure a hit at 700m would be unpleasant. I just cannot find any literature about Pz. IV being a problem for Allied tankers. Though one can attribute this to Tiger phobia, there are cases of Panzers positively identified as Mark IVs and 75mm guns did not have any undue trouble against these targets.

As someone else said already, with cherry picking one can make Sherman and T-34 inferior to the Pz. IV, but matching generation with generation, the Mark IV was clearly an inferior tank. The Western Allies failed to up-gun enough of their Shermans for Normandy and so the 75mm M4s had to slug it out with Pz. IV's high velocity gun. Even so, both tanks could kill each other at regular combat ranges.

I used to think the Germans standardized used 80mm armor on several types of their tanks due to both tactical and manufacturing reasons. However, the side hull armor of the Pz. VI E was actually 82mm thick whereas the Pz. IV and Pz. V front plate armor were 85mm thick so the ease of production might not have been what the Germans had in mind.

Btw, I now believe that Mark IV H armor was not face-hardened. The Germans considered face-hardening the Panther tank's glacis armor but apparently 85mm armor was too thick so they opted for rolled homogeneous. If so, there would be illogical for Pz. IV to have FH armor. Somebody on this forum posted a Soviet technical AAR compiled after the Battle of Kursk on my thread about M3 75mm L/40 gun versus Pz. IV, and it states that German medium and heavy tanks had abandoned face-hardening in favor of thicker armor, either as a cost-saving measure or German armor manufacturing method was inadequate to harden steel plates that thick.

It would have been better for the Western Allies had the Germans face-hardened their 82mm and 85mm plates. Than they would be easily defeated at 1,000 yards. RHA was more effective defense when your enemy have decent ballistic cap...

Bojan,

I'd love to see the "Yugo gun versus Panzers" thread but it seems to be unavailable currently; I can see some of your material by google search, but they're on "best 60s MBT" thread and I cannot find data on US 75mm APC-HE rounds. If the data is in hand, please share! :)

#32 seahawk

seahawk

    military loving leftist peace monkey

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,463 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The land where time stands still

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0346 AM

I would disagree with the idea that Pz IV, Sherman and T-34 were from the same generation. Design was finished in 1935/36 and production started in 1937 for the IV. T-34 is a 1940 design, Sherman even 1941. Pz IV basic design was the only of the 3 that was done without early war experience.

Imho it speaks for the Pz IV that it was not hopelessly outclassed by 1944/45.

#33 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12,051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle
  • Interests:USMC Tanker, Historian

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0358 AM

I think that you'll find that the bad rep of Shermans in terms of fire was mostly due to the early versions with unprotected ammo.

I've seen published statistics that showed that the PZ4 [and panther] were just as prone to catastrophic fires as the early sherman... which if you look at the ammo storage, isn't surprising.

Statistics collected 'after the battle' cannot cover well the usual case that a tank, once abandoned by its crew for various reasons, could indeed burn itself to a wreck. This contrasts in the extreme with the old tanker stories/myths such as "...you have only 30 seconds to bail out of a Sherman on fire before it blows up." These tales were still resident among the old-timers at USMC Tank School in 1970 ["...any more than 30 seconds and it [the backblast] will suck you back in if you are still in the hatchway..."], and cannot be verified in any sense by the docs. One of the first so-called 'urban legends'?? To be sure, there were terrible cases of M4s at Iwo or Oki blown up on early IEDs [aerial bombs, torpedos buried as mines] in which the crews were incinerated alive, but these tanks had turned turtle, trapping them, and ignited both fuel and ammo.

#34 Jussi Saari

Jussi Saari

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,231 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0407 AM

Versicle homogeneous steel plate with 80mm of thickness was theoretically "immune" to Soviet 76 and US 75 at 500 meters and over--but I am sure a hit at 700m would be unpleasant. I just cannot find any literature about Pz. IV being a problem for Allied tankers. Though one can attribute this to Tiger phobia, there are cases of Panzers positively identified as Mark IVs and 75mm guns did not have any undue trouble against these targets.


Even if 80mm hull would be invulnerable, the turret is a pretty big target and should be vulnerable to US 75mm and Soviet 76mm AP out to a good range, so that's not very surprising

#35 Marek Tucan

Marek Tucan

    Powerpoint Ranger, Chairborne

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,378 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Versailles, France

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0416 AM

re. hardening, table at Guns vs. Armor website:
http://www.freeweb.h...rman_hull6.html
suggests that IVH had FH front hull and turret and IVJ not.
As for "why harden IV and not Panther", maybe the hardening was viewed as more important on near-vertical IV armor vs. sloped Panther armor and for Tiger it was deemed unnecessary for side and rear?
Dunno, just wild speculations.

#36 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12,051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle
  • Interests:USMC Tanker, Historian

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0422 AM

I would disagree with the idea that Pz IV, Sherman and T-34 were from the same generation. Design was finished in 1935/36 and production started in 1937 for the IV. T-34 is a 1940 design, Sherman even 1941. Pz IV basic design was the only of the 3 that was done without early war experience.

Imho it speaks for the Pz IV that it was not hopelessly outclassed by 1944/45.

Pz IV was designed w/o taking Spanish Civil War experience into consideration. T-34 was a direct response to the SCW, in which the USSR design teams estimated the likely tank trends emerging and scrapped the A20 in favor of a design to dominate the emerging generation. M4 was the designed in response to May-June 1940, with the M3 medium the interim design that fielded the 75mm medium barrel 'first' except that the KV-1 and T-34 beat them to it.

Of course, Tiger I was already conceived as a breakthough tank in 1940, in the form of the Henschel VK 3001(H).

BTW, fuel consumption for the Pz IV improved from the 313 ltr/100Km of Model IVA to 235 IVB and was 227 in the "J" model. But these figures usually relate to performance on hard surface roads, on the flat, not cross-country performance, where the US tank would have shown best. In any case, only the Germans had to worry a lot about fuel consumption, for obvious reasons.

Edited by Ken Estes, 20 July 2010 - 0423 AM.


#37 Martin M

Martin M

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,656 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0729 AM

Uh, with which engine?

Wright radial M4, M4A1
Ford GAA, M4A3
Chrysler 5-bank, M4A4

and then the diesels:
twin GM, M4A2
Caterpillar, M4A6




It was off some miscellanous website info sheet with no specific engine mentioned. It should apply to one of the first, but not the diesels.

#38 DKTanker

DKTanker

    1strdhit

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,596 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0754 AM

It was off some miscellanous website info sheet with no specific engine mentioned. It should apply to one of the first, but not the diesels.

So you couldn't determine which models were compared? So it could be a Pzkw IV Ausf. C at 18 tons compared to an M4A3E8 at 34 tons, or some other variation with one constant, the M4 would always weigh more than he Pzkw IV.

#39 shep854

shep854

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,086 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Birmingham AL, USA
  • Interests:Military History, Aviation

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0759 AM

I think that you'll find that the bad rep of Shermans in terms of fire was mostly due to the early versions with unprotected ammo.

I've seen published statistics that showed that the PZ4 [and panther] were just as prone to catastrophic fires as the early sherman... which if you look at the ammo storage, isn't surprising.


It's a different take on "the victors write the histories". Allied tankers had the luxury to discuss the shortcomings of their equipment, whereas the losers who survived had other concerns.

#40 Martin M

Martin M

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,656 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 July 2010 - 0854 AM

So you couldn't determine which models were compared? So it could be a Pzkw IV Ausf. C at 18 tons compared to an M4A3E8 at 34 tons, or some other variation with one constant, the M4 would always weigh more than he Pzkw IV.




Sorry,
First look was at my favourite age old Armour in Profile Number 8 by Profile Publication Ltd. „ Specification - PzKpw IV (7.5 cm) Ausf. F2 „ , wherein was written:

Range 130 miles
Fuel capacity 105 gallons, whereby the immediate problem was : are these US gallons or British gallons ! ?
A quick look somewhere else yielded 470 liters for all Ausf. Except “ J “ which has 680, so it was US gallons indeed.

So it was a F2.

But anyway,
Senger and Etterlin did it all more nicely, stating mileage (in German custom), liters / 100 km.

This being 313 for Ausf. A
Thereafter 235 for B to H
and 227 for the J .

The Sherman number …. I confess was first grab Wikepedia Sherman M4 …

and the engine is :
Continental R975C1 with 400 /350 hp and range given as 193 km on 660 liters of gas.
Being 342 liters per 100 km.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users