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Were the Tiger and Panther tanks worth it?


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EnsignExpendable #401 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 05:32

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View PostWyvern2, on Sep 09 2013 - 04:14, said:

the M4 actually didn't have huge crew death rates, and the T-34 suffered massive death rates largely due to Soviet doctrine forcing the crews to stay in the tank under all circumstances. So why should the PzIV lose any more crew, being spalled to death in a Panther is the same as being spalled to death in a PzIV

There was no such doctrine. The commander could order the tank to be abandoned at any time. The crew could also evacuate the tank without in order in case of a fire, although a number of them did not and continued to fire from burning vehicles.

Some also continued driving them into trains.

Wyvern2 #402 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 06:01

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According to Zaloga a Soviet tank crew at Kursk(might have changed later, not 100% sure), was expected to keep fighting unless A) the gun was knocked out or B)The tank was on fire, otherwise they faced court martial/execution/being sent to a penal battalion. I made a sweeping generalization saying they had to stay no matter what, but its pretty darn close, obviously the other issue leading to crew deaths was bad ammunition stowage, which is a problem in Russian tanks to this day(Not as bad as claimed, but still far worse then tanks like the Abrams).

Zinegata #403 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 06:35

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View PostJager1990, on Sep 09 2013 - 04:09, said:

It still saves a tank crew. It takes hours to build a tank. It takes weeks to train a crew. And that doesn offset the fact that you still would have to replace the lost low end tanks that were desroyed as well. Big tank= tank replacement. Low end tank= replacing low end tank and tank crew. Much harder to do.

On average only one crewman was killed whenever a Sherman is knocked out. Better armor doesn't actually save crews.

Even worse, each Tiger required a platoon of engineers to keep running (as opposed to the Sherman, wherein a platoon of engineers can service an entire company). That actually makes the big cats much more manpower intensive than the smaller tanks.

Toxn #404 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 10:42

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View PostWyvern2, on Sep 09 2013 - 06:01, said:

According to Zaloga a Soviet tank crew at Kursk(might have changed later, not 100% sure), was expected to keep fighting unless A) the gun was knocked out or B)The tank was on fire, otherwise they faced court martial/execution/being sent to a penal battalion. I made a sweeping generalization saying they had to stay no matter what, but its pretty darn close, obviously the other issue leading to crew deaths was bad ammunition stowage, which is a problem in Russian tanks to this day(Not as bad as claimed, but still far worse then tanks like the Abrams).

I'd say those sound like pretty good criteria - leaving the vehicle while it can still fight isn't exactly a war-winning move on the part of your troops. That said, are there any data showing how many Soviet tankers were actually court martialed/executed/sent to penal battalions for bailing out early?

Jager1990 #405 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 22:20

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Sep 09 2013 - 05:31, said:

Big tanks that get blown up lose their crews too. The chunk of metal flying into your face doesn't care about how big your tank was.

A big tank also needs a larger supply tail. More mechanics, more fuel, more men involved in keeping the thing going into battle every day. What you won with having less crews, you now lost with having more support staff.

his arguement was the tanks broke down, not blown up.

Every German panzer unit had its own engineer and logistics units. Considering there were more lighter tanks then heavier ones it would mean there are more mechanics, men, and even fuel needed to run more vehicles. Yes thats right 2 mark 4's use more fuel than 1 panther tank. 2 mark 4's require more mechanics, and supplies than 1 panther.

Jager1990 #406 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 22:26

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View PostWyvern2, on Sep 09 2013 - 04:14, said:

the M4 actually didn't have huge crew death rates, and the T-34 suffered massive death rates largely due to Soviet doctrine forcing the crews to stay in the tank under all circumstances. So why should the PzIV lose any more crew, being spalled to death in a Panther is the same as being spalled to death in a PzIV

You said the panthers broke down. A tank crew that abandones a broken tank is not spalled at all. And even in this case. What tank is easier to create spalling in? A mark 4. So yes spalling inside a panther is just as bad as one inside a mark 4. But the panther has a better chance of preventing that.

EnsignExpendable #407 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 22:45

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View PostWyvern2, on Sep 09 2013 - 06:01, said:

According to Zaloga a Soviet tank crew at Kursk(might have changed later, not 100% sure), was expected to keep fighting unless A) the gun was knocked out or B)The tank was on fire, otherwise they faced court martial/execution/being sent to a penal battalion. I made a sweeping generalization saying they had to stay no matter what, but its pretty darn close, obviously the other issue leading to crew deaths was bad ammunition stowage, which is a problem in Russian tanks to this day(Not as bad as claimed, but still far worse then tanks like the Abrams).

The only person that would be in danger of being sent to a penal battalion would be the person that ordered the retreat. Order #227 didn't invalidate the chain of command.

Also I cannot recall any order about the gun being damaged. If the gun is damaged, you can just drive away, no need to abandon the tank. Also you have two perfectly good machine guns remaining.

If conditions inside the tank are such that ammunition is cooking off, odds are it has sustained enough damage to kill some or all crew members anyway.

View PostJager1990, on Sep 09 2013 - 22:20, said:

his arguement was the tanks broke down, not blown up.

Every German panzer unit had its own engineer and logistics units. Considering there were more lighter tanks then heavier ones it would mean there are more mechanics, men, and even fuel needed to run more vehicles. Yes thats right 2 mark 4's use more fuel than 1 panther tank. 2 mark 4's require more mechanics, and supplies than 1 panther.

Two PzIVs that run fine for 2000 km require more mechanics than a Panther that breaks down every 150? You're amusing.

View PostJager1990, on Sep 09 2013 - 22:26, said:

You said the panthers broke down. A tank crew that abandones a broken tank is not spalled at all. And even in this case. What tank is easier to create spalling in? A mark 4. So yes spalling inside a panther is just as bad as one inside a mark 4. But the panther has a better chance of preventing that.

False. The Germans could make thin armour ductile, it's the thicker armour they had problems with. The Panther does not have a better chance of preventing that. Stop making stuff up.

rossmum #408 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 22:47

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View PostJager1990, on Sep 09 2013 - 22:20, said:

Yes thats right 2 mark 4's use more fuel than 1 panther tank. 2 mark 4's require more mechanics, and supplies than 1 panther.
Care to cite a source for these numbers?

Jager1990 #409 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 23:40

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View Postrossmum, on Sep 09 2013 - 22:47, said:

Care to cite a source for these numbers?

panther= 730 liters/ 200 km max range= 3.65 liters per km.
mark 4= 470 liters/200 km max range= 2.35 liters per km x2= 4.7 liters per km. ww2vehicles.com

Panther uses 3.65 liters per km. 2 panzer 4's use 4.7 liters per km. It would take more fuel to supply a greater number of low end tanks than a fewer number of high end tanks.

blurr91 #410 Posted Sep 09 2013 - 23:51

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The average Panther broke down after 150km, before the first tank of gas was finished.  It would save fuel by being abandoned.  A broken tank couldn't (well...it could, but usually wouldn't) burn fuel.

Jeeps_Guns_Tanks #411 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 00:01

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View PostJager1990, on Sep 09 2013 - 23:40, said:

panther= 730 liters/ 200 km max range= 3.65 liters per km.
mark 4= 470 liters/200 km max range= 2.35 liters per km x2= 4.7 liters per km. ww2vehicles.com

Panther uses 3.65 liters per km. 2 panzer 4's use 4.7 liters per km. It would take more fuel to supply a greater number of low end tanks than a fewer number of high end tanks.
  

To bad the Germans didn't have any 'high end tanks', they just had huge piles of junk that broke down or were abandoned by their poorly trained crews before they could see combat. The few times they got any into combat they usually lost. Or if they won lied through their teeth about how well they did so fools way in the future would buy their AARs as if written by God, when in fact they were written by lying Nazi scum.

Zinegata #412 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 02:34

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View PostJager1990, on Sep 09 2013 - 23:40, said:

panther= 730 liters/ 200 km max range= 3.65 liters per km.
mark 4= 470 liters/200 km max range= 2.35 liters per km x2= 4.7 liters per km. ww2vehicles.com
Panther uses 3.65 liters per km. 2 panzer 4's use 4.7 liters per km. It would take more fuel to supply a greater number of low end tanks than a fewer number of high end tanks.
The 200km max range for the Panther moreover is highly optimistic even if we assume the final drive doesn't breakdown. Keep in mind that Panthers were not driven at high gear, but at a very fuel inefficient low gear to minimize wear and tear.
.
Also, my argument has always been that trading Panzer IVs with Panthers on a one for one basis is the better move for Germany, period. One Panzer IV or even a Stug III is better than a Panther. Heck, trading two Panthers for a Panzer IV was probably smarter.

Edited by Zinegata, Sep 10 2013 - 02:37.


rossmum #413 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 06:43

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View PostJager1990, on Sep 09 2013 - 23:40, said:

panther= 730 liters/ 200 km max range= 3.65 liters per km.
mark 4= 470 liters/200 km max range= 2.35 liters per km x2= 4.7 liters per km. ww2vehicles.com

Panther uses 3.65 liters per km. 2 panzer 4's use 4.7 liters per km. It would take more fuel to supply a greater number of low end tanks than a fewer number of high end tanks.
Right then, few issues here:

1. None of this says anything about maintenance crews, so either back up that comment as well or admit you're making shit up

2. The Panther's final drives lasted 150km on average, do the math.

3. Having one Panther guzzle as much fuel as just over one and a half PzIVs to go the same distance is not an advantage in any universe I am familiar with. This is only compounded by the fact that the Panther is only one tank with one main gun, not two different tanks with a main gun each and ability to track and shoot targets independently of each other, or take advantage of better tactical positioning on account of there being two of them. This is further cast into question by the fact that the one Panther you are sending to the front instead of two PzIVs has a very good chance of not getting there anyway, which is a massive waste of time for all involved.

Your argument that the Panther was better because the crew of a broken-down tank can't fight is probably one of the most bafflingly dense examples of Wehraboo evasion I've seen on these forums. Other things that result from broke-ass tanks include massive casualties amongst the forces that tank was supposed to be supporting, wasted fuel and ammunition when that tank is either abandoned to the enemy or scuttled, and my personal favourite, losing the goddamn war because none of your stupid units are at the front where they should be.

What next? Germany has the best space program in the world because it's never had a shuttle explode on launch?

EnsignExpendable #414 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 17:03

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Excuse me, you are forgetting Germany's very successful aircraft carrier doctrine.

Rhomer #415 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 19:18

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Sep 10 2013 - 17:03, said:

Excuse me, you are forgetting Germany's very successful aircraft carrier doctrine.
It is true that no German Aircraft carriers were sunk in WW2

Mechanize #416 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 19:38

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View PostRhomer, on Sep 10 2013 - 19:18, said:

It is true that no German Aircraft carriers were sunk in WW2
Well, the Germans did Scuttle the Graf Zeppelin only to have the Soviets raise it post war and sink it again for target practice.
Clearly they wanted to test their might against superior teutonic carriers!

Edited by Mechanize, Sep 10 2013 - 19:39.


Lunaris #417 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 19:45

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View PostWyvern2, on Sep 09 2013 - 06:01, said:

According to Zaloga a Soviet tank crew at Kursk(might have changed later, not 100% sure), was expected to keep fighting unless A) the gun was knocked out or B)The tank was on fire, otherwise they faced court martial/execution/being sent to a penal battalion. I made a sweeping generalization saying they had to stay no matter what, but its pretty darn close, obviously the other issue leading to crew deaths was bad ammunition stowage, which is a problem in Russian tanks to this day(Not as bad as claimed, but still far worse then tanks like the Abrams).

I think the high casualty rate is because of lack of escape hatches. each M4 and PZ 4 have their own hatch. In T-34 driver and radioman/assistant driver share the same hatch, also ammo storage of earlier T-34 is the safest since there are less ammo in fighting compartment, although it gives loader more trouble when all ammo in ready rack depleted. Kursk also not a good average since Germans start fielding 88 L73 with thermite filler and also 5th GTA force march in middle of summer making environtment inside tank hooter than it suposed to be.

Lunaris #418 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 19:52

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View PostToxn, on Sep 09 2013 - 10:42, said:

I'd say those sound like pretty good criteria - leaving the vehicle while it can still fight isn't exactly a war-winning move on the part of your troops. That said, are there any data showing how many Soviet tankers were actually court martialed/executed/sent to penal battalions for bailing out early?

From memoirs I read it seems its saver to be in the Penal battalion/company than inside the tank and inside the tank is even saver that being the guy who ride on the back of the tank.

EnsignExpendable #419 Posted Sep 10 2013 - 19:55

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90% of tank division losses were the tank riders. The crews themselves tended to not die with their tank. I think I read a figure of 1 crew outliving an average of 4 tanks, but don't quote me on that.

collimatrix #420 Posted Sep 12 2013 - 15:41

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If that includes mechanical breakdowns and tanks that were subsequently returned to combat, but not before the crew snagged another vehicle, I could imagine it.

Mine losses were what, 50% of tank losses on some fronts?  A mine probably won't kill anyone except maybe the driver.