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New DSC show "Greatest Military Clashes"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dave R, Sep 21, 2003.

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  1. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    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.
     
  2. clange

    clange Member

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    Yeah i watched most of them. Kalashnikov and Stoner at the same table. :uhoh: Good stuff.
     
  3. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Member

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    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.
     
  4. eatatjoes

    eatatjoes Member

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    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.
     
  5. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    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:
     
  6. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    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
     
  7. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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.
     
  8. Parker Dean

    Parker Dean Member

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    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.
     
  9. telewinz

    telewinz Member

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    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
     
  10. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    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.
     
  11. HankB

    HankB Member

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    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.
     
  12. BigG

    BigG Member

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    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?
     
  13. hksw

    hksw Member

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    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.
     
  14. Teufelhunden

    Teufelhunden Member

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    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
     
  15. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "... 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.
     
  16. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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.
     
  17. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Ronson

    I think it also had to do with the fact that old Sherman ran on Mogas and the heine pkw ran on diesel.
     
  18. moa

    moa Member

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    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.
     
  19. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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?
     
  20. cordex

    cordex Member

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    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?
     
  21. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    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.
     
  22. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "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?
     
  23. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    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:
     
  24. cordex

    cordex Member

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    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".
     
  25. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    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.
     
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