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I do not have much time for 3d modeling or professional image editing, so I made a rather primitive photoshopped line drawing   So, my choice was the T-28, despite its limited availability.

A quick reminder:

Encountered slight issues with using free internet 3d surface-based models in solid-based CAD, will require more work before I have something showable.

1 hour ago, Toxn said:

This is perfect, thanks! With the removal of the mini-turrets I think it won't gain much weight either....

While Im not an expert, but I think there would be some weight gain, thanks to heavily uparmored turret. But the hull on itself, despite thick add on armor would be probably indeed lighter. In any case, thats why I uprated the engine a bit :)

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   Removal of T-28 miniturrets is one of those obvious things in hindsigh, heh. 

   I currently looking at what can be done with BT-5. Looking at schemes of BT-5 and BT-7 it appears that it might be a good idea to get rid of wheel drive, try to put external suspension system (maybe even using original coils) and use additional space for increased turret ring. This should give space for bigger turret and 76.2 mm guns, like BT-7A project with F-32.

 

   With suspension i'm looking at a way to put coils horizontally/close to horizontal, to free space on upper sides of the hull or even move them outside completely using reversed swing arms on rollers to still utilise coils from original vehicle (you can see on roller N3 on pic below). As you see, suspension and wheel drive on BT-5/7 is overcomplicated and space demanding.

1455641442-dvuhbashennyy-bt-3

 

1475898895-3

 

Spoiler

tank-bt-5-5

 

63

 

   Turret ring also can be increased using small turret extension on hull sides. Some hull improvements will make this moded BT-5 closer to T-20/A-20 in terms of looks.

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1 hour ago, LoooSeR said:

   Removal of T-28 miniturrets is one of those obvious things in hindsigh, heh. 

   I currently looking at what can be done with BT-5. Looking at schemes of BT-5 and BT-7 it appears that it might be a good idea to get rid of wheel drive, try to put external suspension system (maybe even using original coils) and use additional space for increased turret ring. This should give space for bigger turret and 76.2 mm guns, like BT-7A project with F-32.

 

   With suspension i'm looking at a way to put coils horizontally/close to horizontal, to free space on upper sides of the hull or even move them outside completely using reversed swing arms on rollers to still utilise coils from original vehicle (you can see on roller N3 on pic below). As you see, suspension and wheel drive on BT-5/7 is overcomplicated and space demanding.

1455641442-dvuhbashennyy-bt-3

 

1475898895-3

 

  Hide contents

tank-bt-5-5

 

63

 

   Turret ring also can be increased using small turret extension on hull sides. Some hull improvements will make this moded BT-5 closer to T-20/A-20 in terms of looks.

This is a good line of thinking.

 

I'd say that radically reworking the suspension might be a bridge too far - but if it were as simple as cutting it out and welding it back onto external brackets then it may be doable.

 

Widening the hull superstructure or adding side bulges (ala T-55 et al) in order to eke out every centimeter of potential turret ring diameter might be the easiest way forward here. I think where you might run into problems is actually with the limited space fore and aft - increase the turret ring size too much and you risk having no space left for the driver or engine.

 

Getting rid of the convertible drive is almost a no-brainer - easy as removing the sprockets and welding the steering linkage to the hull. 

 

The low-energy version, and one that is still perfectly acceptable, would be to eke out the margins on the design by, say: beefing up the suspension coil springs, replacing the road wheels, sprocket and tracks with longer-lasting models (if such can be found), removing the convertible drive, slapping applique armour onto the hull and turret front, replacing the turret rear rack with a local radio and putting a commander's cupola in. This gets you straight into a respectable position by having something that would give 37mm gun crews and Stuart commanders pause.

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2 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   Removal of T-28 miniturrets is one of those obvious things in hindsigh, heh. 

Thinking about it a bit, I wonder about the pros and cons of just leaving the mini-turrets in but taking out the guns and crew. The result would be fairly useful spaced armour - perfect for eating bazooka rockets and setting off bursting charges. I call this the "funbag airbag" approach ;)

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1 hour ago, Toxn said:

Thinking about it a bit, I wonder about the pros and cons of just leaving the mini-turrets in but taking out the guns and crew. The result would be fairly useful spaced armour - perfect for eating bazooka rockets and setting off bursting charges. I call this the "funbag airbag" approach

I thought about that for a bit... But in the end, I think it doesnt worth keeping them. Removal is a better solution, because you save lots of weight. Then you can bolt on additional armor, add extra ammo, create more space for crew. And as you can see on my drawing, the new armor plates in the place of mini turrets are angled very steeply, so viewed from the front, they provide lots of protection.

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   Behold, power of MS paint and 5 minutes of low effort.

   Reverse swing arm, as much as i don't like them, looks like only way to cram original coils and free up space on upper side armor for storage bins/add on armor that i want to put there. Angling coils is needed to not take whole height of hull, angling them towards rear instead of forward is also dictated by first wheels location regarding frontal upper hull plate.

MSPaint-powa

 

   Looking at turret ring, it appears that rear part of it already touching engine comparment. Not sure how bigger one will work. Now as certain conflict ended, i probably will have more time free for interwebz.

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OK so, road trip is over.
Reading from my (almost illegible) notes I wrote a couple weeks back:

1. Of the available tanks, the BT-5 is, IMO, the only reasonable choice.
1.1. The T-28 cannot be reasonably made a real opponent to the Sherman and is rare, with a spares issue just waiting to happen.
1.2. The various French light tanks and T-26 are disasters on tracks, with no armor, no real option to improve armament, and very poor automotives (low power to weight and low speed suspension).
1.3. Of the guns available, only the 7.62 cm PaK 39(r) can reliably kill a Sherman with AP, and that is neither in service nor will the Germans willingly part with them or their ammo in large quantities; Also, the case is that of the PaK 40, which cannot fit into any of these turrets anyway. Therefore any Sherman killing must require HEAT or some other means of defeating the tank without getting through the armor directly.

2. Why the BT-5 is a good choice
2.1. Most of what made the BT-5 a poor tank IRL are "soft" factors which can be fixed fairly cheaply and quickly, if the goal isn't to go up against Shermans.
2.2. The BT-5 is uniquely suited to being weighted down, owing to the frankly ludicrously over-specced drivetrain.
2.3. The added weight of the BT-7 vs the -5 did not by any source I've found adversely affect reliability, and again as far as I can tell the suspension was not heavily modified.
2.4. For going up against light tanks, the 45mm is quite good and perhaps does not require replacement at all, for a low-end option.
2.5. The sheer number taken intact by the Germans, as well as the large number of spares salvageable from disabled ones, allows a large and capable fleet.

3. Proposed BT-5 upgrade:
3.1. Mobility
This is in fact a bit of a downgrade, to cope with the increased weight to be mentioned later.
3.1.1. Increasing the preload of the springs by spacers in the spring wells, to retain ground clearance.
3.1.2. Installing volute bump stops on first and last road wheel stations to prevent over-stressing springs, at cost of some of the very generous travel.
3.1.3. Installing drive wheels with 5 rather than 6 drive nubs to raise final drive ratio  - prevents over-stressing drivetrain at the cost of reduced speed at all gears. Even at a 5:6 reduced speed, the BT-5 is silly fast.
All in all, very easy to do, requires light welding work to install bump stops and requires fabricating new drive wheels - not hard at all. Should allow a weight of around 15T vs the original 12T or so. Ground pressure in Italian terrain is also not that big of an issue, and the BT-5 has silly low MMP ground pressure anyway thanks to the massive track pitch.



... and just like that, my posting time for the day has run out.
What will N-L-M do with 3 tons of extra weight on a BT-5?
Tune in next time for another exciting episode of...
pimp my tank!

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9 hours ago, N-L-M said:

OK so, road trip is over.
Reading from my (almost illegible) notes I wrote a couple weeks back:

1. Of the available tanks, the BT-5 is, IMO, the only reasonable choice.
1.1. The T-28 cannot be reasonably made a real opponent to the Sherman and is rare, with a spares issue just waiting to happen.
1.2. The various French light tanks and T-26 are disasters on tracks, with no armor, no real option to improve armament, and very poor automotives (low power to weight and low speed suspension).
1.3. Of the guns available, only the 7.62 cm PaK 39(r) can reliably kill a Sherman with AP, and that is neither in service nor will the Germans willingly part with them or their ammo in large quantities; Also, the case is that of the PaK 40, which cannot fit into any of these turrets anyway. Therefore any Sherman killing must require HEAT or some other means of defeating the tank without getting through the armor directly.

2. Why the BT-5 is a good choice
2.1. Most of what made the BT-5 a poor tank IRL are "soft" factors which can be fixed fairly cheaply and quickly, if the goal isn't to go up against Shermans.
2.2. The BT-5 is uniquely suited to being weighted down, owing to the frankly ludicrously over-specced drivetrain.
2.3. The added weight of the BT-7 vs the -5 did not by any source I've found adversely affect reliability, and again as far as I can tell the suspension was not heavily modified.
2.4. For going up against light tanks, the 45mm is quite good and perhaps does not require replacement at all, for a low-end option.
2.5. The sheer number taken intact by the Germans, as well as the large number of spares salvageable from disabled ones, allows a large and capable fleet.

3. Proposed BT-5 upgrade:
3.1. Mobility
This is in fact a bit of a downgrade, to cope with the increased weight to be mentioned later.
3.1.1. Increasing the preload of the springs by spacers in the spring wells, to retain ground clearance.
3.1.2. Installing volute bump stops on first and last road wheel stations to prevent over-stressing springs, at cost of some of the very generous travel.
3.1.3. Installing drive wheels with 5 rather than 6 drive nubs to raise final drive ratio  - prevents over-stressing drivetrain at the cost of reduced speed at all gears. Even at a 5:6 reduced speed, the BT-5 is silly fast.
All in all, very easy to do, requires light welding work to install bump stops and requires fabricating new drive wheels - not hard at all. Should allow a weight of around 15T vs the original 12T or so. Ground pressure in Italian terrain is also not that big of an issue, and the BT-5 has silly low MMP ground pressure anyway thanks to the massive track pitch.



... and just like that, my posting time for the day has run out.
What will N-L-M do with 3 tons of extra weight on a BT-5?
Tune in next time for another exciting episode of...
pimp my tank!

 

I'd say that, of the French tanks, the S35 is about the best bet to create a useful vehicle, and could probably support a much larger turret ring than it had historically (perhaps as large as 1.5m!). The PzII also has some hidden potential, although it's a lot more tightly packed and might support a turret ring of maybe 1.2m. That's in the same range as the BT-5 (which doesn't have much growth potential in that department at all), and gives you the opportunity to propose your own turret layout.

 

Another dark horse in all of this, to my mind at least, is the Puppchen. It may not have the best effective range, but for that you get something with next to no recoil and the ability to smash any armour you're likely to face. This is where a layout similar to the modern BMP-3 (a high-velocity small-calibre gun mounted alongside a lower-velocity large-calibre gun) might be used to provide an all-around useful armament.

 

 

 

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I think that I will not give any drawings or 3D (any free 3D models for BT or Somua out there in the internet?) but I think I can share my thinking. Maybe it can inspire someone or at least add something into discussion. 

 

Somua S-35. 

IMHO the tank is not that bad platform. As it is bolted from three parts I suggest to replace the entire front-upper hull section with a new one. I don't think that replacing engine, gearbox or suspension is worth the effort (I guess creating an all new vehicle would make more sense). Moreover it's quite ok on the original vehicle. 

The new front-upper hull section would be welded with sloped single front plate  in a way to enlarge turret ring as possible (the sloped UFP with the same bottom and top edge as the original allows to move the driver a bit to the front and move also the turret axis slightly to the front and thus enlarge its ring a little bit). One particular issue, I see here, is that to replace the engine it was necessary to unbolt the entire rear-upper hull section and remove it with a crane. In our case with larger turret it would mean that the turret also needs to be removed before the engine is replaced (I don't know how it was with the original). Therefore the turret needs also hooks for the crane. 

The turret shall be new welded one for two men instead of one (I don't think we can fit three there together with a bigger gun) and with commander's cupola. As for the gun I think we could fit the Italian 75/34 gun for which they had ammo and which was basically the best what the Italians had. I'm quite confident that this gun could fit in the turret. Another option could be the Škoda A11 47/L43,4 which was able to penetrate 100 mm at short distance but only with APCR PzGr. 40 about which I don't know if it was available for Italy. Otherwise this very compact gun would allow to opt for not too big turret and reduce the extra weight increase. Of course the HE would be much worse. 

Another improvement would be to add armoured glass vision blocks for all crew members instead of the vision slits, including for the cupola and a periscope for the gunner.

The radio operator would get a machine gun because in my opinion in WW2 it was good to have the bow MG and also to use the radio operator more (now he's not needed as half-loader as with the single men turret anymore). 

The radio would be replaced with Italian RF-1CA.  

Both machnieguns would be Breda mod.38 for the sake of unification not for their performance. 

The big question is armor protection. The bigger turret and gun, the bow MG and its ammo and the fourth crew member would definitely add weight. The standard Somua was very well protected when created but by 1943 it's not enough. I think it would make sense to remove the armoured pannels from the suspension and thus save a lot of weight which can be used for the new turret etc. The suspension would maybe need stronger leaf springs but that is probably doable. I'm not able to say how inbalanced the original tank was and how much worse it would therefore be after the redesign. All in all I don't think that it's safe to think about more than 50-60 mm steel plates used for UFP and turret front. The exposed and very large original LFP could get at least 10 mm flat spaced armor bolted on welded spacers. Anyway since both UFP and the spaced armour for LFP would be very easy to replace, we could put maximum what the suspension could cope with based on the testing. 

 

BT-5

I was thinking to offer to the army something not exactly asked for. The BT-5 thanks to it's ridiculous engine and speed and small size and weight could be used as an ideal platform for an armoured scout vehicle with great off-road capability.

 It needs new turret in which I would sacrifice the gun for having two radio sets placed directly in the turret for the commander. The turret could be either opened (probably better for scout car) or closed with a large commander's cupola (more expensive and heavier).

As an armament I would go for the belt-fed ZB-60 15 mm autocannon (BESA 15 basically) with large elevation angle to allow its effective use also in the mountains and possibly against aircraft. The gun could penetrate 28 mm from short distance which is not enough against tanks but could be probably enough to spray anything it encounters and run away. An alternative (larger but more standard for Italians could be Breda 20/65 autocannon but its feeding isn't ideal for being placed inside a turret. Personally I would go for the smaller ZB-60 here. 

I would replace also the UFP with one with larger and differently shaped driver's cabin with better visibility (three vision blocks with armoured glass giving better viewing angle for more efficient use of the vehicle speed). Since this vehicle would not serve as a tank I think better visibility is much more importnant than armor protection.

For the scout job I would adjust the UFP and the turret front thickness to be resistant to M2 Browning only. Well sloped 25 mm on the UFP and slightly sloped 30 mm on the turret shall be enough. Since I would remove the gun and a lot of ammo and the turret roof I don't think there would be any weight increase even with such armor adjustment.  

IMHO this conversion would be also very cheap. 

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My submission: "P 28/32

 

OwiSGRc.png

 

Spoiler

YLeaJma.png

LHdlrJH.png

h2gISvy.png

 

I used the T-28 hull and modified it by reworking the entire front and widening the turret ring to the side of the hull (it is now ~1.85m wide). The gun is an leFH 16 or leFH 18/1, German stock that is probably phased out of service by 1942-43 (the 16 was definitely not in front line service).  Also, by this time, HEAT shells were starting to be added to inventory, which gives the tank the ability to engage the Sherman from the front, and from any range. As you guess by the name, the P means this tank is meant to support the M13s, 14s, and 15s in service by engaging targets the smaller M series would have difficulty with (bunkers, and the M4 Shermans). The 28 is an homage to the tank it's based on (T-28), and the 32 is based on the expected weight. 

 

Still working out details, but the vehicle is suppose to be about 32 tons, with a 30mm glacis plate (50mm drivers visor), 45mm turret front, mantle, and copula, 30mm turret sides and rear. Other armor is the same as the T-28. There are 5 crew: Commander and gunner in the right of the turret (gunner forward, commander behind), 2 loaders (both left side of the turret), and the driver (front and center of the hull). The rear of the turret houses the radio (behind the commander), the machine gun magazines (1-2 8mm Breda mod. 38, stored next to the radio), and the 105mm shells (taking up half of the back of the turret). The propellant and rest of the shells are stored on either side of the driver, and in a "ready rack" in the center of the turret, beneath the gun breach (2 or 3 full propellant charges). Engine, suspension, and transmission are all the same as the T-28. 

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10 hours ago, Lord_James said:

My submission: "P 28/32

 

OwiSGRc.png

 

  Reveal hidden contents

YLeaJma.png

LHdlrJH.png

h2gISvy.png

 

I used the T-28 hull and modified it by reworking the entire front and widening the turret ring to the side of the hull (it is now ~1.85m wide). The gun is an leFH 16 or leFH 18/1, German stock that is probably phased out of service by 1942-43 (the 16 was definitely not in front line service).  Also, by this time, HEAT shells were starting to be added to inventory, which gives the tank the ability to engage the Sherman from the front, and from any range. As you guess by the name, the P means this tank is meant to support the M13s, 14s, and 15s in service by engaging targets the smaller M series would have difficulty with (bunkers, and the M4 Shermans). The 28 is an homage to the tank it's based on (T-28), and the 32 is based on the expected weight. 

 

Still working out details, but the vehicle is suppose to be about 32 tons, with a 30mm glacis plate (50mm drivers visor), 45mm turret front, mantle, and copula, 30mm turret sides and rear. Other armor is the same as the T-28. There are 5 crew: Commander and gunner in the right of the turret (gunner forward, commander behind), 2 loaders (both left side of the turret), and the driver (front and center of the hull). The rear of the turret houses the radio (behind the commander), the machine gun magazines (1-2 8mm Breda mod. 38, stored next to the radio), and the 105mm shells (taking up half of the back of the turret). The propellant and rest of the shells are stored on either side of the driver, and in a "ready rack" in the center of the turret, beneath the gun breach (2 or 3 full propellant charges). Engine, suspension, and transmission are all the same as the T-28. 

Looking good, although I have to ask why you settled on the short 75 after going to all the trouble to make a turret ring which could mount a 100mm gun ;)

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This might be of interest to @Lord_James and @heretic88: removing the miniturrets saves about 300kg each (not counting crew) by my calculations. At the same time, simply extending the superstructure and relocating the cabin while retaining the same armour thickness (as Lord-James did) nets you just under 600kg of mass. So for him the weight difference is a wash.

 

For Heretic the situation seems a little more complex. From the model I have available, it looks like he changed the angle of the cabin (from around 20' to 30' from the vertical), changed the angle of the upper front glacis and put in triangular side plates that go from the turret platform to the side of the cabin. That and the extra armour means that I'm not sure what the weight difference would be over the original.

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Placed my updated, finalized submission in the other thread. Quite pleased with it, even if it's 1 ton heavier than planned (name updated to reflect the new weight). 

 

@Toxn, it can actually mount the Italian 120mm howitzers (120/21, 120/25, and 120/27) on this thing, there's enough room. However, none of those guns received HEAT, or even AP for that matter (that I can find), and the Italians don't appear to have produced HEAT shells for their 75-105mm guns until 1944 (probably due to German assistance). The leFH 16 is the best compromise of availability and firepower that I can come up with. 

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On 10/12/2020 at 4:43 PM, Toxn said:

Licenced production yes, sale no.

 

Production licences are also available for all ammunition currently in German use (ie: non-experimental), although no strategic materials (copper, tungsten) or products will be sold to Italy.

 

4 hours ago, Lord_James said:

Placed my updated, finalized submission in the other thread. Quite pleased with it, even if it's 1 ton heavier than planned (name updated to reflect the new weight). 

 

@Toxn, it can actually mount the Italian 120mm howitzers (120/21, 120/25, and 120/27) on this thing, there's enough room. However, none of those guns received HEAT, or even AP for that matter (that I can find), and the Italians don't appear to have produced HEAT shells for their 75-105mm guns until 1944 (probably due to German assistance). The leFH 16 is the best compromise of availability and firepower that I can come up with. 

There's your solution ;)

 

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BDNdq2M.png
Still very much a work in progress, but seeing as I haven't posted all that much in this thread, I thought I'd post it as-is.
The add-on armor is still very rough, and is missing the turret ring armor.
You'd be surprised how well armored a BT-5 can get if you put your mind to it.

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      4. Drift no more than 36 inches at 600 yards (2.6in sight height, 100yd zero, 59.0F temperature, 29.92in Hg pressure, 10mph 90 degree crosswind).
      5. All performance requirements must be met at 200 ft/s below the spec velocity, except the 600 yard energy requirement, which can be met at 500 yards at -200 ft/s, instead.
      6. Produce pressure no greater than 52,000 CUP (brass cased) or 50,000 CUP (steel cased).
      7. Use a projectile composed only of any combination of the following: Copper alloy, bronze alloy, lead alloy, iron alloy, steel alloy, tin alloy, nickel alloy, and/or zinc alloys. Titanium, tungsten, aluminum, magnesium, and other exotic metals are not allowed.
      8. Minimum magazine capacity must be 20, with a stack height no greater than 5 inches.
      9. Cartridge overall length may not exceed 2.8 inches.
      10. Cartridge recoil from a 10lb weapon may not exceed 12 ft-lbs.
      11. Cartridge must meet performance requirements from a 22" barreled weapon.
      12. Cartridge must cost as little as possible.

      You are provided with calculators to use to estimate these values for the competition. For trajectory, drift, and energy, you must use JBM Ballistics calculator here. Internal ballistics must be estimated via the Powley Computer (just check the pressure box and enter 52,000 CUP for brass or 50,000 CUP for steel). Also please see my guidelines for modeling steel cases here. The pine penetration value must be calculated with this spreadsheet, and the recoil energy with this spreadsheet. For the purposes of this competition, cost per round is determined solely by the materials used. Please reference the material cost sheet here. If you do not already have a solid modeling program, you can use Google SketchUp for free. @Toxn has a lot of experience with it, you might ask him.
    • By Sturgeon
      BULLETIN: ALL INDUSTRIAL-MECHANICAL CONCERNS
       
      SOLICITATION FOR ALL-TERRAIN SCOUT TRUCK
       
      The Provisional Government of the Lone Free State issues the following solicitation for a new All-Terrain Scout Truck. The vehicle will be the main line ground combat asset of the Texan Free State Rangers, and the Texan Free State Patrol, and will replace the ageing G-12 Scout Truck. The All-Terrain Scout Truck (ATST) will be required to counter the new Mormon vehicles and weapons we are encountering in the frontier, while still being fully road mobile and easing conversion training and maintenance for the Lone Free State militias. Please see the attached sheet for a full list of solicitation requirements.
       

       
      Submissions will be accepted in USC only.
       
       
      OOC Note: I recommend reading the lore segments, as they are stripped down to effectively present only relevant facts and context about the situation in Texas. You don't, strictly speaking, have to, but it's considered essential information.
       
       
      IS IT TIME FOR A LONE FREE STATE ARMY?

      The Lone Star
       
      by Captain Julio Rodgers of the Texas Free State Rangers
       
      March 15, 2240

      As a Texan first and a Ranger second, I value the independence of Texans above all else. Historically, the Lone Free State has ensured the liberty and independence of all Texans by eschewing a traditional military organization, and instead leaving the common defense to local authorities, who are adequately funded from the national treasury and very well equipped. This has done exactly what it was intended to do, and sets the Lone Free State apart from other governments in a way that has made it the greatest nation in the Former United States. However, as we approach the middle of the 23rd Century, we will find ourselves up against enemies unlike any we have fought before. Even now, past the New Mexico territories, our rangers tell us a state of Cascadia is building a military force the likes of which this continent has not seen since before the War. Our current system for national defense cannot-
       
       
       
      THE LAND BEYOND THE MISSISSIPPI: LONE STAR EDITION

      The Post-New York Times

      Op-ed by Muhammad Alharris
       
      September 1, 2241

      Past the quiet iron hills, the swamps of the Mississippi Commune, and the great river of the same name, lies a hard but beautiful place. Texas, the hardest hit of the 50 formerly United States, is even today no forgiving haven for weary travelers. Sweltering, 120 degree summers that last 9 months mean only men of grit and guts dare live there for very long. When my uber pulled into the station at Beaumont, I was already soaked with sweat. I checked my phone, 103 degrees, it read. It was 10 AM, in early May. Unlike in the East with its electric trains connecting the microcities that dot the coast, Texas is a place of roads. Great, spanning highways harkening back to the old world criss cross the country, with ubers flitting to and fro in chaotic swarms. What mass transit there is takes the form of large electric uber trolleys that seat 50, but I found that most people still drive their personally owned ubers - powered by diesel! - 1 to a person or two. Independence is the most important thing to Texans. No wonder, since it was so hard won in nuclear fire. And, I think (maybe a bit darkly), who else would put up with living here? 
       
       
       
      FAST ENOUGH, BUT NOT ENOUGH
       
      Texas Patrol Weekly
       
      by Deputy Marshal Art Renner
       
      January 13th, 2243
       
      There is no question that the G-12 Armored Truck has been the backbone of Lone Free State defense since the teen years of this century. Fast, with top speed of 70 mph, and long legged, with a range of almost 250 miles on a single tank, the G-12 was exactly what Texas needed to patrol its substantial and growing border. Was. The situation of today is not as it was. We're familiar with the scene, immortalized in the 2229 movie Lone Star, of Marshals charging into battle at 50 miles per hour against the bandit menace, triple machine guns blazing and almost out of fuel, but just in time to save the day, and a grateful settlement. Today, the machine gun is not The Decider anymore. That title now belongs to the recoilless and the autocannon, because we aren't just facing banditos anymore. Now, they have their own armored cars, their own machine guns, and even their own recoillesses from time to time. The G-12, Old Reliable, is now Old Liability.
       
       
       
      ALL ROADS LEAD TO AUSTIN
       
      Austin Standard
       
      by Marie Lemarre
       
      July 23, 2239
       
      Texas is not the jewel of the United States as it once was, but in the 23rd Century it still remains a force to be reckoned with. The unquestioned source of Lone Free State power is its vast, soaring highways, which keep men and materiel flowing to where they are most needed. Trucks of every variety use these roads, but they are most critical as a national security asset. Would our borders be as safe as they are, would the productivity of the free Texas man be as great as it is, without the ability of the Texas Patrol to go from Amarillo to Corpus Christi in six hours? No! The lifeblood of the Texan state pumps over our soaring highways, and our highways protect that lifeblood all the same. Of all the former American member states, only Texas has maintained its highways, and it reaps the benefits.
       
       

      THE GROWING THREAT PAST THE BORDER
       
      The Lone Star

      by Hillum Dickens
       
      October 4th, 2242

      Our border is once again threatened! A new fanatical enemy has appeared in Rockies, threatening our settlers in Moriarty, Wagon Mound, and Springer. Twelve settlements have been raided in the past eight months, with ten more reporting sightings of the "Mormon Menace". Just last week in Springer, cowherds were attacked by men with face cloths, wielding rifles and riding in trucks. They threw crude incendiary devices and torched several buildings, including a Post Office. The local Border Guard was alerted, but by the time they could ride over the men were gone, and 1200 head of cattle with them. These attacks cannot go-
       
       
       
      SHOCK AND AWE IN RATON

      The Lone Star

      by Hillum Dickens
       
      May 30th, 2243
       
      The Sante Fe militias are defeated! Mormon forces, better equipped than any we have seen before, have crushed the Lone Free State militias ordered to reinforce Raton by Provisional Governor O'Connor. Initial attacks on the border town were met with local response, but results were inconclusive as the Mormons led the Sheriff's deputies on long chases through the mountains. Exhausted and drained, they returned only to find buildings burned, farms destroyed, and livestock and materiel stolen out from under them. Immediately upon receiving the news, Governor O'Connor ordered the Texas Free State Rangers to assemble and deputize across the state, and an immediate action by the Sante Fe mayor to mobilize the militias in the area and march on Raton in response. Once they arrived, they found not forces of elusive mountain men, but a war machine of hundreds of men armed with heavy weapons, and tens of powerful tracked armored trucks with high caliber cannons. The Santa Fe Command, convinced of its numerical superiority, attacked the Mormon forces with haste. The Mormons responded by firing salvos of powerful new recoilless weapons that turned armored trucks into scrap, and using their own, better armed and armored trucks to mop up defenders. The result was a massacre.
       


      INTELLIGENCE DOSSIER: CALIFORNIAN DEVELOPMENTS IN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY

      CONFIDENTIAL - CLASSIFICATION A

      TEXAS LONE FREE STATE RANGERS
       
      PUBLISHED: August 9th, 2244

      RECEIVED: August 18th, 2244

      DURING THE SECOND EXPEDITION INTO THE GONZALEZ CLAIM, INDEPENDENT RANGER DETACHMENTS WERE DISPATCHED TO LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT TEXAS'S NEAREST NEIGHBOR AND THEIR MILITARY CAPABILITIES. WHAT WAS LEARNED IN THOSE SORTIES IS OF THE HIGHEST NOTE AND PRIORITY TO THE SECURITY OF THE LONE FREE STATE. CALIFORNIAN WEAPONS ARE ADVANCED FAR BEYOND OUR EXPECTATIONS, AND INCLUDE TRACKED, ARMORED TRUCKS ("TANKS") WITH POWERFUL GUNS COMPARABLE TO LIGHT ARTILLERY, AND ARMOR UP TO THREE INCHES THICK. THEIR AIR FORCES, THOUGH SOMEWHAT LESS TECHNICALLY SOPHISTICATED THAN OURS, ARE FAR MORE NUMEROUS AND CONTAIN A WIDER VARIETY OF AIR ASSETS, INCLUDING HIGH SPEED TURBOJET AND PISTON POWERED AIRCRAFT DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO COUNTER OTHER AIR ASSETS. THESE WOULD POSE AN EXTREME THREAT TO FREE STATE AIR GUARD UNITS, WHICH INCLUDE ONLY LIGHT AIRCRAFT INTENDED TO COUNTER GROUND TARGETS. THEY POSSESS A STANDING ARMY IN NUMBER EXCEEDING EVEN ALL MILITIA AND GOVERNMENT FORCES IN THE LONE FREE STATE BY MANY TIMES. THIS ARMY IS ALSO WELL EQUIPPED WITH A VARIETY OF WEAPONS CAPABLE OF PENETRATING VIRTUALLY ALL LONE FREE STATE GROUND ASSETS, SUCH AS THE G-12 ARMORED SCOUT TRUCK-
       


      GUNS OF TEXAS
       
      Encyclopedia of American Small Arms, 6th Edition

      Vienna Publishing, 2241

      Despite having no formal military, the Lone Free State of Texas has an extensive arsenal of sophisticated small arms and artillery. Local militias are provided a stipend with which they can purchase arms from the government, up to and including recoilless rifles of 105mm bore according to reports. It is therefore worth examining the weapons of the Lone Free State.

      PISTOLS
       
      The primary pistol of the Lone Free State is the G-36. This recoil operated semiautomatic pistol holds 15 rounds and has a barrel length of 102mm. Bore diameter is 10.2mm and it fires a 10x22mm round that was developed in the pre-war United States. Standard ammunition is semi-jacketed with a steel core, with both penetrating and expanding characteristics. The slide and barrel are both hammer-forged steel, while the frame is steel with polymer panels. Unusually, the gun is fired with a cowboy-esque hammer, and not a striker as has been ubiquitous for nearly two centuries. This pistol is commonly seen in Texas, as it is the best weapon available for purchase using government funds for local militias and landowners. At the same time, many local shops turn out boutique pistols of numerous varieties, all of which are broadly similar in characteristics to the G-36. In most cases, like the A1 version of the G-36, they provide a slot on top of the slide for a rugged reflector sight, which is commonly attached.

      RIFLES
       
      The most common rifle is the G-15. This is a 10-shot, manually operated rifle with provision for an optical sight, normally a robust 1-8x being attached. Caliber is the relatively antiquated 7.62x51mm. The feed mechanism is a sturdy steel box magazine which sits below the action of the rifle. Unlike most manually operated rifles of the Americas, the G-15 is lever actuated, not operated via a bolt handle. Texan shooters feel this gives them a superior rate of fire without compromising range, although it must be said this compromises prone and concealed fire capability. The G-15 is being phased out in favor of the newer and semiautomatic G-38.

      MACHINE PISTOLS
       
      Pistol caliber automatic shoulder weapons are uncommon in Texas, but the numerous police and paramilitary forces of the state occasionally use "sub machine guns" as they call them. Virtually the only model available is the G-32, which fires the same 10x22mm round as the G-36 pistol. It is a select-fire, closed bolt weapon using an unusual gas operated mechanism. Capacity is 35 rounds. Reportedly, it is very expensive and usually requires local funds in addition to the stipend to afford. Occasionally these weapons find their way into criminal hands, and they have also been seen in the possession of settler citizens who have legitimately purchased them.

      STURMGEWEHRS
       
      Offsetting the lack of machine pistols somewhat, the Texas government has aggressively pursued the sturmgewehr concept as part of their arms program. The latest of many Texan weapons in this class is the G-42, a gas operated select-fire weapon with a capacity of 28 rounds. Caliber is 6.86x40mm, and muzzle velocity is over 900 m/s. This rifle has been made relatively inexpensive due to a large production rate and widespread adoption by the settler population, who use it primarily for homestead defense and hunting. Like its manually-operated predecessor, it is compatible with optics, and usually is found equipped with the same 1-8 optical sight. Numerous other weapons, including pre-war designs both reclaimed and newly manufactured, are also used by various Texas citizens and militias.

      MACHINE GUNS
       
      Although there is not much need for belt fed machine guns in cattle herding (the primary trade of the citizens of the Texas countryside) the Texas government has procured significant numbers for border control and to combat bandits. Most of these are contained in armories at the various outposts and post offices that run along the country's substantial highway system, but some are held privately. Despite most belt feds worldwide being based on designs from over 200 years ago, many of those in the Lone Free State are original designs dating to within the last 50 years. This is exemplified by the primary Texan belt fed machine gun, the G-17A4, which fires an advanced high pressure steel cased 7.62mm round with either an open or a closed bolt operation. Most remarkable is its weight, which is just over 8 kilograms. Stocked infantry variants, as well as more numerous fixed/vehicle stockless variants both exist. Texan heavy machine guns still fire the 322-year-old 12.7x99mm round, albeit in a greatly augmented form. Like the smaller 7.62mm machine gun round, it uses a steel case and relatively high chamber pressure of 4800 BAR, which results in a 3,150 ft/s muzzle velocity with its 750 grain armor piercing explosive projectile. The principal machine gun in this caliber is the G-19A2 which is gas operated and utilizes a soft recoil system and has a rate of fire of approximately 500 rounds per minute. These machine guns are usually seen mounted to government G-12 4x4 armored cars.
       
      AUTOCANNONS
       
      Only in the past 15 years as the Lone Free State invested heavily in autocannons. For most of its post-war history, there were simply not enough targets that required automatic cannons, with very few armored ground vehicles and aircraft being operated by non-state actors in the Texas region until recently, to necessitate development of new weapons. However, as the Lone Free State has expanded, it has begun to encounter better organized and armed natives, necessitating the development of a standardized suite of new large-caliber autocannons. Chief among these is the electric G-37 firing a 30.5x114mmB round with a muzzle velocity of about 820 m/s and a rate of fire of about 550 rounds per minute. Interestingly, this cannon is capable of being mounted on any of the same pintle mounts as the G-19A2, giving light Texan units potentially very good firepower.
       
      RECOILLESS ARTILLERY
       
      Despite not seeing the need for autocannons for many years, the Lone Free State has liberally used the recoilless artillery concept, with most local militias possessing some stockpile of recoilless weapons. Numerous variants of recoilless rifle exist in three primary calibers, 57.2x305mmR, 76.2x406mmR, and 105.4x610mmR. These recoilless cannons are commonly mounted to the light helicopters used by various Texan government entities.
       

       
      A Texan G-18A7 helicopter waits for routine maintenance outside the hangar. These helicopters are the primary aerial support asset across the Lone Free State of Texas. (Reader's note: This picture shows two quite shagged out Kiowas, but the G-18 is a unique indigenous design to the LFSoT. The Kiowa is only used here to represent the kind of helicopter that the G-18 would be.)
       
       

       
      Supplementary Out of Canon Information:
       
       
      I.     Technology available:
      a.      Armor:
      The following armor materials are in full production and available for use. Use of a non-standard armor material requires permission from a judge.
      Structural materials:
                                                                    i.     RHA/CHA
      Basic steel armor, 360 BHN. The reference for all weapon penetration figures, good impact properties, fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches (RHA).
      Density- 0.28 lb/in^3.
                                                                   ii.     Aluminum 5083
      More expensive to work with than RHA per weight, middling impact properties, low thermal limits. Excellent stiffness.
       Fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches.
      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1 vs CE, 0.9 vs KE.
      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.33 vs CE, 0.3 vs KE.
      Density- 0.1 lb/in^3 (approx. 1/3 of steel).
      For structural integrity, the following guidelines are recommended:
      For heavy vehicles (30-40 tons), not less than 1 in RHA/1.75 in Aluminum base structure
      For medium-light vehicles (<25 tons), not less than 0.5 in RHA/1 in Aluminum base structure
      Intermediate values for intermediate vehicles may be chosen as seen fit.
      Non-structural passive materials:
                                                                  iii.     HHA
      Steel, approximately 500 BHN through-hardened. Approximately 1.5x as effective as RHA against KE and HEAT on a per-weight basis. Not weldable, middling shock properties. Available in thicknesses up to 1 inch.
      Density- 0.28 lb/in^3
                                                                  iv.     Fuel
      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1.3 vs CE, 1 vs KE.
      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.14 vs CE, 0.1 vs KE.
      Density-0.03 lb/in^3.
                                                                v.     Assorted stowage/systems
      Mass efficiency vs RHA- 1 vs CE, 0.8 vs KE.
                                                               vi.     Spaced armor
      Requires a face of at least 1 inch LOS vs CE, and at least 0.75 caliber LOS vs fullbore AP KE.
      Reduces penetration by a factor of 1.1 vs CE or 1.05 vs KE for every 4 inchair gap.
      Spaced armor rules only apply after any standoff surplus to the requirements of a reactive cassette.
      Reactive armor materials:
                                                                  vii.     ERA
      A sandwich of 0.125in/0.125in/0.125in steel-explodium-steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 2 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).
                                                                  viii.     NERA
      A sandwich of 0.25in steel/0.25in rubber/0.25in steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.
      The details of how to calculate armor effectiveness will be detailed in Appendix 1.
      b.      Firepower
                                                                    i.     Bofors 57mm - 85,000 PSI PMax/70,000 PSI Peak Operating Pressure, high quality steel cases, recoil mechanisms and so on are at an equivalent level to that of the USA in the year 1960.
                                                                   ii.     No APFSDS currently in use, experimental weapons only - Spindle sabots or bourelleted sabots, see for example the Soviet BM-20 100mm APFSDS.
                                                                  iii.     Tungsten is available for tooling but not formable into long rod penetrators.
                                                                  iv.     Texan shaped charge technology - 4 CD penetration for high-pressure resistant HEAT, 5 CD for low pressure/ precision formed HEAT.
                                                                   v.     The subsidy-approved GPMG for the Lone Free State of Texas has the same form factor as the M240, but with switchable feed direction.. The standard HMG has the same form factor as the Kord, but with switchable feed direction.
      c.       Mobility
                                                                    i.     Engines tech level:
      1.      MB 838 (830 HP)
      2.      AVDS-1790-5A (908 HP)
      3.      Kharkov 5TD (600 HP)
      4.    Detroit Diesel 8V92 (400 HP)
      5.    Detroit Diesel 6V53 (200 HP)
                                                                   ii.     Power density should be based on the above engines. Dimensions are available online, pay attention to cooling of 1 and 3 (water cooled).
                                                                  iii.     Power output broadly scales with volume, as does weight. Trying to extract more power from the same size may come at the cost of reliability (and in the case of the 5TD, it isn’t all that reliable in the first place).
                                                                  iv.     There is nothing inherently wrong with opposed piston or 2-stroke engines if done right.
      d.      Electronics
                                                                    i.     LRFs- unavailable
                                                                   ii.     Thermals-unavailable
                                                                  iii.     I^2- Gen 2 maximum
                                                                  vi.     Texas cannot mass produce microprocessors or integrated circuits
                                                                 vii.    Really early transistors only (e.g., transistor radio)
                                                                viii.    While it is known states exist with more advanced computer technology, the import of such systems are barred by the east coast states who do not approve of their use by militaristic entities.
       
      Armor calculation appendix.

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