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Putting my nerd cap on

 

While it's cool looking model, I've been watching your WIP and as a former artilleryman I've got to speak out:

 

I've driven and shot a number of heavy guns, from the M109 Paladin, M1 Abrams, BFV's and every modern piece but the Scorpion.

 

That's a small gun. 

 

Proportionally speaking, the caliber looks to be somewhere around 70 to 90mm, edging towards 70's.

 

It could be a traditional anti-tank gun, but that's a heavy slug: think tungsten or uranium.  Anything less is going to be laughed off as the commander in the crow's nest (with that .50 cal gun) slaughters the crew, shield-be-elved.

 

Then you've got the long-elf barrel, which for a howitzer marks it for 10+ mile engagements. 

 

So that marks the machine (at least for me) with two very distinct, very narrow niches:

 

1)

It's an anti-tank gun, and that's a cannon, not a howitzer.  That means they're using heavy slugs and brought the barrel for accuracy.  This makes sense for a nation with plenty of raw resources but limited manufacturing, as cannons are much, much cheaper to cast than a howitzer.  (You've gotta' rifle the latter)

 

2)

It's an anti-tank gun, and that's a howitzer.  This means its aiming for the top armor.  Sneaky gits.  It doesn't require special resources, but a certain amount of fire direction and coordination.  I imagine such a machine would be quickly countered, but a successful application would win a tank battle or even a summer campaign. (Gotta' figure out what's killing them!)  And that's worth looking at.

 

Realistically I'd say it was a test platform, but I know you're going for dieselpunk, so it's kooky enough to rock it.  Shave the barrel to a 1/3rd, and then it's a serious contender for 1st generation self propelled artillery piece. 

 

Not that you should. 

 

And before anyone talks about anti-infantry, at those sizes mortars and LAWs are cheaper.   Flak cannon?  Too slow, see those hand cranks?  It requires serious numbers.

 

Taking the nerd cap off.

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Putting my nerd cap on

 

While it's cool looking model, I've been watching your WIP and as a former artilleryman I've got to speak out:

 

I've driven and shot a number of heavy guns, from the M109 Paladin, M1 Abrams, BFV's and every modern piece but the Scorpion.

 

That's a small gun. 

 

Proportionally speaking, the caliber looks to be somewhere around 70 to 90mm, edging towards 70's.

 

It could be a traditional anti-tank gun, but that's a heavy slug: think tungsten or uranium.  Anything less is going to be laughed off as the commander in the crow's nest (with that .50 cal gun) slaughters the crew, shield-be-elved.

 

76mm cannon, about 4.5" long at 1/35 scale, which puts it about 52 calibers. Which is similar to the sizes of mid-WW2 Allied anti-tank guns, like the QF 17-pounder that so famously armed the Sherman Firefly, the 76mm on the E6 Sherman, or the 3-inch on the M10. At the late war, sure, 90mm comes into vogue, but this is essentially a cheap conversion from an essentially useless WW2 light tank to a decent self-propelled anti-tank gun. And, like you mentioned, probably firing tungsten APDS or HVAP in the AT role. Gun shield isn't going to protect much, but the Scorpion's gun shield doesn't protect much either. WW2 guns were inefficient. You think this gun is long, see the hilariously huge 8.8cm L/71 (!) on the King Tiger.

 

There's also the third niche that also existed for a very short time, also around WW2:

 

3) The self-propelled heavy anti-aircraft gun, for use against heavy bombers, which is why the searchlight's mounted on the back. Jet aircraft make those obsolete, and heavy prop bombers don't exist until WW2 mostly, so it's a tiny little 10-year gap where a vehicle like this would see use in that role.

 

I'm a bit confused though. Where did I say this was a howitzer? I was thinking Percival Self-Propelled (Anti-Tank) Gun, or Percival Self-Propelled (Anti-Aircraft) Gun. AFAIK in the military, any crew-served shot or shell-firing weapon is a "gun".

 

 

 Neat.

 

 How many crew members would a gun like that need?

 

Five, though you could run it in the anti-tank role with four.

 

Driver

Gunner

Commander

Loader

Searchlight operator

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If that gun is AA, then you need two men just to aim the gun, or if the gun traversed and elevated with hydraulics, one to aim and one for loading.

 

Pedal operated WWII AAs had one operator on each side of the gun, one for traversing and one for elevation.

 

A German 60cm WWII searchlight, their smallest, required a crew of 3 to use efficiently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_searchlights_of_World_War_II

 

Of course, the Germans never mounted them on tracked vehicles. Not just because there's no room for the crew to move efficiently, but they wanted the generator far away(200meters of cable) so that the soldier with acoustic direction-finder could do his job, and also because searchlights often became targets. Never hurts to have them a short distance away from everyone else.

 

You can see the same reasoning today with mobile AA systems; the radar is placed well away from the missile launchers, guns and command units.

 

As for a light tank being converted to artillery, Tank killer or AA...

The Germans had half-tracks with light AA mounted.

The Renault FT (No, there's no '17' in the name) was converted to self-propelled artillery by removing the turret and fitting a huge box and a 75mm howitzer.

(Such an ignominous fate for such a proud vehicle... )

The Germans made numerous tank-killer versions of their older tank models, because they could fit larger guns on a turretles design.

They also reused quite a few Renault FTs that was captured.

(They dug ditches and lined them with concrete near airfields, then drove the tanks into them, and used them as machine gun turrets. The FT had 22mm armor in the turret; enough to withstand all small calibre weaponry)

 

The rather devastating 88mm of the Germans was originally an AA gun, which they discovered was just as effective for AT purposes during the desert war.

 

During war you can't just call the factories and ask for a completely new design. Often you have to go with what is available nearby and reuse it.

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If that gun is AA, then you need two men just to aim the gun, or if the gun traversed and elevated with hydraulics, one to aim and one for loading.

 

Pedal operated WWII AAs had one operator on each side of the gun, one for traversing and one for elevation.

 

A German 60cm WWII searchlight, their smallest, required a crew of 3 to use efficiently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_searchlights_of_World_War_II

 

Of course, the Germans never mounted them on tracked vehicles. Not just because there's no room for the crew to move efficiently, but they wanted the generator far away(200meters of cable) so that the soldier with acoustic direction-finder could do his job, and also because searchlights often became targets. Never hurts to have them a short distance away from everyone else.

 

You can see the same reasoning today with mobile AA systems; the radar is placed well away from the missile launchers, guns and command units.

 

As for a light tank being converted to artillery, Tank killer or AA...

The Germans had half-tracks with light AA mounted.

The Renault FT (No, there's no '17' in the name) was converted to self-propelled artillery by removing the turret and fitting a huge box and a 75mm howitzer.

(Such an ignominous fate for such a proud vehicle... )

The Germans made numerous tank-killer versions of their older tank models, because they could fit larger guns on a turretles design.

They also reused quite a few Renault FTs that was captured.

(They dug ditches and lined them with concrete near airfields, then drove the tanks into them, and used them as machine gun turrets. The FT had 22mm armor in the turret; enough to withstand all small calibre weaponry)

 

The rather devastating 88mm of the Germans was originally an AA gun, which they discovered was just as effective for AT purposes during the desert war.

 

During war you can't just call the factories and ask for a completely new design. Often you have to go with what is available nearby and reuse it.

There was a German experimental vehicle called the Versuchsflakwagen, essentially a Flak 88 slapped on a Panzer IV chassis. Two were built and sent to Italy for testing, but no one knows if they saw combat. The other main inspiration was the Canal Defence Light project, essentially a searchlight mounted on a tank to blind the enemy, manned by a single gunner in lieu of the replaced gun turret.

 

The idea behind the small crew is that in the anti-tank role, it runs as a five-man crew, with the searchlight operator acting as a second loader, cracking open ammo crates during daytime. At night, depending on visibility and the commander's discretion, it can act with the light on its targets or just run as in daytime. The vast majority of their stored ammo would be AP, with a small amount of contact-fused HE for infantry support.

 

In the anti-aircraft role, a second ammunition carrier vehicle would roll up alongside. This vehicle would carry crates of airburst-fused HE, and a number of auxiliary loaders to set fuses and load ammo fast enough to do the job. I mean, looking at the crew duties for the Flak 88, half of the 10-man crew is dedicated just to moving the ammo to the loader, crew that is definitely not needed in the AT role.

 

But yes, it's supposed to be a very interim combat vehicle.

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