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Tigers - were they worth it?

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Gibson, Oct 3, 2000.

  1. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    This would work since they were limited on hvy tanks and had more of the pzkw IVs. It should have worked.
     
  2. Wittmann

    Wittmann Member

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    Hi Evans, you were talking about the sherman's knickname ronson. I think you already now why the brittish called it that way. But there was a joke about the vehicle. Just like the slogan of the ronson in that time said: It lights the first time. (And so were the shermans).
    I don't know what was first the joke or the name, do you?
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hello Wittmann, how's Bobby? --Sorry, I had to toss you that one today.

    Unfortunately, too many Shermans bacems Ronsons and Zippos. I recently saw a good documentary on the Discovery Channel? which was about ww2 tanks in combat and they showed several Sherman Cigarrette lighters, and a few German tabks without turrets.

    AH had WE had the Tigers........... The Germans would have never stood a chance....
     
  4. Chris Ray

    Chris Ray Member

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    Were the Tigers worth it? Definately not!
    The main battle tank of the Third Reich throughout the war was the Mark IV. Superior in design to either British and American designs, it could (just about) hold its own against the T34. Both the Mark V and Mark VI were introduced to battle the Russian tank. However, as America was to prove, concentrating on a tried and tested design and producing them in overwhelming numbers was the way to go. Both the Tiger and Panther were notoriously unreliable and difficult to manufacture. They diverted attention away from production of the Mark IV much to the detriment of the German war effort. They were also difficult to transport and handle in restricted battlefields because of their size and weight. No amount of aces like Whitman could make up for the loss in numbers of actual tanks that the German desperately needed. As with the Luftwaffe, quantity (Germany's only real hope) was sacrificed for quality.
     
  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I have to agree with you on the unreliability factors that Tiger tanks had, but had they only made use of one design of Tiger, such as the Jagdtiger, and mass produced those...well, it would make for more interesting history, to say the least. ;)

    Still, you do have to give credit to the Tiger tanks, they were THE most feard of all German tanks--heh heh, just ask any Tommy ot G.I. what they thought of them.

    Then ask them their opinion of the German 88, and i imagine you will hear some VERY colorful replies.

    One of my uncles who was with the 101st at Bastogne, was one who saw tigers in action and also endured bombardments from 88s. I asked him a few things years ago and do not recall much now. He admitted to being terrified of Tigers, as he was manning a fieldpiece, when it was knocked out of action by fire from a Tiger tank, and his crew was killed and he was wounded.

    Well, he crawled and slithered accross the ice and snow, to where some of the backup units were. The German tank was being fired on by different caliber of US Artillery, and was being hit.

    Well, the tank was driving in his direction, and he thought they were intentionally trying to crush him. It turned out that the tank had been penetrated by a roung from either a 105 mm Howitzer, or a roung fired from a 155 mm Longtom. The German tank crew were all very dead, and the dead drivers feet, was still able to keep enough pressure against the driving pedals thus keeping the tank ion motion.

    Well, the tank stopped either because it hit a large pile of debris, or a shellhole, which caused enough jolting to knock the dear drivers feet from the pedals. My uncle told me that THAT, was his scariest moment.
     
  6. Chris Ray

    Chris Ray Member

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    My father manned an anti-tank gun in the Western Desert in 1942 and was captured at Gazala. The tank he was up against was the MarkIV and, as he told me, at 50 yards the shells simply bounced off. He was eventually able to knock them out at 25 feet! He could clearly see the drivers eyes through driving slit. Admitedly he was using a two-pounder (which he described as a pea-shooter) but, even so, described the German tank as "bloody frightening". Fortunatley he never came up against a Tiger or Panther, but was able to inspect them in Germany after being released by the Americans. These he described as "even more bloody frightening".
    I doubt is the Jagdpanther would have been a good idea to concentrate on. It was essentially an assault gun or tank destroyer and was produced only because it was easier to build than a turreted model. It could only be aimed by turning the hull and was, therefore, very vulnerable. If you ever go to the Imperial War Museum in London they have one there, complete with holes from anti-tank fire!

    Chris Ray.
     
  7. Chris Ray

    Chris Ray Member

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    PS - Schwehrpunkt is best understood as "the point of decision" and is obtained by hurling the maximum force against the enemies weakest point.

    Chris Ray
     
  8. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Dear Chris, Tell your father for me, that he had alot of Elan and Cran-guts, destroying a MK-IV at 25 yards!! and with a 2 pdr! what was his units commanders thinking? sending them against tanks of that calibre with peashooters. Your father certainly has earned my respects, and my compliments.

    I can imagine what he could have done had he been equipped with a 12 or 24 pdr. What Division was he serving with? if you dont mind me asking?

    Was he with The Desert Rats? as there were a decent number of British personnel, serving with that Aussie Division.
     
  9. Chris Ray

    Chris Ray Member

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    Dear C. Evans (is your first name Chris as well?)
    My father served with the 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Although they had recently been refitted as mechanised infantry, the reason my father was on anti-tank guns was that they asked for volunteers. I asked him why he volunteered for such hazardous duty and he replied that he figured that an anti-tank gun was bigger than a Lee Enfield 303! What he didn't know was that the guns were taken from the gunnery school at Alexandria and were virtually worn out. There were six in all, four of which had to be carried on a porte because they had no wheels of their own. Out of the six gun crews only two escaped and my father and his surviving mate (Corporal "Chalky" White) were captured after breaking off the action. Caught in a whadi (dry river bed) they were forced to abandon their vehicle and gun and were captured early the next morning. When he got baCK HOME IN 1945 one of the first questions he was asked was where was his rifle. He gave them the map reference!
    Years ago, when I was a young boy, we visited the Regimental museum at Bodmin in Cornwall where, according to the official records, all the guns were supposed to have got back. Dad was incensed - angry that all his friends who had been killed seemed to have been forgotten.

    Chris Ray
     
  10. SmokstakLightnin

    SmokstakLightnin Member

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    Tiger-I can't fault the idea..."Take the best anti armor gun (88mm) you have and put a hell of a lot of armor around it"

    Kind of liked the Jagdpanther myself. Panther chassis with long 88...

    In wargames, when playing as the Germans later war, I like to use the Tigers hull down, dug in and with inf. support, of course(when fighting on the defensive) to blunt enemy armor attacks and then use more mobile PzIV's or panthers to hit the weakened enemy from the flanks and rear. Not sure if the Germans did this IRL though.

    -Tim
     
  11. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    The Jagdtigers were the best of the Tiger series. Good for the Allies as that not many were produced. Then you have the giant Maus, nothing could come near to what that tank could have done had it been produced in numbers and in time.
     
  12. SmokstakLightnin

    SmokstakLightnin Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by C.Evans:
    The Jagdtigers were the best of the Tiger series. Good for the Allies as that not many were produced. Then you have the giant Maus, nothing could come near to what that tank could have done had it been produced in numbers and in time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The Maus, I think, something that big would be a tactical godsend, but a logistical nightmare. Imagine how much fuel that thing used up!!


    :eek:

    -Tim
     
  13. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    A nightmare in logistics would have been true but, if they were dug-in and used as static defense, they would have whipped any tank attack in their areas.

    A great defensive place would have been the Seelowe Heights. They could have also been mounted and transferred on flatcars and or used for train defenses.
     
  14. Madcap7

    Madcap7 Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by C.Evans:
    The Jagdtigers were the best of the Tiger series. Good for the Allies as that not many were produced. Then you have the giant Maus, nothing could come near to what that tank could have done had it been produced in numbers and in time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nope, it was a waste of time, money and resources. The engine was very underpowered, the suspension was under great strain, it was VERY hard to hide, it was slow, clumbersome, the tracks were under great strain also.

    I agree it is awsome looking, but it was too big!

    The Tiger II was to heavy and underpowered, a vehicle that weighed the same as the Tiger I but with sloped armour would have been better IMHOP.
     
  15. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    I hardly know anything about the maus except for a picture of a captured one. Can someone tell me more about it or tell me a site about it.
     
  16. talleyrand

    talleyrand Member

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    #1) Tanks are mobile weapons, the fist of the attack. You build a pillbox for a defensive position. Yes, tanks work in a defensive role, but, you dont want a vehicle capable of ONLY that role.

    The Maus, most likely one of the largest German mistakes of the war, was a 188 ton albatross. There were many other attempts at a Super Heavy, the E-100 being the only other project to get very far. George Forty, a well respected tank expert, writes in his book "Tanks" for Osprey(Osprey publishes good books dont they?) "Both the E-100 and Maus never proceeded past prototype stage, however the amount of industrial effort which both projects absorbed was considerable, so perhaps they were more of a benefit to the Allies than to the Germans"
    The Maus weighed in at 188 tons, with a Daimler-Benz 12 cylinder producing 1080 HP (It had a top road speed of 12 mph, cross country about 3-4 mph. The Maus was so heavy it could only travel a short distance without destroying its own suspension. It was armed with a 128 MM AA gun as its main armament, a co-ax 75MM secondary gun, plus a single MG 34. The front glacis, turret front, and front side sections were 240mm thick, just under 10".
    The Maus was so heavy and wide it could not traverse almost any bridge, and its ground pressure ratio was so bad, if it attempted to traverse any sort of soft terrain, it would immediately bog down. The bridge problem was pointed out to Porsche, his response was to design a snorkel system claiming that the Maus could traverse any European river by driving along the riverbed. This was never attempted/proven as I would assume it would mean losing a Maus [​IMG] I have argued this point of swimming Mice before, people point out Soviet tanks could do this. Soviet tanks weighed 45 tons and had 800 hp engines, do the math. Think of all the rivers criss crossing Europe and you realize how worthless the Maus would have been, requiring specialized bridges at every crossing. The Maus required special trains to transport it also.
    The E-100 was a 100 ton tank armed with a 125mm gun. The only prototype was never completely finished
    I have tons of pictures of the Maus and a few of the E100, my favorite sequence of pics are of the design team trying to pull a stuck Maus out of the mud.
     
  17. mart

    mart Member

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    Tiger weak this, tiger weak that... The panther was the way to go....

    This is the general response i have read in this topic.... It sounds like the Panther was a brilliant piece of machinery from the moment it was designed. The Panther (especially early models/series) also had many flaws and was not THAT great.

    The Tiger E was already a better balanced machine then the early tigers... and remember, no tank was perfect.

    I had had the choice between commanding 200 shermans or 80 Tigers..... it would not be a hard choice, would it? Tigers all the way!!
     
  18. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Im in total agreement there. 80 Tigers would wipeout 200 Shermans with ease--unfortunately.
     
  19. sopwith

    sopwith Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by C.Evans:
    Im in total agreement there. 80 Tigers would wipeout 200 Shermans with ease--unfortunately.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And where are these 80 Tigers going to come from?

    Tiger 1 was a well balanced machine with good flank/rear protection. In general I'd prefer it to a Panther with its relatively weak flanks.


    I know this has little to do with the topic at hand. Sorry.
     
  20. talleyrand

    talleyrand Member

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    The Germans built 7,200 Panthers and Tigers of all stripes [​IMG] The US built 50,000 Shermans.
    The odds aint 2.5 to 1, more like 5.25 to 1.
    425 Shermans to 80 Panthers and Tigers.
    Less than 1700 Tigers(all types, including II's) were built.
    Me, I will take the Shermans at them odds.
    Thrown in 65,000 T34's and the odds get real sad. Nearly 11 to 1.
    Allied AFV production: 227,235
    German AFV production: 46,857
    Allied AFV produced with 75mm or larger gun: 163,600
    German AFV produced with 75mm or larger gun:
    37,794
    European Axis Allied AFV production:less than 3,000
    German AFV's include armed hanomag's, and other vehicles.
    US totals do not include Bren carriers, Weasels and others that have been included for the Germans. So the numbers are more uneven than this.

    [ 21 August 2001: Message edited by: talleyrand ]
     

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