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Mouse Heavy Tank: Germans Fantasy Part I

Mouse Heavy Tank: Germans Fantasy Part I

WWⅡis the golden age for heavy tanks. There’s no doubt about the combat ability of heavy tanks, take the King Tiger of Germany as an example, its weight was 70 tons, the thick of armor in front of the turret was 180mm. It equipped a 88mm artillery which could destroy any tank in 2000m. However, even King Tiger can’t satisfy Hitler. Hence, in the summer of 1942, he ratified a plan to develop a huge tank weighted 188 tons. Its weight was 3 times of the Elephant, 3.5 times of Tiger, 4 times of Panther though it was named Mouse. And that is the heaviest tank in the world-Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus (Mouse)

On July 8th, Hitler discussed with Speer about the future development of German weapons. Hitler commanded that a super-heavy tank should be developed, it should equip a canon, the thick of the frontal and flank armor should reach 200mm and 180mm. If possible, it can also be a assault artillery. It seems a crazy and absurd quest since the heaviest tank of German army just equipped a canon whose caliber was 88mm in the 100mm armor. However, the designer Porsche likeed absurd ideas so he agreed immediately. Hitler then ordered officially Porsche to design and Speer to make sample and mass-produce.  

Porsche returned and set up a special team for it. He told the fellows the standards and wanted them to use rare metals as much as possible. Though having a broad horizon, they were still shocked by the strange object. They all doubted whether the monster was needed, however, the spirit replaced puzzlement and doubt, they devoted into the project. The colonel of army weapon bureau, Hannah supervised the project which is called: Porsche 205, Project/Mammoths/Mouse super-heavy tanks.        

Hitler was interested in “205 project. On 3rd January, 1943, he invited   to introduce Mouse and checked the sample which was so huge that Hitler was fascinated and made no change to it., though he wanted to add personal idea. Later, it entered the producing line. On April 6th, 1943, the whole size wooden model came out. Hitler checked it on May 14th. After amending, the sample began assembling on August 1st.



The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a standard medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I and the conversions based on these tanks. The E-50 hull was to be longer than the Panther, in fact it was practically identical to the King Tiger in overall dimensions except for the glacis plate layout. Compared to these earlier designs however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing these standardpanzers was reduced drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing their predecessors' complex and costly dual torsion bar system. As indicated by its name, the weight of the E-50 would fall between 50 and 75 tonnes. Its maximum speed was planned as 60 km/h.

Other sources shows that a variant of the narrow fronted 'Schmalturm' designed for the Panther Ausf. F would have been used, coupled with a variant of the 88 mm L/71 gun. The Engine was an improved Maybach HL234 which had 900 hp to 1200 hp with supercharging. Maximum speed was supposed to be 40 km/h.

The E-75 Standardpanzer was intended to be the standard heavy tank to be used as a replacement of the Tiger II and Jagdtiger. The E-75 would have been built on the same production lines as the E-50 for ease of manufacture, and the two vehicles were to share many components, including the same Maybach HL 234 engine. The E-75 would have had much thicker armour however, and in fact compared to the Tiger II the E-75 had improved hull armour all round. As its name indicates, the resulting vehicle would have weighed in at over 75 tonnes, reducing its speed to around 40 km/h. To offset the increased weight, the bogies were spaced differently than on the E-50, with an extra pair added on each side, giving the E-75 a slightly improved track to ground contact length.

According to some sources, the similarities between the E-50 and the E-75 went further; they were to be equipped with the same turret and 88mm L/71 or L/100 gun, along with an optical rangefinder for increased long range accuracy. German scientists and engineers had successfully designed a Schmalturm, narrow-front turret and infra-red lighting and sights for use on the prototypes of the Panther Ausf. F as the war drew to a close. Other sources however, indicate that the E-75 was to be fitted with the much larger Tiger II turret, which could be adapted to accommodate an even more powerful high velocity 10.5 cm gun.

Many sources indicate that the E-75 had 185mm – 80mm of armor. The original complex suspension by torsion bars was simplified with bogies. The standard Tiger II turret was equipped with 8.8cm KwK 44 L71 gun. The engine was an improved Maybach HL234 which had 900 hp to 1200 hp with supercharging.

The E-100 was to be a superheavy combat tank designed to be the replacement for the prototype-only, Porsche-designed Maus, with the E-100 developed from an enlarged Tiger II chassis. It was to be fitted with a slightly modified turret from the Maus, although plans also existed for two further turret designs. Development and building of a prototype E-100 started in 1944 but was largely abandoned after Adolf Hitler ordered an end to the development of the Maus.

Only the chassis was finished. It was taken to the United Kingdom for evaluation purposes and eventually scrapped.

The turret of the tanks had three versions. One was a Tiger II version, another was the Maus turret, the last one was the Krupp turret.The Maus turret housed 150 or 170 mm KwK gun + secondary 75 mm KwK gun . The Krupp-designed, original turret for Porsche's Maus design housed the deadly 128 mm KwK gun, and a secondary 75 mm KwK gun. The Tiger-Maus Variant only had a 128 mm KwK 44 L/55 (75 rounds). Armour was 240mm-40mm.

Development drawings have been circulated for E-100 variants including an E-100 with a twin 88-mm anti-aircraft turret (Alligator) and a tank destroyer mounting a 170mm gun (Krokodil). Although the subject of models and much discussion, it is not clear whether these would have proceeded to production with the E-100 itself.
[ This post finally by TankaTed on 2013-05-25  20:42 edit ]


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E-100 Hull


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