Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

[WoT] Digging Through Archives: Soviet 122mm D-25T and 152mm ML-20S Being Tested on Ferdinand and Panther

As continuation of the penetration topic, below are the photos featuring the results of 122mm D-25T and 152mm ML-20S tests with Ferdinand and Panther being used as test targets. What the pics show is that guaranteed penetration doesn't equal to extreme penetration. Shells of 100+ mm have their own (sometimes very funny) effects for their victims.

First off, the results of BL-8 tests (regular AP rounds).
Central Archive of the Russian Ministry of Defence, fund 38, inventory 11369, case N304

150mm armour plate 

Rounds 1-4 fired at 30 deg slope, 5 and 6 and 0/90 degree slope.

180mm armour plate

All rounds fired at 0/90 degree slope.

203mm armour plate

All rounds fired at 0/90 degree slope.

Now getting to our Panther and Ferdinand using Следующий эпизод - обстрел Пантеры и Фердинанда из D-25T and ML-20S.
Central Archive of the Russian Ministry of Defence, fund 38, inventory 11369, case N40

D-25T vs Panther

See the image above: Panther's front hull has got a reach-through hole of 150x230mm from 122mm round (distance - 1400m).

And the second image, far more interesting..

N33.  Panther's turret hit by 122mm rounds.
1. A reach-through hole of 130x180mm. The opposite side of the turret is off.
2. A reach-through hole of 130x230mm. The turret itself came off the hull by 500mm.
Distance - 1400m.

N34. Rear turret coming off.

Strangely, the same thing happened to Ferdi. Based on table values its superstructure shouldn't have been penetrated by this gun. 

N35. Ferdinand's front hull being hit by 122mm rounds.
The first plate has been penetrated (100mm), the second bounced the round off.
Distance - 1400m.

N36. Ferdinand's turret being hit by 122mm rounds.
1. There are a dent of 100mm and a small bulge on the other side. Armour thickness is 200mm.
2. A reach-through hole, the shell got stuck. Armour thickness - 150-180mm.
Distance - 1400m.

And now it's ML-20's turn. Looks impressive.

N37. Panther's front hull being hit by 152mm AP rounds.
There is a breach of 360x470mm.
The round ricocheted.
Distance - 1200m.

N38. Panther's turret being hit by 152mm AP rounds.
Again, there is a breach of 360x470mm, including the opposite side. Turret is really messed up.
Distance - 1200m, estimated angle of impact - 60 deg.

And our Ferdi.

N39. Ferdinand's side being hit by 152mm AP rounds.
And we are gettinga breach of 220x230mm.
Distance - 1000m.

N40. Ferdinand's front being hit by 152mm AP rounds.
The outer plate (500x1000mm) has naturally come off. 
Distance - 1200m.

And that's how the poor Ferdi looked after that.


  1. ETA for 0.8.0 full public test server? :) thanks!

  2. the quality of the steel wasn't always perfect

    1. Yup, and it deteriorated throughout the war.

    2. Can't imagine the welding at this point in the war was too great either.

  3. Brace yourselves russian tanks penetration buffs incoming.
    D-25T - 175mm pen in game.
    ML-20S - 135mm pen in game.

    Anyway, can you confirm that there will be no guns re-balancing coming? (the exception being the new gun on pz4)

    Also about the new gun on pz4, i've seen some topics on the forum that some dev said the penetration will be buffed up to 150mm. 150mm is the max penetration or the average pen? It would be really nice if you could answer.

    One more thing, this funny penetration test is the reason why we have +/- 25% penetration in game? (can we have 10% instead of 25%?)

    1. Nope, not planning any major gun rebalancing as of now.

      Yes, Pz IV is likely to get 150mm pen.

    2. But this buff is for premium PzIV in tier VI? Yes?

    3. Overlord, what kind of penetration will the 7.5cm L/48 gun get?

      IRL, it would have had about 140mm penetration with a 790 m/s muzzle velocity, a far cry from the 106mm it currently has ingame.

      Likewise, the 7.5cm L/70 should have 180mm penetration, not the 138mm it currently has or the 150mm it will probably be buffed to.

    4. 150 mm on the 7.5cm L/48 gun will make the PzIV extremely OP with the current MM!

      The american M1A1 76mm gun has almost exactly the same real world performance as the 7.5cm L/48 gun and it has 128 penetration in the game which I think would be right amount for the PzIV for balance's sake.

  4. actually,

    i would have wondered if a 122 D25 wouldn have been able to deal with a Panther, though.

    The panthers armor was made to conter guns up to ~80mm afaik.

    Still, id like to know how precise those shots were, especially the 152mm. How much rounds were needed to get these 2 hits on the ferdis hull? Also the 152 impact places doesnt look like "aimed" shots.

    Still, interesting material to see though, thanks for that.

  5. and how many of those guns actually see the war? :P
    somewhere i saw records with german tests aswell.. at long range those guns were mostly ineffective.. and the germans had the advantage of distance
    i still believe the german 88's were the perfect guns of the war

  6. Is that true , The Germans got a "Ceramic" armor ?
    and when it was penetrated (which is harder to penetrate ceramic steel) it was looks like a broken glass ?

  7. "poor Ferdi" Russian biased ;D :D

  8. "N38. Panther's turret being hit by 152mm AP rounds.
    Again, there is a breach of 360x470mm, including the opposite side. Turret is really messed up.
    Distance - 1200m, estimated angle of impact - 60 deg."

    In WOT that'd be a penetration but no damage round as it went right though.

  9. meh not impressive. fire repeatly at a steel plate what do you except? every shot weakens the steel more and more. Causing micro fissures. Plus USSR War proganda IS about as relible as Iraqi war proganda.

    Firing Range testing isn't the be all end. NO one firing at you No guns going off next to you. OH the the biggest problem No tank Operates alone

    1. But then the Allied testing is made out to be the godsgospeltruth of penetration tables. And then there is: "German guns could penetrate such-n-such...", and nobody ever considers that *their* propaganda machine was about the most well oiled of the war....

      WTF does everyone have against the Russians?

    2. I have alot more faith in American math then Ussr "math".When you think about the whole Ussr state thoery "EVERYTHING ussr is better". Oh wait that didnt work that well........

    3. Everyone uses different criteria anyway, but to disregard information because you trust "American math" more than USSR is pretty bigoted. This document isn't produced to sell Soviet superiority, it's a field report to their own side.

      Out of interest, just how many SCUD missiles did Patriot SAMs shoot down in the 1st Gulf War? President Bush is on record as claiming 100% hit rate, when it later transpired the actual hit rate was something less than 10%.

    4. We have no idea how the test was performed (no description of the state of vehicles - that alone invalidates it completely), so only an idiot will rely on this data.
      Of course every country has its propaganda, but Soviet propaganda was incomparably more insane and sick than that of Nazis or Allies - they went as far as to claim that the whole genocide they commited (Katyn massacre) was done by the Nazis, while we now for a fact it was done by the subhuman NKVD (of course Overlord doesn't believe that, but what can we expect from pro-regime propagandist).

    5. inimical,

      1. armour of the tested vehicles was in good condition, ie no holes or huge dents

      2. propaganda statements are out of place here, the stuff is taken from the military archives and was never meant to go public in the first place.

      3. propogandist? I'm sharing the materials, you are unlikely to see anywhere else. Not interested? Feel free to skip.

    6. First satelite in orbit was?
      Thats right, sputnik
      First man in orbit was?
      Correct, Jurij Gagarin

      STFU about propaganda, you don't have a slightest idea what you are talking about

  10. Yet again more pro soviet propaganda by WG

    1. And yet more bigotry by individuals in the player base.

    2. Yet again more mentally challenged leftards showing their love for USSR.

    3. The maturest of true justice.

    4. Yet another idiot that was filled with fake ideas about communism thanks to American propaganda.

  11. The metal becomes soft after exposure of high temps like from engine fire.
    Unfortunately the official documentation is not enough.
    Also we all know how accuracy are done the scientific tests on the time of the communistic regime.

    One or other Sov. Factory will play with the numbers to push their products to mass production.

    1. And we can presume the same thing about ALL other nations and their factories. So precisely NONE of the published test results from ANY nation are lies and usless....

  12. I found this rather fascinating! However after reading the comments I don't understand why so many people hate the Russians and have a hard on for the Germans. Sure the German tanks were great in the war but guess what there not perfect not to mention the weren't put up against there caliber of tank in real life T-34 was the main battle tank of Russia at the time it being much like the Sherman weak and easy to mass produce i mean yea your average tiger can take these on. Its a game there not going to make it unfair so that you have your iconic tiger destroying everything and the King Tiger just being an impenetrable fortress.Suddenly no one wants to play the game or only go Germans. You cant tell me that the Germans were better or you believe them especially counting in Genocide,rape, murder, and even cannibalism so you really cant expect German propaganda to be any better. If know one noticed that German tanks were sniping tanks Suddenly Giant cannons at close range and 8.8 cm flak inst so amazing still useful but not

    1. What you are saying here: "Suddenly no one wants to play the game or only go Germans." Is exactly how it is now except with russians instead.

  13. Good descriptions Overlord; I'd seen those pictures before, but lacking ability to read Russian I couldn't understand them well. ;)

    Also, what specific shells were used in those tests? Were they uncapped AP, or APBC types?

    Those results are possible for 122mm and 152mm APBC rounds, and possible with uncapped AP if the Panther had a flawed glacis (which quite a few did).
    Turret penetrations should have been possible with uncapped AP.

    The results for 122mm versus Ferdinand superstructure are explainable by 'Edge Effect'.
    The shells all appeared to have landed near edges or near openings in the armor that would concentrated the energy of the impacting shell.

    The other hits didn't penetrate the Ferdinand armor, although penetrations of the outer layer of armor appear to have occured, which is expected with multiple plates in contact.

    Overall, these results are either expected or explainable for known penetration figures for these guns.

    1. AP rounds - based on the data provided and the hole shapes.

  14. I really like your historical based posts Overlord. Keep up the good work! More of this posts please and maybe some video from the testing?

    1. Glad, you like it. Will keep them coming. Have got some more stuff to post on the subject.

  15. Post war ammo, sure.

    aka UBR-471. :)

    I have aberdeen and DDR docs.

  16. As an engineer, I love the reminders that such tests are not absolutes. Micro-fractures (especially when impacts occur near each other) and de-annealing due to fire within the destroyed tanks are real factors. Still - consider: The Russians wanted real data against real opponents, and they had these killed tanks sitting around. I'm gratified for these test results, which add to our store of ballistic knowledge of the weapons of the day, even if imperfect.

    Incidentally, the study of penetration of armored warships by big guns is replete with just as many fascinating glimpses and just as many hedges against absolute reliability as we're seeing here. On to World of Battleships!

  17. All shells are either APT or solid AP according to the notes in the images.

  18. What ammo did they use?
    122mm AP BR-471 (weaker uncapped) and later APBC BR-471B (stronger capped) had an explosive filler of ~150g.
    So these "tests" want to make us believe that a shot went clean through a 82mm steel plate @ 55° (roughly 100mm armor) then through the transmission, superstructure, fighting compartment, superstructure, engine block and then punched out the 40mm rear armor?
    All that without deforming to much or shattering the shell or exploding the filler? At 1400m range?
    Sure seems legit...

    This kind of propaganda might have worked back then with the uneducated masses but today it's a tad bit unbelievable.

    It sure was a powerful weapon but there is a reason

    Russian data about this gun:
    122mm D-25T mod. 1944
    Penetration at ranges of 500/1000/2000m in mm
    BR-471B 150/122 138/113 118/96
    BR-471 143/117 126/102 97/79

    "Otechestvennye bronirovannye mashiny. XX vek" : nauchnoe izdanie v 4-kh tomakh/ Solyankin A.G., Pavlov M.V., Pavlov I.V., Zheltov I.G./ Tom 2. "Otechestvennye bronirovannye mashiny. 1941-1945" , Moscow, Exprint, 2005

    Another source:
    АРНЕВС shell BR-471B
    Distance, m Meet angle 60°, mm Meet angle 90°, mm
    500 125 155
    1,000 120 145
    1,500 110 135
    2,000 100 125
    3,000 85 105
    APHE shell BR-471
    Distance, m Meet angle 60°, mm Meet angle 90°, mm
    500 120 150
    1,000 105 130
    1,500 95 115
    2,000 80 100
    3,000 65 75

    Shirokorad A. B. - Encyclopedia of the Soviet Artillery.

    At that range the Panther's glacis was a possible shot but at the limits of this gun especially with uncapped ammo.

    So either during this particular test this particular gun miraculously managed not only to penetrate the Panthers glacis with ease but also flabbergastingly overpenetrated the whole tank and then a much stronger Ferdinand as icing on the cake...

    Or there is something wrong with this test.

    1. The Panther could have been a wreck that suffered an ammo rack explosion and then burned out afterwards significantly weakening the metal.

    2. They could have fired hundreds of shots at this tank. Before it looked like that.

    3. Propaganda material.

    1. Thank you for this post. I really liked all of it and you clearly did your research.

      I think there is something wrong with the test, and you nailed it at all points(1, 2 and 3)

    2. It's "funny" how Overlord replied to all the troll comments, but did not reply to yours, with actual data :)

    3. wtf are you talking about? it is said that shot that "ripped the opposite side" went through the TURRET of the panther. about the front plate it only states it was penetrated at 1400m (and thats quite possible because of overmatching effects of large calibers, in this case the 55deg slope should give much less than theoretical 140mm los hickness)

  19. Nice data Overlord.
    Do you have any data on test done on USSR tank armor?
    I suspect there will be some interesting data if the target were the original USSR tanks.

    1. The data is usually provided by our warfare expert who works in Central Archive of the Russian Ministry of Defence. If smth curious pops up, I will post it here.

  20. Dig out those tests on the german side, for their military testing and the uncapped 122mm round will ricochet from the panthers glacis.

    Right this test was always doubted, because gun test of other countries showed completely different results.

    The guy above me posted sources which displays material from soviets themself which is way more trustable. Thats the reason why i dont believ that this is just as believable.

    Overlord, you need to get away from these tests which always show the best results for the guns they should. International arithmethic averages are way more believable.
    What you are doing here is just wrong if you try to see the objective values. After doing measurement engineering, something like this simple has no significance.

    However, still best regards :)

    1. We don't take those figures for granted. There were different tests with different results. However all in all this is useful for better understanding of how things work.

  21. Just because these were confidential documents doesn't necessarily mean it's 100% accurate. The Soviet forces were under a lot of pressure to succeed, so I think that, while these tests weren't exaggerated or otherwise falsified, they cherry-pick the most favorable outcomes.

    A company commander reporting "We fired 10 rounds at the target before one punched straight through!" wouldn't have a boss as happy as if he'd said "A round punched straight though to the other side!" I think these reports show the results that sound the best, but still happened. Not uncommon to do in the early 20th century. It's likely the penetrating shots occurred after the armor was pre-weakened by an ammo fire or earlier shots. You can see quite a few bounces and non-penetrating hits that would've weakened the armor in the area around the dents, which happens to be around where the penetration was in N35 and likely N40. Some shots on the Ferdi are right on the edge of the armor, reducing the amount of steel to punch through. Lastly, I think the report may have fudged the distances by a couple hundred meters as "margin of error in measurement," in order to impress the High Brass and show that the German range advantage was no longer so much of an advantage.

    I don't doubt that there WAS penetration, I just think that through the eyes of a tank commander that might not fully understand metallurgy and steel behavior, and who wants to show how lethal his men are, these tests are still a little bent. This is the same thing you'll get, more or less, from field reports from any nation in WWII.

  22. "Strangely, the same thing happened to Ferdi. Based on table values its superstructure shouldn't have been penetrated by this gun."

    Very simple explanation: Inferior quality steel used in the build of that Ferdinand, towards the end of the war materials were getting scarcer and scarcer in Germany leading to the use of softer steel.

  23. Can't see the 6 first images... :(

  24. "Inferior quality steel used in the build of that Ferdinand"

    Except that all 90 Ferdinands were built in 1943, unless some were rebuilt later in the war? But there were only ever 90 produced.

    1. one of the most commonbicycle carbon wheelsbicycle repairs. I personally recommend replacing a tube when you get a leak, but that is not always possible. If done properly, a patch will work just fine. Here’s how it’s done.
      Required Tools
      With the wheel removed from your bike, inspect the outer surface of the tire to make sure there are no sharp objects like a thumb-tack or thorn stuck in the tread.
      Remove Tire
      Remove the valve cap and fully deflatecarbon bicycle wheelthe tube by depressing the valve stem with the hooked end of your tire lever. There are two main types of valve stems, a schrader valve and a presta valve. This tutorial is based on a schrader valve, but I will be covering the different valve types in another tutorial.
      Now it’s time to remove your tire, one side at a time. Choose a section of tire that is away from the valve and hook one of the tire levers under the bead, directly in line with one of your spokes. Pry one side of the tire bead over the edge of the rim, and then hook the end of the tire lever to the nearest spoke. Insert another tire lever two spokes away from the first, and a third another two spokes away. Now the middle lever should fall out, and you can continue the process. When the tire is loose enough you can just run a tire lever around the rest of the rim to pull the whole side over.
      After you have removed one side of the tire, the ICAbike01 other side should come off very easily.
      Now remove the tube from the tire, and trycarbon fiber bicycle frameto keep track of where it was positioned in relation to the tire. Inflate the tube to approximately twice its original size. This will expand the hole making it easier to find.
      Listen carefully to the entire circumference of the tube; you should hear a hissing sound that will indicate where the leak is. As a last resort you can submerge the tube in water and watch for bubbles, but you’ll want to avoid doing this as you’ll need the tube to be completely dry in order for the patch glue to work.
      Once you’ve found the leak, take note ofzipp 404whether it is on the inner or outer side of the tube.
      If the hole was on the outer side of the tube, inspect the inner surface of the tire in that spot to make sure the object that caused the puncture is not still stuck in the tire. Double check the entire inner side of the tire by running your fingers along the entire surface, feeling for obstacles along the way.
      If the hole was on the inner side of the tube, inspect your entire rim to make sure there are no sharp burrs in the metal, and that the rim tape is properly protecting t