Tank Query--Tiger II vs. Pershing

This is one for the tank experts out there.

I have some fellow on THC website who insists that the 90mm of the M26 Pershing was actually superior to the L/71 88mm of the King Tiger. He supplied penetrations figures of 154 mm of armor at 2000 yards and 177 mm at 1500 yards for the Pershing, and 153 mm at 1500 yards for the King Tiger.

This strikes me as all wrong, since the Pershing's 90 was just slightly better than the shorter 88mm of the Tiger I. I suspect that the guy is confusing the Tiger I's 88 and the Tiger II's 88, but he insists that he's not.

I next suggested that he was perhaps thinking of the experimental, T15E3 long 90mm that was used in the so-called "Super Pershing", but he says that's not the case either--he says he's talking about the standard M3 90mm of the regular production Pershing.

Now, my own tank books are still packed away, and every time I Google for info, I just get dumbass wargaming nonsense. I need specs!

The guy's claims make no sense, as the long 75mm of the Panther was a better hole-puncher than the Pershing's 90, and the Tiger II's 88 was better than the Panther's 75--you know what I mean?



He's not doing an apples to apples comparison. He's comparing HVAP rounds for the Pershing with APCBC rounds for the King Tiger.

Using APCBC rounds for both, you'd have about 153mm penetration for the King Tiger vs 114mm for the Pershing, when they're both at 1500 meters. So equivalent types of ammo, the King Tiger has much better penetration.

The Germans had a limited amount of Pzgr 40/43 ammo, which improved penetration, but not nearly as much an improvement as the American HVAP rounds. Pzgr 40/43 vs HVAP, you get almost equal penetration. (177mm for the Pershing vs 171mm for the King Tiger at 1500 meters.) I don't think the Germans Pzgr 40/43 ammo was all that readily available, and from what I recall HVAP ammo was extremely limited for US tankers. At best, they might get a few rounds of HVAP.

Timbo, you are correct. HVAP is a Tungsten Carbide discarding Sabot. The Germans ran out of Tungsten Carbide in 1942, and the Americans had only a limited supply of it. Only 1 out of 10 Shermans had an HVAP round, and the Pershing was less common than the Sherman. That should tell you the rarity of it. The round made absolutley no impact in the signifigance of the war for those armies.

Apparently the British had a lot of HVAP rounds, as the disgarding Sabot was aupposedly a British invention.

YL, mostly correct. The HVAP is not the same as the Sabot, although similar concept. It had the high density core and was surrounded by lighter material, so the overall weight of the round was lighter and gave higher velocity, but unlike the sabot round, it didn't shed the surrounding material. So the Sabot would be a step up in development from the HVAP.

I stand corrected, I confused the HVAP and the HVDS.

Did the Pershing, or any German tanks ever fire HVDS rounds?

Did the Pershing, or any German tanks ever fire HVDS rounds?The Germans did develop the Panzergranate 44 round, which was a fin-stabilized sabot round (APFSDS), but I don't think it was widespread, and pretty much limited to the Eastern Front. (A sabot would be overkill against all those thin-skinned Shermans.)Not sure if the US deployed any sabot rounds during the war...

It seems Timbo and TFS know their stuff, I am relatively new to WWII vehicles.

I don't know about Timbo, but TFS and I have no military background.

My dad was a naval ordnance specialist in WWII--he ran a couple of GE plants in MA, that made gun directors and other optics. He always used to talk about the great 5"/38, the 40mm Bofors, & the 20mm Oerlikon (sp); likewise, he used to complain about the horrid 1.1" AA gun.

My uncle Albert was a combat veteran--he was a tanker in Patton's 3rd Army--fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and helped to liberate Buchenwald death camp.

My sorry ass, however, has never been in the military.

Were Bofors and Oerliken Scandinavian manufacturers?Yep--both Swedish, I believe.