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American Equipment And Generals Suck, Part Whatever


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Dons flame retardant underwear. :)

 

 

So why were the US so incapable of developing a decent supercharger for the Allison engine that they had to scrounge a proper engine design off the Brits?

 

Was it really that hard to produce a squad automatic weapon/light machine gun?

 

Also, Mark Clark. 'nuff said.

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Also, Mark Clark. 'nuff said.

I still have Ricks' The Generals sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. It's been on the back burner after I saw a fairly lengthy talk he gave on the book when it was released. While the premise is pretty straightforward (we had better leadership in WW2 and we happened to fire Generals all the time... since WW2 we haven't fired anyone and our leadership has sucked since) he never touched on the why underlying what seems like an obvious connection. Maybe he was saving that part for when you read the book. Still, I'll get to it one of these days.

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Dons flame retardant underwear. :)

 

 

So why were the US so incapable of developing a decent supercharger for the Allison engine that they had to scrounge a proper engine design off the Brits?

 

Was it really that hard to produce a squad automatic weapon/light machine gun?

 

Also, Mark Clark. 'nuff said.

 

The Allison's single stage was just as good as the supercharger fitted to the Rolls-Royce. It was a 2 stage/2 speed supercharger that the Allison didn't have. Allison used a turbo-supercharger which gave the same HP at 30Kft as at it did at take-off, something the 2S/2S Merlin couldn't do.

 

The TBO was better for the Allison than the R-R. Allison parts are used in the Reno racers powered by R-R Merlins.

Edited by MiloMorai
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Devers was pretty good compared to Omar Bradley (hurtgen forest). Mark Clark was a disaster. The refusal to see reality by AGF and put a decent gun on the Sherman.

 

 

The M1918 BAR was an exceedingly effective squad automatic weapon for a RIFLE squad. The weakness was the lack of machine gun back up for the rifle platoons from the company weapons platoon.

I'll see your Mark Clark and raise you Jacob Devers.

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Devers was pretty good compared to Omar Bradley (hurtgen forest). Mark Clark was a disaster. The refusal to see reality by AGF and put a decent gun on the Sherman.

 

 

 

The M1918 BAR was an exceedingly effective squad automatic weapon for a RIFLE squad. The weakness was the lack of machine gun back up for the rifle platoons from the company weapons platoon.

I'll see your Mark Clark and raise you Jacob Devers.

I understand you're trying to spark debate, but is there any point to rehashing the Sherman issue? An influx of new members since last time? New insights or information?

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Airforce went all in for the turbo. By the time it was realized turbos could not be fitted to the P-39/40/51 it was too late to develop a US version of the staged mechanical supercharger and they decided to simply use the Merlin 6X series.

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The M1918 BAR was an exceedingly effective squad automatic weapon for a RIFLE squad....

BAR as polish wz.28 or FN D or Swedish kg m/37 was pretty decent (even if it was not at a prime time), problem was that US "upgraded" A2 was actually downgrade. Ian from Forgotten Weapons did a list what went wrong compared to IIRC Polish version...

Edited by bojan
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The P-40 used both the Allison V-1710 and the R-R Merlin and there was real performance difference.

 

P-40F, L - R-R

P-40K, M - Allison

 

The Allison didn't get a proper charger in the P-40. The P-40 was a kind of cheap low-end fighter compared to the heavy, high altitude, high speed, long range P-38.

 

Though it is a fact that the Allison development didn't keep pace with the Merlin 's at all (the Merlin was developed to such great performance that the Griffon spin-off was kind of unnecessary in hindsight). The British were working overtime to improve the Merlin since 1940 (giving up some parallel RR engine projects), and they had to compete with the bigger volume direct fuel injection DB601 inverted V-engine, later the innovatively controlled big BMW 801 twin radial. Their choice of a two-stage supercharger worked fine and was much more compact than comparable turbochargers (which the Americans preferred).

------------

 

I suppose the greater question is why do large armed forces struggle to reach a much higher quality of development and procurement decision-making than small armed forces? It is as if the small armed forces can do the same procurement decision-making with much less bureaucracy, and even non-corruption-driven procurement decision-making by individuals in power seems to be just as much hit-and-miss as huge bureaucratic efforts.

It's similar with generalship; the quality of officer corps appears to correlate well with the seriousness of threats (examples Finland, Israel till '73), not with the size of the training and education apparatus.

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The Griffon was a RN/FAA engine that the RAF used.

 

Have to question the 'more compact' as an additional cooler had to be installed for the 2S/2S supercharger of the M60/70 series engines.

 

The US Army insisted on using GE turbo-superchargers, so one can't put all the blame on Allison.

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Devers was pretty good compared to Omar Bradley (hurtgen forest). Mark Clark was a disaster. The refusal to see reality by AGF and put a decent gun on the Sherman.

 

 

The M1918 BAR was an exceedingly effective squad automatic weapon for a RIFLE squad. The weakness was the lack of machine gun back up for the rifle platoons from the company weapons platoon.

I'll see your Mark Clark and raise you Jacob Devers.

 

The gun on the Sherman Easy 8 could punch thru ANY Panzer--and even a regular Sherman could deal with the most common Panzers: the Mark IV and the Stug III. Best of all, engineers learned (A) to wet stow the ammo so less 'boom' and (B) VERY sound ergonomics: the crew hatches are RIGHT over your seat and each of you have one. IF You gotta bail out, at least you aint fighting the loader or commander for space.

Edited by NickM
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Regarding US fighters, there wasn't much expectation for the hi-long missions that developed; in the '30s, most fighters were intended for medium-low altitude support in repelling notional invaders. P-39 and P-40s with geared superchargers were quite adequate. For the rare high-altitude encounter, the P-38 and P-47 with turbos were being developed. The reality of WWII quickly made hash of these concepts, of course.

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Devers was pretty good compared to Omar Bradley (hurtgen forest). Mark Clark was a disaster. The refusal to see reality by AGF and put a decent gun on the Sherman.

 

 

The M1918 BAR was an exceedingly effective squad automatic weapon for a RIFLE squad. The weakness was the lack of machine gun back up for the rifle platoons from the company weapons platoon.

I'll see your Mark Clark and raise you Jacob Devers.

I understand you're trying to spark debate, but is there any point to rehashing the Sherman issue? An influx of new members since last time? New insights or information?

 

 

That being said Dave,Switching gears abruptly

I sometimes wonder about the US High Command during Vietnam; the whole idea of replacements seemed half assed==almost like the men were just 'spare parts' to be slotted into vacancies with little thought to stand downs, rest & unit cohesion. On top of that, I sometimes wonder if 'higher up' had any idea what was happening on the ground-I recall it was the policy of 1st ID commander Depuy that when the day's march was done he expected the grunts to dig a deep foxhole/trench & reinforce it with sandbags-as if after 8 hours of marching they had the strength to do anything. AND while we're on the subject of the 1st ID I read a book (the beast is out there? they marched into daylight?) about the son of The WW2 Commander Terry Allen, who was in command of battalion. His higher ups put a lot of pressure on him to 'get contact with the enemy', so he ill advisedly peeled off two very understrength companies, attached his command element to them & marched right into an ambush set by an NVA Regiment. Needless to say, Col. Allen & most of his command staff were killed in the opening ambush and the survivors were fighting for their lives with multiple brigade, regiment & division commanders buzzing overhead in helicopters trying to 'support & advise' the unlucky grunts on the ground via radio.

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There was a joke going round at the end of the war comparing how things changed from training in England, fighting in Italy, and ending the war in the Netherlands. One part went:

End of Day

England - We worked all damn day and they want us to dig in?

Italy - Right. Lets dig deep quick before the Huns know we're here.

Netherlands - We could get a few guilders for those pioneer tools.

 

Digging in at the end if the day does suck, but a lot less than being in the open when under fire.

 

As for the rest, it is generally acknoledged that rotation by individual rather than unit hurt effectiveness. As for the literal multiple levels of micromanagement, that seems to have worked as well as one would expect.

Edited by R011
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Ok, the Sherman was good and got better, but it still a 32 ton tank that sometimes had to fight 45 and 69 ton tanks with a gun and ammo that was not always up to the job. There were reasons for that and it wasn't as if the Germans, British, or Soviets were perfect either.

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Not so much as a point being made. We f'ed up with the Sherman and the whole Tanks fight Infantry, Tank Destroyers fight tanks. Only a cannon-cocker could come up with that stupid an idea. McNair was not the right man for the job he should have been sent to some G_d forsaken Coastal artillery post and left there.

 

Devers was pretty good compared to Omar Bradley (hurtgen forest). Mark Clark was a disaster. The refusal to see reality by AGF and put a decent gun on the Sherman.

The M1918 BAR was an exceedingly effective squad automatic weapon for a RIFLE squad. The weakness was the lack of machine gun back up for the rifle platoons from the company weapons platoon.
I'll see your Mark Clark and raise you Jacob Devers.


I understand you're trying to spark debate, but is there any point to rehashing the Sherman issue? An influx of new members since last time? New insights or information?

 

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It is not that it was not a good tank, but it would have been better with a high velocity 90mm. Just as the Garand would have been better if it had morphed into an M-14 style rifle with a detachable box magazine.

Ok, the Sherman was good and got better, but it still a 32 ton tank that sometimes had to fight 45 and 69 ton tanks with a gun and ammo that was not always up to the job. There were reasons for that and it wasn't as if the Germans, British, or Soviets were perfect either.

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Could you get a 90mm into a tank that could be easily shipped around the world like the Sherman though and could you do it in vast numbers by the start of 1943?

 

On a sort of related note, US tanks are rightly acknowledged as being good in terms of ergonomics and crew comfort, but did they take that too far? By being willing to make a few more compromises, could they have squeezed a 90mm or, heaven forbid, a 17pdr into a Sherman in time to have lots ready for D-Day?

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It is not that it was not a good tank, but it would have been better with a high velocity 90mm. Just as the Garand would have been better if it had morphed into an M-14 style rifle with a detachable box magazine.

 

Ok, the Sherman was good and got better, but it still a 32 ton tank that sometimes had to fight 45 and 69 ton tanks with a gun and ammo that was not always up to the job. There were reasons for that and it wasn't as if the Germans, British, or Soviets were perfect either.

You're absolutely right. In fact, they should have just built Abrams and equipped the infantry with phased plasma rifles. Edited by R011
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Devers was pretty good compared to Omar Bradley (hurtgen forest). Mark Clark was a disaster. The refusal to see reality by AGF and put a decent gun on the Sherman.

 

 

The M1918 BAR was an exceedingly effective squad automatic weapon for a RIFLE squad. The weakness was the lack of machine gun back up for the rifle platoons from the company weapons platoon.

I'll see your Mark Clark and raise you Jacob Devers.

I understand you're trying to spark debate, but is there any point to rehashing the Sherman issue? An influx of new members since last time? New insights or information?

 

 

That being said Dave,Switching gears abruptly

I sometimes wonder about the US High Command during Vietnam; the whole idea of replacements seemed half assed==almost like the men were just 'spare parts' to be slotted into vacancies with little thought to stand downs, rest & unit cohesion. On top of that, I sometimes wonder if 'higher up' had any idea what was happening on the ground-I recall it was the policy of 1st ID commander Depuy that when the day's march was done he expected the grunts to dig a deep foxhole/trench & reinforce it with sandbags-as if after 8 hours of marching they had the strength to do anything. AND while we're on the subject of the 1st ID I read a book (the beast is out there? they marched into daylight?) about the son of The WW2 Commander Terry Allen, who was in command of battalion. His higher ups put a lot of pressure on him to 'get contact with the enemy', so he ill advisedly peeled off two very understrength companies, attached his command element to them & marched right into an ambush set by an NVA Regiment. Needless to say, Col. Allen & most of his command staff were killed in the opening ambush and the survivors were fighting for their lives with multiple brigade, regiment & division commanders buzzing overhead in helicopters trying to 'support & advise' the unlucky grunts on the ground via radio.

 

 

It worked for the Romans.

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Could you get a 90mm into a tank that could be easily shipped around the world like the Sherman though and could you do it in vast numbers by the start of 1943?

 

On a sort of related note, US tanks are rightly acknowledged as being good in terms of ergonomics and crew comfort, but did they take that too far? By being willing to make a few more compromises, could they have squeezed a 90mm or, heaven forbid, a 17pdr into a Sherman in time to have lots ready for D-Day?

 

It could be argued that for Normandy itself, the M4(105) would have been more useful, and those vehicles had gone into production in February 1944. The parallel being the Royal Marine Armoured Support Group taking their 95mm howitzer equipped Centaurs (not the world's best tank at the time) that were only intended to fight on the beached themselves against fixed defences and mostly to fire whilst still afloat on landing craft, inland to support infantry until their withdrawal two weeks after the invasion.

 

And please, lets not get into the argument again as to why the 76mm armed M4s that were in Britain at the time of Normandy were not taken over for the initial battles.

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Recalling that the 76mm gun could have had a significant improvement in MV and penetration had they produced more of the improved AP ammo for it. but they were worried about barrel wear. Why they didn't have 75mm equivalent velocity ammo and the higher velocity, i don't know. The British realized early on they were on the wrong end of the MV stick, but struggled to catch up till they got the 17pdr. The Boffins in the US were just a tad to insulated from the reality of the threat. they were also ill-advised by their own the ground "experts".

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