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

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    Er..... if only one person is KIA in an infantry unit, it has not seen much combat. Most infantry battalions regularly have over 100% losses, ie more losses than their initial manpower strength. Further, if casualties are caused by enemy artillery, it will almost certainly be by a 105mm round, over 200 times more likely in fact..
    Again, what does this have to do with the 88mm was more bark than bite thing?

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

    That is all well and good. However, it does not prove your position regarding 88mms or why the single KIA in lmc1's unit proves they were all bark and no bite.
    Er..... if only one person is KIA in an infantry unit, it has not seen much combat. Most infantry battalions regularly have over 100% losses, ie more losses than their initial manpower strength. Further, if casualties are caused by enemy artillery, it will almost certainly be by a 105mm round, over 200 times more likely in fact..

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    I personally believe Tiger was a catch all term for any enemy tanks in most reports.

    As for rounds fired, you are 33 times more likely to be shot at by a 75mm PaK, and two hundred times more likely to be shot at by a 105mm leFH than an 88mm (all types).
    That is all well and good. However, it does not prove your position regarding 88mms or why the single KIA in lmc1's unit proves they were all bark and no bite.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post

    "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.
    I personally believe Tiger was a catch all term for any enemy tanks in most reports.

    As for rounds fired, you are 33 times more likely to be shot at by a 75mm PaK, and two hundred times more likely to be shot at by a 105mm leFH than an 88mm (all types).

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    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, 15:21.

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    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, 14:50.

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  • Michele
    replied
    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.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

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

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  • lcm1
    replied
    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

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    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.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    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.

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  • lcm1
    replied
    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

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Hi CI, must admit I cannot understand how anyone could mistake an 88 for anything else! The sound was one alone!! lcm1

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    "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, 02:16.

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    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?

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