Tiger Attack!

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by plan_D, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Here's some information about s.Pz-Abt 502, 501 and 504 during their initial deployments. Equipped solely with Pz.Kpfw VI Tiger tanks and Pz.Kpfw III (for support and flank protection).

    From 12th January - 31st March 1943, 1st Company (theoretically seven Tigers and eight Pz.Kpfw III) s.Pz-Abt 502 operating near Leningrad with Army Group North destroyed one-hundred and sixty enemy tanks with a loss of six Tiger tanks. A kill:loss of 26.7:1. Only three of those lost were to enemy action. Two became stuck and were destroyed by their crew. One fell to mechanical failure and was unrecoverable.

    As we all know the Tiger was a monster for fuel consumption and was a mechanical nightmare. On average it only could achieve a forty mile combat movement. A huge problem for the Tiger was a lack of recovery vehicles. The Tiger was thrown into combat quickly without any armoured recovery vehicles. They only had eighteen-ton vehicles but it took two to pull a Tiger. Unofficially Tigers were used to pull disabled Tigers but this was against the rules.

    s.Pz-Abt 501 operated in Tunisia. While there it achieved sixty-two percent operational rate of it's Tigers. It arrived before it's support platoons and had to go into combat without any maintenance teams. Yet s.Pz-Abt.501 managed to destroy a number exceeding one-hundred and fifty enemy tanks, of which all were destroyed by the Tigers of the battalion. They lost eleven while in Tunisia which was a kill:loss of 13.6:1. Of those eleven lost, three were to direct enemy action. The rest either broke down or were immobilised in a minefield and could not be recovered.

    s.Pz-Abt 504 also operated in Tunisia. While there it achieved a fifty percent operational rate of it's Tigers. From 12 March - 12 May 1943 the battalion destroyed over one-hundred and fifty enemy tanks for a loss of eight Tigers. That's a kill:loss of 18.8. Of all those lost only two were lost to enemy action. That means that the kill:loss due to direct enemy action was an astounding 75:1! The battalion destroyed its remaining Tigers before the Afrika Korps capitulated meaning that a total kill:loss for the Wehrmacht was actually 6.8:1.

    These early actions proved that the Tiger needed a recovery vehicle capable of taking it from the battlefield to the rear areas for repair. The loss rate would have been much less had this kind of vehicle been present as most were stuck or immobilised but had to be destroyed due to lack of a recovery vehicle. s.Pz-Abt 504 actually records a Tiger being towed by a single Pz.Kpfw III out of desperation!

    The schwere Panzer Abteilungs were created to concentrate the deadly Tiger tank. They were envisaged crushing the enemy lines and destroying their artillery, providing a breakthrough and free roam for the lighter panzers. The employment also included the complete destruction of the enemy tank forces, without destroying the enemy armour a breakthrough will never be achieved. The Western Allies and Red Army were well known not to face the Tiger head-on if at all during these early years of it's introduction. In the Western Desert the Allied armour would simply move away from the Tigers and lay minefields infront of the retreat to trap and immobilise the Tigers.
     
  2. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting stuff pD.
     
  3. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    You got this from Parmigiano's post, didn't you? ;)

    Too right too! - usually the towing Tiger broke down, so you then had 2 broken down Tigers! :lol:

    I doubt it, 2 were destroyed by 6pdrs in its North African debut and 1 was later captured (the one in Bovington).

    So, that's 3 for a start, after only 2 battles...

    Assuming that figures correct, how many allied tanks do you reckon could be produced for one Tiger?
     
  4. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    And where's your source and evidence to state that two Tigers were lost to OQF 6pdr cannons in their African debut? Since all Tiger losses are listed by cause then you cannot dispute the fact. Only two Tigers in s.Pz-Abt. 504 lost to direct enemy action.

    Even so, altogether in Africa five Tigers were lost to direct enemy action. Three from s.Pz-Abt. 501 and two from s.Pz-Abt. 504. The 6.8:1 figure is only after the Afrika Korps had destroyed the remaining fourteen Tigers because they were going to capitulate. Those Tigers weren't lost on the field and they wouldn't have been lost if Germany had anyway of evacuating them. The real kill:loss is 18.8 for the Tiger in combat in Africa.

    Before you start spouting anything produce evidence. And I would advise reading the piece that Parm kindly provided.
     
  5. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    s.Pz-Abt.503 arrived at the front on 27th December 1942. The battalion only managed a thirty-five percent operational rate. However, they destroyed seventy-one enemy tanks and fifty-five anti-tank guns for a loss of three Tigers and thirteen Pz.Kpfw III. All three Tigers were lost due to enemy action. s.Pz-Abt.503 took more care in recovering their Tigers, one such incident involved six eighteen-ton recovery vehicles and two Tigers taking hours to recover one that had broken the ice on a stream.

    Many Tigers were in need of repair due to the punishment they received at the hands of the enemy anti-tank defences. One Tiger over a six hour period received two-hundred and twenty-seven hits from anti-tank rifles, fourteen times by 52mm rounds and eleven times by 76.2mm rounds. The tank in question still ran under it's own power for sixty kilometers back to it's own lines.
     
  6. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    "The British first encountered the Tiger in Feburary 1943 near Pont du Fahs in Tunisia, when 6-pounders engaged two Tigers and nine PzKpfwIIIs and IVs. Both Tigers were knocked out @ 500 yards."

    - Christopher F. Foss

    Does that satisfy your immense appetite for pedantry?

    Also the Bovington Tiger was nicked in Tunisia, that makes 3 gone.

    I have and evidently, so have you.

    I have info on MatildaII's doing the same after (IIRC) 28 37/50mm 3 88mm hits!
     
  7. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    No that's not enough because if you had read that piece and other's you would know that what the Allies reported as destroyed was often recovered and repaired by the Germans. Unless those two Tigers were truly out of action and were never recovered then they're not a loss.

    Tiger 131 was "captured" after the Germans thought they'd destroyed it. That means it was written off the German after action report as destroyed and included in the overall loss tally of Tigers. Which due to the capitulation was every Tiger sent to North Africa.

    And that quote from where? It's no good telling us Foss said so without stating where he said so. Provide the full story for the Matilda II incident, I hardly doubt they were direct hits from the 88mm.
     
  8. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    From what I can remember when I went to Bovingdon, that particular Tiget was hit in the gap joining the turret and hull- welding the 2 together which led to the Tiger's crew thinking that it was disabled and ran away
     
  9. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    If that's the case, Tiger #131 may just be recorded as one of those lost to enemy action. I don't actually know. No matter, it's still recorded in German statistics as an overall loss in the African campaign and doesn't change one single thing.
     
  10. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Plan hoping you don't mind a Konigstiger image here, but maybe I should start a new thread as you were just talking of Tiger 1's correct ?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    It is. What unit is that Erich?
     
  13. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    One of the heaviest committed units on the Ost front and wiped out to a tank, not many survived Berlin, but the kills this Abteilung made are incredible, over 400 Soviet panzers.

    SS Schwere Panzerabteilung 503 after they had unloaded their Tiger I's and gathered the heavier panzer King. the area may have been Pommern but.......... the chap on the far right with the Lederjacke is Karl Brommann which had already scored over 66 Soviet tanks himself at this moment in time. Abteilung Kommandeur Herzig as Sturmbannf├╝hrer- equivalent of major of sorts to Bromanns left. SS Panzer ~ Kommandeurs receiving awards for their destruction of Soviet armor
     
  14. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    my last comment I believe is incorrect. The Leutnant on the far left and his crew receiving awards, most likely EK I's with paper work
     
  15. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I think uve posted that pic before... Its a great pic....
     
  16. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Sure is. :cool:
    It's good to have the history behind it too.
     
  17. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    No, Erich, feel free to involve the King Tiger. After all this thread was actually about the schwere Panzer Abteilungs rather than just the Tiger I itself.
     
  18. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    ok you asked for it.... a small pic of Karl B. on the barrel of his "heavy"

    Les yes I think I have posted a few pics but hey I've got some-timers....

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    ok another pic of the Deutsche Panzer ace

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice pics Erich.
     
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