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(PetaPixel)   Amazing cross-section photos of ammunition from WWII   (petapixel.com) divider line 129
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20713 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jun 2013 at 2:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-22 02:17:24 PM

CliChe Guevara: AndreMA: basemetal: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x515]

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.

Doesn't look terribly safe to me

 They break into a cloud of little particles on initial impact. This makes them not so nice for the people they explode inside of, but they are "Safety" rounds as they were apparently originally designed not to penetrate aircraft fuselages when used onboard aircraft, not to ricochet off hard surfaces like pavement and hit bystanders, and not to overpenetrate and exit original target and hit adjacent secondary targets like hostages.
 Safety slugs are cool, they minimize most possibilities of collateral damage in crowded close quarters engagements around numbers of noncombatants.
 They do cost a couple of bucks per round, but are worth it.



I like your style.
 
2013-06-22 02:17:35 PM

Molavian: I'd rather be shot than fall to death, too.


I think a lot of air men were shot then fell to their death on fire.

Norfolking Chance: but the M4's (and Cromwells) should of been up gunned before Normandy because they knew Tigers would be used and the 75mm guns would not be any good. It wouldn't of any real effort to re-tool the American production lines to produce Fireflys.


I've read bits and pieces that say that the Americans solution was to use tank destroyers against tanks and tanks for infantry support. Essentially for the most part the US Army had no intention to pit tanks against tanks.  I think on the Soviet side the T-34 had the advantage of being fast, reliable, with a low silhouette. I think a big criticism of American tanks were they were too tall since strangely enough tank warfare involved a lot of hiding.
 
2013-06-22 02:28:51 PM
figuring out better/cheaper/more efficient ways to kill people is so neat.
 
2013-06-22 02:37:10 PM

MegaUngawa: I don't think those are pistol, those look like 40mm grenades. How she got them cut in half without touching off the primers is the question.


Ah. It's really hard to tell what's what without any sense of scale. Grenade and cannon rounds look pretty much the same as small arms ammo if you can't see that they're ginormous.

The Smails Kid: God-is-a-Taco: The cross-sections reveal a hidden complexity and beauty of form, which stands in vast contrast to the destructive purpose of the object. It is a representation of the evil and the beautiful, a reflection of the human condition.

Oh for god's sake. You took a picture of bullets. It's not a deep, spiritual journey through the human experience. At least not without a sepia or black and white filter applied.

This is why artists should never talk about their art, ever. STFU and make with the pretty pictures, lady.


I fail to see what's so pretentious about this. It's frankly a little astonishing how, on the one hand, war is such a horrible, dirty, disgusting thing, yet on the other hand many of the implements we design for slaughtering our fellow humans in war are in themselves aesthetically equal to any work of art. It's a poignant statement. You can think of it in terms of either "humans make art even when they're killing each other" or "we're so violent even our art is weaponized", I suppose. The pictures are subtle but they say a lot about mankind.

I mean maybe she's overselling the language a bit, but it's really just translating "them bullets is purty even though they kills folks" into the language of art snobs.
 
2013-06-22 02:43:37 PM

Linux_Yes: figuring out better/cheaper/more efficient ways to kill people is so neat.


Indeed.
 
2013-06-22 02:59:35 PM

realityVSperception: You hear how bloody places like Iwo Jima and Tarawa were, but overall the 8th air force had more men killed than the marines lost in the entire war. About 20K marines vs 26K 8th airforce personnel.

http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq56-1.htm

http://www.8af.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4632


Thank you for this.
 
2013-06-22 03:29:20 PM

Norfolking Chance: realityVSperception: I agree with your basic point...


While the stock M4 with its 75mm was ok against the III and IV against the Tiger and Panther it was next to usless. The Tiger was just starting to get deployed and a few were in North Africa before the Germans were pushed out. You can even see one of the captured North Africa Tigers in the Bovington Tank Museum. So its not like the Tiger came as a supprise during Normandy.

Keeping the logistics pipeline as simple as possible with simple and rugged tanks (the British army had a hell of a problem in North Africa keeping tanks going, with most of the Matilda 2's and Crusaders being lost to mechanical problems and not enemy fire) was a great idea but the M4's (and Cromwells) should of been up gunned before Normandy because they knew Tigers would be used and the 75mm guns would not be any good. It wouldn't of any real effort to re-tool the American production lines to produce Fireflys.

The Normandy landings needed to be in the summer of '44 and you always fight wars with the equipment you have not what you need but it was not a massive change and it could of made a big differance.

/The Russians also knew the T34 was undergunned
//They just didn't care.


You might find this wiki interesting. It has some interesting info about US army doctrine that was in effect at the time the Sherman was designed. Note that the Sherman was not intended to be used in tank vs tank combat.

 Neither was the M4 primarily intended for tank versus tank action. The field manual covering the use of the Sherman (FM 17-33, "The Tank Battalion, Light and Medium" of September 1942) devoted one page of text and four diagrams to tank versus tank action (out of 142 pages).This early armored doctrine was heavily influenced by the sweeping initial successes of the German blitzkrieg tactics. Unfortunately, by the time M4s reached combat in significant numbers, battlefield demands for infantry support and tank versus tank action far outnumbered the occasional opportunities for cruiser tanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_Sherman#cite_note-6

The US army did develop other AFVs that were designed to go head to head with enemy armor, which did have better main weapons for tank killing. For example, look at the M-18 Hellcat-

Notable battles

On September 19, 1944, in the Nancy Bridgehead near Arracourt, France, the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion was attached to the 4th Armored Division. Lt. Edwin Leiper led one M18 platoon of C Company to Rechicourt-la-Petite, on the way to Moncourt. He saw a German tank gun muzzle appearing out of the fog 30 feet away, and deployed his platoon. In a five-minute period, five German tanks of the 113 Panzer Brigade were knocked out for the loss of one M18. The platoon continued to fire and destroyed ten more German tanks while losing another two M18s. One of the platoon's M18s commanded by Sgt Henry R. Hartman knocked out six of the German tanks, most of which were the much-feared Panthers.

The M18 Hellcat was a key element during World War II in the Battle of the Bulge. On December 19-20, the 1st Battalion of the 506th PIR was ordered to support Team Desobry, a battalion-sized tank-infantry task force of the 10th Armored Division (United States) assigned to defend Noville[3] located north-northeast of both Foy and of Bastogne just 4.36 miles (7 km) away. With just four M18 tank destroyers of the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion to assist, the paratroopers attacked units of the 2nd Panzer Division, whose mission was to proceed by secondary roads via Monaville (just northwest of Bastogne) to seize a key highway and capture, among other objectives, fuel dumps-for the lack of which the overall German counter-offensive faltered and failed. Worried about the threat to its left flank in Bastogne, it organized a major joint arms attack to seize Noville. Team Desobry's high speed highway journey to reach the blocking position is one of the few documented cases wherein the legendary top speed of the M18 Hellcat (55 miles per hour (89 km/h), faster than today's M1A2 Abrams) was actually used to get ahead of an enemy force.

The attack of 1st Battalion and the M18 Hellcat tank destroyers of the 705th TD Battalion near Noville together destroyed at least 30 German tanks and inflicted 500 to 1000 casualties on the attacking forces, in what amounted to a spoiling attack. A Military Channel historian credited the M18 destroyers with 24 kills, including several Tiger tanks, and believes that in part, their ability to "shoot and scoot" at high speed and then reappear elsewhere on the battlefield, confused and slowed the German attack, which finally stalled, leaving the Americans in control of the town overnight.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M18_Hellcat

So the alternative argument could be made that strategically more tank destroyers should have been built and deployed, and tactically been better used to engage enemy armor instead of Shermans. I believe both the actions cited above occured under Patton's command, by far the best tank general the Americans had. Perhaps other allied commanders just used ham fisted tactics that put Shermans in unwinnable situations, resulting excessive losses?

Again, I agree it would have been better if all the Shermans had better guns. I think you are downplaying the effort that would have taken, and are overlooking that the tank vs tank role was not suppose to be fought by the Sherman in the first place.

I'd also disagree with your comments about the T-34. The T34C with its 76mm gun shocked the Germans when it was 1st encountered, and the later T34-85's 85mm gun certainly was a match for later German armor. The T34's combat effectiveness was limited by other factors like lack of radios, no power turret transverse, poor sights, and the Russian practice of fighting 'buttoned up' reducing the commander's visability. Often overlooked, the Germans had superb optics for their sights, and by fighting with the commander exposed, could rapidly engage, hit and kill Russian tanks well before the Russians could return fire effectively.
 
Ehh
2013-06-22 03:40:29 PM
Befuddled:  I believe that round that has the darts inside the bullet is a 9mm 'high safety ammo' round, meant to be something like the Glaser safety slug.

I just love the idea of a "high safety" firearm round. Maybe made by the same company that makes "Bag of Broken Glass" children's play sets, or "Multipurpose" nuclear bombs.
 
2013-06-22 05:06:48 PM
That ammo isn't from WWII dumb-mitter. (photographer was in a WWII bunker)

Most of that ammo pictured is/was a violation of the "Geneva/Hague" convention and not allowed for use in warfare.

get facts straight dummy.
 
2013-06-22 05:07:16 PM

RatMaster999: Molavian: I question the authenticity of this World War II ammo.  I mean, basemetal posts a picture of a glaser safety slug and some sort of WSSM.  I'm not sure how many plastic rounds they used for training during WWII, either.

Yeah, I was thinking that, too.  Most of these seem a hell of a lot more recent than WWII.


I was thinking the same thing
 
2013-06-22 05:14:58 PM

CliChe Guevara: AndreMA: basemetal: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x515]

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.

Doesn't look terribly safe to me

 They break into a cloud of little particles on initial impact. This makes them not so nice for the people they explode inside of, but they are "Safety" rounds as they were apparently originally designed not to penetrate aircraft fuselages when used onboard aircraft, not to ricochet off hard surfaces like pavement and hit bystanders, and not to overpenetrate and exit original target and hit adjacent secondary targets like hostages.
 Safety slugs are cool, they minimize most possibilities of collateral damage in crowded close quarters engagements around numbers of noncombatants.
 They do cost a couple of bucks per round, but are worth it.



I wish they sold them in packages of more than 6. I hated doing the math on how many packs I had to get to load a couple mags
 
2013-06-22 05:25:38 PM

Savoir-Faire: amindofiron: DreamyAltarBoy: Seeing these in cross section kinda makes makes me go: GAH! I can sort of get what a simple "slow" slug can do to a body, but some of these look like they're designed to make burger meat. Does anybody know what's up with that flechette?

If you mean the needle looking thing with the fins, the only thing I've ever seen that looked like that where armor piercing discarding sabot anti-tank shells. But because there isn't any scale I have no idea how big it is and thus, no actual clue.

There are .50 cal machinegun rounds that are discarding sabot that the USMC (and presumably the rest of the US military) uses.



SLAP rounds
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saboted_light_armor_penetrator
 
2013-06-22 05:39:32 PM

realityVSperception: So the alternative argument could be made that strategically more tank destroyers should have been built and deployed, and tactically been better used to engage enemy armor instead of Shermans. I believe both the actions cited above occured under Patton's command, by far the best tank general the Americans had. Perhaps other allied commanders just used ham fisted tactics that put Shermans in unwinnable situations, resulting excessive losses?

Again, I agree it would have been better if all the Shermans had better guns. I think you are downplaying the effort that would have taken, and are overlooking that the tank vs tank role was not suppose to be fought by the Sherman in the first place.

I'd also disagree with your comments about the T-34. The T34C with its 76mm gun shocked the Germans when it was 1st encountered, and the later T34-85's 85mm gun certainly was a match for later German armor. The T34's combat effectiveness was limited by other factors like lack of radios, no power turret transverse, poor sights, and the Russian practice of fighting 'buttoned up' reducing the commander's visability. Often overlooked, the Germans had superb optics for their sights, and by fighting with the commander exposed, could rapidly engage, hit and kill Russian tanks well before the Russians could return fire effectively.


I know how the Sherman was an "infantry" tank but by '43 it should of been clear that it was an out dated concept and that any tank that couldn't engage and destroy enemy tanks was a liability. This was shown in North Africa time and time again on both sides. Having to wait for tank destroyers/aircover while your tank and the supporting infantry are under fire from other tanks that you can't stop is not a good doctrine. And thats assuming there are any tank destroyers around.

The British army had a Firefly mixed in with Cromwells and Shermans and that gave a much better force mix as each tank platoon had a much better chance of dealing with what ever it met and didn't have to wait while under fire for support. The RTR wanted every tank it had to be Fireflys.

The Hellcat was a great support platform and could add extra firepower but if every M4 in Europe had the 90mm that the Hellcat had it wouldn't be needed. One action where the Hellcat excelled is the exception that proved the Infantry Tank/Tank Destroyer doctrine was a bad one.
 
2013-06-22 06:11:36 PM

realityVSperception: It's interesting what effect ammo can have. The original cannon for the MKV Panther used a tungsten cored round that was very effective. However, after the tank design was started, the Germans realized they didn't have enough tungsten to manufacture all the rounds they would need. As a result, they substituted a different cannon which used a conventional round. This cannon was larger, so the turret size was increased. The original turret fit between the tracks in the chassis, but the new one was too large, so it had to be placed with some overhang over the tracks, and the hull was modified into a t shaped cross section to accomodate the greater turret diameter. This added a lot of weight to the design. However, the drive train was not upgraded to match on the first models, and many broke down.

 In 1943 no panzer unit equipped with Panther D and early model Panther A tanks were able to sustain an operational readiness rate above 35%. More Panthers were lost to mechanical problems in 1943 than to enemy combat. The transmission system was also poor as 5 percent broke within 100km and almost 90 percent broke down within 1,500km. The final drive on the Panther D was so bad that it could not even turn the tank while backing up. It fuel pumps were also a huge problem, they would often leak and cause massive engine fires. The Panther D and A tanks were so prone to breakdown that they had to transport them by train along with the Tiger I. When some Panther A tanks were first being distributed to the SS-Leibstandarte in Italy, September 1943, they were so poor that every one was rejected for service. In summary, the Panther D was a 45 ton tank running on a chassis built for a 24 ton vehicle with very poor mobility and reliability.

http://www.ww2f.com/topic/22672-the-panther-tanks-bad-reliability/

Another interesting story involves ordinance fuses. Krupp, a german company, developed a hand grenade fuse prior to WWI. During the war, Vickers used the design in munitions fo t ...


Thanks for the links. Fascinating reading.
 
2013-06-22 07:37:49 PM

CliChe Guevara: AndreMA: basemetal: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x515]

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.

Doesn't look terribly safe to me

 They break into a cloud of little particles on initial impact. This makes them not so nice for the people they explode inside of, but they are "Safety" rounds as they were apparently originally designed not to penetrate aircraft fuselages when used onboard aircraft, not to ricochet off hard surfaces like pavement and hit bystanders, and not to overpenetrate and exit original target and hit adjacent secondary targets like hostages.
 Safety slugs are cool, they minimize most possibilities of collateral damage in crowded close quarters engagements around numbers of noncombatants.
 They do cost a couple of bucks per round, but are worth it.


 Sounds utterly nasty for the schlub that gets hit by them.  About the only way to make them worse it to impregnate the glass with a relatively long half-life alpha emitter.

If that type of round isn't a war-crime waiting to happen, it should be.
 
2013-06-22 07:50:35 PM

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Thanks for the links. Fascinating reading.


img.fark.net
 
2013-06-22 07:51:19 PM

Norfolking Chance: realityVSperception: So the alternative argument could be made that strategically more tank destroyers should have been built and deployed, and tactically been better used to engage enemy armor instead of Shermans. I believe both the actions cited above occured under Patton's command, by far the best tank general the Americans had. Perhaps other allied commanders just used ham fisted tactics that put Shermans in unwinnable situations, resulting excessive losses?

Again, I agree it would have been better if all the Shermans had better guns. I think you are downplaying the effort that would have taken, and are overlooking that the tank vs tank role was not suppose to be fought by the Sherman in the first place.

I'd also disagree with your comments about the T-34. The T34C with its 76mm gun shocked the Germans when it was 1st encountered, and the later T34-85's 85mm gun certainly was a match for later German armor. The T34's combat effectiveness was limited by other factors like lack of radios, no power turret transverse, poor sights, and the Russian practice of fighting 'buttoned up' reducing the commander's visability. Often overlooked, the Germans had superb optics for their sights, and by fighting with the commander exposed, could rapidly engage, hit and kill Russian tanks well before the Russians could return fire effectively.

I know how the Sherman was an "infantry" tank but by '43 it should of been clear that it was an out dated concept and that any tank that couldn't engage and destroy enemy tanks was a liability. This was shown in North Africa time and time again on both sides. Having to wait for tank destroyers/aircover while your tank and the supporting infantry are under fire from other tanks that you can't stop is not a good doctrine. And thats assuming there are any tank destroyers around.

The British army had a Firefly mixed in with Cromwells and Shermans and that gave a much better force mix as each tank platoon had a much better chance of dealing wi ...


First, I didn't make those decisions so please, don't bark at me personally. As I said before, there isn't anything wrong per se with your comments.

Here's the thing. The guys who made those decsions weren't idiots. Considering that they lived those times, they knew way way more on what was happening then than you or I ever will. So why did they make those choices?

Now maybe you want to just dismiss it as a mistake on their part. Personally, I prefer to put myself in their shoes and see what I would have come up with without the benefit of modern hindsight. Typically, as I start digging, I discover a bunch of factors I wasn't aware of. More often than not, I find what they accomplished with the time and materials avaliable is down right amazing. For example, I found the wiki on the M4 to be very interesting, and frankly the decisions that were made were not all that unreasonable.

Now you can complain that the sherman didn't have exactly the right ordinance. Here's what I see. Just a few years earlier, they were still using horses and training artillery was made out of wooden 4x4s.

For a number of years only about one fourth of the officers and one-half of the enlisted men of the Regular Army were available for assignment to tactical units in the continental United States. Many units existed only on paper; almost all had only skeletonized strength. Instead of nine infantry divisions, there were actually three. In May 1927 one of these divisions, a cavalry brigade, and 200 planes participated in a combined arms maneuver in Texas, but for the most part Regular units had to train as battalions or companies. The continued dispersion of skeletonized divisions, brigades, and regiments among a large number of posts, many of them relics of the Indian wars, was a serious hindrance to the training of Regulars, although helpful in training the civilian components. Efforts to abandon small posts continued to meet with stubborn opposition from local interests and their elected representatives in Congress. In the infantry, for example, in 1932 the 24 regiments available in the United States for field service were spread among 45 posts, with a battalion or less at 34. Most of the organic transportation of these units was of World War I vintage, and the Army didnot have the money to concentrate them for training by other means. Nor were there large posts in which they could be housed.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AMH/AMH/AMH-19.html

And in the thirties, budget cuts were even deeper and any war preperation was a huge political liability to FDR. The 1940 election was a near run thing and almost won by the isolationists.

And yet 4 years later, we were pulling off D-Day and winning a two front war. Take a long hard look at what it took to make that happen.

My question to you is exactly who are the 'they' of which you speak that 'should have known' or 'been clear to'? The handful of officers that barely kept the army alive after the WWI demobilization and depression era budget cuts? Or the civilians who had no prior military background that found themselves up to their necks in a world war on Dec 8th, 1941? I just don't think you really grasp the overall size and scope of what needed to be done in very little time to create the american army. and navy. and air force. and marines.

Another good read is Bill Mauldin. Try his book 'The Brass Ring'. It's a great first person view from someone who was there. In it he has a story about a platoon in Italy (or maybe Sicily) in '43. They came across an abandoned Tiger in perfect condition. They promptly got out their bazooka and started bouncing shells off and into it to see where it was vunerable. Just after reducing it to a smoking ruin, an intel officer showed up with a transporter. He damn near broke down in tears because he had wanted to ship it back to the states for study.

The point being there is a huge difference between tangling with a tiger in '43 in africa and instantly 'knowing' what you will need in '44. It can take months just to get the specs or an example back to the states, months more to see what makes it tick, then get the info to the decision makers, then to the tank designers, manufacturers, army training units, shipped overseas, and integrated into combat. And then what? Are you going to ask the Germans for a time out while you retrain all your front line units of draftee soldiers to use your new equipment and revised tactical manuals?

Start putting together what it would actually take in every aspect to implement your ideas, and you might see for yourself why the same guys who were smart enough to create and deploy a world beating army from scratch in a couple of years chose not to do it.
 
2013-06-22 08:15:01 PM

Saberus Terras: CliChe Guevara: AndreMA: basemetal: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x515]

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.

Doesn't look terribly safe to me

 They break into a cloud of little particles on initial impact. This makes them not so nice for the people they explode inside of, but they are "Safety" rounds as they were apparently originally designed not to penetrate aircraft fuselages when used onboard aircraft, not to ricochet off hard surfaces like pavement and hit bystanders, and not to overpenetrate and exit original target and hit adjacent secondary targets like hostages.
 Safety slugs are cool, they minimize most possibilities of collateral damage in crowded close quarters engagements around numbers of noncombatants.
 They do cost a couple of bucks per round, but are worth it.

 Sounds utterly nasty for the schlub that gets hit by them.  About the only way to make them worse it to impregnate the glass with a relatively long half-life alpha emitter.

If that type of round isn't a war-crime waiting to happen, it should be.


Which is more of a crime?
 1) Law enforcement using a round specifically designed to avoid collateral damage and -not- penetrate apartment walls (and potentially kill a sleeping child in the next unit over), and designed to -never- ricochet off pavement and kill a bystander a block down the street, or
 2) Law enforcement using a solid round that dependably goes through one or two walls and still retains killing power, and does ricochet quite easily, but statistically gives a somewhat greater chance of survival to a suspect they currently feel the need to use lethal force against?

Essentially, you can choose to give the suspects/combatants a slightly higher chance at survival if you are willing to trade away a certain amount of other innocent lives for it. You really want to go there?

/There is good reason they are called "Safety" slugs. Doesn't mean they need to be safer for the target. They indeed -are- far safer, for all non-involved parties anyway. Whether that is lack of ricochets and overpenetration, or lack of depressurizing aircraft or blowing something up nearby, there are a lot of civilians that wish these were used more often.
 
2013-06-22 08:25:09 PM
My wife carries a .380 with glasers, she doesn't want to lug around a huge gun and I figure that will give her enough internal damage to get her out of danger.

/i don't give a shiat about the perp
 
2013-06-22 09:21:12 PM

realityVSperception: The point being there is a huge difference between tangling with a tiger in '43 in africa and instantly 'knowing' what you will need in '44. It can take months just to get the specs or an example back to the states, months more to see what makes it tick, then get the info to the decision makers, then to the tank designers, manufacturers, army training units, shipped overseas, and integrated into combat. And then what? Are you going to ask the Germans for a time out while you retrain all your front line units of draftee soldiers to use your new equipment and revised tactical manuals?


Having down a bit of small scale design and development over the years, one things stands out is changes to existing systems costs.  If you re-upped Sherman tanks with bigger guns now you have a problem.  You have two machines that each need to be managed and supported by the manufacturing, supply, and maintenance networks. So yeah the Sherman isn't optimal, but where are you going to expend your resources?  Also given that back then the people in charge were on the back side of things trying to guess the future with a war fight.
 
2013-06-22 09:35:14 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Thanks for the links. Fascinating reading.

[img.fark.net image 184x280]


Thanks Q.A., I'll see if that's available for Nook. If so, that'll be my next book. If not, I'll check Amazon (no decent bookstores in this 10 cent town).
 
2013-06-22 11:10:12 PM
Let's face it, the Germans were locked in a no-holds-barred arms race with the Soviets from mid-41 on. They had to learn quick or die. While in the desert, the Allies were up against strictly the second team. The tiny contingent of Tigers Africa Corps got in 1942 did nothing to change minds that they needed harder-hitting tanks. The Eastern front got the bulk of the new equipment anyhow, very little by comparison going to North African and later Italian fronts.
So when they came out of the water at Normandy they got a rude shock, with just about every piece of German armour outclassing them in hitting power and at least equal in armour protection, and the dense bocage country of Normandy was perfect for ambush tactics by the big German cats.
 
2013-06-23 01:17:22 AM

Norfolking Chance: realityVSperception: I agree with your basic point. That said, the M4 Sherman was designed to go against the MKIV, which it was a decent match for though. The thing to remember is the timeframe these were designed, tooled up, and deployed in. Can you imagine going from a blank sheet of paper to production delivery in 18 months or less? The logistics behind that are astounding. I've wandered the halls of today's pentagon and spent more time than that just trying to get the f*****g phone bills paid. Remember that the Americans committed to a single design, built in volume, and won, while the Germans built a plethora of incrementally upgraded designs and lost. And also one can't just look at tank vs tank, as allied overall strategy was built around air superiority. Allied ground attack planes decimated the panzercorps far more effectively than tank vs tank duels could ever have, while having many abeit inferior tanks available allowed Allied forces to sweep across France in '44. Would you want more 17lber Shermans if it ment fewer P47's? When you look at Allied tank+plane vs German tank+plane strategy, the Allies overall strategy beat the Germans at their own blitzkrieg game.

Also, the tiger has a backstory too. Hitler and Porche were buddies, and Porche was suppose to get the tiger tank contract. Henschel's prototype was just suppose to be a fig leaf to cover the fact that the tiger contract was rigged at the highest level. In fact Porche & co. were so sure they would win, they already had about 200 chasss under construction before the contract was awarded. Low and behold, when the prototypes went head to head, Henschel's design was so much better, even Hitler had to admit they should get the contract. The Porche chassis were converted into assault guns called Elephants, which had (to put it politely) a poor record. If you get the military channel, they run "Tank Overhaul" every now and then, and they cover restoring an Elephant captured in Italy in an episode.

Whil ...


Saw some references to US generals not wanting larger guns in tanks prior to DDay.  Tank hunting was the job of Tank Destroyers, not tanks.  They didn't want to encourage tank crews to go hunting tanks.  After DDay, the request came for new tanks to be armed with 90 and 105mm guns (I think) in a 4 to 1 ratio.
 
2013-06-23 02:06:19 AM
Actually, I answered my own question as who 'should have known' the Shermans were under gunned. The whole TD strategy was championed by General Lesley James McNair. He was a highly decorated artillery officer in WWI who was the Chief of Staff of GHQ, U.S. Army from July 1940 to March 1942, and In March 1942, General McNair became Commanding General, Army Ground Forces. Not too suprisingly he favored anti tank guns and then tank destroyers over heavy tanks and thwarted several attempts to up gun the Shermans. He also made some poor choices in his subordinates, as one of his hand picked generals was responsible for Kasserine pass in Africa.

As a result of his belief in the tank destroyer doctrine, McNair was instrumental in obstructing the production of the M26 Pershing. McNair saw no need for a heavy tank and believed that tank versus tank duels were "unsound and unnecessary". McNair would agree only to the production of the 76mm M4 Sherman which he believed were capable of handling the Tiger I tank that had appeared in late 1942. Gen. Jacob Devers, the main proponent for the M26, had to go over McNair's head to Gen. Marshall to begin production of the M26.

He also caused problems in other areas like training. Here's the wiki link-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesley_J._McNair
 
2013-06-23 04:53:08 AM

realityVSperception: Actually, I answered my own question as who 'should have known' the Shermans were under gunned. The whole TD strategy was championed by General Lesley James McNair. He was a highly decorated artillery officer in WWI who was the Chief of Staff of GHQ, U.S. Army from July 1940 to March 1942, and In March 1942, General McNair became Commanding General, Army Ground Forces. Not too suprisingly he favored anti tank guns and then tank destroyers over heavy tanks and thwarted several attempts to up gun the Shermans. He also made some poor choices in his subordinates, as one of his hand picked generals was responsible for Kasserine pass in Africa.

As a result of his belief in the tank destroyer doctrine, McNair was instrumental in obstructing the production of the M26 Pershing. McNair saw no need for a heavy tank and believed that tank versus tank duels were "unsound and unnecessary". McNair would agree only to the production of the 76mm M4 Sherman which he believed were capable of handling the Tiger I tank that had appeared in late 1942. Gen. Jacob Devers, the main proponent for the M26, had to go over McNair's head to Gen. Marshall to begin production of the M26.

He also caused problems in other areas like training. Here's the wiki link-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesley_J._McNair


Sounds like McNair should've been awarded the Knights Cross, with oak leaves and clusters. By Hitler.
 
2013-06-23 09:02:33 AM

cynicalbastard: realityVSperception: Actually, I answered my own question as who 'should have known' the Shermans were under gunned. The whole TD strategy was championed by General Lesley James McNair. He was a highly decorated artillery officer in WWI who was the Chief of Staff of GHQ, U.S. Army from July 1940 to March 1942, and In March 1942, General McNair became Commanding General, Army Ground Forces. Not too suprisingly he favored anti tank guns and then tank destroyers over heavy tanks and thwarted several attempts to up gun the Shermans. He also made some poor choices in his subordinates, as one of his hand picked generals was responsible for Kasserine pass in Africa.

As a result of his belief in the tank destroyer doctrine, McNair was instrumental in obstructing the production of the M26 Pershing. McNair saw no need for a heavy tank and believed that tank versus tank duels were "unsound and unnecessary". McNair would agree only to the production of the 76mm M4 Sherman which he believed were capable of handling the Tiger I tank that had appeared in late 1942. Gen. Jacob Devers, the main proponent for the M26, had to go over McNair's head to Gen. Marshall to begin production of the M26.

He also caused problems in other areas like training. Here's the wiki link-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesley_J._McNair

Sounds like McNair should've been awarded the Knights Cross, with oak leaves and clusters. By Hitler.


Sadly, he probably thought he was doing the right thing. His personal bravery is not in question, as he was decorated for bravery in WWI, and he died in action in Normandy (abeit by freindly fire). He was made a general at one of the youngest ages ever, again due to his outstanding WWI service.

It looks like he was trying to fight the previous war with the weapons he knew best, which is pretty common in military circles. It seems like a classic case of the 'Peter Principle' (where people are promoted to their level of incompetence) in action.
 
2013-06-23 09:14:11 AM

CliChe Guevara: Saberus Terras: CliChe Guevara: AndreMA: basemetal: [cdn.petapixel.com image 620x515]

The one on the left looks like a glaser safety slug.

Doesn't look terribly safe to me

 They break into a cloud of little particles on initial impact. This makes them not so nice for the people they explode inside of, but they are "Safety" rounds as they were apparently originally designed not to penetrate aircraft fuselages when used onboard aircraft, not to ricochet off hard surfaces like pavement and hit bystanders, and not to overpenetrate and exit original target and hit adjacent secondary targets like hostages.
 Safety slugs are cool, they minimize most possibilities of collateral damage in crowded close quarters engagements around numbers of noncombatants.
 They do cost a couple of bucks per round, but are worth it.

 Sounds utterly nasty for the schlub that gets hit by them.  About the only way to make them worse it to impregnate the glass with a relatively long half-life alpha emitter.

If that type of round isn't a war-crime waiting to happen, it should be.

Which is more of a crime?
 1) Law enforcement using a round specifically designed to avoid collateral damage and -not- penetrate apartment walls (and potentially kill a sleeping child in the next unit over), and designed to -never- ricochet off pavement and kill a bystander a block down the street, or
 2) Law enforcement using a solid round that dependably goes through one or two walls and still retains killing power, and does ricochet quite easily, but statistically gives a somewhat greater chance of survival to a suspect they currently feel the need to use lethal force against?

Essentially, you can choose to give the suspects/combatants a slightly higher chance at survival if you are willing to trade away a certain amount of other innocent lives for it. You really want to go there?

/There is good reason they are called "Safety" slugs. Doesn't mean they need to be safer for the target. They indeed -are- far safer ...


I wasn't referring to glaser rounds in general, as I can see the benefits of having no richochet or overpenetration in home defense or commercial airplanes.

I was referring to my additional nastiness to add to it, as bolded above.  Something like that definitely goes into the territory of 'causing undue or prolonged suffering of an enemy combatant' under my understanding of the Geneva/Hague convention. (which is based on what was printed in a US Army Field Training Manual that was printed in October of 1985)

Some might try to argue that a regular glaser falls under the same cloak, but I just don't see it... it's more like a very small shotgun round filled with glass or resin, so if it's fired into the center of mass, it's going to be as lethal as a regular bullet, so no real chance of the 'undue or prolonged' bit.
 
2013-06-23 10:04:35 AM

Saberus Terras: I wasn't referring to glaser rounds in general, as I can see the benefits of having no richochet or overpenetration in home defense or commercial airplanes.

I was referring to my additional nastiness to add to it, as bolded above. Something like that definitely goes into the territory of 'causing undue or prolonged suffering of an enemy combatant' under my understanding of the Geneva/Hague convention. (which is based on what was printed in a US Army Field Training Manual that was printed in October of 1985)


I'm pretty sure that glass fragments won't show on x-rays, making it harder to treat the wounded and potentially causing suffering years later from glass splinters working their way out of the body of the person on the receiving end of these.

I think it's likely that a round could be developed that has the anti-ricochet properties but doesn't have that drawback. Perhaps simply dissolving Barium Oxide in the molten glass during fabrication would introduce a useful amount of x-ray opacity. Or perhaps they already do this?
 
2013-06-23 11:05:50 AM

realityVSperception: cynicalbastard: realityVSperception: Actually, I answered my own question as who 'should have known' the Shermans were under gunned. The whole TD strategy was championed by General Lesley James McNair. He was a highly decorated artillery officer in WWI who was the Chief of Staff of GHQ, U.S. Army from July 1940 to March 1942, and In March 1942, General McNair became Commanding General, Army Ground Forces. Not too suprisingly he favored anti tank guns and then tank destroyers over heavy tanks and thwarted several attempts to up gun the Shermans. He also made some poor choices in his subordinates, as one of his hand picked generals was responsible for Kasserine pass in Africa.

As a result of his belief in the tank destroyer doctrine, McNair was instrumental in obstructing the production of the M26 Pershing. McNair saw no need for a heavy tank and believed that tank versus tank duels were "unsound and unnecessary". McNair would agree only to the production of the 76mm M4 Sherman which he believed were capable of handling the Tiger I tank that had appeared in late 1942. Gen. Jacob Devers, the main proponent for the M26, had to go over McNair's head to Gen. Marshall to begin production of the M26.

He also caused problems in other areas like training. Here's the wiki link-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesley_J._McNair

Sounds like McNair should've been awarded the Knights Cross, with oak leaves and clusters. By Hitler.

Sadly, he probably thought he was doing the right thing. His personal bravery is not in question, as he was decorated for bravery in WWI, and he died in action in Normandy (abeit by freindly fire). He was made a general at one of the youngest ages ever, again due to his outstanding WWI service.

It looks like he was trying to fight the previous war with the weapons he knew best, which is pretty common in military circles. It seems like a classic case of the 'Peter Principle' (where people are promoted to their level of incompetence) in action.


I wasn't trying to berate you, i was trying to make the point you have made that the TD concept was flawed and proved to have been in the North Africa theatre. It was a doctrine that was created to make his personal branch of the US Army the most important at the expense of the most effective doctrine. If the Tiger hadn't been deployed in North Africa then its only hindsight that showed the M4 as under gunned. The allies had captured an intact Tiger in North Africa (its the one still running at the Bovington Tank muesium in England) so had all the technical data they needed. The armour was tested in America against the 75mm that the Sherman had and the gun was declaired ok. How the test was implemented was not recorded so we don't know if the test was flawed or was deliberatly fixed to show what McNair wanted.
 
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