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Old June 25th, 2012, 09:10 AM   #41

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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
I don't think the Germans ever actually built one though Bish.

I have seen pictures of an experimental hull but never a completed AFV.
Yes, they built two. One is currently in the Kubinka tank museum near Moscow. I believe that is a combination of the turret of one and the hull of another.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 09:24 AM   #42

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As much as i like the Panther and think it was by far the best tank of the war, i think Germany shopuld have concentrated production on the long barreled Pz IV. They could have built more of these than Panthers and they were capable of taking on the T-34.
The Panther was more cost effective than the Pz IV. A Panther cost 130,000 RM, a Panzer IV cost a little less, but was much less effective, specially in terms of armor and mobility: A Panther had a 700 hp engine, a Pz IV had a a 300 hp engine.

The Germans planned to produce 7,200 Panthers a year and to cancel all Pz IV production. However, the demands of the war meant that they didn't have the time to shift out Pz IV production for Panther production. Note that as the Germans had 35 Panzer divisions, 7,200 Panthers would be 207 tanks per Panzer division per year, more than enough to equip all Panzer divisions with a full Panther complement in about 18 months and to replace losses incurred.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 10:16 AM   #43

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The Panther was more cost effective than the Pz IV. A Panther cost 130,000 RM, a Panzer IV cost a little less, but was much less effective, specially in terms of armor and mobility: A Panther had a 700 hp engine, a Pz IV had a a 300 hp engine.

The Germans planned to produce 7,200 Panthers a year and to cancel all Pz IV production. However, the demands of the war meant that they didn't have the time to shift out Pz IV production for Panther production. Note that as the Germans had 35 Panzer divisions, 7,200 Panthers would be 207 tanks per Panzer division per year, more than enough to equip all Panzer divisions with a full Panther complement in about 18 months and to replace losses incurred.
I think it is a tough call. Clearly a panther would have been a better choice than the Pz IV. But given the war situation, and the Pz IV was also already the bassis for a number of vaiants, i am still split as to which would have been the better tank to concentrate on.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #44

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They might have gotten farther as the Sherman was faster then the Tiger and King Tiger tanks, but the issues of fuel probably would have still been a problem. Also, remember that by comparison the Sherman was lightly armored. That meant that if the Germans used Shermans instead of Tigers and King Tigers, they could not advance with confidence that they would survive any encounter. The Sherman won WWII for America through numbers, not firepower or armor. The Germans simply didn't have enough tanks to destroy them all...

The tanks the Germans should have used were the latest Panzer IV variants and the Panther, not the Tiger and King Tiger. The two Tiger tanks were practically invulnerable, yes, BUT they were both slow and heavy. The King Tiger is the heaviest tank ever. It is heavier then the modern American (M1A1 Abrams) and German (Leopard 2) MBTs. The King Tiger damaged roads when it moved. The narrow roads of the Ardennes were a serious impediment to them and limited their mobility. It also made them targets for the Allied air forces when the weather cleared. The late Panzer IVs and the Panthers, however, were lighter, faster, more mobile, and to a great extent better protected from the weapons the Western Allies had. Most Shermans were armed with a short barreled (low volocity 75mm gun). The Panzer IVH and the Panther were both relatively immune to the Sherman. And both were equipped with a long barreled (high velocity 75/76mm gun).

That said, by December 1944 Germany was doomed anyway. The ultimate goal in the "Battle of the Bulge" was to take Antwerp, destroy parts of Bradly's Army Group and all of Monty's, force the British to negotiate an end to the war and force the Americans to retreat back into France to regroup, buying time for the Germans to try and save Berlin from the Soviets. The goals of Watch on the Rhine were far beyond the capacity of the German army and the manpower they had available. The German tanks in the attack ran out of fuel before they reached the Muese River, about halfway to Antwerp, and even if they'd made it to Antwerp, they didn't have the men to fully encircle and crush 1.5 Allied Army groups... shoot, they couldn't even destroy the 101st Airborne Division (and a handful of other scattered units) in Bastogne. Destroying Monty's army group and part of Bradly's was out of the question.

Most historians have stated that Germany's best chance in 1944 was to transfer those units east and let the Western Allies conquer Germany. In doing so, Stalin wouldn't get Berlin and Germany wouldn't be divided at the end of the war (as the Western Allies could then do what MacArthur did in Japan, deny the Soviets entry).


I'd call The battle of the bulge a daring and probably Scale-Topping Operation, Its Inspiring to actually do something like attacking the enemy in an attempt to turn the tide towards the end of a war, but Alas, It failed because of a lack of fuel



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They might have gotten farther as the Sherman was faster then the Tiger and King Tiger tanks, but the issues of fuel probably would have still been a problem. Also, remember that by comparison the Sherman was lightly armored. That meant that if the Germans used Shermans instead of Tigers and King Tigers, they could not advance with confidence that they would survive any encounter. The Sherman won WWII for America through numbers, not firepower or armor. The Germans simply didn't have enough tanks to destroy them all...

Thats hardly true what you said about the Two tiger tanks, They were some of the fastest heavy tanks Throughout the war, 38KMH is hardly slow, The Tiger II Königstiger Was even faster and much better armed/armored/Techenologically Advanced, I'd call the sherman a fair Battle tank but statistically its worse then the Soviet T-34, However in combat records the T-34 was worse
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:39 AM   #45
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they built two prototypes of the v2 variant i believe, one completed model went into action around it's proving grounds, others debate that. I even think there's one still around in a museum somewhere.
I've never seen a picture of a completed Maus, I could be wrong but I don't think one was ever completed much less fielded.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #46
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True, that was their original role. However, as tank production did not meet demand they were pressed into the (anti)tank role as well.

Later in the war, as the Panzer production struggled to keep up with demand, Sturmgeschütze were pressed into service as Panzerjäger. This was still not an abandonment of the original role. The Sturmgeschütze in the Panzerjäger role were used as such, but the Sturmgeschütze were still used in their original role too. Sturmgeschütz III

The assault gun (the best translation of Sturmgeschütz) units of the Wehrmacht were, contrary to popular opinion, manned by men of, and controlled by, the artillery branch, not the tank branch. This is not to say that StuGs weren't used by the panzerwaffe (tank force), as they were in Panzer-Sturmgeschütz units, usually assigned to the panzergrenadier divisions, but that all of the actual Sturmgeschütz units were controlled by the artillery. Independent Sturmgeschütz Units
The original concept was to provide all infantry divisions with a StuG battalion but that was never possible.

You can't use a low velocity 75mm artillery gun as an anti-tank weapon...what happened was that Guderian suggested that the assault gun units and hunting tank units be amalgamated.

There would be troops of 3-4 AFV's with 2 or 3 howitzers and 1-2 guns.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:46 AM   #47

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I've never seen a picture of a completed Maus, I could be wrong but I don't think one was ever completed much less fielded.
I wasn't 100% correct when i said two were built. The V1 had the mock turret when captured, it had been partly destroyed by the Germans. The V2 was complete and,as mentioned, is reputed to have been used. I seem to recall reading it was knocked out by aircraft.

The Soviets combined the V1 hull with the turret from the V2.

The Kubinka Maus.

Click the image to open in full size.

The V2

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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:55 AM   #48
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I wasn't 100% correct when i said two were built. The V1 had the mock turret when captured, it had been partly destroyed by the Germans. The V2 was complete and,as mentioned, is reputed to have been used. I seem to recall reading it was knocked out by aircraft.

The Soviets combined the V1 hull with the turret from the V2.

The Kubinka Maus.

Click the image to open in full size.

The V2

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
Interesting...I can;t find any reference to it ever being used and as you say the museum model is made up of two prototypes.

Did you know that the Germans had a plan for an even bigger tank called the Rat (Ratte in German).
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Old June 25th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #49

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Interesting...I can;t find any reference to it ever being used and as you say the museum model is made up of two prototypes.

Did you know that the Germans had a plan for an even bigger tank called the Rat (Ratte in German).
The issue of it being used is debatable. One suggestion is that it was taken out of the factory by workers, it was found close by. And as you can see in the photos, it loks badly damaged.

Yes, the P 1000

Click the image to open in full size.

There was also the P 1500. Though it was more of a tracked version of the super railguns.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old June 25th, 2012, 12:25 PM   #50

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There was supposed to be a heavier tank then the german Maus, Landkreuzer P.1500 Monster or ratte or whatever, Its bigger then a building but it never left the blueprints.
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