Panzergranate 40

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
M.Rausch
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Post by M.Rausch » 03 May 2006 23:39

OK, maybe I wasn't clear, but I was thinking of the 7,5cm round were were discussing at the time, not all the other calibers.
Well, the 7.5 cm Pzgr. Patr. 40 Kw.K. was one of the three Pzgr. 40 rounds still in production in December 1943. The production for the 7.5 cm Pak 40 stopped in 1943.
Just to get this straight, do you have any solid data stating directly that tungsten-cored PzGr 40 of any caliber was produced in 1944/45?
Perhaps on some microfilms but nothing to citate directly till now. But there is also definitely not in any way a stop of production in 1943 documented.
So what you are saying here, is that when the Germans made their actual firing tests for, say, a 7,5cm KwK 40, they fired at a target plate until they had 5-8 censecutive rounds penetrating with 100% of the projectile ending up on the other side of the plate.
No simple firing trials, but the official penetration measurements. For the 7.5 cm calibre 5 consecutive penetrations were demanded, with the projectiles staying intact to guarantee a detonation.
Later, whe batches of ammunition from the factories were tested for acceptance, at least 66% (2/3) of those rounds had to penetrate at least 100mm at 100 meters as well.

Correct?
Not quite, because this would be too easy ;)

For the 5 cm Pzgr. the penetrations acceptance conditions (just one point from more than 20) from May 1944 were:

Impact angle of 60° (German notation).
Thickness of armor plate: 50 mm.
Toughness of armor plate 115 +/- 5 kg/mm² (RHA).
Impact speed 650 - 700 m/s.

The impact speed was for the standard conditions of the ballistic table a traveling distance between 500 and 700 m. On 500 m a penetration power of 57 mm was listed. So for this round it was about the measured penetration and only 33% of the fired projectiles were allowed to fail.

The delivery conditions for the 3.7 cm Pzgr 18 from August 1944 were different, since there were two firing trial conditions which had to be fullfilled both by a delivery.

Condition 1:
Impact angle of 60° (German notation).
Thickness of armor plate: 25 mm.
Toughness of armor plate 120 kg/mm² (RHA).
Impact speed 500 - 560 m/s.
The projectiles had to stay intact

Condition 2:
Impact angle of 60° (German notation).
Thickness of armor plate: 30 mm.
Toughness of armor plate 110 kg/mm² (RHA).
Impact speed of at least 680 m/s.
The projectiles had to penetrate but were allowed to break.

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cbo
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Post by cbo » 04 May 2006 07:48

First of all, thanks for taking time to anwer all my silly questions :)
M.Rausch wrote: Well, the 7.5 cm Pzgr. Patr. 40 Kw.K. was one of the three Pzgr. 40 rounds still in production in December 1943. The production for the 7.5 cm Pak 40 stopped in 1943.

Perhaps on some microfilms but nothing to citate directly till now. But there is also definitely not in any way a stop of production in 1943 documented.
But by that logic, we would have to assume that PzGr. 40 is still in production because we cannot document that it ever stopped ;)

I get your point, but it still seems to me that production was being reduced in 1943 (like the PaK 40 round being removed from production) and that Germany had a severe shortage of tungsten at the time, causing some rounds to be reprocessed for industrial use.
Given the lack of documentation with regards to production in 1944/45, until proven otherwise I'd say it is likely that it was either stopped or reduced considerably. It just seems strange to continue pumping out tungsten ammunition at the same time you were reclaiming the same ammunition for industrial use, except for those guns which really needed it. And as you have already pointed out, there was plenty of PzGr 40 in stoorage for the smaller caliber guns that really needed it.

Claus B

M.Rausch
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Post by M.Rausch » 04 May 2006 09:58

First of all, thanks for taking time to anwer all my silly questions
Imho they are all reasonable and not in any way silly ;)
I get your point, but it still seems to me that production was being reduced in 1943 (like the PaK 40 round being removed from production) and that Germany had a severe shortage of tungsten at the time, causing some rounds to be reprocessed for industrial use.
You are of course correct on this, since for most guns the production of the Pzgr. 40 was stopped in 1943 or before, which is documented by original documents.

My whole point is, that the stop of production happened for all guns which were no longer interesting for frontline service (Pz.B., 3.7 cm Kw.K./Pak, 2 cm calibre) or had more than sufficient rounds in storage, while for a few guns still a small scale production continued. The 5 cm Pak 38 had been obsolete without the Pzgr. 40, the Pz-IV H/J/L needed it to deal with heavier Russian tanks like the JS-2 or the KV-series. The stop of production for the 7.5 cm Pak had perhaps something to do with the fact, that the complete loss of guns and ammunition increased with ongoing war.

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cbo
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Post by cbo » 04 May 2006 11:03

M.Rausch wrote: My whole point is, that the stop of production happened for all guns which were no longer interesting for frontline service (Pz.B., 3.7 cm Kw.K./Pak, 2 cm calibre) or had more than sufficient rounds in storage, while for a few guns still a small scale production continued. The 5 cm Pak 38 had been obsolete without the Pzgr. 40, the Pz-IV H/J/L needed it to deal with heavier Russian tanks like the JS-2 or the KV-series. The stop of production for the 7.5 cm Pak had perhaps something to do with the fact, that the complete loss of guns and ammunition increased with ongoing war.
I can live with that - at least until someone recovers the missing files for 1944/45 :)

Claus B

Yoozername
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Post by Yoozername » 04 May 2006 18:40

Some additional penetration data:

7,5cm PaK 40, PaK 39 and StuK 40:

PzGr 40 (standard, tungsten)
100m: 126
500m: 108
1000m: 87
1500m: 69
2000m: 53

PzGr 40 W (Weicheisen, iron)
100m: 77
500m: 69
1000m: 56
1500m: 38
2000m: N/A

PzGr 39
100m: 99
500m: 91
1000m: 81
1500m: 72
2000m: 63
Is this correct? The Weicheisen is inferior to PzGr 39? Why make it at all then?

If a HVAP can be made with softer materials than tungsten carbide (I always thought W stood for tungsten?), it would have been. But if it does not out perform AP39, why bother?

Since velocity is more important than mass (KE=1/2MV^2), it might make sense to have a medium range HVAP with a hard steel penetrator inside. By medium range I mean that it should not be used at close range. It should be designed to have sub 1000 m/s velocity at 500-1000 meters as a design parameter. At closer ranges, regular AP39 might be used instead or even holoow charge.

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cbo
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Post by cbo » 04 May 2006 19:46

Yoozername wrote:
Some additional penetration data:

7,5cm PaK 40, PaK 39 and StuK 40:

PzGr 40 (standard, tungsten)
100m: 126
500m: 108
1000m: 87
1500m: 69
2000m: 53

PzGr 40 W (Weicheisen, iron)
100m: 77
500m: 69
1000m: 56
1500m: 38
2000m: N/A

PzGr 39
100m: 99
500m: 91
1000m: 81
1500m: 72
2000m: 63
Is this correct? The Weicheisen is inferior to PzGr 39? Why make it at all then?

If a HVAP can be made with softer materials than tungsten carbide (I always thought W stood for tungsten?), it would have been. But if it does not out perform AP39, why bother?
I dont really know, but a couple of suggestions:

- It might have been cheap. The PzGr 39 was a rather complex round made in two pieces with HE filler, fuze and caps.
- I dont quite recall how it was designed, but as I said before, they might have taken advantage of PzGr 40 parts already made and lying about to no use due to the lack of tungsten.
- While penetration is not impressive, the mode of penetration meant that it made a big hole and possibly sent a lot of stuff flying around inside the tank.
- Soft iron penetrator might have been less influenced by slope than the harder PzGr 39 and 40.

Claus B

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Post by Yoozername » 06 May 2006 01:04

Plausible but the use of the existing 'tunsten' type carriers introduces a weight differential problem. If a steel replacement is put in, it weighs less than the tunsten penetrator. Its velocity is much higher also. that is why I am suggesting its use at medium ranges. There is a sight issue also, but I believe that workarounds could be found because the trajectory is so flat.

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Post by Yoozername » 06 May 2006 01:30

http://www.panzerlexikon.de/

German speakers please review?

http://www.panzerlexikon.de/guns/dgpak.htm

http://www.ordersofbattle.darkscape.net ... pProd.html

This website claims that there was a 'Pzgr. 40 Pak. 40' round in addition to the Pzgr. 40 (W)


http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepage ... ecs-03.htm

This site claims W rounds were the majority '40' for 75mmL48 guns

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Waf ... chutze.htm

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Waffen/panzer3.htm

This site claims about 25% of 50mmL42 armor piercing rounds were AP40 types. This is quite remarkable as is other smaller bore AP40 production.
Last edited by Yoozername on 07 May 2006 20:33, edited 3 times in total.

Yoozername
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Post by Yoozername » 07 May 2006 18:50

http://www.tarrif.net/cgi/production/al ... nk_gunsX=2

This is the 50mmL60 data. Note the PzGr.40/1 in addition to the PzGr.40. I always thought that the PzGr.40 was an early arrowhead design and the PzGr.40/1 was an improved round. Both being tunsten. But now I wonder.

Note the penetartion values listed here. Note the 'early' round outperforms the PzGr.40/1 at close range. Even though the PzGr.40/1 is heavier and is listed at a higher velocity? Note the staying power of the PzGr.40/1 at longer ranges. This looks suspiciously like a non-tunsten round?

Edit: Contradictory data?

http://breptova.valka.cz/view.php?cislo ... 2003081501

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Post by Yoozername » 07 May 2006 19:58

http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Waf ... Hetzer.htm

Interesting that this 1944 manual for the Hetzer and JagdpanzerIV mentions pnzgr40 rounds and HEAT rounds also. Could panzerjaeger type units get priority over this ammunition? This is sometimes mentioned about USA tank destroyer units also.

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Post by Yoozername » 07 May 2006 22:42

cbo wrote:[
I dont really know, but a couple of suggestions:

- It might have been cheap. The PzGr 39 was a rather complex round made in two pieces with HE filler, fuze and caps.
- I dont quite recall how it was designed, but as I said before, they might have taken advantage of PzGr 40 parts already made and lying about to no use due to the lack of tungsten.
- While penetration is not impressive, the mode of penetration meant that it made a big hole and possibly sent a lot of stuff flying around inside the tank.
- Soft iron penetrator might have been less influenced by slope than the harder PzGr 39 and 40.

Claus B
Another mode of attack is a sort of 'HESH' effect. There might not be actual penetration, but a small scab might be detached on the interior. T34 and early JS armor was known to do this. In fact, the Soviets tested 76.2 mm guns against the JS and found this out themselves. The soft iron would transfer more energy than a ricocheting round.

A possible source of tungsten for later rounds might be earlier rounds. The penetrators or even the whole projectile from a 50mmL42 piece of ammunition could be refitted to 50mmL60 Antitank rounds as an example.

http://sus3041.web.infoseek.co.jp/conte ... 0_apcr.htm

This website gives a cross sectional view of a 50mm. Note the light weight and small diamtere of the penetrator. 3/4 of a pound and 20mm? It would certainly need some residual velocity to have a chance at destroying a tank.

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Post by Yoozername » 07 May 2006 23:17

http://sus3041.web.infoseek.co.jp/conte ... iger01.jpg

This pic shows APCR hits on the side of the turret (I believe the overlapping ones are APCR hits). Note the small penetration hole and the larger diameter around it. The large holes are probably 75-85mm AP type penetrations. There appears to be a HE or HEAT type impact behind the tankers helmet on the left.

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Post by Yoozername » 08 May 2006 17:07

http://www.achtungpanzer.bos.ru/pz_penetration.htm

This data shows APCR and Pnzgr40 listings for the same guns

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Post by Yoozername » 09 May 2006 16:37

Wolframkern=Tungsten? Is this not what the W stands for? Note the APCR shell shown here. Can anyone identy this non-arrowhead type? Is it possible to just have the front being Tungsten and the rear being a hardened steel?

Late US war report to Eisenhower mentions 'souped-up' ammunition being used. Flat trajectory primarily.

Dies ist ein Stahl oder Wolframkern in einer Blechhülle, oder in einem anderem weichen Material.
Image

http://www.seinschatten.de/laufende_Sch ... ition.html

M.Rausch
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Post by M.Rausch » 09 May 2006 22:53

This website claims that there was a 'Pzgr. 40 Pak. 40' round in addition to the Pzgr. 40 (W)
The 7.5 cm Pzgr. 40 projectile was produced for the 7.5 cm Pak 40 and 7.5 cm Kw.K./Stu.K. 40. The production of complete rounds stopped for the Pak in the middle of 1943, while for the Kw.K. the production continued till at least december 1943.
This site claims W rounds were the majority '40' for 75mmL48 guns
All original documents I have found till now show a production of the "Weicheisen" core Pzgr. 40 only for the Kw.K. and not any for the Pak.
This site claims about 25% of 50mmL42 armor piercing rounds were AP40 types. This is quite remarkable as is other smaller bore AP40 production.
Well, I have already posted in the thread that in December 1943 the storage numbers for 3.7 cm and 5 cm Pzgr. 40 rounds exceed the number of 1 million.
This looks suspiciously like a non-tunsten round?
The 5 cm Pzgr. 40/1 had a hardened steel core and no tungsten core.
This data shows APCR and Pnzgr40 listings for the same guns
Pzgr. 40 rounds are APCR type rounds. This website just lists a lot of data from different sources without an evaluation of the validity of the sources or a deeper understanding of the ammunition talked about.
Is this not what the W stands for?
No, the "W" is an abbreviation for "Weicheisen".

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