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The Tiger/Sherman Ratio [Assistance Request]

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Otto, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. mconrad

    mconrad New Member

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    I don't think the British tank casualties for mechanical breakdown are the same as German breakdowns. The numbers for German breakdowns is of tanks found broke down/abandoned on the road and taken into Allied hands. Thus permanent loss to Germany. The British breakdowns during the advance into Belgium/Netherlands were surely all remaining in British hands and repaired. The similar German figures (broke, repaired, returned to operations) don't even show up in the German number cited.
     
  2. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    That was not the point I was trying to make..
    The number of German tanks that 'broke down' and became losses is constantly trumpeted as proof that they were difficult to knock out.
    I say the number of tanks that break down in fast moving situation would be the same for all nations. Yes lots of German tanks broke down when they were racing at top speed top safety.
    Yes lots of Allied tanks broke down as they swept through France and The Low Countries.
    So far everything is equal.
    The error only creeps in when the failure of the Germans to recover their crocks is twisted into a sign of tank superiority.
    Recovery or non recovery of the crocs does not enter into the calculation.

    By the way UK and US tank Unit loss figures do include tanks that were just damaged and were later repaired.
    German Unit loss figures rarely include damaged tanks.
    That is why Allied 'loss' numbers seem so much higher than German loss numbers.

    An Allied Unit made a decision at the end of every day. Completely destroyed tanks and those tanks expected to take longer than 24 hours to repair were backloaded to a workshop and struck off the Unit roster. It was the workshop that made the decision to scrap or repair the tank. Thus a Unit could have a paper loss of say 10 tanks but 4 would be repaired and returned to service making the real loss figures 6.
    A German Unit would write off its complete wrecks. Anything that was very badly damaged would be sent back for factory repair and also lost to the unit. Seriously damaged tanks would be retained by the unit and recorded as 'in repair'.
    We then have Unit returns for German Units that record 25 tanks ' in service' and 10 'in repair' and this is always taken to mean they had 35 fit tanks. An Allied Unit could record 25 tanks 'fit' and 10 ' in repair' and that also comes to 35 but the Allied Unit would have(24 hours from that date) 35 tanks in action when the German Unit could still have the 10 damaged tanks in the workshop.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If I wasn't a regular on some of these sites I would really wonder about the logic that says tanks breaking down is proof of their superiority ....
     
  4. albowie

    albowie New Member

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    Real facts would question Max Hastings writings. I'd recommend reading Buckleys Excellent title on British Armour in Normandy. If you look at the battle of Rauray you will see how it is very difficult to see what destroyed what. over 60 Panthers were destroyed by tanks of 4/7 QDG and the Infantry's 6 Pdrs and a troop of 17 pdrs for a handful of Sherman losses (<5) Most British tanks lost in Normandy were lost to AT or Infantry handheld AT. Very low numbers to Tanks.
    As for Airpower (Typhoons, Spitfires and Thunderbolts) after analysis they got very little Armour
    Al
     
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  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The crew in tank would get skin full of shrapnels anyway if the hit was hard, as the inside of the metal would shed pieces. You survived but being 100% able to combat would not be clear.
     
  6. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Though I salute your sentiment, the stats do not support your statements re British tank losses. Most were A|P shot from anti tank guns or tanks> Check out 21 Army Group Operations research report 12 here http://lmharchive.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/The-Full-Monty2.pdf
     
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  7. albowie

    albowie New Member

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    Thanks for that, that is the first time I have seen that document in full and I appreciate the link. That will treach me to type from memory rather than walk into the other room and get the reference
    CHeers
    Al
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    It's just common sense. Since the British were facing most of the German armor, it would be logical that most of their losses would be from AT/tank guns. I think perhaps in the American sector, which had more bocage, the majority of tank losses would come from panzerfausts and panzerschrecks.
     
  9. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    HC never overtook AP penetration as the main tank killer even in the last months of WW2. AP shot was the main (c.50%) tank killer and you can not tell an AT gun hole from a tank gun hole. HC was a last resort close-in weapon. If you missed you were in deep deep trouble.
     
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  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The figures are even higher. For operations West of the Rhine the figure was C 10% of tank casualties were from hollow charge weapons and Wast of the Rhine when the Germans were running out of anti tank guns and relying on Panzerfausts the proportion was 34% See OR report No 33.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In the bocage even smaller AT guns could be effective, in the open areas mines were likely more common as well. The overall studies I've seen tend have AP as less than 50% from what I recall and perhaps around 1/3. In particular areas and times the results could be quite a bit different though.
     
  12. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    I know this is an old thread but I had to throw my 2 cents in.
    I for one find some truth to the five Sherman to one tiger or panther yarn when taken in a certain context. In a swirling tank fight such as Lorraine or Bulge unquestionably it did not take 5 Shermans to defeat a Tiger or Panther as the Shermans were actually in my opinion much better suited for this than the German tanks.
    Much more common than a swirling tank fight was an ambush. The allied column is on a forest road or a road with the surrounding terrain in a very muddy state (any place where deploying the tanks will be problematic).
    Whap whap whap the lead tanks are knocked out by dug in Tigers or Panthers. Somehow in the confusion an allied tanker manages to spot a muzzle flash or dust cloud or leaf cloud and opens fire. The rest of the column opens fire on the same spot, knocking out the enemy tank. The rest of the Tigers or Panthers slowly melt back into their forest cover to make it look like trees rustling in the wind and the German platoon disengages.
    Taken in a context like this I don't have any problem with the 5 to 1 Tiger or Panther to Sherman ratio. As ambush was certainly the rule for the Germans. I don't have any evidence but I strong suspect this is where it comes from.
     
  13. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    An after action report from the 741st tb from Dec. 15-17 '44 claims 3 Shermans (2 were disabled and had to be towed into position) destroyed 6 Tigers.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The 741st Tank Battalion probably destroyed or disabled 49 Panthers, Panzer IV, and Jagdpanzer IV in the battle of the Twin Villages 17-19 December (it was not engaged 15-16 December). None of them were actually Tigers.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

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    It is a little known fact, that the Me-363 pilots were put on a special diet, in order to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort during the rapid ascent and subsequent drop in ambient pressure for the pilot.

    Furthermore, another little known fact was that the flatulent-producing rations not consumed by the Me-363 pilots were instead fed to the Tiger-2 crews, in the hope that the methane so produced would reduce the weight of the loaded tank (methane being lighter than air), enabling the Königstiger to crawl up slight inclines.

    Indeed, so odious and rambunctious was this Tiger-2 diet, Allied tank crews were well aware of the presence of Tiger-2 tanks and of their crews before sighting them, especially when down wind . This allowed them the choice; to engage or, if the smell were truly overpowering, to withdraw.

    Indeed, even so, Tiger-2's were such superior vessels, as evidenced by the fact that most crews died from self-asphyxiation, rather than enemy action.
     
  16. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    Thanks Rich more fuel for the " allied soldiers thought every German tank was a Tiger" narrative. Not trying to give you homework but can you confirm our debunk a claim also from the 741st on April 8 that a 37mm equipped vehicle (M5?) Destroyed a Tiger 2.
     
  17. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    Wow 49! They only claimed 34 though you said some were disabled. Is it possible many of those tanks were the victims of bazooka fire?
     
  18. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Let's swap roles and have the Shermans ambushing advancing Tigers from defensive positions. We might be talking about five Tigers to knock out a Sherman.
     
  19. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    Agreed
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The US strategy was not based on tank vs tank action so the Sherman vs Tiger is not in any way comparable i think. Then again Blitzkrieg was based on surrounding enemy bases and simply continuing the attack with armor, not hitting the enemy face to face in the early war.
     

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