The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

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Sheldrake
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Mar 2018 10:28

yantaylor wrote:Going on some of the data knocking around, the best towed anti-tank gun from 1939/40 was the US 37mm M3.

37mm M3
58mm @ 500m @ 30°

Canon De 47 Antichar SA Modèle 1937
50mm @ 500m @ 30°

QF 2 pdr
47mm @ 500m @ 30°

37mm Type 01
44mm @ 500m @ 30°

45mm M.1937
43mm @ 90° @ 500m

47/32 Modello 35
35mm @ 500m @ 30°

37mm m/36 Bofors
33mm @ 500m @ 30°

3.7cm Pak 36
31mm @ 500m @ 30°

By the way does anyone have similar states on the Belgian FRC 47mm anti-tank gun?

Yan.
One missing from this list

3" 20 cwt AA using shot no 2 - penetration in at 90 degrees 87mm @500m 67mm @1000. (Not quite sure of the provenance - its quoted here https://wiki.warthunder.com/index.php?t ... nch_20_cwt)

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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Gooner1 » 28 Mar 2018 16:06

Urmel wrote:I’m not ignoring it, I’m putting it in context.

Leadership is more than one man. The whole system was rotten. One individual’s brilliance was not enough to rescue it.
Couldn't disagree with you more. The whole system was fundamentally sound. The problem was with a number of individuals of whom the Commander-in-Chief was, uh, chief. And some of the materiel, obviously.
Last edited by Gooner1 on 28 Mar 2018 16:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Gooner1 » 28 Mar 2018 16:21

Urmel wrote: I’m not aware of the mediums being much engaged.
Well you are now :P . I'm surprised the German war diaries didn't mention being under fire from British medium artillery. It wasn't a common occurrence.
What do you take from this engagement anyway, that the 25-pdr could make an effective anti-tank gun? I think we all knew that, but when used as such it came with the price of reduced effectiveness in its prime role.

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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by yantaylor » 28 Mar 2018 19:52

Hi Sheldrake, I should have stated the calibres because I was trying to keep between 37mm and 47mm, which was the main calibre for most anti-tank guns before 1941.

Didn't the French have a version of the 7.5cm modèle 1897 called the modifié 1933?
I am not sure about the stats on this gun and if it was a better tank killer then ones above.

Yan.

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Urmel
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Urmel » 28 Mar 2018 20:05

Gooner1 wrote:
Urmel wrote:I’m not ignoring it, I’m putting it in context.

Leadership is more than one man. The whole system was rotten. One individual’s brilliance was not enough to rescue it.
Couldn't disagree with you more. The whole system was fundamentally sound. The problem was with a number of individuals of whom the Commander-in-Chief was, uh, chief. And some of the materiel, obviously.
A considerable number of individuals who should never have been put where they were. That's not the mark of a fundamentally sound system.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 28 Mar 2018 20:10

Well you are now :P .
To be fair, there is not too much in the 68 Med Regt war diary.
WO169-1494 - 68 Med Regt - 25 Nov 41.JPG
According to the SA OH there were a variety of engagements and a variety of Commonwealth arty involved not just mediums, but also 25-pdrs, 2-pdrs and also LAA.

Regards

Tom
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Urmel
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Urmel » 28 Mar 2018 20:26

Gooner1 wrote:
Urmel wrote: I’m not aware of the mediums being much engaged.
Well you are now :P . I'm surprised the German war diaries didn't mention being under fire from British medium artillery. It wasn't a common occurrence.
Well you might want to read up on the events of the day. What happened with 68 Medium was the second attack by PR5. What I referred to was the first one, on 1st Field Regiment, where they took heavier losses.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Gooner1
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Gooner1 » 29 Mar 2018 16:03

Tom from Cornwall wrote: To be fair, there is not too much in the 68 Med Regt war diary.
Thanks for posting. Disappointingly terse entry, Its not everyday that a medium artillery unit gets to engage tanks over open sights.

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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Gooner1 » 29 Mar 2018 16:12

Urmel wrote:A considerable number of individuals who should never have been put where they were. That's not the mark of a fundamentally sound system.
Auchinleck stands first among the considerable number of the individuals who should never have been put where they were. The rest of them were mostly Auchinlecks appointments!

To gauge what a truly rotten system was like you only have to look at the French Army of 1940 or the Red Army.

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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Urmel » 29 Mar 2018 17:39

I’m not the one claiming the system was sound. You are. Glad we agree despite your whataboutism that it wasn’t.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by ClintHardware » 29 Mar 2018 22:09

For those bashing senior British Officers - yes a lot went wrong and then a lot was learnt.

No one is taking account of the bed rocks that made situations work or savable: 1) the RASC that saved many situations, 2) The Royal Signals which performed well with F.A. for a lot of the time (yes there were a few failings along the way - nothing massive that lost Egypt), 3) the Special Wireless Sections decrypting Auklarung Abteilung 3, 33, Artillerie Regimenter 33 and 75, Seebohm's mob, and other units in the field from March 1941 onwards, and then 4) the Royal Engineers, and 5) the ROAC workshops once they got the resources needed. All of these made future action possible in the face of serious losses in the field.

Harding took control of CYRCOM as a Lieutenant-Colonel for a couple of days - that was logic and training in practice in the face of adversity.

The Special Wireless Groups do not appear on Orders of Battle (correct me if you know better) but recently I keep finding them and what they were 'Seebohming'.

If you can't accept the above - I am not bothered.
Imperialism and Re-Armament NOW !

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Don Juan
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Don Juan » 15 Apr 2018 17:05

ClintHardware wrote:Tom, the KWK 38 L/42 was able to deliver about twice or two thirds more kinetic energy compared to the 2 Pdr at all combat ranges. I have forgotten the energy kinetic figures I worked out years ago as an indicative scale (only indicative).

The 2-Pdr was thus less likely to cause the same extent of damage to pantsers than the KWK 38 could cause to British tanks at every range. But obviously that depended on many other things including the composition of the armour, angle of impact and projectile shatter (if any).
Not really sure about this argument. The purpose of AP was to burst/ricochet within the fighting compartment and ideally ignite something flammable i.e. get the tank to destroy itself, rather than cause damage through kinetic energy. I think the kinetic energy aspect might be more important in a non-penetrating hit e.g. in encouraging internal flaking.

The crucial difference between the Panzer III and British tanks was the face hardened armour of the former. Even if no 6 pounder was available, the British could have profitably responded by adding 20mm of rolled homogenous armour to the front plates of the Crusader and Valentine. The Soviets did this with the latter tank very successfully (see here) and there was no reason that the British couldn't.
"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: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Don Juan » 15 Apr 2018 17:33

ClintHardware wrote: I encountered a unit war diary recently that referred to using some 2-Pdr APHE in June 1941 so some was still available but that the majority of rounds being fired by British tank crews and British and Commonwealth anti-tank units was apparently the fully solid and inert 2-Pdr A.P. Shot. The APHE was no longer issued to frontline units in order that the slight penetration advantage of a solid AP-Shot was available.
I was under the impression that the AP had a significant penetration advantage over the APHE, but I have seen no comparative figures. It appears that many of the APHE rounds were filled with sand to be used as practice ammunition, and a number of these were discovered by 7th Armoured Brigade prior to Crusader. I also suspect that some of these practice rounds (referred to as "plugged shell") were issued to 1st Armoured Division prior to their move to France AND SUBSEQUENTLY USED IN ACTION, hence contributing to the poor reputation of APHE. The reason that these rounds would have been sent to France is that 1st Armoured Division thought they were being sent there to continue their training, and not directly into action.
ClintHardware wrote: However some discussion was taking place about using it against anti-tank guns (Blagden's report IIRC) where the small HE element might detonate after penetrating the gun shield to eliminate the crew. So far I have not seen any evidence that it happened in action and have not seen any deliberate choice between 2-Pdr APHE and 2-Pdr A.P. Shot because of a type of target.
This was first mentioned in a report by Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. Barlow of GSD 5, GHQ Cairo, following Crusader, although William Blagden may have mentioned it in one of his subsequent reports. Barlow was inspired by the clean holes made in an 88mm gun shield from a Matilda mounted 2 pdr.
ClintHardware wrote: The data is of Complete Rounds that had past inspection and all were "Home" deliveries which I imagine is to UK depots for issue onwards to units. None of the numbers below were quoted in the Overseas Delivery column. The dates and types (if there were no other sources) seem to be the base line to include or exclude specific types from specific actions and time would have been taken in shipping to overseas theatres, if at all. Thousands of rounds were produced after these dates but I wanted to give you at least the first quantities in the first quarters they were issued in the UK.

Gun............Amn.........1st Prod Qnty...First Qtr Issued
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-Pdr...........HE..........20,000 .........July-Sept 42
2-Pdr.......... APCBC......4,000...........Jan - Mar 43
2-Pdr.......... SV...........5,000...........Jan - Mar 43
No 2 pdr HE or APCBC made its way to the Middle East before the end of hostilities. The HE shell had existed for some time (i.e. since before the war) but had only been suited to the cartridge for the naval 2 pounder. The cartridge case for the tank/anti-tank gun was therefore modified in order to accept this shell. These were only supposed to be supplied to India, Australia and South Africa, although they were later issued to 21 Army Group. I've no idea why they didn't go to the Middle East, although the production figures I've seen indicate a later production start than indicated here.
ClintHardware wrote: Dili asked about 2-Pdr HV (the extra propellant charge in the cartridge case) being present - I'll check my notes later this week. Not sure I have a definite answer in respect of in the field rather than sitting in a UK depot. I hope it got into the field.
The 2 pounder HV, in which the MV was increased from 2600-2650 fps to 2800-2850 fps was available in the Middle East from June 1942 onwards. I believe the 50 fps variation in the MV figures is dependent on whether it was measured from a new barrel or quarter-worn one.
"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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Don Juan
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by Don Juan » 15 Apr 2018 17:44

Gooner1 wrote:Churchill must take a big part of the blame for the anti-tank/tank gun deficit in the mid-Desert period. It was his decision in Summer 1940 to keep the 2-pdr in production instead of tooling up for 6-pdr manufacture as recommended by the Bartholomew Committee.
I am getting more and more sympathetic to the idea that the civilian leadership was more to blame for the early poor results in the desert than the military leadership, but I think this was more to do with the pressure exerted to undertake operations with poor preparation and inadequate material in quantity rather than comparative material quality. The three major British offensives that proved successful - Compass, Crusader, El Alamein - were the ones that had included comprised the longest periods of preparation. Anything improvised, or semi-improvised, in order to meet pressure from London invariably went badly.
"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

yantaylor
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Re: The German 50 mm. Tank Gun and the Crusader Problems

Post by yantaylor » 15 Apr 2018 20:52

Could some of the blame be down to how the British formed their armoured brigades?
Each armoured brigade circa 1940 had three armoured regiments and only one motorised Infantry battalion, which shows that these units where short on Infantry.

Yan.

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