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Gun mantlet modeling in e.g. Panther

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Based on http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Capsule/2930/pzpanther/pzpanther.htm and Chamberlain&Doyle's "Encyclopedia of German Tanks in WW2" pages 122-125 I get the impression that

i) Panther mantlet covers around 80+% of turret front

ii) combination of turret front and mantlet armor is close to impenetrable by e.g. T-34/85

In CMBB, however, I think I have had a fair amount of front turret penetrations by e.g. T-34/85's. I have not made any controlled tests, though.

Some questions arise:

- is Panther turret front behind gun mantlet protected by armor, i.e. are front turret and mantlet armor cumulative?

- does CMBB model hits in turret front area separately for gun mantlet area and the remaining 20% or so of "pure turret"?

Best regards,


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Good questions, in part I may be able to help, put not fully.

In no particular order.

If one looks at the photographs of the inside of a Panther mantlet you will find that most of it does not overlap with the turret armour itself. Only the edges of the mantlet overlap with the turret armour itself. I am in fact fortunate to have crawled around inside a Panther on a couple of occasions smile.gif .

I believe CMBB models the turret front as one piece of armour.

The Panther mantlet was only 100mm in thickness. This means that in the centre of the vertical access it could indeed be penetrated by quite a few different rounds. Say the 30% middle portion of the mantlet. There is a recorded incident of a Tungsten round from a lowly 45mm AT gun penetrating the front of a Panther mantlet. It is in one of those stunning Thomas Jentz books. (As it happens, I had the same occur in a game of CMBB. The range was about 100m-150m. The 45mm AT gun had just taken a side shot at the Panther, and to my horror, missed. The Panther commander spotted the threat, and turned the Panther to face the 45mm AT gun immediately. To my amazement the 45mm AT gun then put what must have been a tungsten round through the mantlet. The 45mm AT gun just kept blasting away and after about another 8-10 ricochets, the Panther crew lost their never and bailed out.)

When moving on to the 85mm Soviet gun, it will indeed have been able to penetrate the mantlet of the Panther, if it struck it in the centre region of the vertical access. Remember it could penetrate the 100mm hull armour of a Tiger1 at ranges over 1200m. It is also worth remembering that the APBC round used by the 85mm gun from the spring of 44 onwards, was optimised for penetration of sloped armour. Thus would not be adversely effected by the “curve” on the mantlet to same degree as western rounds of the period.

Hope I have helped,

All good fun,

All the best,


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thanks a lot; I have not seen pictures from inside the mantlet, nor examined a real Panther.

To summarize, would you say that hits to turret front would be divided very roughly like:

- 20% to turrent front not protected by mantlet at all

- 20% to to mantlet edges also protected by turret armor behind it

- 60% to area protected by mantlet alone

If it is like this, then my feeling of CMBB modeling corresponds to this very well. Moreover, it provides at least partial rationale for Germans to study the "Schmal" Panther turret. However, the numbers from "WaPruef 1 report dated 5 October 1944" (quoted in the website referred above) seem a bit optimistic with regard to mantlet protection. Then again, the report presumed 30 degree side angle, which might explain everything.

Hmmm... has Steve/Charles/Moon already promised to have a look on possibilities to model turret structure/dimensions on vehicle-by-vehicle basis in the engine rewrite?



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Yup, I think we are more or less in agreement.

It is worth noting that “official” German documents from the war are often hopelessly wrong on the figures regarding armour penetration and such. Range at which enemy tanks can be destroyed, range at which Panzers were vulnerable to threat tanks; that sort of thing. (I could give quite few examples of this.)

My own reasoning on this is that the official reports were often put together by the equivalent of “civil servants” in the German government departments. Individuals with little understanding of the subject, through no fault of their own. I have spent many hours in the archives of the Tank Museum in Bovington and learnt long ago that a range of documents have to be taken together to get a full picture. My view is that these sorts of reports were often put together by civil servants reporting to civilian officials. Neither those putting the reports together, nor those receiving the reports, really understood the subject. Of course, this does not apply to all such reports, far from it.

All the best,


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