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View Poll Results: What would have been better choice?

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  • Panther of course, developing the tank lenghtened the war for the Germans

    4 57.14%
  • The III/IV woud have been smarter choice, the benefits of the Panther are overrated

    3 42.86%
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Thread: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

  1. #1
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    Default Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Because of the discussion about the Panther tank I thought it would be better to start another thread. I will not repeat everything, hoping the thread can get filled.
    III/IV

    Panther
    Last edited by steben; 08-30-2011 at 10:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    I have always been intrigued by whether they could have done a sloped armour version on the Panzer IV, although the chassis had reached its weight limit it was still a pretty good reliable tank. Sloping the armour may have helped to reduce its weight for the same thickness. How it would have affected the ergonomics though I don't know. Probably would have been cheaper than the Panther but not as good a gun.

    Similar thoughts really to a sloped armour version of the Cromwell or Comet.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Whether they could have done it is not a difficult question, if you can make Tiger II's or even a Maus you can make a sloped IV.
    The problem is whether you take the risk of pulling resources into development.
    In case of a IV, you would need two things: suspension issues and the power train.

    - Suspension would lead I guess to a beefed up torsion bar system like the III. Interleaved solution would help, but it would make the total again less workable on the field. "Interleaving" has disappeared after WWII ... Making the step towards steel wheels as in late vehicles would be the better choice.

    - Power train ... using the better III's transmission again as in late IV's and indeed using a bigger capacity engine.

    And of course, the keen management to make a bridge from early IV production to new IV production.

    The gun would not be the problem. The 75/L48 gun was more than good enough.
    Few Allied tanks could survive 1 on 1 on this baby. The only reason for making + 100mm guns in WWII was the lack of tactical power.

    One of the best features of the IV was its size and weight, which was in fact quite small (a feature all the behemoths did not have).
    Last edited by steben; 08-30-2011 at 03:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Tactically a 'modernised' Panzer IV would have been better than the large Cats, most of the fighting in the West was close range ambush smaller more mobile and reliable vehicles would have been better. The Stugs and Hetzer were good in ambush but the lack of a traversable turret hampered their usefulness.
    Not convinced the Jagdpanzer IV was worthwhile at all, just diverted production to a vehicle that had mobility problems and an overloaded front running gear.
    Stug III and Panzer IV with Hetzers and Marders for back up along with the Beute's and converted old hulls as SPG's.

    Mind you no matter what people say about German tank design being badly conceived and implemented with too many designs, they never built a monstrosity such as the Covenanter or suffered the delays and lack of direction Britain did with tank design and armament.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    Tactically a 'modernised' Panzer IV would have been better than the large Cats, most of the fighting in the West was close range ambush smaller more mobile and reliable vehicles would have been better. The Stugs and Hetzer were good in ambush but the lack of a traversable turret hampered their usefulness.
    Not convinced the Jagdpanzer IV was worthwhile at all, just diverted production to a vehicle that had mobility problems and an overloaded front running gear.
    Stug III and Panzer IV with Hetzers and Marders for back up along with the Beute's and converted old hulls as SPG's.

    Mind you no matter what people say about German tank design being badly conceived and implemented with too many designs, they never built a monstrosity such as the Covenanter or suffered the delays and lack of direction Britain did with tank design and armament.

    just looked for covenanter tank ... +1700 built almost without any leaving the Isle ...

    The German conversions of obsolete tanks to mobile anti-tank guns were brilliant in their straightforward usefulness. No argument. Perhaps the StuG is the best design second to none of nazi german warfare.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    The Covenanter was a terrible waste of rust. Unfit for combat and not really fit for training as they were so unreliable. Units were issued them and they then had to be sent straight back to the manufacturer for modifications, get them back and away they would have to go again for more mods to try and get them to work.

    Fast tank but a waste, contracts were made though so they had to build them, same with the Liberty engine originally for the Centaur, useless as a tank engine but they had to build them because of a contract.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    I think the Germans would have been better off enhancing the Pz IV. The Panther is an excellent tank, however, I feel time wise it would have been quicker to improve upon the design of the Pz IV. Sloping armour and other such improvements mentioned by Leccy and Steben would have allowed it to compete with other Allied tanks such as the T-34 or Sherman Firefly whilst keeping some of it's advantages such as being smaller. I often feel German tank design lost it's way towards the end of the war with the designers believing that a few massive super tanks would win the war when in reality larger numbers of decent medium tanks would have helped them more (something the Russians showed with T-34s).
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Had the Germans stuck to the original prewar plan , and not allowed it to gather mass to meet new threats, the Panzer III replacement was the VK-20 design, which would have gone into mass production in early 1941. The original design was a 20 ton class Panzer III style design. This evolved by 1940/41 into the VK 24, which resembled a mini Panther hull [1 less set of roadwheels] and a Panzer III/IV turret, with enought turret ring to mount a Pak 40. Probably end up about 28 tons with 50mm face hardened glacis armor sloped at 55°. This tank would resemble Stebens design and gone into mass production in early 1942.

    In theory it should have replaced the Panzer III , one for one on the production line.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    VK2001


    definitely going towards Panther.
    On the other hand, no sloped armour nor assurance the interleaved suspension system would be more reliable.

    I still would have favoured the III/IV system with six steel roadwheels on torsion bars, III transmission and at least 350-400hp engine with a total weight lower than 30 metric tons.
    Speed at least better than Panther, let's say 45-50 km/h

    In other words: keeping everything under specs of the T34. Lighter, smaller, but with a motherload of a gun.
    Last edited by steben; 08-31-2011 at 05:41 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Some math

    Changing frontal armour of 80mm to 60mm @ 48 degrees (50cm / 45cm) gives equivalent of 90mm frontal @ 0 degrees but with increased ricochet effect
    at the same weight (if reduction of original flat glacis of 15mm is taken in account)
    Addition of frontal plate at the sides (if side armour is changed to sloped) gives +/- 300 kilograms extra.

    Changing side armour from 35mm to 30mm @ 40 degrees (40 / 45cm) gives equivalent of 40mm with slight increased ricochet effect with same weight. If you take sloped front into account this lengthens the side plates with two triangles of about 0.5m x 0.45m = 0.225 sq m. This about 105 kilograms.

    Total 405 kilograms extra.

    Yet I would add straight internal side plates as there were straight plates in the original, @ 15mm and vertical plates of 10mm to close the space onder the side armour. This would give 2* 3.5 meters * 7800 kg * (0.45*0.01 + 0.4*0.015). = 570 kilograms extra. Tis "double armour" would protect against hollow charge and eliminate the need for "schürtzen" at the sides or at least above the wheels. Side skirts weigh around 250 kg - 300 kg.

    Total extra weight around 0.75 - 1 ton ( 3 a 4 %).
    Given that the engine would need to beefed up to around 350 - 400 hp (raise of 16 to 30%), it wouldn't be a problem and the engine choice would be almost directly influenced by top speed demands.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by steben; 08-31-2011 at 10:02 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    Man, I like this tank ...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    What year is this supposed to go into production?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Would the III/IV been better project than the Panther?

    both simplified turret and the envisioned III/IV base were independent projects around early 1944, that were ought to be ready for further developement in 1944.
    The "idea "of hybrid III/IV chassis was however much older.

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