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This thread got me thinking on how an ai would improve in a game. If the ai knew the target type, let's use the panther for a second, it would then look at the skill level of the crew and determine if they were smart enough and trained enough to target weak spots on the opposing panther.

Think of it as a giant decision tree, and the results would be tied to crew profile data. The same could be applied for human vs human, you target the panther, get a pick list of areas and choose. The skill of your crew would determine the quality of the shot, some random variable for lack of skill would result in hits to other locations on the panther, which might result in a kill, but at least you'd have the choice of targeting the tracks for example.

To code this would require a rather large decision table, but you could I'm use create an efficient algorithm to determine the best place to aim for and shoot.

This is something that I'd love to see, but I'm sure with the staff at BFC they would love to do a lot of things and this isn't one of them right now.

Buy here I can see getting a little more bang for the buck when engaging a Heer Cat, at least you could attempt to immobilize it or shoot for the gun manley with the hope of hitting the shot trap and killing the driver. Stuff like that.

I'm on the iPhone again, so not sure if this made any sense.

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You will get all sorts of quotes on this.

That's the thing. I don't get all sorts of quotes on this.

This source actually says "at times it took 10 Shermans..."

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Military-History-669/World-War-2-Tanks.htm

Yes. Well. That "article" is chock full of fail, but even it does NOT say '... and expect to lose 4' (or 8, or 9, or whatever).

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Is 1985 when they finally realized they were repeating misinterpreted BS?

These 'interpretations' fall in and out of fashion, like Panther ubertank/ Panther unreliable piece of crap. I have yet to read a convincining argument about why the often-quoted Sherman/Panther rule of thumb is so flawed. It seems to be primarily based on wargamers' distain for generalities. How dare you say something that isn't backed up by statistical evidence!

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I have yet to read a convincining argument about why the often-quoted Sherman/Panther rule of thumb is so flawed.

The rule-of-thumb isn't flawed. It's the way it's so often interpreted that is.

You've come across a Panther or Tiger (or, heck, even a PzIV) in a good defensive position? Fine. Send a platoon. Have one or two draw attention to the front while the others manoover for a good - ideally flanking - position. Tactics! That sounds like a great idea!

But sending a platoon to deal with a tactical problem does NOT imply that you expect to lose most of that platoon while doing it.

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This thread got me thinking on how an ai would improve in a game. If the ai knew the target type, let's use the panther for a second, it would then look at the skill level of the crew and determine if they were smart enough and trained enough to target weak spots on the opposing panther.

There's not many crews that are good enough to aim at and expect to hit any specific target smaller than "the tank". Have you seen how wild some of the shots at static targets like ATGs are? Certainly not consistent enough to be able to pick out a target, even 'turret' as opposed to 'glacis'. So the rest is just wishful thinking.

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This thread got me thinking on how an ai would improve in a game. If the ai knew the target type, let's use the panther for a second, it would then look at the skill level of the crew and determine if they were smart enough and trained enough to target weak spots on the opposing panther.

Think of it as a giant decision tree, and the results would be tied to crew profile data. The same could be applied for human vs human, you target the panther, get a pick list of areas and choose. The skill of your crew would determine the quality of the shot, some random variable for lack of skill would result in hits to other locations on the panther, which might result in a kill, but at least you'd have the choice of targeting the tracks for example.

To code this would require a rather large decision table, but you could I'm use create an efficient algorithm to determine the best place to aim for and shoot.

This is something that I'd love to see, but I'm sure with the staff at BFC they would love to do a lot of things and this isn't one of them right now.

Buy here I can see getting a little more bang for the buck when engaging a Heer Cat, at least you could attempt to immobilize it or shoot for the gun manley with the hope of hitting the shot trap and killing the driver. Stuff like that.

I'm on the iPhone again, so not sure if this made any sense.

Well, historically, I don't any crews aimed for specific points on a tank. I think you'd have to be very close to be that picky. When I was in ROTC the procedure was always "aim for center of mass". BTW, technically, the AI is not reallly an AI since it doesn't learn. It's an expert system.
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Sure. Pie in the sky stuff. Ur right.

The fact that the aim point is the center mass is probably, by and large the way all tank crews fired at opposing armor. I forgot for a second that you are not worrying about aim points when you're about to get fried by a pZgranite39 apbc round.

Yea, after I wrote that post, I said to myself, "sure this would be realistic in one place, the target range in fort Knox". Not in the bocage of northern France.

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These 'interpretations' fall in and out of fashion, like Panther ubertank/ Panther unreliable piece of crap. I have yet to read a convincining argument about why the often-quoted Sherman/Panther rule of thumb is so flawed. It seems to be primarily based on wargamers' distain for generalities. How dare you say something that isn't backed up by statistical evidence!

JonS said what I was going to say.

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Shermans aren't some monolithic entity. Let's be a bit more precise here. There's a big difference between an M4A1 Sherman, a Firefly, and a Jumbo Sherman. They were in the war too after all, for a decent percentage of the ETO. I'd get called out in an instant if I judged Pz IVs solely on a 1942 variant with the short 75mm barrel.

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Just to give it a little context, the OP:

From my 20+ battle experience, US tanks get "owned"by German Panzer V's. Is there an effective counter against Panzer V's?

cheers,

SR

Shermans aren't some monolithic entity. Let's be a bit more precise here. There's a big difference between an M4A1 Sherman, a Firefly, and a Jumbo Sherman. They were in the war too after all, for a decent percentage of the ETO. I'd get called out in an instant if I judged Pz IVs solely on a 1942 variant with the short 75mm barrel.

There's some difference between a 75 and a 76mm Sherman, but they're the only sorts available in the game, so considering Fireflies and Jumbos is a bit irrelevant. And on paper stats they don't stand a chance in a head-to-head with a Panther, so one counter is to not allow a head-to-head.

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Let's muddy waters even more. IMO:

Strategically the Sherman was a superior weapon as it could be easily mass produced. The Panther was much more difficult to make.

Operationally the Sherman was a superior weapon. It was far more reliable and could travel 100+ miles a day. The Panther was less reliable and could not be expected maintain the same level of operational movement.

Tactically the Panther owned the Sherman. Its optics, main gun, and protection was superior. Its flotation was better than the lighter Sherman.

If I had to choose between the 2?

If I were a tanker I'd prefer the Panther. If I were the commanding general and not the one doing the actual fighting, I may want to go with the Sherman.

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Panthers were probably (IMO) more often taken out by TD's (M10s and M36's) though I doubt anyone wants to go out hunting for a Panther in one of those. Its time to stop comparing Panthers and Shermans. They were two different designs for two different strategies. They were the result of two different economic and technological models of society. They had entirely different wars to fight. We delude ourselves when we try to compare them one on one. Sure, they had to fight each other on occasion and the outcome, one on one, was pretty likely one sided - but the war's outcome did not evolve around what happened when Panthers met Shermans, but had more to do with how the armies with superior combined arms and superior coalition warfare and better strategic vision, succeeded over their inferior opponents in those same areas.

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The Panther did have some weak spots that would allow success when attacking the front. I can't recall the specifics, but I think it was possible to bounce a 37mm or 57mm against the ground so it would deflect up and hit the less armored bottom of a Panther. It was also possible to hit the Panther at the point where the turret and hull met and that would take it out. That all being said and done the aim was usually to use superior numbers and flank a Panther.

Another weak spot was the bottom of the gun mantlet in the earlier (pre-G) models. The rounded face was found to potentially allow shot to be deflected downward into the thin armor roof above the driver and bow gunner. Happily for US tank crew, that weak spot was pretty much center mass!

21PanzerMkVGunMantletEarly.jpg

Thus the G got the "chin" on the mantlet.

10PantherGunMantlet.jpg

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Panthers were probably (IMO) more often taken out by TD's (M10s and M36's) though I doubt anyone wants to go out hunting for a Panther in one of those. Its time to stop comparing Panthers and Shermans. They were two different designs for two different strategies. They were the result of two different economic and technological models of society. They had entirely different wars to fight. We delude ourselves when we try to compare them one on one. Sure, they had to fight each other on occasion and the outcome, one on one, was pretty likely one sided - but the war's outcome did not evolve around what happened when Panthers met Shermans, but had more to do with how the armies with superior combined arms and superior coalition warfare and better strategic vision, succeeded over their inferior opponents in those same areas.

Well said. I think a much better argument is t-34 vs Panther. Same doctrine, same reasons for creation, same tactical necessity, etc. It's a much richer discussion comparing Russian tanks vs German tanks. I find that it's there that the strategic essentials are worthy of comparison. The debate of American tank warfare to that if German tank warfare is like trying to validate that a Taliban fighter CAN win against American infantry. Sure, they can slew a few with RPGs, but face to face, it's a farce in paper. Them same can be said Sherman vs German heavy tanks, there is just no way of reconciling the enormous differences between the two platforms, since they just dint compare.

Now, if the Sherman was fielded by the Russians in the beginning of Barbarossa, I can guarantee you that we would have seen a much improved and different tank by 1943 or 44. There was NO necessity to change the platform until the final months of the war, and even then it really wasn't a necessity. Desperation breds necessity, and unfortunately, we did not see necessity in creating a platform that would equal the panther until 1975, with the Abrams, and only after the Russians had evolved the art if tank warfare to it's pinnacle. Remember the Abrams was the birth child of the Yom Kippur war, after several hundred m60's and m48's lay smoking in the desert from sagger missile hits. Who needed armor when you have 1000's of tanks. Well, it's important when a cheap missile produced in the hundreds of thousands starts flaming your assembly line wonder machines.

Desperation breda necessity. Let's talk about the is2 vs the panther. Now that's a good discussion.

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we did not see necessity in creating a platform that would equal the panther until 1975, with the Abrams, and only after the Russians had evolved the art if tank warfare to it's pinnacle.

Do you honestly think that the Abrams is the peer of the Panther?

I would struggle to describe the Soviet art of tank warfare, as practiced by the Egyptians and Syrians, as any kind of pinnacle to be emulated.

Let's talk about the is2 vs the panther. Now that's a good discussion.

Only if you think comparing the Brummbar to the Firefly makes any kind of sense.

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Of course if you look at the first large paragraph of my earlier post - there were nine Shermans. If one alone accounted for five of the seven dead Panthers then the others must have been rotten shots. Or there was stuff pinging off everywhere.

I wrote the article quoted (wiki article on the Firefly), there was some contradictory info on the specific action (three books I own mention the action), but from what I could gather I believe the Firefly broke off from the other tanks and opened fire before the others. If you read the first hand account from one of the German commanders (don't remember the name), his tank is hit first but the lack of gunfire causes him to think he ran over a mine until he looks over an sees a second panther hit which causes the turret to be blown off. This suggests in my mind Henry's firefly opened fire first and got a few shots off (and thus few kills) before the other sherman's opened fire.

Another book I read said the SHerman 75's opened fire with HE rounds on the Panthers (due to the weakness of the 75mm gun) while the Fireflies hit them with AP, but I have no clue as to why they would do that. This was the first clash between Panthers and Canadian tanks and the crews would not have known at this point about the lackluster power of their 75mms against the Panther (they had faced nothing but Mark IVs and had little trouble with them), so I don't see why they would not have used AP rounds. A third book stated there were several fireflies in the group that ambushed the Panther (it was a composite squadron due to losses), so many tanks could potentially have nailed the Panthers.

I think in all likelihood Henry got the first few shots off (due to German testimony) and some of his later kills (maybe the last 2 or 3) were shared with the other tanks. It would prove incredibly difficult to discern a side penetration by a 76.2mm round and a 75mm round (1.2mm difference), and in general British/Commonwealth units did not really make aces out of tank crews like the Germans did. Tank kills were troop, squadron or even regimental accomplishments. For example Major Sydney Walters of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, 2nd Canadian Armour Brigade was the western Allied aces of aces with 18 panzer kills, but he was never made an hero out of within his unit or the Canadian Army for his kill count.

Still wikipedia is not big on primary research so I merely quoted one of the works rather than going into the action in detail.

It was said that when encountering a Panther you send 5 Shermans and expect to lose 4. You have to be prepared to take losses while aiming to attack the weaker side and rear of a Panther.

This statement gets tossed around a lot, usually its the Tiger required 4-5 shermans to knock out. Most people ignore this (myself included), the problem is battles are not conducted within a bubble, there are no single enemy tigers or Panthers to ambush with 4-5 Shermans. Battles are combined arms affairs, often with combat occurring across a frontage of several kilometers and variety terrain. The above scenario is too simplistic to be taken seriously.

Overall I have never seen the tank losses on such a scale to suggest the above ratio was plausible in the west. In Normandy, about 650 Panthers and 120 Tigers saw action, almost all were lost one way or another. According to the 5-1 myth (which included German losses from breakdowns/self-destruction), those tanks would have claimed 3850 Allied tanks, which is more than the Allies actually lost to all causes (around 3000, but probably only 2/3rds of that were to gunfire). That would also demand no other German tank or ATG achieve a kill.

In short a 5-1 ratio for the Panther is hugely unlikely, Allied tank losses were never so catastrophic as to seriously allow such a setup compared to German losses (If you look at permanent losses from the British, US and Germans on a monthly basis, you are looking at a ratio of around 1.5 Allied tanks lost per German tank loss during the "static" phase of the battle). I think the 5-1 myth may have come from a British report which stated the Tiger required 4.21 hits on average to be knocked out (they only examined 5 though). Theoretically five allied tanks all firing at the same time could deliver the necessary amounts of hits needed to knock out a Tiger with minimal losses.

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That was a typo. What I meant to say is the necessity of the Yom Kippur war drove the development of the Abrams, I was trying to say, here is our example of creating something to counter something. The Sherman didn't have that necessity.

The M1 was created because the MBT-70 was a debacle. The M1 if anything was a return to "traditional values" where the MBT-70 sought to be a techno-marvel. The Israeli experience of Yom Kippur if anything reinforced traditional values of armour, mobility and firepower as being the corner stones of design.

The M1 simply modernised this, it wasn't really a reaction to any particular threat or situation as the 1973 war did not fundamentally change the ethos of armoured warfare, rather it reaffirmed the necessity of combined arms given that infantry now had an effective (-ish) anti armour capability.

The Sherman had a massive necessity to respond and adapt as the western allies had made the mistake of believing that it would not be required to engage tank on tank. The response was the M26 for the US and the Comet for the British, both the match of the Panther, rather than waiting 30 years for the M1.

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At some point (September?) 90mm M36 TD is going to arrive and Panther will be meat-on-the-table. M36 penetrates a Panther front plate at 1200 yards.

The M36 is not that effective as it is supposed to because the 90mm M82 APCBC has difficult to deal with the upper front hull of the panther,if there is no flaws on the upper front hull of the panther,according to the theoretical caculation M82 APCBC can not penetrate it even at point blank range.

During a field test of the M36 TD with the M77 AP and M82 APCBC,three rounds been fired at about 150-200yards,two rounds just partially penetrate the upper front hull another round achieve a complete penetration but on the juntion between the upper front hull and lower front hull which is suppose to be a potential weak point

until the T33 APBC arrived with the Pershing.the panther finally became the real meat on the table.

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Let's muddy waters even more. IMO:

Tactically the Panther owned the Sherman. Its optics, main gun, and protection was superior. Its flotation was better than the lighter Sherman.

Tell that to Panzer Lehr at Mortain; 106th Panzer Brigade at Mairy; 5th Panzer Army at Arracourt; 112 Panzer Brigade at Dompaire; and 12 SS Panzer Division at Krinkelt.

All of these are examples of where large numbers of Panthers (and other AVFs) were knocked out by Shermans and 76mm tank destroyers (and 57 and 76 mm AT guns) with minimal or moderate loss to the Allied forces. Most of these battles the Germans had more AFVs than the Allies. In the case of Dompaire, the French 2nd Armored attacked with 75mm Shermans and M10s against a superior number of Panthers and wiped the floor with them.

Sorry, but the Panther was in terms of actual effectiveness not as good as it looks on the spec sheet.

In terms of actual battle performance it outscorred Shermans IIRC 1.2 to 1.

In terms of operational effectiveness, Panther units routinely ran at less than 50% operational. Sherman units rarely ran at less than 80% operational. That gives the Allies a 2:1 edge in available tanks even barring the large difference in production. If your tank sucks mechanically, it has a large impact on how many can be fielded in any particular battle. This will put you at a big disadvantage regardless of how uber it appears at Achtungpanzer.com

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The point has been made before that Panther supremacy was in part situational and related to the training and leadership of its crews and commanders. As has mentioned here before as well, Panthers' well-known mechanical fragility ensured that many never reached the front in operational condition, or were sidelined with breakdowns before even seeing combat. If you had one that was in prime mechanical condition, with a seasoned crew, it could hold its own. The problem for the Germans was that they were not fighting in a vacuum: they had to contend with opponents well versed in combined arms anti-tank warfare, whose own tanks placed mechanical reliability and mobility at a premium and whose TD's were out there looking for Panthers to take on to the TD's advantage.

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Are you meaning ground pressure ?

Pretty much, yes. It's a fancy-pants term for how well tanks move across ground, and how well they 'float' on the ground (as opposed to sinking into it, I guess). But it covers more than just PSI. The Churchill, for instance, had famously good cross-country mobility, even though raw stats would seem to indicate that it shouldn't have.

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Fits with the American experiences at Mairy, Arracourt and Krinkelt. Knife fight range and flank shots = lots of dead kitties.

Yes, at Krinkelt there were roving bazooka teams knocking out those cats. Of course it helps to get close enough when it's night time, it's foggy/sleet, you're in a town with lots of buildings and walls, and the cats charge into town without effective infantry support.

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