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Military Guns and Ammunition

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The Foresight War Revisited: AFVs   Novel: The Foresight War

Started 16-Feb by autogun; 15024 views.
Barnowlgreen

From: Barnowlgreen

15-Mar

Another solution to the engine problems could be foud in copying what the Australians did for the Sentinel tank.  One was using three Cadillac engines joined together. 24-cylinder Perrier-Cadillac 41-75 displaced 1,039 cu in (17.0 L) and produced 397 hp (296 kW). The engine weighed around 3,000 lb (1,360 kg). The other solution they found was a Quad Gipsy Major engine. The Quad-Gipsy engine would have displaced 1,495 cu in (24.5 L) and produced 510 hp (380 kW) at 2,500 rpm. The 16-cylinder engine weighed around 1,500 lb (680 kg).

autogun

From: autogun

15-Mar

Yes, a surprising number of tanks were powered by multiple engines of some kind. It's definitely one to keep on the table...

RovingPedant

From: RovingPedant

15-Mar

Citing the S-tank as an example for WW2 AFVs runs the risk of missing the three decades between the start of the war and the S-tanks introduction to service and the associated developments in suspension, engines and transmissions.

For comparison, the Avro Vulcan was in service only two decades after the start of the war.

For British armour, “Death by Design” suggests that a huge part of the problem was the requirements controlling turret ring size and consequently the size of the gun that could be fitted. Deploying a new gun required a new tank.

I wonder if reclined seating for hull crew could have been introduced.

autogun

From: autogun

16-Mar

RovingPedant said:

For British armour, “Death by Design” suggests that a huge part of the problem was the requirements controlling turret ring size and consequently the size of the gun that could be fitted. Deploying a new gun required a new tank.

Partly true - they could have abandoned the "shoulder control" balance mounting for one with the trunnions further forward, which would have released a lot of turret space. However, they regarded the ability to shoot accurately on the move as the top rank of shooting skills.

What has surprised me, on reviewing UK tank production, is that in 1934 (when Don arrived) there were approx 100 light tanks (4.5 tons, with a crew of 2 and 1 .303 MG) and about the same number of the basically 1920s Vickers Mediums (12 tons, one 3pdr, several MGs).

By 1939 the tank numbers were well over 1,000 - but nearly all of the new ones were the 5-ton Light Tanks (albeit now with a crew of 3 and 2 MGs). The small numbers of Matilda infantry tanks were mostly the hopeless Mk I, and the equally small numbers of cruiser tanks were all unreliable and generally disappointing in every respect except armour penetration (the 2pdr being one of the better anti-tank guns). About the only success in 1940 was the Matilda II, with armour too thick for the German and Italian AT guns to penetrate, but that was too small to be upgunned so soon lost effectiveness.

When it comes to plotting a way out of this mess to some decent tanks, I am reminded of the old joke about the farmhand who was asked to give some directions by a lost motorist. He thought about it for a moment, then said "Well, if you want to get to there, you don't want to start from here."

More on this topic later...

RovingPedant

From: RovingPedant

16-Mar

autogun said...

By 1939 the tank numbers were well over 1,000 - but nearly all of the new ones were the 5-ton Light Tanks (albeit now with a crew of 3 and 2 MGs). The small numbers of Matilda infantry tanks were mostly the hopeless Mk I, and the equally small numbers of cruiser tanks were all unreliable and generally disappointing in every respect except armour penetration (the 2pdr being one of the better anti-tank guns). About the only success in 1940 was the Matilda II, with armour too thick for the German and Italian AT guns to penetrate, but that was too small to be upgunned so soon lost effectiveness.

There’s a recent video on “Armoured Archives” channel which covers the Mathilda and gives part of the reason there were so few Mk IIs was due to some issues with track design and traction on grass. The implication being that with improved tracks rather than messing around with the suspension it would have been possible to have more in service sooner, and more reliable to boot:

https://youtu.be/kot9ojo9eOE

 

dobrodan

From: dobrodan

17-Mar

I did not say that they should make an actual S-tank. I said they should copy the features as far as practically possible.

Its main feature is not that it has a fixed gun.

The main feature is that it is very well armored, with an advantageous shape, while still being relatively light.

And while the gun is fixed on the S-tank, it may not necessarily be that on a ww-2 version, but to keep the protection level as high as possible, without adding weight unneccessary, the gun could be fixed permanently to a very low "ball-turret", mounted on the rear of the tank, letting the whole turret traverse and elevate a few degrees, to be able to aim accurately.

The coarse aiming could be done by turning the tank towards the target, and use either hydraulics, electro-motors, pneumatics, or even being mechanically driven by a gearbox, or even a small engine, to raise or lower the hull.

RovingPedant

From: RovingPedant

21-Mar

 

dobrodan said...

I did not say that they should make an actual S-tank. I said they should copy the features as far as practically possible.

Its main feature is not that it has a fixed gun.

The main feature is that it is very well armored, with an advantageous shape, while still being relatively light.

A number of those advantages stem from having a fixed gun. The fixed gun removes the need for internal space to move the gun about in and facilitates an autoloader,  both of which allow for a smaller protected volume, which in turn contributes to a lighter weight for a given protection. It also removes weak points that would be necessary for a flexible gun.

dobrodan said...


And while the gun is fixed on the S-tank, it may not necessarily be that on a ww-2 version, but to keep the protection level as high as possible, without adding weight unneccessary, the gun could be fixed permanently to a very low "ball-turret", mounted on the rear of the tank, letting the whole turret traverse and elevate a few degrees, to be able to aim accurately.

Doesn’t this modification simply make it a turreted tank? An oscillating turret? This was tried post war with some success but it never caught on. How many degrees is “a few” in this case? because enlarging the turret to permit a useful amount of movement is going to rapidly make it into a regular tank.

 

dobrodan said...

The coarse aiming could be done by turning the tank towards the target, and use either hydraulics, electro-motors, pneumatics, or even being mechanically driven by a gearbox, or even a small engine, to raise or lower the hull.

Are the control systems of the late ‘30s going to be up to that? What is the movement relative to? Two pieces of hull, or are you integrating the actuators into the suspension?

roguetechie

From: roguetechie

22-Mar

So I can see being able to give it a decent amount of elevation and depression fairly easily as well as perhaps 2-5 degrees traverse each direction off the central axis for essentially fine positioning especially if your throwback guy was willing to explain pepperpot style muzzle brakes as well as some sort of fairly simplistic over balancing gun mount that "cheats" some of the recoil runout and etc (basically functioning as a very rudimentary soft recoil gun cradle) that can essentially move the trunnion up and down a little bit as well as push the gun trunnion into a forward overbalanced position before the shot is fired (pushing the gun further out or bringing it in as required to get the shot) which is tensioned by strong springs in both directions and anchored into a pseudo turret basket.

It would to an extent channel some of the recoil energy straight down into this turret basket turn table deal sitting on the hull floor like a mortar base plate that your TC and gunner/loader seats or positions are also on.

Essentially you'd be using a human loader and carefully designed ammo stowage racks etc which may not be ideal to grab from at the full +-5 degree traverse but doable.

Sort of like an oscillating or cleft turret but nowhere near as ambitious.

You'd have a larger frontal weak spot where the gun opening is and the ergos could kinda suck but it would be doable.

I'm attaching images of an m113 project and the strv103 as a reference.

Note: I'm assuming a 3 man ideal 4 man absolute max vehicle here with the driver up front somewhere in his own driver position. I'm not sure how you'd do the commander roof hatch or etc but there's a few ways you "could do it".

Red7272

From: Red7272

23-Mar

Char Bi had a one axis mount and hydrostatic suspension, but they also had torsion bars as well and generally more advanced engineering in regards to AFVs. In practice the Brits would have been better off staying with what they know instead. Something really basic like a 77 mm TD in 1940 or so on the smaller hull and in the turret of their Cromwell replacement and then the 20 pounder TD and for their Churchill to replace the 17 pounder by about 43 to maintain the overmatch needed to deal with the potentially far better FW nazi tanks. 

roguetechie

From: roguetechie

23-Mar

Oh yeah man I was just spitballing an allied stug for fun because they're just plain cool looking imo.

Any actual practicality would have been incidental to it being cool.

I do think that if you could get something that could do -5/+20 degrees of elevation and -5/+5 degrees of "traverse" combined with a nice HV gun whose shells weren't too heavy and broadly laid out like I spoke about you could potentially have something pretty light and heavily armored while still being small and cheap as hell.

This is something that would probably be pretty useful to have in a pinch.

Also, if you've got a throwback you could do some fun stuff with the armor scheme to make it perform like it has substantially more armor than it actually does.

Think of it like a super sized universal carrier not a baby tank and it makes even more sense.

Unlike a purely fixed gun stug it'd be quite a bit better at firing on the short halt and etc.

By no means a war winner but meh it'd look extremely cool.

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