Collaboration with Ferdinand

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Aida1
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Collaboration with Ferdinand

Post by Aida1 » 07 Sep 2022 14:23

"16 Panzergrenadierdivision commander HQ 07.10.1943
Abt IA nr 796/43
Concerns:collaboration with Ferdinand and Sturmpanzern
To achieve a successful collaboration between infantry and Ferdinand, one needs to be aware of some particularités of this superheavy tank
1)The Ferdinand tank has a weight of 75 tons. It is therefore even more heavy on the battlefield than the Tiger. Advance and positioning as terrain of attack need an even more thorough recce than in the deployment of Tiger.
2)The enormous weight of the Ferdinand makes even the smallest repairs more difficult. For example:to change the tracks one needs a heavy winch is needed to lift the Ferdinand. It is almost impossible to do repairs on the battlefield and under enemy fire. Disabling of a Ferdinand close to the enemy is therefore not very pleasant. When this happens in terrain occupied or controlled by fire by the enemy, it must mostly be blown up. In the attack on Kursk many Ferdinand were lost this way which advanced deep into the enemy and had been separated from the infantry by the massed enemy artilleryfire. In addition, the machinery of the Ferdinand holds out only for a very short distance with its heavy weight. With Ferdinand that were deployed in this combat sector, the machinery is already very used and therefore very susceptible. "

To be continued.

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Aida1
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Re: Collaboration with Ferdinand

Post by Aida1 » 07 Sep 2022 16:20

"3) The Ferdinand is only armed with a gun. In the infantry field it is pretty helplessly exposed to enemy destroyer troops without a machine-gun and 2 cm gun. The gun cannot be turned in the turret. If the tank wants to fire right or left, it must turn itself, which takes a lot of time with its heavyness. The dead angle of more than 200 m makes itself felt very unfavorably in such a situation. The Ferdinand tank is therefore not suitable to drive alone into the enemy.
4) The Ferdinand tank is a mighty beast, which as soon as it appears on the battlefield, draws on itself the heaviest enemy fire from all sides. It is impossible to have infantry advance coupled to these tanks. It inevitably gets fixed in place with heavy losses.

However, the Ferdinand has the following advantages:

a) the armor is so strong that enemy fire up to 12,2 cm cannot do it much. In the fighting in the Saporoshe bridgehead, until now no Ferdinand was disabled through enemy fire. However one tank that had ventured too far alone into the enemy infantry field was destroyed by a tank destroyer troop.
b) the Ferdinand has a gun with an unheard off firing performance. It destroys T 34 and KV1 at any distance.
c) Coupled with Sturmpanzern which in direct firing shoot 15 cm shells with destructive force both tank types can deploy a strong and destructive fire effect. "

To be continued

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Aida1
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Re: Collaboration with Ferdinand

Post by Aida1 » 07 Sep 2022 19:17

"When one considers these advantages and disadvantages of Ferdinand and Sturmpanzern one comes to the following result for their collaboration with infantry:
1)These tanks are not tanks that accompany infantry. They must drop back from the advancig infantry and work with their fire that is even effective at long range in the area in front of the advancing infantry. The clinging of the infantry to supposed cover of the big tanks is pernicious and mostly ends with big losses.
2) At the break in in the enemy, the Ferdinand and Sturmpanzern are accompanied by the own Panzer III and IV who with their agile fire keep away the close infantry attacks from the Ferdinands.
3) When the infantry is cleverly moved forward under the enormously strong fire support from the Ferdinand and Sturmpanzern and the break-in spot is blanketed with their concentric fire, the infantry can with quite certainly obtain a good offensive success. The prerequisite for such good succeeding is however a thorough recce and discussion about terrain, setup and progress of the deployment between the commanders of Ferdinand and the infantry before the beginning of the attack.
I expect that these guidelines for the collaboration with Ferdinand and Sturmpanzern will in a short time become common knowledge of all officers, particularly batallion and regimental commanders. Ferdinand and Sturmpanzern are at this time the strongest and best attack weapon of the German army. Deploying them expertly and cleverly brings the Infantry good prospects of success and lower losses. "

Concluded

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