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Apr 13, 2013

Extending the WOT german tech tree - Porsche Tank Destroyers

 By Zarax

This is a purely speculative article that takes into account WOT german tech tree and uses historical tanks to speculate possible new tank additions.
While trying to keep the articles faithful to history some room for inaccuracy is allowed within these rules:

1) No tank or tank part will be 100% made up, at least a mention about tank role and vague specs are needed

2) Components not planned for the tank are allowed, provided it wouldn't create grotesque inaccuracies like putting a gun that would obviously cripple a tank under its weight

3) This will be limited to WWII plans, anything post war risks to be too arbitrary to properly balance

No serious expectation of anything listed to appear in WOT as described is applied, but as we're discussing about implementing history into an arcade game some items will be controversial.
This is unavoidable as WOT tech tree rules need a tank to be better than the previous one and ergonomics are not exactly cared about, meaning that most designs are over-performing their real counterparts.

Although Porsche is best known for the Ferdinand and the Maus, he worked on a plethora of lesser known designs, although most of them never left the paper stage.
Starting from 1943 and as the war material situation worsened he focused on lighter designs, some of which were tank destroyers.

By using the best sources at our disposal we're now able to attempt to reconstruct a Porsche TD line.
Beware, some designs are quite exotic but all of them are based on "Panzer Tracts 6-3", "Panzer Tracts 20-1", "Panzer Tracts 20-2"  or "Special Panzer Variants".

Due to a lack of early designs, this tree will start from tier V, in my mind branching from either the Hetzer or the Panzer 38 Neuer Art:

Tier V: Porsche Typ 245/2

Based on the Porsche Typ 245 light tank design, this light assault gun was meant to double up as recon tank and use belt-fed weapons, eliminating the need for a loader.
Designed to be fairly well armored (60mm sloped frontal armor), it was planned to be fast with a 250HP air-cooled  Porsche engine, which pushed its 15 tons at a top speed of 58 kilometers per hour, granting a pretty good 16HP/ton.

At around 1.5 meters of height and being shorter than the Hetzer, it was pretty short and hard to detect, making it a potentially great ambush tank.
Its planned armament was a 55mm Rheinmetall M112 autocannon with a traverse of 5° on each side, coupled with a light MG in the cupola.

We could estimate as upgrades that the tank could receive a Porsche Typ 100 engine variant, and keep relatively light armament.
I initially thought about 55mm Gerat 58 but it would look ridicolous on the tank, as well as its early relative 5cm Flak 41.
Considering larger guns, the 75mm L/48 would look quite big on the tank already, so it's likely we'll have to be limited to howitzers and short guns.

An autoloading variant of the 5cm L/60 cannon could be used with a 5 round drum, although lackluster penetration would not improve the situation by much.
105mm L/28 would match the tank pretty well, but it will likely mean giving up most traverse.

Stretching up a bit more, one could consider the 8cm PAW 600, which would give slightly better HE damage than a 75mm gun, however gold ammo is limited to 140ishmm HEAT penetration.
Alternatively, the 30mm MK103 or an autoloading 37mm with the uranium rounds could be considered, but this is borderline with history.

All in all, an excellent "flanking TD" useful for hunting scout tanks and protecting artillery but not exactly a pleasant grind.

Tier VI: Porsche Schwerer Kleiner Panzer

Possibly one of the first drafts of the Porsche Typ 250, the Porsche Kleiner Panzerkampfwagen was an interesting project, based on the use of cast armor to speed up building.
Another relatively compact design, it was supposed to be 2.2m tall in it's largest version, 6.75 meters long and 3.15 meters wide.

Fairly well protected by an 80mm sloped front, it sported a 345HP Porsche V-10 engine pushing 25-26 tons, making it a still relatively agile vehicle at 13HP/ton, while crew was now composed by 4 members.
Its initial armament was supposed to be the 105mm L/28, with a 30mm autocannon as secondary weapon.
Top speed is not given but one could estimate around 45-50kmh on ideal terrain.

During its development upgrading the cannon was considered.
Sources are slightly sketchy on this though, as they state a 10.5cm PAW firing fin-stabilized ammo at 900m/s was planned.

Now, this leaves us in a bit of a conundrum:

While there was a 10.5 PAW firing fin-stabilized ammo (called 10H64, it reached prototype stage), it was rather a low velocity gun-howitzer meant to fire HE and HEAT than a long gun.
On the other side, the only gun in the german arsenal that could match the performance specs (105mm and 900m/s) would be the 105mm L/68 proposed for the Tiger II, which in its rifled version was estimated to reach around 860 m/s, but on the tank with a front mount it would make the tank almost twice as long, not to mention making it nose heavy and unmaneuverable in city or wooded terrain.

This leads me to two hypothesis:

1) The 10H64 was meant for a front mount, while the long 105 for a rear casemate. It could fit with some difficulty but there are no designs to support this.

2) Speculating on a wrong translation and given the british authors, it is more likely 900 feet per second were meant, a performance quite close to the 10H64 cannon.

Personally, I think the latter option is more likely, but given that in WOT smoothbore guns are not a welcome option (although in this case it would be a "derp gun") we could speculate the tank would mount yet another design as top gun, the 105mm L/47.
Rougly as long as the 88mm L/56, it was designed by Porsche to fit the VK 3001 (P)/Tiger (P) turret and we could estimate a similar performance as the russian 107mm or french 105mm of tiers V-VI.

As for mobility, it is likely the V-10 engine would be later replaced by a 500HP V-12 that was in development, granting it nearly 20HP/ton, pushing the top speed to over 50kmh.

Tier VII: Porsche Typ 255

Sometimes confused with the E-25, this 1944 design was the ultimate "light" tank destroyer by Porsche.
Roughly the same size as its tier VI predecessor, it was designed to sport 120mm frontal armor, 4 man crew and a semi-automatic (mentioned as "belt-fed", likely an auto-loader) cannon plus a 30mm MK 103/108 in the small turret above.

A 500HP V-12 engine was supposed to push its 27 tons of weight to a top speed of 57 kilometers per hour, which at around 18HP/ton would have made the vehicle quite agile, although it's likely the weight was under estimated.

Weapon-wise, Spielberger states that the 105mm L/28 was originally planned, but later to be replaced with a semi-automatic 10.5cm cannon of higher performance.
In this case, one could assume we'd end up with a similar armament as the WOT Jagdpanther, although given the better chassis specs gun would inferior in performance, with in my opinion a final choice between a drum loaded version of the howitzer and the 88mm L/71 or 105mm L/47 if the 10H64 is not picked.

Engine-wise, we could maybe expect the same choice as Ferdinand or a bit lower in HP as the initial mobility is already quite good, with the possibility of the historical engine being the top one.

Tier VIII: Ferdinand

As the tank is already in WOT and no tier changes are expected, only minor adjustments are foreseen.
WOT already upgrades this tank above historical plans so not much could be said.
If one wanted to improve slightly historical accuracy an 88mm L/100 or 105mm L/68 could be used instead of the 128mm L/55 as they would be more plausible as upgrade but still fictional.

Tier IX: VK 70.01 (P)

The biggest historical stretch of this tree, but necessary to find a proper design for the tier, this was supposed to be Porsche proposal for the Lowe tank, dated 11 may 1942.

Coinciding with the "Schwerer Lowe" specifications, it was a 90 ton tank design, with 120mm front armor, 80-100mm side and armed with a 15cm L/40 (likely E-100s L/38) cannon.
2 Porsche engines of unknown power were supposed to push the tank at 30 kilometers per hour.

Now, for the speculative part:

A chassis length of over 7.7m is given, making it likely rear turreted, something that is to be expected by a Porsche design.
A width of around 3.8m is given, touching slightly above 4m with what is expected to be side skirts, or possibly with tracks mounted.

This would give it a pretty familiar look, one that WG took for tier X:

Playing with similar designs, one could imagine the final product as something close to this brutal merge:

The image above is of course NOT historical and it's merely speculation on how the Schwerer Lowe turret would look with a chassis similar in size to the Porsche design, in this case the Sturmpanzer Bar.
120-140mm frontal armor and E-100 level gun selection, it wouldn't be exactly top spec in either armor or firepower, so we could argue that this tank would be a turreted TD.
Starting with the 105mm L/68, one could likely grind the 128mm L/55 up to the 15cm L/38 or L/40.
Limiting slightly the turning ability an heavier gun could be likely carried, such as the 128mm L/61.

Tier X: Sturmpanzer Maus

The above is an artist impression, however it's pretty likely the Sturmpanzer Maus would have looked like that.
Developed in tandem with the JagdPanzer E-100, it was supposed to be pretty similar in gun selection, with a choice between the 15cm L/63 (or L/68) or the same 17cm carried by the Jagdpanzer E-100.

A relatively simple trade-off, it would get slightly better armor in exchange for slightly worse mobility.
Aside from the above mentioned guns, extra long 128mm cannons up to L/76 were mentioned, however it is unlikely they could bring much tactical benefit, although one could prefer an extremely precise low alpha cannon.

With this, the line ends.
Although some pretty heavy streching from history has been taken in some cases, all tanks above existed at least in plan form as a list of specification.

No fantasy tanks or Wargaming developers have been harmed in the making of this article.


  1. Hmm, that Sturmmaus doesn't sound too bad.

  2. Very interesting,for people like me who does not know much!Compliments Zarax!:D

  3. That tier 10 TD looks a lot like the MAUS II you showed us a bit long ago!And considering that the maus had a 200MM frontal hull armor(lower plate ncluded i think)This could become one of the most dingy tanks in the front!
    200-240 mm of SLOPED PLATES with no weakspots :O

  4. Vaguely wondering where the Sturmmaus is supposed to fit all those (presumably rather necessary) engine ventilation openings the base vehicle has all over its central hull roof...

    Also, Tier IX: OVER 9000 hours in Photoshop I take it? :P

    1. The image was intentionally left poorly made in order to avoid someone creating some more fantasy tanks.
      The last thing I want is someone pulling a Pasholok citing me as source.

    2. Fair enough. Though I recall having seen people taking those blatantly shooped E-79 pics seriously too, so better be mentally prepared for the worst... :/

    3. Well, as WG started pulling their own fake tanks the slope is getting more and more slippery... But that's just lazy research on their side.

    4. pulling a pasholok...YOU MADE ME LAUGH THERE

    5. Just write NOT A REAL TANK on it in large red letters.

      Alternatively, write ЦАМО РФ and see what happens :)

  5. No smoothbore in WoT - so no PAW 600 and 10.5 PAW.

  6. Glorious exposition, comrade, Although I would make one minor change: Replace the VK70.01(P) (it's too similar to the Leichte Lowe to not be a heavy tank) with the JagdMaus. The 15cm L/63 would give it on-par damage and penetration for a Tier 9 TD, while "Preparing" the player for the Sturmpanzer. It would pretty much play like the T95's bigger, uglier German brother :)

    1. Sturmpanzer Maus IS the Jagdmaus (Jagdmaus is an incorrect name, IMHO so is the Sturmpazner Maus, but as Zarax mentioned, the names are a mess. My bet on a "correct" name would be Sturmgeschütz Maus).

    2. Probably there is no correct name at all, because there is no actual vehicles ;)

    3. Panzer tracts 6-3 uses both definitions.

  7. Say, can someone explain one thing to me? This isn't the first context where I see belt-fed cannon mentioned; what I'm wondering about is if that's actually technically doable and sensible? After all even outright autocannons at the comparatively puny 20-40mm range in practice use virtually every feed system imaginable *except* belts, and there's presumably some kind of practical reason for that...

    1. I suspect it's Spielberger being confused with a cassette or drum loading system here.
      4-6x105mm at that tier are a respectable punch even as HE, even greater if the 200mm HEAT penetration PAW 1000 is used.

    2. ...or one of those open-frame cradle things ("hoppers"?) the large-caliber autoloader prototypes of the period often seem to have had, though I guess that kind of thing would be a bit on the bulky side for the usable volume available.
      Sounds only too likely, but doesn't really answer my puzzlement about the practical reasons cannon-caliber guns never seem to use belt feeds...

  8. I assume that WG will create two more German TD lines. A "Waffenträger" line with Nashorn, Sturer Emil, Waffenträger Panther etc. , which are open topped vehicles. This line will come out in autumn 2013.

    The other line will probably be built around the Ferdinand with the Jagdmaus as Tier X TD. But I think that the Sturmtiger and Brummbär will also be part of this third German TD line, which will be some kind of "assault gun" line.

    1. I've got an entire assault gun TD line with Sturmtiger at tier X ready for show, although maybe not in the next article yet.

      The open top line is more problematic as the tier X candidate I found turned unsuitable after further research, however I've got a fifth TD line of "misfits" ending up with Stug E-75 which turned out to be somewhat historical after all, although only as a brief mention.

  9. I've got a question, Zarax- given the inclination of the germans to stick big guns on almost everything, was there any plans to "TD-ize" either the E75 or E50?

    1. An 80 ton Stug based on E-75 was planned, this is all we got.
      I used it as tier X for the 5th TD line, which I dubbed "the misfits".

    2. Any blueprints?

    3. No, just a brief mention, no specifications other than the base chassis and projected weight.
      Depending on the gun choice we might get a JT style casemate or a Ferdi one but I'm willing to bet on the latter as it was common for late german projects.

      A less likely possibility would be a JT-style casemate but moved forward, the original JT proposal contained a discussion about front/mid versus rear engine and given that E-75 was all in all a modernized Tiger II in concept it could sort of apply.

  10. Replies
    1. Porsche suspensions for Jagdtiger are not enough for a new design.

  11. Great, more shit that WG is making up to put into a game that no one wants.

    I quote,

    1) No tank or tank part will be 100% made up, at least a mention about tank role and vague specs are needed

    2) Components not planned for the tank are allowed, provided it wouldn't create grotesque inaccuracies like putting a gun that would obviously cripple a tank under its weight

    3) This will be limited to WWII plans, anything post war risks to be too arbitrary to properly balance

    We have an E-100 hull. We want a forward castemate design or a mid castemate design......Like the 268.

    We have a blueprint of an E75, we want a phuking Forward castmate design..............




    and now you have it as the premiere Tier 6 vehicle.

    WTF is wrong w/ you people?

    The Leo I is a failure, looks great, cant be used in CW.

    Thank you for showing me that its acceptable to be a modern day Racist.

    Phuck the Germans, burn em all......

    Right. That our opinion, Right. Same as the Palestinians......., It was never Palestine.......after 1948.


    1. This isn't official wargaming stuff, just by the way.

    2. I believe this is the part where we're supposed to point fingers and laugh. :|

    3. Uhh... If only he kept reading one line after...

    4. Actually, I ran into a Russian site, that quoted this article and presented it as a real future branch. Pretty funny, Russians started raging, maybe this guy's Russian. Oh well, at least the branch looks realistic.

    5. Look at it this way, you have a lot of credibility!

      As for raging, you should look at the comments for Overlord's redesigned German tech tree. So many tears!

    6. Also your raging over the KV-1S is not justified:

      The KV-1S could accept an IS turret, so the real fantasy is that it doesn't get the D-25T.

    7. Not to mention the infamous KV-152...

    8. Still shoving only one side of the medal, eh Peter?

      The Anon from first post is raging, but he has a point. It was observed that KV-1 had no real combat advantages over T-34, while being slower, clumsier and more expensive. So, Russian engineers decided to shave off some armor, slightly improve transmission and redesign turret so it could accept, at most, 85mm gun. The result was KV-1S, the "S" standing for "skorostnoy" or "speedy". But, it was still not enough, as KV-1S lacked a true gun to fit heavy tank role. There were experiments with turret mounting 122mm gun but they were failures - turret and gun were too heavy and gun proved especially troublesome with its massive recoil. So, instead of patching an obsolete design, they went back to drawing board, and designed proper heavy tank, the IS-1.

      Let's forget for a moment that KV-1S (as modeled in this game) is entirely fictional design. Let's give it 122mm gun - it is a game after all. Any drawbacks, as observed from real-life trials - very low ROF, decreased mobility? Nope. Let's give it double ROF and mobility of a medium tank! All of advantages (and more) with no disadvantages? No Russian bias?


    9. The other side of my medals is flat and boring.

      Considering the fact that nearly every tank in the game has trial guns, engines, etc. that failed during testing, and some have entirely fictional modules, it is not very hard to believe that a tank that was actually built made it in the game.

      Also you're wrong, the IS turret was built for the IS, and placed on the KV-1S hull to make a KV-85 and KV-122 later.

      Also, the Tiger II magically avoids a second loader with its 105 mm guns, as well as the slow rate of fire that two-piece ammunition would have brought, but everyone only complains about the IS. Russian bias, am I right?

    10. I see.

      What was first: chicken or the egg? One of the development teams set about upgrading KV tanks while other went to design new heavy tank (future IS). A long story, for some other time perhaps :-)

      105mm gun was in upgrade package, together with automatic loader, gun stabilization etc. proposed near the end of WWII. So, no real need for additional loader. In real life, this never came to be, due to ever deteriorating strategic situation and the fact that 88L/71 was more than adequate for anti-tank duty. In game terms, that 105mm has lower ROF than Russian 122mm gun...*Ahem*

      Why Russian bias? Because in this mishmash that came from WG's kitchen, German tanks got hit really hard. Designed and equipped for long range combat, to destroy enemy tanks at distances they couldn't even retaliate, they got put in a game that favors brawling style combat (usual combat distance is 300m or less). Penetration of every gun nerfed by 15+ percent. No real view range and accuracy advantage despite having best optics of the war and arguably the best guns. Inflated tanks size.

      On the other hand you have Russian "pancake" tanks, with deflated size (did they breed and train midgets to operate them?), equipped with Anti-Gravity Drive (tm) and Cloaking Device (tm) and having no problem whatsoever with hitting targets at 400m, despite "poor" accuracy. Couple this with facts that developers are Russians, most players are also Russian and people are starting to connect dots...


  12. Zarax, what do you think about the VK 9.03 with the L/70 and the StuG auf Leopard.

    1. Panzer Tracts 20-1 pg 28-29.

    2. Those are coming in one of the new TD trees in my plans.

  13. Dude, fail. That Sturmpanzer Maus is something I threw together for the first "Design your tank" contest.

  14. Sutrm Maus
    Copryright Mini_Bolo @2011

    I don't trust any of the things your armoured historians are coming up with.

    1. Well, that's your right of course. The truth is, noone knows how Sturmgeschütz Maus would have looked like (apart from the fact it had a casemate construction), we only know it was developed briefly - I prefer the "Jagdtiger" variant I mentioned in my "Maus that roared" article. Same goes for Jagdpanzer E-1OO, that model had to be completely invented by Wargaming also.
      Mini_Bolo's drawing just illustrates how it COULD have looked like, therefore it's as valid as anything else, really. No problem or unhistoricity there.

    2. "The above is an artist impression"
      Wow, must be so hard for Bronies to read articles before going off on them...

      He was just using it as a visual place holder. Also Bolo knows about this, he is flattered.

  15. Wait wait wait wait wait....
    the 10H64 was supposed to have fin stabilized ammunition?
    I don't recall ever hearing that. Both the 8H63 and 10H64 were supposed to be low velocity weapons, pretty sure that isn't conducive to a fin stabilized shell...

    1. Yes, oddly enough, there WAS a plan for a wartime Germany sabot rounds, it was presented by (or to, can't remeber) Challenger (EU forums counterpart to Chieftain) like a year ago or so.

    2. Yes but for the 10H64?
      That seems extremely odd, aren't fin stabilized rounds still KE rounds relying partially on shell velocity?
      That's entirely counter to the point of these low pressure guns.

  16. Concering the gun of the Porsche Schwerer Kleiner Panzer:

    The gun might have been the 10-cm-Panzerabwehrwerfer 1000 aka Gerät 5-1073 aka Panzerabwehr-Wurfkanone PKW 10 H 73 (PKW 1000)
    That was a smoothbore gun firing 10,5/7,5 cm subcaliber HEAT shells.
    Even though it's unclear if a prototype of the gun was ever finished the shells were tested in a wind tunnel and estimated to have a velocity of 686m/s (2225 feet/s) upon impact on a target 2000m away.

    Waffen-Revue #84


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