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


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20 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

The fact that the final drive assembly for a US 30 ton tank looks like this:

Spoiler


vYuHIPj.jpg



and the final drive assembly for a German 45 ton tank looks like this:

 

Spoiler

sprocket_zps91f6ccc0.jpg



Ought to be a clue for us.

 

Adding to this, here's another tank of comparable size to the Panther, but of very reasonable reputation:

osJG2qX.jpg

Those are the final drives of the Centurion. I want you to look at that, and contemplate just how small in comparison the gears on Panther's are, relative to those on Centurion's. So if if the "150km" figure is at all correct, we already know exactly why. This is strong evidence that it probably isn't that misleading.

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@Sturgeon, okay, I get what are you saying, but then how would you explain the final drives of a Bergepanther that lasted for at least 4200km? And again, this isnt from a low quality book, it is from Jentz & Doyle.

4200 = 28x150... Even the best of the best Panther drivers would be unable to achieve this 

On the other hand... 4200= 2.8x1500. This is far more reasonable. 

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7 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

@Sturgeon, okay, I get what are you saying, but then how would you explain the final drives of a Bergepanther that lasted for at least 4200km? And again, this isnt from a low quality book, it is from Jentz & Doyle.

4200 = 28x150... Even the best of the best Panther drivers would be unable to achieve this 

On the other hand... 4200= 2.8x1500. This is far more reasonable. 

 

what was the operational weight of a Panther G, and Bergpanther?

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25 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

@Sturgeon, okay, I get what are you saying, but then how would you explain the final drives of a Bergepanther that lasted for at least 4200km? And again, this isnt from a low quality book, it is from Jentz & Doyle.

4200 = 28x150... Even the best of the best Panther drivers would be unable to achieve this 

On the other hand... 4200= 2.8x1500. This is far more reasonable. 

 

This is tiresome. See this thread? You are arguing with exactly the same group of people, but now they're 8 years older and wiser. Based on your posts, it looks like you might even be working off that thread, at least you are making the same arguments.

 

Do I know why the Bergepanther is listed as having 4200 km final drive life in Jentz? No. It was probably taken out of a manual. It could have been for any number of other reasons. That does not mean we should ignore the experience of the French, Littlefield, and even Heinz Friggin Guderian.

 

This is a very old, stale, and tired argument. Did Panther final drives have severe problems? Yes, Guderian talks about it and practically everyone else who ever drove the damn things talks about it too. Is it possible to put final drives in a Panther that do not break after 150km? Yes, probably. Did the Germans have such final drives which were superior in either configuration or material as to eliminate the problem? Seems unlikely but really anything is possible. Does this excuse the tank from being a veritable shit show from start to finish and a virtual disaster for the German war effort? Not at all.

 

Case closed, end of discussion.

 

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48 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

how would you explain the final drives of a Bergepanther that lasted for at least 4200km? And again, this isnt from a low quality book, it is from Jentz & Doyle.

 

Well first I'd need to know what book exactly that came from, because my copy of Panzer Tracts 16 does not have anything like that in it.

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6 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

Well first I'd need to know what book exactly that came from, because my copy of Panzer Tracts 16 does not have anything like that in it.

There is Panzer Tracts 16 and Panzer Tracts 16-1. The latter focuses on the Bergepanther exclusively. Page 72, right at the top of "Experience Reports" section.

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49 minutes ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

what was the operational weight of a Panther G, and Bergpanther?

No idea about the G, but it is 44.8 tons for a D, and 43 tons for Bergepanther. 1800kg hardly matters. On the other hand, towing other tanks greatly stresses the whole transmission system.

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I have quickly searched for the use of Panthers in Czechoslovak army after WW2. There were 72 tanks considered usable (of that 16 Bergepanzers). In the end some 40 were repaired but only in 1951/52 but only 14 Bergepanzers were actually used by the army till 1959, the standard tanks were mostly just stored and there was not even any training conducted with them. There were attempts to sell them to Syria in 1955 but unsuccessful (they bought our Pz.IV and StuG.III though). The Bergepanzers were used as heavy recovery vehicles for various jobs often non-military ones thanks to their very powerful winch (180 tons). Some of the tanks were used in movies (one Bergepanzer even played a sort of US nuclear cannon :D ). They were replaced by domestically designed VT-34 ARV based on T-34. 

 

They were moved around the country near exclusively on trains. The engines were serviced by an engineer who spent part of the war as a slave worker in Maybach but they run quite little, mainly due to an enormous fuel consumption. The very same engineer even rebulit one Bergepanzer to use Soviet V-2 engine. This one was later rebuilt to a bulldozer. Aside of that I don't know about any reliability report but I did  only a quick online search. 

 

One particularly interesting point is that after WW2 Czechoslovakia had a major lack of tanks. It used whatever it could in a very wild mix. Aside of T-34-76, T-34-85, Cromwells, Centaurs, few Challengers and several IS-2 and IS-3 (just 2) we had quite a lot of Pz.IV, even old LT-38/Pz.38(t) in use but Panthers were just stored after a very long period of preparations and hesitations. Also their sale to Syria was unsuccessful unlike with the Pz.IV which were generally much more worn. To me it tells that the tanks were not considered worth the effort to run them.   

 

Most of the info is from this link (including serial numbers): https://www.valka.cz/Pz-Kpfw-V-Panther-ve-sluzbach-cizich-armad-t40205

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17 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

There is Panzer Tracts 16 and Panzer Tracts 16-1. The latter focuses on the Bergepanther exclusively. Page 72, right at the top of "Experience Reports" section.


I have found the section:

NTH0r4u.png

There isn't much extra detail besides that. Do I believe this story? Maybe. It's a little weird, they say "October 1943 issue" but then it's "as of May 1944". I suppose this is a typo but it's still odd. It's also worth noting that it comes from a wartime propaganda piece. Other than that, let's assume it's genuine. Let's also assume the French and Littlefield experiences are genuine. What do you make of that, @heretic88? Honest question.

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24 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

No idea about the G, but it is 44.8 tons for a D, and 43 tons for Bergepanther. 1800kg hardly matters. On the other hand, towing other tanks greatly stresses the whole transmission system.

 

 

Jesus, what did they do to they damn thing to make it that heavy after removing the turret and gun, and I assume the retarded turret drive?

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17 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

There isn't much extra detail besides that. Do I believe this story? Maybe. It's a little weird, they say "October 1943 issue" but then it's "as of May 1944". I suppose this is a typo but it's still odd. It's also worth noting that it comes from a wartime propaganda piece. Other than that, let's assume it's genuine. Let's also assume the French and Littlefield experiences are genuine. What do you make of that, @heretic88? Honest question.

Well, you have a single source that states this "150km". No other source is backing it. 

On the other hand, we have:

1, this report about a Bergepanther (btw, isnt it curious that the main complaint is the engine and the recovery equipment? nothing about the final drive!)

2, a report about Jagdpanthers covering 4-500 kilometers with the reinforced final drive. Regular tanks didnt get it. Why? Probably because they didnt need it that much.

3, a report in Thomas Anderson's book (Panther): "Many kilometres without a breakdown is the hallmark of a good driver and commander. In that respect, the battalion mentions PzKpfw V Chassis No. 154338, Engine No. 8322046 reading 1,878km, driver Obergrefeiter Gablewski, 4.Kp/PzRgt 2. The vehicle is still completely operational. With exception of track, all other items are still in very good condition. Engine oil consumption has been 10ltr per100km. The tank is still running with its original engine and transmission."

 

To clear the misunderstanding: Do I say that the final drive wasnt problematic? No. Do I say that the Panther was a reliable tank? No. Do I say that creating new myths is bad for historical knowledge? Yes! That was my whole point. And a single source is nothing more than a myth, until other data is backing it. 

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26 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

 

1, this report about a Bergepanther (btw, isnt it curious that the main complaint is the engine and the recovery equipment? nothing about the final drive!)


It's not a "report" it's a piece in an official Nazi wartime propaganda magazine.
 

27 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

2, a report about Jagdpanthers covering 4-500 kilometers with the reinforced final drive. Regular tanks didnt get it. Why? Probably because they didnt need it that much.


LOL OK.

 

27 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

3, a report in Thomas Anderson's book (Panther): "Many kilometres without a breakdown is the hallmark of a good driver and commander. In that respect, the battalion mentions PzKpfw V Chassis No. 154338, Engine No. 8322046 reading 1,878km, driver Obergrefeiter Gablewski, 4.Kp/PzRgt 2. The vehicle is still completely operational. With exception of track, all other items are still in very good condition. Engine oil consumption has been 10ltr per100km. The tank is still running with its original engine and transmission."


This is supposed to be an endorsement?

 

27 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

 

To clear the misunderstanding: Do I say that the final drive wasnt problematic? No. Do I say that the Panther was a reliable tank? No. Do I say that creating new myths is bad for historical knowledge? Yes! That was my whole point. And a single source is nothing more than a myth, until other data is backing it. 


It's not "creating a new myth" if there's an actual fucking source for the information.

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6 hours ago, heretic88 said:

A report about Jagdpanthers covering 4-500 kilometers with the reinforced final drive. Regular tanks didnt get it. Why? Probably because they didnt need it that much.

 

That report is (in)famous, but every Jagdpanther ever seen has had the same final drives as other Panthers. That, along with the supposedly reinforced transmission on Jagdpanthers appears to be nothing more than a myth.

 

I'm sure the JgPanther crews wish they had those reinforced drives and/or transmission.

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46 minutes ago, TokyoMorose said:

 

That report is (in)famous, but every Jagdpanther ever seen has had the same final drives as other Panthers. That, along with the supposedly reinforced transmission on Jagdpanthers appears to be nothing more than a myth.

 

I'm sure the JgPanther crews wish they had those reinforced drives and/or transmission.


No you see, everything that makes the Panther look good is a reliable source! Anything that makes it look bad is a myth! Get it straight!

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14 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

It's not "creating a new myth" if there's an actual fucking source for the information.

One source is not a source. Just sayin'... :) 

 

And yes, quite funny that the Panther is a shitty, useless piece of junk, while the T-34, which was just as unreliable (even more so until 1942...) was a fine tank... :P Love double standards! :) 

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2 hours ago, heretic88 said:

One source is not a source. Just sayin'... :) 

 

And yes, quite funny that the Panther is a shitty, useless piece of junk, while the T-34, which was just as unreliable (even more so until 1942...) was a fine tank... :P Love double standards! :) 

Never heard of T-34 bursting into flames in numbers the moment they try to drive from a train, so "as unreliable" is overstatement. 

 

Funnily enough, there are T-34s and vehicles on T-34 chassis (SU-100) that are still being used in actual combat, unlike Panther.

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1 hour ago, heretic88 said:

One source is not a source. Just sayin'... :) 

 

And yes, quite funny that the Panther is a shitty, useless piece of junk, while the T-34, which was just as unreliable (even more so until 1942...) was a fine tank... :P Love double standards! :) 

1941: clutch lifetime is shocking and lasts... around 2000km

1942: new gearbox is asked to be put into production - 3700km with no issues

 

More on reliability.

 

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3 hours ago, heretic88 said:

One source is not a source. Just sayin'... :) 

 

And yes, quite funny that the Panther is a shitty, useless piece of junk, while the T-34, which was just as unreliable (even more so until 1942...) was a fine tank... :P Love double standards! :) 

 

Panthers were replaced by T-34. Bergepanthers were replaced by VT-34. One Bergepanther was even rebuilt to use engine from T-34. Our T-34 were officially withdrawn in 1992 (believe it or not but it's true, roughly 100 stayed for some reason till 1990'). Even Syria refused to buy our Panthers while they bught all our Pz.IV and StuG.III instead. That covers just our country but it's still telling. 

 

T-34 keep fighting in Yemen and Africa in 2020... 

 

Aaaand... Rusia built a whole new T-34 batallion in 2020 :D 

 

 

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14 hours ago, heretic88 said:

One source is not a source. Just sayin'... :) 

 

And yes, quite funny that the Panther is a shitty, useless piece of junk, while the T-34, which was just as unreliable (even more so until 1942...) was a fine tank... :P Love double standards! :) 


Yes. Every piece of machinery does indeed break down. At that point, you fix them.


How much easier is it to fix a Sherman or a T-34 than a Panther? Are you able to fix it in the field? Are you able to physically tow it to a rear echelon motor pool? Are there spare parts available? Do the spare parts even fit? Is any of this repeatable?

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16 hours ago, heretic88 said:

One source is not a source. Just sayin'... :) 

 

And yes, quite funny that the Panther is a shitty, useless piece of junk, while the T-34, which was just as unreliable (even more so until 1942...) was a fine tank... :P Love double standards! :) 

 

What a sore-ass!

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17 hours ago, heretic88 said:

One source is not a source. Just sayin'... :) 

 

And yes, quite funny that the Panther is a shitty, useless piece of junk, while the T-34, which was just as unreliable (even more so until 1942...) was a fine tank... :P Love double standards! :) 

 

 

 

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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6 hours ago, Jeeps_Guns_Tanks said:

they eventually fixed the T-34 and even made it better.

Yes, after the war! :D And in 1945, the T-34, even the /85 was already obsolete.

 

There is a good book about this. In fact the best about the T-34. Robert Michulec, Miroslaw Zientarzewski - T-34 Mythical Weapon. Yes, its not a pleasant read for T-34 fanboys. But history doesnt care for fanboys. 

Engine life was around 150 hours. "Great" achievement... Very "reliable" engine... poor build quality, non functioning air filters, etc... Of course it got better by 1944, but this problem was truly fixed only after the war. Engine was also prone to overheating thanks to poorly designed and made cooling system.

And then the "magnificent" gearbox. For which you sometimes need a sledgehammer to shift gears. Not a myth, a fact, confirmed by hungarian tankists too. Check the CIA report about the captured T-34/85. It had 741km in the clock. The gearbox was already in very bad condition, all thanks to its incredibly primitive design. Americans judged it "already failed". 

I talked to old tankists who served on T-34s, and they weren really enthusiastic about it. Reliability was a definite problem. 

The french report about the problems with turret traverse on slopes also applied to the T-34/85.

 

21 hours ago, Beer said:

Panthers were replaced by T-34. Bergepanthers were replaced by VT-34. One Bergepanther was even rebuilt to use engine from T-34.

Wonder why... Maybe because whole eastern europe was under soviet influence? German stuff, especially heavy weapons didnt fit in that military structure. So they had to go. Also dont forget that spare parts werent manufactured anymore. 

I really like the argument that "The T-34 and Sherman were used until the '90s and lots of stuff were based on them, but the german stuff were technological dead ends..." Yes. Germany lost the war... And then they didnt really had an army for ten years. And when they finally reorganized, they already found themselves in either NATO or WP. So germans on either side had to adapt. There was no place of further development of ww2 designs. 

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