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For all you tank historians out there.

Why was the King Tiger designated a Panzer VI instead of Panzer VII? The King Tiger doesn't look anything like a Tiger and is quite a bit larger. It seems more like a total redesign than a Panzer VI refit.

Actually I think the KT looks more like an oversized Panther. I think it would have been more appropriate to call it the King Panther. :D

Rob

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The Panzer VII was supposed to be the "Maus". Three prototypes where built, but it never saw active service. (Although one of them may have fought back as the Russians where capturing the facility inventing the thing.)

As for why they didn't name the KT MkVII and the Maus MkVIII... I'm not sure. Might have something to do with engine, suspension and transmission. Also the KT used an 88mm main-gun like the Tiger. Although the 88 on the KT was a bit longer...

Personally I think the KT should have been the King Panther, but that's another story. Apparently they started development of a Panther MkII, but the war stopped before it got anywhere.

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IIRC, at least on the surface, the lack of logic in naming the new tank was intentional, to "confuse the enemy". Not only did the two tanks share little in common besides the "Tiger" moniker, but also the "later" "E" index was afforded to the tank that came much earlier. Now, if that sounds overly complicated and not that effective, it probably is, but those considerations have never deterred a good bureaucrat - anytime, anywhere.

Of course, there's also the tantalizing question - was this "mix-up" really intentional or was it really a post factum rationalization of the confused and/or overcomplicated design and review process...

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Originally posted by junk2drive:

Only to be outdone by the British renaming the lend lease, and extending the concept into force structure.

British naming conventions have been spoken of on the pages many times and need no rehearsal here. There is a logic to them, though it may not be immediately apparent to our American cousins.

However, I am foxed as what you meant by "extending the concept into force naming structure". Platoons, companies, battalions, regiments, divisions, corps, armies; its all standard stuff. Ok, the artillery with its batteries and the cavalry with troops and squadrons may not be completley standard but enough other countries used those titles that they are not that confusing, surely.

Please do explain what you meant.

Cheers

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Originally posted by Alech:

Apparently they started development of a Panther MkII, but the war stopped before it got anywhere.

Actually, there was a single prototype produced (and there's some question as to if it ever saw combat). The project was cancelled in favor of further development of the Panther. The prototype Panther II currently resides in the Patton Armor Museum.
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Splintys right. Thats the " Schmal " turret on a G hull.

Improvements : thicker roof, rangefinders in bulges in turretside, 7.5 cm KwK42/1, thicker mantlet and turretfront, smaller targetsilhouette, hatches reworked, hull machine gun designed for MP44 instead MG5, steel-rimmed silent bloc wheels, changes in Radio and equipment, easier setup for the AA Mg mount.

Source : Chamberlain and Doyle, Encyclopedia of german tanks in WW2 .

Did I mention that its a petpeeve of mine ? :D

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Thanks for the responses.

I found some pictures of that huge Maus Panzer VII tank. Why were the Germans so determined to make larger and larger tanks? They're slow, expensive and make easy targets for aircraft. Were the larger tanks that much more effective than medium tanks?

I dig this tank talk.

Rob

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Superheavy tanks on the defense make a certain amount of sense, as can be seen by the KV-2 holding up 26. (IIRC) Panzer division for several days during operation Barbarossa. And airpower didn't help against that one either.

There can be no doubt that the Maus has been designed out of a misguided desire, however.

The Germans were honestly thinking the Soviets were running out of manpower (just like they were running out themself) and only due to Lend-Lease and superior industrial resources could storm them with masses of tanks. If that had been true then superheavy tank destroyers could have been useful.

None of the precautions were met, however.

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Originally posted by gravy:

Thanks for the responses.

I found some pictures of that huge Maus Panzer VII tank. Why were the Germans so determined to make larger and larger tanks? They're slow, expensive and make easy targets for aircraft. Were the larger tanks that much more effective than medium tanks?

I dig this tank talk.

Rob

Maybe it was the "my penis is bigger than yours" syndrome *laff*? Sersiously though...the did the same thing with those huge seige guns they had. Impressive yes, but not very ecenomical.
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I haven't studied any literature on the Maus specifically, byt I believe it was a part of the nazi "wunderwaffe" philosophy. Such a seemingly indestructible tank would've been great material for propaganda purposes, and perhaps the designers also had a twisted logic of economics:

If you could use a similar amount of raw material and labor to build, say, 10 Stugs or one Maus, maybe they thought that the following would happen: in the first battle of 10 Stugs vs 10 T-34-85's, at least a third of the Stugs would be inevitably lost. The Maus instead, would both destroy all the enemy tanks, and would be ready for the next match with minor polishing and oil change. The reduction of tank losses would also spare the dwindling pool of elite tank crews.

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