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For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
WWII Germany/digging defilade positions?
120mmSniper
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2004
KitMaker: 65 posts
Armorama: 48 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 03:19 PM GMT+7
Sorry for the thread title fragment...

Anyway- Did the Germans have dedicated equipment for digging defilade positions for their tanks? If so, what was it?

Thanks. Lee
GazzaS
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 23, 2015
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Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 04:32 PM GMT+7

Images for discussion only







120mmSniper
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Texas, United States
Joined: May 02, 2004
KitMaker: 65 posts
Armorama: 48 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 05:05 PM GMT+7
No equivalent of this?



The truck and dozer tank look cool...but wow, using shovels to dig a turret-down hide position would SUCK!
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 23, 2015
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Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 06:48 PM GMT+7
Your question made me curious. So, I went looking. I couldn't find much.

As Panzers were meant for mobile warfare, one could be forgiven for thinking that no dedicated gear for digging them in existed.

I don't know if any German divisions had anything resembling a Marine Force Service Support Group.

Good food for thought, though.
HermannB
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Bayern, Germany
Joined: October 14, 2008
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Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 07:32 PM GMT+7
Never heard of any Planierraupen (bulldozers) used by the Wehrmacht. And because of the offensive warfare tactics in the early years, I don`t think that they ever build any hull down position. Remeber that even the Autobahn was build with Hacke und Spaten. But you can use this "machines" for digging positions.

http://miniart-models.com/de/products/35065/
ReluctantRenegade
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Wien, Austria
Joined: March 09, 2016
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Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 07:51 PM GMT+7
Forced labour was very common in the east. Millions of POWs, Jews and other imprisoned citizens of the occupied countries were used by Nazi Germany and its allies as modern slaves. Groups of Hungarian Jews were digging German defensive positions in Austria as late as April ‘45.
AikinutPGH
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Alabama, United States
Joined: April 25, 2015
KitMaker: 26 posts
Armorama: 23 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 01:34 AM GMT+7
The third picture of the Panther with the plow mounted was for clearing bomb rubble in Nurnberg. This was a special vehicle made by the MAN plant in Nurnberg to clear the rubble on streets. There was also a Stug that had a same type plow mounted on it.
These were not for digging tenches or firing positions for tanks.
cheyenne
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 05, 2005
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 02:03 AM GMT+7
Organization Todt , pre planned bunkers , Atlantic wall , sub pens etc.
Pioneer , pre planned field positions .
Infantry , forward positions if and when needed .

A bit off topic but very interesting .
WWI A7V Schutzengrabenbagger .
Last pics , scratch build by Alexander Shuvayev .
















jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 03:16 AM GMT+7
Awesome scratchbuilding ! Wow,that is sweet !!
Gary,you are a naughty naughty man ! Hahahahaha.
The only reference I have heard from German vets about dug in tanks is when they hand dug pits to protect them from arty and air strikes. Thy normally didn't have time to build elaborate positions later in the war when they were on defense.
There were exceptions of course,like in Normandy when the tanks were used as anchor points in the thin infantry line,but these were dug by hand as Gary so interestingly pointed out. Otherwise the German doctrine called for the tanks to be held back and used as a counterattack force.
Long answer for no,they didn't have any earth moving vehicles in the tank regts.
J
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 03:54 AM GMT+7
Couldn't isolate individual pics, but scroll almost half-way down -
http://www.allworldwars.com/German%20Field%20Fortifications%20on%20the%20Eastern%20Front.html#II Dug-in hull-down tank positions. Also lots of diagrams and plans for scratch-building.
justsendit
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Colorado, United States
Joined: February 24, 2014
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 04:36 AM GMT+7
Very cool scratch-built Schutzengrabenbagger! … And with those entrenchment plans, all I need to do now, is convince my nephews, nieces, and grandkids to shoulder pickaxes, shovels, and march the lot o’ them off to work! Lol!

Cheers!🍺
—mike
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 07:44 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Couldn't isolate individual pics, but scroll almost half-way down -
http://www.allworldwars.com/German%20Field%20Fortifications%20on%20the%20Eastern%20Front.html#II Dug-in hull-down tank positions. Also lots of diagrams and plans for scratch-building.



Thanks for the link!
If I ever get the urge to make a vignette of a fortified position
/ Robin
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 03:48 AM GMT+7

Old men and women digging tank traps in the Soviet Union.
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 05:12 AM GMT+7
Tank crew are trained to recognize and use natural hull down positions where ever possible. Nothing is more obvious that prepared positions and nothing attracts artillery like obvious trenches. A few salvoes and your prepared position is ruined and you can't pull the tank in.

By preferring natural covered positions you are more likely to be concealed as well. And a hull down doesn't have to be a ditch. It can also be some cut logs covered with dirt.

Am I the only one who ever did tactics without engineers or a dozer? You look for natural folds in the terrain. Even seemingly flat terrain can have a fold high enough to hide a tank. Except an M3 Lee-- there you're on your own.
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 06:27 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Tank crew are trained to recognize and use natural hull down positions where ever possible. Nothing is more obvious that prepared positions and nothing attracts artillery like obvious trenches. A few salvoes and your prepared position is ruined and you can't pull the tank in.

By preferring natural covered positions you are more likely to be concealed as well. And a hull down doesn't have to be a ditch. It can also be some cut logs covered with dirt.

Am I the only one who ever did tactics without engineers or a dozer? You look for natural folds in the terrain. Even seemingly flat terrain can have a fold high enough to hide a tank. Except an M3 Lee-- there you're on your own.



The very opposite of the M3 Lee when it comes to
the art of hull down.

Strv 103 in hull down positions:





Has its own blade to do the dirty work




/ Robin
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 23, 2015
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 06:51 AM GMT+7
Would have been interesting to see how the S-tank would have fared in a Cold War battlefield.
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 07:21 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Would have been interesting to see how the S-tank would have fared in a Cold War battlefield.



I think we like it better without finding out
The absence of traversable turret was no real limitation in the days when tanks still had to stop to be able to aim properly.
The traverse of the whole tank using the tracks was just as fast or even faster than traversing a turret (I think Wittman swung the whole tank before doing fine adjustments with the turret).
When stabilised guns and computerised sights became more common the turreted tank could fire on the move (Youtube clips of Merkava tanks hitting targets while going full tilt over rocky ground and even taking running jumps) and the Strv 103 became more or less obsolete.
Before thermal sights it was possible to hide on a reverse slope with only the gun muzzle poking out through grass and other concealment. The projectiles of the sixties-seventies couldn't really punch through the ground. Conventional tanks attacking over open fields with Strv 103 hiding in sniping positions would have had a tough task. The game changed completely with thermal sights and APFS-DS but the sloping glacis of the Strv 103 is not so easy to pierce. There was also a fence of short vertical bars to disrupt incoming projectiles.
With APFS-DS punching through Iraqi sand berms the whole idea about hull down has become less relevant, unless the obstacle is really significant like a couple of meters of solid granite ...

/ Robin
seabee1526
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Michigan, United States
Joined: September 14, 2007
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Armorama: 105 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 02:18 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Organization Todt , pre planned bunkers , Atlantic wall , sub pens etc.
Pioneer , pre planned field positions .
Infantry , forward positions if and when needed .

A bit off topic but very interesting .
WWI A7V Schutzengrabenbagger .
Last pics , scratch build by Alexander Shuvayev .



















How do you say "steampunk" in German...love it!
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 02:54 AM GMT+7
Apfsds can go through sand berms but hardened sod or clay soil is something else. It could lose so much kinetic energy that it wouldn't penetrate. And then there's a couple of logs that would slow it down enough so the tank would survive the impact. Remember it's this thin needle and it penetrates because of speed and density. Take away enough of that speed and the density just goes "splat"

If those Iraqis had just wet down that sand the round may never have penetrated.

It becomes a lot easier to understand if you look at recent studies of how arrows and crossbow bolts penetrated medieval armor. The dart inside a SABOT is nearly identical to a bodkin arrow as used at Agincourt.