Sturmgeschütz III Ausf ? versus Maresal (M-05 prototype)

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
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dragos
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Post by dragos » 01 Feb 2005 12:35

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:Perhaps - but to make that conclusion, it would be neccesary to know if the Maresal was also tested against other vehicles...

Christian
No, by my knowledge.

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Post by Huck » 01 Feb 2005 17:48

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:Huck
With a road speed of only 20 km./h. and a cross-country speed of 12-15 km./h., along with a ground pressure of 1.04 kg./cm2, the Sturmgeschütz can hardly be said to have had good mobility. It was slower and had worse cross-country ability than just about any other German tank.
The numbers you gave are average speed not maximum speed, that are usually available for other vehicles. Max speeds for StuG III Ausf G were 40/19-24 km/h road/off road respectively. Which is very good. I haven't seen any practical use for higher speeds, considering the reliability issues brought by higher speeds / higher stresses, that available ww2 materials could not cope with.

Another thing to consider is that maximum speeds measurements were done in different manner in different armies. For example PzKpfw III tested by the Soviets at Kubinka in '41 reached 69km/h, and could not be matched even by BT-7 running on wheels (tracks were removed).

Then the ground pressure issue. Ground pressure is just a simplified and misleading measurement, that tells nothing about off road performance. Only MMP, mean maximum pressure, can give us a clear picture, and is the current method of comparison.

In this regard StuG III / PzKpfw III was not bad at all, with 220kN/sqm MMP. Post ww2 tank were in 250kN/sqm range (Centurion, T-55, T-47, AMX-30). Of course some ww2 tanks had better performance, like T-34-76 and PzKpfw IV with 180kN/sqm, T-34-85 with 200kN/sqm, but there were plenty of others much worse like Sherman with 280kN/sqm or Cromwell with 350kN/sqm. All time best was of course Panther with 150kN/sqm 8)
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote: I don't see why the capabilities of the Pz.Kpfw.III has much to do with that of the Sturmgeschütz.
This is subject for another discussion. What I referring to is that most StuGs (namely Ausf G) had the virtually the same engine, transmission, suspension and overall weight with PzKpfw III. That gave both vehicles the same mobility characteristics. Since PzKpfw III mobility was highly appreciated even by the Soviets (in fact both StuG III and PzKpfw III chassis were used for Soviet Su-76i) I have little doubts that StuG had the same superlative mobility known from PzKpfw III.
StuG III had excellent speed on road but also excellent mobility in rough and soft terrain (torsion bar suspension and good MMP) and not the least important, very good reliability of the drive train.
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote: By the way, comparing the le.Pz.Jäg.38t (designed as a Sturmgeschütz) with the Maresal is still comparing apples and oranges.
Other than the fact that Maresal never saw production, I don't see significant reasons why we cannot compare Maresal with Hetzer.

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Post by Huck » 01 Feb 2005 18:02

dragos wrote:
Huck wrote:You did forget to add something else too: fire rate. How fast could engage and fire a 2 crew and extremely cramped tank compared with a 4 crew one.
And don't forget to look at Hetzer's front armor. There is some difference there.
The Maresal was smaller than Hetzer in order to be handled by Romanian industry alone. The 2 men crew may be a disavantage, but the smaller size is an advantage over the Hetzer.
I doubt it, Hetzer was small enough, both as a target and in ease of production.
A larger crew is a big advantage, because the tasks are distributed, commander can focus on searching for threats and targets alone, gunner on accurate targeting and so on. Also a larger crew could do maintenance more easily, which was a daily chore for ww2 tankers. Not to mention that it assured some degree of redundance in case of wounded/killed crew members.
dragos wrote:
Huck wrote:Apparently Hetzer was inspired by Maresal, but Germans made a more practical vehicle.
What do you mean by "more practical"?.
It had better front protection (which is the area most likely hit) and had a larger crew. I mentioned some of the advantages of a larger crew above.
dragos wrote:
Huck wrote:Even Russians evaluated PzKpfw III maneuvrability as being superior to T-34 off road (which almost killed T-34 production in '41)
:?
You are being very misterious here. What's that suppose to mean?

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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 01 Feb 2005 20:10

I think that the maximum speed is of little use, as this will usually be a theoretical speed, which will rarely be obtained in the field. The maximum speed doesn't give any idea of what the vehicle would in fact obtain in the field. I could also cite a lot of other performance specifications - the Sturmgeschütz would come out in the low end more or less regardless of which. The Sturmgeschütz was a realtively heavy vehicle in itself, too, being heavier that any Pz.Kpfw.III (though not much more than the Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.N).

The le.Pz.Jäg.38t was designed as an interim Sturmgeschütz, which is why I don't think it's fit to compare it to the Maresal.

Christian

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Post by dragos » 02 Feb 2005 13:59

Huck wrote:I doubt it, Hetzer was small enough, both as a target and in ease of production.
Nothing is small enough, when you are in the aim of enemy gun. :)
Besides, the low profile is very important for a tank destroyer when having to conceal in terrain for setting up an ambush.

An AFV the complexity of Hetzer may have been easy to handle by the German industry, but not so easy for the Romanian one. Romania wanted an AFV that could be produced entirely in country, from gun to engine.
Huck wrote:It had better front protection (which is the area most likely hit) and had a larger crew. I mentioned some of the advantages of a larger crew above.
By 1944, the front armor of Hetzer could not make a big difference. Except for infantry anti-tank weapons, the Soviet AT capability of guns and AFVs was sufficient to score a kill from an effective range. Therefor I believe the lower profile was more important than a thicker frontal armor.

The larger crew is indeed a plus, but I think the crew of Maresal could handle the combat actions quite well. IIRC, the crew was made of driver and loader. The driver was also aiming and firing. That means Maresal could not fire on the move, but that was the rule of tank engagements anyway.

Edit: I have corrected the statement about not having a MG. Maresal had one 7.92mm ZB-53 MG
Last edited by dragos on 02 Feb 2005 15:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by dragos » 02 Feb 2005 14:00

Huck wrote:
dragos wrote:
Huck wrote:Even Russians evaluated PzKpfw III maneuvrability as being superior to T-34 off road (which almost killed T-34 production in '41)
:?
You are being very misterious here. What's that suppose to mean?
Just show me such an evaluation.

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SubSonic
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Post by SubSonic » 02 Feb 2005 14:46

Interesting topic.

Comparing the STUG to the Maresal, the Stug has larger ammount of ammounition, which can be improtant on the battlefield.

Does any one have a picture of the Maresal.

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Post by dragos » 02 Feb 2005 15:10


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Ace31
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Post by Ace31 » 02 Feb 2005 15:19

By 1944, the front armor of Hetzer could not make a big difference
Really ? I knew T34/85 could knock-out Jagdpanzer 38(t) only at 400mt by hitting its frontal armor, I think this is a very good level of protection considering tank's dimensions ad it's firepower (that made it able to fire as first ambushing enemy)...
That means Maresal could not fire on the move, but that was the rule of tank engagements anyway
Small tank-destroyers NEED to move due their small armor, in particular after their position was revealed !
With 2 men crew Maresal was very less pratical and effective than Jagdpanzer 38(T) !

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dragos
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Post by dragos » 02 Feb 2005 17:38

Really ? I knew T34/85 could knock-out Jagdpanzer 38(t) only at 400mt by hitting its frontal armor
I really doubt that, but if your source is achtung panzer website, note on the same page, several paragraphs up: "In May of 1944, prototype of Maresal MO-4 was produced and after extensive tests it proved to be better than German Sturmgeschutz III(40) Ausf G and 75mm Resita M1943 gun proved to be better than German 75mm Pak 40 gun" :D

Small tank-destroyers NEED to move due their small armor, in particular after their position was revealed !
Maresal could move too. I said it could not fire on the move, but for the sake of accuracy no SP gun would fire on the move.

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dragos
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Post by dragos » 02 Feb 2005 18:02

I've made a picture with the profiles at the same scale of the Stug III / Hetzer / Maresal

(profiles of Stug and Hetzer are from onwar.com, profile of Maresal is from Modelism magazine)
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Ace31
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Post by Ace31 » 02 Feb 2005 18:04

dragos wrote:
I really doubt that (...) than German 75mm Pak 40 gun"
I was speaking about Maresal vs Jagdpanzer 38(t), StugIII was a different type and older tank... and, if you doubt about one sorce, you would't take the same source to demonstrate your thought :wink:
dragos wrote: Maresal could move too. I said it could not fire on the move, but for the sake of accuracy no SP gun would fire on the move.
NO, Maresal could only run away, not move ! Two men crew limited it's time of permanence on the battlefield in case of wounding of a crew man

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dragos
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Post by dragos » 02 Feb 2005 18:16

Ace31 wrote:I was speaking about Maresal vs Jagdpanzer 38(t), StugIII was a different type and older tank... and, if you doubt about one sorce, you would't take the same source to demonstrate your thought
I didn't say that my source is achtung panzer website, but your source. 85mm gun of T-34-85 being able to penetrate Hetzer's frontal armor of 60mm/60deg at only 400 meters sounds ridiculous.
NO, Maresal could only run away, not move !
:)

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Post by Ace31 » 02 Feb 2005 18:47

dragos wrote: but your source. 85mm gun of T-34-85 being able to penetrate Hetzer's frontal armor of 60mm/60deg at only 400 meters sounds ridiculous.
May be... but according battlefield.ru, 85mm D-57 gun was able to penetrate 90mm of 60° (from horizontal) angled armor at 500mt.
Jagdpanzer had a 60mm at 60° (from vertical), so the penetration at distance of 400mt could't be so automatic...

However, I didn't know Maresal was so small, it was just a little bigger than a field gun !

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Post by dragos » 02 Feb 2005 18:59

May be... but according battlefield.ru, 85mm D-57 gun was able to penetrate 90mm of 60° (from horizontal) angled armor at 500mt.
At 2,000 meters, not 500 !

http://www.battlefield.ru/armaments/d5_r.html

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