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  #181  
Old Yesterday, 09:08 PM
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Update re: Argentina's upgraded Shermans. And I've just noticed The Dark posted while I was compiling all this!
According to the following site, the French 105mm gun was the CN-105-57 L/44
https://aw.my.com/us/news/general/et...-years-sherman
Right down but not quite the bottom of the page.

Some more info that may or may not be helpful because the poster has English as a secondary language and his translations are a little tricky to understand for me (being unfamiliar with the way Spanish grammar works). Lots of images though including photos of operating Shermans in the celebration parade of Argentina's 200 years of independence (2016 I believe).
http://tank-encyclopedia.org/Forum/s...2366&pid=46838

This page has some more info and states that the crew was reduced to just three men.
https://m.facebook.com/TheArmorJourn...28587243927757

Some minor history of three upgraded Shermans given by Argentina to Paraguay but mentions the new tracks fitted to the tanks (T49 type track and drive sprocket). What this means for game stats regarding speed, travel move and so on I'll leave to wiser heads than mine.
http://www.blitz72.com/2012/01/parag...erman-firefly/

Model vehicle site with some extra info, specifically new radio gear and auxillary fuel tank. Speculating on my part, guess that means fuel economy is not much better than original Shermans?
http://www.track-link.com/gallery/5133
http://www.track-link.com/gallery/4169

Even if the lower number is used for the total number of upgrades (120 versus 250), that still leaves a healthy number of 105mm gunned tanks if we're going to use them to bolster Mexican forces. Some idle speculation: if the three-man crew is accurate, that would also fit into the idea of early initial success for Mexican forces (when the Sherman force is at full strength), but later they aren't so effective as they suffer attrition and extended supply lines and therefore making the surviving three-man crews have to carry more of the burden.

Edit: According to the following site, the French 105mm had an auto-loader hence a human loader was not required. Right down the bottom of the page, under the image of the Sherman with the Argentine flag flying behind it.
http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_m..._variants.html
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  #182  
Old Yesterday, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
Actually the AMX-13 is a perfect example of a light tank from the post WWII era.

When you consider a tank design, picture a triangle, one point is maneuverability, the second is firepower and the third point is protection.

The AMX-13 has excellent maneuverability and decent firepower, protection is poor. But it was designed for a reconnaissance role. When I was stationed in Germany, during the maneuvers that light tank could run rings around a M-60A1, and if it could get close enough it's cannon was a decent threat against flank armor. The turret also gives this tank an advantage, the cannon is mounted fairly high, and from the front it is a narrow design. This allows the AMX-13 to occupy a hull down position and reveal very little of its turret, coupled with good camouflage, makes the blasted thing very hard to detect.

It's ability to pour a burst of 3-6 rounds and then run away, does make it a threat.

But remember, it was designed for the European battlefield.

During the Six Day War, the IDF fielded three battalions of AMX-13s, due to the shortage of MBTs, they used the -13s as main battle tanks and they suffered heavy losses when used outside their designed role.

So the Mexican Army buying light tanks, very possible, equally possible is their suffering heavy losses, especially when going up against TOW/Dragon/Tank Breaker/Hellfire. Toss in M-48A5/M-60A3/M-1, and you have a nasty little surprise for the Guard and Reserve units, but one that would be quickly worn away by battlefield and maintenance losses.

The tank design philosophy of the 1950's and 1960's was for tanks to be designed with the firepower of a heavy tank, the speed and mobility of a light tank and the protection of medium tank. These tanks were known as the universal tank or the MBT, a trend opposed to the heavy tanks of the Second World War and early post-war years. Light tanks such as the AMX-13 were still in fashion as they acted as scouts for the heavier tanks. The Leopard 1, AMX-30 and most Soviet tanks were built to this design philosophy. The U.S. also went with this philosophy and developed the M47, M48 and M60 from the Second World War era M26 Patton with a bigger gun and a more powerful engine.

The British Army who had plenty of negative experiences against heavy German tanks in the Second World War didn't follow this philosophy. In 1966 they introduced the Chieftain tank which was the first newly designed mass produced British tank since the Second World War. The Chieftain was built like a block of iron with a 120mm rifled gun. All of the fast mobile tanks could outrun it, but they could not outrun the range of its rifled gun and the second this English bruiser got you in its gun sight you were dead and there was nothing your tank could do about it.

Then the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973, and the Soviet supplied the Arabs with AT-3 Sagger anti-tank missiles and nearly shot the Israeli tank fleet to pieces through destroying or damaging 800 Israeli M48's, M60's and Centurions, as well as many other light tanks. The Israelis who know a thing or two about tank warfare wanted to buy hundreds of Chieftain tanks from Britain and even licence build it, as it was the only Western tank that new Soviet anti-tank missiles could not defeat and it was greatly superior to every tank in the world. The Israelis never got the Chieftain because the Arabs would likely cut off oil supplies to Britain. North Sea Oil had not yet come on line. But the next generation of Western tanks (Challenger 1/II, Leopard 2, LeClerc, M1 Abrams and the Israeli Merkava and Japanese Type 90) closely followed the attributes of the Chieftain because on the battlefield the heavy tank is king

The Soviet uniquely kept with their baseline MBT design, but did so out of necessity and not because they wanted to. Soviet tanks were transported by railway over vast distances, and the rail gauge of Soviet railway tunnels restricted the dimensions of Soviet tank design. They can't make them any wider, which is why later Soviet and Russian tanks look longer and have remained lighter in weight than Western tanks as they cant increase the tonnage or protection without making the tank wider. Earlier Chinese tanks also followed this philosophy as they are basically copies of Soviet tanks.
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  #183  
Old Today, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
Thank you for the information RN7!

One thing that the Soviets did have was helicopter gunships - they are mentioned in Red Star Lone Star (if I remember they didnt mention exact numbers or types but it was definitely plural as in more than one or two) - one of the prime reasons to get the refinery was that it could produce avgas -and put those grounded gunships back into the air

That could explain how the Soviets beat the 49th - i.e. they had gunships with anti-tank weapons and fuel to put them in the air - and the 49th may not have had any by the time helos of their own by the time they encountered the Soviets - which if I remember right was in 1999 sometime

definitely would make the T-72's more survivable if the 49th is getting their heads handed to them by gunships and is busy maneuvering to engage them or throw off the missiles and as a result allows the Soviet tankers to get into position to not take on the M1's frontally

thus possibly explaining how a single Soviet Motor Rifle Division stops a five battalion armored division cold

The Cubans has armed Mi-24 and Mi-8 gunships - those definitely could have tipped the odds for the Soviets if the US ones are grounded from lack of fuel

On paper you would have expected a U.S. armored division equipped with M1 Abrams to have obliterated Division Cuba and whatever Mexican forces were fighting with them in Texas. But this did not happen, and part of the reason why the 49th Armored Division wasn't more successful might have something to do with its war history rather than the capabilities of the Soviets.

From American Combat Vehicle Handbook

" A national guard division consisting of the 1 st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades (all Texas NG). The division was brought into federal service on 1 November 1996 and moved to Chicago, Illinois in early 1997 in preparation for transit to Europe. Due to a shipping shortage and concerns as to the safety of shipping in the north Atlantic, the division remained in the Chicago area through out the spring and summer. In late 1997, the division was deployed in a disaster relief and emergency security role in the northern Illinois and Indiana area,
but soon was moved out of the Chicago metropolitan area. The division's 1st Brigade moved to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, the 2nd Brigade to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and the 3rd Brigade and division headquarters to Springfield, Illinois.

With the outbreak of hostilities with Mexico in mid-1998, the division moved south by road and river barge to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and came under command of the newly formed XC Corps. By autumn, the division was involved in sporadic and confused combat on a broad front against elements of the Mexican Army, marauder bands, and numerous paramilitary organizations. In 1999, the division was used to spearhead the 5th U.S. Army's drive to clear Texas of hostile armed bands, and suffered heavy vehicle losses in central Texas when the division was counterattacked by the Soviet "Division Cuba." By late 1999, the division had withdrawn to southern Oklahoma where the front was stabilized."


The division was sent all over the mid-west and then dispersed on security and relief duties before it was sent south. Then it was involved in numerous skirmished with the Mexicans, bandits and paramilitaries even before its got into a fight with Division Cuba. It must have lost vehicles through combat, attrition and having its units transferred all over the place before it even got to Texas. What was left of the 49th division may not even have all been in Texas when they clashed with the Soviets. Its supply train was also probably running through a couple of states by the time of the battle, and no doubt fuel shortages effected its effectiveness and tactical deployment.

American Combat Vehicle Handbook mentions it suffered heavy vehicle losses in central Texas when the division was counterattacked by the Soviet "Division Cuba." But its doesn't state what those losses were. I doubt they were M1 Abram's as neither the Mexicans or Soviets had much that hand handle them in a head on clash. More likely lighter vehicles and M60's.
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  #184  
Old Today, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Edit: According to the following site, the French 105mm had an auto-loader hence a human loader was not required. Right down the bottom of the page, under the image of the Sherman with the Argentine flag flying behind it.
http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_m..._variants.html
Good catch on this. I knew the AMX-13 had an autoloader, but none of the sources I found mentioned one in the Argentinian Shermans. That would make the Shermans a bit more useful, since it would give them a much better rate of fire with a gun capable of defeating M60 frontal armor at 2+ kilometers.
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  #185  
Old Today, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by The Dark View Post
Good catch on this. I knew the AMX-13 had an autoloader, but none of the sources I found mentioned one in the Argentinian Shermans. That would make the Shermans a bit more useful, since it would give them a much better rate of fire with a gun capable of defeating M60 frontal armor at 2+ kilometers.
The Argentine Shermans are an interesting branch in armoured vehicle history and one that I'd never really heard much about before. It really caught my curiosity so I spent an entire evening typing into the search engine any combination of Argentina, Sherman, upgrade and tank! Perhaps I was a little obsessed

I really expected Janes or at least Bart Vanderveen to have some reference to them (Vanderveen made a lifetime hobby for many people out of his own interest in military vehicle history) but none of Vanderveen's Wheels & Tracks magazine I checked had any mention and Janes was minimal at best (with most of the relevant info being found in the Armour & Artillery yearbooks for 1986-87 and 1987-88 yearbooks).
I was surprised by Vanderveen' lack of info as his Historic Military Vehicles Directory (compiled from Wheels & Tracks in 1989) includes the Argentine DL43 Nahuel Medium tank which was itself ousted by Shermans but no mention of the upgraded Shermans.
This is one time when the internet really put the books to shame.

It was fascinating to read the background and history but also to see that Argentina (and Paraguay too) still had some in operating condition into the 2000s where they were using them to test a new mine plough (and of course, having them feature in the 200th anniversary parade).
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