Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

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Richard Stone
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Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 24 Mar 2022 10:18

The attached photo was originally posted on the website WW2AIRCRAFT.NET. It shows a Panther G with fracture damage of the hull side plate during firing tests at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in March 1945.

Fracture damage of this type and location to Panther tanks from being struck by US Sherman 75mm rounds was noted by at least one US Sherman Tank Battalion. In one instance the damaged plate section which broke off was recovered and sent to the US Ordnance at the Watervliet Arsenal for metallurgical examination and a report issued of the results.

The photo caption is:

A21946 1 Mar 45 ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT
Hull side plate of German Mk. V (Model G) Panther Tank (51mm Homo. 32o ), after impact with Shell H.E. 75mm M48 with Fuze P.D. M48A2 set super quick. Shell fired from a range of 250 yards with a muzzle velocity of approximately 1520 f.p.s. in a 75mm M3 gun mounted in a medium tank M4A4.

This photo can be transferred to other subject sections of this website to aid the continuing discussion of German armor plate and vehicles.
Armor - Panther Armor Failure - 1945.png
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Michael Kenny » 24 Mar 2022 20:06

Is that icicles on the rain-guard? What is the weather like in Aberdeen in March?

Yoozername
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Yoozername » 25 Mar 2022 08:08

Michael Kenny wrote:
24 Mar 2022 20:06
Is that icicles on the rain-guard? What is the weather like in Aberdeen in March?
Aberdeen is in Maryland. It could be cold enough.

My own opinion is this is from an oblique hit. Funnily-enough a dead on hit might not be of anything but a scrape.

NWarr
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by NWarr » 26 Mar 2022 02:26

Hey Richard

if it helps the discussion at all this Panther is 1 of the 71 Panthers shipped to I./Pz.Rgt 24 between 5-7 June 44;
The track hanging at the rear of the side plate and the lack at the front along with the unit made debris guard used by I./Pz.Rgt 24 I./Pz.Rgt GD and I./Pz.Rgt 35 while at Mailly are the tells;
The tube would also have been moved to the rear of the engine deck while at Mailly
The other would be that of the 3 only one suffers West front losses;
The lack of track hanging at the front along with the lack of a factory debris and lack of pilze denote a June to I./Pz.Rgt 24;
This Panther was likely completed at MAN in Mai 44;
The fabricating then is likely March April but without seeing more i do not know which fabricator completed the Wanne or the Turm;

So hopefully at least the approximate dating of the manufacture helps your study

Cheers Neill

Yoozername
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Yoozername » 26 Mar 2022 06:57

Looking at this image, there are several hits by other projectiles. But, the thing that I see is the zimmeritt being absent. It would be good to know what condition this vehicle was in even before the shoot.
panth1.jpg
The shadow is probably from the sun overhead. This seems to show not only the armor cracking, but also to be 'indented'. The HE was on SQ (no delay). If this was a dead on (orthogonal) shot, I almost wonder what a HE on delay could do.

I am wondering if this was somewhat of a burn out. Before the shoot.
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critical mass
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by critical mass » 06 Apr 2022 09:02

I think the ambient temp may be the key information in view of the type of failure shown by this plate.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Michael Kenny » 06 Apr 2022 09:11

It does not look like a normal 'shoot'. Not enough hits and the grouping is terrible. Could it be a battlefield wreck that was photographed in NWE and just the photo(s) ended up in the Aberdeen Archive?

Thoddy
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Thoddy » 07 Apr 2022 09:11

ff
"Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!"

Richard Stone
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 19 Nov 2022 03:18

The attached report mentions two instances of a Panther tanks’ armor either shattering or cracking when struck by US 90mm AP projectiles fired by M-36 Tank Destroyers of the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion

The date of the attacks was 24th December 1944 and the ambient air temperature would have been in the freezing range.

The report was copied from the January 1945 issue of the US Army's Tank Destroyer Newsletter. The report is difficult to read due to faded text, but this problem can be overcome by enlarging the attachment.
Armor - TD Newsletter Jan 1945 - Panther Armor Cracking.png
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Re: Panther Tank - Fracture Failure Of Side Hull Armor - 1945

Post by Contender » 19 Nov 2022 19:56

I am sure there are more exacting records somewhere but I believe it was much cooler than the freezing mark:
Image

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