what were the panther tank flaw?

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Grzesio
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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Grzesio » 28 Jun 2019 21:48

The most obivious problem with a rear mounted transmission is you need complex linkages that run from the driver's position to the transmission for gear change, clutch operation, braking, and steering. All of that adds a lot of 'slop' into these operations for the driver.
Yep, T-34 suffered from this problem, as excessive play of the linkages could cause problems with setting the desired gear.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 28 Jun 2019 22:56

Grzesio wrote:
28 Jun 2019 21:48
The most obivious problem with a rear mounted transmission is you need complex linkages that run from the driver's position to the transmission for gear change, clutch operation, braking, and steering. All of that adds a lot of 'slop' into these operations for the driver.
Yep, T-34 suffered from this problem, as excessive play of the linkages could cause problems with setting the desired gear.
You don't have to tell me... I own one of these:

Image

There are ways to tighten the linkage for the shifter, and get better clutch throw but they involve disassembly of the linkages and machining, etc...

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by bam » 14 Jul 2019 02:01

What we're the panther tanks positives, more like. Any?
A heavy-class tank with side armour that any light anti tank gun could easily penetrate.
A heavy class tank with a measly 7.5cm gun that fired a weaker HE round than a pz. IV.
A complex, gas guzzling engine (I've read of panzer regiment Bake panthers using their full 700litres fuel load to go just 5 miles, in the worst russian mud).
Final drives that the French reckoned weren't fit for 200km lifetime on the many ones they captured and tried to use.
Complex interleaved wheels that were a ball ache to replace but gave a lovely ride when lovely rides weren't a tactical necessity (Kniepkamps pet preference for interleaving, now a military dead end)
Spontaneous combustion due to flimsy fuel lines (a 125,000 Reich mark tank lost cos of using cheap 5mark pipes?!)
What's to like?

Oh, yeah, it looks sexy, there is that.
And it was so big that its camo pattern always looks good. I like panther camo. But that's all.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by bam » 14 Jul 2019 02:08

Here's a stat I'm pulling from memory, but the jist is right:
The Germans sent 9 or 10 panther abteilung to Russia in 1943. The first few had 96 panthers, the later ones 76. Of all those abteilung, only 1 had more than 10 operational panthers after 1 month of action. Nuff said. Great tank, yeah, for the allies..

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Avalancheon » 15 Jul 2019 08:57

bam wrote:
14 Jul 2019 02:01
What we're the panther tanks positives, more like. Any?
A heavy-class tank with side armour that any light anti tank gun could easily penetrate.
There are legitimate grounds on which one can ridicule the Panther tanks design, but you haven't found them. Many of your criticisms are the same kindof inaccurate memes that are common at WOT.
bam wrote:
14 Jul 2019 02:01
A heavy class tank with a measly 7.5cm gun that fired a weaker HE round than a pz. IV.
This is not true. The 75mm kwk 42 (Panther) and 75mm kwk 40 (Panzer IV) both used a very similar HE round.
The HE shell from the kwk 42 was filled with 690 grams of amatol.
The HE shell from the kwk 40 was filled with 680 grams of amatol.
There was practically no difference in filling weight between the two.
bam wrote:
14 Jul 2019 02:01
A complex, gas guzzling engine (I've read of panzer regiment Bake panthers using their full 700litres fuel load to go just 5 miles, in the worst russian mud).
The Maybach HL 230 engine wasn't that inefficient in terms of fuel consumption. It had 720 liters of fuel, and could travel 200 km by road. Thats 3.6 liters per kilometer, not bad for a 45 ton tank. (Their range was halved when travelling cross country, though)

The Panthers had lots of mechanical problems during their combat debut at Kursk, due to being put into service before their teething problems were worked out. Very bad terrain would only aggravate those problems. Obviously this incident you speak of was not typical.
bam wrote:
14 Jul 2019 02:01
Final drives that the French reckoned weren't fit for 200km lifetime on the many ones they captured and tried to use.
German guidelines do not say anything about the final drives only lasting for 150 km, before needing to be replaced. Not at all. By regulation, the Panther tanks required an overhaul after 800 km. There is a significant gap between these two numbers.

Clearly, the French experience is very different from that of the Germans. They were probably doing something stupid, like putting their tanks on forced marchs and not stopping for maintenance. The drivers were probably not changing gears and steering in the proscribed manner, either.
bam wrote:
14 Jul 2019 02:01
Complex interleaved wheels that were a ball ache to replace but gave a lovely ride when lovely rides weren't a tactical necessity (Kniepkamps pet preference for interleaving, now a military dead end)
Smoother rides are desirable because they reduce crew fatigue, particularly during long marchs over rough terrain. Thats a desirable feature to have, although the mechanical complexity makes the tradeoff questionable.
bam wrote:
14 Jul 2019 02:01
Spontaneous combustion due to flimsy fuel lines (a 125,000 Reich mark tank lost cos of using cheap 5mark pipes?!)
What's to like?

Oh, yeah, it looks sexy, there is that.
And it was so big that its camo pattern always looks good. I like panther camo. But that's all.
The problem with faulty fuel lines were largely fixed after the Kursk debacle. (Although there were still occasional complaints)

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by bam » 15 Jul 2019 11:21

Figures I've seen say the panthers HE shell had 650g, the short barrelled Pz. IV had 660g. So Panther was weaker,just, but the main point is that considering it was twice as heavy as the pz. IV, it should have had a much heavier HE capability for its size class.

The self combustion problem wasn't fixed until the ausf. A got the triple pipe exhaust, months after kursk. They needed that fix cos fuel was still leaking upto 1944.

The increased crew comfort of the smooth ride was definitely NOT worth the aggro of the interleaved wheels. The Germans themselves realised this, and later tank plans moved progressively away from the concept. It was hoped interleaving would enable tanks to fire while moving. It didn't. They should have concentrated on gun stabilisers like the USA did.

And I've read of so many cases of final drive problems,, it wasn't just the French who had them. Lots of German panther drivers were improperly and hurridly trained too, and made mistakes. The demands of war meant they didn't have the time or fuel to churn out loads of driver experts. The tank needed a very skilled driver, when they really needed a tank that was idiot proof.


I know nothing of WOT, not my bag. I read unit histories and biographies and battle analyses. Those have informed my opinion,. it's just an opinion. Panther was a poor tank.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Cult Icon » 15 Jul 2019 14:14

The reliability of the Panther tank units was very poor in 1943 but eventually matched the Pz IV by the Spring of 1944. (about half operational, typically) Although certainly the unprecedented collapse of the Eastern Front and routine retreats from Sept 1943 onward played a role in this.

The Ferdinand, which was arguably a worse mechanical nightmare than the Tiger or Panther- however all three models achieved good combat results, which is what the design sacrificed for..

Recently I read some reports from 653 and 654 (PzR-56) July-August 1943. Interesting that the reports considered the vehicle decent due to its massive kill tally (around 500) in the big armored battles of the summer- and despite its issues. The Panther/Tiger was like that too- the soviet armored threat was enemy #1 in german eyes and any vehicle that could thin out Soviet ranks was valued. In the end I think they recognized that the Stug was the most successful and cost efficient armor killer/mobile defensive weapon in the Wehrmacht and focused accordingly.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Ulater » 15 Jul 2019 23:36

bam wrote:
15 Jul 2019 11:21
Figures I've seen say the panthers HE shell had 650g, the short barrelled Pz. IV had 660g. So Panther was weaker,just, but the main point is that considering it was twice as heavy as the pz. IV, it should have had a much heavier HE capability for its size class.

The self combustion problem wasn't fixed until the ausf. A got the triple pipe exhaust, months after kursk. They needed that fix cos fuel was still leaking upto 1944.

The increased crew comfort of the smooth ride was definitely NOT worth the aggro of the interleaved wheels. The Germans themselves realised this, and later tank plans moved progressively away from the concept. It was hoped interleaving would enable tanks to fire while moving. It didn't. They should have concentrated on gun stabilisers like the USA did.

And I've read of so many cases of final drive problems,, it wasn't just the French who had them. Lots of German panther drivers were improperly and hurridly trained too, and made mistakes. The demands of war meant they didn't have the time or fuel to churn out loads of driver experts. The tank needed a very skilled driver, when they really needed a tank that was idiot proof.


I know nothing of WOT, not my bag. I read unit histories and biographies and battle analyses. Those have informed my opinion,. it's just an opinion. Panther was a poor tank.

1. Why should it have higher "HE capability" and why is "HE capability" a primary indicator of HE shell performance?
2. And? Do you think that such peculiar problems were exclusive to Panthers, or that they were in any way widespread?
3. Those hopes were well founded seeing that TIger II captured by Soviets outperformed any claims of Sherman stabilizer accuracy I have seen so far. If you have any good results for the stabilizer, feel free to share.
4. They had those problems with every tank, French had them for their own reasons - I would be very interested in seeing whether you would accept any reliability data on T-34s from german units that serviced them as a face value for all T-34s. I guess not. And seeing that german armor units complained about newbie drivers already in late 1942, I dont see how this problem applies to Panther exclusively.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by bam » 16 Jul 2019 01:01

1. HE shells are actually the majority of shells fired by tanks, thus important. Supporting infantry requires big HE capability.
I don't comprehend what u mean by "why is "HE capability" a primary indicator of HE shell performance?" Obviously the size of the HE charge is indicative of the power of the explosion it causes. An 88mm sprenggranate had nearly double the HE of the panther kwk42 round.

Further info to the question of HE filling, it says here that kwk42 had 600g, kwk40 had 680g:
viewtopic.php?t=161892 see post #13.

2. Self combustion was definitely a noted panther problem. Not heard of it in many tigers, stugs, Pz. IV.

3. No one managed to make a stabiliser good enough to fire on the move in ww2, but it was the way to go, as history shows. Interleaving was abandoned in German tank plans AND in their later schlepper, half track and SPW design plans. And no one else uses it after ww2.

4. I never said it applies exclusively to Panthers (u are putting words in my mouth) but weak drives are WAY more of a problem on a 45 ton tank than on a 25 ton tank, tho, yes, all german final drives were fragile.

The french used a few companies of panthers for a few years after ww2, they had full maintenance facilities, some German technicians with spares from German depots and factories, and from all the 100s of panthers lying around. Some extra new panthers were even built after ww2 in the German factories. The tests the French did were at proper tank testing centres. That's what makes their results so interesting.
It's absolutely NOT the same scenario as German units using the odd captured T34s on an individual basis without any dedicated support infrastructure or even a manual. U make a Straw man argument.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Ulater » 16 Jul 2019 11:37

bam wrote:
16 Jul 2019 01:01
1. HE shells are actually the majority of shells fired by tanks, thus important. Supporting infantry requires big HE capability.
I don't comprehend what u mean by "why is "HE capability" a primary indicator of HE shell performance?" Obviously the size of the HE charge is indicative of the power of the explosion it causes. An 88mm sprenggranate had nearly double the HE of the panther kwk42 round.

Further info to the question of HE filling, it says here that kwk42 had 600g, kwk40 had 680g:
viewtopic.php?t=161892 see post #13.

2. Self combustion was definitely a noted panther problem. Not heard of it in many tigers, stugs, Pz. IV.

3. No one managed to make a stabiliser good enough to fire on the move in ww2, but it was the way to go, as history shows. Interleaving was abandoned in German tank plans AND in their later schlepper, half track and SPW design plans. And no one else uses it after ww2.

4. I never said it applies exclusively to Panthers (u are putting words in my mouth) but weak drives are WAY more of a problem on a 45 ton tank than on a 25 ton tank, tho, yes, all german final drives were fragile.

The french used a few companies of panthers for a few years after ww2, they had full maintenance facilities, some German technicians with spares from German depots and factories, and from all the 100s of panthers lying around. Some extra new panthers were even built after ww2 in the German factories. The tests the French did were at proper tank testing centres. That's what makes their results so interesting.
It's absolutely NOT the same scenario as German units using the odd captured T34s on an individual basis without any dedicated support infrastructure or even a manual. U make a Straw man argument.
1. Panther has 690 grams of HE amatol in its shell minus the detonator, which is distinctly superior to any such concept of an "AT"-gun in that caliber.

Image

And no, supporting infantry doesnt require big HE capability by itself, as people tended to test for and focus on how good the fragmentation is primarily.

2. Well, if you read unit histories, that certainly isnt true. And I still dont see how this was a noted problem.

3. Seeing the result of that russian test, Germans managed to stabilize something. And by this logic, they also abandoned the torsion bar suspension.

4. No. it was a bigger problem in 28 ton tanks than a 45 ton tanks, and it steadily decreased on the way to 57 ton tanks.

a.) French certainly did not use a few companies of Panthers
b.) Yes, one can say that a functional army has functioning repair facilities, there werent 100s of Panther lying around. There werent any tests done at "proper tank testing centres" and there certainly werent german factories seeing as the last shops at MNH were closed after they completed said "built" Panthers.
c.) Germans having entire units of T-34s, with actual working factory captured, with personnel, and indeed hundreds of T-34s lying around absolutely is not the same scenario, its better than French could ever aspire to.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by bam » 16 Jul 2019 12:47

I'm sorry, but I have read totally the opposite of what u say. The French had 2 battalions of panthers operating them until 1949, thus they used the tank longer than the Germans did.
The tests they ran were conducted at a ministry of war testing centre.
Here's an article:

"The French 503rd regiment operated a full battalion of 50 Panthers, along with a battalion of American-made Sherman tanks, through 1947. The 501st also operated Panthers until 1949 – with almost twice as much time in Panthers as any German formation.

In 1947 a report on the Panther was published by the Ministre de la Guerre, Section Technique de L’Armee, Groupement Auto-Char (Ministry of War, Army Technical Section, Tank Group). This report, titled “Le Panther, 1947” captured the French observations and recommendations for operating the Panther tank.

Following are excerpts from this report:

The turret traverse drive is not strong enough to either turn the turret or hold it in place when the Panther is on an incline of more than 20 degrees. The Panther is therefore not capable of firing when driving cross-country.

The fatigue life of the mechanical parts was designed for 5000 km. The wear on many parts is greater than expected. Track and running gear have a life of 2000 to 3000 km. Tracks break very rarely, even on rocky terrain. The bogie wheels, however, can become deformed when driven hard.

The truly weak spot of the Panther is its final drive, which is of too weak a design and has an average fatigue life of only 150 km.

Half of the abandoned Panthers found in Normandy in 1944 showed evidence of breaks in the final drive.
(It takes only one weak link to break a chain. The Panther had many fine qualities. But here we find a severe weakness.)

A smoke grenade thrown onto the rear deck or the vent openings of the engine will start a fire

Fragmentation shells or 75 mm rounds which strike in the same spot on the front plate can penetrate it or cause the weld seams to break (Miinsingen, 1946). "
............
The French managed to operate the Panther for several years. Their assessment of the Panther, drawn from their considerable experience with it, provides a practical and balanced view of this tank.
The automotive features of the Panther went beyond the automotive technology of the time. It was simply impractical to create a 45 ton “medium” tank with a 600hp engine and neutral steering using German automotive technologies of the mid-1940s. The result was a tank which was much feared when it reached the battlefield, but was as often found abandoned along the side of the road outside of the battlefield.

If u have a real sense of humour, check this out after a few bowls... A very bizarre French tanker actually piddling himself talking about their use of the panther: (disclaimer: I think there is some fakery & exaggerated french national revenge-pride and kraut-bashing going on here)
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... 3278002292

I think this clip says more about the state of French TV comedy shows than about the panther...
I just love his ticklish laugh, whatever he's really talking about, still funny: "talk about baptism of fire", that's comic gold.
Last edited by bam on 16 Jul 2019 20:05, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Ulater » 16 Jul 2019 13:05

I'm sorry, but I have read totally the opposite of what u say. The French had 2 battalions of panthers operating them until 1949, thus they used the tank longer than the Germans did.
The tests they ran were conducted at a ministry of war testing centre.
No, french had no 2 battalions, and implying they operated them longer than Germans is as ridiculous as one can get.

THey werent conducted at any "ministry of war centre", you dont have the evidence, because nobody past Spielberger who somehow dug this report out of somewhere does.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by bam » 16 Jul 2019 13:17

Blimey, I can't do much more of this...
Yes they did operate panthers from 44 to 49. U just dismiss my evidence with a rant.
Read their report yourself, a quick Google will find the quotes.

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Ulater » 16 Jul 2019 13:22

10 minutes google search "evidence" that, by the way, points the existence of those two units between 1945 to 1951 to anywhere between Indochina and France is no evidence at all.

So pretty please, past Chieftain's WoT forum articles, can you point me to a reliable information about 501e RCC using Panthers, that apparently, according to the ultra-convincing google, departed to Indochina in september 1945, or the 503e RCC, that, once again according to google, was recreated in Mourmelon in 1951 and operated ARL 44s and Panthers until 1952?

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Re: what were the panther tank flaw?

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Jul 2019 13:26

The best way of finding 'fault' with any tank is gleaned by reading criticism from the crews. It is the 'other man's grass is always greener' effect and crew complaints about Panzer X are usual the complete opposite of an Allied crews opinion. The same in reverse. The spontaneous combustion of the Panther got a mention in Normandy.

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