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  • Thoughts on German Heavy Tanks

    Just a few thoughts on German heavy tanks:

    Were they worth the time and resources it took to build, maintain, and use them?

    Should they have been scrapped in favor of more medium tanks?

    Were they really practical for Germany, given her position when they started being built (1942-43)?

    IMO, if I were the Germans during WWII I would have scrapped Tiger IIs, Elefants, Jadgtigers, Mauses, and the like, and would have built more StuG. IIIs (long barreled), more Pzkpf. IVs, more Hetzers, lots more Panthers, and a few Tigers to be used by independent heavy tank battalions. Even then, though, not too many Tigers -- focus more on a mix of quantity and quality.

    And I would have developed long range Ural bombers, and nuclear subs, and....

  • #2
    Originally posted by CatholicCrusade View Post
    Just a few thoughts on German heavy tanks:

    Were they worth the time and resources it took to build, maintain, and use them?

    Should they have been scrapped in favor of more medium tanks?

    Were they really practical for Germany, given her position when they started being built (1942-43)?

    IMO, if I were the Germans during WWII I would have scrapped Tiger IIs, Elefants, Jadgtigers, Mauses, and the like, and would have built more StuG. IIIs (long barreled), more Pzkpf. IVs, more Hetzers, lots more Panthers, and a few Tigers to be used by independent heavy tank battalions. Even then, though, not too many Tigers -- focus more on a mix of quantity and quality.

    And I would have developed long range Ural bombers, and nuclear subs, and....
    1. No
    2.They should not have been built in the first place.
    3.Actually given that the Germans were more or less on the defense from 43' onward I would say yes, as their heavy tanks were pretty good on the D.
    "Kill them all, god will recognize his own."

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    • #3
      1. No

      2. Yes

      3. No

      while the tiger tanks, I & II, were formidable fighting machines that could potentially dominate a battlefield, they were not practical. my reasons for this viewpoint are:

      the fuel supplies that these vehicles required were quickly dwindling.

      the armaments industry producing them were under increasingly heavy allied bombardment

      the german supply system had trouble supplying the fuel and ammunition that was available to the troops

      the machines that were severely damaged were sent all the back to germany

      they were difficult to keep in working condition in the field

      hitler wanted too many types of vehicles produced instead of less types of more reliable practical vehicles.

      were the tiger tanks better than anything the allies had at the time? yes, imo
      but the germans weren't able to keep them fueled and armed for fighting conditions, which was more important than anything else. they might have been tougher tanks with more firepower that what the allies had, but they couldn't keep them going.
      "Why ain't they killin us Chavez?" "We're in the spirit world a#%hole, they cain't see us."

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      • #4
        And plus WW2 was a war of attrition. Numbers were important. Enough of reasonably good quality machines would beat insufficient numbers of very good machines.

        German heavy tanks are good designs. They're just not good for the German war effort.

        Comment


        • #5
          This has been/still is being discussed, with almost identical parameters, on another thread here.
          "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
          Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
            This has been/still is being discussed, with almost identical parameters, on another thread here.
            Yep,...right here and as late as yesterday

            http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=53730
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
              This has been/still is being discussed, with almost identical parameters, on another thread here.
              oops.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CatholicCrusade View Post
                Just a few thoughts on German heavy tanks:

                Were they worth the time and resources it took to build, maintain, and use them?

                Should they have been scrapped in favor of more medium tanks?

                Were they really practical for Germany, given her position when they started being built (1942-43)?

                IMO, if I were the Germans during WWII I would have scrapped Tiger IIs, Elefants, Jadgtigers, Mauses, and the like, and would have built more StuG. IIIs (long barreled), more Pzkpf. IVs, more Hetzers, lots more Panthers, and a few Tigers to be used by independent heavy tank battalions. Even then, though, not too many Tigers -- focus more on a mix of quantity and quality.

                And I would have developed long range Ural bombers, and nuclear subs, and....
                What is it with you and your nuclear attack submarine obsession!!!!!!!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I got the mother of all heavy tanks and wasted resouces right here, the Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte. Bow before it's awesome impracticality!

                  "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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                  • #10
                    What wasted resources? Production was never initialised, and I haven't even seen reliable evidence of it ever being contemplated.
                    Panzerworld
                    Preserved Military Vehicle Registry Project More than 1000 Second World War-era museum vehicles on record

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                    • #11
                      All I meant was that it would have been a colossal waste of resources, not that any resources were actually spent on it. Apart from the time to design it. It was contemplated but only for a very short time and never got past the earliest of design stages.
                      "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by frisco17 View Post
                        I got the mother of all heavy tanks and wasted resouces right here, the Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte. Bow before it's awesome impracticality!

                        Are you telling me that this thing was actually considered by the Germans for production!!??? I thought it must have been from the cover of a long lost Iron Maiden album!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My thoughts on this.....

                          1. No, not worth it. Why? Germany lost.

                          2. Yes, change it up. Why, again from point 1 reason. I would think that the Pz IV H and the Panther would be good choices here.

                          Everyone needs to think on the time line here. Instead of the developement and resources put into the heavy units at the time of. They would have been put in those two "medium" tanks at the time of. The result? Full Panther Divisions as well as the Pz IV with less problems when first fielding them.

                          Think of the results of say.... Kursk. with this in mind. We must imagine here, but I think you get my point here. The battles that COULD have been won is what I'm getting at here, as well as the time.

                          3. That depends on point 1 or 2 and what would have happened........

                          Just my opinion......

                          Cheers

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Heavy tanks

                            I've read accounts of German tank crews (Tiger tanks) at Kursk where they actually had Russian artillary continually bounce of their tanks while the Panther and Panzer IV tanks around them blew up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tigers were worth the resources. Their just weren't enough of them. You could have made a few Panzer IVs but their armor was never good enough. Tiger IIs probably were a waste. Not much better than the Tiger I but alot heavier and costlier.
                              "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

                              Comment

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