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Forum LockedGerman's tank warfare...

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    Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 22:57
Ok, I read this about German's tank tactics against the allied forces. But I wondered, if German tanks concentrate attack on the weak side of enemy tanks, could they not be easily surrounded and bombarded by combined firepower of enemy tanks and antitank weapons?
 
In another words, can anyone explain in simple words regarding how German tank commanders were so superior compared to the allies in the beginning of WWII?
     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2007 at 00:16

Two reasons

1) The speed and manoveor of the Germans tanks was such that it quickly went around the flanks and created pockets, which were inturn reduced by infantry.
 
2)The speed as I mentioned was a factor. In war fare during an advance you are careful to guard the flanks and secure the supply line. This tends to slow you down. The "vile Hun" OTH did not bother too much about these notions and struck like a cobra at the enemy command and control usually paralysing the commander and thus reducing and obliberating his fighting potential. 
 
Thus the best way to deal with the Germans was either to use terrain and superior numbers in a static war of attrition; Battle of El-Amein, or to absorh the intial blow while preserving the main assests and then counter attacking as at Kursk or at the Bulge.
 
 
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2007 at 19:27
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Two reasons

1) The speed and manoveor of the Germans tanks was such that it quickly went around the flanks and created pockets, which were inturn reduced by infantry.
 
 
 
 
See, this is not what I get. Even if the German tanks find the weak spot and flank it there, how fast is WWII tank anyway? The survived tank would be able to counter-attack easily. Plus, the enemy infantry could ambush the tanks or wipe them out with antitank. Remember Russian's shield and sword tactic? Tanks charge in, fire... and then advance while the infantry bombards the enemy with antitank weapons.
 
And what fo you mean making pocket?
     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 03:27
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

In another words, can anyone explain in simple words regarding how German tank commanders were so superior compared to the allies in the beginning of WWII?
 
One important reason for the German success was how they employed their tanks at the start of the war. They didn't parcel out the tank units in the infantry support role like the French and British, they concentrated them in divisions. This meant that whenever armor met armor the Germans had superiority in numbers.
 
Another very important reason for the German tankers success was communications. Every German tank had a radio and this allowed the control needed to maneouver mobile formations effectively. The French only used radios in their command tanks and relied on visual communications like flag signals, which could be easily overlooked in a battle.
 
The superior German communications also allowed the German tankers to call in artillery and air support to neutralize strongpoints and enemy counter-attacks. Combined arms was the real secret to success for the Germans in the early years of WW II.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hellios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 04:37
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

In another words, can anyone explain in simple words regarding how German tank commanders were so superior compared to the allies in the beginning of WWII?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 05:44
In addition, the German tanks were superior in armour and fire power against the Western Allies. They faced a bigger threat with the Russian armour. Later in the war, with the Tiger, the Germans were all but invulnerable to the Shermans, who were designed specifically as cannon fodder.
Straw Man - a weak or sham argument
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 09:21
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

 
In another words, can anyone explain in simple words regarding how German tank commanders were so superior compared to the allies in the beginning of WWII?
 
In the beginning of the war, there were several factors
 
   - How the Germans used tanks.  Germans used true mass tank formations (regiments and divsions).  In contrast, French and early British tank formations were mostly company and batalion level.  Massed German tank formations then overwhelmed smaller allied units.
   -What the Germans supported their tanks with.  Germans practised for years on rapidly supporting tanks with close air support, artillery and 88mm anti tank guns.  German tanks were far more likely to have radios.  When German tanks got into trouble... quick, lethal help was on the way.
   - Traning.   German crews, both officers and enlisted, were far better trained than the allies. Also, Germans viewed  tank crews as an elite force.  As such,  German tank units got a heavy share of German human talent. 
 
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

In addition, the German tanks were superior in armour and fire power against the Western Allies. They faced a bigger threat with the Russian armour. Later in the war, with the Tiger, the Germans were all but invulnerable to the Shermans, who were designed specifically as cannon fodder.
Very true.  But the Germans did not have a technological advantage over the allies early in the war.   This is especially true in regards to early French and Czech designs which were viewed as superior to early German tanks.   Germans often used captured French / Czech tanks in "second tier" armoured regiments.
 
Later in the war,  The German technological advantage, (as you mentioned) combined with expert crews and defensive fighting in France led to huge western allies losses.  The standard Sherman to Tiger / Panther loss ratio in France was 7.5 - 1,  and sometimes the Sherman loss rate was even worse.


Edited by Cryptic - 17-Jan-2007 at 09:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 13:06
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

In addition, the German tanks were superior in armour and fire power against the Western Allies. They faced a bigger threat with the Russian armour. Later in the war, with the Tiger, the Germans were all but invulnerable to the Shermans, who were designed specifically as cannon fodder.
 
In 1940, the French Char(bis), Souma and British Matilda outclassed any tank in the German arsenal. At the same time, one of the most effective German AFVs was the Czech built Pz. 38(t). It was how the German employed their armor that made them so effective in the first years of the war.
 
By the time the Germans finally started producing superior AFVs, they had already lost the war for strategic reasons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lotus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 04:36

The German panzers were certainly not invincible, even during the battle for France.

The Matildas of the British Expeditionary Force launched a counter attack near the town of Arras, that overran elements of the SS Division Totenkopf, the matildas armour was completely impervious to the German panzer II panzer III and 37mm anti tank guns.

The offensive was finally halted with the arrival of Rommel himself and the divisions 88mm anti tank/aircraft guns, but it does show how precarious the German flanks were, and what might have been achieved if the French and British forced had made better use of the armour they did have.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 20:57
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Two reasons

1) The speed and manoveor of the Germans tanks was such that it quickly went around the flanks and created pockets, which were inturn reduced by infantry.
 
 
 
 
See, this is not what I get. Even if the German tanks find the weak spot and flank it there, how fast is WWII tank anyway? The survived tank would be able to counter-attack easily. Plus, the enemy infantry could ambush the tanks or wipe them out with antitank. Remember Russian's shield and sword tactic? Tanks charge in, fire... and then advance while the infantry bombards the enemy with antitank weapons.
 
And what fo you mean making pocket?
 
Please answer my question mentioned in the quote.Ouch


Edited by pekau - 24-Jan-2007 at 15:51
     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jan-2007 at 15:52
This was my actual question...
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
See, this is not what I get. Even if the German tanks find the weak spot and flank it there, how fast is WWII tank anyway? The survived tank would be able to counter-attack easily. Plus, the enemy infantry could ambush the tanks or wipe them out with antitank. Remember Russian's shield and sword tactic? Tanks charge in, fire... and then advance while the infantry bombards the enemy with antitank weapons.
 
And what fo you mean making pocket?
 
 
     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote comet9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2007 at 00:06
First, German kommanders find enemy's weak point or flank(cf space between two units). Less tanks, gus and infantry is on the spot than the centre of a division. They can go more easily than they go other routes for superiority of number on a particular spot.
Then tanks advance to the spot. If they encounter enemy's tanks or infatry, they attack them. If they meet anti-tank guns, they concntrate their fires on them and crush. In case the anti-tank guns are powerful, they ask attackers or cannons to attack powerful units. And they march eliminating enemies weakened. Because they always attack weak points, they can surround easily.
As supplies(ammo, fuel and foods) to surrounded soldiers is stopped, the weaker they become, the much they fight. And a surrounded unit's tactical situation is very disadvantageous for it is attacked from every side. Thus surrounding units are able to crush enemies promptly.
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When you need more explanation, go to Axis History forum, someone may answer.
http://forum.axishistory.com/

Edited by comet9 - 25-Jan-2007 at 00:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2007 at 06:31

A tank is still faster than anything on legs Pekau. The Infantry would be unable of 1940 was still mostly on foot. The tanks were much fater than them.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2007 at 08:20
To quote Patton, the Germans didn't worry about their flanks, they made the enemy worry about their's.  Pretty much, if you're aggressive enough, you'll seize the initiatiive and the enemy won't be able to launch a powerful coordinated attack against your vulnerable points since they're busy dodging your attacks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2007 at 09:35
St Exupéry had this good description of the process in one of his war-books (he served as a fighter pilot first in the French, later the US, airforce).

He likened the German advance to a poisunous liquid seeping in between the units of the French army.
If one considers an army as living organism, this fluid cut off communication between the various "organs"(formations) of the French army as it surrounded them and at this point the organs began to "die".
Some would just go numb and stop responding altogether, others would twitch and jerk violently, but overall instead of the French army reacting as single coordinated organism, it all turned into frantic, spastic activity with no real coordination.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2007 at 19:49
Thanks everyone. I get it now.
     
   
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