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


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10 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... 

 

So the air filters can be moved around then? Fair enough though, I erred in how tall it was and underestimated how long it was. The overall volume is still exactly the same, and the output is still nothing special for the time period. Which would be fine, except it was also a dog and needed lots of work (which I've previously linked to) to achieve something approaching reliability (and at a lower power level).  

 

10 hours ago, heretic88 said:

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 think this is our fundamental disagreement. You think that the scales have turned too far and want to rehabilitate the tank's public image (as if German tanks need the help after decades of folk wanking off over them) to 'good'. I'm willing to grant that the view of it being complete trash is overblown and that it's a mediocrity -in the same class as British, Italian and Japanese tanks design-wise. If it had any recognisable design objectives beyond "more" and whatever way the wind was blowing during its development cycle, it might even have been said to achieve some of them.

 

I certainly don't hate it - hate is something I reserve for people and printers only. I just don't care for the long, slightly gross love affair that pop military history has with all things German.

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13 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

 

In what respect? Fanbase?

 

IMHO this is an interesting phenomenon. Due to the fact that there were quite many German weapons which indeed were a generation ahead of the opponents people tend to generalize to an entire German war industry seeing everything German as wonder weapons. We can agree that things like Me-262, Fritz-X, StG-44, Hs-293, V1, V2 and some others really were sort of ahead of the time but that doesn't mean everything German was. 

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Well, I guess I have rather radically different opinion on German tanks than the community here. I am a total amateur, so whatever I write please don't take as holy truths. May I also remind that I don't claim that panther was the pinnacle of tank design. It obviously had issues. Anyways, let's do this..

 

 

On 2/22/2021 at 9:31 AM, Toxn said:

Well yes, because they operated Panthers for years longer than the Germans did

They used them as other countries without their own tank fleet - until the spare parts were available. I completely agree that they could have been complicated to use, don't get me wrong. They weren't designed because someone wanted to overengineer but you can't avoid the fact that no attempts were made to improve the tank.

 

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It's a generation ahead! All tanks of 1950s have 75mm gun, front-drive transmission, interleaved roadwheels, and die to early 1940s Soviet anti-tank rifles!

On 2/22/2021 at 9:31 AM, Toxn said:

Finally; "a generation above it's contemporaries"? Fucking really?

Every MBT today uses panthers armour philosophy, all or nothing, focus on frontal protection with addition of 60deg frontal arc. You enhance panthers turret side armour and add heavy side skirts to the frontal third of the hull sides and you have western armour arrangement of the 70-80 ies. This was a deliberate move. From 1943 on they had the only army that operated a mainstream medium tank with actually functioning armour, excellent armament and decent mobility. You can call it all mediocre all you will but criticism of a panther is unavoidably conditioned by its era in which everything else was worse! If you dislike Schachtellaufwerk you have to confront the fact that German tanks featured more armour, better relative mobility and better weapon platforms. What was a better alternative? Even a fairly good IS-2 only a tad better armour than tiger 1 whilst dispensing with a load of features. Turning radius, weapon stability, barrel depression, ammo storage, single piece ammo, reload speed are all things that matter in tank combat but maybe not so much for someone that doesn't expect a tank to have time to spend its ammo.

 

I seriously doubt that any professional would consider D-25T a better weapon than either KwK42 or KwK43. D10 was afaik considered quite better but even that one could not match the long 8.8. I understand the big soviet calibres rather a necessity born out of resignation of the ammunition and cannon designers. Good HE shell was probably second requirement. People today spin in circles thinking that cracks in German armour are an indication of a good anti-tank weapon.

 

Most late and immediate post war requirements evolved around Tiger B's 8.8 kwk and its armour. Most modern MBTs likewise focus on good mobility and have primarily anti-armour armament. You will perhaps notice that nobody managed to get the German performance out of their guns. 17pdr is the closest but at a cost of a heavier shell. Everyone else had to choose between custom ammo or bigger calibers.

 

But let's not forget. French immediate post war medium and heavy tank development is all German designs (besides that fetish for scillating turrents). Lorraine 40t, Cannon D'Assault Lorraine, AMX-50.

 

Centurion had panther's hard specifications. Two years younger tank with no advantage over a panther and which cut the edges at mobility and suspension (unless you consider horstman any credible tank suspension). If Germany wasn't collapsing it would compete with panthers with up to 120 mm armour and 8.8cm cannons. But all tanks suddenly look better after war because Germans designed no more, coincidence?

 

On 2/22/2021 at 9:31 AM, Toxn said:

Nope. The Shermans did get better replacement parts and servicing

Translate the weight difference into reliability, add logistics and you are not far off.

 

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

As the heretic said, your stats and calculations are wrong. I got to 0.31 W/ccm for a HL230 and 0.26 for V-2 whereas I took 370 instead of 340kW. But more important is that the engine is also shorter. This means shorter hull, less metal for sides and shorter track lengts, which is crucial for any decent turning radiuses. Usually neglected is the fact that turning radiuses of shermans and IS-2 were giant and you can forget about any credible tactical maneuvering.

 

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That's not a generation ahead of anything. That's stillbirth.

No? Well, what was equal then? Neither T-44, Cent nor IS-3 were battle read by the end of the war and panthers were rolling around for 2 years by then. Anything else is pure conjecture.

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19 hours ago, Beer said:

 

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

Panther's only frontal weakness was the curved lower mantlet. Everything else was fine.

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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...  

A credible weapon beyond 500m? I think not. If you are so close then you ought to mind infantry rather than the tank.

 

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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. 

You got priorities all wrong. If a tank can't deal with vehicles then a single stug is enough for an attack to fail. Armored vehicles were the first and primary target if Allies hoped to achieve anything. If tanks can't accompany infantry then the latter has to expose themselves and we know for a fact that Allied infantry was as reluctant as ineffective in doing so. Weight of an explosive filling is secondary because you don't evaluate a tank by how well it fares against an MG nest. There are other weapons better suited for the job. The post war development clearly confirms this. Primary task of modern tanks is anti-armour combat, everything else seems rather an after thought.

 

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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 strong focus on anti-tank capability shouldn't be taken out of the context. It was an obvious choice for Germans on western and eastern front. Maybe against a tank weak country they would have used something more explosive. Another factor is the wavering combined arms components, of which role had to be compensated by tanks and infantry.

 

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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.

Nobody says that. It is still way ahead of anything it faced. Any other alternative to a panther is at least as bad or worse. Idea of an all pz4 or stug army in 1944 is plain unrealistic.

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45 minutes ago, Beer said:

 

IMHO this is an interesting phenomenon. Due to the fact that there were quite many German weapons which indeed were a generation ahead of the opponents people tend to generalize to an entire German war industry seeing everything German as wonder weapons. We can agree that things like Me-262, Fritz-X, StG-44, Hs-293, V1, V2 and some others really were sort of ahead of the time but that doesn't mean everything German was. 

Isn't the fact that so many consider German weapons better and indication of truth? Many countries try to shovel some bias into their histories but Nazi-Germany has no advocates. Even in Germany is the interest for ww2 technology a semi-obscure hobby.

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7 hours ago, Toxn said:

 

-in the same class as British, Italian and Japanese tanks design-wise.

 

You just can't say that and expect to be taken seriously. Not with knowing the history and the numbers of equipment that Allies lost to kill two and a half countries.

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1 hour ago, Beer said:

 

IMHO this is an interesting phenomenon. Due to the fact that there were quite many German weapons which indeed were a generation ahead of the opponents people tend to generalize to an entire German war industry seeing everything German as wonder weapons. We can agree that things like Me-262, Fritz-X, StG-44, Hs-293, V1, V2 and some others really were sort of ahead of the time but that doesn't mean everything German was. 

 

They sort of were sort of weren't. The engineering manager's grift was a baked in feature of the late Nazi state. So they created tons of, effectively, research projects that they then used as weapons. This really just means they were the only ones daft enough to do this, not that they were necessarily meaningfully ahead in these areas.

 

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38 minutes ago, delete013 said:

It is still way ahead of anything it faced.

 

Arracourt begs to differ.

 

Oh, you mean it have beeg gun n thicc armor. Yes, so did the Char 2C, yet nobody pretends it's anything but a dead end.

 

Perhaps the answer lies in a difference of nationality? 🤔

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59 minutes ago, delete013 said:

You got priorities all wrong. If a tank can't deal with vehicles then a single stug is enough for an attack to fail. Armored vehicles were the first and primary target if Allies hoped to achieve anything. If tanks can't accompany infantry then the latter has to expose themselves and we know for a fact that Allied infantry was as reluctant as ineffective in doing so. Weight of an explosive filling is secondary because you don't evaluate a tank by how well it fares against an MG nest. There are other weapons better suited for the job. The post war development clearly confirms this. Primary task of modern tanks is anti-armour combat, everything else seems rather an after thought.

 

You've never talked to an actual tanker in your life, have you?

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41 minutes ago, delete013 said:

You just can't say that and expect to be taken seriously. Not with knowing the history and the numbers of equipment that Allies lost to kill two and a half countries.

Ya, being on the defensive for three years in a total war does wonders for your kill ratio. Having most of Western Europe and a big chunk of the East to pillage also helps (although read Tooze for why having all that real estate didn't translate into a win on the logistical level).

 

And nobody's denying that the German army was good at tactics and wars of manoeuvre. They have been since the dawn of the modern era.

 

What we're arguing about here was whether their kit (and specifically post-1942) was any good. Again, not so much - lots of late-war German stuff seemed to put a premium on gee-whiz factor over boring things like reliability or efficiency.

 

But we can go deeper still. When evaluating a design you need to look into the context of the human and material systems which build, operate and support it. So we can ask: was it fitted for their operational and strategic needs? Did it align with their doctrine? Were the logistics up to the task of supporting it? Did it have a coherent, sane development process based on real requirements? Did it meet them?

 

Tell me with a straight face that the answer to most of those questions was "yes".

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1 hour ago, delete013 said:

Isn't the fact that so many consider German weapons better and indication of truth? Many countries try to shovel some bias into their histories but Nazi-Germany has no advocates. Even in Germany is the interest for ww2 technology a semi-obscure hobby.

For a guy on a history-centric forum you know fuck-all history.

Go read about West Germany sometime.

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2 hours ago, delete013 said:

Well, I guess I have rather radically different opinion on German tanks than the community here. I am a total amateur, so whatever I write please don't take as holy truths. May I also remind that I don't claim that panther was the pinnacle of tank design. It obviously had issues. Anyways, let's do this..

 

 

They used them as other countries without their own tank fleet - until the spare parts were available. I completely agree that they could have been complicated to use, don't get me wrong. They weren't designed because someone wanted to overengineer but you can't avoid the fact that no attempts were made to improve the tank.

Man, I posted links showing the opposite not a page ago. And that was done in an abundance of consideration for the argument that the Panther's flaws could be ironed out (they weren't).

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

Every MBT today uses panthers armour philosophy, all or nothing, focus on frontal protection with addition of 60deg frontal arc. You enhance panthers turret side armour and add heavy side skirts to the frontal third of the hull sides and you have western armour arrangement of the 70-80 ies. This was a deliberate move. From 1943 on they had the only army that operated a mainstream medium tank with actually functioning armour, excellent armament and decent mobility. You can call it all mediocre all you will but criticism of a panther is unavoidably conditioned by its era in which everything else was worse! If you dislike Schachtellaufwerk you have to confront the fact that German tanks featured more armour, better relative mobility and better weapon platforms. What was a better alternative? Even a fairly good IS-2 only a tad better armour than tiger 1 whilst dispensing with a load of features. Turning radius, weapon stability, barrel depression, ammo storage, single piece ammo, reload speed are all things that matter in tank combat but maybe not so much for someone that doesn't expect a tank to have time to spend its ammo.

"Tad better". I think you mean "200+mm LoS at the thickest, 138mm on the driver's step initially, 240 on the 1944 version". And the sides are "only" 95mm. As for the load of features dispensed with - the insane turret traverse system, perhaps?

 

manual-ex03.jpg

Perhaps the insane interleaved wheel suspension that literally nobody found worth the time after Kniepkamp wasn't in a position to profit off of it? Perhaps IS-2 was just, you know, rationally designed with an eye towards production (nearly 4000 made vs Tiger's ~1300) rather than hoovering up scarce materials and manpower?

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

I seriously doubt that any professional would consider D-25T a better weapon than either KwK42 or KwK43. D10 was afaik considered quite better but even that one could not match the long 8.8. I understand the big soviet calibres rather a necessity born out of resignation of the ammunition and cannon designers. Good HE shell was probably second requirement. People today spin in circles thinking that cracks in German armour are an indication of a good anti-tank weapon.

German guns weren't bad for the era. Bulky and running at rather conservative pressures, but not bad. They could have learned from whoever came up with the casings for the long 50mm ammunition though - all the other German stuff was hilariously long for some reason.

If you want the real secret to the success of German guns though - their shells. Just good, well-designed shells with careful attention being paid to alloying and tempering.

 

Their armour quality was variable-to-shit, though.

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

Most late and immediate post war requirements evolved around Tiger B's 8.8 kwk and its armour. Most modern MBTs likewise focus on good mobility and have primarily anti-armour armament. You will perhaps notice that nobody managed to get the German performance out of their guns. 17pdr is the closest but at a cost of a heavier shell. Everyone else had to choose between custom ammo or bigger calibers.

Nope. 17 pounder was a monster. It ran at monumental pressures and spat out a very heavy shell (7.7kg vs 6.8 for the German 75mm) very fast, from a very short barrel. All British guns were like this, actually - high-pressure beasts which performed well above what their contemporaries could given the same barrel real-estate. There's a reason the 17-pounder spawned the 20-pounder and, eventually, the 105mm. While the German stuff spawned nothing much.

 

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

But let's not forget. French immediate post war medium and heavy tank development is all German designs (besides that fetish for scillating turrents). Lorraine 40t, Cannon D'Assault Lorraine, AMX-50.

Yes, the successful French program of noodling around with German ideas for a while before discarding them completely. And then eventually copying/reinventing (depends on who's telling it) what the West Germans were doing by making a less successful Leopard 1 clone.

 

Speaking of which - notice how the Germans, in Germany, in an army stuffed to the gills with ex-Nazis, decided to produce (when they were finally allowed to) a vehicle which had exactly none of the Panther's DNA in it? One that emphasized speed, maintenance and mechanical reliability over armour or firepower?

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

Centurion had panther's hard specifications. Two years younger tank with no advantage over a panther and which cut the edges at mobility and suspension (unless you consider horstman any credible tank suspension). If Germany wasn't collapsing it would compete with panthers with up to 120 mm armour and 8.8cm cannons. But all tanks suddenly look better after war because Germans designed no more, coincidence?

Ya, the Cent was Panther but competent. I've said so already. It had more upgrade potential (187cm turret ring, vs 165cm on Panther), an actually-reliable engine and transmission system (that can neutral steer without something breaking and has a lifespan measured in more than thee digits) and a reliably, easy-to-maintain suspension system with generous weight margins. And it's still in service!

 

Funny that - you fix literally all the things I complain about on Panther (most of which were inevitable issues brought about by the developmental dysfunction that drove the whole project from start to finish) and the end result is amazing. It's almost like I'm right about my core thesis here. 

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

Translate the weight difference into reliability, add logistics and you are not far off.

Jumbo Sherman begs to differ with you.

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

As the heretic said, your stats and calculations are wrong. I got to 0.31 W/ccm for a HL230 and 0.26 for V-2 whereas I took 370 instead of 340kW. But more important is that the engine is also shorter. This means shorter hull, less metal for sides and shorter track lengts, which is crucial for any decent turning radiuses. Usually neglected is the fact that turning radiuses of shermans and IS-2 were giant and you can forget about any credible tactical maneuvering.

Nope, I re-ran the numbers using the dimensions provided by Heretic and got the same result: 0.28W/cc. So you're either bad at math, are using smaller dimensions (ie: shaving the volume down to the engine and ignoring ancillaries entirely) or are using the uprated power figures. And then, even granting that your numbers are correct, what have you shown? That this "compact, powerful" petrol engine is mediocre? Congratulations.

 

As for "shorter", I assume you mean "less long" because it's taller than V-2. And taller is only really useful if you cunningly design the turret to fit an enlarged engine bay (ala M46 and M48) rather than doing the smooth-brain thing of raising the entire freaking hull and keeping a flush deck. Which... you know.

 

And then, even more galling: if you actually lay out the components in Panther you'd notice that they squandered any space they may have saved by making the hull longer than it needed to be so that the turret could sit in the centre of the hull. So haha, guess the designers just wasted whatever weight benefit they'd gained by making the damn thing both tall and long.

 

2 hours ago, delete013 said:

No? Well, what was equal then? Neither T-44, Cent nor IS-3 were battle read by the end of the war and panthers were rolling around for 2 years by then. Anything else is pure conjecture.

Equal? You mean in terms of having the same paper stats or being suited to win a war of production while being on the offensive? Because M4 and T-34 did the latter while still being perfectly capable of criticism for their shortcomings.

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10 hours ago, 2805662 said:

Leopard 2A7A1 with Trophy. Not sure of the veracity of this pic.

 

Can we think of any reasons why they didn't put the radar boxes at the side of the turret instead of the front? As they did with the Abrams and Merkava?

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5 hours ago, delete013 said:

Panther's only frontal weakness was the curved lower mantlet. Everything else was fine.

A credible weapon beyond 500m? I think not. If you are so close then you ought to mind infantry rather than the tank.

 

No, war is not a video game. Close fighting happens and surprise surprise, in 1945 25-30% of allied tank looses came from Panzerfaust, i.e. weapon used at distances like 30 meters. Your idea of tanks only sniping each other from afar works somewhere in African desert and partially on Ukrainean plains but not in typical 44-45 Panther battlefield. Tank-to-tank encounters also often happend on close distance, especially when fighting in cities or countryside with short visibility (green fences, mountains, forests). Why do you think Panther got sideskirts? Because its vertical side armor was penetrated by Soviet antitank rifles - which were capable of achieving that only from very close distance like 100 meters. The simple fact that the Germans developed a counter measure tells you that such cases happened more than occasionally. The weak side armor was very well known to the Allies and exploited whenever it was possible. 

 

Besides that Panther is 45 tons heavy vehicle and one would expect it to have an armor equivalent to such weight - but that was not possible due to its enormous inner volume (which was a result of its design requirements). IS-2 with the same weight has at least twice thicker armor all around (yes I know it carriers few ammo but a breakthrough tank doesn't need a lot of ammo if it is used for what it was designed). 

 

5 hours ago, delete013 said:

You got priorities all wrong. If a tank can't deal with vehicles then a single stug is enough for an attack to fail. Armored vehicles were the first and primary target if Allies hoped to achieve anything. If tanks can't accompany infantry then the latter has to expose themselves and we know for a fact that Allied infantry was as reluctant as ineffective in doing so. Weight of an explosive filling is secondary because you don't evaluate a tank by how well it fares against an MG nest. There are other weapons better suited for the job. The post war development clearly confirms this. Primary task of modern tanks is anti-armour combat, everything else seems rather an after thought.

 

No, no and no. Tank is not a tank destroyer at least not in most of army doctrines. This is a misconception or an outright ignorance. In the doctrines you find terms like breakthrough, explotation, infantry support but nowhere it is written that tank is a primary anti-tank weapon. Fuller, Hart, Guderian, Tukhachevsky and others saw tanks as a primary tool to exploit breakthroughs to an operational depth capturing vital transportation and communication hubs and not as a weapon to be used in tank to tank brawl in WoT style. 

 

US didn't field 76 mm Sherman for quite some time not because it was not available but because the units resisted to it - because it was worse than 75 mm against everything except tanks and for fighting tanks there were M10 tank destroyers (which per the doctrine were to fight the tanks allowing the tank units to do their job). Don't you think that if they were scared of the German tanks they would happily take the tanks with 76 mm gun? 

 

The British Firefly is also an example of something which has a nice paper stats but was in fact only a rather problematic stopgap which was used as a tank destroyer issued to the tank platoons - not as a primary tank. The Soviets in their initial shock from Tigers fielded the T-34/57 but quickly realized that such tank has very limited use and returned back to the 76 mm F-34 with far worse penetration values but far better capabilities against everything else. 

 

And yes, the IS-2 large caliber was primarily used because of its massive HE bang (if you didn't know that the IS-2 carried only 8 AP rounds as a standard 1945 loadout). It could penetrate everything, which was good, but that was very rarely needed. 

 

5 hours ago, delete013 said:

The strong focus on anti-tank capability shouldn't be taken out of the context. It was an obvious choice for Germans on western and eastern front. Maybe against a tank weak country they would have used something more explosive. Another factor is the wavering combined arms components, of which role had to be compensated by tanks and infantry.

 

It was not an obvious choice. It went directly against Guderian's vision of the tank. See that during the war Germans moved from a highly mobile light tank-heavy army to an army with much smaller number of much heavier tanks and much worse mobility (especially operational and strategic). You know there was a case where one Char-B managed to knock out 16 German tanks but all other tanks of the same Char-B unit didn't even make it to the battlefield and this one achievement became perfectly irrelevant in the grand scale of things. In the end such encounter brough about the same impact on the war as existence of Königstiger. 

 

 

All in all you put way too much emphasis on the gun and armor. The tank is more than that. Much more than that. When they designed the Panther they got a ridiculous requirement of 50 cm suspension travel and the interleaved bogey wheels. The designers found a solution but a solution which brought so many problems that they completely ruined the achievements (together with the frontal transmission the vehicle got absolutely enormously large, extremely heavy, unreliable and pain in the ass to maintain). Is 50 cm suspension travel good? Yes. Is it worth all the negative efects it brought? Hell no. Just throw those double torsion bars and interleaved bogey wheels away and you get probably 3-4 tons lighter vehicle which is way easier to produce and maintain (and if you reduce the now-largely empty hull you gain maybe ten tons just by using different suspension layout). Panther and other German vehicles are full of such overengineering stuff which brings some advantages but plenty of other disadvantages. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

 

They sort of were sort of weren't. The engineering manager's grift was a baked in feature of the late Nazi state. So they created tons of, effectively, research projects that they then used as weapons. This really just means they were the only ones daft enough to do this, not that they were necessarily meaningfully ahead in these areas.

 

 

True that but these things actually worked and lead to a plethora of direct descentants in all armies after the war. 

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2 hours ago, Toxn said:

Their armour quality was variable-to-shit, though.

Wrong. Only in 1944 it became variable, and and only from second half of 1944 became shitty.

 

11 hours ago, Toxn said:

I'm willing to grant that the view of it being complete trash is overblown and that it's a mediocrity -in the same class as British, Italian and Japanese tanks design-wise.

Desing is just one (although important) thing to evaluate a certain weapon system. Even though the Panther wasnt the best (I'd rate it above average, but obviously not excellent) design, it performed well in combat. Its sad that the knowledge about its battlefield history is limited to some select battles in the west where it lost against Shermans. In hungary there were quite significant battles in 1944-45, in fact some of the larger tank battles in ww2. And the Panther excelled there. Even we hungarians operated some (about 15-20), and they were judged as damn good tanks in both offense and defense. A T-34/85 wasnt really a match for it. Not bad for a "mediocre" tank. It is quite unfortunate that there are very limited amounts of literature about these battles in english. 

12 hours ago, Toxn said:

So the air filters can be moved around then?

Obviously. The hull of the tank didnt become so tall due to the air filters. Actually, the designers didnt relocate them to elsewhere, simply because they fit in the hull, on top of the engine. It had obvious advantages too, ease of access.

2 hours ago, Toxn said:

notice how the Germans, in Germany, in an army stuffed to the gills with ex-Nazis, decided to produce (when they were finally allowed to) a vehicle which had exactly none of the Panther's DNA in it? One that emphasized speed, maintenance and mechanical reliability over armour or firepower?

True. But do we (fortunately) do not know if the design of the Leopard-1 would be successful in a real war. But honestly, I doubt. In my opinion (and Im sure this opinion will be just as unpopular here), the Leopard is quite inferior to its contemporary adversary, the T-62. And probably to the T-55 too. We can talk about the inefficient desings a bit. Yes, the Panther was big and heavy, and had comparatively low armor protection. And the Leopard? It had barely any armor (weaker than the Panther in both sides and rear, yet it was still over 42 tons... Where did that weight went??? 

2 hours ago, Toxn said:

There's a reason the 17-pounder spawned the 20-pounder and, eventually, the 105mm. While the German stuff spawned nothing much.

Why would it spawn anything? The soviets already had a freakin awesome gun even in 1944, the D10, even if it took time to develop a tank that can accept it. Americans went with their 90mm, again, already in late ww2. Why would they drop their own developments in favor of adopting a foreign design? 

 

Anyway, lets play with ideas a bit. Even if history doesnt like the word "if".

Lets assume Walkür successful. Hitler dead, wehrmacht generals evicts nazis from power. Germans leave all occupied western countries, ceasefire in effect with allies. With the resources freed up, germans are able to stop soviets at the original 1939 borders. Both armies totally exhausted, so ceasefire in the east too. Would the designers drop the whole concept of the Panther? Highly doubt. Now there is finally time to fix and improve the tank, as originally planned. The following improvements materialize: new and reliable final drive. Improved, and much more powerful HL-234 engine. 88mm KwK 43 gun (yes it was possible thanks to the big hull, that could accept a larger turret ring without problems).

Stabilized gun sight. Optical rangefinder. This "1946" version would still be a beast. Significantly better than the T-44, and still better than the M-26 Pershing. Quite similar to early Centurions, although with less firepower. 

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23 hours ago, Beer said:

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. 

Just compare it with the T-54... 10 tons difference in favor of the T-54. While the T-54 had better armor and a bigger gun. 

Yes, the wunderkampfwagen myth is indeed idiotic, and was busted long ago. Sad that some people are still believing it. But it is even sadder to invent new myths to destroy the earlier one. 

Although the battlefield superiority of the Panther over the Sherman and especially the T-34 arent myths. Larger tank battles werent common in the west, and also the terrain wasnt ideal, so I think we cant really use it as a base for comparison. On the eastern front however, it became totally obvious that the Panther is a much more effective tank than the T-34, even the /85. And no, dont pull out the "bad soviet tactics" card (just check battles in hungary), and especially not the "poorly trained" soviets. In 1944 the average soviet tankist was much better than the average german. 

 

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11 minutes ago, heretic88 said:

/.../

Anyway, lets play with ideas a bit. Even if history doesnt like the word "if".

Lets assume Walkür successful. Hitler dead, wehrmacht generals evicts nazis from power. Germans leave all occupied western countries, ceasefire in effect with allies. With the resources freed up, germans are able to stop soviets at the original 1939 borders. Both armies totally exhausted, so ceasefire in the east too. Would the designers drop the whole concept of the Panther? Highly doubt. Now there is finally time to fix and improve the tank, as originally planned. The following improvements materialize: new and reliable final drive. Improved, and much more powerful HL-234 engine. 88mm KwK 43 gun (yes it was possible thanks to the big hull, that could accept a larger turret ring without problems).

Stabilized gun sight. Optical rangefinder. This "1946" version would still be a beast. Significantly better than the T-44, and still better than the M-26 Pershing. Quite similar to early Centurions, although with less firepower. 

   Great, now we are punching through the bottom and dig even deeper, reaching depths of fan fictions and Alternative history. 

   Where is my 1945 with T-54s equipped with ERA (patented in Russia in 1920s), night vision sights, supported by BL-10 armed TDs on IS-7 chassis? Cruise missiles that Korolyov was working on in 30s? 

 

 

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Just now, LoooSeR said:

 Great, now we are punching through the bottom and dig even deeper, reaching depths of fan fictions and Alternative history. 

Just showing that the "unfixable" poor design of the Panther is far from reality. What I mentioned are actual plans that werent implemented due to war. 

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