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One very important point....

A lot of Allied tankers did not want to continue fighting in their Shermans (m4s) never heard that from any Panther crews (names like "Tommycooker" The British took to calling it the "Ronson", the cigarette lighter which had the slogan "Lights up the first time, every time!" Polish tankers referred to it as "The Burning Grave" sound familiar) Apart from not liking the fact they had to counter attack (usually frontally) because of doctrine and by doing so they usually prevented a lot of infantry being mopped up whislt encountering usually heavy losses themselves but then recovering as many as they could some of their tanks which were only disabled.

A simple look at the Sherman page from Wiki confirms with citations

this is a good one --->After the heavy tank losses of the Battle of the Bulge, in January 1945, General Eisenhower asked that no more 75 mm M4s be sent to Europe: only 76 mm M4s were wanted

what were you saying roughly if they needed better tanks they would have just produced them where from out of their arse it takes a long time to produce new effective tanks and the latest Americans tanks at the end of the war still werent much chop (read Pershing) The Yanks didnt want the 17 pounder for logistical reasons!

Perhaps you JonS need to read Maj. Gen I. D. White. "Comparison of US equipment with Similar German Equipment" Report for Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force. 20 March 1945 you seem more pro yank than the pro germans on achtung I suppose there is a balance needed :)

I have actually seen ricochets go through an M4 at 3000 yards." "I have seen HEAT fired from a 105mm Howitzer at a Mark V at 400 yards. The track was hit and damaged, and a direct hit on the turret only chipped the paint."

Maj. Gen I. D. White

for the fella that was after a site with cost of WW2 equip one is here [url=http://www.panzerworld.net/prices.html]

Ah the Battle of Arracourt the Americans favourite defence

Try reading about the battle with Two eyes!!!!

Even if there were no fighter bombers doesnt make you stop looking around in the sky every 30 seconds!

Destraex1 did make an interesting point (again you guys obviously havent read about or seem to deem not worthy of mention?) the materials used in german production of tanks lot of synthetics you need to look at armour penetration testing of later war panthers my ill informed forum debaters VERY different in the late war clear evidence of hulls splintering from shots that on earlier panthers bounced - and the guess which panthers were at arracourt! with crews with 5 hours training in mostly close combat with slower turning tanks and turrets. No real worries about the battle in past tense are there!

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RosNos - do not get too het up. There is no real argument which tank most of us would prefer to be in if the choice were Panther or Sherman. And if people highlight certain circumstances were a Sherman migh be better that is fair comment.

In special circumstances the Churchill is the most agile tank of the war but seriously thinking it is a preference is another matter. Mind you night fighting with a Crocodile in town .... hmmm.

The knowledgeable people are not really in this discussion as it has been hashed to death on many sites before. :)

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I'm not asking for ideal conditions. Just not the crazy odds stacked against the panthers at that time in history from every direction.

I think some of the people here would say the spartans were poor troops because they lost thermopylae.

Damn Spartan losers. :D

No I get your point, it is just that Germany set the conditions for all this by making strategically stupid choice after strategically stupid choice. The US Army made a lot of poor decisions admittedly with the Sherman based on both a perception of the role of tanks in modern war and logistical concerns. None of those poor decisions however was a strategically war losing one. The Panther was an over engineered solution for Germany at a time when it was growing shorter and shorter on resources. (Don't even get started on the Tiger). Considering that it was never going to be able to be deployed as you have noted in a manner that played to it's strengths, isn't it almost inescapable that Germany developed a tank that they were fundamentally unable to employ correctly? In turn doesn't that make the development of the Panther another flawed strategic decision?

I know that is all mostly irrelevant. The strategic decisons Germany made meant there was never any way to actually achieve victory and it is a pretty darn cool looking tank. However, gettting back to the OPs original question, I don't dread playing against them in CM. The Panther has it's weaknesses and the Sherman has it's strengths. The issue is simply trying to turn the battle to maximize the Shermans strengths versus the Panthers weaknesses.

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OK RosNos, where is the counterfactual?

Where is the large scale battle where Panthers saved the day for the Germans? Where they racked up massive kill ratios against Allied tanks?

A large number of example battles (Arracourt was only one) where Panthers are shown to be less than optimal (at least as handled by German tankers). Where are the examples going the other way?

Again, just to be clear (as if it is really needed), this isn't a case of the Sherman being a better tank. I would prefer a Panther (assuming it made it to the battlefield) over a Sherman in a head to head, one-on-one fight in most situations. It just wasn't as good as the fanboys think, nor did the Germans use them as well as they could have been used.

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One very important point....

A lot of Allied tankers did not want to continue fighting in their Shermans (m4s) never heard that from any Panther crews (names like "Tommycooker" The British took to calling it the "Ronson", the cigarette lighter which had the slogan "Lights up the first time, every time!" Polish tankers referred to it as "The Burning Grave" sound familiar) Apart from not liking the fact they had to counter attack (usually frontally) because of doctrine and by doing so they usually prevented a lot of infantry being mopped up whislt encountering usually heavy losses themselves but then recovering as many as they could some of their tanks which were only disabled.

I'll bet you were hearing it when engines were catching fire and breaking down at Kursk. Oh wait do I hear another caveat coming...wait for it...

Oh that was 1943 when they were still going through teething troubles, you can only use the 1944 models as examples.

Sorry yes I realize that was unnecessarily sarcastic. The Sherman also overcame those issues in it's design as well, but we are never allowed to forget those.

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As an absolute ignorant on the details of the things are discussed here, I grasp this:

- IF you can field it (that is, if the battle isn't more than 150 km from your assembly area)

- IF you are defending (what happened with the doctrine of armored forces spearheading attacks?)

- IF you are confident that your flanks aren't exposed, even if you have to reposition

- IF the battle is short enough as to be sure to not run out of gas, or to lose a track

- IF the terrain and infrastructure is capable to handle a 45 ton vehicle stumbling around

- IF you have an earlier version, so it doesn't have the bad armor of late days, but not so early as to have the engine problems, the bullet traps and other teething issues.

- IF you have over 2 km LOS, but no enemy air activity

- IF the enemy doesn't have, lets say, a Sherman Jumbo with 76mm gun or a Firefly

THEN, 1 on 1, the Panther is far better than the Sherman.

I got it?

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Ah the Battle of Arracourt the Americans favourite defence

Try reading about the battle with Two eyes!!!!!

Riddle me this. Which of the 3rd Reich's operational wizards ordered the attack at Arracourt (and Dompaire, and Mairy, ...)?

If the Panther is not at fault, and the German's were unmatched in tactical accumen, it must be the ones who ordered the attacks.

Let's see ...

106th Panzer Brigade gets mauled. Who is in charge? Noted panzer genius Herr Dr. Franz Bäke.

5th Panzer Army gets mauled. Who is in charge? Distinguished Panzer General von Manteuffel.

Who ordered these attacks? Who picked the place for the Panthers to be employed and destroyed? If the use of the Panthers was not ideal, and the crews not properly trained, who decided to use them in offensive operations?

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As an absolute ignorant on the details of the things are discussed here, I grasp this:

- IF you have an earlier version, so it doesn't have the bad armor of late days, but not so early as to have the engine problems, the bullet traps and other teething issues.

I got it?

This made me chuckle.

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argie - approximately, but the Panther was only a 45 ton tank, not 80. The Tiger was 60 tons. The heaviest tank of the war was 70 tons - the King Tiger.

Now, do you want to drive a 45 ton tank over a bridge rated to take 50 tons? Not if you can help it. You want a margin of safety.

For that matter, try to find bridges rated that heavy, or that even have any sort of sign to tell you, over the smaller streams of western Europe - or for real giggles, eastern Europe or Russia.

So you can add "fight only between water obstacles, or through major route chokepoints, or at the speed of large scale engineering projects rather than motorized vehicles".

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Riddle me this. Which of the 3rd Reich's operational wizards ordered the attack at Arracourt (and Dompaire, and Mairy, ...)?

We aren't allowed to use that example as it occurred during WW 2.

Just for the record - Arracourt wasn't a defensive battle, the 4th Armored was attempting to advance which means it more rightly falls as an operational meeting engagement. It was only after having mauled 2 Panzer brigades that 4th Armored went over to a defensive operational tempo.

As a meeting engagement we also can't use it.

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Charlie - it was doctrine. When at the conclusion of the Arracourt fighting, the local panzer force commander broke off the repeated counterattack attempts, the Germans had 30 running AFVs in the entire province - attacking all of 3rd Army, which had 30 times that number approximately. The local commander went over to the defensive with 30 tanks left because he believed no further results could be achieved with so few runners, and he wanted to have something left to defend against several armor divisions when they renewed the American operational attack. Understand, in weeks of counterattacks the Germans had lost 90% of their armor in the theater, before this transition to the tactical defensive was ordered.

The officer was *reprimanded* for *lack of offensive spirit*. By a protege of Rundstadt, not some political hack.

He was supposed to succeed, you see. Or lose his entire command trying.

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We aren't allowed to use that example as it occurred during WW 2.

Just for the record - Arracourt wasn't a defensive battle, the 4th Armored was attempting to advance which means it more rightly falls as an operational meeting engagement. It was only after having mauled 2 Panzer brigades that 4th Armored went over to a defensive operational tempo.

As a meeting engagement we also can't use it.

Also note that it only went into the defense because of operational issues in diverting supplies to Montgomery for Market Garden, not because of losses from the battle (which weren't all that high).

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Perhaps you JonS need to read Maj. Gen I. D. White. "Comparison of US equipment with Similar German Equipment" Report for Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force. 20 March 1945 you seem more pro yank than the pro germans on achtung I suppose there is a balance needed :)

JonS accused of being "pro Yank"! Now I can die a happy man, content that I have seen everything.

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JonS accused of being "pro Yank"! Now I can die a happy man, content that I have seen everything.

LOL next thing he'll be cursing Monty when the Commonwealth...I mean the "other allied units including commonwealth and some not commonweath" module comes out.

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I wonder if Panther's 'über' status was truncated by commands from on-high. I read a Tiger I officer's report stating that they were officially forbidden to fire their 88s at extended ranges. Close with the enemy to ensure 1 round hits and 1 hit kills. The supply chain was considered too weak to afford wasteful long range gun duels. The Tiger CO was frankly envious of the Allied opponents who could afford to rain HE on him from absurdly long ranges in the (justified) hope of breaking something with a lucky hit. If the Tiger I commander got that order did the Panther commander get that order as well? A 100% kill chance at 800m is preferable to a 50% (practical) chance at 2000m. That negates much of Panther's long range superiority.

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LOL next thing he'll be cursing Monty when the Commonwealth...I mean the "other allied units including commonwealth and some not commonweath" module comes out.

Aww, guys? I'm hurt, deeply hurt :(

I wonder why RosNos imagines I'm unaware of White's report?

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...

As for how to attack against superior armor, obviously it is the most difficult of all tactical combined arms tasks. And the attempt presupposes you have offsetting advantages in other arms, along with numbers. If the odds are only even and the enemy has superior tanks, you have no business attacking them. So I will assume you do have odds, including in the artillery and infantry categories, as well as more total AFVs, just less capable ones.

And the main method there is to lean on the soft firepower, first and foremost. That means you intend to destroy the defense by killing its infantry, not its tanks. Instead of "drawing trump" by first engaging tank to tank or trying to locate and destroy the enemy AT network, and then leaning on armor for fire support, you reverse that relationship. The soft firepower attack is the main thing, and the threats it creates want to expose the enemy armor on favorable terms.

This means artillery barrages lead, again. It means your own tanks keyhole to isolate on only forward positions of the defense, infantry outposts, which they hit with HE. The idea is to give the defenders no shots at your armor from his tanks, unless he moves his tanks to hunt yours. Your tanks should not move to any location your infantry hasn't passed over, to see what enemy vehicles are visible from that specific spot. Your infantry attack should be wave like rather than a concentrated fist, probing for weakness and grabbing terrain the enemy doesn't occupy strongly. Nibble a way in with keyholed firesupport plus these probes.

The idea is to present the following dilemma to the defense - either let the infantry battle be lost, or escalate and intervene in that battle by moving the defending tanks to get LOS to the attacking infantry.

Now your infantry threats are "bait", and your TDs, bazookas, and lesser AT weapons are the hunters. Everything but the TDs needs to cross fire with another weapon - a zook close from the northeast and a 75mm Sherman far from the northwest, for example. The idea is to force the Panther to face one or the other, and bag it with the one is doesn't choose. Naturally, the less he knows about where such threats are, the more likely you are to bag something, which means tanks are conceal whenever possible, and zooks are advancing slowly inside cover, behind a screen of the squad infantry.

It is a positional battle. You don't try to razzle dazzle your way in. Let him do all the razzling, you focus on safe moves, moves by modest infantry elements covered by AT threats. Do not rush. If he stays in his lair keyholes with nice covered flanks, stay in the LOS shadows created by his lair and leave him alone there. He is irrelevant unless he comes out.

See the idea?

Wow. This advice seems text book case to play as Amis against germans in the "Bois de Bogin" scenario (the one that the BFC guys used for their first AAR before release, remember?).

The germans have "just" 2 Jgdpanzer IV of those that have a cracking frontal armour, and the Amis have around 10 75mm Shermans that can´t probably penetrate thos jgdpz at starting distance. The Amis also have at their disposal a 3 or 4 times bigger infantry force plus significant artillery and other lesset AT weapons.

Now the thing with this map, as I am playing with germans against a friend (and he has already lost around 7 of his Shermans against none of my Jgdpz plus his infantry has stalled at both the main forests outskirts), is that as long as the German infantry positions itself deep enough in the forests it is really difficult for the Shermans or any artillery barrage to support with HE that advance (in space, no one will hear you scream = deep within the forest no HE will come to support you).

Plus the middle of the map is quite open and LOS barriers are limited, so the german can easily position his armor in excellent hull down positions overwatching most of the map. The American will struggle to find proper keyhole posiitons for its Shermans (other than to attack the little village mid map), and he will be forced to attack the forests russian style and literally as per your advice... human-wave like. :D Other than that, it seems smoke is king in this scenario if the Amis want to get anywhere.

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I just hit on an odd table on Jent'z hardcover Panther book. Its penetration range tables of a Panther against a Sherman A2

Turret front - 2500m

Gun mantlet - 1000m

Glacis - 100m(!)

Nose - 2800m

The same numbers were repeated for the Sherman A4. Really? the Panther gun could only penetrate a Sherman glacis at 100m? A typo? The same table also says it could only penetrate a T34/85 glacis at 300m. Early Shermans had 50.8mm armor at 56 degrees. Hetzer bow was 60 at 60, T34 was 45 at 60.

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Wow. This advice seems text book case to play as Amis against Germans in the "Bois de Baugin" scenario (the one that the BFC guys used for their first AAR before release, remember?).

Why yes, I do remember that one! :D It sounds like you're doing a lot better than that other guy who played as German.

That advice also sounds like Jason ate the OpOrds for Ops LIGHTFOOT and SUPERCHARGE for breakfast.

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Why yes, I do remember that one! :D It sounds like you're doing a lot better than that other guy who played as German.

Well, only so far... thing is also this scenario has so many frigging turns that at some point I am just bound to run out of AP ammunition; or just ammunition, period :D Given the force size ratio, the attrition war is not for the German side here.

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I just hit on an odd table on Jent'z hardcover Panther book. Its penetration range tables of a Panther against a Sherman A2

Turret front - 2500m

Gun mantlet - 1000m

Glacis - 100m(!)

Nose - 2800m

The same numbers were repeated for the Sherman A4. Really? the Panther gun could only penetrate a Sherman glacis at 100m? A typo? The same table also says it could only penetrate a T34/85 glacis at 300m. Early Shermans had 50.8mm armor at 56 degrees. Hetzer bow was 60 at 60, T34 was 45 at 60.

Straight on or at an oblique angle? In the game the Panther will penetrate the Sherman A3 glacis at 500m like it was butter.

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I just hit on an odd table on Jent'z hardcover Panther book. Its penetration range tables of a Panther against a Sherman A2

Turret front - 2500m

Gun mantlet - 1000m

Glacis - 100m(!)

Nose - 2800m

The same numbers were repeated for the Sherman A4. Really? the Panther gun could only penetrate a Sherman glacis at 100m? A typo? The same table also says it could only penetrate a T34/85 glacis at 300m. Early Shermans had 50.8mm armor at 56 degrees. Hetzer bow was 60 at 60, T34 was 45 at 60.

Gotta be a typo I reckon. This is the armour for an M4A2:

Hull 51-108mm@34-90°

Superstructure 64mm@43°

Turret 76mm@60°

Mantlet 89mm@90°

The Hull armour is pretty thick but 108mm at 90° is not going to be 25 times better that 76mm @60°

Did the M4 really have a Glacis as such, doesn't look like it in many pictures. How is the Glacis distinguished from the "nose" ?

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