Sherman Main gun

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by MacArther, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Junior Historian, Paintballer, Student
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Home Page:
    I have heard that the Sherman's usually 75mm gun could not pierce even a Pzr IV's frontal armor. My question is, was the Sherman's gun good against any tank aside from the lighter Pzer I-IIIs? Also, aside from logistics, why would the US use a gun that seemed to be so useless against enemy armor?
     
  2. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    11,985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    The M4 Sherman had the 75mm M3 cannon with a penetration of 70mm at 500 yards/30 degrees. This is enough to destroy the Pz.Kpfw IV. It was not useless against the standard armour of the Wehrmacht when introduced and could destroy the Wehrmacht armour from the rear or side.

    The Sherman was introduced with this cannon but they were upgraded with the 76mm M1, M1A1, M1A1C or M1A2 cannon which could penetrate 88mm at 1000 yards (APC) and 133mm at 1000 yards (HVAP). This isn't a poor armament.

    The only other option open to the Allies was the 17 pdr OQF , which was used on the Sherman Firefly and could penetrate 186mm at 500 yards (APDS).
     
  3. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    The idea was to take the M3 Grant and improve upon as expeditiously as possible. Army wanted a 75mm gun in the turret - and the hull and suspension of the M3 grant emerged as the M4. Also keep in mind dated back to 42. Also - we built over 50,000 of them. You can't defeat 50,000 tanks! (straight from the mouth of a German officer). Sometimes it's about quantity, not quality - a lesson the germans had enormous difficulty understanding.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    That is true. The Sherman was completly outclassed by the Tiger, Panther and King Tiger in Armour and Armament. The 3 tanks above could take out a Sherman before the Sherman was even in a range suitable to kill them, but as you said above you can not beat 50,000 tanks. The Russians and the western Allies understood this.

    Some other people in the other thread dont understand this at all....
     
  5. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Junior Historian, Paintballer, Student
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Home Page:
    I understand you can't beat 50,000 tanks, but try explaining that to the guy in the sherman lucky enough to go against any of the three German tanks mentioned.
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I know its slightly off topic, but didnt pre war US Army doctine say that the medium tanks were to avoid a tank vs tank fight, and instead keep "rolling forward" and allow the specialized tank destroyers to go one on one in a fight?

    Of course it didnt work out that way in the real world, but that can explain why the Sherman was under gunned and not capable of going one on one with the German designs.
     
  7. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,270
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Junior Historian, Paintballer, Student
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Home Page:
    Still, would you want to be in a M10, with something in the order of 1.5 inches of armor at maximum? I could handle being in the M18 Hellcat, because at least I could get away from bad situations fast.
     
  8. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    Keep in mind the superiority of numbers - there's more to strategy and tactics than just producing an ubertank, such as Tigers or King Tigers, and boldly declaring the superiority of the german armaments industry.

    Allied tankers would commonly tackle a single german tank with 3 or 4 M4s - the numbers produced easily enabled this tactic. Sure, there were german tank aces that popped shermans like balloons with their StuGs or Tigers, but in my military opinion the germans would have been much better served building as many PzIVs as possible - taking steps to simplify the manufacturing process like the americans did w/ the M4. Note the ruggedness and reliability of the sherman vice the mechanical fragility of several german tanks...
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    The US tank situation by the end of fall 1944, was so bad that General's Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton (through Gen. Marshall of course) ordered the ordinance dept to get the M26 Pershing out of test and into production.

    The M4 was simply not up to the task.
     
  10. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    retired avionics engineer
    Location:
    Southern California
    We have a lot of dead heros. They knew they're job was dangerous and still climbed into that tank.

    One thing I don't understand is that the Sherman is always blamed for burning easily because it used gasoline instead of fuel oil but my references say that the MkIV, Panther, and Tiger were all using petrol which I believe is gasoline. If this is true, the real reason the Sherman burned was the thin armor.
     
  11. ndicki

    ndicki Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    The British Army of 1944 was in the process of ditching the Sherman as fast as possible, with the exception of the specials, such as the MkVc Firefly. The Sherman 'a' and 'b' types were not adopted (105mm gun, 76mm gun), nor was the later production 'wet' hull. That they were replaced by Cromwells may appear surprising, but it was not, as far as I can tell, due only to considerations of national prestige. The Cromwell, despite carrying the British version of the Sherman's 75mm gun, was more survivable. Open to debate, though...
     
  12. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    The US won the war. It was obviously up to the task - not the finest tank the world had seen - but it was produced in numbers that enabled it to do the job. The M26 had came out so late as to have no impact on the war and is irrelevant. Improved versions of the M4 such as the "Easy 8" were definite improvements and soldiered on, adequately accomplishing the job.

    Dave - all my pubs are packed up due to the PCS - I remember there being a diesel version too that the US mil used - I think it was actually only in service w/ the USMC. Maybe the M4A2?
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Yes from what I have heard early US tank doctrine was to leave the enemy tanks to tank destroyers and so hense the development of the less armoured and armed Shermans.

    I agree with you to a degree but the reason the Germans started to develop the Tiger was because the Russians were producing the T34 at an alarming rate which was destroying the Panzer IVs with amazing success.

    I dont think they should not have developed the Tiger, Panthers and King Tigers but rather kept Panzer IV production up at full speed to get massive amounts of armour out there and supplement them with Tiger BNs.

    The Germans did to an extent do this. The average Panzer Division was made up of Panzer IV divisions and then had a Heavy BN which was made up of Tigers attached to it.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Ah Ah Ah the Allies won the war.
     
  15. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    Of course the allies, of which the US was a part - there was no underlying freudian meaning in that! Actually, from the greatest A/C thread - if you remember I credit the Brits and the hurricane for winning the war!
     
  16. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    Adler - yeah true heavies were deployed in hvy tank Bn's, but I like you believe that the resources put into the PzV, Tigers, and other hvy tanks were wasted. Just think of the amount of steel alone! Especially when you consider all the teething problems they each suffered, and their mechanical unreliability. PzIV was a great tank - especially after upgraded to PzIVH. As stated before, they would've been better off simplifying the manu process and mass producing PzIVs.
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    As stated for the most part I agree, but I dont think they should have stopped Tiger production.
     
  18. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,720
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    I don't think they should either, I also think that had the war go on longer they should of started producing more Panther's to gradually replace the Panzer IV's (as the later Panzer IV's did to the Panzer III's) whilst still keeping Tiger production going (perhaps at a reduced rate to concentrate on Panzer IV/Panther production.
     
  19. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    Tiger was at least useful. monsters such as the elefant, koenigtiger, jadgpanther and jagdtigers were wastes of resources (plus you hade JagdPzIV, hetzers, marders, plus many i've glossed over. Speer didn't seem to grasp economies of scale - or is there something here I'm missing about the benefits of having umpteen slightly different models? Not only is production slower and more expensive, but factor in replacement parts, ease of maintenance, and standardization throughout the forces and you have a huge boon! America made clear use of this principle - giving rise to a mediocre war-winner... the M4!
     
  20. Bullet

    Bullet New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    The reason is it was the only option available...Although they should have used a High velocity variant of the 75mm instead of the low velocity model that was put into production to make the barrel last longer. Stephen Ambrose wrote about this in his book about the M4. He said that if they had the high velocity 75mm they could have went toe to toe with most axis tanks and knocked them out. He was an engineer so his opinion carries some weight.
    He also descibes a prototype tank that he built while in Europe using a 105mm cannon and the glassis plate from a german tiger!:p
     
Loading...

Share This Page