why so high?

JoeArthur

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
220
Reaction score
135
Location
Broadstairs
Country
llUnited Kingdom
Saw this video, and its relevance to eye opening

I have only had the chance to climb into one WWII tank. The King Tiger (now on display at Bovington) when it was at the Shrivenham Royal Military College of Science. The tank had just been covered with Zimmerite and they would not let you climb on it. Access was through the drivers escape hatch in the tank floor, Try as I might I could not get my shoulders through...........
 

Tater

Elder Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
9,702
Reaction score
536
Location
Ardmore, TN
Country
llUnited States
This, and I would think that a 5'7" 125 lb (or so) 18-year-old would probably have an easier time with the task. Still, a very educational video.
I was going to mention this myself...during the early part of the 20th century the average height and weight for 17-20 year old males was easily 2-3 inches lower and several pounds lighter than today. If you noticed, the guy doing this video had a difficult time even getting in and sitting in the tanks. Also, it may be that in that era, the army actually looked for smaller framed lads to man their tanks for the very reason that space was at a premium.
 

Michael Dorosh

Elder Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
14,118
Reaction score
891
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
I was going to mention this myself...during the early part of the 20th century the average height and weight for 17-20 year old males was easily 2-3 inches lower and several pounds lighter than today. If you noticed, the guy doing this video had a difficult time even getting in and sitting in the tanks. Also, it may be that in that era, the army actually looked for smaller framed lads to man their tanks for the very reason that space was at a premium.
Anecdotal, but I thought the reason Michael Wittman went into assault guns was because of his size. I've heard similar stories on the Allied side.

I visited the tank museum in Canadian Forces Base Borden when I was on course there and the fellow guiding my tour let me jump into the driver's seat of a T-64. Very tight fit, and the fellow mentioned that was why the Soviets recruited smaller men specifically.
 

dlazov

Elder Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
7,545
Reaction score
870
Location
Toledo, Ohio
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
Last time I was in a M1A1 was when I was 24, I am still (kinda) 5’10, back then I was a buck seventy-five, at 52 I am not as “nimble“ as I was back then, and I have gained 25 pounds (not muscle) so for my age I am not in bad shape, but war is a young mans game, with my back and knees I have a hard enough time getting out of some cars. So to all the young dudes take Sgt. Roscos advice (which I regret I did not) and “don’t jump off the damn tanks in the motor pool on to the asphalt in dem boots!” And yes I wish I wore the ear protection too!

DAT still
 

Proff3RTR

Elder Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
609
Location
Cornwall
Country
llUnited Kingdom
So, while I like the video, and I used to watch the Chieftan's videos a lot when I played WOT, fire wasn't the only reason a tank had to be abandoned, correct?

I (without any knowledge whatsoever) would assume that a holed tank probably lost a crew member just from the shot that caused the hole. Maybe more. So the CS number in ASL has a lot to cover I'm thinking, plus making it a game event. Sometimes I think we over-analyze Squad Leader stuff.

JMO
Fire as stated is not the only thing to worry about if you take a penetrating hit, remember that most if not all projectiles create massive amounts of heat, this causes sympathetic combustion within the fighting compartment, also you will get a certain amount of splash-back from bits of the round that break off during penetration, add to this the main part of the round that is then flying/bouncing around inside the turret/fighting compartment, this is mincing the crew who have not got out fast (we are talking seconds here, if your tank is hit you need to be out very fast to avoid being burnt alive/minced/blown to kingdom come by a brew up or internal explosion.
I agree that ASL does get 'over-analysed' in a big way, it is after all a game, and can not hope to cover/cater for all battle field eventualities. But what it does, it does well, interesting comparison would be Sherman to a Pz IV, Pz IV has 5 hatches compared to the 3 for a Sherman, Pz IV crew has more of a chance to get out unless they suffer a 'K'Kill first round.

Last Tank I commanded was a CR2 (Challenger 2) she had 3 hatches, Driver hatch, and commanders & loaders hatches on top the Turret, gunner got out of the Commanders hatch normally, but could use Loaders if needed, Drivers is a bitch/near on impossible to get to from the turret unless the turret is facing 3 through to 8 o'clock.

all the best

Perry
 

Proff3RTR

Elder Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
609
Location
Cornwall
Country
llUnited Kingdom
As Don Lazov can tell you, no matter how "relatively easy" it looks, getting in/out of those things in a hurry is just no fun; banged knees, scraped knuckles, bumped heads and wrenched back and all - and that's wearing proper gear! However, properly motivated you can MOVE! I remember as a young trooper sitting in the gunners position when an engine fire extinguisher acidently discharged. The bang from the explosion had barely finished reverberating through the tank (M60A1/A3) before I was standing tall outside that hunck of iron before the tank commander's legs had even cleared his hatch. I swear I used the buttons on his uniform as hand-holds un-assing that baby!:eek::D
And I bet he had the imprint of your boot soles on his face!
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
21,060
Reaction score
5,200
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
compared to the 3 for a Sherman
In later Shermans there is a driver's hatch, an assistant driver's hatch, a cupola escape door and a turret hatch. There is also a belly hatch under the assistant driver. I think earlier Shermans may have had only one hatch on the turret.

JR

 

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,315
Reaction score
3,278
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
Yes, the early and mid production 75mm Shermans had only the commander's hatch. All 105mm and 76mm versions had 2 turret hatches as had the final 75mm versions. The version you showed has the episcope type hatch for the commander and the old 75mm AAMG ring commander's hatch for the loader. Many 76mm loader's hatches were the slightly smaller oval one piece hatch. There were all sorts of combination of episcope hatch, AAMG ring and oval hatches on 76mm turrets.

Note that the 105mm versions used the same basic turret as the 75mm but with a more bulged mantle and an extra oval turret hatch due to the extra bulk of the 105mm. The British cut an extra (loader's) hatch for their 17lbr Firefly conversions of 75mm turrets as well as adding an armoured bustle extension to hold the radios, again due to the bulk of the 17lbr.

One German vehicle that would appear to be "underhatched" was the Pz II with only a single turret top hatch. The driver could exit through the brake/transmission hatch just in front of his vision plate. The radio operator who sat just to the left rear of the turret had a vertical and horizontal panel that could be opened allowing him to crawl out over the engine compartment roof. All the Pz II, III and IV had brake/transmission access hatches, that though awkward, could be used as emergency exits.
 

klasmalmstrom

Forum Guru
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
16,053
Reaction score
2,539
Location
Sweden
Country
llSweden
I have only had the chance to climb into one WWII tank. The King Tiger (now on display at Bovington) when it was at the Shrivenham Royal Military College of Science. The tank had just been covered with Zimmerite and they would not let you climb on it. Access was through the drivers escape hatch in the tank floor, Try as I might I could not get my shoulders through...........
I was there in 1995 (for the ASL tournament) - I did not even bother to try to get in. :)
 

JoeArthur

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
220
Reaction score
135
Location
Broadstairs
Country
llUnited Kingdom
I was there in 1995 (for the ASL tournament) - I did not even bother to try to get in. :)
Apparently we did not miss much. I was talking to the people at Bovington and the tank had been gutted. They were complaining about it (they want to get it running again) and were wondering why on earth someone would do that.............
 
Last edited:

Proff3RTR

Elder Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
609
Location
Cornwall
Country
llUnited Kingdom
In later Shermans there is a driver's hatch, an assistant driver's hatch, a cupola escape door and a turret hatch. There is also a belly hatch under the assistant driver. I think earlier Shermans may have had only one hatch on the turret.

JR

Yep,

Completely forgot that the later Marks of Shermans had lots of hatches, thanks for reminding an ageing 'Tankie'

all the best

Perry
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
21,060
Reaction score
5,200
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
Completely forgot that the later Marks of Shermans had lots of hatches, thanks for reminding an ageing 'Tankie'
The earlier ones had four. The underbelly hatch was present on all models, as best I understand. The underbelly hatch was sometimes used to pick up wounded on the battlefield. One problem was that the turret basket interfered with access to the hull hatches for the turret crew.

JR
 

Proff3RTR

Elder Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
609
Location
Cornwall
Country
llUnited Kingdom
But what I would add to all these very good posts is the following, no matter how many hatches you have the actual fact your Tank has been hit will motivate you in getting out PDQ, however, lady luck will always decide what happens to the crew, you either get out or you don't, if say you are in a Cromwell & get hit by a Jagd Tiger I would put your chances of escaping as slim, due purely from the kinetic force the impact will impart of the Tank, the shock of such a hit would be devastating to say the least. But again this all comes down to where you get hit, what the round hits or goes through as it enters the Tanks internal space, and also if it enters and does not just hit and bounce off the armour or just sticks in the armour. clearly in the example I have given the chances of a 'bounce' are very small and not amount of 'Training' would save you from that fate.

Historically a classic example would be Wittmann, Total 'K' Kill on 007 his Tiger on the 8th August 44, good crew, very experienced and no one come out, and extreme case maybe, but it does I think highlight the point, easy access in and out of the Panzer, but the hit was so powerful they all went pretty much in one hit/brew up.
'Buck' Kite from my old mob 3 RTR is another example, a very good TC, MC with 3 bars IIRC and he was hit going over the crest line of hill 112, he told the crew they were going to be hit as he was ordered to advance by Major Bill Close who was being pressed by the CO of 3 RTR to 'get on' (really nice bloke, dead now but a nice man to talk to), they got ready for the 'Hit' and as Buck predicted within 30 meters of clearing the crest line they were hit, 3 of the crew managed to get out if my memory serves right, two of the crew did not, all who got out were very badly burnt. Now this was from a crew who knew or at least were pretty sure they were going to get hit and more than likely had all hatches open (4 on the Sherman Kite commanded) and so would of been waiting for it as it were, but still 2 died and the other 3 were hurt badly, lady luck strikes again.
Another example is Maj Bill Close himself, on the 18th July first day of Op Goodwood he told us on a battlefield tour of the Goodwood fight in 1991 that he had 4 Sherman's shot from under him that day! sod that for a laugh, he lost some of his crews but they kept on getting back on another Sherman and cracked on, Legend!

all the best

Perry
 

Eagle4ty

Elder Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
3,877
Reaction score
1,492
Location
Eau Claire, Wi
Country
llUnited States
The earlier ones had four. The underbelly hatch was present on all models, as best I understand. The underbelly hatch was sometimes used to pick up wounded on the battlefield. One problem was that the turret basket interfered with access to the hull hatches for the turret crew.

JR
The belly escape hatch has been standard for all U.S. manufactured tanks at least since the M3 "Grant". Located just below the driver (modern tanks) or slightly between the Driver and the A-Driver (older models), it greatly enhanced the safe egress of the forward crew compartment. Otherwise the forward crew would have to exit out their top hatches (not highly recommended in a firefight-see Deadeye Smoyer video) and perhaps inability to do so because of the location of the main gun at the time, or egress through the turret compartment which may entail trying to pass under the gun carriage dependent upon the position of the turret (also not highly recommended), a more time consuming process. In modern tanks, from the time the driver grabs the release handle on the hatch to full egress he should be out in 3-5 sec., a two man crew standard was 7-11 sec. IIRC (but it's been almost 50 years ago).
 

Proff3RTR

Elder Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
609
Location
Cornwall
Country
llUnited Kingdom
The belly escape hatch has been standard for all U.S. manufactured tanks at least since the M3 "Grant". Located just below the driver (modern tanks) or slightly between the Driver and the A-Driver (older models), it greatly enhanced the safe egress of the forward crew compartment. Otherwise the forward crew would have to exit out their top hatches (not highly recommended in a firefight-see Deadeye Smoyer video) and perhaps inability to do so because of the location of the main gun at the time, or egress through the turret compartment which may entail trying to pass under the gun carriage dependent upon the position of the turret (also not highly recommended), a more time consuming process. In modern tanks, from the time the driver grabs the release handle on the hatch to full egress he should be out in 3-5 sec., a two man crew standard was 7-11 sec. IIRC (but it's been almost 50 years ago).

The problem you get as you so rightly pointed out is location of the gun and also the turret cage, especially on some modern tanks, Chally 1 & 2 have this problem to a certain degree.
 

dlazov

Elder Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
7,545
Reaction score
870
Location
Toledo, Ohio
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
One last bit, we drilled like crazy in all weather and times of day to get out, when out in the field for long periods of time, you get fast. But fate has a its own take on things much like our game. Sometimes it’s snakes and sometimes it’s boxcars.
 

Proff3RTR

Elder Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
609
Location
Cornwall
Country
llUnited Kingdom
One last bit, we drilled like crazy in all weather and times of day to get out, when out in the field for long periods of time, you get fast. But fate has a its own take on things much like our game. Sometimes it’s snakes and sometimes it’s boxcars.
pretty much, casualty evacuation and just simple bailing out of a Tank was practised time & time again, but I do feel as that a lot of it would of been down to pure luck.
 

Ray Woloszyn

"Fire and Movement"
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
3,884
Reaction score
704
Location
Kernersville, NC
Country
llUnited States
Anecdotal, but I thought the reason Michael Wittman went into assault guns was because of his size. I've heard similar stories on the Allied side.
Hardly anecdotal, Michael. Many Russian accounts about their tankers as well as Otto Carius' book "Tigers in the Mud" mention that smaller men were often selected for tanks. WWII did not start out with "roomy" tanks such as a Tiger or T-26.
 

Eagle4ty

Elder Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
3,877
Reaction score
1,492
Location
Eau Claire, Wi
Country
llUnited States
Hardly anecdotal, Michael. Many Russian accounts about their tankers as well as Otto Carius' book "Tigers in the Mud" mention that smaller men were often selected for tanks. WWII did not start out with "roomy" tanks such as a Tiger or T-26.
IIRC the same thing applied for the paras (at least U.S.) where I believe 5-8 (?) was the preferred height. I seem to recall that most heights over 6 ft. would garner you an almost certain posting to a glider unit.
 

Proff3RTR

Elder Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2014
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
609
Location
Cornwall
Country
llUnited Kingdom
Hardly anecdotal, Michael. Many Russian accounts about their tankers as well as Otto Carius' book "Tigers in the Mud" mention that smaller men were often selected for tanks. WWII did not start out with "roomy" tanks such as a Tiger or T-26.
A Pz III is positively tiny inside, & a Pz I is ridiculous.
 
Top