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Deja vu all over again...

...the 30's, the 50's, the 60's, the 90's... and every time the bullets start flying and mines start exploding, we slap armor on to stuff not designed to carry the load.

Ah, optimism. "This time, it will be different!" Eventually, maybe, they'll be right. Of course, that's what the dreamers on the Air Staff say, too.

And even the Navy has been bitten by this bug.

Army Considers Trading Armor for Speed


Reinventing the wheel. It was called M38 General Purpose Vehicle.
 The problem is the doctrine of "Force Protection".

 The Air Farce made the silly choice of speed over maneuverability in its tactical fighters before I was ever thought of. The Pilots got the results over Vietnam. Combined with tactical stupidity, many a pilot lost his life because of the choice.
 Remember when they thought guns on fighter planes were obsolete? LOL
QM, recall that the F-4 eventually became an effective MiG killer after TOPGUN
, not to mention the entire US aviation history after 1940 consists of faster, heavier planes beating lighter, more maneuverable planes, from F4F/Zero & P-38/Zero matchups to P-47/Bf-109 encounters.

Hell, Robert Johnson took out a Spitfire 9b with his heavy, unmaneuvarable Thunderbolt in mock combat.

I hate to bring up such an old chestnut, but this really is a case of "it's not what you've got, but how you use it."


 Right, and we beat Panthers and Tigers with Shermans.  Because we had a lot more Shermans.  And were willing to lose the crews.


Check me on this, John, but wasn't the armor situation the opposite of the air, in that it was the US who had the lighter, less-powerful, more-manueverable vehicles?

 Yes, Casey.  As I alluded to, and we chose to accept the risk (and take the casualties) because we knew we could out-produce the Germans, and chose to thus produce a lot of mediocre tanks and overwhelm the technically superior ones.  It might have been a much different ground war if the Germans had stopped making Tigers (both types) and concentrated on Panthers and Pzkw IVs and their anti-tank variants.

But it was a luxury afforded us by our artillery and air dominance.  And if you watched, as the war progressed, we were looking at bulding heavier and bigger-gunned tanks (Pershings) and our recon tanks (Chaffees) got bigger, too.

The Sherman's strength was reliability and the numbers we could build.  That's about it.