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REVIEW
Griffon Model SdKfz7 Engine Detail
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 07:35 AM UTC
Bill Cross reviews Griffon Model's Sd.Kfz. 7 Engine Compartment Update for the Non-Armoured Cab Type.



Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
H_Ackermans
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 08:58 AM UTC
Nice set for the DML version primarily.

What might even further prove the significance of the SdKfz 7 on the war is the fact the British even built their own version in a few prototypes. Just somemore proof of the effectiveness of this vehicle.
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 09:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice set for the DML version primarily.


Yes, the Trumpeter kit's engine can be brought into better detailing more easily since it has more parts to begin with. Dragon molds numerous parts onto what are sub-assemblies for Trumpeter. DML also omits some detailing. But both engines leave out levers and wiring, etc. this upgrade provides. If I had two sets, I'd probably try one on the Trumpeter Sd.Kfz.7/1 Late War kit I reviewed and still have to build.

Quoted Text

What might even further prove the significance of the SdKfz 7 on the war is the fact the British even built their own version in a few prototypes. Just somemore proof of the effectiveness of this vehicle.


Thanks, Herbert, I did not know that. Allied & Axis 21 has a photo of a captured Sd.Kdz.7 that was sent to Aberdeen for testing, and I've seen at least one photo of US tankers driving one with a "C" (for "captured") number painted on the side.

It's the same as with the 88mm: I have seen numerous photos of Allied soldiers whacking away at German positions from captured 88 guns. Heck, I would!
alanmac
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 09:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text



What might even further prove the significance of the SdKfz 7 on the war is the fact the British even built their own version in a few prototypes. Just somemore proof of the effectiveness of this vehicle.



Talk about blind adoration. So why didn't we see any used after the war if they and the concept was so great and effective

It's the same as you bang on about how great the German tanks were. Do you see any tank that the British, American or Russian military produced that looks anything other than a continuation and progression of their existing designs and ideas. i.e. Cromwell through to Centurion through to Chieftain through to Challenger. KV and T-34 through to JS2, JS3 through to T55 etc.etc.

Did they take any of the German WW2 wonder machines and copy them in any way...no.

Alan
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 11:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text

So why didn't we see any used after the war if they and the concept was so great and effective


That's a bloody good topic for discussion, Al.

I would divide the German "weapons development phases" of the war along these lines:

1.) Early Blitzkrieg
2.) The Shock of Barbarossa
3.) The Decline of German Industry because of Allied bombing
4.) Post-War

German armor was equal to or superior to anything current during the first phase. I have seen arguments that the French Char 1 bis was better than most of the German armor, and it certainly had a bigger boom-boom stick. But it was slow and really the extension of the WWI tank, not the precursor to the tanks of the Second World War. The Sd.Kfz.7 was designed prior to this phase, and performed very well on the roads of Western Europe.

As to its effectiveness, what vehicles did the Allies have to pull their guns from 1939-1944? Mostly trucks if I'm not mistaken. So the Sd.Kfz.7 was a real workhorse of its era, an era that passed with the end of the war. For one thing, big guns were increasingly mounted on tracked platforms, and those that weren't needed to be ferried in by helicopter or Hercules or else dropped in on parachutes. The need for powerful Prime Movers was over. Artillery tended to be in fixed positions (e.g., the "fire bases" in Viet Nam), with mobile explosive capabilities left to air power.

But I'm getting ahead of my narrative.

Phase Two shocked the Germans (and got the world's attention) when the Untermenschen ("sub-human") Slavs turned out to have the best damn tank in the world: the T-34. It was fast, cheap & easy to build, had sloping armor that made most German guns ineffective, and big, wide tracks to handle the sloppy conditions of the Soviet Union (where roads were more suggestions than realities). Compare the news reels of T-34s racing over the snow while narrow-tracked German vehicles are immobilized by the weather.

Give the Germans credit, though, they responded with some excellent tanks that would have done well except for the inherent weaknesses of German armament procurement:

a.) overly-complex design
b.) insufficient testing
c.) interference by incompetents (Hitler, Goering, others)
d.) poor quality control (more Tigers were lost to mechanical failure than battle damage)
e.) a lack of honest testing and evaluation in favor of slavish fawning over "Mr. Big."

Phase Three exacerbated the problem: German manufacturers were forced to cut corners, outsource production to remotely-located small shops and factories, and again, quality control really slipped.


Quoted Text

It's the same as you bang on about how great the German tanks were. Do you see any tank that the British, American or Russian military produced that looks anything other than a continuation and progression of their existing designs and ideas. i.e. Cromwell through to Centurion through to Chieftain through to Challenger. KV and T-34 through to JS2, JS3 through to T55 etc.etc.


Finally you get to Phase Four. Here is where the Americans and Brits thought they were at the peak of their game-- until the Soviets rolled the JS-III down the streets of Berlin during the victory celebrations. Suddenly the Allied tanks looked like what they were: the end of the line, not the next generation. The Pershing and Centurions weren't going to take the JS-III in a stand-up brawl, and pretty soon the West was going through one new tank design after another. I think that overall, tank design followed the Russian lead in many respects right up until the collapse of the Soviet Union, especially after American design took on some of the problems of the German system:

a.) overly-complex systems
b.) quality over quantity
c.) poor quality control (the Bradley Fighting Vehicle was riddled with design flaws and contractor fraud that went right up through the Pentagon as entrenched old boy networks outmuscled what was right for the troops).
d.) a closed system that discouraged real-world evaluation in favor of pleasing someone in a position of authority.

Quoted Text

Did they take any of the German WW2 wonder machines and copy them in any way...no.


In all fairness, the Germans were trying to "catch up" to the Russians after 1942. The Panther tank could have been the best tank of the war if it had a decent transmission and a more-powerful engine. But I agree that the Russians were the clear leaders in tank design and production right up through the 70s and 80s. Western tanks like the Abrams and Leopard II have outpaced Soviet tanks, but that is probably due to their crumbling infrastructure and industry prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I hear that Russian armaments design is making a comeback, but that's not my area of expertise.
pzcreations
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 12:49 PM UTC
thanks for the review on this. I have the 7/1 w/Flak 38 kit, and have been trying to decide on the Griffon or Voyager sets..or a mix..just waiting on some reviews to come out for them before I spend the bucks...unless...James?
CMOT
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 02:25 PM UTC
Bill I was always under the impression that Allied armour was superior to German armour at the start of the war, but the tactics used by German forces negated that superiority.
Metal_blast
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 03:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Bill I was always under the impression that Allied armour was superior to German armour at the start of the war, but the tactics used by German forces negated that superiority.



Hello,

This statement is true in regards to the invasion of France of 1940. I don't recall many specifics, but British armor, especially the Matilda was proof against german tanks.
Tarok
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 03:18 PM UTC
Wow, talk about taking this thread off-topic.

Thanks for the review, Bill. I'm hoping Griffon do some PE for the new Bronco Sfz 13/14's.
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 05:06 PM UTC
Gents, I don't mind a little thread hijacking, LOL! It's a good "what if?" topic.

The British tanks superior? Why is it the DAK whupped their asses in the desert, LOL??

Tactics were definitely a part of the equation. The French in particular followed the WWI custom of dispersing their armor throughout their forces, rather than concentrating them in spearheads like the Germans.
H_Ackermans
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 10:01 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Gents, I don't mind a little thread hijacking, LOL! It's a good "what if?" topic.

The British tanks superior? Why is it the DAK whupped their asses in the desert, LOL??

Tactics were definitely a part of the equation. The French in particular followed the WWI custom of dispersing their armor throughout their forces, rather than concentrating them in spearheads like the Germans.



2 Reasons:
- Most important: Erwin Rommel
- Already in the West, the Germans had learned to use the 88mm FlaK guns against the French B-1 and British Matilda. Where the regular AT guns had little punch against these, the 88mm gun flew right through them.

And about the perceived lack of follow up on German WW-2 armour by the Western allies, that's just how you look at it.

America didn't do much with it indeed, as they already had the Pershing that equaled or outmatched the Panther and Tiger.

Britain was in shambles. They couldn't overhaul their tank design from the Cromwell and Churchil, and the Chieftain was already developed.

Russia as America had a superior tank, the IS2/3 tanks.

So it all boils down to no immediate need and don't underestimate, you are not going to openly implement technology from the enemy you crushed. Now, talking about jet-aircraft and rockets...

The French however weren't so squeamish, they used the Panther in numbers after the war, and also fully embraced many of the late war German developments and ideas. The first French heavy tank (AMX-50) can be seen as a direct offspring of the Panther/Tiger, and used for instance the Mayback HL-234 engine.

Another reason German tank design wasn't found on other countries, the reason for steel wheeled running gear in Germany was due to a dire lack of rubber. When the French looked into their new heavy tank design (one of which was a scaled down, thinner armoured Tiger-B) they were not held back by any rubber shortage, so designed their new tanks with running gear based on rubber rimmed wheels.

Perhaps not so clear, but the MG-42 is STILL in use by NATO as the MG-3, adapted to the NATO 7,62mm ammo, and the M-60 machinegun is directly based and improved upon the MG-42.

And to talk about the vehicle this thread is about, just about right after WW-2, the halftrack as a part of the mechanized forces all but disappeared. APC came into play, fully tracked. The late war German Katzchen was the first fully tracked APC ever designed. Based on the 38(t) this design influenced the ideas for personel transport. The AMX APC is almost a 1-1 copy.

The KwK 42 L/70 75mm gun from the Panther was long used by the French in their AMX-13, whilst being upgraded. The Israeli iSherman also used this gun, adopted from the French.

Torsion bar suspension was a design the Germans also themselves already were looking at to replace in the Panther/Tiger (E-series designs) with external disc-suspension.
Klinker
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 10:46 PM UTC
I read in "Wheels & Tracks" (remember when that was about ) that the British Army were specifically interested in the Panther as they felt it matched their needs!!!
They even had the Russians ship over a Panther captured at Kursk for testing/appraisal etc... then it was jacked up on angle and bombed to test it's Armour!
They reasoned that the Centurion was a result of this... coupled with information on the T-34 (thinking ahead next enemy)!!!
Plus when the British Army took over the Panther Factory in their sector of Germany after WWII they had them finish building several Panthers G's and JagdPanthers minus their barrels/mantlets (put glass in? looked strange) then they did trails with them too.

But I'm with you Alan with this love-affair with German Armour it's very interesting but in perspective it didn't work!!! built lots of simple Squaddie proof Tanks (T-34 or Pz IV) or built over engined complex Wounder Stuff that breaks down a lot (King Tiger etc...) ... my Father once said that the German's were over glorified toy-makers and I think that to a point is very true!
Klinker
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 10:52 PM UTC
Oh by the way Bill nice Griffon Model SdKfz7 Engine Detail kit
H_Ackermans
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Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 02:04 AM UTC
It is a myth that the heavier German tanks, Panther and Tiger, were mechanically unreliable.

That is just not true. The first 13 Panther-D suffered many mechanical problems, but after these were sent back to MAN for a complete re-build, and improvements were made, they became reliable. Also, both were given a very good guidebook for the crews, the Panther or Tiger Fibel. This told the crew how to maintain and use their vehicle.

The fuelsystem on the Tiger-B had too many couplings and leaked, this was overhauled into a simpler system with much less couplings. Result of this is the appearance of the pressure exhaust lines later seen on the engine deck and hull sides.

The HL-230 engines were governed well within their RPM to prevent problems with the crankshaft and pistons.

What WAS a problem, due to the industrial situation, was that these 25 litre engines had too little lubricating oil, and foaming occurred.

A point I completely agree with is that both the Panther and Tiger were extremely well engineered and especially the gun and armour outclassed anything on the battlefield until the Firefly, the IS-2 and Pershing arrived, but that they were consuming huge amounts of material, manpower and were in too little numbers to really make their mark.

But unreliable... that is a myth.

What also really hampered the German forces was the sheer multitude of variants in production, running from Pz 1 to Pz VI, all the halftracks, all the wheeled armoured cars, all the different vehicles for similar roles.

At the end, work was put into unifying this extravaganza of vehicles into much, much less base-vehicles, upon which per vehicle class, a SINGLE variant would be designed to fullfill that role.

Dispersion of production also played a role in keeping the numbers of production low. Point of fact, MORE Tiger-B's were destroyed before they were completed at Henschel than were knocked out on the battlefield.