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It's this bit that's seemingly contradictory.

"Vehicles of this design were considered exemplary no-compromise design offroad motor vehicles.

They proved to be considerably inferior in offroad mobility to EInheits-Diesel"


I'm trying to understand why it was. It it was as simple as the operators didn't maintain the more technically complex to keep up systems on the tatras, I can see why.

My M35 has an air-shift front axle. The earlier designs had a sprag clutch in the transfer case that would engage the front if things slipped. Very little to maintain for the soldier. By comparison, the axle engagement on the Pinzgauer is hydraulic. That's more for the driver to keep up with, but it gives the driver more options and control, which can be bad for a barely trained conscript who's given the task to drive a truck. Whack the lever down at the wrong time and you can break things.

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There are multiple possible reasons.

 

- double tires prone to damage by stones stuck in between (differs from vehicle type to vehicle type a bit)

- gearbox may have been unsuitable (not an uncommon problem those days)

- engine unsuitable for offroad load factors (petrol engines were still dominant in European trucks at the time; the V8 engine of the Ford Model B series was used in Ford 3-ton trucks and proved to be horrible for it despite nominally having enough hp)

- likely no differential lock

- three axles digging deeper into muddy road than two axles

 

Remember, that time was the infancy of offroad driving.

 

 

Anyway; according to Wikipedia the Tatra 92/93 wasn't built in large numbers anyway. Oswald may have had some horrible personal experience with those Tatra trucks to nevertheless write about them that much.

 

 

@Chris;

no way

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Possible poor quality control amongst the workers in occupied lands may have played a part in multiple breakdowns. The workers could have built to just within allowed tolerances so as to not bring down sanctions, without building to the best standards they were capable of.

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Possible poor quality control amongst the workers in occupied lands may have played a part in multiple breakdowns. The workers could have built to just within allowed tolerances so as to not bring down sanctions, without building to the best standards they were capable of.

 

Maybe but according to a book I read decades ago the Nazis were acting really clever when the occupied Czechoslovakia. First they raised the wages, then introduced a German style social security system with health insurance, paid vacations, pensions the lot. And then they raised the wages again. Informer reported that the Czechoslovakian workers considered Nazi Germany to be the most working class friendly regime.

 

 

Re Italian trucks:

 

The North Africa special of the Croatian magazine Husar gives them good marks. They were a bit small because the were designed for the mountain roads in North Italy, the one with four wheel drive were so good that the French Air Force ordered a few hundred, while the Italian army prefered the simpler two wheel drive version, which saw quite a bit of service on both sides during and after Operation Compass. The Aussies weren't the only ones who nicked other people's stuff.

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Possible poor quality control amongst the workers in occupied lands may have played a part in multiple breakdowns. The workers could have built to just within allowed tolerances so as to not bring down sanctions, without building to the best standards they were capable of.

 

Maybe but according to a book I read decades ago the Nazis were acting really clever when the occupied Czechoslovakia. First they raised the wages, then introduced a German style social security system with health insurance, paid vacations, pensions the lot. And then they raised the wages again. Informer reported that the Czechoslovakian workers considered Nazi Germany to be the most working class friendly regime.

 

 

Fair enough, but did the Germans take the same action with the French (that is aircraft manufacture) as I seem to recall a few projects were delayed before completion.

 

I accept that the Czechs were more closely related to the Germans than the French to Germans, (who after all had fought two previous wars in the last 75 years). Also the Czechs may have considered themselves to be on the winning side, which they were not of course. Czech AFVs seemed to serve the Wehrmacht well until the end of the war, of course.

Edited by DougRichards
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Possible poor quality control amongst the workers in occupied lands may have played a part in multiple breakdowns. The workers could have built to just within allowed tolerances so as to not bring down sanctions, without building to the best standards they were capable of.

 

that's a point, screw up the seals in those pendulum axles (never knew what they were called mechanically) and the fluid leaks out. Or you put a bit of crap in the diffs and the work to take the whole axle apart and solve the problem takes for ever.

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I accept that the Czechs were more closely related to the Germans than the French to Germans, (who after all had fought two previous wars in the last 75 years). Also the Czechs may have considered themselves to be on the winning side, which they were not of course. Czech AFVs seemed to serve the Wehrmacht well until the end of the war, of course.

 

That is a point. The Skoda plant was still making tanks that were well used and reliable as were the SdKfz 250/251s which were later made as the OT-810 for the Warsaw pact.

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... which were later made as the OT-810 for the Warsaw pact.

 

And nicknamed "Hitler's revenge" for it's less than stellar reliability and overly complicated suspension.

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Possible poor quality control amongst the workers in occupied lands may have played a part in multiple breakdowns. The workers could have built to just within allowed tolerances so as to not bring down sanctions, without building to the best standards they were capable of.

that's a point, screw up the seals in those pendulum axles (never knew what they were called mechanically) and the fluid leaks out. Or you put a bit of crap in the diffs and the work to take the whole axle apart and solve the problem takes for ever.

 

 

The much simpler reason could be that the Czech trucks were designed for home use which means being able to cover harsh terrain but not so long distances. If you for example say "must run 5000km before maintenance" it would be plenty for use in country, but not much when used on the Eastern Front. In addition I doubt that the trucks were tested to run in the heat , sand and dust of Northern Africa as well as the mud, snow and cold of Russia.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sometimes the release of a new model kit piques my interest in a vehicle or weapon. Tamiya has just released a 1/35 Mid production Hummel, which lead me to some research.

 

I initially thought that this was used more or less as the US used the GMC M12, but was astounded to see that 714 were built plus another 150 ammunition carriers, (pus another 476 Nashorns). Actually more than the Wespe.

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Yes it does appear strange. I would think Wespe would be a huge increase in value of a Pz II chassis compared to a Pz II tank, whereas a Hummel had marginal utility increase at best compared to a Pz IV tank. But perhaps it was a forerunner of a time when the Pz IV was not produced as a tank at all, but the chassis could be utilised for SPG and similar. After all the Germans planned for continuing and winning the war surprisingly late...

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A Pz II apparently cost (at 49,000RM) about half of either the PzIII or Pz IV (well, averaged about half as much as the two added and then divided by two). 100,000RM

 

The 10.5cm Felhhaubitz 18 came in at 16,400RM, the 15cm at 60,000 (both would have included carriages of course), so a Wespe cost, overall, maybe one third of a Hummel,

 

Of course the 15cm had a longer range and larger shell than the 10cm.

 

That a version of the Hummel didn't receive the 10cm Kanone 18 (the two on carriage had similar weights) is interesting, in that the 10cm Kanone had a longer range and a fair AP performance. Perhaps it would have been intruding too far on the territory of the Nashorn?

Edited by DougRichards
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Yes it does appear strange. I would think Wespe would be a huge increase in value of a Pz II chassis compared to a Pz II tank,

 

The Marder also used the Pz II chassis. It was probably needed even more than the Wespe.

 

 

And I would say that a Marder could, if necessary, perform field artillery support duties, but the Wespe would have been hard pressed to act as a mobile AT gun.

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Found tidbit about 15cm sFH18...

Yugoslavia tried converting those to 152mm, to use same ammo as 152mm ML-20. It included new. L/32 barrel. Designation was "Top-Haubica 152mm M18/60(n)" - "Gun-Howitzer 152mm M18/60(German)"

 

"Conversion is deemed not to be worth investment as the tests on the weapon showed that due the carriage limitations it can not fire with all charges and range is limited to 15.1 km instead of 17.2 km for ML-20 with an equivalent barrel"

Edited by bojan
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finns probably cared more about getting some 5-7 artillery batallions modernised with standardised ammo that they produced themselves for relatively little money than max.charges and 1-2 km. additional of range

:)​

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There were 3 divisional groups of 15cm sFH 18 (3 x 12 = 36) plus a few reserves (24 = 6 batteries were acquired from France in 1948-49, some were WW2 leftovers) in 1960. in Yugoslavia. That is not a large number, but is also not insignificant, as there were 95 x 155mm M1 howitzers, 23 x 152mm M43 (D-1) howitzers and 63 x 152mm ML-20 gun-howitzers in the comparable class (divisional artillery, but ML-20 were also used at corps level). That tells me that problem with carriages was considered to be serious, as there was a lack of divisional artillery until 152mm D-20 were acquired in 1967 as a stopgap, and some divisions had 122mm howitzer batteries instead of 152/155mm.

Edited by bojan
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There were 3 divisional groups of 15cm sFH 18 (3 x 12 = 36) plus a few reserves (24 = 6 batteries were acquired from France in 1948-49, some were WW2 leftovers) in 1960. in Yugoslavia. That is not a large number, but is also not insignificant, as there were 95 x 155mm M1 howitzers, 23 x 152mm M43 (D-1) howitzers and 63 x 152mm ML-20 gun-howitzers in the comparable class (divisional artillery, but ML-20 were also used at corps level). That tells me that problem with carriages was considered to be serious, as there was a lack of divisional artillery until 152mm D-20 were acquired in 1967 as a stopgap, and some divisions had 122mm howitzer batteries instead of 152/155mm.

Any comments available on the pluses and minuses of each artillery piece?

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Everything I have:

 

Regiment/Brigade artillery:

- 10.5cm leFH 18/40 and 18/43 (base leFH 18 was in the reserves) was not well suited for a motorized towing, limiting a max speed to 40km/h only on the good road, but it was lightest one (1995kg for 18/40 and 18/43 versions vs 2260kg for M2 and 2100kg for M56), and it had slightly better range (12.3 vs 11.27km) than M2 so it was mostly used in the hill brigades and in infantry brigades and regiments located at a more difficult terrain, as it could be towed by 2t truck, while M2 and M56 required 2.5t truck.

- 105mm M2 was slightly inferior to M56, due the 160kg more weight and more importantly it could not use special charge available for M56 (otherwise they used same ammo) that gave it 13.1km range vs 11.27km for M2.

-122mm M-30 was superior to all of above in firepower, had a comparable range to M2 and leFH 18 (11.8km) but was heavier and not well suited for a difficult terrain. As a consequence it was asigned to armored units and infantry brigades on the good terrain.

 

Divisional* artillery:

155mm M1 howitzer was considered to be much better than 15cm sFH 18 as it was lighter (5000 vs 5500kg) and had better range (14.6 vs 13.3km, more reliable and more accurate. 152mm D-1 was considered roughly equal to M1, as while it had inferior range (12.79km vs 14.6km) it was much lighter (3600 vs 5000kg). Due the lack of enough suitable weapons in the divisional artillery, 152mm ML-20 was also used, even if it should have belonged to a corps level artillery. It had much better range (17km) but payed it with a heavy weight - 7270kg.

 

*Divisional artillery groups in the 1950s actually had a mix od 105/122mm howitzer and 150/152/155mm howitzer batteries.

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i think the finns did not care that much about carriage, because the guns were probably mobilisation-only and were probably supposed to last in war till fall into pieces. if the finns were victorious by then, they had new guns as booty, if not, then the future of artillery was not a big issue anyway....

 

i guess the yugo had their artillery in constant use, not sitting in mobilisation depots

Edited by bd1
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  • 4 weeks later...

 

 

Possible poor quality control amongst the workers in occupied lands may have played a part in multiple breakdowns. The workers could have built to just within allowed tolerances so as to not bring down sanctions, without building to the best standards they were capable of.

 

Maybe but according to a book I read decades ago the Nazis were acting really clever when the occupied Czechoslovakia. First they raised the wages, then introduced a German style social security system with health insurance, paid vacations, pensions the lot. And then they raised the wages again. Informer reported that the Czechoslovakian workers considered Nazi Germany to be the most working class friendly regime.

 

 

Fair enough, but did the Germans take the same action with the French (that is aircraft manufacture) as I seem to recall a few projects were delayed before completion.

 

I accept that the Czechs were more closely related to the Germans than the French to Germans, (who after all had fought two previous wars in the last 75 years). Also the Czechs may have considered themselves to be on the winning side, which they were not of course. Czech AFVs seemed to serve the Wehrmacht well until the end of the war, of course.

 

 

 

 

Basically the Germans plundered French factories of much of their tooling, which mostly ended up being not used in german factories anyway. When the Germans came around to having French factories produce mitiary stuff again, they were surprised that eg no more tracked vehicles or guns gould be made. ofc, eg Renault and Peugeot kept most of the production lines of their civil light vans (which were subsequentely used on the esteren front with disastrous results). When the Germans tried to get German vehicles out of Frecnh factories, they did not get not get further they having eg track links cast, not much more in stead of complete vehicles.

 

Another point is that Czech factories were on the primary recipient list for production raw materieals and integrated in longer term German production plans, whereas the French were not.

 

This resulted eg that certain vehicles wich could have been useful for the German war effort (thinking of Lorraine full tracked resupply vehicles, which seem to have been quite good at what they were designed for, Laffly all terrain light trucks (same), Unic and Rebaul half tracks were taken out of production.

 

As for the aircraft industry: the French aero eninges were not op to notch with the latest German engines, but were more than good enough for aircraft in non combat roles. (transport etc...). But production of these was also gutted, resulting in Geman transport aircraft projects powere by French enines using captured rather than newly produced equipment...and we al know that the German air transportbranch could have used a boost in the form of eg improved JU 52 der!vatives (Ju 352, comes to mind, not as good as it might have been (see ju 252) but better than nothing or Ju 52) with Gnome Rhone 14N engines in stead of limted production Bramo 323 engines

 

But i guess in the end it comes down to two things: mindless plundering of French factories in 1940 and just not having the raw materials to make French industry a real player in prodicing useful stuff.

 

Also the German economy was an economy based onnplunder starting in late 1939, not of industrial expansion into conquered areas

Edited by Inhapi
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"As for the aircraft industry: the French aero eninges were not op to notch with the latest German engines."

 

They were. The HS12Y not so much but the 12Z was, so was the latest GR radial. Both were in the 1,500hp range and ready for production when France fell. Who knows if the industry was willing to share, the state arsenals weren't. They hid the MAS automatic rifle.

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