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N-L-M

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  1. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Xlucine in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    I did read the document, and your conclusions from it are so off-base that I'm not sure you read it.
    Consider, for example, the closing remarks, on page III of the document (page 6 of the PDF):

    "small real cost growth" is not at all the situation you describe.

    A growth of 19%, mostly because extra features were added in? say it ain't so!


    And again, 19% growth for features, mainly the strengthened powertrain, is literal taxpayer rape. wew.
    Also, the 507k is hardware costs for a single vehicle. Doubling the order for what is pretty much the same hardware cost per unit does not mean that the hardware cost per unit has doubled, and indeed the paper only talks about an estimated price increase if 19%. I really don't know how you could even reach that interpretation.
    You know, that's a fascinating source, but once again your source does not say what you claim it does.
    To wit, the Army's response to that claim:

    Page 89 of the very PDF you posted. If you're gonna cherry pick quotes from sources, at least bother to read your entire source. Cause it firmly disagrees with the conclusion you are trying to draw from it.

    Fun for the whole family!
    And a bit more, just to get the point across:


    Oh no muh poor taxpayer getting ripped off for squillions of dollars oh no
    It's almost as if getting sent to an active war zone in the sandbox leads to greater wear and therefore need for spare parts, as well as high fuel consumption, while the M60A3s are left at home or in Europe, who'd a-thunk it?
    The cost of the M1 exceeding the M1A1 is interesting, wonder what led to that.
    You do have a legit point that in practice it appears that the M1 has turned out to be expensive to operate, but that's a far cry from it being a case of the US MIC "raping the taxpayer".

    1-800-come-on-now
    Ah, a clear sign that you indeed don't know what you're talking about, thanks for playing.
    for reference, the 1.5 trillion is a lifecycle cost for the entire fucking fleet. Not a sunk cost. And that's a really shitty way to dodge the point, which was that early LRIP costs are not indicative of full scale production.
    All the congressional testimony you've posted says otherwise, the design to cost was largely successful and the tank was delivered on time and mostly on budget, a great achievement for any development program, let alone one run by the US Army.
    It was absolutely the successor program to the failed MBT-70, what are you on to?
    So the US Army disagrees with you on the cost issue, and by all accounts the Abrams program has been a resounding success. You don't scale up a 3300 tank buy to 7000 if the cost balloons out of control, and sufficient evidence has been posted in this thread (ironically, by you) to disprove that notion.
    Inflation is a hell of a drug, and the extras in the TTS don't help.
     
    But anyway, TL;DR there's plenty of evidence that the Design-To-Cost of the M1 Abrams was by and large successful, and that it was successfully limited to a unit hardware cost significantly below that of the MBT-70, thus backing up the claim that started this whole discussion, ie that the Abrams was a budget tank born from the failure of the MBT-70 project.
    Not really no. What is however ironic is that you're calling out Ram despite you being the one who's incredibly wrong about this. The F-35 cost issue is prime bait and you took it like a champ. Thanks for playing.
  2. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Lord_James in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    I did read the document, and your conclusions from it are so off-base that I'm not sure you read it.
    Consider, for example, the closing remarks, on page III of the document (page 6 of the PDF):

    "small real cost growth" is not at all the situation you describe.

    A growth of 19%, mostly because extra features were added in? say it ain't so!


    And again, 19% growth for features, mainly the strengthened powertrain, is literal taxpayer rape. wew.
    Also, the 507k is hardware costs for a single vehicle. Doubling the order for what is pretty much the same hardware cost per unit does not mean that the hardware cost per unit has doubled, and indeed the paper only talks about an estimated price increase if 19%. I really don't know how you could even reach that interpretation.
    You know, that's a fascinating source, but once again your source does not say what you claim it does.
    To wit, the Army's response to that claim:

    Page 89 of the very PDF you posted. If you're gonna cherry pick quotes from sources, at least bother to read your entire source. Cause it firmly disagrees with the conclusion you are trying to draw from it.

    Fun for the whole family!
    And a bit more, just to get the point across:


    Oh no muh poor taxpayer getting ripped off for squillions of dollars oh no
    It's almost as if getting sent to an active war zone in the sandbox leads to greater wear and therefore need for spare parts, as well as high fuel consumption, while the M60A3s are left at home or in Europe, who'd a-thunk it?
    The cost of the M1 exceeding the M1A1 is interesting, wonder what led to that.
    You do have a legit point that in practice it appears that the M1 has turned out to be expensive to operate, but that's a far cry from it being a case of the US MIC "raping the taxpayer".

    1-800-come-on-now
    Ah, a clear sign that you indeed don't know what you're talking about, thanks for playing.
    for reference, the 1.5 trillion is a lifecycle cost for the entire fucking fleet. Not a sunk cost. And that's a really shitty way to dodge the point, which was that early LRIP costs are not indicative of full scale production.
    All the congressional testimony you've posted says otherwise, the design to cost was largely successful and the tank was delivered on time and mostly on budget, a great achievement for any development program, let alone one run by the US Army.
    It was absolutely the successor program to the failed MBT-70, what are you on to?
    So the US Army disagrees with you on the cost issue, and by all accounts the Abrams program has been a resounding success. You don't scale up a 3300 tank buy to 7000 if the cost balloons out of control, and sufficient evidence has been posted in this thread (ironically, by you) to disprove that notion.
    Inflation is a hell of a drug, and the extras in the TTS don't help.
     
    But anyway, TL;DR there's plenty of evidence that the Design-To-Cost of the M1 Abrams was by and large successful, and that it was successfully limited to a unit hardware cost significantly below that of the MBT-70, thus backing up the claim that started this whole discussion, ie that the Abrams was a budget tank born from the failure of the MBT-70 project.
    Not really no. What is however ironic is that you're calling out Ram despite you being the one who's incredibly wrong about this. The F-35 cost issue is prime bait and you took it like a champ. Thanks for playing.
  3. Tank You
    N-L-M reacted to Militarysta in ATGMs and RPGs for infantry - a thread for rebels around the world to choose their ATGM supplier.   
    My article in english version Frag Out! Magazine:
    https://fragout.uberflip.com/i/1150145-frag-out-magazine-25/69?
     
    This time about Panzerfaust 3 and RGW90 familiy. For user here may be interesting part about PzF-3T/IT test in Poland vs ERA.
     
     
  4. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Pascal in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    And yet the RFP it was designed to meet was a cut down MBT-70 spec, and the design incorporated a lot of lessons learned from the MBT-70. The main difference was a flexible spec with Design-To-Cost as part of the RFP, allowing the active trading of performance requirements for cost reduction. Because the Army was really not happy with the cost of the MBT-70 and was out of both time and budget.
     
    Yes. For  LRIP. In 1983 dollars. The very paper you quote mentions that inflation in that interval is nearly 300%, (239% according to this), which is the most significant chunk of that, and LRIP lots are always more expensive than mass production lots- for reference, the LRIP lot 1 F-35A was approx $200M a pop, and LRIP lot 11 is down to $89M per.

    So yeah, LRIP costs are not entirely indicative of mass production costs, which is what 3000 units most definitely is.
    Also you should be comparing apples to apples, that is hardware costs. Comparing hardware costs of the M60 to total costs of the M1 is disingenuous, as the M60 also needs those extras you are not factoring in.
    Same source, page 3217:

    Your own sources disagree with your opinion, the Abrams is not "the MIC raping the taxpayer".
    Another interesting snippet from page 1882:

    Seems like the Abrams is actually really close to the M60A3 in costs despite being a much better platform. If that's a sign of "raping the taxpayer", what would you consider a reasonable price to be, for that performance?

    And again, page 1910.
    This source you posted does not in any way support your claim that the M1 project ended up, and I quote, " producing a tank that costs 6 times the price of the M60 in its mission capable form ". Much the opposite, in fact.
    The M1 was extremely cheap compared to the M60 for what it was, and was the result of an extremely cost-conscious development, having learned the lesson of the failed MBT-70.
  5. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from LostCosmonaut in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    I did read the document, and your conclusions from it are so off-base that I'm not sure you read it.
    Consider, for example, the closing remarks, on page III of the document (page 6 of the PDF):

    "small real cost growth" is not at all the situation you describe.

    A growth of 19%, mostly because extra features were added in? say it ain't so!


    And again, 19% growth for features, mainly the strengthened powertrain, is literal taxpayer rape. wew.
    Also, the 507k is hardware costs for a single vehicle. Doubling the order for what is pretty much the same hardware cost per unit does not mean that the hardware cost per unit has doubled, and indeed the paper only talks about an estimated price increase if 19%. I really don't know how you could even reach that interpretation.
    You know, that's a fascinating source, but once again your source does not say what you claim it does.
    To wit, the Army's response to that claim:

    Page 89 of the very PDF you posted. If you're gonna cherry pick quotes from sources, at least bother to read your entire source. Cause it firmly disagrees with the conclusion you are trying to draw from it.

    Fun for the whole family!
    And a bit more, just to get the point across:


    Oh no muh poor taxpayer getting ripped off for squillions of dollars oh no
    It's almost as if getting sent to an active war zone in the sandbox leads to greater wear and therefore need for spare parts, as well as high fuel consumption, while the M60A3s are left at home or in Europe, who'd a-thunk it?
    The cost of the M1 exceeding the M1A1 is interesting, wonder what led to that.
    You do have a legit point that in practice it appears that the M1 has turned out to be expensive to operate, but that's a far cry from it being a case of the US MIC "raping the taxpayer".

    1-800-come-on-now
    Ah, a clear sign that you indeed don't know what you're talking about, thanks for playing.
    for reference, the 1.5 trillion is a lifecycle cost for the entire fucking fleet. Not a sunk cost. And that's a really shitty way to dodge the point, which was that early LRIP costs are not indicative of full scale production.
    All the congressional testimony you've posted says otherwise, the design to cost was largely successful and the tank was delivered on time and mostly on budget, a great achievement for any development program, let alone one run by the US Army.
    It was absolutely the successor program to the failed MBT-70, what are you on to?
    So the US Army disagrees with you on the cost issue, and by all accounts the Abrams program has been a resounding success. You don't scale up a 3300 tank buy to 7000 if the cost balloons out of control, and sufficient evidence has been posted in this thread (ironically, by you) to disprove that notion.
    Inflation is a hell of a drug, and the extras in the TTS don't help.
     
    But anyway, TL;DR there's plenty of evidence that the Design-To-Cost of the M1 Abrams was by and large successful, and that it was successfully limited to a unit hardware cost significantly below that of the MBT-70, thus backing up the claim that started this whole discussion, ie that the Abrams was a budget tank born from the failure of the MBT-70 project.
    Not really no. What is however ironic is that you're calling out Ram despite you being the one who's incredibly wrong about this. The F-35 cost issue is prime bait and you took it like a champ. Thanks for playing.
  6. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Pascal in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    I did read the document, and your conclusions from it are so off-base that I'm not sure you read it.
    Consider, for example, the closing remarks, on page III of the document (page 6 of the PDF):

    "small real cost growth" is not at all the situation you describe.

    A growth of 19%, mostly because extra features were added in? say it ain't so!


    And again, 19% growth for features, mainly the strengthened powertrain, is literal taxpayer rape. wew.
    Also, the 507k is hardware costs for a single vehicle. Doubling the order for what is pretty much the same hardware cost per unit does not mean that the hardware cost per unit has doubled, and indeed the paper only talks about an estimated price increase if 19%. I really don't know how you could even reach that interpretation.
    You know, that's a fascinating source, but once again your source does not say what you claim it does.
    To wit, the Army's response to that claim:

    Page 89 of the very PDF you posted. If you're gonna cherry pick quotes from sources, at least bother to read your entire source. Cause it firmly disagrees with the conclusion you are trying to draw from it.

    Fun for the whole family!
    And a bit more, just to get the point across:


    Oh no muh poor taxpayer getting ripped off for squillions of dollars oh no
    It's almost as if getting sent to an active war zone in the sandbox leads to greater wear and therefore need for spare parts, as well as high fuel consumption, while the M60A3s are left at home or in Europe, who'd a-thunk it?
    The cost of the M1 exceeding the M1A1 is interesting, wonder what led to that.
    You do have a legit point that in practice it appears that the M1 has turned out to be expensive to operate, but that's a far cry from it being a case of the US MIC "raping the taxpayer".

    1-800-come-on-now
    Ah, a clear sign that you indeed don't know what you're talking about, thanks for playing.
    for reference, the 1.5 trillion is a lifecycle cost for the entire fucking fleet. Not a sunk cost. And that's a really shitty way to dodge the point, which was that early LRIP costs are not indicative of full scale production.
    All the congressional testimony you've posted says otherwise, the design to cost was largely successful and the tank was delivered on time and mostly on budget, a great achievement for any development program, let alone one run by the US Army.
    It was absolutely the successor program to the failed MBT-70, what are you on to?
    So the US Army disagrees with you on the cost issue, and by all accounts the Abrams program has been a resounding success. You don't scale up a 3300 tank buy to 7000 if the cost balloons out of control, and sufficient evidence has been posted in this thread (ironically, by you) to disprove that notion.
    Inflation is a hell of a drug, and the extras in the TTS don't help.
     
    But anyway, TL;DR there's plenty of evidence that the Design-To-Cost of the M1 Abrams was by and large successful, and that it was successfully limited to a unit hardware cost significantly below that of the MBT-70, thus backing up the claim that started this whole discussion, ie that the Abrams was a budget tank born from the failure of the MBT-70 project.
    Not really no. What is however ironic is that you're calling out Ram despite you being the one who's incredibly wrong about this. The F-35 cost issue is prime bait and you took it like a champ. Thanks for playing.
  7. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from That_Baka in French flair   
    For those keeping track at home, the D9 for example has a lot of rollers (good MMP), deep grousers for excellent traction in soft soil, and oil coolers for the torque converter. Unlike armored vehicles in which the torque converter is intended to lock up quickly and therefore not get very hot, the torque converter in the D9 is designed to work in slippage at all times. This results in a lot of power being turned into heat in the oil, which then needs to be cooled to prevent the seals from dying. You could run a tank in 1st gear and 100% slip on the torque converter and get pretty good tractive effort, but not for any length of time. The D9 is a very well designed tool.
  8. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Lord_James in French flair   
    For those keeping track at home, the D9 for example has a lot of rollers (good MMP), deep grousers for excellent traction in soft soil, and oil coolers for the torque converter. Unlike armored vehicles in which the torque converter is intended to lock up quickly and therefore not get very hot, the torque converter in the D9 is designed to work in slippage at all times. This results in a lot of power being turned into heat in the oil, which then needs to be cooled to prevent the seals from dying. You could run a tank in 1st gear and 100% slip on the torque converter and get pretty good tractive effort, but not for any length of time. The D9 is a very well designed tool.
  9. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Xlucine in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    It has to do with the Abrams development mostly evolving from a cut down MBT-70. Ending up more expensive than the M-60 is mostly irrelevant because by that time the M60 was entirely obsolete, and therefore could not fill the role required, nor could any vehicle of equivalent cost. For the defined role, the Abrams as designed was a very austere design with few exceptions, and if you think for some reason that the Abrams wasn't designed under some pretty strict cost limits you are sorely mistaken and are more than invited to re-read Hunnicutt.
    Also penny pinching in general is a figure of speech for cost cutting, not only the cost cutting associated with small low value details. But choosing a 1-axis gunner's sight stab over 2-axis because it's $3000 cheaper is indeed penny pinching when it comes to a tank.
    Not than the MBT-70, to which the comparison must be made.
    Yes, also killed were the FCS, GCV, and some other programs which were supposed to replace the Abrams with an autoloaded vehicle. The fact that these projects all got cut and ate up most of the budget, leaving fuckall for Abrams upgrades, is a separate issue.
    Also talking facts here, bucko. Compare the estimated price of the MBT-70, M60A1 and M60A3 to that of the Abrams in then year dollars.
    Had you bothered to open a copy of Hunnicutt, you'd see that he provides the following numbers in equivalent 1972 dollars:
    $422k final Chrysler proposal
    $507k RFP design goal
     
    $526k XM-1 1978 estimate (including GFE) (from here)
    $339k M60A1
    $432k M60A3
    $611k XM803 (MBT-70)
     
    So yeah, Definitely a budget conscious development.
    (now if you're going "wait those numbers can't be right how come it's so much cheaper than the design goal", the answer is "competition". Chrysler's bid was $196M to GM's $232M).
  10. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Lord_James in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    So, seeing as some people need a refresher:
    You really should read Hunnicutt's Abrams book, but the 10 minute version of the story is as follows:
    MBT-70 was going to be the best tank that anyone had ever made. Ever. It was going to have all the bells, a double serving of whistles, and bully the hell out of any Soviet tank in every respect. At least, that was the idea. The MBT-70 proved to be a very problematic beast and got stuck in development hell for the better part of a decade, and by the time it was cancelled there was very little time and even less budget to get a working tank into service, and Congress was not happy with funding another ambitious development project. The Abrams was therefore most definitely a budget option compared to the state of the art at the time, though it was designed with some inherent growth features built in for later upgrades (notably, the CITV on the M1A2 was planned for pretty much from the get-go).
    The US was fully willing to have an autoloader in their fancy tank, and by all accounts the autoloader on the MBT-70 worked just fine; but it was not easily adaptable to the Abrams, and there was no time or budget to mature a new one- the Abrams was almost criminally late to the field as it was! All Abrams variants prior to the M1A2 are in one way or another budget versions, and only in the A2 did the US Army really get all the features they initially wanted (plus a bunch more that had cropped up and matured in the mean time).
    The US has designed several vehicles with autoloaders and even type-classified quite a few, with the Stryker MGS actually seeing service. Other than memes which as far as I can tell derive from wikipedia- tier sour grapes, there's no actual evidence that the US Army does not like the idea of autoloaders, much the opposite.
  11. Tank You
    N-L-M reacted to skylancer-3441 in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    article on CATTB from IDR 1990-12

     
    and also clippings
    from IDR 1989-12 on MTAS
     
    and from IDR 1990-05 on 140mm gun 

    and render of CATTB from US Army's Weapon Systems Handbook of 1992:

     
    and pic from Soldat und Technik 1992-01:

     
    and pic of testbed w/XM291 gun - also from SuT 1992-01:

  12. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Clan_Ghost_Bear in United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines   
    So, seeing as some people need a refresher:
    You really should read Hunnicutt's Abrams book, but the 10 minute version of the story is as follows:
    MBT-70 was going to be the best tank that anyone had ever made. Ever. It was going to have all the bells, a double serving of whistles, and bully the hell out of any Soviet tank in every respect. At least, that was the idea. The MBT-70 proved to be a very problematic beast and got stuck in development hell for the better part of a decade, and by the time it was cancelled there was very little time and even less budget to get a working tank into service, and Congress was not happy with funding another ambitious development project. The Abrams was therefore most definitely a budget option compared to the state of the art at the time, though it was designed with some inherent growth features built in for later upgrades (notably, the CITV on the M1A2 was planned for pretty much from the get-go).
    The US was fully willing to have an autoloader in their fancy tank, and by all accounts the autoloader on the MBT-70 worked just fine; but it was not easily adaptable to the Abrams, and there was no time or budget to mature a new one- the Abrams was almost criminally late to the field as it was! All Abrams variants prior to the M1A2 are in one way or another budget versions, and only in the A2 did the US Army really get all the features they initially wanted (plus a bunch more that had cropped up and matured in the mean time).
    The US has designed several vehicles with autoloaders and even type-classified quite a few, with the Stryker MGS actually seeing service. Other than memes which as far as I can tell derive from wikipedia- tier sour grapes, there's no actual evidence that the US Army does not like the idea of autoloaders, much the opposite.
  13. Metal
    N-L-M reacted to Beer in Czechoslovak interwar bits   
    A bit about the God of War. With Czechoslovak artillery it was exactly opposite than with the airforce. The artillery was very strong and had many very potent weapons, nearly all of them were local design and production. The guns were also widely exported. The field army had some 80 artillery regiments with over 2200 pieces (not counting any fortification guns or auxilliary units). As with most of other weapons large part of them (plus huge ammo stocks - and actually also hundreds of thousands Sudeten Deutsche soldaten) sadly presented a massive gift for the Wehrmacht. A bitter aftermath of Münich. 
     
    10 cm Light howitzer vz.14/19 (towed by horses). Very well known weapon used by nearly everyone in the central Europe and during WW2 by Wehrmacht and Italy. In 1938 Czechoslovakia had around 600 pieces. Wehrmacht got 400+, Slovakia 180+. Together with Polish and Austrian ones Wehrmacht later had around 1000 pieces. 

     
    10 cm light howitzer vz.30 (for motorized units and so called fast divisions). Very modern weapon for its time based on export Yugoslav model but widely modified for domestic use (not always in the better way due to various compromises such as necessity to allow use of older ammo for vz.14/19). 160+ guns were available in 1938. It was later successfully used by Wehrmacht and Slovakia. The only preserved piece is in USA.  

     
    10 cm light howitzer vz.38 (for mechanized units). This modern weapon was never fielded despite it was addopted but too late - the complete order (260 pieces) was canceled after Münich. As with the previous gun it was again based on successful export models F and H (Yugoslavia, Romania, Iran, Latvia, Afghanistan). Germany took 84 guns made for Latvia and sold 57 to Romania and 27 to Finland. Those 27 Finnish guns officially fired 75 thousand rounds during the war and served successfully till 1970'. The prototype of the Czechoslovak version (H3) is on display in Lešany museum near Prague together with one Finnish piece (a place sure worth visiting). 

     
    15 cm heavy howitzer vz.15 (usually towed by heavy tractors). This gun was already rather obsolete by 1938 but 40+ pieces were still used. The guns were taken over by Wehrmacht and used on the western front and a half was later sold to Finland. It's on display in Lešany. 
     
     
    15 cm heavy howitzer vz.14/16 (for horse traction). Well known weapon of the WW1. Czechoslovakia used some 180 pieces built after WW1 and they were used till Münich. Hundreds of these guns were used by Italy, others by Austria, Romania, Greece etc. Wehrmacht took around 100 pieces and used most of them in Austrian units which were used to the same weapon. The gun is preserved in Lešany. 

     
    15 cm heavy howitzer vz.25 (for horse traction). Czechoslovak army had 340 pieces of this rather light and potent weapon (still pretty good by late 30'). Werhmacht and Slovakia successfully used them till the end of war. You can see this gun in Lešany as well. 

     
    155 mm heavy howitzer vz.15/17. This well known French gun was a stop-gap solution in 1919 when the army badly needed whatever it could get to fight the so-called Hungarian Soviet Republic (which was defeated by Romanian and Czechoslovak forces and ceased to exist the same year). Czechoslovakia had 50 pieces but all of them were retired by 1937. Maybe Wehrmacht got them from some storage but there is no record about that. Anyway it used plenty of these guns from French and Polish stocks. 

     
    15 cm heavy howitzer vz.37. This weapon was arguably the best of its class by late 30' but as with many other weapons of Czechoslovak production it was largely exported (series K) but not used by the Czechoslovak army itself. When the army decided to addopt this weapon used already by Turkey, Romania or Yugoslavia it was hesitating that long about its modifications (for example whether it prefers a variant for motorized or horse traction) that the first guns were delivered only after Münich. Wehrmacht took a whole batch of 110+ pieces and used them till the end of war. Some sources say that Germany originally signed an order for another production but a lobby from German companies led to its cancelation. The Czechoslovak variant of the gun is on display in Lešany museum.  

     
    10 cm mountain howitzer vz.16/19. This weapon was successfully used during the WW1 and extensively modernized by Czechoslovakia in 1920'. It was being transported disassembled into three pieces and with the overall weight 1350 kg it could fire to nearly 10 km distance (the modernized version). It was widely used by Italy, Austria (later Wehrmacht) and in small numbers also by Slovakia and Greece. Czechoslovakia had 66 pieces of which 44 were modernized and dislocated mostly in the mountains of Slovakia. This gun is on display in Lešany. 

     
    That's it for howitzers. I have omitted many prorotypes, some of which are on display in Lešany as well. Let's continue later with field guns. 
  14. Metal
    N-L-M reacted to Beer in Czechoslovak interwar bits   
    Let's move from the fortification system to the something a lot less bright... the airforce. The airforce was quite clearly the weakest point of the Czechoslovak army mostly due to the too conservative approach of the MOD. Nevertheless some interesting designs saw the daylight. Here are couple of those not very well known... 
     
    Aero A-102. This plane was originally a bi-plane similar to Polikarpov i-15 (top wings connected directly with the fuselage) and one of the competitors to the Avia B-34. It was never built and lost the bid already in paper phase. Nevertheless Aero redesigned the plane to a braced low-wing. It was year 1934 and the MOD was rather conservative and refused such design. A new itteration came in summer 1934 with a shoulder wing configuration similar to Polish PZL P.11 but more aerodynamically clean, better armed and with much stronger engine. Despite the plane had weaker engine than Avia B-534, it was much faster simply because it was no bi-plane. The top speed with locally produced 800 Hp Gnome Rhone Mistral Major 14 Kfs engine was 430 km/h (B-534 had locally produced 860 Hp Hispano Suiza 12Ybrs but the license owner Avia, part of Škoda company, was doing everything it could to prevent other companies to use it). The armament was made of four 7,92 mm MGs vz.30 in the wings and optionally with light bombs. The plane actually flew and went through extensive testing and showed very good haracteristics However in the end it was rejected due to too high landing speed because it had no flaps (140 km/h). That was a real pity because otherwise it was clearly superior design to bi-plane Avia B-534. 
     

     
    Avia B-35. OK, not that unknown but neverthless interesting. Czechoslovakia found late that the speed will be crucial in the future air battles. It tried to obtain Hurricanes from GB but the negotiations were not successful. The prototyp of the modern B-35 first flew on 28th September 1938 which is basically all you need to know about the future fate of it. Aside of that the plane was up to date. It had an eliptic wing made of wooden structure with an "armoured plywood" panels (plywood with 0,2 mm aluminium layer). The fuselage was made of steel tubes covered by magnesium-aluminium alloy panels. The engine was supposed to be 1000 Hp Hispano Suiza 12Y-1000C, three-blade adjustable propeller, retractable gear and flaps. The armament was made of one 20 mm Hispano 404 canon and two 7,92 mm MGs vz.30. The theoretical top speed was around 570 km/h. However the first prototype had fixed gear, two-blade wooden propeler and 860 Hp 12Ydrs engine. Despite it had the same engine as the B-534 and not yet the retractable gear it was roughly 100 km/h faster than the B-534 (485 km/h was achieved already in the very first flights). After the occupation the development went pretty slow and in the end 12 B-135 planes were delivered to Bulgaria in 1942 when they were already obsolete. B-135 had the retractable gear but it still had the old 860 Hp engine and the wooden two blade propeler (it achieved 550 km/h with it), moreover the canon was never installed in them. Despite that there are records that on 30th March 1944 one B-135 shot down a Liberator during an atack on Ploesti. 

     
    Aero A-300. The funy thing about Czechoslovak air force is that in the fall of 1938 it was about to go in the war with Germany with its fastest planes being bombers. The airforce had roughly 60 fast Soviet Tupolev SB-2 bombers eqiped with Czech-made Hispano engines) and a licence production was just starting in the Avia factory with a name Avia B-71. Except that the rest of the bomber air force isn't worth talking about as it was hopelessly obsolete. The MOD knew that and tried to obtain a locally produced modern plane heavier than the Tupolev. The Aero A-300 first flew in spring 1938 but the testing was not finished until after Münich when it was officially adopted without the production ever started. It was a very fast (450-460 km/h) low-wing twin engine bomber with a capacity of up to 1000 kg of bombs. The crew of four had three 7,92 mm MGs (retractable dorsal,  and belly posts plus one in the glass front). The engines were 830 Hp Bristol Mercury IX with De Havilland-Hamilton adjustable three-blade propellers. The fuselage was made of steel tubes with aluminium and textile cover. The wings were wooden and the plane had retractable gear and flaps. 
     
     
     
    Letov Š-50. A recon and light bomber plane (with tasks similar to FW-189). Due to some issues in the development it first flew only in September 1938 and shortly after that the development was stopped. The plane had again tubular fuselage structure with aluminium cover but this time even thew wings were of steel tubular design. The engines were 420 Hp Avia Rk-17 equipped with two blade adjustable Hamilton propellers. The gear was fixed. The crew of three had three 7,92 mm vz.30 MGs (one in the Armstrong Withworth turret, one in the belly firing post and one forward firing in the wing). The plane could carry various photocameras, radio station and up to 600 kg of bombs. 

     
    Aero A-304. This plane was originally a passenger plane ordered by Czechoslovak Airlines but they didn't want to wait and bought Airspeed Envoy isntead. The airforce liked the plane and let it be modified to a recon/light bomber plane. Nineteen were ordered and few of them were probably delivered before Münich (only one confirmed). Luftwaffe used them later as training planes. The fuselage was made of steel tubes covered by plywood and textile. The wings were wooden with plywood cover. The engines 430 Hp Walter Super Castor worked with wooden two blade propellers and the plane could reach 325 km/h with them. The gear was retractable. The crew had three 7,92 mm vz.30 MGs (one in the dorsal turret, one in the belly and one in the frontal post). It could carry 300 kg of bombs. 

     
    One curiosity at the end. Have you known that interwar Czechoslovakia was using special fuel to decrease the dependence on oil import? It used a fuel called Bi-Bo-Li which had two variants - aviation and vehicle one. The aviation one was made of 44% ethanol, 44% benzene and 12% of kerossene. The vehicle one was made of 50% ethanol, 30% benzene and 20% petrol. The Czechoslovak army and the airforce collected rather large fuel and ammo supplies, in fact reasonably larger than Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe had in late 1938 (not in overall volume but in the time it could use them). 
  15. Tank You
    N-L-M reacted to SH_MM in The Leopard 2 Thread   
    Regarding weight reduction:


  16. Funny
    N-L-M reacted to Beer in Escapist art. Picture of things that don't exist, comrades.   
    Some weird thing I created 13 years a go when I was a student and had the time...

     
  17. Funny
  18. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from OnlySlightlyCrazy in Practicality of using ABM against fighters   
    Ok I see it's a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. Have fun on the Carl Sagan forums.
    Another protip for the masses: If your only defenses are "I haven't been banned for it yet" and "it's not illegal", perhaps you should keep that to yourself.
  19. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Toxn in Competition Suggestions   
    The current direction on discord seems to be a Lone Free State of Texas Rooikat-equivalent, with 1930-1940 tech.
  20. Metal
    N-L-M got a reaction from Sturgeon in Competition Suggestions   
    The current direction on discord seems to be a Lone Free State of Texas Rooikat-equivalent, with 1930-1940 tech.
  21. Tank You
    N-L-M got a reaction from Beer in Czechoslovak interwar bits   
    Canister, or shrapnel if it's a time fuzed shell which ejects the balls after a short flight.
    Also I really appreciate this thread!
     
  22. Metal
    N-L-M reacted to Beer in Czechoslovak interwar bits   
    Possibly last post dedicated to the fortification but a very long one dedicated to the heavy fortifications. I hope that a lot of those peculiar details are new for you. Most of the info comes from very knowledgeable staff of heavy infantry casemate N-S-82. If you ever want to visit some object of Czechoslovak fortification system you must not miss this one because this is the only one fully equipped as it shall have been (in fact it's a bit better equipped than in September 1938 then it was not totally finished inside). All photos are from my phone (it's allowed to take photos inside). 
     
    N-S-82 is a stand alone infantry casemate located in a line on a slope upon the border crossing Náchod-Běloves. It was built in 1938 in a resistance class II. Which means that it had 2,25 m thick frontal wall (with a stones and earth cover). The roof was 2 m thick and the side and rear facing walls were 1 m thick. The border crossing is down bellow while roughly 1,5 km away on the hill there is an artillery fortress Dobrošov. It was guaranteed to withstand 240 mm artillery shells and 250 kg bombs (according to many authors Luftwaffe had no 500 kg bombs fielded at September 1938 yet) however during weapon testing on a casemate Jordán (experimental one used for fortification and weapon development) which had same resistance class even 305 mm heavy mortar hit didn't penetrate the roof (there were volunteers inside during the test fire!). It is said that there was some damage to the equipment but I don't know more details. 
     
    On the same picture you can see also a combined anti-tank/infantry obstacle made of steel U-shape profiles welded together and stuck in a concrete base. Behind them there is anti-infantry barbed wire and a line of steel hedgehogs. Anti-infantry barbed wire could have been placed also in front of those rods. At certain place with high danger of tank attacks concrete anti-tank moats wete built too (sometime they can still be found). 
     
     
    In 1938 you could find also these older concrete hedgehogs in the area. Those were used only earlier because they had two importnat drawbacks. The first one was that they offered better cover for the attacking infantry and the second was that their large area made them easier to move by shockwaves from artilery. 

     
    A historical image showing how such line looked like in the September 1938 (where it was finished). This picture shows a heavy object K-S-35. 

     
    N-S-82 was armed with one 47 mm AT gun, 5 HMG and 5-6 LMG. AT gun with coaxial HMG and a twin HMG were pointing down the valey towards the border crossing. On the opposite side (uphill) there were two single HMGs. LMG were used only in observation cupolas and for close defence of the object (normally the priority was to defend the neighbouring object with primary weapons). 
      
     
    Let's go inside. There are three door covered by 2 LMG fire posts and one fire post for personal weapons directly in the entrance which alone had S-shape to prevent any direct fire into the object and on the main door. The first cage door are 200 kg heavy and on the left side behind them there is a fresh-air intake. On the right side there is armored door 600 kg heavy. Behind another corner there is third presurrized door 450 kg heavy. Both heavy door had emergency hatches in them so that the crew could get out if the door were deformed and stuck. 

     
    The casemate has two floor. The top floor is combat and the bottom one is technical and living one. Every single heavy object had its own water source which must have been able to deliver at least 1,5 litres per minute. In this particular case it was around 4 litres per minute.

     
    This is the electric generator which was pretty noisy. It's in fully working state. It's cooling was used for heating the interior but even in summer the inner temperature didn't get upon 17°C and the soldiers often suffered from respiratory or rheumatic issues. 

     
    This is the filtering and air venting room. On the left side there is the ventilator with back-up handles for manual operation (I tried it myself and it's quite tough). On the right side there are filters which were used only in case of gas attack. The whole object had an overpressure in it which was used also for extracting the fumes from gunnery rooms. 

     
    This particular object had 32 men crew (only the commander was an officer). The soldiers had one bedroom (see bellow). The sub-officers had their own room with own bed for each one and the commander had also his own room but located on the combat floor. Only Czech or Slovak nationals were allowed to serve in the permanent boarder units manning the heavy fortifications (no German, Poles or Hungarians because low loyality was expected with them). 

     
    This is part of the bathroom (it's difficult to take some photos inside because it's quite cramped and I don't want to post gazillion of photos, rather only millions). The lavatories had a water filtration station used to prevent pollution of the main water source and a ventilation preventing methane acumulation). 

     
    Down bellow there was also a food storage, hand granade storage (275 pieces) and a telephone room (on the picture). The bunker had several external telephone lines leading to the neighbouring objects and to the sector command post. As a backup a ground telegraph was used with cable antenas dug underground. Depending on the particular soil composition it was capable of morse communication to the range of 5-10 km. Ground radio antenas for voice communication were not installed by September 1938 (the radio was developed and tested but not fielded). 

     
    Here you can see some internal communication means in the gunnery room. A simple speaking tube and a telephone. 

     
    There was another way how to communicate between the observation cupolas and the gunnery rooms and that was a color code (in case of big noise from bombardning for example). 

     
    With that we got onto the combat floor. This is the LMG firing post for the defence of the rear side. You can see observation insert on the left side which was interchangeable with the LMG. The LMG is vz.26 which I don't need to introduce to you for sure. There were 120 ready-to-fire magazines for each LMG in the object! 

     
    Here is similar firing post with the observation insert mounted and a removable periscope to the right side of it. That was used to observe the close surroundings and the moats at the weapons. Under the periscope there is a tube for hand grenades used for close defence. 

     
    A view inside the observation cupola from bellow. The very peculiar thing here is that the floor worked similarly to the office chair and the soldier could very simply adjust the floor position to his height. The middle column was also used for evacuation of spent cartridges. The cupola is made of 200 mm thick cast steel and the inner diameter is 1,35 m. 

     
    This is a periscoipe which could have been errected through the cupola roof for 360° observation.

     
    A simple lift was used to transport LMG mags to the cupola.

     
    Some more details before we get to the main weaponry. These are JIGs for MG loading. Top is belt-loading JIG for HMG vz.37 and bellow is a one for mag loading of LMG vz.26.

     
    This is the kitchen, gentelmen. Yes, for 32 people! The bunker had food reserves for 14 days but I can hardly imagine to fight 2 weeks inside without getting crazy. 

     
    This is one very peculiar detail. When the bunker was bombarded by heavy weapons the ceiling could elastically deform. To prevent internal much thinner walls from collapsing they had on top of them a cork layer which worked like a spring reducing the pressure on the walls.

     
    Except for the grenades all ammo was stored in the combat department close to the weapons. The capacity of this object was 600 47 mm shells and 600 thousand 7,92x57 rounds. Now imagine that 263 heavy and nearly 10000 light objects were actually built before Münich. What an insane amount of ammo stored in the fortification system!  In reality around 3/4 of the ammo was delivered at 28th September but I would say that it's still huge achievement of the army logistics. On the picture you can see AP and HE-FRAG round of the AT gun (from later war production). A third anti-infantry round was being developed but wasn't fielded. I don't know how it's called in English when the round is filled with steel balls. Can you help me?  

     
    This is the right gunnery room with two single HMG vz.37 and one LMG vz.26 for close defence. Notice that all frontal and side walls and also the ceiling had metalic anti-spall and anti-vibration layer.

     
    All main weapons (AT gun and the HMGs) had sights with 2x zoom (upon the gun there is a drawing of the surroundings). Unfortunately not a single original support for the single HMG was preserved and the plans shall be dug somewhere in the German archives. Therefore these are just approximate replicas. The HMG vz.37 (ZB-53) alone is basically what the Brits know as BESA (rechambered to 0.303). Each single HMG had 2 men crew, the shooter and the loader. 

     
    This is one of only three preserved heavy barrels for the HMG vz.37 in Czechia. This barrel would be used exclusively in fortifications. 

     
    This is a view into the left gunnery room with an AT gun with coaxial HMG and a twin HMG. Both weapons and supports are original. 

     
    Both the HMGs and the AT gun could have been quickly aimed by the body force alone without using elevation and traverse screws (that was also a possibility). The twin HMG vz.37 on the picture had a crew of three (one shooter and two loaders). 

     
    I believe the most interesting thing is the AT gun Škoda vz.36. This particular gun was moved to Atlantic Wall in Norway and in 2002 returned back into N-S-82 and moreover with a spare barrel. There are only around ten of such guns preserved worldwide and very few spare barrels (only one or two in Czechia) and these two have matching serial numbers (173 + 2173; 2173 means second barrel for 173) and moreover they originally belonged to this particular bunker!
     
    The gun was capable of very rapid fire. Normally 20-30 aimed shots per mimute (depending on the skill of the crew) or up to 40 rounds per minute in autofire mode. That meant that it fired automatically once it was loaded (this was possible max. for 3 minutes and after a water cooling up to 6 minutes long was needed). The shooter could fire both the AT gun and the HMG by the same hand and he could use his second hand and his body to aim like with a gigantic rifle in a ball joint without using traverse and elevation screws. The gun had three loaders - two for the AT gun and one for the HMG. The gun penetration values vary in sources I saw but it shall be around 50 mm of cemented steel at 500 meters and 30°, i.e. more than enough for 1938. Later in the war special ammo with claimed double penetration values was developed by Škoda but I don't know if ever used anywhere.  

     
     
    Well, that was N-S-82. Now some more peculiar things from other objects. This is a 15 cm Röchling shell still being stuck in a frontal wall of N-S-91. This object was built in class III therefore the wall on the picture is 2,75 meters thick and if the object was fully completed it would be covered by stones and earth (those would have likely little effect against the Röchling anyway). The wall was not penetrated. Czech fortifications were used for Röchling development just like later also the Belgian ones. However there is an important difference. I believe there is no Röchling hit in the roof in any Czech object while in Belgium the Germans tried the indirect fire and they achieved some very spectacular penetrations. The direct fire used against Czech fortifications was much less effective in terms of penetration but with the indirect fire it was close to impossible to actually hit something. 

     
    I believe that this is another Röchling hit in the wall of N-S-49. Maybe a larger calibre for 21 cm guns, honestly I can't recognize. This is an object of an unfinished artilery fortress Skutina and the wall is 3,5 meters thick. It was too high to actually see inside and the object is not accesible from inside for public but it looked like it's not a penetration. Fun fact about this unfinished fortress. The guys who take care of it plan to connect the underground corridor betwen the existing objects where 27 meters were missing by the time when it was abandoned. 

     
    Last thing is a replica of .380 ACP SMG vz.38 which was never fielded (on display in the object N-S-84). The SMG was basically developed in one month! It had two magazines, straight for 24 and drum for 96 rounds. 3500 pieces were ordered by the fortification command to be used to protect the entry door or in some light objects which were close to each other in difficult terrain instead of the LMG. The SMG was roughly 4x cheaper than the LMG. Only 15 were made before the order was canceled after Münich. Strangely Czechoslovakia which was very successful in small arms development never fielded an SMG in the interwar period. When the army realised it would be good to actually have one it was too late and moreover it had no money for it (at least the cavalery and artilery wanted it). 
     
    Under the SMG You can also see Czechoslovak handgrenades from 1930'. 

     
      
     
     
     
     
     
  23. Metal
    N-L-M reacted to EnsignExpendable in Books About Tanks   
    I like books about tanks so much that I even wrote one myself.
     
    https://www.mortonsbooks.co.uk/product/view/productCode/15014
     

  24. Metal
    N-L-M reacted to Beer in Czechoslovak interwar bits   
    Few photos (from my phone so pardon for the quality). I will add some more later. 
     
    Artilery casemate R-S-79 of Hanička fortress (north-east Czechia). It shall have been armed with three 100 mm rapid firing howitzers which were never installed (plus several MGs and granade tubes). This type of objects was the largest in the whole fortification system. It is made of 5600 tons of reinforced concrete and the walls and roof are up to 3,5 meters thick (same for all object of artilery fortresses). By the late 1938 neiter Wehrmacht nor Luftwaffe had any weapon capable of guaranteed penetration. You can see damage caused by German tests. They achieved some penetrations only when firing salvos point blank from the rearward side. Hanička fortres was used for development of special Röchling bunker-penetrating shells and hand-held cumulative bombs. I am not able to recognize damage potentially caused by them. For sure one Röchling shell is displayed (badly corroded) in the fortress. 

     
    Infantry casemate R-S-78 of fortress Hanička. It was one of the object used to defend the main artilery object. Its main armament was a cupola armed with heavy twin MG (plus several other MGs and grenade tubes). Unfortunately what You see is only an observation cupola (light MG could have been fired from it) not the heavy MG one. As You can see all weapons were installed behind a deep moat with grenade tubes and covered by a thick roof from the top. Generally the heavy Czechoslovak fortresses were similar to the French ones but as I don't know those very well I can't tell you how exactly they differed. In the war the object would have a camouflage coloring and net. 
     
     
    Stand-alone infantry casemate R-S-87 covering a road over a mountain ridge. It's main armament is a 90 mm mortar installed in the moat. Also 47 mm anti-tank gun and two twin heavy MGs and several light MGs. Its walls are up to 1,75 meters thick and it's therefore one of the less resistant heavy objects however it is placed in difficult terrain. The bunker is private and the chimney is of course not original. 

     
    Here would be the mortar.

     
    Twin heavy MG and a light MG on the left side of it. The firing posts are not original as those were removed probably for Atlantic Wall. 

     
    Famous hedgehog and behind it you can see the anti-tank gun in a spherical armoured post.  

     
    47 mm AT gun.

     
    Stand-alone heavy infantry casemate R-S-81 after German tests (with armored firing posts taken to Atlantic Wall I believe). This object was built in the same resistance class as the one upon. Since it is one of the lightests heavy objetcs the results of the artilery tests on the normally inaccessible walls are not very impressive. 

     
    An exampe of anti-infantry obstacles with a light object vz.37 in the background (this time from the southern border with Austria). Where armor attack was expcected the obstacles were made of mixture of concrete moats and steel or older concrete hedgehogs. The firing lines were of course free of trees which was advantage and disadvantage in the same time. Large majority of Czech border areas is hills, mountains and forests. That made it much more difficult for attackers but on the other hand the free of trees firing lines were clearly visible from the air.  

     
    This is how the pillbox looks from the side of the enemy. Even these light pillboxes had walls up to 80 cm (120 cm for less common but still widely used reinforced variant). Together with stones and earth on the front side they are claimed to be capable to withstand 88 mm Flak fire (per German tests) or 105 mm howitzer hits (150 mm for the reinforced variant). The crew of max. seven men (depending on the type) had light MGs, grenade tubes and personal weapons. 

     
    Detail of the firing post for the vz.26 light MG (sometimes also old heavy MG vz.24 was used I think - the MG vz.24 was rechambered Schwarzlose for 8 mm Mauser ammo). You can see how the firing post is covered by the  shielding wall from the fire coming from the enemy. These pillboxes covered basically all enemy borders (except extremely difficult terrain where only field fortifications weere used) and usually in several lines. Nearly 10000 of them were finished. Unlike in France there was nowhere to pass around. At the end of the war there was a skirmish between Wehrmacht and US army where German soldiers tried to use these pillboxes. They could however use them basically only as a shelter because at that time the fans were removed and when someone fired from inside the pillbox was immediately full of exhaust gasses. 

     
    Pillbox vz.37 from the rear (friendly) side. The biggest problem of these bunkers was absence of any anti-tank weapons but by the time of Münich no fielded German tank had more than 14,5 armour and even the MGs could be dangerous for them since the gaps between the bunkers were usually short. Of course AT guns could and would be used in field positions to support the lines of bunkers. Another issue was with the ammo. It was simply not possible to store much ammo inside therefore the bunkers needed ammo supplies (unlike large fortresses with underground warehouses and even own water wells). 

     
    Part of the pillboxes on the iron curtain were in use by the army till 1990' and are therefore in good condition. They have however often different firing posts (for UK vz.59) and often more stone and earth cover (officially to prevent overturning them by nuclear explosion). Normally the pillbox has some 2 meters of concrete undeground. 

     
     
     
     
     
     
  25. Metal
    N-L-M reacted to Beer in Czechoslovak interwar bits   
    Hello guys,
    I think that possibly some of you might be interested in our interwar Czechoslovak stuff. For starter I've decided to share with you a wonderful online document about our fortification system. At the very beginning I'd like to say that I have nothing common with its creators. It's just an incredible gem that deserves to be shared with you. If you know it, sorry for that, nevertheless I think most of you don't. Since I am new here I will not waste your time debating what if scenarios. Don't worry.  
     
    Well, enough of talking. What I want to share with you is a massive interactive map of our fortification system containing nearly 11 thousand objects with information about every single one of them. You can switch on even such crazy details like cable networks or construction facilities used for building of the fortifications. The map is directly linked with an online database of the fortification buildings where more than 2000 objects are listed with detailed description (plans, 3D models, photos, weapons, crew, important dates, recent state etc.). Unfortunately this database is only in Czech language but it can be a great source of information for you anyway (especially when linked with the map). The good thing is that the map alone supports other languages and you can easily switch them.  
     
    This is the base view where I have already switched on all objects. You can change background map type, information etc. on the left side and visualise everything what You want to see on the right side. 
     
    Let's zoom in a little bit. Here You can see one of the strongest fortified places - a valey at Králíky in north-east Czechia. As you can see the object marks have different shapes, colours etc. The shape is matching the menu on the right side. Triangles are concrete pillboxes vz. (mark) 36. Small circles are pillboxes vz. 37. The letter inside means type of the object (with one firing post, two on each side, angled one etc.). The color can be decoded from the information table in the bottom right corner. Basically it shows whether the object was actually built, if it was later destroyed or the works were only started or even not so. The heavy objects are the large circles. The numbers have also a meaning. It's a resistance class (1 -> 2 -> I -> IV from the lowest to the most resistant). 

     
    You can switch on also the ground plans of the artilery groups (fortresses with underground network between the casemates). You can see it here (fortress Hůrka). 

     
    You can also switch on the firing lines. Here You can see heavy artilery coverage of the most fortified section of the line (the sad thing is that no heavy artilery pieces were installed by the time of Münich crisis - but lets leave such details aside for now). 

     
    You can switch on the firing lines even for the pillboxes as you can see here on the example from the souther border. Nearly all Czechoslovak objects were built for side fire having superheavy resistance frontal walls with stone and earth covers. 

     
    If You zoom even more and switch for satelite map you get something like this. In this case the red color shows anti tank 47 mm guns and the blue color is 7,92 mm (sometimes double) heavy machine guns of a heavy separated casemate (possible use of light machine guns in observation cupolas is not marked). The grey color shows vz.26 light machine guns of the neighbouring pillbox. 

     
    You can click on every single object and you get available details. The first icon shows detailed lines of fire including realistic range. Bellow the L: L1 M ZN 3-4 means: Left side: L1 = 47 mm anti tank gun with 7,92 mm coaxial heavy MG; M = twin 7,92 heavy MG; ZN is I think type of the cupola but I'm not actually sure about it. The codes for the weapons are shown at the table in the lower right corner (you need to keep the cursor on the question mark). 

     
    The Second icon leads to a database of objects which is unfortunately only in our weird language. Anyway you can dig a lot of information from it as well (drawings, recent state, photos, exact location etc.).

     
     
    The best thing is that most of the objects still exist till today (all of those heavy ones). The Germans managed to destroy roughly 2000 light objects (and gain some 11000 tons of steels from them). They managed to damage also many heavy ones when they were testing weapons and tactics for the future use duirng the WW2. They even moved some cupolas (and of course the famous hedgehogs) to other fortifications along the Atlantic wall or elsewhere. Many of them are made into better or worse museums today (large quantity is private now). Huge number of them is just left alone and freely accessible for anyone. If you are more interested I can give you tips which ones to visit. On the Czech map portal You can use a mode panorama which is basically the same thing as Google street view but it's much more up to date and it's nearly everywhere where they got at least with a motorbike. Since the fortifications are also visible there, you check where they are for easier access. 
     


     
    If you are interested I can continue the fortification topic with some other information (I'm no historian but I have visited quite many of the objects myself and read some books about them). 
     
    OK, so this was my first post on the forum. I hope you find it interesting and maybe for some of you it can be a reason for a trip, who knows :-) 
     
     
     
     
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