Steel wheel panther in 1945?

Hello, do you know if at least some of them survived till the capitulation? I’m tempted by doing a hull that got its turret replaced by a 8,8cm schmalturm turret using dragon 6917 panther ausf.F.

Thanks for the answer!

There were steel wheel Panthers that survived the war but they were all Ausf. G’s. 1 schmalturm turret was produced for the Ausf. F but never mated to a hull. US Army Special Ordinance put the schmalturm on a G hull and it now resides at Fort Benning, GA I believe.

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My what if idea would be that one of these steel wheel hull got its turret replaced by a 8,8cm schmalturm

If it’s a what - if, paper panzer, or 1946 idea then go for it!

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since some of them survived, I’ll do mine with a light sand turret combined with a 3 tonal hull, the 8,8cm willf come from a trumpeter E-50

Maybe of interest Panther F Turret exits and the Panther II hull does as well. IIRC the F turret was used for target practice after WW2 and left on the range a,long time before it was decided it was museum worthy.

Panther Ii has G turret on it for display at museum.
Panther II pics


It was determined during the design phase that the turret ring needed to be 100mm larger for the 8.8cm version of the Schmalturm, so clearly fitting it to a standard Panther G hull wasn’t going to work.

The 8.8cm version never got beyond mockup stage during the war anyway.

With the highly effective JagdPanther mounting the 8.8 cm seems like a fools errand to try to jam an 8.8cm in that schmall turret where it would be nearly impossible for the loader to actually load the gun.

from the tank encyclopedia article “On March 14, 1945, during a discussion of further developing the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther in the Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen, the Waffenamt is said to have done an excellent job designing the ‘8.8cm Kw.K. L/71’ onto a Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, with Wa Prüf 6 being thanked specifically. If the Waffenamt’s ‘8.8cm Panther’ was to be put into production, existing Panthers that received major overhauls would also be subject to mounting a turret with the 8.8cm. A ‘Versuchs-Panther’ or a prototype of the 8.8cm Panther was to be built out of soft steel and completed by early June. Mass production was to begin in the last quarter of 1945 if the “necessary support” was given.” I’ll try do put some damage on the hull, the idea being that the OG turret got too damaged to be repair, so the panther had to go back to the factory and a overhaul with the 8,8cm schmalturm

There’s a great book on the subject called Panzer Tracts 5-4 by Jenz/ Doyle. It has 1/35 drawings of the Panther F schmalturm and a projected turret for the Panther II (which was larger to accommodate the 88mm). I used it to accurize my DML Panther F and scratch build a turret for the Panther II.

BTY the Panther F had a new 75mm gun which I put in my DML model

The 8.8 cm Panther design was demanded by Hitler in early 1945, and the engineers at MAN complied. He even gave them an award for it. Two weeks later, he shot himself. The fact is, the turret would have been dramatically out of balance, and would likely have been very difficult to traverse on uneven ground (there is a reason the King Tiger has that huge turret bustle). MAN’s engineers made no objections because they knew they would never have to build it. By the time they got their little award, their factory was in US hands, the MNH factory was in British hands, and the Russians were a little over a week away from the Daimler Benz factory in Berlin.

As for the Schmalturm, apparently three were constructed for testing. They were cleared for production with the 7.5 cm gun, but US bombing of the assembly plants caused backlogs of Ausf G components that had to be used up first, so it never entered production. The Daimler Benz factory had three Ausf F hulls on the production line when the Soviets walked in, but no turrets. One completed tank with an Ausf F hull was photographed in Berlin (see “Panzers in Berlin 1945”), but it had an Ausf. G turret.

One Schmalturm was discovered in the 1990’s on the British Army Firing Range at Larkhill, perched on a Conqueror tank hull. About half of it was shot away, but it has been salvaged for museum display, and accurate drawing became possible starting in 1996.
The 1943 Panther II hull recovered by the Americans had an iron test weight in lieu of a turret, so the Ordnance team installed a 1945 Ausf G turret from the MAN factory before sending it to Aberdeen for testing.

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I like alternative history too, can I play too? :wink:

Assume the Germans achieve Total Victory in Battle of the Bulge and reach Antwerp, stopping the Allies cold. While the Allies recoup from being thrown into total disarray, Germany pivots their armor from the West to the East and a second “Manstein Miracle” occurs stopping the USSR’s advances cold, saves Berlin and cripples the Red Army.

B-29’s would have been transferred to Great Britain in all likelihood after defeat at the Battle of the Bulge. Conventional fire bombing would have escalated almost immediately. When the atomic bomb(s) arrive in the UK, German cities would start disappearing in mushroom clouds. That would have continued until Germany surrendered.

WW2 in Europe ends probably in August or September before the last quarter of 1945.


The german had like no chance at all at winning herbstnebel, by the way ligne de front did a verry good article showing the ideal plan for the operation (and it’s kind of a “nazi expectation vs reality” article since they also show what really happened Ligne de Front n° 90 : Ardennes 1944 - le plan d'Hitler pour gagner ) and yeah, if the war lasted longer, nazi germany would have got the bomb too

German WW2 kit is definitely some of the most interesting. Probably why it’s been my primary modeling & history focus for me for over forty-five years of my fifty years model building.

Fascist Germany would have gotten Atomic Bombed out of existence but Fascist Germany would not have developed an atomic bomb during WW2. That wasn’t obvious then but it is now with information at hand.

Heisenburg had led the German research program in wrong direction. Plus the Nazi government had decided the war would be over before a German bomb could be successfully developed. So the Nazi’s therefore failed to adequately fund the research. In addition, in after war in an interview, Heisenburg provided equations that proved he understood the concept of an Atomic Bomb. The equations proved he lacked a practical understanding of how to actually build an Atomic bomb with the resources available. Never mind the near total failure of the Nazi education system to produce new top notch Theorist to aid in such endeavors.

Another very interesting WW2 fact is the German General Staff knew Germany’s logistical system would fail to support the Wehrmacht in a war with the USSR due to shortages of motorized transport. The shoddy German logistical system had very nearly fallen apart during the 1940 campaign in France.

This sums up the leadership planning by WW2 Germany perfectly.

Amateurs talk about strategy and tactics . Professionals talk about logistics and sustainability in warfare” was said by Robert Hilliard Barrow (1922-2008), a United States Marine Corps four-star general.

It’s hard to image a crime by any government more heinous than unleashing WW2 in Europe based on amateur planning with faulty logistics in my opinion. It’s the ultimate real world example of a government that totally betrayed its own people and all branches of it’s armed forces.

I’d reccomand watching the week by week coverage of indy neidell on youtube for that I’ll do a comparaison between dragon and RFM panther F when the RFM arrive

I actually wonder if Nazi Germany would have been bombed out of existence using the nuclear weapon; I appreciate that radiation levels and downwind hazards etc were generally not factored until later on but they might have had to have been soon after any initial use in order not to poison the whole of Europe. Radioactive clouds heading towards the Soviet Union - an Ally - might have been politically unacceptable. While we’re postulating on all this (which I also find hugely interesting) I just wonder if we shouldn’t overlook that after any initial nuclear use by the Allies, there might be considerable retaliatory effort by the Germans using Tabun or Sarin. A few dozen V1s with weaponised nerve agents targeting B29 airfields in the UK might have put a whole new complexion on things!

This has of course, absolutely nothing to do with Panther wheels so apologies(!)

Germany had to attack when they did, shoddy logistics or not. If they waited much longer they were afraid that their future opponent would have rearmed too much, right or wrong but it was their fear.
The first production T-34s were completed in September 1940. The Germans did probably not know about the T-34 since it came as a nasty surprise to them. Operation Barbarossa started in June 1941.
They attacked when they thought they were leading the arms race. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact covered their backs when they attacked in the West.
If they had waited for logistics to catch up the war might even have ended with a German loss a year earlier and the Iron Curtain planted at the French border …

BTW - I enjoy this sort of discussion:) Interesting views and details often rise to the surface. Best Regards to all :slight_smile:

Without doubt a horrible scenario with after effects of nuclear weapons.

Certainly, considerable retaliatory effort by the Germans using Tabun or Sarin would be in the mix. There would be a terror factor indeed. Of course trading an airfield for a city isn’t an exchange even remotely in Germany’s favor.

That’s a fair point if Germany absolutely had to launch the war of aggression. However the USSR wasn’t really much of a creditable threat to Germany for the foreseeable future in 1941.

To win, Germany needed a coherent Grand Strategy, a willingness to go to a full war economy in 1939 instead of 1944 and sound logistics. Appears all of those were missing from their war effort.

Bottom line is that there was no need to use the atomic bomb on Germany. The country was in ruins and its capacity to wage modern war was absolutely destroyed. There was nothing close going on with the German civilian or military that would have been comparable to what the entire Japanese population was prepared to do to resist an Allied invasion of their homeland.

The Germans were defeated and ready to end the war. Absolutely no need whatsoever to even consider employing atomic weapons to end the war in Europe.

Germany NEVER possessed an economy large enough to have ever manufactured the atomic bomb during the war even had their scientists figured out the science and technology. There was also no way that the Germans could have sourced the raw materials needed to enrich uranium or produce plutonium necessary to build the bombs. The resources simply did not exist for the Germans even if their economy could have afforded it.

Consider that the US Manhattan Project employed over 130,000(!) workers and cost more than $2 billion (in 1945 dollars - around $20 billion in today’s dollars). At the then exchange rate of 4.2 RM to the US$, it would have cost the Germans nearly RM10 BILLION to create their own version of the Manhattan project. Simply not possible for the Germans. Period. (Only barely possible for the US.)

(One estimate is that Germany spent about RM1.1 trillion total on WWII military costs. IF they had also tried to match the US spending on their own Manhattan project, the result would have simply been a shorter war with fewer German tanks, planes, etc. Again, since the raw materials were not available to the Germans, this expense would have produced nothing at the cost of fewer conventional military resources to conduct the war.)

This does not even touch on related subjects like the absolute and total absence of any German strategic bomber - no serious program to develop one, and not even a token program to manufacture one. Again, consider the that the US spent nearly $100 MILLION on just MODIFYING the existing B29 to drop the atomic bomb and training the crews to do so. Germany had nothing even close to this capability and could not have manufactured it had they even had the designs and technology.

The real bottom line is that the war was over for both Germany and Japan in all but the timing when the US entered the war. Neither country had the economic wherewithal to win once that happened.

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