Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
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Sheldrake
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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Sheldrake » 07 Jun 2017 08:10

bertamingo wrote:Even with the lack of armour in the western front in 1943-1944, which prompted the 21 Panzer Division to convert French softskins into a variety of improvised amoured vehicles, the Germans still didn't use things like D1 and P16, so it must be really, really hard for them to get these machines back to work :lol:
Probably the Germans considered the D1 and P16 obsolete and mechanically unreliable - both were over 15 years old. Many had been shipped overseas. If you want to read about what the Germans did, check out the career of Major Becker.

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by bertamingo » 08 Jun 2017 02:29

Sheldrake wrote:
bertamingo wrote:Even with the lack of armour in the western front in 1943-1944, which prompted the 21 Panzer Division to convert French softskins into a variety of improvised amoured vehicles, the Germans still didn't use things like D1 and P16, so it must be really, really hard for them to get these machines back to work :lol:
Probably the Germans considered the D1 and P16 obsolete and mechanically unreliable - both were over 15 years old. Many had been shipped overseas. If you want to read about what the Germans did, check out the career of Major Becker.
Probably, these old ladies were way too troublesome to serve :lol: Becker's story is an interesting one, with so many inprovised vehicle designs, which in my opinion are even more interesting than standard equipments due to their rarity and unusual look.

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by gebhk » 13 Jun 2017 10:12

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
Nominal strengths are by definition meaningless in terms of evaluating real-world strengths.
But not meaningless in terms of evaluating shortages. Nominal strengths are an expression of what is considered an appropriate quantity of whatever it is we are considering - in this case tanks. A comparison of actual strength with nominal strength tells us whether there is a shortage and how great it is.

In absolutes, every army will have shortages nearly all of the time of course. What is relevant is the scale of the problem which is dictated by the capacity for maintenance, repair and replacement.

As an aside, I don't think there were any Polish wz 29s to be had. There were 7 in a combat unit and possibly another 1or 2 in training establishments. Of the combat vehicles, to the best of my knowledge, 4 were brewed up in combat. The remaining 3 were smashed up and burnt at Zwierzyniec on 16/9. The small numbers and prohibitive costs of restoring the wrecks would have made this an entirely unattractive pool of replacements.

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 Jun 2017 18:13

Stiltzkin wrote:This is what matters.
No it isn't.
StockWehrmachtComparison.pngZalogaGermanAFVStrengths1944.jpg

Note the correlation between losses and production.
No, note what actually does matter. The figures given for monthly tank, StuG/PzJg, and AFV "strengths" are nothing of the sort. They are inventory numbers for the entire Wehrmacht. The actual "strength" that matters is the numbers available to the units at the fighting fronts and how many of those are actually operational.

So, viz. "January 1944" the "strength" was supposedly 5,266 "tanks". However, there were as of 3 January 1944, only 1,671 operational Panzers on all fronts. There were also 1,633 non-operational. Divided between 33 Panzer divisions, i.e., 50.6 operational and 49.5 non-operational Panzers per division. 100.1 per division when there was nominally supposed to be 225. Worse, to make up that shortfall of 124.9 Panzers, just 523 were in route or allocated from production resources...15.8 per division.

Nor was the "StuG/JgPz" situation much better. While the inventory was supposedly 3,882, the actual number of operational StuG was 1,362 operational, 724 non-operational, and 211 in route or allocated.

How about "June 1944". Geez, the Wehrmacht was swimming in Panzers then! They had a strength of 7,141, so the 34 Panzer divisions each had 210, so were 93.3% of full strength! No problem, right? :roll:

No. There were 3,045 operational as of 31 May. 89.6 per division, a significant improvement over January, yes, but still far short of requirements. Another 659 were non-operational, 19.4 per division, also a significant improvement in readiness rates. However, only 1,098 were in route, meaning total assets at best were 4,802, 67.2% of total inventory and only 141.2 per division...about 62.8% of total requirement.

Meanwhile, U.S. Army forces preparing for OVERLORD in England as of 30 May 1944, had 2,331 Sherman tanks of all types on hand with troops and another 753 in depot reserves, against a T/O&E requirement of 1,765 and a reserve requirement of 309. And their planners were worried about potential shortages...
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

bertamingo
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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by bertamingo » 15 Jun 2017 05:04

gebhk wrote:
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
Nominal strengths are by definition meaningless in terms of evaluating real-world strengths.
But not meaningless in terms of evaluating shortages. Nominal strengths are an expression of what is considered an appropriate quantity of whatever it is we are considering - in this case tanks. A comparison of actual strength with nominal strength tells us whether there is a shortage and how great it is.

In absolutes, every army will have shortages nearly all of the time of course. What is relevant is the scale of the problem which is dictated by the capacity for maintenance, repair and replacement.

As an aside, I don't think there were any Polish wz 29s to be had. There were 7 in a combat unit and possibly another 1or 2 in training establishments. Of the combat vehicles, to the best of my knowledge, 4 were brewed up in combat. The remaining 3 were smashed up and burnt at Zwierzyniec on 16/9. The small numbers and prohibitive costs of restoring the wrecks would have made this an entirely unattractive pool of replacements.
Thanks for the info on wz29s. I have seen one photo with an intact wz29 fallen into German hands, probably from the training unit. Indeed if the available number was so low, the Germans would not have had any motive to let it enter into service, unless for special purposes like propoganda. In the case of an old armoured car like wz29, such purposes were nonexistent. :D

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by gebhk » 23 Jun 2017 10:42

I have seen one photo with an intact wz29 fallen into German hands,
I am not familiar with this photo - can you let me know where I might find it?

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by bertamingo » 07 Dec 2017 04:36

gebhk wrote:
I have seen one photo with an intact wz29 fallen into German hands,
I am not familiar with this photo - can you let me know where I might find it?
Just saw your post today, so sorry for the late reply...

The photo can be seen near the bottom of this link:
http://derela.republika.pl/wz29.htm

:)

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Sheldrake » 07 Dec 2017 10:30

bertamingo wrote:
Michael Kenny wrote:The problem in the East was Units finding a runner (T34) and keeping it quiet and hanging on to it. There are a number of returns that show captured T34 on strength but I have read that many more were used just never got marked down on paper. Service life probably too short to make it worthwhile documenting it.
Yeah I remember some sources mentioning that as well, many field commanders didnt report their captured machines to avoid the substantial paperwork involved. For example, if a captured tank was reported, then when it was lost due to either mechamic breakdown or enemy action etc., the commander would need to report again. Similarly, when the 150th Panzer Brigade was mustered, only 2 captured M4s were turned in, as most commanders didnt wanna reduce their troop strengths and add lots of paperwork to themselves.
I think I read somewhere that the Germans particularly valued the M4 as a recovery vehicle. It was very reliable.

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Yoozername » 09 Dec 2017 22:25

The Germans also prized turretless T34 as a towing vehicle. StuG units and Antitank units would consider it a trophy. Sourcing diesel might be an issue.

Image

Image

bertamingo
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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by bertamingo » 10 Dec 2017 05:27

Sheldrake wrote:I think I read somewhere that the Germans particularly valued the M4 as a recovery vehicle. It was very reliable.
Yes, VERY reliable. Besides, the Germans probably wouldn't have much ammo for most captured M4s to operate as combat tanks for prolonged time.

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Yoozername » 11 Dec 2017 00:04

The Germans did use shermans captured on all fronts. I doubt they would be of much use as a towing vehicle for heavy armor. Perhaps Panzer IVs and StuGs. Some good pics here...

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-ar ... nds.html/3

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by gracie4241 » 28 Sep 2018 16:41

One assumption appears to be relative to the Soviets is that close to 100% of Russian tanks were operational. I constantly see German " Operational" tank numbers compared to soviet on hand numbers , which greatly distorts the picture. Contrary to popular myth the t-34 was NOT a reliable tank and broke down a LOT.See " Operation Barborossa , A statistical analysis " Five great Myths, where the ACTUAL mechanical reliability of the t-34 was road tested at Paderborn(Germany), and also at the Aberdeen Proving grounds(USA), and later in korea, and found to be poor.As in the mantra "if only that stupid Hitler listened to me Field Marshal.....(fill in the blank), the german generals tended to inflate enemy strength(particularly Russian) to excuse their defeats. The Germans WERE seriously outnumbered, but I don't think quite as badly as presented. Russia acquiring air superiority, and the strategic iniative,allowing for extreme force concentrations, was the primary difference between 41-42(when they had numerical superiority) and 43-45.The percentage of "operational" tanks was likely not dramatically different than was the case w the Russians

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Steve190 » 28 Sep 2018 21:30

Did anyone mention that Das Reich ran a "hidden" factory which rebuild T-34's, mostly Model 1943s & 76.s, including complete turret and engine overhauls? There are 26 photos of this factory in the book The SS In Battle, 1969,A, M, McLachlen,

Some on the partial interior photos show nearly 30 tanks on the rebuild lines and outside the factory many more waiting for rebuild. "hundreds more await their turn to enter," Factory claims to be able to "equip a regiment a week."

After rebuild, tanks are painted in what looks like Panzer Grey and receive oversized German markings. No German cupolas.
Steve 190

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Yoozername » 29 Sep 2018 01:08

Surprised this hasn't been mentioned....

https://panzerworld.com/german-opinion- ... ured-t-34s

The 1941 opinion of Soviet armor, and attempts at using it, quickly showed the mentioned reasons...parts, unreliability, etc. But the opinion changed, and when the soviets concentrated on one tank type, the Germans did use them in varying degrees. I will relocate the information and post here.

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Re: Why the Germans didn't use some intact AFVs?

Post by Entschuldigung » 02 Oct 2018 08:45

Perhaps a tad off-topic, but two main points to add to the already salient points made: logistics, supply and trained crews already put a strain on what I think is the main point you are making.

That is, I assume, why didn't the German Army utilise ALL available equipment possible either as they were, or use them as resources, base materiel for hybrid vehicles.

So back to the two points I mentioned. The first is available stocks of petroleum. After the disaster of Fall Blau and subsequent failure to capture the oilfields of the Caucasus, the High Command (including Hitler, and even reportedly Guderian) admitted that tank production may have to be slowed in order to be able to supply the tanks they already had.

Secondly, it was easier, quicker, and cheaper to place resources and effort into other types of weaponry (whilst still maintaining a sustainable panzer arm) such as AT guns, heavy AT infantry weapons, and just about anything that didn't require enormous amounts of ever-increasing dwindling supplies.

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