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Old 10-21-2020, 07:18 PM   #51
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Knocking out a WW2 tank

My view on that is that the Lee and the cruiser tanks were garbage tanks - in the case of the Lee at least almost intentionally so and for reasonable cause, but still not a good tank. The Sherman and the T-34 set the curve, and the Pz IV just manages to stay viable by pressing its frame to the absolute limits.
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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Also worth noting that the PZ IV shows up in the post war period - IIRC one or more of the Arab states used them in the Six day war in '67 - so still a useable, if not a first class, medium tank in '45. Given that late model T34s and Sherman variants were kicking about into the C21, my guess would be that it was parts supply that killed off the Pz IV in the end.
While post-war Pz IVs remained at least marginally usable against the more common post-war exported Shermans and T-34s, competitiveness isn't a key feature for most of the militaries that would have used them. They tended to be more in the 'any operable tank is a decisive improvement over no tank' regime.

(Unlike the left-over Panthers, which were reasonably competitive with any tanks around in the '40s.)
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:10 PM   #52
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Default Re: Knocking out a WW2 tank

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Originally Posted by borithan View Post
The Lee/Grant: A poor layout, but the only way to get a 75mm gun into the field quickly. Allegedly known as "a coffin for 7 brothers" to the Soviets, but that may be apocryphal. To be fair, it was always intended as a stop-gap. Still much appreciated by British tankers who finally had something beefy which they could properly attack anti-tank positions with, rather than trying to charge down with machine guns. Difficult to compare directly due to it's odd layout, but probably not as good vehicle all round, but starting to be a contender.
What was more important is that unlike their Crusaders it wasn't worn out, and the parts supply was better, as for some reason parts for Crusaders never seemed to actually get to where the tanks were. Crusaders with 6-pounders were quite adequate for bullying Pz.IIIs, could deal with Pz.IVs, and could also deal with normal anti-tank guns, as the 6-pounder did have an HE shell. The M3's 75mm gun had a better HE shell, but the tank had those other problems you mentioned.

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The various British cruisers, which were as close to a "medium tank" as Britain produced: Various shades of bad to mediocre. Fast, sure, usually, but often suffered reliability problems, and often either had to choose between being undergunned (2pdr armed designs) or 2 man turrets (many of the 6pdr armed tanks), and a tendency to be lightly armoured, and lacking much (if any) HE capability until outside the mid-war period.
While it wasn't perfect by any means the Crusader actually did fairly well, all things considered, and the British produced quite a lot of them, and kept using them until they could be replaced by M4 Shermans.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:10 PM   #53
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Default Re: Knocking out a WW2 tank

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The Panther was a good tank that cost too much to build for what you got out of it.

They would have been better off putting the Panther's gun on the Panzer IV sooner, and building more of them.
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There's no way the Pz.IV could've carried that gun - it was already badly over-loaded with the much smaller and less powerful guns. Nor did it have the armour to be competitive late in the war.

Germany couldn't out-build the Allies, so its only hope was to try and build better.
Sorry, I had something come up that limited my time on the above post, I should have deleted it, instead of posting it. To elaborate. I was referring to the Jagdpanzer IV, which did carry the 75mm PAK 42/L70 that the Panther did. After the battle of Kursk, most of the German high command knew they were no longer fighting to win, but to not lose, fortunately, Hitler was not one of them.

The Panther was the tank Germany needed in the field when they were advancing, once they were defending/falling back, more Jagdpanzer IVs would have been a better use of resources, well used, they could kill t-34/85s, expertly used, they could damage the KV tanks enough to put them out of action until repaired.

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The Panzer IV was a grossly obsolete design that they were very lucky to manage to stretch to the point of making a tolerable mid-war medium tank.
This was more the Panzer III*, by late 1943 it was well past it's prime.

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I mean, there was no winning move once it turned out that blitzing the USSR into surrender wasn't going to work. But trying to carry through the rest of the war with a pre-T-34 main tank doesn't sound like a highly appealing approach....
The Panzer IV, with the Panzer III, were the first "modern WW II" tank designs, and the Panzer IV was roughly equivalent to the Sherman and T-34/76's. Once the Sherman had the 76mm gun, and the T-34/85s came out, the Panzer IV was behind the curve, although the 75mm KwK 40 L/48 was still a threat.

I will note that Panzer IVs were still in use in the 1967 Six-Day war by Syria, while definitely not front line units by then, they were good enough to still be maintained, despite all the mostly free Shermans, T-34s, and T-55s, floating around. They were also acquired with the intention of using them against Israel, who was known to be skilled with tanks, and not intended to be used against people without tanks.

*I will also note that the Chieftain, mentioned above, rates the Panzer III as more effective than the T-34 at the time of the German invasion of Russia. In 1941, the T-34 still had significant teething issues, with very green crews. The Panzer III, with the long barrel 50mm KwK 39 L/60, with all the bugs worked out, and expert crews could pick off early T-34/76s. An advantage rapidly lost, once the bugs were worked out on the T-34s, the crews were trained, and too many Panzer III crews were either transitioned to a Panzer IVs, or dead.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:01 PM   #54
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Default Re: Knocking out a WW2 tank

PIAT, It is worth remembering the PIAT was designed with the knowledge that the Boys Anti-tank rifle was obsolete, and designed when LAWs were a theoretical design, the PIAT is a decent niche design, that if the Bazooka had failed, would likely have seen far greater use. After LAWs were shown to be a better bang for the buck, the PIAT faded away.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:03 AM   #55
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Default Re: Knocking out a WW2 tank

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The Panzer IV, with the Panzer III, were the first "modern WW II" tank designs, and the Panzer IV was roughly equivalent to the Sherman and T-34/76's. Once the Sherman had the 76mm gun, and the T-34/85s came out, the Panzer IV was behind the curve, although the 75mm KwK 40 L/48 was still a threat.
Hmm. The design of the Matilda II, with a 3-man turret, and prototype production, occurred at much the same time as that of the Pz.III (and a little after the Pz.IV). The difference is that it wasn't put into production until slightly later than the Pz.III, and thus a year after the Pz.IV.

It's funny - a lot of sites are making the claim that the Pz.III was a big step forward with its three-man turret, but the Pz.IV precedes it.

Also, note that in the desert the Pz.IV was not considered better than the Crusader, and the Pz.III was inferior. So you needed a late model Pz.IV to be roughly equal to a bog-standard M4, or a T-34 with the three-man turret.

Having a gun that's still a threat doesn't mean much - the British 6-pounder was a threat to most German tanks throughout the war (and to all of them from the side or rear), and even the 2-pounder could be a problem for even late model Pz.IVs from some aspects (unlike the various 37mm guns from the early war period which did become useless against most tanks pretty quickly).
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*I will also note that the Chieftain, mentioned above, rates the Panzer III as more effective than the T-34 at the time of the German invasion of Russia. In 1941, the T-34 still had significant teething issues, with very green crews. The Panzer III, with the long barrel 50mm KwK 39 L/60, with all the bugs worked out, and expert crews could pick off early T-34/76s. An advantage rapidly lost, once the bugs were worked out on the T-34s, the crews were trained, and too many Panzer III crews were either transitioned to a Panzer IVs, or dead.
The early T-34 had a lot of issues, hardly surprising given just how new it was at the time, while the Pz.III was some years old by then, and had had the flaws ironed out (aside from the ones that were unfixable, like light armour, too small for bigger guns, etc.). Even so, the early T-34s gave the Germans a nasty surprise, as they assumed the Soviets had the same tanks they'd had in 1939. The KV-1 was more than just a surprise - it was a terrible shock.
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:24 AM   #56
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Default Re: Knocking out a WW2 tank

For a lot of little reasons that often get missed, the Sherman is a very good tank. Especially by late war - with the 76mm, HVAP ammunition, wet ammo storage, and HVSS, it had became one of the most refined tank designs in operation at the end of the war. A lot of people overlook things like engine reliability, ease of field maintenance, or ergonomics - compare the Sherman's "oh bugger, the tank is on fire" test to that of... anything else.
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:00 AM   #57
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For a lot of little reasons that often get missed, the Sherman is a very good tank. Especially by late war - with the 76mm, HVAP ammunition, wet ammo storage, and HVSS, it had became one of the most refined tank designs in operation at the end of the war. A lot of people overlook things like engine reliability, ease of field maintenance, or ergonomics - compare the Sherman's "oh bugger, the tank is on fire" test to that of... anything else.
OTOH, even at the end of the war, not all Shermans had the 'good' engines... At least even the ones that weren't the best were easy to get at, or to rip out and replace.

By the way, this is one reason why the Valentine was still in service at the end of the war, slow, marginally gunned, and with only a two-man turret though it was - it was reliable and easy to maintain. That it still had decent armour and was small and handy help too.
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