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WWII Myths - T-34 Best Tank of the war


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WidowMaker1711 #41 Posted 28 October 2017 - 09:19 PM

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View PostPanthergraf, on 28 October 2017 - 07:28 PM, said:

M4 players would be told how the enemy fights by an ally then have their [edited]handed to them in their first 10 games (10x Kasserine Pass, Sand River) and watch some tutorials after that, train their crews and platoon with 4 Artys.

 

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G72 Y549 #42 Posted 28 October 2017 - 09:23 PM

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The T-34-76 was rather sophisticated for its time. The sloped armour was inpenetrable, which inevitably led to the development of the Tiger I and Pz. V Panther.

What do you call a Waffenträger that was one shot?

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baron58 #43 Posted 29 October 2017 - 04:31 AM

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View Postdarrenv64, on 28 October 2017 - 10:03 AM, said:

The point here is this; judging an AFV's qualities through the narrow lens of the "iron triangle" (armor, firepower, and mobility), and ignoring those factors that give it combat effectiveness as part of a combined arms team, are short sighted.

As an example using WoT; three players are in a match with their Tier V mediums. One has a T-34, another is in a Pz.Kpfw IV (H), and the third is in the M4 Sherman. All three have their engines hit. No problem, their crews are trained in repairs (in reality all three would be out of the fight for the remainder of the game, but for playability they can quickly repair the damage and get rolling). If the game had relative realism in regards to the repair-ability of these three tanks, the German and Russian crews would take 45 and 60 seconds respectively, the Americans would have it fixed in ten seconds. Furthermore, a player in his T-34 would be hit three times by an enemy tank, from less than a hundred meters, before they showed up on his map. By the time he gets his gun turned, he's destroyed.

The M4 player would have near instant and sustained artillery support. Soon as he lights a target and requests it, shells from four artillery start raining in, complete with white phosphorus to hide the Sherman from other enemy team players. He sends a platoon request to one of his friends, four additional friends in Sherman's show up at the spawn point.

The Pz. IV player platoons with three other Pz. IV players prior to the match, but only one other shows up in game (the Tier VII Panther ends up by himself while his Panther platoon mates are repairing themselves at the spawn point, the Tiger I's platoon mates are stuck in the garage).

The T-34 player has ten platoon mates, who subsequently drive strait to the enemy cap and are all destroyed in one clump at the middle of the map. Then all praise their Soviet leadership and equipment out of fear Wargaming will delete their accounts.


 

 

Informative AND entertaining. Can't beat that.

abhiop741 #44 Posted 29 October 2017 - 11:07 AM

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View PostG72 Y549, on 28 October 2017 - 10:23 PM, said:

The T-34-76 was rather sophisticated for its time. The sloped armour was inpenetrable, which inevitably led to the development of the Tiger I and Pz. V Panther.

 

Sophisticated isn't the good expression because the T-34 was poorly finished (the ergonomy for the driver for instance was very bad, he sat on a wooden box !). But effectively in 1941 the T-34 was rather revolutionary and caused a real shock to the Wehrmacht. As you say the slopped armor was frontaly almost impenetrable for the small calibers guns (37 or 50 mm guns) of the Panzer III and Panzer 38 (t), and the Panzer IV had a short 75 mm gun not well adaptated to fight tanks (precision and velocity weren't good). Moreover, the T-34 had 2 other advantages : its large tracks that let it pass in conditions where German tanks couldn't and its diesel engine that increased its autonomy and limited its flammability. So the German had to react to T-34. That would be the Panther and Tiger II with their slopes armour, large tracks and bigger caliber guns.

Overall, for the last years of WWII, the best medium tank of the war was clearly the Panzer V Panther. It has a deadly and precise 75 mm gun able to frontaly destroy any T-34 or M4, large tracks and a better frontal sloped armour than its opponents. But it was a sophisticated tank, needing more ressource and more complex to produce ! So the Germans could produce only 5'000 Panzer V Panther against 35'000 T-34 and 29'000 T-34-85. They had the best medium tank but were overwhelmed by the numbers of T-34 and M4 (49'000 produced).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34

 


Edited by abhiop741, 29 October 2017 - 11:25 AM.

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Shockwave IIC #45 Posted 29 October 2017 - 11:34 AM

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View Postdarrenv64, on 28 October 2017 - 04:03 PM, said:

The point here is this; judging an AFV's qualities through the narrow lens of the "iron triangle" (armor, firepower, and mobility), and ignoring those factors that give it combat effectiveness as part of a combined arms team, are short sighted.

As an example using WoT; three players are in a match with their Tier V mediums. One has a T-34, another is in a Pz.Kpfw IV (H), and the third is in the M4 Sherman. All three have their engines hit. No problem, their crews are trained in repairs (in reality all three would be out of the fight for the remainder of the game, but for playability they can quickly repair the damage and get rolling). If the game had relative realism in regards to the repair-ability of these three tanks, the German and Russian crews would take 45 and 60 seconds respectively, the Americans would have it fixed in ten seconds. Furthermore, a player in his T-34 would be hit three times by an enemy tank, from less than a hundred meters, before they showed up on his map. By the time he gets his gun turned, he's destroyed.

The M4 player would have near instant and sustained artillery support. Soon as he lights a target and requests it, shells from four artillery start raining in, complete with white phosphorus to hide the Sherman from other enemy team players. He sends a platoon request to one of his friends, four additional friends in Sherman's show up at the spawn point. However the crews would be 75-100% with no skills, but will be in party chat

The Pz. IV player platoons with three other Pz. IV players prior to the match, but only one other shows up in game (the Tier VII Panther ends up by himself while his Panther platoon mates are repairing themselves at the spawn point, the Tiger I's platoon mates are stuck in the garage). The crews would be 100% trained, probably with multiple skills (Specially abush skills), and they would certainly be in party chat (Discord), while able to listen in (and join) on game chat.

The T-34 player has ten platoon mates, who subsequently drive strait to the enemy cap and are all destroyed in one clump at the middle of the map. Then all praise their Soviet leadership and equipment out of fear Wargaming will delete their accounts. Crew will be 50-75% trained and only able to commicate via the command wheel.
 

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Xenith_Inc #46 Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:13 PM

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Quantity has a quality all its own.

 

The German Tiger were the technically best tanks of the period, but they couldn't be produced quickly enough to have an effect.

 

Who cares if you lose 10 T34 to every tiger. When all the tigers are gone, only T34's will be left, making them the best tank.


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Ogre4Hire #47 Posted 30 October 2017 - 10:18 PM

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View Postabhiop741, on 29 October 2017 - 03:07 AM, said:

 

Sophisticated isn't the good expression because the T-34 was poorly finished (the ergonomy for the driver for instance was very bad, he sat on a wooden box !). But effectively in 1941 the T-34 was rather revolutionary and caused a real shock to the Wehrmacht. As you say the slopped armor was frontaly almost impenetrable for the small calibers guns (37 or 50 mm guns) of the Panzer III and Panzer 38 (t), and the Panzer IV had a short 75 mm gun not well adaptated to fight tanks (precision and velocity weren't good). Moreover, the T-34 had 2 other advantages : its large tracks that let it pass in conditions where German tanks couldn't and its diesel engine that increased its autonomy and limited its flammability.

 

 

The diesel engine also gave it much better performance and reliability in subzero temperatures.  A bad tank that can get to the battlefield beats a good tank that can't.

Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?


WidowMaker1711 #48 Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:27 PM

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View PostOgre4Hire, on 30 October 2017 - 10:18 PM, said:

 

The diesel engine also gave it much better performance and reliability in subzero temperatures.  A bad tank that can get to the battlefield beats a good tank that can't.

 

Theres also the fact the russians reportedly dug small fire pits under the tanks to keep the sump warm


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Ogre4Hire #49 Posted 31 October 2017 - 09:35 PM

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The Tiger was a bad tank with a good gun.  It was expensive to produce and difficult to maintain.  The armor was flat, making penetration easy at close range.  It's main saving grace was that it had the best anti-tank gun of any combat vehicle when it first hit the battlefield and the armor was thick enough to prevent it from being penned in the front by the commonly used anti-tank guns its opponents were using until they got close.

Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?


darrenv64 #50 Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:11 PM

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View Postabhiop741, on 29 October 2017 - 02:07 AM, said:

 

Sophisticated isn't the good expression because the T-34 was poorly finished (the ergonomy for the driver for instance was very bad, he sat on a wooden box !). But effectively in 1941 the T-34 was rather revolutionary and caused a real shock to the Wehrmacht. As you say the slopped armor was frontaly almost impenetrable for the small calibers guns (37 or 50 mm guns) of the Panzer III and Panzer 38 (t), and the Panzer IV had a short 75 mm gun not well adaptated to fight tanks (precision and velocity weren't good). Moreover, the T-34 had 2 other advantages : its large tracks that let it pass in conditions where German tanks couldn't and its diesel engine that increased its autonomy and limited its flammability. So the German had to react to T-34. That would be the Panther and Tiger II with their slopes armour, large tracks and bigger caliber guns.

Overall, for the last years of WWII, the best medium tank of the war was clearly the Panzer V Panther. It has a deadly and precise 75 mm gun able to frontaly destroy any T-34 or M4, large tracks and a better frontal sloped armour than its opponents. But it was a sophisticated tank, needing more ressource and more complex to produce ! So the Germans could produce only 5'000 Panzer V Panther against 35'000 T-34 and 29'000 T-34-85. They had the best medium tank but were overwhelmed by the numbers of T-34 and M4 (49'000 produced).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34

 

 

The Panther was very deadly, not when, but if it could make it to the battlefield and not break-down. The Germans relied heavily on rail transport for their AFV's, creating a logistical chokepoint. Spare parts were unavailable, and cannibalization was not feasible due to each tank being hand built and fitted.  Furthermore, it suffered a cramped fighting compartment, poor crew visibility and survivability.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL2KO2maIkU



Knot3D #51 Posted 24 November 2017 - 05:25 AM

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Either way, some of the supposed 'innovations' have proven to be dead ends by now;

 

- T34 Christie suspension has been abandoned for quite a while already in tank design. Torsion bar suspension prevailed, which the Panzer 3 successfully premiered.

- T34 tracks' only advantage was width. Otherwise, they were super thin & flimsy, lacking grip texture and they featured a track pin design which would wiggle out of the tracks because it was not secured in place. The hull featured a protruding wedge shape which would knock the pin back when the pin would wiggle out too much. Questionable design choice at best imo. Also, the Germans had Ostketten and the Americans had Duckbills.

 

- The German system of interweaving roadwheels has also proven to be dead end. Especially prone to frosty mud.

 

 



Zxyphos #52 Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:08 AM

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According to Zaloga, the T-34 couldn't break a 1:3 kill-loss against its enemies. Of the 54,550 produced close to 45,000 were lost which is 82% of total production. Numerical superiority, yes, but that is about all it was superior for. 

Snorelacks #53 Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:03 AM

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View Postx1981 Bengals, on 30 October 2017 - 11:28 PM, said:

The T34 was cheap, crude, and disgusting.  It was a tank built by uncivilized people for uncivilized warfare. Saying that it was better than the Tiger is like saying a Corolla is better than a Countach.

 

I doubt there is a single person here who would rather be a T34 crewman than a Tiger crewman. Point proven.

 

I'd rather be on the winning side...troll.

Edited by Snorelacks, 29 November 2017 - 12:19 AM.


 


abhiop741 #54 Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:16 AM

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View Postdarrenv64, on 16 November 2017 - 09:11 PM, said:

 

The Panther was very deadly, not when, but if it could make it to the battlefield and not break-down. The Germans relied heavily on rail transport for their AFV's, creating a logistical chokepoint. Spare parts were unavailable, and cannibalization was not feasible due to each tank being hand built and fitted.  Furthermore, it suffered a cramped fighting compartment, poor crew visibility and survivability.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL2KO2maIkU

 

We talk about the qualities and the fight values of the tanks, not about the logistical situation of the fighting nations at the end of the war. Of course Germany was in desperate situation by summer 1944 : not enough fuel left to feed its panzer divisions or fighters, its factories destroyed by allied bombers and so on, but this has no point with the value of the Panther.

In one against one, a Panther (well driven by experiment troop as in the Viking division) will normaly blast a T-34-85 that cannot even penetrate it in its frontal armour or a M4 Sherman. Ok a Sherman Firefly can also destroy frontaly a Panther, but the Panther had clearly the hand and was a superior design to the old M4, even with a better british gun !

I read many magazine about which tank was the better and all experts have the same opinion : the Panther was the better medium tank produced and used during WWII. The heavy tanks are another story, but they were small quantities on the battlefield, even if propaganda follows mainly Tigers unities (and tank commanders like Wittmann) to impress population and if allied soldiers saw Tiger elsewehere, even if it were often  Panzer IV (but always threatening for a guy in a T-34-76 or a M4 than can be destroyed by a single shot - not as in WoT - of the 7.5 cm L48 ) !

 


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Panthergraf #55 Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:44 AM

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Na, can‘t second that. Would the Germans have invaded France with Panthers instead Pz IV, III, II and 38(t), they wount‘t have reached the Meuse. The inefficiency of the Panther and tactical drawbacks (transport, mechanical maintenance, weight, fuel, poor HE performance) were a result of bad design, it failed as a multi purpose tank in a modern mobile war scenario.

The Sherman was an even more rushed design than the Panther. Within a few months the US started a tank industry from scratch with barely any experience in tank warfare, tank design and tank mass production. The result was a tank that could be produced in masses, carried across the oceans and do it‘s job reliable in the Desert, in the Jungle, in the Steppes, in Summer and Winter, in Europe and the Pacific.

No wonder that there are way more Stug Aces than Panther Aces, and the only Panther Ace worth mentioning (Barkmann) was a deceiver.

I love the Panther, hence my gamertag, it‘s the most beautiful tank of all time, the AT Firepower is impressive, it‘s a badass machine. But for best tank of WWII you‘ll need more than a nice gun and good frontal armor.

abhiop741 #56 Posted 13 April 2018 - 11:45 AM

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You are right the Panther had many flaws when it was introduced for the Kursk battle. Afterwards the flaws were corrected but effectively the german army has no more the logistical strength to maintain and fuel its panzer divisions since the summer 1944.

 

The M4 was a good design in 1941-1942 to project a great numbers of tanks overseas from the USA. By 1944 the M4 was already obsolete in terms of protection, armement and cannot fight on pair with Panther. But sheer number can surpass a better design !

https://forum.axishi...pic.php?t=42318

Concerning german tanker aces, many are not well known and surely died during battles against Russia. It is clear that these in Tigers, like Wittmann had better luck to survive than these in Panthers or PZ IV. And the better who finished their career in Tiger, weren't evidently in Tigers in 1940, 1941 or 1942 !

http://dailyarchive....-the-blitzkrieg

Karl Nicolussi Leck or Johannes Mühlenkamp were aces in Panther by the time of the battle of Kovel.

https://de.wikipedia..._Nicolussi-Leck


Edited by abhiop741, 13 April 2018 - 01:53 PM.

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darrenv64 #57 Posted 14 April 2018 - 07:47 PM

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View Postabhiop741, on 13 April 2018 - 01:16 AM, said:

 

We talk about the qualities and the fight values of the tanks, not about the logistical situation of the fighting nations at the end of the war. Of course Germany was in desperate situation by summer 1944 : not enough fuel left to feed its panzer divisions or fighters, its factories destroyed by allied bombers and so on, but this has no point with the value of the Panther.

In one against one, a Panther (well driven by experiment troop as in the Viking division) will normaly blast a T-34-85 that cannot even penetrate it in its frontal armour or a M4 Sherman. Ok a Sherman Firefly can also destroy frontaly a Panther, but the Panther had clearly the hand and was a superior design to the old M4, even with a better british gun !

I read many magazine about which tank was the better and all experts have the same opinion : the Panther was the better medium tank produced and used during WWII. The heavy tanks are another story, but they were small quantities on the battlefield, even if propaganda follows mainly Tigers unities (and tank commanders like Wittmann) to impress population and if allied soldiers saw Tiger elsewehere, even if it were often  Panzer IV (but always threatening for a guy in a T-34-76 or a M4 than can be destroyed by a single shot - not as in WoT - of the 7.5 cm L48 ) !

 

 

A crucial part of the fighting ability for any weapons system platform, is the ability of the operator(s) to work within it comfortably. The Panther was notorious for requiring highly experienced drivers, or suffer catastrophic transmission damage. The loader was on the right side of the breech, requiring the use of the left hand to feed a round into the chamber. Left handed people make up 10% of the human population. Main gun ammunition was stored in an awkward, difficult to access location. Coupled with a cramped fighting compartment, loading the main gun for the majority of right handed people was inefficient. The main gun sight had a very narrow field of view, making it harder to acquire a target. In contrast, the M4 (of note, most comparisons conveniently focus on early Sherman's and ignore the upgraded versions) suffered none of these drawbacks. The fact is, it was easier to operate an M4 in a dynamic war environment than a Panther or T-34.

Additionally, perfect scenario, 1 v 1 comparisons, are complete fantasy, and rarely, if ever, occur in real combat. What does occur; a platoon or company of tanks, supported by (or supporting) a platoon or company of infantry, come in contact with an enemy element that will likewise consist of tanks, infantry, etcetera. The M4 was designed around U.S. and allied requirements to serve as a universal tank within a combined arms operational doctrine. The Panther, Tiger, and in many cases, assault guns were, more or less, stop-gaps, without a clear place or function within Wehrmacht operational doctrine. They were one trick ponies. Most often, employed piecemeal, or in far flung Hitler dream schemes. Sure, a perfectly maintained, new off the showroom floor, with elite crew, Panther or Tiger, carted on a flatbed to a field, placed behind concealment, and waiting for an unsuspecting M4 or T-34 to trundle up at 1,000 meters away, would have the upper hand. But, as the Battle of Arracourt demonstrated, M4's (with the 75mm gun), M10's, howitzers and equipment, that was well worn, operated by experienced crews, as part of a combined arms team, could [edited]slap the numerical and technically superior Panzer Brigades in their Panthers.

 



abhiop741 #58 Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:15 PM

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@darrenv64

So we are 100% in agreement ! In spite of a few flaws the Panther was clearly the best medium tank produced during the WWII. It was not a perfect tank but none of its opponent was and in one against one the Panther would have had the upper hand ! But effectively a tank is only a part of a combined arm team and by the end of the war, the once mightful panzer divisions were exhausted, lacked fuel to train and even sometimes to fight, had no more aerial support and lost the most of its veterans. The battle of Arracourt that you quote shows well the lack of experience of the new german recruits and the good level reached by the american troops !

https://en.wikipedia...le_of_Arracourt

And a small bonus with the Panther Fibel (the official german manual for Panther's users) :

https://fr.scribd.co...1944-119-S-Scan

 


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darrenv64 #59 Posted 15 April 2018 - 07:02 PM

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@abhiop741

Well put, but slightly off the mark. I'll first point out that I think the Panther and Tigers are very cool tanks. The M4, in contrast, looks like Elmer Fudd. Those "few" flaws mentioned, and the myriad other strategic ones they had, significantly hampered combat power in field units. Then there's the reality of combat. It was pointed out by studies after the war, that tanks and assault guns (TD's) in prepared positions (knowing the area and having pre-determined ranges and fields of fire), would have a distinct advantage over an attacking force making a frontal assault. This was demonstrated in Operation Goodwood, where the Germans were in prepared positions, the British frontal assault force suffered higher casualties, even though it had numerical superiority. Contrastingly, Arracourt was the reverse. Here, the German force was attacking, had numerical superiority, and tanks that had the "armored triangle" technical advantage. The Americans were in defensive positions and knew the lay of the land. The Germans did not have any forward recon, and the foggy, wooded, and hilly terrain, neutralized the Panthers main strengths (long range engagement ability and frontal sloped armor). It became a tank-on-tank brawl, where the M4 and M10 soft stats (mobility, agility, quicker target acquisition, faster reload, better visibility, etc.,) had the advantage. Had the German crews been elite, and the Panthers operated flawlessly, the outcome would've been likely the same. The Panther was so prone to breakdown, that the majority of it's casualties were suffered on the way to the fight. Hardly the best medium of WWII with such miserable automotive reliability. Had Germany stuck to the Pz.Kpfw. IV, with subsequent upgrades, they would've had a better chance.


 

Basically, having well trained personnel, unit cohesion, simple objectives, good equipment that's simple to maintain/operate, solid operational doctrine, and a robust logistical system, provides a better edge over a given weapons system technical advantages.


 

If you haven't read the book "Armored Champion" by Steven J. Zaloga, I highly recommend it. He sheds light on this discussion. A little hint, there's no clear overall winner.

As a side note, the United States produced more aircraft (operational and support), ships (operational and support) tanks and other tracked AFV's, trucks, transports, etc., than any other country during WWII. Germany introduced the world to mechanized warfare in 1939, yet still used horses and mules. The U.S. introduced mechanized warfare on an industrial scale, utilizing Heinz Guderian's principles to their full potential.



VolteriorMotive #60 Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:28 AM

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View Postdarrenv64, on 15 April 2018 - 02:02 PM, said:

@abhiop741

Well put, but slightly off the mark. I'll first point out that I think the Panther and Tigers are very cool tanks. The M4, in contrast, looks like Elmer Fudd. Those "few" flaws mentioned, and the myriad other strategic ones they had, significantly hampered combat power in field units. Then there's the reality of combat. It was pointed out by studies after the war, that tanks and assault guns (TD's) in prepared positions (knowing the area and having pre-determined ranges and fields of fire), would have a distinct advantage over an attacking force making a frontal assault. This was demonstrated in Operation Goodwood, where the Germans were in prepared positions, the British frontal assault force suffered higher casualties, even though it had numerical superiority. Contrastingly, Arracourt was the reverse. Here, the German force was attacking, had numerical superiority, and tanks that had the "armored triangle" technical advantage. The Americans were in defensive positions and knew the lay of the land. The Germans did not have any forward recon, and the foggy, wooded, and hilly terrain, neutralized the Panthers main strengths (long range engagement ability and frontal sloped armor). It became a tank-on-tank brawl, where the M4 and M10 soft stats (mobility, agility, quicker target acquisition, faster reload, better visibility, etc.,) had the advantage. Had the German crews been elite, and the Panthers operated flawlessly, the outcome would've been likely the same. The Panther was so prone to breakdown, that the majority of it's casualties were suffered on the way to the fight. Hardly the best medium of WWII with such miserable automotive reliability. Had Germany stuck to the Pz.Kpfw. IV, with subsequent upgrades, they would've had a better chance.


 

Basically, having well trained personnel, unit cohesion, simple objectives, good equipment that's simple to maintain/operate, solid operational doctrine, and a robust logistical system, provides a better edge over a given weapons system technical advantages.


 

If you haven't read the book "Armored Champion" by Steven J. Zaloga, I highly recommend it. He sheds light on this discussion. A little hint, there's no clear overall winner.

As a side note, the United States produced more aircraft (operational and support), ships (operational and support) tanks and other tracked AFV's, trucks, transports, etc., than any other country during WWII. Germany introduced the world to mechanized warfare in 1939, yet still used horses and mules. The U.S. introduced mechanized warfare on an industrial scale, utilizing Heinz Guderian's principles to their full potential.

 

It is often the case that the inventor of an idea does not bring it to its full potential. The concept of the pioneer CEO and the optimizer CEO.




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