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slysniper

Firefly vs Tiger

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After all these years of playing I have just learned the hard way not to get into a duel with fireflys using Tigers at long range, the Battle is at 2000 yards and I found my tigers being out preformed. So I went and did a few game test and found that at 1600 yards the Fireflys were out hitting, shooting faster and getting kills as easy as the Tigers. In some test it was as bad as a 2 to 1 kill ratio, the best the Tigers ever did was 7 kills to 10 losses.

Can I consider this good game design, if so, what is the advantage that is being reflected here in the game.

I am having a hard time accepting the fact that the fireflys are getting a better hit percentage.

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Does the 17 pdr's AP projectile not have a higher muzzle velocity, lesser drag and therefore a significantly flatter trajectory at range than the Kwk 36 L/56's? That would, all else being equal, make it significantly quicker and easier for a 17 pdr gunner to hit targets (especially Tiger-sized ones) at longer battle ranges because small errors in range judgement wouldn't matter so much.

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I'm not so sure. The 17 pdr APDS shot used in the war had sabot that did not always separate cleanly, causing the shot to wobble in flight. I understand this caused accuracy problems. After the war this was corrected.

BTW, I once saw footage of 17 pdr APDS shot in flight and the wobble was very pronounced.

Michael

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I expect the firefly to get more rounds out per minute, just by the fact the the crew has more room to work and a lighter shell to load.

The APDS round is a killer, so that is a given that the tiger is toast when hit, so that is not a issue either.

a higher muzzle velocity would be very helpful if that is true and the shell has a flatter trajectory out at that range. But I really question that, expecially the APDS, but that could be the factor involved.

I question if the game really ever modelled sighting issues. I do not beleive the sighting equipment on the firefly to be that good at these ranges compared to the german tanks but I am going off my knowledge of what I beleive the siights to work by, which mostly has come from other war games. So that migth be tainted some.

Anyway, I will avoid this match up in the future, that is for sure, correct or not correct

.

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I expect the firefly to get more rounds out per minute, just by the fact the the crew has more room to work

During the war there were many attempts at alleviating the cramped conditions inside the Tiger's turret.

Unfortunately for the Germans, these attempts were conducted by the allies on the battlefield

panzer63.jpg

Wittmann_Tiger_007.jpg

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slysniper,

Per Chamberlain and Ellis "The Sherman and the 17pdr," JOURNAL: Military Panorama No. 1, page 21, the 17 pdr. is an L/58.3, expressed as muzzle to rear face of breech, and has an MV, firing APDS, of 3950/ft/sec. Complete round weight is 28.4 lbs.

By contrast, the same pub, in Jarrett's "The German Eighty Eight" on page 66 lists the KwK 56 on the Tiger 1 as an L/56. Firing Pzgr 40, the closest German round (HVAP) to APDS, the muzzle velocity is a dramatically slower 3050 ft/sec. Interestingly, the complete Pzgr 40 round is 28 lbs. From the two page ammo spread in TANKS & WEAPONS OF WORLD WAR II, it is obvious that the bottleneck cartridge case of the 17 pdr APDS is shorter than the straight case 88 round.

The picture that emerges is of a flatter shooting, higher velocity projectile, being delivered by a gun which is a bit easier to load, thanks to a somewhat shorter overall projectile length. The 88 has a slight weight advantage, but wouldn't seem to be all that critical, whereas wrestling a longer round into the breech would--against the Tiger 1. Mind, this analysis is NOT based on any real knowledge of internal turret dynamics. Both tank cannon have semiautomatic breaches.

Regards,

John Kettler

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It is interesting to see that Battlefront gave a generic rate of fire to all Shermans despite it being known that the Firefly and 76.2mm US were 50% slower firing than other Shermans. Obviously this makes them more potent than in real life as they have the killing power of a Panther and fire quicker than any kitty.

Furthermore the dust thrown up by the 76.2mm was such that when first introduced it helped to have another tank spot for where the shell went! Definitely not conducive to rapid aimed fire - unless particularly close to a large targeted building : )

If I can find my notes AFAIR the Fireflies were firing pretty one more than a Tiger per minute. The Tiger book I have quotes a rate of 8 rounds per minute which I assume is semi-aimed fire. It has to be appreciated that the Tiger was possibly a better gun platform than a Sherman with HV cannon shoehorned into a small turret.

*Incidentally, in a scenario, I found that two Tigers would shoot vanilla Shermans rather than Fireflies even when given targeting orders just so they can get a percent or two better chance of a hit. They only both died to the Firefly - which rather screws the historicity as German Tigers would always go for Fireflies as a priority target in RL. So just bear in mind to always have a vanilla sacrificial Sherman out front whilst using your Firefly.

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I have found it - my thread at WeBoB

I am currently playing a scenario by Enigma in the HSGN series and it reveals an interesting fact about CM design and also historical scenarios.

You may not have thought about it but the rate of fire for tanks and I guess infantry guns is reduced in CM. As this applies to all guns one might think that the reduction is to account for measured aimed firing rather than max.rpm. which is a reasonable idea.

So what are the figures;

Sherman 75's max 20 rounds per minute [! I know seems insane]

Tiger's 88 15rounds

Firefly 10 rounds

In game terms the Tiger with a Vet crew fires 6 per minute, the Shermans without exception fire at 7. Panthers curiously fire at 8 though some suggest it is slower than a Tiger. The reductions may also take into account that the large German tanks were better firing platforms etc.

You will notice that the Firefly in the game is benefitting hugely by being given the Sherman generic firing rate rather than half that of a normal Sherman. I have no figures for RL rates for the US 76.2mm. BF also were a little cavalier with the Sturmorser with a firing rate of roughly a round every two minutes which given the rounds are 5ft long [1.5m] and weigh nearly 800lbs [350kg] is exceptional going.

Anyway in this scenario the designer proudly mentions all tanks engaged in the recreation are included - this brought fear to my heart as RL battles and BF game design do not necessarily coincide. My fears were borne out quite early when two Tigers decided to disobey my target orders and shoot short barrelled Shermans rather than a Firefly - they died that turn. It was German doctrine to shoot Fireflies first but that is not coded into the game so a German player is incredibly vulnerable if there is a mix of tanks to shoot at. Given the coding for flamethrower units one cannot but feel BF missed a trick here.

Enigma is not the only one to be caught out with historical information performing badly in CM. Ritchie created a scenario on the CMAK Cd which is a real lemon because BF gave superhuman powers to the US 37mm allowing it to kill most early war German armour at long range. Now in a designed scenario these matters can be factored in - but the more historical a scenario the more I worry that it will be compromised. In fact in some you get the impression it is heavily scripted to make sure the result comes out as it should.

Lastly consider the idea that you want to demolish a building housing enemy troops a 100 metres plus a way with your Sherman. Its area fire at close range with a very large target - does your rate of fire differ than when you are aiming at a tank 1000 metres away. I just mention it to show how compromises have unintended effects - and to be fiar to CM I suspect houses die in the right time span but with less HE.

The figure for the Firefly comes from Stephen Hart's book:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fg-7XAont8cC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=rate+of+fire+in+a+Firefly&source=bl&ots=lbbtUN3KB7&sig=EU2DhtULpH5061CWp5g2Qhne1fY&hl=en&ei=mh2ASpqXOKDNjAelrtTvAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false

This bit from Zaloga suggests that the 76.2mm gun in a Sherman slowed the rate of fire also:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=IULV2RLYahkC&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=sherman+rate+of+fire&source=bl&ots=W09upAjIkP&sig=qoRhcMwWsiMcmqYgp7i4waUwBMw&hl=en&ei=ZyCASr2HNIWZjAfwsfX0DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false

The excerpt from Zalogas book also says the theoretical maximum was 20 rpm for the 75mm though this was seldom attempted or tried for in combat.

I have checked my book Tiger tanks by Michael Green which shows post-war test in a King Tiger showed the best average form four loaders was a round every 8 seconds. this got worse depending on the elevation of the gun and the bin being used for loading. However the test does not state how long the four tested loaders trained for the test.

I have not found any reputable source for other German tanks but quoted an on-line item re-produced here:

Greetings

Your English is fine.

The PzKpfw III Ausf. G could have carried 2 different guns. A 37MM or a 50MM cannon. The 37MM had a Maximum effective range of 300 meters and maximum range of 5,000 meters. The 50MM had an effective range of 500 meters and a maximum range of over 2000 meters depending on the type of shell. The PzKpfw III had a fire rate of 13 to 15 rounds per minute depending on the loader.

The PzKpfw IV Ausf. F2 carried a 75mm cannon and had an effective range of 1800 meters and a maximum range of 8000 meters. Rate of fire was 14 rounds per minute.

The Tiger 1 with its 88MM had an effective range of 3000 meters and a maximum range of 10,000 meters. The Tiger 1 had a rate of fire of 15 rounds per minute.

The Jagdpanther with its 88MM had a effective range of 3000 meters and a maxium range of 10,000 meters. Rate of Fire was 15 rounds per minute

The Tiger II wasa about the same as the Tiger 1 in effective range and rounds per minute.

The Panther used the 75mm KwK 42 same as the PzKpfw IV Ausf. F2. Effective range of 1800 meters and a maxium range of 8000 meters. Rate of fire was 14 rounds per minute.

The Hetzer used a novel gun the 7.5 cm PaK 39. This weapon had a effective range of 1000 meters.

The Sherman M4A1 75mm cannon had an effective range of 1000 to 1500 meters depending on the type of round. Rate of fire was as high as 20 rounds per minute.

The M10 had effective range of 1800 meters and a rate of fire of 15 rounds per minute.

The M18 Hellcat gun was similar to the M10 so same data.

The M24 had the same gun as the Sherman M4A1 so same data.

The M36 had the monster 90mm cannon. This had an effective range of close to 3000 meters and a rate of fire from 20 to 25 rounds per minute.

It looks dubious in terms of realistic rates of fire. Both the 76.2mms suffered from blast effects which meant the crew were unsighted or deafened when firing so low rates of fire would seem natural as they also I assume relaid the gun.

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Something screwy about that last set of data diesel - the Panther had the same gun as the IVF2? The Tiger I gun had the same effective range and rate of fire as the Jagpanther/Tiger II?

As for the uber capability of German optics - I doubt the Yanks and Poms hadn't caught up by this stage of the war (Fireflies in battle). 617 squadron (Gibson's crew) was hitting the centre of the target with six ton bombs dropped from twenty thousand feet - I believe they had to have used pretty fancy optics to get those results. As for the Firefly / Tiger mismatch (and it has been a genuine pleasure to snot those kitties at range, heheheh, sucks be to Sly) - the Tiger I is practically obsolete by '44. Certainly the Soviets are giving it a hell of a beating with the T34/85 in the east. Panthers are the go here - if you can get them.

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I would prefer better data but .... and I was aware there was a mistake or two in the data. For effective purposes I think the 88mm in any guise was going to kill any Western Allied tank so I worry not on that point. The Panther - way wrong.

The Tiger I was not obsolescent in terms of being a tank that was now vulnerable to other tanks - but better armoured than most and capable of defeating vanilla Shermans quite easily. Seemed to do mighty fine in quite a few battles.

However when compared to BFronts rapid fire Allied tanks with big guns then the picture is made too rosy for the Allies. Panthers being historically more correct for Normandy - true.

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I also found data that verified that the mussle velocity was better in the firefly. So a flatter trajectory would be helpful for shots misgaged as to range still being able to hit target.

So from the comments given, it appears the firefly has a rate of fire that is way out of line from the real numbers and that it also takes out the fact that its APDS shell had a higher percentage rate for lossing accuracy at range because of design issues that caused a wobble in the shell flight.

As for sighting all I can say is play Darkest Hour and see how you do at hitting enemy tanks at long range with the two site designs, German sites are by far the best design from any as far as I am concerned for that era.

So once again grogs point out a imperfection in the game numbers.

Sure would be nice to let this game get some open programming finially, so that those that still play it could adjust the numbers to what they feel are more historically correct.

Look at how many did that too the close combat games, it was interesting to play the differnt versions of that games program.

As for my game maybe I will get lucky and he will run out of special ammo before all my Tigers are burning. Not Likely.

But in truth, it sounds like in real life it would be more of a even match up, maybe the Tiger even having the advantage. I figured it would be a even risk when I went into the match up, so when things did not happen that way I could tell it was more than luck turning the battle to the fireflies advantage. Interesting, you can tell I have not spent all my time just playing with Super tanks, well, a lession learned.

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Copied and pasted from the Armchair general forum

Originally Posted by wokelly

"I originally posted this in the other thread but frankly I have seen on many different forums this general lack of understanding of optics on WWII tanks, so I figure it deserves its own post since I spent a bit of time writing it.

Telescopic sights is something most people don't know a huge amount about or there are lots of myths about. One of the big ones I hear and is that allied sights were inferior in magnification to German ones. Allied optics for the most part were not inferior in magnification to German ones. Originally the British 2 pounder gun and associated tanks had a 1.9x magnified sight, which was somewhat inferior to the 2.4x magnified German sights on tanks, which may be the cause of this myth. However American and British tank sights (6 pounder, 75mm, 17 pounder etc) had a 3x magnified sight which was slightly superior in zoom to the 2.4x magnified German sight on more of their common tanks such as the Mark III and Mark IV.

Only certain German tanks had the fancy adjustable zoom optics that had both a 2.5x magnified and 5x magnified option for the sight, mainly on the late production Tigers (originally had 2.4x) and Panthers, and probably other late war ones. The StuG Assault gun series had a 5x magnified direct fire sight it retained but it was not adjustable. However several allied tanks had high powered optics as well. The Sherman Firefly was equipped with a 6x magnified sight, but whether this was zoom adjustable or had to replace the standard 3x magnified optic I am unsure of. The Shermans with the 76mm gun also had a 5x magnified optic while standard shermans had a 3x magnified optic.

So why the notion that German optics were better than allied ones? It has more to do with other factors besides the simple magnification. The 2.4x magnified German sight on Mark IIIs, Mark IVs, and early tigers had a wide 25 degree field of view. In comparison allied 3x magnified optics had only a 13 degree field of view. The zoom adjustable German 2.5x and 5x optics also had an wide FOV compared to allied optics. The 2.5x sight had a 28 degree field of view, while the 5x optics were 14 degree FOV. In short German 5x optics had slightly better FOV than allied 3x, and German 2.4x and 2.5x optics had roughly double the FOV. The high powered 6x sight for the Firefly had a 9 degree field of view which is rather limited. The only allied optic that compared to german sights in magnification and FOV was the 5x optic put in the Sherman 76 series, which had a 13 degree FOV, similar to the 5x mag 14 degree FOV of the German adjustable optics. The StuG was something of an exception, with only an 8 degree FOV for its 5x mag optic, which means it was inferior in that respect to allied optics of similar or even better magnification. What this meant in practice is that German gunners had an easier time acquiring targets their commander assigned for them, as the larger field of view allowed them to see more than allied ones did.

Another advantage of the German optics was their design which created a 'Mili-radian' sight. If you have ever seen one you will see a lot of triangles, but there is a purpose. The triangles utilized a mils that, combined with some math skill taught to panzer crews and a rough idea of tanks size (not hard when your enemies has focused production of a few types of tanks exclusively), allowed the gunner to calculate a rough range of the tank without even having to take a ranging shot. This allowed German gunners to have a high chance of getting first shot hits, and combined with the high velocity guns and powerful guns they had access to from the middle of the war onwards on their tanks, this often meant a kill on the enemy tank before they could react. They were adjustable with a dial around the edges of the optics that let the gunner know what range was dialed in.

Its rather complex but if you are interested you can find a guide here http://www.75thguards.com/ww2online/...ight_Guide.pdf

American optics were rather primitive in comparison, simply a line down the middle with crossing lines representing 400 yard intervals. They were totally range nonadjustable and it must have been rather infuriating trying to land a second shot since the lay of the gun and sight would be thrown off with the recoil and with so many lines you could forget which of those many lines you had lined up on the enemy tank."

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the above statement, but the website forum is populated by people only to eager to dispute 'facts' (no one did) and lots of serving and ex tankers contribute, from both the US and UK, again none of them queried the facts presented. I know the German sight picture was clearer, especially at low light, wider and far more capable of gaining first round hits due to a crude but integrated range finder. Finally, from reading accounts of veterans, the German ability to hit with first rounds was one of the the most unerving things, the allies could hit targets at range but needed several goes. From my own reading of accounts it seems to me that if a Firefly got engaged in a shoot out with a Tiger the Firefly had failed in its job. They were often used to ambush tanks, carefully stalking their prey but not having to get so suicidally close as a conventional Sherman. As for the comment about dust being kicked up by the 17lbs, interfering with subsequent shots, what about all the German tanks high velocity guns, unless they all had uber-muzzle brakes!

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I have found it - my thread at WeBoB

So what are the figures;

Sherman 75's max 20 rounds per minute [! I know seems insane]

Tiger's 88 15rounds

Firefly 10 rounds

A round every 4 seconds? Perhaps in the triple expresso brigade.

I would be more inclined to believe the stated CM figures of 6 rounds/min as a more realistic ROF.

Keep in mind that the KwK 88/L56 nearly divides the turret in two.

picture09.JPG

Just getting the next round out of the tray would take 4-5 seconds, let alone turned and then loaded into the breech. All this couldn't take place until the gun has returned from recoil.

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The vanilla Sherman can crank out a very high ROF because the complete round is both light (20 lbs per SHERMAN AT WAR http://books.google.com/books?id=SOTDzoncMroC&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=apc+m61&source=bl&ots=xdN2Z097FI&sig=lKEfZcsCT8Q-uW_cMbIevzEzs44&hl=en&ei=e7_fSp_yEYKMswO1oPzbCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CBYQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=apc%20m61&f=false and short compared to both the 17 pdr and the 88. This is painfully obvious in the comparison between the standard 75mm APC M61 and the 88 as shown here. http://www.inert-ord.net/usa03a/usa5/75mm/index.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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Magnification and field of view ain't everything. Some lenses let more light pass thru, and with those you get a better contrast -which helps e.g. in twilight or dusty weather.

Events in '45

US forces took Jena, where the Carl Zeiss factory was located in April '45. It was 100km into the Soviet zone. Then Carl Zeiss personnel was moved into the black forest - deep inside the American sector. Most likely machinery was relocated, too.

It might have military reasons to go deep into the Soviet zone there. But relocating specialists was rare. Rocket scientists come to mind. But why optics? Just to deny them to the Soviets? Why create a new optics factory then?

And why didn't the US reproduce the German aiming device within the optics? First round hits do make a difference.

Without knowing the actual optics this is strong evidence that German optics were better and the Allies had not yet caught up.

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As for the comment about dust being kicked up by the 17lbs, interfering with subsequent shots, what about all the German tanks high velocity guns, unless they all had uber-muzzle brakes!

Precisely why the Shermans with a 76.2mm acquired a very Germanic muzzle brake. There was concerns it might be too German looking for safety. :)

More here:

When the 76 mm gun was first installed in the M4 turret, it was found to unbalance the turret and the gun barrel was also thought to protrude too far forward, making it more difficult to transport and liable to hit the ground on undulating terrain. Ordnance reduced the barrel length by 15 inches ; from 57 calibers long to 52 with the effect of decreasing performance by 10 percent. Mounting this gun in the original M4 turret proved to be problematic, and so the turret for the abortive T23 tank project was used instead for the definitive production version 76 mm M4 Shermans. [10]

Although tests against armor plate suggested that the new M1A1 76 mm gun would be adequate, testing against Panther tanks was never done. This would have shown that the gun could not penetrate the glacis plate of the Panther at any distance, and could only penetrate the center of the mantlet at 100 m. [11]

The 90 mm gun developed by U.S. Ordnance could not be installed easily on the M4, but was installed on the open turreted M36 tank destroyer, and was the main gun for the T26 tank project (which eventually became the M26 Pershing). An attempt to upgrade the M4 Sherman by installing the 90 mm T26 turret on a M4A3 hull in April 1944 was halted after it was realized that such a project would not proceed any faster into production than the T26 tank and would likely detract from T26 development. [12]

In testing prior to the invasion of Normandy, the new 76mm gun on the M4 Sherman was found to have a huge muzzle blast that kicked up dust from the ground and obscured vision for further firing. The addition of a muzzle brake directed blast sideways to solve this problem. It also had a much weaker high explosive shell than the existing 75 mm gun. Standard Army doctrine at the time emphasized the importance of the infantry support role of the tank, and the high explosive round was considered more important. Hence the 76 mm M4 was not initially accepted by various U.S. Armored Division commanders, even though a number had already been produced and were available for combat. As a result, all of the U.S. Army M4s deployed initially in Normandy in June 1944 had the 75 mm gun. [13]

http://wapedia.mobi/en/M4_Sherman?t=5.

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A school friends father had inherited a pair of Zeiss binoculars his grandfather had taken from a U-Boat officer. He, the grandfather, said that they were far, far superior to his service issue binos, especially the quality and light collecting qualities of its optics, vital in the Atlantic. We never told him that we used to open them up and burn ants with the lenses!!!

Field of view isn't everything, true, but it greatly helps with target aquisition, especially if multiple targets or fast targets are engaged. Again, the 6 X mag sight of the Firefly, with its narrow field of view, suggests its SOP was stalk and shoot, not face off in long range gunnery duels with big cats.

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Magnification and field of view ain't everything. Some lenses let more light pass thru, and with those you get a better contrast -which helps e.g. in twilight or dusty weather.

Events in '45

US forces took Jena, where the Carl Zeiss factory was located in April '45. It was 100km into the Soviet zone. Then Carl Zeiss personnel was moved into the black forest - deep inside the American sector. Most likely machinery was relocated, too.

It might have military reasons to go deep into the Soviet zone there. But relocating specialists was rare. Rocket scientists come to mind. But why optics? Just to deny them to the Soviets? Why create a new optics factory then?

And why didn't the US reproduce the German aiming device within the optics? First round hits do make a difference.

Without knowing the actual optics this is strong evidence that German optics were better and the Allies had not yet caught up.

Fair call Joachim.

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Even these day camera enthusiast reports on optics highlight significant differences in optical clarity, flaring, vignetting, etc. Sixty years on and there is still difference : )

I am sure though the military don't skimp on quality now days!

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