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

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  • lodestar
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
    Yes I know the whole thing together or apart has been done too many times. I personally had little to do with tanks of any country or breed BUT I did strike up an unwanted association with 88s and it was not the gun itself but the accuracy of the missile it was flinging at you!! For I am convinced that it was the finely trained German gun crews that were mainly responsible. lcm1
    Yes, if there’s one factor which the Western allies always recognised about the way the Germans fought in 1943-45, it was how they were so often able to get the absolute most of what little they had.

    Not just their small arms but anti-tank guns like the 88, mines, support artillery, and of course AFV’s like the Tiger.

    This coupled with their generally high levels of training and proficiency and that overall excellent unit cohesion under sometimes tremendous pressure made them formidable opponents.

    My father said that his father who fought them for four years in the trenchs 1914-18 including Verdun had always said of the Germans that they were ‘hard to shift’ when defending and ‘hard to stop’ when attacking’.

    Same could be said about them in WWII.

    But back to the 88:
    Ian Hogg the noted artillery writer said of its use in Normandy in issue 2 (May 1974) of the old ‘War Monthly’ magazine;
    By this time, too, the 88 was a standard tank gun. Its threat was greater than it had been as an anti-tank gun - now, the 88 could come looking for you.
    But by this time also the Allies were in a better position; their tank armor was thicker – though not enough to survive a short-range encounter with an 88. And their tank and anti-tank guns were of equal greater power.”
    He also notes:

    “In summary the potency of the 88 was that it was present in reasonable numbers, when it was needed. ‘They’ had them, ‘we’ didn’t. And anything an enemy has which makes life unpleasant for you tends to earn a larger-than-life reputation.”

    lodestar was neither liked nor trusted. Not by those who raised him, those he grew up with and went to school with, those he worked with and associated with as an adult, nor those who know him now.
    One woman told him she felt uneasy around him because: 'Your eyes are the colour of dirty coins.'


    Regards lodestar

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Yes I know the whole thing together or apart has been done too many times. I personally had little to do with tanks of any country or breed BUT I did strike up an unwanted association with 88s and it was not the gun itself but the accuracy of the missile it was flinging at you!! For I am convinced that it was the finely trained German gun crews that were mainly responsible. lcm1

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  • Von Richter
    replied
    In my 'umble opinion, the fact that both us and Ivan had to winkle the bastrards out of their lairs, to kill 'em had something to do with it. All adolf's big cats could be made to suffer when they came out of the jungle to hunt. Most famous example being Wittmann's mob getting caught in Joe Ekins' tiger pit at Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil.

    Leave a comment:


  • All in the Mind? The psychological effect of Tiger Tanks and 88’s

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

    I’m interested in the way mass psychology, ‘mindsets’, fears and syndromes work in various ways and (you guessed it!) am trying to re-develop (from yellowing 1970’s notes and scribbled jottings - no laptops back then folks) a tutorial thematic on examples of the above phenomenon in modern era (1455 – present-day) armies (and if an army isn’t a ‘mass’, then what the heck is it?).

    I thought a good example from WWII might be the way the German Tiger tank (Pzkw VI) and 88mm Anti-aircraft/anti-tank gun established such fearsome, almost legendary reputations amongst allied armies.

    I’m wondering whether posters think the standing of the Tiger and ‘88’ as ‘killer’ super-weapons was based on the reality that they were both simply very good at what they did for their day OR if their status may have been more a product of simple word-of-mouth rumour-spreading and panicking scaremongering (too strong a word?).

    Quite a few writers in the military field have been suggesting over the years that they were ‘overrated’.
    This of course begs the question: compared to what?
    They’ve also pointed out and I think probably exaggerated certain problems and deficiencies the weapons had.
    For example: the Tiger was supposedly too slow and cumbersome, had complicated suspension and road-wheel system, engines requiring high maintenance and there was confusion and uncertainty regarding role etc.
    Or that the 88 was too high to be easily concealed an important factor for the anti-tank role.

    I’m sure the weapons have been discussed before on the forum but I’m mainly interested in the effect of their ‘reps’ and how allied actions may have been effected by the fear that Tigers or 88’s were ‘around’.

    Regards
    lodestar

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