Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and P. 1500 Monster

KnightTemplar

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The Landkreuzer P-1000 "Ratte" (Rat) was to have been an extremely large tank for use by Nazi Germany during World War II. It was designed in 1942 by Krupp with the approval of Adolf Hitler, but the project was canceled by Albert Speer in early 1943 and none was ever completed.
The 1000 metric ton Krupp P-1000 "Ratte", started construction but was canceled before completion. It would have carried two 280 mm guns (mounted in the same type of gun turret used in Gneisenau class warships), a single 128 mm gun, eight 20 mm Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns and two 15 mm Mauser MG 151/15 guns.

The primary armament was a warship-like turret holding a pair of 280 mm naval guns. One such turret was built before the project was canceled, and was installed in a coastal defense battery in Norway.









The Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster was a preprototype ultraheavy tank meant as a mobile platform for the Krupp 800mm Schwerer Gustav artillery piece, in fact, a mobile grand cannon.

If completed it would have easily surpassed the Panzer VIII Maus, and even the extremely large Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte in size, though it would only have enough power to reach up to speeds of 10-15 kph.

It would have been 42 m (138 ft) long, would have weighed 2500 tonnes, with a 250 mm hull front armor, 4 MAN U-boat (submarine) diesel engines, and an operating crew of over 100 men.

It would have been so heavy that it would have cracked pavement behind it and it would not have been able to cross bridges.

The main armament would have been an 800 mm Dora/Schwerer Gustav K (E) railway gun 10 times bigger in diameter than modern tank cannons, and a secondary armament of two 150 mm sFH 18/1 L/30 howitzers and multiple 15 mm MG 151/15 machine guns.



 

agricola64

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KnightTemplar said:
what precisely is the text on that picture supposed to mean? .. the orginal is supposedly german, but i (as german native speaker) have been trying to translate it back into german for some time now and have been unable to produce any meaningful "orignal version"
 

McTodd

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The illustrations are from Zack Parsons's 'My Tank Is Fight!' book and website. As Zack explains in the intro to the book, he '...shamelessly stole the title from a song by The Darkets of the Hillside Thickets' (a Canadian rock band), so it has nothing to do with any German original phrase. You can relax and stop trying to make sense of it in German, Agricola64! ;)

The 'war is hellarious' tag is a pun, a combination of 'war is hell' and 'hilarious'. Again, nothing to do with German.

The drawing of the P1500 SPG is purely conjectural. There were, it would seem, proposals to make the 80cm gun mobile, but it would appear that these revolved around the possibilities of replacing the railway bogies with powered caterpillar units. No drawings are known to have survived the war, so anything you see on the internet is conjecture.

The main turret of the P1000 tank was to have been a modified version of the triple 28cm turrets mounted on the pocket battleships and the 'Scharnhorst' class battlecruisers, with the centre gun removed and the face-plate modified.
 

Remko

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Well, despite this message:

Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 360 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.


I think that a new topic is unnecessary, as my post is completely in line of the already existing topic. Therefore, please forgive me for bumping this back to the front page. B) :-\

Well, on topic!

Seeing this concept, and after reading it's history (both the true events as well as the "What might have happened part") from Zack Parson's "Final Book" I have given this thing some thought.

As mentioned on various forums and other websites, this thing is almost certainly too big and heavy to be of use. Good thing Speer cancelled it. Well, for Nazi Germany at least. In a historical context it might have been better if they did finish three of these monsters, as it would have depleted their resources and wasted man power which would have helped end the war a year or two earlier.

*WE WILL RETURN AFTER THESE MESSAGES*

==================================

*WE'RE BACK, READY FOR ROUND TWO!!*

Sorry about that, my Modem needed to be rebooted.

As I was saying, the P. 1000 Ratter and the P. 1500 Monster are unpractical designs, despite how attractive they might seem at first. A bit like the giant walking Viggers/Centinental HWR-00 Monster Mk II Heavy Weight Robot from the Japanese anime Macross. It looks good and effective on the show, but it's a slow walking 24 meter tall, 40 meter long giant. Might just as well been painted red with a big sign "shoot me" on top. I still love the design though, and some smaller walking armor / vehicles might not be totally out of the question, despite the fact that they would look nothing like this, or like any of the other Manga/anime shows.

However, I think there's a way to put a big Naval gun on a land mobile vehicle. And the answer to that is this:



Yup, an Electromagnetic Rail gun from BAE. Read the article, it's very interesting! Imagine, a 15 kg projectile (lighter than standard tank ammunition) flying towards the target with a speed of Mach 7 (ca. 8,568 km/h or 5,324 mph) over a distance of about 500 km (310 miles) and still hit the target with a speed of Mach 5 (ca. 6,120 km/h or 3,803 mph). No matter what kind of armor you have, nothing will protect you against that! You won't even need explosives, the speed and shockwave alone would be devastating enough.

Of course the gun needs a huge power source, but surely this will be developed in the next couple of decades. After all, we can now build a laser inside a Boeing 747. A rail gun of 32 MegaJoule mounted on a big tank-like vehicle should also be possible in the future. Because ultra-thick armor is getting more obsolete these days, and speed and mobility are more important, a lighter vehicle, say 300 metric tons maximum (yes, still over three times the weight of the heaviest tanks around) should be possible. The size of the vehicle would also be smaller than the P. 1000 but still large, say about 20 meters long. Powerful gasturbines or the latest issue diesel engines could be used to power it. The gun itself could use some kind of re chargable (flywheel technology?) batteries, to power the magnets.

Self defense of the beast would be provided by Goalkeeper or Phalanx CIWS, AMRAAM missiles (as used on the HMMWV) or even small VLS systems would give it good protection against aircraft and helicopters.

There would be a big problem though. How would you deploy a monster like that to a warzone? Sure, by ship, but you'll need a very big LCAC or LCU to bring it ashore. Hmm... Might be an idea to take the LST's out of the mothballs. At least the Russians have the capability with their Ivan Rogov or Ivan Gren large landing ships.

Well, closing off, here are some more interesting images of the original Ratter, as well as some other futuristic tanks, and possible candidates for the rail-gun super tank.

Ratter...



Concept image I found on the net (looks pretty defendable, but probably still easy prey for aircraft):



Amazingly interesting (German language) website following the build of a 1/87 P. 1000 Ratter can be found here @ www.Panzerbaer.de.

Some large tank designs by Kemp Remillard. Looks like a beefed up Abrams with some Merkava influences. Not as big as the Ratter, but likely to be more "Maus" sized.







Turret deployed and stowed...



Well, so far my contribution to the topic. Hopefully it was worth it, and a new discussion starts from it. I like to design futuristic vehicles myself, and will try to work out some sketches (yes, with pencil and paper!) of the Rail-gun super tank.
 

vajt

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Nice information and drawings...maybe you should start thread to discuss future tank concepts?

Getting back to the German projects of WWII, you have to hand it to the Germans for creativity but not much thought about usefulness. If Hitler had only shown the support he gave to these projects to the jet propulsion programs back when they were just coming out, WWII may have had a different end. By the time Hitler recognized the value of jet aircraft, the tide of war already reached the point of no return for the Germans.

-----JT-----
 

Brickmuppet

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vajt said:
Nice information and drawings...maybe you should start thread to discuss future tank concepts?

If Hitler had only shown the support he gave to these projects to the jet propulsion programs back when they were just coming out, WWII may have had a different end.

-----JT-----
Well I for one am glad he was an idiot in these matters.

I doubt WW2 would have ended differently in any event, though it might have lasted a bit longer. Berlin, and other cities would simply have met the fate of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and on the eastern front the sheer numbers would have made it difficult for a thousand F-15s to ultimately turn the tide, let alone ME262s.
********************************************************************************************************************
Regards the Rat tank, it might have made some tenuous degree of sense as a siege gun or mobile costal defence battery but it can't have carried a lot of ammo. Given fallout/ minimum safe distance concerns, I would not be surprised if something similarly whacked wasn't considered by the US to ultimately carry the similarly sized "Atomic Annie" gun.
 

Orionblamblam

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Brickmuppet said:
Given fallout/ minimum safe distance concerns, I would not be surprised if something similarly whacked wasn't considered by the US to ultimately carry the similarly sized "Atomic Annie" gun.
Annie was carried by trucks. A far simpler approach than ginormous armored tanks.
 

Brickmuppet

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Orionblamblam said:
Annie was carried by trucks. A far simpler approach than ginormous armored tanks.

True, but given some of the other things that were being considered at the time, (see the atomic tank thread) It might well have been considered....(and sensibly rejected).
 

Orionblamblam

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Brickmuppet said:
Orionblamblam said:
Annie was carried by trucks. A far simpler approach than ginormous armored tanks.

True, but given some of the other things that were being considered at the time, (see the atomic tank thread) It might well have been considered....(and sensibly rejected).
Possibly, but it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't. The Annie was meant for basically one war: the forthcoming Soviet tank invasion of western Europe, with specific battlefields in mind. Since the Annie was designed to drop atomic whoopass on some fairly well-determined regions that were already under NATO control, I would imagine that they would, for all intents and purposes, be effectively fixed weapons. The Ratte could in principle drive all over hither and yon blowing the bejeebers out of things, and everything would be ok, but Annie couldn't exactly go nuking things left and right without consequence.

In any event, the day of the atomic cannon was prtty brief. As soon as they discovered they could put a nuke in a cannonshell, they knew they could put it on a rocket or under a fighter. Rockets are a lot easier to schlep aroudn than cannons, and fighters have much more range.


Also, the purpose for having these weapons in "tanks" would be so that they could fight their way through the enemy. But Atomic Annie woudl nto be somethign you'd want to actually have in a tank battle. Like the planned Little David mortar, you'd want it on trucks so you could get the hell out of Dodge *before* the enemy showed up.
 

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The "if Hitler had only..." regarding various advanced weapons is easy to use, but pretty much a false premise. the classic of German jet engine R&D was going on about as fast as the steep learning curve and limited resources allowed, especially as no one in the Reich in the early days of the war realized how the war would eventually go. Even with a crystal ball, useful jet engine production would not have improved all that much. Certainly not enough to change the course of the war.
Similarly, German tanks designs were hampered by limited engines and transmissions that was not going to be helped by more insightful lead time. More unconventional types, like the Maus, would have been tactical jokes. Too slow and cross-country limited, crazy fuel hungry, almost untransportable except in the most prepared locations. It is almost a favor that the USAAF prevented series production by knocking out the factory where the armor was to be produced for it. (YES, the Maus had been approved for production, something like 125 units worth)
I find the exotic stuff the Germans considered Really Cool, but often counter-productive to any kind of sensible war effort. Even the Tiger B could be considered a questionable choice, and anything larger would have done more harm than good.
 

Triton

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Images of 1/87 scale conjectural model of Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte.
http://www.panzerbaer.de/workshop/wdieb_mod_87-a.htm

Specifications

Weight: 1000 tonnes
Length: 35.00 m
Width: 14.00 m
Height: 11.00 m

Crew : 20+, possibly as many as 41
Armor: 150 - 360 mm

Primary armament: 2x 280 mm 54.5 SK C/34
Secondary armament : 1x 128 mm KwK 44 L/55
8x 20 mm Flak38
2x 15 mm MG 151/15

Engine: 8x Daimler-Benz MB501 20-cylinder marine diesel engines
or 2x MAN V12Z32/44 24-cylinder marine diesel engines
16,000 or 17,000 hp (13,000 kW)

Operational range: Approximately 120 miles (190 km)
Speed : 40 km/h

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landkreuzer_P._1000_Ratte
 

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Triton

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Additional images of 1/87 scale conjectural model of Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte.

Conjectural artist impression of Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte.

The P. 1000 would have been over five times as heavy as the Panzer VIII Maus, the largest tank ever actually built.

Could the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte have been an effective psychological or terror weapon? For example, could it instill terror when employed during a siege? Was the "Schwerer Gustav" an effective weapon at the siege of Sevastopol?

Source: http://www.panzerbaer.de/workshop/wdieb_mod_87-a.htm
 

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Triton

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Images of conjectural model of Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte.

Artist's impression of Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte.
 

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Triton

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As stated previously, if built the Landkruezer P. 1500 would have fired 800 mm shells like the railway guns "Dora" and "Schwerer Gustav". To give you a better idea of how big that is, I have attached an image of an 800 mm shell compared to a Soviet T-34 tank at the Imperial War Museum, London.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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Triton said:
As state previously, if built the Landkruezer P. 1500 would have fired 800 mm shells like the railway guns "Dora" and "Schwerer Gustav". To give you a better idea of how big that is, I have attached an image of an 800 mm shell compared to a Soviet T-34 tank at the Imperial War Museum, London.
Enthusiasts of German ultra heavy tanks seem to be missing a very important point (and probably a lot more as well). The P.1000 and P.1500 are not tanks. They are cross country mobile platforms for heavy artillery. The idea being to give these heavy guns a tracked carriage so they were not confined to railways. Though because of the huge increase in platform size I doubt the enhanced mobility would have increased their survivability compared to rails.

The mounting of secondary guns is for air defence purposes and it is against attack aircraft that these mobile platforms would have had to fight so they could get a few rounds off. Considering their huge size and rather small AA armament I doubt they would last long in a fight with some rocket and bomb armed strike aircraft.

Like many other German design programs at the end of the war the trend to huge size was more to do with impressing the Nazi leadership during the briefs and keeping as many young engineers working at their drawing tables rather than being impressed into the infantry. Any rational solution to the operational problem places heavy artillery into the bare minimum vehicle to move it so as to enable concealment and practical deployment and logistics.
 

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Triton said:
As stated previously, if built the Landkruezer P. 1500 would have fired 800 mm shells like the railway guns "Dora" and "Schwerer Gustav". To give you a better idea of how big that is, I have attached an image of an 800 mm shell compared to a Soviet T-34 tank at the Imperial War Museum, London.
Ain't perspective a wonderful thing?
 

Triton

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The point of my post was to compare the size of an 800 mm shell to a Soviet T-34 tank to get a sense of its scale. I was not suggesting that the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster , or the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte, were tanks or to suggest, or speculate on the outcome of, a duel between Allied armor and a Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte. I think it's pretty obvious that the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster are mobile heavy artillery pieces. I don't think anyone disputes that the idea of giving these heavy guns tracked carriages was to allow them to operate outside the confines of existing rail lines.

I believe that the Germans did realize that the large size and limited mobility of the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster would make them vulnerable to attack, especially from the air. I doubt that the 8 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft guns on the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte would be the sole anti-aircraft support these vehicles would receive when they were deployed. Certainly the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster would be operated with aircraft and other armored vehicles to provide defense from attack.

Does anyone know if the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte or the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster could be dismantled for transport by rail over long distances?
 

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Obviously such projects would appeal to some Nazi leadership, but how did these projects make it past people like Albert Speer and others more competent when it came to manufacturing and production?
 

Triton

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Colonial-Marine said:
Obviously such projects would appeal to some Nazi leadership, but how did these projects make it past people like Albert Speer and others more competent when it came to manufacturing and production?
Railway guns were deployed by both France and Germany during World War I. Great Britain and Germany built and used railway guns, some capable of firing across the English Channel, during World War II. Perhaps the Germans were thinking that the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and P. 1500 Monster were attractive weapon systems because they were not restricted to rail lines like existing railway guns but such heavy artillery pieces were a necessity for the war effort? They probably didn't realize at the time that aircraft and rockets would make such heavy artillery pieces largely obsolete and that they were too vulnerable to attack. Further, remember that the V-1 and V-2 rockets were both deployed in 1944, while the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and P. 1500 Monster were conceived in 1941 and designed in 1942. To his credit, Minister of Armaments Albert Speer canceled both projects in 1944.

When analyzing a decision made 68 years ago, and determining whether is is competent or incompetent, military enthusiasts really need to keep in mind what was known when the decision was made and what historical lessons, practical experience, and events influenced the decision. Remember that our thinking is influenced by the events of World War II and we have the benefit of history to know which weapon systems were effective and which ones weren't. The lessons of the last war influence the thinking for the next one. As a whole, I think we are too critical of commanders and procurement decision makers for their lack of foresight.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Triton said:
I was not suggesting that the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster , or the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte, were tanks or to suggest, or speculate on the outcome of, a duel between Allied armor and a Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte.
Triton my post wasn’t criticising your post showing the size of the shell and tank. It was actually your picture that persuaded me to offer a comment. I was criticizing the kind of thought displayed by much of the adulation that these Nazi behemoths generate around the place and which wasn’t apparent in what you have contributed. While I can be as impressed as the next guy by the sheer size of these guns and their carriers they are effectively useless.

Colonial-Marine said:
Obviously such projects would appeal to some Nazi leadership, but how did these projects make it past people like Albert Speer and others more competent when it came to manufacturing and production?
Probably a good explanation of why they were never placed into production. However even with Speer and co. in control the Germans wasted huge resources on weapons that provided little return. The V1 and V2 programs were far less efficient then actually building conventional aircraft. Tiger tanks and a range of artillery systems were also a waste.

Triton said:
Railway guns were deployed by both France and Germany during World War I. Great Britain and Germany built and used railway guns, some capable of firing across the English Channel, during World War II.
Not quite. The British WW2 very heavy guns were all recycled WW1 and before naval guns. No other combatant in WW2 invested as much as the Germans in very heavy artillery. Despite being the most advanced in thinking for tactical airpower. The problem was that unlike other combatants that had reasonable oversight to armaments production the German system was hugely competitive and encouraged such duplication of effort.

The waste by the German Army in producing very heavy guns like the 80cm, ultra long range 21cm and V2 rocket to provide less capability than the German Air Force could with a couple of bombers meant less numbers of medium tanks, field artillery and strike aircraft. While the 28cm was an effective and practical very heavy gun deploying it in a turret from a fully armoured, mobile station was incredibly foolish. Rail mounting provided more than enough flexibility for most battles which could have been supplanted by the twin tank chassis off road mount.
 
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