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Correct horses for courses. When most people compare tanks they think of classic tank VS tank battles. Line them up at the point of battle in average terrain with equal numbers. Panther wins. Its really that simple.

But, see, it just isn't that simple. Whenever the Germans attacked in Normandy they regularly had their asses handed to them, and it didn't matter if they were driving a French jalopy, a StuG, a PzIV, or Panther, or even a Tiger. Being in a defensive stance mattered more - much more - than who had the better armour or gun, since by 1944 everyone's guns, including even the MV75mm on most Allied armour, was able to knock out the other guy's tanks at typical combat ranges. The British were especially well served in this respect since they had the Firefly - as they brutally demonstrated to 21st Pz Div as early as the afternoon of 6 June. But the lesson was reinforced just as brutally on the following 2-3 days when 12th SS Pz Div attempted to attack the Canadians - and singularly failed. Next up it was the turn of Pz Lehr to learn the same lesson a day or so, but they must have been slow learners, since they had to re-learn it against the Americans a month later. 17th SS PzGren was learning the same lesson at about the same time. Then in mid-June it was the turn of 2 Pz Div. Same results. Same lesson.

Vehicles didn't matter much. Stance did.

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The Panther reminds me of a gorgeous woman who, for all her allure, seductiveness and beauty, ...

What's that saying? 'It doesn't matter how gorgeous she is. Someone, somewhere, is sick of putting up with her sh!t.'

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I for one don't argue the Sherman was a superior tank to the Panther but I would argue that, with all its defects, it was wielded in a far more efficacious manner towards the Allied objective of winning the war, which made the Panther's superlatives relatively unimportant in the scheme of things.

If we want to have a war in a test tube, the Panther's superiority counts for a great deal. Put it in the real world, in a real world war and the people that came up with it still lost.

The Panther reminds me of a gorgeous woman who, for all her allure, seductiveness and beauty, simply cannot have children and so dooms her line to end with her.

I would invite you to consider what would have happened if the Americans were producing Panthers and the Germans the Sherman. Then not only would the Panther have been superior but also in numbers due to industrial might. Maybe not the same numbers as

Shermans. But in numbers enough to walk through any German tank offensives. The design also would have matured more without having factories blown from under them.

Might I remind you that the Romans also lost to their inferiors. Were there troops inferior because they were ground to dust?

In any case my point is that yes to the original poster the Panther could kill any allied design with ease. Not so for the Sherman.

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But, see, it just isn't that simple. Whenever the Germans attacked in Normandy they regularly had their asses handed to them, and it didn't matter if they were driving a French jalopy, a StuG, a PzIV, or Panther, or even a Tiger. Being in a defensive stance mattered more - much more - than who had the better armour or gun, since by 1944 everyone's guns, including even the MV75mm on most Allied armour, was able to knock out the other guy's tanks at typical combat ranges. The British were especially well served in this respect since they had the Firefly - as they brutally demonstrated to 21st Pz Div as early as the afternoon of 6 June. But the lesson was reinforced just as brutally on the following 2-3 days when 12th SS Pz Div attempted to attack the Canadians - and singularly failed. Next up it was the turn of Pz Lehr to learn the same lesson a day or so, but they must have been slow learners, since they had to re-learn it against the Americans a month later. 17th SS PzGren was learning the same lesson at about the same time. Then in mid-June it was the turn of 2 Pz Div. Same results. Same lesson.

Vehicles didn't matter much. Stance did.

Correct. The Germans were beaten because of strategy no inferior tanks.

I think the OP just wanted to know if he could expect his Shermans to be popped more regularly than Panthers in CMBN.

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Correct. The Germans were beaten because of strategy no inferior tanks.

What? No, I'm not talking about strategy. I'm talking about tactics and operational (or even tactical) stance.

If you are attacking - if your tanks are moving and advancing - you're going to lose a lot of tanks. It doesn't matter if they're Panthers or Shermans.

If the US had had Panthers, and the Germans had had Shermans, then the same rule would have applied, and US (and UK) casualties would have been much the same, because the operational onus would still have been on the Allies to attack and advance.

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Now I am sure the boots on the ground would have preferred the Pershing...

I have a real question in my mind as to whether that would have been as true if those boots were on infantrymen. Yeah, the Pershing had a bigger gun, but look at the ammo loadout. The Sherman could shoot all afternoon, whereas the Pershing would have to break off and run back to pick up some more. Then there is the question of how many Pershings could be shipped to Europe in the hulls available, compared to the Sherman. I think this is not as big a deal as it was made out to be in some quarters, but neither was it an issue that could simply be shrugged off.

Bottom line is that the boots on the ground were mighty happy to have the Sherman around and would have loved to have more of them.

Michael

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Correct. The Germans were beaten because of strategy no inferior tanks.

I think the OP just wanted to know if he could expect his Shermans to be popped more regularly than Panthers in CMBN.

Yes, they were beaten because of bad strategy. But it's probably also fair to say that most of the bad strategy came from Hitler constantly overriding the plans of his generals. He was basically a politician playing at being the high commander of the German Army--of course he lost. But if he had been a little less of an egomaniac and had actually listened to his generals who knows what would have happened? Good thing for us Huh?

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Prior to the end of June 1940, and on a number of occasions after that, the generals could have arrested Hitler and had him shot at any time. Don't give them too much credit. Hitler was able to bring them along because he was telling them a lot of things they wanted to hear.

Michael

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Prior to the end of June 1940, and on a number of occasions after that, the generals could have arrested Hitler and had him shot at any time. Don't give them too much credit. Hitler was able to bring them along because he was telling them a lot of things they wanted to hear.

Michael

Well yes, that's what politicians do. That's how he got into power in the first place, but once he was in I doubt if there could have been much getting rid of him from within Germany. What I'm saying is he shouldn't have been making military decisions, or at least should have been taking more advice from those better suited for it.

They could have just had him arrested? Could you elaborate?

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In any military staging a coup d'├ętat is a serious thing that is not to be taken lightly. High ranking military leaders must maintain a level of pragmatism as they are the instruments for projection of political power, all have sworn an oath to carry out the direction of the executive. It is not for a soldier to question who is in power and how they got there.

The oaths of soldiers make interesting reading, I swore to defend Queen Elizabeth II and her rightful heirs and successors Australia wasn't mentioned.

The Americans swear to defend the constitution and follow the orders of the President.

The WW2 german soldier : "I swear by God this sacred oath, that I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath."

Might sound silly in the modern age where everything is questioned BUT if you swear an oath ...... well you shouldn't do so if you don't mean it.

Deciding who is right or wrong to be in power and the people who put them there doesn't come into it.

Besides why would you arrest someone who has placed you, the military, at the forefront of society and given you heaps of cool new stuff ?

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I have a real question in my mind as to whether that would have been as true if those boots were on infantrymen. Yeah, the Pershing had a bigger gun, but look at the ammo loadout. The Sherman could shoot all afternoon, whereas the Pershing would have to break off and run back to pick up some more. Then there is the question of how many Pershings could be shipped to Europe in the hulls available, compared to the Sherman. I think this is not as big a deal as it was made out to be in some quarters, but neither was it an issue that could simply be shrugged off.

Bottom line is that the boots on the ground were mighty happy to have the Sherman around and would have loved to have more of them.

Michael

I was referring to the tankers boots, but your point is well taken. As to shipping space. IMHO if SHAEF had really felt German armor so outclassed their own that it made offensive operations untenable, they would have sped up production and shipping of Pershings. However when you had battles like those in the Lorraine where German armor was being gutted at relatively little cost I doubt seriously the higher ups were clamoring for bigger tanks. What they really wanted and bickered terribly over was fuel.

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Incidentally, I'm not terribly impressed with the "let's all stand around in a group and point the finger of blame at Hitler" school of historical inquiry.

Looks to me that Hitler took a bunch of ideas that were current in German society and simply pushed them to their extreme limits. The Generals did not object to the ideas. Sometimes they worried about pushing them so far. But as long as it looked like Hitler was on a winning streak, they were willing to go along. By the time it began to dawn on them that they had bet on the wrong horse, it was too late. The Allies didn't just want a return to status quo ante, they wanted revenge, big time. They wanted to dismantle the existing German military as well as political establishment and there was even talk in some quarters of effectively dismantling the German state altogether.

Michael

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What? No, I'm not talking about strategy. I'm talking about tactics and operational (or even tactical) stance.

If you are attacking - if your tanks are moving and advancing - you're going to lose a lot of tanks. It doesn't matter if they're Panthers or Shermans.

If the US had had Panthers, and the Germans had had Shermans, then the same rule would have applied, and US (and UK) casualties would have been much the same, because the operational onus would still have been on the Allies to attack and advance.

True if your moving on the offensive you will lose more tanks. However you would lose less than you would shermans. The next module will have some of that tank country around Caen. Take the fireflies off the british and see how the sherman fares with the germans attacking through tank country around caen with equal numbers of panthers replacing shermans.

It would be a little like m1 abrams VS t64 today through iraq. With the good air power, supply, man power, replacements and arty on the german side.

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True if your moving on the offensive you will lose more tanks. However you would lose less than you would shermans.

That is not born out in evidence, as the German counter attacks in Normandy suffered losses equal to the Allied forces.

Once the Panthers got moving their thinner sides became more exposed to the enemy. Of course this problem was compounded by the fact that moving at all in a Tiger or Panther raises the very real prospect of breaking the tank without any input from the Allies.

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I remember seeing a quote from a Gulf War '91 vet to the effect that if the Iraqis had had Abrams tanks and the Coalition T-72s the Iraqi's still would have lost. But I suspect the US tankers were nevertheless pleased to have the Abrams.

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I remember seeing a quote from a Gulf War '91 vet to the effect that if the Iraqis had had Abrams tanks and the Coalition T-72s the Iraqi's still would have lost. But I suspect the US tankers were nevertheless pleased to have the Abrams.

I reckon I'd go with that, the Iraqi Army was done for before the first tank rolled.

No supplies, no communications, no coordination etc

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True if your moving on the offensive you will lose more tanks. However you would lose less than you would shermans. The next module will have some of that tank country around Caen. Take the fireflies off the british and see how the sherman fares with the germans attacking through tank country around caen with equal numbers of panthers replacing shermans.

It would be a little like m1 abrams VS t64 today through iraq. With the good air power, supply, man power, replacements and arty on the german side.

Might want to review the battles around Arracourt and Des Champs. The results were very lopsided and not in the Panther's favor. Note they also didn't have any Firefly's.

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That is not born out in evidence, as the German counter attacks in Normandy suffered losses equal to the Allied forces.

Once the Panthers got moving their thinner sides became more exposed to the enemy. Of course this problem was compounded by the fact that moving at all in a Tiger or Panther raises the very real prospect of breaking the tank without any input from the Allies.

I suspect that at least some of this fragility had to do with lack of supply because of the overall strategic situation. Although it is well known that the sherman was more robust, even though cross country it was no match for a panther.

Make no mistake though, shermans did break down a lot just like panthers. They had a massive logistics system however making good the losses.

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I suspect that at least some of this fragility had to do with lack of supply because of the overall strategic situation.

Nonsense. In June, well before things got bad logistically for the Germans the following German Panzer divisions conducted attacks:

21 Pz

12 SS Pz

Pz Lehr

17 SS PzGren

2 Pz

9 SS Pz

10 SS Pz

They all failed, with heavy losses.

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Looks to me that Hitler took a bunch of ideas that were current in German society and simply pushed them to their extreme limits. The Generals did not object to the ideas. Sometimes they worried about pushing them so far. But as long as it looked like Hitler was on a winning streak, they were willing to go along. By the time it began to dawn on them that they had bet on the wrong horse, it was too late. The Allies didn't just want a return to status quo ante, they wanted revenge, big time. They wanted to dismantle the existing German military as well as political establishment and there was even talk in some quarters of effectively dismantling the German state altogether.

Sure, there's that, but I was more talking about the operational and tactical level.

Prior to Normandy, for example, Hitler was not responsible for Rommel's farcical showing in Op CRUSADER.

Prior to D-Day, Hitler was not responsible for Rundstedt, Rommel, and Geyr v.S. being unable to come up with a decent plan.

After D-Day, Hitler was not responsible for the futile attacks by the divisions referred to in my previous post.

Blaming Hitler is all very convenient, and I have no intention of defending him or the many boneheaded decisions he did make, but the German Armed Forces managed to screw things up quite well enough on their own, even without input from him thankyouverymuch.

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Destraex - sometimes Panthers lost out to Shermans or TDs because the initial LOS was low, as in Normandy hedgerows or Arracourt morning fog. And sometimes they lost out to them despite good visibility at long range under clear skies, for example the Panzer brigade vs. the CC of French 2nd Armored on the approaches to Nancy, or 2nd Panzer vs. 2nd Armored at Celles.

The Germans actually strove for the former rather than the latter. "Huh?" Yes, truly.

Great visibility and wide open ground aren't all that helpful against an enemy with total air superiority.

In the case of the French CC, they were caught in low ground in a village area while the CC had them pinned there by cross fire from higher ground. As long as they stayed low and among the buildings, they weren't sitting ducks for P-47s. Whenever they came up the crest, they were hit from multiple sides by both plain 75mm Shermans and Priests firing direct. While they stayed low, they had 105mm HE dropped on them for literally hours, while the Shermans crawled in closer to sweep more of the lower ground with crossfire. In the end the German brigade lost all but 4 Panthers out of a full battalion complement. A relief attempt by the Panzer IV battalion of the same brigade was stopped with the loss of about a company.

At Celles, clear weather didn't mean long lines of sight at clay pigeon Sherman targets. It meant L-5s overhead continually, perfect tactical intel for the Americans, and 105mm barrages dropping on the Germans wherever they were. The Americans then raced around them with full ridges in between, then crested into cross fire set ups and ranched them. The Germans were strung out at the exposed tip of a long salient, operationally speaking, making it easy for the Americans to get on all sides of them. They were also worn and tired from weeks of fighting to get there, while the 2nd AD slamming into them was fresh and near TOE. The Germans were even low on gas.

Look, there is no question a Panther is a better tank in pure gun and armor terms. That just isn't usually the most important factor in real world armor engagements, which are emphatically not about fighting fair. Somebody is usually in an operational pickle. That may just be a misconceived negative odds counterattack, it may be poor tactical handling by green leaders, it may be abysmal recon and tactical intel, made harder by enemy soft firepower stripping tanks and buttoning them, etc. Bigger scale factors setting the entire context of the fight, simply matter more than the difference in tech specs between vehicles.

That wouldn't be true for all vehicle match ups. But it tended to be true, because the types numerous enough to matter weren't all that far apart (e.g. front dominant but sides still thin, or turret vulnerable, or vulnerable to the upgunned part of the enemy vehicle fleet, etc).

In other than tactical gun and armor specs, the Panther had a major problem - very short time to failure for its drive train. This made it ammo, operationally speaking, with a limited "shelf life" in combat, rather than a permanent military asset. Fire off a fresh formation of them at the enemy and they will kill some enemy tanks and hold some ground for some modest period of time. Then they will be spent, from even exchanges, or running into an operational trump situation and getting clobbered en masse, or flat breaking down.

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I suspect that at least some of this fragility had to do with lack of supply because of the overall strategic situation. Although it is well known that the sherman was more robust, even though cross country it was no match for a panther.

Make no mistake though, shermans did break down a lot just like panthers. They had a massive logistics system however making good the losses.

Cross country the Sherman and even more so the Cromwell left the Panther flagging due to their better power to weight ratios. In many instances, noted particularly in Italy the could cross ground the PzV could not. The Panther did have an advantage on boggy ground because of its wider tracks.

The Sherman did not break down anywhere near as much as the Panther. I have seen the Panther gearbox quoted as lasting 150km at best. The M4 beyond all else was noted for its reliability far in excess of it opponents or allies.

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