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


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1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

I am also unsure whether AMRAAM-ER will be available with the high mobility launcher, given the fact that its 75% heavier and 12 inches longer.

 

 

It will according to Raytheon:

 

"The Raytheon High Mobility Launcher (HML) that will be provided for LAND 19 Phase 7B has also been upgraded with the same common launch rail and new electronics as the Mark 2 canister launcher. The launcher raises the missiles up to 30 degrees and can be rotated 360 degrees, and will give the HML a multi-missile capability for the AMRAAM, AIM-9X Block 2, and AMRAAM-ER.

 

Source: https://www.raytheon.com/sites/default/files/2019-04/ADBR_WorldLeader!_Land19_Supplement.pdf?linkId=66006150

 

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4 hours ago, SH_MM said:

All of these systems are more capable than the standard AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel F1 of NASAMS - both in range and resolution, though they tend to be also significantly larger.

And more expensive. The whole point of the Sentilel is that its a small, relatively cheap radar. That means that one NASAMS division can have multiple Sentilel radars, so the loss of one or two will not significantly reduce the effectiveness of the system. Also, having multiple radars doesnt mean that all are operating at the same time. One radar transmitting, while other radars waiting or moving to new locations. Again good for survivability, and makes the enemy's job harder.

 

4 hours ago, SH_MM said:

I haven't seen any exact figures for NASAMS,

I read 25 kilometers somewhere. So basically the same as IRIS-T.

 

4 hours ago, SH_MM said:

I am also unsure whether AMRAAM-ER will be available with the high mobility launcher, given the fact that its 75% heavier and 12 inches longer.

I dont think it is important. Finland mounted the launchers on their own Sisu E13 heavy trucks, which are just as good. Maybe its a bit slower on roads, but thats not a big deal. Sadly it isnt known on what platforms we will use for NASAMS, but I think the most probable will be the locally produced Rába trucks. (similar to MAN HX) Not really offroad vehicles, but will be okay I think. (I'd rather put the launchers on Kraz-260, still serving here). Anyway, NASAMS can be mounted on any platform, its a good thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Anecdote:

 

As a sort of test run of my "fix a tank" competition series idea, I had a go at fixing the Panther (ie: the most talked-about problem child of the war). The rules here were to make the fix as historically realistic as possible - ie: no blowing a smoking crater in the Reichstag or 6th Department, no ignoring the large industrial concerns etc. I also tried to take into account the stated requirements and preferences that drove the project and got MAN the nod over DB: sloped armour, mid-mounted Krupp turret, front drive, torsion-bar suspension, Kniepkamp's interleaved suspension, the use of a Maybach engine of some variety, honking big gun courtesy of Rheinmetall, and 60-100mm of armour thickness up front.

 

And funnily enough, once I'd gotten my head around the dumpster fire that was German AFV procurement in the 1930s to the end of WWII, I came to realise that Panther was about as good as it was going to get for the Germans. Really, the most that could have been hoped for in the real world was that more attention got paid to managing the weight of the beast, that the ergonomics were given more priority, and that some of the really dumb mechanical innovations that the Germans seemed to cram into everything (ie: mechanical turret drive) were left out. All of which would have lead to a 35-tonne monster instead of a 38-tonne one.  

 

German AFV development just really sucked that badly.

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14 hours ago, Toxn said:

Anecdote:

 

As a sort of test run of my "fix a tank" competition series idea, I had a go at fixing the Panther (ie: the most talked-about problem child of the war). The rules here were to make the fix as historically realistic as possible - ie: no blowing a smoking crater in the Reichstag or 6th Department, no ignoring the large industrial concerns etc. I also tried to take into account the stated requirements and preferences that drove the project and got MAN the nod over DB: sloped armour, mid-mounted Krupp turret, front drive, torsion-bar suspension, Kniepkamp's interleaved suspension, the use of a Maybach engine of some variety, honking big gun courtesy of Rheinmetall, and 60-100mm of armour thickness up front.

 

And funnily enough, once I'd gotten my head around the dumpster fire that was German AFV procurement in the 1930s to the end of WWII, I came to realise that Panther was about as good as it was going to get for the Germans. Really, the most that could have been hoped for in the real world was that more attention got paid to managing the weight of the beast, that the ergonomics were given more priority, and that some of the really dumb mechanical innovations that the Germans seemed to cram into everything (ie: mechanical turret drive) were left out. All of which would have lead to a 35-tonne monster instead of a 38-tonne one.  

 

German AFV development just really sucked that badly.

 

 

Accurate in general, but the MAN design used a Rheinmetall Turret, and the DB design had better sloping all around (but also violated so many Wa Pruef 6 diktats that it was never going to go anywhere - Leaf springs instead of torsion bars?! Heresy!).

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7 hours ago, TokyoMorose said:

 

 

Accurate in general, but the MAN design used a Rheinmetall Turret, and the DB design had better sloping all around (but also violated so many Wa Pruef 6 diktats that it was never going to go anywhere - Leaf springs instead of torsion bars?! Heresy!).

Thanks for the correction - I struggle to keep track of my German industrial conglomerates sometimes.

 

I'm aware of the DB design's issues (most damning of which was probably the transmission, which broke down as soon as testing started). Ironically, if they'd implemented things more to 6th dept's liking the result would have been a twin of the MAN design.

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Another interesting thing to note about Panther: the KwK 43 runs at the same pressure as KwK 40, which is fairly mediocre by mid-WW2 standards. If it ran at the same pressure as the long 88 on Tiger 2, you could eke put the same performance on an L/60 barrel. And if it ran on the same pressure as the 17 pounder you could do it with an L/55. 

 

Anyway, for those people wondering how the French supposedly copied the long 75 post-war for the AMX-13, but then got the same performance out of a much shorter barrel, there's your answer.

 

Also of note: the casings for all German guns are also remarkably long and skinny - the 77mm managed startlingly better performance than the KwK 40 out of a much shorter case (420mm vs 495mm). I'd love people who know more about cannon design to explain why.

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Its quite sad that it became such a popular trend to bash the Panther. It wasnt a bad tank at all. Recently, more myths were created than in the past half decade. Like the infamous "final drive that lasted for 150 kilometers". Not a single source supports it. On the other hand there is a report of a Bergepanther, (Panzer Tracts 16-1, Jentz & Doyle) with 4200 kilometers in its clock, and with original final drives! Am I saying that the french assessment is useless, contains lies? No, not at all. In my opinion, the 150km is simply a typo. Should be 1500km. Other sources indicate that this is close to the truth. But dont get me wrong, 1500km is still BAD. 

Of course, the Panther had other problems, like being overengineered, costly and time consuming to build, requiring careful maintenance and skilled drivers. In tactical combat it had one design flaw that affected performance, is the lack of unity periscope for gunner. But still, it had many positives, and generally, performed well in combat.

Also, lots of people forget about a very, very important fact, when they talk about the "total unreliability" of the Panther: Sabotage. For example, during the restoration of Littlefield's Panther, it was discovered that the fuel or cooling lines (not remember which) were stuffed with cigarette butts and other junk. And it was a quite common thing. No wonder that things didnt work as expected... 

And frequently, when people bash the Panther, they forget that many other tanks suffered from similar, or even more serious problems. Like the mythical T-34, that is commonly believed to be the best tank of the war. It had its own share of serious defects: very low build quality (but not post ww2), debilitating reliability problems (extremely crude and bad transmission, no functioning air filters, bad cooling system). Its christie suspension is atrociously bad, provided a very rough ride (that I personally experienced. A T-55 is a luxury car compared to it), and took up lots of internal space. And finally, it was an ergonomic nightmare (85mm variants less so for commander and gunner), that greatly affected its performance in combat. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, DIADES said:

Aircraft the same (and ww1) but really, who did it well?  UK?  Don't make me laugh,  US?  What development?  Russia?  Perhaps?

UK got it right just in time for the war to end (Centurion).

US got it right from 1942 (Sherman onwards).

USSR got it more or less right all the way through (lots of caveats but still).

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2 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Its quite sad that it became such a popular trend to bash the Panther. It wasnt a bad tank at all. Recently, more myths were created than in the past half decade. Like the infamous "final drive that lasted for 150 kilometers". Not a single source supports it. On the other hand there is a report of a Bergepanther, (Panzer Tracts 16-1, Jentz & Doyle) with 4200 kilometers in its clock, and with original final drives! Am I saying that the french assessment is useless, contains lies? No, not at all. In my opinion, the 150km is simply a typo. Should be 1500km. Other sources indicate that this is close to the truth. But dont get me wrong, 1500km is still BAD. 

Of course, the Panther had other problems, like being overengineered, costly and time consuming to build, requiring careful maintenance and skilled drivers. In tactical combat it had one design flaw that affected performance, is the lack of unity periscope for gunner. But still, it had many positives, and generally, performed well in combat.

Also, lots of people forget about a very, very important fact, when they talk about the "total unreliability" of the Panther: Sabotage. For example, during the restoration of Littlefield's Panther, it was discovered that the fuel or cooling lines (not remember which) were stuffed with cigarette butts and other junk. And it was a quite common thing. No wonder that things didnt work as expected... 

And frequently, when people bash the Panther, they forget that many other tanks suffered from similar, or even more serious problems. Like the mythical T-34, that is commonly believed to be the best tank of the war. It had its own share of serious defects: very low build quality (but not post ww2), debilitating reliability problems (extremely crude and bad transmission, no functioning air filters, bad cooling system). Its christie suspension is atrociously bad, provided a very rough ride (that I personally experienced. A T-55 is a luxury car compared to it), and took up lots of internal space. And finally, it was an ergonomic nightmare (85mm variants less so for commander and gunner), that greatly affected its performance in combat. 

 

 

Iunno, man - much as I agree that the pendulum has probably swung a bit too far in the "hurr durr, is shit" direction, the Panther is still pretty dire. The drivetrain issues are well attested as far as I know, to the extent that the Germans themselves shipped them in by rail whenever possible. So I don't think you can just wave your hand and say the French report was a clerical error. And the ergonomics were certainly not perfect beyond just the gunner's sights. A few lowlights:

- The commander's hatch is bulky yet tiny.

- The commander's position is cramped overall.

- The turret crew has very few vision devices overall (one fixed for the loader and that's your lot).

- Everyone in the turret beyond the commander would burn in the event of a fire thanks to tiny and few hatches.

- The gun is awkward to load.

- The radio operator's position is remarkably cramped and uncomfortable.

- Driving is a fiddly and requires a well-trained crewman (without also considering the need to baby the transmission).

- The transmission is completely inaccessible short of pulling the turret.

- The suspension and wheels are generally a pain in the ass to clean, repair or service.

 

All in all the Panther was the inverse of the (successful) early and mid-war German designs - great when looking at the hard stats (gun penetration, armour, engine power etc) but lacking on many of the soft factors. Which is just the worst possible thing from the T-34 to have copied.

 

I think the final, most damning thing I could say about the Panther is that it accomplishes more or less exactly what the T-44 does... all while being bigger, 10 tonnes heavier and less reliable.

 

Edit: something I forgot to mention in my previous posts that I think contributed to the Panther's woes: the engine. The Maybach V12s that power the Panther are bulky beasts and remarkably tall (nearly 1.2m). Add in the extra height from the torsion bars and drive shaft going to the front, and I think that the 1.35m hull height is about as compact as you can make it. Just to give an idea of how much the engine alone added to the weight - if you replace the HL230 with the HL120 TRM from the Pz IV but keep everything else the same ITO other component sizes, armour thickness, armour angles etc, the calculated weight of the bare hull drops by 3.4mt (or ~27%).

 

Again, the mix of decisions that constrained the design more or less doomed it to be very big and very heavy.

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The main problem with Panther is the crazy hype about it among the people (Königstiger is even worse case) when in fact the tank was very problematic vehicle plagued with many wrong design choices and on top of that the German late-war situation (lack of everything and sabotages). For some reason people believe in those nonsense stories about invincible tank aces from Kurowski. It's natural that such hype insitigates the opposite - and Panther is in a way quite an easy target bcause there was a lot of wrong about it. 

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22 hours ago, Toxn said:

US got it right from 1942 (Sherman onwards

You are kidding.  Sherman is a PRODUCTION success, not a development success.  T34 is both a production success and a development success.  Production wins wars but in no way is the Sherman an exampe of development success.  And what onwards?

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22 hours ago, Toxn said:

Germans themselves shipped them in by rail whenever possible.

Which was the case with all of their equipment.

22 hours ago, Toxn said:

- The commander's hatch is bulky yet tiny.

The hatch of the Panzer III, IV, or even the cold war Leopard 1 is just as "tiny"... Strangely, it isnt a problem for these!

22 hours ago, Toxn said:

- The commander's position is cramped overall.

So is the position in a T-55/62 (even more actually). Yet these are satisfactory...

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

- The turret crew has very few vision devices overall (one fixed for the loader and that's your lot).

The T-34/85 has only one more periscope, an MK4 for the gunner. But on the other hand, its commander has worse visibility. 
The Cromwell has one more periscope for the gunner, but absolutely pathetic visibility for commander.

The truly excellent visibility from the LATE Shermans were an exception, rather than a rule amongst WW2 tanks. 

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

- Everyone in the turret beyond the commander would burn in the event of a fire thanks to tiny and few hatches.

You mean two hatches for turret crew? Isnt this the same for most other ww2 tanks? 

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

- The gun is awkward to load.

Didnt read any complaints about that. It isnt the tank's fault that N.Moran isnt trained in its operation.

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

- The radio operator's position is remarkably cramped and uncomfortable.

This I agree.

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

- Driving is a fiddly and requires a well-trained crewman (without also considering the need to baby the transmission).

Driving is easy (just check what Saumur's tank driver says), and the driver's place is well designed. In fact, the Panter is easier to drive than the Sherman. (not to talk about the T-34...)
The transmission needs no special treatment, it was a reliable component. It is the final drive that requires careful driving.

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

- The transmission is completely inaccessible short of pulling the turret.

As I mentioned above, the transmission is reliable.On the other hand, working on the steering gear and final drives require removing the transmission, so it is a valid point.

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

- The suspension and wheels are generally a pain in the ass to clean, repair or service.

Overexaggeration. It was far less of a problem in RL than people who like to bash the Panther tend to believe.

 

23 hours ago, Toxn said:

The Maybach V12s that power the Panther are bulky beasts and remarkably tall (nearly 1.2m).


The Maybach V12s that power the Panther are bulky beasts and remarkably tall (nearly 1.2m).
Not bigger than the V2 that powered the T-34. The height was caused by the air filters above it. (btw, strangely, the huge radial engine isnt a negative anymore for the Sherman...)

 

So, after all, the Panther wasnt perfect, it had its own share of problems. Just like any other tank in WW2. The T-34 had just as many (if not more) problems, but it isnt bashed for these. Or the british tanks... People who think that the Panther was the best tank of ww2 are obviously wrong. But so are who think that the Panther was a miserable, heavy, unreliable, overengineered beast.

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50 minutes ago, DIADES said:

You are kidding.  Sherman is a PRODUCTION success, not a development success.  T34 is both a production success and a development success.  Production wins wars but in no way is the Sherman an exampe of development success.  And what onwards?

Developmentally it had good ergonomics, great upgrade potential (witness jumbo, easy 8s, M50 ishermans, crazy yugo shermans with 122mm guns in them et al), good armour when it entered service, a good gun when it entered service, monumental mechanical reliability, good servicing characteristics, good logistical characteristics.

 

On the downside it was, what, a bit tall? Petrol engined? Not upgunned a month earlier than it could have been? 'Only' 400 or so jumbos produced?

 

Sherman is far and away the top contender for 'best tank of WW2', and ahead of T-34 in my opinion due to better soft factors (ergonomics, serviceability).

 

As for 'onwards': M10 (perfectly fine), M36 (very good), M18 (very good), M24 (amazing), M41 (good), the entire Patton series beyond M26 (very good to good). Even M3 and M5 light were good for their class.

 

Look, I'm no burgerphile. But the Americans were on a raging technological hot streak in the 1940s and 1950s that I don't think any other nation has equalled: literally shitting out world-beating technologies at scale while single-handedly building up the world's biggest navy and air force. Even their failures were unusually good - the USSR loved the P39 even though the US considered it a hot mess, and how many Wehraboos would be creaming themselves over the M26 or M7 if they had been produced with a balkenkreuz painted on the side of their hulls? Hell, how much would German aircraft designs have liked to get their hands on the R-2800 while the Americans were slapping them into anything with wings?

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3 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

Which was the case with all of their equipment.

The hatch of the Panzer III, IV, or even the cold war Leopard 1 is just as "tiny"... Strangely, it isnt a problem for these!

So is the position in a T-55/62 (even more actually). Yet these are satisfactory...

The T-34/85 has only one more periscope, an MK4 for the gunner. But on the other hand, its commander has worse visibility. 
The Cromwell has one more periscope for the gunner, but absolutely pathetic visibility for commander.

The truly excellent visibility from the LATE Shermans were an exception, rather than a rule amongst WW2 tanks. 

You mean two hatches for turret crew? Isnt this the same for most other ww2 tanks? 

Didnt read any complaints about that. It isnt the tank's fault that N.Moran isnt trained in its operation.

This I agree.

Driving is easy (just check what Saumur's tank driver says), and the driver's place is well designed. In fact, the Panter is easier to drive than the Sherman. (not to talk about the T-34...)
The transmission needs no special treatment, it was a reliable component. It is the final drive that requires careful driving.

As I mentioned above, the transmission is reliable.On the other hand, working on the steering gear and final drives require removing the transmission, so it is a valid point.

Overexaggeration. It was far less of a problem in RL than people who like to bash the Panther tend to believe.

 


The Maybach V12s that power the Panther are bulky beasts and remarkably tall (nearly 1.2m).
Not bigger than the V2 that powered the T-34. The height was caused by the air filters above it. (btw, strangely, the huge radial engine isnt a negative anymore for the Sherman...)

 

So, after all, the Panther wasnt perfect, it had its own share of problems. Just like any other tank in WW2. The T-34 had just as many (if not more) problems, but it isnt bashed for these. Or the british tanks... People who think that the Panther was the best tank of ww2 are obviously wrong. But so are who think that the Panther was a miserable, heavy, unreliable, overengineered beast.

We must live in different worlds :lol:

The T-34 and British tanks get (rightly) bashed for these same faults.

 

But then I agree with you - the Panther wasn't perfect, but it wasn't total shit either. Rather, it should be seen in context as a product of the conditions surrounding its design and production.

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21 hours ago, Beer said:

The main problem with Panther is the crazy hype about it among the people (Königstiger is even worse case) when in fact the tank was very problematic vehicle plagued with many wrong design choices and on top of that the German late-war situation (lack of everything and sabotages). For some reason people believe in those nonsense stories about invincible tank aces from Kurowski. It's natural that such hype insitigates the opposite - and Panther is in a way quite an easy target bcause there was a lot of wrong about it. 

^ This

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I do not think there is such a thing as "best tank of the war". Total BS. In certain situations "A" tank was the better, in another, "B" tank. And it could reverse with time passes. T-34 was a better tank in 1941 than a Panzer IV, but one year later it reversed. In 1944 T-34/85 again became better... The Königstiger was absolutely the best heavy tank when it came to tank to tank combat... yet it failed miserably when put into a role where the IS-2 excelled in... Context, context, context. 

So neither, the Panther, T-34 or Sherman was the best tank of the war. All had their strenghts and weaknesses.

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Sure the context is crucial but it's worth noting that neither Königstiger nor even Panther were able of being used in a war in which the Pz.I, II, III, IV and 35(t), 38(t) decimated the Europe in 1939-41 because of their horrendous mobility (mainly in operational and strategical depth). They were much closer to the French Char-B behemoths in terms of how they could and were used (and ulimately failed). They were oversized, overweight, and overpriced machines which were best suited for anti-tank defence but sucked whenever they had to go onto offensive. They took away plenty of resources and labour force which could have been used for something more appropriate, more compatible with the rest of the army in terms of spare parts and training and less fuel thirsty - maybe something closer to the original Panther requirements (the cherry on the cake was wasting resources on Maus, E-75, E-100 and similar crazyness). 

 

Of course Panther was much more useful than Königstiger but still, it's a huge vehicle of IS-2 weight, 5 tons heavier than M26. One against one Panther, Tiger or Königstiger would defeat T-34 or Sherman any day yet the issue is that such encounter needs to happen at first. Once you loose strategical initiative having slow and immobile and highly speciliazed units is the worst what can happen to you. You are late everywhere and you loose large number of units just trying to move them around without actually fighting. Your enemy selects the battlefield in a way it suits him and not you (that proved to be especially bad for Tigers and Königstigers whenever they had to fight on soft terrain). In the end you can be strong but usually on a wrong place in a wrong time. 

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Before I'll start ranting about WW2 tanks and why using different/modern standards to judge them might not make much sense, here are a few more recent news from IAV 2021:

 

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HiMoLaP all-terrain vehicle developed by FFG; apparently this is not the Wiesel 1 replacement, but a testbed meant for the multi-national Bv206 replacement.

 

 

Slide showing the PMMC G5:

EtYHlJbWYAIppZj?format=png&name=900x900

 

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