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“overrated/underrated”: The Readers Speak

June 2024
1min read

The fact that the Sherman tank was equal or superior to its opponents when it was initially introduced only makes our failure to keep it competitive during the later stages of the war more reprehensible. One of the primary principles of modern warfare is that weapons systems must be continually updated to maintain superiority. Allied victory in World War II was in large part based on our ability to do so, notably in electronics and aircraft. As for the constraints on size and weight imposed by existing naval tank transports, that limitation became negligible when we had to transport four or five times as many tanks in order to counter the later German models. We also had to recruit, train, transport, and support four or five times as many tank crew members at a time when our forces in Europe were facing manpower shortages. But we already had a larger, heavier tank, the Pershing, capable of taking on not only the best of the German Panthers but even the monstrous Tigers, as was proven during the closing months of the war. Unfortunately, the Pershing was deployed too late.

The decision to overwhelm the Panzer forces following the Normandy invasion by throwing a five-to-one numerical superiority at them was a tragic one, need-lessly condemning a great number of brave tank crews to horrible deaths.

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