Sherman v Panzers 1943-1945

Discussion in 'RAC' started by lepidus, Mar 29, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I have recently been reading the book Tank Men by Robert Kershaw.

    Among other things, it says that Monty said the Sherman with its 75mm gun was "all we require". I find that extraordinary as by 1943, the newer German Panzers with their 88mm gun were vastly better.

    I know that some Sherman Fireflys were produced with the 17 pounder gun but nowhere near enough. Given the US manufacturing capabilities, I dont understand why Monty took the view he did. Surely he could ( and should) have said we need all Firefly versions - or is that a symplistic view.

    Can any one explain why the Sherman with its 75mm gun was decided as being acceptable - after all, Monty wasn't a Tanker!
  2. I think it was the Sherman's speed, Maneuverability and excellent crew's that made it superior.
  3. 75mm could fire HE and AT rounds while other guns could not, so they could perform infantry support and anti tank roles. Also one of the best German tanks the Panther was armed with a high velocity 75mm gun.
  4. the whole advantage that the sherman had over the panzer was the fact that it could be mass produced where as the panzer took a long time to produce and was slower to get to the battlefield.
  5. My grandad who passed away last year,served under Monty as a foot slogger.He told me years ago that Monty was'nt that popular with the lower ranks.Something along the lines of "he was'nt too worried about how many blokes he lost as long as he took the objective".His words not mine.

    Incidentaly,he never ever applied for his medals after the war although my cousin has them now.He said the money for medals should have gone to the war widows.I think he lost a lot of mates in Italy.

    I remember hearing somewhere that questions were raised in parliament during the war because M.P's were concerned over our tank losses and that our tanks were not as well prorected as the Germans.

    Could also been concerns over ammo storage as they nearly always caught fire when hit.
  6. The deciding factor for the Sherman vs Panzer was not gun size but Speed, numbers and also the relative ease of repair. While Panzer out gunned and out armoured the Sherman it was slower, less manoeuvrable and was harder to repair it was probably too complex for its own good.
  7. And that there was ferking loads of them. The allied industrial machine won out over the axis technical superiority. Quantity has a quality all of its own mate ;)
  8. I watched a program once about the Sherman v the Tiger, which said it took 5 shermans to kill one Tiger. 3 shermans would act as decoys usually getting knocked out in the process whilst 2 shermans would try and flank the Tiger and get behind it.

    The program also suggested that the Germans should of built Panthers instead of Tigers as the Tiger was too expensive, took too long to build, was too slow, the turret was too slow, and it had problems with the mechanics. They could of built a hell of a lot more Panthers.

    It was numbers that counted as the russians showed.

    But all of tankers interviewed said they would rather of had a Tiger tank, they saw to many shermans blown apart.
  9. Lepidus - name the two cap badges that Monty wore in his hat !
  10. although the stugs the germans produced in my opinion outclassed the sherman

    i also believe only the hv 75mm gun was effective in the panzers

    the shermans - ronsons - as they always lit up when hit were mass produced and easier to maintain, the panther tank ended up being too heavy for its final drives and pack.

    the stugs were an excellent answer to the sherman
  12. Having just read Alamein by Jon Latimer it seems Monty whilst loved by the press was universally un-popular after the campaign with those he had worked with. He was regarded as a good officer but he had a habit of rubbing people up the wrong way.

    The book tells of horrendous tank losses in North Africa but amazingly many of the British tanks were recovered and repaired unlike the German/Italian tanks. I'm not quite sure if that was due to tank design or the British/Empire forces being better prepared and geared up for it. Whilst off topic the other thing I learnt about this particular campaign was what a vital role the Desert Air Force and counter intelligence played.

    Definitely worth a read if you are interested in the North Africa campaign.
  13. It changed depending on who he visited, its just most famously seen as the RTR badge.
  14. Which is why I posed the question - see the first post by lepidus.

    Unless he's having a laugh... :)
  15. Sherman Vs. Panzer in 1943, by and large saw the Germans in Panzer Mark III and IV, both of which were vulnerable in any aspect out to 1000 yards to the Shermans medium velocity 75mm. Tigers were very rare and, while tactically unpleasant, were not strategically that significant.

    By 1944, the Germans had more "Big Cats" in the form of the Panther (Panzer Mark V) and Tiger (Panzer Mark VI). Again these vehicles have excellent performance, and now German armour really outclasses the Sherman.

    By 1945, the Germans have some really scary tanks, but they are very expensive, very complex and so very rare.

    However, most Sherman tank actions were against anti-tank guns, and losses confirm this. Consider in addition that until this point, British tank guns had little, if any HE round, and could not effectively engage AT guns at long range. The dual-purpose gun was a revelation and it is in that light that Monty's comment must be taken. The only German AFV that the 75mm gun could not defeat at all was the Tiger. The Panther was all but invulnerable from the front but very weak from the sides.

    Stugs were an attempted answer to the T-34 on the Eastern Front, which were an all-up package not dissimilar to the Sherman. They were a defensive AFV rather than an offensive one, as they could not easily engage a threat unless it was in front of them.

    In short, in 1943 the 75mm medium velocity gun was very effective against anti-tank guns and effective against all the German AFVs apart from the rare heavies. From a short-sighted perspective Monty was bang on the money.