Gnarly E-75 zug . . .
And yes, more tanks. This time a Modelcollect E-75 platoon (or more correctly “zug”) of two 12.8cm vehicles and for a bit of variety two 8.8cm L/100 vehicles. Ever since Modelcollect announced it’s “E” series tanks (and there’s an E-100 on the way too) I’ve been wanting to get one to have a bash at it. Prompted by the SABOT game project, instead of one E-75 my brother “gifted” me a platoon of four to assemble!
Firstly a bit of history (yes I can hear the groans over the interwebs). So keeping it brief, the E series was a proposed streamlining of German tank design allowing more commonality of parts , simplified designs where possible with they goals of improving protection, armaments and streamlining production.
The proposals included;
4 E-50 Standardpanzer
5 E-75 Standardpanzer
The E-75 was to share as many components as was practical with the lighter E-50 and both designs were visually similar to the Tiger II. A unique feature as proposed was to have rear drive so as to reduce drive train vunerablity and improve both weight distribution and maintenance/access. This feature presented many technical difficulties and the Modelcollect E-75 uses the standard “Tiger II” front drive and automotive layout. This layout is most likely to have been used as an interim solution until the rear drive technical issues could be solved.
Interestingly French postwar tank design was heavily influenced by German designs and also assisted by German Engineers. The AMX50 utilised rear drive in a format very much like that envisioned for the E50/75 series tanks. The resulting design was longer at the rear to accommodate both the engine (a Maybach design) and the transmission. The few existing original German WWII era design proposals do not allow sufficient length to allow rear drive in practical terms and it is likely that the final E50/75 series may have looked significantly different from most designs found on the web today.
Another key feature was the adoption of externally mounted suspension, the resultant space gained by removal of the torsion bars used to increase internal storage, lower the vehicles and would have allowed for floor mounted escape hatches. The system proposed used “Bellville” or stacked conical washer like springs and was intended to reduce both the complexity and un-sprung suspension weight while retaining the load bearing qualities of the larger interleaved torsion bar system. The Belleville Spring Washer system was used on the post war Swiss designed Panzer61 and is still used in some Formula 1 suspension applications.
E-Series Belleville Conical Spring Washer suspension
E50 and E75 hull designs with rear drive.
Common impressions of what the Heavy E series tanks would have looked like.
And a teaser of the project