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German designs influential?

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Walter_Sobchak, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. harolds

    harolds Member

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    On the quality vs. quantiy issue: The Tigers were meant to be built in low numbers. The Germans never did get around to rationalizing it (both models) for mass production. The Panther, on the other hand, was designed more for mass production. Despite it being a totally new design, being rushed into service, and of course, the Allied bombings on production facilities, somewhere aroung 6000 of all types were produced. This wasn't too bad, considering all the above factors. Therefore the Panther was made for combat quality AND quantity.
     
  2. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Member

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    I think it gets a bit tricky when people talk about "quality" when discussing WW2 afv production since the term "quality" can mean more than one thing. I think its important to separate between two different types of "quality" that defines any particular AFV model. The first sort of "quality" worth discussing is how well the tank is constructed and built. The second type of "quality" is how up-to-date and effective the design is on the battlefield. So for example, the American Sherman tank is an extremely high quality vehicle in regards to the first definition, but not as high "quality" in regards to the second definition since the US war planners had failed to provide the firepower and armor upgrades the vehicle needed by 1944. The T34/76 would score very low in the first definition of quality as it was generally assembled in less than ideal circumstances which lead to a generally poor finish on the vehicle. It would also not score very high in the second definition of quality since the soviet high command performed the fewest modifications they had to to keep the vehicle combat relevant so as not to disrupt production numbers. German AFV's would score generally high in both types of quality although the first type started to fall off significantly by 1944. So while I think its fair to say that in general the soviets were willing to sacrifice quality for quantity, and the the Germans were willing to sacrifice quantity for quality (although this starts to become less true by 1944) its a little misleading to say that the US in general sacrificed quality for quantity. US vehicles were very well made "quality" items. The issues that affected the combat effectiveness of the US tank fleet in the ETO in 1944-45 had as much to do with misguided doctrine and a failure to anticipate advancements in German tank design as it had to do with the need to maximize production at the expense of "quality."
     
  3. MikeRex

    MikeRex Member

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    That's pretty much my opinion; mechanically the German WWII designs were a dead end. I suppose they must be given credit for being early adopters of torsion bar suspension in the tiger, though to my knowledge the double torsion bar suspension of the panther has never been emulated (maybe because it breaks all the time).
     

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