For the Record: Straight Outta Luftwaffe
Straight Outta Luftwaffe - possible German tank weapon upgrades
today, we are going to check out some serious firepower the (future) German vehicles could carry. Alternatively, since Storm revealed the intent to add more alternative modules (possibly including guns) so the same vehicle has more "build" possibilities, these weapons could be used on (some) German vehicles.These weapons are mostly aircraft guns, not primary place where to look :)
MG-151/15 and MG-151/20
MG-151/15 was a heavy 15mm aircraft machinegun (the /15 in its designation reflects the fact there existed also a 20mm version), pressed into ground (antiaircraft and antipersonell) service in the late years of WW2. It was the German equivaled of the dreaded US M16 "Meat Chopper" self-propelled anti-aircraft carriage with quad .50cals. Each of those MGs fired at roughly 700RPM, creating a literal storm of bullets. In WoT this would be pretty epic I think, if such a gun was mounted on some "waffenträger" design, or possibly some sort of recon vehicle. The 20mm variant could come in handy too - it's a tradeoff really: these guns didn't have massive penetration (you don't need that in aircraft combat), but had higher rate of fire. The penetration of the 15mm solid shot AP round (15mm PanzergranatPatrole) at 100m was roughly 25mm (at 850 m/s). Why noone bothered to use this instead of the 7,92mm gun on the Panzer I Ausf.C, I have no idea. Perhaps the lack of APCR ammo? Nope, there used to be a tungsten core APCR Hartkern-Panzergranate with 1000 m/s shell velocity, intended for the fighter-bombers in order for them to fight tanks. It could penetrate 48mm of armor at 100m. An ideal lowtier weapon.
It's "bigger brother", the MG-151/20 could fire (amongst mostly WoT-useless ammunition such as incendiary rounds) also 20mm APHE rounds designated 20mm Panzersprenggranate 151, that could penetrate roughly 24mm at 100m (APHE in WoT terms = higher alpha though). There seem to have been also APCR ammo experiments, but I haven't been able to find any decent data on that. There also were possibly some uranium ammunition experiments going on.
In the game, there already is the Mk-103, the younger brother to this 30mm autocannon. This could be another nice lowtier alternative, with a twist: the Hs-129 version had a 30 round drum. This in the game could be "simulated" by the vehicle not having a drum at all, but very high rate of fire (with no designated loader).
The interesting part are the AP and APCR bullets for this gun. The AP ones are pretty average, but the APCR? Not so much. This is what the H-Panzergranate did to a KV-1 during the tests of 1941-1942 (this also gives us historical frame, which vehicles could use this gun).
Bordkanone BK 3,7
Now we are getting to the interesting pieces. BK cannon series were intended for ground attack aircraft - their purpose was to destroy armored vehicles. It's a 37mm cannon alright - but with an autoloader. It had one or two 6 round clips and fired at about 130-150RPM. By the end of the war, the leftovers could have been fitted into lighter vehicles, such as the scouts. This, along with its bigger brother, could have been a good weapon for the Aufklärungspanzer Panther. Hans-Ulrich Rudel's Stuka was equipped with these weapons.
The ammunition to this weapon was supposed to be interchangeable with the army 37mm rounds. The regular ammo isn't that cool, but the APCR tungsten H shell could penetrate 130mm at 100m distance. During the German tests in Rechlin, it ripped Shermans, KV's and T-34's to pieces. The shell muzzle velocity was also notable: 1170 m/s. All that with an autoloader.
This is basically a conversion of the 50mm KwK 39/1 L/60 for aircraft use. It has one notable feature: an autoloader. That's right, autoloaded 50mm PaK. This would be another great weapon for hightier German lighter vehicles. The autoloader wasn't very fast and could be "simulated" by having a non-autoloader gun in the game, but with much higher rate of fire.
They installed this weapon on all sorts of platforms. As you can imagine, the effect of 50mm rounds on American and British bombers was devastating. They even installed it into a Me-262 "Schwalbe":
The gun could fire regular 50mm PaK ammunition, including the APCR PzGr 40. But was that enough for the Germans? Nope, they were just getting started. Meet...
Bordkanone BK 7,5 "Flying PaK"
I am putting this here not because of the gun's performance (that was roughly equal to PaK 40), but because the more advanced version had a 12-round carousel autoloader. That's right, this could work in the game (if mounted on some platform - possibly a Waffentrager) as an autoloaded 75mm. This is how the autoloader looked:
The rate of fire was 30-35 rounds per minute. The barrel was a bit shorter and the initial velocity was subsequently a bit lower, compared to the PaK 40 (725 m/s compared to 750 m/s of the PaK 40), the penetration was 112mm at 450m.
So, you think this is big enough for an aircraft? Well, not for the Germans. Meet the real nightmare:
356mm Gerät 104
Yes, they actually mounted a 356mm gun on an airplane. This is how the testbed looked:
It was a giant single-shot recoilless gun, intended to destroy ships. This monster fired an APHE shell weighting 700kg (!) at cca 320m/s and was utterly devastating. The Germans later abandoned this project and focused on things such as wire-guided bombs for obvious reasons: the weight and the stress of such a weapon was enormous.
I included this only as an interesting insight into German megalomania. Not sure this could be adapted into World of Tanks - perhaps as a tier 10 ultimate derp, but there was no such project in real life, any such vehicle would be entirely fictional. There was a "smaller" project such as this, called Dusenkanonen Duka 28. It had a 280mm caliber, the APHE shell weighted 400kg, travelled at 560 m/s and could penetrate 200mm of angled armor. This version remained only a paper project.
Alright, back to more "realistic" weapons. This is another interesting gun: basically, an autoloaded 88 with a drum 10 round magazine. It was a sort of recoilless gun (the massive recoil was compensated by venting the gasses thru the back side of the pod), it could fire cca 10 rounds per minute, the shells reached 765 m/s and its penetration was cca 90mm at 1500m (!). So yes, we can have an autoloaded 88 if Wargaming decides so, the system was already there. Could make a great improvement to the lighter Waffentrager line.
Well, this is it. Heavy machineguns, autoloaded 37mm, 50mm, 75mm, even 80mm - could all work.