Purpose of this blog

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

[WoT] More on the Upcoming 8.2

Below I have listed some of the minor features of 8.2 update for WoT. Some major ones are already known.

Tech tree (UI):
  • the space between tiers will be reduced. The whole tree will be displayed in FullHD mode.
  • hyperlink "back to tech tree" will be changed to a button with nation logo (flag)
  • hint on the remaining experience/credits will be added
  • experience and free experience counters will be added to tank screen (each tank in tech tree)
  • the performance of speedtree render will be improved which should decrease FPS drop in sniper mode, and improve overall performance for maps with lots of trees
  • the performance of South Coast and Highway maps will be improved due to reconfiguration of water. For other maps the improvement is going to be less noticeable.
  • fixed bug with reticle "shaking" aside while aiming. The issue was related to precision loss due to server load management, when one process "transfers" vehicle to another process
  • substantially decreased vehicle vibration on roughness of terrain - via software tuning and fixing hitboxes of the objects. Riding over railroad is more fun now.
  • fallen trees will now impact visibility system. Hurray!
Penetration / Non-penetration:
  • fixed bug with shell disappearing after penetrating spaced armour and then ricocheting (eg sloped spaced side armour of IS-tanks)
  • fixed bug with shell shell disappearing after penetrating spaced armour, and gun making "saving throw" after being hit.
  • module icons in left bottom corner will get repair speed indicator (same mechanics as reloading)
There going to be many more minor improvements, but that's it for now.

Apart from the whole bunch of new features and highly anticipated Chinese tree, 8.2 will bring new 5 US vehicles. See more info here.

Light Tanks
Medium Tanks
Heavy Tank

About T21

About T71

About T69

About T54E1

And finally new top autoloader - T57

Thursday, November 8, 2012

[WoT] Made in China

Newly-announced Chinese tech tree of 17 researchable vehicles will be available in WoT 8.2 update for EU and NA regions.

The new tech tree:

Video trailer:

More screenshots are available following the link.

Get prepared for the upcoming invasion!

Monday, November 5, 2012

[WoT] Doyle, Kubinka, and Much More. Part 6: Third 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). 

21.    How credible is the design of Crocodile - Stuf E90 Crocodile:
http://www.nast-sonderfahrzeuge.de/fotosammlung/displayimage.php?album=25&pos=3 ?

As I commented in my answer to Question 18 - Such vehicles are fictional creations for entertainment just like the Millennium Falcon and the Tie-fighters in the Star Wars films.   These always seem quite credible and exciting in a science fiction context.

Some of the drawings these vehicles are copied from my drawings of Paper Panzers. These did at least reach the drawing board before 1945.  With my colleague Tom Jentz I published so far two Panzer Tracts No.20-1 and No.20-2 on Paper Panzers (i.e. projects for which at least there original sketches or drawings were produced by German industry).  The first book covered Panzerkampfwagen, Sturmgeschuetz and Jagdpanzer while the second included the ideas for Aufklaerungs-, Beobachtungs- and Flak-panzer. We hope that additional Paper Panzer volumes will appear in the future as we still have many un-published drawings and documents.

22.    Why was the Panzer III so long produced? Wouldn’t it have been better to produce only Panthers after 1943?

Production of the Pz.Kpfw. III was suspended as soon as practical. It is never possible to stop major production lines without having the replacement ready.  Components are created, in some cases, up to a year before final assembly.  From the troops point of view even an outdated Pz.Kpfw.III was better that nothing. Most of the factories involved in Pz.Kpfw. III assembly were supposed to introduce improved versions of the Pz.Kpfw.III as can be seen from the various test programmes in place from as early as 1937.  The Z.W.40 had wider tracks and interleaved large diameter wheel suspension.  As well as a test vehicle a pre-production batch of 20 had been produced.  The VK.20.01 D had a diesel motor and improved transmission.  A new larger turret similar to that of a Pz.Kpfw.IV had been designed.  We covered these in several of our Panzer Tracts about the Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Bef.Wg. (Command vehicles). All of these developments were swept away in the accelerated response to the Russian Tanks encountered in 1941. Most of the Pz.Kpfw.III factories were to switch over to Panther as soon as possible.

During the 3-5th January conference Hitler was informed that Pz.Kpfw.III (5cm L/60) would be concluded and instead be completed as follows:

235 chassis diverted to Sturmgeschuetz production
100 converted to Flammpanzer
56 to be completed for Turkey
144 to be converted to Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.N (7.5cm L/24)

To quickly look at what actually happened:
M.N.H finished their last Pz.Kpfw. III in January 43 when they started Panther assembly. M.N.H did however complete a small series of Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. N from April to August of 1943.
M.A.N commenced their Panther assembly in January 1943.
Daimler-Benz began Panther assembly in February 1943 having completed 50 Pz.Bef.Wg.Ausf.K, with the new large turret that I mentioned above, between December 1942 and February 1943.
Henschel started Panther assembly in March 1943.
M.I.A.G was the only other producer of Pz.Kpfw. III in 1943; they delivered the 100 to Wegmann for conversion to Flammpanzer and small series of Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.N. but they converted to large scale Sturmgeschuetz assembly from February 1943.
Other secondary companies overhauled and converted a small number of Pz.Kpfw.III to Ausf.N. in 1943 and 1944.

23.    How developed German steel and welding quality over the years in war? Did it get better or worse?

German welding quality remained the same until 1945.  It must be remembered that before the war the Germans were ahead of all the allies in terms of welding technology. Production of steel during the war changed somewhat due to the reduced availability of certain raw materials but the Germans compensated for this by modifying their formulae and by increasing the thickness of armour in some cases. High-quality German armour was reserved for panzers.
To increase production of self-propelled guns at the same time as Panzers the lower quality armour available from foreign steelworks was used. For example the Jagdpanzer 38(t) (often incorrectly called the Hetzer) was designed to replace earlier open topped self-propelled antitank guns. So the Jagdpanzer 38 had the cheaper armour - 20 mm on the side (roughly equivalent to 10 mm German armour) and a front plate of 60 mm (equivalent to approximately 30 mm German armour) but this allowed a big production of these vehicles and afforded somewhat better protection to gun crews than a open topped self-propelled antitank gun.

24.    Could you please explain in detail the test methods and results of gun & armour penetration for the Germans?

WaA Pruef 1 was responsible for weapons tests.  I have seen many documents showing their test results during my research in the Bundesarchiv, Freiburg, Germany.  Since my main emphasis is on development history and accurately drawing Panzers I have not spent time collecting copies of these test results other than the following:

Pak 40
Pak 39
Pak 40
Pak 40
Muzzle velocity
750 m/s
740 m/s
930 m/s
920 m/s
Range meters

All tests were against German armour plate set a 60 degrees from Horizontal

25.    Do other tank nations follow the Germans methodology? Why or why not?

Most countries have their own industrial and production methods so it is very rare that designs are taken from one country and introduced into another account country without adapting them to their own methodologies. When a country saw a good idea introduced by the other side they tried to improve on that when they incorporated it into their own plans.

26.    It's been discussed that the Germans had a higher standard regarding shell quality (tank/artillery/etc), while some other nations rather than test simply used a mathematical formula. Is it correct?

I have not researched this area so cannot comment.

27.    T-34 in its early versions is generally considered (outside of propaganda sources) to be a coffin on tracks (no or poor radio communication, dreadful transmission, woeful quality of armour, none or close to none targeting equipment). Yet first encounters with this tank reportedly caused panic and envy among German commanders. And captured tanks themselves were used by Wehrmacht. Where is the catch?

When the T 34 was encountered the German troops saw only the best features and did not understand the difficulties of operating this tank.  They saw sloped armour, big gun and wide tracks and they recognised that the bulk of their Panzers (at that time Pz.Kpfw. II, Pz.Kpfw. 35(t), Pz.Kpfw. 38(t) and even Pz.Kpfw.III) did not have these features.  However, very quickly German Panzer troops developed tactics to deal with T 34 and for the following two years had no particular problems in fighting T 34.

Use of captured vehicles captured tanks is a separate in issue.  Generally speaking captured vehicles are used in secondary areas against infantry that have little or no defence against such vehicles and where any short comings are unimportant. The arrival of any tank in an infantry sector causes anxiety.  Captured vehicles were also widely used for training.  Even where the captured vehicles were of good combat quality the maintenance was a problem due to lack of spare parts. When the Germans captured T 34 they tried to improve them by adding their own commander’s cupola and radio equipment.

28.    A commonly known weak spot shared by most of the German tanks is their frontal transmission. Are there any reliable sources confirming that penetrating hits received in the transmission, caused ignition of gear oil and internal fire?

I think this is a popular myth.  German reports frequently discuss the side armour as the weak point of their Panzers.   There is no mention of the front transmission.  Front armour was seen as adequate to defend against the treats of the period.  The Sturmgeschuetz troops considered that Panzer tactics were the main problem highlighting weak side armour.
 All tanks are full of flammable material and but there is no indication that penetrations of the transmission caused any special problem.   An ammunition fire causes much more problems.

29.    Something about Sturmtiger:
A) It performance (effectiveness) in combat?
B) What ammunition it use in combat?
C) I heard that Sturmtiger use HE and HEAT, and this ultimate can penetrate 2.5 meters of reinforced concrete. What is the penetration of this ammunition over steel?

The Sturmmoerser Tiger was designed to deliver to a very large high explosive charge against fortified positions while having heavy armour so they could withstand attacks. The first action was with Stu.Mrs.KP 1000 which was sent to Warsaw with two Sturmmoerser Tiger. Starting on 19 August 1944 these Sturmmoerser Tiger were successfully employed to destroy buildings and blow up concrete barriers. However, the unit commander sent in an experience report stating that the task could have been successfully carried out by a less expensive and less heavily armoured vehicle as in order to avoid blast damage from their own high explosive the Sturmmoerser Tiger had to stand-off at a distance where heavy armour was of little benefit.

The high explosive round was the 38cm R.Spr.Gr.4851. There also was a 38cm R.HL. 4592 designed to destroy armoured bunkers.

30.    E series
A) Something about utility of E-5? Can you give us some picture about any project of E-5 tank?
B) E-10 was planned to have the same armour as Hetzer or better? What about its suspension system? Some picture please
C) E-25 was planned to charge 7,5cm L/70 or 8,8cm L/56? Some picture please

The E series was envisaged by Kniepkamp (Civilian Head of Automotive design) to explore future possible components especially engines, transmissions and suspensions.  Production contracts were not yet envisaged.

It was hoped that parts could be shared between the E 10 and the E 25. Companies not normally involved in Panzer design were engaged so as not to compromise normal Panzer design and development.  Magirus was tasked with designing the E 10 and completed drawings in 1944. Three hulls were ordered and were being assembled at a steel works when the Russians arrived. The motor was to be Maybach HL 100 rated at 400 HP, the transmission was to be at the rear and a unique feature was that the suspension was coupled to the drive train to allow the vehicle to be raised and lowered.  Argus got the contract to design the E 25.  A semi-automatic transmission was proposed by ZF and an even more powerful Maybach HL 101 with fuel injection.  3 experimental hulls had been ordered.

A Bellville washer suspension was proposed as it was thought that this would be easy to produce, could be configured to suit the size of Panzer and could be mounted in external pods on the hull to facilitate easy replacement (which had been the idea behind the Porsche horizontal torsion bar suspension of the Tiger P).

The E 10 and E25 suspension units

The E 50 and E 75 were supposed to carry forward the features of the Panther and tiger with new suspension and later a rear drive.

Common suspension unit for the E 50 and E75.  The Belleville washers were laid out horizontally.

The E 100 was only added to the experimental series because it incorporated a new type of spring suspension for heavy tanks.

I have no information on an E 5.