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Those poor old Shermans - It took 5 to kill a Tiger

Discussion in 'Sacred Cows and Dead Horses' started by T. A. Gardner, Jul 9, 2004.

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  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the German tank losses in the East in 1941,incomplete figures from German sources :

    PzI :341

    Pz II : 398

    PzIII : 637

    Pz(t) : 721

    Pz IV : 320

    Bef.Pz : 78

    Total : 2495

    + 101 StuG


    Causes ?

    Enemy tanks, artillery,mines, infantry,aircraft, and especially accidents,mechanical breakdowns, shortage of POL,of spare parts..., or a combination .Some tanks were cannibalised to repair other ones.....

    No one cared,the Germans had other things to do.

    It was the same for the Soviets .
     
  2. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    Loss Figures

    From Axis History Forum....Very reliable site
    Someone came on with a Soviet total for the war of tanks and SPs lost to all causes, 96,571. Source for this was KRIVOSHEEV

    Then another post I looked at noted the German habit of 'double counting', and rendering the Krivosheev figure as suspect. The revised figure of 53,300 was given.

    Now, from TANK NET...
    One post gave the Krivosheev figure again of 96,500. This was followed by one of the funniest comments I have ever seen on websites anywhere..."I wouldn't be suprised if that figure included claims for T-20 Kommsomolets Tractors!" (I nearly fell off my chair laughing at that one.)
    Their site listed casualty figures thus...(just the totals)

    Allies
    UK..(all fronts)..................15,844
    US..(Europe D-Day to VE Day)........5086
    France..(D-Day to VE Day)............644

    Germany............................23,166

    Tiger 1s............................1,143
    Tiger 2s...............................85

    By Year...39..........................287
    ..........40........................1,278
    ..........41........................3,815
    ..........42........................3,135
    ..........43........................6,858
    ..........44........................7,181
    ..........45..........................612

    Notice the jump in losses in 1943? The Germans must have been feeling the heat from the newer Soviet types, and the extra intensity of combat engagements from 43 onward. Lesser numbers in their own pool of experienced crews may well have been a factor.
    Notice also the drop off in '45. By then the panzer arm is long gone, and with nothing coming out of the factories there is simply nothing left to lose.
    Still, even the revised figure of 53,000 odd Soviet machines destroyed still has the Germans dishing out punishment in lavish proportion to what they were recieving.

    So,their version of events at Prokhorovka is quite on the cards.

    Now, look at the Western Allied losses.....almost 1 for 1 with the total of German losses for all fronts. Lets see this figure as proof that the Western Allies got a pasting as well, for the German losses are for all fronts, not just one,

    75,000 round figures allied tanks and SPs, as opposed to 23,000 German tank and SPs. No hero worshipping involved to understand a 3 to 1 casualty ratio.
    And just what are we to make of it if the Krivosheev source for Soviet casualties is correct? Another 40,000 Soviet machines, for a general casualty ratio of 5.5 to 1? Funnily enough, this is EXACTLY the figure quoted for Tiger 'kill' ratios! So, maybe, just maybe, theres something in those figures as well. Krivosheev IS a RUSSIAN source, after all, and you boys are really big on believing Russian sources......

    Speaking of Tiger sources, over 9,000 kills equates to 1 in every six tanks destroyed. Not bad for a vehicle type of both marks that represents a small fraction of the overall numbers. What was that about Tigers fostering "killer" crews? Doesn't look so outlandish now, does it?, (Von Poop, are you paying attention?)

    So, what was the reason for the German success?.....thats got to be the next thing we cover, because it dovetails very nicely with the question, "exactly what are the significant factors that determine a successful crew....or the cringe terminology...a 'killer' crew?"
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    German success ? What German success ?
     
  4. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    come on Lj....success as measured in numbers of tanks. What the Army did with the good work of the Panzer Arm is not the issue, and never was.

    3 to 1 equals an arm of the German military that has done it's job.

    If the Soviets had a similar kill ratio for their mobile arm, the GPW would have been over in 1942!
     
  5. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    The 1945 German total is way way out. The reason the official figures are so low is the paperwork no longer exists for Feb-May.
    We do know over 1000 vehicles were manufactured in that period and it would be fair to assume most were lost as well as the majority of the 3000 odd still in service in Jan.

    Also less than 50% of all tanks lost were due to AP shot. AP shot is not confined to tank guns.

    The obsession with tank losses is a sympton of a disease. This illness is a deep rooted inability to understand why the 'wrong' side lost WW2. Struggling to come to terms with this awful truth the patient tries to find another way of honouring those he believed deserved to win. He fixates on a very minor point. Tank losses. The Allies had c 8-10 times the number of tanks than Germany and must have had more losses. Thus now the only definition of victory is 'tank losses'. Minor things like losing battles meant little when Umperstumpen Fuhrer Munchausen can knock out 100 T-34's with his last 2 rounds from his broken down TII on the streets of Berlin.
    The Germans did not 'do well' Nor did they finally succumb on May 1945. They lost the war in 1943. From then it was 100% certain they were going to lose. The battles in the summer of 1944 fijust confirmed this to even the most die-hard Nazi. It was always a question of 'when' Belin falls not 'if'. The fact that Hitler fought for an extra 2 years, killed over a million of his own people and totally devastated his country is not something to be admired.
     
  6. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    This is similar to the story of the Afrika Korps and the Italian Navy..

    Rommel used to make a habit of explaining away his battlefield failures by blaming the Italian Navy for not adequately delivering troops and supplies.
    The figures show that the greater majority of troops and supplies despatched to Rommel, did, in fact, reach their destination.

    The Italians had done their job....pity Rommel couldn't. The Italians could not be held responsible for what happened to the arse and trash once it got ashore.

    In the same way, the Panzer arm did their job. They cannot be held responsible for the failure of their leaders to put their good work to use.

    Remember the Title of Manstein's memoirs?..."Lost Victories"
     
  7. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    No Lj...the RIGHT side won, and nothing can change that. Stop turning this into a Nazi lovers tryst. I am seeking the clarification of the Tiger myth, nothing more.

    And so far, the figures agree with me. They also show a significant loss of tanks and SP guns for the Allied forces, and this has got to be explainable by something other than hero worship of the German military. Stop accusing me of it. I went and did what you asked me to, and got figures for losses of all countries from creditable sites, and its still not good enough, so you resort to calling me a Nazi lover AGAIN?

    Come on lj....this is really not what I've seen from you on other posts. There you were the voice of reason.
     
  8. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    I repeat again, we are not trying to determine who won the damned war. None of the ten questions I asked you, and none of my postseither, are covering this question.

    Its all about establishing the lethality of the Tiger, and why John Desch believes that the amount of time a tank crew has fought together is the most significant factor in the success or failure of a tank as a weapon.

    I couldn't care less about the Nazi stuff. You are accusing me of this when the figures clearly show there is something to what Mr. Desch has told us. Turning this debate into a 'who won the war' or 'who is worshipping the Germans' is a conveniant taunt, isn't?

    Especially when I've said nothing of the sort.
     
  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I am losing the will to live on this thread.

    Some terminology.

    The Germans did not succeed. They lost. The more appropriate term is to claim that the Germans had a higher combat effectivenesses than the armies they fought. Google Trevor N. Dupuy. One German was equivalent to 1.2 Brits or Yanks and three five or whatever number you pick from the air for the Russians. However a crude comparison of tank losses does not translate into a kill/.death ratio a la a computer wargame.

    I repeat for the hard of comprehension. The main purpose of tanks is NOT to destroy other tanks. The German Army truppenfuerhung 1935 para 339 states that "wherever possible enemy artillery is the objective of an armoured vehicles supported by their infantry". Killing tanks is one major purpose of the Panzer Jaeger/ Tank destroyer arm, the other being to protect other arms from armoured attack - which is not the same thing.

    A crude comparison of tank losses does not translate to the relative effectiveness of tanks in tank v tank battle. The big jump in German armour losses in 1943 may reflect the loss of territory after the Soviet winter offensive, the loss of Tunisia, and the Soviet Summer offensive which followed the German failure at Kursk. The Ferdinands may have been virtually invulnerable to tank fire, but almost all were lost in the withdrawal through the Ukraine. Whatever the K/D ratio fo Shermans to Tigers in Normandy, none of the Tigers made their way back to the Reich.

    British AFV losses are likely to include many vehicles K/O by other anti tank weapons .and those which broke down or had minor damage in some withdrawal -m e.g. 600 tanks lost at Dunkirk, 100 in Greece, hundreds with each swing of the Benghazi stakes.
     
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  10. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    Folks, if doctrinally, the main purpose of tanks was to support infantry, the French forces in 1940 would have had a bloody field day.

    They were defeated by an enemy who threw away that rule, and bunched his tanks for maneuver, breakout, and exploitation.....and the victory was very solidly achieved.

    In an infantry support role, the best thing a tank can do to suport infantry is to eliminate the tanks of the other side. This is only possible at long range with another tank, and if you can get rid of the other side's tank support, you have the ability to crush the opposition. WW2 era infantry had good reason to be shit scared of tanks. Only as they started to be armed with infantry AT weapons weree the infantry able to hold their own.

    AT guns are handicapped by their lack of mobility. A simple flank move forces them to keep turning, if they can. Most AT positions were run over by tank tracks.

    Of course, you guys might not be aware of all this, because you are not an ASL player like I used to be, (i don't have the time, now, being a Daddy).

    If my tanks were facing other tanks, I certainly would not waste my artillery trying to hit them. MY tanks, the weapon's system best suited, would deal with the problem, then the survivors would squash the infantry, before a short and sharp bombardment to keep heads down.

    Man, you guys would LOSE in a big way, doing everything by the damned book!
     
  11. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    Sorry Sheldrake....I tried to give you a LIKE, but i've reached my quota.

    No kidding, you know that German officers used to train with Wargames? They certainly did not think it was a waste of their time. You all know the story of Rommel's staff officers having a 'kriegspeil' on the evening of June 5th, 1944. The situation they were gaming was an allied landing at NORMANDY....funny eh?

    Japanes Admirals had a wargame of their proposal for an invasion of Midway. The officers playing the IJN lost all four of their carriers when they wer caught on deck with aircraft ready to go.
    The judges for the game ruled that this was unlikely, and let them continue. The IJN was declared the winner.
    When the real operation came, the IJN were, after all, caught with their planes on deck, and all four carriers sent to the bottom.

    Ignore a wargame at your peril.....

    OK....German success at killing other tanks....

    You ignored all the rest.

    I don't think I'm getting a fair go here. Can we stick to the original premise of the post? Find out if 5 shermans are needed to kill one Tiger, and the issues I raised about Tigers fostering better crew survivability, and therefore more likely to graduate to be 'aces'?

    All the rest is just window dressing. You asked me to get some figures....somebody was arrogant enough to type "We Dont Kow" to questions I asked that I found answers to. Shows I'm just an irritation to some.....so they call me a Nazi lover to feel better?

    Well, the figures show i'm on to something. Tough. I'm not such an idiot after all.
     
  12. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    He is getting on my nerves with his references to his guru :no one is caring about what the ignoramus Desch is telling you( he is telling us nothing) .

    The amount of time a crew has fought together is irrelevant for the success of failure of the tank :there are no stats on the time a tank crew has fought to gether .Understood ?

    Besides,there are countless factors for the success or failure of a tank .The success or failure of a tank is depending on the opponent,on the environment,etc,etc.

    Parotting your guru that the amount of time a tank crew has fought together is the most significant factor in the success or failure of a tank,is saying : if a German tank destroyed a US tank,the reason was that the German crew fought together since 16 days,and the American crew fought together for 15 days only .
     
  13. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    Well, lj, what do YOU say then.

    Despite the figures, you've rubbished everything.

    So lets hear it then, masterbrain.

    If I was parroting anyone, then I wouldn't be sourcing them.

    Here you are showing how doctrinal you are. You don't just follow the damned manual in EVERY situation.

    Is there any other possible way you can be insulting? Notice I haven't...I think you've lost this debate on that basis, who cares what the issues are, you certainly don't. I think, Lj, you are more concerned about proving that you are more knowledgable and intelligent.

    Ok, mastbrain, you are smarter than me. Happy now?
     
  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    He never will understand ( that's characteristic for the gamers) :

    1)There was no kill ratio of tanks

    2) Most tanks were not lost: they were used,consumed,as were bullets: a general rule was that during an advance/retreat (without fighting) every kilometer ONE tank was falling out .

    3)The allies lost more tanks because they used more tanks .The livespan of a tank was a few months .The more tanks were running, the more were out .It was the same for aircraft and trucks .

    4) On 22 june 1941,the Soviet Mechanised corps,stationed far away from the border,received the order to go west and to expel the Germans :result : most fell apart without having seen ONE German .
     
  15. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    Lj...Sir,

    Without tank support, modern penetration and exploitation just isn't possible.

    How do you think 30,000 British troop in the Western desert were able to overcome the numbers and round up one Italian division after another...because their tanks were better handled and very superior , and at Beda Fomm, the Italians lost most of their tank support, so the rest of the infantry threw up their hands. No tanks, no victory.

    Same goes for early Barbarossa. The Germans handled their tanks ina superior fashion. When out in the countryside, their standard tactic was to seperate tanks from infantry, destroy tank support. Most of the time, the infantry would run for their lives or throw up their hands on the spot.

    Tactically, he number of tanks you lose compared to those you started with is a pretty good indicator of how the engagement has gone. Rare it is to see unsupported infantry beating the odds and managing to defeat a force of tanks, whether accompanied by infantry or not.

    The situation changed as the infantry began to be equiped, first with Molotov Cocktails, (not so effective), then anti-tank magnetic mines(dangerous to attach) and finally the shoulder launched shaped charge weapon, (panzerfaust, panzerschrek, bazooka). Prior to 1942, but for most of the war really, unsupported infantry were in big trouble if they tried to hold out against an assault supported by tanks. This is how so many Russian soldiers were defeated in detail, with prisoners numbering in hundreds of thousands per operation....they had lost their tank support, their artillery positions were over-run, their morale was GONE.

    Don't take my word for it. You continue to believe that it's all so cut and dried, straight out of the manual. Thats why that last fight in Saving Private Ryan is so comical. Any commander worth his salt would have held those German troops back, while the tanks and guns methodically turned over every building from a distance. A few scout would draw fire, where weak points could be acertained, and you send your troops in riding the tanks for mutual protection, as the soviets loved to do.

    Soviet infantry were particularly suseptable to their moral cracking when their tank support disappeared. But really, most infantry will see the light once the metal monsters aren't there anymore.

    I am not a complete knucklehead, as you seem to believe. and just because I happen to play conflict simulations, it neither means that I don't read seriously as you do.

    If tanks are such a liability, why do we still build and use them?
     
  16. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    From an american perspective, without AFVs, Patton's third Army would have been a paper tiger. Do you think for a second, that his wonderful advances and economical battles would have been possible without those tanks? Remember, Patton was the earliest exponent of tank warfare in america, (at one stage, he was the only man in the country that could drive one!). Patton had served in the Great War, in tanks, and he had honed his craft as a tankman; what he was doing in Europe was to put all of that operational and tactical expertise into his handling of the Third Army. And to Patton, when his tanks ran ot of gas, thats when things started to go pear shaped. Patton would STEAL gas from other armies to stop that happening. He knew it was better to keep 'on a roll' rather than let something like gas disturb his operational momentum.

    So, we'll take all of Pattons tanks away, and his SPs, and see just how far you think the Third Army would have gone after it's activation post Operation COBRA.

    With a force of 200,000 odd infantry, Patton would not have made it past Argentan!
     
  17. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    BTW...the story of the Soviet mechanised Corps....do you think I'm a bloody fool? That incident occurred because of LACK OF TANK TRANSPORTERS. Tanks do not just drive from point to point. they either go on rail cars or on transporters. Anything else is asking for a whole lot of mechanical headaches, and losses without even glimpsing the enemy.

    look Lj, stop treating me like a bloody ignoramus. If you want to debate the issues, stick to them.

    Now, what was that? 1,900 odd tigers, 9,000 kills? sounds like a case to be made. Lets stick to the point.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I've read accounts of a single Sherman taking out a Tiger, I've also read accounts of Tigers taking out multiple Shermans. It's worth noteing that usualy the Tigers were on the defensive so they would have been harder to spot and had a good idea where the allied tanks were likely to appear. Also consider that as others have stated most tanks weren't killed by other tanks or even AP guns so looking at comparative losses of tanks doesn't really tell you much about the respective quality of the tanks.

    Tigers were good for long range sniping at opposing armored vehicles. On the otherhand if my army was on the offensive or wanted to be able to go on the offensive I'd rather have Shermans.
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    You are good ... in own-goals:who was doing blahblah about kill ratio of tanks ? Who was attributing the tank losses caused by the collaps of the Soviet MC to the Germans ?


    "Let's stick to the point" :that 's saying the man who is hyjacking the thread ,which is : those poor old Shermans it took 5 to kill a Tiger,by doing blahblah about tank losses on the eastern front .

    There were 126 Tigers in Normandy : it's on you to prove (by giving exemples) that it took 5 Shermans to kill one of these Tigers .

    I am waiting.
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Of Topic for this thread .
     
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