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Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by JBark, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. JBark

    JBark Member

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    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.

    I'm wondering if you remember that the peole that design our weapons systems are working for a company? The whole system of procurement for our weapons is a mess that often takes a long time to find the best weapon for our fighting men. Dothey believe the weapon is excellent? Maybe. Can they speak their true opinions? Probably not? Are they still trying to "sell" the weapon? Unfortunately yes. All that said I do not think that the user, the grunt, is the expert in the weapons he uses. In some cases he sees it or uses it for a year or two and in some cases much more. In the long run he knows whether it works well. He knows how to use it. To me an expert can study those things and the same for comparable weapons used all over the world. He can discuss knowledge of metals used, explosives used, electronics used, etc. There is a world of difference between an experienced user and an expert.

    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.[/QUOTE]

    Agreed. One fellow on another forum put it; the Sherman and T-34 were examples of weapons that were able to achieve a strategic influence while a Tiger I can only have an occasional tactical influence, despite the fearful reputation it had.
     
  2. JBark

    JBark Member

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  3. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    I'm not the one who is trying to get personal here. And, I'm not sure what "wrong" sources you are referring to on the other thread, except the source dealing with the means of Wittman's death. I have no problems conceding that point as it seems to have been previously researched to a fairly certain conclusion. And, I will not push that point because I don't particulary care about that issue. The only thing important about Wittman as to my argument was that he was a so-called tank ace that commanded a Tiger, and Villars Bocage, however you wish to note the kill claims, was indeed dominated by the appearance of the Tiger tank. As to the rest of what you spewed above, I think you're trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. And, you are just plain wrong not to view Carius as an expert on the Tiger's performance in the field. As to Carius' expertise regarding the mechanical aspects of the Tiger, I can entertain your argument to a certain extent. (See. Nothing personal.)

    If you go after a poster with allegations of bias, especially in the face of good evidence, then you should expect that the issue of your own bias might be raised. It's nothing personal at all.
     
  4. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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  5. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    They didn't need heavy tanks remember the panther? Its armor was better and harder break,faster,more reliable and the 75mm had better penetrating power than the tigers 88.

    Also around 5,000 were built heavy tanks were useless because they were hard to make unreliable expansive and had no impact on the battle field because they were in so few numbers. Only 1,300 tigers on like what 450 kingtigers?
     
  6. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    An interesting point. However, according to this source, I will quote:

    "Much have been said about the Tiger's maneuverability, that the Tiger was a "lumbering monster", or that it could "barely move", but that is not exactly the truth. The Tiger I was very maneuverable for its weight, size, and superior to the Sherman in muddy terrain, despite its size and weight, as it had less ground pressure. This capability as provided by the combat tracks of 755 mm width, which resulted in ground pressure of 1500 psi, or 1.05 kg/cm sq.

    "The only German tank that was faster than the Tiger I was the Panther, with a road speed of 46 km/h and cross country speed of 24 km/h. But, overall, the Panther was not more reliable than the Tiger I. The percentage of Tigers operational at the Front was about equal to the PzKpfw IV and as good as or better than the Panther."

    Source: JENTZ, Thomas: Germany's TIGER Tanks; KBN 0-7643-0225-6.

    [The point regarding the Sherman is about to be assailed, I'm sure...but I just quoted the source exactly]

    Edit: Furthermore, Mark, I will offer this source quote information which may be of interest in this regard:

    "The armor of the Tiger I was not well sloped, but it was thick. Here is where many fail to understand that, in terms of WWII tank warfare, thickness was a quality in itself....This explains why the side armor of the Tiger I, being 80 mm thick, was so difficult to be penetrated at combat ranges by most Allied antitank and tank guns, where calibers were overmatched by the thickness of Tiger I armor.

    "The rolled homogeneous nickel-steel plate, electro-welded interlocking plate construction armor had a Brinell hardness index of around 255-280 (the best homogeneous armor hardness level....by WWII standards).

    (paraphrasing) Additionally, the British tests on a captured Tunisian Tiger (May 1943) reported that the resistance of the Tiger's armor was "considerably higher than that of the British machineable quality armor...."

    Source: JENTZ, Thomas L.; Germany's TIGER Tanks.

    ..........
    I'm not sure how this compares to US industrially produced armor, but it is telling in regards to the Brits.
    .........
     
  7. JBark

    JBark Member

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  8. JBark

    JBark Member

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  9. JBark

    JBark Member

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  10. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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  11. JBark

    JBark Member

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  12. JBark

    JBark Member

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    PROBLEMS WITH THIS SORT OF WRITING:

    "Much have been said about the Tiger's maneuverability, that the Tiger was a "lumbering monster", or that it could "barely move", but that is not exactly the truth. The Tiger I was very maneuverable for its weight, size, and superior to the Sherman in muddy terrain, despite its size and weight, as it had less ground pressure. This capability as provided by the combat tracks of 755 mm width, which resulted in ground pressure of 1500 psi, or 1.05 kg/cm sq.

    OFTEN USED TO MISLEAD. THE sHERMAN WAS MODIFIED MORE THAN ONCE TO OVERCOME IT'S HIGH GROUND PRESSURE.

    "The only German tank that was faster than the Tiger I was the Panther, with a road speed of 46 km/h and cross country speed of 24 km/h. But, overall, the Panther was not more reliable than the Tiger I. The percentage of Tigers operational at the Front was about equal to the PzKpfw IV and as good as or better than the Panther."

    THE PANTHER HAD HUGE OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS AT VARIOUS TIMES IN ITS HISTORY. eARLY ON MANY WERE BREAKING DOWN, SOME CATCHING FIRE JUST BY RUNNING THEIR ENGINES. tO HAVE AN OPERATIONAL PERCENTAGE HIGHER THAN THE PANTHER IS NO GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT. WITHOUT A DATE THIS STATEMENT IS HIGHLY MISLEADING.

    Source: JENTZ, Thomas: Germany's TIGER Tanks; KBN 0-7643-0225-6.

    [The point regarding the Sherman is about to be assailed, I'm sure...but I just quoted the source exactly]

    Edit: Furthermore, Mark, I will offer this source quote information which may be of interest in this regard:

    "The armor of the Tiger I was not well sloped, but it was thick. Here is where many fail to understand that, in terms of WWII tank warfare, thickness was a quality in itself....This explains why the side armor of the Tiger I, being 80 mm thick, was so difficult to be penetrated at combat ranges by most Allied antitank and tank guns, where calibers were overmatched by the thickness of Tiger I armor.

    OF COURSE THERE WERE TANK AND ANTI TANK GUNS THAT COULD PENETRATE THIS ARMOR. TAKE NOTE OF THE TIGERS IN TUNISIA KILLED BY THE BRITISH 6pdr.. SHOULD WE DISCUSS THE SHERMAN'S 76mm HVAP THAT HAD SUPERIOR PENTRATING POWER TO THE PANTHER'S 75mm AND THE 17pdr?

    "The rolled homogeneous nickel-steel plate, electro-welded interlocking plate construction armor had a Brinell hardness index of around 255-280 (the best homogeneous armor hardness level....by WWII standards).

    LET'S ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT A TANK WITH STRAIGHT OR NEARLY STRAIGHT ARMOR, LIKE THE TIGER I, IS NOT INNOVATIVE AT ALL.

    (paraphrasing) Additionally, the British tests on a captured Tunisian Tiger (May 1943) reported that the resistance of the Tiger's armor was "considerably higher than that of the British machineable quality armor...."

    Source: JENTZ, Thomas L.; Germany's TIGER Tanks.

    Where does he get his info?
     
  13. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The Tiger I was developed in late 1941 early 42 and reflects then current thinking and threats. 100mm of vertical armor and 80mm on the side was sufficent to deal with the Soviet 76mm (T 34 or KV 1) and US 75mm M2 or M3 gun (eg., the Grant or early Sherman), the known most serious threats. It gave the Tiger immunity from those weapons in virtually all circumstances. The 88/56 was the gun for dealing with any enemy AFV. So, when it was developed the Tiger I represented a vehicle that was immune to enemy fire and capable of destroying any AFV at considerable range. That isn't so much innovation and it is sound tactical thinking in the design.
    While sloped armor does have much to recommend it, thick vertical plate has the advantage in some situations. A thin sloped plate will not resist a large overmatch in shells. That is, a thin plate hit by a very heavy round that theoretically will not penetrate it due to slope may simply shatter under the energy of impact instead. The US HE-T 105mm round (the heavy wall common HE or APHE round) will crush in a Panther's 80mm glacis out to about 500 to 700 yards even though it theoretically cannot penetrate the sloped 120mm of armor that plate represents.

    The automotive design reflects then current German practice for heavy AFV. The interleaved / overlapped torsion bar suspensions were common and apparently popular with German engineers. As for flotation, the Tiger does have a fairly good ground pressure and is certainly better than early Shermans with the 16" tracks. It is not quite as good compared with late Shermans with HVSS and 23" tracks. Its weight is a drawback in and of itself.
    In overall terms the Tiger I wasn't a bad vehicle automotively. Yes, it had its problems but apparently these were not as severe as on later designs. A big part of the problem was simply its weight again. The German maintenance system was not set up to handle such heavy vehicles with any degree of ease. This problem was never fully rectified and was to be a major cause of the long turn around times many German AFV suffered from in repair situations.
    The Germans also accepted the penality of having to ship it with the fenders removed, outer road wheels off and, on special transport tracks. This is an unnecessary complication that was not nixed during the design.
     
  14. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    Thank you, T.A.
     
  15. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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  16. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    According to the Penetration Tables contained in JENTZ, Thomas, L.; Germany's TIGER Tanks-Tiger I and II; Combat Tactics; ISBN 0-7643-0225-6, the Tiger I clearly had tactical superiority over its contemporary adversaries. I will dispense with the necessity of providing the information regarding the Tiger v Cromwell and Tiger v Churchill because it's historically accepted those tanks presented no threat to Tiger I. Penetration Table 02 and 03 show the following [for purposes of the tables "T1" indicates Tiger 1, "Sher" indicates Sherman]:

    ................... T1 v Sher......Sher v T1.....T1 v Sher A4..Sher A4 v T1
    ....................(88mm KwK)..(75mm M3).... (88 mm KwK)..(76 mm M1A1)
    Fnt turret........1800 m...........0 m...........1800 m.............700 m
    Mantlet...........200 m.............0 m............200 m.............100 m
    DFP................0 m................0 m.............0 m................600 m
    Nose...............2100 m...........0 m.............2100 m...........400 m
    Side turret.......3500 m...........100 m..........3500 m..........1800m
    Superstructure..3500 m..........100 m...........3500 m..........1800m
    Hull.................3500 m..........900 m...........3500 m..........3200m
    Rear turret.......3500 m..........100 m...........3500 m..........1800m
    Hull.................3500 m..........0 m..............3500 m..........1700m

    As you will see in the next table, only the late model heavy Stalin Tank (JS-122) with its 122mm gun could deal fairly with Tiger I, hence the production of Tiger II:

    ............T1 v T-34/85...T-34/85 v T1....T1 v JS 122...JS122 v T1
    ............(88 mm KwK)...(85 mm S53)....(88 mm KwK)..(122 mm A19)

    Front Tur..1400 m.........500 m...............100 m..........1500 m
    Mantlet.....400 m...........0 m..................100 m.........500 m
    DFP..........100 m..........300 m................100 m..........1300 m
    Nose.........100 m..........200 m................300 m..........1000 m
    Side Tur.....2200 m........1600 m...............1000 m.......2900 m
    Superstruc..2100 m........1600 m..............1000 m........2900 m
    Hull...........3500 m.........2900 m...............1500 m........3500 m
    Rear Tur.....3200 m.........1600 m...............100 m.........2900 m
    Hull............2100 m.........1500 m..............300 m..........2700 m

    With the exception of the British guns, the data on the penetration tables above were extrapolated from a "Wa pruf 1" report dated 5 Oct 1944 which relates the relative ability of the major opponents to penetrate the Tiger I and vice versa. Data on British gun capabilities were extracted from British penetration test reports.

    The conclusion is that Tiger I's armor was invulnerable to attack from most tank guns firing normal armor piercing shells or shot over 800 m, including the American 75 mm and the Russian 76 mm. It is obvious that the 17 pdr firing normal APCSC rounds could defeat the frontal armor of Tiger I at combat ranges. However, by 23 June 1944, only 109 Shermans with 17 pdrs had landed in France. By the end of the war, 5 May 1945, the British 21st Army Group possessed 1235 Sherman 17 pdrs, while the remaining 1915 Shermans were all equipped with the 75 mm M3 gun.

    Again, any valid source criticism or competing source information is welcome.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I disagree with the first paragraph posted above and the second partially explains it. Are you aware what the average engagement range was in Western Europe? There are also cases of Shermans dealing with Tigers in situations where your tables would indicate that they shouldn't be able to.

    Part of the problem we often see in this sort of post in the over emphasis on tank vs tank battles. One of the success of the Sherman is that it was designed to work as part of a combined arms team whose aim was defeating the opposing military. It wasn't the best vehicle to be in if you were 1 km from an opposing tank but it's hard to find it's equal if you are an army commander. Or for that matter an infantryman looking for armored support.
     
  18. JBark

    JBark Member

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    To respond to your allegation that the information was "highly misleading" because no dates were provided, here's the table entitled "Percentage Operational at the Front":
    .........................EASTERN FRONT.................. WESTERN FRONT
    ...................PzIV ......Panther..... Tiger...... PzIV.... Panther..... Tiger
    31 May44 .....84.......... 77............ 79........ 88........ 82........... 87
    15 Sep44 .....65 ..........72 ............70 ........80 ........74........... 98
    30 Sep44 .....65.......... 60 ............81........ 50........ 57........... 67
    31 Oct44 .....52.......... 53............ 54........ 74........ 85........... 88
    15 Nov44 .....72.......... 66............ 61........ 78........ 71........... 81
    30 Nov44 .....78.......... 67............ 72........ 76........ 71........... 45
    15 Dec44 .....79.......... 69............ 79........ 78........ 71........... 64
    30 Dec44 .....72.......... 61............ 80........ 63........ 53........... 50
    15 Jan45 .....71.......... 60............ 73......... 56........ 45........... 58
    15 Mar45 ....54........... 49............ 53........ 44......... 32........... 36

    Overall: .......68.......... 62............. 70........ 71........ 65........... 65

    SOURCE: JENTZ, Thomas L.; Germany's TIGER Tanks-Tiger I and II:
    Combat Tactics; ISBN 0-7643-0225-6

    So Jentz kept the records for the Wermacht on tanks in battle ready condition...or would you like to actually buy the book, stop using the internet as your data source, and find out if his source is reliable or not?

    Thus, you will find that the Tiger I tanks had the highest overall operational percentage on the Eastern Front (higher than even that of the PzIV, not to mention the Panther). On the Western Front, things were about equal, with the PzIV having a slightly overall greater percentage.

    Without knowing who kept these records and how the numbers were obtained they remain questionable. Sep '44 on the western front 98% of the Tigers were operational. How is that possible? 98%. You don't question a number like that?

    This may be a somewhat shocking revelation to some on the forum. Please feel free to locate the source on your own for critical remarks, or provide competing data from a different source. :)[/QUOTE]

    Odd choice of words here. Don't you mean buy the book? Have you simply picked these off the internet? Please offer your website as most people do on forums when they quote information. Your refusal to quote from the books bibliography or provide a website makes you highly suspect.

    Thank you for trying.
     
  19. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    CONCLUSION OF ARGUMENT

    And, finally, according to this source, The Tiger I Information Center Web Site, we have the "KILL/LOSS Ratio of the Tiger Battallions (1942-1945)" Table. Rather than reproduce the whole table which breaks down the numbers for all German battalions equipped with the Tiger I, I will quote it quickly for the Tiger I's overall kill/loss ratio which is important: 5.74.

    According to JENTZ, Thomas L.; Germany's TIGER Tanks-Tiger I and II: Combat Tactics; ISBN 0-7643-0225-6, only 1441 Tiger I tanks were produced.

    Understanding the criticism that kills may have been over reported, I will nevertheless use these numbers to produce a debatable conclusion. Nobody seems to disagree with the report that 1441 Tiger Is were produced, and no other evidence seems to exist to contradict that 5.74 is the historical kill ratio. Therefore, unless another source is credibly presented, I will use the best evidence available.

    The number of T-34/76 produced by Russia (1942-1945) is reported as 23,937. The number of Shermans produced by the US by the end of the war is 49,234. SOURCE: JENTZ

    This totals to 73,171 base Allied tanks (This does not include Britain's negligible contribution compared to that of the 2 major industrial powers..US, USSR). In order to reasonably achieve armor parity in the field the Tiger I would have had to have a 50.78 kill/loss ratio, or, Germany would have had to produce 12,747.56 Tiger I tanks. This, they could not do and 50.78 kill/loss ratio is unrealistic.

    Therefore, one can only wonder how 12,747.56 Tigers might have influenced the course of the war. In this respect, posters citing the mass production value of the Sherman and T-34 versus that of the Tiger I are undoubtedly correct. The question then arises, whether or not Germany ever had the industrial output capacity to produce 12,747.56 Tiger I tanks. This question is complicated by reduction of production capability caused by Allied bombing (which it probably was) and of course change of military production plans during the war. However, an answer to this question could go a long way in determining whether or not Tiger I was ultimately a failure in production design, regardless of its proven dominance on the battlefield.

    The conclusion being that if Germany never had the industrial output capacity to produce 12,747.56 Tiger I tanks, then production design should not be considered as to the overall quality of the Tiger I as compared to other tanks in the war. In this respect, the fault as to lack of armor parity would lie with the military planners, or Allied bombing, or a combination thereof. (This is my own opinion as of the moment.)

    If on the other hand, Germany did have the industrial output capability to produce 12,747.56 Tiger I tanks (regardless of Allied reduction), then fault could fairly be attributed to the design of the tank. In other words, a decision by German planners would have been made after experience in the field that this tank was inadequate to address their needs (ie..combat ability, mechanical reliability, repair difficulties, fuel supply, etc....). If this were true, then I would concede the argument and come to the conclusion that the Sherman was indeed the finest and most influential tank in WWII.

    Thus, my opinion that Tiger I is the best tank of WWII is not based on a schoolboy's fascination with German Weapons. It's a conclusion that has been reasonably arrived at and is subject to change upon a showing with credible evidence.

    Peace and thanks for a great debate. :)
     
  20. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    lwd, I perfectly understand what you are saying. Please read the totality of my posts to understand how I arrive at my opinion. :)
     

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