Do they know you’re coming to shoot Hilter’s balls? If not, how long would it take for them to realize they’re up against some futuristic super-weapon and mobilize against it? Of course they could take it out, but would they have enough time.
I’ve sent SHAEF a polite note explaining that I am on their side, but haven’t cc’d Rommel about my intentions.
I expect after seeing a few of their King Tigers get taken down in seconds the Germans would realise something was up, given the comparative crappiness of Allied armour at the time.
Speaking of which, reading that other linked thread, would even a point-blank shot from a King Tiger even scratch Chobham armour?
Oh, I didn’t know that. I assumed that a turbine would be more sensitive than a piston engine.
My uncle was in a tank destroyer squadron on D-Day+3. They basically took four or five of these things and harassed a tank with small small arms fire while one of them came up from behind and took a flame thrower to it’s ass. All it takes is balls and fire.
This. Modern tanks require a lot of maintenance, usually measured in a ratio of hours of maintenance per hours of use. Without spares, it won’t be operational very long.
I’d really like a cite for this. M1a1s were out in the field for considerable periods of time during the advance on Baghdad in 2003, are you saying one can’t run for a week with no maintenance? Its 800 miles from Normandy to Berlin, I suspect an Abhams tank can go that far with no maintenance.
Track damage would take it down if it was continually harrassed, but lack of maintainance alone is not whats going to cause it to fail.
They weren’t out in the field alone. They were accompanied by engineering and recovery units, not to mention fuel tankers.
Would a modern main battle tank like the M1A2 really be vulnerable to flamethrowers and molotov cocktails? It seems hard to believe that today’s armour could be seriously threatened by a device that has been around since the '30s.
As it happens, I saw two Abrams tanks during Marine Week here in Cleveland. One of them had a UPS shipping tag on its left rear flank. Imagine the postage on one of those babies…!
we’ve got a couple of ex-tankers on here. Assuming its not classified then I guess they can answer if an Abrams can drive 1000 km without any maintenance.
remember we’ve established its NOT alone, there is friendly 1944 infantry support on side, SHAEF has been told as per the OP, so fueling alone won’t be a problem.
Tank maintenance is a never ending job, the tracks in particular need constant attention to reduce the chances of failure during critical moments. I recall hearing from one tanker in Iraq several years back that half of his company’s M1s were out of action at any given time, and that’s while sitting in base, not being used very heavily, with all the substantial logistics power of the modern US Army behind them. It takes a major effort to keep an armor force moving in day to day combat conditions.
As for battlefield survivability, it needs to be emphasized that there’s an order of magnitude difference in combat capability between modern day and WW2, in all ways. Even the mightiest German antitank gun of the period would be unable to significantly damage an M1A2, even from the rear at pointblank range. A mobility kill via track & roadwheel damage is the only thing remotely likely.
The M1’s durability is almost irrelevant anyway, because it’s not likely to get hit much in the first place. The thermal sensors, fire control systems, crew coordination and training of a modern MBT means that they’ll be detecting enemies and landing first-round hits faster and from much longer range than the enemy has any practical hope of retaliating at. A WW2 tank can have difficulty just hitting a moving target at all at a moderate range, but a well-trained MBT crew’s accuracy is very near to 100% at almost any point in visual range in most terrain, regardless of any amount of movement in the shooter and/or the target.
Anything that gets hit is doomed. The M1’s kinetic penetrator will encounter so little resistance from enemy armor that it may not be able to get reliably deadly after-armor effects, it will simply punch clean through and out the other side. May as well leave the sabots at home. Even the much weaker secondary HEAT-MP ammo is still a huge overmatch for the heaviest of WW2 armor. Just the M2 on top is capable of dealing with many of the lighter WW2 vehicles.
Artillery, boobytraps and what were, for the time, extraordinarily heavy aircraft bombs are the only serious dangers, and even those aren’t significant given the awful accuracy of them and the swift advance making them difficult to get in place in time. The biggest threat to the mission, if you’re ignoring fuel and ammunition limits, comes from basic, unheroic mechanical failure. In the end, the M1’s weakness here is the simple fact that it’s a tank.
Well, that and it’s up against entire divisions.
How would the Abrams hold up against the German 88MM gun?
I always imagined taking back the plans for the AK-47, the Sherman (up-gunned model, with the later modified more sloping armor and, perhaps, a better, less volatile fuel system :p) tank, the later model Mustang P-51, and the F-86 Saber, with perhaps several examples of each…and presenting them, along with some iron clad proof that war was coming to FDR when he first becomes President…as well as strategy and tactics/training guilds to make the most out of each weapon system. I’d say you’d have more effect with these, especially if you could convince FDR et al to build them in secret, especially the cadres of trained crews and soldiers, than a single (or even a couple of) Abrams tanks. Now, send back a modern armored division along with expendables for a couple of years, replacement parts and an engineering and repair battalion…well, then you’d have something that could pretty much roll through anything the Germans could possibly throw at the.
Well, assuming the conditions of the OP, their limited ammo load dictates that they will have to carefully husband their ammunition. That puts a serious crimp in their ability to kill without facing retaliation. I would envision a certain amount of the mission will be “button up and run straight through, taking it on the armor.”
Until they throw a track in a “friendly” Allied bomb crater.
Being on fire is never a good thing, and even ignoring all other effects, the engines and crew alike still need oxygen. The tank solution to a guy with a bottle of petrol is to just kill him and all his friends from a safe distance. If you want a vehicle that can wade into a riot without a care, that requires a rather more specialized design.
To put it in perspective, the M2 Bradley AFV has a medium autocannon with what is, in modern armor terms, the relative strength of a pop-gun. The dreaded old 88 PaK with its best ammo is only about twice as strong as that pop-gun. Things have changed a lot in the last 70 years.
The anti-tank specialist version of the 88 was the Pak 43, although all models were used against tanks when available.
Wikipedia lists Pak 43 armor penetration at 100m (effectively point-blank range) as 202mm.
M-1 Abrams frontal armor equivalence (very rough estimate) against kinetic penetration is given as 940–960mm, but that’s the old version. The M1A2s all have depleted uranium armor upgrades, described in the same article thusly: “The added protection from the depleted uranium armor is believed to be equivalent to 24 inches (610 mm) of RHA.” [Rolled homogeneous armor plate]
So you;re looking at a penetrator capable of cracking 202mm striking 1560mm equivalent armor.
It’s one tank with 42(?) shells. Granted, it’s got better armor and weaponry. But still. It’s not a cruise missile. It’s not invulnerable. Wouldn’t the Germans be rather preoccupied with other more significant battlefield concerns?
Throw in some Mark 16 torpedos (or some Japanese Type 93’s). The Mark 14’s were shit.