Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA Primer

With the Girls und Pazner Anzio OVA release date approaching, we thought it might be a good idea to do a “primer” for the OVA. The anime only showed a short scene of a defeated Anzio and an exuberant Oarai, but the actual battle was not shown. The OVA covers events leading up to and the actual 2nd round Sensha-do Tournament match between Oarai and Anzio itself.

Situation Recap

Prior to the OVA’s Anzio match, Oarai had just managed to defeat a tough Saunders Prep team via an almost miraculous shot by sharp-shooter gunner Hana in the Panzer IV Ausf. D.  During that upset victory, all the Oarai teams performed quite well overall – a noticeable improvement over their thrilling exhibition match loss to St. Gloriana. Well, maybe except for Mako since Mako was already about as good of a tank driver as you could be from the start. One of the most noteworthy improvements was made by the Rabbit Team (freshman) who overcame their fears and stayed in the entire match. Despite being taken out by Saunders marksman gunner Naomi in the M4 Sherman Firefly, their sacrifice did help to hold off Saunders just long enough for Hana to make her game winning shot. The other notable change was Miho overcoming her self-doubt as Oarai team captain with the help of her teammates. In part this was due to the other tank crews looking to her for leadership and becoming enthusiastic about learning Sensha-do. Her own team also steps in to help with the training of the other crews. That was a critical early step in Miho’s journey regaining her love of Sensha-do and to becoming quite arguably the best Sensha-do team captain in any school. At this point though, we have to wonder how she willing she will be to exercise her authority and demand the teams follow her direction.

When watching the OVA, keep in mind that while Oarai did find the Char B1bis and Tiger (P) just prior to the the Anzio match, they were not in running condition let alone had a crew assigned. Same goes for Panzer IV upgrade to the Asuf. F2 version featuring a much better 75mm KwK 40 L/43 gun compared to the Asuf. D’s underpowered, short-barreled 75mm KwK 37 L/24 gun. That upgrade took place prior to the semi-final match against Pravda. The Type 3 medium tank wasn’t found until after the Pravda semi-finals match. In short, Oarai’s tanks and teams are exactly the same for the Anzio match as they were for the match against Saunders Prep. This is different from the manga where Oarai fielded the Char B1Bis during the Anzio match.

Tanks Fielded by Team

Tank Data Notes:

  1. Several factors which would normally be discussed are excluded because, well, this is anime. For example, the Type 89A was an infantry tank with a top road speed of 16mph (26km/h). Yet in the anime, it zooms around just as fast as any other tank on the field. Same goes for riveted armor. BAD thing in real life, in the anime it doesn’t matter due to the special protective carbon lining.
  2. Data, particularly for armor thickness and gun armor penetration, is “best effort”. WWII tank/TD data isn’t always available for some tanks/specific specifications, and even it if is, frequently inconsistent. So figures should be considered approximate rather than exact.
  3. Armor penetration figures are for “standard” anti-tank (AP) rounds (i.e. NOT HEAT or HVAP) against 30° sloped, homogeneous armor.
  4. Armor thickness stats are basic for simplicity.
Oarai

Girls und Panzer Anzio OVA - Oarai Tank Line Up

Panzer IV Ausf. D
• Main Gun: low velocity 75 mm KwK 37 L/24. Armor penetration 43mm @ 500m, 40mm @1000m
• Armor Thickness 30mm (front), 20mm (side & rear)
• Weight: 20 tons (metric)
• Notes: The Panzer IV was the main German tank throughout WW II and saw many upgrades, most significantly starting with the Ausf. F2 and culminating in the Asuf. J model. The Ausf F2 is a significant upgrade since it adds a much better KwK 40 L/43 AT gun along with improved (thicker) armor. Later models featured additional armor upgrades and an improved KwK 40 L/48 AT main gun.

Panzer 38(t) Ausf. B/C
• Main Gun: 37.2 mm L/48 Skoda A7. Armor penetration: 33mm @ 500m, 28mm @1000m
• Armor Thickness: 25mm (front), 15mm (side & rear).
• Weight: 9.8 tons (metric)
• Notes: Originally a Czech pre-WW II designed tank, at the start of WW II, the 38(t) was a pretty good tank which compared favorably to many of its contemporaries. The Germans quickly adopted it into their army in 1939 after the fall of Czechoslovakia and many were used in the blitzkrieg against France. However, by 1941, the 38(t) was rapidly becoming obsolete. Certainly it was no match for newer, better designed tanks. Its 37mm L/48 gun offered less armor penetration and effective range compared to other 37mm AT guns of the time let alone compared larger caliber AT guns. Armor, was inadequate as well though later models attempted to address the problem. The strengths of the 38(t) were its excellent maneuverability, fairly high speed (for early WW II), and good overall reliability.

Type 89A
• Main Gun: low velocity 57 mm L/15 Type 90 gun. Armor penetration: 20mm @ 500m
• Armor Thickness: 17mm (front), 17mm (side & rear)
• Weight: 11.8 tons (metric)
• Notes: The Type 89 I-Go medium tank was a pre-war designed tank intended for anti-infantry use with its short barreled, low-velocity 57mm cannon, slow top speed (16mph) and thin armor. Simply put, it was obsolete by the start of WW II, and was one of the worst tank designs in WW II for tank vs. tank combat.

StuG III Asuf. F Self Propelled Gun (SPG)/Tank Destroyer (TD)
• Main Gun: 75 mm StuK 40 L/48. Armor penetration: 96mm @ 500m, 85mm @1000m
• Armor Thickness: 50-80mm (front), 30mm (side & rear)
• Weight: 21.6 tons (metric)
• Notes: The Sturmgeschütz III (StuG III) SPG assault gun was Germany’s most produced armored fighting vehicle during World War II. It was built on the chassis of the proven Panzer III tank, replacing the turret with a fixed casemate and mounting a more powerful gun – the 75 mm StuK 37 L/24 cannon (essentially same gun as in the Panzer IV Ausf. D). Initially intended as a mobile, armored light gun for direct-fire support for infantry, the StuG III was continually modified and widely employed as a TD. When its primary role became that of a TD, a much better and more powerful 75 mm StuK 40 L/43 gun was added starting with Ausf. F model.  That was further upgraded to a 75 mm StuK 40 L/48 starting with late Asuf. F models (06/1942-09/1942) and standard on Asuf. F/8 and later models.  (NOTE: Confirmed via Yukari’s Tank Corner BD extras, the anime’s StuG III is a late Ausf. F model and does have the StuK 40 L/48 main gun).

M3 Lee
• Main Gun (in sponson): 75 mm L/31 M2. Armor penetration: 60mm @ 500m, 52mm @1000m | Secondary “AT” Gun in turret: 37mm Gun L/53 M5 (L/56 different site) M5. Armor penetration: 50mm @ 500m, 46mm @1000m
• Armor Thickness: 38-51mm (front), 38mm (side & rear)
• Weight: 27 tons (metric)
• Notes: Design in mid-1940, the first M3s were operational in late 1941. The M3 Lee was intended as stop-gap tank – something the US could produce in number while awaiting design completion and production of the much better M4 Sherman (which used the same chassis, but had a traditional turret and better 75mm L/40 M3 main gun). The M3 Lee was well armed and armored for 1941, but due to design flaws (high silhouette (10’ tall!), archaic sponson mounting of the main gun, below-average off-road performance) it was simply not a good tank and was withdrawn from front line duty as soon as the M4 Sherman became available in large numbers.

Anzio

Girls und Panzer Anzio OVA - Anzio Tank Line Up

Anzio’s team in the OVA is comprised of three Italian tanks: the Carro Armato P40, the Semovente 75/18, and the Carro Veloce L3/33 Tankette.  There are three (3) Semoventes 75/18s and six (6) Carro Veloce L3/35 tankettes along with the single Carro Armato P26/40 for a total of 10 Anzio tanks/TDs/tankettes.

Carro Armato P40 (officially P26/40)
• Main Gun: Ansaldo 75 mm L/34 cannon. Armor penetration (estimate): 68mm @ 500m, 55mm @1000m
• Armor Thickness: 50mm (front), 40mm (side), 40mm (rear)
• Weight: 26 tons (metric)
• Notes: This “heavy” tank (as it was designated by intended role) was Italy’s best tank of the war, so naturally it is the best tank Anzio has. That being said, it wasn’t anywhere near the top for best WW II tanks. The P40 was very similar, if somewhat inferior, to the US M4 Sherman. Its main gun had a bit less velocity and armor penetration than the Sherman’s 75mm L/40 M3 gun, and the tank slightly less armor overall than the M4 Sherman. It also lacked other “modern” features for the time such as welded armor, adequate suspension, and a cupola for the commander. Still, it was the only Italian tank design that was comparable to mid-war Allied and German medium tanks.

Semovente 75/18 Self Propelled Gun (SPG)/Tank Destroyer (TD)
• Main Gun: low velocity 75 mm Obice da 75/18. Armor penetration: 48mm @ 500m, 37mm @1000m
• Armor Thickness: 50mm (front), 25mm (side & rear)
• Weight: 13 tons (metric)
• Notes: This was an inferior copy of the German StuG III. As the name suggests, it featured a 75mm, 18 caliber length (short barreled) low muzzle velocity howitzer type gun which offered slightly better performance than the Panzer IV Ausf D’s short barreled 75mm KwK 37 L/24 main gun. Compared to StuG III, the Semovente 75/18 had thinner armor which still used obsolete rivet manufacturing. On the plus side, despite its turret-less design, the Semovente’s gun was surprisingly maneuverable with 40° traverse compared to the StuG III’s 25° traverse. No question that the StuG III Ausf. F/8 (which is technically Oarai’s model) was superior to the Semovente 75/18 though later models, particularly the Semovente 75/46, narrowed the gap considerably.

Carro Veloce CV33 (L3/33) tankette
• Main Gun: None. Twin 8mm machine guns (MG). Armor penetration (most likely not sloped): Best guestimate based upon .30-06 M2 AP ammo = 10-11mm @ 100m.
• Armor Thickness: 15mm (front), 9mm (side & rear)
• Weight: 3.2 tons (metric)
• Notes: The original version of the CV33 featured featured only one 6.5mm machine gun (“MG”) where you can clearly see two MGs on the anime versions.  Starting in 1935, Serie II models featured twin 8mm MGs which were a standard feature of the CV35 (L3/35) model, and earlier model CV33s were upgraded with twin 8mm MG armament.  That being said, it’s not like the upgrade to twin 8mm MGs is going to make any real difference. This “tankette” was a pre-war design and obsolete before the war began.  If you thought the Type 89 was a bad, obsolete tank, this makes the Type 89 look pretty good.

Comments

daikama

In my opinion, Oarai is the favorite when it comes to hardware. A nice change of pace. 😀 However, I was surprised by how closely the teams match up – due in large part to the flag tank assignments. Make the StuG III Oarai’s flag tank and it’s a much less competitive match. For me, the two standout tanks of the match are the Carro Armato P40 for Anzio and the StuG III for Oarai with the M3 Lee being a bit of a wild card. Definitely some room here for the Rabbit team to shine. The Panzer IV in its Ausf D version can be effective – certainly more so on paper here than versus Saunders’ fleet of M4 Shermans.  Still, miracle shots aside, it simply becomes much better in terms of tank combat later in the anime with the Ausf. F2 (Pravda) and Ausf. H (KMM) upgrades. Like always, the Type 89 is absolutely useless against the opposition’s flag tank, but for once it actually has some offensive potency thanks to the tankettes.

To be honest, I am a little bit disappointed with Anzio’s line up. The Carro Veloce L3/33 tankettes are pretty much worthless outside of scouting or use as a onetime disposable shield. One or two are fine as “tank candy”, but that’s about it. The Semovente 75/18 is just good enough to be competitive given Oarai’s line up at this point in the story, but the later 75/34 and 75/46 versions are much more logical choices for Sensha-do. Just how poor is Anzio that they can’t afford to upgrade to the 75/34 model? The P40 is one of the, perhaps the, best tanks/TDs in the entire match, and Anzio will need to rely heavily upon it. Personally, I would have liked one more different Italian tank. Substitute an M15/42 or M14/41 for 3-4 of those worthless tankettes, or even one of the Semovente 78/18s.

Quibbles and tankettes aside, this is shaping up to be quite a competitive match – more so than I initially expected. Given Girls und Panzer’s track record, I have little doubt that the OVA battle will be exciting and fun to watch. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

[7/14 Update: Having just watched the OVA, the addition of one more tankette changes nothing in my analysis, but the addition of another Semovente 75/18 does make a material difference.  I still give Oarai a slight edge in terms of hardware advantage based mostly upon the StuG III and its best in match 75 mm StuK 40 L/48 main gun, but the two teams are close to even IMO with that extra Semovente 75/18.]

Bear

The manga only had three of the tankettes and included 3 M13/40s. I don’t understand why they didn’t maintain the lineup that they had in the manga version. As diakama points out what about the M14/41 or m15/42? As diakama questioned, how poor is Anzio? The PV seems to be implying the P26/40 is a new addition to their team. Just how poor are they? How did they even make it to the second round? What has the director got against the Italians? If it wasn’t a capture the flag game I could see where it might be frustrating for the Oarais to get them all, but the tankettes would seem to be worthless or just annoying otherwise. No way they can realistically take out a tank short of some ridiculously lucky shot. Shouldn’t even be allowed in Sensah-do IMO.

If you remember the names of the St Gloriana’s team (Darjeeling, Orange Pekoe) were names of teas. The Aznio team names are following a similar pattern (Anchovy, Pepperoni). I had to looki it up but Carpaccio is the name of a dish of raw meat or fish. Of course their insignia is a pizza.

Based on the PV, the girls of Anzio look really cute in their school uniforms and Anchovy looks to be as funny and fun an opponent as Katyusha was when they went up against Pravda. The PV shows a number of differences from the manga version so it will be interesting to see how many changes there are when we finally see the OVA. The PV definitely has me excited to see the full battle.

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27 thoughts on “Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA Primer

  1. Wow! Really great write up guys! The tank spec info and the team comparisons reminded me some what of the “Generals at War” or “Greatest Tank Battles” series.

    I am quite interested to see how the GuP producers approach this battle. Prior to the battle, the conversation between Momo and Yuzu (IIRC) seemed to indicate that Anzio had threat potential. Based on the information we have regarding what Anzio will be fielding in the OVA, it really does seem like Oarai will enjoy a fairly significant edge in hardware despite being out numbered 2 to 1. If the OVA remains true to what was shown in episode 7 regarding the results, it would appear that Oarai came out of the match relatively unscathed. All of the Oarai tanks were present save for Hippo team.

    I recall the manga version of the match being quite close and even dangerous for Oarai. Based on the weaker Anzio line up and the ending to episode 7, I expect this match to be somewhat of a mental bridge between the Oarai team that came out by the skin of their teeth against Sanders to the (over)confident Oarai team that charged head long into the Pravda ranks at the beginning of semi-final match.

    It is a refreshing change for Oarai to be the favorite. However, one sided battles in favor of Oarai would not be very interesting. Thus, I anticipate some creative challenges to appear to make the match interesting and I’m really looking forward to what the producers throw at Miho and company.

    To be frank, I miss this show so much that the OVA could be mostly character interaction with a very small portion dedicated to the match and I would still be happy.

  2. I’m just wondering if they intend to end the battle exactly the way it was presented at the end of episode 7.

    I counted the number of tanks taken out and disabled for each Ooarai team at one point (can’t find the MS excel spreadsheet atm) and the Panzer IV had the most (this includes Gloriana match but excludes initial practice match, although even without the match against Gloriana I think they had the most). On that note, maybe this will be a chance for the Stug (2nd in “kills”) to catch up.

    Also: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-06-30/site-lists-girls-and-panzer-anzio-video-anime-at-38-minutes/.76171

  3. @Riful and Flaze – thanks for the comments.

    @ Riful: Thanks and glad you enjoyed the article. Good point about Oarai’s mental state in terms of becoming overconfident after the Anzio match. Something to keep note of while watching. While I rate Oarai as the favorite in terms of hardware for the anime, it’s not by much. Add an M13/40, M14/41 or M15/42, and IMO the balance swings back in Anzio’s favor. As Bear notes, in the manga Anzio has three M13/40s while Oarai gains the Char B1Bis. Personally, I think that would be just enough to tilt the odds back in Anzio’s favor though of course Miho’s tactics could easily counter that. 😀

    As for the anime, I think it’s a surprisingly close match up based upon the respective tank line ups (assuming Anzio’s line up estimate is correct). So I expect an exciting match even if Oarai has a slight hardware edge on paper. As you say, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. And yeah, I miss the show a well. It was something special.

    ————————————————–

    @ Flaze: Given Girls und Panzer’s attention to detail, I expect the end of the OVA battle to match what we saw in Episode 7. The Panzer IV’s lead in “kills” doesn’t surprise me. Hana is the best gunner Oarai has. Also, upgrading the Panzer IV to an Ausf. F2 then Ausf. H model makes a world of difference in terms of firepower. The Ausf. H’s KwK 40 L/48 gun more than doubles the armor penetration of the Ausf. D’s KwK 37 L/24 gun.

    For this match, IMO the StuG III has an excellent chance to rack up some “kills”. It can take out anything Anzio has from any angle at ranges of 1500m or so. Maybe more. The M3 Lee also matches up fairly well IMO. It’s 75mm main gun is good against all Anzio tanks from 1000m or less regardless of direction, and the 37mm secondary gun isn’t too bad either from the side/rear. The M3 Lee also has some pretty good armor on a relative basis. That’s why Team Rabbit is my “wild card” for the match. Can’t say for sure, but I expect both the Hippo and Rabbit teams to get at least one kill each. I also expect the Type 89 (“duck” team) to take out at least one tankette. Only chance for the poor volleyball team to get a “kill” in the entire tournament. LOL

    Thanks for the tip about the OVA length. I could have sworn I saw some site previously list the OVA at 60 minutes long. Maybe 60 minutes included all the extras. 38 minutes is shorter than I had hoped (I thought it would be at least 45 minutes = two episodes), but I guess with the Strike Witches OVAs at 30 minutes each, 38 minutes isn’t too bad if less than ideal.

    • @daikama

      I was actually expecting the OVA to be of regular episode length so a 38 minute run time is a pleasant surprise for me.

      Regarding your wish for at least 45 minutes, if one were to consider the OP and ED for two episodes then the 38 minutes would be about 41 minutes in length. Thus, it would seem that there is indeed about 2 episodes worth of content in this OVA. Factor in the director’s uncanny ability to include a significant amount of well paced content within an episode, then I would expect we are in for a quite the treat.

    • Glad to hear that, and thanks for letting us know. Was this a BD/DVD rip or cinema? I thought the BD/DVD were not released until July 25th?

  4. Hello.
    I would like to tackle first the elephant in the room; I am Italian, so I kind of have a soft spot for Italian tanks. Despite this, I try (I cannot guarantee that my analysis is 100% impartial and objective, I think more like 80-85%) to not let this cloud my judgement.
    Anyway, it’s not like I disagree with your analysis; I think it’s failry accurate and precise. However, I respectfully wish to observe that, in my opinion, your outlook on the Italian tanks is not completely and totally fair.

    As a preliminary, I would like to say that, although I am not completely sure about the details, it is established that Italian guns had a different convention when its barrel lengths were measured, with the result that they’re not identical to other nations’ standards. Therefore, it should be noted that, on a relative scale, Italian guns barrel are a little bit longer than its caliber designation might seem to declare.

    – First of all, the P40; the concept is true and I’d be an idiot if I wished to object that, at best it could have been a decent medium tank and all. However, while I praise your honesty in declaring that your penetration values of its gun are “estimates”, and I can understand because reliable information is sparse about this specific topic, I think this is enough to give the gun the benefit of the doubt, and perhaps consider that it wasn’t as bad as you depict (because, honestly, to say that it was worse than the M4 Sherman’s early gun, a derivative of a turn-of-the-century French gun, to me it’s a bit too much; the 75/34 gun derived from a relatively modern 75/32 field gun which was not a terrific weapon against tanks, but it was good enough to reportedly take down some T-34s on the Eastern Front). Moreover, it should be noted that the P40’s armor was sloped; granted, it was still subpar and bolted and riveted, but it should be considered, because it brought the protection level for the front glacis at least up to the T-34’s level; in the OVA we saw how Miho’s Panzer IV defeated it: by shooting from above, because otherwise the shot would’ve ricocheted off. On the other side, you also forgot a drawback in its design: the fact that it still had a two-man turret and therefore the commander would have had to double as the gunner.
    So, while the P40 (which apparently was plagued, during development and during its ephemeral service with engine troubles) would have never been up to the other contemporary medium tanks’ level, I think that, in favourable condition, it could have been a match for them, and could have performed decently enough.

    – Now, the Semovente; I think that your classification as a “markedly inferior” version of the StuG is a little bit too much. I would never say that the Semovente was up to par to the StuG, but I believe it wasn’t so inferior. First of all, if we consider this SPG’s development, we can see that it went as the StuG’s, because when first conceived its task was to provide Italian armoured division with some mobile and modern divisional artillery support (similar, but not identical, to the StuG, that was a pure assault gun), and that in 1940 a StuG (with its short 75 mm gun and quite thin protection) and a Semovente would have been pretty much on par. Of course, when the StuG was upgunned in 1941-1942, the Semovente was left behind; but not very far behind. Because the Semovente not only performed well in its intended role, it also proved that, despite not being designed for it, it could perform well enough in the tank destroyer role. That was because its short and puny 75 mm howitzer was ideally suited for firing HEAT shells (“effetto pronto”, prompt-effect in Italian), with which any medium tank met in North Africa (the M3 Lee/Grant and the M4 Sherman) could be destroyed (I know it shouldn’t be taken into account, but since we don’t have precise and complete data on the ammo used in Sensha-Dou, I think that we cannot discard the option that some vehicles use such shells).
    Also, while the Semovente, compared to the StuG III Ausf. G, had less protection, less firepower and less mobility, it did have one advantage: first of all, being smaller than its German counterpart (and even smaller than the Hetzer), it had more than decent survivability because the Allied tanks struggled to hit it (it was just 1.85 m tall).
    Besides, I also think that your quip that even the upgunned versions were inferior to the StuG isn’t completely right: it can stand for the Semovente da 75/34 (which used the same gun as the P40), but not for the Semovente da 75/46. This particular TD was a different design, because it was a modification of the newly-designed Semovente da 105/25 (“Bassotto”, dachsund in Italian) built during the German occupation of Italy; it sported a gun that was completely comparable to the KwK 40 used on the StuG, frontal protection at least comparable, if not superior, to the StuG, and it didn’t have the mobility and speed issued earlier Semoventi had. Therefore, I’d say that in fairness the Semovente da 75/46 can be declared at least the equal of the StuG, although by no means on the same level of later German TDs like the Jagpanzer IV or the Jagdpanther.

    This is what I wished to say.
    I hope I have proven my point without being rude; I can understand how sparse and unreliable information about Italian tanks can be, therefore I’m not pointing my finger at all. I merely wish to give a better balanced and informed outlook on the tanks you mentioned.

    • @Italianguy88: First, thanks for taking time to read the post and comment. I did not think you were rude, and to be honest, I believe you made some good points – particularly about the Semovente 75/46. That was indeed a significantly different and improved model from the 75/18 and 75/34. Frankly, one might argue a different class of TD altogether. I’m still not entirely convinced that the 75/46 was “at least as good” as the StuG III Ausf. F/8 (which is really what Oarai has) or Asuf. G. However, upon further consideration taking your comments into account, I agree that I did overstate late model StuG IIIs (e.g. Ausf F/8 and Ausf G) superiority over the Semovente 75/46. I’d say “fairly close” or perhaps “almost as good” when comparing the Semovente 75/46 to late model StuG IIIs.

      As for early model StuG III’s (Ausf A-E), “thinly armored” isn’t a fair statement in my opinion since WWII vehicle data sites I checked almost uniformly given 50mm armor (front) and 30mm rear and sides. The Semovente 75/18 is listed as having 25+25 front (*upper”) and 30mm lower front, and 25mm sides and rear. Even if we just say 50mm front and 25mm sides and rear, then it’s equal to early model StuG III in the front and slightly less armored on the sides and rear. In short if early StuG III are “thinly armored”, then the Semovente 75/18 is slightly more “thinly armored”. Not much (5mm), but technically so.

      As for the the KwK 37 75mm L/24 vs. 75 mm Ansaldo L/18, I may have erred a bit there. :/ Sorry about that. I did some more digging, and the KwK 37 75/L24 does indeed seem to have a bit less muzzle velocity and armor penetration (“standard” AP rounds) under 1000m than the 75/18. Overall, I would say that the Semovente 75/18 matches up fairly well though still inferior compared to early StuG III models. However, once you get to the Ausf F and especially Ausf F/8 & Ausf G models, I think Semovente 75/18 and even 75/34 are clearly inferior. That’s the case in the OVA – StuG III Ausf F/8 vs. Semovente 75/18.

      Your comment about the Italian convention for barrel length designations is interesting. I certainly didn’t know that. From what I could find/best I could tell, it did seem to be fairly close to other nation’s standard convention given the muzzle velocities stated. For example, one WWII vehicle data site I frequently use lists muzzle velocity for the 75 mm L/34 cannon as 2,047 f/s (624 m/s), and the M4 Sherman’s 75 mm M3L/40 as 2,300 f/s (701 m/s) for “standard” AP rounds. Another site has 557 m/s and 588 m/s for the same guns/ammo respectively. In either case, the Sherman’s 75mm L/40 s wins out on muzzle velocity though for the latter site the gap is narrowed considerably. It’s the same for armor penetration with “standard” AP rounds. It’s not much, but there’s a bit of an advantage with the M4’s 75mm L/40 (about 5mm or so). True, all this is definitely a “best effort” on my part though in terms of the P40’s 75 mm L/34, I think my estimates are pretty accurate if not exact. Oh! If you know of a good sight for Italian tank data (ideally English as I’m not fluent in other languages), please post.

      You have a point about HEAT (and HVAP) rounds making a huge difference. There are two reasons I decided to use “standard AP” rounds for this post. First, some countries used HEAT rounds and other HVAP (tungsten “dart” core type stuff). Both are much, much more effective than “standard” AP rounds, but you can’t compare “apples to apples” with those two types as easily IMO. Of course even with “standard” AP rounds there will be some variation among countries, but I still think APC vs. APCBC is a lot closer than HEAT vs. HVAP. The other thing is that I think “standard” AP rounds make more sense when it comes to Sensha-do. Sensha-do =/= war so I do not think having a “game round” that shoots forth very high-velocity partial stream of metal in a state of superplasticity, or a hyper velocity, high density tungsten core dart matches up well with the concept of safety – “special” carbon lining or not. Just my opinion, but “standard” AP rounds make more sense.

      TL:DR – I think you make some good points, and I’ll make adjustments accordingly to the above data. Thanks again for taking the time to read the post and reply. 😀

      P.S. Oh, regarding the OVA and the Panzer IV, check back in a couple of days. 😉

      • Thank you for answering. I was kind of afraid I had been too blunt.

        I admit that perhaps the Semovente da 75/46 wasn’t as good as the StuG, but I think the difference would’ve been minimal, only caused by the 3-men crew instead of the 4-men one of the German vehicle. Otherwise, if we see the armor protection, we can see how the 100 mm thick frontal glacis of the Semovente (although the available information is sparse and somewhat contradicting) is better than the 80 mm of the StuG; while the respective firepower was perfectly comparable, since I found out (but I repeat, data is sparse so I’m not 100% sure about this, but I think it’s possible) that the 75/46 gun could penetrate 90 mm of armor at 500 meters (and I believe that, if this data is reliable, it should be about inclined armor).
        So, I think we can agree on that.

        You are right, I hadn’t looked up on that. Still, I believe twe agree that the Semovente is just a little bit below the earlier StuG models.
        However, you’re perfectly right when you say that this changes when we get to the StuG Ausf. F/8. Even the Semovente da 75/34 wasn’t on par with that (basically, I think that the only advantage with that was that it had roughly the same penetration values of the 75/18 gun with normal AP shells).

        I did mention that the discrepancy is very little, because (although I don’t have official confirmation) it only changed where they started when they calculated the barrel length: from the breech in most cases, from when the rifling began in the Italians’ cases. But it doesn’t make that much a difference; I only mentioned it for the record.

        I see; I must admit that I had forgot that the M2/M3 gun had been lengthened on the Sherman, and I think that this gave it an edge over the P40’s gun, although I also believe it would have been around 5 mm or so.
        I stand corrected.

        I admit I hadn’t seen the topic from this point of view. This sure makes me thing, although I’m still a little bit unconvinced, if nothing because of the fact that in the OVA we saw how the StuG/Semovente duel ended in mutual destruction, right? Of course, the StuG’s gun would penetrate a Semovente anywhere, but the Semovente’s gun, even with HEAT shells, would have had trouble doing the same. If they didn’t use those shells, how did they manage to penetrate, even at point-blank range? Is it possible that so close a normal AP shell would have penetrated 80 mm of steel?
        To be completely honest, there is also some confusion around the web about the true nature of those Italian shells; someone says they’re HEAT, someone else says they’re not. And even in the bibliography the question hasn’t been answered once and for all.
        I don’t know if it can be of use, but I found a plate of the 75/18 shells’ sections, with an “effetto pronto” (second from right) and an “effetto prontissimo” (first from right), with the difference being (I think) on the trigger’s location, respectively at the bottom or at the top of the sheel.

        I wish to thank you for listening to me, and for replying. I admit that sometimes my patriotic feelings get in the way, but this is also why I do it, to force myself to swallow the truth and nothing but the truth. But if you believe that something I’ve pointed out was useful to you, I feel glad that I was able to contribute somehow to the discussion.
        Again, thank you.

        • @Italianguy88: You’re quite welcome for the reply, and I absolutely think you added to the discussion. 😀 You made some good points about the Semovente 75/46 along with adding some good information about Italian tanks/TDs in general. As you say, there’s a surprising lack of information when it comes to this stuff. At least I think so. To be honest, I didn’t find much info on the later Semovente models (especially the 75/46), and I concentrated on the 75/18 model anyway since that was in the anime.

          I think we can agree, or at least come pretty close, in terms of the Semovente 75/46 and later StuG III models (Ausf F/8 & G), The StuK 40 L/48 penetrated 96mm of 30 degree sloped armor at 500m – a bit more than the Semovente 75/46 gun (90mm if that figure is correct). I didn’t find anything on the 75/46 front armor when I initially checked, but if that 100mm front armor stat is correct, then yeah, 20mm of extra armor makes a difference. The 3 man vs. 4 man crew does, IMO, make a difference as well. A 4 man crew allows for a separate gunner, loader and commander. There’s a bunch of other factors as well – reliability, speed and maneuverability for example, which, to be honest, I have little information about the 75/46. Overall, I’d say the two TDs are pretty close, but I still give the overall edge to the late StuG III models if not by much.

          I also agree that the Semovente 75/18 wasn’t that far off from the early StuG III models (Ausf. A-E). Still, as I noted before, that changes quite a bit when you compare a Semovente 75/18 to a StuG III Asuf. F/8 which is the case for the OVA. The P40 was a great addition for Anzio, but they need to cut back on the snack budget a bit more and upgrade (or replace) those Semovente 75/18s with 75/34 or better yet 75/46 models. Oh, and replace those Carro Veloce L3/35 tankettes with some M15/42 or M14/41 tanks while you’re at it. 😉 One tankette is enough for “tank candy”.

          “To be completely honest, there is also some confusion around the web about the true nature of those Italian shells; someone says they’re HEAT, someone else says they’re not.” JMO, but that image you linked looks like a HEAT round (shaped charge) to me. Also what limited information I found on the Semovente 75/18 mentioned HEAT rounds as well “AP” rounds.

          Regarding using “standard” AP rounds (e.g APC or APCBC) rather than HEAT or HVAP for GuP tank/TD gun armor penetration comparison, I just remembered something which I think conclusively supports that. In GuP anime BD volume 03 “Yukari’s Tank Corner” extra, they show a comparison for armor penetration between the M4 Sherman 75mm L/40 M3 gun and 76mm L/55 M1 gun. The stats they give are definitely for “standard” APCBC rounds (74mm and 98mm at 500m respectively).

          As for you comment about the StuG III vs. Semovente duel not matching up with real-world stats, keep in mind this is anime so you can’t expect absolute realism. See our Girls und Panzer Anzio OVA review for more on that. 😉 I’m not entirely sure that the StuG III has 80mm of armor covering every square inch (centimeter?) of the front. Some sites list “50mm + 30mm” for the front armor. Also, I would expect that the Semovente 75/18 can penetrate say another 10mm or so of armor at point-blank range. All in all, I figured “Eh, close enough” when it came to that part of the match.

          Again, thanks for reading the blog and taking the time to post comments. I hope you continue to do so!

    • Welcome Italianguy88!

      I am certainly not an expert on tanks but I do find tanks and all things military interesting. That said, I enjoyed the points you made and informative.

      That said, I’ll leave the tank spec discussion to you aficionados.

      Ciao

  5. I’d like to thank rifulofthewest, flaze35 and our new commenter Italianguy88 for the comments. Great to hear from you all and I hope you’ll like our review of the Anzio OVA.

    And I’d like to welcome Italianguy88. Your comments on the Italian vehicles are a welcome addition to the conversation. Hope you’ll follow us or at least drop by again. If we’re not talking anime we’re talking military (or both).

  6. This is a very nice article overall.

    I won’t get into the world of penetration stat nitpicking, except to note for the StuG, the key to penetrating it was probably what Carpaccio told them to do at the beginning – aim for the mantlet, which is only 50mm (the EMD Chinese sub, which came out a bit later than several, noticed this).

    As for the tank choices, I’ve skimmed over a magazine that claimed the excess of CVs is direction from the director who liked those tankettes. Either way, the tank choices make sense in the sense of the larger story.

    It is apparently the philosophy of *most* schools (excluding Kuromorimine) that Senshado is an elective that should be enjoyed by the maximum possible number of participants rather than an elite force made of the priciest equipment used to force wins at a competition. It is recently revealed that Saunders’ 1st string uses 50 Shermans (no Pershings) and the 2nd and 3rd line mostly use Stuarts (not even M24 Chaffees). Surely Saunders could afford some Pershings if they are willing to trade off a number of Stuarts, but they don’t.

    Pravda is revealed in one of the audio drama discs to have at least as many tanks as Saunders’ first string (so about 50). Squaring that with what we see in the anime, it seems that they are *mostly* T-34/76s with an “elite / heavy support” core of the 6 T-34/85s, IS-2 and KV-2 we see on screen. Again, they could have traded some quantity for quality (T-34/85s are quite plentiful), but they don’t.

    Anzio actually had quite a few Tankery elective takers (you see them come out in the banquet, and you know they are not just ordinary students from their uniforms). In these circumstances, it would seem they choose to put the limited money towards quantity, thus the tankettes… by the way, they are explicitly CV33s (the CV33s were all upgraded to take the 8mm, so just because you see a 8mm MG doesn’t mean they are suddenly L3/35s).

    For the Semovente, one will note that the BD booklets in effect say as a rule, tanks used in Senshado started out as “real” tanks, rather than “replicas” made after the war just for Senshado (besides, if replicas are built, it’d be Jadgtigers, not Semoventes). So tank rarity is a significant problem. There are (according to Zaloga’s Italian Medium Tanks) ~190 75/18s built, but only 89 75/34s (including the ones built under German occupation) and 11 75/46s. So the better ones are simply much harder to get for poor Anzio. They might only get 1 75/34 for the price of 2 or 3 75/18s, and the 75/46s might cost more than their entire tank fleet or even be completely locked up in Italian Tankery groups.

    Finally, there’s also the plot. Basically, this is the time for Duck Team to get its entire season’s worth of kills. Supposing we change some CVs for M13/40s. Well then Duck won’t be able to kill them (in fact, Duck’s control of its engagement was poor and if *anything* more than a CV was in the mix, even a L6 with its 20mm cannon, Duck would be shredded before its first *hit*, let alone *kill*). So where would they go? They could let Rabbit kill them, but now Rabbit looks too good (I think they actually did pretty well this OVA, but the plot strategy is to depict them as a growing team so they can’t be too good). Hippo is too busy playing with Hina-chan and Anglerfish is playing with the flag group.

    • @Kazuaki Shimazaki: Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for all the additional information. Lots to consider.

      As for the CV33 vs. CV35 designation, you might be right. Still, in the manga, they list the CV33 as having 6.5mm MG – fine, except they are drawn with TWIN MGs. Everything I’ve read is either ONE 6.5mm MG OR TWIN 8mm. Point here is that official GuP material can make errors. BTW, I did know that most (perhaps all) CV33’s were upgraded to twin 8mm MGs. However, does that still mean it’s a CV 33? All the sites I checked list one 6.5mm MG for a CV33 and twin 8mm MG for a CV35 rather than have two entries (i.e. one 6.5mm MG or twin 8mm MG) for the CV33 armament.

      To use an analogy, if you add a 75mm KwK 40 L/48 to a Panzer IV Ausf. D (with no other upgrades), while that doesn’t make it an Ausf G or Ausf. H, is it still really a “Ausf. D”? I think still calling it a “Panzer IV Ausf. D” is misleading. Maybe “upgraded Panzer IV Asuf. D” (or in this case “upgraded CV33”) is the correct way to go. Of course, if you do all the upgrades so it has the same specs as a later model, then I would consider it in fact to be the later model. Frankly, IDK why the show just doesn’t just list the tankettes as CV35’s and be done with it. Same goes for the Hippo Team’s StuG III Ausf. F which has the Ausf. F/8’s 75mm StuK 40 L/48 gun but is still called as an Ausf. F in the anime. :/ Anyway, you do have a point so I clarified the notes above.

      …for the StuG, the key to penetrating it was probably what Carpaccio told them to do at the beginning – aim for the mantlet, which is only 50mm (the EMD Chinese sub, which came out a bit later than several, noticed this).”

      Agree. I noticed that line in the anime as well (Eng. subs translated “as aim for the “bulge” in the front”) which is why I didn’t cite that part of the battle in my “Pushing ‘In-Universe’ Credibility” comment for our review of the OVA. Of course if the Semovente 75/18 uses a HEAT round, even 80mm at point-blank range wouldn’t be enough protection. Maybe Anzio doesn’t have HEAT round, maybe they do.

      To be honest, I really don’t like all this “upon League approval”, maybe they do (have a certain type of round) maybe they don’t, extra uncertainty stuff. Senshado is a game, a sport, and you need rules – well defined, consistent rules rather than arbitrary ones. If the League is so worried about Senshado match play balance, then why the hell did they allow the Maus? THAT is “OK”, but they feel the need to approve HEAT/APCR/HVAP rounds on an individual basis? They have no problem with poorer schools fielding eight or ten tanks against twenty, yet must scrutinize the type of shell for every tank gun for “match play balance” rather than just allow HEAT/HVAP/APCT/etc. for all teams (as long as safety requirements are met)? Seems “just a bit” inconsistent to me.

      As for your comment about Saunders having fifty M4 Shermans PLUS a slew of M3 Stuarts (but no Pershings or even M24 Chaffees), I’m a bit dumbfounded. To place such an extreme level of emphasis on participation as to significantly jeopardize chances of winning, especially in later rounds against a school like KMM, is pushing things too for me. Your other comment about Saunders prioritizing suspension upgrades over 76mm gun upgrades – especially with HVAP round available, just exacerbates the problems I have. I see absolutely no reason for Saunders not to have at least two or three M26 Pershings (one a “Super Pershing”) along with a few M24 Chaffees. Same goes for St. Gloriana’s – I certainly hope they have a few cruiser tanks to go along with all those infantry tanks.

      • First, I would like to thank everyone for welcoming me. I’ll do my best to contribute.

        @ Kazuaki Shimazaki
        I too am dubious about the focus on participation; while for Saunders we have canon info that shows that they have lots and lots of Shermans, the number of 50 seems a little exaggerated. And I also believe that, while certain schools seem to be rather standardized, I don’t think we can exclude the chance that they might have at least some teams with different tanks (as daikama said).

        @daikama
        In the 5th Episode it can be glimpsed (and official info confirmed it later) that St. Gloriana has a Crusader.

        I’m not sure about the fact that most tank were real and not replicas, either. That because, if we just look into Italian tanks, Anzio alone would dry up pretty much a lot of the surviving and preserved Italian WWII tanks (even the tankettes, of which not a lot survived).
        Besides, I believe that the mention of a conversion kit for the Panzer 38(t) shows that there must be an active industry able to provide parts, and I don’t see why it couldn’t provide an entire tank, like a P40.
        I mean, it’s the only thing we can think of, if we don’t want to believe that the Kuromorimine girls were able to sneak into Kubinka and steal the Maus. Can’t imagine how much that one has costed them…

        Just for the sake of precision, the number of Semoventi da 75/18 built was around 410 (the number said before referred only to the M.42 variant).
        Now, forgive me for being rather narrow, but I would also like to remind a factor that perhaps wasn’t properly considered in the evaluation of the Semoventi : their heigth. AS i mentioned before, the Semovente da 75/18 was only 1.85 m tall, lower than the StuG III and even the Hetzer; this constituted a form of passive defence that was rather appropriate, since these vehicles mostly fought on the defensive. As for the Semovente da 75/46, it was only 1,75 m tall, therefore even a more difficult target.
        I won’t say it made an incredible difference, but I believe no one could argue that one of the StuG III’s strong points was its small silhouette that augmented its survivability; thus, I believe such a factor should also be counted when considering the Semovente’s relative efficacy.
        Sorry for continuing to bring this up, but I feel like I had to say so.

        • >Still, in the manga, they list the CV33 as having 6.5mm MG – fine, except they are drawn with TWIN MGs.

          Well, that manga lost its canonicity for me around the Anzio fight – they changed the result too much that it got into a head-on with the anime despite the latter only showing an ending at that time.

          To respond to your meat, I get your point. However, for this specific, the CV35 is not quite just a CV33 with 8mm MG. It actually has a different hull, a slightly different length, and so on.

          >if the Semovente 75/18 uses a HEAT round, even 80mm at point-blank range wouldn’t be enough protection.

          The Semovente 75/18’s EP (HEAT) round’s penetration is 70mm (again in Italian Medium Tanks), so it is just insufficient to kick in the front armor proper.

          (Now, I’ve read some claims where the 75/34’s HEAT round is up to 120mm. I have yet to read that in a ‘proper’ book source or even from a source that references one, but the German equivalent [GR 38 H1/C] reached 100mm at 30deg, so 120mm at 0deg is not impossible. Nevertheless, that’s the 75/34’s HEAT round, not the /18.)

          >If the League is so worried about Senshado match play balance, then why the hell did they allow the Maus?

          Because they said … any vehicle created at least in prototype form before Aug 1945 … and they have to eat their words.

          Anyway, “match play balance” is one way they can use the power the booklet says they have. For all we know they don’t though the idea they do might help explain a few things on screen.

          You might also note that the ammo used in the match is the factor they can directly control. For the others (such as the tanks), they can set general guidelines, but it is not in their direct control. The ammo however, can be approved each and every time.

          >To place such an extreme level of emphasis on participation as to significantly jeopardize chances of winning, especially in later rounds against a school like KMM, is pushing things too for me.

          It is important to remember that Senshado is not a club. It is an elective, a class that should be open to as many that wish to sign up as possible. In fact, while a club can have “bench-warmers”, a class must avoid that to the maximum possible extent.

          Also, it is the objective of classes to teach useful skills, not win competitions. You learn more using oh Chi-Ha Tan’s equipment to engage KMM (though you’d lose) than the inverse. In fact, I’d argue that the way they lost these two years is a sign of how *useless* KMM’s class has degraded to as a means of training tankers. Gunners that can’t even hit at 10m, tanks that can’t maintain discipline and commanders that don’t think to use their radio … maybe that’s why other schools avoid that path.

          >I see absolutely no reason for Saunders not to have at least two or three M26 Pershings (one a “Super Pershing”) along with a few M24 Chaffees. Same goes for St. Gloriana’s – I certainly hope they have a few cruiser tanks to go along with all those infantry tanks.

          They do have a number of Crusaders (enough to form a Crusader faction). The Gekkan actually gives them a Cromwell and Convenanter too, though neither are operational. They are also thinking about getting a Comet or two, but OBs that like Matildas are successfully objecting (kind of tells you where the priorities are, doesn’t it).

          As for Saunders, I myself thought they might have a Pershing hidden somewhere. But they don’t. They don’t even have one that’s non-operational, or “thinking about getting one”.

          To be fair, Saunders does seem to be something of an extreme case in lack of lust, and other schools do sometimes think of reaching out for better equipment. Anzio actually has a M13/40 or two and even one modified to M13/41 standard, but they apparently don’t work. They are also thinking about Semovente 75/34s and even 90/53 if they can think of a way to seal up the compartment and win the approval of the Federation (and get some money, of course). Nevertheless, it seems that no one thinks that participation numbers should in any way be sacrificed just to win competitions – more of a “If we can upgrade, we will but we aren’t sacrificing student counts”. Which is of course, entirely the correct attitude.

          >I too am dubious about the focus on participation; while for Saunders we have canon info that shows that they have lots and lots of Shermans, the number of 50 seems a little exaggerated. And I also believe that, while certain schools seem to be rather standardized, I don’t think we can exclude the chance that they might have at least some teams with different tanks (as daikama said).

          Well, in addition to flaze’s photo (which is well known though I never quite counted exactly how many there were), the drama CD gives them 12 platoons of 4 tanks each + a 2-tank HQ. The Gekkan credits them with “50+” operational Shermans at all times, so I think the 2nd and 3rd strings have a handful of Shermans, and the rest are Stuarts.

          Considering the size of a schoolship and a reasonable participation percentage, I see no reason to be surprised at a mere 100 tanks (for 500+ tankers – mechanics are calculated separately in Saunders). In fact, I find it more shocking how *few* people could be interested in tankery in Oarai Girls’ Academy.

          >Besides, I believe that the mention of a conversion kit for the Panzer 38(t) shows that there must be an active industry able to provide parts, and I don’t see why it couldn’t provide an entire tank, like a P40.

          Actually, I share these sentiments. There are also other problems, such as how this would lead to a system where the old-houses eventually hog up almost all the good tanks, creating a freeze-out that others won’t suffer for. Nevertheless, this is the official position – as a rule, they started out “real”, no matter how many “replica” parts they eventually acquire.

          >Just for the sake of precision, the number of Semoventi da 75/18 built was around 410 (the number said before referred only to the M.42 variant).

          I rechecked and you are right. I was in a hurry when I read off that row and didn’t read the M40 and M41 line above it. Anyway, it proves my point even better, for the ratio of /18 Semoventes to /34 Semoventes is even greater.

        • @Italianguy88: Your welcome. Glad that you and everyone else took the time to stop by and share your thoughts.

          “I’m not sure about the fact that most tank were real and not replicas, either. That because, if we just look into Italian tanks, Anzio alone would dry up pretty much a lot of the surviving and preserved Italian WWII tanks (even the tankettes, of which not a lot survived).”

          Agree. Same goes for all the schools really. Saunders has 46+ M4 Shermans. That’s a lot of Sherman tanks! And yeah, I bet the Maus wasn’t cheap.

          As for the Semovente 75/18, height/silhouette and overall size is a factor. Same goes for maneuverability, speed, reliability, crew size, armor design (sloping), suspension, etc.. On the one hand, HEAT rounds certainly make the Semovente 75/18 much more effective and bridge the gap, but then you have Pzr 40 APCR rounds as well for the StuG III. We may differ in opinion, but that’s fine. My guess is that it is not by much anyway, and there’s no problem with you bringing up an additional point.

          ——————————————

          @flaze35: Thanks for the screen cap. As noted, 46 alone is a LOT of Sherman tanks. It also supports the other materials (e.g.BD booklets or drama CDs) stating 50 (more?).

          ——————————————

          @Kazuaki Shimazaki:

          Regarding the CV33 – noted. Like I said, probably “modified/upgraded CV33 with twin 8mm guns” is more accurate, but “CV33” alone is as best misleading when pertinent specs are changed. Doesn’t really matter since 8mm MGs won’t make any difference, but I still have to wonder why the show just doesn’t keep things simple and clear. (i.e. CV35 or StuG III Ausf. F/8). Why make things needlessly complex?

          “”It is important to remember that Senshado is not a club. It is an elective, a class that should be open to as many that wish to sign up as possible. In fact, while a club can have “bench-warmers”, a class must avoid that to the maximum possible extent. … Also, it is the objective of classes to teach useful skills, not win competitions.’

          To some extent, yes, but again, for me the scenario and rationale presented go too far. Electives DO fill up just like any optional classes, and while you may want to make as much room as possible for students, that doesn’t mean you should short change participants in terms of equipment. At least not IMO. “2nd & 3rd string” players can take turns in tanks during practice if necessary. Furthermore, you can have “2nd and 3rd string” players “get off the bench” via exhibition matches. Bringing in the whole national school competition aspect changes things substantially IMO. It makes Senshad both elective AND competitive sport. Winning isn’t everything, but it is something rather than an afterthought. After all, winning the tournament saved Oarai. The “skills” learned in Senshado have to do with making participants more successful in life (“better wife/businesswoman/mother”). Disregarding success in the very activity in which you’re trying to gain skills to further your success in life strikes me as contradictory. I’m not asking for much here given the number of tanks schools like Saunders have. Find a happy medium, not an extreme.

          “You learn more using oh Chi-Ha Tan’s equipment to engage KMM (though you’d lose) than the inverse.”

          Again, yes and no. Mostly “no” IMO. Sure it forces you to be more creative to have any chance of success (assuming participation alone isn’t sufficient). However, learning to use the right tool for the right job is an important lesson. Something my dad taught me at an early age. Forget, a Type 97 against a Panther, let’s go with RL WWII match up with a 75mm M4 Sherman vs a Panther. Don’t see how you learn anything more or “better” with that match up compared to a 76mm M4 using HVAP or even a Pershing other than that the M4 Sherman with a 75mm M3 gun + APCBC round is NOT the right equipment for the job. Learning to overcome difficulties is one thing, purposefully making things more difficult for yourself is another, and not a good habit to learn.

          “In fact, I’d argue that the way they lost these two years is a sign of how *useless* KMM’s class has degraded to as a means of training tankers. Gunners that can’t even hit at 10m, tanks that can’t maintain discipline and commanders that don’t think to use their radio … maybe that’s why other schools avoid that path.”

          Sorry, but I can’t agree with that at all. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, while Oarai winning it all wasn’t a surprise and arguably cliche’, it “felt” right. IMO the anime made the correct decision there. However, this is anime and there’s definitely some scripting going on here. KMM wasn’t the only school with “stormtrooper” marksmanship and some dubious command decisions. Pravda missed ALL of Oarai’s tanks as they exited the building (not to mention the suspect placement of Pravda tanks once the match resumed), AND most of all, taking a 3 hour nap/snack break which allowed Oarai to win in the first place. Saunders’ team marksmanship was poor as well. As I recall, only Nonna made any “kill” shots. Actually, did ANY of Saunder’s tanks besides the Firefly hit an Oarai tank? Also, I don’t consider it the best idea to leave your flag tank all alone as Kay did – especially when you have twice the number of tanks your opponent has. Granted JMO, but I do not see how the other schools “avoid that path”. Realistically, KMM should have won. Their hardware advantage is ridiculous. In fact, if not for a very “deus ex author” moment when the Type 3 “accidentally” shits into reverse at just the precise moment at just the right place so that it acts as a shield for the Panzer IV flag tank, KMM would have won the match in record time.

          They do have a number of Crusaders (enough to form a Crusader faction). The Gekkan actually gives them a Cromwell and Convenanter too, though neither are operational. They are also thinking about getting a Comet or two, but OBs that like Matildas are successfully objecting (kind of tells you where the priorities are, doesn’t it).

          Ah, thanks for the info. 😀 *sigh* SO much information scattered throughout and not always accessible (for me). :/

        • @daikama, Perhaps I should loop to the bottom and explain why Kuromorimine is particularly shoddy before continuing. It is true that other schools have their own fair share of gaffes. However, KMM is a gaffe from beginning to end. Pravda screwed up in the 2nd half, undoubtedly. On the other hand, we see them neatly blasting a Panzer III off the road with two HE rounds (I think this works only in GuP with the Enhanced Blast HE that’s so popular) and then getting a good shot on a Tiger while KMM can’t even fire back (yes, Miho was out of the tank but darn it the enemy is dead ahead and can be shot on the gunner’s initiative). This year, they shot off barrels, tracks and disabled turrets. If we consider Katyusha’s plan as a “political” operation to get group dogeza, this is good. No one has been flagged so they would all have to participate, but their firepower has effectively been neutralized. There are few configurations more favorable to forcing the dogeza but knowing you can’t fight back.

          For Saunders … yes, they can’t shoot. But at least they don’t panic at tanks intermingling into their ranks. They can actually arrange cooperation between themselves (a skill Oarai never quite learnt to the end – they can cooperate /under Miho’s direction/ but when alone they fight alone) – look at Charlie and Dog split the observation sector to scan.

          As for Kuromorimine, Maho simply failed to take into account her crews’ actual skill when setting the ambush. The “divine intervention” wasn’t so much when Erika’s shot was blocked, but when Erika’s shot would have hit anything at all. Looking at their sorry accuracies for the rest of this, one cannot help but think if they ran that whole part again, Oarai would have made it all across in one piece. The most positive interpretation that can be made of that scene is that Erika’s tank can shoot somewhat. 5 competent students out of about 100 is not indicative of a successful program.

          > Electives DO fill up just like any optional classes, and while you may > want to make as much room as possible for students, that doesn’t mean > you should short change participants in terms of equipment. At least > not IMO. 2nd & 3rd “string” players can take turns in tanks during > practice if necessary.

          OMG, you might just have provided a partial explanation of why KMM sucks so much.

          First, electives do have upper limits, especially those that use expensive equipment such as tanks. It doesn’t mean you deliberately limit the participation below what your resources can support.

          To not short-change students, the minimal requirement is to try and give every student their own set of equipment. If it is oh, a computer elective, a rich school might assign state of the art computers and a poor school just serviceable ones, but every kid should have a computer. The correct solution is /not /to try and kick students out because you want to buy only a few state of the art computers that might give your team an edge at some contest.

          An equally poor solution is to let everyone in, but because there aren’t enough sets of equipment, to waste their class time making them use the limited numbers of equipment in rotation. In fact, now that you propose it, I suspect that’s exactly what Kuromorimine does. Their known tank park eats up at least a comparable amount of resources to Pravda’s 50 tank park, maybe even Saunders’ 100 tank park considering how many Stuarts it has. Yet the 20 tanks can fit only about a hundred people instead of 500, which is hard to justify. What probably wound up happening is that 3-400 people were allowed in, and they use the 20 tanks with 100 slots … in rotation.

          Remember that this is an elective, not a club. To some extent you can short-change second stringers in a club. For classes you must apply resources more or less evenly, so it you have say twice as many tank crews as tanks, you can’t give oh your best 20 crews their own tanks while the other 30 share 5. You would just have to make 50 crews share 25 tanks in two shifts, with corresponding decreases in their level of proficiency. Further, experience with ships has shown that making two crews share one thing often leads a lessened sense of ownership and responsibilitiy, with corresponding decreases in the state of the material.

          > but it is something rather than an afterthought

          In fact, what we are shown suggests “afterthought” might not be so far from the truth. Certainly so with Saunders. Remember that Kay effectively threw the match for sake of a principle. As a result, a team that’s one of the strongest and most people will expect to get to at least best-four loses in the first round. Now, no matter what Kay might be thinking, if the school placed any more importance into winning or at least getting a “good standing” in the competition, Kay would have to think very hard. A loss for ay reason will inevitably affect the prestige of the tankery program, next year’s funding, many people would be disappointed they can’t go to the next stage because of Kay’s decision. Any coaches or instructors or consultant teachers will raise hell, blah, blah, blah.

          As far as we know, none of this happens. Senshado’s role is to specifically, instill a tanker skill set, and in a broader sense, instill skills and values that would be useful in later life. Winning might be somewhat beneficial to this, but not enough to deliberately deny the program’s benefits to a significant part of the applicant population, or to reduce the amount of time they get on tanks. /Winning is an afterthought/.

          > learning to use the right tool for the right job is an important lesson

          For one thing, /most /people in life don’t get high enough they get to select the tools. Usually, they have to use the tool they are assigned.

          For the few people that get high enough, defining the right job is at least as important as arranging for the right tool. In the world of tankery, fighting Kuromorimine is but a very tiny fraction of the totality of requirements present. Kuromorimine has lost sight of this. For 9 years, it has bought them hollow victories. Now the cumulative effects mean they are not getting even that.

          For your specific scenario, the Shermans will learn to use cover and concealment until they can get to the Panthers’ flank. The Panther learns only how to shoot straight. If we take the deaths part out of the equation, it is clear the Shermans will learn more.

          daikama commented: “@Italianguy88: Your welcome. Glad that you and everyone else took the time to stop by and make share your thoughts. — “I’m not sure about the fact that most tank were real and not replicas, either. That because, if we just look into Italian tanks”

  7. @Kazuaki Shimazaki:

    Thanks for providing information that we don’t have access to.

    Can’t quite agree on an elective being “all participate”. That hasn’t been my experience. In fact, my experience is the opposite. Clubs were open to all (never went to a Japanese schoo so I can’t comment if that is true there) and elective classes were limited by the resources the school had. Elective classes are limited by the resources and slots are determined by some rule such as “first applied” , “best grade”, lottery. Consider the entrance exam hell of Japanese schools from middle school on to get into the school of your choice as an example. You don’t get to got to any school that you want. Some of the schools have more resources because more people want to attend that school and probably are willing to pay higher tuition to get their kids into it. Hence more equipment. Also consider the number of “support staff” Anzio has vs the actual number of tankers and tanks. Obviously, all of them don’t have their own tanks. I count 42 including Anchovy, Carpaccio, and Pepperoni in the opening scene and tank crews are P26/40 (4), 3 Semoventes (3 each for 9 total) and 6 CV33’s (2 each for 12 total) so there are only 25 crew members out of 42. Now possibly the remainder have their own CV33’s but that seems unlikely.

    You’re point about KMM losing twice is a little unfair. They lost because Miho abandoned the flag tank to save her comrades. They didn’t lose directly because of KMM tactics. Moveover, given a reasonable ruling by the judges, the match should have been stopped since lives were in danger. Now possibly that would have been considered a forfeit, but can’t really be blamed on KMM tactics. Also, given that KMM had been dominate up till that point, they must be doing something right. Kay points out during the KMM match that KMM has a tendency to fall into confusion when confronted by the unexpected, and who better to create the unexpected than Miho and her crew. KMM’s approach has always been one of blunt force (the Nishizumi style). Keep attacking and when you have such overwhelming superiority in tanks that allows you to take losses and still defeat your opponent.

    Now the fact that we see a lot of misses in the battles could be do to poor marksmanship and I have not found any information yet on RL combat accuracy, but taking the Doyalist position I would say that some of that is due to artistic issues. Firing at 1000+ meter ranges would not be very exciting visually, nor would one shot one kill make for a good story so I just chalk some of that up to artistic license. The initial KMM ambush did appear to be at long range so that also should be factored in. Some one did point out on a forum I read that Wittman missed a Cromwell at 100 ft when both were stationary too.

    Now you mention Kay “threw” the match out of principle. That all depends on the culture of the sport. Professional American football and basketball only consider holding a foul if you are caught at it. Professional golf, OTOH, expects the players to penalize themselves if they make a mistake and they do. So Kay felt that winning is only valid if you play fairly. A dishonorable win is not a real win and could have just a deleterious affect as a loss.

  8. I did not say electives are “all participate” – in fact I agreed they have upper limits, or that some schools are richer than others. And since not everyone can go in, obviously there is some sort of selection process. My point is, however, that it is inappropriate to deliberately restrict the upper limit because you want to buy premium equipment to win a contest.

    For clubs, often there is no upper limit, but that’s because clubs are not classes and at least officially are “extras” (though some schools insist on signing up for at least one club – which is not the same as actually participating) that don’t affect your grade. There are no distinct academic objectives for a club, unlike a class. Thus, everyone can go in. The first-string gets the cream of the resources, the second string the scrapes and the third and below perhaps nothing at all. That can go in a club, but not an elective (this is also one reason clubs can have fewer limits on sizes – investment proportionate to the population is essential in a class.

    For Anzio, I would have thought there were a few more of them (I mean, there were at least 30 of their heads + some possibles just surrounding the little area around Duck Team) at the banquet. But anyway, for the essence of the issue, in the second match, they can only bring 10 tanks anyway so that some are driving the support equipment does not mean they don’t have their own tankettes. From what we can see, support vehicle drivers are drawn from tank crews (for example, Erika pilots the helo in addition to her tank), so that they are driving support vehicles just means exactly that, Anzio has a lot of support vehicles.

    In fact, it wasn’t until daikama proposed it that I interlinked the very small KMM vehicle fleet (relative to the funds that would needed to run it), the probable number of applicants, the justifiability of investment and their poor showing. Then I realized with horror (and some pity) that tank-sharing might just be what Kuromorimine is doing.

    Nevertheless, if you take the variant of 17 people not having even tankettes to drive, you might agree with Anzio’s de facto policy of not buying expensive equipment that would further reduce the operational tank population.

    For KMM’s competence, I think I am being fair. Perhaps you should consider *why* this tiny force is rushing around on a narrow mountain path. Quite frankly, it really doesn’t look like they are winning. When combined with their relative hitting ability – the T-34s coolly sweeping the Panzer III off the road then shooting up the Tiger, the way the crew was not able to either assist Miho or even fight back against an enemy to their direct front, plus their showing this year. Add how Miho pays particular caution to Pravda, and emphasizes gunnery (however poorly the lesson was being run), and I estimate a series of events as follows:

    Kuromorimine fell into an Pravdan ambush last year. Even then, with their superior fit, if they are competent they could have blasted their way out, but they were not and so the Pravdans murdered them. The last survivors barely managed to break contact and some of them went onto that dinky little mountain path. They bumped into Katyusha and that was that. Even if Miho stayed in the tank, what can she do but pray that her gunner will hit one of the T-34s … the other will given its accuracy plant a round. More likely, given Kuromorimine’s more usual showings, that round would have missed.

    About the judges, if you really want to say that, you might as well push a step further and say maybe they should have disqualified KMM as she chose to take excessive risk in the mountain path. Anyway, we might do it, but that’s not the world of GuP.

    Kay’s comment is actually *very* damning and represents a force that’s actually of very poor and brittle quality. All they can do is attack according to the manual, which suggests a low level of understanding. Remember with all the misses, it is really hard to defend the idea that they can even do regular tactics with any real proficiency.

    Besides, we are talking about commanders that don’t use their radio. Is there anything else that needs to be said?

    >Given that KMM had been dominate up till that point, they must be doing something right.

    You mean, they bought a lot of heavy equipment? I think at some point (say before the 9 year winning streak), KMM might have been strong. Somewhere along the way, they decide to “guarantee” their victories by buying too much heavy equipment, and the negatives piled up. As daikama points out, other teams also have flaws so for 9 years they were able to eke out victories anyway. Now the decline has reached the limit.

    >Keep attacking and when you have such overwhelming superiority in tanks that allows you to take losses and still defeat your opponent.

    That generally is at best, considered no better than passable. When the scales get larger, arranging and provisioning that overwhelming superiority is itself worth quite a few points, but at the minor tactical level that’s Senshado, that doesn’t ocme into play.

    >Doyalist

    Whether or not there are Doylist reasons, the author has portrayed KMM as such and there are Watsonian consequences. And yes, if you search history, you can find examples like Wittman. That they are exception is why they are so memorable. Instead now entire battle plans are created around, in essence, Kuromorimine’s incompetence.

    >Golf

    Golf is, AFAIK, a bit of an outlier because of the impracticality of arranging any umpiring, so to a great extent it has to be on the honor system. Further, you will note that actually, Alisa broke no rules. In fact, if you think about the checks the vehicles go through, the vehicle, with all its intercept radio equipment was passed by the JSF, who would be idiots not to recognize the functionality. In short, despite the opinions of amateurs and Kay, the vehicle and by extension the tactic was approved.

    As daikama would point out, what’s the point of complaining about a little SIGINT equipment when you allow a Maus anyway?

    Besides, it is one thing to log points honestly. It is another to permanently cripple yourself. If we must use golf as an analogy, what Kay is doing is trying to finish the second half using only one arm to swing the golf club. If there are any people really interested in winning, Kay would have been in very hot water. Fortunately, winning is an afterthought.

  9. Pingback: Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: OVA | Panzers Vor!

  10. I have found some data about some performance of the guns and ammo of the Italian tanks.

    First of all, in Nicola Pignato’s “Semovente da 75/18”, the 75/34 gun (which was the same one fitted on the P40) is credited with a muzzle velocity of 618 m/s (2027 foot per second).
    And, I don’t know if it’s reliable or not, but on a site (http://amizaur.prv.pl/www.wargamer.org/GvA/weapons/usa_guns5.html) the M3 gun employed by the Sherman is given a muzzle velocity of 619 m/s (2030 foot per second), a rather negligible advantage. However, I don’t know if the data is correct or not.

    Second, about the performance of the hollow charge rounds employed by the Italians, Pignato in the same book cites a 1945 data sheet (of the Republican Army of the Italian Social Republic), which specifies that with a “German fuse” the 75/18 E.P.S. round (that would be a standard HEAT shell, cited in another book as being the equivalent of the German H.L. rounds) has a penetration of roughly 70 mm with an angle at impact of 60°. He also says that it’s “possible” that it might be true what undisclosed “foreign sources” state, that at in a vertical impact the penetration rose up to 120 mm, and that might explain the fact that the German Army kept employing the Semoventi on the frontline (while the M tanks and even the few P40s saw only second-line service).
    To be honest, this leaves me somewhat perplexed. Either the earlier rounds were stymied by the inferior manifacture of the Italian fuses (which might be possible, though) or we are still missing some info about this problem. I don’t know anything about the manufacture of artillery shells, or the relative quality of the Italian industry in this respect.

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