Author: Károly “Karika” Németh
SS: Hello everyone. In today’s post by Karika, we’ll talk about Tas Rohamlöveg Hungarian tank destroyer project. Now, you might remember that I already wrote once about it in the past. This article is a bit different though – for one, it’s more detailed. And secondly, it uses native Hungarian sources, which is very important. Enjoy!
The Tas rohamlöveg, a proposed assault gun version of the Hungarian 44M. Tas medium tank, is not as historical as some older history books and articles claims, because no prototype has been ever made of it.
Above: Side view of Ádám Bíró’s Tas rohamlöveg mock-up
History and historiography:
The history of the Hungarian Tas rohamlöveg (=Tas assault gun) which would have been based on the 44M. Tas medium tank, is a bit complicated. I have to say, that the common knowlege about it is full of half-truths and obsolete informations. Let me make it clear:
First of all: this vehicle has sometimes been referred as 44M. Árpád or simply just Árpád for no reason, so I have to state: this name is completely unhistorical, no historical source ever mentions this name, and most likely made up by somebody on the internet. It didn’t entered into service, so it haven’t got any separate name (like the Toldi, Turán, Nimród, Zrínyi, etc.), and it neighter got code number.
The first mention of this proposed assault gun project has been came up in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s, when Pál Korbuly, (son of János Korbuly, who was the the technical manager of the Tas development in the 1940’s) collected the fragmentary documentations, verbal informations and personal memoirs about the Tas project. As not much written document survived the war about the Tas, and not a single photograph of it was known at that time, he had to rely mostly on the memories of the original designers and workers he had spoken.
His discoveries highlighted the fact, that together 2 vehicles were under construction during the Tas development program in the Weisz Manfréd factory (WM) before the whole WM assembly hall, located on the Csepel Island (and together with it, every finished Tas component) were destroyed in an American bombing run in 27 July 1944.
He thought, that this could only mean that one prototype vehicle must be belonged to the Tas medium tank, and the other vehicle could be something else, like a secretly developed assault gun proposal. This would be obvious, if we take the analoge of the Hungarian Turán medium tank and the Zrínyi assault gun/howitzer developed on its chassis.
Before Pál Korbuly published his findings, he made cardboard mock-up versions of the Tas medium tank, and the Tas rohamlöveg assault gun, pictures here:
Above: The cardboard models of the Tas and the Tas rohamlöveg by Pál Korbuly. The Tas model became very outdated/unhistorical nowadays.
In an earlier post, which you can find here, I’ve described why the above mentioned model os the Tas medium tank is historically incorrect now.
Later, based on his publications, every book and article related to the Hungarian tanks started to copy sentences like: „…the components of the Tas rohamlöveg prototype, analogous to the components of the Tas were manufactured and ready to assemble before the Allied forces destroyed the WM factory…”. At that time, the community of the amateur and professional Hungarian historians accepted the existence of the Tas rohamlöveg without doubt, because the son of the original designer wrote about it.
In the 1980’s, Iván Bajtos, (the man who have found the photograps of the 1:10 scale factory models of the Tas in Czechoslovakia) made the outline drawing of the Tas rohamlöveg together with the drawings of the Tas medium tank.
Above: The outline drawing of the Tas rohamlöveg made by Iván Bajtos, based on Korbuly’s model
However, according to new discoveries, made in the recent years, it became clear that the above mentioned statement, that the prototype Tas rohamlöveg was under construction is FALSE. According to some documents, especially the order about the Tas-production, made by the Hungarian Ministry of Defence (HM), (it can be found in the Hungarian National Archives where Pál Korbuly didn’t or couldn’t go during his research), it became clear that the HM ordered 2, one „iron”, and one „finished” (made of armour-plates) prototypes of the Tas. There are no mentions about any planned assault gun in it, so both prototypes, and all manufactured Tas components or parts belonged to the Tas medium tank itself, and there’s no Tas rohamlöveg prototype (or parts of it) have been ever assembled. Actually, there are no known, official document ever mentions that this assault gun ever existed, except some shady statements and memories.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the Hungarian engineers did not considered to create an assault gun or tank destroyer based on the Tas medium tank. I mean, it’s more than likely that Korbuly make his conclusion based on one of his non-official (vocal maybe) source. However, because there are no (known) official document states, that the Tas rohamlöveg existed, most of the newest historical books about the Hungarian tanks do not deal with the „legend” of the Tas rohamlöveg, they only states that it could in a very, very early development stage, or it doesn’t existed at all.
In 2009, Ádám Bíró, acknowledged Hungarian historian and model-maker wrote a long article about how could(!) have the Tas rohamlöveg looked like, based on his mock-up experiments. The pictures on the bottom of the post are mostly from his article. However, any of the existing mock-ups or models could not be considered 100% historically correct right now.
He used the 7,5 cm KwK 42 L/70 tank gun for his Tas rohamlöveg proposal, because it is not clearly known what gun was considered for this vehicle, and in his opinion, this would have been the most likely choice.
It is clear, that only four guns was avaiable that time to choose from;
- the Hungarian 43. M 75mm L/55, or the
- 29/43. M 80mm L/58 guns, or the
- German 7,5cm KwK 42 L/70, or the
- 8,8cm KwK/Pak 43 L/71.
Eighter, and in the same time, non of these could have been used for the Tas rohamlöveg development. Because IRL the Germans were unwilling to sell the licence of their high performance anti-tank guns (the Hungarian industry didn’t had the resources to manufacture them anyway) and they could not affort to sell manufactured 88mm guns to the Hungarians, because the Germans could not even satisfy their own needs of these guns.
The the mass production of the Hungarian 80mm gun was postponed to 1945, and only two 43.M 75mm gun was ever assembled. One was used for the Zrínyi I assault gun prototype, and the other for the Turán III medium tank prototype.
If the Tas rohamlöveg would have been ever finished, it would most likely used the same engine as the 44M. Tas: two, joint operated WM V-8H (same as the engine of the Turán). However, there were (very early) plans to create a Hungarian V-shaped, 12 cylinder, at least 700hp engine for the Tas, so the Tas rohamlöveg could get it too, along with the Panther’s Maybach engine, which was considered for some time too.
Because it’s not much known about this assault gun, most of the stats of the Tas rohamlöveg differs from source to source.
Name:Tas rohamlöveg or Tas assault gun
Manufacturers: none, only pre-plan
Combat weight: cca. 36-39 t
Engines: Same as the Tas
- 2x WM V-8H, 8-8 cylinders, 260+260=520 hp at 2200 RPM, 14866+14866=29732 cm3, 1600 kg, petrol (Historical on the Tas, two joint Turán engines)
- Planned Hungarian-made tank engine, 12 cylinders, 700 hp, petrol (Early proposal/plan for the Tas. Its development was cancelled in its early stage, due to the lack of resources and time, therefore never went fully through the designing process.)
- Maybach HL230 P30, 12 cylinders, 690 hp at 2500 RPM, 23095 cm3, petrol (Planned/considered German engine for the Tas. Unhistorical, because the Germans were unwilling to sell its design.)
Dimensions in mm:
- Full lenght without barrel: 6300-6450 (?)
- Full width: 3150-3300 (?)
- Full height: cca. 2300 (?)
- Ground clearance: 510(?)
- Rear, engine maintenance door diameter: 370
Suspension: Tas rohamlöveg (same as the Tas)
- Track gauge: 2520
- Chain size: 600(?)x170x140
- Number of chains: 91(x2)
- Front (driven) sprocket wheel diameter: 900
- Back chain-idler wheel diameter: 700
- Road wheel diameter: 720
- Support wheel diameter: 300
- Front-rear axis distance: 4000
Ground pressure: ?, probably cca. 0,76-0,8 kp/cm2
Armour: welded. The shape and the front degrees could be only guessed.
- front: 75mm (?)
- front lower plate: 120mm (?)
- gun mantlet: 25mm
- side: 50mm@90-60°
- upper rear: 100mm@75°
- bottom rear: 50mm@50°
- top, bottom: 20mm
- 43. M 75mm L/55 tank gun (considered, same as the cannon of the 44. M Zrínyi I assault gun and the 43. M Turán III medium tank. Similar to the German 7,5cm Pak 40)
barrel lenght: 4125 mm
muzzle velocity with AP: 770 m/s
range: 7500-8600 m
rate of fire: cca. 12 shots/min
- 7,5cm 43 M. páncélgránát (AP), Hungarian counterpart of the German Pzgr. 39; weight: 6,8 kg
- 7,5cm 43 M. páncélrobbantógránát (HEAT), Hungarian counterpart of the German Gr. 38 H1/C; 5 kg, muzzle velocity: 450 m/s
- 7,5cm 40 (40W) M. különleges német páncélgránát (=”special German armour-piercing grenade”) (APCR); 4,1 kg, 930 m/s, tungsten core
- 7,5cm 43 M. repeszgránát (HE), Hungarian counterpart of the German Gr. 34; 5,74 kg, 550 m/s
ammo capacity: ?
penetration with AP at 60°: 85mm/100m, 80mm/300m, 76mm/500m, 66mm/1000m
penetration with AP at 90°: 113mm/100m, 106mm/300m, 101mm/500m, 88mm/1000m
penetration with HEAT at 60°: 90mm @ any distance up to 1200m
gun depression, elevation: ?
horizontal arc: ?
- 7,5cm KwK 42 L/70 tank gun (historical, if we take the Tas Rohamlöveg as a historical vehicle. All of this information is according to Ádám Bíró’s work. Same gun as on the Pz. Kpfw. V Panther)
barrel lenght with muzzle break: 6686 mm
muzzle velocity with AP: 925-1000 m/s
max range: 10000 m
rate of fire: ? shots/min
ammo: the original 75mm German or its Hungarian counterparts.
ammo capacity (according to Ádám Bíró): 45 items
penetration with AP at 30°: 138mm@100m, 124mm@500m, 111mm@1000m
gun depression, elevation: -7°, +25°
horizontal arc: 11-11°
- 29/44. M 80mm L/58 anti-air/anti-tank cannon (considered, historically planned on the Tas medium tank, but only one prototype cannon was built before the end of the war. Never entered mass-production or been mounted on the Tas, not to mention on the Tas rohamlöveg)
barrel lenght: 4585 mm
weight: 2200 kg
muzzle velocity (AP): 872 m/s
range: 10800-18500 m
muzzle energy: 322,8 mt
rate of fire: ? shots/min
ammo: ? type AP grenade (projectile weight: 8 kg, the whole grenade’s weight with its shell: 11kg)
penetration with AP: ?
gun depression, elevation: ?
horizontal arc: ?
- 8,8cm KwK or Pak 43 L/71 tank cannon (historical, if we take the Tas Rohamlöveg as a historical vehicle, according to the older sources. Same gun as on the Pz. Kpfw. VI Ausf. B Tiger II or on the Jagdpanther)
barrel lenght: 6610 mm
muzzle velocity with AP: 1000 m/s
range: 4000-16000 m
rate of fire: ? shots/min
ammo: the original German as no 88mm ammunition was in service in Hungary
ammo capacity: ?
penetration with AP at 30°: 202mm@100m, 185mm@500m, 165mm@1000m
gun depression, elevation: ?
horizontal arc: ?
Max. speed forward with the 2x WM V-8H: cca. 45 km/h
Crew: ?, most likely 4, Commander, Driver, Loader, Gunner
In World of Tanks
Even though this would be the least historical Hungarian tank in the World of Tanks, I see no reason why not to implement this considered variant of the Tas medium tank. We can play with plenty, maybe even less historical tanks, tank destroyers and artilleries in this game. Ok, I know, this doesn’t justify the implementation, but hell, this TD would be awesome.
If the Tas rohamlöveg would make its way to the game, it would be probably very similar to the in-game Jagdpanther, both its appearance and its characteristics, only it would not get the 10,5 cm top gun of it (which is not quite historical on the Jagdpanther anyway). The Tas rohamlöveg would be somewhat smaller than the Jagdpanther, which was nearly 10 m long (with barrel), 3,42 m wide and 2,71 m tall. This means the Tas rohamlöveg would get better camo ratings than that.
As it is not known how the Tas rohamlöveg exacly looked like, eighter Korbuly’s or Bíró’s mock-up could be used as a role model for the game designers. However, I think Bíró’s mock-up is a little bit better (more realistic), because he gave reasons in his article, why he made his model as he did so (for example: he made enough space for the crew; in Korbuly’s model, the gun would have nearly zero gun derpession, etc).
Hull: Tas rohamlöveg
Alternative hull: none
Suspension: Tas → Tas rohamlöveg (identical)
Engine: 2x WM V-8H → the planned Hungarian V12, 700 hp engine or Maybach HL230 P30 or both
Guns: 43. M 75mm L/55 → 7,5cm KwK 42 L/70 → 29/44. M 80mm L/58 → 8,8cm KwK 43 L/71
Pictures (based on Á.Bíró’s research)
A 7,5 cm 40 M. páncéltörő- 7,5 cm 43 M. harckocsi- és 7,5 cm 43 M. roham-ágyú lőtáblázata. Budapest, 1944 June.
Harckocsik és páncélozott harcjárművek típuskönyve (editor: Poór István). Budapest, 1980. 163. (very outdated source in this topic)
Bonhardt Attila – Sárhidai Gyula– Winkler László: A Magyar Királyi Honvédség fegyverzete. Kecskemét, 1992. 102-103. (outdated source too)
Bombay László – Gyarmati József– Turcsányi Károly: Harckocsik 1916-tól napjainkig. Bp., 1999. 112.
Turcsányi Károly: Nehéz harckocsik – Összehasonlító értékelések, műveleti alkalmazások és a magyar TAS tervezése. Nagykovácsi, 2008. 233.
Bíró Ádám – Sárhidai Gyula: A Magyar Királyi Honvédség hazai gyártású páncélos harcjárművei 1914-1945. Bp., 2012. 264. (denies the existence of the Tas rohamlöveg)
Bíró Ádám: A Tas nehéz rohamlöveg I. rész. In: Haditechnika, 2009/3, pages 27-31.
Bíró Ádám: A Tas nehéz rohamlöveg II. rész. In: Haditechnika, 2009/4, pages 59-63.
Excelent, very good article, I love reading about the more obscure projects.
However SS, do you proof read these? There are a lot of semantic and typographical errors (for example the consistent mis-spelling in both articles of either as eighter). It kinda distracts from the overall quality of the article.
Not quite. Again, it’s the “time vs quality” conflict.
Yeah, every grammatical mistake is my fault. Sorry mates :)
Mutant SU-152/JagdPanther/Stug 3 monster!
It has my approval !
This tanks is simply…. lovely.
Looks awesome. Great job.
I’m in love… Tas TD with 8,8cm KwK or Pak 43 L/71 tank cannon is better than 8.8 cm PaK 43 Jagdtiger. Németh ‘Karika’ Károly, plz send me your e-mail address. my e-mail is: email@example.com
Sorry mate, but I don’t want to :) If you have questions about the Hungarian tanks, you can ask them, for example here: http://forum.worldoftanks.eu/index.php?/topic/128733-magyar-tankok/
According to your name, you are Hungarian, vagy nincs igazam? :P
Kedves Károly! Köszönjük a cikkeket. Továbbá köszönöm a ritka és számomra új képeket.
Megkérdezhetem, hogy a képek melyik könyvből vannak vagy folyóiratból?
> gun depression, elevation: -7°, +25°
It is -7/+14 according to the last picture. Which one is wrong?
Hmm, I overlooked this little detail. According to Ádám Bíró: +14° is the “desired” arc (I don’t understand why or by whom was it desired) and +24° or +25° was the theoretically maximum gun elevation (before the end of the gun hit the floor), but this +25° was not needed for a TD.
I think ergonomically the +14° is the better value.
That lower hull looks too delicious lol
Front drive strikes again!
Looks like a Jagdpanther combined with an Object 704.
My first thought was “when a StuG and a JagdPanther like each other really really much…”
Really good tier 7.
Bit sturdier than Jagdpanter , but not as beast like su-152.
-7 would give good low profile playing chances. And gun 8.8 cm could have rof. of Tiger 1 ?
Looks like the love child of an Obj. 704 and a Jagdpanther. I like it.
i… want to model this…
“Even though this would be the least historical Hungarian tank in the World of Tanks, I see no reason why not to implement this considered variant of the Tas medium tank. We can play with plenty, maybe even less historical tanks, tank destroyers and artilleries in this game. Ok, I know, this doesn’t justify the implementation, but hell, this TD would be awesome.”
I’ll agree with this statement, as some of the vehicles in World of Tanks were completely made up as well (but at least based on existing vehicles). Point and case: T25/2, T28 Prototype, Waffentraeger E-100, T110E4 etc.
What a sexy SU-152/Jagdpanther Hybrid!!
Not bad, but i like this version of 44M Tas assault gun better :