Panther

Panther Ausf. A of 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, France, June 1944.

Panther Ausf. A of 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, France, June 1944.

Just played a game of Panzerblitz with my son. Don’t charge fortified 88mm guns with T-34Cs. I had numbers on my side. For a little while…

Comments

  1. Panzer Blitz is a classic. I first played that game in the early 70’s, and still have a copy on my shelf.

    Guderian is on record, although I haven’t the quote or source handy, as saying that the Panther & Tiger tanks destroyed the German Panzer capabilities. Rather than concentrate on the Mk IV, which Guderian (and others) considered the best German tank of the war, production was severely curtailed in order to develop the MK V & VI’s, and as a result, there simply weren’t enough tanks available to support the German plans.

    Guderian wanted the Mk IV to stay in mass production to keep pace with the hordes of both T-34’s & Shermans. It was a reliable, easily maintained, and perfectly suited tank for the time, but valuable resources went into more advanced tanks, as well as the lead time lost to ironing out problems and developing tactics, etc, where Mk IV’s could have been in production and perhaps made a large difference.

    But I digress… Panzer Blitz: Great game. 🙂

  2. Way to go…………Ivan. LOL!

    I’ve always considered it humorous that NATO would frequently tout (during the 60s, 70s, & 80s) it’s tank qualitative superiority; comdined with largely defensive tactics in the face of a Warsaw Pact attack as being the winning strategy. Completely ignoring the Germans similar doctrine and experience during the latter stages of WWII.

    GEt enough quantity……..and it does become a quality!

  3. Flanker,

    yeah… I remember well contemplating the NATO strategy and thing back on how well that served the Germans in WWII. Not only the wave of armour, but the 10,000 tubes of artillery they were planning on using to prep every few square miles PRIOR to the assault. Not to mention Spetnaz teams pre-positioned to take out supply columns and comm centers, etc.

    It was always the case of hoping we had more bullets than they had bodies.

  4. I thought the slice and dice we did on Iraqi Russian armor in ’91 finished that quality versus quantity argument. Watching the Russians in Georgia, there’s no reason to think the 1st Armored Division would have any more trouble with the Russians themselves.

    The Germans might have done better with their high-end tanks if the Allies didn’t have total air superiority. As soon as a flight of Thunderbolt made a visit, their big tanks were turned to expensive flaming junk. Thankfully they didn’t develop a 1940’s version of the Stinger.

  5. Bram,

    We weren’t fighting Russians in Iraq. The Iraqis also didn’t have that huge frikkin’ parking lot of artillery the Russians like to drag along either, nor did they have an airforce comparable to the Russians.

    We might well have prevailed in Europe, providing we didn’t get caught up (either side) in the NBC department. I am just happy we didn’t have to find out. The Soviets had some serious flaws in areas, and we have a really good skill set in training as well as in use of natural defenses, terrain recognition, etc. However, as Napoleon remarked, “God favours the strongest battalions”.

    Respects,

  6. Arty is even more vulnerable to air strikes than armor. Without air-cover, arty that actually makes it to the battlefield is wiped out pretty quickly.

    There were times and places in ’91 when the Iraqis had more and better arty (South African) on the battlefield than we did. Luckily their aim stunk. By the time they started adjusting their fire, counter-battery fire and CAS were all over them.

    What they didn’t have was any air power to threaten us or keep our aircraft off their ground forces. The Russians used to have lots of air and would have been a big problem for a few weeks until our flyboys reduced them. Now – they embarrassed themselves in Georgia – even lost a Tu-22MR to a SAM.

  7. Bram,

    Agreed. Russia’s major problem today is not so much the dedication of her soldiers nor the amount of their equipment, but the lack of sufficient resources for proper training, AND maintenance.

    United States’ forces not only have a qualitative edge equipment-wise, but are unmatched in the level of training and material support.

  8. That hull is a long way from a leopard, also to add to how the US is better, Our basic army has the abality to accomplish almost any specific task, while other countries rely heavily on special forces and other divisions for completing a slightly non-army related task, our army can support its own self with its own equipment without having to coordinate outside of its own division, it has its own armor, its own air support,etc.etc.

  9. Another thing that we have that most countries don’t is a reserve/guard force that can move in and take on almost any support role, whether designated for it or not. I know my guys have done everything from dispatching logistics convoys to convoy security, to building FOBs and training Iraqi police. There’s a huge skill set of non-military skills among our supporting troops that most armies just can not match. From IT guys to salesmen(negotiators), to contractors, police officers, firefighters, and truck drivers, the guys just get it done.

  10. Good memories. We used to play that all the time…

    Your story reminded me of a game I played called Assault by a game company called GDW. I had out maneuvered the NATO forces Reconnaissance Company with the lead elements of a USSR armored division. I had numbers – many many T-72’s with off board arty – and so I made a dash across an open field to close and crush the little screening elements. Waiting in the tree line were a couple of TOWs and M1’s.

    Never. Got. Across.

    If real life is close to that sim, and based on what i saw in Desert Storm 91 it was, the Russians never had a chance.

    I was left with a field of burning tanks and my ego very bruised.

    B

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