The Sprut

Small, light, big punch

The Sprut SD eschews balance in the mobility, protection and firepower triangle and instead goes all out for mobility and firepower. It is interesting that Russia still values the air delivered armour capability whilst in the West this has largely fallen by the wayside as vehicle weights have climbed, protection ruling the roost.

What can the UK bring to the armoured vehicles air despatch party, the last air drop of a CVR(T) was ages ago and as CVR(T) leaves service and no replacement in sight for the ancient medium stressed platform, no capability for air despatch with the RAF C17’s and a 16 tonne ramp limit for A400M it looks like the best we could do is a Springer, oh, bugger.

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Read more

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2S25 

http://www.military-today.com/tanks/sprut_sd.htm

http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product2379.html

http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/2s25-sprut-airborne-tank-destroyer.html

 

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ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 1, 2014 10:51 pm

Airborne by Russia (and for the Marines). Similar for Chinese amph. Ops and another one, related, for mountain ops.

Has not happened in the West since the faith in Shillelagh faded. The Swedes did a good one, IKV91?, that could kill any tank of its time… And still swim across the main rivers while retreating.

Chris
Chris
December 1, 2014 11:54 pm

Looks like a BMP3 with a new turret mounting their MBT gun. We’d never do that sort of thing here – not any more. The media would have a field-day with accusations of a lack of Duty of Care. So instead we will send 40t lumps armed with modest guns forward until they are in range to take on the opposition, while that same opposition is thumping them with tank-calibre rounds. The armour better be good.

But I am no fan of big guns on light vehicles, just like I don’t get the point of small guns on big vehicles (unless their role is not primarily direct fire engagement). A balance between protection and firepower seems to me to offer a better capability.

wf
wf
December 2, 2014 7:24 am

: did you see the way it rocked when the main gun fired? Must be fun inside!

Chris
Chris
December 2, 2014 8:11 am

wf – indeed; probably a bit top-heavy as a vehicle though so it will lurch a bit when manoeuvring so that’s good at rock and roll.

Talking of rocking on recoil, I recall a video of AS90 firing that I once saw, and its chassis remained completely unfussed by recoil forces. I didn’t have the resources (Google!) at the time to look into it so couldn’t tell if the suspension was locked or lowered to its bump-stops before firing, or if there was just one elevation angle at which the chassis wasn’t kicked around, or if the gun’s recoil mechanism was really good at soaking up energy. But it was an impressive bit of film.

PhilEeeeeee
PhilEeeeeee
December 2, 2014 8:13 am

– The main gun firing is the least of your worries, being para-dropped whilst sat inside a steel box is going to leave you a few inches shorter than you were getting in.

@TD – I’ve not heard of the A400M ramp limit before, where did that come from?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 2, 2014 8:23 am

Surely the single-drop limit off the ramp is different from its use whilst supported on the tarmac… Or did I misread the question?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 2, 2014 8:49 am

I know that I’m decidedly on one end of the spectrum of opinion, but I think that trading armour for speed, and swapping a gun for a guided missile, is a far better way.

What would you rather be assaulted by? A brigade of slow moving heavy armour, or a brigade of fast moving light trucks equipped with guided weapons? All other factors being the same.

Shock action only applied when protection overmatched anti-armour weapons. That stopped being the case by the early 80s, but sadly the Royal Armoured Corps leadership never really understood that.

Chris
Chris
December 2, 2014 9:04 am

RT – I share that sentiment if not the extremes of the solution – I’d put mobility high on the list of priorities (meaning all aspects of mobility including access through constricted routes and over weak structures, not just ability to cross broad areas of unhelpful ground types) but still favour a bit of protection for when vehicle crews find themselves in difficult circumstances. But I’m entirely happy for you to have lighter unprotected skirmishers too – the more different types of vehicles the better…

mr.fred
mr.fred
December 2, 2014 9:14 am

RT,
I would prefer someone to try assaulting a defended line in light trucks with guided weapons every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Every weapon in the arsenal can hurt them, they are more vulnerable to counter-mobility measures, have a very limited magazine, which can be spoofed or countered more easily than dumb shells and they aren’t going to be practically any faster than heavier vehicles unless I’m letting them drive into a trap.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 2, 2014 9:22 am

I’ll go with the flow… RT & Chris above.

My own tuppenyhaypenny’s worth would be:
– to favour designs using armoured capsules for the crew, rather than heavy armour all around… The latter at the SEP design’s level? The former is rumoured to be one of the design principles for the ARMADA family of armoured vehicles
– broaden the selection available for offensive action, eg only the IDF seems to be using ARM. Missiles launched from vehicles?

WiseApe
December 2, 2014 10:28 am

Sounds like a battlecruiser – that didn’t end well.

“…armoured capsules for the crew…” – That sounds interesting. Perhaps we could learn something from Formula One racing teams – their drivers walk away from incredible impacts these days.

Random
Random
December 2, 2014 10:49 am

I was talking to a RAC captain the other day and he said that the point of tanks is often misunderstood. Sure they are useful anti tank weapons but their primary purpose is not to win tank vs tank battles but smash defended positions quickly without the necessity of massive bombardments before hand. Their key strength is that their Armour allows them to sit out in the open and poor direct fire into enemy positions while moving over open ground. No other unit can do this as psychologically it is untenable. Your on an open battle field in anything other than tanks and your going to try and find cover. Your option from there is basically use firepower to keep the enemies heads down while you ether attempt to get into a position to assault or call in fire support. The tank gives your guys the psychological advantage to move around the battlefield at will. Basically the guy was saying that as the battle grinds to a hault as devastating firepower on both sides makes movement impossible, sometimes the only way that you can quickly influence the outcome of a battle is to send in tanks straight into the critical point on the battlefield. He freely admitted that tanks still take damage in assaults, and that this has been true since ww1. The vast majority of tanks are taken out by infantry weapons, they where vulnerable well before guided anti tank missiles but the important thing was not that they where invincible but that the took relatively little damage compared to anything else. In Normandy they were fighting at v short ranges and the infantry had v good anti tank weapons but still the infantry took greater losses and the tanks where the only thing that could lead an attack over open ground. Also the argument that anti tank missiles can take on tanks misses the point that everything can take on the antitank rockets. Your tanks are going to be assaulting with other units. your going to be poring fire into everything with machine-guns and auto-cannon all of which can take out the enemy anti-tank rocket launchers. The only thing that can take out the tanks is the very best of the antitank rockets, and even then the tank crew has a decent chance of survival even if the tank gets knocked out. I think that the relative survivabilty of a heavy tank gives it relative increase in mobility in a battlefield that makes it a useful tool for a commander.

Chris
Chris
December 2, 2014 11:01 am

I may have noted this before, but… As I see it all these vehicles – indeed all military items from aircraft carriers to bullets, from fast jets to infantrymen – as tools in the Commanders’ toolbox. Just like all of us* keep a toolbox at home with drills screwdrivers hammers saws knives soldering irons etc because for any given task a different tool works best, it makes sense for the military to keep lots of different kit because different situations are best dealt with using different force structures. So I don’t want to withdraw tanks or trucks or arty guns or any other useful tool; instead I want to ensure all bases are covered so there’s no need to ‘make do’ with inappropriate equipment just because there’s a gap in the capabilities available.

*I have a sneaking suspicion that RT’s toolbox under the stairs has just one rusty old knife in it, and that he gains great pride from the fact that all DIY tasks are done only using the one trusty rusty blade…

Steve Coltman
Steve Coltman
December 2, 2014 12:40 pm

I would have thought that, where strategically-mobile / air transported forces are concerned the choice is simple: either light armoured vehicles or no armoured vehicles at all. Heavy vehicles of any kind cannot be air-lifted in any sensible numbers. For air-mobile forces the Sprut looks pretty good (to a civilian). Better than sending paratroopers and Land Rovers.

Observer
Observer
December 2, 2014 12:47 pm

Just an interesting sidenote if anyone is interested, a Light Strike vehicle carrying Spike missiles can carry 11 rounds per.

Random, the problem comes when tanks can be killed easily, then they have no advantage over an infantry squad any more. While I admit that ATGMs are not a dime a dozen on the battlefield, they are getting more common, and mounted on fast vehicles with a maturing doctrine of use, which means that life is getting a bit harder for armour. Not impossible, just harder.

Common tactics for light anti-tank vehicles commonly involve reverse slope defence, outflanking and indirect fire. The former 2 were pretty common in the old days with RR armed jeeps, the indirect fire is a new trick.

Kent
Kent
December 2, 2014 4:14 pm

I like it. It gives good mobility and firepower with some armor protection to light forces. Something like this appearing unexpectedly in a rear area in support of airborne troops could play havoc with lines of communication and supply. It could also defend an airhead until heavier stuff could be brought in by airlanding.

I was always a fan of the CVR(T) Scorpion and Scimitar, especially the later versions with powered turrets, thermals, and LRFs. The Scorpion with a 90mm Cockerill Mk.8 gun isn’t a real tank, of course, but imagine trying to react to a squadron (US company) of those and Scimitars running loose in the trains area. Throw in enough Spartans to move some infantry and some Strikers (Yeah, I know they’re gone.) to seriously swat anything bigger than an APC/IFV, and you have the makings of a real dust-up behind the lines.

Of course, they could also handle your odd Mali or whatever just as well.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 2, 2014 4:29 pm

Indirect fire new? Or just the munitions better?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 2, 2014 5:56 pm

After the fact https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_WALs0jaIsE

Does not look like a Geiger, but rather checking for an unexploded munition.
– not the entry pont in the back of the turret… As per product”brochure”

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 2, 2014 6:12 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_WALs0jaIE

The corrected link.

Edit function ignores me. I will return the favour… 20 mins wasted!

mr.fred
mr.fred
December 2, 2014 6:40 pm

The armoured capsule for the crew is in some ways compelling, but you have to consider if you are happy with losing the vehicles fighting or manoeuvre capacity to any stray machine gun or explosive burst.

Tanks are vulnerable to some of the weapons in most militaries arsenals. This has been true for the entire history of the tank, save for a few examples for a few tanks for a short window and usually at significant cost to other aspects of the AFV triangle. The point is that they are not vulnerable to most of the oppositions weapon systems, while trucks and jeeps are.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 2, 2014 6:54 pm

Exactly

“if you are happy with losing the vehicles fighting or manoeuvre capacity to any stray machine gun or explosive burst”

SEP standard means
– stays in the fight if 155 does not hit closer than 30m
– the mentioned loss if the hit is closer; crew survivability a different criterion
– 7.62 proof close up; MGs at a normal engagement distance (if the commander does not have his wits with him, that can’t be helped)

Kent
Kent
December 2, 2014 8:09 pm

“SEP standard means
– stays in the fight if 155 does not hit closer than 30m”

Having been in a tank when a 155 mm HE round landed a bit nearer than that, we managed to “stay in the fight,” but the work replacing fenders, tool boxes, and mounting brackets later was a real pain. When it hit, it felt like we hit something in the road – the tank bounced a bit. It didn’t seem any louder than firing the main gun, though. Luckily, we were engaging targets with the main gun and .50 Cal, so no one’s head was out of the hatches.

PhilEeeeeee
PhilEeeeeee
December 2, 2014 9:26 pm

AAC- “– to favour designs using armoured capsules for the crew, rather than heavy armour all around…”

The things that crew need to access within the vehicle are generally ammunition, food, water and communication equipment. The thing is, when you get inside a modern vehicle, that’s pretty much all you will see.

You could move along of the electronics outside the crew compartment, but then you expose them to a wider set of environmental issues and vastly more complex EMC constraints.

It would be a great design exercise to be involved in, but it’s a tough nut.

McZ
McZ
December 2, 2014 9:42 pm

This vehicle is what I call a “political weapon”. Being able to reach most parts of former CIS with a regiment or a brigade of airborne troops, and a political agenda to fear them into submission.

Since 2006, the Russians have “managed” to buy around 24 Sprut-SD and 60 BMD-4 vehicles. How many of them are serviceable?

In the same time, Stryker deliveries of different types amount to 4,400+, with 2,600 serviceable. Successfully tested for air drops using a C-17, but not cleared.

So, I guess the ‘west’ is quite comfortable.

“It could also defend an airhead until heavier stuff could be brought in by airlanding.”

Maybe, against an adversary not capable of using ATGMs… or telling too many question before suppressing the airhead with arty… or having no turban-wearing IED expert…

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 2, 2014 10:59 pm

@TD

“Still a fan of the Russian Terminator vehicle, which, lets not forget, came out of hard won combat experience”

More than the Western nations who have experienced combat in the FYG, Kuwait and Iraq twice, Afghanistan and various parts of Africa?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 2, 2014 11:23 pm

@TD

So perhaps you can point out when the Russians fought a conventional conflict on anything like the scale of GW1 or GW2? They got arsed Afghanistan, fought rebels in Chechnya and waltzed into Georgia.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 2, 2014 11:56 pm

Mr Fred,

No one sensible deliberately assaults a prepared and fortified line. It might be what you might have to do very occasionally, but it is not what you should ever try to do as a first option.

The aim with prepared positions is to isolate them by going around them, mask them by indirect assets and electronic means, and cut their support lines. For that you need speed and communications. And a fluid, agile way of thinking. There’s far more shock action in that than throwing 70 tonnes of BAE ironmongery at it frontally, quite slowly and noisily.

Hence the preference for speedy wagons, rather than armoured wagons.

Having played a part in the utter destruction of an entire Iraqi Armoured brigade by a single British CVR(T) equipped recce regiment in less than seven hours, I know what I prefer.

Midlander
Midlander
December 3, 2014 12:24 am

Hi,
Bit off topic, but video 4 looked like a “Russian Military Top Gear”, complete with messy dressed and irreverent presenter and similar filiming technques. Curious to watch….do they have more episodes TD?
M

mr.fred
mr.fred
December 3, 2014 7:28 am

RT,
The thing about light trucks is that one doesn’t need much of a defensive line to hold them up, so it is easier to create a continuous line, in depth, to interfere and keep them out or just wear them down.

In terms of flat-out speed, the light vehicles might be twice as fast as heavy armour. In terms of tactical speed I would not expect the difference to be so much.

Even CVR(T), for all its flaws, is still protected against most small arms and shell splinters, so is much less vulnerable, requiring the enemy to deploy special weapons to defeat.

There is a need for light, fast vehicles. Performing a brigade assault with them against a halfway competent adversary doesn’t strike me as a path to longevity. Unless you have a very large, sparsely populated and open geography to run around it, it isn’t going to let you play to the strengths needed to survive.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 3, 2014 8:16 am

I, too, like the

“tank support tank (Terminator) It is aimed at protecting MBT’s in difficult terrain against RPG/ATGW teams, dismounted infantry and other threats, even when the vehicles have infantry support.”

Was quite surprised that in their nxt-gen design the idea of having enough crew to have a 360 coverage all the time is gone (now down to 3, AGLs gone).

wf
wf
December 3, 2014 8:40 am

@RT, looking at typical European terrain, there has proved to be a distinct lack of easy flanks to turn. No fan of “hey diddle diddle”, but assuming the former looks nuts :-(

DomS
DomS
December 3, 2014 1:19 pm

Interested to read that the newest Russian airborne AFVs do drop with crew inside:
http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product1024.html
I hadn’t realised, it must take some getting used to!

Kent
Kent
December 3, 2014 1:41 pm

@RT – Nothing like speedy armored wagons with big whacking guns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBG_G678Trg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruyXYkh9-mM

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 3, 2014 3:15 pm

,

Was done in the Soviet days, but when restarted in 2010, only driver and commander were inside. BMD 3 is being replaced by 4, and like Sprut it cannot be airdropped at all, as the weight has gone up ( by 2 tonnes).

TD was agonising about no replacement for our old stressed platform, but the problem is not unique. Though VDV has an impressive overall strength, its 4 divisions equate to UK bde in strength (there is an additional bde w/o heavy equipment) and further: out of the 4, two are actually”airlanded” with only one of their bns being in a para role.

Phil
December 3, 2014 10:02 pm

It might be what you might have to do very occasionally,

Except that’s a statement that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. It’s an aspiration perhaps, but it in close country in a dense battlefield and an aggressive enemy it’s something you better get used to until you’ve killed enough that they can’t fill the gaps any more.

Phil
December 3, 2014 10:09 pm

That Terminator doesn’t carry much ammo. About 40 seconds of fire per ammo type. Something like 20 2 second bursts. Not much persistence for such a big vehicle.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 3, 2014 10:28 pm

Good point, Phil. Never realised that, and explains the redesign.

And also the reason why the Namer only has a .50 cal ( v sophisticated fire-on-the-move, though). Can carry enough ammo (and water and…) To stay in the fight in places where the loggies can’t come.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 4, 2014 12:19 am

Phil,

Except count the amount of times we have had to actually do that since 1945. Very few, mostly in Korea. I’m not sure that your statement stands up to any scrutiny.

wf
wf
December 4, 2014 8:59 am

@RT: umm, you remember that breach in the Iraqi lines you must have gone through in GW1? That would appear to be a position that needed to be breached by heavy armoured forces, surely :-)

a
a
December 4, 2014 10:47 am

designs using armoured capsules for the crew, rather than heavy armour all around

Can see where you’re coming from here (the “armoured citadel” idea for warships) but I don’t think it works for tanks. In a warship, there is lots of stuff to put outside the citadel – stores, water tanks, mess decks, accommodation and so on. Inside the citadel you have the engines, the magazines, the gun turrets and the conning tower or CIC.

Tanks just don’t have that much stuff that you wouldn’t want to protect. Inside the box you would need to have the driver, the turret crew, the ammunition – what does that leave? Putting the engine outside the armour means that the tank is incredibly vulnerable.

wf
wf
December 4, 2014 12:05 pm

@a: I suspect for tanks / IFV’s you are correct. For lightweight vehicles, all bets are off :-)

monkey
monkey
December 4, 2014 4:24 pm

The TARDEC ULV experimental vehicle placed the diesel engine (its a true hybrid and can run off the internal batteries to get out of trouble if the engine is damaged) and the electronics are also outside of the Dyneema armoured crew compartment to keep down the size and also to reduce the stress on the Aircon systems. At present two of the three prototypes are under going further tests after the mobility trials (read being shot at and blown up) and one has been retained for fetching pizza or sum such.
Also the Supacat SPV400 already has an armoured crew pod. A modified version is being sold to the India for patrolling the Norwest Frontier of Kashmir and is being built by Tata Motors in India. They are building several hundred for use by local armed forces in this lawless area where a normal 4×4 is about as much use as a Snatch.
http://www.army-technology.com/features/feature-the-future-armoured-vehicle-technology/feature-the-future-armoured-vehicle-technology-2.html

Observer
Observer
December 4, 2014 4:31 pm

Er… Phil, RT, you guys know you are both talking about the same thing? That tank slug outs are rare? It’s those pesky double negatives. :)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 4, 2014 5:19 pm

Inside the box you would need to have the driver, the turret crew, the ammunition – what does that leave? Putting ammo into blow-out boxes and using autoloader (saves 1 in crew).

The rest is there in tardec: hybrid drive, preferably wheels, than tracks as the mobility kill most often comes from them. Electronics (some can be boxed separately).

These vehicles are throw away stuff. As long you have the crew, you come and eecover the expensive bits (weapons, sensors, engine) and ifnthe rest is not recoverable, so be it.

Phil
December 4, 2014 5:33 pm

@RT

Firstly it’s not so relevant (a) applying an arbitrary 1945 cut off date and (b) how many times we’ve done it (although I’d add 1982, 1991, 2003 and 2009 to your list). It’s relevant that on a dense battlefield you have to earn the right to manoeuvre.

If you had had to fight the evil Reds in West Germany the only flank worth a damn would have been the Baltic and the Med with a wall of shock armies racing toward Paris (or NORTHAG racing toward Warsaw if we stop thinking like westerners for a moment). Every other flank on an operational scale you’d have had to shape or had imposed on you as a salient formed in your lines.

Normandy 1944 should have taught us many lessons, the main one being that the breakout was never going to be breakout until the Germans were worn down. The USMC in 1991 didn’t have any flanks until they created them themselves. And neither effectively did VIII Corps.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 5, 2014 8:26 am

Halfway up TD mentioned Terminator and its origins in hard won battle experience. Stumbled across this piece of post-combat analysis by Lester Grau for the US Army in 1994 (and comments to it):

“The elevation and depression of the Russian main tank guns are incapable of dealing with hunter-killer teams fighting from basements and second- or third-story positions, and the simultaneous attack from five or six teams negate the effectiveness of the tank’s machine guns. The Russians attached ZSU-23-4 and 2S6 track-mounted antiaircraft guns to armored columns to respond to these difficult-to-engage hunter-killer teams.6
COMMENT:
And lost nearly all of them in combat. Their armor was too thin, and they had too many vital parts (like gun water cooling jackets) that were unprotected. The conclusion was that SPAAGs are good in open terrain, where they can stand off and pour automatic fire from outside RPG range, but in cities they are very vulnerable”

a
a
December 5, 2014 9:55 am

ACC: but then what you have is not really a tank, because it has mission-critical bits outside the armoured box. Yes, the crew can survive a hit. But the tank can’t, not as a fighting unit. The point of the armoured citadel design for warships is that the ship could continue to fight as long as the citadel was intact and the ship was still afloat. Your citadel tank design could be mission-killed by any sort of weapon from a hand grenade up.

Random
Random
December 5, 2014 12:35 pm


Was reading http://www.amazon.co.uk/British-Armour-Normandy-Campaign-Buckley/dp/0714653233 and it made a compelling case that commanders where desperate to fight the kind of campaign the Germans managed in 1940. Post war criticism by these commanders focused on the lack of aggressiveness in the men they commanded and how it stopped them from leading the kind of war they envisioned with fast armored formations running havoc among the rear lines of the enemy and encircling huge numbers of them, just like the Germans had inflicted on the British and french in 1940. However the book defended the men claiming that they did not lack aggressiveness, and where in fact taking and inflicting casualties on a level with ww1 it was just that against a competent enemy the kind of warfare managed by the Germans in 1940 is not possible. It was only after the British had out fought the Germans that the Americans where able to lead a break out. The British eventually did this with a fuck load of arty (but thats another debate), Bloody brave infantry , and tanks who supported the infantry and didn’t bugger of and try and perform some grand encirclement. whenever they tried this they got defeated by dug in infantry with antitank weapons. The ability of the tank to support the infantry was dependent on it being relatively hard to kill. In Normandy the average engagement range was well within the effective range of even the most puny German antitank weapon, but you could say to a tank commander, attack that tree line over that field, and he would say fine as long as you blast the fuck out of it with arty and give me some infantry who will spray any area where a guy might pop up with a panzerfaust and ive got a good chance of taking the tree line and only loosing a tank or two, its not great but we cant let these poor infantry guys charge into mg42s on their own now can we.
Unfortunately this rather horrible unglamorous necessity of armored warfare gets forgotten in favor of more dynamic exciting stuff in the dessert. The book argued that this might be to protect the reputations of certain officers who made mistakes in the early part of the campaign. This is why personally im glad that the challenger is a bit on the chunkey side but can survive a load of Milan and rpg hits, and the TRT officer i spoke to thinks his duty is to be ready to crash into an enemy position in support of infantry.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 5, 2014 2:48 pm

Just as well, as the more open the landscape became, the more the German tech advantage showed:
based on 86 tank vs. tank and tank vs. anti-tank engagements fought by the divisions mentioned.based on 86 tank vs. tank and tank vs. anti-tank engagements fought by the divisions mentioned. It (THE TABLE ) gives the average ranges at which tanks were destroyed, in yards, as follows:

Allied tanks__Enemy tanks__Place
476____________N/A_______Vicinity Stollberg
959____________733_______Roer to Rhein
1000___________833_______Belgian Bulge
1260___________936_______Vicinity Arracourt
1116___________831_______Sarre
731____________915_______Relief of Bastogne

It gives the average ranges at which tanks were destroyed, in yards, as follows:

Allied tanks__Enemy tanks__Place
476____________N/A_______Vicinity Stollberg
959____________733_______Roer to Rhein
1000___________833_______Belgian Bulge
1260___________936_______Vicinity Arracourt
1116___________831_______Sarre
731____________915_______Relief of Bastogne

Allied tanks were in essence infantry support tanks, 1000 Fireflys had been ordered specifically for the occasion to beef the force up. How many made it in time, don’t know. Cromwell was also a fairly late arrival for the NW Europe land campaign.

PS it is an epic fight to bring tables into the comment box

Random
Random
December 5, 2014 3:11 pm

. I believe 1 in 4 British Shermans where firefly conversions in Normandy and where 1 out of 2 by the end of the war.

monkey
monkey
December 5, 2014 3:19 pm


The Russians have proposed and practice two scenarios for tank support by the Terminators , in open country the ratios are to be 2 tanks to every Terminator where the tanks 125mm long gun will be more useful supressing enemy defences (Russians plan all ways for the attack it seems) whilst in built up areas it is reversed 2 terminators for every tank as their high elevating twin 30mm 2A42 cannons (900rds for both) and twin 30mm grenade launchers (600rds for both) are more useful than the restrictions you mentioned in your post on the tanks 125mm main gun.
P.S. eventually worked out from the various orders ,which all ways mix in other equipment, that a reworked T72 into a Terminator is about a $1mn (including engine upgrade) Not a bad deal if you have lots of T72’s lying around (and there are a LOT! ) That’s to say about ten Terminators for 1 FRES SV , odds on that engagement anyone ?

Random
Random
December 5, 2014 3:20 pm

its important to remember that the 17 pounder mounted on the firefly could not fire HE so was not as good at infantry support. They where particularly good in Normandy after they had taken ground as the Germans would counter attack and the firefly could fight Hull-down. Luckily the Germans lost allot of their Armour this way.