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Would the Germans have fared better with VK 30.02 (DB) instead of the Panther?

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  • Would the Germans have fared better with VK 30.02 (DB) instead of the Panther?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VK_3002(DB)

    Would it have had the same reliability problems as the Panther?

  • #2
    The Panther, more so the Tiger, did not fit the German military tactic of Blitzkrieg, the tanks were too heavy and too slow.

    They were both formidable tanks in tank VS tank battles in open terrain with long range engagements, I'd go so far as to say superior. However, in other areas they fell short.. the German tactic of Blitzkrieg relied on speed and fast maneuvers!

    With this in mind the VK 3002 would have been a much better fit imo.

    Edit.
    It resembles the T-34, which would have increased the risk of blue on blue incidents.

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    • #3
      Would’ve been awfully crowded inside that thing, if the size comparison is correct.
      "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
      Ernest Hemingway.

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      • #4
        I doubt it would have done any better against the revived Soviet war machine. Solving the Panther problems would have been a far better approach, IMHO. A better gun would have been helpful, too, but impossible inside the prototype's narrower turret. Even the Panther itself needed a bigger gun. And crew fatigue would have been a serious issue.

        As for speed, the Russians were the only ones smart enough to adopt the Christie suspension that served them so well in that respect. Even America turned it down. The broader tracks would have possibly helped, but speed only gets the tank to its firing position faster; it doesn't improve anything else. Our own tank destroyers proved to be highly vulnerable to enemy fire once they stopped moving.

        Would be interesting to see them on the battlefield, though. After all, despite its even smaller size and no turret, the Hetzer TD was a formidable opponent in the right hands.

        Last edited by Mountain Man; 09 Jan 20, 10:06.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by walle View Post
          The Panther, more so the Tiger, did not fit the German military tactic of Blitzkrieg, the tanks were too heavy and too slow.

          They were both formidable tanks in tank VS tank battles in open terrain with long range engagements, I'd go so far as to say superior. However, in other areas they fell short.. the German tactic of Blitzkrieg relied on speed and fast maneuvers!

          With this in mind the VK 3002 would have been a much better fit imo.

          Edit.
          It resembles the T-34, which would have increased the risk of blue on blue incidents.
          Pz III and Pz IV weren't better in terms of mobility than Tiger and Panther. Nor the speed of the tanks affected the speed of the supporting elements.
          There are no Nazis in Ukraine. İ Idiots

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
            I doubt it would have done any better against the revived Soviet war machine. Solving the Panther problems would have been a far better approach, IMHO. A better gun would have been helpful, too, but impossible inside the prototype's narrower turret. Even the Panther itself needed a bigger gun. And crew fatigue would have been a serious issue.

            As for speed, the Russians were the only ones smart enough to adopt the Christie suspension that served them so well in that respect. Even America turned it down. The broader tracks would have possibly helped, but speed only gets the tank to its firing position faster; it doesn't improve anything else. Our own tank destroyers proved to be highly vulnerable to enemy fire once they stopped moving.

            Would be interesting to see them on the battlefield, though. After all, despite its even smaller size and no turret, the Hetzer TD was a formidable opponent in the right hands.
            The problem with the Panther was that it was uparmoured beyond its designed mechanical ability to propel said tank. It was simply 10 tons too heavy. I imagine the same fate would have happened to the VK 30.02.

            The German 7.5cm KwK 42, fitted on the V, was equivalent to the British 17pdr, and more than good enough in the AT role against most Allied and all Soviet tanks.

            The British used the Christie suspension for almost all their Cruisers in WW2, inc all three A13 types, the A15, A24, both A27's, A30 and A34.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
              The problem with the Panther was that it was uparmoured beyond its designed mechanical ability to propel said tank. It was simply 10 tons too heavy. I imagine the same fate would have happened to the VK 30.02.

              The German 7.5cm KwK 42, fitted on the V, was equivalent to the British 17pdr, and more than good enough in the AT role against most Allied and all Soviet tanks.

              The British used the Christie suspension for almost all their Cruisers in WW2, inc all three A13 types, the A15, A24, both A27's, A30 and A34.
              Actually, the original Panther carried the same thickness of armor as the OP prototype, 80mm max. Upgrades were necessary because the armor was inadequate. Happens all of the time, as witness the use of applique armor on American Shermans and the field adaptations of track sections, timbers and sandbags by crews to try and improve survival.

              The British cruiser tanks were mostly failures and most often used for training, their origins being deeply rooted in the TOG/cavalry mentality, just like the American light tanks. The point being that speed is not as essential as being able to make a first shot kill or to survive that first shot by the enemy. American tank destroyers were probably some of the fastest machines on the battlefield, but hopelessly outclassed if hit by much of anything. True speed married to accuracy had to wait for gyro stabilization to be developed.

              The Germans suffered a shortage of things like tungsten, essential for AP rounds; this meant needing a bigger gun to accomplish the same thing when facing an opponent with sloped armor. A higher velocity main gun would have achieved the same result as a larger caliber, up to a point, but required another redesign. Best example here is the Sherman Firefly which received a 17 pounder that had to be mounted on its side to fit in the turret. The Tiger series ended up with the superb 88 mm taken from the FLAK Kannone, but even that was under consideration for a major upgrade to be successful against the IS series being fielded by the Soviets.

              Returning to the OP, I doubt the experimental Panther design would have performed any better than the fielded version, and the blue-on-blue comment made earlier by Walle would have likely been an issue in the midst of the "fog of war".
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                As for speed, the Russians were the only ones smart enough to adopt the Christie suspension that served them so well in that respect. Even America turned it down.
                IIRC there were plans to switch for torsion bar on the T-34 but it got cancelled when the Germans invaded, and rather than upsetting the production lines they stuck with Christie. The desire for torsion bar was because Christie takes up a lot of internal space, which might be why it wasn't a more widely used system.

                Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                The problem with the Panther was that it was uparmoured beyond its designed mechanical ability to propel said tank. It was simply 10 tons too heavy. I imagine the same fate would have happened to the VK 30.02.
                How much was the Panther up-armoured exactly? I've read that the upper frontal plate was thickened from 6 cm to 8, which someone here said would've resulted in around 1 tonne increased weight. Even if other parts of the front armor were thickened there's no way it could've caused a 10 tonne weight increase: the Panther was clearly much heavier already than 35 tonnes.
                Last edited by oldngruff; 09 Jan 20, 18:58.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                  Actually, the original Panther carried the same thickness of armor as the OP prototype, 80mm max. Upgrades were necessary because the armor was inadequate. Happens all of the time, as witness the use of applique armor on American Shermans and the field adaptations of track sections, timbers and sandbags by crews to try and improve survival.

                  The British cruiser tanks were mostly failures and most often used for training, their origins being deeply rooted in the TOG/cavalry mentality, just like the American light tanks. The point being that speed is not as essential as being able to make a first shot kill or to survive that first shot by the enemy. American tank destroyers were probably some of the fastest machines on the battlefield, but hopelessly outclassed if hit by much of anything. True speed married to accuracy had to wait for gyro stabilization to be developed.

                  The Germans suffered a shortage of things like tungsten, essential for AP rounds; this meant needing a bigger gun to accomplish the same thing when facing an opponent with sloped armor. A higher velocity main gun would have achieved the same result as a larger caliber, up to a point, but required another redesign. Best example here is the Sherman Firefly which received a 17 pounder that had to be mounted on its side to fit in the turret. The Tiger series ended up with the superb 88 mm taken from the FLAK Kannone, but even that was under consideration for a major upgrade to be successful against the IS series being fielded by the Soviets.

                  Returning to the OP, I doubt the experimental Panther design would have performed any better than the fielded version, and the blue-on-blue comment made earlier by Walle would have likely been an issue in the midst of the "fog of war".
                  My response to your previous post was entirely accurate. Let's respond to your inaccuracies here.

                  First of all, the VK 30.02 (m) stands for Fully Tracked, 30 tonnes, 2nd prototype (Mann). The prototype was actually 35 tonnes, and had a 60mm sloped frontal glacis. The first Panther, the D, already had a combat weight of 45 metric tons and a 80mm frontal glacis, before modifications.

                  British cruisers were not mostly failures. Although, the 3rd incarnation of the A13 was a very bad tank, and probably the worst mass produced tank of WW2, the A10, the A27m, the A30 and A34 were all excellent tanks.

                  Tungsten was not essential for AT rounds in WW2. The standard 17pdr and 7.5cm KwK 42 were more than adequate against almost all targets, without specialist ammo. British 17pdr APDS was wildly inaccurate for most of WW2, and the US 90mm APCR did not penetrate the Panthers glacis any more than the standard round. In the US case, they developed a hardnosed AT round, which theoretically had lower AP ability, but could penetrate.

                  While the glacis of the IS tanks gave excellent protection, the turrets were altogether a different proposition. They were 100mm and overhardened. This meant that while the turret was less likely to be penetrated, spalling was lethal. After extreme losses of IS tanks crews in the winter of 43/44, the Soviets tested the IS-2's against 76.2mm field guns, not AT guns. The results were not pretty, and despite this defect being known, was not remedied in WW2.

                  I would suggest reading a decent book on the panther, such as The Quest for Combat Supremacy by Jentz, before you post further .
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                  • #10
                    Might have helped a bunch in 'reverse' maneuvers that were necessary later on.
                    SPORTS FREAK/ PANZERBLITZ COMMANDER/ CC2 COMMANDER

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                      The prototype was actually 35 tonnes, and had a 60mm sloped frontal glacis.
                      Was this prototype actually built? Are you sure it only weighted 35 tonnes? If so, why was it so much lighter?

                      It seems impossible for this version of the Panther to have been that light. Increasing the frontal glacis armour to 80mm caused about 1 tonne weight increase. If the turret's frontal armour was also increased with 20mm, that's, guessing, maybe 1 more tonne, or less, of added weight.

                      If it wasn't built and weighted, could it be that the 35 tonne weight was simply a very optimistic estimation? Perhaps the company trying to make their product look as good as possible.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dgfred View Post
                        Might have helped a bunch in 'reverse' maneuvers that were necessary later on.
                        They should've learned something from the French tanks then who had rear view mirrors on their tanks. The reason? To see the front.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oldngruff View Post

                          They should've learned something from the French tanks then who had rear view mirrors on their tanks. The reason? To see the front.
                          that rumbling sound you hear is the Ghost of SebFrench coming for you......
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oldngruff View Post

                            Was this prototype actually built? Are you sure it only weighted 35 tonnes? If so, why was it so much lighter?

                            It seems impossible for this version of the Panther to have been that light. Increasing the frontal glacis armour to 80mm caused about 1 tonne weight increase. If the turret's frontal armour was also increased with 20mm, that's, guessing, maybe 1 more tonne, or less, of added weight.

                            If it wasn't built and weighted, could it be that the 35 tonne weight was simply a very optimistic estimation? Perhaps the company trying to make their product look as good as possible.
                            It was not built, but it is fairly straightforward to calculate weight. On the 9.12.41 the combat weight of the VK 30.02 (M) was 32.5 tonnes, but with redesign was 36 tonnes by 2.2.42.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by oldngruff View Post
                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VK_3002(DB)

                              Would it have had the same reliability problems as the Panther?
                              Given the requirements for the Panther-to-be, the DB design was really a fantasy. At the time the decision between the two designs was made (May 1942), there was no turret available for the DB-design. So even though DB had confidence in their design and Adolf liked it, it was not be due to the requirement of getting the tank into production fast.

                              The DB had narrower tracks and higher ground pressure than the MAN design and they weighed roughly the same. Had the DB been adopted, it would likely also have faced the 80mm front glacis armour requirement, making the ground pressure even worse. The DB had lesser range due to a small fuel tank - 25% less petrol than the Panther. The DB was steered by a clutch-brake system, apparently lacking the Panthers single-radius steering function. Considering that part of the problem with the Panther chewing up its finald drives was the clutch-brake steering, that does not bode well for the same item in the DB. The DB steering was hydraulically assisted - good for driving, but an additional fire hazard. The MAN design opted for the somewhat overengineerind double- torsion bar suspension that worked very well, while the DB used an external leaf-spring suspension. The people at DB hated torsion bars, as they had failed to make them work properly in previous designs. The Waffenamt and those companies - including MAN - that had gone through the trouble of making torsion bars work in the Panzer III and StuG III as well as the half-tracks were favouring this type of suspension. Even though leaf-springs had some advantages, they probably had run their course as a viable solution for a new tank design for 1943.

                              Even though the DB was designed to have a DB diesel engine, that was not going to be available in the relevant timeframe, so they also went with the HL230 engine. So assumingly, they would have the same reliabilitys issues with that item as the Panther had initially.

                              As for prototypes being built, IIRC there is a highly retouched picture of a somewhat dissembled DB Panther in some older publications. But perhaps it is all retouched ?

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