Tankpedia

Tankpedia is a website about Armoured Fighting Vehicles especially tanks.

Month: June 2015

Blowing Things Up in World of Warplanes (WoWP)

Some random screenshots from playing World of Warplanes; enjoy!

The German Heavy Anti-Tank 12.8 cm Pak 44 L/55 (PaK, (Ger.) Panzerabwehrkanone)

As the Second World War progressed, the need for ever increasingly more powerful anti-tank guns would evolve; to counter ever more powerful and better armed Tanks and AFVs among other things. With the Russians fielding increasingly more powerful guns such as the 122 mm, and tanks such as the IS-2, the need for what would become the PaK 44 became apparent. The guns initial requirements were made in 1943. The  PaK 44 would have the capacity to act as a field gun, firing HE rounds and also act as an anti-tank gun.

It was from the Pak 44 that the main armaments for the Jagdtiger tank-destroyer, and the Maus super heavy tank would be developed.

12.8 cm Pak 44 Anti-Tank gun, Krupp version.

12.8 cm Pak 44 Anti-Tank gun, Krupp version.

Designer Krupp
Designed 1943
Manufacturer Krupp
Produced 1944
Number built 51

The production model was a Krupp design; see blow:

A version was under development by Rheinmetall Borsig but ultimately it was dropped; see below:

Tanks of World War II: The Panzer VIII Maus

Tanks of World War II: The Panzer VIII Maus

Tanks of World War II: The Panzer VIII Maus By David Cummings.

I published a new eBook; this one is on the Panzer VIII Maus. Titled, Tanks of World War II: The Panzer VIII Maus; it can be found here on Amazon. Your purchase helps support Tankpedia.org.

In Pictures: Adolf Hitler Reviews The Maus Wooden Mockup and Remote Controlled Model

What follows is an excellent selection of photos, showing Adolf Hitler as he is presented with the scale wooden mockup of the Maus, as well as a remote controlled model. This event occurred on May 1st 1943. Having reviewed the mockup Hitler ordered 150 vehicles.

Regarding the Maus, Heinz Guderian, who would act in many capacities during the war, including Inspector-General of Armoured Troops, wrote in his book Panzer Leader:

On May 1st Hitler had inspected the wooden model of a ‘Mouse,’ a tank designed by Professor Porsche and the Krupp Company which was to be armed with a 150 mm. cannon. It’s total weight was supposed to be 175 tons; it must therefore be assumed that, after Hitler had ordered his usual supplementary changes to the initial design, it would weigh nearer 200 tons. But the model displayed carried no machine-guns for close-range fighting. For this reason I had to turn it down. This was the same mistake that Porsche had made in designing his Ferdinand Tiger and which had rendered the Ferdinand useless at close quarters; ultimately no tank can avoid fighting at close range, particularly if it is to co-operate with infantry. Our discussion grew heated, since everyone present except me regarded the Mouse as a very handsome tank. It did, indeed, promise to be ‘gigantic.’ (“Panzer Leader”, Guderian 309)

These photographs are watermarked bpk; Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, which is the visual archive of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

In Pictures: The Jagdtiger Tank Destroyer

20 October 1943, Adolf Hitler reviews an Italian Carro Armato P 40 and a wooden mockup of a Jagdtiger.

20 October 1943, Adolf Hitler reviews an Italian Carro Armato P 40 and a wooden mockup of a Jagdtiger.

The Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B was a German tank destroyer of the Second World War; known more commonly as the Jagdtiger. The ordnance designation for the Jagdtiger was Sd. Kfz. 186. Weighing 71 tonnes, and armed with a 128 mm PaK 44 L/55, it was both the heaviest, and heaviest armored fighting vehicle used operationally during the war. It saw limited service on both fronts from 1944 to the end of the war; with only 88 vehicles built. Tank ace Otto Carius would command a company of Jagdtigers during the war.

 

A Fascination With Things Massive

While pondering Germany’s Maus Super Heavy Tank, my thoughts shifted to other large scale weapons. The Maus reached the production stage; however production was interrupted early on and canceled, and as such only the prototypes (two) were completed. Of the two prototypes, a surviving example (a combination of the turret of one of the prototypes, and the hull of the other) exists at the Kubinka Tank Museum in Kubinka outside Moscow in Russia. In short the Maus weighed 188 tonnes, and was armed with a 128 mm main gun, and a 75 mm cannon, and two 7.92 mm MG 34 machine guns as secondary armaments.

Panzer VIII Maus

One of the German Maus prototype undergoing trials; likely at Kummersdorf South of Berlin.

Railway Guns

Railway guns, or cannons mounted on rail carriages, was not unique; numerous examples existed, however, their origins was in the First World War, and by the Second World War examples were limited (operators included Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom). Germany had two notable examples:

80cm railway gun Dora, being inspected by Adolf Hitler.

80cm railway gun Dora, being inspected by Adolf Hitler.

Schwerer Gustav (Heavy Gustaf/Great Gustaf) was the name for one of two 80 cm railway guns used by Germany; the other was Dora. The massive gun was moved on two parallel rail tracks.

V3 Cannon

V3 Super Cannon

The German V-3 (Vergeltungswaffe 3) super-gun

The V-3 (Vergeltungswaffe 3) cannon was a German super-gun using a multi-charge principle where the projectiles velocity is increased by the introduction of secondary propellants. Of two built, one was actually put into action.

The Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte

The German Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte Super Heavy Tank.

The German Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte super heavy tank.

Beyond the Maus, another colossal tank was proposed, of even greater size than the Maus itself. The Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte increased on the general concept of more armor, and greater fire power that was incorporated into the Maus.

Other large weapon systems existed, several planes for example, such as the Messerschmitt Me 323 transport; however the above examples, had much more questionable military value.

Show and Tell: An Einfield Rifle

I was cleaning up some pictures and stumbled onto these of an old Einfield rifle. Enjoy!

In Pictures: Tiger I Tanks Operated By The Kingdom of Hungary

During the second World War approximately a dozen (ten to thirteen) Tiger tanks were provided to the Kingdom of Hungary. These tanks would be used in battle; including at least one operated by Hungarian Tank Ace Lt. Ervin Tarczay (credited with 10 kills during his career). These Tiger tanks were provided by the 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion along with other armour including Panzer IV and Panther tanks; they were provided to bolster the Hungarian unit(s).

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