Hello everyone, before we continue with the article on French superheavy, a piece of info emerged yesterday, that is too good to pass up, especially since you know how I like German tanks. Very special thanks go to Thor_Hammerschlag and Zarax for providing this info. Let’s imagine for a moment a fourth German TD branch (third being heavy assault guns, Sturmtiger and such). Yes, that is science fiction for now, such a thing will definitely not come before 2015, but just cope with me. How would it like, what is there left? Well, the Waffenträgers. Some vehicles are pretty clear, such as the Steyr Waffenträger for example. If you are interested in how such a line could look, I already wrote a post about it in the past. But what about tier 10? Waffenträgers are fragile and on such light platforms, I think there would be no room for “classic” cassette autoloaders (leaving you with hydraulic assist, but that’s a story for another time). We already have the King of Burst WT E-100 for now, so it has to be a different platform. Ideally with the gun in the back, for better weight distribution, probably limited rotation, not to tip the whole damn thing over when firing. What I like most is this (yet another Rheinmetall Borsig) proposal setup: Of course, other platforms are available and perhaps the Panther one would be more suitable for such a vehicle. But that’s not what I wanted to write about, perhaps I will at some point in the future. Let’s look away from the platform and check the gun instead, because that’s the fun part. What we need is something very special, to compensate for the massive burst of the WT E-100. Something, that can be viable on that tier even without an autoloader (why have two autoloading WT’s at tier 10). Any WT chassis is very fragile, so the vehicle would have to stay behind and snipe. What we need therefore is the ultimate sniping gun. Why 560 damage? To continue this article, I’d like to give you some perspective. Think of Panzerkampfwagen II tank. It fought in Poland and France as the most numerous German tank (along with Panzer I, which was essentially just a tankette with turret) and suffered some heavy losses, in Russia it was obsolete. In World of Tanks it’s a tier 2 tank with 30/20/15 armor and it has a 20mm gun. Have you seen one up close? Or any light tank really, that we consider “weak”. It’s a goddamn death machine. Think about it – imagine, what damage would even this little tank do today against armed police force? Certainly, a SWAT team would deal with it eventually, possibly using anti-material rifles, but regular officers would be completely helpless. And that vehicle construction is 80 years old. Why I am writing this to you? To make you realize how vehicles that get frowned upon (Jagdtiger with the stock 128mm) in game were absolutely and utterly deadly in real life. The damage the 128mm gun could inflict was monstrous. There were accounts of Shermans literally ripped to two pieces by a Jagdtiger shell and the Americans had nothing, that could survive such an impact. And that was “just” the L/55 PaK 44. The uparmored Churchill could survive the 128mm impact, but the kinetic energy of the shells is massive. During post-war tests, when hit by a 128mm Jagdtiger shell, this Churchill’s turret was ripped off: There are two conclusions from that I want to bring to your attention, before we continue. - First and foremost, while roughly scaling with the increasing caliber, the ingame gun damage is an arbitrary number, based on balance and not any real life performance. I know, it sounds like a clear case for Captain Obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people think “it’s a TD 128mm, so it HAS to do 490 (560) damage, right?” – it doesn’t. The number is there for balance purposes and if the vehicle requries it, the developers can make it higher or lower – and it will still be “historical” in the sense that this gun was in game terms “oneshotting” pretty much everything it met (including for example a late Sherman, that in game has over 700 hitpoints) anyway. To be absolutely correct, the same could be said for example for the ISU-152 “Zveroboy” gun. - Second conclusion was that in 1944, or even early 1945, the Jagdtiger gun was completely sufficient (in most cases it was an overkill anyway) and there was no real need to invent something bigger. Sure, there were various fantasies, such as the StuG E-100 or the Sturmgeschütz Maus (or even the odd L/66 Jagdtiger with the rear casemate), but those were impractical paper project, fuelled by Hitler’s megalomania, combined with the German heavy vehicle approach. In other words, there was no real need to develop more advanced 128mm AT guns, or – in economy term – shells, such as the Panzergranate 44 for 12,8cm gun (APFSDS rounds). The concept of a German APFSDS shells (called “Peenemünder Pfeil”, or simply “Pfeilgeschoss” – arrow shots) was there (and worked well for the 37mm guns), but the tungsten penetrators were expensive, these special metals were not widely available (hence the limited number of for example 75mm APCR ammunition) and it was very expensive (that’s why the Germans were actively seeking to replace them with something else, leading to the experiments with Uranium core ammunition – in game, that is represented by the 30mm “U” ammo for Mk.103 gun). There were three cases of sabot ammunition being used (and practical). First was the 150/88mm sabot round for the 150mm guns. It was basically a 150mm shell, bottlenecked into 88mm, with the regular 88mm steel core. It was a stopgap measure to give artillery something to fire at tanks with. Second case whas the HEFSDS 150mm ammunition. Both shells (the 150/88 and 150 HEFSDS) were called TS (“Treibspiegel” – sabot). Where in first case the point was to give the 150mm howitzers some penetration (I calculated it based on Hogg data and in WoT terms the 150/88mm shell reached roughly 200mm penetration), in second case, the goal was to increase velocity and range. In both cases, the Germans were successful, it worked and these shells were used. Third case is somewhat different. 128mm HEFSDS shells were also developed – this time not for artillery, but for Flak AA guns. Their goal was to actually increase their range to hit the Allied heavy bombers earlier, faster and with more accuracy. The price for that however was the reduction of the warhead and thus lesser bang. Continue reading →

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