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All in the Mind? The psychological effect of Tiger Tanks and 88ís

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  • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    1. Officially the 33rd RM unit did not appear in Germany until May 45, so the KIA in April 45 is a mistake?

    2. 88mm's were relatively rare compared with standard 105 and 150 mm weapons. 105 and 150 were as accurate as 88 weapons, more lethal and more common.

    3. 88mm's were considered dangerous against the Matilda 2. It was the one weapon that could always combat said tank.

    88's are Nazi myth when it comes to true capability.
    nick you are really beginning to **** me off, don't you read anything I say? Yes the 33rd as such did not get back in until April if I remember correctly but an advance party ( a company ) appeared in Belgium, having made the crossing by sea late in December 1944 and came under the command of the Army. ( I believe the local guy Was Canadian.) I was a infantry come SB Medic in that Company. So there was a unit of the 33rd that followed Army instructions in the latter part of action in Belgium and crossed the Rhine into Germany. What is so extraordinary in the part that I did not know the man that was killed? Particularly after 70 odd years, perhaps I knew him at the time, I do not know now. lcm1
    'By Horse by Tram'.


    I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
    " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
      the overwhelming majority of troops that landed in Normandy did not have combat experience with either 88mms or Tigers....
      Of course they didn't, because the majority of the first waves were made up of teens and twenties, first time out. I had only been in the Marines 10 months and I was not by myself I can tell you!! The old hands many from the middle east came in later in the day. You learned as you went along though! lcm1
      'By Horse by Tram'.


      I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
      " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

        1. Officially the 33rd RM unit did not appear in Germany until May 45, so the KIA in April 45 is a mistake?

        2. 88mm's were relatively rare compared with standard 105 and 150 mm weapons. 105 and 150 were as accurate as 88 weapons, more lethal and more common.

        3. 88mm's were considered dangerous against the Matilda 2. It was the one weapon that could always combat said tank.

        88's are Nazi myth when it comes to true capability.
        Believe me, the 88 shells that came screaming in and burst in the air were no myth I assure you. lcm1
        'By Horse by Tram'.


        I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
        " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

        Comment


        • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

          88 shells had a different sound in flight than artillery rounds. Troops generally couldn't differentiate between artillery shells but could tell the higher velocity 88 shells apart. They could also tell the difference between mortar rounds and artillery. Very often they could hear the "thump" of mortars being fired too. They could tell the difference between Allied machineguns and the higher rate of fire German ones too.
          Yes, there was a low sounding Woomph to mortar shells as they came in. lcm1
          'By Horse by Tram'.


          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

          Comment


          • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

            Believe me, the 88 shells that came screaming in and burst in the air were no myth I assure you. lcm1
            So I have been told by men who were there.........

            Have I stumbled into a feud of some sort?

            Comment


            • "the men who were there" made collective mistakes in their combat reporting

              the core mystery to me is not their errors but why and when it became a habit to misidentify german artillery as 88's and german armor as "Tigers" in the west fronts. Probably has something to do with the extensive use of 88mm batteries by Rommel in North Africa.

              In the East, the Soviets did not have the habit of calling german artillery 88s but they did the "Tiger" thing. They also used the term "Ferdinand a lot- even though in WW2 the production of elefants was in the double digits.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elefant
              Last edited by Cult Icon; 15 Nov 18, 01:16.
              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


              • Hi CI, must admit I cannot understand how anyone could mistake an 88 for anything else! The sound was one alone!! lcm1
                'By Horse by Tram'.


                I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

                  So I have been told by men who were there.........

                  Have I stumbled into a feud of some sort?
                  No, it is not a feud, what got my back up was I explained how there came to be the 33rd in Belgium and Germany before the war ended. It was one Company, taking a minor role under army rule and reporting back to HQ. But he just will not accept it. I suspect there was in some quarters a hankering to get the whole Battalion into things because they were ready to go but it was curtailed, because of the occupation of Kiel and the foreign ships as well as German in the docks and a full Battalion would be needed. Cheers, lcm1
                  'By Horse by Tram'.


                  I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                  " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                    how could veterans distinguish between 88mm , 105mm, 150mm, mortars, infantry guns, super heavy, and the polygot of captured artillery pieces (Soviet, French, Czech, etc.) that equipped german forces in normandy?
                    Probably because their Bangs are more distinctive in real life than when written on the page?

                    88mm units were used primarily as AA defense
                    There was no Union rule against them firing at ground targets.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

                      No, it is not a feud, what got my back up was I explained how there came to be the 33rd in Belgium and Germany before the war ended. It was one Company, taking a minor role under army rule and reporting back to HQ. But he just will not accept it. I suspect there was in some quarters a hankering to get the whole Battalion into things because they were ready to go but it was curtailed, because of the occupation of Kiel and the foreign ships as well as German in the docks and a full Battalion would be needed. Cheers, lcm1
                      Good to know.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                        Probably because their Bangs are more distinctive in real life than when written on the page?



                        There was no Union rule against them firing at ground targets.
                        I love that first bit, except it was the scream not the bang that was distinctive. lcm1
                        'By Horse by Tram'.


                        I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                        " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

                          I love that first bit, except it was the scream not the bang that was distinctive. lcm1

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                            "the men who were there" made collective mistakes in their combat reporting
                            Definitely. As any prosecutor or defense attorney will tell you, there is no worse evidence than an eyewitness. Psychological experiments demonstrated, again and again, that eyewitnesses are particularly unreliable if the event they saw happened while they were under stress (for instance, seeing a gun was considered a stress factor; I can imagine that being on a battlefield where the enemy is firing at you in order to kill you also would be...).

                            That said, I have no doubt that the 8.8cm rounds made a noise that was distinctive and different from the noise of rounds fired by howitzers and mortars. The opposite would be surprising, because the noise is chiefly influenced by the speed of the projectile, and howitzers and mortars fire low-velocity rounds, while AA guns fire high-velocity rounds.
                            Now, AT guns also fire high-velocity rounds, but German AT guns in 1944 would save their shots for enemy tanks, and even if they decided to fire at infantry, they'd have only a small allocation of HE rounds, and what's more... large-caliber AT guns firing HE rounds achieve a lower muzzle velocity than when they fire their preferred ammo, AP rounds.
                            The Germans also had other AA guns than the 8.8cm, which fired high-velocity rounds. But these were rare, and also so heavy and unwieldy that they wouldn't be deployed to the battlefield. They were on stationary mounts in the rear areas, firing at bombers.
                            So is that it? No.
                            The Germans, besides howitzers and infantry guns (which also fired low-velocity ammo) also had Kanonen - cannons. These they liked for good accuracy in artillery work at range (and therefore for counter-battery fire, among other things), and for even greater accuracy at shorter range, for instance for bunker-busting purposes. And they fired HE. They had good optics, long barrels, capability to fire well on a straight trajectory (unlike howitzers or, worse, mortars) and - high velocity HE rounds.

                            For instance, the 10cm sK 18 had a muzzle velocity of 835 m/s; the 8.8cm FlaK 18's muzzle velocity was 840 m/s. The 10.5cm sK 18/40 had a muzzle velocity of 910 m/s. The Germans also used a hodge-podge of foreign cannons in 1944. A 10cm cannon fires a round that is only 12mm larger in caliber than the 8.8cm FlaK's round.

                            These cannons could be part of the divisional artillery, or more often be in non-divisional artillery battalions. They would often be used to lay direct-fire ambushes, letting the enemy walk into their killing fields and engaging the advancing enemy with LOS fire. Note that back in 1941, if you faced a platoon of KV tanks, the next best thing to having a battery of 88s was having a battery of these heavy cannons; they could deal with the KVs.

                            Michele

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                            • Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                              Probably because their Bangs are more distinctive in real life than when written on the page?

                              There was no Union rule against them firing at ground targets.
                              "I was there" doesn't mean "I am right". Especially about large scale phenomenon that is beyond any one man's experience...

                              The author Zaloga, who examines a lot of US primary information has also mentioned the misreporting of 88mm and Tigers as a collective habit. I collect a lot of secondary material myself and have seen this & generally ignore it when I see it.

                              If 88mm guns were say, 5% of the German artillery pieces in Normandy then accounts do not reflect this proportion.
                              Last edited by Cult Icon; 16 Nov 18, 13:50.
                              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


                              • Originally posted by Michele View Post

                                Definitely. As any prosecutor or defense attorney will tell you, there is no worse evidence than an eyewitness. Psychological experiments demonstrated, again and again, that eyewitnesses are particularly unreliable if the event they saw happened while they were under stress (for instance, seeing a gun was considered a stress factor; I can imagine that being on a battlefield where the enemy is firing at you in order to kill you also would be...).

                                the brain is a fallible organ

                                there's also the aspect of people embellishing things, forgetting things, or re-arranging their memories after the fact. eg. After learning something new, the memories change into something that "fit" the new narrative.

                                or the person themselves change dramatically so they interpret/analyze /recall their memories very differently and the memory has a new life of its own.

                                The longer the time passes, the more inaccurate the memory becomes.

                                So if I experienced something 80 years ago the observation would not be the same as if I wrote about it a journal entry that very night.

                                I don't recall things that happen 3 years ago that well and with that much detail, let alone longer than that.
                                Last edited by Cult Icon; 16 Nov 18, 14:21.
                                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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