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

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

    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.
    I see. I realise my confusion was because I forgot that when the armour is increased other things get heavier too. So it fell into this spiral of quickly becoming heavier, as heavier armour requires stronger running-gear, a more robust transmission, and so on.
    Last edited by oldngruff; 11 Jan 20, 10:13.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by cbo View Post

      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 ?

      These are the only photos in existance of this tank I believe.

      I'm surprised it has return-rollers hidden behind the large wheels.

      e1e27aeb590dcda39d7e4c17e967b70b.jpg
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      Last edited by oldngruff; 12 Jan 20, 14:45.

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      • #18
        Is there any information, or does anyone know anything, about the VK.30.01 (M)? If the tank was called 02 there must've been a 01, I'm thinking. But I haven't found anything on the web.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by oldngruff View Post
          Is there any information, or does anyone know anything, about the VK.30.01 (M)? If the tank was called 02 there must've been a 01, I'm thinking. But I haven't found anything on the web.
          According to Jentz in "Germanys Panther Tank", the Daimler-Benz was the VK 30.01 (D) while the MAN was the VK 30.02 (M).

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