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"One Cromwell kills two Panthers - consecutive shots" Topic

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1,124 hits since 14 Apr 2022
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Warspite114 Apr 2022 1:48 a.m. PST

Yes, looks like a Band of Brothers scenario.

Cromwells in support of US paratroopers in Holland, a single Cromwell kills one Panther with one shot and then pumps four more rounds into another:

YouTube link

Nice shooting. All five rounds hit and the fact that the second suffered four hits without shooting back is a testament to the supposedly 'inferior' Brit/US 75mm and its rate-of-fire advantage.

John Foley said his Churchill at Villers Bocage got off three shots at a Tiger 1 before it even fired back.


advocate14 Apr 2022 2:48 a.m. PST

Semken's Sherman got off four shots at a Tiger before it could return fire. This in a combat that resembled a Western gunfight.

Martin Rapier14 Apr 2022 11:24 a.m. PST

"John Foley said his Churchill at Villers Bocage got off three shots at a Tiger 1 before it even fired"

It was at Brieux, and Tiger did destroy his entire troop…

Sometimes a high ROF isn't quite good enough. "Bouncing off like peas from a flipping drum. What would the infantry do if we issued them rifles which wouldn't penetrate the enemies uniforms sir?" As his gunner put it.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2022 12:29 p.m. PST

Interesting! Martin makes a good point – when the Tiger was introduced into major combat the Russians had the problem of T-34s being able to hit them fairly often – but not doing any damage! Must have been very frustrating (not to mention dangerous)

advocate14 Apr 2022 12:31 p.m. PST

I take your point, Martin. I think we are just drawing attention to the fact that Allied tanks were often able to defeat heavier German vehicles in situations where many rules would make the chances very small, if at all.
One thing I have noticed in tank actions is how very one-sided they might be. For example a few days after the regiment destroyed several German tanks (including panthers and tigers) they lost an entire troop themselves.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2022 9:46 p.m. PST

Interesting video. However, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact the panther was hit twice in the driver's compartment and once in the engine. Did it turn around under fire and try to leave, or did the cromwell run past it?

Warspite115 Apr 2022 6:52 a.m. PST

@Dn Jackson:

My understanding suggests all hits were in the side, the gunner probably worked his way along the side with the four shots.

@Martin Rapier:
In my copy John Foley only refers to it as 'the battle of Villers-Bocage'.
Yes the troop was wiped out but Foley does not suggest the same Tiger did all three.

"Mailed Fist" was almost the first book I ever owned. It was given to me, second-hand, by my late father as it referred to Hill 112 and the soldier who was shot in the buttocks by a sniper while going to the toilet. My father was there, on that day, and had witnessed it. At the time they were told it was a 'shrapnel' wound.

Barry Slemmings

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2022 8:02 p.m. PST

Semken's Sherman got off four shots at a Tiger before it could return fire. This in a combat that resembled a Western gunfight.

Great comparison and impressive guy and excellent video. It appears to me to show how important maneuver, surprise and getting off the first shot is.

The Sherman has a number of advantages generally not reflected in war games. First is turret traverse speed. The Sherman is about 25 degrees/second and Tiger I 6-12 degrees per second. The Tiger I was designed as a breakthrough tank to advance in an inverted "Vee" formation with Panzer III's guarding their flanks. There was no need for a fast traverse turret to defend on their flanks.

The Sherman had a commander override on the turret traverse. It was a small lever on his right side. The unbuttoned commander, seeing the threat before the gunner, used the lever to traverse the turret to the target. Some even had a vane sight outside the cupola for the TC to line a shot up and shoot accurately to about 500 yards (elevation was pre-set to that range). The shot could be observed by the gunner and then take over the fire control.

The Sherman had a panoramic roof periscope for the gunner with a field of view of about 50 degrees to more easily identify a target from the TC and engage it. No German tank in WWII had this which took additional time to for the gunner detect (about 10 degree field of view), engage and fire. If the Sherman could fire a round every 4-5 seconds I'm not surprised about the results of the engagement and Semken's skill and luck.

These are important factors in getting the first shots off and if flanking the Tigers and Panthers would explain the Sherman getting off 4 shots to 1 before the Tiger (buttoned up?) could detect and have the gunner engage. It also shows how important Situational Awareness, rapid reaction and shooting first is so important. It's all about timing and seconds count.

Yes, a Western Gunfight with the Sherman the fastest "quick draw in the West (Europe)". No tank is invincible.

Are there any playable games rules that reflect those advantages for the Sherman and disadvantages for the Germans?


VonBlucher30 Apr 2022 1:18 p.m. PST

Wolfhag, the old Battleground rules had hit templates for Front, Rear, Side, and Top for every tank in the game. You rolled a 20-sided Die, against the facing. The also had slow turret rules for Tanks that actually had slow turrets, also shot Trap rulings also.

QUATERMASS30 Apr 2022 6:46 p.m. PST

One thing that strikes me about the Cromwell miniature's is they have a very low profile compared to the Sherman or German tanks; I wonder how,or if this impacted on combat prfomance.

I saw a TV show years a go which interview'ed an old British Sherman tank commander.
He went on to tell a story about coming up on a tiger from behind on a road with stone walls on either side;
He got off four shots hitting the tiger's rear and bonceing off the armour.
While this was happening the tiger's turit traversed and fired one shot which pierced the forward armour.
The old tanker said he saw the shell pass between his legs then it hit the ammo store throwing him in one direction and the turit in another.

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