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New Zealand 'Schofield Tank' -Ultimate Thread-


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Buck_Rogers #1 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:16

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Right. There have been a few postings about the NZ Schofield tank. All lacked information, high quality pictures, etc. Whether you like this tank or not, you'll leave this thread more informed.


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In 1940, New Zealand was at war, and was faced with possible invasion by Japan. With a can-do attitude, E.J. Schofield, a General Motors dealer from Auckland, and a Mr Anderton submitted an idea to the New Zealand war cabinet for an indigenous armored fighting vehicle. This was to be a wheel cum track tank, that could drive at high speed on road using wheels, and switch to tracks for off road work.

After some wooden prototyping and proof of concept work, on the 19th of August 1940 the War Cabinet gave approval for 2 steel prototypes to be assembled at the GM workshops. Only one was built, with completion in December 1940. This was a clumsy looking affair with engine in front, driver and machine gun turret at rear.

Despite initially good performance, soon a number of flaws were found in the vehicle and the project was nearly abandoned. However, Colonel Watson, then working on the Australian 'Sentinel' Cruiser Tank, was interested in the project, and sent his assistant, Colonel Milner, to inspect the vehicle. Milner listened to the modifications proposed by Schofield and his design team (A. F. Denholm and J. B. Carline) and others associated with the project.

Milner wrote a favorable report of the project, leading to the prospect of a production order of 250 vehicles. Work began on an improved second design. Colonel Milner favored a change in concept from a machine gun armed road tractor to that of a mobile Anti Tank vehicle armed with a 2pdr.

Parts were sourced for the new design from home and abroad. Denholm procured a 2pdr gun from Australia, and a Cletrac differential from the Marmon Harrington Works in the USA. Armor plate was taken from the New Zealand Universal Carrier production line, and the suspension was taken directly from the Universal Carrier.

The second prototype was constructed in December 1942 at NZ Railways' Hutt Valley Works. The transition from tracks to wheels could be accomplished in between 7 and 10 minutes with all four wheels removed and placed on stub carriers on the hull sides when operating on tracks. The engine sat centrally beside the driver, who was on the right. To his left was a position for a co-driver that was to eventually be used to house radio equipment. The turret housing the 2pdr was placed centrally atop the hull, directly over the 42 gallon fuel tank. The two man turret was open topped, and had a co-axial 7.92mm Besa machine gun on the right, and the guns optical device on the left. Ammunition was 52 rounds of 2pdr in racks, and up to 14 boxes of 225 rounds each of 7.92mm. The turret was on a 4ft 4in ring, and was rotated by hand. The vehicle was built entirely of armor plate originally intended for the NZ Universal Carrier production line. Turret armor was 11mm in front, side and rear was 6mm, hull front was 11mm, hull side, rear, and bottom was 6mm, and hull top was 4mm.

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Total operational weight was 6 and 3/4 tons. Ground pressure was 8.75 lb/sq in. 192 links were used in each track. The engine was a 235 cu-in Chevrolet 6-cylinder petrol engine that developed 83.5 hp at 3000 rpm. Transmission was through a Marmon Harrington CTLS-4TA type controlled "Cletrac" differential. Fuel consumption was around 10mpg on wheels, 4mpg on tracks, with road range about 420 miles. Maximum speed on wheels was 50mph, and about 20mph cross country on tracks.

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Despite faults such as engine cooling difficulties, difficulty braking, and a cramped driving compartment, performance was fairly good. On tracks the minimum turning circle was 22ft. On tracks the vehicles dimensions were 12ft 10 and 1/2 in long, 8ft 5 and 3/4in wide, 6ft 8 and 1/2in high, with an 11 inch ground clearance. Crew was to have been a Driver, Gunner, and Commander.

The army considered the vehicle to have fulfilled all the requirements laid down for it, and the vehicle was shipped to the UK for further testing, which revealed instability when firing, especially on the move, as well as minor mechanical defects. It was noted these problems could be remedied.

However, by the time the second prototype had proven itself in 1943, New Zealand was already recieving tanks from abroad. The project faded away, with the second prototype likely being scrapped in the UK after the war.

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Would the Schofield Tank be a good addition to World Of Tanks? Lets talk about it.

The prevailing tactical doctrine behind wheel & track tanks was to use the wheels to traverse roads quickly to get to the area of operations, and then switch to tracks for the actual combat. As such, the fact that wheel & track tanks could switch between modes is irrelevant when it comes to World Of Tanks, because you start already in the area of operation, ready for combat. Thus, a wheel & track tank would only use tracks regardless.

When you look at the pictures, I want to remind you that images of the vehicle running on tracks are all you have to consider. In game, this vehicle, and all other wheel & track tanks (such as the BT tanks, already in game) would run solely on tracks.

Using the Tetrarch as a reference, a vehicle that also has a crew of 3, light armor, and the QF 2pdr gun, I can make these stats:




Schofield Tank (Tier II Light Tank Edit: Or Tier II Tank Destroyer)

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123 Hit Points
6.75 ton weight
83.5 hp Engine Power
30mph (48kph) Speed Limit
?? deg/sec Traverse Speed
11/6/6 Hull Armor(front, sides, rear in mm)
11/6/6 Turret Armor (front, sides, rear in mm)
34-56 Standard Shell Damage
48-80 Standard Shell Penetration (mm)
21.00 Rate Of Fire (rounds/min)
41 Turret Traverse Speed (deg/sec)
400 View Range (m)
545 signal range (m)

Most of those stats come from, or are derived from, the Tetrarch. The Tetrarch has a 2 man hand cranked turret, and is is of very similar size.

The 400 meter view range comes from the Schofield having an open topped turret. It was noted that the tank had a 20mph off-road speed on tracks, but I get the 30mph maximum speed on tracks from the max road speed of a Universal Carrier, which the Schofield used the suspension and tracks from. I don't know what the traverse speed of the vehicle would be, but it was noted its turning circle was 22 feet. That seems pretty tight, so perhaps that indicates good maneuverability.

So... What we have here, is essentially a Tetrarch that sacrifices 10 mph (16kph) of speed, some armor, and around 20 hit points, for much greater view range, and perhaps better maneuverability.

The Tetrarch is already beloved by those who can play it well. I recently got my Ace Tanker badge with it, with a 60% victory ratio, 744 tanks destroyed, 425 games played, 14 top guns, with a maximum of 8 tanks destroyed in battle. It's a very, very fun little tank. The 2pdr is a fabulous tier 2 gun. So, I personally like the idea of the Schofield being in WoT.

Heck, lets make the Schofield a Tank Destroyer while we're at it. It's open topped, right? Add a TDs camo rating to the mix, and you have a Tetrarch that sacrifices some goodies to gain a heap of view range, and a good camo rating. Even if you think the Schofield looks awful, it sounds like in game, it would be a very very fun and sneaky Tier II tank to play.

Fellow Tetrarch drivers, what do you think?

---Buck.

Also: All info and images comes from an old issue of TANKETTE, the M.A.F.V.A. Magazine, mad props to those guys.

Qwertythedog #2 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:20

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It's possible that it will be included in the pan European tree. Or as a Prem. Good suggestion.




















+1

DeathFalcon #3 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:22

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Would be awesome to put that tank on as a premium or limited time offer like the Type 59.
Great for us Kiwis. :Smile-playing:

PanzerHyeena #4 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:43

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it's certainly an interesting little bugger and would be a fun little premium tank for the British.

RRR3 #5 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:44

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Yea it would be a good premium tank, but what would the load limit be? 6.75/7.2 tons?

Zardnaar #6 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:45

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Removed Comment

Please note that Nationalistic Comments are not permitted on the forums.

Thanks,

Major_Rampage

Edited by Major_Rampage, Jun 25 2012 - 18:35.


cccino #7 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:47

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Top speed should be ~30kph.
View range 400m?? Are you crazy? 250-280 is appropriate.
Signal range 545m?? Are you crazy? Again, sub 300.

tmunkee #8 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:48

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Buck -great bit of research! Im also a Kiwi and would love to go flying round Tier 2 battles in this -just need some All Black camo

Gryffen_nz #9 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:51

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It would be great to see a kiwi :Smile_veryhappy:  I would grab one if they added it.

Several_Sins #10 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:57

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View PostBuck_Rogers, on Jun 23 2012 - 06:16, said:

...The transition from tracks to wheels could be accomplished in between 7 and 10 minutes with all four wheels removed and placed on stub carriers on the hull sides when operating on tracks....

Don't think I can last this long on Himms or Ensk without being able to drive :Smile-tongue:

I like the idea though. I'd for sure shell out sea shells from the sea shore for this little guy.

Buck_Rogers #11 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 06:59

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Zardnaar, when people make fun of NZ tanks, they're thinking of the Bob Semple tank, haha, which was more of a scary lawn tractor than a tank. The Schofield, as noted, was designed in part by the people designing the Australian Sentinel Tank, which as I've written about before, was an incredible tank for the time.

Armed with a 2 pounder, the Schofield would have been a match for any Japanese tank that landed on the shores of New Zealand. Just read about the Battle Of Muar, in which 15 or more Japanese tanks were knocked out, mostly by 2 pounder anti-tank guns. If the Schofield was used in a defensive tank-destroyer style, lying in wait, it could have given any of the fielded Japanese tanks quite a pasting.

---Buck.

Edited by Buck_Rogers, Jun 23 2012 - 06:59.


Buck_Rogers #12 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 07:12

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View Postcccino, on Jun 23 2012 - 06:47, said:

Top speed should be ~30kph.
View range 400m?? Are you crazy? 250-280 is appropriate.
Signal range 545m?? Are you crazy? Again, sub 300.

As the tank was designed to travel on wheels when on roads, my research only reveals the off-road track speed, which is 20mph. It's therefore reasonable that the on-road speed on tracks would be greater than the off-road speed on tracks. The Universal Carriers top road speed was 30mph. So, that seems reasonable as an ON-road top speed of the Schofield, if the OFF-road speed was noted to be 20mph.

The Schofield is open topped. The USA T82 has a 385m view range. The M8A1 370m. The Marder II, 402m. The Renault UE 57, 400m. The SU-76, 350m. Most of the open-topped tank destroyers have high view ranges. 350m would still be a nice step up from the Tetrarchs 262m view range.

I stole the signal range from the Tetrarch. As I noted, they're fundamentally similar vehicles, with similar armor, weight, and the same crew, and gun, and even virtually the same ammo capacity for that same gun. So I feel it's justifiable to steal the Tetrarchs admittedly overpowered radio.

---Buck.

Addendum: Every time a wheel & track tank is brought up, you get the people pondering or making fun of the track-to-wheel process. As I said earlier, that's irrelevant. All wheel & track tanks would enter combat using tracks. For the purposes of WoT, the "wheel" aspect of these tanks is to be entirely ignored.

I didn't bother including it in the writeup, but when in testing in Britain the Schofield Tank was considered for the airborne role, presumably because it was light and mounted a capable 2pdr gun. The airborne guys already had the Tetrarch. It's just another reason I feel it justifiable to compare the Schofield with the Tetrarch. They were very, very similar tanks. With just enough differences to make them whole new beasts in World Of Tanks.

Edited by Buck_Rogers, Jun 23 2012 - 09:27.


Myshella #13 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 07:27

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Gimme!

cccino #14 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 11:18

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View PostBuck_Rogers, on Jun 23 2012 - 07:12, said:

The Schofield is open topped. The USA T82 has a 385m view range. The M8A1 370m. The Marder II, 402m. The Renault UE 57, 400m. The SU-76, 350m. Most of the open-topped tank destroyers have high view ranges. 350m would still be a nice step up from the Tetrarchs 262m view range.

Those are all tier 3/4 vehicles. And the Marder is generally considered OP in its tier, at that. Let's look at comparable tier 2 vehicles: PzJ I, 315m. Ren FT AC, 320m. So I think we can meet in the middle at 320m - best for its tier but not among the best in the game as originally suggested.

I've no idea why the Tetrarch has such an enormous radio range, but I don't think it should be used as the basis.

mudfart #15 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 11:24

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bring it!

DeathStallion #16 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 11:30

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View PostZardnaar, on Jun 23 2012 - 06:45, said:

NZ sux. I have it on good authority ppl from NZ suck at tanks.

There is absolute no need for that.
We may not build the best tanks and we may not have the best equipment compared to other countries.
But we tried. We Tried. because we wanted New Zealand to be a safe country and not to be threatened by others.
Today we are a Nuclear Free Country .. Where its safe and  you do not have to think that we could be under attack in the very next minute.

So think before writing about how we cannot make tanks and you apparently have Authority.

Yours Truly & Proud Kiwi.
-DeathStallion

Buck_Rogers #17 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 11:32

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View Postcccino, on Jun 23 2012 - 11:18, said:

Those are all tier 3/4 vehicles. And the Marder is generally considered OP in its tier, at that. Let's look at comparable tier 2 vehicles: PzJ I, 315m. Ren FT AC, 320m. So I think we can meet in the middle at 320m - best for its tier but not among the best in the game as originally suggested.

I've no idea why the Tetrarch has such an enormous radio range, but I don't think it should be used as the basis.

You're completely right. A 320 meter view range is more logical. If it were a premium, I do believe that number could be bumped up a bit. But you're right, I was plugging in higher tier numbers.

For most maps the Tetrarchs radio range is needlessly huge. I would be ok with downgrading that range. As I said, it's admittedly overpowered. If it were offered as a premium however, the similarities between the Tetrarch and Schofield would make some wonder why one got a better radio than the other.

I'm not going to cave on the speed, but I do agree with the View and Signal range issues. Even with those "nerfs" I think the ugly little thing could be a pretty fierce Tier II combatant.

---Buck.

cccino #18 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 12:03

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With no armour it probably needs more speed anyway.

Zardnaar #19 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 13:09

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View PostDeathStallion, on Jun 23 2012 - 11:30, said:

There is absolute no need for that.
We may not build the best tanks and we may not have the best equipment compared to other countries.
But we tried. We Tried. because we wanted New Zealand to be a safe country and not to be threatened by others.
Today we are a Nuclear Free Country .. Where its safe and  you do not have to think that we could be under attack in the very next minute.

So think before writing about how we cannot make tanks and you apparently have Authority.

Yours Truly & Proud Kiwi.
-DeathStallion

You do realise ima from NZ lol?

DeathStallion #20 Posted Jun 23 2012 - 22:05

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View PostZardnaar, on Jun 23 2012 - 13:09, said:

You do realise ima from NZ lol?

No i did not. Doesn't that just make it worse to say we suck at building tanks..