He was called "Rheinmetall"

And it so happened that somewhere else in the 70s of the last century, the book “Strike and Defense” of the publishing house “Young Guard” fell into my hands, in which, in addition to stories about armored vehicles, memories of veterans of tank troops were also placed. One of them described his meeting with the German tanks... "Rheinmetall", which took place in 1942, and the tanks themselves were painted yellow-brown. He immediately remembered their performance characteristics, which he studied at the school, ordered to load with armor-piercing, shot and knocked out ... Then I did not know anything about the Wehrmacht tanks, which were armed with two guns at once - 75 and 37 mm and I really wanted to learn more about this machine. This "craving for knowledge" was stretched for more than one year, I even had to write to the tank museum in Münster, but in the end, everything that I wanted, I learned.




So, the tank named in that book “Rheinmetall” was really designed and built by this company in 1933. At the same time, two tanks numbered №1 and №2 were made not from armor, but from ordinary steel, that is, in fact, they were mock-ups, although they were running. Armament was also present at them, but only they could not fight and were subsequently used exclusively as training machines. The designation they received Neubaufahrzeug (Nвfz) - literally "the car of a new design".

In 1934, three more tanks were produced by Krupp. These machines respectively received the number XXUMX, number XXUMX, number XXUMX. Externally, the cars of the “first release” and the second one are quite noticeably different. With the same chassis, they had different turrets and weapon systems. In addition, these were already real combat vehicles, since they were made of armored steel.

The design of both cars, although it was very impressive, did not shine with special originality. In general, it was the German response to the British and Soviet three-turreted tanks. Frontal armor plates had large angles of inclination, however, the thickness of the armor was small and was only 20-mm. The T-28 had a 30-mm frontal armor, so he had no advantage in booking over our booking machine. Many of the details on the first tanks had rounded shapes. In particular, the tower was rounded from the front and the tower of the tower behind. This was done so that the stern machine gun turret would have the maximum sector of shelling, and of course, this increased the resistance of the armor.

He was called "Rheinmetall"

Nbfz in Norway.

Speaking about the design of the car, it should be noted that the Germans carefully studied all the advantages and disadvantages of both Soviet and English cars and decided, apparently, to do something between the Soviet T-28 and T-35, and the British tank "Vikkers-16 t. Let's start with the fact that the tank had three towers, but they were located diagonally from left to right. On the left in front of the machine gun turret with one MG-13 machine gun (later MG-34), then a central large turret with a commander's turret, armed with the same machine gun in a separate installation, and two 37 and 75-mm guns (KBK-3,7L-45 and KBK- 7,5L-23,5), paired vertically, and on the right rear another machine-gun turret. Ammunition of the tank was: 37-mm shells - 50, 75-mm - 80, cartridges for machine guns - 6000). With such a composition of weapons, this tank was definitely stronger than the British machine and the Soviet T-28, but inferior to the T-35 tank, taking an intermediate position between them.


Someone's well-made model on the scale of 1: 35 ...

But the engine "Maybach" HL108 TR power 280 HP for a tank weighing in 23 tons was obviously weak. Although he could accelerate it on the highway to 32 km / h. Power reserve was only 120 km. The drive wheels were in the back, which was not typical for German cars leading in the front. The engine was shifted to the left, as the tower with the machine gun was on the right. The suspension consisted of 10 paired rubber coated rollers of small diameter, interlocked on five trolleys. Coil springs were used as a shock absorber, so the suspension was very simple.

The upper branch of each track relied on four rubberized twin skating rinks, fixed in the false-board niches on the brackets in the shape of the letter “V”. The “front wheel” also had a “gum”, which reduced the wear of the tracks and the rink itself. Below it was an additional video that should help in overcoming obstacles. The track width was 380 mm, that is, it was the same width as the first tanks Pz.III and Pz.IV. Again, for such a tank, it was too narrow, which could not but affect the maneuverability and maneuverability of the new tank, but increased its maintainability. The undercarriage had an armor-made bulwark that covered the suspension springs.


Soviet brand 1943 of the year, where you can see this tank.

The tank crew, consisting of a 6 man, had a good view and 8 hatches for entry and exit and 4 for maintenance. Only on the main tower of the hatches there were three: one on the commander's tower and two on the sides, closer to the aft. The first two tanks hatched opened along the tank, which was inconvenient. On the other three, received the tower "faceted" outlines, this was taken into account and made them open against the movement, so that the open doors served as a shield from the bullets. Another noticeable change was the location of the guns. Now they were placed not one above the other, but horizontally: 37-mm to the right of 75-mm. The hatches had machine-gun turrets, a driver’s cabin and two more manholes were in the bulwarks right behind the drive wheels. For communication, a radio station with a range of 8000 m was used, which had a hand-held antenna on the first two tanks and a whip antenna on the last two tanks. But such an important indicator as the thickness of armor on both versions remained unchanged: 20 mm - body armor and 13 mm - tower armor.

And then began the service of all these machines, and in a very unusual quality of tanks PR, although the Germans are unlikely in those years used this then a purely American term. They were filmed! They were filmed in factory workshops from different angles, filmed, filmed ... Then during the Norwegian campaign three tanks with armor protection composed of 40s of a separate special-purpose tank battalion were sent to Norway, where they marched through Oslo and again were filmed, filmed, and filmed. As a result, pictures of these tanks, first in the factory shops, and then on the streets of Oslo, went around the whole world. As a result of the information that was skilfully presented in this way, all foreign military specialists were afraid, they put the silhouettes of the new tank in all their officers' directories and began to assert that Germany had such tanks ... a lot! Lots of! And soon it will be even more! There are these photos in our domestic editions devoted to the Great Patriotic War, there is a reference book Heigl, there are ... everywhere! For example, in the “Determinant of the types of fascist tanks” published at the beginning of 1941, Nbfz. (under the name "Rheinmetall") was indicated as the main "heavy tank" of the German army, while it was reported that it has a solid armor thickness - 50 – 75 mm. And all this was done by only three tanks, which were skillfully ... filmed!

As for the combat service of these tanks, it turned out to be short and not impressive. 20 April 1940, these tanks, along with others, were attached to the 196 Infantry Division and went to beat the British along with Pz.I and Pz.II. The roads in Norway are narrow, the combat area is mountainous, there are rubble all around, and the bridges are dilapidated and not designed for the passage of such equipment. In addition, the British fired at them from their Boyce anti-tank rifles and Hotchkis 25-mm French anti-tank guns. As a result, from the 29 Pz.I, which the Germans possessed in this 40 tank battalion, 8 vehicles were lost, 2 from 18 Pz.II. and 1 NBFZ. Moreover, the latter was not hit, but simply stuck in a swampy lowland in the area of ​​Lilihammer. It was not possible to pull him out, and although the situation was not so dramatic, the crew blew up the tank so that it would not fall into the hands of the British.

The remaining two tanks were then returned to the Reich, where they were all lost. There are no documents testifying that they were sent to the Eastern Front, but there are no those who prove that they did not send them. Even in the tank museum in Münster, nothing is known about their fate. In any case, it was not difficult to set them up for Soviet tanks. But their impressive appearance ... here ... oh yes, they fought perfectly!

Fig. A.Shepsa
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  1. Volga Cossack 8 September 2015 07: 24 New
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    that’s the power of Propaganda. and memories of the meeting of our veteran with him and I read in my childhood ......... good article. Thank!
    1. Aleksandr72 8 September 2015 12: 07 New
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      As far as I know, the recollections referred to the battles near Sitno in June 1941. The author, the T-26 tank commander recalled, I can’t remember my surname, that German tanks were attacking head-on attacking (sorry for the tautalogy!) Soviet tanks on a bright sunny day, crushing unprecedentedly high rye. Seeing the ugly angular multi-tower car, the commander shouted "Rheinmetal! Armor 30 mm, gun 75 mm!" After that he aimed the crosshair of the gun’s sight at the tank nearest to him, pressed his foot on the trigger pedal but there was no shot, because under the pedal a shot sleeve was clamped. Then our artillery began to work and other tanks fired. In general, Rheinmetall covered a whole cloud of shell explosions and hid it from the author. Of course, I’m not reproducing the memories verbatim, because I read for a long time, but there is no text at hand. But I well remembered the circumstances and places of meeting with the Rheinmetall tank, because I have repeatedly read these same memoirs at different times in various books, including in the collection “Strike and Defense” mentioned by the author of the article (then a whole series of books were published on various branches of the armed forces - I personally had books about armored forces, about infantry, about artillery, about submarines). Moreover, in the last of these publications (I already read in the late 90s) instead of the multi-turret Rheinmetall tank (which in fact did not fight, but was used to create propaganda hype) the usual Pz.Kpfw appeared. IV (better known in our memoirs of war veterans as the T-4) in the modification with a 75 mm short-barrel stub. But the meeting place is also indicated - Sitno, 1941. The article is very interesting, there would be more such ones, the author is undoubted +.
      I have the honor.
      1. qwert 8 September 2015 16: 03 New
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        At the beginning of the war, He-100 was often seen. And the Ferdinands, according to the stories, knocked out more than 200 pieces that were produced. And this is not a lie, but simply an incorrect identification
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Alexey RA 8 September 2015 12: 17 New
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      Quote: Volga Cossack
      and the memories of the meeting with him of our veteran and I read as a child

      Penezhko G.I. Notes of a Soviet officer.
      A dull roar again passed through the land from the village. We froze when we saw the ugly monstrous machines of bright yellow, tiger coloring that appeared from the Sitno gardens. They slowly rolled in our direction, sparkling with tongues of shots.

      “I haven’t seen such yet,” says Nikitin. The Germans are moving in a line. I peer through binoculars at the nearest left-flank tank, which has pulled far forward. Its outline reminds me of something. But what?

      “Rheinmetal!” - I cried out, remembering a photograph of a German heavy tank that I saw in the school’s album, and blurted out a tongue twister: “Heavy, gun seventy-five, direct shot eight hundred, armor forty ...
  2. bionik 8 September 2015 07: 31 New
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    German tanks Nb.Fz. (Neubaufahrzeug) in the courtyard of the Rheinmetall AG plant before being sent to Norway.
    1. cth; fyn 9 September 2015 22: 13 New
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      I know one tank, I also like PR, it’s also named after the general ...
  3. parusnik 8 September 2015 07: 45 New
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    As for the military service of these tanks, it turned out to be short and not impressive. -Fight, do not PR ...
  4. Evver 8 September 2015 08: 45 New
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    PR tanks wink Interesting, thanks!
  5. samoletil18 8 September 2015 09: 22 New
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    In the strategies for the motives of the Second World War are found. Interestingly, somewhere they were called the "Grostractor", although this name was in the 20s.
    To the author + for the material.
  6. Polkovodetz 8 September 2015 10: 01 New
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    Interestingly, the propaganda deployed around this machine has achieved its effect. Rheinmetals were not rarely "met" on the Soviet-German front. Marshal Chuykov in his memoirs “The Battle of the Century” cites the following episode: “The fame of the exploit of four armor-piercing forces of the 84th Guards Regiment: Pyotr Boloto, Grigory Samoilov, Alexander Belikov and Ivan Aleinikov, thundered all over the front. These four heroes took a bite and they settled down in a businesslike manner. There were funny conversations between friends. "Kharch is a well-known thing," said Peter Boloto, weighing a heavy duffel bag in his hand. “You can live without it, but without the cannons and grenades that we have been supplied with, you will disappear for no snuff of tobacco” ...
    The command to prepare for the battle was given in one word “Dust!”, And eight eyes began to count how many armored vehicles were moving. "Thirty counted Belikov. - Seven for each brother, and two more for all."
    Tanks were deployed to attack. The heavy Rheinmetal tank moved ahead; two T-3s rolled to his left and right. The system was closed by light T-2 tanks. Tankers in black overalls, apparently having not yet found our fighters and trenches, were in open top hatches. Peter Boloto clearly saw a cross with a white border. He aimed at the viewing gap and pulled the trigger of the anti-tank gun. The Rheinmetall tank began to smoke, began to slow down and finally stopped. The hatches swung open and the crew began to crawl out of the tank.
    The second shot was fired by Alexander Belikov in the light T-2, which immediately flared up. The anti-tank rifle, apparently, hit the gas tank. After a few seconds, Bolot and Belikov, just taking aim, hit again again this time with two T-3s. How many shots were fired at them, they did not count, but as a result, both tanks stopped and caught fire. This continued until the evening, until the Nazis stopped the attack and surged back. In the mound area, 15 tanks were smoking.
    So four heroes finished their first battle. But this heroic feat was neither the first nor the last. "
    1. Alexey RA 8 September 2015 12: 19 New
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      Quote: Polkovodetz
      Interestingly, the propaganda deployed around this machine has achieved its effect. Rheinmetals were not rarely "met" on the Soviet-German front.

      PMSM, “tigers” and “ferdinandas” were even more common in memoirs and documents.
      There was even a “tiger type 4”, aka “four” Ausf.F2.
      1. kalibr 8 September 2015 12: 29 New
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        In the magazine Technique-Youth in 1945, it was reported that an exhibition of captured weapons was arranged in Leningrad and among the captured vehicles there was even an ACS Ferdinand captured just near Leningrad. front engaged in only three places. Not a single car was sent to Leningrad. Apparently, just confused ...
        1. Alexey RA 8 September 2015 16: 09 New
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          Quote: kalibr
          I requested the Bundesarchive and they sent me copies of papers from which it was clear that these self-propelled guns on the Eastern Front were involved in only three places.

          Kursk (northern face), Ukraine (Nikopol and Ternopol), Krakow, Zossen?
          1. kalibr 8 September 2015 18: 04 New
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            You know I do not remember. It was a long time ago and these papers were offended somewhere, but what was not near Leningrad was for sure!
            1. Alexey RA 9 September 2015 10: 35 New
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              Quote: kalibr
              You know I do not remember. It was a long time ago and these papers were offended somewhere, but what was not near Leningrad was for sure!

              This is yes - the “Fedi” we did not check.
              Under Peter, another misfortune was - "tigers." First, in military trials, and then regularly, in the schwerpanzanerabtaylung.
        2. Denis_469 8 September 2015 17: 51 New
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          Quote: kalibr
          I requested the Bundesarchive and they sent me copies of papers from which it was clear that these self-propelled guns on the Eastern Front were involved in only three places. Not a single car was sent to Leningrad. Apparently just confused ...

          They didn’t confuse anything. It’s just that the Germans have a mess with documents. Sometimes they themselves do not know what and where it was. Just the other day I came across the fact of an attack by an "unknown" submarine of the Soviet hydrographic ship Yakutia. There is nothing in German documents. And it was attacked in a matter of hours, after the shelling of the "U-711" coastal target on the islands. The boat just met Yakutia and attacked. But she didn’t put it in the documents. It was forbidden to attack a trifle there, so that the boats did not scorch and drown large vessels. And "U-711" attacked the ship, but did not bring these attacks into the report. Therefore, any request to Germany will show the answer that there was no such attack.
  7. user 8 September 2015 13: 05 New
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    (under the name "Rheinmetall") was indicated as the main "heavy tank" of the German army, while it was reported that it has a solid armor thickness of 50–75 mm.



    As a child I read books about the war, there I met the Rheinmetall several times, but I could not even imagine what it was (then there was no way with literature on the Wehrmacht technique), I thought some kind of special modification of the T-4.
    I thanked the author a lot.
  8. Zaurbek 8 September 2015 17: 42 New
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    When you look at the loss of allies in tanks during battles with the Germans, it becomes sad! Especially Panthers, Tigers and Ferdinands. The number of killings was limited to ammunition. At least until the appearance of tanks IS and Su 100-122-152
  9. remy 8 September 2015 20: 52 New
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    in WoT I saw him
  10. fa2998 8 September 2015 21: 43 New
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    Quote: Alexey RA
    “Rheinmetal!” - I cried out, remembering a photograph of a German heavy tank that I saw in the school’s album, and blurted out a tongue twister: “Heavy, gun seventy-five, direct shot eight hundred, armor forty ...

    With all due respect, this is either a soldier’s bike or a mix with another tank. Yes, they fought in Norway, as many as 3 pieces. Moreover, they were so illuminated that these tanks are the future of the German tank forces. For misinformation (and not in vain if the technical and technical characteristics of these unit tanks were in the Soviet training brochures). Vryat they reached Russia.
    And the Germans experimented on the tank. They built this three-tower monster and realized that it was impossible to defend a large car well. And they abandoned it. And the USSR built multi-tower ones, not a single one lived in 1941. hi
  11. kvs207 8 September 2015 22: 30 New
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    Quote: fa2998
    And the USSR built multi-tower, not one lived in 1941.

    At Baryatinsky, in the book "Soviet tanks in battle" it is written that T-28s were also mentioned in 44. They fought on the Karelian front. But the T-35, was made a little and they, indeed, after the 41st year, did not participate in the hostilities.
  12. Paranoid50 8 September 2015 23: 27 New
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    For the first time I learned about this car (to my shame) only eight years ago on the armor site of V. Chobitka. There, by the way, the reference book is incomplete, while the same Panzervaffen did not cover several iconic modifications of tanks and self-propelled guns, but Nb.Fz. Present with a detailed description and history of creation. A year ago, and acquired a model (released in the series TANKS OF THE WORLD). It’s quite a project in the spirit of the times, well then there was a “trend” - multi-tower. The Germans, in general, only set about creating armored forces, which they could not have at the end of the First World War (Treaty of Versailles). By the way, tests of the earlier German Grosstraktor machine took place ... in the USSR, near Kazan (Kama training ground), so as not to burn in Europe for the aforementioned reason, because they called it a "tractor". Well, our Germans went to meet them, helped bring up the first shots of Panzervaffen ... As for Nb.Fz., the Germans quickly “moved out” of this “topic,” the concept changed, Pz I and Pz II were already on their way, but a trace, albeit small, in the history of tank construction, the Rheinmetall left. P.S. In the USSR, by the way, the same QMS or T-100 could often be seen on postcards and posters, in fact there were one copy of them. hi
  13. Sasha75 9 September 2015 04: 15 New
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    Newsreel USSR-Trophies of the great battles part 1

    Enter into a search engine and you will even see in color, tigers and ferdinandas for the exhibition could have brought to Leningrad specially something that they didn’t have at the front, because you had to show what people had to fight with. And the exhibition in Leningrad was very good and they spent a lot of money on it, and this exhibition was the main accusation in the case of the Leningrad Regional Committee, then they put many down and dismantled the exhibition.
  14. moskowit 9 September 2015 21: 17 New
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    Thanks to the commentators. They reminded me of one of the most important books of my childhood. G. Penezhko "Notes of the Soviet officer." First, I drew a picture from the cover of the book. Then I read it in 14-15 for years. The last time I reread 15 years ago, after part of the parent library replenished mine. This book is still with me. I will try to find quoted places ...