Discussion in 'World War 2' started by CaptSherman, Mar 20, 2013.
Which was the best tank the Germans had during WWII?
Obviously the tiger 1 & 2
I am going to beslightly awkward about this and sing the praises of the Stug III. It's not one of the more well-known German tanks but it was cheap to produce, it sat low so made a difficult target and it had reasonable firepower. It was hampered by lack of turret but check it out nonetheless.
Tiger had more reputation than Tiger II since it was out on the field longer and it was produced in bigger number. More enemy tanks were destroyed by Tiger. The overall kill to death ratio was over 5 to 1.
Tiger II actually had a lot more technical problems than most people know. By the time it came out, Germany was already low on a lot of resources. Even the steel they make were no longer high quality due to the lack of certain alloy. Tiger II was only produced in hundreds.
Looking at it from a different angle, the Panzer IV must be in with a shout! it is the only german tank to be in production throughout the war. It's design allowed it to be improved and upgraded all through the war. It remained a formidable tank even in 1945. It was reliable, easier and cheaper to build than a Tiger or Panther and although it may not have the image of a Tiger or Panther, it was more flexible than the monster tanks. Above is an earlier model, and below a later model.
later model panthers (with ausf G chassis), 75mm gun with almost the same armor penetration as an 88mm, sturdy armor itself, and pranced around like a spring bunny, whats not to love?
We captured some of those in Baghdad in '03,still in the factory grease.The engineers blew them.......Have to wonder how they made it to Iraq.
It's got to be the Panther, as Wehrmachtmad said. It was made as a solution/reaction to the T-34 and proved to be a formidable medium tank.
However, it's interleaving wheels were as big a burden to it as the Tiger I and Tiger II.
Panzerkampfwagen IV was present at all fronts, from Libya to France then up to Russia. I think it was one of the best overall performer of the European Theater, in its category [tier V] .
It was active since '39 to '45, till the seize of War 2. The formidable variant was Ausf F2 / G, since its 75mm Kwk 40 L/43 had the most equivalent firepower to T34.
It was simple and easy to maintain. Once I read that this have been convertible to Bergepanzer IV [ recover vehicle]. Atleast 10 variants been produced and probably the most lovable tank of the crews..became the main tank of the German Panzertruppen in War 2,that fought on every front.
The Panzer IV was, I believe, originally designed to be an anti-infantry tank with it's short 50mm cannon to be used for bunker busting and high-explosive munitions. It was only when the Germans encountered the T-34 and KV-1 tanks that the higher calibre 75mm cannons were put on it that it became capable of competing.
It became the best-known tank purely because it was the most prolific in German service. Like a lot of the German armoured technology it was over-engineered and complex to maintain.
I remember reading somewhere that the Germans presented the Russians (while they were still 'allies') with a Panzer III. The Russians deemed it an "over-engineered vanity project".
If you look at the complexity of the Tigers and other later tanks you'll see that they never really learned any lessons from that. Although the very last versions of the Panzer IV was significantly simplified if only to ensure they could be made quicker.
I think what you are mentioning as Tiger, probably it was Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf E, of which commander's cupola moved forward into the turret.
During '40, some older models too refitted in the same way.
Here at this point , I often think that the German high command has a fascination of the bigger the better like ideas. During later years of war ,when logistics, resources etc were shrinking, they tried to hold their ground by producing bigger and heavier tanks,whose limited mobility wasn't the factor, but from a static point they could formidably attack and kill its prey. They installed better gun-sight along with long range accurate guns.
It was Hitler himself, who believed bigger guns/tanks must turn the War favorable. He had faith upon complex mechanism to turn the War as well as to show his supremacy on technology to his enemy.He also had a fear of duplication of his tank mechanism from the enemy. I think for this the wehrmacht personnel blew ups their abandoned one.
But in the final years of War, when Hitler guessed his possible future, it was too late.A few comparatively light tanks been produced hastily,the Ausf J. About 400 only been produced.
I think that the best one is the Panther, it combined reasonable firepower, armor and mobility to take on any tank the allies could sport against them.
But what I understand the Panther Ausf D (tier vii) with its drum cupola however consumed 35-40% more fuel and very prone to malfunctioning. So it was returning fast for servicing from the front. Not only this, it never ever stood good support there to the grenadiers!
My personal opinion for Panther is something like labor lost .... Please recall the Battle of Kursk ..
you have a point but the tigers espisially the king tiger markVI had numerous breakdowns and some didn't even reach the front. The Tiger Mark V is better in probrobly superior in most fields but it was one of the reasons the ardenns offensive died down they couldn't seize enough fuel for them.
[quote="....... it was one of the reasons the ardenns offensive died down they couldn't seize enough fuel for them.[/quote]
And only for running out of fuel, Joachim Peiper's (one associate of the Malmedy Massacre) unit (waffen ss) had to abandon their Big machins, walking back to their base line, Jan'45 during Ardennes offensive!
As I recall, the whole scheme of the Ardennes was poorly thought-out regarding fuel. The German AFV used diesel benzene while the Americans used gasoline. This is why the panzers never even attempted to capture American POL dumps, though the US commanders did have worries.
I know, though americans used gasoline(which exploded when hit by other tank shell- Disatvanage) the diesle is also an advantage to the german tanks it didn't blow up.
Well, Hitler had never ever dreamt of Ploesti raids. Still he had no choices either !! What ever types of fuel he could have aquired....he had to retreat.
True and in the tactics and strategies for reatreating you need a mobile tank hence the panver mark V
Separate names with a comma.