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Panther Gets Too Much Love And Hate?


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#281 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 0723 AM

Thats true, forgot that.



#282 Rich

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1013 AM

 

The oft quoted tale about the crewmen ' recovering his nerve'  is from Andrew Wilson's 1956 book 'Flame Thrower'. He served in a Crocodile Regiment (141 RTR) and why his unit was engaging Panthers is a puzzle but the book does also have a tale of a Churchill knocking out a Panther. However that bit is never quoted!

The 'bounce' weakness is mentioned in the Allied report on the Panther that was issued just before the invasion where it is stated that it is  a theoreticall possiblity rather than a tested possibility. I suspect that is where the crews first heard it.

 

Yeah, sounds plausible.

 

Am I right in thinking we didnt actually recover a panther for study till Normandy? I know there were some in Italy, but I dont recall reading we captured any till France? Im wondering if this actually came from Soviet advice, rather than study of the vehicle? Namely, Im wondering if this was advice for the use of ATR's rather than tank guns?

 

Just idle speculation.

 

 

The Panther examined was by the British Ordnance establishment. It likely was one of the ones shipped from Russia in late winter/early spring 1944. The first American-captured Panther was at Anzio in March 1944, but it is unclear if it was shipped to Britain or Aberdeen for inspection. Full text of the 5 June 1944 memo:

 

SECRET

AFV&W Section

Hq., ETOUSA

APO 887

5 June 1944

 

Memorandum:

To: Armored Divisions, Separate Tank Battalions, and TD Battalions in ETO.

 

German Mk V (Panther) Tank

  1. A captured Panther tank has been examined and an appreciation of its vulnerable points has been made by reasonable assumptions. Reliable figures based on test firing are not available since vehicle is required for investigation of performance and fighting qualities. (Based on Memorandum, “German Panther Tank”, British War Office, 30 May 1944)
  2. Frontal Attack.

a. Glacis Plates

  1. 17 pdr and 76mm APC are ineffective against this plate even at 200 yards, due to high degree of tilt (57o)

b. Turret Front

  1. 17 pdr APCBC will penetrate at 1250 yards.
  2. 76mm APC will penetrate at 200 yards.
  3. 75mm APC ineffective.

c. A hit by 75mm, 76mm, 17pdr APC or 75mm, 76mm, 105mm HE on the area under or at the side of the gun mantlet will cause lethal damage. The probable success of HE attack in this area is due to weakness in the supporting of the roof plate over the driver and co-driver and in the design of the escape hatches.

d. With the Panther advancing at angles between 30o and 60o, attack at fighting range by either 75mm, 76mm or 17pdr APC in the corner of the pocket at each side of the hull nose will damage the final drive.

e. Firing at tracks should prove effective.

3.     Side Attack.

        a. Turret

  1. The turret sides will be defeated at the following ranges:
    1. 76mm and 17 pdr APC over 2000 yards.
    2. 75mm APC over 1750 yards.

b. Hull

  1. Superstructure (42o slope)
    1. 76mm and 17 pdr APC over 2000 yards.
    2. 75mm Shot APC over 1000 yards.
  2. Sides (0o slope)
    1. 75mm, 76mm, 17 pdr APC over 2000 yards.

c. HE Attack.

This should be directed between the upper length of the track and the floor of the sponsons.

4.     Rear Attack.

a. 76mm and 17 pdr APC will penetrate turret at and hull at ranges over 2000 yards.

b. 75mm APC will penetrate turret at 1750 yards and hull at 1600 yards.

5. Other forms of attack.

a. The radiators and gasoline tanks are located in the rear engine compartment and serious damage can be caused by blast or shell fragments against the turret rear.

b. The air inlet and outlet louvers are set in the rear deck and occupy 35% of its total area. It is thus apparent that this is most vulnerable to HE air bursts, motor [sic] bomb and grenades or to small arms attack from the air.

c. The all round vision cupola seems to provide the only means of vision and since the cupola is located well to the left side, the right side must be blind for some 54 feet from the vehicle.

 

* All penetration figures are based on 30o angle of attack.



#283 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1019 AM

Thanks for that Rich. I have to say im surprised we got one that early. The Soviets are reputed to have dragged their heels over supplying details on Tiger, despite meeting it first.

 

Very interesting, cheers.



#284 Panzermann

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1048 AM

Thanks for that Rich. I have to say im surprised we got one that early. The Soviets are reputed to have dragged their heels over supplying details on Tiger, despite meeting it first.
 
Very interesting, cheers.


I think a paranoid state like the USSR was not really committed to sharing knowledge with anyone and UK and USA are the working classes capitalist enemy after all.

#285 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1052 AM

 

Thanks for that Rich. I have to say im surprised we got one that early. The Soviets are reputed to have dragged their heels over supplying details on Tiger, despite meeting it first.
 
Very interesting, cheers.


I think a paranoid state like the USSR was not really committed to sharing knowledge with anyone and UK and USA are the working classes capitalist enemy after all.

 

 

True. In fairness we were pretty wary about sharing Ultra intelligence. They probably knew all about it from the Cambridge set ironically.



#286 bojan

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1235 PM

Soviets sent all specs of Tiger armor to western allies in about spring 1943, by which time UK has captured one also.



#287 Mikel2

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1406 PM

Didn't the Soviets supply the allies with a Panther D after Kursk? I wonder what they did with it.

#288 Paul G.

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1509 PM

Well since the Germans went to the trouble of adding the chin to the Panther G, they must have thought it was more than a myth.

#289 mkenny

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 1814 PM



Didn't the Soviets supply the allies with a Panther D after Kursk? I wonder what they did with it.

 

That is the tank that was tested in England. 

 

iZmwa5.jpg

 

All the report is online somewhere and  unless I am mistaken there is an earlier  thread here with all the information. 



#290 whelm

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 2008 PM

They kept examining the Panther's, specifically anytime they noticed changes.

 

Report on changes

http://imgur.com/a/pVoCw

 

 

 

July 1944
United States Army

Panther model A examined

 

Turret

Front
Gun mantlet        105 mm
Side                    45
Rear                   45
Top

Superstructure

Front                     83
Sides                    41.5
Engine cover         16

Hull
Nose plate -upper    83
Lower                       73
Side                         41.5
Tail plate                  41.5
Belly front                 30
Rear                         16

 

 

Aug 1944

United States Army
Panther model G examined

Changes noted

a. Construction of sponson side, instead of old type sponson arrangement with small triangular shaped box built onto underside of sponson at rear, the sponson side has been made all one piece.
b. Elimination of driver's port in upper front nose plate, all driving is done by aid of periscope placed in the top just over the driver.
c. New type hatch utilizing spring assistance to raise hatch after whicj it was swiveled to the side, a hatch hinged at the outer edge is used. This is spring assisted in opening is also easily detachable from the tank top.
d. Armored stowage of ammunition in sponsons. Two sliding metal doors of approximately 1/8" thickness close each sponson. These slide along a rail attached to the underside of the sponson top.
e. Side plates are attached differently.
f. Use of welded instead of cast exhaust couplings on tail plate.
g. Stowage on the outside has been changed. One bogie wheel has been attached on either side of the turret rear and the rammer staff container has been moved from the left sponson to the hull rear.

 

Turret        Thickness mm        Angle Deg.
Front            102                        13
Gun shield    120                     Round
Side              46                        28
Rear             46                         25
Top               17

Superstructure
Front        (See Upper nose)
Sides            51                        32
Top (front)    41                       Hor.
 Top (rear)    18                       Hor.
Over tracks   18

Hull
Nose(upper)    85 (Aprox)    55
(lower)            75 (Aprox)     55
Glacis plate (see upper nose plate)
Side                 41                 0
Tail plate          41                30
Belly (front)      26
(rear)               17

 

 

Oct 1943

Canadian Army (from data received from Russia)

Panther 521

 

T6hRbfz.jpg

 

Upper front plate    85 mm
Lower                     75 mm
Upper side             45 mm
Lower                    45 mm
Rear                      45 mm

Turret
Front                     100 mm
Gun mantlet          100 mm
Turret roof            17 mm
Sides                    45 mm

Underside above tracks 17 mm
Belly 17 mm

 

 

War office technical intelligence summary
No.148
October 1944

 

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Mali2XS.jpg

l2cl35k.jpg

 

BNXiooM.jpg

PdxMnsH.jpg

Te4r0kQ.jpg


Edited by whelm, 01 February 2017 - 2051 PM.


#291 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 0305 AM

Soviets sent all specs of Tiger armor to western allies in about spring 1943, by which time UK has captured one also.

 

They did, but apparently not as quickly or in as much detail as usually described. I think the Soviets engaged the first Tigers in december 1942 IIRC. Yet British intelligence, according to Fletchers book on the British intelligence report on Tiger 1, they were still trying to mock up conjectural line drawings from a partial photo of one arriving in North Africa several months later. They even had to measure up the armour on a demolished wreck , which is an odd thing to do if they had accurate details from the Soviets.  That they were much quicker with Panther suggests a bureaucratic problem more than anyone else, but it was still unfortunate that it happened.



#292 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 0306 AM

Well since the Germans went to the trouble of adding the chin to the Panther G, they must have thought it was more than a myth.

 

It clearly happened. The question im asking myself is how often someone staring a 75mm gun down the barrel was ever able to do it consciously in combat. I suspect that was a lot rarer.

 

Supposedly the same thing was possible with the Porche Turret on the early Tiger II's, but again, I cant recall reading anything by anyone whom has ever actually done it.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 02 February 2017 - 0307 AM.


#293 bojan

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 0915 AM

They did, but apparently not as quickly or in as much detail as usually described. I think the Soviets engaged the first Tigers in december 1942 IIRC.

 

 

Yet test of captured one is late winter 1942/1943, IIRC late February. So, sending results in spring 1943 is kinda expected.

 

 


...They even had to measure up the armour on a demolished wreck , which is an odd thing to do if they had accurate details from the Soviets...

Why is that odd? It was done routinely during the war by all sides to check on previous data and to see if there were changes in enemy tanks. Soviets tested a dozen Panthers and Tigers during the war, do you want to imply they did not share tests among themself?

 

 


 That they were much quicker with Panther suggests a bureaucratic problem more than anyone else, but it was still unfortunate that it happened.

To see what happened we need to do full archive search when Soviet captured Tiger that could be shipped to Kubinka (so Leningrad is probably off), when they started and finished tests and when they wrote a final report, then when and what parts of report were sent to UK/USA.


Edited by bojan, 02 February 2017 - 0918 AM.


#294 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 0928 AM

Bojan, when was the exact date that the TIger was captured in Leningrad? I seem to recall it was Heavy Tank Battalion 502, and it was something like Mid december, is that right?

 

Fletcher claims in 'Tiger a British view' that Tiger was in service on the Eastern Front since August 42. However, he makes it pretty clear that, at least among the British, there was no awareness of them them at all till they received an intelligence report from Berlin, which gave most of the particulars of the tank.

 

Basically the impression from the book is that the British had only a photograph from National Zeitung newspaper dated 11th of December 1942, and no artists impression of what it looked like. In fact the British seem to have received their first details from the tank only in February 1943, when they were briefly able to examine a Tiger that was subsequently demolished. As it was, Fletcher makes clear the Soviets were asked back in December for details on the tank they had captured, and didnt receive any information on it till 30th of April. Less than a month later, we had our own.

 

Its good that they were so forthcoming with Panther, because whatever the reasons, we didnt receive information on Tiger till it was almost irrelevant. I could repeat the basic report here, suffice to say it didnt say much other than relating how good the submersion gear wasand that it had a panzer III derived gearbox.

 

Worth getting if you havent got it, its based on the original ww2 intelligence report on Tiger 131 and the illustrations are superb.

https://www.amazon.c... a british view


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 02 February 2017 - 0948 AM.


#295 seahawk

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 1034 AM

One should not forget that the mantlet did not only deflect AP rounds, it also did deflect simple machine gun and rifle round down towards the hatches, which might be open.



#296 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 1051 AM

I idly wonder if it made turret jams any easier?



#297 Ken Estes

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 1058 AM

Under continuing pressure, Henschel completed eight production tanks in August 1942 and four were shipped to the Leningrad front with the remainder of 1st Company, Heavy Tank Battalion 502  tanks arriving 8 September. This deployment has been treated derisively by most accounts because of the difficult terrain posed by the Leningrad front, particularly in the Winter. What has been ignored, however, was the operational situation. Following the fall of Sevastopol the German 11th Army staff and its siege artillery was shifted from there to Leningrad in preparation for Operation Northern Light, the seizure of Leningrad. Slated to begin with initial bombardments in late August, the planned assault on the city was spoiled by Russian offensives starting in mid-month and continuing through the winter. The first deployment of the heavy PzKw VI H Model H1 (official name of the Tiger 1 at this point) to Leningrad fit very well the original breakthrough tank concept that had brought the Tiger tank development, and they even managed to carry out the spearheading of counterattacks on occasion after the assault on Leningrad had to be curtailed.

 

However well-intended the deployment to Leningrad may have been, it quickly turned sour as the tanks failed almost immediately upon arrival. The frequency of engine fires, failures of brakes, steering units, transmissions and final drives in the first vehicles sent to Leningrad did not swell the morale of their crewmen. On the other hand, Henschel was unable to meet its production goals for three months because of the need to support just the first four, and then eight tanks sent to Army Group North. This pattern proved a characteristic of this most complex fighting vehicle and a search for its replacement would follow upon discovering its disappointing reliability in the field.

 

++

Stuart, I think it was 16 January that the Rus captured their first intact Tiger, near Leningrad, and were able to transport it to Kubinka. Previous to that, one had been blown up in Sept to avoid capture but the Red Army did examine it and gained considerable data from it. 



#298 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 1102 AM

 

Under continuing pressure, Henschel completed eight production tanks in August 1942 and four were shipped to the Leningrad front with the remainder of 1st Company, Heavy Tank Battalion 502  tanks arriving 8 September. This deployment has been treated derisively by most accounts because of the difficult terrain posed by the Leningrad front, particularly in the Winter. What has been ignored, however, was the operational situation. Following the fall of Sevastopol the German 11th Army staff and its siege artillery was shifted from there to Leningrad in preparation for Operation Northern Light, the seizure of Leningrad. Slated to begin with initial bombardments in late August, the planned assault on the city was spoiled by Russian offensives starting in mid-month and continuing through the winter. The first deployment of the heavy PzKw VI H Model H1 (official name of the Tiger 1 at this point) to Leningrad fit very well the original breakthrough tank concept that had brought the Tiger tank development, and they even managed to carry out the spearheading of counterattacks on occasion after the assault on Leningrad had to be curtailed.

 

However well-intended the deployment to Leningrad may have been, it quickly turned sour as the tanks failed almost immediately upon arrival. The frequency of engine fires, failures of brakes, steering units, transmissions and final drives in the first vehicles sent to Leningrad did not swell the morale of their crewmen. On the other hand, Henschel was unable to meet its production goals for three months because of the need to support just the first four, and then eight tanks sent to Army Group North. This pattern proved a characteristic of this most complex fighting vehicle and a search for its replacement would follow upon discovering its disappointing reliability in the field.

 

++

Stuart, I think it was 16 January that the Rus captured their first intact Tiger, near Leningrad, and were able to transport it to Kubinka. Previous to that, one had been blown up in Sept to avoid capture but the Red Army did examine it and gained considerable data from it.

 

 

 

Thank you Ken. So if they had information since September, and the British had to wait till April 30th to receive anything at all, it doesnt look as if the bureaucracy was functioning particularly well on this occasion.

 

Incidentally, there was in last seasons 'Combat Dealers' a Russian who claimed to own significant remnants of that first blown up Tiger. From the wreckage it clearly was a Tiger, but somewhat hard to place what batch.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 02 February 2017 - 1102 AM.


#299 cbo

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 1359 PM

After action report by the commanding officer of the 899th, Major Hoyt K. Lorance, Le Desert, Normandy, July 11th, 1944. Engagements\kills by the 899th TD Battalion of Panzer Lehr Panzers:

======================================================

1st Kill - 0300 hours on July 11th. 1st Platoon A/899th knock out Panther with two shots ricocheting down into top of hull from frontal hit on turret mantlet. Two more Panthers are knocked out, but recovered by the Germans. One M-10 knocked out by return fire.

 

2nd Kill - 0315 hours on July 11th. 3rd Platoon A/899th knocks out a single Pzkfw IV. Too dark to observe where it was hit.

 

3rd Kill (s) - 0530 hours on July 11th. 3rd Platoon A/899th knocks out three Panthers, first with three hits on right side armor,
second Panther with one hit just above track on lower right side and third Panther with hit on rear hull. Total engagement time less
than 3 minutes. Twelve rounds expended by single M-10. Halftrack was also hit and knocked out.

 

4th Kill - 1100 hours on July 11th. 3rd Platoon C/899th knocks out single Panther. Single AP hit on side armor of vehicle after being

hit with HE round. Panther was moving when it was hit. M-10 was stationary.

 

5th Kill (s) - 1445 hours on July 11th. 3rd Platoon C/899th knocks out two Panthers as they are moving through a crossroads. First one was penetrated by AP round ricocheting down into driver's compartment from a hit on mantlet. One M-10 is knocked out by
return fire from this Panther as German vehicle was hit. Second M-10 fires two more rounds at disabled Panther, penetrating lower
frontal hull. Second Panther was damaged by hit on suspension but crew abandoned it. Eleven German tank crew members killed and three captured.

 

6th Kill (s) - 1600 hours on July 11th. 1st Platoon C/899th knocks out two Panthers as they advance from a hedgerow toward a small
group of houses. One Panther was "split up the left side" by an AP round that hit the flank armor near the front corner of the hull.
Other seems to have been hit in flank also.

 

As far as I can tell, this was posted by Jeff Duquette in 2004, but I don't recall where.

 

There are many other examples of the "mantlet bounce" happening, so again, I would suggest that allied gunners would try to aim at that part of the Panther. It was near the turret ring, you might hit the front turret, which was more or less vertical or get a perpendicular hit on the gun mantlet. Anything in that area would be a better option than the sloped glacis plate.



#300 cbo

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 1405 PM

US Army test at Isigny in August 1944 - one stray sabot round also makes "the bounce". Obviously not intended, as they were aiming for the glacis.






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