New DSC show "Greatest Military Clashes"


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Dave R
September 21, 2003, 11:26 PM
So who saw the new Discovery Channel show "Greatest Military Clashes" tonight? I thought it was pretty good.

They did Spitfire vs. Bf-109, MiG 15 vs. Sabre, Sherman vs. Tiger, and of course, AK vs. AR. The latter was the best treatment of that subject I have seen since TFL.

Writing and format were good. Interviews from participants, test firings, historical context, etc. I recommend it.

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clange
September 21, 2003, 11:43 PM
Yeah i watched most of them. Kalashnikov and Stoner at the same table. :uhoh: Good stuff.

SteelyDan
September 22, 2003, 12:16 AM
For those who missed it, the thesis was that the AK is more reliable in combat conditions and it fires a more powerful round, at least into cement blocks and pine 4 X 4s. They acknowledged that the M-16 is more accurate. Can't really argue with any of that. My only complaint is that the show focused on the problems with early Vietnam-era M-16s, and didn't seem to address the reliability of modern ones, which would have been more interesting.

eatatjoes
September 22, 2003, 12:43 AM
I'm watching the spit v. me109 right now and i must say i am impressed with the way the subject matter is handled. In order to simulate the effect of both the fighters weapons each had it main armament fired into simulated aluminum sheeting. i enjoyed seeing the firepower of both the .303 and 20mm weapons. I also found the ak v. ar episode interesting due to the amount of time the show devoted to firing both the firearms.

Nightcrawler
September 22, 2003, 12:57 AM
I'm discussing the AK vs. M16 bit over in rifles. They said that an AK couldn't hit a human target at 200 yards, basically.

Right...:rolleyes:

C.R.Sam
September 22, 2003, 01:25 AM
Watchin it now...tanks, spits vs MEs, 86 vs MiG 15 so far.
Lot of good stuff...some wrong stuff.
Oh well.....tis telly.

Sam

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 01:46 AM
My biggest grip with the show (I came in half way through the M16/AK47 fiasco, yes, that show was a FRIGGING fiasco!) was that they kept referring to the different cartridges as BULLETS, even when they decidedly meant cartridge.

They also made absolutely no differentiation between the wounding capabilities of one round vs the other.

What REALLY got me steamed, though?

"Faster bullets are more accurate...." when talking about the M16 round.

:cuss:ing jackass bunghole moron writers.


As for the .303 vs. 20mm being fired into a chunk of aluminum... OOOOhhhhh, the 20mm punches bigger holes than the 7.7mm. Duh. (Sorry, I'm REALLY down on that series right now, nothing personal at all, Eatatjoes!).

They made NOT A SINGLE FRIGGING MENTION about the fact that the 109's 20mm projectiles were EXPLOSIVE, and would do one hell of a lot MORE damage than their silly demonstration showed.

Where the series got a LITTLE juice back was regarding the MIG-15 vs. F-86 and they had Dr. William Atwater, a frigging amazing man, SHOWING the relative size differences between the .50 BMG round and cannon rounds that were approximately the same size as those carried by the MIG-15, and him carefully explaining that the cannon rounds were explosive, and that they did a LOT more damage.


Oh, and in the Sherman vs. Tiger show? Not a SINGLE frigging mention about the much improved 76mm gun that the later Shermans, such as the Easy8, mounted. Ballistically on par with the gun mounted on the British reworked Fireflys, which the show poo-poohed!

Those 76mm gunned tanks accounted for something just under half of all Sherman production.

The show had a few interesting moments. All in all, though, a shiny surface over a pile of dung.

Parker Dean
September 22, 2003, 02:47 AM
I'm with Jim.

I was gagging on some of the AK/M16 "facts" and I'm not even that knowledgable about 'em

That wasn't the only thing, but was the most glaring to me.

OTOH the high-speed photogarphy of the rifles firing was very interesting. You could see the barrel whip and when the bolts stopped front and rear. That alone was almost worth the other BS.

telewinz
September 22, 2003, 04:35 AM
The Tiger tank won two out of three; more powerful cannon, more armor but lost on speed. The conclusion was that since there was more Shermans made (50,00 against 1300 Tigers) and they made it to Berlin the Sherman was the winner.:what: Since there were more AK's made I guess its better than the M16.:D

stevelyn
September 22, 2003, 08:50 AM
The AK vs M-16 had several of what I would call technical half-truths or ommissions made me wonder with the timing of AWB Sunset, what the real intent was with some of the information provided.

1) The demo of bullets from the two impacting on cinder blocks leaves the impression that the 7.62x39 cartridge is considered powerful. From the demo it would appear the AK is too powerful for the rest of us to own.

2) Faster bullets are more accurate? Since :cuss:ing when? :scrutiny: I'll bet some of the old buffalo hunters would argue the point if they were around to engage in debate.

3) I'm still not certain how during the demo showing the accuracy of the two rifles, they managed to completly miss the target at close range with a short burst.

4) Some of the termnology used in the piece serves to cloud the difference between semi auto only military style rifles and a genuine select fire assault rifle.

Overall it was an interesting and entertaining segment particularly the interview with Kalashnikov and Stoner.

HankB
September 22, 2003, 09:31 AM
The Tiger tank won two out of three . . . The conclusion was that since there was more Shermans made . . . the Sherman was the winner.Sometimes quantity IS a quality by itself. In their hypothetical scenario, they put one Tiger against four Shermans . . . the Tiger got three before being shot in the backside by the fourth.

But I note that ALL repeat ALL of the WWII veteran tankers said that if they had to choose a tank to fight in, it would be the Tiger.

BigG
September 22, 2003, 10:30 AM
Most TV is based on controversy. If they said the M16 worked perfectly well once they got the bugs out, that would stop their script about 5 minutes into the running time. What would they do with the other 55 minutes of a 1 hr slot?

hksw
September 22, 2003, 12:11 PM
OTOH the high-speed photogarphy of the rifles firing was very interesting. You could see the barrel whip and when the bolts stopped front and rear. That alone was almost worth the other BS.

I agree. Very interesting at the amount of flexing the barrels and guns see when firing. That and watching the old Sopwith and Fökker and MiG and Saber and Tiger and Sherman fly and run around was great.

Teufelhunden
September 22, 2003, 03:08 PM
3) I'm still not certain how during the demo showing the accuracy of the two rifles, they managed to completly miss the target at close range with a short burst.

This is what irked me the most. I would say that hitting a B-7 sized target (read: large human silhouette) with either weapon at 200m would not be a hard feat for even the most basic of shooters. They had two people they portrayed as 'experts' shooting from a rest, and the AK guy only hit the paper once, while the M16 guy had shots all over the target.

Later, they zoomed in on the AK guys trigger finger and we got a good look at his trigger squeeze, or , more appropriately, lack of it. His finger actually moved towards the muzzle before coming back to jerk the trigger, somewhat akin to a batter pushing the bat further over his shoulder before he starts his swing.

I'm always grateful for shows that cover military stuff, but geez, don't leave out small stuff that makes a BIG difference! I shuddder to think about the people that believe everything they see on TV...

-Teuf

Sunray
September 22, 2003, 03:19 PM
"... improved 76mm gun that the later Shermans, such as the Easy8, mounted. Ballistically on par with the gun mounted on the British reworked Fireflys..." Not exactly comparable. The 17 pdr gun was a 90mm high velocity gun that had no problem poking holes in Tigers from far away. Any 76 MM gun is a pop gun in comparison. The problem was the hull and turret were under armoured and the US, who made most of 'em, wouldn't fix that. An 88mm, and most other German anti-tank guns, could flatten a Sherman with one shot. The Sherman was a piece of junk from the word go, really. They were called 'Ronson's for a reason.

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 04:23 PM
17 lb = 90 mm...

Whoops, those pesky British and their ludicrous 17 pound, 2 bob, 8 shillings and a tuppence measuring system....

In any event, though, sorry but you're absolutely wrong.

The British 17lb. gun was a shade over 76mm (76.2mm), but definitely NOT 90mm.

Hell, the British 25-lb. gun didn't have a 90mm tube (roughly 88 mm).

As for the Sherman being a "piece of crap," that's also absolutely wrong.

Don't fall into the nasty trap of equating bad with something that's pressed into service but doesn't represent the state of the art, or was designed to fulfill operational criteria that are no longer valid.

If you measure it by those criteria, every tank that Britain fielded during WW II was a piece of crap, even the Comet and the Churchill.

Or the No. 4 Mk I rifle? Absolutely, unmitigated crap, because it was still a bolt action rifle, and technology had moved on...

Unfortunately, neither scenario is the case.

The Sherman (and even British tanks up to the Comet) was develped on the premise that the tanks primary role would be one of infantry support, NOT an "iron fist". That's why the Sherman, as originally designed, used a 75mm gun with low velocity and EXCELLENT high explosive shells, but without provision for armor piercing shells.

When it became evident that the nature of tank warfare was going to be very different, neither the Americans nor the British had armored vehicles truly capable of meeting that challenge.

As for just uparmoring the Sherman... Sorry, but it's not as simple as that. You can't just slap on more armor plating willy nilly with the expectation that it's going to be an unqualified success.

One funny thing about the Comet tank, though, Britain's last entry into the war's armored race...

Even with almost 5 years of experience on hand, it had armor that was hardly thicker than that carried by a Sherman...


Oh, and the tendency of the Sherman to "brew up" as the British put it, and refer to them as Ronsons?

Solved relatively early in Sherman production by putting water jackets around the ammo storage, installing armored blast doors, and removing the "ready racks" that allowed ammo to be stored inside the turret. Once those relatively simple changes were made, the Sherman had far less propensity to "brew up." Just another case of an early problem being solved, but people wrongly concluding that if it was once a problem, it was always a problem.

BigG
September 22, 2003, 05:52 PM
I think it also had to do with the fact that old Sherman ran on Mogas and the heine pkw ran on diesel.

moa
September 22, 2003, 06:19 PM
If you want to talk about Shermans, then I suggest you read a book entitled "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper. This is fairly recent publication and goes into the design and use of the Sherman in 1944-45 in Western Europe.

Cooper was an officer in a Maintenance Battlion in the 3rd Armored Div. His job was to closely follow-up the combat operations and do an analysis of which tanks and other vehicles could be salvaged.

Before the Normandy invasion, in England, extra armor was welded onto the Shermans, at least by the 3rd AD.

In Cooper's opinion, the Sherman was disgrace. Even the track design was poor for off road use. And being powered by a gasoline aircraft engine, it "brewed-up" more easily than other tanks.

The aircraft engine was the reason for the Shermans high profile.

Do not know if the program you all describing mentioned this, but the greatest single tank combat encounter was at Villers Bocage (sp?)in France in 1944 where a Tiger tank (I think it was square hulled Tiger I) singlehandedly destroyed an entire British armored column of 25 vehicles in a matter of minutes.

IIRC, the tank was commanded by Lt. Michael Whitmann (sp?) of the 1st SS Panzer Division, Liebstandart Adolph Hitler. I think I got the division name straight.

By the way, in early 1944 in England, all the top American brass including Patton was given a demonstration of the new M26 Pershing tank, which was much more comparable to the German tanks. They apparently were not impressed enough with the M26 to insist on it being deployed in large numbers. Only a handful of of M26 tanks saw combat in WWII.

There was also another experimental version of the M26 which mounted a very high velocity 90MM gun that fired a shell at 3800 fps. The German 88MM fired a shell at 3300 fps.

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 06:34 PM
Once again, the situation with the Sherman was one of it being forced into uses that were never anticipated for it.

Is that a problem with the machine, or a problem with the foresight of the people who plan the warfighting?

As for the Sherman's height, it wasn't due to the engine designed for the Sherman, it was due to the engine that was originally put in the M3 Grant, the Continential R-975.

The Sherman used the same base hull as the Grant. Some had the Continential R-975, but most had engines by other manufacturers.

The Sherman was asked to do a job -- fight other tanks -- that it was never designed to do. No, it couldn't do that very well, but it still could do it.

That's like asking a Ford Pinto to sub as a farm tractor. Yeah, it could probably do it in many cases, but just not very well. Should that be a slam against the Pinto?

cordex
September 22, 2003, 06:47 PM
Where the series got a LITTLE juice back was regarding the MIG-15 vs. F-86 and they had Dr. William Atwater, a frigging amazing man, SHOWING the relative size differences between the .50 BMG round and cannon rounds that were approximately the same size as those carried by the MIG-15, and him carefully explaining that the cannon rounds were explosive, and that they did a LOT more damage.
Amazing though he may be, he's always irritated me. Maybe it is the half-truths and urban legends that he tends to pass along as fact ...

"In Viet Nam, troops couldn't leave their rifles loaded at night, because the bullets would swell in the chamber and they would jam."

Cartridges swelling in the chamber at night?!? What are they made out of, wood? Granted, that was on another History channel show, but I tend to take his little stories with a grain of salt.

I would have been more impressed had he actually had the correct cartridges he was talking about, but it was nice of him to illustrate for the less initiated.

Did anyone catch one of the Vet's stories about the M16 getting sand on it and it not firing? Was I the only one who thought there was a problem with the story as he told it?

ReadyontheRight
September 22, 2003, 07:19 PM
We've come a long way if they're doing TV Shows about the general discussions we do here on THR.

Hopefully better accuracy in future shows (9mm vs. 45 ACP. which shotgun for home defense? best weapon for SHTF?:D ) will be a by-product.

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 09:07 PM
"I would have been more impressed had he actually had the correct cartridges he was talking about, but it was nice of him to illustrate for the less initiated."

Me too, but my thought on that was that he's at Aberdeen, and they may not have Soviet 23mm and 37mm cannon shells lying around. Who knows...


"Did anyone catch one of the Vet's stories about the M16 getting sand on it and it not firing? Was I the only one who thought there was a problem with the story as he told it?"

I was in the kitchen, but I heard it vaguely.

What was the problem with how he told the story?

4v50 Gary
September 22, 2003, 09:15 PM
They gave it to the Sherman? Yeah, read some first hand accounts by our tankers of WW II. I'm sure they would have voted for the Sherman over the Tiger anyday. :rolleyes: What they wanted wasn't available until near war's end: the M-26 Pershing. Low, hard hitting, well armored (and more reliable than the Tiger Auf. E (the first Tiger).

A more interesting comparison would have been the King Tiger against the JS II or even tougher, JS III. :eek:

cordex
September 22, 2003, 09:16 PM
I was in the kitchen, but I heard it vaguely.

What was the problem with how he told the story?
He said something about digging in the sand with the clean rifle propped up where it wouldn't get dirty. Some VC start shooting from a treeline, so he hits the dirt and grabs the gun. Now, he says, the rifle has sand on it. He tries to shoot and just hears a "click".

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 09:43 PM
Maybe he should have been watching where he was throwing shovelsful of sand?

Beats me...

All in all, while the series offered a few tidbits, the overall BS burden was simply too great. The shows were very poorly researched.

4v50 Gary
September 22, 2003, 09:50 PM
Programming for teenagers who don't read books as opposed to those of us who are infatuated with books.

Went to a ship collector meet this past weekend and the host had a library that looked like it came out of the Naval Institute Press Catalog. :eek: I'm selective in what I buy beause of $ and space. The host has space & $ and can buy everything. :) About the only things he didn't have was the updated Vol. 1 of the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (now on internet for those who don't have the hardbacks) and Capt. Stephen Roskill's The War at Sea, Vol 1-3.

cordex
September 22, 2003, 10:52 PM
Maybe he should have been watching where he was throwing shovelsful of sand?
I figured he'd at least be able to get the first shot off. Not sure how enough sand could work into the rifle quickly enough to slow the hammer that much.

JohnKSa
September 22, 2003, 11:07 PM
If his rifle had gone "bang-click" he could blame the sand. Since it said "click", methinks the problem lay elsewhere.

Hutch
September 23, 2003, 12:48 PM
Mike, are you sure about the hull for the M4 being based on the M3? The M3 had that hull-mounted 75mm howitzer, and that made for a TALLLL profile. Good for a basketball player, death for a tanker.

Mike Irwin
September 23, 2003, 01:10 PM
Hutch,

Yep. The reason the sponson mounted gun was adopted was because a turret capable of handling the 75mm M2 gun wasn't fully designed yet.

If you look at the left side of the Grant, you'll see how much it looks like a Sherman.

If you also look at the specifications of the two tanks you'll see that they have a lot in common, as well.

This picture gives a pretty good look at the profile I'm talking about.


http://www.wwiivehicles.com/images/usa/m3_a3_01.jpg


Now here's a decent similar left-side view of an early Sherman in service:

http://www.wwiivehicles.com/images/usa/m4_20.jpg


The similarities are not on there, they're striking. The lower hull is almost identical, the upper hull, while different due to the Sherman's large turret, is similar. The suspension was IDENTICAL between the two tanks -- parts were completely interchangable.


Here's an even better view of the wooden mockup at Aberdeen in 1941. Take a look at the front of the bottom hull and compare it to that of the M3; also take a look at the location of the left-side hatch on the upper hull. It's size and placement are virtually identical to that on the M3:

http://www.wwiivehicles.com/images/usa/m4_prototype_01.jpg


Another telling indication of how similar these two tanks were is in the engine chosen originally chosen -- both were powered by the Continential 975. That's part of the reason why the M3 was so tall. Later engines that were put into the Sherman could have resulted in a lowered profile, but that would have required reworking the entire design in the middle of a war.

As for the height...

M3 -- between the variants, between 9' 4" and 10' 3"

M4 -- between the variants, between 9' and 9' 9".

Other dimensions are similarly very close and are easily accounted for by variations in hull type (cast, rolled, etc.) and specific model.

moa
September 23, 2003, 02:54 PM
Anybody want to get any good visuals on the M3, rent the 1943 movie "Sahara" starring Humphrey Bogart. It was on of his favorite roles. Decent war flick.

Getting back to the Sherman, besides having to contend with the less numerous Tiger I and II, it had to contend with the 45 ton Panther, which many consider the best tank of WWII.

And there was the up-gunned M4 and a collection of tracked tank destroyers with high velocity guns, not to mentioned towed anti-tank weapons like the 88MM.

If Sherman tank crews were writing books, etc., about how they prefer the Sherman over the Tiger, it is probably because they survived the war in the first place. Many crews did not survive, and serious crew shortages occurred.

Toward the end of WWII in Europe, infantry replacements were turned into tank crews, often with only a few hours of training. In one instance, 17 Shermans manned mostly by these replacements were all destroyed in one engagement.

Hutch
September 25, 2003, 03:50 PM
Mike, clearly you are correct. Belton Cooper's book does give some rationale for the pitiful 75mm gun/ammo combination. According to him, the ordies didn't want an HV gun because of the diminished barrel life!! Given the attrition rate of the M4's in battle, I doubt any of 'em would have worn out the HV gun barrel, much less the punkin-chunker that was standard.

Futo Inu
September 25, 2003, 04:18 PM
I liked the Sopwith Camel vs. the Fokker one, but all of them really.

One question re Sherman vs. Tiger.

They compared the Sherman to the Tiger, not the Panzer, and concluded that the Tiger was vastly superior in everything but mobility and unit quantities (duh). BUT, my question is, Is this even the right comparison? What were the numbers of Tigers vs. Panzers deployed by the Germans? If more Panzers were deployed, then wouldn't the proper comparison be Sherman vs. Panzer instead, as a "standard battlefield tank" comparison? I was also disappointed that they didn't mention, when desribing how inadequate the armor was on Shermans, the fact that the G.I.s in Europe would reinforce the front of their Shermans with sand bags, tree logs, and anything else they could stick on the front.

Another question on terminology of guns - are they right when they used this terminology as if it were written in stone.....?

They said that the Spitfire had (I think) eight .303 machine GUNS in the wings, whereas the Messerschmidt had two 20mm CANNONS in the wing (which is true, of course). They went on to use the terms gun and cannon very distinctly, as if there were some distinct definition of when a machine gun becomes a cannon. I thought it was much more of a blurry definition than that. So, is it the case of round SIZE? I.e. 20mm and up - cannon; Under 20 - gun. Or, is it the case that the distinction is only of whether the round is explosive or not? (it SEEMS that this is the distinction they were employing, as the .303 used a kinetic round and the 20mm an explosive in the example at hand). But, you can of course can put explosive rounds in 12 gauge, .50 cal and even a .30 cal, correct? So that would make their distinction all wet. Or, is it a COMBINATION of caliber and explosive round. Or, is there just NO standard accepted definition? Of course, my understanding had been that other sub-types of guns (cannons, mortars, howitzers, etc.) are ALL guns. I.e. all cannons are guns, but not all guns are cannons. But the show clearly implied that cannons were NOT guns, but a thing unto themselves, further implying that "guns" has a limited definition. So when is a gun no longer a gun. Or were they just using the alleged clear-cut distinction incorrectly, without a basis in factual definition?

benewton
September 25, 2003, 04:58 PM
I liked the program, actually, but the alternatives were her choices...

I thought that the comparisons in aircraft and tank were faulty: The Camel should have been compared to the D-7. And, I think that the Sherman should have been compared to the MKIV. Neither Tiger nor Panther was the dominant panzer, in numbers, at the time, and apples should be compared with apples.

That said, I've always "known" that cannons fire explosive and/or multipurpose projectiles, while machine guns fire slugs, although these can be tracer, API, ect.
In general, if you saw 20mm or better in an aircraft specification, it was a cannon, firing shell. Note, too, that cannon fire projectiles at a much lower velocity than machine guns, roughly guessing 500 FPS or more, and so the explosive is needed: they aren't kinetic destructors.

'course, the Army defintion was that the gun was a crew served weapon...
So, I use my CCW to carry a weapon, since I've no interest in obtaining a crew...


Again, liked the program, and I know there were errors, but still....

It's better the a MMM "news" report!

Futo Inu
September 25, 2003, 05:07 PM
err, "Panther" - I guess then that Panzer means "tank"? But exactly what I meant - apples to apples.

So, please define "gun" and "cannon", precisely. You hedged around a bit there. :)

What about a 20 or 30mm non-explosive? Cannon or gun? Or both? What about a 50 cal with explosive rounds? Cannon or gun? or both?

benewton
September 25, 2003, 05:35 PM
I'm gonna get my head handed to me, I know, since there are others far wiser about.

So, into the toilet I charge!

Limited german, even after a couple of years playing Army in Germany, but Panzer means tank, in german. The Panther was the follow on to the MK IV, mostly due to the normal design improvement process, but in particular to respond to the increased capability of the Soviet T-34. The Tiger was their heavy tank: hardly bears comparison to our medium which was developed much earlier.

I've a reference around here somewhere which details all of the German armored vehicles of WWII, and, if you're all that interested, I'll go find it and, of course, scan and pass the info on. In my mind, though, the Sherman and the IV were "first generation" MBT's for that war. The Panther and Tiger were second or third, depending on what you mean and how you count.

As for cannon, while there may have been, and maybe still are, explosive projectiles for the .50, in general, it doesn't fire shells. Nor, as far as I know, do the 12.7mm equivalents.

While cannon may fire solid shot, as in anti armor applications, they always have the capability of firing shells. Since shells, by definition, require a less dense, high explosive core, as opposed to a solid metal round, that seems to limit the minimum effective size to 20mm. That minimum size, and anything above it, are cannon, since all may fire shell.

My comment on velocity was in regards to aircraft cannon, not ground based weapons. In the latter case, you got machine gun slug velocities with multipound projectiles, but only at the cost of a multi ton launcher.

Howitzers vrs guns next?


Umbrella up, ready for the incoming!

Mike Irwin
September 30, 2003, 03:39 PM
Hutch,

Well, once again, you have to remember just how the American tank corps were developed.

After WW I, they were disbanded.

When they were reinstated as the bastard child of the military, they were given in part to the Cavalry and in part to the Infantry.

That's why you had tanks like the M3 Stuart Light Reconnaisance Tank. Lightly armed, lightly armored, but fast, agile, maneuverable, and capable of going places where you'd never expect an armored vehicle to go.

The infantry controlled the development of medium tanks at the time. Just as it is logical for the cavalry to develop tanks to further their mission, scouting and recon, it is logical that the infantry would want tanks to further their mission and support the infantry.

Hence, a reliable, fairly fast, fairly maneuverable, relatively lightly armored tank with a gun designed for close in infantry support.

The original iteration of the British Churchill, with a hull-mounted 75mm support howitzer, came from the exactly same school of thought.

It wasn't a lack of suitable armored vehicles, it was a lack of suitable support for the early armored corps in the American army and a lack of foresight on the part of those controlling tank development.

That pitiful 75mm gun wasn't great for tank killing, but it was extremely effective at its designed role, dealing with semi-hardened enemy infantry emplacements.

Remember, when anyone tries to tell you that the M4 was a pitiful tank because it couldn't take on German tanks on equal footing, it doesn't mean that it was a bad tank. It means that it was a good tank being asked to fulfill a mission for which it was never intended.

If you want to get right down to it, it can be said that up until the M1 Abrams, the United States NEVER possessed a truly battle winning front-line armor vs armor tank.

Mike Irwin
September 30, 2003, 03:43 PM
Futo,

I believe that the Germans managed to make just under 2,000 Tiger tanks total in nearly 2.5 years of production.

During the same time frame the Americans managed to make nearly 25,000 Sherman tanks.

And, at the same time? The Soviets made nearly 40,000 T-34s.


As for cannons vs. machine guns...

The arbiter that I've seen used most freqently is that cannons fire an explosive shell as its regular armament, while machine guns generally fire a solid, kinetic-energy only projectile.

Yes, you can fire explosive shells out of a .30-06, a .50 BMG, but that's not the normal design standard.

I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think any of the 20mm cannons of WW II even came with solid projectile shells. Larger ones obviously did, but I believe that most 20s for use in aircraft had explosive shells.

Bainx
October 1, 2003, 07:16 AM
Guys--I went to Discovery Channel web site and could find nothing on this show. When is it scheduled to play again?

Mike Irwin
October 1, 2003, 11:58 AM
Bainx,

No clue.

I'd like to see the entire series again, quite frankly, so I could write down my impressions as they happen, errors, good points, etc.

From my first viewing, though, I'd have to say that the good points were largley canceled out by the errors, omissions, and BS.

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