Ask Paul

Status
Not open for further replies.

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,706
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
At one time I had a thread where others could ask about armour, design and organisation and that disappeared the last or prior GS upgrade. Occasionally I might add my response to a question elsewhere in ASL so that information would be easier to find in one place. A recent PM about armour availability prompted me to think of restarting a similar thread.

Feel free to ask questions or dispute my postings but I hope having stuff like this in one place may help.
 
Last edited:

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,706
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
The PM in question wanted a rehash of something I posted about what types of M4 Shermans might be seen in US hands in Europe. Rather than find that somewhat limited summary, I decided to re-do with greater detail in my reply:

M4: The original design with radial petrol engine, M4A1 had the same engine but a cast hull, so I will deal with them together. Initially the preferred engine, both M4 and M4A1 (75) saw service from Torch to war's end. They would have been the sole combat models until late '43, early '44 and between the two would still just have been the largest percentage of M4's by VE day. Both later got better front hull armour (thicker at 47° vs older 56° from vertical). From early '44 the M4A1 got the 76mm while some of the M4 were 105mm armed. From memory of photos the 105mm M4 always had the later 47° hull whilst many of those late 75mm M4 had a cast front (aka composite hull). A composite hull M4 would be a M4A1 in ASL terms. The 76mm M4A1 first saw service in Operation Cobra. Not sure when the 105mm M4 saw combat, but I suspect late French campaign. The British fitted 17lbr to M4 but not to M4A1. What looks like a 17lbr M4A1 is actually a 17lbr M4 (composite hull).

M4A2: Diesel twin engines. Starting with 75mm and 56° hull, they progressively went to 47° hull and finally 76mm. Used by the US for training, saw US combat service only with the USMC. Most LL to the USSR, Britain and France, in order of priority, indeed one of the USMC batches was "stolen" from a USSR allocation. Only the USSR used the 76mm versions.

M4A3: Ford petrol twin engine. Had all the variations of the M4A2, but also had a 105mm version. Indeed it is quite difficult to tell the 2 apart, only the different horizontal engine decks are a good guide. Though some may have been used mid-Italy campaign, it was really D-Day onwards when they would have seen much service. 75mm, 47° hulls, I suspect Cobra+ and the 76mm and 105mm versions only becoming common by the end of the French campaign. The USMC eventually switched to the M4A3 from the M4A2. The US switched from considering the M4/M4A1 engine as the preferred one to the M4A3's Ford.

M4A3E2: Doled out in handfuls to (mainly) M4A3 battalions. I think they were preferentially given to separate tank battalions allocated to infantry divisions, though some saw use in armoured divisions. NW Europe only.

M4A4: 5 car engines fused together!!! US training only, LL to Britain and possibly France. Only 56° and 75mm, though the British fitted their 17lbr.

M4A5: Not a Sherman, but a type designation for the Canadian Ram tank.

M4A6: Diesel radial engine. Training/development only.

Italy: M4 & M4A1 throughout the campaign. M4A3 starting to appear mid-'44, likely as new battalions fed in.

NWE: Initially mainly M4 & M4A1 with some M4A3. In the immediate post invasion many separate and armoured division battalions were shipped straight from the US. These seem to be mainly M4A3 variants.

Mixing: M4 and M4A1 were practically interchangeable, so while many units would have started as pure M4 or M4A1, replacements could have been either. Naturally the USA preferred that M4/M4A1 were not mixed with M4A3 but there were times like very late '44 when the USA was running short due to losses. The British either offered or gave the USA some of their Shermans at that time. So you would see awkward mixes, especially when allocating 76mm and 105mm variants. The US could readily support logistically such less than optimal mixes.

Gun Mixes: From Cobra+ expect to see no more than 20% 76mm, the rest 75mm. By Bulge 40% 76mm and by VE 60%+ 76mm. The problem was that was not uniform. From memory, one of the post D-Day, direct from the US shipped armoured divisions came entirely equipped with M4A3(76) whilst most active M4A3 battalions could only dream of them.

105mm: Initially issued as a 3 tank platoon per tank battalion, later 1 was additionally added to each 17 tank M4-whatever company. So for 54 M4-? (75mm/76mm) tank battalion you could have 3 or 6 105mm M4/M4A3 in addition. They did not replace 75mm/76mm gun tanks. Production of M4A3(105) was roughly twice that of M4(105).

56° vs 47°. The early M4-? had 2" at 56°, later upgraded (except M4A4) to 2.5" at 47°. While almost the same effective horizontal line of sight thickness the 47° hull was a single plate without the driver/assistant driver hatch excrescences of the earlier 56° hull multi plate front, thus stronger. The 47° hulls also had bigger hatches allowing easier bail out.

As an addition to the above PM information I might as well complete the US battalion organisation by mentioning the light tanks and other lesser creatures.

The original OoB had a tank regiment with 1x3 company light tank battalion and 2x3 company medium battalions, each with 17 tanks/company and 3 in battalion HQ. The Battalion HQ had a 3 vehicle assault gun platoon and often a 3 vehicular 81mm halftrack MTR platoon. The assault gun platoon started with the likes of the T30 HMC (USVN 35), then the M8 HMC Scott (USVN 43) and finally by mid-late '44 the M4(105) or M4A3(105) (USVN 17). The MTR platoon used the M4, M4A1 and M21 halftracks. That organisation was in effect until mid-late '43 and indeed the 2nd, 3rd Armoured continued to use that "heavy" organisation until war's end. In practice light and medium companies were often swapped to give 3 equal battalions with 1 light and 2 medium companies. A US "heavy" Armoured Division had 6 light and 12 medium companies total in 2 regiments.
During '43 the heavy organisation was replaced by the light version. That abolished the tank regiment and instead had 3 tank battalions. Each battalion had a similar HQ and 1 light and 3 medium tank companies, like before with 17 or 18 tanks for a divisional total of 3 light and 9 medium companies. The upside was the infantry component got beefed up at battalion level.

The light tanks started with M3 and M3A1 but by Sicily they started to or had been replaced by M5 and M5A1. By Wacht am Rhein tiny numbers of M24 had appeared but took some time to displace the M5A1s.

Now be aware that all the above is just an overall broad sweep picture. For designing scenarios always use AARs, TO&E unit details where you can lay your hands on them. You will undoubtly find exceptions but the above should not lead you too far astray.
 

hongkongwargamer

Forum Guru
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
6,465
Reaction score
3,919
Location
.. beneath the Pale Moonlight
Country
llPuerto Rico
The PM in question wanted a rehash of something I posted about what types of M4 Shermans might be seen in US hands in Europe. Rather than find that somewhat limited summary, I decided to re-do with greater detail in my reply:

M4: The original design with radial petrol engine, M4A1 had the same engine but a cast hull, so I will deal with them together. Initially the preferred engine, both M4 and M4A1 (75) saw service from Torch to war's end. They would have been the sole combat models until late '43, early '44 and between the two would still just have been the largest percentage of M4's by VE day. Both later got better front hull armour (thicker at 47° vs older 56° from vertical). From early '44 the M4A1 got the 76mm while some of the M4 were 105mm armed. From memory of photos the 105mm M4 always had the later 47° hull whilst many of those late 75mm M4 had a cast front (aka composite hull). A composite hull M4 would be a M4A1 in ASL terms. The 76mm M4A1 first saw service in Operation Cobra. Not sure when the 105mm M4 saw combat, but I suspect late French campaign. The British fitted 17lbr to M4 but not to M4A1. What looks like a 17lbr M4A1 is actually a 17lbr M4 (composite hull).

M4A2: Diesel twin engines. Starting with 75mm and 56° hull, they progressively went to 47° hull and finally 76mm. Used by the US for training, saw US combat service only with the USMC. Most LL to the USSR, Britain and France, in order of priority, indeed one of the USMC batches was "stolen" from a USSR allocation. Only the USSR used the 76mm versions.

M4A3: Ford petrol twin engine. Had all the variations of the M4A2, but also had a 105mm version. Indeed it is quite difficult to tell the 2 apart, only the different horizontal engine decks are a good guide. Though some may have been used mid-Italy campaign, it was really D-Day onwards when they would have seen much service. 75mm, 47° hulls, I suspect Cobra+ and the 76mm and 105mm versions only becoming common by the end of the French campaign. The USMC eventually switched to the M4A3 from the M4A2. The US switched from considering the M4/M4A1 engine as the preferred one to the M4A3's Ford.

M4A3E2: Doled out in handfuls to (mainly) M4A3 battalions. I think they were preferentially given to separate tank battalions allocated to infantry divisions, though some saw use in armoured divisions. NW Europe only.

M4A4: 5 car engines fused together!!! US training only, LL to Britain and possibly France. Only 56° and 75mm, though the British fitted their 17lbr.

M4A5: Not a Sherman, but a type designation for the Canadian Ram tank.

M4A6: Diesel radial engine. Training/development only.

Italy: M4 & M4A1 throughout the campaign. M4A3 starting to appear mid-'44, likely as new battalions fed in.

NWE: Initially mainly M4 & M4A1 with some M4A3. In the immediate post invasion many separate and armoured division battalions were shipped straight from the US. These seem to be mainly M4A3 variants.

Mixing: M4 and M4A1 were practically interchangeable, so while many units would have started as pure M4 or M4A1, replacements could have been either. Naturally the USA preferred that M4/M4A1 were not mixed with M4A3 but there were times like very late '44 when the USA was running short due to losses. The British either offered or gave the USA some of their Shermans at that time. So you would see awkward mixes, especially when allocating 76mm and 105mm variants. The US could readily support logistically such less than optimal mixes.

Gun Mixes: From Cobra+ expect to see no more than 20% 76mm, the rest 75mm. By Bulge 40% 76mm and by VE 60%+ 76mm. The problem was that was not uniform. From memory, one of the post D-Day, direct from the US shipped armoured divisions came entirely equipped with M4A3(76) whilst most active M4A3 battalions could only dream of them.

105mm: Initially issued as a 3 tank platoon per tank battalion, later 1 was additionally added to each 17 tank M4-whatever company. So for 54 M4-? (75mm/76mm) tank battalion you could have 3 or 6 105mm M4/M4A3 in addition. They did not replace 75mm/76mm gun tanks. Production of M4A3(105) was roughly twice that of M4(105).

56° vs 47°. The early M4-? had 2" at 56°, later upgraded (except M4A4) to 2.5" at 47°. While almost the same effective horizontal line of sight thickness the 47° hull was a single plate without the driver/assistant driver hatch excrescences of the earlier 56° hull multi plate front, thus stronger. The 47° hulls also had bigger hatches allowing easier bail out.

As an addition to the above PM information I might as well complete the US battalion organisation by mentioning the light tanks and other lesser creatures.

The original OoB had a tank regiment with 1x3 company light tank battalion and 2x3 company medium battalions, each with 17 tanks/company and 3 in battalion HQ. The Battalion HQ had a 3 vehicle assault gun platoon and often a 3 vehicular 81mm halftrack MTR platoon. The assault gun platoon started with the likes of the T30 HMC (USVN 35), then the M8 HMC Scott (USVN 43) and finally by mid-late '44 the M4(105) or M4A3(105) (USVN 17). The MTR platoon used the M4, M4A1 and M21 halftracks. That organisation was in effect until mid-late '43 and indeed the 2nd, 3rd Armoured continued to use that "heavy" organisation until war's end. In practice light and medium companies were often swapped to give 3 equal battalions with 1 light and 2 medium companies. A US "heavy" Armoured Division had 6 light and 12 medium companies total in 2 regiments.
During '43 the heavy organisation was replaced by the light version. That abolished the tank regiment and instead had 3 tank battalions. Each battalion had a similar HQ and 1 light and 3 medium tank companies, like before with 17 or 18 tanks for a divisional total of 3 light and 9 medium companies. The upside was the infantry component got beefed up at battalion level.

The light tanks started with M3 and M3A1 but by Sicily they started to or had been replaced by M5 and M5A1. By Wacht am Rhein tiny numbers of M24 had appeared but took some time to displace the M5A1s.

Now be aware that all the above is just an overall broad sweep picture. For designing scenarios always use AARs, TO&E unit details where you can lay your hands on them. You will undoubtly find exceptions but the above should not lead you too far astray.
Sorry mate, what is "NWE"?
 

Bob Walters

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
868
Reaction score
360
Location
Santa Clara, California
Country
llUnited States
At one time I had a thread where others could ask about armour, design and organisation and that disappeared the last or prior GS upgrade. Occasionally I might add my response to a question elsewhere in ASL so that information would be easier to find in one place. A recent PM about armour availability prompted me to think of restarting a similar thread.

Feel free to ask questions or dispute my postings but I hope having stuff like this in one place may help.
I have a question.
Did the 1st SS at The Battle of the Bulge have any Tiger Is? Many are insisting the only Tigers they had were King Tigers but I suspect that is not the case. I suspect the King Tigers were in the heavy tank battalion and the rest had a mixture of Panzer IVs, Panzer Vs, and Panzer IVEs.
 

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,706
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
I have a question.
Did the 1st SS at The Battle of the Bulge have any Tiger Is? Many are insisting the only Tigers they had were King Tigers but I suspect that is not the case. I suspect the King Tigers were in the heavy tank battalion and the rest had a mixture of Panzer IVs, Panzer Vs, and Panzer IVEs.
The Tiger II that accompanied 1SS belonged to 101/501 SS sPz Abt (heavy tank detachment). 101st got renumbered to 501st about Sept. '44. 501st was a corps level unit (1ss Pz Korps), though originally built around the former 13th sPz Komp of 1SS Pz Rgt (1SS Pz Div). At full strength 501 had a HQ of 3 Tiger II and 3 14 Tiger II companies for a total of 45. At the start of Wacht am Rhein only 30 of the 45 took part in the initial offensive, the remaining 15 arrived after Peiper's drive had long died, due to transport difficulties.

1SS had a Pz Regt with 2 Abteilungen (detachments/battalions). The 1st Abt should have had 76 Panthers and the 2nd 76 or 96 Pz IV with 3 Panthers and 5 Pz IV in Regt HQ. The Germans were only able to scrape up close to 37 Panthers and 34 Pz IV. That was sufficient for an Abt HQ (3 Panthers) and 2 each 2 companies of 17 Panther/Pz IV respectively. I can't be arsed to check but I think it was 1st & 2nd (Panther) and 6th & 7th (Pz IV) that made up 1 Pz Abt. So they only had a single Abt's worth of their own tanks and were loaned 501 SS SPz Abt to stand in for the missing 2 Pz Abt. 1SS Pz Div also had 21 Pz IV/70 aka JgPz IV L/70 but no StuGs, Marders, Wespes or Hummels. They did have SP 7.5cm (SdKfz 251/9) and 15cm sIG 33 on SdKfz 138/1 Grille.

1SS did get issued a company's worth of Tiger I early in '43, I think just during/after 3rd Kharkov. These were used through Kursk and until 1SS got sent home and rebuilding. The genesis of 101 SS sPz dates to the removal of 1SS, for West rebuilding, diverted to Italy. The 3 SS Pz divisions each had a Tiger I company but as 1SS and 2SS were withdrawn 3SS Totenkopf was the only one to retain Tiger I. Totenkopf and the Heer's Grossdeutchland were the only divisions to finish the war with any type of Tigers and also both Tiger I not II. So 1SS had not had any Tiger on the books by the end of '43. The SS Tiger I in Normandy belonged to 101 sPz SS Abt and 102 SS sPz Abt.

The only Tiger Is that I can think in WaR of belonged to sPz 301 (Fkl) which had 31 rebuilt Tiger I acting as command vehicles for RC demolition vehicles (Bogward IV) and that was a Heer (army) unit.

So 1SS only had the loan of Tiger II in 501 SS sPz Abt and had had no Tiger I since leaving Russia.
 
Last edited:

RandyT0001

Senior Member
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
837
Reaction score
812
Location
Memphis, TN
First name
Cary
Country
llUnited States
The Tiger II that accompanied 1SS belonged to 101/501 SS sPz Abt (heavy tank detachment). 101st got renumbered to 501st about Sept. '44. 501st was a corps level unit (1ss Pz Korps), though originally built around the former 13th sPz Komp of 1SS Pz Rgt (1SS Pz Div). At full strength 501 had a HQ of 3 Tiger II and 3 14 Tiger II companies for a total of 45. At the start of Wacht am Rhein only 30 of the 45 took part in the initial offensive, the remaining 15 arrived after Peiper's drive had long died, due to transport difficulties.
Once the remaining 15 Tiger IIs arrived (did they arrive piecemeal or all together at a depot?) were they sent, convoy as a 'unit' down one road to catch up with Peiper or were they dispersed, one, two or three together, on several roads to meet Peiper?

1SS had a Pz Regt with 2 Abteilungen (detachments/battalions). The 1st Abt should have had 76 Panthers and the 2nd 76 or 96 Pz IV with 3 Panthers and 5 Pz IV in Regt HQ. The Germans were only able to scrape up close to 37 Panthers and 34 Pz IV. That was sufficient for an Abt HQ (3 Panthers) and 2 each 2 companies of 17 Panther/Pz IV respectively. I can't be arsed to check but I think it was 1st & 2nd (Pz IV) and 6th & 7th (Panther) that made up 1 Pz Abt. So they only had a single Abt's worth of their own tanks and were loaned 501 SS SPz Abt to stand in for the missing 2 Pz Abt. 1SS Pz Div also had 21 Pz IV/70 aka JgPz IV L/70 but no StuGs, Marders, Wespes or Hummels. They did have SP 7.5cm (SdKfz 251/9) and 15cm sIG 33 on SdKfz 138/1 Grille.
Were there any 'Ferdinand' TDs in the battle, at Bastogne, with Peiper, or at St. Vith? What TD or AG or SP, which looks most like a Ferdinand TD, was deployed with the VG divisions?
 

Justiciar

Elder Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
5,410
Reaction score
2,000
Location
Within Range
Country
llUnited States
Why did Sgt Saunders have a camo helmet cover? View attachment 11248
Saunders had a "drinking session" with a Marine buddy, Lee Marvin, and they got well pretty drunk at the Hollywood canteen. Saunders applied the Marine adage "gear adrift," seeing the helmet was not longer on his buddy Lee Marvin's head and pilfered it.

[Well that is the story I got from James Coburn. I have Coburn's MP-40. ;) ]
 
Last edited:

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,706
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
While I can't recall the details, I'm fairly certain that KG Peiper was doomed by the time the last 15 arrived. With the demise of KGP, the 501 SS sPz Abt was in need of rebuilding. After the dregs of KGP escaped the 1SS withdrew for reorganisation and eventually reappeared near Bastogne. By that time 501 SS sPz Abt was no longer rigidly attached to 1SS and had reverted to being a corps unit, though obviously strongly associated with 1SS. So post KGP time would have been spent regathering scattered vehicles and repairs, including the 15 latecomers.

I don't have a good number for the Tiger II losses in the initial offensive, but have a vague memory of only about 7 Tiger II pocketed with KGP. The buggers were just too slow to keep up and be pocketed. Allowing for recovered breakdowns 501 should have had about 2/3 of its official strength at least recoverable if not yet fit for combat by the time of the end of KGP.

No Ferdinands/Elephants in WaR. The source of the confusion might have been the presence of sPzJgrAbt 654 which was one of the original two Elephant battalions, was in WaR but equipped with Jagdpanthers and the other, sPzJgrAbt 653 was involved in Nordwind and had Jagdtigers.

The VG divisions had a PzJg Abt with a towed 7.5cm PaK 40 battery (9, usually 12 guns), a SP light FlaK company (12 x SdKfz 10/5) and a SP battery with 10 (HQ 1, 3 platoons of 3) or 14 (2, 3 x 4) Hetzers or StuG III. All WaR divisions might also have had support from corps and army level StuG (usually 31 StuG, though up to 45) and sPzJg (45 Hetzers or 30-31 Hetzers and 14-15 Jagdpanthers) units. They also had either a Füsiliere (recon+assault) company or battalion which was mainly bicycled infantry and a few armoured cars (if they were lucky).

Pz IV/70 aka JgPz IV with 7.5cm L/70 gun were only issued to Panzer divisions PzJg Abt, typically 21 Pz IV/70 and 12 towed PaK 40.
Marder I/II/III usually equipped Pz and PzGren divisions but by then had practically disappeared, being replaced by JgPz IV and Pz IV/70.
StuG III could be in nearly anything; anybodies PzJg Abt, StuG Abt/Brigades or even Pz Regt, replacing the by now scarce Pz IV.
 

Gordon

Elder Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
1,531
Country
llUnited States
According to New Vanguard #1 the SS sPz Abt 501 reported the loss of 13 Tiger IIs during the December fighting and the status report from January 15th listed 31 Tiger IIs with 18 operational.
 

Bob Walters

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
868
Reaction score
360
Location
Santa Clara, California
Country
llUnited States
The Tiger II that accompanied 1SS belonged to 101/501 SS sPz Abt (heavy tank detachment). 101st got renumbered to 501st about Sept. '44. 501st was a corps level unit (1ss Pz Korps), though originally built around the former 13th sPz Komp of 1SS Pz Rgt (1SS Pz Div). At full strength 501 had a HQ of 3 Tiger II and 3 14 Tiger II companies for a total of 45. At the start of Wacht am Rhein only 30 of the 45 took part in the initial offensive, the remaining 15 arrived after Peiper's drive had long died, due to transport difficulties.

1SS had a Pz Regt with 2 Abteilungen (detachments/battalions). The 1st Abt should have had 76 Panthers and the 2nd 76 or 96 Pz IV with 3 Panthers and 5 Pz IV in Regt HQ. The Germans were only able to scrape up close to 37 Panthers and 34 Pz IV. That was sufficient for an Abt HQ (3 Panthers) and 2 each 2 companies of 17 Panther/Pz IV respectively. I can't be arsed to check but I think it was 1st & 2nd (Pz IV) and 6th & 7th (Panther) that made up 1 Pz Abt. So they only had a single Abt's worth of their own tanks and were loaned 501 SS SPz Abt to stand in for the missing 2 Pz Abt. 1SS Pz Div also had 21 Pz IV/70 aka JgPz IV L/70 but no StuGs, Marders, Wespes or Hummels. They did have SP 7.5cm (SdKfz 251/9) and 15cm sIG 33 on SdKfz 138/1 Grille.

1SS did get issued a company's worth of Tiger I early in '43, I think just during/after 3rd Kharkov. These were used through Kursk and until 1SS got sent home and rebuilding. The genesis of 101 SS sPz dates to the removal of 1SS, for West rebuilding, diverted to Italy. The 3 SS Pz divisions each had a Tiger I company but as 1SS and 2SS were withdrawn 3SS Totenkopf was the only one to retain Tiger I. Totenkopf and the Heer's Grossdeutchland were the only divisions to finish the war with any type of Tigers and also both Tiger I not II. So 1SS had not had any Tiger on the books by the end of '43. The SS Tiger I in Normandy belonged to 101 sPz SS Abt and 102 SS sPz Abt.

The only Tiger Is that I can think in WaR of belonged to sPz 301 (Fkl) which had 31 rebuilt Tiger I acting as command vehicles for RC demolition vehicles (Bogward IV) and that was a Heer (army) unit.

So 1SS only had the loan of Tiger II in 501 SS sPz Abt and had had no Tiger I since leaving Russia.
Thanks -- I stand corrected. With your permission I would like to post this in the ASL Facebook group.
 

RandyT0001

Senior Member
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
837
Reaction score
812
Location
Memphis, TN
First name
Cary
Country
llUnited States
According to New Vanguard #1 the SS sPz Abt 501 reported the loss of 13 Tiger IIs during the December fighting and the status report from January 15th listed 31 Tiger IIs with 18 operational.
So SS sPz Abt 501 lost 13 Tiger IIs (destroyed by or captured by) to the Allied forces during the Battle of the Bulge. Of the remaining thirty two Tiger IIs in Abt 501 only 18 were operational, mobile with armament by January 15th. That means the other fourteen were damaged or immobilized by Allied forces but were awaiting repairs or crews in the rear area depot, correct?

And Paul said the 501 SS sPz Abt withdrew, after losing seven Tiger IIs while attached to KGP, with the 1SS to reorganize then re-engages in the vicinity of Bastogne, just two or three days later. The 501 SS sPz Abt lose another six Tiger IIs in combat from Bastogne until mid January, correct?
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,573
Reaction score
2,483
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
The Commonwealth renamed all the M4 tanks they received (they were also the ones to apply the General Sherman name to the vehicle).

M4 - Sherman I
M4A1 - Sherman II (also Canadian built copies were called Grizzly)
M4A2 - Sherman III - widely used by 1944
M4A3 - Sherman IV - rare if any use
M4A4 - Sherman V - widely used

The 105mm and 17-pounder variants (apparently the "Firefly" term was not common during the war, and at the least doesn't seem to appear in period documents) had their own designations, with the MA designated by a letter suffix.

Sherman Ib - M4 with 105mm howitzer
Sherman Ic - M4 with 17-pdr
Sherman Vc - M4A4 with 17-pdr

A number of Funnies were based on the Sherman chassis, usually the Sherman III but some Sherman V - The ARV Mk 1 was a Sherman III with turret removed and winch added for tank recovery. The US had a similar vehicle, the M32. This was based on the M4, but similar vehicles were based on other Sherman models, with different designations. The equivalent of the ARV Mk 1 in US service was the M32B2, based on the M4A2. The list I could come up with is here:

12639
 

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,706
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
I might as well add some trivia to Michael's post.

Only 188 Grizzly were built as US production was sufficient. They differed by the use of Canadian Dry Pin (CPD) tracks and drive sprocket and British radios as built. I'm not sure if any saw combat. A few were equipped with the 17lbr for training only. Most, about 2k, Grizzly chassis were used in the Sexton 25lbr SPG. The Grizzly was the hull used in the Skink AA variant (4 x 20L).

In addition to "B" for 105mm and "C" for the 17lbr, the suffix "A" was used for Shermans with the US 76mm. Some of those were used in Italy, likely mainly M4A1 (76) as Sherman IIA with possibly some M4A3 (76) as Sherman IVA. An additional suffix "Y" indicated the use of the later HVSS suspension, eg a Sherman IBY would be a M4 (105) with HVSS.

The US 76mm versions were taken to make up for the shortfall of 17lbr conversions and were only seen in Italy. Monty did not want 2 "can openers" in NWE and Italy was seen as the poor man's theatre. Later on more 17lbr conversions were shipped to Italy. Italy is one of the few places that M4A3 (Sherman IV) might have seen British service, in their 76mm form (Sherman IVA).

The British called the M4 with composite hull (cast front, welded elsewhere) the Sherman Hybrid I.

One thing that may seem strange is the ammo stowage for the Sherman IC and VC. As noted in the ASL notes the bow gunner was removed and extra 17lbr rounds were stored in his place. The were big buggers. The wrinkle is that they were very, very awkward to remove from inside. To get them to the gun they had to be unloaded through the bow gunner's hatch and then in through the turret hatches. So effectively they acted as a reserve pool that could be used to replenish the more accessible rounds during a combat lull.
 

dlazov

Elder Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
7,958
Reaction score
1,334
Location
Toledo, Ohio
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
Actually Paul, I created that thread your referring too, I wonder whatever happened to it, it was one of the longest and informative threads on GS.

It was called Stump Paul or don thing...
 

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,706
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
The one I am thinking of was named "Paul's Ponderous Pompous Pedantic Proclamations Patter and Platitudes". It covered things like design choices of engine placement, etc. Not tied to any vehicle or range. It disappeared at the last GS software upgrade.

The one you are likely thinking of was "Da Paul challenge". It's still up there at http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/da-paul-challenge.114213/post-1622316 and you did indeed start it. It had a lot of "What's this?". The two threads overlapped at times in terms of discussions, but your one got a lot more posts.
 

Vinnie

See Dummies in the index
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
16,614
Reaction score
2,369
Location
Aberdeen , Scotland
Country
llUnited Kingdom
Why would you remove the turret from a tank to make a gun tow vehicle?
Would this be done to use those turrets elsewhere?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top