This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Ike_FI wrote:Diesel is actually more "demanding" winter fuel than gasoline, as it tends to lose it's fluidness in serious cold. There are winter, special winter and arctic grades that can resist negative effects of cold but as producing them is more expensive (complex?) the refineries produce by default only as "strong" quality as is estimated to be necessary. Thus, sudden drop to unlikely low temperatures often causes problems to diesel users even today as it takes some time before the production is shifted to proper grade. Some field chemistry (adding gas/alcohol, etc. in the tank) may have been tried as a makeshift solution in the wartime but such cocktails may well break the engine. I don't know how they actually solved that kind of problems.
Scott Smith wrote:It's not really that big of a deal. Diesel fuel of any grade is easier to produce than even low-octane motor-gasoline. The fuel needs to be warmed with a simple fuel-line heater that uses engine coolant or electricity. Starting the motor is not any big deal either. Any engine will be difficult to start in subzero temperatures. I've started farm equipment at 45 degrees below zero Fahrenheit merely by building a fire underneath the engine block. A gasoline or propane camp-stove works great. German diesel trucks had an engine heater that burned oil or alcohol and brought the engine up to operating temperature which made it easy to start. Often Soviet tanks idled for long periods of time to keep warm; they could spare the fuel, and usually did not use ambush tactics but mass-attacks anyway.
Problem 2, waxing of diesel fuel
In Norway diesel units, and motorcars, are run all year round and in temperatures reaching - 30 degree. centigrade and lower. To avoid the waxing problems the oil companies in Norway deliver their diesel fuel in (at least) two temperature grades.
"Summer grade" with a minimum operating temperature of approx. - 11 degree centigrade, and a "Winter grade" with a minimum operating temperature of approx. - 24 degree. centigrade. When this is not sufficient the operating temperature is lowered further by mixing paraffin in the diesel fuel. This can be done with any grade of diesel fuel, i.e. your "summer grade" can be transformed into a fully functional "winter grade" by adding paraffin.
Based on information from Shell here in Norway the operating temperature of the "summer grade" will be lowered approximately 2 degree. centigrade for each 10% of paraffin. The effect with "winter grade" is somewhat better; approximately 3 degree. centigrade for each 10% of paraffin. This way the operating temperature of the "summer grade" can be lowered to
approximately - 25 degree centigrade, and the "winter grade" can be lowered to approximately - 42 degree. centigrade. Refer to table 1 for details.
IMPORTANT: Whenever mixing more than 40% of paraffin in your diesel you must add TWO-STROKE engine oil to the fuel. This is because the lubricating properties of the diesel is destroyed when mixing it with large quantities of paraffin, thus you risk excessive wear or breakdown of your fuel injection pump if not adding some two-stroke oil, whereby the lubricating properties is upheld.
When mixing diesel and paraffin it is not sufficient just to pour the paraffin into your fuel tank. If you do this the paraffin and diesel will not mix well. The paraffin will then end up as a layer on top of the diesel fuel. Either you should stir it thoroughly after pouring the paraffin into the tank, or you should pour it down into the bottom of the tank by means of a hose. Personally I would recommend doing both, pour it into the bottom of your tank through a hose, then stir it.
Table 1: Diesel fuel operating temperatures
% of two stroke oil
opr.temp as sold
-11 dgr. C
-24 dgr. C
wiith 10 % paraffin
-13 dgr. C
-27 dgr. C
wiith 20 % paraffin
-15 dgr. C
-30 dgr. C
wiith 30 % paraffin
-17 dgr. C
-32 dgr. C
wiith 40 % paraffin
-19 dgr. C
-35 dgr. C
The following not to be used without the added two-stroke engine oil:
wiith 50 % paraffin
-21 dgr. C
-38 dgr. C
0,50 % t-s oil
wiith 60 % paraffin
-23 dgr. C
-40 dgr. C
0,75 % t-s oil
wiith 70 % paraffin
-25 dgr. C
-42 dgr. C
1,00 % t-s oil
If using diesel fuel with other clouding points then assume a lowering of the clouding point of 2 degrees centigrade for each 10% of paraffin.
Use engine oil SAE 15W - 40 or 10W - 30 depending on climate. This makes for easier starting and reduced wear during the start-up and the warm-up period while you fully maintain lubrication at normal operating temperatures.
If not already installed then install coolant heaters on your engines. This will greatly improve the cold-starting abilities, and will also reduce wear. I think there are diesel fired systems available, but in Norway we use electrical heaters in the cooling systems of all our engines.
Always use ethylene glycol based antifreeze in your coolant. 30% will keep you safe down to approx. - 15 degree. centigrade, at the same time providing a sufficient corrosion protection. At the Krøderen line we use a 50/50 mix the year round, it keeps us safe down to approx. - 36 degree. centigrade during winter storage.
It's true. My cousin's a tanker and he knows a guy, a whiz at gunnery. He beat the shit outta a of a squad(?) of Pakistani tanks during the 1971 war and y cuz says that he used to fire over what he calls "open sights" during excercises (and get dressed down proper afterwerds byt eh CO). Not very successful my cuz assures me, but can be done.Alte Mann wrote: If you look through the firing pin hole of the breech and through the muzzle, you have a limited area of view determined by the caliber of the weapon and the length of the gun. At short ranges (less than 1000 meters) and with a high velocity gun, you can hit things by sighting through the breech, but it takes an extraordinary person to do it. Especailly when the breech had been closed for the shot and the target is moving. I wouldn't ordinarily bet my life on a shot like that, but there is nothing extraordinary about me, and I've never been in a position where I would need to do it. The Finn that did it successfully has earned a great deal of respect from me.
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