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German Casemate Tanks

JAZZ

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Germany experimented with a number of casement tank studies in the early 1980's, key designations for the proposals were Kpz-3, VT-1-1, VT-1-2, VT-1-6 (which sugests other intervinung models) VT-2.
 

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JAZZ

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VT-1-2
 

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smurf

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This isn’t really a Leopard 3, is it? From Jane’s “Armour and Artillery 1983-4” a bit abbreviated:
Since the early 1970’s a number of West German companies have been working on conceptual designs for a successor to the Leopard 1 MBT.
This project has the name Kampfpanzer 3. (various projects then described – see later) Krupp MaK has also put forward a turretless design with two guns.The development of thsis can be traced back to the early 1970s when the company... designed a turretless tank with two guns (either 105mm rifled or 120mm smoothbore) The tank wass called the VT 1 (Versuchstrager). Both were only test rigs to prove the basic concept.
The VT 1-1 is based on the shortened chassis of the cancelled MBT-70 but with 5 road wheels. The tank is powered by the MTU 873 Ka-500 diesel installed in Leopard 2 uprated for VT from 1500 to 2000 hp giving the 38 ton vehicle a power-to weight ratio of 52.5 hp/ton. The VT 1-2 has a Rheinmetal automatic loader and the engine uprated to 2200 hp. The 3 man crew is at the front, with driver between commander and gunner.
JAZZ‘s last picture is in this Jane’s.
The other KP3 projects mentioned are:
Krauss-Maffei and Krupp-MaK have both put forward a turretted tank a further development of the Leopard 2
Thyssen Henschel, Krupp-MaK and GST have a design with the gun and mount only above the hull top with crew and ammunition below the weapon in the hull.( A test-rig based on the Marder (VT S-1) was built in 1978.
[This is illustrated and further described]
Has anyone got more info, and illustrations of these other projects, please?
 

JAZZ

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these experimental concepts relate to Vt series, some have been referred to as Kpz-3.

I suspect 'Leopard-3' is wrong, but the running gear of VT-1-2 concept may have borrowed heavily from the Leopard-2 programme, hence 'Leopard 3'
 

banken

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Hello JAZZ i am banken i am new to the forum.
I always been a lover of casemat tanks.
I have a lot of pics of them i will post them for you iff you have any questions please ask.
There is VT-1, VT-2 and a versuchträger which is in a museum in Munster Germany.
Here are some pics.
 

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smurf

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Thanks very much. Excellent pictures.
Is the English word we should be using "casemate" - in naval guns a mounting, not a turret, with limited elevation?
Do you know the German term for this design of tank, please?
 

banken

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Hello Smurf,
I don't know the exat word for these but in the magazine i have they are refer as Vt-1 for the 105mm guns and Vt-2 for the double 120mm.
There are many versuchträfer or in englisch prototypes. They all are studies for Kpz-3.
The one in the museum in Munster Germany is called GVT-04 and I suppose the 04 is four build because after the trials they used them as target. Let me show you some pics of it. Also the proof they where prototypes for leopard 3
Here are the photos.
 

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banken

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Here are the photos at the firerange somewhere in Germany.
 

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smurf

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Thanks very much Banker for the added pictures. The detail differences are very interesting.
Do you know the date of the vehicle shown in your first picture, the one labelled 'panzer' ?
 

JAZZ

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Hi banken, great pictures. I have posted some extracts here from Bassey's Main Battle Tanks - by Rolf Hilmes (who worked as a tank technologist for Germanys Federal Office for Military Technology and Procurment in Koblenz) who gives a history of the 'Leopard 3'
 

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smurf

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This is fascinating stuff, Jazz. Have you any of the photos 84-86 referred to in this text?
 

banken

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Hi smurf hi jazz sorry i am late had to work.
The question you ask me smurf about the time the first picture was taken i think it is around 1978 so it said in the magazine.
As for the information about the leopard 3 it is very interesting the VTS-1 i think is the marderchassis(german personel carrier) with an external 105 mm cannon. As for the kpz90 never heard off it,perhaps its called different
I have some schematics i found in a magazine wehrtechnik (defencetechnik) and the second one i think is something alike the MBT-70 with the driver in the turret.
What do you think off them ? And have you other pics then mine off the leopard 3 or Kpz90
 

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JohnR

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Are the vehicles on the firing range the same as the earlier - intact - photos, as they appear to have only five road wheels agains six on the earlier vehicles.

The line drawing on the preceding post are interesting. The middle was has clear Leo2 parentage. Could this be the Lince variant proposed for the Spanish army in the mid 80's

JohnR
 

smurf

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Thanks Jazz. food for thought.
Are the vehicles on the firing range the same as the earlier - intact - photos,
No. There are at least 3 variants in the pictures.
Here is a picture of the Marder-based test bed. Jane's 1983-4
 

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banken

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Hello John R,
The wracks on the range are the same as in the picture called GVT-04 and have five roadwheels it is based on the chassis of the leopard I. The VT-1 an VT-2 have five roadwheels but are based on the MBT-70 abd have hydropeumatic suspension. The one called leo 3 is based on the leo 2 . Here are some more pictures.
First the one in the museum in Munster Germany and the two other from leo 3.
 

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banken

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Look at the marder Vt-1 next to VT-2
 

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banken

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Sorry JohnR there has slip a mistake in my post the so called is on the chassis of the leopard I and not on those of leopard 2.
 

JAZZ

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Smurf, the only food for anyone intrested in main battle Tanks is a copy of '

Bassey's Main Battle Tanks - Developments in Design since 1945'
Rolf Hilmes - Translated by Richard Simpkin 1987
130 pages 237 diagrams, drawings and photos.

Address for orders given - Bassey's Defense Publishers
Headington Hill Hall, Oxford OX3 OBW, England.

In terms of analysis of tank design, the best book I have come across This book is were it starts.

Jane's Main Battle Tanks - by Christopher F Foss is useful describing verious tanks and their history, Janes Armour and Artillary is also an up to date compendium for projects and tanks in sercive.
 

banken

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Jazz do you have any other photos from the book you mentioned than mine ?
(VT-1,VT-2)
Thanks a lot.
 

JAZZ

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Hi banken, my second post was a photo from the book. Other photo that was mention relates to a low profile turret development of the Leopard 2 with a two man turret.
 

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banken

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Hi Jazz, I will post a photo i found somewhere on the net but i don't know where. I found a text in a magazine called WEHRTECHNIEK 2/1985 about the tanks of tomorow. It called for a plan to reequiped the Bundeswher with all kind of new vehicles.
It called for a tankdestroyer (casemate tank or marder VTS-1)
Leopard 3 with turret
Personalcarrier marder II
I know it is schematic but it has some interesting features in it .
 

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dan_inbox

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[quote author=banken]The one called leo 3 is based on the leo 2 . Here are some more pictures.
First the one in the museum in Munster Germany and the two other from leo 3.[/quote]
Hmmm. Methinks your "kasemattenpanzer" photos are actually the Leopard Versuchsträger 2 (120mm) and 1 (105mm), respectively.
 

banken

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Your quite right dan inbox. These are all studies for leopard 3 and they never intend to build those VT's.
The only casemate tank they (Germany) would have build was a tank destroyer for use in panzergrenadiere
battalions.(mechanized infanterie). It was all being put on ice with the decline of the Warshau pact and the fall of the Berlin wall.
Today there isn't much talk of a casemate leo 3. I look for it on the net but never found something except for my last photo which is a conventional turret tank.
 
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jeffryfontaine

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There was a proposal by a German Firm to build or rather modify the M113 into a SturmGeschutz type of vehicle. This went so far as being built as a prototype that was painted up in what I beleive was a tan paint. It was fitted with a 105mm howitzer that protruded through the front of the vehicle. I remember seeing several images of this vehicle on-line several years ago but recent attempts to locate the images have failed. Does anyone here on this forum have access to the images and any further information on this vehicle? I have a couple of spare M113 hulls which could be used for a conversion if I can find the images and reference drawings again.

Thanks,
 

Rafael

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Hi, Jeff, is this one?

m113assaulthowitzerfscv_005.jpg


m113assaulthowitzerfscv_004.jpg


m113assaulthowitzerfscv_003.jpg


m113assaulthowitzerfscv_002.jpg


m113assaulthowitzerfscv_001.jpg
 
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jeffryfontaine

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Rafael said:
Hi, Jeff, is this one?

Yes, That is indeed the beast that I was inquiring about. I once told someone on another forum that I no longer frequent that there was a modern Sturmgeshutz based on the M113 hull. He argued with me on why this was not possible. He continued to argue the point even after I presented him with the links to these same images. He was still refusing to acknowledge that I was right in calling this a SturmGeschutz which for all intents and purposes, the M113 Assault Gun armed with the 105mm Howizter is a SturmGeschutz. I also thought it was quite ironic that the prototype was painted up in what almost looks like the old yellow used by the Werhmacht before camouflage became a requirement.
 

smurf

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Try again. I hope it takes the picture this time.
Can we change the title of this thread please? No offense to the original poster, but I still
want to put it right after all this time!
A casement is a kind of window.
A casemate was a means of putting the secondary guns of battleships behind armour, before they had turrets of their own.
The mountings in the German VT tank projects looked quite like them.

title modified
 

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ysi_maniac

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JohnR said:
Could this be the Lince variant proposed for the Spanish army in the mid 80's
Spanish Army Lince
 

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Creative

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JAZZ said:
Hi banken, my second post was a photo from the book. Other photo that was mention relates to a low profile turret development of the Leopard 2 with a two man turret.
I'm sorry to dig up such an old thread. Jazz (or anyone else) do you have any more information on this low profile turret?
 

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Jeffry Fontaine said:
Rafael said:
Hi, Jeff, is this one?

Yes, That is indeed the beast that I was inquiring about. I once told someone on another forum that I no longer frequent that there was a modern Sturmgeshutz based on the M113 hull. He argued with me on why this was not possible. He continued to argue the point even after I presented him with the links to these same images. He was still refusing to acknowledge that I was right in calling this a SturmGeschutz which for all intents and purposes, the M113 Assault Gun armed with the 105mm Howizter is a SturmGeschutz. I also thought it was quite ironic that the prototype was painted up in what almost looks like the old yellow used by the Werhmacht before camouflage became a requirement.


It actually misses a strong front armour plate, has a capacity for dismounts and uses the same calibre as StuH42, which was called "Sturmhaubitze" (assault howitzer).

It's unique and fits into no category in my opinion. A great design for African armies.
 

cluttonfred

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banken said:
Hi Jazz, I will post a photo i found somewhere on the net but i don't know where. I found a text in a magazine called WEHRTECHNIEK 2/1985 about the tanks of tomorow. It called for a plan to reequiped the Bundeswher with all kind of new vehicles.
It called for a tankdestroyer (casemate tank or marder VTS-1)
Leopard 3 with turret
Personalcarrier marder II
I know it is schematic but it has some interesting features in it .

This "family tree" of German experimental tanks is great stuff. Can anyone tell me any more about the one called Natter (attached)?
 

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Rickshaw

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Jeffry Fontaine said:
Rafael said:
Hi, Jeff, is this one?

Yes, That is indeed the beast that I was inquiring about. I once told someone on another forum that I no longer frequent that there was a modern Sturmgeshutz based on the M113 hull. He argued with me on why this was not possible. He continued to argue the point even after I presented him with the links to these same images. He was still refusing to acknowledge that I was right in calling this a SturmGeschutz which for all intents and purposes, the M113 Assault Gun armed with the 105mm Howizter is a SturmGeschutz. I also thought it was quite ironic that the prototype was painted up in what almost looks like the old yellow used by the Werhmacht before camouflage became a requirement.

Actually, the intention of the vehicle you describe was not be an Assault Gun. It was intended to be an SP Artillery weapon. The 105mm weapon which was mounted was a howitzer, not a gun. It had super-elevation, above 45 degrees. It was only armoured against 14.5mm calibre AP, which would not make it suitable for use as a StuG.

fscv_005.jpg
 

JonCatalan

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This is a schematic of the supposed Leopard 3, given in a paper by Spanish armor officer Antonio Candil.

Leopard3-1.jpg
 

r16

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a question . While it looks really good why two guns on a single vehicle ? ı have seen similar Russian experiments on KV chassis in another site that ı can't remember know and Stalin personally intervened to get a single and bigger gun . Wouldn't it suit the Germans as well? What is the logic of twin guns ?
 

cluttonfred

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Mole said:
banken said:
Hi Jazz, I will post a photo i found somewhere on the net but i don't know where. I found a text in a magazine called WEHRTECHNIEK 2/1985 about the tanks of tomorow. It called for a plan to reequiped the Bundeswher with all kind of new vehicles.
It called for a tankdestroyer (casemate tank or marder VTS-1)
Leopard 3 with turret
Personalcarrier marder II
I know it is schematic but it has some interesting features in it .

This "family tree" of German experimental tanks is great stuff. Can anyone tell me any more about the one called Natter (attached)?

Since this thread is alive again, I would still like to know more about this Panzerabwehrkampfwagen Natter design that appears to use an umanned turret. For that matter, I'd be interested in any other designs with unmanned turrets. With the advances in and growing popularity of remote weapons stations, this seems like a very logical next step to provide a very compact, survivable design which would still be air portable.
 

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I have seen the schematics you are referring to on some armor modelling sites, so my guess is that it is not a genuine project. Probably some modellers to-do-list of kitbashes.
 

Abraham Gubler

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JAZZ said:
Hi banken, my second post was a photo from the book. Other photo that was mention relates to a low profile turret development of the Leopard 2 with a two man turret.

This was a new turret designed by Wegmann in 1978 that reduced turret height by 30% that was to be combined with the Euro Pak engine which cut the hull length by a road wheel (1m). These volume reductions enabled a new mark of Leopard 2 to be built with much increased armour thickness but staying under 60 tonnes combat weight. Main gun depression to -10 degrees was to be allowed by a rising flap on the turret roof.

Source: Battle Tanks for the Bundeswehr: Modern German Tank Development, 1956-2000 by Rolf Hilmes, ARMOR — January-February 2001
 

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Rickshaw

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One assume an autoloader would have had to be used. I wonder how they were intending to seal the cleft turret?
 

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