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


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I occasionally play this mental game where I imagine describing, let's call it the Schwer-mittel panzerkampfwagen 44 "Cougar", to the typical wehraboo.   "It had a low profile, only 10cm tal

from physical version of Mittler Report issue on KF41 Lynx (low-res scans are posted on htka.hu forum)   So, I've made couple of comparisons, to the best of my ability

A Dingo 2 of the Belgian army was hit by a pressure-activated IED consisting of about 30 kg explosives. The vehicle was part of a German-lead convoy, several German vehicles narrowly missed the IED be

On 2/12/2021 at 11:27 AM, Toxn said:

Basically: Panthers were, in the best case, around 70% as reliable as T-34s (maximum lifespans of components being reported at around 2500 km) only if you exclude the final drives. If you include the final drives then they were an unmitigated dog-show compared to more or less anything.

70% as reliable as T-34s... But which T-34? 1941? 42? 43? 44? I highly doubt that the Panther was less reliable than the 1941-42 models. 

 

Anyway. Engine life is more or less known, the french report also states similar numbers. But on the other hand, the transmission and track life is much higher according to them.

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4 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

70% as reliable as T-34s... But which T-34? 1941? 42? 43? 44? I highly doubt that the Panther was less reliable than the 1941-42 models. 

 

Anyway. Engine life is more or less known, the french report also states similar numbers. But on the other hand, the transmission and track life is much higher according to them.

So you're willing to concede that overall reliability was on par with tanks being rolled out from factories that were literally just relocated to Siberia?

 

Regarding the French stuff - yeah, well that's what getting to run them post-war rather than in 1944 will do for you (most developed vehicles, better materials, no slave labour etc). Doubly damning then that they're still complaining about the final drives even then.

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3 hours ago, heretic88 said:

I highly doubt that the Panther was less reliable than the 1941-42 models.

 

 

Unreliable vehicle and badly serviced vehicle are two different things. When you issue a tank without spares and training for the crews and mechanics you won't get it work reliably no matter what tank it is. At worst you don't even issue the units with the right fuel. 

 

God, basically everything in the world worked more reliably than 1941 Soviet mess. Can't you see that you just nicely shot yourself in the leg? 

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On 2/12/2021 at 12:27 PM, Toxn said:

This breaks the improvements down very well:

 

https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/02/08/from-the-editor-panther-reliability/

 

In general: the engine got worked on extensively (the changes being minutely detailed), with non-specific fixed applied to the transmission and final drives.

 

By 1944 you're looking at the following:

- Engine: maximum lifespan of 1800 km (unknown average)

- Transmission: maximum lifespan of 1800 km (unknown average)

- Final drives: maximum lifespan unknown, replacement rate at around 3% of vehicles per day (ie: horrific)

- Tracks: maximum of 1800 km (unknown average)

 

Basically: Panthers were, in the best case, around 70% as reliable as T-34s (maximum lifespans of components being reported at around 2500 km) only if you exclude the final drives. If you include the final drives then they were an unmitigated dog-show compared to more or less anything.

Just to point out: having to replace 3% of your vehicle park's final drives per day of operation lines up almost perfectly with an expected average lifetime of 150km given the operational tempo of the Germans in 1944.

 

So I'm leaning towards the French report not being a typo.

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Btw, statistics show that on average, the readiness rate of the Panther wasnt that much worse than the Pz.IV

Between 31 May 1944 and 15 March 1945, the average was 65% on western, and 62% on eastern front. Its 71 and 68 for Pz.IV... Not much difference.

 

And I do not know where is this 3% from... The linked site does not mention it. 

 

+ one more thing. Yes, soviets had to relocate factories. On the german side: slave labor + sabotage + bombing raids... 

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23 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

Btw, statistics show that on average, the readiness rate of the Panther wasnt that much worse than the Pz.IV

Between 31 May 1944 and 15 March 1945, the average was 65% on western, and 62% on eastern front. Its 71 and 68 for Pz.IV... Not much difference.

 

And I do not know where is this 3% from... The linked site does not mention it. 

 

+ one more thing. Yes, soviets had to relocate factories. On the german side: slave labor + sabotage + bombing raids... 

 

LOL muh slave labor, eternal saw of the wehraboo.

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9 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Btw, statistics show that on average, the readiness rate of the Panther wasnt that much worse than the Pz.IV

Between 31 May 1944 and 15 March 1945, the average was 65% on western, and 62% on eastern front. Its 71 and 68 for Pz.IV... Not much difference.

 

And I do not know where is this 3% from... The linked site does not mention it. 

 

+ one more thing. Yes, soviets had to relocate factories. On the german side: slave labor + sabotage + bombing raids... 

Given our interactions and your self-stylings, I'm beginning to see the need for Astartes.

 

The rates for PzIV vs Panther can be explained in the same way as those for PzIV vs Tiger. Panther got given to the best, most well-supplied units first. PzIV got given to everyone. You'd also be the first person to point out that the >90% readiness rate achieved by American units in Western Europe for Sherman are not inherently indicative of mechanical perfection.

 

I mentioned earlier how I derived a 3% figure, and it's done using basic maths: divide number of vehicles with final drive breakdowns by total number of vehicles to get overall percentage. Then divide percentage by days mentioned in report.

 

Again, the French experience with vehicles run for years without slave labour, sabotage etc is illuminating.

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14 hours ago, Toxn said:

Given our interactions and your self-stylings, I'm beginning to see the need for Astartes.

Do not mess with the ruinous powers! :D We have our own Astartes too! And more! (calling the sorcerer)

 

Anyway, lets agree that we disagree. This is already going on for too long.

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On 2/16/2021 at 6:43 AM, Toxn said:

Given our interactions and your self-stylings, I'm beginning to see the need for Astartes.

 

The rates for PzIV vs Panther can be explained in the same way as those for PzIV vs Tiger. Panther got given to the best, most well-supplied units first. PzIV got given to everyone. You'd also be the first person to point out that the >90% readiness rate achieved by American units in Western Europe for Sherman are not inherently indicative of mechanical perfection.

 

I mentioned earlier how I derived a 3% figure, and it's done using basic maths: divide number of vehicles with final drive breakdowns by total number of vehicles to get overall percentage. Then divide percentage by days mentioned in report.

 

Again, the French experience with vehicles run for years without slave labour, sabotage etc is illuminating.

 

You guys are being a tad too critical. I sense an influence of usual internet "wisdom", which more too often is based on contemporary opinions, rather than the realities of the past time.

 

Germans themselves admitted to the weak final drives, the tank was known to be delicate but that 150km average lifespan of final drives obviously lacks context if HJ's panther bataillon managed to drive 140km from Le Neuborg to the Normandy front without losing a single tank (https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://startpage.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1842&context=cmh).

 

Another indication of reasons for short lifespans was that Guderian reported in 1944 on the final drive problems on the Eastern front in the mud season where, not surprisingly, all armored vehicles experiences high attrition.

 

At the meeting of panzer commission on 23rd January 1945 it was established that broken final drives plague Pz4s, Panthers and Tigers almost equally (in numbers: 500 - 370 and roughly 100). (https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=236740)

 

The French are for some reason considered independent evaluators but to my knowledge, despite their complaints they never attempted to remedy final drives, neither did they attempt to improve panthers at all. They just ran down the remaining pieces until new equipment arrived.

 

The British made a few panthers post war for testing but they broke down before finishing the trials which together with the French indicates that they were not using them in the same way as Germans.

 

The question to what extent was the real German problem the lack of spare parts and to what unreliability hasn't really been answered until today. Considering high attrition of armoured vehicles in ww2, intuition points to the former. I think by now we all know that Shermans' readiness rates were not really due to its reliability but rather sheer amount of replacements.

 

Likewise, panthers had indeed a fairly short engine lifespan and it was a calculated risk in exchange for a group of benefits. It was small overclocked engine enabling high performance for small volume. German tanks were for it shorter, spacious, relatively lighter and more agile than contemporaries. But above all, they could carry actually effective armoured protection AND firepower, whereas Allied tanks only could have one. I think this is an underestimated fact. In 1944, German tanks had to compensate for air power and lack of artillery. Let's not ignore that panther was an entire generation above contemporaries and a certain trade off was unavoidable. If panther was mediocre, then what was everything else?

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3 minutes ago, delete013 said:

 

You guys are being a tad too critical. I sense an influence of usual internet "wisdom", which more too often is based on contemporary opinions, rather than the realities of the past time.

 

Germans themselves admitted to the weak final drives, the tank was known to be delicate but that 150km average lifespan of final drives obviously lacks context if HJ's panther bataillon managed to drive 140km from Le Neuborg to the Normandy front without losing a single tank (https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://startpage.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1842&context=cmh).

"Average lifespan" bruv. 

 

3 minutes ago, delete013 said:

Another indication of reasons for short lifespans was that Guderian reported in 1944 on the final drive problems on the Eastern front in the mud season where, not surprisingly, all armored vehicles experiences high attrition.

 

At the meeting of panzer commission on 23rd January 1945 it was established that broken final drives plague Pz4s, Panthers and Tigers almost equally (in numbers: 500 - 370 and roughly 100). (https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=236740)

 

The French are for some reason considered independent evaluators but to my knowledge, despite their complaints they never attempted to remedy final drives, neither did they attempt to improve panthers at all. They just ran down the remaining pieces until new equipment arrived.

Well yes, because they operated Panthers for years longer than the Germans did, and without the constraints that are usually cited as affecting the German vehicles beyond the design itself.

3 minutes ago, delete013 said:

The British made a few panthers post war for testing but they broke down before finishing the trials which together with the French indicates that they were not using them in the same way as Germans.

No, it indicates that they were monstrously unreliable. One example is merely a data point, yes. But eventually you end up with a trend.

3 minutes ago, delete013 said:

The question to what extent was the real German problem the lack of spare parts and to what unreliability hasn't really been answered until today. Considering high attrition of armoured vehicles in ww2, intuition points to the former. I think by now we all know that Shermans' readiness rates were not really due to its reliability but rather sheer amount of replacements.

Nope. The Shermans did get better replacement parts and servicing (because the US can into logistics and late-war Germany couldn't) but they're more reliable beasts too. By any conceivable metric.

3 minutes ago, delete013 said:

Likewise, panthers had indeed a fairly short engine lifespan and it was a calculated risk in exchange for a group of benefits. It was small overclocked engine enabling high performance for small volume. German tanks were for it shorter, spacious, relatively lighter and more agile than contemporaries. But above all, they could carry actually effective armoured protection AND firepower, whereas Allied tanks only could have one. I think this is an underestimated fact. In 1944, German tanks had to compensate for air power and lack of artillery. Let's not ignore that panther was an entire generation above contemporaries and a certain trade off was unavoidable. If panther was mediocre, then what was everything else?

What are you on about? The Maybach engine is huge!

It's something like 1.2x1x1.3 metres (l/w/h) and puts out 440kW. That's 0.28W/cc.

The V-2-34 is more compactly dimensioned height-wise (1.5x0.8x0.9m) and puts out 340kW. Which, if you can do maths, means that its specific power is around 0.3W/cc. Meaning that the Maybach is ever so slightly subpar when compared to a soviet diesel engine from 1937.

 

As to "choosing between mobility, protection and firepower" - the IS-2 is more heavily armoured, has better firepower, is more mobile and weighs two tonnes less. How's that for optimization?

 

Finally; "a generation above it's contemporaries"? Fucking really? A tank which was copied by no-one, whose technologies inspired no great interest, and whose legacy was a few years in the service of armies who ditched them the second they could?

 

That's not a generation ahead of anything. That's stillbirth. The T-44 was half a generation ahead (and T-54 was all the way). The Centurion was everything the Panther was trying to be but actually successful (and even then sired no direct line of vehicles). Even the M26 was a harbinger of tank development to come. The Panther was simply a dead end, the inevitable product of a dysfunctional system. Which is not to say that it was useless, didn't have positive attributes, or that it didn't have a valid operational use once conceived and put into service. But definitely far short of being good, much less great.

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2 hours ago, delete013 said:

German tanks were for it shorter, spacious, relatively lighter and more agile than contemporaries. But above all, they could carry actually effective armoured protection AND firepower, whereas Allied tanks only could have one. 

 

I think you wrote about different vehicle than Panther. 

 

Panther was a huge overweight vehicle with subpar armor protection for its weight (it had rather good frontal armor but really weak side armor). Even the frontal armor wasn't that great because of the large cast gun mantlet - it's confirmed by post-Kursk Soviet tests that the mantlet, lower sides and turret sides were penetrable from close distance even by M1932 45 mm gun when HVAP round was used (tests from December 1943). The roof armor (both hull and turret) were worse than of T-34/85 and at least in theory could have been penetrated even by .50" Brownings of Allied fighter planes. That is for a vehicle of IS-2 weight. The assault Jumbo Sherman had much better armor and it was still nearly 7 tons lighter...  

 

Its gun was great for a tank destroyer but in the life of a tank the most common target is not other tanks even for a late-war German. The HE filler was similar to Soviet 76 mm F-34 or US 75 mm M3 - but that is comparison with vehicles of 16-19 tons less. 

 

Even if we leave all issues with reliability, fuel consumption, production, logistics etc. aside we still have a vehicle which is much bigger and much heavier than what its performance suggests. It was a hugely ineffective design in terms of basically everything except tank-to-tank combat (even the fact that there was never enough of them had a lot to do with its design). 

 

The Panther was the best vehicle which went out of the late-German WW2 tank design quagmire but that doesn't make it some supertank as it is ofen portrayed. If it was a supertank everybody would copy it, but that never happend for a good reason.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Toxn said:

What are you on about? The Maybach engine is huge!

It's something like 1.2x1x1.3 metres (l/w/h) and puts out 440kW. That's 0.28W/cc.

The V-2-34 is more compactly dimensioned height-wise (1.5x0.8x0.9m) and puts out 340kW. Which, if you can do maths, means that its specific power is around 0.3W/cc. Meaning that the Maybach is ever so slightly subpar when compared to a soviet diesel engine from 1937.

You and your calculations again... If you would even care to look for sources...

The correct dimensions of the engine:

lenght: 1310mm (includes the end fittings for the exhaust collector)

width: 1010mm

height: 1185mm INCLUDING THE AIR FILTERS!!! Without them, ~ 960mm. 

That means the two engines are quite comparable in size. Big surprise! the RR Meteor is again, just as big! And also the Ford GAA...

Want a huge engine? Then check the AVDS-1790... And compare it to the V46 then... 

 

I have a feeling that your rants about the Panther are just coming from pure hatred towards the tank. Nobody said that it was perfect, nobody said that it was indestructible, nobody said that it was the best of the war. These are all myths, that definitely should be busted. Just like the myth of "death trap" Shermans. And also the myth of "totally unreliable, useless junk Panther".

It was just a good tank, with its own faults. (that ended up on the losing side of the war) Period. 

(but yes, yes, one source trumps all... I should know that...)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Beer said:

Even the frontal armor wasn't that great because of the large cast gun mantlet - it's confirmed by post-Kursk Soviet tests that the mantlet, lower sides and turret sides were penetrable from close distance even by M1932 45 mm gun when HVAP round was used (tests from December 1943).

Big surprise... Penetration of BR-240P is 110mm @ 100m... On the other hand, the mantlet was invulnerable* for normal AP of T-34/76, and highly resistant even against the 85mm guns which were effective only out to about 800-1000 meters... 

* except lucky shots to lower mantlet, but this happened rarely.

Side armor: weak. Everybody knows that. But so were the sides of the M-48 Patton in its own time period. Yet it doesnt get bashing for it...

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40 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

Side armor: weak. Everybody knows that. 

 

A weak property doesn't count if everyone knows about it or what did you try to say? 

  

40 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

But so were the sides of the M-48 Patton in its own time period. Yet it doesnt get bashing for it...

 

 

Really? Please note that both tanks have the same weight. 

m48a1-historical-armor-scheme.jpg

PantheraScheme.jpg

 

Besides that nobody claims that M48 was the best tank of its time (not even the Americans) while there is pretty widespread opinion that Panther was some sort of wunderkampfwagen which was killing legions of T-34 and Shermans like flies. 

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5 hours ago, heretic88 said:

(removed the gibbering's of a sad boo)

! And also the Ford GAA...

 

 

 

 

 

The Ford GAA was so advanced and amazing, the Germans who saw it probably thought space aliens produced it. 1100 cubic inch, all aluminum, 4 valve per cylinder, overhead cam motor, in 1942 was AMAZING technology. And the GAA didn't need to be detuned to be reliable. If the Army had been interested in water cooled motors, they could have gotten much more horsepower out of it too. The Panthers crappy engine had to be detuned to be even remotely reliable. 

 

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5 hours ago, Beer said:

 

A weak property doesn't count if everyone knows about it or what did you try to say? 

  

 

 

Really? Please note that both tanks have the same weight. 

m48a1-historical-armor-scheme.jpg

PantheraScheme.jpg

 

Besides that nobody claims that M48 was the best tank of its time (not even the Americans) while there is pretty widespread opinion that Panther was some sort of wunderkampfwagen which was killing legions of T-34 and Shermans like flies. 

 

 

WOW PANTHER WAY BETTE.....    Wait, a boo can't read an Armor chart, who would have known. LOL

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6 hours ago, heretic88 said:

You and your calculations again... If you would even care to look for sources...

The correct dimensions of the engine:

lenght: 1310mm (includes the end fittings for the exhaust collector)

width: 1010mm

height: 1185mm INCLUDING THE AIR FILTERS!!! Without them, ~ 960mm. 

That means the two engines are quite comparable in size. Big surprise! the RR Meteor is again, just as big! And also the Ford GAA...

Want a huge engine? Then check the AVDS-1790... And compare it to the V46 then... 

 

I have a feeling that your rants about the Panther are just coming from pure hatred towards the tank. Nobody said that it was perfect, nobody said that it was indestructible, nobody said that it was the best of the war. These are all myths, that definitely should be busted. Just like the myth of "death trap" Shermans. And also the myth of "totally unreliable, useless junk Panther".

It was just a good tank, with its own faults. (that ended up on the losing side of the war) Period. 

(but yes, yes, one source trumps all... I should know that...)

 

 

I thought you weren't litigating this one any more.

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9 hours ago, Beer said:

 

A weak property doesn't count if everyone knows about it or what did you try to say? 

  

 

 

Really? Please note that both tanks have the same weight. 

m48a1-historical-armor-scheme.jpg

PantheraScheme.jpg

 

Besides that nobody claims that M48 was the best tank of its time (not even the Americans) while there is pretty widespread opinion that Panther was some sort of wunderkampfwagen which was killing legions of T-34 and Shermans like flies. 

This also reminds me that the M48 is sexy as hell.

Curvy tonks best tonks.

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      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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