From: Cologne, Germany
ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns
I think you’re confusing the findings of the report.
It only found the 76mm APC, M62 ammo unsatisfactory, the 76mm HVAP, T4 was not found to be unsatisfactory, but it did perform slightly below the performance of the 17lb ammo.
You really love the thought a Sherman usually fired HVAP, right?
Thing is, it usually didn't happen.
HVAP had quite some punch, I would not disagree there. But it wasn't distributed regularly to 76mm Shermans, there were really really low quantities (compared to the amounts of APC ammo) and these were restricted for use within tank destroyer units in the main, let alone the need for a different chamber size for some of the guns employed there. I can imagine that some Sherman units "organized" HVAP, but that was not standard practice.
Also the report specifically says:
Also, the performance of any ammunition in this test cannot be considered a criterion as to the range at which it will penetrate the front plate of a Panther tank...
so you can’t base any kind of penetrations or lack of penetrations achieved in this test with the official penetration tables other sources list.
I think I can. HVAP - in the main - wasn't available for Shermans. The Army didn't even use a Sherman gun, but a M5 AT gun to fire those M62 rounds. The M5 had a somewhat higher performance than the Sherman's M1 variants. So, if you consider this, and the fact that the M5 failed to penetrate the Panther glacis at 200 yards, then you can very well make conclusions about this particular APC round, means about the main (the only - for some units) armor piercing round available to the vast majority of Sherman 76mm crews and this tank's gun.
First apparently some of the ammo was sub standard and would have been rejected at official trials. At least I think they mean the ammo they used, it’s not very clear.
The M62 rounds that were not sub standard did not penetrate the Panther's glacis either.
Second the armor plate quality varied greatly for the three Panthers used. Two of the three were inferior plates and cracked far easier than Panther 1’s plate, which is apparently the Panther they used for tabulating most of their tests conclusions.
Cracking as in not penetrating, right? According to what I've read, it rather sounded like scratching and leaving dents only when firing the 76mm with APC.
You should also read this part of the report:
ORIGINAL: US Army Field Test
"The 17pdr APCBC is more effective against the front of a Panther tank than is the 76mm HVAP, T4. Its margin of superiority is not great. Neither one can be depended upon to penetrate the glacis plate in one fair hit on average quality plate."
The author Jentz found no evidence that German factories ever put sub-standard hardened/steel armor in their tanks. The Germans were really picky about their steel and its quality. There was even an office that had to verify each steel grade's quality, and some got rejected, until the quality requirement was met. Jentz states there are no indicators that would point towards the possibility that German steel grades could have deteriorated at later stages of the war. The German steel production maintainted a certain quality level all through the war.
ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns
The average ammo load for a Sherman saw about 2-5 rounds of HVAP, so Sherman’s did have the ability to use the ammo if needed. M10s and M18s got about 10-15 rounds of the stuff, so they definitely had more of it. But Regular Sherman’s were not without the stuff.
Having HVAP rounds in a Sherman was pretty much like as if it was x-mas. According to Zaloga some Sherman units never received any HVAP rounds, while others had around 2-3. If you consider that a Sherman needed 3-4 shots to hit a target at ~1000 meters, it's definetly like having zero HVAP.
Like I said, I stick to my statement above, HVAP was restricted to TD units in the main, so no, Shermans did not have the ability to use the ammo when needed/desired.
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 3/5/2010 6:51:33 PM >
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
8th of August, 2006