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Battle For Köln: Anatomy Of A Tank Duel

I have seen disjointed snippets of footage before, but never assembled together in a cogent storyline.  The result, an anatomy of a tank duel.



Having visited Cologne a few times, I am familiar with the cityscape, and have walked the very same street corners before.  Now that they have been identiied... if I ever go back to that city, I shall never experience it the same.

7 Comments


  I had seen some of this footage before, but not all strung together like this. Thanks for posting this.

  One wonders if the Panther might have had a better chance at survival if it hadn't been taken in flank. That frintal armour, sloped at the angle it is, might have been more proof against the Pershing's 90mm gun, although I guess we'll never know for certain.

 
 
I'm amazed, given the flames already present when the German t/c was un-assing the tank, that anyone else in that Panther crew survived.
 
Wow.  Fascinating.  I too have seen that clip a dozen times but never knew the story.  Agree, Koln will be different next time.  Check out the researcher's website, he has posted a walking tour of the battle!  Many of the buildings in the photos are still there.
 
The part that amazed me was the way you could actually see the fire burning through the holes punched in the side-armour of the Panther.

Hats off to those who fought, those who died, and those who survived.

 

War is Hell.

B

 
I knew this one too, but always thought that the panther's barrel was aimed at the shermans and that the pershing hit it from the rear. what you are seeing is actually the panther crew realizing one split second to late that the other tank is an american. the pershing fired on the move, which was not according to doctrine i believe. fast thinking from the pershing gunner!
 
eric,

The Pershing was the first US tank fitted with a stabilized main gun.  Admittedly, the stabilization wasn't much compared with what we see these days, but it did give the gunner a reasonable chance of hitting a stationary or nearly stationary target from a moving tank.  So firing on the move was not an unreasonable response under the circumstances.
 
 I do believe the 90mm gun had enough power that it would punch through a Tiger 1,  per Belton Coopers book.  If it would defeat the Tigers armor it will definitely defeat the Panthers, even sloped the Panthers armor was nothing compared to the Tiger.  I think the German got it right on some of they're tank designs with a good if not excellent balance of Offense=cannon and Defense=armor.