A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Apr 2022 19:35

Destroyer500 wrote:
17 Apr 2022 13:53
I believe i should have explained myself better.I like the panzer because its small,nimble and had up until a certain point good armor (talking about the L and the even though late M version).
The Panzer III was not "small" or "nimble" It was 54cm shorter and 24cm lower, but 8cm wider than the Panzer IV and weighed about two tons less. However, the "nimble" Panzer III Ausf E with the Variotex SRG-32-8-145 transmission consisted of 96 units, after which the transmission was dropped as unworkable and the standard SSG-76 clutch and brake was substituted in all later models.
The gun was always behind though even in the invasion of France times.The panzer 3 was also the tank that the germans learned upon how to make tanks.
No, that was the Leichtetraktor, the Kleintraktor, the Panzer I and II, and oddities like the Neubaufahrzeuge and the MKA. The Panzer III was arguably how the Germans should have learned not to make tanks, although the development history of the Panzer IV was only marginally shorter.
I also know and understand that what i asked for is a new tank and that the industry cannot just create it out of thin air,this is not a video game,but german industry during ww2 if in enough pressure managed to create wonders in a short time.These wonders of course had many problems most of them being not that much their design but the lack of materials and infastracture to support them.
What "wonder" were those? The V-waffen?
Time to get to the point.While i made the post for the panzer 3 i was in search for designs that they made at the time and found out that they almost started making a tank called leopard or vk16.02.
Did you find out in your research what the VK16-series RFP was for? The two, VK16.01 the MAN entry, and VK16.02, the MIAG/DB entry, were for heavy reconnaissance vehicles, not to replace the Panzer III "Leichte Panzer" or the Panzer IV "Mittlere Panzer" (and, yes, in terms of weight class they were both medium tanks, but the Germans classed them according to organizational structure until 1942-1943). VK16.01 was based on the Panzer II and had a 2cm gun and interleaved suspension, while VK16.02 was also Panzer II-based with the 5cm KwK 39/1 in the turret later used in the SDKfz 234/2 "Puma" armored car and interleaved torsion-bar suspension, but with leaf springs.
It was a "mini panther" with the L60 5cm gun.The gun was just weak and the vehicle was meant for reconnaissance.
Okay, you did know it was not intended as a tank. They were also a project begun in December 1939, long after the Panzer-III/IV production and organizational structure was complete. The first VK16.01 prototype rolled out in June 1940, but when production could have begun in December 1940 it was decided instead to cancel it in favor of increasing production in existing designs. VK16-02 was cancelled before any real work was begun and was revived in March 1942, but eventually went nowhere too.
80mm of armored angled panther like chasis front and back 50 or 60mm i dont remember angled panther like side armor,panther wide tracks,a 550 HP engine and the Puma turret (the puma wheeled tanks turret is the one that was going to be used on the vk 16.02).
I don't know where the idea it had 80mm of armor cames from? It was intended to have a hull front of 50mm at 50 degrees and a turret of 50mm at 20 degrees. As a "small tank" it would have had all the problems similar small tanks built like they were large tanks had, such as the American Medium Tank M7, which began life as the Light Tank M7.

We won't even mention ergonomic issues in cramped tanks.
That small thing of a tank in my opinion requires only a few changes for it to become "perfect".Make the turret ring and the turret bigger so that it can fit a 75mm L48 but make the gun a bit slimmer like that of HS 129 B3.
The gun in the Hs 129 B3 was the 7.5cm Kwk/Pak 40 with a twelve-round magazine. The tube and recoil mechanism weighed marginally less, but it was no smaller.
Extend the turret backwards tiger 2 like so that a third crew member can fit and give the tank that 15mm mg i would love to see on a german tank.
Why?
Give the turret instead of 80 100 or 120 mm of armor frontaly and on the sides and back make it 60.
Increasing turret weight asymmetrically increases the forces needed to rotate it, especially when even slightly canted. In the American Medium Tank M4 that simple physical fact delayed deployment of a 3"/76mm-armed tank by about a year.
I would also remove the unnecessary ports on the sides of the driver and radio operator that the actual design had and enlogate the side hull to fill the the rest of the sides.
Weight, especially in sloped plates, is going to increase exponentially rather than arithmatically, which requires stronger suspension, more powerful and bigger engines and transmissions, and thus adds even more weight. Rinse and repeat. It is the sovereign conundrum in designing tanks.
I believe that if they made that tank with my changes in 1943 and played the mobile warfare card they did earlier on they would
at least cause a stalemate and at best win.
It was 1943 before plant expansion reached the point that the Germans could produce enough tanks at all their plants in a month equal to one months worth of output from the Detroit Tank Arsenal. Retooling for an entirely new design would require at least six months of lost production. In this case even more, because the limited number of plants producing tank engines also have to retool for an entirely new design, the HL157P or the HL174.
All they needed was fuel and that small tank wasnt going to burn as much as a panther or tiger.
No, its going to burn as much as a Panzer III or IV.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Cult Icon » 17 Apr 2022 20:19

The Pz III and Pz IV cost a similar amount of RM to produce, with the Panther being slightly more expensive than the IV. Also, the L/48 was an essential gun, particuarly on the eastern front.

Don't see what the problem was with the IV.

The German AFV designs were heavily driven by tactical observations by the army at the front, they demanded this and that features so variations were produced, generally in small-ish or modest quantities.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Apr 2022 20:53

Cult Icon wrote:
17 Apr 2022 20:19
The Pz III and Pz IV cost a similar amount of RM to produce, with the Panther being slightly more expensive than the IV. Also, the L/48 was an essential gun, particuarly on the eastern front.
Yes, the difference was the final assembly complexes.

Panzer III
DB, then Panther
MNH, then Panther
MIAG, then StuG III, then also Jagdpanther
Alkett, then StuG III
Henschel, then Tiger

Panzer IV
Krupp-Grusonwerke
Nibelungenwerk
VOMAG, then JgPz IV

Panther
DEMAG
MBA (Jagdpanther)

Tiger
Henschel
Don't see what the problem was with the IV.
Neither do I, other than in its final versions it was grossly overweight, which led to weight savings like eliminating powered traverse, while all versions armed with the KwK 40 were cramped.
The German AFV designs were heavily driven by tactical observations by the army at the front, they demanded this and that features so variations were produced, generally in small-ish or modest quantities.
In the standard series of Panzer III and IV the Ausführung incorporated engineering modifications from prewar testing as well as later changes based upon experience in combat. That is slightly different than developing entirely new vehicles such as the Panther and Tiger II based upon combat experience, although the Panther then certainly went through extensive engineering modifications and others based upon combat experience.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 21 Apr 2022 12:47

The Panzer III was not "small" or "nimble" It was 54cm shorter and 24cm lower, but 8cm wider than the Panzer IV and weighed about two tons less. However, the "nimble" Panzer III Ausf E with the Variotex SRG-32-8-145 transmission consisted of 96 units, after which the transmission was dropped as unworkable and the standard SSG-76 clutch and brake was substituted in all later models.
Is it more mobile,smaller and can cross more stuff than the tigers panthers ? Then you have your answer
No, that was the Leichtetraktor, the Kleintraktor, the Panzer I and II, and oddities like the Neubaufahrzeuge and the MKA. The Panzer III was arguably how the Germans should have learned not to make tanks, although the development history of the Panzer IV was only marginally shorter.
From what i know the panzer 3 is when they first started to weld their tanks and experiment with suspension more.There were more things that they first tried on the panzer 3 but i dont remember them all.I could be wrong though
What "wonder" were those? The V-waffen?
Im talking about the fact that they were getting bomb to ahnihilation yet still managed to produce guns planes and missiles up until the end
Did you find out in your research what the VK16-series RFP was for? The two, VK16.01 the MAN entry, and VK16.02, the MIAG/DB entry, were for heavy reconnaissance vehicles, not to replace the Panzer III "Leichte Panzer" or the Panzer IV "Mittlere Panzer" (and, yes, in terms of weight class they were both medium tanks, but the Germans classed them according to organizational structure until 1942-1943). VK16.01 was based on the Panzer II and had a 2cm gun and interleaved suspension, while VK16.02 was also Panzer II-based with the 5cm KwK 39/1 in the turret later used in the SDKfz 234/2 "Puma" armored car and interleaved torsion-bar suspension, but with leaf springs
.

I didnt know the classification but i know that they didnt intend it to replace the panzer 3 or any medium for tha matter.I said what I and only I would do.I wouldnt even develop a tiger or a panther.I would straight out try to built the vk16.02 with the ideas,my version of it and for my purposes. At the same time id try to create-design a tank between the e100 and tiger 2 for the purpose of having a heavy
Okay, you did know it was not intended as a tank. They were also a project begun in December 1939, long after the Panzer-III/IV production and organizational structure was complete. The first VK16.01 prototype rolled out in June 1940, but when production could have begun in December 1940 it was decided instead to cancel it in favor of increasing production in existing designs. VK16-02 was cancelled before any real work was begun and was revived in March 1942, but eventually went nowhere too.
Well unfortunatly i didnt know all that but as i stated in my previous answer its what i would do and what i want is to entertain that idea.Its what i would do had i been in charge back then.I mostly asked you people in here so that can i learn what i should avoid in my design and what should i do because i consider you experts on the topics involving ww2
I don't know where the idea it had 80mm of armor cames from? It was intended to have a hull front of 50mm at 50 degrees and a turret of 50mm at 20 degrees. As a "small tank" it would have had all the problems similar small tanks built like they were large tanks had, such as the American Medium Tank M7, which began life as the Light Tank M7.

We won't even mention ergonomic issues in cramped tanks.
Yea my bad about the 80mm.If i remember correctly i remember that that was what they had in mind initially and then went with the 50mm to reduce weight.My version would keep the initial designs armor thickness and a suspension and engine to better handle the weight would be used.I know how important ergonomics are thats why i proposed the tiger 2 like turret.The ideal turret would look like that of the e100 but lets say that the first version had one like the tiger 2 and then went to an e100 look alike.Even if that wasnt the case then i would definetly ask them to make it roomier in one way or another.This is a what if after all.
The gun in the Hs 129 B3 was the 7.5cm Kwk/Pak 40 with a twelve-round magazine. The tube and recoil mechanism weighed marginally less, but it was no smaller.
With enough time and development they would find a way to fit the thing or as i said use or make a different gun (high velocity 60mm or something like that ?) that can reach the pen of the 7.5cm kwk/pak 40.This looks like a nice candidate but i would make an L100 version if there isnt already one
Capture.PNG
Extend the turret backwards tiger 2 like so that a third crew member can fit and give the tank that 15mm mg i would love to see on a german tank.

Why?
I like the design and i believe it would add the extra space for a commander.But the e100 small version turret would be the best choise.Unless you have a better shape to propose
Increasing turret weight asymmetrically increases the forces needed to rotate it, especially when even slightly canted. In the American Medium Tank M4 that simple physical fact delayed deployment of a 3"/76mm-armed tank by about a year.
No tank was the same armor all around in the turret.The differences in thickness i proposed could be worked around or changed.
Weight, especially in sloped plates, is going to increase exponentially rather than arithmatically, which requires stronger suspension, more powerful and bigger engines and transmissions, and thus adds even more weight. Rinse and repeat. It is the sovereign conundrum in designing tanks.
Its a small "extension" i dont know if it will matter that much
It was 1943 before plant expansion reached the point that the Germans could produce enough tanks at all their plants in a month equal to one months worth of output from the Detroit Tank Arsenal. Retooling for an entirely new design would require at least six months of lost production. In this case even more, because the limited number of plants producing tank engines also have to retool for an entirely new design, the HL157P or the HL174.


Yes youre true about the whole thing stopping production but i would develop it like a completely different tank like the panther and tiger did while producing panzer 3s and some light vehicles that carry the panzer 4s long gun..I dont remember the tiger 1 stopping the production of the panzer 4.I would definetly try to do it way earlier than 1943 now that i think about it.
No, its going to burn as much as a Panzer III or IV.
Less than the heavies


It is not how tanks were made.

Of course, every German tank design engineer knew that the end result should be well armoured, have a good gun and it must have high mobility. It wasn't the problem that it didn't occur to them.

The thing is that your proposals are a bit like those of the Wehrmacht; they don't really make much sense from a production POV. Upgrading subcomponents and meddling with the hull is not simply a question of demands. A tank has to be an integrated machine of several moduls and it needs to function as a whole. Like, who knows how the increased weight would affect the transmission or mobility; who knows how a bigger gun would influence stability?

On top of this, you can't just experiment with a new engine, gearbox, steering, transmission, suspension, tracks, etc. You got to keep things simple, possibly using an existing set of subcomponents. Also because the war was continously raging in the east, just imagine a tank repair company that had to repair the same Pz II derivates in 1944 as in 1939; or an aircraft repair company that repaired the same He 111s and Ju 87s, etc.

Introducing a completely new model was problematic, but keeping old models with continously changing upgrades was also problematic. If your modifications were carried out, that would mean a huge gap in production, and it might worth to examine how that could effect battlefield results.
Tanks did not operate in a vacuum. They needed air cover, artillery and infantry support, recon units and whatnot. Then they required rail transport, a constant influx of spare parts and regular maintenance. The changes you described mean basically a new model, one that has little resemblence to the Pz III. What the Germans needed was long production runs with minimal tinkering from the military, proper training of the crews and a proper MRO system. Even their existing models could do much better if these golden rules were applied, and it is questionable how a completely new tank would fare if these golden rules were ignored.
Yes i know all that and i cant agree more.I could very easily say what you said but the idea here is of entertaining the though of a new design that if your golden rules are applied to can do wonders.Tanks of course require air support,infantry support,recon units ahead to tell you what youre getting into,artilery and what not but my point is not that but the design on its own and what we can do to make it better for the time.Their designs were amazing even with no changes but with 0 air support after a certain point,the non existent tools and parts for repair,the completly destroyed from bombing railway system and the dwindling fuel only lets say 20 nukes would win them the war or sort of miracle.What i want is a better panzer 4.The vk 16.02 thing would get its AA version,its artilery version,its munition carrier version,its anti tank version and wat not.It would be my standart panzer.My proposal is indeed a new design and the more i read your replies (im talking about all of you that commented) the more i realize that the panzer 3 wont cut it.
Someone also said that its not just penetration and the anti tank roles that matter and to that i say if you can make a "full auto" 50mm l100 of some sort,or give my design the panzer 4s long gun then problem solved.


Don't see what the problem was with the IV.
It may have worked well for them but purely I want a different design that i deem in many ways better.That requires a completely different way of doing a lot of what they did and far ealier but again thats me.I think of it as an engineer in many ways
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Peter89 » 21 Apr 2022 19:47

Destroyer500 wrote:
21 Apr 2022 12:47
Yes i know all that and i cant agree more.I could very easily say what you said but the idea here is of entertaining the though of a new design that if your golden rules are applied to can do wonders.Tanks of course require air support,infantry support,recon units ahead to tell you what youre getting into,artilery and what not but my point is not that but the design on its own and what we can do to make it better for the time.Their designs were amazing even with no changes but with 0 air support after a certain point,the non existent tools and parts for repair,the completly destroyed from bombing railway system and the dwindling fuel only lets say 20 nukes would win them the war or sort of miracle.What i want is a better panzer 4.The vk 16.02 thing would get its AA version,its artilery version,its munition carrier version,its anti tank version and wat not.It would be my standart panzer.My proposal is indeed a new design and the more i read your replies (im talking about all of you that commented) the more i realize that the panzer 3 wont cut it.
Someone also said that its not just penetration and the anti tank roles that matter and to that i say if you can make a "full auto" 50mm l100 of some sort,or give my design the panzer 4s long gun then problem solved.
I don't really know how would a new tank design help the Germans; a short series production would not be helpful. Let's assume they would be really into the topic, and succeeded to produce a few hundred with some "wonders". What would that gain them on the long run, if the subcomponents of the tank were unique?

It would gain them far less than an extra effort on the production of existing models.

If we are talking about a new design and a long series, for which no extra industrial capacity existed, the only possible solution was to phase out existing models and introduce this new one.

That would be basically impossible without a huge gap in production, something that the Germans could not really allow in the operational reality from 1941 June.

Germany always had huge problems with introducing new models and phasing out old ones, not just in tanks, in everything. They rushed unrefined models full of teething problems and made countless of modifications on them while they were deployed... it is no coincidence that they used the same designs in 1939 and 1944, with very few additions and very few few removals. Frankly I can not see a successful, revolutionary new model coming off from the design table, produced in sufficient numbers and employed effectively on the field.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 21 Apr 2022 20:57

I don't really know how would a new tank design help the Germans; a short series production would not be helpful. Let's assume they would be really into the topic, and succeeded to produce a few hundred with some "wonders". What would that gain them on the long run, if the subcomponents of the tank were unique?

It would gain them far less than an extra effort on the production of existing models.

If we are talking about a new design and a long series, for which no extra industrial capacity existed, the only possible solution was to phase out existing models and introduce this new one.

That would be basically impossible without a huge gap in production, something that the Germans could not really allow in the operational reality from 1941 June.

Germany always had huge problems with introducing new models and phasing out old ones, not just in tanks, in everything. They rushed unrefined models full of teething problems and made countless of modifications on them while they were deployed... it is no coincidence that they used the same designs in 1939 and 1944, with very few additions and very few few removals. Frankly I can not see a successful, revolutionary new model coming off from the design table, produced in sufficient numbers and employed effectively on the field.
I am talking about mass production of course else it doesnt make sense to talk about it.So the only way my thing would work is if it was mass produced before the war or somewhere around that period ? What about the heavy tanks that saw development without disrupting the panzer 4 and stug production ?

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by PunctuationHorror » 21 Apr 2022 21:24

I addressed some aspects of German tanks and their production over here:
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Dec 2021 19:16
I never understood why German Army decided to operate two very similar vehicles of roughly the same weight and dimensions in parallel: Panzer III and IV. Instead of choosing ONE common chassis for mass production as early as 1937 they allowed two companies, Krupp and Daimler-Benz, each to build their own tank. When the Stug was conceived by the end of the 1930s, the step to one common chassis was even more obvious.

[...]
[some remarks about sloped armor on PIII and PIV]
[...]

They could have used the Czech facilities to produce continuously the 38(t) chassis for a self-propelled artillery vehicle or a tank destroyer similar to the Stormartillerivagn instead of stopping the production of 38(t)s in 1942. Mounting a Pak on this chassis with a sloped superstructure would give a more primitive sort of a Hetzer two years earlier. With iterations in design and variants they would probably end up with a Hetzer anyways. Or they would redesign the chassis earlier - if they were better organized.

Or they would abandon the 38(t) and retool the Czech facilities as early as 1939 in favor for a common chassis for Panzers (PIII, PIV), Stugs and self-propelled artillery. One could ask further, why the Czech engineers did not use a sloped frontal plate for their ČKD LT vz. 38. The tank is a clean and nice design and as seen on the Swedish descendant, a sloped plate was possible.

Why no rear transmission in Panther and Tiger I + II? Without the drive shaft going through the vehicle, the tank could be smaller (less target area) and weight would be saved (to be put elsewhere on the vehicle, maybe in more length). With this, access to the transmission would be easier.
Or why has the Panther this superstructure over the tracks (like PIV and the Tigers) with sloped sides like the T-34? A more simpler, mass producible geometry like the T-54 was not beyond means of imagination. Basically, it's just a cuboid with sloped front plates on one of its 6 faces. Panzer III's hull too is just a cuboid with square angled front plates on one of its 6 faces, pretty similar in concept. Details of the Soviet model like the 'invention' of reverse sloped armor on the sides to adapt a narrower hull to a lager turret ring diameter (Panther 1650mm vs T-54 1825mm) were not necessary at that time.

German Army and engineers never opted for an all purpose vehicle chassis - i.e. tanks, tank destroyers, self-propelled artillery, engineering tanks, etc are based on the same chassis. So by 1944 they had an even complexer mess of different types than in 1941: Wespe (PII chassis), Hetzer (38t chassis), Stug (PIII chassis), Jagdpanzer (PIV chassis), Hummel, Hornisse (PIII/IV chassis) in addition to Panthers as 'MBT' and Tigers as heavies. And were already working on the E-imaginations.

German tank production strategy was a disorganized short-sighted mess.
This led to this conversation:
PunctuationHorror wrote:
20 Dec 2021 18:26
PunctuationHorror wrote:
20 Dec 2021 13:50
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2021 05:18
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Dec 2021 19:16
I never understood why German Army decided to operate two very similar vehicles of roughly the same weight and dimensions in parallel: Panzer III and IV. Instead of choosing ONE common chassis for mass production as early as 1937 they allowed two companies, Krupp and Daimler-Benz, each to build their own tank.
Possibly because the two vehicles grew out of two different requirements from two different roles. If you look back to the discussions & modeling of requirements for armored formations, by Guderian and the others, you will see a concept of a armored 'battle' or assault vehicle and another for a armored support vehicle. Krupp was awarded the contract to build one & Daimler Benz the other. Over time the MkIII was discontinued as it had dimensional limits on adding larger cannons & related improvements. The Mk IV was easier to adapt to a configuration as a battle tank than upgrading the MkIII to new requirements. While your argument for a common chassis has merit it was not clear when the specifications were written the need for a battle or assault vehicle and a support vehicle would lead to redundant chassis.
These different roles boil down themselves to a different gun. Therefore, the mistake was a theoretical one and happened long before contracts were given to a manufacturer. In 1936, after both vehicles were created and prototypes came into existence, similarities between both vehicles/concepts were apparent. This would have been the time to clean the matters up. However, it did not happen. Reasons like German parallel system, competence haggling everywhere and unfamiliarity with industrial mass production among other unsound matters prevented any rational approach. It took three years until serial production of P III started in autumn 1939, while serial production of P IV started in autumn 1937, two years earlier. There were big problems with organization, management and coordination of production. So this mess was created long before the war started. Ordering P II was a similar thing. Wehrmacht system had no idea about industry and production and behaved like a feudal lord or a spoiled bratty girl who does not know what she wants and changes her 'demands' thrice before midday. And of course, all has to be done immediately with 'the highest priority'.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2021 05:18
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Dec 2021 19:16
German tank production strategy was a disorganized short-sighted mess.
One can blame the nazis. Otherwise one can regard it as business as usual. Regard the French who had in production a dozen different models covering three roles of light reconnaissance, infantry support, and heavy assault types. or the Brits & their many models of the 1930s.
It's a mixture of both with tendence to the latter. All systems, French, British, US, Soviet, German, Italian etc had and still have similar issues. Some produce better results, other don't. Some have working checking methods that keep them functional, while others run themselves only deeper into disfunctionality.
Another thought:
Given the systematic idiocy and braindeadness of hierarchies combined with the typical nitpicking just for reasons of pointless nitpicking and habitual humbling of subordinates, it could be the case that Guderian and others figured that it would be easier to tell the egg heads in higher command and Heereswaffenamt that two 'different' vehicles were needed just to get approval for the required numbers of tanks. Or to get at least one vehicle that could field a bigger gun. And historians later fell again for this scheme.
However, this pragmatic thinking along 'better two similar tanks with messy production than not enough tanks' produced many new problems.
---------------
Btw: I like the idea of the autocannon. 5cm Flak 41 or the aircraft version of the 75mm Pak are a good find.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by T. A. Gardner » 22 Apr 2022 06:47

I might also point out that up to the beginning of 1943 the Pz III was really a pretty effective tank as it historically was. In the East, the T34 was still in the minority as a battle tank with light tanks like the T 60 and 70 being more common. It was perfectly effective against the British in N. Africa at least until the M3 and M4 mediums started appearing in large numbers.

So, the incentive to improve the Pz III radically when the Panther was in development, the Pz IV could certainly handle the extant enemy vehicles, would have been pretty low in any case.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 22 Apr 2022 12:35

T. A. Gardner wrote:
22 Apr 2022 06:47
I might also point out that up to the beginning of 1943 the Pz III was really a pretty effective tank as it historically was. In the East, the T34 was still in the minority as a battle tank with light tanks like the T 60 and 70 being more common. It was perfectly effective against the British in N. Africa at least until the M3 and M4 mediums started appearing in large numbers.

So, the incentive to improve the Pz III radically when the Panther was in development, the Pz IV could certainly handle the extant enemy vehicles, would have been pretty low in any case.
You are right and i understand why they did what they did historically but my idea is exactly like that on PunctuationHorroses post,that the panzer 4 in its conception only had the purpose of carrying the short 75 that could easily be fitted to panzers 3s so the panzer 4 only makes sense when they give it the long 75.In my opinion they should never built the panzer 4 and they should try to fit "small" guns with good anti tank capability on the panzer 3 or go for a vehicle like the vk 16.02 leopard but a somewhat different version than what they envisioned,i talked already about this a lot and large enough a turret to carry the long 75 and have good ergonomics and comfort.That new modified according to me leopard tank would have everything they would need and be a good chassis with a few modifications to become an spg,munition carrier,tow vehicle and a tank destroyer.This would give them a standart all around tank they desperately needed and not 10 different designs.When it comes to heavy tanks they could of course built some sort of a tiger or an e100 but a bit less heavy design but it in the end wouldnt really be needed in large numbers.Even the panzer 3 could get the upgrades i mentioned like slopped armor on turret-chassis,a bit stronger engine,a modified turret to fit a stronger anti tank gun etc.Someone said that for the tools to be available and for the factories to be ready to mass produce it to replace the standart designs production would have to stop for 6 months or so and to again i say,what about the tanks that required completely different tools like the panther-tiger ? The panther was supposed to replace the panzer 4 but they didnt have to stop the panzer 4 production to achieve it.They could easily modify panzer 3s or make the leopard 16.02 Destroyer500 edition without major problems.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 22 Apr 2022 12:37

PunctuationHorror wrote:
21 Apr 2022 21:24
I addressed some aspects of German tanks and their production over here:
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Dec 2021 19:16
I never understood why German Army decided to operate two very similar vehicles of roughly the same weight and dimensions in parallel: Panzer III and IV. Instead of choosing ONE common chassis for mass production as early as 1937 they allowed two companies, Krupp and Daimler-Benz, each to build their own tank. When the Stug was conceived by the end of the 1930s, the step to one common chassis was even more obvious.

[...]
[some remarks about sloped armor on PIII and PIV]
[...]

They could have used the Czech facilities to produce continuously the 38(t) chassis for a self-propelled artillery vehicle or a tank destroyer similar to the Stormartillerivagn instead of stopping the production of 38(t)s in 1942. Mounting a Pak on this chassis with a sloped superstructure would give a more primitive sort of a Hetzer two years earlier. With iterations in design and variants they would probably end up with a Hetzer anyways. Or they would redesign the chassis earlier - if they were better organized.

Or they would abandon the 38(t) and retool the Czech facilities as early as 1939 in favor for a common chassis for Panzers (PIII, PIV), Stugs and self-propelled artillery. One could ask further, why the Czech engineers did not use a sloped frontal plate for their ČKD LT vz. 38. The tank is a clean and nice design and as seen on the Swedish descendant, a sloped plate was possible.

Why no rear transmission in Panther and Tiger I + II? Without the drive shaft going through the vehicle, the tank could be smaller (less target area) and weight would be saved (to be put elsewhere on the vehicle, maybe in more length). With this, access to the transmission would be easier.
Or why has the Panther this superstructure over the tracks (like PIV and the Tigers) with sloped sides like the T-34? A more simpler, mass producible geometry like the T-54 was not beyond means of imagination. Basically, it's just a cuboid with sloped front plates on one of its 6 faces. Panzer III's hull too is just a cuboid with square angled front plates on one of its 6 faces, pretty similar in concept. Details of the Soviet model like the 'invention' of reverse sloped armor on the sides to adapt a narrower hull to a lager turret ring diameter (Panther 1650mm vs T-54 1825mm) were not necessary at that time.

German Army and engineers never opted for an all purpose vehicle chassis - i.e. tanks, tank destroyers, self-propelled artillery, engineering tanks, etc are based on the same chassis. So by 1944 they had an even complexer mess of different types than in 1941: Wespe (PII chassis), Hetzer (38t chassis), Stug (PIII chassis), Jagdpanzer (PIV chassis), Hummel, Hornisse (PIII/IV chassis) in addition to Panthers as 'MBT' and Tigers as heavies. And were already working on the E-imaginations.

German tank production strategy was a disorganized short-sighted mess.
This led to this conversation:
PunctuationHorror wrote:
20 Dec 2021 18:26
PunctuationHorror wrote:
20 Dec 2021 13:50
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2021 05:18
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Dec 2021 19:16
I never understood why German Army decided to operate two very similar vehicles of roughly the same weight and dimensions in parallel: Panzer III and IV. Instead of choosing ONE common chassis for mass production as early as 1937 they allowed two companies, Krupp and Daimler-Benz, each to build their own tank.
Possibly because the two vehicles grew out of two different requirements from two different roles. If you look back to the discussions & modeling of requirements for armored formations, by Guderian and the others, you will see a concept of a armored 'battle' or assault vehicle and another for a armored support vehicle. Krupp was awarded the contract to build one & Daimler Benz the other. Over time the MkIII was discontinued as it had dimensional limits on adding larger cannons & related improvements. The Mk IV was easier to adapt to a configuration as a battle tank than upgrading the MkIII to new requirements. While your argument for a common chassis has merit it was not clear when the specifications were written the need for a battle or assault vehicle and a support vehicle would lead to redundant chassis.
These different roles boil down themselves to a different gun. Therefore, the mistake was a theoretical one and happened long before contracts were given to a manufacturer. In 1936, after both vehicles were created and prototypes came into existence, similarities between both vehicles/concepts were apparent. This would have been the time to clean the matters up. However, it did not happen. Reasons like German parallel system, competence haggling everywhere and unfamiliarity with industrial mass production among other unsound matters prevented any rational approach. It took three years until serial production of P III started in autumn 1939, while serial production of P IV started in autumn 1937, two years earlier. There were big problems with organization, management and coordination of production. So this mess was created long before the war started. Ordering P II was a similar thing. Wehrmacht system had no idea about industry and production and behaved like a feudal lord or a spoiled bratty girl who does not know what she wants and changes her 'demands' thrice before midday. And of course, all has to be done immediately with 'the highest priority'.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2021 05:18
PunctuationHorror wrote:
19 Dec 2021 19:16
German tank production strategy was a disorganized short-sighted mess.
One can blame the nazis. Otherwise one can regard it as business as usual. Regard the French who had in production a dozen different models covering three roles of light reconnaissance, infantry support, and heavy assault types. or the Brits & their many models of the 1930s.
It's a mixture of both with tendence to the latter. All systems, French, British, US, Soviet, German, Italian etc had and still have similar issues. Some produce better results, other don't. Some have working checking methods that keep them functional, while others run themselves only deeper into disfunctionality.
Another thought:
Given the systematic idiocy and braindeadness of hierarchies combined with the typical nitpicking just for reasons of pointless nitpicking and habitual humbling of subordinates, it could be the case that Guderian and others figured that it would be easier to tell the egg heads in higher command and Heereswaffenamt that two 'different' vehicles were needed just to get approval for the required numbers of tanks. Or to get at least one vehicle that could field a bigger gun. And historians later fell again for this scheme.
However, this pragmatic thinking along 'better two similar tanks with messy production than not enough tanks' produced many new problems.
---------------
Btw: I like the idea of the autocannon. 5cm Flak 41 or the aircraft version of the 75mm Pak are a good find.
Wow man get out of my mind will ya ? :) I appreciate the liking for my recommendation of guns

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Cult Icon » 22 Apr 2022 13:30

Destroyer500 wrote:
21 Apr 2022 12:47
Don't see what the problem was with the IV.
It may have worked well for them but purely I want a different design that i deem in many ways better.That requires a completely different way of doing a lot of what they did and far ealier but again thats me.I think of it as an engineer in many ways
Does your theories translate to dramatically lower costs? Because historically the costs for the 3 models were in the same area.

When the Pz IV was gradually replaced by the Pz V, the IV and III chasis were more and more used for SPG with high velocity guns. The cost of the Stug III/IV was around 80,000 RM.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by T. A. Gardner » 22 Apr 2022 14:30

Destroyer500 wrote:
22 Apr 2022 12:35
T. A. Gardner wrote:
22 Apr 2022 06:47
I might also point out that up to the beginning of 1943 the Pz III was really a pretty effective tank as it historically was. In the East, the T34 was still in the minority as a battle tank with light tanks like the T 60 and 70 being more common. It was perfectly effective against the British in N. Africa at least until the M3 and M4 mediums started appearing in large numbers.

So, the incentive to improve the Pz III radically when the Panther was in development, the Pz IV could certainly handle the extant enemy vehicles, would have been pretty low in any case.
You are right and i understand why they did what they did historically but my idea is exactly like that on PunctuationHorroses post,that the panzer 4 in its conception only had the purpose of carrying the short 75 that could easily be fitted to panzers 3s so the panzer 4 only makes sense when they give it the long 75.In my opinion they should never built the panzer 4 and they should try to fit "small" guns with good anti tank capability on the panzer 3 or go for a vehicle like the vk 16.02 leopard but a somewhat different version than what they envisioned,i talked already about this a lot and large enough a turret to carry the long 75 and have good ergonomics and comfort.That new modified according to me leopard tank would have everything they would need and be a good chassis with a few modifications to become an spg,munition carrier,tow vehicle and a tank destroyer.This would give them a standart all around tank they desperately needed and not 10 different designs.When it comes to heavy tanks they could of course built some sort of a tiger or an e100 but a bit less heavy design but it in the end wouldnt really be needed in large numbers.Even the panzer 3 could get the upgrades i mentioned like slopped armor on turret-chassis,a bit stronger engine,a modified turret to fit a stronger anti tank gun etc.Someone said that for the tools to be available and for the factories to be ready to mass produce it to replace the standart designs production would have to stop for 6 months or so and to again i say,what about the tanks that required completely different tools like the panther-tiger ? The panther was supposed to replace the panzer 4 but they didnt have to stop the panzer 4 production to achieve it.They could easily modify panzer 3s or make the leopard 16.02 Destroyer500 edition without major problems.
Except that, the tank needs a good HE shell more than it does somewhat better antitank capacity. A slightly better 5 cm antitank gun doesn't fix the problems the Germans had by 1943 either. In the East, the range at which you wanted to take on enemy armor had increased markedly. A better 5 cm only gives you improved antitank capacity at shorter ranges. At long range, this sort of gun underperforms because of the light weight of the shot. That comes back to arguing for a 7.5 cm gun as a minimum weapon on both counts. You need the HE shell and you need relatively long-range armor penetration.

The German mistake in this was the Panther was too much tank, the Pz III not enough. The Pz IV was barely hanging on in 1944 as a viable AFV. Modifying the existing Pz III or IV doesn't fix that problem while the Panther can't replace either totally because it's simply too much vehicle.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 22 Apr 2022 19:39


Does your theories translate to dramatically lower costs? Because historically the costs for the 3 models were in the same area.

When the Pz IV was gradually replaced by the Pz V, the IV and III chasis were more and more used for SPG with high velocity guns. The cost of the Stug III/IV was around 80,000 RM.
I am not really sure and i would like your opinion on this.I believe that since my design would become the standart for AAs,SPGs,TDs and a medium all around tank that it would over time become cheaper since manufacturing would be easier but i cant really tell.If we go by the better panzer 3 version of my story i guess it would be cheaper,if we go by the vk 16.02 leopard version then i guess it would be a bit costlier but no more than what a panzer 4 would cost.

Except that, the tank needs a good HE shell more than it does somewhat better antitank capacity. A slightly better 5 cm antitank gun doesn't fix the problems the Germans had by 1943 either. In the East, the range at which you wanted to take on enemy armor had increased markedly. A better 5 cm only gives you improved antitank capacity at shorter ranges. At long range, this sort of gun underperforms because of the light weight of the shot. That comes back to arguing for a 7.5 cm gun as a minimum weapon on both counts. You need the HE shell and you need relatively long-range armor penetration.

The German mistake in this was the Panther was too much tank, the Pz III not enough. The Pz IV was barely hanging on in 1944 as a viable AFV. Modifying the existing Pz III or IV doesn't fix that problem while the Panther can't replace either totally because it's simply too much vehicle.
If we manage to fit the aircraft version of the long 75mm on the modified panzer 3 or my version of the vk16.02 leopard then i guess that is pretty self explanatory.We could also give it some solid shot APC shell just like the ones the British and Americans did to some of their designs.If the need arose even some sort of an APDS shell like the ones developed for the 12.8cm guns named PZGR-TS.The 5cm can become strong enough to fit both roles even at bigger ranges and ill explain how;1)if we fit the 5cm flak 41 that was supposed to be and AA gun and up its caliber so that its shell can be shot at higher velocities then we can reach the penetrating power of the 75mm l48 and since that is a belt fed gun we can sorta use it as anti infantry,i also remember it having fragmenting rounds so the anti infantry role i guess can be fullfiled 2)there was also this gun in development https://www.armedconflicts.com/5-5-cm-G ... 58K-t38069 that i guess with the correct rounds could go up to 130-140mm of pen 0 deegrees at 0m and 100something at 1000m which is not bad,again this has fragmenting rounds.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by paulrward » 22 Apr 2022 21:04

Hello All :

Mr. Destroyer 500 posted :
I am not really sure and i would like your opinion on this.I believe that
since my design would become the standart for AAs,SPGs,TDs and a medium all
around tank that it would over time become cheaper since manufacturing would
be easier
Mr. Destroyer500, I am now going to attempt to hijack your thread, I hope you don't mind.

You initially asked the question, " What if the Germans only had the Pzkw III chassis ? "


Here is MY ' What-If ' : What If the Germans built ONLY the Pzkw IV Chassis ?

This had the same engine, the same transmission, used appx. the same amount of raw materials,
and had appx the same cost ( about 7.5 % more ) and had roughly the same range, speed and
mobility.

The Pzkw IV chassis had the large turret ring, and slightly more armor, so it could take ANY weapon
that was fitted on the Pzkw III chassis, and, if Germany had started the war with a homogenous
force of Pzkw IV chassis'ed tanks, some fitted with high velocity AT guns, the other fitted with
low velocity HE 'bunker buster' weapons, they would have had significant advantages in terms of
parts and spares supplies and maintenance support, in addition to training and production
advantages.

In addition, if the Heer had forced ALL the contractors to either produce the Pxkw IV chassis, or
subcontract for parts and sub-assemblies, they could have had the same advantages of scale that
the Luftwaffe had when they spread out the manufacture of the Bf-109.

It is a fundamental truism that increasing the scale of production invariably results in a lower
cost-per-unit of the article being manufactured. I find it highly likely that the Germans could
have reduced both the cost per unit of the Pzkw IV chassis, as well as streamlined production
and increased output if they had standardized on one, single chassis.

I attach these illustrations to show what the Germans might have done if they had standardized,
in the late 1930s, on a single chassis, which we could call the Pzkw III-IV Chassis :


Pzkw III-IV Page 1.jpg
Pzkw III-IV Page 2.jpg
Pzkw III-IV Page 3.jpg

You will note how, in the 1944-45 time frame, I have extended and widened the hull, and added another
set of suspension units, which, with increased horsepower, could have allowed an enlarged tank using
the same components to carry heavier armament in larger turrets with more armor. ( Anyone who
doubts that this could have been done need merely look at the U.S. tanks, which, adding another
set of suspension units on each side, were able to be scaled up into both heavy tanks ( M-6 ) as well
a number of SP artillery guns such as 155 and 200 mm pieces. )

In other words, the advantages of an ' All Pzkw IV ' force far ouweigh any disadvantages.


Please let me know your thoughts

Respectfully ;

Paul R. Ward
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by PunctuationHorror » 22 Apr 2022 23:43

And here I show you how a Pz III could have had a bigger turret ring while sporting sloped side plates. An upgrade easily to implement that leads to a bigger turret ring, a bigger turret and a bigger gun.
Reverse sloped sides were common in SdKfz 221, 222, 231 etc. It can be seen on the turret of Pz IV, too. This would not have been rocket science.

The chassis of Pz IV is far from perfect. Especially the early versions are geometrically complicated. Pz III is much cleaner and therefore easier to produce. No fancy upper structure, no weird looking back.
With the reverse sloped sides, a Pz III can have a bigger turret than a Pz IV with usual sloped sides. So things have turned: Now Pz IV has to have the smaller turret and can't be upgraded properly.

Pz III has torsion bars while Pz IV has bogie wheels.

Basically, we can do the same 'family tree' we see above with a Pz III chassis.

---------------
I'm wondering if the autoloading 75mm aircraft Pak 40 would make it possible to get by without a loader and thus reduce the crew to four (or three in a Stug). Maybe increase the magazine from 12 to 20 or 24 rounds, so the gunner or radio guy does not have to reload the magazine in battle. Later fit the 75mm L70 KwK 42 with this magazine mechanism. Ergonomics would be better and new reverse slope sided Pz III could have a bigger turret anyways.

Russians stuffed a 85mm gun into their T-34 and a 100mm in their T-34 based Su100. Germans put a 105mm Howitzer in a Stug and called it Sturmhaubitze. So what about the 88mm KWK 36 in a Stug? However, it would be too much for a turreted P III/IV, I guess.
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