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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Tank losses to air attack
urumomo
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 07:27 PM UTC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t2cRZTv14o&t=300s
tnker101
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 12:19 AM UTC
Very interesting, air attack drive on
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 01:16 AM UTC
Never mind the aircraft, they can't hit anything anyways.
Or?
The topside of German armour wasn't all that well armoured either, 10-12 mm for a Pz IV so lighter guns could penetrate.

When examining a shot up column of vehicles and counting tanks vs softskins it should be kept in mind that there were a lot more softskins in an army than actual tanks.
If there are 5% losses of both types there will be a lot more trucks and stuff.

The British didn't sink Bismarck, they forced her to commit suicide.
The US troops didn't kill a lot of Japanese, they all chose to kill themselves when they felt they were losing.
Fighters and bombers didn't hit anything, it was war weary Germans who destroyed their own vehicles out of sheer defaitism.

I am quite frankly getting rather tired of all these "myth debunkers" trying to publish something interesting.
The book by the kook about the uselessness of the Sherman tank comes to mind. There is also the person who wants to rename the M113 ....

I may be wrong, probably am, but seeing all these experts summing up and counting things afterwards, disregarding the psychology of warfare, I get the impression that no weapon works as intended. There is always someone around to prove how miserably most weapon systems have failed.
Looking at all the statistics and numbers Germany did indeed win the war, with a big margin, except they did not ....

/ Robin
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 02:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Never mind the aircraft, they can't hit anything anyways.
Or?
The topside of German armour wasn't all that well armoured either, 10-12 mm for a Pz IV so lighter guns could penetrate.

When examining a shot up column of vehicles and counting tanks vs softskins it should be kept in mind that there were a lot more softskins in an army than actual tanks.
If there are 5% losses of both types there will be a lot more trucks and stuff.

The British didn't sink Bismarck, they forced her to commit suicide.
The US troops didn't kill a lot of Japanese, they all chose to kill themselves when they felt they were losing.
Fighters and bombers didn't hit anything, it was war weary Germans who destroyed their own vehicles out of sheer defaitism.

I am quite frankly getting rather tired of all these "myth debunkers" trying to publish something interesting.
The book by the kook about the uselessness of the Sherman tank comes to mind. There is also the person who wants to rename the M113 ....

I may be wrong, probably am, but seeing all these experts summing up and counting things afterwards, disregarding the psychology of warfare, I get the impression that no weapon works as intended. There is always someone around to prove how miserably most weapon systems have failed.
Looking at all the statistics and numbers Germany did indeed win the war, with a big margin, except they did not ....

/ Robin


Did you watch the entire video? It does not debunk the value of air support, and he goes into the psychology of troops enduring ground attacks in some detail. The video rehashes ideas that Steve Zaloga has documented in his many excellent books on tank development and tank warfare. The biggest threat to tanks from aircraft was the destruction of the tanks' supply trucks.

Of course, the saturation bombing that preceded the Normandy Breakout threw tanks around like toys, and left many surviving German troops in physical shock, unable to offer any defense. Unfortunately, these attacks also killed over 900 Americans, which is why heavy bombers weren't ordinarily used for tactical support.
Biggles2
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 03:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text


The topside of German armour wasn't all that well armoured either, 10-12 mm for a Pz IV so lighter guns could penetrate.

/ Robin



Granted, but only if the projectile was hitting at a 90 degree angle. Rockets and 20 - 40 mm projectiles hitting at a much shallower angle, such as a strafing run, would more likely ricochet off at such an oblique angle.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 04:18 AM UTC
Well, I can't speak for WWII, or the validity of research data from that period, but I know I've seen some pretty big holes in modern armor from the 30mm GAU in an A10 Thunderbolt, and that Hellfire missile has a pretty good wallop too. Then there are the sub-munition rounds that don't even need a direct hit to mess up a tankers day. And whatever the Air Force doesn't take care of, the FA can clean up nicely! As a former tank officer I can say that I'm just glad I didn't have to be one of the WWII "test subjects". By the way how would you like to be in that 5% group?-- accuracy means "diddly" when you are in the cross hairs, even if it's a near miss you still are ducking your head and it's difficult to keep your mind on the job at hand when your ears are ringing and you're fighting the "pucker factor".
VR, Russ
eoin666
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 04:40 AM UTC
From the war in eastern Ukraine reports seem to indicate that the vast majority of the modern MBTs knocked out are due to MLRS strikes from the rather numerous BM21 Grad, BM27 Uragan, and BM30 Smerch.
Das_Abteilung
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 05:54 AM UTC
Medium-calibre weapons like the German 37mm and British 40mm used on anti-tank aircraft were reputed to be more effective than their static counterparts because their projectiles already had the forward velocity of the aircraft before they fired. At 200mph that's an additional 90m/s muzzle velocity, 67m/s at 150mph. 10-15% extra MV on these weapons. The same is indeed also true for any aircraft weapon, including Russian 23mm and Allied or German 20mm or anyone's 12.7/13/13.2mm and rocket projectiles. The Hs129 was an effective anti-tank aircraft with its 3cm MK103 despite being relatively slow. In a diving strafing attack, higher-performance aircraft might reach 400mph, adding another 180m/s - perhaps 20% - to the speed through the air of a volley of cannon or HMG fire or RPs.

One of the (reputedly) very last clips of Luftwaffe in action at the end of WW2 shows a Stuka Kanonenvogel. These aircraft were more than capable of taking out a KV or T34, maybe even an IS, with a top attack. Certainly a mobility kill into the engine compartment or suspension, which for a retreating force is as good as a hard kill as the vehicle gets left behind by the attacker.

Someone above suggested that RPs might bounce off tanks. Well I guess that depends on your RP. But the normal British RP3 had a 60lb/27kg warhead containing 12lb/5kg of HE. That's heavier shell with more explosive than even the German 12.8cm PAK shell in the Jagdtiger and probably only exceeded in tank gun shell weight by the Russian 152mm shell in the ISU-152. OK, it only travelled at a sedate 480m/s or so - but that becomes 660m/s on launch from a Typhoon diving at 400mph. About the same speed as an ISU-152 AP shell. The US 5" HVAR was a bit lighter and slower but still had a kinetic armour penetration of 2-3", 50-75mm.

In a diving attack the benefit of sloped armour is somewhat negated, and tanks' top armour was always among their thinnest. Hence the additional spaced armour plates fitted to some German tanks such as Panther. Yes, of course an RP could always glance off and not detonate given the right angle of strike. But the likelihood is that at least some from a salvo would hit squarely enough to cause kinetic impact damage or penetration and detonate the warhead.
Belt_Fed
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 06:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Unfortunately, these attacks also killed over 900 Americans, which is why heavy bombers weren't ordinarily used for tactical support.



One of which was Lt. General McNair himself.
joepanzer
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 08:39 AM UTC
In a word?

Rudel
urumomo
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 08:53 AM UTC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwDfdTh0VYs
Biggles2
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 07:20 PM UTC

Quoted Text

But the likelihood is that at least some from a salvo would hit squarely enough to cause kinetic impact damage or penetration and detonate the warhead.



That's only assuming that WWll rocketry was even near today's ordinance. If you watch the OP's YouTube video, it took an estimated total of several rocket salvos to get a kill. Due to wind sheer, duds, and general inaccuracy, less than 1% of a salvo resulted in a hit, which wasn't necessarily a kill. It's main effect was mainly psychological, and really messed up soft-skin transport.
There are some first-hand reports that any hits that did detonate just blew off external fittings - tools, etc. (Talking about Tiger l's at Falaise)

Bravo1102
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 10:07 PM UTC
You don't have to kill the tank if the crew doesn't want to fight anymore.

Gosh there are accounts of US armor "knocking out" bigger and badder German tanks with white phosphorous and panicking the crew.

And there's the sheer psychological value of the cry "JABO!" when a Typhoon, Thunderbolt or Sturmovik was sighted. Then being in an armored box wondering if you'll be that 5% and hearing the near misses all around you and the thuds and plinks of canon and machine gun fire on your head. There's a reason crews were often told to hide under their tank when under air attack and not in it.

Watch the movieMen of the Yamato to appreciate what it's like to be strafed by .50 caliber fire. Those poor guys manning those AA guns on Yamato are just torn apart.
18Bravo
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Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 12:13 AM UTC
Talk to he very few Egyptians who survived Mitla pass in '67.
Das_Abteilung
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 09:43 PM UTC

Quoted Text

There are some first-hand reports that any hits that did detonate just blew off external fittings - tools, etc. (Talking about Tiger l's at Falaise)



First-hand reports are difficult to discount, but we don't know the projectile. The US triple-tube launchers were a bit weedy. IIRC they fired essentially standard "bazooka" rounds.

But think about it logically in the context of a British RP3. It's a 27kg lump of metal travelling at 2,300km/h or so. The kinetic impact alone is considerable. I'm sure someone cleverer than me can work out the forces involved. I used to be a combat emgineer and I've seen an entire car blown clean into the air with 1kg of explosive, never mind 5 kg. It's going to do a lot more than knock the shovels off!

Yes, accuracy left a lot to be desired and I'm sure many RPs did nothing more than churn up the dirt. Hence salvo firing. Post-war, British aircraft carried double-stacked RP3s for a 16-round salvo. You see many gun camera clips on TV history programmes of RPs in salvos going off at slightly different angles and entire salvos missing the target because the pilot misjudged the aiming point. It was apparently hard enough to hit an object the size of a U-Boat or small ship with them, never mind a tank! That's how the 57mm gun got into the Mosquito for shipping attacks: accuracy. But we digress.......

I suspect the reports you mention may have been seeing/talking about the effect of 20mm HE cannon shells, which would do little damage on heavy armour. There was a lot of strafing at Falaise too
TopSmith
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 09:27 AM UTC
There are a lot of factors involved. 1st is pilot skill and how ballsey he was. High skill and no ground fire would increase the chances of a hit. Low skill and a lot of accurate ground fire reduce the chances of a hit. Non guided rockets are notoriously inaccurate. Add accurate ground fire and a higher release point and you would be lucky to hit something you were aiming for. Now the 20 mm of a Typhoon on thr rear deck or turret roof would worry me. As a tanker in WWII I would just keep driving and turn 90 degrees th the aircraft's flight path. Now if I were in the supply convoy I would be in a panic.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 12:13 PM UTC

Quoted Text

There are a lot of factors involved. 1st is pilot skill and how ballsey he was. High skill and no ground fire would increase the chances of a hit. Low skill and a lot of accurate ground fire reduce the chances of a hit. Non guided rockets are notoriously inaccurate. Add accurate ground fire and a higher release point and you would be lucky to hit something you were aiming for. Now the 20 mm of a Typhoon on thr rear deck or turret roof would worry me. As a tanker in WWII I would just keep driving and turn 90 degrees th the aircraft's flight path. Now if I were in the supply convoy I would be in a panic.



When I was doing my military service (compulsory, conscript) we were told that spotting an aircraft meant that we had a few seconds to:
GET OFF THE ROAD

/ Robin
TopSmith
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 06:09 PM UTC
Modern aircraft are of little comparison to WWII aircraft in the ground attack roll. Then you used the calibrated eyeball, experience and luck. Today the munitions array available and the electronics to control them up the kill ratio considerably. During Desert Storm the tanks knocked out by aircraft were many. However, there were many that had been hit with submunitions that were not knocked out.
A CBU was no guarantee of damaging a tank. A Hellfire missile was fatal if it hit. Strafing still relies on a ballsey pilot and weak ground fire. I wouldn't want to be an A10 pilot if there were strong antiaircraft defenses. A missile up the tailpipe is a bummer. Several ZSU's could make for a short ride in a parachute.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 07:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Modern aircraft are of little comparison to WWII aircraft in the ground attack roll. Then you used the calibrated eyeball, experience and luck. Today the munitions array available and the electronics to control them up the kill ratio considerably. During Desert Storm the tanks knocked out by aircraft were many. However, there were many that had been hit with submunitions that were not knocked out.
A CBU was no guarantee of damaging a tank. A Hellfire missile was fatal if it hit. Strafing still relies on a ballsey pilot and weak ground fire. I wouldn't want to be an A10 pilot if there were strong antiaircraft defenses. A missile up the tailpipe is a bummer. Several ZSU's could make for a short ride in a parachute.


That's why there are helicopters.

Seriously though the A-10 can take the loss of an engine and an incredible amount of damage just like the WW2 flying tank that has not been mentioned. The Sturmovik. Ever see one up close? It was riveted together like a tank. Heavy duty plane for flying low and killing things.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 07:22 PM UTC
For some reason or other more than one airforce in WW II thought that it was worthwhile to have aircraft specially fitted out for this role. Apparently they must all have been misled ...
/ Robin

P.S. The producer of this video has also published this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUWq4ymz8Yw&t=233s
about the Boulton Paul Defiant ...
urumomo
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 07:25 PM UTC
So what specifically are you refuting , Robin ?
Keep your emotions out of the answer , please .
Biggles2
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 07:41 PM UTC

Quoted Text

For some reason or other more than one airforce in WW II thought that it was worthwhile to have aircraft specially fitted out for this role. Apparently they must all have been misled ...
/ Robin



And more than one navy in WWll thought that the biggest battleship would win the war! They must have been listening to the same people!
vettejack
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 08:01 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

For some reason or other more than one airforce in WW II thought that it was worthwhile to have aircraft specially fitted out for this role. Apparently they must all have been misled ...
/ Robin



And more than one navy in WWll thought that the biggest battleship would win the war! They must have been listening to the same people!



The Italians thought their ships invulnerable, then learned a valuable lesson right after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, the Russians infiltrating their mafia, and the Japanese were disguising their Mitsubishis' with wings!
DG0542
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 09:18 PM UTC
I think after watching the video the data was collected from Achieves which were done with by post battle assessments. There was another video I saw that defined how the nations tallied "kills". Germans it meant total loss of vehicle. Other nations they would count vehicles that broke down, or had operational causalities that could be returned to battle with some repairs, which was a more accurate number for attrition.

Air Power can kill takes effectively, usually by killing its fuel supply. No Gas no Go.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, May 28, 2018 - 11:40 PM UTC

Quoted Text

So what specifically are you refuting , Robin ?
Keep your emotions out of the answer , please .



Hmmm, what am I refuting?
First of all I have a deep scepticism against a lot of things being said/shown on Youtube. Some producers have their own agenda, some just want to make a buck, which is perfectly OK but sometimes it leads to following the old rule for newspaper producers: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Agendas come in many different forms, religious, political, economical, conspiracy theories et.c.
The internet has made it possible for various strange people to make their voice heard by a worldwide audience.
In short: I tend to be sceptical.

I have a hard time believing that the Ju 87G, the Il 2 and various other airplanes used for the ground attack role were total wastes of time and effort. One airforce may be misled but so many at the same time? Did they copy each others mistakes?
When is a weapon system a failure? When it misses in how many percent of the cases? Is it scary enough if a fighter-bomber can take out a tank in 10% of the attacks?
How many of the projectiles fired by fighter planes against other aircraft, regardless of type, did actually hit and kill something? What is the percentage of fired naval artillery shells actually hitting their target?
In modern times the hit ratios are climbing up but we still have not reached 100%.
How many of the bullets fired by the MG 42, and others, actually hit something else than the countryside?

Trying to prove something by showing that the claimed kills were actually far higher than the actual kills doesn't cut it with me.
If the appearance of a fighter bomber in the sky made everyone run for cover then that plane is efficient in some sense. If the enemy is hiding in the bushes then they are not moving toward the front.
This is in the same general area as but not quite the same thing as:
是故百戰百勝,非善之善者也;不戰而屈人之兵,善之善者也
One possible translation:
"Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting"

If the beancounter fights a war he counts the number of enemy units destroyed, another way is to count the number of enemy units prevented from fighting at all.
If fighter bombers in the air can halt enemy movement then it is a clear win in my books. The tanks can rust to death for all I care as long as they do not roll onto the battlefield.

With some clever use of statistics it could be shown that most weapons systems were inefficient. By restricting the evaluation criteria it could be shown that many useless systems are efficient. U-boats were a deadly threat to shipping but most freighters got through, the number and size of sunk ships were sometimes exaggerated by the u-boat captains. Was the u-boat efficient or not?

As long as the video producers get a lot of clicks/views ....

/ Robin

The Bismarck was not sunk be the Royal Navy, they simply forced Lindemann and Lütjens to sink her themselves ....