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E-50: Panther`s successor

E-50: Panther`s successor

The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a standard medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I. Its comprehensive defense ability was 50% higher than Panther F.

E-50 equipped the Maybach HL234 engine and which had 900 hp with supercharging maximum speed was supposed to be 60 km/h which surpassed the second generation of tanks after WW II. The improved HL-234+ engine adopted the advanced fuel jet and turbocharging technology and special cooling fluid, thus its maximum output power reached 1100 to 1200 hp which shocked the world. The Soviet Union and America tanks haven't reached this level until the 70s which was 20 years later.
E-50`s power was equal to King Tiger, the hull was based on Panther G but longer and was at the same level as King Tiger. Hence, we may think E-50's turret was a little bit small.

E-50's upper armor was 90mm/300 without any hatch, it didn't have submachine gun thus its defense was very strong. Its lower armor was 70mm/400. Its flank armor was 80mm/750 the same as King Tiger. The figure of turret was almost the same as Panther F with the flank armor thickened. The frontal armor of turret was 130mm thick, the barrel artillery shield was 120mm thick and the rear armor was 70mm thick.

E-50 surpassed the Soviet Union T-44 in many aspects such as power and flexibility. Its defense was equal to T-44 except for the upper armor (T-44 upper armor was 120mm/300). Its comprehensive combat ability was better. Besides, it was equipped with stereoscope range finder and infrared night vision sights thus its artillery accuracy was higher than Panther.

E-50's power was equal to T-54 appeared in 1947, better in flexibility but worse in armor as T-54 frontal armor was 120MM/300, , the armor in front of turret was over 200mm. Thanks to the reasonable design, E-50 had the potential to increase to 60 tons, so its armor had large room for improving.  

E-50 designers discussed how to make the inner space reasonable. Contemporary tanks divide the inner space into: power and transmission equipments 38%, crew and internal items including fuel 48%, ammunition 6% and the artillery 8%.

What`s surprising and admiring was that the allocation of E series inner space just had subtle discrepancy to the previous standard. They deserve to be the embryo of modern tanks, and they extend the contemporary Soviet Union and American tanks. Flexibility, power and defense are just the superficiality, but the reasonable allocation of inner space is the meaning, a true excellent tank combines the two factors. The Soviet Union tanks only achieved the fist, and American tanks achieved the second, but the German tanks get both.

One of the most important reason that the Soviet Union tanks were restricted in WW II is that tanks` inner space was too small thus restricted the tanks to show their real power,. In the earlier stages of war between the Soviet Union and Germany, the efficient T-34/76 was defeated by the 3nd tank. Even though T-34/76 surpassed the 3nd tank in flexibility, power and defense, it didn't have radio broadcasting and captain commanding tower thus it was hard for the captain to command. And the Soviet Union tank armies have to contact by semaphore, so the group fighting was very weak, these fatal disadvantages were the 3nd tanks` advantages. Accordingly, the IS-2 which was designed to beat the Tigers found it couldn`t restrict the old Tiger I when entered battlefields, and the reason was the unreasonable allocation of inner space.

The Soviet Union tanks didn`t meet the standard on the design drawing, so from the middle of WWII, their technology advantage was extended by German tanks quickly. Along with the continuous developing of German new tanks, the Soviet Union never took the lead as German tanks were better in all levels.

When the Soviet Union decided to use the "Tank sea tactics"(use many tanks to besiege one German tank), it drank the bitter wine of tank technology.


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