WW II, a British focus




 

 

INVESTIGATIONS IN GERMANY
BY
TANK ARMAMENT RESEARCH,
MINISTRY OF SUPPLY

SECTION K       MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

The Henschel Panzerversuchsstation, Haustenbeck, Nr. Paderborn

Obering. Arnoldt and his assistant Laufeld pointed out the following A.F.V.s, all without sights, parked in an open yard.

  1. DW1 made in 1938, the forerunner-of the Tiger.
  2. S.P. Grille, hull and suspension only, (built by Krupp). It was intended to mount either a 17 cm. or a 21 cm. gun to give a total weight of about 110 metric tons. Traverse was estimated to be +/-7deg or +/- 8deg; elevation unknown. A crew of 8, with hand loading and ramming was intended. If the 21 cm. gun had been mounted a straight through telescopic sight would have been provided; it a 17 cm. gun a periscopic sight. It is worth noting that a 17 cm. gun was lying in the yard not far from the equipment. Estimated speed of the Grille was 25 km./hr. on roads and 12 to 14 km./hr. cross country.
  3. Jagd Tiger S.P. mounting a 12.8 cm gun with a periscopic sight - total weight about 72 metric tons. Traverse was limited to +/?2.5 deg ; movement in elevation was from +10deg to –6deg. Speed was said to be 30 km./hr. on road, and almost as much cross-country.
  4. K.W. 1, an old Russian tank, captured soon after 22 June 1941.
  5. Small Tiger, weighing 33 tons. This was considered by Arnoldt to be an excellent tank, but was not adopted because of Porsche's influence and mania for very heavy tanks. This tank was tested before 1942.
  6. Panther. This can probably be made a runner without difficulty. The gun is also probably safe to shoot. The tank has been gas-proofed by Arnoldt.
  7. (
  8. Royal Tiger. The gun is spiked, but otherwise the tank can probably be put in full fighting-trim.
  9. The first Tiger I off production. It has been shot at and burned out.
  10. The hull of the E.100.
  11. Royal Tiger, in running condition; completely gas proof, and adapted to wade through 30 ft. of water. A concrete-lined wading pit was seen close to the building containing this tank. The pit is some 25 ft. deep and large enough for tests on complete tanks entirely submerged.

Arnoldt spoke of his design for a versatile one-man tank. It could be adapted to carry one of 8 different types of weapon, including single shot 2-pr. gun etc. flame-thrower, gas-squirt, panzerfaust. Speeds of 22 Km./hr. on water and 70 km./hr on road were expected of this tank. Besides being amphibious the tank would be submersible. Arnoldt's idea was that a tank transporter could carry 8 of these tanks together with sufficient fuel for a 1000 km. radius of action. No detailed drawings of this scheme had been made by Arnoldt at the time of the visit.

Rigidly Mounted Gun on Tank Chassis (Rheinmetall?Borsig, Unterluss)
The original Waffenamt requirement for a rigidly mounted gun was for the 8.8 cm. gun to be mounted on Jagd Panther. This project was given to Krupp, and Dr. Braun thought that no successful design had been completed. Mounting rigidly the 7.5 cm (L/48) gun on Jagd Panzer 38 (t) was a concern of Rheinmetall-Borsig. The first design was not a success as very large accelerations, up to 300g, were communicated to the sight on firing. Further design has reduced the forces and the peak acceleration at the sight is now about 50 g, one which is considered just practicable. Braun and Obering Mehlert estimated that with the information now available the design in all details of an entirely reliable rigidly mounted 7. 5 cm, - gun could be completed in some three months.

38 cm. rocket Projector mounted on Tiger Chassis (Rheinmetall-Borsig). Some 5 or 6 of these equipments were made and sent to battle zones for trial. The present location of one only was known, at Iserlohn. (Actually, this equipment is nearer Menden). The projector was developed by Ludwig, believed to be at Dreidorf, Weihestrassel, 7. The mounting was made by the firm of Alkett, Berlin.

Half Track, Mounting a 10.5 cm Gun (Hanomag, Hanover)
The firm had received orders to produce quickly 206 half-tracks to mount a 10.5 cm. gun. Design was to be of the very simplest and it was required that the gun could easily be pulled off the half-track mounting on to a simple field carriage, which was to be trailed behind the half-track on the march. Four prototypes had been produced and it was stated that the gun could be transferred from the half-track to the field carriage in ten minutes.

Hyper Velocity Ammunition

  1. Rheinmetall-Borsig, Unterluss Banck and Herrmann now at Heidenheim unter Brenz, near Darmstadt, and also Biermann now at Buckeburg were concerned in this work for Rheinmetall-Borsig.

    Kleinschmidt gave the following details from memory of the performance of conical bore guns. Banck would be in a better position to give details.

    10.5/8 cm (le FH 18) Normal m.v. 470 m/sec
      Conical bore m.v. 800-850 m/sec
    10.5/8 cm AA Normal m.v. 900 m/sec
      Conical bore m.v. 1200 m/sec
  2. Rheinmetall-Borsig, Dusseldorf This firm was intending to increase the muzzle velocity of the 7.5 cm gun to 1200 m/sec by increasing its length from 70 to 100 calibres. The Gerlach principle had not been applied to tank guns. Work along these lines was abandoned with the advent of hollow charge ammunition. It was believed that the original idea of hollow charge came from a member of the Heereswaffenamt. Development was entrusted to the firm of Wasag of Rheinsdorf/Bittenfeld. Hermann of R.M-B was also concerned in the development.
  3. Krupp, Essen Dihrberg, Kruger and Muller gave the following information. Two types of HV ammunition were developed by Krupp, one using the Gerlach (squeezer attachment to muzzle) principle, the other a kind of Sabot. The sabot shot was fitted with a rear cup carrying an aluminium driving band and had a forward centering disc of steel, the same diameter as the bore of the gun, which was not engraved. The accuracy of the sabot was little inferior to that of normal shot, whereas that of the Gerlach was about half as good, giving about double the dispersion. Mention was made of a 28 cm projectile with about 7 ribs running in a spiral the length of the projectile which intruded to mesh into 7 corresponding deep ribbings in the bore. This projectile had a muzzle velocity of 1125 m/sec and had a maximum range of 60 km.

Commander's Control of Tank Guns (Rheinmetall-Borsig, Unterluss)
Rheinmetall-Borsig had no knowledge of proposals or equipment for commanders control of a tank gun. Even the azimuth ring in the commander’s cupola had been abandoned in normal tanks.

M.N.H. Tank Production Factory Hanover, Linden
The object of this investigation was a search on behalf of F.V.D.D. for a turret-rack gear cutting machine suitable for large diameter racks. A large number of machine tools in good condition were seen, some being for special purposes. Two gear-cutting machines were found.

  1. Maker :J.E. Reinecker A.G. Chemnitz
    Weight 6000 kg.
    Installed 24/6/38 (Guarantee expired 24/6/39)
    The driving motor had been removed.
    Overhang of cutter 5 to 6 in. The rack was held in a special jig to ensure rigidity.

    Maximum diameter of rack machinable about 226 cm. (89 in.). The cutting head could be moved back about 2 in. to give a maximum diameter of about 93 in.

    The machine was considered to be in good condition and could probably be put into first class condition. It was painted "D.T.D." in red in three places.

  2. The second machine was generally similar to the first though not in such good condition. It had an electric motor. This was also lettered "D.T.D." in red in three places.

A number of Panther and S.P. vehicles which had been in course of construction were seen. Some 6 vehicles were dealt with simultaneously on the final production line.

Judging by the large number of finished turret racks lying by the side of the gear cutting machines, it was thought that this particular operation was not a bottle neck in the factory, and that one machine was sufficient to keep pace with production.

The Z-U Picture Transmission system (Phonix Werke, Eutin)
Dr. Pistor has developed a new picture transmission system (radio) called by him the Z-U system, which he claimed could transmit a picture nearly instantaneously, using a relatively low carrier frequency. The equipment is possibly not too large to include in a tank, and could be used to transmit battle orders and information on the whereabouts on a map or a sketch plan of enemy guns and tanks. A report on this system is to be forwarded to T.A.R. through T. Force.

Metallurgical laboratories

  1. Rheinmetall-Borsig, Armament Works at Blumen Strasse

    The metallurgical laboratories attached to this factory were considerably damaged, but some equipment and many research reports were still in existence. The equipment included:

    A number of tensile testing machines.
    Three Izod testing machines.
    A few small machine tools.
    Photomicrographic equipment.
    Pulfrich photometer.
    Chemical balances.

    The research records included a large number of results of chemical analyses of specimens, actual-polished specimens and photo-micro-graphs.

  2. Rheinmetall-Borsig,_ Armament Works at Helmuth Strasse.

    The research laboratories attached to this factory were badly damaged, but much equipment had been collected together in basements. This equipment included:

    -A battery of machines for creep testing at various temperatures with associated temperature recording apparatus.

    -Photomicrographic apparatus.

    -Other equipment for metallurgical research (not identified).

    -A miscellaneous assortment of small instruments and research apparatus.
  3. Losenhausen Werke, Dusseldorf

    This target was visited as a result of a request by F.V.D.D. regarding torsion testing machines. None of these was found. There were, however, many machine tools in operation under Military Government control. High grade tensile, hardness and Izod machines were found completed and in course of construction.