German tanks

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

Post by lwd » Fri May 13, 2011 3:30 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
Well fo course there is literature supporting the tanks of the western allies defeating Tigers on the battlefield.
Let's see it.
???? Perhaps there is a language problem at work here. All you have to do is google "death Wittman" and you''ll find a bunch.
The problem though isn't the data or, statistics if you prefer, it's the interpretation or misinterpretation of the data.
So, Willbeck, Jentz and Schneider are morons that made a flawed interpretation. Maybe you are more qualified to interpret the data?
Strawman. I never said that they were morons. Indeed I haven't even said their interpretation was flawed. As for our qualifications to interpret the data I haven't made any claims there either although it's possible depending on just what the question is I might be. But you seem to be assuming that their interpreations are different from mine. I'm not at all convinced that is the case. Clearly however the two of us differ in both our defintions of things and our interpretations.
For instance the fact that TD's were supposed to be the primary antitank system in the US Army doesn't meant that doctrine "never called for tanks to fight tanks" or that Shermans were "never ment to fight and destroy other tanks".
Is that you stating that or there is back up for such a claim?
It's rather obvious isn't it? Why put AP rounds in a vehicle that's "never ment to fight and destroy other tanks" to fight tanks? But if you wish there is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_Sherman ... _prototype
As the US approached entry in World War II, armored employment was doctrinally governed by FM 100-5 Operations (published May 1941, the month following selection of the M4 tank's final design). That FM stated that: "The armored division is organized primarily to perform missions that require great mobility and firepower. It is given decisive missions. It is capable of engaging in all forms of combat, but its primary role is in offensive operations against hostile rear areas."[10] In other words, the M4 was envisioned to primarily fill the role of a cruiser tank — although the US Army did not use that doctrinal term. The M4 was not primarily intended as an infantry support tank; in fact, FM 100-5 specifically stated the opposite. It placed tanks in the "striking echelon" of the armored division, and placed the infantry in the "support echelon". Neither was the M4 primarily intended for tank versus tank action. Doctrinally, anti-tank engagements were the primary role of tank destroyers. The field manual covering the use of the Sherman (FM 17-33, "The Tank Battalion, Light and Medium" of September 1942) devoted one page of text and four diagrams to tank versus tank action (out of 142 pages)
I'm sure a little research will produce more and better infor in this regard.
Well it depends on how you define better
You will define it: two tanks in a battlefied, a Tiger and a Sherman, fully armed, the German tank obviously with a Waffen SS crew veteran from Russia or whatever, the US one with whatever experience they had before landing in Normandy, one or two kilometers to manouver, tell me in which one you think you have a good chance to survive and knock out the other?
But of course that's not how I would define it. Indeed it's a classic case of subotimization. The real purpose of the tank isn't to win duels, it's to help your army win battles, campaigns, and wars.
If you choose some reasonable definition then I submit that the confounding factors in the above statistics simply don't allow you to make a well supported conclusive statement.
That's pretty much it: a nonsense argument just in order to halt any counter-argument.
But of course it's not nonsence. How do you seperate the quality of the tank from the quality of the crew and the impact of terrain and strategic posture? So even judging just how good a tank is in a dual becomes somewhat problematic. In the case of the Tiger vs western tanks there does exist enough data to make qualitative judgements in this regard but of course once you progress beyond a simple duel it becomes less certain until you move back far enough to look at it from say an army perspective or perhaps even a divisional one at which point things don't necessarily favor the Tiger.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: German tanks

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat May 14, 2011 2:12 am

lwd:
???? Perhaps there is a language problem at work here. All you have to do is google "death Wittman" and you''ll find a bunch.
Is that your answer? First of all you didn't produce any literature that supports a favourable kill ratio of Shermans vs. Tigers. If you google "Death Wittman" what you got is that seven Tigers got into an ambush of two regiments that are disputing still the killing of Wittman. And is very likely that Wittman's got hit by one of the numerous Firelies there, not a Sherman. As a matter of fact this is evidence that the Germans fought in numerical inferiority there. Wittman died during Operation Totalize in which only 50 German tanks were present (and not all of them Tigers) but the ALLIED reports from Michael Reynolds state that at least the Canadians lost 80 tanks and the Polish Armoured Division lost 66. If the Germans lost the 50 engaged, which they did not, the kill ratio there would have been 1 : 2.92 in favour of the Germans. How's that?
Strawman. I never said that they were morons. Indeed I haven't even said their interpretation was flawed. As for our qualifications to interpret the data I haven't made any claims there either although it's possible depending on just what the question is I might be. But you seem to be assuming that their interpreations are different from mine. I'm not at all convinced that is the case. Clearly however the two of us differ in both our defintions of things and our interpretations.
Argumentative, going nowhere.

lwd:
But of course that's not how I would define it. Indeed it's a classic case of subotimization. The real purpose of the tank isn't to win duels, it's to help your army win battles, campaigns, and wars.
That is becuase the definition do not suit your argument and then you evade the issue. Anyway you failed or evaded to answer the question: given the hypothetical situation in which tank do you think is likely that you will survive and knock out the other tank: the Sherman or the Tiger? I will give you some objective information which is something you never do:
Penetration of Sherman vs Tiger I

Front Turret: 0 meters range
Mantlet: 0 meters range
Driver Front Plate: 0 meters range
Nose: 0 meters range
Side: Turret: 100 meters range
Superstructure: 100 meters range
Hull: 900 meters range
Rear :Turret 100 meters range
Hull: 0 meters range

In comparison:

Penetration of Tiger I vs Sherman

Front Turret: 1,800 meters range
Mantlet: 200 meters range
Driver Front Plate: 0 meters range
Nose: 2,100 meters range
Side: Turret: 3,500 meters range
Superstructure: 3,500 meters range
Hull: 3,500 meters range
Rear :Turret 3,500 meters range
Hull: 3,500 meters range


Also we can check more objective characteristics of both tanks:

Sherman
Weight: 30 tons
Crew: 5
Armour: 63 mm
Main armament: 75 mm M3 L/40 (90 rounds)
Engine: gasoline
Power weight: 15.8hp/ton
Speed: 25-30 mph
Range: 120 miles

Tiger I
Weight: 62.7 tons
Crew: 5
Armour: 120 mm
Main armament: 8.8 cm KwK 36 L/56 (92 rounds)
Engine: petrol
Power weight: 12.3 hp/ton
Speed: 24 mph
Range: 121 miles
Od course if you want to put the Tiger vs. a modified Sherman Firefly we can use the same trick and instead of a common Tiger we can come with the equivalent German tank destroyer as the JagdTiger which is a modified Tiger with 250 mm armour and a 128 mm PaK 44 L/55 gun that will leave only a smoking hole where the punny Firefly was seconds before.


lwd:
The real purpose of the tank isn't to win duels, it's to help your army win battles, campaigns, and wars.

Yes? But how is that done? Even when you try to lecture you fail. Let's hear a real expert on tank battle doctrine:
It is vital to establish the basic purpose of the tank forces. Are they intended to storm fortresses and permanent possitions, or to carry out operational envolvements and turning movements in the open field; to act at the tactical level, making breakthorughs on our own account and checking enemy breakthroughs and envelopments; or they will be no more than armoured machine gun carriers...

...The tank most dangerous enemy is another tank. If we are unable to defeat the enemy armor the breakthrough has as good as failed, for our infrantry and artillery will be unable to make further progress..

... and by "effective" we mean forces that are capable of WAGING THE TANK BATTLE."

- Heinz Guderian, Achtung Panzer 1937
Regards,
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Re: German tanks

Post by Bgile » Sat May 14, 2011 3:38 am

This is really funny. Karl is determined to prove that a 77 ton Jagtiger was more powerful than a 30 ton Sherman Firefly.

I agree, Karl. They were more powerful than a Sherman Firefly. There were about 85 of them produced in total. It definitely proves that you can build something 2 1/2 times larger than something else, it might be more powerful. If you really work at it.

On the other hand, a 30 ton M-36's gun could penetrate a Tiger I (over twice it's weight) gun mantlet at over 900m. I wonder which is the more efficient use of wartime production.

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Re: German tanks

Post by alecsandros » Sat May 14, 2011 12:07 pm

Steve, the Tiger has the edge anyways, as it was capable of perforating most of M36's frontal armor from over 1500m.

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Re: German tanks

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat May 14, 2011 12:50 pm

Bgile:
Karl is determined to prove that a 77 ton Jagtiger was more powerful than a 30 ton Sherman Firefly
It is because certain individuals are stubborn enough of trying to prove that a 30 ton Sherman was a better and more powerful tank than a TigerI on the battlefield. And by the way I'm not trying, I DID prove that a Tiger I was a powerful tank than a Sherman (not a Firefly, despite the fact it is also more powerful too). Please follow the specs table and penetration information to correlate them with the kill ratios and there you are.


Bgile:
They were more powerful than a Sherman Firefly.
:ok:

... There were about 85 of them produced in total. It definitely proves that you can build something 2 1/2 times larger than something else, it might be more powerful. If you really work at it.

On the other hand, a 30 ton M-36's gun could penetrate a Tiger I (over twice it's weight) gun mantlet at over 900m. I wonder which is the more efficient use of wartime production...
Wow! Just because they made more of them doesn't mean it was a better tank. It just means they made more of them. They make a hell of a lot more Chevys than they do Ferraris, but could you call the Chevy the better car just based on that? :negative:
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Re: German tanks

Post by lwd » Sat May 14, 2011 2:50 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote: Is that your answer? First of all you didn't produce any literature that supports a favourable kill ratio of Shermans vs. Tigers.
You didn't say anything about favorable kill ratios you said literature about western tanks defeating Tigers.
Strawman. I never said that they were morons. Indeed I haven't even said their interpretation was flawed. As for our qualifications to interpret the data I haven't made any claims there either although it's possible depending on just what the question is I might be. But you seem to be assuming that their interpretations are different from mine. I'm not at all convinced that is the case. Clearly however the two of us differ in both our definitions of things and our interpretations.
Argumentative, going nowhere.
Then why did you start it? You are the one who ascribed to me a position I had not taken.
But of course that's not how I would define it. Indeed it's a classic case of subotimization. The real purpose of the tank isn't to win duels, it's to help your army win battles, campaigns, and wars.
That is becuase the definition do not suit your argument and then you evade the issue.
It doesn't suit me because I don't think it's a good definition of best. I have not evaded the issue either. Indeed it can be argued that it's you that are doing so. I've acknowledge that there are a fair number of definitions of best and depending on which you choose the answer changes. You on the other hand keep coming back to one particular one that produces the answer you want.
Anyway you failed or evaded to answer the question: given the hypothetical situation in which tank do you think is likely that you will survive and knock out the other tank: the Sherman or the Tiger?
If you look back through my last couple of posts you will find I've answered that question. I just don't see any reason to keep coming back to it.
I will give you some objective information which is something you never do:
Really, I think I've suppliled objective information quite a few times. Take a good look back through my posts.
Od course if you want to put the Tiger vs. a modified Sherman Firefly we can use the same trick and instead of a common Tiger we can come with the equivalent German tank destroyer as the JagdTiger which is a modified Tiger with 250 mm armour and a 128 mm PaK 44 L/55 gun that will leave only a smoking hole where the punny Firefly was seconds before.
But of course the JagdTiger was not the equivalent of a Firefly. The Firefly is a tank and the JagdTiger a tank destroyer. It also doesn't show up all that well if we start looking at stats other than those you mentioned. Indeed if you start looking at some of the ramifications of the ones you do mention they are not all in the Tigers favor.
The real purpose of the tank isn't to win duels, it's to help your army win battles, campaigns, and wars.
Yes? But how is that done? Even when you try to lecture you fail. Let's hear a real expert on tank battle doctrine:
It is vital to establish the basic purpose of the tank forces. Are they intended to storm fortresses and permanent possitions, or to carry out operational envolvements and turning movements in the open field; to act at the tactical level, making breakthorughs on our own account and checking enemy breakthroughs and envelopments; or they will be no more than armoured machine gun carriers...

...The tank most dangerous enemy is another tank. If we are unable to defeat the enemy armor the breakthrough has as good as failed, for our infrantry and artillery will be unable to make further progress..

... and by "effective" we mean forces that are capable of WAGING THE TANK BATTLE."

- Heinz Guderian, Achtung Panzer 1937
Well as far as the western allies experience went the tank wasn't the most dangerous enemy of the tank. Of course it's worth noteing that the quote is from 1937 well before he got a lot of practical experience in the field. Furthermore if you look at the composition of late war armored divisions you will see that those equipped with Shermans were much more capable of fulfilling the role he describes above than those equipped with Tigers. Now not all that is due to the difference in the two tanks but at least some of it is. Why you might ask? Because of such things as reliability, produceabililty, transportability, both tactical and strategic mobility, etc.

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Re: German tanks

Post by Bgile » Sat May 14, 2011 6:16 pm

alecsandros wrote:Steve, the Tiger has the edge anyways, as it was capable of perforating most of M36's frontal armor from over 1500m.
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. The produciton advantage is doubly evident when you consider the mass production ability of the USA compared to Germany, where they hand machined and filed to fit a number of items. The end result is something of high quality, but comparatively few of them. I don't have the stats, but I strongly suspect the M36 was much easier to maintain and I know it could use a lot more European bridges than the Tiger. In fact, one of the problems with the Pershing is it couldn't always cross bridges that the smaller TDs and tanks could. The bridge over the Rhine at Remagen is one example. There were Pershings there which couldn't cross with the other forces being pushed across. The Tiger and other heavy German tanks/TDs had similar problems. This sort of thing isn't considered when simply doing a 1v1 comparison.

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Re: German tanks

Post by dunmunro » Sat May 14, 2011 7:25 pm

alecsandros wrote:

Another thing to add, is that the Tiger was operational on the battlefield in Dec 1942. For at least 1 full year, it was unrivaled both on the eastern and western fronts... JS-2 became operational in early 1944... PErshing in early 1945... Pretty nice ?
The KV-85 became operational in Sept 1943.

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Re: German tanks

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat May 14, 2011 9:52 pm

I don't think is fair that I am branded as reiterative if this sort of discussions evolved the way they do, because of the tactics and rethoric of some which only purpose are to exasperate those that has made their point already.

I have come forth and showed:

1. Technical data of the Sherman and the Tiger I
2. Penetration data for the Sherman's gun and that of the Tiger I
3. The Kill Ratio accepted even by the Allied authorities (it is not disputed)
Which all go to the direction that the Tiger was a better more powerfull tank.
Also, in order to validate this assertion then I have brought forth not only's Willebeck's interpretation but Heinz Guderian's one. And Guderian was the father of tank warfare, at least the official one along with JFC Fuller, Basil Liddel Hart and Mikhail Tukhachevsky.

To all these lwd has brought NOTHING, or nothing of relevance, to dispute the above mentioned claim.
Last edited by Karl Heidenreich on Sat May 14, 2011 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: German tanks

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat May 14, 2011 10:13 pm

I don't think I should be answering this because it's REITERATIVE:

lwd:
You didn't say anything about favorable kill ratios you said literature about western tanks defeating Tigers.
What do you think we are talking about? Anyway you are evading the issue: when googling "death Wittman" (which is the origin of this comment) you got, again 1:2.92 Kill ratio in favor of the German side at Operation Totalize and you don't have any Sherman destroying Tigers but two regiments with a lot of Fireflies destroying seven Tigers. This was already made clear but your purpose is that the readers forget about it and put attention to your tricks.

Then why did you start it? You are the one who ascribed to me a position I had not taken.
Because you are disputing Wilbeck's, Jentz' and Schneider's intepretation of the kill ratios without being clear to what you want to say (obvioulsy). The only purpose here is to say that their's is mistaken (without really saying it). Again, this is a reiteration, sorry.

It doesn't suit me because I don't think it's a good definition of best. I have not evaded the issue either. Indeed it can be argued that it's you that are doing so. I've acknowledge that there are a fair number of definitions of best and depending on which you choose the answer changes. You on the other hand keep coming back to one particular one that produces the answer you want.
This is really exasperating: it doesn't suit you because it proves you wrong once and again. Guderian clearly defines the role of the tank in the battlefield. Are you a more qualified thoeriscist than Guderian? Your arrogance is terrible!
If you look back through my last couple of posts you will find I've answered that question. I just don't see any reason to keep coming back to it.
And you have NOT answered the question directly, without any ambiguity, as men do: Tiger I or Sherman in the given situation? Answer!
If you look back through my last couple of posts you will find I've answered that question. I just don't see any reason to keep coming back to it.
Do it again, it's free. But do it without any ambiguity.
Really, I think I've suppliled objective information quite a few times. Take a good look back through my posts.
You have been ignoring all the information I have brought forward just because it doens't suit your position. And in this thread the only thing you brought was the wikipedia info on some Sherman. What about info on the kill ratios, on the penetration of the contenders' guns? Nothing.
Well as far as the western allies experience went the tank wasn't the most dangerous enemy of the tank.
Go and tell that to George Patton and Third Army. As far as for History goes that can be said for the Germans and not the Allies: it was the Germans' tanks which lacked of air cover to protect them from airborne attack, making them more vulnerable to that menace than to the allied tanks.
Your argument of what the Tigers were able to perform in comparison with the Shermans is flawed in extreme. The Tigers work in heavy battalions to support the rest of the army's mobile units to achieve offensive and/or defensive tasks and engaging the enemy armor. The only reason the Germans didn't succeed in the war was because the air power the allies showed (gained by numerical superiority) and by the enemy tank forces that were also numerical superior to the Germans.
But, if you check the kill ratios we have that on a one to one basis the German TIgers (amongst other weapon systems) were far superior to the allied ones.

I think that nothing else can be said without falling iton a reiteration (again). Of course all these arguments are going to be disputed by definitions, "I didn't mean that", "you are not clear on this", "I think different but..." and going nowhere. However for anyone else that cares to the be informed in the basic and reliable information it is posted above: specs, penetrations tables and kill ratios. Anyone can made their own mind using that or whatever else material that can be found including Willbeck's thesis, Jentz and Schneiders' books as well (to look at the big picture) of Glantsz' essay on comparing the Eastern to the Western front.

Glantz:
http://www.strom.clemson.edu/publicatio ... r41-45.pdf

Tiger I information center:
http://www.alanhamby.com/tiger.html

Tiger Tank battalions:
http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/tigers-02.htm

Willbeck's thesis:
http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRec ... =ADA415948

or google for
"THE COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS OF GERMAN HEAVY TANK BATTALIONS IN WORLD WAR II"

Which summary is quite clear from Thorsten Wall:
plain copy and paste from description
Report Date : 2002
Pagination or Media Count : 150
Abstract : This thesis is a historical analysis of the combat effectiveness of the German schwere Panzer-Abteilung or Heavy Tank Battalions during World War II. During the course of World War II, the German Army developed heavy tank battalions to fulfill the concept of breaking through enemy defenses so faster, lighter mechanized forces could exploit the rupture. These heavy tank battalions had several different tables of organization, but were always centered around either the Tiger or the Tiger II tank. They fought in virtually every theater of Europe against every enemy of Germany. Ultimately, the German military created eleven Army and three Waffen-SS heavy tank battalions. Of the Army battalions, the German command fielded ten as independent battalions, which were allocated to Army Groups as needed. The German Army assigned the last heavy tank battalion as an organic unit of the elite Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland. The Waffen-SS allocated all of their battalions to a different Waffen-SS Corps. Because these units were not fielded until late in 1942, they did not participate in Germany's major offensive operations that dominated the early part of World War II. Germany's strategic situation after mid-1943 forced their military onto the defensive. Consequently, there are very few instances when heavy tank battalions attacked as a breakthrough force. During the latter part of the war, they were used in many different ways to provide defensive assistance along very wide frontages. This study assesses the German heavy tank battalions as generally effective, primarily because of the high kill ratio they achieved. However, based upon observations from a wide variety of examples, this study also outlines several areas where changes may have increased their effectiveness.
This is it.
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Re: German tanks

Post by lwd » Sun May 15, 2011 8:25 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:I don't think is fair that I am branded as reiterative if this sort of discussions evolved the way they do, because of the tactics and rethoric of some which only purpose are to exasperate those that has made their point already.

I have come forth and showed:

1. Technical data of the Sherman and the Tiger I
Indeed you have but only some of it and only the part that supports your rather narrow definition of best.
3. The Kill Ratio accepted even by the Allied authorities (it is not disputed)
Which all go to the direction that the Tiger was a better more powerfull tank.
I don't think I've ever challenged the assertion that in a one on one dual the Tiger was more likely to win or that it was more powerful. You do keep ascribing this position to me however.
Also, in order to validate this assertion then I have brought forth not only's Willebeck's interpretation but Heinz Guderian's one. And Guderian was the father of tank warfare, at least the official one along with JFC Fuller, Basil Liddel Hart and Mikhail Tukhachevsky.

To all these lwd has brought NOTHING, or nothing of relevance, to dispute the above mentioned claim.
You have produced some quotes although not all really supported your contention. Which doesn't really matter all that much because as I stated above I haven't questioned the fact that a Tiger had an advantage in a one on one dual. What I have and do question is whether or not this is a particularly valid definition of "best". Indeed I don't think it is a very good one and have suggested a number of alternatives over the course of these discussions. I'm open to others as well.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:...
You didn't say anything about favorable kill ratios you said literature about western tanks defeating Tigers.
What do you think we are talking about?
I was responding to a comment of yours. Your statement seemed pretty clear to me and I refuted it. If it wasn't what you meant to say you should word things more carefully.
Anyway you are evading the issue: when googling "death Wittman" (which is the origin of this comment) you got, again 1:2.92 Kill ratio in favor of the German side at Operation Totalize and you don't have any Sherman destroying Tigers but two regiments with a lot of Fireflies destroying seven Tigers. This was already made clear but your purpose is that the readers forget about it and put attention to your tricks.
But you said there was no literature of western tanks defeating Tigers and since Wittman's Tiger and several others were destroyed by allied tanks in that particular event it is clear that here is such literature. Now you are bring kill ratios into it which weren't in your original statement. If they had been I wouldn't have pointed out that your statement as it stood was wrong.
Then why did you start it? You are the one who ascribed to me a position I had not taken.
Because you are disputing Wilbeck's, Jentz' and Schneider's intepretation of the kill ratios without being clear to what you want to say (obvioulsy). The only purpose here is to say that their's is mistaken (without really saying it). Again, this is a reiteration, sorry.
Where have I refuted anything about the kill rations? Where have you stated their interpretations of the same that are in conflict with my statements.
It doesn't suit me because I don't think it's a good definition of best. I have not evaded the issue either. Indeed it can be argued that it's you that are doing so. I've acknowledge that there are a fair number of definitions of best and depending on which you choose the answer changes. You on the other hand keep coming back to one particular one that produces the answer you want.
This is really exasperating: it doesn't suit you because it proves you wrong once and again.
NO and NO. It doesn't suit me because it's a poor definition of best as I've stated and for the reasons I've stated.
Guderian clearly defines the role of the tank in the battlefield. Are you a more qualified thoeriscist than Guderian? Your arrogance is terrible!
The quote you listed was a pre war quote and at least parts of it were found to be somewhat off based on the experiences during the war. Furthermore it's not at all clear from that quote it supports your contention that the Tiger was "best".
If you look back through my last couple of posts you will find I've answered that question. I just don't see any reason to keep coming back to it.
And you have NOT answered the question directly, without any ambiguity, as men do: Tiger I or Sherman in the given situation? Answer!
I think I have several times.
You have been ignoring all the information I have brought forward just because it doens't suit your position.
No I haven't been ignoring it I've pointed out that there is more to the question than you seem to think.
What about info on the kill ratios, on the penetration of the contenders' guns? Nothing.
Of course. Why should I it's already been posted. No reason for me to repost it. Especially since it was not particularly important to my arguement.
Well as far as the western allies experience went the tank wasn't the most dangerous enemy of the tank.
Go and tell that to George Patton and Third Army.
I wouldn't have to. Here's some data on it see the post by "Rich" down the page a bit:
http://208.84.116.223/forums/index.php?showtopic=28546
Here's the important part:
Cause of tank losses in the ETO (according to WO 291/1186)
Mines 22.1%
AT guns 22.7%
Tanks 14.5%
SP Guns 24.4%
AT Grenade 14.2%
Other 2.1%
Note that tanks fall behind SP guns, AT guns, and mines are approximately the same as AT Grenades.
As far as for History goes that can be said for the Germans and not the Allies: it was the Germans' tanks which lacked of air cover to protect them from airborne attack, making them more vulnerable to that menace than to the allied tanks.
However air power wasn't all that effective in taking out tanks directly during WWII.
Your argument of what the Tigers were able to perform in comparison with the Shermans is flawed in extreme. The Tigers work in heavy battalions to support the rest of the army's mobile units to achieve offensive and/or defensive tasks and engaging the enemy armor. The only reason the Germans didn't succeed in the war was because the air power the allies showed (gained by numerical superiority) and by the enemy tank forces that were also numerical superior to the Germans.
But, if you check the kill ratios we have that on a one to one basis the German TIgers (amongst other weapon systems) were far superior to the allied ones.
But of course kill ratios aren't the only factor by any means. There's a rather interesting chart at: http://home.swipnet.se/normandy/gerob/pzdiv/lehr.html
It list operational, long term repair, and short term repair situation for the tanks in Panzer Lehr from June 1 through 9 Aug 44. It's worth noting that for both Panzer IV and Panzer V (unfortunately no Tigers but the situation could hardly have been much if any better for them) that after 1 June less that half of each type of tank was operational and sometimes significantly less than half. This means that when fighting an opponent whose tanks are designed for reliability and mass production one is at a huge disadvantage.
Care to point out where it supports your positions\>
Tiger I information center: http://www.alanhamby.com/tiger.html
A Tiger fan site that mentions none of the problems the Tiger had that I saw and repeats the exaggerated account of Wittman's performance.
Willbeck's thesis:
http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRec ... =ADA415948
This one wouldn't load for me.
Which summary is quite clear from Thorsten Wall:
plain copy and paste from description
Report Date : 2002
Pagination or Media Count : 150
Abstract : This thesis is a historical analysis of the combat effectiveness of the German schwere Panzer-Abteilung or Heavy Tank Battalions during World War II. During the course of World War II, the German Army developed heavy tank battalions to fulfill the concept of breaking through enemy defenses so faster, lighter mechanized forces could exploit the rupture. These heavy tank battalions had several different tables of organization, but were always centered around either the Tiger or the Tiger II tank. They fought in virtually every theater of Europe against every enemy of Germany. Ultimately, the German military created eleven Army and three Waffen-SS heavy tank battalions. Of the Army battalions, the German command fielded ten as independent battalions, which were allocated to Army Groups as needed. The German Army assigned the last heavy tank battalion as an organic unit of the elite Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland. The Waffen-SS allocated all of their battalions to a different Waffen-SS Corps. Because these units were not fielded until late in 1942, they did not participate in Germany's major offensive operations that dominated the early part of World War II. Germany's strategic situation after mid-1943 forced their military onto the defensive. Consequently, there are very few instances when heavy tank battalions attacked as a breakthrough force. During the latter part of the war, they were used in many different ways to provide defensive assistance along very wide frontages. This study assesses the German heavy tank battalions as generally effective, primarily because of the high kill ratio they achieved. However, based upon observations from a wide variety of examples, this study also outlines several areas where changes may have increased their effectiveness.
Sounds like a fairly reasonable report. I'd be interesting in hearing what parts you think contradict my positions.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: German tanks

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun May 15, 2011 9:27 pm

Well lwd, I must admit that your last post is not that bad. It's sad that you have to be "pushed" in order to get it, we could have save ourselves all the wear and entrophy of it.

Also you bring forth information which is good. You should do it more frequently whilst avoiding your piecemeal descontextualizing way to discuss. But it has been good.
Willbeck's thesis:
This one wouldn't load for me.
Nope, it's not working but you can try on this one ( I just did it and it worked just fine)

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA415948


A good summary could be this, to be added to the "abstract" that Thorsten offered us and that I copied before:
A STATISTICAL PERSPECTIVE

"The Germans kept detailed records on the loss of each Tiger and on the number of enemy tanks destroyed. The claims of U.S. and British tanks destroyed have been confirmed, to various degrees of reliability, from available records. For Soviet losses, very few records are available to confirm the German claims. In these instances, the German claims are generally accepted without the benefit of verification.
Whatever mission heavy tanks battalions were given, their primary task was to destroy enemy tanks. In doing, so they were undeniably succesful (see table 4). The kill ratio of heavy tank battalions when measured against Tigers lost in direct combat is an impressive 12.2 to 1. The ratio measured against all Tigers lost, regardless of reason, is still a credible 5.4 to 1 kill ratio. Althought the last ratio is based upon the total annhilation of every tank battalion, it probably more 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.
As would be expected, some heavy tanks battalions were most succesfull than others in destroying enemy tanks. Some battalions were able to destroy close to thirteen enemy tanks for the loss of each Tiger and others were able to achieve only a one for one exchange. Variables that could account for this include the terrain, enemy, leadership and missions assigned. Of these, the missions assigned to heavy tank battalions were the one area that the Germans could most influence. In general, heavy tank battalions were most succesfull when they concentrated for offensive missions and dispersed behind the front for defensive missions. Even though results differ greatly from battalion to battalion, when taken as an overall average, heavy tank battalions were undeniable effective in destroying enemy tanks."


-Christopher W. Wilbeck Major US Army
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

lwd
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Re: German tanks

Post by lwd » Sun May 15, 2011 10:01 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Well lwd, I must admit that your last post is not that bad. It's sad that you have to be "pushed" in order to get it, we could have save ourselves all the wear and entrophy of it.
You hardly had too "push" you just had to take more care in what you said and pay more attention to what I said rather than using superlatives, strawment, and such.
Also you bring forth information which is good. You should do it more frequently whilst avoiding your piecemeal descontextualizing way to discuss.
If something is logically wrong there is no need to do more than point it out. Cluttering the board with irrelevant data hardly helps.
Willbeck's thesis:
This one wouldn't load for me.
Nope, it's not working but you can try on this one ( I just did it and it worked just fine)
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA415948
From a quick read of the summary this appears to be a very balanced and well written operational overview of the Tigers operations. Of course some might think I'm biased as it does a good job of supporting my position.
A good summary could be this, to be added to the "abstract" that Thorsten offered us and that I copied before:
A STATISTICAL PERSPECTIVE
"The Germans kept detailed records on the loss of each Tiger and on the number of enemy tanks destroyed. The claims of U.S. and British tanks destroyed have been confirmed, to various degrees of reliability, from available records. For Soviet losses, very few records are available to confirm the German claims. In these instances, the German claims are generally accepted without the benefit of verification.
... The kill ratio of heavy tank battalions when measured against Tigers lost in direct combat is an impressive 12.2 to 1....."

-Christopher W. Wilbeck Major US Army
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.

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Re: German tanks

Post by alecsandros » Mon May 16, 2011 10:53 am

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. \
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.

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.

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Re: German tanks

Post by alecsandros » Mon May 16, 2011 10:58 am

dunmunro wrote: The KV-85 became operational in Sept 1943.
You are probably thinking of Su-85.. Which had a frontal armor of 45mm... ?

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