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Best Tank at the Battle of Kursk?

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  • Best Tank at the Battle of Kursk?

    A set of polls will appear, to consider 'best' tanks for a specific period, even more restricted in scope than those before. As such, I don't believe it is necessary to create polls for separate commanders and trooper choices.

    The first is this; what do you consider the best tank at Kursk, July 1943.

    T-34-76


    http://www.warlordgames.com/wp-conte...-76_Column.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34

    KV-1


    http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/...20121124134028

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kliment_Voroshilov_tank

    T-70


    http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/wp...04/t-70_30.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-70

    Pz IIIM


    http://www.warlordgames.com/wp-conte...4/03/04862.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_III


    Pz IVG


    https://i0.wp.com/ww2-weapons.com/wp...prod-px800.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_IV

    Panther D


    http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/...20120907161121

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panther_tank

    Tiger 1


    http://www.aberjonapress.com/catalog...kursktiger.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_I

    Other
    There were a couple of British types involved, as well as other light tanks. IIrc, even Grants were there.
    49
    T-34-76
    14.29%
    7
    KV-1 (pre S)
    0.00%
    0
    T-70
    0.00%
    0
    Pz IIIM
    0.00%
    0
    Pz IVG
    34.69%
    17
    Panther D
    8.16%
    4
    Tiger 1
    40.82%
    20
    Other
    2.04%
    1
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  • #2
    All around, the T-34.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

    Comment


    • #3
      I went with Tiger but only as a crew member vote.
      The most effective was probably the PzIVg but I'd rather be in a Tiger.

      Comment


      • #4
        Tiger I is my choice but I would have chose both the Tiger I and the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G if I could have as both of these tanks were the most successful 5 July-13 July during the major set-piece battle at Kursk. The new Panthers were going through teething pains and were only partially effective IIRC out of 195 Panthers only about 50 remained by July10. Off the top of my head the Tigers of the heavy tank battalion 503 attached to the III Panzer Corps, numbering 45, had the most tanks and other targets knocked out.

        The Tigers of the LSSAH were extremely effective on 12 July during the Soviet counterattack through the narrow Psel River corridor. Although there were only 4 operational Tigers of the LSSAH left on 12 July, they brewed up over 40 Soviet tanks that day alone.

        One Tiger alone, Commander Hannes Ripppl's Tiger, of the 503 Heavy Tank Battalion 1st Kp with Kurt Knispel as his gunner, knocked out 27 enemy tanks and countless bunkers and antitank guns between 5-12 July.

        SS Totenkopfs Tigers were not as effective as the divisions mission on 12 July was to cross the Psel River and head northeast to the Karteschewka-Prochorowka road, take the road and then head southeast into Prochorowka into the rear of the Soviets who were engaged with LSSAH at their front. The Soviets had anticipated this move and had the majority of the 18th Tank Corps 181st and 170th Tank Brigades waiting for them in static tank ditches with only their turrets exposed. The Soviet tanks that did bum rush forward as the majority did in the Psel corridor were quickly dispatched of at long range by Totenkopfs Tigers.

        SS Das Reich's Tigers were mostly on the defensive that day (12 July) beating back attacks of the 2nd and 2nd Guards Tank Corps southwest of Prochorowka at Belenikhino-Mal. Jablonowo-Leski.

        IIRC, the total amount of Tiger I tanks involved in Operation Citadel was

        XXXXVIII Panzer Corp-12 (Grossdeutschland Division)

        LSSAH-12

        SS Das Reich-12

        SS Totenkopf-12

        s.Pz.Abteilung 503-45

        The Tiger I comprised 8.1% of the German tanks at Kursk

        The Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. G comprised 33.2% (the highest figure of German tanks at Kursk).

        Regards,Kurt
        Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

        Comment


        • #5
          The Tiger ruled the Steppe at Kursk, without any form of exaggeration needed.

          Soviet tank "tactics" were experienceing something of a de-evolution. The long 'kill' range of that 88mm gun meant that Soviet tanks could have no better otion than to charge headlong into German positions, to attempt to close the range as fast as possible.

          I am no fan of the Tiger as such, but tactically, it had all the right 'things' to make it a weapon of first choice. As always, never enough of them.

          AND, we have finally figured where Mr. Knispel gets his site name from!.

          The soviets had a bad case of "Tiger Fever" at Prophorovka. But no mistaking, Kursk was a strategic defeat, a tactical failure in terms of losses to ground gained, a such an obvious plan of action that it reveals much more about bankrupt startegy coming out of Fuhrer HQ than anything else....but thats beyond the scope of this poll.

          Drusus
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          • #6
            Voted the PzIV. The Panther and Tigers still had teething problems and employment issues. The Soviet after-action report found the T-34's were vulnerable at normal combat ranges against the PzIVG. Fielding of the T-34-85 came in March 1944 as response to this being undergunned.
            Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 12 Jan 17, 12:26.
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
              Voted the PzIV. The Panther and Tigers still had teething problems and employment issues. The Soviet after-action report found the T-34's were vulnerable at normal combat ranges against the PzIVG. Fielding of the T-34-85 came in March 1944 as response to this being undergunned.
              I went IV as well. Zaloga went IV as best commanders tank of this period, and Tiger 1 as best soldiers tank, and I agree with him.

              It was either a question of head (IV) or heart (VI), until I saw the current results. The IV should be equal top with the Tiger imho, but it's not, so my vote goes there.

              Further, you could probably field around three IV's for every VI.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                I went IV as well. Zaloga went IV as best commanders tank of this period, and Tiger 1 as best soldiers tank, and I agree with him.
                I still do not have that particular Zaloga book. The forum members here on ACG and especially your current tank polls are probably more balanced anyway as it represents the perspectives of the many instead of the one.
                It was either a question of head (IV) or heart (VI), until I saw the current results. The IV should be equal top with the Tiger imho, but it's not, so my vote goes there.
                As I said in my earlier post I would have chose both if I could. Some points:

                Tigers had the usual mechanical breakdowns and got stuck in the mud whereas the Mark IVg was more dependable and much lighter in wt resulting in less of them getting stuck.

                The Tigers 88 had better range and velocity then the Mark IVg's 75

                The Tigers offered superior armor protection for the crew although the Mark IV Ausf G was upgraded to 80mm frontal armor.

                Further, you could probably field around three IV's for every VI.
                This was the greatest advantage the Mark IVg had over the Tiger at Kursk. My percentage numbers above reflect this.

                Below represents two tank engagements at Kursk

                Tiger I:
                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...6&postcount=18

                Mark IV Ausf G:
                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...7&postcount=16

                Regards,Kurt
                Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                Comment


                • #9
                  I went with the Tiger, but it was literally a coin toss for me between the Tiger and the IVG.
                  ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

                  BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

                  BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
                    The Tiger ruled the Steppe at Kursk, without any form of exaggeration needed.
                    Agree emphatically!

                    Soviet tank "tactics" were experienceing something of a de-evolution. The long 'kill' range of that 88mm gun meant that Soviet tanks could have no better otion than to charge headlong into German positions, to attempt to close the range as fast as possible.
                    The Soviet tank army officers advised (demanded) these suicidal tactics to the tank crews which played right into the Germans hands.

                    I am no fan of the Tiger as such, but tactically, it had all the right 'things' to make it a weapon of first choice. As always, never enough of them.
                    Once again agree emphatically!

                    AND, we have finally figured where Mr. Knispel gets his site name from!.
                    The character "Oddball" in the great movie "Kelly's Heroes" played by Donald Southerland has always been one of my favorite war movie characters. This is why I chose the name Kurt Knispel as my ACG handle. Knispel was a "real life" Oddball especially for someone in the German Army. He often sported a goat-tee, long hair, and facial hair, His uniform was always haggard, no matter the occasion. He had many run-ins with his superiors and despite his uncanny skills as a tank gunner, and later, as a tank commander, never ranked higher then a Feldwebel (Sergeant) because of his disheveled appearance and unorthodox (for a soldier in the Nazi regime) behavior.

                    Regards,Kurt
                    Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jentz records from a report by Panzer-Abteilung 503 on 8 July 1943:

                      "39 Tigers started out on 5 July. An additional 5 Tigers were operational by 6 July. During the period from 5 through 8 July, a total of 34 Tigers fell out, requiring repairs that would take over eight hours (7 were hit, 16 were damaged by mines, and 9 broke down mechanically). Two burned-out Tigers were total write-offs. Up to now, 22 Tigers have been repaired. At 1200 hours on 8 July the Tiger situation was: 33 operational, 8 requiring short-term (up to 8 days) repairs, 2 requiring long term (over 8 days) repairs, and 2 written off as total losses."
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jentz records, "A note for the war diary made by the operations officer of the 4.Panzer-Armee revealed the status on the morning of 7 July: The Panther Regiment started with 184 operational Panthers. There are now still 166 operational Panthers, 32 in need of repairs and 4 total write-offs. [repairs and write-offs when added to operational is greater than 184--not sure what is being said]

                        "A second note recorded after midday on 7 July: "Grossdeutschland" reported that only 80 are still operational of the approximately 300 panzers with which they started the offensive on 4 July."

                        Commander of Panzer-Lehrgaenge "Panther" observed, "Due to bunching up, the pirepower from out Panthers couldn't be employed, the enemy succeeded in knocking out a high number, and very many Panthers were lost on mines. ...

                        "Defense against close attack and envelopment from tank hunter teams are always difficult to repulse with the Panther's weapons.

                        "The Panther does not possess the ability to lay a smoke screen which proved to be tactically disadvantageous. An effective smoke screen device is urgently requested by the troops.

                        "At the start, problems with the radio sets and intercom made command difficult."
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nick - where is the Churchill option? You love the Churchill and they were there.
                          http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaw...mulin_3_05.htm

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                          • #14
                            In between tanker and panzer general
                            I'll approach this poll as a tank battalion commander
                            BoRG

                            You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                              Nick - where is the Churchill option? You love the Churchill and they were there.
                              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaw...mulin_3_05.htm
                              Under other . They knocked out the only Tiger at Prokhorovka, but even excluding very few numbers fielded, c20 saw action iirc, the Churchill is best considered a heavy tank destroyer imho at Kursk. It was very tough, and the best hole puncher of any Soviet tank at that battle, but it lacked HE.

                              Further, you were generally able to spot enemy vehicles at much greater distances in the East, and this is where the Churchills slower speed and shorter range gun tells against it, factors that are less important when spotting ranges are restricted by terrain.

                              While, I might think the Churchill is one of the two choices of best tank for WW2, at this time and place, it almost certainly isn't.

                              PS: Thanks for that chart, I'd been looking everywhere for it!
                              Last edited by Nick the Noodle; 13 Jan 17, 10:46.
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