Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 202
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

 

I have the impression that the German army was in such dire straits as regarding to motorized transport that they used everything available (including Italian trucks for example) without many qualms.

Just for the record: Others used Italian trucks too. The British in the Western Desert in 40/41.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Re Trucks, . Guess it would have been embarrassing to have concentrating on mass building a Yankee truck though perhaps....

 

I have the impression that the German army was in such dire straits as regarding to motorized transport that they used everything available (including Italian trucks for example) without many qualms.

 

Pretty much, they had several designs when they could (like the Americans did) stick to one or 2. In fact, even when they belatedly woke up to the Soviet mud being a problem, they didnt just develop and field one solution to it they developed 2. Everything in Germany was designed to compete with itself, with chaotic results.

 

Here is the case in point.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radschlepper_Ost

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raupenschlepper,_Ost

 

Even worse, the designs they did make were not modified to make them easier for production. For example, in the winter of 1944/45 (it may have been a bit earlier) they started fitting austerity cabs on their Blitz's and a few other designs. Though logic dictates they could, and should, have done it 2 years earlier.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed Stuart,

 

and when the Radschlepper failed they added the Maultier (which itself existed in many variants depending on the truck it was based on) Or am i wrong here and did the Maultier precede the RSO ? and the SWS. The SWS was meant as a replacement for the medium sized SdKfz series half tracks, but AFAIK, these were also produced further....

 

typical German chaos

 

Inhapi

Edited by Inhapi
Link to post
Share on other sites

I may well be wholly wrong, but I think the Maultier came after the RSO. I always assumed it was due to the poor top speed of the RSO (which was only 10mph if memory serves). Still faster than driving a standard truck in Russian mud though I guess....

 

I mean I look at the US, and they had 2 companies making deuce and a half trucks to a fairly common design, and one of them (Studebaker) concentrated on producing for lend lease. It was a brilliant effort in standardization. Even the UK post Dunkirk was a lot more settled on the designs they built. They built a bewildering array of different vehicles on 2 different AEC chassis for example. Similar with Austin best I can tell.

 

The remarkable thing is, chaos in German procurement was typical. Im reading a very good book on german nightfighter forces, and its interesting to note quite how many different organizations they had doing radar research, how poor the resources for it were, and how chaotic the decision making on future research was. It seems looking back to have been that across the board in multiple areas, not least AFV design.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a quick look in the Spielberger books on the subject and it seems that the Radschlepper and the Maultier were more or less concurrent projects, with the Maultier started a bit (after bad performance of radschlepper prototypes) later but being faster ready to put into production. After the dismal showing of the Radschlepper early production models, the Mautier was chosen for full production, As for the Raupenschlepper, i'm not sure yet how this fits in in.

 

Inhapi

Link to post
Share on other sites

The RSO was primarily designed to replace draught (draft) horses — in particular those towing artillery — as the enormous losses of horses on the East Front could not replaced. In addition, the increasing weight of the artillery, as well as the atrocious road and terrain conditions basically made horse traction a poor solution. Compared to the complicated and expensive halftracks, the RSO was of simple construction, low price, low ground pressure, and was produced on an already-existing assembly line of the Steyr 1.5-ton truck and shared many of its components. It could easily replace tow horses, as they basically traveled at the same slow speed, which in turn allowed for a much simpler suspension and track. First delivery of production models to the Wehrmacht was in November 1942.

Edited by Leo Niehorster
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That might refer to experiences the Germans only just made in 41/42 aka North Africa and Russia.

 

How did the Wehrmacht supply it's artillery in 1940? Mostly by trucks, sometimes with half-tracks and it usually worked all right?

Horse carts.

 

 

There was even a horse cart mounting two MG 34 on an AA mount :-)

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-2005-0176%2C_Anschluss_sudetendeutscher_Gebiete.jpg?1484762606867

 

Inhapi

Link to post
Share on other sites

1940

Infantry divisions had horse-drawn artillery.

The light infantry gun (75mm) batteries had six-horse teams pulling the guns, and four-horse teams for the ammunition.

The heavy infantry gun (150mm) had eight-horse teams pulling the guns, and four-horse teams towing the ammunition carts.

The light field howitzer (105mm) batteries had six-horse teams pulling both the guns and the ammunition.

The heavy field howitzer (150mm) batteries had eight-horse teams for both the guns and ammunition caissons.

In Panzer and motorized infantry divisions the light field guns were truck towed, field howitzers were halftrack towed. The ammunition was transported in trucks, most of them with trailers.

Non-Divisional artillery were similar to the mechanized divisions, but additionally each battery had an ammunition truck transport column.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The RSO was primarily designed to replace draught (draft) horses — in particular those towing artillery — as the enormous losses of horses on the East Front could not replaced. In addition, the increasing weight of the artillery, as well as the atrocious road and terrain conditions basically made horse traction a poor solution. Compared to the complicated and expensive halftracks, the RSO was of simple construction, low price, low ground pressure, and was produced on an already-existing assembly line of the Steyr 1.5-ton truck and shared many of its components. It could easily replace tow horses, as they basically traveled at the same slow speed, which in turn allowed for a much simpler suspension and track. First delivery of production models to the Wehrmacht was in November 1942.

 

So was the Maultier built as an addition to the RSO or did it fullfill another role (eg more oriented to rear area respully than traction of guns etc near the front ) ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Different purposes. RSO was very specific, Maultier was general.

 

The RSO designed was to replace draft (draught) horses towing medium artillery in infantry divisions.

 

The 2-ton Maultier was designed to replace the ubiquitous 2-ton and 3-ton trucks on the East Front, in all capacities.

First Maultier 2-ton halftracks reached the Wehrmacht in December 1942. Followed in August 1943 by the 4.5-ton version.

The Maultier's 2-ton classification was later upgraded to 3-ton.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting. Do you have a good source of Maultier production? I only have Spielberger, and he seems to be wide of the mark. (about 4000 produced in the Netherlands), but think i know for sure that factories in Germany were churning them out at a high rate.

 

thanks,

 

Inhapi

Link to post
Share on other sites

The RSO sources are Spielberger, "Die Rad- und Vollketten-Zugmaschinenen ..." as well as the very nice Nuts & Bolts volume 29, "Raupenschlepper Ost".

 

Spielberger, "Die Halbkettenfahrzeuge ...", indicates production of 2/3-ton vehicles as follows:

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey's " Motor Vehicle Industry Report" (deals only with German production, though) of 1947 is shown in red:

1942: 635 1,635

1943: 13,000 12,771

1944: 7,310 6,224

1945: 0 30

Opel produced ~4,000

Ford produced ~14,000

KHD produced ~2,500

Ford France: ~1,000

(Total including 300 armored with rocket launchers and 300 as ammunition carriers for the Nebeltruppen).

There were also a kit, which allowed the entire rear axle to be replaced by a tracked module in the field. No indication as to how many of these were issued.

 

No mention about production in the Netherlands.

 

The 4.5-ton version was produced by Daimler-Benz (only) as follows:

1943: 594 594

1944: 886 886

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

okay, "Die Rad- und Vollketten-Zugmaschinen" is a bit too expensive now to complete my Spielberger collection :-(. As for the Mautier I only referred to the data in "Die Beute..." By Spielberger which indeed only lists the Dutch production of the Maultier (apart from a quite broad discussion of the diffferent prototypes of the Maultier, so i thought that that volume held all the info on the Maultier). The Dutch vehicles were Opel blitz based with a Hortsman suspension with PzKw I tracks, but built by a Ford factory :-) .Sorry that i forgot to check in the "Die Halbketten" volume...

 

thanks and greetings,

 

Inhapi

Edited by Inhapi
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

But the uselessness of trucks in the USSR wasn't apparent until after the first winter and Barbarossa was supposed to be over by that time.

 

Looks like the Lorraine wasn't needed at the time it could have been made available.

However the Germans had worked with the Soviets pre-war and the potentiel conditions they might have faced and the lessons the Soviet had already about transport in the winter would have been apparent. I believe at that time the soviets were using tracked gun towers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well AFAIK, Barbarossa was meant to be over before the winter set in, that was a crucial part of its planning, hence no real preparation for winter fighting.... (remember the adagio: "kick in the rotten door and the building will collapse".) Even during the early stages of Barbarossa it was assumed that the campaign would be over in a few weeks. Only after estimating that the German army had destroyed all the troops estimated to be in the Soviet army and was still meeting new divisions and armies, that the reality began to sink in...

 

Also notice that apart from having made no winter preparations there were no real replacements for the heavy losses/attrition to be expected in a long campaign in the pipeline in Germany, nor enough logistical planning for example for repairs of weapons and machines etc.... Barbarossa was really a one punch trick, no second chance....everything was staked on that first punch.

 

Inhapi

Link to post
Share on other sites
Barbarossa was really a one punch trick, no second chance....everything was staked on that first punch.

 

I do not agree, they did change ther plans, cancel the effort of taking Moskwa and move to take the oilfields (playing the long game) and advance another thousand kilometers. It would probably succeeded if it were not for the US factor.

 

Remember USSR did "only" have double the populations of Greater Germany, and Germany did prodused more steel (rough but relevant strength indicator of industrial might) But Germany did wasted steel on nonrelevant weapons for the Eastern Front like submarines and USSR did reseve large amount of steel from US.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Barbarossa was really a one punch trick, no second chance....everything was staked on that first punch.

 

I do not agree, they did change ther plans, cancel the effort of taking Moskwa and move to take the oilfields (playing the long game) and advance another thousand kilometers. It would probably succeeded if it were not for the US factor.

 

 

Yes,

 

That was after the first winter and after Barbarossa failed. The effort in 1942, as impressive as it seems at first, was a shadow compared to the original Barbarossa looking at assets used in it. I was talking about the original Barbarossa operation, which was meant to end in months if not weeks...But i'll leave that discussion to the specialists and people far more informed than me.

 

many greetings,

 

Inhapi

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Remember USSR did "only" have double the populations of Greater Germany, and Germany did prodused more steel (rough but relevant strength indicator of industrial might) But Germany did wasted steel on nonrelevant weapons for the Eastern Front like submarines and USSR did reseve large amount of steel from US.

 

 

Even not wasting it on "non relevant" weapons they got way worse mileage out of their steel industry than Soviets did. Pz-IV consumed about same amount of steel as KV-1.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well AFAIK, Barbarossa was meant to be over before the winter set in, that was a crucial part of its planning, hence no real preparation for winter fighting.... (remember the adagio: "kick in the rotten door and the building will collapse".) Even during the early stages of Barbarossa it was assumed that the campaign would be over in a few weeks. Only after estimating that the German army had destroyed all the troops estimated to be in the Soviet army and was still meeting new divisions and armies, that the reality began to sink in...

 

Also notice that apart from having made no winter preparations there were no real replacements for the heavy losses/attrition to be expected in a long campaign in the pipeline in Germany, nor enough logistical planning for example for repairs of weapons and machines etc.... Barbarossa was really a one punch trick, no second chance....everything was staked on that first punch.

 

Inhapi

 

You are quite correct. The elimination of the USSR as a factor in WWII was to have taken place in the summer of 1941, leaving England with no further options but the peace table. Persons with current knowledge of Soviet strengths, such as the German army attache in Moscow, were specifically ignored to make the plan feasible. There was no option for a long term war, given the German economy, therefore a long war was dismissed as a possible outcome. This planning style was bizarrely adopted by the US government in 2003 vs. Iraq as war had become too expensive even for the so-called superpowers.

 

The 1942 German campaign in Russia was improvised and undercapitalized [only 40% of the losses of the infantry divisions being covered]. There was no alternative than to bank upon the estimated acumen of the German Landser to overcome all obstacles by grit and cunning, once simple tactics had fallen short. See Geoffrey Megargee, Inside Hitler's High Command (2000). He notes the crucial hierarchy of the German Ops staff officer (Ia) over the Log officer (Ic) as an institutional deference of will vs reality in determining German army plans and orders.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...