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American vs German Weapons

This is a discussion on American vs German Weapons within the Military History forums, part of the Armed Services category; Originally Posted by 13Echo The Sherman was really a very fine tank, especially the late war Easy 8 with the wider tracks and 76mm gun. ...


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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:06 PM   #31
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The Sherman was really a very fine tank, especially the late war Easy 8 with the wider tracks and 76mm gun. it was very reliable, capable of long road marches and still being combat ready. It was faster, more maneuverable, and it had a power traverse of the turret. Early versions did tend to "brew up" when hit but the advent of wet storage of ammo made a dramatic difference.

A Tiger or Panther had to be hauled by rail or carrier to the front otherwise it ate too much fuel and broke down far too often. The concept was good, the reality wasn't so good. Part of the success of the German tanks late in the war was they were fighting on the defense and could maximize their effectiveness from ambush and prepared positions while the allies had to attack those positions.

The Sherman also had the constraint of being made in the USA which meant it had to be of a size it could be lifted by cranes to place on a ship and it had to fit on the ship. It benefited from true mass production, standardization of parts, easy maintenance.

German tanks were built one at a time by craftsmen, production was slow, the tanks were complex and difficult to maintain, each tank was at least a bit different from any other. The Tiger and Panther had better armor and better guns (at least till the Firefly and the 76) but they were too few and too unreliable. The Mk IV was far more plentiful but also had reliability problems and was not measurably superior to the M4.

In summary the Sherman was a good highly reliable tank available in large numbers that despite its thinner armor and less capable gun was the better balanced design and was a war winner.
I think this summarizes WWII American vs. German tanks well. IMHO, Germany, in general, has embodied the "craftsmen" mentality you mentioned. I am trying to say German WWII technology had much influence over subsequent military technology, and this influence was arguably greater than most other nations in the war.

I am not saying US designs were bad either; take the M2 for example. That design and function still fulfills modern military demands. I agree the 1911 was a better sidearm than the P38. The M1 Garand was the basis for the M14 (one of my favorite rifles that still served in the 21st century)! Likewise, the British SMLE could be argued as the best bolt action rifle of WWII, but the Mauser action is definitely one of the most copied even today. These are good, specific examples, but I am speaking more generally.

I just don't think other nations (i.e. US, Russia, etc.) changed military ingenuity like the Germans did (i.e. first assault rifle design, rocket technology, submarine technology).

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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:27 PM   #32
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You should not sell the allies science and weapons achievements short. The Germans did some incredible things with rockets and aircraft but never had as good radar as the allies and we did make the atomic bomb, probably the most amazing achievement of the war.

Allied aircraft were the best for taking the war to the enemy. Bombers and fighters were capable of flying long distances and still could match or exceed the performance of the shorter range German fighters. German aircraft were excellent and certainly the Me262 was the most remarkable achievement of the war but it was too late, too few, too unreliable, and too short ranged.

The V2 rocket was also a remarkable achievement but for the results achieved it was a waste of resources. One raid by the 8th airforce could deliver more ordnance with more precision to a target than all the V2s fired during the war.

German submarines in the late war were far superior to the early U boats but by then antisubmarine warfare was so good that they were ineffective.

The MP44 was a seminal design, the father of the assault rifle but even it was too late and too few and too heavy.

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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:37 PM   #33
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Oh yes, I do agree The German technology and designs of WW II are still influencing modern weapon design. There was a lot of genius at work and it showed, it just was often misdirected and too immature and too piecemeal implemented to really make a difference in the outcome.

It came down to the GI, P51Mustang, B17 Flying Fortress, M4 Sherman, M1 Garand, the Jeep, M2 105mm howitzer, the 2.5 ton truck, and numerous other pieces of equipment added up to be better than the sum total of all the German genius for war.

Jerry Liles

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Old February 4th, 2017, 07:55 PM   #34
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If it wasn't for defected scientists (i.e. Einstein, Fermi, Teller, Wigner) to America in the 30's, the Manhattan Project would not likely have been the success it was. Germany, via their Ho 229 wing design, had a bomber capable of flying from Berlin to New York City and back after dropping a dirty atom bomb. Thank God we beat the Germans to nuclear weapons or the war could have ended quickly (i.e. nukes on London, New York, or Moscow) in their favor. But this was the first example of a highly efficient, intercontinental bomber.

I am not saying the V2 was successfully deployed. I am saying V2 rocket technology and ingenuity changed the world (i.e. NASA, space race, Cold War) well beyond the V2 and war itself.

Allied anti submarine technology improved over the war by the extensive British and US navies, but the Allies had virtually no submarine technology. The rest of the German navy was small and ineffective. Today, submarine technology is arguably more important than aircraft carrier technology.

Yes, American and British Air forces dominated the war from 1944-1945. This was not true in the early 40's. I can't argue with your point on Allied radar technology. But I think German aircraft ingenuity had more of a long-lasting impact than Allied varieties, especially after we nabbed their rocket technology and more of their scientists.

All of these examples were too little, and too late to win the war for the Germans. For one country, the German war effort managed to take on many countries far larger and with far more resources; this, along with the Nazi ideology, is why they lost. Thankfully, our quick mobilization, mass production, fighting spirit, good leadership, and a lacking war zone on our own soil enabled us to turn the war over quickly.

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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:06 PM   #35
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So, the best feature of the MG42/MG3 was the barrel change. Way better than our M60, but desperately needed due to the high rate of fire. Having shot the M60, MG3 and MAG 58, from a shooter's standpoint, the MAG 58 was, by far, the best.

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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:34 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by 13Echo View Post
The Sherman was really a very fine tank, especially the late war Easy 8 with the wider tracks and 76mm gun. it was very reliable, capable of long road marches and still being combat ready. It was faster, more maneuverable, and it had a power traverse of the turret. Early versions did tend to "brew up" when hit but the advent of wet storage of ammo made a dramatic difference.

A Tiger or Panther had to be hauled by rail or carrier to the front otherwise it ate too much fuel and broke down far too often. The concept was good, the reality wasn't so good. Part of the success of the German tanks late in the war was they were fighting on the defense and could maximize their effectiveness from ambush and prepared positions while the allies had to attack those positions.

The Sherman also had the constraint of being made in the USA which meant it had to be of a size it could be lifted by cranes to place on a ship and it had to fit on the ship. It benefited from true mass production, standardization of parts, easy maintenance.

German tanks were built one at a time by craftsmen, production was slow, the tanks were complex and difficult to maintain, each tank was at least a bit different from any other. The Tiger and Panther had better armor and better guns (at least till the Firefly and the 76) but they were too few and too unreliable. The Mk IV was far more plentiful but also had reliability problems and was not measurably superior to the M4.

In summary the Sherman was a good highly reliable tank available in large numbers that despite its thinner armor and less capable gun was the better balanced design and was a war winner.
The major problem with the Panther was it was over-weight.

It was intended, and originally designed, to be a 30-ton tank medium tank, and with a 690 HP engine, would have been quite agile indeed. By the time it entered production, its weight had increased by 60%, making it weigh the same as the original target weight of the Tiger, a heavy tank. Most of the Panther's reliability ills were directly due to the extra weight it carried.

The original armor package for the Panther was not that different from the 30 ton Sherman, but with a slightly better layout (more sloped).

The Sherman as a "tommy-cooker" or "Roson"... With dry ammunition storage in the sponsons, the Sherman was prone to fires. However, the Panther and Tiger had the same problem, as they too, had dry ammunition storage in the sponsons. If you ever watch the movie of the M26 engaging a Panther in Cologne, note how fast the Panther flares-up. The thing is, the US fixed the problem with wet ammunition storage under the turret basket, the Germans never did address the problem. (then there's the fact that sometimes Panthers caught on fare without the assistance of enemy shooting at them...the engine suffered from insufficient cooling.)

Craftsmen? One-by-one? Hardly. Much of Germany's war production after late 1943 was done with slave-labor from concentration camps, or forced labor from occupied countries. Yeah, all those jet engines built in 1944 - slave-labor. V-2 rocket fuselages? Slave-labor....

What killed them was they did not go to 24-hour production until early 1943. And by that time they had lost much material in combat, so they were playing catch-up amid all the bombing.

Then there is "German-over-complication". Compare a Ford GAA 8-cylinder gasoline engine to a 12 twelve cylinder Maybach HL230.

The 2600 pound Maybach produced 690 HP, and was 39"w x 47"h x 51"l, it had a tunnel crankcase with each pair of connecting rod big-end bearings sharing a crankpin. This makes for a compact engine, but it also make for a damn complicated engine to build, or repair. And, puts higher loads in the crankshaft bearings.

The Ford GAA had four less cylinders, but the dimensions are the same, 33"w x 47" h x 59" long, with a conventional crankshaft, but it still a very advanced engine. It has a one-piece cast aluminum block, 32 valves, dual over-head cams, with all the accessories gear driven, and most importantly, an electric starter.* Further, the GAA was de-tuned considerably, so the parts where under considerably less stress.

All said, the GAA was a far more advanced engine, and capable of much higher performance than utilized .

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The Maybachs have a manually operated inertia starter:

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Old February 4th, 2017, 09:48 PM   #37
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If it wasn't for defected scientists (i.e. Einstein, Fermi, Teller, Wigner) to America in the 30's, the Manhattan Project would not likely have been the success it was. Germany, via their Ho 229 wing design, had a bomber capable of flying from Berlin to New York City and back after dropping a dirty atom bomb. Thank God we beat the Germans to nuclear weapons or the war could have ended quickly (i.e. nukes on London, New York, or Moscow) in their favor. But this was the first example of a highly efficient, intercontinental bomber.

I am not saying the V2 was successfully deployed. I am saying V2 rocket technology and ingenuity changed the world (i.e. NASA, space race, Cold War) well beyond the V2 and war itself.

Allied anti submarine technology improved over the war by the extensive British and US navies, but the Allies had virtually no submarine technology. The rest of the German navy was small and ineffective. Today, submarine technology is arguably more important than aircraft carrier technology.

Yes, American and British Air forces dominated the war from 1944-1945. This was not true in the early 40's. I can't argue with your point on Allied radar technology. But I think German aircraft ingenuity had more of a long-lasting impact than Allied varieties, especially after we nabbed their rocket technology and more of their scientists.

All of these examples were too little, and too late to win the war for the Germans. For one country, the German war effort managed to take on many countries far larger and with far more resources; this, along with the Nazi ideology, is why they lost. Thankfully, our quick mobilization, mass production, fighting spirit, good leadership, and a lacking war zone on our own soil enabled us to turn the war over quickly.
Ho 229 to New York? I don't think so.

The specified range for the Ho 229 was 1000 km (620 miles), with a 1000 kg (2200 lb) bomb load. A Mosquito B.26 could go further, with a bigger payload, and was pretty much immune from interception, except during the bomb-run.

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but the Allies had virtually no submarine technology
Huh?

The US had the largest, and longest range boats in the world in 1940, about twice the displacement, 30% more range, and about 10 times the endurance on battery power (submerged range), as the German U-boats.

The British invented the "automobile" torpedo.

In late 1942 the US developed the Mk 27 passive acoustic torpedo, it entered service in 1943. It was also the first "swim-out" torpedo. The US developed an active sonar torpedo in 1944, but the war ended before production began.

The British and Americans were far ahead of the Germans in passive sonar.

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If it wasn't for defected scientists (i.e. Einstein, Fermi, Teller, Wigner) to America in the 30's, the Manhattan Project would not likely have been the success it was....
A few things:

1) The Germans never exempted anyone from the military draft, even if they were more valuable as a civilian scientist than cannon fodder, this lead to a shortage of young physicists to do the grunt-work of nuclear research.

2) The physicists they had did not believe an atomic bomb was possible, and therefore concentrated their work on the use of nuclear power in electrical power generation. The idea of a 'dirty bomb' was not considered effective enough to warrant serious thought.

3) Fermi was an Italian. Teller and Wigner were Hungarian. They did not "defect" as they were never had any loyalty to Germany, they just worked there (and Fermi didn't even work in Germany).

4) A 1933 law passed by the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazi Party) barred Jews from holding government jobs or teaching at universities, thereby causing these eminent physicists to loses their jobs. Those Germans citizens like Einstein were, in essence, asked to leave the country, not 'defect'.

And one last thing:

Someone mentioned the Me 163 Komet, that was a waste of resources. It was ridiculously short ranged, inadequately armed, and worse the fuel and oxidizer were so corrosive, the only thing you could use as piping was ceramic. More than once a Komet had a rough landing, and by the time the ground crew got to the plane with the wheels and jacks (another silly problem with it) they found a dead pilot. Killed by the corrosive fumes from a broken fuel or oxidizer line.

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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:13 PM   #38
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The V2 rocket was also a remarkable achievement but for the results achieved it was a waste of resources. One raid by the 8th airforce could deliver more ordnance with more precision to a target than all the V2s fired during the war.
Not to mention the fact that you could feed a good sized town with the number of potatoes it took to make enough alcohol fuel for one rocket flight.... 30 tons.

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Old February 5th, 2017, 06:46 AM   #39
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Thanks for posting Tommo, loved seeing the field strip of the German MGs!

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Old February 5th, 2017, 10:25 AM   #40
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One cannot do this comparison, without taking into account the ultimate weapon, the soldier.

America produced soldiers who were able to adapt, improvise, and win.

Germany produced soldiers who were sadistic, racist, meth heads, who lost.


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Old February 5th, 2017, 11:44 AM   #41
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Germany produced soldiers who were sadistic, racist, meth heads, who lost.


Dude, no.

There are more (unfabricated) accounts of German soldiers conducting themselves with honor and integrity than not.

I am willing to admit, pound for pound, the average Deutsche Landser pre 1943 was probably one of the best soldiers in the world.

Allied armies and nations have their own track record for abuse, "racist" and unsavory behavior as well...



Quote:
Originally Posted by 13Echo View Post
Allied aircraft were the best for taking the war to the enemy. Bombers and fighters were capable of flying long distances and still could match or exceed the performance of the shorter range German fighters. German aircraft were excellent and certainly the Me262 was the most remarkable achievement of the war but it was too late, too few, too unreliable, and too short ranged.
Dont forget about the Fritz X guided bomb. That sucker was pretty amazing for its time.


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Old February 5th, 2017, 01:03 PM   #42
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http://www.dw.com/en/a-fresh-light-o...ion/a-18703678

From the above article.
"No, the soldiers used Pervitin, a German product patented in 1937 that contains methamphetamine, which is known today as crystal meth."

It's well documented that they used Pervitan.

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Old February 5th, 2017, 01:12 PM   #43
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Dude, no.

There are more (unfabricated) accounts of German soldiers conducting themselves with honor and integrity than not.

Tell that to the Russians, and the Gypsies, and the Poles, and the Czech's, the soldiers of Malmedy, and the Jews.

Which part of my statement are you disagreeing with?
That they were racist, sadistic, on meth, or that they lost?


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Old February 5th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #44
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Rules of Engagement #7, Trolling
Posting controversial topics with the intent of, or anticipated result of, baiting other users into an emotional response will not be tolerated. Do not disrupt normal, on-topic discussion.


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Old February 5th, 2017, 01:33 PM   #45
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Lysander,

I actually did not know how extensive US submarine development was post WWI and Pearl Harbor, so I stand corrected. Virtually all US submarines were used in the Pacific Theater, but it was in fact, German submarine technology and weapons that were first used widely and effectively in any navy, and served as the basis for most subsequent submarine development.

But your points 2, 3 and 4 aren't correct; I have no knowledge if 1 is correct or not.

Yes, the scientists I listed were not all German nationals. I should have clarified.

Einstein himself lived in a number of countries throughout Europe, even though he was born in Germany. I saw his home in Bern, Switzerland, which was really cool; he maintained his Swiss nationality upon finally leaving Belgium for the US -some think this is why he was able to leave much more easily than other Jews, as Switzerland maintained "neutrality" albeit bankrolling the Nazis. The other scientists were forced out by the ever expanding Nazi/fascist regimes, which included Germany (Einstein), Italy (Fermi), Hungary (Teller/Wigner), and eventually Poland (Ulam).

Einstein left in 1933 after Hitler took power, Nazis raided his house, set his books on fire, etc; I guess this is one way to be "asked to leave." Of the scientists I listed, I think all were Jewish or had Jewish family of some kind. Maybe "flee" from Nazi extermination of Jews would be better than "defect." I don't think the Nazis asked Jews to "leave the country" before they exterminated them via the Holocaust. Nazis, from my understanding, made it very difficult for Jews to obtain travel permits for outside travel from Germany.

All I was saying is the expansion of Nazi/fascist sentiments greatly benefited the Allied pursuit of atomic weapons; this is widely accepted fact. It was German scientists that first discovered fission in 1938, so your statement about German scientists denying the "possibility of an atom bomb" is incorrect. Fission = Boom.

Yes, the Me 163 Komet was maybe not the best example of German rocket technology and aircraft. A better example would be the Me 262, which was also German and the first of its kind. Again, Nazi rocket technology was way ahead of Allied varieties. I see the B26 was the Marauder, an American design? And the Mosquito was British? Wiki says the Ho 229 had a range of 620 miles, like you said, though it has no source reference? Greyfalcon.us says the Ho 229 could fly from Germany to New York City and back without refueling, which was the Nazi Ministry of Aviation (RLM) requirement?

I digress. No more urinating match for me.

'MERICA!


Last edited by M11293; February 5th, 2017 at 01:48 PM.
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