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Posted: 11/17/2001 10:07:46 PM EDT
I have a running debate with a friend, my belief is that Most of the tow antitank guns of WW2 were a waste of time , resorces,and crews. Most guns on the battle fields lasted between 6 to 10 rounds, before they were dispatched, many were kept well past there prime, Germans had powerful AT guns, the PAKs weather 50mm, or 75mm, would kill a sherman, but only the 75mm, would kill a T34, The russian 76mm would kill most panzers, except the heavies, but thoses were the first to be used in assaults, Brits, had the 2pounder, only fired solid shot, useless against infantry, an the americans Used the 57mm(a copy of the brit 5 pounder) by Normandy these were known to be worthless, So who has a opinion, lets discuss TMA
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 2:36:52 AM EDT
The Germans started the war using a 37mm gun, which was useless from the get-go. The British Matilda, French Char B, and the Soviet T-34 could pretty much shrug off a direct hit from a 37mm, except at very close range. The main Russian AT gun at the start was a 45mm, which did OK against the fairly thin-skinned, non-sloped armor of the earlier German vehicles. The British 2-pounder was indeed pretty worthless as an AT gun. The Germans had a fairly high opinion of the Soviet 76.2mm AT gun, as they used it both towed, and on a T-38(T) chassis, as an assault gun. Of course, we all know how well the 88 performed.
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 5:25:06 AM EDT
I believe the 88mm served with distinction until the end of the war. If you were a German infantryman, a 37mm against softskinned vehicles and halftracks would be better than nothing.
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 9:08:00 AM EDT
The Germans had mostly 37mm AT guns at the start of the war, which were more powerful than most tank mounted guns. The had some 50mm guns. The Russians had their 76.2 guns from the start, and they were wildly more powerful than tank armour or guns. Guns were cheap compared to tanks, and the AT versions alomost always had a slight advantage in accuracy and power when compared to the tank mounted versions. AT guns had an advantage because they were easily concealable. Less likely to be spotted by airplanes, and easy to dig in. The Germans used several versions of the 88 from the AA version to an 88L71 version(king tiger II gun) on a mount that could spin 360 degrees. These guns could punch holes in ANYTHING. Some tanks could be killed well beyond the tanks effective range. The British had an 8 (IIRC) pounder AA gun that was equal to the 88, but the British didn't use it as an AT later they had AT versions on the 8 pounder that were very effective. AT guns are much better in a defensive role, and cheaper than tanks. They can be put into key positions, and be camoflouged. The Germans actually had relatively few tanks, something like 4500 Panthers, 1354 Tigers, and 450 King Tigers. If I was allocating tanks and guns I would want as many tanks as possible for offense, and as many AT guns as needed for defense. Tanks are to expensive to guard roads or bridges, but AT guns are good for that task. Plus AT guns should be deployed with infantry and artillery support. Not to mentions mines, and infantry AT weapons, and supporting fire from other AT guns. Look at the tanks at the start of WWII, many of them weighed about 5 tons........ not exactly the leviathans they would evolve into....
Link Posted: 11/25/2001 9:40:21 PM EDT
I was just reading an article about tiger ace Michael Wittman. He stated he got far more satifaction from taking out an anti-tank gun than a tank
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