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WWII German armor coating

Tiger Panther German armor

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AngryThirdBean #21 Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:51 PM

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You know even if the allies used magnetic mines, they could just 1) throw them on top of the flat part of the hull. 2) could stick them under the tank belly as was reportedly used. 3) stick them to the track wheel and TA-DA! You've got an immobile tank. Which is a mostly useless tank.

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Sqn Ldr B #22 Posted 12 September 2015 - 09:15 PM

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View PostThird2ndplayer2, on 12 September 2015 - 08:51 PM, said:

You know even if the allies used magnetic mines, they could just 1) throw them on top of the flat part of the hull. 2) could stick them under the tank belly as was reportedly used. 3) stick them to the track wheel and TA-DA! You've got an immobile tank. Which is a mostly useless tank.

 

Yeah, but the whole idea was pointless anyway in the end. Besides, you can't put zimmerit on the running gear for obvious reasons, and you can't put it on the engine deck because I imagine it'd be flammable. I guess it was just a case of putting it where you could and minimising danger.

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Matthew J35U5 #23 Posted 12 September 2015 - 10:29 PM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 12 September 2015 - 02:57 PM, said:

 

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.

[citation needed]
Anyway, they had RPG's, they didn't need magnetic mines. 

View PostSqn Ldr B, on 12 September 2015 - 04:15 PM, said:

 

Yeah, but the whole idea was pointless anyway in the end. Besides, you can't put zimmerit on the running gear for obvious reasons, and you can't put it on the engine deck because I imagine it'd be flammable. I guess it was just a case of putting it where you could and minimising danger.

I mean... They could just place a mine/grenade on the engine deck, you don't need to stick it there or anything. 


KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


mark197205 #24 Posted 12 September 2015 - 11:54 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 12 September 2015 - 08:07 PM, said:

 

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.

 

The tanks leaving the factory in primer is a fallacy, debunked many moons ago. Some tanks had the primer as part of the camo, but not solely in primer. What is true is that the Germans were leaving hidden parts of the tanks in primer and only painting what was necessary.

A similar legend exists about T-34's rolling out of the Stalingrad factory completely unpainted straight into battle, again no evidence exists as to it happening.


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mark197205 #25 Posted 13 September 2015 - 12:11 AM

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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.

It was common on both Panzer IV ausf H and J's. Some other vehicles also got the coating, including a few Sdkfz 251 halftrack personnel carriers bizarrely enough.

Only a few JagdTigers sported zimmerit.

 

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.

It was mostly factory applied, but examples do exist where it was field applied, these stand out in pics due to the thickness and roughness of the coating.

The rumour about zimmerit catching fire did exist, but was totally untrue, seeing as zim was similar to concrete.

 

View PostSqn Ldr B, on 12 September 2015 - 07:15 PM, said:

 

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.

Some tanks had remote control MG34's fitted to the roof, JagdPanzer 38t's especially, and the BergeElefant also.

Some StuG IV's had a fitting for attaching a Stg44 assault rifle inside the the tank with a curved tube outside in a rotatable mount for the same purpose.

Also the Stg44 was intended to replace the MG34 as the hull mounted weapon on Panthers etc.


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GLA Odin #26 Posted 13 September 2015 - 12:35 AM

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I honestly just thought that the germans were like: "bugger it, it looks cool"

 

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XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #27 Posted 06 October 2015 - 08:46 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 12 September 2015 - 10:29 PM, said:

[citation needed]
Anyway, they had RPG's, they didn't need magnetic mines. 

I mean... They could just place a mine/grenade on the engine deck, you don't need to stick it there or anything. 

Penal Battalions were sent sometime only partly equipped with weapons.

There is this source:

Tolstoy, Nikolai, Stalin's Secret War, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston (1981)

 

(Sourcing was acting strange.)


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Matthew J35U5 #28 Posted 06 October 2015 - 10:18 PM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 06 October 2015 - 03:46 PM, said:

Penal Battalions were sent sometime only partly equipped with weapons.

There is this source:

Tolstoy, Nikolai, Stalin's Secret War, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston (1981)

 

(Sourcing was acting strange.)

 

Are you suggesting that of the roughly 11 million soldiers that were in the red army in 1941 (they ended the year with ~6 and had ~5 million casualties), at least 1/2 of them were in penal battalions? 

There were cases where mobilized reservists were captured by the germans before they had been organized into units, so one might have some "soldiers"* without any form of equipment in 1941, but not 1/2. 

*I'm not sure if someone that has received mobilization orders, but hasn't actually joined a unit yet qualifies as being a soldier. 

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XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #29 Posted 07 October 2015 - 01:43 AM

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Well, point saying is that while the truth to 1/2 in general is incorrect, in stalingrad it was or at least highly probable of that, but that's beside my point of the russians approving flaming bottles of vodka as anti-tank weapons.

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BuffonsNeedle #30 Posted 07 October 2015 - 02:18 AM

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Today, if you want to make your model kits to look more realitic, you can add a paste, that is looks Zimmerit...

 

It takes forever to make it look good, but when it is finished, it looks great!


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dukeofpeasant #31 Posted 07 October 2015 - 05:12 AM

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I've been lurking a few historical discussions and figured at least one member would be interested...

 

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Matthew J35U5 #32 Posted 07 October 2015 - 11:28 AM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 06 October 2015 - 08:43 PM, said:

Well, point saying is that while the truth to 1/2 in general is incorrect, in stalingrad it was or at least highly probable of that, but that's beside my point of the russians approving flaming bottles of vodka as anti-tank weapons.

Really, you're suggesting that the Russian army defending Stalingrad consisted of 50% penal batallions*? (One might stretch that to the entire Front defending Stalingrad). That seems unlikely. 

*It would actually have to be more since you stated that not all penal batallions were weaponless. 


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Uranprojekt #33 Posted 08 October 2015 - 11:23 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 07 October 2015 - 11:28 AM, said:

Really, you're suggesting that the Russian army defending Stalingrad consisted of 50% penal batallions*? (One might stretch that to the entire Front defending Stalingrad). That seems unlikely. 

*It would actually have to be more since you stated that not all penal batallions were weaponless. 

 

By the end of 1942, 24,993 men were listed as serving in Red Army penal battalions*. However, statistics on how many men had died whilst serving as part of a penal battalion weren't kept so it's hard to say how many had served in penal battalions in total during 1942. If we take into consideration how many men served in all three Red Army fronts during the defence of Stalingrad (1,143,000 across the Don, Stalingrad and Southwest fronts by the time the Soviet counter-offensive begun), the amount of men serving in penal battalions is an incredibly small percentage, I think it's roughly 1%, of the total Red Army forces in Stalingrad.

 

*According to Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century by G.F. Krivosheev.


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View PostUranprojekt, on 08 October 2015 - 11:23 AM, said:

 

By the end of 1942, 24,993 men were listed as serving in Red Army penal battalions*. However, statistics on how many men had died whilst serving as part of a penal battalion weren't kept so it's hard to say how many had served in penal battalions in total during 1942. If we take into consideration how many men served in all three Red Army fronts during the defence of Stalingrad (1,143,000 across the Don, Stalingrad and Southwest fronts by the time the Soviet counter-offensive begun), the amount of men serving in penal battalions is an incredibly small percentage, I think it's roughly 1%, of the total Red Army forces in Stalingrad.

 

*According to Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century by G.F. Krivosheev.

 

Ok, so I was wrong, Russians had plenty of weapons. Can we agree though that russians using burning bottles of vodka as makeshift AT weapons was a thing?

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Uranprojekt #35 Posted 09 October 2015 - 01:31 AM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 09 October 2015 - 01:02 AM, said:

 

Ok, so I was wrong, Russians had plenty of weapons. Can we agree though that russians using burning bottles of vodka as makeshift AT weapons was a thing?

 

Penal battalions weren't given weapons until they were about to enter battle and they were expected to give the weapons back after the battle if:

 

a) they were lucky enough to receive a weapon in the first place and;

 b) they were lucky enough to survive whichever battle they were being sent into.

 

It wasn't uncommon for penal battalion troops to be sent to the front lines with either a dummy weapon or no weapon at all. Makeshift weapons of any kind, burning bottles of vodka (such a terrible waste!) being no exception, would certainly have been used. The Soviets didn't see the sense in arming every man in a penal battalion when most of those men were not expected to make it back alive, especially when you take into consideration that Order No. 227 stipulated that each penal battalion was to number 800 men (although the first penal battalion created numbered 929 men). That's 800 rifles that could have been given to soldiers the Soviets thought worthy of having a rifle.


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XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #36 Posted 09 October 2015 - 01:42 AM

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View PostUranprojekt, on 09 October 2015 - 01:31 AM, said:

 

Penal battalions weren't given weapons until they were about to enter battle and they were expected to give the weapons back after the battle if:

 

a) they were lucky enough to receive a weapon in the first place and;

 b) they were lucky enough to survive whichever battle they were being sent into.

 

It wasn't uncommon for penal battalion troops to be sent to the front lines with either a dummy weapon or no weapon at all. Makeshift weapons of any kind, burning bottles of vodka (such a terrible waste!) being no exception, would certainly have been used. The Soviets didn't see the sense in arming every man in a penal battalion when most of those men were not expected to make it back alive, especially when you take into consideration that Order No. 227 stipulated that each penal battalion was to number 800 men (although the first penal battalion created numbered 929 men). That's 800 rifles that could have been given to soldiers the Soviets thought worthy of having a rifle.

 

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Edited by XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, 09 October 2015 - 01:42 AM.

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Uranprojekt #37 Posted 09 October 2015 - 01:43 AM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 09 October 2015 - 01:42 AM, said:

 

I said it was over! Flaming german crew members! Ahhhhhh!

 

Uhhh... Yes?... :confused:


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XxDAFFYxxDUCKxX #38 Posted 09 October 2015 - 05:10 PM

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View PostUranprojekt, on 09 October 2015 - 01:43 AM, said:

 

Uhhh... Yes?... :confused:

 

Okay.

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Matthew J35U5 #39 Posted 11 October 2015 - 01:52 AM

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View PostXxDAFFYxxDUCKxX, on 08 October 2015 - 08:02 PM, said:

 

Ok, so I was wrong, Russians had plenty of weapons. Can we agree though that russians using burning bottles of vodka as makeshift AT weapons was a thing?

It would seem easier to give them grenades or AT rifles, rather than expect them to use their small vodka ration as an AT weapon rather than drinking it. I'm sure it happened sometimes, but molotov cocktails are more useful for civilians that can easily access alcohol, and can't easily access explosives than they are for an army which can easily access explosives. 


KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Sqn Ldr B #40 Posted 11 October 2015 - 12:09 PM

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Am I the only one here under the impression it was mainly petrol and kerosene, and other highly flammable fuels that were used in Molotovs, and not so much Vodka?

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