Author Topic: Logan's Profiles - SdKfz 231 Halbkettenfahrzeug  (Read 200729 times)

Offline Matt Wiser

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Hungarian Heinkel He 46K 'Lucifer'
« Reply #660 on: June 11, 2014, 11:23:34 AM »
Logan; nice work on the VF-32 Vagabond. You planning on an ODS bird, where somebody gets a kill or two, besides the single Mi-8 Hip VF-1 splashed?
Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect. But always have a plan ready to kill them.

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Offline lauhof52

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Hungarian Heinkel He 46K 'Lucifer'
« Reply #661 on: June 11, 2014, 02:05:43 PM »
Very nice colorscheme! Love the Hungarian one! :-*

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #662 on: June 17, 2014, 02:36:50 PM »
Thanks, guys! Apophenia, the Hungarians are the only ones that that I see camouflaging propellers. Really weird. Matt, I'll definitely do an ODS bird eventually, but I'll determine the circumstances when I get there! It'll be a little ways off, though.

The following images are only mockup concepts, not finished profiles. I made them for my own reference and hadn't intended to post them anywhere, but I know there's a number of tank buffs on the forum and I thought they might be interested in the concepts.

There isn't a real backstory to these. I have a few Excel files that I update pretty regularly where I have outlined my "ideal" Table of Organization & Equipment (TOE) if I had my pick of WWII equipment. It's just a little exercise that I use to help me evaluate the relative merits and disadvantages of equipment in WWII. It also helps to understand the problem of things such as "why did Germany use so many different types of trucks?"

Anyway, to permit the interoperation of different types of equipment, I do allow myself a limited amount of equipment swapping for comparable armament, engines, radios, etc. So, here are some examples of the designs I've gone with.



The first is an IS-2 variant. It's actually pretty standard. I've extended the turret rear somewhat to give more room for ammunition and operation of the radio. I've also eliminated the machine gun at the turret rear, replaced the cupola, and added an M2 .50cal machine gun for the commander. I'd keep the original main gun, suspension, engine, etc. I'm really of the opinion that the IS-2 was one of the best tank designs of WWII. The more I study it in comparison to its contemporaries, the more I like it. Armed with the 122mm D-25T howitzer, a single battalion of this variant would serve as an integral part of late war infantry divisions.



The second is a more drastic modification. This involves the replacement of the 122mm gun with the German 88mm KwK 43 from the King Tiger. This would give the tank greater armor penetration, greater accuracy, greater rate of fire, and a greater ammunition load. This would be at the cost of barrel life and much worse high explosive content. This variant would essentially be a late-war medium/heavy tank making up nearly half the tanks in a 1945 tank division. Why bother with this variant rather than a standard IS-2? Well, a couple reasons. First is that it's more likely to engage in tank vs. tank combat compared to an infantry support tank. The second reason is that a tank division operates cut off from supplies for up to days at a time. As a result, 28 rounds is really insufficient for the deep penetration mission. Swapping out the gun for the 8.8cm KwK 43 should alleviate some of this without a reduction in anti-tank firepower.



The next profile is a far more extensive modification, however. This is the final variant of the Sherman, which would be my standard medium tank of the war.

The initial 1942 M4A1 would be almost unchanged from the historical vehicles. I haven't given it a ton of thought, but I'd likely replace the M3 75mm gun with the 7.5cm KwK 40 from the PzKpfw IV, extend the turret bustle a little bit à la Firefly to better accommodate the longer 75mm gun and the radio, and that's about it. The standard turret is fine, the VVSS suspension is fine, and the R975 engine is fine, at least for mid-WWII.

Very soon thereafter, however, I'd switch to the M4A2 with the GM 6046 engine and the M4A3 with the Ford GAA engine. The lower silhouette of these engines would allow the switch to the lower hull height of the M10 tank destroyer. For this, imagine an M10 hull, but with the hull machine gun and thicker frontal armor of the Sherman retained. I won't bother showing a preview of this, because the forum's very own wandering engineer mocked up a very similar concept himself here.

By 1944, however, there are even better options available. For the armored divisions, at least, I'd adopt the torsion bar suspension of the M4A2E4. As soon as possible, I'd also switch the gun out for the British QF 17-pdr, supported in smaller numbers by howitzer armed tanks for HE firepower. I'd adapt this to the "T23 turret", eventually upgrading that to the "Jumbo" turret, again extending the turret rear to account for the 17-pdr's greater recoil. Finally, I'd increase the frontal hull armor to 102mm by 1944, also like the Jumbo. Unlike the Jumbo, however, side armor would remain the same as the standard tank in an effort to keep the overall weight down. In case anyone is wondering about all these modifications, they were all incorporated on Sherman variants at one point or another. For example, for the last year of the war, Patton had his Third Army Shermans fitted with the glacis armor plates from knocked out tanks, effectively doubling their frontal armor.



I mentioned earlier that the Fireflies would be supported by howitzer-armed tanks to make up for the Firefly's lack of HE firepower. Due to my choice of standard army howitzer, this gun would be the Soviet U-11 122mm howitzer. It is scaled to fit and seems to work pretty well. This would also be the standard armament for Sherman engineering tank variants.

Anyway, I thought some of the forum's tank buffs would like to see some of these concepts since the modifications really affect the appearance of the vehicles, especially the Sherman. It also emphasizes how much like a LEGO kit the Sherman was given all the different pieces they tried on it.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #663 on: June 17, 2014, 09:15:02 PM »
Nice ideas. Slightly off-beat with the German guns fitted to Allied armour but, then, I don't know your tech tree for the background to these.

:)
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #664 on: June 17, 2014, 09:26:37 PM »
Well, it's sort of a "best of" type list, with no limitations other than rough entry dates for equipment. Of the 4 vehicles, though, there's only 1 German gun (the 8.8cm KwK 43). The 122mm guns are Soviet and the 17-pdr is British.

My early war tank guns are Austrian and Czech, for example.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #665 on: June 17, 2014, 09:30:02 PM »
Well wasn't the famous 75mm used in the Sherman based on a French WWI field gun?  Will stand corrected if I am wrong.  It does make sense to use the best available although I do find the UKs use of 7.92mm in tanks interesting, they could have extended it further i.e. Vehicle crews Mech Inf etc. using the same calibre.  ;)

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #666 on: June 17, 2014, 10:05:07 PM »
Yeah, but only loosely, Volkodov. The main thing was that they all used basically the same ammunition. As I remember it, during the fighting in North Africa, French 75 cases and powder were combined with the German AP rounds from the PzKpfw IV's 7.5cm KwK 37 and fired out of the M3 Grant's M2/M3 75mm guns. Interestingly, that means that the 75mm gun used on Chaffees until the 1990s used ammunition of the same dimensions as that of the original 75mm Mle 1897, nearly 100 years old.

The 7.92 caliber of the BESA also struck me as odd. As I understand it, the BESA was just a copy of the Czech ZB-53 and the RAC just never bothered to convert it, considering it to be more trouble than it was worth.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline von hitchofen2

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #667 on: June 17, 2014, 11:26:40 PM »
The 7.92 caliber of the BESA also struck me as odd. As I understand it, the BESA was just a copy of the Czech ZB-53 and the RAC just never bothered to convert it, considering it to be more trouble than it was worth

converting it to .303 from 7.92 Mauser/.318 was viewed as too much of a logistical challenge, and didn't matter too much as the Royal Armoured Corps supply chain was entirely separate from the rest of the British Army

conveniently, captured stocks of German 7.92x57 S Patrone could be used to feed the tank BESA guns, so units rarely ran short of ammo

Offline dy031101

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #668 on: June 17, 2014, 11:31:09 PM »
I think I would steal some of your ideas somewhere down the road  :) ;D
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #669 on: June 23, 2014, 01:54:11 PM »
So, I've also been studying the idea of airborne armor for my "What If" TOE recently, and I came to the unsurprising conclusion that both the M22 Locust and the Tetrarch sucked. The problem is that, given the 7 ton weight limit imposed by the Hamilcar glider, how do you get much better? Well, the short answer is that it isn't easy. Seven tons isn't much to play with. Both the PzKpfw II and the T-26, for example, were around 9 tons—too heavy. Fortunately, the vehicle that I think could have been the answer to this problem was one that I'd already selected as my early war tank destroyer—the Skoda Š-I-j (successor to the Skoda Š-I-D).



Now, you could use the vehicle as-is and I think it would've been superior to either the Locust or the Tetrarch. I think, however, that with a couple of modifications you could arrive at an even better vehicle. I put 7.5cm StuK 37 "Stummel" on it in place of the A9J 47mm main gun, raised the superstructure slightly, and gave it a German-style cupola. Other than that, I just swapped out the horn for a light and installed an MG 34 in place of the existing machine gun. Obviously, if you were going for Allied-only weapons, you could just as easily go for the M3 75mm howitzer and an M1919A4 or BESA.



So, what does this nifty little vehicle get you? Well, 30mm frontal armor, for one. It gives you far superior HE support than the Locust and Tetrarch. It is lighter, better protected, and smaller in every dimension. It also requires fewer crew.

What are the disadvantages? Well, it certainly couldn't carry quite as much main gun ammunition, but you could at least bum some more rounds off your airborne artillery since they share the same ammo.



It also lacks the turret of the other two tanks, is slower, and forces the commander to load and fire the main gun. Still, you only need to keep up with paratroopers (who are walking), you get that nice 75mm howitzer, and double the armor of the Locust or Tetrarch. I think it's a very good trade-off, personally.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #670 on: June 23, 2014, 05:12:57 PM »
Why am I now imagining a shortened Hetzer with a 6pdr?

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #671 on: June 23, 2014, 11:19:56 PM »
It would be neat, but it would definitely be too heavy for a Hamilcar. You might be able to do something AH-IV based, but that'd basically end up with something a whole lot like an Skoda Š-I-D!

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Logan's Profiles - Tank Concepts
« Reply #672 on: June 24, 2014, 12:51:12 AM »
Here's another modification of the vehicle with a more angled front superstructure, like the Hetzer. It would still have nearly vertical sides.



It definitely has a bit of an SdKfz 140/1 Aufklärungspanzer 38(t) mit 7.5 cm KwK37 L/24 look to it. Sort of a scaled-down version.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Logan's Profiles - USAF EB-51E - DSES Bicentennial
« Reply #673 on: August 16, 2014, 01:31:55 AM »
As always, click on the image below to see the picture at 100% or view it at my DeviantArt page.



The "what if" story below comes from Phil Peterson (philp) on the forum. The profile is a tribute to his father, who served with the 17th DSES.

Quote from: philp
Capt. Weber of the MTANG is sitting in the recliner in the Alert shed sucking on a Coke and trying to find anything on besides the Soaps when the calm is broken by the Alert siren.

He and his wing-man race to their F-106s.  The sleek, grey delta winged aircraft look fast even sitting still in the cool Montana morning.

As he straps in he gets the info.  An enemy bomber has pierced the northern defenses and is heading for SAC Headquarters at Malmstrom AFB.  His mission is simple, find the bomber and splash him before he gets near enough to drop his payload.

In just a few minutes "Astro" and his wing-man have leveled off at 30,000 and are zooming at Mach 2 towards the spot the ground controllers have indicated the bogey's last position.  As they close in he starts getting some return from his radar.  The enemy plane is low and using some active jamming.  Astro noses down in an attempt to acquire a lock on for his AIM-4 Falcon missiles when suddenly the radar signature blossoms into a huge target.  Chaff, a weapon first deployed back during WWII, has hidden the bomber from his view and combined with other jamming, it has lost the Delta Dart.

Looks like the bad guys are going to get through.  Luckily, in this case, the bad guy is an EB-51 Panther of the 17th DSES (Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron), the last Active Duty squadron flying the ECM version of the Panther.

Their role is to probe our defenses looking for weaknesses so that they can be upgraded making a successful attack that much harder should a real shooting war break out.


There's actually a lot of custom work that went into making the B-51B an "EB-51E" ECM aggressor aircraft for the 17th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron (DSES).

You'll notice the "antlers" or "horns" on the nose and tail, the extra antenna all over, including new blade antennas and fairings on the bomb bay door, and a new chaff pod that would be on a hardpoint on the exterior of the bomb bay door.



Just as much work, though, were all the custom markings that I had to put on the aircraft. Most of them are in different places on my EB-51E than the were on the EB-57s, because of the configuration of the aircraft and the limitations of the profile layout. For example, the Bicentennial marking (above) that I custom made for the profile was on the chaff dispenser of the EB-57 and I put it on the engine of the EB-51E. Likewise, I move the unit markings on the right side of the tail to the left side so that they could be seen in the profile. They include the ADC badge and the Outstanding Unit ribbon with Oak Leaf cluster. Finally, the Bicenntial band on the fuselage was a neat detail that I really liked and I think helps highlight the era the aircraft served in.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline lauhof52

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Re: Logan's Profiles - USAF EB-51E - DSES Bicentennial
« Reply #674 on: August 16, 2014, 02:14:10 AM »
Logan, you did an outmost good job! Very good! :-*

regards
Lauhof