Tuesday, 24 April 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 12

Part 12

The Germans had started a massive offensive called operation Michael which they wanted to use the tanks,
but they only had two units ready, Abteilung 1 which had A7V tanks and Abteilung 2 which had five capture
Mark IV females.

March 21st 1918 after a heavy barrage the tank attack begun Abteilung 1 had 4 tanks due to poor visibility
two A7Vs became trapped the commanded halted the attack. after heavy artillery fire (Gas) from the British.
the three remaining A7Vs helped the German infantry but one broke down but the two left made a sudden showing to the British shocked the British

                                                            Operation Michael 1918

Artist Picture operation Michael

April 24th  1918 on the outskirts of the town of Villers-Bretonneux A7V  Gruppe Skopnik came out of the fog fighting its way through the town against the British defenders. Gruppe Uihlein  was successful. in its advance.
the Tanks came out of the fog but one A7V was hit by british guns but one A7V Called Nixe headed towards the village but because of the din inside an A7V the crew didnt know they was under attack from three British Tanks a Mark IV male and two females the British male was commanded by 2nd Lt Mitchell,
as soon as the Nixe saw the Mark IV they engaged with its 57mm gun the Mark IV stopped the Nixe  
thought the British tank was knocked out but it had stopped so the gunner could get better aim the two females was knocked out by the A7V  but the male mark IV fired as the Nixe retreated hitting the bow near the gun killing the gunner and injuring 5 crew this battle was a stalemate but will go down in history as the first ever tank battle.

Today there is only one A7V left 506 Mephisto  which was recovered by the Australians and is on display in Brisbane.

                                     The Last and only A7V left 506 Mephisto



Sunday, 22 April 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 11

The first working British Tank capture by the Germans was a mark IV female which was collected by a special German recovery team in no mans land . This is when the Germans over run the British salient at Cambrai.
A special recovery team was made up from  the Army Motor Vehicle park 2 (AKP2) they were called the
Tankberggungsstelle (Tank Recovery Command Cambrai) there sole aim is to get as many British tanks as possible over 50 Tanks was recovered from Cambrai  battlefield but many were damaged.

                                    A capture British tank put into German service

Ten Tanks was restored and formed two tank units. Abteilungen 11 and 12 each unit had two male tanks
and 3 Females. the German maxim-Nordfeldt 57mm QF gun could easy be adapted to fit British  tanks
but not the German MG08 so the lewis Machine guns were retained.

                                                               A German MG08 machine gun 

                                                A WW1 German MG08 machine gun

A British Lewis machine gun

                                                  Lewis machine gun clip

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 10

Part 10

        The First German Panzer unit   into the field was Abteilung 1 which left the Daimler plant for training at Sedan January 5 1918 after basic training a Demonstration was held for Crown prince Wilhelm.
there were problems uncovered  during the training which slowed down the production of the A7V.
the Sedan training went well for the Tank crews but when the demonstration for General Ludendorff
took place on February 25 1918 it did not go well a report submitted to the OHL said the A7V was not suited to currant Battlefield conditions. from the conception of the A7V in 1916 the Trenches had increased in width
from 1.6m to 4m so the A7V which was better then the French Schneider and St Chamond but very
 inferior to the British tanks

                                                         French St Chamond

                                       French  St Chamond tank clip

                                                         The French Schneider tank

Maj Rohr commander of Sturmbataillon said that the A7Vs could only be used in battle if there wasn't to much artillery craters so the Chefkraft recommended that only 20 A7Vs be completed which sort of 
ended German tank production.

The OHL had ordered on the February 27   that a new high-priority tank programme based on the British tank .

Monday, 9 April 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 9

The German Tank program flip for the better when the British tanks attack in Cambrai on November the 20th
1917 The Tanks broke through German lines to a depth of 5.6 miles mass panic broke out in the German ranks. Ludendorff changed his mind fast when he realize the tactical advantage of the British tanks. and his change of heart got plans underway for a Major offensive in 1918 the tank is worth while. the Production of the A7V plan was increased to 40.
Joseph Vollmer and designed another the LK1 a Light armored vehicle  (Leich-Kampfwagen) Vollmer knew the A7V was to big to produce in Larger numbers

                                                       LK1  (Leigh-Kampfwagen)

The A7V Tank

their was a proposal to build 600 but was reject by the OHL a prototype was finished  in March 1918 the reason it was rejected was the armor was insufficient.

The Germans staged a counter attack at Cambrai on November 29 1917 and they manage to capture a 100 British tanks most were damaged but it helped the expanding Panzers  force in its infancy  infact the Germans did use more of the capture tanks then they built of there own. The figures are the British built  1400 tanks the Germans built between 18-20 A7V 

Monday, 2 April 2012

WW1 German Panzers Part 8

Part 8
         The German Tank programmes had problems all the way through 1917. Concerns over the A7Vs
limitations led to more effects being put into Chefkraft K-Wagen Heavy Tank a design was drawn up it was to weigh about 136 tonnes  and propelled by two 600hp engines arm with four 77mm guns and a crew of 23 men
production was approve for ten of these monsters the production was split between two plants as the Chefkraft
staff was not able to do the design on its on so Vollmer was brought in to help with the design and trimmed the weight back to 100 Tonnes

                                                This may have been a prototype K-Wagen

The A7V programme still had problems the Daimler plants had a shortage of skilled craftsmen and also had material shortages  but slowly the got overcome and the first serial A7V production chassis without armor was ready by September 1917 and sent to the tracked driving school the first part in forming the first tank units.
the first A7V-Gelandwagen was a easy project and the first eight was ready in September 1917.

                                                   A7V Gelandwagen 1917

The first A7V tank number 501 was completed in October 1917 with basic machines configuration

                                                               A7V tank  WW1