Monday, February 15, 2010

When the Guns Blared...

When the Guns Blared...: In late 1942, the German Army (Das Heer) introduced the Tiger I (Panzer VI) tank. It was the German Army's answer to the Red Army's infamous T-34, which roamed the Eastern Front during Operation Barbarossa. As a heavy tank, the Tiger's armor represented one of its most formidable aspects. Likewise, the tank's 88mm gun also instilled great fear in the Allies. Yet due to the Tiger's nearly impregnable armor, it was rather slow when compared to the U.S. Army's M4 Sherman. Another downside related to its heavy armor was the snail-like pace of the tank's production capacity. But the Tiger signified a quintessentially German tank. Its assembly process followed the business paradigm of quality over quantity; unlike the Americans who pursued the exact opposite paradigm. In its first years of operation, the Tiger scored big gains as it advanced across the Eastern Front deep into the Soviet Union. At the same time, the German Army created reserve (mechanized) divisions in France to help fortify the Western Front. Ultimately, the Allies overwhelmed the Germans with superior productive capabilities, and thus, ended the myth of invincibility that surrounded the Tiger.

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