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TigerII 8.8cm L/71 APCBC V's M4A1 Sherman Turret

Article about: This shows why it was so hard for the Sherman Tankers in open ground getting to grips with the TigerII with its 88mm L/71 main gun whilst the bocage country gave the Shemans the advantage on

  1. #11


    Quote by CINDERSII View Post
    Well Michael Wittmann certainly proved in Villers Bocage just what a group of Mk VI's can do to an armoured column and yes there was a firefly in there as well I think but decimate that column they did.
    You only have to hear Pat Dias's story whom actually took Wittmann on in his Sherman and lost here is that story;

    "Pat was a Sherman commander when Wittmann attacked, Pat saw Witmmans tank coming towards them so he quickly ordered his driver to reverse into a house to let Wittmann track by come out behind his tank and stove pipe him."
    In Pats words "Wittmans tank went past us and we came out from our hide expecting to be able to shoot the back of the Tiger unfortunately for us Wittmann was onto us and had turned his tank around."
    "So instead of the rear of a Tiger we were facing one head on at 100yds range not a very nice place to be, my gunner fired twice and the shots just bounced off, he fired once and the shot did not bounce off."
    "It blew me out of the commanders hatch and killed 2 of my crew fortunately for me the Dr at the aid station at the beach was an eye specialist and saved my sight by passing a strong magnet over my eyes removing all the steel splinters."
    "The Dr said if they had stayed in for 24hrs I would have been blind for life."

    Even Von Rosen whom commanded the 503rd Tiger Tank Battalion said the Firefly did not worry them unduly, Otto Carius was similar in his summation of the allied tanks.
    The Pershing entered to late to really see any action apart from the footage of it taking out that Panther in Cologne near the very end of the war in Europe.
    Montgomery forbade the use of the word Tiger Tank the only real solution in the ETO they found worked was when they encountered the Tigers was to call in the Tiffies to rocket them.
    The Thunderbolt pilots used to come in from behind firing just short of the rear of the Tiger so the ricochets bounced up underneath and into either the engine bay or the crew compartment.
    The Jagdtiger was just an AT ambush weapon much like the Hetzer limited viewing outside, poor traverse on the gun making it difficult to track and shoot.
    To qualify to be a Tiger gunner was very stringent if you get a copy of Tigers in Combat III its all detailed in there what all the crew had to attain and do to keep the Tiger going. (I have the other 2 vols plus another 14 books on the Tigers & Tactics.)

    If I had a choice of tank on tank in open country one on one then my ar*se would be in the TigerII even with its underpowered engine it was the same in the Mk VI they both suffered but that 88mm gun just destroyed allied armour in either role.
    But there were only ever 1300+ Tigers built while there were I think over 30,000 M4's made who had the better kill ratio!
    In reality Wittman only knocked out 8 Main Battle Tanks in VB including a Firefly with a shot from the rear but the rest were Cromwells . The remainder of the 25 vehicles were Bren carriers , Half tracks , Stuarts and RA OP Tanks . Wittmann retreated out of the town after the engagement with a B Sq 4 CLY Firefly and then he was knocked out ( damaged ) by a 6 pdr AT Gun . Pat Dyas was actually in a Cromwell not a Sherman as 4 CLY were a Cromwell equipped unit with one Firefly per Troop.
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  2. #12


    In my opinion i think its unfair to really compare infantry support tanks against the tiger tanks that were designed to destroy other tanks.

    Id say once the allies had designed tanks with the sole purpose to take on German tanks. Id say we would of faired better.

    Like the tortoise and T-29
    TigerII 8.8cm L/71 APCBC V's M4A1 Sherman TurretTigerII 8.8cm L/71 APCBC V's M4A1 Sherman Turret

  3. #13


    In relation to Villers Bocage I found this on Wittmann does not say which Cromwell Pat was in but here's 21 tanks knocked out by the Tigers including a Firefly (Tank 17 on the list) in fact Saarlander Balthasar "Bobby" Woll Wittmanns gunner destroyed eighty tanks in his career as a Tiger gunner.
    They credit Wittman with 12 tanks for a total of 2 dozen destroyed vehicles in the engagement.
    In Pats interview which I cannot find he admired Wittmann as a typical Panzer commander utterly ruthless a fine tribute coming from one of his adversaries.

    Wittmann, Villers Bocage and his kill claims. - Page 9 - Axis History Forum

  4. #14


    Quote by CINDERSII View Post
    I have Wilbecks book and if you get one and read it you will learn that the German command did stupid things with the Tigers especially on the eastern front like using it to track over Anti personnel minefields for the infantry with resultant running gear damage (All in Wilbecks book).
    Also get yourself a copy of Coopers book also in my collection to see what the harsh reality it was for allied tankers facing the 88mm DP guns, panthers & Tigers it brings it home just how deficent the allied M4 was.

    Most of the reasons the "Tommy Cooker" went up in flames was due to the poor ammo storage going up and not the fuel from the radial.

    Here is some sobering footage of the retrevial of 2 dead French crew members from a Sherman in 1944 you will notice the penetration went through just above the gun mantlet into the turret they do not say what fired the A.P round but it did its job quiet well.
    That tank as it did not burn (affects the armours tempering rendering it useless) would be recovered, hosed out, repaired, repainted then re-issued to a different crew.
    If your squimish I suggest not watching it....
    That video link you gave is some seriously sobering, thought provoking footage. I have never seen anything like it. Thank you, (I think) kind regards.

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