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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Romanian Army > Myth of Tigers in Romanian Use|
|Posted by: PanzerKing April 08, 2010 03:42 pm|
| I just read "The German Defeat in the East 1944-45" from Stackpole by Samuel W. Mitcham. The book seems very well researched and I really enjoyed it. There is however one part that I find interesting and probably incorrect about the battle for Bucharest:
Page 181, 3rd paragraph
"By 10:30 A.M., the Luftwaffe buildings within the city were surrounded and under fire, and Gerstenberg had been halted by Romanian armored units, some of which were equipped with PzKw VI Tiger tanks."
I know that some Tigers were destroyed by the Romanians and possibly captured and turned over to the Russians, but I thought that was later on during the fighting in Transylvania, Hungary and Austria etc.
This is wrong, is it not?
|Posted by: Agarici April 08, 2010 04:26 pm|
|This one is indeed quite a recurring myth about the Romanian army. But are there any data about its origin? Were there any known/documented planned Pz. V and/or Pz. VI deliveries for the Romanians from Germany during mid-1944?|
|Posted by: Alexei2102 April 08, 2010 06:20 pm|
Absolutely none. No Tigers nor Panther were delivered to the Romanian Army.
LE - I am referring to the 1941 - 1944 period, of course.
|Posted by: MMM April 08, 2010 06:35 pm|
Perhaps they mistakenly saw in action the last mohicans aka FT-17! They are so easy to be confounded with Tigers (by blind, deaf and stoopid people, of course).
There was a discussion, on this forum, about Panthers being sold (probably) to the Romanian Armed Forces by the Red Army, after the war...
I have no knowledge of any other armour in our army more advanced than P-IVH anyway!
|Posted by: dead-cat April 08, 2010 08:16 pm|
| i saw parts of a journal of a soldier of the 7th SS. he claims to have seen several bulgarian tigers.
apparently every german tank was a tiger and every russian a T-34. most soldiers never saw a tiger and i really doubt they could tell a tiger from a Pz. IV from a distance.
|Posted by: C-2 April 08, 2010 08:49 pm|
| I agree.
Even Otto CArius et comp. sometimes mistaken the Tiger 2 with an IS.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 08, 2010 08:55 pm|
| Greetings for all and 'Christ is risen'!
From my point of view it is an obvious mistake, since no romanian (or even german) unit on the romanian front had Tiger heavy tanks in august 1944! But, about mistakes, it is not unusual to happen : in the book Romania in al doilea razboi mondial -vol.II written by Constantin I. Kiritescu (Ed. Univers Enciclopedic Bucuresti 1995), on page 122 -Romanian Armoured Division fightings -is written -"in the second half of October  the Division was brought back to 'hibernation' in Morozovsk region, where was the command post of the 3rd Romanian Army; here was fill the material with 24 tanks of the type Tiger, and continued with human instruction [...]". This information was not completely false, how long our Armored Division had indeed received 24 tanks from Germany -12 Pz.IIIN (75mm short gun) and 12 Pz.IVG (75mm long gun).
|Posted by: Florin April 09, 2010 02:03 am|
| Few years ago I had found on a website information that two Tiger I abandoned for lack of fuel were captured by the Romanians, then confiscated from them by the Russians. That was in October 1944.
Well, like anything found on Internet, it is up to you. This does not make the printed books better - in "Hitler, King Carol and Marshall Antonescu", by a German historian, it is mentioned in the book that some Germans were complaining that it was hard for them to keep their positions around Bucharest, because the Romanians were attacking them with Tiger I recently got from Germany.
|Posted by: MMM April 09, 2010 11:27 am|
Where is that mentioned? I've read the book very carefully and I cannot remember such a claim! Could you be more specific, please? (page - or, at least, chapter, as some versions might have other page numbering)
BTW, the name of that historian is Andreas Hillgruber and he was a reputed historian in this particular matter (Romanian-German relationship during WW2). And that book was a reference book on this subject for decades (and still is, as noone did anything else better, or at least similar).
|Posted by: Agarici April 09, 2010 06:49 pm|
| As far as I'm concerned, it's clear that there were no Tigers and Panters delivered by the Germans to the Romanian army. What I was wondering about (and the more narrow scope of my question above) was the source of this myth: were there any planned deliveries, which might have been canceled by the 23 August events?
About possible over-statings, for example Klaus Schonherr in his Luptele Wermachtului in Romania. 1944 (The fightings of Wermacht in Romania. 1944)is mentioning, at page 141, as the main cause for the failure of the German (24-26 August) counter-strike to the Romanian coup the existence, in the North of Bucharest, of Gen. Rozin detachment, including a force of 50 (!) tanks. Isn't this figure rather an exageration?
|Posted by: MMM April 09, 2010 08:44 pm|
| To answer shortly: no, I don't think the Wehrmacht planned to dispense of some of its top tanks to some ally.
And: yes, it seems exagerated; I'll look more into that and follow with a better answer.
|Posted by: Florin April 10, 2010 01:44 am|
I do not have the book with me. My Romanian version of the book is in Bucharest. I read it years ago. That is why I did not remember the name of the German author. However, I am standing behind my claim and I am backing it. For now, if you do not have time to look into the book, consider it an unsettled matter.
|Posted by: Florin April 10, 2010 01:46 am|
They gave few to Hungary in October 1944.
|Posted by: MMM April 10, 2010 05:29 am|
| Right... How many top tanks did they give to their last ally? By October '44, the shortage of fuel was so great that if the Hungarians were going to supply thos tanks by themselves, it was a "gain" for the Wehrmacht...
And these are anyway presumtions - we don't know (and we never will) what did the Germans think back then; we "only" see some of the results, some of the decisions made.
|Posted by: Agarici April 10, 2010 06:58 am|
In terms of potential, a "few" Tigers with well traied crews could make a big difference, especially with proper infantry, artillery of assault aircraft support. Actually on several occasions they've made a difference even without much backing.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 10, 2010 01:43 pm|
according to the magazine Magyar Steel signed Bécze Csaba, on page 36 is written that as a result of the battles waged by the (Hungarian) 2nd Armored Division in April 1944 in SW Ukraine -division which was equipped with tanks Turan I and II- the germans who were impressed by their performance because they knew well the weaknesses of the Turan tanks, gave them, as a compensation for the material losses 12 Pz.IV H, 10 Pz.VI E 'Tiger I' and more StuG III G. The tanks were received in the second half of may 1944. The Tigers were formely with the german 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion. The 3/I Battalion of the Division received the german tanks, the Tigers were partitioned between the 2nd Tank Squadron -Lieutenant Ervin Tarczai and 3rd Tank Squadron -Captain Janos Vedress. The tanks took part in strong battles with the soviet troops in July and August 1944, with only 3 Tigers survive the retreat in the Carpathians -none of the 7 Tigers lost was destroyed by the enemy -all by mechanical failures, fuel shortage and transport problems! Interesting isn't it?
|Posted by: Alexei2102 April 10, 2010 05:12 pm|
The Hungarian Tigers were initially part of Sch PA 503, delivered in May 1944 to Sch PA 509, who gave them to the Hungarian allies.
|Posted by: ANDREAS April 10, 2010 11:25 pm|
| Hallo Alexei2102,
So you say (the source you quoted) that Hungary received 14 Tigers in june 1944? Than where are the other 4? I mean the 2nd Armored Division received 10, according to Csaba Becze, if he's right about that! In any case, at least in this matter, the Hungarian Army was favored by the Germans in summer 1944, compared to the moldavian front where most german armored units were withdrawn (by july 1944) but none didn't leave any tank or SPG to the romanian units. But I am not upset -without that retreat maybe we wouldn't have succeeded in the coup of August 1944!
|Posted by: Florin April 11, 2010 02:51 am|
I intended a short answer for you, but due to the interesting messages posted by "Andreas" and "Alexei2102", it is no need for my answer.
|Posted by: Vakond May 06, 2010 11:50 am|
| Not going in to much details as I guess that we can only speculate at these sightings, the Tiger is an interesting object. Besides being frequently mistaken for various tanks like the PzIV and even T-34/85s, (everythings goes under combat conditions) the German allies and Russians tended to call German tanks "Tigers" for slang. So no matter the version it was called a Tiger. This has apparently caused some troubles for historians reading diaries and such.
The Hungarian Tigers we already know of.
That Romanian units could have attached Tigers from German tank brigades that is hard to find in documents is not impossible as some German units where scattered widely (I have seen units being on two or more places at the same time).
Also at least Russian units of captured Panthers where used on the eastern front and its believed that many more local units with captured German tanks where in action a few days (with no spare parts, limited stack of ammunition and vehicle experience these units is most likely to be used as means of travel then an offensive unit). Especially when the Romanian switched sides and in the German retreat in Hungary where lots of German tanks had to be left, not being destroyed due to the some times hasty retreats, this surely happened. Although we must think of how smart it is to drive an enemy tank in friendly lines .
|Posted by: Dénes May 06, 2010 06:59 pm|
|Posted by: Mita2002 August 31, 2018 03:29 pm|
|I think the info about Romanian Tigers can be found on pages 260 and 261. It is possible that the new tanks were delivered to Romania a few days before August 23rd 1944, being used for a short period of time, before the Soviets "requisitioned" them|