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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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AA machine gun on late Tiger?
Floridabucco
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 04:47 AM UTC
So on a late model Tiger in Normandy...what would the AA machine gun on the cupola be..a 34 or 42 or either?

What about the ammo..would it be a "drum" or an ammo bag?

Thank you in advance,
Eric
panzerbob01
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 06:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text

So on a late model Tiger in Normandy...what would the AA machine gun on the cupola be..a 34 or 42 or either?

What about the ammo..would it be a "drum" or an ammo bag?

Thank you in advance,
Eric



IF there was an AA MG mounted up top.... I think it would have been an MG-34, with a saddle drum. The MG-34 was the standard secondary armament for almost all German tanks - up thru the Tiger II, and both the hull-mount or the mantel-mount gun could be easily dismounted and pulled inside and put up on top. And, given the limited space inside tanks, probably no extra gun was included in the kit. But the info on that is very, very thin "on the ground", so...

There are very few actual wartime pics of Tigers (either I or II) showing a mounted AA gun... Of course, many pics are of destroyed and abandoned Tigers, specially in the West, and one should expect that the MG would likely have been blown off or taken off, so... Virtually no good photo record at all!

Interestingly, there are pics of museum Tiger I with AA MG mounted.... One has an MG-34, another has an MG-42... (I think that the -42 is simply in error, given as the -42 had a different barrel-swap routine from the -34, and did not fit into the standard armored MG tubes seen on most mid- and later-war German tanks. So the MG-42 would likely not be usable in the tank turret-mantel and hull fittings. And thus the MG-42 would have been an "extra", non-standard gun inside a crowded tank).

Kit art routinely shows Tigers with AA guns... I think "always" with MG-34. The likely ammo-supply for such guns would have been the single or double saddle drum - compact and easily-handled.

Search around Google or other for Tiger pics that might support your decision!

Cheers! Bob
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 07:24 AM UTC
Tigers and Panthers and for that matter,PzIV s were not issued more than 2 machine guns. One for the hull /radio op. position and one for the main gun/coax position. If you see the rare pic with one mounted on the cupola,it would be the one from the hull(much easier to remove) and it would be the armoured barrel type made for that position. The ammo would more than likely be fed from the bags of the type carried within the tank because at that point in the war the drums were not seen nearly as much.
I would never use museum examples for anything as they are historically inaccurate way more than they are correct.
Now,of course,as with anything involving this topic,there are anomalies.
And...in the end,this is your model! Have fun.
J
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 08:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Tigers and Panthers and for that matter,PzIV s were not issued more than 2 machine guns. One for the hull /radio op. position and one for the main gun/coax position. If you see the rare pic with one mounted on the cupola,it would be the one from the hull(much easier to remove) and it would be the armoured barrel type made for that position. The ammo would more than likely be fed from the bags of the type carried within the tank because at that point in the war the drums were not seen nearly as much.
I would never use museum examples for anything as they are historically inaccurate way more than they are correct.
Now,of course,as with anything involving this topic,there are anomalies.
And...in the end,this is your model! Have fun.
J



Ahem... I asked my Mom's Onkel Ludwig, who served in Pz.IVs in France about AA weapons on German Tanks during WWII, (along with a MULTITUDE of other questions), when he visited us in the US back in the 1970s- His answer, loosely translated was,

"If one were STUPID or CRAZY enough to want to shoot back at an American or British JABO with only a light AA Machine Gun, then GOOD NIGHT!!! In our unit, WE didn't carry them. THAT'S what our FLAK was for... Our Infantry wanted all of the automatic weapons that they could lay their hands on. That's the way it was..."

Hope this helps to answer any questions about German Tankers' feelings about "AA Weapons" mounted up on the Commanders' Cupolas...

If anything, German Tankers wanted to maintain "a low profile" when there were US and British Fighter-Bombers in their vicinity; why stick your head in a beehive..?

I'm not saying that AA MG mounts on Tigers or Panthers didn't happen, but ponder this:

Think about your chances of survival against a P-47 or a Typhoon bearing down on you with eight .50s or four 20mms blazing at you, and you popping back at them with an MG.34 or an MG.42... Not ME, my Friends...
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 08:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Tigers and Panthers and for that matter,PzIV s were not issued more than 2 machine guns. One for the hull /radio op. position and one for the main gun/coax position. If you see the rare pic with one mounted on the cupola,it would be the one from the hull(much easier to remove) and it would be the armoured barrel type made for that position. The ammo would more than likely be fed from the bags of the type carried within the tank because at that point in the war the drums were not seen nearly as much.
I would never use museum examples for anything as they are historically inaccurate way more than they are correct.
Now,of course,as with anything involving this topic,there are anomalies.
And...in the end,this is your model! Have fun.
J



Hi, Jerry!

You're ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about some of the "Museum Pieces", AND reenactors' vehicles and equipment not being historically-accurate; a LOT of times, there is "artistic-license" involved, as well. I'm talking about custom-made leather seating pads, lovingly-varnished modern-style Ax, Pick and Shovel Handles, and red or silver painted bolt heads or other such-like trash. COME ON! WHO had the time for that kind of stupid nonsense during Wartime..?

PS- Eric, don't believe the junk that you see in movies or on TV, either. Movies and TV are WILDLY inaccurate and the "artisic-license" of "Hollywood" is appalling! That B.S in the "Battle of the Bulge" movie about American POWs being massacred at Malmedy by German SS TANKERS firing MG.42s from the Commanders' Cupolas is nonsense. The dirty-deed was done ON FOOT, by SS wielding hand-held weapons... Period...
Jupiterblitz
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 09:17 AM UTC

I've got another source to second what Dennis has told


" TARGET="_blank">


More here and here
Biggles2
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 10:53 AM UTC
The commander cupola's MG mount (usually an MG 34) had a square U-shaped bracket on one of the legs for holding an ammo bag (belt-fed), but they could also be drum-fed.


Floridabucco
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 02:25 PM UTC
Wow always amazes me the knowledge and experience I find on these forum boards.

So what I understand from the comments is that it was rare to see the AA machine gun, but if it was mounted on the cupola, you would not have one in the bow gunners position.

Thank you for your replies.
Dinocamo
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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 06:26 PM UTC
In my opinion, using the "late Tiger" is not so correct because the Tiger I during the D-Day can be manufactured any time from 1943 to that time. Well, if we using the norm of a late Tiger I with the Tiger II road wheels and different turret roof layout.

Back to the subject, the with the low profile commander cupola The rail is intended for mounting a machine gun, the MG34. Though, I never see any scan document telling that it is intended as an anti-air craft weapon, an anti-infantry weapon or a tool of terror to fear off civilians.

Let's look at it: The German didn't use any kind of roof mounting machine gun on tank until then (1ate 1943). The German are more than capable to understand that small arms are incapable to fight against aircraft. Not even their aircraft used the small arm cartridges by that time anymore, the 13mmm MG131 was the smallest machine gun for aircraft. I highly suspect that they wanted it to serve a different purpose than to protect vs aircraft.

From Mr.Byrden's website (please forgive me if I misinterpreted), the Tiger I have a spare MG in the fighting compartment to replace the one of the other MG and also spare parts to make it a portable MG, thus mounted on the roof is a possibility. (http://tiger1.info/EN/MG-toolboxes.html)

I have no doubt that the spare MG was given to the infantry considering German was in shortage later in the war.
jrutman
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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 01:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text


I've got another source to second what Dennis has told


" TARGET="_blank">

Well,there ya go. I had the 2 MGs mixed up and the turret one was the one more easily removed.
J


More here and here





Thanks for posting this! Excellent historical source. What a cool old guy.
J
jrutman
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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 01:40 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Tigers and Panthers and for that matter,PzIV s were not issued more than 2 machine guns. One for the hull /radio op. position and one for the main gun/coax position. If you see the rare pic with one mounted on the cupola,it would be the one from the hull(much easier to remove) and it would be the armoured barrel type made for that position. The ammo would more than likely be fed from the bags of the type carried within the tank because at that point in the war the drums were not seen nearly as much.
I would never use museum examples for anything as they are historically inaccurate way more than they are correct.
Now,of course,as with anything involving this topic,there are anomalies.
And...in the end,this is your model! Have fun.
J



Ahem... I asked my Mom's Onkel Ludwig, who served in Pz.IVs in France about AA weapons on German Tanks during WWII, (along with a MULTITUDE of other questions), when he visited us in the US back in the 1970s- His answer, loosely translated was,

"If one were STUPID or CRAZY enough to want to shoot back at an American or British JABO with only a light AA Machine Gun, then GOOD NIGHT!!! In our unit, WE didn't carry them. THAT'S what our FLAK was for... Our Infantry wanted all of the automatic weapons that they could lay their hands on. That's the way it was..."

Hope this helps to answer any questions about German Tankers' feelings about "AA Weapons" mounted up on the Commanders' Cupolas...

If anything, German Tankers wanted to maintain "a low profile" when there were US and British Fighter-Bombers in their vicinity; why stick your head in a beehive..?

I'm not saying that AA MG mounts on Tigers or Panthers didn't happen, but ponder this:

Think about your chances of survival against a P-47 or a Typhoon bearing down on you with eight .50s or four 20mms blazing at you, and you popping back at them with an MG.34 or an MG.42... Not ME, my Friends...



Hence my phrase (rare occasion)
I don't get why you gave me the dreaded"ahem"?
J
jrutman
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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 01:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Wow always amazes me the knowledge and experience I find on these forum boards.

So what I understand from the comments is that it was rare to see the AA machine gun, but if it was mounted on the cupola, you would not have one in the bow gunners position.

Thank you for your replies.



I was wrong about that buddy. According to the German Vet in the excellent video,it was the turret MG that would be used. Sorry for the false statement but I will always admit when I am wrong.
J
jrutman
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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 01:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

In my opinion, using the "late Tiger" is not so correct because the Tiger I during the D-Day can be manufactured any time from 1943 to that time. Well, if we using the norm of a late Tiger I with the Tiger II road wheels and different turret roof layout.

Back to the subject, the with the low profile commander cupola The rail is intended for mounting a machine gun, the MG34. Though, I never see any scan document telling that it is intended as an anti-air craft weapon, an anti-infantry weapon or a tool of terror to fear off civilians.

Let's look at it: The German didn't use any kind of roof mounting machine gun on tank until then (1ate 1943). The German are more than capable to understand that small arms are incapable to fight against aircraft. Not even their aircraft used the small arm cartridges by that time anymore, the 13mmm MG131 was the smallest machine gun for aircraft. I highly suspect that they wanted it to serve a different purpose than to protect vs aircraft.

From Mr.Byrden's website (please forgive me if I misinterpreted), the Tiger I have a spare MG in the fighting compartment to replace the one of the other MG and also spare parts to make it a portable MG, thus mounted on the roof is a possibility. (http://tiger1.info/EN/MG-toolboxes.html)

I have no doubt that the spare MG was given to the infantry considering German was in shortage later in the war.



Nope,only 2 MGs were issued with each tank. There was a special ring mount issued that clipped onto the cupula ring and also a set of gear that included a bipod,cleaning kit,AAA gunsite,etc but no extra MG.
J