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New Book- The Sherman Tank Scandal of WW II

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  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • From: Philadelphia, PA
New Book- The Sherman Tank Scandal of WW II
Posted by AUSTanker on Thursday, April 07, 2016 6:44 PM

Major new book (500 pages, nearly 500 color and B x W photos of vintage tanks and gear for modellers) on the way called "For Want of a Gun: The Sherman Tank Scandal of WW II," by Christian M. DeJohn, through Schiffer Publishers, by an old Army CAV tanker who was granted access to the world-class Nat'l Museum of Cavalry and Armor collection. The true story behind "FURY."

New sneak preview video is just up on the AMAZON website! Search for the book, Go to author page, updates, and click PLAY where you see the color photo of the TIGER tank on the left.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, April 07, 2016 7:37 PM

I can't find any reviews yet. Is it any good?

There's no such institution called the "National Museum of Cavalry and Armor".

The author has previously sued Temple University for being expelled for violating their sexual harrassment policy and has accused the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs of retaliation for whistle blower activity.

It's his first book, small publisher.

At $ 85.00 it may be worth waiting for a review.

I guess I've never heard of the Sherman Tank scandal, only the British one. But I'm not that well read in Armor.

  • Member since
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  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, April 08, 2016 11:33 AM

It's BS.  The author contends that there was a sinister plot to make the Sherman tank and use it as our main tank even though it was known to be inferior, a death trap, etc.  All fallacies in thought and not correct. 

I wouldn't waste my money on it. 

You can read more here if you want more opinions:  http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=246429&page=1

It sounds right in line with his character as listed above.

 

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
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  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 11:49 AM

Gino, just wondering how you know exactly what "the author contends" in a 500-page book with 1300 citations from 300 sources-

-When the book doesn't come out until JAN 2017?

Are you a mind reader? Have you read this unreleased book?

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 11:52 AM

Also, fascinated to hear how one can have "opinions," as you state, on the content of an unreleased book one has never read?

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 12:38 PM

..And your evidence that this book implies an intentional conspiracy comes from... where, exactly?

Remarkable how one can have opinions on a book they've never read- that isn't out until next year.

  • Member since
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  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 12:47 PM

QUICK- Somebody tell the National Armor and Cavalry Foundation that they don't exist- because their Museum is going to take up 30-plus acres of land and 100,000 sqaure feet at Ft. Benning!!

armorcavalrymuseum.org

"Our mission" to create a world-class museum to honor all our mounted warriors, past, present, and future, and their families.  The site is on land adjacent to the National Infantry Museum.

When completed, this site will be the US Army's largest museum complex."

A worthy cause- support and pass it on.

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 12:52 PM

You might want to check your sources, there, Pardner- the author won a historic free speech/ First Amendment case that is protecting student free speech across the country.

The author challenged a "Speech Code" so broadly written that discussion of women in combat could be construed as a "hate crime" and "sexual harassment." It was used to prohibit and limit student free speech that dared to differ from the PC agenda.

The author had nothing to do with sexual harassment- he won a historic win at the State and Federal levels, and rec'd support from dozens of bipartisan orginizations, so you might want to get your facts right before you slander a disabled Veteran fighting for your First Amendment rights!

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 1:02 PM

I merely repeat, how are some able to "review" or express an opinion on the content of a book not out until next year- are you a mindreader? Has anyone here read this book or spoken with the author?

No one is saying "everything the posters have been writing is wrong;" In fact; I agree with much of what you posted. But a few are just making titanic assumptions and passing judgement on a 500-page book with 1300 citations from 300 sources- that won't be out until next year!

Take a look at the video, it might school you as to my interest. Nothing in the book implies or says Marshall, Ike, Patton, Bradley, et. al. woke up and decided, "Let's kill some GIs and lose the war today!"

...Now, GEN McNAIR, on the other hand...(joking!)

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 1:10 PM

No sinister marketing genius here my friend, just a disabled Army Veteran publishing his first book after 15 years of research and writing. I apologize if I seem belligerent- just stunned that people would presume to "review" or express opinions on the content- or the author's intentions- in a book that doesn't come out until next year.

As the author of the book, an FSM reader since the early 1980s, I'm happy to give you a preview! In the course of 15 years research, I came across modelers who asked about it, and the book shows over 500 new and B x W photos, including of 1/35 tank models, real tnaks, and tanker gear, so I've had modelers ask, "When the book is out, you should post it on FSM so people know."

The preview is on AMAZON- click on "updates," color photo of the Panther tank- 4 minute video- it's good, pictures worth 1000 words.

  • Member since
    November, 2011
  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Friday, April 08, 2016 1:17 PM

You said it, my friend- GEN Clark was a piece of work!

GEN McNair has become a sort of convenient scapegoat for the Sherman tank scandal, especially since he conveniently died during the war, but writing it, I realized that it's unfair to blame one man, however difficult his personality, for systematic doctrinal and bureacratic flaws within the Army. So as I wrote it, I tried to bend over backwards to be fair to GEN McNair...not saying I go easy on him in the book, but it's too simplistic to say one man was responsible for all the problems.

And since he died in July 1944 of friendly fire, and the war went on for over a year (there was a little-known "Pacific Theater Tank Scandal" too- Pershings never reached "Okie" until after the Japanese surrendered), it's doubly unfair to make him the scapegoat of the story, as some have.

  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, April 08, 2016 1:19 PM

AUSTanker

QUICK- Somebody tell the National Armor and Cavalry Foundation that they don't exist- because their Museum is going to take up 30-plus acres of land and 100,000 sqaure feet at Ft. Benning!!

armorcavalrymuseum.org

"Our mission" to create a world-class museum to honor all our mounted warriors, past, present, and future, and their families.  The site is on land adjacent to the National Infantry Museum.

When completed, this site will be the US Army's largest museum complex."

A worthy cause- support and pass it on.

 

I hope they did not replace my Infantry Museum at Ft Benning Wink

Good luck with your book.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Friday, April 08, 2016 1:40 PM
I don’t know much on the subject, and I’ve often wondered why we went to battle with a medium tank against heavy tanks. I thought one of the major reasons were size and weight. The Sherman was small and light enough to be transported on cargo ships in enough numbers to make a difference. Also the 76, while having a low muzzle velocity, was well suited for infantry support as it could fire an HE round. Now why the higher velocity guns like the 75 were not mounter earlier is confusing to me, but once they were the Sherman seemed to stand a slightly better chance. At least they could penetrate some armor after that.

 

Again, this is not my forte, but just what I’m come to think.

ON THE BENCH

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In Que

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  • Member since
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  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, April 08, 2016 2:00 PM

I am basing my comments on the title alone and what I assume the subject will be. 

Scandal - an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage

The whole "Sherman Scandal" has been proposed before and was refuted.  I too have been in the Army for 22 years and know how the actual acquisition process works, no scandal to it. 

Based on the reaction to the title alone, I think that you may want to come up with another title.  Unless this is the reacion you are looking for.

Good luck with your book.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posted by the doog on Saturday, April 09, 2016 8:22 AM

HeavyArty

I am basing my comments on the title alone and what I assume the subject will be. 

Scandal - an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage

The whole "Sherman Scandal" has been proposed before and was refuted.  I too have been in the Army for 22 years and know how the actual acquisition process works, no scandal to it. 

Based on the reaction to the title alone, I think that you may want to come up with another title.  Unless this is the reacion you are looking for.

Good luck with your book.

 

This is actually quite a significant point to consider. The title is rather provocative in a "tabloid" sort of way. While you may get a few more people reading the book from that hook, you very well might turn off a lot of veterans and historians who are sensitive to titles which imply a conspiratorial tone. In fact, your title rather "gives away" what seems like a foregone conclusions--i.e. that a "conspiracy" WILL be revealed--rather than letting the unsuspecting and unbiased reader come up with their own conclusion.

Which, if your book is written competently and properly-sourced, may indeed work in your favor with what you are alledging. Arty's post is great advice, IMO.

My FOTKI model gallery with most of my best models can be found HERE

My real name is "Karl" Smile

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Saturday, April 09, 2016 9:28 AM

Oh boy, it's getting hot in here at first then cooled down. I have a feeling this topic is going to get heated again if AUStanker doesn't quit while he's ahead.

If the said book isn't scheduled to be released until January 2017, how can one have a preview/review of the book already? 

AUSTanker, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but DO NOT attack others because they have an opinion of their own.

On a closing note, I am declaring myself IBTL.

(In case you want to know what IBTL means - In Before The Lock - in case the mods locks the thread)

  • Member since
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  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, April 09, 2016 10:57 AM

.

  • Member since
    June, 2015
Posted by OldGoat on Saturday, April 09, 2016 12:42 PM

modelcrazy
I don’t know much on the subject, and I’ve often wondered why we went to battle with a medium tank against heavy tanks. I thought one of the major reasons were size and weight. The Sherman was small and light enough to be transported on cargo ships in enough numbers to make a difference. Also the 76, while having a low muzzle velocity, was well suited for infantry support as it could fire an HE round. Now why the higher velocity guns like the 75 were not mounter earlier is confusing to me, but once they were the Sherman seemed to stand a slightly better chance. At least they could penetrate some armor after that.

 

Again, this is not my forte, but just what I’m come to think.
 

First, you committed a typo, the 75mm was lower in velocity than the 76mm. But hey whatever, Geeked 

My understanding of the issue is this.

Pre war doctrine dictated vehicles such as the M4 series were "Infantry Support" tanks. As such they were nothing more than rolling "pill boxes" capable of laying down mass quantities of firepower while travelling forward with the infantry. 

"Tank Destroyers" were developed to engage the enemies armor. Thin skinned, big guns, able to move quickly and use speed as a form of protection. The M3 half tracks with 75mm AT guns were part of this equation as well. When used in Tunisia they were quite capable, yet very vulnerable.

As said generations ago, even your best plans fall apart upon first contact with the enemy. The Panzerwaffe refused to follow US Army doctrine and engaged anything painted OD everywhere at anytime. 

Now I read that internal squabbling over procurement and purpose delayed the 76mm gun as well as the much needed M26 Pershing with the 90mm gun.

Well as was said, you go to war with what you got. Conspiracy? I think not.

Over burdened, over complicated system of development and procurement?  I think so.

Being I'm from Chicago, I'm also convinced someones Brother-In-Law somewhere, had a contract to build something. Wink

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, April 09, 2016 12:51 PM

modelcrazy
I don’t know much on the subject, and I’ve often wondered why we went to battle with a medium tank against heavy tanks. I thought one of the major reasons were size and weight. The Sherman was small and light enough to be transported on cargo ships in enough numbers to make a difference. Also the 76, while having a low muzzle velocity, was well suited for infantry support as it could fire an HE round. Now why the higher velocity guns like the 75 were not mounter earlier is confusing to me, but once they were the Sherman seemed to stand a slightly better chance. At least they could penetrate some armor after that.

 

Again, this is not my forte, but just what I’m come to think.
 

Actually we went to war with mediums against mediums. While the Panther could be argued to be a heavy tank, it was not in the German army. Tigers were not frequently encountered. Until Normandy, Panzer IVs were the Sherman's most common tank foe.  The Sherman was indeed in some points constrained by logistics. The weight was kept in a certain region due primarily for bridge purposes. Heavier tanks had issues with bridges world wide, and in areas with lots of waterways, this significantly affects route planning.

You have the 76mm and 75mm guns confused. The 75mm was a medium velocity gun with good HE and so so armor piercing performance. Whe n designed in 1941 and introduced in 1942 it was on par with the other two top medium tanks of the time, the T-34/76 and the Panzer IV. But it lagged behind those two in up gunning due to not facing the same pressures of the Eastern Front battlefield cauldrons driving improvement.

The 76mm gun had far superior armor piercing capabilities over the 75mm, which was later fitted, but was "downgraded" so to speak, having the barrel length reduced and correspondingly losing some muzzle velocity. But the later war developed "hypershot" ammuntion countered that handicap, and gave a far superior ballistic performance. Unfortunately doctrine and logistics were not in line with battlefield realities.

Two final points. One, the Sherman and US armor doctrine functioned as intended in the PTO. Yes the Japanese armor threat was minimal when compared to the Germans. But consideering that most pre WWII US war planning saw a war in the Pacific as probable, vs planning for a war in Europe, it is seldom remembered that the PTO saw the Sherman operate exactly as intended. Two, Korea- the M4A3E8 (aka M4A3 76mm HVSS) had no probelm with the T-34/85. Each could penetrate the other at standard combat ranges with their main gun, so the US doctrine, crew training, and gunnery, was usually the deciding factor in battle. Another often overlooked aspect of the Sherman's history.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, April 09, 2016 1:18 PM

It would be quite humorous to see a Tiger try to swim to shore.

  • Member since
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  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Saturday, April 09, 2016 2:14 PM

AUSTanker, thank you for your service and good luck with your book. I'll give 'er a look though I need another reference book like I need another hole in the head... 

Steve: OG and SP, have good points there. You also might want to read this, Zaloga takes on some old misconceptions: 

Link

https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/01/27/zaloga_interview/

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
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Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Saturday, April 09, 2016 2:52 PM

Gamera

AUSTanker, thank you for your service and good luck with your book. I'll give 'er a look though I need another reference book like I need another hole in the head... 

Steve: OG and SP, have good points there. You also might want to read this, Zaloga takes on some old misconceptions: 

Link

https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/01/27/zaloga_interview/

 

I've just finished reading the interview with the author and found it very interesting and informative. Funny when you get comments from John after the interview. This guy is a tool with some of the stuff he's posted.

Thanks for the link Gamera. I enjoyed it.

  • Member since
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  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Saturday, April 09, 2016 3:38 PM

Amazon listing for major new book- "For Want of a Gun: The Sherman Tank Scandal of WWII." See also the brief sneak preview video- lots of tank photos:


http://www.amazon.com/Want-Gun-Sherman-Tank-Scandal/dp/0764352504/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460227550&sr=8-1&keywords=christian+dejohn
  • Member since
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  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Saturday, April 09, 2016 3:41 PM
 
Yup, the Infantry Museum is hugely impressive- with a little publicity and support, the CAV and ARMOR one will rock, too!

Amazon listing for major new book- "For Want of a Gun: The Sherman Tank Scandal of WWII." See also the brief sneak preview video- lots of tank photos:


http://www.amazon.com/Want-Gun-Sherman-Tank-Scandal/dp/0764352504/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460227550&sr=8-1&keywords=christian+dejohn
  • Member since
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  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Saturday, April 09, 2016 4:12 PM

Remember what Moriarty said to Oddball in "Kelly's Heroes": "this thing's a piece of junk!" as he was talking about their newly acquired Tiger.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
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  • From: Philadelphia, PA
Posted by AUSTanker on Saturday, April 09, 2016 4:16 PM

I'm still trying to figure out why Oddball was wearing an AAF flight helmet...and remember those "tanker helmets" in the BOB movie- looked like rejected props from a 1950s sci-fi B movie!

That old Monogram 1/72 "short-wing" B-26 is a fun kit!!

  • Member since
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  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Saturday, April 09, 2016 8:11 PM

Oops, sorry about the caliber mixup. Like it said, I'm no expert in armor. 

ON THE BENCH

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1/25 Monogram 57 Chevy Bel Air

In Que

1/700 Trumpeter Slava class Russian missile cruiser
1/48 Italeri Hurricane Mk.1 Trop (waiting for new parts from Italy)

  • Member since
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Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, April 09, 2016 8:37 PM

My father served on the M40 GMC from 1950 to 1954. Defended the Michigan UP against invasion. He did not get sent to Korea, but many of his like did, early.

The M4 chassis served so many armored units in so many countries for so many years, that it proofs out as probably the most successful armored fighting vehicle of all time.

That tank helped win a LOT of wars.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, April 10, 2016 8:50 AM

Hmmm;

 Yeah , I gotta get my two cents in here !

 Although I don't know much about Armor I do know the general histories of some of the vehicles , but , Not the Generals .

 In the Navy we had some Lu-Lus too . take two well known admirals whom shall be unamed here , from the Pacific Theater . The Sherman , I do remember from my uncles, was referred to as the "Ronson ' Because of it's Gasoline fueled powerplant .

 Hey , this thing can get out of hand .We did not have the kind of Armor the other side had . Even from the very beginning . I will say this .The men who fought these machines were brave Outstanding men .And they made the decisive use of the product they were given .

    I don't care what you want to argue , the Tankers of the ETO were some of the best . The Machines , Well, I hold that in reserve .  Tanker - Builder

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Sunday, April 10, 2016 11:00 AM

AUSTanker
 
Yup, the Infantry Museum is hugely impressive- with a little publicity and support, the CAV and ARMOR one will rock, too!

Amazon listing for major new book- "For Want of a Gun: The Sherman Tank Scandal of WWII." See also the brief sneak preview video- lots of tank photos:


http://www.amazon.com/Want-Gun-Sherman-Tank-Scandal/dp/0764352504/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460227550&sr=8-1&keywords=christian+dejohn
 

 

I can't say it will be a great book since both books you listed do not come out until January of 2017. Considering the price, I'm not sold whether it's worth buying for those prices. How can anyone give high praises for the books without reading it first? Sounds to me you're promoting these highly for a colleague or for yourself.

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