Month: October 2011

The Krupp Kugelpanzer

From the looks of it, one would think that the Germans did more thinking and research and development for weapon systems than perhaps any nation before. From flying wings to cruise missiles, it comes as little surprise to see a one man reconnaissance platform in the form of a one man tank. Given the free reign the designers had to think outside the box, sometimes they inside the box. The Kugelpanzer means Ball Tank. There exists only one surviving copy of the tank and it is in the Kubinka Museum.
It was round, and provided a stable sitting platform for a single person operating it with its two-stroke engine. It was little more than a ten centimeter armoured shell and a gun port. This particular Kugelpanzer was captured intact in Manchuria and had a German MG 42 inside.


The Problem With Supplies.

It was Epamindondas famous for winning over the Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra who formalized the flanking maneuver. Instead of attacking your front lines only, I will send forces around the back to attack your supply train. Then you’ll have to fall back and defend it. And when you fall back I’ll move forward. Today attacking the supply line is most often referred to as Interdiction.


The Sturmtiger.

The Sturmtiger was product of lessons learned. It was the anti dote to urban fighting hell, a weapon that could demolish sniper hiding structures with a single shot. It had a telescopic sight and was armed with a 38cm breech laoading rocket launcher and mortar. It could fire projectiles ¾ of a mile away. The 275pound shaped-charge Raketen Hohladungsgranate 4582 was used against fortifications and could penetrate 8 feet of reinforced concrete. Each shot could bring down a building. It only carried 14 of these long rockets or mortars, though. The launching charge was so powerful exhaust gasses had to be vented through special ducts. Each firing was accompanied by a tremendous flash. Each firing meant the vehicle had to be moved since the flash revealed its position.
The ammunition was so deadly and technical the best estimates for production capacity was 300 rounds a month.
The Germans built 19 and then the war ended.