History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedTiger I or M-26 Pershing?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Spartakus View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar
terörist

Joined: 22-Nov-2004
Location: Greece/Hellas
Status: Offline
Points: 4496
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tiger I or M-26 Pershing?
    Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 14:47

Which of those 2 tanks is superior according to you?The Tiger I or the M-26 Pershing?

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)
Back to Top
Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 25-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 15:09
Originally posted by Spartakus Spartakus wrote:

Which of those 2 tanks is superior according to you?The Tiger I or the M-26 Pershing?

Based on firepower, mobility, and armor protection, the Pershing is superior.

One Pershing knocked out a Tiger I and two Panzer IVs in a single engagement.

The Pershing was also comparable to the Panther (one Pershing knocked out a Panther in front of Cologne Cathedral), but the Panther was still slightly superior, spec-wise.

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


--Augustin Staidt, of the Federfechter (German fencing guild)
Back to Top
Tobodai View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Antarctica
Status: Offline
Points: 4321
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 16:18
the Pershing rules!! Im so angry that it wasnt adopted earlier and hence saved more lives!
"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton
Back to Top
Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 25-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 17:33

Originally posted by Tobodai Tobodai wrote:

the Pershing rules!! Im so angry that it wasnt adopted earlier and hence saved more lives!

It really was a crime, IMO.

The whole delay regarding the adoption of the Pershing was a result of flawed U.S. Army Doctrine, which stated that tanks are not supposed to engage enemy tanks (LOL).  The destruction of enemy tanks was the job of the Tank Destroyer Command.  However, in practice, this doctrine obviously didn't work, and many Allied lives were lost. 

The only Western Allied tanks capable of dealing with Tiger Is and Panthers were the Pershing, the British-modified M4A4 Sherman "Firefly" with the 17-pdr, and the British Comet with the 77mm (basically a "detuned" 17-pdr).

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


--Augustin Staidt, of the Federfechter (German fencing guild)
Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Status: Offline
Points: 965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2005 at 19:18

An interesting dual but I think the writer of this piece has the correct insight. When he describes it as one tank crew defeating another, not tank defeating tank.

 

DUEL AT DESSAU
3AD's "Super Pershing" vs. Germany's "King Tiger"
WWII's two most powerful tanks meet in a historic encounter

Click to enlarge tanks

  3AD soldiers above in 1945: Staff Sgt. Joseph Maduri of Massachusetts, commander of the Super Pershing, is shown in portrait at right and in middle of group photo. Corporal John P. Irwin of Pennsylvania, the tank's gunner, is at right in the group. Crewman at far left is believed to be "Pete" (last name not yet known). Not in the photo are the two remaining crewmen, whose names are not yet known (Photos from the Maduri family)


DUEL AT DESSAU
on April 21, 1945
A Spearhead One-on-One Tank Victory
by Website Staff

 

Only three days before the 3rd Armored Division's final combat action of WWII, a Super Pershing of the 33rd Armored Regiment met and defeated the most powerful and most heavily armored German tank of the war - the legendary 77-ton King Tiger, also known as the Tiger II or Tiger Royal. It would be the first and only meeting between a King Tiger and the Super Pershing, a modified standard M26 Pershing weighing 53 tons - an almost "secret" tank that, to this day, remains largely an enigma to military historians.

Only two Super Pershings were ever built, and the 3AD had the only one in the European Theater - an experimental version with its remarkably long barrel. Arriving very late in the war (March, 1945), it was field tested and modified inside Germany and subsequently saw about ten days of actual combat action, beginning several days after the Battle of Paderborn and ending with the Battle of Dessau on the Elbe River.

The Super Pershing (aka T26E4-1) was equipped with a new long-barreled T15E1 90mm gun that was designed to out-perform the German high-velocity 88mm on the King Tiger. This new U.S. gun had successfully penetrated 8.5 inches of armor at 1,000 yards at 30 degrees. Even more remarkable, it had penetrated 13 inches of armor at 100 yards. The special 90mm ammunition had produced a muzzle velocity of 3,850 feet per second, or some 600 feet per second faster than the 88mm of the King Tiger. But in testing, the new 90mm also proved to have amazing range and accuracy.

Army ordinance technicians (in the U.S. and Europe) had been anxious about getting the new tank into combat, hoping to match it against a King Tiger. But by April, 1945, German armor west of Berlin had dramatically thinned out, not to mention an extreme shortage of fuel, and the odds of spotting the monster German tank were slim. But in Dessau on April 21, "luck" would befall the Super Pershing crew commanded by SSgt Joe Maduri, a veteran 3AD tanker in his tenth straight month of combat.

The 3AD had begun a four-pronged attack on the city, which was heavily defended. Division armor were finally able to enter the city slowly after numerous concrete tank barriers were destroyed. With 3AD tanks fanning out, and 36th Infantry riflemen following, the Super Pershing reached an intersection and began to round a corner to its right. Unknown to its crew, a King Tiger had apparently been waiting in ambush at a distance of two blocks or roughly 600 yards away, and in the same direction that the Americans were turning into.

At this distance, easily within its capability, the Tiger fired at the Super Pershing. But its infamous high-velocity 88mm shell, of the type that had destroyed so many American tanks and vehicles during the war, went high and was not even close. Gunner Cpl John "Jack" Irwin, only 18 years old, responded almost instantly with a round that struck the Tiger's huge angled glasis, or front plate. But the shot, a non-armor-piercing high explosive (HE) shell, had no effect. Ricocheting off the armor, it shot skyward and exploded harmlessly. The Super Pershing had been loaded with an HE only because Irwin had been expecting urban targets, such as buildings, personnel, and light anti-tank guns. "AP!", he shouted to his loader "Pete," which meant an armor-piercing shell would be next.

Maduri and crew then felt a concussion or thud on the turret. It was never known if this shot came from the Tiger, or from some other anti-tank weapon. In any case, no serious damage was done - probably a lucky glancing impact. In the next instant, Irwin aimed and fired a second time, just as the royal monster was moving forward and raising up over a pile of rubble. The 90mm AP round penetrated the Tiger's underbelly, apparently striking the ammo well and resulting in a tremendous explosion that blew its turret loose. With near certainty, the entire crew was killed.

But there was no time to examine their "trophy." A battle was raging, and the Super Pershing continued down the street, passing the lifeless and burning King Tiger. Tough fighting still lay ahead, as German bazooka, Panzerfaust, and machine-gun fire came from windows and doorways.

The encounter with the King Tiger had been "short and sweet," lasting less than twenty seconds. It may not have been the titanic "slug fest" that could have occurred on an open field, but it was an overwhelming victory for the quick-reacting Super Pershing crew. The battle for Dessau would end completely on the following day, but not without the Super Pershing destroying another German heavy tank (believed to be a 50-ton Panther Mark V) with two shots. The first disabling its drive sprocket, and the second round completely penetrating the tank's side armor. That apparently set off an internal blast, again probably from stored ammo. And, still in Dessau, that was followed by Maduri and crew forcing the commander of a German medium tank to surrender without firing a shot. For the German crew, out of ammo for their main gun, the intimidating "look" of that long-barrel 90mm gun that must have destroyed any remaining will to fight or flee.

[Note: Sources include the book Spearhead in the West (1945 version); the book Death Traps by Belton Cooper; and the book Another River, Another Town and personal writings by John P. Irwin.]



More background on the "Super Pershing"

 

In mid-March, 1945, fresh from gunnery trials in the United States, a modified Pershing T26E1 arrived at the Maintenance Battalion of the 3rd Armored Division. In his book Death Traps (see feature story in ths same website section) Belton Cooper writes, "Having already lost several of the new [Pershing] M26's [aka T26] to high-velocity German anti-tank guns, we knew that its armor was still inferior to that of the Mark VI Tiger."

Cooper writes, "Anyone standing behind an M4 Sherman could see the projectile go out and curve down slightly as it sped toward the target. This new high-velocity gun was entirely different. When we fired the first round, we could barely see the projectile. It appeared to rise slightly as it struck the target. This was an optical illusion, but the effect was awesome. When it hit the target (a knocked out German tank-destroyer/assault gun), sparks shot about sixty feet into the air, as though a giant grinding wheel had hit a piece of metal."

Cooper described how, despite the 3AD maintenance crew painstakingly and very creatively adding seven tons of weight in additional armor to the Super Pershing, its highest speed had only been dropped by about five miles an hour. Its 550-horsepower engine had proven itself. Cooper felt that the tank's maneuverability and firepower had it marked for great success in combat. "We realized that we had a weapon," Cooper writes, "that could blast the hell out of even the most powerful German Mark VI Tiger."

But, finally, on April 4, 1945, between the Weser River and Northheim, the Super Pershing was to fire its gun in anger. Cooper writes, "Some of the German units that had fallen back from the bridgehead set up a few isolated strong points along our route. One such position on a wooded hill ... opened fire as the column passed. The Super M26, in the forward part of the column, immediately swung its turret to the right and fired an armor-piercing shot toward an object on the forward slope of a wooded hill about fifteen hundred yards away [over three-quarters of a mile]. A blinding flash of sparks accompanied a tremendous explosion as debris shot fifty feet into the air ... The unknown object was a tank or self-propelled gun; had it been a half-track or other vehicle, the flash would not have been as large ... The rest of the column let go with a deluge of tank and automatic weapons fire, and the Germans soon broke off the action ... we didn't know what the Super M26 hit ... no one was anxious to go over and check it out."

Some days after the above event, the Super M26 was transferred to a new crew with the 33rd Armored Regiment, where more of it's great potential would be realized, if only weeks before WWII would end.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
babyblue View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 06-Aug-2004
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 1176
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote babyblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 00:36
Originally posted by Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner wrote:

Originally posted by Spartakus Spartakus wrote:

Which of those 2 tanks is superior according to you?The Tiger I or the M-26 Pershing?

Based on firepower, mobility, and armor protection, the Pershing is superior.

One Pershing knocked out a Tiger I and two Panzer IVs in a single engagement.

The Pershing was also comparable to the Panther (one Pershing knocked out a Panther in front of Cologne Cathedral), but the Panther was still slightly superior, spec-wise.

    hang on a sec. if a Pershing is superior to a Tiger I, how could it be comparable to a Panther?

Back to Top
Imperator Invictus View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Retired AE Administrator

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Status: Offline
Points: 3204
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 00:53
Because a Panther was superior to a Tiger. The Panther was lighter, wider, more manuverable, had more fuel capacity, moved faster, better armor design and had a higher velocity gun. The Tiger was only superior in rear and side armor depth. 
Back to Top
babyblue View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 06-Aug-2004
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 1176
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote babyblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 01:55

   but a Tiger was a heavy tank, whereas a panther was considered a medium tank in the class of T-34.

     ....anyway, i still don't think a Panther could beat a Tiger 1 one on one.

Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Status: Offline
Points: 965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 03:54

As Imperator Invictus said,

The armour of the Panther was inclined. An incline increases the thickness of armour (basic geomitery) and also makes shells deflect. This meant the Panther's armour was as effective as the Tiger's. And everything else about it superior.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 25-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2005 at 09:13

Paul,

That was a great story--I never heard of it before.  Strangely, in Hunnicutt's definitive book on the history of the Pershing, the author claimed that the "Super Pershing" never encountered a King Tiger.

Thanks for posting that.

Peace,

David/L_D

 

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


--Augustin Staidt, of the Federfechter (German fencing guild)
Back to Top
Laelius View Drop Down
Consul
Consul


Joined: 22-Oct-2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 354
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 01:21
good posts Paul, anyways what I'd like to know more about are those oft ignored qualities in a tank such as reliability, tread design, and suspension.  How do these two tanks stack up in those regards, I'd look into myself but it seems like I'm doing case briefs for my case briefs Wacko
Back to Top
Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 25-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 08:16

Well, as good as German tanks were, they also tended to be over-engineered, whereas American and Russian tanks were very simple and straightforward.  Even the much-maligned Sherman was very practical from at least this standpoint.

The Pershing's conventional torsion bar suspension was much simpler and easier to maintain than the interleaved torsion bar suspesion of Tiger I and Panther, or even the overlapped suspension of King Tiger.  King Tiger was severely underpowered, as well.  IIRC, General Patton claimed that if he had made his dash across France using German tanks, they all would have broken down.

What made the Pershing nice was that it combined the simplicity of the Sherman (in some ways it was even more simple, with its sponson-less hull of simple box form), with a really powerful gun and armor protection comparable to the Tiger I and Panther.  Hunnicutt's book (I'll have to dig it out) lists several experimental variants that were tried out too--an uparmored version, several versions with two long 90mm gun variants, etc.

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


--Augustin Staidt, of the Federfechter (German fencing guild)
Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Status: Offline
Points: 965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 10:46

Found this on another page, it's pretty informative.

The American built Sherman was a tank that could do many jobs. It was a machine that could be easily modified for many roles. Following the Normandy lands hedge rows made life difficult for the Allied armies. With the invention of hedge row chopper the tanks could run thru the hedge rows. The Sherman original had a short barrel 75MM cannon. The British up gunned there Sherman to a high velocity 76mm and called the tank the Firefly. The Sherman was modified to carry rockets, flame throwers, and other weapons. It was an easy tank to work on and the engine was familiar to many who had worked on cars before the WW2. From 1941 to early 1944 the Sherman was a good tank on the battle field and could be repaired easily. The Sherman had several problems. Frist it was too tall which made it an easy target. Also it armor was too thin to stop the large German tank and antitank guns. Many Sherman's had extra armor bolted or even tied on to the front of the tank to add some extra protection. The Sherman gun could not penetrate the Tiger and Panther tanks except from behind. That is why the British put the 76MM cannon which could if the range was short enough. Shermans would swarm enemy tanks with much larger numbers. The old battle of quality vs. quantity. At times it took 10 Sherman to kill one Panther or Tiger tank.

There were 6 major Panzer versions. The Panzer 1 was a light tank armed with machine guns. The Panzer 2 was also a light tank with a 20mm cannon. The Panzer 3 was a medium tank that started of with a 37mm cannon and in later models had a 50 mm cannon. The Panzer 4 was a larger medium tank that started out with a low velocity 75mm cannon for fighting infantry and later a high velocity 75mm cannon to deal with Soviet tanks. The Panzer 5 was a heavy also called the Panther this tank had a high velocity 75mm cannon and was very well armored. The Panzer 6 was a heavy tank also called the Tiger tank. The Tiger had an 88mm cannon that could destroy all allied and Soviet tanks. There were also 2 Czech tanks that the Germans used; they were called the 35t and the 38t. These were light tanks with 37mm cannons and very fast. When Germany took over Czechoslovakia in 1939 it used both of these small tanks in large numbers until the newer version of the Panzer 3 and 4 were ready for service.

The most common of the German tanks through out the war were the Panzer 3, 4, 5 and 6. With the Panzer 4 built in the most numbers, but that was a fraction of the 49,000 Sherman's built or the 34,000 plus T-34 tanks. In movies and other media the Panzer 5 and 6 or the Panther and the Tiger are the most known. The Panzer 4 like the Sherman was very adaptable to different roles. It started life as an infantry tank to support the infantry. With the high velocity cannon it became s superb tank killer. The Panzer 4 hull was used for Antiaircraft guns, antitank units, and many other uses. The Panzer 4 was not a fast tank and it did not use sloped armor. It was for a German tank easy to repair and use. The Panzer 5 or Panther was a fantastic tank most likely one the best tanks ever. It had sloped armor to defeat enemy fire and a high velocity 75mm cannon that was deadly to most allied and Soviet tanks. The Panther was not the fastest tank and it engine was vulnerably to leaks both gas and oil. The Tiger was a mobile pill box. It had one the largest guns mounted on a tank in WW2, but was very slow. The 88MM cannon was an antiaircraft gun that fired a shell at very high velocity and was deadly to all allied tanks. The Tiger was slow and didn't have sloped armor; the Tiger 2 had sloped armor but was even slower.

In battle the Sherman did well against the Panzer 4. The Sherman was faster then the Panzer 4 and could out maneuver it. The early versions of the Panzer 4 with its low velocity gun was cut to pieces by Sherman in North Africa. By The time of the Normandy invasion the up gunned Panzer 4 was a close match to the Sherman. The advantage came down to crew training. Against the Panther and the Tiger the Sherman was in trouble. The Sherman had to get to the rear of either the Panther or Tiger to get an engine shot in order to ensure a kill. The Tiger with its 88mm cannon could destroy a Sherman at long range as could the Panther. Thankfully by the time of the Normandy invasion the Allies controlled the air and could kill tanks with aircraft.

The M-26 Perishing was America's answer to the Tiger and Panther tanks. It had a 90mm Cannon that could engage the Panther and Tiger at long ranges. The M-26 was not a fast tank and after the war it received a newer engine. By early 1945 some M-26s were in service in Europe. They did engage and destroy both Tigers and Panthers.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
Tobodai View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Location: Antarctica
Status: Offline
Points: 4321
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 19:20
of course taking in all factors including value ease on socnstruction and performance, the T-34 is possibly the finest tank of all time in its time period
"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
-Alexander Hamilton
Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Status: Offline
Points: 965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2005 at 20:37

Yup, comparing a Panther with a T-34 is like comparing and Aston Martin to a mini. Both quality at the jobs they're designed for.

The T-34 was actually based up the Christie T-3 tank. Christie made it for the US military in the 30's but only 7 were made and the US military didn't like the design.

So the company offered it to the Russians in secret and smuggled 1 of the 7 to Russia. Both the KV and T-34 were based on the T-3 chassis, the British Crusader too. The 1st US tank to take influence from it was the M-26.

It's also worth mentioning the US military was far from enamoured with the M3 Grant and until British buyers came over in WWII and loved it. It was rearmed according to British specifications and went on to outclass the PZ-III in the desert.

Sometimes I think the finest tank commander Hitler had was the US military.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.