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View Full Version : The 17pounder at gun. The forgotten best tank killer of ww2!



17poundr
12-30-2007, 11:13 AM
I'm here to remind people that although all in all the German 88 was probably all in all the most succesfull gun. And the T-34 both in it's 76mm and 85mm guns were the best tanks (because that there were about 50 000 of them all together, otherwize we could all just vote the Panther and King tiger, but the latter couldnt cross most bridges in Europe, and only under 200 were made, and from the 6000 Panthers made, they have figured that about 15 000 Stug IIIs, IV's and Jagdpanzer IV's, which sported the same L-70 75mm gun as th e Panther, could have been made! You make the math on which would have been a better defencive option).

And although the Russian 85mm gun was good, there was one that not only had the same tank killing power as the german '88', but also was the father of all tank guns of today. How? It was the first gun to seriously fire SABOT rounds!

Yep, although sabot's were experimented on on the good but not powerful enough 6pounder, and also some German contraption, the 17pounder had it's secret in this munition.

I do not think that many here need to be explained what a SABOT round is, but for those who dont know here we go...

Usually in say a 100mm gun, the shell is also 100mm thick right? But in a SABOT, there is this outer shell, that is 100mm thick, but inside there is a say 60mm long thin pointed anti tank 'needle', made of a heavier metal, than what is usually used, in ww2 this was Tungsten, the strongest metal found in nature, nowadays they use Depleted Uranium, which is even more heavier, and doesnt loose the sharpness of it's point on impact!

So, when the 100mm shell exits the gun barrel, it has four serrations in the frontal part of the 'outer shell', and it kind of 'banana peels', off instantly to let the smaller 60mm 'dart', of heavier metal, which has used the larger blast of the thicker barrel to get more speed behind it, but being a heavy and think projectile, it fly's much straighter, and has the impact of a 'normal' anti tank 100mm shell, but impacting onto a 60mm area!

So, you get almost 50% more mass hitting an area almost 50% less, so penetration is much easier! Also it's so strong, that the metal of the tank spalls more. Spalling is what is known as molten metal, of metal shards from the impact flying into the tank, usually causing horrible wounds to the crew, and often blowing up the tank by hitting internal ammunition stores...

The Brits in ww2 made shure also that the SABOT arrow wouldnt just go through neatly, so they made most of the 'dart', from normal metal, and put a kind of Tungsten condom if you will onto the end, meaning that once it penetrated, the tungsten end, would separate, and both the arrow and the loose tip would bounce about inside, meaning ofcourse the equivalent of two bullets bouncing inside but both had a hitting power of say, a 40mm shell!

This usually killed crew and also could blow up the ammo that the Germans crews often stored on the floor of the tanks, as they werent that regurlaly supplied after mid 1943, so they tried to get in as much shells as possible, as they didnt know when they would be supplied next...

So, why wasnt the 17pounder recognized as the most advanced tank killer?

Well, during ww2, the combat troops of Germany knew the danger of the 17pounder very well, so that when the Brit's managed to get one into a Sherman by tilting it's turret sideways, and then re- modelling it, they called this the Sherman Firefly.

German tank and AT crews would always go for the Firefly's first. and the Brits would paint the part of the barrel that was longer than on the older Sherman, in a ligher colour, and sometimes it worked!

The US army made a great mistake in not going for the Firefly, but their own 76mm version, which was a dissapointment... If they would have been as easy going as the airforce guys, who had no problem in duplicating the Rolls Royce Merlin, with the Packard licence for the P-51, thus making one of the most succesfull and probably the most long ranged figher of ww2, the Mustang...

But the US Army was more founded in tradition, and couldnt abide the fact that the Brit's had come up with the answer to the '88'.

And, although the Sherman was otherwize still pretty much a deathtrap, when the Brits put a 17pounder onto their new tank the Comet, they had finally came up with a tank about as good as the Panther, and better than the T-34/85. But it only really came onto the battlefields in 45, and that part of Germany, just didnt have much of any tanks defending it, so the Comets were basically dodging Panzerfaust anti tank rockets, and the final showdown to prove all those frustrating years when the Brits had inferior tanks would have been history!

Still, people forget that for a short period in 1940 to 1941 (before Russia's T-34 became the new master of disaster along their KV-1), the Matilda II, was superior to any axis tank! They even called it the 'Queen of the battlefield' but the '88' was always stalking, and the Matilda crews knew their day was over when the long 75mm 'Panzer IV special', appeared in 1942.

Still, in the desert, even the Six pounder which was the first gun of that design, and the 17pounder it's follow up, the six pounder could easily make mush out of the main Africa Korps battle tank in 41 and 42, the Panzer III. So, you can imagine the shock when the 17pounders started to blast the German tanks from ranges one km away!

Nowadays all of the 'NATO standard tanks', meaning the Abrams (US ), Le Clerc(France), Leopard II (Germany), Challenger II (UK) and although not nato the Merkava (Israel), all use the 120mm (outer shell, the inner shell is a depleted uranium 'dart', about the thickness of a two Euro coin)! When it hit's a tank, the kinetic equivalent is that of a long passanger train going at 100mph hitting the area the size of a two Euro coin! Now that's a lot of power!!!

And infact the kinetic heat, heats up the metal of the surrounding area to such a degree that it glows red, so you can imagine that very often the ammunition and petrol in the tank just blow up from the heat alone, let alone the spalling...

And all this was already in use by the Brits during ww2!

I'll post pics of the six pounder, and mostly the 17pounder and some tanks that had it... Remember, that military history is selective, and is constantly in need of new perspectives, which is more possible now that the cold war is history, and the idea that the US saved democracy is becoming outdated, the Europeans, lead by Britain, Russia, Yugoslavia, they did it, the US helped a lot shure, but the Europeans did it! Now the pacific is another kettle of fish, and I wont get into that, but that was the Chinese, and then the US who did the 'coup de crace' to the Japanese...

But even there, one must be reminded that the longest lasting and most manpower consuming large land battle that the Japanese fought agaisnt the allies was in Burma!

Panzerknacker
12-30-2007, 08:26 PM
The 17 pounder is very good weapon but I dont believe it classifies as the best AT gun in ww2, for several factors.

A) Extremely heavy and curmbersome weapon, actually more heavy than a 8,8 cm Flak 18.

B) Bad or nonexistant high explosive ammo.

C) The APDS round was supplied very very late in the war, normally the APCBC round failed to penetrate the glacis of the Panther from 200 meters, wich teorically could be defeated from 800 m ( according to rage shooting tables)

D) Imposible to put in the turret of the normal british Cruisers and infantry tanks ( the sherman wasnt british :mrgreen:)

Also in here:


I'm here to remind people that although all in all the German 88 was probably all in all the most succesfull gun


..It would be nice if point out what variant of the 88 you are talking about...the Flak 18/36/41 Pak 43, or maybe the tank Kwk 36 or Kwk 43, for better comparison.

You have posted several pictures of the Comet tank, let me remind you that the Comet turret still was not big enough to mount the 17 pounder, it used a gun called "77mm OQF" wich was a derated 17 pdr with a shorter barrel and shorter catrigde case, thing that reduced its muzzle velocity and obviously had less armor defeating capabilities.

And by the way, I dont forget about the good characteristics of the Matilda, if you look into this section you ll see a topic called "Matilda, queen of the desert".

awack
12-30-2007, 09:50 PM
I dont know much about the 17 pounder, i have only recently began reading about it and it turned out to be far more potent than i first thought.

For penetration, APDS at 1200 m sec.. i have read the following, 140mm/ 185mm/ 208mm and 231mm all of these are at 1000 meters, maybe someone can clarify.

Another thing i always hear when talking or reading about the APDS round is that it was highly inacurate, the first APFSDS (fin stabalized) that i know of is a german effort under the name treibspiegel.

kallinikosdrama1992
12-31-2007, 08:38 AM
Well 17pounder was a very good AT gun in ww2 but not the best . So i agree with PK . Well it equiped some Shermans (Sherman Fireflly) , and also the M10 tank destroyer . The capabillities of this gun were good but it wasn't able to destroy the front haul of the Panther or the Tiger armor . That's why i say that the best AT gun was the German 88 . No allied tank could resist on it's power

17poundr
12-31-2007, 12:35 PM
Well 17pounder was a very good AT gun in ww2 but not the best . So i agree with PK . Well it equiped some Shermans (Sherman Fireflly) , and also the M10 tank destroyer . The capabillities of this gun were good but it wasn't able to destroy the front haul of the Panther or the Tiger armor . That's why i say that the best AT gun was the German 88 . No allied tank could resist on it's power

Well, I just cannot help that if the Americans would have gone for mass construction of Sherman Firefly's, instead of their 76mm, and a high explosive would have been developed, then we would all have a very different view of this gun...

The 88, I'm talking of the Anti Air version, which was converted to that 'classic 88', with a frontal armour plate which went after a large halftrack that pulled it... and ofcourse the not so numerous PAK 88, which was murder to pull around I hear... I suppose that since the main tanks of even 44 were panzer IV's (often mistaken for Tigers by allied troops, especially if having the panzer skirts on the turret), then you will understand why the Germans at least had a healthy respect for the 17pounder... Even Michael Vittmann, said in early 44, that enemy tanks didnt bother him anymore, the only thing he feared were the Russian 76mm 'RatchBum', anti tank, & anti personel guns, which he called 'lairs of death', as the Russians were experts at masking their positions, and 'gun nests', which would be half underground if possible...

The Russian 76mm got the name 'RatchBum', from the German infantry as you didnt have time to take cover when you herd it fire, it was instantly followed by the exposion. So it sounded like 'RatchBum'! Still it wasnt subsonic like the 88, and I belive some of the later allied munitions...

One funny detail was, that some British army officers suggested that the Brit's used their 3 and half inch AA guns like the Germans used their 88's against tanks... But the ordnance section said that this would be a too 'heavy' gun...

Alas, when the British army looked for the replacement for the 17pounder and ended up getting the 20pounder into Centurions, it was basically the very same AA gun from ww2 with a fiew modernifications!

Can you imagine what benefits the Brits would have had in say the desert war, if they would have got cracking with this idea in 1940-41? A gun precisely the equivalent of the 88 in the British hands... Well, they did have the most strongly armoured tank in the Matilda II, which could only be destroyed by an 88... Against the mark III's and IV's (with the short 75mm), the Matilda couldnt be destroyed from front, and hardly from side either... It was partly because of this that Rommel developed the sword and shield tactic... Although, it could have been borne in Russia when a T-34 or two ran amoc through the German panzers, only to be stopped by direct hits from divisional heavy artillery ( 105s and150mm's)!

pdf27
12-31-2007, 01:32 PM
Well, I just cannot help that if the Americans would have gone for mass construction of Sherman Firefly's, instead of their 76mm, and a high explosive would have been developed, then we would all have a very different view of this gun...
It has to be said that I think the US got it spot on correct with this decision. The primary role of the Sherman was anti-infantry rather than anti-tank, and a 17pdr variant would never have been as good - if only because the rate of fire would have been lower. Going for purely fireflies would have meant the allies had fewer, less effective tanks acting in infantry support and hence infantry casualties would have been much higher. Given how few Tigers and Panthers there were in Normandy, tank crew casualties would not have been reduced appreciably.

Believe me, even a 75mm Sherman looks like an armoured behemoth when you're an infantryman with only a rifle. Suddenly everyone's main efford is "kill this beast as fast as possible".

Nickdfresh
01-01-2008, 10:51 AM
Without reading this thread beyond the title, I was under the impression that the German 75mm may have been the best purebred antitank weapon of WWII? Not the much vaunted 88, and would be the real direct comparison to the 17 pounder/77mm guns...

Panzerknacker
01-01-2008, 05:00 PM
You mean the Pak 40 ?
less powerful than the 17 pounder, but definately it had more punch that the 77mm, the same applied for the KwK/Stuk 40 gun.

Drake
01-01-2008, 05:12 PM
Well, if you go for pure firepower, there definatly were more hard hitting guns than the 75 mm pak 41, but if you base it on a ratio like firepower:calibre or something like that it was imho the best.

kallinikosdrama1992
01-04-2008, 07:29 AM
well 17pounder believe me i've read many about michaell wittmann . I know how he died . He was fighting with five or six Firefly tanks and he died . He admitted that it was a very nice gun , i can't say a word , but from what i've read for AT guns of world war 2 88 is the top . About the use from the Americans . You said that there would be built explosive and other type of rounds and we would "see" this gun from other side . Well this didn't happen and we don't know what there would be created

Tony Williams
01-05-2008, 06:22 PM
There is a certain amount of misinformation in this thread. It would help to be clear about exactly what we are talking about.

The 17 pdr normally used APCBC ammo, with which it penetrated 118mm/1000 yards/at 30 degrees from normal. The APDS version used a solid tungsten carbide core (I have one on my shelf) which was 57mm rather than 76mm diameter, and was fired at a much higher velocity since the entire projectile was lighter. It could penetrate 170mm/1000 yards/30 degrees. The 17 pdr gun weighed just over 4,600 lbs in action.

The comparable German 75mm PaK 40 was lighter at 3,140 lb but significantly less powerful, it could only penetrate around 90mm/1,000m/30 degrees with AP, and not much more with tungsten-cored ammo. So unless light weight was a priority, the 17 pdr was clearly the better gun.

The German 88mm FlaK 36 used in the anti-tank role was a monster, weighing in at 11,000 lb, and was also very high and easy to see - not ideal! Armour penetration of the L/56 gun was nothing special, only around 100mm/1,000 yards/30 degrees: worse than the 17 pdr. It was a far worse anti-tank gun on all counts than the 17 pdr, no question. It became famous because it was available early in WW2 and at that time was vastly more powerful than any other gun used in the anti-tank role, but by 1944 it had been overtaken.

There was one purpose-designed German 88mm anti-tank gun, the PaK 43. This was much lower than the FlaK gun, but still very heavy at 8,150 lb. The L/71 gun was much more powerful and could penetrate 167mm/1000m/30 degrees with ordinary AP ammo: in other words, it could match the performance of the 17 pdr firing APDS. It was a formidable gun but very few of them were made.

APDS as used in WW2 had problems with accuracy and also with the manufacture of the tungsten cores, which sometimes shattered on impact. These problems were corrected after the war.

Current tank AP ammo is APFSDS, firing arrow-shaped projectiles. This is considerably more effective than APDS.

Firefly
01-06-2008, 05:18 PM
There is no doubt that 17lbdr has something here. Fireflies went from carrying anti tank ammo only and being one out of every 4 Shermans to being the majority of Shermans in the UK inventory and firing HE too.

To say that the 17 lbdr couldnt penetrate a Tiger from the front is wrong, as it could and did, captured Tigers were used to test the gun, why else build it?

Yes the Sherman was designed as an infantry support tank and did sterling work there, but I do think the brits made something more of it and in our usual cobbled together fashion produced the best Sherman of WW2.

Panzerknacker
01-07-2008, 05:42 PM
I must add that there was actually a british tank capable to mount the 17 pounder, it was the Cruser Challenger, it is nearly a forgotten vehicle. :rolleyes:

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/GreatBritain/GB-Cruiser-ChallengerPrototype.jpg

Drake
01-07-2008, 06:12 PM
No wonder, ugly as sin. You can say what you want, but if the question is style and looks germany won ww2 :mrgreen:

Carl Schwamberger
01-12-2008, 04:52 PM
No wonder, ugly as sin. You can say what you want, but if the question is style and looks germany won ww2 :mrgreen:

Nah the Italians did way better. Better singers too.;)

Sickles
01-15-2008, 08:50 AM
Get real!
The "88" was used more effectively during the whole war and killed more enemy than any other gun period....End of discussion!. Say what you want about the 17 pounder but it was its ammunition (sabot) that was effective. The 88's power was in its size and power. It could kill any , yes any allied tank in the war with various ammunition, something the 17 pounder can't claim. If you define "best" gun by penetration ability alone then the russian 100mm would have to be mentioned also. This gun had better penetrating ability than the 122mm. However due to an abundance of 122mm guns, the russians mounted it instead of the 100's in the Stalins and other Tank destroyers. The argument that the 17 pounder was the best gun of the war is just not founded. The sabot round was the revolutionary breakthrough, not the 17 pounder.

Tony Williams
01-15-2008, 09:21 AM
Get real!
The "88" was used more effectively during the whole war and killed more enemy than any other gun period....End of discussion!. Say what you want about the 17 pounder but it was its ammunition (sabot) that was effective.
See my post No 11 - which 88 are you talking about? The most famous one, which saw by far the most use and gave the "88" a fearsome anti-tank reputation early in the war, was the big L/56 FlaK 36 (basically the same gun was also used in the Tiger 1 tank). This had inferior penetration to the 17 pdr when both were using standard AP ammo (not sabot rounds). That's real! :roll:

As I said, the 88mm L/71 PaK 43 (also used in the Tiger II and some SPGs)was more powerful than the 17 pdr, but it was a heavy beast and relatively few saw action.

Sickles
01-15-2008, 10:02 AM
TONY
The 17 pounder was a great gun, no one will take that away, but to say it is the best AT gun of the war is just false. Whether it was mounted in a tank or a ground carriage, it did not kill as many tanks as the German 88L/56 or L/71 "The L/56 88 was powerful enough to penetrate over 150 mm of armour at ranges of 2 km or more, making it an unparalleled anti-tank weapon during the early war, and still formidable against all but the heaviest tanks at the end of the war. It was arguably most effective in the flat and open terrain of the North African and Russian campaigns, where the long-range performance of the 88 became decisive.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_mm_gun
if you want to argue that the 17 pounder was a bigger hitter than the 88 you have to make it a point to actually hit your target which is something that the 17 pounder was not the best at when firing it APDS round, Isn't that the point? To actually hit the tank? Since the 88 can hit and destroy ( It often tore apart armour through kinetic energy alone, unlike the APDS of the 17 pounder) better than any other gun make it better?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_mm_gun " All versions of the Kwk 43 and Pak 43 were able to penetrate 200mm of armour at 1000 yds.'

Tony Williams
01-15-2008, 08:47 PM
Sickles, you still aren't understanding my point. You can't lump all "88" guns together - there were different versions in service at different times, and their performance was quite different. The only thing they had in common was their calibre.

In the photo below of German tank ammo, the 88mm L/56 fired the 88x571R cartridge, the 88mm L/71 the 88x822R - you can see the huge difference in size and therefore performance.

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/tankger.jpg

The version of the 88mm which did most of the tank-killing (especially early in the war) was the L/56, and that had inferior penetration to the 17 pdr even when both were firing standard AP projectiles - not APDS.

The PaK 43 L/71 was more powerful than the 17 pdr, but that didn't come into use until later in the war, and that was never very common. The penetration of the PaK 43 with ordinary AP was roughly the same as that of the 17 pdr with APDS, although as I've said APDS wasn't entirely satisfactory at that time. But you paid for the 88's extra power with a lot more weight, which is a factor in determining a gun's usefulness as a weapon.

Sickles
01-16-2008, 08:41 AM
TONY!!!!!!!!My Friend, thank you for the lovely pic!
Please re-read my post #18 !!! I just compared both 88s, yes both!!!
Please don't ignore the accuracy factor which I make mention of.
Both guns (The 17 pounder and the 88L/56)were powerful enough to kill ANY enemy tank (The 88L/56 would destroy it, the 17 pounder would pierce it), but only one was most accurate, yes the 88 L/56. The fact that accuracy doesn't seem to be as much a factor as weight to you is mind boggling to me! Does it make a difference that the 17 pounder can penetrate 10 to 20 mm more armour than the L/56 when both were powerful enough to penetrate any tank encountered?

It seems you are responding to a mysery thread asking which gun had a higher penetration potential, yes that would be the 17 pounder (drumroll). Which gun killed more enemy tanks?. That would be the 88mm L/56. Period.
Best AT Gun? The flat shooting, accurate, versatile, German 88mm L/56 ! wink!

Firefly
01-16-2008, 09:47 AM
I dont know, is it the best Gun because of the number of kills? By that analogy the best Fighter of ww2 may have been the BF-109, for Im sure it probably has the highest number of kills.

Sickles
01-16-2008, 10:39 AM
FIREFLY,
I believe part of the equation should be the actual battlefield performance, don't you?

Look at the T-34, often stated the "best" tank of WW2, Why? I am sure it is NOT because of the one on one factor agains axis armour, After all it had weaker armour and a weaker gun, but its battlefield performance is what beat the German Armour.

Isn't the BF 109 one of the best fighters of the war? :D :roll:

Nickdfresh
01-16-2008, 11:15 AM
Get real!
The "88" was used more effectively during the whole war and killed more enemy than any other gun period....End of discussion!.....


How ever would you know that?!

Sickles
01-16-2008, 12:03 PM
"In about September 1944, the British started to use APDS shot for the 17-pdr, which travelling at over 1200 meters per second increased the armour penetrating power of the 17-pdr greatly with a penetration of 140 mm armour over 1,000 yards (914 m). The disadvantages of APDS as compared with the 17-pdr's regular APCBC ammunition was that it was much less accurate and did not do nearly as much damage to an enemy tank if it did penetrate. APDS shot remained rare accounting for only about 6% of the average loadout of a 17-pdr equipped British tank" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_QF_17_pounder

"the 8.8cm Panzerabwehrkanone (PaK) 43 and later 43/41 L/71 – was developed and put into production in 1943."
"The Pak43/41 served in Army Heavy Anti-tank Battalions (schwere Heeres-Panzerjager-Abteilung) and saw service on all fronts for the remainder of the war." http://www.panzermuseum.com/german-88-anti-tank-gun.html


"The PaK 43 L/71 was more powerful than the 17 pdr, but that didn't come into use until later in the war, and that was never very common." -Tony Williams"

Kinda puts it into the same category as the Pak 43 doesn;t it?:rolleyes:

Sickles
01-16-2008, 01:48 PM
Here is some info on the Pak-Kwk 43 88mm,

[edit] PzGr. 39/43 (APCBC-HE)
Projectile weight: 10.2 kg
Muzzle velocity: 1000 m/s
Penetration figures given for an armoured plate 30 degrees from the horizontal

Hit probability versus 2.5 m x 2 m target [1]
Range Penetration in training in combat
100 m 202 mm 100 % 100 %
500 m 185 mm 100 % 100 %
1000 m 165 mm 100 % 85 %
1500 m 148 mm 95 % 61 %
2000 m 132 mm 85 % 43 %
2500 m n/a 74 % 30 %
3000 m n/a 61 % 23 %
3500 m n/a 51 % 17 %
4000 m n/a 42 % 13 %


[edit] PzGr. 40/43 (APCR)
Projectile weight: 7.3 kg
Muzzle velocity: 1030 m/s
Penetration figures given for an armoured plate 30 degrees from the horizontal

Hit probability versus 2.5 m x 2 m target [2]
Range Penetration in training in combat
100 m 238 mm 100 % 100 %
500 m 217 mm 100 % 100 %
1000 m 193 mm 100 % 89 %
1500 m 171 mm 97 % 66 %
2000 m 153 mm 89 % 47 %
2500 m n/a 78 % 34 %
3000 m n/a 66 % 25 %

Check out the "First Hit" percentage, pretty impressive for combat.:p:p:p

Sickles
01-16-2008, 01:55 PM
8.8 cm PaK 43 AT Gun
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8.8 cm PaK 43 at US Army Ordnance Museum.
8.8 cm PaK 43/41 at US Army Ordnance Museum.The PaK 43 (Panzerabwehrkanone 43) was a German 88 mm anti-tank gun developed from the famous 88 mm anti-aircraft gun and used during the Second World War. It was the most powerful anti-tank gun of the Wehrmacht to see service in significant numbers. A number of armored vehicles also carried versions of this gun, under different designations, including: heavy tank Tiger II (KwK 43 L/71), self-propelled gun Nashorn (PaK 43/1), as well as tank destroyers Ferdinand/Elefant (PaK 43/2) and Jagdpanther (PaK 43/3 and 43/4).

The main version of the PaK 43 used a highly efficient cruciform mount. This made it an excellent weapon, with a full 360 degree traverse and with a much lower profile than the anti-aircraft version of the 88 mm, making it much easier to conceal.

Doesn't appear to be the "lumbering Behemouth" that it is made out to be in this thread. ;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:8.8_cm_PaK_43_1.JPG

Nickdfresh
01-16-2008, 02:59 PM
8.8 cm PaK 43 AT Gun
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

...A number of armored vehicles also carried versions of this gun, under different designations, including: heavy tank Tiger II (KwK 43 L/71), self-propelled gun Nashorn (PaK 43/1), as well as tank destroyers Ferdinand/Elefant (PaK 43/2) and Jagdpanther (PaK 43/3 and 43/4).

The numbers produced of the above AFVs are minuscule in comparison with Allied numbers mitigating any serious impact that this weapon had...

I would argue that the German 75mm mounted on the Jagdpanzers, Panther or on the Panzer Marks III & IV probably knocked out several times the number of Allied AFVs...

And the King Tiger was largely a fail when used in the Ardennes' (Battle of the Bulge) offensive, largely because it was very unwieldy...

Sickles
01-16-2008, 03:25 PM
NICKD,
Absolutely, The '75 was a great caliber, but it too came in various lengths, obviously the panzer4 had a lesser gun than the 75mm L/70 of the Panther. Im sure you are right about the number of AFV's kncked out with German 75's (all calibers) than 88's./

That is why it is difficult to answer a question of which is "best"
Does "best" mean in a one on one comparison or "best" in influencing the war.

Firefly
01-16-2008, 04:57 PM
I think we are maybe confusing what may have been the best with what may be the most effective. So the best gun may well have been better than any other but had little if any impact on the conflic or effect on the outcome of the war.

Nickdfresh
01-16-2008, 06:00 PM
I think we are maybe confusing what may have been the best with what may be the most effective. So the best gun may well have been better than any other but had little if any impact on the conflic or effect on the outcome of the war.

True. But even here it becomes problematic...

Was the German 88mm really better than the British 3.7" AA gun or the American 90mm? We can argue yes because it was developed into an anti-tank variant whereas the British gun never was but potentially have been a world beater, and the US 90mm was only beginning to be used in an anti-tank role by 1945 but was very adept at splitting Panthers and Tigers when it was mounted on the M-26 Pershing and got the chance...

Sickles
01-16-2008, 08:32 PM
One on One analysis as well as battlefield performance/effectiveness need to be taken into account. You can't call a gun that was introduced in March 1945 "the best gun of the war" even if it had superior potential than any other. By the same token you can't call the BF 109 (FIREFLY)the "best fighter of the war because it had more kills and ignore its performance flaws when compared to the latest allied fighters.

The ME 262 had the best performance of any other single airplane in the War, was it the "best"?

The T-34 was a war winning tank (en masse), was it the "best" one on one?

Nickdfresh
01-17-2008, 02:54 AM
Actually, I'm going to make the case here that the 88mm is actually quite overrated, and the only reason for its notoriety was that is was the first medium anti-aircraft gun to be used in an anti-tank role and as direct fire artillery. But as a gun, the Allies actually had more potentiality. The infamous reputation of 88 was far more a case of ergonomics and creativity rather than the result of it being some fearsome super-weapon...


...
Comparatively, the 88 was not as powerful as its Allied counterparts. In the anti-aircraft role it fired a 20.3-pound shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,600 ft/s to an effective ceiling of 26,000 feet (at maximum 32,000 ft, 10,600 m). Although this was useful during the U.S. daylight raids, which typically took place at 25,000 ft, many aircraft could fly higher than its maximum effective ceiling. In comparison, the British 3.7-inch Mark 3 fired a 28-pound projectile at 2,600 ft/s to an effective ceiling of 32,000 feet, and the American 90 mm Mark 1 fired a 23-pound shell at 2,700 ft/s to the same height. They also had the advantage of a higher rate of fire, a side-effect of their automated fuse-setters that raised the rate of fire to about 20 rpm, as opposed to the original 88 which could generally reach only 15 rpm in the anti-aircraft role. To this was added proximity fuzes. These weapons were much more useful against aircraft even during WWII, and continued to have some use into the jet age. On the downside, the Allies weapons were heavier and less mobile, as well as being almost useless in the ground-attack roles until numerous modifications were carried out. While the U.S. 90 mm would go on to serve as a powerful anti-tank gun in some roles, it was by no means as universally deployed as the 88.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_mm_gun

Nickdfresh
01-17-2008, 03:14 AM
One on One analysis as well as battlefield performance/effectiveness need to be taken into account. You can't call a gun that was introduced in March 1945 "the best gun of the war" even if it had superior potential than any other.

Now you're contradicting yourself with two divergent arguments. How was a variant of the 88mm that was mounted on comparatively few AFVs better than the one that mounted on probably 90% of German WWII AFVs in an anti-tank role? I would surmise that there were as bout as many German 88mm in a pure anti-tank role as there were American 90mm's in this role by 1945. Again, just an approximate guess...


By the same token you can't call the BF 109 (FIREFLY)the "best fighter of the war because it had more kills and ignore its performance flaws when compared to the latest allied fighters.

The ME 262 had the best performance of any other single airplane in the War, was it the "best"?

The T-34 was a war winning tank (en masse), was it the "best" one on one?


I didn't say it was "the best gun." But it was actually more potentially devastating than was the much vaunted 88mm, and the US 90mm had greater muzzle velocity. Also, the 90 was mounted on the M-36 at the end of 1943, and saw significant post-war life on the M-46/47/48 series of tanks...

And the T-34 didn't have to worry about being "one on one" since it was very easy to produce in large quantities, unlike the Panther or especially the Tiger. And the T-34/85 vs. a say Panther, well it comes down to the crew more than anything else...

Nickdfresh
01-17-2008, 06:45 AM
So, left out of the poll (which I just noticed) was the US M3/T18/T19 90mm gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90_mm_M3_gun) that fired an "improved velocity" AP round at 975m per second (over the AA version which was 823mps) and the US M1 76mm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90_mm_M3_gun) mounted on the improved M-4AE8 "Easy Eight" Sherman (http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/1975/m4a3e8.htm) and the Soviet D-5 85mm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/85_mm_air_defense_gun_M1939_(52-K)) tank gun?

And what about the British 96mm/32 pounder tank cannon which was derived from the venerable 3.75" AA gun for the Tortoise heavy assault gun? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortoise_heavy_assault_tank)

It's a shame the MOW didn't pursue this farther than they did...

Sickles
01-17-2008, 08:49 AM
NICKD,
!!!!!
Don't confuse the 88 AT gun with the Anti aircraft gun :roll::mrgreen:

Tony Williams
01-17-2008, 09:58 AM
Both guns (The 17 pounder and the 88L/56)were powerful enough to kill ANY enemy tank (The 88L/56 would destroy it, the 17 pounder would pierce it), but only one was most accurate, yes the 88 L/56.
Rubbish. I'm beginning to lose patience with you, Sickles, as you seem to be deliberately ignoring the points I'm making. The accuracy problem of the 17 pdr came only with the APDS shot, it was as accurate as anything else when firing APCBC. And it had a superior penetration to the 88mm L/56 when firing APCBC. Furthermore, the 17pdr would have stood a better chance of hitting the target than the 88mm L/56 because it had a higher muzzle velocity (yes, with APCBC not APDS) giving it a flatter trajectory and a shorter flight time. It was also much lighter and more compact than the 88mm L/56, making it more difficult to see and hit, and also greatly improving its battlefield mobility. The 17 pdr was superior to the 88mm L/56 in every respect.


Does it make a difference that the 17 pounder can penetrate 10 to 20 mm more armour than the L/56 when both were powerful enough to penetrate any tank encountered?
Yes it does. Penetration figures are generally quoted at a striking angle of around 30 degrees from normal, which is quite favourable - the best you're likely to get in action. In many cases, the striking angle would be much worse, in which case the penetration of the AT guns drops off quite significantly. So you need a considerable overmatch of penetration to ensure that you can kill the tanks in all circumstances.


Which gun killed more enemy tanks?. That would be the 88mm L/56. Period.
Let's see the figures you base that on, and a source for them.

Sickles
01-17-2008, 11:07 AM
TONY,
C'mon, who is the one ignoring facts?

Did you ignore my posts#24-25 & 26, That show your earlier dismissal of the 88 L/71 (being cumbersome and too few too late) to be quite possibly wrong.

_ Being that the L/56 was used during most of the war with devastating effects especially in Russia when on the defensive (when AT guns are usually used), I am quite sure it was a bigger killer than the 17 pounder, of course I cannot prove it.


_ I love how you dismiss the accuracy problems as only being to the sabot round. The SABOT is the reason why the 17 pounder became famous!!!!!!!
You talk about the greatness of the APDS round in earlier posts and at the same time dismiss the 88L/71 when in reality it was the Sabot that was rare! and inaccurate!!!!!!!! Lets face it,Without the Sabot the 17 pounder was a very good gun. Not the greatest.;)

Nickdfresh
01-17-2008, 05:27 PM
NICKD,
!!!!!
Don't confuse the 88 AT gun with the Anti aircraft gun :roll::mrgreen:

Um, I didn't...

(Waving hand over head)...

I think I offered specific examples. And feel free to read this Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M26_Pershing


Two M26A1E2 tanks were built during the Second World War. One of these made it to the ETO, assigned to the 3rd Armored Division. This experimental version of the Pershing, sometimes referred to as "Super Pershing" (as are other upgunned Pershing variants), had the 90 mm/70 caliber T15E1 high-velocity gun that threw a projectile at 3,850 ft/s (1,173 m/s). This gun could penetrate 216mm of rolled homogeneous armor at a range of 1000yd/914m against armor angled at 30 degrees [2]. At a range of 100yd/91.4m, it can penetrate 330mm vs RHA angled at 30 degrees[3]. *On April 4, 1945 near Dessau, the "Super Pershing" destroyed one King Tiger by striking its underbelly and knocked out another tank, probably a Panther, with a shot to its flank [4]. However, that was its only known combat engagement. Thus, the full capabilities of the T15E1 90 mm main gun were never demonstrated.

The 3AD Super Pershing was actually the T26E1 pilot tank. This tank while assigned to Task Force Wellborn destroyed at least 3 tanks, including the King Tiger at Dassau. This is according to John Irwin, gunner of the Super Pershing in his book, Another River, Another Town.

Tony Williams
01-17-2008, 05:33 PM
The facts are these (data from the official Royal Armoured Corps Tank Museum publication on WW2 tank guns), giving penetration performance for the guns in the same circumstances (against homogenous armour, at a striking angle of 30 degrees from perpendicular, at ranges of 1,000 and 2,000 yards):

17 pdr APCBC: 118mm and 98mm
17 pdr APDS: 170mm and 135mm

88mm L/56 APCBC: 101mm and 84mm

88mm L/71 APCBC: 167mm and 139mm

In other words, the 17 pdr comfortably beat the 88mm L/56 using the standard APCBC ammo (which is what the 17 pdr normally fired; APDS was in limited supply and was reserved for when it was really necessary), and it could match the 88mm L/71 by using APDS. It is true that the dispersion of the APDS rounds was greater than the usual type, but this was compensated by the very high muzzle velocity, giving a flat trajectory and short flight time.

Then you come to battlefield mobility, as determined by the weight of the guns:
17 pdr = 4,624 lb, 88mm L/56 FlaK gun = 10,992 lb, 88mm L/71 PaK 43 = 8,159 lb.

These figures show that the 17 pdr was clearly superior to the 88mm L/56, as it should be, being a purpose-designed AT gun rather than a lightly-modified FlaK gun.

The 88mm L/71 PaK 43 was certainly much more powerful than the 17 pdr, but it was also much heavier. And it raises the question: just how powerful did a gun need to be? As you said yourself, the 88mm L/56 was capable of knocking out almost any tank in the war, and so, obviously, was the 17 pdr. So why burden yourself with the massive extra weight of the 88mm PaK? In most circumstances, it was just overkill.

Germany could have had an anti-tank gun closely comparable with the 17 pdr, just by fitting the Panther's 75mm L/70 tank gun to an AT chassis, but they never did it. This could penetrate 121mm at 1,000 yards and 89mm at 2,000. It would, I think, have been a more useful gun than the 88mm Pak, and because it would have cost much less to make, the Germans could have made more of them.

In reality, there was no "best" anti-tank gun, because it depended on the circumstances, and on the criteria chosen. Accordingly, I haven't voted in this poll.

Nickdfresh
01-17-2008, 05:38 PM
TONY,
C'mon, who is the one ignoring facts?

Did you ignore my posts#24-25 & 26, That show your earlier dismissal of the 88 L/71 (being cumbersome and too few too late) to be quite possibly wrong.

_ Being that the L/56 was used during most of the war with devastating effects especially in Russia when on the defensive (when AT guns are usually used), I am quite sure it was a bigger killer than the 17 pounder, of course I cannot prove it.

In what was the L/56 mounted?

How many were produced?

BTW, why are you not contradicting an earlier point you made (something to the affect) that the numbers don't really matter, it is merely the effectiveness of the weapon (the 88mm) no matter how few made it into combat (relatively speaking as there were less than 500 King Tigers ever produced). Now we're back to the "but the 88mm killed more tanks than the 17 pounder" as the central thesis of your argument. That may be true, but the version(s) of the 88mm that killed most of those tanks was inferior to the 17 pounder in most armor piercing respects...



_ I love how you dismiss the accuracy problems as only being to the sabot round. The SABOT is the reason why the 17 pounder became famous!!!!!!!
You talk about the greatness of the APDS round in earlier posts and at the same time dismiss the 88L/71 when in reality it was the Sabot that was rare! and inaccurate!!!!!!!! Lets face it,Without the Sabot the 17 pounder was a very good gun. Not the greatest.;)

Largely based on opinion...There were in fact better Allied guns (and possibly German ones) that were never sent to the battlefield in sufficient numbers, but were clearly better than any variant of the 88mm...


And as an aside, I'm kind of agreeing with Tony here. The "troll alarm" went off after I read your first post, and I think you're just throwing selectively edited Wiki links out here in almost an "Ironman" style of argument that has little to do with reaching an objective of truthful consensus, and more to do with arguing for the sake of it...

Nickdfresh
01-17-2008, 05:49 PM
...

The US army made a great mistake in not going for the Firefly, but their own 76mm version, which was a dissapointment... If they would have been as easy going as the airforce guys, who had no problem in duplicating the Rolls Royce Merlin, with the Packard licence for the P-51, thus making one of the most succesfull and probably the most long ranged figher of ww2, the Mustang...

....

The US Army opted not to use the 17 pounder because they had a weapon that was roughly similar in the M1 76mm gun. A gun that was actually superior to most of the German tanks they faced, as Panthers and Tigers were still uncommon for much of Normandy. They did so for good reason, as the M3 90mm was in the pipeline and was superior to just about any equivalent caliber weapon in WWII against both armor and aircraft.

The US Army, like the British, simply had the luxury of putting inferior versions of weapon systems in the field as they could produce far more of them, and however great the Panther, Tiger, Tiger II were against Shermans and T34s, they were pretty much useless against aircraft...

The Army's mistakes were:

A.) not equipping more Shermans with the 76mm (like the M4A1 [76] and the M4A3E8 HVSS [76]) earlier, prior to D-Day (nearly half were by the end of the War)

B.) relying on the doctrinal failure of the "tank destroyer" GMCs (although the M36 Jackson was a good one and some versions were pretty much a tank rather than a GMC in reality)

C.) not bringing numbers of the M26 Pershing in early enough (they could have shortly after Normandy if they really wanted too) to augment the Shermans

Sickles
01-18-2008, 10:29 AM
NICKD,
You can't be for real.
I never once said that numbers don't matter, I believe that one on one comparison and battlefield performance both should count, (post 31). That is what I have always maintained in this post. You seem easily confused by this! I agreed with you (post 28) that German 75s probably knocked out more tanks than 88s.(either kind)
In post 31 I was responding to FIREFLY and posed a hypothesis. If you actually read it you would have understood that! Instead you made an obvious point about the T34 which we all know!(post 33) You also stated I was using "divergent arguements" When again I was just presenting a hypothetical to a previous post. If you call one on one analysis and battlefield performance "divergent argurments" then so be it.......

In post 32 you state you are going to make a case that the 88 was overated and you went on to quote the Anti Aircraft specs of the gun not the AT performance which is what this thread is about!!!!!! Then you defended that by saying," I think I offered specific examples" and you give a "wicki" link (post 32)to the Pershing!!!
Me a mole? Who is the one throwing quotes around here?...

Sickles
01-18-2008, 10:50 AM
NICKD,
Response to post 40 "How was the L56 mounted? Answer; The Flak 18
How many were produced? http://www.feldgrau.com/weaprod.html production numbers for all tube fed guns produced by the Germans.
Most historical discussions/editorials regarding the 88 (whether it be the L/56- Pak 18 or the L71-Pak 43) seem to hi-lite the hitting power, versatility and greatness of the gun, not lack of numbers or mobility issues. The allies wished for lack of numbers!

http://www.wargamer.com/Hosted/Panzer/88mm.htm
"The 88mm Flak (18) gun stood out on all fronts because of its mobility, rapid rate of fire (15 to 25 rounds per minute, depending on the crew's level of training) and number of possible uses"


Heavy AND mobile, because of its great design.

Nickdfresh
01-18-2008, 04:49 PM
NICKD,
You can't be for real.
I never once said that numbers don't matter, I believe that one on one comparison and battlefield performance both should count, (post 31). That is what I have always maintained in this post. You seem easily confused by this! I agreed with you (post 28) that German 75s probably knocked out more tanks than 88s.(either kind)
In post 31 I was responding to FIREFLY and posed a hypothesis. If you actually read it you would have understood that! Instead you made an obvious point about the T34 which we all know!(post 33) You also stated I was using "divergent arguements" When again I was just presenting a hypothetical to a previous post. If you call one on one analysis and battlefield performance "divergent argurments" then so be it.......

In post 32 you state you are going to make a case that the 88 was overated and you went on to quote the Anti Aircraft specs of the gun not the AT performance which is what this thread is about!!!!!! Then you defended that by saying," I think I offered specific examples" and you give a "wicki" link (post 32)to the Pershing!!!
Me a mole? Who is the one throwing quotes around here?...


You see, this is where I have the problem. You're not quoting or posting specific words, but merely saying what you think was said. Furthermore, you're "cherrypicking." For instance, the portion of the article I posted only partially referred to the fact that the US M3 90mm was far superior to the 88mm in an aircraft role (which would almost certainly make it superior in an anti-tank role, provided the correct ammunition was developed, because the weapon had a much higher velocity in a relative sense and had a longer range), it was also superior to almost any variant of the 88mm in an anti-tank role as the "Super-Pershing's" innovative 90mm could penetrate over 300mm OF ARMOR at close ranges!!

Furthermore, you simply ignore whole posts that you find too inconvenient to refute. The 88 was vastly overrated because the Allies simply had better weapons available. It was only in the tactical deployment against ground targets that the weapon gained notoriety, not in that it was any better than the equivalent Allied guns, and indeed, most versions were inferior...

The problem here is that you're perpetuating the typical WWII layman myth: that the 88mm was a wonder-weapon or super-weapon when it was clearly not. The gun was simply an effective, pedestrian anti-aircraft gun that was used in roles that other armies traditionally did not use their AA guns in (until late in the war).

Nickdfresh
01-18-2008, 05:10 PM
The facts are these (data from the official Royal Armoured Corps Tank Museum publication on WW2 tank guns), giving penetration performance for the guns in the same circumstances (against homogenous armour, at a striking angle of 30 degrees from perpendicular, at ranges of 1,000 and 2,000 yards):

17 pdr APCBC: 118mm and 98mm
17 pdr APDS: 170mm and 135mm

88mm L/56 APCBC: 101mm and 84mm

88mm L/71 APCBC: 167mm and 139mm

In other words, the 17 pdr comfortably beat the 88mm L/56 using the standard APCBC ammo (which is what the 17 pdr normally fired; APDS was in limited supply and was reserved for when it was really necessary), and it could match the 88mm L/71 by using APDS....

To this we'll add (same ranges):


US 90mm M3: APCBC 122mm and 106mm
APBC 117mm and 109mm
APCR 221mm and 156mm


And the 90mm T15E2 (a prototypical gun fitted to the "Super-Pershing" but used in combat on a few occasions):

APBC 127mm and 122mm
APCR 221mm and 173mm


http://gva.freeweb.hu/weapons/usa_guns7.html

Nickdfresh
01-18-2008, 05:53 PM
BTW, the 88mm L/71 also had a wearing problem, significantly reducing it's reliability and forcing production of the barrel to be made in two pieces...

Tony Williams
01-18-2008, 07:20 PM
NICKD,
Response to post 40 "How was the L56 mounted? Answer; The Flak 18
A modified version was also mounted in the Tiger 1 tank.

http://www.wargamer.com/Hosted/Panzer/88mm.htm
"The 88mm Flak (18) gun stood out on all fronts because of its mobility, rapid rate of fire (15 to 25 rounds per minute, depending on the crew's level of training) and number of possible uses"

Heavy AND mobile, because of its great design.
Yes, it was mobile for a big AA gun, compared with the even heavier (and more powerful) British 3.7", which is the obvious comparator. That does not equate to the mobility of an anti-tank gun of less than half the weight.

Sickles
01-19-2008, 09:59 AM
Here is an interesting tidbit from the book "Russian Tanks of World War II - Stalin's armored might" By Bean and Fowler. From the appendix pgs 169 - 173. These pages give interesting data and stats regarding the eastern front.

"Causes of T-34 Tank losses During WW2 (per cent)

75mm --------------- 88mm
31.13% --------------- 34.15%"

*Other weapons included 37mm, short and long 50mm, 105,128, AT rocket, and unknown, no other weapon came close to these percentages. however it did not give barrel length of the 75 and 88mm guns.

still an interesting stat, gleen what you like from it, Since the T-34 was by far the most numerous tank on the eastern front, it bucks conventional wisdom that the 75 was the supreme german tank killer in the war (at least the eastern front)

Sickles
01-19-2008, 10:10 AM
NICKD,
88 vastly overrated? hahaha! :D:D:D
Im sure if you find any historical reference backing that up (other than AA data !) It would surely be authored by a British writer in defense of the 17 pounder! :roll:

Panzerknacker
01-19-2008, 05:55 PM
In other words, the 17 pdr comfortably beat the 88mm L/56 using the standard APCBC ammo (which is what the 17 pdr normally fired; APDS was in limited supply and was reserved for when it was really necessary), and it could match the 88mm L/71 by using APDS.


Teorically yes, but the problem comes when they faced sloped armor, in that the the smalller and lighter is usually ineffective.

Teorically the apcbc 17 pounder should be capable to defeat the frontal armor in a Panther aat 600-700 meters, but usually it did not.

The same goes for the 6 pounder, with the capped shot it was capable to defeat the side armor in a Tiger (80-60 mm vertical) , but it failed agaist the Hetzer at 300 meters (60 mm armor sloped) and it didnt penetrate the glacis in the Pz V (80mm sloped) at point blank.



c. Penetration
(1) At 600 yards, 17pdr APCBC penetrated the lower nose of tank No.1 (average plate), while 76mm HVAP failed to penetrate.
(2) At 400 yards, one round out of four fair hits of 17pdr SABOT penetrated the glacis of tank No.2 (best plate). This was the only penetration of this plate by a fair hit with any of the ammunitions (including 76mm HVAP w/17pdr APBC propellant, 76mm HVAP w/17pdr SABOT propellant) at ranges 200 yards and over.

(3) At 400 yards, one round out of one fair hit with 17pdr APCBC and one round out of one hit with 17pdr SABOT penetrated the lower nose of tank No.2 (best plate). Both rounds of 76mm APC, M62 failed to penetrate, and one round of 76mm HVAP penetrated while the second round failed to penetrate. Two rounds out of two hits of 76mm HVAP w/17pdr SABOT propellant also penetrated.

(4) At 200 yards one fair hit with each of the standard ammunitions failed to penetrate the glacis of tank No.2 (best plate). The relative depths of the partial penetrations at this range were as follows:
(a) 17pdr APCBC - 2"
(b) 17pdr SABOT - 1 7/8"
(c) 76mm HVAP - 1 5/16"
(d) 76mm APC, M62 - 1"




http://wargaming.info/armour07.htm




5) 57mm Gun, M1
a) APC, M86 will penetrate the sides and rear of the 'Panther' Tank at 1500 yards.

b) Sabot fails to penetrate front glacis slope plate and gun shield at 200 yards. Due to difficulty experienced in obtaining hits no conclusion as to the effectiveness of this ammunition was reached


http://wargaming.info/armour06.htm

Obviusly if you faced sloped armor tanks, the gun with heavier projectile is the one.



Germany could have had an anti-tank gun closely comparable with the 17 pdr, just by fitting the Panther's 75mm L/70 tank gun to an AT chassis, but they never did it. This could penetrate 121mm at 1,000 yards and 89mm at 2,000. It would, I think, have been a more useful gun than the 88mm Pak, and because it would have cost much less to make, the Germans could have made more of them


Agreed, actually there was an attemp called "7,5 cm Pak 42" but few were manufactured, probably for the need to arm the Panthers.

http://www.nasenoviny.com/britarm_76mm.jpg

2nd of foot
01-20-2008, 07:10 AM
What a lot of you are neglecting is reality. The figures posted are for range work under idea condition on stationary target at exactly that angle with excellent ammo. In reality the target would probably be moving, It would be oblique or side on and would not be level with the firer so the sloped angel would be more or less acute. Not to mention the quality of the propellant and how it has been stored prior to use. Then we have the optics of the relevant guns and the ability of the gunner.

Then we have the position of the firer. Tank would be moving or just stopped as apposed to AT guns that should be in enfilade to the target and in ambush. So an AT gun would have a much better chance of hitting in the place of it’s choice than a tank which is in an advance to contact. Some tank would be in ambush but generally tanks are a mobile weapon and sat still they are not being used at their best.


131 Brigade led the advance of the 8th Army from Tripoli to the Mareth Line where at Medenine the Germans mounted a counter attack using two Panzer Divisions; the three Queen’s battalions, unprotected by mines and wire met the brunt of the attack and thoroughly defeated it. At dawn on 7th March 1943 there were no less than 27 tanks destroyed by their 6-pounder anti-tank guns in front of 1/7 Queen’s.

http://www.queensroyalsurreys.org.uk/short_history/sh05.html

You should also consider the quality of the ammo and its parts. I have used over the year many dodgy bangs and flashes and they were produced in peace time so what war time quality was like would be suspect.

We should also look at the range of the engagement, so you have a gun that can hit a nats eye at 4ooom and cut through 16 ft of armour. But if you can only see 500m then your gun is still only as good as a gun that can do the same job which is deigned to destroy tanks at 500m. The 17pdr was an AT gun that fired AT ammo from a carriage that was designed for it. It had a tractor that was suitable for its work and could hire well. The 17pdr was an AT gun the 88 was an AA gun that had a subsidiary role as AT. I have a hammer that knocks in nails it can also knock in screws but a screwdriver does a batter job with screws.

Nickdfresh
01-20-2008, 07:26 AM
NICKD,
88 vastly overrated? hahaha! :D:D:D
Im sure if you find any historical reference backing that up (other than AA data !)

Try looking at the armor peircing charts, supergenius or just continue to ignore them, strawman style? Are you just going to repeat the "AA" myth now?


It would surely be authored by a British writer in defense of the 17 pounder! :roll:

Feel free to reference the ARMOR PEIRCING charts provided by Tony or myself...:rolleyes:

The 17pounder was a great gun, but I'm talking about the US 90mm, which was also clearly better than the 88mm. It was underutilized and not brought in until the end, but still a better weapon than the 88 as it served into the Vietnam era whereas the 88mm was considered obsolete shortly after the War.

Also, if the weapon was so great, then why did the post-war French Army select the Panther to equip their forces on a stop gap basis, and not the Tiger or Tiger II?

And yes, it wasn't "vastly" overrated, but it was overrated somewhat, when there were better weapons out there that made better tank cannons (i.e. the 90mm)...

Tony Williams
01-20-2008, 09:50 AM
What a lot of you are neglecting is reality. The figures posted are for range work under idea condition on stationary target at exactly that angle with excellent ammo.

You should also consider the quality of the ammo and its parts. I have used over the year many dodgy bangs and flashes and they were produced in peace time so what war time quality was like would be suspect.
What you say is quite true, but the same limitations also affected tanks and their armour. There were reports of Panther armour splitting apart from the shock of hits which should not have damaged them because of a quality issue, and tanks were sometimes knocked out from the effect of non-penetrating hits - even from HE shells. All sorts of odd things tended to happen in real life, but the range tests are the only objective comparative measures we have to go on.

Nickdfresh
01-20-2008, 10:29 AM
What you say is quite true, but the same limitations also affected tanks and their armour. There were reports of Panther armour splitting apart from the shock of hits which should not have damaged them because of a quality issue, and tanks were sometimes knocked out from the effect of non-penetrating hits - even from HE shells. All sorts of odd things tended to happen in real life, but the range tests are the only objective comparative measures we have to go on.

I read portions of a Soviet test that claimed that the King Tiger was especially susceptible to the effects of "spalling." Also, they reported that the welds could crack or buckle after an impact even if the the shell didn't penetrate...

Sickles
01-21-2008, 10:36 AM
2nd of foot,
I agree with your post, that the battlefield is not static. But to say that an 88 was nothing more than an AA gun turned horizontal (in a subsidiary role) is a gross mistatement (especially the Pak 43) I am sure many a T-34 and Sherman crewman may disagree with your 88assesment also.

32Bravo
01-22-2008, 06:44 AM
It's the way the weapon is used as much as the weapon itself.

In the Western Desert, time and again, the British armoured units ran head-on (Prince Rupert style) onto the 88's and were destroyed.


Rommel used the 88's (his shield) to protect his flank and pin down the enemy while his armoured units (his sword) swept around their flank and into their rear echelons. Once the Germans got in amongst the rear echelons, there was mass panic and most units began to see Cairo beckoning.

Nickdfresh
01-22-2008, 07:11 AM
It's the way the weapon is used as much as the weapon itself.

In the Western Desert, time and again, the British armoured units ran head-on (Prince Rupert style) onto the 88's and were destroyed.


Rommel used the 88's (his shield) to protect his flank and pin down the enemy while his armoured units (his sword) swept around their flank and into their rear echelons. Once the Germans got in amongst the rear echelons, there was mass panic and most units began to see Cairo beckoning.

Yes, the German tanks would lure the British in by retreating and then the 88's (and other AT guns) would ambush them...

32Bravo
01-22-2008, 07:20 AM
Yes, the German tanks would lure the British in by retreating and then the 88's (and other AT guns) would ambush them...

Pretty much the idea behind mobile defense.

The Rifles acquitted themselves quite well at Kidney Ridge, though, with their Six Pounders.

http://www.mishalov.com/Toms.html

Nickdfresh
01-22-2008, 09:09 AM
Of course. But the Afrika Corp had a field day for a bit until the Rats caught on...

32Bravo
01-22-2008, 10:52 AM
Sure they did, as I mentioned elsewhere – learning curves.

But that’s way over-simplified; there were many reasons diverse and complex which compounded the problems of the Eight Army operating in the Western Desert

For example: After WW1, many of the senior members of British cavalry regiments wanted to remain, or revert to being, horse regiments. This was their mentality, hence, charging against Rommel’s Afrika Korps.

By the way, there were units other than the 7the Armoured Division in the Eight Army.

Sickles
01-22-2008, 01:11 PM
http://www.ww2incolor.com/d/9085-2/postcard2.jpg (http://www.ww2incolor.com/german/postcard2.jpg)

Check out those victory rings!

ww2admin
01-22-2008, 01:59 PM
I never noticed that until you brought it up, Sickles. Interesting! I read some of the comments below that photo....some people said that these "rings" were added even though they may not have gotten a kill?

Firefly
01-22-2008, 03:34 PM
Check out the fact that the MP-40 that guy is holding doesnt have a hand grip.

Nickdfresh
01-22-2008, 04:47 PM
I never noticed that until you brought it up, Sickles. Interesting! I read some of the comments below that photo....some people said that these "rings" were added even though they may not have gotten a kill?

Or when they were swatting mosquitoes. The bloodsucking kind...:)

32Bravo
01-26-2008, 04:10 AM
For the British tank crews the odds against survival were alarmingly shortened by the range and accuracy of the German 88's, and there was considerable resentment within the Eighth Army at the failure of their superiors to give them a comparable weapon, which many believed was already at hand if only the general staff had the wit to adapt it and press it into service. This was the British 3.7" (94mm) anti-aircraft gun, and Lieutenant David Parry of the 57th Light anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery felt there was 'no excuse for the stupidity of the General Staff' in not allowing it to be used in an anti-tank role.

He later recalled in a memoir: 'During all this time over a thousand 3.7" AA guns stood idle in the Middle East...Many never fired a shot in anger during the whole of the war.'

Carl Schwamberger
01-30-2008, 11:44 AM
For the British tank crews the odds against survival were alarmingly shortened by the range and accuracy of the German 88's, and there was considerable resentment within the Eighth Army at the failure of their superiors to give them a comparable weapon, which many believed was already at hand if only the general staff had the wit to adapt it and press it into service. This was the British 3.7" (94mm) anti-aircraft gun, and Lieutenant David Parry of the 57th Light anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery felt there was 'no excuse for the stupidity of the General Staff' in not allowing it to be used in an anti-tank role.

He later recalled in a memoir: 'During all this time over a thousand 3.7" AA guns stood idle in the Middle East...Many never fired a shot in anger during the whole of the war.'

Three times I've noticed in various books remarks about British commanders ordering the 3.7" AAA guns deployed to repel armored attacks. The earliest refrence was for the Salerno landing. The 3.7 regiment was ordered to take up suitable positions, but the German attack did not reach the line of sight of the batterys. The second case was at Anzio, where again the German attack did not reach the field of fire of the guns and after a couple days they were returned to the AA positions. Last was a remark about the Brit Army using them in Normandy in their AT defense. All these were breif sentences in second hand sources. Still they suggest something was learned from the desert war.

32Bravo
01-30-2008, 12:32 PM
Yes. I haven't seen those references, but I would imagine that the ones at Salerno probably began their careers in Egypt. Much was learned by both British and American commanders in North Africa.

It is easy to criticize with hindsight - I know, as I do it constantly - but when one considers the 2 pounders and 37mm guns (both turret mounted and anti-tank), they were first designed for the European theatre, and, arguabley, much of the pre-war planning of the allies for the European theatre, was based on the experiences of W.W.1.
The 88mm had been designed as an A.A. gun, again for the European theatre. I would imagine that the British considered the Bedu as being the most likely threat in North Africa, until Il Duci began throwing his weight about, that is. Anyway, to some extent, the 2 pounder would have probably sufficed against much of what it would have been up against in the 1930's.

Anyone that has experience of desert, steppe or prairie will probably have experienced what it is like to shoot a rifle or machine-gun at a target which appears well within range, only to see the tracers burn out well before they have completed describing their trajectory. The Western Desert was a vast flat expanse (not many crescent-shaped, rolling dunes, at all), which by its sheer size rendered the earlier British and American guns impotent.


" Furthermore, we learned that our anti-tank platoon of six 2 pounder guns were knocked out before firing a shot!... "

Nickdfresh
01-30-2008, 12:48 PM
For the British tank crews the odds against survival were alarmingly shortened by the range and accuracy of the German 88's, and there was considerable resentment within the Eighth Army at the failure of their superiors to give them a comparable weapon, which many believed was already at hand if only the general staff had the wit to adapt it and press it into service. This was the British 3.7" (94mm) anti-aircraft gun, and Lieutenant David Parry of the 57th Light anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery felt there was 'no excuse for the stupidity of the General Staff' in not allowing it to be used in an anti-tank role.

He later recalled in a memoir: 'During all this time over a thousand 3.7" AA guns stood idle in the Middle East...Many never fired a shot in anger during the whole of the war.'


What's even more inexcusable is that the weapon was actually developed into a 96mm "32 Pounder" and fitted to that assault gun that never went anywhere...

But my source basically stated that the gun should have been fitted to a proper tank, "and there was no reason why it shouldn't have been...(as it) would have been a world beater."

32Bravo
01-30-2008, 01:20 PM
What's even more inexcusable is that the weapon was actually developed into a 96mm "32 Pounder" and fitted to that assault gun that never went anywhere...

But my source basically stated that the gun should have been fitted to a proper tank, "and there was no reason why it shouldn't have been...(as it) would have been a world beater."

Here's a link:


Anti-tank capability
The 3.7-inch gun was never used as an anti-tank weapon, except in one or two emergencies. This is in contrast to the German Army, which integrated their equivalent "88" into anti-tank defensive screens from 1940 onwards.

This was mainly because the 3.7-inch gun mobile mounting was almost twice as heavy as the German "88". Redeploying it was a slower operation, and the heavy AEC Matador tractor normally used for towing could operate on hard surfaces only. Additionally, heavy AA Regiments equipped with the 3.7-inch gun were controlled by Corps or Army HQ, or at even higher level HQ's, and command of them was not often devolved to the commanders at Divisional levels where the anti-tank role might be required. Prolonged firing at low elevations (not part of the original specification) also strained the mounting and recuperating gear.

The gun was used as the basis for the Tortoise assault tank's 32-pounder anti-tank gun, but this tank, which could be described as a self-propelled gun, never saw service.

http://www.answers.com/topic/qf-3-7-inch-aa-gun

Tony Williams
01-30-2008, 07:05 PM
What's even more inexcusable is that the weapon was actually developed into a 96mm "32 Pounder" and fitted to that assault gun that never went anywhere...
Nitpick - the calibre was 94mm. The 32 pdr was initially developed as a towed anti-tank gun, but it was absolutely massive so it made sense to put it into the Tortoise SPG, which was more or less the equivalent of the Jagdtiger.


But my source basically stated that the gun should have been fitted to a proper tank, "and there was no reason why it shouldn't have been...(as it) would have been a world beater."
Then your source hasn't tried looking at the size of the gun and ammunition, and comparing them with the room in the turret of even the Centurion, the largest British tank made in WW2. It was tough enough even fitting the 17 pdr gun into British tanks (the Comet couldn't manage it, hence the 77mm gun) and the 32 pdr was much bigger.

After WW2, the Centurion was upgunned to first 20 pdr (83.5mm) and in the mid-50s to 105mm, but these guns and their ammunition were specially designed for installing in a tank, and were more compact than the 32 pdr.

32Bravo
01-31-2008, 05:00 AM
Of course, the Conqueror was a big bugger. Arriving on the scene post-war.

IIRC the power-pack was to light?

http://homepage.mac.com/michaelpiggott/militarymodels/Conqueror/Conquerormain.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conqueror_tank

Nickdfresh
01-31-2008, 07:08 AM
Nitpick - the calibre was 94mm. The 32 pdr was initially developed as a towed anti-tank gun, but it was absolutely massive so it made sense to put it into the Tortoise SPG, which was more or less the equivalent of the Jagdtiger.


Then your source hasn't tried looking at the size of the gun and ammunition, and comparing them with the room in the turret of even the Centurion, the largest British tank made in WW2. It was tough enough even fitting the 17 pdr gun into British tanks (the Comet couldn't manage it, hence the 77mm gun) and the 32 pdr was much bigger.

After WW2, the Centurion was upgunned to first 20 pdr (83.5mm) and in the mid-50s to 105mm, but these guns and their ammunition were specially designed for installing in a tank, and were more compact than the 32 pdr.

I'll get back to you on this. I'm pretty sure my source claims 96mm, but there are other typographical errors in it...

32Bravo
02-01-2008, 07:34 AM
"Anti-tank weapons
The Africa Corps did enjoy a qualitative superiority over the Allies when it came to antitank weapons, though mainly because they used a Flak gun in the antitank role. During the British offensives Brevity and Battleaxe in May and June 1941, for example, the standard German 37mm Antitank Gun 35/36 (37mm Pak 35/36) proved ineffective against the heavier British tanks; even the newer 50mm Antitank Gun 38 (50mm Pak 38) remained inadequate against the heavy British Matilda tank except at close range. It was here that the German 88mm Antiaircraft G 18 (88mm Flak 18) and its modified versions, the 88mm Flak 36 and 37, proved their tactical worth deployed in a ground role. The 88mm gun proved capable of penetrating even the British Matilda tank's 3-in. (77-mm) frontal armor at ranges of up to 6,564 ft (2,000 m). The antitank capabilities of the dual-capability 88mm Flak gun, along with the tactical skill and professionalism of the German troops, made up for the fact that during Brevity and Battleaxe Rommel's forces fought at a serious disadvantage in terms of armor (German commanders were always at a loss to explain why the British did not use their 3.7in. antiaircraft guns in the antitank role).

88mm Flak guns

At the Battle of Gazala, it was the few 88mm Flak guns that Rommel possessed that remained largely responsible for the high enemy tank casualty rates. The recent replacement of the British antitank gun arsenal with the 57mm six-pounder gun, which was superior to the German 50mm Pak 38 antitank piece, however, gave the Allies a tactical edge in the antiarmor struggle that went some way to offset the antitank killing power of the 88mm Flak gun. This development - coupled with the frontal invulnerability of the British Matilda II to the 50mm Pak 40 antitank gun - led Hitler in May 1942 to rush a new mobile antitank vehicle to the theater. The Tank-Hunter 38(t) Marten III (Panzerjöger 38(t) Marder III) mounted the potent ex-Soviet 76.2mm Pak 36(r) antitank gun in an open three-sided shield on top of the chassis of the obsolescent Panzer 38(t) tank. During the Battle of Gazala, the Marder III provided Rommel's infantry with desperately needed mobile killing power to augment that provided by the small numbers of 88mm Flak guns available. The vehicle demonstrated the lethality of its 76.2mm gun by knocking out several dozen British tanks. Indeed, so impressed were Commonwealth troops that they assumed the Germans had simply mounted their potent 88mm Flak guns on fully tracked chassis."

17poundr
02-26-2008, 11:03 PM
It has to be said that I think the US got it spot on correct with this decision. The primary role of the Sherman was anti-infantry rather than anti-tank, and a 17pdr variant would never have been as good - if only because the rate of fire would have been lower. Going for purely fireflies would have meant the allies had fewer, less effective tanks acting in infantry support and hence infantry casualties would have been much higher. Given how few Tigers and Panthers there were in Normandy, tank crew casualties would not have been reduced appreciably.

Believe me, even a 75mm Sherman looks like an armoured behemoth when you're an infantryman with only a rifle. Suddenly everyone's main efford is "kill this beast as fast as possible".

My idea of having more Firefly Shermans, would ofcourse leave room for extra sherman 105s, with HEAT rounds that took care of quite fiew of the German armour when firing at the flanks, as usually the Shermans did try to do in Battle, or at least the Brit Shermans would go for the 'split attack', where it was usually a 'two left, two right fast'! Kind of op, with one perhaps staying ahead and firing smoke and/or trying a lucky shot from ahead (Canada's top tank ace in Normandy, Bradley Walters realized that the frontal armour of the Panther gun mantlet was a semi circle, so he figured that if he hit the lower third of the guns armour, the shell could only bounce down, toward the pretty thin upper armour of the hull, and result in probable wounds or death to either one or both of the two crew members sitting just under the beginning of the barrel, and if the driver was out of action, it resulted easily in the crew bailing out)...

He actually was able to hit this circa three feet wide and one foot high target from as far as 800 yards away and result in a kill/abandoned tank!

I remember a completely separate story from the German side that I read years ago, where one of the complaints that came with the crews in the Panthers, was what they thought was just accidental richoset's killing their drivers and/or radio men from hits onto the lower portion of the gun shield!

And this from 'regurlar' Shermans! And T-34s...

Anyway, I veered off to some of the tactics and some of the most tactically savvy and lucky tank crews of the allied side. Brad Walters said that when attacking along the feared Verrier ridge in Normandy, he would come back walking! Meaning ofcourse that they were lucky in getting out many times when hit by the well hidden AT and armour...

But the 'two and two split', did work, one has only to go to the war museum in London to see the Jagdpanther, wich was a victim of such tactics, with a British 'normal' Sherman getting onto it's left side, and shooting five or six rounds through the thin side armour...

Anyway, once the US Model 26 tank and the British Comet tanks came along, the Germans had squandered what they had in the west into the Ardennes battle, and very fiew tank vs tank actions were seen after January 45 in the west...

Still, the 17 pounder had it's merits in it's SABOT rounds, as the grandfather of modern tank guns... Not to say that the Germans, US and Russians werent there in the end of the war. All were firing pretty hard pressure rounds fast! As 32Bravo pointed out, the 'early' war at and tank guns were pretty puny, a circa 40mm gun being the norm... Ofcourse the Russian front changed this fast, as the Germans had to face T-34, KV1 and separate AT guns all firing the feared 'ratchbum'! Meaning the best at/tank gun in 41, the Soviet 76mm gun! It was so good, that captured versions were mounted on a fiew hundred german Marder's from 42 onward, and were equated as being on par with the early long 75mm guns of German origin, I cannot remember totally the variants but the long 75 had about three of the 'normal' long gun, something like 75mm something /pak39, pak40 and pak48. Then came the awesome pak70, which was very straight, long range and leathal!!!

And saw action in the Panther and Jadpanzer IV, when they were ready, earlier models of the Jagdpanzer IV had to do with probably a 75mm / pak48... Which could take out a Sherman from quite a distance! Only the late heavy Sherman, and the Tank model 26, and the British Churchill were immune to the shorter long 75mm guns, on the Panzer IVs, Sturmgeschuz III, IVs, early jadpanzer IVs, Hezers and some soviet 76mm guns along with german pak40 or pak 39 75mm(wasnt it? Well, you can check on this site if you want to and dont know it already, if not it's a goldmine for German panzer info! Here, - http://www.achtungpanzer.com/profiles.htm ) on Marders II and IIIs.

Infact, nowadays a NATO standard 120mm gun, will stand about 500 shots and then you need to replace it, interestingly the ones in the seventies made T-72s, could only fire about 150! Maybe 200 if you were lucky, this means that the crews of say Iraqi, and also other nations T-72s, couldnt fire as much practice rounds as the NATO boys, a factor which tank crews say no simulator can replace in experience...

Anyway, I have seen so many impressive posts, that I lift my hat in admiration and thanks for the good info and great reads from all of you gents!

Yours truly, Mr Poundr.

17poundr
02-26-2008, 11:36 PM
"In about September 1944, the British started to use APDS shot for the 17-pdr, which travelling at over 1200 meters per second increased the armour penetrating power of the 17-pdr greatly with a penetration of 140 mm armour over 1,000 yards (914 m). The disadvantages of APDS as compared with the 17-pdr's regular APCBC ammunition was that it was much less accurate and did not do nearly as much damage to an enemy tank if it did penetrate. APDS shot remained rare accounting for only about 6% of the average loadout of a 17-pdr equipped British tank" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_QF_17_pounder

"the 8.8cm Panzerabwehrkanone (PaK) 43 and later 43/41 L/71 – was developed and put into production in 1943."
"The Pak43/41 served in Army Heavy Anti-tank Battalions (schwere Heeres-Panzerjager-Abteilung) and saw service on all fronts for the remainder of the war." http://www.panzermuseum.com/german-88-anti-tank-gun.html


"The PaK 43 L/71 was more powerful than the 17 pdr, but that didn't come into use until later in the war, and that was never very common." -Tony Williams"

Kinda puts it into the same category as the Pak 43 doesn;t it?:rolleyes:
I must say that I have seen a picture of a ww2 17pounder shell, that was a SABOT in theory, but it wasnt like nowadays where after 'getting rid' or the thick 120mm outer casings, the thin arrow SABOT which is probably about 40mm thick (guessing from the pictures), is solid DP uranium, or Tungsten...

But the one that I saw for the ww2 pounder, had a 'regurlar metal' body, with a cap, or very short condom if you will that was made of Tungsten.

Now I can surmise that the reason they did this was that they were aware of the 'in and out' quality of an all tungsten 'arrow', so they made this cap which would have separated after the initial penetration of the hull, and then ofcourse you had the steel after shell which was blunt, bouncing about, and also the tungten cap, which probaly wouldnt penetrate on itself, so it also would be doing what AT/tank shells did anyway sometimes, ie they started richoseting inside the tank, usually resulting in horrible trauma to the crew members...

If anybody knows of the 'cap model sabot', please let us know, I remember it clearly for I thought 'what a devilish idea' at the time!

ps, dont forget the six pounder which had experiments of sabot, and in theory was the first gun to fire sabot rounds, but I dont belive this took place in the battles it took place in...

still, for it's size, it was a good anti tank gun, and the most numerous Panzer IIIs, and the tank killer variants from it, all had a healthy respect for the 6pounder/57mm(US term for same gun).

So I put pics of the 6 'n' 17 pounder guns, so one can see the clear developement from where the 17 pounder came from...

Tony Williams
02-27-2008, 12:41 AM
WW2 British APDS ammunition used a blunt-nosed, solid tungsten-carbide penetrating core, contained within a close-fitting aerodynamic pointed sheath which also contained a tracer in the base, the whole being surrounded by the sabot until that broke up and fell away after leaving the muzzle.

The pic below (from the Ammunition Photo Gallery on my website) shows some WW2 sub-calibre AP projectiles. The 6pdr and 17pdr APDS projectiles are replicas, but the 17pdr APDS penetrating core is the genuine article (and is very heavy!).

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Subcalproj.jpg

gumalangi
02-28-2008, 12:52 AM
I stil go for Acht punkt Acht

kallinikosdrama1992
05-03-2008, 06:06 AM
I read , i dont remember where , that 17pdr was the best AT gun in World War II . I also read that it was able to destroy any enemy tank from a distance more than 800m . Well the question
is that if it was able of that why dont we ''heard'' of any Tiger been knocked out from a hit in the front armour by a 17pdr gun ?

redcoat
05-03-2008, 06:16 AM
I read , i dont remember where , that 17pdr was the best AT gun in World War II .
I don't know if we can go that far, but it is without question that it was one of the best AT guns of WW2



. Well the question
is that if it was able of that why dont we ''heard'' of any Tiger been knocked out from a hit in the front armour by a 17pdr gun ?
We have :cool:

The 17 pdr spoiled many a Tiger tank crews day

I've even "heard" of Tiger I's being knocked out by a hit on the front armour by a 75mm shell from a normal Sherman ;)

kallinikosdrama1992
05-04-2008, 06:02 AM
Ok then . Thanks for the info . Also could someone tell me if there was any possibillity any Sherman survive from an 88mm or a 75mm hit ?

Eoin666
05-08-2008, 09:55 AM
Ok then . Thanks for the info . Also could someone tell me if there was any possibillity any Sherman survive from an 88mm or a 75mm hit ?

depends where the shell hits, range, angle etc so of course it could survive a hit from an 88 or 75 if the circumstances are in its favour. Most Sherman's don't forget had petrol engines which didn't help survivability but some also for instance had water jackets fitted internally which significantly improved their chances of surviving one hit at least....the jackets ruptured after the first hit. The sherman's 75mm gun was never designed as a tank killer but was more for general purpose, reasonable HE and AP but not brilliant at either.
Also bear in mind that the 6pdr AT gun (57mm and better AP performance than the 75mm but less HE) was recorded as knocking out Tigers in Tunisia.

Nickdfresh
05-08-2008, 12:17 PM
Threads on 17pdr. merged, as this one was a good one!

redcoat
05-08-2008, 06:02 PM
The sherman's 75mm gun was never designed as a tank killer but was more for general purpose, reasonable HE and AP but not brilliant at either.
The gun was developed from the famous French 1897 field gun and it had an excellent HE performance


Also bear in mind that the 6pdr AT gun (57mm and better AP performance than the 75mm but less HE) was recorded as knocking out Tigers in Tunisia.
The Tiger I now at the Bovington tank museum was KO'd by a 6 pdr armed Churchill tank;)

Nickdfresh
05-08-2008, 06:15 PM
The gun was developed from the famous French 1897 field gun and it had an excellent HE performance

Indeed. The only reason that it survived as long as it did was the misconception that the 76mm (3 inch) gun had a poor HE performance...

Eoin666
05-09-2008, 07:22 AM
The gun was developed from the famous French 1897 field gun and it had an excellent HE performance

The Tiger I now at the Bovington tank museum was KO'd by a 6 pdr armed Churchill tank;)

I didn't know that, I really want to take a trip down there at some point

Churchill
05-09-2008, 03:11 PM
I saw some Tigers in the tank museum in Saumur(a town in France). They looked brand new. Could the Allies have captured the tanks in or near the factories?

I wish to go to Bovington too...

redcoat
05-09-2008, 03:51 PM
I saw some Tigers in the tank museum in Saumur(a town in France). They looked brand new. Could the Allies have captured the tanks in or near the factories?


The Tiger I at Samumur served with the 2nd Kompanie,.SS-Pz.Abt. 102,( hull number 251114 ) in Normandy.
It was abandoned during the rout at the Falaise gap.

Churchill
05-09-2008, 06:24 PM
Sweet! Thanks for the info!

Eoin666
05-09-2008, 08:17 PM
The Tiger I now at the Bovington tank museum was KO'd by a 6 pdr armed Churchill tank;)

Is that the Tiger thats now running, the static one I'd read that it was knocked out when a shell lodged in the turret ring, jamming it causing the crew to abandon it.

2024

This was taken in Bovington museum. Disabled by a round from a Sherman, the shell hit exactly in the ridge below the gun mantlet and the upper hull, thereby jamming the turret. The crew bailed out and it was subsequently captured. The dent right under the gun mantlet is still visible and can be seen when zoomed in.
http://www.worldwar2aces.com/tiger-tank/tiger-tank.htm

redcoat
05-10-2008, 11:19 AM
Is that the Tiger thats now running, the static one I'd read that it was knocked out when a shell lodged in the turret ring, jamming it causing the crew to abandon it.

2024

This was taken in Bovington museum. Disabled by a round from a Sherman, the shell hit exactly in the ridge below the gun mantlet and the upper hull, thereby jamming the turret. The crew bailed out and it was subsequently captured. The dent right under the gun mantlet is still visible and can be seen when zoomed in.
http://www.worldwar2aces.com/tiger-tank/tiger-tank.htm
Its the same tank.
However the article has the type of tank that KO'd it wrong.
It was knocked out by Churchill tanks of No. 4 Troop, A Squadron, 48th Royal Tank Regiment at Medjez-el-Bab on 21 April 1943.
It was abandoned by the crew after one hit had shattered the loader's hatch and another had deflected off the underside of the gun, jamming the turret, and clipped the armour vent housing, causing internal damage near the driver.
The Tiger tank belonged to No. 3 Platoon in No.1 Company (1.Kompanie./schwere Panzer Abteilung 504), and was allocated Tactical Number 131

Eoin666
05-11-2008, 03:54 PM
Its the same tank.
However the article has the type of tank that KO'd it wrong.
It was knocked out by Churchill tanks of No. 4 Troop, A Squadron, 48th Royal Tank Regiment at Medjez-el-Bab on 21 April 1943.
It was abandoned by the crew after one hit had shattered the loader's hatch and another had deflected off the underside of the gun, jamming the turret, and clipped the armour vent housing, causing internal damage near the driver.
The Tiger tank belonged to No. 3 Platoon in No.1 Company (1.Kompanie./schwere Panzer Abteilung 504), and was allocated Tactical Number 131

Ah, many thanks Redcoat for correcting that info'

Nickdfresh
07-21-2013, 10:30 PM
Bump!

J.A.W.
07-21-2013, 11:06 PM
Tiger Tanks at War by M. Green & J.D. Brown gives this account of a 17pdr Tiger hunt in action in Italy. [P.98-]

" A Tiger [I/E] was observed about 3,000 yards away, engaging 3 Shermans. When it set one of the Shermans afire, the other 2 withdrew over a crest. A 17pdr was brought up to within 2,400 yards of the Tiger & engaged it from the flank.
When the Tiger realized it was being engaged by a hi-velocity gun it swung around 90`so that its heavy frontal armour was toward the gun. In the ensuing duel one round hit the turret, another round hit the suspension, & another 2 near-short rounds probably ricocheted into the tank.
The tank was not put out of action. The range was too great to expect a kill; hence the N.Z.ers tactics were to make the Tiger expose its flank to the Shermans at a range of almost 500 yards...& when it was engaged by the Shermans, it withdrew..."

pdf27
07-22-2013, 01:14 AM
Nice shooting - 2 of 4 shots on target in combat at a mile and a half!

tankgeezer
07-22-2013, 10:16 AM
That would have been nice shooting in the 70's.

J.A.W.
07-23-2013, 06:58 PM
Likely some good keen Kiwi deer stalker blokes..

Still a bit dispiriting for the Sherman crews.. knowing they can be plucked like a turkey while the best available riposte only elicits the big cat to move out of his favourite basking spot..

Nickdfresh
07-24-2013, 04:57 AM
They damaged it and forced a tactical withdrawal. Did your Tiger book list instances like where three Tigers were destroyed by the crossfire two 76mm antitank guns at around 1000yards during the Battle of the Bulge? Or does it just cherry-pick fearsome beasty anecdotes?

tankgeezer
07-24-2013, 10:59 AM
I'm thinking that this most prestigious Tome came with a companion CD playing ERIKA on an endless loop.

J.A.W.
07-24-2013, 09:30 PM
& how many cherries in every can of Dr Pepper?
Anecdotes are cool, esp' when reality based.. so true ..a big enough sample can form a pattern & provide a fair picture..

What Tigers/Panthers did come with was an operating manual that gave crews info including tactical use best outcomes scenarios, mechanical & driving tips & other useful data..

I`ll bet Abrams crews get something along those beastly lines today, or is it really like in the 'Buffalo Soldiers'
movie, where they just ride rough-shod, pumpin' & a pimpin'..

pdf27
07-25-2013, 01:25 AM
I'm sure such a manual exists, but it'll be absolutely enormous because there is so much to understand. Crews will absorb the basics during special-to-arm training (typically 3-6 months), then the individuals will be placed with an experienced crew and do continuation training within their unit. No way you could get up to the standard of a modern NATO tank crew just by having a book to read.

leccy
07-25-2013, 01:49 AM
& how many cherries in every can of Dr Pepper?
Anecdotes are cool, esp' when reality based.. so true ..a big enough sample can form a pattern & provide a fair picture..

What Tigers/Panthers did come with was an operating manual that gave crews info including tactical use best outcomes scenarios, mechanical & driving tips & other useful data..

I`ll bet Abrams crews get something along those beastly lines today, or is it really like in the 'Buffalo Soldiers'
movie, where they just ride rough-shod, pumpin' & a pimpin'..

Ah the Tigerfibel and Pantherfibel's, comically arranged manual's that tried to interject some humour into the training for the tank crews so they would remember all the servicing tasks and other information on how to operate the vehicle, needed due to the drop in quality of the crews training as much as anything else.

tankgeezer
07-25-2013, 11:07 AM
I'm sure such a manual exists, but it'll be absolutely enormous because there is so much to understand. Crews will absorb the basics during special-to-arm training (typically 3-6 months), then the individuals will be placed with an experienced crew and do continuation training within their unit. No way you could get up to the standard of a modern NATO tank crew just by having a book to read.
You are very correct PDF, although my experiences predate the Abrams by some years, the Advanced Individual Training, that training specific to the occupational specialty of an Armor Crewman was scheduled for 8 weeks in the U.S. Army. During this comprehensive training, all aspects of the care, and feeding of the tank would be learned in detail in both class room, and in the motorpool, and field. Particular detail was paid to maintenance which comprised the majority of the crewman's daily activities both in application of maintenance procedures, and keeping records, and documentation updated in the log book of each vehicle. Operations were also comprehensive, tactical formations, and usage were given a week of their own with special emphasis given to communications at Company, Platoon, and between tank levels. This by either Radio, flags, or hand signals. As to gunnery, that took nearly as much time as maintenance, and covered absolutely every detail of direct fire gunnery (no Tank Destroyer Doctrine to hinder us in our work ) Every detail on the main gun, the basic load of munitions, fire control, and crew interaction/communication was taught, and drilled extensively. As was the use of the 2 Machine Guns. A U.S. Tank Crewman could if need be, go from the Armor School, to the battle field, and get to work.
This was generally not needed though, and once at his permanent duty unit, there would be additional training in the home unit's particular blend of operations. There were always variations depending on whom, and where a Unit might be fighting. We also had a manual which was called the "dash 10". Manuals were produced for different levels of use, and maintenance. The -10 was the crew level, the higher the dash No. the higher the level. The -10 was a legal sized book, and about 2-1/2 inches thick, and filled to boredom's limit with the usual half tone prints of everything the crewman needed to take care of, and operate any system in the vehicle. This manual was the strictly G.I. book, but the was a small magazine that came out from time to time called PS magazine, it was done in the graphic novel style, and dealt generally with all manner of maintenance tips for everything in the Army. This little book while being published by the gov't was not part of our standard kit.
With the Abrams Tank, things are much more complicated, and would require much more, and detailed training in order to make a competent crewman. The training schedule is 15 weeks IIRC,nearly double the time of the previous Patton/M-60 series, and includes far greater use of latest tech simulators that can train the entire crew at the same time. This alone is one valuable asset, a competent crewman is necessary, but a competent crew is essential to fight the vehicle successfully. Its more the 8 armed creature in the tank than the tank itself that makes the weapon.
In the 70's an adequate crew could engage, and close fire in less than 15 seconds, with 2 hits. (which was generally considered to be more than enough to knock out any Soviet tank.) A truly good crew could do this in 10-12 seconds. The munitions of the time pretty much assured successful reduction of the target, but it took a really with it crew to make best use of the vehicle's attributes.
This is a side note, but since the subject was brought up in various threads, The Hot rolled face hardened armor used in German tanks was very expensive to produce, and required involved, and expensive manufacturing procedures in order to be made into Hulls, and turrets. With the advent of APDS, and Heat munitions, it made no sense to use Hot Rolled anymore as it afforded no more protection than did cast homogeneous armor. They also made the "Heavy" Tank a wasteful expenditure of resources, as no amount of armor that could be driven around at the time, would defeat the HEAT, or Sabot munitions. So everyone in NATO switched to cast armor for MBT's This was the way of things till Chobham armor showed up, and changed everything. The Abrams is said to cost over $4 million per unit, the M-60 I had in the 70's (I am told) cost about $250,000.

J.A.W.
07-25-2013, 11:32 PM
Excellent info in posts previous, thanks guys..

The Germans used spaced plates on their thinner armoured vehicles to set off/spend HEAT charges, a type still used against RPGs by light armour today..

I 've seen pictures of WW2 Shermans festooned with all kinds of extra 'armour' including wire-wove beds to stem
Panzerfaust's hot jets..

The idea of resilient RHA of sufficient thickness & slope was to [hopefully] have the brittle super-hard tungsten ballistic
[ex-sabot] penetrator either 'slip off' the face of the plate, or break-up when flexed by the give in the plate..'like butter'

leccy
07-26-2013, 04:05 AM
Excellent info in posts previous, thanks guys..

The Germans used spaced plates on their thinner armoured vehicles to set off/spend HEAT charges, a type still used against RPGs by light armour today..

I 've seen pictures of WW2 Shermans festooned with all kinds of extra 'armour' including wire-wove beds to stem
Panzerfaust's hot jets..

The idea of resilient RHA of sufficient thickness & slope was to [hopefully] have the brittle super-hard tungsten ballistic
[ex-sabot] penetrator either 'slip off' the face of the plate, or break-up when flexed by the give in the plate..'like butter'

The 'spaced' armour was add on armour to improve the resistance to conventional AP shot by making the plate thicker often a stop gap until the production vehicles were made with thicker armour, it often had a small gap between the two plates and this helped defeat solid shot (British 2 pdr rounds would often penetrate the first and shatter on the second).

The turret and side skirts (Schürzen) are often mistaken as protection against HEAT rounds but were introduced to counter Soviet AT rifles.

tankgeezer
07-26-2013, 10:14 AM
Hot rolled armor had an advantage when faced with the kinetic shot projectiles generally in use at the time, and stand off armor would in most cases help protect against such shot using Ballistic caps. It may also have helped to lessen the effects of the small shaped charge weapons of WWII Bazooka, Panzer Faust/Schreck, as these fairly small warheads could not deliver a great deal of energy against the target sufficient though they usually were. This is not the case with later Tank Main gun HEAT munitions which were far larger,and capable of penetrating regardless of standoff plates, or other such shielding. This goes to expand upon the reasons why NATO, and most everyone shifted from any sort of expensive hot roll, to plain cast homogeneous armor. The face hardened hot roll could not provide any sort of real protection from these munitions, and actually increased the incidence of crew injury from spalling, and other secondary fragmentation. This effect was more pronounced when using arrowhead or other rigid composite warheads as well as the later APDS. Cast armor was purposely made to be more ductile, allowing a penetrator to pass through without creating undue amounts of spall/fragments.
The cold war HEAT munitions used by NATO would unless there was something very substantial in its way, go through both sides of the target vehicle's turret, so stand off screens, or plates would be of limited benefit. The 17 pounder gun had an APDS round available in 1944, though at the moment, I dont have any specifics as to its specs.The Cold War NATO 105mm Sabot used a boat tailed spitzer shape in the sub-caliber penetrator as distinct from the present day "dart" penetrator, and made of Tungsten Carbide, sheathed in a supporting jacket which may have been aluminum (I don't recall exactly at present) to protect the core at impact. The penetrator was between 50, and 60 mm, and had a speed of just under 5,000 FPS. It was spin stabilized. It was said that it would penetrate over 4 ft of homogeneous armor, or 5 T-54's which ever came first. :) The HEAT was said to be good for 18" of solid armor.
The playing field was by the 60's fairly level, from the standpoint of a hit pretty much guaranteed a hole, and he who hit first usually won the engagement. Fire control was the issue then, NATO having in the M-47 onward a useful rangefinder, and ballistic computer, could outrange the Warsaw Pact Tanks, which gave a distinct advantage at distance, and a fair advantage closer in, 500-1200 meters using what was referred to as "Battle sight" range preset to 1,100 mtr indexed to HEAT munitions. Using this method, 2 hits in 8 seconds was not improbable.

J.A.W.
07-28-2013, 10:08 PM
More excellent data, cogently put, thanks, T-G.
I note that while the 17pdr used the discarding sabot-type penetrator, there were concerns about its
potential to cause an erratic ballistic trajectory/accuracy problem, & so, the Germans did not use them.

tankgeezer
07-29-2013, 12:53 PM
They didn't really need an APDS munition,Germany had collapsing flange Tungsten Carbide projo's for their taper bore guns, and those worked just fine, until stocks of the material became so short that Hitler ordered all remaining stocks to be used for machine tooling only. After which it was back to Steel shot which while it was useful in regular guns, was substandard for use in very high velocity Tapered Bore applications. Steel was not strong, or hard enough to withstand the impact, and would break up on striking the target.

J.A.W.
07-29-2013, 05:15 PM
Indeed, a problem..
& so, in Speer's book, an early mention of depleted Uranium as a Tungsten penetrator substitute..

tankgeezer
07-29-2013, 05:42 PM
And even less of that than Carbide available, Was there any(at the time) enriched Uranium that was around long enough to have become depleted? Sounds like someone was planning for a future material that would never be available to the Reich.

J.A.W.
07-29-2013, 05:53 PM
From memory, the Nazis held quite a stock, & Speer wanted best use made of it, including investigating 'dirty bombs'..

I understand that getting hold of the German Uranium was a listed priority, post-war too..

pdf27
07-30-2013, 01:34 AM
From memory, the Nazis held quite a stock, & Speer wanted best use made of it, including investigating 'dirty bombs'..

I understand that getting hold of the German Uranium was a listed priority, post-war too..
Nope, they never had a Uranium enrichment project (what bomb work there was concentrated on Plutonium, which given how badly they screwed up their moderators was a problem!). The Germans did however experiment with natural Uranium anti-tank shells, although IIRC they didn't make very many.

J.A.W.
07-30-2013, 01:45 AM
Ok, then, & thanks for clarifying that, pdf-27..

leccy
07-30-2013, 01:50 AM
Indeed, a problem..
& so, in Speer's book, an early mention of depleted Uranium as a Tungsten penetrator substitute..

Can you give a reference - Book - Chapter - page etc

J.A.W.
07-30-2013, 01:52 AM
Not at this point, but, - it was, from memory - in his 1st book, written [illegally] while in Spandau..

Nickdfresh
07-30-2013, 06:07 AM
Speer was often filled with self-aggrandizing shit...

J.A.W.
07-30-2013, 04:19 PM
Yet, he convinced the Allied War Crimes Trial that they ought not string him up..

Not a bad effort for someone who was one of Adolf's B.F.s..

Nickdfresh
07-31-2013, 11:45 AM
And was a Nazi Party member very early on. I'm not sure if he was one even before Adolph was but might have been...

Nickdfresh
07-31-2013, 12:00 PM
As far as Speer is concerned, he thought little of taking credit for others' work. His predecessor, Fritz Todt, laid much of the ground work for the "Armaments Miracle" and Speer would often cherry pick statistics like when gloated over the increase in tank production from 1941 in 1942, deliberately choosing the lowest production month in 41' and the highest production month under his reign in 1942 to exaggerate the seeming boom in panzers coming off the line. That's not to say that Speer wasn't talented, intelligent, and a very good organizer in his own right because he certainly was. I suspect what saved him from the gallows was the fact that he had a supercilious demeanor that seemed contrary to the typical Nazi idiot thugs like Boermann. I think he rarely donned a uniform and seemed more like a German industrialist than a diehard Nazi loyalist. I also believe he tended to largely gloss over antisemitism and didn't seem to hate Jews in the same vein as the conspiratorial zeal and mindset of Hitler. That's not to say that killing large numbers of them and working them to death appeared to bother him much, either.

Fritz Todt died in a plane crash, leading to speculation that it was the Waffen-SS that did him in for urging Hitler to end the war in 1941 as he saw the inevitable Red tide turning. Speer certainly had no reservations and was a true believer almost to the end. His statements of regret and remorse at Nuremberg not withstanding...

Nickdfresh
07-31-2013, 12:00 PM
As far as Speer is concerned, he thought little of taking credit for others' work. His predecessor, Fritz Todt, laid much of the ground work for the "Armaments Miracle" and Speer would often cherry pick statistics like when he gloated over the seemingly massive increase in tank production from 1941 in 1942, deliberately choosing the lowest production month in 41' and the highest production month under his reign in 1942 to exaggerate the seeming boom in panzers coming off the line. That's not to say that Speer wasn't talented, intelligent, and a very good organizer in his own right because he certainly was. I suspect what saved him from the gallows was the fact that he had a supercilious demeanor that seemed contrary to the typical Nazi idiot thugs like Bormann. I think he rarely donned a uniform and seemed more like a German industrialist than a diehard Nazi loyalist. I also believe he tended to largely gloss over antisemitism and didn't seem to hate Jews in the same vein as the conspiratorial zeal and mindset of Hitler. That's not to say that killing large numbers of them and working them to death appeared to bother him much, either.

Fritz Todt died in a plane crash, leading to speculation that it was the Waffen-SS that did him in for urging Hitler to end the war in 1941 as he saw the inevitable Red tide turning. Speer, in contrast, certainly had no reservations and was a true believer almost to the end - his statements of regret and remorse at Nuremberg not withstanding...

J.A.W.
08-01-2013, 12:43 AM
Curiously, the grandiose architectural style favoured by those 2 good artistic buddies Hitler & Speer..

.. has an echo in the Australian Federal Parliament building in Canberra, with its massively vaulting oblong façade..