Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

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Antediluvian_Monster
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Antediluvian_Monster »

ORIGINAL: Malevolence
ORIGINAL: Antediluvian_Monster

The US DOD defintion for howitzer is a low or high trajectory cannon firing at medium velocities, with length normally between L/20 and L/30. Per that, the M81 gun/launcher on Sheridan is indeed technically a howitzer. Or perhaps a gun-mortar, since the weapon seems to be shorter than normal howitzer ("gun-" because normal mortar per DOD is indirect fire and muzzle-loading).

Other examples of post war "howitzers" would be the low pressure gun on BMP-1 and the 60mm gun-mortar on some AML armoured cars.

Overall I tend to see the large distinction between high velocity guns and howitzers as excessive and too "Brits in the Western Desert circa 1941" who fielded tank guns that were either high velocity and were issued with only AP solid shot or low velocity and issued with HE. Even British eventually started mixing ammo loadouts. Post-war high performance HEAT warheads, lighter gun mounts and better recoil compensators completely change the game by '60s, and we get stuff like 6 ton armoured cars with 90mm 750 m/s MV guns capable of knocking out most battle tanks of their day at any range.

Sorry, but not true. I mean that in the nicest internet way possible. [:)]

An elephant has a tail. A cat has a tail. Therefore a cat is an elephant. [;)]

I recommend you not focus on one, specific, component and wikipedia-like definitions of the weapon systems. Google-knowledge is not enough.

Field artillery includes troopers who employ cannons, rockets, and missile systems.

Infantry and Armor includes troopers who employ cannons, rockets, and missile systems.

Despite this, a cannoneer and tank gunner perform different duties using different systems--fire control systems, quadrants, firing tables, sights, etc. The procedures, methods, and systems, in total, they use are not the same, despite the cannon tube. Cannoneers use guns and howitzers, for example. Tank gunners use guns, but do not use howitzers.

These details include some incredibly boring stuff like ammunition design, safety, risk, rules, inter-service rivalry, training, etc.

Six Sheridans are not a battery of howitzers. Two Sheridans are not a howitzer section.

When performing Table VIII with the M551A1, does the crew respond to a call for fire? No.

The M81E1 rifled 152 mm gun/launcher is not a howitzer. It is a total system with much more than just a cannon tube.

Bottom line, if you call it a howitzer, professionals think you sound ignorant of all those other details. That said, we aren't just in Kansas anymore.


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Bit too much unnecessary noise in that post to take it very seriously, but you seem to be saying that howitzer is, per some definition you are using but not citing*, a weapon exclusive to the artillery arm?

How about 105mm Howitzer M4, used on few variants of the M4 Sherman tank?

*Incidentally mine was Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
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Malevolence
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

ORIGINAL: Antediluvian_Monster

Bit too much unnecessary noise in that post to take it very seriously, but you seem to be saying that howitzer is, per some definition you are using but not citing*, a weapon exclusive to the artillery arm?
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ORIGINAL: Antediluvian_Monster

How about 105mm Howitzer M4, used on few variants of the M4 Sherman tank?
Or the AMX-D30 Vulcano. You're proving my point. But, do you know why?
ORIGINAL: Antediluvian_Monster

*Incidentally mine was Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
Sorry, but I think you googled something wrong.

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Antediluvian_Monster
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Antediluvian_Monster »

Unofortunately, it seems like I can't post links due to having registered recently. I took the document off CIA webpage. Your's seems to be a more recent and more contracted one.

"howitzer — 1. A cannon that combines certain characteristics of guns and mortars. The howitzer
delivers projectiles with medium velocities, either by low or high trajectories. 2. Normally
a cannon with a tube length of 20 to 30 calibers; however, the tube length can exceed 30
calibers and still be considered a howitzer when the high angle fire zoning solution permits
range overlap between charges. See also gun; mortar."
demiare
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by demiare »

ORIGINAL: Antediluvian_Monster

The howitzer delivers projectiles with medium velocities, either by low or high trajectories.

Do you know what it's mean, right? Because seems you are not.
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Malevolence
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

Let's turn this discussion back around to fun. Howitzer's blasting stuff in direct fire mode. King of Battle, balls to the Queen.

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boomboomf22
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by boomboomf22 »

Part of my problem vis-a-vis Howitzer vs High Velocity gun is that IRL a high velocity gun is not going to be worse at anti-infantry work even assuming ww2 tech and same diameter shell. I think the best example of this in action would be the early STuG vs later models or the PzIV f1 vs the PzIV f2. After the change was made from short barrel inf support 75mm guns to long barrel ones they were significantly better at AT roles and I have never read anywhere that their performance against infantry suffered from the upgrade.

The reason to want to mount a shorter weapon for infantry support is because with a lower velocity short weapon is it is cheaper, lighter and potentially can use a smaller turret ring than a HV gun so you can go for a bigger gun per weight and turret ring size. So like on the crusaders the Brits fielded they had a 2pdr (40mm) or 6pdr (57mm) AT gun (depending on model) whereas the Close Support tank mounted a 3 inch (76.2mm) short gun. Additionally it can be a factor of gun design. Especially on the Brit tanks due to doctrine their HV guns often were not issued HE ammo, and the HE for the guns was often pretty crappy. The 2pdr HE especially was considered mostly useless.

Plus because shell volume is a curve, not a straight line it can be considered worthwhile to sacrifice you AT capacity for better HE if the primary task is infantry support. So like a 80mm shell is going to have much more than double the explosive volume of a 40mm shell.

So as it stands our scientists universally seem incapable of designing a good shell for our high velocity guns.

My proposed solution to this (assuming Vic wants to model reality rather than just game mechanics) would be to have Howitzers get a nerf to hard attack, but weight and cost less than HV guns so that there is an incentive to build them on dedicated inf support units (I am currently rping this right now using the unit quality settings and making my inf support units be low quality) but make the cost of mounting HV guns worth the choice when significant armored warfare is encountered.

I don't know if that will make howitzers worth mounting in a inf support role or they will disappear past the mid-game as short barreled weapons on proper tanks mostly have IRL but I think it still is better than HV guns being crappy against Inf and thus my read is that most players just stick with big howitzers until other weapons (Lasers, etc) exist.
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Malevolence
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

Perhaps thinking about the tank model as possessing "one gun" is a mental stumbling block.

The design stats represent the whole vehicle (i.e. model), not just the one named weapon system.

I will refrain from another lecture. Short version, it's the not the main gun that makes a tank adept at killing soft targets--in both offense and defense. Remember, it's not carrying shells purpose-built for fragmentation.
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Antediluvian_Monster
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Antediluvian_Monster »

ORIGINAL: boomboomf22

Plus because shell volume is a curve, not a straight line it can be considered worthwhile to sacrifice you AT capacity for better HE if the primary task is infantry support. So like a 80mm shell is going to have much more than double the explosive volume of a 40mm shell.

Specifically it's 80^3÷40^3= 8 times as much mass. Presuming the shell designs are otherwise identical. There are other considerations, of course, such as rate of fire, blast radius (scales by square root of burster weight), range, penetration and fragmentation ability (e.g. a very light gun would have trouble with any kind of fortifications).
ORIGINAL: Malevolence

I will refrain from another lecture. Short version, it's the not the main gun that makes a tank adept at killing soft targets--in both offense and defense. Remember, it's not carrying shells purpose-built for fragmentation.

Nothing wrong with lectures, provided they are made clearly and respectfully.

I presumed the reason why the HV tanks retain any soft attack was that they were assumed to have some sort of machinegun.

What do you mean by "not-purpose built for fragmentation"? Do you mean the considerations for HV gun's HE rounds (as I understand there is generally a need for thicker shell walls due to higher pressures invloved) tend to push such ammunition away from a sweet spot for anti-personnel fragmentation ability?
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Malevolence
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

ORIGINAL: Antediluvian_Monster

What do you mean by "not-purpose built for fragmentation"? Do you mean the considerations for HV gun's HE rounds (as I understand there is generally a need for thicker shell walls due to higher pressures invloved) tend to push such ammunition away from a sweet spot for anti-personnel fragmentation ability?

I think the Brits developed the correct ratios and everyone else copied them. Don't hold my feet to the fire on that one. The point is, as you said, fragmentation rounds are designed to cause the ubiquitous casualties we see in the movies (without all the movie fireballs). Although Marshall's research has been found lacking rigor at best, and fabricated at worst, there is enough other evidence to support the effectiveness of small, casualty producing, shrapnel. We can ignore the even sexier DPICM, etc. and stick to basics here.

As someone else mentioned, sorry I forgot where or who, HE rounds (HEAT), are shaped charges--sometimes multi-staged shaped charges. HEAT is great against an IFV, like a BMP, or a BTR. It's not the correct tool against soft targets, even if it does work in a pinch.

Different nations have sometimes tried to make the hybrids work, but they have never stuck for good reasons. You have to make too many compromises.

Finally, to keep it under TLDR, tanks carry few main gun and auto-cannon rounds. The crew doesn't waste them on trivial soft targets unless it's the method of last resort.

Tanks (and IFVs) do, however, carry highly mobile, protected, and better accurized machine guns at 12.7mm and below. A coaxial MG fired using a fire control system and high magnification sight is very nice indeed. 😎

Plus, the crew can move on the battlefield and fire the weapons from better protection relative to other MG employing platforms.

Most importantly, they carry more MG ammunition relative to other platforms. More quarters to spend on the game means more dead and wounded enemy.

MG ammunition is relatively heavy when dealing with combat loads. For a "jeep" the weight matters. For an infantry MG section it's a hellish (but beloved) burden. For a tank, it's trivial. You store spares on the exterior.

Tank crewmen refer to infantry troops (or anyone outside the tank) as "crunchies" for good reason---but they don't waste precious main gun rounds on them.

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boomboomf22
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by boomboomf22 »

[/quote]
Malevolence
As someone else mentioned, sorry I forgot where or who, HE rounds (HEAT), are shaped charges--sometimes multi-staged shaped charges. HEAT is great against an IFV, like a BMP, or a BTR. It's not the correct tool against soft targets, even if it does work in a pinch.

[/quote]

Actually HE isn't HEAT. HE stands for High Explosive and in a shell relying on fragmentation and shock and blast effects to inflict personal casualties. The ratio of which (shock vs fragmentation) is dependent on shell design. It is not a shaped charge at all.

HEAT is High Explosive Anti-Tank. It is a shaped charge using those principles to achieve non-velocity based armor penetration. Thus HEAT (after it was developed) was the goto AT round for low velocity guns, and has been adapted for modern HV guns because the AP rounds will often overpenetrate lightly armored vehicles causing minimal damage.

Additionally there is High Explosive Squash Head developed by the brits, but I have no clue how that type of shell performs.
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

ORIGINAL: boomboomf22
ORIGINAL: Malevolence
As someone else mentioned, sorry I forgot where or who, HE rounds (HEAT), are shaped charges--sometimes multi-staged shaped charges. HEAT is great against an IFV, like a BMP, or a BTR. It's not the correct tool against soft targets, even if it does work in a pinch.

Actually HE isn't HEAT. HE stands for High Explosive and in a shell relying on fragmentation and shock and blast effects to inflict personal casualties.
Ok, next time I will mention HEAT instead---especially when mentioning something that someone else wrote somewhere else. [:D]

And to add to your point, HE does mean high explosive, but not necessarily fragmentation. There are all kinds of rounds of many sizes that use "HE" in the name (as opposed to AP), but have other qualities.

My favorite is HEI-T, among many favorites. In auto-cannons, a very fun round to use. You might not know all the effects of explosives and how they kill people, but fragmentation isn't required. Fragmentation is nice to have in area of effect. It produces more casualties relative to its costs.

As a rule of thumb, HE in the name only implies chemical explosive--not exclusively fragmentation--and AP implies kinetic projectile. However, you can mix and match to good effect.

A designer needs to purpose build a round for good fragmentation effects. Maybe you missed that part in the previous post.

Finally, I'll add this for all the logistics lovers. As a national military, en masse, you want your ammunition stocks to run like any good retailer. You want to keep enough on the shelf to give customers meaningful choices, but not so many that they kill your supply chain. Everyone doesn't get match-grade or hand produced rifle ammunition (but some do).


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boomboomf22
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by boomboomf22 »

Vis-a-vis HE not always having a frag component by design sure I'll concede that. However (and this may not apply in modern shell design IDK I'm more familiar with ww2) all HE shells are going to cause fragmentation to a degree. Hence my comment as to the ratio shock and blast effects to frag damage. And I am aware of many of the effects of close proximity explosions on the human body, which range from shock waves causing tearing and organ damage to dismemberment. As well as more esoteric COD like the fact that sometimes people who are outside the radius of the shock wave from the explosion suffer sudden neurological and organ failure. There is a name for the last one but can't remember what it is and can't be arsed to look it up as it is 2am here.
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Soar_Slitherine »

ORIGINAL: boomboomf22

Part of my problem vis-a-vis Howitzer vs High Velocity gun is that IRL a high velocity gun is not going to be worse at anti-infantry work even assuming ww2 tech and same diameter shell.
That was my starting assumption too, but apparently, post-war US tests found that the HE shells for the 76mm high-velocity gun introduced in 1944 to upgrade M4 Shermans with better anti-tank capability had 40% less fragmentation effect compared to the older, shorter-barreled 75mm gun. Seems the stricter engineering requirements involved in firing the faster shell really mattered.
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by boomboomf22 »

Interesting, hadn't seen anything on that, but haven't done a huge amount of searching on the subject. However still doesn't account for HV armed tanks being pretty crap vs inf in game, esp as the fragmentation is only one of the casualty causing effects of HE.

Basically what I am arguing for is HV tanks still being capable in the anti-infantry role whereas right now they really aren't. If we want to use examples I would point to the disappearance of infantry support tanks with short barreled weapons, with that role largely being folded over into IFVs, and even then most IFVs with larger guns (60mm or greater) are still reasonably high velocity weapons.

EX: Taking the German close support 75mm and comparing it to a modern similar size weapon in the same role
75-mm KwK L/24 (PzIV f1) 385m/s (for AP, couldn't find number on HE shell, I assume it is probably similar)
D-56-TS (76 mm) (PT-76B) 680m/s (HE-frag velocity)

Unfortunately I cannot find any stats on modern weapons (like, I can find effective range and stuff, but velocity is universally missing and I can only put so much effort into an internet discussion), so that is why I have gone all the way back to the PT-76 (and I had to go to the dubious source of War Thunder for the velocity at that)

And I would note that most modern Infantry Support vehicles have moved away from larger guns to autocannons and MGs for the ROF and suppression value over the explosive value of those weapons.
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

IFV's aren't wasting auto-cannon ammunition on infantry unless they must.

While you're considering all engineering data, maybe buy a cup, and drink a nice hot cup of tea or coffee?

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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Twotribes »

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

IFV's aren't wasting auto-cannon ammunition on infantry unless they must.

While you're considering all engineering data, maybe buy a cup, and drink a nice hot cup of tea or coffee?

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Why not their piddle little 20 and 30 mm guns don't even routinely kill other IFV's or APC's.
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

Why not their piddle little 20 and 30 mm guns don't even routinely kill other IFV's or APC's.

Can you elaborate on this assertion?
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by PaxMondo »

But Malo's comments on limited main gun rounds is still accurate and valid: the load outs are precious and it is hard to allocate even one round to soft targets. the coax is the weapon of choice there and as also noted, the ammo for that is (can be) relatively unlimited.
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by zgrssd »

ORIGINAL: demiare
ORIGINAL: zgrssd

And guns do differ, in part wich shells are avalible

Yes, caliber isn't only gun's stat.
ORIGINAL: zgrssd
"Modern" guns are jsut always AT guns, unless it is a anti-infantry vehicle.

No, you're wrong here. Modern tank guns aren't rifled to increase their longevity (APDS shells are quite literally eating barrels) and allow to use guided missiles at cost of some long-range accuracy (isn't important as they're rarely used for indirect fire). British are exception, possibly because they thought to use their tanks as mobile anti-ship artillery to defend from landing.

Still infantry is a main target for tanks and "standard" loadout for tank have much more HE shells then anti-armor (HEAT/APDS) one. And don't forget about field fortification. Low-caliber guns are great against bandits as civilian buildings barely protect from their fire but can't do anything with adequate fortifications - you will need large caliber tank/artillery gun here (or something else).
And nothing in what you just said disgarees with anything I had said.

A gun can be designed as AT gun, and still fire a lot of HE shells. It is not like putting explosives into a shell is a special secret.
The 88 was designed as a Anti-Air gun and still fired a lot of AT shells. And HE shells.
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Malevolence
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RE: Anyone using Medium and Heavy Tanks?

Post by Malevolence »

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

A gun can be designed as AT gun, and still fire a lot of HE shells. It is not like putting explosives into a shell is a special secret.
The 88 was designed as a Anti-Air gun and still fired a lot of AT shells. And HE shells.

I'll just add, it's not just bore, there are many other forces and factors at work too. As a simplification, you are correct, but you know we can't just put any like-sized caliber round into just any same bored weapon. Putting explosives into a shell is no secret, but putting the correct amount of propellant, explosives, etc. inside for the weapon and mission is important.

Like my above comments about machine guns, I could have written two more paragraphs about range to target as an evaluation criteria for making MG selection decisions. It's just too damn boring for games unless you want a simulator--which I don't. There are too many factors involved. It makes discussing engineering details really just pointless fun.

Crews don't care about the history of the stug-iii. Fighting the vehicle is muscle memory. Your brain is working on all the important things instead.

That all said, I have no knowledge of how any WW2 powers standardized their rounds or if cannons were designed for standardized rounds. I have no interest in the history of tools and equipment (military or otherwise) as a personal hobby.


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