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  • More Sturmgeschutzen!

    The Sturmgeschutz III & IV, Marder, Hetzer & Jagdpanther wrought a fearsome number of destroyed Allied tanks, being low profiled & ideal for defence.

    Their disadvantage was in not having a turret, they could not mix it with tanks at close range.

    Being much cheaper & easier to build than a normal tank, WI the Germans produced from 1943 onwards only Sturmgeschutz III or IVs , instead of "wasting" it on Panthers, Tigers and King Tigers?

    Would having double or triple the number of AFVs of OTL have been enough to stymie the D Day & Russian attacks?


  • #2
    A switch to sturmgeschultz and Panzerjäger would have done little for the Germans. It certainly would not have doubled or even given half again as many AFV to them.

    The biggest problem Germany had in AFV production was a lack of consistency and mass production techniques in the process.

    First, if you look at their production, it was very divided between types. Germany started the war with 4 major vehicles in production the Pz I, II, III, and IV. None had any commonality of parts to speak of.
    Then during the war they came out with the Pz VI Tiger I, then the Pz V Panther, then the Pz VIb Tiger II with no commonality of parts worth mentioning.

    The Russians basically had 3 vehicles in production at any time: A light (T 60 then T 70) a medium T34, and the KV 1 then IS II series. There was a commonality of engines, drive train, suspension components, etc., among these vehicles.
    The US likewise had a light and medium in production using many common parts.
    Even Britain made more effort to make common parts available on their tanks.

    The Germans also made little attempt to rationalize production and simplify vehicles. For example, there was one roll press in Germany that could make the horseshoe turret armor piece for a Tiger I. Henschel had one machine that could drill the holes for the torsion bars for that tank. Those are production bottlenecks that should have been eliminated in the design phase.

    What Germany needed was rational and sensible war production planning, something they never achieved.

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    • #3
      I do not think it would have helped significantly. From what I've seen, late war German panzer forces suffered far more from fuel shortages than a lack of AFV's. More Stug's may have been available, but where would the fuel for all those additional vehicles come from?
      It ain't an adventure until it all goes horribly wrong.

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      • #4
        One word: No.

        The biggest problem for the germans is the rapidly declining panzerwaffe and the offensive combat power of panzer divisions.

        In both east and west fronts (1944) they were incapable of penetrating field fortifications or 2 or 3 echelons of divisions arrayed in depth. The depth of soviet defense increased dramatically.

        The allies in the west had the skies and every allied division had strong mobile anti-tank capability. The soviets had the skies as well. The soviet anti-tank gun density per KM of front quadrupled between the fall of 1942 up to the summer of 1943, making it very difficult and too costly for panzer korps attacks to deeply penetrate the front even at designated weak points.

        In 1944, the situation was even worse.

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        • #5
          In 1943 Germany could not win, regardless of what it did. However, had the Germans only mass produced 35t (for scouting) and STUGs starting before the war, they would have been much more succesful in Barbarossa (when they could stiill win the war, before the US were in it), especially if they had used a 65 mm, high velocity gun and an internally manned MG from the beginning.

          Production would have been higher (especially if they used mass production techniques) and losses in Poland, the Balkans, France and Barbarossa would have been lower thanks to the better armor, reduced profile and better gun than all the Panzers.
          The smaller gun and its ammo are easier to make and lighter and flatter shooting than the low velocity 75 mm and more effective.

          It is incredible that Germany produced the PZ I with ridiculous armor and no cannon and the PZ II with ridiculous armor and a 20 mm cannon after their poor performance in Spain and that as TAG mentioned, they did not use mass production techniques for any of their tanks before attacking the rest of Europe.

          Yout painting appears to have an inconsistency, by the time the STUG III had a long cannon and muzzlebrake, it had an internally manned MG. Perhaps this was a retrofit.
          Last edited by Draco; 23 Aug 14, 21:31.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Romani View Post
            I do not think it would have helped significantly. From what I've seen, late war German panzer forces suffered far more from fuel shortages than a lack of AFV's. More Stug's may have been available, but where would the fuel for all those additional vehicles come from?
            Ding. Give the man a cigar...
            Credo quia absurdum.


            Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Draco View Post
              Yout painting appears to have an inconsistency, by the time the STUG III had a long cannon and muzzlebrake, it had an internally manned MG. Perhaps this was a retrofit.
              Photographs and historical evidence show this is not the case.










              StuG III Ausf. G produced from December 1942:
              From December 1942, a square machine gun shield for the loader was installed, allowing an MG 34 to be factory installed on a StuG for the first time. F/8 models had machine gun shields retro-fitted from early 1943. The loader's machine gun shield was later replaced by rotating machine gun mount that could be operated by the loader inside the vehicle sighting through a periscope. On April 1944, 27 of them were being field tested on the Eastern front. Favorable reports led to installation of these "remote" machine gun mounts from the summer of 1944.
              The shield was the initial installation for the G. The internal machine gun mount came much later.
              Last edited by CarpeDiem; 24 Aug 14, 07:52.

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              • #8
                The war was arguably lost in the first month of Barbarossa, when very high axis tank and plane losses far exceeded production, so that everyday the axis was weaker in both fronts. In contrast the allies were stronger every day (despite heavy Soviet casualties and loss of tens of thousands of mostly old tanks and planes), especially when the US joined the war.

                Had Kleist had 150 35ts and 650 STUGs with high velocity guns, instead of 800 weaker tanks, he would have lost perhaps 1/10 of his tanks, instead of 1/4 in the fisrt week, which would have made a huge difference in following weeks. Especially, since he would have destroyed more enemy tanks and received more STUG replacements than he did tanks, because they were easier to produce.

                It is interesting that Kleist lost 1/4 of his tanks in the first week despite the fact that the 47 mm shells of Soviet tanks and AT guns fragmented on impact. Had the Soviets not made the huge mistake of making useless shells for their numerous and their otherwise good guns, the Panzer force would have been wiped out in the first weeks. Conversely, had the Germans produced a very good shell for the Soviet guns before Barbarossa, they would have had thousands of excellent captured AT guns (much better than the German 37 mm AT gun) and tanks from the first week, which would have helped them enormously.

                A STUG would have been more effective if it towed a captured Soviet 47 mm AT gun with German shells and released it when it engaged in battle. The STUG and the AT gun boosting each other.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Draco View Post
                  A STUG would have been more effective if it towed a captured Soviet 47 mm AT gun with German shells and released it when it engaged in battle. The STUG and the AT gun boosting each other.
                  Where would the AT crew and their shells have ridden?

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                  • #10
                    The stug is a very overrated weapon. As a weapons platform it is actually below average.

                    The high 'tank kills' and 'kill ratio' claimed by the Stug is mirrored by the high 'tank kills' and even higher 'kill ratios' (13:1, SPGs represented only 6% of soviet armor losses) claimed by the Soviet SPG anti-tank artillery arm. (SU-85, SU-100, ISU-152, etc.)

                    I believe that this is due to their tactical and doctrinal role in armored combat. Both have similarities in their use and circumstances that they were in preserved their units more the up-front & more exposed panzers or T-34 tank brigades.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johns624 View Post
                      Where would the AT crew and their shells have ridden?
                      The obvious and glaring question I'm sure everyone saw, bar the OP!

                      Regards
                      "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                      "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Draco View Post

                        It is incredible that Germany produced the PZ I with ridiculous armor and no cannon and the PZ II with ridiculous armor and a 20 mm cannon after their poor performance in Spain and that as TAG mentioned, they did not use mass production techniques for any of their tanks before attacking the rest of Europe.
                        You do need to start somewhere, and the Mk I and II were not much worse than the Combat cars and M2 lights the USA did

                        Design for the M2 and Mk II both started in 1935

                        Germany, however, kept using them, and kept the Mk IIF production going thru December 1942.

                        Now the USA could afford to waste assembly line space for the M3 and M5 Stuarts, but not the Germans.

                        The USA however, knew to kill a past its prime design, like the M7 'Medium'
                        that grew from a 14 ton light to 26 tons

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johns624 View Post
                          Where would the AT crew and their shells have ridden?
                          The caisson is towed along with the gun, the crew ride on the STUG and dismount when they sight any danger. It is a better proposition than for infantry to haul around a 37 mm doorknocker and the ammo. In the first month the numerous doorknockers destoyed more light enemy tanks than the tanks did (PZ I and II were nearly useless against tanks). Towed 47 mm guns would have been even more effective.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Draco View Post
                            The caisson is towed along with the gun, the crew ride on the STUG and dismount when they sight any danger. It is a better proposition than for infantry to haul around a 37 mm doorknocker and the ammo. In the first month the numerous doorknockers destoyed more light enemy tanks than the tanks did (PZ I and II were nearly useless against tanks). Towed 47 mm guns would have been even more effective.
                            A gun carriage with caisson being pulled through rough terrain by a tracked vehicle? I don't think that that would work very well.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johns624 View Post
                              A gun carriage with caisson being pulled through rough terrain by a tracked vehicle? I don't think that that would work very well.
                              While not thinking this is a good idea, Churchill Crocodile's armored fuel trailer probably weighed more, having half inch armor all around, multiple nitrogen cylinders and all than a hundred rounds of ammo and a one ton gun.

                              Better would have been to just used the Mk I as a prime mover than a gun tank anyway
                              Last edited by Marathag; 24 Aug 14, 19:22.

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