See the Key word in your comments was "Obsolete". By the start of Italy the pre-war cruiser tanks were three or so years out of date.Historical actual factual… it was deemed by the head shed that all the Cruiser tanks in North Africa were so unutterable crap, they were all written off charge as unfit for service and left behind in North Africa for the Invasion of Sicily and latterly Italy. They were used to the end in North Africa because they were there, but we never bothered with them after that except to use their spare chassis for secondary vehicles.
'Cruiser' tank as a definition had de factor become obsolete with the Cromwell that had the same armour and gun as 'Medium' tanks like a Sherman. The stupid definition persisted until 1946. After all, the very much stand its ground and pick a fight with a Tiger heavy hitter Comet was supposedly a 'Cruiser' tank.
Guess what, a Mk.V female is obsolete by today's standards, doesn't mean it was unutterable crap, does it?
By your standards all Panzers were unutterable crap. Lets compare raw numbers shall we? Luckily we have two tanks produced in 1937 by both nations, the A.13 and the Panzer III. Both had around the same number built, and went through a series of minor modifications and upgrades. So it's a pretty good test!
|A.13||Pzr III Ausf A through to D|
|weight||15 tons||16 tons|
|Max penetration @30 deg slope||56mm @ 91m with AP Mk.IT||34mm @ 100m, with Pzgr39|
Anyway you cut it the Panzer III is worse than the crusier. So logically, using your own argument, all Panzer are unutterable crap.
Or alternatively, they weren't and technology had moved on.
Ahh, I was taking the original statement as using the cloth as armour. But even your approach has its own negatives. Strapping protection on bridges of merchants tends to raise the centre of gravity by quite a serious amount, and can cause trouble with staying upright. Equally, how much can the structure take? I know in the Early years of the War in the UK one vessel was "protected" (technically it offered some protection...technically) by concrete slabs, and the entire bridge collapsed due to over loading.I dunno.. I don't have any research or evidence to back this up, but I suspect that the bedding etc was being used behind the existing armour to reduce spalling... From my own experience, fragmentation from the rear of armour along with general cr@p being chucked around by explosions is a major contributer to the injury burden. Anything you can do to capture this is generally a good thing. Matting and other thick material will capture and slow down fragments as well as reducing blast effects by a significant amount.
It was standard practice to hang rope curtains around the insides of fortress walls and gun turrets in the Victorian period for exactly this purpose, and I suspect this was added to by using the sailors hammock rolls in time of war. Rope curtains were also widely used in ammunition factories to kill the blast from things such as cordite presses and NG plants which were at high risk of exploding.
I used to get stroppy at folk for not clearing our the back decks of their WMIK and Jackal wagons and for stressing the importance of sweeping out empty brass.. I had to explain the likely trajectory of an empty case if the vehicle hit an IED...!
There's all sorts of dire warnings from the Director of Naval Construction floating around on this, and how any protection effort on ships should be cleared with your local office first!