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  • To the best of my knowledge Churchill was mainly assigned to heavy tank regiment. In particular, according to wiki page to the 10, 15, 34, 36, 47, 38, 49, 50 Guards Heavy Tank Regiments. There was occasional presence in other units, e.g. line tank regiments but , as I believe, it was exceptional.

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    • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
      Art, staying on topic what was the first Soviet/German armored clash, in you opinion, that the implementation of new Red Army tank tactics began to bare fruit?
      There were tactical episodes early in the war. For example, Mednoye or, as mentioned above Mtsensk. On a level of large operations it was Zhukov's summer offensive at Rzhev (August 1942) and then "Uranus" and follow-up operations.

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      • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        In comparison, the IS-2 is a lumbering, slow reacting beast, but with a far more powerful and effective armament upon a hit.
        IS-2 wasn't slow even when compared wit T-34.

        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        As you can see, 3 different heavies, but with three different uses, and therefore tactics employed.
        Guard tank regiments weren't used differently if they had KV or Churchills.

        There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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        • Following the 36th Gds separate Heavy Tank Breakthrough Regiment in the 18th Tank Corps at the battle of Prokhorovka In Zamulin's "Demolishing the Myth', the heavy tank regiment had 21 Churchills of which only 16 crossed the deployment line into the fight (four broke down at the start). Southwest of Andreevka, the regiment came under fire. While two of the Churchills close to within a half-kilometer, he notes "with their short-barreled 57mm gun and thin armor, the troops nicknamed them the "Fraternal Grave". Sharp in his previously cited work, observed that the 36th was the only heavy tank regiment in the 5th GTA in the battle, but Zamulin notes Romistrov had another heavy tank regiment in reserve with 21 KV's. It all starts to get confusing on the battlefield.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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          • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
            To the best of my knowledge Churchill was mainly assigned to heavy tank regiment. In particular, according to wiki page to the 10, 15, 34, 36, 47, 38, 49, 50 Guards Heavy Tank Regiments. There was occasional presence in other units, e.g. line tank regiments but , as I believe, it was exceptional.
            You appear to be obtuse on purpose. We are talking about larger combined units.
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            • Originally posted by Emtos View Post

              IS-2 wasn't slow even when compared wit T-34.



              Guard tank regiments weren't used differently if they had KV or Churchills.
              You did not read my post correctly. I stated slow reacting, not slow.

              Guard tank regiments could be used differently if they had Churchills, as proven by my previous 2 examples.
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              • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                Following the 36th Gds separate Heavy Tank Breakthrough Regiment in the 18th Tank Corps at the battle of Prokhorovka In Zamulin's "Demolishing the Myth', the heavy tank regiment had 21 Churchills of which only 16 crossed the deployment line into the fight (four broke down at the start). Southwest of Andreevka, the regiment came under fire. While two of the Churchills close to within a half-kilometer, he notes "with their short-barreled 57mm gun and thin armor, the troops nicknamed them the "Fraternal Grave". Sharp in his previously cited work, observed that the 36th was the only heavy tank regiment in the 5th GTA in the battle, but Zamulin notes Romistrov had another heavy tank regiment in reserve with 21 KV's. It all starts to get confusing on the battlefield.
                I own Demolishing the Myth, and consider it an excellent book.

                It should be noted that all Soviet crewed tanks were called coffins for 'x' brothers where 'x' is the crew number. Lee's were called coffins for 7 brothers, T-34/76's were called coffins for 4 brothers, Churchill's for 5 brothers etc etc.

                I've never heard of any KV's at Kursk, with the exception of a solitary command tank. Red Steamroller by R Forczyk also notes 21 Churchills on the Steppe Front at Kursk, but no KV's. It would be interesting to discover if KV-1's were actually present.

                As far as breakdowns were concerned, T-34's and Churchills suffered almost identical breakdown percentages on their 300km march before entering combat.
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                • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  I've never heard of any KV's at Kursk, with the exception of a solitary command tank.
                  For example, 203 Tank Regiment - 24 KV as of 4.7.43, 263 Tank Regiment - 24 KV. Total 51 KVs in the Vorenezh Front as of 4 July 1943 versus 42 Churchills.
                  You appear to be obtuse on purpose. We are talking about larger combined units.
                  Larger combined units could have various elements of heavy tanks and assault guns. The thing is that Churchill was normally kept separate from medium tanks on the level of brigades and regiments, just like KV or later IS tanks. And that was for a reason: different weight, mobility, operational range, maintenance requirements etc.

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                  • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                    Actually, there is a very compelling piece in Guderian's memoir (which is why I advocate at least reading memoirs):

                    "On October 6th our HQ was moved forward to Sevsk. 4th PzD was attacked by Russian tanks to the south of Mtsensk and went through some bad hours. This was the first occasion on which the vast superiority of the Russian T34 to our tanks became plainly apparent.

                    ...

                    "The 4th PzD's task for the 9th of October was to take Mtsensk. Descriptions of the quality and, above all, of the new tactical handling of the Russian tanks were very worrying.[Bold is mine.]

                    ...
                    "The Russians attacked us frontally with infantry, while they sent their tanks in, in mass formation, against our flanks. They were learning." [Katukov was the tank brigade commander with experience.]
                    The counterattack was made by the 11 Tank Brigade and the "mass formations" consisted of 5 T-34 tanks. I've posted a war diary before:
                    https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/f...e8#post5083496
                    Much in agreement with the piece posted above the 4 PzD complained that Katukov's tanks engaged in firefights from a large distance at well-chosen positions where German medium tanks were impotent against them. An attempt to engage them by hauling a flak gun to an open position ended in this gun being knocked out itself.

                    Examples from von Mellenthin:

                    "On the Russian side the tank crews, particularly in the Motorized Corps [this is November-December '42 [when the mot. corps were being hastily assembled with lend-lease tanks], had hardly any training. This shsortcoming was one of the essential reasons for the German victory on 19 December."
                    That was essentially true. The performance of the 5 Mech.Corps was seen as very deficient:
                    https://forum.axishistory.com/viewto...?f=55&t=116000
                    Although as usual the German claims were overstated somewhat. Yet the corps was also handicapped by lack of automotive gasoline, for which reason the 11 PzD met only a column of tanks with riding infantry without any support of truck-towed artillery which was left behind.
                    In a particularly unlucky engagement on 19 December the Germans apparently employed their favorite method: pinning down hostile tanks from the front and a surprise attack from a flank and rear using a hidden approach provided by a ravine.

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                    • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                      The counterattack was made by the 11 Tank Brigade and the "mass formations" consisted of 5 T-34 tanks. I've posted a war diary before:
                      https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/f...e8#post5083496
                      Much in agreement with the piece posted above the 4 PzD complained that Katukov's tanks engaged in firefights from a large distance at well-chosen positions where German medium tanks were impotent against them. An attempt to engage them by hauling a flak gun to an open position ended in this gun being knocked out itself.
                      The grouping at Mtsensk under Katukov's command was thrown together by what ever Lelyushenko the 1st Gds Rifle Corps commander could find. A battalion of airborne had been airlanded north of Orel. Katukov's 4th Tk Bde was fresh from Stalingrad factory did not receive a full complement. The first battalion was equipped with T-34's and KV's, the second battalion was equipped with BT-7's. Only part of the 11th Tk Bde was moved forward to support the 4th Bde. There were extraordinary claims in the numbers of German tanks knocked by Katukov's Bde. But the point was the makeshift covering force to give the deploying corps time to establish a defense and had held Guderian's panzer advance to 30 kilometers in eight days. Followed by Lelyushenko's corps, Guderian did not penetrate beyond Tula area. Guderian acknowledge what the delaying action did psychologically to his panzer commander, and noted the difference in handling of tanks. Getting into who massed where and with how many gets to be difficult in reconstruction of battles. Agree with you it was a long and bloody engagement. I recall reading the regimental accounts between a rebel and union regiment at Little Round Top, after reading both accounts would could that neither one had been in the same battle.

                      I should add Katukov was already experienced as a tank division commander, and he had company and some platoon commanders who had fought at Khalkin Gol and Finland. Their experience made a difference, keeping the unit in the fight which had later operational level and strategic impact.
                      Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 26 Jan 20, 06:09.
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                      • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                        It should be noted that all Soviet crewed tanks were called coffins for 'x' brothers where 'x' is the crew number. Lee's were called coffins for 7 brothers, T-34/76's were called coffins for 4 brothers, Churchill's for 5 brothers etc etc.
                        .
                        Red Army soldiers were like any other army's soldiers using nicknames. The Soviet lighter tanks before the 1940 Modles were derissively referred to as "sparrow shooters" or "knights in plywood.".

                        Colonel Dmitriy Loza who commanded A tank battalion of "Shermans" in WWII, recalled the Sherman nicknames: "American", "lend-lizi" and "transoceanic".
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                        • Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Art

                          I am trying to "piece together" the October battles at Orel and then Mzensk during Operation Typhoon. I do not have a history of the 4th Panzer Division (I do not think there was ever an English transition published) but I do have Operation Typhoon by Stahel as well "Knights Cross Panzers" which is the translated to English version on the history of the 35th Panzer Regiment in WWII which is filled accounts by a multitude of former members of the regiment.The 35th Panzer Regiment was the vanguard of 4th Panzer Division. I also have T -34 Mythical Weapon book by Robert Michulec and Miroslaw Z.

                          I cannot read Russian language so any link you 2 guys post in Russian is useless to me. There are accounts of the battle in all 3 of the books I have mentioned above. Mythical Weapon sites as one of its sources Armored Spearhead by M. Katukov. Do Either of you have this book?
                          Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                          • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                            Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Art

                            I am trying to "piece together" the October battles at Orel and then Mzensk during Operation Typhoon. I do not have a history of the 4th Panzer Division (I do not think there was ever an English transition published) but I do have Operation Typhoon by Stahel as well "Knights Cross Panzers" which is the translated to English version on the history of the 35th Panzer Regiment in WWII which is filled accounts by a multitude of former members of the regiment.The 35th Panzer Regiment was the vanguard of 4th Panzer Division. I also have T -34 Mythical Weapon book by Robert Michulec and Miroslaw Z.

                            I cannot read Russian language so any link you 2 guys post in Russian is useless to me. There are accounts of the battle in all 3 of the books I have mentioned above. Mythical Weapon sites as one of its sources Armored Spearhead by M. Katukov. Do Either of you have this book?
                            Yes, I have a Russian edition, titled, "No ostrie glavnogo udara" (On the main strike point). I don't know of a translation to English of Katukov's memoirs. I have written an account on the Orel-Mtsensk engagement in, "Red Army Tank Commanders: The Armored Guards" citing other Russian sources as well as Guderian and 4th PzD unit records.
                            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                            • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                              You did not read my post correctly. I stated slow reacting, not slow.

                              Guard tank regiments could be used differently if they had Churchills, as proven by my previous 2 examples.
                              What exemples are you talking about ?
                              There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                              • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                                Yes, I have a Russian edition, titled, "No ostrie glavnogo udara" (On the main strike point). I don't know of a translation to English of Katukov's memoirs. I have written an account on the Orel-Mtsensk engagement in, "Red Army Tank Commanders: The Armored Guards" citing other Russian sources as well as Guderian and 4th PzD unit records.
                                Thanks R I spent the last hour looking through my library (which is quite disorganized) for your book. I could have sworn I ordered it many months ago or perhaps a year or more. I just ordered it (again maybe?). Its just 13.99 on Amazon. I also ordered "Hitler's Nemesis" The Red Army 1930 - 45. Nemesis is said to be a great book filled with important Soviet military armament production figures and numerical figures of Red Army soldiers throughout the war. Good book to have around and cheap too (18.99).

                                As you said in a prior post there are almost always variables in a narrative of how a battle unfolded when different sources are compared. I have the sources I mentioned in my previous post and It will be interesting to compare to the narrative in your book. I should have it in a few days.
                                Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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