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Top 5 German Tanks of World War II

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lostwingman #841 Posted Feb 20 2014 - 21:13

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View PostTalonV, on Feb 20 2014 - 14:03, said:

I guess this is true.  You do have a point shermans spent more time dealing with light armor and infantry than actual tanks.


PzIV was still very common and was about as vulnerable to the Sherman as the PzIV was to it. I don't think I would discount it from 'actual tanks'.



IronWolfV #842 Posted Feb 20 2014 - 21:32

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View Postlostwingman, on Feb 20 2014 - 15:13, said:


PzIV was still very common and was about as vulnerable to the Sherman as the PzIV was to it. I don't think I would discount it from 'actual tanks'.

well yes and no.  But you even said yourself, it spent most of it's time shooting bunkers, supporting infantry and the like.  Again I guess I'm just not a fan of the 75mm gun.



BeingBadNotBeingGood #843 Posted Feb 20 2014 - 22:55

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Remember guys, the PzIV isn't an actual tank anymore.

CavScout19D #844 Posted Feb 20 2014 - 22:55

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View Postxiantom, on Feb 20 2014 - 13:55, said:

Remember guys, the PzIV isn't an actual tank anymore.

It's a light tank.. maybe even an armored car.



Jeeps_Guns_Tanks #845 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 02:30

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View PostCavScout19D, on Feb 20 2014 - 13:55, said:

It's a light tank.. maybe even an armored car.

 

Lightly armored outhouse on leaf springs. 



RedShocktrooper #846 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 02:46

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View PostJeeps_Guns_Tanks, on Feb 20 2014 - 17:30, said:

 

Lightly armored outhouse on leaf springs. 

 

Hm, it's grey and square. It must be a pillbox, and the Sherman was really good at dealing with pillboxes.



zmaint #847 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 04:47

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Honestly, if they'd have just focused on the PZ4 instead of all the exotic crap..... coulda been different.   Not that that would have been a good thing, we should thank them for their stupidity.... but just saying, that tank was designed to field upgraded guns and armor both....  superior to the Sherman in everything but number.

cashdash #848 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 04:48

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View Postzmaint, on Feb 20 2014 - 22:47, said:

Honestly, if they'd have just focused on the PZ4 instead of all the exotic crap..... coulda been different.   Not that that would have been a good thing, we should thank them for their stupidity.... but just saying, that tank was designed to field upgraded guns and armor both....  superior to the Sherman in everything but number.

 

hahahahahaha



Krieger_07b #849 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 04:55

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View Postzmaint, on Feb 20 2014 - 21:47, said:

Honestly, if they'd have just focused on the PZ4 instead of all the exotic crap..... coulda been different.   Not that that would have been a good thing, we should thank them for their stupidity.... but just saying, that tank was designed to field upgraded guns and armor both....  superior to the Sherman in everything but number.

 

The Pz. IV was inferior to the Sherman in every way, from from upgradeability to cross-country performance. There's a reason the Germans were in such a frenzy to replace it.



Tliish #850 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 09:34

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View Postcashdash, on Feb 20 2014 - 11:34, said:

we never claim that all German tanks suck, frankly the Pz III and StuG III were among the best tanks ever made. we simple dispel myths about the superiority of the German "Super" tanks.

 

and that blog is the only source of those documents on the internet, he translates and posts original war time archived documents.


Still just a blog. I saw no citations that allowed for independent evaluation of the accuracy of either the original documents or their translations.

 

My library contains over100 reference, biographical, and technical military books relating to ETO armor vehicles and operations, covering all participating nations, except perhaps for Italy, with the original source materials cited for reference. Most of them agree that German armor was pretty decent, and when in supply, crewed and led by experienced personnel, justifiably feared. They also state that the development of weapons systems by any given nation was generally a direct response to battlefield conditions: thus the Tigers, Panthers, and Ferdinands were a response to the T-34s and KVs, and the various Soviet vehicles were a response to those.

 

German armor was by no means "super" in the sense of being overwhelmingly better than anything else, but neither was it easily disposed of junk. What made it successful and feared was better guns, radios, training, and doctrine. Note that only two of those are equipment related. The power trains, suspensions, and tracks left a lot to be desired.

 

The Sherman's greatest assets were its numbers, logistical support, and it's supporting airpower and artillery...without those it was mediocre at best, and would have been handily trounced by either German or Soviet equipment in one-on-ones. In point of fact, most American armored equipment wasn't all that great until nearly the end of the war, it was just plentiful. The exception to the rule might b the M3 Stuart, which was a very nice little tank for a brief period in the desert, but quickly became obsolescent.

 

There are valid reasons why German armor was feared by its opponents in WWII, and why Soviet armor was greatly feared by the West in the post-war period. Development of each fed off the other, spurring tougher and more hard-hitting tanks on each side. Armored warfare on the Western Front was a sideshow compared to what went on on the Eastern Front. Outside of North Africa and late in the battle for France, there weren't really any armored battles on the Western Front to speak of. By D-Day the Wehrmacht had almost completely lost the initiative because they lost control of the air. The very few armored thrusts they attempted were disrupted and weakened to impotence by airpower before they could even begin. Properly speaking most armored engagements on the Western Front should be described as skirmishes rather than battles when compared to the Eastern Front.

 

For those interested here are a few good reads on the subject:

 

Brazen Chariots, Robert Crisp

Company Commander, Charles B. McDonald

Citadel The Battle of Kursk, Robin Cross

The Battle for North Africa, 1940-43, W.G.E. Jackson

The Black March, Peter Neumann

Russia At War, Alexander Werth

The Trail of the Desert Fox, David Irving

Marshall Zhukov's Greatest Battles, Georgi Zhukov

Battles Hitler Lost, Zhukov, Konev, Malinovsky, Rokossovsky, Rotmistrov, Chuikov, and others

Panzer Battles, F.W. von Mellenthin

Hitler's War on Russia, Paul Carell

Stalingrad, Theodore Plievier

Men Against Tanks, John Weeks

SS-Liebstandarte, The History of the First SS Division 1933-45, Rupert Butler

German Armored Warfare of World War II, Ian Baxter

Eastern Front The Unpublished Photographs 1941-1945, Will Fowler

On The German Art of War Truppenfuhrung, Bruce Condell and David T. Zabecki

Enemy At The Gates, The Battle for Stalingrad, William Craig

Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland, Horst Scheibert

The Role of Intelligence in Soviet Military Strategy in World War II, David M. Glantz

The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War, Robert G. Poirier, Albert Z. Connor

 

Those are a few of the books in my library that can give some insight on the relative effectiveness of the various vehicles as expressed by the men who used them. By comparing the various sources from all sides, one can get a pretty clear and consistent picture of the strengths and weaknesses of each side's armored vehicles and their use. Considering the overall effectiveness throughout the war, I would give the Germans a very slight edge, with the Soviets not very far behind, followed by the Americans, British, French, Czechs, and in the distant rear, the Italians. I give the Germans a slight edge due to better communications, tactical doctrine, close air support coordination, and better combined arms work overall. They were masters at pulling together battle groups from whatever forces were available, and making effective use of them on the spur of the moment.



Tliish #851 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 09:56

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View PostCavScout19D, on Feb 20 2014 - 11:30, said:

So how godly was the Soviet soldier/armor that he was able to stop and then reverse the Germany invasion of their country?

 

By late in the war, the Soviet soldier was still inferior to the German soldier, but much improved over the early version. The success in throwing the Germans back was mainly due to the Lend-Lease trucks, foodstuffs, and ammunition,  the Red Orchestra intelligence network and Ultra intercepts that accurately gave detailed intelligence on German moves, plus the huge manpower advantage. Late in the war, Soviet armor was equal to or moderately better than its German counterparts, and available in far greater numbers. Its tactical doctrine never quite matched that of the Germans.

 

So, godly? ....no, just proof that eventually numbers beat quality pretty much every time.



Gervasius #852 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 10:49

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View PostTliish, on Feb 21 2014 - 09:34, said:

 

The Trail of the Desert Fox, David Irving

 

Ahahahaha really? David "Holocaust never happened" Irving?



Tliish #853 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 11:10

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View PostGervasius, on Feb 21 2014 - 01:49, said:

 

Ahahahaha really? David "Holocaust never happened" Irving?


Have you read the book?

 

 



CavScout19D #854 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 12:15

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View PostTliish, on Feb 21 2014 - 00:34, said:

The Sherman's greatest assets were its numbers, logistical support, and it's supporting airpower and artillery...without those it was mediocre at best, and would have been handily trounced by either German or Soviet equipment in one-on-ones. In point of fact, most American armored equipment wasn't all that great until nearly the end of the war, it was just plentiful. The exception to the rule might b the M3 Stuart, which was a very nice little tank for a brief period in the desert, but quickly became obsolescent.

This kinda of crap is pure nonsense. This line of thinking can be used to "explain away" German victories to. The Germans were victorious in France, Poland, the Low Countries and the start of Barbarossa when they enjoyed local superiority in armor assets, logistical support and their supporting air power and artillery. The vaunted "success" of Blitzkrieg all but depended on them (and some horrible leadership by their opponents) to be victorious but when its German victories its all about how awesome the Germans were. When the Americans use artillery and air power is some kind of crutch to cover up for a poor tank design. When Germans used artillery and air power to support their Pz IIIs and IVs they called it Blitzkrieg. 

 

Really, its just excuses for why the Germans failed. 



CavScout19D #855 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 12:18

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View PostTliish, on Feb 21 2014 - 00:56, said:

 

By late in the war, the Soviet soldier was still inferior to the German soldier, but much improved over the early version. The success in throwing the Germans back was mainly due to the Lend-Lease trucks, foodstuffs, and ammunition,  the Red Orchestra intelligence network and Ultra intercepts that accurately gave detailed intelligence on German moves, plus the huge manpower advantage. Late in the war, Soviet armor was equal to or moderately better than its German counterparts, and available in far greater numbers. Its tactical doctrine never quite matched that of the Germans.

 

So, godly? ....no, just proof that eventually numbers beat quality pretty much every time.

Why is it that the Germans losing the war is proof of how good their soldiers were but the Soviets winning (and to some extent the Allies) is proof of nothing about their soldiers other than numbers?



CavScout19D #856 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 12:20

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View PostTliish, on Feb 21 2014 - 02:10, said:


Have you read the book?

 

 

This dude:  "I say the following thing: there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz. There have been only mock-ups built by the Poles in the years after the war"???????



Zephaniah_3_17 #857 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 12:22

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There is a shocking lack of panther picks in this thread.  IRL the panther was devastating, and produced in more numbers than the tiger.  It was the best of both worlds, mass production and effectiveness.

So my first pick would be the panther.  I agree with others about the Panzer 3, 4, and Stug.  They were used often and to good effect.  I would also note the hummel is a good pick.

Edited by Gauge, Feb 21 2014 - 12:22.


Chepicoro #858 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 13:15

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View PostTliish, on Feb 21 2014 - 09:34, said:


Still just a blog. I saw no citations that allowed for independent evaluation of the accuracy of either the original documents or their translations.

 

My library contains over100 reference, biographical, and technical military books relating to ETO armor vehicles and operations, covering all participating nations, except perhaps for Italy, with the original source materials cited for reference. Most of them agree that German armor was pretty decent, and when in supply, crewed and led by experienced personnel, justifiably feared. They also state that the development of weapons systems by any given nation was generally a direct response to battlefield conditions: thus the Tigers, Panthers, and Ferdinands were a response to the T-34s and KVs, and the various Soviet vehicles were a response to those.

 

German armor was by no means "super" in the sense of being overwhelmingly better than anything else, but neither was it easily disposed of junk. What made it successful and feared was better guns, radios, training, and doctrine. Note that only two of those are equipment related. The power trains, suspensions, and tracks left a lot to be desired.

 

The Sherman's greatest assets were its numbers, logistical support, and it's supporting airpower and artillery...without those it was mediocre at best, and would have been handily trounced by either German or Soviet equipment in one-on-ones. In point of fact, most American armored equipment wasn't all that great until nearly the end of the war, it was just plentiful. The exception to the rule might b the M3 Stuart, which was a very nice little tank for a brief period in the desert, but quickly became obsolescent.

 

There are valid reasons why German armor was feared by its opponents in WWII, and why Soviet armor was greatly feared by the West in the post-war period. Development of each fed off the other, spurring tougher and more hard-hitting tanks on each side. Armored warfare on the Western Front was a sideshow compared to what went on on the Eastern Front. Outside of North Africa and late in the battle for France, there weren't really any armored battles on the Western Front to speak of. By D-Day the Wehrmacht had almost completely lost the initiative because they lost control of the air. The very few armored thrusts they attempted were disrupted and weakened to impotence by airpower before they could even begin. Properly speaking most armored engagements on the Western Front should be described as skirmishes rather than battles when compared to the Eastern Front.

 

For those interested here are a few good reads on the subject:

 

Brazen Chariots, Robert Crisp

Company Commander, Charles B. McDonald

Citadel The Battle of Kursk, Robin Cross

The Battle for North Africa, 1940-43, W.G.E. Jackson

The Black March, Peter Neumann

Russia At War, Alexander Werth

The Trail of the Desert Fox, David Irving

Marshall Zhukov's Greatest Battles, Georgi Zhukov

Battles Hitler Lost, Zhukov, Konev, Malinovsky, Rokossovsky, Rotmistrov, Chuikov, and others

Panzer Battles, F.W. von Mellenthin

Hitler's War on Russia, Paul Carell

Stalingrad, Theodore Plievier

Men Against Tanks, John Weeks

SS-Liebstandarte, The History of the First SS Division 1933-45, Rupert Butler

German Armored Warfare of World War II, Ian Baxter

Eastern Front The Unpublished Photographs 1941-1945, Will Fowler

On The German Art of War Truppenfuhrung, Bruce Condell and David T. Zabecki

Enemy At The Gates, The Battle for Stalingrad, William Craig

Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland, Horst Scheibert

The Role of Intelligence in Soviet Military Strategy in World War II, David M. Glantz

The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War, Robert G. Poirier, Albert Z. Connor

 

Those are a few of the books in my library that can give some insight on the relative effectiveness of the various vehicles as expressed by the men who used them. By comparing the various sources from all sides, one can get a pretty clear and consistent picture of the strengths and weaknesses of each side's armored vehicles and their use. Considering the overall effectiveness throughout the war, I would give the Germans a very slight edge, with the Soviets not very far behind, followed by the Americans, British, French, Czechs, and in the distant rear, the Italians. I give the Germans a slight edge due to better communications, tactical doctrine, close air support coordination, and better combined arms work overall. They were masters at pulling together battle groups from whatever forces were available, and making effective use of them on the spur of the moment.

 

 

Finally not a Fanboy...thanks god.


Edited by Chepicoro, Feb 21 2014 - 13:15.


Walter_Sobchak #859 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 14:31

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View PostCavScout19D, on Feb 21 2014 - 06:20, said:

This dude:  "I say the following thing: there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz. There have been only mock-ups built by the Poles in the years after the war"???????


"Trail of the Fox" was written long before Irving jumped the shark and became a full blown holocaust revisionist.  It's a decent read and easily available at most used book shops as it was published in mass market paperback form.  Irvings main strength as a writer is that he is rather engaging.  Sometimes though, he comes off a bit too engaging, like in his book " the War Between the Generals" which is a bit too gossipy to be called true scholarship.  I sometimes refer to him as the "Kitty Kelly" of military history writers.  This book is probably about as good as Irving gets.  Always read his stuff with the fact that he is a right wing loon and a Nazi apologist in mind.  Irving is primarily responsible for the myth that 250,000 people were killed in the fire bombing of Dresden, when the true figure is about one tenth of that.  Basically, he is the worlds most famous Wehraboo. 

 

The other author in Tlissh's list that I take issue with is Paul Carell.  Carell is literally a Nazi propaganda agent.  And I do mean literally.  His real name is Paul Karl Schmidt and he was was an Obersturmbannführer in the civilian Allgemeine SS. He worked as the chief press spokesman for Nazi Germany's Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.  So, I avoid his books as propaganda.

 

 



Walter_Sobchak #860 Posted Feb 21 2014 - 14:43

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One more note about books.  If someone was going to own only one book on German Panzers of WW2, it should be Germany's Panzer Arm in World War II.  It's the best concise (and affordable) overview of Germany's Panzer forces that I have come across.  If I could, I would buy a copy for every Wehraboo and Panzer fanboy in the forums and force them to read it.  The book does not deal with technical descriptions of individual tank models.  Rather, it focuses on more important topics such as economics of panzer production, training and personnel policies, doctrine and divisional structure. 

 

 







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