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February 2018


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    Tank Turret Fortifications: Pantherturm

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    Tank Turret Fortifications: Pantherturm

    Post by woofiedog on Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:11 pm

    Panther Ostwallturm

    Quote... The first batch of 112 turret parts sets was made by Dortmund Hoerder Hüttenverein and it was finished by February 1944. Second batch of 155 turret parts sets was produced by Ruhrstahl and the production run finished in August 1944.

    There were two foundations used for the turret – a steel welded box called Pantherturm I (Stahluntersatz) and a massive concrete foundation called Pantherturm III (Betonsockel). Additionally, there was also a third plan from 1944 to put the Pather turret on a wooden bunker. The turret itself consisted of two parts – the upper part (960mm tall) equalled roughly the combat compartment of a tank.

    The turret was mounted on a roof, that was 100mm thick. The sides were 80mm thick and the ammunition was stored around the turret basket. This upper box was assembled by Krauss-Maffei in Munich. The lower part of the box was a crew compartment with heating and an electrical generator, powered by a DKW engine.

    It had a large door (protected by a trench/tunnel) and there was also a small escape hatch. The sides were 70mm thick and the floor was 40mm thick – the crew compartment box did not have a roof, it was covered by the combat compartment box.

    The German use of tank turrets in fortifications.

    Quote... G. Birdsall, troop sergeant of 5th Troop 'A' Squadron 51 RTR:

    'We kept moving forward (A squadron) and eventually came within sight of the objective, the Aquino-Pontecorvo road. In front of me was a Churchill tank, which I later identified as the Colonel's (Lt. Col. Holden) which was engaging a Panther turret, which was the only one in our immediate front as far as I could see.

    As I came up behind the CO's tank I saw the gun barrel on the Panther turret suddenly shot up in the air to an almost perpendicular position followed by a message on the wireless exhorting the battalion to "stand fast" and to "look what Father's done". Lt. Col. Holden had advanced to approximately 300-400 yards of the turret before engaging the target.'

    This, as another veteran of the battle recounted, was the sole method of destroying these fortifications. As he stated, 'The only way to knock the turrets out was to get in close, which was feasible, although extremely dangerous, and fire a round under the gun mantlet and above the base plate which stopped the turret traversing', or, as in the example above, exploded the ammunition stored immediately below.

    In the following video clip notice the Tiger tank training turrets located at 1:04.  Smile

      Current date/time is Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:53 pm