Military Review

The Giants

The Giants
So could look like a thousand-ton tank of Edward Grote, the main armament of which consisted of two naval 305-mm guns

From time to time, the designers of armored vehicles had the same idea: to create a huge invulnerable supertank, a kind of land battleship capable of hitting any target. Perhaps more than others, such ideas were carried away by the Germans and the British, and to a lesser extent the Americans and the French.

At the end of World War I, two prototypes of the superheavy were built in Germany tank "K" ("Colossal"). The mass of each of them reached 150 tons. Layout - tracks covered the hull, and weapons (four 77-mm guns and 7 machine guns) were installed in the side sponsons - they resembled English heavy vehicles Mk1. In addition to its large mass and length (13 m), the German tank possessed several more interesting features. He understood into three parts and in this form could be delivered to the front line. Road wheels of the machine, similar to railway wheels, were attached to the links of the tracks and during movement moved along the rails that covered the entire body. Nevertheless, the Colossal tanks were not able to finish it, and after the defeat of Germany in World War I, they were destroyed altogether so that the cars would not get to the opponents.

Super heavy tank "K" ("Colossal")

Again the Germans returned to the idea of ​​super-tanks during the Second World War. Back in June, 1940 of the year, Hitler ordered F. Porsche, already known to our readers, to design an extra heavy machine, dressed in armor of the greatest possible thickness and armed

128-mm cannon. We note that the Fascist German arms department did not support this “personal” order of the Fuhrer, suggesting that the Henschel company be engaged in the development of a similar tank. The giant, created in the company Porsche, received the designation "205", but it is known more under the name "Mouse" ("Little Mouse"). The second car was called E-100. Both land battleships were intended not to break through powerful fortifications, but, on the contrary, to strengthen them. Serving as a kind of mobile forts, the Mauses and the E-100 were supposed to protect the gaps between long-term fire installations.

tank "Mouse" ("Mouse")

F. Porsche decided to equip his car with electric transmission and diesel engine. But failures at trial reduced interest in his brainchild. In addition, the deteriorating military and political situation in Germany did not allow the Reich to spend money on such expensive undertakings. That is why, by the end of the war, only two prototypes of the "Mouse" were produced, one of which had a carburetor engine instead of the intended diesel. By the way, the diesel giant was never tested, and the first sample was tested in June 1944 of the year.

As for the company "Henschel", then from the very beginning it was engaged in the construction of the E-100 with coolness and did not even bring it to the prototype. On a tank weighing in 140 t assumed to install 150-mm and 75-mm guns. Booking it is the same as that of the "Mouse".

Tank E-100

Note that the described German cars, and those that were created by the British and the Americans, did not go into service with the armies for obvious reasons: tanks with such a colossal mass had low mobility. It is clear that they were not tested in battles. Nevertheless, the battlefields saw the giant tanks. These were the German "royal tigers". This machine owes its birth to the long-time desire of the fascist command to install a powerful 88-mm caliber cannon in the tank. In January, the companies Henschel and F. Porsche also received orders for 71. And again, Porsche lost - Adams took over the car. She was called the T-VIB "Royal Tiger". Someone noticed that the T-VIB is essentially a hybrid between the Elephant and the Panther. Indeed, the shape of the hull and the engine of the new machine are the same as in the Panther.

Tank T-VIB "Royal Tiger"

Serial production of this tank began in January 1944 year and continued until the end of the war. In total, they released 489 pieces. Reservations for it compared with the "Tiger" was strengthened, great attention was paid by the designers to the convenience of the crew. The T-VIB had the same cannon blowing system as the Panther. In the elongated stern niche of the turret, near the breech of the gun, a part of the ammunition was laid in a horizontal position, so that the loader needed to expend a minimum of effort. Because of this, the tank had a fairly high rate of fire: 7-8 rounds per minute. Stage wheels, staggered, had an individual torsion bar suspension,

For the first time "royal tigers" appeared in the battle on the Sandomierz bridgehead in Poland. This happened in August 1944. In battles, they were used more like tank destroyers. And from July of that year on the basis of the "royal tigers" until the end of the war were built SU "Yagd-Tiger". Their mass reached 70 t, and the thickness of the armor - 250 mm. The machines were armed with 128-mm cannons 55 long in caliber (they were also meant for "Maus"). The crew of 6 people served self-propelled guns. An armor-piercing projectile cannon weighing 28 kg from a distance 1000 m punched at right angles to armor thickness up to 190 mm. Total of such self-propelled guns released 77 pieces. True, both the "Royal Tiger" and the "Yagd-Tigr", the heaviest ever used in battles, proved to be inactive and had poor maneuverability.

SU "Yagd-Tigr"

Now let's talk a little about the work of designers in England and the United States. In 1940, the British, confident that they would have to storm the powerful fortifications of the Siegfried Line, began to create a giant tank. First of all, they drew attention to the strengthening of the body armor and its ability to overcome wide moats. That is why the tank gave the old form, even during the First World War; the caterpillars covered the hull. The mass of the English "battleship" reached 80 t, the length exceeded 10 m, and the speed was equal to 14 km / h. The tank was armed with a 76-mm cannon and machine gun, which were installed in a rotating turret.

In 1942, the War Department of Great Britain issued an order to the firm Nuffield for the creation of the so-called turretless tank A.39. In essence, it turned out to be an assault self-propelled gun. The first two cars were made in 1943, and 1947 was built in all of them before 6. The armament of the A.39 — one 94-mm cannon and the 2 machine-gun — was located in the spacious wheelhouse. The gun was installed in the inclined front plate, and machine guns - in a rotating turret on the roof of the wheelhouse. The thickness of the armor reached in the frontal details 229 mm, and in the side parts - 152 mm. The car crew consisted of a 7 man.

These self-propelled guns, known under the name "Turtle", also were not adopted.

In 1943, a similar reckless tank (self-propelled self-propelled gun) began to be built overseas. It was intended to break through the fortified bands of the enemy. In order to reduce the specific pressure on the ground, the machine was supplied with double tracks, while the external tracks were removed. By the way, the caterpillars were far behind the frontal part of the tank hull. Armor armored covered the chassis. The low-mounted 105-mm gun was protected by a massive mask. She had armor-piercing shells (with an initial speed of 915 m / s) to fight tanks. In addition, the ammunition and were concrete shells to defeat the fortifications of the enemy. The thickness of the armor of this self-propelled reached a record value - 305 mm!

Finishing our story about the giant tanks, we mention the German SU "Thor", or "Karl". True, this, of course, is not a tank or even a fighting self-propelled gun, but a self-propelled mortar on a track. It was intended to deal with powerful fortifications. The mass of the car reached 124 t, and the speed was only 10 km / h. Mortar caliber - 600 mm, and the mass of the projectile was equal to 2200 kg. The Germans built 1940 mortars in 1941-6, which bombarded Brest, Sevastopol and Warsaw.
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  1. Volkhov
    Volkhov 13 July 2013 08: 40
    So could look like a thousand-ton tank of Edward Grote, the main armament of which consisted of two naval 305-mm guns

    He has 283 mm guns like a heavy cruiser, and the view ...

    Cool self-propelled gun for atomic warfare, lives in a hole, the name is Rat.
    1. Kars
      Kars 13 July 2013 10: 15
      I love fotozhaby. Only about nuclear war is not necessary)))
      1. Volkhov
        Volkhov 13 July 2013 14: 47
        In the Egyptian picture, the photo-toad landscape, and the design is too detailed for fake. The Rat has a real landscape.
        1. Kars
          Kars 13 July 2013 16: 37
          Quote: Volkhov
          and the design is too detailed to fake

          Fake itself no matter what)) real))
    2. Civil
      Civil 13 July 2013 10: 23
      Well, our projects were also quite QMS and T-100 or T-39, here QMS:
  2. Prapor Afonya
    Prapor Afonya 13 July 2013 09: 36
    Yes, technology, modern tanks are three times lighter, three times stronger, and they have three times more firepower! Time will pass, new developments will appear and maybe 10 centimeter armor will withstand a shot more powerful than armor of a mouse, indeed, a large cabinet falls loudly !!!
  3. omsbon
    omsbon 13 July 2013 11: 25
    A dreadnought on the ground, as he can’t swim on water.
    Gigantomania is the destiny of people with a small internal content.
  4. Iraclius
    Iraclius 13 July 2013 11: 35
    Stupid idea. The capabilities of aviation at the beginning of the war showed that no super-armored monster - whether a battleship, a fortress or a tank bristled with anti-aircraft gun barrels - is not able to withstand its power on equal terms.
    And the Germans would be better off releasing T-IV and TV, instead of chasing the crazy idea of ​​a wunderwaffe.
    In the end, it’s not the weapon that wins, but the hands that hold it. Or the truth.
  5. roma-belij
    roma-belij 13 July 2013 11: 58
    Instead of stupid things, it was necessary to develop and mass produce a normal medium tank, ours turned out to be smarter.
    1. dominatus
      dominatus 14 July 2013 15: 49
      You did not carefully read the article.
      "The first prototype was tested in June 1944."

      That is, when the war has already been practically lost. When the excellent medium tank "Panther" was already created (according to the western classification, it is considered to be just medium) and the heavy "Tiger".
      By this time, the offensive operations where the "Panthers" and "Tigers" could have been fully applied, the Germans were no longer conducting.
      And the main task of the German tanks was not to break through the defense and drive in tank wedges, but to "knock out" the advancing Soviet tanks.

      By the way, the "King Tiger" coped with this perfectly, firing from cover.

      Not ours turned out to be smarter - the Germans simply did not have such resources as ours. The Germans did not have tank factories beyond the reach of enemy aircraft (our plants beyond the Urals were out of reach).

      So, the creation of such monsters as "Mouse" and E-100 is more likely not stupidity but a gesture of despair.
  6. Taoist
    Taoist 13 July 2013 13: 38
    Read the cycle "Bolo" - just there it is very well illustrated in what further development along this path can result. The truth is that something tells me that this path is a dead end - the armor is always inferior to the projectile.
  7. igordok
    igordok 13 July 2013 13: 52
    Our answer .......
    1. Fofan
      Fofan 13 July 2013 15: 04
      I wish the creators of this model to make the caterpillar pull it.
    2. vlad1
      vlad1 13 July 2013 15: 06
      the handsome man himself assembled and from which models
      1. igordok
        igordok 13 July 2013 15: 45
        Quote: vlad1
        the handsome man himself assembled and from which models

        Somewhere on the Internet I found a board (like American) war game where the USSR had such a monster called KV-13. When I found this picture, I was very surprised. But I did not find more information about this pseudo-monster. A model would be happy to collect. soldier
        1. Taoist
          Taoist 13 July 2013 18: 32
          Kv 13 is an average real-life tank. From it later, just the IS appeared ... And the fact that in the photo it is the legendary "Behemoth" which allegedly existed in 3 copies of those killed from their own weapons ...

          "In a number of sources there are references to a certain KV-5bis or KV-6" Begemot "tank, also called the" Stalin's Orchestra ", which in reality is a hoax, a fictional project of a three-turret heavy tank - a" composite ", which, however, has received wide popularity and subsequently described in detail by Alexander Afanasyev. The illustration was composed of images of real-life equipment, but had no semantic meaning, was technically almost unrealizable and looked more like a caricature. According to Afanasyev, the designer Zh.Ya. Kotin began to develop the KV-5bis tank in 1942 By 1944, nine KV-5bis tanks were allegedly equipped with the Stalin breakthrough tank company, which took an active part in the Karelian operation and took part in the breakthrough of the Mannerheim Line without incurring any losses. the company also went through the Vistula-Oder and Balaton operations without losses, later taking part in the Korean War [ 17].
          In 1997, photos of a desktop model composed of several sets of various tanks (mainly KV tanks) appeared on the network. The authorship of the model was attributed to the student, and the created model and description to it was only a joke (which was worth only one description of the crew!). However, the model quickly gained its “legs”: ordinary inhabitants believed in the existence of the Soviet “super-tank” and spread the news on the Internet - sites and forums devoted to armored vehicles. [18] [19]
          Later, a description of a similar project is found by Vyacheslav Shpakovsky in the book “Tanks. Unique and paradoxical "[20]. Judging by the description given in Shpakovsky’s book, the project looked like a cruiser in the form of three KV tanks connected to each other with a single powerful diesel engine. The project allegedly provided for the use of three linearly elevated towers from the KV tanks, the middle of them with two 152-mm guns, as well as BT-5 towers mounted on top of them. It was supposedly supposed to install a flamethrower and a Katyusha rocket launcher [21] as additional weapons on the tank.
          However, the very possibility of the existence of such a project is unlikely, both because of the technical features of the KV series and because of the lack of any documentary evidence. Moreover, such a design is simply not capable of turning, which once again casts doubt on the very existence of such a project.
          According to V.G. Grabin, the original version of the KV-1 turret was unsuitable for the installation of any gun larger than the 76 mm F-32 cannon, and only the later modernized KV had an 85 mm cannon in a new turret design [13]. Serial KV-2s had one 152-mm gun, which in itself made the turret extremely bulky [13], and the tank itself turned out to be overweight and without any additional superstructures of the Stalinist Orchestra. "(C)
          1. igordok
            igordok 13 July 2013 20: 53
            Thanks for the information.
    3. dominatus
      dominatus 14 July 2013 15: 54
      For a stormtrooper, Stuck is the perfect target.
      They hit the T-34 quite well, and this miracle - judo and served would become a walking mass grave.
  8. liberty
    liberty 13 July 2013 15: 28
    There used to be an article about the Dora gun. This was a real, and very real giant. True, it had a rather low rate of fire and accuracy.
    1. Volkhov
      Volkhov 13 July 2013 16: 10
      Dora is not a name, but a 4 model alphabetically, like in airplanes and everything else. There are 1 Dora and 2 Gustavs (6 models) abandoned in Germany. Interesting series statistics.
      1. Kir
        Kir 13 July 2013 19: 07
        So "Karl Gustav" is the 6th model of the "Gustav" mortar? It's a pity his photo is not, in the magazine it seems like "Technology of Youth" in the USSR I saw a photo of something else !!! misunderstanding, by the way, if I remember correctly, one of these somehow managed to get stuck somewhere, which is true and not surprising given such and such a mass of dimensions. Yes, and jumping from the top of this colossus is another trick.
  9. FC SKIF
    FC SKIF 13 July 2013 20: 41
    Dinosaurs are a dead end branch of evolution.
  10. berimor
    berimor 13 July 2013 21: 29
    Why is "MAUS" translated as "MOUSE". Correctly translated as "MOUSE". And "MOUSE" is written in German "MAUSCHEN" (diminutive of "MAUS") Excuse me, but in the font I did not find the German letter A with two dots at the top (A umlaut), which is in the word "MAUSCHEN" and is already read as " MOISKHEN ".
  11. Denis
    Denis 13 July 2013 21: 51
    This is from only projects
    1. The comment was deleted.
  12. Denis
    Denis 13 July 2013 21: 56
    The French also noted
    French giant tank Char 2C No.97 "Normandy" commander of the 51-th battalion of heavy tanks in the pre-war exercises of the French army.
  13. Argon
    Argon 14 July 2013 00: 58
    In the seventh photo (we do not count the pictures) not a T-6B, the crew is resting near the Panther.
  14. AlNikolaich
    AlNikolaich 14 July 2013 08: 55
    Something no one remembered our project of Lebedenko’s tank. The huge self-propelled carriage on 9 meter wheels impresses no less than the mouse and the colossal!
    1. The comment was deleted.
  15. xomaNN
    xomaNN 14 July 2013 15: 09
    It is interesting that such projects were born only by the "highest" order of the leaders of the countries of several countries, i.e. rather, their "whims" :)) For military experts and designers from the very beginning the absurdity of the task was most often understood. But, "senior-ordered", as in the movies.
    1. dominatus
      dominatus 14 July 2013 16: 22
      This whole project was special. German intelligence operation, specially designed and carried out in order to prevent the creation of their own tanks in Russia. A lot of time and money was spent on this monster, which as a result did not allow the creation of its own tank. Sensible projects were but they were rejected in favor of this unit.
      So that the German intelligence - offset.

      One of the episodes of the "Searchers" program was dedicated to this monster. They were able to find not only the test site, but also the preserved parts (I remember exactly that they found the wheel).
      1. Denis
        Denis 14 July 2013 19: 18
        Quote: dominatus
        One of the episodes of the program "The Searchers"
        Alas, this is not an indicator, the guys are not always glorious, they are looking for themselves. With the truth they are treated very freely. Although the transmission was
        About Lebedenko’s tank last year and our site had
  16. Roland
    Roland 15 July 2013 21: 07
    If it were not for the deplorable state of the industry in Germany, I think they would have developed the concept of superheavy for sure. Well, of course, the tanks were hastily assembled and even made of low-grade steel, it is clear that they broke down more often than they fought. Yes, and those that were already like a royal tiger, stuck in the mud and like a suitcase without a handle, "there is no strength to drag and throw away" after all, the cost of manufacturing and the resources spent. But I absolutely cannot imagine how to repair and maintain such giants in the field? For example, the same royal tiger. There, one road roller will kill to death, this is how many people need to at least repair the caterpillar ???? About the mouse, I generally keep quiet, how to repair it by the crew? And if such a person gets stuck, what to do? to drive 10 artillery tractors to cling to 10 pieces at once and drag them like barge haulers on the Volga?

    The projects are of course fantastic, but quite feasible.
  17. The comment was deleted.
  18. siberko
    siberko 16 July 2013 08: 13
    Rat (German: Ratte), P1000 - designation of an extra-heavy breakthrough tank and artillery support, a land cruiser weighing up to 2000 tons, a draft of which was developed in Germany in 1942-1945.
    I wonder how much such a tank would cost the budget