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Panther Vs Tiger I

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by TheRedBaron, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Well, I certianly hope Otto gives us credit for our comments-
    I can just see the acknowledgements page now-
    "Additional information provided by General der Infanterie Friedrich H, Panzerknacker, CrazyD, TheRedBaron, Martin Bull, etc."!!!

    Do we qualify as "legitimate sources"? :D :D
     
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I remember looking at a video I made of some interviews of Tiger 1 and Panther Kommanduers in 1984 with specifics of their feelings while fighting at Normandy. Ernst Barkmann and Fritz Langanke, both of Das Reich felt very secure in their Panthers and also stated that they were so cocky because no Allied tank could touch them. Proof enough for me that they both felt assured even with the lighter armor but a more mobile and still a quick killing vehicle.

    E
     
  3. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Anyway, the Panther was an awesome fighting machine, very well balanced: speed, armour, gun. And the armour did not matter against the Western allies by exammple, because even if the Panther's armour was thinner than the Tiger's. Shermans and Cromwells' guns could not pierce the Panther anyway. We all agree that it was the best the Germans had.
     
  4. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    I'd have to say that when comparing these two tanks, the Normandy theater would not be a good basis, because of what Friedrich mentions, the disparity in quality between the tanks of the germans and the western allies. Shermans being a perfect example- a sherman couldn't compete with either panther or tiger.
    But looking at the russian front, the kills recorded by tigers against russian armor are incredible. Many Tiger commanders from the eastern front had well over 50 presonal kills. Considering these numbers, the steel quality Martin mentions, and the early date of inception, I'd have to rate the Tiger higher than the Panther.

    I didn't agree! :D :D
     
  5. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Well, you know the Panther is not my favourite either. But I have to say it was the best we had not because of its performance, but because of its qualities and technology. Many (including myself) think that the Soviet T-34 was the best tank of WWII, however, it could be easily destroyed. We would have to put on the table the tactic circumstances, the communications, the quality of the crews, etc.

    Imagine an elite Russian crew in a T-34/85 fighting with a Tiger at a very short distance. The Tiger indeed would be very hard to destroy because of it thick armour and if the T-34 is reached by the 88, bye, bye... But we must remember that one tank weights 60 tons and the other half of that. One has a speed of 38 kilometres per hour and the other 55... Those are very different qualities. The Tiger has not the advantage there because it is very slow tank fughting a very fast tank...

    I think that the Panther would have the advantadge in that case, instead of the Tiger, because it woud be faster. And technically, it is a much more balanced tank than the Tiger.

    Panther: armour:9, gun:9 and mobility:9
    Tiger: armour:10, gun:10, mobility:6
    Pz IV: armour:6, gun:8, mobility:9
    T-34: armour:8, gun: 9, mobility:10
    Sherman: armour:4, gun: 5, monility: 9

    Therefore, technically the Panther and the T-34 are the best. However, other tanks performed much, much better.
     
  6. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Well said, Friedrich. I'd agree with that completely- the Panther was most likely the best technical tank of ww2. It was the closest thing we see in world war 2 to modern tanks- a perfect balance of armor, speed and power.
    The main reason I'd choose the tiger would be the performance numbers- the actual performance in the field, not the technical data. And even in that case, those numbers do not reflect the fact that the Tiger was around for nearly a year before the panther debuted.
     
  7. Andreas Seidel

    Andreas Seidel Member

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    I just read through the whole thread, and thought that I'd lighten things up with a few numbers! [​IMG]

    First off, while the Tiger I is given a front armour max of 110 mm (by most sources), this is vertical. The Panther has 80 mm front armour. If you calculate in the slope and add in side armour, you come to a mean armour level which is practically identical for either tank. I did not know about the armour hardness until today, so perhaps this is still a little off-centre.

    The weight difference between the two tanks is 10,5 tons. On paper, their speed is nearly identical. General opinion seems to have it that the Tiger is slow while the Panther is fast. On paper the difference comes down to 4 km/h.

    The Tiger carries slightly more ammo for a slightly decreased operating range. The range isn't too great for either vehicle (interestingly, according to my figures, the Panther burns about 140% of the fuel a Tiger does???). The gunsights used on either vehicle would be equal and we'll assume there's no IR equipment on the Panther (because that would make the choice way too obvious). The Tiger has stronger roof armour, which is a factor when considering the air threat.

    Guns and ammo - the Panther simply has the better gun for anti-tank work. The difference for penetration is between 24mm at point-blank range up to -4mm at 2000m range for the APCR round (PyGr. 40). APCBC (PzGr. 39) is 18mm to 2mmm respectively. The difference is not that huge, but it is there. At all ranges common in combat, the Panther has more hitting power.

    My vote goes to the Panther, although all my knowledge about the vehicles is based on technical specifications and calculations. I suppose I would have to drive round in both vehicles for a week to decide.
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks for the figures, Andreas.

    I have found the whole question of those two guns ( Panther/Tiger 1 ) most interesting, not to say frustrating. No two books seem to agree ; some say Panther is better due to higher velocity, some say Tiger is better due to greater projectile weight and mass.

    As you say, it would be great to line a Tiger and Panther up on a range with, say, a Sherman and T-34 2,000 yards distant and blaze away....
    Something tells me it's not going to happen, though ! :(
     
  9. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Hey Martin, if you set up that firing range thingy, let me know!!!

    And yes, thanks for the info, Andreas. Glad you wound up reading the thread!
    I wonder about the speed and fuel numbers you found (sources maybe?). The fuel consumption for the Panther especially seems strange, as you seemd to think as well. The engine could have been bad though- I know the early panthers had serious engine problems.
    I also have gotten the idea in the past that Tigers were not quite as slow as commonly thought...
    And the gun is certainly a toss-up, although I had forgotten about ammo storage- this was a big factor we commonly forget...
    The longer 75mm gun on the panther had better penetration, but the Tiger's 88 had a heavier shell... I guess we would need more combat numbers to make a better judgement.
    Like you said Andreas, none of us can go and drive one of them to find out!
     
  10. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    You are all right. I have also to say that the Panther is much more balanced but in combat the Tiger showed it was more effective. We have discussed about the guns in another thread already. What was the conclusion? However, the Tiger, in 1943 was more reliable than the Panther, because it had been already tested properly and in combat, although they were still having severe mechanic troubles...

    I think my brain is goind dry about this thread.
     
  11. T-Bolt

    T-Bolt recruit

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    Tanks were designed from the beginning to be offensive weapons, and designers in all the countries that fielded them always struggled to balance the three key aspects of a good tank, protection, firepower, and speed. The Tiger I ( and the Tiger II even more so) had the first two covered very well, but failed miserably with the last, speed. Too heavy, too slow and mechanically unreliable.
    The Panther, while not perfect, had a very good balance of all three. Based on this alone I believe the Panther was not only the better German tank, but also one of the best tanks of the war.
     
  12. Hetz

    Hetz recruit

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    I have to go with the Panther

    It was faster and more manoeuvrable than the tiger I and featured a high velocity gun with superior penetrating power (156 mm for the kwk36 and 174 for the kwk42 mm of homogenous rolled steel plate at 30 degrees from the vertical, at a distance of 500 m, using panzergranate40 AP ammunition).
    Also, Due to the use of sloped armour it had a better weight to armour protection ratio.
     
  13. stewy

    stewy Member

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    Tiger for me. Churchill himself was troubled by the Tiger & it's killing power. As were the allies that came up against them. Stewy
     
  14. Hetz

    Hetz recruit

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    In reference to Andreas Seidels' armour comparison:

    Armour effectiveness in stopping rounds of a given caliber isn't solely a matter of armour thickness. Sloped armour has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of energy that is transferred to the armour by deflecting the force of a projectile upon impact. This effect probably accounts for the larger part of it's protective potential.

    The difference in road speed between the two designs appears to be in accordance with the numbers one would expect when considering the difference in weight and the fact that both tanks were powered by virtually the same engine.
     
  15. stewy

    stewy Member

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    It's said that in the trials the British did on a captured Tiger,that at 1000 yards it was 100% accurate. Scary:eek:. Stewy
     
  16. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    It's like comparing a Rolls and a BMW, the BMW may be "a better car" from an engineering point of view but the Rolls is a myth.
     
  17. KingTigerFan

    KingTigerFan recruit

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    In my opinion, the panther is the overall better vehicle. It may have a smaller barrel but it provided more armor penetration. Its sloped armor was also better than the simply thick armor of the Tiger. And it was faster and was able to traverse a wider variety of terrain. The trade off was of course, side armor, but as previously mentioned I believe the Panther, generally speaking, was the better of the two.
     
  18. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Member

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    I'm surprised nobody argued based on economics. According to Wikipedia, a Panther cost 117,100 Reichmarks vs 250,800 RM for Tiger I (initial costs were way higher). That figure doesn't include maintenance. I got the impression Tiger tanks broke down often and needed lots of maintenance (e.g. tracks wore out relatively quickly).

    Given the cost difference, I definitely would rather have 2 Panthers than 1 Tiger, just as a dual core CPU is way faster and more efficient than a fast single core CPU. 2 guns would definitely be more effective than 1 gun. Of course, reality is not that simple because the Panther's gun range is shorter and 2 Panthers need more fuel, which Germany was in dire need of.

    Looking at production numbers, 6000 Panthers were produced, but only 1300 Tiger 1, so it seems clear the Minister of Armaments, Albert Speer had the engineer's good sense that Panthers were a lot more effective cost wise. In Stalin's words, "quantity is quality"
     
  19. GermanTank

    GermanTank recruit

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    Although the Tiger I cost more than the Panther, however it has better kill ratio which makes it cost effective. Panther is more suited for defence and ambush, they are very vulnerable when taking on hidden anti tank guns and clearing infantry out of trench line, in close combat its side armour are a easy meal for Shermans. Tiger I is good for both and during the Kursk Offensive it was very capable. The Tiger I front hull is more vulnerable to later tanks than a Panther. However the opposing optics during combat will have a harder time to take out the smaller size front hull of the Tiger I as compared to the larger dimension front hull size of the Panther and will likely to hit the turrent more which gives better protection. Deploy a Panther in combat required more planning whereas a Tiger I could just move out and take out anything other than the heaviest anti tank gun. However there are exceptional cases like Wittmann demise.

    Newbies tankers will find more comfort in the Tiger I as it was more survive worthy. Perhaps there are cases
    found in Gruppe Fehrmann which consists of 5 panthers and 6 tigers. The inexperienced tank crews are still able to notch up good kill ratio whereas there is no kill ratio as reported in the panthers.
     
  20. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The Tiger was too limited in the offence.
     

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