During the Battle of Lingèvres, on 14th June 1944, an armoured confontration occured which serves as a perfect benchmark for the evalution of popular World-War Two wargame rules. The second-in-command of "A" Squadron, 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, Captain John Stirling, with the Sherman tanks of 2nd and 4th troop, minus their troop Fireflies, had been deployed as flank guards about 1000 yards west of Lingèvres and north of the departmental road 13, when a German Tiger tank was reported coming down the D13 from La Senaudière towards Lingèvres. Accordingly, Capt. Stirling and 4th troop were ordered to maneuvre into a position north of the road whence they might attack the German heavy tank from the rear. When Stirling reached the intended position he spotted the turret of a stationary German Panther tank about 400 yards away and facing east, in the direction of Lingèvre. Guiding his Sherman into a hull-down position, Capt. Stirling had his tank gunner put three 75 mm armour-piercing rounds into the Panther’s turret, brewing it up. The table below shows what happens when we employ these same parameters in popular WW2 wargame rules to calculate the probability of hitting, penetrating, and knocking out a Panther tank by firing A.P.C. (M.61) rounds from an M4 Sherman’s 75 mm L.41 main gun at a Panther’s turret side armour.
75 mm L.41 Sherman tank gun vs. Panther turret side
|Wargame Rules||time per turn||to hit||penetrate||destroy||final result|
|Tank Charts||20 sec.||98%||–||100%||98%|
|WRG 1925-1950||30 sec.||66%||100%||100%||66%|
|Combined Arms||10-20 sec.||63%||100%||90%||57%|
|Panzer War||75 sec.||106%||50%||50+50%||50%|
|Cambrai to Sinai||30 sec.||62%||–||33%||20%|
It may come as a suprise to veteran and novice wargamers alike, that not all World-War Two wargame rules are created equal. Some are able to simulate the 75 mm Sherman’s flank attack on the Panther turret quite accurately, while others tremendously overrate the Panther’s turret side armour, turning the German Pz.Kpfw. V into a kind of Über-Panzer which will cause the unsuspecting wargamer a lot of frustration.