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Myths of WWII - Armor

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by JBark, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    As the thread was the role of the T 34 in 1941,any reference to the heavy Soviet tanks,or to the number of German tanks is a strawman .
    I stick to my claims
    1)The few T 34 (production for 1941 :2800) did not prevent Germany to advance to Moscow
    2)Most T 34 losses were due to breakdowns,thus,their mechanical reliability was not very good .
    3)There were few tank to tank fights in 1941 and even during the whole war)
    4) And,as the T 34 was in 1941 only 6 % of the Soviet tank number,there only were few occasions for German tanks to encounter T 34
    5)That,after 1941,the Germans were building heavier tanks (not only because of the T 34) is here irrelevants,as we are talking on the role of the T 34 in 1941.
    6)That there were in june 1941 1403 medium ta
     
  2. freebird

    freebird Member

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    No, because your claim that were "very few" is not correct, compared to the German tank numbers,

    2,800 is few? Compared to 1,400 German medium tanks in Jun '41?

    What's your basis for this claim?

    Again, your numbers are not correct.
    There were about 12,000 tanks on the western front so the T-34's would be about 11%.
    Your comparison of the total numbers of tanks is not the most important point, the stronget Red Army tank formations used the T-34, and not picked at random.

    No, it isn't irrelevant, as part of the reason for the development was the German's experience against the T-34, which they wouldn't have had if it had played a "negligable" role in the war.
     
  3. JBark

    JBark Member

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    [/QUOTE]Obviously some exaggeration, but the T-34 was a great tank (even "superb") when it was introduced, and it outclassed the Germans at the start of Barbarossa.[/QUOTE]

    One should wonder where the exaggeration, if there is one, comes from. The Germans might exaggerate to make excuses for their failures in the USSR. The Soviets might exaggerate because they want the world to believe they make great weapons. "Outclassed" the Germans? That was nothing new, their armor was outclassed in France but their tactics and strategy made up for it. Look at the T-34 of the early war, it was no great shakes. The list of its faults goes on and on. Not and AFV I would call superb.

    [/QUOTE]The Sherman was a very good tank when it first saw action in Oct '42, but it was outclassed by the summer of 1944. Not a "Rolling Death Trap", but the Allies should have had an improved replacement by 1944 (IMO)[/QUOTE]

    The problem with this is hanging on to the belief system that a tank must be a tank v. tank "champion" and ignoring the numerous other tactical, strategic and logistic considerations.
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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  5. dazzerjeep

    dazzerjeep Member

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    Operation `Barbarossa`
    On June 1 1941 the German tank arsenalhad grown to 5262 tanks, of which 4198 were cosidered frontline tanks. Hitler committed 17 panzer divisions and 3332 tanks, concentrated in 4 panzer groups, to Barbarossa, the largest assembly of armour in the history of warfare up to that point.But the Russians by comparison had more, The German force was 3332 tanks deployed, of that force 1156 were obsolete Panzer I and II tanks, a fither 772 were Panzer 38t. Therefore there were only1404 Panzer III and IV that provided the mainstay of the force. The Germans were outnumbered and out outgunned.
    On the 21 of June 1941, with the benefit of overwhelming suprise the 4 Panzer groups smashed thier wayacross the boarder and rapidly overwhelmed the Russian force.
    The first major tank battle of the campaigne was at Brody on the 25 of June between Panzer group 4 and the Soviet six mechanised corps, after a stiff fight the It ended in a complete German victory.
    By the 3 July army group centre had completed the elimination of the Bryansk and Minsk pockets of resistance and captured no less than 2585 Soviet tanks.
    Heinz Guderian's panzers crossed the Dnepr river near Mogilev, and Smolensk fell 6 days later, on the 5 of August when fighting ceased a further 2000 Russian tanks fell into german hands.
    In the north the fourth Panzer group continued rapidly through the Baltic states and on the 15 of August Novgorod fell and by the end of the month Leningrad was under siege.

    I hope this helps in some way as the T34's and KV1's weren't beneficial at that time because of the German tactics.

    This is just my opinion
     
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  6. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    IMHO,Freebird has a romantic,but wrong view of WWII:decisive tankbattles,decides by superior tanks,handled by tankaces .While not denying that tankbattles occasionaly happened,my POV is that they were exceptions,otherwise,how to explain,that on 1 december the Germans were not that far away from Moscow,and that they "only" had lost some 2000 tanks,against the SU at least 13000.
    The truth is disenchanting :number one cause of tank losses was breakdown :tanks were very primitive machines .
    To destroy a tank,artillery was far more efficient than an other tank .An ATW could destroy a tank from a far distance,while a tank had to approach an other tank to destroy him .
    I have (from the official German sources) the Russian tank losses for 1941:
    till 31 december ,the tanklosses were:13405,till 31 july :8189,the German tanklosses till 31 july were 579 (a ratio of 14-1),thus that mean that there were big tank battles in this period,that the Germans (with a lot of PzI an d PzII) lost 1 tank against 14 for the Russians ? Of course not.
    But in the same period,the Germans lost 972 3.7 cm PAK (the standard German ATW),IMHO,that's proving that the Germans used mostly PAK to eliminate Russian tanks,and,that the comparison between Russian and German tanks has no big significance .
    A better comparison would be :what Russian- German tank was a match for German-Russian ATW's.
    The biggest threat for a tank was an ATW,and,tanks only exceptionnaly were used as ATW .
     
  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1) that the Germans were outnumbered and outgunned was not that important
    2) that on 5 august 2000 Russian tanks fell in German hands,is doubtfull,because the official German figures for the period 1-10 august is 1183 Russian tanklosses
    3)As the heavy Russian tanklosses in the beginning of the war were not caused by the German tanks,the fact that the Russians had more and more powerfull tanks,is not that important .(see point 1)
    4)Could you explain what the German tactics were ?
     
  8. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Yes.
    Battle of Brody-Dubno.
    The Germans were not "searching for an encounter" with the Soviets, the Red Army was making counterattacks against the German forces with their tanks.

    I've read the sources in Russian.
    http://glorymuseum.ucoz.ru/news/bitva_za_dubno_luck_brody/2010-06-20-319
    but this is from Wiki, it's pretty accurate.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brody_(1941)

    The German 1st Panzergruppe lost about 200 tanks in it's battle against the Soviet 8th mechanized corps.
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Hm,If the new Soviet T-34 tanks were almost immune to their weapons,and the KV-1 and KV-2 heavy tanks were impervious to virtually all German anti-tank weapons,why did the Russians lose the battle ?
    How many T-34 ,KV1 and KV2 did participate on the battle ?
    Why use a Russian source for this battle ? As the Russians lost the battle,how could they count the number of destroyed German tanks ?
    As the Germans lost untill 31 july 580 tanks ,200 for Brody is a lot .
    Why would it be the largest tankbattle of WWII till Kursk,as we don't know how much Russian and German tanks were fighting each other,as we also don't know how much German tanks were destroyed by Russian ones,and vice-versa .
     
  10. freebird

    freebird Member

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    "Complete German victory" - The Germans won yes, but they did lose a significant number of tanks during the battles to Russian tank forces


    "weren't beneficial" means that they were of no benefit, which is clearly not the case at all!
    The Russian tank forces organization as indeed faulty, which is why they failed to defeat the Germans. However they did cause the germans significant losses in that battle.
     
  11. dazzerjeep

    dazzerjeep Member

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    4)Could you explain what the German tactics were ?[/QUOTE]

    Total suprise
     
  12. dazzerjeep

    dazzerjeep Member

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    "weren't beneficial" means that they were of no benefit, which is clearly not the case at all!
    The Russian tank forces organization as indeed faulty, which is why they failed to defeat the Germans. However they did cause the germans significant losses in that battle.[/QUOTE]
    I think you answered you own question
     
  13. freebird

    freebird Member

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    As written earlier, poor tactics & German air power were the main causes

    800 - 1,000, about the same or slighly more than the total german tank force.
    This was the MAJOR Soviet tank force, and they were concentrated in the south.

    German losses are from German sources. (after the war of course)

    Indeed it is.
    And 200 tanks was the losses only to the 8th mech, others were lost as well.
    As I said, this was the location of the major soviet tank armies, which were concentrated in the South.

    Yes we do know, we have both German and Soviet sources. :rolleyes:
    How do we know ANYTHING about WWII? From battle report from both sides, exactly like this one.

    yes, actually we do to a reasonable degree.
    There were a good number of German tanks destroyed by Russian tanks. Some by artillery and a few by antitank guns. virtually none by Russian aircraft.
    The Russian tanks were mostly lost to aircraft, getting cut off or abandoned due to lack of fuel or ammo.
    The German tanks were able to destroy the lesser Soviet tanks (BT-7s, T-26 etc,) but their tank guns were not able to penetrate the T-34's & KV-1s in the majority of cases.
     
  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    And the Russian source :hm,it gives initial tankstrength as 932(169 T34 and KV),and after the battle:2O7,thus tanklosses:725 ,and not 800 as Wiki claims .
    Also some doubtfull claims :10 KV and T34 destroying (without any loss) 40 German tanks .
    And,the Russian lieutenant general says:The Corps (minus Popel) lost 96 tanks and destroyed 200 tanks,but,Popel (the culprit of course) also destroyed 200 tanks (=400 German losses,not 200 as Wiki claims),but ,lost all his tanks (=629) .
    My points
    1)an attempt to put the blame on Popel
    2)contradictory figures of German and Russian tanklosses
    3)no information what caused the tanklosses
    4)if this was such a German victory(as Wiki claims),why use A Russian source and not a German one?
    5)If there is no German source,maybe the battle was not that important ?
     
  15. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Total suprise[/QUOTE]

    that's not convincing ,surprise in june,surprise in july,in august,in september,in .....
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1)That German airpower was the main cause of German tanklosses is debatable,
    2)YOUR Russian source is contradicting YOUR numbers of T34 and KV (169 instead 800-1000)
    3)As there were 13000 Russian tanks on the Western front,this could NOT be the major Soviet tank force
    4) I have given the German tank losses (from the German archives) and these are till 31 july:
    Pz I 93,PzII 97,PZII 153,PzII(t) 140,PzIV 96=579,and,as we know that the major cause for tank losses (German ,Russian,...) were breakdowns (at least some 25 %),I still find the number of 200 (Wiki) 400 (Russian source) very high .
    5) your last 2 sentences are contradictory :
    A)Russian tanks were mostly lost to aircraft
    B)The lesser Soviet tanks (and these were the majority) were destroyed by the German tanks .
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I did some searching onthe Dubno-Brody battle and found the following (on Armchair General)
    1) 5 mechanized Soviet Corps participated in this battle,but the large masses of Russian tanks were used against the German infantry,not against German tanks (IMHO,this would not be a tankbattle)
    2)The Soviet MC(8,9,15,19,) fought mainly against the German 75 and 111 ID
    3)On 22 june,these MC had a strength of 2355 tanks,of which 140 KV and 171 T 34(=7-8 % T 34)
    4) On 25 june,8 +15 MC already had lost 40-50 % of their tanks(for 15MC because of breakdowns) ,9 MC only had 66,and 19MC only 35 tanks
    5)The 8 MC (250-300 tanks) was surrounded by 2 German Pz divisions (200 tanks) and destroyed .
    Conclusion :the Brody tankbattle was not a very big one,and the figures of German and Russian tanklosses are much exagerated .
     
  18. freebird

    freebird Member

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    What sources are you using?


    1.) Armchair General is not a primary source.
    2.) Which tank battle do you suppose was bigger up to 1941?
    3.) Before you draw a "conclusion" that loss figures are wrong or exaggerated, you need to quote some actual figures.
     
  19. freebird

    freebird Member

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    You are correct, was reading the front numbers for med. tanks. The number you've now quoted is 311, not 169. (140 + 171), which is still a fairly significant number of med/heavy tanks for one battle

    Yes, it was. It wasn't the majority of the Soviet tanks, but it represented their largest concentration. There were smaller tank forces along the fronts, in reserve in Moscow & other cities, but this was the largest SINGLE concentration of forces.

    You misunderstood that.


    That's not what I said.
    I said that German tanks were capable of destroying lesser tanks, I didn't say that they were the primary cause of Soviet tank loss.
     
  20. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    The Sherman was inferior in armour and gun. It did take more Shermans to defeat the Tiger, and it only managed to do that by virtue of better reliability and numbers.


    Inferior armor and protection always means something is going to catch fire and burn.
     

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