Discussion:
German weapons
(too old to reply)
Mister G
2011-02-13 23:37:36 UTC
Permalink
By the Time the battle in North Africa was over, the US had numerous
copies of German Weapons, like their machine guns, 88's, and tanks. So
why didn't they back engineer or simply copy them. It didn't exactly
take a genius to see that the machine guns were better than the US
models. So why not copy theirs? By the same token, since the Germans
had no four engine, long range bomber of their own, why not simply
copy the Allied four engine bombers that were littering the European
landscape?
David Wilma
2011-02-14 01:09:35 UTC
Permalink
I read here that the U.S. did try to copy the MG34/42 chambered for
the 30.06 round, but couldn't make it work. They dropped the project
before the war ended.
j***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2011-02-16 23:12:45 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by David Wilma
I read here that the U.S. did try to copy the MG34/42 chambered for
the 30.06 round, but couldn't make it work. They dropped the project
before the war ended.
Ian V Hogg's _Machine Guns_ has some history about this. The US Army had
seen the various light machine guns that other countries were putting
into service, and put out a specification in November 1939 asking for
lighter weight than the M1919, and with more firepower than the BAR.
There were competitive trials in September 1941; nothing was adopted,
but the best was an Auto-Ordnance design by William Ruger, which was
designated the Light Machine Gun T10, and some more development was
done, but was shelved in early 1942.

It was revived in mid-1943, and substantially revised as the T23. It was
pretty good, but the M1919A6 was being developed in parallel, and was
approved before the T23; since it used existing parts, training and so
on, the T23 wasn't felt to be enough of an improvement to justify the
disruption. Incidentally, the M1919A6 weighed 32.5lb. The Bren was
19.3lb, and the MG42 was 25lb.

Once the US Army had captured and tried out a few MG42s, they contracted
the Saginaw Gear division of General Motors to make some more. Saginaw,
who were new to gun design, decided to make a version in 30-06, and this
was designated the T24. Unfortunately, they made a mistake in failing to
take proper account of the greater length of the US cartridge. The bolt
did not recoil far enough to allow clean ejection of the spent case, so
it would fine 3 or 4 rounds than them jam. it took significant time to
figure out what was wrong, after which the project was canned.

Meanwhile, the USMC was using the Johnson Light Machine Gun, with some
success. Rather later, the Israeli Army used a version of that as the
"Dror".

So the US Army made intermittent attempts to get a better LMG during
WWII, but never actually succeeded.
--
John Dallman, ***@cix.co.uk, HTML mail is treated as probable spam.
Lloyd Olson
2011-02-14 01:10:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
By the Time the battle in North Africa was over, the US had numerous
copies of German Weapons, like their machine guns, 88's, and tanks. So
why didn't they back engineer or simply copy them. It didn't exactly
take a genius to see that the machine guns were better than the US
models. So why not copy theirs? By the same token, since the Germans
had no four engine, long range bomber of their own, why not simply
copy the Allied four engine bombers that were littering the European
landscape?
I would imagine the first problem is you have an assembly line cranking out
product.

Shut it down, re-tool, and then start making something else.

Time frame and cost could be a lot. Not to mention what do you tell the
soldiers at the front ? Throw rocks until we reinvent the wheel ?

Not to mention retrain the soldiers to use and maintain the new equipment.

It probably takes a long time to develope a new weapon and get it into use.
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-14 05:20:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lloyd Olson
I would imagine the first problem is you have an assembly line cranking out
product.
Shut it down, re-tool, and then start making something else.
Time frame and cost could be a lot. Not to mention what do you tell the
soldiers at the front ? Throw rocks until we reinvent the wheel ?
Not to mention retrain the soldiers to use and maintain the new equipment.
It probably takes a long time to develope a new weapon and get it into use.
I agree with all of the above. Plus, the only weapon that seemed
worth copying would be the MG-42, which according to a previous poster
was attempted but failed. I believe the M3 "grease gun" was inspired
by the MP-40, and to some extent by the Sten. More advanced tank
designs like the M-26 Pershing were in development. On the flip side,
I believe the Panzerschreck was an improved copy of the American
bazooka.
Scott M. Kozel
2011-02-14 04:00:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
By the Time the battle in North Africa was over, the US had numerous
copies of German Weapons, like their machine guns, 88's, and tanks. So
why didn't they back engineer or simply copy them. It didn't exactly
take a genius to see that the machine guns were better than the US
models. So why not copy theirs?
I doubt that the U.S. thought that the German machine guns were better,
at least in the case of any of these -- soldier-carried such as the
Thompson submachine gun, the M3 submachine gun, and the Browning
Automatic Rifle (BAR); and 30/06-caliber and 50-BMG-caliber machine guns.
Post by Mister G
By the same token, since the Germans
had no four engine, long range bomber of their own, why not simply
copy the Allied four engine bombers that were littering the European
landscape?
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
William Black
2011-02-14 16:15:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott M. Kozel
I doubt that the U.S. thought that the German machine guns were better,
at least in the case of any of these -- soldier-carried such as the
Thompson submachine gun, the M3 submachine gun, and the Browning
Automatic Rifle (BAR); and 30/06-caliber and 50-BMG-caliber machine guns.
The Thompson was loathed by most soldiers because of its weight.

The BAR didn't have the magazine capcity to be an effective support weapon.

The Browning 30-06 machine gun was far too heavy to be considered a
light support weapon.
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
Scott M. Kozel
2011-02-14 19:00:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Post by Scott M. Kozel
I doubt that the U.S. thought that the German machine guns were better,
at least in the case of any of these -- soldier-carried such as the
Thompson submachine gun, the M3 submachine gun, and the Browning
Automatic Rifle (BAR); and 30/06-caliber and 50-BMG-caliber machine guns.
The Thompson was loathed by most soldiers because of its weight.
Untrue. U.S. soldiers in the Pacific island battles, for the most
part -loved- the effectiveness of a submachine gun with a large
magazine, including the Thompson, for assaulting pillboxes,
blockhouses, and caves.
Post by William Black
The BAR didn't have the magazine capcity to be an effective support weapon.
Again, untrue. It was utilized very effectively in many battles.

The BAR was designed to be carried by advancing infantrymen, slung
over the shoulder and fired from the hip, a concept called "walking
fire" -- thought to be necessary for the individual soldier during
trench warfare. However in practice, in WWII it was most often used as
a light machine gun and fired from a bipod.

The BAR was issued as automatic rifle-caliber fire support for a
squad, and all men were trained at the basic level how to operate and
fire the weapon in case the designated operator(s) were killed or
wounded. In an attempt to overcome the BAR's limited continuous-fire
capability, U.S. Marine and some army units used two BAR fire teams
per squad. One team would typically provide covering fire until a
magazine was empty, whereupon the second team would open fire, thus
allowing the first team to reload.

After WWII, the BAR continued in U.S. service in the Korean War, and
the early stages of the Vietnam War.
Post by William Black
The Browning 30-06 machine gun was far too heavy to be considered a
light support weapon.
The original poster was not clear about whether machine guns only
included submachine guns and automatic rifles.
Dave Smith
2011-02-14 22:40:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott M. Kozel
Post by William Black
The BAR didn't have the magazine capcity to be an effective support weapon.
Again, untrue. It was utilized very effectively in many battles.
The BAR was designed to be carried by advancing infantrymen, slung
over the shoulder and fired from the hip, a concept called "walking
fire" -- thought to be necessary for the individual soldier during
trench warfare. However in practice, in WWII it was most often used as
a light machine gun and fired from a bipod.
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.

Using less ammunition means less barrel heating. The barrel on the BAR
is not a quick release accessory like that on a Bren gun and other light
or medium machine guns.

A larger capacity magazine would make it difficult to fire the gun with
a bipod. That is not a problem with belt fed to top load magazine guns.

There are also a couple of magazine issues to deal with. Smaller
capacity magazines can get by with lighter gauge metal, easier to work
with for manufacturing and less dead weight to carry into battle. A
larger capacity bottom feed magazine needs a stronger spring to push up
on all those extra bullets.


The Bren gun gets away from some of the BAR problems with a top loading
magazine. It does not need a big heavy spring to deliver the rounds to
the chamber because gravity is working with the spring rather than
against it. Vertical movement of the barrel is not impaired by the
magazine jamming on the ground when you try to aim higher.
William Black
2011-02-15 15:58:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
Don't be silly.

If that were true every army in the world would still be using bolt
action rifles and BARs.

Nobody is...
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
pbromaghin
2011-02-15 18:00:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
Don't be silly.
If that were true every army in the world would still be using bolt
action rifles and BARs.
Nobody is...
I don't have exact figures, but the Nato 7.62 round is lighter than
the WWII 30-06. The 5.56 ammunition weighs 1/2 the 7.62. The Soviet
7.62 used in the Kalishnikov is about 1/2 way between, but it has a
lower rate of fire than the M-16.

The final version of the Thompson, slowed the rate of fire from the
initial 1200rpm down to 600 rpm.
Bill Shatzer
2011-02-15 21:04:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
Don't be silly.
If that were true every army in the world would still be using bolt
action rifles and BARs.
Nobody is...
There was a faction in the US Army which resisted the adoption of the
M-1 Garand on exactly those grounds - that it would encourage expediture
of ammunition and overly strain the supporting logistics train.

The M-1 advocates eventually won out but not without an extend struggle
with the "old guard".
William Black
2011-02-16 15:24:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
Post by William Black
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
Don't be silly.
If that were true every army in the world would still be using bolt
action rifles and BARs.
Nobody is...
There was a faction in the US Army which resisted the adoption of the
M-1 Garand on exactly those grounds - that it would encourage expediture
of ammunition and overly strain the supporting logistics train.
The M-1 advocates eventually won out but not without an extend struggle
with the "old guard".
That debate happened in every major army in the world before the
adoption of auto feeding rifles.

Also the US managed to stop the introduction of the 'sub calibre' round
for many years.

There are also records of people resisting the introduction of firearms
and saying 'We should really keep the longbow'.

Elderly military gentlemen tend to be both influential and conservative.
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
Dave Smith
2011-02-15 21:40:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
Don't be silly.
If that were true every army in the world would still be using bolt
action rifles and BARs.
Nobody is...
We aren't talking about now. We are talking about World War II.

While the M1 Garand had been adopted by the US Army in 1936, the Marines
continued to use the M1903 Springfield during the early stages of the
island hopping war in the Pacific. It was also used by US army rangers.
Curiously, those are the types of forces who had the greatest logistical
challenges. The marines had enough of a challenge to get to shore and
knock out enemy defences and needed to take all the equipment and
ammunition they needed with them. It was after they secured beach heads
that the army arrived and were armed with M1 Garands.
Stephen Graham
2011-02-15 21:49:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
While the M1 Garand had been adopted by the US Army in 1936, the Marines
continued to use the M1903 Springfield during the early stages of the
island hopping war in the Pacific. It was also used by US army rangers.
Curiously, those are the types of forces who had the greatest logistical
challenges. The marines had enough of a challenge to get to shore and
knock out enemy defences and needed to take all the equipment and
ammunition they needed with them. It was after they secured beach heads
that the army arrived and were armed with M1 Garands.
The early war Marine use of Springfields had much more to do with the
Marines being on the tail end of the procurement process.
Dave Smith
2011-02-15 22:48:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Graham
Post by Dave Smith
While the M1 Garand had been adopted by the US Army in 1936, the Marines
continued to use the M1903 Springfield during the early stages of the
island hopping war in the Pacific. It was also used by US army rangers.
Curiously, those are the types of forces who had the greatest logistical
challenges. The marines had enough of a challenge to get to shore and
knock out enemy defences and needed to take all the equipment and
ammunition they needed with them. It was after they secured beach heads
that the army arrived and were armed with M1 Garands.
The early war Marine use of Springfields had much more to do with the
Marines being on the tail end of the procurement process.
Is that true? If you had expanded upon that and provided some further
information and a reference or a link I might not have assumed that you
had just made it up.

I came across a Time Magazine article from March 1941 on a report on
the Garand. It indicates that while the Marines were par to of the
Navy, they got their small arms from the War department and it would
simplify supply problems if they all used the same rifle.


They had compared their old Springfield M1903 with thee semiautomatics,
the Garand, Winchester and Johnson. The Garand was the best of the
semiautomatics. The Springfield could fire 12-15 aimed shots per minute
and the Garand could fire at three times that rate, making it the choice
for those who valued rate of fire above all else.

The Marine board valued dependability as well as volume of fire. Given
the amphibious nature of the Marine Corps, the felt dependability was
more important. The best they could say of the Garand was that it was
the best of the semiautomatics.The Springfield was more reliable in the
conditions under which the Marines would be fighting. It could still be
operated when exposed to mud, When dropped in wet sand the test Garands
jammed. The firers had to stand up and kick the bolts open. When tested
in exposure to dust, rain, mud, salt water, sand etc, the Springfiled
could always be operated with some degree of proficiency while the semi
automatics generally failed to operate.






http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,884292-1,00.html
Stephen Graham
2011-02-16 00:46:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Post by Stephen Graham
The early war Marine use of Springfields had much more to do with the
Marines being on the tail end of the procurement process.
Is that true? If you had expanded upon that and provided some further
information and a reference or a link I might not have assumed that you
had just made it up.
Why would I make it up? The Marines unfortunately don't have a
web-accessible ordnance history nor are the Army ordnance volumes
available on-line. But if you look at something like the Osprey volume
_US Marine Corps Pacific Theater of Operations 1941-43_, which is what
popped up first on a Google books search, it says "The Corps had adopted
the semi-automatic .30-cal. M1 Garand rifle in 1940, but production
priority went to the Army." (p. 46)

The 1st Marine Division was re-equipped with the M1 when it was
withdrawn from Guadacanal at the beginning of 1943.
WaltBJ
2011-02-16 04:52:12 UTC
Permalink
I suggest most of you need to do some research in your local library
net. The information is there for you, maybe not i the closest
library, but it is there. . It'll cut down a lot on idle speculation.
I highly recommend "Shots Fired In Anger" by Lt/Con John George. He
states therein that the USMC still had Springfields because their
budget (crumbs from the Navy) did not allow re-equipping with M1s. He
further states that the Marines on Guadacanal ditched their 03's and
got M1s as soon as they could, usually from an Army guy who didn't
need it any longer.
Note - you will also find, on reading, that a strong faction in the US
Army Ordnance believed that semi and full automatic weapons would just
lead to soldiers shooting all their ammo away and result in supply
problems. Of course, the mission of the soldier is to shoot at the
enemy but then the chairboys didn't think like that.
There is another good book titled "The Rifle Controversy" which
continues the discussion. Big problem was the Ordnance type were
fixated on production - they weren't about to retool from the M1 which
is how the M14 came along. They did fight the M16 tooth and nail. None
of the desk boys seem to remember the grunt has to carry everything on
his back . . .
We did copy the Germans - the M60 was the crossbreed product of the
MG42 and the FG 42. It finally got really debugged in about 2009, a lo-
o-o-ng time after 1945. Youtube has the clip where it, an aircooled
weapon, fires about 840 rounds in one sustained burst - and the barrel
doesn't turn bright red. I saw an M1919A6 Browning LMG do that during
the second 250 round belt. Most impressive, both weapons.
BTW Lt/Col George liked the BAR - their point men on Guadalcanal
carried it. Good immediate response to a Japanese ambush. It also did
good sniping in Korea. Sure, it was heavy, and Ordnance screwed up the
original design by adding weight, a rear monopod, a bipod and two
rates of fire instead of single shot and auto.It started out weighing
16 pounds and ended up at 20. 4 pounds doesn't sound like much until
you're forty miles down the road or 2,000 feet up a hill.
Too bad the M1 wasn't made to take the BAR magazine . . .
BJ
mike
2011-02-16 15:22:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by WaltBJ
Too bad the M1 wasn't made to take the BAR magazine . . .
Postwar, the Italians made the M1 to what it should have been all
along,
select-fire weapon with a 20 round detachable magazine, the BM59

Among the reasons the Garand and the Johnson did not have detachable
magazines were as decided by the higher ups-

1. they thought the end user clueless enough to lose them,disabling
the Rifle

2. a protruding magazine would interfere with the existing manual-at-
arms
drill on parade grounds. Seriously- this was a problem to them.

The US Army had been 'blessed' by fossils at Ordnance from the Civil
War
onwards more worried by the grunts shooting the weapon dry, rather
than how many holes they could put in enemy bodies. That thinking is
why
the Springfield had a Magazine cutoff lever, making it a single shot
rifle.
**
mike
**
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2011-02-17 06:32:41 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by mike
the Springfield had a Magazine cutoff lever, making it a single shot
rifle.
Just about all the bolt action rifles had some sort of magazine cut
off. The idea was to use single shots for aimed fire and save the
magazine for emergencies. However the the qualification standard for the
BEF prior to WW1 was 20 aimed rounds in one minute with instructors
reaching 50.

Ken Young
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-17 15:31:17 UTC
Permalink
Perhaps re-tooling to superior gun designs or modifications on
existing designs was not a practical reality in wwii, at least on a
large scale, but what I do find rather surprising is how US infantry
weapons in Korea changed little from WWII. The M1 was still the
standard rifle and the BAR was still the standard LMG, and there was
nothing like the MP-44 assault rifle that used a medium round until
10+ years later with the M-16 in Vietnam. When it came to small arms,
the only improvements I can think of were the bazooka which was
upgraded to a larger round and was more like the Panzerschreck and the
M1 carbine was upgraded to the M2 with full auto capability. It was
also surprising to me that the last variant of the Sherman (M4A3E8)
was still widely used and that the Patton tank was not the standard US
tank at the beginning of the war.
William Black
2011-02-17 16:10:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
Perhaps re-tooling to superior gun designs or modifications on
existing designs was not a practical reality in wwii, at least on a
large scale, but what I do find rather surprising is how US infantry
weapons in Korea changed little from WWII. The M1 was still the
standard rifle and the BAR was still the standard LMG, and there was
nothing like the MP-44 assault rifle that used a medium round until
10+ years later with the M-16 in Vietnam.
But there could have been.

Read up on the EM-2 some time...
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
Bill Shatzer
2011-02-17 19:49:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
Perhaps re-tooling to superior gun designs or modifications on
existing designs was not a practical reality in wwii, at least on a
large scale, but what I do find rather surprising is how US infantry
weapons in Korea changed little from WWII. The M1 was still the
standard rifle and the BAR was still the standard LMG, and there was
nothing like the MP-44 assault rifle that used a medium round until
10+ years later with the M-16 in Vietnam. When it came to small arms,
the only improvements I can think of were the bazooka which was
upgraded to a larger round and was more like the Panzerschreck and the
M1 carbine was upgraded to the M2 with full auto capability. It was
also surprising to me that the last variant of the Sherman (M4A3E8)
was still widely used and that the Patton tank was not the standard US
tank at the beginning of the war.
It's well to recall that the Army went from some 8 million personnel
(including the USAAF) and 89 divisions in 1945 to a force of just over 1
million (including the Air Force) and 10 divisions in 1950.

With vast quantities of surplus equipment left over, there was neither
the will nor the money to undertake significant modernization or
replacement of most WW2-era equipment. Such money as was available for
equipment development and modernization tended to go to "sexier"
programs such as the Air Force's strategic bomber programs.

The M-2 carbine was, incidentally, introduced during WW2 as well as
conversion kits to convert the original semiautomatic M-1 carbines to
selective fire. Both saw considerable use during the final stages of WW2.
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-17 21:00:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
With vast quantities of surplus equipment left over, there was neither
the will nor the money to undertake significant modernization or
replacement of most WW2-era equipment.
That it is a very good point. But, I would think they could probably
sell a lot of the guns, tanks, etc. to other countries, maybe some
less developed nations, etc, who didn't need the latest and greatest
stuff. Do you know to what extent that occurred?
Dave Smith
2011-02-17 22:12:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
Post by Bill Shatzer
With vast quantities of surplus equipment left over, there was neither
the will nor the money to undertake significant modernization or
replacement of most WW2-era equipment.
That it is a very good point. But, I would think they could probably
sell a lot of the guns, tanks, etc. to other countries, maybe some
less developed nations, etc, who didn't need the latest and greatest
stuff. Do you know to what extent that occurred?
There is the military industrial complex to deal with. In The Arms of
Krupp William Manchester tracked the progress of arms as Krupp developed
ever improving artillery pieces selling the latest model to one country
and then developing something better to sell to their rivals. Times of
war tend to speed up the development of new arms, but the manufacturers
need something to do to stay in business.

Check out the documentary "Why We Fight", a very interesting film that
explores the military industrial complex. Dwight Eisenhower was
particularly worried about it and warned of the dangers of allowing it
to grow out of control.
The Horny Goat
2011-02-27 05:11:37 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 17:12:06 -0500, Dave Smith
Post by Dave Smith
There is the military industrial complex to deal with. In The Arms of
Krupp William Manchester tracked the progress of arms as Krupp developed
ever improving artillery pieces selling the latest model to one country
and then developing something better to sell to their rivals. Times of
war tend to speed up the development of new arms, but the manufacturers
need something to do to stay in business.
These days Krupp makes their money primarily making railway rolling
stock. No particular reason I can see that they couldn't have done
equally well anytime in the last 150 years...
Post by Dave Smith
Check out the documentary "Why We Fight", a very interesting film that
explores the military industrial complex. Dwight Eisenhower was
particularly worried about it and warned of the dangers of allowing it
to grow out of control.
Greg Schuler
2011-02-18 14:16:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
Post by Bill Shatzer
With vast quantities of surplus equipment left over, there was neither
the will nor the money to undertake significant modernization or
replacement of most WW2-era equipment.
That it is a very good point. But, I would think they could probably
sell a lot of the guns, tanks, etc. to other countries, maybe some
less developed nations, etc, who didn't need the latest and greatest
stuff. Do you know to what extent that occurred?
It occured to a great extent starting in 1945 and continues until this
day - the Cold War surplus was given away to friendly nations at
essentially shipping costs (and this is not unique to the USA or the
post-war time period). Look at a country like Bolivia - they still
have M8 armored cars and M3 half tracks listed in the inventory
(serviceablility is suspect, but still). A lot of equipment made its
way to the Third World through official and unofficial means. Korea
received a large quantity of equipment, as did France (for Viet Nam
and Algeria). Some surplus equipment made its way to the defeated
nations when they started to rebuild.

Another point on the slow pace of change among the US Army - the stuff
worked. The US (and Allies) had just won the biggest war in the
history of mankind with the stuff and there was no real reason to junk
equipment that worked for untried and expensive weapons - until the
Cold War really kicked in in the 1950s.
GFH
2011-02-20 18:54:40 UTC
Permalink
Look at a country like Bolivia - they still have M8 armored cars and
M3 half tracks listed in the inventory (serviceablility is suspect, but
still).
Right! "But still"??? For use against less than a modern army, an M3
with quad 50s mounted in the back is close to a weapon of choice.

GFH
Shawn Wilson
2011-02-17 22:12:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott M. Kozel
It was
also surprising to me that the last variant of the Sherman (M4A3E8)
was still widely used and that the Patton tank was not the standard US
tank at the beginning of the war.
Well, we HAD the Shermans. The war was over, that was not the time to
procur a zillion brand new tanks which would be obsolete by the time
of the next war anyway. That aside, the Sherman was the better tank
in Korea. Mobility mattered more than armor or gun, and the Sherman
could go many places Pattons couldn't.
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-17 23:01:36 UTC
Permalink
The war was over, that was not the time to procur a zillion brand new tanks
which would be obsolete by the time of the next war anyway.
That's a very good point, and I suppose it's something all armed
forces have to wrestle with. During peacetime, I suppose you want to
constantly do research when it comes to technical innovation regarding
every type of weapon (tank, gun, aircraft, etc.), and develop
prototypes to test. But engaging in full scale production of the
prototypes can be a risky business, since that particular model can be
rendered obsolete in the next conflict. Imagine if we went to full-
scale production just before WWII with the Brewster Buffalo, Stuart
tank, etc. At the same time, you want to maintain a certain level of
strength and preparedness. It's a tough balance, I suppose.
David H Thornley
2011-02-18 13:36:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
prototypes to test. But engaging in full scale production of the
prototypes can be a risky business, since that particular model can be
rendered obsolete in the next conflict. Imagine if we went to full-
scale production just before WWII with the Brewster Buffalo, Stuart
tank, etc. At the same time, you want to maintain a certain level of
strength and preparedness. It's a tough balance, I suppose.
Italy did something like that, and was much more prepared for war
in, say, 1937 than 1941. Given enough time, and some high-tech
assistance, they would certainly have dug out of that.

The big US example is the mass building of destroyers after
WWI. In WWI, the USN wanted more destroyers badly, and prepared
a massive expansion program. This was mostly done immediately
after the war. The idea was to produce superb destroyers, by
the standards of the time, but in fact they were inferior to the
last of the British WWI destroyers.

That haunted the US for a long time. The USN didn't get any
more destroyers until the mid-1930s, and was short of modern
destroyers into WWII. The Asiatic Fleet fought with the old
destroyers, mediocre by the standards of the end of WWI, because
there weren't enough modern.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
John Dupre'
2011-02-21 05:07:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shawn Wilson
Post by Scott M. Kozel
It was
also surprising to me that the last variant of the Sherman (M4A3E8)
was still widely used and that the Patton tank was not the standard US
tank at the beginning of the war.
Well, we HAD the Shermans. The war was over, that was not the time to
procur a zillion brand new tanks which would be obsolete by the time
of the next war anyway. That aside, the Sherman was the better tank
in Korea. Mobility mattered more than armor or gun, and the Sherman
could go many places Pattons couldn't.
They didn't have enough Shermans in theater and MacArthur's forces had
to resort to salvaging Shermans abandoned in dumps and on battlefields
throughout the Pacific and rebuilding them in Japan for use in Korea.
Dave Smith
2011-02-17 19:21:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
Post by mike
the Springfield had a Magazine cutoff lever, making it a single shot
rifle.
Just about all the bolt action rifles had some sort of magazine cut
off. The idea was to use single shots for aimed fire and save the
magazine for emergencies. However the the qualification standard for the
BEF prior to WW1 was 20 aimed rounds in one minute with instructors
reaching 50.
Some of the earlier models of Lee Enfield rifles had magazine cutoffs.

Quoting from site titeled History of the Enfield Rifle:
"Originally the cutoff plate was installed at the insistence of the
General Staff that the average British Tommy would waste ammo given a
magazine. How this worked was soldiers were to load rounds singly and
save the rounds in the magazine, until ordered, for rapid fire, (to
repel Calvary charges) ."

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/philqgbr/enfields.html

While the US army may have opted for autoloading rifles to increase
firepower, that seems to be an attitude adopted by that army in the
1930s. Apparently, the previous attitude was that steps needed to be
taken to prevent soldiers from wasting ammunition. The British and
Commonwealth countries, France, Germany, Italy, Soviet Union all used
bolt action rifles as their primary infantry rifle.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2011-02-18 14:17:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Some of the earlier models of Lee Enfield rifles had magazine
cutoffs.
Just about all of them had them IIRC the rifles I trained on in the 60s
(Cadet Force not regular army) had provision for a cut off. Still the
Lee Enfield used rear locking lugs which made it the fastest firing bolt
action rifle.
Post by Dave Smith
The British and
Commonwealth countries, France, Germany, Italy, Soviet Union all used
bolt action rifles as their primary infantry rifle.
The advantages of an autoloader were known before WW1. However no one
managed to come up with one that met the (probably over the top )
specifications the British army required a lot of which were repeated in
the thirties.

Ken Young
Alan Nordin
2011-02-16 04:54:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Post by Stephen Graham
The early war Marine use of Springfields had much more to do with the
Marines being on the tail end of the procurement process.
Is that true? If you had expanded upon that and provided some further
information and a reference or a link I might not have assumed that you
had just made it up.
Oh, BTW, here ...

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/
Alan Nordin
2011-02-16 15:20:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Nordin
Oh, BTW, here ...
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/
Specifically, you may consider reading the early chapters of the first
volume of the History of USMC Operations in WWII. It goes into some
depth of why the Marines were equipped the way they were are at the
start of the war and for sometime into it. Not only were they the
poor step child of the Navy as far as procurement is concerned, there
was some justification that they be that way. They didn't need first
class weapons to fight banana wars in Latin America. So, for the most
part, the ground forces were given what the Army and Navy no longer
had a use for or didn't want in the first place. This didn't begin to
change until the fleet problems of the late 30's that included/
emphasized amphibious operations. However, by then, in the mad rush
for all the services to expand, the Marines were still last in line
behind the Army and Navy.
Alan Nordin
2011-02-16 04:54:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Post by Stephen Graham
The early war Marine use of Springfields had much more to do with the
Marines being on the tail end of the procurement process.
Is that true? If you had expanded upon that and provided some further
information and a reference or a link I might not have assumed that you
had just made it up.
If you had read some USMC histories of WWII you would know it to be
true and wouldn't have assumed anything.

Early in the war, the Marines were still using Harringting tanks
because they couldn't get anything else. Look at the complements of
the Marine Air Groups early in the war, all were equipped with USN
cast offs. A marine fighter squadron STILL had F2A Buffalos as late
as Midway and a dive bomber squadron STILL had SB2U Vindacators. Both
stationed in the front lines at Midway. The only reason the Marines
wound up with the F4U Corsair is because the USN didn't want it.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2011-02-16 15:19:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Curiously, those are the types of forces who had the greatest
logistical challenges. The marines had enough of a challenge to get
to shore and knock out enemy defences and needed to take all the
equipment and ammunition they needed with them.
Whether or not there was a logistic problem there was also a shortfall
in M1 production. As a result the Marines took all the Johnson
semi-automatic models they could get their hands on. See Infantry
Weapons of WW2 by Ian V. Hogg page 40.

Ken Young
David H Thornley
2011-02-16 03:58:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
So some people say, but I don't see it.

Figure how many rounds a soldier can conveniently carry, or be
reasonably supplied with per day. Now, figure how long it would
take to shoot the whole load off. Assuming we're not talking
about eighteenth-century rifles, it's going to be considerably
less than an hour.

That means that fire discipline is important no matter what the
personal weapon, since it's possible to fire off ammo much faster
than it can be supplied. Whether it takes fifteen minutes or
half an hour to shoot off a day's ammo is nearly irrelevant.

That means that, by restricting troops to slow-firing weapons,
what you're doing is making it more difficult for them to get
bullets moving in the enemy's direction when they really need
to do so. Preventing them from firing fast at an advancing
enemy will indeed ease the ammo logistics, particularly since
it's going to get more of your soldiers killed and hence using
no ammo.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Dave Smith
2011-02-16 04:51:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
So some people say, but I don't see it.
Figure how many rounds a soldier can conveniently carry, or be
reasonably supplied with per day. Now, figure how long it would
take to shoot the whole load off. Assuming we're not talking
about eighteenth-century rifles, it's going to be considerably
less than an hour.
That means that fire discipline is important no matter what the
personal weapon, since it's possible to fire off ammo much faster
than it can be supplied. Whether it takes fifteen minutes or
half an hour to shoot off a day's ammo is nearly irrelevant.
It's certainly relevant if you run out of ammunition in the middle of a
fire fight. Given that more than 99% of shots fired do not hit their
targets, most shots are missing soldiers. More firepower means more
ammunition more or less wasted, though it does tend to make the enemy
keep their heads down.
Post by David H Thornley
That means that, by restricting troops to slow-firing weapons,
what you're doing is making it more difficult for them to get
bullets moving in the enemy's direction when they really need
to do so. Preventing them from firing fast at an advancing
enemy will indeed ease the ammo logistics, particularly since
it's going to get more of your soldiers killed and hence using
no ammo.
Slower fire? I was talking about magazine capacity and that was just
one of a number of reasons I suggested for limited magazine capacity.
Another was was to reduce the chance of burning out the barrels. A high
cyclic rate and high capacity magazine isn't going to to anyone any good
when the barrel gets too hot and the gun jams or the barrel melts.


While the US army had adopted the M1 Garand semi automatic, most of the
other armed forces in WW II used bolt actions as their primary rifles.
They tended to have more light and medium machineguns in their unit than
they had in WW I. Those provided the high rates of fire that they
sometimes needed, but the majority of the riflemen had bolt action rifles.
Greg Schuler
2011-02-16 15:18:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
So some people say, but I don't see it.
Figure how many rounds a soldier can conveniently carry, or be
reasonably supplied with per day. Now, figure how long it would
take to shoot the whole load off. Assuming we're not talking
about eighteenth-century rifles, it's going to be considerably
less than an hour.
That means that fire discipline is important no matter what the
personal weapon, since it's possible to fire off ammo much faster
than it can be supplied. Whether it takes fifteen minutes or
half an hour to shoot off a day's ammo is nearly irrelevant.
That means that, by restricting troops to slow-firing weapons,
what you're doing is making it more difficult for them to get
bullets moving in the enemy's direction when they really need
to do so. Preventing them from firing fast at an advancing
enemy will indeed ease the ammo logistics, particularly since
it's going to get more of your soldiers killed and hence using
no ammo.
But this situation doesn't exist in a vaccuum - the squad support
weapons (BAR and M1919s) will lay down the suppressive fire while the
individual soldier can respond with measured aimed fire. That was the
theory and hence the resistance to adding rifles that expended greater
amounts of ammunition and fundamentally changed how soldiers fire in
battle.

What was learned, rather quickly, that volume of fire is as important
than the aimpoint - suppression of the enemy matters more than killing
them by aimed fire that is impractical and dangerous in combat
situations.

The American situation wasn't unique, but having the Garand altered
the "invidual marksman" infantryman. Who then became a fire
suppression mechanism with the elevated rate of fire from the Garand.
Michele
2011-02-16 15:23:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Post by Dave Smith
There are advantages to limited magazine capacity. It naturally leads to
reduced ammunition expenditure. ALL that ammunition has to be carried
into battle, and ammunition is heavy. It also requires that more of the
logistical support be devoted to delivering ammunition.
So some people say, but I don't see it.
Figure how many rounds a soldier can conveniently carry, or be
reasonably supplied with per day. Now, figure how long it would
take to shoot the whole load off. Assuming we're not talking
about eighteenth-century rifles, it's going to be considerably
less than an hour.
That means that fire discipline is important no matter what the
personal weapon, since it's possible to fire off ammo much faster
than it can be supplied. Whether it takes fifteen minutes or
half an hour to shoot off a day's ammo is nearly irrelevant.
That is useful as a reply to someone who thinks along that line - today.
While your reasoning is obviously sound, it doesn't necessarily follow that
procurement officers, generals and military thinkers in the 1930s always
reasoned soundly.
For instance, I know that the Italian military establishment did espouse the
theory that soldiers would be wasting ammo, if given the opportunity.
It may have been a case of making lemonade because what you have is lemons,
of course; i.e., theorizing that bolt-action rifles and low-RoF MGs were
good because you knew you wouldn't get much of anything else. But the
thinking did exist.
William Black
2011-02-15 15:57:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott M. Kozel
Post by William Black
Post by Scott M. Kozel
I doubt that the U.S. thought that the German machine guns were better,
at least in the case of any of these -- soldier-carried such as the
Thompson submachine gun, the M3 submachine gun, and the Browning
Automatic Rifle (BAR); and 30/06-caliber and 50-BMG-caliber machine guns.
The Thompson was loathed by most soldiers because of its weight.
Untrue. U.S. soldiers in the Pacific island battles, for the most
part -loved- the effectiveness of a submachine gun with a large
magazine, including the Thompson, for assaulting pillboxes,
blockhouses, and caves.
They probably preferred the M3 because it was about 20% lighter.

They weren't offered Stens or Owens.

What 'large magazine capacity'?

As far as I'm aware the M1A1 was available only with 20 and 30 round
magazines. The drum magazine was never used in US service and I don't
think the M1A1 could use one.

The Sten and Owen came with 32 as standard (but always loaded with 30)
and the M3 took the same magazine as an M1A1.
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
Scott M. Kozel
2011-02-15 18:40:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
Post by Scott M. Kozel
U.S. soldiers in the Pacific island battles, for the most
part -loved- the effectiveness of a submachine gun with a large
magazine, including the Thompson, for assaulting pillboxes,
blockhouses, and caves.
They probably preferred the M3 because it was about 20% lighter.
They weren't offered Stens or Owens.
What 'large magazine capacity'?
As far as I'm aware the M1A1 was available only with 20 and 30 round
magazines. The drum magazine was never used in US service and I don't
think the M1A1 could use one.
That is many more rounds than from a M1 Garand 8-round "en bloc" clip
internal magazine, and 45 ACP is a much lighter round than 30-06.
Ergo, the soldier can carry considerably more ammo and with a
considerably higher rate of fire, and a burst of 45 ACP slugs is amply
deadly to an enemy soldier at those close ranges.
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-15 21:00:06 UTC
Permalink
Speaking of LMG's, the consensus is that the Bren was superior to the
BAR. The Japanese type 96 and French FM 24/29 were similar to the
Bren in that they also used a top feed system. The Russian Degtyaryov
used a 47-round pan magazine. How would the BAR compare to these
other LMG's?
Dave Smith
2011-02-15 21:00:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott M. Kozel
Post by William Black
Post by Scott M. Kozel
U.S. soldiers in the Pacific island battles, for the most
part -loved- the effectiveness of a submachine gun with a large
magazine, including the Thompson, for assaulting pillboxes,
blockhouses, and caves.
They probably preferred the M3 because it was about 20% lighter.
They weren't offered Stens or Owens.
What 'large magazine capacity'?
As far as I'm aware the M1A1 was available only with 20 and 30 round
magazines. The drum magazine was never used in US service and I don't
think the M1A1 could use one.
That is many more rounds than from a M1 Garand 8-round "en bloc" clip
internal magazine, and 45 ACP is a much lighter round than 30-06.
Ergo, the soldier can carry considerably more ammo and with a
considerably higher rate of fire, and a burst of 45 ACP slugs is amply
deadly to an enemy soldier at those close ranges.
The difference in weight of the ammunition may not be as great as you
think. The .30 calibre slug is a lot lighter than the 45 ACP The slug
on ball .45 is 234 gr.while the 30/06 ball ammunition fires a 150 gr.
slug. The 30/06 cartidge, being much larger and holding more powder
weighs 416 gr compared to 333 gr for .45.

The difference between rifle and handgun ammunition is a lot greater
when dealing with something close to the same caliber. The 9mm ball
cartridge weighs in at 179 gr, less than half the weight of the .30
caliber.
Scott M. Kozel
2011-02-15 22:20:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Smith
Post by Scott M. Kozel
That is many more rounds than from a M1 Garand 8-round "en bloc" clip
internal magazine, and 45 ACP is a much lighter round than 30-06.
Ergo, the soldier can carry considerably more ammo and with a
considerably higher rate of fire, and a burst of 45 ACP slugs is amply
deadly to an enemy soldier at those close ranges.
The difference in weight of the ammunition may not be as great as you
think. The .30 calibre slug is a lot lighter than the 45 ACP The slug on
ball .45 is 234 gr.while the 30/06 ball ammunition fires a 150 gr. slug.
The 30/06 cartidge, being much larger and holding more powder weighs 416
gr compared to 333 gr for .45.
I stand corrected about the weights, then. Still, for the other
reasons, those U.S. submachine guns were effecive for assaulting
pillboxes, blockhouses, and caves.
Dave Smith
2011-02-15 23:36:08 UTC
Permalink
I stand corrected about the weights, then. Still, for the other reasons,
those U.S. submachine guns were effecive for assaulting pillboxes,
blockhouses, and caves.
Wasn't trying to be argumentative, but it is a common cognitive
problem for most people to assume that something shorter is smaller. It
is like having a tall skinny glass and a shorter wider one. Most people
will assume that the taller one holds more, but do to the magic of
mathematics and determining area of a circle, that extra width makes a
big difference.

I have fired a BAR and know who they climb when you squeeze off a burst.
They are much to long an awkward to be used in an assault where you are
going to be fighting in confined spaces. Personally, I would prefer
something the length of a Thompson. When it comes to the weight of
ammunition that I would have to carry, I would prefer something in 9mm.
Scott M. Kozel
2011-02-16 04:54:31 UTC
Permalink
I stand corrected about the weights, then. Still, for the other reasons,
those U.S. submachine guns were effecive for assaulting pillboxes,
blockhouses, and caves.
Wasn't trying to be argumentative, but it is a common cognitive problem
for most people to assume that something shorter is smaller. It is like
having a tall skinny glass and a shorter wider one. Most people will
assume that the taller one holds more, but do to the magic of
mathematics and determining area of a circle, that extra width makes a
big difference.
I have fired a BAR and know who they climb when you squeeze off a burst.
They are much to long an awkward to be used in an assault where you are
going to be fighting in confined spaces. Personally, I would prefer
something the length of a Thompson. When it comes to the weight of
ammunition that I would have to carry, I would prefer something in 9mm.
How about a M3A1 Submachine Gun chambered in 9mm?

Some in WWII were, but I can't seem to find the percentage in on-line
searches.
Phil McGregor
2011-02-16 06:38:42 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:54:31 -0500, "Scott M. Kozel"
Post by Scott M. Kozel
How about a M3A1 Submachine Gun chambered in 9mm?
Some in WWII were, but I can't seem to find the percentage in on-line
searches.
IIRC there was a conversion kit as well, new bolt, magazine and a few
other bits to allow a standard M3 in .45 cal to be converted to 9mm
Parabellum.

Regardless, I don't think very many in 9mmP were produced overall.
But, no, I don't have figures either.

According to Wikipedia ...

"Close to 600,000 weapons were assembled by the end of World War II,
including approximately 25,000 models chambered for the 9x19mm
Parabellum cartridge (converted by swapping out the barrel, bolt and
applying a magazine well adapter for use with Sten magazines), which
were delivered to the OSS in 1944."

So, about 4% of WW2 production.

Phil
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-14 21:01:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Black
The BAR didn't have the magazine capcity to be an effective support weapon.
Speaking of which, why wasn't it equipped with a larger, 30 round
capacity magazine? Seems like it would be easy enough to do. Maybe
the larger magazine would hit the ground when using the bipod? Then
it would depend on how often it was used in that capacity vs. firing
from upright position.
Bill Shatzer
2011-02-15 00:30:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
Post by William Black
The BAR didn't have the magazine capcity to be an effective support weapon.
Speaking of which, why wasn't it equipped with a larger, 30 round
capacity magazine? Seems like it would be easy enough to do. Maybe
the larger magazine would hit the ground when using the bipod? Then
it would depend on how often it was used in that capacity vs. firing
from upright position.
I think it had to do with the weight of additional cartridges. If the
magazine spring was strong enough to reliably feed the extra cartridges
into the chambering mechanism, it was too stiff to allow the magazines
to be easily reloaded.

The Bren gun, feeding from the top, didn't have as much of a problem in
this regard and 30 round magazines were used as well as 20-rounders -
although the Bren had other issues caused by the top feeding magazine.

The lack of a quickly detachable barrel on the BAR probably played a
role as well - the pause to change magazines depressed the overall rate
of fire and helped discourage continuous "spray and pray" firing which
could overheat the barrel.
Bay Man
2011-02-22 05:15:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
By the Time the battle in North Africa was over, the US had numerous
copies of German Weapons, like their machine guns, 88's, and tanks. So
why didn't they back engineer or simply copy them. It didn't exactly
take a genius to see that the machine guns were better than the US
models. So why not copy theirs?
I doubt that the U.S. thought that the German machine guns were better, at
least in the case of any of these -- soldier-carried such as the Thompson
submachine gun, the M3 submachine gun, and the Browning Automatic Rifle
(BAR); and 30/06-caliber and 50-BMG-caliber machine guns.
A successful example of dipping into American industry was the exceptional
Anglo-American Mustang fighter, designated P-51 when later adopted by the
USAAF. The United Kingdom had vastly expanded its aircraft industry to cope
with war demands. The United States, not actively in the war, had surplus
aircraft factory capacity. The British Air Ministry were allowed to
approach American manufacturers direct by-passing the government
administration, in the same manner they would approach British companies.
The British, requiring more fighters approached Curtiss in May 1940 {check}
for deliveries of the P-40 fighter. American fighters were unremarkable
prior to, and a number of years after world war two broke out. The P-40 was
inferior to British and German top line fighters, however the United Kingdom
needed to urgently expand its air fleet with the P-40 the best America could
offer. Curtiss' hand no more manufacturing capacity directing the Air
Ministry to North American Aviation to manufacture the P-40 under licence.



North American Aviation preferring not to manufacture a rivals plane,
offered to supply the British Ministry a new design suited to their
requirements and have the design and plane ready in a very short time span.
This was a bold step from a manufacturer who had no experience whatsoever of
producing front line fighters. An even greater leap of faith was shown by
the British Air Ministry to go with such an offer of a design at a point in
the war they needed planes. Even if the design was acceptable the Air
Ministry could end up with complete flop of an aircraft. The P-40s
performance they were familiar with. A new design in the air is an unknown.
If the Mustang ended up being a P-40 type of plane then the Air Ministry
lost nothing, except valuable time. If the Mustang was what they wanted
then the Air Ministry had a gain.



The British Air Ministry pushed North American Aviation into the design
concept they wanted directing them to assess the Curtiss XP-46 experimental
plane and its various features. The Air Ministry called the plane the
Mustang. The Ministry specified an American engine the same physical size
as the Rolls Royce Merlin, which enabled the superior Merlin to be dropped
in if need be. This did eventually happen, giving the plane a remarkable
performance making the plane one of the most outstanding planes of world war
two. The Mustang was a British plane made by an American manufacturer to
British requirements with no American military involvement at all.



The Mustang was a British plane made by a US maker with no US military
involement. The US military ignored it. Only when forced to they adopted
it. It was shooting down Fock Wolf 190s over France serving in the RAF,
before the USAAF even used any Mustangs.

The best Sherman, based on the French Somua, was when the British put 17 pdr
guns on them, calling it the Firefly, which outgunned a Tiger tank. One
Firefly knocked out 3 or 4 Tigers in one go. The US declined to have the
British gun on their tanks.

The Germans based the Panther on the Soviet T-34.

The US did consider copying the British Sten gun after it came top in a US
trial. The French and Germans both copied the Sten. German hand guns were
mainly hand made. The best at quality and mass production were the Soviets.
The easiest to mass produce was the Sten. It could also be made in a garden
shed, and was.
Post by Mister G
By the same token, since the Germans
had no four engine, long range bomber of their own, why not simply
copy the Allied four engine bombers that were littering the European
landscape?
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
They did. The V weapons were to area bomb. Too late, too few, like all
German wonder weapons: Mk XX1 U-Boat, jet planes as well. They were all the
result of defeat. The HE 177 bomber was a flop. The V weapons concept was
in 1942, but taken up in 1943. The Germans could have copied the Lancaster
in 1942 and had a large enough fleet in 1943/44.

The only bomber they had was the outdated HE111 from 1936, which was
relegated to a night fighter against slow moving Lancasters.

The Soviets did copy the US B29 bomber.
Mister G
2011-02-23 21:24:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by Scott M. Kozel
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
They did.
Indeed. One of the reasons the Soviets defeated the Germans, was that
all or most of their factories were beyond the reach of the Germans.
Think the Germans might have wanted to put a thousand bombers over the
Soviet Tank works. Or how about steady area bombing of the British
ports before D-Day.
Another point. Why didn't the US troops at D-Day go ashore in Amtracs?
Could have gotten them right across the beaches - less those lost to
mines and artillery - and right up on the Germans?
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-23 22:04:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
Another point. Why didn't the US troops at D-Day go ashore in Amtracs?
Could have gotten them right across the beaches - less those lost to
mines and artillery - and right up on the Germans?
It has been brought up before. I believe the main reason was the
caliber of guns the Amtracs would face would render them sitting ducks
as they were moving in the open beach area. However, I still contend
that the Amtracs could have saved many lives even if used in the same
manner as the Higgins boats, where troops were unloaded immediately
upon hitting the beach. Amtracs had the ability to move across sand
bars unlike the Higgins boats. Therefore, instead of men wading
ashore 50-100 yards out where if they were easy targets for machine
gun fire, or would often drown in deep water because they were weighed
down with equipment, they could be brought directly to the beach by
the Amtracs.
Nik Simpson
2011-02-23 22:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
Post by Bay Man
Post by Scott M. Kozel
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
They did.
Indeed. One of the reasons the Soviets defeated the Germans, was that
all or most of their factories were beyond the reach of the Germans.
Think the Germans might have wanted to put a thousand bombers over the
Soviet Tank works. Or how about steady area bombing of the British
ports before D-Day.
But you can't have a large strategic bomber force without trading it for
something else. For example, if engine production doesn't increase, then
every four engined strategic bomber is equivalent of two dual-engine
tactical bombers that you can't have to support the Wehrmacht. Also, If
you build this force, then you need explosives for it's bombs and fuel
for its engines, and large numbers of fighters to escort it on missions,
and these have to come from other areas.

Basic problem was Germany couldn't match the allies for production, and
chose to expend their limited resources in areas other than building a
strategic bombing force. Not saying they made the right choice, but you
can't ignore the impact on the rest of German armed forces if you want a
large (say Bomber Command or 8AF sized) strategic bombing force.
--
Nik Simpson
Bay Man
2011-02-24 15:11:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nik Simpson
Post by Mister G
Post by Bay Man
Post by Scott M. Kozel
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
They did.
Indeed. One of the reasons the Soviets defeated the Germans, was that
all or most of their factories were beyond the reach of the Germans.
Think the Germans might have wanted to put a thousand bombers over the
Soviet Tank works. Or how about steady area bombing of the British
ports before D-Day.
But you can't have a large strategic bomber force without trading it for
something else. For example, if engine production doesn't increase, then
every four engined strategic bomber is equivalent of two dual-engine
tactical bombers that you can't have to support the Wehrmacht.
The Wehrmacht is the unified German forces. Heer (army), Kriegsmarine (navy)
and the Luftwaffe (air force).

One 4 engine plane is not the equiv to two 2 engined planes. There is more
in the two planes.
Post by Nik Simpson
Basic problem was Germany couldn't match the allies for production, and
chose to expend their limited resources in areas other than building a
strategic bombing force.
They Germans were totally outmatched by the Allies in production. The
reasons Germany never had a heavy bomber was many. Initially they never
needed one, as the Luftwaffe was to support the army. They did try and
failed. The needs of area bombing was less than the needs of ground support
for the beleaguered armies.

They tried a quantum leap with pilotless V rockets run by the Heer not the
Luftwaffe, but way too little and too late and weapons that could only hit a
large city. The Lancasters carried Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs and could
knock out strategic rail viaducts, penetrate hills to smash rail tunnels
under, etc. The Germans thought the V rockets would give them the city
smashing capability the allies had, but cheaper and in a shorter time. Such
were their fantasies.
Nik Simpson
2011-02-24 23:24:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Post by Nik Simpson
But you can't have a large strategic bomber force without trading it
for something else. For example, if engine production doesn't
increase, then every four engined strategic bomber is equivalent of
two dual-engine tactical bombers that you can't have to support the
Wehrmacht.
The Wehrmacht is the unified German forces. Heer (army), Kriegsmarine
(navy) and the Luftwaffe (air force).
OK, then the Heer is going to have to go short of tactical air support
if you build a strategic bombing force. The point is Germany doesn't
have the resources to do both, so something has to suffer.
Post by Bay Man
One 4 engine plane is not the equiv to two 2 engined planes. There is
more in the two planes.
My point was that if you have the capacity to build say 600 engines a
month, then you have enough engines for either 300 twin-engined bombers,
or 150 four-engined bombers. So again the point is that engine
production will be a significant constraint unless you can magically
make German industry start producing more engines, and that can only be
done at the expense of other engine product for tanks etc.
--
Nik Simpson
Scott M. Kozel
2011-02-23 23:06:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
Post by Bay Man
Post by Scott M. Kozel
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
They did.
Indeed. One of the reasons the Soviets defeated the Germans, was that
all or most of their factories were beyond the reach of the Germans.
Think the Germans might have wanted to put a thousand bombers over the
Soviet Tank works. Or how about steady area bombing of the British
ports before D-Day.
If the Nazis had held the territory on the Stalingrad / Moscow /
Leningrad corridor, they could have staged 2-engine bombers from there
to bomb those factories.

IOW, they didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
David H Thornley
2011-02-24 00:07:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
Post by Bay Man
Post by Scott M. Kozel
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
They did.
Indeed. One of the reasons the Soviets defeated the Germans, was that
all or most of their factories were beyond the reach of the Germans.
Think the Germans might have wanted to put a thousand bombers over the
Soviet Tank works. Or how about steady area bombing of the British
ports before D-Day.
Long-range bombers would have been of only limited use against the
Soviets. A strategic bombing campaign is a very resource-intensive
operation. If the bombers were based in Germany, they couldn't
get all that far beyond the German advance. If the bombers were
based in former Soviet territory, they'd be a big drain on German
logistics, and impede the German Army.

Indeed, building enough bombers to stage thousand-bomber raids
and all the supporting infrastructure would have put a large dent
in German war production.

The reason the Germans didn't bomb British ports before D-Day was
not that they didn't have long-range bombers, as the ports were
close enough to German-held territory to use medium bombers. The
reason was the British air defenses.
Post by Mister G
Another point. Why didn't the US troops at D-Day go ashore in Amtracs?
Could have gotten them right across the beaches - less those lost to
mines and artillery - and right up on the Germans?
You really don't want to charge defensive positions with unarmored
vehicles. Or those defensive positions with lightly armored vehicles.
The right thing for infantry on the beach to do was to get off and
walk or crawl.

Would they have worked better than the landing craft for getting
infantry to the beach? The LCVPs were capable of 22 km/hr, while
the LVTs were capable of maybe 12. You'd trade higher speed for
the ability to crawl over sandbars.

The Allies did use a good number of amphibious trucks to help supply
the beaches. If they'd thought them useful, they certainly could have
used them to ferry troops to shore.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
samvit@aol.com
2011-02-24 04:46:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
The LCVPs were capable of 22 km/hr, while
the LVTs were capable of maybe 12. You'd trade higher speed for
the ability to crawl over sandbars.
That's good point, but what is the advantage of higher speed? The
main advantage I can think of is more men and supplies to the beach in
a shorter time period. But in the early stages of the Omaha landing,
everyone/everything seemed like a sitting duck, so I'm not sure how
helpful it was to get more stuff to the beach quicker.

Also, I suppose a faster LCVP would be a more difficult target to
engage than a slower LVT but then again if you're going in a straight
line to the beach, I wouldn't think it would matter much and doesn't
the LVT have a lower profile? Moreover, did the German's wait to fire
until the LCVP's got to the beach or did they try to hit them while
still in the water?
William Black
2011-02-24 15:09:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
Post by David H Thornley
The LCVPs were capable of 22 km/hr, while
the LVTs were capable of maybe 12. You'd trade higher speed for
the ability to crawl over sandbars.
That's good point, but what is the advantage of higher speed? The
main advantage I can think of is more men and supplies to the beach in
a shorter time period. But in the early stages of the Omaha landing,
everyone/everything seemed like a sitting duck, so I'm not sure how
helpful it was to get more stuff to the beach quicker.
Omaha wasn't typical.
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
2011-03-01 04:42:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
The LCVPs were capable of 22 km/hr, while
the LVTs were capable of maybe 12. You'd trade higher speed for
the ability to crawl over sandbars.
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.

I wonder if something like that was ever considered?
Bill Shatzer
2011-03-01 06:44:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Post by David H Thornley
The LCVPs were capable of 22 km/hr, while
the LVTs were capable of maybe 12. You'd trade higher speed for
the ability to crawl over sandbars.
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.
I wonder if something like that was ever considered?
Well, the Japanese planned to beach the Yamato at Okinawa and use it as
a fixed battery. Of course, Yamato never got within 200 miles of Okinawa
before it was sunk by US carrier planes but that was the Japanese plan.

But "heavily armored ships" that are useful for covering fire aren't
cheap. And not things to be thrown away lightly. Plus, a beached ship is
an fixed and immobile target and easy pickings for counter battery fire.

The Japanese didn't have much else useful to do with Yamato at that
stage of the war. The allies had other, more valuable, uses for their
ships.

Of course, the Brits expended the obsolescent destroyer H.M.S.
Campbeltown in the 1942 St. Nazaire raid but Campbeltown was intended to
ram the dry dock gates and blow itself and the dry dock up, not to
provide covering fire.
Bay Man
2011-03-01 14:24:50 UTC
Permalink
Of course, the Brits expended the obsolescent destroyer H.M.S. Campbeltown
in the 1942 St. Nazaire raid but Campbeltown was intended to ram the dry
dock gates and blow itself and the dry dock up, not to provide covering
fire.
Campbletown did put the dock out of action all the war.

HMS Centurion has a notable career. She was mocked up to look like HMS
Anson. Some reports state she actualy shot down a plane while mocked up in
the Med - the anti-aircaft guns worked. She was used as a partially sunken
breakwater at Avranches, Normandy with the Germans thinking they sunk a
battleship.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/King_George_V_Class_Battleship_%E2%80%93_HMS_Centurion

Read the book the "Phantom Fleet" by A. Cecil Hampshire (if you can get a
copy). The British had a whole fleet of these mockups (mainly merchant
ships made to look like like men-o-war) to confuse the enemy where their
ships were. A whole fleet of them were anchored at Scapa Flo. The Germans
sunk a mockup aircraft carrier off Hull as she was sailing to be demobbed as
a mockup. They thought they got the real thing.
samvit@aol.com
2011-03-01 06:44:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.
I wonder if something like that was ever considered?
That it is an interesting idea, but I wonder just how far something
like a destroyer could go before it was "beached" even it were to
clear a sand bar. It may be that it would be so far from the
shoreline that it would do just as well to stay in the water at a
close range, which as I understand it, it was several destroyers did,
in fact they were at much closer than recommended range and ran the
risk of getting "beached."
William Black
2011-03-01 14:26:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Post by David H Thornley
The LCVPs were capable of 22 km/hr, while
the LVTs were capable of maybe 12. You'd trade higher speed for
the ability to crawl over sandbars.
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.
Because they're harder to hit if they're moving about and you can use
them more than once.
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
Rich
2011-03-01 14:26:39 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 28, 11:42 pm, Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.
Perhaps because it was considered to be a bad idea? Navy types tend to
get upset when crazy groundpounders ask them to run their shiny ships
aground. And with reasonably good reasons; for one, the ships tend to
lose their shine and they also usually aren't good for much else after
that. :)
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
I wonder if something like that was ever considered?
More seriously, not quite like that, but the Landing Craft Gun (Large)
was developed using the LCT as a platform for an armored close-support
vessel mounting 4.7" and 20mm guns. However, in use they proved not to
be all that useful. For one, it is actually impractical to simply
beach them and fight them from that position. Beaching is a tricky
matter and doing so does not guarantee that the craft will be in a
good position to fire; the targets are well hidden so if you beach at
the wrong point you won't do much good. It is also surprisingly
difficult to operate a large gun on an unstable platform or one that
has beached at an awkward angle and it is also difficult to aim and
fire them accurately; cant is an input to modern ballistic computers
that weren't available then. Furthermore, waves are surprisingly
energetic...beached vessels tend to move - a lot. It is also
surprising perhaps how little armor can be fit on a small vessel like
that; the LCG (L) proved to be very vulnerable to counterfire and were
larger and more ecposed targets than the ones you propose for them.

Another idea that was seriously considered was to use standard LCT
with some armor plating added to mount redundant tanks in as ad hoc
gunboats. The proposal was to take engineless Centaur Close Support
(CS) tanks and mount them on an elevated ramp in the front of an LCT
where they could shoot over the bow ramp on the run in to the beach as
part of the "beach drenching" program. Of course, eventually someone
asked if it wouldn't be better to just leave the engines in the tanks
so they could drive off the LCT onto the beach so the LCT could
retract and bring in other useful items like more troops and weapons.
I can imagine the looks that were exchanged around the conference
table at that point (I picture a rather junior RN or RAC type raising
his trembling hand and saying "but Sir...").

Finally, it could be said that a DD Tank was actually a "heavily armed
and armoured [tiny] ship" that could be beached and used as covering
fire platforms. Of course, like the Centaur CS and the other tanks
that were landed they were not restricted to ***remaining*** on the
beach and so could actually proceed inland where they could do some
more good.

Cheers!
Dave Smith
2011-03-01 15:10:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.
I wonder if something like that was ever considered?
I don't know why they would. I don't see much reason to do that. There
were lots of heavily armed and armored ships, and they were designed to
be used as floating platforms that could move from one place to another
under their own steam. If I a ship were to be beached in order to
private an artillery base for use against one particular target or set
of targets, then it would be stuck there after the target was
neutralized. If it was needed somewhere a few miles down the coast it
would be much better to have left it floating and proceed along to coast
until it was within effective range of the new target.
Greg Schuler
2011-03-01 15:12:12 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 28, 11:42 pm, Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
Post by David H Thornley
The LCVPs were capable of 22 km/hr, while
the LVTs were capable of maybe 12. You'd trade higher speed for
the ability to crawl over sandbars.
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.
I wonder if something like that was ever considered?
Why lose valuable beach real estate for subsequent waves with a manned
derelict that, as the others have pointed out, provides little
benefit? Enough craft are coming ashore that I am sure the
beachmasters didn't want a stranded gun platform drawing fire as they
tried to unload supplies and troops ashore. Those landings would draw
plenty of fire on their own.

Naval fire support was known by D-Day and several notable examples of
successful land-sea fire support existed, all in the Med. Why change
something that works. Better to get land gun platforms ashore that
work best on land.
samvit@aol.com
2011-03-01 21:52:41 UTC
Permalink
So far the most compelling arguments to me against beaching a ship
would be that it would be tricky to get it in the right position to
face the enemy's defenses, and that it may end up at an awkward angle,
making it difficult to aim the guns properly. On some of the other
points:

1. Too expensive to be used in that capacity. If it helps saves
100's and maybe a 1,000 or so lives, and is instrumental in securing
the beachhead, then it's not too expensive. But ok, I can understand
not using the latest and greatest ship in the fleet if the plan is to
scuttle the ship afterward. In that case, how about using an older/
somewhat obsolete vessel, maybe an older cruiser or battleship that's
not currently being used to any great extent?

2. Easy target for enemy guns. True enough, but what's the largest
caliber guns it would have faced at Omaha. 88's? If so wouldn't 88
shells pretty much bounce off a cruiser or battleship, maybe even a
destroyer?

3. Obstruction for landing craft/troops coming ashore. I'm not
convinced that one beached ship would be that much of a problem.
Dave Smith
2011-03-01 22:49:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
So far the most compelling arguments to me against beaching a ship
would be that it would be tricky to get it in the right position to
face the enemy's defenses, and that it may end up at an awkward angle,
making it difficult to aim the guns properly. On some of the other
That would indeed be a tricky problem. Beached ships sometimes roll
over on their sides, which would make it pretty difficult to use the
ships armament.
Post by ***@aol.com
1. Too expensive to be used in that capacity. If it helps saves
100's and maybe a 1,000 or so lives, and is instrumental in securing
the beachhead, then it's not too expensive. But ok, I can understand
not using the latest and greatest ship in the fleet if the plan is to
scuttle the ship afterward. In that case, how about using an older/
somewhat obsolete vessel, maybe an older cruiser or battleship that's
not currently being used to any great extent?
i think you would have a much harder time arguing how it would be
beneficial to have a serviceable ship beached in order to provide a
stationary gun emplacement when the rest of the guns are mounted on
ships so that they can be used in different locations, and the land
forces are using mobile artillery which, likewise, can be moved to where
it is needed.

Naval gunners are trained to fire at moving or stationary targets from a
moving platform. You are expecting them to beach a ship to do the same
job the same job that it could do a few hundred yards further back,
after which the ship is scrap.
Post by ***@aol.com
2. Easy target for enemy guns. True enough, but what's the largest
caliber guns it would have faced at Omaha. 88's? If so wouldn't 88
shells pretty much bounce off a cruiser or battleship, maybe even a
destroyer?
I thought that it sounded like a ridiculous idea when I thought that you
were talking about smaller ships like destroyers or frigates. Now
you're talking about beaching a battleship?? I can't figure out why you
would beach a ship with guns with an effective range of 10 miles or more
when it could be sitting out or range of 88s.
Post by ***@aol.com
3. Obstruction for landing craft/troops coming ashore. I'm not
convinced that one beached ship would be that much of a problem.
Thing about the reality of it for a minute. First of all, the ship is
going to come to one hell of a jolting stop as the front end slides up
the sandy or rocky beach. The back end might still be somewhat afloat
so it might get pushed around by tides, waves and wind. Unless you can
magically slide the ship in sideways, the aft guns are going to be
pretty well useless for inland targets.


Consider the blast factor of really big naval guns. They are powerful
enough to make a huge battle ship slide sideways when they fire. You
don't want to be out on the deck of a ship when those big guns let off a
salvo. Imagine what it would be like for the troops in the nearby
landing craft or onshore in front of the ship.
Nik Simpson
2011-03-01 22:49:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
So far the most compelling arguments to me against beaching a ship
would be that it would be tricky to get it in the right position to
face the enemy's defenses.
No, the most compelling argument against the plan is that the beached
ship is no more effective than one sitting a few hundred/thousands of
yards off shore providing NGFS. You need to explain why your idea is
better than that since your idea involves the total loss of the ship vs.
a re-usable asset that can moved from one location to another and
re-used continuously. For example, Warspite was used in an NGFS role for
the Italian landings, Normandy, and the Walcheren operation. If she'd
been beached of Salerno, she wouldn't have been available for any later
operations.
--
Nik Simpson
Bill Shatzer
2011-03-02 00:36:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@aol.com
2. Easy target for enemy guns. True enough, but what's the largest
caliber guns it would have faced at Omaha. 88's? If so wouldn't 88
shells pretty much bounce off a cruiser or battleship, maybe even a
destroyer?
Off the top of my head, the Ponte du Hoc battery had 155mm guns while
the Longues Sur-Mer battery mounted 150mm naval rifles.

Both would be sufficient to inflict considerable damage on any ship
armored to less than heavy cruiser standards.

They'd be more problematic against battleship armor although they could
still seriously damage topside fittings.

Depending on the range, the type of ammunition used, and the angle of
the strike, an 88 could penetrate up to 7 inches or more of armor plate
- so even heavy cruisers would not be immune to penetration. The problem
would be that the best armor piercing ammunition had little or no
bursting charge. Against tanks, that was fine - the kinetic energy was
usually enough to kill a tank - but with ships you want something that
will make a biggish bang inside the ship once the projectile has
penetrated. Otherwise, the damage tends to be limited to the immediate
area of the hit and doesn't amount to much beyond a hole in the side of
the compartment.
m***@netMAPSONscape.net
2011-03-02 02:51:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Space Captain Kurt Kosmic
I've always wondered why they didn't intentionally beach heavily armed
and armoured ships, and use them as covering fire platforms. If they
were beached, they couldn't be sunk. They could have provided good
return fire, and could draw fire away from the troops on the beaches.
I wonder if something like that was ever considered?
The Japanese were trying to do this with the Yamato; beach it and use
it as a gun platform in the battle for Okinawa.

But the situation was very different; the Yamato was damaged and under
constant attack. It was just a matter of time before it was sunk (it was
anyway), so the Japanese felt they had little to lose.

But more important, once beached, it's a sitting target, and do even the
most basic manuvers to avoid getting put out of action by (eg) planes
and whatever artillary is within reach.

Mike

Bay Man
2011-02-24 15:10:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Indeed, building enough bombers to stage thousand-bomber raids
and all the supporting infrastructure would have put a large dent
in German war production.
Tooze - Page 431:
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941
were precisely the growing shortage of grain and the need to knock Britain
out of the war before it could pose a serious air threat."

"Meanwhile, the rest of the German military-industrialised complex began to
gird itself for the aerial confrontation with Britain and America."

The US was to make 50,000 planes a year with UK production on top and much
of these planes in the hands of the UK. Germany did not have a cat in hells
chance of matching this level of production, with UK & US being new modern
designs as well, against a now increasingly outdated Luftwaffe. They
thought they could crush the USSR in months and turn to the UK before the
planes came on line in mid 1942.

German industry was winding down army production as tanks rolled into the
USSR in June 1941 and upping aircraft production. Heavy bombers would have
been a part of that.
Rich
2011-02-24 22:08:08 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 24, 10:10 am, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
German industry was winding down army production as tanks rolled into the
USSR in June 1941 and upping aircraft production. Heavy bombers would have
been a part of that.
So that would be why production of tanks and infantry guns increased,
while field artillery and antitank gun production remained stable?
Ammunition production was curtailed under the mistaken assumption that
the French Campaign had shown that consumption was going to be low,
and motor vehicle production decreased as civilian production was
curtailed and diverted to aircraft components (and, in the case of
Daimler-Benz Berlin, to tanks).

Heavy bombers were a part of the increased munitions production by the
way, the He177.
Bay Man
2011-02-25 02:00:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
On Feb 24, 10:10 am, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
German industry was winding down army production as tanks rolled into the
USSR in June 1941 and upping aircraft production. Heavy bombers would have
been a part of that.
So that would be why production of tanks and infantry guns increased,
while field artillery and antitank gun production remained stable?
You must get the point that was clearly made.
Post by Rich
Ammunition production was curtailed under the mistaken assumption that
the French Campaign had shown that consumption was going to be low,
and motor vehicle production decreased as civilian production was
curtailed and diverted to aircraft components (and, in the case of
Daimler-Benz Berlin, to tanks).
The Germans had a large stock of ammunition as they prepared for a WW1 type
of war. As they went across the border in June 1941 army production was
being scaled down. When it was clear they would not win a few months,
production changed back to the army.
Post by Rich
Heavy bombers were a part of the increased munitions production by the
way, the He177.
Germany was planning a heavy bomber in June 1941 for the coming air war.
Rich
2011-02-25 04:28:11 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 24, 9:00 pm, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
You must get the point that was clearly made.
Why, yes, I got the point I was making, but not yours, since you said
that "German industry was winding down", which it wasn't. One part of
the German armament industry, ammunition, was curtailed by an order of
10 April 1941 and then recommenced with greater urgency on 10 January
1942. There was no "winding down of industry" at all, you are
conflating that from (why am I unsurprised?) Tooze's remarks about the
Luftwaffe expansion (451-452), but ignoring the context in the
previous 20-oddd pages and those that follow.
Post by Bay Man
The Germans had a large stock of ammunition as they prepared for a WW1 type
of war. As they went across the border in June 1941 army production was
being scaled down. When it was clear they would not win a few months,
production changed back to the army.
Er, no, ***ammunition production*** was curtailed when they met the
goals assigned in April, seven weeks before the invasion. *** Army
production*** wasn't curtailed at all, and considerable resources were
going into expanding it, especially with regards to tanks and other
armored vehicles.
Post by Bay Man
Germany was planning a heavy bomber in June 1941 for the coming air war.
Sigh...the He-177 was developed under an RLM requirement issued in
1936 and first flew in November 1939. The "planning" began a bit
earlier than June 1941.
Bay Man
2011-02-25 14:19:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
On Feb 24, 9:00 pm, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
You must get the point that was clearly made.
Why, yes, I got the point I was making, but not yours, since you said
that "German industry was winding down", which it wasn't.
You did not get the point at all. Here is what I wrote which is very clear:
"German industry was winding down army production as tanks rolled into the
USSR in June 1941 and upping aircraft production. Heavy bombers would have
been a part of that."
Post by Rich
One part of
the German armament industry, ammunition, was curtailed by an order of
10 April 1941 and then recommenced with greater urgency on 10 January
1942.
You lost it. German ammunition stocks were high enough after the over
production at the start of war. Germany did not think they still would be
fighting the USSR in 1942, so upped the ammunition production.
Post by Rich
Er, no, ***ammunition production*** was curtailed when they met the
goals assigned in April, seven weeks before the invasion. *** Army
production*** wasn't curtailed at all, and considerable resources were
going into expanding it, especially with regards to tanks and other
armored vehicles.
Tooze - Page 431:
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941
were precisely the growing shortage of grain and the need to knock Britain
out of the war before it could pose a serious air threat."

"Meanwhile, the rest of the German military-industrialised complex began to
gird itself for the aerial confrontation with Britain and America."

Tooze states German industry was changing from army to aircraft production
as gthey moved over the border. It is all there.

Page 437, he goes on about even still in October 1941 the German army was
planning to shed 1/3 of the army back into industry to fight the UK & USA in
an air war.

Read page 451, he goes into the shift to Luftwaffe production there in June
1941. He also mentions this in other parts of the book.

Page 425, he goes on about that even occupying large parts of western
Europe, Germany did not have the upper hand in a long term fight against the
USA and UK.
Post by Rich
Post by Bay Man
Germany was planning a heavy bomber in June 1941 for the coming air war.
Sigh...the He-177 was developed under an RLM requirement issued in
1936 and first flew in November 1939. The "planning" began a bit
earlier than June 1941.
The HE-177 was put on ice as it was a flop. An improved version was in the
pipeline.
Rich
2011-02-25 21:19:33 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 25, 9:19 am, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
"German industry was winding down army production as tanks rolled into the
USSR in June 1941 and upping aircraft production. Heavy bombers would have
been a part of that."
I see. So then, O Sage of Sages, perhaps you could explain, with your
notable clarity, just how an increase is equated to "winding
down...production"? You do understand I suppose that in the normal
English lexicon that I am aquainted with that "winding down" is
usually believed by most to be something more similar to the more
concise expression "decrease"?
Post by Bay Man
You lost it. German ammunition stocks were high enough after the over
production at the start of war. Germany did not think they still would be
fighting the USSR in 1942, so upped the ammunition production.
Interesting. That would explain then why during 1941 and then again in
1942 and 1943 why armaments manufacturing infrastructure (you know,
money spent to build more factories, machine tools, that sort of
thing) for the Heer were increased? Oh, wait, I suppose it wouldn't
would it?

BTW, for those following the non-BM-fantasy part of this discussion...

Period of Expansion through 1942. During the stages of the war through
1942, the tank industry continued to function much the same as it did
prewar. Production exceeded losses at all times with the exception of
one month, July 1941, when there was an excess of losses of
approximately 5,000 tons equalling about 250 tank, but this deficit
was made up in the course of the next two months. Table 2, below,
gives production through 1942. Production was increased in 1941 by the
conversion of additional facilities in the original six plants to tank
manufacture. This conversion consisted primarily in the discontinuance
of non-essential peacetime production. However, during this period
plans were activated for a tremendous potential increase in
production.

a. Henschel & Sohn, Kassel, expanded its tank plant by the
construction of nearly 1,000,000 square feet of floor space.
b. In 1941, a government-owned plant for the exclusive manufacture of
tanks, the Nibelungen Works, was erected at St. Valentine, Austria. In
1944, this plant became one of the largest producers in the industry.
c. Two additional plants, Vomag at Plauen and Maschinenfabrik
Niedersachsen (MNH), Hanover, were converted to tank manufacture in
1941.

(USSBS Tank Industry Report 1947)
Post by Bay Man
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941
were precisely the growing shortage of grain and the need to knock Britain
out of the war before it could pose a serious air threat."
Sorry, but what does that random quote have to do with the Germans
expanding their munitions industry during 1941? I mean, I know it may
be a bit of a stretch to ask, but could you possibly address the
subject instead of falling back on strawmen? Who has argued that the
Germans did not develop "strong arguments" to conquer the Soviet Union
in 1941?
Post by Bay Man
"Meanwhile, the rest of the German military-industrialised complex began to
gird itself for the aerial confrontation with Britain and America."
Tooze states German industry was changing from army to aircraft production
as gthey moved over the border. It is all there.
No, he doesn't. That is your rather ham-fisted synopsis of what you
want him to say.
Post by Bay Man
Page 437, he goes on about even still in October 1941 the German army was
planning to shed 1/3 of the army back into industry to fight the UK & USA in
an air war.
Really? Over two million men? Interesting, I'll have to take a look
when I get home.
Post by Bay Man
Read page 451, he goes into the shift to Luftwaffe production there in June
1941. He also mentions this in other parts of the book.
What exactly do you think that "shift" in production was? Did they put
a new widget on at the end of the factory so that when they pushed the
button it extruded planes instead of tanks or ammunition?
Post by Bay Man
Page 425, he goes on about that even occupying large parts of western
Europe, Germany did not have the upper hand in a long term fight against the
USA and UK.
Wow now there's a revelation! Of course what it has to do with this
discussion is beyond me.
Post by Bay Man
The HE-177 was put on ice as it was a flop. An improved version was in the
pipeline.
Really? When? What was in the pipeline?

So again, for those interested in reality, the He-177 went into
operational testing in April 1942 and continued, with checkered
results, until fall 1944 when the Kampfflieger were put out to pasture
as the Luftwaffe concentrated on fighters and ground attack.
William Black
2011-02-24 15:09:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
Another point. Why didn't the US troops at D-Day go ashore in Amtracs?
Could have gotten them right across the beaches - less those lost to
mines and artillery - and right up on the Germans?
Amtracs weren't heavily enough armoured for European use.

They might as well have used the much cheaper DUKWs, which they did in
some places.
--
William Black

"Any number under six"

The answer given by Englishman Richard Peeke when asked by the Duke of
Medina Sidonia how many Spanish sword and buckler men he could beat
single handed with a quarterstaff.
Bay Man
2011-02-24 15:11:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
Post by Bay Man
Post by Scott M. Kozel
They didn't really need a four-engine, long range bomber.
They did.
Indeed. One of the reasons the Soviets defeated the Germans, was that
all or most of their factories were beyond the reach of the Germans.
Think the Germans might have wanted to put a thousand bombers over the
Soviet Tank works. Or how about steady area bombing of the British
ports before D-Day.
Another point. Why didn't the US troops at D-Day go ashore in Amtracs?
Could have gotten them right across the beaches - less those lost to
mines and artillery - and right up on the Germans?
The British used the Hobert "funnies", specially adapted vehicles especially
for the assault. Mine clearing, laying metal matting over soft sand,
floating tanks (DDs), etc. On Omaha Beach the US used only the DDs
foolishly rejecting the others, although a part of the US admin wanted them.
All the DDs sunk because they were launched too far out. The British and
Canadians saw the rough sea conditions and launched them more to the shore
to great success.

The US did use Hobart's funnies on the march into Germany. They would call
them up from the rear for specific tasks.
Rich
2011-02-24 22:24:17 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 24, 10:11 am, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
The British used the Hobert "funnies", specially adapted vehicles especially
for the assault. Mine clearing, laying metal matting over soft sand,
floating tanks (DDs), etc. On Omaha Beach the US used only the DDs
foolishly rejecting the others, although a part of the US admin wanted them.
More BM versions of history. On OMAHA and UTAH beach the American Army
utilized the DD tank and their own development, the tankdozer, for the
same purposes, since British industry and arsenals were incapable of
producing enough to fill the American requests prior to D-Day. There
was never a "rejection" and no record of such a rejection, rather the
opposite in fact since the request may be found in my book, _Cracking
Hitler's Atlantic Wall_.
Post by Bay Man
All the DDs sunk because they were launched too far out. The British and
Canadians saw the rough sea conditions and launched them more to the shore
to great success.
Nothing like reductio ab adsurdum as an argument. The five British and
Canadian regiments had about the same variable experience as the three
American battalions in using the DD tank. Distance had little to do
with the sinking.
Post by Bay Man
The US did use Hobart's funnies on the march into Germany. They would call
them up from the rear for specific tasks.
Ninth Army did on occassion, but t12th and 6th Army Group made do with
the 738th and 739th Tank Battalions (Special) and the tankdozers
assigned to the tank battalions.

Cheers!
John Anderton
2011-02-24 22:44:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
There
was never a "rejection" and no record of such a rejection, rather the
opposite in fact since the request may be found in my book, _Cracking
Hitler's Atlantic Wall_.
What does that book say on the matter ? I've seen US documents that
state the US evaluated the "funnies" but nothing definitive about an
offer/request or rejection(on either side),

Cheers,

John
Bay Man
2011-02-25 02:01:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Anderton
Post by Rich
There
was never a "rejection" and no record of such a rejection, rather the
opposite in fact since the request may be found in my book, _Cracking
Hitler's Atlantic Wall_.
What does that book say on the matter ? I've seen US documents that
state the US evaluated the "funnies" but nothing definitive about an
offer/request or rejection(on either side),
If I recall rightly, the US initially thought the funnies not worth having,
apart from a few like DDs. Some aspects of the US looked again and wanted
them but it was too late.
Rich
2011-02-25 05:52:41 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 24, 9:01 pm, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
If I recall rightly, the US initially thought the funnies not worth having,
apart from a few like DDs.
Given that I doubt you have ever examined the pertinent records I
suspect that you might not be recalling rightly. And, given that I
have, I think I might actually be recalling rightly.
Post by Bay Man
Some aspects of the US looked again and wanted
them but it was too late.
I just have to ask...what "aspects of the US" might have looked at
them? Given that an aspect, AFAIK, is defined as:

as·pect<UTF16-2002> <UTF16-2002>/<UTF16-02C8>æsp<UTF16-025B>kt/
[as-pekt]

-noun
1. appearance to the eye or mind; look: the physical aspect of the
country.
2. nature; quality; character: the superficial aspect of the
situation.
3. a way in which a thing may be viewed or regarded; interpretation;
view: both aspects of a decision.
4. part; feature; phase: That is the aspect of the problem that
interests me most.
5. facial expression; countenance: He wore an aspect of gloom. Hers
was an aspect of happy optimism.
6. bearing; air; mien: warlike in aspect.
7. view commanded; exposure: The house has a southern aspect.
8. the side or surface facing a given direction: the dorsal aspect of
a fish; the northern aspect of the house.
9. Grammar .
a. a category or interrelated set of categories for which the verb is
inflected in some languages, typically to indicate the duration,
repetition, completion, or quality of the action or state denoted by
the verb.
b. a set of syntactic devices, as in the English perfect with have in
I have gone, with functions similar to such inflections.
c. any of the members or instances of these categories or sets: the
Latin perfect aspect; the Russian imperfect aspect.
d. the meaning of, or meaning typical of, such a category or
construction.
e. such categories or constructions, or their meanings collectively.
10. Astrology .
a. the angular distance between two points as seen from the earth,
primarily derived by dividing the 360 degrees of the zodiac by the
integers 1 through 12.
b. the influence of any two planets or groups of planets located at
such points.
11. Archaic . a look; glance.
Rich
2011-02-25 04:29:14 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 24, 5:44 pm, John Anderton
Post by John Anderton
What does that book say on the matter ? I've seen US documents that
state the US evaluated the "funnies" but nothing definitive about an
offer/request or rejection(on either side),
Hi John,

I suppose I can't get away with, "buy my book"? Please...I mean I
still have my youngest in college, an expensive (and I hasten to add,
well worth it) girlfriend, and a taste for fine wines and good books
after all.

Anyway, here you go, minus the footnotes and the formatting. BTW, the
copy of the document I used for the book was supplied to me by Steve
Zaloga after he reminded me of it. I had run across it years ago and
actually forgotten about it until he happened to mention it to me in
an email...its reproduced in the book. Also BTW. Major Rollie Ward,
who was present running his squadron through its paces for Eisenhower
at the 27 January 1944 demonstration got into touch with me shortly
after Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall was published. He was the last
surviving squadron commander in the 1st Assault Brigade RE (although
he did not go in on D-Day) and had some very nice things to say about
it...along with some corrections I could have used before publication.
Sadly, he faded away last year.

Last BTW, if this doesn't make sense without formatting - buy my
book. :) Or drop me an email and I can send you it as a word doc along
with a JPEG of the document.

Cheers!

A Footnote to History: The "Offer" of A.V.R.E. to the U.S. Army

It has long been accepted as fact that the U.S. Army resistance to
using specialist assault vehicles on D-Day led to the severe
casualties suffered by American troops on OMAHA Beach. Furthermore,
the inference has been made that if the Americans had utilized such
vehicles that inevitably those casualties would have been less. For
example, Chester Wilmot writing in The Struggle for Europe in 1952
stated that,

There might have been some justification for the policy of direct
assault if the Americans had accepted Montgomery's plan for landing
armour en masse at the start of the attack, and for using the
specialized equipment of Hobart's 79th Armoured Division to deal with
the fortifications and the underwater obstacles. When Montgomery first
saw this equipment he ordered Hobart to make one-third of it available
to the Americans, and set himself to interest Eisenhower and Bradley
in its revolutionary employment. Hobart's account of the reaction of
the three generals is illuminating.

"Montgomery," he says, "was most inquisitive. After thorough tests and
searching questions he said in effect: 'I'll have this and this and
this; but I don't want that or that.' Eisenhower was equally
enthusiastic but not so discriminating. His response was, 'We'll take
everything you can give us.' Bradley appeared to be interested but,
when asked what he wanted, replied, 'I'll have to consult my staff.'"
Bradley and his staff eventually accepted the 'DDs' but did not take
up the offer of 'Crabs', 'Crocodiles', 'AVREs' and the rest of
Hobart's menagerie.

However the commonly accepted view appears to misstate both the
circumstances and the consequences of the American actions. For one,
there seems to be some confusion about what the Americans actually did
and didn't want. For another, there is little evidence that the
"policy of direct assault" was uniquely American. And, finally, there
is little real evidence that the lack of specialized engineering
vehicles would have resulted in reduced casualties on OMAHA.

Eisenhower's papers contain two or possibly three references to a
demonstration on 27 January by 617th Assault Squadron, R.E. On 29
January 1944 Eisenhower wrote a personnel note to General Hobart
thanking him for the demonstration, stating that he was, "much
impressed with all your work and the training you are doing" and that
he, "should like some of my senior officers to see what I did as I
know how much they would profit by it." At that time he did not
mention any of the Funnies specifically, although later on 7 February
in a note to Nicholas Straussler, Eisenhower specifically mentioned
Straussler's invention, the DD tank, and commented that he was,
"looking forward to the day we can use them to good effect." Then in
a letter on 9 February to General Marshall, Eisenhower again mentioned
the demonstration, but only commented that the, "visit was for the
purpose of inspecting special items of equipment that are designated
to help us through that type of defensive organization."

Alan Brooke's diary entry for 27 January 1944 shows that he was
present at the demonstration with Eisenhower, although he is not
mentioned in the Hobart/Wilmot account,

Eisenhower met me at the station last night and we traveled up by
special train through the night. Hobart collected us at 9 am and took
us first to his HQ where he showed us his models, and his proposed
assault organization. We then went on to see various exhibits such as
the Sherman tank for destroying tank mines, with chains on a drum
driven by an engine, various methods of climbing walls with tanks,
blowing up of minefields and walls, flame throwing Churchill tanks,
wall destroying engineer parties, floating tanks, teaching men how to
escape from sunken tanks, etc, etc. A most interesting day, and one
which Eisenhower seemed to enjoy thoroughly. Hobart has been doing
wonders in his present job and I am delighted that we put him into
it.

Brooke's account confirms that the Sherman Crab mine-clearing vehicle
was demonstrated to Eisenhower, and it is evident that the
demonstration also included various bridging vehicles, probably
prototypes of the SBG assault bridge, demolition vehicles, Crocodiles,
hand emplaced demolitions, and DD tanks and their associated escape
gear. Note that Hobart also displayed "models" and a "proposed"
organization, implying that at that time only a few of the vehicles
and crews were ready, an assumption that as we have seen was confirmed
by the account of the organization and equipping of the brigade found
in their history, the various postwar remarks of some of the brigade
members, and of course the actual production records for the A.V.R.E.

Patrick Delaforce in Churchill's Secret Weapon: The Story of Hobart's
Funnies mentions an incident that apparently occurred at the 27
January demonstration that shows at least some A.V.R.E. were also
demonstrated,

Major Roland Ward of 617 Assault Squadron relates: 'Dick Stafford's
AVRE fell over upside down off an Assault bridge in trying to climb
over a wall in the Orford battle area. Eisenhower ran forward quite
concerned for the crew, but 'Hobo' said 'Don't worry - they do it
every day.

....Although Eisenhower was impressed with 'Funnies' and Montgomery
offered them to the American forces on D-Day, General Bradley turned
the offer down.

Mention is made of the 27 January demonstration in the 79th Armoured
Division Final Report as well. It states that in a meeting following
the demonstration it was agreed that First U.S. Army technical
representatives were to see the new equipment on 11 February after
which they were to inform the British of their requirements. It also
explicitly stated that General Bradley was at that post-demonstration
meeting on 27 January, so presumably also witnessed the
demonstration.

Although the meeting with the First Army technical representatives is
not mentioned in Bradley's papers or in the Historical Report of the
First Army Armor Section, it does appear that the U.S. Army
representatives did see the new equipment, since on 16 February 1944,
Brigadier Sir Edwin Otway Herbert, a General Staff officer with 21st
Army Group, sent a memo on the subject of US Requirements for British
Devices - OVERLORD to the British Under Secretary of State at the War
Office, with copies to the US First Army HQ, British Second Army, 79th
Armoured Division, SHAEF, and various staff sections in 21st Army
Group. He noted that,

1. Equipments as shown in the attached Appendix are required by First
US Army for operation OVERLORD. They will be operated by US personnel.
In the event of the US Army being equipped with similar equipment from
US sources, or suitable substitutes, the equipments will be returned
to the British.
2. "DD tanks" and "Porpoises" dealt with separately.

What is intriguing is that the requirements list included twelve
items, four of which were specifically mounted on Sherman-based
chassis; Crab, Sherman Bullshorn Plough, Sherman OAC Mark III Plough,
and Sherman Crocodile. Two others, Harrow and Centipede, were mine
clearing devices that were designed to be adaptable for towing or
mounting on either American or British vehicles. Of the remainder,
four were strictly British-based vehicles, A.V.R.E., ARK, and SBG Mark
II, all based on the Churchill, "Bridgelayers", which in this context
were probably the Valentine bridge-laying tank that was then being
distributed to Commonwealth armored units, and two were "devices",
"Special Charges (Gen Wade etc)" and "Snakes."

Significantly, it is the latter six items that First Army did not
place a requirement for. The primary reasoning given was that they did
not want to further complicate their already complex training program
and add to their logistical burden by accepting into inventory four
non-standard, British vehicles based on the Churchill and Valentine
tank chassis, just three and a half months before the projected date
of the assault (Commonwealth units of course had no such qualms, they
had been using American tanks since August 1941, and Sherman tanks
since August 1942).

Similarly the "Special Charges" were more or less standard engineer
shaped charges, while the Snake was essentially a giant Bangalore
torpedo, comprised of 20-foot lengths of 3-inch pipe that could be
assembled into as much as a 400-foot length, towed to the edge of a
minefield by a tank that then pushed it into place. In the case of
Snake the requisition specifically identified that an "order [was]
placed and supply promised from USA".

That left six items that were actually requested. Of those, the 25
Crabs actually requested must simply not have been available over and
above the Commonwealth requirements, since none were provided. That
was probably also the case for the 40 Bullshorn Ploughs, 40 OAC Mark
III Ploughs, and 50 Harrow ploughs that were requested, which also
weren't supplied. Neither was the Centipede, which was a device that
was specifically designed to clear antipersonnel mines more quickly
than Crab was capable of doing. Few Centipedes were ever built and
there is little evidence that it was ever used in combat.

The memo further specifically noted that the Sherman Crocodile was
"understood to conflict with Churchill Crocodile"; a statement that
was quite correct, and illustrative of some of the basic problems that
the Allies faced and that had to be considered by both the American
and British planners. In this case, the Churchill Crocodile prototype
had been demonstrated in March 1943 and had immediately attracted the
interest of the Americans. On 16 July 1943 the European Theater of
Operations, U.S. Army (ETOUSA) recommended that the British-designed
flamethrower should be adapted to fit in the Sherman and that 100
conversions and 25 extra trailers should be procured through a
combination of British and American resources. Unfortunately, the
adaptation did not prove to be as simple as was originally thought
and, although an initial prototype was completed in February 1944,
delays dogged the project. In the end, despite all plans to the
contrary, only four were ever completed; and they weren't issued to
units in the field until November 1944.

Finally, unstated in the memo was yet another, little known, fact that
may have been affecting the American decision - the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers and Ordnance Department were also developing their own
Assault Engineer Vehicle, based upon the M4 Medium Tank. At about the
same time that Denovan's two prototype A.V.R.E. were being completed
in February 1943, U.S. Army Ground Forces authorized a Corps of
Engineers study to investigate new and innovative ways to clear beach
and underwater obstacles at the Amphibious Training Base at Fort
Pierce, Florida. The tests resulted in a recommendation that an
armored engineering vehicle, based upon the Sherman tank, be
developed. That recommendation was approved in August 1943.

The result was a prototype that replaced the Sherman's 75mm gun with
twin access doors in the turret, a side access door in the right
sponson, and mounted a 7.2-inch T40 (later standardized as the M17)
"Whiz-Bang" multiple rocket launcher in a sturdy armored box above the
turret. It was completed and had undergone preliminary testing, but
did not arrive at Fort Pierce for operational testing until 20 March
1944. The tests resulted in further modifications and a second pilot,
but by then of course it was too late for any production to reach
Britain in time for the invasion and in any case there would have been
no time to train crews and to integrate the vehicles into the assault
plan. Eventually, although 1,000 conversion kits were authorized, only
two conversions were ever completed. That delay, and the refusal of
the Army Ground Forces and the Operations Division of the War
Department General Staff to authorize creation of a new engineer
organization to operate such units, doomed the project.

That US Army Ground Forces was resistant to unique organizations
intended for specific tasks is incontrovertible. However, in this
case it made little difference. There simply weren't sufficient
British-made specialist vehicles to support the American operations,
whether they were American or British-manned. The American projects to
develop similar equipment, begun in a similar timeframe as the British
projects, simply were delayed too late for them to have been available
in time. Those delays were, of course, unforeseen in mid 1943 when the
projects were begun and in early 1944 when the equipment requests were
made.

So although an "offer" of the special equipment developed by the 79th
Armoured Division was made to the U.S. Army it wasn't "refused" and in
fact a large number of various types were asked for, but for various
reasons were not supplied. And the "refusal" of some of those items
was for perfectly logical reasons; the difficulty associated with
issuing brand new, unique, and complicated items so close to the
invasion date, as well as the mistaken belief that similar equipment,
on standard American vehicles, would be supplied from the U.S. But
somehow that reasonable decision has become,
John Anderton
2011-02-25 15:35:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
On Feb 24, 5:44 pm, John Anderton
Post by John Anderton
What does that book say on the matter ? I've seen US documents that
state the US evaluated the "funnies" but nothing definitive about an
offer/request or rejection(on either side),
Hi John,
I suppose I can't get away with, "buy my book"?
Please...I mean I
still have my youngest in college, an expensive (and I hasten to add,
well worth it) girlfriend, and a taste for fine wines and good books
after all.
Sorry Rich, I keep forgetting you're an author. To me, "my book"
translates to "my copy of that book" :-)

I hope my gaffe is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I have just
placed an order for your book, which may, barely, pay for a mouthful
of average wine :-)

<snip lots of interesting detail>
Post by Rich
So although an "offer" of the special equipment developed by the 79th
Armoured Division was made to the U.S. Army it wasn't "refused" and in
fact a large number of various types were asked for, but for various
reasons were not supplied. And the "refusal" of some of those items
was for perfectly logical reasons; the difficulty associated with
issuing brand new, unique, and complicated items so close to the
invasion date, as well as the mistaken belief that similar equipment,
on standard American vehicles, would be supplied from the U.S.
(above paragraph left in for those without the ability/will to scroll
:-) )

Cheers,

John
Rich
2011-02-25 21:20:25 UTC
Permalink
On Feb 25, 10:35 am, John Anderton
Post by John Anderton
Sorry Rich, I keep forgetting you're an author. To me, "my book"
translates to "my copy of that book" :-)
I hope my gaffe is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I have just
placed an order for your book, which may, barely, pay for a mouthful
of average wine :-)
Cheers for that John; I hope you enjoy it. I wish I could autograph it
for you.
John Anderton
2011-02-26 17:32:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
On Feb 24, 5:44 pm, John Anderton
Post by John Anderton
What does that book say on the matter ? I've seen US documents that
state the US evaluated the "funnies" but nothing definitive about an
offer/request or rejection(on either side),
Hi John,
I suppose I can't get away with, "buy my book"?
Please...I mean I
still have my youngest in college, an expensive (and I hasten to add,
well worth it) girlfriend, and a taste for fine wines and good books
after all.
Sorry Rich, I keep forgetting you're an author. To me, "my book"
translates to "my copy of that book" :-)

I hope my gaffe is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I have just
placed an order for your book, which may, barely, pay for a mouthful
of average wine :-)

<snip lots of interesting detail>
Post by Rich
So although an "offer" of the special equipment developed by the 79th
Armoured Division was made to the U.S. Army it wasn't "refused" and in
fact a large number of various types were asked for, but for various
reasons were not supplied. And the "refusal" of some of those items
was for perfectly logical reasons; the difficulty associated with
issuing brand new, unique, and complicated items so close to the
invasion date, as well as the mistaken belief that similar equipment,
on standard American vehicles, would be supplied from the U.S.
(above paragraph left in for those without the ability/will to scroll
:-) )

Cheers,

John
David H Thornley
2011-02-25 13:32:24 UTC
Permalink
wanted them. All the DDs sunk because they were launched too far out.
The British and Canadians saw the rough sea conditions and launched them
more to the shore to great success.
Not all the DDs at Omaha sank, although many did.

Also, do you have any small boat experience? The sea conditions near
the shore can vary quite a bit over a fairly short distance, largely
because of the coast configuration. I haven't seen any records as
to sea conditions near the beaches, but the fact that the Omaha beach
is concave when viewed from the sea suggests to me the waves may have
been worse.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Rich
2011-02-25 15:33:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Not all the DDs at Omaha sank, although many did.
This edition of my potted reply is now over three years old, but it
should suffice, although I have some additional details I could add,
I've only done a quick edit.

Along with such interent fantasies as "all the American tanks at OMAHA
sank except for four (or two or three or five) that were so shell-
shocked they were useless" you will also find gems of nonsense such as
"the dumb Americans only tested their DD tanks on millponds in
England". The facts however, are different.

The DD unit at JUNO, the 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment, launched A
Squadron with 10 DD tanks at 1,500-2,000 yards and had three sink.
Another six landed directly and the fate of the last four is unknown.
B Squadron launched 19 tanks at 4,000 yards and lost five, the fate of
the last one is unknown, it may have landed directly. The 20 non-DD
Sherman tanks of the regiment all landed somewhat later. The 10th
Canadian Armoured Regiment also was to launch 40 DD tanks, but instead
all landed directly

At SWORD 40 DD tanks of the 13/18 Hussars were to be launched at 5,000
yards. But of those five were landed directly on the beach when the
lead tank on one LCT tore its skirt blocking the other four from
exiting. And another wasn't launched because the exit of the others
damaged the ramp door and it was taken back to England. So 34 swam in.
Of those three were lost on the run in, one when its propeller failed
to engage and two others that were rammed by LCTs.

At GOLD 40 DD tanks of the 4/7 Dragoon Guards landed directly on the
beach and the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers) launched at
500 yards, losing 7 of 40.

On UTAH the 70th Tank Battalion launched 28 DD tanks at 3,000 yards
and lost one to swamping by following landing craft (another four were
lost when their LCT struck a mine)

At OMAHA the 29 DD tanks of the 741st Tank Battalion were launched at
6,000 yards. Of those two swam in and another three were landed
directly. The remaining 27 sank. The 32 DD tanks of the 741st Tank
Battalion were all landed directly on the beach, except for four lost
when their LCT struck a mine. In addition, 16 Sherman tankdozers were
landed; with 13 being eventually knocked out, and another 40
conventional Sherman tanks were landed, for a total of 120 at about H-
Hour. Including the DD tanks sunk, about 79 tanks were lost on OMAHA,
meaning that 48 were knocked out on the beach, most to gunfire
(although it appears that at least 4 were lost to mines).

Thus we have the following:

500 yards - 7 of 40 or 17.5 percent sank swimming in.
1,500-2,000 yards - 3 of 10 or 30 percent sunk swimming in.
3,000 yards - 1 of 28 or 3.6 percent lost swimming in.
4,000 yards - 5 of 19 or 26.3 percent sunk swimming in.
5,000 yards - 3 of 34 or 8.8 percent sunk swimming in.
6,000 yards - 27 of 29 or 93 percent sunk swimming in.
Over all distances - 50 of 164 or 30.5 percent sunk swimming in.

So why did the two greatest distances result in both the highest and
the lowest percentage sunk swimming in? And why did the shortest
distance result in the second highest percentage sunk? Obviously
distance was not a factor. Nor does it appear that accidental loss was
- at SWORD all three of those lost, with the second highest distance
swum, were to accident. While at JUNO, the shortest distance, none
apparently were accidentally lost.

But then what happened to the 27 DD tanks lost by the 741st Tank
Battalion at OMAHA? One of the more intriguing recent explanations
blames not the distance or the roughness of the seas, but rather the
dedication of the crewmen to the mission, combined with the
inexperience as seamen and the offshore current. Simply put, they had
a clearly definable objective point, the church spire at Colleville,
to steer for and did so. However, the west to east tidal current had
pushed their landing craft east of the planned launching point, so by
steering for Colleville as instructed they were sailing diagonally
across the current and allowing the surf to come in broad on their
starboard quarter. Unfortunately this quartering sea along with the
force of the current, combined to place more pressure upon the corner
struts and side skirts than they had been designed to withstand, so
they collapsed. Interestingly enough, despite being launched 5,500 to
6,000 yards offshore (accounts vary), most of the 27 were located on
the seafloor just 150 to 200 yards from safety, indicating that
despite what tricks of memory occurred afterwards, they did not all
"sink like stones", "sank immediately after leaving the [LCT] ramp",
or "sank within a few yards of launching".

Cheers!
Bay Man
2011-02-25 15:39:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
wanted them. All the DDs sunk because they were launched too far out.
The British and Canadians saw the rough sea conditions and launched them
more to the shore to great success.
Not all the DDs at Omaha sank, although many did.
Also, do you have any small boat experience?
I come from a seaport. Tank drivers are not sailors.

Yes, you are right. Only 2 made it to the beach of 29, according to Wiki.
MCGARRY
2011-02-26 17:32:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bay Man
Yes, you are right. Only 2 made it to the beach of 29, according to Wiki.
A big difference in the conditions between Utah and Omaha was due to the
disposition of the beaches. The wind was from the N.W. so on Utah beach
the wind was coming off the land but at Omaha it was from the sea to the
land.
No "facts" about d-day are inscribed in concrete, but I was under the
impression that the only DD tanks that arrived on Omaha were taken right
on to the beach.
--
Audio Tour Guide d day Normandy. Self Guiding.
http://normandy-tour-guide.cpmac.com.audio-guide.php3
Driver guide Normandy
MCGARRY
2011-02-27 15:32:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by MCGARRY
impression that the only DD tanks that arrived on Omaha were taken right
on to the beach.
On rechecking, there were two DDs that floated in.
--
Audio Tour Guide d day Normandy. Self Guiding.
http://normandy-tour-guide.cpmac.com.audio-guide.php3
Driver guide Normandy
Rich
2011-02-24 22:04:04 UTC
Permalink
At this point I think I should confess to having a certain bemused
fascination with the way BM can so amazingly recast historical events
to fit his odd worldview...

On Feb 22, 12:15 am, "Bay Man"
Post by Bay Man
American fighters were unremarkable
prior to, and a number of years after world war two broke out.
Nevermind the Hurrican of course, which was a substantial part of the
RAF fighter force and British fighter production at this time.
Post by Bay Man
An even greater leap of faith was shown by
the British Air Ministry to go with such an offer of a design at a point in
the war they needed planes.
It wasn't a leap of faith of any sort; it was simple, crying
necessity.
Post by Bay Man
The British Air Ministry pushed North American Aviation into the design
concept they wanted directing them to assess the Curtiss XP-46 experimental
plane and its various features.
Actually the opposite; North American pushed the British Purchasing
Commission and Air Ministry into accepting their design rather than
manufacture of a licensed P-40.
Post by Bay Man
The Ministry specified an American engine the same physical size
as the Rolls Royce Merlin, which enabled the superior Merlin to be dropped
in if need be.
No, they did not so specify. What they did specify was a watercooled,
inline engine, which meant the Allison 1710. And, since it was a 12-
cylinder engine with similar intended output made it unsurprisingly
similar in shape, weight, and size as the Merlin. However, at that
time the Merlin, in common with all aero engines in Britain, was in
critically short supply.

"'Bottlenecks' in the narrowest sense of the term did not, however,
account for most of the recurrent shortages. At least as important
were the deficiencies of components of a more general kind, which were
due to production difficulties or to faulty planning or to both. The
best-known examples are perhaps the engines and propellers. Throughout
1939, 1940 and 1941 the aircraft industry laboured under a gathering
shadow of engine shortage. The menace had two aspects--one general and
one special. The menace of the general shortage was due to chronic
under-provisioning of engines which characterised all the aircraft
programmes before 1942. The menace was recognised in 1939, was implied
in the plan for the 'war potential' and deplored at least once by the
Director General of Production. But until the estimates of
requirements were put on a new footing in 1942 and until the Merlins
began to come from the United States, the chronic shortage of engines
had a depressing effect on both programmes and output. (Postan
167-168)"

It would be rather remarkable for them to have anticipated the ending
of such a shortage when such was not forecast and did not in fact
happen until 1942, well after deliveries of the Mustang were to occur.
In fact the "drop in if need be idea" must have been forgotten in any
case, because it took the joint efforts by two officers, one British
and one American, which came up with the idea almost simulatenously,
but independently in April 1942, for the idea to be ramroded through
the American and British establishments resistance. Plus, of course,
the convenient fact that Merlin-Packard production was starting to
come online, relieving the shortage finally. Mind you, the engine that
was used, the Merlin 60 was a brand new version that didn't actually
exist in 1940, but that is merely a detail...
Post by Bay Man
The Mustang was a British plane made by an American manufacturer to
British requirements with no American military involvement at all.
Sigh, no matter how many times you repeat it that still doesn't make
it true. Kindelberger proposed the NA-73 to Self, not vice versa. The
British requirements were eight-gun armament and the inline
watercooled engine, along with examination by North American of the
Curtis XP-46 plans, for which they paid $56,000, but the design
actually went back to a North American project begun in summer 1939.
The British requirment did not include the NACA laminar flow wing or
any of the other design details and pretty much hinged, except for the
engine and guns, on acceptance by them of the prototype.

So you could say that the Mustang was an American plane, made to fit a
Britsh need, to an American design. BTW, the American military had a
lot of involvement, since without their approval it never would have
made it into British hands.
Post by Bay Man
The best Sherman, based on the French Somua,
No, it was not. It was based upon the M2 Medium tank via the interim
M3 and utilized a cast hull because the American steel industry had
more casting than rolling capacity and less experience with welding
armorplate. Essentially if the criteria is cast armor you could say
that it was based upon any one of a number of French designs or on the
Matilda for that matter.
Post by Bay Man
The Germans based the Panther on the Soviet T-34.
Not the one they built they didn't. The Panther was built to a
requirement to match or exceed the capabilities of the T-34. Although
the notion of direct copies was tyed with and a very "T-34-like"
design was prepared, that is as close to "basing it on the T-34" that
you can get.
Post by Bay Man
The US did consider copying the British Sten gun after it came top in a US
trial.
Yes, then they woke up and contracted for the M3 instead.

Cheers!
Greg Schuler
2011-02-14 15:13:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister G
By the Time the battle in North Africa was over, the US had numerous
copies of German Weapons, like their machine guns, 88's, and tanks. So
why didn't they back engineer or simply copy them. It didn't exactly
take a genius to see that the machine guns were better than the US
models. So why not copy theirs? By the same token, since the Germans
had no four engine, long range bomber of their own, why not simply
copy the Allied four engine bombers that were littering the European
landscape?
Define better. Different, but from a US standpoint, the higher rate of
fire of the German MGs was not better for US doctrine. The M1917 and
M1919 did the job and adding a new design would complicate training
and the supply chain, even if the weapon could be converted to US
calibers.

Not invented here is a powerful force and frankly, Mr. Browning's
designs were more than adequate. A lot of the myth that has grown up
around German weapons denudes the fact that Allied weapons were as
good in quantity that most comparable German weapons, designed to fit
a specific doctrine and assembled using known manufacturing
techniques.

Eventually the US did manage to copy the German machine guns, in a way
- the M-60. While the early models were generally derided, a few
soldier on in the USN and SOCOM ranks today. Of course, the Germans
simply began to re-manufacture the MG3 (and the copies used elsewhere)
in NATO caliber, while the rest of the Western world found the FN-MAG
(derived from the MG-42 and improved) to be the best. Of course, the
true machine devotee will stand by the PKM to the end...if they can
find dis-integrating links for the unwieldy belts, that is.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2011-02-14 19:00:08 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Mister G
It didn't exactly
take a genius to see that the machine guns were better than the US
models. So why not copy theirs?
There are numerous problems in making direct copies by reverse
engineering anything. These problems are increased if the item in
question has been designed in metric and your workforce and tool makers
are used to imperial measures.

The US attempt to copy the MG42 were a failure when firing trials on a
prototype had to be abandoned due to multiple stoppages. It turned out
that the receiver was too short among other errors.

The other problem is existing production lines, to mass produce
something you have to shut down existing lines and retool or build new
ones.

Still the Germans did copy the Sten gun and made extensive use of
captured artillery to the point of setting up production lines for
ammunition for some guns. However there was never any serious idea of
making a direct copy of the T34. German tank engine production was
petrol not Diesel orientated for a start.

Ken Young
MCGARRY
2011-02-18 23:04:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Still the Germans did copy the Sten gun and made extensive use of
captured artillery to the point of setting up production lines for
ammunition for some guns. However there was never any serious idea of
making a direct copy of the T34. German tank engine production was
petrol not Diesel orientated for a start.
Ken Young
I've just read the memoires of a tank man from operation totalise. He
mentions an incident where a canadian and a german soldier find them
selves face to face. They both fire at the same time. The sten was out
of ammunition, the german's gun jammed. The Canadian hit the german on
the head with his sten, then cleared the chamber of the German's gun and
shot him with it.
The british 25pounder was a great weapon. German prisoners often asked
to be shown the automatic canon.
--
Audio Tour Guide d day Normandy. Self Guiding.
http://normandy-tour-guide.cpmac.com.audio-guide.php3
Driver guide Normandy
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...