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Posted: 10/26/2013 2:59:49 PM EST
Currently reading a book written by an Ordnance officer that served in armor during WW2. He has a lot of comments about the weakness of the Sherman against German tanks and anti-tank guns. One thing he wrote, kind of caught me off guard as I had never heard it.

He claims that the Military had told U.S. industry to give top priority to getting the M-26 Pershing in production and overseas to replace the out matched Shermans. He then writes that Patton decided that the Pershing was to heavy, slow, and would burn to much gas for fast advanced fighting. Patton also stuck to the original armor doctrine that tanks were to support infantry and move fast, while trying to avoid engaging in direct combat with enemy tanks. Patton's insistence caused the military to inform US industry to concentrate on Sherman production and the Pershing went to the back burner.

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman. Anyone else heard of this? I believe the part about Patton, as it sounds just like something he would say and do. The part about ending the war sooner with Pershings? I don't know about that, the German armor was some of the best.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:02:58 PM EST
Originally Posted By substandard:

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman.
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Poppycock.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:05:17 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:


Poppycock.
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:
Originally Posted By substandard:

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman.


Poppycock.


Yeah no kidding.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:07:00 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:


Poppycock.
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:
Originally Posted By substandard:

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman.


Poppycock.


I never heard that before either.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:07:04 PM EST
The war in Europe was won a year after D-Day.

How could it have been won a year and a half faster?

Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:07:43 PM EST
Patton moved pretty fast and kicked much ass with those ineffective Shermans.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:07:49 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Nor-westerner19:
The war in Europe was won a year after D-Day.

How could it have been won a year and a half faster?

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I have no idea.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:07:58 PM EST
Patton understood that it's a hell of a lot easier to blow up fuel trucks, ammo dumps, and maintenance laagers than tanks... and the result is the same.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:10:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2013 3:11:30 PM EST by VA-gunnut]
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:12:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2013 3:13:40 PM EST by Lumpy196]
Belton Cooper "embellished" a lot in his book.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:14:31 PM EST
http://world-war2-bodong.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html


In his 1998 book Death Traps, Belton Cooper, who was a lieutenant in the Third Armored Division during World War II, working as a liaison officer for the Division's armor repair units, made the claim that General George S. Patton was primarily responsible for delaying the development and production of the M26. Death Traps describes a specific incident where Patton allegedly reviewed military weapons with other U.S. field commanders in Tidworth Downs, England in January 1944, and was able to stop production of the M26 tank by urging sole production of the M4 tank. Cooper's claim about Patton's role, and his other criticisms of the M4 Sherman, have since been widely repeated by readers of his book, and have even come to be cited as references. In 2000, the author appeared in the History Channel TV show "Suicide Missions: Tank Crews of World War II" to expound on his views. Belton Y. Cooper died on May 27, 2007 at age 89.

A close examination of the historical record shows that Cooper's claim about Patton's role in delaying the M26 lacks support. US Army tank development and production during World War II was primarily the province of three departments: Ordnance did the design and development work, the Armored Force Board at Fort Knox was responsible for field testing, and Army Ground Forces (AGF) decided which weapons to accept, which was the final step leading to production. Field commanders were asked for their opinions, but they otherwise had no direct control over these departments.

During the time period in which much of the delay of the M26 production occurred (mid-1943 to early 1944), Patton had been dropped into a professional limbo by the U.S. Army as a result of the "slapping incident" in Sicily, and was not in a position to influence any military decisions, having lost his combat command and much of his professional prestige. In addition, the story about Patton at Tidworth Downs in January 1944 does not match the historical record described in any of the major biographies of General George S. Patton.

After losing command of the Seventh Army, Patton was posted in various parts of the Mediterranean for the remainder of 1943, acting essentially as a decoy for German spies. He was summoned in early 1944 to England by Gen. Eisenhower without being told of the reason. Eisenhower recognized Patton's military brilliance and his potential for future combat operations, but was deeply concerned over his sometimes outrageous outbursts. Arriving in Scotland on January 26, 1944, Patton was told that he would be given command of the as yet unformed Third Army. At the same time, Patton was given "a severe bawling out" for his impulsive behavior by Eisenhower, and told to keep a low profile. The biographical record thus contradicts the story about Patton as stated in Death Traps.

The only historical event that slightly resembled Cooper's story about Patton occurred on June 12, 1944. A firing demonstration of the 76mm Sherman was conducted in England for Patton, his tank commanders, and other senior Army commanders prior to the deployment of the Third Army to France, to encourage adoption of this tank into the armored units. However, the 76mm M4 Sherman was viewed with great skepticism by all the tank commanders because of its large, blinding muzzle blast (at the time, it lacked a muzzle brake to redirect the blast sideways) which would have severely limited the ability of tank crews to fire more than one round at a target. In addition the 76mm high explosive shell was weaker than that of the existing 75mm gun, and the infantry support role of the M4 Sherman was considered to be far more important than the anti-tank role for which the new 76mm gun was designed. The refusal of the 76mm M4 Shermans was universal among all of the U.S. armored divisions that landed in France, and thus the U.S. Army did not have any 76mm M4 Shermans in France until late July, 1944. Patton's Third Army did not accept any 76mm M4 Shermans until after the Battle of Arracourt at the end of September 1944.

Tank historians who have researched the original military documents such as Richard P. Hunnicutt, George Forty and Steven Zaloga have generally agreed that the main cause of the delay in production of the M26 was opposition to the tank from Army Ground Forces, headed by General Lesley McNair. Zaloga in particular has identified several specific factors that led both to the delay of the M26 program and limited improvements in the firepower of the M4:

1. McNair, who was an artillery officer by trade, had promulgated the "tank destroyer doctrine" in the U.S. Army. In this doctrine, tanks were primarily for infantry support and exploitation of breakthroughs. Enemy tanks were supposed to be dealt with by the tank destroyer forces, which were composed of lightly armored but relatively fast vehicles carrying more powerful anti-tank guns, as well as towed versions of these anti-tank guns. Because of the tank destroyer doctrine, emphasis was placed only on improving the firepower of the tank destroyers, as there was a strong bias against developing a heavy tank to take on enemy tanks. For this same reason, improvement of the firepower of the M4 Sherman was limited only to the 76mm gun upgrade.

2. McNair established a "battle need" criteria for acquisition of weapons in order to make best use of America's 3000 mile long supply line to Europe by preventing the introduction of weapons that would prove unnecessary, extravagant or unreliable on the battlefield. In his view, introduction of a new heavy tank had many problems in terms of transportation, supply, service, and reliability issues, and was not necessary in 1943 or early 1944. The problem of course was that tank development took time, and so the sudden appearance of a new tank threat could not be met quickly enough with such rigid criteria.

3. A sense of complacency fell upon those in charge of developing tanks in the U. S. Army which came about because the M4 Sherman in 1942 was superior to the most common German tanks—the Panzer III and early models of the Panzer IV. Even through most of 1943, the 75mm M4 Sherman was adequate against the great majority of German armor, although the widespread appearance of the German 7.5 cm KwK 40 during this time had led to a growing awareness that the M4 was becoming outgunned. There was simply not enough forward thinking to understand that there was an ongoing tank arms race and that the U.S. armored forces needed to anticipate future German tank threats. The Tiger I and Panther tanks that appeared in 1943 were seen in only very limited numbers by U.S. forces and thus were not considered as major threats. The end result was that in 1943, the Ordnance Dept., lacking any guidance from the rest of the Army, concentrated its tank development efforts mainly on its pet project, the electrical transmission T23. In contrast, in the German–Soviet conflict on the Eastern Front in 1943, a full-blown tank arms race was underway, with the Soviets responding to the German Tiger I and Panther Tank by starting development work on the T34/85 and IS-2 tanks.

The most critical period was from mid-1943 through mid-1944, which was when the M26 could still have come to fruition in time for the Normandy invasion. During this time, development of the 90mm up-armored T26 prototype continued to proceed slowly due to disagreements within the U.S. Army about its future tank needs. The details of what exactly happened during this time vary by historian, but all agree that AGF was the main source of resistance that delayed production of the T26.
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There's more at the link
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:15:20 PM EST
part of it makes sense.
speed and ease of maintenance would allow for fast maneuvering.
slugging it out with Panthers was stupid.

Patton would have preferred shermans for his style of fighting.
but we were stuck with eisenhowers broad front advance and we moved at the speed of montgomary.

How the fuck it lengthened the war by 1.5 years when we didn't even land in Normandy until June 1944 is an absolute mystery, however.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:16:25 PM EST
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:16:25 PM EST
The US faced only a tiny fraction of Germany's tanks in battle. By the time we landed, the Wehrmacht had a shortage Panzers to throw at us. I don't recall the numbers but a very small number of their tanks were able to actually make it into battle, compared to the numbers they produced. Our harassment of their lines of communication caused chronic shortages of parts and fuel to keep the Panzers running.

Was the Sherman inadequate for fighting Tigers and Panthers? Of course. But the Germans didn't ever have enough of either to halt our advance. The US advance was only ever slowed by our own supply concerns.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:16:51 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Nor-westerner19:
The war in Europe was won a year after D-Day.

How could it have been won a year and a half faster?

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The Pershing was a time machine?
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:18:07 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:21:40 PM EST
Spoiler Alert:

America Wins.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:26:09 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Belton Cooper "embellished" a lot in his book.
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BINGO. You are correct, that is the book I am reading. I just started and so far it has been a constant grumbling about the ineffectiveness of the Shermans.

I may put it aside, and switch over to the other book I downloaded about the Memphis Belle.

Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:26:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By substandard:
Currently reading a book written by an Ordnance officer that served in armor during WW2. He has a lot of comments about the weakness of the Sherman against German tanks and anti-tank guns. One thing he wrote, kind of caught me off guard as I had never heard it.

He claims that the Military had told U.S. industry to give top priority to getting the M-26 Pershing in production and overseas to replace the out matched Shermans. He then writes that Patton decided that the Pershing was to heavy, slow, and would burn to much gas for fast advanced fighting. Patton also stuck to the original armor doctrine that tanks were to support infantry and move fast, while trying to avoid engaging in direct combat with enemy tanks. Patton's insistence caused the military to inform US industry to concentrate on Sherman production and the Pershing went to the back burner.

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman. Anyone else heard of this? I believe the part about Patton, as it sounds just like something he would say and do. The part about ending the war sooner with Pershings? I don't know about that, the German armor was some of the best.
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you forget to say, that he felt that the off road would suffer because of the weight. Also, some of the smaller bridges would not hold them.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:27:18 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:


Poppycock.
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:
Originally Posted By substandard:

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman.


Poppycock.




Author is a birdbrain.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:28:11 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Sylvan:
part of it makes sense.
speed and ease of maintenance would allow for fast maneuvering.
slugging it out with Panthers was stupid.

Patton would have preferred shermans for his style of fighting.
but we were stuck with eisenhowers broad front advance and we moved at the speed of montgomary.

How the fuck it lengthened the war by 1.5 years when we didn't even land in Normandy until June 1944 is an absolute mystery, however.
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Magnets
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:28:31 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Andras:
http://world-war2-bodong.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html



There's more at the link
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Originally Posted By Andras:
http://world-war2-bodong.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html


In his 1998 book Death Traps, Belton Cooper, who was a..........


There's more at the link

Thanks, that clears up a lot. So far I am only 50 or so pages in and the book is rather disappointing.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:31:03 PM EST
I recently read " War as I Knew It" , a compilation of Pattons Diaries and Letters during the War.

He was all about speed, cutting the enemys supply lines from behind and moving so fast they didn't have time to react.

He would avoid direct contact with superior units , cut their supplies from behind, isolate them and move on.

I don't doubt he had no use for a big, heavy, fuel gobbling tank, but I doubt it did anything to slow the war down.

Patton could have been in Berlin much earlier but for Mongomery and the retasking of supplies to other fronts.

Eisenhower Parked him to let Monty ant the other fronts receive the limited supplies and catch up.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:33:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2013 4:27:19 PM EST by BamaInArk]
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Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.
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Wasn't it Eisenhower Macarthur that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:34:20 PM EST
What lengthened the war was letting Montgomery and the British unstuck/unfuck themselves in the north instead of letting Patton crash straight through to Berlin.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:38:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2013 3:44:38 PM EST by ACDer]
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.


It was MacArthur who made that decision in 1932 when he was army Chief of Staff.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:41:57 PM EST
Originally Posted By substandard:
The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman.
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Nah and no.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:42:35 PM EST
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.


McArthur

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:43:11 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ACDer:


It was MacAurther who made the decision in 1936 when he was army Chief of Staff.
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Originally Posted By ACDer:
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.


It was MacAurther who made the decision in 1936 when he was army Chief of Staff.


Oh duh...wrong name. My bad. Macarthur is who I meant.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:52:30 PM EST
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Originally Posted By substandard:

BINGO. You are correct, that is the book I am reading. I just started and so far it has been a constant grumbling about the ineffectiveness of the Shermans.

I may put it aside, and switch over to the other book I downloaded about the Memphis Belle.

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Originally Posted By substandard:
Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Belton Cooper "embellished" a lot in his book.

BINGO. You are correct, that is the book I am reading. I just started and so far it has been a constant grumbling about the ineffectiveness of the Shermans.

I may put it aside, and switch over to the other book I downloaded about the Memphis Belle.

Everything I've read has shown that he's been pretty well discredited.


In fact, the actual reports generated post WW2 seems to show that Sherman's were very effective, and while they had short comings, in most engagements they would inflict many more losses than they took.






Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:52:38 PM EST
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.



The Military had a shitton of 06 on hand from ww1. They weren't goiung to let it go to waste and have to buy a ton of new crap.



Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:53:49 PM EST
I have read from other sources that Patton was generally opposed to a heavy tank prior to Normandy, as were a lot of other commanders, but I've never heard of him as the reason why the tanks were never produced. Patton was allegedly opposed due to the fuel and logistics issues. The real mistake of the Allies was in underestimating the German use of the Panther. We had faced the Tiger I in such limited numbers in North Africa that it was a non-issue strategically. If you were unfortunate enough to run into one you called a TD, air power, or artillery. The Germans, however, had decided to employ the Panther, a heavy tank, as a replacement for Panzer IV medium tanks, meaning they were built in large numbers. Fully half of the medium tank battalions were being armed with Panthers.

Hindsight being 20/20, we would have saved a lot of lives if we had a small force of 200-500 Pershings as some Army offices wanted at the time of Normandy, but it wouldn't have altered the outcome.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:55:16 PM EST
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Originally Posted By PR361:



The Military had a shitton of 06 on hand from ww1. They weren't goiung to let it go to waste and have to buy a ton of new crap.



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Originally Posted By PR361:
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.



The Military had a shitton of 06 on hand from ww1. They weren't goiung to let it go to waste and have to buy a ton of new crap.





Yep, that's what I heard and read.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:56:12 PM EST
I have heard that Patton delayed the Pershng tank. I had NOT heard this decision extended the war.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:59:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2013 4:00:13 PM EST by FightingHellfish]
Originally Posted By substandard:
Currently reading a book written by an Ordnance officer that served in armor during WW2. He has a lot of comments about the weakness of the Sherman against German tanks and anti-tank guns. One thing he wrote, kind of caught me off guard as I had never heard it.

He claims that the Military had told U.S. industry to give top priority to getting the M-26 Pershing in production and overseas to replace the out matched Shermans. He then writes that Patton decided that the Pershing was to heavy, slow, and would burn to much gas for fast advanced fighting. Patton also stuck to the original armor doctrine that tanks were to support infantry and move fast, while trying to avoid engaging in direct combat with enemy tanks. Patton's insistence caused the military to inform US industry to concentrate on Sherman production and the Pershing went to the back burner.

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman. Anyone else heard of this? I believe the part about Patton, as it sounds just like something he would say and do. The part about ending the war sooner with Pershings? I don't know about that, the German armor was some of the best.
View Quote


I don't know if it was Patton specifically, but the Army delayed the Pershing.

The war in Europe was over less than 1.5 years after the Normandy landing.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:59:04 PM EST
I think it was correct that at the time US military doctrine was that Shermans were supposed to support the infantry primarily. I thought the US decided to utilize cheaper tank destroyers and anti-tank guns to take out enemy tanks, rather than match German medium and heavy tanks class for class.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:01:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Sylvan:
part of it makes sense.
speed and ease of maintenance would allow for fast maneuvering.
slugging it out with Panthers was stupid.

Patton would have preferred shermans for his style of fighting.
but we were stuck with eisenhowers broad front advance and we moved at the speed of montgomary.

How the fuck it lengthened the war by 1.5 years when we didn't even land in Normandy until June 1944 is an absolute mystery, however.
View Quote



"Combat tactics"
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:04:07 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ACDer:


It was MacArthur who made that decision in 1932 when he was army Chief of Staff.
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Originally Posted By ACDer:
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.


It was MacArthur who made that decision in 1932 when he was army Chief of Staff.
If there's a general you can blame for fucking around with his personal bullshit, extending the war unnecessarily and getting Americans killed, he's your man.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:04:47 PM EST
I thought once the sherman got the 76mm gun it was way better, the Firefly version was even better.


Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:05:29 PM EST
The Sherman was a good tank especially for US doctrine of letting the tank destroyers engage armor. That being said the Sherman had no problem with the PzKpfw 3's and self propelled gun's based on that chassis with it's low velocity 75mm. For the PzKpfw 4's the 76mm was needed. The 76 MM gun had a hard time with Tigers and Panthers even using the HVAP rounds. The Panther, Tiger, and Tiger 2 were never deployed in significant numbers on the Western front to justify the resources needed to supply a tank capable of killing one of those tanks one on one. When they didn't break down/run out of fuel or ammunition they could be dealt with by air power, artillery, or towed 90 MM guns.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:06:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.
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Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.


That was Macarthur.

Death Traps wasn't that bad of a book so long as you understand it from the perspective of a guy who was a very small cog in a very large machine. He was probably repeating things he heard through the grapevine. He has enough stories about hosing dead crews out of damaged shermans to be credible about the tank's capabilities. It was quantity not quality that made the difference.

Wasn't there some german general that said it took five shermans to kill a tiger but the americans always had six?
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:11:07 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:


Poppycock.
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:
Originally Posted By substandard:

The author of the book claims this move extended the war in Europe by 1 to 1.5 years due to the ineffectiveness of the Sherman.


Poppycock.

Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:15:59 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Jerret_S:
I thought once the sherman got the 76mm gun it was way better, the Firefly version was even better.


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With the Firefly they finally had a gun capable of defeating German armor. Michael Wittmann was killed by one, while in a Tiger. But the rest of the tank was still an outdated piece of shit. Shermans sucked. It is a shame that was what America had to fight that war with.

But keep in mind, it wasn't just Shermans that the Germans had to contend with. Shermans may have been our main battle tank, but we had plenty of tank destroyers that were capable of defeating German armor.

It was our industry and our will to end German industry (willing to bomb the ever loving shit out of civilian factory workers' homes, etc) that won the war. It wasn't because our tactics or equipment was better. God bless that generation for having the tenacity to trudge ahead and achieve victory despite it all.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:21:07 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Bullet_:
What lengthened the war was letting Montgomery and the British unstuck/unfuck themselves in the north instead of letting Patton crash straight through to Berlin.
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I never cared for Montgomery, add in that Eisenhower seemed
to take Montie's side and push Patton to the side, I don't care for
Eisenhower much either.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:21:51 PM EST
I read Death Traps a few years ago and enjoyed it. But I don't think Cooper is the be-all/end-all of Sherman knowledge. Knowing how to repair one on a battlefield doesn't mean you automatically have any special insight to the politics that lead to certain vehicles making it into production.

Personally, I think the Sherman was a fine, fine medium tank. It was more than capable of leading the Allied Blitzkrieg charge across Western Europe and going toe-to-toe with German medium tanks.

Unfortunately, it was often pressed into service going toe-to-toe with Germany's heavy tanks; something it was never designed to do. But we didn't really have any options at the time so a lot of brave kids died going above and beyond their call to duty. But it was easy on fuel and easy to repair in the field by kids used to working on cars and farm equipment.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:23:37 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Bones45:


That was Macarthur.

Death Traps wasn't that bad of a book so long as you understand it from the perspective of a guy who was a very small cog in a very large machine. He was probably repeating things he heard through the grapevine. He has enough stories about hosing dead crews out of damaged shermans to be credible about the tank's capabilities. It was quantity not quality that made the difference.

Wasn't there some german general that said it took five shermans to kill a tiger but the americans always had six?
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Originally Posted By Bones45:
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.


That was Macarthur.

Death Traps wasn't that bad of a book so long as you understand it from the perspective of a guy who was a very small cog in a very large machine. He was probably repeating things he heard through the grapevine. He has enough stories about hosing dead crews out of damaged shermans to be credible about the tank's capabilities. It was quantity not quality that made the difference.

Wasn't there some german general that said it took five shermans to kill a tiger but the americans always had six?


I believe it was Uncle Joe Stalin who said "Quantity is its own kind of quality."
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:24:47 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:27:14 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Madcap72:
Everything I've read has shown that he's been pretty well discredited.


In fact, the actual reports generated post WW2 seems to show that Sherman's were very effective, and while they had short comings, in most engagements they would inflict many more losses than they took.






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Originally Posted By Madcap72:
Originally Posted By substandard:
Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Belton Cooper "embellished" a lot in his book.

BINGO. You are correct, that is the book I am reading. I just started and so far it has been a constant grumbling about the ineffectiveness of the Shermans.

I may put it aside, and switch over to the other book I downloaded about the Memphis Belle.

Everything I've read has shown that he's been pretty well discredited.


In fact, the actual reports generated post WW2 seems to show that Sherman's were very effective, and while they had short comings, in most engagements they would inflict many more losses than they took.









Even better than the T-34.



Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:28:23 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Nor-westerner19:
The war in Europe was won a year after D-Day.

How could it have been won a year and a half faster?

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Do you even time machine, bro?
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:29:04 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Bones45:


That was Macarthur.

Death Traps wasn't that bad of a book so long as you understand it from the perspective of a guy who was a very small cog in a very large machine. He was probably repeating things he heard through the grapevine. He has enough stories about hosing dead crews out of damaged shermans to be credible about the tank's capabilities. It was quantity not quality that made the difference.

Wasn't there some german general that said it took five shermans to kill a tiger but the americans always had six?
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Originally Posted By Bones45:
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Originally Posted By ACDer:
I read that book-that part about Patton is nonsense. Field generals did not make ordnance production decisions.


Wasn't it Eisenhower that caused the newly to be fielded Garand as selected firing the .276 Peterson round to be rechambered in 30-06? Guess it depends on which General.


That was Macarthur.

Death Traps wasn't that bad of a book so long as you understand it from the perspective of a guy who was a very small cog in a very large machine. He was probably repeating things he heard through the grapevine. He has enough stories about hosing dead crews out of damaged shermans to be credible about the tank's capabilities. It was quantity not quality that made the difference.

Wasn't there some german general that said it took five shermans to kill a tiger but the americans always had six?

Plus for every 10 Shermans we lost we could replace those 10 plus another 10. The Germans couldn't even replace the one tank they lost.
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 4:40:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2013 4:43:49 PM EST by sbhaven]
OP, read Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II. It was free on Kindle a few weeks ago. It lays out the fucked up process and egos that caused problems with US tank design leading into WWII and with the slow (almost criminal) process to upgrade the Sherman so it could more effectively compete with German armor. The book does dispelll some myths that TV shows have perpetrated about the Sherman's being a "Ronson lighter".



I don't remember what was said about Patton but by the time Patton was in Europe it was too late to field a new or upgraded tank in large numbers with a gun that could defeat the frontal armor of the Panthers and Tiger tanks at longer ranges.
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