today, we’ll have a look at one of the more controversial, yet also more interesting designs the Germans produced. Please note that Zarax is the author and the overseer of the project, while the drawings and calculations have been made by Silentstalker.
So, what IS the StuG E-75 – is it even historical?
Yes, yes it is. At least in the way that it was planned. StuG E-75 (as its name suggests) is an assault gun project, based on the E-75 heavy tank we all know and love from World of Tanks. The E-75 project itself was in real life a program to replace the German heavy tanks (E stands for Entwicklung, “development”) and it was mostly under the supervision of the automotive head of WaPrüf6, Ing. Ernst Kniepkamp. Both E-75 and E-50 were supposed to be so called “standard tanks” (Standardpanzer), that were to be mass produced and were designed in order to save material and manhours, compared to the previous heavy tank designs, such as the Tiger and Tiger II, while sharing as many components as possible – including suspensions, roadwheels, engines and transmission. Here is the picture of the E-75 hull, as drawn by Mr.Doyle in his Panzer Tracts (20-1):
For the E-50/75 suspension design and construction, the company Adlerwerke (furthermore referred to as Adler) was selected. Probably the most renowned German tank expert along with H.Doyle, Walther Spielberger, refers to it in his Special Panzer Variants book. Thanks to him, we know the dimensions of the Adler E-75 suspension:
What else do we know about the E-75? It was to be powered by either a supercharged Maybach HL230-based engine of unknown horsepower, but because that engine was not yet developed, an alternative was proposed: Maybach HL234, rated at 900hp. Another engine (Deutz V8 diesel) was also considered, along with Voith torque converter and Mech-Hydro transmission. Fritz Hahn (another author, dealing with German superweapons) states that this vehicle was to be armed with a 105mm L/68 gun. Either way, all that remained only on paper. Some components for the E-series were designed on the drawing board, but before any serious effort could be made, the war was over. No production was ever considered.
So, that’s all nice and good, but where does the StuG come in? Well, that’s the fun part: it was proposed along with the E-75 itself. Walther Spielberger confirms it in his Special Panzer Variants book:
And so, from Spielberger, we know it existed and it had over 80 tons and a 60 degrees sloped frontal armor. Notice how Spielberger does not mention any casemate, but frontal sloped armor of the E-75, sloped at 60 degrees. It can be theorized that what he meant by the StuG E-75 was a Jagdpanther-style design, with frontal casemate. Interesting, is it not?
Fritz Hahn, a German author (another one, who actually lived through the war and was a part of German arms research branch) goes even further: he mentions the Sturmgeschütz variant of the E-75 ín his book “Waffen und Geheimwaffen des deutschen Heeres 1933-1945″:
Here, he mentions the assault gun based on E-75 having 85 tons and being armed by the proposed new 150mm L/52 StuK (gun). Did such a weapon proposal exist? Well, it’s reasonable to assume so, as it is known that the Germans also proposed a 150mm L/67 (drawing by H.Doyle):
So, with that all kept in mind, the StuG E-75 design could have looked something like on the picture above (please note it’s not a real historical drawing or anything, I made that picture myself, based on the E-75 suspension and hull design by Hilary Doyle).
As you can see, the solution we decided to follow is the one of the Jagdpanther with frontal casemate structure, angled at 45 degrees. The proposed vehicle on the picture is armed with a 150mm L/52 gun on a cradle, based on the historical L/67 cradle design. The 150mm L/67 was proposed for the Jagdpanzer E-100 most likely (that’s one of the hints at the fact the historical Jagdpanzer E-100 would really have rear casemate).
There is another option of course, to have a mid-casemate design, that would essentially look like a buffed up Jagdtiger, but for several reasons we decided for the frontal casemate design. These reasons were:
- obviously, it’s more attractive
- there is no evidence supporting the claim it did NOT look like that
- on lower weight scale, it’s relatively realistic, when it comes to weight distribution of the vehicle
- the gun itself is partially historical, having probably (roughly) the same dimensions as the 15cm K39, having L/55 (instead of L/52) barrel and hurling 43kg instead of 42kg shells, while weighting (“only”) two tons more than the original Jagdtiger gun
- on Foch 155 we can see the front heavy vehicle actually works
If we look at it in more detail:
Weight is known: 85 tons. Armor might resemble the original E-75, but in order to keep the weight (despite saving some weight on the turret rotation mechanism), I assume the superstructure would have to be a bit thinner. So what I will go with is this:
The armor schematic is mostly based on weight, as noone really knows how thick exactly the E-75 armor was supposed to be. As you can see, frontal 150mm armor, sloped at 60 degrees, will give the vehicle reasonable protection in frontal combat, while keeping the weight low. The sides are obviously weaker, but 120mm should do the trick. Lower frontal plate is 120mm too.
The gun itself is the 150mm L/52. Now, we can roughly guess at its properties in the game. Since the initial velocity was probably not that awesome, we can use high caliber HEAT as gold ammo. Based on the properties of other guns in game, I see the gun having the following properties:
Traverse: due to the breech size, we can expect limited traverse. Calculated from the breech and casemate size of the Jagdtiger, I think with some effort we can have -8/+8
horizontal, with an elevation of -5,+15.
Ammo capacity is of course a balance issue. There are alternative guns that could be used, for example:
- 150mm L/40, analogue to E-100′s gun
- 128mm L/61, the good old JT cannon with increased ROF
- 128mm L/66 or even the awesome 128mm Flak 45 L/75 (more on that in “Enzyklopädie Deutscher Waffen 1939-1945″- thanks, Thor_Hammerschlag)
Engine – here we have four options, but only one historical is mentioned:
- HL234 (850-900hp)
- supercharged HL233 (possibly 950hp)
- MB-507 (850HP)
- GT103 turbine (1150hp)
Of course, the turbine is never mentioned in connection with the E-series anywhere and its use would be highly speculative. But it’s an option. The 900hp engine would give it 10,58 hp/t, which in fact is not that bad. Coupled with decent terrain resistance, this vehicle could be fairly mobile. Of course, the turbine would give it 14 hp/t, but that solution carries all sorts of problems with it (amongst other things it would be a “1 hitpoint” engine – in game terms, it would burn ALL the time).
Also note that this vehicle still has frontal suspension.
All in all, turnrate and mobility could roughly equal the E-75.
In World of Tanks, this vehicle could fulfill the niche between “fragile” and “moving fortress” tank destroyers. Unlike the Waffentrager E-100, this vehicle is at least partially historical. What follows are the summary characteristics of how it look in World of Tanks. Furthermore, the vehicle is not as big as the Jpz E-100 and could profit from reasonable camo factor.
Weight: 85 tons
Hull armor: 150/120/120
Maximum speed: 40km/h
Maximum reverse: 15km/h
Hull Traverse: 30 deg/s
Terrain resistance: 1/1,3/2
Engine: 900hp HL234 (950hp supercharged HL230, 1150hp GT103)
Gun: 150mm StuK L/52
Shells: PzGr 46(150), Gr HL46 (HEAT), SprG 46(150)
And now the most important question:
What to do with it?
Well, it’s like this: some of you might remember the time Daigensui and Zarax promoted the Weserhütte Tiger. That one’s dead – by the changes in the E-50M (namely the armor and the mantlet), it has become superfluous. Elements of the Tiger W plan were in fact implemented into the E-50M in the 8.8 German change.
This vehicle could serve as a reward/branch tier 10 vehicle as well. Germans certainly do have enough tank destroyers to fit another TD branch with. It might even fit better as tier X for the current TD branch, with JPz E-100 as alternate tier X (the soviet line will have something similar soon for their mediums), or as a reward for CW’s or some supertough random missions? Why not?
Of course, posting this here is just… you know, entertainment. To even have any devs look at it, it would need some serious publicity. I am a realist – the chance of that is extremely low. Still, it’s a thought for some of you guys.
Oh and don’t call it “Krokodil” please, that name is made up. Zarax suggests “Schwerer Jagdpanzer V/VI” or simply StuG E-75.
Polls to ask for the tank are now available:
If anyone would like to start similar polls in RU and CH it would help us to reach the objective of 300k players support!