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Were there any interest towards APDS in German military during WW II?

AFAIK Brits were only ones really using those rounds, but would have thought after encountering Soviet heavy tanks there might have been some interest among Wehrmacht.

Google says there was 105 mm one using 75mm sabot. Why not for 75mm or even for 50mm? 

There was this interesting discussion, but does anyone have something to add:

https://www.forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=225989#:~:text=Yoozername Member-,Re%3A Did%2Fwhy didn't Germany deployed,75mm APDS rounds in WW2%3F&text=The Germans did have a,used in all 105mm weapons.

Edited by Sardaukar
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They had one, for 10.5cm leFH18, using IIRC 88mm AP projectile in the sabot.

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Hogg has described a range of German sabot rounds.  One of the best known being the Peenemunde Pfiegeschosse.

https://www.nevingtonwarmuseum.com/peenemunde-arrow-shell.html

He also describes 4 main types: Semi-sabots, Pot Sabots, Cage Sabots and Separate Ring sabots.

German sabot rounds were mainly to increase range of normal artillery or shorten time to altitude for FlaK.  He notes that by 1943 there was not enough tungsten to develop PaK rounds.

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There were at least two German APDS projectiles (10.5 cm Pzgr. 38 TS  and 15 cm Pzgr. 39 TS), the former used 75 mm APCBC(HE) and the latter with 88 mm. Both with discarding base and separate ring design. There were also other experimental variants like 105/75 mm, 105/88 mm and 128/88 mm. In all cases modified existing APCBC shells were used.

 

Peenemünder Pfeilgeschoss was not anti-armour design. It was HE(FSDS) shell made for extended range, like other sabot projectiles, designed for 'Hochdruckpumpe' cannon. There were also Röchling shells, long and with discarding sabots. Those were bunker-busters, hence can be somehow called AP(HE)FSDS.

 

 

Why rather low interest of APDS ammunition in WWII Germany? My guesses: tungsten carbide shortage, matured APCR designs, various issues with discarding sabot technology (compare with British and, later, American problems), big, potent, long-barreled guns with efficient fullbore shells, doubts on behind armour effect (when compared with normal shells), need for energetic and probably erosive propellant, increased barrel wear because of erosive propellant, hypervelocity and interactions of sabot and barrel bore. But I cannot point the major issue from that list.

 

 

 

 

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One thing I was thinking...would it have been feasible to have APDS for 50L60 gun to keep it effective vs. enemies longer?

E.g. 28mm sabot or such (somehow I have this weird idea of using 28mm Panzerbüchse 41 round as sabot...). Would that sort of thing achieve anything?

After all, there was 2.8 cm KwK 42 project.

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There was APCR for 50/60, it was of some effectiveness vs T-34 and KV, but not really enough for it to stay really valid weapon.  APDS would have comparable performances up the 500m range, so it would not enable it to be any more valid. APCR had short range penetration comparable to APDS, but APDS lost velocity slower, enabling better long range performances, which was not really relevant until post-WW2.

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There's a translation of a German document from Feb '45 over at https://forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/317927-german-intended-tank-and-anti-tank-gun-development/ It seems to say that they thought about getting higher velocities either by using very long barrels or by using sub-caliber ammunition (APDS or Cone Bore).

  • Super long barrels were rejected for both technical and production complexity
  • Cone bore was rejected as being over-specialized and difficult to manufacture
  • Sub-caliber AP projectiles were not seen as giving enough of a performance increase, esp at longer ranges, to make them worthwhile, particularly since they might cause issues with existing muzzle brakes.  The modest performance increase was presumably at least partly due to having to make the projectiles with steel, since no tungsten was available for them.
    • The same tungsten shortage was presumably taking APCR off the table.

The upshot of all this is that they seemed to be happy with regular AP for the large AT weapons (88 L71 and 128mm) and HEAT for everything else.

Other pages of the same document, however, show  interest in a using the PAW 1000 both with a full caliber HEAT round, for shorter ranges, and a sub-caliber round, firing a saboted 75mm round (possibly a version of the 75mm fin stabilized HEAT round being developed for the Pak40), for engagements at longer ranges.

 

Edited by CaptLuke
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On 5/25/2021 at 7:29 AM, Sardaukar said:

One thing I was thinking...would it have been feasible to have APDS for 50L60 gun to keep it effective vs. enemies longer?

E.g. 28mm sabot or such (somehow I have this weird idea of using 28mm Panzerbüchse 41 round as sabot...). Would that sort of thing achieve anything?

After all, there was 2.8 cm KwK 42 project.



If they want to bring new life to tanks that can't carry anything beyond the 50L60, IMO they'd be better off developing a large bore, low pressure gun (like the DEFA 90mm) with low intrusion into the turret that can fit into existing turret rings, and opt for HEAT.  Might struggle with graze or anything beyond ~60 degrees without the advantage of piezo fusing, but penetration would be better.  8.8cm HEAT ended up doing 90mm penetration IIRC, but that was without rotation compensation and un-optimized hemispherical liner, I'm confident with messing around with flash radiography (developed in 1938) to examine the jet, they could have done a lot to optimize it even if just trial and error and yielded more along the lines of 140mm at any range, which would be better than the 5cm PzGr. 40 APCR at 100m

Aside from the AML90, here's the X1A based on M3A1 Stuart with the DEFA gun

 

X1A stuart.jpg

Edited by Burncycle360
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