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  • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    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.
    I agree on your assessment of "Demolishing The Myth". You should buy his follow up books they are very good as well.

    As far as Kursk I too have not read of KV's in the battle. Maybe on the northern front opposite Model's 9th Army. I have read "Objective Ponyri" which is one of just 2 books I have on the northern front of Kursk. I also have "Operation Citadelle - The North" by JJF. I will look through that when I get a chance. I do not recall reading of KV's opposite Model's 9th Army in "Objective Ponyri but I can say it is an excellent book. I may order the Robert Forczyk's book Kursk 1943 "The Northern Front" as every Forczyk book I have is very good and, although its is a short book, all of Osprey's "campaign series" that Forczyk has written are excellent.


    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0992274915

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kursk-1943-...%2C251&sr=1-76
    Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post

      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.
      I would be interested in your observations.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

        I would be interested in your observations.
        One quick thing I have read by Heinrich Eberbach, contained in the book "Knights Cross Panzers" (35th Panzer Regiment) is that after the German's captured Mzensk, they advanced into a nearby village called Tschern. This forward advance was carried out by Kampfgruppe Eberbach. A quote from the book:

        When Oberst Eberbach took up quarters in a house in Tschern, there was a Russian tank colonel there, dead. Pistol in hand, he had committed suicide. From the papers found, it was discovered that he was the commander of the tank brigade that had provided our tank regiment with so much difficult and desperate fighting. Apparently, he did not want to survive the destruction of his brigade. Oberst Eberbach saluted his brave opponent and had him buried.
        I know from reading my other sources that this particular colonel could not have been Katukov who survived the war. Have you heard of this account before and know the identity of the colonel who shot himself?
        Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post

          One quick thing I have read by Heinrich Eberbach, contained in the book "Knights Cross Panzers" (35th Panzer Regiment) is that after the German's captured Mzensk, they advanced into a nearby village called Tschern. This forward advance was carried out by Kampfgruppe Eberbach. A quote from the book:



          I know from reading my other sources that this particular colonel could not have been Katukov who survived the war. Have you heard of this account before and know the identity of the colonel who shot himself?
          I don't know the details of that part of the operation, but I know it was after his encounter with Guderian that his fighting spirit must have recovered, and he conducted essentially a turning movement.
          Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 27 Jan 20, 03:42.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

          Comment


          • 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?
            Do you have Kenneth Macksey's "Tank vs Tank: The illustrated story of armored battlefield conflict in the twentieth century"? He has four pages on the tank battle about halfway between Orel and Mtsensk with a focus on what he calls "The Shock at Kamenewo" which was the fight at the crossing of the Lisiza River. He has no citations on sources.
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
              <Edited post.>

              "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.
              It would interesting to know how successful that attack was. The British initially used this Soviet style of attack in the North African desert. It was initially very successful, although the opposition were Italians. I more than suspect, the CW benefited from a lack of AT guns in Italian divisions, a mere 8 pieces in both infantry and armoured divisions. These types of British attacks failed against the Afrika Korps, with its c18 heavier AT guns (exc 88mm's available): http://niehorster.org/011_germany/42...42_div_pz.html.

              http://niehorster.org/019_italy/41_o...1_div-inf.html
              http://niehorster.org/019_italy/41_o...corazzata.html

              German panzer divisions should have had around 27 AT guns, mainly 5cm pak 38, making them a more formidable foe, although the 4th may have had only a dozen 50mm guns: http://niehorster.org/011_germany/41...div_pz-04.html.
              Further, according to Schwerpunkt by R Forcyzk, the 4th were down to a quarter of its original compliment of tanks being operational after a single month, about 50 tanks. On 9.9.41 it was up to 83 out of 212 it initially started with according to Panzertruppen by Jentz (only 35 were Pz III's and IV's). This suggests a much weakened formation compared with its starting position.

              When it was ambushed, the Red Army had two tank brigades, with around 13 KV-1's, 40 T-34's and 94 BT-7's between them (assuming my maths is correct ).

              4th TB: http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tbr/tbr004.html
              11th TB: http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tbr/tbr011.html & http://tankfront.ru/ussr/doc/nko/pr41/00/0063.html

              That means 35 medium tanks of the Heer being ambushed by 13 heavy and 40 medium tanks of the Soviets. It should have been a very one sided encounter.
              How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
              Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

              Comment


              • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                Do you have Kenneth Macksey's "Tank vs Tank: The illustrated story of armored battlefield conflict in the twentieth century"? He has four pages on the tank battle about halfway between Orel and Mtsensk with a focus on what he calls "The Shock at Kamenewo" which was the fight at the crossing of the Lisiza River. He has no citations on sources.
                No I do not have that book. The T - 34 Mythical Weapon book has an account of the Orel and Mtsenk battles with large format maps showing the battles as they unfolded from the capture of Orel then on the road between Orel and Mtsenk and finally the battle Mtsenk itself. Then there is Guderian's account in which he gives the Soviets credit for learning tactics but Katukov had experience as a tank commander hence the success, although limited in its ability, it held up the 4th and 3rd Panzer Divisions for some time allowing the Soviets to prepare a defensive belt on the high ground outside Mtsenk.

                The by product of this tank vs tank engagement was Guderian's book Panzer Leader and his subsequent assessment of the Soviet "heavy tanks" that "shocked us". We all know that the T - 34 is a medium tank and there were many KV's involved in the battle that Guderian never mentions which gives to much credit to the "superiority" of the T - 34. The so called "superiority" of the T - 34 did not really make itself present until 1944 with the upgrade to T - 34 85 and the by then depleted and overextended Wehrmacht now fighting in Italy and France as well as the eastern front.

                By depleted I mean natural resources (especially petrol), industrial output, and lack of reinforcements with combat experience.

                It is my opinion the T - 34 gets more credit then it deserved.

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

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  German panzer divisions should have had around 27 AT guns, mainly 5cm pak 38, making them a more formidable foe, although the 4th may have had only a dozen 50mm guns: http://niehorster.org/011_germany/41...div_pz-04.html.
                  Further, according to Schwerpunkt by R Forcyzk, the 4th were down to a quarter of its original compliment of tanks being operational after a single month, about 50 tanks. On 9.9.41 it was up to 83 out of 212 it initially started with according to Panzertruppen by Jentz (only 35 were Pz III's and IV's). This suggests a much weakened formation compared with its starting position.

                  When it was ambushed, the Red Army had two tank brigades, with around 13 KV-1's, 40 T-34's and 94 BT-7's between them (assuming my maths is correct ).

                  4th TB: http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tbr/tbr004.html
                  11th TB: http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tbr/tbr011.html & http://tankfront.ru/ussr/doc/nko/pr41/00/0063.html

                  That means 35 medium tanks of the Heer being ambushed by 13 heavy and 40 medium tanks of the Soviets. It should have been a very one sided encounter.
                  All of this is as close to correct as possible according to my sources. I also have the Forczyk books Schwerpunkt and Red Steamroller.

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

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                    It would interesting to know how successful that attack was. The British initially used this Soviet style of attack in the North African desert. It was initially very successful, although the opposition were Italians. I more than suspect, the CW benefited from a lack of AT guns in Italian divisions, a mere 8 pieces in both infantry and armoured divisions. These types of British attacks failed against the Afrika Korps, with its c18 heavier AT guns (exc 88mm's available): http://niehorster.org/011_germany/42...42_div_pz.html.

                    http://niehorster.org/019_italy/41_o...1_div-inf.html
                    http://niehorster.org/019_italy/41_o...corazzata.html

                    German panzer divisions should have had around 27 AT guns, mainly 5cm pak 38, making them a more formidable foe, although the 4th may have had only a dozen 50mm guns: http://niehorster.org/011_germany/41...div_pz-04.html.
                    Further, according to Schwerpunkt by R Forcyzk, the 4th were down to a quarter of its original compliment of tanks being operational after a single month, about 50 tanks. On 9.9.41 it was up to 83 out of 212 it initially started with according to Panzertruppen by Jentz (only 35 were Pz III's and IV's). This suggests a much weakened formation compared with its starting position.

                    When it was ambushed, the Red Army had two tank brigades, with around 13 KV-1's, 40 T-34's and 94 BT-7's between them (assuming my maths is correct ).

                    4th TB: http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tbr/tbr004.html
                    11th TB: http://tankfront.ru/ussr/tbr/tbr011.html & http://tankfront.ru/ussr/doc/nko/pr41/00/0063.html

                    That means 35 medium tanks of the Heer being ambushed by 13 heavy and 40 medium tanks of the Soviets. It should have been a very one sided encounter.
                    I found varying numbers on the tank strength of 4th TBde. I have seen as high as 7 KV, 22 T--34, 26 BT-5/7( from Fraser ACG, but no source). As noted previously, the brigade was training outside of Stalingrad while waiting for what should have been two battalions of KV's and T-34's from the factory. The bde was called to deploy--went by rail to Mtsensk (it was not fully operational), so one bn had the authorized complement of KV's and T-34's, the 2nd Bn was issued the BT's. I found the bde to be around 46 tanks.

                    The 4th Tbde reinforced (one bn of airborne, Frontier regt, katyusha rocket battery). The 11th Tk Bde (had the full complement of KV's and T-34's) mission was a bit obscure. It had placed one tk bn in the second echelon of the defense in the woods north of Voin during 4-6 OCT behind Katukov's BT-7 Bn on the north side of the road. Its other battalion was placed in the reserve of the 6th Guards Rifle division.[Source: Soviet Military History Journal 12-1960]. I believe the 11th was used as a blocking force and stretched from the flanks of the 26th Arm to the north. The remainder of the 11th TBde prepared defenses, essentially not really participating in direct combat actions, on the east side of the Zusha River south of Mtsensk while Katukov withdrew his remaining force back across a railroad bridge to the north of Mtsensk.

                    I think the tactical shock was Katukov's coordinated advance, and the 4th PzD experienced for the first that their tanks could not do a stand up exchange with the KV's and T-34's. The Germans relied on 10cm arty gun to knock tanks.
                    Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 27 Jan 20, 14:31.
                    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                    Comment


                    • Kurt, I have the 4th PzD's war journal entries for the battle. It reported their losses for the battle on 6 OCT: 10 - tanks(6 totally lost); 2 - 88 Flak guns; 1 - 10 cm canon; 1 - light field howitzer 18; 7 KIA, 25 WIA.

                      In the XXIV PzK War Journal, notes on 6 OCT, "Because of sever shortages of ammunition (especially for the 10 cm cannon), continuation of the advance on Mtsensk is temporarily suspended.

                      The Germans received a bloody nose.
                      Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 27 Jan 20, 11:53.
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment


                      • General Major Alfred Philippi in his "Battle for Moscow: The German View" observed,

                        "Bock, after a conference with the Supreme Commander in Chief, issued new orders on Oct 7. For II Panzer Army, Tula was given as its next objective, and it was ordered to advance on a broad front along the river moskva to the outskirts of Moscow.

                        "More critical was the situation on the right wing, where the bulk of Guderians's force was tied upin the fighting on both sides of the Bryansk pocket, so that he could not put his full strength inot his real objective--the advance on Tula--which had looked so promising. Here he too was stopped by the weather, by fuel shortages, and by other supply difficulties. The resistance of a newly arrived Soviet armored brigade also proved awkward [my bold], and by the middle of the month the weakened spearhead of our Panzer army had nnot progressed beyond Mtsensk."
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                          Kurt, I have the 4th PzD's war journal entries for the battle. It reported their losses for the battle on 6 OCT: 10 - tanks(6 totally lost); 2 - 88 Flak guns; 1 - 10 cm canon; 1 - light field howitzer 18; 7 KIA, 25 WIA.
                          Here is the balance sheet from the 35th Panzer Regiment from 4 October through 10 October with the capture of Mzensk:

                          Kampfgruppe Eberbach's losses are stated as 2 officers and 22 NCO's and enlisted men dead. 7 officers and 76 NCO's and enlisted men wounded. 8 tanks, 2 88mm flak, 1 100mm cannon and 1 105mm light Howitzer.

                          Soviet losses are stated as 336 prisoners (numbers of KIA and WIA are not listed). 38 tanks, 18 guns, 7 Stalin Organs, 45 trucks and prime movers, 6 mortars, 24 machine guns.
                          Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post

                            Here is the balance sheet from the 35th Panzer Regiment from 4 October through 10 October with the capture of Mzensk:

                            Kampfgruppe Eberbach's losses are stated as 2 officers and 22 NCO's and enlisted men dead. 7 officers and 76 NCO's and enlisted men wounded. 8 tanks, 2 88mm flak, 1 100mm cannon and 1 105mm light Howitzer.

                            Soviet losses are stated as 336 prisoners (numbers of KIA and WIA are not listed). 38 tanks, 18 guns, 7 Stalin Organs, 45 trucks and prime movers, 6 mortars, 24 machine guns.
                            What's the source for the losses, it's close but not like the entry in the War Journal? Now, we are at the cutting edge of historical methodology. Is yours a secondary compared to a primary source?

                            I use a saltshaker for all claims of inflicted enemy casualties. They usually seem inflated.
                            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                            Comment


                            • Just remembered and found that I had published with ACG, July 2005, a You Command inactive article, "Red Tanks at Mtsensk" if those who subscribed to the journal back then, you can see the operational set up for the tactical problem proposed courses of action.
                              Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 27 Jan 20, 14:28.
                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                                Have you heard of this account before and know the identity of the colonel who shot himself?
                                CO of the 11 Tank Brigade LC Bondarev went missing when his command post was attacked on 24 October.
                                Kampfgruppe Eberbach's losses are stated as 2 officers and 22 NCO's and enlisted men dead. 7 officers and 76 NCO's and enlisted men wounded. 8 tanks, 2 88mm flak, 1 100mm cannon and 1 105mm light Howitzer.
                                KG Eberbach was not the entire 4 PzD. The division reported about 400 casualties 1-10 October 41, which includes earlier drive to Orel and battle for Orel.

                                PzAOK2 losses.png
                                The so called "superiority" of the T - 34
                                By "superiority" Guderian meant that T-34 could knock out German tanks from a larger distance than German tanks could knock out T-34. Which was true for October 1941.
                                Last edited by Artyom_A; 27 Jan 20, 14:19.

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