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Germans fast-track E-series tank program 1941

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  • Germans fast-track E-series tank program 1941

    Instead of developing the Panther and Tiger lines where the Tigers cost exorbitant amounts to produce, the Germans, after encountering the T-34 and KV-1 on the Eastern front immediately move to standardize and simplify tank designs to bring down manufacturing costs, increase production speed and increase spare parts availability to repair broken tanks. All existing tank classes would be replaced by a common chassis, the Entwicklung series consisting of four to five different weight classes.

    The older chassis that it would replace would be converted into tank destroyers, self-propelled assault/infantry support guns, self-propelled artillery, and self-propelled anti-aircraft tanks, which was already happening with the Panzer I, Panzer II, Panzer 35(t), Panzer 38(t), Panzer III, and Panzer IV chassis.

    Along with the E-series the Germans produce a common Bergepanzer (armored recovery vehicle) for each weight class that could tow and recover any vehicle of its class by itself.
    Also, the Germans develop halftracks as fast prime movers of heavy field and anti-tank guns, ammunition and maintenance vehicles to quickly move guns, supplies and repair tanks in austere environments where roads are scarce or impassible to wheeled vehicles.

    The Classes
    E-10 - 10-25 tonnes, replacement chassis for the Marder II, Marder III, Jagdpanzer 38 (Hetzer), Sturmgeschütz III, Sturmgeschütz IV, and Nashorn tank destroyers. The main armament would be the 7.5 cm KwK 40, although the 7.5 cm Pak 39 or 7.5 cm Pak 40 could be used if not enough KwK 40s were available.

    E-25 - 25-50 tonnes, replacement chassis for the Panzer III and Panzer IV medium tanks, as well as the Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyers. The main armament would be the 7.5 cm Pak 42 L/70, although a tank destroyer variant in this class could use the 8.8 cm Pak 43 L/71.

    E-50 Standardpanzer - 50-75 tonnes, chassis that would precede the development of the Panther and Tiger chassis in favor of a standardized one. The main armament would be the 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71.

    E-75 Standardpanzer - 75-100 tonnes, chassis that would precede the development of the Tiger II and Jagdtiger. The main armament would be the 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71, possible armament on a tank destroyer variant could be the 12.8 cm Pak 44. Perhaps the 10.5 cm FlaK 38 could’ve been adapted for this chassis or the E100. There were many 10 cm, 10.5 cm and 15 cm artillery guns that could be adapted for tank uses.

    E-100 - 100+ tonnes, the Maus would fit this category no tank was produced beyond prototypes and the practicality of fielding such a large tank and their effectiveness may not have been worth the cost to produce them. The main armament would be the 12.8 cm Pak 44.

    Let's say within a year of Barbarossa, these tanks, its variants, and its support vehicles are already arriving on the Eastern front. The E-25s are meeting T-34's and KV-1's and destroying them. E-50's are dominating any Soviet armored vehicle they can field what are the effects of these vehicles in the campaigns of 1942? Even if the events of the Eastern front proceed as disastrous as they did due to logistics problems how much worse would've been Soviet armored vehicle losses if these standardized tanks were there to meet them and defend against them all the way to Berlin? Would the Soviets simply throw more T-34's and KV-1's at them or develop T-34-85's, KV-85's and IS tanks sooner? Could they produce enough to overcome their losses to these better tanks and field enough competent tanks that could knock out the E-series?

    What will be the effect of the Western front when the Allies invade Normandy with German divisions equipped with these vehicles two years later? Would they learn through Soviet experiences and try to develop their own better versions of tanks to meet them in France or would Shermans and Cromwells be decimated even worse? Maybe more extensive use of M4A3E2 Jumbo's, upgunned Churchhill's, Firefly's, M18's, and Challenger's would have been necessary if they were available in sufficient numbers to go against E-10, E-25, E-50 tanks and older chassis 7.5 cm equipped tank destroyers. Maybe the T26 would've been prioritized for frontline deployment?
    Last edited by Frtigern; 25 May 19, 16:11.
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  • #2
    It would have taken a while to replace all the older vehicles. The Germans would have still used the 76.2 field guns and Antitank guns they got from the Red Army. It is possible the Germans could have used more ersatz tanks and SP's in France than they did. The Red Army would have kept on schedule to replace its tanks with better T-34's and KV's. The British would have still have used pretty much the same schedule to upgrade its tanks. The Factories in the UK could not have been expanded and modified. The Americans would still have tried to keep the Shermans in the field because it was a shipping issue. They could have started shipping more T-26's, but it would have been slow.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      .....And run out of steel by 1942.
      Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
        It would have taken a while to replace all the older vehicles. The Germans would have still used the 76.2 field guns and Antitank guns they got from the Red Army. It is possible the Germans could have used more ersatz tanks and SP's in France than they did. The Red Army would have kept on schedule to replace its tanks with better T-34's and KV's. The British would have still have used pretty much the same schedule to upgrade its tanks. The Factories in the UK could not have been expanded and modified. The Americans would still have tried to keep the Shermans in the field because it was a shipping issue. They could have started shipping more T-26's, but it would have been slow.

        Pruitt
        And the Firefly would have been more deadly

        Unless these tanks had been designed for mass production techniques and German manufacturing processes similarly overhauled (which would take time they didn't have) I doubt it would have made that much difference
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          I don't think it would have made that much difference. Maybe some higher tank losses for the Soviets, but it wouldn't impact the D-Day landings, and once the USA/UK were ashore in France in numbers there was no stopping them.
          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by the ace View Post
            .....And run out of steel by 1942.
            The Germans didnt run out of steel producing Panthers and Tigers willy-nilly, they actually produced more Panthers towards the end of the war. It was the Tiger IIs that took forever to build but it wasnt lack of steel that slowed, although the allies advancing doesnt help, but it was key bombing of Tiger II production facilities that slowed them. The E-series was intended to make production more efficient. It's why modern militaries have or are moving to common chassis armored vehicles.
            The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkV View Post

              And the Firefly would have been more deadly

              Unless these tanks had been designed for mass production techniques and German manufacturing processes similarly overhauled (which would take time they didn't have) I doubt it would have made that much difference
              From http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entwicklung_series:

              This intended to reverse the trend of extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability.

              The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors; however, their design offered only modest improvements in armour and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace.
              The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                It would have taken a while to replace all the older vehicles. The Germans would have still used the 76.2 field guns and Antitank guns they got from the Red Army. It is possible the Germans could have used more ersatz tanks and SP's in France than they did. The Red Army would have kept on schedule to replace its tanks with better T-34's and KV's. The British would have still have used pretty much the same schedule to upgrade its tanks. The Factories in the UK could not have been expanded and modified. The Americans would still have tried to keep the Shermans in the field because it was a shipping issue. They could have started shipping more T-26's, but it would have been slow.

                Pruitt
                Agreed, I think the E series would have the same issues that Panther production encountered at first, not enough of them, therefore rushed to the front. Of course the old vehicles would still have to serve alongside the new E-tanks until enough of them could be produced to fill out companies, battalions, brigades and divisions. I also agree the 76.2 mm gun was still a capable gun. I wouldn't like to be the allies landing in Normandy and encountering ersatz T-34s and KV-1s alongside the E-series equivalent of Tiger IIs, Jagdpathers and Jagtigers in greater numbers.
                The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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                • #9
                  Oil. They had little. They couldn't do mechanized war without it. They lost the war when they started it.
                  Credo quia absurdum.


                  Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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