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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-13 08:05pm
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xthetenth wrote:
What are the problems with being powered by twin engines, and how pronounced are they? Is it a matter of reliability, efficiency (size/fuel) or all of the above? I can definitely see an appeal for running two engines in redundancy and not having to use the biggest engines available. I'd see even more in the layout if you used two of the standard medium tank powerplant, like the Tiger (P) did. This is a purely theoretical question to me, since the Tiger's first combat deployment came about nine months before that of the Ferdiand, and although both were pretty disastrous, I don't remember the Tiger doing nearly as poorly by the time of Kursk as it had against the Sinyavino Offensive.
Efficiency and utiliziation of space first. Smaller engines usually have worse efficiency than larger ones.* Two smaller engines will take up more space than one larger and the support systems (fuel, exhaust, cooling and controls) has to be duplicated for both, decreasing available space, reliabilty while driving up complexity and maintenance requirements.

Now the biggest problem is what to drive. If both engines drive the same crankshaft, either they had to be kept completely in sync or additional equipment which balances between the two has to be installed. Keeping them in sync is not doable until modern computer controls became availabe somewhere in the 70s-80s and the mechanical equilazer is something that had to be accomodated, adding more complexity while decreasing reliability. If you plan to run them separately, then you have to duplicate the things they drive too, for example generators, but don't try to use them to power the left and right tracks separately. In case of generators, if they output AC, they had to be kept in sync too but solving that is easier than the mechanical issues.

* Unsurprisingly the most efficient internal combustion engies are the house sized ones powering supertankers and similar ships.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-14 01:11am
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Those big ship engines are also much slower, 100-200rpm against 3000rpm, with simplifies controlling them. The Tiger (P) first used two equal power engines of a new design, which never worked, it then shifted to the same engine as the Panzer III. This worked better, but it was also very slow as the Elephant making life easier. Its too underpowered to just run one engine, so no economy gain from that. The S-tank made this work decades later, but with a very different diesel with boost gas turbine setup.

The Tiger did poorly in the Sinyavino Offensive because the location of the attack was foolish at best, and ordered by Hitler. Thick forests and swamps limited the Tigers to a narrow approach up a few roads and they were peppered with hits. Kursk was second to most optimal situation for a Tiger, a broad open battle. What the Tiger would really have excelled at was its earliest mission, breaching the Maginot line. A narrow, very heavy line of defense. One set of targets to blast through. Kursk also predated most Russian deployment of anti Tiger countermeasures so the situation was not what it soon would be.

Actual Tiger 1 reliability was not awful. When the battalions went into combat they could normally sustain it for the 10-20 day range before almost all tanks would be disabled or destroyed. Far more would be disabled from mechanical failure or taking many small but damaging hits on the suspension, gun and other exposed parts then destroyed. Medium tank battalions were not that much different from this, but were generally quicker and easier to repair. The biggest problem was only 1,500 were ever produced at great cost and meanwhile dozens of German divisions fought without major armor support.



"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-14 09:00am
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I've also heard that lately too, that by heavy tank standards the Tiger was actually pretty good in terms of mobility, range, operating cost, etc. The big problem was it was very labor and cost intensive to build. All heavy tanks are, and that's why they all suffered from the same problems of having crap fuel economy, poor range, etc. (Problems that some nations could handle better than others.)

On top of all this the thickest armor in the world doesn't matter if the enemy can get close enough or lucky enough to plink off the tank's many exposed subcomponents like the treads, suspension, exhaust, hull machine gun, etc. (Hence why the Maus cut back on as many of these exposures as possible.) Today's tanks have even more exposed parts and sensors. The thing is, you have to do this. You couldn't build a permanently buttoned up super tank like the Maus today and expect it to be useful at all. Today's best defense is situational awareness, IE: spotting them before they spot you and you need your fancy thermal and laser optics to do it.

The public layman thinks that tanks can just sit around absorbing fire because they have armor. Even in World War 2, a tank's best "armor" was not to get shot in the first place. That's why they train tank crews to do things like look for hull down positions, minimize their signature, or camouflage themselves. A tank's armor is only there to protect it from the occasional lucky hit. It's a last line of defense, not the first.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-14 09:57pm
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Well today you also have the issue that developments take place over a much larger span of time, and aren’t instantly used in combat. In WW2 it was totally worth it to field a new tank or modification that would give an advantage for six months or a year. Now, plainly that’s pointless.



"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 05:25pm
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CaptHawkeye wrote:
I think the bigger issue with the Maus was that it would have been too heavy for most bridges and if it bogged down, nothing was getting it out. The designers planned on having it ford most rivers anyway. It was basically designed to be a mobile pillbox. On top of that it would have made a big, obvious target for aircraft and artillery and if it got overrun, the Allies could just bypass it and isolate it until the crew surrendered. Gee the task of making the Maus look like a poor design is so herculean.

I wonder what the Ratte's power-to-weight ratio would have been. The closest analog to the Ratte would be the Karl Gerat mortars but even they were only 124 tons to the Ratte's 1000 tons.

I still it's crazy the Maus had a coaxial 75mm gun. That was considered secondary armament.

There was only one way the Ratte would have been useful at all. Nuclear Ammunition.

Think about that.

But the Maus? That was just a plain bad idea from start to finish. What they should have been doing was attempting to give the Panther a more reliable transmission.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 06:11pm
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Well no one's arguing the Maus would had been a good idea, we're just saying it shouldn't exactly be dismissed outright.

A crappy transmission certainly wasn't the only problem the Panther had. Far be it from me to attack one of history's most wanked over tanks though.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 06:54pm
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Vashon wrote:
There was only one way the Ratte would have been useful at all. Nuclear Ammunition.

Think about that.


I have before! The thing is, while the massive armoring of Ratte would provide some protection from nuclear counter fire, it won't remotely compare to the survivability you'd get from building multiple M65 Atomic Cannon type weapons and firing from multiple locations. After all, why bother with two 28cm guns on a tank if you're just going to fire nuclear shells one at a time? Its pushing up the vehicle size radically for no gain. Nor do you have any real need of 360 degree traverse on a tracked vehicle that can simply turn its body, and your mobility is too limited. Nukes only make Ratte a worse idea. You'd want somthing more like the Grille series scaled up to support a 28cm gun. Supposedly variants with up to a 420mm mortar were put on paper; that might already be big enough to hold some kind of 28cm gun. The mortar would have too little range to be effective.

The Germans did in fact have a project to make the very large 28cm K5 railway gun road mobile, but using a series of Tiger tanks to lift it in pieces and this would be more logical for nuclear missions than Ratte, though hardly ideal. It had far more range than the M65 so you can ensure victory in the atomic artillery battle! They also did some very unclear work on a mobile high power 24cm gun called K4 that would have moved in one piece. Its plausible this chassis could have supported a shorter barrel 28cm weapon; the M65 atomic cannon itself was already built on a carriage originally developed for a 240mm gun. Supposedly this weapon was at least slightly related to the carriage of the 60cm Karl mortars; but presumably much improved and faster. Given lack of details though, can't really say anything else about it.



"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 07:56pm
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CaptHawkeye wrote:
Well no one's arguing the Maus would had been a good idea, we're just saying it shouldn't exactly be dismissed outright.

A crappy transmission certainly wasn't the only problem the Panther had. Far be it from me to attack one of history's most wanked over tanks though.

The reason the Panther gets so much attention is that its much more practical than the Tiger, much lighter, and generally a much more sane design. If they had built it instead of the Tiger and gotten the tranny bugs fixed along with some other issues, it would have simply been a damn fine tank of the era. But the Tiger was a deadend. The best thing about it was the gun. And a certain Michael Wittman.

At seaskimmer, I think the mobile super artillery was called the Monster. For rather obvious reasons.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 08:02pm
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Vashon wrote:
CaptHawkeye wrote:
Well no one's arguing the Maus would had been a good idea, we're just saying it shouldn't exactly be dismissed outright.

A crappy transmission certainly wasn't the only problem the Panther had. Far be it from me to attack one of history's most wanked over tanks though.

The reason the Panther gets so much attention is that its much more practical than the Tiger, much lighter, and generally a much more sane design.


Well, that was the idea. The problem is that it ended up being almost as heavy as the original Tiger, and its transmission tended to break every very quickly. Again, more of Hitler's micromanaging insanity wrecking what could have been a truly sane design.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 09:09pm
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Vashon wrote:
At seaskimmer, I think the mobile super artillery was called the Monster. For rather obvious reasons.


Some people have attached the name 'Monster' to the P1500 project on the internet, supposedly coming from Albert Speer. I'm not so sure that's a real name, at least until someone comes up for a source for it. In any event, completely different from what I am talking about. P.1500 was to be a self propelled version of the 800mm siege gun and weighed at least 1500 tons; entirely different and far larger in scale then the 24cm K4 which would have been more like 100 tons. 24cm K4 was a follow on to the 24cm K3 which was a towed weapon, in six pieces, and actually built in small numbers. The sixth piece was a generator as it was fully powered, the five main pieces assembled without cranes. Range for K4 was to be improved from about 37km to 45km and shell weight slightly increased. A towed version of K4, with only two loads, was actually worked on but apparently the only prototype was damaged in an air raid and scrapped before the allies could ever get a look at it. Lots of Krupp archives were destroyed in air raids or burned at the end of the war so not much is really known on it.

K3 shown below, the K4 would not be expected to be vastly larger but no reliable artwork seems to exist. No photos since it was never built.
http://www.waffensysteme39-45.info/bild ... one3_1.jpg
http://img4.itiexue.net/986/9862516.jpg

The K3 mount design/concept was also vastly modified to make the 35.5cm M1 howitzer, of which something really small like seven were ever built. It has six pieces for road transport, plus a required gantry crane as a seventh. Really cool artillery piece and an indication towards what might be done in the way of making a Nazi atomic cannon if you had a crawler able to support the K4 already and make it self propelled. It required a mobile crane to assemble, but the work could be done in two hours. These designs had mechanical interlocks built into the pieces so you knew it had been assembled correctly, and would not fire if it hadn't been. It would be a slight understatement to say these weapons were vastly more useful than the 800mm gun; but the problem was the best Maginot line bunkers were designed to withstand multiple hits from weapons even of 355mm landing on the exact same spot.

http://forum.axishistory.com/download/f ... ?id=142683
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... sembly.jpg
http://forum.axishistory.com/download/f ... ?id=143225
http://forum.axishistory.com/download/f ... ?id=143226



"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 09:52pm
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1. Thanks. Shits cool.

2. How to multiquote?

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-25 10:02pm
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Vashon wrote:
1. Thanks. Shits cool.

2. How to multiquote?


You mean like the following?

Quote:
first quote


Quote:
second quote?


Just encase each block of text you want to appear as a quote in a separate set of quote tags. you can also stack these quote tags inside of each other like belowin the event you are replying to more then one person/thing at a time, though mostly we don't do this. SDN can get pretty quote crazy, but it is best to quote as little as you need.
Quote:
first quote
Quote:
second quote


Any confusion, just click 'quote' on my post at the upper right or lower left and it will show you this text with tags revealed.



"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-26 03:38am
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Sea Skimmer wrote:
Vashon wrote:
2. How to multiquote?


You mean like the following?


I think he means quoting multiple people, which is what the term usually means on other net boards. I think the only way to do it here is old Ctrl+C.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-27 01:35am
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In that case, go to the full post editor, scroll down to the thread preview under it, and click the "quote" button for the posts you want to quote.

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin



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 Post subject: Re: Russian tank losses in 1944-1945 PostPosted: 2012-04-27 08:39am
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fgalkin wrote:
In that case, go to the full post editor, scroll down to the thread preview under it, and click the "quote" button for the posts you want to quote.


Ah, I missed that option. Thanks!

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