Here is a round up of articles from World of Tanks History Section and Yuri Pasholok translated into English by the Archive Awareness blog. Click on the article title to view the full article.
At the start of the Great Patriotic War, Soviet military intelligence and the GAU had a very approximate idea about the types and characteristics of German tanks. This deficiency led to an overestimation of the possibilities of German armour and the launch of the KV-3, 4, and 5 programs in March of 1941. Even information on real German tanks was sparse. Intelligence missed the increase of the front armour of PzIII and PzIV tanks to 50 mm and use of 50 mm guns. This lack of information had to be made up for in the most reliable way during the war: studying trophies. Among the vehicles that were glossed over by Soviet intelligence was the StuG assault gun.
During WWI, no participating country quite figured out tanks. However, in the two post-war decades, military thinkers managed to develop many theories and tactics, but some doubt remained. Germany’s success in Poland and France finally confirmed their usefulness beyond all doubt. As the popularity of tanks increased, so did the interest in anti-tank measures: guns, rifles, grenades, or more exotic methods.
By noon of the first day of the Sandomierz-Silesian Offensive Operation, Soviet infantry penetrated the first line of German defenses and hit the second. Quickly realizing the situation, Marshall Konev, the commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front, played the ace up his sleeve: several hundred tanks and SPGs. Thanks to them, Soviet forces were ready to assault the second line by the second half of January 12th, 1945.
German secret tank projects are a common topic for internet arguments, reshuffling of facts, or outright falsifications. Some of this is done as a joke, some out of ignorance, and some intentionally. Today, let’s seriously try to discover which of these phantom German creations are real and which are not.
The history of the Pz.Kpfw. Maus is still full of blank spots, despite the popularity of the subject. The beginning of the tank’s development from March of 1942 to 1943 is the least studied area. During this time, the project indexed Typ 205 radically changed. Essentially, the only constants were the index and the idea of using an electric transmission. Thanks to new publications and archive research, it is now possible to remove the veil of mystery from many parts of the project.
100 Ton Mouse
After the fall of France in 1940, German designers got access to French developments, including full scale models of superheavy tanks, the FCM F1 and ARL Tracteur C. Compared to these tanks, the German VK 65.01 (Pz.Kpfw. VII) that started development in January of 1939 seemed obsolete. It’s possible that this discovery led to the cancellation of the mild steel prototype.