Would the Ferdinands have been better used for mine clearance?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by vinnye, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    Following the decision to use the alternate chassis / turret combination for the Tiger. Instead of using the "spare" chassis to make the Ferdinand assault / anti-tank gun, would the Wehrmacht been better advised to use them for mine clearance flail type machines to clear a path for the Tigers - eg at Kursk?
     
  2. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    They were so expensive and complex it would have been a waste not to use them in a combat role. However the lack of a mine clearing tank such as the flail was a major issue and the use of say the PZ III hull for such a use might have been a good idea.
    Against Russian defences the availability of a range of 'Funnies' as the UK had may well have been a good investment. Germany had some, such as flame thrower tanks but not in the numbers or organised in a similar manner as in the UK.
     
  3. Mobius

    Mobius Member

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    It would of been more help in the Kursk battle. If in addition it would of had a short gun with a big shell or flamethrower even better. Post Kursk the 88mm Ferdinand was an awesome tank killer. So on balance probably not.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Why change a good thing?

    Ferdinand was an outstanding heavy SP AT gun which accounted for large numbers of Soviet tanks.
     
  5. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    Sorry for the delay in the reply - been very busy!
    I agree that a the Ferdinand proved itself as a competent tank hunter, but do feel the lack of an armoured mine clearing flail type vehicle meant that the Tigers were not able to make the breakthrough either side of Kursk as intended. Also the German Army had other anti tank weapons available that were also doing a good job! Surely the need to clear a path for the Tigers should have been a priority?
     
  6. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    My thought is that the Ferdinand/Elephant should have been used as a purely defensive weapon system, a mobile counterattack stopper.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That was the intended role for all German AT guns, both towed and SP. StuGs provided offensive fire support but even they were supposed to remain in the vicinity of friendly infantry.

    Of course stuff happens in combat and the front line can shift. Which is why Ferdinands were eventually modified to include a machinegun.
     
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