What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Graniterail » 12 Sep 2016 06:14

Yoozername wrote:
An indication of the difficulties the river caused can be gagued from the fact that of the entire 6th Panzer division, only a Dozen tigers.. managed to get across the Donetz that evening.. the attack came to a halt to await the rest of the Division.
Thank you for supplying the odd mis-information that you don't seem to comprehend...

1. So, answer a direct question...how many Tigers got across..of the total amount that you claim that 6th Panzer division had? You claim they had a company, no? So, a dozen got across. Explain what your logic is?

2. Your quote seems to imply that the Tigers had to wait for something...the attack came to a halt...they had to wait for the rest of the division...wait for what? Can you supply information about what else got across? Do you argue with the hope that others supply the information you seem to 'lack' or misinterpret?
Don't you mean that my thought would be that it's the Tigers that couldn't cross and the other Panzers that could?
Ok, Tigers got across and the other Panzers that could. Supply information regarding the Panzers "that could"...?
That's interesting that you've now accepted that the 6th Panzer division did have Tigers at Kursk, yet you're still trying to point out some kind of misinformation I've given you.

Now regarding no.1 if you look carefully at that link detailing the histories of Tiger units, you'll see a couple of things.

That at the start of the battle they had 45 tanks, a full complement (you can see it described here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_he ... #Formation right next to the part detailing how "Maintenance troubles and the mechanical unreliability of the Tigers posed a continuous problem, so often the units would field a smaller number of combat-ready tanks.[1]"), 42 of which were operational. Lets split 42 over three, seeing as we already know that 503 was parcelled out into three lots shall we?

It's 14. Whereas there's a Dozen in the 12 that managed to 'get across the Donetz that evening'(no doubt behind schedule). So German logistics were unable to support the assault crossing of a complete tank company (seeing as we've begun calling these parcels companies here) on the first day.

When they can't support one company of Tigers, how are they going to support more?

Lets look further at that link. By the 31st of July in the 503rd there are 7 losses to combat, yet only 9 out of 38 tanks are operational. So they've lost 26 tanks to breakdowns or damage & are unable to put them back in the field, yet only 7 to combat. That's more than 3 to 1 & there aren't any replacements. That doesn't describe a tank which is being supported with adequate repair facilities - a necessary component of logistical capacity for mechanized units.

Regarding No.2, it's in the link if you care to read it. There was some infantry that also got across. As for the other tanks, they had to wait for the engineers to try to get bridges across the river, that's why they couldn't cross.
Yoozername wrote:And, the Luftwaffe thing...should we just think you cut and paste and have no reason?
Is your issue with the information that it is easily searchable with it's references a hyperlink away or are you having difficulty combining the criticisms other commenter's have pointed out to the topic of the thread that you started, i.e
BDV wrote:
Tim Smith wrote:The best way for the Germans to fight the Battle of Kursk would be not to fight it at all...
And the best way to employ the Tiger was not to employ them at all... Any tank above 39 tons is a burden that flimsy German logistics just can't cope with.
with the elaboration I've given to them?

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 12 Sep 2016 14:24

No, you said the 6th Panzer had a company of Tigers. Not me. Your argumentative style seems to be predicated on putting words in other people's mouths.

Your supposed argument is drifting into weakness. You are supporting my argument...i.e. Tigers needed to be committed in battalion strength. See if Wiki agrees with me since the commander of the 503rd does...Wiki and Matthews seem to be the crux of your arguments?
Last edited by Yoozername on 12 Sep 2016 14:31, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 12 Sep 2016 14:28

How about that Luftwaffe quote?

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Graniterail » 12 Sep 2016 15:16

Yoozername wrote:No, you said the 6th Panzer had a company of Tigers. Not me. Your argumentative style seems to be predicated on putting words in other people's mouths.
Yoozername wrote:... Most of the Tiger tanks were doled out in Companies to divisions. ...
^Sixth comment in this thread, the first to mention Tiger Tanks in Companies.^.
Yoozername wrote: ...
I believe the 6th Panzer Division was not assigned Tigers. Specifically from the 503rd? I believe the 7th and 19th PD had a company, and the rest of the 503rd (HQ) was with the 168 ID ...
^Twenty-Fifth comment in this thread, the second to mention Tiger Tanks in Companies^.
Yoozername wrote:You claim they had a company, no?
^Twenty-Ninth comment in this thread. Note I haven't said 'company' yet. I've pointed out that the 503rd was parcelled out into three divisions, but it's you who have begun to call them companies.^
Graniterail wrote: company (seeing as we've begun calling these parcels companies here)
^Thirty first comment in this thread, I finally say 'Company', seeing as you repeatedly refer to the parcelled out portions of the 503rd as such, immediately pointing out the provision that it's only on the basis of you doing that, for ease of reference.^

Now come on, who is putting words in whose mouth here?
Your supposed argument is drifting into weakness. You are supporting my argument..
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Yoozername wrote:How about that Luftwaffe quote?
I've already addressed that in the thirty first comment in this thread. If you're not going to take the time to read any responses given to you in this thread I guess I won't make anymore.

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 12 Sep 2016 17:51

You do know this is a "What IF..." thread?

The "What IF" (Yes, I will explain) is IF the Germans concentrated the Tiger Tank Battalions...it is NOT what they did...which is what a what-if is about. It boils down to your ability to differentiate 'what happened' to 'what could have happened'. I can't help you there.

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 12 Sep 2016 17:52

Luftwaffe? Or, should I not pay attention to that either?

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Mobius » 14 Sep 2016 12:04

T-34s were only part of the defense the Soviets had prepared. AT guns, mines, and bunkers had to be dealt with as well. Medium tanks would be just as effective as a Tiger with these. So Tigers mixed with mediums would strengthen the overall force. Sort of like the British including a Firefly with each Sherman tank troop.
If the Germans had a little more imagination they could of come up with flail, mine-rollers or dozer blades for some of their tanks. But then the long guns would not of been of use.
Because of the information gap the Germans wouldn't even of been successful if they feinted attacks at the side of the Kursk salient and attacked instead somewhere else along the front. With the fleet of Russian and LL trucks the Russians would be out front of them no matter where they went.

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 14 Sep 2016 21:11

T-34s were only part of the defense the Soviets had prepared. AT guns, mines, and bunkers had to be dealt with as well. Medium tanks would be just as effective as a Tiger with these. So Tigers mixed with mediums would strengthen the overall force. Sort of like the British including a Firefly with each Sherman tank troop.
Can you cite how PD with just Mediums (Panzer IV and Panzer III) did just as well as those that had a Tiger company attached (attacking, that is)? The Soviets had moved up to 76.2mm weapons and the Panzer III/IV have issues facing them.

Mines were more of a problem for tanks than infantry BTW. That is, all tanks. I will supply source material. But yes, the Germans were relying on the engineers to clear the mines, and the RC weapons to detonate dense minefields. The Soviets had learned by then that mines were best used in larger areas to decrease density and allow many targets to enter into it. It also defended the mines from HE attacks.

The Luftwaffe had, at most, a 3-4 day effort it could provide to the battle. It could not sustain losses, consumption of fuel/parts/pilots/etc. It could do no better in May than June or July. In fact, it was largely concerned with protecting the 'Reich' by this point and its specialized fuel needs may have been a choke point at the point of production, not on the roads and rails. The FW190 had its own 'high-test' I believe. Yet, accounts show that the use of the ground attack planes, combined with artillery and Armored attack brought the best results. So, the real Kursk window was no more than a few days. After that, the Luftwaffe could just supply a defensive role. It is sort of a 'limiting reactant' to the Battle.

I am not sure if some of the people that post here know what logistics even IS. Having Tiger tanks used in a specific area IS a logistics goal. They have unique motors and guns and ammo needs and by having them together, that eases logistics as well as increases chances of repair turnaround times/salvage/etc. Certainly, the Tiger Tank battalion commanders went on record as saying as much. Again, they had a limited amount of time before the runners were greatly outnumbered by the fall-outs and the losses (which were low). That is nothing new.

The only possible way to fight the Kursk battle then is to maximize the firepower at certain points in as quick a time as possible. That is, by the third day, the PD had to have broken through to terrain that would allow ALL German tanks to use their long range advantage as well as the German mastery of maneuver warfare that the Soviets still struggled with.

I would certainly pair a Tiger battalion with the Brummbar units as well as having dedicated Air FO attached. I would assign this to a Panzergrenadier Division as a good match (yes, I would assign it to a division already having a Tiger company). Doling out the Tiger companies was a mistake.

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 14 Sep 2016 21:32

Here is the III Panzer Corp that was 'discussed' earlier in the thread. Note, this is not the allocation since Tigers were split up, artillery assigned, infantry regiments 'lent' to PD, etc. I believe this section of the attack was not assigned close air support on the first day. However, they had plenty of artillery and Luftwaffe 88mm units.

III Panzer Corps:
Corps Troops:
54th Nebelwerfer Regiment
503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion (Tiger Tanks)
99th Flak Regiment
153rd Flak Regiment
674th Pioneer Regiment
70th Pioneer Battalion
651st Pioneer Battalion
925th Pioneer Bridge Construction Battalion
9th Brüko B
2/411th Brüko B
1/505th Brüko B
602nd Brüko B
2nd Supplemental Brüko B
842nd Brüko I
843rd Brüko I
601st Pioneer Regiment
127th Pioneer Battalion (1 company detached)
531st Pioneer Bridge Construction Battalion
110th Brüko B
3rd Artillery Command
612th Artillery Regiment z.b.V.
228th Sturmgeschütz Battalion
2/71st Artillery Regiment (150mm sFH)
857th Heavy Artillery Battalion (210mm mörsers)
2/62nd Artillery Regiment (105mm leFH)

168th Infantry Division:
1/,2/,3/417th Infantry Regiment
1/,2/,3/429th Infantry Regiment
1/,2/,3/442nd Infantry Regiment
1/,2/,3/,4/248th Artillery Regiment
5/248th Artillery Regiment (Nebelwerfers)
248th Battalion
248th Battalion
248th Pioneer Battalion
248th Signals Battalion
248th Division Support Units

6th Panzer Division:
1/,2/4th Panzer Grenadier Regiment
1/,2/114th Panzer Grenadier Regiment
1/,2/11th Panzer Regiment
6th Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion
1/,2/,3/76th Artillery Regiment
298th Flak Battalion
41st Panzerjäger Battalion
57th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
82nd Panzer Signals Battalion
57th Divisional Support Units

7th Panzer Division:
1/,2/6th Panzer Grenadier Regiment
1/,2/7th Panzer Grenadier Regiment
7th Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion
1/,2/25th Panzer Regiment
1/,2/,3/78th Panzer Artillery Regiment
296th Army Flak Battalion
42nd Panzerjäger Battalion
83rd Panzer Signals Battalion
58th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
58th Divisional Support Units

19th Panzer Division:
1/,2/27th Panzer Regiment
1/,2/73rd Grenadier Regiment
1/,2/74th Grenadier Regiment
1/,2/27th Panzer Regiment
19th Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion
1/,2/,3/19th Panzer Artillery Regiment
272nd Army Flak Battalion
19th Panzerjäger Battalion
19th Pioneer Battalion
19th Signals Battalion
19th Divisional Support Units

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by hoot72 » 29 Nov 2018 10:45

Yoozername wrote:
27 Aug 2016 02:02
Title says it all. From reading 'Armor and Blood'...Showalter, it does seem that those Panzer Division, either assigned a Tiger coy. or possessing Tigers, did most of the useful hacking in the South part of the salient.

But, what if the Germans had concentrated ALL Tiger units, including the Ferdinands, into the south, and the North became more of a diversion? Model, in my mind, clearly had no real taste for attacking even with the heavy units assigned to his units. He seemed aware of dangers in this sector and probably would have liked more mobile units anyway.

Showalter does an OK job on this book, but it has some real technical groaners. Saying things like "topped up fuel tanks are a risk but tankers took them"...is patently wrong. It is actually safer to have a full tank. The book describes the grueling ordeal best at a orginizational level.
I have spent a lot of time reading through material on both Ferdinand outfits in the North and also the engagements and type of opposition they faced. My feeling is if the Ferdinand's were moved to the south, even in a secondary role behind the Tigers and along side the older Panzer's, the real danger would have been the North and Center MAY have collapsed if the Soviets decided on an offensive strategy up north and through the centre because without the Ferdinand's and the crucial role they played in holding the Northern flank, the German's may very well have capitulated and lost a lot of ground if the Soviets counter attacked.

If we take their 10-1 kill ratio, and agree that they knocked out in excess of 300-500 Soviet tanks, it would have been impossible for any German unit without the Ferdinand's to hold the North or Center without total collapse.

Just my humble opinion. They rushed the Ferdinand's up there because they (the German's) really had no choice. They had barely enough Tiger's and Panther's as it is for an offensive that probably in hindsight, was a really bad idea to initiate in the summer of 1943.
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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by hoot72 » 29 Nov 2018 10:51

sitalkes wrote:
01 Sep 2016 04:17
Concentrating the Ferdinands would just make it easier to conceal the embarrassment they caused - one description I heard was of the way that, one by one, if they had to go up even a slight incline, their engines would burst into flames. They and the Tigers were much better used as defensive weapons when they could find the right place to use their long range gunnery and sit and wait for the enemy to come to them. And Citadel should have been launched in May or June or abandoned entirely, even if Paul Carel says the Germans thought they were winning and could have won if Hitler hadn't prematurely withdrawn units. A better what-if would be, what if Hitler had accepted the advice given to him (which he did for a while) and cancelled the operation?
Your source please? I have been researching a lot of material on the Ferdinand and at no point in time did I find mass numbers breaking down due to engine fires or the fact they were an embarrassment. Please clarify your statement.

Tigers in defensive positions are fine but this was an offensive operation. Open terrain for the most part.
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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 29 Nov 2018 19:57

Has this been 2 years? I will reread it then.
Your source please? I have been researching a lot of material on the Ferdinand and at no point in time did I find mass numbers breaking down due to engine fires or the fact they were an embarrassment. Please clarify your statement.
He may be referring to electrical fires and other types of fires. The generators and electrical motors and wiring.

In the meantime, here is an old post...
Post by Ron Klages » Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 pm

Hi all,

A bit of a lengthy post but this should cover many questions regarding the FERDINAND/ELEFANT


A Bit of History regarding the:

Panzerjäger Tiger (P) mit 8.8cm Pak 43/2 L/71 [Sd.Kfz. 184]
Ferdinand/Elefant
Chassis Numbers 150010-150100

On 22 September 1942 orders were given to modify some of the Porsche Tigers as Sturmgeschütz with 200 mm frontal armor and the long 8.8cm Pak L/71 gun. Nibelungenwerk was contracted in November 1942 to assemble the chassis and Alkett was to assemble the superstructure but in February 1943 the decision was made to have Nibelungenwerk complete all of the assembly work. Krupp had completed their contract in October 1942 to deliver 100 Tiger (P) hulls to Nibelungenwerk which was located in Austria. These were the basis of the Sturmgeschütz vehicle. On 22 February 1943 the cover name “FERDINAND” was issued for this new vehicle to honor Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. Alkett retained the responsibility for completion of the two trial vehicles [chassis numbers 150010 and 150011 using completed chassis from Nibelungenwerk. Nibelungenwerk then was responsible for the assembly of the remaining 89 vehicles with chassis numbers 150012 through 150100. There has been published errors in the total quantity of these vehicles being 90 vehicles but as you can see there were 91 vehicles built in total.

Combat History:

On 1 April 1943 Sturmgeschütz Abteilung 197 was re-designated as schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 at Bruck on the Leitha in Austria and in May they began to receive their “FERDINANDs]. At the same time a new unit was being formed at Rouen, France named schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654. In May and June 1943 these two units were to receive the 89 FERDINANDS with chassis numbers 150012 through 150100. On 8 June 1943 schwere Panzerjäger-Regiment 656 was established in St. Pölten, Austria under the command of ObstLt. Baron Ernst von Jungenfeld. schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 became the I. Bataillon and schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654 became the II. Bataillon. The III. Bataillon was Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 216 with the “BRUMMBÄR”. The regiment also had attached Panzer-Kompanie (Funklenk) 313 and Panzer-Kompanie (Funklenk) 314 equipped with Sturmgeschütz III, Ausf. Gs and demolition vehicles. Finally the Stab Kompanie of the Regiment was equipped with Panzer IIs. This was quite a large force and in went into action in Operation “Zitadelle” in July 1943 on the northern front of the Kursk salient.

In the fighting in the northern section of the Kursk salient schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 lost 13 FERDINANDs in combat out of a total of 44 and schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654 lost 26 FERDINANDs in combat out of a total of 45. Therefore a total of 50 FERDINANDs survived the fighting for the Kursk salient from 5 July 1943 to 27 July 1943. During this period schwere Panzerjäger-Regiment 656 destroyed 502 Soviet tanks and destroyed over 200 anti-tank guns and 100 cannons. In August the regiment found themselves in Karatchev and then Briansk areas to the west of Orel on the northern front of the Kursk Salient. In September the unit was moved south to the Dnjepropetrovsk bridgehead fighting first in the Saporoshje bridgehead from 10 September 1943 to 13 October 1943 then the Nikopol bridgehead in November and December 1943. By the end of November 4 more FERDINANDs were lost in the fighting leaving a total of 46 survivors. I should also note that of these 46 surviving FERDINANDS three had been converted to BergeFERDINANDs by the regiments workshop Kompanie. Also the total number of destroyed Soviet tanks had now risen to 654 and destroyed anti-tank and cannons was now at 610. If you do the math then the kill ratio was 43 FERDINANDS to 654 Soviet tanks or 1 to 15.21. Not bad for a panzer without a machinegun. From 16 December 1943 to 10 January 1944, schwere Panzerjäger-Regiment 656 was transported to Austria since they were desperately in need of a complete overhaul.

Much has been said about the ineffectiveness of FERDINANDs and that they were destroyed by Soviet infantry at Kursk because of the lack of a machinegun. In my opinion this is an oversimplification. With a kill ratio of over 15 to 1 the FERDINAND was an effective weapon system. The high losses at Kursk were do to improper use of the FERDINANDS and a great difficulty in recovery. Most of the FERDINANDs were lost because of a very efficient and effective Soviet defensive system of mines. These huge vehicles lost their running gear to mine damage and because of the difficulty of recovery they had to be abandoned on the battlefield. Others were disabled by artillery damage to the running gear. Yes, some were destroyed by infantry but this was the exception. Any tank is vulnerable to infantry if the infantry can approach from the rear. This is why efficient use of armor on the battlefield usually has accompanying infantry to protect the panzers rear and flanks from enemy infantry. A good example is the situation currently in Iraq. The US lost only 1 Abrams tank in the initial assault but after the capitulation of the Iraq army there has been 23 or more Abrams lost in the insurgent fighting the last two years. This is why a armored unit does not like to use tanks in an urban environment.
Also remember that the lack of a forward firing machinegun on the Ferdinand would not have helped at all on the rear or flanks. I also believe that another problem at Kursk with the FERDINAND was significant weight and the complexity of the power system and the suspension system.

After arrival in Austria in mid-January 1943 overhaul and modifications commenced on the surviving 46 FERDINANDs. Plus some of the destroyed and burnt-out FERDINANDS that had also returned from the Eastern Front. The two FERDINANDs, chassis numbers 150010 and 150011 that were at Kummersdorf were also sent to Austria for incorporation of the modifications. In total it appears that 47 FERDINANDs and 3 BergeFERDINANDs were upgraded in Austria at Nibelungen. Besides the complete overhaul the numerous modifications were made including:

1. changing the ventilation gratings over the engine compartment
2. adding a ball-mounted machinegun for the radio operator
3. adding a commander’s cupola with periscopes and a flap for extending the scissors periscopes through the closed hatch
4. reversing the deflector shield in front of the ball mount for the 8.8cm Pak 43/2
5. applying Zimmerit coating on the outside up to a height that a man could reach while standing on the ground

Also after returning to Austria, schwere Panzerjäger-Regiment 656 was disbanded and schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654 was converted to a Jagdpanther unit. Only schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 remained as a FERDINAND unit.

The 1. Kompanie of schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 was the first element to return to company when they were ordered to Italy on 1 February 1944. They loaded on trains for Italy on 16 February 1944 and arrived and unloaded at Rome on 24 February 1944 with 11 FERDINANDs and 1 BergeFERDINAND, They remained in Italy until departure on 2 August 1944. They were sent to Vienna, Austria where they turned over their 3 surviving ELEFANTs and 1 BergeELEFANT to the Army Arsenal. The remaining personnel then were sent to the Mielau Training in Poland and then on 18 August 1944 they went on leave. While fighting in Italy they had lost 8 FERDINANDs/ELEFANTs in combat and had not received any replacements.

You noticed that I have changed the designation to ELEFANT from FERDINAND during the above paragraph. On 29 November 1943 Adolf Hitler, Der Führer, suggested that the name should be changed to ELEFANT. Now we all know that a suggestion from Hitler was actually a command so on OKH orders dated 1 February and 27 February 1944 the name was officially changed. It had nothing to do with the overhaul and modification that was done in Austria beginning in January 1944. An interesting side comment is that the name FERDINAND continued to be used by the soldiers and on the Panzerlage they were always shown as PzJg. VI. Also in Italy it was not until 19 May 1944 that the designation ELEFANT was used at all. The terrain in Italy was not ideal or friendly for armor and especially heavy armor so the ELEFANTs were utilized as artillery more than as a tank destroyer.

The remainder of schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653 remained in Austria until they returned to the Eastern Front in early April 1944 The Stab, 2. Kompanie and 3. Kompanie arrived at Brzezany in the Ukraine on 6 April 1944 with 31 ELEFANTs and 2 BergeELEFANTs. They quickly went into battle in and around Tarnopol fighting into July 1944. By the end of June 1944 they had received 5 additional ELEFANTs but by the end of July 1944 they had lost 19 ELEFANTs and 2 BergeELEFANTs. In August 1944 they withdrew to the area in southern Poland near Bad Rabka just to the south of Krakau, Poland. Here they could report only having 12 ELEFANTs however they received 2 additional ELEFANTs from Austria. These were probably overhauled ELEFANTs that had survived the fighting in Italy. Also the unit was now reorganized to consist of only the 2. Kompanie. On 15 December 1944 the 2. Kompanie was renamed as the schwere Panzerjäger-Kompanie 614 and it first continued to operate with the 4. Panzer-Armee in the Kielce area and they around 15 January 1945 they withdrew to the west and north fighting their last battles just to the south of Berlin at Zossen. The last ELEFANTs were fighting at: 1 at Mittenwalde and 1 at Klein Köris on the road to Löpten and they both then fought at the Karl August Platz and the Trintity Church in Berlin.

The other survivors of schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653, Stab, 1. Kompanie and 3. Kompanie had gone to Germany and then Austria where they were retrained on the Jagdtigers which they took to battle in the west.

That about covers the history of the 91 FERDINAND/ELEFANT weapon systems of World War II. An effective weapon system---YES, a practical weapon system----NO. It was a very effective gun mounted on an overweight underpowered chassis that had highly sophisticated suspension and power systems [a gasoline engine powering a generator that drove an electric engine that turned the road wheels]. Can not get much more complicated than that.

Best regards to all,

Ron Klages

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by maltesefalcon » 30 Nov 2018 01:23

Tiger tanks were designed to be breakthrough tanks, which made sense when they were being designed and prototyped earlier in the war.

But by 1943 the situation on the Ostfront worked against this. First of all German tanks were heavily outnumbered. To keep from being swallowed up by the flanks of a counteroffensive the columns needed to move fast and put some distance behind them.

Tigers were potent, but slow and thirsty. Thus huge quick leaps were problematic. In fact their slow speed caused Peiper to put them at the rear of his columns during the Ardennes offensive.

Not foreseen but Tigers were at their best in ambush where they could pick off advancing Allied tanks from a distance with impunity.

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by sitalkes » 06 Dec 2018 06:23

hoot72 wrote:
29 Nov 2018 10:51

Your source please? I have been researching a lot of material on the Ferdinand and at no point in time did I find mass numbers breaking down due to engine fires or the fact they were an embarrassment. Please clarify your statement.

Tigers in defensive positions are fine but this was an offensive operation. Open terrain for the most part.
Well these things could only go 16 mph so they weren't much good for moving around in offensive warfare. My source is a TV documentary on Kursk which I saw on YouTube which had a German veteran describing what happened to the Ferdinands as he saw it - going up a slight incline and breaking into flames. They were overloaded, their suspension couldn't take the weight, and the dual petrol/electric drive may have meant they were technically quite sophisticated but it meant they were more prone to break-downs from an engine that was pushed to the limit by the weight.

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Re: What IF the Germans concentrated Tiger tanks during Kursk?

Post by Yoozername » 06 Dec 2018 18:12

These are the two electric motors in the rear of the Ferdinand. They are covered by a plate and that is what the gun crew stands on. Since the AFV uses electric motors, it can spin about its axis. They are also very hot and ammunition stored near them were adversely affected (hot shots). Changing these meant lifting the whole armored superstructure off the back of the AFV. Each one of these electric motors is energized by a generator driven by a V-12 gasoline motor Maybach HL 120TRM, 300 hp . All this takes up much interior room and the gun crew and commander are isolated from the driver/co-driver.

Image

One of the two gasoline engines with generator attached...

Image

https://panzer78.skyrock.com/92.html

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