Battleday May 16, 2004 “Debut Disaster” Axis vs. Allies
Super Pershing #2 King Tiger #300 (Marty) Tiger I #F02 (Eric)
It was a cold overcast morning in northern France and the Axis had formed a seemingly impenetrable front anticipating new Allied reinforcements. The Allies had just entered the area with fresh reinforcements and a new armored unit.
According to reconnaissance reports the Allies were supported by a new accompaniment of Pershing tanks, which seemed better armed and armored than the standard Sherman. The column led by a heavily modified version of the Pershing, this “Super Pershing” was up-gunned from 90mm to 100mm and included additional armor plating on the hull and turret from a Panther victim, which promised to be a devastating juggernaut.
A company of Tiger I’s and Tiger II’s advanced through the rough fields filled with debris and craters from Allied bombing weeks earlier to meet the Allied advance. The seasoned crews of the Tiger tanks instinctively carried out offensive maneuvers directing PzKpfw IV’s and several Tiger I’s to engage the oncoming Shermans. A full accompaniment of Tiger I’s and Tiger II’s deployed to engage the unit of Pershings.
Smoke and shells began filling the sky as forces clashed at roughly 2000 meters as the landscape lit up with explosions and fire on both sides. The ensuing firefight became fierce as units flanked and counter-flanked closing the distance to 1000 meters. The Germans held there own against the numerical superiority of Shermans but many German command tanks were KO’d by the American Pershings underestimating the range and penetrability of the new Allied weapons. The heavy Tiger I and Tiger II tanks were called forward to handle the new challenge.
As the conflict continued the “Super Pershing” was sighted by King Tiger 300 emerging from the smoke having just KO’d a PzKpfw IV with one well placed round blowing off the turret. King Tiger 300 broke off to pursue. Tiger F02 independently sighted Pershing 2 breaking through defenses and also began pursuit. King Tiger 300 closed to 850 meters and Tiger F02 ranged at 1200 meters.
Pershing 2 began exchanging fire with King Tiger 300 while Tiger F02 continued a flanking maneuver firing on the move. Pershing 2 landed two rounds on the front glacis of King Tiger 300 damaging the periscope and disabling the machine gun. King Tiger 300 returned fire hitting the idler and track and a second round blew off the welded wing armor on the mantlet.
Pershing 2 moved taking partial cover on a ridge while changing its target to the approaching Tiger F02. Pershing 2 fired hitting the front plate of Tiger F02 cracking the weld seams. A return shot from Tiger F02 penetrated the rear of the Pershing turret and a second shot embedded in the ridge that partially shielded Pershing 2. A second shot from Pershing 2 penetrated the front plate damaging the right final drive slowing Tiger F02 advancement.
Pershing 2 maneuvered again weaving its way by partial protection of the ridge while King Tiger 300 and Tiger F02 continued the approach. At a range of 700 meters King Tiger 300 and Pershing 2 exchanged fire again, one shot from the Pershing blowing fragments off the front drive sprocket and track and another glancing off the heavily armored mantlet. King Tiger #300 returned fire disabling the previously hit left track completely and a second round glanced off the front glacis and impacted in the mantlet armor. At the same time, Tiger F02 fired two rounds from 1000 meters hitting the left final drive of Pershing 2 disabling the engine causing a small fire to erupt on the engine deck. A second shot glanced off the rear turret ripping a hole in the top.
Pershing 2 having become immobile fired a round at King Tiger 300 penetrating the turret forcing the vehicle to stop at 650 meters. King Tiger 300 returned fire penetrating the Pershing 2 turret. When Pershing 2 did not respond, a second round from King Tiger 300 penetrated the turret causing the stored ammo to explode destroying the “Super Pershing”.
King Tiger 300 was recovered for repair and Tiger F02 returned under its own power for repairs. Both Tigers returned to service by the end of the week.
“Cat and Mouse” Axis vs. Allies Sherman 76mm Tiger II #234 (Eric)
An overcast day broke into light rain as the Tiger tank commander viewed his road map attempting to find a clearing to cut across to access a good road with an intact bridge. The decision was made and the hatch closed as the heavy tank lumbered into the clearing. The heavy tank sank a bit in the wet field but continued moving careful not to dig itself in. The road across from the clearing was supposed to have a bridge strong enough for a heavy tank to cross safely… one-at-a-time.
About 500 meters into the clearing an explosion was heard, which meant only one thing to the Tiger tank commander – the bridge had been blown. Not a moment later a Sherman was spotted churning out from the tree edge into the clearing some 800 meters away kicking up grass clumps. It was times like these the Tiger commander preferred a lighter and faster PzKpfw IV. How many Shermans had made it across the bridge? It did not matter now there was a firefight about to begin.
The Sherman must have spotted the Tiger first as a round hit squarely on the turret side exploding on the outside without penetrating. The Sherman closed to 700 meters attempting to stay on the Tigers flank. The Tiger fired off a shot that glanced off the rear engine deck tearing off the fender and engine hatch. The Tigers motors revved in reverse to avoid being in the open should there be more Shermans while the turret traversed to lay on the Sherman again.
The Sherman bobbing back and forth through the wet field came full along side the Tiger and planted another round squarely on the lower hull just above the track skirt. It became evident the Sherman was attempting to clear a shot to the rear of the Tiger and the commander had the tank turn while continuing to retreat to the tree line. Just as another shell was loaded the Sherman fired again hitting the front of the turret and subsequently bounced off while concentrically closing the distance to 600 meters.
The Tiger began to get mired in the wet field and slowed under the stress while the Sherman slugged its way to the rear of the Tiger. The Tiger turret could not lay a bead on the encircling Sherman and it was hit in the rear damaging the engine. Now with the Tiger turret facing the rear the Sherman bolted to the side toward the front smacking the side with another round tearing off fender armor. The Tiger came within 100 meters of the tree line when the combined engine damage and overheating from the mired tracks forced it to a stop.
The Sherman slogged toward the front of the Tiger keeping just out of range with the Tiger’s rotating turret to bear. The Sherman fires again grafting the side of the Tiger turret penetrating the rear side. The Sherman now full circle continues around the other side and for a moment slows enough for the 88mm to get a bead on it and fires a round punching through the lower hull side and exiting through the top engine deck. The Sherman gains its traction again tags the hull side penetrating the afore damaged armor.
The Tiger turret continues to pursue the Sherman with no good shot. The Sherman encircles the rear again planting a well-placed shot at 500 meters setting the whole engine compartment aflame. As the turret was brought to bear, the Sherman fires another round into the rear blowing off the entire engine deck and fowling the turret ring. A moment later the ammo in the turret blows out the hatches and smoke pours out.
“Free For All” King of the Hill
Super Pershing #2 King Tiger #300 (Marty) Tiger I #F02 (Eric)
Almost immediately the King Tiger and Tiger I exchanged fire with the King Tiger planting several good shots, three at a respectable distance. The Tiger I was left for dead and the King Tiger went to engage the Pershing.
A ferocious battle ensued with the King Tiger and Pershing as they came in close almost barrel-to-barrel, fighting and maneuvering about each other. The forgotten Tiger I slowly lumbered under fractional power toward the combatants.
The King Tiger and Pershing had exchanged several hits both now running at reduced power. The Tiger I finally got within range and planted a couple of shots in the melee adding confusion to the battle. The Pershing had finished the King Tiger and trained on the Tiger I.
The Pershing closed and hit the Tiger I while the Tiger reciprocated KO’ing the Pershing.