|07-05-2011, 06:49 PM||#1|
E-50 - 60 tons at 60km/h speed
E-50 - 60 tons at 60km/h speed.
The Entwicklung series, more commonly known as the E-series, was a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardized series of tank designs. Standard designs in six different weight classes were to be created, from which several specialized variants were to be developed. This was necessitated by the extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability. The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors, however their design involved only modest improvements in armor and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace, such as the Hetzer, Panther G or Tiger II, and as such, they represent the eclipse of German armored vehicle design by tanks such as the American M46 Patton, the British Centurion Mk 5/2 and Soviet T-54 tanks, which would have been the Entwicklung Series' contemporaries and likely opponents.
The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a standard medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I and the derivatives of these tanks. The E-50 hull was to be longer than that of the Panther; in fact it was practically identical to the King Tiger in overall dimensions except for the glacis plate layout. Compared to these earlier designs however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing these 'standardpanzers' was reduced drastically, which means that E-50s would have been manufactured quicker, easier and cheaper. The same can be said for the proposed conical spring system which would have replaced their predecessors' complex and costly dual torsion bar system. As indicated by its name, the weight of the E-50 would fall between 50 and 75 tons.
The maximum speed was planned to be around 60 km/h. The designers decided to use a modified version of the Maybach HL230 engine for power which was called HL234. This model was to have a direct fuel injection system allowing an increase in engine capacity from 900 to 1200 h.p. for a short time. The modification would also include installation of sodium-cooled valves, to drastically improve the cooling performance. In addition, the configuration of fuel tanks, radiators and coolers was similar to that of the Tiger II, meaning that the transmission could be placed in the rear. The drive roller is often confused with the running wheel because of its teeth. the running wheel is often found in side planes.
And at the same time, current blueprints of E-50 and E-75 show the usage of driving wheels from Tiger II with a frontal configuration. Perhaps, the purpose of one of the E-50 projects was to merely reconfigure the transmission to the rear. The E-50 adopted its turret from Panther II (with an emphasis on economy of time and efforts), although works upon which were stopped at the end of 1944 in favor of new E-series project. The design of this new project was conducted by Daimler-Benz and Skoda as their specialists had offered a much cheaper and mass production friendly turret design which supported the installation of the 75mm KwK44 gun. Thickness of frontal flattened armor plate was improved to 120mm, side armor - 60mm.
Besides standard optical system Panther II turret was to be fitted with a Zeiss stereoscopic range finder, infra-red vision device (Infrarot-Scheinwerfer) and vertical stabilizers. In technical documentation this turret was named Schmalturm. The turret retained formal resemblance with stock-produced items and differed only by its angular form and the presence of a commander’s copula, like that of the Tiger II. Apart from the upper hatch there was also a round one, used for ammunition loading and gun dismantling. In case of serious tank damage it could also be used as emergency hatch. The porthole was made near the hatch, allowing the crew to fire from submachine guns like the MP43 and StG44. The other anti-infantry measure was grenade launcher, Nahverteidigungswaffe, installed at the roof of the turret on the right-hand side. Design of this grenade launcher was similar to that of a flare gun, thus the usage was extremely easy - grenade was shot at the height of 3 meters and afterwards exploded. Every surface within a 20m range was hit with balls and shrapnel, and the only good protection against them was armor.
Schmalturm preliminary trials shown that instead of 75mm gun the turret could be fitted with a 88mm one. So, in further development of the project, the main focus was shifted to the 8.8cm gun KwK 43 L/71 and the 8.8cm KwK 44 L/71. The compromise by the installation of a gun of this gun caliber was the reduction in gun depression which was due to the gun’s bulkiness at the breach end, requiring lots of room inside the turret. However, due to the small size of the Schmalturm turret, the designers decided to use a new type of ammunition which was shortened, but had a greater diameter. It was due to this same reason that the ammunition was moved inside the tank.
Information on the installation of semi-automatic loading system on Schmalturm is unlikely to be true. The turret was of little avail for this, taking into account the fact that the Skoda-designed system used 4 loading clips for 75mm gun KwK44/2 and required a lot of space. Although theoretically, a well-trained crew could sustain firing rate of 40 shots per minute. On the other hand, a weapon stabilization system for E-50 was meticulously designed to allow sustained fire on the move, and to simplify loading of the gun during tank movement on uneven ground.
To the Panzerwaffe command's regret, plans on rearmament of front-line units with "unified" tanks were completely ruined. Although crucial design components were developed by May of 1945, a prototype E-50 was never constructed. At the same time, captured designs were used by French engineers, which allowed the French tank industry to monsters such as the ARL-44 “on the spot”. The French heavy tank industry was always underdeveloped so it is no wonder that the engineers responsible for the development of the AMX-50 vehicle used to their advantage, the know-how of Panther, E-50 and Tiger II tanks.
Opinion of experienced players.
GoHa.Ru: I think you have heard of players' indignation on partial obsoletion of German tanks, they say Patton and T-54 are post-war engineering designs and German vehicles are represented only by WWII designs. The Entwicklung series designs were done as a counter to the newest designs of T-44/T-54 and E-series medium tank specifications were quite formidable in comparison with Panther II. I won't be asking why they brought E-series in the game, as I think that we all remember SerB's comment on Panther, stretched on Reich's terrestrial globe. I will instead ask why they bring it in now. T-54 has been on the global map for quite some time and the Pershing and Panther weren't really contemporary to this tank. So, how do you think, why now?
_Pastor_: First of all, to maintain the balance and add playability to the German tanks branch. As the Panther II cannot qualify as "Fast Medium" (like T54) or "Maneuverable Medium" (like M26 Pershing), it should therefore be placed into some normal gameplay niche and by this added to the Clan Wars.
Secondly, it was done with provision for the opinion of European and American communities, as they were also dissatisfied with specifications of Panther II. It's not a secret that developers listen more to the voices of European community, than to those of Russia. This sector has a lot of players who love German vehicles and prefer to use them.
Introduction of E-50 at this exact point in time is determined by the final readiness of developers, designers and "vehicle developers". (At the end of March, during the meeting in Technology Museum of Vadim Zadorozhniy, Sergey Burkatovskiy mentioned that designers had, finally, come up with the scheme of E-50 turret, close to possible project).
Ratis[RKKA]: Branches of tank development were made long time ago, then given to 3D-makers alongside with specific blueprints; money was spent as well as time. Now's the time to reform these branches, there are now additional resources and all the "Globe" tanks are slowly taken away. Generally speaking, E-series was planned, but entirely as heavy tanks. To make E-50 a medium tank - is a non-trivial idea. The main idea behind this is of course understandable - if two large coffins are now MTs, then why not make a third one, especially if it can keep up with the speed requirements? As we all know, good thoughts come afterwards, although we can see the results of this particular one soon.
GoHa.Ru: Perhaps, as it has become a sort of tradition I should ask you, what do you think of armor of this tank? 150mm frontal upper armor plate, 120mm frontal lower armor plate and 80mm on the sides - quite a formidable armor for a Medium tank in all respects, as T-54 with its 120mm armor deflects shells of not so accurate IS-7 quite often. How do you think, will developers keep the armor as it is, or will they nerf it a little bit, to maintain balance?
_Pastor_: They'll probably nerf it. Otherwise it will be HT-9 and not MT-9. Or will introduce it on a public server, but then "all of a sudden find some mistakes" and then nerf it. Or will leave it like was, but "kill" the speed. But to "kill" a speed for a MT means to put it out of the game as "non-playable".
Ratis[RKKA]: If they will nerf it, they will do it lightly, and maybe they will even improve some points of the side plating. T-54 has 200mm armor on the turret and it's fine, and doesn't flunk under its weight. Besides, E-50 is still quite a big barn that will marvelously explode upon being hit by an artillery shell on the side.
GoHa.Ru: While thinking of this vehicle I somehow picture it as kind of a replacement for IS-7, don't take it as a heresy though. It's just that a possibility to occupy strategic locations on the map with fast vehicles makes the IS-7 such an attractive choice for encounters on the global map. And if E-50 armor is that good, then maybe it is possible to use it for the same purposes, especially in the light of soon-to-be-introduced "Freeze" feature in Clan Wars. What do you think?
_Pastor_: Naturally. The use of MT for this purpose before was impossible due to the inability of the T-54 and Pershing to repel the enemy attack for long, or to hold the location until the arrival of reinforcements. In this case E-50 has greater survivability, and greater chances to be of significant use to the team.
Ratis[RKKA]: Well, if only they froze tanks before. Because in addition to armor and speed there are other statistics such as HP and armor penetrating ability of the gun. For example MTs are not taking part in encounters first of all due to their low HP, because sometimes that petty 300-400 HP can sometimes decide a battle. In case of armor penetrating ability E-50 (with golden shells) will of course be as good as P2 now, but not everyone can afford to shoot gold all the time. So I don't really think that IS-7s should be afraid that E-50 will replace them. Besides, this could be done by E-100 and T110.
GoHa.Ru: Unlike its amazing armor the caliber of the tank gun is not so great - only 88mm. If you remember, an interesting weapon of the same caliber was installed at Tiger, not bad for Tiger's tier, but i think that for MT-9, 88mm is not really great. So, how do you think, will developers try and fit this gun to "yet another Reich's globe", by increasing its firing rate and penetrability or will they use something from "secret archives"?
_Pastor_: I am at loss with this question. Either 128mm, that can penetrate T10, or... "Secret archives of the Third Reich", special armament for gold and so on.
Or they can do it the same way as it was with Pz 3601, that can penetrate EVERYTHING with its 7,5cm gun loaded with golden shells. And if they do it this way then we can have absolutely crazy firing rate and maneuverability.
Ratis[RKKA]: It will most likely turn out the same way as it was with Pershing/Patton - E-50 will have the same 105mm gun as P2, but with partially lowered specifications.
GoHa.Ru: Engines, used in E-series vehicles had an interesting feature - afterburning. The Maybach HL235 had 900 h.p. in normal mode, and on fuel injection, special system could increase its capability up to 1200 h.p. for a short duration. Thus, E-50 design speed is quite impressive - 60km/h. How do you think, how this whole afterburning system will work, and what real speed and maneuverability will this tank have?
_Pastor_: I think it will be a sort of "overspeed chopper". I.e. maximal speed at "cruise control" will be of 900 h.p. engine and afterburning time will be small, amounting to few minutes - press R-button and the speed jumps to 60 km/h. But not for long. Accordingly, reset to nominal 45-47 km/h will be abrupt - like "Injection endurance has been exhausted".
Well, let's take it seriously: no one will give us "Imba-tank". We will have a maneuverable, well-armored tank with good plating and speed increasing feature ( with limits, of course). But how will it be compensated? Well, it will be done with an average gun and the "illnesses" of German tanks branch - inflammability and "poor" acceleration.
And speed enhancement up to 60 km/h can be used as support on some of the flanks or during breach on base for attack/defense. I even drew up an approximate battle plan for the use of E-50 during Clan War:
1-2 E-50s move to strategic locations using afterburners, light up the enemy tanks, wait for striking/maneuvering force of HTs, which then continues its movement on the plotted course. E-50s are acting as the battle dictates - either get back to the base or move to other flank - making a break to the artillery (afterburner may recover by then).
Ratis[RKKA]: Perhaps it can become a sort of "Anti-T54-system" - to catch up and intercept T54-rush at the very beginning of the encounter. Though I'm not quite sure that it will be 60km/h exactly - more likely the speed will be a bit lower, but maneuverability will probably stay at the tier of current P2.
GoHa.Ru: And for the last question - what do you think of its looks?
_Pastor_: It's good, but sadly, somehow resembles King Tiger. Though I think that for the fans of the German branch it is a bonus.
Ratis[RKKA]: Well, flattened command pod is a flattened command pod. It all lies within the framework of German tank-building.
Answers from developers
GoHa.Ru: I think you have heard of players' indignation on partial obsoletion of German tanks, they say Patton and T-54 are post-war engineering designs and German vehicles are represented only by WWII designs. The Entwicklung series designs were done as a counter to the newest designs of T-44/T-54 and E-series medium tank specifications were quite formidable in comparison with Panther II. I won't be asking why you brought E-series in the game, as I think that we all remember your comment on Panther, stretched on Reich's terrestrial globe. I will better ask why do you decide to bring it in now? T-54 has been on the global map for quite some time and Pershing with Panther weren't really contemporary to this tank. So, why now?
SerB: Well, first of all: Pershing has outrun T-54 for only a year - first T-54 was tested in 1945. So the difference in time is not so great. Speaking of E-50 and Patton - well, the reasons are widely different. We introduce Patton to replace Pershing, which is going to be put down on tier 8, to take T-23 out of the game. As a matter of fact, it differs from T-20 only by its suspension, so we decided that it will be better to dispose of this tank. The Pershing was already quite capable of meeting the competition, so we didn't introduce many upgrades with the Patton.
And with the E-50, we've introduced it to dispose of the problems with P2 as a MT-9. P2 and first Panther were head-to-head with their rivals from other branches (maybe yielding a little bit to the American rival), but we had to change them in reference to the prototype.
Well, what can we do - mad Teutonic genius didn't come up with anything worthy by January (and even March) of '45, that was comparable to the T-54. Perhaps they were concerned with other things - Polar Fox was already rubbing their boots. (N.B: In Russian, Polar Fox is an assonant with a slightly modified Russian swear word, meaning f***ed-up situation)
GoHa.Ru: Perhaps, as it has become a sort of tradition, I should ask you, what do you think of the armor of this tank? 150mm frontal upper armor plate, 120mm frontal lower armor plate and 80mm on the sides - quite a formidable armor for a Medium tank in all respects, as T-54 with its 120mm armor deflects shells of not so accurate IS-7 quite often. Will you do something-not-so-good with the armor to maintain balance?
SerB: Frontal upper armor plate is going to be 120mm thick. Otherwise we won't be able to fit E-50 in 60-tons clearance in any configuration possible. Besides, Doyle - our main source on E-series, has no blueprints with 150mm armor. And thick frontal armor of E-50 will suit us quite well - but there will be a catch. Probably it will have its effects on the mobility. However, tests will tell.
GoHa.Ru: Unlike its amazing armor the caliber of the tank gun is not so great - only 88mm. If you remember, an interesting weapon of the same caliber was installed at Tiger, not bad for Tiger's tier, but i think that for MT-9 88mm is not really great. So, will you try and fit this gun to "Reich's terrestrial globe", or will it be something entirely different?
SerB: We've already come up with a top-gun the tank - E-50 will have the same 105mm gun as P2. We've honestly designed it anew (and even made a special turret) - as half-mythical 88L100 was so to say, "way too exotic" to become a normal tank gun. It can be proven with a simple example - 100mm guns weren't further developed in a post-war period.
GoHa.Ru: Engines, used in E-series vehicles had an interesting feature - afterburning. V-shaped Maybach HL235 had capacity of 900 h.p. in normal mode, and on fuel injection, special system could increase its capability up to 1200 h.p. for a short duration.. Thus, E-50 design speed is quite impressive - 60km/h. Can you tell us, how this whole afterburning system will work, and what real speed and maneuverability will this tank have?
SerB: There's a little nuance here. There're HL230 engines (of 700 h.p. but Germans put a chopper on this engine and used it at 600-650 h.p.), HK234 (around 850 h.p. and with implemented injection, improving its capacity) and HL295, which is a profound post-war attempt to drag the engine capacity up to claimed and so very much desired 1200 h.p. Unfortunately plans and reality were at quite a discord - HL295, installed in French tanks by 1955, were still 850 h.p. and a special workgroup, consisting of German engineers, tried to improve it at least up to 1000 h.p. So we have decided to follow this line and E-50 top-engine will be around of 1000 h.p. capacity. We should also note that P2 top-engine (also stretched to the globe) is only 20 h.p. inferior to this one - it has 980 h.p.
GoHa.Ru: So, what will be the speed of this vehicle, taking into account the fact, that E-50 is much heavier than Panther? And will it have afterburner, or have you given up on this idea?
SerB: Tests will show. German engineers hoped to get 60 km/h (hoped, exactly) and probably, we will go with this idea and make a short-span afterburner, to realize these hopes at least for a small duration.
GoHa.Ru: And for the last bit goes standing question - what do you think of its looks? Many players are pleased by looks of its turret; I hope this is going to be a top-turret?
SerB: Yes, this is a top-turret and we like it too. We have thought it up after all.
Screenshots of E-50 next to Panther.