Only Panzer IV produced?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Triune Kingdom, Jun 13, 2018.

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  1. Triune Kingdom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 6, 2018
    What would happen if instead of having the Pz III for fighting other tanks, and Pz IV for infantry support, Germans decide to use only Pz IV in two variants? One armed as in OTL, with short 75mm gun for infantry support, and other armed with various 36/50 mm guns?

    Economies of scale are certain to apply, and I think Pz III did have some problems during its development, so a possibility of Germans going with Pz IV alone should be considered.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. TruthfulPanda Well-Known Member

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    Oct 5, 2017
    I'm not sure about the economies of scale, as both the above tanks were rather "artisanal".
     
  3. wiking The One and Only

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    Do a search, there has been multiple threads on this.
     
  4. Byzantine fanatic Scholar of the West and East

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    This isn't particularly helpful or constructive. If you didn't want to engage with this topic, why post?

    @Triune: what are you hoping to achieve with more panzer IV? Germany's fate had more to do with taking on too many enemies at once than with tank production, imo.

    What do you think more panzer IVs would do to the timeline we all know?
     
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  5. wiking The One and Only

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    I was helping by pointing out that there are extensive discussions about this very topic on this forum already. OP would benefit from reading those
     
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  6. Triune Kingdom Well-Known Member

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    I know that the Germans are going to lose, fighting the entire world will do that. The final outcome is hardly in doubt.

    What I asked about was if only Pz IV was produced, with Pz III never advancing beyond the prototype stage, and Pz IV taking on all the roles Pz III was used for, including the variants built on its chasis, such as assault guns and artillery. I was interested in what production numbers we may be looking at, and would there be noticeable gain for the Germans at all?

    As for previous threads on the subject, I will admit that my search was relatively limited, so if I did repeat the question I apologize for duplication.
     
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  7. sdgottsch Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2017
    Honestly Triune, the biggest obstacle to this idea is changing the strategic/operational planning for why the Germans build the Pz III and the Pz IV. You have to get Guderian to not want the Pz IV to be a "support" tank for use against fortifications. By changing his mind (or tactical ideas), you then would have no need for a Pz III and the Pz IV would be the new Pz III which would have interchangeable turrets for use against tanks (back then the 37mm and 50mm) and a support turret (75mm short).
     
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  8. TruthfulPanda Well-Known Member

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    Production numbers do not change at all - the PzIV was just as difficult to build as the PzIII and was build in the ordered numbers.
     
  9. Triune Kingdom Well-Known Member

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    That is strange, would not factories that produced PzIII, produce PzIV, and older variants of PzIV could then be converted to different variants of StuG and JgPz?
     
  10. wiking The One and Only

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    Jan 19, 2006
    Not exactly; they used different components and the suspension of the Pz IV was simpler than the Pz III's. Economies of scale by having only one type would matter too, the Germans IOTL tried belated to combine the designs to take advantage of that, but couldn't get the chassis to work right:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_III/IV

    They would.
     
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  11. TruthfulPanda Well-Known Member

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    Oct 5, 2017
    OK - torsion bar more complicated/expensive than leaf springs - but is the difference in complexity between the Pz.III and IV that large, with all those many pieces of plate to fit together?
     
  12. wiking The One and Only

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    Jan 19, 2006
    They used different components, the Pz IV was larger, and it had a larger turret ring. The complexity wasn't much different beyond the suspension IIRC, but there was serious production efficiencies by having only 1 model in that weight class rather than two similar designs that overlapped in capabilities.