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Thread: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Also, statistically, rather more Panthers were destroyed by Shermans than the other way round.
    I'd be interested in the actual statistics if you have them

    At one time, I had the figures for the causes of tank losses for both US army groups in Europe. Can't recall where I stored them, but, IIRC, the biggest Sherman killer was not any German AFV but the paK 75 anti-tank gun.

    The vaunted fighter bombers probably didn't account for many though.
    The dreaded "Jabos" got their share, but not as many as both US and UK air forces led everyone to believe. Their greatest effect against German armor wasn't in direct kills but in making it difficult for German armored formations to get to the front (destroying bridges, rails, etc.) and taking out the supply trains needed by armored formations to operate.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    An account from an old tanker with a taste in historical reenactments and research.

    Posted on Jun 29, 2010 12:45:02 PM PDT
    Scholarly Reviewer says:

    Robert Forczyk, your comments are largely dead on target, your research dovetailing heavily with my own. I am a former tanker (M-48A5s; M-60s; M-1A1), and have also crawled in and been in virtually every tank ever built. I've even worked on some of the old WW II types and assisted extensively with WW II reenactments.

    With that said, while the Panther had an excellent gun, the gunnery technique was terrible. The hydraulic traverse, being slaved to the engine, meant that the driver had to coordinate with the gunner to maintain rpms to provide any modicum of consistency in traverse. Moreover, once the gunner tried to refine his traverse to track a moving target, he had to switch to the hand wheel as the hydraulic system would jerk terribly. I have tried tracking targets on a hand wheel.... forget it. It's even worse when the tank is on a cant (which is most of the time). The difficult points of Panther (and also Tiger) gunnery meant that the Sherman could hurl multiple rounds down range without receiving a return shot. This is born out not only by the After Action Reports, but even by the testimony of those tankers who denigrated the Sherman. One must remember that it is in the hearts of all soldiers to idolize the equipment of the enemy if it is in any way effective against their own. Forczyk mentions the action of 4 AD at Arracourt, but even the sluggish 2 AD operating at Puffendorf still battered the 9 PzD and the supporting Heavy Tiger Battalion, though they were on the attack and churning in the heavy mud. The Shermans of Col. Disney's TF1 shot off their entire basic load in an action that spanned over four hours. Sure many of our rounds bounced off German tanks... yet enough didn't. Moreover, many of the German rounds didn't even hit, for many of the Shermans continued to move to and fro on the gentle rise outside the town. This was a dumb head-to-head tank battle. Even when I was a young new tanker I knew better than to slug it out head-to-head with charging T-62s and T-64s. Such fighting is symmetric warfare, when one should be asymmetric in their approach.

    In my research, the number one tank killer used by the Americans in the ETO was the Sherman, often the lowly 75mm version. The number one killer of U.S. armor was the 75mm/88mm PAKs, the Panzerfaust, and landmines. For the Allies, air power scored dismally against German armor, accounting for no more than 7% of combat kills. As a tank killer, fighter bombers were grossly inefficient as well, requiring a large number of sorties to achieve the few kills they got. Their strikes on the LOCs were very good, and thus accounted for many abandoned German tanks due to lack of supply. But these missions also cost the airmen dearly in losses (what the Allies called "armed reconnaissance" missions... hated by the pilots because of all the AAA they encountered). Fly boys love to exaggerate their claims (they did in the Gulf War 91 and in Kosovo) because they must justify their existence re the ground war.

    There is no need for me to provide additional extensive comments about Cooper's book, as Forczyk's comments are pretty accurate. What riles me is when others make comments based on myth, secondary sources that created that myth (I love Forczyk's comment about Panzerblitz... very apropos), and the few veterans who, in attempting to gain a moment of fame and glory in their latter years, come up with a work of fiction and then pawn it off on us as "history." There was very little in the book regarding the 3 AD that I could substantiate from 3 AD After Action Reports, other than already repeated accounts or stories from other secondary sources.
    http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index....9#entry6677989

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    An account from an old tanker with a taste in historical reenactments and research.



    http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index....9#entry6677989
    Aircrew claims were always exaggerated, but seldom purposefully. The commonly fought in engagements that lasted moments after hours of comparative tedium; at fairly high speed; in a three dimensional environment; with limited opportunity to double check results. All that adrenalin and limited observation perspective pretty well guarantees mis-reporting even with the best of intentions and discipline.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    When talking about the 76, note that American tanks encountered Tigers on only 3 occasions in 1944-45.
    If we change that statement slightly from American tanks and the 76mm-armed Shermans to---all Allied Shermans, the first three months of Overlord saw a horrendous number of Sherman's destroyed by German tanks and SP guns, particularly during the battle for Caen where Tigers and Panthers were plentiful. German losses were quite high, as well, but Allied tankers found out quite painfully that their armor and guns were inferior to that of their German counterparts.

    An account from an old tanker with a taste in historical reenactments and research.
    Always enjoy reading the accounts of those who were there, but....it didn't contain the tank loss numbers I was hoping for...
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  5. #65
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    If we change that statement slightly from American tanks and the 76mm-armed Shermans to---all Allied Shermans, the first three months of Overlord saw a horrendous number of Sherman's destroyed by German tanks and SP guns, particularly during the battle for Caen where Tigers and Panthers were plentiful. German losses were quite high, as well, but Allied tankers found out quite painfully that their armor and guns were inferior to that of their German counterparts.

    Always enjoy reading the accounts of those who were there, but....it didn't contain the tank loss numbers I was hoping for...
    I think the studies are of American armour because the Chieftain has easy access to US Army archives, which he digs into to produce interesting reports (eg. questionnaires from US tankers in the North African TO, stating what they wanted after their experience there, some of which indeed appeared later).

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    it's easy to understand the previously inexplicable point that Soviet Tank Guards tended to prefer Shermans to T-34s
    The best first-hand account of Soviet observations on fighting with the Sherman that I know of (Soviets only wanted the M4A2 diesels, same as the USMC). Their tactic for fighting Tigers is interesting....and requires some big cahones

    https://iremember.ru/en/memoirs/tankers/dmitriy-loza/

    One of the more comprehensive listings of both Allied and German tank losses during the Normandy Campaign in both numbers and cause that I know of:

    https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=81359
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-08-2017 at 02:15.
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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR View Post
    Actually I wonder about how the Panther disrupted (at least directly) the production of Panzer IV?

    Based on what I can find it was not the same factories that were involved. The Panzer IV production was hurt by one factory changing over to Sturmgeschütz IV and another to Jagdpanzer IV, leaving just one factory to keep up production.
    From my understanding from reading and watching documentaries, the Panther was to replace the Panzer IV. That is where we ran into problems, we expected it to support instead of replace.

    Now, the Brits put their 17-pound gun onto the Sherman, and we got the Sherman Firefly. Well, they, not we, we did not use it. On paper, it could take out both Panthers and Tigers, and did fairly well in actual combat. The trouble was, Germany learned to take out the long-barreled Sherman first. My uncle in the Netherlands has a model of a Sherman which has a long-barreled 76mm gun instead of that stupid short-barreled 75mm. That was our problem, not our armour but our gun. We also had a Sherman with a 105mm on it. I don't know much about either of those two variants.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    From my understanding from reading and watching documentaries, the Panther was to replace the Panzer IV. That is where we ran into problems, we expected it to support instead of replace.

    Now, the Brits put their 17-pound gun onto the Sherman, and we got the Sherman Firefly. Well, they, not we, we did not use it. On paper, it could take out both Panthers and Tigers, and did fairly well in actual combat. The trouble was, Germany learned to take out the long-barreled Sherman first. My uncle in the Netherlands has a model of a Sherman which has a long-barreled 76mm gun instead of that stupid short-barreled 75mm. That was our problem, not our armour but our gun. We also had a Sherman with a 105mm on it. I don't know much about either of those two variants.
    According to strategic reports looking at the theatre rather than individual engagements, the problem with the Firefly was that, after Normandy where it did see a fair bit of action and was accordingly useful, the British continued saturating their tank units with Fireflies, when they actually no longer saw much tank to tank combat, and Fireflies were worse than standard Shermans as infantry support. Actually, it was fortunate that the tanks were deployed as they were, as the Anglo-Canadians were equipped with Fireflies and saw the bulk of armoured combat that required the better anti tank gun, whereas the Americans had less effective anti tank guns but faced much fewer tanks. But I suppose, as the Chieftain points out, the Anglo-Canadians knew they were on the more threatening flank and equipped accordingly.

    Also, on Soviet Shermans: I've see the point made that the Soviets, by that point, were creating specifically designed exploitation units, and favoured mobility and reliability in these units, which Shermans were renowned for. So the argument goes, Soviet designs were still favoured for breakthrough units, but exploitation units were equipped with Shermans where possible.

  9. #69
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    From my understanding from reading and watching documentaries, the Panther was to replace the Panzer IV. That is where we ran into problems, we expected it to support instead of replace.

    Now, the Brits put their 17-pound gun onto the Sherman, and we got the Sherman Firefly. Well, they, not we, we did not use it. On paper, it could take out both Panthers and Tigers, and did fairly well in actual combat. The trouble was, Germany learned to take out the long-barreled Sherman first. My uncle in the Netherlands has a model of a Sherman which has a long-barreled 76mm gun instead of that stupid short-barreled 75mm. That was our problem, not our armour but our gun. We also had a Sherman with a 105mm on it. I don't know much about either of those two variants.
    The 105 variants were fairly rare. The provided direct fire support using HE ammo. They showed up in small numbers at battalion command level. They could, using a dirt ramp to jack up the front of the tank, be used in a fairly long range indirect artillery fire role in addition to their close support role. They were not deployed until March of 1944. By that point, better SPG had been developed for arty work, better gunned TD's were filling the tank destroyer role, and close support was fairly easily provided by regular Shermans using their 75s. Despite WoT's love of that weapon, it was NOT particularly effective against armor, even using the comparatively rare HEAT rounds of the era. Not until the development of HESH ammunition (causes lots of deadly spalling without needing to penetrate) did the 105 howitzer have any real anti-tank power.

    The 17 pounder was about the best AT cannon mounted on a Sherman hull. With late war sabot ammo it was quite effective against all but the heaviest (and most easily outmaneuvered) German AFVs. By that time, however, the aggregate numbers of German armor were so low due to combat losses, mechanical losses, and air interdiction of replacements and relocation, that the Sherman with the 75 and a good HE round was more generally useful.
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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    The 105 variants were fairly rare.

    Despite WoT's love of that weapon, it was NOT particularly effective against armor, even using the comparatively rare HEAT rounds of the era. Not until the development of HESH ammunition (causes lots of deadly spalling without needing to penetrate) did the 105 howitzer have any real anti-tank power.
    I would have to agree, I don't think I ever saw it in any of the WW2 museums in Europe I have visited. I never played World of Tanks, saw the 105 Sherman on Wikipedia. I do think my mom had a picture taken with one last time she was there, something looks funny about the Sherman she is standing by. Wider tracks, and the gun looks bigger than the standard 75. Not long-barreled, if that is an indicator.

    What exactly was the Jumbo Sherman? It was in the American campaign (Ardennes) of the game Panzer Commander, and I don't know much about it.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    I would have to agree, I don't think I ever saw it in any of the WW2 museums in Europe I have visited. I never played World of Tanks, saw the 105 Sherman on Wikipedia. I do think my mom had a picture taken with one last time she was there, something looks funny about the Sherman she is standing by. Wider tracks, and the gun looks bigger than the standard 75. Not long-barreled, if that is an indicator.

    What exactly was the Jumbo Sherman? It was in the American campaign (Ardennes) of the game Panzer Commander, and I don't know much about it.
    Latest edition of the US Sherman with a heap load of extra armour (or should that be armor?) on the front. No identifying name until post-war modellers noticed a photo of one with a sign reading "Here is a jumbo (sic) tank" next to it, upon which it became the Sherman Jumbo.

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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Latest edition of the US Sherman with a heap load of extra armour (or should that be armor?) on the front.
    Even though I am in America, I tend to use the British spellings, with the "u". Comes of using the KJV Bible.

    the British continued saturating their tank units with Fireflies
    What was it, I think one, sometimes two, in every four tank unit? Good to have a heavy gun, but the long barrel gave it away. One in four is not bad, two is overkill. I understand wanting an extra because with the conspicuous long barrel, it is a higher priority target, but the decrease in armour encounters would make two out of four detrimental overall to the unit. Especially with the increase in Allied air superiority.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

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    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    Even though I am in America, I tend to use the British spellings, with the "u". Comes of using the KJV Bible.

    What was it, I think one, sometimes two, in every four tank unit? Good to have a heavy gun, but the long barrel gave it away. One in four is not bad, two is overkill. I understand wanting an extra because with the conspicuous long barrel, it is a higher priority target, but the decrease in armour encounters would make two out of four detrimental overall to the unit. Especially with the increase in Allied air superiority.
    Less ammunition in terms of rounds (even after removing the bow MG and using the spot to store extra rounds), HE ammo might be less effective, lesser rate of fire.

    I spotted Troop Leader in a shop the other day, by Bill Bellamy. I want to read, especially his account of the flying Cromwells.

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    ...What was it, I think one, sometimes two, in every four tank unit? Good to have a heavy gun, but the long barrel gave it away. One in four is not bad, two is overkill. I understand wanting an extra because with the conspicuous long barrel, it is a higher priority target, but the decrease in armour encounters would make two out of four detrimental overall to the unit. Especially with the increase in Allied air superiority.
    Wasn't so much a "heavy" gun as a high velocity gun. The longer barrel maintains more of the force of the propellant behind the projectile for a longer period of time so as to accelerate it, while the longer trip through the rifling bands imparts a more stable spin to the projectile increasing accuracy. This made the AP rounds far more effective. However, the 17-lbr HE round was considered less effective than that of the US 75mm.
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    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Wasn't so much a "heavy" gun as a high velocity gun. The longer barrel maintains more of the force of the propellant behind the projectile for a longer period of time so as to accelerate it, while the longer trip through the rifling bands imparts a more stable spin to the projectile increasing accuracy. This made the AP rounds far more effective. However, the 17-lbr HE round was considered less effective than that of the US 75mm.
    Right, as a shooter I understand the concept of longer barrel for increased velocity; "heavy" means "more effective against armour", in my context.

    So they had a tradeoff, better against tanks, worse against infantry. For us, it made less sense to use the 17lb because our tank doctrine called for tanks to support infantry. That said, we could have done better for something against armour. Or as the Brits did, have one vehicle for antiarmour, and the others for the standard role. I don't know how many times I have read and seen accounts of our rounds bouncing off the German tanks. Of course, I know we did take them out too, and even from the front, but our gun was not as effective as theirs was, as far as taking out armour is concerned.

    Squadrons of Tank Destroyers don't make sense because you have a bunch of lightly armoured vehicles all in one area, instead of dispersing them amongst the tank platoons to help them deal with armour. Yeah, the TDs can take out enemy tanks as a unit, but their light armour leaves them vulnerable to return fire. With a tank platoon, they can complement each other.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Has anyone read the Hatch article on the French Panthers? AFAIK that's where of our knowledge of the operability of Panthers comes from. Certain important components had a laughably short shelf life, making the whole tank effectively unuseable to western tankers used to much greater reliability standards, even including the neurotically fiddly British tanks.

    Reading the Russian side of the story, they understandably hated most of the British equipment, which had been designed for desert use. Bizarrely though, they seemed to have developed an inexplicable fondness for the Valentine.

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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    Right, as a shooter I understand the concept of longer barrel for increased velocity; "heavy" means "more effective against armour", in my context.

    So they had a tradeoff, better against tanks, worse against infantry. For us, it made less sense to use the 17lb because our tank doctrine called for tanks to support infantry. That said, we could have done better for something against armour. Or as the Brits did, have one vehicle for antiarmour, and the others for the standard role. I don't know how many times I have read and seen accounts of our rounds bouncing off the German tanks. Of course, I know we did take them out too, and even from the front, but our gun was not as effective as theirs was, as far as taking out armour is concerned.

    Squadrons of Tank Destroyers don't make sense because you have a bunch of lightly armoured vehicles all in one area, instead of dispersing them amongst the tank platoons to help them deal with armour. Yeah, the TDs can take out enemy tanks as a unit, but their light armour leaves them vulnerable to return fire. With a tank platoon, they can complement each other.
    Dispersing the units was only effective late in the war when they were no longer coming across formations of German tanks. When they'd be meeting enemy armor in ones and twos it's effective to have a few 'tank killers' but against a platoon or company of armor it wouldn't be effective enough. Having allied air superiority, especially after the the failure of Bodeplatte also prevented the Germans from massing any sizeable armor again on the Western front.
    Same principle goes for the tank destroyers, generally though you'd not want them intermixed with Tanks, they are a unit that was typically kept in reserve and sent forward when tanks were encountered or were used in anti-armor ambushes. They were a relatively cheap way to give Infantry Divisions a more responsive anti-armor element. Something the US army still has in each Infantry Battalion's Delta Company which is equipped with a lot of TOW equipped humvees.

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  18. #78
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    Dispersing the units was only effective late in the war when they were no longer coming across formations of German tanks. When they'd be meeting enemy armor in ones and twos it's effective to have a few 'tank killers' but against a platoon or company of armor it wouldn't be effective enough. Having allied air superiority, especially after the the failure of Bodeplatte also prevented the Germans from massing any sizeable armor again on the Western front.
    Same principle goes for the tank destroyers, generally though you'd not want them intermixed with Tanks, they are a unit that was typically kept in reserve and sent forward when tanks were encountered or were used in anti-armor ambushes. They were a relatively cheap way to give Infantry Divisions a more responsive anti-armor element. Something the US army still has in each Infantry Battalion's Delta Company which is equipped with a lot of TOW equipped humvees.
    Nicely put.

    I'd add in that mixing tank types would very often lead to logistics issues and maintenance problems. Its just easier if the whole company has the same kit. The Firefly wasn't a bad round out to a troop precisely because, aside from ammo, it had very similar maintenance and supply requirements.

    The TD concept was a doctrinal thing for us as well. Fast heavy hitting tank destroyers snapping off the enemy armor and then racing off to bag the next batch while our armor supported assaults and followed up on breakthroughs. In practice it very seldom worked that way. The Soviet answer, "the best tank destroyer is a better tank," was the one that all supported by war's end.

    But Vincent, remember that the "Infantry Tank" was only part of the British tank doctrine. They, like the USA Tank/TD, also had two tracks: Infantry support tanks and the cruiser flanker and breakout tanks. By 1944, that doctrine had fallen into disuse with the emphasis being on good medium tanks based more on the cruiser concept (and eventually seguing into the MBT idea). Despite the "Black Prince" etc., the infantry tank did not represent the major thrust of British tank doctrine or production.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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  19. #79
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    But Vincent, remember that the "Infantry Tank" was only part of the British tank doctrine. They, like the USA Tank/TD, also had two tracks: Infantry support tanks and the cruiser flanker and breakout tanks. By 1944, that doctrine had fallen into disuse with the emphasis being on good medium tanks based more on the cruiser concept (and eventually seguing into the MBT idea). Despite the "Black Prince" etc., the infantry tank did not represent the major thrust of British tank doctrine or production.
    I am not as up to speed on British tanks, with the Brits I know a bit more about the RAF, so I'll go with what you say on that. I like Russia's viewpoint, the best tank killer is a better tank. Russia designed their tanks to last for about the average life of a tank in combat. They weren't concerned with longevity. I disagree with that policy, but, hey, that sounds like typical Russia.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Has anyone read the Hatch article on the French Panthers? AFAIK that's where of our knowledge of the operability of Panthers comes from.
    IIRC, it was the Soviets who provided the US and UK information about the Panther prior to the Anzio landings. The Panther first appeared at the Battle of Kursk, and with testing on captured tanks, the Soviets had a pretty good idea of its capabilities. SHAEF made the mistake of assuming the Panther's role to be similar to the Tiger, and combined with the faulty testing of the 76.2mm anti-tank gun, it spelled big trouble in Normandy.

    Having allied air superiority, especially after the the failure of Bodeplatte also prevented the Germans from massing any sizeable armor again on the Western front.
    The Germans were also adapting to the newer combat conditions. Infantry formations were becoming more able to deal with armor via hand-held rocket launchers, and towed AT guns. Tanks could no longer operate without infantry support, especially in the bocage or other "close" terrain, and so formations became more combined arms with tanks and infantry operating as a cohesive unit.

    Probably the last true "breakthrough" type operations, where tanks spearheaded the attack almost exclusively, were Patton's dash across France following the Cobra breakout, and the Soviet demolition of the German army during Bagration.
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  21. #81
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    IIRC, it was the Soviets who provided the US and UK information about the Panther prior to the Anzio landings. The Panther first appeared at the Battle of Kursk, and with testing on captured tanks, the Soviets had a pretty good idea of its capabilities. SHAEF made the mistake of assuming the Panther's role to be similar to the Tiger, and combined with the faulty testing of the 76.2mm anti-tank gun, it spelled big trouble in Normandy.

    The Germans were also adapting to the newer combat conditions. Infantry formations were becoming more able to deal with armor via hand-held rocket launchers, and towed AT guns. Tanks could no longer operate without infantry support, especially in the bocage or other "close" terrain, and so formations became more combined arms with tanks and infantry operating as a cohesive unit.

    Probably the last true "breakthrough" type operations, where tanks spearheaded the attack almost exclusively, were Patton's dash across France following the Cobra breakout, and the Soviet demolition of the German army during Bagration.
    Apparently the Tiger was originally envisaged for use against the Maginot line as a breakthrough tank, and it did eventually see use against said line (or locality) against Americans.

    Another unusual anecdote is Tom Sator's account of a rare tank versus tank encounter during his drive across Europe in his Sherman. It was against...a German Sherman. Whatever the qualities of the Sherman's gun and armour, Sator's tank, in the mania of the moment, was certainly rapid firing, going through five rounds before noticing the enemy wasn't moving any more. His platoon sergeant ribbed them afterwards, asking if they'd been firing their 50 (MG). Perhaps WG should create a new Sherman variant, calling it Sator-loading, with a magazine of 5 rounds.

    Currently browsing through Troop Leader. Bill Bellamy was the progenitor of all WoT light tank players.
    Last edited by Pannonian; 10-14-2017 at 13:09.

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    ...Currently browsing through Troop Leader. Bill Bellamy was the progenitor of all WoT light tank players.
    Really? He came up with the infantry free world and the use of speed/acceleration to mock your opponent by rocking back and forth while shooting them in the posterior from 6m?
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    "once the tanks were settled in, we used to have a competition to see who could create the best camouflage. We had done this one day and were sitting on top of my tank, talking quietly and keeping watch, when two parachutists from 101 Airborne wandered down the track towards us as if they were out on a Sunday school picnic. They stopped literally within three feet of the front of my tank and stood there talking, while they took out their cigarettes. Allen, who was not lacking in humour, tossed a box of matches down to them, which landed at their feet and one of them bent down to pick it up thinking that the other had dropped it. Suddenly they both realised that this had come from some other agency and they looked around them with some agitation. They still didn't spot the tank but I felt that we could have an accident if we didn't declare ourselves, so I stood up and said, "OK, relax, we're British," and climbed down the front of my tank to join them. They were quite stunned to find that they were standing within a few feet of a British tank and clearly quite impressed. They came back later with a load of rations which varied the menu a bit, although I never really liked Vienna sausages."

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  24. #84
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    I've gone through most of Troop Leader, and Bellamy doesn't mention a single tank versus tank encounter. Plenty of infantry, AT, and even a couple of encounters with SPs, but no German tanks encountered by his troop (platoon). Admittedly, he was in a reconnaissance troop, but he entered the war on D+3, and barring breaks, was with the 8th Hussars through to VE.

    On landing in Normandy with the 8th Hussars, part of 7th Armoured Division (Desert rats), Bellamy is personally entrusted with the task of informing Major General Erskine that the 8th Hussars had arrived. After much searching and following desert rat signs, Bellamy finally finds divisional HQ.

    "I jumped out of the jeep, reporting to the RMP that I had a message for the general and ran towards the command vehicles. They looked enormous to me and I was heavy with apprehension as to my message and how to present it. I felt rather important and romantic, a slight "Hero of Peninsular War galloped in with vital message" feeling overcame me. As I hesitated outside the first of the ACVs, the general happened to come down the steps, accompanied by his G.1 (divisional chief of staff) and seeing me asked, most courteously, what I wanted. "I have the honour to report, sir, that 8th Hussars have landed and are in the harbour at Sommervieu," I said, standing stiffly to attention after giving him my best and most punctilious salute. "Good God, man," said the general, "I don't want any more bloody tanks, give me 131 Brigade." (131 Brigade was the divisional infantry brigade, most of which had not yet landed.)"

    "Later I discovered that there was wireless silence, that I had not been especially selected for the honour but was the first officer to arrive with a non-armoured vehicle who had nothing to do. The story of my life!"

    And 131 Brigade, the divisional infantry of the 7th Armoured Division?

    "Most of them disliked tanks, considering them to be noisy, smelly, absolute giveaways to their positions, and a large target which drew enemy fire."

  25. #85
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Defense of the German Tiger II Tank (Warning - Pic Heavy Post)

    Just reading about Britain's armoured cars in WWI. Armoured cars, used like a mechanised cavalry corps on the Eastern Front, so what service do they belong to? The Royal Naval Air Service, of course.

    RNAS Armoured Car Section

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