German vs. Allied technology

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RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 03 Aug 2005 18:33

Shrek wrote:So, US tank destroyers were apparently built with priority given to firepower, mobility and protection in that order,
Well, you could argue mobility, firepower and protection as the order, but yes, pretty much.
whereas German dedicated TDs had firepower first, protection second and mobility as a third priority.
Oh really? :D How does that explain the Panzerjaeger I (4.7cm Pak (t) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B), the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 1, the Marder II, the 7.5cm Pak 40 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t), the Marder III, and the Hornisse? All of which kept mobility and firepower (juggling between the two) as primary and protection very secondary? 8O Or are you trying to argue that the Jagdpanzer 38 (t), Jagdpanzer IV and the Jagdpanther were the earliest iterations of the jagdpanzer concept rather than the last and most developed? Hmmm? :D
I would assume that the emergence of effective hand-held AT weapons was part reason for the US TD corps' demise after WWII?
In part, but also because many of the worldwide "accepted views" of what was practicable in an AFV prewar changed radically during the war, just as did the equallu widely accepted, but also inocrrect, views on the roles and capabilities of single-engine fighters, multi-engine bombers, battleships, and other items. Postwar the "accepted view" pretty much became that the best gun-armed tank destroyer was another tank, that simply wasn't as obvious (or as true) prewar and during much of the war.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 03 Aug 2005 18:58

RichTO90 wrote:
Shrek wrote:So, US tank destroyers were apparently built with priority given to firepower, mobility and protection in that order,
Well, you could argue mobility, firepower and protection as the order, but yes, pretty much.
whereas German dedicated TDs had firepower first, protection second and mobility as a third priority.
Oh really? :D How does that explain the Panzerjaeger I (4.7cm Pak (t) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B), the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 1, the Marder II, the 7.5cm Pak 40 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t), the Marder III, and the Hornisse? All of which kept mobility and firepower (juggling between the two) as primary and protection very secondary? 8O Or are you trying to argue that the Jagdpanzer 38 (t), Jagdpanzer IV and the Jagdpanther were the earliest iterations of the jagdpanzer concept rather than the last and most developed? Hmmm? :D
I would assume that the emergence of effective hand-held AT weapons was part reason for the US TD corps' demise after WWII?
In part, but also because many of the worldwide "accepted views" of what was practicable in an AFV prewar changed radically during the war, just as did the equallu widely accepted, but also inocrrect, views on the roles and capabilities of single-engine fighters, multi-engine bombers, battleships, and other items. Postwar the "accepted view" pretty much became that the best gun-armed tank destroyer was another tank, that simply wasn't as obvious (or as true) prewar and during much of the war.
Oh really? Very Happy How does that explain the Panzerjaeger I (4.7cm Pak (t) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B), the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 1, the Marder II, the 7.5cm Pak 40 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t), the Marder III, and the Hornisse? All of which kept mobility and firepower (juggling between the two) as primary and protection very secondary? Shocked Or are you trying to argue that the Jagdpanzer 38 (t), Jagdpanzer IV and the Jagdpanther were the earliest iterations of the jagdpanzer concept rather than the last and most developed? Hmmm? Very Happy
Hm… One might argue that the mobility and firepower vs protection priority in above described cases was essentially self-imposed by the platform utilized – how much armor can one really put on Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t) without making it hardly mobile? - on the oposing side SU-76 was lightly armored for the exactly same reason – there is only so much armor you can put on T-70 –and that amount would probably still insufficient to provide adequate protection

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Post by Jon G. » 03 Aug 2005 19:14

RichTO90 wrote:
Shrek wrote:whereas German dedicated TDs had firepower first, protection second and mobility as a third priority.
Oh really? :D How does that explain the Panzerjaeger I (4.7cm Pak (t) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B), the Panzerselbstfahrlafette 1, the Marder II, the 7.5cm Pak 40 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t), the Marder III, and the Hornisse? All of which kept mobility and firepower (juggling between the two) as primary and protection very secondary? 8O
No, no. I meant STUGs and Jagdpanzer IVs - that's why I wrote dedicated TDs. The earlier SPATs I would classify as stop-gap solutions similar to eg. British portee AT guns, not dedicated tank destroyers as such. The original post by EKB attempted to classify German TDs - "Sturmgeschutz and various Jagdpanzer" - as strictly worse than US TDs, a contention I disagree with.
Or are you trying to argue that the Jagdpanzer 38 (t), Jagdpanzer IV and the Jagdpanther were the earliest iterations of the jagdpanzer concept rather than the last and most developed? Hmmm? :D
Not at all, but I think it is most appropriate to distinguish between purpose-built AFVs and semi-improvised SPATs when comparing weapons systems of different nations.

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Post by Andreas » 03 Aug 2005 19:49

Grease_Spot wrote:
Andreas wrote:
Grease_Spot wrote: Maybe something like an updated AVRE? :D
An updated ISU-152 springs to mind more readily.
Yeah, that's another possibility. I tended to favor the AVRE because it carries a more specifically demolition weapon, which is what I'm thinking would be needed in this situation. But I too was thinking of something in the 150-155mm range of calibers.
I am not sure about the demolition capacity of the 290mm HESH vs. a 152mm HE round, but I know I would not want find out first-hand either.

I like the ISU-152 because it allows you to motor up and post the round through the firing slit at point blank, or if you don't feel like it to reach out and touch someone at hundreds of meters distance. An AVRE equivalent with an effective range of very little is RPG fodder. :)

All the best

Andreas

RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 03 Aug 2005 20:29

Shrek wrote:No, no. I meant STUGs and Jagdpanzer IVs - that's why I wrote dedicated TDs.
Sorry, but I must still be confused? Sturmgeschuetz were developed as dedicated TDs? That's news to me. :D

My problem is that you keep blurring timelines in your comparison. The Panzerselbstfahrlafette 1 and the Marder II of spring 1941 is little different from a US T12 from the summer of 1941 and they have similar missions envisaged for them. But those are both very different from a Jagdpanther or an M-18 of mid-1944.
The earlier SPATs I would classify as stop-gap solutions similar to eg. British portee AT guns, not dedicated tank destroyers as such. The original post by EKB attempted to classify German TDs - "Sturmgeschutz and various Jagdpanzer" - as strictly worse than US TDs, a contention I disagree with.
But the early US "SPATs" were also stop-gap solutions (although the British portee wasn't, it was planned that way from the beginning 8O ), while the "planned" solutions looked similar and retained much of the outline, they were mature systems in a developed doctrine. Ditto the later developments by the Germans, which followed a slightly different path for different reasons.

But I agree with you, all that doesn't make one technologically "better" than the other, they are simply different. OTOH that "difference" doesn't make one better than the other either, they still remain simply "different". :D
Not at all, but I think it is most appropriate to distinguish between purpose-built AFVs and semi-improvised SPATs when comparing weapons systems of different nations.
Frankly, I think that is an artificial construct. Most "purpose-built" weapons systems have some preceeding "semi-improvised" construct that precedes them. "Distinguishing" between them may keep engineers happy, but its actually a meaningless distinction. :D

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Post by Andreas » 03 Aug 2005 20:50

KalaVelka wrote: Agreed, in the start allied had better tanks than germans (or axis in general) but to say without anykind of support (except the weight) that soviet tanks were generally superior only expose your ignorance. Germans had far better guns (for example 8,8 cm Kw.K.43 L/71 and the lighter 7,5 cm Kw.K.42 L/70) and optics. Tiger II's 88mm Kw.K penetrated 152mm of armor in distance of 2000 meters using Pzgr.40/43. For comparision, IS 2's 122mm D-25T L / 43 could penetrate 104mm of armor from the distance of 2000meters using BR-471 B ( Armor Piercing Capped ). IS 3 didnt saw live combat during ww2. I could as well choose leopard 2A6 as the best german tank of ww2.
I think it was the Soviet evaluators of the captured Kingtigers who said something along the lines of 'great gun, shame about the tank'. The IS-2 was built for a specific role as a breakthrough tank, and it filled that very well. Also - isn't PzGr 40/43 the Tungsten round? Not really a fair comparison, since there were few rounds of these available - the more realistic comparison would yield 132 vs 104mm. But if we are into unfair comparisons, how about looking at the amount of HE filler in an HE round by the 88L71, compared to the 122 gun? ;)

The IS-3, and the Centurion as well, were wartime developments - if you are talking about wartime technology it is fair to include them. Whether they saw combat or not is not really relevant, in my view. The Leopard 2A6 obviously was not a wartime developmennt, so I would argue you could not 'as well' choose it as the best tank of the war.

While I am no expert on this, I believe one area of clear allied superiority AIUI was in tank engines, in particular Soviet ones. In terms of weight/size to power ratio the Soviets managed to get far more out of their engines than the Germans ever did, AFAIK.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Jon G. » 03 Aug 2005 20:57

OK, I am aware that the STUG originally wasn't intended to serve as a tank killer, though that became its main task as time passed as I understand it. They were however mentioned in EKB's original post in direct comparison with US tank destroyers.

I suppose it is worthwhile differentiating between Panzerjägers ('tank hunters') and Jagdpanzers ('hunter-tanks'); the former can for example be a Panzerjäger I or a Marder II, or a captured Bren Carrier strutting with Panzerfausts for that matter, but the latter is purpose-built to engage enemy tanks - for example, Jagdpanzer IV or Jagdpanther.

Out of curiosity, which gap was the T12 intended to stop in the summer of 1941? :) There can't have been quite the same urgency to its development as there was to the development of the Marder series SPATs. By the time US and German tanks and tank destroyers got the chance to engage one another, German SPAT designs had certainly advanced from the stop-gap Marder series.

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 03 Aug 2005 23:59

Andreas
Some time ago, I posted some comments of the Kubinka trials of the Tiger II: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... r++kubinka

Skrek
The Sturmgeschütz distribution as of 1943-12-01 was
  • 54 % with the Sturmartillerie,
  • 25.3 % with the Panzerwaffe,
  • 5.5 % with Infanterie-Division Panzerjäger units,
  • 2.2 % with Luftwaffe Feld-Divisionen and
  • 13 % with the Waffen-SS
As for Panzerjäger and Jagdpanzer, there was no official differentiation, in that all German tank destroyers were considered Panzerjäger.

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Post by RichTO90 » 04 Aug 2005 04:03

Shrek wrote:Out of curiosity, which gap was the T12 intended to stop in the summer of 1941? :) There can't have been quite the same urgency to its development as there was to the development of the Marder series SPATs. By the time US and German tanks and tank destroyers got the chance to engage one another, German SPAT designs had certainly advanced from the stop-gap Marder series.
Actually, the gap was perceived earlier than that, but there was little funding available to produce anything to fill it (virtually all increased appropriations went to the Navy).

And the gap that was perceived was that Germany had crushed France in the spring of 1940, had thrown the British out of Libya, and were running roughshod through Russia, all "because" of these here panzer thingies. For which the USA had little response, considering that the total "modern" US Army tank force as of 1 July 1941 consisted of 106 M2 Medium Tanks, 560 M3 Light Tanks, 329 M2A4 Light Tanks, 73 M2A3 Light Tanks, 237 M2A2 Light Tanks, 34 M1A1 Light Tanks (M2 Combat Cars), and 24 M1A2 Light Tanks (Combat Cars M1A1 and M1A1E1). Now consider that only the first three types (995 total) had a cannon (37mm) and include virtually everything everthing that had been built since since September 1939 (between 1 September 1939 and 1 July 1941 exactly 959 "tanks" were built by the US, an average of just over four per month) and you may start to get just a modicum of a glimmer as to why US Army Ordnance planning was focusing on "stopgaps" like the T-12 GMC and the M3 Medium Tank. :D

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Post by RichTO90 » 04 Aug 2005 04:08

Shrek wrote:OK, I am aware that the STUG originally wasn't intended to serve as a tank killer, though that became its main task as time passed as I understand it. They were however mentioned in EKB's original post in direct comparison with US tank destroyers.
Uh, if somebody told you to jump off a bridge would you do it? :D Just because another poster got soemthing wrong isn't a good excuse to accept the incorrect premise and pretend it has validity now, is it?

Sorry, I'm not trying to be mean or rude, but if you already saw what I was getting at before the posts, then why not clarify and correct your position yourself instead? :)

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Post by JonS » 04 Aug 2005 04:16

RichTO90 wrote: (between 1 September 1939 and 1 July 1941 exactly 959 "tanks" were built by the US, an average of just over four per month)
Minor clarification please:
22 months, 959 tanks ... I get an average of 43 tanks per months ... am I missing something?

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 04 Aug 2005 07:18

Hi Rich

Code: Select all

Sorry Qvist, that is the generally accepted interpretation that has been accepted for years, but a close reading of the actual tank and tank destroyer field manuals of the time make it clear that was not in fact the case. In fact, the pattern was essentially copied from American understanding of German methods and included light tanks acting as the maneuver force, with medium tanks in the overwatch mode, supported by tank destroyers guarding the flanks and providing additional overwatch.
Hm, that is interesting - a fairly major revision of conventional wisdom.


cheers

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Post by Andreas » 04 Aug 2005 09:22

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:Andreas
Some time ago, I posted some comments of the Kubinka trials of the Tiger II: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... r++kubinka
Hi Christian

Thanks for this, especially the comparison tables on your website are useful. Could you do one comparing the Tiger I/II to the IS-2? Maybe you have the data on the IS-2 handy?

Cheers

Andreas

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Post by Andreas » 04 Aug 2005 09:51

Never mind, I have just done it using Christian’s data for the Tiger II and this site: http://www.wwiivehicles.com/ussr/tanks_heavy/is2.html for the IS-2.

Tiger II
Weight 69.8
Width 3.755
Length 7.83 (10.28)
Height 3.09
Power 600
Power/Weight 8.6
Fuel capacity 860l gasoline
Number of rounds 80
Max Speed 41.5
Road 38
CC 15-20
Range Road 170
Range CC 120
Trench 2.5
Fording 1.6
Step climbing 0.85
Climbing slope 35
Ground pressure 1.03
Produced 480

IS-2
Weight 46
Width 3.07
Length 6.77 (9.83)
Height 2.73
Power 600
Power/Weight 13
Fuel capacity 800l Diesel
Number of rounds 28
Max Speed 37
Road 37(?)
CC 24
Range Road 250
Range CC 210
Trench 2.5
Fording 1.3
Step climbing 1
Climbing slope ?
Ground pressure 0.82
Produced 3,800

Jon G.
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Post by Jon G. » 04 Aug 2005 10:04

RichTO90 wrote:
Shrek wrote:...Out of curiosity, which gap was the T12 intended to stop in the summer of 1941?...
Actually, the gap was perceived earlier than that, but there was little funding available to produce anything to fill it (virtually all increased appropriations went to the Navy).

And the gap that was perceived was that Germany had crushed France in the spring of 1940, had thrown the British out of Libya, and were running roughshod through Russia, all "because" of these here panzer thingies. For which the USA had little response(...)and you may start to get just a modicum of a glimmer as to why US Army Ordnance planning was focusing on "stopgaps" like the T-12 GMC and the M3 Medium Tank. :D
Yes, if I accept the premise that US forces would soon find themselves fighting against German forces, by no means a given thing in the summer of 1941.

If anything, the period from the summer of 1941 to the fall of 1942 may serve to illuminate the relative speed of development of an urgently needed weapon for the Germans and the Americans; by the time of Tunisia US forces used the 75 mm T12 GMC (AFAIK, the 75 mm was the old French gun) and the less impressive M6 37 mm GMC, and I think also a 37 mm gun mounted on a 15cwt truck, while the Germans by this time had up-armoured and up-gunned their tank force and had new heavy tanks in service, as well as the STUG III F, which just happened to be a very good tank killer too even if this was not its intended role.

The much more formidable 3" armed M10 was just around the corner, IIRC timely enough to participate in the Tunisian campaign from March, but in the initial phase of the fighting in Tunisia the Americans had to make do with stop-gap expedients not too different from the Marders that the Germans had to build and deploy in great haste in Russia the year before.

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