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Forum LockedSuper heavy tanks

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Bernard Woolley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2009 at 06:28

Originally posted by IDonT IDonT wrote:

Well then we have to define the role of cavalry first. The role of cavalry before the gun powder era is different from that during the gun powder era.

(Using very broad generalizations)

Before the gun powder era, the cavalry was the main fighting arm that use the infantry line as support. During the gun powder era, the roles were reverse with the infantry being more dominant and the cavalry became the support arm.

With this in mind, wikipedia summarizes the traditional role of cavalry, and I put its closest modern replacement.

Scouting (UAV, Satellites, and Aircraft)

skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of own disposition of troops (Mounted Cavalry could be armored or humvee)

forward security (mounted calvary)

offensive reconnaisance by combat (mounted cavalry or attack helos)

defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement (mounted cavalry, attack helos, artillery)

retreat (mounted cavalry, attack helos, artillery)

Restoration of command and control (network Security, satellites)

Deception (mounted calvary, attack helos, aircraft, artillery, armored forces)

Battle handover and passage of lines (mounted cavalry, armored forces)

Relief in place (mounted cavalry, armored forces)

linked up (mounted calvary, armored forces)

Break out operations (mounted cavalry, armored forces)

Raiding (special forces, light infantry, mounted cavalry)

Shock (mounted cavalry, armored forces)

In a mechanized force, it is true that the line between cavalry and infantry is blurred. The difference between an cavalry squadron and an armored battalion is very not even worth mentioning. The truth is tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and infantry requires each other's protectiong to function properly. Tanks are excellent at taking open ground while infantry excel at clearing out build up areas. Hence the adage: "Tanks take ground while infantry holds ground."

Frankly, most of these roles have increasingly been delegated to aircraft over the past half-century. I actually consider aircraft to be a closer equivalent to the cavalry of yore than tanks, as they share the most important characteristics of horsemen before mechanization: they get in quickly, hit hard, and get out.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2009 at 11:44
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Originally posted by nuvolari nuvolari wrote:

Generally speaking a main battle tank is not intended to attack enemy tanks.


that is not accurate, of course MBT are intended to engage tansk as well. the concept of an MBT is a multi-purpose tank while tank hunters are "just" designed with the aim of combatting tanks only.
 
I concede that NOW MBT's are designed to engage tanks, but equallly there are NO "super-heavy tanks" now.  When there were S-H tanks (largely in WW2 and shortly thereafter ) the philosophy of all armies (less so the British) was that tank hunters were specifically tasked with killing enemy tanks. This would not mean, of course, that a tank crew would avoid combat with an enemy tank,  but they would always invariably prefer that a heavier armed tank killer did the job instead. You have only to look at the many effective tank killers produced by Germany, Russia and the USA to see the validity and justification of this philosophy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2009 at 19:22
well the point is MBTs can also engange tanks while tank hunters should (ideally) only engange tanks. the point is, there's no suggestion that MBTs are discouraged to engage enemy tanks.

Originally posted by Bernard Woolley Bernard Woolley wrote:

Frankly, most of these roles have increasingly been delegated to aircraft over the past half-century. I actually consider aircraft to be a closer equivalent to the cavalry of yore than tanks, as they share the most important characteristics of horsemen before mechanization: they get in quickly, hit hard, and get out.



i agree.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2009 at 08:22
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

well the point is MBTs can also engange tanks while tank hunters should (ideally) only engange tanks. the point is, there's no suggestion that MBTs are discouraged to engage enemy tanks.

Originally posted by Bernard Woolley Bernard Woolley wrote:

Frankly, most of these roles have increasingly been delegated to aircraft over the past half-century. I actually consider aircraft to be a closer equivalent to the cavalry of yore than tanks, as they share the most important characteristics of horsemen before mechanization: they get in quickly, hit hard, and get out.



i agree.
 
The official policy of the US Army when fighting in Europe against the Germans was that their tanks SHOULD avoid combat with enemy tanks wherever/whenever possible.  There are many reasons for this, the least of which was that US tanks would invariably come off worse when engaging German AFV's.    Whilst many of the tank destroying roles HAVE been delegated to aircraft, there is one key fundamental point that supports the continued use of tanks in modern day warfare, as it did since their introduction by the British back in WW1.  An aircraft CANNOT hold territory conquered ; armour and infantry can !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2009 at 19:00
but i don't think the US is a model for anything. you described tank hunters as tanks with stronger guns and no turret, which is not the description of a US tank hunter. US ww2 tank hunter do have turrets. furthermore only Germany and the SU used tank hunters on a very large scale.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2009 at 08:34
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

but i don't think the US is a model for anything. you described tank hunters as tanks with stronger guns and no turret, which is not the description of a US tank hunter. US ww2 tank hunter do have turrets. furthermore only Germany and the SU used tank hunters on a very large scale.
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I am not at all sure that I can continue to take either yourself or your comments seriously when you make such remarks, which are patently ridiculous, about the USA.  The USA had a number of tank killer/hunters in WW2.  The M.90 was one of them, as was the "Hellcat", which I believe was nomenclatured as M118.  Both of these had no turrets, although they shared a common weakness, which was an open fighting compartment. I do, however, entirely agree with your comment re Germany and the USSR employing tank killers widely.
A tank killer without a turret, but fitted with a heavier gun, is an effective method of improving an otherwise obsolete tank design i.e. just remove the turret, fit with armour plate and a heavier gun.  Are you aware that it was well nigh impossible to fit a heavier gun to an existing type of tank ?  This is because of the limitation of turret ring diameters - take the turret off and you have no such limitations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2009 at 14:08
I've just remembered while reading some stuff that the German classification of tanks during WWII was somewhat strange (the PzIV was a heavy then a medium) becasue it accounted for armor, gun, etc. If I remeber it right there were three classes:
- leichte  - that's light
- mittlere schwerre - that would be medium heavyConfused
- uber schwerre - which would mean super heavy.
According to this classification the Panther and the Tiger were ubers. Then so would be some the KV's the IS's maybe even the T-34 85.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2009 at 14:20
I have no idea just how tanks fell into different categories and have always assumed that it arrived at by their laden weight.  I expect that the designation of a tank would also vary in its lifetime since most tanks were constantly uparmoured and upgunned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2009 at 17:39
Originally posted by nuvolari nuvolari wrote:

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REPLY 
I am not at all sure that I can continue to take either yourself or your comments seriously when you make such remarks, which are patently ridiculous, about the USA.  The USA had a number of tank killer/hunters in WW2.  The M.90 was one of them, as was the "Hellcat", which I believe was nomenclatured as M118.  Both of these had no turrets, although they shared a common weakness, which was an open fighting compartment. I do, however, entirely agree with your comment re Germany and the USSR employing tank killers widely.
A tank killer without a turret, but fitted with a heavier gun, is an effective method of improving an otherwise obsolete tank design i.e. just remove the turret, fit with armour plate and a heavier gun.  Are you aware that it was well nigh impossible to fit a heavier gun to an existing type of tank ?  This is because of the limitation of turret ring diameters - take the turret off and you have no such limitations.


well excuse me but all American tank hunters had turrets, M10, M18 and M36. look it up.
most produced of those was the M10 with not even 5.000 models produced. the most built German tank hunter (initially SP artillery) was the StuG III with 8200 produced and for the Soviets the SU 76 with 11.300 produced.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2009 at 09:10
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Originally posted by nuvolari nuvolari wrote:

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REPLY 
I am not at all sure that I can continue to take either yourself or your comments seriously when you make such remarks, which are patently ridiculous, about the USA.  The USA had a number of tank killer/hunters in WW2.  The M.90 was one of them, as was the "Hellcat", which I believe was nomenclatured as M118.  Both of these had no turrets, although they shared a common weakness, which was an open fighting compartment. I do, however, entirely agree with your comment re Germany and the USSR employing tank killers widely.
A tank killer without a turret, but fitted with a heavier gun, is an effective method of improving an otherwise obsolete tank design i.e. just remove the turret, fit with armour plate and a heavier gun.  Are you aware that it was well nigh impossible to fit a heavier gun to an existing type of tank ?  This is because of the limitation of turret ring diameters - take the turret off and you have no such limitations.


well excuse me but all American tank hunters had turrets, M10, M18 and M36. look it up.
most produced of those was the M10 with not even 5.000 models produced. the most built German tank hunter (initially SP artillery) was the StuG III with 8200 produced and for the Soviets the SU 76 with 11.300 produced.
 
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REPLY.
Yes I accept that I am probably mistaken about US tank killers NOT having turrets. I withdraw my comment to that effect and apologise.  My other comments re tank killers versus tanks still stand, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2009 at 13:55
Temujin, the Stug III was not a dedicated tank killer. It was more an assault gun. That it could kill tanks is another thing. The German dedicated tank destroyers were Elephant, Marder, Nashorn, Hetzer, Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger if I recall. The Stugs were in the same category as the Sig, Wespe, Brummbar or Humell - self propelled artillery or assault guns.
The Soviet SU 76 is also an assault gun and in fact represents a number of different designs (Su 76P, Su 15M, Su 76M being produced and used in combat). Initially it was used as a tank killer (it resemles a lot the Marder except the SU76 I wich was built using the chassis of captured PzIII). The total production of various variants of the SU 76 was over 14.000. The real "Zveroboy's" were the Su 85 and the Su 100, and, at the beginning of the war, the ZIS 30.
Indeed, none of  these machines had turrets.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2009 at 16:45
well the point is there's no real difference between StuGs, Jagdpanzer or self-propelled artillery, they were all used for tank hunting eventually and some were genuinely designed as tank hunters (jagdpanter), some became tank hunters by chance (StuG) and some by necessity (SP artillery). the differences between jagdpanther and StuG is close to zero, the sp artillery usually had next to zero armour while the other two had usually even better (frontal) armour than their 'parent' tanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2009 at 17:13
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

well the point is there's no real difference between StuGs, Jagdpanzer or self-propelled artillery, they were all used for tank hunting eventually and some were genuinely designed as tank hunters (jagdpanter), some became tank hunters by chance (StuG) and some by necessity (SP artillery). the differences between jagdpanther and StuG is close to zero, the sp artillery usually had next to zero armour while the other two had usually even better (frontal) armour than their 'parent' tanks.
 
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"Difference between a Stug and a Jagdpanther close to zero"  ?    I think not !  If I was a member of a Sherman tank crew I know which one of these two German types I'd rather NOT come up against.   The Jagdpanther was faster, had better maneouvrabilty, had better armament and armour !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2009 at 19:49
the Jagdpanther had no StuG variant. i was talking about StuG IV vs Jagdpanzer IV for example, which are built on the same chassis (Panzer IV).
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