Author Topic: The Panzer IV Digital Library - Stowage! 171124  (Read 10683 times)

tyroflyer

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2017, 11:06:50 AM »
Fair enough Pinky. Perhaps when everyone in Rubicon is rich they might produce some Italian and 1939 vehicles just for us!

ripley

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2017, 12:56:51 PM »
Tyro , you could kit bash yourself a C with minimal skill and effort, its just a matter of adding to or taking away pieces of plastic . You just have to decide how far you want to go . Get your self Squadron / Signal  Panzer IV in Action book #12 ( about $15 US ) .Compare the drawings of the C to the plastic  G/H kit . What has to change ? Lots is just cosmetic and won't really be noticed , even by FOW gamers  ::). You need a  flat drivers plate , no machine gun  ( radio ops  vision port from BA plastic Pzr III  kit ). You need single turret doors ,( still trying to get mine right ) cupola moved back a bit and a bump out added to turret rear ( green stuff ), turret rear pistol ports  , You need to have solid engine hatch doors  ( fill with green stuff ) , and you need to make the long muffler and skinnier tube muffler ( T-34 fuel tanks and Plastruct tubing ) . You could add the raised brake access hatches to the glacis plate , but if you stow extra track there , no one will notice .And little things like remove turret roof ventilator and add air flap and signal port ( not really nessessary  ) See really not hard with the right intel to build from , the first kit bash is always the hardest . Its gets so much easier as you try more . I'm to the stage where I am opening the Pzr IV / T-34  driver hatches as well as Pzr III / IV turret side doors , loader hatches on T-34 /85 and the rear escape hatch on my BA Panther . Ok , I have been building mostly 1/35 scale kits for 40 plus years , but I've done the same to them back in the day when you had to kit bash to get the version of the tank you wanted . Dragon wasn't around in the 70s to give you every single  version of the Tiger ever built like they are today .

tyroflyer

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2017, 02:31:36 PM »
I know I won't change any minds but I couldn't resist doing a little research on the breakdown of the Panzer IV variants early in the war. It appears that all 211 built before September 1939 were available at the outbreak of war. They were 35 Ausf A, 42 Ausf B and 134 Ausf C. There were no later marks at this time. A 63% chance Polish forces encountering Panzer IV's were engaged by an Ausf C. The Germans admitted to losing 19 Panzer IV's during the campaign that were beyond repair. If evenly applied across the various marks that leaves 122 Ausf C at the end of the campaign.

For the invasion of France, Belgium and the Netherlands the German forces had 278 Panzer IV's (another source says 280). None of the variants had been retired at this time. Although sources I'm looking at don't clarify whether all existing early tanks were engaged in the battle they do suggest nearly all were, including Ausf A and B. I think it's reasonable to suggest all Ausf C were engaged as the last of them had only come off the production line six months earlier and served for years into the future. On this basis 44% of the Panzer IV's available for this campaign were Ausf C. 

Therefore I submit anybody wanting to game either earlier period should also be keen to see a model of Panzer IV Ausf C.

As I say I don't expect to change any minds but I found this interesting. Somebody might have some more definitive numbers.

tyroflyer

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2017, 03:13:04 PM »
Oops, production of Ausf C stopped 8/9 months earlier not 6

tyroflyer

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2017, 01:50:19 PM »
For those that share my interest in the early war period I have found some more information on Panzer IV numbers.

After the invasion of Poland another 45 tanks were built before the years end. None in September, 20 in October, 11 in November and 14 in December. The number 45 I've read in a couple of places but the monthly breakdown comes from a publication called German Armour 1939-1940 by Eric Grove. All of these were the new Ausf D. To reach the number of Panzer IV's available on 10 May 1940 at least another 41 Ausf D must have been built in the months leading up to 10 May. That is 192 survivors from Poland (likely 122 Ausf C as in earlier post) plus another 86 Ausf D to make 278 total. Although we know the Ausf A's took part in this campaign if any were excused there may have been a few more Ausf D.

These production numbers look very small for the task about to be undertaken but it appears German production was heavily skewed towards production of 37mm armed tanks at the time. 1940 production included 862 Panzer 111 and 367 Panzer 38(t) compared with only 268 Panzer IV's.

I've read that the book Panzertruppen by Jentz reports 97 Panzer IV's were lost during this campaign (77 in May and 20 in June). 35% of those initially engaged. If we assume the losses were proportional across the variants that would include some 43 Ausf C reducing them to 79. The 86 Ausf D would be reduced by about 30 down to 56 plus any new production in that 6 weeks.

I think it's reasonable to conclude that Ausf C continued to be the most numerous Panzer IV up until the Armistice. In Eric Grove's words "this was the major single PzKpfw IV type in service in Poland and France".   

Pinky

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2017, 04:34:34 PM »
This is very interesting (I presume you've read other authors' comments on the accuracy of German 'on strength' reports, upon which 'Panzertruppen' as based).

I share your interest in early war armour.  I think the issue is simply cost versus reward.  The 'Blitzkrieg' period simply doesn't attract the same level of interest as NW Europe, the Eastern Front and the Desert War.  That shouldn't be the case - arguably it's just as interesting from a technical perspective, and more interesting from an operational/strategic perspective.  I think it probably just comes down to the enduring attraction of the late war AFVs (particularly German types).  As a result, apart from a few one-offs (and vehicles that served into the latter part of the war, such as armoured cars), the early war period was generally neglected by kit manufacturers until relatively recently.  A vehicle like the Panzer IV Ausf C would, if done properly, require a lot of different components to a later Panzer IV.  That's a significant investment, when the aim would be to have as many common components as possible.  I'd guess that most wargamers who wanted to game that period would be quite happy with an Ausf D (even if it was less common) - or even an Ausf E - as all they're really going to want is a Panzer IV with a short 75mm that basically looks the part.   

Hopefully, as Rubicon expands, they will have the resources to focus on this important period, and do it justice with a balanced range of French, British and German subjects.  Rubicon's style is well-suited to these early vehicles, as most of them had narrow tracks which are easily produced in one piece - there will be very little loss of detail.  The subjects I'd love to see would include:
- Pzkw 38t
- Pzkw II
- SdKfz 232 8 rad armoured car
- Somua S35
- Panhard 178 armoured car
- A13 Cruiser
- MKIV Light Tank
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 09:29:58 PM by Pinky »

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2017, 06:28:26 PM »
Pinky makes a number of good points.

I suspect that most players use the Bolt Action rules, and that does not differentiate between B to F, so they would be happy with any howitzer armed Panzer IV (Armies of Germany V1 page 47).

I have not read much on the early war period, but from what I have read the medium tanks made up about 10% of the Panzer divisions. Players of the early war period would probably be more interested in the light tanks.

I often wonder if the lack of interest in the early war period is psychological (as Britain had few if any land victories prior to North Africa) or availability. It may be a combination of the two.

There are no plastic infantry except Blitzkrieg Germans and no plastic tanks (though Our Gracious Hosts have teased us with a T26 http://forum.rubiconmodels.com/index.php?topic=310.msg4876#msg4876)

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I wonder if a package of vehicles and figures could kick start interest in the period.

But this is wandering off topic.


ripley

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2017, 09:03:39 PM »
What early war ? The war didn't start till Dec 1941 according to the Yanks ....lol .  Yes there are quite a few interesting early war vehicles that I would like at least one model kit of .  Maybe if one of the gaming companies release an early war specific set of rules , this era might get more attention . Will the Dunkirk movie help or hinder ?

Pinky

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2017, 09:43:01 PM »
One issue with the 'Blitzkrieg' era is that it's quite hard to represent in wargaming terms (at least in 28mm).  You need rules that properly represent factors such as crew efficiency, effective radio communications, reconnaissance, situational awareness and reliability - factors that generally worked in the Germans' favour.  More fundamentally, when one side's main advantage is superior tactics, how do you represent that on the tabletop, and still have an enjoyable game?

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2017, 10:04:15 PM »
What early war ? The war didn't start till Dec 1941 according to the Yanks ....lol . 
I remember a tour guide telling me that.

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2017, 10:22:52 PM »
Yes there are quite a few interesting early war vehicles that I would like at least one model kit of .  Maybe if one of the gaming companies release an early war specific set of rules , this era might get more attention . Will the Dunkirk movie help or hinder ?
Rules and figures.
One issue with the 'Blitzkrieg' era is that it's quite hard to represent in wargaming terms (at least in 28mm).  You need rules that properly represent factors such as crew efficiency, effective radio communications, reconnaissance, situational awareness and reliability - factors that generally worked in the Germans' favour.  More fundamentally, when one side's main advantage is superior tactics, how do you represent that on the tabletop, and still have an enjoyable game?
Good points.

As you say, most of the hardware is comparable.

You would have to have rules about tank crews enjoying the full protection of their armour or being able to see their environment and assist their infantry colleagues.

Maybe tanks can only act if shot at or after a command roll.


ripley

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2017, 09:41:41 AM »
Tank combat would be very hard figure out . There are battles where one tank  a  KV II , held up an attacking Company for a day  or or a Char B destroying  a line of  enemy vehicles in a short time . When used properly a single  Char B or KV II could really ruin a Panzer III crew's  day . True these are not the typical stories you hear about the battles of the early war but they are historical fact .

This KV held up elements of 6 Panzer Div at Raseiniai June 1941.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 09:53:18 AM by ripley »

Pinky

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2017, 09:55:28 AM »
Yes, and in game terms those kinds of encounters are easier to replicate in a wargame, because a vehicle with good paper stats is generally going to defeat vehicles with inferior stats.  But in most cases, Char Bs were defeated; the crew had poor visibility, the commander had too many tasks, and they weren't used well.  They were also vulnerable to a shot through the side ventilator. 

tyroflyer

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2017, 03:24:35 PM »
There are good points here that probably deserve a topic of their own. Namely the rulesets we use to play 28mm WWII games and why we buy the models we do, which in turn influence Rubicon to make the choices they make.

Briefly, I think of Bolt Action and Chain of Command when thinking about rulesets for this period and scale. Both are intended for games set in 1939/1940. For Bolt Action Warlord have available an almost comprehensive set of Polish resin vehicles. I agree with Pinky there maybe short comings with these rules concerning effective radio communications, reliability etc but I'm not sure other holes can't be picked in them for different periods of the war for different reasons. Whether they can be improved on probably depends on your appetite for realism versus playability.

Back to the Panzer IV discussion and Pinky's comment on whether the numbers in German reports can be believed. I tend to give credence to evidence where it is believable and in the absence of more plausible evidence to the contrary. Fundamentally I think Eric Grove's conclusion that the Ausf C was the most common Panzer IV up until the French armistice is correct without evidence to the contrary.

I sometimes think I am the equivalent of the much disparaged Napoleonic Army button counter. Although I have some idea of the various Sherman hulls and main armament I wouldn't have a clue about the size of various hatches and where they go. In the unlikely event I knew I wouldn't criticise or point out to someone they had the wrong variant. However if I wanted to build an army with Sherman's I would want to do the research and buy the correct variant. Otherwise I would know it was wrong. Likewise it wouldn't be right to invade Poland in 1939 with any old short barrelled Panzer IV. It wouldn't be cricket! (small descent into farce here).

Of course Rubicon need to do what makes them strong. In which event we might get more of the vehicles we'd like to see eventually. I totally agree with all the vehicles on Pinky's 'love to see' list and would add on the German side Pzkw I and Pzkw 35(t). On the Allied side there is a long list.


Pinky

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Re: The Panzer IV Digital Library - New 2017 Project
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2017, 10:05:12 AM »
Back to the Panzer IV discussion and Pinky's comment on whether the numbers in German reports can be believed. I tend to give credence to evidence where it is believable and in the absence of more plausible evidence to the contrary. Fundamentally I think Eric Grove's conclusion that the Ausf C was the most common Panzer IV up until the French armistice is correct without evidence to the contrary.

I just read a book which points out that German units routinely overstated their strength returns, so Jentz's numbers may not be as reliable as we all thought (at least in the latter part of the war).  It doesn't undermine your point about the Ausf C.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 03:34:35 PM by Pinky »