The original is taken from a useless tank.
During the Second World War, engineers of the 3rd Reich created a variety of models of various weapons, which were largely ahead of their time. Sometimes, however, new military developments turned out to be absolutely useless, especially in the conditions of a modern war. You can, for example, remember the giant Dora cannon. Well, a little bit about one such miracle, which also turned out to be useless and not remembered. It's about the heaviest tank in the history of mankind (Panzerkampfwagen VIII "Maus", aka Porsche Typ 205), which was developed by the famous Ferdinand Porsche.
Article one of the Kaliningrad newspapers. The article is interesting, but I don’t presume to judge how true everything is.
May 14, 1943 in the “Wolf's Lair” (“Wolfschance” - Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia) entered the convoy of trucks guarded by the SS. Wooden parts were unloaded from the cars, and people in working overalls began to assemble some kind of construction. An hour later, a tank mockup stood in a forest clearing. He was huge. The noticeably nervous designer Ferdinand Porsche rushed towards the head of the Third Reich who had come out of the bunker.
- What kind of gun do you plan to install? - Hitler asked.
- 128 millimeters, my Fuhrer! - proudly reported to Porsche.
- Increase to 150 millimeters! - ordered Adolf. - What is the weight of the car?
- 175 tons!
- Strengthen your booking and bring up to two hundred!
- Yavol, my Fuhrer!
Hitler was inspired by the wonder-tank project. With this weapon, he hoped to change the course of the war.
Father of victory.
The huge fighting machine bore the strange name “Mouse”. Already in Hitler's bunker, the generals began to discuss the “fateful project”. All those present asserted that the tank was magnificent - no one wanted to upset the Fuhrer. Frank skepticism showed only General Heinz Guderian. He did not believe that the “Mouse” would bring victory to Germany.
However, they did not pay attention to the words of the experienced general. This is understandable: Guderian had been in disgrace with Hitler since the winter of 1941, when he violated the order “to die to death” near Moscow. Then Heinz saved the remnants of his soldiers, but was removed from office and sent to the reserve.
It was only after the disaster at Stalingrad that the Fuhrer returned Guderian to service and appointed him chief inspector of the armored forces. The authority of Heinz in the Wehrmacht was indisputable. It was Guderian who was considered the “father” of the victorious German tank tactics.
A participant in the First World War and a professional military man, Guderian thought a lot about the so-called positional impasse and ways out of it. Neither the Russians, nor the French, nor the British, nor the Germans could, in World War I, break open the enemy defenses and go to the operating room.
The enemy threw reserves to the breakthrough site faster than the attackers moved forward. As a result, the breach in the front line was closed, and the offensive stopped.
All belligerents were looking for a way out of this impasse. Recipes offered a variety of: massive fire due to the increase in the number of artillery guns in a limited area, increasing the duration of artillery preparation (from several hours to 15 or more days), the use of tanks and chemical weapons.
All to no avail. And then Guderian offered his solution - speed.
Guderian made a bid for tanks. At first glance, there was nothing revolutionary about it. In the Battle of Cambrai (1917), the British and French launched 476 tanks on the Germans. In the Amiens operation, the Allies brought 532 tanks into battle. But a deep breakthrough did not happen either in the first or in the second cases.
The fact is that the tanks did not break away from the infantry and moved at the speed of a pedestrian. It seemed to the generals that this was the only possible use of combat vehicles. Heinz objected: not to use the speed and mobility of tanks, adjusting them to the pace of advancement of infantry, is simply ridiculous.
According to the plan of Guderian, the tanks were to break away from the inactive infantry and rush forward with open flanks. According to the majority of the then military - complete heresy.
However, such actions negated all the “classic” operational plans of war: the reserves of the defenders moved slower than the advancing enemy, and the front collapsed.
For applying his tactics in France, Guderian received the nickname “Heinz-Hurricane”.
Not a number, but decrease.
Before the invasion of France in 1940, the Wehrmacht had only 2,905 tanks. The enemy possessed 4,656 combat vehicles. And the Germans, unlike the French, did not have a single heavy tank. But the advantage in tactics was on the side of Germany - her victory was quick and complete. Guderian was right!
The Wehrmacht achieved even more impressive successes in a border battle unfolding in June 1941 in the Soviet Union.The Germans had 3,712 tanks, the USSR - 12,787 (of which 1,475 were the newest T-34s and KVs, with which Germany could not oppose anything at all).
The Russians didn’t help even the fact that they, unlike the French, concentrated tanks in large mechanized units, and did not “smudge” them in infantry units.
Nevertheless, the Red Army suffered a crushing defeat. Guderian’s tactics worked even in conditions when the defensive side had stronger tanks and more of them.
An excellent command of the German troops played its role. The Germans had radio stations on every tank, they could talk not only between themselves and the command, but also with airplanes!
In the Red Army, everything looked different.
Fist under the nose.
The Soviet tanks in 1941 did not have radio stations for external communication. Moreover, there was no connection inside the car!
The commander and loader communicated with gestures.
“A fist thrust under his nose, and he already knows that he needs to be charged with armor-piercing,” recalls the veteran tanker, “and his outstretched palm — shrapnel. With the driver talked, poking his boot in the back.
In fact, every Soviet tank was left to itself and had no idea about the changing situation on the battlefield as a whole. The ability to coordinate their actions was not.
The chief of staff of the tank battalion Konstantin Shipov recalls the control system of that period:
“I had to arm myself with a hammer and, running from the tank to the tank, knock on the armor and indicate the direction of the attack.”
Where is the front line ?!
The situation with communications was no better in the Soviet divisions, corps, armies and even fronts.
In the middle of the day on June 22 (that is, on the first day of the war), the commander of the Western Front, General of the Army and Hero of the Soviet Union Pavlov, reported that he had three (!) Radio stations in the state, two completely broken, and the third one was damaged and not working.
Moscow promised to send three new radio stations, but they did not. In the future, the front headquarters not only did not lead the troops, but did not even know where the front line was! In the meantime, the Germans beat the most vulnerable places of the Soviet defense and rushed forward.
We can say that the first battles of the German tank forces with the Soviet looked like a sighted battle with the blind. As far as the blind man was brave and muscular, it did not matter.
By 1943, the situation had changed. Soviet troops began to receive massively “damned capitalists” radio stations - with American aid from Lend-Lease.In addition, in the Red Army - at the cost of enormous losses - but combat experience and the ability to lead large mechanized units came.
But the Germans lost ground: from the end of 1942, they stopped thinking of dashing tank breakthroughs to the maximum possible depth. The last “bell” for the German tank crews was the Battle of Kursk.
Hitler placed particular hopes on this operation and tried to provide his tank crews with new machines - “Tigers” and “Panthers”. However, these tanks were far from perfect - too expensive and difficult to maintain.
After each combat use or march of more than 30 kilometers, the Tigers needed at least 2-3 weeks of maintenance. As the famous German tanker Alfred Rabal said, “one hour of operation of the Tiger requires ten hours of repair.”
But that is not all. The average speed of movement of the column "Tigers" was 10 km / h.
A voracious engine of one refueling was only enough for 80 kilometers. Is this what Heinz-hurricane dreamed of ?!
And how did Hitler conceive the offensive near Kursk ?! German tank divisions attacked the strongest sectors of the Russian front.“Tigers” and “Panthers” slowly gnawed through the defense, moving forward meter by meter.
About any speed and speech did not go. Soviet reserves had time to "caulk" every new breakthrough.
Germany almost returned to the time of the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. Again a dead end.
The Fuhrer found the most absurd way out of all possible - he decided to create a “breakthrough tank”, similar to the giants of the First World War. It was a clear step back.
Whim the Fuhrer.
Hitler demanded to develop a “supertank” - even bigger than “Tiger”. Thus was born the project "205" under the code name "Mouse" - the largest tank in the history of mankind.
The “mouse” turned out to be so heavy that no bridge could support its weight. So it was possible to forget about moving over long distances. The speed is turtle, but the frontal armor is 220 millimeters (in the T-34 it is only 45 mm). In total, the Germans managed to make three samples of the “supertank” - not one of them had been in combat.
However, German engineers and designers spent a lot of time and effort to create a useless monster. Here, even the opinion of Guderian about the uselessness of the car did not play a role - no one decided to resist Hitler's whim.
At one time, Hitler gave Guderian the revolutionary tank tactics the green light. But then the Fuhrer personally buried the ideas of the “Heinz-Hurricane”. The funny thing is that Hitler did it, marveling at the stupid wooden model of an absolutely pointless car. East Prussia became the grave of the most advanced military doctrine of the time.