Jump to content


If Germany only used Panzer IV tanks instead pf building Tigers and Panthers


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

railer1999 #1 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 15:07

    Staff sergeant

  • -Players-
  • 12295 battles
  • 323
  • [CSA-1] CSA-1
  • Member since:
    08-05-2014

So far many of the tank documentaries like Nazi Mega structures and Greatest Military Clashes indicated that Germany should have worked on Panzer IVs and not Tigers and Panthers(Funny fact: I never see them criticising the Pershing or the IS tank). Was relying on the Panzer IV a better choice for Germany or are these documentaries just spreading out propaganda?



philburg2 #2 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 15:28

    Staff sergeant

  • -Players-
  • 16168 battles
  • 448
  • [-FG-] -FG-
  • Member since:
    07-06-2014
They mostly agree that the resources spent on a handful of mega tanks could have produced hundreds of smaller tanks that would have helped stem the waves of shermans and t34s coming at them.  If you make just 1 or 2 tweaks, the Germans could have won had Britain and/or Russia fallen when they were on the edge.

ThinkingOfYou #3 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 15:42

    Major

  • Beta Testers
  • 40431 battles
  • 4,753
  • Member since:
    08-11-2010

You never see them criticize the IS / Pershing programs because unlike the Germans, the US and Russia had more than enough gas, steel, and men to afford the development and deployment of some specialized heavy tanks while still mass producing their countries main fighting tanks at a rate much faster than the Axis could ever match, that said even with the abundance of resources you don't see either the Russians or the US go overboard with heavy tanks like the Germans did.

 

Now onto the what would have happened had Germany just focused entirely upon the Panzer 4 instead of the Panther and Tiger, the short version is not much would have changed, in fact it might have hastened the defeat of the German tank forces.

The Panzer 4 was not a very good tank, it wasn't as fast as a T-34, it didn't have as good of armor as the Shermans (ironically everyone claims the Shermans have terrible armor, yet their effective armor is actually very close to the over hyped Tiger 1 in real life), Some of the Panzer 4 models where good tanks but they where also incredibly complicated machines to build compared to the ally tanks and even the best Panzer 4 model is worse than a mid war run of the mill Sherman.

 

What Germany should have done was follow the advice of one of the generals who suggested that they rip off the Soviet T-34 and mass produce copies of it since it was cheap to build, not a horrible bloated and complicated design like the other German tanks, a reliable and incredibly effective platform, and best of all literally anyone could be taught to drive and field repair one due to the Russians designing it that way since a lot of Russia's military force where farm boys who hadn't driven anything more complex than a tractor (if they where lucky enough to even have a tractor).

All of that said even adopting the superior T-34 wouldn't have helped Germany for long, they where doomed the moment they attacked Russia. Us Americans like to talk about how we came in and saved everyone in WW2 and if it wasn't for our grandfathers half of Europe would be speaking German right now, the reality of it is if it wasn't for our grandfathers invading from the west all of Europe would be speaking Russian. Germany had already lost the war before the US put a single boot on the ground in Europe / Africa.


Edited by ThinkingOfYou, Oct 04 2016 - 15:44.


Muzzle_Maus #4 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 15:47

    Sergeant

  • Players
  • 17617 battles
  • 198
  • [PZRGD] PZRGD
  • Member since:
    08-14-2013

Hi Railer,

 

OK I will take the bait.  I am a better WW2 Armor historian than a a player.  I agree with your premise that if the Krauts had could have stuck with pressing for more production of the Pz IV family. Instead Der Fuhrer, Albert Speer and OKW  pressed the development of Heavy and larger Medium tank, they could have fielded more tanks if they had not.  the 7.5 cm L48 gun was fine at penning Allied tanks.  But you have to consider the scare of running into the initial KVs and Sloped armor T-34, and that the only effective gun against it was the 8,8 Flak.  So "we" need a chassis now that carry the 8.8.  Things evolve from the need for a better tank from there.  But in either reality a nation the size of Germany would never have met the production needs in tanks or aircraft against the industrial capacity of either the US or USSR.   

 

Also to note as a waste of German military resources was the formation of some 20 Luftwaffe Feld Division being a total waste per Field Marshal von Manstein because those men would have been better trained and used if they where drafted into Heer Division.  Pretty much the Nazi war machine its own worst enemy.  This was recognized by Allied Supreme Command as well. You need lots of men and machines in a war of attrition.

But a good question regardless.  :) 


Edited by Muzzle_Maus, Oct 04 2016 - 15:51.


VisaWarrior_br #5 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 16:19

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 38460 battles
  • 540
  • [HUMO] HUMO
  • Member since:
    06-09-2012
maybe

FrozenKemp #6 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:01

    Major

  • Players
  • 43019 battles
  • 4,886
  • Member since:
    04-24-2011

Initially it took as much as 800,000 Reichmarks and 300,000 man-hours to make one Tiger I.  Later on apparently it was down to about 250k RM for a Tiger, or 117k RM for a Panther.  So presumably at that time it took more like 93k man-hours to make a Tiger. Meanwhile a Sherman took ... from some quick googling, about 48k man-hours to make one. 


The Pershing, I am sure, was made through mass production.  That's probably why it isn't criticized.  German tank production was weird and not like mass production - I think it was one team making a whole tank, then starting with the next one. Maybe someone can correct me on this. 


Edited by FrozenKemp, Oct 04 2016 - 17:02.


PrinzEugen85 #7 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:03

    Captain

  • Players
  • 31502 battles
  • 1,982
  • [CANIS] CANIS
  • Member since:
    10-14-2013
Their production actually made sense for what it was. Germany was always short of rubber and fuel, but had more high grade steel than they knew what to do with, due to the occupation of Norway. So one Tiger is carrying more steel (and rolled nickel armor), but consuming less fuel than several Pz4s.

Fallschirmjager123 #8 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:10

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 30454 battles
  • 19
  • [W-R] W-R
  • Member since:
    08-31-2012
Well,if Germany would have started to mass produced the AT gun and deployed it in depth for defense on the eastern front and held back the panzers for a counterattack and bleed the ussr armor to death they might have had a chance

11Eleven #9 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:15

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 24893 battles
  • 48
  • [ROGER] ROGER
  • Member since:
    12-19-2013
If they could have held out longer they probably would have nuked Berlin way before they hit Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

PrinzEugen85 #10 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:16

    Captain

  • Players
  • 31502 battles
  • 1,982
  • [CANIS] CANIS
  • Member since:
    10-14-2013

View PostFallschirmjager123, on Oct 04 2016 - 17:10, said:

Well,if Germany would have started to mass produced the AT gun and deployed it in depth for defense on the eastern front and held back the panzers for a counterattack and bleed the ussr armor to death they might have had a chance

 

This was Rommel's opinion too, based on his Flak 88 usage in Africa. He discussed this with his son Manfred, fully expecting to be sent to the Eastern Front, but was sent to improve the Atlantic Wall instead.

 

Edit: It was also his opinion that mass producing AT guns, such as the 88 was the sensible thing to do because production time was a fraction of building a tank.


Edited by PrinzEugen85, Oct 04 2016 - 17:19.


killswitch95 #11 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:30

    Major

  • Players
  • 35033 battles
  • 8,804
  • [NICO] NICO
  • Member since:
    04-12-2012

no, Pz 4 flat armor... no good

 

Honestly, what they needed was to put the E-Series into production faster... the whole program used simplified building methods, and common parts...

But before that, they needed to actually capture those oilfields instead of going ape[edited] over a useless town like Stalingrad...

But before that you need to not declare war on Russia, when you haven't even taken Britain yet, let alone the US...

But even before that, they needed to keep their air force up to date, stalling development because you think the enemy can't catch up is bad mkay...

 

But if I had to choose one... some form of a simplified Panther would have probably been fine, mobile, decent armor, nice gun... just not reliable 


Edited by killswitch95, Oct 04 2016 - 17:31.


sqazx #12 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:34

    Corporal

  • -Players-
  • 412 battles
  • 14
  • Member since:
    08-12-2016

If Germany had of NOT Invaded Russia for another year .....

we might all be speaking German

 

If they had of Perfected the Jet and Rockets................


Edited by sqazx, Oct 04 2016 - 17:37.


SparkyGT #13 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:37

    Major

  • Players
  • 41422 battles
  • 3,913
  • [-NHL-] -NHL-
  • Member since:
    02-05-2012
A magazine i bought a while back compared the cost/rpoduction times of the various factions, the time involved to complete one german tank was way more than a russian, the russians utilized a assembly line like Ford did for their cars. also alot of the german tanks were overbuilt. you dont need to build high quality engines with close tolerances that dont start in the winter, a "loose" cheap engine works. It didnt need to last for years, maybe a month or 2

65Camino #14 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:39

    Captain

  • Players
  • 28354 battles
  • 1,148
  • [2CMBG] 2CMBG
  • Member since:
    09-18-2013
A very interesting topic and one that sees all sorts of different opinions. In hindsight, and not discounting all the impressive statistics and tid-bits mentioned above, we can all take comfort in the fact that Hitler was nuts, had a short attention span and could not be swayed by Germany's most senior military commanders. Amen.

65Camino #15 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 17:40

    Captain

  • Players
  • 28354 battles
  • 1,148
  • [2CMBG] 2CMBG
  • Member since:
    09-18-2013

View Postsqazx, on Oct 04 2016 - 16:34, said:

If Germany had of NOT Invaded Russia for another year .....

we might all be speaking German

 

If they had of Perfected the Jet and Rockets................

 

If my Aunt had nuts, she would be my Uncle. :unsure:

Jarms48 #16 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 18:12

    Captain

  • -Players-
  • 117 battles
  • 1,304
  • Member since:
    06-21-2015

View Post11Eleven, on Oct 05 2016 - 02:15, said:

If they could have held out longer they probably would have nuked Berlin way before they hit Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

 

This. Germany was already targeted by strategic bombing, if the Allies thought that deploying another atomic bomb would save lives and end the war sooner, they wouldn't have hesitated using it.


Edited by Jarms48, Oct 04 2016 - 18:13.


Legiondude #17 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 18:16

    Major

  • Players
  • 20134 battles
  • 23,037
  • [CMFRT] CMFRT
  • Member since:
    08-22-2011

IIRC Daigensui is of the informed opinion that due to the Craftsman style of production German companies vigorously held onto even to the end, it's actually not that easy to simply build cheaper equipment and get higher output. So from that sense, if you could only build a few vehicles anyway, the Big Cats were an "improvement"

 

That said, even if the Germans could have mass produced the Panzer IV chassis for it's AFVs, the design was really pushing it's limits by 1945 and they really needed something better. Just meandering off the design would end with Nazi Germany suffering a slightly slower death. During the battle of Stalingrad, it was proposed to uparmor the Panzer IV significantly(in thickness and sloping) along with the new(at the time) KwK 40, but concerns over straining the transmission shot it down. Prior to the Battle of Kursk, Guderian tried pitching the Mehrzweckpanzer(VK 28.01) to replace all the light armor(compared to the Big Cats) designs, but that was shot down that autumn. Then three months later in New Years 1944, Speer wanted a simplified Panzer IV design that became the Panzer III/IV with an accompanying Jagdpanzer variant and proposals to replace all Panzer III and Panzer IV designs in service, but then that was shot down and the Jagdpanzer late that summer.

 

The Germans literally couldn't agree on how to best improve the Panzer IV to save their lives.



Dogsoldier6 #18 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 18:17

    Major

  • Players
  • 53721 battles
  • 2,478
  • [DD-S] DD-S
  • Member since:
    11-17-2011

Had Germany Concentrated on Just the PzIV Production..................

Even the PzIV was 'over built' and a complex machine, and by 1943 it was out classed by Allied tanks. Even worse the PzIV was not built on an assembly line, they were each hand built by skilled technicians. Unlike the US and USSR whom used unskilled labor and assembly lines to mass produce tanks. So they would never have come even close to producing enough PzIV tanks.

 

Had Germany Copied the T-34.......................................

It is popular to say that Germany didn't for political reason, and this is false. They couldn't make an exact copy because of basic economics. The T-34 used electric welding, a new technology at the time,and Germany didn't have the skilled labor force to use electric welding, which is why you see their armor plate mortised. The T-34 had a diesel engine and the Germans used most of their available diesel fuel for the railroads. The T-34 used an aluminum engine and aluminum was in short supply in Germany. They did attempt to make a German version of the T-34, and you see them in the game, and the vk30.02DB was actually accepted for production, but Hitler liked the Man vk30.02M better when he saw it.

 

Had Germany Gone Ahead With the 'E' Series..................

As Albert Speer correctly pointed out ALL German tank production would have ceased while industry re-tooled to build the 'E' Series of tanks. It was not something the Germans were going to be able to do in the middle of a hot war that they were losing.

 

Had Germany Had More AT Guns.......................................

While it is is fanciful to say that the Germans should have mass produced the AT version of the 8.8cm Flak 41, it had its short comings as a field weapon, lack of mobility being its biggest draw back. The interesting fact is Germany captured literally thousands of Soviet AT guns from the 45mm and 76.2mm versions, all capable weapons and all easily converted to fire German rounds. The only use they made of them was to mount a handful of them in them Marder SPAT. So the AT weapons were already there collecting dust, and Germany never made use of them.


Edited by Dogsoldier6, Oct 04 2016 - 18:20.


Tankocide #19 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 18:25

    Sergeant

  • Players
  • 841 battles
  • 150
  • [SHH] SHH
  • Member since:
    12-02-2012

It didn't matter.  Germany bit off more than they could chew.  Germany didn't have the naval resources to invade England, which meant they had to protect their western flank while also invading a huge country to their east.  Shortages of men and oil doomed the Russian invasion from the start.  The only chance was knocking out Stalin fast, but even then, they're left occupying a massive amount of territory and not having the resources to do it. 

 

They spent way too much on stuff that didn't have a lot of bang for the buck.  The V1 and V2 were technologically impressive but in terms of high explosives dropped on target, they were puny compared to a 1,000 bomber's loaded with tens of thousands of bombs coming at them many times a week.  Hitler was obsessed with bombing London, and thus, air defense suffered.  Starting in early 1944, The U.S. and British bombing campaign, and the P51 ground attack sweeps, were doing severe damage to German infrastructure and the luftwaffe.   By early 1945, the luftwaffe was all but grounded.  Nearly all their pilots killed and no fuel to train new ones let alone keep the experienced pilots fighting.



diego999 #20 Posted Oct 04 2016 - 20:42

    Major

  • Beta Testers
  • 29869 battles
  • 4,465
  • [ACA] ACA
  • Member since:
    11-22-2010

The industrial might of the USSR and the US was something Germany couldn't defeat in any credible scenario.

 

Tiger tanks, Panther tanks, PZ4s or donkeys with AT guns, they were going to get their rear kicked any way or another.






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users