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

Friday, December 7, 2012

[WoT] Doyle, Kubinka, and Much More. Part 8: Fifth Answer Bulletin

This post is the continuation of Q&A session with H. L. Doyle, well-known German WWII military exert. See previous post. Doyle's replies are bolded (just in case). 

 41.    Aside from the obvious advantage of not requiring rubber, what advantages did the German use of interleaved road wheels have over allied suspension types, such as the Christie or E8 suspension?
 

Steel tired road wheels were adopted for heavy tanks by both the Russians and the Germans.  In this design the rubber tyre still existed but was imbedded internally in the steel  wheel where it was protected from abnormal wear and tear.  The drawing below show a very good comparison of conventional Panther wheels and the steel tired wheels that were in the process of introduction at the end of the war.  
 



42.    I have heard that in early model panther tanks there was a design fault in the turret ring which meant that if the gun was fired with the turret facing 90 degrees to either the left or right from the front plate, the turret would come off the tank under the force of recoil. Is this true?

I have never seen any evidence of such a design fault and would doubt that it ever happened.  The Panther turret was simply an up-scaled version of the tried and tested designs already used on the Pz.Kpfw.III and IV. 

German turrets were constructed with the turret race built as part of the turret.  The complete assembly was then mounted on the tank hull making the levelling and alignment easy.   At least for British tanks the turret race was usually built into the hull before the turret was mounted.  This complicated the subsequent alignment.  I do not know the practice for US or Russian Tank turrets.  However, in Allied reports after the war, the German practice of integrating of the turret race with the turret was noted as worth adopting.


43.    Was the Sturmpanzer 1 ever used for indirect artillery support? or was it mainly an interim assault gun?

Sturmpanzer 1 is a name invented in recent years by modellers to make this expedient self-propelled gun more “exciting”.  The correct and only designation was  “15cm S.I.G. (Mot S) auf Pz.Kpfw.I ohne Aufbau Ausf.B”

Thirty eight of these self-propelled guns were completed in February 1940.  Six Panzer Divisions each received a company to provide mobile artillery support.  The gun, Schwereinfantriegeschuetz 33 (S.I.G. 33), was developed to provide infantry with large calibre high explosive artillery support.  The complete S.I.G. 33 with wheels was loaded onto the chassis of a Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B and the result was very effective as it allowed quick deployment.  In fact a few were still in service in mid 1943. 

Obviously, the Pz.Kpfw.I only had thin armour but the shield surrounding the gun was even weaker as it was only designed to protect the crew from lead bullets.  As such it was not intended to be used as an Assault gun.


44.    Do you think any of the Second World War German tanks (production and prototype) such as the Panther, King tiger, E-75 and Panther II would be able to reliably compete with any of the allied post war designs as they do in world of tanks? (such as the US M46, M103 or Russian T-54 and IS-7)

If one discounts the collapse of German industry in 1945 it is possible to extrapolate German Panzer developments for about two years. 

In the final weeks of 1945 the new Panther Ausf.F had entered production.  The hull was deemed very satisfactory and only had minor improvements compared to the Panther Ausf.G.  As I mentioned before Maybach had already been testing more powerful versions of the motor. 

The big innovation was a brand new Schmalturm (narrow turret) which eliminated frontal weakness of the older turret and even reduced the weight.  A full width rangefinder was mounted in the turret which combined with the existing highly accurate and successful 7.5cm K.w.K 42 L/70 would have increased the possibility of  the all important first round hits.  

The Panther Ausf.F had the capability to be an excellent all round work horse for a number of years even without other innovations that were planned. The design of the Schmalturm allowed for mounting of larger weapons such as the 8.8cm K.w.K 43 L/71.  The Germans were also experimenting with autoloaders and gyro stabilisation to further improve gunnery performance.

Similar improvements were underway for the Tiger Ausf.B.  A turret capable of taking an even wider rangefinder was already in production at the end of the War and the more powerful motor was expected.

As mentioned in my answer for Question 30 the E series was envisaged by Kniepkamp (Civilian Head of Automotive design) only to explore future components especially engines, transmissions and suspensions.  Production contracts were not yet envisaged so we do not know that then next steps might have been.

In answer to question 4 I pointed out that the Panther II was an very early project that was dropped after the invention of Schuerzen plates on the Panther Ausf.D  in 1943.


45.    I want to know why the Germans numbered Panther as Pz 5 and Tiger as Pz 6. If Panther was newer, and better in battlefield, and even wasn't in parallel development with tiger Pz 6.

Why German designations were so complicated and diverse is one of the great unanswered questions.  Firstly, the design firms had their own designations, secondly, the different procurement and Army agencies used different designations for the same vehicle and all of these changed over time.   In our Panzer Tracts Books we set out a table of the various designation and their time line.

In the primary source records for the Tiger the original title used by the firms was VK.45.01 (Volkettenfahrzeuge 45 ton class, first design) this was in July 1941.  Wa.Pruef 6 used the designation “Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.H1 (VK.45.01)” for the first time three months later in October 1941 and Pz.Kpfw.VI was used on some documents until December 1942.  The name Tiger only appeared in February 1942.

With the Panther it was different with the name Panther appearing already in March 1942.  The designation Pz.Kpfw .V came in for a period starting in July 1942.


46.    Could you maybe explain what the advantages and knowledge was around that time of having front or rear transmission?

In 1928 the Germans began to experiment with tank designs using the latest technology of the time.  Three companies – Daimler-Benz, Krupp and Rheinmetall were responsible for the Grosstraktor and Leichttraktor designs all of which feature rear drive.  After extensive testing of these tanks in Russia at Kama, near Kasan, from 1929 to 1933 the Neubaufahrzeuge was ordered.  The Neubaufahrzeuge again featured rear drive.

The development of the Pz.Kpfw.I tank was shortened by purchasing three Carden-Loyd Light Tractors from England and basing the new tank on that design.  Thereafter, the Germans favoured front wheel drive.  I have never seen an explanation for this change from rear to front. 


47.    How effective HE rounds were in tank-tank combat, and I’d also like to hear more about the accuracy of tank-mounted guns at that time?

The normal German Panzergranate (armour piercing round) had a high explosive charge which detonated on penetration.  The Sprengranate (high explosive round) was not intended to be used to penetrate armour but for general purpose attacks on light armoured and soft skinned vehicles or infantry targets.  However, a detonation of a Sprengrenaten on or near an enemy tank could cause damage and disorient the crew leaving the tank vulnerable to further attack.

As mentioned before I do not have documents on accuracy although the do exist in the archives.  Anectdotally the 7,5cm K.w.K 42 L/70 of the Panther and the 7,5cm PaK 40 L/46 were regarded as the most accurate of the German guns.  However, records of 1943 to 1945 tank battles indicate that engagements were often ended after on or other side expended all of their ammunition.  The German troops were always asking for greater ammunition storage in their Panzers.


48.    How fast did the Henschel tiger's turret rotate?

Question 33 can be answered with this information also. 


The British technical examination found that The Tiger Ausf.E had a two speed hydraulic power traverse. The gunner could selected the desired speed with a gear lever and then using a pivoting foot pedal he could push on the forward end to traverse right and push on the back to traverse left.  The speed also depended upon the main engine speed so in high gear 360 degree traverse would take only 60 seconds.  At idle speed the same 360 degrees took 360 seconds.  If for any reason main engine was not running then gunner and the commander were equipped with manually operated hand wheels to traverse the turret.  2 rotations of a hand wheel gave a 1 degree traverse. The final fine adjustment was always done with the gunners hand wheel.  The British examiners found these arrangements very satisfactory.


49.    What materials were used to make the armour of the Panther and King Tiger?

Materials have not been a focus in my AFV research so I have not made copies of the many reports on armour I have seen in various archives.  The British had a very thorough technical examination system for captured vehicles and issued a number of reports on armour.

Following the collapse of Germany Allied Intelligence teams were specifically tasked with gaining immediate access to the German steel firms in order to collect specific information on the composition and production techniques for German armour plate as it was recognised that this was of very high quality.


50.    If you could please tell us, what is your estimation as to the thickness of the lower glacis / nose plate of the E-100 design?

The drawings of E-100 Versuchsfahrzeuge (Test vehicle) show that glacis plate was 200mm and the lower nose plate 150mm.

And the bonus photo


57 comments:

  1. question 46: "I have never seen an explanation for this change from rear to front. "

    damn, i realy hoped to get some good info about this since i am planning to build an rc tank myself and still dont know how i will do the tranmission

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    Replies
    1. I heared once, it was made to improve the safety of the crew, due to more steel in the frontal part of the tank.

      The losses of german tankers (Pz4, Panther and ongoing) werent that high, if the tank just got mechanically knocked out.


      @topic:
      its extremely interesting, as always.
      Id also recommend you to try to contact the former famous german Tanker: Otto Carius. He still lives in the near of colonge if i remember correctly. I guess he can also give you alot of information about the tanks he has commanded.

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    2. well, you do get a good point there, however, i dont know if this was intended. the merkava tank was for example designed like this for this specific reason. But one must note that crew was oftemly considered expendable by all nations during that time.

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    3. L3gi,

      didn't know he is alive. Thanks for the info.

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    4. He founded a pharmacy called "Tiger" ;)


      http://www.tiger-apotheke.de/personal/otto-carius/

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  2. Thank you for sharing it with us , Overlord .
    And thanks a lot Mr.Doyle for answering our questions in your free time .

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    Replies
    1. Nps, the next batch is going to be final.

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  3. Hey can you tell me if there will definitely be yugoslavian tanks in the game and when, maybe some details ..?

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    Replies
    1. Only as a part of EU tree, if the make there ..

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    2. So it is not sure that we will have them in game? Also do you have an approximate ETA on the EU tree?

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    3. No ETA at this stage, I would say not in 2013. However it's my personal estimation.

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  4. First: Thx for the answers!

    Second: How can it be, that i can detrack both tracks on a T62A with an AP-shell from the T110E4 and deal NO DAMAGE? We where standing both on the same level (a street) and i was aiming at the side of his tank! Because for my knowledege the shell has to go through the tank to do this and when the shell is going through the tank it has to lose some hp!

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    Replies
    1. Your shell went under the hull damaging both tracks. Strange, unrealistic like hell, but it happens in WoT.

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    2. at a distance of around 20 meter?

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    3. Yup, that can happen, luckily not often.

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  5. Ovi,

    Since the next part is going to be final, maybe it's time to get another expert to do a Q&A, but since mr. Doyle covered tanks, how about geting a military ballistics and tactical expert to answer some questions, or some historian that can tell more about battlefields where battles took place (terrain, specific atributes of each location, and so on)?
    I think many players are really curious baout things like "how did the urban armored fight look like, nad what were the problems with narrow streets and no visibility".

    Another thing is that I would appreciate some info on more advanced terrain features like swamps that a tank can get stuck in, and bridges that have some sort of weight limit and would collapse under tanks that are just to heavy (and make them land in water as an effect). That would of course require new mechanics (or reworked), but would be a nice feature that ads a LOT to the gameplay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. Will think of it.

      I'm also planning to have some Q&A with Yuri Pasholok, Soviet tank expert. Don't expect the same amount of questions, but still may be curious for many readers here.

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    2. I cant wait ;) Im only sad that I have forgot to ask about the Объект 279.

      By the way thx to you and mister Doyle that you and him gave take the time to answer and publish all that stuff here.

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  6. MAUS BOOK!!! _WANT_! hope its out before christmas, i really want one :)
    so I can brag to my friends, 1st like, wow whats that beast on the book , and then, well im driving it in wot, wanna test it ? :)

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    Replies
    1. Really sorry to disappoint you, but guys still need some time before books appear anywhere outside RU regions. :(

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  7. Lowe is bigger in 8.2 due historical fact. Schmallturm turret was lighter - any improvments in WoT due historical facts?

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    1. If I remember right, I had made ones comment about this topic, and asked: Why the Panther F. turret had less traverse speed than the G ones, even it has lesser weight. It was long times ago, even before 6.6 (were I had made a break).

      So I think they added weight so that they - WG - have an explaination for the lower traverse speed of the Schmalturm. Just my 50 cents.

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  8. When can we expect the new TD german line?

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    1. And please is it possible to describe what is conception of tier X from new line. I mean if it will be f.e. big? fast? agile? with big gun or smaller one.

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    2. Not soon, some time in 2013.

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    3. it's a bit too early to give any info on them now

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  9. Hey overlord a few people have noticed sometimes when you buy and install new engines even with massive HP increases there's seemingly no increase in acceleration.

    is this a bug, or ?

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    Replies
    1. There are others "hidden" parameters that are affecting speed and acceleration.

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    2. Yeep there are "hidden" ones; like ground resistance, for hard or soft grounds etc... I think a few patches ago the E-100 got a buff (something like 5% less ground resistance on reverse-speed on soft ground etc).... So in the patch notes will be most likely stay more; so which I also dont know.

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    3. The lack of difference is over the same ground type. The are some engine upgrades of 50%+ HP I would have thought the difference would be massive but I can't seem to tell with some of them.

      You sup you car engine 50% you'd damn well notice it lol.

      Tracks always seem to make far more difference no matter how massive the supposed engine improvement is.

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    4. Darkmancer,

      no, it's not a bug. Actually, thrust-to-weight ratio which is to be taken into account doesn't change linearly, however when you get +50% HP, it should be noticeable.

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    5. But we dont know thrust-to-weight ratio. F.E. T-25 have power/weight ratio over 22hp/t and E-50M about 19hp/t so it looks like T-25 should accelerate quicker, but it is other way.

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  10. hey overlord can u tell us what will happen to the arty after 8.2? Because it was stated by def, that there will be a big announcement after the release of 8.2 regarding the artyparty problem!

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    1. The change may not be implemented along with 8.2, it may require a separate server-side update - we are planning to address the arty issue in it.

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    2. and can u please tell me if the rate for module damage like gun ammorack and turret is way higher for the britsh tier 8 and 9 heavys than for the ones of the other nations?
      Because i have in every game minimum 1 dead crewmember and one of the listed modules damaged or destroyed!
      And with this high rate (for my feelings) of module damage the conqueroer feels to be worse than the old tier9 t34, it maybe has a decent gun but it has no armor, feels slower and has less gun depression!

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    3. Overlord has already stated in an earlier post that the change will come this month...

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  11. Hi Overlord

    In question 44 Doyle notes that the Schmalturm reduced the weight of the Panther, yet in game the Schmalturm weighs 1,200 kg more than the Ausf G turret. Is this likely to be corrected?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure, in this case we will have to increase hull weight anyway.

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    2. And then you surprised why we think that Germans are nerfed without any justified reason .

      Why Panther can not have a better acceleration and maneuverability ? Is that hurts your Soviet supremacy ?

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    3. David Diamond,

      check the total weights of vehicles, those should coincide with RL values, regardless of the fact that some for some modules it's not true.

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    4. Indeed a lot of things in the game does not fit clear historical facts . Then which kind of Historical-Battles mod you want to introduce ?

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    5. But why has it slower traverse speed when it is lighter?

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. But that argument about weight seems weird. ¨

      Stock Panther weights 44,9t, real 44,8. So why putting extra in-game weight of WoT turret to vehicle?

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    8. Based on Doyle's answer I would expect that an otherwise stock Panther with the Schmalturm should weigh less than a stock Panther with the Ausf G turm.
      Why would the weight of the hull have to be increased except to stop people mounting the newer, lighter turret without getting the tracks first?

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    9. David Diamond,

      historical battles mode currently has lower priority than garage battles.

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  12. I do not want to be whinner but... You said you will cut gap between patching each server. Well... This gap is still huge... When will 8.2 be implemented on EU server?

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    Replies
    1. There aree some emergency tech issues on RU side our deployment team (one single team for all regions) has to fix that may cause some minor delay, however we don't expect anything major.

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    2. Damn this traditions of patching in the middle of a week is bad. Really bad :P

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  13. Don Banan, RU got 0.8.2 on Thursday, WG do not release patches on Friday, today we have event, so patch can't be released today (event is also some kind of patch, but made server-side and is prepared for given version of game). So it is totally normal that there is still no patch on EU.

    Also it was saud one week ago that EU will get paych around 12 Dec.

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  14. I still remember last post of questions where Doyle noted that frontal gearbox fires were not exactly something Germans were worried about.

    When will this be changed to it's own separate none highly flammable box?

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    Replies
    1. @When@ is not my type of question. Sorry. We will assess this possibility.

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