Main tanks in vs Germany theaters

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vincenzo, May 24, 2012.

  1. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #1 Vincenzo, May 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
    main for most common in battles
    i try for year, in parenthesis non sure, add and corrections are welcome

    i add the 2nd most common (only if it's a true common tanks, i don't add tanks with few numbers (relative at own tank strenght)

    1940
    Germany Pz II 2nd Pz I
    UK&CW light Mk VI 2nd cruiser mk IV
    France R35 2nd H35
    Italy M-11/39* 2nd NA

    1941
    Germany Pz III-50 kurz 2nd Pz II
    UK&CW Matilda II 2nd cruiser mk IV
    Italy M-13/40 2nd NA
    SU T-26 2nd BT-7

    1942
    Germany Pz III-50 Kurz 2nd Pz III-50 lang
    UK&CW Crusader 2nd (Valentine)
    Italy M-14/41 2nd M-13/40
    SU T-34-76 2nd (T-60)

    1943
    Germany Pz IV lang 2nd (Pz III-50 lang)
    UK&CW Sherman-75 2nd ? Stuart
    USA Sherman-75 2nd ? Stuart
    Italy M-14/41 2nd M-15/42
    SU T-34-76 2nd (T-70)

    1944
    Germany Pz IV lang 2nd (Pz V)
    UK&CW Sherman-75 2nd (Churchill)
    USA Sherman-75 2nd (Sherman-76)
    SU (T-34-76) 2nd (T-34-85)

    1945
    Germany Pz V 2nd Pz IV lang
    UK&CW Sherman-75 2nd (Sherman-17pdr)
    USA Sherman-75 2nd Sherman-76
    SU T-34-85 2nd (T-34-76)

    * in the assumption that L-3 were not tanks
     
  2. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    I'd say the main tank for Germany in 1945 was still the Panzer IV.

    Panzer V production in 1944 was 4,003 and 705 in 1945

    Panzer IV production was 6,625 and 1,090.

    In 1944 and 1945, Germany produced more vehicles based on the Panzer III chassis (mostly as Stugs) than Panzer Vs.
     
  3. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Where did you get 6625 Panzer Iv in 1944 from? In fact this was just above 3000 with 3125 produced + 375 in 45.
    Panther had 3777 and 439. 1945 production numbers may be incomplete.
     
  4. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    I'm agree with Dennis the Pz V production go over the Pz IV probably in late '43
     
  5. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Yes, somewhere between late 1943 to early 1944 Panther production surpassed Panzer IV tank production - two major Panzer IV manufacturers switched to StuG IV and Jagdpanzer IV production (Krupp-Gruson and VoMAG) with only Nibelungenwerke keeping the IV production alive.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    If not for the difficulty of retooling under wartime conditions 1943 would probably have been the final production year for both the Panzer III and Panzer IV.
     
  7. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    1943 was the final production year of the Panzer III as (support) tank although the chassis was built until the end for the well known StuG III.
    The IV was most probably slated to end in 1944 but this wasn't done as they needed every tank they could build. I'm still wondering about continuing the IV tank production instead of diverting to StuG IV or Jagdpanzer IV as was done by Krupp and Vomag but not by Nibelungenwerke (except for small series (Jagd-)Panzer IV/70(A))
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I think the issue was determined by a shortage of machine tools.

    Wartime Germany did a good job repairing bomb damaged factories right up to 1945 but the repair work consumed a lot of machine tools. The massive Type XXI submarine program consumed a lot of machine tools also from 1943 onward. By 1944 machine tools were scarce even for high priority programs. For example RLM wanted Daimler-Benz to convert the large Genshagen factory complex to the DB603 engine during 1944. Daimler-Benz converted to the DB605D instead as that engine required fewer new machine tools. Shortage of machine tools is probably also the reason why the Jumo 213J didn't make it into mass production.
     
  9. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I don't know if I would agree with the Pz II and Pz I in 1940. Pz III was at least the main tank in many units. Maybe the I and II would be better for '39.

    I don't believe Pz I was even a serious tank - more often a command vehicle, yes?
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The MK I was not a command tank, There was a command vehicle based on the MK I chassis with no turret, and enlarged hull-3 men instead of 2 and more radio equipment.

    In 1939 in Poland the "real" combat tanks were the Czech Pz 35 (t), Pz 38 (t) and the MK IV followed by the MK III and in 1940 in France the Mk III moves up the list. While the MK II was a very useful addition (substitute) in the early campaigns the 37mm armed tanks did a lot of the real fighting and took higher losses in proportion than the MK II tanks did. The MK I, while used in numbers, was not capable of forcing the decision in a battle.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thanks! Totally forgot about the 38(t) which might be an even better canidate for '39.
     
  12. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #12 Vincenzo, May 27, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
    yours opinions are far from actual tanks available
    numbers from T. L. Jentz, deployed at start of campaign
    Poland 1127 Pz II, 973 Pz I, 198 Pz IV kurz (this was the 3rd more common tanks), 112 Pz 35 (4th)
    Norway 29 Pz I, 18 Pz II, 3 Pz IV Neu (not the famous Pz IV)
    France 920 Pz II, 554 Pz I, 349 Pz III-37 (this was the 3rd), 280 Pz IV Kurz (4th)

    the command vehicles are non included in the total of I
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I disagree.

    1939 Polish Armor.
    7TP. 17mm frontal armor.
    TK3/TKS. 10 or less frontal armor.

    The Panzer II was ideal for defeating these threats. 20mm x 138mm rounds will punch through Polish armor without difficulty and the high rate of fire greatly increases hit probability. I suspect Panzer II killed more Polish tanks then all other German tank types combined.
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    And the thickness of the Polish tank armor is rather irrelevant. Polish armor that mounted effective anti-armor weapons (anything bigger than a machine gun) were 16 Vickers 6 ton tanks, 95 of the 7TP and about 40 of the TK tankettes with 20mm guns. Add in a few old armoured cars with French 37mm trench guns and a battalion of Renault R-35s (in Polish hands for just a few weeks and still working up) and that is the sum total of Polish armor available for tank "duels". The Poles did have just over 1000 37mm Bofors ATGs were were a much greater threat to German armor than the Polish tanks.

    The Majority of the German tank actions were against forces other than Polish armor which is why the 37mm armed German and Czech tanks (along with the MK IVs) were the important tanks. Somewhere I saw a list of German tank losses by type and if the information was correct, the Bigger tanks suffered disproportionate losses compared to the MK I and MK II tanks ( higher percentage lost compared to starting numbers) which means either the lighter tanks were much more effective (and better protected) than we thought or that the Non MK I/II tanks did a disproportionate amount of the actual fighting.
     
  15. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Polish campaign tanks complete losses as % deployed
    Pz I 9%
    Pz II 7%
    Pz IV 10%
    Pz III 30%
    Pz 35 6%
    Pz 38 13%

    Pz 38 and III were most rare tanks (55 87 deployed), with all 38 in the 3rd light division, and 50% of III in the 3rd panzer and 30% in the 1st pzdiv so probably the high losses are more related at intensity of fightning for this divisions
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Individual shells less then 75mm in size don't have enough HE filler to be effective against enemy infantry. A high velocity 20mm cannon firing @ 280 rounds per minute is an entirely different matter. A burst fired at an enemy infantry squad is likely to produce at least one direct hit. HE shells that miss saturate the area with splinters. It appears to me the U.S. Army reached a similiar conclusion when we armed the Bradley IFV with a 25mm chain gun rather then opting for a larger main gun.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the loss statistics. It could very well be due to the intensity of the fighting by particular divisions.

    We do have to consider if the MK I was really a tank. Yes it had a rotating turret but it's fighting value was not much better than the Italian L3. The machine guns were fed with 25 round boxes so one man in a turret about the size of an large overturned washtub is trying to keep the equivalent of two Bren guns laid on their sides in action by himself.
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    37mm guns performed infantry support duties in a number of armies. While they could not destroy field fortifications, as in take out walls or dugouts they could and did find their way into guns slits, windows and such. They could also suppress the enemy (make them duck) while the infantry moved into new positions. The German 20mm cannon in the MK II is not quite the weapon you think it is. It was fed from 10 round boxes and there were only 18 of them. Most were filled with AP ammunition and the co-ax machine gun was the primary anti-infantry weapon. I forget witch but either the 35(t) or the 38(t) had an action in which they supported a river crossing by firing their 37mm guns across the river at the enemy positions.

    The 25mm chain gun uses a dual belt feed so that the type of ammo (AP or HE) can be switched in a second or two. the rate of fire is much higher and the shells are about 50% heavier than than the 20mm.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Not in my opinion. The Sd.Kfz.251 APC had superior armor, suspension and could carry a lot more firepower ILO the infantry squad.
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Actually it's much lower.

    Even the early model 2cm KwK30 fired @ 280 rounds per minute. The newer model KwK38 fired @ 450 rounds per minute.

    The Bradley IFV chain gun fires @ 180 rounds per minute. However the larger round provides superior armor penetration. I assume that trade off was made so the Bradley would be more effective vs Soviet BMPs.
     
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