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 » 31 Aug 2022 19:02

Konig_pilsner wrote:
31 Aug 2022 15:30
German production capability in the late 30's was exploding, asserting that German tank production capability was representative of its true potential is false. Machines like the Panzer 3's and 4's had never been mass produced before, and there was clearly little will to accelerate the process until 1939 when the Panzer 3 was ready.
Hey guy, who asserted any such thing? German tank production capability is well represented by what its eventual potential was. So is the money, time, and effort that was required to put into it. How they developed it is illustrative.

Krupp built 855 Leichttraktor, Kleintraktor, Krupp Traktor, and Panzer I from 1933-1937 before they moved on to Panzer IV so they had considerable experience in producing such machines. Yes, its production was exploding but it had insufficient space at Grusonwerk to do it all, which required expanding and opening new factories in Essen to do the work, which required more labor, which had to be trained. Eventually, the Essenwerke was joined by Eisenwerke Oberdonau in Linz, Eisen-und Hüttenwerke in Bochum, and Gebr. Böhler & Co. in Kapfenberg-Deuchendorf in supplying the hull and turret assemblies Krupp initially made itself to the Grusonwerk.

Similarly, MAN had produced nearly 1,000 Panzer I and II from 1933-1937 before they began building Panzer III. Its existing plant at Nürnberg was more than twice the size of the Grusonwerk but required a larger workforce with manpower competition fierce.

Of course "machines like the Panzer 3's and 4's had never been mass produced before" but machines like the Panzer I and II had, so it is clear the Germans were well aware of what was required.
There was no War in 1937, and just because you order something doesn't mean you need it right away.
No there was no war in 1937 but there was a bad worldwide recession, which did not hit Germany as badly as the U.S., but it still resulted in majority cutbacks to military expenditures. And of course "just because you order something doesn't mean you need it right away" but contracts usually have delivery dates included and governments get kind of touchy at missed delivery dates. As of 1 April 1940, there was a shortfall in deliveries of the Panzer III of 2,156 against existing orders for 2,621...orders that went back to the initial pilot orders in 1934, the first mass production orders of 1936-1937, the extension order of July 1938, and the initial wartime orders of late 1939.
I have no doubt that had the Panzer 4 been accepted as the MBT in 1937 that production wouldn't have greatly increased until 1939, after which the true benefits would be realized.
We come back to the why. Why would it be accepted as the MBT in 1937 when there was no such concept in existence?
This is a what-if. What if they chose the Panzer 4... What if they made it a priority... What if they stuck a 5cm L60 in it before Barbarossa... Its ok to dis-agree though, and if you think there would be zero production or standardization advantages that is fine with me. (you are just wrong)
Sure but it remains that a what if requires a logical jumping off point and to date no one has produced anything other than airy declarations of belief and faith...that you have no doubt about what might happen is fine but hardly decisive. Meanwhile to stick a 5cm L60 into it requires quite a number of changes to reality, aside from the decision to put the larger gun with less ammunition stowage there was the bottleneck in production of the PaK/KwK 39 as it was in high demand for the Panzerjäger as well.

Meanwhile, I find straw man arguments irritating at best, so won't bother to respond to your red herring regarding the advantages of standardization.

Instead, perhaps you might consider the disadvantages of changing horses in midstream? By 1938 Daimler and MAN were both tooled for production of the Panzer III, which given the German industrial tooling practice was significant since they designed large machine tools for specific operations rather than building multi-function tools as in the U.S. (U.S. production in World War II was helped significantly by that - one of the best examples was Chrysler's adaptation of an engine boring jig into a tool capable of milling the turret ring of four Medium Tank M4s front simultaneously). Typically in the prewar and wartime German major industry, such as aircraft and tanks, the delay for retooling a plant from one major model to another induced an effective production delay of six months to a year. Then add in the cost of tooling and retooling in the overheated prewar German economy and the likelihood of making such a decision is remote...even if they somehow "thought real hard" and decided to produce the concept of an MBT in 1937.

You see that is the true use of a what of tool, not to create ASB ways to change events but to better understand why events went the way they did. The more you dig into the prewar and wartime German economy and industry the better you understand why some of those decisions that may now seem inexplicable were made.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by HP » 01 Sep 2022 09:05

Konig_pilsner wrote:
31 Aug 2022 15:30
HP wrote:
The idea here was to challenge the claim that Germans did not manufacture more Pzkpfw IV in 1937-1939 (1940-41?)
German production capability in the late 30's was exploding, asserting that German tank production capability was representative of its true potential is false. Machines like the Panzer 3's and 4's had never been mass produced before, and there was clearly little will to accelerate the process until 1939 when the Panzer 3 was ready.

There was no War in 1937, and just because you order something doesn't mean you need it right away.
There was no war in 1937 indeed, but the Germans wanted tanks right away to meet their perceived requirements. They produced a lot of Pzkpfw II's (peak number in 1938). But they were already going for Pzkpfw III/IV, so why did they produce these at all if they were not needed right away? Why did they built a large number of stop-gap solution tanks (Pzkpfw II) instead of directly fulfilling the Pzkpfw IV order if they were capable of doing so?

I also kind of discussed these already in post #406 (on page 28 of this thread) from my point of view.
Konig_pilsner wrote:
31 Aug 2022 15:30
I have no doubt that had the Panzer 4 been accepted as the MBT in 1937 that production wouldn't have greatly increased until 1939, after which the true benefits would be realized.
If the Germans had had this prescient concept (MBT), they'd also realized at this point that they made the wrong choice in Pzkpfw IV. Already in 1941 the Germans decided Pzkpfw IV was not going to cut it and went on designing a new medium tank in 30-ton range (ended up over 40 tons, but anyway...). But wait! They actually thought that Pzkpfw IV was not the way of the future and it was not the best idea to have two relatively similar tanks (III and IV) earlier. They saw the operational, production and standardization advantages in having only one medium tank type and started designed Z.W. 38 (which was going to have the same engine and other part as a proposed heavy tank design - more standardization) and VK 20.01 already in 1937-1938. These plans did not work out as intended, though, for various reasons already discussed in this thread.
Konig_pilsner wrote:
31 Aug 2022 15:30
This is a what-if. What if they chose the Panzer 4... What if they made it a priority... What if they stuck a 5cm L60 in it before Barbarossa... Its ok to dis-agree though, and if you think there would be zero production or standardization advantages that is fine with me. (you are just wrong)
IMO if they'd chosen and prioritized Pzkpfw IV they might have been able to manufacture a little more of them before the war - but not enough to replace Pzkpfw I's, II's and 35(t) and 38(t) (see post #406). They'd have a standard chassis for StuG's, tanks and some other vehicles, but they'd still have a caleidoscope collection of obsolete, improvised and captured vehicles on the side (e.g. check the number of Pzkpfw II in Barbarossa, no Pzkpfw II - no Wespe etc.). And they'd have to develop another medium tank during the war (Pzkpfw IV was not good enough in 1943-1944 anymore).

If they'd "stuck a 50mm Kwk39/60 in it before Barbarossa", they'd have had to replace it with 75mm Kwk40/43 (later 48) anyway. They wanted to do this already in 1941. Maybe it might have had an effect in some encounters - it would have been better against tanks than 75mm KwK37/L24, but worse in HE support. Most Soviet tanks in service in 1941 were already vulnerable to German tank armament (37mm included) and HE was used more than AP, so the overall performance pf Pzkpfw IV with 50mm armament might have been worse than it historically was.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 18 Sep 2022 00:35


The same goes for tungsten carbide. Krupp through their subsidiary, Hartzmetallzentrall had a monopoly on production. They made just three (3) grades of TC and would only sell one grade to any company other than Krupp. The government did nothing to rectify that. Thus, TC remained an often unobtainable material for any company to use in production of anything, even machine tools.
If this wasnt a problem could they mass produce panzer 3s carrying a squeeze bore gun like the 7.5 cm Pak 41 ? That gun had excellent penetration performance even at great ranges but from multiple sites i searched (most of which were like wikipedia copy paste) about it its stated that it had problems with accuracy past some meters down the range.Did guns like the 76mm QF 17 pounder mounted on tanks like the archer,achiles,avenger etc have the same problem ? Could the problems of the pak 41 be fixed ? I have already asked something similar but curiosity got the best of me.

Why didnt an automatic feed system like that that was mounted on a T22E1 work as intended ? Was it because of the weight and size of the shell putting too much stress on the bolt or the technology not being there ? A long while back i proposed something like that of a smaller scale on a panzer 3.I proposed a caliber of the 50-60mm scale with a feed system similar to that of AA guns.Now we dont want a very high fire rate cause we need accuracy but i cant imagine a bit toned down version being that problematic.If the US thought of automatic guns why didnt Germany ? What POD made it so that the Americans cared to make such a thing and the Germans not ?

There was also that Russian cold war AA having two automatic long 57mm guns.I could easily see it,with just one gun of course on some ww2 scenario,on an open top and not only,turret on some tracked chassis being used for any purpose,from AA to anti tank

Again was the whole automatic thing really not doable at the time or more that it didnt make sense ? But then again a "i can do every role" tank does make sense to me

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Takao » 19 Sep 2022 22:35

Mass producing a German squeeze bore...Well, wonderful.

Now, tell how you will mass produce the tungsten rounds with a small German supply of tungsten.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 19 Sep 2022 23:17

Takao wrote:
19 Sep 2022 22:35
Mass producing a German squeeze bore...Well, wonderful.

Now, tell how you will mass produce the tungsten rounds with a small German supply of tungsten.
I specifically asked if that is possible by fixing the tungsten problem TA Gerdner mentions i never said that yes its viable

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Sep 2022 23:46

Destroyer500 wrote:
19 Sep 2022 23:17
Takao wrote:
19 Sep 2022 22:35
Mass producing a German squeeze bore...Well, wonderful.

Now, tell how you will mass produce the tungsten rounds with a small German supply of tungsten.
I specifically asked if that is possible by fixing the tungsten problem TA Gerdner mentions i never said that yes its viable
Hartzmetallzentrall had a monopoly on production of tungsten carbide alloy. They produced it from imported tungsten ore. The imported ore was in limited supply from Portugal via Spain. There were no known worthwhile deposits of tungsten otherwise within the Reich. The amounts were so limited that production of all squeeze-bore and other tungsten-carbide penetrators ended in early 1943 because the metal was more necessary for machine tool production.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Takao » 20 Sep 2022 01:19

Destroyer500 wrote:
19 Sep 2022 23:17
Takao wrote:
19 Sep 2022 22:35
Mass producing a German squeeze bore...Well, wonderful.

Now, tell how you will mass produce the tungsten rounds with a small German supply of tungsten.
I specifically asked if that is possible by fixing the tungsten problem TA Gerdner mentions i never said that yes its viable
Yes, you can fix the problem by using depleted uranium.

But....I guess you can see the problem with that.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by T. A. Gardner » 20 Sep 2022 01:56

Takao wrote:
19 Sep 2022 22:35
Mass producing a German squeeze bore...Well, wonderful.

Now, tell how you will mass produce the tungsten rounds with a small German supply of tungsten.
The problem is more than just making it. Since Hartzmetallzentrall only produced three grades, and showed little inclination into developing more--

A digression: In the US industry adopted the Buick standard of 15 grades during WW 2 and there were many manufacturers who competed to make better alloys.

--even making TC rounds means you may discover that the rounds have serious drawbacks like shattering, or other issues simply because the alloy being used is wrong for the purpose. For Germany, this is a serious limitation due to the monopoly Krupp has on TC production and R&D.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 20 Sep 2022 13:34


Hartzmetallzentrall had a monopoly on production of tungsten carbide alloy. They produced it from imported tungsten ore. The imported ore was in limited supply from Portugal via Spain. There were no known worthwhile deposits of tungsten otherwise within the Reich. The amounts were so limited that production of all squeeze-bore and other tungsten-carbide penetrators ended in early 1943 because the metal was more necessary for machine tool production.
That is a sad story


The problem is more than just making it. Since Hartzmetallzentrall only produced three grades, and showed little inclination into developing more--

A digression: In the US industry adopted the Buick standard of 15 grades during WW 2 and there were many manufacturers who competed to make better alloys.

--even making TC rounds means you may discover that the rounds have serious drawbacks like shattering, or other issues simply because the alloy being used is wrong for the purpose. For Germany, this is a serious limitation due to the monopoly Krupp has on TC production and R&D.
But if there is no quantity of it in the first place why should they care to develop more grades of it ?

Also why has everyone totally bypassed the other questions i made.I may have asked them in the past but give me at least your 2c
Last edited by Destroyer500 on 20 Sep 2022 18:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Sep 2022 17:18

The intent of the American 75mm Automatic Gun was to eliminate the need for a loader. It used two 32-round cassettes - one for AP and one for HE - and achieved a rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute...when it worked. It was mechanically unreliable. It took considerable time to reload. It did not save weight, just a body. It was originally developed in early 1942 as an alternate armament for the Medium Tank T20 in the T20E1, but by early 1944 when most of its problems were worked out the 75mm gun was obsolescent and so work on the automatic loader was suspended in February 1944.

"Feed systems" of automatic guns were either belts, clips, or variations on the enclosed cassette as used in the 75mm Automatic Gun by the United Shoe Machinery Corporation. The problem is that as gun caliber increases so does the size of the complete round making belt and clip systems impractical. There is also the problem of where to put the expended brass...there is only so much room in a turret and the system eliminates the loader, who is usually the guy tasked to do so.

An "open top" turreted vehicle is not a tank. Yes, many developed AA vehicles with automatic weapons but they were not tanks.

Yes, the Germans developed automatic guns, even a 5cm one but ran into the same problems the Americans encountered - as the rounds get bigger, the mechanical stresses on the system get bigger and more failures occur. Even today such systems have problems - there are many good reasons why the US did not adopt an automatic loading system in the M1-series.

What other questions were "totally bypassed"?
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 20 Sep 2022 18:24

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Sep 2022 17:18
The intent of the American 75mm Automatic Gun was to eliminate the need for a loader. It used two 32-round cassettes - one for AP and one for HE - and achieved a rate of fire of 20 rounds per minute...when it worked. It was mechanically unreliable. It took considerable time to reload. It did not save weight, just a body. It was originally developed in early 1942 as an alternate armament for the Medium Tank T20 in the T20E1, but by early 1944 when most of its problems were worked out the 75mm gun was obsolescent and so work on the automatic loader was suspended in February 1944.

"Feed systems" of automatic guns were either belts, clips, or variations on the enclosed cassette as used in the 75mm Automatic Gun by the United Shoe Machinery Corporation. The problem is that as gun caliber increases so does the size of the complete round making belt and clip systems impractical. There is also the problem of where to put the expended brass...there is only so much room in a turret and the system eliminates the loader, who is usually the guy tasked to do so.

An "open top" turreted vehicle is not a tank. Yes, many developed AA vehicles with automatic weapons but they were not tanks.

Yes, the Germans developed automatic guns, even a 5cm one but ran into the same problems the Americans encountered - as the rounds get bigger, the mechanical stresses on the system get bigger and more failures occur. Even today such systems have problems - there are many good reasons why the US did not adopt an automatic loading system in the M1-series.

What other questions were "totally bypassed"?
You pretty much answered everything thank you :D

I had the open toped idea to give the gun more depression and elevation but mostly to give it elevation to shoot planes.I guess a flakpanzer 341 turret system would elevate things as much as needed but im not saying this with certainty.

I believe a clip magazine for something max 50-55-60-65 mm could work but it only makes sense for an all around vehicle that im thinking of.Else at that kind of size a loader suffices for the job (if theyll only face tanks).

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Sep 2022 20:46

Destroyer500 wrote:
20 Sep 2022 18:24
I had the open toped idea to give the gun more depression and elevation but mostly to give it elevation to shoot planes.I guess a flakpanzer 341 turret system would elevate things as much as needed but im not saying this with certainty.
Are you planning on fighting an armored campaign with self-propelled antiaircraft guns substituting as tanks? I'm not sure that would work very well.
I believe a clip magazine for something max 50-55-60-65 mm could work but it only makes sense for an all around vehicle that im thinking of.Else at that kind of size a loader suffices for the job (if theyll only face tanks).
A "clip" for the US-manufactured 40mm Bofors weighed 8.6 kilos and the four rounds fired in 1.5 to 2 seconds. The gun was gravity fed, which means there needed to be plenty of clearance above the breech to maneuver the rounds and a second loader to maintain rate of fire. You could do it as a semiautomatic but then what is the point? Anyway, a four-round clip for something like the 5.5cm Gerät 58 would weigh around 21.5 kilos, which is a pretty hefty and awkward thing to try to maneuver about inside a turret. Anything else is going to be a development of the 5cm Pak 39 or 5cm KwK L/42. which means you either have to wait till 1945 for the 5.5cm gun or 1939 for the 5cm guns. Unless you decide the 6cm C/98 is your cup of tea.
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Takao » 20 Sep 2022 21:13

The open-topped tank AA turrets were simply an expedient to get SPAA units into the field quickly. As a fully armored AA turret for any guns larger than heavy machine guns would take much longer to develop & test - given the various optics that would need to be incorporated into an armored turret(like a height-finder).

More depression? The turret gun will hit the hull first...An open-topped turret will not prevent that.


Going back to an "I can do every thing" tank...
That was basically beyond the capabilities of the time - Jack of all trades master of none. Even the Russian T-54/55 was not a "do every thing" tank.

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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Destroyer500 » 22 Sep 2022 00:21

Richard Anderson wrote:
20 Sep 2022 20:46
Destroyer500 wrote:
20 Sep 2022 18:24
I had the open toped idea to give the gun more depression and elevation but mostly to give it elevation to shoot planes.I guess a flakpanzer 341 turret system would elevate things as much as needed but im not saying this with certainty.
Are you planning on fighting an armored campaign with self-propelled antiaircraft guns substituting as tanks? I'm not sure that would work very well.
I believe a clip magazine for something max 50-55-60-65 mm could work but it only makes sense for an all around vehicle that im thinking of.Else at that kind of size a loader suffices for the job (if theyll only face tanks).
A "clip" for the US-manufactured 40mm Bofors weighed 8.6 kilos and the four rounds fired in 1.5 to 2 seconds. The gun was gravity fed, which means there needed to be plenty of clearance above the breech to maneuver the rounds and a second loader to maintain rate of fire. You could do it as a semiautomatic but then what is the point? Anyway, a four-round clip for something like the 5.5cm Gerät 58 would weigh around 21.5 kilos, which is a pretty hefty and awkward thing to try to maneuver about inside a turret. Anything else is going to be a development of the 5cm Pak 39 or 5cm KwK L/42. which means you either have to wait till 1945 for the 5.5cm gun or 1939 for the 5cm guns. Unless you decide the 6cm C/98 is your cup of tea.
Im mostly trying to push the concept of an all around medium tank for ww2


From a quick research i did the Russian guns i mentioned mounted on the ZSU-57-2 seem to have originated from the Gerat 58 https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2020/07/0 ... -gerat-58/ At the very bottom Post war the Soviet 57 mm AZP S-60 evolved from this weapon. I have already seen this article multiple times but i never noticed that part.And this is the Soviet gun https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AZP_S-60 Here comes another article https://warfaretech.blogspot.com/2014/0 ... ussia.html

That thing has a really big history as it seems.With the penetration numbers provided i consider its anti tank capabilities as enough for any medium and certain heavies Germany would have faced.The caliber of 50mm is not that great for anti infantry purposes though.It was a development that occurred from the flak41 that if what is stated in the first article Development of the prototype was carried out with no sense of urgency, for it was 1940 before the production contract was awarded and in the event only 60 guns were completed then with a sense of urgency or at least a higher priority on developing the flak 41 a Gerat could be available in mid 1943.

My biggest concern is ease of reload.The clip would be very heavy but i dont know if it would be 21.5 killos.A 5cm shell weighed 2.05 kilos and 4 of that makes 8.2 killos plus the mag lets say 10killos.Close to a tiger 1s shell.The Russian 5.7 cm AA guns shell weigh 2.8 kilos and 4 of those with the mag are close to 13 killos.That is without me knowing exactly how heavy the empty mag would be.

Now the flak 41 had some sort of feed tray attached to the side
Capture.PNG
A smaller version would for an in tank use ease the loaders job a lot
Takao wrote:
20 Sep 2022 21:13
The open-topped tank AA turrets were simply an expedient to get SPAA units into the field quickly. As a fully armored AA turret for any guns larger than heavy machine guns would take much longer to develop & test - given the various optics that would need to be incorporated into an armored turret(like a height-finder).

More depression? The turret gun will hit the hull first...An open-topped turret will not prevent that.


Going back to an "I can do every thing" tank...
That was basically beyond the capabilities of the time - Jack of all trades master of none. Even the Russian T-54/55 was not a "do every thing" tank.
Youre right about the guns depression i dont know why but i though it would hit the roof first.I wasnt really thinking in terms of t54/55 but in terms of the HSTVL an American project of the 70s.

To be honest though its more about why go bigger when something smaller but "smarter" can do the job than built a ww2 HSTVL
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Re: A Panzer 3 is all there needed to be

Post by Takao » 22 Sep 2022 01:06

Well, the complete round for the 5.5cm/L77 was 5.3 kilos...times 4.
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_55_Gerat58.php

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