Post-war German heavy tank?

In 1945 the allies saw the IS-3 for the first time, and their jaws dropped. It would be about a decade before they finally picked their jaws back up.

In that time the US and UK produced their counters to it in the form of the M103 and Conqueror, while the French and Swedes designed and then abandoned their own (the AMX 50 and the Emil). So, say that West Germany is remilitarized much earlier (perhaps the Czechoslovakian coup is a messier affair that sets off louder alarms in the west?), early enough to get wrapped up in IS-3mania.

What could a post war German heavy tank look like? Would it be broadly inline with the M103 and Conqueror or would it be more of a successor to the Tiger series? Would it be produced or would it end up like its French and Swedish peers?
 
Considering the evolutionary connections between the Panther and Leopard, I wouldn't be surprised if the vehicle they come up with is based on the Tiger II hull. If they can import the steel additives necessary for normal torsion bars, you would probably see a pretty normal torsion bar suspension a lot like what went on the Patton tanks and the Leopard. The turret would have to be significantly larger, so it would probably be a cast, rounded turret instead of welded with flat faces. I don't know if any of the German 12.8 cm AT guns would have been small enough, so you might end up with a 12 cm L1 rifle or M58 gun.
 
Considering the evolutionary connections between the Panther and Leopard, I wouldn't be surprised if the vehicle they come up with is based on the Tiger II hull. If they can import the steel additives necessary for normal torsion bars, you would probably see a pretty normal torsion bar suspension a lot like what went on the Patton tanks and the Leopard. The turret would have to be significantly larger, so it would probably be a cast, rounded turret instead of welded with flat faces. I don't know if any of the German 12.8 cm AT guns would have been small enough, so you might end up with a 12 cm L1 rifle or M58 gun.
Might see more of what they did with the planned E-50 and E-75 paper tanks, that were looking for ease of manufacture and more reliability, not using torsion bars. Stacked belleville washers in the tubes
that bolted to the hull like your Horstman or HVSS units


There was no real future in the WWII German Guns, they were really surpassed by the Allies in 1945
 
That early i imagine the Germans will look mainly at the 20 Pounder, since it's the closest in form and function to the 88mm L71.
 
That early i imagine the Germans will look mainly at the 20 Pounder, since it's the closest in form and function to the 88mm L71.
A 20 pounder would be pretty light armament for a heavy tank, especially if it's a purpose built IS killer. The British, Americans, and French all armed their post war heavies with 120mm rifled guns, I imagine Germany would adopt one of theirs or develop an equivalent.
 
The 20-pdr was the second gun the Centurion carried. If the heavy tank is going to be backing up 50-ton MBTs, it needs a much bigger gun with significantly more penetration at range.

The Belleville washer suspension does not provide the same offroad performance as torsion bars. It's inclusion in late-war German designs was a result of their inability to create the kinds of alloys torsion bars need. When the Germans were able to design their own post-war tanks without those restrictions, they went for torsion bars.
 
The Belleville washer suspension does not provide the same offroad performance as torsion bars. It's inclusion in late-war German designs was a result of their inability to create the kinds of alloys torsion bars need.
And the Germans were tired of the effort it took to replace broken bars on the big Cats. That's a pain in US Armor as well, with 45 ton Pattons.

Grass is always greener and bolt on suspension units, like the M4 used(and Centurion later) did impress them for ease of repair, but also took up no space in the hull.

When E series designer Heinrich Kniepkamp ended up in Switzerland after the war, he brought that suspension system with him and it worked well for the Swiss Pz. 58/61/68 They didn't seem to have problems with it's offroad ability
 
I know some one posted the images of the German's experiments of placing a turbine engine inside a Panther hull.

Might they be reading? Might they like to share them again?

So... slopped armor. Good gun. Overlapping Heinrich Kniepkamp style suspension (Kind of like what they managed to get on some of the late war Jagd Tigers. Though that was the transvers Porsche suspension, I do believe.). Turbine engine for good power to weight.

Paging Claymore to the white courtesy phone. Paging Mr Claymore to the white courtesy phone.

Paging cortze#9 to the white courtesy phone. Mt cortze#9 to the white courtesy phone.

Some weird effort like this:

A few years ago I played around with an idea I called the Kursk Panther, the idea was what if the Panther turrets had been mounted on Ferdinands and cancelling the faults of each vehicle.
Here's the Jagdpanther version of that idea.

View attachment 467599
Perhaps?

How big a 'Good' gun is available to the West Germans? Who amongst the Allies had the 'Best' gun? The Brits? The Yanks? The French? Some one else?

:D
 
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And the Germans were tired of the effort it took to replace broken bars on the big Cats. That's a pain in US Armor as well, with 45 ton Pattons.
The problems the Germans were having was more a result of double torsion bars, forced upon them by materials shortages, that also required interleaved road wheels.
Grass is always greener and bolt on suspension units, like the M4 used(and Centurion later) did impress them for ease of repair, but also took up no space in the hull.
There is a reason why modern armored vehicles do not use the bogie systems any more. Modern vehicles are not only much heavier than than WWII-era vehicles, but they are also much faster, especially offroad. This creates a need for far more wheel travel than a bogie can provide.

As far as maintenance goes, bogies are certainly easier to deal with, but failures of both types of suspensions will take a vehicle out of service and require attention from specialized repair troops. Four guys in a field are not going to be able to compress a sixth of a tank's suspension to either get the old bogie off or the new bogie on.
When E series designer Heinrich Kniepkamp ended up in Switzerland after the war, he brought that suspension system with him and it worked well for the Swiss Pz. 58/61/68 They didn't seem to have problems with it's offroad ability
Sure, but that was a 40 ton medium, and an important part if that decision was the Swiss ability to source thise materials domestically.

It's a common myth that the Challenger tanks use the same kind of bogie-and-spring Horstmann suspension as the Centurion and Chieftain. Like most British armored vehicles, they use suspensions built by Horstman Defense Systems. However, these are fully independent swing arm systems that essentially substitute a hydropneumatic resistance spring for a torsion bar.
 

MatthewB

Banned
German heavy tanks were always so tall. IDK if it’s the torsion bar suspension, engine height, or the need to fit on railways, but German heavy tanks are tall and narrow compared to Soviet heavy tanks.



It wasn’t until the Leopard I that the Germans achieved a more Soviet ratio of height to width. Going back to the King Tiger and other German heavy tanks one can’t but wonder how much weight could have been saved if the vehicles and their turrets were lower.
 

MatthewB

Banned
What could a post war German heavy tank look like? Would it be broadly inline with the M103 and Conqueror or would it be more of a successor to the Tiger series?
Knowing they’d be on the defensive straight away, I’d say the Germans would go for a heavy Jagdpanther or redux of the Jagdtiger, using an improved 12.8 cm Pak 44.


Given that shaped charges will soon be able to penetrate nearly any thickness of steel, the Germans will want to add, when available, reactive armour.
 
Who amongst the Allies had the 'Best' gun? The Brits? The Yanks? The French? Some one else?
The US 90mm in the Pershings/Pattons were a tiny bit better gun than the WII effort, with much better ammunition.
The Brit L11 120mm was tops, then the L7 105mm, followed by the French GIAT 105mm
 

MatthewB

Banned
The US 90mm in the Pershings/Pattons were a tiny bit better gun than the WII effort, with much better ammunition.
The Brit L11 120mm was tops, then the L7 105mm, followed by the French GIAT 105mm
Was the 12.8 cm Pak 44 no good?

According to Wikipedia, this gun was based on a naval gun that served in Norway until the early 2000s http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_5-45_skc34.php

How many other tank guns were based on naval weapons?
 
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It wasn’t until the Leopard I that the Germans achieved a more Soviet ratio of height to width. Going back to the King Tiger and other German heavy tanks one can’t but wonder how much weight could have been saved if the vehicles and their turrets were lower.
the JSIII needed midgets, ergonomics went out the window. It's a great tank on paper, but the only real combat success it had was crushing Hungarian citizens. The few in the MidEast wars did not impress. It was tough on crews, and a wore out crew is not an efficient crew. Then you have huge ammunition to swing around in a cramped turret, and there's not many reloads for that slow loading cannon.

The US M103 used two loaders to keep the RoF decent

Driver gets to fight a transmission that was overloaded when it was pushing 40 tons of JSII, ten more tons did not improve it's behavior.
 
Was the 12.8 cm Pak 44 no good?

According to Wikipedia, this gun was based on a naval gun. How many other tank guns were based on naval weapons?
Naval=Heavy
The British 32 pounder was a better weapon, as was the US 120mm, both based off AAA cannon.
The Soviets had the largest Naval cannon in a TD, the 130mm S-26
 
I think the question should be what lessons did the Germans learn from WW2? They are going to use a common gun, 120mm, a reliable engine, suspension and transmission. Will they use a turret? This vehicle is to be used defensively in a overwatch role. Will they sit and slug it out or shoot and scoot? I think it will be something like a JgPzIV with a stablized120mm gun, engine and transmission in the rear as well as the latest night fighting (IR) gear they can get their hands on.
 
I think the question should be what lessons did the Germans learn from WW2? They are going to use a common gun, 120mm, a reliable engine, suspension and transmission. Will they use a turret? This vehicle is to be used defensively in a overwatch role. Will they sit and slug it out or shoot and scoot? I think it will be something like a JgPzIV with a stablized120mm gun, engine and transmission in the rear as well as the latest night fighting (IR) gear they can get their hands on.
After the M47s were long in the tooth, the West Germans made some of these
Kanonenjagdpanzer 90 in 1965

27 tons, 50mm armor, and a West German license built US 90mm.
Right idea, poor execution

Correct way
Stridsvagn 103, aka the S-Tank in 1967


All kinds of original features, 240hp Diesel engine plus a 300hp turbine for high speed, no turret or elevation, but Gas-hydraulic hydropneumatic suspension to adjust elevation and ride height
39 tons, 70mm of very sloped armor, and a Swedish 105mm that used Brit L7 ammo
 
Was the 12.8 cm Pak 44 no good?

According to Wikipedia, this gun was based on a naval gun that served in Norway until the early 2000s http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_5-45_skc34.php

How many other tank guns were based on naval weapons?
I think the 2 piece (Or was it single?) ammunition for the Pak 44 would be the 'Killer' inside the vehicle.

Keep things as managable for the crew as you can. note the previous comments about the 'Midget' IS 3 tankers. :p
 
The fixed 12.8 cm rounds weighed more than a hundred pounds, so that gun would have needed the kind of semi-automatic loading system with power rammer that the IS-7 had. The SK C/34 used separate ammunition similar in size to the US 5"/38 Mark 12, with projectiles about 60 lbs and propellant cases slightly less than 40 lbs. The M103 and Conqueror used 120 mm guns with separate ammunition, while later tank guns of the caliber use fixed ammunition. The Pak 44 used separate ammunition.
 
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