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-   -   Memoirs of a Tiger commander (https://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=147572)

Maarek Stele 04-21-2009 10:53 PM

A superb thread, with terrific information and insights straight from one intimately in the know ;) Learnt quite a bit here that one wouldn't normally find in typical reference books...


Quote:

Originally Posted by 602Sqn_Puff (Post 1038712)
Would it be possible to try and find out the reload time for the rounds in a Tiger..we have had quite a debate on the Tiger v T34 forums about this one and no-one can give a good answer.

The rate of fire of the KwK 36 should be quite close to that of its FlaK sibling, or around 15-20 rounds per minute. The relatively high rate of fire is due to the fact that the 88 uses a semi-automatic sliding breechblock. Hence, the loader just needs to ram the round into the chamber and the rim of the brass case would engage the extractor, which in turn releases the breechblock that then slides shut into battery - all in one smooth motion. On firing, the recoil releases a catch which drops the breechblock automatically, which in turn engages the extractor and yanks out the empty case as the gun slides back into battery. You can see this in action on various videos of 88s in action, but here are some good ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BifSDrFgCdw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqQbJF3e5-8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v1wwVj5H70

Notice that the empty case is clear of the breech and the gun is hence clear to receive a fresh round even before the gun is back in battery; the gun can thus fire pretty much as fast as the loader can feed it.

It would appear that there are two main differences with regards to the Tiger's KwK 36 as opposed to the FlaK. First is that the loader is working in the confines of the turret; he has to pull a round from the rack then load it in, and this of course adds to the reload time unless he stands with another round already in his hands while the gun is loaded. The other potential factor that may affect reload time (if only slightly) is the fact that on the KwK, the loader stands on the right of the breech rather than on the left as in the case of the FlaK. Hence, the loader would be using his left hand to ram the rounds into the breech. Good training and practice may well offset that, though, but there it is.

Furthermore, most if not all the ammunition for the main gun is stored in the hull sides of the Tiger; as such, the rounds on one side would run out if the turret is not rotated throughout the combat engagement, and so after a while the rate of fire might be expected to drop slightly as rounds from the other side of the hull have to be passed across the turrent to the loader. However, this is perhaps not really worth modelling in all but the most hardcore of tank sims.

Other than those differences, the Tiger's KwK should have a rate of fire very similar to that of the FlaK, rather than the slightly anaemic one many sims (including T-34 v Tiger) use - probably as a result of assuming that the KwK 36 uses a manual breech like many other guns. :P

Dowly 12-04-2009 11:50 AM

Wandered to the thread over at WWIIOL's forums and there's few updates that I missed earlier.

Klesh; Basically he said that his flying class was simply packed up wholesale and sent to the Armour school. (I forgot to ask where, but I think it was mentioned earlier in the thread...)
As an officer his training was a bit accelerated over the regular crews, so while he started out driving he was quickly trained in other positions until it was felt that he was qualified as a commander.
So he was (as an officer) already chosen to be a panzer commander.
Assignments were made as and when crews were needed.
When he arrived in Nord Afrika, Lindemann was already a Hauptmann.
(family might have helped in promotions)
Steady success lead to steady promotion letting him finish the war as a Major.
His last promotion was just after Kasserine.
As far as favorite targets...
He said that they liked to see softskins since they were both an easy target and (if they could be taken without too much damage) a source of supplies (fuel, food and water).

He said that the Grant/Lees were nasty to face because of that 75mm gun but that they were too tall to hide effectively, so they were easy to spot.
Shermans came as a nasty surprise and if you were in a Pz IV or III you had to do your best to get a flanking shot on them.
When the Americans showed up, thier equipment was still painted OD green and they were easy to see.
The Americans were as green as their armour too. He said that there was one encounter (Kasserine?) where he had 3 or 4 Shermans simply charge the German position across an open plain.
They were kicking up so much dust that they couldn't even see each other and the Tigers had no problems picking them off before they knew what was happening.
Unfortunately he couldn't remember what he killed the most of (Softskins didn't count as kills) but early on it was the Brits, so Valentines, Crusaders, Stuarts and Matildas would have been on the list. When the Americans came in it was Shermans and Stuarts...
Stuarts were the hardest to hit btw, IF they were moving...

BlackDragon;
Lindemann said that he was first assigned to the Pz III, moved to the PzIV and was picked for the Tiger because of his experience and the skill of his crew.
Senior crews were allowed first pick of new vehicles.
Wherever possible commanders were allowed to pick their own crews although if you had casualties you got whoever was available as a replacement.
He never saw the Royal Tiger until after the war but he thought that they were impressive, if only Germany hadn't been so low on fuel at the end...

Volcol;
Only the 11th Hussars operated DACs in North Africa. Lindemann said that you saw them once in a while but usually at a distance and he never fired at one.
Earlier in the thread, someone asked about the effectiveness of the 2lber gun and Lindemann said that the 'little popguns' didn't worry Tiger crews too much.
2lber crews would shoot at your tracks though since they knew that that was about the only way to stop a Tiger (flanking shots are hard to get with a ATG), I assume that the DAC crews were more worried about gathering intel than trying to take on a Tiger...

Dowly 12-04-2009 11:53 AM

Lindemann basically said that HE never actually shot anybody with a hand weapon.
He said however, that before crews moved out on an attack that he and a few of his commanders would go out before dawn and scout terrain and enemy defenses. Occasionally they would run foul of pickets. Scouting Tobruk got him shot at a couple of times but they had a couple of troopers along to cover the officers.
Crew weapons on a Tiger.
Lindemann said he carried a P-38 and crews could pretty much use whatever they could get their hands on but the Tank came equipped with an MP-38 clipped inside the turret and both the hull and turret MGs were easily removable.

As far as the 'Green Tiger' goes, Lindemann said that although his crews were authorized to camouflage their Tigers with dark grey patterns over their factory Afrika Braun paint, none of his guys bothered. So he says he never saw a 'Green Tiger'. The Bovington Tiger wears a Light Olive Green mottle pattern over Afrika Braun. That being said, after Kasserine, the DAK captured quantities of American stores including Olive Drab paint.
Rommel did not waste supplies and there are suggestions that some of the 501st Tigers were repainted using Olive Drab while in repair depots.


That is all, the last post from the guy is dated back to early 2009. Ow he also mentioned that he had built an Uboat model to an Uboat Kapitan who lives around there. Also, he has heard that there lives another Tiger commander somewhere in the area, he was an SS and served in the Eastern Front.

The End.

ArmorEtr 12-07-2009 04:33 PM

Thanks for bumping/updating this thread, I missed it. It was a great read, thanks again for posting it.

Dowly 12-07-2009 04:55 PM

No problem. :salute:

HEMISENT 12-07-2009 06:22 PM

Dowly
Great interview and well written. We are losing these veterans at an increasingly rapid pace and soon they and their personal experiences will be lost to us forever. Thank you for putting this together.

On another note, you've made reference to a WWIIOL game. Sounds interesting could you shed some light on exactly what it is.

Dowly 12-07-2009 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HEMISENT (Post 1215411)
On another note, you've made reference to a WWIIOL game. Sounds interesting could you shed some light on exactly what it is.

Would take me hours to explain, so read their wiki. :O:
http://wiki.wwiionline.com/index.php/Main_Page

Wasserbombkopf 12-07-2009 07:46 PM

Fascinating reading!

andyson 03-23-2017 05:30 AM

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Aktungbby 03-23-2017 11:40 AM

welcome aboard!
 
andyson!:Kaleun_Salute: I think u misposted in this thread when u meant respond in the JSGME (Jonesoft Generic Mod Enabler) thread to Rockin Robbins! :Kaleun_Wink:Nice necro though; I enjoyed reading the Dowly posts !:Kaleun_Thumbs_Up:

Sophia 05-11-2017 04:57 AM

Absolutely great read!

Abbott 10-17-2019 11:13 AM

Fantastic thread!


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