Heer, from january 1936 on?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by tomo pauk, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Same drill as other thread - how to make the mighty German Army even a bigger juggernaut? The major historical events (anschluss, Czechoslovakia, Poland, up to the attack on the Soviet Union and North Africa prior 1942) unfold as historically, of course.
     
  2. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    They need more, many more trucks.
    More fuel for those trucks.
    Ways to protect all that fuel.
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    A wider introduction of diesel engines should save lots of fuel, even if it is issued 1st on trucks, later on AFVs. The majority of the Heer would still be away from a complete motorization, though, let alone the mechanization.

    Small arms - generally historical stuff was highly regarded. The earlier introduction of a self-loading and/or automatic rifle based around a 'mid-power' cartridge, like they have had the 7,92mm Kurz should be an useful addition. The StG-44 was a great weapon, but too late to matter.

    Mortars - earlier introduction of the 120mm, not waiting for the Soviets to teach us a lesson.

    AAA - a strong suite historically. Maybe an earlier introduction of a 30mm (single, twin or quadruple, both towed and SP), should outrange the 20mm by a good margin, while being powerful enough to really hurt even the most resilient aircraft. The 30mm AAA in German service in ww2 was a case of too few, too late.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    We are back to what could have been reasonably done in 1936 vs taking 1943-44 designs and trying to make them in 1936/37.

    The Germans were actually pretty well off as they could build new weapons and didn't have warehouses full of left over WW I Junk that kept people from OK'ing new weapons.

    Artillery was at least workmen like even if only a few guns were outstanding.
    I agree that small arms were good, main failing being the Mauser 98 but then only the Americans were switching to a semi-auto in any numbers, Russians had one but not in large numbers in relation to the size of their army.
    Perhaps a semi-auto using the 8x57 round issued to two men per squad to beef up the rifle team?
    For a lot of German weapons, a larger weapon increases the logistics problem.
    In theory (or company sales brochures) you can man pack a 120mm mortar
    Slide62_SAF_Mindef_s.jpg
    But in actual practice?
    and 120mm mortar ammo can weigh 45kg for two rounds in a wooden crate. Not including fuses or propelling charges.
    http://mirex-ds.com/products/ammunition/Ammunition Mortar Round 120mm High Explosive.pdf

    64 rounds + 64 fuses + 76 propelling charges weighs 1557kg. You are not going very far without engines, horses or a LOT of men.

    Germans might have shifted to dual 20mm AA guns a lot sooner, perhaps they thought the improved rate of fire of the M38 was just as good?

    In any case the 30mm AA guns in use at the end of the war were the MK 103 guns and not the slower firing MK 101 guns. While the MK 101 may have been better than the Flak 38 you start getting into target effect vs weight of weapon/carriage.

    One point of easy change was the 37mm AT gun, It was the first of it's generation (pretty much, first guns were issued in 1928 ) and as such had the poorest performance. As such it should have been replace the soonest. Russians stuck a 45mm barrel on the same carriage in 1937 and got roughly the same performance using standard ammo as the Pak 37 got with tungsten cored ammo. HE performance was better too:)
    The story of the 37mm being kept for the MK III tank but with a larger turret ring is well known.

    Germans do have the same problem as many other countries. The very rapid increase in the size of the armies made it very hard to change weapons as interruptions in production meant delays in issuing weapons to many troops.
    I forget which but they used Czech weapons to almost totally equip either 10 or 20 divisions. From pistols to 15cm howitzers. Mucking about too much with basic weapons in the late 30s could mean several divisions sitting around waiting for weapons.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    It's pointless to speak of medium tanks, StuGs, 7.5cm AT guns, 81mm mortars etc. without first building the military industrial infrastructure necessary for efficient mass production of such weapons.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The 120 mm sorely needs at least horse teams to function properly.

    Hmm - seems like the 20mm Flak never received the Mine shell? If introduced, it should bolster the efficiency. BTW, I'd like to see the single 30mm installed on modified light tank chassis, like the future Marder/Wespe; should also harm an AFV, if need arose. The Matilda II and T-34 are safe, though.
    The RoF of the MK 101 was some 50% greater than the 3,7 Flak 36/37, the effective range being much closer to the 37mm than of 20mm. 'Regular' HE-T shell was at 440 g, vs. 640g for the 37mm - the MK 101 will throw more weight through the muzzle than the 3,7 cm Flak 36/37.
    If we want to tow a gun by the lorry anyway, the 30mm makes much more sense than the 20mm.

    How much point there is in having two 5cm cartridges anyway? Perhaps go for something in between, but with only L60 barrel from the get go, both for the tanks and AT?

    +1 on that.
    It would be interesting to know how much the captured Polish gear contributed, even though it was less modern than Czech gear.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    German 10.5cm howitzer sabot shell. Sub caliber projectile consisted of standard 8.8cm Pzgr39 AP shell. Unlike most APCR and sabot rounds this ammunition does not require scarce tungsten for core.

    Performance when fired from standard 10.5cm leFH18M howitzer.
    765 meters per second. 80mm armor penetration @ 1,000 meters.
    .....Performance far superior to T-34 and Sherman tank main guns.

    Get this sabot shell into mass production during 1941 and Germany can forgo introduction of 7.5cm/48 tank / AT gun. Instead every German light howitzer can perform double duty as AT gun provided they are equipped with proper sights.
     
  8. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #8 tomo pauk, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    At under 800 m/s, it certainly does not need the tungsten to prevent it from shattering. The 'PzGr.40' version, featuring the projectile from the 88mm that is within a suitable case to make up to 105mm would still be a problem for all Allied tanks under 40 tons.
    Problem for the tanks AFV is that they would be short on cartridge numbers, though - the 105mm ammo took much more space than 75mm ammo.

    Hmm, maybe going for a 'straight neck' 88mm ammo gun for the 20+ ton AFVs? The AP capabilities on par with 7,5cm PaK, HE as good as Tiger (but at lower MV)?

    edit - actually, the 88mmL56 ammo was already 'straight-necked'; the casings for the AFV should be around 500mm long (vs. 495 for the 'medium' 7,5 cm, and 571mm for the Tiger's gun), and about as wide at the rim as the 'medium' 7,5 cm.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Sd.Kfz.11 was the proper towing tractor for German 10.5cm light howitzer. How many rounds of ammunition did it carry in addition to 8 soldiers and towing the weapon?
    SdKfz_11_le_Zgkw_3t_-_10-5cm_leFH18_Krz_auf_Feldweg.jpg
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Not sure about the number of rounds carried.

    What about the tanks?
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Until we arrive to the mighty (and the ones that are not) panzers, here is the handbook for the German ammo. Covers basically all, from 37mm Pak to 305mm Czech mortar.

    DepositFiles
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The relatively small StuH 42 (i.e. StuG IIIG armed with 10.5cm howitzer) carried 36 rounds of ammunition inside the hull.

    7.5cm HE shells typically contained about .7kg of HE filler.
    German 10.5cm HE shell for leFH18M howitzer introduced during 1941 contained 2.1kg of HE filler.

    Armored vehicles typically fire more HE then AP. That's what makes leFH18M howitzer plus 10.5cm Pzgr39 TS shell look so attractive. leFH18M howitzer HE three times as powerful as PaK40 cannon and 10.5cm sabot round perfectly capable of defeating WWII era armored vehicles. leFH18M howitzer was also relatively reliable (10,000 round barrel life) and inexpensive to mass produce.
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    " leFH18M howitzer was also relatively reliable (10,000 round barrel life) and inexpensive to mass produce"

    The Barrel life has darn little to do with being "reliable" and a lot more to do with being "durable", they are NOT the same thing.

    Barrel wear is very often proportional to the heat value of the firing charge (temperature and total heat released) and the size of the bore ( more sq in to dissipate the the heat).

    I would like very much to know why the leFH18M howitzer would be so much cheaper to mass produce than a 75mm AT gun?

    The FACT that the howitzer would be harder to hit with doesn't seem to enter into these calculations though.

    Neither does the FACT that the German Pak 75 used a propelling charge about 28% the weight of the propelling charge in the Full AP round with a corresponding reduction in barrel wear.

    Howitzers often did NOT fire the full charge so their barrel life has to be figured accordingly. Rate fire has something to do with it too, Not so much a problem with AFV guns but some 105 Howitzers used up their barrels in about 1/2 the time if used for intensive bombardments at high rates of fire.
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I'm not sure that I completely understand those two sentences.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Mr Bender seems to think that using the 105 howitzer as tank (or gun to arm Stugs) with and using "trick" ammo would be a better solution than what was used historically.

    The 7.5 PaK gun has a point blank range of about 870 meters firing stand AP ammo. The 10.5cm howitzer will have a point blank range no better than that using the "trick" ammo and much more likely than not will have greater dispersion.
    Early APDS rounds had a fair amount of trouble with dispersion (getting the sabot to fall away cleanly).

    He also touted the 10,000 round barrel life of the 10.5 cm Howitzer. The 7.5cm Pak had a rather variable barrel life depending on what ammo you firing through it. Regular AP with a 2.75kg propelling charge or the HE with a 780 gram propelling charge. Obviously they do NOT wear the barrel the same. The Pzgr 40 round used a propelling charge of 3.80KG.

    The 10.5cm Howitzer used propelling charges anywhere from 180 grams (Charge 1, MV 200m/s, max range 3575m) to 595g (charge 5, MV 391m/s, max range 9150 meters) Charge 5 was the charge used with the conventional AP round and the early hollow charge rounds although MV would be different. There was a Charge 6 of 984 grams (470m/s, max range 10,675m) that was used with some of the later hollow charge rounds.
    Once again the barrel wear would be rather different from the bottom to the top charges. BTW the supercharge that got the German 10.5cm how to 12,325m was1.77kg. Granted not all the powders were the same formulation.
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #16 tomo pauk, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
    Okay, now I understand what you've saying a post earlier.

    The 10,5cm howitzer has an advantage vs the 7,5cm 'full power' guns that it was available way before the Matilda II or Char B were encountered, let alone the T-34s. The Germans howitzers, along with 8,8s, were instrumental in order to halt the Allied (British, mostly) counterattack at Arrass in 1940. The Vespes, but in 1941, might be well able to kill T-34s, provided they have decent AP ammo.

    BTW, the Germans used a great number of different 7,5 ammo, just for their own guns - for IG (same for Pz-IVC/D?), for 'brazilian' guns (also used by Germans?; same also for the leFk 16NA?), for 7,5cm Pak, for 7,5cm Kwk 40, for the Panther. A little forethought could be useful here.

    That begs a question - perhaps go with the leFk 16NA ammo accompanying gun* for the Pz-IV from day one? The capabilities were at the ballpark with the French/US 75mm.

    added: a new gun, of course
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    While the 10.5 How was available earlier it was a much bigger gun and might have trouble fitting into a MK IV turret.

    Without "trick" ammo it has a couple of problems compared to the tank guns of the time.

    One is rate of fire and the other is low velocity which equals short effective range. Short in the sense of hitting the target with the first or second round (which goes back to rate of fire). The "standard" AP ammo for the 10.5 had a MV of 390-395ms compared to the 7.5cm KwK37's 385 m/s so there was little practical difference in trajectory until you get to long ranges. The 3.7cm had a MV of 745m/s and the short 5cm had a MV of 685 m/s making them easier to hit with.

    Granted bouncing 2-4 rounds of 3.7cm off the enemy instead of taking him out with one hit is a bit discouraging :)

    The 7.5KwK 37 used a muvh longer cartridge case than the Infantry gun.

    according to Tony Williams table. 75-77 MM CALIBRE CARTRIDGES the Germans used at least 12 different 75 mm rounds not including the 1891 left overs and assorted 77mm leftovers OR assorted captured guns (French 75 counted in with the 12 already), so some forethought might have helped. Having different ammo sometimes prevents mistakes though. Using different propelling charges in the same case for different guns might lead to even more confusion and accidents.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Maybe the German abbreviations are guilty for the confusion - the leFk 16 was the 7,5 cm gun. The MV was some 660 m/s, cartridge was 75 x 200R. Funnily enough, the 'brazilian' guns, while employing a bigger casing ( 260 mm long), yet the MV was at 485 m/s?? Maybe someone mistyped the two types, or the earlier cartridge was much wider?
    The gun developed around the 75 x 200R should be within the capabilities of the Pz-IV to carry it, giving enough performance vs. both hard and soft targets, while ammo count would've still be decent.

    Thanks for the link. 12 is really a great number, though the 75mm/3in was very popular caliber pre ww2.
    Anyway - I'd cancel the 75 x 243R (for early Pz-IVs) in favor of a 'mid power' 75mm, akin to the French 75.
    Next - no bigger 75mm, but 'low/mid power' 88mm, 'straight neck', like I've proposed earlier; say, 88 x 500R - produced in lieu of 75 x 714R (Pak 40) and 75 x 495R (for tanks) ammo. That one for up-gunning the Pz-IV, Stug-III, Marders, as a towed ATG.
    No monster 75 x 640R (for Panther), the 88mm (for Flak 18 and Tiger) will do.
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The turret containing the 10,5 cm howitzer was actually tested on the Pz-IV, two turrets were capable of 360 deg rotation, the 3rd one 70 deg on each side. link
    Unless used as a 'proper' artillery, the armor was too thin, so the Wespe was a more sensible choice. The desire to mount and dismount the turret does not make a lot of sense from today's perspective, either.
     
  20. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    German tank guns used electric priming whereas towed guns or those used in SP mounts were percussion primed. The 75mm PaK 40 had to be modified to fit into the Pz IV turret (and into StuGs) so that alone created two additional ammo variants.
    They had very good reasons to rebore captured guns to accept german rounds so avoiding just another logistic nightmare by adding more ammo types to shuffle around. Known examples were 76mm F-22/ZiS-3 guns to 75mm PaK 40 rounds + 76/85mm Flak to 88mm Flak 18/36 rounds
     
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