German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

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Yoozername
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Yoozername » 17 Sep 2018 23:32

That just confirms my theory that burnt-out tanks were being sent back to Germany to see if they could be repaired rather than the claim burnt out tanks were simply scrapped. If simple scrap-collection was a priority there would not be so many German wrecks left lying around in Normandy workshops. 2 of the Tigers destroyed at Villers bocage had significant effort devoted to moving them west (away from Germany) to act as a flak-trap rather than putting them on a train and sending them back for recycling.
Not sure exactly what that theory means, but it sounds interesting! Do expand upon it! Do you have the train schedules? Were they running on time? Were there bridges?

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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Sep 2018 00:25

Yoozername wrote:
17 Sep 2018 23:32
Do you have the train schedules? Were they running on time? Were there bridges?
No problem. I have this type of information prepared folders and it is a simple cut-and-paste to show them here.
This is Villers Bocage railway station.
V-B0006 b.jpg
There is even a wrecked Pz IV at the station. There are a dozen wrecked tanks and 20+ armoured vehicles just off to the right (3 of them Tigers) and it would not be much effort to move them to the station for 'scrap collection' if this was a priority.
Anything else I can help you out with?
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Sep 2018 03:46

Fire in late 1945
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Yoozername
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Yoozername » 18 Sep 2018 03:54

That incident was the unloading of Tiger II from a train that had a fire started. The upturned TII shows no sign of burning at all and if I remember correctly was righted and recovered later. It was not a burning Tiger. There are fires and there are fires. A Tiger being shipped home would be de-fueled and ammo removed and thus would not have the materiel needed to start a fire intense enough to melt the suspension..
You do not remember correctly. The Tiger II was on fire, overturned trying to get off the train car, its fuel then burned off and leaked out, the crew finally got out, it was never recovered. The engine fire making it immobile, but not retrievable due to lack of towing and enemy troops finally capturing it.

A 'de-fueled' tank is still dangerous. And, I would really like to know how many armored AFV were actually shipped back 'home' by the Germans from the Western Front.
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Yoozername » 18 Sep 2018 05:03

Actual soviet publication translated
RUSSIAN TANK TACTICS AGAINST GERMAN TANKS

The following report is a literal translation of a portion of a Russian publication concerning the most effective methods of fire against German tanks.
For the successful conduct of fire against enemy tanks, we should proceed as follows:
a. Manner of Conducting Fire for the Destruction of Enemy Tanks
(1) While conducting fire against enemy tanks, and while maneuvering on the battlefield, our tanks should seek cover in partially defiladed positions.
(2) In order to decrease the angle of impact of enemy shells, thereby decreasing their power of penetration, we should try to place our tanks at an angle to the enemy.
(3) In conducting fire against German tanks, we should carefully observe the results of hits, and continue to fire until we see definite signs of a hit (burning tanks, crew leaving the tank, shattering of the tank or the turret). Watch constantly enemy tanks which do not show these signs, even though they show no signs of life. While firing at the active tanks of the enemy, one should be in full readiness to renew the battle against those apparently knocked out.
b. Basic Types of German Tanks and their Most Vulnerable Parts
The types of tanks most extensively used in the German Army are the following: the 11-ton Czech tank, the Mark III, and the Mark IV. The German self-propelled assault gun (Sturmgeschütz) has also been extensively used.
In addition to the above-mentioned types of tanks, the German Army uses tanks of all the occupied countries; in their general tactical and technical characteristics, their armament and armor, these tanks are inferior.
(1) Against the 11-ton Czech tank, fire as follows:

(a) From the front--against the turret and gun-shield, and below the turret gear case;
(b) From the side--at the third and fourth bogies, against the driving sprocket, and at the gear case under the turret;
© From behind--against the circular opening and against the exhaust vent.
Remarks: In frontal fire, with armor-piercing shells, the armor of the turret may be destroyed more quickly than the front part of the hull. In firing at the side and rear, the plates of the hull are penetrated more readily than the plates of the turret.

(2) Against Mark III tanks, fire as follows:

(a) From the front--at the gun mantlet and at the driver's port, and the machine-gun mounting;
(b) From the side--against the armor protecting the engine, and against the turret ports;
© From behind--directly beneath the turret, and at the exhaust vent.
Remark: In firing from the front against the Mark III tank, the turret is more vulnerable than the front of the hull and the turret gear box. In firing from behind, the turret is also more vulnerable than the rear of the hull.

(3) Against the self-propelled assault gun, fire as follows:

(a) From the front--against the front of the hull, the drivers port, and below the tube of the gun;
(b) From the side--against the armor protecting the engine, and the turret.
© From behind--against the exhaust vent and directly beneath the turret.

(4) Against the Mark IV, fire as follows:

(a) From the front--against the turret, under the tube of the gun, against the driver's port, and the machine-gun mounting;
(b) From the side--at the center of the hull at the engine compartment, and against the turret port.
© From behind--against the turret, and against the exhaust vent.
Remarks: It should be noted that in firing against the front of this tank, the armor of the turret is more vulnerable than the front plate of the turret gear box, and of the hull. In firing at the sides of the tank, the armor plate of the engine compartment and of the turret, is more vulnerable than the armor of the turret gear box.
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Michael Kenny
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Sep 2018 05:04

Yoozername wrote:
18 Sep 2018 04:29

3. The Villers-Bocage railroad station would be the railway station seen in this aerial photo? Much of the famous fighting took place in other parts of this photo? I think even braver men would be needed to load those tanks on to trains....
So you believe it was easier to move the wrecked Tigers from their original positions in Villers (red box) to be a flak trap at the yellow box that it was to move them to the railway station (green box)?
The Allies retreated well back (to the north) from Villers Bocage on June 14 and did not retake the area until the first week in August. It seems to me you have no idea of the geography or timeline for actions in the area.
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Villers Tigers flak trap.,,,,,,,,,,,,.jpg
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Yoozername
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Yoozername » 18 Sep 2018 06:32

In a postwar interview, General Heinrich von Lüttwitz, the commander of 2nd Panzer, said that the trains bringing his tanks were hit so many times by Allied aircraft that they had to finish the journey from Amiens by road, and “it was not until 18th June that 80 of the original 120 tanks finally limped into the line around Caumont.” Yet, the mere suggestion that 2nd Panzer had arrived in the Caumont-Villers-Bocage area was enough, apparently, to frighten most of the senior British commanders, including Montgomery himself.
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Michael Kenny
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Sep 2018 07:15

Yoozername wrote:
18 Sep 2018 06:32
In a postwar interview, General Heinrich von Lüttwitz, the commander of 2nd Panzer, said that the trains bringing his tanks were hit so many times by Allied aircraft that they had to finish the journey from Amiens by road, a
Yet 2 months later a train coming from the opposite direction ( the Tigers were knocked out in Normandy so must have started their journey there) made it 87 km further east of Amiens to Braine without any 'air' problems.
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critical mass
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by critical mass » 18 Sep 2018 10:43

Michael Kenny wrote:
17 Sep 2018 16:05
critical mass wrote:
17 Sep 2018 15:33


What I found amazing to read here is that the US apparently reconditioned brewed up AFV back to service. This would never have been tolerated in Germany, as a burned out vehicle always had to be classified as total write off as soon as it was recognized as brewed up / burned out.
The 1945 report on British tank losses has some detail on what 'burned ' meant. The fact there was a fire was not always fatal and from the text it is obvious 'burned' tanks were repaired and returned to service.
This photo is of 4 Tigers captured when their train was stopped in August 1944. They were being shipped for homeland repair and in the first pic the middle Tiger has all the signs of a major fire. The suspension has completely collapsed and that only happens when it burns. Yet it was back-loaded?

Tigers-on-Train-f (25) ..jpg


This other Tiger on the same train also has signs of a major fire, The white patch on the hull/turret sides and the missing zim.



Tiger Braine on train.jpg
It seems the Germans did at least consider repairing burnt out tanks.
No, the germans didn´t practiced repairing of burned our tanks. Repairing a burned out tank means to remove all components, disassemble all plates and recondition them with a new heat treatment.
What can be done is to repair a tank which was damaged by fire. This, however, required the fire to be put out relatively quickly so that the temperature within the armor plates do not reach tempering temperature, such as, f.e. when the fire extinguishers put out the fire before a critical temperature was reached. Whether or not this has been the case dependet on indicators, such as the colour of the plates surface, or changes of indicator elements (rubber, aluminion).
What can also be done is to condemn a burned out / brewed up tank as scrap. Written off AFV were shipped home regularely as important scrap metal source.
They fully understood how temper brittleness worked (unlike the british which by 1946 were still convinced of the errorneous believe that temper brittleness was caused during the casting of the heat).
Suspension breakdown may also happen when a TIGER has been mined by a large charge mine. Whether or not the vehicle in question is burned out cannot be verified from this photo.

critical mass
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by critical mass » 18 Sep 2018 11:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
17 Sep 2018 17:18
critical mass wrote:
17 Sep 2018 15:33
What I found amazing to read here is that the US apparently reconditioned brewed up AFV back to service.
I am not sure that was a common occurrence. From the First Army sample, it was remarked in a couple of cases that tanks that burned were reconditioned, but in context it appears what was being referred to were fires in the engine compartment and not a propellant fire in the turret.
Yes, this makes more sense, particularely if the fire was put under controll quickly enough. Notice also that the US used different RHA armor than the germans, with higher alloy content and also treated to softer hardness. This is benefitial here, because the relatively soft RHA needs to be heated to higher temperatures to induce temper brittleness. The effect of tempering a plate may also be more moderated when molybdenium is present (increases the cooling times allowed before the change from ductile fibrous to brittle crystalline happens).

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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Sep 2018 15:56

critical mass wrote:
18 Sep 2018 10:43

Suspension breakdown may also happen when a TIGER has been mined by a large charge mine. Whether or not the vehicle in question is burned out cannot be verified from this photo.
The Tiger in question has a destroyed suspension. No one can dispute that. I have seen this damage many times and always on burnt-out Tigers. I have never seen an example where mines inflict the same sort of collapse of the torsion bars. The 'white' areas on the hull side (near the rear) indicate some burning.
Rheims1030-110 nnn.jpg
The Tiger in front has clear signs of a major fire The 'white' areas on the hull side hull top and mantlet mean they have been subjected to great heat. For sure it 'burned'.
Tigers-on-Train- (12) h.jpg
Tigers-on-Train- (24)b.jpg
Not 100% proof I agree but informed speculation. I believe some burnt-out Tigers were recovered.

This is from Italy but it is clear the Tiger has suffered a major fire.
Tigeritalyhjkjkl.jpg
All the rubber is missing from the wheels, the gun tube is blackened and the hull has lost nearly all its zim. There are other views and you can see it was being towed. The lack of any ash from the wheels means it did not burn where it stood. That clearly is a burnt -out Tiger that was being recovered but then overtaken by events.
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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Yoozername » 18 Sep 2018 18:01

Hey! Bonus rubles if you set one on fire!
Oberkommando des Heeres
GenSt d H
Abt Frd Heere Ost (IId)
Nr. 6878/43

H.Qu. on 31.12.1943

In relation to : Pz-AOK 3 / Ic of 13.12.1943
On : Soviet order on premiums for the destruction of tanks
Copy of the translation of the order of the Popular Commissioner for Defense Nr. 0387 of 24.06.1943


In order to increase the effectiveness of soldiers and commanders in battles against enemy tanks and stimulate their destruction, I order:

The anti-tank rifle servers will be paid for each destroyed enemy tank:

To the handle of the antitank rifle 500 rubles
To your companion 250 rubles

A bonus will be paid to our tank crews for each enemy tank destroyed. The commander, technical head of the tank and the head of the tank (in the dome of the tank) will each be paid 500 rubles. To each of the remaining members of the crew 200 rubles.

All types of artillery will be paid a premium for each tank destroyed: the commander and the cannon gunner 500 rubles each, each of the established servers remaining 200 rubles.

Each soldier and commander who destroys or manages to set fire to an enemy tank by individual means will be paid a bonus of 1000 rubles. In case the destruction of the tank has been achieved by a group of soldiers the bonus will rise to 1500 rubles and will be shared equally among the group.

The director of Financial Management of the Popular Commissariat for Defense will be informed and given instructions to execute this order.

This order comes into force on July 1, 1943 and will be communicated by telegram.

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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Sep 2018 18:18

Yoozername wrote:
18 Sep 2018 18:01
Hey! Bonus rubles if you set one on fire!
Sounds like the reward system the Germans set up for the recovery of Soviet tanks working or not. They also offered drink in return for complete gunsights etc from T34s.
You can read it all in the Panzer Tracts 19-2 book on Beute Tanks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/PANZER-TRACTS- ... racts+19-2

Page 52-53

Central collection and recovery ofthese valuable Beute-Panzer (priority on T 34) with assistance from the troops are necessary. Plans are to use the Beute-Pz.Kpfw. T 34 for (a) Panzer units in the Ostheer that are still outfitted with French Beute-Panzer, (b) Panzer units to combat partisan bands, and (c) oufit other units converted to Beute-Panzer.
All recovered Beute-Pz.Kpfw. T 34 (with the exception of those available with OKH approved Beute-Panzer units) and Beute-Panzer repair parts are to be sent to the Pz.Inst.K.Werk Riga. The armies are to oversee the recovery of the Beute-Panzer by using all available recovery services and solicit intensive cooperation from the troops.
As an incentive to the troops, after turning over a completely operational T34, the OKH will issue Panzer units two s.Pak (Sf) or (if the unit is up to strength) three Maultiere, and Infanterie, Gebirgs, and Jaeger units two s.Pak 40 with towing vehicles.
OKH also has established special distribution of market wares as a premium for recovering a non-operational Pz.Kpfw. T 34 (40 bottles of alcohol) for a complete engine, transmission, gun sight, or radio set (6 bottles), and for a complete gun, radiator, starter, etc. (1 to 3 bottles).

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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Yoozername » 18 Sep 2018 18:30

Not 100% proof I agree but informed speculation. I believe some burnt-out Tigers were recovered.

This is from Italy but it is clear the Tiger has suffered a major fire.
Proof of what? How you like to speculate? Perhaps it was dragged away so that the dead crewmen could be taken out while not under fire?

The Tiger with turret over the rear, the blurry pictures, might have a usable final drive/transmission....my speculation is 100% as good as yours or anyone else.

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Re: German opinions on Panther tank or crew experience.

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Sep 2018 18:51

Yoozername wrote:
18 Sep 2018 18:30
Perhaps it was dragged away so that the dead crewmen could be taken out while not under fire?
Of course that must be it.

If there is a dead crewman in a 60 ton tank that is 'under fire' you just rustle up a couple of recovery vehicles and put them at risk so they can tow it to the rear to extract him. Then you just dump the Tiger in the middle of the road and move on.

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