Steel wheel panther in 1945?

I suspect that any, what we would nowadays call a chemical attack on UK soil would have resulted in Churchill banning USAAF flights, or certainly atomic attacks from England; I would suggest that whilst I mentioned earlier that airfields may have been an initial target, this would soon include centres of population and may have proven a deterrent, or at least caused an impasse while the Allies dicussed what to do.

An atomic attack may well be unique but the drenching of UK cities with nerve gases would be on a par I reckon. This would all have put the Alliance under great strain viz UK chemical casualties, radioactive ones in the Soviet Union? Hmmm. Discuss!

This may have resulted in the US raiding from bases in say, Italy, which they could have done with ease, so atomic ruin would possibly still have ensued, until the full extent of radiation poisoning in the Soviet Union was recognised perhaps.

But then, this is all perhaps.

Seriously doubt with Winston Churchill’s fortitude and determination, I think there’s a very low chance any of that would have occurred. With Neville Chamberlain certainly.

WC might not have remained UK Prime Minister very long had the horrible alter events occured.

I disagree; Churchill could not have stood by while British cities were under attack with chemical weapons and the concomitant mass casualties. I have no doubt that he would have supported the destruction of Germany by any means possible, but he would have been fighting for his political life were Britain to have been attacked thus. If he banned say B29 flights from UK soil, he would still have supported such raids from Italy either overtly or otherwise, but he would have been unable to endure chemical casualties I reckon. If this was, say, 45, then his nation were nothing if not war weary; the V1 and V2 offensive were nearly enough to affect homefront morale; widespread chemical attacks would have unseated him I’m sure. That is not to impugn his resolve to destroy Nazi Germany; I believe in around 1943 in support of Bomber Command’s offensive - possibly on Hamburg - he quoted (from the Bible) “He that sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind” so I doubt that he would have any compunction over subsequent atomic attacks, just that massed British casualties that late in the war would require no small consideration.

It would have been a matter of timing, first.

The US didn’t actually possess an atomic capability until Feb, 1945. This was when Truman was notified of the successful Trinity test.

So, the window of opportunity for the Germans to have used chemical weapons against civilian targets in the UK without an atomic response was before then.

After that Feb, 1945, Germany didn’t have the capability to deliver chemical weapons in any significant amounts against the UK to deter the use of atomic weapons against it. By the time the US had atomic weapons, the Germans had essentially zero strategic retaliatory capability. The Germans possessed no deterrent threat to prevent the US from employing the atomic bomb, had they chosen to do so.

The reason why the Allies didn’t use the bomb was because there was no reason to. By the time the bomb was a reality, Germany was defeated in all ways that mattered. German forces were surrendering in droves to the Western Allies, and most were continuing to fight the Soviets in order to gain an opportunity to avoid capture on the eastern front. Germany’s economy and strategic war-making capacity were both destroyed.

Before that time, well…

Consider that Hitler had chemical weapons at the start of the war. Their actual employment was technically possible from the moment the first shot was fired. Hitler chose to not only NOT employ chemical weapons against the British, but he also chose not to do so against the Soviets whom he considered true sub-humans.

Hitler was, himself, psychologically afraid of chemical weapons. He had experienced firsthand their effects during WWI when he, himself, was gassed. He also knew that had he employed chemical weapons, the British would have responded in kind. The British also had the technical capability to employ chemical weapons, and the military experience of their use in WWI was still fresh and relevant. Chemical weapons were well understood and created no irrational fear. They were seen as relatively ineffective on the battlefield against troops properly equipped. Their limitations as casualty producing weapons was not over-estimated.

Frankly, the window for Germany to use chemical weapons to gain any strategic advantage ended with the Battle of Britain. Up to the point it is just conceivable that indiscriminate chemical attacks against civilian targets might have caused enough domestic pressure for Britain to sue for peace with Germany.

However, I believe there were enough British WWI vets who knew and understood the basic ineffectiveness of chemical warfare beyond the initial surprise of first use against unprepared targets. After the initial surprise, far from calling for peace with Germany, I think the British would have been enraged and hell-bent on revenge. At that point, I have no doubt at all that Britain would have retaliated against German civilian targets with their own chemical attacks.

(Consider British public demand for retaliatory attacks against German cities after Germany first bombed British civilian targets during the Blitz.)

The net result of German first use of chemical weapons against British civilian targets might have been an even earlier entry into the war by the US which would have only caused the war to end even sooner. The psychological horror of any such German attack would have manifested itself even stronger in the US in favor of open intervention to assist the British.

Written before I read the post by SdAufKla:

Could the UK have retaliated with chemical weapons?
Once the first can of gas is opened there will be others doing the same.
Fire bombing of German cities (Hamburg, Dresden …) was already being done so the step to chemical weapons wouldn’t have been that great. Burned or suffocated to death in the firestorms or killed by chemicals wouldn’t matter much to a dead civilian anyway

uh, haven’t we derived a bit? The subject was on steel wheel panther who survived in 1945 at first.

Indeed. Happens all the time with this crowd :wink:

Do you think there is any hope of finding a definitive answer to the original question?
I would say: Go for it!
It probably never happened but who knows what might have happened if the war had continued.
Build it and have fun while doing it. If someone wants to complain about it not being historically correct you can just ignore them.

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I did got answer to my OG question and I’ll go for it since it mean a original panther (+it’ll be much more easy for me to do than to correct dragon hatches, I’ll compare them with the RFM one when it arrive)

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No sure; but just to stress my response was predicated upon Armor Buff’s scenario whereby atomic bombing of Germany had already occurred.

Just a couple of things though: the Germans, were they so inclined, could have availed themselves of considerable amounts of uranium from within their own borders as the Soviets discovered once they’d occupied what became the DDR (or it may also have been available in Czechoslovakia). Either way, I believe there were considerable deposits in the SE part of Germany, against the Czech border.

In addition to a British chemical capability, they could also have facilitated a biological assault using Anthrax (as tested on Gruinard Island in 1942) - which of course, would have been a whole new ball-game. However, we were fighting for our very survival, and nothing was too dastardly to be at least considered. As an eminent (British) historian has recounted, “Nazi Germany presented a unique evil”.

Now, back to Panther wheels…

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@sgeorges4 , Looking forward to seeing your Panther.

I almost feel inspired to build one too.Reworked G hull with Zimmerit with rubber rimmed wheels, in Tri-color & a parkerized finished F Turret w/streaks of panzer olive.

The Trinity test occurred in July 1945, after Germany had surrendered. As for the possible use of Sarin and Tabun (Nerve Agents), the Allies had no defensive capabilities or detection methods, so initial casualties would have been very high.

As for the Panther, go for it! Just be sure to post the photos here, so we can see it.


I stand corrected. I looked up the wrong date for the conference when Truman got the message about the successful test when I should have just looked up the Trinity test date.

I think the point still stands, though, that there was no US atomic capability before the Germans had lost the war, so any hypothetical use of chemical weapons by them was no deterrent to such a use. The US didn’t use the bomb against the Germans because the Germans had already lost the war.

As to the potential for casualties had the Germans decided to use chemical weapons against British civilian targets, the window of opportunity for the Germans to do so closed long before 1945.

The Germans lacked any practical strategic capability to deliver such weapons as soon as the launch areas for their V-weapons were lost. Even had they wanted to use the V-1 and / or V-2 to deliver chemical weapons, neither was developed or ever tested (as far as I know) to do so. There are many technical issues that would have required resolution before either could have been an effective delivery means.

In the end, the V-weapons were essentially ineffective in producing any favorable strategic outcome for the Germans, and their use to deliver chemical weapons would likely have been no more productive in that sense than their ability to deliver significant conventional explosives.

The total lack of any German strategic air capability meant that they had no other significant, viable alternative means to do so. They could possibly have mustered some minor surge of tactical aircraft to make such an attempt, but as their Bodenplatte operation during the Battle of the Bulge demonstrated, the Germans could not have sustained any such effort over more than a few days at best. Even then, the Western Allies had essentially total air superiority over the channel and the British islands. It’s doubtful the Germans could have managed to get more than a handful of tactical bombers into British airspace to attack any targets with chemical weapons.

Frankly, by the time Germany was in such dire straights that the tactical, operational or strategic use of chemical weapons was a potentially viable war-winning (or perhaps just bring the Allies to the table to talk) option, the war on the Eastern front was much more threatening and existential than what the Western Allies were doing.

I think it much, much more likely as an alternate history exploration that the Germans would have employed chemical weapons against the Soviets long before they would have done the same against the Western Allies. The fact that the Germans never even attempted on a small scale the use of chemical weapons on the Eastern Front speaks volumes about the odds they would have ever used them against the Western Allies - either military forces on the field or civilian targets on the British islands.

Hope you don’t mind me jumping in with this Aurelien … I did this a while ago for the snow white campaign… My steel wheeled Panther.

Main thing to remember… Have fun and enjoy the build… Hope to see some pics of your Panther soon :+1:


Nice job on the Panther!
And @SdAufKla some good points.

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Im late. I have some input to the OG.

If you do a “what if” vehicle, why do you bother to know the details of these captured vehicle. The fact that the steel wheels replaced the cushioned wheels is well known.

About the paper vs reality, there are many details on technical and practical limitations on how it wouldn’t work, but that’s for another time.

I like my what if to be somewhat accurate, at least regarding the basic project (I can still deviate if what’s avaiable for me is just rough scheme like with the P1000 ratte from takom)

brush or airbrush? look really good, is that dragon panther F?

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That’s a nifty looking cat. :+1: :+1:

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Thanks Ken and DV… Yes Aurelien, the base coat was airbrushed. It was tamiya flat white with I think either very small drops of flesh or khaki to give it a faded off white colour, then NATO black, green and brown and dark green tamiya used by dabbing gently with the cut off corner from a scotchbrite scouring pad. The wavy barrel was masking tape and free hand. For the eagle eyed, there are 2 CVRT bins on it, and half a long bin from a Chieftain :grin:

And yes, it’s the old DML Panther II kit… It was very soft on the wheel detail, hence the mud / dirt pigments …and it’s a metal Jagdpanther barrel.

The old Panther II by Dragon #6027 (1994) was a lot of fun to build.

Hope no one mind’s me adding mine from 1995. Made up a variation of Ambush scheme camo for it. The Panzer Police in the local model club coughed up hair balls accordingly. :slight_smile: