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Panther Gets Too Much Love And Hate?


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well, I shot a concrete block off the top of a water heater with the 37mm using the regular sight but it wasn't very far away. I feel like I could have done it at a much further distance than the range would allow.

I feel like bore sighting is super important on the old gear. If the tube doesn't point where the sight does no amount of Kentucky Windage will help.

Maybe our local WoT folks would like to sponsor an old vs new shoot out at a local tank range?

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well, I shot a concrete block off the top of a water heater with the 37mm using the regular sight but it wasn't very far away. I feel like I could have done it at a much further distance than the range would allow.

I feel like bore sighting is super important on the old gear. If the tube doesn't point where the sight does no amount of Kentucky Windage will help.

Maybe our local WoT folks would like to sponsor an old vs new shoot out at a local tank range?

Well, one time I shot a chipmunk (it just finished burrowing under the patio and popped up) from the opposite side of the house one early morning with my Ruger .357 revolver. Head shot. And no, couldn't do it again if I tried.

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well, I shot a concrete block off the top of a water heater with the 37mm using the regular sight but it wasn't very far away. I feel like I could have done it at a much further distance than the range would allow.

I feel like bore sighting is super important on the old gear. If the tube doesn't point where the sight does no amount of Kentucky Windage will help.

Maybe our local WoT folks would like to sponsor an old vs new shoot out at a local tank range?

Well, one time I shot a chipmunk (it just finished burrowing under the patio and popped up) from the opposite side of the house one early morning with my Ruger .357 revolver. Head shot. And no, couldn't do it again if I tried.

Was the chipmunk shooting back?

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well, I shot a concrete block off the top of a water heater with the 37mm using the regular sight but it wasn't very far away. I feel like I could have done it at a much further distance than the range would allow.

I feel like bore sighting is super important on the old gear. If the tube doesn't point where the sight does no amount of Kentucky Windage will help.

Maybe our local WoT folks would like to sponsor an old vs new shoot out at a local tank range?

Well, one time I shot a chipmunk (it just finished burrowing under the patio and popped up) from the opposite side of the house one early morning with my Ruger .357 revolver. Head shot. And no, couldn't do it again if I tried.

Was the chipmunk shooting back?

 

Didn't give it the chance :P

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Curiously the Germans reportedly remedied the mantle bounce to cure the turret jamming instead of the killing of the driver.

The driver actually sits quite a ways in front of the front edge of the turret. The driver's seat is actually located entirely in front of the driver's hatch, and the driver has to recline the back of his seat to use his hatch. So I think not many shots that bounced down into the hull top actually killed the driver or co-driver.

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What seems odd to me, is that people seems to think that allied tank gunners in WWII were just blindly firing in the general direction of the enemy. And the assumption that they could always just "move to get a side shot" or something similar. That shows a distinct lack of knowledge and understanding of the WWII battlefield. It probably comes from trying to fit a 1940ies reality to a 1970ies or 80ies experience, something which amateur historians among modern soldiers often do.

 

 

It's not "blindly firing", it is just firing at a logical aimpoint - center mass (given that the lower hull is usually hidden), turret ring, mantlet (where even a non penetrating hit may not be good for optics and general crew comfort)... Might be the "mantlet bounce" was just a generic thing (based on occassions when it actually happened) spread around to make gunners take notice and make sure they are going for that aimpoint as it was simply the best chance how to mess up a Panther if firing from the front (after all, glacis was resistant to 76mm and 17pdr AP anyway)... And obviously the more shots fired, the better chance of breaking something (or even causing spalling and cracks).

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As a tank commander over the years, I've known a few gunners who could very reliably hit exactly the spot they were aiming at on a given target...using 105mm training-practice ammunition. As I mentioned before, those guys are out there...

 

Interesting. So why the huge expense for fire control systems? But beyond that, how do you suppose they divine how round to round dispersion will affect their next shot so they can compensate with a bit of aim off? I never saw anybody never miss a target, truly it must have been a wonder to behold.

 

I'm reminded of the time we were in the field and a couple of grunts attached to our company were trying, without success, to throw and stick their bayonets in a tree. They were holding them by the tip of the blade when I suggested that if the bayonet was balanced correctly it shouldn't matter how they held them. At that they had me try my hand at it. So I took the bayonet by the handle, threw it, and promptly stuck it in the tree ten feet away. Luck, or am I just that good?

 

 

Well, first off, I didn't say anything about "never missing" anything. I said reliably...there's a big difference. The "wonder to behold" in my experience was watching my Master Gunners at work...I'm confident that in the gunner's seat, they could reliably hit whatever they wanted to hit. Secondly, I'm all for the most effective fire control systems available...obviously; I'm only saying that really good gunners can do really good things.

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Well, first off, I didn't say anything about "never missing" anything. I said reliably...there's a big difference. The "wonder to behold" in my experience was watching my Master Gunners at work...I'm confident that in the gunner's seat, they could reliably hit whatever they wanted to hit. Secondly, I'm all for the most effective fire control systems available...obviously; I'm only saying that really good gunners can do really good things.

 

What you said is that they could reliably hit the exact spot they were aiming at. To me, a master gunner as well, that suggests you are stating that they could reliably hit the point of the target covered by the center .1 mil dot of the reticle. I merely extrapolated that feat to mean they never missed any targets, moreover, that they didn't need a fire control system, because there isn't a fire control system in the world that can compensate for round to round dispersion.

I've actually seen tank crews (M60A3 and M1) go through a two week gunnery cycle without missing any targets. I did it once myself, but I would never claim, except as a "war" story" that I could and did purposely hit the 2x4 that was supporting the target.

"Damn. Man, you broke the target by hitting the 2x4."

"Yeah, that's where I was aiming." LOL NOT.

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Well, first off, I didn't say anything about "never missing" anything. I said reliably...there's a big difference. The "wonder to behold" in my experience was watching my Master Gunners at work...I'm confident that in the gunner's seat, they could reliably hit whatever they wanted to hit. Secondly, I'm all for the most effective fire control systems available...obviously; I'm only saying that really good gunners can do really good things.

 

What you said is that they could reliably hit the exact spot they were aiming at. To me, a master gunner as well, that suggests you are stating that they could reliably hit the point of the target covered by the center .1 mil dot of the reticle. I merely extrapolated that feat to mean they never missed any targets, moreover, that they didn't need a fire control system, because there isn't a fire control system in the world that can compensate for round to round dispersion.

I've actually seen tank crews (M60A3 and M1) go through a two week gunnery cycle without missing any targets. I did it once myself, but I would never claim, except as a "war" story" that I could and did purposely hit the 2x4 that was supporting the target.

"Damn. Man, you broke the target by hitting the 2x4."

"Yeah, that's where I was aiming." LOL NOT.

 

 

O.k., to prevent further extrapolation...I've seen really good gunners shoot really good. There, that's all I'm saying...no extrapolation about .1 mil dots or not needing a fire control system is necessary...geeze.

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Something else to consider of course is the number of Panthers and the number of guns firing at them. A low probability of hitting a weak spot times thousands of Panthers times goodness knows how many guns shooting at them over the course of their lifetimes and suddenly the chances of a few being knocked out by fluke hits goes up somewhat.

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Something else to consider of course is the number of Panthers and the number of guns firing at them. A low probability of hitting a weak spot times thousands of Panthers times goodness knows how many guns shooting at them over the course of their lifetimes and suddenly the chances of a few being knocked out by fluke hits goes up somewhat.

 

There is a well documented example of this principle at work during EPSOM in June 1944. A whole Squadron of Shermans were advancing when they came face-to-face with a lone Tiger no. 114. They unloaded on the Tiger and the flurry of shot so rattled the crew they bailed out and ran. That Tiger was also damaged by a deflection off the mantlet down into the crew compartment

 

One (75mm round) had taken a piece out of the lower edge of the mantlet and gone into the tank through the roof,and one had ricocheted off the
track and up into the sponson

 

 

and red-hot splinters started a small easily contained fire-if the crew had hung around to put it out. Note the top section of the drivisors visor has been blown away.

Edited by mkenny
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Something else to consider of course is the number of Panthers and the number of guns firing at them. A low probability of hitting a weak spot times thousands of Panthers times goodness knows how many guns shooting at them over the course of their lifetimes and suddenly the chances of a few being knocked out by fluke hits goes up somewhat.

 

There is a well documented example of this principle at work during EPSOM in June 1944. A whole Squadron of Shermans were advancing when they came face-to-face with a lone Tiger no. 114. They unloaded on the Tiger and the flurry of shot so rattled the crew they bailed out and ran. That Tiger was also damaged by a deflection off the mantlet down into the crew compartment

 

One (75mm round) had taken a piece out of the lower edge of the mantlet and gone into the tank through the roof,and one had ricocheted off the
track and up into the sponson

 

 

 

and red-hot splinters started a small easily contained fire-if the crew had hung around to put it out. Note the top section of the drivisors visor has been blown away.

 

 

The one that sprang to my mind was entire batteries of Soviet anti-tank guns engaging individual panzers at Kursk. There must have been a few fluke hits there.

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Something else to consider of course is the number of Panthers and the number of guns firing at them. A low probability of hitting a weak spot times thousands of Panthers times goodness knows how many guns shooting at them over the course of their lifetimes and suddenly the chances of a few being knocked out by fluke hits goes up somewhat.

 

There is a well documented example of this principle at work during EPSOM in June 1944. A whole Squadron of Shermans were advancing when they came face-to-face with a lone Tiger no. 114. They unloaded on the Tiger and the flurry of shot so rattled the crew they bailed out and ran. That Tiger was also damaged by a deflection off the mantlet down into the crew compartment

 

One (75mm round) had taken a piece out of the lower edge of the mantlet and gone into the tank through the roof,and one had ricocheted off the
track and up into the sponson

 

 

and red-hot splinters started a small easily contained fire-if the crew had hung around to put it out. Note the top section of the drivisors visor has been blown away.

 

 

Great pic...thanks!

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Panzer in Normandy identifies this as an SS Heavy Tank Battalion 101 tank, which seems born out by the crest you can see on the right. There is also speculation that it may have been a runner when they got hold of it, as seen by the drivers head seen through the hatch. The slight blurring of the left track also suggests it might be moving. So yes, just like Tiger 131, brought to heel by a lucky mantlet shot, and yet not apparently destroyed either.

 

Too bad Bovie didnt get hold of this one as well.

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AHA! Now that clears up a mystery!

 

There was an old issue of Wheels and Tracks which featured a special trailer created for the British Tortoise project. In it they featured it being used for recovering at least 2 Tanks, a Tiger II I think from Belgium, and a Tiger 1. The Tiger II might be the one at Aberdeen (was that the one that rolled down a slope?) but the Tiger 1 above looks very familiar, particularly as it seems to be being embarked on that very trailer.

I seem to recall they had a Tiger 1 at Chertsey that was used up in firing trials, but I can swear to that. Presumably it was this one? I guess the Tiger II that was at Shriv and now at Bovington must have been recovered using the same method.

 

Incidentally at least the Tiger II required 2 Diamond T's being used in tandem to haul the tank and the Trailer. Which is still better than the 3 halftracks the Germans needed to tow it....

 

Thanks for the pictures btw, very interesting indeed.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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