I gotta ask, why are all the TD's open topped? Seems unhealthy

I gotta ask, why are all the TD's open topped? Seems unhealthy

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    more room to move around
    they had big guns, ya know
    besides, they weren't used as regular tanks were
    still vulnerable as frick to aircraft, I guess

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    idea was to remind them that they aren't tanks and to help them have better visibility. at least the m36 wound up getting a permanent, endorsed modification for full top coverage.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Saves weight, gives the crew some air, gives them a bit more room. It also allows the tank commander or whoever to actually just pop his head out a bit/talk to people. A lot of them had temporary or permanent roof coverings to prevent rain from coming in/provide armor though.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Imagine worrying about planes as an American tanker

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      ain't that what the pintle mounted M2 is for ?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Ostensibly, but even in the field manuals they said it wasn't all that useful for it. It's described as "something to give the pilots something to think about, and convince them to abort their attack" or something to that effect. A deterrent, at best. In practice they were mostly used for fire support

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Ostensibly, but even in the field manuals they said it wasn't all that useful for it. It's described as "something to give the pilots something to think about, and convince them to abort their attack" or something to that effect. A deterrent, at best. In practice they were mostly used for fire support

        the pintle mounts were already a staple when the US was just entering the war and they hadnt yet realized air supremacy but assumed the enemy would have some control of the skies and so everything needed at least a .30, but preferably a .50, for self-defense
        and while a single .50 is only a deterrent at best, a whole platoon with .50s pointed at the skies, and a whole platoon of half-tracks with their .50s doing the same, and every jeep in the vicinity with a .30 adding a tiny extra help, then your odds of producing a lucky hit go way up

        but they were kept on the tank long after the luftwaffe was destroyed as an effective fighting force because it just so happened to be really good at fire support
        the .50 could easily punch through brick or sand bags and could be used to hose down enemy positons
        a common modification was to remove the .50 from the back of the turret of the M4 and move it to the front so that the commander could fire it from inside the vehicle, preventing it from being used as an AA weapon entirely but making it superior in the ground role

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          remember, you don't have to shoot down the flyer, getting him to miss is still a success for AD work, even a handful of tracers can get a pilot to flinch off target. But generally yes.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Shame they moved it. Surfing a Sherman into battle with a 50 in your mitts looks rad as frick.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Wouldn't having an open top make it easier to have achieve a high gun depression angle?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That's just American tank destroyers

      First of all, there is armor above the cannon, it's not out in the open, so it's just as restricted as in a normal tank. Second of all, because the cannon is so heavy, the tank is limited to 15 degree tilt or the turret can't turn, and turning the turret is really hard when the tank is tilted. Hull down wasn't actually what this tank was designed for.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Americans
    >needing to worry about the Luftwaffe
    Really fricks over War Thunder players, however.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The turrets were slow to turn because they were already so heavy. Adding a few hundred pounds was asking too much. Another issue was that the turret ring really was at its limit when the tank wasn't level, again adding more weight would cause problems. The open top was embraced, claiming that the improved visibility would make up for the lack of protection. Also, this was kind of a slapped together idea based on "Sherman + new gun" in the middle of a war.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The M18 and M36 both had power traverse, since they came later in the war
      The M10 had a power traverse kit available after D-day, but it was no longer in production and the M18 and M36 were seen as inevitable replacements for them so it was seen as an unneededly difficult feat to re-equip several thousand of them in the field

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I dunno about the M18, but the powered M36 turret didn't turn quickly.

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        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          it's not really about speed, it's not wearing out your gunner moving a multi-ton hunk of steel around.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It's about speed as much as anything. And again turn performance was strained when the tank wasn't level.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          it turned much faster than the M10, the M36 manual states about 20 seconds to achieve a full rotation which is 4x faster than the >1minute rotation on the M10, but more importantly the 90mm gun made it impossible to handcrank the turret anyways

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    See the enemy first
    to shoot first
    to kill first

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Except TDs would only be called to the front AFTER other units had already encountered enemy armor.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Real fighting is not like an RTS game moron. The TD would still need to acquire the enemy tank before they can engage it.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          TDs were not literally rushing right at the enemy to fire at them, but they would acquire good ambush positions first and as the force that made contact withdraws they enemy would encounter dug-in and prepared TDs that would slow down and blunt the enemy long enough for a counter-attack

          the pure example of this only happened once ever at north africa, where the TDs took high casualties but inflicted high casualties
          germans were never so aggressive with their armor again, so TDs were used in a dispersed manner throughout france and germany
          in which they were more used as self-propelled anti-tank guns

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It bares remembering that in that fight the TD forces were still relying largely on M3 GMC and jeeps with 37's mounted on the back, so it shouldn't come as much surprise that they suffered a fair few casualties

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    American doctrine prioritized speed and a hard hitting gun, open topped saves weight and lets you better identify and quickly engage enemy armor

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    a similar question i have is that why are the americans the only nation that gave their TDs a turret? every other country did not use turrets for theirs

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >a similar question i have is that why are the americans the only nation that gave their TDs a turret?
      different design priorities

      germans and soviets saw the TD as more of a sniper, so the turret was extra weight, cost, and height
      theres also the thinly armored, open-top, cheap TDs like the marder, and the heavily armored, fully enclosed, heavy TDs like the elefant and jagdpanther (and the baby version the hetzer, fully enclosed but small)

      americans saw the TD as more of an ambush vehicle
      having a turret, even a slow handcranked one like the M10, meant that the gun could aim without needing to coordinate with the driver or wearing out the tracks
      and to an extent, fire at moving targets

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      All tank destroyers are just a result of trying to get limited manufacturing to specialize more towards anti-tank firepower. It wasn't even about the vehicle, it was more just that they wanted a big gun to be self propelled and then also considered some protection. The vehicle was usually something that was just already designed and being manufactured, getting the big gun fit to it was all they were planning on doing.

      They all had compromises based around just getting the gun in the field.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Building on

      >a similar question i have is that why are the americans the only nation that gave their TDs a turret?
      different design priorities

      germans and soviets saw the TD as more of a sniper, so the turret was extra weight, cost, and height
      theres also the thinly armored, open-top, cheap TDs like the marder, and the heavily armored, fully enclosed, heavy TDs like the elefant and jagdpanther (and the baby version the hetzer, fully enclosed but small)

      americans saw the TD as more of an ambush vehicle
      having a turret, even a slow handcranked one like the M10, meant that the gun could aim without needing to coordinate with the driver or wearing out the tracks
      and to an extent, fire at moving targets

      , America had unrivaled industrial capacity but also the supply bottleneck of that production needing to cross an ocean compounded by relatively primitive logistics (Intermodal Containers and RO-RO vessels are both postwar inventions). Premium design features like powered turrets could be produced with minimal effect on delivery rate + cost while maximizing combat potential. Not limited to armor either - American strike aircraft fit powered turrets where foreign equivalents largely retained less effective flexible mounts.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Any method of transporting an M4 can also transport an M10. The turret is okay.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Entirely different doctrine. German and Soviet TDs were assault guns, expected to undertake offensive action and expose themselves to fire in support of the infantry. American TDs were self propelled anti-tank guns. Like a self propelled howitzer, they weren't expected to move offensively and it was decided that they didn't need much more armor than a towed anti-tank gun.

      I have no idea why people can't get their head around what American TDs were and how they were intended to be used. It's just a normal AT gun put on top of its towing tractor instead of being pulled behind. It was designed and used like any other towed AT gun, and not a tank or assault gun.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >German and Soviet TDs were assault guns, expected to undertake offensive action and expose themselves to fire in support of the infantry.
        german TDs were seperate from their assault guns
        the jagdpanzer IV was attached to panzer units and was used specifically to blunt enemy armored attacks on the defense while the stug IV/III were assigned to infantry units to attack hard targets, which may have included armor
        there was some crossover, stugs could be issued as replacements for jadpanzers if supply was short, but they did have distinct roles and their own organization

        american TDs were often used as self-propelled anti-tank guns, but that wasnt different from how the germans would use their TDs

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >I have no idea why people can't get their head around what American TDs were and how they were intended to be used.
        It's the same reason why people can't understand British Infantry tanks.
        They played a Russian arcade tank combat game and mistake it for having any semblance of real life.

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They look comfy to operate during the spring and summer.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the idea was that they'd be used like anti tank guns with engines

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    TD doctrine was from moronic from top to bottom including the requirement that they be more dangerous for no reason

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >no reason
      It wasn't for no reason, it was for increased visibility. One could argue that it's not worth the trade off, but to say it's "no reason" is simply false

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It bares remembering that in that fight the TD forces were still relying largely on M3 GMC and jeeps with 37's mounted on the back, so it shouldn't come as much surprise that they suffered a fair few casualties

        Visibility and infantry coordination that really got to shine once the equipment was up to par. Like the 704th and 705th TD battalions; on several occasions a single platoon attached as support to an infantry battalion demolished company-scale panzer assaults.

  14. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Crew visibility.
    See first, shoot first.

  15. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It gave the best view of freshly dispensed Liberty

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >we fricked up
      >no you didn't, i told you to kill whatever popped up and you did, keep doing it
      >it pays dividends
      god i love these types of stories.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        My uncle was in Korea and he shot his LTC on purpose by accident.

        Part of his unit got peeled off to protect some kind of signals/mobile radar thing set up near the front line. It was like 2200 and he had just got up to go stand midnight sentry duty so he straps on his gear, grabs his rifle and gets ready to go when he hears scratching at the window of the trailer they had been using as a bunkhouse.

        So he stands there for a second wondering if its something he should even be thinking about and not just a tree branch when the window lifts and a hand comes through. Uncle raises his rifle and starts yelling challenge phrases and commands but whoever the hand belongs to just keeps trying to come through.

        So uncle rips off a round and blows the intruders hand off, and is shocked at the resulting rapid cursing and screaming in English. He and the other guys in the bunkhouse trailer run outside to find the LTC (sans a hand) rolling around on the ground in a pool of blood screaming and gripping his stump.

        There was an investigation but my uncle didn't face any consequences or have and disciplinary actions, the investigators pretty much said the LTC was a dumbass for not answering the challenges with passphrases or even just saying "It's LTC Skippy, I had to take a piss but the door locked behind me, let me in." and that my uncle had done the right thing, didn't hurt that his whole platoon watched entire thing go down.

  16. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If they were closed top, they would be tanks.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      M10s had improvised metal roofs and open top TDs had canvas roofs to protect from rain. Still TDs.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It's all designation anyway. Put M10 next to Panther, and if you have never seen these vehicles before, they're both tanks.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      the post-war M36 was essentially just a tank, it was given a metal roof to protect them from rain and artillery splinters and its 90mm gun was the same as the M26, which had been redesignated a medium tank
      and the M36 spent most of its time in the last years of the war firing HE shells, TD battalions had been attached to infantry units to attack non-tank targets

      this was a large part of why the TD battalions were disbanded after the war
      they had 5 divisions worth of not-tanks doing tank jobs while the tank was doing TD jobs, so it was 2 different vehicles doing the same job
      and so they would rather just have 5 more armored divisions instead

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