Wittmann obsession.

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
Yoozername
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Yoozername » 11 Jan 2020 20:50

More correctly SS/Tiger tank obsession
In his own words.

I see this thread doing its usual 'throwing a track'.

I must admit, the whole 'Tamiya' conspiracy thing is actually hilarious!

Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Ludwig Wittgenstein » 03 Feb 2020 14:47

In terms of the Western Front, there was already a Tiger obsession amongst British soldiers by 1944. Montgomery spoke of the danger that troops were developing a "Tiger and Panther complex", and it was common for jittery infantry to assume all sorts of Panzers such as Mark IVs were 'Tigers' upon first sight.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Ludwig Wittgenstein » 03 Feb 2020 14:52

Also regarding Tamyia. In the 90s I can only recall them having an early production Tiger and a late one with no Zimmerit. They didn't have a Wittman figurine, at least not in 94, because I remember going to the (sad) lengths of ordering one from some obscure company. I got it on Christmas Day and lost it, a blessing in disguise really. It was more the literature of the time that fuelled the Wittman obsession, and that in turn was derived from the German propaganda machine's veneration of him during the war. From what I've gathered interviewing British Normandy veterans, he wasn't particularly known at the time though the action at Villiers-Bocage was, though not necessarily attributed to him.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Feb 2020 15:05

Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote:
03 Feb 2020 14:47
Montgomery spoke of the danger that troops were developing a "Tiger and Panther complex"
He did not. This is a common myth. Try and reference it and you will find your error.

Here is an example of actual 'Panzer Fear':

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/sici ... index.html

An order of General Conrath, commanding general of the Hermann Goering Division, testifies eloquently to the fact that the British-American onslaught dealt a sledgehammer blow to the morale of a unit which formerly had been the pride of the German Army.

''During the past few days, I have had the bitter experience of watching scenes which are not worthy of a German soldier, particularly not of a soldier of the Hermann Goering Division.

Men came running to the rear, hysterically crying because they had heard the detonation of a single shot fired somewhere in the distance. Others, deceived by false rumors, moved whole columns to the rear. In one instance, supplies were senselessly distributed to soldiers and civilians by a supply unit which had fallen victim to a rumor. I wish to state that not only the younger soldiers, but also noncoms and warrant officers, were guilty of panic-stricken behavior.

Panic, "Panzer fear," and the spreading of rumors are to be eliminated by the strongest possible measures. Cowardice and withdrawal without orders are to be punished on the spot, and, if necessary, by the use of weapons.

I shall apply the severest measures of court-martial against such saboteurs of the fight to free our nation, and I shall not hesitate to pronounce death sentences in serious cases.

I expect all officers to use their influence in suppressing this undignified attitude throughout the Hermann Goering Division.''

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Mobius
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Mobius » 03 Feb 2020 16:00

Interesting letter. Written by British intelligence no doubt. So when does a German write back to the home crowd about a distance in yards?
but had to stop 500 yards beyond it,
Last edited by Mobius on 03 Feb 2020 16:03, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Feb 2020 16:03

Mobius wrote:
03 Feb 2020 16:00
So when does a German write to the home crowd about a distance in yards?
I would be more worried that he is writing in English...................

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Mobius
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Mobius » 03 Feb 2020 16:10

The Brits did the dead soldier trick. They found a dead guy, dressed him in military uniform. Planted misleading documents on him and dropped him in the sea somewhere he would wash up to be found by the Germans. I'm not sure if the Germans were tricked by the documents but a pretty cleaver ruse.

histan
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by histan » 03 Feb 2020 20:27

"Tiger tanks were simply very successful"

What do you mean by "successful"

The picture of Soviet tanks in Berlin is an example of military "success", that is to say to use some modern jargon "the desired end state has been achieved" or the the objective or desired outcome has been achieved.

Military activity (tactical level) is undertaken to achieve a desired outcome or objective. Military activities are sequenced such that their outcomes combine together to achieve a desired operational level outcome. Operational level outcomes combine together to deliver the required strategic level outcome. In 1944 and 1945, the Russians were far superior to the Germans in achieving their desired operational and strategic outcomes. So they were "successful"

Military activity has inputs - men, artillery pieces, tanks, aircraft etc. It has outputs - men killed, men wounded, men taken as PoWs, tanks or aircraft damaged or destroyed, etc. The output measures do not define the "success" of the military activity, that is defined by whether the desired outcome/objective has been achieved.

Amateurs are obsessed with output measures and define ridiculous metrics - such as Tiger to Sherman kill ratios - that they claim demonstrate "success". When other ridiculous metrics - such as ammunition used per claim made - challenge their firmly held views, they quite rightly show that such metrics are deeply flawed and in fact useless. Nevertheless, they still quote equally flawed metrics to support their own views.

My main area of study is aviation and so to avoid getting caught up in the "Tank Comparison Wars" I will use a naval/aviation example. During the campaign in Crete, the Germans had an objective to send land forces by sea to the island. The Royal Navy had an objective of ensuring that no land forces were sent to the island by sea. The Luftwaffe had an objective to prevent the Royal Navy from stopping the sea transit. There was military activity between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Navy - the Luftwaffe, in particular JU-87 Stukas, attacked the RN ships!

The Stuka fan club focus on the outputs of this activity - the number of RN ships sunk or damaged - and claim this as a "success" for the Stuka force. However, only one German soldier arrived on the island by sea - and I believe that he was taken prisoner. So in actual fact the RN achieved its objective of preventing a landing. The Germans failed to achieve their objective and so the outcome of the military activity was not a "success" for the Stuka force but a "failure"

Apply this to Wittmann and see what results you get - a hint is that they will not be all bad!

Regards

John
Last edited by histan on 03 Feb 2020 23:25, edited 1 time in total.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Feb 2020 21:21

histan wrote:
03 Feb 2020 20:27


Amateurs are obsessed with output measures and define ridiculous metrics - such as Tiger to Sherman kill ratios - that they claim demonstrate "success". When other ridiculous metrics - such as ammunition used per claim made - challenge their firmly held views, they quite rightly show that such metrics are deeply flawed and in fact useless. Nevertheless, they still quote equally flawed metrics to support their own views.
The people who did the M4 survey that showed 90% burned when hit also found that 75% of hits on a Panther penetrated.
Those who like the M4 % were not so keen on the Panther %. I have no idea why!

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=240772&start=15

Another interesting event:
Panzer Truppen pg 142 M4 3 hits.jpg
sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
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Poot
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Poot » 03 Feb 2020 22:59

Not for lack of entertainment, but this thread makes me happy that I concentrate on small arms... :wink:

Pat
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Feb 2020 23:53

Poot wrote:
03 Feb 2020 22:59
Not for lack of entertainment, but this thread makes me happy that I concentrate on small arms...

'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'..............
We are here to entertain as well as inform!

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Poot
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Poot » 04 Feb 2020 01:26

Mission accomplished!
He who lives by the sword, should train with it frequently.

Yoozername
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Yoozername » 04 Feb 2020 02:53

Still spreading this malarkey?
The people who did the M4 survey that showed 90% burned when hit also found that 75% of hits on a Panther penetrated.
Those who like the M4 % were not so keen on the Panther %. I have no idea why!
If you read the survey, you would note that 'the people who did the survey', who had a fuller picture of the shermans accounting BTW, showed that 82.5% of hits by 75mm and 88 mm projectiles penetrated and brewed up the sherman. And, to be absolutely clear, that is all aspects (front side rear). This is from page 199. and, yes, 'those people' made a mathematical error. It should be 33/40 not 33/45. This data is for 'brew-ups', or a total write off.

There is another mistake on that page. Total hits (iii) at the bottom of the page should be 65, not 63. The percentages of 75mm and 88 mm penetrations is 95%. And that is for ALL aspects! There is just one failure for the front, one for side, one for rear. About 30% of distribution was for the front aspect of the shermans BTW.

As I said, 'The People' that did the survey had a truer picture (read less uncertainty) since they had more complete data on shermans. The Panzer IV and Panzer VI samples were very small (5 each), and the Panther sample that MK throws around is just 22 tanks.

Page 204 is the magic-maths MK likes. 13 (a) says 42 penetrations out of 56 shots. By using 'Kenny-Logicks' one could say "100% of panzer IVs were penetrated!"...since all 6 out of the 6 were penetrated. Or maybe he doesn't like 62% of the Tiger Is?

As far as the Panther analysis, only 12 out of 56 hits, or 21% are against the frontal aspect (listed under Upper Glacis plate and Mantlet and Front Turret). Of the 12, only 3 are listed as penetrations. One is a 6 pdr. APCBC shooting through the hull MG, one for a 17 pdr. on Turret Front/Mantlet, and another for a 6 pdr. DS on FT/Mantlet also. Does anyone go around every interweb page and scream "NO PENETRATIONS ON ANY PANTHER GLACIS ARMOR!!!!!"? Of course not, that would be a simpleton's misrepresenting data. Most of the penetrating hits are, of course, side armor. While the survey specifically says it is not including factors such as range, terrain, etc., it certainly can be surmised that it actually did play a factor.

Since the biggest uncertainty is the obvious lack of German data on Panthers that were not penetrated, or penetrated and hauled away, one can just take this survey with a grain of salt. It isn't a battle-cry. Unless one thinks being a troll is entertainment.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Ludwig Wittgenstein » 04 Feb 2020 03:46

Michael Kenny wrote:
03 Feb 2020 15:05
Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote:
03 Feb 2020 14:47
Montgomery spoke of the danger that troops were developing a "Tiger and Panther complex"
He did not. This is a common myth. Try and reference it and you will find your error.

Ah yes you're right.. I did pause when I wrote it tbf. But it was Monty's Chief of Staff De Guigand who said it when writing to Monty, so not far off.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Wittmann obsession.

Post by Michael Kenny » 04 Feb 2020 07:24

Yoozername wrote:
04 Feb 2020 02:53
If you read the survey, you would note that.....................Page 204...........says 42 penetrations out of 56 shots..
Thanks for referencing the fact that that 42 of 56 (75%) of the hits on a Panther penetrated.

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