Question on the Elefant tank

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vassili Zaitzev, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    I have read that the Elefant tank did not a defensive machine gun during the battle of Kursk and only armed with a 88 MM cannon. one of the german generals quoted they had to " go quail hunting with cannon" heres my question, what kind of idiot would design a heavy, slow moving tank with no MG.
     
  2. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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  3. gaussianum

    gaussianum Member

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    I think the Elefant was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, who was definitely not an idiot by any standard.

    I think the question is: what kind of vehicle did the germans have in mind, when they commissioned it to Porsche?

    Apart from that, I don't know how experienced Porsche was in designing heavy military vehicles.

    Best regards
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Well they changed the design with the Ferdinand but even then it was only a hull MG, at no point was an MG fitted to the top of the turret (even a remote one like in the Hetzer)
     
  5. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    Ys, true. I read in a battle report of Kursk that the crew of a Elefant shot trough the hole in the escape hatch at the back of the Elefant to kill infantry.

    Henk
     
  6. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    Vassili Zaitzev:

    The Elefant did, the Ferdinand did not.

    "only"?? - I'd be happy enough with that! 8)

    They actually opened the breech, stuffed their MG down the 88mm barrel and aimed the main armament at the infantry!

    It was an SPG. It was an idiotic idea to use them as close range weapons (which is what happened).


    gaussianum:

    It was a re-engineered rejected Porche prototype. The engine, transmission and suspension were pathetic, even by German standards. The 188 ton Maus was even far superior.

    Only the drivetrain was replaced, the crappy suspension unfortunately had to stay.

    Well, it was originally meant to be the famous Tiger, but was rejected as it was inferior to the Henchel design.

    He had a little experience with DW (Breakthrough) designs, tank transporters etc. IMHO he was a good heavy tank designer, but a bit too 'German'.

    Henk:

    Most tanks had and used these 'pistol ports'. They were usually just used for lobbing out old shells though.

    BTW: The KV IS tanks had a ball-mounted DP MG in the back of the turret, but not in the hull.
     
  7. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    Yes, it were the Ferdinand and not the Elefant, you are right I did not even see it or think about it.

    You are also right about the fact that they aimed the main gun non the infantry and then shot their hand held guns through the barrel of the main gun.

    Henk
     
  8. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    That was a problem with the German '88's - the semi-auto breach snapped shut/open - I wouldn't want to have my hand in there if the mechanism tripped - Ouch! :shock:
     
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