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It was the SU-76's job, but older models of the T-34 too. By 1943 the Russians were finally getting so flush with tanks that they could afford to start distributing them piecemeal to the infantry. Of course the SU-76 was also widely available and more than welcome anytime the T-34 wasn't around.  The T-70 managed to cling to life here and there and i'm sure some KV-1s that had managed not to be expended thus far might also be bumming around in the infantry from time to time. Assault guns are clever stop gaps, but ultimately a stop gap for when you need more tanks but can't afford that many. The British made almost no use of them and the Americans were disappointed with the M2 half track's various assault gun mods. They ended up preferring as often as possible to give the infantry Stuarts, or even better, Shermans. 

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16 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

...the Americans were disappointed with the M2 half track's various assault gun mods. They ended up preferring as often as possible to give the infantry Stuarts, or even better, Shermans. 

Just so. They also at need pressed the M10 TD into service as an assault gun if there weren't enough M4s etc. around. Besides, since the Germans seldom had a lot of tanks around for them to shoot at, they needed something to do. Occasionally, during set piece attacks or prolonged defenses, they were even used as indirect fire artillery.

Michael

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17 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

It was the SU-76's job, but older models of the T-34 too. By 1943 the Russians were finally getting so flush with tanks that they could afford to start distributing them piecemeal to the infantry. Of course the SU-76 was also widely available and more than welcome anytime the T-34 wasn't around.  The T-70 managed to cling to life here and there and i'm sure some KV-1s that had managed not to be expended thus far might also be bumming around in the infantry from time to time. Assault guns are clever stop gaps, but ultimately a stop gap for when you need more tanks but can't afford that many. The British made almost no use of them and the Americans were disappointed with the M2 half track's various assault gun mods. They ended up preferring as often as possible to give the infantry Stuarts, or even better, Shermans. 

The British still had dedicated tanks for the infantry, but for some strange reason didn't give them HE. I am curious what the infantry felt about the Sexton and Priest vehicles. I'm guessing those guys are the closest analogue to SU-76. Those and the M8 Scott too.

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3 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

The British still had dedicated tanks for the infantry, but for some strange reason didn't give them HE

For the 2 pdr on the Matilda and early Churchills, sure. Not so much with the later 6 pdr and 75mm Churchills and obviously not on the Shermans.

259e53df61f0b95345957b19b5de48e2.jpg

2 pdr shell on the left - it's tiny! Not sure how much HE you could cram into that.
 

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26 minutes ago, domfluff said:

2 pdr shell on the left - it's tiny! Not sure how much HE you could cram into that.

Two pounds? :)

The 2pdr is 40mm diameter - the us 37mm HE rounds in the Stuart are pretty effective. So it sounds like it would be possible. Perhaps they directed their development towards better ammo for the 6pdr instead. Someone has to design this stuff and was their time better spent on designing for the 2pdr or the 6pdr or the... etc.

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2 hours ago, domfluff said:

For the 2 pdr on the Matilda and early Churchills, sure. Not so much with the later 6 pdr and 75mm Churchills and obviously not on the Shermans.

6 pounder's HE was also of dubious quality, and even more dubious quantity (few HE rounds, mostly AP). Brits even put Sherman 75mms on churchills -- 75mm HE was the way all countries went. It's an issue of doctrine. Brits believed that lobbing HE shells was a strictly artillery duty and mounting general purpose cannons on infantry or cruiser tanks was not needed. That's why the M3 was so well liked when it first hit the streets -- the 75mm HE! Boom! Their mentality began to change, and they made some damn fine AFVs after.

1 hour ago, IanL said:

The 2pdr is 40mm diameter - the us 37mm HE rounds in the Stuart are pretty effective. So it sounds like it would be possible. Perhaps they directed their development towards better ammo for the 6pdr instead. Someone has to design this stuff and was their time better spent on designing for the 2pdr or the 6pdr or the... etc.

Stuart is a honey for infantry support, indeed. Not only does it come with HE, but also canister rounds. Their effectiveness blew me away.

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Paddy looks up from his pint of black, and turns to Monty. "For the love of Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jeezus. Will yerz go down there Field Marshall, and tell that fecker to stop keep calling me a "Brit" ".

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5 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

The British still had dedicated tanks for the infantry, but for some strange reason didn't give them HE. I am curious what the infantry felt about the Sexton and Priest vehicles. I'm guessing those guys are the closest analogue to SU-76. Those and the M8 Scott too.

Partly reasoning. The British did studies between the wars and found that HE shot for any caliber smaller than 75mm was disappointing, often yielding less fragmentation than a hand grenade. The issue is that the British took that study on a per shot basis, and failed to consider that rapid firing HE rounds could more than make up for their low power. The British just believed a tank was supposed to park itself 600m to 1km from an enemy trench and just sit there peppering it with machine gun fire for hours while the infantry advanced on it. 

A lot of the issue also came down to finance though. Mass producing a 1943 tank in 1934 would've been outrageously expensive, especially if you were going to place orders large enough to compose proper Tank Divisions which few nations could stomach, even if they thought in the 1930s that such a thing was a good idea and few did. You still had lots of old conservative Generals around who saw the tank and the airplane as gimmicks that already failed in 1918 and so anything not spent on artillery, horses, and battleships was a waste. 

2 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Stuart is a honey for infantry support, indeed. Not only does it come with HE, but also canister rounds. Their effectiveness blew me away.

Pun intended. The Stuart's HE rounds are not too great no but they can still wreck machine guns and crew weapons on a lucky hit, it carries a lot of them + machine gun ammo so it can sit around plastering a position for an hour. The Stuart is great because it's little and scrappy and it could maneuver into places heavier vehicles could not so it can better keep up with the infantry.  The canister round is a thing  to behold and every now and then when you're lucky and the planets align it can take down a StuG or even a Panther if it gets the drop on them. Certainly the Sherman is objectively better but when i'm playing as Axis i've noticed I dread the attack of the American Weenie Tank as much as its larger, heavier sibling. Weenies imply a roast after all...

Edited by SimpleSimon

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6 hours ago, IanL said:

The 2pdr is 40mm diameter - the us 37mm HE rounds in the Stuart are pretty effective.

But the real comparison should be to the 40mm Bofors, which the British at least used as part of the softening up barrage before the Rhine crossing, in addition to a number of other places.

Michael

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On 11/2/2018 at 3:49 PM, SimpleSimon said:

Pun intended. The Stuart's HE rounds are not too great no but they can still wreck machine guns and crew weapons on a lucky hit, it carries a lot of them + machine gun ammo so it can sit around plastering a position for an hour. The Stuart is great because it's little and scrappy and it could maneuver into places heavier vehicles could not so it can better keep up with the infantry.  The canister round is a thing  to behold and every now and then when you're lucky and the planets align it can take down a StuG or even a Panther if it gets the drop on them. Certainly the Sherman is objectively better but when i'm playing as Axis i've noticed I dread the attack of the American Weenie Tank as much as its larger, heavier sibling. Weenies imply a roast after all...

They could roast any Japanese tank. In Pacific and Far East, they were absolutely crucial with their higher mobility and easier logistics. I think it's probably the most potent in its class: more armoured and better armed than the Lynx and 4 crew instead of 2 for the T-70.

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1 hour ago, DerKommissar said:

4 crew instead of 2 for the T-70.

Yes, I find this is really important--and also, the Stuart has a radio and two of those crewmen are in the turret. The T-70 packs a punch against infantry or light armor but it's short on MG ammo, has a low ROF for the main gun, is slow to share info, it's hard to maintain C2 with, it's not great at spotting, and it's generally inefficient in "soft" terms despite its reasonable "hard" factors. A lot like the early T-34s.

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On 11/2/2018 at 5:54 PM, DerKommissar said:

Stuart is a honey for infantry support, indeed. Not only does it come with HE, but also canister rounds. Their effectiveness blew me away.

They are good in forests, but the canister is actually a problem in towns because the tank will foolishly use it against buildings where it has very little effect.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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