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

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    At least a few Porsche Tigers with turrets saw actual service with S. Pzjr Reg 656 and S. Pzjr Abt. 654 as command vehicles.

    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.)

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    At least a few Porsche Tigers with turrets saw actual service with S. Pzjr Reg 656 and S. Pzjr Abt. 654 as command vehicles.

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
    " <snip> ... Truly, these tanks had an effect out of all proportion to their numbers, as their production figures indicate. Just over five and a half thousand Tiger Is were produced, and no more than 1,800 Tiger IIs. ... <snip> "
    The figures are much lower than that. The highest plausible number for Tiger I actually reaching the field is 1,413 but this is taken from monthly issues to units between late 1942 and the end of the war which doesn't appear to rule out full rebuilds. The lowest production figure generally accepted (presumably not including the few early "Porsche Tigers") is 1,354.
    For Tiger II, we are looking at slightly less than 500; the lowest generally accepted figure being 489.
    These numbers are for turreted tanks. Smaller additional numbers of each chassis type were built as SPs; (i.e. with guns in a fixed superstructure.)

    So if we combine Tiger I and Tiger II production, it comes to no more than about 2,000 tanks.
    We could add in the above-mentioned small number of SP artillery & "tank destroyer" variants which were not tanks in the strict sense; and include the earlier so-called "Porsche Tigers" (which were mostly if not all converted to SPs anyway) but even then we would not be going all that far past 2,000.
    Last edited by panther3485; 06 Nov 18, 22:43.

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    The scene from Fury is almost certainly down to a doc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj0AzL95Weg

    It is so wrong on so many levels it still pains me.
    The documentary is definitely a very poor quality product, not only for the inaccuracy and outright incorrectness of some of the information but also for its lack of balance.
    I have respect for the veterans who were interviewed for it but none for the people who produced and/or presented it.
    In particular, the gentleman with the frizzy hair who does a lot of talking actually says,
    "The only vulnerable spot on the Tiger tank is the rear".
    (about 21 - 22 minutes into the program.)
    That statement on its own totally disqualifies this person from having ANYTHING to do with a documentary involving WW2 tanks. Frankly, upon hearing it I almost told myself that this guy should be *ucking well shot! (OK, not really but it makes me quite annoyed to hear that same old BS again in a so-called "documentary".)

    It's also highly misleading for giving the impression that the whole "Tiger vs Sherman" thing was like a duel in isolation, with these two tanks being the only participants. It totally ignores all other weapons, weapon systems and other factors that contributed to the destruction of Tiger tanks on the battlefields, on both Eastern and Western fronts. It also tends to support the idea that Tigers were encountered almost everywhere when in fact they were a relative rarity.
    For every reasonably decent quality TV documentary I've seen, there must have been at least a dozen "junk documentaries" like this one.

    Having said all the above, I don't believe it's likely that the "rear of the Tiger" myth was started by this particular documentary. IMO it's far more probable that it is merely perpetuating an already long-standing myth. Nevertheless, the constant regurgitation of such bull$hit is still an indictment of the product and those who produced it, because it shows that nobody did any really serious research or fact-checking.

    Documentary, my arse!
    Last edited by panther3485; 06 Nov 18, 21:02.

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

    You're not that uninformed. What's your real point?
    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.

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by dgfred View Post
    I did think there were 'vents' on top and the engine (gas) was right behind the rear plate. No expert am I.
    Yes, there were ventilation grates on top of the engine compartment - primarily for cooling - and the fuel tanks were also in that same general area (aft of the bulkhead). Obviously, a penetration into the engine compartment would most likely KO the engine and very probably start a fire.
    While this is extremely serious and would immobilize the tank, the crew would have a good chance of being able to bale out and possibly fight another day in another tank (if they managed to avoid being shot or fragged on exit).
    On the other hand, a penetration from either side into the crew compartment would very likely be catastrophic to both the tank AND its crew. A dead tank containing five charred and blackened corpses is quite probable.
    However, my main point is that a penetration to the sides is JUST AS EASY IF NOT EASIER than a penetration to the rear:
    • The armour protection at the sides is equal to or slightly less than, the protection at the rear. Definitely not better.
    • Either one of the sides of the Tiger offers a somewhat larger target area than the rear.
    • There are TWO sides and only ONE rear.
    • In most tactical situations, it would be less difficult to get at either of the sides, than the rear.
    Last edited by panther3485; 06 Nov 18, 19:52.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post

    It's interesting how much this bull$hit gets repeated, to the point where just about everyone seems to believe it.
    Movies seem to be among the worst culprits for spreading it.
    The rear end of the Tiger tank was not, repeat NOT especially vulnerable in the way these movies try to tell us.
    If an Allied tank carried a gun capable of penetrating the Tiger's 80mm rear armour, then that same gun would be no less able - under similar conditions such as range, angle etc - to penetrate the sides of the the tank, most of which was the same 80mm thickness.
    Furthermore, the part of the Tiger's side armour that wasn't 80mm was actually thinner at 60mm; although only a relatively small portion of it and sometimes none of it, was directly exposed (depending on the angles involved). This was the area between the top of the tracks and the underside of the panniers.

    Perhaps most important of all though, a side penetration into the crew compartment would usually be far more likely to be instantaneously deadly than a rear penetration into the engine compartment.
    Kelly's Hero's was - I think - meant to be "tongue in cheek" and at least partly comedy anyway; so not to be taken so seriously.
    Fury, on the other hand, comes across as a much more "serious" movie and I for one mark it down substantially for continuing to perpetuate this "have to hit a Tiger up the ass" rubbish.


    OK, time to chill out now and get a life .... but where can I find one?
    The scene from Fury is almost certainly down to a doc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj0AzL95Weg

    It is so wrong on so many levels it still pains me.

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

    Yet, you have sung the praises of the 87.7mm 25 pdr as an artillery piece...
    You're not that uninformed. What's your real point?

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    But with true artillery bombardment, there is no such aimed firing and what you want is a large lethal radius.
    Indirect artillery fire directed by an artillery observers is aimed, isn't it? I mean they pick targets and direct artillery fire on them.

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post

    Not so academic, I think, if he's the target of an indirect fire artillery barrage, rather than the target of a direct-fire shooting. With direct firing, the gun crew could see the target and aim at the hapless infantryman (or, more likely, to a small group of infantrymen), and accuracy in targeting (something the 8.8cm crews excelled at, especially late in the war, because of their usual employment, and also because they had good and especially suitable targeting equipment) could and would compensate for a smaller lethal radius. But with true artillery bombardment, there is no such aimed firing and what you want is a large lethal radius.
    I think you have misunderstood British irony

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
    Possibly a higher muzzle velocity requires a stronger (thicker) shell casing hence less HE payload. I have read that the HE shell for the 17 pounder AT gun was less effective than HE shells fired from similar calibre weapons. All of which is somewhat academic for the individual infantryman if he happens to be the target.
    Not so academic, I think, if he's the target of an indirect fire artillery barrage, rather than the target of a direct-fire shooting. With direct firing, the gun crew could see the target and aim at the hapless infantryman (or, more likely, to a small group of infantrymen), and accuracy in targeting (something the 8.8cm crews excelled at, especially late in the war, because of their usual employment, and also because they had good and especially suitable targeting equipment) could and would compensate for a smaller lethal radius. But with true artillery bombardment, there is no such aimed firing and what you want is a large lethal radius.

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  • dgfred
    replied
    I did think there were 'vents' on top and the engine (gas) was right behind the rear plate. No expert am I.

    Leave a comment:


  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
    " <snip> ... A recent war picture ("Fury") featured Tiger Fever in their engagement with one of the behemoths. It's the only time that "War Daddy's" crew actually begin to panic in an engagement, and they have to work their way around to the rear of the enemy machine before they can guarantee a "kill" shot.

    Another movie featuring "Tiger Fever" is the Clint Eastwood "Kellys Heroes", as tank commander Oddball tries to explain to his crew that the only way to take on a Tiger is to "Hit it up the ass". ... <snip> "
    It's interesting how much this bull$hit gets repeated, to the point where just about everyone seems to believe it.
    Movies seem to be among the worst culprits for spreading it.
    The rear end of the Tiger tank was not, repeat NOT especially vulnerable in the way these movies try to tell us.
    If an Allied tank carried a gun capable of penetrating the Tiger's 80mm rear armour, then that same gun would be no less able - under similar conditions such as range, angle etc - to penetrate the sides of the the tank, most of which was the same 80mm thickness.
    Furthermore, the part of the Tiger's side armour that wasn't 80mm was actually thinner at 60mm; although only a relatively small portion of it and sometimes none of it, was directly exposed (depending on the angles involved). This was the area between the top of the tracks and the underside of the panniers.

    Perhaps most important of all though, a side penetration into the crew compartment would usually be far more likely to be instantaneously deadly than a rear penetration into the engine compartment.
    Kelly's Hero's was - I think - meant to be "tongue in cheek" and at least partly comedy anyway; so not to be taken so seriously.
    Fury, on the other hand, comes across as a much more "serious" movie and I for one mark it down substantially for continuing to perpetuate this "have to hit a Tiger up the ass" rubbish.


    OK, time to chill out now and get a life .... but where can I find one?

    Leave a comment:


  • MarkV
    replied
    Possibly a higher muzzle velocity requires a stronger (thicker) shell casing hence less HE payload. I have read that the HE shell for the 17 pounder AT gun was less effective than HE shells fired from similar calibre weapons. All of which is somewhat academic for the individual infantryman if he happens to be the target.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
    I remember an occasion when we, ( Foot soldiers ) came under direct fire from a cluster of 3 88s, and puny would be the last word I would use to describe the effect!! lcm1
    Which does not contradict what Nick wrote. He said "relatively" puny when used for artillery work, bombardment, as in, in indirect firing.

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