Strange Statement in Lloyd Clark's Kurst Book

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Dave55, May 18, 2013.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I'm reading Clark's "The Battle of the Tanks" .

    He talks about how vulnerable Ferdinands were to infantry due to their lack of machine guns.

    Page 254 describes Ferdinands breaking into Russian infantry zones without their own infantry in support and has the following sentence:

    "Crews were consequently forced to fire their stored MG-42s down the barrel of their 88mm guns."

    Seems to me that the only thing this might do was make the Russians think there was a ball mounted machine gun somewhere on the vehicle. There isn't any way they would be able to aim the MG-42 at all and hitting a Russian would be just a random chance. Looking though a 3 1/2" 20 foot long tube would give them kind of a limited field of view (and fire)

    This particular passage isn't footnoted although he does footnote Guderian's thoughts on their inability to support themselves in the preceding paragraph.

    Also, why would the Ferdinand carry a stored MG-42? Maybe to use if it were dug in?

    Excellent book, like all of Lloyd Clark's
  2. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Senior Member

    I found that reference as well, in a different source, I believe the Ferdinand crews were issued a LMG for vehicle defence and anti infantry use (as had the early Stug III) and they also had some MP40 as personal weapons, I'm surprised at it being an MG42 that usually was reserved for the infantry (the quick change mechanism of the MG 34 could work in a tank mount while that of the MG 42 did not). The idea of firing through the gun barrel susprised me as well, IIRC the vehicle had a number of pistol ports that were much more suitable thoug definetly not enough to keep determined tank hunters at bay.
  3. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I've never heard that one to be honest, but I can well imagine it happening in a desperate situation!!! :)
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    I never understood this thing, I can't see how a machine gun with a very limited angle ahead and that can't be properly aimed - do you know these German bow MGs are moved with a sort of head attachment only? - can't prevent infantry threats from flanks/rear. Of course this is the task of your own infantry, but after they're left behind, I can't see how these can be so vital. To me it's more mythology (ou bullshitology) than anything else.


    For some reason on the later period of the war the Jerrys developed other measures like the 360ยบ rotating MG34 roof mount on the StuG III and Hetzer - spray and pray, the Krummlauf barrel and the Nahverteidigungswaffe.
    CL1 likes this.
  5. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    ...but they can protect the flank and rear of the tank in front! ;)

    But TOS, that's the thing, isn't it??? The Ferdinand didn't have a "tank mount". So they'd be equiped with whatever was coming off the production line as an LMG by the time of Kurk.

    Having LMGs mounted on clips inside an SPG isn't actually that uncommon I think - having had occasion to look inside the Churchill Gun Carrier a while back (or rather, the few "manual" illustrations of the inside of one) - the crew had a Bren Gun!
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    I know, that's called 'back scratching', but still it reeks of Martin Caidinesque ignorance and lack of PBI/tank coordination.
  7. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Most SPs had something to defend against infantry so as pyylo has said, it wouldn't be uncommon to see one. I do question just WHERE they would have put it, but until I see proof, I'm willing to go along with it. The statement about firing it down the barrel has to be piffle though!
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    I don't quite cactch your meaning, but here is a page on the late war remote MG mount on the Hetzer and StuG III.

    BADHAK likes this.

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