Shrek wrote:Don't you think that track life was the primary concern here, rather than any particular defects applying only to Panthers?
Of course not. Other than its propensity to burn immediately after shots penetrated the fighting compartment, the 45-ton Panther had three main defects:
The propensity to burn was something the Panther shared with other petrol engined AFVs, such as eg. the Sherman, so I would not call that a problem specific to the Panther only.
- An overtaxed drive-train designed for a 30-ton vehicle.
AIUI, the drive train was 'overtaxed' due to the lack of torque a petrol engine offers compared to for example a diesel engine. The Maybach engine had good horse power output and it was very compact. Lack of torque was the price for compactness.
- An untested, unreliable engine.
The Maybach HL210/230 had been a major German AFV powerplant since 1942. You may call it unreliable, untested it certainly wasn't by 1944. The main difference between the two Maybach series was the carburator, the basic engine lay-out was the same.
- Leaking seals and gaskets, which often triggered engine fires...
This was a real problem when the Panther was fielded at Kursk - prematurely, as my first post on this thread claimed. Tanks which had suffered engine fires were generally back in action quickly. Again AIUI the problem of engines catching fire when tanks were going uphill was solved already on the Panther D-series.
In June 1944 the 9th SS Panzer Division was ordered to the invasion front in Normandy. During the road march about 50% of their Panther tanks broke down due to engine failures.
No doubt this division's tanks were forced to make most of the road march under their own power due to the sorry state of the French rail system at this time. You need to produce an example where a set number of Panthers travelling a specific road distance had more breakdowns than a similar number of other tanks - German or otherwise - travelling the same distance did in order to prove an especially high degree of breakdowns for Panthers compared to other tanks.
...Experienced troops didn't like using non-turretted tanks vs. enemy tanks but the Germans were desperate to build as many vehicles as possible.
Why then did they continue to build turreted tanks as well? Desperation only becomes evident when AFVs are used for other tasks than their intended role - such as using STUGs in lieu of tanks.
The Junkers firm hired engineers who had worked for American companies for the specific purpose of designing and manufacturing the metal skin for the Ju 88.
OK, but that does not make the Ju 88 an American design any more than it makes the Manhattan Project a German endeavour because German ex-patriates participated in it. Junkers flew his J-1, the world's first all-metal aircraft, in 1915.
Unfortunately your comment overlooks unpleasant realities that the T-34 and the KV-1 caused the Germans to completely abandon their most basic principle of armored warfare. Until then the German generals believed that their tanks would not have to fight enemy tanks. They were overconfident in their theory (soon to be shattered in battle) that German anti-tank units would protect their tanks.
I don't see how faulty or incorrect German doctrine for armoured warfare should demonstrate any technological shortcomings. Not that German tanks weren't supposed to fight enemy armour at all. The Panzer III was developed with that in mind. When it proved inadequate the Panther, more than a match for the T-34/76, was developed instead.
Another shopworn cliche. The Me 262 would never be a world beater, nor would it serve the Germans to build them in greater quantities.
The Luftwaffe was unable to support a fleet larger than about 200 aircraft because the Jumo jet engine was so prone to failures. The factories simply could not provide the mountain of spare parts and spare engines needed to sustain more jet aircraft. In April 1945, the Germans had about 700 Me 262s, of which some 500 aircraft were gathering dust.
Jet engines require fewer moving parts than piston engines and they perform well even on inferior fuel. Many of the Luftwaffe's problems would have been solved if they had switched to jets earlier, by April 1945 the dust-gathering state of the Me 262 fleet was hardly due to any inadequacies of the plane itself. The swept wing of the Me 262 was copied world wide after WWII.
I agree, but you have a rather slippery and unrefined way of defining "available technology". Jet and rocket technology existed before the war.
I thought the hammer drill example was illustrative of that. Technology alone will not win wars for you, it's the application of it that matters. Indeed, you could say that German over-reliance on technology was counterproductive to their war effort.
Shrek wrote:The Germans had a marginal lead in tech developments in most areas
In no particular order it could be: gun optics, gun-laying naval radar, radio-assisted aerial boming aids and rocket technology.