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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II

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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #1  
Old 26 Apr 17, 12:19
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Something interesting that few know

Maybe this could be an entertaining thread.

Tell something intresting about armor that few people might know.

'Armor' meaning the whole topic about AFV's, not the material.
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  #2  
Old 26 Apr 17, 19:26
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Originally Posted by FireGodHamster View Post
Maybe this could be an entertaining thread.

Tell something intresting about armor that few people might know.

'Armor' meaning the whole topic about AFV's, not the material.
Are we talking relatively few people in general, or few people here at ACG? This is an important distinction.

Are we talking about 'Tommy Cooker' levels of ignorance, or treadhead levels of knowledge eg that the A30 Challenger had probably the best turret traverse mechanism of any tank in WW2?
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  #3  
Old 27 Apr 17, 02:27
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Are we talking relatively few people in general, or few people here at ACG? This is an important distinction.

Are we talking about 'Tommy Cooker' levels of ignorance, or treadhead levels of knowledge eg that the A30 Challenger had probably the best turret traverse mechanism of any tank in WW2?
If it's the bold part, I'll take a bite and say that the motorisation of the Wehrmacht is exaggerated overall, but like you say an important distinction:
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  #4  
Old 27 Apr 17, 03:47
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A couple of things that in my experience results in "aha!" moments for people that are not aware of the different number of bolts on early and late Panther roadwheels..

- The little piece of steel welded to the lower rear side hull of the T-34, intended to knock back the track pins
- The meaning and effect of the raised first and last roadwheels on the Churchill and how it originates back from the first British tanks in WWI

Last edited by cbo; 28 Apr 17 at 03:16..
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Old 27 Apr 17, 18:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Are we talking relatively few people in general, or few people here at ACG? This is an important distinction.

Are we talking about 'Tommy Cooker' levels of ignorance, or treadhead levels of knowledge eg that the A30 Challenger had probably the best turret traverse mechanism of any tank in WW2?
The second example pretty much

Not to educate the public on the usual myths but things for us fellow treadheads here.

Since some might be more specialized on certain things there could be some more obscure facts or parts of history that others might appreciate to learn, with texts as long as you'd like.


Well, I can try a few from my very limited knowledge

- The Panther was cramped inside despite its size - as seen on Nicholas Moran's "the cheftain's hatch" Youtube Panther series.

- Tiger II, while having a nasty reputation about its reliability, could actually occasionally be a reliable, atleast with certain battalions in certain periods, being capable of driving atleast 500 km before any breakdowns occurred, which might atleast be better of it than many would expect it to do.

- Stalin, wanting to smash the Germans with a true super-tank, ordered the creation of 3 super-elongated and multi-turreted KV-1's, the tanks as long as a short train and incapable of steering, which didn't matter anyway, as "they will drive straight to Berlin" according to Stalin. That is a true story.

Last edited by FireGodHamster; 27 Apr 17 at 19:12..
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  #6  
Old 28 Apr 17, 07:42
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Australia built this tank and the reason why is rather interesting:



It is a testbed Sentinel or arguably a Thunderbolt.

When it looked like we would be cut off from the rest of the world and facing Japan by ourselves we decided to build our own tank.

The Sentinel started with a 2 pounder gun. Its turret was cast as one piece, as was its hull and was perhaps the first tank to have such a hull.

Not having a great heavy manufacturing industry we couldn't build a good tank engine so instead hooked up three V8 car engines in a lovely cloverleaf configuration.



But watching events in Europe we thought the tank needed up gunning and swapped the 2 pounder anti-tank gun for a 25 pounder howitzer.

But then we decided a really good anti-tank gun would be even better (I'm guessing so we could save ammunition by shooting a whole convey of Japanese tanks at once) and decided on the 17 pounder (i.e. the one from the Sherman Firefly).

But of course we didn't have any 17 pounders and thought it would be a bit embarrassing if the turret fell off the back every time the tank fired and decided some testing would be a good idea.

So someone did the maths and decided two 25 pounder howitzers would give a similar recoil to the 17 pounder so we stuck two of them into the turret to run as a test, hence creating the tank in the first photo.

Though I do wonder which would have been more effective against the ubiquitous Japanese bunkers, a 17 pounder shell or two simultaneous 25 pounder ones.

Eventually we did get hold of some 17 pounder guns and ended up with this beauty:



Unfortunately we then decided that we weren't going to be cut off and it was cheaper and easier to bring in American and British tanks so the Sentinel (or Thunderbolt as later versions were apparently called) never saw action.

But then a final interesting point.

In 1943 we started filming a movie about Tobruk ("The Rats of Tobruk"). The inconsiderate Germans were unwilling to ship us out some of their tanks, apparently needing them to fight the Allies, so on the assumption the public wouldn't know a German Tank if they saw one, we dressed up a squadron of early Sentinels as German tanks for the movie.

The only remaining 17 pounder Sentinel is here in my home town of Canberra but sadly I have never been able to see it (hopefully this year).
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Old 28 Apr 17, 12:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireGodHamster View Post
- Stalin, wanting to smash the Germans with a true super-tank, ordered the creation of 3 super-elongated and multi-turreted KV-1's, the tanks as long as a short train and incapable of steering, which didn't matter anyway, as "they will drive straight to Berlin" according to Stalin. That is a true story.
No it's not. It's joke that took on a life of its own.

See here:

Russian Land Battleship KV-VI

KV-VI (Fake Tanks)

Last edited by CarpeDiem; 28 Apr 17 at 12:30..
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Old 28 Apr 17, 13:48
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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
No it's not. It's joke that took on a life of its own.

See here:

Russian Land Battleship KV-VI

KV-VI (Fake Tanks)
The idea of the multi turreted land battleship was originally British.

between 1925 and 1928 Vickers built and tested the Independent. At 33.6 tons this was not enormous by the standards of the 1918 German K Wagon but was very large in comparison with other tanks of its day. Although much more heavily armoured than the medium tanks in service (the armour on the Independent was inadequate but still twice as thick as that on the Vickers medium tank adopted by the British Army) it was also faster. What was of interest was the way in which it was armed; a central turret was armed with a high velocity 47mm gun, this was surrounded by no less than four heavy machine gun turrets. A fifth machine gun could be mounted in a hatch for anti aircraft purposes. The theory behind it was it could operate independently of support from infantry and other tanks and wander round the battlefield creating mayhem. Although not adopted by the British Government the Independent was the initial inspiration for a series of giant tanks in the USSR.


The principle heavy tank used by Soviet armoured formations in the late 1930s was the T35; this was a giant ‘land battleship’ that might be described as a scaled up Independent. Four auxiliary turrets two of which were armed with 37mm guns and two with machine guns surrounded one large turret armed with a 76mm gun. An anti aircraft machine gun could be mounted on the turret hatch and a second machine gun was sometimes fitted in a port on the rear of the main turret. In later models the 37mm guns were replaced with larger 45mm weapons. Production of the T35 totalled 61 tanks which equipped the 5th Independent Heavy Tank Brigade.

The T35 was an impressive machine (to the layman at least), seeing a formation of these rumble by at the annual May Day parade who could doubt the military supremacy of the USSR? (Certainly no one who wished to stay out of the Gulags would be heard to express any doubts.) Indeed so impressive was the T35 as a propaganda tool that the Red Army had difficulty in prizing enough of these machines away from Moscow and the parade grounds to form operational units.

The giant T35 was a most impressive tank – provided one did not have to use it for fighting anybody. In 1939 the Soviet Union went to war with Finland and the T35s were deployed to the front. In the course of this war (known in Finland as the Winter War 1939 –1940) the T35 proved completely inadequate. Its armour was not heavy enough to withstand the relatively light anti tank guns used by the Finns. The guns mounted in the Finnish Vickers 6 Ton light tanks could knock out a T35 . Its length made it cumbersome in the heavily forested areas where much fighting took place and it could not easily fire any of its multiple guns unless first halted. These problems made it very vulnerable to anti tank ambushes by the very mobile Finnish infantry. The concept of multi turreted heavy tanks being able to operate independently was exploded (as were many of the tanks). The T35s needed infantry protection and, being major gas guzzlers, were very dependant upon a retinue of soft skinned tanker lorries. These convoys were cut to pieces by Finnish ski troops. The Germans quickly knocked out those T35s that survived the Winter War when they invaded the USSR in 1941.

After the experiences of the Winter War and 1941 no one in their right mind in the USSR would have advocated giant multi turret tanks.
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File Type: jpg ind.JPG (69.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg t35.JPG (64.4 KB, 9 views)
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Last edited by MarkV; 28 Apr 17 at 13:56..
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Old 28 Apr 17, 14:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
The giant T35 was a most impressive tank – provided one did not have to use it for fighting anybody. In 1939 the Soviet Union went to war with Finland and the T35s were deployed to the front. In the course of this war (known in Finland as the Winter War 1939 –1940) the T35 proved completely inadequate. Its armour was not heavy enough to withstand the relatively light anti tank guns used by the Finns. The guns mounted in the Finnish Vickers 6 Ton light tanks could knock out a T35 . Its length made it cumbersome in the heavily forested areas where much fighting took place and it could not easily fire any of its multiple guns unless first halted. These problems made it very vulnerable to anti tank ambushes by the very mobile Finnish infantry. The concept of multi turreted heavy tanks being able to operate independently was exploded (as were many of the tanks). The T35s needed infantry protection and, being major gas guzzlers, were very dependant upon a retinue of soft skinned tanker lorries. These convoys were cut to pieces by Finnish ski troops. The Germans quickly knocked out those T35s that survived the Winter War when they invaded the USSR in 1941.

After the experiences of the Winter War and 1941 no one in their right mind in the USSR would have advocated giant multi turret tanks.
T-35s did not fight in the Winter War. The claim they did is based on mistaken information and propaganda.

From T-35:

Quote:
The T-35 is sometimes cited as having participated in the Winter War against Finland, but according to Soviet sources it did not. In fact, two other prototypes of multi-turreted heavy tanks had been sent to the front for testing: the T-100 and SMK. Single turret KV-1s also took part in the same test at the Battle of Summa. The SMK tank was disabled by a Finnish land mine and all attempts to recover the 55-ton behemoth failed. Finnish photographs of the previously unknown tank were mistakenly designated T-35C by German intelligence.
In the book Tanks in the Winter War by Maksym Kolomyjec, T-35s do not feature in the order of battle or loss lists. Numerous T-28s but no T35s listed as participated, lost or photographed in service.
In the book Land Battleship T35, the Russian Heavy tank by Maxim Kolomiets and Jim Kinnear, the following appears on page 54:
Quote:
While there was some mention in the Western press and several domestic Russian publications of the T-35 participating in the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-40, there is no operational documentation available today that supports this assertion.
T-35:

Quote:
Before the Great Patriotic War, the T-35 didn't take part in any military conflicts. Any mention in Western (and some Russian) accounts about T-35's that served in the Winter War are false.
New book on the tank is actually due in August 2017 dealing with its use in the opening stages of Barbarossa

Last edited by CarpeDiem; 28 Apr 17 at 15:10..
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Old 29 Apr 17, 00:59
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I have to be that guy? What is the thing in the center that looks like a small penis? Is this a statement on Australians?
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Old 29 Apr 17, 07:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
No it's not. It's joke that took on a life of its own.

See here:

Russian Land Battleship KV-VI

KV-VI (Fake Tanks)

Sorry
I did believe that it was true when I first encountered the story, it got especially funny when reading about all the different "deaths" that the tanks suffered, one which snapped in half when crossing a ditch!

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I have to be that guy? What is the thing in the center that looks like a small penis? Is this a statement on Australians?
Smart people don't make fun out of obviously hilarious things! You're found out!
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Old 29 Apr 17, 08:37
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I have to be that guy? What is the thing in the center that looks like a small penis? Is this a statement on Australians?
I think it's the world's ugliest hull MG mount. Sentinels were supposed to have a hull and a co-ax MG and that tank has neither but you can see the holes for both.

I really am a bit puzzled as to why they decided to upgrade to a 17 pounder. You could almost have used a can opener to get into the Japanese tanks we would have faced so a 17 pounder does seem excessive.

The Sentinel here in Canberra is not in the normal War Memorial display area but in their off site storage facility which is only open to the public one or two days a year. I've always had other things when it has been open but hopefully will make the next one.

Last edited by Mechashef; 29 Apr 17 at 18:22..
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Old 29 Apr 17, 20:04
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I have to be that guy? What is the thing in the center that looks like a small penis? Is this a statement on Australians?
It does grow into the 17pdr, perhaps when it gets excited?.
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Old 29 Apr 17, 21:55
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I have to be that guy? What is the thing in the center that looks like a small penis? Is this a statement on Australians?
Well...
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Old 29 Apr 17, 22:14
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Some of you have seen this, but for everybody else: Gen. Marshall as assigned ten atomic bombs to support the Operation Downfall invasion. Four for Kyushu (Operation Olympic) and six for the Kanto Plain/Tokyo invasion (Coronet). The US would have been producing at least one bomb a month by the time Olympic began so more would have been available if needed.
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