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  • "Operation Epsom" by Saunders pg. 53

    46 Brigade had advanced only to find that, ‘Within a quarter of a mile of the start line, the forward battalions ran into a minefield. Despite casualties from anti-personnel mines, the rifle companies went on through, but the advance of the supporting Churchills and AVREs was held up’. The flails of B Squadron 22 Dragoons came forward and beat a path forward at one and a half MPH. The belt of minefields laid by 12 SS Pi had achieved its tactical aims extremely well.
    Were the flail tanks actually that slow?
    Last edited by Cult Icon; 06 Jun 19, 10:49.
    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

    Comment


    • https://paul-atrydes.livejournal.com/170653.html

      Zhukov complaining about bad training. November 1944.
      There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
        "Operation Epsom" by Saunders pg. 53

        Were the flail tanks actually that slow?
        Pretty much

        Flails operate in troops of five; three, arranged in echelon, flail a broad lane across the area in the face of enemy fire. Flailing has to be done at about 2mph, dead straight and with great care. Explosions from detonated mines make it impossible to return fire and crews are mostly concerned with keeping station on one another. The two reserve tanks sit on the sidelines, giving fire support and ready to replace a flailing tank if it is disabled.
        https://www.tankmuseum.org//museum-o...ject-e1949-360

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
          The personal accounts of Charlemagne soldiers also gave their impression that the Soviet attackers were loathed to sacrifice their infantry in the last days of the war and proceeded cautiously, preferring to sacrifice tanks. Their STG 44 rifles seemed to give them the ability to pin down infantry that was much higher than normal as progress in the final days was quite slow. Maps included show a very slow rate of advance.

          There are also accounts of the Soviets trying to find holes in the defense and bust their way with combat engineers (flamethrowers, etc.) but it seems like they had limited success and their advances from the Charlemagne POV was dependent on how far their tanks got. perhaps the massive ruins of the streets precluded this?

          In some time I will do Kampfgruppe Mohnke and their defense of the Reichstag and its environs.
          "Nordland" was pushed from Neukölln to the north of Landwehr Canal by the end of 27 April. After that the Soviet attack stalled for various reasons one of which was a limited space for deployment. As a rule of thumb the number of tanks which could be employed with any good effect on a single street was two or three which meant that the bulk of armor had no choice but to stand idle. Furthermore their advance was blocked by barricade and rubble. Usually tanks holed buildings until they looked like a piece of cheese, then infantry tried to mop them up in close combat and engineers demolished or dismantled barricades. The process was painfully slow even against defenders armed with light weapons.

          Comment


          • the accounts give 2-3 tanks trying to break in at a time, and then 6-7 after that was ineffective.
            Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
            Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
            Barbarossa Derailed I & II
            Battle of Kalinin October 1941

            Comment


            • This guy narrates what was probably 5.SS "W"'s most successful tank battle from an WW2 magazine article. I don't have the Nipe book on it, which costs hundreds of $. There is a short mention of this in "Viking Panzers" and "European Volunteers".:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dejUzc6CQ5U&t=312s
              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

              Comment


              • pg. 97-98 of Operation Epsom, Saunders

                has a bit about how three peacetime British NCOs were demoted to privates due to failing in leadership in Epsom-
                Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                Comment


                • I bought some interesting books as of late. A preview:

                  Stopping the Panzers: A book written to rehabilitate the reputation of Canadian units. Focuses on June 6-10, 1944 and especially on the opening clashes with 12.SS PzD

                  Two overpriced books with a lot of unique information and photos on the Tiger units- the latter does not overlap much with the author's "Tigers in Normandy".

                  -Totenkopf Tigers
                  -Das Reich Tigers

                  Stug. Abt. 197: war diary of this unit, with photos. Not a big volume but has unique information

                  SS Sturmbannfuhrer Ernst Krag: Bought this out of curiosity given the author's relationship with this and other veterans, was disappointed at the low volume and interest of the content

                  Twelve Years with Hitler: Unique information, particularly about the pre-war ceremonial activities of the 1st Kompanie LAH. The other half of the book is a wartime history of the unit.

                  Das Reich I: Unit history of the early years, the most interesting part is the details on pre-war troop training which squashes a lot of myths.

                  Jochen Peiper, Agte. Expensive volume with a large amount of unique information by the unit's veterans organization secretary. This volume can be contrasted with more critical and war crimes oriented works by numerous authors.


                  Combat History of the Schwere Panzer-jager-Abteilung 654. In Aciton in the East and West With the Ferdinand and the Jagdpanther: expensive. Have it coming in a few days. It should have a large quantity of unique information about these units, especially from veterans and the West front war diaries 44/45.


                  Last edited by Cult Icon; 25 Jun 19, 06:52.
                  Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                  Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                  Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                  Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                  Comment


                  • I've been listening to the audiobook for "Path to Blitzkrieg 1920-1939" and Citno talks about how Seeckt wrote papers and gave opinions that the lessons of the Great War (Western Front) were of limited use compared to those of the Eastern Front. He was an East Front commander himself and was involved in maneuver warfare.

                    The reason being that he was most interested in re-invigorating maneuver warfare and the West front was largely that of static and attrition.
                    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                    Comment


                    • A little funny considering that Bruchmuller's artillery tactics was first developed on the Eastern Front. I believe von Seeckt was a German variant of Pershing - he had a blind faith in so-called "maneuver warfare" and much tendency for wishful thinking and ignoring reality and his military ideas were of dubious quality to say the least.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                        A little funny considering that Bruchmuller's artillery tactics was first developed on the Eastern Front. I believe von Seeckt was a German variant of Pershing - he had a blind faith in so-called "maneuver warfare" and much tendency for wishful thinking and ignoring reality and his military ideas were of dubious quality to say the least.
                        wasn't Bruchmuller's tactics rejected by the Germans later on and instead, adopted and advanced by the Soviets?
                        Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                        Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                        Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                        Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                        Comment


                        • Quick preview of "Combat History of the Schwere Panzer-jager-Abteilung 654":

                          Much more valuable IMHO than the previous book on the 643 largely due to a 190 large-format pages of war diary 44/45 with some veteran accounts. The war diary focuses on the use of the battalion in defensive combat from Normandy to the Ruhr pocket.

                          Besides that, the volume is around 650 pages long and is loaded with an enormous amount of photographs. The first group of photos is of the battalion as a motorized/towed Anti-tank gun unit in 1940/1941. Then there is a photo segment (many quite interesting) of the unit 43/44 East Front when it was equipped with Ferdinand tank destroyers and supported by Brummbar equipped units. The third photo segment is composed of West Front 44/45 when it was equipped with a lot of Jagdpanther and Nashorn AFVs.
                          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                          Comment


                          • pg. 144-145, Panzertruppen II on the Beachhead attack at Anzio:

                            Of note is there are three specialized books that cover this in detail (Tiger 508, FK 301, Heavy AT 653) and a unit diary in Tigers in Combat I, Schneider.

                            *** Tiger 508 has the worst armor "Kill ratio" of all Tiger battalions- over 1 for 1. A lot of total losses occurred in retrograde operations in Italy. Tiger 504, another Italian theatre unit that fought in Tunisia prior to it, has around 2.5 to 1.

                            " OKH organized and sent a special force of armor consisting of 45 Tigers in schwere Panzer-Abteilung 508, 76 Panthers with the I.Abteilung/Panzer-Abteilung 4, 11 Ferdinands with the 1.Kompanie/schwere Panzer-Jaeger-Abteilung 653, 57 Sturmpanzer with SturmpanzerAbteilung 216, and 30 Sturmgeschuetze with PanzerAbteilung (Fkl) 301 to drive the Allies back into the sea. "

                            "A trip report to the landing site in Italy written by Oberstleutnant d.G. Rohrbeck on 27 February 1944 reveals whythis assembled force of"superior" German armorwasn't able to wipe out the beachhead:"

                            1. concealed Sherman tanks screening the assault sector

                            2. mountain roads and muddy terrain causing a lot of breakdowns in the approach march. Track, steering breaks, and transmission problems. AFVs blocking roads because of insufficient recovery vehicles

                            3. AFVs rarely make it to the front, and when they do they do so in small bunches and are quickly shot up.

                            4. problems with terrain and visibility. Observation sights are being countered by Allied artillery spotter aircraft. Terrain (soft ground, crater fields, steep ravines cut the path of advances). This channels the movement of armor and results in high losses from the allies' superior position.

                            5. Eliminating the Allied aircraft with Luftwaffe fighter sweeps is impossible because they are being overwatched by Anti-aircraft batteries.

                            6. Allied forces are using manmade smoke screens to obstruct visibility. This is routinely refreshed by the firing of phosphorous shells, which significantly degrades German artillery flash spotters.

                            Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                            Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                            Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                            Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                            Comment


                            • what von Mackenson wanted was two fresh divisions- he was denied this and resorted to collection of fancy AFVs.
                              Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                              Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                              Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                              Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                              Comment


                              • pg. 149, Panzertruppen II comparing West and Italian fronts , August 1944

                                Theatre unique capacities of Artillery and air supremacy emphasized.

                                1. During enemy breakthoughs with tanks, halftrack mounted infantry occupy newly won ground so quickly and so strongly that counterattacking them is usually unsuccessful.

                                Countermeasure: Immediately counterattack with small groups that are positioned to counterattack immediately. Place them behind the MLR. This promises success and disrupt the allied defense congealment.
                                Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                                Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                                Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                                Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                                Comment

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