Author: Károly “Karika” Németh SS: Hello everyone. In today’s post by Karika, we’ll talk about Tas Rohamlöveg Hungarian tank destroyer project. Now, you might remember that I already wrote once about it in the past. This article is a bit different though – for one, it’s more detailed. And secondly, it uses native Hungarian sources, which is very important. Enjoy! The Tas rohamlöveg, a proposed assault gun version of the Hungarian 44M. Tas medium tank, is not as historical as some older history books and articles claims, because no prototype has been ever made of it. Above: Side view of Ádám Bíró’s Tas rohamlöveg mock-up History and historiography: The history of the Hungarian Tas rohamlöveg (=Tas assault gun) which would have been based on the 44M. Tas medium tank, is a bit complicated. I have to say, that the common knowlege about it is full of half-truths and obsolete informations. Let me make it clear: First of all: this vehicle has sometimes been referred as 44M. Árpád or simply just Árpád for no reason, so I have to state: this name is completely unhistorical, no historical source ever mentions this name, and most likely made up by somebody on the internet. It didn’t entered into service, so it haven’t got any separate name (like the Toldi, Turán, Nimród, Zrínyi, etc.), and it neighter got code number. The first mention of this proposed assault gun project has been came up in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s, when Pál Korbuly, (son of János Korbuly, who was the the technical manager of the Tas development in the 1940’s) collected the fragmentary documentations, verbal informations and personal memoirs about the Tas project. As not much written document survived the war about the Tas, and not a single photograph of it was known at that time, he had to rely mostly on the memories of the original designers and workers he had spoken. His discoveries highlighted the fact, that together 2 vehicles were under construction during the Tas development program in the Weisz Manfréd factory (WM) before the whole WM assembly hall, located on the Csepel Island (and together with it, every finished Tas component) were destroyed in an American bombing run in 27 July 1944. He thought, that this could only mean that one prototype vehicle must be belonged to the Tas medium tank, and the other vehicle could be something else, like a secretly developed assault gun proposal. This would be obvious, if we take the analoge of the Hungarian Turán medium tank and the Zrínyi assault gun/howitzer developed on its chassis. Before Pál Korbuly published his findings, he made cardboard mock-up versions of the Tas medium tank, and the Tas rohamlöveg assault gun, pictures here: Above: The cardboard models of the Tas and the Tas rohamlöveg by Pál Korbuly. The Tas model became very outdated/unhistorical nowadays. In an earlier post, which you can find here, I’ve described why the above mentioned model os the Tas medium tank is historically incorrect now. Later, based on his publications, every book and article related to the Hungarian tanks started to copy sentences like: „…the components of the Tas rohamlöveg prototype, analogous to the components of the Tas were manufactured and ready to assemble before the Allied forces destroyed the WM factory…”. At that time, the community of the amateur and professional Hungarian historians accepted the existence of the Tas rohamlöveg without doubt, because the son of the original designer wrote about it. In the 1980’s, Iván Bajtos, (the man who have found the photograps of the 1:10 scale factory models of the Tas in Czechoslovakia) made the outline drawing of the Tas rohamlöveg together with the drawings of the Tas medium tank. Above: The outline drawing of the Tas rohamlöveg made by Iván Bajtos, based on Korbuly’s model However, according to new discoveries, made in the recent years, it became clear that the above mentioned statement, that the prototype Tas rohamlöveg was under construction is FALSE. According to some documents, especially the order about the Tas-production, made by the Hungarian Ministry of Defence (HM), (it can be found in the Hungarian National Archives where Pál Korbuly didn’t or couldn’t go during his research), it became clear that the HM ordered 2, one „iron”, and one „finished” (made of armour-plates) prototypes of the Tas. There are no mentions about any planned assault gun in it, so both prototypes, and all manufactured Tas components or parts belonged to the Tas medium tank itself, and there’s no Tas rohamlöveg prototype (or parts of it) have been ever assembled. Actually, there are no known, official document ever mentions that this assault gun ever existed, except some shady statements and memories. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the Hungarian engineers did not considered to create an assault gun or tank destroyer based on the Tas medium tank. I mean, it’s more than likely that Korbuly make his conclusion based on one of his non-official (vocal maybe) source. However, because there are no (known) official document states, that the Tas rohamlöveg existed, most of the newest historical books about the Hungarian tanks do not deal with the „legend” of the Tas rohamlöveg, they only states that it could in a very, very early development stage, or it doesn’t existed at all. In 2009, Ádám Bíró, acknowledged Hungarian historian and model-maker wrote a long article about how could(!) have the Tas rohamlöveg looked like, based on his mock-up experiments. The pictures on the bottom of the post are mostly from his article. However, any of the existing mock-ups or models could not be considered 100% historically correct right now. He used the 7,5 cm KwK 42 L/70 tank gun for his Tas rohamlöveg proposal, because it is not clearly known what gun was considered for this vehicle, and in his opinion, this would have been the most likely choice. It is clear, that only four guns was avaiable that time to choose from; - the Hungarian 43. M 75mm L/55, or the - 29/43. M 80mm L/58 guns, or the - German 7,5cm KwK 42 L/70, or the - 8,8cm KwK/Pak 43 L/71. Eighter, and in the same time, non of these could have been used for the Tas rohamlöveg development. Because IRL the Germans were unwilling to sell the licence of their high performance anti-tank guns (the Hungarian industry didn’t had the resources to manufacture them anyway) and they could not affort to sell manufactured 88mm guns to the Hungarians, because the Germans could not even satisfy their own needs of these guns. The the mass production of the Hungarian 80mm gun was postponed to 1945, and only two 43.M 75mm gun Continue reading →

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