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Old June 6th, 2009, 03:16 PM

Warhero Warhero is offline
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Default M4 Duplex Drive question

I just played bit Omaha beach-type battle (US attack vs. German defend) june 1944 (from some reason today) and I noticed that M4 Duplex Drive's are not allowed to fire during "swimming phase". I didn't got any to the shore to see if they can fire then... Well, I'm not expert about this type of tanks so I ask: were DD tanks really not able to fire anything before they reach beach sand?
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Old June 6th, 2009, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: M4 Duplex Drive question

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Originally Posted by Warhero View Post
I just played bit Omaha beach-type battle (US attack vs. German defend) june 1944 (from some reason today) and I noticed that M4 Duplex Drive's are not allowed to fire during "swimming phase". I didn't got any to the shore to see if they can fire then... Well, I'm not expert about this type of tanks so I ask: were DD tanks really not able to fire anything before they reach beach sand?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DD_tank

Only if you wanted to hit the sea about 3 metres in front of the tank, and through the flotation screen, since you are completely under sea level when swimming in a DD. So you could get one shot at the sea and simultaneously sink yourself. not a brainy idea.

The flotation screen is also why direct or indirect fire at swimming DDs, though less accurate, can and will sink them - it only needs a tear in a flimsy canvas screen (or a large shell near-miss throwing plumes of water over it) and it plummets to the bottom like a stone. Any severe waves can broach the screen, to the same effect, and it appears that one unit attempting to traverse the sea diagonally to the correct target when they were dropped off at the wrong point had that problem.

Several DD units looked at the Normandy sea state, and made the decision to take the landing craft right into the beach and go over the bows as they considered it unsafe to try to swim in.


Andy
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Old June 6th, 2009, 04:31 PM

Warhero Warhero is offline
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Default Re: M4 Duplex Drive question

Ok thanks about info Andy. I didn't knew that DD's were so "sensitive" to sink at all. So, allied had not any else fire support for LCA's than air/naval guns?
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Old June 6th, 2009, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: M4 Duplex Drive question

I seem to recall that - according to RN witnesses - one of the reasons the US had so much trouble on one of their beaches was because they let their DD tanks off the ships way way out to sea, much further than planned.

The seas were even rougher further out, and one after another the tanks went straight to the bottom.

One or two of those tanks could have made all the difference on the beach.


When you look at the science/technology involved in a DD tank, it's a wonder they worked at all. But they did, when not used in rough seas, and the closer to shore the better.



cheers,
Cross
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Old June 6th, 2009, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: M4 Duplex Drive question

Swimming Sherman's?
In the English Channel?
One of the lamest idea's of the war.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 09:20 PM

Mobryan Mobryan is offline
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Default Re: M4 Duplex Drive question

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Originally Posted by Warhero View Post
Ok thanks about info Andy. I didn't knew that DD's were so "sensitive" to sink at all. So, allied had not any else fire support for LCA's than air/naval guns?
Pretty much,but it was a huge variety of naval guns. Pretty much anything that could float and had deck space for something was conscripted.

On the DD's sinking like rocks, thats one of the things that went well in my PBEM game, the German 88's and 75 Langs pretty much had thier way with the swimming Shermans.

Matt
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Old June 8th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: M4 Duplex Drive question

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Originally Posted by Warhero View Post
Ok thanks about info Andy. I didn't knew that DD's were so "sensitive" to sink at all. So, allied had not any else fire support for LCA's than air/naval guns?
They had landing craft with tanks on the upper deck providing fire support. The British used Centaur tanks armed with 95mm guns but IIRC landing forces also used Sherman tanks and 25pdr and 105mm SP Guns for this purpose.
There were also armed landing craft like LCT(R) armed with hundreds of rocket projectors and LCGs armed with guns.

cbo
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