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Tank Roll Call: Kugelblitz

Tank Roll Call Medium tank German Permium tank SPAA Kugelblitz

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bjorn1984 #1 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 12:28

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Tank Roll Call: Kugelblitz


 

    Welcome one to another Tank Roll Call,
 

    This time I have another Panzer IV variant known at Kugelblitz. So the Kugelblitz is an anti-air variant of the Panzer IV. It used the famous hull of the Panzer IV, but featured a new turret design. There were a few reasons for this need of a new anti-air design vehicle. One reason is German land based forces had trouble dealing with allied fighter bombers. The brought forth various anti-air vehicle designs like Flakpanzer IV mobelwagen, and progressing into Wirbelwind and Ostwind. However, these designs were tall, open-topped stopgap designs with no protection for the crew. These flaws were to be eliminated in the Kugelblitz, the final development of the Flakpanzer IV.
 

    Next we will cover the armament before moving onto the construction of the Kugelblitz. The first proposal for the Kugelblitz envisioned mounting a modified anti-aircraft turret developed for U-boats on the Panzer IV chassis, which was armed with dual 30 mm MK 303 Brunn guns. They would be mounted in a Doppelflak or dualflak configuration. However, this would later be abandoned for a Zwillingsflak or twin flak configuration. It would use MK103 30mm cannons that would also be found on some of the German aircraft, like the Henschel HS129 and Dornier Do335. The rate of fire would be around 450 rounds per minute.


 

    In general the Kugelblitz would be a Panzer IV with a newly designed turret was mounted. This turret was fully enclosed, with overhead protection and 360° traverse. I'm not going to get into the details about the Panzer IV because I covered the construction of the Panzer IV in my Sturmpanzer article and I'm sure most if not all of us knows a Panzer IV's construction. Mass production was planned, but never happened due to the disruption by Allied bombing efforts.
 

    There was also plans to try to build Kugelblitz on a Jagdpanzer 38t aka Hetzer chassis, but this never happened due to ally bombing. Funny how the thing the Kugelblitz was built to deal with, stopped it from entering service.


 

Data: Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz
Crew: 5 (driver, commander, gunner, radio operator, and loader)
Combat weight: 27 tons
Length: 5.92m
Width: 2.95m
Height: 2.4m
Engine:  12-cylinder Maybach HL 120 TRM petrol engine
Power/Weight: 13
Top speed: 38 km/h (24 mph)
Main armament: Twin 30mm MK103 cannons
Gun elevation: 80/-7
Ammunition carried:  1200 (AP, APCR, or HE ammo)
Secondary armament: 1 MG34 machinegun
Hull Armor: 80/30/20
Turret Armor: 5
 

    Now if I were to introduce the Kugelblitz into World of Tanks, I would obviously begin with the Panzer IVH. I'd also use the 30mm MK103 gun from the VK16.02 light tank. It's not as good as it use to be, but it still works. Now I'd improve the amount of shot in the belt little bit without changing the reload speed, and improve the dispersion. Currently the dispersion is .46, I adjust it to .42. Now, what I could not find out is, if the twin gun fire in tandem of at the same time. I'd do it as tandem fire, but both gun would use the same clip. I'd also improve the aim time and dispersion on the move a little bit too. Just counting for the heavier weight of the Panzer IV over the VK16.02, Finally, it would be introduced as a tier 5 premium wallet tank. So there you go.

            

                                                                                                     Well I hope you enjoyed the article. Happy Hunting,
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YANKEE137 #2 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 13:49

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Nice article!

Gothraul #3 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 14:12

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Certainly would make an interesting seal clubber except that 3-5-7 with 30mm autocannons will be a problem against Japanes and Russian heavies as then pen will probably be too weak.

IX_Zann #4 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 14:19

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There is a clean mod that converts the Leopard into the KugelBlitz (“Lightning Ball”;). Aslain includes it with his WoT modpack.

Verblonde #5 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 14:25

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Thanks for the article - hadn't heard of this before (according to Wikipedia they built a few prototypes, so it's actually 'real' too).

 

I'd buy it, if released as a premium...



mrmojo #6 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 14:40

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View PostDracheherr, on Jul 11 2018 - 21:19, said:

There is a clean mod that converts the Leopard into the KugelBlitz (“Lightning Ball”;). Aslain includes it with his WoT modpack.

 

Kugel also means bullet in German.

 

Bullet lightning makes more sense if they're anti aircraft guns putting out a storm of bullets.



heavymetal1967 #7 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 14:55

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Nice article OP, plus one.

Leopardus_parsalis #8 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 15:11

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View Postmrmojo, on Jul 11 2018 - 13:40, said:

 

Kugel also means bullet in German.

 

Bullet lightning makes more sense if they're anti aircraft guns putting out a storm of bullets.

 

You are right there. But a hail of bulle would translate to the German "Kugelhagel". Therefore, the ball-lightning is the right translation for Kugelblitz, as far as you are able to translate names.

 



sargev55 #9 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 15:32

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View PostGothraul, on Jul 11 2018 - 13:12, said:

Certainly would make an interesting seal clubber except that 3-5-7 with 30mm autocannons will be a problem against Japanes and Russian heavies as then pen will probably be too weak.

 

Luchs and Leopard do just fine when bottom tier when using the 30mm.

Trauglodyte #10 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 15:42

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I'd actually argue against using the Pz. IV H and would, instead, set it at tier 4 on the Pz. IV D.  At that point, you treat it like the new US tier 3 auto loader and have both guns share the same clip.  Badabing, badaboom! 

DaDoomTurtle #11 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 16:18

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View Postsargev55, on Jul 11 2018 - 09:32, said:

 

Luchs and Leopard do just fine when bottom tier when using the 30mm.

 

should keep in mind that those are highly mobile lights that are good at flanking. I doubt that you'd get very far flanking, say an O-I for example, with 38km/h top speed, especially with mediocre power-to-weight ​and a gun suited for close-range engagements. You'd have to close the distance and have very flat armor to shoot at in order to effectively unload your clip against such a target. The risk does not justify the reward, especially since you often will only deal a fraction of your full clip potential with a low-caliber autocannon like that. It's the 30mm Mk. 103 if I recall correctly?

sargev55 #12 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 16:25

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View PostDaDoomTurtle, on Jul 11 2018 - 15:18, said:

 

should keep in mind that those are highly mobile lights that are good at flanking. I doubt that you'd get very far flanking, say an O-I for example, with 38km/h top speed, especially with mediocre power-to-weight ​and a gun suited for close-range engagements. You'd have to close the distance and have very flat armor to shoot at in order to effectively unload your clip against such a target. The risk does not justify the reward, especially since you often will only deal a fraction of your full clip potential with a low-caliber autocannon like that. It's the 30mm Mk. 103 if I recall correctly?

 

 

Actually you are right about that, I did not see the speed on that one or catch that it was based on the pzIV.  Yeah its the mk103 with 92mm pen or 101 with prem.



BillT #13 Posted Jul 11 2018 - 20:34

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View Postmrmojo, on Jul 11 2018 - 08:40, said:

 

Kugel also means bullet in German.

 

Bullet lightning makes more sense if they're anti aircraft guns putting out a storm of bullets.

 

Every reference I've seen to this tank translates it as "Ball Lightning".  Granted, they could all be basing that on one wrong translation.  But "kugelblitz" is also a term used in astrophysics, and it's translated as "Ball Lightning" there.  And dict.leo.org, a top-notch German-English dictionary site, translates it as "ball lightning", the rare atmospheric phenomenon.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_lightning

I have always suspected (but have zero evidence to support the idea) that the name was inspired because the turret design is basically a "ball turret" -- much like the belly turret in a B-17 bomber, but upside down.  In a normal turret, the turret just rotates but does not elevate; the gun elevates inside the turret.  In a ball turret the entire turret rotates and elevates with the gun.  The Kugelblitz has an armored shield around the lower part of the turret that rotates but does not elevate with the gun; but the inner part of the turret is like the B-17 ball turret.  You can look at the models on Wikipedia to see how it worked.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kugelblitz   

The advantage of a ball turret in this case is that it allows extreme elevation without creating huge slots for the gun and gun sights to travel through.
 

(The Kugelblitz turret also resembles the oscillating turrets in the T57 Heavy or Batchat tanks, and could probably be classified as such, too.) 



mrmojo #14 Posted Jul 12 2018 - 05:08

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View PostLeopardus_parsalis, on Jul 11 2018 - 22:11, said:

 

You are right there. But a hail of bulle would translate to the German "Kugelhagel". Therefore, the ball-lightning is the right translation for Kugelblitz, as far as you are able to translate names.

 

 

View PostBillT, on Jul 12 2018 - 03:34, said:

 

Every reference I've seen to this tank translates it as "Ball Lightning".  Granted, they could all be basing that on one wrong translation.  But "kugelblitz" is also a term used in astrophysics, and it's translated as "Ball Lightning" there.  And dict.leo.org, a top-notch German-English dictionary site, translates it as "ball lightning", the rare atmospheric phenomenon.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_lightning

I have always suspected (but have zero evidence to support the idea) that the name was inspired because the turret design is basically a "ball turret" -- much like the belly turret in a B-17 bomber, but upside down.  In a normal turret, the turret just rotates but does not elevate; the gun elevates inside the turret.  In a ball turret the entire turret rotates and elevates with the gun.  The Kugelblitz has an armored shield around the lower part of the turret that rotates but does not elevate with the gun; but the inner part of the turret is like the B-17 ball turret.  You can look at the models on Wikipedia to see how it worked.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kugelblitz   

The advantage of a ball turret in this case is that it allows extreme elevation without creating huge slots for the gun and gun sights to travel through.
 

(The Kugelblitz turret also resembles the oscillating turrets in the T57 Heavy or Batchat tanks, and could probably be classified as such, too.) 

 

Bill I looked at some images of the "ball turret" and there is merit to that idea indeed!

 

But I'm also thinking ball lightning might be correct after all. I first saw references to black holes and Albert Einstein (who renounced his German citizenship) and I thought that couldn't be right. But I think the term has more to do what tracer looks like at night.

 

ball lightning

  1. A short-lived, glowing ball sometimes observed to float in the air; thought to consist of ionized gas associated with thunderstorms

 

ball lightning - a short-lived, glowing ball sometimes observed to float in the air.

 

What I forgot to say to the OP was: Thanks for a great post and pictures about a vehicle i have never seen or heard of before.

 

 

 

 



bjorn1984 #15 Posted Aug 05 2018 - 20:15

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View Postmrmojo, on Jul 12 2018 - 05:08, said:

 

 

Bill I looked at some images of the "ball turret" and there is merit to that idea indeed!

 

But I'm also thinking ball lightning might be correct after all. I first saw references to black holes and Albert Einstein (who renounced his German citizenship) and I thought that couldn't be right. But I think the term has more to do what tracer looks like at night.

 

ball lightning

  1. A short-lived, glowing ball sometimes observed to float in the air; thought to consist of ionized gas associated with thunderstorms

 

ball lightning - a short-lived, glowing ball sometimes observed to float in the air.

 

What I forgot to say to the OP was: Thanks for a great post and pictures about a vehicle i have never seen or heard of before.

 

 

 

 

 

That's why I write the articles ;)




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