History UsefulNotes / NazisWithGnarlyWeapons

4th Jul '17 10:19:40 AM Kalmbach
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The U-boats (''unterseeboot'', "undersea boat") were not true submarines in the modern sense of the word, but rather submersibles - they spent most of their time on the surface and were slow underwater[[note]]And they had batteries for just around a hour at full speed submerged[[/note]]. Midway through the war Germany employed the ''schnorchel'' (snorkel) device, which they copied from a pair of Dutch submarines captured in 1940 (their design having been begun in in 1938), allowing U-boats to draw air from the surface and stay underwater indefinitely. The U-boats were probably the single most successful weapon at the ''Kriegsmarine's'' disposal, but even they had issues; persistant problems with faulty torpedoes led to many vessels escaping destruction, and at least two U-boats sank ''themselves'' with faulty acoustic homing torpedoes. Even with those corrected, U-boat tactics and technology would be outpaced by Allied anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tactics and technology, leading to tremendous losses for the U-boat service. Three out of every four U-boat crewmen never returned from the war, a permanent casualty rate that no branch of any armed service has suffered and yet continued to function, and a third of all lost boats were sunk on their first patrol.

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The U-boats (''unterseeboot'', "undersea boat") were not true submarines in the modern sense of the word, but rather submersibles - they spent most of their time on the surface and were slow underwater[[note]]And they had batteries for just around a hour at full speed submerged[[/note]]. Midway through the war Germany employed the ''schnorchel'' (snorkel) device, which they copied from a pair of Dutch submarines captured in 1940 (their design having been begun in in 1938), allowing U-boats to draw air from the surface and stay run their diesels underwater indefinitely.indefinitely (this was mainly used to hide from aircraft. The diesels made so much noise they were easily detected by ships). The U-boats were probably the single most successful weapon at the ''Kriegsmarine's'' disposal, but even they had issues; persistant problems with faulty torpedoes led to many vessels escaping destruction, and at least two U-boats sank ''themselves'' with faulty acoustic homing torpedoes. Even with those corrected, U-boat tactics and technology would be outpaced by Allied anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tactics and technology, leading to tremendous losses for the U-boat service. Three out of every four U-boat crewmen never returned from the war, a permanent casualty rate that no branch of any armed service has suffered and yet continued to function, and a third of all lost boats were sunk on their first patrol.
4th Jul '17 10:18:27 AM Kalmbach
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Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm [=KwK=] 36 (short for ''Kampfwagenkanone'', "fighting vehicle cannon") gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, the late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.

to:

Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was decently fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm [=KwK=] 36 (short for ''Kampfwagenkanone'', "fighting vehicle cannon") gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, All that armor and firepower came at a cost: Weight. Cross-country performance was only average, and the tank would often destroy country roads and bridges. Even with 700 horsepower, its engine was highly taxed to move it, and poor reliability ensued, combined with a complicated suspension and weak drive train. The fact that, like all German tanks, it was powered by [[MadeOfExplodium gasoline]] rather than diesel didn't help matters. The late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed rocketed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.
4th Jul '17 9:36:00 AM Kalmbach
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The greatest innovation in personal equipment the Nazis came up with, however, was not a weapon at all. The ''Wehrmachtskanister'', better known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrycan jerrycan]]", might seem totally ordinary nowadays, but in 1939 it was considered so advanced and secret that German soldiers were ordered to destroy them if there was a risk of their being captured. Compared to the flimsy, leaky fluid containers used by other armies (it was estimated the British in North Africa lost 30% of all shipped fuel to leaking containers), the jerrycan was nothing short of miraculous; it could be opened and closed without the use of tools, was self-sealing without additional parts, included a pouring spout rather than requiring a funnel, couldn't be overfilled as a failsafe against heat and vapor expansion and was still cheap to manufacture despite being much more sturdy. The design proved so good that it remains in use to this day by both military forces and civilians.

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The greatest innovation in personal equipment the Nazis came up with, however, was not a weapon at all. The ''Wehrmachtskanister'', better known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrycan jerrycan]]", might seem totally ordinary nowadays, but in 1939 it was considered so advanced and secret that German soldiers were ordered to destroy them if there was a risk of their being captured. Compared to the flimsy, leaky fluid containers used by other armies (it was estimated the British in North Africa lost 30% of all shipped fuel to leaking containers), the jerrycan was nothing short of miraculous; it could be opened and closed without the use of tools, was self-sealing without additional parts, included a pouring spout rather than requiring a funnel, couldn't be overfilled as a failsafe against heat and vapor expansion and was still cheap to manufacture despite being much more sturdy. Even the handles were clever: It had three along the top, making it easier to pass from one man to the next, or allowing a soldier to carry two empty cans comfortably in one hand. The design proved so good that it remains in use to this day by both military forces and civilians.
3rd Jul '17 8:54:34 PM MAI742
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* Waffen-SS (Protection Squadron Force)
* Ordnungspolizei (Order Police)
* Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police)
* Sicherheitsdienst (Security Force)

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* Waffen-SS (Protection (lit. Protection Squadron Force)
* Ordnungspolizei (Order (lit. Order Police)
* Sicherheitspolizei (Security (lit. Security Police)
* Sicherheitsdienst (Security Force)
(lit. "Security Force", Intelligence)



* Heer (Army)
* Kriegsmarine (Navy)
* Luftwaffe (Air Force)
* Abwehr (Military Intelligence)

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* Heer (Army)
(lit. Army)
* Kriegsmarine (Navy)
(lit. Navy)
* Luftwaffe (Air (lit. Air Force)
* Abwehr (Military (lit. "Defence", Intelligence)
3rd Jul '17 6:50:03 PM Kalmbach
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* Abwehr (Defence)

to:

* Abwehr (Defence)
(Military Intelligence)
10th Jun '17 10:15:32 AM nombretomado
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-->-- '''WinstonChurchill'''

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-->-- '''WinstonChurchill'''
'''UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill'''
27th May '17 1:50:36 PM nombretomado
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* '''5th SS Panzer Division "''Wiking''"''': A genuinely elite SS Motorized Infantry (later Panzer) division, ''Wiking'' was one of the Waffen-SS's strongest battle units. Composed by foreign volunteers, from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Finland and Estonia, the Netherlands and Belgium under the command of German officers, it first saw action during Operation: Barbarossa. It did itself well in the fighting on the Mius and around Rostov-On-Don before deploying to the Caucasus and playing a large role in the capture of Grozny. During its long campaigns, it was encircled several times but broke out each time, narrowly escaping being trapped in the infamous ''kessel'' at Stalingrad. It also helped suppress the Warsaw Uprising. After being badly mauled trying to relieve Budapest, after a week-long forced march in horrific weather conditions[[note]]As is seemingly always the case in wars, the winter of 1944-45 was the longest and bitterest on record.[[/note]], the division fell back through central Europe to eventually surrender to the US Army in Austria. Most of its members were repatriated and either acquitted, imprisoned, or in some cases, executed. One Viking soldier, Finnish Major Lauri A. Törni, [[BloodKnight fought also in Finnish Army, winning the highest decoration, the Mannerheim Cross, joining the US Special Forces after the war]]. He advanced from Private to Major in the US Army, and was killed in action in the VietnamWar 1963.

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* '''5th SS Panzer Division "''Wiking''"''': A genuinely elite SS Motorized Infantry (later Panzer) division, ''Wiking'' was one of the Waffen-SS's strongest battle units. Composed by foreign volunteers, from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Finland and Estonia, the Netherlands and Belgium under the command of German officers, it first saw action during Operation: Barbarossa. It did itself well in the fighting on the Mius and around Rostov-On-Don before deploying to the Caucasus and playing a large role in the capture of Grozny. During its long campaigns, it was encircled several times but broke out each time, narrowly escaping being trapped in the infamous ''kessel'' at Stalingrad. It also helped suppress the Warsaw Uprising. After being badly mauled trying to relieve Budapest, after a week-long forced march in horrific weather conditions[[note]]As is seemingly always the case in wars, the winter of 1944-45 was the longest and bitterest on record.[[/note]], the division fell back through central Europe to eventually surrender to the US Army in Austria. Most of its members were repatriated and either acquitted, imprisoned, or in some cases, executed. One Viking soldier, Finnish Major Lauri A. Törni, [[BloodKnight fought also in Finnish Army, winning the highest decoration, the Mannerheim Cross, joining the US Special Forces after the war]]. He advanced from Private to Major in the US Army, and was killed in action in the VietnamWar UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar 1963.
10th May '17 11:14:33 PM morane
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German army was badly overrun by British tanks in the World War One, and was a quick learner. The Army adopted tank and armoured assault warfare early, and was the first to notice the role of tank on battlefield: tank was to be the knight of the 20th century, and deployed like knights: in concentrated formations on their own, employing firepower and mobility and crush the enemy lines with impetus, enabling breakthroughs and allowing mobilized infantry to employ the gaps on enemy lines. "Tank" itself is ''Panzerkampfwage'' in German language, literally "armoured fighting vehicle", abbreviated just ''Panzer'' ("armour").

Nazi Germany always appreciated the tank's role in combined arms, building fast, relatively light tanks at the start of the war to support infantry. The ''Heer'' went to war with four types of tank: ''Panzerkanpfwagen I'' through ''IV''. The Panzer I was a light tank only ever intended as a training tank and was equipped with two machine guns, while the scout and reconnaissance tank, Panzer II, carried a 20 mm gun. The Panzer III was a medium tank armed with a 50 mm cannon and whose purpose was to engage the enemy tanks, while Panzer IV was an infantry support tank armed with a 75 mm howitzer. The annecation of Czechoslovakia 1938 provided Germany the excellent Czech Shkoda tanks, Heer designation Panzer 38(T) [1938, Tschechoslowakei] Germany's ability to engage heavy armour was ''very'' poor right up until halfway through the war in the Eastern Theatre; in France, Rommel found the British Matildas could not be damaged at all by anything short of his HQ's giant fixed 88 mm [=FlaKs=], while the British 2 pounder QF 40 mm gun AP shell could penetrate any German armour. In the first month of ''Operation Barbarossa'' a single Klim Voroshilov mk2 (KV2) heavy tank held up elements of the Sixth Panzer Division (a unit of 14,000 men and 200 panzers) for over a day, and in an ambush at Krasnogvardeysk five KV-1 and T-34 tanks destroyed ''43 panzers'' with no losses. Events like this showed a clear need for heavier hardware.

The result was the up-gunning and up-armouring of the Panzer IV, formerly an infantry tank specifically ''not'' designed to engage armour. Panzer III had reached its peak evolutive potential and could no more be up-gunned. As a stop-gap measure, the Panzer IV received a new 75 mm KwK 40 anti-tank cannon and thickened glacis and frontal armour. Many obsolete hulls were turned into tank destroyers with heavier fixed main guns, and a new series of Panzers envisioned; larger, with heavy armour and powerful main guns. Despite that, the Panzer IV would remain the Heer's workhorse for the duration of the war, and the last models sported the formidable 75 mm KwK 42 gun. This was a trade-off on reliability, ergonomics and durability: its weight increased for almost 33% and its powertrain, engine and primitive leaf spring suspension could not stay on pace. Eventually it became apparent that the Panzer IV was about equal in armament and armor to the American Sherman and the Soviet T-34, which was a bad thing for the Germans, since both the Americans and Soviets outnumbered them significantly by this point.

Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm KwK 36 gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, the late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.

to:

German army was badly overrun by British tanks in the World War One, and was a quick learner. The Army adopted tank and armoured assault warfare early, and was the first to notice the role of tank on battlefield: tank was to be the knight of the 20th century, and deployed like knights: in concentrated formations on their own, employing firepower and mobility and crush the enemy lines with impetus, enabling breakthroughs and allowing mobilized infantry to employ the gaps on enemy lines. "Tank" itself is ''Panzerkampfwage'' ''Panzerkampfwagen'' in German language, literally "armoured fighting vehicle", abbreviated just ''Panzer'' ("armour").

("armour"). The official abbreviation for ''Panzerkampfwagen'' is [=PzKpfW=], or just Pz.

Nazi Germany always appreciated the tank's role in combined arms, building fast, relatively light tanks at the start of the war to support infantry. The ''Heer'' went to war with four types of tank: ''Panzerkanpfwagen ''Panzerkampfwagen I'' through ''IV''. The Panzer I was a light tank only ever intended as a training tank and was equipped with two machine guns, while the scout and reconnaissance tank, Panzer II, carried a 20 mm gun. It was fast and agile, but sadly obsolete already in 1940. The Panzer III was a medium tank armed with a 50 mm cannon and whose purpose was to engage the enemy tanks, while Panzer IV was an infantry support tank armed with a 75 mm howitzer. The annecation nThe annexation of Czechoslovakia 1938 provided Germany the excellent Czech Shkoda Skoda tanks, Heer ''Heer'' designation being Panzer 38(T) [1938, Tschechoslowakei] Tschechoslowakei]. Germany thus went to war with five main types of tank.

Regardless of the astonishing success of ''Blitzkrieg'',
Germany's ability to engage heavy armour was ''very'' poor right up until halfway through the war in the Eastern Theatre; in France, Rommel found the British Matildas could not be damaged at all by anything short of his HQ's giant fixed 88 mm [=FlaKs=], while the British 2 pounder QF 40 mm gun AP shell could penetrate any German armour. In the first month of ''Operation Barbarossa'' a single Klim Klimenti Voroshilov mk2 (KV2) (KV-2) heavy tank held up elements of the Sixth Panzer Division (a unit of 14,000 men and 200 panzers) for over a day, and in an ambush at Krasnogvardeysk five KV-1 and T-34 tanks destroyed ''43 panzers'' with no losses. Events like this showed a clear need for heavier hardware.

hardware. At desert, the agile and mobile British cruiser tanks, such as Crusader, dominated the battlefield, and only the [[ImprobableUseOfAWeapon 88 mm anti-aircraft guns]] were able to keep the heavy Matildas and Valentines in check. Moreover, Panzer I was obsolete already in 1939, while Panzer II and Panzer 38(T) were withdrawn from service in late 1942 and Panzer III by 1943.

The result was the up-gunning and up-armouring of the Panzer IV, formerly an infantry tank specifically ''not'' designed to engage armour. Panzer III had reached its peak evolutive potential and could no more be up-gunned. As a stop-gap measure, the Panzer IV received a new 75 mm KwK [=KwK=] 40 anti-tank cannon and thickened glacis and frontal armour. Many obsolete hulls of Panzer II, Panzer III and Panzer 38(T) were turned into [[GlassCannon tank destroyers with with]] [[FixedForwardFacingWeapon heavier fixed main guns, guns]], and a new series of Panzers envisioned; larger, with heavy armour and powerful main guns. Despite that, the Panzer IV would remain the Heer's workhorse for the duration of the war, and the last models sported the formidable 75 mm KwK [=KwK=] 42 gun.gun and [[ImprovisedArmor ''Schürzen'' applique armour]]. This was a trade-off on reliability, ergonomics and durability: its weight increased for almost 33% and its powertrain, engine and primitive leaf spring suspension could not stay on pace. Eventually it became apparent that the Panzer IV was about equal in armament and armor to the American Sherman and the Soviet T-34, which was a bad thing for the Germans, since both the Americans and Soviets outnumbered them significantly by this point.

Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm KwK [=KwK=] 36 (short for ''Kampfwagenkanone'', "fighting vehicle cannon") gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, the late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.



An even heavier and better armed and armoured heavy tank, ''Tiger II'' or the formidable ''Königstiger'' (literally "King Tiger", meaning "bengal tiger") came to service in 1944. It was completely superior to ''any'' Allied tanks, and only the 90 mm cannon of the M36 Jackson had any hopes piercing its armour. Fortunately for the Allies, it was hideously over-engineered, prone to break up when least expected, and fuel-thirsty. Nevertheless, it provided unnecessary headache for the Allied commanders in 1944-1945.

to:

An even heavier and better armed and armoured heavy tank, ''Tiger II'' or the formidable ''Königstiger'' (literally "King Tiger", meaning "bengal tiger") came to service in 1944. It was completely superior to ''any'' Allied tanks, its 88 mm [=KwK=] 43 gun could destroy any enemy tank at ''any'' distance, and only the 90 mm cannon of the [[TanksButNoTanks M36 Jackson Jackson]] had any hopes piercing its armour. Fortunately for the Allies, it was hideously over-engineered, prone to break up when least expected, and fuel-thirsty. Nevertheless, it provided unnecessary headache for the Allied commanders in 1944-1945.



The Allied strategic bombing offensive beginning in 1943 meant that Germany switched its emphasis on turretless, casemated assault guns and tank destroyers, which were quicker to manufacture, simpler and cheaper than turreted tanks. Despite the great fame of the "big cats", the most successful German armored vehicle of the war, both in terms of kills and design, was the ''Sturmgeschütz'' III assault gun, which began life as a gun carrier to support infantry advances, and ended up as a tank destroyer with 20,000 kills by 1944. The design saw especial success in the hands of Germany's Finnish allies, who used them to knock out 87 Soviet tanks for only 8 losses (some of which were due to mechanical failure or destruction to avoid capture). The tank served in the Finnish and Syrian armies until the 1960s, and in Syrian, Romanian and Spanish service until the 1950s. Some may still be in use as static pillboxes on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Other famous tank destroyers were Jagdpanther (a tank destroyer based on Panther chassis with 88 mm KwK 43), Elefant (extremely heavily armoured tank destroyer based on Porsche chassis and armed with 88 mm PaK 43) and Jagdtiger, which was based on Königstiger chassis and armed with [[UpToEleven 128 mm]] (!) PaK 44.

to:

The Allied strategic bombing offensive beginning in 1943 meant that Germany switched its emphasis on turretless, casemated assault guns and tank destroyers, which were quicker to manufacture, simpler and cheaper than turreted tanks. Despite the great fame of the "big cats", the most successful German armored vehicle of the war, both in terms of kills and design, was the ''Sturmgeschütz'' III assault gun, which began life as a gun carrier to support infantry advances, and ended up as a tank destroyer with 20,000 kills by 1944. The design saw especial success in the hands of Germany's Finnish allies, who used them to knock out 87 Soviet tanks for only 8 losses (some of which were due to mechanical failure or destruction to avoid capture). The tank served in the Finnish and Syrian armies until the 1960s, and in Syrian, Romanian and Spanish service until the 1950s. Some may still be in use as static pillboxes on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Other famous tank destroyers were Jagdpanther (a tank destroyer based on Panther chassis with 88 mm KwK [=KwK=] 43), Elefant (extremely heavily armoured tank destroyer based on Porsche chassis and armed with 88 mm PaK [=PaK=] 43) and Jagdtiger, which was based on Königstiger chassis and armed with [[UpToEleven 128 mm]] (!) PaK [=PaK=] 44.
10th May '17 11:39:34 AM morane
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Nazi Germany always appreciated the tank's role in combined arms, building fast, relatively light tanks at the start of the war to support infantry; the Panzer I was only ever intended as a training tank and was equipped with two machine guns, while the Panzer II carried a 20 mm gun. Germany's ability to engage heavy armour was ''very'' poor right up until halfway through the war in the Eastern Theatre; in France, Rommel found the British Matildas could not be damaged at all by anything short of his HQ's giant fixed 88 mm [=FlaKs=]. In the first month of ''Operation Barbarossa'' a single Klim Voroshilov mk2 (KV2) heavy tank held up elements of the Sixth Panzer Division (a unit of 14,000 men and 200 panzers) for over a day, and in an ambush at Krasnogvardeysk five KV-1 and T-34 tanks destroyed ''43 panzers'' with no losses. Events like this showed a clear need for heavier hardware.

The result was the up-gunning of the Panzer IV, formerly an infantry tank specifically ''not'' designed to engage armour; many obsolete hulls were turned into tank destroyers with heavier fixed main guns, and a new series of Panzers envisioned; larger, with heavy armour and powerful main guns. Despite that, the Panzer IV would remain the Heer's workhorse for the duration of the war. Eventually it became apparent that the Panzer IV was about equal in armament and armor to the American Sherman and the Soviet T-34, which was a bad thing for the Germans, since both the Americans and Soviets outnumbered them significantly by this point.

Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Tiger I was the first of the new heavy tanks. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Pz V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, the late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34.

to:

Nazi Germany always appreciated the tank's role in combined arms, building fast, relatively light tanks at the start of the war to support infantry; the infantry. The ''Heer'' went to war with four types of tank: ''Panzerkanpfwagen I'' through ''IV''. The Panzer I was a light tank only ever intended as a training tank and was equipped with two machine guns, while the scout and reconnaissance tank, Panzer II II, carried a 20 mm gun. The Panzer III was a medium tank armed with a 50 mm cannon and whose purpose was to engage the enemy tanks, while Panzer IV was an infantry support tank armed with a 75 mm howitzer. The annecation of Czechoslovakia 1938 provided Germany the excellent Czech Shkoda tanks, Heer designation Panzer 38(T) [1938, Tschechoslowakei] Germany's ability to engage heavy armour was ''very'' poor right up until halfway through the war in the Eastern Theatre; in France, Rommel found the British Matildas could not be damaged at all by anything short of his HQ's giant fixed 88 mm [=FlaKs=].[=FlaKs=], while the British 2 pounder QF 40 mm gun AP shell could penetrate any German armour. In the first month of ''Operation Barbarossa'' a single Klim Voroshilov mk2 (KV2) heavy tank held up elements of the Sixth Panzer Division (a unit of 14,000 men and 200 panzers) for over a day, and in an ambush at Krasnogvardeysk five KV-1 and T-34 tanks destroyed ''43 panzers'' with no losses. Events like this showed a clear need for heavier hardware.

The result was the up-gunning and up-armouring of the Panzer IV, formerly an infantry tank specifically ''not'' designed to engage armour; many armour. Panzer III had reached its peak evolutive potential and could no more be up-gunned. As a stop-gap measure, the Panzer IV received a new 75 mm KwK 40 anti-tank cannon and thickened glacis and frontal armour. Many obsolete hulls were turned into tank destroyers with heavier fixed main guns, and a new series of Panzers envisioned; larger, with heavy armour and powerful main guns. Despite that, the Panzer IV would remain the Heer's workhorse for the duration of the war.war, and the last models sported the formidable 75 mm KwK 42 gun. This was a trade-off on reliability, ergonomics and durability: its weight increased for almost 33% and its powertrain, engine and primitive leaf spring suspension could not stay on pace. Eventually it became apparent that the Panzer IV was about equal in armament and armor to the American Sherman and the Soviet T-34, which was a bad thing for the Germans, since both the Americans and Soviets outnumbered them significantly by this point.

Commencing the ''Heer's'' late-war policy of trying to put an 88 mm gun on absolutely everything (tanks, tank destroyers, chairs, trees, surprised farm animals, etc), the Tiger I Panzer VI ''Tiger I'' was the [[LightningBruiser first of the new heavy tanks.tanks]]. While it used a traditional armour scheme and was hideously over-engineered (to the point where the manual was a picture book made ''by'' the tank crews), it proved a fearsome opponent. It was fast, manoeuvreable and extremely well armoured. Its dreaded 88 mm KwK 36 gun could penetrate ''any'' Allied armour at ''any'' distance. Almost as famous, and produced in much larger numbers, was the Pz Panzer V Panther medium tank which featured thick, sloped armour, excellent firepower, good mobility and is widely viewed as the best all round tank of the war. However, the late war tanks suffered from rushed development and were never as reliable in service as their American and Soviet opponents. In addition, their high quality and over-engineering meant that Panthers and Tigers were incredibly outnumbered by Shermans and T-34s, which the Americans and Soviet could crank out in vast numbers very quickly. Another factor that limited their effectiveness was Allied air superiority. Tigers and Panthers could not risk staying in the open too long for fear of being strafed by Allied planes. By the end of the war, both the Americans and Soviets had developed tanks that were even better than the Panther, but mostly held back on deploying them in large numbers in favor of continuing the mass production of slightly-improved versions of the Sherman and T-34. \n Nevertheless, the highest scoring German tank commanders received similar kudos as fighter aces, and several Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius, would have over 100 destroyed enemy tanks on their credit, with countless anti-tank guns, trucks and softskins.

Tigers were employed as heavy battalions (''Schwere Abteilungen'') which acted as "fire brigades", being assigned to a division or army corps which was in need of them, either in offence or in defence. They were used both by ''Heer'' and ''Waffen-SS''. The moral effect of the Tigers was enormous, both encouraging the Germans and scaring their enemies whenever they showed up.

An even heavier and better armed and armoured heavy tank, ''Tiger II'' or the formidable ''Königstiger'' (literally "King Tiger", meaning "bengal tiger") came to service in 1944. It was completely superior to ''any'' Allied tanks, and only the 90 mm cannon of the M36 Jackson had any hopes piercing its armour. Fortunately for the Allies, it was hideously over-engineered, prone to break up when least expected, and fuel-thirsty. Nevertheless, it provided unnecessary headache for the Allied commanders in 1944-1945.



Despite the great fame of the "big cats", the most successful German armored vehicle of the war, both in terms of kills and design, was the ''Sturmgeschütz'' III assault gun, which began life as a gun carrier to support infantry advances, and ended up as a tank destroyer with 20,000 kills by 1944. The design saw especial success in the hands of Germany's Finnish allies, who used them to knock out 87 Soviet tanks for only 8 losses (some of which were due to mechanical failure or destruction to avoid capture). The tank served in the Finnish and Syrian armies until the 1960s, and in Syrian, Romanian and Spanish service until the 1950s. Some may still be in use as static pillboxes on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

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The Allied strategic bombing offensive beginning in 1943 meant that Germany switched its emphasis on turretless, casemated assault guns and tank destroyers, which were quicker to manufacture, simpler and cheaper than turreted tanks. Despite the great fame of the "big cats", the most successful German armored vehicle of the war, both in terms of kills and design, was the ''Sturmgeschütz'' III assault gun, which began life as a gun carrier to support infantry advances, and ended up as a tank destroyer with 20,000 kills by 1944. The design saw especial success in the hands of Germany's Finnish allies, who used them to knock out 87 Soviet tanks for only 8 losses (some of which were due to mechanical failure or destruction to avoid capture). The tank served in the Finnish and Syrian armies until the 1960s, and in Syrian, Romanian and Spanish service until the 1950s. Some may still be in use as static pillboxes on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
Heights. Other famous tank destroyers were Jagdpanther (a tank destroyer based on Panther chassis with 88 mm KwK 43), Elefant (extremely heavily armoured tank destroyer based on Porsche chassis and armed with 88 mm PaK 43) and Jagdtiger, which was based on Königstiger chassis and armed with [[UpToEleven 128 mm]] (!) PaK 44.
10th May '17 11:05:16 AM morane
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German army was badly overrun by British tanks in the World War One, and was a quick learner. The Army adopted tank and armoured assault warfare early, and was the first to notice the role of tank on battlefield: tank was to be the knight of the 20th century, and deployed like knights: in concentrated formations on their own, employing firepower and mobility and crush the enemy lines with impetus, enabling breakthroughs and allowing mobilized infantry to employ the gaps on enemy lines. "Tank" itself is ''Panzerkampfwage'' in German language, literally "armoured fighting vehicle", abbreviated just ''Panzer'' ("armour").
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