Re: British Tanks
- From: eunometic@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2007 11:27:45 -0400
On Jul 2, 2:08 am, "Geoffrey Sinclair" <gsinclai...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
<eunome...@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
On Jun 29, 1:49 am, "Geoffrey Sinclair" <gsinclai...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
<eunome...@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
On Jun 17, 2:51 pm, Duwop <tut...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
If we can then agree that those resources, for example, could
alternatively produce (total WAG coming now)
4,500 PzV (Panther)
2,000 PzVI (Tiger)
I know the above figures represent estimates. A Panther weighed
about 44 tons, and a T-34 and Sherman around 31 tons. Given the
reputed kill ratio or the superiority numerical superiority required
to overcome the Panther (and Tiger) this suggests an excellent use of
the limited amount of steel and combat troops the German's had.
Let us start with the following figures, for the Normandy fighting,
"A British analysis of tank losses indicates that on average it takes
1.63 hits to knock out a Sherman, 2.55 to knock out a Panther and
4.2 hits to knock out a Tiger."
By what type of gun fired from what vehicle?
All sorts of guns, that is the point, the idea that there will be pure
tank A versus tank B duels is a joke. Try everything, from artillery
through to hand held AT devices.
Then that is no measure of the effectiveness of a Panther or Tiger.
The panther and tiger tanks were a small proportion of the German
tanks in use. Most of the hits against Shermans would have been from
the Kwk 40 of the Mk.IV or the trailer mounted Pak 40 which was well
over 5 times more common than the 88mm Pak 43. These guns had
penetrations of around 140mm at 500m and fell of rapidly after that.
The powerfull KwK 42 75mm L70 of the Panther or Kwk 43 88mm L71 had
penetrations of around 200mm at 500m and much higher velocities and
In terms of survivability there is a world of difference for a Sherman
crew between being hit by a KwK 40 of a Panzer Mk.IV and a Mk.V
(Panther) or Mk.VI tiger.
This is what your 'statistics' don't show.
There were Mk.IV in
Normandy as well as PAK both used against shermans and both of which
had weaker slower 75mm armament than the other big german tanks and
would tend to dilute superiroity of the tiger/panther.
So tell me exactly how does the presence of mark IVs result in the average
Panther or Tiger being easier to disable. That is the figures of numbers of
hits per knock out.
Lies damned lies and statistics. The British statistics you
represented simply counted tanks lost per hit. They did not
categorise what type of hit since that would be quite difficult to
indentify. Hence the effectiveness of the KwK 42 of the panther is
lost amongst the more numerous KwK 40 of the Mk.IV.
Note the relatively thin side armour of the Panther.
31 divided by 1.63 is 19
44 divided by 2.55 is 17
56 divided by 4.2 is 13
1 Its not indicated what weapon was used.
Its called the real world situation where the tanks found themselves
fighting real world situations, not some wargame table with closed
flanks, pure tank forces and lots of open terrain.
That is not the original argument. The original point, from which
you are conveniently diverging, is that the Panther and Tiger
represented a cost effective use of steel and lives.
2 The figures are highly theoretical.
So going out and measuring the number of hits per knock out is
The data is real but it doesn't support your argument, your theory
which is based on assumptions on statistics which are collapsed.
Your assumption that hits per kill represents the kill ratio is highly
theoretical at best.
Real field measurements are theoretical? So what does that make
the proving ground performances?
A Panther hit "once" is
statistically likely to survive, a Sherman far less likely.
This is understood. The point being that the cost of the
Panther versus the cost of the Sherman.
The panther would cost 1.5 times more at most: pro-rata with the
weight and probably less since there are economies of scale.
time the Panther or its buddies have started returning fire. The
result is likely to be Lanchestrian.
Yes folks, the idea here is the Panthers will of course know where
to shoot etc. and they will zero in on the Shermans who will
presumably sit there and take the hits.
Once a tank has fired it is likely to disclose its position; smoke,
fire etc and this will draw a response. Statistically the bigger
german tanks are likely to survive the first shot.
3 The air superiority of allied forces meant that the Panther and
Tigers could not take advantage of their long range superiority for
they daren't venture into open spaces to confront the allied tanks for
even a momment.
So the idea is the closed terrain in Normandy had nothing to do with
the problems of the German tanks, furthermore even on bad weather
days they stayed in hiding, correct?
On bad weather days they could venture out and do what with their
higher velocity guns and optics?
But lets use your rought figures. Panther versus Sherman advantage is
2.55/1.63 = 1.56. That superiority makes up for the extra steel
used in the Panther. In terms of crew survival, where the real cost
is, the Panther wins hands down.
By the way the SS Tiger battalion mentioned below reported 38 casualties
after losing 9 tanks and presumably having others knocked out. The
British reported under a casualty per tank knocked out at Goodwood.
Taking specif actions does not demonstrate a general rule. I note the
above losses are from all causes.
Between 27th August and 7th September as 21st Army group
undertakes its pursuit the average British armoured brigade will
advance 317 miles, and lose an average of 6 tanks per brigade per
day to mechanical failure. If there were no repair facilities then
after the 12 days the 226 tanks in a brigade would be reduced to
154. As an alternate way of looking at this a brigade on the move
would see a tank dropping out on average every 4.4 miles. The
Sherman and Cromwell were considered very reliable.
The SS tiger battalion as noted lost 50% of its tanks in around
6 days of marching the 125 or so miles from Beauvais to Caen.
As of 1 June it had 45 Tigers, including 8 under short term repair.
As of 16 June it had 15 operational tanks, 15 under short term repair
and 6 in long term repair, after 9 had been lost in combat. The
unit had 16 KIA and 22 WIA by 16 June.
now you are attempting to diver to an argument over reliability.
The tanks had just deployed after a long Journey; and as you
conveniently forget German tanks suffered from a lack of alloying
elements and rubber that increased demands on maintenance while their
crews were inexperienced drivers. If regularly and prescriptively
maintained, every 70 miles, the tank could stay reliable.
Assuming the figures are correct then a Tiger unit the size of
a British armoured brigade would lose a tank to break down
roughly every 1.1 miles. The average Panther would use around
1/3 of its engine lifetime doing a 300 mile advance. The Tigers and
Panthers were much more suited to the defensive warfare the
Germans were doing in 1944/45 than to offensive warfare.
So assuming cost is the same as weight
Probably a good assumption.
No, given the apparent cost of the mark IV and Panther. Tanks designed
during the war had more attention placed on mass production techniques.
Given equal starting points.
To give another idea.
British tank costs, design, weight in tons, basic cost in pounds
Infantry mark I, 11, 6,000
Cruiser mark I, 13, 12,700
Matilda, 25.75, 18,000
Cruiser mark II, 14, 12,950
Cruiser mark III, 14.25, 12,000
Cruiser mark IV, 14.75, 13,800
Covenanter, 15.85, 12,000
Crusader, 17.53, 13,700
Valentine, 15.6, 14,900
Churchill, 38.5, 11,150
Cromwell 28, 10,000
Lots of thick armour plate does tend to up the cost of the tank,
but long production runs bring the cost down.
long production runs bring the cost down to raw material costs in all
manufactured items since automation and new techniques eventually
minimise the labour costs on assembly and subassemblies.
then the Tiger was good
value for money. Taking more hits per unit weight to knock out,
then comes the Panther than the Sherman.
Of course the reality is cost is not just related to the weight of the
vehicle, for example it seems the Panther cost around the same as
the Panzer IV, as it was designed to be easier to mass produce.
The claims about Tigers and Panthers killing lots of western allied
tanks for minimal losses are simply exaggerated.
We'll wait and see.
Yes it seems there is no evidence, just the hopeful assumption.
Now for some basic facts.
In the period 6 June to 3 July 1944 the 21st Panzer division
claimed its tanks had knocked out 37 enemy tanks. The
division's losses, total write offs, to 8 July were 54 Panzer IV.
So they were opperating Mk.IV not panther or tiger.
2nd Panzer reported no tank versus tank kills to 3 July and
by 8 July had lost 3 Panzer IV and 20 Panthers.
Panzer Lehr reported 85 kills to 3 July, and had lost 41
Panzer IV and 36 Panthers to 8 July.
12th SS Panzer claimed 105 tank kills to3 July while losing
47 Panzer IV and 37 Panthers by 8 July.
All up the 12th SS, 17th SS, 2nd Panzer, 21st Panzer and
Panzer Lehr claimed 537 tank kills to 3 July, 227 by their tanks.
The US first Army reported to the end of 1 July 1944 it had lost
187 Shermans (Including DD tanks) and 44 M5.
So where are the British, Canadian, Australian losses?
Simple really, if the Panther was killing Shermans at 4 to 1 or
5 to 1 then the Panther must have been quite vulnerable to
other forms of attack or the other German tanks largely not
Guderian's report dated 19 June, delivered 20 June to Hitler on the
tank fighting in Normandy noted "significant numbers of Panzers
from both the 12th SS and Lehr divisions that suffered mechanical
breakdowns during the approach march still haven't arrived in
12th SS had 66 Panthers and 98 Panzer IV as of 10 June, Panzer
Lehr had 88 Panthers and 98 Panzer IV on the same date. Overall
there were 758 Panzer IV, 655 Panthers and 102 Tigers in the western
Panzer units as of 10 June.
So almost precisely 50% of hits on shermans would have been from the
medium velocity KwK 40 of the mk.IV not the hypervelocity KwK 42 and
KwK 43 of the panther and tiger which had nearly 50% more penetration.
The SS tiger battalion entered combat in piecemeal fashion with
around half the tanks operational after breakdowns on the approach
Guderian's report to Hitler on 28 June, "Panzer IV, V and VI have
proven themselves to be good. However the Panther burns
astonishingly quickly." Quoted in Jentz and refers to the fighting in
Normandy. Note the June date
Now a quote, 2nd Army tank losses to 5 August 1944.
"Sherman I/II 75mm 77
Sherman I/II 76mm 0
Sherman III 129
Sherman V 315
Sherman V RAOP 16
Sherman Ic/Vc 79
Sherman Crab 18
Sherman III/IV ARV 4
Note that Sherman "gun" types total 616 while Cromwells total 185, in
otherwise approximately proportional to their distribution. Note also
that German losses of equivalent types - i.e., tank-based chassis -
were 286 in June (including 80 Panthers) and 401 in July (including 125
Panthers). So to obtain the magic 4-to-1 ratio requires that the 205
Panthers lost destroyed 820 Shermans - all by themselves. Now of course
if we add the 616 Commonwealth Shermans lost to the 485 lost by US
forces (coincidentally also for 6 June-5 August) we would have enough,
assuming that only 281 were lost to causes other than Panthers. "
The 4:1 ratio applies only to the Tiger. Your data does not include
Canadian losses and nor do you consider that substantial losses of
Tiger and Panther are from air attack or fuel depletion and
By the way as of 10 June the western Panzer units held 758 mark
IV, 655 mark V, 102 mark VI and 158 Stug.
Jentz notes write offs to 8 July were 25 Stug, 197 Panzer IV, 112 mark V
and 15 mark VI.
The fundamental reality is the Panther was optimised to fight in
the more open terrain commonly found in the east against an
enemy that could not react quickly to new circumstances.
That last sentence seems, about the russians being inflexible, needs
It seems no one has heard of the poor Red Army command and control
systems that meant it was very hard for them to react to any sort of
changed situation on the battlefield.
The lack of radios in Red Army tanks making it very hard for them to
warn each other, so you had things like a German tank trailing the
Soviet formation shooting from behind.
fighting in Normandy was in closer terrain, costing the Panther
much of its long range advantage.
The other thing is opportunity costs, if you again assume weight
equals costs then you have 1.4 Shermans per Panther and 1.8
Shermans per Tiger. We
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- From: Geoffrey Sinclair
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