German Wündertanks vs Shermans

I'm not sure the (wooden) Higgins boat is quite the same beast as the metal-hulled Brit landing craft.

There's a BBC documentary on my hard drive which tried to persuade me otherwise, and failed, but at some point I'll watch it again.

The Higgins boat was just a happy hapstance not a purpose designed assault boat. It was wet, bloody noisy and desperately uncomfortable even in a flat calm.

It’s worth noting that the British LCA with its sea going chine hull, armoured all over hull , gun to shoot back with, benches under cover for the troops to sit on and silenced engines was very much the preferred mount for US forces in the ETO.
 
I think it's renown has more to do with Holywood than reality. As others have mentioned -

The Landing Craft Assault's design's sturdy hull, load capacity, low silhouette, shallow draft, little bow wave, and silenced engines were all assets that benefited the occupants. The extent of its light armour, proof against rifle bullets and shell splinters with similar ballistic power recommended the LCA. Also, many a Tommy and GI looked favourably upon the luxury of seating in the well for the soldier passengers. Throughout the war in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean, the LCA was the most likely sea assault transport of British Commandos, United States Army Rangers, and other Special Forces.
There was a lot of other craft used for different jobs we just tend to see Higgins boats on film.
 
The American way... standing in the open surrounded by 3/4 ply to chest level... and the chauffeur standing up in the open with no cover.

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And the British way, sitting under and surrounded on all side and top by armour proof against 7.92 ball. There is even a roll forward canvas tilt. Your driver and bow gunner had armoured cockpits to sit down in.


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1529833170349.gif
 
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The American way... standing in the open surrounded by 3/4 ply to chest level... and the chauffeur standing up in the open with no cover.

View attachment 339472

And the British way, sitting under and surrounded on all side and top by armour proof against 7.92 ball. There is even a roll forward canvas tilt. Your driver and bow gunner had armoured cockpits to sit down in.


View attachment 339473


View attachment 339475
[CODYORKIE]Eee, luxury, lad[/CODYORKIE]
 
Anyway, back on thread....

We know with absolute certainty how well the Herman's would have fared if they’d hung on into 1946 as beloved in all fanboy fantasies.

After some inconclusive shooting back by Istaeli Sherman’s, Israeli Centurions went toe to toe with Syrian Pzkw IVs in the water wars in the 60’s.... ended very badly for the Teutonic tanks.

FWIW, the Syrians operated a surprisingly large number of former German armour. MkiVs Stugs etc.
 
Also dab hands at forgetting the lessons learned by earlier generations

And I'd lay good money that those vessels were designed on orders originating from Admiralty Arch, not Horse Guards.
Again, a little unfair.

Just as the Western Front was a school of just what mechanised land warfare really meant, a problem that took several years of innovation and new doctrine to solve, so Gallipoli was the example of the problems to be solved re amphibious ops in the modern age.

It is greatly to the Navy and Army's credit that those problems were studied at all in the inter war years with their attendant financial pressures. Indeed the Army landed it's first tank on a beach in 1920 and was practicing Divisional landings in the 30's.

In your earlier list of amphibious ops pre Normandy you missed the first major one, TORCH. The ability to marshall and command assault convoys over hundreds of miles of sea, correctly employ the various classes of vessel from LSC to LST to LCA was not something developed on the fly at Achnacarry. Nor, of course, did it go smoothly and had the Vichy French decided to fight it could have been very bloody indeed. I think it was the Central TF's LCAs that got hung up on a bar half a mile or so from their beaches.
 
Its an unsubstantiated allegation about the francs tireurs.
We may not like it but Partisans have always faced that risk. Even the Geneva convention is quite clear on the issue. I have never made a distinction about anti German populace killing German Soldiers “Lawfully” carrying out their orders or SF/IRA murdering our lot as “occupation troops” We turn a blind eye because they were the enemy.
 
With respect surely the point is it’s been touted as a mass produced winner.

There ya go.

Look at the optics... they were good enough for a tank not expected to last more than a few weeks. That’s how you win a war, build it good enough, don’t gold plate it..

Hence to Russian maxim, ‘the perfect is the enemy of good enough’.

I have a pair of WWII German field glasses, 7x50’s. The quality of the optics and mechanics, even today is first class, by 1943 standards, they were simply light years ahead of British and Russian binoculars, but the cost and time to make then during a war!
 
D

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The Japanese were ahead of the world on amphibious operations, didn't the americans garner most of there ideas from them.
 
. . would be equally valid.
I'm not sure the (wooden) Higgins boat is quite the same beast as the metal-hulled Brit landing craft.

There's a BBC documentary on my hard drive which tried to persuade me otherwise, and failed, but at some point I'll watch it again.
Thorneycroft's 1938 LCA design was wooden & like the Higgins had armour plate where it was considered necessary.
The Motor Landing Craft built between 1926 & 1938 was steel but unarmoured except for the steering position on later ones & most were lost prior to Dieppe.
LCM was another Thorneycroft design from 1938 but in steel.
 
The Higgins boat was just a happy hapstance not a purpose designed assault boat. It was wet, bloody noisy and desperately uncomfortable even in a flat calm.

It’s worth noting that the British LCA with its sea going chine hull, armoured all over hull , gun to shoot back with, benches under cover for the troops to sit on and silenced engines was very much the preferred mount for US forces in the ETO.
The Higgins boat was a purpose designed landing craft & had two .30 cal machine guns.
 
One word: Sherman.

And you know what?
The Germans could never have reverse engineered avd copied the Sherman. The bomb proof transmission was completely beyond the Germans ability to make other than as a tool room one off..the Yanks churned them out by the thousands.

The Sherman was good enough, but toleranced to exceptional standards.
They were made in six main plants, but in the field, any part from any Sherman could be swapped, spares were just spares, they fitted first time out of the wrapper any Sherman from any plant.
Had an older Sherman and fancied one of the new fangled all round vision port TC hatches? Find a dead newer Sherman or order one from the QM, half an hours work with a socket set and your golden.

German tanks? They were all short run and all different, even from the same plant and same week of production a part on a Tiger could in theory be swapped to another tiger, it usually woundnt fit, even the factory spares had to be machined and hand fitted.
 
See the thing is that after the French were defeated in 1940, German industry wound down, it never got on to a war footing until 1942 whereas the British never came off it. Neither did the Russians after their little affair in Finland. Now for in individual little wars, which was was how these were percieved,that was good enough- but not for a global conflict that this developed into. So it sorta undermines the viewpoint of the all powerful German Industrial capability. This also counter intuitive when one realises that the "Invasion of Britain" couldn't be done with the sole use of air power-when it wasn't designed to do so. The strength of the armed forces lay in initial impact not in mass production. So the amazing thing is that Germany actually put up one hell of a fight from 43 onwards. In theory it should have imploded after Kursk
 
The Higgins boat was a purpose designed landing craft & had two .30 cal machine guns.

No it wasn’t.

It was originally designed for getting around the swamps and didn’t even gave a ramp, you jumped over the side, less than ideal, his firm was you going bankrupt as the boat was a commercial flop when the USMC looking for an assault boat thought, ‘that might work’.
The ramp came later when the Americans came across Japanese landing craft with a bow ramp, thought, ‘but of course! and asked him to modify his design likewise. Pintle mounted Guns, some armour for the coxswain to stand behind, all came later after costly experience in the Pacifuc.
 
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No it wasn’t.

It was originally designed for getting around the swamps and didn’t even gave a ramp, you jumped over the side, less than ideal, his firm was you going bankrupt as the boat was a commercial flop when the USMC looking for an assault boat thought, ‘that might work’.
The ramp came later when the Americans came across Japanese landing craft with a bow ramp, thought, ‘but of course! and asked him to modify his design likewise. Pintle mounted Guns, some armour for the coxswain to stand behind, all came later after costly experience in the Pacifuc.
nope.

That was the early version, the Higgins Boat itself was purpose designed.
Armour wasn't just for the cox either; they were plated down both sides at the least.
 
nope.

That was the early version, the Higgins Boat itself was purpose designed.
Armour wasn't just for the cox either; they were plated down both sides at the least.

1529843589333.jpeg





It was a jury rigged assault boat unlike the purpose designed British LCA that was subjected to exhaustive user trials including ballistic tests. The ramps avd protection came later on the Higgins boats after a redesign. The LCA always had them and was always a far better assault boat.... ask the US Rangers.
 
There ya go.

Look at the optics... they were good enough for a tank not expected to last more than a few weeks. That’s how you win a war, build it good enough, don’t gold plate it..

Hence to Russian maxim, ‘the perfect is the enemy of good enough’.

I have a pair of WWII German field glasses, 7x50’s. The quality of the optics and mechanics, even today is first class, by 1943 standards, they were simply light years ahead of British and Russian binoculars, but the cost and time to make then during a war!
The British preliminary report referenced earlier has a somewhat different point of view on this. I'll repeat what they said again, highlighting several phrases that you need to take in:
Where necessary for efficient functioning, for example, in the periscopic dial sight, the fuel pump, and certain engine components, an excellent finish is attained, but where not essential, it is often rough. No military or mechanical advantage appears to be sacrificed thereby, but a more fully developed industry might be expected to show more refinement without necessarily expending more man-hours. For instance, prism holders have been cut out and soldered up by semi-skilled hand labour whereas a specialist firm would probably find it more economical to make by machinery and the better appearance and accuracy would follow automatically.
Think about the above. Machine tools, factories, suppliers, and workers do not appear out of thin air. Hand labour rarely matches the quality or accuracy of specialised machinery. The Soviets built things the way they did because that is what they could make in the quantities needed under war time conditions.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
And you know what?
The Germans could never have reverse engineered avd copied the Sherman. The bomb proof transmission was completely beyond the Germans ability to make other than as a tool room one off..the Yanks churned them out by the thousands.

The Sherman was good enough, but toleranced to exceptional standards.
They were made in six main plants, but in the field, any part from any Sherman could be swapped, spares were just spares, they fitted first time out of the wrapper any Sherman from any plant.
Had an older Sherman and fancied one of the new fangled all round vision port TC hatches? Find a dead newer Sherman or order one from the QM, half an hours work with a socket set and your golden.

German tanks? They were all short run and all different, even from the same plant and same week of production a part on a Tiger could in theory be swapped to another tiger, it usually woundnt fit, even the factory spares had to be machined and hand fitted.
The display of Bovington's Tiger 131 as a running exhibit was put back years when its original Maybach engine pushed a conrod through the block, first time it was put under load.

"No problem, later Tiger 1s used the same bigger Maybach as the Tiger 2. We've got them in our Tiger 2 exhibits. Get one. "

Shame the entire engine compartment layout was changed to make it fit.

Oops.
 

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