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Re: [DS] Tank designs was Re: [ds] Ogres

From: Kenneth Winland <kwinland@c...>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 01:50:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: [DS] Tank designs was Re: [ds] Ogres


On Mon, 16 Nov 1998, Allan Goodall wrote:

> On Mon, 16 Nov 1998 12:55:47 -0500 (EST), Kenneth Winland
> <> wrote:
> >	Wrong.	Many rail bridges would be able to carry it.  The Maus
> >was to be carried  by rail to most areas.  This thing was NOT meant
> >truck under its own power to various engagements.  Check out Jentz's
> >"Panzerkampfwagon MAUS" and Sawondy and Bracher's "MAUS and other
> >Armored Projects".  German engineers were NOT idiots.... :)
> However, that doesn't escape the fact that the Maus was probably the
> tank of the war.

	How can one measure this?  One (probably two) fought in last
defense of Boebingen.  Hardly enough to base a tactical analysis... :) 
theory, it fulfilled a role.  Hence the US and British drive to build
their 100-ton tanks (T-100 and Tortiose).

> Oh sure, great anti-armour capability and almost impregnable armour on
> own.
> However, it was SLOWWWWWW. Far, far too easy for infantry to disable
it. No
> matter the armour, those treads are just too easy to disable. The
thing was
> too slow to be used in a breakout. It was highly susceptible to over
> And, with tactical air support coming into its own, the Maus just
> "bomb me". They might as well have painted concentric circles on the

	The genesis of the MAUS began when Germany owned the skies.
Sadly, those days were numbered...  (Actually, why am *I* saying

	Yes, the MAUS drove at a heady 20KPH (weee!), but speed was not
its design philosophy.	It was a support tank, able to fire devastating
12.8cm rounds at *long* ranges.  This is not a tank for "blitzkrieg",
whose time had passed in '42.  Also, this tank was NOT meant to operate
alone and unsupported.	Really, what tank *was*?

> Basically, it was a slightly mobile bunker, but required far more
resources to
> build. For the resource cost, particularly in fuel, machined parts,
and metal,
> you'd be far, FAR better fielding a few Panthers.

	The MAUS and the E100 were test beds, affording a chance to try
out concepts that a number of nations needed to see (hence the Allies'
interest in super-heavy tanks).  They did not suck about that much in
attention and materials.  Although Panthers *were* a safer investment.

> If I had to do a one-on-one gunnery duel with any Soviet vehicle, I'd
> pick the Maus. If I was in charge of a Panzergruppe, I'd leave the
> elephants behind...


> Oh, and DS2 and SG2 wise, it shows the problem with the whole
Ogre/Bolo thing.
> Ground pressure. I'd be tempted to add house rules for vehicles of
size 5 and
> greater for certain terrain types. John A. can probably verify this,
but I
> heard that the Abrams had problems with ground pressure in parts of
> desert.

	The MAUS had *no* problem with ground pressure, but that is a
popular myth.  The first prototype did sink in mud almost to its
in March of '44 in Boebingen.  This was do to a particularly treacherous
part of the course that even light tanks avoided.  With some wooden
planks, the vehicle was able to free itself under its own power...

	The Abrams had little trouble with ground pressure in the
it had problems in New York City!  Bush insisted on a bunch of M1s at
victory parade after the Gulf War in NYC.  The tanks were so heavy and
asphalt so maleable that the tanks f**cked up their treads and NYC had
6-12 inch deep furrows through most major roads....  That was a

> I'd throw in scenario rules for vehicles bogging down in certain
places of the
> battlefield if they are too big. Proper recon would be necessary or
the tank
> risks finding a soft spot on its own and bogging down (basically, a
> kill).

	The MAUS is nothing (its manueverability was actually very
Hitler gave orders for a 1000-ton tank!  I kid you not; it was discussed
in one of Uwe Feist's book (another noted armour historian).  It was to
1000-tons and be powered by 4 U-Boat engines.  We've scoured the
Bundesarchiv system to find significant references conerning this, but
have found precious little.  No doubt Der Furhrer was in one of his
as an "expert" and the engineers nodded their heads and did little.



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