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  • Panzers vs. U.S. armor, need good accounts

    Hi again.

    I never really got a straightforward answer to my post about Pz performance at Bulge.

    This is what I am looking for.
    -After action reports or articles by GERMAN sources preferably saying:
    "we advanced towards St. Vith....destroyed X number of Shermans and x number of M-10s."
    -We destroyed x number of sherman for loss of y number of Pz IVs

    or conversely:
    -for the week of Dec x to y: Germans lost X number of tanks, americans lost Y number of tanks.
    -King Tiger #xxx destroyed 5 shermans at x crossroads

    HISTORY is written by the winners so all we here about is the piecemeal tank attacks by the germans at bastogne.

    weren't the panzers making strong advances the first several days? there must be some accounts of the tank vs. tank battles then.

    ON A RELATED NOTE: i'd be happy if someone can point me towards good accounts of tank v. tank combat in Normandy or Market Garden or Sicily or Italy.

    Thanks!!! I do HO tabletop gaming with Roco so its nice to have real accounts to create scenarios with.

  • #2
    Originally posted by dsenebrecht View Post
    Hi again.

    I never really got a straightforward answer to my post about Pz performance at Bulge.

    This is what I am looking for.
    -After action reports or articles by GERMAN sources preferably saying:
    "we advanced towards St. Vith....destroyed X number of Shermans and x number of M-10s."
    -We destroyed x number of sherman for loss of y number of Pz IVs
    The web positively groans under the weight of accounts describing how Pazer Ace 'X' knocked out 10 Shermans before breakfast. They are far from reality but you can not say you have not seen them.
    What I think you are asking is for confirmation that ace 'X' really did knock out those Shermans and that is not possible.

    Originally posted by dsenebrecht View Post
    or conversely:
    -for the week of Dec x to y: Germans lost X number of tanks, americans lost Y number of tanks.
    -King Tiger #xxx destroyed 5 shermans at x crossroads
    Forgive me if I make a leap here but I believe you are leaning towards the view that 'King Tiger #xxx destroyed 5 shermans at x crossroads' was a common event.


    Originally posted by dsenebrecht View Post
    HISTORY is written by the winners so all we here about is the piecemeal tank attacks by the germans at bastogne.

    weren't the panzers making strong advances the first several days? there must be some accounts of the tank vs. tank battles then.
    Again it seems your interest is in only in confirming your already established belief.


    The reality.
    You will never find data that lists tank losses in a format that allows you to say 'X' knocked out 10 tanks on 6/6/44 and lost 5 in return.
    Simply put the data on losses is confused because German claims for knocked out tanks were in fact claims for tanks hit. This error is compounded by the fact 'kill' claims (actualy hit claims)were inflated by an order of 50%.

    Comment


    • #3
      not pre-conceived. just want accurate data

      actually what I'm looking for is straightforward account.

      FACT: Some American tanks were destroyed in battle
      FACT: German tanks killed some of them
      ERGO: there must be good written accounts some where.

      For example, Max Hastings book, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945

      had excellent accounts of German panzers on the high ground picking off British armor as they tried to advance across on the open fields (I can't remember the battle) and then described how the British eventually prevailed.

      For example, Tigers in the Mud, provide detailed accounts of battles. I just need a good western front equivalent.

      thanks in advance.

      Comment


      • #4
        Michael Reynolds' books about the Waffen SS are good although he goes a little easy on them in regards to their atrocities.

        http://www.amazon.com/MEN-STEEL-Panz...3778459&sr=1-1


        http://www.amazon.com/SONS-REICH-His...3778459&sr=1-3


        http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Inferno-...3778459&sr=1-5
        "The legitimate object of war is a more perfect peace." General William T. Sherman , 20 July 1865

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        • #5
          I think Hastings and "Tigers in the Mud" exaggerate how good the Panzers were. Hastings tends to overrate German capability and "Tigers in the Mud" was written by a Tiger I commander.

          There are good Osprey books that do analysis: Ie. T-34 vs. Panther, Sherman Firefly vs. Tiger I, etc. There is also a book called Tank Tactics (which is filled with stats) that is pretty good.

          Anyway, what you will find is the fact that the German Panzer forces in Normandy and afterward just weren't that good.

          Comment


          • #6
            Anyway, if you want to model scenarios where German armored battlegroups perform well, try the Eastern front or against the Allies in North Africa. The Panzer divisions were at their strongest and most capable pre-invasion 1941. They never recovered. They were already greatly weakened in capability as early as the East front offensives of 1942. By 1944, they just weren't in their element anymore, particularly against the Western allies.

            From the back of my head regarding the King Tiger..

            -75% of King Tigers deployed were abandoned due to lack of fuel and mechanical breakdown. The greatest enemy of this AFV was itself and Germany's retreating war situation.

            -The King Tiger was a tough opponent when it..worked..on the Eastern Front.

            -Most of the Tiger Battalion attached to KG Peiper broke down during the advance. Those that made it destroyed a company of so of attacking Shermans in one of his last stands.

            -there is a King Tiger attack that killed General Rose, commander of US 3rd Armored division

            -there was a King Tiger attack in 1945 that destroyed one or two companies of Shermans with few of its own losses..

            -A common tactic was to pair a Tiger and a "silent" Assault gun/tank destroyer to protect its flank.

            -most King Tigers were deployed on the Eastern Front.
            Last edited by Cult Icon; 13 May 10, 21:36.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dsenebrecht View Post
              weren't the panzers making strong advances the first several days? there must be some accounts of the tank vs. tank battles then.
              The Germans captured many vehicles at first but tank to tank fighting in the Ardennes Offensive was limited due to the wooded terrain. The attacks were fights for road networks and it was the attacking German motorized and foot infantry that bore much of the weight. The Panzers did not perform so well..the majority of German tanks and assault guns lost were abandoned in the attack due to mechanical breakdown or logistics failure. Those that were committed into action were gradually picked off or repelled by American bazooka teams, tank destroyers, and A/T guns. I believe a relatively sizable contingent (perhaps 1/3rd of German panzers) managed to get out but it was the German infantry that bore the brunt of the counteroffensive..
              Last edited by Cult Icon; 13 May 10, 21:46.

              Comment


              • #8
                Overall, IMHO, regardless of who writes about an action, or if it is an actual AAR, some facts about who killed what and how many tend to get embellished. It has already been brought to my attention within ACG that German AAR's about their own tank losses for a particular action were not completely accurate, or the number of Allied AFV's that they actually hit but not killed weren't accurate either, ie: a Sherman that got damaged, but recovered and repaired, got counted as a 'kill' for the German crew.
                "You listen to the ol' Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night......"

                Comment


                • #9
                  German Panzer and assault gun crew training was generally poor in 1944-1945 due to allied air harassment in France and very low available quantities of ammunition and fuel. There was generally very little large formation training.

                  I posted this somewhere else, but with tank v. tank action in the West it generally went down like this:

                  1. Defending tanks generally performed much better
                  2. Tanks launching an ambush generally did extremely well.
                  3. The Germans generally did very well in the defense, but generally performed poorly in the attack.
                  4. The Americans generally did well Attacking AND did well Defending
                  Last edited by Cult Icon; 13 May 10, 22:37.

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                  • #10
                    thanks!!

                    great replies. thank you all.

                    any ideas on good german sources for sicily or italy?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re the Bulge, this snippet refers to "16 American tanks and tank destroyers"-

                      Final miles of Kampfgruppe Peiper's route



                      Caption to photo below- "The lead Panthers continued through Stoumont and took the road toward the train station, beyond where they hoped to find another bridge over the Ambleve intact. However, as they passed the station they ran into a strong American force of 16 tanks and tank destroyers. The outnumbered Panthers didn't have much of a chance; three were quickly knocked out and the rest withdrew. For all practical purposes, this was the farthest advance of Kampfgruppe Peiper."

                      Wrecked Panther beyond Stoumont




                      The scene now


                      http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/thefgmf...nnes-Offensive
                      Last edited by Poor Old Spike; 14 May 10, 18:58.

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                      • #12
                        Here's another snippet about the 6 Bulge Kingtiger wrecks around La Gleize-

                        The Kingtiger (i.d. No.204) had apparently been abandoned (undamaged?) in La Gleize and was in running order.
                        After the battle it was being driven away by US troops up this hill when it stalled and the engine caught fire.
                        The Americans later towed it off for scrapping.
                        Full story here-
                        http://www.ss501panzer.com/204_journey.htm


                        Snowfall on 204..



                        The spot today..



                        Defensive deployment of the 6 Kingtigers (with i.d. numbers) around La Gleize, showing fields of fire.
                        Note tank 204 is in the village.


                        http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/thefgmf...m-armour/page2

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There was a Bulge tank losses discussion here-

                          http://www.ww2f.com/information-requ...tle-bulge.html

                          But the only post that came up with hard figures was this one below, I don't know how accurate it is, and it covers losses for the whole ETO including the Bulge-

                          "Total US ETO Tank/TD/AC losses for 20 Dec 44 to 20 Jan 45 are:

                          614 M4's
                          208 M3/M5/M24
                          200 M8 A/C
                          122 TD's

                          German losses have never been accurately quantified but would be around 50-75% of the US losses.

                          I know the dates are not 'spot on' but such is the data we have to work with.

                          All the information was supplied by Richard Anderson of The Dupuy Institiute and is sourced on the original period documents."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This snippet from-

                            http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=42

                            "The final tally of military casualties was stunning. The Allies suffered 76,890 casualties (with 8,607 Americans killed) and lost 733 tanks; the German forces suffered an estimated 68,000 casualties with 12,000 killed, and lost about the same number of tanks..
                            While the total losses were roughly equal on each side, the Germans had lost a greater percentage of the available men and equipment than the Allies. The men and equipment lost were nearly impossible for Germany to replace at this stage of the war."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Page 594, 'The Struggle for Europe' by Chester Wilmot-
                              "On Dec 23rd after vainly trying to break out,Peiper and 800 of his original force of 2000 worked their way through the American lines by night and escaped. But they left behind in the valley of the Ambleve 39 tanks, 70 halftracks, 33 guns and 30 supply trucks"

                              and on page 602-
                              "After gaining possession of the battlefield, the [US] 2nd Armoured Division reported that it had "destroyed or captured" 82 tanks, 16 other armoured vehicles, 83 guns and 280 motor vehicles.
                              ...2nd Pz Div lost the vast majority of the 88 tanks and 28 assault guns with which it had begun the offensive"
                              Last edited by Poor Old Spike; 14 May 10, 20:47.

                              Comment

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