The sixty-fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the Soviet-German war provides an opportunity to recall some moments and ambiguities in the preparation and launch of hostilities. In this case, we will try to generalize certain data concerning tank units and their armament on both sides of the war. Although this topic has been studied in great detail in Russian literature for the last 15 years, we have preserved very outdated information in this field, at best from the early 1990s, at worst even the ideological floppy of Soviet propaganda.
Emblems of heavy tank battalions (Schwere Panzer Abteilungen)
Even before the Nazi domination of German politics in 1932, Heinz Guderian succeeded in addressing high places in Berlin with his concept of a mobile war as opposed to the static battles of World War I. However, Guderian's concept necessarily required concentrated formations of armored vehicles to be his mainstay.
It must have happened to you that you found the same photograph of a German tank in two different books or magazines, but each time it had a label with the text assigning the vehicle to a different tank division. Since I am an inquisitive creature, I did not give it and I tried to collect basic data on the marking of tanks, both at the level of higher organizational units such as divisions, and within lower units, at the level of battalions, companies and platoons. Also, a number of photographs of German technology show a large number of different identification marks or flags, which in most cases are often ignored by the authors and some of us are interested in what this means.
The development of this tank dates back to the early sixties. At the time, the US Army and Bundeswehr were looking for a replacement for their obsolete tanks. Joint development seemed to be the ideal solution. An unusual concept tank was created with an unmanned hull and a number of technical finesse, but it did not get into service.
In this work, we will focus on the technical description of the rest of the tank and the conclusion of the project, which did not meet the high hopes placed in it.
Awareness of armored technology has taken on other dimensions with the expansion of the Internet, and information is now accessible to all. During discussions on forums or on military websites, I constantly come across erroneous statements and factual errors resulting from the mistakes presented in older publications. Unfortunately, such mistakes are constantly "inherited" and translated into the present, even in new publications. I will try to make a few mistakes. I usually rely on the publications of Mr Jentz and Mr Doyle, who are considered to be at the forefront of German armored vehicles. A lot of information comes from the publication of the now poor Mr. Spielberger, whose monographs are and will be insurmountable, but at the same time he created several mistakes that persist to this day.
or the CUCKOO, WHICH HAD OWN NEST
When we say "German tank and World War II", most people immediately remember a Tiger or Panther. But most of the big victories were won by a much more inconspicuous vehicle. Moreover, from a technical point of view, it brought more news than all its more famous followers combined. Some elements of his concept became the standard for many years to come with minor modifications.
During the occupation of France, the tanks PzKpfw III and their crews were at the height of their fame. But France was also the first warning - harder opponents were to come. What the tank lacked in performance, the crews had to catch up with tactics. It still worked for a while, but the limit of the vehicle was its small size, with which they could not do miracles.