Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

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Michael Kenny
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2018 01:34

WEISWEILER wrote:"We were hit 30 times and our Tiger was still undamaged."

"In one engagement of six hours a Tiger was hit 227 times, and despite having it wheels, tracks and transmission damaged, it managed to crawl another 40 miles across country."

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFgg7kY2ILE
That Tiger was knocked out. Any tank that can not fight back is useless. It was sent back 'for repair' so the fanbois believe it survived but it was scrapped and thus was total loss.
Note also that the bulk of the hits were small anti-tank rifle hits. I am surprised they did not count MG strikes as well!

Below read about a tank that took multiple full calibre AP hits:

Tank Tracks. 9th RTR At War 1944-45 by Peter Beale 1995 ISBN 0750908807
Bill Thompson was the wireless operator in Corporal Freddie Horner’s tank Impassive, corporal’s tank of 11 Troop commanded by Eb Wood. On 29 October:

" We were fighting our way over bogs and dykes in pouring rain, and came to open country. Our tank moved alongside a farm outbuilding with the other two tanks of our troop to the rear. We had been there only a matter of minutes when through the periscope I saw a flash about a mile away and was sure it was a German ’88'. There was a second shot which hit the ground next to the tank; it became obvious that it was an ’88' and he was finding the range. Without hesitation our tank commander Freddie Horner instructed our driver to reverse out as quickly as possible, which he did. Over the B set came our troop leader Mr Wood telling us to get back into position. When we didn’t move he moved his tank into exactly the position we had been alongside the outbuilding. Within seconds there was one almighty bang and he had taken a direct hit on the front of his turret. When the dust had settled and he had made a dazed but hurried retreat it was discovered that an AP shot had penetrated 7'.5 inches into the turret, just as though it had been drilled by a huge drill. At the point of impact the thickness of the turret armour was 9 inches, Mr Wood’s tank being a new Mark VII. Ours was a Mark IV, and the thickness of our turret at the same point was only 6 inches. Had we not moved quickly from our position the AP shot would surely have holed our turret and killed the turret crew, and possibly blown the tank up completely had the ammunition been struck. Needless to say we were forgiven for moving from our original position. Mr Wood’s tank went back to the REME workshop for repair and was soon returned ready for action again."

The C Squadron newsletter scribe wrote of the final stages of the Vinkenbroek action: ‘Our job done we withdrew to a more comfortable position called Forward Rally, leaving one troop up. This doubtful honour was bestowed on Eb Wood and his ll Troop, who on their return calmly informed us that all was well except for a hole 6 inches deep in the turret.’ Taffy ` Leyshon was the driver of Eb’s tank: ‘Our troop acted as rear guard, and our tank took a hit in the turret; it went in 8 inches but did not penetrate.’ Whether it was 6, 7‘/2, or 8 inches, it certainly made an impression! But the Churchill could take a lot of punishment. The 34 Armoured Brigade History recorded: ‘One notable tank casualty was a Mark VII of 9 RTR which sustained nine direct hits in front from 75 mm AP shot at short range without being completely penetrated by any!’ Cyril Rees is convinced that ‘this was 13 Troop Leader’s tank which I tried to recover from the Nispen battle, and on which I counted seven hits in spite of the gloom. This tank was for some time at the Armoured Vehicle Proving Establishment (AVPE) at Chobham, an exhibit for military technicians and students studying and researching armour plate technology.’

Mr Churchill's Tank. D Fletcher Schifffer.
Page 106
The Special Tank Squadron was by now being referred to as Kingforce after their commanding officer and it was Norris King who led the way in T68189/R, followed by 2nd Lieutenant Appleby in T31665/R and Corporal Kelly in T68186/R.
Corporal Kelly did not Iast very Iong. When his 6-pounder gun recoiled after the first round had been fired it stuck, refusing to run out again. Unable to contribute more to the action Corporal Kelly ordered his driver to engage reverse and quietly withdrew from action. Nobody knows precisely what happened to 2/Lt Appleby. His tank was seen to advance into the thick of the action. For a while it disappeared over the edge of the ridge but a short time Iater it was seen reversing slowly out of action. Then it stopped, smoke appeared and it finally burst into flames and continued to burn for the rest of the night. Only one man, and he wounded, is believed to have survived from the crew of five. When it was examined Iater it was seen that 38 rounds of 50mm calibre had struck the front of the tank, one of which had penetrated. There was damage from one high explosive round and six strikes from 75mm guns, one of which had penetrated. This was probably the shot that did the damage. However on closer inspection eight strikes were found on the back of the tank, one of which had gone through the gearbox and three into the turret. They were of 57mm calibre and had obviously come from British six-pounder guns.
Putting the facts together after the event its seems as if Lt Appleby had gone further into the German position than was wise, and taken a Iot of punishment. As he reversed out his tank, wreathed in smoke, was spotted by an Australian anti-tank battery. Being unfamiliar with the shape they took the sensible precaution and opened fire. It was an unfortunate turn of events but there is no doubt that Appleby's tank absorbed a tremendous amount of punishment before it was destroyed. Major King himself, on the other hand, had an excellent day. He fired 45 rounds of 6-pounder, claimed hits on four enemy tanks and took eight enemy rounds on his Churchill, none of which penetrated. He withdrew in good order, describing his tank as fighting fit

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2018 04:06

WEISWEILER wrote:
"In one engagement of six hours a Tiger was hit 227 times, and despite having it wheels, tracks and transmission damaged, it managed to crawl another 40 miles across country."
As is always the case with these tales of Tiger invulnerability the truth rarely matches the myth.


https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missing ... ml#p726202



Further details can be found in Egon Kleine’s and Volkmat Kuhn’s “TIGER, Die Geschichte einer legendaren Waffe 1942-45”, page 72. The source of the report is stated to be the Tigerfibel D 656/27. The day of the assault was not the 10th, rather the 9th of February and the target was named Wesselyj. Participants were the sPzAbt 503 with 11 Tigers and 12 Pz III, the grenadiers of II/PGR 128 and an unnamed lFH battery.

The first attack went in at 0545, and was stopped. A second went in at 0935 and was also stopped. The third and last one also ended in failure. Net result of the activities was heavily losses to the grenadiers and two (2) tanks left operational. Certainly the Soviets had sustained losses too, but the attack ultimately failed.

Out of this mess emerges Tigers no”121” and “141” from the battalion repairs unit on the 10th. Both of these are so badly damaged that they need to be sent home to Germany for factory repairs. One of these two is the badly damaged one from the report. Due to initiative of Oberst Thomale, and in agreement with the OKH, it sent to the PzErs.-und-Ausb.-Abt 500 in Paderborn, and then put on display there “as is”.


11 Tigers in total and 9 were knocked out

The version beloved of the fanbois is this one:

Panzer Truppen Vol 2, page 34-35



A graphic description of what it was like to fight in a Tiger was recorded by Leutnant Zabel in the following account of his impression of the enemy's ability to inflict battle damage to a 'Tiger:

On 10 and 11 February 1943 in an attack on the collective farm west of Sserernikowo, (actualy 9th of February at Wessely) Kampfgruppe Sander faced greatly superior forces. The Tigers in the lead platoon drew most of the enemy fire on themselves. The fire came mostly from the right flank and the front from tanks, anti-tank guns, and infantry with anti-tank rifles, all openingfire at the longest range possible. At the beginning of the attack, my Tiger was hit on the front of the superstructure by a 7.62 cm anti-tank gun. The track links, which had been fastened to the superstructure front plate by a steel bar were shot away We heard a dull clang and felt a slight jolt inside the Tiger At the same time, we observed many near misses striking the ground to the front and the side of the Tiger Shortly thereafter; I received a hit on the commander’s cupola from a 4.5 cm anti-tank gun. The brackets holding the glass vision block flew off. The block became welded tight but visibility was eliminated by the impact of the shell fragments. A second hit on the cupola knocked brackets loose from the turret ceiling. At the same time, a heat wave and a cloud of acrid smoke enveloped the crew Two hits from 4.5 cm anti-tank shells and 15 hits from anti-tank rounds were counted on the cupola after the battle
The loader’s hatch, stuck about half open, received several hits from anti-tank rifles which knocked some brackets off Other rounds striking the hatch jammed the hinges so that it could be opened only with the aid of a wrecking bar after the battle. The enemy bathed the Tiger with machine gun fire on both days. The smoke dischargers mounted on the turret side were riddled, setting them off This smoke filtering into the crew compartment became so thick and strong that for a short time the crew couldn't function. The closer the Tiger approached the collective farm, the greater the intensity of the enemy defensive fire. Each hit on the Tiger was accompanied by a sharp clang, a slight jolt, acrid clouds of smoke, a shimmering yellow flash, and a detonation. The nerves of the crew were stretched thin. We paid no attention to hunger thirst, or time. Even though the attack lasted over 6 hours, the crew thought that only a short time had elapsed at the time. After another 7.62 cm anti-tank shell struck the gun mantle, the brackets holding the gun snapped, the recoil cylinder began losing fluid, and the gun remained at full recoil. The shaking caused by additional hits damaged the radio, a gas tube, and the gear lever by the driver The engine caught fire when the shield protecting the exhaust muffler was shot away but the fire was rapidly extinguished. An explosive charge thrown on top of the Tiger from the side was sensed as a dull explosion accompanied by heat and smoke enveloping the Tiger and the crew
We counted 227 hits from anti-tank rifle rounds, 14 hits from 5.7 cm and 4.5 cm anti-tank guns, and 11 hits from 7.62 cm guns. The right track and suspension were heavily damaged. Several road wheels and their suspension arms were perforated. The idler wheel had worked out of its mount. In spite of all this damage, the Tiger still managed to cover an additional 60 kilometers under its own power. The hits had caused the failure of several welded joints and caused the fuel tank to start leaking. The tracks had received several hits, but these didn’t especially hinder the Tiger's mobility.

ln conclusion it can be said that the armor on the Tiger can withstand the most intense punishment that the enemy can deliver. The crew can head into combat secure in the knowledge that they are surrounded by sufficient armor to keep out the most determined anti-tank round.




Note only 25 hits were 5-7.5 calibre.

The Churchill I mentioned earlier:
Examination of the wreck found 38 x 50mm frontal strikes of which one had penetrated. 7 x 75mm strikes of which one had penetrated. 1 HE strike. There were 8 x 57mm strikes in the rear of the tank of which at least 4 penetrated.

The Tiger had 14 x 45mm and 11 x 76.2 hits (25) but the Churchill received 38 x 50mm and 7 x 75mm hits (45).


Another account shows how one mans invulnerable Tiger is another mans knocked-out tank:

Some quotes from Duel in the Mist 3 by Haasler, Vosters, and Weber; a small engagement on 22 December 1944 involving a tank of Task Force Lovelady and a tank of Kampfgruppe Peiper in the Belgian town of Parfondruy:

US veteran Charles R. Corbin recalls:
Quote:
...I went upstairs in a house on a hill behind us to observe better. There under our nose was a large German tank in some trees. After telling Plummer and Edmark we got artillery on it and flushed it out where one of Company D's tanks had a clear shot at it, and shoot it he did, but three balls of fire bounced off of it and it backed away never moving its turret. It had to be a Mark VI Tiger. It made us all wonder and I know the tank gunner was shaking his head, feeling helpless, as it backed up the railroad on our left flank. I had seen our 75s bounce off Mark V tanks before, the last time near Roetgen where they wiped out several of our tanks...

The tank was indeed a Tiger Ausf.B, number 133 of 1./s.SS-Pz.Abt.501. TC SS-Oberscharführer Werner Wendt relates his side of the engagement:
Quote:
...I started again in the direction of Stavelot trying to give my best. About fifty meters in front of the edge of the town my driver suddenly swung around our tank. The interphone isn't working, I don't know what happened. The driver drove back at full speed, passing the command post in the direction of Petit Spai. About 100 meters in front of the bridge we drive into the ditch. Only now can I see the reason for the sudden turn-around of the driver. We have received a hit into the turret ring. The shell had bounced downwards into the hull, torn off the hatch of the radio-operator, and killed the radio-operator...Fragments had destroyed the steering gear and the gearbox, oil was leaking. As the driving mechanism and gear shift was conducted by oil pressure the failing oil pressure caused the tank to run out of control. The Tiger was totally immobilized.

From the above we can see how the US tankers 'frustration' was misplaced and they actually knocked out the 'invulnerable' Tiger II.

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WEISWEILER
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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by WEISWEILER » 16 Apr 2018 11:35

bam wrote:...
Maybe we should be asking why the western allies never tried fielding their own Stug... IMHO the stug was the best German afv. In terms of its resource cost to build, its costs to run and maintain, and importantly its kill ratio (&what it achieved) , it was the outstanding vehicle of the war.
...
Yeah the StuG played a great role. Stug's low profile alone made it harder to hit, or to spot in the first place. Low profile was also a designer goal in the late 1960s when the US-German KPz-70 was developed with a chassis that could be lowered, to hide.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by WEISWEILER » 16 Apr 2018 11:56

Apart from the fact that probably the claims were overrated by the crews, if you compare the ratio’s of the Tiger with the other German vehicles, it seems pretty clear the Tiger wasn’t a piece of crap. And that the myth is rooted in facts, not in lies or what else.

Unit Vehicle Dates Claimed kills Losses Claimed ratio
Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 45 Tigers Jul 5– Aug 17 385 7 55:1
13. Kompanie/SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 13 Tigers Jul 5– Aug 14 150 2 75:1
Schwere Panzerjäger-Regiment 656 89 Ferdinants Jul 5– Aug 27 502 39 12.9:1
Panzer-Regiment 39 200 Panthers Jul 5– Aug 17 263 58 4.5:1
Total 1200 106 12.3:1



Source: https://panzerworld.com/german-tank-kill-claims

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Sheldrake » 16 Apr 2018 13:47

MLW wrote:That video does a good job of adding the the myth of the Tiger I. Contrary to popular belief, other than the Wittman's brief moment of glory, the Tiger I played a minimal role on the Western Front. Their numbers were too small and their accomplishments were insignificant and, in general, the Tiger I's performance in 1944 was mediocre at best.
In one sense I agree, as the Tigers were far from decisive. However, I would not raise that arguments with British and Canadian Normandy veterans who faced these tanks.:D On 18th July 1944 the British Second army faced three battalions of tiger tanks 501SS, 502SS and 503 Army. That is nominally 135 tanks - a Panzer division's worth of the things. There were times when every tank engaged was reported as a Tiger, because they really were all Tigers.

Insignificant achievements? Mediocre? I agree that Toger tanks failed to drive the allies into the sea, but the Germans held firm in Caen for far longer than expected. But critics find it easier to blame Montgomery and a culture of tea drinking than acknowledge the effort the Germans put into the sector. I suspect the fair interpretation is that these tanks were tough to deal with, provided good protection for their crews, and when handled well could inflict disproportionate casualties. They weren't invulnerable and the allies could deal with them. I recall Ken Tout, ten years ago, standing on the battlefield where a tank from his unit knocked out four out of Wittman's last five Tigers. Ken's books are good and he is in a position to write about what it felt like to fight against Tiger tanks and whether he wanted one of his own.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2018 13:59

Sheldrake wrote:[ On 18th July 1944 the British Second army faced three battalions of tiger tanks 501SS, 502SS and 503 Army. That is nominally 135 tanks - a Panzer division's worth of the things. There were times when every tank engaged was reported as a Tiger, because they really were all Tigers.
By the end of June 15+ of SS 101s 45 Tigers were total losses. sPz Abt 503 arrived c. July 12th and lost 10+ Tigers on July 18th and the same number again were damaged. SS 102 arrived in batches and only had a few on the battlefield in early July. Given the number of Tigers in repair there were never that many in the field at the same time.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by WEISWEILER » 16 Apr 2018 14:51

It’s said that the British knew about the Tiger before it was actually deployed (in Russia). They knew this from decoded radio traffic. BUT by the time they faced the big tank in North-Africa, they still didn’t know much about how it looked, because the Russians didn’t share information about it (or about enemy strength in general).

Bottom line: Western Allies were delayed because the Red Army kept Tiger details secret.

?

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by WEISWEILER » 16 Apr 2018 14:57

Sheldrake wrote:
MLW wrote:That video does a good job of adding the the myth of the Tiger I. Contrary to popular belief, other than the Wittman's brief moment of glory, the Tiger I played a minimal role on the Western Front. Their numbers were too small and their accomplishments were insignificant and, in general, the Tiger I's performance in 1944 was mediocre at best.
In one sense I agree, as the Tigers were far from decisive. However, I would not raise that arguments with British and Canadian Normandy veterans who faced these tanks.:D On 18th July 1944 the British Second army faced three battalions of tiger tanks 501SS, 502SS and 503 Army. That is nominally 135 tanks - a Panzer division's worth of the things. There were times when every tank engaged was reported as a Tiger, because they really were all Tigers.

Insignificant achievements? Mediocre? I agree that Toger tanks failed to drive the allies into the sea, but the Germans held firm in Caen for far longer than expected. But critics find it easier to blame Montgomery and a culture of tea drinking than acknowledge the effort the Germans put into the sector. I suspect the fair interpretation is that these tanks were tough to deal with, provided good protection for their crews, and when handled well could inflict disproportionate casualties. They weren't invulnerable and the allies could deal with them. I recall Ken Tout, ten years ago, standing on the battlefield where a tank from his unit knocked out four out of Wittman's last five Tigers. Ken's books are good and he is in a position to write about what it felt like to fight against Tiger tanks and whether he wanted one of his own.
I agree. With kill ratio up to 75:1 even in a lost battle - Kursk - you can hardly call Tiger's performance 'mediocre.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2018 15:37

WEISWEILER wrote:It’s said that the British knew about the Tiger before it was actually deployed (in Russia). They knew this from decoded radio traffic. BUT by the time they faced the big tank in North-Africa, they still didn’t know much about how it looked, because the Russians didn’t share information about it (or about enemy strength in general).

Bottom line: Western Allies were delayed because the Red Army kept Tiger details secret.

?

More myth.
Exhibition in Moscow in June 1943.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captured_ ... r_tank.jpg

That Tiger was later shot to pieces in a test firing and here is a photo of 3 American Officers stood beside the wreck
screenshot.2018-04-16 (16).jpg
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Last edited by Michael Kenny on 16 Apr 2018 15:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Ulater » 16 Apr 2018 15:42

As is always the case with these tales of Tiger invulnerability the truth rarely matches the myth.
Do tell what does not match in this particular case.
Note also that the bulk of the hits were small anti-tank rifle hits. I am surprised they did not count MG strikes as well!
I am surprised that a weapon system that penetrated 50 mm of armor out to 150 meters is now being equated with an MG.

Note only 25 hits were 5-7.5 calibre.
"Only".

Good god.

I see that here we go. Somebody is going full Don Quijote again.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2018 15:45

Ulater wrote:Do tell what does not match in this particular case.

I have already explained it in some detail . Remove blinkers and re-read carefully and all will be revealed.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Ulater » 16 Apr 2018 15:47

I have already explained it in some detail . Remove blinkers and re-read carefully and all will be revealed.
Circumstances were different, state of the tank is not.

The topic of this discussion being the state, not the circumstances, I completely fail to see what else than a poor attempt at a strawman is your post supposed to be.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2018 16:04

Ulater wrote:
I have already explained it in some detail . Remove blinkers and re-read carefully and all will be revealed.
Circumstances were different, state of the tank is not.

The topic of this discussion being the state, not the circumstances, I completely fail to see what else than a poor attempt at a strawman is your post supposed to be.
I can only repeat that which I said to you in the last thread where you were stalking me:

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic ... 5#p2128525

To wit:

I am not interested in an endless back-and-forth. The reader can chose who to believe. Our conversation is over.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by MLW » 16 Apr 2018 16:15

WEISWEILER wrote: With kill ratio up to 75:1 even in a lost battle - Kursk - you can hardly call Tiger's performance 'mediocre.
I was referring to the Tiger I's performance on the Western Front where such high kill ratios did not occur.

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Re: Why didn't the Allies build their own 'tiger'?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Apr 2018 16:19

MLW wrote:
I was referring to the Tiger I's performance on the Western Front where such high kill ratios did not occur.
Rather odd isn't it. Multiple kill claims are the norm in the East but as soon as the Germans hit Normandy the claims almost vanish. The 3 best known multiple-kill claims for Fey, Wittmann and Barkmann can be proved to be bogus.
As I said strange isn't it?

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