Somebody, somewhere, must have figured out what tanks the Germans produced in 1941-1943 and where they went.
But this seems hard to find in English and as far as I can see the clearest report is to be found on wikipedia, quoting the available English-language sources.
So with regard to the PZIIIs, the wikipedia post (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_III) reports the following:
Panzer III Ausf. A, B, C, D - Pre-production models in 1937-1938. 75 produced.
Panzer III Ausf. E, F - Production models 1939-1940. Armed with 3.7 cm KwK 36 L/46.5 (later 5 cm KwK 38 L/42) guns. 531 produced.
Panzer III Ausf. G - More armour on gun mantlet. Armed with 5 cm KwK 38 L/42 gun. 600 produced in 1940-1941.
Panzer III Ausf. H - Minor modifications. Bolt-on armor added to front and rear hull (30 mm + 30 mm plates). 308 produced in 1940-1941.
Panzer III Ausf. I - Variant mentioned in Allied intelligence reports but not an actual existing vehicle.
Panzer III Ausf. J - The hull was lengthened. Front armor increased to 50 mm plate. 482 produced in 1941.
Panzer III Ausf. J¹ - Equipped with the longer and more powerful 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 gun. 1,067 produced in late 1941 to mid 1942.
Panzer III Ausf. K - Panzerbefehlswagen command tank variant with a modified turret. Carried actual main armament rather than a dummy gun as found on other Panzer III command versions.
Panzer III Ausf. L - Uparmored to 50 mm + 20 mm plates. 653 produced in 1942.
Panzer III Ausf. M - Minor modifications such as deep-wading exhaust and schurzen. 250 produced in 1942-1943.
Panzer III Ausf. N - Armed with a short barreled 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 gun, due to 7.5 cm gun's ability to fire HEAT rounds. 700 re-equipped J/L/M models in 1942-1943
For TOAW purposes in a scenario that starts in October 1941 and ends in April 1943, this could perhaps be simplified this way:
PzIIIJ: 1067 produced between Oct 1 1941-June 1 1942 (14 per turn or so)
PzIIIL: 653 produced between June 1 1942-Dec 1 1942 (14 per turn or so)
PzIIIN: 700 produced between Oct 1 1942-April 1 1943 (14 per turn or so)
That is still three equipment transitions – kind of busy for TOAW.
But remembering that we are in the realm of “alternative history” perhaps this can be further simplified this way.
Jentz reports on page 215 of Panzertruppen vol. 1 that on March 12, 1942, OKW/OKH ordered 6th, 7th and 10th panzers to be withdrawn to be refit. The plan contemplated their return as follows: 10th panzer July 15/42; 6th panzer August 1/42; 7th panzer September 1/42. This refit coincides with the PZIIIL production. It is also true (as Jentz reports on page 215) that between May and June of 1942, the panzer divisions of AGS were expanded to include a third “panzer-abteilung”, cannibalized in large part from divisions in AGN and AGC. However, this would not occur in this scenario, since the focus of the German offensive remains in AGC. So we could speculate that in these circumstances OKW/OKH would instead reinforce the three withdrawn/rebuilt panzer divisions to give them each three panzer battalions.
So we could give the rebuilt 6th, 7th and 10th panzers three fully-established battalions of PZIIIL tanks; cheat a little by feathering the balance of PzIIIL production into PzIIIJ production, average production at say 11 per turn between October 1, 1941 and December 1 1942, and only have two equipment transitions to worry about. A say 0.75% per turn continuing production of “Ls” could simulate the ongoing need to repair and recondition existing runners.
The “L” type seems to mostly be about enhanced armour, so the performance hit of having slightly fewer “L”s and slightly more “J”s should be tolerable.
Giving each panzer battalion (other than 6th, 7th and 10th panzer) say 20 pzIIIJ “slots” should result in these tanks filtering into all of the battalions, assuming they are all still in existence.
We could then do the same with the pzIIINs, giving each panzer battalion a chance to field some of these HEAT-equipped runners. Jentz comments on page 219 that “there was no uniformity in issuing the pzIIIN with the 7.5cm gun. Panzer regiment 7 didn’t receive any; panzer regiment 11 receive 32 to 35n and panzer regiment 25 received 14”. But since we don’t have any further detail, this deployment can just be averaged out.
What to do with the large park of earlier-model tanks the scenario begins with? The trusty Jentz notes that a remarkable number of panzers of all types went in for repairs over the course of this campaign. I think this means that production of “J” tanks can’t just be halted in mid-scenario because to do so would mean they would disappear from the game, when in fact many disabled runners were repaired and returned to the field. I’m thinking a rounded-down production (something like 0.75% per turn) to simulate repairs and returns.
What to do with the PZIVs?
We read in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_IV) that production was as follows:
1941 769 IVe produced (7 per turn)
1942 880 IVe-g produced (8 per turn)
April 1 1943 3013 IVH produced (28 per turn)
So the problem is in 1942 and (presumably) in early 1943 – when 880 runners simulated in TOAW as IVF1s and IVf2s enter the war.
I think the IVh type is beyond the scope of this scenario since it seems unlikely they would arrive in force before its end, production only starting in April 1943. This new production also represents a fundamental shift in the organization of the pz battalions with the replacement of the type III with the type IV as the main anti-armour battle tank – probably also outside of the scope of this scenario.
I guess, in the absence of any better information, the thing to do here is to feather their reinforcements evenly into all of the panzer battalions and to leave a residual “repair production” for the existing park.
How does that look?
< Message edited by briantopp -- 11/13/2010 5:19:54 PM >