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Who was the most dangerous tank comander during WW II

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Panthergraf #41 Posted 13 April 2015 - 10:25 AM

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So far we have mentioned the commanders of tank armys (Patton, Rommel...) and commanders of single tanks or small tank platoons (Knispel, Wittmann, Carius...)

 

Now let's have a look on regimental tank commanders. Officers who led their own tanks and bigger tank units and battallions. I'm pretty sure the most dangerous regimental tank commander was the fairly unknown Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Groß-Zauche und Camminetz. Or short: "Der Panzergraf" (Count Tank)

 

He served his way up from the rank of First Lieutnant to General, becoming one of only 27 recipients of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. He was a skillfull master of tank warfare on an tactical level, esp. ambushes and sorties behind enemy lines. He was a very special character, a pain in the a.. for his superior officers, highly respectet by his troops (Strachwitz is here - he'll sort it out), he was a very early Nazi Party member but plotted (?) against Hitler. He survived Stalingrad and the war and was wounded a whoppin' 14 times. 

 

"Tanks must not be allowed to stand still. They must be permanently on the move and always led from the front", was his saying, and so he led his troops from the front in his Panzer III K and Panzerbefehlswagen Tiger. 

 

 

For further reading:

 

http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/tiger1_in_action.htm

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinth_Graf_Strachwitz_von_Gro%C3%9F-Zauche_und_Camminetz

 

 

 


Edited by barmbek76, 13 April 2015 - 10:27 AM.


Jip28 #42 Posted 22 April 2015 - 05:55 AM

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Kurt Knispel.  168 confirmed said to be as high as 195.  And he was a Soldier not a book writing, medal polishing, suck-[edited].  He sported long hair and a beard, a leader that took care of members under his command.  The reason he did not reach Wittmans fame because he assaulted officers mistreating POW's and challenged authority.
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Metalrodent #43 Posted 22 April 2015 - 07:54 AM

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I had a brief look for WW1 tank aces, but there really doesn't seem to be much info.

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JETROX #44 Posted 22 April 2015 - 08:14 AM

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View PostLasidora, on 06 September 2014 - 10:21 AM, said:

Wittman. He drove a Stug then a Tiger. He was killed by allied aircraft

 

Wittman was killed when its believed to be a anti-tank round from a the newly in service firefly penetrated the Tiger and hit the ammo stowage and lit the tank on fire blowing off the turret.

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Metalrodent #45 Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:27 PM

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Crazedtiger77 #46 Posted 22 April 2015 - 03:12 PM

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View PostMetalrodent, on 22 April 2015 - 07:54 AM, said:

I had a brief look for WW1 tank aces, but there really doesn't seem to be much info.

 

I don't think there were many because there weren't many tanks to kill on the German side. The most impressive action of a single crew was the siege of the tank 'Fray Bentos' at Passchendaele. http://www.telegraph...chendaele.html 

Edited by Crazedtiger77, 22 April 2015 - 03:12 PM.


Metalrodent #47 Posted 22 April 2015 - 10:24 PM

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That was pretty interesting reading. Surprised that hasn't become a more well known story.

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xMOSERx #48 Posted 18 May 2015 - 12:46 PM

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Knispel of course

 


SL1CKK1LLER105 #49 Posted 03 June 2015 - 11:40 PM

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Perhaps johannes bölter got between 139-144 of vehicles destroyed

                                       

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Frontdackel #50 Posted 04 June 2015 - 07:00 AM

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If we talk about division (and bigger formations) commanders, Guderian has to be mentioned too. 

One of the first commanders to develop and epmploy "modern" tank tactics and strategies. 

http://en.wikipedia..../Heinz_Guderian



Gyrfalcon 642 #51 Posted 08 June 2015 - 06:26 AM

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Just a couple of thoughts:

 

  • Otto Carius never had a tank he commanded knocked out.  Perhaps someone who has read Tigers in the Mud more recently than me will correct me, but Wittman and Knispel both had their tanks knocked out.  Once Carius got his Tiger, he never got knocked out.

 

  • Ernst Barkmann deserves some credit.  If you look at all the top German aces (Knispel, Carius, Wittmann, Bolter, and Barkmann), all of them but Barkmann drove Tigers.  Barkmann is the lone Panther ace.  That has to mean something.


Matthew J35U5 #52 Posted 08 June 2015 - 08:09 PM

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View PostGyrfalcon 642, on 08 June 2015 - 01:26 AM, said:

Just a couple of thoughts:

 

  • Otto Carius never had a tank he commanded knocked out.  Perhaps someone who has read Tigers in the Mud more recently than me will correct me, but Wittman and Knispel both had their tanks knocked out.  Once Carius got his Tiger, he never got knocked out.

 

  • Ernst Barkmann deserves some credit.  If you look at all the top German aces (Knispel, Carius, Wittmann, Bolter, and Barkmann), all of them but Barkmann drove Tigers.  Barkmann is the lone Panther ace.  That has to mean something.

 

Carius writes in his book about his Tiger getting knocked out by an SU-152. 

KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Gyrfalcon 642 #53 Posted 10 June 2015 - 03:39 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 08 June 2015 - 08:09 PM, said:

 

Carius writes in his book about his Tiger getting knocked out by an SU-152. 

 

Was that when the Cupola got blown off his Tiger?  I remember that, I just didn't remember if more damage was done to his Tiger than that.

Aschenblume #54 Posted 10 June 2015 - 03:40 PM

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Carius saved a ton of people at the Baltics.

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DStegCat #55 Posted 10 June 2015 - 04:08 PM

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     Most dangerous commander from a different perspective was the man who made the decision to leave the 76 mm Shermans in England rather than have them at Normandy.  The 76 mm was described as a better hole puncher than the 75 mm.  This left a better tank out of tank vs tank combat endangering their own armored personnel.

    From another perspective whoever made the decision to rush the Panther and it's issues into battle on the Eastern Front at Kursk in 1943 wasted German tankers lives.  May be wrong on numbers but Chieftains video mentions 84 Panthers lost due to mechanical issues of 220 deployed.

  FUBAR.   That's danger.


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Matthew J35U5 #56 Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:32 PM

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View PostGyrfalcon 642, on 10 June 2015 - 10:39 AM, said:

 

Was that when the Cupola got blown off his Tiger?  I remember that, I just didn't remember if more damage was done to his Tiger than that.

Don't think it was the cupola, he described an SU-152 hitting his tiger in the turret ring, and his entire crew bailing out. Presumably the vehicle itself would be repairable though. 

View PostDStegCat, on 10 June 2015 - 11:08 AM, said:

     Most dangerous commander from a different perspective was the man who made the decision to leave the 76 mm Shermans in England rather than have them at Normandy.  The 76 mm was described as a better hole puncher than the 75 mm.  This left a better tank out of tank vs tank combat endangering their own armored personnel.

    From another perspective whoever made the decision to rush the Panther and it's issues into battle on the Eastern Front at Kursk in 1943 wasted German tankers lives.  May be wrong on numbers but Chieftains video mentions 84 Panthers lost due to mechanical issues of 220 deployed.

  FUBAR.   That's danger.

 

I wonder what the number of Panthers lost @ Kursk because of their commander's decision to send them straight through a minefield was. 

KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Panthergraf #57 Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:49 AM

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View PostDStegCat, on 10 June 2015 - 05:08 PM, said:

     Most dangerous commander from a different perspective was the man who made the decision to leave the 76 mm Shermans in England rather than have them at Normandy.  The 76 mm was described as a better hole puncher than the 75 mm.  This left a better tank out of tank vs tank combat endangering their own armored personnel.

    From another perspective whoever made the decision to rush the Panther and it's issues into battle on the Eastern Front at Kursk in 1943 wasted German tankers lives.  May be wrong on numbers but Chieftains video mentions 84 Panthers lost due to mechanical issues of 220 deployed.

  FUBAR.   That's danger.

 

The numbers seem realistic, the Panther was far from being combat ready in summer 1943. According to the Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen's data (Guderian), 44 Panthers in Army Group South sector were lost beyond repair after breakdowns oder combat betweet 5-17 July 1943 and 65 in the whole month.  For comparison the other completely destroyed and written off tanks:

Tiger I: 6

And the work horses of the Panzertruppen:

Stug III: 18

Pz. IV: 79

Pz. III: 40

(Source: Kursk 1943: A Statistical Analysis by Anders Frankson,Niklas Zetterlin, p. 122)

 

 

Compared with Hitler's high hopes and the Panther's potential (on paper) the Panther's baptism of fire was a disaster.

 

 



DStegCat #58 Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:08 PM

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From what I've read 40 Panthers were disabled in the minefield. 

Source is http://www.oocities.org/armysappersforward/kursk.htm

It does not say how many were later recovered after repairs to tracks, etc. or destroyed in place.  I've read somewhere that the Russian captured six Panthers at Kursk.

By the end of that day 40 Panthers were operational.

 

  Many historians are critical of the preparations, training (radio and driver), and integration of the new formation of Panthers into the attacking forces for the Battle of Kursk.

Sources say 6 Panthers caught fire while being brought to lines before the Battle of Kursk. 

 

      It is an interesting read about the design and production of the Panther.  The simplified design by engineers for the transmission was an issue because of the high stress levels on a weaker design.  German production by this time had issues with steel, steel hardening, machine tools, and labor reliability contributing to the Panthers weaknesses. 

 

 

 


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FlukenJager #59 Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:42 AM

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I dont believe these 100s of confirmed kills...what are we including supply trucks? SPGs?  people? machinegun nests?

 

I dont believe 138-168 TANKS killed by a singe tank crew.



WidowMaker1711 #60 Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:48 AM

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View PostFlukeyHen7502, on 18 August 2015 - 02:42 AM, said:

I dont believe these 100s of confirmed kills...what are we including supply trucks? SPGs?  people? machinegun nests?

 

I dont believe 138-168 TANKS killed by a singe tank crew.

 

Why not?? The ingame tanks are somewhat lacklustre against their Real World counterparts. Plus you also have to decipher whos definition of knocked out you are using. And whether you include abandoned tanks in that list too.


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