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With Op Bagration on the way...

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Thought I'd share this wonderful site featuring gobs of treadhead goodies taken from declassified Soviet archives and other groggy places. Battlefield.ru (Valera's site) used to have a bunch of similar material, but the English language stuff got almost completely wiped out in a server.

Archive Awareness is an information gold mine. It's got loss causes for Ferdinands, firing trials (all such have pics) against a Ferdinand with an SU-152, ditto vs Panther and King Tiger. Would you believe a Molotov cocktail got an outright kill on a Ferdinand, while another one nailed one that had hit a mine? Firing results for the 57mm ZIS-4 on the T-34/57 a Tiger 1 make for some eye-popping reading.

You can find it under Archive Awareness or Copy/Paste this, with the usual ending. If you've a track link in your body, I think you'll have quite the time.



John Kettler

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Good find. I have often wondered what the reaction would be if BFC ever modeled the tendency for spontaneous combustion among German heavy vehicles, lol.

#102 had an engine fire, and was abandoned by its crew.

#111 caught fire due to an overheated engine while climbing a hill.

#112 caught fire for an unknown reason, perhaps due to a faulty fuel system.

BTW, you don't need to keep purposely breaking your links. BFC doesn't care about linking to sites like this.

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Vanir Ausf B,

Back in the mid 1990s, I got to read one of the Fedorowicz Tiger Tank books. In going through the detailed breakdown (couldn't resist) of causes of loss, most of them were one sort or another of equipment failure, w/wo fire, leading to abandonment. Something to do with needing three SdKfz 7s, hence, the development of the Bergetiger, to tow one Tiger 1. After that, it was mines and then artillery and antitank guns.

Regarding links, I queried Moon directly on this, asking for policy clarification and suggested that the .coms not selling competing wargames ought to be okay (or similar language). Back came the terse statement: "No commercial links." Given his adamant reply, I've been quite chary on the embedding link issue ever since.

Here's something else pertinent to Op Bagration, a nice paper by David Glantz on the development of Russian Operational Art over time, with many schematics and a fair amount of TO& E stuff.



by DM Glantz - ‎1987 -

On a more intimate scale, a T-34 TC talks about the tankdesantniki.


Quite informative, but it's also contradictory. In the first part, he talks about asking the commissar to have the TC's tankodesantniki get off the tank before assaulting a village and was denied his request. This led to several casualties among them before getting to the village. He stuck his head out and ordered them off. No joy. They were still aboard as his T34 rolled into the village, and they stayed on for a time even after taking rifle fire and more casualties from Romanian infantry at 10-15 meter range! Later, he says the tankodesantniki did not stay on the tanks under fire and specifically attacks the Russian war movies on this issue.

"Six tanks with mounted parties passed along the cart road toward the German rear. I always remember with gratitude our tank-mounted submachine gunners. They were brave guys. They certainly never ran along with tanks on attack or rode the tanks under gun fire as shown in movies. They were common living humans. They would hide and shoot here and there."

And what he and his unit did to the retreating Italian 8th Army is by far the most gruesome war story I ever read. Worse than a shelf of horror movies!

From SU-76 commander Vladimir Vostrov we learn about the mines the mine roller T-34s faced. They'll seem alarmingly familiar.


"So here we were, sitting in our vehicles, waiting for the order to attack. There was a minefield between our positions and the village. They sent in 5 T-34 tanks with mine-clearing attachments ahead of us. The mine-clearing tanks are pretty slow, and the Germans immediately destroyed three of them…seeing this, we all rushed forward, hoping to get lucky…the minefield was made up of massive anti-tank mines, each with 100-200 kilograms of explosives. Any crew that drove over one of these went straight to heaven, their assault guns just disintegrated. A third of our assault guns blew up then and there…"


John Kettler

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