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Panther APC

Petrus

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Sorry for asking about another probably fake German late-war project. At http://henk.fox3000.com/panther.htm there are some pictures showing a model of the "Panther APC". Here is one of them:



Do you have any idea if it is a fake (as I suspect) or indeed the Germans thought of such a vehicle?

Thank you in advance for any feedback.

Best regards,
Piotr
 

smurf

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Just some thoughts:
1. The model doesn't match very well the VK501 mock-ups, nor the photo on their right, though that looks real enough.
2. I haven't checked them all, but most of the models on the linked site do seem to be of real Panther projects, so I hesitate to write off the APC. However, Spielberger's book Panther and its variants doesn't so far as I can see have an APC. What it does have is a drawing of a proposed armoured ammunition carrier on a Panther chassis shortened by one road wheel pair, which is very like (but wheel arrangement not identical with) the mock-ups on the mastermodelling site. That was to work with the SP howitzer variants. It reached wooden mock-up and mild steel prototype stage, and was "to be developed as an artillery tractor and self-propelled vehicle" with portee, gun towing and ammunition carrying roles.
The APC models on the site are taller than the mock-up, as an APC would be, but Spielberger doesn't list an APC variant.
 

Apophenia

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smurf said:
The model doesn't match very well the VK501 mock-ups, nor the photo on their right, though that looks real enough.

The VK 501 (Sd.Kfz. 280) was real enough but it was to be a Munitionsschlepper, not an APC as claimed. That muddling also makes the website's "Panther APC" rather suspect. (I'm assuming that the "projects based on Panther chassis from the Drawingtable" are fantasy concepts.)

[I just saw a note referring to comments by Walter J. Spielberger saying that the Sd.Kfz. 280 was also to be the basis for a 5-tonne Waffenträger and alternatively could carry six dismounts. So, the APC claim may not be as off-the-wall as I had originally thought!]

Perhaps Piotr can shed some light on the VK 501?
 

smurf

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Apophenia said
I'm assuming that the "projects based on Panther chassis from the Drawingtable" are fantasy concepts.
They are all, I think, in Spielberger's book, though some of the diagrams and the pictures of models differ slightly from those on the "drawingtable". Paper projects which mostly didn't get very far, rather than complete fantasy. I've seen most of them in other reputable sources. Of course, at a late stage in WWII, you might consider Rheinmetall and Krupp were engaging in fantasies. But contracts for SP artillery development were placed in 1942 with quite detailed discussion between the manufacturers and the Heereswaffenamt.
 

Petrus

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As for the VK501, it obviously was a project of a quite small and light vehicle whose role was to be that of the Munitionsschlepper (as Smurf has pointed out). It had nothing to do with the Panther, apart from the chassis that was very German in appearance (overlapping road wheels etc.). The VK501's specifications were as follows:

Weight 6 tons
Length 3.83 m
Width 2.22 m
Height 1.69 m
Speed 30 kph
Armour 20 mm steel S.M.
Payload 2.000 kg.
Weight of a trailer 2.000 kg
Engin Maybach HL 42 (100 hp)
Fuel tanks' capacity 70, 70 and 80 = 220 ltr
Dimensions of the ammunition carrying compartment: 1.3 x1.2 x1.1 m.
Crew - driver and gunner (in front), 2 to 6 men in back.
Armament 1 x MG-42

You'll find an interesting article on the VK501 at http://ostpanzer.asty.ru/topics/prototypes/vk-501/ (of course, it is in Russian).

If the Russian website allows hot linking, here are pictures of the VK.501's mock-up:










Back to my initial question, I meant of course the APC based on the Panther chassis, whose picture should now be visible below. The vehicle must have been quite large. If it was at all.

Best regards,
Piotr
 

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smurf

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Petrus said:
As for the VK501, it obviously was a project of a quite small and light vehicle whose role was to be that of the Munitionsschlepper (as Smurf has pointed out). It had nothing to do with the Panther, apart from the chassis that was very German in appearance (overlapping road wheels etc.).
The drawing in Spielberger's book (a detailed one by Hilary Doyle) has three outer overlapping roadwheels, like the photo on the website, rather than like the mockup, which has only two. It isn't labelled VK501, and Spielberger doesn't mention that designation.
The caption to the drawing is "Ammunition carrier based on a shortened Panther chassis".
But it is not the APC, which is taller with 4 outer roadwheels like the Panther.
 

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