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"Sherman 75mm HE ricochet fire" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Wolfhag20 Nov 2021 11:03 a.m. PST

One of the advantages the Sherman 75 HE round had was that when firing with a delay fuse it can create a more effective air burst. He is an illustration out of the manual:


stephen m20 Nov 2021 11:58 a.m. PST

Wow, really in the weeds looking at grains of sand if you want to incorporate that level in a game. Sounds like Treadheads.

emckinney20 Nov 2021 12:02 p.m. PST

I do wonder how practical that was.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2021 12:02 p.m. PST

Same detail (too much) of M4 tanks firing at the pavement under a Panther looking for the ricochet to bounce up and penetrate the bottom hull armor.

One wonders how often, if ever, that either of these attempts actually happened.

TangoOneThreeAlpha20 Nov 2021 12:33 p.m. PST


Just finished James Holland's 'Brothers in Arm', the story of The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry from Normandy to Germany 1944-45. They were mounted in Shermans and ricochet fire (and creating airbursts) is mentioned a couple of times by the participants.

Excellent read by the way.

Cheers Paul

emckinney20 Nov 2021 3:09 p.m. PST

Bouncings shots off of walls is one of the advantages of low-velocity guns with a smaller caliber! Try this with a Panther or Tiger: both are likely to penetrate the wall, instead.

Blutarski20 Nov 2021 4:37 p.m. PST

The Devil is always in the details.


whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2021 5:01 p.m. PST

I just assume that the game mechanics take this into effect…

JMcCarroll20 Nov 2021 6:00 p.m. PST

Would need to be a veteran unit to even attempt it. Being a billiard player would help!

Wolfhag20 Nov 2021 7:53 p.m. PST

I have come across several accounts and evidently it was taught in training.

I guess you could just use it as a modifier for chance to hit against non-vehicle targets and making it more deadly than a ground burst. I don't think it would work to target the underbelly of a tank but it would force a crew to button up and maybe cause some damage, especially to open top vehicles that may be hull down or behind cover and hard to hit.

When you are firing at a medium size anti-tank gun it may present a vertical target of only one foot high, pretty difficult to hit. Even if you missed over it a few inches the round is going to carry further than the burst radius when it hits. Fragments from a ground burst short can be stopped by the shield. It does not sound that difficult, you can aim at the target or in front of it, practice helps too.

Not all tanks could do this giving the Sherman another advantage other tanks did not have. The Germans could do it but the delay fuse was twice as long which resulted in the air burst being too high to be effective.

stephen m: What's Treadheads?


Griefbringer21 Nov 2021 9:48 a.m. PST

Modelling this gaming-wise would have the further challenge that the softness/hardness of the ground would also need to be defined to determine whether it is feasible to ricochet off the rounds.

In an urban environment, there is probably a lot of hard ground in the forms of roads, squares, paved yards etc. but the engagement ranges might be too short to make the ricochets work, as the projectile needs to encounter ground at sufficiently flat range. Furthermore, if the intended target is sufficiently close to a building, then lobbing HE rounds at that building might provide viable source of airburst – or result in pieces of masonry flying around.

Out on the countryside, fields and meadows can be quite soft, especially if it has been raining recently (as can often be the case in northern France, Belgium or Netherlands). Though if the weather gets sufficiently cold for some time, even soft ground can freeze rather hard.

What about northern Africa and the rest of the Mediterranean area, where the weather is drier and warmer? Parts of the Saharan desert are covered by lots of soft sand, but by my understanding other parts can be quite rocky instead.

Martin Rapier21 Nov 2021 10:08 a.m. PST

This sort of thing is way below the level of detail I'd normally consider. The to hit, to kill rolls in WRG 25 to 50 are quite sufficient.

Wrt the Sahara, much of the ground is hard, and covered with rocks to varying degrees (except where it isn't). Good luck reliably bouncing shells off that. They soft bits aren't very good for vehicular (or any) movement.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2021 11:28 a.m. PST

stephen m: What's Treadheads?

I think I know this, 'Treadheads' are people who are affectionados of all things Tank/AFV
Nothing to do with the board game!

Legion 421 Nov 2021 5:34 p.m. PST

I think Treadheads is war game ?

Wolfhag21 Nov 2021 6:25 p.m. PST

That's kind of what I thought. Maybe I'm a Treadhead. What do you know about the board game?


Wolfhag23 Nov 2021 5:55 a.m. PST

One of the reasons I like this level of detail is because it forces players to make the same decisions as real crews did.

If you have a platoon of four Sherman's you can have them loaded with HE delay/quick, WP, smoke, AP or canister. Now you are ready for immediate response to armor, anti-tank guns and infantry. You could have no round in the chamber and then load one once you see the threat but that takes additional time.

With all things being equal, the Sherman could get the first shot off against German tanks because the commander could traverse the turret and even shoot without the need for the gunner to engage the target. No other tank in WWII could do this. That was effective out to about 500 yards but in many areas of W Europe that was the normal range. Now the gunner is on the target and can take over.

The gunner had a panoramic roof periscope for quicker target acquisition and engagement, the Germans did not. Also the Sherman turret traverse was much quicker. You could say that the Sherman was "The fastest draw in the West".

Unfortunately for the Allies in NWE an engagement normally started off with the German getting the first shot from an ambush position. Using flashless powder from a concealed position made them harder to spot too.

Unless you have a way to give Sherman's these important historical advantages they end up being very inferior to German tanks. I've found it does not impact plyability. These features make the Sherman fun to play and frustrates the hell out of German Fan Boys. When they go up against a player experienced using the Sherman they spend most of the game whining.


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