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StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)


EnsignExpendable
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1 hour ago, XDrake said:

Is there actually any documentation on the sideskirts that are portrayed on most model kits and video game models of the E-100? If thats the case what were the supposed armored values? I think its also pretty much an innovation in german armour design in WW2. Havent seen any addon/modular armor on other WW2 tanks.

 

example here:

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Model kit:

81tGKJVIasL._SL1500_.jpg

WoT:

maxresdefault.jpg

War Thunder:

e-100a2.jpg

 

 

There are photographs and drawings in the Panzer Tracts volume on it and the Maus.  Link with pdf download below:

 

On 7/4/2018 at 9:30 AM, Walter_Sobchak said:

 

WoT has the skirts' armor value at 60mm, but I can't say if that's an official number.

 

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13 hours ago, XDrake said:

Is there actually any documentation on the sideskirts that are portrayed on most model kits and video game models of the E-100? If thats the case what were the supposed armored values?

 

12 hours ago, Scolopax said:

There are photographs and drawings in the Panzer Tracts volume on it and the Maus.  Link with pdf download below:

 

WoT has the skirts' armor value at 60mm, but I can't say if that's an official number.

I don't see anything in Panzer Tracts 6-3 about those plates thicknesses. It's possible they weren't armor steel and considered semi-disposable, like the plates on the Tigers

 

Skimming Google, there looks to be a US Intel profile of the armor on a Roblox wiki of all things, but it only lists the armor angles. That angle measurement may have been misinterpreted in the decades following, as this more modern image assumes 60mm armor thickness instead of 60 degrees angle on the upper side. This profile from a Russian publication seems to suggest in the ballpark though, at 55mm.


Looking in Special Panzer Variants by Spielberger, there doesn't seem mention of the plates thicknesses either. There could be information gleaned from the blueprints though. But the originals were lost or buried in the archives(AFAIK, Yuri Pasholok does have one of the design prints for the turret assembly though). As Spielberger tells, after the war, one of the guys behind the E-100's assembly was roped in Operation Paperclip and offered to recreate the blueprints from memory, which is this thing. It's large, but still too low resolution to properly read it. Luckily, Spielberger has a copy in his book spread over two pages and is quite legible. We can utilize the front or rear image faces to scale things properly and try to get an estimate at least to the bottom lip thickness of the side plates.

 

tl;dr - Running an estimate on the forward face, I got an estimate on the lip just before it meets the front corner of the hull of about 71mm. Running a separate estimate based on the top view, with the hull width run against the plate thickness that is vertical and parallel to the hull, I got 68mm. I could probably get more specific if I had a better copy of the plans, or a more precise measuring tool than MS Paint's coordinate system assisted with some number crunching in Excel.

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14 hours ago, EnsignExpendable said:

The Americans had addon armour developed for the M10 GMC. It was trialled but never deployed IIRC.

Did not know that, but addon armor on the M10 doesnt sound reasonable since its probably not supposed to take fire from anything larger than infantry rifles anyways

 

14 hours ago, Scolopax said:

 

There are photographs and drawings in the Panzer Tracts volume on it and the Maus.  Link with pdf download below:

 

 

WoT has the skirts' armor value at 60mm, but I can't say if that's an official number.

 

I did some search on Google myself and the specific values seem to vary.

 

1 hour ago, Legiondude said:

 

I don't see anything in Panzer Tracts 6-3 about those plates thicknesses. It's possible they weren't armor steel and considered semi-disposable, like the plates on the Tigers

 

Skimming Google, there looks to be a US Intel profile of the armor on a Roblox wiki of all things, but it only lists the armor angles. That angle measurement may have been misinterpreted in the decades following, as this more modern image assumes 60mm armor thickness instead of 60 degrees angle on the upper side. This profile from a Russian publication seems to suggest in the ballpark though, at 55mm.


Looking in Special Panzer Variants by Spielberger, there doesn't seem mention of the plates thicknesses either. There could be information gleaned from the blueprints though. But the originals were lost or buried in the archives(AFAIK, Yuri Pasholok does have one of the design prints for the turret assembly though). As Spielberger tells, after the war, one of the guys behind the E-100's assembly was roped in Operation Paperclip and offered to recreate the blueprints from memory, which is this thing. It's large, but still too low resolution to properly read it. Luckily, Spielberger has a copy in his book spread over two pages and is quite legible. We can utilize the front or rear image faces to scale things properly and try to get an estimate at least to the bottom lip thickness of the side plates.

 

tl;dr - Running an estimate on the forward face, I got an estimate on the lip just before it meets the front corner of the hull of about 71mm. Running a separate estimate based on the top view, with the hull width run against the plate thickness that is vertical and parallel to the hull, I got 68mm. I could probably get more specific if I had a better copy of the plans, or a more precise measuring tool than MS Paint's coordinate system assisted with some number crunching in Excel.

Nice job. According to this post from the War Thunder website your estimates seem to be about right. They state 75mm. They also have some interesting pictures of their recreation process.

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So basically this means, that the heavier Leo-1A2 turret only had somewhat thicker side armor... Quite unimpressive. Leopard-1 was an incredibly poorly armored tank. Strange that they didnt even try to make it proof against BR-412D, which though not particularly good at penetration (basically ww2 tech), had incredibly devastating behind armor effect.

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15 hours ago, heretic88 said:

So basically this means, that the heavier Leo-1A2 turret only had somewhat thicker side armor... Quite unimpressive. Leopard-1 was an incredibly poorly armored tank. Strange that they didnt even try to make it proof against BR-412D, which though not particularly good at penetration (basically ww2 tech), had incredibly devastating behind armor effect.

 

It wasn't meant to be well armored.  They wanted firepower and speed.  Given the limitations of 1960's era armor technology and the strategic situation West Germany faced at the time, I think it was a pretty reasonable choice.  I've always thought the Leopard I was a pretty good tank for it's time.  I would have picked it over a Chieftain in most situations.  Not sure I would have picked it over an M60 though.  

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On 8/10/2018 at 6:32 PM, EnsignExpendable said:

The Americans had addon armour developed for the M10 GMC. It was trialled but never deployed IIRC.

 

Yeah, that's what all the bolts on the hull and turret were for. I wonder why they never tried it in combat?  Maybe because the TD people wanted more mobility, not less, and thought the M10s main flaw was it was to slow. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

Yeah, that's what all the bolts on the hull and turret were for. I wonder why they never tried it in combat?  Maybe because the TD people wanted more mobility, not less, and thought the M10s main flaw was it was to slow. 

 

 

That would be my guess too.  Although just to clarify, when you say TD people, that refers to the leadership.  The guys actually driving these things around were quite happy to have whatever armor they could get.  I think there was even a TD battalion that refused to switch from M10 TDs to M18 Hellcats because of how little armor they had.  I'll have to look up where I read that.

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38 minutes ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

 

That would be my guess too.  Although just to clarify, when you say TD people, that refers to the leadership.  The guys actually driving these things around were quite happy to have whatever armor they could get.  I think there was even a TD battalion that refused to switch from M10 TDs to M18 Hellcats because of how little armor they had.  I'll have to look up where I read that.

 

Yeah, I read the same thing, I think it was in Yeide's tank destroyer book. 

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1 minute ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

 

Yeah, I read the same thing, I think it was in Yeide's tank destroyer book. 

 

Sounds about right.  Anyhow, I think the M10 is a pretty underrated vehicle.  It certainly had some flaws (no coax machine gun, manual turret traverse), but it was a pretty good can opener by the standards of 1943.  

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7 hours ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

 

It wasn't meant to be well armored.  They wanted firepower and speed.  Given the limitations of 1960's era armor technology and the strategic situation West Germany faced at the time, I think it was a pretty reasonable choice.  I've always thought the Leopard I was a pretty good tank for it's time.  I would have picked it over a Chieftain in most situations.  Not sure I would have picked it over an M60 though.  

Im not really sure what to think about the Leopard-1. Yes, it had great mobility, also good firepower. But that total neglect of armor... And its not just the protection-firepower-mobility triumvirate. For quite a long time, it didnt have a stabilizer, this somewhat negated its advantages in mobility. I have a soviet gunnery manual for T-62, and they acknowledge that the Leopard is very fast, but then strongly emphasize the lack of stabilizer, as an exploitable weakness. The night fighting ability of the Leopard until the PZB-200 was also quite deficient. At night, it actually had a 3 man crew, since the gunner didnt have any night sights, so he could do nothing at all. The commander now had to aim the gun, distracting him from his other duties. This is even worse than soviet tanks with their quite poor IR sights, where the commander at least could help with observation, at least for shorter ranges (~500m).

In my opinion, the Leopard was greatly inferior to the M-60A1. The american tank was slower, but actually had better cross country capability, had the best armor in the world until the appearance of the T-64 (fully 100mm APHE/APDS/APFSDS proof frontally). It also lacked stabilizer, but had much better night fighting ability. Probably it was also the best tank in the world in the 60s.

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17 hours ago, Xlucine said:

Protection from 100mm APHE isn't to be sniffed at, that's the same level as the chieftain specification - a pretty big jump from leopard 1 armour

 

Yes, would be interesting to see a weight comparison between the two turrets. How heavy was the Chieftain's turret casting (without any other components)?

 

3 hours ago, heretic88 said:

The night fighting ability of the Leopard until the PZB-200 was also quite deficient. At night, it actually had a 3 man crew, since the gunner didnt have any night sights, so he could do nothing at all. The commander now had to aim the gun, distracting him from his other duties. This is even worse than soviet tanks with their quite poor IR sights, where the commander at least could help with observation, at least for shorter ranges (~500m).

 

Night fighting in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s was a horrible idea for all involved. As all IR sights of the era required an active source, it made the illuminating tank very easy to spot. Also the gunner still has to do his part of the job, it is not the case that the commander does everything. The commander just spots the target and instructs the gunner.

 

The reason why there is only one IR sight on the Leopard 1 are simple:

1. Unlike all other tanks of the era, the Leopard 1's gunner's sight was integrated into the rangefinder, making it impossible to directly integrate an IR sight into it. Therefore the gunner could only have a small auxiallary IR sight mounted to roof at best, which wouldn't provide enough effective range to spot targets at night - or the commander would have no IR sight.

2. The commander's task is to lead the tank, so he needs an IR sight. For the German army, mounting a short-ranged night vision system as used by the Soviet tank commanders or by the OB-23-A as usedd by the commander of the AMX-30 was not considered enough. There is a difference in doctrine, which is reflected in the fact that the Leopard 1 commander was provided with an independent sight (at first TRP, later PERI R12). The Leopard 1 commander  can - since the original production model - override the gunner's inputs and has fire priority. He also doesn't operate the roof-mounted MG. In other words you could say, that in the German opinion the tank commander is more of a gunner than in the opinion of tje US Army and Soviets.

 

In the end is a question of what you want: a good long range IR sight or two less capable systems? For the Leopard 1, the combination of B 171 II sight and XSW-30-U searchlight are said in German books to have a maximum range of 1,200 to 1,500 metres. That is a big difference compared to the M60's 1,000 metres and the TPN-1's 600-800 metres.

 

The PzB 200 and similar LLTV systems were the first optics that actually made it possible to fire at night withotu exposing yourself (or another tank of your company) to the enemy while aiming... and it actually outranged all Soviet IR systems.

 

3 hours ago, heretic88 said:

In my opinion, the Leopard was greatly inferior to the M-60A1. The american tank was slower, but actually had better cross country capability, had the best armor in the world until the appearance of the T-64 (fully 100mm APHE/APDS/APFSDS proof frontally). It also lacked stabilizer, but had much better night fighting ability. Probably it was also the best tank in the world in the 60s. 

 

The M60A1 has worse cross-country mobility given its weaker engine, lower suspension performance and greater weight. It also didn't have the best armor in the world, the Chieftain was the best protected tank at the time: it had a larger protected frontal arc: 45° instead of 30° ( ±  15°) from the turret centerline, a lower profile and thicker armor.

 

The M60 btw. is far from immune to 100 mm APHE round  (I don't even think we need to talk about 100 mm APDS and APFSDS rounds...):

 

l68juwV.jpg

 

The M60 is vulnerable to 100 mm AP at ranges similar to the Leopard 1, if you take into account the whole frontal 60° arc. The M60A1 is still more vulnerable than the early Leopard 2(K/PT), but probably about as good - maybe a bit better - armored than the Leopard 1A3, 1A4 and 1A1A1 on the turret. The real difference in armor protection is the hull, which isn't particular likely to be hit.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Wiedzmin said:

ThnNupQ.jpg

 

 

And this shows what? Aside of the author being very much pro-Chieftain, the Leopard 1 is clearly faster at acclerating. This is a cross-country test, so all vehicle results will be closer than on flat surface. Given that the acceleration hasn't stopped at 500 m, it is a rather misleading table. The German military considered 400 m to be the minimum distance of tactical movement.

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Book gives name of exercise, you can try find report, it's not "pro-chieftain" it's usual trials , real tank mobility have nothing to "max.speed" and all of that "max" values, so in real life there is no great advantage of Leo1 mobility over any western tank in cross-country, if i remember correctly this is one of many tests show that's is nothing "special" in Leo1 mobility. 

 

 

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The author of the book is pro-Chieftain, the test results are not. These tests need to be put into a context, which the author doesn't do. He just says "look, Chieftain is only 7.4 seconds slower to 500 m" distance (when driving along a certain cross-country track), but in reality it matters how often the tank will need to drive 500 m, how much will it drive less and how often more than 500 m? What is the requirement? Being exposed for 5 to 10 seconds longer to enemy fire can be the difference between life and death. And acceleration cross-country is only small part of the overall mobility.

 

The source of the values is the Dutch exercise, in which they compared the Leopard 1 and Chieftain as potential successors for the Centurion. They ended up buying the Leopard 1 despite its lower armor protection and smaller gun calibre, because it proved to be better in several aspects such as reliability, fire control and mobility. The whole page of the book however is saying "the Dutch were wrong, their Inspector of Cavalry wanted the Leopard 1, he was so biased". It is rather common for British authors to find excuses for the poor state of British tanks. The Chieftain is unreliable? "It's the fault of NATO's multi-fuel requirements" (which were met by other, more reliable tanks at the same time). The Challenger 1 underperforms in CAT? "The rules of the event forced us to send the wrong unit to Germany, the other unit would have won the event" - meanwhile conscripts (!) in the Leopard 1 performed better. The Challenger 2E performs badly in the Greek trials? Well, they used the wrong propellant charges (even though the same propellant charges were used in Oman). 

 

Authors from other countries are biased just as well (there are lots of biased German books), but they usually don't have to invent their own theories about why their tanks didn't sell on the global MBT market.

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1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

The author of the book is pro-Chieftain, the test results are not. These tests need to be put into a context, which the author doesn't do. He just says "look, Chieftain is only 7.4 seconds slower to 500 m" distance (when driving along a certain cross-country track), but in reality it matters how often the tank will need to drive 500 m, how much will it drive less and how often more than 500 m? What is the requirement?

well, lets make it simple 

 

1 squad Chieftan

1 squad Leo1

1 squad M60A1

 

how fast each squad can make a march cross-country  at 300km ? 500km ? 

 

I'm not trying to argue with you or with somebody. 

 

all this "armour protects only from rain and wind, but mobility!111" looks also like 

 

but what we have at the moment ? british "pro-Chieftain"(i understand the fact that all nations have theirs idiotic "national pride") report(about real test) and what report from german side about Leo1 vs any western tank ?

 

 

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5 hours ago, Wiedzmin said:

Book gives name of exercise, you can try find report, it's not "pro-chieftain" it's usual trials , real tank mobility have nothing to "max.speed" and all of that "max" values, so in real life there is no great advantage of Leo1 mobility over any western tank in cross-country, if i remember correctly this is one of many tests show that's is nothing "special" in Leo1 mobility. 

 

 

 

The Leo 1 beat the snot out of other Western MBTs in terms of practical mobility in its day.  There are some tests that show that Chieftains were almost as good, but it's trivial to set up a test where the primary limitation on average speed is avoidance of obstacles that are hard to see.  In that case, all drivers would need to slow down enormously so they could see the obstacles (hidden by tall grass, for instance), and all tanks tested would have the same practical mobility.

But on more representative courses, the Leopard 1 has several advantages over contemporary Western MBTs in addition to its higher power to weight ratio. 

 

The steering on the Leo 1 was better.  The Leo 1 had a two-speed steering drive and a differential lock.  This meant that the Leo 1 had two steering radii per transmission gear, which meant that the driver could select a small or large radius turn without having to upshift or downshift (and thus loose speed).  The differential lock prevented the tank from "self-steering" on uneven terrain, which meant that the driver didn't need to make periodic corrections when trying to drive in a straight line on a slant.  This system also prevents the loss of traction on one track when maneuvering in mud.  The only contemporary tanks with better steering were the Swiss Pz. 61/68.

 

The Leo 1 had a total of 383-407mm of total travel of its road wheels.  This was much better suspension than the M60 had, with a mere 292mm.  The AMX-30 was even worse with only 279mm of total travel, and Chieftain didn't even have independently suspended roadhweels, but even a single wheel could only translate through 242mm.  This gave the Leo 1 a considerable edge on other Western tanks on terrain with lots of small bumps, as it would much better isolate its crew from vibration and jolting.

 

The Leopard 1 had rubber-bushed, double-pin tracks.  These lasted longer than the single-pin tracks on Chieftain.  Leopard 1 also pioneered the powerpack concept.  I don't think any contemporary tank could have its entire engine and transmission swapped as quickly.  In Australian trials the Leo 1 was found to be more reliable than the M60, and while Chieftain and AMX-30 competed for last in that generation of tanks.

 

There were only two aspects of mobility where the Leopard 1 wasn't best in class at the time.  With a maximum hull width of 3.37 meters, it was somewhat outside the 3.15 Berne international railway gauge limit.  Leo 1s could still be transported by rail, but schedules would need to be double-checked to make sure that the train going in the opposite direction from the one carrying the tanks wasn't carrying anything really wide.  The AMX-30 and Pz. 61/68 were within the 3.15 meter limit, and thus enjoyed unrestricted rail movement.  Chieftain and M60 are both chunky, and stick out from their transport rail cars. The Leopard 1 also had about 10% greater mean maximum ground pressure than the M60A1, but had substantially lower MMP than the AMX-30 or Chieftain.  The M60 would have sunk into boggy ground and mud somewhat less than the Leo 1, but the Leo 1 would have sunk in substantially less than an AMX-30 or Chieftian.

 

So, aside from taking the silver medal in terms of rail transport and ground pressure, the Leo 1 was head and shoulders above contemporary Western MBTs for all aspects of mobility.

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4 hours ago, Collimatrix said:

 

The Leo 1 beat the snot out of other Western MBTs in terms of practical mobility in its day.  There are some tests that show that Chieftains were almost as good, but it's trivial to set up a test where the primary limitation on average speed is avoidance of obstacles that are hard to see.  In that case, all drivers would need to slow down enormously so they could see the obstacles (hidden by tall grass, for instance), and all tanks tested would have the same practical mobility.

But on more representative courses, the Leopard 1 has several advantages over contemporary Western MBTs in addition to its higher power to weight ratio. 

 

The steering on the Leo 1 was better.  The Leo 1 had a two-speed steering drive and a differential lock.  This meant that the Leo 1 had two steering radii per transmission gear, which meant that the driver could select a small or large radius turn without having to upshift or downshift (and thus loose speed).  The differential lock prevented the tank from "self-steering" on uneven terrain, which meant that the driver didn't need to make periodic corrections when trying to drive in a straight line on a slant.  This system also prevents the loss of traction on one track when maneuvering in mud.  The only contemporary tanks with better steering were the Swiss Pz. 61/68.

 

The Leo 1 had a total of 383-407mm of total travel of its road wheels.  This was much better suspension than the M60 had, with a mere 292mm.  The AMX-30 was even worse with only 279mm of total travel, and Chieftain didn't even have independently suspended roadhweels, but even a single wheel could only translate through 242mm.  This gave the Leo 1 a considerable edge on other Western tanks on terrain with lots of small bumps, as it would much better isolate its crew from vibration and jolting.

 

The Leopard 1 had rubber-bushed, double-pin tracks.  These lasted longer than the single-pin tracks on Chieftain.  Leopard 1 also pioneered the powerpack concept.  I don't think any contemporary tank could have its entire engine and transmission swapped as quickly.  In Australian trials the Leo 1 was found to be more reliable than the M60, and while Chieftain and AMX-30 competed for last in that generation of tanks.

 

There were only two aspects of mobility where the Leopard 1 wasn't best in class at the time.  With a maximum hull width of 3.37 meters, it was somewhat outside the 3.15 Berne international railway gauge limit.  Leo 1s could still be transported by rail, but schedules would need to be double-checked to make sure that the train going in the opposite direction from the one carrying the tanks wasn't carrying anything really wide.  The AMX-30 and Pz. 61/68 were within the 3.15 meter limit, and thus enjoyed unrestricted rail movement.  Chieftain and M60 are both chunky, and stick out from their transport rail cars. The Leopard 1 also had about 10% greater mean maximum ground pressure than the M60A1, but had substantially lower MMP than the AMX-30 or Chieftain.  The M60 would have sunk into boggy ground and mud somewhat less than the Leo 1, but the Leo 1 would have sunk in substantially less than an AMX-30 or Chieftian.

 

So, aside from taking the silver medal in terms of rail transport and ground pressure, the Leo 1 was head and shoulders above contemporary Western MBTs for all aspects of mobility.

 

Because I am obligated by family pride and history, I have to defend the honor of the M60 by pointing out that it was effectively a much older design than the Leopard I.  Whereas the Leo 1 was part of the second generation of the postwar tanks, M60 is essentially an improved version of the US first generation postwar tank, the M48.  So to come in second in mobility while being older than its competitors (AMX-30, Chieftain, Leo I are all second gen tanks) is not bad at all.    Oddly, while M60 was considered a bit of a stopgag when it came out, it soldered on as the main US tank for over 20 years.  I also think it's interesting that the first generation of British postwar tanks, the Centurion, would go on to be one of the most successful tanks of the cold war, at least when upgraded with the M60 powertrain.  

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1 hour ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

 

Because I am obligated by family pride and history, I have to defend the honor of the M60 by pointing out that it was effectively a much older design than the Leopard I.  Whereas the Leo 1 was part of the second generation of the postwar tanks, M60 is essentially an improved version of the US first generation postwar tank, the M48.  So to come in second in mobility while being older than its competitors (AMX-30, Chieftain, Leo I are all second gen tanks) is not bad at all.    Oddly, while M60 was considered a bit of a stopgag when it came out, it soldered on as the main US tank for over 20 years.  I also think it's interesting that the first generation of British postwar tanks, the Centurion, would go on to be one of the most successful tanks of the cold war, at least when upgraded with the M60 powertrain.  

 

To further muddle the waters, by the late 60s/early 70s, several drivetrain improvements and improved suspension components were developed for M60 that would have made up the performance gap had the army actually bought them. (Thinking of the XT-1400 and RK304 transmission options, various improvements to the engine culminating in the 1200hp versions, and the different torsion bar replacements)

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8 hours ago, Collimatrix said:

 

The Leo 1 beat the snot out of other Western MBTs in terms of practical mobility in its day.  There are some tests that show that Chieftains were almost as good, but it's trivial to set up a test where the primary limitation on average speed is avoidance of obstacles that are hard to see.  In that case, all drivers would need to slow down enormously so they could see the obstacles (hidden by tall grass, for instance), and all tanks tested would have the same practical mobility.

But on more representative courses, the Leopard 1 has several advantages over contemporary Western MBTs in addition to its higher power to weight ratio. 

 

The steering on the Leo 1 was better.  The Leo 1 had a two-speed steering drive and a differential lock.  This meant that the Leo 1 had two steering radii per transmission gear, which meant that the driver could select a small or large radius turn without having to upshift or downshift (and thus loose speed).  The differential lock prevented the tank from "self-steering" on uneven terrain, which meant that the driver didn't need to make periodic corrections when trying to drive in a straight line on a slant.  This system also prevents the loss of traction on one track when maneuvering in mud.  The only contemporary tanks with better steering were the Swiss Pz. 61/68.

 

The Leo 1 had a total of 383-407mm of total travel of its road wheels.  This was much better suspension than the M60 had, with a mere 292mm.  The AMX-30 was even worse with only 279mm of total travel, and Chieftain didn't even have independently suspended roadhweels, but even a single wheel could only translate through 242mm.  This gave the Leo 1 a considerable edge on other Western tanks on terrain with lots of small bumps, as it would much better isolate its crew from vibration and jolting.

 

The Leopard 1 had rubber-bushed, double-pin tracks.  These lasted longer than the single-pin tracks on Chieftain.  Leopard 1 also pioneered the powerpack concept.  I don't think any contemporary tank could have its entire engine and transmission swapped as quickly.  In Australian trials the Leo 1 was found to be more reliable than the M60, and while Chieftain and AMX-30 competed for last in that generation of tanks.

 

There were only two aspects of mobility where the Leopard 1 wasn't best in class at the time.  With a maximum hull width of 3.37 meters, it was somewhat outside the 3.15 Berne international railway gauge limit.  Leo 1s could still be transported by rail, but schedules would need to be double-checked to make sure that the train going in the opposite direction from the one carrying the tanks wasn't carrying anything really wide.  The AMX-30 and Pz. 61/68 were within the 3.15 meter limit, and thus enjoyed unrestricted rail movement.  Chieftain and M60 are both chunky, and stick out from their transport rail cars. The Leopard 1 also had about 10% greater mean maximum ground pressure than the M60A1, but had substantially lower MMP than the AMX-30 or Chieftain.  The M60 would have sunk into boggy ground and mud somewhat less than the Leo 1, but the Leo 1 would have sunk in substantially less than an AMX-30 or Chieftian.

 

So, aside from taking the silver medal in terms of rail transport and ground pressure, the Leo 1 was head and shoulders above contemporary Western MBTs for all aspects of mobility.

Plus the Leo didn't poison everybody in its vicinity with unburnt fuel, which the Chirftain kinda did.

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    • By SH_MM
      Found a few higher resolution photographs from the recent North Korean military parade. We didn't have a topic for BEST KOREAN armored fighting vehicles, so here it is.
       
      New main battle tank, Abrams-Armata clone based on Ch'ŏnma turret design (welded, box-shaped turret) and Sŏn'gun hull design (i.e. centerline driver's position). The bolts of the armor on the hull front is finally visible given the increased resolution. It might not be ERA given the lack of lines inbetween. Maybe is a NERA module akin to the MEXAS hull add-on armor for the Leopard 2A5?
       
      Other details include an APS with four radar panels (the side-mounted radar panels look a lot different - and a lot more real - than the ones mounted at the turret corners) and twelve countermeasures in four banks (two banks à three launchers each at the turret front, two banks à three launchers on the left and right side of the turret). Thermal imagers for gunner and commander, meteorological mast, two laser warning receivers, 115 mm smoothbore gun without thermal sleeve but with muzze reference system, 30 mm grenade launcher on the turret, six smoke grenade dischargers (three at each turret rear corner)
       


       
      IMO the layout of the roof-mounted ERA is really odd. Either the armor array covering the left turret cheek is significantly thinner than the armor on the right turret cheek or the roof-mounted ERA overlaps with the armor.
       


      The first ERA/armor element of the skirt is connected by hinges and can probably swivel to allow better access to the track. There is a cut-out in the slat armor for the engine exhaust. Also note the actual turret ring - very small diameter compared to the outer dimensions of the turret.
       
      Stryker MGS copy with D-30 field gun clone and mid engine:

      Note there are four crew hatches. Driver (on the left front of the vehicle), commander (on the right front of the vehicle, seat is placed a bit further back), gunner (left side of the gun's overhead mount, next to the gunner's sight) and unknown crew member (right side of gun's overhead mount with 30 mm automatic grenade launcher mounted at the hatch). The vehicle also has a thermal imager and laser rangefinder (gunner's sight is identical to the new tank), but no independent optic for the commander. It also has the same meteorological mast and laser warner receivers as the new MBT.
       
      What is the purpose of the fourth crew member? He cannot realistically load the gun...
       
      The vehicle has a small trim vane for swimming, the side armor is made of very thin spaced steel that is bend on multiple spots, so it clearly is not ceramic armor as fitted to the actual Stryker.

       
      The tank destroyer variant of the same Stryker MGS copy fitted with a Bulsae-3 ATGM launcher.
       

      Note that there is again a third hatch with 30 mm automatic grenade launcher behind the commander's position. Laser warning receivers and trime vane are again stand-out features. The sighting complex for the Bulsae-3 ATGMs is different with a large circular optic (fitted with cover) probably being a thermal imager and two smaller lenses visible on the very right (as seen from the vehicle's point of view) probably containing a day sight and parts of the guidance system.
       

      Non line-of-sight ATGM carrier based on the 6x6 local variant of the BTR, again fitted with laser warning receivers and a trim vane. There are only two hatches and two windows, but there is a three men crew inside.
       
       
      There are a lot more photos here, but most of them are infantry of missile system (MLRS' and ICBMs).
    • By Monochromelody
      Disappeared for a long period, Mai_Waffentrager reappeared four months ago. 
      This time, he took out another photoshoped artifact. 

      He claimed that the Japanese prototype 105GSR (105 mm Gun Soft Recoil) used an autoloader similar to Swedish UDES 19 project. Then he showed this pic and said it came from a Japanese patent file. 
      Well, things turn out that it cames from Bofors AG's own patent, with all markings and numbers wiped out. 

      original file→https://patents.google.com/patent/GB1565069A/en?q=top+mounted+gun&assignee=bofors&oq=top+mounted+gun+bofors
      He has not changed since his Type 90 armor scam busted. Guys, stay sharp and be cautious. 
       
    • By LostCosmonaut
      Backstory (skip if you don't like alternate history junk)
       
      The year is 2239. It has been roughly 210 years since the world was engulfed in nuclear war. Following the war, the United States splintered into hundreds of small statelets. While much knowledge was retained in some form (mostly through books and other printed media), the loss of population and destruction of industrial capability set back society immensely.
       
      Though the Pacific Northwest was less badly hit than other areas, the destruction of Seattle and Portland, coupled with the rupturing of the Cascadia Subduction Zone in 2043, caused society to regress to a mid-19th century technology level. However, in the early 2100s, the Cascade Republic formed, centered near Tacoma. The new nation grew rapidly, expanding to encompass most of Washington and Oregon by 2239. The Cascade Republic now extends from the Klamath River in the south to the Fraser River in the north, and from the Pacific roughly to central Idaho. Over time, the standard of living and industrial development improved (initially through salvaging of surviving equipment, by the late 2100s through new development); the population has grown to about 4.5 million (comparable to 1950 levels), and technology is at about a 1940 level. Automobiles are common, aircraft are less common, but not rare by any means. Computers are nonexistent aside from a few experimental devices; while scientists and engineers are aware of the principles behind microchips and other advanced electronics, the facilities to produce such components simply do not exist. Low rate production of early transistors recently restarted.
       
      The current armored force of the Cascade Republic consists of three armored brigades. They are presently equipped with domestically produced light tanks, dating to the 2190s. Weighing roughly 12 tons and armed with a 40mm gun, they represented the apex of the Cascade Republic's industrial capabilities at the time. And when they were built, they were sufficient for duties such as pacifying survivalist enclaves in remote areas. However, since that time, the geopolitical situation has complicated significantly. There are two main opponents the Cascade Republic's military could expect to face in the near future.
       
      The first is California. The state of California was hit particularly hard by the nuclear exchange. However, in 2160, several small polities in the southern part of the state near the ruins of Los Angeles unified. Adopting an ideology not unfamiliar to North Korea, the new state declared itself the successor to the legacy of California, and set about forcibly annexing the rest of the state. It took them less than 50 years to unite the rest of California, and spread into parts of Arizona and northern Mexico. While California's expansion stopped at the Klamath River for now, this is only due to poor supply lines and the desire to engage easier targets. (California's northward advanced did provide the final impetus for the last statelets in south Oregon to unify with the Cascade Republic voluntarily).
       
      California is heavily industrialized, possessing significant air, naval, and armored capabilities. Their technology level is comparable to the Cascade Republic's, but their superior industrial capabilities and population mean that they can produce larger vehicles in greater quantity than other countries. Intelligence shows they have vehicles weighing up to 50 tons with 3 inches of armor, though most of their tanks are much lighter.

      The expected frontlines for an engagement with the Californian military would be the coastal regions in southern Oregon. Advancing up the coastal roads would allow California to capture the most populated and industrialized regions of the Cascade Republic if they advanced far enough north. Fortunately, the terrain near the border is very difficult and favors the defender;


      (near the Californian border)


      The other opponent is Deseret, a Mormon theocratic state centered in Utah, and encompassing much of Nevada, western Colorado, and southern Idaho. Recently, tension has arisen with the Cascade Republic over two main issues. The first is the poorly defined border in Eastern Oregon / Northern Nevada; the old state boundary is virtually meaningless, and though the area is sparsely populated, it does represent a significant land area, with grazing and water resources. The more recent flashpoint is the Cascade Republic's recent annexation of Arco and the area to the east. Deseret historically regarded Idaho as being within its sphere of influence, and maintained several puppet states in the area (the largest being centered in Idaho Falls). They regard the annexation of a signficant (in terms of land area, not population) portion of Idaho as a major intrusion into their rightful territory. That the Cascade Republic has repaired the rail line leading to the old Naval Reactors Facility, and set up a significant military base there only makes the situation worse.
       
      Deseret's military is light and heavily focused on mobile operations. Though they are less heavily mechanized than the Cascade Republic's forces, operating mostly armored cars and cavalry, they still represent a significant threat  to supply and communication lines in the open terrain of eastern Oregon / southern Idaho.


      (a butte in the disputed region of Idaho, near Arco)
       
      Requirements
       
      As the head of a design team in the Cascade Republic military, you have been requested to design a new tank according to one of two specifications (or both if you so desire):
       
      Medium / Heavy Tank Weight: No more than 45 tons Width: No more than 10.8 feet (3.25 meters) Upper glacis / frontal turret armor of at least 3 in (76mm) LoS thickness Side armor at least 1in (25mm) thick (i.e. resistant to HMG fire) Power/weight ratio of at least 10 hp / ton No more than 6 crew members Primary armament capable of utilizing both anti-armor and high explosive rounds Light tank Weight: No more than 25 tons Width: No more than 10.8 feet Upper glacis / frontal turret armor of at least 1 in thickness Side armor of at least 3/8 in (10mm) thickness Power/weight ratio of at least 12 hp / ton No more than 6 crew members Primary armament capable of utilizing both anti-armor and high explosive rounds  
      Other relevant information:
      Any tank should be designed to operate against either of the Cascade Republic's likely opponents (California or Deseret) The primary heavy machine gun is the M2, the primary medium machine gun is the M240. Use of one or both of these as coaxial and/or secondary armament is encouraged. The secret archives of the Cascade Republic are available for your use. Sadly, there are no running prewar armored vehicles, the best are some rusted hulks that have long been stripped of usable equipment. (Lima Tank Plant ate a 500 kt ground burst) Both HEAT and APFSDS rounds are in testing. APCR is the primary anti-armor round of the Cascade Republic. Either diesel or gasoline engines are acceptable, the Cascade Republic is friendly with oil producing regions in Canada (OOC: Engines are at about a late 1940s/early 50s tech level) The adaptability of the tank to other variants (such as SPAA, SPG, recovery vehicle, etc.) is preferred but not the primary metric that will be used to decide on a design. Ease of maintenance in the field is highly important. Any designs produced will be compared against the M4 Sherman and M3 Stuart (for medium/heavy and light tank), as these blueprints are readily available, and these tanks are well within the Cascade Republic's manufacturing capabilities.  
       
       
       
       
    • By Sovngard
      Meanwhile at Eurosatory 2018 :
       
      The Euro Main Battle Tank (EMBT), a private venture project intended for the export market.
       


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