DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

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Don Juan
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Don Juan » 04 Dec 2020 22:32

Interestingly enough the first Pz III captured intact and sent to the UK was an Ausf G. with 30mm frontal armour that was delivered to AEC in Southall on 27th March 1942 for their examination. One interesting thing about the AEC report is that they assessed its top speed at only 22 mph, not the 26 mph usually quoted, although whether they derived this from their own testing or from the tank's instruction manual is not revealed. However, if this 22 mph is correct, it does call into doubt the complaints about A9's and A10's being out-run and out-manoeuvred by German tank formations.

Another interesting comment is that a "Captured Service Report mentoned excessive trouble due to bogie tyre failures and engine failures due to sand passing the air cleaners." This report was dated 18th February 1942.

Also of interest to me was that a cross section of the turret armour shows that the combined armour of the mantlet and front plate does give 60mm of protection over most of the turret front, hence why there was no real need to add applique armour to the turret front on the Ausf. H.
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
- 7th Armoured Brigade War Diary, 30th August 1941

Peasant
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Peasant » 04 Dec 2020 22:58

Don Juan wrote:
04 Dec 2020 22:32
Interestingly enough the first Pz III captured intact and sent to the UK was an Ausf G. with 30mm frontal armour that was delivered to AEC in Southall on 27th March 1942 for their examination. One interesting thing about the AEC report is that they assessed its top speed at only 22 mph, not the 26 mph usually quoted, although whether they derived this from their own testing or from the tank's instruction manual is not revealed. However, if this 22 mph is correct, it does call into doubt the complaints about A9's and A10's being out-run and out-manoeuvred by German tank formations.
A usual complaint I've read about british tanks is that were are, allegedly, relatively unreliable, so maybe this is the reason they weren't as strategically mobile as their german counterparts?

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Don Juan
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Don Juan » 05 Dec 2020 13:08

I strongly doubt the Panzer III was any more reliable than the A9 or A10. I think that what was happening was that the Germans were mocking up truck columns to look like tanks from a distance, giving the British the wrong impression of the speed of German armour.
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
- 7th Armoured Brigade War Diary, 30th August 1941

valentine III
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by valentine III » 10 Dec 2020 12:31

I've seen a report on British tanks destroyed during Crusader.
There exist any report about damage to german tanks during that same operation? I would say many of them were around the battlefield. It would be interesting to know damage sustained and how had been knocked out. It would help to know the real effectiveness of british weapons.

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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Nick the Noodle » 20 Apr 2021 20:17

Peasant wrote:
04 Dec 2020 22:58
Don Juan wrote:
04 Dec 2020 22:32
Interestingly enough the first Pz III captured intact and sent to the UK was an Ausf G. with 30mm frontal armour that was delivered to AEC in Southall on 27th March 1942 for their examination. One interesting thing about the AEC report is that they assessed its top speed at only 22 mph, not the 26 mph usually quoted, although whether they derived this from their own testing or from the tank's instruction manual is not revealed. However, if this 22 mph is correct, it does call into doubt the complaints about A9's and A10's being out-run and out-manoeuvred by German tank formations.
A usual complaint I've read about british tanks is that were are, allegedly, relatively unreliable, so maybe this is the reason they weren't as strategically mobile as their german counterparts?
As much as possible of the mechanical elements of the A10 were used in the Valentine, because they worked. The Valentine was one of the most, if not the most, reliable tank of the war.

Peasant
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Peasant » 20 Apr 2021 20:59

Nick the Noodle wrote:
20 Apr 2021 20:17

As much as possible of the mechanical elements of the A10 were used in the Valentine, because they worked. The Valentine was one of the most, if not the most, reliable tank of the war.
I stand corrected, but still, a tank with 15mph top speed is not gonna be very useful in long range strategic maneuvers.

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Urmel
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Urmel » 20 Apr 2021 23:48

The tank speed makes zero difference in long-range maneuvers. Most long-range movement is done on the back of a trailer or at column speed. Tank top speed is entirely tactical. It's also important to note that cross-country top speed was much less, comparatively, for high-speed tanks compared to low-speed tanks.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Nick the Noodle
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Nick the Noodle » 28 Apr 2021 22:44

Peasant wrote:
20 Apr 2021 20:59
Nick the Noodle wrote:
20 Apr 2021 20:17

As much as possible of the mechanical elements of the A10 were used in the Valentine, because they worked. The Valentine was one of the most, if not the most, reliable tank of the war.
I stand corrected, but still, a tank with 15mph top speed is not gonna be very useful in long range strategic maneuvers.
Don't always believe the net. The A10 had a cruising road speed of 16mph, and a max cross country speed of 16 mph, but an actual top speed of 23.8 to c25 mph depending on the official source. Don Juan can supply the exact details. This is in line with Pz III's and IV's.

Further, it's not the top speed that matters in long range strategic maneuvers. During the Great Swan, it was a Churchill tank unit (the 6th Guards Tank Brigade) that actually made the greatest single day advance. Warfare is usually about the Marathon rather than the sprint.

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Urmel
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Urmel » 28 Apr 2021 23:18

Quite. The first day of CRUSADER saw the fully motorised 1 S.A. Bde advance 83 miles in 7.5 hours. That was a very fast move, at 11.1mph. Standard movement speed at dispersion rate seems to have been 10 vehicles to a mile, advancing at 10mph, with regular breaks. A Valentine could keep up with this no problem.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: DTD Testing of Panzer III Armour Plate

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 07 May 2021 20:15

Nick the Noodle wrote:
28 Apr 2021 22:44
During the Great Swan, it was a Churchill tank unit (the 6th Guards Tank Brigade) that actually made the greatest single day advance.
Nick,

During the Great Swan in September 1944 I thought that 6th Guards Tank Brigade was left behind - or are you talking about the Great Swan in 1945?

That would make sense. :D

Regards

Tom

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