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John Kettler

Comparison of Firefly 17-pdr with US 76 mm and 90 mm guns

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This originally appeared in The Chieftain's Hatch, but is more easily read here, It has the best gunnery data I;ve ever seen comparing not just these guns oi each other, but of the ballistic differences for the various 17-pdr rounds. This isn't Isigny or other shoots in the ETO. This is ZI, Aberdeen Proving Ground in fact.

https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/us-firefly-17-pounder-vs-90mm-vs-76mm.285284/

Regards,

John Kettler

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I suspect the modelling in CM is pretty good on that front - the smaller crew in the Firefly will make spotting worse over the 76mm Sherman, I wouldn't be surprised if loading times were lower too. From subjective experience, I'm pretty certain the 17 pdr is less accurate than the 76mm and (most importantly) if you set the date to June 1944, you have access to Firefly, and not the 76mm.

 

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10 hours ago, domfluff said:

I suspect the modelling in CM is pretty good on that front - the smaller crew in the Firefly will make spotting worse over the 76mm Sherman, I wouldn't be surprised if loading times were lower too. From subjective experience, I'm pretty certain the 17 pdr is less accurate than the 76mm and (most importantly) if you set the date to June 1944, you have access to Firefly, and not the 76mm.

 

The spotting and loading times seem to be slower overall - only an impression, but I play Commonwealth forces a majority of the time.

With a good crew they are fearfully accurate though, which seems fair, being a high-velocity gun. If you're wary and furtive with them, they're truly deadly.

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One thing Steve said quite some time ago is that the 17 pounder APDS was modeled as working correctly, which I think is grossly unfair for early in its combat career, at longer range, given what the actual firing trials revealed. 

Regards,

John Kettler
 

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Posted (edited)

One thing that always puzzled me about the Panther is that the upper front hull is pretty much immune to penetration, but the turret, the actual thing that is most exposed, even in hull-down, is so comparatively easy to penetrate.

Obviously this is because the turret front is rounded,  and the glacis is sloped, but why didn't they increase the turret front armour to match the glacis?

Weight, yes, but how much extra weight would it need? The Panther weighs almost 45 tonnes. Adding an extra cm of thickness to the front turret armour would have added only 76 kilos extra weight (assuming the front turret was approximately one metre square)

Now let's say we increase turret mantlet thickness by 4 cm to a total of 140mm. That should give it the same effective thickness as the glacis, and should only add 304 kilos to the total vehicle weight. So now the Panther weighs 45.3 tonnes instead of 45.0 tonnes and has a much stronger front turret. Why not?

 

Edited by Bulletpoint

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Bulletpoint,

From what I've read, the Panther was already suffering a lot of breakdowns from final drive failure--too much load on it. Could argue that may've been a factor. Nor did anyone I've read of properly anticipate first, the Pheasant (17 pounder ATG) nor the Firefly. Thus, the Panther wasn't designed with those threats in mind. which were 88 class weapons in terms of penetration, rather than the far less demanding short 75 or the more dangerous 76.2 mm and 76 mm guns. As it was, the Panther was a nightmare to deal with frontally. where statistically most of the engagements occur (cardioid distribution) for most weapons until fairly late in the war.

Regards,

John Kettler 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

why didn't they increase the turret front armour to match the glacis?

They tried to.

https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2-germany-panzer-panther-ausf-f/

TL;DR: After a year of development the first redesign got rejected. The second redesign was accepted and set to go into production in early 1945 as the Panther F, but it was too late.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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On 3/1/2020 at 11:23 PM, Vanir Ausf B said:
On 3/1/2020 at 7:32 PM, Bulletpoint said:

why didn't they increase the turret front armour to match the glacis?

They tried to.

https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2-germany-panzer-panther-ausf-f/

TL;DR: After a year of development the first redesign got rejected. The second redesign was accepted and set to go into production in early 1945 as the Panther F, but it was too late.

Interesting, thanks. I still think it's odd that they overcomplicated it though. There must be some reason for why they couldn't just take the existing mantlet and add 4-5 cm to it. It was cast, so they could just make a new mold.

I'm no tank expert or engineer, so probably my lack of understanding will make more knowledgeable people roll their eyes :) 

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15 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Interesting, thanks. I still think it's odd that they overcomplicated it though. There must be some reason for why they couldn't just take the existing mantlet and add 4-5 cm to it. It was cast, so they could just make a new mold.

I'm no tank expert or engineer, so probably my lack of understanding will make more knowledgeable people roll their eyes :) 

The Germans were loath to add any weight to the turret since it was already heavier than the traverse mechanism was designed to handle.

From a post-war French report:

"The turret traverse drive is not strong enough to either turn the turret or hold it in place when the Panther is on an incline of more than 20 degrees."

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