Thursday, 14 May 2015
Tanks at Balaton
I've explored the issue of brittle German armour in many articles, but each one seems to get the same complaint: it's only an experiment, real life is not like this! Here are some photos from the battle at Lake Balaton (Operation Spring Awakening) that demonstrate very well how far German armour declined.
Despite hitting the Tiger's highly sloped transmission cover, this shell made a large breach in the tank's armour, destroying it.
Some people tell me that the Panther's wheels protected its thin side armour from low caliber guns, but that does not seem to be the case here. This Panther was hit through the wheel and then the side armour, knocking it out.
This Panther fell victim to a high caliber HE shell. The shell ricocheted off its upper front plate, but left a breach and cracks in the armour. The tank was abandoned by its crew.
A relatively routine penetration of the Panther's side armour, leading to significant amount of spalling.
This Jadgpanzer 38(t) fell victim to a 76 mm round, despite its highly angled 60 mm of armour around the gun mantlet. Interestingly enough, the armour was not as brittle here as it was on the Panther above.
A gaping hole in the side of a Wirbelwind.
Another Panther with a huge hole in its side.
Many people complain that shooting at one tank during tests several times is unfair, but this is what a Panther caught in a Soviet ambush looks like. Several shots to the side resulted in a large portion of the armour caving in.
An explosion split this Panther's upper front plate all the way across.
This is a very interesting shot, as it managed to penetrate the gun, and then the gun mantlet behind it.
Another set of lucky shots to the turret that managed to knock off the gun.
Another Panther with an enormous crack across its front armour.
Another Panther that was caught in an ambush. Three shots to the turret seemed to not crack the armour that much, but the lower turret and upper hull shots resulted in a lot of spalling.
More effective shots to the turret. These one did not knock the gun off, but knocked out the tank anyway.
One or two shots to the side of the turret resulted in a huge breach forming.
Another Panther that was likely the victim of an ambush, and another one where the turret fares a lot better in terms of spalling then the hull.