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

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

    I thought air bursts were used against ground targets using mechanical time fuzes.
    The Allies used air bursts against ground targets using proximity fuses, this was very effective. Germany had several proximity fuse developments each one sponsored by a different Nazi grandee but none quite made it. Using mechanical time fuzes was problematic.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

    I thought air bursts were used against ground targets using mechanical time fuzes.
    Normally they would be, but it appears limited supplies prohibited their use in this case. Yet another reason why the 88 mm would have been less effective than the standard German 105 and 150 mm artillery.

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    And?
    I thought air bursts were used against ground targets using mechanical time fuzes.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

    Pages 441, 443 - 444 of your source shows the 88mm HE projectile Type L/4.7 used a "mechanical time fuze." It was for use in the Flak 41 and 43 AA guns.
    And?

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    I have a copy of Zetterling's Normandy 44', which has the equipment status of all German units in the campaign. 88mm would figure distinctly in the minority of the German artillery park. someone else who has the book too could do a count if they are so inclined.

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    I've just been sent a report that states that 88mms did not use airburst fuses, because these were to be used against aircraft only, this being from a post-war (1947) account of General Wolfgang Pickert (who commanded the III Flak Korps in Normandy).

    Again, I can find no reason why an 88 mm HE (2.25 Ibs p442) would be more feared than a 105 mm (3 Ibs p471) or an even more massive 150 mm artillery rounds.

    http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a376695.pdf
    Pages 438-441, 443 - 444 of your source shows the 88mm HE projectile Type L/4.7 used a "mechanical time fuze." It was for use in the Flak 18, 36, 37 and 41 AA guns .
    Last edited by JustAGuy; 09 Nov 18, 19:31. Reason: Correct error on types of guns.

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  • MarkV
    replied
    [QUOTE=Nick the Noodle;n5074869]

    Again, I can find no reason why an 88 mm HE (2.25 Ibs p442) would be more feared than a 105 mm (3 Ibs p471) or an even more massive 150 mm artillery rounds.

    Simple this has already been discussed - it made a more nerve shattering noise

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

    The 88 was feared in that role because the crew usually fired timed rounds to air burst low over the target rather than impact fuzed rounds.
    I've just been sent a report that states that 88mms did not use airburst fuses, because these were to be used against aircraft only, this being from a post-war (1947) account of General Wolfgang Pickert (who commanded the III Flak Korps in Normandy).

    Again, I can find no reason why an 88 mm HE (2.25 Ibs p442) would be more feared than a 105 mm (3 Ibs p471) or an even more massive 150 mm artillery rounds.

    http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a376695.pdf

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  • dgfred
    replied
    Surely a great thing for us. Glad you are here and were there.

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Hi guys, I know that you are talking about tanks at the moment ( something I know 'Sweet Fanny Adams' about) but I must say this on the subject of the 88 on infantry. I do believe that I am the only person taking part in this debate that has actually been under fire from the afore said weapon. Yet it seems to me that my comments are on the whole carefully avoided, so be good fellows and carefully listen to this my final words on the topic. The ammunition used often by them appeared to burst just above ground level which meant that there was shrapnel flying and all you could do was drop flat and pray. I was always lucky, which shows the truth in that saying , "Only the good die young". lcm1

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post

    Nick's remark pertained to the 88 being used as artillery, i.e. not as an AT gun, not as the AA gun it was designed as. "As an artillery piece", well, those can be field guns/cannons firing HE with direct fire, or, and I think that was what Nick meant, howitzers firing HE on a curved trajectory, with indirect fire.

    The key words in your message, naturally, are "reputation" and "thought". That's the issue in this thread. Personally, I don't believe that it was "all in the mind"; but neither was those reputation and thoughts entirely objective. Not then, not now.
    The 88 was feared in that role because the crew usually fired timed rounds to air burst low over the target rather than impact fuzed rounds.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Has anyone seen that compilation of Canadian battlefield questionnaires that Robert Engen published?

    There is one full one here

    Some replies:

    "Please give your view of the main reason for the adverse moral effectiveness of the three weapons you have marked in column three:
    (1) Weapon with the greatest adverse moral effect, ie High Level Bombers effective because Such tremendous bombs - dugouts and slit trenches no use - no way of fighting back for infantry
    (2) Weapon with the next greatest adverse moral effect, ie 88mm anti-tank guns effective because They are used on personnel - you cannot hear it coming - is so accurate
    (3) Weapon with the next greatest adverse moral effect, ie Tanks effective because They look so formidable - tremendous firepower - takes guts to wait until they are in range of PIAT

    List any weapons whose effect upon morale in your unit appeared to decrease with experience
    Rifle
    Medium Machine Gun
    Schmeisser
    Mortar
    Stick Grenades
    Egg Grenades
    List any weapons whose effect upon morale in your unit appeared to increase with experience
    88mm
    heavy artillery
    105 mm
    Moaning Minnie

    http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads...ionnaire.5049/

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

    That you quickly denigrated one, while praising the other. Like it or don't, the German 8.8cm flak gun gained a fearsome reputation in WW 2. It also proved an effective AA gun, antitank gun, and artillery piece. I have little doubt that those on the receiving end of any of that thought differently.
    Nick's remark pertained to the 88 being used as artillery, i.e. not as an AT gun, not as the AA gun it was designed as. "As an artillery piece", well, those can be field guns/cannons firing HE with direct fire, or, and I think that was what Nick meant, howitzers firing HE on a curved trajectory, with indirect fire.

    The key words in your message, naturally, are "reputation" and "thought". That's the issue in this thread. Personally, I don't believe that it was "all in the mind"; but neither was those reputation and thoughts entirely objective. Not then, not now.

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

    Indirect artillery fire directed by an artillery observers is aimed, isn't it? I mean they pick targets and direct artillery fire on them.
    Of course, though it's called "observed" fire, not aimed. But that aiming, in indirect fire, does not depend upon the gun crew's training in firing at direct targets - which is what German 88mm crews were trained for and often excelled at - nor does it depend on the gun's own targeting equipment - and the 88s came with very good optics, meant for firing at aircraft.

    Indirect fire aiming, OTOH, depends on things like the FO's training, his radio equipment, previous surveying and good maps, etc. All of which does not come as standard for 88mm units meant for AT work, much less for 88mm units meant for AA work, and even less so for 88mm units meant for AA work that belonged to the Luftwaffe and not the Heer.
    Late in the war, of course, a German divisional commander could assign an 88mm battery to be directed by his own standard artillery regiment's FOs. But even in that case, that meant the 88mm crews doing something they were not particularly well trained for.

    And for the record, you actually can fire indirect fire that is not observed in any way. It's "map fire". You think the enemy is using a crossroads you have no line of sight to, but you do have long-range artillery that can reach that spot; so you decide to harass or even interdict the enemy movements with unobserved fire onto the terrain feature.
    Last edited by Michele; 07 Nov 18, 09:06.

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post

    Yep. IIRC, they were rebuilt as Ferdinands/Elefants later; or maybe some. Possibly one or two kept in the "tank configuration" but I have doubts and scratching through my memory here.
    (Several years since my last reading on this subject.)
    S. Pzjr Abt 653 got the two VK 4503 (Porsche Tiger) turreted prototype tanks assigned to it in early 1944, as it was the unit with the remaining Elefant Panzerjäger that kind of makes sense.

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