The best AFV in the Kursk bulge 1943.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by CharlesBronson, Feb 18, 2006.

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Wich was the best tank/tankhunter in the Kursk-Orel battle

  1. Klimenti Vorozhilov KV-1S

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. T-34 M1943

    25.0%
  3. Panther ausf.D

    8.3%
  4. Panzer ausf.G

    25.0%
  5. Assault gun SU-152

    16.7%
  6. Henschel Tiger I

    16.7%
  7. Tankhunter Porsche Ferdinand

    8.3%
  8. Churchill Mk-III/IV

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Panzer III ausf.M

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Simple question, wich was in your opinion the best performer Armored vehicle in this enormous battle.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    The Tiger, no doubt.
     
  3. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Simple answer to a simple question; Tiger I.

    The Churchill does not even come into the competition, although it's inclusion in the battle does show the importance of the Western aid to the Red Army. In the Battle of Prokhorovka the only available heavy tanks for the Fifth Guards Tank Army were 35 Churchills.

    The Ferdinand gained a deadly reputation, and achieved many kills. But in reality it was vulnerable to Russian infantry at this point and it was far from a perfect machine.

    The Panther was a bitter let down. It's mechanical troubles were far from iron out and it was released into combat much too early to make a difference, or even an impact.

    The Pz. Kpfw IV Ausf G was the standard machine of the Wehrmacht and made no impact on the battlefield. Yes, it did achieve a healthy record as the whole Wehrmacht did during the battle of Kursk. But it certainly did not stand out.

    The Pz. Kpfw III could not stand out it was too light. It suffered heavily from the hordes of T-34s.

    The T-34 suffered heavily during the combat, alongside the KV-1. Both were thrown headlong into the German machines which were plainly superior. And the tanks, along with their crews, suffered accordingly.

    The SU-152 is a close contender here. It achieved the nickname "Beast Killer" during Kursk, as it was the only machine in Soviet hands that would stand up to any of the Wehrmacht machines and have any chance of survival. It certainly made a name for itself in both armies.

    However, the gold goes to the Tiger I. Alone it almost achieved complete victory for the Wehrmacht during Kursk. They alone collapsed a whole frontage on the northern flank. They were the piercing point of the German attack and they carried the assault straight through. With better support and more depth the Tiger would be remembered as the machine that won Kursk, because it came so close to doing so anyway.
     

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  4. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    I Think that the performance of the Ferdinand in 7-1943 was always understimated.

    Churchill in Kursk:

    Churchill Mk.IV of the 49th Guard Heavy Tank Regiment of the 18th Guard Tank Corps of the 5th Guard Tank Army passes a destroyed SdKfz 232. Kharkov area. July 1943.

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    Churchill Mk.III of the 36th Guard Heavy Tank Regiment of the 18th Guard Tank Corps of the 5th Guard Tank Army destroyed at Prokhorovka area. July 1943.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I don't think it is under-estimated. Everything I have read about it has given me the idea that it was a truly remarkable tank destroyer, and extremely deadly to anything and everything. But it was vulnerable to infantry...

    Good pictures of the Churchill, as I said, those were the only heavy tanks available to the Fifth Guards Tank Army. It really shows that the Western aid was needed, and definately appreciated by the soldiers at the front if not the anti-West propaganda of the Communist government.
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Tiger for me too, the 88 took a terrible toll on the T-34's (and did the Panther's when they didn't break down).
     
  7. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Some notes about the performance of the Porsche Ferdinand in KursK:

    Ferdinands were assigned to schwere Heeres Panzerjager Abteilung 653 and 654 (each was to be equipped with 45 Ferdinands), in preparation for the Kursk offensive (Unternehmen "Zitadelle") in July of 1943. Both units were formed in April of 1943 at Bruck. sPzJagAbt 653 was formed from personnel from 197th Sturmgeschuetz Abteilung. sPzJagAbt 653 was commanded by Major Steinwachs, while sPzJagAbt 654 by Major Karl-Heinz Noak, both (along with Sturmpanzerabteilung 216 - equipped with Brummbars) formed the 656 sPanzerjager Regiment commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Jungenfled.In fact, sPzJagAbt 653 had 45 Ferdinands, while sPzJagAbt 654 had 44 Ferdinands as a single one was still being tested at Kummersdorf. In order to provide Ferdinands with ammunition, six Panzer IIIs were converted into Munition Schleppers attached to the Ferdinand units. 656 sPanzerjager Regiment was part of 41st Panzer Corps (under command of General Harpe) of Army Group Center for the upcoming operation.


    Many Ferdinands were destroyed either by their crews after being immobilized (by combat damage or mechanical problem) or by Soviet infantry and artillery as well as by SU-152 "Zwieroboj" heavy mechanised guns. It was recorded that some Ferdinand's crews (ex. Major Noak's crew) used to fire their 7.92mm MG34 machine guns through the barrel of main 88mm gun while others mounted their 7.92mm MG34 underneath the gun, in order to fire at the enemy infantry units. Temporary field-made solution was the rear mounted platform for Panzergrenadiers, but it only resulted in heavy casualties among them. During the Kursk offensive until November of 1943, Ferdinands from sPzJagAbt 653 destroyed some 320 Soviet tanks and lost 13 Ferdinands, while entire 656 sPanzerjager Regiment destroyed some 502 Soviet tanks and 100 other vehicles. Ferdinands proved to be very effective when employed behind the lines.


    On the first day of action, we successfully engaged bunkers, infantry, field and anti-tank artillery positions. For three hours our guns (Ferdinands) fought in the cavalcade of enemy fire and proved to be immune to enemy fire !. In the evening of the first day, first enemy tanks were destroyed, while others retreated. Crews of field and anti-tank guns run away after firing few uneffective shots against our guns (Ferdinands). In first engagements our regiment (656 sPanzerjager Regiment) destroyed numerous artillery positions, bunkers as well as 120 enemy tanks...". - Report from July 19th of 1943 by Platoon commander Boehm
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Tiger 1 without a doubt, the W-SS korps destroyed the Soviet opposition with hardly a casualty.
     
  9. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Tiger 1 hands down....
     
  10. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    And also from the well entrenched AT guns.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Panther destroyed....By his own crew maybe ?


    [​IMG]
     
  11. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    That Panther could well have destroyed itself CharlesBronson.


    My views are broadly the same as PlanD's - yes I also rate the Tiger highest!

    These are the differences:

    KV1

    The S was IMHO the worst version, the later KV1's were good but not great.

    Pz IV

    The only German tank that came close to the T34's near-perfect balance of attributes, but never excelled in any area.

    Panther D

    This was an own goal. Rushed prototype, bad design, quality that was way below the T34's - silly idea. Hopes were pinned on this tank, it's absolute failure destroying German morale (and improving the Soviet's). However it's gun was still very lethal and frightening to the soviets, a few 75mm L70's used as field guns or in PanzerJagers would have been better?

    SU-152

    Zveraboy 8) - But has a massive reload to match it's mega payload.

    Tiger

    Unreliabe, used wrongly - but the best all-rounder.

    Ferd

    Used wrongly. The best vs tanks, but is infantry considered or not??
    IIRC some upgraded Ferd's (Elefant's) were used in the closing stages of Kursk? This may be my 1st choice too CharlesBronson. :D

    Churchill

    You underestimate this PlanD. The MkIII had 102mm of armour and a 6pdr gun - OK if not excellent.

    It was also hard to immobilize, as it's tracks were designed to stand up to extreme punishment.

    Pz III

    This had well passed it's sell-by date by this point, but could still take on a T34 or KV1 if handled properly.

    T34

    The best of the /76 versions. Could (and did) take on a Tiger if used craftily enough, though cavalry charges reduced it's effectiveness drastically. Many simply rammed the Tigers.


    Tactics need looking at, the Soviets even fired on the move!

    The smokescreen the Soviets layed down was the deciding factor IMHO.


    There are a few omissions I believe are important:

    Canuck Valentine/76

    Tetrarch

    SU85

    SU122
     
  12. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Can anyone find a picture of a refitted Valentine that has the 76mm gun? I have looked high and low, and can't find one.
     
  13. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    CB none of the German armor was destroyed by Soviet AT. they have all been exploded from within
     
  14. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Came on Erich, a simple 57 or 76 mm shot could penetrate in the Pz III and detonate his magazine.

    A have an image of a Valentine in Kursk but i think is a 6 pounder.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    CharlesBronson do have more pics on the Ferdinand. Din't the Ferdinad suffer great losses in the battle of Kursk, because it did not have anti infantry weapons?

    Was the Elifant not a better one?

    The Tiger Tank are the best tank in this suttuation.

    Henk
     
  16. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    I do have.

    A couple of Ferdinands under fire.

    [​IMG]


    Captured, check the side penetration.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    Thanks mate. What do you think was the best the Elifant or the Ferdinand?

    Henk
     
  18. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    The Elefant because his hull Mg and increased armour.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    I agree mate the Elefant was the best, dit it have great success in battle?

    Henk
     
  20. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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