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Author Topic: Panther repair report Zitadelle 1943  (Read 8605 times)
stoffel
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« on: 24 July 2009, 19:01:24 »
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The numbers described here were used in a report from General Guderian about the problems encountered with the new Panthers.
A lot of breakdowns were caused by the unreliable suspension and enginefailures.
Mines were also a cause of many writeoffs.

Repair needed

July 10th

Suspension: 70
Motor: 23
Turret: 19
Hull: 15
Radiosets: 12
Transmission: 4
Guns : 0

12 vehicles had two or more problems.
Total of damaged vehicles: 131

July 12th

Suspension: 38
Motor: 25
Turret: 31
Hull: 5
Radiosets: 10
Transmission: 3
Guns : 4

Total of vehicles damaged: 116

In his report Guderian stated:
Weapons
These worked wonderful, some Panthers even achieved hits at 3000 meters.

Hits
A large number of losses occurred by hits, frontal armor was sufficient but the 40 mm sidearmor caused total writeoffs cause of burning and exploding ammo/fuel.
Roofarmor proved to be too weak as well. Hits at the gunmantlet were deflected penetrating the roof plate, in many cases killing driver or radiooperators.

Hatches
The new hatches proved unreliable , when hit they often got jammed, causing deaths among crew because they couldnt bail out.
Often they drove with hatches opened.

Mechanical problems
Problems about failures are not found, some could be traced to unskilled drivers.
Fuel pumps often failed, because of leaking and defective membrames.
Motors were overreved causing overheating and broken connector rods.

Repair crews worked overtime, lack of spareparts were cause of concern but this was overcome by flying them in from Germany.
On average days crews managed to repair 25 vehicles a day.
Not all Panthers could be recovered, 56 of them were blown up.
Sufficient numbers of halftracks for towing were made available.

Final report July 20th: from the 200 Panthers that started the attack:
41 were still operational
85 were under repair
16 were so badly damaged that they were returned to German factories
56 were lost to enemy fire and burned out, 7 of these fallen into the hands of the enemy before they could be destroyed.
2 lost due to enginefires.


Sources:
Jentz panzertruppen2
Spielberger Panzerkampfwagen Panther
Weapons of the waffen SS
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My topics are about my personal opinion, my thoughts and what I think. They do not reflect the official opinion of the ministry of defense of the Netherlands.
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