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Video: Inside the Tanks – Panzer IV


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Community #1 Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:13 PM

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We are back with a new episode of Inside the Tanks, filmed at a new location –The Deutsches Panzermuseum, Munster.

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Schmeksiman #2 Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:25 PM

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And in a few days time I was about to ask mr. Challenger and mr. Hunter why so few historical videos, thumbs up from me as always!

Cobra6 #3 Posted 10 November 2014 - 02:49 PM

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Going to watch this one :)

 

I've actually been to Munster with my brother (Arkhell) about 2 years ago, great museum and a lovely collection of tanks and weapons.

The bar at the bridge next to the watermill has great beer as well! We drank their cellar dry :teethhappy:

 

Cobra 6


Edited by Cobra6, 10 November 2014 - 02:52 PM.


SilentstalkerFTR #4 Posted 10 November 2014 - 11:56 PM

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Schurzen were NOT designed to defeat HEAT rounds, they were designed to protect the vehicle against AT rifles, that were widely used on the eastern front and could damage or even knock out the Panzer IV, when firing at vehicle's flanks.

 

Edit: another mistake - Panzer IV was not "so good" as to be used post-war by Romania and Bulgaria (it was used by Czechoslovakia), it was used because there was nothing else available and pretty much every tank in early post-war use came from foreign units or was salvaged from the battlefield. The vehicles were considered obsolete and were quickly sold out. Bulgarian ones and Romanian ones as well were converted to fixed positions, the Czechoslovak ones were widely exported, including Syria. The ones fighting as late as Yom Kippur (as fixed emplacements) were various Czechoslovak refits (specific by their mating of turrets, guns and hulls of various versions).


Edited by SilentstalkerFTR, 11 November 2014 - 12:03 AM.


The_Challenger #5 Posted 13 November 2014 - 06:40 AM

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View PostSilentstalkerFTR, on 10 November 2014 - 10:56 PM, said:

Schurzen were NOT designed to defeat HEAT rounds, they were designed to protect the vehicle against AT rifles, that were widely used on the eastern front and could damage or even knock out the Panzer IV, when firing at vehicle's flanks.

 

Agh this old debate, I fully appreciate that many eminent authors have this mindset, whilst I am not disagreeing everyone has a right to question and present other thoughts, here is my reasoning:

Given that you have to have the idea before you can act on it, then consideration of skirts would have started quite soon after the attack on Russia, when earlier IVs (and the other, lighter tanks) would have shown some vulnerability.

However, as the hollow charge technology was mostly developed in Germany pre-war, and by 1942 they were already developing the Stielgranate 41 which would give some extra life to the obsolete 37mm PaK 36, I find it difficult to accept that the effects of these stand-off plates against hollow charges would not be known.

1. The Russian PTRD and PTRS anti tank rifles (both 14.5mm calibre) were just in service at the time of Barbarossa in June 1941. However, there was an ammunition supply problem, which meant that they war not really in widespread use until 1942. By this time other armies had really discarded these weapons as tank armour had increased to the point where they were virtually useless. They soldiered on, though, and tactics were modified in an attempt to keep them relevant. Instead of trying to disable the tank itself, sensitive or weak areas such as vision slits, sights and hatches were targeted. Penetration is given as 25mm of armor at 300m. As ever this assumes a square-on shot.

 

By 1942, the Panzer IV had been up-gunned and up-armoured in response to conditions in Russia. The Ausf. F2 and later variants had a minimum of 50mm frontal armour and 30mm elsewhere. The frontal armour was further increased to 80mm, either by adding an additional plate or, in later variants, a thicker bow plate.

 

Thus the rifles really had only a minimal chance of inflicting damage on these tanks,and then from a range which would have near-suicidal for the crew, especially if the tank had infantry support

 

2. The science of hollow-charge ammunition was known by 1942 and the earliest German usage dates from this point, so it is reasonable to assume that the Germans would have understood that the technology was likely to be used against them. The potential drawback of the technology is that the effectiveness of the round diminishes sharply the further away from the surface it detonates. Thus, while fixing additional plates might help with kinetic weapons, you really need some form of 'stand-off' mechanism to defeat hollow charges. Hence the 'Schürzen'.

 

In summary, whilst the 'Schürzen' would provide additional protection against the rifles,  i feel this was really not their main raison d'être. 

 


Edited by The_Challenger, 13 November 2014 - 07:04 AM.


The_Challenger #6 Posted 13 November 2014 - 06:42 AM

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View PostSilentstalkerFTR, on 10 November 2014 - 10:56 PM, said:

 

Edit: another mistake - Panzer IV was not "so good" as to be used post-war by Romania and Bulgaria (it was used by Czechoslovakia), it was used because there was nothing else available and pretty much every tank in early post-war use came from foreign units or was salvaged from the battlefield. The vehicles were considered obsolete and were quickly sold out. Bulgarian ones and Romanian ones as well were converted to fixed positions, the Czechoslovak ones were widely exported, including Syria. The ones fighting as late as Yom Kippur (as fixed emplacements) were various Czechoslovak refits (specific by their mating of turrets, guns and hulls of various versions).

 

On to your second comment:

Regarding the post-war use of the Panzer IV, of course there was the natural desire/need to use what was available, but there was an awful lot of stuff available, everywhere. The only items which were going to survive were those which still had a degree of viability. A classic example is the Panther, where the French equipped an armoured brigade with them up to about 1950 (and kept a couple as gate guardians outside Les Invalides through into the 1970s, as I recall). The Israelis used Shermans, suitably updated, through into the 1970s, and some specialist vehicles on the Sherman chassis even longer.

 

The comment is correct in saying that the survivors were either recovered and repaired IVs or those captured at the end of the war. The 75mm L48 gun was still viable (just in some cases) and the chassis also. Yes, they would have been passed on by Romania and Bulgaria as quickly as possible, if only because the spares situation made their maintenance more and more difficult. Also, by that time, they would have access to more than adequate supplies of the T34/85.

 

Panzer IVs had surfaced in the Middle East soon after 1945. Given the geopolitical situation at the time, and the trickiness of getting adequate supplies of more modern equipment it is not surprising that they continued, progressively 'backspaced' to reserve or defensive roles for as long as they did. However, all protagonists had, by the late 1950s and early '60's, access to more modern vehicles via their respective sponsors, but they retained the IVs. On reflection, I think this line in the script might have been worded more carefully so as not to create the impression that the IV was generally still in service as a gun tank at that late date.

 

Yes, the IV was obsolete by 1945. The Germans themselves had no plan to keep the gun tank in production beyond 1944, but circumstances dictated otherwise. With complex expensive weapons systems there is always a desire to wring the maximum use out of them, so military history is littered with examples of weapons which have endured way beyond their normal 'sell-by' date; everything from the Lee-Enfield rifle to the A26 Invader. Upgrades and re-tasking provide the way. The T34 and M4 Sherman are to classic examples, and the T54/55 series can still be found in frontline service in some parts of the world.

 

Thus, I continue to think it is as reasonable to point to the soundness of the original Panzer IV concept and its later development as the reason for its longevity, as it is for the T34 or T54.

 



macholibre #7 Posted 13 November 2014 - 02:10 PM

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the Japanese army still uses Panzer IVs to train its elite tank force

[edited]


Edited by Neilloss46, 14 November 2014 - 04:00 PM.
This post has been edited by a member of the Moderation Team, due to inappropriate content. Neilloss46


Breitkeil #8 Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:44 PM

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View PostThe_Challenger, on 13 November 2014 - 06:40 AM, said:

 

Agh this old debate, I fully appreciate that many eminent authors have this mindset, whilst I am not disagreeing everyone has a right to question and present other thoughts, here is my reasoning:

Given that you have to have the idea before you can act on it, then consideration of skirts would have started quite soon after the attack on Russia, when earlier IVs (and the other, lighter tanks) would have shown some vulnerability. (Below you answer this question yourself.)

However, as the hollow charge technology was mostly developed in Germany pre-war, and by 1942 they were already developing the Stielgranate 41 which would give some extra life to the obsolete 37mm PaK 36, I find it difficult to accept that the effects of these stand-off plates against hollow charges would not be known.

1. The Russian PTRD and PTRS anti tank rifles (both 14.5mm calibre) were just in service at the time of Barbarossa in June 1941. However, there was an ammunition supply problem, which meant that they war not really in widespread use until 1942. By this time other armies had really discarded these weapons as tank armour had increased to the point where they were virtually useless. They soldiered on, though, and tactics were modified in an attempt to keep them relevant. Instead of trying to disable the tank itself, sensitive or weak areas such as vision slits, sights and hatches were targeted. Penetration is given as 25mm of armor at 300m. As ever this assumes a square-on shot.

 

By 1942, the Panzer IV had been up-gunned and up-armoured in response to conditions in Russia. The Ausf. F2 and later variants had a minimum of 50mm frontal armour and 30mm elsewhere. The frontal armour was further increased to 80mm, either by adding an additional plate or, in later variants, a thicker bow plate.

 

Thus the rifles really had only a minimal chance of inflicting damage on these tanks,and then from a range which would have near-suicidal for the crew, especially if the tank had infantry support

 

2. The science of hollow-charge ammunition was known by 1942 and the earliest German usage dates from this point, so it is reasonable to assume that the Germans would have understood that the technology was likely to be used against them. The potential drawback of the technology is that the effectiveness of the round diminishes sharply the further away from the surface it detonates. Thus, while fixing additional plates might help with kinetic weapons, you really need some form of 'stand-off' mechanism to defeat hollow charges. Hence the 'Schürzen'.

 

In summary, whilst the 'Schürzen' would provide additional protection against the rifles,  i feel this was really not their main raison d'être. 

 

 

I'm afraid your feeling is wrong here.

I've read both explanations too and I value the "against ATR" version and the respective authors much higher.

You see lots of Schürzen on Panzers and Stugs on pictures of the battle of Kursk in July 1943.

Against what hollow charges were they meant??? All that effort against a box full of Stielgranaten (probably) captured by the Russians?

At this time the Russians had (at least in theory) 3 Anti-Tank-Rifles per company and truckloads of ammo for them.

True, they needed a good RNG roll to take out a Pz IV or StuG, but they could do it at 100 meters or below! And they would have many rolls.

Losing 25 ton tanks because of such a lousy weapon must have been extremely annoying. 

The 5mm extra armor provided by the Schürzen were just enough to make such a loss much more unlikely.

And you see those Schürzen exactly on those vehicles, protecting those 30mm areas that ATRs could otherwise penetrate.

True they had to come close, but a German soldier with his Panzerfaust later in the war had to come even closer, yet Allied tank crews

sure were afraid of them.

 

 


Edited by Breitkeil, 14 November 2014 - 12:25 AM.





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