Discussion:
Psych War: "Tank Destroyer" and "Jagdpanzer"
(too old to reply)
Wesley Johnston
2008-04-20 19:58:01 UTC
Permalink
I just picked up the Feb 2007 "Bulge Bugle" which has a cover article on
Tank Destroyers that begins "For psychological reasons, General Marshall
decided that anti-tank units should be renamed Tank Destroyers."

German TDs were called Jagdpanzers, which I think translates to Tank
Hunters. So they seem to have had this same psychology in mind.

My questions is which name came first, the American "Tank Destroyer" or the
German "Jagdpanzer"?

If the German name came first, then it seems likely that Gen. Marshall may
also have been aware of that, so that it was a factor in his decision.
Louis C
2008-04-21 09:42:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Johnston
My questions is which name came first, the American "Tank Destroyer" or the
German "Jagdpanzer"?
Actually, the best equivalent to the US TD would be the German
panzerjaeger i.e. tank hunters.

These included the AT units, both towed and self-propelled the first
of which featured a Czech 47mm gun on a Pz I mount. Other examples are
the Marder, Nashorn, Bufla etc.

A Jagdpanzer was a hunting tank i.e. compared to a panzerjaeger it had
decent armor whereas the latter had a good gun with very little armor.

So to paraphrase a famous US demand, the panzerjaeger was a tank
killer while the jagdpanzer was a killer tank.

Note that destroyer / hunter means the same thing e.g. for airplanes.

There was a thread on that topic a few years ago that you may unearth
from the group archives, with some languages calling fighter aircraft
"destroyers" (e.g. the Russians, and probably the English "fighter"
would qualify) and others using "hunter" (e.g. German, French,
Spanish, Italian). I don't remember which side of this divide the
Asiatic languages fell.


LC
Rich
2008-04-21 16:09:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis C
Actually, the best equivalent to the US TD would be the German
panzerjaeger i.e. tank hunters.
(snip)
Post by Louis C
A Jagdpanzer was a hunting tank i.e. compared to a panzerjaeger it had
decent armor whereas the latter had a good gun with very little armor.
Hi Louis,

I am afraid you are only sort of correct? Or perhaps incompletely
correct?:)

*Jagdpanzer* was actually nomenclature for a late-war vehicle type. It
was *Panzerjäger* that was nomenclature for the unit. Originally the
antitank units were known as just that, "Panzer-Abwehr", which was the
first official designation in October 1935 (they were actually re-
titled from various camouflage names such as "Kraftfahr-Abteilung").
Then following the Polish Campaign in April 1940 they were re-titled
again as Panzerjäger, which title they retained through the end of the
war.

The US Army antitank battalions created in 1940 and 1941 were
officially redesignated as Tank Destroyers on 3 December 1941. But in
that case "Tank Destroyer" was the nomeclature for both the unit and
the weapon system, and was applied to both self-propelled and towed
versions (well the technical nomenclature for the self-propelled
pieces was "GMC" for "Gun Motor Carriage", but that is getting
pedantic even for me :) ).
Louis C
2008-04-22 07:36:28 UTC
Permalink
Hi Rich,
Post by Rich
*Jagdpanzer* was actually nomenclature for a late-war vehicle type. It
was *Panzerjäger* that was nomenclature for the unit.
You're right that I should have made the distinction clearer between
the name of a vehicle and the name of a unit.

Tank Destroyer and Panzerjäger (good to see that the accents display!)
referred to both a lightly-armored SP AT gun and to an AT unit which
could be equipped with the former or with towed AT guns.

A Jagdpanzer was the armored version of the Panzerjäger (the vehicle,
not the unit), there were no Jagdpanzer units.

The German Panzerjäger and US Tank Destroyer concepts are the proper
equivalents, with the German one coming first.

Better this way, or am I still incorrect somewhere?

Thanks for the dates, BTW, which I didn't know.
Post by Rich
Originally the
antitank units were known as just that, "Panzer-Abwehr", which was the
first official designation in October 1935 (they were actually re-
titled from various camouflage names such as "Kraftfahr-Abteilung").
Then following the Polish Campaign in April 1940 they were re-titled
again as Panzerjäger, which title they retained through the end of the
war.
Interestingly, the guns retained the name of Panzerabwehrkanone (PaK)
instead of becoming Panzerjägerkanonen (PjK?).

I've always seen various lightly-armored AT vehicles referred to as a
Panzerjäger but don't know if that ever was official, now that I think
about it.

It's also interesting that the towed AT guns in TD units only entered
service in 1944, I would have thought that the Allies would want to
use them in Sicily & earlier than that in Italy. Was that a special
order, with the delay resulting from transport etc?


LC
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-04-22 16:02:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis C
It's also interesting that the towed AT guns in TD units only entered
service in 1944, I would have thought that the Allies would want to
use them in Sicily & earlier than that in Italy. Was that a special
order, with the delay resulting from transport etc?
From what I have read, the reason was that the US army was quite
impressed by the performance of the German towed anti-tank guns in
Tunisia and decided that the TD command could use them as well. As it
was that was probably a misguided decision, since by 1944 the towed AT
gun was clearly in its twilight due to weight and mobility reasons. The
Germans just happened to be very good at using them. They had to be,
since they did not have the resources to replace them all with self
propelled guns. However, the tactics in 1944 were quite different from
the tactics used in 1939-1942.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Rich
2008-04-22 16:16:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis C
You're right that I should have made the distinction clearer between
the name of a vehicle and the name of a unit.
It's the pedant in me. :)
Post by Louis C
Tank Destroyer and Panzerjäger (good to see that the accents display!)
referred to both a lightly-armored SP AT gun and to an AT unit which
could be equipped with the former or with towed AT guns.
I found that if you type your message into Word and past it into the
message then accent marks and umlauts and such appear, but not bold or
italics. :( Weird.

(snip)
Post by Louis C
Better this way, or am I still incorrect somewhere?
Spot on.
Post by Louis C
Interestingly, the guns retained the name of Panzerabwehrkanone (PaK)
instead of becoming Panzerjägerkanonen (PjK?).
Everybody thinks that US Army nomenclature was odd, Geoffrey Sinclair
even remarked once that Services of Supply must have had a special set
of replacement "M" keys for Army typewriters, since they probably wore
them out so fast. :) But the Germans delighted in using multiple and
contradictory designations for the same thing. So, the Pak 40 and the
KwK 40 were the same gun, but mounted differently.
Post by Louis C
I've always seen various lightly-armored AT vehicles referred to as a
Panzerjäger but don't know if that ever was official, now that I think
about it.
Yes, all the early vehicles were known as Panzerjäger
(Selbstfahrlafette - or self-propelled carriage). Japgdpanzer first
appeared as a term in I think 1944, related to the Jagdpanzer IV
(Vomag) and (Alkett), although just to be even more confusing for a
while the Jagdpanzer IV (A) was also known as the Panzer IV (l70). Or
maybe I've got it backwards, it still confuses me and I don't feel
like looking it up. :)
Post by Louis C
It's also interesting that the towed AT guns in TD units only entered
service in 1944, I would have thought that the Allies would want to
use them in Sicily & earlier than that in Italy. Was that a special
order, with the delay resulting from transport etc?
The 1941 US Army maneuvers in 1941 heavily tested various theories
about the best way to execute antitank operations. Prior to that -
well in 1939-1940 - it was planned that antitank assets in the
infantry division would consist of the .50 caliber BHMG in the
battalion, the 37mm AT gun in the regimental AT company as well as six
in each of the artillery battalions, except in the GS 155mm battalion,
where it was a battery of six 75mm "AT" guns (actually the old "French
75" mounted on a modern carriage and called the M2 75mm Antitank Gun,
although just to be confusing, it was also issued to some of the
mobilized National Guard artillery battalions and called the M2 75mm
Field Gun :) ).

Anyway, for the maneuvers in Louisiana the 75mm batteries were
detached from the artillery regiments and formed as ad hoc battalions
as an experiment. The results obtained by the individual towed
battalions were generally considered unfavorable so in the fall
maneuvers in North and South Carolina a larger antitank mobile group,
consisted of the ad hoc towed units as well as two battalions partly
equipped with the experimental T12 75mm GMC were deployed as "Tank
Attacker" units, with highly favorable results attributed to the SP
units, while again the towed units received poor reviews.

As a result the decision was made to equip all the new Tank Destroyer
Battalions with SP GMC, the T12 and T6 as an interim training
organization, and then the M10 as an objective operational
organization. But the haste with which TORCH was mounted meant that a
number of battalions were dpeloyed with the interim organization and
equipment and then were re-equipped in theater as the M10 became
available.

But also as a result of experience in Tunisia facing the towed German
Pak 40 the role of the towed tank destroyer was re-evaluated. It was
believed that the low silhouette and ease of concealment made up for
the lack of mobility, so a number of units were converted, beginning
in December 1943, with the M5 3-inch Gun. Of course it is interesting
to note that the first M5 guns were produced in December 1942, so
evidently the possible neccessity of such an equipment was
contemplated well before the decision to re-equip some of the
battalions.
Louis C
2008-04-23 08:27:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Post by Louis C
You're right that I should have made the distinction clearer between
the name of a vehicle and the name of a unit.
It's the pedant in me. :)
Well, it never hurts to be precise: look how long it took to get
things like Schmeisser or Bf 110 / Me 210 cleared up.
Post by Rich
I found that if you type your message into Word and past it into the
message then accent marks and umlauts and such appear, but not bold or
italics. :( Weird.
I'm using Google directly, and my French keyboard has no problem
handling German accents (which are the same) though the Scandinavian
or Polish/Czech variety does require that I go through Word.

What I marvelled about was that they should display: there are still
quite a few English-language forums which ban accents altogether so
you get an ASCII mumble of the %&1 variety instead. Next, I'll jump
with joy on learning that Americans have home electricity as
well... :)
Post by Rich
But the Germans delighted in using multiple and
contradictory designations for the same thing. So, the Pak 40 and the
KwK 40 were the same gun, but mounted differently.
I'm not sure that the Germans were worse than anyone else in that
regard. Looking at the 1939-40 French, there are a bunch of different
types of 75mm depending on whether they're field guns (with or without
upgrades), AT guns (ditto) or AA guns. In all cases, this is still the
same old Mle 1897 tube and all that changed is the mounting. Actually
I'm sure that there are minor exceptions to the "all that changed"
phrase, but you get my drift.

Same with the French 47mm AT gun which had a fortress version, a tank-
mounted version, and an AT version. And then the early tank version
(mounted on the D1 tank) wasn't the same as the later one (mounted in
the Somua & B1/B1bis tanks), plus I'm sure that there were differences
according to the manufacturer as well. Then you have the Germans
inheriting the whole batch and having to juggle with the various types
of French 47mm, the various flavours of Czech 47mm as well as I'm sure
a few licence-built versions with minor modifications that I would
have forgotten about.

Americans hate being outdone. As the US Army couldn't possibly compete
with the continental Europeans for the complexity of its inventory
(though it made a gallant effort to try), it did play the game of
giving different designations to the same weapon but added a new twist
by calling different things the same i.e. IIRC there was a thread in
this forum at some point regarding how many different M1 & M2
equipments were in service at the same time. I'm sure that this could
all be explained with the budding disciplines of information
organization, which would also tell me why it takes me longer to find
a file on my hard drive (despite my giving it what I thought a very
clear and easy to retrieve name) than to Google for almost the same
information on the Internet.
Post by Rich
The 1941 US Army maneuvers in 1941 heavily tested various theories
about the best way to execute antitank operations. Prior to that -
well in 1939-1940 - it was planned that antitank assets in the
infantry division would consist of the .50 caliber BHMG in the
battalion, the 37mm AT gun in the regimental AT company as well as six
in each of the artillery battalions, except in the GS 155mm battalion,
where it was a battery of six 75mm "AT" guns (actually the old "French
75" mounted on a modern carriage and called the M2 75mm Antitank Gun,
although just to be confusing, it was also issued to some of the
mobilized National Guard artillery battalions and called the M2 75mm
Field Gun :) ).
It looks like the AT capability of a US infantry division was lower
than that of other WWII belligerents despite, presumably, operational
experience input from the Allies.

The experience of 1939-40 was that AT guns were better than SP AT guns
at killing tanks (harder to spot), the problem being operational: they
would usually be out of position, and once emplaced in the battlefield
their experience was something of a do or die affair i.e. a tractor
successfully extricating them from a hot spot under fire was a no-no
proposition, not to mention a towed AT gun being successfully brought
to a position where it could do damage in the middle of a fight. The
French built a scratch SP AT gun system (47mm AT gun mounted on Laffly
tractor), of which a handful actually fought in June, with good
results.

Funnily enough, just when the German critique of their 1940 operations
was that they had done a bit too much of the "massed tanks" approach
and should work on inter-arms task forces, the British (and therefore
the Americans) seem to have remained fixated on the "panzer river"
image of the 1940 campaign which influenced both the US TD doctrine as
well as the British (and US?) use of armor at the time i.e. lip
service paid to inter-arms coordination but what tankers really looked
forward to was a mass tank charge.

As an AT gun, the Mle 1897 75mm was too big for mobile warfare: it had
been designed as a field piece after all, and was therefore too high,
as well as not being all that adapted to fast movement.
Post by Rich
But also as a result of experience in Tunisia facing the towed German
Pak 40 the role of the towed tank destroyer was re-evaluated. It was
believed that the low silhouette and ease of concealment made up for
the lack of mobility, so a number of units were converted, beginning
in December 1943, with the M5 3-inch Gun.
I knew about the general idea.

What my question was about wasn't how the US Army had decided to
switch back to a 50/50 proportion of SP to towed AT guns in its TD
units but why it had taken until January '44 for that to happen on the
battlefield.

This looks like a very short time to come up with the equipment for a
new organization, and if the equipment was available this looks like
long enough for operational experience to have taught that conditions
at the front had changed. So the timing seems a bit strange, though
it's bang on for a typical case of "order, counter-order disorder"
where the reacting force is always "moving toward" the right solution
and, as a result of chasing a moving target, out of touch.
Post by Rich
Of course it is interesting
to note that the first M5 guns were produced in December 1942, so
evidently the possible neccessity of such an equipment was
contemplated well before the decision to re-equip some of the
battalions.
Exactly what my question was about. What was their intended role prior
to the reorganization of TD units?


LC
Rich
2008-04-23 15:13:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis C
Well, it never hurts to be precise: look how long it took to get
things like Schmeisser or Bf 110 / Me 210 cleared up.
You mean it wasn't a Schmeisser? :)
Post by Louis C
Next, I'll jump with joy on learning that Americans have home electricity as
well... :)
You may be surprised to know that in the 1960s when I lived in South
Carolina a good friends grandparents lived on a farm just outside
town, with a well and outhouse, although they had electricity. Same
for my aunt and uncle outside Prescott, Arizona. Probably so *much*
more primitive than a contemporary farm in Normandy or the Vosges? :)
Post by Louis C
Americans hate being outdone. As the US Army couldn't possibly compete
with the continental Europeans for the complexity of its inventory
(though it made a gallant effort to try), it did play the game of
giving different designations to the same weapon but added a new twist
by calling different things the same i.e. IIRC there was a thread in
this forum at some point regarding how many different M1 & M2
equipments were in service at the same time. (snip)
I do so hate to correct you :), but....

"First, the item designation was preceded by a short descriptor that
classified it within a set of similar types; thus, Tank, Medium and
Tank, Light or Gun Motor Carriage. Prototypes were designated as "T"
items unless they were accepted as Standardized, which meant that
serial production had been authorized (although not necessarily
funded) and usually a specific place in a unit Table of Equipment had
been designated for them. Standardized items in turn were classified
as Standard (the preferred item of issue), Substitute Standard (issued
if Standard items were not available) or Limited Standard (issued if
Standard or Substitute Standard items were not available).
Standardized items, regardless of their classification, were given "M"
numbers that may or may not have been the same as their "T" number.
Appended to the "T" or "M" designator was a numeric code that
designated where the item fell in the sequence of acceptance (so
Medium Tank M4 in theory was the fourth medium tank type accepted as
Standard, although the first M1 Medium Tank had only been Standardized
for a few months after 2 February 1928 when its Standardization had
been withdrawn), followed by an alpha-numeric code that designated any
design changes that were incorporated into the item. An "A"
represented the first major design subtype, a "B" the next and so on,
while the number represented the sequence within the design subtype.
So the Medium Tank M4 consisted of a number of major design subtypes,
the M4, the M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4, M4A5, and M4A6. If major
engineering design changes were incorporated into a subtype, they were
designated by an "E" number that identified which changes were
included. Thus the M4A3E2 incorporated a set of changes that produced
a heavily armored assault tank, while the M4A3E8 included various
detail changes to the hull shape, ammunition stowage, suspension and
tracks.

Note that in this system there could be (and usually was) a large of
"M" and "T" items with the same number, although in theory "M" numbers
in the same category weren't repeated. There was both a T1 Heavy Tank
and a T1 Medium Tank, and there was an M3 Medium and an M3 Light Tank,
but only an M4 Medium, M5 Light, M6 Heavy, and an M7 Medium Tank.
There was also an M1 Heavy Tank, an M1 Caliber .30 Rifle, an M1 155mm
Howitzer, and M1 155mm Gun, an M1 8-inch Howitzer, and M1 8-inch Gun,
and an M1 240mm Howitzer! Finally, evidently to confuse things even
more, the "M" series were often not sequential. Tanks Standardized
after the M7 Medium were the M22 Light, M24 Light and M26 Heavy, there
was no M8 to M21, M23 or M25 Tank.

As a final confusion, some items that were produced prior to 1920 and
used in World War II retained their old nomenclature based upon the
year they were originally standardized. Thus, the 75mm Gun M1897, the
famous French "75" was often identified as such. However, it was also
identified based upon whether it was mounted on its original or
modified M1897 Carriage or its modern redesigned carriage, the M2, as
well as by its role as either a Field Gun or an Antitank Gun. Also,
some items manufactured for another service, retained their original
designation. Thus, the 8-inch Gun Mark VI and the 16-inch Gun Mark II
were both U.S. Navy designs utilized by the Army and emplaced on Army-
designed carriages." (from the draft of my "U.S. Army Armor and
Armored Vehicle Organization, Tank Development and Production in World
War II")

Simple, no? :)
Post by Louis C
It looks like the AT capability of a US infantry division was lower
than that of other WWII belligerents despite, presumably, operational
experience input from the Allies.
Er, the AT capability was what could be achieved at that time, given
that among other things one-quarter of all 75mm guns in inventory had
been shipped to Great Britain? And it *wasn't much different* than
most others, the BHMG made as good an AT rifle as the Boys or the
Panzerbuchse 39, which were the standard battalion-level AT guns for
the British (when they could get them) and the Germans. Ditto the 37mm
at regimental and divisional level, and neither the Germans or the
British had *any* heavy AT guns such as the 75mm.
Post by Louis C
The experience of 1939-40 was that AT guns were better than SP AT guns
at killing tanks (harder to spot), the problem being operational: they
would usually be out of position, and once emplaced in the battlefield
their experience was something of a do or die affair i.e. a tractor
successfully extricating them from a hot spot under fire was a no-no
proposition, not to mention a towed AT gun being successfully brought
to a position where it could do damage in the middle of a fight. The
French built a scratch SP AT gun system (47mm AT gun mounted on Laffly
tractor), of which a handful actually fought in June, with good
results.
Exactly, but there was also little data on the capability of the SP
guns, since there were so few deployed. The British had none, the
Germans a few dozen PzJg I, and the French the Laffly. Which is
precisely why one of the objectives of the American maneuvers was to
try to analyze the pros and cons of the two, with in the end the SP
coming ahead in the evaluation.

BTW, the killer, quite literally, for the later US towed TD battalions
was that while the gun was actually quite good it was also quite heavy
and its prime mover as deployed, the M3 halftrack, simply was
incapable of rapidly bringing it in and out of action. It might well
have been that if the M39 utility vehicle meant for them had been
produced soon enough that things might have been a little different
(although I actually doubt that)?
Post by Louis C
Funnily enough, just when the German critique of their 1940 operations
was that they had done a bit too much of the "massed tanks" approach
and should work on inter-arms task forces, the British (and therefore
the Americans) seem to have remained fixated on the "panzer river"
image of the 1940 campaign which influenced both the US TD doctrine as
well as the British (and US?) use of armor at the time i.e. lip
service paid to inter-arms coordination but what tankers really looked
forward to was a mass tank charge.
Curiously enough it affected the TD doctrine longer than it did the
armor doctrine. The massive tank-heavy US armored division
organization of late 1940 lasted for a little more than a year of
maneuver testing, whereas the German version lasted for nearly five
years? And the modified organization of March 1942 lasted just a
little over a year as well, until July 1943. And AFAICS the doctrinal
language of a "tank river" never entered the US armored division
lexicon and was quite up to date by 1942 (although of course the
difference between doctrine and training and the reality of combat
still remained to be learned). But the doctrinal language of the TD
Force remained constant through mid 1943, before changing, while the
*practical* application of that doctrine had already changed due to
operational experience.
Post by Louis C
As an AT gun, the Mle 1897 75mm was too big for mobile warfare: it had
been designed as a field piece after all, and was therefore too high,
as well as not being all that adapted to fast movement.
Please do not get me started on the US experience with the French 75,
we could be here for a while if I do. To put it kindly, the US Army
allowed itself to be hoodwinked into acceptance of the Mle 1897 in
1916, when it actually had something better of its own design, and the
ramifications of that decision lasted well into the middle of the
second war. :(

The irony is that in 1939 the marriage of the French M1897 tube and
the American carriage originally designed for the US 3-inch M1916,
resulted in an excellent field gun that was also a first class AT gun,
at least through about 1943. It had a low silhouette, but was
trunnioned well to the breech, so could be elevated and fired without
having to dig in too much, while its split trail was very stable,
lightweight, and sturdy. All in all an excellent piece, except that
the US Field Artillery had decided on the 105mm as its "light" piece
and the maneuvers of 1941 had resulted in the decision to go with the
SP TD concept.
Post by Louis C
I knew about the general idea.
Sorry. Pedant, remember? :)
Post by Louis C
What my question was about wasn't how the US Army had decided to
switch back to a 50/50 proportion of SP to towed AT guns in its TD
units but why it had taken until January '44 for that to happen on the
battlefield.
Because all the units deployed to that date were already trained and
equipped as SP battalions? So units in the organizational pipeline in
CONUS were converted, which required retraining, reorganization, and
re-equipment (larger gun crews, different maintenance training and so
forth). The first battalions I know of were officially converted
(changed TO&E) in December 1943, deployed in March-April to England,
and landed in France in June-July. So count around three to four
months as the "conversion" period. But they had been in existance
since December 1941 (ironically some were originally formed as "Light"
battalions, which were the original towed units, as opposed to the
"Heavy" SP battalions, but the "Light" battalions only existed from
early 1941 to about January 1942 when all were converted to "Haevy").
Post by Louis C
This looks like a very short time to come up with the equipment for a
new organization, and if the equipment was available this looks like
long enough for operational experience to have taught that conditions
at the front had changed. So the timing seems a bit strange, though
it's bang on for a typical case of "order, counter-order disorder"
where the reacting force is always "moving toward" the right solution
and, as a result of chasing a moving target, out of touch.
I'm not sure I understand? The conversion decision was made sometime
in 1943 after considerble discussion, the orders for the conversions
occurred in December 1943-January 1944 and required about three to
four months to occur.
Post by Louis C
Exactly what my question was about. What was their intended role prior
to the reorganization of TD units?
That's the intriguing question? Partly it may have been a case of
"hedging bets". McNair, interestingly enough, had been the original
enthusiast for the all-SP TD Force, while others in AGF and the TD
Force continued to push for towed organizations. The initial
authorization of production for the M5 3-inch TD Gun may have simply
been an offshoot of the ongoing wrangling. Of course it may have been
helped that the gun was a conversion as well, and a change in
priorities could have easily been dealt with by splitting gun from
carriage, sending the carriage back to be refitted as an M2 105mm
Howitzer and the gun to an M10 carriage as new production or as a
spare?
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-24 15:08:52 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Rich
To put it kindly, the US Army
allowed itself to be hoodwinked into acceptance of the Mle 1897 in
1916, when it actually had something better of its own design,
Ian Hogg does not agree with you. While the 75mm 1916 was better on
paper than the other available designs it was stored after the war with
the M1897 being kept in service as training weapon through the whole of
World War 2. See page 54 of British and American Artillery of World War
2 for more.

Ken Young
Rich
2008-04-24 17:54:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Ian Hogg does not agree with you. While the 75mm 1916 was better on
paper than the other available designs it was stored after the war with
the M1897 being kept in service as training weapon through the whole of
World War 2. See page 54 of British and American Artillery of World War
2 for more.
But, but, but I *asked* you not to start? :( I'm about to leave for a
long weekend holiday and I've washed all my references and simply
can't find a thing. :)

Seriously, the critical reference is at home, so I will not see it
again until Monday. But from memory the entire problem with the M1916
was not the M1902 gun, it was the newly-designed carriage, which had a
habit of loosening parts after prolonged firing or movement.

But it also outranged the Mle 1897 and suffered less dispersion at
range. The actual firing evaluations are something of an eye-opener.

But, French was fashionable, so it was decided to produce the Mle
1897, which really started the problems. For one, each of the initial
examples provided by the French were essentially hand-made, *none* of
the pieces matched the specifications in the design drawings provided,
down to screws being differently threaded. Essentially, each French
arsenal producing the Mle 1897 was producing a slightly different
model than the other and none of them were producing a piece that
matched the official design specifications. For another, the "secret"
recuperators (there were actually two, built to two different designs
- one was Puteaux, but I forget the other - which of course were not
interchangeable either) "secret" was that it was hand tooled to
individual parts tolerances, so could not be mass produced, especially
if interchangeable spares were wanted. And, it was found that the
cylinder fluid was unknown in the US, no specifications on what the
fluid was could be obtained from the French, and all attempts at using
US counterparts resulted in the seals decomposing, which let all the
fluid out. Then of course the carriage severly restricted both
elevation and traverse, which was the whole point of the M1916
carriage split-trail design.

Oh, and of course there is the not so minor problem that the M1897 was
a 75 *millimeter* tube rather than a 3-inch. :)

The end result was that the entire design had to be respecified for US
production, delaying things to such an extent that by Armistice day
only some 100-odd had been completed and none had reached France.
Instead, the US purchased all the pieces they used, eventually
rebuilding all postwar to eliminate as much of the problem of lack of
parts interchangeability as possible. US produced pieces of course
didn't have those problems.

Eventually of course the whole shebang was mounted on the M2 Carriage,
which essentially was the M1916 carriage with the bugs worked out. :)

So which was better, jumping through hoops to get an inferior gun and
carriage, or perfecting the US carriage design? OTOH it's all a bit
moot because US industry in 1916-1918 simply wasn't capable of the
production it was 20 years later. Even the disadvantage of the three
to six months lost trying to puzzle out the French design, which of
course got virtually no help from the French, probably made no
difference in that respect.

Anyway, enough French bashing for the day and please, a caveat again,
this is all from memory, so may change when I get back Monday. :)

Cheers!
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-25 04:25:41 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Rich
But it also outranged the Mle 1897 and suffered less dispersion at
range. The actual firing evaluations are something of an eye-opener.
The difference in range was due to different maximum elevations. the
M1897 on carriage M2A1 with 46 degree elevation ouranged the M1916 which
had 53 degree maximum elevation.
Post by Rich
Oh, and of course there is the not so minor problem that the M1897 was
a 75 *millimeter* tube rather than a 3-inch. :)
Well the US standardised on 75mm for all field guns to make ammunition
supply easier. The M1917 was the British 18pdr with a 75mm bore. As for
the M1916 there were six different models due to production changes to
cure design faults and the whole recoil system was replaced by a
hydro/pneumatic system designed by a French designer. I am not sure any
M1916 made it into service before the end of WW1.


Ken Young
Bill Shatzer
2008-04-25 05:33:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
Post by Rich
But it also outranged the Mle 1897 and suffered less dispersion at
range. The actual firing evaluations are something of an eye-opener.
The difference in range was due to different maximum elevations. the
M1897 on carriage M2A1 with 46 degree elevation ouranged the M1916 which
had 53 degree maximum elevation.
However would greater maximum elevation result in decreased range?

Why not just elevate the gun to less than its maximum - say 46 degrees
rather than 53 degrees?

I had thought, in any case, that maximum range was always obtained at
precisely 45 degrees of elevation.

Greater elevation might be useful in specific situations (indirect fire,
for instance) but that would result in lesser, not greater range.

Any carriage capable of a 45 degree elevation ought to result in the
maximum range possible with that particular gun and cartridge.


Cheers,
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-25 16:11:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
I had thought, in any case, that maximum range was always obtained at
precisely 45 degrees of elevation.
In a vacuum, air resistance complicates things. However the original
M1897 had 19 degrees maximum elevation.

Ken Young
Michael Emrys
2008-04-26 23:04:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
I had thought, in any case, that maximum range was always obtained at
precisely 45 degrees of elevation.
I think normally you are correct. However, if my information is correct, the
German 210mm Paris Gun of WW I took advantage of the thinner stratospheric
air by firing at a greater than 45 degree elevation, reaching an apogee of
25 miles.

Michael
Rich Rostrom
2008-04-27 08:38:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
I think normally you are correct. However, if my information is correct, the
German 210mm Paris Gun of WW I took advantage of the thinner stratospheric
air by firing at a greater than 45 degree elevation, reaching an apogee of
25 miles.
The Paris gun had a muzzle velocity of 1600 m/s.

Its apogee of 40 km was reached at elevation of
about 35 degrees.

Elevation above 45 degrees reduces horizontal
velocity. The reduction in friction only applies
to the upper part of the trajectory. Most of the
frictional reduction of range comes in the last
part of the trajectory, as the projectile comes
back down through the lower atmosphere.
--
| People say "There's a Stradivarius for sale for a |
| million," and you say "Oh, really? What's wrong |
| with it?" - Yitzhak Perlman |
Robert Sveinson
2008-04-26 04:36:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Well the US standardised on 75mm for all field guns to make ammunition
supply easier. The M1917 was the British 18pdr with a 75mm bore.
Do you know where the British 17 pounder that was
used on the British Sherman "fireflys" fits in?
Every reference I've seen about it is that
was better than the 75mm that equipped most Shermans
against Panzer armour.
mike
2008-04-26 17:29:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Sveinson
Do you know where the British 17 pounder that was
used on the British Sherman "fireflys" fits in?
Every reference I've seen about it is that
was better than the 75mm that equipped most Shermans
against Panzer armour.
But not against infantry. NE Europe really was short on
Tank v Tank fights. The 75mm was adequate against
the Mk IV on down.

But roughly this for AT power in 75mm class tank guns, which
was also was decreasing effectiveness of HE, with the
'Sweet Spot' being in the US75mm, for accuracy, effectiveness
and range. The higher velocity guns could be more accurate,
but the shells carried less HE, and could not be fuzed
to prevent the round from burying themselves deeply
before exploding, that also reduced effect of the round

Short Soviet 76 in the T-28
Nazi L/24
Soviet 76 in T34
US M2 75mm
French 75 /US M1897
UK 75mm
US M3 or M6 75mm
Nazi L/48 75mm
US 3" and 76mm
UK 17pdr
Nazi L/70

There was a real problem with the 17 pdr at first with accuracy
though, and was not equipped with much HE. Not a big problem
with that, as there were regular 75mm M4s nearby.

**
mike
**
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-04-28 14:58:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
But roughly this for AT power in 75mm class tank guns, which
was also was decreasing effectiveness of HE, with the
'Sweet Spot' being in the US75mm, for accuracy, effectiveness
and range. The higher velocity guns could be more accurate,
but the shells carried less HE, and could not be fuzed
to prevent the round from burying themselves deeply
before exploding, that also reduced effect of the round
Fusing problems varied. German fuses seem to have been better (i.e.
faster) than the British ones and consequently the German L/70 had less
problems with fusing then the 17 pounder.
Post by mike
Short Soviet 76 in the T-28
There were three different guns used in the T-28, the original KT
(L/17), the interim PS-3 (L/21) and finally the L-10 (L/24). Only the
two former ones were inferior to the German 75 mm L/24.
Post by mike
Nazi L/24
The Soviet L-10 would go here. Also the L-11 and F-32, which were both
L/32 weapons used in the initial models of the KV-1 and T-34, would go
here.
Post by mike
Soviet 76 in T34
This is debatable, if you mean the F-34 (L/42), which was the weapon of
all T-34-76 models made after 1941. Considering the harder Soviet test
plate and different penetration criteria, the F-34 (and the similar
ZiS-5 in the later KV-1 models) was probably better than the US M2 and
not much inferior to the M3.
Post by mike
US M2 75mm
French 75 /US M1897
UK 75mm
US M3 or M6 75mm
The Soviet ZiS-3Sh (L/51) as used in the SU-76 would go here most
likely. There is some bogus penetration information floating around,
which give it only about the same penetration as the F-34, but obviously
that is wrong considering it used the same ammunition but had a much
longer barrel. Authentic Soviet data is difficult to come by, since the
ZiS-3 was not an officially an anti-tank gun and the SU-76 was
considered an infantry support vehicle (assault gun) and not a tank
destroyer. In reality though the ZiS-3 was among the most important
anti-tank guns of WW2 and the SU-76 was one of the numerous armored
vehicles.
Post by mike
Nazi L/48 75mm
US 3" and 76mm
UK 17pdr
Nazi L/70
It most be noted though that with APDS ammunition the 17 pounder was
superior to the German 75 mm L/70.


Tero P. Mustalahti
e***@yahoo.com.au
2008-04-30 15:21:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Post by mike
Nazi L/48 75mm
US 3" and 76mm
UK 17pdr
Nazi L/70
It most be noted though that with APDS ammunition the 17 pounder was
superior to the German 75 mm L/70.
I was going to make that a topic for the group to discuss.

As far as I can see the APDS had tremendous velocity however due to
uneven discharge of the sabots and the low spin for the the small
diameter of the rod the projectile disperses such that is accuracy
degrades rapidly above 1000m. If you can hit the target you can
destroy it but its actually very hard to hit it beyond that. I assume
APDS was eventually improved.

Below 500m conventional Tungsten core (for the 75mm/L70 or 17 pounder)
is almost as good in penetration and falloff so APDS is only
advantageous between 500-1000.

US HVAP was only tungsten core and I think regarded as superior to
APDS.

Advanced AT shells had sticky high friction alloy caps that would
'stick' to acute armour hits and bend around to penetrate the tank.
APDS rod lacked this AFAIKT. I've also heard it said that the rod
tended to break.

In terms of accuracy and penetration for its weight the squeeze bore
75mm tunsten gun PAK 40 was far superior to APDS.

Where APDS was impressive was on the 6 pounder not the 17 pounder
becuase this small light gun had tremendous penetration for such a
light weapon and accuracy to 500m-1000m.

The modern technique is to fire fin stabalised 'long rod' rounds from
a smooth bore instead of relying on spin.

The wikipedia article on the Mk.IV claims the Germans tried to
produce APDS or some kind of sub caliber fin stabalised round for the
Mk.IV gun but failed (more likely ran out of tungsten?)

Being short of Tungsten to me it looks like the Germans were going to
be relying on various smooth bore high-low pressure guns like the PAW
600 firing hollow charge rounds at around 550mps to maybe 500-750m and
to rely on the massive 5 ton 88 firing conventional rounds to get hits
and kills beyond that.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-05-01 04:31:22 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by e***@yahoo.com.au
In terms of accuracy and penetration for its weight the squeeze bore
75mm tunsten gun PAK 40 was far superior to APDS.
Never fitted in a tank and you have the wrong gun anyway. That was the
Pak 41.
Post by e***@yahoo.com.au
Being short of Tungsten to me it looks like the Germans were going to
be relying on various smooth bore high-low pressure guns
Here you are confusing infantry weapons with artillery. For AT units
the Germans issued various versions of the 75mm, the 88mm Pak 43 and a
128mm dual purpose artillery AT gun.

By the way hitting a tank with any weapon above 1000 yards is far from
simple in combat conditions.

Ken Young
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-05-08 14:45:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
Post by e***@yahoo.com.au
Being short of Tungsten to me it looks like the Germans were going to
be relying on various smooth bore high-low pressure guns
Here you are confusing infantry weapons with artillery. For AT units
the Germans issued various versions of the 75mm, the 88mm Pak 43 and a
128mm dual purpose artillery AT gun.
I believe he was referring to the PAW series weapons, which were still
at prototype or pre-series stage when the German production system
ground to a halt apart in March 1945. They indeed were supposed to
replace the 75 mm towed AT guns and also the 75 mm tank guns for light
and medium vehicles.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
By the way hitting a tank with any weapon above 1000 yards is far from
simple in combat conditions.
Indeed, especially in WW2, when most vehicles were not even equipped
with a proper range finder. Higher projectile velocity makes hitting
easier, but in WW2 that advantage was largely negated by the large
velocity drop of the APRC/HVAP type projectiles or inaccuracy of the
first generation APDS.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by e***@yahoo.com.au
The modern technique is to fire fin stabalised 'long rod' rounds from
a smooth bore instead of relying on spin.
APDS was of course improved aftre WW2 and by the War of 1968 it was
accurate enough for hitting tank-sized targets out to 2000 meters or
more. Modern APDS -- or more correctly the last generation of
"conventional" i.e. spin stabilized APDS developed in the 1970s -- is in
fact more accurate than any fin stabilized projectiles. The reason for
fin stabilization is not accuracy, but increased sectional density.


Tero P. Mustalahti

David H Thornley
2008-04-26 17:29:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Sveinson
Do you know where the British 17 pounder that was
used on the British Sherman "fireflys" fits in?
Every reference I've seen about it is that
was better than the 75mm that equipped most Shermans
against Panzer armour.
Different gun entirely, and, yes, it was one of the most powerful
Western Allied tank guns in the war (the other possibility being
the US 90mm, used primarily on tank destroyers). It was a later
development.

The US 76mm was also a new gun, being made pretty much compatible
with the 3" AT gun, a derivative of a 3" AA gun, a derivative of an
old 3" coast defense gun (some of these guns go back a long way).
It was intended to fill the same role as the 17pdr, and didn't
do it.

Then, of course, there's the 75mm that was introduced on the B-25,
and then adapted to the Chaffee light tank.

The history of the Western Allied guns of roughly 75mm is
a complicated one.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Robert Sveinson
2008-04-27 20:07:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by David H Thornley
Then, of course, there's the 75mm that was introduced on the B-25,
and then adapted to the Chaffee light tank.
Thanks for all that.
Was the 75mm gun mounted in the
B-25 an "auto-loader" like the
Molins gun in the Mosquito?
If yes it must have been a technophile's
delight.
Post by David H Thornley
The history of the Western Allied guns of roughly 75mm is
a complicated one.
And confusing.
Andrew Robert Breen
2008-04-27 20:45:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Sveinson
Post by David H Thornley
Then, of course, there's the 75mm that was introduced on the B-25,
and then adapted to the Chaffee light tank.
Thanks for all that.
Was the 75mm gun mounted in the
B-25 an "auto-loader" like the
Molins gun in the Mosquito?
Hand-loaded. There's more room for a loader in a Mitchell then a Mossie.
--
Andy Breen ~ Not speaking on behalf of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Feng Shui: an ancient oriental art for extracting
money from the gullible (Martin Sinclair)
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-04-28 15:02:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Robert Breen
Post by Robert Sveinson
Was the 75mm gun mounted in the
B-25 an "auto-loader" like the
Molins gun in the Mosquito?
Hand-loaded. There's more room for a loader in a Mitchell then a Mossie.
And of course it was much easier to design a working compact auto-loader
for a 57 mm gun than a 75 mm gun...


Tero P. Mustalahti
Bill Shatzer
2008-04-28 04:26:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Sveinson
Post by David H Thornley
Then, of course, there's the 75mm that was introduced on the B-25,
and then adapted to the Chaffee light tank.
Thanks for all that.
Was the 75mm gun mounted in the
B-25 an "auto-loader" like the
Molins gun in the Mosquito?
If yes it must have been a technophile's
delight.
The M4 75mm cannon used in the B-25s was manually loaded.

The gun was essentially a lightened version of the 75mm gun used on the
M4 Sherman tank with a modified recoil system.

Cheers.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-26 18:29:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Sveinson
Every reference I've seen about it is that
was better than the 75mm that equipped most Shermans
against Panzer armour.
Well yes, it was a specialist AT gun rather than a general purpose
weapon. It was not approved until 1 May 1942. I seem to remember that
some barrels were offered to the US but rejected because the HE shell
actually held less explosive than the 75mm and the sheer size of the gun
made a big impact on the any tank. It was possible just to fit it to a
Sherman but that involved mounting the gun on it's side and moving the
radio into an armoured box on the turret rear which also helped to
balance the turret. It also replaced the 3inch on UK operated M10 and
M10A1 tank destroyers. The attempts to fit it into a cruiser tank
resulted in the Challenger which was considered to big and heavy. As a
result Vickers produced the 77mm gun used in the Comet. This was
effectively a cut down version of the 17pdr firing the same ammunition
with only slightly reduced performance.


Ken Young
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-04-28 15:11:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
The attempts to fit it into a cruiser tank
resulted in the Challenger which was considered to big and heavy.
Well, the Centurion also had the 17 pounder originally, even if the
first mass-produced versions had the later 20 pounder.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
As a
result Vickers produced the 77mm gun used in the Comet. This was
effectively a cut down version of the 17pdr firing the same ammunition
with only slightly reduced performance.
The 77 mm gun was not a cut down version of the 17 pounder, that is a
myth. It did not fire the same ammunition either. The 17 pounder fired
76.2 x 583R ammunition, whereas the 77 mm fired 76.2 x 420R ammunition.
That also reveals its true origin: it fired exactly the same ammuntion
as the British 3" AA gun.


Tero P. Mustalahti
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-30 04:26:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
The 17 pounder fired
76.2 x 583R ammunition, whereas the 77 mm fired 76.2 x 420R
ammunition.
My sources indicate that while the cartridge may have been different
the shot and shell were that same. It was a private venture by Vickers.
British and American Tanks of World War Two.

Much the same happened in the US the 76mm fired the same rounds as the
3 inch AT with a different cartridge, both used the barrel of the US 3
inch AA gun.

Ken Young
Rich
2008-04-30 15:22:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Much the same happened in the US the 76mm fired the same rounds as the
3 inch AT with a different cartridge, both used the barrel of the US 3
inch AA gun.
Yes, but in the case of the American M1 76mm Gun the propellent charge
in the smaller cartridge case was increased, so the performance of the
two guns, the 76mm and the 3-inch, were nearly identical. OTOH the
77mm OQF Guns smaller cartridge case had considerablle less propellent
and so had a markedly different performance than the OQF 17-pdr,
albeit was still an excellent gun.

BTW, I found that Boyd Dastrup referenced the US Army Ordnance
improvements of the 75mm HE round to 1930-31, with standardization and
low-rate production beginning in 1934 as the M48 (I rather expect
production was only sufficient to partly replace practice expenditure,
and may only have been a few hundred rounds per month at Watervliet?)
Given the Army aversion to selling the "good stuff" to the Europeans
in spring 1940 I am certain that the ammunition shipped was probably
World War I vintage production. Always the best for our friends you
know? :)
Rich
2008-04-28 04:17:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
The difference in range was due to different maximum elevations. the
M1897 on carriage M2A1 with 46 degree elevation ouranged the M1916 which
had 53 degree maximum elevation.
Er, sorry, but no, aside from the fact that greater elevation than
about 46 degrees does not increase range for a given piece, the actual
difference was due to ammunition. The actual firing tables of the 75mm
M1916 (M1905 3-inch relinered as a 75mm) and M1917 (British 18-pdr
relinered as a 75mm) firing the same ammunition (Shell, HE, M48) are
the same, 13,305 yards. The M1897A2 on carriage M2A3 firing HE M48 was
13,950, because of the slightly higher Mv generated by the slightly
longer bore operating from the same chamber pressure, just as the M3
75mm Tank Gun was slightly superior to hit, firing the same ammuntion
from a slightly longer bore.

But what I was talking about was the original concept, the 3-inch
M1905 (the improved M1902) on the M1916 split-trail carriage. Which
should have yielded a range of about 14,000-plus yards. And in a
firing comparison it was found that the M1905 and Mle 1897 had similar
dispersion up to 4,000 yrads but over that the 3-inch was less. "The
French gun is more complicated in design and less sturdy in
construction....Our sighting system, shields and draft arrangements
are distinctly superior to the French....Firing problems that are
simplicity itself for the American gun are very difficult for the
French." (Report of Colonel A.A. Fleming, School of Fire, Fort Sill,
Okla., to AGO, March 15, 1918, as quoted in H.A. De Weerd, "American
Adoption of French Artillery 1917-1918, Journal of the American
Military Institute, Vol 3, No 2 (Summer 1939), p. 113)
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Well the US standardised on 75mm for all field guns to make ammunition
supply easier. The M1917 was the British 18pdr with a 75mm bore. As for
the M1916 there were six different models due to production changes to
cure design faults and the whole recoil system was replaced by a
hydro/pneumatic system designed by a French designer. I am not sure any
M1916 made it into service before the end of WW1.
Which of course was never the problem. Exactly one M1897 was built in
the US prior to the Armistice, but 7,000,000 75mm rounds were
completed and 4,000,000 shipped, but none used (they were all
shrapnel), another 4,112,000 HE rounds were completed as well, 38
percent were shipped and 0.1 percent were actually expended.

A total of 206 M1916 were completed, the main problem being that the
decision was made to employ the Puteaux recuperator (over the Erhardt
design employed by the M1902 and M1905), because the French had told
Pershing that the St. Chamond design was unsuccessful, which was in
fact untrue.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-28 15:17:17 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Rich
A total of 206 M1916 were completed, the main problem being that the
decision was made to employ the Puteaux recuperator
Well Hogg gives a final total of 810 built with American designed
hydro/spring recoil system replaced by the "St Chamond" system.

It is true that French artillery liaison officers in the US told horror
stories about 18pdr positions knee deep in broken recoil springs and the
UK switched to a Hydro/pneumatic recoil system for the 18pdr with the Mk
II carriage with the Mk I being converted from 1916.

It could well be that Hogg is wrong but where I have been able to find
other references he seems to be accurate. In his book on WW1 artillery
her refers to a book called IIRC "Signposts of Experience" for the
problems affecting the US war industry. He also mentions that the M1916
was being referred to as the "Crime of 1916" in some US sources.

The only combat service the M1916 saw was as beach emergency batteries
in the UK in early WW2. It is probably significant that those nations
that produced completely new field weapons went for guns firing a much
heavier shell than any 75mm gun. Germany and the US adopted 105mm
howitzers and the UK the 25pdr.

The M1916 may have been superior, I am not arguing that point but there
must have been other considerations. As is fairly obvious when looking
at model numbers development of the M1916 and M1917 stopped after the A1
while the M1897 was developed in the US between the wars with new
carriages.

Ken Young
Rich
2008-04-28 17:41:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
Well Hogg gives a final total of 810 built with American designed
hydro/spring recoil system replaced by the "St Chamond" system.
My fault for being imprecise. 206 were completed prior to 11 November
1918. And it looks like there weren't so many models as there were
design changes. Originally it was to retain the Erhardt-licensed
recuperator, then the St. Chamond design, already licensed and ready
for production pre-April 1917 was to be used, then Pershing
emphatically said no to the St. Chamond, because of French warnings,
so the Puteaux was subsituted, until it was found that it was
essentially hand-made, none of the drawings or examples provided could
be made to match, and when an American version was completed and
filled with fluid drained from a French example the seals immediately
began to leak, no-one could identify the fluid used, its viscosity was
supposed to be measured with a device nobody had ever heard of, and so
on, so it was decided to return to the St. Chamond, at which point
Ordnace stepped in and said no, enough changes have been made, we'll
figure it out when the war is over. :)

Frankly, I'm amazed they were able to complete 206 by 11 November?
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
It is true that French artillery liaison officers in the US told horror
stories about 18pdr positions knee deep in broken recoil springs and the
UK switched to a Hydro/pneumatic recoil system for the 18pdr with the Mk
II carriage with the Mk I being converted from 1916.
The French apparently delighted in telling stories to gullible US Army
officers. Pershing was gulled into believing for a year that the St.
Chamond, Erhardt, and American recuperator designs were all crap
compared to the Puteaux.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
It could well be that Hogg is wrong but where I have been able to find
other references he seems to be accurate. In his book on WW1 artillery
her refers to a book called IIRC "Signposts of Experience" for the
problems affecting the US war industry. He also mentions that the M1916
was being referred to as the "Crime of 1916" in some US sources.
Actual details are hard to come by outside the original Ordnance
reports, De Weert's article, and Boyd Dastrup's history of the US Army
Field Artillery. I think Hogg may just have mixed some details up, but
then maybe its my precis' that is mixed up? :)
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
The only combat service the M1916 saw was as beach emergency batteries
in the UK in early WW2. It is probably significant that those nations
that produced completely new field weapons went for guns firing a much
heavier shell than any 75mm gun. Germany and the US adopted 105mm
howitzers and the UK the 25pdr.
Yep. In 1940 the US Army unloaded all the M1916 and M1917 on the
British and Finns, the French managed to collapse before they were
"gifted" with the leftovers the US Field Artillery didn't want. :)
But it was planned to keep the 75mm Gun as the "companion" piece to
the 105mm Howitzer for some time, it really only disappeared from the
Field Artillery officially with the publication of the 1942 TO&E IIRC?
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
The M1916 may have been superior, I am not arguing that point but there
must have been other considerations. As is fairly obvious when looking
at model numbers development of the M1916 and M1917 stopped after the A1
while the M1897 was developed in the US between the wars with new
carriages.
That is because by that time there were just too many of the M1897
about to justify what the Army really wanted, which was the M1923E,
the development of the M1916, retaining the 75mm caliber (considering
the amount of ammo lying around they couldn't do anything else). That
truly was the epitome of the Field Gun development in that caliber, it
outranged all competitors and was more accurate, while being light and
sturdy enough for horse draft and could be motor drawn. Instead what
little money there was went into rebuilding all the Mle 1897 purchased
to M1897A2 standard so that parts could be interchangeable with the US-
produced M1897A4 (at least IIRC on the designations, my reference is
at home again).
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-04-29 13:01:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
The only combat service the M1916 saw was as beach emergency batteries
in the UK in early WW2. It is probably significant that those nations
that produced completely new field weapons went for guns firing a much
heavier shell than any 75mm gun. Germany and the US adopted 105mm
howitzers and the UK the 25pdr.
Yep.
Well, no. The Soviet 76.2 mm guns hardly fired a "much heavier shell".
The 76.2 mm ZiS-3 was produced in higher numbers than any other field
artillery piece during WW2, all new production. Of course the Soviets
also had the excellent 122 mm M1938 howitzer, which was manufactured in
large numbers, but it did not replace the 76.2 mm guns and it was never
intended to do so.
Post by Rich
In 1940 the US Army unloaded all the M1916 and M1917 on the
British and Finns,
The M1917 was used extensively by the Finnish army (200 pcs total),
initially in 1941 and 1942 mostly as field artillery and later
predominantly as coastal and fortification artillery. 705495 shots were
fired from them during the Continuation War according to Finnish army
archives. Finnish sources claim that the guns were received from the US
in very bad shape and required extensive repairs before they could be
fielded. The guns remained in training use until the early 1990s, when
all the remaining "three inch" (a common name for 75 mm and 76.2 mm)
guns were finally declared obsolete and scrapped.

On the other hand, the Finnish army received no M1916 guns from the US.
If it did, they certainly would have been used as well, since in 1941
the field artillery was still lacking modern pieces.
Post by Rich
That is because by that time there were just too many of the M1897
about to justify what the Army really wanted, which was the M1923E,
the development of the M1916, retaining the 75mm caliber (considering
the amount of ammo lying around they couldn't do anything else). That
truly was the epitome of the Field Gun development in that caliber, it
outranged all competitors and was more accurate, while being light and
sturdy enough for horse draft and could be motor drawn.
Do you mean in 1923 or overall? The Swedish (Bofors) M1940A (or Arg.
since Argentina was the main customer) had a range of about 13 km. Of
course the newer and modernized Soviet guns such as 76.2 mm M1902/30
L/40, the F-22 M1936, the F-22USV M1939 and the ZiS-3 also had a range
in the ballpark of 13 km; up to 13.6 km in the case of the original
F-22. And they could be horse drawn. The ZiS-3 had a remarkable rate of
fire as well: burst rate could be 20-25 rpm and 15 rpm could be
maintained for several minutes. Accuracy of the Soviet guns was very good.

As far as ranges go, it is interesting to notice that Finnish sources
list the maximum range of the M1917 only as 10,700 meters with the
original US HE ammunition (presumably Shell, HE, M48, unless some
earlier inferior ammunition type was sold with the guns). That is only ~
11,700 yards.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Rich
2008-04-29 16:46:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Yep.
Well, no. The Soviet 76.2 mm guns hardly fired a "much heavier shell".
The 76.2 mm ZiS-3 was produced in higher numbers than any other field
artillery piece during WW2, all new production. Of course the Soviets
also had the excellent 122 mm M1938 howitzer, which was manufactured in
large numbers, but it did not replace the 76.2 mm guns and it was never
intended to do so.
Er, that wasn't me, I just said "Yep"? :) But Ken didn't mention the
Soviets, he was talking specifically about the US and Germans who did
replace their 75mm weapons - eventually - with the 105mm, although in
the US case, as I mentioned, it was contemplated retaining the 75mm as
a "companion piece" for the 105mm (just as the abortive 4.7-inch/120mm
gun was intended to be the companion to the 155mm howitzer until it
was replaced by the British 4.5-inch, the 155mm gun was the companion
of the 8-inch howitzer, and the 8-inch gun with the 240mm howitzer).

(snip)
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
On the other hand, the Finnish army received no M1916 guns from the US.
If it did, they certainly would have been used as well, since in 1941
the field artillery was still lacking modern pieces.
I wasn't trying to be precise, I was trying to be sarcastic. :) Quite
literally the M1916 and M1917 were "dumped" on their purchasers. AFAIK
they had been in storage since 1919 and they had never been included
in any of the modernization plans of the War Department so I am
unsurprised they were in "bad shape".

But anyway, since I guess you want me to be more precise, here is my
current state of knowledge re the US 75mm:

War sales for cash during 1940 totaled 1,095 75mm guns broken down
as:
200 M1917 to Finland
395 M1917 to the UK
500 M1897 to the UK

Lend-Leased 75mm totaled 230 guns, all M1916, 170 to the UK and 60 to
other minor nations.

In addition, one of the Field Artillery regiments of the Hawaiian
division was equipped with 48 M1917 and 48 had been shipped to the
Philippine Army.

Now total production of M1917 was 724 and the above accounts for 691
of them, some 23 years after they were built, so I have a feeling we
can assume the other 33 were used up interwar.

The state of the M1897 is a bit harder to find. A total of 918 were
modernized on the M2 carriage from June 1940 through November 1941 and
2,202 were utilized in the T12 SP carriage, for a total of 3,120. But,
see below, it appears that at least some (circa 395?) of the M1897 on
carriage M2 may have been later utilized for the SP conversion?

So we have possible inventory totals circa mid 1940 of:

M1897 3,120 + 500 = 3,620
M1917 = 691
M1916 = 230

For a total of 4,631 or 395 more than the 4,236 reported in inventory
as of June 1940. But production of the M1916 totaled 810, the Lend-
Lease only accounts for 230 of those, leaving 580. However the bulk of
those may all have been used up or converted to the M1, M2, M3, and M4
sub-caliber mounts for the Coast Artillery? Faint evidence for that is
that in June 1940 when the debate over drawing from reserve stocks to
fill the British requests were raging, the Chief of Field Artillery
basically said something to the order of 'please give them the 200
M1916, they aren't much good anyway'. Plus of course the notional
inventory totals above indicate that there was not many more M1916
available. That may indicate that the 230 Lend-Leased were about all
that remained on field carriages by 1940.
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Do you mean in 1923 or overall? The Swedish (Bofors) M1940A (or Arg.
since Argentina was the main customer) had a range of about 13 km. Of
course the newer and modernized Soviet guns such as 76.2 mm M1902/30
L/40, the F-22 M1936, the F-22USV M1939 and the ZiS-3 also had a range
in the ballpark of 13 km; up to 13.6 km in the case of the original
F-22. And they could be horse drawn. The ZiS-3 had a remarkable rate of
fire as well: burst rate could be 20-25 rpm and 15 rpm could be
maintained for several minutes. Accuracy of the Soviet guns was very good.
Er, yes, I would say that a completed design that outranged (reputedly
13.6 km) a Swedish piece developed 17 years later and that - by
reputation at least - was about as accurate as any, while the round
used had an excellent reputation for lethality, deserves to be called
an "epitome" of that type? Note that the later and slightly larger
caliber Soviet pieces eventually matched that range, and also had a
good reputation for accuracy and lethality for that caliber. ROF is
unlikely to be much different, especially since the US 105mm easily
exceeded that burst rate in one engagement in Korea that I know
of.... :)
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
As far as ranges go, it is interesting to notice that Finnish sources
list the maximum range of the M1917 only as 10,700 meters with the
original US HE ammunition (presumably Shell, HE, M48, unless some
earlier inferior ammunition type was sold with the guns). That is only ~
11,700 yards.
Yes, the early US 75mm HE ammunition was a direct copy of the French
round, which reportedly had some problematic characteristics. And the
obsolete US-designed shrapnel round of which something like 7-million
were stocked at the end of the war, while superior to the original
French design, still had a built in range limitation, the time fuze.
75mm M48 HE wasn't developed until the 1930s though I believe and was
supposedly better ballistically and with a better fuze than the
original? How it affected performance is harder to gauge though,
although I suspect then that the performance of the 75mm M1923E with
M48 would have been even better? Silly argument though, since it was
never actually produced in any numbers, so it all remains a "might
have been".

BTW, I wouldn't be surprised if the War Department dumped the old
ammunition stocks on the unsuspecting reciepients of the M1916 and
M1917 as well? :)
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-29 18:34:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Well, no. The Soviet 76.2 mm guns hardly fired a "much heavier
shell". The 76.2 mm ZiS-3 was produced in higher numbers than any
other field artillery piece during WW2, all new production
Well I did say completely new weapons. Soviet arm production was
influenced by the fact that they inherited an awful lot of Tsarist
weapons. German records lists six different models of 76.2mm captured
guns. Like the French the Soviets reworked WW1 guns and as a result were
stuck with 76.2mm as a calibre. The ZiS-3 entered Soviet service in late
1942. See "Small Arms, Artillery and Special Weapons of the Third Reich"

I have got an Encyclopedia of Artillery somewhere but that was the book
that came to hand. The US decision to adopt 105mm as a calibre was made
by the Westervelt Board in 1919 by the way. Development of a gun started
in 1920 and it was ready for production by 1940. Development of a new UK
field gun also started in 1919-20 with the weapon being intended to
replace both the 18pdr and the 4.5inch howitzer. The 25pdr design was
sealed in 1939.

Ken Young
Rich Rostrom
2008-04-29 20:57:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
... It is probably significant that those nations
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
that produced completely new field weapons went for guns firing a much
heavier shell than any 75mm gun. Germany and the US adopted 105mm
howitzers and the UK the 25pdr.
Well, no. The Soviet 76.2 mm guns hardly fired a "much heavier shell".
The 76.2 mm ZiS-3 was produced in higher numbers than any other field
artillery piece during WW2, all new production.
The Canon de 75 mle 1897 fired a 6.195 kg shell.
The 76.2 mm ZiS-3 fired a 6.21 kg shell.

Same weight.

However, another country also produced
new 75mm guns for WW II.

Italy produced the Obice da 75/18 modello 35
and Obice da 75/32 modello 37, but did not
produce a heavier field artillery piece.

Which the U.S., Britain, France, Czechoslovakia,
and Germany all did. (Italy used some captured
French 105s.)
--
| People say "There's a Stradivarius for sale for a |
| million," and you say "Oh, really? What's wrong |
| with it?" - Yitzhak Perlman |
Rich Rostrom
2008-04-24 16:35:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
There was also an M1 Heavy Tank, an M1 Caliber .30 Rifle, an M1 155mm
Howitzer, and M1 155mm Gun, an M1 8-inch Howitzer, and M1 8-inch Gun,
and an M1 240mm Howitzer!
You forgot the M1 .30 caliber Carbine.

"Thus, the 8-inch Gun Mark VI and the 16-inch Gun Mark II
were both U.S. Navy designs utilized by the Army and emplaced
on Army-designed carriages."

When did the U.S. have 16" guns
"on Army-designed carriages"???

I've never heard of an SP mounting,
even projected, larger than 11", other
than short-barreled howitzers
and mortar like the Karl Gustav.

(I do have a book with an illustration
of a tracked 11" prototype from Krupp.)
--
| People say "There's a Stradivarius for sale for a |
| million," and you say "Oh, really? What's wrong |
| with it?" - Yitzhak Perlman |
Rich
2008-04-24 17:23:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
You forgot the M1 .30 caliber Carbine.
Very funny Rich, they were examples. :) There's probably a hundred or
so I missed? :)
Post by Rich Rostrom
When did the U.S. have 16" guns
"on Army-designed carriages"???
Carriage as in mounting, that didn't mean it needed wheels or tracks
in Army nomenclature. :) In full it was the 16-inch gun, Mk. II Mod.
1, Navy, mounted on 16-inch barbette carriage, M1919MI.

Is that better? :)

Rich
Rich Rostrom
2008-04-25 04:17:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Post by Rich Rostrom
You forgot the M1 .30 caliber Carbine.
Very funny Rich, they were examples. :) There's probably a hundred or
so I missed? :)
My reference says that the M1 was produced
in large numbers. The version with
automatic-fire capability was the M2, but
it was not introduced until 1944, and that
only about 600,000 of the over 6 million
M1-and-variant carbines were M2s.

Or do you make a big distinction between
the M1 and the M1A1? Only about 150,000
of the latter were produced anyway.
Post by Rich
mounted on 16-inch barbette carriage, M1919MI.
That explains that reference.
--
| People say "There's a Stradivarius for sale for a |
| million," and you say "Oh, really? What's wrong |
| with it?" - Yitzhak Perlman |
Rich
2008-04-28 01:53:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Rostrom
My reference says that the M1 was produced
in large numbers. The version with
automatic-fire capability was the M2, but
it was not introduced until 1944, and that
only about 600,000 of the over 6 million
M1-and-variant carbines were M2s.
Oh dear, I think you missed my point? There were hundred's of M1 XXXX,
beyond those already enumerated, including the M1 Rifle, Cal. 30. Why
did you think I was talking about the M1 Carbine, Cal. 30? How about
the M1 Bomb Lift Truck? The M1 Heavy Wrecking Truck? The M1 Extra
Light Solo Motorcycle? The M1 81mm Mortar and Mount M1? The 57mm Gun
M1 on Carriage M1?

How far do you want me to go? Were *you* talking about the M2 Rifle,
Cal. 22? If so then I'm confused, since it was bolt action? See I can
do absurd too.

And yes, it stinks that the accounting of the M1 and M2 Carbine were
not kept separate. Wartime production is only known for all types of .
30 Cal. Carbine and were:

1940 (July-December) - 0
1941 - 5
1942 - 115,813
1943 - 2,959,336
1944 - 2,088,697
1945 (January-August) - 953,996

BTW, it's an interesting comparison to wartime production of the M1
Rifle, .30 Cal. which was:

1940 (July-December) - 56,782
1941 - 296,116
1942 - 758,567
1943 - 1,220,748
1944 - 1,098,818
1945 (January-August) - 554,373

In addition, 6,896 M1C Rifle, .30. Cal. Sniper were completed November
1944 - August 1945.

Somewhere I think I ran into the pre July 1940 acceptances, it wasn't
many, but the postwar numbers are pretty dicey since so many were
remanufactured for MAP, so no, the total number is hazy.
Post by Rich Rostrom
That explains that reference.
:)
Louis C
2008-04-25 06:22:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
You may be surprised to know that in the 1960s when I lived in South
Carolina a good friends grandparents lived on a farm just outside
town, with a well and outhouse, although they had electricity. Same
for my aunt and uncle outside Prescott, Arizona. Probably so *much*
more primitive than a contemporary farm in Normandy or the Vosges? :)
I remember visiting family in the Massif Central (mountains in south-
central France) in the mid-70's. Water from a well, privy in the
garden and I don't remember electricity. I do remember that it was
freezing cold.

So you're 1960's are outdone by 10-15 years, now beat that and no
quoting from "The Meaning of Life", too!

(honesty compels me to admit that this particular relative could
easily have afforded a better home but had chosen to live a simpler
life, spirit of the times)
Post by Rich
"First, the item designation was preceded by a short descriptor that
classified it within a set of similar types;
(snip not because it wasn't informative but because I might not be up
to staying awake through a second reading)

Interestingly, according to the classification, shouldn't some of the
types of Sherman have been a M4Bsomething?

I have a deep-seated allergy to everything bureaucratic so will not
attempt to dig up similar pieces of administrative literature that
might match your own. However, I'm not giving up without a fight:
rather than administrative jargon, consider the following two examples
instead.

First example: how many different types of 75mm AA guns did the French
have in 1940?

I won't claim to have the answer, but here's a list of those I know
about. "Mle" means "model" followed by acceptance year, when two years
are given the second is that of a significant modification. Despite
sometimes having similar design years, every single gun in this list
is different from the others, as opposed to the same equipment sharing
different designations in separate services.

75mm Mle 1913/1934
75mm Mle 1915/1934
75mm Mle 1915
75mm Mle 1897/1939
75mm Mle 1917/1934
75mm Mle 1930
75mm Mle 1932
75mm Mle 1933
75mm Mle 1928/1939

And let's toss in the Navy for good measure:
75mm Mle 1922/1927
75mm Mle 1928

In the list above, all the guns with a Model date prior to 1928 are
based on the 1897 piece (same tube), the later Army marks are based on
a 1928 tube. The Navy entries are yet two more tubes.

Example #2: French tank armament. French tanks in service in 1940 (and
engaged against the Germans at some point) had the following variety
of main armament: MG-only, 25mm, 37mm (2 different types), 47mm
(ditto), 75mm.

Let's now look at the most common French tank gun for the campaign,
the WWI-vintage "short" 37mm gun. You'd think that at least ammunition
supply for a gun that had been in service for 20 years would be easy,
right? Not so.

The version installed in the FT tanks had 3 different rounds, two HE
(Mle 1916 and Mle 1934) and one which was supposed to be armored-
piercing though even official nomenclature daren't call it that, as
official penetration was 12mm at point blank range (pointblank is no
figure of speech as the wording is "at the exit of the tube"). There
was a more polyvalent round for the two different versions of the same
gun that were used in modern French tanks and French armored cars. So
that's 3 different types of the same gun with 4 different rounds and
this is just the most numerous one, there were 7 other types of main
armament.

And I didn't even go for the easy solution i.e. the late-war
Wehrmacht.

That's why I wrote that the US Army couldn't possibly hope to emulate
continental Europeans for the complexity of its inventory which is
why, bureaucrats hating other people to think that they could do
things just as well without going through them, the US administration
had to make up for it with its "logical" nomenclature system for an
extra layer of complexity. This way, the end users would be suitably
humbled :)
Post by Rich
Thus, the 75mm Gun M1897, the
famous French "75" was often identified as such. However, it was also
identified based upon whether it was mounted on its original or
modified M1897 Carriage or its modern redesigned carriage, the M2, as
well as by its role as either a Field Gun or an Antitank Gun.
Welcome to the club, but you Yanks still had a way to go before
getting senior member status: see above list and that's just for the
AA variety, the list would be much longer if I added the various field
& AT versions :)
Post by Rich
Thus, the 8-inch Gun Mark VI and the 16-inch Gun Mark II
were both U.S. Navy designs utilized by the Army and emplaced on Army-
designed carriages." (from the draft of my "U.S. Army Armor and
Armored Vehicle Organization, Tank Development and Production in World
War II")
Wow, the US Army used a 16" gun? In the pecker context with Hitler's
Dora that was going to come second, but I believe it has everyone else
beat, congratulations!
Post by Rich
Post by Louis C
It looks like the AT capability of a US infantry division was lower
than that of other WWII belligerents despite, presumably, operational
experience input from the Allies.
Er, the AT capability was what could be achieved at that time,
Good point :)

I overlooked the fact that just because that was the TO&E doesn't mean
that the US Army was happy with it.
Post by Rich
given
that among other things one-quarter of all 75mm guns in inventory had
been shipped to Great Britain?
That was a friendly Allied contribution in making the whole US Army
nomenclature simpler by removing the exceptions.
Post by Rich
And it *wasn't much different* than
most others, the BHMG made as good an AT rifle as the Boys or the
Panzerbuchse 39, which were the standard battalion-level AT guns for
the British (when they could get them) and the Germans.
I remember reading a US questionnaire to the French (post-armistice)
regarding their battlefield experience. On many topics the French just
couldn't answer because they didn't exactly know (precise questions
regarding exactly how good was French equipment vs German armor and
vice versa) which was interesting in itself, but I distinctly remember
a question about the effectiveness of .50 cal (or similar) AT weapons
to which the French replied that they hadn't used any [not strictly
true as a number of Boys AT rifles were issued in June to a couple of
units] and that since their minimum tank armor was 40mm the
effectiveness of any German version of the same would have been nil
and they just didn't notice.

I'm not much of a TO&E person, particularly from memory, but it's true
that no-one had much of a battalion AT capability at the time. The
37mm would be respectable, if not great, in 1941 depending on how many
there were. For heavy AT the French were replacing their 75's with
47mm in 1940 (mostly finished, too) and by 1941 the Germans were
introducing their 50mm so I'd rate US AT capability as not that great,
but see initial remark about prewar TO&E's being partly what you can
get as opposed to what you might wish to have.
Post by Rich
Exactly, but there was also little data on the capability of the SP
guns, since there were so few deployed.
Indeed. The German version doesn't seem to have made much of an
impression, presumably being lumped together with tanks, plus the
Allies hardly needed German panzerjäger action to lose tanks anyway :)
The French version just had too little operational experience, though
all of it was positive.
Post by Rich
BTW, the killer, quite literally, for the later US towed TD battalions
was that while the gun was actually quite good it was also quite heavy
and its prime mover as deployed, the M3 halftrack, simply was
incapable of rapidly bringing it in and out of action.
That was the standard problem for AT guns. The French 47mm had the
same problem i.e. lack of an adequate prime mover to prevent the gun
from being taken out once in position, or while moving into position.
The various porteed solutions were just stopgaps. The Germans
apparently had the same problem, though it seems that the infantry got
then notion that it was either take the AT they had and stop bitching
about it or nothing so they took the former. By the time they were
confronted with mass Allied tanks, they had turned a lot of their
armor into TD equivalents.

Funnily, the French *Infantry Arm* rather liked the notion of a
regimental infantry AT gun (their 25mm) as distinct from the
divisional - heavier - AT company (run by the *Artillery*). They
decided that 25mm would likely be too light for the 1941 battlefield,
but that upgrading to the 47mm wouldn't work as weight of the gun
would double and become too heavy. So the Infantry was looking to
develop a high-velocity 37mm instead, and would have been in a perfect
position to refight the 1940 battles 1-2 years later just like the
British & US. The Germans saved it that particular embarrassment, I
guess. For institutional stupidity, the French Infantry Arm is hard to
beat...
Post by Rich
Curiously enough it affected the TD doctrine longer than it did the
armor doctrine.
Armor could find a use for itself in the new tactical context, but it
would be harder to the TD so institutional survival instinct must have
kicked in to block reality.
Post by Rich
The massive tank-heavy US armored division
organization of late 1940 lasted for a little more than a year of
maneuver testing, whereas the German version lasted for nearly five
years?
What was the "massive tank-heavy" German version that lasted for 5
years?

The Germans seem to have continually decreased their armor to infantry
ratio instead. By 1941-42 their armored divisions weren't more tank-
heavy than the British or US ones, were they?
Post by Rich
And AFAICS the doctrinal
language of a "tank river" never entered the US armored division
lexicon and was quite up to date by 1942
That may be because the quotation marks were my clumsy attempt to
indicate that this was an ad hoc image that I had just made up, rather
than a quote...
Post by Rich
To put it kindly, the US Army
allowed itself to be hoodwinked into acceptance of the Mle 1897 in
1916, when it actually had something better of its own design, and the
ramifications of that decision lasted well into the middle of the
second war. :(
I don't know much about the whole issue but it seems, to put it
kindly, that the US was unable to quickly produce any kind of field
gun with the relevant ammunition in the quantities required so in that
context it may have been best to adopt the French design and for the
AEF to help itself to some of the French ammunition stockpile. I know
that the Americans had a superior design in the works, like everyone
else for that matter given how the original 75mm gun was 20 years old
by then, but it was largely a case of not disrupting production for
the sake of improving the quality of the individual gun. The French
upgraded their stockpile during the interwar years.

But again, I won't claim expert knowledge on the state of the US WWI
economic mobilization, though it could be an interesting perspective
for the WWII one.
Post by Rich
The irony is that in 1939 the marriage of the French M1897 tube and
the American carriage originally designed for the US 3-inch M1916,
resulted in an excellent field gun that was also a first class AT gun,
at least through about 1943.
...so this was about time to replace it with another design.

Typical.
Post by Rich
Because all the units deployed to that date were already trained and
equipped as SP battalions? So units in the organizational pipeline in
CONUS were converted, which required retraining, reorganization, and
re-equipment (larger gun crews, different maintenance training and so
forth). The first battalions I know of were officially converted
(changed TO&E) in December 1943, deployed in March-April to England,
and landed in France in June-July.
I thought that the first towed TD battalions were deployed in Italy in
January 1944?

Could be wrong, of course.

And the explanation makes sense.
Post by Rich
I'm not sure I understand? The conversion decision was made sometime
in 1943 after considerble discussion, the orders for the conversions
occurred in December 1943-January 1944 and required about three to
four months to occur.
What I meant was that the conversion occurred just in time for the new
TD units to be out of touch with the new battlefield so they had to
convert back to SP status which the whole force had almost finished
doing when the war ended.

Thanks for the information up on the production issue.


LC
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-26 17:29:06 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Louis C
Wow, the US Army used a 16" gun? In the pecker context with Hitler's
Dora that was going to come second, but I believe it has everyone else
beat, congratulations!
When it comes to odd guns it pays to check what are field weapons. The
US army was responsible for US coastal defence installations where the
16 inch gun was used. There were actually three different models of 16
inch. It was not the biggest gun the US Army had anyway, that was the
914mm mortar "Little David".

The UK did have an 18inch howitzer on a railway mounting. This never
left the country either.

Ken Young
Michael Emrys
2008-04-26 23:30:30 UTC
Permalink
in article
The Germans seem to have continually decreased their armor to infantry ratio
instead. By 1941-42 their armored divisions weren't more tank- heavy than the
British or US ones, were they?
Rather less so, I think. The US armored division of '42 had two tank
regiments to one infantry regiment.

The British started out with an overall force ratio about the same as the
US, but organized a little differently, with a large battalion of infantry
as part of each armoured brigade plus a slightly lighter battalion as part
of the support group. In '42 they reorganized by reducing the tank component
to one brigade and the support group infantry was now brigade sized.

The German Panzer division of '41 had an armored regiment and two infantry
regiments.

Note though that at least in the British and German cases, the precise TO&E
could vary depending on what the particular unit was armed with.

Michael
David H Thornley
2008-04-27 20:11:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
in article
The Germans seem to have continually decreased their armor to infantry ratio
instead. By 1941-42 their armored divisions weren't more tank- heavy than the
British or US ones, were they?
Rather less so, I think. The US armored division of '42 had two tank
regiments to one infantry regiment.
Probably too few tanks to be optimal. The US and British wound up with
equal numbers of infantry and tank battalions, and the Germans didn't.
Since the Germans were much more constrained by production and
resources, and the Western Allies really weren't, it seems likely
that the Germans were stretching their tanks out too much for optimum
Panzer divisions.

(On another mailing list, a long time ago, somebody claimed that it
cost about as much to motorize an infantry regiment as to have a
tank battalion, and suggested that the Germans might have done
better in Barbarossa with even fewer tanks and more mobile forces
in all.)
Post by Michael Emrys
The British started out with an overall force ratio about the same as the
US, but organized a little differently, with a large battalion of infantry
as part of each armoured brigade plus a slightly lighter battalion as part
of the support group. In '42 they reorganized by reducing the tank component
to one brigade and the support group infantry was now brigade sized.
In the ETO in 1944, each armoured division had a brigade with three tank
or armoured battalions and one motor (armored infantry) battalion, and
a lorried infantry brigade with three battalions. The recce regiment
(battalion) was re-equipped and used as if it were armoured, and
an armoured car battalion attached.

That left the same number of effective infantry battalions and
tank/armoured battalions/regiments.

My apologies if I've gotten any of the terms wrong; I'm more used to
speaking American.

US armored divisions had three tank and three armored infantry
battalions.
Post by Michael Emrys
The German Panzer division of '41 had an armored regiment and two infantry
regiments.
Two tank and four motorized infantry battalions, although it appears to
have been fairly common to remove one tank battalion from a Panzer
division and lend it to another division.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Michael Emrys
2008-04-28 01:55:53 UTC
Permalink
(...suggested that the Germans might have done better in Barbarossa with even
fewer tanks and more mobile forces in all.)
Although the Kessels netted huge numbers of POWs, they also leaked,
sometimes badly, due to insufficient motorized infantry accompanying the
armor. And what there was was often fatigued or attrited due to casualties
by the end of summer. Though I have my doubts that it would have turned
Barbarossa into a winner, it has occured to me that a dozen more motorized
infantry divisions could have made it a lot more effective as the Panzer
spearheads would not have had to wait so long for supporting infantry to
catch up.

Of course, the next question is: If the Germans had had enough vehicles to
motorize a dozen infantry divisions, would it have been more effective to
use them to move supplies?

Michael
Rich
2008-04-28 15:29:14 UTC
Permalink
On Apr 25, 2:22 am, Louis C <***@yahoo.com> wrote:
(snip)
Post by Louis C
(honesty compels me to admit that this particular relative could
easily have afforded a better home but had chosen to live a simpler
life, spirit of the times)
Ah, that is true - possibly - in my example in Arizona, but not in
South Carolina, they were simply too poor to have indoor plumbing,
they couldn't afford the required well-pump and so forth or to have
septic field dug, they were "dirt poor" hard-scrabble farmers, and
wonderful people.
Post by Louis C
(snip not because it wasn't informative but because I might not be up
to staying awake through a second reading)
You hurt my feelings Louis, you didn't like my deathless prose? It was
added at the request of a reviewer and is possibly the driest bit of a
very dry, but hopefully interesting work.
Post by Louis C
Interestingly, according to the classification, shouldn't some of the
types of Sherman have been a M4Bsomething?
I never said they were 100 percent consistant, I just said they had a
simple system. :) For example the first 76mm conversion on an M4A1 was
known as the M4A1 (76M1). :) And some items only had a descriptor,
especially trucks where there were multiple manufacturers that
differed slightly in design particulars.
Post by Louis C
I have a deep-seated allergy to everything bureaucratic so will not
attempt to dig up similar pieces of administrative literature that
rather than administrative jargon, consider the following two examples
instead.
(snip)
Post by Louis C
That's why I wrote that the US Army couldn't possibly hope to emulate
continental Europeans for the complexity of its inventory which is
why, bureaucrats hating other people to think that they could do
things just as well without going through them, the US administration
had to make up for it with its "logical" nomenclature system for an
extra layer of complexity. This way, the end users would be suitably
humbled :)
Uh, Louis, somehow you misunderstood me? I never said the US inventory
was more complex? I simply said that the consequence of the simple,
logical system was the proliferation of M1s and M2s. Of course then
there was the dual use systems, like where the M1897A2 75mm Gun was
mounted on the M2A3 Carriage? Or the M1917A1 155mm Gun on the
Carriage, Self-Propelled, M12? :)
Post by Louis C
Welcome to the club, but you Yanks still had a way to go before
getting senior member status: see above list and that's just for the
AA variety, the list would be much longer if I added the various field
& AT versions :)
But we didn't want such status, we did it better after all and never
got into those bizarre 'Ur'pean complexities. :)
Post by Louis C
Wow, the US Army used a 16" gun? In the pecker context with Hitler's
Dora that was going to come second, but I believe it has everyone else
beat, congratulations!
Yes, it was a coast artillery piece. They did reactivate some of the
12-inch and 14-inch rail pieces though and nearly shipped some to
Europe in fall 1944 though. And they tried to adapt David as a field
piece. Does that count? :)
Post by Louis C
Good point :)
Thank you, I have them occassionaly. :)
Post by Louis C
I overlooked the fact that just because that was the TO&E doesn't mean
that the US Army was happy with it.
It was in flux and infinitly better than the former, which consisted
of BHMG and whatever field piece could be put in the way. :)
Post by Louis C
That was a friendly Allied contribution in making the whole US Army
nomenclature simpler by removing the exceptions.
:)
Post by Louis C
What was the "massive tank-heavy" German version that lasted for 5
years?
Uh, the Panzer brigade of two two-battalion regiments with a motorized
infantry brigade consisting of a two-battalion regiment and a rather
lightly-armed motorcycle battalion? Which was essentially the
organization from fall 1934 to spring 1940?
Post by Louis C
The Germans seem to have continually decreased their armor to infantry
ratio instead. By 1941-42 their armored divisions weren't more tank-
heavy than the British or US ones, were they?
Unwillingly in some cases. Guderian after 1940 tried to *increase* the
size of the brigade in the division and derided the more balanced
division that was being developed then and in his postwar memoirs as a
mistake. And of course from 1943-1944 as General-Inspektur attempted
to recreate the tank heavy brigade through the "back door" by the
creation of his brigade headquarters with their attached battalions.
Post by Louis C
That may be because the quotation marks were my clumsy attempt to
indicate that this was an ad hoc image that I had just made up, rather
than a quote...
Yes, I got that, and was responding to the image, which is not that in
the doctrinal documents. They describe something closer to the
"expanding torrent" of Liddell Hart. :)
Post by Louis C
I don't know much about the whole issue but it seems, to put it
kindly, that the US was unable to quickly produce any kind of field
gun with the relevant ammunition in the quantities required so in that
context it may have been best to adopt the French design and for the
AEF to help itself to some of the French ammunition stockpile. I know
that the Americans had a superior design in the works, like everyone
else for that matter given how the original 75mm gun was 20 years old
by then, but it was largely a case of not disrupting production for
the sake of improving the quality of the individual gun. The French
upgraded their stockpile during the interwar years.
The problem is that *neither* made it to production in time, which
given the time available shouldn't be wondered at? After all, the
World War II American mobilization "miracle" took about two years to
really get running, why should there have been an expectation of
anything better in World War I? And I've never been sure that the
notion that building "something", no matter how crappy, "now" rather
than a better design "later" is a good idea?
Post by Louis C
But again, I won't claim expert knowledge on the state of the US WWI
economic mobilization, though it could be an interesting perspective
for the WWII one.
Ammnition production was not a problem, since they had been expanding
that all along before the US entry to fill Euroopean orders. In fact
it resulted in something of a glut (see my other post). But gun and
carriage production simply took longer to develop.
Post by Louis C
...so this was about time to replace it with another design.
Yes, they did, the M1923E, later redesignated as the M1 75mm (why the
1934 development was designated the M2 75mm). :) But it, like the M1
105mm Howitzer was too expensive to produce when the Army budget began
to contract (and couldn't be justified when there was over 4,000 other
75mm in inventory), so they were shelved. And it was possibly the
finest development of the 75mm Field Gun, superior to the M1905/M1916
3-inch, the various Mle 1897, the German 77mm and later 75mm M1916
n.A., and the later M1897 on Carriage M2A3. And it could use all those
11,000,000 million rounds of 75mm ammunition that had been
produced. :)
Post by Louis C
Typical.
Yup. :)
Post by Louis C
I thought that the first towed TD battalions were deployed in Italy in
January 1944?
Could be wrong, of course.
AFAIK the earliest was the 805th in October 1944, but I may be missing
one? It's exhausting going through the lists.
Post by Louis C
What I meant was that the conversion occurred just in time for the new
TD units to be out of touch with the new battlefield so they had to
convert back to SP status which the whole force had almost finished
doing when the war ended.
On the balance sheet though, the error was realized pretty quickly and
the program to reconvert got under way by fall of 1944.
Michael Emrys
2008-04-28 20:49:20 UTC
Permalink
in article
...my deathless prose?
Begging your pardon, Rich, but could it be that the adjective you are
searching for is "undead"?

;-)

Michael
Rich
2008-04-28 23:22:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
Begging your pardon, Rich, but could it be that the adjective you are
searching for is "undead"?
;-)
Michael
Everybody wants to be a comedian! I added that section at the specific
request of a reviewer. But I'm afraid all this stuff tends to be a
little dry....would you rather the deathless - and occassionally made
up - prose of a Stephen Ambrose?
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-23 20:04:02 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Louis C
but why it had taken until January '44 for that to happen on the
battlefield.
The main problem was that the US had none very little development of
towed AT weapons before the war. The 37mm was selected as standard and
the question of improvement dropped. When the US entered the war British
information indicated the need for a bigger towed gun but no designs
were available. As a stop gap the 6pdr was adopted as the 57mm M1 using
plans obtained from the UK. Design of the 3inch started in 1940 but it
was not standardised until December 1941 and introduced in late 1942.
Unfortunately it suffered from severe problems with ammunition mainly
fuses which were not sorted until 1944. The other two attempts at
designing towed guns the 76mm and 90mm guns had development run past the
end of the war. So the US just did not have a satisfactory towed gun
until January 1944. "British and American Artillery of World War Two"
Ian V. Hogg.

This book includes GMC and there were some really weird SP guns produced.

Ken Young
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-04-23 15:09:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Japgdpanzer first
appeared as a term in I think 1944, related to the Jagdpanzer IV
(Vomag) and (Alkett), although just to be even more confusing for a
while the Jagdpanzer IV (A) was also known as the Panzer IV (l70). Or
maybe I've got it backwards, it still confuses me and I don't feel
like looking it up. :)
The Panzer IV L/70 designation was adopted since the vehicle was
supposed to be used in tank formations to boost the firepower of units
equipped with Panzer IV tanks much in the same way as the Sherman
Firefly, Challenger and Comet were used by the British.
Post by Rich
Of course it is interesting
to note that the first M5 guns were produced in December 1942, so
evidently the possible neccessity of such an equipment was
contemplated well before the decision to re-equip some of the
battalions.
Perhaps the reason was to develop a replacement for the towed 57 mm
anti-tank gun?


Tero P. Mustalahti
Rich
2008-04-23 17:29:27 UTC
Permalink
Hi Tero,
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
The Panzer IV L/70 designation was adopted since the vehicle was
supposed to be used in tank formations to boost the firepower of units
equipped with Panzer IV tanks much in the same way as the Sherman
Firefly, Challenger and Comet were used by the British.
Yes, of course, I just can never remember if it was the Vomag or
Alkett versin that was intended for that purpose?

But it does raise the question as to why the Germans, those all-
knowing, all-seeing, über-tacticians :), chose to try to repeat an
experiment they had already deemed a failure in 1943? Why, if it was
noted that the mixed Panzer and StuG regiments formed for the
recreated 14., 16., and 24. Panzer Division in 1943 were a failure,
was it reattempted in 1944? :)
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Perhaps the reason was to develop a replacement for the towed 57 mm
anti-tank gun?
I would have to doubt that? The M1 57mm AT Gun only began production
in March 1942, so just nine months prior to that of the M5 3-inch TD
Gun. And even though enough of the 57mm had been completed by December
1942 (3,250) to theoretically supply the 3,200+ required for the
infantry, as late as February 1944 at Anzio many of the 37mm battalion
guns were still found in divisions. Furthermore, the 1,000 3-inch guns
completed in the initial December 1942-June 1943 production run
(manufacture resumed in November-December 1943 with 500 more, followed
by the final 1,000 April-September 1944) were not enough to replace
anything in terms of the 57mm, there just weren't enough of them.

But all in all it is something of a mystery?
Tero P. Mustalahti
2008-04-24 10:44:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Yes, of course, I just can never remember if it was the Vomag or
Alkett versin that was intended for that purpose?
I believe it was the Vomag version, although I can't verify that right now.
Post by Rich
But it does raise the question as to why the Germans, those all-
knowing, all-seeing, über-tacticians :), chose to try to repeat an
experiment they had already deemed a failure in 1943? Why, if it was
noted that the mixed Panzer and StuG regiments formed for the
recreated 14., 16., and 24. Panzer Division in 1943 were a failure,
was it reattempted in 1944? :)
The earlier experiment of mixed Panzer and StuG regiments was born out
of shortages of Panzer IVs. The assault gun used at the time was the
StuG IIIG,which was not a subject to the same shortages, since it was
built in different factories on the Panzer III chassis. The Panzer IV
L/70 debacle was something different: the Panzer IV was lacking
anti-tank firepower especially in the Eastern front, where the IS-2 and
ISU-122/152 were becoming more common. Panther production was not
sufficient to replace all Panzer IVs. So the Panzer IV L/70 was a kind
of emergency measure to boost anti-tank firepower of the Panzer IV
regiments much in the same way as the Sherman Firefly and co. was for
the British.

The Panzer IV L/70 was certainly less than perfect vehicle: it was front
heavy and the very long gun barrel made maneuvering in tight quarters
difficult. However, the Panzer IV with the standard L/48 gun was pretty
powerless against the heavy Soviet vehicles (and the Churchill VII) at
ranges beyond 500 meters, but the L/70 could deal with them at much
longer ranges. That is, much in the same way as the standard Shermans
and the Firefly against the Panthers and Tigers.
Post by Rich
I would have to doubt that? The M1 57mm AT Gun only began production
in March 1942, so just nine months prior to that of the M5 3-inch TD
Gun. And even though enough of the 57mm had been completed by December
1942 (3,250) to theoretically supply the 3,200+ required for the
infantry, as late as February 1944 at Anzio many of the 37mm battalion
guns were still found in divisions. Furthermore, the 1,000 3-inch guns
completed in the initial December 1942-June 1943 production run
(manufacture resumed in November-December 1943 with 500 more, followed
by the final 1,000 April-September 1944) were not enough to replace
anything in terms of the 57mm, there just weren't enough of them.
But all in all it is something of a mystery?
Perhaps there were problems in scaling up the production of the gun
itself or ammunition, which made it impractical to produce enough of
them to replace the M1 57 mm gun? It is still possible that replacing
the M1 was the original reason why the M5 was developed.


Tero P. Mustalahti
Rich
2008-04-24 18:04:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
I believe it was the Vomag version, although I can't verify that right now.
Ditto. :)
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
That is, much in the same way as the standard Shermans
and the Firefly against the Panthers and Tigers.
Yes, exactly, but why try to repeat the original error of trying to
pretend they were tanks? Eventually of course the Panzer-IV L/70 was
simply relegated to use as a Panzerjaeger, but why *start* with trying
to repeat the same *organizational* mistake? :)
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
Perhaps there were problems in scaling up the production of the gun
itself or ammunition, which made it impractical to produce enough of
them to replace the M1 57 mm gun? It is still possible that replacing
the M1 was the original reason why the M5 was developed.
Again I'm afraid that is rather doubtful, the 3-inch was actually
slightly more common - in terms of manufacturing - in the US than the
"furrign" 75mm. It may be significant that the 57mm production began
as two pieces in March 1942, and expanded production in succeeding
months (75, 158, 282, and 235) before reaching its near max output of
602 in its sixth month of production), but the M5 3-inch started with
a max production month of 250 and then declined in the succeeding
months.

Then of course there was never any discussion regarding replacing the
57mm that I have been able to find until the General Board nixed it at
the end of the war?
Michael Kuettner
2008-04-25 15:50:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
I believe it was the Vomag version, although I can't verify that right now.
Ditto. :)
Post by Tero P. Mustalahti
That is, much in the same way as the standard Shermans
and the Firefly against the Panthers and Tigers.
Yes, exactly, but why try to repeat the original error of trying to
pretend they were tanks? Eventually of course the Panzer-IV L/70 was
simply relegated to use as a Panzerjaeger, but why *start* with trying
to repeat the same *organizational* mistake? :)
<snip>
No, he wasn't used as a Panzerjäger, but as a Jagdpanzer.
Maybe you mean that he was transferred to Panzerjäger-units ?

A short explanation re. German language :
The last word in a composite noun is always the subject. The word
before is always the qualifier.
Meaning :
"Jagdpanzer" = "ein Panzer, der jagt" = "a tank which hunts".
"Panzerjäger" = "Einer, der Panzer jagt" = "someone who hunts tanks".

So a Panzerjäger-Brigade would use the the P IV L/70 as a Jagdpanzer.
A Panzerjäger was an army unit or a member of this unit while
the Jagdpanzer is always the vehicle (Panzer) used by them or others.

I just mention this because I've seen some confusion about those terms
in this thread.

Cheers,

Michael Kuettner
Michael Emrys
2008-04-26 22:33:56 UTC
Permalink
Perhaps there were problems in scaling up the production of the gun itself or
ammunition, which made it impractical to produce enough of them to replace the
M1 57 mm gun? It is still possible that replacing the M1 was the original
reason why the M5 was developed.
On the other hand, maybe the idea was the same or at least somewhat similar
to British practice. While retaining the 6 pdr. in the infantry regiments,
they organized the 17 pdrs. into anti-tank regiments within the division.

I don't think there were ever enough 3 inch to put a battalion in every
division, were there? But there might have been enough to attach one to the
corps that needed them.

Michael
David H Thornley
2008-04-27 21:00:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
On the other hand, maybe the idea was the same or at least somewhat similar
to British practice. While retaining the 6 pdr. in the infantry regiments,
they organized the 17 pdrs. into anti-tank regiments within the division.
The US had 57mm guns in the infantry divisions, even when they weren't
all that useful. Armored infantry battalions, in particular, were
normally deployed with tanks, and had plenty of bazookas, and I have
read they were prone to lose the 57mms.
Post by Michael Emrys
I don't think there were ever enough 3 inch to put a battalion in every
division, were there? But there might have been enough to attach one to the
corps that needed them.
The original idea was to have large numbers of TD battalions going
wherever the tanks were, to stop them. In practice, a US infantry
division in the ETO was likely to have maybe two TD battalions
attached while in action. (If there were no German AFVs to fight,
they tended to wind up being misused as assault guns.) The
TD battalions were where the 3" AT guns went.
--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Robert Sveinson
2008-04-28 01:53:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
On the other hand, maybe the idea was the same or at least somewhat similar
to British practice. While retaining the 6 pdr. in the infantry regiments,
they organized the 17 pdrs. into anti-tank regiments within the division.
From an interview with Lance-Corporal Tony King in a tank
regiment--the Fifth Royal Iniskilling Dragoon Guards about
Normandy:

"Our Cromwell was hung about with loose track plates to help deflect
the 88mm armour piercing shells from German Tiger tanks and 88mm
guns which our armour plating was no match for. The 88 had a longer
range and higher muzzle velocity than our 75s which was not very
confidence-inspiring. Each fighting troop consisted of three
Cromwells and one Sherman Firefly with its long-barrelled
17-pounder gun, the only armament that could cope with
the Tiger."
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-23 20:03:48 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Rich
Japgdpanzer first
appeared as a term in I think 1944,
It first appeared with a fully armoured fighting compartment. I think
though I have not looked it up that was the Hetzer in 1943.

Ken Young
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-22 21:10:59 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Louis C
I've always seen various lightly-armored AT vehicles referred to as a
Panzerjäger but don't know if that ever was official, now that I think
about it.
Yes that was official. Panzerjager applied to the early improvised
conversions such as those on the Pz I, II, III/IV and 38T. All of these
had open topped fighting compartments with at best bullet proof armour
on the superstructure. Jagdpanzer referred to the more complicated
conversions with fully armoured and enclosed structures like the Hetzer
and Elefant for example.

Off course most German armoured vechicles had more than one
designation. The most comprehensive book I have found on German armour
is the Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two by Doyle and
Chaimberlain. In spite of the title it covers just about every vehicle
the Germans mounted a gun on and or armoured.

Ken Young
William Black
2008-04-21 15:55:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Johnston
I just picked up the Feb 2007 "Bulge Bugle" which has a cover article on
Tank Destroyers that begins "For psychological reasons, General Marshall
decided that anti-tank units should be renamed Tank Destroyers."
German TDs were called Jagdpanzers, which I think translates to Tank
Hunters. So they seem to have had this same psychology in mind.
My questions is which name came first, the American "Tank Destroyer" or
the German "Jagdpanzer"?
If the German name came first, then it seems likely that Gen. Marshall may
also have been aware of that, so that it was a factor in his decision.
They came out of different tactical doctrines.

The German weapons were designed as cheap tank killers that were designed to
operate either with armoured divisions or in defensive positions as semi
fixed but mobile tank killing bunkers.

The US weapons were designed to be used in the support of infantry in mobile
operations. They replaced towed anti-tank guns.
--
William Black


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
Mike Piacente
2008-04-21 23:38:39 UTC
Permalink
Actually, US tank-destroyer battalions had either a mix of towed AT guns and
fully tracked guns (in North Africa, and Sicily if I remember correctly, the
US TD bns had M-3 half-track-mounted 75mm AT guns, towed 3in guns, and some
had M10s.

The towed 3in AT guns remained part of the TD TO & E until the end of the
war. All TD bns were disbanded by 1946.

Read "The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer
Force" by Harry Yeide (2007). Not a great book but fairly informative.
Post by William Black
Post by Wesley Johnston
I just picked up the Feb 2007 "Bulge Bugle" which has a cover article on
Tank Destroyers that begins "For psychological reasons, General Marshall
decided that anti-tank units should be renamed Tank Destroyers."
German TDs were called Jagdpanzers, which I think translates to Tank
Hunters. So they seem to have had this same psychology in mind.
My questions is which name came first, the American "Tank Destroyer" or
the German "Jagdpanzer"?
If the German name came first, then it seems likely that Gen. Marshall
may also have been aware of that, so that it was a factor in his
decision.
They came out of different tactical doctrines.
The German weapons were designed as cheap tank killers that were designed
to operate either with armoured divisions or in defensive positions as
semi fixed but mobile tank killing bunkers.
The US weapons were designed to be used in the support of infantry in
mobile operations. They replaced towed anti-tank guns.
--
William Black
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Barbeques on fire by the chalets past the castle headland
I watched the gift shops glitter in the darkness off the Newborough gate
All these moments will be lost in time, like icecream on the beach
Time for tea.
Rich
2008-04-22 02:06:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Piacente
Actually, US tank-destroyer battalions had either a mix of towed AT guns and
fully tracked guns (in North Africa, and Sicily if I remember correctly, the
US TD bns had M-3 half-track-mounted 75mm AT guns, towed 3in guns, and some
had M10s.
Not quite.

The first Tank Destroyer Battalions deployed to Tunisia were organized
as Self-Propelled (Heavy), which was the interim organization created
in December 1941 when the Tank Destroyer Force was created. At that
time it was intended that all Tank Destroyer Battalions be self-
propelled, based upon the experiments done in the Louisiana and North
Carolina/South Carolina Maneuevers of that spring and fall.

But the "Heavy" organization was only ever intended as an interim,
training unit, since it was not planned that the T12 and T6 GMC
(halftrack 75mm and Dodge 37mm) would be used in combat, the
"objective" unit was to be equipped with the M10 GMC. The "Heavy"
Battalion as deployed consisted ot three companies, each with two
heavy (T12) and one light (T6) platoon.

But from December 1941 until January 1944 there were no towed Tank
Destroyer Battalions. Those were created and equipped with the M5 3-
inch TD gun, based upon experience gained in Tunisia.
Post by Mike Piacente
The towed 3in AT guns remained part of the TD TO & E until the end of the
war. All TD bns were disbanded by 1946.
That is correct, but the only "mixed" organization was when one - or
two, sources differ - T8 90mm towed guns were issued late in the war
to one of the SP battalions for evaluation, so techincally it wasn't
really an "organization" either.
Post by Mike Piacente
Read "The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer
Force" by Harry Yeide (2007). Not a great book but fairly informative.
Harry would be disappointed to hear that I think, it's actually quite
a good book, depending on - like his earlier "Steel Victory" - the
actual operational reports of the units in the field rather than
postwar imagination. But as alternates I can suggest Dr. Christopher
Gabel's "Seek, Strike, and Destroy" (which I have some quibbles with)
or his better "The GHQ Manuevers of 1941", which details the early
experimentation with the TD concept. Other suggestions would be Vannoy
and Karamales' "Against the Panzers I and II", which like Yeide
depended heavily on the actual unit reports and also from an extensive
series of interviews with the actual participants in the actions
described.
mike
2008-04-23 19:57:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich
But from December 1941 until January 1944 there were no towed Tank
Destroyer Battalions. Those were created and equipped with the M5 3-
inch TD gun, based upon experience gained in Tunisia.
FM 18-5 of early '42 said that towed AT may equip TD units in
addition to the existing Self Propelled mounts, but the gist for
all TD Battalions (one per Division, and three independent per
Corp) was for fast moving units to counterattack in mass, and
in passing noted that Portees would be needed for towed guns
to be employed offensively that way.

Then Tunisia led to calls for the above to be tossed, and some
of the independence of the TD arm seemed to be
curtailed, with the M10s used more like infantry supporting
M4s, which wasn't so good for thin skinned, open top 'Tanks'
with no Hull or Coax MGs, and the .50 AA not really positioned
well for the commander to use against ground targets. Did better
at the other role hinted at in FM 18-5, indirect arty support.

**
mike
**
Rich
2008-04-23 23:29:26 UTC
Permalink
Hi Mike,
Post by mike
FM 18-5 of early '42 said that towed AT may equip TD units in
addition to the existing Self Propelled mounts, but the gist for
all TD Battalions (one per Division, and three independent per
Corp) was for fast moving units to counterattack in mass, and
in passing noted that Portees would be needed for towed guns
to be employed offensively that way.
The exact wording of FM18-5, dated, 16 June 1942 is:

"TOWED GUNs.-Tank destroyer units may be equipped
with towed guns of the same characteristics as those just
described. Towed guns can be easily and quickly concealed
but require considerably more time to get into and out of
position. Improvised methods of porteeing towed guns may
give them some of the desirable characteristics of self-propelled
guns."

But that, and the discussion of the 37mm and 57mm, was more in
theoretical terms at that time with regards to TD units. I was simply
trying to address the reality and at that time there were no TD units
equipped with towed guns (at least that I have found, but I will
double check) and none with 57mm guns either. At that time all units
were equipped with 37mm and 75mm SP, with the anticipation that all
would shortly be re-equipped with the SP 3-inch.

OTOH it does give more credance to the notion that the reason for the
limited production of the M5 3-inch towed gun as as a "hedge" just in
case it was decided to go ahead and re-equip some units as towed.
Post by mike
Then Tunisia led to calls for the above to be tossed, and some
of the independence of the TD arm seemed to be
curtailed, with the M10s used more like infantry supporting
M4s, which wasn't so good for thin skinned, open top 'Tanks'
with no Hull or Coax MGs, and the .50 AA not really positioned
well for the commander to use against ground targets. Did better
at the other role hinted at in FM 18-5, indirect arty support.
Tunisia led to a re-evaluation certainly and the decision to go ahead
with the re-equipping of some battalions with towed guns. But the
basic doctrinal tenets remained until late 1943, when the TD Force
issued a Training Circular 88, which recognized doctrinal changes,
based on field experience in Tunisia and Sicily, but without re-
issuing FM 18-5. That occured on 18 July 1944. But I would hesitate to
say that the M10 was used like an M4 Tank in infantry support, they
were more used as a long-range overwatch weapon.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2008-04-21 21:57:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Johnston
My questions is which name came first, the American "Tank Destroyer"
or the German "Jagdpanzer"?
Well the original German designation was Panzerjager. With the first
being the 4.7 PaK(t) on a Pzkpfw I chassis. Production of these started
in March 1940. The Jagdpanzer designation was used for vehicles like the
Hetzer with a fully armoured superstructure. I do not know the earliest
US use of "Tank Destroyer". What references I do have refer to "Tank
Destroyer Command" with individual vehicles being referred as "gun
motor carriages".

Ken Young
Michael Emrys
2008-04-21 22:52:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Johnston
My questions is which name came first, the American "Tank Destroyer" or the
German "Jagdpanzer"?
Someone may have answered this more authoratively, but from the best of my
recollection, the first German AFVs that were specifically armed and tasked
to hunt tanks were called Panzer Jaegers and were in service by early 1940
if not before. I strongly believe though I can't provide a reference at the
moment, that those preceded the US Tank Destroyers. The Panzerjaegers
however were lightly armored and intended to either shoot from ambush or to
employ longer ranged weaponry than the opposing armor. When it was found
that that concept did not always prevail, the Germans began turning out more
heavily armored AFVs for the anti-tank role, sometime around 1943 (?), and
these were called Jagdpanzers.

So the progression would have been Panzerjaeger, Tank Destroyer, Jagdpanzer.

Michael
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