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Thursday, 28 February 2013


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My father was terribly glad that he fought in Churchills not Shermans, which he looked upon as death traps. The Churchill was well armoured and had an advantage over the German tanks in the bocage - a shorter gun barrel. You could swing a Churchill's turret in a space where a German tank was stuck. Moreover if you were close to the buggers, which was possible in the bocage country, a six-pounder sabot shell could knock them out.

Once you were out in open country you were at a disadvantage (though less of a disadvantage than the poor bastards in Shermans) in tank vs tank. So you changed the contest and called up Typhoons to wreck the German tanks or drive them away.

Thick, sloping armour, wide tracks, and a nice big accurate gun. The King Tiger was, on the other hand, overweight and underpowered and so expensive that the Germans only ever built a handful of them. Still, a fine thing, in a nasty way. Ramming it seems like one of the only ways to get it.

Thanks for the story.

Another way would be for SOE operatives working in Greece to get the Greek Army to purchase hundreds of the King Tigers. The Greeks would then swan about in them despite having no intention or ability to pay. This would seriously stress out the Wehrmacht who would issue increasingly shrill demands that their Greek allies cut back on everything - which, of course, they would be reluctant to do. Repeat same process in Italy, Spain, and Ireland.

With this distraction and waste going on, the rapidly growing and modernising Chinese Army could sweep in and sort everyone out...

DM, terrain, of course, is critical and I take your point about the bocage. And if the weather was clear and the comms were working, the Typhoon was deadly.

'H', I just had a quick skim through some sites, mostly wargamers who are frequently very well informed, and indeed, despite its strength the KT had its weaknesses - frequent breakdowns being one of them until the crews were better trained and more experienced.

'W', so you've been reading Ortega's link about all those expensive tanks the Germans flogged to the Greeks just before they ran out of money! Who says international politics isn't a laugh a minute?!

Iirc, the Greek army has over 1,000 tanks - not bad for a country as broke as they are.

Granted, the KT was unreliable - in part, because it was underpowered. But I'm guessing that waiting for it to break down would be an uncomfortable experience.

Incidentally, the tank-deastroyer variant of the KT, the Jagdtiger, sported a 128mm gun. It is reported that one unfortunate American tank was destroyed after the shell had passed through two stout masonry walls before hitting it.

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