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Question about german tracks


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Lert #1 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:28

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The early panzers all had tracks where each link consisted of two pieces, the track link itself and the connector pin:


 

(Pz III / Pz IV track)

(Pz III / Pz IV track)

 

However, the Tiger II used a more elaborate track design, where each track link itself consisted of two articulated pieces; a flat 'connector link' plate and a U shaped 'contact shoe' piece with the actual treads as well as the guide horn:

 

 

Or, a Lert-made MSPaint sketch of those two separated and seen from the side:

 

 

Here is another picture of an assembled 'set':

 

 

And a close-up of a length of KT track where you can see the individual pieces:

 

 

Now, my questions:

 

Why did they move to such an elaborate system, requiring twice the components, thus twice the logistical load? Wouldn't it be easier to just stick with a single link type track system?

 

 



Abject_McDeath #2 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:32

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im thinking weight load...

Daigensui #3 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:32

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Perhaps using Schachtellaufwerk has something to do with this?

CallMeBoog #4 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:32

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Simple, because the moustache man couldn't make a decent decision to save his life, literally.  I suppose the latter design may have had more traction, or been more stable (harder to break?)

Lert #5 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:34

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View PostAbject_McDeath, on Oct 23 2014 - 20:32, said:

im thinking weight load...

 

I fail to see how a set of single-link-type tracks with the same contact surface would affect weight load ...

 

View PostDaigensui, on Oct 23 2014 - 20:32, said:

Perhaps using Schachtellaufwerk has something to do with this?

 

That's just the in-out-in-out overlapping road wheels, not the actual track design.

 

View PostCallMeBoog, on Oct 23 2014 - 20:32, said:

Simple, because the moustache man couldn't make a decent decision to save his life, literally.

 

I strongly doubt Hitler himself gave order for the dual-link-piece tracks, but I've been wrong before. Seems to me he'd be more concerned how much armor and how much gun is on the tonk.



Huey_Long #6 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:37

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People you just can't do something simply here. You should know that. :P

SunnyKim #7 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:37

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because german

their engines were the same way... overly complicated works of engineering. Some even had two piece engine cases and such if i remember right. Just one more thing that stalled the germans. they just have to over engineer the hell out of everything and they still do as where russians make things that are simple and crude but are meant to take abuse and work through everything, which, turns out, is a better option when going to war

 

im sure they had some technical reasoning behind it but it probly wasnt worth the trouble

 


Edited by SunnyKim, Oct 23 2014 - 20:39.


fadingtheory #8 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:40

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The Tiger II's track 'teeth' (The thing on the inside that keeps the track centered) appear to be considerably long then the Panzer's.  My guess would be that because of the length, there needed to be a gap between them so they wouldn't bump into each other when they were being flexed over the outer wheels.

 

EDIT:  The only other thing i can think of is that some of the German engineers had a boner for complexity.  But that doesn't seem right.


Edited by fadingtheory, Oct 23 2014 - 20:42.


Lert #9 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:40

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View PostSunnyKim, on Oct 23 2014 - 20:37, said:

 

their engines were the same way... overly complicated works of engineering.

 

Yes, but they never did anything without a reason. No matter how stupid the reason itself, they had one. And that's what I want to find out. 'Because german' doesn't answer jack wasteproduct.

 

View Postfadingtheory, on Oct 23 2014 - 20:40, said:

The Tiger II's track 'teeth' (The thing on the inside that keeps the track centered) appear to be considerably long then the Panzer's.  My guess would be that because of the length, there needed to be a gap between them so the wouldn't bump into each other when they were being flexed over the outer wheels.

 

The guide horns. Also, that actually sounds plausible.



stugger #10 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:42

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Just from the top view (which is all we have here) the KT tracks look much beefier than the Panzer tracks, so I'd say weight load was what they were after, with a focus on spreading the shear forces evenly.  Also the connector links look like they would be the first point of failure, which means your spare parts lists would largely consist of connector links and the associated pins, which a small amount of contact shoes.  Which means the logistics would not have been as big of a nightmare that you are thinking it would be.

 

Also, the design itself is fairly simple still, just the actual layout of the track is a little more elaborate.



Lert #11 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:45

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View Poststugger, on Oct 23 2014 - 20:42, said:

Just from the top view (which is all we have here) the KT tracks look much beefier than the Panzer tracks

 

Yeah, the KT ones are just about double the width of the Pz IV ones, if my model kits are accurate in scale.

 

Your explanation also makes a measure of sense.

 

I'd still like to see actual sources (I'm sure I'm not the first one ever to wonder this) or maybe the Chieftain weigh in on this though.

 

PS: The Pz IV ones are already pretty beefy:

 

(not me, picture found on teh intarwebs)



Blizzard36 #12 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:48

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Early war German tracks allowed higher road speeds, but had problems with detracking themselves if they made a quick turn at those speeds and poor offroad performance due to the high ground pressure. I would assume that the later more complicated design was part of the solution to those problems. You can see how the later tracks allow a greater ground coverage for the same width, which helps with the ground pressure problem. The more complicated interlocking probably also helped keep the tracks from slipping as much in maneuvers.

I don't know for sure, but that's my guess.

CallMeBoog #13 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:50

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View PostLert, on Oct 23 2014 - 11:34, said:

 

I strongly doubt Hitler himself gave order for the dual-link-piece tracks, but I've been wrong before. Seems to me he'd be more concerned how much armor and how much gun is on the tonk.

 

Well, that was a joke, but OK

 

I honestly agree it could have been weight load or durability, despite the complexity it might have held together better.



ArIskandir #14 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:53

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View Postfadingtheory, on Oct 23 2014 - 14:40, said:

The Tiger II's track 'teeth' (The thing on the inside that keeps the track centered) appear to be considerably long then the Panzer's.  My guess would be that because of the length, there needed to be a gap between them so they wouldn't bump into each other when they were being flexed over the outer wheels.

 

 

Yup, if given the needed separation, a single piece would be too wide to fold properly at the end wheels. Also, you use less material by only 1 in 2 pieces having "teeth".

stugger #15 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:54

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View PostLert, on Oct 23 2014 - 13:45, said:

 

PS: The Pz IV ones are already pretty beefy:

 

True although the weight difference between the two tanks is pretty big, IIRC the Panzer IV is approximately 25 tonnes while the Tiger II is 68 tonnes.

 

Edit: I'm fairly certain that it is due to not only the size of the tank but the dimensions (of the track) as well. Size the Tiger II is much heavier and had a wider track, and likely the weight and shear forces were likely too great for a single link type of track at that thickness.

 

At that point you have two options as far as I can think of, either make the tracks thicker (increased manufacturing load) which can only be done to such a point or design a different track setup (increased logistics load).  Since the tracks are already pretty thick then designing a dual link style of tracks to handle the expected forces would be necessary.


Edited by stugger, Oct 23 2014 - 21:14.


NutrientibusMeaGallus #16 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 20:56

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 Making two sections with the same overall length as the larger ones... Less stress on each piece and each pin, and extra flexibility for going over obstacles and not breaking a big track link? Less likely to get hung up? More movement in the pieces to throw more mud out of them? Maybe it was easier to manufacture two smaller pieces than one big one as well? 

  Also just occurred to me.. Much heavier tank, less weight is spread on each track link when they're smaller? Probably has everything to do with weight distribution and not prematurely breaking or wearing out the individual links..


Edited by NutrientibusMeaGallus, Oct 23 2014 - 21:00.


fadingtheory #17 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 21:03

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Additional thought - after the Panzer IV, Germany switched to 'slack tracks,' or unsupported tracks.  Perhaps this switch was partially responsible?  Perhaps a mechanical limitation due to the size of the tank? The Maus used this track type as well.


Edited by fadingtheory, Oct 23 2014 - 21:03.


Lert #18 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 21:05

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Panther based tanks used single-link-type tracks, though. Not sure about Tiger I.

fadingtheory #19 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 21:24

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View PostLert, on Oct 23 2014 - 16:05, said:

Panther based tanks used single-link-type tracks, though. Not sure about Tiger I.

 

Some further digging seems to indicate that the design was originally introduced by Henschel on the King Tiger.

 

This site claims that the links were actually, in later productions, switch back to solid links due to issues with de-tracking.  It does not say why they were chosen initially.

 

http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=247

 

militaryfactory.com

 Production Changes

 

...The drive sprocket was redesigned to showcase just nine teeth as opposed to the original's eighteen.  Track connection links were revised as solid over the original's flexible component to help minimize the tracks jumping off of the drive sprocket. In January of 1945... Tracks were changed from from a double-link design to a single-link, bringing back the original 19-spike drive sprockets as a result.  Only a few production Tiger IIs featured the single-link track arrangement before the Tiger II facility was overrun by the Americans.

 

Not really clear on the why's of the original double-link though.

 

Not sure if its appropriate, but I'm going to PM The Chieftain, because I'm actually pretty curious myself at this point.

 

EDIT:  I really need to pay more attention to where these threads are posted when I get to it from the front page.


Edited by fadingtheory, Oct 23 2014 - 21:25.


SunnyKim #20 Posted Oct 23 2014 - 21:31

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hey lert you waste product drinking sausage goblin

 

here you go


http://www.panzer-mo...n_der_tiger.pdf






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