Hello All :
This is what happens when you start listening to ignorant blather.
That's right, Mr. Destroyer500 - if you listen to anyone other than poorly educated historians, you might
actually learn something…..
Mr. Anderson stated :
No, the "panzer 4 was" NOT "only chosen for the fact it had the short 7.5cm".
That twists the reality. Krupp received the prime contract for the Panzer I, with DB and
others acting as subs. DB got the prime contract for the Panzer II, with Krupp and others
acting as subs. The Panzer III was developed DB as the prime contractor and others as
subs. The Panzer IV was developed by Krupp with others as subs.
Do you notice a pattern? Much of the largess from the Nazis in armaments was to curry
favor from the industrialists. Sharing the trough was good for the Nazi Party. That was
the point of the question regarding compensation to DB.
Yes, the above is true. However, unlike Mr. Anderson, and apparently the senior officers of the Heer,
I have never considered it rational to have military procurement run as a Hog-Trough into which
Contractors can put their snouts, and in some case, their front trotters, in their efforts to fatten
themselves…. A more rational approach is to purchase the best weapons for your military, from
the most efficient manufacturers, in order that your troops have the best and most equipment
possible. Otherwise, you are purchasing M-16 Rifles, F-111 Aardvark Fighter Bombers, and
1052 class Destroyer Escorts, all purchased due to political influence to pay off Lyndon Johnson's
And yes, that is one of the reasons we LOST the Viet Nam War - but too many Think-Tankers, all
of whom were trying to get their own snouts into that money trough, are unwilling to look that
unpleasant fact in the face.
Now, in 1936, the Luftwaffe had four possible choices for their next generation single seat fighter -
the competitors were Heinkel, Arado, Focke-Wulfe, and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke. ( The Me109 ) .
The Messerschmitt won. And Arado and Focke-Wulfe were all given contracts to produce Me 109s,
under license, and made money doing so.
So, all that would have been necessary would be for the Heer to be as smart as the Luftwaffe, and
have Krupp be given the contract to produce a lot of Pzkw IVs, and DB be given a contract to produce
them under license. Again, this is not Rocket Science, though it may be out of the range of a
Nor were the Panzer III and IV developed simultaneously because "Because only
an Idiot or an Employee of a Military Think Tank would decide to build two competing
chassis". That in fact requires an idiot to think that it might be an actual reason.
First, it is a historical fact that the Pzkw III and Pzkw IV were NOT
In fact, the Pzkw IV was in production in late 1936, with 35 units being completed by the end of the
year. The Pzkw III was not even approved for production until early in 1937, with only 10 being
completed by the end of 1937. By that time, an additional 40 more Pzkw IVs had been produced,
and the AusfC model was going into production in early 1938 !
All this also requires multiple decision points, which was the point of the factory
retooling question. Of course they could retool, STOOOOPID is thinking that is the issue
and that waving a magic wand changes it.
From the above, we can see how, if the Pzkw III had been cancelled with the speed and promptness
demonstrated in canceling CNN+
, say, in the middle of 1936 while it and the other
Pzkw III candidates were still being tested in the prototype stage, then NO RETOOLING
been necessary, because NO TOOLING HAD TAKEN PLACE !
I hesitate to explain what should be an
elementary truism, but Prototypes are NOT
built with Production Tooling ! They are hand built
' one-offs ', and ONLY
when a contract is awarded is any Production Tooling generated.
So, no ' Magic Wand '
is necessary. Just a few Telephone Calls in, say, June of 1936, along with a
couple of letters canceling a contract which has not yet been issued. And, since the Pzkw IV is
already going into production at Krupp in Magdeburg, they can send drawings of parts, jigs, and
fixtures, as well at detailed specifications for machine tooling necessary, and Engineers and
Technicians to Daimler Benz to streamline the process and get production moving.
The two were developed because the Germans perceived a tactical need for
them due to the technological limitations they had to work with. The Maybach HL108TR
engine, which was the cutting edge then of German engine development, was capable
of 250 HP. There is a reason the Panzer III and IV are both considered medium tanks,
but the Heer classified the III organizationally as leichte and the IV as mittlere.
The fact that the Heer seemed to think that calling one 20 ton tank with a 250 hp engine a Light Tank
made it different from another 20 ton tank with the same engine that was called a Medium Tank, only
shows that the Heer lacked the sort of common sense that they should have been exhibiting from Day
One. They were so obsessed with their organizational charts that they were blinded to the practical
realities of their equipment. But, this was not uncommon in Germany - some people have expressed
the opinion that this over-emphasis on organizational order and neatness stems from a tradition of
toilet training at too early an age ......
To achieve a tank with a 75mm gun and the desired ammunition stowage, it
had to weigh more. The Panzer IV Ausf A weighed 17.3 tons and every iteration from
there kept getting heavier. The Panzer III Ausf A weighed 15.4 tons and also kept getting
bigger. To get the Ausf N fitted with the 7.5cm KwK meant it went up to 23 tons. The
Germans simply were not interested in or consider it necessary to fit a 7.5cm gun in
the Panzer III initially. They also did not want only a 7.5cm HE thrower, they wanted
a hole-puncher, the 5cm initially, but got the 3.7cm, and that is a different story.
Here we see that Mr. Anderson has everything backwards. We are NOT trying to fit a 7.5 cm gun on
a Pzkw III, we are trying to fit a 3.7 cm gun on a Pzkw IV !
In fact, the Pzkw IV came out of the factory with the 7.5 cm KwK. It was the Pzkw III that had the
smaller, lighter turret with the 3.7 cm AT gun. Thus, if you fitted a Pzkw III turret on a Pzkw IV, you
would have had a LIGHTER TANK ! And, since the turrets on the Pzkw III had a smaller turret ring,
you simply had to make the Pzkw III turrets with their high velocity guns with a larger turret base that
would fit on a Pzkw IV. Let me put it this way: It is easier to make a tank turret fit a larger turret ring
than it is to make it fit a smaller turret ring. This is called ... Geometry... but that is Math, which is
something that Historians have trouble with......
The German solution was two designs, a leichte tank primarily to combat enemy
tanks, and a mittlere tank primarily to fire HE at enemy AT guns, infantry, and soft targets.
But, if the Germans had used ONE
Tank Chassis, the Pzkw IV chassis
, half of which were fitted
with 3.7 cm AT guns, and the other half with 7.5 cm HE guns, they would have had the same tactical
result, with fewer manufacturing, spares, supply, and training issues.
And why would the Heer decide to do a "competitive test" between the Panzer III
and Panzer IV in 1936 when they were not in competition? Since they weren't actually
developing two DIFFERENT 20 ton tanks, why would they decide they DON'T NEED two
DIFFERENT 20 ton tanks?
Why would the Heer decide to do a competitive test between their two 20 ton tank chassis ? I don't
know..... maybe if they hadn't been a bunch of greedy, short sighted idiots who are trying to pay off a
group of contractors with sweetheart deals in return for a few well placed bribes......
The two chassis were not in competition, BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN !
And, if they had been, the
Pzkw IV would have won, as it could do everything the Pzkw III could do, carrying the same weapons,
while the Pzkw III chassis was limited by it's turret ring diameter.
As for Mr. Anderson saying that the Germans:
" .... weren't actually developing t(w)o DIFFERENT 20 ton tanks..... "
Well, someone is divorced from reality. The two chassis are within a ton of each other, when fitted
with the same armament, they have the same dimensions, ( at most about a half meter difference in
any dimension ) and they had the same engine and transmission. Their similarities outweight their
differences, and that, in itself, should have been a signal to the High Command of the Heer that they
were wasting a lot of time and money.
If the Heer had standardized on ONE
Medium Tank Chassis, the Pzkw IV, built by Krupp, and had
also subcontracted it out to be built by Daimler Benz, MAN, and Rheinmetall, they would have had a
much more adaptable chassis on which to base their armored forces on - and the Allies would have
almost certainly been faced with a larger number of more capable tanks throughout the war.
It's a good thing for the Allies that the High Command of the Heer were more like Historians than they
were like Engineers......
Paul R. Ward