Highest scoring tank ace

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 22 Jul 2002 17:57

I agree with Roland - we can't have doubt about everything not confirmed by ther other side - simply because this would make history very small and very inaccurate...

Christian

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admfisher
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Re: Carius

Post by admfisher » 22 Jul 2002 18:21

Check above.
David C. Clarke wrote:Otto Carius is the best. My recollection is that with one other Tiger he drove into a village where a Russian Heavy Tank Regiment was laagered and shot them all up. These were JS-2s armed with 122mm guns. Let's see Wittman match that!! Cheers, David (P.S., Now this is the type of discussion I love! :D :D :D )
"On July 22nd 44 he and Kerscher led the 2nd company of there unit into an attack on the Russians. The enemy was the 1st Tank Brigade with JSII tanks. After the battle there were 17 JSII and 5 T34 left dead on the battlefield. So this is done with a understrength company of Tiger I's."
This was taken from the book Panzer Aces.

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David C. Clarke
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Hey Adm.

Post by David C. Clarke » 22 Jul 2002 18:47

Cheers AdmFisher, the operative words in that sentence were "my recollection"--I'd have to check "Tigers in the Mud" for the full story and the point I was trying to make is that Carius jumped IS-2s, not Cromwells. Best Regards, David :D

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admfisher
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Pz Aces

Post by admfisher » 22 Jul 2002 18:56

One point we must consider is that seperating the tank aces into two different classes will not work.
Wittman started in a StuG. Others ended up in Jagdpanthers and such.

On the point of Otto, I didn't mean to take anything from him.
The gall he had was incredible. But it would be like taking the Hornisse out and fight tanks like Albert Ernst.

For me I just dont want any readers to get the wrong ideas about what these men went through, so details are to be added.

On the List>>>>
Why is it not pointed out that Bix's 75 kills were in 21 days.
He had more before and got more after.

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David C. Clarke
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Hello

Post by David C. Clarke » 22 Jul 2002 19:18

Hello AdmFisher, yes, Bix definitely had more, but the number was impossible to obtain with the resources we had then. If you know of any written source for a Bix Total, it should be added to the list. And I had the same problem with Bake, I just couldn't find a number for his personal kills.
IMHO, it is hard to make comparisons between the Aces, even though we all do. The mount the Aces used is of course important, but there really isn't a way of telling whether one Ace was better than another because the circumstances of each fight was different. Carius, my personal hero, started off in a Pz. 38T, by the way. I don't know if he scored any kills in it. Cheers, DCC
:D :D :D

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Al Carter
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Time frame

Post by Al Carter » 22 Jul 2002 20:35

When talking about aces, doesn't the time frame in which an ace scored his kills come into effect? Who is better if one guy gets 200 in 4 1/2 years or on guy get 150 in 1 1/2 years? Anyone have any idea who was the highest per days of battle?

It seems everyone gives Knispel the tag of highest ace but the German Army. What were the criteria one had to meet to be an ace?


Al Carter

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admfisher
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Re: Time frame

Post by admfisher » 22 Jul 2002 21:40

Al Carter wrote:When talking about aces, doesn't the time frame in which an ace scored his kills come into effect? Who is better if one guy gets 200 in 4 1/2 years or on guy get 150 in 1 1/2 years? Anyone have any idea who was the highest per days of battle?

It seems everyone gives Knispel the tag of highest ace but the German Army. What were the criteria one had to meet to be an ace?

Al Carter
Tell you what I will go through the Five or Six aces I have and will add the dates and times.
This will be a ppm to you.
:mrgreen:

As for time frames, it cant really be applied to the time served. This is due to the fact that different armies were kept personnal in the field for different time periods.
Say the Germans.
They used the men till dropped.

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Wolfkin
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Post by Wolfkin » 24 Jul 2002 19:51

Homer,

I am just wondering, you said Hans Bolter with 139 kills is second behind Wittmann? What was Wittmann's score then? I have always seen it as 138. This is strange, does this info come from Panzer Aces?

Wolfkin

Homer martin
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hi,

Post by Homer martin » 24 Jul 2002 21:17

Yes it comes from Panzer Aces page 190.
I think some members here are also confused in the number of kills Otto Carius had. There mixing up the numbers of kills by his company in combat with his numbers which are in the range of 125 no were near the 150-200 number that has been seen here.

Why tank aces scores aren't higher is the very limited number of days in combat. Some tank aces only fought in 5-6 engagements others fought in many more. The Tiger I's dominates of the battlefield last from late 1942 till the Js II started to show up in numbers on the battlefield, and you find a great number of the aces where using the Tiger I. When the Tiger II was put into service by the Germans it had a major weakness the steel used in the tank was far inferior to the steel used in earlier tank models. It proved to be a major disappointment. Going back to the Tiger I, more of them were lost to lack of fuel than to enemy actions on the eastern front. When you start checking into the scores of the aces a number of minor factors come into play, early in the war the record of kills isn't kept that well vs later in the war. Checking into the records of a number of actions on the Russian front from both side is now a real possibly which could change the number of kills down. All the list used after the war come from the German press during the war.

Time fame of kills isn't a good way to say who was better, as the men on these list prove themselfs in combat a number of times. Does it really matter that a commander came into combat four times and killed 60 tanks and another went into combat five times and killed 60, other factors come into play like the number of enemy each were fighting, was it on the attack or defense, or was it a meeting engagement? This debate comes up all the time when looking at the German fighter aces.

I hope this helps.

/hgm

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Wolfkin
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Post by Wolfkin » 25 Jul 2002 18:38

Thank you , Homer!

This is strange indeed. It makes me wonder which source is correct. Is the info in Panzer Aces correct or several other books like Tigers In Combat or Michael Wittmann and the Tiger Commanders of the Leibstandarte? Maybe we should have a look as to what sources each of this books used?

Basically two different lists:

168 kills- Kurt Knispel
150+ kills-Otto Carius
139 kills- Hans Boelter
138 kills- Michael Wittmann


140+ kills- Michael Wittmann
139 kills- Hans Boelter
125 kills- Otto Carius
42 as tank commander, 126 as gunner- Kurt Knispel


The question is...how did other sources come up with these totals? Do they include scores of when the commander was a gunner? Do they include, for example, when Wittmann was in a StuG? What should be included and what shouldn't? Should it be a total of all the kills as a commander, no matter what vehicle? Or should it be only those kills made while a commander of a Panzer?

Hmmmm...lots of questions, too little answers :):):).


Cheers,

Wolfkin

Homer martin
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Hi,

Post by Homer martin » 25 Jul 2002 20:12

Tigers In Combat I is a great book, loved looking at the photos and reading the operational list of the units.

On page 100 of that book is where the 150 kill total comes from for Otto Carius and the 144 total for Bolter. This list isn't document.


Here is Otto's three major battles he fought in and the number of kills from each:
Newel
Nov 11 1943 Between Lowec and Newel, Otto knocks out 10 T-34s, two days later he kills 3 more T-34s.

Narwa
The operation log shows these kills by the command for March 17-22 1944
27 T-34s destoryed, 1 Kv-1, 2 T-60s and 6 more unknown.
It was for this battle Otto was awarded his Knights Cross
The newpaper covering this event said Otto had destoryed 28 tanks in this 3 day battle.

Dunaburg
July 22 1944
Otto, with as many as four Tigers attack a Russian command of 17 Js-IIs.
All 17 tanks are knock out, Otto having lead the attack and destoryed 10 of the 17 Js-II is awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves.

At best that makes his total 51, his Narwa total is lower than 28 kills, there where other tanks with him in the main two fights he was in at that battle and the others also got credit for kills. Of the 36 kills by 502 in the battle, Otto wasn't in fights where 8 of the kills where claimed.

So going by the higher total of 51, that leaves 99 to acount for in minor actions. With a little reseach this 150 number will not hold up. When reseaching his totals the date he received the Knight Cross and the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves will be of great help, this date will give you his total of kills within 25.

On Kurts numbers, one doesn't count gunner kills as a tank commander, this would be like saying the man who shots the torpedeo that sinks a ship gets credit for the kill and not the commander who put them in place to get the kill.
Kurt is an outstanding gunner and tank commander and has set a fine record in his time in service.

Bolter received his Knights Cross on Apirl 7 1944 after his 89th kill(page 90 Tigers in Combat I), which was long over due. Most tank commanders received theirs after the 75th kill. He received his Knight Cross with Oak Leaves on Sept 10 1944. Bolter was wounded in August 1944 and was out of action till Jan. 1945. He would have had to knock out 55 tanks between then to get to 144 and only 49 to get to 138. His kill totals are better document than Otto's total. The dark area of his totals come when he comes back to the unit in 1945.


I hope this helps when looking into the kill totals.

/hgm

I have been trying to find that kill list in Micheal Wittmann and the TCoLAH,
Wolfkin which page is it on?

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admfisher
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tanks destroyed

Post by admfisher » 25 Jul 2002 21:18

I was attempting to get Bix's early kills together with PzAces, but they dont cover all his actions.

The one thing that I have learned is that even with the total scores we allways have to leave a plus and minus at the end of the aces kills.
There is no way to confirm the kills in the end.

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Wolfkin
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Post by Wolfkin » 26 Jul 2002 07:25

Excellent info Homer!

Hey man, you are awesome! 8)

I don't have the Wittmann book but I assumed the info from the list came from that book. :( I then thought that Wittmann must have 140 or more because you said that in Panzer Aces, that Hans Boelter had 139 and he was second to Wittmann.

I am going to look for that Panzer Aces book this weekend! Paperback and $10? Y'all can't beat that!! :)

Cheers,

Wolfkin

Homer martin
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Hail,

Post by Homer martin » 26 Jul 2002 08:13

Panzer Aces is a great book, I picked it up back in the dark ages in 1992 from John. I have an autograph of all the tank aces covered in Panzer Aces. Wittmann was the hardest to come by in the way autographs. If you don't have Panzer Aces II it will be coming out in softcover in Oct this year.

The very large book covering Micheal Wittmann and the tank commanders of LAH is an outstanding book and very good for reseach on all of LAH tank commanders. It is well worth the money spend on it for all the good matrial covered by the book.

Also the following books help when looking up actions of tank commanders in combat:
La Panzer - Lehr Division (in French)
Panzers in Normandy then and now
The history of the 12 SS Panzerdivision Hitlerjugend
Armor Battles of the Waffen - SS 1943-45
History of the Panzerkorps GrossDeutschland
The history of the Fallschirm Panzerkorps Herman Goring
The Leibstandarte
Das Reich
There are a number of good books on the heavy tank battalions.

That is just a few to cross reference matrial from and each year many more books come out. The best place to pick these books is off amazon.com or from J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc. at: http://www.jjfpub.mb.ca

I hope this helps.

/hgm

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Oberst Mihael
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Post by Oberst Mihael » 26 Jul 2002 10:41

As long as Hugo Primozic is 21st, you hear no complaint from me. :mrgreen:

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