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If Germany only used Panzer IV tanks instead pf building Tigers and Panthers


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GAJohnnie #41 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 15:47

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View PostJarms48, on Oct 12 2016 - 06:40, said:

 

I'm sure the Germans in 1939 and 1940 could have said a similar thing to the Polish, the Netherlands, and Belgium. "Say hello to Porsche, and Maybach! You resisted against our invasion, what were you thinking?" Lol. :P

 

Except for the obvious difference of starting a war you cannot win rather then resisting a war foisted on you by a madman and his followers.

Tjtod #42 Posted Oct 12 2016 - 18:56

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Also crew training, on the right platform. A vehicle's effectiveness can be greatly reduced if the crew doesn't have proper training. IIRC, Robert Forczyk in the book Panzerjager vs KV-1, mentions the KV-1 being less effective when it was introduced because of lack of driver training in the KV-1.

Zinegata #43 Posted Oct 13 2016 - 03:37

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View PostJarms48, on Oct 12 2016 - 19:40, said:

 

I'm sure the Germans in 1939 and 1940 could have said a similar thing to the Polish, the Netherlands, and Belgium. "Say hello to Porsche, and Maybach! You resisted against our invasion, what were you thinking?" Lol. :P

 

The thing is the German tanks which actually worked well during this campaign and all the way to the end of the war was the Mk III - which was a Daimler-Benz design and who by all accounts were the only company honest enough to tell Hitler "we can't meet these unrealistic deadlines" while everyone else tripped over themselves and said "Yes Sir the Panther can be ready by July 1943!" to get the big money contracts despite the delivered Panthers having the small flaw called "sometimes setting themselves on fire even outside of combat". 

 

More importantly the trucks that kept the invasions going (all the way to the end of the war too) were from Opel - which was a subsidiary of General Motors.

 

Porsche and most especially MAN/Maybach in fact had a pretty crummy track record when it came to making tanks and trucks. The MAN design which participated in these campaigns for instance - the Mk II - were largely overshadowed by the Skoda 35t and 38t tanks. There were in fact big differences in quality among the different tank-makers.



Jarms48 #44 Posted Oct 13 2016 - 07:53

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View PostGAJohnnie, on Oct 13 2016 - 00:47, said:

Except for the obvious difference of starting a war you cannot win rather then resisting a war foisted on you by a madman and his followers.

 

It was just a joke, mate. :)

yereverluvinunclebert #45 Posted Oct 13 2016 - 11:13

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Anlushac11 #46 Posted Oct 16 2016 - 02:07

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View PostZinegata, on Oct 12 2016 - 21:37, said:

 

The thing is the German tanks which actually worked well during this campaign and all the way to the end of the war was the Mk III - which was a Daimler-Benz design and who by all accounts were the only company honest enough to tell Hitler "we can't meet these unrealistic deadlines" while everyone else tripped over themselves and said "Yes Sir the Panther can be ready by July 1943!" to get the big money contracts despite the delivered Panthers having the small flaw called "sometimes setting themselves on fire even outside of combat". 

 

More importantly the trucks that kept the invasions going (all the way to the end of the war too) were from Opel - which was a subsidiary of General Motors.

 

Porsche and most especially MAN/Maybach in fact had a pretty crummy track record when it came to making tanks and trucks. The MAN design which participated in these campaigns for instance - the Mk II - were largely overshadowed by the Skoda 35t and 38t tanks. There were in fact big differences in quality among the different tank-makers.

 

Ironic that Daimler Benz considered the Panzer III a failure. Daimler never wanted to use torsion bar suspension, they were forced to. In Daimler Benz's opinion the torsion bar suspension in the PzIII gave a good cross country ride but it took up too much room inside, was more difficult to repair, and according to Daimler Benz Germany could not make a good enough shock absorber to properly dampen pitching. The shock absorber problem also negatively effected its stability as a gun platform and was one of the reasons why the design could never handle more than the short 75mm L/24. Daimler had actually drawn up a leaf spring suspension with 680mm roadwheels to replace the torsion bar system. 

 

The Panzer IIIK which we know as attempt to fit a PzIV-F2 turret on a PzIII hull was a success as far as operability and function but it failed miserably in gun firing tests where the vehicle was found to be very unstable.

 

IMHO Germany should have adapted PzIV leaf spring suspension to the PzIII hull. It did not offer a increase in load carrying but it would have standardized on one suspension design and probably would have helped with the stability problems.



Legiondude #47 Posted Oct 16 2016 - 02:19

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View PostAnlushac11, on Oct 15 2016 - 19:07, said:

 

The Panzer IIIK which we know as attempt to fit a PzIV-F2 turret on a PzIII hull was a success as far as operability and function but it failed miserably in gun firing tests where the vehicle was found to be very unstable.

Panzer III K was shot down in the design phase, it was never assembled



Guy4123 #48 Posted Oct 16 2016 - 08:40

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View PostZinegata, on Oct 12 2016 - 08:44, said:

 

Anything was better than mass-producing Panthers or Tigers. Neither of those vehicles were sustainable. The real cost of the vehicles is the running/maintenance cost - and in this regard the performance of the Panther/Tiger was abysmal. A Sherman tank battalion of 60 tanks could be supported using just 30 trucks. A Tiger battalion with 45 tanks needed 130 trucks to keep it going. Yes, one hundred and thirty. A Tiger battalion essentially consumed a Sherman Division worth of resources.

 

That said the Panzer IV was probably not quite as good as just sticking to the Panzer III chassis and the Stug. Torsion bar suspension made the Mk III extremely reliable to the point it was the only German vehicle to be captured and kit-bashed into an Allied variant - the SU-76i. Everything else was too fragile and fell apart before it could be given this kind of treatment.

 

Is that 130 just for the Tiger tanks alone? Or for the tanks and the other stuff they included in heavy tank battalions like the SPAAG's and half tracks? Still a ludicrous amount of trucks needed for support even with everything else included.

 

Was a Sherman battalion just the Shermans or did they include other vehicles too?



Zinegata #49 Posted Oct 19 2016 - 09:57

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View PostGuy4123, on Oct 16 2016 - 15:40, said:

 

Is that 130 just for the Tiger tanks alone? Or for the tanks and the other stuff they included in heavy tank battalions like the SPAAG's and half tracks? Still a ludicrous amount of trucks needed for support even with everything else included.

 

Was a Sherman battalion just the Shermans or did they include other vehicles too?

 

It's for the Tiger battalion overall but most of the additional vehicles are also half-tracks or lighter vehicles for moving the engineers around, as the halftracks didn't come with Panzergrenadiers. Overall the battalion has around 250+ vehicles, but of those only 10-15 are flakpanzers. The main components are the 130-odd trucks, supplemented by nearly a hundred cars or motorcycles to carry all the engineers around.

 

The Sherman battalion was primarily of Sherman tanks but it also had Stuarts plus various support weapons in the HQ company. Probably the biggest mitigating factor favoring the smaller US battalion truck count is the fact they generally had better trucks; but otherwise it's a stark demonstration of how much stuff was needed to keep a 60-ton tank battalion moving as opposed to a 30-ton tank battalion moving.


Edited by Zinegata, Oct 19 2016 - 09:59.


Zinegata #50 Posted Oct 19 2016 - 10:11

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View PostAnlushac11, on Oct 16 2016 - 09:07, said:

 

Ironic that Daimler Benz considered the Panzer III a failure. Daimler never wanted to use torsion bar suspension, they were forced to. In Daimler Benz's opinion the torsion bar suspension in the PzIII gave a good cross country ride but it took up too much room inside, was more difficult to repair, and according to Daimler Benz Germany could not make a good enough shock absorber to properly dampen pitching. The shock absorber problem also negatively effected its stability as a gun platform and was one of the reasons why the design could never handle more than the short 75mm L/24. Daimler had actually drawn up a leaf spring suspension with 680mm roadwheels to replace the torsion bar system. 

 

The Panzer IIIK which we know as attempt to fit a PzIV-F2 turret on a PzIII hull was a success as far as operability and function but it failed miserably in gun firing tests where the vehicle was found to be very unstable.

 

IMHO Germany should have adapted PzIV leaf spring suspension to the PzIII hull. It did not offer a increase in load carrying but it would have standardized on one suspension design and probably would have helped with the stability problems.

 

Well, the Mk III tinkered with leaf spring suspension in its early marks but depending on the source that was due to Krupp trying to force it on them to get compatibility with the Mk IV. Daimler Benz wanted something different - an obscure latitudinal suspension has come up in some sources - but they settled on the torsion bar because that's the one that worked. It certainly wasn't perfect, but it's this chimerical quest for the "perfect" system that leads to bad designs to begin with. 



GePunkt #51 Posted Sep 19 2017 - 19:07

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View Postcollimatrix, on Oct 04 2016 - 23:58, said:

2) If that's the case then why were they trying to conserve ordnance-grade steel by making their rifles' receivers out of mild sheet?

 

2) And if the big cats' armor was such hot stuff, why did it crumble like a cookie when hit with HE?

 

1) Quoting a gun buff:

"In the early years of the Mauser, heat treating was in its infancy. Mauser avoided the problems of heat treating by using mild steel that was deeply casehardened to increase strength and wear resistance. This was probably the best solution at the time. The early Springfield '03 and the P-14 and P-17 were subject to catastropic failure when poor heat treating made some actions far too brittle."

Frank de Haas, in his book "Bolt action rifles", stated that the Mauser 98 receivers varied in quality, where according to him, the pre-1920's Mauser receivers were softer than the later ones, and that the 1944 and 1945 receivers were "sometimes very soft or hard, mostly the latter". In the inter-war period, metallurgy had improved sufficiently, so that the steel was generally tougher. Mild steel receivers do not fail, though. Like that gun buff said: "They may batter under high pressure and develope excess headspace. They may even set back the lug recess to the point that the bolt can't be opened, but they don't blow up in your face."

 

Due to the priority on equipping Wehrmacht units, the shortage of rifles, MGs and other weapons in 1940 and early 1941 forced SS units to use captured weapons, namely Czech rifles and machine guns. The Germans then tried to increase the output numbers by spreading arms production, so that several different companies produced weapons or tanks simultanously. At least 8 different companies produced the Mauser 98k, for example, the only way to put out 12 million 98k rifles until April/May 1945.

Varying steel compositions may have been subject to these different companies' personal tastes, or amount of resources at their disposal. Since the Germans made several attempts to reduce the amount of resources (especially ore/steel) put into armament production, the Hetzer had a lower profile/total weight (way less steel needed) and late tank projects (Tiger II, Panther II) were supposed to receive interchangeable tank parts, the MP40 and the STG 44 used stamped steel sheets from the start, so it's possible that some of the companies producing Mauser rifles decided to fall back to mild steel receivers in 1944/45, in order to save resources.

While some ingredients for the steel grades became really rare, the Germans managed to keep the hardness of armor plates by changing the composition of the steel, but with the side-effect that quite some plates had a tendency to create splinters (often inside the tanks, see below) in 1944 and 1945 production models (Pz IV, Panther). But even until 1945, all efforts aimed at keeping up tank production, preserving the quality (hardness) of armor plates, and the priority was put on getting the output of the steel mills directed towards tank production. According to Jentz the steel mills' output was sufficient to support actual tank production numbers, but the problem was the amount of man-hours that had to be put into the production of each tank. Unlike quite some Allied tanks, German tanks required a shyteload of manual labor. The production was streamlined by Albert Speer in late 43/early 44, especially with the Panzerjäger tanks (TDs, like the Hetzer, late Stug IV) but did not have an impact on heavy tank producton, as the Tiger II was supposed to share spare parts with the Panther II (which never saw production), only.

 

2) The picture shows the left side of the Panther's turret, the communication port is missing, a round button, wich could be a pistol port, is still visible.

The missing armor was part of the turret's rear armor, the turret's left rear and the left side armor, which means that the shot must have been either fired from the rear (0 degrees), or generally from an angle of something between 70 degrees and 0 degress. The Panther's turret rear and the turret side featured 45 mm of armor. Unlike with quite some Katyusha rocket models, which were designed to explode over the ground (fuze in the nose, but HE charge in the back) to cause damage on soft targets (troops), but where their fragments actually managed to penetrate and damage or knock out Pz II and Pz III tanks behind German lines (even the Pz III had a few spots with only 13 mm of armor), a 152 mm HE round's charge (usually) didn't develop the penetration power on impact to pierce through 45 mm of armor, especially if the fuze was right in front of the HE charge, but it's not totally impossible. The removal of the complete turret rear wall seems unlikely, though, as the amount of explosives in such a shell is not sufficient. Only fragments would penetrate the armor, the blast itself should not remove that amount of steel, especially if it's more than 30 mm of armor.

 

There are several possible scenarios:

  • It's possible that the communication port or the rear hatch was open, when the 152 mm shell hit the tank. (http://2.bp.blogspot...ix-turret-1.jpg). Obviously, the Panther tank got caught in a surprise attack, from behind. Many tank commanders left the hatch open as long as possible (communication with INF, close range 360-view), despite the improved cupolas. A 152 mm shell explosion right at the cupola ring with opened hatch could result in a rack explosion, as well. It's also possible that the crew got surprised when they picked up ammo supplies, with the turret's rear hatch being open.
  • Another possibility would be the use of the ISU's AP grenades (BR-540 und BR-540B), which could have been deflected into the crew compartment and blown up parts of the ammunition. The Panther had side ammo racks, but also racks in 4 corners, where the shells could be stored vertically (for fast access), and also some space on the floor, behind the gunner . ( http://4.bp.blogspot...her-Draw_14.jpg , racks are labeled "3" ) . A HE shell could create a vital amount of splinters inside, which then traveled through the compartment, blowing up one or 2 of the vertical storage racks right below the turret rear.
  • Another possibility, and this is the most likely one, would be the use of the ISU's concrete round, usually used as bunker buster. In 1945, ISUs repelled an attack carried out by a German tank group in Vienna, knocking out several German tanks. A russian Sherman M4-commander described the battle: "One of the Panthers .... had lost its turret from a hit with the high caliber concrete shell. The second tank transformed into a giant fire." If the concrete shells did not penetrate, their kinetic energy was still sufficient to knock off the turrets of the enemy tanks, literally. In an attack from the rear, or the side, a concrete round could definetely pierce through and remove parts of the 45mm armor wall.

 

There are Russian reports about German tanks getting hit by ISU HE shells (OF-540), with the supposed results ranging from repairable damages to total losses. In general, the HE fragments usually didn't penetrate, but the massive explosion either knocked out or injured the crew (similar to the roadside bombings of Abrams tanks in Iraq), or created splinters (on the amor's surface inside, especially during the last phase of the war, see below) which then traveled around and either injured or killed crew members, or hit the shells, igniting the ammunition storage. Many pictures showing Panther tanks with knocked off turrets (which are just displaced, not destroyed) either experienced an ammo rack explosion, or had encountered IS or ISU tanks using concrete rounds.

Jentz measured the Armor thickness of Panther tanks and researched and verified reports of the German steel mills. Even though the Germans had changed the composition of their steel for some tank models towards the end of the war (which led to higher instances of armor spalling, mainly experienced in Pz IV with manual/hydraulic turret traverse, late Pz V, etc.), Jentz could not find any evidence that the Germans had lowered the steel quality regarding hardness and regarding the plates' abilities to withstand armor piercing rounds, let alone HE rounds. Every steel mill's grade was thoroughly checked and fired at on test ranges, before it was cleared to be used for tank production, until the end of the war, according to his research.

 

 


Edited by GePunkt, Sep 19 2017 - 19:28.


GePunkt #52 Posted Sep 19 2017 - 19:23

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View PostLegiondude, on Oct 16 2016 - 01:19, said:

Panzer III K was shot down in the design phase, it was never assembled

 

The Befehlswagen III Ausf. K was one of the command tank versions of the Pzkpfw III. Around 435 Befehlswagen were produced, versions D1, E, H and K. All of them had 2 radio sets, the FuG 2 and the FuG 6, 1 frame antenna on the back and 1 rod antenna. Their turrets were fixed (using bolts) and could not be rotated anymore, the frontal coax MG was removed to make room for the additional radio equipment.

GePunkt #53 Posted Sep 19 2017 - 20:17

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View PostZinegata, on Oct 13 2016 - 02:37, said:

 

The thing is the German tanks which actually worked well during this campaign and all the way to the end of the war was the Mk III - which was a Daimler-Benz design and who by all accounts were the only company honest enough to tell Hitler "we can't meet these unrealistic deadlines" while everyone else tripped over themselves and said "Yes Sir the Panther can be ready by July 1943!" to get the big money contracts despite the delivered Panthers having the small flaw called "sometimes setting themselves on fire even outside of combat". 

 

More importantly the trucks that kept the invasions going (all the way to the end of the war too) were from Opel - which was a subsidiary of General Motors.

 

Porsche and most especially MAN/Maybach in fact had a pretty crummy track record when it came to making tanks and trucks. The MAN design which participated in these campaigns for instance - the Mk II - were largely overshadowed by the Skoda 35t and 38t tanks. There were in fact big differences in quality among the different tank-makers.

 

The Pz III production phased out in 1943 and the Pz III was removed from frontline duties and replaced by later models by late 1943. It was then used for training, occupation duties and occasional scout missions as Beobachtungspanzer III. The fast 6- and 8-wheelers used to fill that role, usually, though. Only the chassis of the Pz III was used and produced (for the Sturngeschütz III) until the end of the war. The Germans decided to keep the StuG III production, in an attempt to bolster the inf divisions' AT capabilities and to make up for the general lack of medium tanks.

In turn, the superstructure of the StuG III was then put on a Pz IV chassis, to form the improved StuG IV.

 

Opel was owned by GM, but the trucks were designed and developed by Opel. I wouldn't be surprised if GM picked up Opel developments for their own trucks, as that's what GM did with Opel developments for passenger cars after the war, numerous times. Except for the fact that GM and their shareholders even cashed in right before and during the war on armament production that was also used against American soldiers (Opel built the Blitz truck, Ju 88 parts and parts for landmines), GM didn't have that much of a say during WW2, but still, the level of GM's collaboration and communication with the Nazis even during the war is quite appalling. But a technology transfer from GM -> Opel was not an option during the war. So what's your point?

In turn, IBM actually sold Nazi Germany typewriters, (mechanical) desktop computers and punch card machines (where the latter helped the Nazis to administer the holocaust, but also with the decryption of Allied radio messages) even during the war, through their Swiss department.

 

Regarding the Skoda 38t, a quote from Otto Carius, a 38t tank commander who scored more than 150 tank kills (most of them in German tanks):

"It happened like greased lightning. A hit against our tank, a metallic crack, the scream of a comrade, and that was all there was! A large piece of armour plating had been penetrated next to the radio operator's seat. No one had to tell us to get out. Not until I had run my hand across my face while crawling in the ditch next to the road did I discover that they had also got me. Our radio operator had lost his left arm. We cursed the brittle and inelastic Czech steel that gave the Russian 47mm anti-tank gun so little trouble. The pieces of our own armour plating and assembly bolts caused considerably more damage than the shrapnel of the round itself."

 

The Germans incorporated the 38t because there was a shortage of German tanks before the Polish campaign, and because its gun was capable to easily knock out every enemy light tank at the time. Other reasons were the mobility, reliability and easy maintenance. The platform's armor was piss-poor, though, and the bolts turned into deadly projectiles inside. In turn, the chassis proved to be useful for makeshift tank designs like the Marder, the Grille and the Fflakpanzer, but also for all new designs like the Hetzer.


Edited by GePunkt, Sep 19 2017 - 22:04.


Legiondude #54 Posted Sep 23 2017 - 05:37

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View PostGePunkt, on Sep 19 2017 - 13:23, said:

 

The Befehlswagen III Ausf. K was one of the command tank versions of the Pzkpfw III. Around 435 Befehlswagen were produced, versions D1, E, H and K. All of them had 2 radio sets, the FuG 2 and the FuG 6, 1 frame antenna on the back and 1 rod antenna. Their turrets were fixed (using bolts) and could not be rotated anymore, the frontal coax MG was removed to make room for the additional radio equipment.

Yes, and that's PanzerBefehlswagen III K, not Panzerkampfwagen III K






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