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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/15/2018 5:43:14 PM   
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Heroes and Leaders mod: German Availability SW Catalog




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/16/2018 6:12:17 PM   
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The 105L mm K 18 was the "long arm" of the divisional artillery. One battery of four guns were often found per artillery regiment; however, as the war progressed they fell from favor, being judged as too big and heavy for their caliber. They were also used as corps artillery. It sometimes equipped the medium artillery battalion (with the 15 cm sFH 18) of German divisions, but generally was used by independent artillery battalions and on coast defense duties. Some were used as anti-tank guns during the early stages of war on the Eastern Front, as well as on the prototype self propelled gun "Dicker Max". It was found in Western Desert, and there were over 400 in use at the start of Operation Barbarossa, mainly serving with the corps artillery. Around 1,500 guns were produced until 1945 (702 had been produced by the outbreak of the Second World War, and another 732 were built during the war).

The German army wanted a new 10.5 cm gun as well as 15 cm howitzer which were to share the same carriage. Guns are heavier than howitzers due to the longer barrel. The 10cm K 18 was designed between 1926 and 1930. Krupp and Rheinmetall were both asked to develop prototypes of a new long range gun for the corps artillery batteries. Both companies had completed examples of their next weapons by 1930, but the German army couldn't decide which one to accept. In the end they selected elements from each design. The carriage was designed by Krupp, and was also used on the 15cm sFH 18 (heavy field howitzer). The barrel was designed by Rheinmetall. This also led to the 15 cm sFH 18. As such both weapons had a similar weight and could be carried by a similar carriage. By 1926 Krupp and Rheinmetall had specimen designs, and prototypes were ready by 1930, but was not fielded until 1933–34. Both Krupp and Rheinmetall competed for the development contract, but the Wehrmacht compromised and selected Krupp's carriage to be mated with Rheinmetall's gun.

The 105L mm K 18/40 arose from a O.K.H request to produce a variant of the 10.5 cm schwere Kanone 18 with greater range. Both Krupp and Rheinmetal produced similar, but competing designs. An improved version with a longer L/60 barrel was designed in an attempt to improve the range of the gun. The first prototype was ready in 1941, when it had the designation 10.5cm K 18/40/ This was then changed to the 10.5cm sK 43 (schwere Kanone), but only a handful were produced. Production was proposed in 1941, but delayed until 1943 because it was felt its introduction would disrupt existing production schedules. When it did go into production it was designated as the 10.5 cm schwere Kanone 18/42. The main difference between the schwere Kanone 18 and schwere Kanone 18/42 were a longer barrel and the same carriage as the 15 cm sFH 18/40.
The s 10cm K 18 had solid wheels pierced with eight small circular holes. It had a short cradle, with part of the recoil mechanism above the barrel and a pair of equilibrators mounted on either side of the barrel, just in front of the wheels. The s 10cm K 18 entered service in 1934 and became the standard equipment for the medium artillery units. However it wasn't a great success in service. It was too heavy to be towed by one team of horses, and thus needed to be split into barrel and carriage for transport. It could also be towed as a single load by a half-track tractor, but it wasn't really a powerful enough weapon to justify the use of scarce motor transport.
As a result of its flaws the s 10cm K18 was slowly phased out and given to the coastal artillery. Here its long range was an advantage, but the light shell was still a major problem. A new sea marker shell was developed for the new role, to make it easier to judge ranges at sea. The limited number of guns available meant that they were never a major of the coastal defenses - none were placed on the D-Day beaches for example.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/17/2018 5:52:12 PM   
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The infantry support gun proved a major player in the fighting of World War 2 and, in 1932, the expanding German Army adopted the 7.5cm leichtes Infanteriegeschutz 18 (7.5 cm le.IG 18) ("Light Infantry Gun") infantry support gun system. Design work on the type began in 1927 and manufacture was headed by the storied concern of Rheinmetall. Production spanned from 1932 into 1945, the last year of the war, with manufacture allowing for some 12,000 units to be delivered.
The 7.5 cm leIG 18, was the standard regimental light support piece of the German infantry. A special lightened version was also provided for mountain troops. Six were allocated to the 13th (infantry gun) company of each infantry regiment. One interesting feature of this howitzer was its breech action, which was similar to that of a shotgun; i.e., the barrel was pivoted, and reloading was accomplished by elevating the rear of the barrel to clear the non-moving breech block.
Development of the gun began in 1927, by Rheinmetall. The crew was protected by an armored shield. The mountain gun variant, was the 7.5 cm le.GebIG 18. For transport, the mountain variant could be broken down into six to ten packs, the heaviest weighing 74.9 kg. These were typically assigned at two to each mountain battalion. Six 7.5 cm le.IG 18F were manufactured in 1939. These were airborne guns, capable of being broken down into four 140 kg loads. The airborne variant had smaller wheels and no shield. There was also an infantry support gun, known as the 7.5 cm Infanteriegeschütz L/13 and designed as a replacement for the le.IG 18, which could be broken into four to six loads. However, though prototypes were tested, the German army felt that it did not improve on the existing design sufficiently to merit introduction and the army stayed with the earlier gun.
Weighing some 880 lbs, the IG 18 was not a light artillery piece. It required a crew of five for general operation and relied on a mover vehicle for towing. It could be moved about by the crew when short distances were covered in battle - of course the terrain would play a major role. The weapon, as a complete, system, consisted of a short barrel and gun mount, a small angled shield for basic ballistics protection and a heavily-spoked solid wheel pairing. The mounting carriage was of a split trail type to which the legs opened and added recoil support when firing. The barrel measured three feet long and was 75 mm in caliber. The IG 18 fired a 75 mm cased-cartridge type projectile weighing 13 Ibs with loading by the crew through a shotgun-style block breech mechanism. The gun mounting allowed for an elevation span 01 -10 to +73 degrees with traversal to either side of 12-degrees. An experiences, well-trained crew could reach a rate-of-fire of eight to twelve rounds per minute. Muzzle velocity was rated at 690 feet per second while maximum range was out to nearly 4,000 yards.
The IG 18 series managed an active existence through all of World War 2 across countless campaigns where its short-/medium-ranged, relative light weight design and heavy hitting firepower were used alongside infantry maneuvers. The weapons could also be dug in and utilized in the defensive role.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/18/2018 5:51:56 PM   
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The German Army fielded all manner of artillery during World War 2 (1939-1945) - field guns, howitzers, raugurs, and infantry-level support guns. For the latter, the standardized system became the 15 cm sIG 33 (Schweres Infanterie Geschutz 33) series gun introduced during the German rearmament period of the 1930s. Total production of the gun numbered approximately 4,600 units before the end of the fighting in 1945. The 15 cm sIG 33 was the companion piece to the leIG 18, two being included in the regimental infantry gun company. It was also the heaviest and largest-caliber infantry gun used during the war. In action, its 84 lb. HE shell provided powerful support, but its weight greatly limited its tactical mobility and led to a number of SP variants on fully-tracked chassis.
Design work on the new infantry gun spanned from 1927 to 1933 with Rheinmetall charged with its production in 1936. Eventually AEG-Fabriken and Bohemisch Waffenfabrik participated to shore up the wartime requirement. The sIG 33 utilized a considerably large caliber (150 mm) for an infantry-level weapon and its weight was anything but favorable in terms of mobility. Early production models were horse-drawn, with wooden wheels. Later production models had pressed steel wheels, with solid rubber tires and air brakes for motor towing, albeit at a low speed (only carriages with pneumatic tires and suspension system could be towed at highway speeds). As with most German artillery carriages, the solid rubber tires and lack of springing meant that the gun couldn't safely be towed above 10 mph, and horse-drawing was still extensively employed.
The gun tube featured a horizontal sliding breech block and hydro pneumatic recoil mechanism. The mounting hardware allowed for an elevation span of 0 to +73 degrees and traversal of 11.5 degrees from centerline. Fitted sights were the Rblf36 series. A thin gun shield was intended to protect the gunnery crew from battlefield dangers but its overall protection was minimal at best. Most of the shells used by the sIG 33 were unexceptional in design, but the Stielgranate 42 was different in fundamental ways from ordinary shells. The driving rod was loaded into the muzzle so that the finned projectile remained in front of, and outside, the barrel entirely. A special charge was loaded and would propel the projectile about 1,000 meters. At about 150 meters distance, the driving rod would separate from the projectile. Unlike other Stielgranaten, this version was not intended for anti-tank use, but rather for the demolition of strongpoints and clearing barbed-wire obstacles and minefields by blast effect. Each hells weighed about 84 pounds and carried a filler compound of amatol. This standard HE projectile was followed by the "I Gr 38 Nb" smoke round and the I Gr 39 HI/A hollow-charge round. The Stielgranate 42 projectile was used as a demolition round for obstacle clearance and had 60 lb of amatol as its filling compound - of course there was no restriction for its use against concentrations of dug in enemy troops.
In practice, as was the case with most of the German guns of the war, the 15 cm sIG 33 gave good service for its role. Its field weight totaled 4,000 pounds and its dimensions included a length of 4.4 meters and a width of 2 meters. Its relatively compact size allowed for it to be hauled relatively easily by mover vehicle or "beast of burden" and transportation by rail provided few issues. The weapon's listed rate-of-fire was up to three rounds-per-minute out to effective ranges of 4,700 meters. Muzzle velocity was 790 feet per second.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/19/2018 3:42:45 PM   
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The recoilless guns were popular with designers, because the absence of the various mechanisms used to absorb a normal gun's recoil meant they were much lighter and were also cheaper to produce. A recoilless gun (RCL) is a type of lightweight tube artillery that is designed to allow some of the propellant gases to escape out the rear of the weapon at the moment of ignition, creating forward thrust that counteracts some of the weapon's recoil. This allows for the elimination of much of the heavy and bulky recoiling mechanisms of a conventional cannon, while still enabling the unit to fire a powerful projectile. Besides this, the lower pressures involved allow thinner walled and lighter tubes, further lowering the weight of the cannon. They were not as popular with the users however, who disliked the dangers and tactical limitations inherent in their tremendous backblast.
Development of recoilless weapons by Rheinmetall began in 1937 in an effort to provide airborne troops with heavy support weapons that could be dropped by parachute. Both Krupp and Rheinmetall competed for production contracts in a contest that was won by the latter. Initially produced under the designation of LG 1, this was soon changed to LG 40 to match the then current "year of origin" naming system.
The LG 40 was the first recoilless gun to see combat in the ground role. Its first saw use during the Battle of Crete where it equipped 2. Batterie Fallschirmjäger Artillerie Abteilung. It saw widespread use by German parachute units, both Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS for the rest of the war. The 500th SS-Fallschirmjäger Battalion used four examples during its airdrop on Josip Broz Tito's headquarters at Drvar. The German Gebirgsjäger (mountain infantry) also appreciated its light weight and used a number of them during the battles in the Caucasus Mountains in the latter half of 1942. Some 450 were built, and two RCL were often present in the MG company of each such regiment.
One characteristic common to all the German recoilless guns, was that they used ordinary shells, albeit with a different cartridge to cater to the unique issues involved in the recoilless principles.
This gun used HE shells from the 7.5 cm Gebirgsgeschütz (Mountain Gun) 36 and the anti-tank shell of the 7.5 cm Feldkanone 16, neuer Art (Field Cannon, New Model). This meant that its ammunition could not be optimized to benefit from the peculiar ballistic characteristics of recoilless weapons. On the other hand, it saved significant research time and effort and meant that existing production lines and stocks of shells could be used at a considerable saving.
Two problems became evident after the Leichtgeschütz (light gun) was fielded. The gas expelled through the venture of the firing mechanism could cause fouling in the mechanism itself, but fixing this required a redesign of the entire breech and was deemed not worth disrupting the production line or rebuilding the existing guns. The second problem was more serious in that the mounting began to shake itself apart after about 300 rounds were fired. This was principally caused by the torque imparted to the mount when the shell engaged the rifling as well as by the erosion of the nozzles by the combustion gases. These could be countered by welding vanes inside the nozzles that were curved in a direction opposite to the rifling which would then counteract the torque exerted by the shell and minimizing the stress on the gun mount.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/20/2018 9:29:45 PM   
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The development history of the LG 42 is not clear, but it seems obvious that the success of the company's 7.5 cm LG 40 during the Battle of Crete in 1941 spurred the Germans to continue development of recoilless guns in larger calibers. Krupp seems to have gotten its 10.5 cm LG 40 into service first, but the Rheinmetall LG 42 was apparently manufactured in larger quantities. After production of the 7.5 cm LG 40 commenced it was decided that future guns would be of larger caliber. This resulted in the 10.5 cm LG 42 (and the similar 10.5 cm LG 40), which was used in the same manner as the earlier 7.5 cm gun. Recoilless guns could be either dropped by para-chute or landed with their SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad towing vehicles in a glider. Production of German recoilless guns ceased in early 1944 since they consumed three to five times the amount of propellant used in conventional artillery, and by this time in the war propellant was in short supply.
The LG 42 was basically an enlarged and improved version of the 7.5 cm LG 40. It incorporated torque vanes in the jet nozzle to counteract the torque forces imparted by the round engaging the rifling and any clogged or eroded nozzles. It also used the improved priming mechanism developed after the problems with the smaller weapon became apparent. Like all the German 10.5 cm recoilless rifles it shared shells with the 10.5 cm leFH 18 (light Field Howitzer). The LG 42-1 version was built using light alloys in parts of the carriage, but the LG 42-2 replaced these with ordinary steel as light alloys became too valuable later in the war. Both versions could be broken down into 4 loads for parachute operations.
Both 105 mm recoilless guns, unlike the 75 mm LG 40, equipped independent artillery batteries and battalions. These include Batteries 423–426, 429, 433, and 443, most of which were later incorporated into Leichtgeschütze-Abt. (Light Gun Battalion) 423 and 424. These units served in both the Arctic under 20th Mountain Army and in central Russia under Heeresgruppe Mitte (Army Group Center)
Though it is similar in form and appearance to a rocket launcher, it fires modified artillery shells, not rockets. The key difference from rocket launchers (whether man-portable or not) is that the projectile of the recoilless rifle has no propulsion of its own: once out of the rifle, it behaves as a normal artillery shell and does not accelerate further, as a missile or rocket would. Nevertheless, there are also boost-after-launch rocket-propelled projectiles available for modern recoilless rifles.
Because some projectile velocity is inevitably lost to the recoil compensation backblast, recoilless rifles tend to fire a fairly heavy explosive shell with less range than traditional cannons, although with a far greater ease of transport, making them popular with paratroop, mountain warfare and special forces units, where portability is of particular concern, as well as with some light infantry and infantry fire support units. Although the greatly diminished recoil allows many smaller and newer versions to be shoulder-fired by individual infantrymen, the majority of recoilless rifles in service are mounted on light tripods and intended to be carried by a small 2- or 3-man crew.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/21/2018 6:04:44 PM   
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The 20L mm FlaK 30 was a conventional light AA gun whose design can be traced back to WW1. It had a rather low rate of fire and a tendency for the feed mechanism to jam; nevertheless, it remained in use throughout the war. It was also used as the main armament in the early PzKpfw H and armored cars.
The Germans fielded the early 2 cm Flak 28 just after World War I, but the Treaty of Versailles outlawed these weapons and they were sold to Switzerland. The original Flak 30 design was developed from the Solothurn ST-5 as a project for the Kriegsmarine, which produced the 20 mm C/30. The gun fired the "Long Solothurn", a 20 × 138 mm belted cartridge that had been developed for the ST-5 and was one of the most powerful 20 mm rounds in existence. The Flak 30 (Flugabwehrkanone 30; FlaK = "Fliegerabwehrkanone", translating to "anti-aircraft cannon") was 20 mm anti-aircraft gun used by various German forces throughout World War II. It was not only the primary German light anti-aircraft gun, but by far the most numerously produced German artillery piece throughout the war.
The C/30, featuring a barrel length of 65 calibres, had a rate of about 120 rounds per minute. Disappointingly, it proved to have feeding problems and would often jam, which was offset to some degree by its undersized 20 round-magazine which tended to make reloading a frequent necessity.
Rheinmetall then started an adaptation of the C/30 for Army use, producing the 2 cm Flak 30. Generally similar to the C/30, the main areas of development were the mount, which was fairly compact. Set-up could be accomplished by dropping the gun to the ground off its two-wheeled carriage and levelling with hand cranks. The result was a triangular base that allowed fire in all directions. Serial production was soon underway by 1934 and the weapon reach operational status in 1935.
The 2cm FlaK 30 was crewed by five personnel though, in practice, this was often reduced to save on manpower particularly when the weapon system was installed as a static defense mount. It sported two road wheels for ground transport and turning in place for fine-tuning the angle of fire. The single gun barrel was set between the two wheel fenders and situated atop a mount. The barrel was chambered for the 20x138mm B cartridge to which these projectiles were fed into the firing chamber by a 20-round box magazine. Elevation was set to +90 and -12 degrees and, due to its wheeled nature, true traversal was essentially unlimited at 360 degrees. Weight was 992 lbs, requiring the strength of multiple soldiers to help place her into position during the heat of battle. Operationally, the gun exhibited a rate-of-fire between 120 and 180 rounds per minute. Muzzle velocity was rated at 2,953 feet per second with an effective range out to 2,406 yards.
When set up as "ready-to-fire", the FlaK 30 rested upon a triangular firing platform with a simple two-piece seat for the gunner at the rear. The gunner would sight the weapon utilizing a complex reflector sight which only became more time consuming to operate with the addition of predictor mechanisms. After a short period of operational action, this sighting system eventually gave way to a simple point-and-shoot iron sight arrangement for the sake of simplicity in manufacturing and function for when in the field.
Once in combat, the FlaK 30 would prove just as adept at tackling ground-based targets as aerial ones, this accomplished by using special purpose armor-piercing ammunition in place of the exploding aerial type. The FlaK 30 could be transported to fronts anywhere the Wehrmacht was fighting by land vehicle and fixed into place in minutes. The Luftwaffe also found value in the army-based system and set up networks of FlaK 30 systems for defense of air bases and the like. It also proved a well-documented defense mount on various German halftrack and adaptable military truck chassis for the sake of simple mobile air defense that could protect convoys in transit.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/22/2018 6:02:12 PM   
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The 2cm FlaKvierling 38 consisted of four FlaK 38 guns on a common mount, and was originally produced for the German Navy. Its prodigious firepower was feared by Allied pilots, and could be quite deadly against ground targets. In January 1945 there were 3,806 in service with the Luftwaffe, and in the last few months of the war a FlaKvierling with on-carriage radar was used in radar controlled AA fire experiments. 2cm FlaK platoons could consist of either three or four guns each.
The 20 mm weapons had always had weak development perspectives, often being reconfigured or redesigned just enough to allow the weapons to find use. Indeed, it came as a surprise when Rheinmetall introduced the 2 cm Flakvierling 38, which improved the weapon just enough to make it competitive once again. The term Vierling literally translates to "quadruplet" and refers to the four 20 mm gun constituting the design.
The Flakvierling weapon consisted of quad-mounted 2 cm Flak 38 AA guns with collapsing seats, folding handles, and ammunition racks. The mount had a triangular base with a jack at each leg for levelling the gun. The tracker traversed and elevated the mount manually using two handwheels. When raised, the weapon measured 307 cm high.
Each of the four mounted guns had a separate magazine that held only 20 rounds. This meant that a maximum combined rate of fire of 1,400 rounds per minute was reduced practically to 800 rounds per minute for combat use – which would still require that a magazine to be replaced every six seconds, on each of the four guns.
The gun was fired by a set of two pedals — each of which fired two diametrically opposite barrels — in either semi-automatic or fully automatic mode. The effective vertical range was 2,200 meters. It was also used just as effectively against ground targets as it was against low-flying aircraft.
The Flakvierling four-autocannon anti-aircraft ordnance system, when not mounted into any self-propelled mount, was normally transported on a Sd. Ah. 52 trailer, and could be towed behind a variety of half-tracks or trucks, such as the Opel Blitz (making it a WW II German gun truck); and the armored SdKfz 251 and normally unarmored SdKfz 7/1 and SdKfz 11 artillery-towing half-track vehicles. Its versatility concerning the vehicles it could be mounted to included its use even on tank hulls to produce fully armored mobile anti-aircraft vehicles, such as the Panzer IV-based low-production Wirbelwind and original Möbelwagen prototype-design, anti-aircraft tanks. In Kriegsmarine use, it was fitted to U-boats, Siebel ferries and ships to provide short-range anti-aircraft defense, and was also employed in fixed installations around ports, harbors and other strategic naval targets. The Flakvierling was also a common fixture on trains, even on Hitler's own command train, where pairs of them were mounted on either end of a "camelback" flatbed car and then covered to make it look like a boxcar, sometimes with a pair of such twin-Flakvierling mount cars for defense, one near each end of Hitler's Führersonderzug train.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/23/2018 5:23:57 PM   
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The 20L mm FlaK 30 was re-designed by Mauser to correct its deficiencies, and as the FlaK 38 it became the standard German light AA gun for the duration of the war (although it never entirely replaced the earlier model). It was also used in a variety of reconnaissance vehicles. Use of the single-barreled 2cm FlaK gun in the AA role began to diminish in early 1944 due to its decreasing ability to deal with the faster and more heavily armored Allied ground attack aircraft. In March 1944 there were 19,692 FlaK 30 and 38 guns in service with the Luftwaffe, while an undetermined number were being used by the Army.
The caliber of the weapon is 20mm. The practical rate of fire 180 to 220 r.p.m, with a horizontal range of approximately 5000 yards. The effective ceiling of the 2cm FlaK 38 is 3,500 feet. The weapon was hand fed by a distinctive 20 round curved box magazine (attached to this weapon) and it featured a quick change barrel. An inertia block prevents rebound of the breech block. The mechanism is operated by short barrel recoil and the residual pressure of gas in the barrel.
The 2cm FlaK 38 is a single barrel, magazine fed 20 mm caliber automatic weapon designed for antiaircraft use and also ground support. Fed by 20 round curved box magazine it features a quick change barrel. An inertia block prevents rebound of the breech block. The mechanism is operated by short barrel recoil and the residual pressure of gas in the barrel. The gun is transported by means of a separate two-wheeled towed "Sonderanhangar 51" (trailer 51).
A box holding one twenty round magazine is fitted to the right wing and a tool box on the left. The mounting rests on three adjustable feet and an adjustable layer's seat is fitted. The traversing and elevating mechanisms are worked by separate hand wheels. The cradle is mounted on two journals forming the axis. The gun is fired by a foot pedal. This leaves both the layer's hands free.
The FlaK 38 became operational in 1940 and was a standard German light anti aircraft gun during the Second World War. The term FlaK is an abbreviation of Fliegerabwehrkanone, literally 'Aeroplane Defence Cannon'. It was widely employed by all German Second World War fighting services (Luftwaffe - Air Force, Kreigsmarine - Navy, Heer - Army and the Waffen SS) and it was manufactured in a number of models and configurations. Over 20,000 were produced by the end of the Second World War in 1945.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/24/2018 7:05:27 PM   
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The 3.7cm FlaK36 or 37 was another standard light AA gun. In its towed version, it does not seem to have often been included in the Army's divisional establishments. Apparently, most were used in FlaK divisions and independent FlaK regiments and battalions. A 3.7cm FlaK platoon consisted of three guns, with three platoons forming a battery. The main difference between the FlaK 36 and 37 was in the type of sights used.
The cannon was fully automatic and effective against aircraft flying at altitudes up to 4,200 m. The cannon was produced in both towed and self-propelled versions. Having a flexible doctrine, the Germans used their anti-aircraft pieces in ground support roles as well; 37 mm caliber guns were no exception to that.
The original 37 mm gun was developed by Rheinmetall in 1935 as the 3.7 cm Flak 18. It had a barrel length of 57 calibers (hence the additional designation L/57), which allowed 4,800 m maximum ceiling. The armor penetration was considerable when using dedicated ammunition, at 100 m distance it could penetrate 36 mm of a 60°-sloped armor, and at 800 m distance correspondingly 24 mm. It used a mechanical bolt for automatic fire, featuring a practical rate of fire of about 80 rounds per minute (rpm). The gun, when emplaced for combat, weighed 1,750 kg, and complete for transport, including the wheeled mount, 3,560 kg.
The Flak 18 was only produced in small numbers, and production had already ended in 1936. Development continued, focusing on replacement of the existing cumbersome dual-axle mount with a lighter single-axle one, resulting in a 3.7 cm Flak 36 that cut the complete weight to 1,550 kg in combat and 2,400 kg in transport. The gun's ballistic characteristics were not changed, although the practical rate of fire was raised to 120 rpm (250 rpm theoretical). A new, simplified sighting system introduced the next year produced the otherwise-identical 3.7 cm Flak 37. The Flak 36/37 were the most-produced variants of the weapon.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/25/2018 6:10:45 PM   
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The 3.7 cm FlaK 43 was a AA gun that primarily a new design rather than an improved version of existing 3.7 cm weapons. The 3.7 cm Flak 43, a light, fully-automatic, gas-operated antiaircraft weapon, may be statically emplaced, also transported on a mobile mounting, or mounted on a self-propelled chassis. Many Flak 37s were mounted on the ubiquitous Sd.Kfz. 7 half-track vehicle, or later the schwere Wehrmachtschlepper (sWS), but the newer Flak 43 was almost always used in a mobile mounting. Most famous of these were the converted Panzer IVs, first the "interim" Möbelwagen, and later the Ostwind.
In 1943 the last development followed, but he serial production started however only 1944. Relatively few were made; there were 1032 in service only with the Luftwaffe in February 1945. Unlike the earlier versions, which often had to be pulled, The 3.7 cm Flak 44 was predominantly mounted on vehicles, such as the Sd.Kfz 7 or the heavy Wehrmacht transporter sWs. Some 7,216 had been produced by the end of the war (Zwillings included, each counted as two guns).
The gun consists of a removable, monobloc barrel fitted with a muzzle brake with six elongated ports and multi-perforated flash eliminator, and a breech casing which houses the breech mechanism. The gun is fed horizontally from the left in clips of eight rounds from a fixed loading tray, and is operated by the recoil of the gun itself. A hydro-spring buffer with variable recoil is located below the barrel, and two return springs lie side by side above the barrel. It featured a substantially increased rate of fire, but was also much bulkier than the older guns. The new gas-operated breech increased the practical firing rate to 150 RPM, while at the same time dropping in weight to 1,250 kg in combat, and 2,000 kg in transport. It was also produced in a twin-gun mount, the 3.7 cm Flakzwilling 43, although this version was considered somewhat unwieldy and top-heavy.
Mounting is of the pedestal type, the gun being hung from a single-ring type trunnion on the right. The feed to the gun is mounted through the ring and on the axis of the trunnion, making unnecessary any alteration in the position of the center of gravity of the gun and other elevating parts with variation in the quantity of ammunition in the clips and feed mechanism. Elevating and traversing hand wheels are both on the right of the gun, the former being vertical and the latter horizontal. The equipment, which is of low build, is fitted with a shield varying in thickness from 9 mm at the center to 6 mm at the outer edges. The shield slopes backward at a 30° angle and is 4.2 feet high. In the middle is a space through which the mantlet elevates and depresses. A twin version of the 3.7 cm Flak 43 also exists. It is known as the 3.7 cm Flakzwilling 43. The weapon fires only the single rotating band projectiles.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/26/2018 5:11:27 PM   
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The 8.8cm FlaK 18 or 36 was probably the most famous gun of WW2. Was designed by a team of Krupp engineers working clandestinely in Sweden. Flak is a contraction of German Flugzeugabwehrkanone meaning "aircraft-defense cannon", the original purpose of the weapon. It was an excellent design and quickly became the mainstay of the Luftwaffe heavy AA defenses. The differences between the Flak 18 and 36 were minor; many of their parts were interchangeable. During the Spanish Civil War its usefulness against ground targets was noted, and appropriate ammunition was developed for this role. The "88's" lasting fame came with its use in North Africa, where it easily destroyed the previously invulnerable Matildas at over 2000 meters. It came to be so feared in the desert that British crew were said to sometimes abandon their tank even if an 88's first shot missed them—for they knew it rarely missed with a second. Nor did its reputation ever diminish. One reason for this was that at the end of the war an 88 could still frontally penetrate any U.S. or British tank, save perhaps the Sherman Jumbo. Another reason was that so many 88s were built; for instance, in August 1944 the Luftwaffe alone had 10,704 in service—and this number does not include those used in Army FlaK battalions. These facts alone make it easy to understand why they made such a powerful impression on those who had to face them.
The versatile carriage allowed the 8.8 cm FlaK to be fired in a limited anti-tank mode when still on its wheels; it could be completely emplaced in only two and a half minutes. Its successful use as an improvised anti-tank gun led to the development of a tank gun based upon it: the 8.8 cm KwK 36, with the "KwK" abbreviation standing for Kampfwagen-Kanone (literally "battle vehicle cannon"), meant to be placed in a gun turret as the tank's primary armament. This gun served as the main armament of the Tiger I heavy tank.
The Flak 18 was mounted on a cruciform gun carriage. A simple-to-operate "semi-automatic" loading system ejected fired shells, allowing it to be reloaded by simply inserting a new shell into a tray. The gun would then fire and recoil; during the return stroke, the empty case would be thrown backward by levers, a cam would then engage and relock the gun. This resulted in firing rates of 15 to 20 rounds a minute, which was better than similar weapons of the era. High explosive ammunition was used against aircraft and personnel, and armor-piercing and high-explosive anti-tank against tanks and other armored vehicles.
Widespread production started in 1933, and the Flak 18 was available in small numbers when Germany intervened in the Spanish Civil War. It quickly proved to be the best anti-aircraft weapon then available. The flak detachment with 88s proved accurate and versatile in combat against mainly land targets, the high muzzle velocity and large caliber making it an excellent long-range anti-vehicle and anti-bunker weapon. This experience also demonstrated a number of minor problems and potential improvement opportunities.
Many of these improvements were incorporated into the Flak 36, which had a two-piece barrel for easier replacement of worn liners. The new, heavier, carriage allowed it to fire in an emergency when still on its wheels and without its outriggers, but with a very limited traverse and elevation. For normal emplacement, one single-axle bogie was detached from the front outrigger and one from the rear, side outriggers were then hinged from the vertical position to the ground; the total time to set up was estimated at two and a half minutes. Both modes of operation made the gun much more suitable for fast-moving operations, the basic concept of the blitzkrieg.
Flak 36s were often fitted with an armored shield that provided limited protection for the gunners. These shields could be retro-fitted on older Flak 18s as well. The weight of the gun meant that only large vehicles could move it, the SdKfz 7 half-track became a common prime mover.
An 88 platoon consisted of four guns, usually towed by SdKfz 7. Targeting indicators were attached from the central controller to each of the four guns of a battery, allowing for coordinated fire. Indeed, with the automatic loading system, the gun layers' job was to keep the gun barrel trained on the target area based on the signals from the controller. The loaders would keep the weapon fed with live ammunition which would fire immediately upon insertion—all while the gun layer aimed the weapon according to the data.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/27/2018 5:58:38 PM   
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Heroes and Leaders German Availability Teams Catalog




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/28/2018 6:23:22 PM   
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On September 1 1939, Germany possessed some 4,564 AFV, of which only 583 were armed with a 37 or 75mm gun; the vast majority of German AFVs of this period had only MG or 20mm armament. During the invasion of France the German Army fielded about 2,800 AFV against approximately 4,000 French and British; in the invasion of the Soviet Union some 3,350 Panzers were initially committed. These figures show just how effective the new Blitzkrieg tactics really were. Of course, the Blitzkrieg itself was successful due to the Germans' radical theories on, and greater experience with, combined arms warfare. Panzer divisions—the crucial element in Blitzkrieg—were entirely self-sufficient formations, an arrangement that provided greater flexibility and, in concert with sound training and bold aggressive leadership, led to successes out of all proportion to their numbers.
Individually, German AFV were generally characterized by their engineering sophistication—sometimes to the point of need-less complexity. This sophistication together with insufficient standardization (which led to problems in mass production) made them time-consuming and expensive to build relative to the Allies' AFV. When they worked they performed extremely well but when broken-down were often difficult to repair. Moreover, the persistent shortage of AFV after the first few years necessitated their almost constant use, thus exacerbating wear and tear and increasing the likelihood of breakdowns. Still another problem was the proliferation of different AFV types—especially tank destroyers. To illustrate, there were no fewer than seventeen different types of tank destroyers having production figures of at least sixty vehicles and used in combat. Such variety must have been a nightmare to the supply and repair echelons.
For the first three years of what Hitler had envisioned as a short war, AFV production was kept at a relatively low level. By late 1942 however, it was seen that this policy was leading to dis-aster and so production was greatly increased, resulting in some 20,500 AFV being built in 1943 (3.5 times the number built in 1941). Of this figure though, more than one-third were simply armored halftracks. After being caught with inferior tanks in Russia, by 1943 the Germans had regained the initiative in new tank design but could never gain quantitative parity with the Allies. Germany's total World War 2 AFV production was approximately 80,000 vehicles (including the many command, observation, recovery, etc., versions), but of these only about 22,800 were the Panzer III-VI models. In contrast, the U.S. produced almost 50,000 of the Sherman alone. In the end, Germany's panzer divisions were swamped by a vast flood of Allied AFVs; no degree of tactical superiority could overcome such disparity in numbers.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/29/2018 6:29:52 PM   
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Bicycle infantry are infantry soldiers who maneuver on (or, more often, between) battlefields using military bicycles. Historically, bicycles lessened the need for horses, fuel and vehicle maintenance.
German “blitzkrieg” advance of World War II depended upon two things: trucks and bicycles. These were far more important than tanks, even though the latter typically get all the glory thanks to shallow sensationalist historians; even so, most German supplies and artillery were horse-drawn. Without any major oil fields, 80% of German oil was synthesized from coal. Thus horses and especially bicycles were of major importance in Wehrmacht, as neither required liquid fuel.
Troops on bikes date back to pre WWI times. The German Army, during its rapid-moving blitzkrieg still relied on horse-drawn carriages to transport men and equipment, and bicycles too played a part. The German army had numerous troops on bicycles working both as reconnaissance and supply troops. There were both issued bikes and “appropriated” civilian bikes where necessary. Some bikes have racks, some ammunition boxes. Some bikes were used to carry machine guns & some panzerfausts, while others were simply just used as transportation with no special accoutrements. Moreover, wartime shortages throughout World War II also resulted in many nations utilizing the bicycle to save on fuel.
While the tip of the spear was hardened Krupps steel, the German Blitzkrieg was successful because bicycle-borne troops provided the wood of the shaft behind the armored and motorized forces spearhead. In Poland, German cyclist troops kept scattered Polish units that survived initial armored attack off-guard, preventing them from joining together until infantry could finish them off. The successful German invasions of the Low Countries, Norway and Denmark relied on capturing airfields, and flying infantry in to those airfields. In Norway, bicycle troops with their ability to move off roads proved vital in dealing with roadblocks and other defenses in mountainous Norwegian terrain. Many of the Wehrmacht arrived with bicycles in their Junkers. Paratroopers too used bicycles. Equipped with folding bikes, German paratroopers undertook sabotage and intelligence missions deep behind the enemy lines. Bicycle infantry carried everything from medical kits and radio sets to light machine guns, rifles and submachine guns, on their bikes. The Dutch in particular have not forgotten the millions of bicycles stolen by the Germans during the war. Soldiers stole bikes from the general populace and rode out of Holland, with whatever they could carry. By the bicycle they came, and by the bicycle they left. Usage of bicycles allowed Germans to concentrate tanks and trucks into armored divisions, thus facilitating mechanized portion of the blitzkrieg.
Bicycles were key to the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Hundreds of thousands of troops pedaled from Prussia to Russia. The German Wehrmacht was aided by the Italian Army on the Ukrainian front, including bicycle troops, during the drive to Stalingrad. Troops on bikes were able to move through rough territory faster, and could outpace a motor column. British raid at Arnhem was repelled in large part thanks to German bicycle troops.
As the war came to a close, the bicycle came to the forefront again, this time in the hands of the People’s Storm (Volkssturm) carrying Tank Fists (Panzerfuste). Teenage boys rode bicycles to battle with a pair of Panzerfausts bolted onto the front fork. They were supposed to keep the Red Army, the American army and the Commonwealth forces at bay from every direction, and were told to make every village a fortress. Some did, and paid the price.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/30/2018 7:33:54 PM   
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By 1939 the German Reich possessed 3,800,000 horses while 885,000 were initially called to the Wehrmacht as saddle, draft, and pack animals. Of these, 435,000 horses were captured from the USSR, France, and Poland. Additional horses were purchased from Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Ireland.
While the popular conception of the German military machine was just a massive array of tanks, armored vehicles, troop transports, and trucks, much of the heavy hauling was actually done by horses. In addition, thousands of troops went to war on horseback in the German cavalry. Heavy draft-sized horses also entered service as the wagonloads grew heavier, while a number of Berber horses entered Wehrmacht service after the fall of France. Unloaded wagons themselves could weigh from 610 to 1040 kilograms and could require four to six horses to pull them, especially across the difficult terrain and unimproved roads of the Eastern Front.
The German cavalry corps, which in wartime consisted of horse, bicycle, and motorcycle troops, contained 18 horse regiments. Disbanded at the outbreak of the war in 1939, they were reformed into divisional reconnaissance battalions, followed in 1943 by what is considered the rebirth of the German cavalry. Three regiments were reconstituted.
The cavalry made up a large part of the German Army, with 16,400 of the full complement of 100,000 soldiers allowed in the German Army by the Treaty of Versailles riding on horseback. At first, the German cavalrymen even carried lances, which eventually gave way to carbines. In late 1934, motorcycles entered the picture, with the 11th, 12th, and 16th Horse Regiments now serving as motorized rifle troops. In effect, these cavalrymen were now riding “iron horses,” principally German-made BMWs and Zundapps. Other cavalry regiments were re-equipped as tank regiments, including panzer, antitank, and reconnaissance units, while the Waffen SS also had cavalry units.
Horses were also employed by other elements of the Army, including the infantry, artillery, pioneers (engineers), medical units, and supply units. As of 1935, a cavalry platoon was assigned to each active infantry regiment and comprised 32 men and 33 horses.
Horse-mounted soldiers wore gray uniforms with leather trim, as well as riding boots of soft leather, taller and without the hobnails of the foot soldiers’ marching boots. The trooper’s backpack held a tent square or shelter half, basically a section of material used as camouflage, raincoat, or shelter.
After 1939, every officer carried the MP-38 and later the MP-40 submachine gun. All others carried the standard infantry issue Karabiner 98K carbine, a modified version of the long standard 98a, its shorter length making it more suitable for mounted troops. Some horse troops were issued the new 7.92 MPi 43/44 assault rifles, predecessors of the modern infantry weapons of today.
Each squad of horse soldiers consisted of nine troopers, and an MG 34 light machine gun provided additional firepower. Horses were also integral to the mobile field kitchens and the blacksmith, ammunition, and weapons wagons. While each troop had a motorcycle dispatch rider for maintaining long-distance communication with command, most communication on horseback consisted of 25 standard hand signals.
A cavalry brigade consisted of 6,684 men and 4,552 horses plus 409 horse-drawn vehicles and 318 motorcycles (153 with sidecars), as well as 427 cars and trucks and six armored scout cars. After the success of these troops during the 1939 Polish campaign, the 1st Cavalry Division was formed in October 25, 1939. The cavalry division would go on to fight in Holland, Belgium, and France during 1940. When it was time to attack Russia, the division came under the command of Panzer Group II, commanded by General Heinz Guderian. At this stage, because some 17,000 horses were employed, the sheer number caused supply problems. As a result, during the winter of 1941-1942 in Russia the Army’s cavalry operations ceased. The specially trained horses were relocated to noncavalry units, where they were basically squandered.
After the ravages of the 1941-1942 Russian campaign, the 1st Cavalry Division became the 24th Panzer Division, functioning as 85 divisional reconnaissance battalions. These were the last of the German cavalry. Because they were often sent into the fiercest battle situations, they earned the honorary, but somewhat ironic, title of “division fire-brigade” as if they put out the raging conflagrations of battle. However, the horse-mounted cavalry itself was soon consumed, leaving the bicycle troops to carry on their reconnaissance and scouting duties. As the war progressed, each cavalry platoon decreased in size from three squadrons to two, but they continued to perform in an exemplary manner. At higher levels, the cavalry force was reorganized as three regiments and as two cavalry brigades in 1944 during the German retreat and final battles of the war.
In March 1945, the horse troops took part in defensive operations along the Danube River. They surrendered in good order to the British in Austria, with a final horse march through Wurttemberg in June 1945. Held as prisoners of war for only a brief period, they were released, and their horses were returned to the fields under the care of local farmers.
The two Waffen SS Cavalry Divisions, after fighting for two years on the Eastern Front, were destroyed in the desperate fighting around Budapest, which was taken by Soviet forces on February 11, 1945. Wehrmacht cavalry units composed of anticommunist Cossack volunteers surrendered to the British, and despite promises to the contrary, they were forcibly repatriated to the Soviets who considered them collaborationists and traitors. As a result, the common soldiers received eight-year prison sentences in the Gulag system, while the higher ranking officers were hanged.
The number of horses and mules used by the German military eventually amounted to 2,750,000. Of these, an estimated 750,000 died during the war.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 5/31/2018 6:10:14 PM   
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Motorcycles have been going to war for as long as motorcycles have been around. The German military was the largest employer of motorcycles during World War II. In addition, as German forces swept across conquered lands they acquired a wide array of British, French, and Belgian machines, painted them Wehrmacht gray, and sent them into battle. German military motorcyclists played an important role either as solo couriers or as scouts, as teams of tank hunters, or in divisions of rifle troops.
During the campaigns that spread across Europe and into the Soviet Union, motorcycle troopers served a variety of functions including chauffeuring officers, delivering dispatches and even hot meals, and scouting on patrol. Motorcycles also were point vehicles taking the brunt of battle, sometimes as specially equipped tank destroyers. As with all motorcyclists, there was a kinship among these soldiers who called themselves “kradfahrer.” They rode exposed without the armor plating of the Panzers, without the safety of hundreds of foot soldiers beside them—moving targets, as it were, or sniper magnets. And then there were minefields, artillery fire, and strafing aircraft to contend with.
The other enemy was inclement weather, particularly on the Eastern Front. By autumn, the roads had turned into nearly impassable bogs, the fields over which the motorcycles traveled turning into seas of mud three feet deep at times. Pack horses sank to their bellies, boots were sucked off the soldiers’ feet. Motorized forces that had once traveled over 70 miles in a day now were lucky to make 10. By winter temperatures fell to minus 40 degrees Farenheit, engine oil and exposed soldiers freezing solid. Some 113,000 cases of frostbite were reported. Some German motorcycle riders benefited from special heating systems grafted onto their bikes, including foot and hand warmers. They, along with the foot soldiers, ate horse meat provided by over 100,000 animals that died in the freezing cold. But the two-wheeled iron horses pushed on.
The Germans’ lightning war required machines of high caliber in more ways than one. Although horses and even bicycles carried battalions of combatants, as did trucks and tracked vehicles, motorcycles led the way. These were often purpose-made BMW and Zundapp military bikes, as well as civilian models made by NSU and DKW and a host of other manufacturers, that “served” either by contract or requisition.
For heavy-duty sidecar use, the German military relied upon the Zundapp KS750 and the BMW R75, both motorcycle manufacturers producing their own sidecars although those built by Stoye, Royal, and Steib were also employed. Next in line were the motorcycles manufactured by DKW and NSU. Non-German motorcycles, bought under license, included the Triumph, with more than 12,000 250cc units built in Nuremburg.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/1/2018 5:08:33 PM   
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The Kfz 1, Kübelwagen, was the military version of the VW and had its troop trials during the invasion of Poland. It was thereafter put into mass production, with 52,018 eventually being built. It was an extremely popular vehicle, but not as versatile as the Jeep. Based heavily on the Volkswagen Beetle, became known internally as the Type 82. The first VW test vehicles had no doors and were therefore fitted with bucket seats, so acquiring the name VW Kübelsitzwagen that was later shortened to Kübelwagen.
With its rolling chassis and mechanics built at Stadt des KdF-Wagens (renamed Wolfsburg after 1945), and its body built by US-owned firm Ambi Budd Presswerke in Berlin, the Kübelwagen was for the Germans what the Jeep and GAZ-67 were for the Allies. In order to guarantee adequate off-road performance of a two-wheel-drive vehicle with a 1,000 cc FMCV 1 engine, it would have to be lightweight. In fact, the army had stipulated a laden weight of 950 kg, including four battle-dressed troops, which meant that the vehicle itself should not weigh more than 550 kg. Porsche therefore sub-contracted Trutz, an experienced military coachbuilder, to help out with the body design.
Developmental testing by the military began after a presentation of the prototypes designated as Type 62 in November 1938. Despite lacking four wheel drive, a mainstay of the American military Jeeps, the vehicle proved very competent at maneuvering its way over rough terrain, even in a direct comparison with a contemporary standard German army 4×4, and the project was given the green light for further development. The vehicle's light weight and ZF self-locking differential compensated for the lack of 4×4 capabilities.
Full-scale production of the Type 82 Kübelwagen started in February 1940, as soon as the VW factories had become operational. No major changes took place before production ended in 1945. Prototype versions were assembled with four-wheel-drive (Type 86) and different engines, but none offered a significant increase in performance or capability over the existing Type 82 and the designs were never implemented. As of March 1943, the car received a revised dash and the bigger 1,131 cc engine, developed for the Schwimmwagen, that produced more torque and power than the original 985 cc unit. When Volkswagen production ceased at the end of the war, 52,018 Kübelwagen vehicles had been produced and the vehicle had proven itself to be surprisingly useful, reliable, and durable.
When the German military took delivery of the first vehicles, they immediately put them to the test on- and off-road in snow and ice to test their capability at handling European winters. Several four-wheel-drive vehicles were used as reference points. The two-wheel-drive Kübelwagen surprised even those who had been a part of its development, as it handily out-performed the other vehicles in nearly every test. Most notably, thanks to its smooth, flat underbody, the Kübel would propel itself much like a motorized sled, when its wheels were sinking into sand, snow, or mud, allowing it to follow tracked vehicles with remarkable tenacity.
The Kübelwagen could reach a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph).





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/2/2018 6:08:39 PM   
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A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load. Horses in World War II were used by the belligerent nations for transportation of troops, artillery, materiel, and, to a lesser extent, in mobile cavalry troops. A two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle is a cart (see various types below, both for carrying people and for goods). Four-wheeled vehicles have many names – one for heavy loads is most commonly called a wagon.
German analysts rejected the French concept of mixed horse-and-motor troops as unworkable. The Wehrmacht had its own opponents of mechanization, but with Adolf Hitler's support Ludwig Beck, Werner von Fritsch and Heinz Guderian succeeded in forging a compact but effective panzer force that coexisted with masses of traditional foot infantry and horse-drawn artillery throughout World War II. Despite the several hundred thousand motor vehicles used by the Wehrmacht in World War Two, the German armed forces were characterized by the horse. The German Army entered World War II with 514,000 horses, and over the course of the war employed, in total, 2.75 million horses and mules; the average number of horses in the Army reached 1.1 million. Most of these horses were employed by foot infantry and horse-drawn artillery troops that formed the bulk of the German Army throughout the war. Of 264 divisions active in November 1944, only 42 were armored or mechanized. A German division was supposed to be logistically self-sufficient, providing its own men, horses and equipment to haul its own supplies from an Army level railhead. The supply train of a 1943 German infantry division employed 256 trucks and 2,652 horses attended by 4,047 men, while other divisional configurations had up to 6,300 horses. Luftwaffe Field Divisions were designed to be lean and rely on trucks and halftracks but in real life these were substituted with horses and mules.
It is not astonishing that a large part of the vehicles used by the Wehrmacht were not motorized vehicles but horse drawn vehicles. In some cases, these wagons were also equipped for motorized towing. Many Pionierfahrzeuge – engineer vehicles – were primarily constructed for motorized towing but their designations followed the classification system of the horse drawn wagons and not the classification system of the Sonderanhänger. In the course of war, many captured and customary horse drawn wagons were added to the vehicle park of the Wehrmacht.
German army relied heavily on work horses to pull artillery and supplies. Horses seemed to be a cheap and reliable transport especially in the spring and fall mud of the Eastern Front but the associated costs of daily feeding, grooming and handling horses were staggering. Movements over 30 kilometers (daily horse travel limit) were particularly slow and complex. Longer hauls were relegated to trucks at first opportunity, while horses persisted at divisional level and in auxiliary units. Horses needed attendants: hitching a six-horse field artillery team, for example, required six men working for at least an hour. Refit of front-line horse units consumed eight to ten days, slowing down operations. In theory horse units could feed off the country, but grazing on grass alone rendered horses unfit for work and the troops had no time to spend searching the villages for fodder. Hard-working horses required up to twelve pounds of grain daily; fodder carried by the troops made up a major portion of their supply trains.
Horse logistics slowed down the German advance. The 6th Army, engaged in urban warfare in Stalingrad, was unable to feed or graze their horses and sent them to the rear. When the Soviets enveloped the 6th Army in November 1942, the German troops were cut off from their horse transport and would have been unable to move their artillery had they tried to evacuate the city. In an earlier envelopment, the Demyansk Pocket, 20,000 horses were trapped together with 95,000 men and airlifting fodder drained precious air transport capacity. However these horses also provided food for soldiers in an environment where the "axe rebounds as a stone from a frozen horse corpse."





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/3/2018 5:20:12 PM   
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The PzKpfw IB was the first German tank to be mass produced. Intended only as a training vehicle, it was nonetheless used in combat as early as 1936 in the Spanish Civil War. The name is short for the German Panzerkampfwagen I ("armored fighting vehicle mark I"), abbreviated PzKpfw I. The tank's official German ordnance inventory designation was SdKfz 101 ("special purpose vehicle 101"). The PzKpfw I saw combat in Poland, France, the Soviet Union and North Africa during the Second World War. By June 1941 however, only 74 were still in use. About 1,500 Ausf (Ausfuehrung = Model) A and B were built.
Many of the problems in the Ausf. A were corrected with the introduction of the Ausf. B. The air-cooled engine (producing just 60 metric horsepower (44 kW) was replaced by a water-cooled, six-cylinder Maybach NL 38 TR, developing 100 metric horsepower (74 kW), and the gearbox was changed to a more reliable model. The larger engine required the extension of the vehicle's chassis by 40 cm, and this allowed the improvement of the tank's suspension, adding another bogie wheel and raising the tensioner. Alongement of the chassis required the adoption of a fifth road wheel and a fourth return roller. The number of track links passed to 100 units. To improve control of the tank, the pulley of tension was assembled higher not to be more in contact with the ground. The tank's weight increased by 0.4 tons. Production of the Ausf. B began in August 1936 and finished in summer 1937 by Henschel, MAN, Krupp Gurson and Daimler-Benz. By 1941, the Panzer I chassis design was used as the basis of tank destroyers and assault guns.
The Panzer I's performance in combat was limited by its thin armor and light armament of two machine guns. As a design intended for training, the Panzer I was not as capable as other light tanks of the era, such as the Soviet T-26. Although weak in combat, it formed a large part of Germany's tank forces and was used in all major campaigns between September 1939 and December 1941.
During the initial campaigns of World War II, Germany's light tanks, including the Panzer I, formed the bulk of its armored strength. Five PzKpfw I made up a platoon. In March 1938, the German Army marched into Austria, experiencing a mechanical breakdown rate of up to thirty percent. However, the experience revealed to Guderian several faults within the German Panzerkorps and he subsequently improved logistical support. In October 1938, Germany occupied Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland, and the remainder of the country in March 1939. The capture of Czechoslovakia allowed several Czech tank designs, such as the Panzer 38(t), and their subsequent variants and production, to be incorporated into the German Army's strength. On 1 September 1939, during invasion of Poland, the battalion strength of the 1st Panzer Division included no less than fourteen Panzer Is, while the other six divisions included thirty-four. Some 832 German tanks, including 320 PzI, were lost during the campaign, approximately 341 of which were never to return to service. This represented about a third of Germany's armor deployed for the Polish campaign. During the campaign, no less than half of Germany's tanks were unavailable due to maintenance issues or enemy action, and of all tanks, the Panzer I proved the most vulnerable to Polish anti-tank weapons. Despite its obsolescence, the Panzer I was also used in the invasion of France in May 1940.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/4/2018 5:57:54 PM   
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The PzKpfw II was an interim design ordered due to the delays in production of the PzKpfw III and IV. Designs for a stopgap tank were solicited from Krupp, MAN, Henschel, and Daimler-Benz. Although the vehicle had originally been designed as a stopgap while larger, more advanced tanks were developed, it nonetheless went on to play an important role in the early years of World War II, during the Polish and French campaigns. The Panzer II was the most numerous tank in the German Panzer divisions beginning with the invasion of France. It was used in both North Africa against the Western Allies and on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union. It was used as a main battle tank in Poland, where 90% of the German tanks used were PzKpfw I and II. Some 1,200 Ausf A were built. 524 PzKpfw IIF were built. The new versions were up armored after the Polish campaign and are equivalent to the Ausf F.
Because of its relatively weak armament, from 1940 the PzKpfw II was used primarily for reconnaissance, with one platoon officially allotted for this purpose to each Pz. company (deleted in 1942), Pz. battalion, and Pz. regiment (the latter two being deleted in late 1943). The Panzer II was supplanted by the Panzer III and IV medium tanks by 1940/1941. By the end of 1942, it had been largely removed from front line service and it was used for training and on secondary fronts. Five PzKpfw II comprised a full-strength platoon.
Starting with the D model, the front armor was increased to 30 mm. The Model F had 35 mm front armor and 20 mm side armor. Most tank versions of the Panzer II were armed with a 2 cm KwK 30 L/55 auto-cannon. Some later versions used the similar 2 cm KwK 38 L/55. This auto-cannon was based on the 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun, and was capable of firing at a rate of 600 rounds per minute (280 rounds per minute sustained) from 10-round magazines. A total of 180 shells were carried. The Panzer II also had a 7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun mounted coaxially with the main gun. All production versions of the Panzer II were fitted with a 138 HP, gasoline-fuelled six-cylinder Maybach HL 62 TRM engine and ZF transmissions. Models A, B, and C had a top speed of 40 km/h. Models D and E had a torsion bar suspension and a better transmission, giving a top road speed of 55 km/h but the cross country speed was much lower than previous models, so the Model F reverted to the previous leaf spring type suspension. All versions had a range of 200 km. The Panzer II had a crew of three men. The driver sat in the forward left hull with the gearbox on the right. The commander sat in a seat in the turret, and was responsible for aiming and firing the cannon and co-axial machine gun, while a loader/radio operator sat on the floor of the tank behind the driver. He had a radio on the left and several 20mm ammunition storage bins. From March 1941 to December 1942, 524 were built; this was the final major tank version of the Panzer II series.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/5/2018 6:02:24 PM   
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At the beginning of 1939, the Heer ordered the development of a flame thrower tank (Flammpanzer) on the basis of Pz.Kpfw II. MAN and Daimler-Benz was invited to work on the project. It was armed with two projectors assembled on mini-turrets (Spitzkopfe) installed on the front of the mudguards. Based on the same suspension as the Ausf. D and Ausf. E tank versions, the PzKpfw IIF(fl) (also known as "Flamingo") used a new turret mounting a single MG34 machine gun of 7.92 mm (1800 rounds) mounted on a small special turret (Kugelblende), and two remotely controlled flamethrowers mounted in small turrets at each front corner of the vehicle. Each flamethrower could cover the front 180° arc, while the turret traversed 360°. Two tanks of 160 L allowing 80 shootings with a useful range of 25 mm were installed on the sides. The flammable liquid was composed of a gasoline and oil mixture. The projector was fired by means of an acetylene lighter. The flamethrowers were supplied with four tanks of compressed nitrogen. The nitrogen tanks were built into armored boxes along each side of the superstructure. Armor was 30 mm to the front and 14.5 mm to the side and rear, although the turret was increased to 20 mm at the sides and rear.
Total weight was 12 tones and dimensions were increased to a length of 4.9 m and width of 2.4 m although it was a bit shorter at 1.85 m tall. A FuG2 radio was carried. The crew was composed of three men: the commander-operator of the flame throwers, the radio operator and the pilot. The shielding was thick in front of 30 mm and 14.5 mm on the other sides. It was propelled by one 6 cylinders (gasoline) Maybach HL 62TRM developing 140 hp.
The first (and probably only) use of the Flamingo PzKpfw II(fl) was in Russia. One hundred and fifty-five Flamm vehicles were built from January 1940 through March 1942. These were mostly on new chassis, but 43 were converted from Panzer II Ausf. D/E. The Flammpanzer II was deployed in the USSR, but was not very successful due to its limited armor, and survivors were soon withdrawn for conversion to Marder II tank destroyers in December 1941. Flammpanzer II platoons were attached to several Pz. regiments, while others were used in Flammpanzer companies or battalions attached at corps or army level. MAN produced of them 46 chassis between April and September 1939 which will be converted into Flammpanzers by Wegmann. Conversions will begin in January 1940. In March 1940, 30 Pz.Kpfw II Ausf.D/E will be withdrawn from 7th and 8th Panzerdivisions to be converted into Flammpanzers. In all 90 Flammpanzers II were produced between May and December 1940. In March 1940, an order of 150 specimens will be carried out but only 90 new Flammpanzers II will be actually produced until August 1941. The remainder will be carried out starting from Pz.kpfw II Ausf.D withdrawn from the front. In December 1941, it was to order that 90 Flammpanzers II were supplemented to be used as a basis for hunters of tank Marder II. Flammpanzers II were above all the weapons of support for the infantry. Flammpanzers II were versed in Panzerabteilung (F) 100 und 101. The 100 was attached to 18th Pz.Division and the 101 in 7th Pz.Division during the Barbarossa operation. They will remain in service on the Russian front until the end of 1941.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/6/2018 5:29:02 PM   
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A considerable number of Renault R35's were captured during the French Campaign of 1940. Most were issued to troops operating in secondary theaters where they were used in an anti-partisan role. They were issued to just one regular unit of the panzer corps, that being the 100th Panzerbrigade of the 21st Panzer Division in 1943. Six platoons of R35's were sent to the Channel Islands in 1941. The final years of the war would see this tank scattered throughout infantry divisions that garrisoned France.
The German army snapped no less that 843 R35s in the aftermath of the French surrender. 131 of these used directly as Panzerkampfwagen 35R 731 (f) for security, mainly in France, close to their spare part base, but also in the Balkans and possibly in the conquered territories of Russia for anti-partisan operations. Others served as driver training vehicle, turret less, while their turrets found an application on various armored trains, yet again, against the French resistance or partisans throughout Europe. Other turrets were used as pillboxes in various strategic positions in France and the Netherlands. Fourteen of these driver training vehicle, still with their turrets, saw action at Sainte Mère Eglise with the 1057th Grenadier Regiment on 6, June, 1944. There was also a considerable number (174 according to most sources) converted into an early tank-hunter, the 4,7 cm PaK(t) auf Panzerkampfwagen 35R(f) ohne Turm, a variant similar to the Panzerjäger I equipped with the Czech Skoda A6 PUV vz.37 47 mm gun. These conversions were not successful, however as they were too high and slow. Although some saw service in the summer of 1941 (Operation Barbarossa), most were deployed in the Channel islands, Netherlands, with Pz.Jg.Abt.657, which fought at Arnhem, and the remainder saw action in Normandy, France in 1944 (Schnelle Brigade 30 and Schnelle Abt.517).
The R35 bears a strong resemblance to its rival, the Hotchkiss H35. They shared the same APX turret, the three-module hull construction and placement for the driver and engine. However, their dimensions differed, as well as the placement of the hull casemate, placed further to the rear for the Renault and, most obviously, the drivetrain. The hull was made of three main prefabricated cast sections bolted together, while on the H35 these were welded. The running gear was based on the one used on the cavalry light tank AMR 35, with five double road wheels encased in two sets of bogies and another single one at the front. All three were suspended by massive horizontal coil springs, with characteristic rubber ringlets. The drive sprocket was at the front and idler at the rear. The tracks reposed on three rubberized return rollers. The Renault V-4 85 hp engine was at the right rear, with a self-sealing 166 liter gasoline tank on its left. The practical top speed was 20 km/h, which could fall to 14 km/h on soft or bumpy terrain. Fuel consumption was 212 liters/100 km off-road. The turret received a dome-like rotatable cupola with vertical vision slits. As customary in French practice, the turret had a rear hatch that could be hinged down, allowing the commander to sit on it, legs inside, for external observation. The early turret model was the APX-R, equipped with a L713 sight, mounting the short barrel 37 mm Puteaux L/21 SA-18 and a coaxial 7.5 mm Châtellerault fortress machine-gun. This main gun was effective only against concrete fortifications at relatively short range.
On 1 September 1939, only 975 vehicles had been delivered to the army out of 1070 produced total. They just then replaced most units still equipped with the Renault FT, but crews needed a few weeks to retrain. In consequence, in May 1940, there were still eight battalions of FTs operational due to the lack of trained conscripts. In June 1940, at last, 1601 R35 had been built by Renault, most for the Army.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/7/2018 5:46:57 PM   
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Despite the one-man turret, the SOMUA S-35 was considered the best tank to face the Germans in 1940. Upon capturing several hundred of them, the German Army quickly issued them to various training units. With the horrific tank losses in Russia during 1941-42, the Germans were forced to strip AFVs from units in secondary theaters and replace them with the 35-S 739(f). The 35-S 739 was also used for antipartisan operations. The Germans modified the SOMUA by altering the commander's cupola and by adding a radio to each vehicle. Typically, the 35-S 739 was used as the commander's vehicle in a platoon consisting off four 38H 735s and one 35-S 739. As late as December of 1944, the German Army still had 12 35-S 739s in service.
The French army haven't ordered a real massive production for the S35: Only 100 next tanks by year in 1938 and 1939 (The production capacity of Somua was really better) But, when France declared war to Germany, this tank know mass orders because of his status of best French tank (That it shares with the heavy tank B1 Bis, that was better armored, and had a 75mm gun in complement to the 47mm, but was less mobile and really less reliable). At the 30 April 1940, 390 were built. 440 Somua S35 were built before the 25 June 1940. During the Battle of France, this tank was, with the B1 Bis, the terror of Germans tanks. It had a gun who with able to penetrate the panzers without problem, but they’re guns were only able to penetrate his at short distance.
The Germans renamed the captured S35 "Panzerkampfwagen 35-S 739(f)". After a little modification (The French commander cupola was replaced by a German one, the same as Panzer III or IV), the Germans used this Somua. First in the Balkans campaign, where he didn't met a real dangerous enemy tank , and then during the invasion of Soviet Union in summer 1941. Here, the S35 met superiors enemies: The T-34s and KV-1s. Like other Germans tank, the Panzerkampfwagen 35-S 739(f) wasn't able to penetrate them in the front (Except at short range for the T-34.). His armor was not thick enough to resist against the L-11 and F-34 cannons. Like others Germans tanks, the S35 was too weak against the soviet beasts. After the defeat of Moscow, the Germans removed the S35 from front-line service. The tanks were sent to Balkans or France, to fight the partisans and the resistance. Here, without a serious enemy, he was really appreciate from German crew. During 1942 and 1943, no one tank was here to destroy him (But the Yugoslavians partisans captured and used one S35.). But in 1944, the Americans and British forces landed in Normandy, and the soviet forces attacked Balkans. The S35 was now totally obsolete against the Sherman and T-34-85. He was still in service in only one German unit in December 1944 (that was in Italy.)
The Germans forces captured 290 of them at the end of the Battle of France (They also sent around of 30 to Italy.) The rest (A bit less of 100 tanks) were in the hands of Vichy. Vichy's S35 were sent to French North Africa. They fought Americans forces during the landing of north Africa (Operation Torch) , the 8th November 1942, and were still a very dangerous vehicle, being able to destroy the Stuarts tanks relatively easily. After that the French forces in North Africa joined the allies, the remaining S35 were used during the campaign of Tunisia, but suffered relatively heavy losses against the new Panzer III/IV and the rare Tiger tanks. They were later used for training.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/8/2018 5:08:31 PM   
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The 38H 735f was one of the most abundant of the captured French tanks. The H39 was an overhaul of the H35 model, with a new Hotchkiss 6-cyl. 5.97 liters engine giving 120 hp at 2800 rpm. With a power-to-weight ratio of 10 hp/ton (the weight rose to 12.1 tons), top speed was now 36.5 km/h on road and range increased to 150 km (93 km) thanks to a new gasoline 207 liter tank. The new engine imposed a redesigned hood, the rear being raised and now nearly horizontal. Apart from these details, the H39 was very similar to the previous H35, with the same SA 18 short barrel gun. But it was also subjected to some criticism and, by the end of 1938, proposals were made to adopt the new SA 38, long barreled 37 mm gun, which had far superior penetration power and muzzle velocity. The turret was now equipped only with the new PPL horizontal vision slits. The SA 38 gun was supplied with longer rounds, and thus only 90 could be carried. The gun was in relatively short supply, and despite the priority given to production of this new weapon, many H39s were put in service with the older gun model. 700 H39s were built in total, starting in October 1938, the last being delivered in feverish conditions, thrown in combat right at the factory door in May 1940 without exhaust or mudguards. In early 1939, Hotchkiss’ delivery rate was around 60 units each month. Final records are confusing, and based on the chassis numbers and factory monthly deliveries by 1940, the usual figure is 1200 machines in total, for both subtypes. These latter will be commonly referred to as H-38, and manufactured to 800 machines.
In the course of the Battle of France, the German army captured some 600 Hotchkiss 39 vehicles. After the capitulation, the Germans seized an impressive lot of French R35/40s and H35/39s in generally good condition. Around 550 H35 and modified H39 models were taken over by the Waffenamt, and many modified, their original cupola being replaced by a two-hatch model. They were distributed among several independent companies, as the Panzerkampfwagen 35H 734(f) and Pz.Kpfw. 38H 735(f). Most were kept unchanged, painted in the regular Dunkelgrau livery for police and occupation duties in France. Predominantly issued to re-forming units, and their first use was in 1941 in Finland. Ten independent platoons were sent to the Balkans to fight partisans. Typically, four tanks were allocated to a platoon with the commander of a platoon issued a captured French S-35. As late as December of 1944, the German Army still had 29 38H 735s in service. Many others saw service abroad, like the 211e Panzerabteilung in Finland for the upcoming Operation Barbarossa. By 1942, they were joined by three mixed units, Panzerkampfwagenzüge 217, 218 and 219, makeshift tank platoons comprising one SOMUA S35 and four H39 each. They were disbanded later. Three units, also comprising many H35/39s, were sent in Yugoslavia, like the 7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen”. They became a familiar sight for the Partisans, and the most current tank used by Chetnik crews. Those which were found in Normandy in June 1944 faced largely superior US tanks. Such units were the Panzer Abteilung 206, Panzer–Ersatz und Ausb. Abt. 100 and Beute-Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung. By December 1944, only 60 Hotchkiss H39s were still active.
The Hotchkiss variations spawned a whole series of German AFV conversions including self-propelled artillery, tank destroyers, and recovery vehicles. Many were pressed into service, however, as battle tanks in secondary theaters. All the Hotchkiss variations used by the Germans had the commander's observation cupola replaced by a split hatch, and all were equipped with radio equipment.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/9/2018 6:05:26 PM   
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In May 1940, the French army was still 1093 copies of veteran Renault FT armed with a gun, of the 1st World War. In reality, most had been shed their gun to mount those on R-35 tanks, FCM-36 or H-35. However to fill the holes in the strength of armored tanks, a number of tanks was (sometimes very rustic) restored in state of combat and in cannibalizing sunk copies. It should be noted that some were re-equipped with an automatic rifle 24/29 as main armament. Like tanks armed with a machine gun, these tanks worn, out of breath, and unable to participate to large operations because of their low speed and didn't realize miracles.
A large number of older French tanks, predominantly FT-17s and FT-18s, were captured in 1940. Many had their turrets removed and used to build the Atlantic Wall; others were given to security troops, training depots, or used for police duties. The FT-17 730(f) represent both the FT-17s and FT-18s which were put into use by the German Army. They were, for the most part, updated by adding a radio to the vehicle.
The FT was the first production tank to have its armament within a fully rotating turret. The Renault FT's configuration – crew compartment at the front, engine compartment at the back, and main armament in a revolving turret – became and remains the standard tank layout. As such, some historians of armored warfare have called the Renault FT the world's first modern tank. Over 3,000 Renault FT tanks were manufactured by French industry, most of them during 1918.
Renault FT tanks were fielded in limited numbers during World War II, in Poland, Finland, France, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, although they were already obsolete. In 1940, the French Army still had eight battalions, each equipped with 63 FTs, as well as three independent companies, each with 10, for a total organic strength of 534, all equipped with machine guns. These were put to use after most of the modern equipment was lost in earlier battles.
Many smaller units assembled after the start of World War II also used the Renault FT. This gave rise to the popular myth that the French had no modern equipment at all; in fact, they had more modern tanks than the Germans. The French suffered from tactical and strategic weaknesses rather than from equipment deficiencies. When the best French units were cut off by the German drive to the English Channel, the complete French materiel reserve was sent to the front as an expediency measure; this included 575 FTs. Earlier, 115 sections of FTs had been formed for airbase defense. The Wehrmacht captured 1,704 FTs. They used about 100 for airfield defense and about 650 for patrolling occupied Europe.
Some were used by the Germans in 1944 for street-fighting in Paris, but by this time they were hopelessly out of date. Vichy France used Renault FTs against Allied invasion forces during Operation Torch in Morocco and Algeria. The French tanks were no match for the newly arrived American M4 Sherman and M3 Stuart tanks.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/10/2018 6:17:22 PM   
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The Panzerkampfwagen 35(t), commonly shortened to Panzer 35(t) or abbreviated as PzKpfw 35(t), was a Czechoslovak-designed light tank used mainly by Germany during World War II. The letter (t) stood for tschechisch (German: "Czech"). 298 PzKpfw 35t were built by the Czechs in 1936-39 as their main battle tank LT vz 35. Another 126 were exported to Rumania in 1936 where they were known as the R-2. The Germans seized 244 when they occupied Bohemia-Moravia in March 1939 and the Slovaks acquired 52 when they declared independence from Czechoslovakia at the same time. Others were exported to Bulgaria and Romania.
The design of the tank goes back to 1934. At that time the Skoda firm realized the prototype a tank of 10.5 tons, the T-11 model which will be usually called LTM-35 (S IIa). The design of this tank was particularly neat in order to enable it to traverse long distances with its own carburizing. It was also to be equipped with a great maneuverability. The comfort of the crew was also took into account as well as the longevity of the power unit. The tank was design with a back sprocket-wheel to release the compartment of combat of the elements of propulsion, an engine of small size to spare a large compartment of combat, a 6-speeds transmission with a shifting of speed actuated by air, a power-assisted steering thanks to the use of compressed air, a tank that allowing long hours of road without unnecessarily tiring the pilot, a suspension whose pressure on each roller is identical, moreover that the principal equipment were to be duplicated to ensure a great reliability and an excellent operation. The tests carried out on the prototype were satisfactory and the tank was put in production since 1935.
LT-35 was considered with being to him a "solution of interim" before Lt-38 (German PzKpfw 38t) is entirely developed and ready for the production. The excellent reputation of LT-35 was due to its very advanced technical design. After the resolution of the major problems, indeed it proved to be an excellent tank. End of the production had been planned for 1938 by the Czech Army but was deferred to 1939, under German supervision. Approximately 424 were produced between 1935 and 1939 by Skoda.
As soon as PzKpfw 35(t) was introduced in German service, its chassis was used as a basis for various conversions. In 1941, a tropical version of PzKpfw 35(t) was tested but was never produced. From March 1942 to 1943, 49 PzKpfw 35(t)s were converted into Morser Zugmittel/Artillerie Schlepper 35(t), artillery tractors without turret and higher part, the top being covered by a canvas.
In German service, it saw combat during the early years of World War II, notably the invasion of Poland, the Battle of France and the invasion of the Soviet Union before being retired or sold off in 1942. German use of the PzKpfw 35(t) was confined to the 6th Panzerdivision. Brigade of the 1st Light Division in Poland and later the 6th Pz. Division in France and Russia.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/11/2018 6:09:49 PM   
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The PzKpfw 38 (t) was a Czech AFV (the LT vz 38) originally ordered in 1938 as a re-placement for the LT vz 35 but not delivered until after the German occupation. Impressed by its features, the Germans ordered its construction expedited. CKD had already began studies to replace the LT vz.35 by 1935, which led to several prototypes. After the collapse and occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Germans renamed this series Panzer 38(t).
The CKD (Praga) LT vz.38 design was straightforward and only based on well-proven solutions. The most distinctive features was its suspension, consisting of two-pairs of cold sprung bogies with massive road wheels. The size of these was seen as a benefit for protection, ease of maintenance and cost, compared to the over-complicated wheel train and suspensions system of the LT vz.35. It was an inspiration for the German designers of the Panzer II. However, they used a torsion arm system instead. The hull was mostly riveted, compartmentalized, with the engine at the rear and a transmission tunnel running to the front drive sprockets. The LT vz.38 had two return rollers, the rear one being dropped and the relatively narrow tracks, lightly tightened. Armament comprised the fast-firing Skoda A7 37 mm gun with 90 rounds, both HE and AP. It was flanked by an independent ball-mounted compact Škoda vz.38 machine gun, a second one being mounted in the bow. Total provision for these was around 3000 rounds.
Although the Germans were impressed by the design, the Praga-Škoda lines were reorganized under their control, and the design of the new LTM 38 was revised while production was running. Modifications included a rearranged and roomier turret, holding a third crew-member, the commander being spared of any other tasks. Also added were an intercom system, a new German radio set, a revised commander cupola, modified sights, and new external fixations. These vehicles were renamed Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) in January 1940.
Despite the fact that no less than eight main versions (Ausführung) of the Panzer 38(t) existed, not including the Ausf.S intended for the Swedish army, there are few differences between them, even to an exerted eye. The first Ausf.A (entirely riveted construction) was produced to an extent of 150 machines from May to November 1939, and the next batch of Ausf.B (110), C(110) and D (105) were produced from January to November 1940. They were very similar, except for some detail modifications, like external fittings, improved commander cupola, sights, a new headlight and a half-riveted, half-welded construction. But all had in common the main Czech Skoda KwK 38(t) L\48 gun and two vz.38 machine guns. Protection was slightly improved, but was limited to 25 mm. The Ausf.E(275) and F(250), built between November 1940 and October 1941, were up-armored to 50 mm, with an extra bolted-on 25 mm appliqué armor on the frontal glacis. The turret mantlet and front were also thickened. New larger storage boxes and fixation points were added on the mudguards. The Ausf.S (May-December 1941) was an offshoot initially built for Sweden, but confiscated and incorporated in the Wehrmacht. The Ausf.G was the last “regular” version, with the same armor, but better protection distribution and a nearly all-welded hull. This was the most prolific series, 321 being delivered by CKD-Praga from October 1941 to June 1942. 179 more were delivered as chassis and later transformed into SPGs. After that, new up-armored chassis (Ausf.H,K,L,M) were used for conversions.
The Panzer 38(t) were not tactically used in the same fashion as the Panzer I and II. He were mostly involved in vanguard and flanking actions, where their antitank capabilities and better protection made them suitable for providing local infantry support and to deal with most light tanks and armored vehicles.
Their limitations appeared on the Eastern Front in 1942, when dealing with more and more T-34 tanks, as the shortage of medium tanks meant the Panzer 38(t) was often engaged in desperate situations against vehicles which it was not designed to deal with them. 565 of the Ausf A-D and S were built.
The first Ausf.As saw action in Poland with the 1st and 3rd Light Divisions. In Norway, they formed a large part of the XXXI Armee Korps. In France, they were engaged mainly with various units of the 6, 7 and 8th Panzerdivions, and later with the latter unit in the Balkans, April-May 1941. But the real test came with Operation Barbarossa, were they equipped the 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 19th, 20th and 22nd Panzer Division —and possibly others. In June 1941 more than one quarter of the total strength of the German Panzer units consisted of Czech tanks. It was clear by 1942 that their capabilities were limited in regular combat, and they were more and more relegated to pure reconnaissance missions and rearguard actions. All fought on the Russian front, until the very end of the war.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/12/2018 6:44:23 PM   
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The PzKpfw III was intended be the main battle tank of the Pz. divisions but its elaborate and sophisticated design wasn't finalized until 1939. The early models were built with several different types of suspension, of which 90 were built. At the time, German (non-light) tanks were expected to carry out one of two primary tasks when assisting infantry in breakthroughs, exploiting gaps in the enemy lines where opposition had been removed, moving through and attacking the enemy's unprotected lines of communication and the rear areas. The first task was direct combat against other tanks and other armoured vehicles, requiring the tank to fire armour piercing (AP) shells. On January 11, 1934, following specifications laid down by Heinz Guderian, the Army Weapons Department drew up plans for a medium tank with a maximum weight of 24,000 kg and a top speed of 35 km/h. It was intended as the main tank of the German Panzer divisions, capable of engaging and destroying opposing tank forces, and was to be paired with the Panzer IV, which was to fulfill the second use: dealing with anti-tank guns and infantry strong points, such as machine-gun nests, firing high-explosive shells at such soft targets. Such supportive tanks designed to operate with friendly infantry against the enemy generally were heavier and carried more armour. The direct infantry-support role was to be provided by the turret-less Sturmgeschütz assault gun, which mounted a short-barrelled gun on a Panzer III chassis.
On September 1, 1939, a total of only 98 PzKpfw III were available to the Pz. divisions (some of which contained none at all during the Polish campaign). The official German ordnance designation was Sd.Kfz. 141. All the initial models were withdrawn from service 2/40 except for a few Ausf D that participated in the fighting in Norway, 4/40. The PzKpfw IIIF was the version accepted for mass production. The game also represent the earlier Ausf E. 96 Ausf E and 435 Ausf F were built. In 1939-40, a full-strength PzKpfw III platoon consisted of three to five such AFVs, depending on the unit involved.
The Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf.F does its apparition in 1939 as the model E. The Panzer III Ausf.F was armed with the canon of 37mm L/45 and two MG34 mounted on an internal mantlet. Armored covers on the upper hull nose for the transmission and final drive gear cooling air intakes were mounted. The Panzer III Ausf.F were equipped of an improved version of the HL 120 TR, the HL 120 TRM.
During the production of the Panzer III Ausf.F (also Ausf.E), armored covers for the engine air intakes were added, that have made it nearly impossible to distinguish between late Panzers III Ausf.E and Ausf.F. A total of 435 Panzers III Ausf.F was produced by Daimler-Benz, Henschel, MAN, Alkett and FAMO between September 1939 and July 1940. The Panzer III effectively became obsolete in the anti-tank role and was supplanted by the Panzer IV. From 1942, the last version of Panzer III mounted the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24, better suited for infantry support. Production of the Panzer III ceased in 1943. Nevertheless, the Panzer III's capable chassis provided hulls for the Sturmgeschütz III assault gun until the end of the war.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 6/13/2018 6:32:15 PM   
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In August 1940, Hitler had ordered that the PzKpfw III be up-gunned with the long-barreled 5cm piece but, amazingly, was ignored by his Ordnance Department, which had already decided to use a medium velocity 5cm gun that had already passed its acceptance tests. About 550 of the PzKpfw III Ausf G were built. A variant of Ausf. G, and equivalent in game terms, was the PzKpfw III Ausf. H, with 308 produced. The PzKpfw III Ausf H was not the most common PzKpfw III, yet it gained fame beyond its numbers due to the nightmares it caused the British in North Africa, where their 2 pdr guns had great difficulty defeating its frontal armor. Ausf H , are 1,549 early Ausf J, plus many more converted from the earlier Ausf E and F by installing the 5cm gun and bolting on extra armor.
The PzKpfw IIIH (and its equivalents) can be considered to have been the backbone of the Panzer force in 1941-42. For Operation Sea Lion (the proposed invasion of England) some PzKpfw III were modified so that they could travel under water. Some of these Tauchpanzer were used by the 18th Pz. Regiment on June 22, 1941, to cross the Bug River at Patulin. In 1941 the official strength of a PzKpfw III platoon was increased to five vehicles.
With the experiments of the campaigns of Poland and France, the Germans realized that Panzer III was under-armored. The engineers thus worked in speed on an interim version equipped with an additional applied shielding. This version was called Panzer III Ausf.H. The interior shielding remained unchanged but armor-plates of 30 mm were welded in front and to the rear and on the sides of the superstructure, which gave to Panzer III by places a shielding of 60 mm. This thickness was sufficient vis-a-vis the tanks and anti-tank guns of enemies of the time. The Variorex transmission with 10 forward speeds, too complex, was replaced by a Maybach transmission (synchromech) with 6 forward speeds. To compensate the increase of the weight caused by the increase of the shielding, new 400 mm tracks were installed, which made it possible to decrease the pressure on the ground and to preserve the performances of the tank more or less. On the level of the suspension, new sprocket-wheels and idlers were introduced into the production of Panzer III but will be standardized only on the last Panzers III Ausf.H. The majority of the models were still equipped with the standard sprocket-wheels and pulleys however modified to accept the new tracks. The two types of sprocket-wheels and idlers were interchangeable. Still the first return roller was to move forwards a few centimeters to prevent any shock between the track (heavier) and the first shock absorber.
To accommodate the gun of 50 mm KwK 38 L/42, the turret was modified because the gun too was with narrow on the prior standard turret. The back plate of the turret was also modified and was from now in one-piece, more sloping part, which eliminated the bulge from the cupola of the commander. That got a greater space inside, necessary for the mechanism of recoil of the 50 mm KwK L/42. The turret was also equipped with a rotary basket, which largely facilitated the task of the crew which was not obliged any more to follow the rotation of the turret while moving on the floor of the hull among various equipment and over the driveshaft. It is possible that several former models were also equipped with this innovation after return to the factory to receive the 50 mm KwK 39 L/60. The changes introduced by Panzer III Ausf.H were built-in later on Panzer III ausf.J.





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