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US T20 series


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RangerCharlie75 #1 Posted 18 January 2019 - 11:59 AM

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Another what if, but should have the US rapidly switched over to the T20 series of tanks instead of keeping on with the Shermans?

This would have meant a shortage of tanks while production changed over but in the end the T20 would have proved a much better tank than the M4 


 


StuftRock1 #2 Posted 18 January 2019 - 12:49 PM

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View PostRangerCharlie75, on 18 January 2019 - 06:59 AM, said:

Another what if, but should have the US rapidly switched over to the T20 series of tanks instead of keeping on with the Shermans?

This would have meant a shortage of tanks while production changed over but in the end the T20 would have proved a much better tank than the M4 

 

You have to understand that the Sherman and T20 series both had their different perks and drawbacks. The Sherman was meant to be a simple, reliable infantry support vehicle that can be easily maintained and mass produced in the thousands at little cost. While I don’t know much about the historical T20 series, I’m assuming they would have been a bit more expensive to build and more difficult to maintain. While I believe the T20 was a better all around medium, developing it would have also given us more experience and knowledge going into the T26 Pershing project, because of their similar design. I don’t know if the 90mm on the T20 is historically accurate at all, but having that gun would have essentially replaced the Firefly in the British army in their anti-armor role (assuming we wanted to export it) It’s smaller profile would make it a difficult target, and its mobility would have essentially made it the allied counterpart to the Panther that trades armor for vastly superior firepower (assuming it got the 90mm).

 

Its really difficult to tell if the switch should have happened or not, because both would fill different roles. The Sherman was never designed to fight other tanks, the T20 could. The Sherman was designed to be infantry support, the T20 would be as good with that. The Sherman was meant to be a simple, reliable, cheap, and easy to mass produce vehicle, the T20 probably wasn’t either of those.

 

And with the later models of the Sherman like the Easy 8 and Jumbo already being produced, the only German tank that was still difficult in knocking out was the Tiger, and as far as I know, there were only 3 documented cases of Sherman’s fighting Tigers, so the T20’s extra firepower wasn’t really needed.

 

If we could’ve mass produced the T20 at little cost and it was reliable and easy to maintain, then yes, I believe we should have made the change. The Sherman was outdated from the beginning, but no other tank except maybe the T-34 could have filled the roll it was meant to fill any better. In the end, we really kinda can’t say if the switch truly would have been good because there are just too many unknown variables.

 

Sorry I kinda rambled a bit.



RangerCharlie75 #3 Posted 18 January 2019 - 01:21 PM

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The Ordnance review of the T20 showed it to be superior to the M4 series and was approved for production. 250 were made but never sent overseas. 

The decision was made that since parts for the M4 were plentiful, starting another supply chain for the T20 would have complicated things.

T20 had the 76mm M1A2 as standard (This was the turret and gun mounted on the M4 to create that 76mm series) and could mount the 90. 

I assume most of them would have had the 76 until combat proved the need for the 90. 

I guess in the end we got the M26 so it all evened out.


 


Jodmeister #4 Posted 18 January 2019 - 01:29 PM

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There's the additional issue that infrastructure (like landing craft) would have been designed with the Sherman in mind; they may have needed redesigning around a new tank. 

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Panthergraf #5 Posted 18 January 2019 - 01:52 PM

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Please be more soecific with the „Only 3 meetings between Shermans and Tigers“. The britisch and canadian troops in the ETO fielded as much Shermans as the US, and had to deal with the brunt of german armor in Normandy. Zaloga counts 19 engagements of Commonwealth Shermans in Normandy (Shermans winning 25:12), and you‘ll find more encounters in Africa and Italy (and eastern front).

RangerCharlie75 #6 Posted 18 January 2019 - 04:20 PM

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The 3 encounter statement has been proven false.

 


StuftRock1 #7 Posted 18 January 2019 - 06:09 PM

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View PostPanthergraf, on 18 January 2019 - 08:52 AM, said:

Please be more soecific with the „Only 3 meetings between Shermans and Tigers“. The britisch and canadian troops in the ETO fielded as much Shermans as the US, and had to deal with the brunt of german armor in Normandy. Zaloga counts 19 engagements of Commonwealth Shermans in Normandy (Shermans winning 25:12), and you‘ll find more encounters in Africa and Italy (and eastern front).

 

View PostRangerCharlie75, on 18 January 2019 - 11:20 AM, said:

The 3 encounter statement has been proven false.

 

Well I stand corrected then. I don’t remember where I heard that from but perhaps they were referring to Shermans in the US Army. 




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