Tanks in Europe 1944/45

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vincenzo, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    fastmongrel say: "Thats not surprising the Panther was a heavy tank the M4 a medium but up against its most common adversary the Pz 4 the M4 won more often."

    The Panther also if was relatively a "heavy" tank was a medium tank was used and deployed as common, medium, tank in the panzer divisionen like the Pz IV, not in the heavy btls like the Tigers. Is not true that Pz IV was more common of Pz V at time that M4 76mm had a notable deployement in NWE.

    At time (late war) was common in all the major countries had a high and a low band of medium tank in their tank divisions
    US M4 76mm with M4 75mm
    UK 17pdr77mm tanks with Sherman 75&Cromwell
    CCCP T-34-85 with T-34-76
    D Pz V with Pz IV
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    IMO terms such as "Heavy" and "Medium" don't mean much. You need to look at vehicle weight.

    22 to 25 tons.
    Panzer III.
    Panzer IV.

    32 to 35 tons.
    T-34.
    Sherman.

    42 to 45 tons.
    Panther.

    An additional 10 tons should give a tank a decisive combat advantage. 24 ton Panzer IVG was the exception to the rule. Arguably superior to 32 ton Sherman and T-34 prior to 1944 and still competitive until the end of the war. Pretty impressive for an armored vehicle which was originally intended to be a 10.5cm SP howitzer.
     
  3. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    The Panther was clearly deployed as medium tank.
    It should be the tank to replace the PIV.

    Also I have my doubts that the M4 won more often against the PIV, especially after the PIV was introduced with 7,5cm L48.
    The 7,5cm L48 was clearly superior to the 76mm and 75mm guns with normal APCB ammunition.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Tank technology advanced rapidly during 1939 to 1945. 45 tons would have been considered a heavy tank during 1939. By 1944 there were quite a few 45 ton armored vehicles in service or under development. Panther Ausf A entered service during September 1943 so it was a medium tank for that point in time.
     
  5. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Panther was developed and used as medium tank. It's weight rose during development from ~35 tonnes to ~43 tonnes.
    BTW weight of the T-34 rose from 26 tonnes of the initial model to 32 tonnes of the /85.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    So did most other tanks.

    Panzer I. Original specification 4 to 7 tons.
    Panzer II. Original specification 10 tons.
    Panzer III. Original specification 15 tons.
    Panzer IV. Original specification 18 tons.
    .....Supposed to be a weapons carrier rather then a tank.
    .....Sd.Kfz.165 10.5cm SP howitzer would have been main production variant.

    VK3001(H). Original specification 32 tons.
    .....This vehicle was supposed to replace 15 ton Panzer III as the German Army MBT. Development ordered 9 Sep 1938 but apparently with low priority. Prototypes weren't ordered until 29 Jan 1940. 4 chassis delivered between March and October 1941 without hulls or turrets.

    1942 Germany was critically short of tanks. They couldn't wait for the 32 ton VK3001(H) to continue leisurely development. Albert Speer took over as Armaments Minister 8 Feb 1942. One of his first orders cancelled the VK3001(H) program and Sd.Kfz.165 10.5cm SP howitzer. Instead the Sd.Kfz.165 chassis was mated with a turret mounted 7.5cm high velocity cannon and renamed "Panzer IV Ausf G". Arguably one of the most successful wartime improvisations in history.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a source for this Sd.Kfz.165 story?
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Nice picture but it has squat to do with the story that the MK IV was intended to be :

    "Panzer IV. Original specification 18 tons.
    .....Supposed to be a weapons carrier rather then a tank.
    .....Sd.Kfz.165 10.5cm SP howitzer would have been main production variant"

    MK IV was first speced in 1934, Prototypes built and then the first small production series was built in 1938, the Vehicle in your picture wasn't built until 1942. Unless you have information to the contrary that is was designed before the standard MK IV tank?
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Panzer IV production.
    Ausf A. 35 built Oct 37 to Mar 38.
    Ausf B. 42 built Apr 38 to Sep 38.
    Ausf C. 134 built Oct 38 to Aug 39.
    Ausf D. 229 built Oct 39 to May 41.
    Ausf E. 233 built Sep 40 to Apr 41.
    Ausf F1. 487 built Apr 41 to Mar 42.
    .....Interim infantry support vehicles. So were early model StuG IIIs. Something had to fill this role until the Sd.Kfz.165/1 was production ready.

    March 1942.
    Production of Panzer IVG begins. 7.5cm/43 main gun.
    Existing Panzer IV Ausf F1 upgraded with 7.5cm/43 main gun. These vehicles are similiar to the Panzer IVG but sometimes referred to as Panzer IV F2.
     
  11. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #11 DonL, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
    Sorry Dave but I don't know were you read your information or get it, but they are very wrong.

    The Panzer IV was never planed as weapon carrier or interim infantry weapon.
    All this is wrong.
    The Panzer IV was planed as support tank for tank divisions against targets which needed a bigger HE round.
    From the beginning it was planed 1 out of 4 company of a tank battalion to equip with Panzer IV. That was the requirement of Guderian and the Heereswaffenamt.
    The Stug III was developed at the same time as armored infantry support weapon.

    From the beginning there were a very fierce fighting about the armament of the Panzer III. The more practical officers require from the beginning a 5cm gun for the Panzer III and the possibility for more room in the future for bigger guns, the traditional officers and the men from the logistic prefered the 3,7cm gun and were convinced that perhaps later a 5cm would be well enough.
    The traditionalists won the fight, although there were very serious warnings that the 3,7cm was even outdated at 1936.
    So the layout of the turrent of the Panzer III had only room for a 5cm gun compare to the Panzer IV which turrrent had from the beginning through the 7,5cm L24 much more room.

    At Barbarossa 1941 for the germans it was very fast very clear that the 3,7cm, 5cm L42 and the 5cm L60 were not good enough for a continued war. They were much in need to get very fast a better gun at there tanks.
    The only tank in production which had enough room for a bigger gun was the PanzerIV. So the Panzer IV first was equiped at the end 1941 with 7,5cm L43 as Panzer IV F2 and later with the 7,5cm L48 as Panzer IV G.

    This was the only reason why the Panzer IV and only the Panzer IV became a Main Battle Tank from a "support" tank for tank divisions.
    It was in production, it had the room and the weapon system was very fast available.

    This has nothing to do with Speer, the VK 3001 or any Sd.Kfz.165 10.5cm SP howitzer.
    It was a totaly rational decission at the autumn 1941.
    And by the way all weapon carrier at that time were prototyps (1941) and again the PanzerIV and it's chasis were planed from the scratch as tank and nothing more. All other requirements came out of the experients of the Poland and France war.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what the Sd.Kfz.165/1 was. It was capable of both direct and indirect fire missions. 30mm frontal armor (similiar to early model Panzer III) protected the vehicle when it was providing direct fire support.
     
  14. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    A vehicle like the Sd.Kfz.165/1 did not exist in the mid 1930s, not even as a future planned variant. The 75mm round was deemed sufficient for the mission task infantry support.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    In 1942 when the Sd.Kfz.165/1 appeared no vehicle with 30mm front armor should be playing silly buggers direct fire fire support if there is the slightest possibility the enemy has an AT gun anywhere in the area. The First Stug IIIs had 50m front armor in 1940 and they fired indirect at times.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    15 tons. Panzer III original specification.
    18 tons. Panzer IV original specification.

    Both vehicles had thin armor initially in an attempt to meet weight requirements. Both vehicles added armor as soon as weight requirements were relaxed.

    Panzer IV G entered production during March 1942 with 50mm frontal armor. That's probably what the production model Sd.Kfz.165/1 would have if the program hadn't been cancelled.
     
  17. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    The weight reqirement of the PanzerIV was at the beginning 24t max!

    Also it is wrong that what ever weight requirements were relaxed.
    The experience of the Poland war and especially the France war, showed that german tanks were too less armored, especially the Panzer IV.
    The germans were far to optimistic against their enemy anti tank guns. This was also a very big failure of the traditional officers who won the fight about arnament.
    Both P III and PIV added armore with every new model!
    Also the PIV model G had 50mm front armor but with 520 brinell, one of the best value of all tank at WWII.

    To me it is inapprehensible to compare a tank against a self-propelled artillery also because the Panzer IV was driven since the France war and after that at Africa and Barbarossa at the beginning as MBT.
    So I don't understand why do you think a self-propelled artillery gun would be more usefull or better, because it is slower, less agile and with a much less rate of fire, also it has not a closed turrent.
    Since 1940 to Africa and Barbarossa the germans produces much Pzgr. 40 with tungsten for the short 7,5cm, which gave the 7,5cm L24 an average penetration power, at 1940/41 average to good compare to enemy tanks at this time.

    Also I don't understand why do you writing things like in your Post 6, because they are realy wrong to the development historie of the Panzer IV.
     
  18. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    How do you rate the Comet A34 - it seems as though a lot (but not all) of the weaknesses of previous British tanks were fixed in this offering.
    It was fairly quick, quite nimble, and had decent firepower and protection.
    Maybe not the best but better than Britain had manged until the end of the war.
     
  19. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Not a bad tank at all but it should have been available in June 44 and a vertical hull front plate was really getting old by 1945.
     
  20. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    I believe the design of the Comet began in 1941 - to learn lessons from the desert campaign. This meant it did not have the opportunity to learn from the T34 sloped armour.
    Because of the dire need to produce something better than the existing cruiser designs - it was decided to use the Cromwell chassis with better suspension and a better gun = Comet.
    Had Britain been included in the knowledge gained by the Russians in their T34 - a better tank may have resulted.
    It seems a little strange in hindsight that Britain seemed willing to share developments with our Allied partners, but it seemed to be seldom reciprocated.
     
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