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Pointless German Tanks...Your Take On It...

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by FartNuts, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. FartNuts

    FartNuts Member

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    Since I'm new here I'm not sure if this has been discussed too much in the past...so please forgive me if it's been a popular topic recently :)

    I wanted to see everyone's take on this topic...

    Which German tank or tanks were just plain out bad choices to produce, much less even consider?

    My personal opinion...the Jagdtiger was one of the more poor choices to develop. I mean this thing couldn't even cross bridges because it was so heavy! Not to mention all the typical problems we all know about. Less than 50 were produced if I'm not mistaken. Just think of all the resources wasted on this tank destroyer. I would much rather have built many more Panzer 4's or Panthers.


    All that aside though....it was one awesome looking machine that I would NOT want to have to face off with in an allied tank...
     
  2. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Around operation Nordwind the Heer had around 70 of them. After Nordwind that number drasticly fell. Due to Engine problems(They used the weak panther engine), crews blowing the tank up after engine problems, stuck in terrain. But if im not mistaken only 3 were ever destroyed by the Allies as it was almost indestrucable because of its fortress like design. Sheer killing power made it a great idea but engine problems and fuel consumption were mega flaws.
     
  3. FartNuts

    FartNuts Member

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    There's no doubt about the Jagdtigers killing power. I would NOT want to face off against it. But when all is adding up was it in any way a good idea? It was like you said basically a fortress, but was it really that much better at picking off other tanks then say a king tiger?

    My argument with the product and of the Jagdtiger was that it in my opinion it was a huge waste of resources at a time when Germany needed to make every little last bit count. And when allied air power was at an all time high, this machine was just a bigger and easier target to hit.

    As for the design, I know that it had major problems with the motor and and fuel as you said, but it also suffered from a flawed transmission, a suspension that was too weak to support it's massive weight and was just too darn big to move around effectivly on anything but perfect tank land.

    When you add all these factors up...was it really a smart idea to devlop and build this tank? In my opinion.....it was a big mistake.

    P.S. It seems that I was wrong on the production count and I was off by a bit. According to wikipedia between 77 to 88 were produced with 150 ordered. Jagdtiger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Oh yes it was a terrible idea for the time they were living in. To be honest it would seem better to use the metals for Panzerfaust heads, that would be the most effective.
     
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  5. FartNuts

    FartNuts Member

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    Hmmm...

    Never honestly thought of using the resources towards Panzerfaust's....I agree with you...that would have been a much better use of resources. I would be willing to bet that children equipped with Panzerfaust's had a much higher number of kills than the Jagdtiger ever had.
     
  6. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    The Germans went a bit weird with the Jaddtiger and they had the Maus & E-100 in development or testing stages. They seem to think the bigger it was the better it would be. Maybe they were banking of putting the wind up the Allies with these monsters.

    The King Tiger struck me a some what odd...after all the Tiger V had proved itself in battle.
     
  7. FartNuts

    FartNuts Member

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    Wow...I completely forgot about the Maus! Good call on that one!

    The king tiger is my favorite tank of the war...but it was not by any means a good idea either. I have to side with you on this one...why did think they needed to replace the Tiger? Build more tigers instead!!
     
  8. MastahCheef117

    MastahCheef117 Member

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    I second Nuts' decision. Combined all Tiger units numbered at approximately 1,847. However, Henschel could produce around 40-50 each month average, so more than 2,000, even 2,500 could be better than just 1,355 Tiger I's.
     
  9. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    German tank designers were by no means stupid. Germany could never equal the Allies in industrial power. Therefore they attempted to build tanks which might lack ease of production but would hopefully be more heavily armed and armored than there opponents. It would have been pointless for the Germans to produce a tank like the Sherman, as the Allies would still be able to produce three times more of them. The problem was that tanks and tank destroyers were still a relatively new design, and therefore a lot of the finer engineering details of building a heavy tank were not worked out. As such many German tanks suffered from engine problems, transmission breakdowns, final drive failures, etc. Thus the Germans were not only loosing tanks to the Allies but to mechanical breakdowns. With that being said, I think the Germans took the idea slightly too far in attempting to produce the Jagdtiger, Maus etc. In all reality, Germany's panzer arm was doomed from the start because of its economy and lack of resources.
     
  10. FartNuts

    FartNuts Member

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    Very interesting points here...but there is one issue that isn't looked at too often with this argument...at least I think so.

    Yes of course German tank designers were brilliant...probably the best of them all...BUT something that is rarely brought up is Hitlers influence on the matter. Let's not forget that he was obsessed with new, bigger and more powerful weapons. I think this played a MUCH bigger role in the design of tanks like the Jagdtiger and so on than we usually give credit too.

    I would be willing to bet that many of the designers would liked to have gone a different way, but Hitler insisted otherwise.

    Although Porsche always like the challenge of engineering something great...
     
  11. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    There are two different problems here for the Germans:

    First, they produced expensive and difficult to mass produce tanks. They failed to use as much as possible common components in their designs as well. With each design they largely started from a clean sheet of paper. These were engineering and production mistakes.
    Compounding this was a continious demand from the military to make minor and not so minor changes to their production vehicles. This too haphazardly introduced design changes and greatly slowed production.

    The other problem is orgainzational. The Germans placed the bulk of their specialist vehicles in seperate abteilung at the corps and army level. The problem here is that they over concentrated the best of their equipment to little effect. For example, it would have been far better to give each panzer division a company of Tigers than to put these vehicles in seperate battalions.
    Given German orgainzation, they likely should have foregone putting together seperate self propelled antitank battalions altogether. Putting the heavier vehicles into panzer divisions and the lighter ones entirely into infantry formations would have helped both immensely.
     
  12. TheImPaLeR

    TheImPaLeR Member

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    What about the RAT? It did not get into production, just a concept. But if that went thru that would be even bigger than the MAUS.

    But honestly I love perusing at those huge German tanks more than any other tank from other countries during world war 2.
     
  13. FartNuts

    FartNuts Member

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    This is a very interesting take on the situation indeed!

    Oh yes...don't get me wrong here...my favorite tanks are the big and unnecessary ones such as the king tiger. ;)
     
  14. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    Hitler was like a kid on Christmas day when it came to developing new weapons. Whatever bigger, better, more sophisticated weapon his designers dreamed up, Hitler would often take a fancy to one or another of them and order it pushed through development regardless of the ultimate results.

    (For example Hitler liked the idea of retaliating against England with the V1 and V2 rockets and he made resources available so that thousands were launched, against England and allied bases in France and Holland, starting on D-day. While both were impressive weapons, the results they achieved hardly justified the enormous expenditure of manpower and materials used up on them, and that could better have gone to building more tanks, u-boats and aircraft instead.)

    anyway the most pointless death trap the Germans ever deployed may have been the Elefant tank, 90 of which made their combat debut at the Kursk battle in Russia on july 4, 1943. While well armed and heavily armored, the tank was so slow and its drive train so fragile that most either broke down or became practically immobile. The real kicker was that the German designers had not thought to fit the Elefant with any machine guns for defense!

    The elefant was sent into battle alongside Panzer Grenadier troops whose job it was to protect the Elefants from infantry attack. But when these troops were driven off by russian artillery or machine gun fire, the Elefants were almost completely helpless against Russian infantry, who swarmed over the slow Elefants and destroyed them with mines, grenades, or even molotov cocktails tossed onto the engine deck. The Elefants were a disaster and surviving Elefants and their crews withdrawn from the battle - some were used later in Italy as well as elsewhere on the Ostfront and machine guns were finally added to the hull.
     
  15. Proeliator

    Proeliator Member

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    I am certainly no fan of the Elefant TD, but it may surprise you to know that during the battle of Kursk they ended up with a kill ratio of well over 10:1. So calling the tank a disaster is stretching it. Nonetheless it was far from an ideal design, and to begin with it lacked even the most basic defensive means such as a hull MG or even a top mounted one (This was later to be addressed however).

    Also it was definitely used on the Eastern front after the battle of Kursk, again achieving good results against the Soviet tanks. But two serious problems would continue to plague the design, namely its insufficient mobility and serious reliability issues (And these could for once not be blamed on irregular maintenance).
     
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  16. FartNuts

    FartNuts Member

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    Agreed! The Elefant was used at Zossen once more and then in Poland: Elefant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    That's a nice kill ration too of course.
     
  17. moutan1

    moutan1 Member

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    I think the Germans built 70 Jagdtigers in all the war, with this numbers it became a prototype more than a real weapon

    ok maybe producing Panzerfaust heads would be most effective. but the Panzerfaust can not destroy a target at 2000 m

    my point is (maybe I am wrong) the Germans built heavy tanks to respond to the soviets heavy tanks
    for example the Germans responded to KV-2 with Tiger and soviets response was IS2 so Germans bring Kingtiger and soviets response was IS3


    so the two countries involved in arms race and they could not get out of it ,because they did not own air superiority so the Germans needed a heavy tank or SPG to keep up with soviets and be able to destroy the similar soviets weapons (ISU-122 / ISU-152, IS2) at long range
    in kursk the only soviets SPG could destroy the Tiger was SU- 152 so Elefant will be useful to counter SU- 152

    Another point that western allies owned such heavy SPG like (American T-29, british Tortoise )
    but they did not needed them because they had air superiority so they had an ability to destroy any heavy tank at long range and they used also the artillery
     
  18. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    Ok thanks i have changed the post: I know they were used in Italy on several occasions after Kursk but didn tknow they continued to be used in Russia too
     
  19. Chesehead121

    Chesehead121 Member

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    The tiger was pretty useless. Even with it's 88 gun, a sherman could run circles around it. And it did just that as it ran around the back with its popgun and busted the tiger with a well-aimed shot!
     
  20. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    I wouldn't go so far as to call it useless. It had its share of mechanical problems but could perform the role of a heavy tank quite well. The fear factor it earned was not unjustly given and that alone gives it some points. To me it is pointless to analyze battles between the Sherman and the Tiger. The Sherman was not built as a heavy tank or a tank destroyer to combat tanks like the Tiger, but rather as a medium tank to provide infantry support. It is sort of like mix-matching weight classes in boxing or wrestling.
     

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