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DogDodger last won the day on April 17

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  1. For the record, the design to which I was referring as poor was the final drives, not the Panther per se. Going over all of its inherent pluses and minuses would take a longer post.
  2. As we discussed previously, the design itself was poor because it was known that the available materials were not up to the task. Spielberger says that a higher-strength steel was intended for the gears, but after this was "unexpectedly" replaced no alterations in the design were made (and depending on when this replacement occurred, alterations may have been impossible). The report was from Hauptmann Noak, commander of s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt.654, and was written on 24 July 1944, before the final drive improvements, to be fair.
  3. Ha, thanks! That's awesome, I didn't even realize until you said something. Unbalanced loads are hard on tracks: e.g., the weight imposed by the Tiger Ausf.B's overlapping Staffellaufwerk was biased to the inboard portion of the tracks, resulting in track pins bent to the point that they couldn't be pulled out of the link.
  4. Definitely unexpected results! Interesting assertion about the reduction gear preventing the Pershing's torque converter from slipping and that the Soviets found it performed well on slopes. In Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea, Gilbert says, "The M26 was a powerful vehicle, but as the tank crews soon discovered, if it stopped on a steep gradient the transmission would slip, and it was difficult or impossible to get it moving again. Help was needed and Eugene Viveiros, who, with one of the Headquarters Platoon [Sherman] blade tanks, attached himself to the 3rd Platoon, was ready to supply it.
  5. If it doesn't count as spam, there are some pictures of the spaced-out suspension on a hybrid M4 here.
  6. Ha, thanks. Flattery will get you...well pretty far, I suppose. Indeed. The state of German automotive technology was unprepared for mass-production of a 45,000 kg tank. As we've been over, and as Spielberger notes, "Since it was envisaged to produce the Panther in large numbers, production costs of various subassemblies would have to be kept to a minimum...If it had been possible to foresee what difficulties the final reduction gearing was to cause, it would have been a much better solution to have selected a more expensive final drive which provided a greater degree of reliability. I
  7. Could be, haven't read about that. Interesting, thanks; what is this from? Ogorkiewicz differentiates between double-differentials and the Panther's steering system, and has a pretty high opinion of it: ... Seeing M48s in person, the gun seemed a bit unimpressive compared to the size of the vehicle to me as well. The original cupola was pretty slick, but couldn't be reloaded from under armor, of course, so the bad M1 cupola was a go. Because he's the assistant driver; the radio was in the turret bustle. Perhaps a better question would be:
  8. The 90 mm gun T54 was in response to the PITA of loading the separate projectile/propellant case of the 90 mm gun T15E2 found in the T26E4 Pershing. The 90 mm gun T15E2 was in response to the PITA of loading the unitary ammunition for the 90 mm gun T15E1, which was fitted to the first T26E1 pilot and sent over to Europe during World War II, and whose adventures can be read in Hunnicutt's Pershing and Irwin's Another River, Another Town. The T54 gun went back to a unitary round, but the propellant case was shorter and wider, which eased handling in the confines of the tank but kept the chamber
  9. You might be able to get close with extra normally-spaced road wheels, but then you risk getting into TOG- or T-35-sized length, which would itself affect maneuverability. Not suggesting that the Schachtellaufwerk is worth the effort (the caveats at the end of the post hint toward my opinion), but when comparing the Pershing and Panther, just wanted to point out that nominal ground pressure tells far from the whole story. Perhaps Schachtellaufwerk might be thought of as almost a sort of technology demonstrator: outstanding softer-terrain performance though not necessarily cut out for the eas
  10. You have high standards for ground clearance. The Pershing was designated as a heavy for a short while, but was begat by a medium design; actual heavy designs were ongoing but didn't see service before the war ended. Hunnicutt and Yeide agree that the "heavy" nomenclature was mostly for morale purposes. I'm not sure it was quite as bad off-road as you make it seem, but I do find the T25 a tantalizing what-if. Panther used a geared steering system and not a triple-differential, no? The nominal ground pressures were indeed similar (and even favored the Pershing, depending on t
  11. Of course, I took it as a figurative statement. What I was hoping to illustrate, though, was that despite being ~17,000 lb heavier than an HVSS M4A3 and having essentially the same engine, the T26E1 was a large improvement in cross-country mobility with just a single torsion bar supporting each road wheel pair. The Panther's system doubtlessly provided a good and stable ride, but should the improvement over a single-bar system have justified its implementation? Germany was never going to out-produce its enemies, so a strategy of "qualitative" enhancement was logical, but it still seems that di
  12. Thanks The Pershing was labeled a heavy tank from 29 June 1944 to May 1946, mostly for morale purposes. It was begat from a program to replace the M4 medium tank, and there were actual heavy tanks being concurrently developed. The M26, though more heavily armored than its T25 sibling, still weighed over 34,000 lb less than the heavy tank M6. In September 1944, i.e., two months before the 90 mm gun, 92,000 lb T26E3 emerged from the T26E1, the Ordnance Committee recommended the development of the 105 mm gun, 141,000 lb T29 and the 155 mm gun, 142,000 lb T30. These were the US hea
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