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

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    From the Appendix:

    -June 1944: SS Tiger 101 had a maximum of 18 Tigers operational.

    -July 1944: SS Tiger 101 had a Max of 21. SS Tiger 102 had a Max of 28. Tiger 503 had a Max of 40.

    -August 1944: SS Tiger 101 had a Max of 21. SS Tiger 102 had a Max of 21. Tiger 503 had a Max of 13.

    These were the absolute highest figures, on the majority of days the strengths were much lower.

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  • Cult Icon
    replied
    From "Tigers in Normandy" by Schneider (beginning of the conclusions chapter- I have a digital copy so the page number is wrong). The author also has big books on the SS Tiger 502 and 503

    "In the fighting around the greater area of Caen there were a total of 134 Tigers employed—12 of them being the Tiger II. They were hardly ever employed in a strength greater than that of two platoons, however. The single largest cohesive operation took place on 11 July 1944 with the 21 tanks of schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 102 on both sides of Hill 112. These were joined by several vehicles of schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101. The Tigers were predominately employed in the smallest of groups."

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post

    Hmm. We can safely assume that the one 88mm battery that fired on that one day, against that one battalion, causing that one KIA, was not truly lethal. That's more or less everything we can safely assume.

    Would that be an average result representing all 88mm batteries in all sorts of anti-personnel fire throughout the war?
    Well, how are we to know that? Maybe the crewmen had decided that day to finish up the Schnapps crate.

    And I say "lethal" because you could easily have up to 10 WIAs for one KIA, and those are all casualties. All artillery was more likely to wound than to kill, it still was a very effective way to reduce the actual combat strength of the targeted unit. Knowing how many KIAs a unit suffered is not the same as knowing how many total casualties of all sorts.
    Now there is a good point!! For that 1 KIA there could have also been 10 or a dozen wounded in fact Mr KIA could have died later from wounds received at the same time as the 10 or so! I remember helping to pick up wounded, some of whom looked pretty grotty and could have died back in the UK . I also suspect that the register of wounded and killed originates from the Btns: records made at the time and do not include the fatalities that occur a week or so later, all from the same explosion!! lcm1
    Last edited by lcm1; 19 Nov 18, 19:26.

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    If a combat infantry battalion only has one KIA from artillery, we can safely assume the artillery was ineffective.

    OTOH, given that a KIA means the unit was in combat, we can safely assume 88mm's were not effective.
    Hmm. We can safely assume that the one 88mm battery that fired on that one day, against that one battalion, causing that one KIA, was not truly lethal. That's more or less everything we can safely assume.

    Would that be an average result representing all 88mm batteries in all sorts of anti-personnel fire throughout the war?
    Well, how are we to know that? Maybe the crewmen had decided that day to finish up the Schnapps crate.

    And I say "lethal" because you could easily have up to 10 WIAs for one KIA, and those are all casualties. All artillery was more likely to wound than to kill, it still was a very effective way to reduce the actual combat strength of the targeted unit. Knowing how many KIAs a unit suffered is not the same as knowing how many total casualties of all sorts.

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
    I'm wondering why the Germans didn't report every shell that hit them as being from a 17 pounder.

    Did they have more technologically advanced ears?
    A 17-pounder is effectively a 76mm gun and therefore essentially in the ubiquitous class of 75-76mm guns. It's distinctive as to the barrel length, as compared to the average length of 75-76mm guns, but then again there were other long-barrelled 75-76mm guns in most armies. It also did not gain an early reputation (for the 88 this came in the desert, where the British had little that could reach out at the 88's range). And a towed 17-pounder looks like any large AT gun, unlike the AA 88mm with its distinctive mount.

    OTOH, I'm under the impression that German troops in the East happened to report, at least from time to time, the presence of heavy Soviet tanks, and/or of T-34s, even when these were not on the battlefield.

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

    The sample size you are using is far too small to reach a conclusion, any conclusion, about the effectiveness of the 88mm.

    OTOH your conclusion is just silly.
    I would like to make an explanation at this time for the benefit of those that do not know all of my background, the few weeks that I was attached to an Army commando unit aiming in the direction of Caen was enough to give me quite a broad description of fighting the Germans and the weapons they used, including the 88!! The tail end of the war in the 33rd was just the icing on the cake. lcm1

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  • JustAGuy
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    If a combat infantry battalion only has one KIA from artillery, we can safely assume the artillery was ineffective.

    OTOH, given that a KIA means the unit was in combat, we can safely assume 88mm's were not effective.
    The sample size you are using is far too small to reach a conclusion, any conclusion, about the effectiveness of the 88mm.

    OTOH your conclusion is just silly.

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  • Don Juan
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    If a combat infantry battalion only has one KIA from artillery, we can safely assume the artillery was ineffective, or the unit was not in combat. Given that a KIA means the unit was in combat, we can safely assume 88mm's were not effective.
    Well, they might not have been lethally effective, but they may nonetheless have been psychologically effective.

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  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by JustAGuy View Post

    Again, what does this have to do with the 88mm was more bark than bite thing?
    If a combat infantry battalion only has one KIA from artillery, we can safely assume the artillery was ineffective.

    OTOH, given that a KIA means the unit was in combat, we can safely assume 88mm's were not effective.
    Last edited by Nick the Noodle; 17 Nov 18, 17:18.

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  • Don Juan
    replied
    So perhaps the most effective "psychological" weapons have to be relatively survivable. This would certainly explain the reputation of Katyushas and Moaning Minnies.

    Hmmm....

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
    I'm wondering why the Germans didn't report every shell that hit them as being from a 17 pounder.

    Did they have more technologically advanced ears?
    They all were killed or wounded before they could...

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  • Don Juan
    replied
    I'm wondering why the Germans didn't report every shell that hit them as being from a 17 pounder.

    Did they have more technologically advanced ears?

    Leave a comment:


  • lcm1
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

    Lets get this straight Nick, I have never made any claim of fantastic losses from 88s, in fact I never made any claim of 1 loss, You Did!!!!What I have always said is, it is very unpleasant being on the receiving end of an attack by 88s. The noise is nightmarish!! Right, now that little matter has been dealt with, perhaps we can slowly get around to being friends again. lcm1
    I must add one more thing to what I have said about 88s, I have claimed that the German gunners were pretty good at their job regarding rate of fire and accuracy. lcm1

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  • lcm1
    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..
    Lets get this straight Nick, I have never made any claim of fantastic losses from 88s, in fact I never made any claim of 1 loss, You Did!!!!What I have always said is, it is very unpleasant being on the receiving end of an attack by 88s. The noise is nightmarish!! Right, now that little matter has been dealt with, perhaps we can slowly get around to being friends again. lcm1

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Hi JAG, can't you see mate, he is, even if his quotes are strictly out of a book, determined to prove me wrong. In which case you are wasting your time. Cheers, lcm1

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