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(History Channel)   On this day in history, in 1942, the First Battle of El Alamein began, in yet another rare case where the sequel was better than the original   (history.com) divider line
    More: Vintage, Erwin Rommel, World War II, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Nazi Germany, Benito Mussolini, Second Battle of El Alamein, Axis powers, Afrika Korps  
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1136 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Jul 2021 at 5:50 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



36 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-07-01 5:16:39 PM  
As I recall, the Brits had the cheat codes.
 
2021-07-01 5:53:55 PM  
I've played that map.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-01 5:56:16 PM  
RolfBlitzer:

Takes. Me. Back.

Hop in a plane and fly to the southernmost position. Either para in or land the plane on the road and hold till the enemy shows. Run to AA and blast them. Good times.
 
2021-07-01 5:57:15 PM  
What difficulty level
 
2021-07-01 6:01:50 PM  
Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-01 7:00:57 PM  

Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]


A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?
 
2021-07-01 7:05:06 PM  
 
2021-07-01 7:23:43 PM  

NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?


Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).
 
2021-07-01 7:45:32 PM  

dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).


Luckily the good guys always had a numbers advantage. The Germans thought the superior strength of the Panzer meant they could send less of them. The tiny M3 tanks only had two pound guns but a pack of them was deadly.
I wouldn't want to be in Egypt in June let alone during a month long battle. Brave Men.
 
2021-07-01 7:49:35 PM  
Montgomery isn't the hands-down consensus pick for the most over-rated General of WWII (there are so many to choose from), but he's definitely in the running.
 
2021-07-01 8:04:57 PM  

Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]


Classic. That's most likely one of the used ones we stripped from our armored division to give them. To be fair, it was all we had. We mostly went to war in inferior death traps the Russians called "a grave for 7 brothers" in order to equip the British with a tank that wasn't garbage. The English literally couldn't make a decent tank to save their lives, and the 2nd Battle of El Alamein was that important. 42 was a desperate year, look at the hodge podge of aircraft the US puts at Midway. Incomplete squadrons, untrained crews, mixes of types of aircraft in the same squadron, obsolete aircraft...

Iirc, the used Sherman tanks crapped out kind of early in the final pursuit of the afrika korps because after the hard use of battle and pursuit, plus the training abuse they already had on their clocks.
 
2021-07-01 8:06:32 PM  

NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?


Not in 42. Base model M4 was equal to or better than anything in Africa until the last month or so when a handful of Tigers show up.
 
2021-07-01 8:23:38 PM  
The British had the codes, heard the orders for Rommel, Rommel disobeyed, British confused, which way did he go?
 
2021-07-01 8:30:27 PM  

aaronx: Montgomery isn't the hands-down consensus pick for the most over-rated General of WWII (there are so many to choose from), but he's definitely in the running.


And much like most of his competitors, he was great at working a crowd and beloved by the troops.
 
2021-07-01 8:31:19 PM  
Didn't do that well in German markets for some reason.
 
2021-07-01 8:32:36 PM  
The Mediterranean was New Zealand's main area of operations during the war and the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (the first was in WW1) found itself going from Greece to Crete to North Africa then into Italy. So the battles of El Alamein feature heavily in my country's military history.

This was the battle where Charles Upham won his second Victoria Cross and the 28th (Māori) Battalion continued to be total badasses.
 
2021-07-01 8:33:33 PM  

aaronx: Montgomery isn't the hands-down consensus pick for the most over-rated General of WWII (there are so many to choose from), but he's definitely in the running.


Market Garden put him at the top of the fecal roster.
 
2021-07-01 8:34:54 PM  

jokerscrowbar: dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).

Luckily the good guys always had a numbers advantage. The Germans thought the superior strength of the Panzer meant they could send less of them. The tiny M3 tanks only had two pound guns but a pack of them was deadly.
I wouldn't want to be in Egypt in June let alone during a month long battle. Brave Men.


What? The M3 was an alright tank, even though it was deeply flawed. And it had a 75mm gun essentially the same as the Sherman's. And those played a key role in stopping the Germans and driving them back.
 
XSV
2021-07-01 8:42:21 PM  

aaronx: Montgomery isn't the hands-down consensus pick for the most over-rated General of WWII (there are so many to choose from), but he's definitely in the running.


Honestly in my head, I picture Zap Brannigan when I hear Monty mentioned
 
2021-07-01 8:56:03 PM  

aaronx: Montgomery isn't the hands-down consensus pick for the most over-rated General of WWII (there are so many to choose from), but he's definitely in the running.


He wasn't in charge of the 8th Army until August, 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein was under Auchinleck. Monty was in command in the Second Battle.
 
2021-07-01 9:25:51 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-01 9:25:56 PM  

dywed88: jokerscrowbar: dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).

Luckily the good guys always had a numbers advantage. The Germans thought the superior strength of the Panzer meant they could send less of them. The tiny M3 tanks only had two pound guns but a pack of them was deadly.
I wouldn't want to be in Egypt in June let alone during a month long battle. Brave Men.

What? The M3 was an alright tank, even though it was deeply flawed. And it had a 75mm gun essentially the same as the Sherman's. And those played a key role in stopping the Germans and driving them back.


http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/​w​eapons_light_tank_M3.html

The Sherman hadn't got there yet.  There were 68 of these M3 Stuart light tanks with 37mm guns that did a lot of damage along with about a hundred Medium and cruiser tanks for the first battle. It's hardly ever mentioned but can you imagine how many truckloads of ammo and spare parts were needed for all the different makes and models.
 
2021-07-01 9:45:38 PM  

jokerscrowbar: dywed88: jokerscrowbar: dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).

Luckily the good guys always had a numbers advantage. The Germans thought the superior strength of the Panzer meant they could send less of them. The tiny M3 tanks only had two pound guns but a pack of them was deadly.
I wouldn't want to be in Egypt in June let alone during a month long battle. Brave Men.

What? The M3 was an alright tank, even though it was deeply flawed. And it had a 75mm gun essentially the same as the Sherman's. And those played a key role in stopping the Germans and driving them back.

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/w​eapons_light_tank_M3.html

The Sherman hadn't got there yet.  There were 68 of these M3 Stuart light tanks with 37mm guns that did a lot of damage along with about a hundred Medium and cruiser tanks for the first battle. It's hardly ever mentioned but can you imagine how many truckloads of ammo and spare parts were needed for all the different makes and models.


I meant the M3s.

The British were still very much in desperation mode. And we're using everything they had. The eclectic mix of weapons the 8th army fielded around the time of the battles at El Alamein is crazy.
 
2021-07-01 9:50:26 PM  
 
2021-07-01 9:51:08 PM  
The Sherman hadn't got there yet.  There were 68 of these M3 Stuart light tanks with 37mm guns that did a lot of damage along with about a hundred Medium and cruiser tanks for the first battle. It's hardly ever mentioned but can you imagine how many truckloads of ammo and spare parts were needed for all the different makes and models.

Later in North Africa the U.S. Army would field a haunted M3 which proved very effective, if memories from my childhood reading can be trusted anyway.
 
2021-07-01 10:15:10 PM  

dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).


What he said.  This gentleman digs into common misconceptions about the Sherman in more detail:

Myths of American Armor. TankFest Northwest 2015
Youtube bNjp_4jY8pY
 
2021-07-01 10:31:22 PM  

Marmotking: The Sherman hadn't got there yet.  There were 68 of these M3 Stuart light tanks with 37mm guns that did a lot of damage along with about a hundred Medium and cruiser tanks for the first battle. It's hardly ever mentioned but can you imagine how many truckloads of ammo and spare parts were needed for all the different makes and models.

Later in North Africa the U.S. Army would field a haunted M3 which proved very effective, if memories from my childhood reading can be trusted anyway.


Yeah I read a lot of those too, wouldn't be allowed today.
I really liked Hellman of Hammer Force too but it only ran for a year and got banned for being too violent.
Considering I was 9 when I read them and can still reel off facts and figures means I was actually learning.
 
2021-07-02 12:11:07 AM  
My grandad served under Monty at El Alamein.  Chased Rommel and the Hun across North Africa.

Took a bullet to the knee in the invasion of Italy in '43.  Sat out the rest of the war manning an anti-aircraft gun in the Scottish highlands.

Amazing guy!

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-02 2:13:28 AM  

NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?


Not at that point in the war no
 
2021-07-02 2:45:51 AM  
6 pdr  AT gun FTW
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-02 2:54:28 AM  

SoFlaNative52: Monty was the most overrated field commander for the allies for all of World War II. Here is one view:
https://m.facebook.com/82ndAirborneDiv​ision/photos/a.287904200386/1015992575​7025387/?type=3&__tn__=EH-R

Here's another: https://hansonsauctioneers.co​.uk/blog/2018/10/letters-reveal-spat-b​etween-legendary-british-leaders-churc​hill-and-monty


This battle is 1st El Alamein so not Monty.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First​_​Battle_of_El_Alamein
 
2021-07-02 3:21:26 AM  
148 - Fall Blau Starts...or Does it? - WW2 - June 26, 1942
Youtube cBO8h7bcAH0
No love for World War 2 in real time? Last weeks episode talks a bit about the hassle of getting those first Shermans to Egypt.
 
2021-07-02 3:44:29 AM  

XSV: aaronx: Montgomery isn't the hands-down consensus pick for the most over-rated General of WWII (there are so many to choose from), but he's definitely in the running.

Honestly in my head, I picture Zap Brannigan when I hear Monty mentioned


No, Zap Brannigan wasn't nearly as condescending as Monty.

North Africa.  So many ironies to choose from, I don't even know where to start.  But a quick list of them would look like the following:

- The British Ultra Program decoded German Enigma codes all through the war, but Rommel had the American Embassy radio cyphers all the up to El Alamein thanks to an Italian burgler who broke into the embassy and stole them.  Rommel would beat the British on a tactical scale for the same reason they eventually beat him on a strategic scale.

- Rommel was closer to Germany than the British were to Britain, yet the geography of his position made Axis supply lines much longer than the Allied ones thanks to the possession of overseas colonies, the Suez Canal, and a much larger and more robust merchant marine on the British part.

- The British outgunned, out numbered, and out supplied Rommel in almost every battle in North Africa, yet Rommel won battle after battle because the German Army drilled in combined-arms tactics and operations.  The British Army was tied to a regimental system that kept individual regiments and battalions fighting their own battles, while the German units were modular and could be plugged in to temporary task forces to quickly adapt to conditions and enemy forces as they appeared.  The British improved their tactics when Monty came in and declared that El Alamein, "...will be an ARMY battle!  No more Jock Columns!"

- Historians, and many observers of the time, compared the war in North Africa to the eastern battles of the American Civil War.  In both instances, a small, under-supplied army with a famous commanding general won battle after battle against a much larger and better supplied force led by a whole series of generals that were replaced continuously by their respective government leaders.  Of course, Robert E Lee survived the war to die of natural causes, while Rommel took his own life after being charged with leading an assassination conspiracy of which he knew nothing about.

(pant, pant, pant) OK, gotta go hit Caturday.  See you guys around.
 
2021-07-02 9:47:41 AM  

Polish Hussar: dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).

What he said.  This gentleman digs into common misconceptions about the Sherman in more detail:

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/bNjp_4jY​8pY]


There are lots of myths around the Sherman and Mr Moran is right about a lot of them he does underplay a couple of factors.

When it was first introduced the Sherman was good, the armour and gun were both good along with the mobility. While it was called the Ronson it was no more likely to burn than any other tank of the time.

The issues came in Normandy. The US Army didn't want to take the up-gunned Shermans into Normandy because the 76mm had a worse HE round for infantry support over the 75mm and as the AP round in the 75mm was good enough in Africa it would be good enough in Europe. They were mostly right as the bulk of the German armour in Normandy was faced by the British and not the Americans so the better HE round was a better tactical choice. That didn't help the poor sods who did face a Panther or Tiger with just the 75mm but numbers prevailed.

While the 76mm might have been better on paper than the 17 pounder in an anti-tank role the 17pdr was better because it was the only one in theatre and could take on the heavier German armour. The Sherman was perfectly adequate for the Western European front for what it was up against but its number one advantage wasn't its battlefield ability, it was the numbers that could be brought to bare because it was easy to make and very easy to fix compared to the other tanks at the time (rivalled only to the T34).

By the end of the war both the M4 and T34 were beyond their usefulness but the ability of the Germans to mount any operations were limited and the pause to switch production to the Pershing/Centurion or T44 would have allowed to the others to claim more of Germany in the race to Berlin.

/The most effective anti-tank weapon the Germans had was not the Panther, Tiger or even Jagdtiger
//It was the humble 75mm field gun with AP rounds.
 
2021-07-02 12:03:11 PM  

Norfolking Chance: Polish Hussar: dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).

What he said.  This gentleman digs into common misconceptions about the Sherman in more detail:

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/bNjp_4jY​8pY]

There are lots of myths around the Sherman and Mr Moran is right about a lot of them he does underplay a couple of factors.

When it was first introduced the Sherman was good, the armour and gun were both good along with the mobility. While it was called the Ronson it was no more likely to burn than any other tank of the time.

The issues came in Normandy. The US Army didn't want to take the up-gunned Shermans into Normandy because the 76mm had a worse HE round for infantry support over the 75mm and as the AP round in the 75mm was good enough in Africa it would be good enough in Europe. They were mostly right as the bulk of the German armour in Normandy was faced by the British and not the Americans so the better HE round was a better tactical choice. That didn't help the poor sods who did face a Panther or Tiger with just the 75mm but numbers prevailed.

While the 76mm might have been better on paper than the 17 pounder in an anti-tank role the 17pdr was better because it was the only one in theatre and could take on the heavier German armour. The Sherman was perfectly adequate for the Western European front for what it was up against but its number one advantage wasn't its battlefield ability, it was the numbers that could be brought to bare because it was easy to make and very easy to fix compared to the other tanks at the time (rivalled only to the T34).

By the end of the war both the M4 and T34 were beyond their usefulness but the ability of the Germans to mount any operations were limited and the pause to switch production to the Pershing/Centurion or T44 would have allowed to the others to claim more of Germany in the race to Berlin.

/The most effective anti-tank weapon the Germans had was not the Panther, Tiger or even Jagdtiger
//It was the humble 75mm field gun with AP rounds.


Interesting. Thanks ury'buddy. I'm a history enthusiast, not a military history buff, so I learned a bit here.

/Well, maybe fighter jets, cuz I grew up in the 80s and 90s.
 
2021-07-02 9:30:28 PM  

Norfolking Chance: Polish Hussar: dywed88: NINEv2: Clash City Farker: Here is the biggest badass tank on the field at 2nd Alamein.


[s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com image 640x454]

A Sherman? Weren't they undergunned and underarmored?

Not sure if serious, but in case you are. No, it most definitely was not.

It was every bit the match of the other medium tanks of the war (depending on when, where, and which versions it might be marginally better or worse but close enough that other factors were far more significant).

What he said.  This gentleman digs into common misconceptions about the Sherman in more detail:

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/bNjp_4jY​8pY]

There are lots of myths around the Sherman and Mr Moran is right about a lot of them he does underplay a couple of factors.

When it was first introduced the Sherman was good, the armour and gun were both good along with the mobility. While it was called the Ronson it was no more likely to burn than any other tank of the time.

The issues came in Normandy. The US Army didn't want to take the up-gunned Shermans into Normandy because the 76mm had a worse HE round for infantry support over the 75mm and as the AP round in the 75mm was good enough in Africa it would be good enough in Europe. They were mostly right as the bulk of the German armour in Normandy was faced by the British and not the Americans so the better HE round was a better tactical choice. That didn't help the poor sods who did face a Panther or Tiger with just the 75mm but numbers prevailed.

While the 76mm might have been better on paper than the 17 pounder in an anti-tank role the 17pdr was better because it was the only one in theatre and could take on the heavier German armour. The Sherman was perfectly adequate for the Western European front for what it was up against but its number one advantage wasn't its battlefield ability, it was the numbers that could be brought to bare because it was easy to make and very easy to fix compared to the other t ...


This is going to be rambling and stray at times from responding to what you said (and probably repeat sections of what you said).  My apologies in advance.

Although the Ronson nickname appears to have come about post-war.  As Col. Moran (he got promoted to Lt. Col. a month or two ago, good for him!) notes, the cigarette lighter company didn't start using the "Lights the first time, every time" slogan until the 1950s.  And once wet ammunition stowage was installed, those Shermans were some of the most burn-resistant tanks in the world.

Adding to what you said, prioritizing the HE round performance makes a fair amount of sense once you learn that American tanks fired 80% HE during World War II. There was a lot that needed blowing up that wasn't tanks as it turned out.  Training and supporting an additional (and very new) supply chain was another reason why they left the 1,000 or so 76mm Shermans in England for D-Day.  Getting the crews, mechanics, etc. familiar with a new toy and setting up the logistics train for it isn't the simplest thing in the world, especially when you're in the midst of preparing the largest amphibious invasion in history.  Also, as far as the commanders in Europe knew, the 75mm Sherman was killing anything the Germans had in the field just fine.  For whatever reason the reports from American forces in Italy were making it to Washington, but not to England.  Although, I'm not sure any tank would have done well on the offensive in Normandy, the Bocage was almost ideal terrain for the defender.

Firefly is an interesting case study.  The 17 pounder could kill anything, but it was a deeply imperfect solution.  Great at anti-armor, but sucked at pretty much everything else.  And the turret was so cramped the U.S. Army rejected Firefly as unfightable after testing it.  Still, it was there and considerably better than nothing.

Numbers, that the Sherman had in spades.  Easy to produce, easy to repair, and fundamentally very mechanically reliable.  I think Shermans had something like a 98% availability rate during World War II.  That's unheard of for a WWII armored vehicle (their weight tended to be rather rough on the components that made them move).  A Panther may have been more than a match for a Sherman, but a Sherman on the battlefield beats a Panther back at the repair depot any day.  Fun fact:  It took 3 times longer to replace a transmission on a Panther as it did on a Sherman.

Also, there are reasons why the United States didn't start taking a serious look at heavy tanks until fairly late in the war.  The factors involved in getting tanks to the battlefield was a big one.  A tank the size and weight of a Sherman is a lot easier to ship across an ocean than one the size of Pershing.  Also, your combat engineers can build a Bailey bridge that supports a Sherman somewhat faster than one that can hold a Pershing.  And as mentioned before, the 75mm Sherman was killing Panzer III's and IV's without any difficulty, the vehicles that composed the bulk of German tanks.  And speaking of Pershing, there was a lot of resistance to fielding the early, near prototype tanks in Europe.  There were a number of folks who thought the battlefield was a bad place to work out all the kinks.  See Panther's performance at Kursk as an example of why they'd feel this way.

The video below about the Sherman's development, including modifications during the war, is a great companion piece to the "Myths of American Armor" video.  It gives a really good explanation of the design choices made on the Sherman, particularly how the broader picture influenced things.  There were a number of things they needed to consider beyond tank-on-tank engagements.

US AFV Development in WW2, or, "Why the Sherman was what it was"
Youtube TwIlrAosYiM
 
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