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fighting cat with the “long arm”

Historical Chronicle Discuss

Medium Tank felines – Pz.Kpfw. V Panther – debuted in 1943. The best definition for this machine is the word “controversial.” From a technical point of view, the tank was difficult, expensive and capricious in operation, especially in the early stages of mass production. But anyone who has ever faced “fighting cat” Wehrmacht in battle, could hardly recognize it easy opponent. Therefore, the work on improving the “Panther” lasted until 1945, and the total collapse of the German economy.

The main armament was 7.5 cm long-barreled gun with a high muzzle velocity. She confidently hit any armor anti-Hitler coalition at a distance of 2000 meters or more. In early 1945, Colonel Holtshauer of armored vehicles and automotive department reported that the company “Daimler-Benz” has developed a version of “Panther” with a gun KwK. L / 71 caliber 8.8 cm. That is the famous “long arm”, which has already been used on the “Royal Tiger” and was one of the most formidable tank guns of World War II.

“narrow tower” for a major caliber

In 1945, Germany planned to start serial production of the next modification “Panther» – Ausf.F. Especially for her engineers “Daimler-Benz” created a new tower Schmalturm («narrow tower”), which had a number of advantages: easier to manufacture, better armored, with smaller silhouette in front projection. Gun mask given shape of a truncated cone to reduce the chance of a rebound in the thin armor of the roof and thereby protect the driver.

cone-shaped mask tools Germans ironically called “snout” or “pig’s head” – Saukopf

Besides that frontal armor “narrow tower” has been increased to 120 mm, it proved easier to old samples per 100 kg. Despite the reduction in the size of the tower, inside was not much closer. In general, how a tech was a new development can be judged from the fact that its production savings of approximately 30-40% of the time.

The “Panther” with a 8.8-cm gun, proposed by “Daimler-Benz”, included installation of this tool is in the tower of the new sample Schmalturm, slightly modified. Even with a much heavier 8.8-cm instrument of its mass exceeds the mass of the “old” tower “Panther” just one tonne. However, the designers had to extend the shoulder straps to the crew was able to operate normally with a long and massive projectiles inside the crew compartment.

In addition to “Daimler-Benz” Work on installing a “narrow” tower guns caliber 8.8 cm and was engaged another German industrial giant – “Krupp”. After comparing the development department of armored vehicles and automotive distribute tasks between them. “Daimler-Benz” was to complete the development of the tower, and the concern for “Krupp” was assigned responsibility for the instrument.

What had constructors

Чертёж-«синька» орудийной маски «Пантеры» с 88-мм пушкой 1945 was the time for the Third Reich agony. Common sense tells us that about any production of new types of tanks are already out of the question. German industry, crank Allied bombing and working on starvation rations resource, with much difficulty could produce only those machines that were already in production.

There is no chance that the “Panther” with a 8.8-cm gun will have time to take part in the hostilities, was not. Too many improvements were made to the design of the tower, so that until May 1945, she stayed and wooden models. In August 1945, he was found in one of the assembly plants, “Daimler-Benz.”

“Panther” with the “long arm” was buried under the ruins of Hitler’s regime. It is difficult to say what impact it could have on the course of hostilities, if it had run into a series, for example, in late 1944. One thing is certain: to win the war, it would not help Germany.

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