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On Panthers, in the real deal M10s routinely took them to school. The German side commanders complained that the Panther was at its worst in the hedgerows, since initial LOS was so low. They didn't seem to notice that attacking with them was also a Bad Idea in the same terrain. A Panther sitting back in its own defensive zone in a carefully chosen position with a good keyhole and side cover and supporting arms all around, spotting for it and keeping everything a long way away - that is a strong Panther. A whole string of the things one after another on the same road all buttoned up driving smack into the middle of the enemy defensive - not so much.

Guess which one German doctrine strove for and pushed for and moved mountains to get? Because the initiative is so important, and the offensive in the only decisive form of warfare, and the essence of armor is concentrated offensive maneuver - and all that load of tosh. Which typically got half of them killed in half a day.

If as an American commander in the game you want to duplicate these realities (not saying the game is good at it, or not - just haven't tried it enough to know) then (1) take M10 tank destroyers (2) use them with supporting arms that spot the critters first (3) let them come to you whenever possible (4) you want initial LOS to be oh about 5 feet, but anything under 200 yards will do just fine (5) mutual hull down to hit their turret (6) strip and button them with acres of artillery fire (7) the previous also let's bazookas and other lesser things go to work on their flanks, but that's just supplemental - rely on TDs.

And a tactically *defensive* stance. All that nonsense about attacking being decisive is utter hogwash. Bushwhack them, don't get bushwhacked yourself driving into the unknown singing out "hey look at me! anyone want to shoot me? I'm right over here..."

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And what do you do when you HAVE to attack? Or when you want to drive someone back into the sea (whether thats possible or not)?

Then you better be sure you aren't a strategic idiot like the German high command was, and don't put put your forces in an unwinnable situation.

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And what do you do when you HAVE to attack? Or when you want to drive someone back into the sea (whether thats possible or not)?

Make sure you have enough quality supporting arms, especially infantry, to give flank protection, don't waste whole armies and army groups fighting on the Eastern Front. Also, as the Russians found out in 44, the Germans would attack aggressively with armour using the same playbook they always had used, and by then their opponents knew the drill as well as the Germans!

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Yeah, I personally would LOVE to get very detailed radio net simulations into the game. But wow... that would be a whole game within a game. Plus, most people would hate playing with it :)

Steve

Panthers have AM sets and Sherman have FM sets :) well at least I think they do, I do faintly remember the shermans having a higher freq and therefore less prone to interference.

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Rome Total war had a mod produced Rome Total realism (or something like that) that introduced all the historical mechanisms that had been eschewed for 'playability'. Would it ever be possible to do the same for the CM stable? If you wanted a realistic but still fun game then by the original CM, if you are a masochist who enjoys troops hurrying up and waiting, radio nets, breakdown frequencies, realistic rally times etc, etc then buy CM commanders edition. You might have a speed up time ability which is interupted if something happens, but I think there are enough hard-core gamers to think about it.

Steve's response of "sure if someone gave us a bundle of cash" is 5...4...3...2... Ever thought of selling shares in Battlefront, I'd buy some.

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If as an American commander in the game you want to duplicate these realities (not saying the game is good at it, or not - just haven't tried it enough to know) then (1) take M10 tank destroyers (2) use them with supporting arms that spot the critters first (3) let them come to you whenever possible (4) you want initial LOS to be oh about 5 feet, but anything under 200 yards will do just fine (5) mutual hull down to hit their turret (6) strip and button them with acres of artillery fire (7) the previous also let's bazookas and other lesser things go to work on their flanks, but that's just supplemental - rely on TDs.

The M10s work well to knock out Panthers. You don't even have to be

too fancy. One key element is to deploy any anti Panther defense in a as long a line as possible athwart their axis of advance so that you get flank shots as the Panthers are fired on from different angles. With a long line of M10s and some artillery to keep the Panthers from spotting too much, the M10s can knock out say 20-30 percent of the attacking Panthers at 600-700 meters and not suffer too badly in return.

If you are attacking, in some ways it is even easier since you can use artillery, smoke etc. to suppress and overwhelm and punch through on a narrow front and then get quickly on the Panthers' flanks. Of course this can go wrong, but it usually works if you have a wide enough front and lots of artillery and plenty of shermans and M10s. Shermans actually seem pretty good at that kind of narrow penetration move and once you have the Panthers from a wide range of angles and you keep up all kinds of suppressive fire, the Panthers get destroyed pretty fast.

But, the M10s are definitely the best anti-Panther weapons most of the time, if they are reasonably well supported and reasonably well positioned.

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Total realism was basically collection of skins and edited text files. Making Cavalry more realistic involved changing text values for speed, morale etc. Total War games are insanely tweak able/modable. I loved Rome:TR, but I don't think you can do anything close to what you can do with CMx2 games just judging by the mods that are available.

IIRC from CMx1, the M10 and 76mm Sherman had the same main gun. I have noticed M10s to be a good counter to German armor, but haven't had much exp with 76mm Shermans. Do they perform similar to M10's in the AT role in game?

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Total realism was basically collection of skins and edited text files. Making Cavalry more realistic involved changing text values for speed, morale etc. Total War games are insanely tweak able/modable. I loved Rome:TR, but I don't think you can do anything close to what you can do with CMx2 games just judging by the mods that are available.

IIRC from CMx1, the M10 and 76mm Sherman had the same main gun. I have noticed M10s to be a good counter to German armor, but haven't had much exp with 76mm Shermans. Do they perform similar to M10's in the AT role in game?

I think the 3-inch ATG and the M10 gun are the same, but I think the 76mm on the Sherman is not quite as powerful. Kind of like the underpowered 88mm on the Tiger I. Anyway, the Sherman is so good for suppression and flanking that I tend to use even the 76mm Shermans more or less like 75mm Shermans. The 76mm Sherman may be almost as good as the M10 at a good range against Panthers, but I just tend not to use it that way.

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You got me curious so I pulled out my old Hunnicutt Sherman book and checked the specs on the two guns. 3 inch and 76mm have identical penetration stats on identical rounds with identical names (though the two rounded were actually incompatible - the 3 inch shell casing being longer). Its the Sherman 76 gun that actually boasts the higher max chamber pressure (43,000 psi compared to 38,000 psi). The 3 inch gun has a slightly longer caliber length - 76.2mm L/52.7 while the Sherman gun is 76.2mm L/52. The whole gun family had begun with the pre-war 3 inch M3 anti-aircraft gun.

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There is no substantial difference in AT performance between an M10 and a 76mm Sherman. The Sherman is better at the infantry war - more MGs, better HE load, overhead protection, etc. But it also costs more in CM point terms. If you just need to kill Panthers, you can get more AT firepower for the buck buying M10s, because you don't need all those extra abilities of a 76mm Sherman.

In the real deal, the M10s might have been marginally more likely to get HVAP sooner, and they were more often in a tactically defensive posture with good tactical intel as a result. 76mm Shermans were more likely to be found intermixed with less capable 75mm Shermans, and were more frequently called on to attack. As a result, TDs outscored the Panthers while the Shermans units didn't break even overall (though they were much closer to doing so than the 5 to 1 canard in the thread, which is utter rot - the Germans didn't manage even 2 to 1 overall in the west). On their best occasions the Shermans outscored too, and in plenty of cases traded evenly. But that was par for the TDs and above average for the Shermans.

(If people want cases for Shermans outscoring Panthers, French 2nd AD one CC against Panzer brigade, Arracourt fog knife fights, and 2nd AD clobbering 2nd Panzer at Celles in the bulge may serve as examples. For TDs doing so, Lehr counterattack in Normandy, Mortain, TD units at Arracourt, and north shoulder of the Bulge may serve as examples).

As for the question what you do when you have to attack, there are two sides of it. One is how to not misused Panthers when you have them and are attacking. And the second and harder question is how to attack against superior defending armor - superior in front armor and gun specs, not in numbers.

For the first, the thing not to do is drive Panthers deep into the defense in search of a magical initiative. And the thing to do instead is to bring at least even odds in infantry and artillery and to "lean" on those, using the Panthers to supplement the overall attack with strong overwatch, instead of leading with them. Lead with artillery shells, send dismounted Panzergrenadiers next, and overwatch the grenadiers with Panthers. Keep other fire support assets in reserve initially (mortars, gun halftracks, etc). Smash the enemy heavy AT net with the tank-infantry teams of grenadiers and Panthers, and mop up remaining infantry with the supporting firepower arms. Keep the rest moving.

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?

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If presented with attacking Panthers you always could hide. If you are successful your tanks will at least survive the attack, in best case you'll lure him into hunting you down, which will pull him out of position. Bad commander that I am, I'm always doing that. Driving into town as the endgame approaches, peeking behind buildings looking for hose pesky hiding tanks. Yeh, you know what usually happens to me then. ;)

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Yeah I do, I find those explaination always very insightful.

What I just fail to understand though is, why the Panther, a tank that, at least on paper, was so superior to the "inferior" Sherman, didn't fare better than 1 : 1.2 against the Shermans (at least thats the quota I've found on the subject), despite beeing in overall strategic defensive situation. Was it the Normandy terrain that didn't allow the Panther to utilize it's long-range superiority (the ratio doesn't only count for the hedgerow fighting)?

Or was it that too often were thrown away in more or less pointless counter-attacks (I believe the German doctrine demanded a counter-attack each time when ground was lost) on both smaller and bigger scale?

Or was it that after Normandy the German tank crews were simply of pretty low quality due to manpower shortages and overall desintegration on all fronts?

Although I do not know if German crews really became much worse then.

Also, it would be interesting to know how well the Panzer IV fared against the Shermans in the West statistically.

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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

You can take them out. Ive taken out the german players Panzers v's. You smack them in the side or rear and don't engage at close range if you can but yes they can be taken out.....after only four pbem game:D

Note: If you can don't go head to head, try to put two to one or more on one panzer.

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If you have the option of air power all German tanks are just meat on table. Just set your area attack circle to be as much of enemy side as possible. The Allied pilots will eat them for lunch. Even strafe attacks have a good chance to immobilize them.

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Also, as the Russians found out in 44, the Germans would attack aggressively with armour using the same playbook they always had used, and by then their opponents knew the drill as well as the Germans!

"They came on in the same old way and we shot them down in the same old way."

Wellington maybe?

Michael

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Regarding loss ratios: are these the TOTAL losses suffered, or the losses suffered when Shermans combated Panthers?

Panthers on the steppe - with good weather - could use their range. Panthers in the bocage or woods of Europe, could not. Oh, and it had to get to the scene of the battle.

As JasonC posted, a lot of Panther units would suffer 50% tank losses per day. (Roughly 90% of the losses were recoverable and repairable, but not in time for the next day's fight.)

All the above is "rough cut", but it lends a perspective with which to judge the various loss statistics.

Ken

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Yeah I do, I find those explaination always very insightful.

What I just fail to understand though is, why the Panther, a tank that, at least on paper, was so superior to the "inferior" Sherman, didn't fare better than 1 : 1.2 against the Shermans (at least thats the quota I've found on the subject), despite beeing in overall strategic defensive situation. Was it the Normandy terrain that didn't allow the Panther to utilize it's long-range superiority (the ratio doesn't only count for the hedgerow fighting)?

Or was it that too often were thrown away in more or less pointless counter-attacks (I believe the German doctrine demanded a counter-attack each time when ground was lost) on both smaller and bigger scale?

Or was it that after Normandy the German tank crews were simply of pretty low quality due to manpower shortages and overall desintegration on all fronts?

Although I do not know if German crews really became much worse then.

Also, it would be interesting to know how well the Panzer IV fared against the Shermans in the West statistically.

The failure of German tanks in the west to inflict hugely disproportionate casualties on Sherman was due to a number of issues, mainly related to German doctrine which stressed immediate counter attacks against Allied penetrations. The Germans were predictable, and the allies always prepared for the counter attack. The Panther on the attack was not much more survivable than the SHerman due to its weak side armor. Invariably the defender seeks to attack the flanks of the enemy tanks, regardless of its type. For example most Sherman casualties were from side shots, and we know the Panther had pretty weak side armor so when roles were reversed the Panther came to grief as often as the Sherman.

If the Panther had remained on the defensive in the west it would have come out with a good kill ratio, but it was often committed to attacks and counter attacks where they came to grief like any other tank when attacking into a well prepared defense. Plus Allied doctrine was much better than people give it credit for.

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There is no substantial difference in AT performance between an M10 and a 76mm Sherman. The Sherman is better at the infantry war - more MGs, better HE load, overhead protection, etc. But it also costs more in CM point terms. If you just need to kill Panthers, you can get more AT firepower for the buck buying M10s, because you don't need all those extra abilities of a 76mm Sherman.

It's rare, though, that you're in a pure armour v. armour matchup. For my QB points, the extra MGs and survivability vs lesser threats are worth the difference.

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If you have the option of air power all German tanks are just meat on table. Just set your area attack circle to be as much of enemy side as possible. The Allied pilots will eat them for lunch. Even strafe attacks have a good chance to immobilize them.

IRL the only place that Air Power was the scourge of armour was the pilots' log books. Against the logistics tail, different story.

"They came on in the same old way and we shot them down in the same old way."

" Wellington maybe? "

Yes, made slightly more contempory

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The failure of German tanks in the west to inflict hugely disproportionate casualties on Sherman was due to a number of issues, mainly related to German doctrine which stressed immediate counter attacks against Allied penetrations. The Germans were predictable, and the allies always prepared for the counter attack. The Panther on the attack was not much more survivable than the SHerman due to its weak side armor. Invariably the defender seeks to attack the flanks of the enemy tanks, regardless of its type. For example most Sherman casualties were from side shots, and we know the Panther had pretty weak side armor so when roles were reversed the Panther came to grief as often as the Sherman.

If the Panther had remained on the defensive in the west it would have come out with a good kill ratio, but it was often committed to attacks and counter attacks where they came to grief like any other tank when attacking into a well prepared defense. Plus Allied doctrine was much better than people give it credit for.

It's also because kill ratios haven't really been investigated and the existing records make it frankly impossible to quantify. In the case of Normandy 2 ORS investigations showed that 50% of total losses and the single greatest killer of German AFV in Normandy was abandonment and or destruction by their own crews after the partial encirclement of German units.

Any actual kill ratio discussions needs a comprehensive examination on the nature of tank losses and deciding and agreeing what constitute a "combat kill."

There are hint's in Jentz's Panzertruppen books where iirc for the initial two months Panzer Div's reported the combat losses circa 120 panthers and circa 200 PIV's; This goes part way in proving the self evident logic that a heavier well protected tank is less likely to be "killed" than one with less armor. but even this is not a good basis as Panther's where generally held back and employed in formal attacks or deployed for counter attacks. Simply every discussion about kill ratios is going to be confunded by the information compared having different emphasis: Comparing total German tank losses after a successful encirclement versus allied daily/weekly/monthly combat losses is one of the purer expressions of apples and oranges.

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IRL the only place that Air Power was the scourge of armour was the pilots' log books. Against the logistics tail, different story.

Yes, made slightly more contempory

I'm not going to dispute you historically, I'm talking in the game. I haven't done the research to say otherwise in WW II. I do know that tanks are easy targets for aircraft that the proper armament to destroy them.
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A low Panther/Sherman exchange rate could have be due to FEAR on the part of the Sherman crews. Like in those wild west movies where the local gunslinger has such a fearsome reputation than nobody's willing to face him down. No gunfights mean no lopsided exchange rate. And also, what did they usually do in those cowboy movies to deal with the gunslinger? They'd 'bushwhack' him! Sneak up and shoot him in the back! :)

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True, but a low Panther/Sherman exchange rate could also be attributable to other factors, such as combined arms, TD's, tac air, artillery, smoke...all elements of the WW2 ETO battlefield that were force multipliers for the Allies. Add to that the previously discussed issues of Panther unreliability vs the Sherman's mechanical robustness, effects of national military doctrine, etc. All in all it is a pretty complex area of discussion and years later all we have is variously contrived sets of data which make it very hard today to reconstruct the facts with any accuracy.

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