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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank?

 
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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 6:22:48 PM   
Ursa MAior

 

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Could be I never was a tank expert.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 6:39:17 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

If the cats were so unreliable, unsophisticated and inferior fighting machines why were they so feared?


They weren't, at least not by American AFV crews. In general, armor was feared by infantry. And an 88mm HE round was something for infantry to be concerned about.

quote:

Why are they depicted in significant majority of the american works dealing with this period as they are? Why are they shown in many warmovies (except for russians) as fearsome fighting machines?


They aren't depicted that way in the vast majority of American works dealing with the period, OTHER THAN in Hollywood movies. Hollywood being the famous military experts that they are, and loving a good story as they do, will exaggerate the immunity of German heavy tanks to make the historical American triumph seem that much more noble. Much the same way that Ceaser wrote kind things about the military prowess of Vercingetorix to make his own victory seem that much sweeter among the masses. When you see "Battle of the Bulge" (Telly Sevalis et al fighting US M48s dressed up in German livery) you are seeing a myth enacted.

@Ironduke

I thnk the whole "win by attrition thing" completely misses the point. I can illustrate by example. Let us suppose that every M4A376 armed sherman in the American OOB were replaced by a PzVIE (and we'll call it an American supertiger... it has the same fuel economy and reliability as the US M4, rather than the miserable logistical properties of real Tigers). The loss of US TANKS would have been about the same, because any garden variety PzIV could still hole the front of a PzVIE, not to mention any 88 armed German defense Bn using the dp 88 or any Tiger in the German OOB).

When Tigers went on the offensive in the west, they lost. Badly. Most of the "Tiger" mystique comes from the Ardennes offensive, and in that offensive most everything that the Germans faced were infantry lacking AFV support. People rightly recall the opening of the Ardennes offensive in 1944 as an American debacle because US troops were caught flat footed and thinly stretched. But the result would have been the same had the Germans fielded an OOB consisting entirely of PzIVs... indeed, Kampfgruppe Peiper would almost certainly have penetrated alot farther had every PzVI in their OOB been replaced by a PzIV.

The German heavies were great tanks on the defensive. The thing is, *any* tank would have been a great tank on the defensive, because NO TANK (apart from the Koenigstiger, which could not get out of its own way with a three-day head start) was much immune to enemy AT rounds. Being on the defense was itself worth an extra several AFVs.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 6:56:49 PM   
Ursa MAior

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdiehl
When Tigers went on the offensive in the west, they lost.


Like in Villers Bocage?

quote:

indeed, Kampfgruppe Peiper would almost certainly have penetrated alot farther had every PzVI in their OOB been replaced by a PzIV.


Indeed Kampfgruppe Peiper used mostly PzV Panthers and PzIVs having ONLY a battalion of SS Kintigers. Which in tunr were not used in the avangarde.


< Message edited by Ursa MAior -- 1/29/2007 7:12:50 PM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 7:03:49 PM   
hawker


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Yea,yes, Sherman can take Tiger head to head every time
Sherman is better than everything,sherman is best tank ever created

Tigers lost in ardennes because of allied air superiority not because shermans

Please answer this:In which tank would you feel more comfortable in one to one battle,Tiger or sherman?

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 7:16:54 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

Sherman is better than everything,sherman is best tank ever created

I don't think anyone made that claim. But FWIW the best AFV ever made was the EM-50. You should check out the memoirs of Sgt. Hulka.

quote:

Tigers lost in ardennes because of allied air superiority not because shermans


Tigers lost in the Ardennes because they were stopped by infantry supported by a rather modest number of US AFVs (mostly M10s).

quote:

Please answer this:In which tank would you feel more comfortable in one to one battle,Tiger or sherman?


No problem. The Easy 8. I'd put myself hull down somewhere and burn the Tiger as it advanced. If my shot missed I'd roll back, reposition, and shoot again with my gyrostabilized gun.

< Message edited by mdiehl -- 1/29/2007 9:24:46 PM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 7:20:58 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

Which in tunr were not used in the avangarde


Yes, because most of the bridges couldn't take their weight. It's wonderful being in one of the 260 or so real Ogre Mark Vs of the WW landscape (the Koenigstiger) until you receive orders to move. Then you discover you can't drive your tank in half the places that your command wants you to go.

No one's saying these things were bad vehicles, but strategically they hurt the Wehrmacht more than they helped. They used up resources that could have been consumed making a more useful AFV, like Stugs, PzIVs, &c.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 7:31:16 PM   
hawker


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Cpt.Witmann stops whole brittish offensive with a single Tiger.
Tiger is perfect war machine and so much better than any tank western allies has.
Only Soviets IS-2 and IS-3 is better.

P.S. IS-3 was best tank 10 years after WW2

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 7:40:12 PM   
Twotribes


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If your talking about the battle I know about, Whitman had pure luck on his side. He caught the whole column foolishly taking tea or having a merry little picnic on the side of the road.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 7:52:08 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

Cpt.Witmann stops whole brittish offensive with a single Tiger


<shrug>

It's not like he wouldn't have stopped that offensive if the British had been driving Tigers. That's the point. Any well positioned tank is, on the defense, going to be worth a large number of opposing AFVs. Likewise, any suddden surprise attack on an unprepared defender will result in positive results.

I know some will groan when I refer to empirical facts, but from the date the 3rd Army(US) deployed until 5 March '45, the 3rd Army destroyed 2,287 German tanks of all varieties, of which 808 were PzVIEs or PzVs (Tigers or Panthers). During the same interval, 3rd Army lost 1,136 AFVs, of which 854 were some variety of Sherman (M4). That is a rather impressive feat considering that the 3rd Army was in every engagement the aggressor.

< Message edited by mdiehl -- 1/29/2007 8:29:29 PM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 8:50:17 PM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ursa MAior


Indeed Kampfgruppe Peiper used mostly PzV Panthers and PzIVs having ONLY a battalion of SS Kintigers. Which in tunr were not used in the avangarde.



KG Peiper used them as battering rams in the front of the column when they could. At Stoumont for instance, the Kingtigers were used to break into the town proper (where one of them was promptly lost to a 90mm AA gun...)


< Message edited by Rune Iversen -- 1/29/2007 9:02:36 PM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 8:52:14 PM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ursa MAior
Like in Villers Bocage?



Villers Bocage still meant the loss of 50% or so of the Tigers committed to action that day (only some of those were permanent, but still.)




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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 8:54:36 PM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hawker

Yea,yes, Sherman can take Tiger head to head every time


If it packs a 76mm gun and below 1000 meters, well yes.

quote:

Sherman is better than everything,sherman is best tank ever created


It´s certainly not bad, no.

quote:

Tigers lost in ardennes because of allied air superiority not because shermans


Patently false. Nary a plane was in the air before a week or so had elapsed.

quote:

Please answer this:In which tank would you feel more comfortable in one to one battle,Tiger or sherman?


I´ll take the M4a3E8 with plenty of HVAP on the side please.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 8:56:20 PM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hawker

Cpt.Witmann stops whole brittish offensive with a single Tiger.


False.

quote:

Tiger is perfect war machine and so much better than any tank western allies has


Wrong.

quote:

Only Soviets IS-2 and IS-3 is better.


Possibly.

quote:

P.S. IS-3 was best tank 10 years after WW2


Jog my memory. Just how well did those JS III do in the Sinai and at Suez in 1956?

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 8:58:42 PM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdiehl

Tigers lost in the Ardennes because they were stopped by infantry supported by a rather modest number of US AFVs (mostly M10s).


Depends on where in the Ardennes you were afaik

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 9:00:38 PM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

If your talking about the battle I know about, Whitman had pure luck on his side. He caught the whole column foolishly taking tea or having a merry little picnic on the side of the road.


Well, later most of the rest of Witmanns battalion also joins in, later accompanied by Pz. Lehrs MK IV battalion, supported by PZ grndrs and Lehrs recon battalion. This, not a single Tiger, was what it actually took to dislodge the vanguard of an entire british armoured division.

< Message edited by Rune Iversen -- 1/29/2007 9:14:12 PM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 9:10:03 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

Depends on where in the Ardennes you were afaik


True.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 11:33:15 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdiehl

quote:

Cpt.Witmann stops whole brittish offensive with a single Tiger


<shrug>

It's not like he wouldn't have stopped that offensive if the British had been driving Tigers. That's the point. Any well positioned tank is, on the defense, going to be worth a large number of opposing AFVs. Likewise, any suddden surprise attack on an unprepared defender will result in positive results.

I know some will groan when I refer to empirical facts, but from the date the 3rd Army(US) deployed until 5 March '45, the 3rd Army destroyed 2,287 German tanks of all varieties, of which 808 were PzVIEs or PzVs (Tigers or Panthers). During the same interval, 3rd Army lost 1,136 AFVs, of which 854 were some variety of Sherman (M4). That is a rather impressive feat considering that the 3rd Army was in every engagement the aggressor.


Are these stats "claims" by 3rd Army or from some independent source? By calculations I made in a very different thread, a long and painful time ago, 3rd Army claimed to kill about three times more tanks in the Arracourt battles than the Germans had actually deployed. Secondary sources including some I'd normally respect have often repeated this without taking the trouble to check.

As for Wittmand and Villiers Bocage, it wasn't exactly defence. He came forward and drove down the side of the lane and into the village destroying vehicle after vehicle as he went. It wouldn't have worked had he been driving an easy 8.

Regards,
IronDuke

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 11:43:25 PM   
Paul Vebber


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quote:

It wouldn't have worked had he been driving an easy 8.


Why not?

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 11:43:40 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rune Iversen


quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke



Not completely. The Germans were taught to fight Panthers at long range if possible. At long distances, with shot reaching the end of its life, armour can have an impact. Also, the 17pdr wasn't all that accurate after about 1000 metres, the 76mm is overrated hereabouts and I didn't think Sherman optics were all that well suited to long range duelling (not surprising) so whilst agreeing that the primary concern is armament, armour can not be completely discarded as a consideration.






Psshh...

If most of the tactical Tank vs. Tank combat takes place below 1000 meters anyway (which it arguably did most of the times the germans had meaningful amounts of armour to play with in the West, with 1-2 exceptions), what´s the beef?



Ppsshh...

I suspect this essentially revolves around offence and defence. This isn't an issue when the Germans are attacking because the defending side can set the tempo of the engagement by waiting from concealed positions and firing late (or under 1000 yards).

When on the defence Tank v Tank against defending Kats is likely to be longer ranged.

Here's the hard one. Which side was generally on the operationally defensive in NW Europe...?


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/29/2007 11:48:09 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: .50Kerry


quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke



The extra hulls were generally being used to produce TDs, weren't they, which because they needed no turret, could be produced more easily than Tanks anyway and were arguably a better bet given the defensive nature of the campaigns they were fighting.






Correct after a fashion. That said the development and deployment of the Mittens diverted resources that could have been used on industrially cheaper instruments of offenseive manuever and guns from better defensive hulls. I have yet to see the Panther that has better protection hull up than a Marder hull down.

The Mittens were a luxury Fritz could hardly afford IMHO and the resources would have been better spent on TDs and IVs. German pride prevented her from taking a brutal self-assesment of where she was in mid '43.



But industrially cheaper units of manoeuver were pointless because without fuel and battling enemy air supremacy, operational manoeuver was something of a game of Russian roulette.

The Tiger wasn't worth the effort, although one might argue the mythos she attracted did result in a lot of hesitation and loss of morale amongst Allied units. The Panther was a good bet and could they have mass produced them, a real headache. It outperformed the Sherman in Armament, manoeuvrability, speed and Armour. Even the 76mm Sherman was not nearly in the Panther class.

TDs were nice but as the Americans found out, the best hunter of Tanks is another Tank...

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:12:42 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Paul Vebber

quote:

It wouldn't have worked had he been driving an easy 8.


Why not?


Firstly, it wouldn't have been tried. Wittmann pushed on because he had surprise, but also because he was confident the Allies would have difficulty stopping him. I know of no Sherman Commander who thought frontal assaults the way to go.

Secondly, the majority of Tanks destroyed were Cromwells, I don't know the exact make but they would have carried either 75mm or 6 pdr guns. If these required the right circumstances to take a Tiger, they didn't require anything special to stop a Sherman. Using an Easy 8 essentially brought all the other Team's players into the game.

Wittman withdrew in the face of a built up area, enemy reinforcements, and a Firefly taking potshots.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:18:23 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: .50Kerry

Not necessarily true, the giant tanks ate fuel quicker for a diminishing "gain". Germany had to have known what strategic resource situation she'd face. Instead of making a go at securing raw resources and exploiting them she decided to play freeze tag in North Africa. For all the fawning over German tactical and operational prowess she sure could never see the big picture eh?


she was poor strategically, no doubt, but then what was the point of Case Blau if not securing (and later exploiting) natural resources.

quote:

I would much rather be at the big board with the Sherman as my standard bearer along with my other combined arms advantages than have the "niftiest hotrod". That "nifty hotrod" could be and was aced by Sherman bodied gun bearing tanks. The "Ronson" won the war.


Could be....eventually, or if on the offensive. If the Ronson won the war, why is everyone so annoyed at TD doctrine?

quote:

We are now back to "every Mitten killed 134 T-35s and Ronsons and was left abandoned out of fuel and undamaged" as a baseline here for some as regards the V and VI. It is as unrealistic as stating that there were not limited tactical advantages to the Mittens. I give Fritz his due he made a nice rig that was overengineered, overfinished, and overthirsty.


But when fueled and running devastatingly effective at the sharp end. American logistics and German Tanks would have been difficult to stop. The number of Kitties abandoned and or destroyed by their crews is actually very high in places. I could dig some figures out if they would do any good?

quote:

I prefer the rig that was designed by folks in the war winning business, not the "go gloriously" or "be goodwill ambassadors to the Slavs and Jews" business.


It was a quantity has a quality all of its own rig. the Sherman didn't win the war, American industry won it. The MKII and MKI didn't defeat the French, that was a range of factors, but they were the predominant tanks used. This is too simplistic a way of looking at it.

regards,
IronDuke






< Message edited by IronDuke -- 1/30/2007 12:34:56 AM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:27:25 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rune Iversen

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ursa MAior


Indeed Kampfgruppe Peiper used mostly PzV Panthers and PzIVs having ONLY a battalion of SS Kintigers. Which in tunr were not used in the avangarde.



KG Peiper used them as battering rams in the front of the column when they could. At Stoumont for instance, the Kingtigers were used to break into the town proper (where one of them was promptly lost to a 90mm AA gun...)



I think he kept them at the rear of the column for the majority of the time if memory serves because they weren't very manoeuvrable in the conditions.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:36:49 AM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

Are these stats "claims" by 3rd Army or from some independent source?


3rd Army. But I do not agree with your assessment of overclaiming. These figures are based on the number of German wrecks towed from their area of operations and likely also adjusted to account for means of damage. Something obviously taken out by an bomb, rocket, or .50cal run would not likely have been included. It's quite different from assessing damage in aerial combat, because in air to air much of the time you don't get to count the wrecks. Your difference with 3rd Army's might come down to AFVs vs Tanks... for 3rd Army this would have included any fully tracked AFV probably.

quote:

As for Wittmand and Villiers Bocage, it wasn't exactly defence. He came forward and drove down the side of the lane and into the village destroying vehicle after vehicle as he went. It wouldn't have worked had he been driving an easy 8.


I should have been clearer. Strategic defense. If you wait for an advancing force to get into a position where you can use the ground to your advantage &c. It's much easier to pick the right place to defend or the right moment to launch a counterattack when you are on the defense, strategically.

And yes, it would have worked in an Easy 8. I can't imagine why you would think otherwise. All of the UK AFVs would have been killable with a US 76mm gun, and the front armor of a Sherman was effectively the same as a PzVIE. Indeed, it would have been easier in an Easy 8, because the gyrostabilized gun would have been easier to place on target while on the move. In contrast, the Cromwells with their 75mm OPQR (designed to fire the 75mm ammo used in the US M3 75mm shermans) would have had a hard time knocking holes in an M4A3E8.

< Message edited by mdiehl -- 1/30/2007 12:54:23 AM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:41:24 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke



But they couldn't produce 1000 40 widget wonders in these terms. By 1943, the situation you describe was improving as Guderian became Inspector of Armoured troops and began sorting the situation out aided by Speer who also saw the nonsense of this. Fact is, by mid 1944, they had standardised on a Lg MKIV battalion and a Panther Battalion in each Panzer division.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Rune IversenJust how many german units actually had this make-up by the time of say, The Ardennes offensive?


Not relevant. We were discussing standardisation. By the Ardennes, the Germans couldn't achieve the above make up because they didn't have enough weapons, not because they were producing 120 different models. They did start adding TDs into the armoured units to make up the gap (didn't Peiper take some?) but in normandy, aside from the 21st Panzer and either the 9th or 10th SS (can't remember which of the top of my head, quite possibly both) the others had this sort of make up if memory serves. Liebstandarte, Das Reich, 2nd Panzer, 9th Panzer (although its Panther unit was still forming and training), HitlerJugend snd 116th Panzer all had a MKIV and a Panther Battalion.

quote:

What tigers they had were Corp or Army assets grouped into Heavy Battalions (save for a few in the Lehr if memory serves). They weren't producing much else, and what else they fielded was usually captured.


quote:

StuGs my dear ID. StuGs. And coming out of the wazoo as well. 1944 was a good year for StuGs. Lord knows they had little else to use the MK III Hull production on.


I class these as TDs, mentioned in the next section.

quote:

The extra hulls were generally being used to produce TDs, weren't they, which because they needed no turret, could be produced more easily than Tanks anyway and were arguably a better bet given the defensive nature of the campaigns they were fighting.


quote:

But they were also using "40 widget" hull types for the production of redundant Hvy Jagdpanzer types (Ferdinand, Jagdpanther/Tiger) and such total boondoggles as the Sturmtiger.....



Every nation had boondoggles. If memory serves, they produced two prototype Maus as well. I thought the Jagdpanther a good weapon. How many of the others did they actually produce combined?

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:43:56 AM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

The number of Kitties abandoned and or destroyed by their crews is actually very high in places. I could dig some figures out if they would do any good?


Not really, since as a german accounting practice it also means "abandoned while in repair". Besides, the largest number of "abandonments" happened during Falaise, which was an entirely self inflicted problem. Barring tactical or operational disaster, the german army generally had enough fuel to run the operations it deemed necessary in 1944 and parts of 1945.

quote:

It was a quantity has a quality all of its own rig. the Sherman didn't win the war, American industry won it.


Yep. The sky above tends to be bright blue quite often, and industrial capacity decides Total Wars. What else is new?






< Message edited by Rune Iversen -- 1/30/2007 1:02:27 AM >


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:47:02 AM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke



I think he kept them at the rear of the column for the majority of the time if memory serves because they weren't very manoeuvrable in the conditions.


There was bridging problems from Stavelot onwards. Which meant that most of the Kingtigers were left there to secure Peipers LOC. The americans knocked them out by sneaking towed 76mm TD´s into a flanking position on a ridge

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:47:51 AM   
mdiehl

 

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By the way, had Wittman attacked a column of 76mm M4s he likely would have died in a couple minutes. At the range Wittman engaged, Cromwells had a hard time holing a PzVIE. In contrast, any 76mm armed sherman could have holed Wittman's tank from any direction.

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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:51:34 AM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdiehl

By the way, had Wittman attacked a column of 76mm M4s he likely would have died in a couple minutes. At the range Wittman engaged, Cromwells had a hard time holing a PzVIE. In contrast, any 76mm armed sherman could have holed Wittman's tank from any direction.


An oblique angle would likely have caused trouble. But any shot fired at a reasonably straight angle would likely have penetrated (76mm AP even)


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RE: What is your favorite WWII tank? - 1/30/2007 12:56:48 AM   
Rune Iversen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke



Ppsshh...

I suspect this essentially revolves around offence and defence. This isn't an issue when the Germans are attacking because the defending side can set the tempo of the engagement by waiting from concealed positions and firing late (or under 1000 yards).


You got it!

quote:

When on the defence Tank v Tank against defending Kats is likely to be longer ranged.


True, but how many times did this happen in NW Europe in 44-45. I know what my answer is, and have even gone to the courtesy of totalling up the instances when you have german armour standing on the tactical defence.

quote:

Here's the hard one. Which side was generally on the operationally defensive in NW Europe...?


The germans, apart from a few arrempts at "war winning moves" (Mortain, Arracourt, Ardennes). But it was mostly the german infantry stiffened by PZG Divs who did the defending. Not the armour, which overwhelmingly got the tactical (or even operational in the three above instances) counterattack role. And sometimes succeeded remarkably well in this capacity, but as many times often not.

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