Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

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7dot62mm
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by 7dot62mm »

Panzerfausts and Schrecks are already downgraded in the game. In real life the Panzerfaust had around a 200 mm penetration, the Panzerschreck 160 mm, equating to AP 20 and 16, respectively.

That said, I agree that the Panzerschreck is undervalued in terms of points cost and that in no way should the Germans get three free Panzerfausts per platoon - they should definitely be factored in with the force rating.

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Seret
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by Seret »

7dot62mm wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 4:31 am
they should definitely be factored in with the force rating.
Well they are, they're just quite cheap. One point each, so at most they'll only increase force rating by one point for all of them.

chris cornwell
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by chris cornwell »

I don’t have much of a problem as is. Once late war AFVs have got infantry within 100metres of them they should be vulnerable, and in an infantry game, infantry should be king

andysyk
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by andysyk »

A HEAT round does cause a small entry hole but it causes over pressurisation, spalling and toxic gas effects in a penetrated vehicle.
If it doesnt penetrate it doesnt do much. Tanks in the 70s are different than wartime armour. Yes you van survive multiple non penetrating hits but if a HEAT round penetrates the crew compartment its not a good time.
These weapons were by far the largest killer of armour in NWE. And incredibly freared.
I dont think their effect in game is too powerful. Cost I guess its like manyother things sometimes they seem cheap sometimes their no use.

Eclaireur
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by Eclaireur »

Andy - a few points
1. When you write "these weapons were by far the largest killer of armour in NWE" do you have a source? If you look at John Buckley, "British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944", he cites estimates that only between 6% and 15% of tank casualties were to HEAT / hollow charge weapons. Drawing on various US and British Army operational analyses he believes this had gone up to 25-30% by late 1944. Kinetic energy - the good old fashioned anti-tank round was the biggest killer in Normandy.
2. A HEAT round causes 'over pressurisation, spalling, and toxic gas', I would agree but do you think a solid shot penetrator entering a vehicle does this to a lesser extent? The bolt from a panzerschrek may be 10-15mm in diameter, a 75mm or 88mm round entering the turret at high muzzle velocity would create commensurately greater over-pressure. KE (kinetic energy) = Mass X Velocity squared, over two.
3. You argue that 'tanks in the 70s are different to wartime armour' and I would agree that more attention had been been to safer ammunition stowage by then. But in the end an object typically of a few hundred grammes in mass (the HEAT bolt) is less likely to cause catastrophic damage than a kinetic penetrator weighing a couple of kilos. Indeed the possibility of over penetration with HEAT meant a significant chance that it would go straight through the vehicle, whereas a kinetic round tumbles as it enters, often ricocheting around the inside.
cheers
EC

andysyk
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by andysyk »

Sorry that should be "largest killer of armour crews".
US 1st Army June 1944 to April 45 attributed 13% of tank losses to RPG but 21% of overall crew casualties to those hits.
The molten bolt and the armour fragments it takes with it enter the tank at 10000m/s it and fragments will kill anything they hit and ignite ammo and fuel.
The average range for gunfire losses is recorded at 800 yards in NWE. RPG 60 to 90 yards the fact they are attributed 13% of losses is pretty good when you consider the closeness to an hostile enemy and the inaccuracy of the rpg.
Tanks hit by gunfire burned 53% of the time. Panzerfaust 47%.
However another report from 1945 states that M4 Shermans lost -60 to 90% are from burning and almost all hit by panzerfaust.
Its not a tiny metal slug entering the vehicle its a molten copper bolt and armour fragments travelling at 10000m/s. They ignite anything they possibly can. This lethality was what scared the crews so much. Crews in TD although the afv was more easily pentrated due to less armour had a better chance of survival because they were opentopped and the overpressure significantly reduced.

Ive no argument against large kinetic rounds being totally effective.

Different theatres in WW2 produce different stats for tank loss attribution and range engagement. So I dont think you can draw conclusions from later designs. An M48 shrugging off multiple RPG hits sure but its not an M4 Sherman in 1944. HEAT became the main focus for AT rounds in the 50 and 60s. If they were so ineffective why?
Its swung the other way now because of reactive armour etc..and we are back to big solid lumps of one sort or another.

All that improvised armour you see on US tanks was to try and counter these RL. But a Panzerschreck round will go through 3 feet of sandbags. And still penetrate a Sherman.

HEAT is also a superb AP round a fact missed by many a rules writer.

And the things a German tanker who had served since 1939 when asked what he feared the most- M36 TD and the Bazooka.

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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

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Last edited by Truscott Trotter on Tue May 12, 2020 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by Truscott Trotter »

and some modern boys having fun with a restored one 6.22min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD_BXAG5DXg

Some stats
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENc2ZDgkv7Q

andysyk
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by andysyk »

Fausts were issued as an ammunition round. Not a weapon.
They were issued according to what was available so a unit may have had different versions in use at any time.
Issue was 36 for Rifle and Pioneer Coys. Other Company types 18, Artillery Batteries 12.
Once youd fired them off youd draw new stock.
Panzer Divisions recieved 1000 per issue and PzGr Div 1500.

Panzerschrecks
These were initially issued 2-3 per Rifle Coy but soon withdrawn and Because of the availability of PF.
Later they were fielded in the 14th AT Coy in Infantry Div.
This had 54 Schreck plus 18 reserve. And 90 Faust.
They were organised into 3 Zugs of 18. 3 Groups of 6 and then 2 Troops of 3.
Tactically the Schreck Tps fought as a whole. They were not used individually. So 3 together mutually supporting.
Ideally at least a Group of 6 would be attached to an Infantry Coy. However the actual tactical attachement varied.
The 18 reserve Schreck were often parcelled out as well.
There were other types of specialist Schreck units as well.
They were not issued to Panzer or PzGrenadier Div although some Pzgr had some. They had briefly been part of ArmPz Gren KSTN.

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Seret
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Re: Are Panzerschrecks too powerful?

Post by Seret »

Eclaireur wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 1:24 pm
The bolt from a panzerschrek may be 10-15mm in diameter, a 75mm or 88mm round entering the turret at high muzzle velocity would create commensurately greater over-pressure. KE (kinetic energy) = Mass X Velocity squared, over two.
I can see why you might think that, but no.

You're right in one way: it's the velocity squared part that matters. The jet in a shaped charge is going significantly faster than any kinetic round. Jet velocities of 10,000m/s are not unusual (at least about 6 times the muzzle velocity of a modern tank gun).
While you're correct that the jet mass is low the absurd velocity of the jet means the energies involves in penetration of armour by shaped charges are very high, leading to severe behind-armour effects.

The mechanism that the jet uses to penetrate is purely mechanical. A lot of people think it's thermal but it isn't; the jet literally opens a hole through the armour just by applying extreme mechanical force to one spot. In fact the reason it works is because the jet moves so fast it's faster than the stresses from that penetration can propagate through the armour, causing massive overstress at that point (ie: the jet tip advances faster than the speed of sound in steel). This is not a gentle process, this is an extremely energetic event, and you do not want your squishy bag of meat anywhere near it.

The effectiveness of shaped charges at killing tanks is beyond question: they're extremely deadly. As soon as they became available during WW2 they were rapidly adopted because they were highly effective, and in the seven decades since they've become the main way to kill tanks (for a while there it even looked like they'd replace tank guns). Indeed, some tanks can still fire shaped charge warhead ATGMs from their guns.

Tank guns still exist because they have short engagement times and therefore rapid fire. Shaped charges exist because they can be much lighter and more portable than KE guns but offer the same armour penetration performance (the drawback is large diameter and slower rate of fire). Both are equally deadly to tanks. In fact armour designers have to try and balance the threat of both. Optimise your armour for one and you're vulnerable to the other. It's simply not true that shaped charges are less lethal than KE penetrators, several decades of weapon and tank design and plenty of combat experience show this.
3. You argue that 'tanks in the 70s are different to wartime armour' and I would agree that more attention had been been to safer ammunition stowage by then. But in the end an object typically of a few hundred grammes in mass (the HEAT bolt) is less likely to cause catastrophic damage than a kinetic penetrator weighing a couple of kilos. Indeed the possibility of over penetration with HEAT meant a significant chance that it would go straight through the vehicle, whereas a kinetic round tumbles as it enters, often ricocheting around the inside.
cheers
EC
It's actually KE rounds that are more likely to overpenetrate. That's why all tank guns can fire a HEAT round. Generally you fire sabots against tanks, and HEAT against lighter vehicles. Against lighter vehicles sabots can sometimes go right through without doing a lot more than improving ventilation. HEAT will blow them to bits.

Kinetic rounds don't tumble. They're designed to stay as straight as possible during penetration (WW2-style APCBC self-aligning notwithstanding). Some armours actually defeat KE penetrators by inducing bending forces (especially with modern long rod penetrators). Bending and tumbling is bad if you're trying to knock a hole. Ricocheting inside a vehicle is a rare event, normally only seen with AT rifles against thin armour. For larger projectiles (either KE or Munroe effect) the energy liberated during penetration is the main destructive mechanism. That's why as armour thickness increased you stopped seeing AP rounds with behind armour bursting charges on board; they just didn't need them. Penetrating the armour liberated enough energy to kill everything inside.

Behind armour thermal effects and spalling of both KE penetrators and shaped charges are highly lethal. Remember that WW2 tanks didn't have spall liners, any type of penetration was likely to cause crew casualties.
Last edited by Seret on Tue May 12, 2020 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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