WW II Armor ????

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 22WRF, May 7, 2006.

  1. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

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    I was going thru some old pics my Dad took in Germany.
    Unfortuantely he didn't write on the back of many of them or talk much about the war.
    I do know he was with the 3rd Armored, 48th Inf Mech and the pic was taken right after they crossed the Rhine.
    Does any one reconize this piece of armor.


    After a web search it might be a German 88 Elephant self propelled gun

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    Last edited: May 7, 2006
  2. swiftman

    swiftman Member

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    Don't think it is an elephant. I thought they were built on a tiger chassi. It may be a design from one of the countrys they over ran and produced. I could tell you what it is but will have to wait till Thursday when I get when I get out to the farm. My brother has books with all the german tanks and self propelled guns in them.
  3. IBFrank

    IBFrank New Member

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    That's a lot bigger than an 88. It's a self propelled Howitzer type cannon, maybe 106mm. or bigger. It wasn't a very good model because you had to turn the tank to aim it. Due to it's size, it wouldn't fit in a turret. Could have been a "last ditch" effort. 88s were med sized rapid fire cannons used for assaults and anti-aircraft work. They were mounted on carriages which could drop them on the ground for stability for firing. I'm no expert but know a few things. And accept corrections when needed.
  4. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

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  5. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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  6. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

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    The Elephant was built on a Tiger running gear and the Hummel on a Panzer III.
    My pic is not Tiger
  7. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    I believe that is what they called a "Nashorn" (or Nashorne?) 88mm SPG with an open turret with a more flexible mount than the Elefant, that I believe was mounted on a lengthened PZKW IV chassis, I'll have to look back at the picture, or look it up. I have a book around here somewhere with all the oddball SPGs and AFVs the Germans produced or converted. Plus I remember it from Panzerblitz. The Nashorn was a later production, I think late 43 to 45.

    Ther Germans had many different SPG designs mounting the 88.

    They never junked any usable chassis, they just converted them into some other SP mounting when the original tank or SPG became outdated.

    The Hummel was actually an SPG mounting I believe a 150mm howitzer, I always get it confused with the Wespe...both of them were SP artillery pieces.

    The Elefant was actually just a VERY heavily armoured box with a very limited traverse 88mm mounted on a Porsche Tiger II chassis, after they had produced a few, and then decided to go with the Henschel chassis for the tank instead. It made it into service before the Tiger II, saw action at Kursk, and was pretty much a failure, mainly because it was slow, underpowered, unreliable, with limited visibility to the sides and rear for the crew, and had no secondary armament, not even a flexible external mg, so it was a sitting duck for any infantry, with even just a Molotov, if unsupported. Mosty of them got pulled from the east and sent to the west after DDay if I remember right. At decent ranges, dug in and supported it was a decent pillbox, but then again most late war German heavy stuff was too. For mobile warfare it was a bust.
    Last edited: May 10, 2006
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Well, I looked it up, and the Nashorn and the Hummel were IDENTICAL except the Nashorn had an 88 Pak 43 and the Hummel had the 15cm heavy howitzer. I DON'T have a picture in my one AFV book of the Nashorn (I know I have one in SOME book I have, but it had the picture of the Hummel...and 22s picture shows a longer barrel than the Hummel, a smaller muzzle brake, and no actuator on TOP of the barrel like the picture I have of the howitzer, so I have to go with my original thought, that it is a Nashorn (Rhino.)
  9. Probably considered just another effective M-4 killer, Polish, but after all, the Germans had so MANY of those. :D :p
  10. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    You know, if I remember right from reading about it, that task force Patton sent to rescue his son-in-law that ALMOST made it ran into 6 Elephants (I think)...they actually made it to the camp and freed the prisoners, but then fought their way back out through an actual Werhmacht armor training range, and all the new cadets had realistic training!

    I also remember reading that the task force took M7 105 SPGs for their anti armor protection, with HEAT, and they actually did FINE on the way IN....on the way out was another story...

    Maybe instead of HEAT they should have brought along some Molotov cocktails... :cool:
  11. I think you are referring to Patton's infamous raid on Hammelburg, Polish, a prison camp where his son-in-law was supposedly being held. Patton later admitted--arrogant SOB that he was--that this raid was the only decision he regretted making during the war, not because he decided to authorize the raid, but because he sent an insufficient and unsupported force too far behind German lines. Now, if the raiders had been equipped with Tigers . . . :D ;) :p
  12. wolfgang2000

    wolfgang2000 New Member

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    Polish, I understand that you like the Sherman because of it's logistical superiority. But watching the History channal they stated that in flat land tank fighting they would lose 3 of 4 sherman to 1 tiger. :cool: That 15 casualties to 5. The spread was even higher in hedge row country. Maybe to the higher ups that trade-off made sense, but I bet the 15 dead or wounded didn't care for that logic!

    That must be where the logic "of it is better to wound the enemy than to kill them", came from.

    I'm willing to bet the neither logic was popular with troop on the bleeding end of the stick. :rolleyes:
  13. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Actually, the average rate of tankers KIA per M4 knocked out for the entire war was one...which was actually among the LOWEST loss rate of tank types on all sides...MOST US tankers bailed out from MANY tanks during the course of the war and then went right back into battle in a repaired one...and YES, I know many whole crews were lost with a KO'd M4, but then that would mean 4 or 5 lost with NOBODY killed to hit that average...in fact, ONE of the reasons we gave most of our Shermans to Montgomery before Cobra BESIDES the fact the bocage was a lousy place for tanks, and the open country the Brits were in was better for tanks, WAS the fact the British were getting short of INFANTRY, and they wanted to "reduce losses..."and it worked.

    I argue for the M4 not ONLY logistically, but dependability, speed, repairability, ease of maintenance, ease of operation, crew comfort, accuracy on the move, track life, etc., for a lot of the OTHER things that you have to consider in a successful tank BESIDES gun and armor thickness... But also having a "simple" design easy to mass produce by YOUR industrial base is no sin for a tank design EITHER... :cool:

    The OTHER thing you have to consider is for MOST of the war the Americans were ATTACKING...and actual battle loss rate for the attacker is usually always higher than the defender...

    ....Which is ANOTHER reason that many people mistakenly give the edge to the late war German tanks...they were MOSTLY used as immobile pillboxes, and well sited, hull down, and camoflaged were TOUGH to knock out and COULD command the ground that any attacker would HAVE to cross...

    But contrast THAT with the crew of the 3" Wheeled AT gun that Patton "dressed down" for being set up in the exposed poition in the middle of the crossroads, contrary to his orders for concealment, until the Sgt. in command pointed to the FIVE dead Panthers down the road the gun got the day before, and he just said, "Carry on," and walked away!


    MOST Shermans, along with MOST Tanks on either side were NOT knocked out by other TANKS, but by dug in AT guns and Infantry with hollow charged weapons...
  14. wolfgang2000

    wolfgang2000 New Member

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    Polish, I understand what you are saying. He!! the (super) sherman is still being used in Israel. But what did the tankers say? Then there is the psych factor. I've stood in front of a Sherman, Tiger and a King Tiger. The Tiger and the King Tiger awe inspiring.

    I know we made 50,000 sherman compared to under 3000 of the other 2. For an infantry support vehicle it was good. But when the $h!t hit the fan I want the thickest armor and the bigest gun. :D
  15. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    I dunno, ....a COLUMN of M4s with the dust trailing behind it at speed racing around the Tigers flank on the road to Hammelburg or Berlin is a pretty awe inspiring thought itself, ESPECIALLY when you consider that BESIDES the fuel issue, and if it moved it got clobbered by a Typhoon, jug or P-38, you would never see a COLUMN of Tigers "at speed" EVER, without a COUPLE of them breaking down or throwing a track, or stopped at a class 3 bridge wondering if it would hold... :D

    And it wasn't much different on the OTHER front either...only the Column of racing tanks driving around them THERE, (which is after all what Tanks are MEANT to do, race around in your REAR...not slug it out toe to toe...) would be T-34s, maybe even KVs, and probably not even the 34/85s....which I reluctantly actually consider the best all around tank of the war...(except for maybe the M4A3E8 HVSS 76mm (wet) which kicked it's @ss (well, OK, maybe "did fairly well against it" is more truthful)(would you believe "held it's own? :D ) in Korea!) :cool: )

    The King Tigers WERE impressive size wise, but worthless to the Germans, really. If they could have perfected the Panther, they would have been MUCH better off NEVER having made ANY Tigers....and I'm STILL not sure they wouldn't have been better off just concentrating on the PZKW IVs with the long 75, and trying to make ENOUGH of the proven design, instead of tons of good tanks ON PAPER that never got the bugs worked out, and could never be produced ENOUGH to make a difference...But the Panther was another story, if they could have EVER made them reliable, that MIGHT have been the best overall Tank of the war on either side....

    And actually one of the BEST ideas they had was the Hetzer, it killed a lot of Shermans wiht just the "puny" 75, and was tough to knock out because it was so SMALL and hard to spot, but it could scoot too, for an old 1930s chassis....

    I really equate the Tigers IIs as just the next gen Char-B...well armored and gunned, but relatively immobile pillboxes...


    And don't forget the Tiger I was outfought by the M4s and M4A1s in Africa, Sicily and Italy...anywhere where they WEREN'T dug in as pillboxes...(of course naval gunfire helped too!) maybe it was the "shot trap" vertical glacis, (where did they get THAT great design, the Brits???) but that was one of the reasons Patton and other armored officers did NOT want to replace the 75 M3 gun with the 76mm before Normandy...we thought the Tiger was the best tank the Germans had and the 75 handled it adequately before....and what surprised us in France was the Panther, which we had dismissed as a "novelty" that they would never produce in quantity.
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