"designed to look deadly"

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
South
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"designed to look deadly"

Post by South » 31 Aug 2018 19:12

https://foreignpolicyi.org/the-stronges ... iger-tank/

Good afternoon all,

Not sure if this is appropriate place for article. Am relying on "Discussions...Armed Forces in general".

Article on the redesigns resulting in the Tiger II tank.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

Peter89
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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Peter89 » 09 Sep 2018 15:48

Well, that design was actually a grave mistake, a hallmark of German tank development in late war.

By 1943 it was clear that the war was lost, or at least with conservative means. The Germans could only have hope in a miracle, a Wunderwaffe, so they spent more and more money to achieve a technical breakthrough which can turn the tide of war, and this resulted some very weird and awesome technologies, well ahead of their age. Of course many of those had teething problems, and their actual effect was comprable to none, but some entered mass production and left their mark on the history of warefare (eg.: V-1, V-2, shaped charge, jet bombers, Stg44). Tiger II was not.

The concept of Tiger II was conceived amidst the bitter reality of the Ostfront; a war of attrition where German units had to reach an impossible death / kill ratio, just to stay in the game a little longer. To achieve that ratio, the Wehrmacht needed experienced soldiers, and besides, Germany couldn't support his Panzertruppe with freshly trained crews. Also, a costly but well-performing tank could be actually cheaper than 2-4 mass-produced, average quality tank; even their fuel consumption, maintanance need, crew training cost, logistical needs were lower in relative terms. Or at least in theory.

Reality was the problem.
The Wehrmacht fought a defensive war with limited to nonexistent air cover, rendering heavy tanks almost useless. The combat situation, where they could have been excelled, never came.

The Germans also designed even bigger tanks, such as the Maus.

The Manhattan project, headed by refugee scientist from the Axis countries, could have altered the course of war. The Axis nations suffered terribly from the lack of knowledge. Even the remaining intelligentsia was mistreated, eg. Nobel laureats were conscripted, scientific workforce were digging trenches and carrying out menial tasks.

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by jesk » 09 Sep 2018 16:20

Tigers, Panthers, defeats in the air war all this, according to Hitler's plan, was to divert attention from the situation at the front. Much more relevant than the new tanks, for the Germans was the question of whether the soldiers will return from Norway and the Baltic States to protect Germany. By the beginning of 1945 there were 800,000 of them, so many soldiers did not prevent Russians from committing outrage in the Reich.

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Captured german Kar98k rifles at Stavanger, Norway, 1945. How many Soviet soldiers could have been shot from these guns?!

Gilles de Rais
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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Gilles de Rais » 29 Sep 2018 20:53

I don't think Tiger tanks were a mistake, as they were rather a necessity. They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. Critics of Tigers forget that Soviets also empleyed heavy tanks and if Germans haven't build these models, their defeat on the Eastern Front would only come sooner and not later. Tiger tanks have played a huge role in slowing down Soviet (and Allied) offensives late in the war.
jesk wrote:
09 Sep 2018 16:20
Captured german Kar98k rifles at Stavanger, Norway, 1945. How many Soviet soldiers could have been shot from these guns?!

Not too many, as there were hardly any Soviet soldiers in Norway. :D

Besides, that's not a topic of this thread, so this post is off-topic.

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by jesk » 29 Sep 2018 21:08

Gilles de Rais wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:53
jesk wrote:
09 Sep 2018 16:20
Captured german Kar98k rifles at Stavanger, Norway, 1945. How many Soviet soldiers could have been shot from these guns?!

Not too many, as there were hardly any Soviet soldiers in Norway. :D

Besides, that's not a topic of this thread, so this post is off-topic.
Topics overlap indirectly. Why did the Tiger and Panther tanks appear? In order to divert attention from affairs at the front by talking about advantages of the enemy in the technical field. 74 years after end of war, it works. Technical innovations of the time are discussed in the context of impact on the outcome of war.

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Peter89 » 30 Sep 2018 08:16

Gilles de Rais wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:53
I don't think Tiger tanks were a mistake, as they were rather a necessity. They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. Critics of Tigers forget that Soviets also empleyed heavy tanks and if Germans haven't build these models, their defeat on the Eastern Front would only come sooner and not later. Tiger tanks have played a huge role in slowing down Soviet (and Allied) offensives late in the war.
Not at all. German AFVs (including SPGs) caused ca. one-third of the Allied tank losses. The majority were lost to ATGs and mines.

The Soviet heavy tank deployment in the defensive operations of 1941-42 was also an exercise in futility, even though some KV-2 could claim exceptional kill ratios, holding off entire PzDs, like in the Battle of Raseinai.

Heavy tanks were meant to break through and to counter-attack locally. They are not weapons of defensive war, which Germans fought from 1943. Their cost-effectiveness - measured in their alternatives - was terrible.

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Art » 30 Sep 2018 11:52

Gilles de Rais wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:53
Not too many, as there were hardly any Soviet soldiers in Norway. :D
An off-topic here, but actually there were:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petsamo%E ... _Offensive
Naval raiding parties visited North Norway coast even earlier.

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Gilles de Rais » 30 Sep 2018 14:08

Peter89 wrote:
30 Sep 2018 08:16
Gilles de Rais wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:53
I don't think Tiger tanks were a mistake, as they were rather a necessity. They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. Critics of Tigers forget that Soviets also empleyed heavy tanks and if Germans haven't build these models, their defeat on the Eastern Front would only come sooner and not later. Tiger tanks have played a huge role in slowing down Soviet (and Allied) offensives late in the war.
Not at all. German AFVs (including SPGs) caused ca. one-third of the Allied tank losses. The majority were lost to ATGs and mines.

The Soviet heavy tank deployment in the defensive operations of 1941-42 was also an exercise in futility, even though some KV-2 could claim exceptional kill ratios, holding off entire PzDs, like in the Battle of Raseinai.

Heavy tanks were meant to break through and to counter-attack locally. They are not weapons of defensive war, which Germans fought from 1943. Their cost-effectiveness - measured in their alternatives - was terrible.
Look at contribution of Tigers in defensive battles. It was huge. Your post offers no arguments for your claims. Heavy tanks were simply necessary. The fact Western Allies also developed them proves that.

Art,

yes I was aware of that. That's why I said "hardly any" and not "there were none".

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Peter89 » 01 Oct 2018 07:57

Gilles de Rais wrote:
30 Sep 2018 14:08
Peter89 wrote:
30 Sep 2018 08:16
Gilles de Rais wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:53
I don't think Tiger tanks were a mistake, as they were rather a necessity. They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. Critics of Tigers forget that Soviets also empleyed heavy tanks and if Germans haven't build these models, their defeat on the Eastern Front would only come sooner and not later. Tiger tanks have played a huge role in slowing down Soviet (and Allied) offensives late in the war.
Not at all. German AFVs (including SPGs) caused ca. one-third of the Allied tank losses. The majority were lost to ATGs and mines.

The Soviet heavy tank deployment in the defensive operations of 1941-42 was also an exercise in futility, even though some KV-2 could claim exceptional kill ratios, holding off entire PzDs, like in the Battle of Raseinai.

Heavy tanks were meant to break through and to counter-attack locally. They are not weapons of defensive war, which Germans fought from 1943. Their cost-effectiveness - measured in their alternatives - was terrible.
Look at contribution of Tigers in defensive battles. It was huge. Your post offers no arguments for your claims. Heavy tanks were simply necessary. The fact Western Allies also developed them proves that.

Art,

yes I was aware of that. That's why I said "hardly any" and not "there were none".
The Western allies fought the war in Europe without a proper heavy tank. They rather developed and produced multirole tanks like M4. Pershings arrived at the end, and they had no significant impact.

No arguments...?

1.) Heavy tanks are not meant for defense. Germany fought a defensive war in 1943-1945, the time when their heavy tanks were produced. So producing heavy tanks in a defensive war is futile, even if some of them can claim exceptional kill ratios.

See:
https://m.warhistoryonline.com/world-wa ... vance.html

2.) You said "They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. ". But - I argued - the main cause of the tank losses were not tanks, but ATGs and mines.

See: https://panzerworld.com/german-tank-kil ... tank-kills

3.) In the early war, when Germany possessed no heavy tanks, Germans could eventually overcome the much better protected and gunned tanks with ATGs, coordination and air force. Like they did at Arras, Raseinai, Brod and later, Smolensk.

See: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... been-19836

4.) I said their cost effectiveness was terrible.

The cost of a Tiger II was 800,000 RM. A Tiger I was 300,000 RM. In addition, they required regular maintenance, fuel, lubricants, spare parts, rare elements for their armor, a highly trained crew and a railroad network to move them (as they were incapable to move long distances on their own).

The cost of a PAK 40 was 12,000 RM, a PAK 43 was 21,000 RM.

Battle ready MBTs, PzIV and PzV costed 110,000 RM and 150,000 RM, respectively. Their tank destroyer derivates costed significantly less (and the cost of the STUG 3 and Hetzer was even lower).

See: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... /image.jpg

https://panzerworld.com/armor-and-artil ... -tank-guns

Gilles de Rais
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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Gilles de Rais » 01 Oct 2018 12:19

Peter89 wrote:
01 Oct 2018 07:57
Gilles de Rais wrote:
30 Sep 2018 14:08
Peter89 wrote:
30 Sep 2018 08:16
Gilles de Rais wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:53
I don't think Tiger tanks were a mistake, as they were rather a necessity. They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. Critics of Tigers forget that Soviets also empleyed heavy tanks and if Germans haven't build these models, their defeat on the Eastern Front would only come sooner and not later. Tiger tanks have played a huge role in slowing down Soviet (and Allied) offensives late in the war.
Not at all. German AFVs (including SPGs) caused ca. one-third of the Allied tank losses. The majority were lost to ATGs and mines.

The Soviet heavy tank deployment in the defensive operations of 1941-42 was also an exercise in futility, even though some KV-2 could claim exceptional kill ratios, holding off entire PzDs, like in the Battle of Raseinai.

Heavy tanks were meant to break through and to counter-attack locally. They are not weapons of defensive war, which Germans fought from 1943. Their cost-effectiveness - measured in their alternatives - was terrible.
Look at contribution of Tigers in defensive battles. It was huge. Your post offers no arguments for your claims. Heavy tanks were simply necessary. The fact Western Allies also developed them proves that.

Art,

yes I was aware of that. That's why I said "hardly any" and not "there were none".
The Western allies fought the war in Europe without a proper heavy tank. They rather developed and produced multirole tanks like M4. Pershings arrived at the end, and they had no significant impact.

No arguments...?

1.) Heavy tanks are not meant for defense. Germany fought a defensive war in 1943-1945, the time when their heavy tanks were produced. So producing heavy tanks in a defensive war is futile, even if some of them can claim exceptional kill ratios.

See:
https://m.warhistoryonline.com/world-wa ... vance.html

2.) You said "They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. ". But - I argued - the main cause of the tank losses were not tanks, but ATGs and mines.

See: https://panzerworld.com/german-tank-kil ... tank-kills

3.) In the early war, when Germany possessed no heavy tanks, Germans could eventually overcome the much better protected and gunned tanks with ATGs, coordination and air force. Like they did at Arras, Raseinai, Brod and later, Smolensk.

See: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... been-19836

4.) I said their cost effectiveness was terrible.

The cost of a Tiger II was 800,000 RM. A Tiger I was 300,000 RM. In addition, they required regular maintenance, fuel, lubricants, spare parts, rare elements for their armor, a highly trained crew and a railroad network to move them (as they were incapable to move long distances on their own).

The cost of a PAK 40 was 12,000 RM, a PAK 43 was 21,000 RM.

Battle ready MBTs, PzIV and PzV costed 110,000 RM and 150,000 RM, respectively. Their tank destroyer derivates costed significantly less (and the cost of the STUG 3 and Hetzer was even lower).

See: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... /image.jpg

https://panzerworld.com/armor-and-artil ... -tank-guns

The Western Allies had total air supremacy during the whole campaign on the Western Front. If they didn't have it, they would have great problems dealing with German heavy tanks. Why did they develop Pershing's then?

1.Heavy tanks are multifunctional as is every weapon. They can mount local counter-attacks even during defensive operations. Look at contribution of Tiger's during Soviet offensive operations in Moldova and Romania during early 1944.

2. The main lossess of infantry are caused by artillery and not by rifles. Using your logic, soldiers shouldn't be armed with rifles as they don't cause many casualties. Heavy tanks are necessary for the whole range of tasks on the battlefield. It's irrelevant how many casualties they cause in total, as they are relatively small in numbers.

3. They possessed no heavy tanks and that's why Soviets slowed down German advances on numerous occasions in 1941 and basically terrified German soldiers with their heavy tanks. Using Flak's to defeat enemy's heavy tanks is a sign of desperation, not good strategy. If Rommel wasn't around, perhaps Germans would have been routed.

4. It's far more logical and it gives you far more tactical options to have a mixed tank platoon consisting of 2 Pz IV's and one Tiger I, then to have five Pz IV's that couldn't stand up to an attack by two or three IS tanks. You can't organise tactical counter-offensives with Pak's, so I really see no point in your argument.

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Peter89 » 01 Oct 2018 15:17

Gilles de Rais wrote:
01 Oct 2018 12:19

The Western Allies had total air supremacy during the whole campaign on the Western Front. If they didn't have it, they would have great problems dealing with German heavy tanks. Why did they develop Pershing's then?
But they DID have air supremacy, that's the point.

1.) I said:
Heavy tanks are not meant for defense.
Heavy tanks were meant to break through and to counter-attack locally.
You said:
Gilles de Rais wrote:
01 Oct 2018 12:19
1.Heavy tanks are multifunctional as is every weapon. They can mount local counter-attacks even during defensive operations.
This is like... what? Is this supposed to be an argument, a statement, or else? You don't even pay attention on what I said.

Gilles de Rais wrote:
01 Oct 2018 12:19
2. The main lossess of infantry are caused by artillery and not by rifles. Using your logic, soldiers shouldn't be armed with rifles as they don't cause many casualties. Heavy tanks are necessary for the whole range of tasks on the battlefield. It's irrelevant how many casualties they cause in total, as they are relatively small in numbers.
2.) Haha! No. This is not my logic. This is called syllogism & strawman. Even as that, a bad one. First of all, you said: "They were actually [not] built [as Wunderwaffe, but] as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV." - which danger could be more easily handled with much cheaper means, such as TDs, ATGs, mines, etc. You probably haven't read my sources, eg. the Panzerworld:
"Detailed descriptions of battles during the Second World War will often focus on tanks fighting other tanks. While this is easier to quantify, and no doubt sells more books, it does not reflect the usual conditions under which tanks were destroyed. Actual tank combat focused on breaking through enemy lines using superiority of force while anti-tank gun and tank destroyer units destroyed enemy tanks. This is evident from the fact that the usage of high-explosive tank gun ammunition exceeded that of anti-tank ammunition and that the destruction of anti-tank guns receiving as much emphasis in German unit reports as the destruction of tanks."
Second, you confuse inflicted damage and suffered casualties. If you don't develop heavy tanks, BUT you produce a proper amount of ATGs, TDs, etc. instead, you can still inflict the same amount of damage to the enemy's heavy tanks. The damage of German heavies could be substituted with other means.

Do you understand the difference between the battlefield role of heavy tanks and infantry with small arms? How on Earth do you think you can substitute small arms fire with artillery fire based on the suffered casualties inflicted by them?

Gilles de Rais wrote:
01 Oct 2018 12:19
3. They possessed no heavy tanks and that's why Soviets slowed down German advances on numerous occasions in 1941 and basically terrified German soldiers with their heavy tanks. Using Flak's to defeat enemy's heavy tanks is a sign of desperation, not good strategy. If Rommel wasn't around, perhaps Germans would have been routed.
3.) This is like what, again... Rommel wasn't around in the USSR in 1941, he was in Africa. A different continent, you see.
He was at Arras in 1940, but that is in France. Western Europe. The Germans overcame Soviet heavies in 1941 without Rommel, all the above-mentioned battles went well for them.
Gilles de Rais wrote:
01 Oct 2018 12:19
4. It's far more logical and it gives you far more tactical options to have a mixed tank platoon consisting of 2 Pz IV's and one Tiger I, then to have five Pz IV's that couldn't stand up to an attack by two or three IS tanks. You can't organise tactical counter-offensives with Pak's, so I really see no point in your argument.
4.) Like I said before, please read... then you might see my point. Germany was fighting a defensive war in 1943-1945. I said heavy tanks are not meant for defense, they are not cost-effective, etc. You can counter-attack here and there with medium tanks and TDs, infantry, artillery, etc.

I provided you the prices of some substitutes, and I hope you can count that high. You confused everything, and tried to strawman again. I never said that 5 PzIVs could stand up against 2-3 IS tanks just as your dream platoon of 1 Tiger I + 2 PzIV. But I think 10 PAK 43 and 2 Panthers could deal with them better.

If you compare the manhours spent on their respective production, the difference is even more shocking. The Soviets spent 5,102 manhours to build an IS-2, and 3,633 manhours to build a T-34 in 1944. (source: А. Ю. Ермолов "Танковая промышленность СССР в годы Великой Отечественной войны". Москва, 2009. С. 152, 261. )

According to the Tigerfibel, a single Tiger I required 300,000 manhours to complete. Even the Panther used up like 55,000 manhours. (Even though it's hard to compare, because of the dispersed nature of German arms production.)

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Gilles de Rais » 01 Oct 2018 18:09

2.) Haha! No. This is not my logic. This is called syllogism & strawman. Even as that, a bad one. First of all, you said: "They were actually [not] built [as Wunderwaffe, but] as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV." - which danger could be more easily handled with much cheaper means, such as TDs, ATGs, mines, etc. You probably haven't read my sources, eg. the Panzerworld:
Try stoping 50 IS tanks charging at your line with mines and Pak and tell me the results of that attempt...

The Germans did use extensive Pak's and mines and it was to no avail. I don't see a point in your proposal.
Second, you confuse inflicted damage and suffered casualties. If you don't develop heavy tanks, BUT you produce a proper amount of ATGs, TDs, etc. instead, you can still inflict the same amount of damage to the enemy's heavy tanks. The damage of German heavies could be substituted with other means.

Do you understand the difference between the battlefield role of heavy tanks and infantry with small arms? How on Earth do you think you can substitute small arms fire with artillery fire based on the suffered casualties inflicted by them?
There were many occasions during which Soviet heavy tanks simply pierced German lines and they were stopped by German heavy tank reserves. Tiger heavy tank battalions saved the situation when that happened. Should I cite you all the examples where that happened? So, no; your proposal is not really feasible from the tactical point of view.
3.) This is like what, again... Rommel wasn't around in the USSR in 1941, he was in Africa. A different continent, you see.
He was at Arras in 1940, but that is in France. Western Europe. The Germans overcame Soviet heavies in 1941 without Rommel, all the above-mentioned battles went well for them.
All? You mentioned few battles at the beginning of the war to somehow prove your point. While forgeting that the Soviet forces have been disorganised and suffered from poor battlefield doctrine. That had nothing to do with the fact Germans didn't need heavy tanks. It just meant the Soviets couldn't use their armour in an efficient way. Once they reorganised, mines and Pak's definitely couldn't stop the Soviet tank advances.


Concerning your argument about costs, Tigers were produced in such small numbers that their production (or not production) wouldn't have any impact on the course of the war. You are only one to use the strawman here and your attempt to talk to me in a demeaning way only makes you look unserious. The costs of the Tiger are not important, as its battlefield performance far outweighted anything related to that aspect.

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by jesk » 02 Oct 2018 08:41

On the "strength of tanks." One shot, small hole, crew killed.

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BDV
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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by BDV » 02 Oct 2018 15:10

jesk wrote: On the "strength of tanks." One shot, small hole, crew killed.
Plural of anecdote is not data.

There's a reason why hundred of thousands of tanks were produced during the war but less than 10,000 were active at any given time.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: "designed to look deadly"

Post by Andy H » 02 Oct 2018 15:37

Gilles de Rais wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:53
I don't think Tiger tanks were a mistake, as they were rather a necessity. They were actually not built as Wunderwaffe, but as a reaction to the heavy Soviet tanks such as KV. Critics of Tigers forget that Soviets also empleyed heavy tanks and if Germans haven't build these models, their defeat on the Eastern Front would only come sooner and not later. Tiger tanks have played a huge role in slowing down Soviet (and Allied) offensives late in the war.
Hi Gilles de Rais

They played a role but not huge in the scheme of things.
In specific engagements thier prescence was a factor, but such were their relative small numbers that anything more than a localised success was unusual. I'd be surprised if there combined presence added more than a few weeks (if that) onto the war

The Tigers were planned as an answer to but ended up as a question.

Logitically the Tigers were a pain in the butt not just mechanically but also logistically to move, either by rail or road (especially the King Tiger).

Tigers were a luxury they couldn't afford (literraly) They would have been better off building more Stugs and other SPG's to counter the Allied tank threat after 1943. Aside from minor offensives with limited goals and longterm aspirations were well behind Germany from 1943 omwards.

Regards

Andy H

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