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Panther's final drives


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Poll: Panther's final drives (57 members have cast votes)

Was the weak final drive on Panther medium tank variant ever solved?

  1. Never solved (38 votes [66.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  2. Solved on late models (7 votes [12.28%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.28%

  3. Unknown (12 votes [21.05%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.05%

Was the weak final drive problem ever solved on specialist types? (JagdPanther, BergePanther)

  1. It was never solved (20 votes [35.09%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 35.09%

  2. It was solved on late JP's / BP's (19 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  3. Unknown (18 votes [31.58%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.58%

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collimatrix #21 Posted Aug 10 2014 - 22:18

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Similar comments apply to the E-series suspension.

 

Making tank suspension out of metal frisbees is cool and all, and probably cheaper and easier than torsion bars in some ways.

 

However, if you're having trouble making torsion bars you shouldn't be worried about how to make tanks that don't need torsion bars.  You should be worried about the quickest way to offer surrenders terms to the Western allies.



Meplat #22 Posted Aug 10 2014 - 22:41

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Oh, that belleville spring system.  Like I mentioned in another thread- "They make a fantastic mess when they fail". Loads of little crunchy bits.

shapeshifter #23 Posted Aug 11 2014 - 02:55

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Near the very end the Panther's supposedly had it improved or was supposed to.

 

 

Jagdpanther's had it applied for sure. and I have a source that says Bergepanther's had it done as well, which makes sense considering they not only had to pull their own weight but the weight of whatever broken tank etc they were towing.


Edited by shapeshifter, Aug 11 2014 - 02:57.


Anlushac11 #24 Posted Aug 11 2014 - 04:26

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Panther as designed was supposed to get a double planetary final drive. Between drawing board to production line it was decided to use spur gears which was a very bad choice. Even a single helical gear would have been a better choice.

 

Most info I have read said the Final drive problem was never fixed but reliability was improved.

 

 


Edited by Anlushac11, Aug 11 2014 - 04:27.


Zinegata #25 Posted Aug 11 2014 - 05:06

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It's hard to say if the improvements really helped though. In Normandy half of the Panthers recovered by the US Army apparently had broken final drives.

shapeshifter #26 Posted Aug 11 2014 - 05:09

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Probably as they never got around to introducing them on the panther's as the war ended before it could happen. The first production runs probably went to the Jagdpanther's due to the increased weight and the Bergepanther's for the load they had to pull.

 

And they did help quite a bit on the Jagdpanther's as groups that had them issued attested. 35 km with the old version and 400 - 500 km with the new one is a huge improvement.


Edited by shapeshifter, Aug 11 2014 - 05:11.


Zinegata #27 Posted Aug 11 2014 - 05:13

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I'm not too convinced that the Jagdpanthers were any better. The sole Jagdpanther battalion in Normandy still lost more vehicles to breakdown than to combat (essentially, four verified combat losses - and everything else broke down).

 

That said, we're talking about mid-1944. There's still another batch of Panthers that came out with the ill-fated "Panzer Brigades" which contested the US advance (and these Panthers were, in a word, massacred, so we can't really say if the final drive was still an issue); and a final big batch of Panthers at the Bulge who mainly died because their generals didn't even issue enough gas for them.



shapeshifter #28 Posted Aug 11 2014 - 05:19

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They were still building Jagdpanthers with the standard drive, and that was all they had when they started to build them it was not until towards the very end of 1944 they started to introduce them. Knowing how the production line's were setup for german armor etc (no mass production like how the US did things for example) And when you look at examples like the Panzer IV when they wanted a change made they would start to slowly introduce it over time while first using up existing stock of older parts. Why you often see late IV's with older style cupolas or Turret's themselves etc.

Lert #29 Posted Aug 11 2014 - 13:53

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View Postshapeshifter, on Aug 11 2014 - 05:19, said:

Why you often see late IV's with older style cupolas or Turret's themselves etc.

Which in itself is heaven for modelers like me, you can really go wild on mixing and matching early and late parts and nobody can say that that never happened.

 

</off topic>



LeuCeaMia #30 Posted Aug 12 2014 - 02:51

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View Postshapeshifter, on Aug 11 2014 - 12:19, said:

They were still building Jagdpanthers with the standard drive, and that was all they had when they started to build them it was not until towards the very end of 1944 they started to introduce them. Knowing how the production line's were setup for german armor etc (no mass production like how the US did things for example) And when you look at examples like the Panzer IV when they wanted a change made they would start to slowly introduce it over time while first using up existing stock of older parts. Why you often see late IV's with older style cupolas or Turret's themselves etc.

 

Actually it's because the Germans were last in, first out. They use up the newer parts first since they often bury the older versions. Due to this when there is a lapse or shortage of a certain new part they anachronistically incorporate older parts in a later mark of vehicle.

 

From: Page 12 of Tiger I Heavy Tank 1942-45 by Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle

Block Quote

In some cases, it took several months to have a new modification incorporated on all new production Tigers, largely due to 'first in, last out' tendencies. This resulted from stockpiles of older parts being covered or buried by deliveries of newer parts which were therefore used first.

 

From: Page 18 of Kingtiger Heavy Tank 1942-45 by Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle

Block Quote

An example of this phenomenon is shown with two Tiger IIs now present in museums. The Tiger II (Fgst.Nr. 280101, produced in July 1944) now at the Panzer Museum in Munster, Germany, has a turret number 280110 which was mounted close to the correct sequence. However, the Tiger II (Fgst.Nr. 280243, produced in September 1944) belonging to the Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen has turret number 280093, which should have been mounted on a Tiger II produced three months earlier. (No, it wasn't changed after capture, the correct number are on the original turret serial number plate.)

 

 



shapeshifter #31 Posted Aug 12 2014 - 04:39

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production on new parts must have been slow as hell then, you see some really odd combos of parts on some tanks.

collimatrix #32 Posted Aug 12 2014 - 07:13

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Production wasn't slow exactly; it was irregular.

 

German production in WWII was very distributed.  For instance, the hull of the panther was built by MAN, but the turret was built by Rheinmetall.  Various other components were built by other firms.

This was good and bad.  It made it hard to completely stop production of anything with strategic bombing; you usually only nailed a single subcontractor, unless you were lucky enough to nail the final assembly site.  On the other hand, production could be held up by any of dozens of companies if they were running behind schedule.

There were several instances where production shortfalls occurred because of production mismatches between different firms.  The STG-44 rifle, for instance, had a receiver made of a milled insert spot-welded inside of a stamped shell.  There were many times in early production where stockpiles of thousands of stamped shells were just sitting around waiting for the milled inserts to arrive.



CaptianNemo_VA_ #33 Posted Aug 13 2014 - 01:33

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View Postcollimatrix, on Aug 11 2014 - 23:13, said:

Production wasn't slow exactly; it was irregular.

 

German production in WWII was very distributed.  For instance, the hull of the panther was built by MAN, but the turret was built by Rheinmetall.  Various other components were built by other firms.

This was good and bad.  It made it hard to completely stop production of anything with strategic bombing; you usually only nailed a single subcontractor, unless you were lucky enough to nail the final assembly site.  On the other hand, production could be held up by any of dozens of companies if they were running behind schedule.

There were several instances where production shortfalls occurred because of production mismatches between different firms.  The STG-44 rifle, for instance, had a receiver made of a milled insert spot-welded inside of a stamped shell.  There were many times in early production where stockpiles of thousands of stamped shells were just sitting around waiting for the milled inserts to arrive.


This is actually very true. German production was distributed and at the same time it was NOT distributed.

 

For instance the steering boxes for the Tiger II basically all came from one location. Now all of the parts for that box might have come from several sub-contractors but the box was put together in one place and was then shipped to the assembly plant.

 

As for the Panther gearbox I have heard that the problem of not going with the was a combination of resources and time.

 

By resources, a lack of a large enough supply of helical gear cutting equipment such that the Panther could be mass produced. And that it would have taken longer per set of gears to cut it in a helical gear fashion rather then straight cut. Which, having messed around with a lath, I see their point. Which is where the issue of time comes in. Although even time is a moot point if you don't have the ability to cut enough gears to equal the needs of production requirements.

 

Which brings me to a question I never did find an answer to... One that really, at the end of the day, is at the heart of the matter of the Panther and its final drive... Why didn't the Germans just build/make more helical gear cutting equipment?

=====

There is also another option for why the final drive was such a problem and it is related to the HL 230. When the HL 230 entered mass production the Germans skimped on how many parts and the quality of those parts (big end bearings and the number of bearings supporting the crankshaft come to mind) and soon after entering production they had to add in parts to increase reliability.

 

Is it possible that this also occurred in the Panther transmissions?


Edited by CaptianNemo_VA_, Aug 13 2014 - 01:42.


Anlushac11 #34 Posted Aug 13 2014 - 03:18

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Allies cut off Germany's access to raw materials by making deals with Spain, Portugal, and Sweden, and blockading any shipping from reaching German ports.

 

Thats why PzGr.40 was in such short supply, because most production of PzGr.40 rounds and their Tungsten penetrators were cut back drastically to free Tungsten for gear cutting and machine tools.

 

. IIRC only 50mm PzGr.40 was kept in production because Germany still had so many PAK 38's and PzIII's with 50mm that removing PzGr.40 would have crippled their effectiveness.


Edited by Anlushac11, Aug 13 2014 - 03:28.


CaptianNemo_VA_ #35 Posted Aug 13 2014 - 03:36

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Tungsten was a problem from day one and from shell inventory reports from 1940 they never had a lot of the tungsten rounds to begin with.

Edited by CaptianNemo_VA_, Aug 13 2014 - 03:36.


Anlushac11 #36 Posted Aug 14 2014 - 02:04

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Seems the Commieboos cant stand it when people post facts

 

Portugal:

 

 

Quote

Portugal’s economic success hinged on its rich wolfram ore deposits. The Nazis were totally dependent on Portugal and Spain for its wolfram supplies. Wolfram or tungsten has a variety of uses including its use as the filament in light bulbs. However, it was of particular value in producing war munitions. Germany’s machining industry used tungsten carbide almost exclusively, whereas the U.S. was still largely using inferior molybdenum tipped tools, primarily because of the cartel agreement GE held with Krupp concerning carboloy or cemented tungsten carbide. Additionally, tungsten was useful in armor piercing munitions. Britain and the U.S. agreed that Germany’s minimum requirements for wolfram were 3,500 tons per year.

 

Considering the quantity the Nazis required and the extraordinary means they went to insure supplies of the ore, the Allies correctly surmised that for the Nazis wolfram was a vital resource. It was equally important to the Allies, but the Allies were not solely dependent upon Portugal or Spain and could obtain wolfram from other sources. Thus, one of the allied goals was to deprive Nazi Germany of as much wolfram ore as possible. In this end, the Allies bought as much wolfram as possible from Portugal. The competition for the ore was intense and by 1943, to Portugal’s benefit, the price of ore had increased 775 percent over pre-war rates. Production also soared from 2,419 metric tons in 1938 to 6,500 tons in 1942.

 

 

Quote

By April 1944, the U.S. decided to use economic sanctions to induce Portugal to cut off the Nazi’s supply of wolfram. Portugal was dependent upon the U.S. for petroleum and other products. On June 5, 1944, the Allies pressed Portugal to cease wolfram shipments to Germany

 

 

Spain:

 

 

Quote

The Nazis also acquired zinc, lead, mercury, fluorspar, celestite, mica, and amlygonite from Spain. However, wolfram was the most vital as Spain was one of two suppliers of this ore to Germany. Spanish flagged ships were used to smuggle goods from South America to the Nazis. The Allied blockade was effective in eliminating bulk items but small items, such as industrial diamonds or platinum, which serves as a catalyst in the production of nitrates and sulfuric acid, made up the bulk of the smuggling trade.

Allied trade with Spain had three main objectives. The first objective was to obtain needed goods that were not readily available elsewhere. Secondly, by purchasing vital materials from Spain, the Allies could deny the Nazis a source for these materials. Finally, by conducting trade in materials needed by the Spanish economy, the Allies sought to lessen the influence of Germany on Spain. Efforts to achieve this policy began in March 1940, by Britain when it signed a six month agreement to provide Spain with certain materials it needed, such as petroleum products and fertilizer, in return for iron ore, other minerals, and citrus fruit. The agreement was renewed every six months throughout the war. In May 1943, due to the smuggling of materials into Spain for the Nazis, the US started a program to buy up the sources of these materials in South America

However, the real competition in trade with Spain was for wolfram ore. Unlike Portugal, which had a quota system, Spain relied on an open market for wolfram. The open market provided an edge to the Allies with their better access to hard currency. By 1941, Germany had developed most of Spain’s wolfram mines and controlled the largest producer through SOFINDUS. In 1941, the Nazis acquired almost all of the wolfram ore produced. England had only managed to purchase 32 tons. Starting early in 1942, England and the US started a unified program to buy up as much of the ore as possible. The program caused mines' output to nearly double production from the previous year. Production had increased to nearly 2000 tons and the price had risen from $75 a ton to $16,800. In June, Spain set a minimum price of $16,380 per ton, which included a $4,546 export tax. In an effort to better compete with the Nazis, the Allies set up their own dummy corporate front to purchase the ore and in 1942 purchased roughly half of the ore.

In December 1942, under pressure from the Nazis, Spain signed a new trade agreement with Germany with more explicit quotas. The agreement soon fell apart with both sides blaming the other for the failure. In February 1943, Spain signed a secret agreement with Germany to replace the failed agreement. In the agreement, Germany agreed to provide Spain with armaments at cost. However, during the negotiations the Nazis had at first demanded a 400 percent markup on the weapons. The Nazis, desperate for wolfram and Spanish pesetas, had to relent to Spain’s demand of weapons for cost. After the war, the Nazi negotiator noted that the talks were strained and difficult. In August 1942, Spain had reached agreement with the Nazis to pay back its debt from the Civil War in four installments, in which the Nazis would use, the money to purchase wolfram. During 1943, Germany purchased roughly 35 percent of the total production of wolfram. Total mine production of wolfram in Spain was roughly 4 to 5 times the production of 1940.

In January 1944, after the British Ambassador, Sir Samuel Hoare, met with Franco in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Spain to suspend wolfram sales to the Nazis, the Allies imposed an oil embargo on Spain. On May 2, Spain agreed to limit the export of wolfram to Germany to 580 tons 300 tons had already been delivered. The agreement cut German exports to roughly half of the previous year. However, due to smuggling, captured documents show that Germany managed to purchase a total of 865.6 tons. Spain’s exports of wolfram to Germany ended in August 1944, when the border was closed

 

Sweden was a major supplier or Coal and Iron ore to Nazi Germany.


Edited by Anlushac11, Aug 14 2014 - 03:40.


FISSION_CURES_ANIME #37 Posted Aug 14 2014 - 02:46

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View PostAnlushac11, on Aug 13 2014 - 20:04, said:

Seems the Commieboos cant stand it when people post facts

 

 

It's spelled comieboo you dingus.

 

 

Also, you have a source for those quotes?

Here, I'll help everybody out. I copy pasted some text from his quotes into google;

 

https://www.google.c...ox-a&channel=sb

https://www.google.c...ox-a&channel=sb

 

 


Edited by LostCosmonaut, Aug 14 2014 - 02:46.


Anlushac11 #38 Posted Aug 14 2014 - 03:03

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Doesnt change the fact that Portugal and Spain were supplying Tungsten and that Sweden was supplying Iron Ore and Coal.

 

Apparently pointing that out is cause for neg rep

 

 


Edited by Anlushac11, Aug 14 2014 - 03:05.


Zinegata #39 Posted Aug 14 2014 - 03:13

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The issue isn't that Germany had no access to rare materials - they did through roundabout ways like the neutral transhipping already mentioned.

 

The issue is that German steel had been on ersatz mode since 1938; since the supply of rares was always inconsistent (ever since the German currency essentially went North Korea and it was no longer honored in Britain, America, or France).

 

German metallurgy, to be fair, was very good at making steel out of normally crappy ores - which is why Germany outproduced the Soviets 3-to-1 in steel.

 

The real problem is that German AFV weights nearly doubled during the war, and that simply isn't something that the ersatz steel could handle very well. Even if you might have some batches of decent steel, the supply of rares to make consistently good steel was never there.


Edited by Zinegata, Aug 14 2014 - 03:15.


Daigensui #40 Posted Aug 14 2014 - 05:28

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The main issue in all of this is that Germany never had the amount of materials necessary to keep up production once the war started. 




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