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Death Traps is a terrible book.

No, wait. That's not fair.

Death Traps is like the Curate's egg; good in parts.

When Coopers sticks to talking about stuff that he actually did as an ordnance officer - his personal experiences, and descriptions of the job he did - it's a pretty good book. All the more so because there just aren't that many memoirs from non-teeth arms junior officers. But unfortunately that only makes up about 1/4th - /3rd of the book. Cooper is much less than good when he starts babbling on about things which he has no direct experience - those bits are Kettlerian flights of fantasy, second hand stories, and rumours filled with made up or badly out of context numbers - which makes up the other 2/3rds of the book.

Patton's thoughts, or lack there of, on armoured warfare as related by Cooper very definitely fit into the second category.

(FWIW, Jason doesn't like that book either)

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MikeyD,

There's a great deal more to the T-34 engine story than you might imagine. Groggy details here. Major point: The entire tank development process, starting with the BT-7, that led to the T-34 was explicitly built around a diesel engine, not a gasoline one.

http://www.kampfpanzer.de/items/detail/v-2

Christie tank specs

http://www.oocities.org/firefly1002000/christanks.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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It's a common mistake to take only in consideration the technical aspects when talking about weaponry and to ignore the rest of circumstances that take part in the making up of a desicion.At first,there was nothing wrong with the Sherman.It was a very good tank and one of the best in the IIWW along with the T-34.

It was designed as a middle-sized and middle-weight tank that could be produced in large quantities,not only to supply the US Army but its allies(brits,french,russians,etc).What's more,it had to be shipped far away,and had to take part in landings.It was intended to be an infantry support tank(not a tank destroyer) but it could be upgraded(the upgrading potential make the difference between a good tank and a bad one) and served very well as far as the Six Day War in 1967 with the Israelis who went contented with them.

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Arpella, while I agree with the general sentiment in your post, the Sherman was not designed as an infantry support tank. It was always expected to act like a true medium and deal with enemy tanks if and when it came upon them, US TD doctrine not withstanding. And it was easily capable of doing so when it first arrived in theatre.

You don't give a tank fancy optics and an even fancier stabilizer if you expect its main role to be blowing landser out of foxholes.

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Arpella, while I agree with the general sentiment in your post, the Sherman was not designed as an infantry support tank. It was always expected to act like a true medium and deal with enemy tanks if and when it came upon them, US TD doctrine not withstanding. And it was easily capable of doing so when it first arrived in theatre.

You don't give a tank fancy optics and an even fancier stabilizer if you expect its main role to be blowing landser out of foxholes.

Right. It was intended as a general purpose tank. It was roughly equivalent to the Pz. Mark IV throughout its career and was actually even a better AT tank in the A3E8 model whenever the crew could get its hands on some HVAP ammo.

Michael

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