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Eastern Front 1943-45 some details

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by Kai-Petri, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    In Kursk a number ( 100?) of T-34s were about to escaape in the early offensive days. However the Germans had a Hs 129 tank destroyer planes in the area and the Soviet tanks were destroyed. So Rudel was not needed.( Sorrry Back to Bagration next. Zaloga is great ).

    Hs 129 B-3
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    A closeup of the Bordkanone BK 7,5 75 mm cannon.
    It was decided that the 7.5 cm (2.95 in) semi-automatic Rheinmetall PaK 40 anti-tank gun, which had already been adapted for use in the Junkers Ju 88P-1, would be further modified for use in the Hs 129. This resulted in the BK 7,5 (Bordkanone 7,5), which, even though it weighed 1,200 kg (2,600 lb), was lighter than the PaK 40. Fully automatic, it featured a new, hydraulic recoil-dampening system and a new, more aerodynamic muzzle brake. An autoloader system, with 12 rounds in a rotary magazine, was fitted in the empty space behind the cockpit, within the rear half of the wing root area. The gun and its recoil mechanism occupied a substantial gun pod under the fuselage, and a circular port at the rear of the pod allowed rearwards ejection of spent cartridges immediately after firing. While this new variant, the Hs 129 B-3, was theoretically capable of destroying any tank in the world, the added weight worsened the aircraft's general performance and it was inferior to previous variants.[2]

    The Bordkanone 7,5 was the heaviest and most powerful forward-firing weapon fitted to a production military aircraft during World War II. The only other aircraft to be factory-equipped with similar-calibre guns were the 1,420 examples of the North American B-25G and B-25H Mitchell, which mounted either a 75 mm (2.95 in) M4 cannon, or lightweight T13E1 or M5 versions of the same gun.

    From June 1944, only 25 examples of the Hs 129 B-3 arrived at frontline units before the production line was shut down in September (a small number were reportedly also created by converting B-2 aircraft). In the field the B-3 proved effective, but its small numbers had little effect on the war effort.

    Henschel Hs 129 - Wikipedia
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Luftwaffe had been building up a strategic bomber force of the new Heinkel He-177 Greif bombers in anticipation of of raids of major Soviet industral centres. One of these, Kampffgeswader I Hinderburg, with some 40 He-177s, was committted to the Byelorussian campaign. It took part in some ineffective raids against Soviet railway marshalling yards. In early July it was ordered by the head of the Luftwaffe, Göring, to take part in low-level attacks against Soviet tanks approaching Minsk. Ar low altitude these ungainly aircraft were horribly vulnerable to Soviet fighters and AA fire. After a quarter of the force was shot down by Fighters, the bombers were finally allowed to resume high-altitude missions.

    Bagration 1944 by Zaloga
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The heaviest tank fighting took place to the north-west of Minsk. The main tank strength of the 5th Panzer division, supported by Tiger tanks of sPzAbt 505, fought a costly series of battles on 1 and 2 July against element´s of Rotmistrov´s 5th Guards Army trying to envelope the city from the north. The stubborn defence was intended to keep the Soviets away from the railway lines being used for evacuation. In a week of fighting, the 5th Pz division claimed to have destroyed 295 Soviet armoured vehicles of which 128 were credited to the Tiger tanks. By 8 July the 5th Pz division had been reduced from 125 tanks to 18, and all of the Tigers had been lost. Both units were ordered to withdraw to the north-west.

    Bagration 1944 by Zaloga.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Schmeisser was a popular weapon among the Soviet ´razvedchik´scout teams. Ironically, German scout units liked to use the Soviet PPSh machine-pistol.

    Bagration 1944 by Zaloga
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    When Blau began in June 1942, the eastern air fleets had possessed 2,644 aircraft, of which 1,610 ( 61%) operated in the southern front under Luftlotte 4. The operational rate of that air fleet had been 71%, good by the standards of the eastern front. By 31 January 1943, the day on which Paulus trudged into Soviet captivity, only 1,657 aircraft ( excluding transport planes ), of which Luftlotte 4 commanded a mere 624 ( 37%). That is, after seven months of constant combat. the fleet´s complement had dropped to 39% of its former strength. Because of bad weather and the frequent evacuation of airfields, its operational rate had also dropped dramatically. On the day Paulus surrendered, the air fleet had only 240 airworthy planes, its operational rate having falled from 71% to 38%.

    Stopped at Stalingrad by Hayward
     
  6. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Between November 1942 and May 1943 the Axis power lost 2,400 aircraft supporting operations in Tunisia. The two campaigns were linked - at least on the axis side.
     
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  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Not to mention men losses from Tunis May 1943 to Normandy 1944 to Bagration 1944 as well. Or the "usual battle losses" Sicily, Italy, Ostfront, France during the same time period....

    Or the the Ju-52´s...

    Williamson Murray:Luftwaffe 1933-1945

    In early November 1942 ( notice!) Luftwaffe was forced to send 150 Ju 52´s to the Mediterranean, an additional 170 followed at the end of the month (!)This movement of aircraft, combined with the Stalingrad airlift, effectively shut down instrument and bomber transition schools.The development into the Mediterranean also explains why the Luftwaffe found it difficult to transfer more transport aircraft to Luftlotte 4 and the Stalingrad supply effort.

    The Luftwaffe lost 128 Ju 52´s in November and December 1942, with an additional 36 destroyed in January (13.9 % of the Luftwaffe´s total transport strength ). When combined with losses at Stalingrad, the Germans lost 659 transport aircraft (56% of the transport force as of November 10 ) by the end of January 1943....

    And by Murray as well...

    In 1943 the allied air superiority had become so great that Germans had trouble protecting their airfields in Sicily/Italy:

    Losses for German aircraft for July in the Mediterranean was heavy. Luftwaffe lost 711 planes ( 10% of German air force at the end of June ) of which 246 were fighters ( 13.3% ) and 237 bombers ( 14.4 % ).
    In August the allied inflicted a further 321 losses. At this point reinforcements dried up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Aces of the Luftwaffe - Emil Lang

    At the outbreak of World War 2, Lang was serving with a transport unit. In 1942, he was accepted for fighter pilot training. Lang was posted to JG 54, based on the Eastern Front, at the beginning of 1943 and, at 34 years of age, was one of the oldest pilots in the Jagdwaffe! Leutnant Lang was assigned to 1./JG 54.

    In October and November 1943, Lang claimed 101 victories (25-125)!. He recorded 68 victories during October, including 10 on 13 October (50-59) and 12 on 21 October (60-71) for which he was awarded the Ehrenpokal. On 3 November, Lang claimed 18 victories over the Kiev region (101-118). He was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 22 November for 119 victories.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Sturmtiger (German: "Assault Tiger") was a World War II German assault gun built on the Tiger I chassis and armed with a 380mm rocket-propelled mortar. The official German designation was Sturmmörserwagen 606/4 mit 38 cm RW 61. Its primary task was to provide heavy fire support for infantry units fighting in urban areas. The few vehicles produced fought in the Warsaw Uprising, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of the Reichswald. The fighting vehicle is also known by various informal names, among which the Sturmtiger became the most popular.

    Sturmtiger - Wikipedia



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