German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

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Richard Anderson
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 Nov 2016 17:13

Sheldrake wrote:Bruce C Clarke, when SACEUR, tried to raise the profile of the defence of st Vith with a very good set of stuidies and a documentary film.
Yes, General Clarke was still trying to raise that awareness shortly before he died. While he was easily tired he was still passionate about it when we interviewed him.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Don Juan
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Don Juan » 24 Dec 2016 20:06

Michael Kenny wrote: The problem has its roots in the far too optimistic calcualtion made for the expected US loss rate in Normandy. Whoever made the decision got it badly wrong and it took several months to start feeding extra replacements into the pipeline that would then start turning up in France in late 1944. British stocks of spare Shermans were huge. They had a more realistic view of tank casualties and were able to cover their losses comfortably. In December 1944 an emergency transfer of 350 odd M4 were made from British depots to US forces. US ADs were running at below TOE but all this is relative. The weakest US AD (or even a Tk Batt.) would dwarf any 1944-45 Pz Divison.
Actually, the problem went ever further back to the fact that the Americans had been over-estimating their tank holdings from the beginning of their entry into the war, and this was because they weren't writing off tanks when they were mileage-expired, but instead continuing to class them as "operational." The shortfall in US tank reserves in NWE was partly due to them under-estimating their potential combat losses, and partly due to them not being prepared for mileage overhauls. Ironically, the British twigged that this would be a problem long before Overlord, but continued to hold faith that the Americans would meet their supply commitments to the British, even at their own expense.

On the contrary, however, in order to build up US reserves, the British not only had to transfer their Sherman reserves to the US Army in the ETO, they also had to accept reduced M4 shipments from August 1944 onwards, and no M4 shipments at all from December 1944 until April 1945, except whatever reworked older models the Americans could spare for 17 pounder conversions.

There's a fair amount of detail on this here.
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
- 7th Armoured Brigade War Diary, 30th August 1941

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Dec 2016 18:32

Don Juan wrote:Actually, the problem went ever further back to the fact that the Americans had been over-estimating their tank holdings from the beginning of their entry into the war, and this was because they weren't writing off tanks when they were mileage-expired, but instead continuing to class them as "operational." The shortfall in US tank reserves in NWE was partly due to them under-estimating their potential combat losses, and partly due to them not being prepared for mileage overhauls. Ironically, the British twigged that this would be a problem long before Overlord, but continued to hold faith that the Americans would meet their supply commitments to the British, even at their own expense.
No, I have seen no evidence for such a belief. Instead, as early as January 1944, ETOUSA was identifying a potential shortfall in their tank holdings caused by the insufficient ASF-dictated replacement factor combined by multiple requirements and decreased production. Both the Soviets and the British were "bidding" heavily on American tank production for 1944 at the same time production of the Medium Tank M4 decreased due to retooling for production of the "ultimate" M4 and expectations of the proximate ending of the war.
On the contrary, however, in order to build up US reserves, the British not only had to transfer their Sherman reserves to the US Army in the ETO, they also had to accept reduced M4 shipments from August 1944 onwards, and no M4 shipments at all from December 1944 until April 1945, except whatever reworked older models the Americans could spare for 17 pounder conversions.
Um, no, exactly the opposite in fact. Between January and May a tussle ensued between ETOUSA and the War Department over fulfilling Lend-Lease obligations to the British. As of 30 May 1944, there were 2,331 Sherman tanks of all types on hand with troops and another 753 in depot reserves in England, against a T/O&E requirement of 1,765 and a reserve requirement of 309. However, only 83 more were “afloat” – that is, in route to England – and just 64 of those unloaded by 20 June. Thus, total ‘resources’ were 3,167. However of those 338 were committed as theater Lend-Lease transfers to Britain and 100 were committed to conversions as flame-throwers, reducing the total available to US forces to 2,729.

By 13 August 1944, the 12th Army Group made the first complete theater-wide report of the US tank situation. A total of 597 Medium Tank M4 (75mm & 76mm) had been written off (not "knocked out", but lost). At that time First Army (report of 122200 August) had 823 M-4 on hand, Third Army (report of 112200 August) had 1,261 on hand. Reserves consisted of 34 operational and 53 in repair at First Army (report of 092200 August), 89 operational at Third Army (report of 122200 August), and 292 “on the water” of which 108 were “off shore” – that is, ready to unload at the beaches. Total on hand with units to T/O&E was 2,084 to 2,123 or 98.2 percent, about the best situation since the start of the invasion. Total ‘resources’ were 2,552, a 19.4 percent decrease from 30 May.

Meanwhile, the British, just like the Americans, could only accept reduced shipments from August onward because of production realities. Those shipments were supplied by production of the first half of 1944, averaging just 901.93 Medium Tanks M4 per month as opposed to the previous half-yearly average of 1,555.67 per month. The argument back and forth between ASF in CONUS and the ETOUSA over whether a shortage actually existed lasted until December 1944, when the losses in the Ardennes made it abundantly clear there really was a shortage, forcing the decision to curtail Lend-Lease shipments to make up the shortfall. It also didn't help that the British wanted Medium Tank M4 models easily convertible to Sherman 17-pdr (M4 and M4A4), while the US forces wanted production priority on M4 76mm and 105mm models (M4 105mm, M4A2 76mm, and M4A3 76mm and 105mm), which were not convertible. The only transfer of British reserves to American hands was in 1945 and was intended to solve the shortfall as exacerbated by the losses in the Ardennes. As a result, 351 Medium Tanks M4 of various types, including M4A2 and M4A4, were transferred from 21st Army Group reserves to 12th Army Group in January 1945.
There's a fair amount of detail on this here.
In a history of Comet?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Delta Tank » 04 Jan 2017 19:04

To all,

If a unit got some M4A2s, it had a Diesel engine IIRC, how did that unit get adequate supplies of fuel for those tanks?

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Jan 2017 19:32

Delta Tank wrote:To all,

If a unit got some M4A2s, it had a Diesel engine IIRC, how did that unit get adequate supplies of fuel for those tanks?

Mike
From the same logistics train that supplied Diesel to the Engineer's tractors, the Tank Destroyer's 3" M10 GMC, and various other Diesel-based engines in the ETOUSA.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Delta Tank » 05 Jan 2017 02:20

Yep! Forgot about the M-10 and engineer equipment. I think today they are down to one fuel in a battalion. When I was in everything was diesel except electric generators and air compressors, we only carried 600 gallons of gasoline in the everything else was diesel.

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Dunnigan » 05 Jan 2017 05:46

Delta Tank wrote:Yep! Forgot about the M-10 and engineer equipment. I think today they are down to one fuel in a battalion. When I was in everything was diesel except electric generators and air compressors, we only carried 600 gallons of gasoline in the everything else was diesel.

Mike
Per Wikipedia for the M4A2: "No US Army combat use except for DD conversions for the Omaha landings."

So all the tank battalions except the tank companies with DD's were using gasoline engined M4's.

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Jan 2017 05:58

Dunnigan wrote:
Per Wikipedia for the M4A2: "No US Army combat use except for DD conversions for the Omaha landings."

So all the tank battalions except the tank companies with DD's were using gasoline engined M4's.
IIRC, Per the battalion AARs none were M4A2. A few appear to have been used as tank dozers, but otherwise it was the postBulge Brit supplied M4A2.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Dunnigan » 07 Jan 2017 20:06

Richard Anderson wrote:
Dunnigan wrote:
Per Wikipedia for the M4A2: "No US Army combat use except for DD conversions for the Omaha landings."

So all the tank battalions except the tank companies with DD's were using gasoline engined M4's.
IIRC, Per the battalion AARs none were M4A2. A few appear to have been used as tank dozers, but otherwise it was the postBulge Brit supplied M4A2.
Good to know. I was certain there were no diesel Shermans in the US Army but wanted to doublecheck before I posted so I did a quick check of wikipedia which revealed the quote. I didn't delve deeper but thanks for breaking that down.

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Texas Jäger » 18 Jul 2022 21:57

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Nov 2016 20:03
Cult Icon wrote:You mean: 2,300 + 400 + 800 = ~3,500+
Sorry, yes, 3,634. Still not half.
Napier gives 2,700 + for Normandy
Who dat and what are his sources? My US figures are from the monthly accounting by the AFV&W Section, ETOUSA. The British figures are from the RAC monthly accounting.
Bergstrom: Thus, it can be calculated that the Americans lost up to 2,000 armored vehicles during the Ardennes Battle—about 1,200 tanks (up to 900 Sherman and more than 300 light tanks), 150 tank destroyers, 450 armored cars and 150 self-propelled guns."
Sorry, but with apologies to Christer, he somehow made a hash of those figures, even though I helped him with the data. The actually figures for First and Third Army are as I gave them. For First Army it is 299 Medium M4 75mm, 113 Medium M4 76mm, and 108 Light M5 = 520. I did neglect the 20 Medium M4 105mm though. For Third Army it was 72 M4 75mm, 158 M4 76mm, 38 Light M5, and 3 M4 105mm = 271.
I selected these three due to the above-average concentrations of german armor in these areas. Lorraine was meant to be a major panzer counterattack like those periodically executed on the Eastern Front.
Say what? How are they "above-average"? What is "average"? Just how was "Lorraine...meant to be a major panzer counterattack" and what were all those "periodically executed on the Eastern Front"?
No M24 Chaffee or M8 losses? Or being a howitzer carriage would the latter be listed separately?

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Jul 2022 22:17

Texas Jäger wrote:
18 Jul 2022 21:57
No M24 Chaffee or M8 losses? Or being SPG would the latter be listed separately?
No Light Tanks M24 were lost in the Ardennes battles, but then only two or so were engaged. :D Otherwise, FUSA lost 14, TUSA lost 32, and NUSA lost 33. Fifth US Army in Italy also lost 7 and Seventh US Army lost some, but I do not have a record for that. ETOUSA reported the loss of 226 75mm HMC M8.
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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Texas Jäger » 18 Jul 2022 23:48

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Jul 2022 22:17
Texas Jäger wrote:
18 Jul 2022 21:57
No M24 Chaffee or M8 losses? Or being SPG would the latter be listed separately?
No Light Tanks M24 were lost in the Ardennes battles, but then only two or so were engaged. :D Otherwise, FUSA lost 14, TUSA lost 32, and NUSA lost 33. Fifth US Army in Italy also lost 7 and Seventh US Army lost some, but I do not have a record for that. ETOUSA reported the loss of 226 75mm HMC M8.
Fair enough, I even remember you telling the story of how those two were hijacked from Sprimont 😂

Didn’t the 759th TB with 4th Cav in the Ardennes have Chaffee’s too tho?

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Re: German ETO destroyed armor 1944-1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Jul 2022 05:04

Texas Jäger wrote:
18 Jul 2022 23:48
Fair enough, I even remember you telling the story of how those two were hijacked from Sprimont 😂

Didn’t the 759th TB with 4th Cav in the Ardennes have Chaffee’s too tho?
I cover the issue in For Purpose of Service Test (hope to be published soon).

The 740th TB picked up two of the M24 intended for the 744th TB on 19 December and kept them through February, Forty had arrived, twenty for First Army and twenty for Ninth Army, but the German offensive screwed up the delivery. Oddly enough, that meant the 759th, which was supposed to get some of the first M24, never got any until after V-E Day, when it for four.. The 4th Cavalry Mechanized Squadron got eight at the end of January.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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