Classes of German tanks: dotting the "ü"

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Classes of German tanks: dotting the "ü"

В previous article we began to disassemble the designations of German armored vehicles. It turned out that the Germans simply did not have a common classification. For example, reconnaissance armored vehicles were divided into light and heavy, half-track tractors had three classes - light, medium and heavy. German Tanks, with rare exceptions, were not classified by weight at all. Therefore, disputes about whether the Germans considered the Pz.Kpfw.IV a medium tank or a heavy tank make no sense.

However, another question arose: what kind of tank classification did the Germans have? And did they even have one? In this article, we will look at the logic of German tank names, including designations for prototypes and production series. In addition, we will pay attention to the German designations of foreign tanks, especially Czech ones.




For those who do not know German:

under roman numerals


Initially, German tanks did not have any special designation system. For example, the future Pz.Kpfw.I was called MG Panzerwagen, which literally translates as a machine-gun tank. The future Pz.Kpfw.III was designated 3.7 cm Geschütz-Panzerwagen - literally cannon tank caliber 37 mm.

On April 3, 1936, a message was published in the reference book "Main Army Bulletin" about the new official designations of German tanks. Now they were called like this: Panzerkampfwagen III (3.7cm). From that moment on, the usual designations Pz.Kpfw.I–IV appeared.

The full names of German tanks indicated the type of armament (machine gun or cannon with an indication of the caliber), as well as a certain number. What does it mean? Usually names like Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B are understood as follows: Pz.Kpfw.I is the designation of the tank, and Ausf.B is its modification. However, this understanding is erroneous. Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.C is not the next modification of the basic model, but a completely new tank. Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.F is also an independent design.

So, under one Pz.Kpfw.I designation, we counted three different tanks, each of which has modifications.






From top to bottom: Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B, Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.C, Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.F. Under similar designations, tanks are completely different in design. Source: Panzer Tracts

The same is true for other tanks. Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.C, Ausf.D, Ausf.G and Ausf.J are four different tanks with three types of turrets. The Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.E cannot be called a modification of the Ausf.D, it has a completely new chassis. Pz.Kpfw.V were called both Panthers, MAN and Daimler-Benz. Pz.Kpfw.VI (7.5 cm), Tiger H1 and Tiger (P) are completely different tanks under the general designation Pz.Kpfw.VI. And so on.

Roman numeral after Pz.Kpfw. denoted not a specific model of the tank, but its class. Postscript Design denoted models of tanks of the same class and their modifications. This is a kind of classification of German tanks, which they manage to ignore.

Such an unexpected interpretation is based solely on the logic of German designations. It is unlikely that the Germans initially conceived a certain system. Rather, they drew up requirements for tanks of several classes, taking into account their tasks, weapons and crew composition. And then a system of many classes formed by itself. The logic of the Germans is simple: if a new tank was created to replace the old one and belonged to the same class, it received a similar name, even if it had a completely different design.

Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.C was created to replace the old Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A and B, so it received the following letter. Tiger H1 and Tiger (P) were created within the same class on the same assignment, so both of them were called Pz.Kpfw.VI. Sometimes notations like Pz.Kpfw.II Neuer Art (abbreviated nA) - literally Pz.Kpfw.II of a new type. Thus the Germans developed their system.

If Soviet tanks were named after the German model, then the KV-1S would be designated as KV mod.B, and the IS-1 would become KV mod.V, and so on. Another example - both promising tanks of factory No. 174 and the Kirov factory were called T-50. By Soviet standards, this is an exception, but for the Germans, this approach was rather the rule.

german menagerie


Many German tanks and self-propelled guns are known by animal names. The idea of ​​such designations arose in 1941 during the development of VK 45.01 (P). Perhaps the Porsche engineers did not like the confusion in the designations of the Ordnance Department, since VK 30.01 (P) was also called VK 45.01 (P) at a later stage. The former VK 30.01 (P) was named the Leopard, while the heavier VK 45.01 (P) became the Tiger. Soon this name was also transferred to the Henschel Pz.Kpfw.VI.


In the spring of 1942, the Germans became fascinated with animal names. The designation Pz.Kpfw.VII Löwe was approved in April, so it was added to the March document later. Source: BAMA

Since 1942, animal names have gradually replaced the old system of designations. At first they were used as pseudonyms: Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.H1 и Tiger H1. However, on the Panthers, the Ausführung postscript was used only with the designation Pz.Kpfw.Panther, but not with Pz.Kpfw.V. Later, the Germans began to abandon Roman numerals. Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.H1 was renamed to Pz.Kpfw.Tiger Ausf.E, and on the "Panthers" the designation Pz.Kpfw.V is a thing of the past.

New projects are no longer designated by Roman numerals. For example, Panther II never called Pz.Kpfw.V. Similarly, the Tiger II was officially designated as Pz.Kpfw.Tiger Ausf.B. The future Maus was created as a competitor to the Pz.Kpfw.VII Löwe, but eventually got the name Pz.Kpfw.Maus no roman numeral. The frequently encountered designation Pz.Kpfw.VIII is devoid of logic and simply invented, the Germans never used it. Names like Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E and Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B also became popular after the war.

Like the old names with Roman numerals, the animal names denoted classes of tanks rather than specific models. Tiger B is by no means a remake of Tiger E. In the Adlerwerke suspension drawing, the E 50 and E 75 projects were called Panther and Tiger. Although the Panther II was similar in appearance to the Panther I, it was technically a completely new tank. In addition to the engine and gearbox, they did not have interchangeable parts, even the angle of inclination of the upper front plate was different.

In general, tanks of different designs can be hidden behind similar designations. The Germans still follow this tradition: the Leopard 2 main tank is not a modification of the Leopard 1.

Code designations


In addition to names with Roman numerals, the Germans used codes. For example, the Krupp Pz.Kpfw.I was called Landwirtschaftliche Schlepper (abbreviated La.S.) is an agricultural tractor. Early Pz.Kpfw.II were called La.S.100 - a tractor with a 100-horsepower engine. The new model received the designation La.S.138since it was developed in 1938. She went into the series as Ausf.D and Ausf.E.

Early designations obscured the purpose of the machine, as the Germans began work in secret. Later they began to use two-letter designations that reflected the role of the tank. Pz.Kpfw.III was called Zugfuhrerswagen (ZW) - the tank of the platoon commander. The new model with torsion bar suspension (Ausf.EG) was named ZW38 by year of development. Pz.Kpfw.IV was called Begleitwagen (BW) - an escort and fire support tank. The early Pz.Kpfw.VI changed several designations: BW verstarkt (reinforced BW), IW (Infanteriewagen, infantry support tank), DW (Durchbruchswagen, breakthrough tank).


A surviving draft of a table with the characteristics of the undercarriage of tanks, which was attached to the analysis of the wear of the rubber bands of the road wheels. Please note: codes are used not only for experimental, but also for serial tanks. For example, Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F is hidden behind 7/BW. Source: BAMA

Unlike the Soviet "Object xxx" designations, German code designations were used for both experimental and production vehicles.

Firstly, it is convenient to call them the main models of tanks. For example, ZW38 is a chassis with torsion bar suspension and a 10-speed gearbox, and ZW39 - its conversion to a 6-speed gearbox. This is much shorter than listing Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.E/F/G and Ausf.HN each time.

Secondly, the codes were used in the early stages of the creation of the tank, before it received the designation Ausführung. If the tank remained experienced, it might not have had other names. For example, ZW41 и BW40 did not go into mass production and did not receive any Ausführung designations.

Thirdly, code designations were used in the names of production series. We will analyze this issue separately.

Vollketten and Halbketten


In 1937, the Germans began the transition to new codes that reflected the weight class and model number. Perhaps they did not like the series of renaming of the Pz.Kpfw.VI (7.5 cm) due to the revision of its tasks on the battlefield. In addition, the number of two-letter designations is limited by the alphabet.

New designations did not take shape immediately, which is clearly seen from stories names Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.C. The tank was originally called VK 3 t, that is, a tracked vehicle (Vollketten) weighing 3 tons. Later, the Germans removed the postscript t or to, so the fat tank was called VK 6. When design options arose, they began to be designated by numbers. That's how the names came about. VK 6.01 и VK 6.02. Finally, in order to distinguish between the projects of different companies, the Germans began to add a postscript with the abbreviated name of the company, for example, VK 30.01 (H) и VK 45.02 (P).

The VK designations were used similarly to the old two-letter symbols. The code names Pz.Kpfw.III and IV continued to be used throughout the war, and DW was decided to be renamed. DW Neue Design (new design) became VK 30.01 (H), DW (10cm), a breakthrough tank with a 105 mm gun, renamed to VK 36.01. This renaming gave rise to a whole myth. Not understanding what this is about, some unfortunate researchers consider the VK 30.01 (H) as a separate new tank created after DW1 and DW2, although this is just its further development. If not for the renaming, the Germans would have called the next model DW3.


A document on the progress of testing the "Tiger" with an experimental gearbox ZF 12 E 170. The same tank is called either VK 45.01 (H), or Pz.Kpfw.VI. Source: BAMA

Another myth is associated with the VK designations, that they were used for prototypes, and Pz.Kpfw. - for serial tanks adopted for service. At the same time, VK stands for Versuchskonstruktion - an experimental design. This myth is easy to disprove.

Documents show that the Germans used both types of designations in parallel. A good example is the unique Tiger H1 with an experimental ZF 12 E 170 gearbox. In various documents it was called Pz.Kpfw.VI, Tiger H1 and VK 45.01 (H), and the same chassis number was indicated. VK 30.01 (H) and VK 36.01 remained prototypes, but were designated Pz.Kpfw.VI (7.5 cm) and Pz.Kpfw.VI (7.5 cm) Ausf.B.

The Germans did not care too much about the accuracy of weight designations. For example, VK 30.02 (M) it was planned as a 35-ton tank, but serial Panthers weighed 44–45 tons. VK 13.03, known as Luchs, weighed 11,8 tons. Tiger H1 and Tiger (P) were designated VK 45.01, although the Germans from the very beginning understood that their weight would be above 50 tons. The fact is that this designation went to the "Tigers" from their predecessor - Pz.Kpfw.Leopard. During development, its weight exceeded 45 tons, so VK 30.01 (P) was renamed VK 45.01 (P). In the future, the Germans called the VK 45 and other tanks of this class, including the 68-ton VK 45.03, known as the Tiger II.


Prototype HKp 6.03 with load-bearing armored hull. Source: Panzer Tracts

The designations VK were used for tracked vehicles (Vollketten). Half-tracked vehicles were designated Halbketten, abbreviated HK. In 1939 the Germans began a series of projects HK-6 to replace 1-ton and 3-ton half-track tractors, as well as Sd.Kfz.250 and Sd.Kfz.251 armored personnel carriers based on them. If earlier armored hulls were mounted on frames, now armored personnel carriers had load-bearing armored hulls in the manner of tanks. Vehicles with armored hulls were designated hkpFor example, Hkp 6.06. The Germans tested several prototypes, but none of the projects went into serial production, so the designations HK and HKp are not widely known.

E-series


Speaking of experimental developments, one cannot fail to mention the E-series, which has long been surrounded by myths.

It was a series of projects that explored new ideas such as belleville suspension and transmission in a single unit with final drives. Projects E10 и E25 were partially unified, the same applied E50 и E75. In fact, there is nothing special in the E-series. In 1937, the Germans began a series of projects for new tanks with partial unification: the Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Kpfw.IV were planned to be produced on a single chassis, the engine and gearbox of which were also used on the Pz.Kpfw.VI (7.5 cm). Later, they designed the Tiger II and Panther II with partial unification, so in the case of the E-series, we see only another return to the old idea.


Fragment of the E 50 and E 75 suspension drawing. Note that the promising tanks are named Panther and Tiger. Photo by Harold Biondo, NARA

On the E-series, the Germans introduced new codes. The letter E stands for Entwicklungsfahrzeug - a promising machine under development. It is followed by a conditional weight class. Its literal interpretation gave rise to the myth of more powerful and heavier tanks weighing 50 and 75 tons. However, the surviving drawing of the Adlerwerke suspension indicated much more modest numbers: 46 tons for the E 50, 67,5 tons for the E 75 and 74 tons for a hypothetical assault gun based on it. In other words, we have analogues of the serial Panther, Tiger II and Jagdtiger. We have already mentioned that in the Adlerwerke documents, the E 50 and E 75 projects were called Panther and Tiger. In general, no "miracle"weapons"As part of the E-series, the Germans did not create.

Production series


For some time, the Germans designated tanks not only by classes and modifications, but also by production series. There was no system in it. The Pz.Kpfw.I and Pz.Kpfw.II series were not reflected in the Ausführung designations. For example, Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.A were divided into four series, and Ausf.B into two, so Ausführung in this case reflect design changes.

To indicate the series, the Germans used code designations, for example, 1.Serie/La.S. - the first series of Pz.Kpfw.I (abbreviated 1./La.S.).

The Pz.Kpfw.III and IV had the opposite. Ausführung designations were usually given according to production series and often did not reflect design changes. For example, Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.E, F and G were planned to be exactly the same, they have different designations only because of different series. The fact is that the new ZW38 model was ordered in three series at once: Ausf.E (4./ZW), Ausf.F (5./ZW) and Ausf.G (6./ZW). Changes were made during production, so early Ausf.Gs and later Ausf.Fs are sometimes difficult to tell apart. Moreover, the Germans reworked already produced tanks, installing 50-mm guns and frontal screens.


Pz.Kpfw.III with 50 mm gun, reinforced armor and brake ventilation windows. Although it looks like a late Ausf.F or Ausf.G, it is actually an early upgraded Ausf.E. It is issued by the number 60469 on the front plate of the hull. Source: Panzer Tracts

Some changes were implemented on a certain series. Let's say the ZW39 with a 6-speed gearbox went into production from the seventh series, so we can say that the Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.H differed from the Ausf.G (ZW38) in the gearbox. A similar situation with the Pz.Kpfw.IV. For example, early Ausf.G (8./BW) are no different from Ausf.F (7./BW), but 50-mm frontal armor without screens was introduced specifically on the seventh series.

Pz.Kpfw.IV continued to be designated in series until the very end of the war. However, series were no longer indicated on subsequent tanks. For the Tigers, the Ausführung sign meant tanks from different companies: Ausf.H – Henschel Ausf.P – Porsche. According to this logic, the "Panther" of the company MAN should be designated Ausf.M, and Daimler-Benz - Ausf.D. However, the Panther by MAN, for unclear reasons, went into a series called Ausf.D.

Just a rename


The Germans renamed not only self-propelled guns, but also tanks, and it is not always clear why they did this. Let's say the Tiger H1 was renamed Tiger E for no particular reason. Sometimes the Tiger H1 refers to the early "Tigers", such as in computer games. This is just a convention. The chief designer of Henschel tanks, Erwin Aders, noted after the war that the Tiger H1, Tiger E and VK 45.01 (H) are one and the same. Tiger II was also renamed. It was originally called VK 45.03 и tiger IIIbecause there was already a project VK 45.02 (H). However, the first "second Tiger" did not go into the series, so its designation was transferred to the "third Tiger".


The British learned about the renaming of the "Tiger" during the war. Source: Tiger! The Tiger tank – a British View – Stationery Office Books, 1986

Translation of the captured order to rename German armored vehicles. Source: yuripasholok.livejournal.com

After the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.F received the long-barreled 75 mm Kw.K.40 gun, it became necessary to distinguish tanks with the new gun from the "short-barreled" Ausf.F. They were originally called 7./BW-Umbau и Ausf.F-Umbau (the postscript is translated as "alteration" or "modification"), then Ausf.F2. As a result, tanks with Kw.K.40 were renamed Ausf.G and singled out in the eighth series (8./BW).

The Pz.Kpfw.III had a similar story after installing a 50-mm gun with a barrel length of 60 calibers (Kw.K 39 L/60). In the spring of 1942, the Germans renamed the "long-barreled" Ausf.J to Ausf.L. Unlike Pz.Kpfw.IV, they decided to continue the current series without creating new ones. Therefore, the eighth series corresponds to four Ausführung designations.

Designations of foreign tanks


On March 20, 1941, the Germans published a booklet D50/12 Kraftfahrzeuge, which listed foreign tanks, self-propelled guns, armored personnel carriers and many other vehicles. This booklet was part of an extensive reference Kennblätter fremden Gerats to equip the armies of different countries.

All weapons were numbered. The tanks got the numbers of the 700 series. For example, the French S 35 tank was called Pz.Kpfw.35 S 739 (f). However, these numbers were never used in repair manuals or military records. Also, they weren't unique. For example, the American M747 Lee and the Soviet T-3 corresponded to the number 34. It is not clear what practical meaning these numbers had.


An example of a Kennblätter fremden Geräts page with a Yugoslav T-32 wedge (Š-ID) made in Czech Republic. Source: wikipedia.org

As for the classifications of different countries, the Germans did not have a unified approach here. For example, the French called the R 35 a light tank (char léger), and the S 35 a cavalry tank (char de cavalerie). However, these classes were omitted from the reference book. The troops also called French tanks without classes, according to the year they were put into service or according to the manufacturer: Pz.Kpfw.35S or Pz.Kpfw.Somua. Similarly, Italian samples of armored vehicles were listed.

But British and Soviet tanks were named according to their classes. Let's say the infantry Matilda II was designated as Infanterie Panzerkampfwagen Mk II 748(e), and the KV-1 was called Schwerer Panzerkampfwagen 753(r). In the army, the Germans usually called them simply KW I.

A special situation arose with Czech tanks.

On the eve of the war, the Germans thwarted the production plan for the Pz.Kpfw III ZW38, so they were in dire need of cannon tanks. Czech light tanks were armed with 37 mm guns, so the Germans saw them as analogues of the Pz.Kpfw.III. At first, LT vz.35 was often designated as Pz.Kpfw.III(t), Pz.Kpfw.III (Skoda) or Pz.Kpfw.Skoda. For example, on September 1, 1939, the 1st Light Division had 112 Pz.Kpfw.III (t). As for the LT vz.38, the Germans at one time called them tschechische Pz.Kpfw.III - literally Czech Pz.Kpfw.III. The usual designations Pz.Kpfw.35(t) and Pz.Kpfw.38(t) appeared only on 16 January 1940.

An exception


As already mentioned, the Germans usually did not classify their tanks by weight. However, there is an interesting exception to this rule.

In 1943, Porsche and Rheinmetall began a series of projects for multi-purpose tanks. Porsche was responsible for the chassis, Rheinmetall for armament. These projects were created according to new ideas and differed in many ways from existing tanks. At that time, the Germans planned to stop the production of Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Kpfw.IV, as well as vehicles based on them. However, the Panthers and Tigers were too heavy and expensive to build light mass-produced vehicles on their basis. Therefore, Porsche proposed two lines of projects: a light multi-purpose tank for reconnaissance and air defense, as well as a heavy tank that plays the role of assault guns.



Drawings and layout of the light tank Typ 245, the original version with a turret. Source: NARA

The "light" line included three conceptual projects:

* Type 245-010 or Leichter Panzerkampfwagen mit 5.5 cm Vollautomatischer Waffe - light tank with a 55-mm automatic gun. It was a three-man tank with a turret weighing 18 tons.

* Type 245-011 or Aufklärungs-Panzer mit 5.5 cm Vollautomatischer Waffe - reconnaissance tank with a 55-mm automatic gun. Triple tank without turret weighing 15 tons.

* Leichter Panzerkampfwagen zur Verwendung gegen Erd und Luftziele mit 5.5. cm Vollautomatischer Waffe - light tank against ground and air targets with a 55-mm automatic cannon. Other names of this project are unknown.

In parallel, work was carried out on a line of projects Schwererkleiner Panzerkampfwagen - "heavy small tanks". In fact, these were assault guns weighing 25–27 tons. The main armament of a 105 mm howitzer or PAW 1000 (10H64) launcher was installed in the hull, the 30 mm MK 108 autocannon was in the turret.



This is what a real German heavy tank looks like: a Schwerer kleiner Panzerkampfwagen with a 105mm howitzer in the wheelhouse and a 30mm autocannon in the turret. Source: BAMA

Porsche and Rheinmetall projects are strikingly different from typical German tanks. First of all, they are interesting technically: air-cooled transverse engines, Voith hydromechanical transmission in one block, cast cases, rear drive wheels, loading automation, and so on. Their designations are also extremely unusual. All projects are called tanks, even assault guns and anti-aircraft guns. In addition, we have before us the rarest case when the Germans assigned weight classes to their tanks, and the tanks were divided into light and heavy.

Summing up


It is impossible to adequately translate an English text by simply mechanically replacing every word with Russian. Different languages ​​have different words, but just as importantly, they are used in different ways. This also applies to different notation systems. At first glance, the designations Pz.Kpfw.II and Light tank M2 may seem almost the same, but each of them has its own logic. Russian-speaking readers are so accustomed to the logic of Soviet designations that they automatically transfer it to German names as well. And senseless disputes begin about whether the Panther was considered a medium tank.

The Germans developed their original notation. With rare exceptions, they did not call their tanks light or heavy. They did not have a division into infantry and cruiser tanks at all, and the role of infantry satellites was assigned assault guns.

Instead, the Germans came up with a system of many classes, each with several tank models. Not all of them became widespread and well known, so there was an erroneous impression that Roman numerals after Pz.Kpfw. designate specific tanks, not their classes. However, just a few examples are enough to bring down this picture.

As for Ausführung, this postscript can mean:

1) tank model;
2) model modification;
3) production series;
4) the company that led the chassis project.

And that's not to mention renaming!

The German designations may seem complex and inconsistent. However, do not expect mathematical precision from them. The history of the names reflects the development of German tanks, and it was not easy at all. In addition, the designations gradually changed, with the old names adjacent to the new ones. Therefore, the best way to understand the designations of German armored vehicles is to seriously study its history. Then the names are remembered by themselves. Of course, this does not apply to the names of self-propelled guns. Judging by the variety of their options, the Germans themselves often could not remember them exactly, coming up with new names on the go.

Sources:
* Bundesarchiv-Militaryarchiv.
* NARA (photographs by Harold Biondo).
*Panzer Tracts.
* For more on the evolution of tank designations, see Panzer Tracts #3–2.
32 comments
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  1. -2
    3 July 2023 04: 26
    was called MG Panzerwagen, which literally translates as a machine gun tank

    Yes. the author explained everything so simply that I nearly threw the tower myself, trying to figure out where the machine gun was in the word panzer ... Then I finished it. that the author believes that not everyone knows German, but that MG is a mashingever, they should chat lol
    No offense. but you explained it this way, especially in a footnote for those who do not know German, that the kettle was already boiling and steam came out of Budyonovka with a whistle, trying to figure out
    the dot after the number means the ordinal number: 1. Serie [zary] - the first series.
    What nafig dot, since the numerals are Roman and the dot before, where is the "1-dot-Serie" at all? Dot-I or ".I" see "1." - I don’t see, strangle me with pliers!
    1. +1
      3 July 2023 21: 10
      What nafig dot, since the numerals are Roman and the dot before, where is the "1-dot-Serie" at all? Dot-I or ".I" see "1." - I don’t see, strangle me with pliers!

      The Germans indicated the series exclusively in Arabic numerals. According to the norms of German orthography, a dot after a number means an ordinal number: https://translate.google.ru/?sl=de&tl=ru&text=3.%20Teil

      What's with the Roman numbers? Pz.Kpfw.I - the dot after the word Kpfw is an abbreviation for Kampfwagen. Do you even know that after the abbreviated notation, words often put a period? You would also complain that the Germans also put dots at the end of sentences.
  2. +7
    3 July 2023 05: 45
    Classes of German tanks: dotting the "ü"
    Thank God, that's sorted out, otherwise the devil knows what happened.
  3. +2
    3 July 2023 05: 46
    As a Russian German in the 10th generation, he did not see a clear logic, and German clarity in the classification of BT ..
    It seemed to me that from what I had read, the Fuhrer's tank-building itch was so diverse that even the German punctuality of the Knipkamph department was not enough for the main demoniac of the XNUMXth century.
    Even the German Ordnung, gave in to the great strategist (c)
    1. +2
      3 July 2023 21: 14
      So this is a review of designations for a whole ten years, from 1935 to 1945. During this time, the principles of names have changed several times. The approach to designations in those years not only changed among the Germans, but also among the Americans and the British, for example, too.
  4. 0
    3 July 2023 05: 47
    At first I thought that this was a short retelling of "Chamberlain P., Doyle H. - Encyclopedia Of German Tanks Of World War two / Encyclopedia Of German Tanks Of The Second World War 1933-1945", but then I realized that this was just a compilation from Wikipedia.
  5. -2
    3 July 2023 06: 19
    I didn’t read the beam, well, how can I translate the Panzerwagen tank literally? Literally, an armored wagon, car, carriage, chariot. The caliber of the Germans' guns was in centimeters, but not in mm. The Geschutz panzerwagen literally comes out well, not like a cannon tank, but an approximately protected armored wagon or a car or a carriage, so it turns out.
    Well, such a trifle in Dagon, the Germans used two systems for designating their armored vehicles - short and through (some people indicate as long) numbering of equipment, which adds nuances.
    In a word, nothing new, surprise, yes.
    1. +3
      3 July 2023 14: 19
      And how to translate a tank, if it is literally a barrel?
    2. +2
      3 July 2023 21: 03
      I didn’t read the beam, well, how can I translate the Panzerwagen tank literally?

      From a previous article at the link:
      On December 20, 1935, a proposal for a new classification was published in the reference book "Main Army Bulletin". If earlier the tanks were called Panzerwagen, Kampfwagen or Panzerkampfwagen, now only the last word remained.


      The caliber of the Germans' guns was in centimeters, but not in mm

      AND? In all original German designations, I give it in centimeters.

      Geschutz panzerwagen literally still comes out well, not like a cannon tank, but an approximately protected armored wagon or car or carriage, so it turns out.

      What carriage? What are you talking about?
  6. +2
    3 July 2023 06: 34
    The author managed to confuse even more the already confusing wermacht nummer system
  7. 0
    3 July 2023 07: 39
    And I kept thinking what am I missing, what torments and gnaws me? After reading the article, I understood - the classification of German tanks in German. And also the need to study the textbook on logic in order to remember the forgotten
    At first glance, the designations Pz.Kpfw.II and Light tank M2 may seem almost the same, but each of them hides its own logic.

    I looked at the photographs and drawings with interest, although I had seen them before.
  8. +6
    3 July 2023 08: 56
    The author set himself a certain theoretical super-task, which he courageously tried to solve. At least he collected some information and provided the reader, which is already a plus.
    So, under one Pz.Kpfw.I designation, we counted three different tanks, each of which has modifications.

    Actually there are more of them. Five. And if you take into account the commander's Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen (Sd Kfz 265), then six. Opens the "parade" Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A ohne Aufbau or Krupp Traktor LaS.



    Then follow Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A (LaS (Vs Kfz 617), Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B (LaS Maybach), Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf C (Pz Kpfw I nA), Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf F (Pz Kpfw I nA Verstärkt).



    Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen (Sd Kfz 265).
    1. +2
      3 July 2023 15: 22
      They make cute models, it’s a pity that there weren’t such models during my childhood. smile request

    2. +4
      3 July 2023 20: 59
      Actually there are more of them. Five. And if you take into account the commander's Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen (Sd Kfz 265), then six.

      I mean the main chassis, not counting their modifications. So Ausf.C and Ausf.F also had design options. Ausf.C in general was originally on tracks with rubber pads a la half-guses. In the top photo you have an LKA, this is generally an export tank.
      1. +3
        3 July 2023 21: 47
        In the top photo you have LKA, this is generally an export tank

        The top photo shows a Krupp prototype.
        1. +1
          3 July 2023 22: 04
          The prototype of the export tank, which was never called Pz.Kpfw.I and was not offered to the German army.
          1. +1
            3 July 2023 22: 53
            You are wrong. Study Literature, TL Jentz. Panzerkampfwagen I. Kleintraktor to Ausf.B, for example.
            1. +3
              4 July 2023 21: 17
              Have you tried looking there yourself? There is a photo of Krupp LKA from the comment above. Look at page 1-133, as it is signed.
              1. 0
                5 July 2023 11: 43
                Yes you are right. I made a mistake by not double-checking the information.
  9. BAI
    +2
    3 July 2023 09: 32
    From top to bottom: Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B, Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.C, Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.F. Under similar designations, tanks are completely different in design. Source: Panzer Tracts


    Hmm, I just noticed now - the staggered order of the rollers was used long before the appearance of the Tigers
  10. +3
    3 July 2023 10: 26
    The Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.E cannot be called a modification of the Ausf.D, it has a completely new chassis.

    The most interesting thing happened with the Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.N - this "three" actually changed class, turning into a fire support tank with a "cigarette butt", an analogue of the "four".
    1. +2
      3 July 2023 20: 56
      This is an unplanned tank. It was impossible to immediately stop the production of Pz.Kpfw.III, it was necessary to attach a backlog. And after the re-equipment of the Pz.Kpfw.IV, 75-mm "cigarette butts" remained. From this hurt Ausf.N and collected.

      The case is not the only one. The Pz.Kpfw.II were tanks with a crew of 3-4 and a 20mm autocannon, but later the Germans thought of launching Luchs with a 50mm cannon in a new turret. True, this idea remained on paper.
      1. +2
        4 July 2023 10: 38
        If I'm not mistaken, pzIIIM with a length of 50mm were produced longer than pz.IIIN.
        Well, it’s not worth calling treshki different tanks, kmk. It’s just that the tank’s chassis was redesigned 5 times, launching each option in a limited series. It also makes no sense to allocate panthers from different factories to different tanks. Shermans and 34 different factories also differed significantly.
        1. +1
          4 July 2023 12: 07
          Well, it’s not worth calling treshki different tanks, kmk. It’s just that the tank’s chassis was redesigned 5 times, launching each option in a limited series


          This is not about reworking the chassis, but about a completely new chassis. The Ausf.E has a different engine, a different gearbox, a different turning mechanism, a different hull, a different undercarriage than the Ausf.D. And others from the word at all. For example, on the Ausf.AD, the brakes were combined with a two-block turning mechanism, as on the Pz.Kpfw.IV. On Ausf.E, the turning mechanism, with the exception of the brakes, was assembled in one unit with the gearbox. These are completely different designs. There are more differences in them than in the T-34 and T-43.

          It also makes no sense to allocate panthers from different factories to different tanks.

          It's about this: https://topwar.ru/197577-dizelnaja-pantera-daimler-benz-vsego-lish-kopija-t-34.html
          1. +1
            4 July 2023 18: 22
            This is a typical situation. The Germans have the same with airplanes. The difference between modifications could be more than we have between different models.
            A three-ruble note among the Germans was born in agony. Almost everything has changed there.
            It would be more rational to spit on her for another year at 39 and cut only fours.
            1. +1
              4 July 2023 21: 16
              The difference between modifications could be more than we have between different models.

              This is a word game. The new model and the development of the old are not the same thing. Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.E is not a development of Ausf.D, but a new tank for new requirements. The prototype ZW.38 generally had tracks with rubber pads like half-goose and a two-line three-radius turning mechanism. The installation of the turning mechanism along with the gearbox by the serial Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.E was inherited from this original project.
              1. +1
                4 July 2023 22: 19
                No, this is not a word game.
                The Yu-87 thing was created as a dive bomber, and at the end of its career the requirements were changed for it and it became an attack aircraft - it acquired armor and lost the ability to dive (the equipment was removed - including brake flaps). Here there is a change in TTT and purpose.
                I agree that the three-ruble note has very big differences in the early series with the later ones. At the same time, the shape of the turret and hull is +/- the same.
                And at the expense of rubber-metal tracks - on Shermans, tracks with rubber cushions also appeared in the production process.
                1. +1
                  4 July 2023 22: 29
                  I agree that the three-ruble note has very big differences in the early series with the later ones. At the same time, the shape of the turret and hull is +/- the same.

                  First, a very similar body shape means little. The Panther 2 has a body very similar in appearance to the first Panther. At the same time, the tanks are practically incompatible in terms of chassis. Secondly, no, the bodies on the triplets are not the same. In spring triples, the lower part of the body is made with complex-shaped niches. Torsion triples just have flat sides. Dimensions also varied from model to model.

                  And at the expense of rubber-metal tracks - on Shermans, tracks with rubber cushions also appeared in the production process.

                  Here is a completely different story. These are not just trucks with pillows, but also on bearings. Their design called for a different drive wheel with rollers instead of teeth. Look how it was on the half-guys. In general, on serial machines, the tracks were not only changed, but the undercarriage was also redone.
                  1. +1
                    4 July 2023 23: 43
                    The Germans of different factories could have a welded or cast hull, 34 different factories had a different turret, although according to the documents they were tanks of the same modification. The Shermans also had their hull changed to accommodate different engines.
                    Yes, the trio was born in agony, but the suspension was changed 5 times until they were allowed into a normal series. Nevertheless, considering its modifications as several different tanks is too much. And the fact that all triples are modifications of the same tank does not really contradict your theory.
                    Can they be considered different tanks? Yes, you can - the British considered the Cromwell and the centaur to be different tanks. Can you count as one? Also yes. The same British considered both M3 and M5 Stuarts. But the second approach, kmk, is closer to the point.
                    1. +1
                      5 July 2023 01: 15
                      34 different plants had a different turret, although according to the documents they were tanks of the same modification.

                      This is a matter of production technology, the towers were interchangeable and similar in characteristics.

                      For Germans of different factories, the case could be welded or cast

                      Likewise. Purely production considerations, tanks with different armored parts were assembled in parallel. At the same time, the suspension units and transmission were similar and interchangeable.

                      Nobody assembled Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.D and Ausf.E in parallel. They do not have interchangeability in chassis nodes. There were no production considerations. The phrase "she had her suspension changed 5 times" implies that the spring Ausf.D was transplanted to torsion bars. But no one changed his suspension. It is not possible to get an Ausf.E by replacing the suspension with an Ausf.D.

                      I am writing for the last time. The modification statement implies that the Germans took the Ausf.D and converted it into the Ausf.E, meaning the Ausf.E is the result of a conversion of the Ausf.D. At the same time, the Ausf.E has a completely new engine, a completely different transmission, a completely different undercarriage and a completely different body, which differs in shape and dimensions. One tank is 5,9 m long, the other 5,4 m, and you write that their hulls are +/- the same. Just think, the difference is half a meter with a different geometry.
                      1. 0
                        5 July 2023 08: 28
                        The Germans built a t3d, it did not satisfy their characteristics and they began to sculpt t3e from it. This replaced all of the above.
  11. 0
    1 December 2023 19: 06
    Well, the Germans didn’t think of classifying their armored vehicles - or rather, there was a classification - but you’ll understand why, what are you going to take from fools?