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German General claims 30:1 kill ratio


Walter_Sobchak
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Ok, I admit the thread title is a bit of an attention grab, but I thought this letter written to the editor of ARMOR magazine in the Jan-Feb 1951 issue is rather interesting.

 

German%2Bletter%2Bto%2BARMOR.jpg

Someone needs to cross reference this guys claims with Soviet records of the era.  A 356 to 12 (30 to 1) kill ratio sounds a bit hard to believe, to say the least.  

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Yeah, citation needed.  Sounds kinda like a pilot claiming kills in air to air.

More like a propagandist believing their own propaganda.

 

I knew someone who was ex Luftwaffe who said that at best he shot down "around ten" aircraft, then while on leave his family had some clipping claiming he shot down "dozens".

 

When you have complete control over the media, you can make your own victories, regardless of the facts, and people will believe it.

Just think about the sheer volume of bullshit reports that guy was fed.

Eventually he'd not be able to tell truth from fiction.

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Using the Fremde Heere Ost of estimate that 50% of kill claims are bogus, 356 becomes 178. By using the estimate based on the amount of Western Allies vehicles recovered from combat after receiving penetrating hits, you can again split 178 in two to guess the amount of Soviet tanks the Germans would have considered "destroyed". Now you have 89 destroyed Soviet Tanks. 

 

Without even looking at Soviet records and using known assumptions on tank casualties, you can get a kill ratio of 7.5:1 in favor of Germany. This still is very impressive if true(probably not), but it is about a 1/4 of the original claim. 

 

I also doubt that most of the tanks were T-34s as you still would have large numbers of T-70s and other light tanks which should have been much easier opponents than hundreds of T-34s. 

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The claim is for 1943, by which point things had gone substantially to shit for the Germans, but I could see tank kill ratios being heavily in favor of the Germans in the earliest parts of Barbarossa because:

 

a)  The Soviets took it in the pants initially

 

and 

 

b ) The Germans didn't really bring that many tanks to the party, relative to the ginormous tank pools they ran into (that their intelligence knew nothing about!)

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Ah yes, an unnamed regiment "in the Ukraine", during a period of time that doesn't match a single strategic operation. Let's try the Lower Dnieper Offensive Operation that kind of matches the time frame (late September to later December). The Soviets only started that operation with 1160 tanks, so it's pretty impressive that his regiment managed to destroy a third of those with only one eighth of all tanks available to the Germans, and yet still lose.

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10/3 favor E8 was the realistic kill rate for the US E8 versus the T34/85 in North Korea.  Most game designers throw a pretty heavy thumb on the scales, giving the T34/85 a 2 to 1 advantage over the E8, but in 20 odd studies including Zaloga's direct action study, and the tank versus equivalent meta studies, the that 10/3 number seems to be the number that comes out once crew quality is wrinkled out.

 

Tanking the E8 normalized at 3.3 in terms of tank power to the T34/85 1, then 30 to 1 is an unattainable bogus number.  The Panther only reaches a mathematical 4.75 and everyone knows German armor inventory had less effective tanks.  Assuming that German crew quality has a multiplier of 7.4 is idiocy at its essence.  

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