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WWII German armor coating

Tiger Panther German armor

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Chamorai #1 Posted 03 September 2015 - 05:53 PM

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Can anyone explain what the layer of rough material on the armor of some German tanks is and what is its purpose?

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Section47ABH #2 Posted 03 September 2015 - 05:58 PM

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimmerit - anti-magnetic coating.  Had to google the brand name, like.
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XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #3 Posted 03 September 2015 - 05:58 PM

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According to some sources, it's a layer of Zimmerit, or a material used to help prevent magnetic mines from sticking to the sides of the tank. No mines of this were used, so, it was utterly useless other than looking cool.

Edited by XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, 03 September 2015 - 06:00 PM.

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MaxAmmo10562 #4 Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:28 PM

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Yes it was a layer of cement like material called Zimmerit that was applied to keep infantry from attatching magnetic mines to the hull. The waffle like texture was adopted so as not to give the mines any smooth surface to adhere to. It was applied in the field by maintenance crews or by the tankers themselves and was predominantly only used on Tigers, Panthers , Elephants ( Ferdinands ), Brumbars, some Stugs and Jagdtigers. For some reason it was rarely seen on Panzer IVs. I believe the Russians did have some form of magnetic mine, however during the battle of Kursk the Russians adopted the tactic of lying in wait in trenches till the Panzers rolled over them and then attatching the mines to the belly of the tanks, rendering the Zimmerit useless.

Matthew J35U5 #5 Posted 03 September 2015 - 09:09 PM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 03 September 2015 - 12:58 PM, said:

According to some sources, it's a layer of Zimmerit, or a material used to help prevent magnetic mines from sticking to the sides of the tank. No mines of this were used, so, it was utterly useless other than looking cool.

It isn't completely useless, it added weight to the vehicle, and lengthened manufacturing time. From my perspective, I think it was a small benefit. 


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Section47ABH #6 Posted 03 September 2015 - 09:32 PM

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View PostMAX AMMO 49, on 03 September 2015 - 06:28 PM, said:

Yes it was a layer of cement like material called Zimmerit that was applied to keep infantry from attatching magnetic mines to the hull. The waffle like texture was adopted so as not to give the mines any smooth surface to adhere to. It was applied in the field by maintenance crews or by the tankers themselves and was predominantly only used on Tigers, Panthers , Elephants ( Ferdinands ), Brumbars, some Stugs and Jagdtigers. For some reason it was rarely seen on Panzer IVs. I believe the Russians did have some form of magnetic mine, however during the battle of Kursk the Russians adopted the tactic of lying in wait in trenches till the Panzers rolled over them and then attatching the mines to the belly of the tanks, rendering the Zimmerit useless.

 

No, it was a factory thing.  Took about a week of application, drying and blowtorching to bake it on to the hull: the texturing was done to save weight, so you got a thicker stand-off against magnets without the weight of a uniform layer.  And the Soviets never had a magnetic mine.  The Germans did, and added the antimagnetic coating - magnetism declines with the cube of distance, so it didn't have to be thick - in case anyone else came up with the same trick.

 

The nearest anyone else came to trying the same trick was the sticky bomb, which was produce solely because we didn't have enough anti-tank guns to arm the Home Guard in their early days when they were the Local Defence Volunteers.  A desperation weapon, basically.  Swapping out the glue for magnets doesn't make it any less of a suicide weapon: you've got to get close enough to the tank to attach the thing and arm it.  If anything, the magnets add cost (magnets strong enough to anchor a shaped charge aren't cheap) and harder to attach, since you have to . a surface flat enough for all the magnetic points in the ring.

 

They stopped applying zimmerit because even their own troops weren't using the magnetic mines, everyone else had taken one look at the idea and said 'never work, that', there was a rumour that the stuff caught on fire when hit hard enough, and it was adding a week to production time when they needed tanks fast because Hitler's pants-on-head stupid orders were getting their machines wrecked so fast.


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MaxAmmo10562 #7 Posted 03 September 2015 - 10:19 PM

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View PostSection47ABH, on 03 September 2015 - 09:32 PM, said:

 

No, it was a factory thing.  Took about a week of application, drying and blowtorching to bake it on to the hull: the texturing was done to save weight, so you got a thicker stand-off against magnets without the weight of a uniform layer.  And the Soviets never had a magnetic mine.  The Germans did, and added the antimagnetic coating - magnetism declines with the cube of distance, so it didn't have to be thick - in case anyone else came up with the same trick.

 

The nearest anyone else came to trying the same trick was the sticky bomb, which was produce solely because we didn't have enough anti-tank guns to arm the Home Guard in their early days when they were the Local Defence Volunteers.  A desperation weapon, basically.  Swapping out the glue for magnets doesn't make it any less of a suicide weapon: you've got to get close enough to the tank to attach the thing and arm it.  If anything, the magnets add cost (magnets strong enough to anchor a shaped charge aren't cheap) and harder to attach, since you have to . a surface flat enough for all the magnetic points in the ring.

 

They stopped applying zimmerit because even their own troops weren't using the magnetic mines, everyone else had taken one look at the idea and said 'never work, that', there was a rumour that the stuff caught on fire when hit hard enough, and it was adding a week to production time when they needed tanks fast because Hitler's pants-on-head stupid orders were getting their machines wrecked so fast.

I stand corrected sir, +1 to you!



Lamme Tak #8 Posted 04 September 2015 - 06:47 AM

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I want zimmerit as an option in this game..

LOSTVENGENCE96 #9 Posted 04 September 2015 - 06:52 AM

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Rhino lining to the tank. You know, like truck beds? Ever seen a tiger rust?

XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #10 Posted 12 September 2015 - 05:49 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 03 September 2015 - 09:09 PM, said:

It isn't completely useless, it added weight to the vehicle, and lengthened manufacturing time. From my perspective, I think it was a small benefit. 

 

Oh, you. :P

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Matthew J35U5 #11 Posted 12 September 2015 - 05:57 PM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 12 September 2015 - 12:49 PM, said:

 

Oh, you. :P

I also think that the Panther was a good tank, because 45-ton vehicles that aren't really more effective than 30 ton vehicles, while consuming far more resources (in construction, logistics, etc) are the kind of vehicles I am glad Nazi Germany had. 

While people often say, "Good thing Germany didn't produce more [overrated item]", I disagree. The more white elephants the better imo. 


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Sqn Ldr B #12 Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:09 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 12 September 2015 - 05:57 PM, said:

I also think that the Panther was a good tank, because 45-ton vehicles that aren't really more effective than 30 ton vehicles, while consuming far more resources (in construction, logistics, etc) are the kind of vehicles I am glad Nazi Germany had. 

While people often say, "Good thing Germany didn't produce more [overrated item]", I disagree. The more white elephants the better imo. 

 

German should have built loads more Maus/Mauses/Mice/Mauschen, that would have the war over a bit quicker.

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bucket 911 #13 Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:15 PM

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I thought it might be textured to reduce glare so hidden tanks wouldn't produce a glare when the sun hits it

Sqn Ldr B #14 Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:31 PM

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View Postbucket 911, on 12 September 2015 - 06:15 PM, said:

I thought it might be textured to reduce glare so hidden tanks wouldn't produce a glare when the sun hits it

 

No, its to stop magnetic mines, despite the fact nobody used magnetic mines on tanks in WW2. I doubt there would be much need to reduce light reflection on a tank, since they usually have matt paint schemes and get covered in mud.

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bucket 911 #15 Posted 12 September 2015 - 06:37 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 12 September 2015 - 01:31 PM, said:

 

No, its to stop magnetic mines, despite the fact nobody used magnetic mines on tanks in WW2. I doubt there would be much need to reduce light reflection on a tank, since they usually have matt paint schemes and get covered in mud.

 

The way it sounds, tanks with the coating were meant for urban fighting.

Sqn Ldr B #16 Posted 12 September 2015 - 07:15 PM

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View Postbucket 911, on 12 September 2015 - 06:37 PM, said:

 

The way it sounds, tanks with the coating were meant for urban fighting.

 

Yeah, most of the time. Since it was applied late in the war, when most of the fighting was in towns and cities, crews got paranoid about infantry crawling over their tank and sticking bombs to them and stuff, so they had zimmerit and pistol ports and that thing in the turret roof that fired fragmentation grenades to scare them away.

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Section47ABH #17 Posted 12 September 2015 - 07:32 PM

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I had understood that late in the war was when they stopped, because crews had got paranoid that the stuff could catch fire when hit - just a rumour, no record of it happening - and it was slowing down tank production.  And by that point in the war the infantry threat to tanks was PIATs and Bazookas and Panzerfausten, not demolition charges that needed a cracked-up Leroy Jenkins to apply.  Stick bombs and magnetic mines were an early-war thing that everyone tried to avoid using if at all they could, and the improvised version was the molotov cocktail.
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XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #18 Posted 12 September 2015 - 07:57 PM

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View PostSection47ABH, on 12 September 2015 - 07:32 PM, said:

I had understood that late in the war was when they stopped, because crews had got paranoid that the stuff could catch fire when hit - just a rumour, no record of it happening - and it was slowing down tank production.  And by that point in the war the infantry threat to tanks was PIATs and Bazookas and Panzerfausten, not demolition charges that needed a cracked-up Leroy Jenkins to apply.  Stick bombs and magnetic mines were an early-war thing that everyone tried to avoid using if at all they could, and the improvised version was the molotov cocktail.

 

Well, the russians had few qualms about using them, on the other hand, the average russian soldier during 1941 had only 1 rifle per 2 men, so I guess the idea of killing a tank with a bottle of vodka sounded quite appealing to them.

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Sqn Ldr B #19 Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:07 PM

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View PostSection47ABH, on 12 September 2015 - 07:32 PM, said:

I had understood that late in the war was when they stopped, because crews had got paranoid that the stuff could catch fire when hit - just a rumour, no record of it happening - and it was slowing down tank production.  And by that point in the war the infantry threat to tanks was PIATs and Bazookas and Panzerfausten, not demolition charges that needed a cracked-up Leroy Jenkins to apply.  Stick bombs and magnetic mines were an early-war thing that everyone tried to avoid using if at all they could, and the improvised version was the molotov cocktail.

 

I think the Zimmerit was brought in around 1943, and by late 1944/early 1945 it wasn't used any more simply because it was a time consuming process to apply in the factory, the aim was to make as many tanks as they could as quickly as they could, and applying Zimmerit was just an unnecessary add-on that took time. Same reason that in the last few months of the war German tanks were leaving the factory unpainted in nothing but a red oxide primer.

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XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #20 Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:17 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 12 September 2015 - 05:57 PM, said:

I also think that the Panther was a good tank, because 45-ton vehicles that aren't really more effective than 30 ton vehicles, while consuming far more resources (in construction, logistics, etc) are the kind of vehicles I am glad Nazi Germany had. 

While people often say, "Good thing Germany didn't produce more [overrated item]", I disagree. The more white elephants the better imo. 

 

Can't argue with you there.

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