Panzer Answers: Round 1

I’ve already received quite a few questions, so now I will try my best to reply to all of them.
Some of your questions (like for example one regarding the AMX30) were quite a bit away from my field of expertise so I’m afraid I couldn’t cover all of them.

Here’s an excerpt of the most interesting questions:

Q: Why did Ferdinand have two loaders?

A: This was done mostly because they could afford the space in the big case-mate. Two loaders could be also faster in accessing ammo stored further away from the gun and this was probably done also because there were some plans to install a 22cm captured french howitzer, which meant some very heavy ammunition.

Spielberger’s “Special Panzer Variants”, “Tiger & its variants” and “Heavy jagdpanzer” covers the subject on different aspects pretty well.

Q: What was the gun depression in the different Panther and Tiger variants?
Panther standard turret is rated at -8 +20 degrees by Spielberger and same was expected for the Schmaulturm. Data for the 88mm L/71 was expected to be -8 +15 degrees. Tiger with 88mm L/56 was also -8 +15 degrees, while I couldn’t find any data on the variant with the 88mm L/71.

Q: Maus and E-100 has loader for 128mm gun and for 75mm gun, but could 75mm loader help to load 128mm shells and vice versa to reduce loading time?
A: While in theory the 75mm loader could help with the main gun I’m not 100% sure it was something very ergonomically viable as he seated quite a bit in front and to the right of the 12,8cm breech with no easy access to the ammo stored on the other side of the turret.
Maus II turret project was actually aimed at fixing this with a larger turret ring and different layout.

Q: how Germans repaired repaired dents and holes left from enemy shells?
This is not my field of expertise, but in most cases replacing pierced armor plates was the most widely used solution.
Tanks were also overhauled for maintenance once a certain amount of wear had set in, meaning that any damaged part would be replaced in the factory or repair shop.

Q: Do you know any information why 7,5cm konisch was abandoned?
All Gerlich guns used tungsten round, which represented something progressively harder to acquire for WWII Germany, making it vulnerable to ammunition shortages.
Although later in the war steel core rounds were developed those were less effective due to lower muzzle velocity and given that the gun had a pretty short barrel life the much more economical 75mm L/70 was preferred for similar performance.

Q: What kind of german auto-loader guns would seem likely to make it into the new german td line for world of tanks ?
A: Historically there were planned tank loaders from 75mm to 128mm, with a few referrals on a 15cm assisted load as well. Those were both drum and cassette loaders, depending on the caliber, while lighter cannons were adapted for auto-loader by Luftwaffe. Basically if WG wanted we could have auto loaders for all tiers, starting from 37mm  and 50mm up to 128 and 150mm.

Spielberger’s “Panther & its variants” mentions most tank autoloaders but don’t expect to find much detail on the subject.

Q: In World of Tanks, it’s easy to catch a German tank on fire because the transmission/engine/gearbox (not sure which one it is) is in the front. Was there an advantage to putting that device in the front as opposed to the middle/back?
A: Frontal transmission was considered to be better for tractive power in rough terrain and track wear although it had disadvantages in making the tank taller and requiring more internal space in general. Still, it was considered technically superior and the decision to go for a rear transmission/gearbox in the E-Series was still pretty reluctant. Ernst Kniepkamp was the best expert on the matter as he constantly worked on transmission project during WWII, eventually becoming head of Wa Pruef 6.

Q: I am interested in the technical side of the evolution of tank suspensions.  Panzer III is rather interesting, since it went through several different types. The Porsche design with longitudinally mounted torsion bar is also quite neat. Do you have access to hard technical data and/or nice blueprints?
A: Spielberger’s “Special Panzer Variants” has some good pics of Porsche and E-series suspensions, Panther, Panzer III and Panzer IV also by Spielberger’s respective books while Tigers are covered by Jentz & Doyle’s “Germany’s Tiger tanks” series.
I could post some pics but scanning that much from the authors is not nice (or legal) so I suggest you just take a look at the mentioned titles.

Q: Do you have any technical data on German tank guns: mounts, stabilization, breech design, etc?
A: I’m afraid that’s a bit over my field of expertise. Jentz, Doyle and Spielberger treated the subject only on the performance side and I cannot suggest much on the subject.
A good start could be “Panzerabwehrkanonen 1916-1977″ if you can read german or the “Encyclopaedia of WWII german weapons”.
Ian Hogg also wrote good stuff on the subject but it’s pretty old and hard to find IIRC.

Q: Is there any chance you could do an article exploring the original evolution of German tanks in WW1 and the immediate postwar period, including the A7V and its brethren, the K-Wagen, the LK-I and II and the Swedish developments which followed, and the Sturmpanzerwagen Oberschlesien?
A: I do have some material about WWI tanks but I’m not 100% sure about its quality. I could do an article on the subject but don’t expect anything too obscure unlike WWII projects.

Q:Do you have any data on the Schützenpanzer Büffel?
AFAIK the tank you mention is a modeler kitbash. A simple rule of thumb is that if it’s not mentioned by Jentz, Doyle or Spielberger it’s likely to be a fake. Authors like Hahn and Sowodny can be also used but have to be taken with a pinch of salt as in some instances they tend to do dubious reconstructions (Kleintiger is a prime example).

Q: says there were planes to rearm a tiger 1 with a 12,8cm PAK L/66 named ‘’Tiger-Jäger’’. Do you know if it’s fake?
A: I think someone mistranslated Jentz, the only Tiger-based project with the 12,8cm PAK L/66 is a Krupp proposal for improving firepower on the Jagdtiger, which included a case-mate extension and severely reduced gun traverse both horizontally and vertically.

Q: Do you platoon?
I usually platoon with my GF, if you wanna join me you’re welcome but beware it will be mostly low tiers :)
I’m Zarax999 on the EU server, usually EU1.

Q: Is there any way I could support your research?
If you just want to say thanks I don’t mind receiving gold in WOT, otherwise I’m always looking for books on the subject of WWII, tanks and german tech in general so just contact me :)

This concludes this session and I will eagerly away further questions at

About Zarax

Wot: Zarax999 (EU Server)

37 thoughts on “Panzer Answers: Round 1

  1. Little typo here:
    Q: What was the gun depression in the different Panther and Tiger variants?
    Panther standard turret is rated at -8 +20 degrees by Spielberger and same was expected for the Schmaulturm. Data for the 88mm L/71 was expected to be -8 +15 degrees.

    Tiger with 88mm *(L/556)* was also -8 +15 degrees, while I couldn’t find any data on the variant with the 88mm L/71.

  2. 1st time I’ve saw a Tiger with 88mm l/556 – rather too long for that tank, isn’t it? :)

  3. “Although later in the war steel core rounds were developed those were less effective due to lower muzzle velocity and given that the gun had a pretty short barrel life the much more economical 75mm L/70 was preferred for similar performance.”
    Wouldn’t a steel core be lighter then tungsten and thus have a higher muzzle velocity rather then lower? The kinetic energy may be lower thought due to less mass.

      • Did they intentionally use a low charge to reduce the muzzle velocity on the steel core ones to prevent shattering them?

          • Uranium ( the metal not the refined or DU nuclear material) was used in a limited way as a replacement for Tungsten. Although I cant recall which shells it was used for. I had a list once. Its relatively obscure since the amounts made were even less then the Tungsten which was being saved for non ammunition uses.

  4. “I usually platoon with my GF”

    The best platooning ever, enjoying it most of the time~ =w=

  5. Sorry, nit pick, Squeeze bore is where an adaptor is used on the end of the barrel to reduce the caliber and increse muzzle velocity, Taper bore is where the gun tapers along its length. The Konish is a Taper bore gun, and the QF 2lbr Mk Xb “LittleJon” is a Squeeze bore gun.

  6. One the topic of Armour repair
    Hits that penned thur the armour would be handled at the Depot level. The hit would sanded flat and to clean the surface then A patching piece of armour plate would be welded in to place. The welding equipment to properly weld plates is a bit different then the I-staffel would have. Armour dents Would be left alone unless there was downtime I- staffel was more focus on keeping the combat ready and not parade ready.
    So for example The I-Saffel had two stug in the repair area one is penned in the engine and the other is penned in the casemate. They may Take working hull and the working castemate and make one working stug and avoid fixing the armour plate then cannbilized the two hulk that are leaft for the company reserves

    One Tiger II is the 503 Had an shell hit the hull floor and bowed the hull Its wasn’t repair til the were entrained and moved off the line

  7. I think Tiger-Jäger was Krupp’s internal name for the Jagdtiger. At least in 1943 they called it that, so it seems logically to assume the L/66 Jagdtiger would be reffered as “Tiger-Jäger mit…” or something similiar.

    AFAIK tanks of the Wehrmacht remained with the regiment/bataillon if the armor had been cleanly penetrated and the internal damage wasn’t to severe. In case of a (big) fire after a clean armor penetration the tanks were transported to a K-Werk (IIRC there were three of these behind the Eastern Front). If the penetration wasn’t clean and the armor had cracked the tanks were transported back to Germany.

    • I don’t know anything about tanks, but the name “Tiger-Jäger” seems kind of strange to me as a German. “Jagdtiger” means a tiger that is hunting, while “Tiger-Jäger” means a hunter who hunts for tiger (which makes no sense because its their own tank). Also the dash wasn’t used much (if even at all) in the German language at these times.

      • Well, ebenfalls Deutscher hier *lol*

        I was wrong, it wasn’t Krupp but Henschel:
        “Tiger-Jäger (Tiger-Ausführung B)” (14th May 1943)

        But also the Waffenamt and WaPrüf 6:
        “12,8 cm Pz. Jäger auf Fahrgestell Tiger H (Tigerjäger)” (12th April 1943)
        “12,8 cm Tiger-Jäger” (2nd October 1943)

        • so it was basically just a jagdtiger mounting a 12,8cm PAK L/66?

          but wasn’t the actual gun mounted on them a 12,8 cm PAK 44 L/55?

          ps: auch deutsch :)

          • Yes, as already mentioned in Zaraks post. It was one of Krupps proposals from November(?) 1944 to outfit the Jagdtiger with the L/66. The proposal was turned down as the additional weight would have overburdened the chassis. Also IIRC the L/55 itself was never “pushed” to the real limit in terms of achievable v/max as there was problem with round shattering upon impact that wasn’t solved before the war ended. So upgunning would have been kind of pointless anyway.

            • The main problem is that it would have crippled traverse and gun depression, as the extra long breech would have to fit in a smaller case-mate extension, transforming the tank into armored artillery in Wa Pruef 6 words.

    • +1 Thx zarax, nice read as always.

      But i have one request to you: please dont develop like EE, his first posts were also a pleasure to read (something from the soviet perspective) but in the last time he writes like a 15 year old soviet fanboy.

      • I try to not discuss other posters here, at worst SilentStalker should be the one moderating.
        In any case, EE always brought sources to back his posts, the way he writes is subjective to people’s liking but keep in mind many eastern europeans tends to talk and write in a pretty direct and passionate way.

  8. The Germans discovered rather quickly that the long barrels of their late-war tank guns were very unsuitable for stabilisation. Instead, a combined solution was investigated, using a stereoscopic rangefinder (the “ears” or “eyeballs” on many tanks in the game, not just German ones either) which would be stabilised itself and then an electrical contact that would fire the gun when its point of aim and that of the stabilised sight coincided.

    More than the issue of on the move fire, the Germans began exploring this route because gunner fatigue while observing through a jittery magnified sight was getting to be a problem.