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  #1  
Old 23-06-21, 15:26
Mike Kelly's Avatar
Mike Kelly Mike Kelly is offline
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Default The Wrong track: Errors in American tank

https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cgi/view...t=master201019
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Old 23-06-21, 19:04
Michael R. Michael R. is offline
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thanks Mike.
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Old 25-06-21, 12:10
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Interesting read, and though I havenít gotten to the end yet, I do notice a number of problems with the text. For starters, the author keeps using the term ďmain battle tankĒ when thatís not what heís talking about ó for the simple reason that the concept of an MBT didnít exist yet. Not a major thing in itself, except that if youíre making an argument about this sort of subject, using the wrong terminology says to me that youíre not as well-grounded in the matter as maybe you should be. Also, the author first casts doubt on claims made by another (Belton Cooper), but then quotes parts of his text without comment, without establishing whether those parts are reliable.

Another one is that Christieís suspension design did not use torsion bars, nor was Christie a military officer. Bringing up the ability to drive Christie tanks with the track removed as an advantage is something that seemed useful at the time but which history has well proven to not be of much real use.

Saying the T-34 had better armour than the ďvery thin and only slightly slopedĒ armour of the M4 is also a bit misleading. The T-34ís hull front had only marginally thicker armour and it was sloped a bit more, but neither exceeded the M4ís by a great amount. The T-34ís main advantage in armour would be that its glacis wasnít made from a large number of pieces welded together.

More later, when Iíve read further
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Old 26-06-21, 00:34
MicS MicS is offline
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I lost interest before reaching page 30. If these poorly researched ramblings by an armchair general qualify as a thesis, then this type of academic work is clearly not my cup of tea.
Jakko pointed out a couple of weaknesses in the beginning of this work, and the rest of it confirms the first impression.
It seems that facts do not matter, but as long as you present you paper as challenging supposedly established historical conclusions and quote enough books you will get your PhD.
Yuck
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  #5  
Old 26-06-21, 17:59
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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I did make it past page 30, and though much of what is said about the history etc. seems factually correct, by chapter 3 the author still hasn’t said much that you couldn’t already learn from various other books on the subject, like Zaloga’s Armored Thunderbolt (which he also quotes from at times). Again, though, he keeps getting details wrong that make me think he’s not an armoured vehicle aficionado Like:—

Quote:
The T20 series was at first intended to mount the 76mm cannon (also known as a 3 inch gun). (…) it was also the same cannon that was mounted on the M10 Wolverine and M18 Hellcat tank destroyers.
Well … no. The 76-mm Gun M1 ≠ 3-inch Gun M7, and the quote makes it seem like the two were interchangeable or even identical. Never mind that one was fitted to the 3-inch GMC M10 and the other to the 76-mm GMC M18. I’ll leave it up to the reader to guess which gun went into which vehicle (I’ll skip over his continual usage of “Wolverine”, “Hellcat” and “Jackson” because this would get much longer still if I don’t )

Quote:
It is striking that so much paperwork and official business had to be dealt with simply to procure two pilot models of a tank thought to be the near future of the U.S. Army during a war on a scale never before seen or experienced.
I think he meant: “a tank thought by some, mainly those developing it, to be the near future of the U.S. Army”, which is not the same. But then, his basic argument appears to be that the T20-series was delayed by those who didn’t see a need for it — which is hardly surprising.

Zaloga’s book has a good (better, IMHO) explanation of the reasons for this perceived lack of need than this thesis does so far (I’ve gotten to page 50 at the time of typing this sentence). As does this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQggt4Co54A

(Oh, feature request: YouTube embedding in the forum, so it automatically turns a URL like above, into a video you can play right here )
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  #6  
Old 27-06-21, 17:02
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Okay, got to the end …

My overall impression is that it’s not a bad text per se, but it also doesn’t really reveal any important information you wouldn’t already know if you’ve read a book like Armored Thunderbolt. On the other hand, if you don’t know much about this subject, this thesis looks like a decent piece for getting up to speed — if you mentally correct for the minor niggles I mentioned in my previous messages above, anyway. A must-read, though, this is not, in my opinion.
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