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Old 01-30-2009, 09:53 PM   #12
It's an alpaca, ok?
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Anlashok; I think what he said he hated most was artillery, You never know they are coming in until they start exploding all around you and you can't shoot back. All you can do is try to find cover and hope it doesn't last very long. I imagine his worst moment was when they recieved the order to surrender at Cape Bon. Von Arnhem was in charge of the DAK at that time and I remember him saying that Von Arhem had surrendered before they did....
Best moment? Well he told a few stories about partying with Hans Marseille (109 Ace) (<-That'll be be Hans Joachim Marseille, the best scoring LW ace in the western front. -Dowly) who had a reputation for being quite the ladies man....

Wolf 326 asked about tracks; Yes there were two types of track for the Tiger. Due to the fact that they needed to be shippable by rail the Tiger had a 40cm track (verladen kette) that was used to move them around and on and off load them from railcars. (They had to be narrow enough that they could pass through tunnels and under bridges.) A 60 cm set (marsche kette) was what was normally used in combat. Lindemann said that once they had arrived in Afrika however all the Tiger were driven everywhere which was VERY rough on the track and running gear.
I haven't heard any wierd war stories from Lindemann, I'll ask the next time I see him!

Htmd asked about beer? Hmm well it's not something I'd thought to ask before but in telling the POW story about stealing the rifles I think he said the guard brought them back a case of Blatz (tastes as great as its name!) He said they thought it was frankly piss but they hadn't had ANY beer for a while so it was good enough! Oh yeah, his English is a LOT better than my German!

Wolf 326 asked about field conversions and paint.
I asked Lindemann about that one earlier while I was trying to track down his particular Tiger. Every freakin' Tiger was different, especially the early ones, it's been driving me nuts! He said, right off the freighter they were all different, they ran differently, transmissions and brakes worked differently, there were good ones and cursed ones. and as soon as the crews got their hands on them they started customising them. Most of the field changes had to do with stowage or correcting factory flaws and omissions. The most obvious external mods were usually to carry extra track, water and fuel. Lindemann described rigs to carry fuel drums strapped on the engine deck (tho I've never seen photos) and I have seen a huge variety of racks and frames made of welded angle iron for tools and spares. Like Lindemann said, "In the desert there is nothing that you don't bring there."
Colours are a thread by themselves...
According to Herr Lindemann, and I asked him quite pointedly a couple of times, All the early PzIII's and PzIVs, and all the softskins were delivered in the standard Panzer Grey (I don't have the RAL #s handy so I won't make a fool of myself and guess at 'em). The crews initially painted them with mud since that was all they had, but found that the dust that vehicles picked up worked pretty well too. By late '42, early '43, Panzers started arriving in Dunkle Gelb (Dark Yellow) painted by the factories. His Tiger which was manufactured in November of 1942 was painted a light Brown (RAL 7028 I think but don't quote me), and crews were authorized to spray them with panzer grey splotches (although I have only seen one Tiger painted that way and it was a model), in any event he said his Tiger was never camouflaged. After the battle of Kasserine Pass the Germans captured great stocks of supplies including paint. As the DAK was being pushed back to Tunisia which was a bit greener country, these paints were used to recolour and camouflage whatever vehicles were in the repair dumps and needed paint. Thus the occaissional olive drab Tiger...

Lyceum6 asked about AT Guns, Lindemann doesn't really differentiate much between them, They were either "Those big bastards" or "the little Pop guns". I have to assume the "Big Bastards" were mostly 6 and 25lbers and the "Popguns" were 2lbers. He said Tigers didn't really have to worry about the popguns because they couldn't penetrate and they knew it, so they would not bother shooting the Tigers but concentrate on the smaller tanks where they had some chance of effect, he did say that they would try to break tracks if they could (sometimes it worked, more often it didn't).
The bigger guns were dealt with by going out and scouting a defensive position the night before an attack. The artillery would lob in a few rounds and they would see if anyone shot back, defenses were marked on a map and anything that might be an ATG position was in for a severing pasting with HE when the unit moved up for the attack. As the attack progressed, artillery and air attacks would try to destroy guns or at least keep guncrews heads down until ground forces had advanced enough to take them out. That's the theory at least. The Germans were always critically short of ammunition (and everything else) in Africa and a lot of times they simply didn't have enough.

Imsneaky, I asked him about the 3.7" AA guns and I had to explain to him what they were so I don't think he ever saw one shooting (or if he did, he didn't remember). The stuff I have read says that while the 3.7" AA gun WAS used against tanks (quite effectively I understand, the 21st Panzer book suggests it might even have been more effective than the 88), British command was a bit rigid on what things were to be used for. These things are AA guns, that's what they are for, that's the way we'll use them. I suspect that the times they were used were desparate attempts to defend themselves against attacking tanks. Blame High Command I guess

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