Russian Tank Aces

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Sbf.Koch
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Post by Sbf.Koch » 24 Dec 2004 20:17

RoW wrote:
I simply do not believe they were exaggerated that much


It's not an argument. I think we must check every separate episode of battle, if it's possible. And Soviet, and German...


I bet this has been done - as far as possible, the eastern front was so huge and chaotic that a 100% accurate number never can be given. But just look at the list, put together by experts on the topic, I think that's a huge argument in itself. Isn't it?

/Sbf.Koch

RoW
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Post by RoW » 24 Dec 2004 20:30

Sbf.Koch wrote:
RoW wrote:
I simply do not believe they were exaggerated that much


It's not an argument. I think we must check every separate episode of battle, if it's possible. And Soviet, and German...


I bet this has been done - as far as possible, the eastern front was so huge and chaotic that a 100% accurate number never can be given. But just look at the list, put together by experts on the topic, I think that's a huge argument in itself. Isn't it?

/Sbf.Koch


I think it's official list victories, how about confirmation? Have you a description of battle episode with documents from both sides? It would be very interesting... For example I read 2 battle reports about the debut of SPG Ferdinand during the battle of Kursk: one from German officer, other from Soviet...

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 24 Dec 2004 20:59

Quote:

"Even if they were not 100% accurate, I simply do not believe they were exaggerated that much. You really think ALL these numbers were exaggerated like you claim them to be?"

and

"I bet this has been done - as far as possible, the eastern front was so huge and chaotic that a 100% accurate number never can be given. But just look at the list, put together by experts on the topic, I think that's a huge argument in itself. Isn't it?"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Well I believe all claims are exaggerated and it seems as if you are saying that it doesn't really matter because eveyone 'knows' the Germans had high kill rates!
I note no attempt has been made to defend Wittmann's score and I am not trying to put him down, just showing you CLAIMS are not KILLS.
Why do you think we should accept German kill claims and not everyone elses?

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TISO
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Post by TISO » 24 Dec 2004 22:45

One has to uderstand that battle itself is always a big mess. One doesn't count tanks you kiled but concetrates on kiling enemy tanks before they kill you. If you don't have control over field after battle you cant positivly confirm number of enemys killed. Reports are usualy made after the battle from memory and is human to overclaim kills. It happend then it is still happening today. My forte is aviation so i know that even with gun camera instaled overclaims are normal ( good example is campain over Yugoslavia in 1999).

To me the best anti tank aces are those uknown infantrymen of all armys. Some of them specialized on tank hunting and compiled impressive records. They used molotov cocktails, explosive charges, mines, granedes. It takes guts to stand and wait for a steel monster to roll tawards you with only a bottle of petrol or a mine in your hand. That can be confirmed by anyone who served his army time in infantry.

OK. I know that is an old infantry man talking in me but non the less.

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Re: Russian Tank Aces

Post by gewehrdork » 25 Dec 2004 21:46

{ "If somebody has some more details or data about the Russian tank aces I would greatly appreciate it." }QUOTE

Igorn ; I think the biggest problem MOST have with SOVIET statistics is the rather clear propaganda in the vast majority of those very stats.
The Glorious party loved to embellish the deeds and make as many up of "heros of the soviet union" whether the alleged person(s) were dead or alive.
A short handfull of years ago there were historians researching WW2 records - specifically combat losses of soviet forces in Russia. When they started to publish some fo their eye opening findings about the Much bigger losses then before admitted to by the soviet 'empire' Mr. Putin then promptly shut the doors and all access to those records. But the cat was let out of the bag.
Sure NAZI germany engaged in loads of propaganda...but one thing is quite certain that the soldeirs of their awarded for victories and similar bravery are quite backed up by survivors , and verifiable records. The german military system of awarding merit to where it was due was rather accurate and quite probably more adhered to in an honor system then any other combatant nation of WW2 . It is quite rare you hear of any german source desparaging any fellow combat soldeirs and or officers combat awards.
Consider that many decorated russians of all ranks were imprisoned, murdered or sent to siberia during and after the war it's not at hard to understand lack of verifiable info on whom actually did any alleged deeds in soviet service.
Hey ; I am not saying it's all bunk , but a good portion of soviet 'victories' are tainted by stalin's ideas and propaganda. Remeber he ruled via Tyrannical FEAR , and not as the result of qualified leadership like Winston Churchill for example.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 25 Dec 2004 22:11

Please keep this thread focused on the tank aces of the Red Army and discuss the German ones in other threads, thanks.

/Marcus

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Dec 2004 22:28

Well The Russian system was probably no better or worse than the German one. Statements like:

"...but one thing is quite certain that the soldeirs of their awarded for victories and similar bravery are quite backed up by survivors , and verifiable records. The german military system of awarding merit to where it was due was rather accurate and quite probably more adhered to in an honor system then any other combatant nation of WW2"

are simple wish fufilment and factualy incorrect.

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Tank kills

Post by Brumbarr2 » 26 Dec 2004 03:55

In the most studied, most photographed (by both Allied and German photographers) small-unit action -- Wittmann at Villers-Bocage -- the kills claimed by Wittmann, in the original award recommendation, are not backed up the existing physical evidence.

Anyway, its distasteful to count tanks destroyed. Most of those tanks had 3, 4, or 5 men inside who were often killed, maimed, or horribly burned. To celebrate that is distasteful.

Igorn
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Re: Russian Tank Aces

Post by Igorn » 26 Dec 2004 17:21

gewehrdork wrote:{ "If somebody has some more details or data about the Russian tank aces I would greatly appreciate it." }QUOTE

Igorn ; I think the biggest problem MOST have with SOVIET statistics is the rather clear propaganda in the vast majority of those very stats.
The Glorious party loved to embellish the deeds and make as many up of "heros of the soviet union" whether the alleged person(s) were dead or alive.


First of all the list of the Russian Tank Aces I posted is not an official Soviet statistic. Such stastics was never available and published in the Soviet Union and individual tank wins were not considered in the Soviet Union as a big achievement. This list first appeared published only in 90s in Russia and was based on the archival and other available sources in order to pay tribute to almost uknown Russian tank crew solders.

To those who question credibility of the wins of Russian Tank Aces I can just repeat that There is no precise data about all the wins of the below listed tank aces, who in reality could have scored much more wins. As I explained above individual tank wins were not counted and not highly rewarded. As a result of such practice outstanding Russian tank aces such as Samokhin, Lavrinenko or Kolobanov were not awarded as the Hero of the Soviet Union during the war. As one can see below, very often information is only available about one battle or one day and nobody knows exactly how many tank wins those Russian aces scored. So in reality the number of wins is more likely to be underestimated that overestimated.

Best Regards from Russia,

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Imad
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Post by Imad » 05 Jan 2005 20:37

Well done Igorn. I really appreciated the info on Russian Tank Aces which I have been looking for for a while, even though I will take it , like I take German claims on tank kills, with a grain of salt. We all have to remember that Russian and Allied tankmen became more proficient with the passing of time, while the quality of the Panzerwaffe actually declined after reaching a critical point. Men like Wittman, Carius, Knispel, et al, remained pretty vicious till the end, but after late '44 they tended to be the exception rather than the rule. The reasons for this are obvious, the high rate of attrition, the lack of fuel, the unwelcome attention of enemy aircraft, and so on and so forth. Your mention of the Soviet tankmen evading an attack by Stukas in 1945 is a reflection of not just their own expertise but also of the declining quality of the Luftwaffe crews towards the end of the war. By the way, are there any books on Russian tank aces?
All the best, Imad

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Alejandro_
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Post by Alejandro_ » 05 Apr 2005 16:48

Igorn

I would just like to know your opinion on some the stories you have mentioned in the forum. Very interesting by the way. For example the T-34 destroying Tiger tanks in Kursk. IMO there can be misidentifications, confusions... some time ago I read that the soviet claims for destroyed Tigers were higher than the number deployed. I assume some of these Tigers were disabled and then repaired, or misidentified with Pz-III/IV.

I am impressed about the T-70 destroying an Elefant or Tiger

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VDV
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Post by VDV » 06 Apr 2005 05:20

I think that in all likelyhood, the Tigers that were lost during Op. Citadel were losses due mostly to Soviet artillery fire and mines. I have a photo of one Tiger that has over a dozen penetrations in it's side -- judging by the size of the holes, it's certain they are from 76.2mm AP shells.

JodelFlieger
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Post by JodelFlieger » 24 Dec 2007 00:57

Hallo all
Gewehrdork,have you ever heard the phrase "throat ache"? I have read it a few times, where german veterans sneered other german servicemen who were avid medal seekers and were willing to risk their fellow crewmen/unit men to get more than an EK1 or 2. Germans were no less wary of glory hunters than any other nationality, especially given the exorbitant publicity given to air/uboat/panzer aces, much more so than in other countries.
regards
JF

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Alex Yeliseenko
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Post by Alex Yeliseenko » 13 Jan 2008 17:03

Alejandro_ wrote:Igorn

I would just like to know your opinion on some the stories you have mentioned in the forum. Very interesting by the way. For example the T-34 destroying Tiger tanks in Kursk. IMO there can be misidentifications, confusions... some time ago I read that the soviet claims for destroyed Tigers were higher than the number deployed. I assume some of these Tigers were disabled and then repaired, or misidentified with Pz-III/IV.

I am impressed about the T-70 destroying an Elefant or Tiger
"Tigers" destroyed even British Valentines (2 pdr gun). Also it is the fact confirmed.

Alex.

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F/PAUL
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Post by F/PAUL » 17 Jan 2008 15:28

This sounds like a case of "the Germans have theirs so we must have ours too" yeah right!!! It is interesting to note that even though the individual kill totals are not large they are signigficant. The Russians had a lot fewer targets to shoot at then the Germans, which leads me to believe that these figures were invented by some very bright stalin-heads!

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