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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #31  
Old 13 May 16, 22:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
For example, I read about a case in Normandy where the 654th PzJr Abt (Jadgpanthers) had three vehicles placed on a ridge line covering an expected British line of advance. When Chruchills from a tank brigade began to advance as expected, these three Jadgpanthers opened fire destroying several British tanks. The British returned fire, then 25 pdr artillery started landing on the Germans. One Jadgpanther lost a track. The other two retired to avoid destruction. The vehicle that lost a track was captured.

Account of 3RD (TANK) BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS action at CAUMONT, 30 July 1944.

On 28 August 1944 a party of Officers, at a time when the Battalion was resting near TINCHEBRAY, went to LES LOGES further to examine the battlefield and to try and determine more accurately the strength of the enemy and reconstruct their action which had knocked out eleven SCOTS GUARDS CHURCHILLS.

By following the tracks which the enemy vehicles had made, and by noting where the empty 88 mm shell cases lay, it was confirmed that three enemy vehicles had been responsible for causing the damage - one from the house in the orchard to the left rear of ‘S’ Squadron, one which had come up under the crest of the hill right through ‘S’ Squadron, and one which must have fired from a more South-Easterly direction and had knocked out two tanks. The one which came up through the position had withdrawn to an orchard about 1/2 a mile to the East. In this orchard were a number of tank tracks, which led to the supposition that it might have been a harbour area for the Germans. Tracks led from this orchard onto the main road running East from LES LOGES.

About a mile down this road a JAGDPANTHER was found. It had apparently pulled off the road into a field on the right. Here it had a track, and apparently set on fire by its own crew. There was no sign of a hit on it, but the whole inside was burnt out and one side ripped open by exploding ammunition. None of those Officers, who saw this JAGDPANTHER now, had seen one, either in the flesh or on a recognition chart, before. It was a stupendous equipment. A very long 88mm gun stuck out from a very heavily armoured sloping front plate. Long sloping sides extended for three-quarters of the length of the vehicle. The gun appeared to have about 20 degrees of traverse. On the top were two exit hatches for the crew. All round was a length of wire on which camouflage could be hung - camouflage which would not interfere with the rotation of the turret, as on a tank.

Later, another JAGDPANTHER was found in ST MARTIN DES BESACES railway station. This one was fairly intact. It had been recovered by 6th GUARDS TANK Heavy Recovery Section. Inquiries there revealed that it had been found about 1/2 a mile beyond the burn-out one, and recovered to ST. MARTIN. When found, the only apparent damage, apart from two small holes in the side and the roof, which did not in any way affect the working of the tank, was two missing teeth in the left front sprocket. These must have broken the left track. Two new links were found in it, showing where it had first been repaired, and it was again broken when found. The crew had obviously then given up hope of repairing it and therefore abandoned it. The Gunner and Commander of Lieutenant BANKES’ tank had originally claimed a hit with a 75mm H.E. on this part of an enemy vehicle. The credit for having stopped it is therefore accorded to them. The two holes in the hull, which were very small, may also have been caused during the action - or, possibly, by infantry PIATS after the equipment had been abandoned. Two 88mm rounds, one an H.E. and one and A.P., were taken from this JAGDPANTHER and will be preserved. They are 3 feet 10 inches long.

The discovery of two abandoned specimens of this German S.P. gun - their latest and certainly most formidable anti-tank weapon - lead to the feeling in the Battalion that a certain revenge had been taken for the loss of eleven CHURCHILLS and many of their crews.
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  #32  
Old 14 May 16, 03:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m kenny View Post
Account of 3RD (TANK) BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS action at CAUMONT, 30 July 1944.

On 28 August 1944 a party of Officers, at a time when the Battalion was resting near TINCHEBRAY, went to LES LOGES further to examine the battlefield and to try and determine more accurately the strength of the enemy and reconstruct their action which had knocked out eleven SCOTS GUARDS CHURCHILLS.

By following the tracks which the enemy vehicles had made, and by noting where the empty 88 mm shell cases lay, it was confirmed that three enemy vehicles had been responsible for causing the damage - one from the house in the orchard to the left rear of ‘S’ Squadron, one which had come up under the crest of the hill right through ‘S’ Squadron, and one which must have fired from a more South-Easterly direction and had knocked out two tanks. The one which came up through the position had withdrawn to an orchard about 1/2 a mile to the East. In this orchard were a number of tank tracks, which led to the supposition that it might have been a harbour area for the Germans. Tracks led from this orchard onto the main road running East from LES LOGES.

About a mile down this road a JAGDPANTHER was found. It had apparently pulled off the road into a field on the right. Here it had a track, and apparently set on fire by its own crew. There was no sign of a hit on it, but the whole inside was burnt out and one side ripped open by exploding ammunition. None of those Officers, who saw this JAGDPANTHER now, had seen one, either in the flesh or on a recognition chart, before. It was a stupendous equipment. A very long 88mm gun stuck out from a very heavily armoured sloping front plate. Long sloping sides extended for three-quarters of the length of the vehicle. The gun appeared to have about 20 degrees of traverse. On the top were two exit hatches for the crew. All round was a length of wire on which camouflage could be hung - camouflage which would not interfere with the rotation of the turret, as on a tank.

Later, another JAGDPANTHER was found in ST MARTIN DES BESACES railway station. This one was fairly intact. It had been recovered by 6th GUARDS TANK Heavy Recovery Section. Inquiries there revealed that it had been found about 1/2 a mile beyond the burn-out one, and recovered to ST. MARTIN. When found, the only apparent damage, apart from two small holes in the side and the roof, which did not in any way affect the working of the tank, was two missing teeth in the left front sprocket. These must have broken the left track. Two new links were found in it, showing where it had first been repaired, and it was again broken when found. The crew had obviously then given up hope of repairing it and therefore abandoned it. The Gunner and Commander of Lieutenant BANKES’ tank had originally claimed a hit with a 75mm H.E. on this part of an enemy vehicle. The credit for having stopped it is therefore accorded to them. The two holes in the hull, which were very small, may also have been caused during the action - or, possibly, by infantry PIATS after the equipment had been abandoned. Two 88mm rounds, one an H.E. and one and A.P., were taken from this JAGDPANTHER and will be preserved. They are 3 feet 10 inches long.

The discovery of two abandoned specimens of this German S.P. gun - their latest and certainly most formidable anti-tank weapon - lead to the feeling in the Battalion that a certain revenge had been taken for the loss of eleven CHURCHILLS and many of their crews.
Conversely, this loss of Churchills coincides at the same time that the Guards Tank Brigade took Hill 309, a major achievement, only possible with Churchills at that time.

However, the biggest lesson learned from this battle, was that kit was less important than training, the 3rd Scots in tanks having trained with the 15th Scottish infantry division before the campaign. This lesson was learned by the US as well, with the independent tank battalion that were permanently assigned to an infantry division performing better than those battalions that were assigned where the need was judged greatest.

Training is one of the reasons why W Ally tanks were usually the equal of Panthers and Tigers in the same tactical situation, despite theoretical disparity of armour and gun power.
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  #33  
Old 14 May 16, 04:22
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I guess numbers helped also.
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  #34  
Old 14 May 16, 08:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backfire View Post
I guess numbers helped also.
In winning the war, undoubtedly helped. However, as far as Normandy is concerned, W Ally tanks and German tanks fared as well as each other in the same situations. This is because war is not fair, and the defender has the advantage, firing at the appropriate range. The real difference between encounters is that the W Allied tanks had to wait until the enemy was closer to make the kill, but the end result was the same.
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  #35  
Old 15 May 16, 06:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m kenny View Post
Arloncourt , Jan 2 1945. 68th Tank Battalion, 'B' Coy.

Accounts say B Coy had 15 Shermans knocked out but given that no AAR for the Unit is online I suspect the number 15 is culled from post war accounts that state 'All but one of B Coy were knocked out'.

For the claim 2 TII knocked out 15 Shermans 2 assumptions are made.

1. B Coy 68 TB were at full strength-at a time when every other unit was running under TOE.
2. The only enemy fire came from the TIIs.

For an example of how secondary post war accounts were (wrongly) used to vastly inflate US tank losses in a specific engagement see

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...?f=47&t=220503
These assumptions are a constant, especially return fire being only from German tanks, when dealing with any Axis:Allied tank v tank unit encounter. Equally, German data is often seen as Divine writ and not subject to verification. However, the worst culprit is the differing way losses were reported (and how these were later interpreted): for the Germans. a tank wasn't lost a casualty unless it couldn't be recovered. Okay, mild exaggeration but different reporting criteria result in skewed interpretations.
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  #36  
Old 15 May 16, 15:05
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Given that at any point after D-Day the Germans had less than 100 Tiger tanks in the ETO / NW Europe, and usually less than 50, it would be a pretty big stretch to say these vehicles were going to have any sort of decisive impact on the outcome of anything. At most, they could be a tactical annoyance. A mere rock on a beach trying to hold back the tide. That's the reality of Tigers in Europe.
The same holds true in Italy, and even on the Eastern Front.
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  #37  
Old 16 May 16, 06:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Given that at any point after D-Day the Germans had less than 100 Tiger tanks in the ETO / NW Europe, and usually less than 50, it would be a pretty big stretch to say these vehicles were going to have any sort of decisive impact on the outcome of anything. At most, they could be a tactical annoyance. A mere rock on a beach trying to hold back the tide. That's the reality of Tigers in Europe.
The same holds true in Italy, and even on the Eastern Front.
I think in Italy the Tiger was a more effective bung in the bottle, if only due to the geography. For northern and eastern Europe, the bottlenecks were much too wide for a small number of Tigers to block.
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  #38  
Old 16 May 16, 20:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
I think in Italy the Tiger was a more effective bung in the bottle, if only due to the geography. For northern and eastern Europe, the bottlenecks were much too wide for a small number of Tigers to block.
There was a single battalion (504) there (along with a short lived company with HG Panzer) equipped with Tiger I. S. Pz Abt 508 might have relieved 504 in late 1944 so 504 could re-equip with new vehicles.

HG Panzer saw action on Sicily and at Salerno without much success. 504 was at Anzio during the German offensive there and pretty much accomplished little. It had somewhat more impact later in defensive operations.
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Old 16 May 16, 20:16
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I recall us using willie pete out of 4.2" motors to get the crews of the panthers and tigers to bail out. (They bailed out due to asphyxiation.)

Then the explosive mix would off the lousy suckers...
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  #40  
Old 10 Sep 16, 16:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDonT4 View Post
Absolutely. Germany tactics actually devolved as the war progressed. They relied increasingly on heavier weapons that prevented them from effectively engaging in maneuver warfare that made them so deadly in the war's early years.

The overall German kill rate in fact decreased despite the introduction of supposedly superior Tiger and Panther tanks because most enemy tanks are destroyed by knocking out their supply system through maneuver warfare, not direct combat. Even in direct combat, it was almost always the lighter Stugs and Mk IVs that were more effective because they could maneuver to better shooting locations and seize key terrain while the heavy Panthers and Tigers were still on their way.

However, during those rare times when a Tiger or Panther get into battle with Shermans, their tactical superiority is decisive.
Mounting losses certainly influenced the quality of tank crews and command cadre too. As years went forwards, Germans started to break the own essential rules of not using tanks piecemeal as individual fighting weapon but as smallest unit as tank platoon or tank company, and of the tank not being a detached infantry support weapon. It breaks into and through the enemy line, for the closely following infantry.

Even on strategic level, Panzer Army was by all means and purposes indistinguishable from any other army as time passed, yet it existed at the expense of the tradition of the old Panzergruppe as extremely mobile formation.
Armies, with their vast operational and supply apparatus were connected to an operational area, to a specific territory. The panzergruppe, however, as a resource under the operational command of the army group, was a reserve and spearhead force, which hovers over the entire operational theatre of the army group, observes the fighting taking place in the army sectors, and is quickly thrown to that spot where its appearance alone will decide the outcome of the battle.
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  #41  
Old 17 Jan 17, 13:22
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Wondering if anyone can help me out. I have read here and there mentions of an engagement where an M10 GMC engaged and knocked out two Tiger II's. Anybody know anything of this or similar, and if so sources? Thanks!
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  #42  
Old 17 Jan 17, 16:48
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Only 1 knocked out Tiger II in this story but maybe its of intrest

http://www.battleofthebulgememories....tiger-222.html
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  #43  
Old 17 Jan 17, 17:58
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Tiger tanks in actions versus the US Army in the ETO were actually pretty rare. Narrowing that down to the Tiger II, they are even more so.
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Old 17 Jan 17, 20:59
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Maurice Rose (3AD) was killed during an attack by king tigers. The general was captured and then gunned down.
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Old 17 Jan 17, 22:03
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Maurice Rose (3AD) was killed during an attack by king tigers. The general was captured and then gunned down.
He wasn't "captured" but rather was shot dead while trying to surrender, not an uncommon happenstance in the heat of battle. This was a battle near Paderborn on 30 March 1945 where TF Welburn was attacking toward Dörenhagen and Dahl near Paderborn and ran into an ambush by 3/507 of S. Pz Abt. 507.
The USAAF had just minutes before dropped napalm all over the area the Tigers were in with the pilots claiming they'd destroyed them (erroneously). The 10 Tiger II in the area proceeded to shoot up the advancing US column who lost close to a dozen Shermans in the first minutes of fighting.

The Tigers pulled back towards Dahl after the initial ambush.
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