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I am not much of an expert on British armor (or should I say armour?), but I recently purchased a book (forget the name) about the 1 and 2 RTR unit histories. In all of my reading about the battles in the Western Desert, while the regiment's tanks were equipped with 2lb AP only, they seem to be much more effective than is modelled in CM. Not to mention the TacAI's reluctance to aim AP shells at anything other than AFVs (I know this is the purpose of AP, but I would prefer AP to nothing!). While discussing questions on the book, I might also ask, about how many of the accounts of "panthers/tigers" are true, in regards to fighting in NW Europe? Every time they run into opposition, it is only 88mm guns, Tigers, or Panthers. Obviously SOME of this is exaggeration due to FOW, but what kind of numbers of Ubercats are we talking about the Brits ACTUALLY facing in Normandy/Caen/Falaise?

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Originally posted by jwatts:

I am not much of an expert on British armor (or should I say armour?),

You should say "armour" for armoured regiments, and "tanks" for tank battalions (or, later, regiments). ;)

Originally posted by jwatts:

but I recently purchased a book (forget the name) about the 1 and 2 RTR unit histories.

For those you should say "tanks".

Originally posted by jwatts:

In all of my reading about the battles in the Western Desert, while the regiment's tanks were equipped with 2lb AP only,

...and you should definitely say 2-pdr or 2-pr.

Originally posted by jwatts:

they seem to be much more effective than is modelled in CM.

I suspect that CM underestimates the behind-armour effect (BAE) of small-calibre projectiles, and I am dam' sure it underestimates the effect of AP when compared to APHE. Trials with the 2-pdr found not a ha'porth of difference between AP and APHE rounds, so the APHE was never ordered into full production.

Originally posted by jwatts:

I might also ask, about how many of the accounts of "panthers/tigers" are true, in regards to fighting in NW Europe? Every time they run into opposition, it is only 88mm guns, Tigers, or Panthers. Obviously SOME of this is exaggeration due to FOW, but what kind of numbers of Ubercats are we talking about the Brits ACTUALLY facing in Normandy/Caen/Falaise?

According to Zetterling, the total counts of each type in Normandy would have been about 126 Tiger Is and 623 Panthers, as against 897 Pz IVs. British forces would have faced most of them at one time or another. There was probably a good deal of misreporting of Shurzen-equipped Pz IVs as Tigers; 7 Armd Div 'G' war diary notes Schurzen as being intended to make a Pz IV look like a Tiger.

All the best,

John.

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On John's comments, most faced at one time or another is entirely correct for the Tigers - all on British portions of the front - and true for a majority of the Panthers, but not all.

155 of the Panther total were in units that never fought on the Brit portion of the front. (Some were at times in reserve behind it, but not committed there, and later committed vs. the Americans).

Another 110 or so were left in the "switch hitters" that spent June facing the Brits and July facing the Americans, at the time they switch. These did fight on the British front, leaving 70 Panthers (TWO or knocked into long term repair while serving on the Brit part of the front).

Which means about 80% of the heavies were on the Brit part at one time or another, and 67% fought there for pretty much the whole battle. (There is another bit the US faced, late switch hitters for Mortain, but minor compared to any of the above, in vehicles times time).

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From 13th June up to Falaise there were 126 Tiger I's and 12 Tiger II's in Normandy (total 138)

5 TII's from (fkl)316 briefly came into play near the Seine. (total 143)

When the Seine was crossed a further 30 TII's came into action( total 173).

At the end of the retreat a small number of Tiger 1's turned up(3 were photographed) that seem to have been ex training vehicles from Mailly le Camp (176+)

[ January 19, 2007, 01:12 AM: Message edited by: michael kenny ]

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Whether the Tac AI likes it or not, 2 pdr. fire can be used on things like ATGs, with at least some effect. Have done it myself in a CMAK battle. Have also seen Western Desert stills in which such fire has repeatedly pierced an ATG's gun shield right near the barrel and recuperator assembly, doubtless doing neither gun nor crew any good in the process.

John D Salt,

Many moons ago, I posted some British tank damage analyses from the Western Desert. In them, two chief conclusions were drawn. One, generally German tanks hit by 2 pdr. shot had high crew survival and were readily repairable. Two, British tanks hit by German APHE, even if the round penetrated only half its length through the target plate before detonating, generally lost most of the crew and were not repairable.

While I agree that, in terms of penetration, the edge actually goes to AP shot, in terms of lethality, British OR clearly shows that APHE is much nastier. Given their own combat data, it therefore strikes me as odd that the British actually converted American supplied 75mm APHE to 75mm shot. Guess they were desperate for the last few millimeters of penetration against tough Panzers!

Regards,

John Kettler

[ January 19, 2007, 02:34 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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All very good aonswers, thanks so much for the help guys! Excepting of course Flamingknives, that kind of rudeness ensures that I will never again play CM or step my electronic feet into the forums again. Of course I kid. I wasn't aware that 2pdr was the correct way to state the caliber, us Americans (or Texians, whichever ya'll prefer) don't know much about that kinda thing. Apparently in the UK these kinds of things are taught at an early age. That or I'm not nearly groggy enough.

As to the Western Desert fighting, it appears my assumption was correct, in that 2pdr AP is so undermodelled in game. Now, I'm not so much disputing Mr Kettler's claim that German AP killed far more crew than 2pdr AP as amazed by it. In my reading of the 1RTR book, casualties in the desert seem rather light. Usually when it lists a tank destroyed, or lit up rather, one, possibly two crew members are wounded, in extreme cases a KIA. Was this survivability negated by later German introductions in the theatre (88mm flak, early Tigers)? If so, why are the listed casualties of the 1RTR so low? Also to Mr Kettler, I understand that I can override the TacAI and force it to engage non-armored targets, as I frequently do just that. My qualm is with the TacAIs unwillingness to automatically target non-armored targets simply because the AFV might not have any AP. I wouldn't think that IRL the lack of appropriate ammo would stop a tank crew from firing whatever they had laying around.

In regards to the high number of Ubercats facing the CW forces in France, it is a litle clearer now. Was there a reason for placing most of the heavies across from the British forces? I would think one such reason would possibly be that the British had heavier AFVs than the Americans, who were primarily equipped with Shermans. Or was it simply a coincidence? I would hesitate to call that a coincidence simply because I don't think the OKW would be quite so arbitrary with panzer unit assignments, especially the heavy cats.

Ok, now for one more (I hope this is it) 2pdr question. In early war North Africa scenarios involving the early Tigers (2pdrs and Tigers is one that comes to mind), are the British 2pdrs best used by hiding until lighter armor shows up, then being immediately wiped out by the overwatch TIgers, or is it worth anything to engage the cats at long ranges (maybe 800-900m), not so much to penetrate but to hope for gun damage, immobilisation, or maybe a panicky crew bailing out? I try not to play such scenarios as the Brits for just this reason, but lately I have been hankering to do just that, and was looking for some advice on how to do more than just needlessly waste my inadequate, but only, AT weapon.

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Originally posted by jwatts:

As to the Western Desert fighting, it appears my assumption was correct, in that 2pdr AP is so undermodelled in game. Now, I'm not so much disputing Mr Kettler's claim that German AP killed far more crew than 2pdr AP as amazed by it. In my reading of the 1RTR book, casualties in the desert seem rather light. Usually when it lists a tank destroyed, or lit up rather, one, possibly two crew members are wounded, in extreme cases a KIA. Was this survivability negated by later German introductions in the theatre (88mm flak, early Tigers)? If so, why are the listed casualties of the 1RTR so low?

Excellent questions. I believe that an expectation of about one dead and one wounded per tank knocked out remains fairly constant over a considerable period of military history. If John K can recall a reference to his source, I'll check it out when I'm next at the PRO. I assume it was a MELF paper, whereas almost all the OR papers I have seen were from 21AG, and it is not unheard of for different OR groups to disagree; but the only OR paper I've seen on estimating BAE neglects burster charges entirely, and merely calculates the weight of metal shot into the tank.

Originally posted by jwatts:

In regards to the high number of Ubercats facing the CW forces in France, it is a litle clearer now. Was there a reason for placing most of the heavies across from the British forces? I would think one such reason would possibly be that the British had heavier AFVs than the Americans, who were primarily equipped with Shermans. Or was it simply a coincidence? I would hesitate to call that a coincidence simply because I don't think the OKW would be quite so arbitrary with panzer unit assignments, especially the heavy cats.

Three main reasons, I think. First, in the initial stages of the invasion 21AG had almost all the armoured divisions (and tank brigades) in the Allied line-up. Second, knocking off the "hinge" at Caen was for a long time seen as the Allied main effort. Third, the Brits are simply closer to where a lot of the German armour reinforcements are coming from, and given the difficulties of mobility the Germans had, it might be not so easy to drive over and thump the Americans even if you want to. As an example of this, consider how German armour intended to go and nip off the Cobra breakout was sucked into the battle of Periers ridge in the final stages of Operation Bluecoat.

Originally posted by jwatts:

I try not to play such scenarios as the Brits for just this reason, but lately I have been hankering to do just that, and was looking for some advice on how to do more than just needlessly waste my inadequate, but only, AT weapon.

I don't know that it's possible to give much useful advice on how to tackle Tigers with a 2-pdr. Make sure the next-of-kin entry in your paybook is up to date, I suppose. I believe that the accepted doctrine at the time, though, would be to hold fire until you get a worthwhile shot; at least from Hunt's Gap onwards, and probably earlier, the mission of anti-tank guns is to destroy armour, not to protect the infantry. Easier said than done with a 2-pdr, though.

All the best,

John.

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Originally posted by John D Salt:

In regards to the high number of Ubercats facing the CW forces in France, it is a litle clearer now. Was there a reason for placing most of the heavies across from the British forces? I would think one such reason would possibly be that the British had heavier AFVs than the Americans, who were primarily equipped with Shermans. Or was it simply a coincidence? I would hesitate to call that a coincidence simply because I don't think the OKW would be quite so arbitrary with panzer unit assignments, especially the heavy cats.

Three main reasons, I think. First, in the initial stages of the invasion 21AG had almost all the armoured divisions (and tank brigades) in the Allied line-up. Second, knocking off the "hinge" at Caen was for a long time seen as the Allied main effort. Third, the Brits are simply closer to where a lot of the German armour reinforcements are coming from, and given the difficulties of mobility the Germans had, it might be not so easy to drive over and thump the Americans even if you want to. As an example of this, consider how German armour intended to go and nip off the Cobra breakout was sucked into the battle of Periers ridge in the final stages of Operation Bluecoat.

[/QB]

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Wow I am definitely getting some great answers for my questions. Huzzah! Methinks I should plagarize all these good answers, and others throughout the forums, and make 'em into a book, which of course would make the NY Times bestseller list. In terms of lower armor force casualties in the Western Desert, does this apparent luck the Brits had change with the introduction of more and more 75mm+ AT and tank main guns? I can see how a 20mm autocannon shell would be a lot more fun to be hit with in a light cruiser tank than oh, say a 75mm short HE. I'm glad to see that my theory on german armor disperment (not based on any research of course) is somewhat right: the conditions were far more favorable and tactically important in the British sector, so the main German armour strength was in that area, but to a certain extent the German High Command didn't have a choice. In regards to the terrain, however, was the reason less Ubertanks were used against the Americans in the bocage simply because in that sort of terrain, much less was needed? Surely it would be much easier to contain an armor attack with less tanks in the close bocage? Especially with Pak and Panzershreck/fausts taking up much of the slack. Finally with my last question, dealing with 2pdrs facing Tigers, I of course understand the life span of the guns is going to measured in seconds, not minutes. In the particular scenario I am referring to, however, the Germans have a pretty nice selection of armored cars and short 75 PanzerIII. When faced with this, where should I direct my fire? Concentrate on taking out as much light/medium armor as possible before my 2pdrs are knocked out, hide the guns until the Tigers are right on top of me and hope to get lucky side shots, or attempt some immobilisation/gun damage from long range pings?

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"much less was needed"

Well, considerably more was needed to stop the Americans than was sent opposite the Americans, because the Americans were not stopped. Maybe not as much as stopped the British, maybe as much, can't really say. What we can say is the Germans did not have enough to send plenty to stop the British and enough to stop the Americans - while also sending all the July stuff to White Russia to not-stop the Russians.

As for what you should fire at with your 2 pdrs, stuff you can readily kill, like the armored cars. It is always a mistake to concentrate your fire on the thickest while letting the thin ones run around scot free. That is how the thick few suck up your firepower and let the whole KO you (well, that and firing 88mm HE at everything, to be sure).

Kill all the Tiger's friends and they won't he half as formidable.

As for eventually dealing with a thick tank with "hail fire", it can work, but there are better ways. Assymetry - mines and air and PIATs. Dedicated AT killers - Fireflies and Achilles firing from ambush at a lone distracted Tiger. Stealth - a 17 pdr or Russian 57mm waiting for the perfect shot, everyone else "skulking" out of view until it happens. Denying battle - just limiting the Tiger's LOS, putting buildings and hills between it and you, while hitting all its smaller friends.

Hail fire when it is attempted needs a serious AT weapon - not e.g. a 20mm Flak or an ATR - and it needs odds, at once. Not each of 3 guns tries it separately, that is an easy way to lose 3 guns for nothing. Instead, like 4-6 shooters all firing at the same target for a full minute. Maybe he kills one back. OK, you will still fire at him 20-25 times. That is what it takes to get one track immobilization. Think of it not as a desparation measure for one item, but as quantity having a quality all its own, 5 to 1.

Don't try to take out 4 Tigers in a body this way - it will just get lots of your stuff killed. It is strictly a way of taking out singletons by massively ganging up on them.

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Per the Bastables post here, and possibly quoting my earlier post,

http://www.battlefront.com/cgi-bin/bbs/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=31;t=012228#000003

It was not until 1942 did the British investigate the high incidence of fires in British tanks post penetration. Major G.B. Jarrett in May 1942: “The German projectiles which have caused the greatest amount of damage to allied tank in the western desert campaigns have been the A.P.-H.E. type in 47mm, 50mm, 75mm and 88mm respectively. These projectiles at long range need only attain a partial penetration and the explosive charge can complete the destruction of at least the tank crew. At closer ranges the destructive effect is very great, where in many cases destruction of the tank is permanent.”……….. Of those mark III and IV knocked out in combat by AP-shot, fewer than 20 percent were destroyed by fire or damaged so severely that they couldn’t be repaired.
According to this, even the German 37mm was firing

highly destructive APHE.

http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=31;t=010301#000003

I tried repeatedly to search under "G.B. Jarrett" and other likely possibilities, but even though it was clearly there, as shown in the quote above, got zero for search results. Wish I had more, but these serve to make my point.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Originally posted by michael kenny:

Jarrett was a US officer and later curator at APG.

http://www.army.mil/CMH/books/wwii/Beachhd_Btlefrnt/ChapterII.html

Excellent find.

Now, is this the source document John K had in mind? If so, I can't find anything in it to justify his remarks about HE bursters. If not, it looks as if we are once again left waiting for an accurate reference.

All the best,

John.

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Originally posted by jwatts:

All very good aonswers, thanks so much for the help guys! Excepting of course Flamingknives, that kind of rudeness ensures that I will never again play CM or step my electronic feet into the forums again.Of course I kid. I wasn't aware that 2pdr was the correct way to state the caliber, us Americans (or Texians, whichever ya'll prefer) don't know much about that kinda thing. Apparently in the UK these kinds of things are taught at an early age. That or I'm not nearly groggy enough.

Actually, it's because John Salt usually corrects all and sundry as to the proper notation. I was just getting in before he did. ;)

As to the Western Desert fighting, it appears my assumption was correct, in that 2pdr AP is so undermodelled in game.
I was wondering if it was vs. armour or other battlefield objects, such as softskins, anti-tank guns or bunkers, although the latter two only up close. Since CMAK does not model ATGs as objects that can be directly engaged or cumulative damage of bunkers, AP-only suffers a fair bit.

Plus effectiveness versus the Italian tanks is seemingly less than some contemporary descriptions.

In regards to the high number of Ubercats facing the CW forces in France, it is a litle clearer now. Was there a reason for placing most of the heavies across from the British forces? I would think one such reason would possibly be that the British had heavier AFVs than the Americans, who were primarily equipped with Shermans. Or was it simply a coincidence? I would hesitate to call that a coincidence simply because I don't think the OKW would be quite so arbitrary with panzer unit assignments, especially the heavy cats.

AIUI, the British were closer to Germany than the US and made the majority of the early attacks. Had the Germans concentrated on their left flank, the British would have moved through and cut them off

[ January 21, 2007, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: flamingknives ]

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LINK:

http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/drea3/drea3.asp

The following table from the above seems to show that US and British total losses v repairable is much the same.

TOTALS BY THEATER

................sample.....repairable.....%........U/S.............%

US: Italy.

Gunfire.........32............9............28.1.......23...............71.9

Mine.............24............16..........66.7........8................33.3

Mortar..........1..............0............0.0..........1................100.0

Hollow chg...3..............2............66.7........1................33.3

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ETO -

Gunfire........722...........337........46.7.......385.............53.3

Mine............210...........159........75.7........51..............24.3

Mortar..........7..............7...........100.0.......0................0.0

Hollow chg...152..........105........69.1........47..............30.9

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UK:N.Africa-

Gunfire.......242............129..........?...........113

Mine...........48..............31...........64.6.......17

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Italy-

Gunfire..........94.............51.......54.3........43.............45.7

Mine.............42.............30........71.4.......12............28.6

Mortar...........2...............1..........50.0.......1.............50.0

Hollow chg...10............7..........70.0........3.............30.0

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TOTALS BY COUNTRY

US:

Gunfire.......754............346........45.9.......408..........54.1

Mine...........234............175........74.8.......59...........25.2

Mortar.........8...............1...........87.5........1............12.5

Hollow chg...155..........107........69.0.......48...........31.0

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UK:

Gunfire........528............304.........57.6......224.........42.4

Mine...........208............171.........82.2.......37.........17.3

Mortar.........8...............7.............37.5.......1...........12.5

Hollow chg..45............35............77.8......10..........22.2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GRAND TOTALS BY CAUSE

Gunfire....1282...........650...........50.7......632......49.3

Mine........442.............346...........78.3......96........21.7

Mortar.......16..............14............87.5......2.........12.5

Hollow chg..200..........142..........71.0......58.......29.0

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

for a while now I have been using WO/291/1186

'The comparative performance of German anti-tank weapons during WWII' An OR report from 24/5/50.

This gives % personel casualties for various Allied tanks in WWII.

It was posted years ago by a J.D.Salt!

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"the British were closer to Germany than the US"

Check, open terrain, eastern portion, fastest road to Paris.

"and made the majority of the early attacks"

Bzzt, not quite, sorry. What was actually happening is the direction of US attacks was not south for the first month.

In the first week they linked their beachheads and drove west to cut the penisula. Then they turned north to KO the forces thereby trapped, driving them back on Cherbourg and then capturing that port. The focus of their efforts was to clear Cherbourg as soon as possible - and as a side effect, to wipe out a large German force placed en prise by the landings themselves. The US was attacking and it was making constant progress, it was just all happening on the penisula, not southward.

The US reoriented south only at the end of June and begining of July. There was roughly a one week pause in operations to build up for the southern axis of advance. Starting in early July they attacked south toward St. Lo. This drew German armor reinforcements from the German arrival stream and transfers from the British part of the front, which counterattacked unsuccessfully. FJ infantry actually proved tougher and gave ground slowly.

So, the early arriving German armor went to the British part of the front because that is where offensives were being conducted by the allies that threatened to actually break out of the overall bridgehead. They stayed because of terrain and because they were being attrited enough that what was left for the Brit sector was considered barely adequate for it, after the first few transfers to the US sector.

It then took the US 3 weeks to grind through the German force in their sector and the trickle of IDs joining them from Brittany to replace losses, then thereby break out. That was straight attrition fighting, and for it the US paid a roughly 2 to 1 exchange ratio, against themselves.

(Not overall - Cherbourg had been a lopsided win and so was the breakout - but in the push to St. Lo period, the Germans heavily outscored the US attackers, who kept coming anyway and just paid the cost).

After the breakout the Germans sent their only really unengaged reserves (116 Panzer, plus a couple of StuG brigades at various points) and large KGs drawn from the Brit part of the front, to try to stop the Americans, and for the Mortain attempt. Of course, unsuccessfully.

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John D Salt,

No, that is not the source document I had in mind. The closest I've been able to get to it thus far is in the quote from Jarrett I provided via Bastables. Jarrett's the guy who organized the systematic retrieval and shipment of German ordnance to the ZI, largely still in the APG Ordnance Museum collection, which he founded.

Also, I've previously noted that he was directly responsible for solving the lousy 75mm APHE problem that plagued the Grant (resolved by pulling German APHE projectiles and turning down the driving bands on a lathe, a process made very exciting by the spin-arming mechanism on the German projectile fuze) and in providing a proper graze action fuze for the HE projectile (solved by adapting ex-French 75mm fuzes from Syria). The guy was where he was to identify and solve ordnance problems, and he and those working with him literally risked death to do so. If he tells you that German APHE could wreck a tank and crew without even a full penetration, I'd listen. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking.

Regards,

John Kettler

[ January 22, 2007, 03:05 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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michael kenny,

That British and American repairable vs. total loss ratios are similar doesn't really surprise me, for the weapons being used against them are the same. As noted above, even a partial penetration followed by detonation sufficed to wreck the tank and much of the crew, so as long as the given German gun could penetrate to that degree, tank type per se didn't matter that much.

In North Africa at least, the forces involved were similarly equipped, at least in terms of tanks. Later on, we start seeing British home produced tanks, Cromwells, Churchills and the like, make up a bigger portion of the British force, but even so, most of it was still composed of Shermans. What I don't see, though, are U.S. tallies for North Africa and British totals for the ETO. Surely both are available?

Regards,

John Kettler

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Progress!

See WEST OF ALAMEIN, by G.B. Jarrett under Battle of Gazala (account of Lt. Col. George Witheridge, DSO, OBE, U.S. Legion of Merit; Witheridge commanded "George" Squadron of 3 RTR at Gazala and was wounded there). Pp. 149-150

detail not only the HE saga but also some scary stuff about defective WW I vintage ammo exploding in the guns, cases which wouldn't extract, workarounds for the lack of a clinometer, etc. The Syrian origin of the graze action 75mm fuzes is confirmed.

Page 127, in a section on the Grant written apparently by Jarrett, notes that the Grant as supplied from the U.S. had "no capped ammunition."

This, starting on page 12, paraphrases the British OR findings regarding tank vulnerability to German APHE, but doesn't provide a direct source citation.

http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=31;t=008316;p=12

(whistles up a Google search under "john kettler, battlefront.com" with the object of finding all of my posts--scans all 415 IDed titles and investigates many in detail directly)

Still didn't find quite what I was looking for!

A Google search under "jarrett, ap ammunition"

found michael kenny's link, which I hadn't yet read, and pages 26-30 have much of interest on the armor/antiarmor situation in the Western Desert. Page 31 specifically acknowledges Jarrett's signal contribution to solving the Grant's AP ammo problem, without describing either its exact nature or how he solved it, but does note he was decorated by the British government for his efforts.

The ammunition used in German antitank and tank guns contributed much to their success. Calibers of 50-mm. and larger had armor-piercing caps to help penetration and ballistic caps to reduce air resistance—a virtue possessed on the Allied side only by the shot used in the American 37-mm. gun. Adapting captured 75-mm. APCBC (armor-piercing-capped, ballistic-capped) ammunition for use in the American Grant tank's 75-mm. gun, which meant reworking the rotating bands, was a major effort in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps workshops in preparing for the May 1942 offensive, an effort to which Major Jarrett contributed so largely that he was decorated by the British Government. Other very effective German antitank rounds were the AP-HE (armor-piercing, high-explosive) fired by the 88, which had an explosive as well as a "hole-punching" effect, and the Panzergranate (Pzgr) 40, a tungsten-carbide-cored AP shot fired by most German guns, though in small proportions because of its scarcity.38
Here's footnote 38

(1) Playfair, The Mediterranean and Middle East II I , pp. 442-43, 437-38. (2) Ltr. Col Jarrett to Lida Mayo, 28 Mar 63. (3) Jarrett. Middle East 1942, pp. 158-60, MS, Jarrett Collection. (4) For application in the United States of information in early reports from North Africa on the failure of uncapped AP shot against German face-hardened armor, see Green, Thomson, and Roots. Planning Munitions for War , p. 372.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Originally posted by Jeff Duquette:

Interesting disscussion. I'd be interested in the source or a cite for side-by side testing reports conducted during this period for behind armor (armour) effects of solid shot vs. APHE. I know the British were not so keen on APHE, but was this a function of developing a reliable base fuze?

Partly, but not entirely, it would appear. The following is quoted verbatim from the description of 2-pdr ammunition on page 75 of Ian Hogg's "British and American Artillery of World War 2", A&AP, 1978:

"Shell, AP, Mk. 1. This shell was part of the original specification for the gun, and was a piercing projectile with a tiny filling of Lyddite and the Base Fuze No. 281, which carried a tracer. Experience revealed that on impact, the fuze tended to part company with the shell and thus fail to initiate the filling. Moreover, even when it worked correctly it appeared to do no more damage than a plain steel shot, which was easier to manufacture. As a result, the AP shell was withdrawn."

Recall also that the British Army had already had an APHE round in service with the 3-pdr, so I doubt that they were not used because British industry was incapable of manufacturing them.

All the best,

John.

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