The Tiger and Tiger II in NWE. Invincible or myth?

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
keith A
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The Tiger and Tiger II in NWE. Invincible or myth?

Post by keith A » 01 Apr 2020 15:56

Most histories seem to ascribe the Tiger and Tiger II super human abilities. However the Tiger series would appear to be less potent than history would indicate. Tigers regularly fell victims to British Shermans (and Fireflies), as well as Churchills, Cromwells, 17 and 6 pdr ATG, field artillery (including Sexton and Priest SPGs and PIATs... not to mention ditches and bridges. Or indeed RAF Typhoons and USAAF Thunderbolts.

Their performance on the Eastern Front seem superlative, even when these are very suspect given the claims from both German and Russian accounts. Perhaps the ability to kill from long-range? Were they an over-engineered SPG? Fire and forget artillery work.

A super-tank that fell victim to something as rudimentary (and much maligned) as PIAT is surely a steel box with a gun on it? Superb facing forward from ambush or distance but rubbish against manoeuverable anti-tank resources or basic geography.

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Re: The Tiger and Tiger II in NWE. Invincible or myth?

Post by Cult Icon » 01 Apr 2020 16:25

The Tiger tank was a situational weapon that a narrow band of strengths due to its armor and gun. Like the Panther it was best when used in long range (eg. 1,000 meters plus) engagements and got much more vulnerable when the fighting was up close, like it frequently was in NWE (short/medium range) or attacking as part of an offensive operation in the Eastern Front.

It had a window where it was extremely effective- circa 43- mid 1944 on the Eastern Front. Other than that it was not that difficult to knock out. It was very effective at destroying the soviet anti-tank guns.

keith A
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Re: The Tiger and Tiger II in NWE. Invincible or myth?

Post by keith A » 01 Apr 2020 17:47

I agree. Montgomery was right when he argued the Sherman and other tanks were the equal of German armoured vehicles in many cases. In fact in many situations the Tiger was inferior in terms of operability. Although in a face to face engagement it was a British revolver against a German field gun, it was also a British sports car against a German traction engine. German claims of fantastic scores are largely the same as those Luftwaffe pilots that destroyed sub-standard Russian fighters and bombers such as the I-15, I-16 and SB-3. lend-leese P-40 and Hurricanes. German tank aces were able to claim a variety of Russian tanks in 1941-43 which would have been easy kills (and less able to shoot back) in NWE in 1944.

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