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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II > German and Axis Armor

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German and Axis Armor Discuss German and Axis armored fighting vehicles in World War II. This is also the forum for Achtung Panzer.

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  #46  
Old 26 Oct 08, 20:03
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Originally Posted by Chattus View Post
From the middle of 1944, the Pz. IV (and the Stug!) wasnīt longer a equal opponent to the axis tanks, especially the T-34/85, IS-Series and later the Pershing. But there wasnīt enough Pantherīs to fill the gap if the production of the Pz. IV was stopped, so, the Pz. IV where produced until wars end.
Probably not, but as an overall contender for 'Top Tank' of ww2 its not a bad choice. As for Stugs don't know enough about Stug III and IV, apart from the obvious difference, to determine which was best.
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  #47  
Old 26 Oct 08, 20:17
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Originally Posted by frisco17 View Post
I completely agree, although not in that order.
Can't quite do a top 5 as Matilda 2 (first tank with Tiger effect) and Pz 38t (imho best tank 39-40) needs to be included. While I don't currently (I change my mind more than a girl) believe the T34 is better than an M4, I do believe the T34 was better on the Eastern Front then the M4 on the Western. Fit for purpose and all that. Do believe the Pz IV is an unsung (anti) hero. Pz IV compared with Panther? Bit like comparing the Jagdpanzer to the Jagdpanther. The latter looks much sexier but was it better?
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  #48  
Old 27 Oct 08, 03:38
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"Can't quite do a top 5 as Matilda 2 (first tank with Tiger effect) and Pz 38t (imho best tank 39-40) needs to be included."
38(t) best tank 39-40?

Do you think the Germans believed it to be better than their own PzKpfw III? Or the PzKpfw IV?
What about the French Somua S-35, British Matilda II? (Even the Soviet T-34 entered service before the end of 1940.) I'd be curious to know by what criteria you judge the PzKpfw 38(t) to be superior to all of these.


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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"Pz IV compared with Panther? Bit like comparing the Jagdpanzer to the Jagdpanther. The latter looks much sexier but was it better?"
What's your idea of 'better'?
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  #49  
Old 27 Oct 08, 08:01
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Depends on the situation. If stationary, with very little movement, the Panther. If much movement, the Pz.Kpfw. IV.
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  #50  
Old 27 Oct 08, 08:24
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Originally Posted by cougar1 View Post
Depends on the situation. If stationary, with very little movement, the Panther. If much movement, the Pz.Kpfw. IV.
On the other hand, the Panther had become relatively reliable (when compared with its earlier poor serviceability record) by early-mid 1944 and had superior cross-country mobility to the PzKpfw IV. But I'd still go with the Panzer 4 for sustained road marches.
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  #51  
Old 28 Oct 08, 21:13
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But off-road,the Panther is better, with its wider tracks.
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  #52  
Old 29 Oct 08, 01:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar1 View Post
"But off-road,the Panther is better, with its wider tracks."
... combined with large diameter interleaved roadwheels, supple & compliant double torsion bar suspension and generous range of suspension movement.
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  #53  
Old 29 Oct 08, 21:48
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But the Pz.Kpfw. IV is simpler and easier to maintain.
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  #54  
Old 30 Oct 08, 00:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar1 View Post
But the Pz.Kpfw. IV is simpler and easier to maintain.
Yes. The cost of maintenance (in time, parts and other material resources) to keep a Panther in serviceable running order was higher. This of course would be weighed in the balance against the benefits of fielding a more potent tank. Cost/benefit ratio, and debateable whether it was worth it, overall. We could probably go through several pages of a thread discussing it!
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Last edited by panther3485; 30 Oct 08 at 00:02..
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  #55  
Old 30 Oct 08, 17:22
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Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Yes. The cost of maintenance (in time, parts and other material resources) to keep a Panther in serviceable running order was higher. This of course would be weighed in the balance against the benefits of fielding a more potent tank. Cost/benefit ratio, and debateable whether it was worth it, overall. We could probably go through several pages of a thread discussing it!
I need to read more on German armour, (like I don't have better things to do ), but have just purchased David Fletchers book on the Tiger A British View.
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  #56  
Old 30 Oct 08, 18:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
38(t) best tank 39-40?

Do you think the Germans believed it to be better than their own PzKpfw III? Or the PzKpfw IV?
What about the French Somua S-35, British Matilda II? (Even the Soviet T-34 entered service before the end of 1940.) I'd be curious to know by what criteria you judge the PzKpfw 38(t) to be superior to all of these.
Don't know the German view, but IIRC it was you who nudged me onto the path of Best Fit 4 Purpose !

French Souma is one of those thats looks great on paper, but that one man turret is a killer. Not enough Matilda 2's to count in 1939 (only 2 when war started?), so count it as the best tank 40-41 for its effect at Arras (with the more numerous 1's), and against the Italians. Same type of reason for the T34 is with the numbers and effect, but certainly come 41-42 the only vehicle that could come close would be a IV with an L43, and that was only the latter part of the period.

The 38t was perfect for the German requirements. Reasonable gun, reasonable armour, good mobility, all relative speaking and absolutely fantastic chassis and reliability. Without which the Blitzkrieg could not take place and we would not be having this conversation.

Just my current view which will almost certainly change with the weather .
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  #57  
Old 30 Oct 08, 18:52
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Originally Posted by cougar1 View Post
But the Pz.Kpfw. IV is simpler and easier to maintain.
Certainly in the M4 and T34 rather than M26/IS-II catergory.
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  #58  
Old 30 Oct 08, 21:05
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Still...the M26/IS-II are simpler than the Tiger and Panther tanks!
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  #59  
Old 31 Oct 08, 00:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle
...The 38t was perfect for the German requirements. Reasonable gun, reasonable armour, good mobility, all relative speaking and absolutely fantastic chassis and reliability. Without which the Blitzkrieg could not take place and we would not be having this conversation...
The Pz III had a better gun, better armour, at least equivalent mobility where it mattered an even better and more adaptable chasis. There were always more Pz IIIs than Pz 38t. Pz 38t supplemented the Pz III as a good "second choice" but was by no means a better vehicle.

Compare the Pz 38t (A) and (D) (the main production models) to the Pz IIIF, G and H and the Pz III comes out ahead.
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Old 31 Oct 08, 05:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"Don't know the German view, but IIRC it was you who nudged me onto the path of Best Fit 4 Purpose !

French Souma is one of those thats looks great on paper, but that one man turret is a killer. Not enough Matilda 2's to count in 1939 (only 2 when war started?), so count it as the best tank 40-41 for its effect at Arras (with the more numerous 1's), and against the Italians. Same type of reason for the T34 is with the numbers and effect, but certainly come 41-42 the only vehicle that could come close would be a IV with an L43, and that was only the latter part of the period.

The 38t was perfect for the German requirements. Reasonable gun, reasonable armour, good mobility, all relative speaking and absolutely fantastic chassis and reliability. Without which the Blitzkrieg could not take place and we would not be having this conversation."
IIRC, you put the 38(t) forward as the best tank of 39-40.

I could easily argue the toss regarding any of the other tanks mentioned but I hardly need to when you look at the Germans' own PzKpfw III which was clearly superior to the 38(t). Main problem is they just hadn't built enough of them in time for those early campaigns. PzKpfw 38(t) was an expedient until the Germans could build enough PzKpfw IIIs (and subsequently, PzKpfw IVs). It was really no more than adequate for this task in 1940, certainly not "perfect".

Regarding numbers, the following principal combat types were in the German inventory as of 1 May 1940 (most numerous to least numerous):

PzKpfw II - 1,092
PzKpfw I - 1,077
PzKpfw III - 381
PzKpfw IV - 290
PzKpfw 38(t) - 238
PzKpfw 35(t) - 143

The 38(t) was a gap filler and in no way a 'best tank' candidate. Certainly, it was numerous enough to be a valuable addition to the German tank force but one could hardly give it credit for carrying the campaign. If the Germans would have suffered from the absence of 238 Panzer 38(t) in 1940, they would have suffered considerably more from the absence of 381 Panzer 3 or 290 Panzer 4, which were unquestionably the two best tank types at their disposal. And this is to say nothing of the lighter Panzers 1 and 2 which, by virtue of their sheer numbers alone, would have been called upon to shoulder the lion's share of the burden regardless of their technical inadequacy!

Therefore, to argue, "Without which the Blitzkrieg could not take place and we would not be having this conversation." ... for the 38(t) alone is ludicrous, given that it was neither as good nor as numerous as either the Panzer 3 or the Panzer 4 in the Polish and French campaigns, each of those two German types deserving greater credit. Certainly, it was better than the Panzer 2 but that's not saying a great deal. Bear in mind also that the 1940 campaign was the relative high point for the 38(t) in the Panzerwaffe, compared to the total of Panzers 3 & 4. In this respect it had no more than a token inventory presence at the start of the 1939 Polish campaign:

PzKpfw I - 1,445
PzKpfw II - 1,223
PzKpfw IV - 211
PzKpfw 35(t) - 202
PzKpfw III - 98
PzKpfw 38(t) - 78

And, Barbarossa 1941:

PzKpfw III - 1,440
PzKpfw II - 1,074
PzKpfw I - 877
PzKpfw 38(t) - 754
PzKpfw IV - 517
PzKpfw 35(t) - 170

... where, despite the greater number of 38(t) since the previous year, their overall proportion compared to Panzer III was lower and they were even less viable than either the Panzer 3 or Panzer 4 against the opposition.


Pages 88, 117 and 186, 'Panzer Truppen - The Complete Guide to the Creation & Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force - Vol 1, 1933-1942', Thomas Jentz, Schiffer Military History.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"Just my current view which will almost certainly change with the weather" .
Which is a substantial part of the problem. To use the Australian vernacular, "Like a two-bob watch". Sometimes it looks to me like you'll throw out any old line of half-baked nonsense just to see what you get back. But then I guess that makes me the sucker, for being stupid enough to respond.
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"England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

Last edited by panther3485; 31 Oct 08 at 06:03..
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