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dieseltaylor

Film of Stuka 87G in action

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No. And they were attacked from the air, repeatedly. Allies made very large claims of destroyed vehicles, particularly from Lehr. Lehr did lose a significant number of trucks, but only 5 tanks. 17th SS had its trains attacked, but lost only 1 StuG.

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Sorry JasonC... I think you are on the extreme opposite end of things. I agree that kills of armor vehicles by FBs were overstated in general wartime reports, but I disagree that you can so easily make comparisions between front wide events and what happens in a specific CM battle. Your gross overstatements and generalizations of real life FB effectiveness in this (and the other) thread aren't helping your cause. You seem to be on a Holy Crusade of some sort.

But I see now that we're in another senseless debate, just like the good old days. Unlike the good old days, I ain't going to waste any more of my time. I've got work to do... so I'm bowing out.

Steve

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Jon,

Well, personally I find that they seem to be laser guided. I've had them for and against me in several battles and ops recently, and they always kill something (even if 'only' FF kills ... which I should point out I have no problem with in principle), especially with MG/cannon fire.
This is the problem, though, with one off battles. CM assumes that if the plane shows up it has already beat the odds. It was in the area, saw a target, made it to the target, and was able to engage it. If you had Flak you might have still caused things to go better for you. But I'm going to bet you didn't, or it wasn't deployed, or was engaging infantry.

So yeah... a FB that shows up in broad daylight with a clear target to engage and no Flak protection... that's about the best possible scenario for a FB to have. The only way to see if the results are unrealistic (in the big picture) is to HAVE a big picture. That means adding up a few tens of thousands of battles played by people, find out how many were attacked by aircraft, then tally what was destroyed. Then you might be able to draw some conclusions, even though this is highly unscientific. And while you're at it, tabulate how many King Tigers German CMers used in combat on the Western Front compared to how many were produced :D

Steve

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JasonC

"But you should stop defending past errors in weapon effectiveness modeling, that have been shown to be wrong"

I can only concur with BF.

If you do not see the importance of morale then why have men go to ground when coming under rifle fire - after all bullets are shown to be less lethal to the PBI than mortars and artillery.

You seem to ignore all elements of what people report at the time in favour of post war analysis. If you wish to design a game on post-war analysis fine but it would not replicate the actuality of WW2 as people would simply choose ahistoric weapon systems.

BTW I never play a game without buying light flak except possibly if I play US. It is so ingrained that I tend to forget when no air power is available : )

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Originally posted by Andreas:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Steiner14:

...propaganda hero...rudel's war diary a propaganda book...blahblahblah.

Rudel was that ineffective and such a braggart, that he was forbidden to fly. Hm, strange.

His kills are all confirmed? All wrong! Propaganda numbers.

Rudel was involved in the development of the 87G: bah, this plane doesn't hit tanks and therefore it was judged as highly effective just for - guess right - propaganda issues. :D

Why don't you just answer the question? </font>

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Hi Steve,

Thanks for the response.

Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Well, personally I find that they seem to be laser guided. I've had them for and against me in several battles and ops recently, and they always kill something (even if 'only' FF kills ... which I should point out I have no problem with in principle), especially with MG/cannon fire.

This is the problem, though, with one off battles. CM assumes that if the plane shows up it has already beat the odds. It was in the area, saw a target, made it to the target, and was able to engage it.</font>

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Originally posted by dieseltaylor:

If you do not see the importance of morale then why have men go to ground when coming under rifle fire - after all bullets are shown to be less lethal to the PBI than mortars and artillery.

:confused:

a/c in CM don't have a morale effect. That's part of the problem.

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DT,

Since you mentioned it...

Originally posted by dieseltaylor:

I have below a Russian link but as I do not read Russian it is a little wasted on me. It is lengthy and possibly has Russian information.

http://www.airwar.ru/enc/bww2/ju87g.html

(SNIP!)

Tank-destroying Ju-87 G planes were widely used on the Eastern front, especially in the battles of Kursky Duga. The Ju-87 G-2 was the aircraft flown by the famous German pilot, Heintz Ulriech Rudel - he alone destroyed 519 units of enemy armored vehicles."

I read Russian and looked at the site. It is a fairly detailed description the development and fielding of the Ju-87G Stuka.

The site appears to be run by two aviation enthusiasts somewhere in Russia. Here is the list of sources cited at the bottom of the Ju-87G article (I have translated the Russian-languages sources cited):

Aviation and Aerospace, A. Perov and A. Restrenin

Aviation and Aerospace, A. Demin

Wings of the Motherland, S. Tsvetkov

Combat Aircraft, A. Medved'

Wings of the Luftwaffe, William Green

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, LuftArchiv.de. Squadron/Signal. AC No: 73.

Ju 87 Stuka in Action, Brian Filley.

Ju 87 Stuka, Aero technika lotnicza.

Ju 87 Stuka

AJ Press. Monografie lotnicze. Marek Murawski.

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, Start-Verlag, Bad Zwischenahn.

As to the article's contents, it is almost as if JasonC had written it. The article is quite long so here some of the high points or assertations that seem to me to be pertinant to this discussion:

1. The Ju87G-1 had more armor than the standard Stuka, speficially, a 20mm plate behind the pilot.

2. The plane had no MGs, although sometimes a 20mm remained installed. If it was there it was used as an aimer for the 37mm.

3. The plane's slow speed and lack of maneuverablity made it an excellent gun platform.

4. The plane was incapable of performing a dive attack. Gun runs were at an angle of 10-12°. To get a roof hit the plane required 30° or more - an impossible task for the plane given the weight of the cannon and the need to get the cannon close to the target. Also, the plane had no dive brakes.

5. Pulling out of even the shallow gun run was physically difficult for the pilot.

6. The 3.7mm AT gun's practical rate of fire was 1 rounds every two seconds.

7. The maximum number of rounds fired in a gun run was one or two rounds.

8. Strong recoil made a second shot practically impossible without realigning the aircraft on target.

9. The plane's 3.7 cm gun needed to be under 200m. from the front of a T-34 tank to have a chance of pentrating it at normal attack aspects. For flank attacks the distance was 400m.

11. The plane did not threaten Soviet tanks with roof hits, because as a practical matter the plane only could attack in a shallow dive.

12. Due to shell flight speed the plane had between 1.3 and 4.4 seconds to fire. (Fire too soon and you won't penetrate, fire too late and the rounds impact past the tank.)

13. Even if the round hits and penetrates, it's a dinky 37mm round, and T-34 generally laughed off hits from that weapon.

14. T-34/85 was, naturally, more resistant.

15. Soviet statisticians estimated the chances of a Ju-87G1 actually making a KO hit on a Soviet tank in combat conditions as between 2 and 3 per cent per sortie, if it actually attacked and expended all its ammunition against a Soviet tank.

16. Thus, the Soviets figured it took 40-50 Ju87G sorties to destroy a single T-34.

17. The key to effective use of the Ju87G was exceptional pilot skill, as an average pilot would just miss.

18. Field experience by the air group "Weiss" and "Panzerversuchskommando" on the Kuban led the Germans to conclude that even if the pilots of the planes were first rate, the only time AT aircraft like Ju87G or Hs-129B would do any good at all would be in massed aircraft attacks, in a very "target-rich" environment, free of Soviet AAA.

19. German claims of tank kills using these aircraft were inflated to the point of absurdity.

Here is the full text of the web site's review of the Luftwaffe's AT experience at Kursk:

"...Hauptmann Rudel announced that on the first day of battle, 5 July, he destroyed twelve Soviet tanks. What's more four of those, by his own words, were destroyed in the first sortie. In all German pilots claimed they destroyed 64 Red Army tanks.

On 7 July 1942 the pilots of StG77, StG2 и Sch.G1 reported they destroyed 44 tanks, 20 cannon, and roughly 50 light vehicles. In the course of 8 July the pilots of these same squadrons and anti-tank groups claimed damage or destruction to 88 tanks, 5 artillery and 3 AAA cannon, 2 M-13 rocket launchers, and around 40 light vehicles. What's more, more than 80 units of Soviet armored vehicles were allegedly destroyed by the Hs129B of FuPz.

We note that the claims of the German pilots of destruction of Soviet tanks were, as was the case for most other ground targets, supported by nothing more than the pilots' own words. In the majority of the aircraft gun cameras were absent, and if they were present, they showed only the the fact of firing, the strike of shells onto a tank. As one would expect, the real losses of Soviet tankers from bombs and gunfire of German aviation in reality was distinctly more modest, than is characterized in the reports of German pilots.

According to the staff reports of the Soviet 1st Tank Army of the Voronezh Front, against which were active the squadrons from FuPz, the irreversible combat losses of T-34 from enemy aviation, from the period of 5 to 20 July 1943, was a total 7 combat vehicles.

This was 1.6 per cent of all T-34 losses for the period. Moreover, Luftwaffe bombs or aerial cannon destroyed around 30 light T-60 or T-70 tanks. The combat losses of units and formations of the entire central front from bomb attacks by German aviation from July to August 1943 was 187 tanks and assault guns of all types, or 6.3 per cent of all losses. Of these, given Soviet repair averages, roughly 70 tanks were irreversibly lost and written off as a result of these attacks.

19. The article goes on to point out that the German air units suffered significant losses to achieve this result, for instance 30 per cent casualties in FuPz in 11 days of combat, and 89 per cent losses over 8 months of combat by StG2 (Ju-87)

20. Kursk was especially dangerous for the best fliers in Ju-87 units on AT duty. StG2 lost 2 squadron commanders, six wing commanders, and two group adjutants during the battle - ten pilots with a total 600 combat flights under their belts. The German officer cited for this is the StG2 commander E. Kupfer.

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Thanks Bigduke6

I feel I have hit the jackpot. So we have Western experience, Western statistics , and Eastern statistics. So with this information knitted together future discussion may well be a lot shorter and more to the point : )

The interesting thing now is the possibility whether the 87g was in fact an inordinately complex propaganda exercise - certainly as against tanks. There were a couple of points in Neumann's words that were !!

"One time I destroyed three tanks in one pass. It was really an accident. The three tanks were lined up in a village and I lined up with the rear one. My captain came in from the side. I opened fire on the last and destroyed it but my guns would not stop firing, so I lined up on the next one, destroyed it, and then lined up on the front one and destroyed it also. My captain was pleased but upset because every time he would line up on a tank I would destroy it."

I am slightly incredulous that his captain would be able to instantly recognise a destroyed tank and line up on another - simply seems unlikely. I was also impressed that in such a busy life he was able to meet Patton, and fit in the ME262 training ,the Mustang and the B17.

Anyway Bd6 that site really seems to have come up trumps.

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It all comes down to whether you believe the sources. The site's research is very typical for a Russian-language WW2 site; maybe 50 per cent western secondary sources, and 50 per cent Russian-language secondary sources.

IMO Eastern European researchers are sometimes superior to western, because the East Europeans have access to the basic histories on both sides of the confict. In the above case I am quite sure the details they gave came from a close reading of western literature, plus a decent knowledge of Soviet armored combat.

Certainly, the Neumann quote seems pretty questionable given what the StukaG reasonably was capable of.

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it is nice to see some addotional information from a Russian site.

I find many things logical but i have some reservations about some other comments.

For example

13. Even if the round hits and penetrates, it's a dinky 37mm round, and T-34 generally laughed off hits from that weapon.
I think that if the round penetrates there will be a lot of mess inside.

For example,let's ignore the "dinky" 37mm round and focus on the following question.

What happens to the missing material from the hole created during the penetration inside the tank armor ?

At least a portion of it will end up in fragments flying and richocet around the compartement.

Chances to inflict casualties or destroy equipment will be significant.

MY other reservation is about the statistical analysis and the conclusions.

Soviet statisticians estimated the chances of a Ju-87G1 actually making a KO hit on a Soviet tank in combat conditions as between 2 and 3 per cent per sortie, if it actually attacked and expended all its ammunition against a Soviet tank.

Thus, the Soviets figured it took 40-50 Ju87G sorties to destroy a single T-34.

.

We know that statistics can be tricky and give misleading results.

Although i can not comment on the study itself since it is not available, i "feel" there is something wrong with the conclusions.

I base this on the logic that such conclusions would be noticed by the Germans during the development and testing of the airplane.

I find it difficult to accept that they would commit resources and energy to build a plane,or risk their lifes using a plane that gives them so small chances to destroy an enemy tank.

[ August 15, 2005, 08:38 AM: Message edited by: pamak1970 ]

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15. Soviet statisticians estimated the chances of a Ju-87G1 actually making a KO hit on a Soviet tank in combat conditions as between 2 and 3 per cent per sortie, if it actually attacked and expended all its ammunition against a Soviet tank.
And what is the Soviet expectation from its own tank busting AC?

I find this stat to be hardly believable.

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Originally posted by stukapalooka:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> 15. Soviet statisticians estimated the chances of a Ju-87G1 actually making a KO hit on a Soviet tank in combat conditions as between 2 and 3 per cent per sortie, if it actually attacked and expended all its ammunition against a Soviet tank.

And what is the Soviet expectation from its own tank busting AC?

I find this stat to be hardly believable. </font>

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Originally posted by stukapalooka:

Thanks!

I came because I heard there was a new tank sim demo around. I do not like wargames as much as tank sims.

Do you sell clothes online? You seem familiar? Your name at least.

I never realized BFC was such a popular forum. Where did you hear about it?

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Originally posted by JonS:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by dieseltaylor:

If you do not see the importance of morale then why have men go to ground when coming under rifle fire - after all bullets are shown to be less lethal to the PBI than mortars and artillery.

:confused:

a/c in CM don't have a morale effect. That's part of the problem. </font>

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by stukapalooka:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> 15. Soviet statisticians estimated the chances of a Ju-87G1 actually making a KO hit on a Soviet tank in combat conditions as between 2 and 3 per cent per sortie, if it actually attacked and expended all its ammunition against a Soviet tank.

And what is the Soviet expectation from its own tank busting AC?

I find this stat to be hardly believable. </font>

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Originally posted by Soddball:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by JonS:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by dieseltaylor:

If you do not see the importance of morale then why have men go to ground when coming under rifle fire - after all bullets are shown to be less lethal to the PBI than mortars and artillery.

:confused:

a/c in CM don't have a morale effect. That's part of the problem. </font>

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Normally when Soviets came up with numbers like that it was after a commission went through the numbers submitted by the Fronts and Armies. Since - even - Soviets had a fairly good understanding of basic mathematics, I would assume the number they concluded German tacair was effective at - 2 or 3 per cent kills per sortie - was probably quite accurate as far as the raw numbers went.

We can assume the Soviets had a fairly good grasp on busted vehicles, although cause of damage might be a bit iffier.

But as others have pointed out, no matter how bad the Soviet numbers might be, they are in terms of reliability light years ahead of pilot reports. The Soviets once Barbarossa was over were able to determine which vehicles were damaged, and how, and to what extent.

All the Germans had to go on was what some pilot saw in a second or two of visibility, while moving at high speeds, distracted by getting his gun run right, and usually under fire in the process.

As to Soviet numbers for their own ground support, their approach to tacair generally was to consider it flying artillery, and so like regular artillery a whole bunch of it got assigned ahead of time. Tough luck for the Germans if a panzer unit winds up where the Il-2s got assigned, milk run for the Red Air in case hq goofed and ordered them to shoot up an empty field. I've never seen a number like "Il-2s were such and such a per cent effective."

I would imagine overall an Il-2 configured for AT would be, in the hands of a similarly competent pilot, be marginally more effective than StukaG, but that's primarily because Il-2 was a heckuva lot more survivable. In any case I can't prove that alleged superiority, I'm just prejudiced.

As to the relative ineffectiveness of the 37mm against T-34, I believe it. T-34 side armor average 45mm - and as we grogs all know punching through armor with an AP round gets harder if the caliber of the round is even marginally smaller than the thickness of the amor. The site said the 37mm could not defeat that armor at more than 400 meters, and claimed the round's performance even at point blank - 180 meters, fire it any closer and you overshoot the target - was not devastating, just able to penetrate sometimes. The site made clear 37mm was not a great way to attack T-34s, and is even clearer in questioning German strategy of fielding such ground attack aircraft in the first place.

This is quite in keeping with Soviet military writing, which argues there is such a thing as too expensive, too ideal weapon, and that you can and quite probably will harm your war effort if your weapons developers move far from the generally effective and practical, towards a hoped-for "silver bullet' technology.

The Western approach to weapons design, obviously, differs fairly radically.

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Thanks for your recent posts BD.

Originally posted by pamak1970:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> 13. Even if the round hits and penetrates, it's a dinky 37mm round, and T-34 generally laughed off hits from that weapon.

I think that if the round penetrates there will be a lot of mess inside.

For example,let's ignore the "dinky" 37mm round and focus on the following question.

What happens to the missing material from the hole created during the penetration inside the tank armor ?

At least a portion of it will end up in fragments flying and richocet around the compartement.

Chances to inflict casualties or destroy equipment will be significant.</font>

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

Normally when Soviets came up with numbers like that it was after a commission went through the numbers submitted by the Fronts and Armies. Since - even - Soviets had a fairly good understanding of basic mathematics, I would assume the number they concluded German tacair was effective at - 2 or 3 per cent kills per sortie - was probably quite accurate as far as the raw numbers went.

We can assume the Soviets had a fairly good grasp on busted vehicles, although cause of damage might be a bit iffier.

But as others have pointed out, no matter how bad the Soviet numbers might be, they are in terms of reliability light years ahead of pilot reports. The Soviets once Barbarossa was over were able to determine which vehicles were damaged, and how, and to what extent.

All the Germans had to go on was what some pilot saw in a second or two of visibility, while moving at high speeds, distracted by getting his gun run right, and usually under fire in the process.

As to Soviet numbers for their own ground support, their approach to tacair generally was to consider it flying artillery, and so like regular artillery a whole bunch of it got assigned ahead of time. Tough luck for the Germans if a panzer unit winds up where the Il-2s got assigned, milk run for the Red Air in case hq goofed and ordered them to shoot up an empty field. I've never seen a number like "Il-2s were such and such a per cent effective."

I would imagine overall an Il-2 configured for AT would be, in the hands of a similarly competent pilot, be marginally more effective than StukaG, but that's primarily because Il-2 was a heckuva lot more survivable. In any case I can't prove that alleged superiority, I'm just prejudiced.

As to the relative ineffectiveness of the 37mm against T-34, I believe it. T-34 side armor average 45mm - and as we grogs all know punching through armor with an AP round gets harder if the caliber of the round is even marginally smaller than the thickness of the amor. The site said the 37mm could not defeat that armor at more than 400 meters, and claimed the round's performance even at point blank - 180 meters, fire it any closer and you overshoot the target - was not devastating, just able to penetrate sometimes. The site made clear 37mm was not a great way to attack T-34s, and is even clearer in questioning German strategy of fielding such ground attack aircraft in the first place.

This is quite in keeping with Soviet military writing, which argues there is such a thing as too expensive, too ideal weapon, and that you can and quite probably will harm your war effort if your weapons developers move far from the generally effective and practical, towards a hoped-for "silver bullet' technology.

The Western approach to weapons design, obviously, differs fairly radically.

I have two comments.

First one is that although noone disputes the mathematical skills of Soviet scientists, we can still dispute assumsions based on this type of math.

The assumsion that a certain percentage of sorties indicates the percentage of kill in a fight between one Stuka G-1 and a tank is thin in my opinion.

As many other pointed , looking at the big picture we see that there are many factors that affect the percentage of casualties to sorties (ratio).

Sorties that did not find any target ,ot sorties that had to abort mission cause of flak or friendly interceptors do affect the overall results.

Another example is sorties where a group of aircraft is assigned to air defence suppression or protection from interceptors while others focus on tanks.

So in general we might have for example 100 sorties but this does not imply that we end up in the battlefield having 100 air attacks against tanks.

Or the scientists might use as point of reference the results of only total irrevocable destruction ignoring the actual number of tanks put out of action.

So, although statistically the ratio of effectiveness against tanks for this particular enviroment might be correct, it does not give clear conclusions without deep analysis and more details of the effectiveness of stuka as a single weapon against a single tank.

Imagine for example that a group of 100 stukas trying to resist a Soviet attack put out of action 30 tanks.

Let say that that the Soviet attack was successful and at the end of the operation mechanics repaired 20 tanks leaving a total of 10 tanks out of action (from the initial nember of 30) .

Now someone can calculate that in this particlar case we have an effectiveness of 10% since 100 sorties inflicted 10 actual losses at the end.

If we transfer the above situation altering one parameter and using it in a case where Stukas participate in a successful German ground attack,then it would not be a surprise to see the winning side that captures the battlefield ,to get possesion of all 30 tanks put out of action.

In this case we can say that the "effectiveness" is 30% since 100 sorties did put out of action 30 enemy tanks.

I gave a simple example to make my point that although statistics might be correct, the conclusions are not so obvious regarding the actual ability of stuka as a platform to destroy a tank.

I have also a reservation regarding the claim that shootting too close you "overshoot" the target.

I guess what they try to say is that the weapons were "zeroed" to a certain range.

I do not have time to do some geometric calculations now.

I will just present my thoughts and anyone interested who remembers some things from highschool geometry and thiangles can search it for himself.

The basic idea is that the window of opportunity to strike a tank mught be more broader than it is claimed to be.

Although guns are zeroed to a certain distance where the trajectory of bullets meet in front of the path of the plane ,we have to see some more details.

I will give an extreme case to make my point clear.

In all cases i treat the trajectory as a straight line from the aircraft to the tank, since distance is short and the time of flight of the projectile very low .

Imagine for example that the Horizontal distance of the gun barrels in the stuka is the same as the length of a tank.

If we focus on the issue of zeroing guns at a certain distance of 200 meters ,the above "observation" leads to the following conclusion.

If a stuka attacks a tank directly from the side and has the guns zeroed ar 200 meters, then at any distance between 200 and 0 meters from the target, the plane is capable to hit the tank (assumming the aiming is right).

In fact in such a case it is more accurate to say that zeroing in 200 meters has the effect of making the aircraft capable to hit a target at any distance between 400 and 0.

The geometry of zeroing at 200 meters is such that if the target is well aimed , the path of the trajectory will "collide with the target" at any range between 400 and 0.

Take a piece of paper and draw a view from top -down of a stuka and a tank.

Draw the trajectories of the projectile assuming that they will meet ahead at a distance of 200 meters.

Now try to see at what distance the width between the trajectories is greater than the length of the tank, in which case we have "overshoot" .

Using the above numbers , this distance is over 400 meters.

In this case the danger for the pilot to miss his target is if he decides to fire too early but there is no any effect if he fires too late.

I hope i made myself clear.

I might see later actual dimentions and do some comparisons.

I do not say that i am an expert in this area of technical details but i think my understanding of the concept of "zeroing" is right

[ August 15, 2005, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: pamak1970 ]

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If the Russians were saying that 37mm pens (remember, same calibre as the Door Knocker that was the primary A-tk wpn during Barbarossa, which was wholly ineffective) were unlikely, and that even when they were achieved they generally weren't much of a problem, I see no reason to disbelieve them.
how many times did Soviet face tungsten rounds?

It is not just a matter of caliber, it is also a matter of ammunition.

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"gives them so small chances to destroy an enemy tank"

Why do you think 2-3% chance per sortie is "so small"? Do you think a Stuka evaporates after 3 sorties? The Russians got 25 sorties out of each Sturm in the years when the Germans dominated air to air fighting, and 45 after that.

Once again, nth time, any weapon system that takes out its own value on the opposite side is an above average weapon system. Most fail to do so, by mathematical law. Nowhere is it written that ground attack aircraft are above average weapon systems. And most of the damage they inflict is to soft targets, particularly soft vehicles.

A tank is the hardest target they regularly try for. Moveover, the number of fighter-bomber sorties exceeds the deployed tank fleets of all sides by an order of magnitude. They can't all take out a tank, or the tanks all die 10 times over without the ground forces doing anything, which is absurd.

It is completely unsurprising that they have poor per sortie records against them. If they didn't, tanks would have been irrelevant and WW II would have been decided in a few months by air attacks.

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