Ensign’s Q&A #11

In this article series, you ask me questions, and I answer them! Email your questions to tankarchives@gmail.com, and I’ll answer them here (as long as they’re within scope, of course).

Previous Q&A

Q: What was the highest caliber gun mounted on a tank (not artillery or tank destroyer)?

A: Off the top of my head, the KV-2′s 152 mm howitzer was the biggest, but that was practically an SPG anyway.

Q: Were there German plans for autoloading tanks?

A: The T-25 was supposed to have an auto-loader. SerB says that the Waffentrager E-100 was, too. Aside from that, no idea, but there were probably some obscure autoloader projects.

Q: Is there any other kind of gun that the PzII Ausf J had aside form the 2.0 cm KwK 38?

A: Nope. The PzII Ausf J was meant to be a scout tank, so improving armament over the original PzII was not a priority. The tank quickly proved inadequate for its task, and was discontinued without receiving further modernizations.

Q: Were there tanks like E-100 planned by other nations (big gun on a heavy tank)?

A: Heavy tanks fell out of favour after the end of the war, so nothing quite like that. The closest thing was the BL-10 armed IS-7 SerB talked about, but that was never built.

Q: Were there Soviet rear turreted tanks? Why were they made? How did they compare in combat?

A: The reason for putting the turret in the rear was to allow for a larger gun. The gun’s weight would not shift the center of mass too much, the length would not interfere when fighting in the city or on bumpy terrain. Several Soviet rear-turreted tanks were planned, like the A-44Object 416, and Shashmurin’s breakthrough tank. None were ever mass produced, so it is hard to judge how well they would have performed in combat.

Q: How legit is this

 A: Completely legit.

“Since the new 85 mm gun did not fully exhaust all possibilities of the new T-34 based SPG, work was done in the fall of 1943 to install weapons of higher calibers. A 122 mm A-19 gun was installed in the stock casemate. The mass of the SPG grew to 32 tons. Penetration compared to the D-5S-85 increased by 30%. The factory index of the vehicle was SU-D25
Aside from the SU-D25 project, UZTM developed a SU-85 with a powerful artillery system: a 152.4 mm D-15 howitzer designed by factory #9. The muzzle velocity was 508 m/s, with a 48-49 kg shell. Penetration was 28% higher than the 85 mm gun, and HE capability was 100% higher. The mass of the proposed SPG was 31 tons. It received the factory index SU-D15. With analogous armament, this medium SPG was lighter than the heavy SU-152 SPG on the KV-1S chassis”
Solyankin et al, Soviet Medium SPGs, 1941-1945

26 thoughts on “Ensign’s Q&A #11

  1. “Q: What was the highest caliber gun mounted on a tank (not artillery or tank destroyer)?

    A: Off the top of my head, the KV-2′s 152 mm howitzer was the biggest, but that was practically an SPG anyway.”

    To whoever asked this question, the highest caliber gun to be mounted on a full traversing turret was the 183mm L4 on the FV4005 S2. If you were referring to both turreted and non turreted TDs with your question, then the FV4005 S2 doesn’t count.

    • True.

      “The 183mm L4 gun, which was intended to arm the
      FV 215, was not only designed, but was actually built. Moreover, it
      was successfully fired in 1955. Since the FV 215 had not been built,
      the 183mm gun was mounted instead on the chassis of the contemporary
      British medium tank, the Centurion. In one case, the installation
      took the form of an open mounting atop the Centurion hull and
      incorporated a six-round drum magazine. In another case, the gun
      was mounted in a tall, slab-sided turret. Both of these experimental
      installations were given the designation of FV 4005, as if they were
      part of the Centurion FV 4000 series.”

    • Another tank with a larger gun than the KV-2 was the American Heavy Tank T30, which mounted a 155mm gun. No, it was not actually a tank destroyer; it was never described as such by its designers and Wargaming just shoved it in the TD tree because it was convenient. In fact, Hunnicutt’s book “Firepower,” which I am lucky enough to own, seems to indicate that the 155mm gun was only tested with HE shells.
      Obviously, it never saw service, but the T29/T30/T34 became important test platforms for post war tank guns. Interestingly, unlike what is reflected in-game, the T34′s 120mm cannon was considered to be the better weapon, which is why the M103 and T110 tank designs that came after it carried 120mm guns.

      • Does the 290mm on the Churchill AVRE count? Or was that classified as an SPG/Mortar to?

  2. WTF is this? Running out of questions about glorious Soviet deathtraps? “Serb says”, “supposed to”, “no idea”? Fuck-off lazy-ass commie.

    And for your information, they had plans for auto-loaders, primarily for 75mm L/24 and L/70, all the way up to heaviest guns. Just stick to what you know best.

        • Did they put those plans on papers ?
          Done some maths ?
          Or are we just to belive what you say

          • Just read some book from Jentz&Doyle, or watch a video if that is too much for you (Operation Think Tank comes to mind).

          • There’s actually an FTR article about the 7,5cm’s somewhere in the archives you know. Wanted to put it in the Schmalturm IIRC.

            Notably there was also a 7,5cm Bordkanone NK 7,5 (duh) that was used in the B-3 version of the rather small Hs 129 ground-attack plane…

      • Actually he’s right, they did have autoloader designs, but they weren’t used in tanks. An autoloading 75 mm gun, the Pak 40, was used on the Hs 219 (aka the “Panzerknacker), which was a ground attack plane designed to kill tanks from the air, and a 50 mm autogun was tested on a prototype development of the Me-262 jet fighter, but again, not on a tank.

        It’s also possible that the coaxial 75 mm gun mounted on the Maus would have used an autoloader had a third prototype been built, but alas that wasn’t to be.

    • You’re pretty mad about this article you are under no obligation to read.

      If you would like questions answered, ask them. I am not going to make up questions for the sake of padding article length.

      • And how would you call “giving answers in area I have no clue about” if not “article padding”?

        You are also under no obligation to write crap, especially if it doesn’t concern you.


  3. Gotta say, that SU-D15 looks like it’d make a fantastic premium TD (maybe a 7 or an 8?)…humongous alpha damage, but most likely crap aim-time, accuracy, and ROF.

    • Possibly, since it would one, have a turret, and two, have a higher rate of fire, which would make it more difficult to flank; however, the gun would obviously be less powerful and have much lower penetration, so it would be even WORSE at killing most tanks of the same tier.

      That being said, a planned feature is to give it the ability to use both the hull and turret-mounted weapons (the bugs are still being worked out, with World of Warships being the testbed for this system). This would also apply to other tanks in certain ways, such as the Char B1 getting access to the hull gun (instead of it just being an easily-exploitable weakspot) and possibly the Maus getting to use its coaxial 75 mm gun (which won’t be useful against most enemies, but the higher rate of fire could make it deadly against a Batchat or Leopard 1 that tries to attack it, and make mincemeat of any spgs it runs into if it somehow manages to GET that far).

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