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  • Baby Tigers...?

    I was just looking at a couple of the more ridiculous tanks the Germans built... which is saying something in itself...

    The Panzer Mark I f and the Mark II j, to be exact. Both had 80mm front and 50mm side armor, and only about 50 were made, combined total. They had not other special features, and they were slow, of course, painfully so.
    What were they thinking?

    I looked, and both had the same time of production; March-December 1942, so there must have been a connection. There must have been some reason...
    That was also when the Tigers were starting to appear.
    Could these have been the intended escorts for the Tiger I?

    The actual escort was the last of the Mark III, the N or L version with the short 75mm that the Mark IV had given up that year. There were supposed to be 10 to escort every 9 Tigers, but only 700 were made, half that of the Tiger I run. They certainly had more firepower than the little guys a couple of MGs and about 60 rounds for the howitzer, but the armor was no better than a normal Mark III, so it would have had trouble surviving alongside the Tigers. The 75mm HE. rounds would also have been less accurate and powerful than the 88 at med-long range.... so maybe they just got passed to another job.

    Were the over-armored Mark I & IIs intended for Tiger escort?
    Would they have done a better job?
    As things stood, there were enough to escort the Ferdinands and Kursk, but they were not used that way. Most don't seem to have been used at all... strange.

  • #2
    Looks like dedicated Infantry support role designed for the assault.

    "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
    -Omar Bradley
    "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
    -Anonymous US Army logistician

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    • #3
      And the heavily-armored Pz.Kpfw.II was intended for reconnaissance units. The idea for both dated back to December 1939.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
        And the heavily-armored Pz.Kpfw.II was intended for reconnaissance units. The idea for both dated back to December 1939.
        How the hell do you Recon at less than 20mph?

        More to the point, who would want to do it with you?
        Last edited by The Exorcist; 17 Dec 15, 14:01.

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        • #5
          That's most likely a Flammenwerfer, a flamethrower tank ,which typically had two equally projecting, large diameter nozzles and needed to get within 100 meters or so of the target.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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          • #6
            I believe they were intended as infantry support tanks filling much the same military ecological niche as the Matilda I
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              That's most likely a Flammenwerfer, a flamethrower tank ,which typically had two equally projecting, large diameter nozzles and needed to get within 100 meters or so of the target.
              I found other pics of them with MG34's protruding from those holes.



              "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
              -Omar Bradley
              "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
              -Anonymous US Army logistician

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                I found other pics of them with MG34's protruding from those holes.
                Yes, that's it, and the Mk II is question even has the same side-hatches.
                Nothing special, but just the thing to dust infantry off the hull of a Tiger.


                However... these types weren't used for Infantry support in the first place, and in 1942 they had Stugs for that role anyway.

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                • #9
                  I was thinking they were built for use as a control vehicle for the Funklenkpanzer but I do not see an antenna on either of those photo's.I know they usually used a Mark II or III for this purpose.Flampanzers were very common with the Mark III Panzer.When I have time I will look through my JJF Funklenkpanzer book its pretty thorough at 610 pages in large 12 x 9 format.


                  Regards,Kurt
                  Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                    I believe they were intended as infantry support tanks filling much the same military ecological niche as the Matilda I
                    I agree. With the difference - and the aggravating circumstance - that they came to this at a time when most people no longer thought that this was a good idea. The Matilda Mk I had been designed years before; and even a battalion of those could and would include a few vehicles with a heavy MG instead of the rifle-caliber one.

                    As the Exorcist said above, "what were they thinking?". That is not a question, it's an answer, in the case of some of the weirdest stuff in this war, and some of the weirdest of the weirdest comes from German drawing boards. That's just it.
                    Michele

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                      I was thinking they were built for use as a control vehicle for the Funklenkpanzer but I do not see an antenna on either of those photo's.I know they usually used a Mark II or III for this purpose.Flampanzers were very common with the Mark III Panzer.When I have time I will look through my JJF Funklenkpanzer book its pretty thorough at 610 pages in large 12 x 9 format.


                      Regards,Kurt
                      I just checked the book.The first control vehicle for the Funklenk's was a Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen Sd.Kfz. 265 definitely not the tank pictured above.Later in the war the Mark III panzer,assault guns- mostly the Sturmgeschutz III Aus G,and even Tiger tanks were used for this purpose.

                      Regards,Kurt
                      Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                        That's most likely a Flammenwerfer, a flamethrower tank ,which typically had two equally projecting, large diameter nozzles and needed to get within 100 meters or so of the target.
                        In the attack on Tobruk, several Mark I had one of their MGs replaced by a man-pack flamethrower to take out bunkers. In the flatlands of a desert, you really can't sneak up to within 30-40 yards of anybody.

                        Originally posted by Michele View Post
                        ....
                        As the Exorcist said above, "what were they thinking?". That is not a question, it's an answer, in the case of some of the weirdest stuff in this war, and some of the weirdest of the weirdest comes from German drawing boards. That's just it.
                        I can't accept that, there had to be some purpose to it all. Its not easy to roll armor plate of that thickness, these things might have been as expensive as the Mark IIIs Iwas talking about. And the suspension and drive-train had to be redesigned so this is no minor operation.

                        I think that Tiger escort was the idea, and they would have been successful in that roll.

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                        • #13
                          Well, in any case, they were actually used in combat to an extent...





                          I think the Germans simply had a penchant for fiddling around with technical stuff trying in an endless attempt to "perfect" it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                            I

                            I can't accept that, there had to be some purpose to it all. Its not easy to roll armor plate of that thickness, these things might have been as expensive as the Mark IIIs Iwas talking about. And the suspension and drive-train had to be redesigned so this is no minor operation.
                            Which took time so by the time they had completed it tactical thinking had rolled way past
                            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                            • #15
                              Eight of the thirty tanks produced were sent to the 1st Panzer Division in 1943 and saw combat at the Battle of Kursk. The rest were given to several army schools for training and evaluation purposes
                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_I

                              ^ Franco, Panzer I, pp. 3839
                              "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
                              -Omar Bradley
                              "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
                              -Anonymous US Army logistician

                              Comment

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