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Operation Goodwood


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I’ve recently read a book on operation Goodwood (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1844150305/qid=1095185476/sr=ka-1/ref=pd_ka_1/102-0152919-5521778) & several things struck me…

(I) Most armoured combat ranges in the battle were 300m or less despite the terrain being VERY flat. The reasons appeared to be tall grain (apparently the grain hybrids used in the 40’s grew taller), smoke & fire (perhaps most battles should be fought in the fog?) & the tendency of German PAK crews to fire at that range to “guarantee first shot hits”.

(II) German counter attacks with both Tiger & Kingtigers were defeated… once by 88mm ‘friendly fire’. And another attack by a close range duel in a grain field. Interestingly one KingTiger was rammed & disabled leaving its inexperienced crew panicked (when was the last time you saw a green King Tiger?).

(III) The British had very little infantry & tried to use it sparingly. Operation Goodwood resulted in the loss of 126 tanks but Britain could afford tanks it couldn’t afford large-scale infantry losses. Perhaps those “how to fight like the…” threads should take this into account*.

(IV) The British considered the firefly to be the only capable anti tank weapon at a ratio of 1 firefly per troop of four tanks (both Cromwell & Sherman) the 17pdr was the only way the British could deal with enemy cats. Despite this crews didn’t like fighting Panthers frontally further than 300 yards. The 75mm was totally useless against the cats.

(V) The PzIV & tank destroyers that made up the bulk of the 21st Panzer division suffered heavy casualties. The tank destroyers fired at longer ranges then fled.

* Maybe a 1500pt British force should include a 25pdr battery, an infantry company (green) & as many tanks (green/conscript) as can be bought.

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* Maybe a 1500pt British force should include a 25pdr battery, an infantry company (green) & as many tanks (green/conscript) as can be bought.
I would ditch the 25pdr battery, since most of the battle was fought beyond the range of the artillery. Only the Sexton equipped regiments were able to keep up with the advance.

I would also have the majority of the tank crews as reg, with the remainder a mix of green / vets.

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Originally posted by 37mm:

* Maybe a 1500pt British force should include a 25pdr battery, an infantry company (green) & as many tanks (green/conscript) as can be bought.

Which would be fine for GOODWOOD, but then that was a special case, and not generally repeated. Actually, for certain substantial parts of GOODWOOD, the infantry force would be even smaller/non-existant. If you want to look at a special case, then look at it. Don't try use generalised guidelines to represent special cases.

Kingfish - the Sextons carried 25-prs ;)

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The July/August issue of World War II magazine has an article on Operation Goodwood. It says in the article that the King Tiger tank that was rammed by a Sherman was from the independent 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion. It also indicates that the Battalion only had a few King Tigers.

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Originally posted by JonS:

Kingfish - the Sextons carried 25-prs ;)

Just making sure you were paying attention ;)

Originally posted by Redwolf:

There were King Tigers in Goodwood? What unit did they belong to?

According to this site, 503rd schwere Panzer Abteilung had King Tigers as part of their TO&E. This unit arrived in Normandy on July 10th, but I can't tell if the KTs were part of that initial batch. I do know that a KT was captured by the 5th Duke of Cornwall light infantry during the battle for Le Plessis Grimoult on August 7th, so they did at least make it to Normandy.
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Concerning the ramming:

I think I recall an incident during the liberation of Paris, when a FF Sherman rammed a German tank. (some grog might know more about this...?)

This makes me kinda wonder, how common this 'technique' of ramming to disable enemy tanks really was.

Was it just a desperate measure or did tank crews see it as an approved tactic?

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Originally posted by birdstrike:

Concerning the ramming:

I think I recall an incident during the liberation of Paris, when a FF Sherman rammed a German tank. (some grog might know more about this...?)

This makes me kinda wonder, how common this 'technique' of ramming to disable enemy tanks really was.

Was it just a desperate measure or did tank crews see it as an approved tactic?

I vaguely recall one or two incidents of German tanks ramming Soviet opponents, as well as, I think, a Sherman ramming a Tiger, the crew rounding up the Tiger's crew after they bailed into a ditch.
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The tank commander of the Sheman that rammed the King Tiger (during Operation Goodwood) chose this path because his main gun was jammed and the KT's turret was turning towards him. This resulted in both crews bailing from their tanks. Shortly afterwards the King Tiger was knocked out by a nearby Firefly.

In this case it was a last resort move.

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Originally posted by Kingfish:

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

There were King Tigers in Goodwood? What unit did they belong to?

According to this site, 503rd schwere Panzer Abteilung had King Tigers as part of their TO&E. This unit arrived in Normandy on July 10th, but I can't tell if the KTs were part of that initial batch. I do know that a KT was captured by the 5th Duke of Cornwall light infantry during the battle for Le Plessis Grimoult on August 7th, so they did at least make it to Normandy. </font>
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