Fall 1942: the best medium tank on field

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vincenzo, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Your opinion on the best medium tank on operation in the fall 1942


    list for remember
    Pz IV early variant with 75mm long
    Pz III J/L
    Crusader Mk III
    M4/A1 probably also A2 (i think we all are agree that M4 was superior to M3)
    T-34 Model 19411942


    i've not listed the Churchill because i think it as heavy tank, i've not listed all the old medium with 40/47mm 50 MV weapons because they had trouble with the armour of the newer medium tanks
     
  2. Mobius

    Mobius Member

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    I'd vote for the PZIV G
     
  3. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    M4 is the best allround tank. Others beat it in various areas but as a complete package it had everything.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The best all around combination of firepower, protection, mobility, optics, communications equipment, reliability and production cost. Furthermore the relatively low weight of only about 23 tons makes for relatively easy battlefield mobility. It can cross bridges and culverts for which heavier Sherman and T-34 would require additional engineering support.
     
  5. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Some can check if the Valentine with 6 pdr gun were available on front for the fall of 42?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Tanks normally fire more HE then AP.

    WWII era 75mm shells typically contain .5 to .7kg of HE filler. How much HE filler was in 6 pdr / 57mm HE shell? I'll hazard a guess it was far less.

    Any medium tank armed with main gun less then 75mm in size has a significant battlefield performance handicap. That includes the Valentine.
     
  7. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    maybe you've missed we are talking of fall '42, for all the fall of 42 most common german medium had 50mm gun, in the western allies side the 75mm tank were more common bu were around 40% of the tanks available for the 2nd El Alamein battle
    on what ammo fired a tank i think your statement is not true for all
     
  8. Mobius

    Mobius Member

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    #8 Mobius, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
    In operation was the phrase used.
    Fall 1942 lasts until Dec 20, 1942.

    Now for a hard hitting tank there was the T-34/57. But there were only a handful of those.
     
  9. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Actually i've doubts that were some T-34-57 available in combat unit in fall '42, the were 50 deployed in fall '41 i've doubt that they are on front unit a year later
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It pretty much comes down to the Sherman and the MK IV long. Most of the early MK IV longs only had 50mm of frontal armor although by the fall of 1942 a few of the uparmoured ones were beginning to show up. This means that either tank can penetrate the other at most practical battle ranges. Slight advantage to the MK IV for sights and flatter trajectory.

    Sherman has the advantage of reliability. Have to drive the tanks several hundred miles before the battle starts? A higher percentage of Shermans will show up on the start line.

    For infantry support you need not only HE ammo for the main gun but MG ammo and the Sherman holds about twice as much.

    T-34 has some thing going for it and some things going against it, like the two man turret, lack of radios, lousy machineguns.
     
  11. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Best medium tank in the fall of 1942 was the Canadian RAM II.
     
  12. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    It is close but I would go for the T34. The two man turret and lack of radios are the biggest problems but at the end of the day the T34 will go more places, faster, with excellent protection and a small size are big advantages. I also like the diesel engine and radios could easily be fitted.
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the G model of the Mark IV was that it was a relatively difficult tank to build, at least that was the verdict of the germans tasked to build it. Certianly appears to be the case based on its delivery rates. In the whole of 1942, the Germans delivered 994 MkIV chassis, of which just over 400 were G series.

    By comparison, T-34s were as cheap as chips to build, and the Soviets from the end of 1941 were churning them out like hot cakes. About 8000 T-34s were put together in 1942, despite the loss of the Stalingrad factory, which accounted for about 42% of T-34 output up that time. There wee significant QA issues arising, mostly from the newer outlets such as the Nizhniy Tagil plant in Siberia, which had begun to be organised in June 1941 and turned out its first tanks in December 1941

    The staff and machinery from Factory No.183 reached Nizhniy Tagil in the middle of winter. The facilities remained primitive for some time – at first parts of the factory were unroofed, despite the low winter temperatures (as low at -40 degrees C at some times). Most of the original workforce had been lost, and much of the burden of production fell on children and women. There was barely enough food and virtually no medical care.

    Despite these terrible circumstances production at Nizhniy Tagil began in December 1941, when 25 T-34s were completed. Hardly surprisingly the quality of these tanks was not high, but as the factory became better established many of the problems were ironed out.

    Other more established factories with experienced workers in the factories turned out relatively high quality tanks with good reliability.

    Unlike the Germans the Soviets decided to pass (largely) in the upgrade of the basic tanks, so when we are comparing T-34/76s of 1942, to MkIVGs of 1942, we are basically comparing a 1940 tank to a 1942 tank design. There are one or two minor exceptions to this, relating mostly to the pgrade of comunications, increased relaibility of the transmission, and the usage of a much better turret design from the middle of the year. These tanks were in production from June, were issued to the newly forming tank corps in August (after disatrous losses between May and September) and first saw serious action in November during the Stalingrad encirclement. here, Soviet losses were still heavy, but much less than previously.

    The main changes that occured to the turret design related to the new hexagonal turret design, with enlarged internal dimensions. this tank arose from the short lived T-34M design. The turret had 77mm frontal armour (not including the glacis plate) and 52mm side armour. production was faciliated by the use of very simple castings with a rolled plate roof attached . only two of the 8 tank outlets switched to this new turret, the one Chelyabinsk and the one Uralmash, but these two factories accounted for nearly 50% of total output. In addition to beter space availability and improved layout, these turrets had improved ammo stowage and could carry more than 100 rounds, compared to the older turrets 70 odd. As mentioned above, a vastly improved 5 speed gearbox was introduced and long range fuel tanks (a trademeark of Soviet breakthrough operations that were to come) were introduced in 1942. Put simply, the T-34 was a much more well rounded design to the mkIV, which empahasised combat power, and suffered somewhat in terms of protection and mobility. However the german tank was vastly superior in terms of comms and optics, and quite a bit superior in terms of its armour penetration.

    The main advantage of the Soviet tank was its dedication to produceability. The Soviets spent a lot of time making sure the tank was simple in extreme and austere iin fitout, whereas the germans gave virtually no regard to this issue. This was one of the main reasons the Soviets won the war. industrially they were much weakewr than Germany and on top of that by 1942 had lost 35% of their industrial potential to the enemy. They should have been on the ropes production wise, but instead they outproduced the germans by miles. ive read from more than one source, that the Soviets could put together a t-34 in under 5000 man hours, whereas a Panther took up more than 55000 hours. mark IVs were similar, but a little less than the panther. id rather have 11 T-34s over one dodgy Panther any day in 1943. Not sure of the man hours forer the MkIV, but say it was 25000 hours (an estimate based on its approximate unit cost) id still far prefer 5 or 6 T-34s for every one MkIV

    Similar arguments arise for the Sherman incidentally. it was a readily produceable tamk, in which the mods undertaken were kept as few as possible. unquestionably as a battle tank the German tank reigned supreme, but it fell down badly in other areas, principally protection and produceability.....
     
  14. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Are you aware that never go in operation?
     
  15. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    On the Pz IV production it was not the standard medium tank in '42, the decision to use the Pz IV as standard medium was just take after the need to put a 75 long gun in the medium tank (in the Pz III was not possible).
    it's true that the IV in '42 were 994 but the 1937-1941 production was in all 1015, take in the count that all Pz IV A-F production was 1306 this left 291 F built in 1942 so in '42 were built 703 IV G and the 200 F with 75 long
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #16 parsifal, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
    The gun in the F1 was a lot less powerful than that n the F2. F2 was essentially a G with some slightly inferior characteristics, but nothing major. But some F2s were still fitted with the f1 gun, so its impossible to be completely definitive about its offensive capabilities. My source says 294 F2s were built, and 291 F1s all in 1942. By calculation that therefore means that just over 400 were later marks, logically that the G.

    To be fair, most people rate the F2 as a G, which, if thats accepted, does raise the number of gs or g equivalents to just under 700

    Mk IV production was not first ramped up because the Mk III could not accommodate a 75mm gun. There are subtypes of the Mk III that did just that, sometimes referred to as the MkIII/IV, and in 1943 (I think) some of the later versions of the MkIII were fitted with the old L24 gun for Infantry support. It was less promising than the MkIV, and MKIV production, specifically the f1s were immeiately ramped after the first encounters with the T-34 in June 1941. F1s were also found useful in countering some of the heavy British tanks in the desert
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The G seems to span the F2 and the H with early Gs having the L43 gun and 50mm armor and late Gs having both the L48 gun and the 80mm armor on the hull/superstructure front. This about tapped out the basic MK IV design as it pretty much froze at this point. A modified hull could have been developed ( ala Jagdpanzer IV) but wasn't employed on turreted tanks.

    As used in the field in the fall of 1942 sort of disregards potential of prototypes (or tanks used in training) or future developments. There is little doubt that an M4A3E8 is superior to a MK IVH or J after all :)

    The MK IVs with 50mm frontal armor can be knocked out by American 75mm or Russian 76mm guns at most practical battle ranges. American 75mm can go through 50mm or better sloped at 30 degrees, which the MK IV was not, at 1500yds. The slope factor should help turn proving ground performance into battle field performance, few tanks were a perfect 90 degrees to the tank firing at them. The 80mm armor bought around 1000yds of protection but darn few MK IVs in the field had 80mm armor in the fall of 1942.

    As used in the field I would have to chose the Sherman as the better T-34s don't really start showing up until 1943.
     
  18. Mobius

    Mobius Member

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    The PZ IVG I'm talking about is the earlier version with the 50+30 armor.
    I did a simulation of 3 vs 3 tanks at about 480m for T-34/76 M'43 and the 4G takes it 4 times to 1. Then vs the T-34/76e M'42 and the 4G wins only 1 times to 4. Then vs the T-34/57 M'41 and the 4G wins 4 to 0 with one tie.
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Older book (subject to correction?) says that the L43 gun was fitted until March of 1943. The 50+30 armor started to be fitted 20th June 1942 but only about 16 tanks per month were fitted with from July to Nov of 1942, From Dec 1942 all (?) had it or perhaps 1/2 of production? Estimate that 700 out of 1687 "G"s had the extra protection and since production ran until June of 1943 the number of 50+30 armored tanks in the field in fall (even November) of 1942 is going to pretty small. Please allow several weeks for delivery to North Africa :)
     
  20. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    It went into operation but never saw combat. If the Cdn army had been committed to combat in 1942 the Ram II would have been their main tank, but the Cdn Army didn't go into action until July 1943, except for the Dieppe Raid, where the Churchill I tank was used as an assault tank.

    However the Ram II had a very good gun and relatively thick sloped armour, with good mobility and it would have been a winner in 1942.
     
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