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Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 7:54:38 PM   
Mad Russian


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The action report along the north side of the Kursk salient from the book, "Tank Warfare in World War II" by George Forty, caught my attention.

The action described on pages 271-279 cover the German advance with Elephant assault guns on 11 July and again on 12 July 1943. While the historic tank engagements raged around Prokhorovka in the south the Soviets stopped the elephants in the north.

Lieutenant Aleksey Yerokhin within those two days, engaged the Elephants one time on each day, ending up as a tank ace being credited with the destruction of 6 Elephants.

Can we do as well?

We'll see how historically accurate this all turns out to be.

I'll wait for the next beta to update my game, which should be within a few days, and then we'll do the map and set the battle to see just how well we can do against the Elephants.

The intention of this thread is to research and then create the scenario to be developed and playtested.

I'll go through each step in the process here.

Good Hunting.

MR

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/6/2012 4:36:55 AM >


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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 8:01:23 PM   
Keke


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

We'll see how historically accurate this all turns out to be.



How accurate is the original source?


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The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 8:25:02 PM   
Mad Russian


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While we wait for the next update we'll do the historical research.

The first thing is to identify the German units that were equipped with Elephants and what their location was on 11 and 12 July 1943.

There were two units equipped with Elephant assault guns in July 1943. Both of these were on the north edge of the German salient at Kursk.

Elephants first saw combat in the Battle of Kursk. They were committed in battle with Heavy Panzerjäger Regiment 656. Heavy Panzerjäger Regiment 656 included both schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 and schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654, which fielded a total of eighty-nine elephants.

Main Sources:
"Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War II" by Chamberlain, Doyle, Jentz.
"German Heavy Tanks" by Chamberlain and Ellis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elefant
http://www.balagan.org.uk/war/ww2/ponyri/index.htm
http://perrya.hubpages.com/hub/The-Stalingrad-at-Kursk-The-Battle-of-Ponyri-July-7-10-1943

Good Hunting.

MR







_____________________________

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Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 8:27:03 PM   
Mobius


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Someone on another forum posted this recently:
quote:

I saw just recently on one of the cable channels a German Stug veteran talking about Russia; his unit got some of the first Ferdinands and as they crested a low ridge, all five burst into flames, one after the other. At first they thought they had driven into a minefield, but the strain of climbing the hill had burned out the motor on each one!

Well, does the hill get to be an ace?

BTW there were no 'Elephants' in Russia in July 1943.

< Message edited by Mobius -- 1/5/2012 8:28:36 PM >

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 8:29:10 PM   
Mad Russian


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Of course where the battle took place is of primary importance. My initial feeling is that we are looking to make a 2km map. Just because this is the Russian steppe and maneuver was such a decisive part of the outcome.

We will start on this site:
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/maps/maps1943SW.htm#Kursk43
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/maps/1943SW/Kursk/MC_Kursk_defence.jpg
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/maps/1943SW/Kursk/CF_Art_SAVO061_Jul5_12_43.jpg

As well as checking physical maps in:
"The Battle of Kursk" by Glantz and House
"Atlas of the Second World War" by
"West Point Atlas of American Wars: Volume 2" by Brigadier General Vincent Esposito
"The Second World War Military Campaign Atlas" by The West Point Military History series.



Good Hunting.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/5/2012 8:37:01 PM >


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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 8:40:42 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Keke


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

We'll see how historically accurate this all turns out to be.



How accurate is the original source?



That's what we are going to find out.

The AAR is from a Soviet unit that is not named. Just the exploits of the Soviet Lieutenant.

What we'll look for is where the units were and what fighting we might identify for the time period that they list in the book.

I never take a single source of information as being accurate if there is a way to cross check it. Sometimes you can get a multitude of resource data and none of it agrees. Normandy fighting is one instance of that.

The scenario for the Maus took an HSG design effort of more than two weeks. That was just for the last will and testament of a single tank.

This unit of Ferdinands has much more detailed action reports about it for it's actions at Kursk. Should be pretty easy to find where they were on 11/12 July and check the Soviet maps to see what Soviet units were in the same area with them.



Good Hunting.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/5/2012 9:04:18 PM >


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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 8:43:28 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mobius

BTW there were no 'Elephants' in Russia in July 1943.


I knew you would catch that. The accurate name for the tank destroyer at Kursk was Ferdinand. The term Elephant wasn't applied until after they were modified, to include among other things mg's for infantry defense.

But since I'd already used the term, and most gamers know it as the Elephant, I left it...

Good Hunting.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/5/2012 8:45:33 PM >


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Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 8:44:48 PM   
Mad Russian


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The Germans introduced Ferdinands (later renamed as elephants), Panther tanks and Hummel SPA at Kursk. Only the Hummel had a good initial entry into combat.

Good Hunting.

MR


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Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 9:27:29 PM   
Mobius


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On July 4 it was reported Rgt 656:
Abt 653 45 Ferdinands
Abt 654 44 Ferdinands.

July 17, 1943 Panzerjager Regiment 656 - 19 total losses, mainly to artillery hits on the gratings, four without being fired on to short circuits with ensuing fire.
Time losses – 40 to mines as of 7/11, 20 repaired.

July 24, 1943 Panzerjager Regiment 656 – The Regiment has a total of 54 Ferdinands (4 conditionally).

July 25, 1943 Ableilung 653 – Of the original supply of 44 vehicles 17 are lacking today. Seven were given to the other Ableilung on orders while 10 were total losses.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 9:39:47 PM   
Mad Russian


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We have access to the battle histories of both the schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 and schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654, so we'll be checking those for losses.

There are several things to consider about this AAR from a historical standpoint.

1) The Soviet Lt. states that he fired into the side of the Ferdinand at a range of 1400 meters. The rounds did not penetrate but hit in the area of an auxiliary fuel tank, setting the tank destroyer on fire.

2) The Ferdinand didn't turn to engage him because there were other T-34's in front of him and they would have been given a flank shot if he turned.

3) You have to consider the time of this AAR and the state of the Soviet military and the nation as a whole.

When reading this it immediately jumped out at me as being one of those times when truth may be stranger than fiction. So, I decided to see what we can find out about it.

My initial reactions were:
1a) No T-34/76 could knock out a Ferdinand at 1400 meters even from the side.

2a) This is legitimate and made me at least keep on reading the AAR.

3a) IF, and I mean IF, this happened then this Lieutenant would have been made a Hero of the Soviet Union and there was no mention of this in the book. Which I would think there would have been if he had been.

So, do I think this happened? No.

Do I think the Soviets reported it as happening? Yes.

Was it possible? I don't know yet.

Our research into the last moments of the Maus produced some information that I found interesting and not expected so who knows what we'll find out about the Ferdinand's actions for 11/12 July 1943.

Good Hunting.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/5/2012 9:41:09 PM >


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Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 10:01:34 PM   
Mobius


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One lower side was penetrated by a T34 at 400m while 6 other T34s surrounded the Ferdinand. But was added, the shell failed to detonate.
(Maybe some author added an extra 1000m to the story?)
Another German report stated one Ferdinands had a side hull penetration through the ventilator drive shaft and others few side penetrations from 76.2mm.


< Message edited by Mobius -- 1/5/2012 10:06:06 PM >

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/5/2012 10:11:03 PM   
sztartur


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Good luck in your undertaking! I'll try this out as soon as you are ready.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/6/2012 1:08:08 AM   
Mad Russian


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Here is the original passage:

Yerokhin and the Elephants

During the battles of the Kursk salient, Lieutenant Aleksey Yerohkin, managed to destroy six Elephants over the course of two days.

'On the evening of July 11 1943, the tank company under the command of Lieutenant Cherneg moved out to take up it's initial combat positions. The T-34 of Lieutenant Yerohkin moved ahead of the rest of the battalion, since it was part of the forward patrol of the advance guard. Suddenly his patrol found itself under enemy fire. He and his crew knew at once that tank was under direct fire, not indirect fire. Yerohkin immediately directed the tank to roll behind a copse, then climbing out of the turret and moving forward, he began scanning the area.  Roughly one and half kilometers away he spotted a German vehicle on top of a small hill. It was also soon clear that this weapon was on the move, in the direction of the German offensive. 

'They closed the distance to German combat vehicle - perhaps it was somewhere around 1400 meters. At that range they opened fire. One round, then a second...the T-34 commander put three rounds "on the way" into the glacis of the Elephant.  But as it turned out they were three ineffective shots. After maneuvering closer he fired two more rounds, after which the German began to burn. But now let us hear the words of Lieutenant Yerokhin as to how he carried this out.

"After that we knew that even as powerful a machine as this could burn", he recalled, "and the battalion began to deploy, taking up positions to the left and right of the place where we were supposed to provide support to the infantry in case of a German attack. We were soon able to see things pretty well through the smoke clouds (caused by the burning elephant) on our right flank., where we spotted several more of the huge German machines. The first of these was now silhouetted on the top of the same hill. We immediately gave it a company salvo. It was hit and halted. The rest of their unit deployed and once on line to the front began firing back at us from the halt. After getting permission from my commander, I began to move my tank to the left, taking advantage of the dips and hills until I could take the Germans in their right flank. I was successful in getting into position and moving up onto a small hill and using great care and skill, put five aimed rounds one after the other into the nearest of the German machines. It began to smoke after the fifth round. The other Elephants , sensing what had happened, began to withdraw, as they could not turn their turrets and my appearance on their flank placed them at a disadvantage. If they turned to engage me, then the rest of our tanks could shoot at their vulnerable sides and if they stayed in their present positions, then their opposite flank was open to my fire. Therefore, they elected to pull back. It was soon obvious that the German attack had been broken up."

'Things remained this way all night, as the Soviet tanks remained in their positions. While that took place and once things were quiet, Lieutenant Yerokhin and one of his crew members went out to familiarize themselves with the machine they had destroyed. This is what they found: four of their shots had gouged the armoured side over the running gear and left big pits. Considering that they were shooting at the thick armour at a range of 1400 meters this wasn't surprising.  But yet the machine had caught fire. Why? The reason was obvious once Yerokhin and the crewman looked in through a round hatch in the rear armour plate. Right were Yerokhin had hit the vehicle with his shells was an auxiliary fuel tank. The violent shell strikes had caused the fuel to ignite and the burning fuel was what had burned out the tank, even though it's armour had not been penetrated. He also saw that there was no way any tank shell would penetrate the vehicle's glacis. But the sides could be penetrated at close range and at longer distances, the next best thing was to shoot for the area of the auxiliary fuel tank. And once this was determined the fate of the Elephant was sealed. These conclusions were proven on July 12th, when combat started up once again. On that day Lieutenant Aleksey Yerohkin increased his score of destroyed German SP guns. But first he would have to encounter one of the German tank aces, fighting in an Elephant with an experienced commander and crew. The first shot from his vehicle blew up a Soviet light tank., the second took out a T-34. Yerohkin never gave him a chance to take his third shot.

In a short period of time he fired a large number of shells, the bulk of which hit their target. After his second direct hit the Elephant fell silent and when it took it's fourth direct hit, the top hatch flew open and the crew bailed out. The T-34 commander decided to play the game to the end, since up to now the Elephant had not begun to smoke or catch fire so he kept firing until it did. Six of the heavy German Elephant weapons eventually fell to Lieutenant Aleksey Yerohkin. A truly unique accomplishment! 


Now you know what I have to go on. We'll see what we can find out about this legendary action.

Good Hunting.

MR



< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/6/2012 1:09:05 AM >


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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/6/2012 1:45:20 AM   
Mobius


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The timeline of the story doesn't match the German operational timeline.

quote:

12 July 1943 By 0900 the Ferdinands of the 653rd Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion and two battalions of heavy artillery also were pulled out and moved north
.

quote:

These conclusions were proven on July 12th, when combat started up once again. On that day Lieutenant Aleksey Yerohkin increased his score of destroyed German SP guns. But first he would have to encounter one of the German tank aces, fighting in an Elephant with an experienced commander and crew. The first shot from his vehicle blew up a Soviet light tank., the second took out a T-34. Yerohkin never gave him a chance to take his third shot.

In a short period of time he fired a large number of shells, the bulk of which hit their target. After his second direct hit the Elephant fell silent and when it took it's fourth direct hit, the top hatch flew open and the crew bailed out. The T-34 commander decided to play the game to the end, since up to now the Elephant had not begun to smoke or catch fire so he kept firing until it did. Six of the heavy German Elephant weapons eventually fell to Lieutenant Aleksey Yerohkin. A truly unique accomplishment!


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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/6/2012 2:23:23 AM   
heinrich55

 

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A really good idea and read - am enjoying this greatly!

Heinrich55

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/6/2012 2:33:09 AM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mobius

The timeline of the story doesn't match the German operational timeline.

quote:

12 July 1943 By 0900 the Ferdinands of the 653rd Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion and two battalions of heavy artillery also were pulled out and moved north
.

quote:

These conclusions were proven on July 12th, when combat started up once again. On that day Lieutenant Aleksey Yerohkin increased his score of destroyed German SP guns. But first he would have to encounter one of the German tank aces, fighting in an Elephant with an experienced commander and crew. The first shot from his vehicle blew up a Soviet light tank., the second took out a T-34. Yerohkin never gave him a chance to take his third shot.

In a short period of time he fired a large number of shells, the bulk of which hit their target. After his second direct hit the Elephant fell silent and when it took it's fourth direct hit, the top hatch flew open and the crew bailed out. The T-34 commander decided to play the game to the end, since up to now the Elephant had not begun to smoke or catch fire so he kept firing until it did. Six of the heavy German Elephant weapons eventually fell to Lieutenant Aleksey Yerohkin. A truly unique accomplishment!




I told you I had some issues with this. Soviet AAR's during the war are extremely suspect. None more so than when superhuman efforts are put forth with no background information.

Now, since my nickname is Mad Russian, and I got that because of my response as to how the Soviets are shown to fight in wargames, I'm as supportive of the Soviet military as anyone.

You simply need to determine what is actually capable of having happened and what was fictional for reasons of personal advancement or to create some heroes for the good of the Nation. Morale was extremely important and the Soviet Union needed to promote the idea that they had good soldiers too. Which they did have.

The Great Lieutenant would have risen in the annals of history if he had done even what this story advances that he did. Let alone if he lived to do anything else. That alone makes me extremely skeptical.

It also throws a huge question mark on any book that George Forty authors. For me at least.

However, we are pushing on. We have the Ferdinand bit firmly between our teeth now and will see where it goes. Where it will not go is to Ponyri Station. That's been done dozens of times and I don't do those kinds of scenarios.

More than likely this will go to the first encounter of the Ferdinands with T-34's or an actual battle between the two. It's also of interest that the Brumbar was introduced at Kursk, a fact I forgot to mention earlier, and that they were paired with the Ferdinands to help them with infantry support. There has to be a scenario of some sort in here if we look deep enough.

To recap, at the moment, we seem to have ruled out an engagement with the 653rd Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion. Now it's time to see what the 654th Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion was doing on those days.

Good Hunting.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/6/2012 2:39:54 AM >


_____________________________

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Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/7/2012 12:45:14 AM   
Mad Russian


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Here is part of a report from s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653:



The Ferdinand has proven itself, here it has been decisive and nowadays one can not counter the enemy masses of tanks without a weapon like this. Sturmgeschütze are insufficient. The electrical traction has proven itself to the full, the drivers and crews have been surprised in a positive way. There are few damages to engine and electrical installation. The engine has too little power for the mass of the vehicle, the tracks are a bit small. If the vehicle is improved after these experiences, it would be >>fine< One Ferdinand's superstructure was - accidentaly - shot through by a Pz.Kpfw.IV, gun fire or an AT-gun destroyed a return roller. A body was shot through in the lower part by a T34 at 400 m (7 T34s encircled the Ferd.), but the shell fell into it without causing any damage. A Ferdinand, standing at an outpost at night, was made immobile and blind by infantry weapons and finally fell into a ditch. A machine gun for such cases fails. The side windows are too small, one cannot see the corn.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69643

I see nothing that indicates our Hero was fighting against this unit. Again, this rules the s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653 out and only leaves s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 654 as a possibility for the action mentioned in the book.

This is another example of how effective the Ferdinand was against T-34's.

"On the first day of action, we successfully engaged bunkers, infantry, field and anti-tank artillery positions. For three hours our guns (Ferdinands) fought in the cavalcade of enemy fire and proved to be immune to enemy fire !. In the evening of the first day, first enemy tanks were destroyed, while others retreated. Crews of field and anti-tank guns run away after firing few uneffective shots against our guns (Ferdinands). In first engagements our regiment (656 sPanzerjager Regiment) destroyed numerous artillery positions, bunkers as well as 120 enemy tanks…" - Report from July 19th of 1943 by Platoon commander Boehm.


http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerjager-tiger-ferdinand-elephant.htm



Good Hunting.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 1/7/2012 1:05:58 AM >


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Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/7/2012 2:27:10 AM   
Mobius


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Yes. these and other reports are in Heavy Jagdpanzer, by Spielberger, Doyle and Jentz.

As for the Russian exploits they probably happened. Though not to one person on one day. Maybe a number of reports rolled into one to make it simpiler and more interesting for the common comrade.

< Message edited by Mobius -- 1/7/2012 2:31:41 AM >

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/7/2012 5:17:30 PM   
Mad Russian


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That's what I was thinking. So then, we may do the same thing.

Any terrain in the area of Ponyri would match the battle report. Making the map would be simple. I'll pick a good looking area for a fight with a few trees and some small hills and then do a 2k x 2k.

Good Hunting.

MR


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Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/8/2012 12:07:12 AM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

The action report along the north side of the Kursk salient from the book, "Tank Warfare in World War II" by George Forty, caught my attention.

The action described on pages 271-279 cover the German advance with Elephant assault guns on 11 July and again on 12 July 1943. While the historic tank engagements raged around Prokhorovka in the south the Soviets stopped the elephants in the north ...


Didn't most of the untried Elephants at Kursk over-heat their engines and catch fire w/o any Soviet "assistance"?

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/8/2012 10:28:20 AM   
sztartur


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Those were the Panthers with that problem.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/8/2012 11:29:24 AM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sztartur

Those were the Panthers with that problem.


Apparently they both had a serious situation with the main exhaust outlet pipes that ran too close to the fuel tanks; as the pipe over-heated, it would ignite the fuel and set the vehicle on fire, or did the Soviets count these as "kills" as well at Kursk?

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/8/2012 2:50:06 PM   
Mobius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.
Apparently they both had a serious situation with the main exhaust outlet pipes that ran too close to the fuel tanks; as the pipe over-heated, it would ignite the fuel and set the vehicle on fire, or did the Soviets count these as "kills" as well at Kursk?
The Germans counted four such disasters where no combat was underway. But should it happen during combat no one would know.

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RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/8/2012 3:33:37 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

....or did the Soviets count these as "kills" as well at Kursk?


Yes, like anyone else in the world, if the Soviets were firing at a vehicle, that all at once burst into flames, they would count it as being destroyed by their actions.

Good Hunting.

MR

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Post #: 24
RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/9/2012 7:16:02 PM   
Yoozername

 

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http://english.battlefield.ru/how-to-destroy-ferdinand-booklet.html

A good indication of what the Soviets thought about battling the 'Ferdinand'.

Note that all HE is a threat to the grilles in the top of the AFV near the drivers. 

The Ferdinand is actually a 'hybrid'.  It has a petrol engine that drives a electrical generator that feeds amps to an electrical motor for each track.  It is actually a rear driven sprocket vehicle.  The use of this drive systemn allows the vehicle to spin about itself which is a nice feature for a turret-less AFV.  But it is slow and it was no great mileage bargain either.  I think the Maus had this same system. 

Supposedly the AFV had hot spots inside which meant that ammo in certain areas got hotter than other ammo.  This leads to 'hot-shots' that fly differently.

The two units that crewed these vehicles came from a StuG unit and a antitank unit.  The StuG unit would have a shorter learning curve and probably used the AFV to great effect.  The other unit was supposed to get Hornets but was given the Ferdinand instead and did not have much time to get ready for Kursk.  Much like the Panthers, it was not a great way to use these vehicles. 

edit: many Soviet sources call StuG vehicles 'Ferdinands'. Evidently, the Soviets were impressed by these vehicles to some degree. Both StuGs and Ferdinands took a toll on Soviet armor.



< Message edited by Yoozername -- 1/9/2012 7:21:51 PM >

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Post #: 25
RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/9/2012 10:27:24 PM   
Mobius


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For the battle of Kursk the Germans released some 88mm APCR for the Pak 43. If you want to be impressed by a WWII gun look at these stats. Alas, in a month of the battle APCR with withdrawn from service not to be seen again.

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Post #: 26
RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/10/2012 2:11:57 AM   
Richie61


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mobius

For the battle of Kursk the Germans released some 88mm APCR for the Pak 43. If you want to be impressed by a WWII gun look at these stats. Alas, in a month of the battle APCR with withdrawn from service not to be seen again.


Wasn't this the Pzgr 40 APCR round? Didn't it have a tungsten slug or inside? If I remember correctly the German's
run out of tungsten to produce these shell.

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Post #: 27
RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/10/2012 6:01:38 AM   
Mobius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Richie61
Wasn't this the Pzgr 40 APCR round? Didn't it have a tungsten slug or inside? If I remember correctly the German's
run out of tungsten to produce these shell.

Yes it was the Pzgr 40 or more precisely for the 88mm Pzgr 40/42. They realized they had a shortage of tungsten so thought better of using it in shells. They withdrew it and used it in machine tools like drill bits, etc.

< Message edited by Mobius -- 1/10/2012 6:03:27 AM >

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Post #: 28
RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/10/2012 7:10:25 AM   
Yoozername

 

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An interesting detail was that the Ferdinands had issues with the 88mm gun also.  Reports state that the rifling would break off and that shell cases were not ejecting.  This might have been from the use of APCR.  I believe that PanzerIII also had issues like this.  The Ferdinands also lost the zero on the guns easily.

This website gives some good details:

http://sturmvogel.orbat.com/653.html

I think the mid-engine design, which was a redesign of the Porshe Tiger, was just nuts.  It isolated the two drivers in the front from the rest of the crew.  I bet the two electrical motors in the back got plenty hot.  The Ferdinand should have just mounted the gun forward and left the engine in the back. 

One good point was that the gun had decent traverse.  Something like 14 degrees either way.

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Post #: 29
RE: Elephant Hunt - 1/10/2012 3:43:26 PM   
Yoozername

 

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http://www.swannysmodels.com/images/Kfz184/chassis2.jpg

A model showing the general layout

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