Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by JBark, Jul 25, 2010.
Great point. I've read much the same, and that would be a knock on the design- and a common one for German tanks. Overly complex systems that aren't necessarily beneficial enough to be worth the complexity. Though as you note, more detail would be needed on that one, which being that I'm posting from work, I don't have on hand either. While the interleaved road wheels may well have been a mechanical flaw, on the other hand said roadwheel setup was kept throughout the Tiger I's manufacturing lifetime. The roadwheels themselves were changed in later models, but the interleaved setup remained.
Paging TA, TA to the Tiger thread.
Very well said! I would still contend that the Tiger I would be high on the list, and I think the data on Sherman v. Tiger still says a lot re: the quality of the Tiger I, but opening that up to a wider grouping would certainly expand the playing field, as it were.
But your last point also speaks volumes to the comparison, and is a reason I prefer specific comparisons, as opposed to comparisons of an entire "group". Without a specific comparison, specific data points (like speed, ground pressure, fuel capacity, operational range, etc.) can't really be brought into the picture. And without said specific data points, the comparison devolves to hyperbole and specious, unfounded talking points.
Because of overclaiming the Germans had a policy of reducing their own 'kill' totals by 50%.
They recognised that only half (overall) of their claims were actual kills. This 50% reduction was never applied to individual claims. Thus while the aces combined might have a claim total of say 2000 actual kills in reality were only 1000.......for what it is worth!
Well, I would give some credence to his opinion about the tank. It doesn't get more authoritative than that!
Good luck with that! I don't think the Swiss ever published the final draft of : "The _________'s had the best_________________ during WW2"
You'd have better luck trying to milk a chicken.
LOL! Of course, Carius may be biased. But he commanded a Tiger from its introduction until the end of the war. That cannot be said about any Allied tankers that I know of. So, I offered the information because he would have to be considered an expert on the subject of Tiger tanks...but the potential for bias is obvious.
As to JBark's comment on the steering. Yep it was new and it was revolutionary. That is a mark in favor of the tank, not against it. In his book, Carius doesn't mention steering problems, indeed steering was one of his major praises (along with most other aspects of the tank). However, for purposes of equanimity, Carius further reported that the transmission could be a problem and shouldn't be driven until it had reached its proper operating temperature. He stated that since this was not always possible, measures should be taken so that the tank could be driven without damage before it reached operating temperature.
Sounded fairly candid to me.
Biased none the less.
"Sounded fairly candid to me."
Wiley, a thought. Apply what you learned of Wittman, his combat at Villers Bocage, his demise and kill exagerations post to Carius. Pride and other emotions can influence what one will share and what they will not. Accounts of many aspects of WWII are to be examined very closely before they are accepted from generals down to the common foot soldier.
I have a different definition of the word expert. I've driven a couple of VW's, the last one for longer than Carius was a tanker. I've done mechanical work on it, have the chilton manual on, etc. Am I an expert on the VW Golf? No. The person I would give that title to is the guy I know that has a business devoted to repairing and maintaining VW's only. He's done so for decades. He was trained by VW. He is an expert while I am an experienced user. Carius was a soldier, not an expert on tanks, IMO.
Well, if you read Carius' book you'll see he was an expert regarding the mechanical aspects of the Tiger tank. His after action reports etc...reveal that both he and his crew were proficient regarding most all aspects of their tank. In fact, Carius made recommendations for improvements in later models of the Tiger I. Furthermore, its very difficult to see how Carius wouldn't be regarded as an expert regarding the Tiger's performance in the field. His experience in the Tiger should be considered. Your denial of this might be an indicator of your own bias in this regard.
Of course, I don't rule out that Carius may have been bias as to his opinion of the Tiger tank. That's obvious.
JBark I can see you're a patriotic man, but don't let this interfere with your objectivity regarding history.
Although written before, by others more clever than I, two points stand out.
First, all heavy tanks of this era, German/Russian/American, seem to suffer some drivetrain problem as the powerplant/transmisson can not seem to compensate for the weight of the extra armor. Essentially you had monitors instead of battleships.
Second, Considering the number of heavy tanks produced compared to medium tanks it seems flawed to compare heavies to mediums. Each was designed to do a different task, notwithstanding the fact that they would face each other one to one on occasion. How relevent is it to compare a P-61 Black Widow to a FW 190? Or a Cruiser to a Destroyer? Each, in its own element, can kill the other, but they are hardly equals and really should not be considered as such.
A good point. But, the issue of the thread debated is "the finest and most influential tank of WWII." (which crossed over to this thread) The subject would probably would have been easier to approach had it been qualified as to "best heavy (or medium) tank of WWII". That would have separated the pepper from the salt.
Wiley Hyena wrote:
I agree with you here Wiley. There are, and have been, many weapons systems over the years that so called "experts" or engineers have touted as excellent or garbage and once put to the test by the soldier that has to fight with it the opposite has proven true. The soldier that employs the weapon in combat is the one that knows if it's effective, all other opinions are second hand.
It's really not really necessary to break it down as you suggest. While the Tiger was a formidable tank, it was produced in too few numbers to have any real effect on the outcome of the war. The Sherman and T-34 were fine tanks in their own right, not a match for the Tiger one on one but that is not what they were designed for and both were produced in such numbers they did effect the outcome of the war. So influential has to go to one of these two contenders.
I understand what you're saying. I just don't consider a country's industrial output capacity relevant to the question of the "finest and most influential" tank. If that is part of the equation, then certainly the country with the greatest output capacity wins.....ie...the Sherman. What I'm talking about is the tank itself. If that is the question, its the Tiger I.......my unshakable opinion.
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This is History Channel, but still.....
Peace and thanks for your great response.
(edit: the inbed from YouTube not responsive) but u can go there and see some allied tankers talking about the tank they would prefer if given the choice....u know what the answer is.
Well, if you read Carius' book you'll see he was an expert regarding the mechanical aspects of the Tiger tank. His after action reports etc...reveal that both he and his crew were proficient regarding most all aspects of their tank.
Well, when you've read a few more books on armor you will come to know that crews of tanks do a lot of their own maintenance and repair. It is expected, necessary and nothing unique to Carius and his crew.
In fact, Carius made recommendations for improvements in later models of the Tiger I.
Again, common. Nothing unique. The german army fell into a rather nasty situation of listening to input from so many sources and making so many situations that they had too many models and variations. Part supply became a logistical nightmare and subsequently their armor force was dwindling as tanks became stripped for parts.
Furthermore, its very difficult to see how Carius wouldn't be regarded as an expert regarding the Tiger's performance in the field. His experience in the Tiger should be considered. Your denial of this might be an indicator of your own bias in this regard.
Well I'm willing to accept that our definitions are different and you want to force yours on me after I have stated this. I don't think soldiers in the field are experts on their equipment. Carius carried a sidearm, is he an expert in that too? So of course your expert could talk metalurgy and make comparisons to other tanks he has examined extensively. Right? My bias is obvious, I think a different tank was superior for reasons I've pointed out.
Of course, I don't rule out that Carius may have been bias as to his opinion of the Tiger tank. That's obvious.[/QUOTE]
The German interleaved, overlapped suspensions have an engineering advantage, at least on paper. First, these suspensions distribute the weight of the vehicle more evenly over the track surface. The use of larger sized wheels allows for them to be used as the return path for the track as well as reducing the contact time of any point on the wheel (ie., they rotate slower). They also allow the wheels to be relatively simple to stamp out. The small amount of rubber per wheel also reduces heating in operation and reduces the chance of loss of the rubber surface.
On the negative side, a vehicle requires a much larger number of wheels and torsion bars (or other suspension system). This increases the overall weight of the suspension system compared to others like the US volute or British Horstmann system. It also greatly increases the amount of maintenance. There are more points to grease and lubricate. Changing a broken torsion bar or inside wheel takes a much greater amount of time and effort along with having to remove a number of undamaged parts to get at the broken one.
An additional problem with the German use of these systems was the lack of return rollers in the system. Without return rollers one cannot overly tension the track. It has to be left with some slack in it. This introduces lash and increases rolling resistance by a near expotential as speed increases. It also increases the risk of throwing a track, particularly if undertensioned. This increases the maintenance necessary as the crew has to more frequently check and adjust the track tension.
The Germans added another complexity by making the rim with the rubber a seperate part from the wheel itself. This, again, is great from a engineering standpoint but, as the initial Panther wheel showed all-to-clearly being bolted on only increases the chances of failure rather than making replacement of worn rubber surfaces easier.
Of course, these systems also had severe problems with mud impaction. Rocks are another problem. Either can become jammed between the various wheels and then wreck them or simply jam things up to a point where the tank is immobilized until the mud or rocks are removed.
So, from a manufacturer's and engineer's point of view the interleaved / overlapped suspension system is an elegant and correct answer to the needs of supporting a heavy vehicle and giving good cross-country performance. From a user / maintenance point of view these suspensions are a nightmare of complexity and require far too much attention. Think of it like this: The Germans opted for a Formula 1 suspension system with all its complexity, fragility, and high maintenance. Everyone else opted for a heavy duty pick up truck suspension that wouldn't break and no one had to look after. Yes, the former rode and worked better....when it worked but, the later worked good enough and was sufficently cheaper, easier, and practical to overcome the elegance and performance of the German choice.
The later view has overwhelmed the former and that is why you don't see these suspensions in use any more.
Instead, the single road wheel used in a number of 6 to 8 either singly or in pairs on a single torsion bar or with a hydropneumatic suspension has become the norm. Return rollers likewise have become the norm. Using rubber bushings, usually solid rubber, on the road wheels is also the norm. Resiliant rubber road wheels like the British (Conqueror), Russians (KV and IS series), and Germans (late war Panther and Tiger II) where the contact surface is steel with an internal rubber bushing have been used occasionally. But,these are inefficent by comparison so have generally not been pursued much.
Hey, I have an idea. Go over to the thread on influential tanks and read over your attempts to bring information in to the discussion only to realize that your source(s?) were wrong. Review how you came to realize that the Germans were in the habit of exagerating their kills (i.e., they lied) and spreading propaganda about certain "aces." Perhaps you could understand that these half truths and lies spread by the combatants and those in Berlin indicate a pattern. If you have a chance do a bit of reading of some of the memoirs of the German generals and cross reference the stories and see if you don't notice a continuation of this pattern of half truths and lies.
Another idea for you as you continue on your "travels" in internet forums. Address the arguement and what is in it and not the person making the arguement. In extreme cases you will get scolded by the moderators but in most cases you will simply let all see that you don't have decent rebuttal to your opponents arguement. What you pretend to know about me comes from seeing my posts and what little information there is in my bio. In other words you know nothing about me at all.
I disagree. I examine them as machine compared to machine. One could very well argue that the M24 was the best tank of the war (I don't know the machine that well, just that it was good) based simply on how it stacked up as a machine made to do a specific job.