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German tanks too over designed

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Prospero Quevedo, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    I have to say the remanufacturing efforts were impressive. Even recovery of enemy tanks for repair and use.
     
  2. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    Wow that's sounds good for the Sherman bad for the Panthers.
     
  3. ltdan

    ltdan Active Member

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    until you´re at the receiving end of a 7,5-cm-KwK 42 L/70 firing a PzGr. 40 from 1,000 meters.....:cool:
     
  4. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    There are pictures of the hetzer stretched large space between the#3and#3 road wheels. So they could put the 75 L70 has the typical 38t track and running gear. Then another stretched hetxer chassis but with panther track and running gear three outter and two inner. Said to lower ground pressure and increase cross country performance. Both look good I bought several extra hetzers from dml would like to build both but I stupidly.did not get all the ftoy main battle tank kits. Missed the Panthers has rubber band tracks and separate wheels have to get one to make a good build
     
  5. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    True unless you're the one with the broken panther. WGTB the guy who was a Panther Commander saying how he had a Sherman dead in his sight and WTF his electric firing system failed. Said felt like shooting himself and then told his driver to run for it because now they couldn't defend themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  6. ltdan

    ltdan Active Member

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    :thumbup: touche
    If a tank is defective, every crew has a problem: Sherman, T-34, Panther.....there is no difference.
    But when comparing the number of units in service it makes a big difference, there is no question about that.
     
  7. ltdan

    ltdan Active Member

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    You mean the Jagdpanzer 38(d)
    It was so prototypical that there are not even reliable drawings of it.
    The only thing that is clear is that it was to carry the same gun as the Panther.
    But on the chassis TNHP/ 38(t) one had planned numerous variants:

    tnhp.jpg
     
  8. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    It is amazing how versitle that vehicle was. Still think those ,L70 versions look good started looking through my stash for the hetzers. Never saw the ones with turrets. I think the Germans were getting the idea of cheaper vechicles with long range guns. My book has a picture of a prototype panzer III with a 88L71. Looks simple a III chassis with a casement set to the rear. From the mock up I would think that the engine must have been moved forward. Would love to find full plans to study.
    Was looking for more info on the panzer III L71 and found another one with the casement forward. Also a picture of a elephant with the casement flipped over upside down on top of the chassis. Something about large American artillery but not very much info as was hit it and how the casement flipped over like that. Really a strange pic
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  9. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    LoL yeah that German tanker was saying they had no problems destroying the Sherman the problem was quote you could destroy.a hundred they just be 150 more said there was no end to them.
     
  10. ltdan

    ltdan Active Member

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  11. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Rather the opposite I'm afraid. The 38(t) was a 10-ton light tank. The 38(d) was designed as a 16-ton vehicle and probably would have weighed even more...they almost always do. It is unlikely it would have worked very well if they had managed to get it to work at all.

    The real problem is that the BMM plant was never expanded from its Czech origins as CKD and so it was restricted in the weight and size of vehicles that could be assembled there. Limits to German capitol investment and unwillingness to invest in the Protektorate prewar meant those limitations never changed and is why they never produced the larger and better Panzer III. Basically, the 38(t) was always a stopgap, which meant that the Germans were always looking for ways to utilize the chassis as other things. The end result was the Jagdpanzer 38(t), probably one of the best looking, but least effective tank destroyers of the war.
     
  13. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with the hetzers combat history but I do agree it was a good looking tank. And from the list and pics of all the variants yes the Germans did try to use the chassis for a lot of different purposes. And from drawings had the thought of trying to use it for some almost ridiculous purposes if the factory could not build the 38D it most likely would not be able to build these other larger vehicles, so just a pipe dream.
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I recall reading the Ferdinand was vulnerable to infantry attacks as it had itself no anti-infantry weapons in Kursk? And the German infantry numbers were lower than needed to be so defensive infantry was low in the flanks. So in attack they were almost sitting ducks. However, after Kursk in terrain where there was good open view for a long distance their heavy guns were excellent in use. The Soviet tanks did not reach the distance to the Ferdinañds and the Germans shot the Soviet tanks one by one in defence.
     
  15. ltdan

    ltdan Active Member

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    Effectiveness is always a question of definition: There is no question that the Jagdpanzer 38 was an emergency solution.
    If it had been produced in 1942, when all the components (chassis, gun, knowledge of the need for sloped armor) were available, it would have been a great success.
    From April 1944, it was a good way to meet the Army's desire for mobile anti-tank defense (especially in terms of numbers), but it was more a product of dwindling wartime economic possibilities than the optimal military solution.

    Nevertheless, the basic concept was quite convincing in view of what was technically feasible:
    Technically reliable, low maintenance, low fuel consumption(!), maneuverable (low specific ground pressure of 0.69 kg/cm²), low silhouette, good frontal armor.
    Used tactically in the right way, it was a quite useful weapon system, which was available above all in halfway sufficient numbers.

    However, this was bought with partly considerable deficits:
    underpowered 10hp/to (160hp/16to),
    undercarriage and steering were overloaded (in January 1945 200 defective side reduction gears were reported to the Hetzer)
    Top-heavy and poorly balanced: The Hetzer's right track had to carry 850kg more weight because the gun was not mounted in the center of the hull.
    the side armor was a better splinter protection, the fighting space was extremely cramped, poor observation possibilities for the crew.
    The 7.5cm K39 had a severely limited swivel range; moreover, its terminal ballistic performance was only "adequate" by mid-1944 (hence the plans for the long 7.5cm from the Panther).

    However, what hurt these vehicles the most were external factors: the increasingly poor manufacturing quality, the now poor armor steel, inadequately trained crews, the crippling fuel shortage and, above all, the fact that, in view of the completely hopeless situation, they were constantly called upon for tasks for which they were absolutely unsuitable (Ersatz-Panzer)

    Two proverbs actually apply to the Hetzer:
    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
    and
    It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools - however, good craftsmen had become extremely rare by mid-1944

    last not least a field report:
    http://www.pzfahrer.net/driving.html
     
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  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, but in this case I was referring to the military effectiveness of the vehicle rather than its drive-ability. So, this is probably more relevant to the question.

    http://www.pzfahrer.net/armin.html

    You could also view the walk around done by Nick Moran, which well illustrates the cramped nature of the JgPz 38(t) and its effect on crew ergonomics, albeit Nick is a big guy of course. :D

    You could also look at the lack of impact caused by the large infusion of JgPz 38(t) into the Pz-Jg-Abtl of the VGD in the fall of 1944 and winter of 1944-1945.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    I'm always ready to query the panzer supremacists, believing almost everything was 'just another tank', but regarding the oft-cited German over-complication:
    Where it can be argued to have been present - What choice did they have?

    It runs parallel with the equally mocked wild stabs at 'Wunderwaffen', like V2, and even V3.
    In a world where you are essentially an average-sized (if ideologically deranged) state waging war against a large group of industrial nations, with raw materials. machinery, manpower, fuel etc. in increasingly short supply, and things not necessarily going as you might wish, then the attraction of 'technological superiority' is immense.
    The modern term might be 'force multiplier', and even the early war German approach to engineering knew that being 'clever' might give them an edge over opponents that could wield substantial traditional industrial power.

    The problems, of course, come with operating at that bleeding edge of technology, where an above-average perfection is required - thin cylinder walls in Maybachs, advanced welding requiring skilled manual operators, rare materials in guns, those torsion bars & interleaved wheels etc., and thrown on top of that; using slave labour to produce the parts that interact with those critical & delicate systems.
    As Rich mentions, you might get around some of these things with the sort of effective staff & logistical work that keeps delicate/complex systems fed, and responds truly efficiently to feedback from the field, but they never really managed that.

    Were they 'over-engineered' in many ways? Maybe.
    Was there a level of justification for that? Yes.

    (And before anybody says 'you could build X more more 'normal' tanks from the materials used for Tiger etc.'... No, you really couldn't. No matter how many machines you could theoretically build by raw weight of steel, each of them requires special materials & machining (and manpower) for their critical systems. The bottlenecks Germany suffered in production were largely related to the more sophisticated materials & factory work required for every tank, whether it was a Mark IV or VI. Changing type production would not make more sights/guns/gearboxes/engines/gearboxes/bearings/crew/fuel available.)
     
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  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler wa also infatuated to create new units instead of sending new men/vehicles etc to the battle worn units. Do not know where it came from but the true battle units were often left without enough coverage for their losses and had to keep on fighting with what they got.

    Also Stugs or nothing replaced the losses of panzers more and more.

    Escaping at the last minute from Normandy_ German troops lost all their tanks twice. Trying to attack the US troops ( Cobra ) and then running away through Falaise, and then not being able to transfer heavier equipment over rivers running back to Germany. It is a wonder they had anything left by Sept 1944 but von Rundstedt managed to create a sorta defensive belt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
  19. ltdan

    ltdan Active Member

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    Nice that a discussion develops here

    I also defined effectiveness not in terms of driving characteristics - which were probably rather average - but in terms of the fact that, given the possibilities in mid-1944, it was an available option to equip the infantry with light tank destroyers with (barely) sufficient numbers
    Whether and how these vehicles could be used "effectively" at all from mid-1944 onward, given overwhelming enemy superiority and the complete lack of pretty much anything, is another matter:

    That they had little influence on combat in the VGD I do not dispute. They rarely did. The only question is whether this can be directly related to the vehicles themselves:
    From mid '44 on, inadequate training of personnel, sometimes abysmal manufacturing quality, fuel and spare parts shortages, and incorrect tactical deployment were the main causes of failures.

    Here, the same problem as in the Luftwaffe was encountered, namely that the inexperienced replacements were no longer able to exploit the capabilities of their equipment at all, while the opposite side possessed not only material superiority but also significantly better personnel. Added to this was the fact that these units were often ordered into completely hopeless situations which they could not, by any stretch of the imagination, decide in their favor.
    This makes an evaluation regarding the actual combat power IMHO at least difficult...
     
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  20. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    .....good call ....especially on the inexperience/etc..I would specify training/morale/etc also......I'll say it again, a mediocre weapon in skilled, motivated hands is better than a great weapon in unskilled/unmotivated/untrained--poorly trained hands
     

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