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Best Soldiers Tank of WW2 - W Europe & N Africa 39-41

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  • #76
    What the Germans really needed was a few units that could do this in Russia...

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/vira/...hit/vi-AAlNP4B

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    • #77
      Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
      I think that was his point. Artillery would not have been the primary tank killer and more tanks would have survived to be on 'any of the main loci of German concentration'.
      I think you misread me. German artillery was the main killer of Soviet tanks. The Germans, as a rule much preferred to feed their tanks through breaches in an infantry defensive line (as did the Red Army), or rather an ill-formed infantry screen. Panzer divisions could chose any one of a number of roads to advance along and would usually bypass serious resistance, especially later in the campaign as their heavy support was frequently either some distance back or abandoned for lack of transport.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        What the Germans really needed was a few units that could do this in Russia...

        http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/vira/...hit/vi-AAlNP4B
        Nice idea, pity about the rasputitsa.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
          I think you misread me. German artillery was the main killer of Soviet tanks. The Germans, as a rule much preferred to feed their tanks through breaches in an infantry defensive line (as did the Red Army), or rather an ill-formed infantry screen. Panzer divisions could chose any one of a number of roads to advance along and would usually bypass serious resistance, especially later in the campaign as their heavy support was frequently either some distance back or abandoned for lack of transport.
          Agree, in the beginning with under-gunned tanks, the Germans had to rely on artillery to screen the flanks and protect the tanks, as Rommel did a Flavion in the invasion of France. And, the anti-aircraft guns, 88's, were necessary to penetrate tank armor at a distance in the desert and up close against thick armor in Russia. In the expanses of Russia during Barbarossa, the Stukas were use as artillery support for the armor pincers because the artillery could not keep up.

          When the Germans had up-gunned their tanks they operated, or tried to operate, more independently like Balck at Chir River. However, at the Kursk salient, in both the northern and southern face, particularly the northern, the German panzers were not fought as you suggest.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
            Nice idea, pity about the rasputitsa.
            A tarred and gravel road that was well compacted would have solved most or all of that for trucks using it. Even just pouring gravel on the surface and compacting it in with a road roller would have made a huge difference.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              A tarred and gravel road that was well compacted would have solved most or all of that for trucks using it. Even just pouring gravel on the surface and compacting it in with a road roller would have made a huge difference.
              When gravel is easy to come by, not a problem. However, substituting gravel for anything else means fuel/food/ammunition does not make it forward to the troops. Germany had too few trucks with inadequate fuel reserves and no spare manpower to extract the gravel to have even done a fraction of what was necessary. Couple this to a very deep dirt layer before bedrock is struck and the problems never end.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                Agree, in the beginning with under-gunned tanks, the Germans had to rely on artillery to screen the flanks and protect the tanks, as Rommel did a Flavion in the invasion of France. And, the anti-aircraft guns, 88's, were necessary to penetrate tank armor at a distance in the desert and up close against thick armor in Russia. In the expanses of Russia during Barbarossa, the Stukas were use as artillery support for the armor pincers because the artillery could not keep up.

                When the Germans had up-gunned their tanks they operated, or tried to operate, more independently like Balck at Chir River. However, at the Kursk salient, in both the northern and southern face, particularly the northern, the German panzers were not fought as you suggest.
                Balck did not abandon his artillery during his Chir battles - he would have noted this in the diary as it made up a significant component of his division. He merely omits to mention their presence.

                At Kursk, are you suggesting the Red Army did not set up large minefields and AT fronts designed to interact effectively, and with tanks providing reinforcements on key sectors?

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                  Balck did not abandon his artillery during his Chir battles - he would have noted this in the diary as it made up a significant component of his division. He merely omits to mention their presence.

                  At Kursk, are you suggesting the Red Army did not set up large minefields and AT fronts designed to interact effectively, and with tanks providing reinforcements on key sectors?
                  Of course, I did not claim Balck "abandoned" his artillery, he used what little was available in a blocking or shielding force for his armor maneuver. However, at Balck's Chir River battles it was his tanks that did all the tank killing. In the 65-0 kill ratio he did it with tanks that moved along the Soviet 5th Mech Corps column from behind when they came out of night laager. Page 271, English edition of Balck's memoirs, "Twenty-five German tanks had shot up sixty-five Russian tanks without a loss." [You forget I have the 11th PzDiv war journal for the fights in December 1942.]

                  Additionally, in an interview on April 13, 1979, Balck said, "On the whole long Chir front we had almost no artillery. In such a situation, one must not be misled into tying down a division along such a long front. Instead, one must remain completely mobile and attack wherever it's necessary."

                  At Kursk, the Germans could not find, nor create, a weak spot to push their tank forces through. In Nebolsin's recent unit history of the 2nd GTA (which was on the northern face), he noted "Of the total number of 139 tanks that were irrecoverably lost, 101 were destroyed by fire as a result of shell hits; 21 were destroyed by artillery fire; 9 were knocked out of action by enemy air strikes; 1 blew up in a minefield, and 7 tanks were lost for other reasons."
                  Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 19 Jan 17, 06:50.
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                  • #84
                    How did the PzIII score so low?
                    Bob Crisp reckoned one was worth three Cruisers, with the right ammo could put a hole in the Matilda when the reverse wasn't true and had better fightability than the early T-34s.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                      How did the PzIII score so low?
                      Bob Crisp reckoned one was worth three Cruisers, with the right ammo could put a hole in the Matilda when the reverse wasn't true and had better fightability than the early T-34s.
                      I think at least partly because of the period being covered here; 1939-1941.
                      Over that time bracket the PzKpfw III was armed either with the 3.7cm KwK L/46.5 or the 5cm KwK38 L/42.
                      The Pz III with 5cm KwK39 L/60 did not enter combat until early 1942, IIRC (commenced on the production line in December 1941).
                      Last edited by panther3485; 19 Jan 17, 06:35.
                      "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!)

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                        How did the PzIII score so low?
                        Bob Crisp reckoned one was worth three Cruisers, with the right ammo could put a hole in the Matilda when the reverse wasn't true and had better fightability than the early T-34s.
                        If you are talking about the best III of this period, the J with the KwK 38 firing rare APCR, you might be right. However, the most important III of this period is the F, which was available for the Battle of France. At any range, the 3.7cm gun will almost certainly bounce off the A12. Likewise, the A10 had similar armour, but a more powerful gun to the Pz IIIF, and proved to be more reliable as well.

                        The Pz III is scoring very well on best general tank for this period, currently in first place, just ahead of the Pz IV.
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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                          If you are talking about the best III of this period, the J with the KwK 38 firing rare APCR, you might be right. However, the most important III of this period is the F, which was available for the Battle of France. At any range, the 3.7cm gun will almost certainly bounce off the A12. Likewise, the A10 had similar armour, but a more powerful gun to the Pz IIIF, and proved to be more reliable as well.

                          The Pz III is scoring very well on best general tank for this period, currently in first place, just ahead of the Pz IV.
                          I was talking about the H with the bolt-on armour addition and short 50mm. With the APCR ammunition it should puncture a Matilda at short range.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                            I was talking about the H with the bolt-on armour addition and short 50mm. With the APCR ammunition it should puncture a Matilda at short range.
                            If H's were able to deal with Matilda's fairly easily, 1941 T-34's with their maximum of 45mm armour should have been even easier prey. History records otherwise.
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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                              If H's were able to deal with Matilda's fairly easily,
                              Err... I didn't say that. The major clash between the PzIII and the Matilda was in the latter stages of Battleaxe - it was a draw.

                              Though I expect many T-34s were indeed lost to the PzIII short.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                                Err... I didn't say that. The major clash between the PzIII and the Matilda was in the latter stages of Battleaxe - it was a draw.

                                Though I expect many T-34s were indeed lost to the PzIII short.
                                You did say this initially .

                                Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                                How did the PzIII score so low?
                                Bob Crisp reckoned one was worth three Cruisers, with the right ammo could put a hole in the Matilda when the reverse wasn't true and had better fightability than the early T-34s.
                                You certainly sounded as if you thought the Pz III was better in combat than the Matilda. Your comment in the first quote makes it sound capable to the T-34 as well?

                                As for Matilda vs Pz III, I know of no battle where these tanks were the only units involved, and the Heer was generally superior to the British tactically at this time.

                                As for the T-34, the sudden demand for a Panther more than suggests that the III was not up to the task of dealing with the T-34. In fact, if you look at the initial design (VK 30.01 (D)) to counter the T-34, they look very similar indeed.


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