Panther redux: How would you design it?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by tomo pauk, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Okay, fellas :)

    It's 1941, and Wehrmacht is just encountered some losses against plethora of Russian tanks and artillery (both AT and plain one). Since the newest vehicle (known today as Tiger) will be a really heavy piece of machinery and available in modest numbers, what is your design to fill the gap between 20 and 55 ton tanks?
     
  2. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Good question 8)

    First thing to bear in mind is that the Panther represented a conscious effort on the part of German designers to emulate the T-34s that were encountered in the opening days of Barbarossa. The sloped armour and 75mm armament are good steps in that direction. One thing the Germans didn't copy, and IMHO should have, is the simplicity of the design. Unskilled, poorly-trained labour could build T-34s in the open air. If you could made the Panther just as simple, more could have been made, and maybe then the Soviets might have suffered a lot harder than they did... 8)
     
  3. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Very true Bomb Taxi, but during the last two years of fighting the Werhmacht did not have too much of a shortage of weapons but a shortage of ammo and mainly fuel. The design should be much simpler but it was cutting edge.
     
  4. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Good points Amsel. I always wonder how complicated is too complicated in a weapon system - I think the Germans might well have reached that point with some of their equipment, and wonder if a simpler approach might have helped them in the longer term, fuel shortages not withstanding.
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    So here goes my Panther:

    It got to be simple since the boys on the battlefield would have less trouble to run it. Instead of looking at T-34, I'd go for something like "KV-88". A 45 ton (give or take) tank armed with plain vanilla 88mm. Since tungsten is in short supply,the bigger caliber gives a better reserve as ammo is concerned.
    With 'all rear' power train there is less demand for an interior volume, so there is less to protect by armor, which leads to ticker armor for the same weight.
    The shurtzen will be there also, plus some stand off armor for the turret
    The design will make no use of halftrack-style wheel set-up, but the Pz-III layout instead.
    I'd dispense with hull gunner, so the ammo load can remain the same. The things german were really the top of the world would remean (optics, commander turret).
    Some AA MG would be nice (MG 131 if I may, or some Russian or US HMG).
    The off-spring will be the JagdPanther :) ASAP!
     
  6. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Take the basic Pnzer Mk IV (F2/G and above) and put the 75mm L48 (I think that the gun it ended the war with, but if that is not available, 75mm L40). From there, immediately introduce "skirts", as well as giving all the the relevant pieces of armor beneath the "Skirts" a sloped face. For the armor, I would say something like 75mm turret with sloping similar to the Panther, with 80mm on the front body, also sloped, and standard armor thickness on the rest of the Mk IV. This is made from a logistical standpoint, wherein you have plenty of very good tanks out on the field, rather than a few awesome tanks that still need work (Panther, Tiger, etc.). If this doesn't work, someone has to come up with the plans for the Hetzer Tank destroyer. Its gun can knock out all but the most heavily armored foes from the front (or maybe it was from various angles, my books aren't with me), its simple to produce, has a low profile, and is fast.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Re Hetzer:

    The hardware was available way back in 1939 (= chassis and plenty of 76,5m Czech guns) :shock:

    Yet the idea to create it came allegedly from Romanians with their Maresal SP ATG ; the Maresal on the other hand could be regarded as StuG-III materialised with the stuff Romanians did have on their disposal.
     
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