Friday, 30 March 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 7

Part 7

 After the examination of the British Tank Ludendorff ordered that the A7V copy the Configuration of the Track from the British Tank.the VPK Dragged its heels because it would delay the Tank it was formally ordered on September 1st 1917. The Variant was known as the A7V-U (Prototype was not ready until June 1918.

                                             The A7V-U  1918  ( weight 39.6 tonnes crew of 7)

March 1917 the VPK tried to get the A7V programme moving faster and get the order up to 100 Tanks but
was opposed by the OHL and the Chef-Kraft Chief of tactical Vehicles. The first A7V Chassis was ready on April 30 1917 at the Daimler Test Track. battle conditions was created but problems happen when the A7V tried to turn at one point a track broke and many was critical of its lack of cross-country ability. it was said it could only be used in defensive and not offensive on May 14, 1917 another test was done this time the chassis had mock wooden armour. it was still poorly suited to trench crossing.

The Commission recommended that two tank detachments be created  from the  ten A7Vs on order
and another ten be ordered of A7V armoured bodies as reserve. and tank production be increased to 100
once the A7V had proved itself.
the programme only got priority 2 armour plating the reason being is the French had use there Schneider tanks at Berry-aux-Bac on April 1917 but suffered from the German guns.

                                                      The French Schneider Tank                                                      

The German army plans was to remain on defensive mode for the rest of the year so no need for a tank.
Germany industrial were at there limit and funds was stretched and it was very hard for approval from all the Prussian  departments for any new programmes.


Monday, 26 March 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 6

Part 6

                                                           77mm FK 96 field gun

Loads of Guns was consider for the A7V including a 77mm FK 96 field gun but it was to
 powerful for the chassis.All different types of 55mm guns were tried but Vollmer settle on a 57mm Maxim-Nordfelt quick firing
Fortress gun. It fired a solid or explosive shells and could be fitted to a A7V. it was a British made gun but many were captured from the Belgian fortifications and from the Russians.

                                                     57mm Maxim-Nordfelt from a A7V
British Tanks had been first encountered by the Germans in September 1916, the Germans didn't get there hands one until April 1917. A British mark II was knock out near Quent and was photographed and studied. Reports from the field said the British Tanks had great mobility. 

                                                      British Mark II Tank (male)



Friday, 23 March 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 5

Part 5
 Here is a picture of the first German Tank A7V a 28mm Model. I painted the Tank myself the figures and base was painted by the Angry Lurker. I am not a expert at taking pictures but working on it.

Another department the OHL wanted the armor to be significantly strengthened not only to handle machine gun fire but artillery fire as well as it had been known that British tanks couldn't handle field Guns.
The OHL want the problem sorted.
Vollmer s team had already finished a mock wooden A7V by mid January but because of the new orders it had to be redesigned. as the armor had to be increased this added to the weight of the design all ready made
Vollmer Drafted a new design with a new superstructure but soon worked out the new design tank will be to heavy. 

The original A7V plan was to be armed with the new 20mm Becker TUF automatic cannon.

                                                              20mm Becker

this weapon was dropped from the tank as it was useless against armored vehicles.and was discovered to by no good against emplace machine gun posts. The Germans decided to follow the British idea of Male and Female Tanks most with machines guns (Female) and a few with cannons (male).

Monday, 19 March 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 4

Vollmer worked in conjunction with Eugene Linck from Daimler to adapt the Caterpillar-Holt suspension for the A7V but the result was a poorer Trench crossing ability  But it was powered by two engines giving it more power speed then British Tanks 9MPH. Vollmer gave the blue prints of the A7V in December 1916 and said the first A7V will be ready May 1917 if support from industry was given.a 100 A7V was ordered by the VPK
before the prototype had been tested.but the A2 Infantry department of the Prussian war office had other ideas and come up with a Panzerkraftwagen (Armored Vehicle) to move troops across country 20 had already been on order but not necessarily with guns but armored plate.

                       first version of the A7V to go into production Gelandwagen to move supply's to the front

a mock-up of the armored  Mariewagen with a wooden body  was demonstrated  in front of Hindenburg and Ludendorff even without the full armor the demo was dismal  they frown  upon future German tanks. Development during 1917 floundered as to many conflicting departments from the Prussian war office.    


Thursday, 15 March 2012

WW1 German Panzers part 3

Part 3
 Gen Friedrich of the VPK (Motor Transport Inspection service) VPK stands for
Verkehrstechnische Prufungs-Kommision. Gen Friedrich sponsored an industrial conference on
October 30 1916 with reps from from all the main German automotive and industrial firms to get interest in designing a such weapon but none showed any interest as Germany was starting the Hindenburg programme which increased military production for the Hindenburg.
                                          Hindenburg coming out of its hanger

Gen didn't  get much interest from the Industry's but he did managered to set a committee up.
Under the name of Abteilung A7V named after the Abteilung 7 Verkehrswesen (7th Transport Department)  of the Prussian war office.The committee was led by Joseph Vollmer of the VPK
a experience automotive designer the firm that showed the most interest was Daimler.
In November 1916 the Prussian war office ordered the construction of a Panzerkampfwagen
under the code name A7V. to make the task worst it had to include (Cross-Country vehicle) 
built on the same chassis this was one of many mishaps to compound the A7V tank, Vollmer was push towards conventional tractor suspension this will be the A7V undoing.
To get the tank programme moving they bought a Caterpillar-Holt tractor.

                                        Caterpillar-Holt tractor 1917


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

WW1 German Panzers part 2

The British mark 1 Tank first appeared at the Somme in September 1916 they broke through German lines near Flers in very small numbers. They Broke down a lot and had difficulty crossing trenches and shell holes. This made Germans more aware of using a track type vehicle. Some modest programme was underway by the  German Army Technical Communications Testing Committee.
(The German version of the Landship committee,) Frederich Gobel designed a wheel-less/Rail-less which wasn't a tracked vehicle but a mechanized with six sets of feet. But war broke and Gobel ended up in uniform. In 1915 Goble adapted his vehicle as an armored land cruiser he was allotted 50.000 marks to build an example. it was demonstrated in 1916 it broke down and the German army withdrew its support

                                            Early picture of Gobel designs

                                             Panzerkruezer2  (Gobel)

After the Germans first encounter the British Tanks the Oberste Heeres-leiung (OHL Supreme Army Command) Began to press the Prussian war Ministry for a German Tank. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

WW1 German Panzers part 1

Part 1

Considering how powerful the armored division was for Germany in world war 2 it was near nothing in world war 1. During the early 1900s the idea of using Motors in combat vehicles was wide spread across Europe.
there was only two types of Armored Vehicles there was the train and a Armored car.

                                                     German Armored Car 1917 Erhardt

The Erhardt E-V/4 was the only German Armored car that went into serial production. most saw service in Russia in 1918 on occupation duty.

                                                   Erhardt in Russia 1918

1914 the German Military showed very little interest in development of a Tracked vehicle.
The Germans only started to take note during the first months of WW1 when they faced Armored cars from the British France Belgian forces.
On November 3rd 1914 the German army placed orders for some prototypes Radpanzer (Armored Car) from 3 firms Daimler-Unterturkheim Bussing and Erhardt. All three Prototypes was delivered
to the new Panzerkraftwagen-MG-Zug1 (Armored Motor Vehicle MG Platoon 1) The Daimler was the first to deliver in March 1916. the new unit was sent to the Alsace front which was very quiet
very few opportunities for the new vehicles to prove there worth in combat so didn't encourage production.


                                               British Lancaster Armored Car WW1

                                       French Hunt-Robert Armored Car WW1

Belgian Minerva Armored Car WW1


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

WW1 British Tanks Part 7

Part 7
Another design by William Tritton was the Whippet it had a crew of 5 men and a speed of 8 mph


                                                      28mm Resin Model

This Model was painted by my self but dried brushed by The Angry Lurker also all the figures was painted by the Angry Lurker.

I have been asked a few times what happened to my Grandad your be glad to know he made it through WW1 and WW2.
My Grandad was born in 1899 and passed away in 1980. He was a .very quiet man and worked as a park keeper in north London and to think there was many like my Grandad and we never knew what they did in the Great wars. 
Below is a picture of the original paper that my Grandad wrote his WW1 deeds on.

                                            The Original   Page 1

The Original Page 2

A Typed version 

  I do have his medals which are pictured below

When World War two broke out my Grandad was to old to fight but I do know he was a machine Gun instructor at the Woolwich Arsenal, I also found a application letter for a Defence medal dated June 1946
so I think he was in the Home guard 

                                                 The Application letter

I hope I have done justice to my Grandads  history. I have enjoyed writing my first blog, it gave me a chance to read my Grandads  story once more and bring it to life.  



Monday, 5 March 2012

WW1 British Tanks Part 6

Part 6
     The reason my Grandad was a prisoner of war was his Tank got hit up I think it was at Ypres but thank God he made it out alive. A part from the fact my Grandad  was in a tank where the heat was over a 100 degrees in minutes, on top of that he could have a died from carbon monoxide poisoning which killed many tank crews on top of that the Tank crews had to wear Helmets with chain mail etc

WW1 Tank crew Helmet

The Germans had Armour piecing Bullets so shrapnel was a problem hence the full head gear 

Hotchkiss 6 PDR

Lewis machine Gun 

When my Grandad was first captured the french managed to get a letter sent sent home to my Grandad parents with new news that he is ok,  I still have the letter  

                                                              The Letter From France

the Letter is very old now so fragile also when my Grandad got home he got a Letter from King George V
Hand written letter from the palace

The Letter from the King

I have typed out the Letter from the French people who got the letter out and the Letter from King George V when my Grandad got home

 king George V     at Bovington in Dorset



WW1 British Tank Footage Part 5

amazing clip of the British WW1 Tank

Thursday, 1 March 2012

WW1 British Tanks Part 4

Part 4
       On the 05/04/18 my Grandad was sent to France for a second time

                                                 Mark 2 Female with Hotchkiss

                                                       Mark 2 Female rear

Mark 2 female

These are 1/35 scale Resin models from Lou Stener and yes I painted this one.

16/04/18 my Grandad was taken prisoner at Krieysgefangerning at Meteren,under German escort to  Armentieres La Basse lomme Fort MacDonald at Lille Roubaix Countrai Hartrick, Ghent,Berehem,Eyne,Back to Ghent,Dendermonde, Malines Hasselt Frontier Frontier of Holland, Back to Hasselt Genck Brussels,
(Belgium A Corps to Calias, English A Corps to Dover. Canterbury 2 months P.O.W
and on the 17/03/19 my Grandad was Demobbed at Crystal Palace. this was written on a peace of paper
by my Grandad just as it written here.

                                                     Mark 2 Male  with 6 pdr Sponson 

Mark 2 Front View

Mark 2 Rear view

Another 1/35 scale model from Lou Stener and this one is painted by The Angry Lurker to show me how to paint my Female Tank.

Some more information from my Grandads peace of paper

03/09/16  Guillemonts S.G & T.G if anyone can tell me what this means IL be most Grateful.
10/9/16   Ginchy  Lost 2 machine guns.
14/09/16  Delville Woods Buried 3
10/04/17  Meteren Buried 1.  

06/03/17 passed brigade Course  Hotchkiss & Lewis Machine guns 1st 
11/03/17     -         -            -           6 PDR.2.7  Gun         1st
25/03/17     -         -            -               -                -     Whale island  1st