“The project was developed as a medium tank for the Indian Army. The work on the project was carried out by Porsche, Daimler-Benz, and Zahnradfabrik AG of Friedrichshafen. However, the vehicle was deemed to be too complicated for production in India, and the project was canceled.”
I decided I would write a post on this tank as information online is skimpy. If you know of a good book or other reference source please let me know. From what I have gleaned this was a project from the 1950s for the Indian government to meet the requirements at the time for their need for a tank. The project was a joint venture between Dr. Ing H.C. F. Porsche KG, which is owned by Porsche Zwischenholding GmbH, and Daimler-Benz AG; for the Indian government. It is curious to note at this juncture that this project was with a western nation where later 20th century projects ended up being with Russia on numerous military ventures.
India became an independent nation in 1947; therefor this tank project would have been to meet the young nations early military needs. After the birth of the modern nation of India, the fledgling nation was equipped with Sherman tanks, having been used prior by Indian units during the Second World War. These Sherman would continue to be used even into the 1960s when the core units were fielding Centurion and Patton tanks (H.L. ).
Had this tank been built, one must wonder how it would have impacted positively or negatively the conflicts India fought in during the 1960s; including the conflicts with Portugal, China, and Pakistan. This vehicle would have likely been equipped with an engine from Zahnradfabrik AG; a manufacturer of Tank engines (“ZF Friedrichshafen”).
It is my opinion, but the Indien Panzer design bears a strong resemblance to the Swiss Panzer 61 as well as its predecessor the Panzer 58; the Panzer 58 being from the same period as the Indien-Panzer. I cannot verify the nature of how these two vehicles were designed, although I have found from my own research that Switzerland did look to other nations to fill her need for AFVs during this period (“Panzer 61″).
*If anyone knows where the above illustrations come from, please let me know.
1.”Indien-Panzer.” Indien-Panzer. World of Tanks, 1 May 2013. Web. 5 May 2013. <http://wiki.worldoftanks.com/Indien-Panzer>.
2. H.L. , Spoelstra. “India.” Sherman Encyclopedia. Sherman Register, 5 Nov 2001. Web. 5 May 2013. <http://web.inter.nl.net/users/spoelstra/g104/india.htm>.
3. “ZF Friedrichshafen.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 17 Apr 2013. Web. 5 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZF_Friedrichshafen>.
4. “Panzer 61.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 4 May 2013. Web. 5 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_61>.