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Crews ability to identify russian tanks

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by charlie don't surf, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. charlie don't surf

    charlie don't surf Member

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    Is it possible that german tank crews were just as bad as allied crews in telling tanks apart and thus claimed a lot more T-34, KV-1 and KV-2's than there actually were? It's quite normal to hear about russian, american and british crews being unable to tell the difference between a tiger and a pzkpfw IV, could this phenomenon be compatible on german crews as well?

    regards
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    My grandfather never mentioned that but I recall him mentioning and I have read this as well where the Panther was mistaken for the T-34 plenty of times.
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hey CDS and PzJgr, congrats on your new awards. [​IMG]
     
  4. charlie don't surf

    charlie don't surf Member

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    Thanks, how does those awards work?

    regards
     
  5. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    I bet the same thing happened.
    The thing with the german tanks, besides the Panther and King Tiger, they all did look somewhat similar. III, IV, and Tigers all had the "box" look, straight armor, similar stowage bins on the rear of the turrets, etc. This was one of the factors that led to so much mis-identification. I think I read somewhere- if we were to take American combat reports from the Normandy campaign at face value, the Germans would have had a larger number of Tiger tanks serving in Normandy than they actually manufactered during the whole war!

    In the case of the germans mis-identifying russian tanks, that's a really good point. And probably impossible to actually pin down! The russian information I've seen is often very spotty on production and service numbers, so it is difficult to begin with figuring out how many of what tank was serving in which are at a given time ( :D ). It is somewhat simpler in the case of the russians though- we are really only talking about 2 or 3 types of tank. The T-34 had many minor variations, but they all outwardly looked alike. Same with the KV series. Once 1944 rolled around, you start seeing significant numbers of T-34/85s and IS tanks. Starting in 1941, the T-34 was introduced in huge numbers.
    So I guess it would be impossible to get any real numbers for german mis-identification. I'd guess it happened less than American mis-identification though...
     
  6. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Well, I think it happened quite oftenly but it happened more with self propelled guns and tank killers. Because they look pretty similar. With tanks, the turrets are much different and can be recognised more easily. Or at least my Opa said something like that.
     

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