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Sherman vs the Panzer IV


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#41 DKTanker

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1018 AM

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.

This doesn't make much sense either with the lightest model, Ausf. A, requiring the most fuel for 100 km.

Still, one must account for the M4 being substantially heavier than the Pzkw IV when talking about fuel requirements. Such as, because the M4 weighs more than the Pzkw IV it requires more fuel for a given range.

#42 Jonathan Chin

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1037 AM

Jussi Saari

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


That is what I thought when I read Max Hasting's assertion that the 75mm Sherman was "helpless" against a Panzer IV, which is now quoted ad nauseam on the web.

Martin M

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.


Without the perimeters within which the gasoline consumption rate was determined, it is hard to tell what do those numbers really mean.

Tuccy

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.


The Soviet Report is quite clear, it said the 82mm and 85mm armor plates of German tanks model 4, 5, 6 recovered around Kursk were not hardened. IIRC The source of the site you quoted is Jentz, who also wrote in his Panther book that hardening 80mm plate proved impossible or prohibitively expensive that the Germans abandoned it. The Tiger tank's 82mm side armor was not hardened either. Really bizarre stuff.

Edited by Jonathan Chin, 20 July 2010 - 1043 AM.


#43 Martin M

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1102 AM

This doesn't make much sense either with the lightest model, Ausf. A, requiring the most fuel for 100 km.

Correct. I saw that also. I´ll take my Spielberger home with me and see if I can finfd an explaination. ( My Martin M remark. I used the multi quote wrong. )


Still, one must account for the M4 being substantially heavier than the Pzkw IV when talking about fuel requirements. Such as, because the M4 weighs more than the Pzkw IV it requires more fuel for a given range.




Of course its heavier and so forth. I was just noting the "fact" of subst. different gas mileage. The Sherman is heavier and has a larger engine. Of course it will use more gas.

Edited by Martin M, 20 July 2010 - 1103 AM.


#44 Martin M

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1114 AM

[quote Without the perimeters within which the gasoline consumption rate was determined, it is hard to tell what do those numbers really mean.




Yes, as usual a lot of the parameters are missing to us.

But I assume both the Sherman and the P 4 test drivers in the case of road range filled the gas tanks up to the brim and drove down a hard surface road(s) at an intermedate speed until they run outa gas. Thats how far they got.

This probably was done more than once so if the milage acheived was way off an earlier number, they would change the number. So I kinda assume the nuzmbers are all in all correct.

#45 Martin M

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1120 AM

This doesn't make much sense either with the lightest model, Ausf. A, requiring the most fuel for 100 km.

Still, one must account for the M4 being substantially heavier than the Pzkw IV when talking about fuel requirements. Such as, because the M4 weighs more than the Pzkw IV it requires more fuel for a given range.




The Ausf. A has a different engine, a HL 108 TR with 250 PS, the B has a HL 120 TR with 320 PS and all the rest have HL 120 TRM with 300 PS.


Problem solved. No need to carry the heavy Spielberger home.

#46 Meyer

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1156 AM

Frontal armor was FH in all Ausf F,G and H (and some early Ausf J). Starting in june 1944 the FH requeriment was dropped. (Jentz, Panzer Tracts No.4)

#47 seahawk

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1259 PM

They went from Cementation to Flame Hardening to no hardening. Considering that the Krupp Steel Works and the other steel works in the Ruhr Valley switched from Cementation to flame hardening in early 1943, it is possible that the Soviets were mistaking the changed hardening technology for no hardening.

Edited by seahawk, 20 July 2010 - 1302 PM.


#48 Getz

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1302 PM

If asked to sum this up quickly, I'd say that the M4 was the better tank, but the later Pz IV had the better gun, and as a result no version of the M4 could afford not to take the Pz IV seriously.

The remarkable thing about the Pz IV was that in 1945, when nearly a decade old, it was still a threat to the tanks designed to beat it. Thanks to that 75mm L48 there were very few allied AFVs around in 1945 that a Pz IV couldn't kill, even if it was itself pretty vulnerable at most battle ranges. You can't really say the same for the M4...

#49 Ken Estes

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1308 PM

What tank could the 1945 M4A3E8 not kill?

Or is it your instance that only front to front engagements count? Most surviving tankers did not observe jousting rules.

Of course, by 1945 [Feb?], all M4 series production had ceased, except for the 105mm support tank, in favor of the M26.

#50 DKTanker

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1544 PM

The Ausf. A has a different engine, a HL 108 TR with 250 PS, the B has a HL 120 TR with 320 PS and all the rest have HL 120 TRM with 300 PS.


Problem solved. No need to carry the heavy Spielberger home.

Not really, almost each successive Ausf. was heavier than the previous so given the same engine, and ignoring Ausf. A*, the fuel requirements should go up with each increase of weight.

*Ausf. A was the lightest of the lot and had the smallest engine. One would think it should be the most, not least fuel efficient.

#51 Jason L

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1632 PM

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.


The thing is, the design and the manufacturing process go hand in hand. The Germans seemed to have missed out on that sort of design and process rationalization in a variety of areas for a good part of the war. Arguably until it was far too late.

Certainly no amount of optimization would have allowed the Germans to match or beat the US (let alone the combined ability of the US and Russia) but there is a lot they could have done. When you're already at a disadvantage in total industrial capacity you absolutely cannot afford to be behind in rate and throughput.

Even with the paucity of data I've got my fingers on right now it's pretty apparent that T-34 product was heavily optimized and rationalized throughout the war and I don't think Sherman was inferior in that regards. German engineers never managed similar feats with Pz IV and it doesn't strike me as being out of lack of will or ability.

#52 Jason L

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1648 PM

If asked to sum this up quickly, I'd say that the M4 was the better tank, but the later Pz IV had the better gun, and as a result no version of the M4 could afford not to take the Pz IV seriously.

The remarkable thing about the Pz IV was that in 1945, when nearly a decade old, it was still a threat to the tanks designed to beat it. Thanks to that 75mm L48 there were very few allied AFVs around in 1945 that a Pz IV couldn't kill, even if it was itself pretty vulnerable at most battle ranges. You can't really say the same for the M4...


None of the allied mediums were designed around killing or beating the Pz IV. Armament and chassis modifications (I don't count tank based SPGs as new vehicles) were all in a response to much heavier German vehicles, much in the way German armament and chassis modifications were in response to the unexpectedly heavy Soviet tanks.

Both the T-34 and Sherman were designed around respective medium tank doctrinal demands and based on expected combat conditions. Sure Pz-IV is part of that condition package. Certainly T-34 owes one hell of a lot more to Pz-III and bits from various other designs and the perceived doctrinal need for a universal tank, than anything to do with what was, at the time an infantry support tank.

I also have the reverse opinion of how much better follow on designs should be. As a gross generalization (with plenty of counter examples) engineering capability was pretty even internationally. There is only so much you can do in terms of raw capabilities of vehicles (ie armor protection, horsepower, overall mobility) for a given weight class. Where there is huge room for improvement is in ergonomics: ability to use the thing effectively, reliability, ease of maintanance, ease of production, etc, etc, etc, etc.

By late war basically everyone's mediums could kill (at least at some range and not necessarily frontally) most other tanks on the battlefield. It's also a bad idea to conflate vehicle design with armament design. The latter is basically a totally seperate field and the two only overlap in fitting the cannon and storing all it's ammo.

#53 CaptLuke

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1801 PM

Certainly T-34 owes one hell of a lot more to Pz-III and bits from various other designs and the perceived doctrinal need for a universal tank, than anything to do with what was, at the time an infantry support tank.


I'd be interested to know what the rear drive, diesel powered, Christie suspension, sloped armored, two man turreted, 76mm gunned T34 owed to the front drive, gas powered, vertical armor, three man turreted, 50mm armed PzIII with torsion bar suspension.

#54 Jason L

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1830 PM

I'd be interested to know what the rear drive, diesel powered, Christie suspension, sloped armored, two man turreted, 76mm gunned T34 owed to the front drive, gas powered, vertical armor, three man turreted, 50mm armed PzIII with torsion bar suspension.


Ever heard of T-34M?

#55 CaptLuke

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1847 PM

Ever heard of T-34M?


Yes, all 5 hulls and 0 production vehicles.

Plus, while it was called the T-34M it was developed as a separate program as the A43 project while the T-34 was developed in a series from the A20 to A34. The T34M had a different suspension, different turret and different engine, i.e. it arguably had less in common with the T34 than the M48 had with the M46.

Also I haven't been able to find a reference on crew size for the T34M, was it four or five? Supposedly the Hexagonal turret for the T34/76 was based on the same turret used on the T34M which still only held 2 compared to the PzIII's 3. I'm ready to be wrong on this one if anyone does know the crew size.

Edited by CaptLuke, 20 July 2010 - 1900 PM.


#56 L.V.

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1855 PM

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.


Armor plates for the Tiger I had a thickness tolerance of -0% to +5% and I suppose that tolerances for other tank armor plates were similar. It would be very impractical to produce plates with a zero tolerance because it would be much more expensive and the gain minimal. Some Tigers may have had 80 mm side hull plates and others 84 mm ones, but they are still within the tolerance. I think that the fairly common belief that all Tiger I tanks had exactly 82 mm side hull armor and 102 mm nose and driver's front plates, stems from the fact that Tiger I Fgst. Nr. 250570 that was examined by the British was found to have plates with the aforementioned thicknesses.

Summa summarum
: If you really want to nit pick about armor thickness, you'll have to know the specified thickness and acceptance tolerances.

#57 bojan

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1909 PM

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.

80mm plate and Tiger's side 82mm armor were immune to 76mm F-34/ZiS-3/ZiS-5 firing BR-350A APBC @ 200m. F-22 firing same ammo could barely penetrate it. It got better with introduction of BR-350B APBC and BR-350P subcaliber in spring 1943.

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! :)

There is no data for 75mm M3 gun (none in service) but there is for 76mm ZiS-3 (same balistics as T-34's F-34), 76mm M1, 85mm ZiS-S-53 and 75mm PaK40:
http://208.84.116.22...showtopic=18562

#58 bojan

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 1935 PM

Certainly T-34 owes one hell of a lot more to Pz-III and bits from various other designs and the perceived doctrinal need for a universal tank, than anything to do with what was, at the time an infantry support tank


You are confusing it with T-50. Here is a LKZ's version of T-50 which was basically Soviet version of Pz-III:
http://www.aviarmor....0/t50_lkz_1.jpg
Kotin aparantly did not know about Pz-III while designing T-34.


...Also I haven't been able to find a reference on crew size for the T34M, was it four or five?

5. Turret was 3-men, basicaly bigger version of the T-50's turret (which was also 3 man and heavily influenced by Pz-III - note TC sitting behind gun.
http://www.aviarmor....34m/t-34m_3.jpg

Supposedly the Hexagonal turret for the T34/76 was based on the same turret used on the T34M which still only held 2 compared to the PzIII's 3. I'm ready to be wrong on this one if anyone does know the crew size.


Yes, it was based on as it was easier to produce, but it was not identical. All bells and whistles (3-speed electric rotation, TC cupolla etc) were ditched and crew was reduced to two in order to further simplify production.

Other then that a lot techniques that simplified production were picked from T-34M - just for example original T-34's glacis and lower front hull were SAME plate that was bent @ ~90deg to form front hull - clear leftover from BT series, but while it was quite posible with 13/20mm plate it was PITA with 45mm higher hardness plate. T-34M introduced two different plates joined by beam which got introduced to later T-34's (since mid-1941). Turret shape was taken from T-34M as it was simplier to produce, way later T-34's side armor was welded was also picked from T-34M (since late 1941) etc.

#59 Jason L

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 2016 PM

You are confusing it with T-50. Here is a LKZ's version of T-50 which was basically Soviet version of Pz-III:
http://www.aviarmor....0/t50_lkz_1.jpg
Kotin aparantly did not know about Pz-III while designing T-34.


No I was thinking of T-34M more than anything. A-34 gets finished in 1940, Russians have apparently already evaluated a captured Pz-III from Poland and buy two more and eval them against A-34 and then the next universal tank iteration in early 1941 calls for torsion bars, better armor, multi-man turret with better ergonomics, etc. I wasn't trying to point out a direct design lineage from Pz-III to T-34 but merely to show that "besting" Pz-IV had nothing to do with the design of allied medium tanks and that if any German vehicle inspired tank design in pre/early war Russia it was the Pz-III

#60 Jonathan Chin

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 2053 PM

They went from Cementation to Flame Hardening to no hardening. Considering that the Krupp Steel Works and the other steel works in the Ruhr Valley switched from Cementation to flame hardening in early 1943, it is possible that the Soviets were mistaking the changed hardening technology for no hardening.


Does flame hardening change the depth of the hardened layer?




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