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    Tracks as aditional Armor

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    lockie
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    Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by lockie on Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:22 pm

    I've read a very interesting article abt tracks as protection and... tracks were just to increase soldier's morale. Tracks didn't protect anything.
    http://www.panzerworld.com/add-on-armor

    In the September 1944 edition of the Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen (Newsletter for the Armored Forces), the following order was given, prohibiting the use of improvised armor.
    According to a report from a Waffenamt officer, the following types of add-on armor have been observed in the field:
    48 track links were placed on a Panther. 30 of the track links were placed on the turret, while the remaining were placed on the side armor covering the engine compartment. Furthermore, the placing of track links was observed on numerous other tanks.
    A layer of reinforced concrete, also intended as add-on armor, was observed to partially covering both tanks and assault guns.
    The following must be observed:
    Track links placed at shallow angles does not offer any significant additional protection. When placed at an angle of 80 to 90 degrees they will even reduce the armor protection compared to that of the armor plate alone. On the other hand, the track links will increase the weight of the vehicle, which will increase the strain on the drive train, engine and gearbox. It is known that the 75 mm anti-tank shell of the Pak 40 will penetrate between 60 and 100 cm of concrete at short distances. Consequently, when the layer is only 20 cm thick the additional protection is very limited, and does not make up for the additional strain on the vehicle. Covering an area of one square meter with a 25 cm thick layer of concrete, which has a weight of 2200 to 2400 kg per cubic meter, the weight will be approximately 600 kg. Since the area covered is probably greater than one square meter, however, the additional weight will likely be in excess of one ton.
    Because the vehicles' existing weight is already using almost the entire load capacity, any weight increase must be considered as a threat to the vehicle.
    While these measures may improve the troops' morale by increasing the sense of security, the actual protection is never increased.
    Attaching add-on armor of any type is therefore prohibited.

    Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen No. 15, September 1944. Berlin : Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen
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    frinik
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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by frinik on Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:51 am

    I have always wondered if this was actually effective. I also agree with the author, those tracks are really heavy and will slow a tank...


    Last edited by frinik on Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:52 am; edited 1 time in total

    Tanker
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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by Tanker on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:55 pm

    I can empathize with the crews. Even if the field armor did not help, the psychological benefit was worth something.
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    woofiedog
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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by woofiedog on Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:59 pm

    US Sherman units used kits of welded plate, extra tracks and sandbags over the glacis plates of the Shermans and additional armor welded on the ammunition stowage to give the Sherman better survivability from hits.

    Finnish units that had StuG III's, heavily modified their vehicles before deploying them. Although most of the Finish StuG III"s never saw service until 1944.

    http://www.andreaslarka.net/sturmi.html

    Types of field modifications applied to the Sherman tanks.

             

    Guess the big question is...  did it work?



    German armor with concrete field mods.

     
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    33lima
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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by 33lima on Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:03 pm

    That's a strange report, and a reversal of recent past German practice. As pictures show, Panthers and Tiger 1s were factory-fitted to carry spare track links on the sides of the turret. Plus the Panther was factory-fitted to cary sspare track links on the rear upper hull sides, too. Likewise Tiger IIs, on the turret sides.

    Panther side armour - especially turret sides - was rather fragile, and is often seen badly cracked by hits. Seems sensible to put some extra track links up there.

    To be honest, that report reads to me like somebody (whose life didn't depend on it) had decided that breakdowns could be reduced and fuel consumption increased if tanks stopped carrying extra track links, and set out to persuade tankers to stop. I don't think I would have been convinced.

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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by Tanker on Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:47 am

    Beltran Y. Cooper in his book "Death Traps" relates how an 88 shell passed through the front armor of a Sherman, between the driver's legs (lucky driver), through the 5" thick steel drive shaft, through the heavy oil in the transmission, through the engine and out the back of the tank, through the rear armor.

    Track links were probably of psychological benefit only when dealing with high velocity shells.
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    frinik
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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by frinik on Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:42 am

    On the German side I can understand the rationale; considering how strained and prone to breaking the engines and transmissions of the overly heavy Tiger I, II and the various Panther models it was may be a case of not having to abandon a tank on the battlefield or on the way to the front . Any extra weight would add to the possibility of the armoured vehicle breaking down and at that stage of the war, constantly in retreat, the Germans could not afford to tow or recover broken down tanks. Not to mention that reducing speed and mobility for a dubious psychological advantage did not make sense.
    The author of this message was banned from the forum - See the message
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    lockie
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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by lockie on Tue May 30, 2017 5:02 pm

    Gentlemen, I'd like to share with u a very interesting document!
    Thanks to xzimit, I've received it and had a look.
    Well, according to this document the Soviet engineers discovered that trucks does a protection, starting from the 1km! I wonder who is right German or Soviet?
    Let's see the documents. It is in English:
    http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2014/04/spare-track-links.html
    The shooting was done with an armour piercing 75 mm shell fired from a German gun (PaK 40) with the muzzle velocity of 770 m/s.
    Trials showed that the front of the hull protected by track links can be penetrated by the German gun from 800 meters, but not from 900 meters. The unprotected part of the hull can be penetrated from 1000 meters, but not from 1100 meters. Therefore, the tracks increase protection by 200 meters.

    It is in Russian:
    http://yuripasholok.livejournal.com/2952727.html


    BTW
    Yuri Pasholok was a consultant of the game Steel Fury.
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    frinik
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    Re: Tracks as aditional Armor

    Post by frinik on Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:18 am

    I am not surprise! It's common sense that they would.The tracks are made of steel and their thickness and bulk would increase the armour protection. The problem is that they also increase the weight of the vehicle and put more strain on the suspension and increase fuel consumption.

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