For the Record: Patently Absurd Special: A Very German Family
Author: Vollketten Every now and then, you stumble across something extraordinary and this is one of those times. Filed 12th February 1969 by Bernd Schmidt, this very special patent is for a whole family of vehicles, using a common hull. The benefits of a single hull for a wide variety of vehicles are very obvious: the ease of maintenance, spares, repair etc. – and he even specifies that in an emeregency, one vehicle should be convertible into anothery. Numerous alternate configurations are specified and some come with a few unconventional features. And ALL of them are more ‘historical’ than some of the current ingame vehicles. Who knows, maybe a candidate or two for some high tier swaps or some premiums? So we’ll go through all 30 variants he specifies one by one. The basic hull: As you can see, the vehicle hull is low and wide and actually can lower its suspension so that the hull can sit on the ground. In this graphic, ‘8’ is representing the ‘load’, but the hull is based around an 7 wheeled (per side) rear driven armoured hull, using a 500hp engine with a desired top speed of 70kmh. Basic hull is 6.8m long, 3.2m wide, and 1.2m tall from the bottom of the hull to the top of the cab, housing the 1 or 2 man crew, which is 1.7m from the ground. Therefore the maximum ground clearance of 0.5m. The following are the variants of that hull: Transportation Variant 1 armed with a single machine gun Transport Variant 2 fitted with an integrated crane for loading ammunition etc. Armed with a single machine gun Fire Control Variant fitted with fire control radar and at least a single machine gun. Rocket Launcher Variant 1 equipped with 36 rockets and a machine gun. Artillery Mover Variant – the crane part is hard to see but this variant has a built up cab to house 3 to 4 men and the flat bed and crane set up is intended for hauling light artillery pieces, such as the 105mm or 40mm anti-aircraft cannon. Tank Destroyer Variant 1 turret mounted 105mm anti-tank gun and a single machine gun. Anti-Aircraft (Flakpanzer) Variant fitted with twin 20mm or 40mm anti-aircraft cannon and a single machine gun. Unusually the guns are stacked on top of each other as opposed to being side by side. Jagdpanzer, Tank Destroyer Variant 2 armed with either a 10.5cm or 15.5cm anti-tank gun (both options are specified) and two machine guns, one in the hull. It doesn’t say so, but I assume either the roof moves up with the breech or is open topped, because otherwise gun depression is going to be seriously disappointing. Artillery Observation Variant with a system of angular mirrors, and a machine gun. Mortar Carrier Variant fitted with either an 81mm or 120mm heavy mortar and a 3-4 man crew. ATGM Tank Destroyer Variant fitted with 12 anti-tank missiles, a machine gun, 3-4 man crew. Recovery Variant 1 with 15t crane and machine gun. Recovery Variant 2 with 20t crane and machine gun. Bridge Laying Variant with hull mounted machine gun. APC Variant with space for 10 men and armed with either a machine gun or a 20mm cannon. Artillery Tractor Variant 1 with space for 9 and equipment, fitted with a machine gun. Artillery Tractor Variant 2 with space for 15 men, fitted with a single machine gun Workshop Bodied Variant with raised body, and able to be fitted for radio communication use. Ambulance Variant with space for 4 stretchers. Field Kitchen Variant fitted with a machine gun (just in case the food line gets unruly) SPG ‘Panzerhaubitze’ Variant 1 with a 105mm gun in 360 rotatable turret. SPG ‘Bordhaubitze’ Variant 2 fitted with either a 155mm or 203mm gun (both are specified as options) in a casement. SPG Variant 3 fitted with one of three optional guns; a 155mm field gun, 175mm field gun or 203mm howitzer and a machine gun for self-defence. States that these are mounted onto a 360 rotatable platform. Rocket Launcher Variant 2 fitted with a rather large warhead on a 360 degree rotating launch platform. Machine gun for self-defence. Rocket Launcher Variant 3 fitted with a very fancy looking multi-winged missile, also a machine gun for self defence. And finally… Anti-Aircraft Missile Launcher Variant fitted with 3 Surface to Air Missiles on a 360 degree rotating platform. So there we are then, 30 variants, all on a single common platform within the 1970 nominal WoT time limit, some of which are obviously no use in the game (such as load carrier and giant rocket launchers), but what about that artillery? All of them are better than the GW E-100, which is just plain silly. Anyway, it’s nice to have a few more German options as always and in this case, the designer even posted dimensions and guns.