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

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    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.
    In the Chir River battles between 8-19 Dec 1942, Balck's 11th PzD has the following panzer situation in its war journal for 14 Dec: 18 Pz III (long), 3 Pz III (short), 6 Pz IV (long), and 1 PzIV (short).

    During this period, the 11th PzD engaged the Red Army 5th Mech Corps which was equipped totally with Lend-Lease Matildas and Valentines.

    This is the battle in which Balck recalled his 25 panzers knocked out 65 tanks with no loss during a conference in 1979.

    However, in Jentz's Vol. II, he quotes a report, "Experience in Combat Against Tanks by Generalleutnant Balck, commander of the 11. Panzer-Division, dated 12 March 1943": "On 8 December 1942, 39 tanks were knocked out near Sowchos Nr. 79 without losing a single Panzer as a total write-off [This fight was against the Red Army 1st TC which had T-34s], and on 19 December, 35 tanks were knocked out in comparison with two write-offs for us [This fight was against the Red Army 5th MC]."
    Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 20 Jan 17, 06:21.
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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    • #92
      Parenthetically, it may interest some how Balck reported his method:

      "Whenever possible, the attack should be initiated in the rear of the enemy tank unit. Three times this Winter the division's Panzers started to attack the enemy in the rear at the same time that the enemy started to attack. [At this point is the losses posted above.] ....

      "When our Panzer attack unexpectedly encountered an enemy position, usually the enemy was forced and seduced to immediately conduct fragmented and unplanned counterstrikes. These cost the enemy high losses, if one skillfully let them close in. The first successful attack on 19 December 1942 [battle against 5th MC] was followed by strong, fragmented, and unconcentrated Russian counterstrikes in which 30 enemy tanks were knocked out in comparison to one Panzer loss as a total write-off." [So, these 30 tanks added to the 35 tanks in the initial fight give a reported 65 tanks loss by 5th MC.]
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        You did say this initially .
        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?
        Head to head the PzIII H with APCR was better than the Matilda. Compared to the T-34 it had three-man turret with commanders cupola, excellent vision aids and a radio in every tank.


        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.
        The Germans had better equipment making the better tactics possible.

        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.


        https://www.the-blueprints.com/bluep...01_d-63853.jpg
        Though interestingly the T-34 the Soviets wanted before being so rudely interrupted looked more like this

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