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Comments on the VR 1941 Battle.

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The_Chieftain #1 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 15:48

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The VR/360 battle re-enactment is certainly a cool development in technology, I am curious to see where they go next. In any case, I've been asked to write up a supporting piece on it, so here it is:


Although represented as a 1941 engagement, the astute of you will notice a number of vehicles from a later time period.


The German side is spearheaded by a StuG III and a Panzer III. Both vehicles would have been present for Operation Barbarossa, the German attack into the Soviet Union in 1941.


Starting with the StuG, the vehicle was in effect a derivative of the PzIII Ausf E. Designed to be no taller than a standing man, the vehicle was a 75mm assault gun: A self-propelled, armored artillery piece designed to be used to provide a little more punch to the infantry on the front line. It is a role which continues today with vehicles such as the Stryker MGS. The vehicles were to be crewed by artillerymen, not tankers, though late in the war with supply issues affecting real tanks, this became less of a fast rule.

In any case, Sturmgeschutzen were a mainstay vehicle from the invasion of France through the attack into the Soviet Union. Indeed, the vehicle was so capable that it remained in production through ‘till the end of the war. The variant used in the re-enactment video is an Ausf “G” model, as evidenced by the commander’s cupola. The “F” introduced the longer, anti-tank-capable gun this vehicle mounts, in early 1942. Unsurprisingly, however, few “E” and earlier exist to participate in a re-enactment.


The Panzer III is a fairly convincing replica apparently based on the post-war BMP infantry fighting vehicle. Like many of the German Army’s earlier vehicles, it’s painted dark grey. Entering service in 1939, the PzIII was designed as a well-balanced tank armed with a 37mm gun. It did not take long, however, before the 37mm was found to be insufficient for the task, and replaced with a 5cm /42 starting in 1940 with the Ausf H, and also some late production F and G vehicles. These were the vehicles which invaded the Soviet Union.  Though Hitler had personally instructed the Panzer IIIs to be upgunned with longer 5cm/60 cannons, all the experts said it could not be done. A Fuhrer temper tantrum resulted, until someone could be found who said he could do it. That someone was Direktor Panten, from Alkett. Production of the long 5cm cannon-armed Pz IIIs commenced late 1941 with the later J-model vehicles, and the Ls, which turned out to be fortunate as the longer 5cm guns could more easily deal with the Soviet T-34s that were to be soon encountered.


Three vehicles are easily identifiable on the Soviet side. A destroyed SU-85 is bypassed by the StuG, this vehicle was tank destroyer mounting the Tiger-killing 85mm gun on a T-34 chassis. Unfortunately, this vehicle dates from 1943, but the wreck was on the battlefield the re-enactors used and wasn’t easy to remove.

A counter-attacking BT-7 meets its end next to the wreck of the StuG. This is, of interest, the last operating one in the world. This light tank, a spiritual ancestor of T-34, dated back to 1934, itself a later vehicle in a series begun in 1931. Some 4,500 BT-7s were built by the time production ended in 1939. As a result, the BTs were not an uncommon vehicle to be found on the 1941 Soviet battlefield.  By 1941, however, the vehicle was starting to become obsolescent and very under-armoured, if still dangerous to contemporary pre-war tanks such as Pz III. Feel free to check out the vehicle itself in this Youtube link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA0aV2Lk-ns&list=PLEAEU2gs2Nz8PHEXUHG25ltV4JPDCqxIN


The last vehicle standing is the legendary T-34. Entering service just in time to defend the USSR, the vehicle was actually not very numerous in the Soviet tank inventory during those critical first months. Fairly tough armor, a good gun, and excellent cross-country mobility belied ergonomic issues inside the tank which hindered their full effectiveness, but even hindered, the vehicles were dangerous and capable. Over time, a number of issues were resolved: The 1943 model partaking in this battle has as a signature feature a prominent cupola which provided the overworked commander with at least a reasonable level of visibility around the tank. The distinctive shape to the turret indicates that this vehicle was likely produced in Uralmash, near Yekaterinberg.


Two anti-tank guns also make an appearance.


76.2mm ZiS-3, or more formally, 76mm Divisional Gun M1942, was a towed anti-tank field gun developed by the Soviet Union prior to the outbreak of hostilities with the Germans. The ZiS-3 was held in very high regard in Soviet Service as it could reliably knock out the majority of German armored vehicles with little difficulty. The development of heavier armored tanks, such as Tiger and Panther necessitated a replacement, the D-44. However, the ZiS-3 remained in service throughout the war, as the ZiS-3 could reliably punch through the sides of newer German tanks. It was also considered useful in an indirect fire role.  After World War II, it was pulled from service, and surviving examples were passed on to Soviet-allied nations early in the Cold War. There was an attempt to mount it on a self-propelled gun carriage, the KSP-7, however, it never entered production.


45mm Anti-Tank Gun M1937 was another towed field gun used during the outbreak of hostilities between the Soviet Union and Germany. The M1937 was designed using components from the German 37mm Anti-tank gun, and the two have a very similar appearance.  As early as 1941, the gun had difficulty penetrating the armor of German medium tanks, and assault guns. A year later, an attempt was made to solve this problem with the introduction of Armored Piercing Composite Rigid shells with tungsten carbide cores. These proved very effective, however, expensive to produce. As a result, a newer, higher velocity 45mm gun, the M1942, was developed as a replacement.

jamesdoz #2 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 18:24


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wow if the Game only looked like that,  Very nice work

General_von_Nuben #3 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 19:17

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Victory for Comrade Stalin in glorious name of proletariat, universal worker freedom and grateful Ukrainian agricultural labor!

Defeat for brutal fascist invaders who eat sausage, threaten dream of universal worker solidarity and egalitarian benevolence of Defender of international Workers' Rights, Comrade Stalin!


Colonel_Potter #4 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 19:51

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Expected Indiana Jones to run through the video at some point.  The music reminded me of the Indiana Jones movies.  Anyway, was a great video, fun to watch.  Was more intense than I thought it would be, even though it is a re-enactment.

Hongnut #5 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 20:02


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Now I am looking forward to 360* movie theaters.

Brown_Ale #6 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 20:20


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that is very very cool !!!



thanks WG !!!


keep em coming...

Wazoo117 #7 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 20:25

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that drone shadow though

cavscout_19D #8 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 21:37


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like a bad acid trip.

stalkervision #9 Posted Sep 30 2015 - 23:11


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Very nice indeed

Tracker40 #10 Posted Oct 01 2015 - 01:53


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Nice to see war gaming using the funds they made from its members being used to advance this game.......


Huge waste of funds that could have been used better.

i318Legion #11 Posted Oct 01 2015 - 02:28


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I'm going to be honest, that reminded me soooooooooooo much of Men of War Assault Squad.  At first I thought it was even gameplay of it after some visual editing. Maybe it was the 360 view that did it. I honestly love the game, simply because it combines, artillery, infantry, tanks, anti-tank weaponry, squad tactics and other features very realistically, at least compared to other games of the RTS genre like CoH. You can even direct control tanks and play them like 3rd person world of tanks. I don't know, this reminded me just that much of that game. Also to be noted the game even features several models of the same tanks. An in game example being for the M4 there are the M4A2, M4A4, M4A3, M4, M4 105, M4 76, M4A3R2 Crocodile, M4 Calliope, M4A3E2 Jumbo, M4A3E2 76, M4A3E8, M4A4 tulip, and the M4A4 firefly. Their might be more variants but thats all of the ones that I can recall off of the top of my head.

Edited by i318Legion, Oct 01 2015 - 02:38.

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