07-07-2013, 06:30 PM
Excellent point Shortround 6.
I was trying to imagine what they might have tried to do with it. A larger version of the Marder III based on the PZKW III chassie might have worked? But those were being used in Strumgeschutz. III's which were doing good service. The Nashorns best protection was distance from things shooting at it. I had read an article saying that the optics on the Nashorn were good enough to score hits at 5000 yards. So stand off was the best method. If an AFV had to get in close it needed 80mm minimum on armour.
It was likely as you say the timing gave no real advantage. While the KwK 36 L/56 shells were about 7 inches shorter then the Panther's 75mm, I guess it would still have drawbacks in confined fighting compartments. Thanks for the input.
07-07-2013, 09:38 PM
I have always thought the British Crusader tank to look ahead of its time (sort of like a T34) with its sloping armour and low profile. Unfortunately the reality was that the Crusader unlike the T34 had its share problems and was not a very good tank. I used to know a bloke who was a tank driver in North Africa and he always said that the first tank the British had that was any good was the Sherman and that all the tanks he drove before it were always breaking down and leaking oil etc.
07-08-2013, 10:52 AM
An interesting account of a Pzkpw IV crewman from Hans Schaufler (Ed.): Panzer Warfare on the Eastern Front of knowing the limitations of your gun and utilising different types of ammo available to maneuver and destroy an enemy tank.
Oberfeldwebel Allgaier identified a dug-in KV-1, one of many. With typical Swabian composure and calmness, he took up a sight picture. But the distance was still too great; the 7.5-centimeter rounds ricocheted. He then fired with high-explosive rounds in front of them, so that the churned-up dust and dirt would rob the enemy of his visibility. He then used the time to get closer. He repeated the same game several times. Then he was at the spot he needed to be. With an anti-tank round in the breech, he waited in ambush. The dust blew away and revealed the target. Round on the way! Direct hit! lt was masterful.
07-08-2013, 07:32 PM
I have another silly question. I've heard many reports of how poor the Panther tank was. While the design was good, it was prone to trouble with the final drives, the transmissions, even the steel wheels that the tracks ran on started with 16 bolts and had to be increased to 24 to hold them on. But, I've never heard a bad word about the turret. All the problems were in the chassie and drive train. But you never hear a bad word about the Jagdpanther. Some say it's the finest tank destroyer of the war. Why didn't it have the same problems as the Panther? This was built on the same chassie and roughly the same weight??? I'm puzzled???
07-09-2013, 01:27 AM
Panther never realy overcame its drivetrain problems, but many of the dificulties were significantly redued in the later models (I think AusfA). Jagdpanther was based on the later models so it never experienced the catatrophic breakdowns that the arly marks of the Panther suffered.
07-09-2013, 06:05 AM
All tanks suffer from problems especially when they are fielded before they are ready. The late model Panthers were pretty well sorted and I believe the French considered putting it back into production after the war. The Germans were just too clever with the hull on the Panther when you compare it to say the Centurion which served from 45 till quite recently. The Cent had a simple suspension system that could be repaired in the field and a relatively unstressed engine that with attention from the crew would run for weeks at a time. The Panther engine was a bit too small and had to be revved a lot shortening its life, the transmission was complicated and the suspension was a nightmare to work on. All these problems were fixed to a degree in later models, luckily for the Allies they werent fixed fast enough.
07-11-2013, 10:54 PM
Another silly question!
In WW II the U.S. made good use of the 50 cal. for low level anti-aircraft. The Germans seemed to depend on the 20mm for that usage. I saw one triple 15mm mount on a halftrack, did it not work well? I would have thought the 15mm would have been a good choice for low level air defence. Any thoughts??
07-12-2013, 02:29 AM
For effective defence against D/B and F/B attacks, you really need an effective ceiling for your ground defences of not less than 6000 feet or so. Im not an ordinance expert, but I beilve you really need a calibre of not less 37mm to achieve an effective ceiling of 6-10000 feet. Moreover you need an effective blast effect. This adds up to a calibre not less than 30-40mm really....and even that is a bit small
07-12-2013, 08:15 AM
The 15mm was too much of one thing and not enough of the other. The gun and ammo both weighed around 1/3 more than the .50 cal. The German 15mm had exploding ammunition but with just under 3 grams per shell it was roughly 1/3 the explosive of most 20mm rounds (mine shells excluded). The German MG 151 came in both 15mm and 20mm versions so each 15mm gun made was a 20mm that wasn't. I am not sure if you could actually change form one to other just by changing barrels.
The 15mm had a higher velocity which means it is easier to aim (less lead needed) and perhaps a bit more effective range/ceiling than the 20mm version but is much less destructive when it hits.
07-12-2013, 01:27 PM
I guess I can understand that
I was looking at trying to fend off straffing and rocket attacks, which are reasonably close work. We were always told in those situations don't follow and lead your target, set up in front and let him fly through it. For that to work you need a high volume of firepower. Rate of fire is a factor as is an adaquate projectile to inflict damage. As demonstrated by the the age old question of 8 303 cal mg's in the wings verse 4 303's and 2 20mm as verse 6 50cals. There are as many answers to that as there are possible combinations. Perhaps the 15mm was as you say too much in one repect and too little in the other.
I guess I find it odd that we loved the 50 Browning, and the Russians their 12.7mm but the Germans found no real need for the heavy mg. I know they dabbled with it, but it never seemed to find a place in the arms ministry????
07-12-2013, 01:49 PM
In part because the 15mm was more very small cannon than a heavy machine gun. A 15mm solid isn't much more destructive than a 12.7mm solid and a 15mm HE, while much less destructive than a 20mm HE is almost as much trouble to manufacture. German 15mm projectiles being steel bodies with driving bands, a hollow center that has to be filled with HE and most importantly, a reliable fuse that is even smaller than a 20mm fuse. The only other German "heavy" machine gun was the MG 131 13mm weapon that used a much short round than the American and Soviet guns with lighter bullets and lower velecity, much closer to the British .5 in Vickers in power.
07-22-2013, 10:29 AM
07-22-2013, 02:19 PM
However, the main problem was the final drive. Around half of all Panthers broke down through a broken final drive. This was never fixed and there is no reason to assume that the same problem did not occur with the Jagdpanter. I believe the only reason why you don't hear about it, is because not a lot has been written about it.
Originally Posted by parsifal
The Panther had the worst reliability rates of all German tanks, including Tiger I and II.
07-22-2013, 02:44 PM
One of my favourite although modest ideas is the refinement of the Marder III. SPATs are very underrated weapons. The lack of armour made them more vulnerable than armoured tank destroyers, but the truth is that they furfilled a different role, that of mobile anti-tank gun, firing from hidden position and at long range.
The Panzer 38t chassis and drive train was already excellent. But it would have been a better idea to move the engine to the front, next to the driver, as happened with the Ardelt tank destroyer. This would free up space. Second, I would install the 7,5 cm Pak 42 instead of the Pak 40. This is essentially the anti-tank variant of the Kwk 42 of the Panther tank.
Anyway, the chassis with the engine in front could also be used for a Flakpanzer.
Ardelt tank destroyer, notice the engine in front
07-24-2013, 09:46 PM
Self propelled guns
I think by 1944 it was obvious to all but Hitler that the end was coming. It would be logical to have given up on the monster heavy tanks and SP guns and make useful reasonable sized vehicles. The Panther with it's troubles and the Tiger I and II with it's size issues had some drawbacks. The 100 ton plus ideas were idiotic. To make an AFV it takes roughly twice it's weight in raw materials. With supplies running low I would rather have say 4 Hetzers or Marder III's then 1 King Tiger. It would mean a change of fighting tactics, but by then the war was defensive and tactics were changing. The Nashorn was a capable tank killer at extreme ranges. It had the same firepower as the Jadgpanther. But only 1/2 the weight and protection. On defence I'd go with 2 Nashorns over one Jagdpanther. But if I were going to attack I'd lean the other way!!
It's a cold trade because you know you will loose more of the smaller vehicles and that means the crews as well, But that's the nature of "efficient wars"
Might be a bit tough to sell the ideas to the crews!!! hehe