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Donward

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  1. Controversial
    Donward reacted to Toxn in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    So another side note: this game also works really well in reverse...
     
    Discussing, let's call it the A42 "Cataphract", as developed by the British in 1943:
     
    Designer: "Overall its dimensions were comparable to Tiger 1, but about 60cm longer and 30cm narrower. For all that, the turret ring diameter was 160cm. The vehicle weighed around 45 tonnes, ten tonnes less than Tiger, but had a lopsided armour scheme with equivalent (or better) frontal protection and about half the armour everywhere else."
     
    Wehraboo: "Typical poor British design: over-emphasising some aspects at the expense of others. This reminds one of Churchill, which paid a heavy tank's bill on weight and mobility (not to mention an over-long hull which makes turning difficult), but only has good protection from the front for the trouble."
     
    D: "The tank carried a high-velocity gun in the 75-76mm class, with good armour penetration (able to knock out all but the heaviest tanks). On the other hand, it had a less powerful HE round than existing 75mm guns like KwK40 and M3."
     
    W: "This is also typically British. They put can-openers on their tanks and then forgot the most common mission for them: infantry support! It is less of an issue for specialist vehicles such as Archer, but for a mass-production tank it's a crippling defect."
     
    D: "The drivetrain was complex, bulky and very unreliable, but provided nice-to-have capabilities like neutral steering and good gun stability over rough terrain. The engine was underdeveloped and needed a massive amount of work (including derating) before it could be used for any length of time successfully. Overall, the time-to-failure was something like a few hundred kilometres, and they didn't foresee being able to improve this (although the lifespan of individual components could have been improved)."
     
    W: "This is Covenanter all over again - a bunch of 'clever' ideas that amounted to a mess. At least then they had the good sense to keep it as a training vehicle instead of sending it into battle. They should have stuck to well-proven transmission and suspension components, and used a surplus aero-engine or something rather than bodging it."
     
    D: "Due to the issues with the suspension, drivetrain, turret ring diameter and turret design, the vehicle had almost no upgrade potential. The armour could not be thickened appreciably without causing even worse reliability problems, and the gun could not be replaced by a larger-bore weapon without designing an entirely new turret (and even then it would have been a squeeze for the crew)."
     
    W: "This was the problem with Cromwell too - forcing the British to make iterative new vehicles when it should have been upgrading existing ones. The Germans, Russians and Americans all realised this with PzIV, T-34 and M4. Each was able to be reworked with new weapons, turrets, armour, and even engines without stopping the whole production line to produce a completely new vehicle."
     
    D: "Speaking of the turret, there were technically two hatches (a commander's hatch and an escape hatch directly in the rear), but the placement made it so that only the loader could use the rear hatch and only the commander and gunner could use the commander's hatch. The hatches were very small (around 40cm diameter), but the commander's hatch was well-appointed with periscopes, a mounting for a scissors periscope and a geared azimuth indicator to show the turret's rotation in relation to the hull. The gunner had a single coaxial sight with a single level of magnification (2.5x), but later production was slated to have a selectable 2.5/5x sight. The FoV was around 28' for the 2.5x, and 14' for the 5x."  
     
    W: "Again, the British talent for wonky engineering on show. The hatch is a mix of good ideas (they cottoned on to the use of periscopes quickly, after all), dubious ones (a simple ring indicator would have worked just as well) and terrible ones (Comet hatch syndrome strikes again). The gunner's sights were good and workmanlike (3x and 21' FoV is more typical for the British), but the Americans had already introduced modern conveniences such as a second unity/fixed magnification sight mounted to the roof at that point. This tank should have had these, it would made the gunner's life much easier!"
     
    D: "The tank used almost no components common to other models besides the engine (which, again, needed massive reworking), and was difficult to service in almost every respect due to the complexities and placement of the drivetrain and suspension components. This, along with a chronic shortage of spare parts (because production of vehicles was prioritised over the production of spares) meant that commanders in the field would have to rely heavily on rail to move the tanks up to the front. There were no road transporters large enough to carry them, and next to no engineering vehicles able to unditch them."
     
    W: "This is madness from the perspective of fighting a mobile war - something that the Germans excelled at but the allies had to painfully learn. A tank is only useful when it's moving under its own power. More than that - when winning an industrial war, it is rational production that counts. Look at the effort the Germans made under Speer to rationalise production of aircraft and tanks. This rationalisation probably prolonged the war by a year, giving the Wehrmacht the material to push back against the hordes of Russian vehicles being thrown at it."
     
    D: "It was made by Germans."
     
    W: "Oh its amazing! A wonder weapon! The ancestor of all modern tanks!"
     
  2. Controversial
    Donward reacted to Toxn in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    I occasionally play this mental game where I imagine describing, let's call it the Schwer-mittel panzerkampfwagen 44 "Cougar", to the typical wehraboo.
     
    "It had a low profile, only 10cm taller than the PzIV. But the vehicle is much more heavily armed and armoured (equivalent or better to a Tiger frontally, only a little thinner on the side)."
    "Fantastic. Really good, compact design. The Germans were known to be good at efficient layouts."
     
    "The drivetrain was extremely compact and reliable, with a better power-to-weight ratio than PzIV, as well as a slick automatic gearbox that reduced workload on the driver and improved offroad mobility."
    "Wonderful, truly a vehicle for mobile warfare. Didn't Guderian say, after all, that the principle weapon of the tank was its engine and radio?"
     
    "The vehicle had lots of vision devices, a large, roomy interior and nice-to-haves like panoramic gunner's sights and an azimuth indicator in the commander's cupola."
    "Brilliant. We know that the crew which sees the target and fires first usually wins. This all adds up to an improvement in firepower!"
     
    "Over 2000 were produced in less than a year, making it a relatively common sight on the battlefield when compared to older heavies such as Tiger."
    "That's great! Wars are won by industrial production as much as by feats of arms - look at the miracles that Speer accomplished."
     
    "It had lots of upgrade potential. Prototypes were produced with guns and armour equivalent to Tiger II, but without completely sacrificing either mobility or reliability."
    "This is what made the Germans so formidable during the second world war - their ingenuity and ability to improve on existing designs. If only it had been fielded for longer, it would have had the potential to turn the tide of the war."
     
    "It was made by Americans."
    "Oh, it's absolute shit then."
  3. Metal
    Donward got a reaction from Dragonstriker in Let's Make Fun of Nazi WW2 Aircraft (While recognizing a couple which were also kind of OK)   
    It must have been like shooting down poorly trained Luftwaffe conscript pilots shoved into a flying Kraut death trap with less than 10 hours flight time.
  4. Metal
    Donward got a reaction from Dragonstriker in Let's Make Fun of Nazi WW2 Aircraft (While recognizing a couple which were also kind of OK)   
    Here at Sturgeon's House, it is our raison d'etre to bust the myth of Teutonic superiority surrounding German military equipment, industry, structure and strategy in World War 2 and beyond. As such, it surprised me that we didn't already have a thread devoted specifically to Nazi aviation. 
    Until now.
    For the time being, I intend to keep this introduction very short with only a short editorial on how it has always amazed me that Nazi Germany, with such a head start in terms of military spending prior to the start of hostilities, and with the entire resources of Europe at its disposal, lagged not only behind the United States in aircraft production and quality but also the island nation of Great Britain which spent the first third of the war under a U-boat blockade as well as the Soviet Union which either outright lost or had to move the preponderance of its factories, workers and manufacturing equipment. 
    That is until one actually looks at how German industry worked.
    This silent film shows the production of the Messerschmidt Bf 108 "Taifun", built in Bavaria, in the 1930s. And while Germany had not ratcheted up to wartime production and presumably more efficient manufacturing shortcuts were eventually adopted, there is little reason to doubt that the basic manufacturing techniques portrayed in this film were still used throughout the war. 
    In the film you'll see the lack of a modern production line. Airplanes and their parts were built in place, often from the ground up. You'll see workers lazily wandering back and forth between parts bins as they lovingly, handcrafted these machines, fitting each part into place. Presumably skilled workers will finish installing a part and then stop what they are doing in order to physically pick up a part of the airplane in order to move it to another work station.
    At the 1:20 mark, a worker uses a standard bandsaw to cut a part, using his Mark 1 eyeball as the only calibration instead of having a jig in place to make the cut.
    At the 2:00 mark, superior Teutonic craftsman use sledgehammers of the like wielded by Thor himself to pound sheet metal body panels into shape.
    Workers stoop and fetch pieces of sheet metal and push them on handcarts around the factory. Elsewhere, you'll see the same worker stop one project at a work station to jump to the next in order to accomplish a different task. Everywhere you see waste, inefficiency and sloth. The Bavarian Aircraft Factory more resembles a community college metal shop class than a plant meant to supply war machinery to the most powerful military on the planet at that time.
    All in all, it is a wonder that the Germans were able to build as many planes as they did if this news footage is any indication of their manufacturing prowess.
     
  5. Tank You
  6. Controversial
    Donward reacted to Sturgeon in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Maybe you're an amateur, buddy, but I get paid.
  7. Tank You
    Donward reacted to Sturgeon in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Have you ever bothered to read or watch any interview with Otto Carius? He's very candid about the fact that German kill claims and awards were complete BS. And yet, for some reason, when it comes to this people don't want to believe him. I wonder why.
  8. Tank You
    Donward reacted to TokyoMorose in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Panther, but only just - and primarily due to a better and more efficient steering mechanism (Triple Diff versus good ole Cletrac steering on the M26).
     
    On most terrain, the ground pressure difference is so marginal that it matters not (Panther of course has a more notable advantage in deep mud and the like) and while people love to factor in the full "power" of the HL230 once you factor in the actual *governed* net power, the Panther and M26 have almost exactly the same net HP/Ton.
     
    So yes, the Panther is marginally more mobile when working but I cannot stress how slim the margin is. They are for all intents and purposes equal outside of specific terrain (i.e. bad enough mud/snow the ground pressure difference adds up) and yet everyone calls the M26 a slow pig, and the Panther's mobility tends to get highlighted.
     
    I think the reason for this distinction is that M26 saw lots of service and use with the much, much faster post-war designs that made it seem like a slow pig in comparison while Panther was mostly used alongside/against wartime and even prewar designs so it seems very mobile indeed. If you compared the Panther to the same set of machines M26 usually gets compared to (even if the comparison is subconscious by a unit that say, transitioned from M26 to M46 or M47), the Panther is just as much of a slow pig.
  9. Funny
  10. Tank You
    Donward reacted to Jeeps_Guns_Tanks in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    What had better mobility Panther or Pershing over a month of steady use.  
     
    Probably the Pershing in both cases, because American Vehicles don't break in catastrophic ways that take a long time to fix.
     
    You can swap a whole M26 power pack in a few hours. That's a day at least on a Panther, since the hull roof and a bunch of road wheels have to come off to pull the Panthers Final Drives and Tranny. The engine wasn't super easy either. 
     
    Pershing was 12.8 psi versus Panther G 12.65. Close enough to be negligible.  Pershing was running 450 HP for 46 tons. The Panther had between 500 and 600, (no one lists what the governed rating was) for 44 tons. It only made its 700 HP rating when it could be spun to 3000RPM, but it was governed to 2500 RPM. Call it 550, giving the Panther the edge on paper, but I just read through Panther Wank, the quest for Combat supremacy by Jentz, and the whole book is a listing off all the shit that was wrong with these tanks and how they kind of a fixed them, but never really did.  They Never fixed the HL230 of blowing head gaskets and throwing rods. Though, the horrible cooling system could have aggravated this, overheating blows head gaskets. 
     
    After reading through the Jentz book, reliability goes to the Pershing.  Pershing, a History of the T20 series documents far LESS problems than the Panther.  
     
    Final Note, I had not looked through the Boo Bibles for years, and having read so many Hunnicutt books, I'm spoiled. They are just so much better than this Jentz and Spielburger garbage. They couldn't be bothered to put spec sheets in for the models. Trash, utter trash, but the pictures are nice.  
  11. Funny
  12. Metal
    Donward got a reaction from Lord_James in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Wait...
     

    Panther says what?
     
     
  13. Tank You
    Donward got a reaction from Jeeps_Guns_Tanks in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Last time I checked, reading the forum, Jeeps has contributed hundreds of sourced documents on tanks including detailed engine diagrams of rare variants that are on this very forum. 
    How many of the articles in this forum have you read? Have you read all 89 pages of this topic?
    Yes? No?
     
    Also, he's a moderator here for a reason.
     
    You are NOT a moderator here for a reason.
     
    You're here because we are enjoying baiting a clueless Wehraboo who is white knighting for a literal war losing tank design. We like Wehraboo hunts. It's what we do.
     
    Again, you are here at discretion. 
     
    Protip: It is OK to be wrong on the Internet. Again. It is OK to be WRONG on the Internet (like you are at this moment). Many of us had Wehraboo tendencies as well when we were young and stupid, like you are right now. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your opinions? 
  14. Funny
  15. Tank You
    Donward got a reaction from Stimpy75 in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Last time I checked, reading the forum, Jeeps has contributed hundreds of sourced documents on tanks including detailed engine diagrams of rare variants that are on this very forum. 
    How many of the articles in this forum have you read? Have you read all 89 pages of this topic?
    Yes? No?
     
    Also, he's a moderator here for a reason.
     
    You are NOT a moderator here for a reason.
     
    You're here because we are enjoying baiting a clueless Wehraboo who is white knighting for a literal war losing tank design. We like Wehraboo hunts. It's what we do.
     
    Again, you are here at discretion. 
     
    Protip: It is OK to be wrong on the Internet. Again. It is OK to be WRONG on the Internet (like you are at this moment). Many of us had Wehraboo tendencies as well when we were young and stupid, like you are right now. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your opinions? 
  16. Tank You
    Donward got a reaction from Lord_James in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Last time I checked, reading the forum, Jeeps has contributed hundreds of sourced documents on tanks including detailed engine diagrams of rare variants that are on this very forum. 
    How many of the articles in this forum have you read? Have you read all 89 pages of this topic?
    Yes? No?
     
    Also, he's a moderator here for a reason.
     
    You are NOT a moderator here for a reason.
     
    You're here because we are enjoying baiting a clueless Wehraboo who is white knighting for a literal war losing tank design. We like Wehraboo hunts. It's what we do.
     
    Again, you are here at discretion. 
     
    Protip: It is OK to be wrong on the Internet. Again. It is OK to be WRONG on the Internet (like you are at this moment). Many of us had Wehraboo tendencies as well when we were young and stupid, like you are right now. Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your opinions? 
  17. Funny
    Donward got a reaction from Lord_James in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    This has been a successful Wehraboo Hunt. 
    Their impenetrable Wehraboo skulls, harder even than Krupp steel shall adorn our lodges. comieboo younglings shall listen in awed silence while grizzled hunters recount their kills as the Wehraboo beast flesh sizzles over the campfire.
    As a wise woman once said, long ago on the television, “It’s a Good thing”.
  18. Funny
    Donward got a reaction from delete013 in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    This has been a successful Wehraboo Hunt. 
    Their impenetrable Wehraboo skulls, harder even than Krupp steel shall adorn our lodges. comieboo younglings shall listen in awed silence while grizzled hunters recount their kills as the Wehraboo beast flesh sizzles over the campfire.
    As a wise woman once said, long ago on the television, “It’s a Good thing”.
  19. Funny
    Donward got a reaction from Jeeps_Guns_Tanks in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    This has been a successful Wehraboo Hunt. 
    Their impenetrable Wehraboo skulls, harder even than Krupp steel shall adorn our lodges. comieboo younglings shall listen in awed silence while grizzled hunters recount their kills as the Wehraboo beast flesh sizzles over the campfire.
    As a wise woman once said, long ago on the television, “It’s a Good thing”.
  20. Funny
    Donward reacted to Beer in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    It was one of the biggest tank battles of the western front and the initial part of it happened in a fog and was therefore very messy (the foggy day was chosen by the German side to avoid airforce). In the period of 10 days the 5. Panzerarmee was literally obliterated in their failed offensive with US loosing just 25 Shermans and 7 Hellcats. The 5th Army had 11. Panzer Division, 111. and 113. Panzerbrigades both armed with Panthers. The whole 5. Panzerarmee had only 62 tanks and StuG operational after 10 days of fighting from the initial 262. 
     
    The weird thing about this battle is that while today we know it was a German failure in that time the German leadership thought that the massive losses were justified by forcing the allied advance to stop. They didn't know Eisenhower ordered to stop the advance one day before the battle for logistical reasons. 
  21. Tank You
    Donward reacted to Toxn in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    "Average lifespan" bruv. 
     
    Well yes, because they operated Panthers for years longer than the Germans did, and without the constraints that are usually cited as affecting the German vehicles beyond the design itself.
    No, it indicates that they were monstrously unreliable. One example is merely a data point, yes. But eventually you end up with a trend.
    Nope. The Shermans did get better replacement parts and servicing (because the US can into logistics and late-war Germany couldn't) but they're more reliable beasts too. By any conceivable metric.
    What are you on about? The Maybach engine is huge!
    It's something like 1.2x1x1.3 metres (l/w/h) and puts out 440kW. That's 0.28W/cc.
    The V-2-34 is more compactly dimensioned height-wise (1.5x0.8x0.9m) and puts out 340kW. Which, if you can do maths, means that its specific power is around 0.3W/cc. Meaning that the Maybach is ever so slightly subpar when compared to a soviet diesel engine from 1937.
     
    As to "choosing between mobility, protection and firepower" - the IS-2 is more heavily armoured, has better firepower, is more mobile and weighs two tonnes less. How's that for optimization?
     
    Finally; "a generation above it's contemporaries"? Fucking really? A tank which was copied by no-one, whose technologies inspired no great interest, and whose legacy was a few years in the service of armies who ditched them the second they could?
     
    That's not a generation ahead of anything. That's stillbirth. The T-44 was half a generation ahead (and T-54 was all the way). The Centurion was everything the Panther was trying to be but actually successful (and even then sired no direct line of vehicles). Even the M26 was a harbinger of tank development to come. The Panther was simply a dead end, the inevitable product of a dysfunctional system. Which is not to say that it was useless, didn't have positive attributes, or that it didn't have a valid operational use once conceived and put into service. But definitely far short of being good, much less great.
  22. Metal
    Donward reacted to Beer in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Unreliable vehicle and badly serviced vehicle are two different things. When you issue a tank without spares and training for the crews and mechanics you won't get it work reliably no matter what tank it is. At worst you don't even issue the units with the right fuel. 
     
    God, basically everything in the world worked more reliably than 1941 Soviet mess. Can't you see that you just nicely shot yourself in the leg? 
  23. Tank You
    Donward reacted to Beer in Czechoslovak interwar bits   
    Few of my photos from Czechoslovak interwar tanks from Lešany museum. Pardon the quality, my poor old phone has an issue with non ideal lighting conditions. What is important is that all these vehicles are in running condition. 
     
    Škoda LT vz.35 / Pz.35(t) / R2 (in Romania), the main Czechoslovak tank by the time of Münich with 298 pieces in service (actually more because some Romanian tanks were temporarily confiscated directly in the factory but after Münich they were delivered to Romania anyway). I'd say a very good tank for its time whose reputation suffered in Russia in 1941-42 but that was in conditions for which it was never designed and also one has to take into account that this is a 1935 vehicle and it doesn't need a genius to see that this tank shall not fight the T-34 or KV. It was never very reliable even in Czechoslovak service but which tank was in 1930'? The main issues with Czechoslovak army were with the electric systems, however in Russia the problems came from the pneumatic system which had a tendency to freeze. Other than that it was a small, well protected (for its time and class) vehicle with very strong armament. It was not very fast but not badly slow either. What is very interesting is that it had a semi-automatic pneumatically-operated planetary transmission with 6 speeds in both directions (!). With that it was a very easy tank to drive, one can say even luxurious for the drivers. The well designed commander cupola was another of the very modern features. All visors also had 50 mm thick armoured glass inserts which was no standard at all at that time. The biggest drawback was probably the one-man turret but that was pretty standard at its time (the Germans added a second crewman in the turret by reducing the ammo stowage). Another drawback was that the original Czechoslovak radio vz.35 worked only in morse code and had relatively short range 2+ km (the Germans replaced the radio with voice one Fu-2 or Fu-5). Still morse radio is much better than no radio. From other interesting features I'd mention the fact that the coaxial vz.37 MG could be aimed independently on the main gun. The last thing to say is that by the fall of 1938 this tank could destroy all existing German tanks from reasonable distance while it was better protected than nearly all of those which were available for Wehrmacht at that time. AFAIK no Pz.III was in the combat units intended for the Fall Grün and only two dozens or so of Pz.IV were, otherwise it was only legions of Pz.I and II. 

     
    ČKD LT vz.38 / Pz.38(t). Pretty well known and successful tank, so I don't think I need to write about it a lot. It never made it to Czechoslovak service before Münich and actually all the initial series went directly to Wehrmacht in Spring 1939. Just like with the LT vz.35 the Germans added a second man into the turret. Maybe just in short what was was better with it compared to the LT vz.35 - it was faster, nimbler, much more reliable, more mechanically robust, better armed (it had a new powerful gun) and didn't have the complicated pneumatic system while still being easy tank to drive. Instead it used a semi-automatic Wilson planetary gearbox with five speeds forward and one backwards. In the end the best Czechoslovak tank was designed by Russian (Alexej Surin), it had Swedish engine (Scania Vabis), British gearbox (Wilson) and was used by Germany against it which was intended to be used... 
     
    Variants of the tank were also exported to Iran (two are even on display in Tehran), Slovakia and licence-built in Sweden.


     
    ČKD LTP - export tank to Peru. You can notice the older gun, simple cupola etc. These tanks were in use by Peruvian army till 1970' and in storage till 1990'. They were praised for reliability and good performance in the high mountains (for example in 1937 they measured the top speed 34 km/h at the altitude of 4200 meters ). Similar variant of the tank was also sold to Lithuania. 


     
    ČKD LTH - export tank to Switzerland. Used till 1950. The most interesting on it is probably the 24 mm automatic gun (fed by 6-round magazines) and the water-cooled Maxim MGs.

     
    ČKD AH-IV-S - export tankette for Sweden (1936). Crazy fast thing for its time. It was able to run 60 km/h with 15 mm armor and two HMGs. They were in use till 1953, I presume as scout vehicles. Different variants of this vehicle were used by Iran and Romania (with weaker engine) and funilly twenty were sold to Ethiopia even in 1950 (with diesel engine)! 

     
    A short note about the strategy and tactics in which the tanks played a big role. The Czechoslovak defence strategy counted with the fortifications to slow down the advancing enemy for enough time to allow relatively highly mobile field units inside the territory to fight where it was necessary (mainly the four so called Fast Divisions with fully motorized artillery, tank regiments and cavalry). The ultimate goal was to defend for time long enough to allow France, Romania and Yugoslavia as the main allies to mobilize and start military operations against Germany (or possibly Hungary).
     
    Ironically today when we know way more than what the polititians knew by that time and we can say that the plan would most likely work because Wehrmacht was unprepared for anything more than one-two weeks long campaign (one week long operation was even the plan), it had near undefended western border with France (7 divisions only), had no reasonable numerical advantage over Czechoslovakia (except for number of planes and tanks but those had their issues in that time too - for example Legion Condor with modern planes was still in Spain) - 38 against 36 divisions if I remember right and more of the Wehrmacht ones were incomplete compared to Czecholsovak ones, four of them were Austrian of questionable quality too. Germany counted with Hungary to attack Czechoslovakia but from the archives it seems that Hungary was too affraid of repeating 1919 defeat and would most likely opt to stay aside (in 1919 Romanian-Czechoslovak alliance defeated Hungary in a war for what is today south Slovakia). There was no element of surprise. Czecholsovakia managed to fully mobilize (unlike Poland) and distributed all supplies to field units. The German plans were somewhat different compared to the Czechoslovak anticipations but basically not in a way which would make things worse. Czechoslovak high command counted with two massive armoured assaults in north-south direction which would either force the army to retreat to Slovakia or surround it in central Bohemia (unlike most of French generals many Czechoslovak generals studied the Guderian's book Achtung Panzer! and were very enthusiastic about the mechanized warfare concept and tried to addapt it). The final German plan still counted with these two directions but with relatively limited forces (north was considred to be too heavily fortified and south too bad for logistics - not enough bridges and roads in Austria). As a result the German attack would come in six directions with relatively limited forces on each one moreover those would not get in the fight at once but would engage as they would get to the area (to create an element of surprise they were not concentrated near the front, however no element of surprise existed at that time). The advantage in airfoce was further reduced by the weather. The war was about to start on 1st October when it was foggy and rainy weather. At least half of the first day attack would be without any air support at all. The rest of the month was not very good for flying either. Part of the plan was a massive airdrop behind the fortification line in the northern sector. AFAIK this operation was executed in April 1939 as a training event and it went terribly wrong even without any opposition. The experience was not yet there. In the end the big question was the impact of the local Suddendeutsche Freikorps units in Czechoslovakia (roughly 40 thousand very lightly armed men whose target was to sabotage military traffic and commnucations and to create unrest, they had mostly only pistols, hunting rifles and explosives).
     
    All in all we will never know what would happen but I'm fairly sure there was no blitzkieg to happen. The main reason being that the Wehrmacht didn't have the Czechoslovak manforce and weapons it had in Poland and the fact that the creation process of both the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe was still far from being finished. Little known fact is that Wehrmacht rose by hundreds of thousands men when the Sudettenland was taken by Germany - men who went through Czechoslovak military service in 1918-1938 while Germany alone started the mandatory military service only in 1936 and therefore had massive men-shortage before Anschluss of Austria and Suddetenland. I think that the most famous "Czechoslovak German" soldier was the tank ace Kurt Knispel. I have not found the complete numbers but it's estimated that 300-500 thousands of Sudettendeutsche soldiers died in the war which is an absolutely enormous number considering the population of only 3,2 million (in fact 2,4 million of Germans were forced to leave Czechoslovakia in 1945 and of those missing 800 thousand majority probably died in the war and part fled already before the war ended).   
  24. Tank You
    Donward 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. 
  25. Funny
    Donward reacted to Jeeps_Guns_Tanks in StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)   
    Dude, that's a really dumb argument, they eventually fixed the T-34 and even made it better. The Panther was such trash, it wasn't fixable, kind of like your argument. 
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