Jump to content


Historical Discussion: More Tigers; Good or Bad?

MOAR cats

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
52 replies to this topic

Assassin3Fox #21 Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:38 PM

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 28717 battles
  • 826
  • Member since:
    04-05-2014

View PostKOBRAFREAK, on 30 September 2014 - 12:27 PM, said:

The price of each Country, (U.S., U.S.S.R. and Germany), to produce each tank (in todays dollars) says a lot. Sherman, about $30k each. T34, about $60k each, Tiger, about $200K (!) each. America made them by the boat-load because they had automation on their side. Soviets did too. Soviet automotive heavy industry assembly line production was made in the 1920's by Americans. The price of T34's actually decreased over time as the Soviets made them cheaper and cheaper as the lifespan of their tank was roughly 6 months they projected and if in a battle, only 14 hours. They were the masters of planned obsolesce. No component in a T34 was engineered to outlast the tank. This was brilliant as it put more tanks on the battlefield. I saw a T34 at Bovington's tank museum. Rough as S**T is a nice way to put it. It worked, had a powerful gun on it, and was cheap. The perfect recipe. Germany made the Tigers like fine automobiles. They had stringent quality control and needed to be built by master craftsman. Had Germany put their excellent 88mm gun in a tank half as armored and as cheap as possible, and not attack Russia breaking their peace with them, Germany may have won the war, or at least been able to keep all of Europe for themselves. 

 

 

Yes but a big part of why the Germans paid so much for the tanks was 1) They had only recently retaken their industrialized areas (the ones the had agreed to abandon in the Vichy treaty of WW1). and 2) The reason everyone said they lost WW1 was they ran out of soldiers to send to the front.  If you have a death star but no one to pull the trigger you can't destroy Alderann.  The Germans did not have a huge strategic reserve of personnel like the US and USSR did.

 

:)



Matthew J35U5 #22 Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:10 PM

    Major

  • Players
  • 14028 battles
  • 12,033
  • [GIRLS]
  • Member since:
    09-09-2013

View PostAssassin3Fox, on 30 September 2014 - 10:58 AM, said:

1.With regard to the Panther's weak side armor...if you want to fill the role required given the limitations of the time you had to be weak somewhere.  Making the frontal armor very stout and the side armor weak really fit the German national temperament at the time and truthfully was a better fit for the open field engagements that the German designers expected to encounter.  To me, the number one failing in the armoring arrangement was placing a large amount of ammunition storage in the sponsoons behind the very weak armor. It's one thing to make a considered trade off in the armoring arrangements it's another thing entirely to then transform your weakness into an achillies heel.  Aside from the ammunition issue, the armor arrangement of the Panther is really not a significant issue it was more than adequate for tank combat in all situations except heavily broken terrain or a city scape.

 

2. The biggest failure of the design was the suspension and power train arrangements.  Anyone who would willingly put forward an interleaved road wheel design has never had to pull any maintenance on an AFV or produce the thing.  Every road wheel axle requires an an arm and bearing attachment, in one fell swoop they have managed to double the amount of welding and labor to produce the suspension and have cut the space required for the installation in half making it even more difficult to produce.  Worse still is the maintenance. Even without interleaving a broken torsion bar is a nightmare to fix in the field...now you are creating a situation where half the time in order to change out one bar you also have to pull the wheels off two good ones.  Frequently when pulling the wheels off you can damage the arms and/or bars and it is a heavy sweaty job.  If the ground is a little out of sorts you will sometimes find yourself in the position of requiring a crane/lift in order to get the wheels back on. It is a ridiculous design.  Then they make an engine as compact as possible with the block made from aluminum? So you are in a war for national survival and you decide to construct an engine in a manner that is going to create cooling problems from a material that is both difficult to work, difficult to repair?

 

If you pay attention to the design nearly everything in the tank is too complex and it resulted in a large number being lost to mechanical reasons. 


 

3. The reason I maintain that it was still the best chance for a German victory was the PZ IV was inferior to the T34 and KV1 in combat performance.  The German's needed something that could outplay both of these tanks at a tactical level at the front at the cheapest cost possible.  By most accounts in spite of all the additional complexity in the design the Panther had the firepower to take pretty much anything it ran into and only cost about 15-20% more than the PZ IV to produce.  As far as it's lack of effectiveness goes it was always outnumbered in any engagement and by the time it hit the field the German Army was heavily engaged on both fronts.

 

4. As far as taking Moscow...you might be right.  The German Army was halted at the edge of the city in the winter of 1941.  The key point to consider though is in December of 1941 the Germans were forced to confront the fact that the US was soon entering the war and had to strategically realign their force distribution.  At the same time the Soviets were rebuilding and rearming their forces from factories located in rear areas.  My only point here is if they were able to focus only on the eastern front the may have been able to take moscow and had that happened many of the same issues that Germany had in the later stages of 1943 would have applied to the Soviets.  Increasing difficulty in obtaining and moving raw materials, ammunition, gasoline and other supplies. Increasing difficulty in manufacturing tanks and new vehicles.

 

5. As I said I think the Panther was a year too late (1943).  Had the Germans possessed the tank in sufficient numbers for the summer campaign of 1942 and the US not entered the war it is possible that it could have a different outcome but once the US entered it was a foregone conclusion.  The Soviets likely could have taken Germany on it's own but with a substantially higher body count and it probably would have taken at least three additional years.

1. The problem I have is that the weak side armour just makes the frontal armour irrelevant in some cases. In the Tiger Fibel it shows the Tiger's invulnerability zone to the T-34-76 as being ~90-120 degrees centred on the frontal armour. The Panther would have maybe 45-60 degrees of frontal immunity. Which isn't in a vacuum bad as the T-34-76 had no immunity zones to the german cats, but the IS-2 mod. 1944 would have similar immunity zones as the Tiger despite weighing as much as a Panther (to the Panther and tiger rather than the T-34-76, and I expect the ranges would be different) (on the hull anyway. I'm sure there were some places like the turret ring where it could be vulnerable). I understand that the IS-2 and Panther were not designed for the same purpose, but if you view the mass as an analogue for the "cost" of a vehicle, the Panther and IS-2 both needed the same cost of being a 45 ton tank, but the IS-2 is better in almost every conceivable way. (The rate of fire is obviously better for the Panther)


2. I thought that the MAN prototype was selected because (in part) it didn't use aluminium for the engine? But yeah, the suspension was a horrible design. 

3. It would have been better to make a 30 ton medium tank. If the germans didn't insist on making everything enormous they could build a tank that was sufficiently well armoured to be able to counter the T-34 without being so big that it was as unreliable as the Panther. If the frontal armour was 60 mm sloped at 60 degrees as planned it would have been impenetrable to the T-34-76 no? And the T-34-85, while probably able to penetrate the frontal armour at some range would be effectively out-ranged by the 75L/70.

4. I don't know how much the US entering the war changed things. Looking at a table from wikipedia (sourced to: 
Raymond L. Garthoff. The Soviet Manchurian Campaign, August 1945. Military Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Oct. 1969), pp. 312–336), the troop distributions for Germany were (East, West),
June 1941: 2,867,000, 900,000
June 1942:  2,976,000, 744,000
July 1943: 2,477,790, 1,455,210
June 1944: 2,089,400, 1,280,600
Jan 1945: 1,398,000, 932,000
Apr. 1945: 1,960,000 (total)

So as you can see, in the year America entered the war Germany actually decreased the quantity of troops they had in the west in favour of the east. It isn't until the next year that substantial quantities of troops are diverted to the west (and I would assume other quantities of military supplies), at which point Germany has probably lost whatever small chance they might have had at winning the war. Even so, had America entered the war would Germany have been able to support another ~million troops in the Soviet Union? (Or whatever number would have been enough to defeat the Soviet Union). If not, while the extra reserves of troops and supplies would keep Germany from losing for longer, the Soviet union is still going to win a war of attrition.

5. I see that I basically agreed with you here in my last statement. No western front, Germany still most-likely loses, war takes longer, more lives lost.

 


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


Lasidora #23 Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:47 PM

    Major

  • Beta Tester
  • 7313 battles
  • 4,869
  • Member since:
    07-07-2013

A bunch of tigers were supposed to go to normandy to stop the invasion but there was a change of plans against the better judgment of other officials. Most notably, Rommel.

Most tanks that encountered the tiger couldnt fight it face to face. I remember reading about an allied tank crew that was shooting at a tiger and couldnt pen and eventually ran out of ammo (they had been fighting all day) and just stood there looking at the tiger. They go to retreat and the tiger destroys the tracks. then they capture the allied tank crew. dont know if the story is true of false but i always found it funny regardless.

If germany was able to mass produce the tigers 1 and 2 and the panthers. things would have went very differently



GraciousEel761 #24 Posted 30 September 2014 - 07:10 PM

    Major

  • Beta Tester
  • 8620 battles
  • 2,183
  • Member since:
    08-10-2013

View PostSTLxSTANG, on 27 September 2014 - 06:01 PM, said:

The Soviets didnt steam role anything. They got pushed back to Stalingrad and won by attrition with their winter doing most of the work.

 

I don't want to get too deep into this, but the reason that the Soviets were pushed back so deep into Russia was because they had not been stockpiling arms and building tanks preparing for massive invasions like the Germans. As soon as the Soviets got their manufacturing under control, they started out-producing and simply using better tactics during some of the most important engagements of the whole war. The Soviets almost by definition steam-rolled the Germans. They threw bodies, armor and weapons at them until they drowned in misery.

 

Something to look into would be the Battle of Stalingrad. We all have heard of this engagement, but some of the tactics involved show the Germans deficiencies and the Russians success. I'll refer to the encirclement of the German 4th army (quoted by Hitler as being able to storm the gates of heaven) by the new Russian T-34 armored divisions. They were completely annihilated. Turning point right there.


Division 66- The Black Panther Division

Power, Aggressiveness, Endurance.


Matthew J35U5 #25 Posted 30 September 2014 - 07:55 PM

    Major

  • Players
  • 14028 battles
  • 12,033
  • [GIRLS]
  • Member since:
    09-09-2013

View PostLasidora, on 30 September 2014 - 01:47 PM, said:

A bunch of tigers were supposed to go to normandy to stop the invasion but there was a change of plans against the better judgment of other officials. Most notably, Rommel.

Most tanks that encountered the tiger couldnt fight it face to face. I remember reading about an allied tank crew that was shooting at a tiger and couldnt pen and eventually ran out of ammo (they had been fighting all day) and just stood there looking at the tiger. They go to retreat and the tiger destroys the tracks. then they capture the allied tank crew. dont know if the story is true of false but i always found it funny regardless.

If germany was able to mass produce the tigers 1 and 2 and the panthers. things would have went very differently

 

if Germany had been able to master any kind of mass production things could have gone differently. There is no excuse for Germany being out produced by a country with less resources than them.

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


Lasidora #26 Posted 30 September 2014 - 09:07 PM

    Major

  • Beta Tester
  • 7313 battles
  • 4,869
  • Member since:
    07-07-2013

View PostMatthew J35U5, on 30 September 2014 - 03:55 PM, said:

 

if Germany had been able to master any kind of mass production things could have gone differently. There is no excuse for Germany being out produced by a country with less resources than them.

 

bombings destroyed alot of factories thus limiting their armor production.

olemanbyers #27 Posted 30 September 2014 - 10:50 PM

    Captain

  • Players
  • 8225 battles
  • 1,090
  • Member since:
    03-04-2014

View PostMatthew J35U5, on 27 September 2014 - 06:28 PM, said:

 

I'm sure the Soviets were very grateful for the U.S. to fight the 5% of the Wehrmacht that the Soviets weren't steamrollering.

 

and the thousands of tons of food and thousands upon thousands of trucks to move all of it around.

 

hopefully they took time to thankful for why the germans had supply problems:arta:



Matthew J35U5 #28 Posted 30 September 2014 - 11:42 PM

    Major

  • Players
  • 14028 battles
  • 12,033
  • [GIRLS]
  • Member since:
    09-09-2013

View PostLasidora, on 30 September 2014 - 05:07 PM, said:

 

bombings destroyed alot of factories thus limiting their armor production.

 

Germany actually increased production of all war materials despite the bombing campaign. 

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


KOBRAFREAK #29 Posted 01 October 2014 - 01:25 AM

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 16445 battles
  • 98
  • [RED-C]
  • Member since:
    04-06-2014

View PostMatthew J35U5, on 30 September 2014 - 12:55 PM, said:

 

if Germany had been able to master any kind of mass production things could have gone differently. There is no excuse for Germany being out produced by a country with less resources than them.

 

This^^. Germanys coal production was SIX TIMES the Soviets coal production. Germany's steel production was almost FOUR TIMES of the Soviets. Yet across the board the U.S.S.R. was about double Germanys tank production. Russia had to make things simple, cheap, and effective in order to survive. Later in the war, the seat for the loader in the T34 was deemed "wasteful expenditure  of steel" and eliminated. The poor loader had to sit on the floor! lol! :D I doubt ANY German tank omitted crew seating to save steel. 

TKoddaL33 #30 Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:10 AM

    Major

  • Beta Tester
  • 23775 battles
  • 3,526
  • Member since:
    07-01-2013

View PostSTLxSTANG, on 27 September 2014 - 07:01 PM, said:

The Soviets didnt steam role anything. They got pushed back to Stalingrad and won by attrition with their winter doing most of the work.

 

They were in a Non-Aggression Pact with Germany. Soviet Union was deliberately attacked. Then they got their stuff together and with fire burning in the background with the Soviet flag flying they stomped the crap out of all who stood in the way.

"SPEED IS THE ESSENCE OF WAR" - Sun Tzu

 

"Anti-social behavior is a trait of intelligence in a world full of conformists." - Nikola Telsa


Assassin3Fox #31 Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:41 PM

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 28717 battles
  • 826
  • Member since:
    04-05-2014

View PostMatthew J35U5, on 30 September 2014 - 01:10 PM, said:

1. The problem I have is that the weak side armour just makes the frontal armour irrelevant in some cases. In the Tiger Fibel it shows the Tiger's invulnerability zone to the T-34-76 as being ~90-120 degrees centred on the frontal armour. The Panther would have maybe 45-60 degrees of frontal immunity. Which isn't in a vacuum bad as the T-34-76 had no immunity zones to the german cats, but the IS-2 mod. 1944 would have similar immunity zones as the Tiger despite weighing as much as a Panther (to the Panther and tiger rather than the T-34-76, and I expect the ranges would be different) (on the hull anyway. I'm sure there were some places like the turret ring where it could be vulnerable). I understand that the IS-2 and Panther were not designed for the same purpose, but if you view the mass as an analogue for the "cost" of a vehicle, the Panther and IS-2 both needed the same cost of being a 45 ton tank, but the IS-2 is better in almost every conceivable way. (The rate of fire is obviously better for the Panther)


2. I thought that the MAN prototype was selected because (in part) it didn't use aluminium for the engine? But yeah, the suspension was a horrible design. 

3. It would have been better to make a 30 ton medium tank. If the germans didn't insist on making everything enormous they could build a tank that was sufficiently well armoured to be able to counter the T-34 without being so big that it was as unreliable as the Panther. If the frontal armour was 60 mm sloped at 60 degrees as planned it would have been impenetrable to the T-34-76 no? And the T-34-85, while probably able to penetrate the frontal armour at some range would be effectively out-ranged by the 75L/70.

4. I don't know how much the US entering the war changed things. Looking at a table from wikipedia (sourced to: 
Raymond L. Garthoff. The Soviet Manchurian Campaign, August 1945. Military Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Oct. 1969), pp. 312–336), the troop distributions for Germany were (East, West),
June 1941: 2,867,000, 900,000
June 1942:  2,976,000, 744,000
July 1943: 2,477,790, 1,455,210
June 1944: 2,089,400, 1,280,600
Jan 1945: 1,398,000, 932,000
Apr. 1945: 1,960,000 (total)

So as you can see, in the year America entered the war Germany actually decreased the quantity of troops they had in the west in favour of the east. It isn't until the next year that substantial quantities of troops are diverted to the west (and I would assume other quantities of military supplies), at which point Germany has probably lost whatever small chance they might have had at winning the war. Even so, had America entered the war would Germany have been able to support another ~million troops in the Soviet Union? (Or whatever number would have been enough to defeat the Soviet Union). If not, while the extra reserves of troops and supplies would keep Germany from losing for longer, the Soviet union is still going to win a war of attrition.

5. I see that I basically agreed with you here in my last statement. No western front, Germany still most-likely loses, war takes longer, more lives lost.

 

 

On the armor...yes the weak side armor reduces the overall effectiveness of the armor scheme but at least there was some effectiveness with the armor protection...the T34 as you mentioned suffered from deficient armor everywhere at the 30 ton mark.  The T34 was still effective because of it's volume and armament but the Germans lacked the manpower to follow the Soviet model.  I will concede that the IS2 was a superior design to the Panther in protection, but even the IS-2 couldn't reliably Pen the Panther from the front and I believe the reverse was true for the Panther (I could be mistaken but there are a couple of references I remember that cite the Panther's primary weapon having the highest penetrating power of any tank in the war; I don't know if that included the German 128 in the discussion).  Regardless, the Panther was a better balance in terms of cost effectiveness than the much more expensive 70+ ton Tiger.

 

On the engine...I had to look this up.  Apparently the initial engine for both the Panther and the Tiger was an aluminum block engine, it was replaced on the panther after a couple of months with a cast iron block engine with a compact footprint. For some reason I had thought the aluminum stayed with the tank throughout and it did not for either vehicle.

 

On the 30-ton limit...man I hear what your saying and I agree on paper...but the design engineer in me says no. I just don't see the ability to construct a truly effective armoring scheme at 30 tons in that era.  The T34 armor was marginal at 30 tons and was still the best scheme of the era at that weight limit. I think a big part of the reason the German vehicles are all slab sided is cause they were constructed and armored with rolled plate the only way I can come up with something effective at that weight limit is to cut up the frontal glacis and side armor (kind of like the IS6) which would add a lot of welding and reduce internal volume.  The other point is internal volume limitations...the soviet tanks had to be crewed by guys that were less than 5'7" tall...this was an issue for the majority of Soviet designs in the post war era too.  I don't know that the German's at that time had the manufacturing capacity and know how to build a 30 ton tank that could also protect their soldiers well enough to compete with the quantity of the Soviet army.

 

On the troop distribution...I never realized the commitment in on the Western front was that low...for some reason I thought it was in the 1.5 million range by summer of 1942.  That is a new one for me.

 

On the conclusion...yup we mostly agree...the only caveat I have out there is that there is some question as to how stable and capable the soviets were at the conclusion of the war in 1945.  The Soviet economy and population were absolutely savaged from 1941-1943 and while they managed to mobilize their industrial sector virtually everything in the country was disrupted by death and damage.  There is some thought out there that they may not have been able to sustain the mobilization long enough to actually defeat the Germans without the strategic bombing campaign in the German homeland but it is purely a hypothetical discussion since there is no way to know either way.


Edited by Assassin3Fox, 01 October 2014 - 04:45 PM.


Dennis420b #32 Posted 01 October 2014 - 06:06 PM

    Major

  • Beta Tester
  • 26817 battles
  • 3,547
  • Member since:
    09-04-2013
Without reading all that and just focusing on the question. Less, or none. Maintenance, cost, transportation, man hours and the eventual developments in angled armor really surpassed the needs of the tank. They should have just copied the T-34 as many of the generals had suggested. What would have been the cost per unit between the T-34 and Tiger?

Matthew J35U5 #33 Posted 01 October 2014 - 06:35 PM

    Major

  • Players
  • 14028 battles
  • 12,033
  • [GIRLS]
  • Member since:
    09-09-2013

View PostAssassin3Fox, on 01 October 2014 - 12:41 PM, said:

 

On the armor...yes the weak side armor reduces the overall effectiveness of the armor scheme but at least there was some effectiveness with the armor protection...the T34 as you mentioned suffered from deficient armor everywhere at the 30 ton mark.  The T34 was still effective because of it's volume and armament but the Germans lacked the manpower to follow the Soviet model.  I will concede that the IS2 was a superior design to the Panther in protection, but even the IS-2 couldn't reliably Pen the Panther from the front and I believe the reverse was true for the Panther (I could be mistaken but there are a couple of references I remember that cite the Panther's primary weapon having the highest penetrating power of any tank in the war; I don't know if that included the German 128 in the discussion).  Regardless, the Panther was a better balance in terms of cost effectiveness than the much more expensive 70+ ton Tiger.

 

On the 30-ton limit...man I hear what your saying and I agree on paper...but the design engineer in me says no. I just don't see the ability to construct a truly effective armoring scheme at 30 tons in that era.  The T34 armor was marginal at 30 tons and was still the best scheme of the era at that weight limit. I think a big part of the reason the German vehicles are all slab sided is cause they were constructed and armored with rolled plate the only way I can come up with something effective at that weight limit is to cut up the frontal glacis and side armor (kind of like the IS6) which would add a lot of welding and reduce internal volume.  The other point is internal volume limitations...the soviet tanks had to be crewed by guys that were less than 5'7" tall...this was an issue for the majority of Soviet designs in the post war era too.  I don't know that the German's at that time had the manufacturing capacity and know how to build a 30 ton tank that could also protect their soldiers well enough to compete with the quantity of the Soviet army.

Regarding armour penetration, on the first page I posted a document showing the results of Soviet weapon tests:
The 85 mm High-Power experimental gun penetrated 116/143, the 100 mm D10 penetrated 140/170, the 122 D25 135/165, the 122 mm High-Power experimental gun penetrated (obscured but I think 186) 186/230, the 152 mm high-power experimental gun penetrated 194/244, the 75L/70 penetrated 114/150, and the 88L/71 penetrated 137/168. All penetration values in mm at 100 m, with the first number being a test against a plate angled 30 degrees from vertical, the second being a flat plate. 

So of the guns that were actually used on mass-produced tanks, the L/71 is only slightly more powerful than the 122 D25, and the 75L/70 is fairly significantly less, albeit much more powerful than either the 88L/56 or the T-34-85's gun which have only 120 and 119 penetration at 100 m against a flat plate respectively. 

I don't know exactly how effective armour worked in real life (sloped plates were more effective than their LOS thickness would suggest, if you look at some of the above values you'll see something like the 88L/71 being able to penetrate 168 mm of flat armour, but only 137 mm at 30 degrees, even though the LOS thickness of that plate is 158 mm), so I don't know if the 122 D25 could penetrate the Panther's upper glacis, but I would assume it maybe could? If not, the german armour tended to crack even upon non-penetrating hits and HE rounds from the IS-2's gun could probably spall the crew inside to death. The IS-2 initial production model would have been vulnerable to the Panther from the front I think, but the IS-2 mod. 1944 would not have been (except for the turret ring for example).This is all rather tangential however to the indisputable fact that the Panther's upper glacis was pretty well protected against all but the largest of enemy guns. 

I don't really see why it would be impossible to build a well-armoured medium tank in the 30 ton range, in fact, the T-44 was built during WWII, weighed 32 tons, and had (somewhat) superior frontal armour to the Panther, and had substantially better side armour as well. 

Edit—And in case the T-44 being so small is a problem, one could easily make it a bit bigger and reduce the side armour a little. It's not like you desperately need your 30 ton medium tank to have 75 mm of side armour, the Panther's poor side armour is only so egregious because it weighs 45 tons.


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


Assassin3Fox #34 Posted 01 October 2014 - 11:00 PM

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 28717 battles
  • 826
  • Member since:
    04-05-2014

On the gun penetration...not trying to say that the German weapon was 'substantially' more powerful than the 122 or 100mm guns...most accounts characterize them as equivalent in terms of penetration value. Only trying to relate the two tanks in their ability to engage one another successfully from the front. 

 

And just an FYI on the sloped plate...you are correct that sloping the plate increases its protection beyond the LOS thickness but determining the protective value of the plate is dependent on how large and fast the round is on impact along with some math that I can't do.  Essentially larger high velocity projectiles get an advantage against angled plate over a smaller higher velocity projectile due to inertia (until you cross over a certain velocity and the armor begins to behave like a liquid on impact) so I think the USSR guns would even have a slight advantage in some (most) cases.

 

On the IS2...I actually started running down some of this stuff cause I know the IS2 was effective against the Panther but still didn't maintain (or approach) a 1 for 1 exchange rate. The IS2 could engage a Panther frontally but had a lot of difficultly in penning the UFG on the Panther for some reason.  I could not find any specific accounts regarding why this was the case only a few mentions that the D25 had a low first shot engagement rate against the Panther and someone specifically mentioned the UFG but there was nothing else discussed.  I didn't find any mention of UFG problems on the Panther but I didi find a note where the Germans abandoned the face hardening process since it wasn't as cost effective on thicker plates but that did not occur until late 1944.

 

Overall effectiveness numbers for the IS2 are also notably skewed because there was a problem with the armor on early production runs of the tank.  Apparently the early models used a form of cast steel armor which got penned like butter through the front by most german anti-tank guns.  They made a change to the material and increased the thickness and the issue went away but the loss numbers are still lumped in under 'IS2 losses' even though the armor fix made the tank almost a different model.

 

On the 30 ton limit part and the T44...I looked into the T44 it was actually really interesting.  Never studied it in school cause it never had a documented combat history in the west. I would concede that it appears to be a 30 ton design with Armor number on paper that meets what you are describing; however, I have a couple of reservations about the stated number(s) for the side armor on that tank.  The first was weight of armor and placed against the weight of the suspension and power train.  When you start to increase your armor you wind up being forced to increase the weight of the drive train and suspension.

 

I started looking at raw numbers for armor plate thickness to suspension weight using some really rough numbers.  What the Germans had designed into the Panther actually had a much higher percentage of the weight in the power train and suspension than the T44. When I attempted to do the same to compare the Soviet T34 to the T44 it appears that the Soviets were able to cut the suspension and engine weight by about 50%.  This is a big leap and leads me to wonder if the side armor number only exists in the strip of hull visible over the tracks of the T44.  The Soviets also were able to turn the engine sideways in the hull which made the whole machine shorter.  This was something the German's couldn't have done even if they wanted to due to the shortage on material suitable for transmission running gears (they eventually accepted a change to the materials for the gears that caused the transmissions to burn out during heavy use.)

 

The other reservation I have is crew size.  The german's used a 5 man crew versus the T44's 4 man crew.  Given radio tech in WW2 and maintenance requirements of the tanks this was not necessarily unreasonable.  Problem is that extra internal volume for the 5th man does a lot to your hull.  It ends up limiting how sharply you can angle your armor and how low you can build your hull while still retaining adequate internal volume. 

 

The T44 as a for example is almost a foot shorter than the Panther.  That one foot translates into a lot of weight savings on armor  Supposedly, they evaluated the T44 during the prototype phase against a captured German Panther but I can't find anything about what the evaluation said.

 

check out this picture on wiki it's sweet.

 

http://en.wikipedia....and_Panther.JPG



Matthew J35U5 #35 Posted 02 October 2014 - 12:02 AM

    Major

  • Players
  • 14028 battles
  • 12,033
  • [GIRLS]
  • Member since:
    09-09-2013

View PostAssassin3Fox, on 01 October 2014 - 07:00 PM, said:

Overall effectiveness numbers for the IS2 are also notably skewed because there was a problem with the armor on early production runs of the tank.  Apparently the early models used a form of cast steel armor which got penned like butter through the front by most german anti-tank guns.  They made a change to the material and increased the thickness and the issue went away but the loss numbers are still lumped in under 'IS2 losses' even though the armor fix made the tank almost a different model.

 

On the 30 ton limit part and the T44...I looked into the T44 it was actually really interesting.  Never studied it in school cause it never had a documented combat history in the west. I would concede that it appears to be a 30 ton design with Armor number on paper that meets what you are describing; however, I have a couple of reservations about the stated number(s) for the side armor on that tank.  The first was weight of armor and placed against the weight of the suspension and power train.  When you start to increase your armor you wind up being forced to increase the weight of the drive train and suspension.

 

I started looking at raw numbers for armor plate thickness to suspension weight using some really rough numbers.  What the Germans had designed into the Panther actually had a much higher percentage of the weight in the power train and suspension than the T44. When I attempted to do the same to compare the Soviet T34 to the T44 it appears that the Soviets were able to cut the suspension and engine weight by about 50%.  This is a big leap and leads me to wonder if the side armor number only exists in the strip of hull visible over the tracks of the T44.  The Soviets also were able to turn the engine sideways in the hull which made the whole machine shorter.  This was something the German's couldn't have done even if they wanted to due to the shortage on material suitable for transmission running gears (they eventually accepted a change to the materials for the gears that caused the transmissions to burn out during heavy use.)

 

 

The T44 as a for example is almost a foot shorter than the Panther.  That one foot translates into a lot of weight savings on armor  Supposedly, they evaluated the T44 during the prototype phase against a captured German Panther but I can't find anything about what the evaluation said.

 

check out this picture on wiki it's sweet.

 

http://en.wikipedia....and_Panther.JPG

I think that the IS-2 mod. 1944 I keep referring to is the "different model" that the IS-2 became. Apparently from what I've heard the Soviets weren't particularly concerned about noting which exact model of IS they were using, it's apparently difficult to find which units were equipped with IS-1's instead of IS-2's for example.

 

I don't quite know how this would fit into your calculations, but I looked at a T-44 drawing/blueprint, and according to the scale on that the surface area of the front/side/rear armour is approximately 28,500/86,400/17,100 cm^2, for an armour mass (assuming a density of 7.859 g/cc) of approximately 2/5/0.6 tons for the front/side/rear armour respectively, for a total mass of 7.6 metric tons. I have no idea how reasonable that number is (also I excluded the turret), but somewhere between 20-25% of the tank's mass being armour (excluding the turret) seems plausible.

 

I just realized I forgot the underside of the hull which would add another 1.6 tons or so for a total of 9.2 tons. It seems strange to consider that the bottom of the tank would contain 1/6 of its total armour, but I suppose while it is only 2 cm thick, there is quite a lot of bottom of tank. I suppose if we assume the top of the tank is also similarly armoured the total armour mass, excluding the turret would probably be about 10 tons or so. (I just kind of capriciously called it 10 tons for simplicity's sake, but the surface area of the top of the hull would be less than the bottom of the tank considering I haven't counted the turret and the front few feet of the top of the T-44 is its upper plate)

 

I think it's interesting looking at that picture, not only is the T-44 about a foot shorter, but it looks like the T-44 is held further off the ground than the Panther is by its suspension. That would suggest to me that the surface area of the Panther's sides is even greater than would be suggested by the difference in height at the top of the tanks.


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


KOBRAFREAK #36 Posted 02 October 2014 - 12:06 PM

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 16445 battles
  • 98
  • [RED-C]
  • Member since:
    04-06-2014

View PostDennis420b, on 01 October 2014 - 11:06 AM, said:

Without reading all that and just focusing on the question. Less, or none. Maintenance, cost, transportation, man hours and the eventual developments in angled armor really surpassed the needs of the tank. They should have just copied the T-34 as many of the generals had suggested. What would have been the cost per unit between the T-34 and Tiger?

 

$300,000 each for the Tiger and about $60,000 each for the T34 in todays dollars. 

Matthew J35U5 #37 Posted 02 October 2014 - 01:36 PM

    Major

  • Players
  • 14028 battles
  • 12,033
  • [GIRLS]
  • Member since:
    09-09-2013

View PostKOBRAFREAK, on 02 October 2014 - 08:06 AM, said:

 

$300,000 each for the Tiger and about $60,000 each for the T34 in todays dollars. 

 

Cost in a command economy can't really be compared to cost in a non-command economy. More relavent would be man-hours and resources needed for the production of each unit.

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


WidowMaker1711 #38 Posted 02 October 2014 - 02:02 PM

    Major

  • Players
  • 11835 battles
  • 10,002
  • [BNKR]
  • Member since:
    02-12-2014

View PostLasidora, on 30 September 2014 - 06:47 PM, said:

A bunch of tigers were supposed to go to normandy to stop the invasion but there was a change of plans against the better judgment of other officials. Most notably, Rommel.

Most tanks that encountered the tiger couldnt fight it face to face. I remember reading about an allied tank crew that was shooting at a tiger and couldnt pen and eventually ran out of ammo (they had been fighting all day) and just stood there looking at the tiger. They go to retreat and the tiger destroys the tracks. then they capture the allied tank crew. dont know if the story is true of false but i always found it funny regardless.

If germany was able to mass produce the tigers 1 and 2 and the panthers. things would have went very differently

 

The Tigers deploying or not as the case may be is all down to internal politics between Field Marshal Von Rundstedt (Commander of all Troops based in France and Field Marshal Rommel (Commander Army Group B) in the run up to D Day, and yes the Germans knew it was coming but not where or when. They had differing views as to how and where the armoured reserves should be deployed so that in the end Hitler made the decision for them, backing up Von Rundstedt. Hitler also took away powers of deployment from Rommel and Von Rundstedt.  So on D Day with Von Rundstedt trying to organise some sort of defence a phone call to the OKW (Ober Kommando Wehrmact) where Hitler was, was not acted upon as Hitler was apparently sleeping and nobody wanted to wake him. It was daylight by the time Hitler gave the order for the tanks to be moved up, by which time there were British Typhoons and American P47s just loitering over the Cotentin Peninsula to shoot anything that moved and British and American Medium Bombers had reduced the vast number of bridge and rail heads to little more than rubble and scrap metal pretty much negating the deployment of the German Armour.

For Russ and the Allfather

 

 


Assassin3Fox #39 Posted 02 October 2014 - 02:39 PM

    First lieutenant

  • Players
  • 28717 battles
  • 826
  • Member since:
    04-05-2014

View PostMatthew J35U5, on 02 October 2014 - 09:36 AM, said:

 

Cost in a command economy can't really be compared to cost in a non-command economy. More relavent would be man-hours and resources needed for the production of each unit.

Trying to compare the "cost" of the machine during that period of the war is also really tough because I don't think there was an exchange rate for Riechmarks to rubles...for costing purposes those rates have been determined mostly by historians.  But I agree about comparing the resources needed for each. 

 

I will state that for all the success in combat the German designs were ALL incredibly complex given the technology of the time.  The thing that always gets me is in most cases the features that made the tank effective in combat was fairly simple.  Radio's on the vehicle, high powered armament, effective armoring scheme...even the range finders they used late in the war were not much more than a pair of calibrated Binoculars.  There was very little need to make the engine out of aluminum or more compact.  There was no need to use interleaved road wheels. They could have used larger road wheels with casted ports to cut back on weight and material. There was no need for a double Torsion bar suspension. Larger, fewer bars tend to perform better are more durable and are easier to manufacture to a consistent standard of quality.  Overall it seems like all of the German designs tried to use a larger number of smaller heavily machined components when fewer, cruder and more robust components would have fit their needs better.

 

When I think about trying to supervise the manufacture of the anchoring provisions for the suspension I shudder to think of all the measuring, welding, drilling, and inspection involved.  If they used "conscript" Labor to manufacture the thing at any phase it is no surprise that they were suffering mechanical breakdowns at an alarming rate.



Dennis420b #40 Posted 03 October 2014 - 03:48 AM

    Major

  • Beta Tester
  • 26817 battles
  • 3,547
  • Member since:
    09-04-2013

View PostMatthew J35U5, on 02 October 2014 - 08:36 AM, said:

 

Cost in a command economy can't really be compared to cost in a non-command economy. More relavent would be man-hours and resources needed for the production of each unit.

 

Well the degree of effort going into a Tiger vs the T-34 is an obvious one. Using dollars is just a convenient way to sum up the total cost of a unit. Obviously its not like a vending machine where you insert "X" amount of money and a tank pops out. But we can mass all those many sums in a monetary cost and derive an abstract overall cost to compare them.

A better way to actually look at it would be to see how many T-34s could the USSR make at full capacity vs. how many Tigers Germany could have produced also at full capacity. In this sense we have Germanys manufacturing potential helping out the Tigers higher level of effort and material needed, but is that enough to erode the advantage of simplicity the T-34 has?

But again if we are going down that rabbit hole why not also consider the fact that neither nation could focus that level of manufacturing to just one item. So now we have to look at the needs of the army other than Tiger/T-34 tank production. Germany' large industrialized sector is hampered by raw materials, and labor isues, but also Germany has no allies supplying them with weapons and material to supplement its needs (Yes the Czechoslovakian arsenals and factories helped immensely to Germany's war effort, it is still organized and funded by Germany). The Russians received all kinds of weapons that freed up their manufacturing for what was needed most. During the Tigers years of production the other services were all demanding more. The Germans had to make everything stretch. Russia conversely has less manufacturing potential, but no real problems of material and man hours. And again they are supplemented by the western allies.

Total Tiger production was 1,300+. T-34 production in 1944 alone was 11,000+. Clearly this shows not only the ease of manufacture of the T-34 vs the Tiger, but also each countries freedom to produce what was needed. Without lend lease could the Soviets have had the freedom to produce such a prodigious amount in a year? Probably not, but the cost to the Soviets was far less at any rate than that of the Germans with the Tiger and production would have been high as a result. making the Tiger still just a drain on the German war machine. Great tank from the tankers perspective, but more of a special novelty than a real front line tank to the army. Hence their use in independent battalions attached as needed at the corps level rather than regularly attached permanently to divisions (a few exceptions). The T-34 on the other hand was clearly a workhorse for the Soviets. In that sense the T-34 clearly has a bigger impact than the Tiger.
 




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users