Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

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Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Zor » 2018-05-05 11:05am

In this scenario through a sequence of events in 1938 the Third Reich uncovers an automated factory located 400 meters under under the mountains of Saxony powered by a fusion reactor able of preforming ore-to-final product fabrication. After a series of experiments and trials related to programming and tooling towards secondary factories the products of this factory are first deployed alongside panzers during the invasion of France in test batches adding up to a couple of thousand, giving some strange reports from British and French forces. The jig is up however at the surrender of France when Hitler arrives for the surrender flanked by a force of two hundred armored humanoid robots as an honor guard and twenty thousand of them are shown to the german public at various victory celebrations. These are the Stahlmensch, the mechanical vanguard of the Reich.

The Stalhmensch are two meters tall humanoid robots that weigh 250 kilograms. They can run at speeds of up to 40km/h and have five times the strength of a human male. They are smart enough to understand concepts such as firearms usage, shell loading, manual labor, taking cover and IFF capacity based on uniforms, weapons and if they individual is speaking German. Attempts at teaching them to recognize Jews have failed and had been abandoned after about a dozen soldiers were killed. They have vocorders and they can give a variety of simple phrases ("Halt!" "Surrender!" "Yes sir." "Heil Hitler!" and similar basic phrases), can understand verbal instructions. Each unit is clad in steel armor plate between 2.5 to 10mm thick, being thicker on the torso and head, which has a stylized Stahlhelm design for propaganda/recognition purposes. They communicate with each other via radio (with an effective range of 500 meters) and have night vision capacity. Each unit is put under the command of a lieutenant in either the Wehrmacht or Waffen SS and is programmed to accept several men up the chain of command as being valid commanders (both in terms of their face and their voice) and for maximum effectiveness in everything beyond massed advances, basic patrols or simple "exterminate everything in this location" operations. Their standard armament is an MG-42 with an optional single shot setting, though they can use other weapons. They are powered by internal batteries that last for 36 hours of continuous activity before needing to be recharged

The factory is able to produce 216 of these robots every day along with a set of spare parts for each and a mobile charging station. Said mobile charging station is a small mobile fusion reactor about 3 meters in diameter, 1 meter tall on wheels that can fully recharge up to five robots simultaneously in thirty minutes. As of the fall of France Nazi Germany has a force of some 100,000 of them ready to go to assist in occupation and for upcoming assaults into the east. The factory can not produce anything other than these machines.

What happens?

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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-05 03:42pm

Well, the germans will certainly not be hurting for oil, this time.

And instead of diesel-electric, their Tigers will be fusion-electric...
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Solauren » 2018-05-05 04:41pm

There is no invasion of Europe until the American's have nuclear weapons, then nuclear weapons are used to force the Nazi's to submission.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-05-05 06:06pm

Still vulnerable to .30cal gunfire at 100 yards and not completely immune to 9mm pistol fire, I'm not seeing an overwhelming war winner. Main effect would be to blunt the Russians 1942-1943 counter offensives, and encourage more construction of .50cal machine guns for ground use. Submachine guns are much less popular.

The German fuel shortages were so bad a non trivial number of these things are going to end up being used for jobs one might not expect, like shunting railroad cars in yards to save coal.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-05 06:06pm

The Boyes, the PTRS-41, and similar anti-tank rifles become standard issue amongst Allied rifle squads, with armor-piercing rounds(such as the Mark VIIW and after)being standard loads for the Lee-Enfield rifles in British service, along with similar AP ammo for other Allied service rifles and MGs.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by KraytKing » 2018-05-05 07:03pm

Their strength makes them attractive for urban combat, but their vision at long range is almost certainly going to be better than any human sniper -- they won't even need scopes. But having them push into Stalingrad to get blown up by landmines, crushed by tanks, and shot to hell by all manner of point-blank SMG fire would be a tremendous waste. The best application would be in special forces to avoid them simply being slaughtered like any other meatbag. They might be good tankbusters, if five times human strength is enough to take off a T-34 hatch.

Regardless, they aren't a war-winner. Taking the number 100,000 for mid 1940, they'll have another four hundred thousand by the time of their historic surrender. Half a million men, not even strong types like these, could change the course of the war. The Nazis might take the Soviets out of the game if they get lucky, but the US had plenty of reserves by the war's end; they could handle things being a little harder fighting across France.

Note: when I say the Germans might get lucky, I mean that Stalin might kill all his generals when his offensives fail and Stalingrad is lost. If he keeps his head (a bit) and keeps fighting to the bitter end, then the war will just end six months to a year later with Soviets at the prewar Poland border and perhaps one or two German cities faintly glowing. If the Russians collapse, the war in Europe is going to drag on for a very long time, with likely more than a few nuclear weapons dropped.

Her's a question: How good are they at flying aircraft? Two hundred fifty kilos for a pilot is a bit much, but not insurmountable, especially if it fixes the issue with no trained pilots.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Dass.Kapital » 2018-05-05 10:17pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-05-05 07:03pm
Here's a question: How good are they at flying aircraft? Two hundred fifty kilos for a pilot is a bit much, but not insurmountable, especially if it fixes the issue with no trained pilots.
Well... even if they aren't 'Smart'/'Intuitive' enough for fighters. Having them take over a position on bombers as tail/ventral gunners might be a good thing.

Also... as second seat in transprt planes.

Weren't the Germans kind of short trained pilots (Possibly due to poor organization of replacment pilot training) that by the end of the war they were shifting experianced transport pilots into fighters and hence not having enough pilots to man their transports?
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-05 11:31pm

Dass.Kapital wrote:
2018-05-05 10:17pm

Well... even if they aren't 'Smart'/'Intuitive' enough for fighters. Having them take over a position on bombers as tail/ventral gunners might be a good thing.

Also... as second seat in transprt planes.
Or have the bombers entirely crewed by these metal men. The bomber destroyers and the night fighters as well, freeing up more men to be trained as fighter pilots.

They could also be utilized as test pilots.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Zor » 2018-05-06 07:03am

KraytKing wrote:
2018-05-05 07:03pm
Here's a question: How good are they at flying aircraft?
Not well enough to be worthwhile. They can operate basic machine gun turrets though.

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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Zixinus » 2018-05-06 07:07am

They will make more of the charging stations than the soldiers themselves, because they are portable generators that do not rely on diesel or gas or coal. These can provide electricity where otherwise there would not be much.

The robots are excellent shock-troops as they are more expendable and tough. Their lack of intelligence makes them limited use due to inability to properly distinguish between friend/foe as well as inability to follow more advanced tactics. They'd be great to send against infantry but what will they do when faced with tanks and other heavy weapons? Not that much.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Dass.Kapital » 2018-05-06 08:36am

Zor wrote:
2018-05-06 07:03am
KraytKing wrote:
2018-05-05 07:03pm
Here's a question: How good are they at flying aircraft?
Not well enough to be worthwhile. They can operate basic machine gun turrets though.

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Zixinus wrote:
2018-05-06 07:07am
They will make more of the charging stations than the soldiers themselves, because they are portable generators that do not rely on diesel or gas or coal. These can provide electricity where otherwise there would not be much.

The robots are excellent shock-troops as they are more expendable and tough. Their lack of intelligence makes them limited use due to inability to properly distinguish between friend/foe as well as inability to follow more advanced tactics. They'd be great to send against infantry but what will they do when faced with tanks and other heavy weapons? Not that much.
Actually... as replacements for certain crew positions and other things will kind of make them really valuable.

Say for artillery pieces as an example. A couple of Stahl's per gun allows for more artillery to arrive on target over time. With more directors/aimers etc to do the fine work.
Up gunning to a bigger tank? Let Stahlmensch Unit ST-41-3-1B load those heaver shells into the breach for you.
Enemy air armadas getting you down? Again Stahl units opreating under human directors can load, aim, 'Lead to target' better than people.
Who needs an actual aircraft turret space? Simply... almost litterally... bolt a Stahl to strategic places on the fuselage and just make sure they have access to a weapon and ammunition drums.
Got a pesky warship you want damaged? Bolt a Stallh to the front of a large enough munitioin. Bolt on some primitive guide vanes around the casing and let fly at range with the Stalh guiding the ordinance to target.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-06 09:28am

So, a Fritz-X or Hs293(?), with a robot rider? Thus nullifying Allied jamming efforts against these devices.

If they were waterproofed, pressure proofed and trained by Decima Flotilligia MAS, the Reich would have Kampfschwimmer that aren't vulnerable to water pressure, and not dependent on oxygen support.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-05-06 10:40am

Dass.Kapital wrote:
2018-05-05 10:17pm
Weren't the Germans kind of short trained pilots (Possibly due to poor organization of replacment pilot training) that by the end of the war they were shifting experianced transport pilots into fighters and hence not having enough pilots to man their transports?
The Germans began running very low on pilots by 1943, but had shortages as early as 1940 this was because they never allocated enough pilots and fuel earlier to keep expanding the training programs. During the Battle of Britain they were stripping training units to keep up the Blitz. This was frankly Nazis being Nazis and they'd do it over and over again. BY the time German aircraft production realllly expanded they were hopelessly behind. Japan hit the same problem but worse and earlier.

This is why the Axis powers looked so good in the air early in the war, they put everything possible into frontline combat units.

This also points towards one of the problems with giving them Aryansuperbots in the first place, they'll seriously just try something extra grand and aggressively dumb. Hell all militaries are prone to this, the planned operations expand to encompass the forces on hand. They'd probably have the original 100,000 invade England in July 1940 with a bunch of rowboats. It'd have upwards of some kind of chance of working too. But if it doesn't they all get lost.

Thinking on it sending them all to invade England in 1940 is probably by far the best thing the Germans could do, though the ability to operate for only 36 hours is a major hindrance compared to human troops operation like this.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by KraytKing » 2018-05-06 10:51am

Zixinus wrote:
2018-05-06 07:07am
They will make more of the charging stations than the soldiers themselves, because they are portable generators that do not rely on diesel or gas or coal. These can provide electricity where otherwise there would not be much.
Because the OP doesn't state otherwise, I would assume the charging stations are unusable except for powering the bots. Not only would their output be far beyond what electronics of the day could handle, but Zor usually says as much when he wants some country to obtain cheap energy.
Sea Skimmer wrote:
2018-05-06 10:40am

This also points towards one of the problems with giving them Aryansuperbots in the first place, they'll seriously just try something extra grand and aggressively dumb. Hell all militaries are prone to this, the planned operations expand to encompass the forces on hand. They'd probably have the original 100,000 invade England in July 1940 with a bunch of rowboats. It'd have upwards of some kind of chance of working too. But if it doesn't they all get lost.

Thinking on it sending them all to invade England in 1940 is probably by far the best thing the Germans could do, though the ability to operate for only 36 hours is a major hindrance compared to human troops operation like this.
If the bots are waterproof, they might be able to just walk across the bottom of the Channel, saving rowboat space for supporting humans, tanks, and charging stations. And the 36 hour time limit is only if they don't bring any charging ports. If they do, they have functionally infinite operational time with only a tiny fraction of the downtime a regular soldier requires. They'd be just about the best amphibious-invasion troops you could ask for.

To be clear, I do not think this means the Nazis could pull off an invasion across the Channel. Half the ferries are going to be sunk in transit, the Luftwaffe is going to be butchered by the British again. But it'll certainly hurt.

Hel, it would probably set Barbarossa back another year, especially if Hitler wants to get some bots churned out to replace his losses in Britain. Giving the Soviets more time to prepare could be enough to offset the advantages the bots offer.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Sky Captain » 2018-05-11 02:22am

Whole scenario could have completely opposite effect, Allies throw everything possible at Hitler to defeat him as quickly as possible. US deploying resources tied up fighting Japan to fight Germany for example. Allied comanders probably would think something along the lines, Germany has found some technology from aliens or long lost civilization, they have managed to ectivate the robot factory now, but who knows what else there could be? Nuke factory? Huge supersonic bombers with global range? Fusion reactors? Flying battleships? The whole thing can turn into an existential threat easily. We have to stop this at all costs, if it means Japan taking Pacific islands so be it, we will deal with that later.

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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Vendetta » 2018-05-11 07:15am

I don’t see them being all that useful. They need more nannying than a normal infantryman due to reduced initiative, if they’re using MG42s they’ll need a normal infantry squad to carry extra belts and barrels anyway (a single shot variant won’t make much use of the strength of the weapon).

So they’re a machine gunner that’s no better at it than usual.

They won’t fit easily in vehicles (watch some of Chieftain’s tank videos to watch a 2 metre tall tanker struggle with many ww2 vehicles)

So, the army gets something that doesn’t fit particularly well into its doctrine which is poor at making a difference but which we can all be sure der fuhrer will want to use them anyway because he wanted bigger and better every year ( hence several competing tank designs where one that was good enough in large numbers proved better on all relevant fronts.

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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-11 01:22pm

It's just a war machine, which would result in adjustments to war doctrine, but would not be decisive. Most likely, as Skimmer suggested, they'd just waste these robots trying to achieve impossible goals. An overstretched assault deep into Russia would likely have them blown up in close quarters combat, and would see proliferation of more powerful handheld weapons in the field.

It's not nuclear weapons, and a bunch of war machines won't save the Reich, who had critical deficiencies in logistics and supply all over their military production chain...

Besides, I find the "Nazi superweapon" RARs the most boring and the fascination with Nazis unhealthy.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-11 03:43pm

The robots are worthless shiny distractions.
Really useful are the battery packs of the robots.
36 hours of continous operation for a 250kg robot - easily a few Megawatthours, in a pack that can be fitted into a humanoid torso, with place to spare. A Tesla battery bank is 70-100 kWh, weighs a couple hundred kg and fills the whole bottom of the car frame.

Their computers would be as useful, if you manage to reprogram those (which I believe you can't, yet, as of the OP)
Still you might be able to use them for automation - cut off the legs and weld one in place next to a gun as an autoloader, for example.

But using these 216 batteries per day, plus the charging reactor for other things, you have an energy goldmine at your hands.
The reactor has an output of abbout (5 robots with a few megawatts fully charged in 30min) low tens Megawatts output.
Which means each is able to drive about 10-15000 Horsepower worth of engines, at the low end estimate. And while he is not using peak performance, you can charge these 216 batteries that comes with each of them, to buffer for peak power.

Put a couple reactors into a warship - unlimited range.
Permanently submerged Uboats? check.
Heavy bombers flying around the globe with multiple crews and only landing for ammo and food resupply? Check. (B-24 had only 5000hp total.)
Heavy Fighters (maybe dedicated heavily armored AA-bombers?)with no combustion-related max ceiling, 10k hp, and unlimited fight time after arriving at the location? Check.
Come to think of it - since the P-51 Mustang had 1.2Mw engine power and ~ 5 hours total flight time, it could fly the whole mission with just a couple of those batteries, each. It would be even better, since you lose about about 2 tons of fuel weight that can no longer go up in flames.

A support reactor (maybe in an even tougher Maus?) and each vehicle using batteries mean that all panzers will no longer need fuel, and are even more powerful than before. Better armor, less weak spots, and more space for ammo.

Opel E-BLITZ, one battery, each.

Heck - They could do the P-1000 or P-1500 with these things.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by KraytKing » 2018-05-11 05:15pm

I don't know enough about the time period to say for sure, but would they be capable of stepping down the output to avoid blowing up what they're trying to power?

Also, given that this weapon would not be nearly enough to win the war, and may hasten its conclusion, what happens to the factory afterwards? The factory is likely well within the borders of historical Eastern Germany, but perhaps the Soviets are delayed? Perhaps the western Allies are a bit more reluctant to give it up? Regardless of who gets it, it will be exploited to all hell and see every one of its secrets pried loose. The owner will easily win the Cold War.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-11 07:36pm

If one side comes into possession of the technology, the other side will obtain it via espionage, and years, possibly decades,of backengineering. The initially possessing the tech will also take the same amount of time to backengineer it.

So, zero-sum game.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by KraytKing » 2018-05-11 08:22pm

I disagree. Whoever gets it will have a clear advantage. Just because the US got the atomic bomb didn't mean the Soviets got it; it took them four more years. This would be similar, but to a far greater extent. The Soviets had already had a nuclear program, our shit just helped them along. In this instance, the US has a nuclear program and the Soviets are still stuck in 1922.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Vendetta » 2018-05-12 02:52am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-05-11 03:43pm

But using these 216 batteries per day, plus the charging reactor for other things, you have an energy goldmine at your hands.
The reactor has an output of abbout (5 robots with a few megawatts fully charged in 30min) low tens Megawatts output.
Which means each is able to drive about 10-15000 Horsepower worth of engines, at the low end estimate. And while he is not using peak performance, you can charge these 216 batteries that comes with each of them, to buffer for peak power.

Put a couple reactors into a warship - unlimited range.
Permanently submerged Uboats? check.
Heavy bombers flying around the globe with multiple crews and only landing for ammo and food resupply? Check. (B-24 had only 5000hp total.)
Heavy Fighters (maybe dedicated heavily armored AA-bombers?)with no combustion-related max ceiling, 10k hp, and unlimited fight time after arriving at the location? Check.
Come to think of it - since the P-51 Mustang had 1.2Mw engine power and ~ 5 hours total flight time, it could fly the whole mission with just a couple of those batteries, each. It would be even better, since you lose about about 2 tons of fuel weight that can no longer go up in flames.
If you have a practical electric drive system for each of those vehicles.

Which Germany didn't. Porsche were trying a petrol-electric drive for their Tiger contender but it was unreliable (like more than the Tiger was already unreliable).

The whole lesson of Germany's armaments in world war 2 was that it doesn't matter if you have the best stuff if you don't have enough of it and what you do have spends half its time broken.

A new special capability that further divides Germany's supply, repair, maintainance and logistics capabilities makes their problems worse not better.

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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by Zixinus » 2018-05-12 08:25am

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-05-11 07:36pm
If one side comes into possession of the technology, the other side will obtain it via espionage, and years, possibly decades,of backengineering. The initially possessing the tech will also take the same amount of time to backengineer it.

So, zero-sum game.
Two problems:

One: the war is still about to go on and you need to reverse-engineer the technology BEFORE it's over. Or before reaches a point where having the knowledge ceases to matter because you have no resources to do anything with it.

Two: Germany does not, in fact, have the technology. They have a black box that you pour stuff in and stuff comes out. They are at best, advanced users, not developers. They can't replicate the factory itself, nor the stuff that comes out, never mind fully understand how it works. What they have is a miracle-box, not the ability to make miracles. Their engineers are able to operate it but probably can't repair it beyond a "replace broken part with new part" way (if that). Which means that for any damaged units, they have to throw the old ones out and wait until new ones are produced, which is a logistical nightmare the further you go from the source.

Technology isn't just high-tech equipment or even blueprints, it's knowledge and people that have experience using that knowledge in reality (not just on paper). If the factory was somehow taken out or otherwise denied to the Nazis, Germany would effectively cease to this technology beyond leftovers that would inevitably be broken or brake down.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-05-12 08:39am

It's certain that the steel brands involved in the construction of these robots would be beyond German engineering capabilities.

And as there are no specifications on the alloys... it will take ages before they can make something similar.

Case in point: China with access to advanced metallurgy products from all over the world and access to Russian AL series of turbofans since the early 1990s, after 15+ years, still can't reach alloy quality that is required for the turbine blades in their military (sic!) fighter engines, which is a critical defense industry matter.

I will leave to your thoughts the estimation of how many decades 1940s Germany will need to reproduce any component of this technology.

I mean, seriously guys, wake up and stop playing HoI and Civilization. Chemistry and other sciences are hard brakes on technology transfer. That's why industrial secrets matter even in our day and age.
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Re: Hitler's Stahlmensch (RAR!)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-12 10:41am

I was replying to Krayt King's post, where he posited the advantage one of the superpowers might have had over the other during the Cold War if they captured the Stahlmenschen technology at the end of WWII.

And, I believe I said it would take years, if not decades,for either superpower to backengineer what is clearly alien tech.

It should go without saying that Nazi Germany will have even the barest understanding of what makes the Stahlmenschen tick, and nil capability to make any of their own, especially with round the clock Allied bombing raids destroying their industrial base and infrastructure.
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