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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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  #61  
Old 31 Oct 08, 14:00
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Cheer Purist and Panther for the input .

Certainly the 38t was a gap filler and riveted armour not really the way to go, but I did sort of cover myself saying upto The Battle Of Arras .

None of the german vehicles could really cope with the heavier French or British vehicles. It was the M4 of its time, incredibly reliable for the many miles required to outflank and outrun its opponents.

IIRC the Germans were going to base all their specialised light armour on it, so was very adaptable .

Still at work, but will respond more fully later .
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  #62  
Old 31 Oct 08, 19:42
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On my door step as I got home found a package. The Tiger Tank edited by David Fletcher. The first page I flick to is 117. The address of the report shown is Chobham Lane! So no hang ups on WW2 with armour then!
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  #63  
Old 01 Nov 08, 15:19
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In 1940, the 38t was used by the 7th and 8th Panzer divisions in B and C forms. The equivelent Pz III was the Ausf F, which was slightly better protected. However, neither really could cope with the 2pdr or 47mm. The Czech vehicle had an edge in ap, but neither the 38t or IIIF had enough power to hurt the Allied heavy/infantry tanks. So when comparing the two using the 'Fit for Purpose' rule, the 38t has a greater range, is mechanically incredibly sound, a tad faster, and half the weight. A better offensive weapon imho until Arras.

It also formed the basis of many useful light SP guns.
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  #64  
Old 02 Nov 08, 00:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
In 1940, the 38t was used by the 7th and 8th Panzer divisions in B and C forms. The equivelent Pz III was the Ausf F, which was slightly better protected. However, neither really could cope with the 2pdr or 47mm. The Czech vehicle had an edge in ap, but neither the 38t or IIIF had enough power to hurt the Allied heavy/infantry tanks. So when comparing the two using the 'Fit for Purpose' rule, the 38t has a greater range, is mechanically incredibly sound, a tad faster, and half the weight. A better offensive weapon imho until Arras.

It also formed the basis of many useful light SP guns.
The PzKpfw III was more than 'slightly' better protected when you take into account not only the extra thickness but also the quality of the armour protection. The riveted setup on the 38(t) was horrible. The Panzer 3 also had greater capacity for future up-armouring.

There was as close to bugger all difference in speed that it didn't matter and the two tanks were about equal for mechanical reliability.

Interior ergonomics were much better in the Panzer 3, which had a 5-man crew (3-man turret); even so, the 38(t) was still more cramped inside.

As you have already pointed out, there was little effective difference between the 37mm main armaments and furthermore, the Panzer 3 with its larger diameter turret ring and bigger turret had considerably better potential for up-gunning; a potential that was realized shortly afterwards and left the 38(t) well and truly behind.

These factors made the 38(t) of relatively limited viability as a battle tank, especially after 1940. Your proposed case for nominating it as "best tank of 1939-40" has clearly been debunked, as the Panzer III was unquestionably the superior of those two tanks even during that limited time. About everything else that I need to say, regarding the 38(t) and its contribution to the Panzerwaffe from 1939 to 1941, has already been said I think.
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  #65  
Old 02 Nov 08, 05:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
The PzKpfw III was more than 'slightly' better protected when you take into account not only the extra thickness but also the quality of the armour protection. The riveted setup on the 38(t) was horrible. The Panzer 3 also had greater capacity for future up-armouring.

There was as close to bugger all difference in speed that it didn't matter and the two tanks were about equal for mechanical reliability.

Interior ergonomics were much better in the Panzer 3, which had a 5-man crew (3-man turret); even so, the 38(t) was still more cramped inside.

As you have already pointed out, there was little effective difference between the 37mm main armaments and furthermore, the Panzer 3 with its larger diameter turret ring and bigger turret had considerably better potential for up-gunning; a potential that was realized shortly afterwards and left the 38(t) well and truly behind.

These factors made the 38(t) of relatively limited viability as a battle tank, especially after 1940. Your proposed case for nominating it as "best tank of 1939-40" has clearly been debunked, as the Panzer III was unquestionably the superior of those two tanks even during that limited time. About everything else that I need to say, regarding the 38(t) and its contribution to the Panzerwaffe from 1939 to 1941, has already been said I think.
Debunked .

Not for what was required for 1939-40 imho. I refer to what I wrote above. Basically you have a vehicle very close in ability, with only half the weight and greater range. Neither could cope in a head to head with any heavy allied tank, but that was not what was required. The 38t was clearly a better offensive weapon in 39 and early 1940 .

Completely agree with you on the the III after Arras though.
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  #66  
Old 02 Nov 08, 07:21
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What would you prefer for a Pz.Kpfw. IV? An H, or a J?
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  #67  
Old 02 Nov 08, 08:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Debunked .

Not for what was required for 1939-40 imho."
Again, your proposal was that the 38(t) was the best tank in 1939-40 and this HAS been clearly debunked. All the necessary evidence and facts have been presented. It may have been a 'good' second to the PzKpfw III but it was still second. All attributes taken into account, the overally balance of qualities that counted in battle - offensive or otherwise, before or after Arras - for a battle tank was tilted more greatly in favour of the Panzer 3 than of the 38(t). A near as dammit equal gun, very near equal mobility, much better protection and far superior internal layout and ergonomics (this last making more of a difference than most would think) clinch the deal. No other reasonable verdict is plausible.

As worthy and as the 38(t) proved to be in the early stages of the war, it can never credibly claim to have been the best tank in the World by 1940. You seem to have a love affair with this machine.
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  #68  
Old 02 Nov 08, 08:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar1 View Post
What would you prefer for a Pz.Kpfw. IV? An H, or a J?
An H. The J was just a rationalized H, with the auxiliary engine removed so you had no electric turret traverse.
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  #69  
Old 02 Nov 08, 18:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Again, your proposal was that the 38(t) was the best tank in 1939-40 and this HAS been clearly debunked. All the necessary evidence and facts have been presented. It may have been a 'good' second to the PzKpfw III but it was still second. All attributes taken into account, the overally balance of qualities that counted in battle - offensive or otherwise, before or after Arras - for a battle tank was tilted more greatly in favour of the Panzer 3 than of the 38(t). A near as dammit equal gun, very near equal mobility, much better protection and far superior internal layout and ergonomics (this last making more of a difference than most would think) clinch the deal. No other reasonable verdict is plausible.

As worthy and as the 38(t) proved to be in the early stages of the war, it can never credibly claim to have been the best tank in the World by 1940.
I do understand where you are coming from, especially the point re the internal layout and ergonomics. Its the fit for purpose rule. Armour was better on the III but still not good enough. It was twice as heavy, and had poorer range and fuel consumption than the 38t. To put it this way - if I need to buy a car and I had a choice between a Ford Focus 1.6 and a BMW 318 the latter looks better, but all I need it for is commuting to work, and shopping. The Focus does the job just as well and is much cheaper, and has better fuel economy. Neither would cope with a race with a DB9, but that is not what is required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
You seem to have a love affair with this machine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
An H. The J was just a rationalized H, with the auxiliary engine removed so you had no electric turret traverse.
I agree with you here though .
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Old 02 Nov 08, 19:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"I do understand where you are coming from, especially the point re the internal layout and ergonomics. Its the fit for purpose rule."
Precisely; and taken on an assessment of its overall balance of attributes, the Panzer 3 was a better fit for the purpose than the 38(t) but the 38(t) was certainly good enough to supplement the inadequate numbers of Panzer 3s.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"Armour was better on the III but still not good enough."
The effective difference was still substantial, especially given the riveted setup on the 38(t). The Czech tank's armour didn't even have to be penetrated; any significant impact would sent bolt chunks flying around inside, in addition to a certain amount of spalling that would occur on either tank. Bloody wretched.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"It was twice as heavy,..."
IIRC not quite, but the extra weight of the Panzer 3 came from having half decent armour all around and enough 'size' (read, internal volume) to provide adequate space for the crew and all working elements. The 38(t) was too light and this seriously compromised its worthiness as a battle tank. Even for a crew of 4 it was much too cramped and its armour was inadequate both in quantity AND quality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"... and had poorer range and fuel consumption than the 38t."
You can select a certain aspect of the mobility dynamic that somewhat favours the 38(t) but with all mobility aspects considered, the Czech tank does not enjoy all that much of a margin over the German tank. Certainly, the Panzer 3's overall mobility factor was good enough for successful prosecution of blitzkrieg.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
"To put it this way - if I need to buy a car and I had a choice between a Ford Focus 1.6 and a BMW 318 the latter looks better, but all I need it for is commuting to work, and shopping. The Focus does the job just as well and is much cheaper, and has better fuel economy. Neither would cope with a race with a DB9, but that is not what is required."
The cars are not made to fight battles from and I don't need to be presented with something like this to understand the benefit of better fuel economy. That benefit is obvious to me and I have already weighed it into the overall balance.

It's all very well to focus on a particular aspect of mobility (as I mentioned above) but if the overall comparative mobility dynamic of both tanks was fairly close - which I believe it was - and if both tanks were good enough for the purpose in this regard - which I'm quite certain was the case - then the verdict should rest more heavily on other attributes which help to determine the relative battle-worthiness of these two tanks. These factors have already been covered and it is in the balance of these vital attributes that the Panzer 3 is clearly the better tank.
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Old 03 Nov 08, 09:11
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I do understand what you are saying . The PzIII was better armoured, had an additional crew member, and better ergonomics. The 38t was lighter, cheaper, more fuel efficient and possessed a greater range.

If you had two armies identical in every respect, except one had 38t's and the other had III's I too would choose the III. But we're not. We're talking about defeating the French. The 38t has the same offensive capability as the III, and a greater radius of action. Its lower weight means smaller bridges can be crossed and less engineering back up when required, easing the supply train.

I'm lucky enough to have a decent cordless power drill/screwdriver, which I would rate far better than a simple screwdriver 9 times out of 10. I do still have standard screwdrivers for some jobs though. Just like the screwdrivers, when rating the two vehicles the III definetely looks better overall, but for the job at hand the 38t is the most useful kit imo .
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Old 03 Nov 08, 09:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I do understand what you are saying . The PzIII was better armoured, had an additional crew member, and better ergonomics. The 38t was lighter, cheaper, more fuel efficient and possessed a greater range.

If you had two armies identical in every respect, except one had 38t's and the other had III's I too would choose the III. But we're not. We're talking about defeating the French. The 38t has the same offensive capability as the III, and a greater radius of action. Its lower weight means smaller bridges can be crossed and less engineering back up when required, easing the supply train.

I'm lucky enough to have a decent cordless power drill/screwdriver, which I would rate far better than a simple screwdriver 9 times out of 10. I do still have standard screwdrivers for some jobs though. Just like the screwdrivers, when rating the two vehicles the III definetely looks better overall, but for the job at hand the 38t is the most useful kit imo .
As stated before, the "job at hand" involves far more than just motoring and saving fuel. When you have to fight - and after all, that's when the crunch comes - it's combat worthiness that counts. There is quite a bit more to it than just the gunpower of the two vehicles being near equal. I would have to disagree with you strongly, based on overall balance of vehicle attributes. Getting there is only part of the story (and the Panzer 3 was almost as good in that regard). Once you got there and had to fight - or had to stop and fight along the way - the Panzer 3 clearly outclasses the 38(t) on overall balance. One could argue that the Panzer 3 was either better for the purpose or, in the general circumstances you have outlined, overall not much more than equal on balance. But never that the 38(t) was better overall. Sorry, but it just doesn't fly, mate.

Any way you cut the salami, your original assertion that the 38(t) was the best tank of 1939-40 is patently absurd. And I suspect you know it.
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Old 03 Nov 08, 12:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
As stated before, the "job at hand" involves far more than just motoring and saving fuel. When you have to fight - and after all, that's when the crunch comes - it's combat worthiness that counts. There is quite a bit more to it than just the gunpower of the two vehicles being near equal. I would have to disagree with you strongly, based on overall balance of vehicle attributes. Getting there is only part of the story (and the Panzer 3 was almost as good in that regard). Once you got there and had to fight - or had to stop and fight along the way - the Panzer 3 clearly outclasses the 38(t) on overall balance. One could argue that the Panzer 3 was either better for the purpose or, in the general circumstances you have outlined, overall not much more than equal on balance. But never that the 38(t) was better overall. Sorry, but it just doesn't fly, mate.

Any way you cut the salami, your original assertion that the 38(t) was the best tank of 1939-40 is patently absurd. And I suspect you know it.
I am patently absurd, but suspect I don't know it . I'm sticking with 38t for the reasons I stated above .
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Old 16 Nov 08, 15:46
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Old 16 Nov 08, 15:47
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Real Name: Tin Pot Noodle
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Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
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