German tanks

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
alecsandros
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Re: German tanks

Postby alecsandros » Mon May 16, 2011 10:59 am

Bgile wrote: Of course it does. My point is that you could build a lot more M36s than you could build Tigers, and the M36 could readily destroy a Tiger at common Europen battlefield ranges.....

And who disputes this.. ?

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Re: German tanks

Postby Bgile » Mon May 16, 2011 3:09 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote: The KV-85 became operational in Sept 1943.

You are probably thinking of Su-85.. Which had a frontal armor of 45mm... ?


No, he is thinking of the KV-85, which was a tank.

Then of course there is the IS-2 ...

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Re: German tanks

Postby lwd » Mon May 16, 2011 5:23 pm

alecsandros wrote:
lwd wrote: It's interesting that when one looks up the battalion with the 12.2 to 1 kill ration one finds it fought on the eastern front and that the claim is considered problematic. Over on the axis history forum I've seen it posted that German Intelligence discounted tank kill claims by 50% when considering the impact on allied formations.

You are again mixing facts and opinions. \

Am I? Are the kill ratios facts? The reference above mentions that the claims for the western front were checked vs western loss claims and so are quite likely correct. Those on the Eastern front were not checked and were reported as claimed. Thus there is a serious question as to whether or not they are accurate. In the case of the battalion with 12.2 to 1 claimed kill ratio the evidence is especially shaky. Indeed it states on page 127:
Notes: S.SS.Pz.-Abt. 503’s claims lack credibility. This battalion was never fully equipped and only fought from January 1945 until the end of the war. Committed to the Eastern Theater, it was split apart to many different areas under many different commands. Its records are incomplete and cannot be verified. This battalion fought in places like Kustrin, the Seelow Heights and in Berlin in addition to many others. Jean Restayn claimed that two Tiger IIs destroyed 64 JS-IIs and T-34s in a brief engagement toward the end of the war but it is doubtful that in a little over three months of combat the battalion destroyed more than 500 Soviet tanks.

Schneider and Jentz went through a great deal of effort to put togethr the total number of Tigers destroyed and the (probable) total number of enemy tanks they destroyed.

I am not contesting that. However there is at least in some areas a paucity of data. For instance the above reference also mentions:
Although the last ratio is based upon the total annihilation of every heavy tank battalion, it is probably the most accurate considering that a certain percentage of kills claimed by Tigers must certainly have been repaired and returned to service in the same way that Tigers were returned to service after being damaged.

Until now, I have not read or heard about a book which, using documents, could dismiss the above-mentioned authors.
Information spread through |Axis history forum| is totaly irrelevant when it comes to the knowable truth regarding historcal conditions.

And who is dismissing them? The information on the forum is not irrelevant either. The point it raised was that German intel discounted the claims of German tank units by 50% for when trying to determine the status of allied units. Now this may be true or it may not but it doesn't reflect on Jentz or Schneider unless they accepted the claims as facts.

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Re: German tanks

Postby dunmunro » Mon May 16, 2011 7:28 pm

When the German Army used the Tiger as a mobile anti-tank gun, to take advantage of the long range and good penetrating power of 88mm gun, they were quite successful. German armour used these techniques in Normandy to block the advance of Commonwealth forces. Any tank which is primarily used as an AT gun, firing from hull down positions, will show a favourable kill-loss ratio. When the Tigers and Panthers were used offensively, in Normandy and France, they also achieved some successes, but in general their losses were higher, and kill-loss ratio lower. The Tigers and Panthers also benefited from the insane Allied decision to adopt the LV 75mm gun as their main tank armament. The UK had urged the USA to mass produce the 17 pdr gun and make it the main armament on the Sherman, but at the about same time, the UK and Canadian armies decided to change over from the 57mm gun to the LV 75mm, for the Normandy campaign, against the advice of leading tank experts and the civilian leadership in the ministry overseeing UK tank production. This meant that the highly successful 57mm APDS round was not carried forward in Commonwealth tanks (except for some Churchill tanks which reverted to the 57mm) along with the generally much more capable 57mm APBC round. These disastrous decisions allowed the Tiger and Panther much more freedom of movement and ability to survive, in hull down positions against Allied tank offensives. If the Tigers had met historical numbers of Allied tanks that used the 57mm and 17 pdr as their main armament, they would not have met with nearly the same success, and would today be viewed in a somewhat different light.

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Re: German tanks

Postby Byron Angel » Tue May 17, 2011 8:17 am

dunmunro wrote:When the German Army used the Tiger as a mobile anti-tank gun, to take advantage of the long range and good penetrating power of 88mm gun, they were quite successful. German armour used these techniques in Normandy to block the advance of Commonwealth forces. Any tank which is primarily used as an AT gun, firing from hull down positions, will show a favourable kill-loss ratio. When the Tigers and Panthers were used offensively, in Normandy and France, they also achieved some successes, but in general their losses were higher, and kill-loss ratio lower. The Tigers and Panthers also benefited from the insane Allied decision to adopt the LV 75mm gun as their main tank armament. The UK had urged the USA to mass produce the 17 pdr gun and make it the main armament on the Sherman, but at the about same time, the UK and Canadian armies decided to change over from the 57mm gun to the LV 75mm, for the Normandy campaign, against the advice of leading tank experts and the civilian leadership in the ministry overseeing UK tank production. This meant that the highly successful 57mm APDS round was not carried forward in Commonwealth tanks (except for some Churchill tanks which reverted to the 57mm) along with the generally much more capable 57mm APBC round. These disastrous decisions allowed the Tiger and Panther much more freedom of movement and ability to survive, in hull down positions against Allied tank offensives. If the Tigers had met historical numbers of Allied tanks that used the 57mm and 17 pdr as their main armament, they would not have met with nearly the same success, and would today be viewed in a somewhat different light.


..... My guess is that the UK and Canada "adoption" of the 75mm LV gun was basically forced upon them by the USA, who was manufacturing the tanks that they needed to outfit their expanding armored forces. The US was indeed offered the 17lbr design for free (it was being manufactured in Canada at the time), but the US ordnance bureaucracy turned it down as tactically unnecessary/undesirable, too difficult to fit into the Sherman turret, and quite likely as a function of NIH (not invented here) syndrome. These were the same geniuses who botched the project to mount the US 90mm in the Sherman while claiming that their new 76mm gun design would defeat any German tank from any aspect at normal combat ranges - an untruth that became all too regrettably evident when the first tanks so armed FINALLY reached US ETO armored divisions in September 1944. I recall that Eisenhowerd was livid when he ultimately learned of the very modest AP performance of the 76mm.

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Re: German tanks

Postby alecsandros » Tue May 17, 2011 8:29 am

Bgile wrote: No, he is thinking of the KV-85, which was a tank.

Then of course there is the IS-2 ...

What were the specifications of the KV-85 in comparison to the Tiger?

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Re: German tanks

Postby lwd » Tue May 17, 2011 12:55 pm

Byron Angel wrote: ...These were the same geniuses who botched the project to mount the US 90mm in the Sherman ....

I'd like to see some sources on this. From what I recall reading when this was brought up it was pointed out that the Pershing would be available shortly after such a Sherman could be and the decision was to go with the Pershing. The latter however was delayed several months but that's a different matter.

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Re: German tanks

Postby Bgile » Tue May 17, 2011 6:19 pm

Byron Angel wrote: These were the same geniuses who botched the project to mount the US 90mm in the Sherman while claiming that their new 76mm gun design would defeat any German tank from any aspect at normal combat ranges - an untruth that became all too regrettably evident when the first tanks so armed FINALLY reached US ETO armored divisions in September 1944. I recall that Eisenhowerd was livid when he ultimately learned of the very modest AP performance of the 76mm.


Isn't it true that the first M36s with the 90mm gun arrived in the ETO in September 1944?

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Re: German tanks

Postby dunmunro » Tue May 17, 2011 6:50 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Bgile wrote: No, he is thinking of the KV-85, which was a tank.

Then of course there is the IS-2 ...

What were the specifications of the KV-85 in comparison to the Tiger?


http://www.battlefield.ru/en/tank-devel ... -kv85.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kliment_Vo ... ank#Models


The KV-85 seems fairly similar to the Tiger I in terms of firepower, armour and mobility.

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Re: German tanks

Postby Byron Angel » Wed May 18, 2011 4:17 am

lwd wrote:
Byron Angel wrote: ...These were the same geniuses who botched the project to mount the US 90mm in the Sherman ....

I'd like to see some sources on this. From what I recall reading when this was brought up it was pointed out that the Pershing would be available shortly after such a Sherman could be and the decision was to go with the Pershing. The latter however was delayed several months but that's a different matter.


..... I regret to say that portion of my library remains packed due to lack of shelf space in our new digs, so I cannot easily extract the data. From what I recall, the Pershing design was ready for mass production sometime in mid to late 1943, but was turned down fundamentally on the grounds that gearing up for its manufacture would affect the production volume of the existing Sherman model. Only a very small number of Pershings reached the ETO, strictly for operational evaluation purposes during the last waning days of the war.

B

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Re: German tanks

Postby Bgile » Wed May 18, 2011 5:21 am

There were several Pershings at the Remagen bridge, but couldn't cross because they were too heavy.

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Re: German tanks

Postby alecsandros » Wed May 18, 2011 7:54 am

dunmunro wrote: The KV-85 seems fairly similar to the Tiger I in terms of firepower, armour and mobility.

Nice info; it is indeed comparable...
Any thoughts on the quality of the build ? Targeting system, armor thickness equivalent, shell dud rate, etc ?

(I know the British made some tests on a captured Tiger and they found it's armor to be 10-15% more resistant to perforation than British plates of the same type. I have no info though over the quality of soviet tank armor)

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Re: German tanks

Postby Byron Angel » Wed May 18, 2011 12:34 pm

Bgile wrote:There were several Pershings at the Remagen bridge, but couldn't cross because they were too heavy.


..... The Pershing's size was a common argument raised in opposition to its deployment to Europe, but I wonder exactly how problematic it would have been. Between Panthers and Tigers, nearly half of the German tanks in the ETO were at least as large and heavy as the Pershing. The Soviets also operated similarly large AFVs in the East under substantially more primitive field and road net conditions.

To be fair, the one undeniable penalty to be paid for the Pershing's comparatively large size would have been on the logistical front - i.e.: transporting them to France.

B
Last edited by Byron Angel on Wed May 18, 2011 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: German tanks

Postby Byron Angel » Wed May 18, 2011 12:51 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote: The KV-85 seems fairly similar to the Tiger I in terms of firepower, armour and mobility.

Nice info; it is indeed comparable...
Any thoughts on the quality of the build ? Targeting system, armor thickness equivalent, shell dud rate, etc ?

(I know the British made some tests on a captured Tiger and they found it's armor to be 10-15% more resistant to perforation than British plates of the same type. I have no info though over the quality of soviet tank armor)



..... The AP performance of the Soviet 85mm gun was approximately equal to a German/Western 75/76mm high velocity gun; it was inferior to the guns of the German Panther and Tiger series tanks. This was not necessarily the fault of the gun itself (I have not seen any accuracy data for the Soviet gun for comparison), but of the design and quality of its AP projectile. Inferior performance of Soviet AP projectiles in general is what drove them to field the large calibers seen late in the war - SU-100 tank destroyer and the 122mm gun of the JS series heavy tank.

I would venture that German sighting equipment was likely substantially superior as well, assuming trained tank crews being available to make use of it.

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Re: German tanks

Postby lwd » Wed May 18, 2011 2:30 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
lwd wrote:
Byron Angel wrote: ...These were the same geniuses who botched the project to mount the US 90mm in the Sherman ....

I'd like to see some sources on this. From what I recall reading when this was brought up it was pointed out that the Pershing would be available shortly after such a Sherman could be and the decision was to go with the Pershing. The latter however was delayed several months but that's a different matter.

..... From what I recall, the Pershing design was ready for mass production sometime in mid to late 1943, but was turned down fundamentally on the grounds that gearing up for its manufacture would affect the production volume of the existing Sherman model. ...

From http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/veh ... rshing.htm some M-26's were produced in November of 43 but that doesn't mean that they were ready for mass production. One of the big objections was that the M-26 was too wide to fit on the bridges then existant in the engineering units. Impact on Sherman production may also have been a factor. I don't see anyting that poitns to a "botched" project to mount a 90mm gun on a Sherman however.
This source gives a bit more info on the development: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... rshing.htm
Some relevant quotes
In September 1942 the Ordnance Department suggested to arm one of T23 prototypes with a 90 milimeter gun. In 1943 there was a request for the production of fifty new vehicles, forty of which would be equipped with the same level of protection of T23 and ten of heavier armor in a position to compete with the German Tiger and Panther. Two heavy tank designs followed, the T25 and T26. Both mounted the a 90mm gun,
...
Continued experiments toward the development of a more reliable heavy tank were largely inspired by the appearance in 1943 of German heavy Panther (47-ton) and Tiger (63-ton) tanks.
...
On 24 May 1943 The War Department approved production of 10 T26 tanks as part of a larger production order on T20-series tanks. In an indorsement to an earlier Armored Command letter requesting adjustment to the production numbers of M4, on 13 September 1943 , the Ordnance Department requested production of an additional 500 T26s. General Lesley J. McNair, CG of AGF, successfully opposed this request. On 13 November 1943 General Jacob Devers, CG of the European Theater of Operations, requested production of 250 T26s. Because of McNair’s continued opposition to production of the T26 and other objections, on 7 December 1943 MG Joseph McNarney queried Devers whether his request was based on operational requirements. On 10 December 1943, Devers confirmed his request for production of 250 T26s. As of 21 February 1944 the Ordnance Department estimated first production of the 250 T26s in October 1944. Production actually began in November. Prototypes from the batch of 10 ordered in May 1943 started arriving during February 1944. On 20 May 1944 The Armored Board at Fort Knox emphasized that the T26 was not ready for production in its present state.

In early 1944, the US Army faced a critical decision regarding its armored forces: should it retain the M4 Sherman as its primary tank or accelerate production of the new M26 Pershing heavy tank? Army Ground Forces wanted 1,000 of the T26 and 7,000 of the lighter T25 with the T26 to be armed with the 76mm gun and the T25 with the 75mm gun. This demand was absurd from the industrial point of view. Armor Command felt the war would be won with the M4, and objected to the heavy tanks, which would have difficulty with the Corps of Engineers' bridges.

If you look at the table at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M26_Pershing#Variants
The first 90mm armed turrets were apparently produced in Jan of 44. These turrets could have been placed on a Sherman but I'm not at all sure what it would have weighed or what the RAM effects would have been.


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