What's new
US Message Board 🦅 Political Discussion Forum

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Was the M4A1 Sherman a bad tank?

Pellinore

Gold Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
936
Reaction score
440
Points
190
The German 88mm gunners called any tank they hit a "ronson," because it went up in flames.

Most German tanks ran on gasoline too.
Well, it was the answer the General of the armored division was looking for, soooo ...
 
OP
Otis Mayfield

Otis Mayfield

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
4,268
Reaction score
4,054
Points
1,893
Well, it was the answer the General of the armored division was looking for, soooo ...

He wouldn't be the first to buy into some fake history.

It made for a good anecdote.

There's another anecdote you'll hear from time to time. The British called the Sherman's "tommy cookers." Supposedly, the story goes that Shermans would catch fire because of their gasoline fuel and cook the crew.

That's not true either. Any armored vehicle was called a "tommy cooker". The desert sun would heat up armored vehicles and the crew would sweat and complain about being "cooked alive."
 
Last edited:

Pellinore

Gold Member
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
936
Reaction score
440
Points
190
He wouldn't be the first to buy into some fake history.

It made for a good anecdote.

There's another anecdote you'll hear from time to time. The British called the Sherman's "tommy cookers." Supposedly, the story goes that Shermans would catch fire because of their gasoline fuel and cook the crew.

That's not true either. Any armored vehicle was called a "tommy cooker". The desert sun would heat up armored vehicles and the crew would sweat and complain about being "cooked alive."
I promise you, he knew more about the history of armored warfare then you and I combined will ever know.
 

AZrailwhale

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
3,613
Reaction score
2,900
Points
1,938
Location
Arizona
''''''best combat tank on the battlefields of 1940.'''''
..the Germans were just plain better--

Source: SOMUA S35

The article that you linked to didn't agree with the headline. It was a litany of the disadvantages of Somua. The S-35 lacked almost everything that made a good tank, it was slow, hard to repair, short in numbers, had horrible crew ergonomics, horrible visibility, eighty percent of the tanks had no radios for communication. About the only decent things about it were the gun, and most of the crew had their own hatches for escape.
 

White 6

Platinum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
19,325
Reaction score
11,174
Points
1,140
But the Sherman was not made to fight other tanks. It was made primarily for infantry support.

Going after other thanks is the role of "Tank Destroyers". Not medium tanks made for infantry support.
I understand, but twenty years a tanker makes me have a definite way of looking at tanks, how they have been and are used, and judgements of how they stood up or stand up to other tanks.
 

Mushroom

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
2,293
Reaction score
823
Points
198
Location
Near Baghdad By The Bay, California
The Sherman tank was symbolic of the almost criminal unpreparedness of the U.S. for war in the mid 30's. The U.S. had no espionage agency or central intelligence bureau and nobody seemed to care or understand Germany's weapons development in violation of international law. The Sherman looked good and everybody was satisfied with it's development but it couldn't stand up to the German tanks.

Oh what a load of nonsense.

Nobody in the 1930's was making anything that would be called a "good tank". And the ones the US had were just as good as those of Germany and other countries.

Do you even know what the most common German tank was in WWII? And their heaviest tank at the start of the war?

Well, it was the Panzer II.

PanzerII.jpg


Thin armor that was not much defense, a 2cm cannon that was ineffective against most allied armor, but fairly reliable. Germany first made this in 1934, and built them all the way up to 1944. Almost 2,000 of them, not counting conversions.

And with armor at over twice the thickness of the Panzer II, the M4 could easily defeat it in combat, and be almost completely safe from their paltry 2 cm gun.

Like so many, you are confusing when the various models came out, or simply have no idea. The tanks that Germany is most well known for actually did not come about until 1942 or later. After lessons learned in Africa and fighting the Soviets.
 

Mushroom

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
2,293
Reaction score
823
Points
198
Location
Near Baghdad By The Bay, California
I understand, but twenty years a tanker makes me have a definite way of looking at tanks, how they have been and are used, and judgements of how they stood up or stand up to other tanks.

And in that I agree. But they must also be looked at with contemporary eyes to the period. Not from modern eyes without the context of the time.

Today, we pretty much use a "single class" of tanks. But then, we had different classes and each had different roles.

Light for scouting, recon, and logistics train support.

Medium for Infantry Support.

Heavy and TD for going after other tanks.

So when one tries to put a light or medium tank into the role of a heavy tank or TD, it will always fail. It would be like in the period trying to use a Browning .30 cal machine gun as a sniper weapon.
 

White 6

Platinum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
19,325
Reaction score
11,174
Points
1,140
And in that I agree. But they must also be looked at with contemporary eyes to the period. Not from modern eyes without the context of the time.

Today, we pretty much use a "single class" of tanks. But then, we had different classes and each had different roles.

Light for scouting, recon, and logistics train support.

Medium for Infantry Support.

Heavy and TD for going after other tanks.

So when one tries to put a light or medium tank into the role of a heavy tank or TD, it will always fail. It would be like in the period trying to use a Browning .30 cal machine gun as a sniper weapon.
Well, tanks get shot at by enemy tanks even when they are supporting an infantry advance toward the enemy and that means they should have some armor able to deflect, a gun that has a round large enough and designed well enough it can defeat in a straight up shoot out and probably should not have been gasoline powered. That is opinion of an Armor guy.
 

Mushroom

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
2,293
Reaction score
823
Points
198
Location
Near Baghdad By The Bay, California
Well, tanks get shot at by enemy tanks even when they are supporting an infantry advance toward the enemy and that means they should have some armor able to deflect, a gun that has a round large enough and designed well enough it can defeat in a straight up shoot out and probably should not have been gasoline powered. That is opinion of an Armor guy.

In the 21st century. And should also be able to shoot and hit a target while moving, and other things.

Nobody was building tanks like that in WWII.

What you are describing is more like the M26 Pershing. But that was a late war tank, and the US put out 25 Shermans for every Pershing.
 

sparky

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
20,155
Reaction score
6,594
Points
350
Location
paradise
Do you even know what the most common German tank was in WWII? And their heaviest tank at the start of the war?

Well, it was the Panzer II.
My pop was a buck Sargent in Pattons armored division, stationed in a Sherman ,along w/ crew in '44/ '45

now i don't profess to know much about Sherman's , but i do recall pop bringing up those 'panzers' quite a lot

~S~
 

AZrailwhale

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
3,613
Reaction score
2,900
Points
1,938
Location
Arizona
Well, tanks get shot at by enemy tanks even when they are supporting an infantry advance toward the enemy and that means they should have some armor able to deflect, a gun that has a round large enough and designed well enough it can defeat in a straight up shoot out and probably should not have been gasoline powered. That is opinion of an Armor guy.
Almost all WWII tanks were gasoline powered. The exceptions were Japanese tanks, some Soviet tanks like the T-34, some British tanks like the Matilda II and Valentine and the M-4A2 Sherman. The Sherman’s M-3 75mm gun was as good as the T-34’s 76mm gun.
 

AZrailwhale

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
3,613
Reaction score
2,900
Points
1,938
Location
Arizona
My pop was a buck Sargent in Pattons armored division, stationed in a Sherman ,along w/ crew in '44/ '45

now i don't profess to know much about Sherman's , but i do recall pop bringing up those 'panzers' quite a lot

~S~
You talk to any soldier who has seen combat and they almost always feel the enemy’s gear was better than their own. If your pop had been driving a Tiger or Panther, it’s likely he wouldn’t have come home, he would have been captured by the Germans when his tank broke down within a hundred miles of Omaha Beach. If the US had been using tanks as unreliable as the big cats, they would never have been able to liberate France. A tank that breaks down every one hundred fifty kilometers and needs several days to repair the transmission is a liability. If you don’t believe my figures, look up the trouble the post-war French had with Panthers.
 

White 6

Platinum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
19,325
Reaction score
11,174
Points
1,140
In the 21st century. And should also be able to shoot and hit a target while moving, and other things.

Nobody was building tanks like that in WWII.

What you are describing is more like the M26 Pershing. But that was a late war tank, and the US put out 25 Shermans for every Pershing.
They built better ones back then than we did, thankfully not in enough numbers. The Tiger for instance had bigger main gun with a flatter trajectory and much greater penetration, greater engagement range, better armor (our smaller tank rounds bounced off the front,side too in many cases), better optics, pretty good suspension and transmission still a gas burner, but that changed in 1943 with the Tiger II to an air cooled diesel producing 750 HP. For it's day it was a badass killer. Here is a comparison page if you are interested. After reading, you can decide which one you would rather have wrapped around your ass in battle.
 

AZrailwhale

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
3,613
Reaction score
2,900
Points
1,938
Location
Arizona
They built better ones back then than we did, thankfully not in enough numbers. The Tiger for instance had bigger main gun with a flatter trajectory and much greater penetration, greater engagement range, better armor (our smaller tank rounds bounced off the front,side too in many cases), better optics, pretty good suspension and transmission still a gas burner, but that changed in 1943 with the Tiger II to an air cooled diesel producing 750 HP. For it's day it was a badass killer. Here is a comparison page if you are interested. After reading, you can decide which one you would rather have wrapped around your ass in battle.
The vast majority of German tanks between 1941 and 1945 were
Panzer IIIs and IVs. The Sherman was superior to all of them. The Tiger had heavier frontal armor and a larger, better gun, but paid for them by a lack of reliability and being too heavy for most bridges. While it’s suspension gave a better ride than a Sherman’s it was much harder to repair and frozen mud could disable the tank. The Tiger II used a Maybach gasoline engine not a diesel.
 

White 6

Platinum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
19,325
Reaction score
11,174
Points
1,140
The vast majority of German tanks between 1941 and 1945 were
Panzer IIIs and IVs. The Sherman was superior to all of them. The Tiger had heavier frontal armor and a larger, better gun, but paid for them by a lack of reliability and being too heavy for most bridges. While it’s suspension gave a better ride than a Sherman’s it was much harder to repair and frozen mud could disable the tank. The Tiger II used a Maybach gasoline engine not a diesel.
They started with the Maybach, but changed to the air cooled diesel because that is what Hitler wanted. As a tanker, I like the Tiger better, but if you are really into Panzers compared to Shermans:
On paper, the Panther holds an advantage in almost every category. The Panther weighed 45 tonnes compared to the Sherman’s 33 tonnes. Yet it had a much better power to weight ratio, lower ground pressure, and was more than 8 mph faster on roads. This made it more mobile in all conditions of terrain. Obviously the Panther was shielded in not just thicker frontal armor (110mm max vs 76mm), but it was also better sloped. One commonly misunderstood fact is that although the Panther hull armor was 80mm thick, it had an effectiveness of 138mm due to its 55 degree sloping. Since the vaunted Tiger had only 100mm thick armor, with no sloping, it was actually less protected in the front. Again there are numerous sources that go into further detail.
1638242211828.png

The Panther was blessed with excellent cross-country mobility and was perhaps the best riding tank of the war. It’s well sloped armor and long high velocity 75mm gun are plainly visible here.
 

AZrailwhale

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
3,613
Reaction score
2,900
Points
1,938
Location
Arizona
They started with the Maybach, but changed to the air cooled diesel because that is what Hitler wanted. As a tanker, I like the Tiger better, but if you are really into Panzers compared to Shermans:
On paper, the Panther holds an advantage in almost every category. The Panther weighed 45 tonnes compared to the Sherman’s 33 tonnes. Yet it had a much better power to weight ratio, lower ground pressure, and was more than 8 mph faster on roads. This made it more mobile in all conditions of terrain. Obviously the Panther was shielded in not just thicker frontal armor (110mm max vs 76mm), but it was also better sloped. One commonly misunderstood fact is that although the Panther hull armor was 80mm thick, it had an effectiveness of 138mm due to its 55 degree sloping. Since the vaunted Tiger had only 100mm thick armor, with no sloping, it was actually less protected in the front. Again there are numerous sources that go into further detail.
View attachment 569909
The Panther was blessed with excellent cross-country mobility and was perhaps the best riding tank of the war. It’s well sloped armor and long high velocity 75mm gun are plainly visible here.
My sources don’t show an air cooled diesel ever used on a Tiger II. If yours do please tell me which engine they used. As far as I can tell, the only air cooled diesel the Wehrmacht used was in the SDKFZ 234 armored cars, and it was nowhere near seven hundred horsepower.
 

AZrailwhale

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
3,613
Reaction score
2,900
Points
1,938
Location
Arizona
They started with the Maybach, but changed to the air cooled diesel because that is what Hitler wanted. As a tanker, I like the Tiger better, but if you are really into Panzers compared to Shermans:
On paper, the Panther holds an advantage in almost every category. The Panther weighed 45 tonnes compared to the Sherman’s 33 tonnes. Yet it had a much better power to weight ratio, lower ground pressure, and was more than 8 mph faster on roads. This made it more mobile in all conditions of terrain. Obviously the Panther was shielded in not just thicker frontal armor (110mm max vs 76mm), but it was also better sloped. One commonly misunderstood fact is that although the Panther hull armor was 80mm thick, it had an effectiveness of 138mm due to its 55 degree sloping. Since the vaunted Tiger had only 100mm thick armor, with no sloping, it was actually less protected in the front. Again there are numerous sources that go into further detail.
View attachment 569909
The Panther was blessed with excellent cross-country mobility and was perhaps the best riding tank of the war. It’s well sloped armor and long high velocity 75mm gun are plainly visible here.
The Panther had great cross country mobility WHEN IT RAN.
 

White 6

Platinum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
19,325
Reaction score
11,174
Points
1,140
My sources don’t show an air cooled diesel ever used on a Tiger II. If yours do please tell me which engine they used. As far as I can tell, the only air cooled diesel the Wehrmacht used was in the SDKFZ 234 armored cars, and it was nowhere near seven hundred horsepower.
Try this:
1638243261996.png
 

White 6

Platinum Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
19,325
Reaction score
11,174
Points
1,140
The Panther had great cross country mobility WHEN IT RAN.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, been a lot of debate over which was the best tank of the war for years. As a tanker, personnly, the best I can say was the production capacity of the United States of America vs a county the size of one of our states, other than that, I was not impressed and just glad I never had one. Back in the day (40 something years ago) I wrote papers on this crap, so have always been opinionated about what I like and didn't like regarding tanks.
Personally, I started out on a Slick 60 and progress through the M60A1(RISE) and the M60A3, before ending up is staff positions.
I was at Knox, taking AOB or AOAC when the XM1 completely jumped a two lane highway and kept on trucking with no damage or crew injuries, when another was pulled over by a Kentucky State trooper doing 70 down a two lane heavy-duty hardstand highway, and was in class in a maintenance building when outside, a company commander of a company of XM1s instructed Geraldo to move his cameras and equipment as it was blocking the gate, as he had an SP time to make. Geraldo refused, saying he had authorization to film and expected cooperation, so at SP time, the Command drove his tanks right through Geraldos equipment, amounting to quite a few thousand Dollar$ back then, and the reason behind Geraldo doing a hatchet job of serviceability of the tank. It's why Geraldo was banned from Fort Knox and several other Army bases for years.
 

USMB Server Goals

Total amount
$120.00
Goal
$350.00

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top