What if - Allied tank development 1920's

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by vinnye, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    After WW1 Germany is prohibited from owning and / or developing tanks. (I know they worked with Russia later).
    Russia - In the early 1930-'s buy Christies tanks to evaluate = copy! From this they develop BT5 = faster than Vickers Medium ii, 45mm main gun, and has better armour which appears to be sloped!
    America goes into Isolation - apart from Christies independent work. Which results in the best suspension system for years to come. It also has speed, and appears to have sloping armour!
    France develops heavy tanks - Char B - which has two main drawbacks - small one man turret with machine gun or small calbre gun and main armament is in hull.
    It is quite well armoured and fairly mobile. It does also appear to have sloping armour!
    Britain in the 1920's produces Vickers Medium Mk II - which has a large turret (5 man crew)- sloping armour and fast and reliable. 47 mm gun in turret and has a radio.
    But then goes backwards during the 1930's by producing the Matilda 1 - a throwback ti Infantry Support tanks of WW1 = armour is thick, but tank is slow and has only a nachine gun.
    Fuller, Lidl-Hart tactics are being developed for combined armour and infantry attacks - also to incorporate air power.

    The German tanks developed were class leading at the outbreak of WWii - along with tactics.
    PanzerIII - 15 tons, 37mm gun, 3 man turret, lightly armoured, but scope for development.
    Panzer IV- short barrel 75mm, 3 man turret, lightly armoured, but scope for development.
    But, there were far more obsolete Panzer I and Panzer II tanks at the onset of WWII.

    So what would have happened if Britain had continued along the Vickers Medium Mk II instead of going backwards to the Matilda?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The French FT17 was by far the most successful tank of WWI. It was so much better then everything else that it probably retarded development of new tank designs into the 1920s. Other nations such as the Soviet Union attempting to build tanks during the early 1920s usually started by making a copy of the FT17.

    IMO hypothetical tank development by any nation that begins during 1920 should probably start with a FT17 clone. Then work forward by making the tank larger as more powerful engines become available.
     
  3. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... The German tanks developed were class leading at the outbreak of WWii - along with tactics"

    Radios in each tank were as important as guns or armour plate .... as the German success proved.

    MM
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    A dedicated tank commander (not gunner performing double duty), vehicle radios, vehicle intercom system and superior gunsight work together to allow a tank to get off that critical first shot before your opponent. Otto Carius describes this in some detail in "Tigers in the Mud".
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    One of the most important tank and tracked vehicle designers in history. 450 tank and tracked vehicle patents. Besides Germany he designed tanks and tracked vehicles for nations such as Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. His designs were far more influential then Christie yet popular histories rarely mention him. Why is that?

    A nice picture of the Swedish Stridsvagn M/40L. One of his designs.
    DBZ_6595.jpg

    Any serious 1920s or 1930s European tank project (except for Britain and France) is likely to involve Joseph Vollmer.
     
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