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Thread: Fall of France

  1. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Each nation has its own suicide run to memorialize; Picketts

    Not to pick nits, but Pickett's Charge was hardly the largest or most charges by the Confederate Infantry in the American Civil War.

    Gaine's Mills had over 32,000 Confederates attack and suffered almost 6,000 casualties.

    Longstreet's assault at Chickamauga was was 18,000 strong and took almost 5,000 casualties.

    And at Franklin Hood sent 20,000 men across a 2 mile plain to attack Schofield's army and suffered over 6200 casualties.

    But I get your point...Gettysburg is the better known.
    Gettysburg is what entered the national mindset, its the battle of myth for our national story.

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    Yeah Z, I get it.

    I just do wish folks would recognize it was not the largest...or most futile.

    And those were just the Confederate ones I listed.
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    Gettysburg represents the watershed moment in the most convulsive, bloody epic of our history. For myself, some significant parallels to Kursk, exactly 80 years later. Consider Vicksburg and Gettysburg in tandem to Kursk and Sicily. Suddenly a victory engineered by a two (or later, multiple) strategic fronts.

    While the Union had no particular advantage of preparation at Gettysburg, an epic movement to contact encounter battle if ever there was one, they did manage to seize critical (and defensible) terrain early in the engagement. And on those rocks at both Gettysburg and Kursk washed the fortunes of both the Confederacy and 3rd Reich...only to forever recede towards total defeat.

    JMHO.(;-)

    Sorry to briefly derail a fine Fall of France discussion. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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    Act 1

    Anyway the largest army in the world was out maneuvered when the Germans broke through at Sedan...Panic then ensued after a a few dozen Wehrmacht in dinghies managed to cross the Meuse river. Apparently this wasn't part of the French script and a new script had to be written....Unfortunately the script writers couldn't get their act together quickly enough and the Germans poured their armour into the open, undefended French countryside. Various counter attacks failed and the Germans made their way to the seaside causing further panic and a total routing of the BEF who chucked in their bucket and spade and did one!

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    Z, I am responding late.

    Just an interesting side note, according to Jetnz, Pz-IVs with short 75 and improved shaped-charged shells (HEAT) were the best German gun-armed tanks until the long barreled 75 armed-Pz IV got around. Even with the long velocity and suboptimal accuracy, the HEAT's killing power guaranteed longer-range kills of T-34s than the long 50mm with any ammo. The PzD 11, which had Pz-IIIs with short 50 and long 50, but only Pz-IVs with short 75, attributed the highest number of kills to their Pz-IVs. And the 11th PzD was considered a good outfit that racked up more Soviet tank kills than divisions better armed with long-75 armed Pz-IVs.
    Last edited by Triple C; 31 Jul 17, at 17:28.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    Z, I am responding late.

    Just an interesting side note, according to Jetnz, Pz-IVs with short 75 and improved shaped-charged shells (HEAT) were the best German gun-armed tanks until the long barreled 75 armed-Pz IV got around. Even with the long velocity and suboptimal accuracy, the HEAT's killing power guaranteed longer-range kills of T-34s than the long 50mm with any ammo. The PzD 11, which had Pz-IIIs with short 50 and long 50, but only Pz-IVs with short 75, attributed the highest number of kills to their Pz-IVs. And the 11th PzD was considered a good outfit that racked up more Soviet tank kills than divisions better armed with long-75 armed Pz-IVs.
    There were no PZ4's equipped with 75mm cannons in France in 1940......I'm open to speculation here but I think they arrived in 42-43.... possibly in Tunisia first?.. be interesting to know

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    He's talking about the short 75mm (7,5cm KwK37 L/24) Pz IV, i.e. the default Pz IV A / B / C / D / E / F1 versions.

    There were plenty of these in France in May to June 1940.

    From the German Federal Archive, images conforming to a search for "Panzer IV", dated 1940:

    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1922187 (France, "Summer 1940", sergeant with iron cross in front of Pz IV)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1599099 (France, "May-June 1940", Pz IV in urban environment)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1689737 (France, "1940", Pz35(t) and Pz IV)

    With more exact dates:
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/2071861 (in Maastricht, Netherlands; 10 May 1940; front Pz IV, back Pz III)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...view/121286060 (in Stonne, France; 13 June 1940; destroyed Pz IV)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1599322 (in Servance, France; 22 June 1940; "Pz IV moving into fire position")

    (there's also quite a number of pre-France images, mostly training in 1938-1940, usually on the western border; very few pictures from Poland.)

    Preview pictures only (500px size) since the full pictures cost money.

    North Africa seems to only ever have gotten the short-barreled F1 version (or older versions). France meanwhile seems to have been the home for older, primarily D/E version Pz IV until Barbarossa. There's pictures from '41 with entire parking lots of them in France.

    First long-barreled F2 version (7,5cm KwK 40 L/43) in the Soviet Union i've found so far was dated May 1942 on Crimea with a lot more popping up during the summer. Wikipedia says the first 200 were delivered to the army between March and July, so i doubt i'll find earlier pictures. They pop up all over the place in pictures for Yugoslavia and Greece dated "1941/42" though (incl. Pz IV G with 7,5cm KwK 40 L/48 !), which is somewhat odd - by the time the long-barreled versions rolled around there was only anti-partisan warfare going on down there.

    P.S. first long-barreled F2 or G in France:

    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch.../view/55364143 (Toulon, France, 27 November 1942, Pz IV in port, with scuttled burning cruiser Colbert)

    That's during Operation Lila, the attempted - failed - seizing of the French Fleet during Operation Anton, the overrunning of Vichy France.
    They were more widely deployed to occupation troops in France in mid 1943. Mostly Pz IV H by then.
    Last edited by kato; 02 Aug 17, at 00:01.

  8. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    He's talking about the short 75mm (7,5cm KwK37 L/24) Pz IV, i.e. the default Pz IV A / B / C / D / E / F1 versions.

    There were plenty of these in France in May to June 1940.

    From the German Federal Archive, images conforming to a search for "Panzer IV", dated 1940:

    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1922187 (France, "Summer 1940", sergeant with iron cross in front of Pz IV)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1599099 (France, "May-June 1940", Pz IV in urban environment)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1689737 (France, "1940", Pz35(t) and Pz IV)

    With more exact dates:
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/2071861 (in Maastricht, Netherlands; 10 May 1940; front Pz IV, back Pz III)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...view/121286060 (in Stonne, France; 13 June 1940; destroyed Pz IV)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1599322 (in Servance, France; 22 June 1940; "Pz IV moving into fire position")

    (there's also quite a number of pre-France images, mostly training in 1938-1940, usually on the western border; very few pictures from Poland.)

    Preview pictures only (500px size) since the full pictures cost money.

    North Africa seems to only ever have gotten the short-barreled F1 version (or older versions). France meanwhile seems to have been the home for older, primarily D/E version Pz IV until Barbarossa. There's pictures from '41 with entire parking lots of them in France.

    First long-barreled F2 version (7,5cm KwK 40 L/43) in the Soviet Union i've found so far was dated May 1942 on Crimea with a lot more popping up during the summer. Wikipedia says the first 200 were delivered to the army between March and July, so i doubt i'll find earlier pictures. They pop up all over the place in pictures for Yugoslavia and Greece dated "1941/42" though (incl. Pz IV G with 7,5cm KwK 40 L/48 !), which is somewhat odd - by the time the long-barreled versions rolled around there was only anti-partisan warfare going on down there.

    P.S. first long-barreled F2 or G in France:

    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch.../view/55364143 (Toulon, France, 27 November 1942, Pz IV in port, with scuttled burning cruiser Colbert)

    That's during Operation Lila, the attempted - failed - seizing of the French Fleet during Operation Anton, the overrunning of Vichy France.
    They were more widely deployed to occupation troops in France in mid 1943. Mostly Pz IV H by then.
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  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Act 1

    Anyway the largest army in the world was out maneuvered when the Germans broke through at Sedan...Panic then ensued after a a few dozen Wehrmacht in dinghies managed to cross the Meuse river. Apparently this wasn't part of the French script and a new script had to be written....Unfortunately the script writers couldn't get their act together quickly enough and the Germans poured their armour into the open, undefended French countryside. Various counter attacks failed and the Germans made their way to the seaside causing further panic and a total routing of the BEF who chucked in their bucket and spade and did one!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Lille_(1940) The French did pretty well, it brought time to evacuate Dunkirk. Gave the German a doubt.

    In his celebrated book The Second World War (1949), Winston Churchill described the Allied defence of Lille as a "splendid contribution" which delayed the German advance for four days and allowed the escape of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk

    It is also hard to engage in maneuver warfare when the roads are choked with millions of refugees.
    Last edited by Dazed; 02 Aug 17, at 04:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Lille_(1940) The French did pretty well, it brought time to evacuate Dunkirk. Gave the German a doubt.

    In his celebrated book The Second World War (1949), Winston Churchill described the Allied defence of Lille as a "splendid contribution" which delayed the German advance for four days and allowed the escape of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk

    It is also hard to engage in maneuver warfare when the roads are choked with millions of refugees.
    Good point, Apparently French military intelligence knew the Germans had been practicing tank maneuvers in a forest environment and seen no reason to look further into it.....

  11. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    He's talking about the short 75mm (7,5cm KwK37 L/24) Pz IV, i.e. the default Pz IV A / B / C / D / E / F1 versions.

    There were plenty of these in France in May to June 1940.

    From the German Federal Archive, images conforming to a search for "Panzer IV", dated 1940:

    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1922187 (France, "Summer 1940", sergeant with iron cross in front of Pz IV)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1599099 (France, "May-June 1940", Pz IV in urban environment)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1689737 (France, "1940", Pz35(t) and Pz IV)

    With more exact dates:
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/2071861 (in Maastricht, Netherlands; 10 May 1940; front Pz IV, back Pz III)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...view/121286060 (in Stonne, France; 13 June 1940; destroyed Pz IV)
    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch...c/view/1599322 (in Servance, France; 22 June 1940; "Pz IV moving into fire position")

    (there's also quite a number of pre-France images, mostly training in 1938-1940, usually on the western border; very few pictures from Poland.)

    Preview pictures only (500px size) since the full pictures cost money.

    North Africa seems to only ever have gotten the short-barreled F1 version (or older versions). France meanwhile seems to have been the home for older, primarily D/E version Pz IV until Barbarossa. There's pictures from '41 with entire parking lots of them in France.

    First long-barreled F2 version (7,5cm KwK 40 L/43) in the Soviet Union i've found so far was dated May 1942 on Crimea with a lot more popping up during the summer. Wikipedia says the first 200 were delivered to the army between March and July, so i doubt i'll find earlier pictures. They pop up all over the place in pictures for Yugoslavia and Greece dated "1941/42" though (incl. Pz IV G with 7,5cm KwK 40 L/48 !), which is somewhat odd - by the time the long-barreled versions rolled around there was only anti-partisan warfare going on down there.

    P.S. first long-barreled F2 or G in France:

    http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/arch.../view/55364143 (Toulon, France, 27 November 1942, Pz IV in port, with scuttled burning cruiser Colbert)

    That's during Operation Lila, the attempted - failed - seizing of the French Fleet during Operation Anton, the overrunning of Vichy France.
    They were more widely deployed to occupation troops in France in mid 1943. Mostly Pz IV H by then.
    I knew I had a pic somewhere. This was taken at Bovington , sat next to a PZ5. Hard to believe one of these could be handled in the PZ4 turret
    Name:  75mm round.jpg
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Size:  206.7 KB and yes the reflection is me, lol

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    That's because that one is for a 75mm KwK 42 L/70 gun.

    Basically there were about 7 different 75mm guns mounted on vehicles in Germany at the time using 4 kinds of ammunition:

    KwK 37 (L/24) - ammunition 75x243mm rimmed (case is less than half the one in your picture!)
    used on : Pz IV A/B/C/D/E/F1, Pz III M, Pz NbFz (each: main armament), Pz VIII Maus (secondary), StuG III A/B/C/D/E (casemate), SdKfz 233, SdKfz 234/3, SdKfz 250/8 (halftrack recce), SdKfz 251/9C (halftrack infantry support)

    K 51 (L/24) - ammunition 75x243mm rimmed (slightly modified rebuild of KwK 37 gun)
    used on : Pz III N

    KwK 40 (L/43 in Pz IV F2 and L/48 otherwise) - ammunition 75x495mm rimmed (only slightly shorter than in picture; cut-down cases of 75x714mm rimmed for PaK40 below)
    used on : Pz IV F2/G/H/J (main armament), JgPz IV (casemate)

    StuK 40 (L/48) - ammunition 75x495mm rimmed (different gun design, same ammo)
    used on : StuG IV, StuG III F/F8/G (casemate)

    PaK 39 (L/48) - ammunition 75x495mm rimmed (different gun design, same ammo)
    used on : JgPz IV-48, JgPz 38(t) Hetzer (casemate)

    KwK 42 and StuK 42 (L/70) - ammunition 75x640mm rimmed (the one in your picture)
    used on : Pz V Panther and Panther II (main armament), JgPz IV/70 (casemate)

    PaK 40 (L/46) - ammunition 75x714mm rimmed (even bigger)
    used on : a handful Marder I SdKfz 135 version, Marder II SdKfz 131 version, Marder III (each: casemate), SdKfz 251/22D (halftrack anti-tank)

    There were plans in 1944 to mount the Schmalturm turret of the Panther II (with KwK42 L/70) on a Pz IV chassis, but this proved too heavy.

    The KwK 37 of the early Pz IV was only effective in anti-armour when using HEAT ammunition. The Gr.38HL HEAT ammo for it could penetrate 100mm RHA at 30° and had a range of 1500m.
    For scale it's penetration was identical to that of a 88mm KwK 36 L/40 (Tiger I) at 1000m using standard APCBC ammunition and better than the newer 75mm KwK 40 L/43 or L/48 at anywhere beyond 100m distance. The 75mm KwK 42 L/70 using APCBC ammunition (in the picture) outperformed it at any range though.

    Size comparison for all but 75x714R with some other shells of their time:

    Name:  c49db7d7.jpg
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    75x714R:

    Name:  img76b91d8bzik5zj.jpeg
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    Sizewise, for comparison to the last pic, the ammunition for the 75mm M2/M3/M6 guns used on e.g. M3 Lees and most Shermans:

    Name:  485px-Shells_being_loaded_into_a_Sherman_tank_in_the_Anzio_bridgehead,_Italy,_5_May_1944._NA1460.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  60.3 KB
    Last edited by kato; 02 Aug 17, at 18:13.

  13. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    That's because that one is for a 75mm KwK 42 L/70 gun.

    Basically there were about 7 different 75mm guns mounted on vehicles in Germany at the time using 4 kinds of ammunition:

    KwK 37 (L/24) - ammunition 75x243mm rimmed (case is less than half the one in your picture!)
    used on : Pz IV A/B/C/D/E/F1, Pz III M, Pz NbFz (each: main armament), Pz VIII Maus (secondary), StuG III A/B/C/D/E (casemate), SdKfz 233, SdKfz 234/3, SdKfz 250/8 (halftrack recce), SdKfz 251/9C (halftrack infantry support)
    Thanks, On the plaque it says that this 75mm round fired from a Panther was more effective than an 88mm round fired from a PZ6. I wonder why that is????

    Name:  IMG_1396.jpg
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    Last edited by Toby; 02 Aug 17, at 20:10.

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    It's mostly that the 88mm on the Tiger I was pretty short at only 56 caliber-lengths, which did not burn its charge as effectively as the longer 70 caliber-length barrel on the 75mm - even if it had a 30% larger barrel interior volume for a 23% larger powder charge. The same gun on the Tiger II but with a 71 caliber-length barrel rectified precisely this problem (the same goes for the FlaK version, where simultaneously 56-caliber barrel were replaced by 74-caliber versions).

    The 75mm propelled its standard SAP-explosive APCBC-HE round at almost identical performance to the tungsten-core APCR round of the 88mm - literally, we're talking 7.2 kg at 925m/s on the 75mm vs 7.3 kg at 930m/s on the 88mm. Comparing the actual powder loads in the cases we can assume that from an efficiency level the 88mm L/56 bled off a 20% loss in performance - which is pretty much exactly what the longer L/71 barrel on the Tiger II regained in penetration on target (by bringing the same 7.3 kg APCR round to 1130m/s muzzle velocity).

    Pretty much the reason why some of those 75mm designs above did stay around postwar for AT purposes - unlike the 88mm. The HEAT round on the 88mm was also surprisingly crappy btw (only 90% the penetration of the 75mm HEAT design).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    It's mostly that the 88mm on the Tiger I was pretty short at only 56 caliber-lengths, which did not burn its charge as effectively as the longer 70 caliber-length barrel on the 75mm - even if it had a 30% larger barrel interior volume for a 23% larger powder charge. The same gun on the Tiger II but with a 71 caliber-length barrel rectified precisely this problem (the same goes for the FlaK version, where simultaneously 56-caliber barrel were replaced by 74-caliber versions).

    The 75mm propelled its standard SAP-explosive APCBC-HE round at almost identical performance to the tungsten-core APCR round of the 88mm - literally, we're talking 7.2 kg at 925m/s on the 75mm vs 7.3 kg at 930m/s on the 88mm. Comparing the actual powder loads in the cases we can assume that from an efficiency level the 88mm L/56 bled off a 20% loss in performance - which is pretty much exactly what the longer L/71 barrel on the Tiger II regained in penetration on target (by bringing the same 7.3 kg APCR round to 1130m/s muzzle velocity).

    Pretty much the reason why some of those 75mm designs above did stay around postwar for AT purposes - unlike the 88mm. The HEAT round on the 88mm was also surprisingly crappy btw (only 90% the penetration of the 75mm HEAT design).
    I always thought the the Tiger 2 was more of Panther than a Tiger, probably due to shape

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