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German Tank Destroyer Doctrine and Perceptions: Question!

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Chaplain_5 #1 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 11:45

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Hi all!

 

This question had been at the back of my mind for a long time. I'd really appreciate some substantiated input on this from anyone who knows.

 

German TD's are my favorite class to play in WoT, and I've also spent a fair bit of time reading up on them. It seemed to me like there are two general categories of WWII tank destroyers that Germany built:

 

What I'm tentatively calling Panzerjager: Open-topped, tall vehicles, often conversions of domestic or foreign tank chassis, huge but thin gun shield. Nice vision but little protection. See Nashorn, Marder series.

 

What I'm tentatively calling Jagdpanzer: Sometimes a relatively low profile, heavily sloped frontal armor, entirely closed casemate. Bulky look. Better protection than Panzerjager but cramped. See Jagdpanzer IV, Jagdpanzer 38t, Jagdtiger.

 

My question is: Am I right to distinguish these as separate tank destroyer patterns or classes? If I recall correctly the German theory was to use TDs in defensive positions, setting up ahead of time, but where there any official/doctrinal/instructional differences, say, between a Nashorn and a Jagdpanzer IV?

 

Basically, context. It's easy enough for the purposes of WoT to make a distinction :) but I want to know what the Germans actually thought about their vehicles.



Vava_das_SPGs #2 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 12:27

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This is a mission for... ta-da-da-daaa... Nicholas Moran, The (Super) Chieftain!

FrozenKemp #3 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 12:30

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Well, you are partly right.  There were two separate branches, but Jagdpanther and so on were actually used by the same Panzerjager branch; it was the Stugs which were considered separate and used by a separate branch.

 

https://en.m.wikiped...iki/Panzerjäger

https://en.m.wikiped...i/Sturmgeschütz

 

I don't know about whether the operating doctrine for e.g. a Marder vs a Jagdpanther was different. 


Edited by FrozenKemp, Oct 08 2019 - 12:38.


Chaplain_5 #4 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 12:47

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View PostVava_das_SPGs, on Oct 08 2019 - 06:27, said:

This is a mission for... ta-da-da-daaa... Nicholas Moran, The (Super) Chieftain!

 

Yup, I'd appreciate his input. :) Funnily enough I had hoped to ask him this question in person at the Conneaut OH D-Day event, but didn't remember...

 

Thanks! But is there more substantiation behind this? I'd just like to find a more robust account of events than Wikipedia, if that's ok... ;)



Desert_Fox_1969 #5 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 13:48

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ASFAIK the Stug branch was actually not a TD but a infantry support vehicle to breach fortifications and bunkers.

FrozenKemp #6 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 13:54

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View PostChaplain_5, on Oct 08 2019 - 06:47, said:

hanks! But is there more substantiation behind this? I'd just like to find a more robust account of events than Wikipedia, if that's ok... ;)

 

Good point! Unfortunately I am not a German military buff so I don't know :( 



Chaplain_5 #7 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 14:20

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View PostFrozenKemp, on Oct 08 2019 - 07:54, said:

 

Good point! Unfortunately I am not a German military buff so I don't know :( 

 

No problem man! I am a buff and I have no idea myself. :rolleyes:



Chaplain_5 #8 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 14:22

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View PostDesert_Fox_1969, on Oct 08 2019 - 07:48, said:

ASFAIK the Stug branch was actually not a TD but a infantry support vehicle to breach fortifications and bunkers.

 

Yup, it was designed as an assault gun but ended up being used as an impromptu TD in many places. I wasn't really thinking about the Sturmgeschutz line here, what I'm thinking of as Jagdpanzer are purpose-built TD like the Jagdpanther.



Ta_Hun_Kwai #9 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 14:57

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View PostChaplain_5, on Oct 08 2019 - 02:45, said:

Hi all!

This question had been at the back of my mind for a long time. I'd really appreciate some substantiated input on this from anyone who knows. German TD's are my favorite class to play in WoT, and I've also spent a fair bit of time reading upon them. It seemed to me like there are two general categories of WWII tank destroyers that Germany built: What I'm tentatively calling Panzerjager: Open-topped, tall vehicles, often conversions of domestic or foreign tank chassis, huge but thin gun shield. Nice vision but little protection. See Nashorn, Marder series. What I'm tentatively calling Jagdpanzer: Sometimes a relatively low profile, heavily sloped frontal armor, entirely closed casemate. Bulky look. Better protection than Panzerjager but cramped. See Jagdpanzer IV, Jagdpanzer 38t, Jagdtiger. My question is: Am I right to distinguish these as separate tank destroyer patterns or classes? If I recall correctly the German theory was to use TDs in defensive positions, setting up ahead of time, but where there any official/doctrinal/instructional differences, say, between a Nashorn and a Jagdpanzer IV? Basically, context. It's easy enough for the purposes of WoT to make a distinction  :)  but I want to know what the Germans actually thought about their vehicles.

I'm no expert but i would say that the german open-top TDs are more for assaulting and troop support where they can fire on builds and infantry groups and also defend themself and infantry if needed to



the_dude_76 #10 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 15:26

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I would say no since both types were issued to anti-tank battalions. There may have been a difference in doctrine between the regular AT battalions and the heavy AT battalions, but again, both types of vehicles were issued.

 

And of course even if there was a difference in doctrine that doesn't mean it was observed by the desperate Germans. 

 

View PostChaplain_5, on Oct 08 2019 - 07:22, said:

 

Yup, it was designed as an assault gun but ended up being used as an impromptu TD in many places. I wasn't really thinking about the Sturmgeschutz line here, what I'm thinking of as Jagdpanzer are purpose-built TD like the Jagdpanther.

 

It started off as an "impromptu TD" but by the end of the war it was being issued to Panzerjäger-Abteilungen

 

 

 

 



Mikosah #11 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 17:57

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Think of it this way, in the midst of the war there was an intense rush to simply get machines onto the field, and to recycle existing parts to save cost and materials. Even the purpose-built TDs were manufactured for lower cost first, and tactical advantage second (if at all). Most casemate TDs, both open and closed top, of any nation fit into this pattern.

 

If anything, its massively ironic that old Pz III hulls were converted into infantry-support SPGs, these in turn were improvised again as TDs to end up as the StuG III, and this of all things was the most mass-produced and successful armored combat vehicle the Wehrmacht had to offer. 9,000 produced, responsible for the destruction of 20,000 allied vehicles. 



Chaplain_5 #12 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 19:36

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@Mikosah: Yes, this I know. :great:

 

A wide variety of factors are in play, and a purpose-built vehicle may end up fulfilling another role well enough to be practical.

That said, while I'm quite aware of the tactical realities, and what ended up "going down", what I'm interested here is any guiding purpose. Doctrinal differences between various TD patterns, or were all German tank destroyers regarded by the manual writers as generally the same with regards to deployment patterns, defensive or offensive deployment, techniques, etc.

I'd really appreciate the Chieftain's input on this.



the_dude_76 #13 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 20:56

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View PostChaplain_5, on Oct 08 2019 - 12:36, said:

 

 

 

I'd really appreciate the Chieftain's input on this.

 

If you get an answer from the Chieftain it will be because he asked this guy- 

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChImwmytehS5SmlqMkXwoEw

 

In fact he may be working on just what you're looking for-

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HYrywfNJyU

 



GAJohnnie #14 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 21:12

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You might find this interesting

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/WarCollege/comments/9ddi7g/how_did_german_tank_destroyer_doctrine_during_ww2/



GAJohnnie #15 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 22:32

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good info here too

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHKAH_UGYeU&list=UUhImwmytehS5SmlqMkXwoEw&index=7



GAJohnnie #16 Posted Oct 08 2019 - 23:44

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View PostChaplain_5, on Oct 08 2019 - 05:45, said:

Hi all!

 

This question had been at the back of my mind for a long time. I'd really appreciate some substantiated input on this from anyone who knows.

 

German TD's are my favorite class to play in WoT, and I've also spent a fair bit of time reading up on them. It seemed to me like there are two general categories of WWII tank destroyers that Germany built:

 

What I'm tentatively calling Panzerjager: Open-topped, tall vehicles, often conversions of domestic or foreign tank chassis, huge but thin gun shield. Nice vision but little protection. See Nashorn, Marder series.

 

What I'm tentatively calling Jagdpanzer: Sometimes a relatively low profile, heavily sloped frontal armor, entirely closed casemate. Bulky look. Better protection than Panzerjager but cramped. See Jagdpanzer IV, Jagdpanzer 38t, Jagdtiger.

 

My question is: Am I right to distinguish these as separate tank destroyer patterns or classes? If I recall correctly the German theory was to use TDs in defensive positions, setting up ahead of time, but where there any official/doctrinal/instructional differences, say, between a Nashorn and a Jagdpanzer IV?

 

Basically, context. It's easy enough for the purposes of WoT to make a distinction :) but I want to know what the Germans actually thought about their vehicles.

From the quick research I had time to do it appears

 

The Panzerjagers developed out of a need to upgrade towed TD guns to face heavier tanks. So in a sense, they would be uses with a TD doctrine. They served the same role as a towed AT gun

 

The Jagpanzers doctrine would be more on the line of field artillery. They were designed to work in close support of Infantry. They were mostly under the command of the Artillery, not the Tank, branch,







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