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Germany's Maus heavy tank

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Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank

Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank

Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank
Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank

Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank

Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank
Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank

Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank

Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank
Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank

Maus heavy tank:
Germany's Maus heavy tank
Dragon Armor, 60137:
Dragon Armor 60137 German Maus Diecast Model

Dragon Armor, 60154:
Dragon Armor 60154 Maus Diecast Model
Dragon Armor, 60156:
Dragon Armor 60156 Maus Diecast Model

Dragon Armor, 60157:
Dragon Armor 60157 Maus Diecast Model
Dragon Armor, 60167:
Dragon Armor 60167 Maus Diecast Model

Dragon Armor, 60168:
Dragon Armor 60168 Maus Diecast Model
Dragon Armor, 60170:
Dragon Armor 60168 Maus Diecast Model

Dragon Armor, 60324:
Dragon 60324 1/72 Diecast Armor, German Maus

Design

On June 8, 1942, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche was asked, by Hitler, to work on a new heavy tank design.4,5 It was to carry a 128 mm or 150 mm gun in the turret with a 75 mm coaxial gun. Porsche was the head of the German Tank Commission and advocated super heavy tanks. The tank was first referred to as the Mammut (Mammoth) and given project Porsche Type 205.5,6 Since the request was made verbally it never received a V.K. number.5

Alkett began assembly of the tank on August 1, 1943. Krupp supplied the hull in the middle of September 1943. The name was changed to Maus and was first run at Alkett on December 23, 1943. The tank was then sent to Böblingen (near Stuttgart) on January 10, 1944, for extensive tests. There were some problems with the suspension but the trials went rather successfully.

Hitler then ordered that the tank had to be completed by June 1944. On June 9, 1944, the turret was fitted to the tank. At the beginning of October the Maus was then sent to the proving grounds at Kummersdorf. A 2nd prototype was sent to Kummersdorf before trials were completed. This one had a different engine and considerable trouble. There were approximately 9 prototypes in various phases of completion when the war ended.

Electrical equipment came from Siemens-Schuckert and the engine was from Daimler-Benz. Tracks were supplied by Altmärkische Kettenfabrik. Armor came from Krupp, and the assembly was done by Alkett.

The Maus would have needed special rail cars designed for it's transport. Although it couldn't cross any bridges it would have been made to submerge for river crossings.

The ammunition for the 150 mm gun weighed 70 kg/ 154 lb and had to be carried in a trailer.4

The chassis was filled with the engine except for a compartment in the front for the driver and co-driver. Fuel was located in front of the superstructure. The ammunition was carried in the middle on the left, and on the right was an auxiliary engine with additional ammunition. The electric drive motors were at the rear with the engine located in the front part of the hull.

The turret alone weighed 50 tons. It was made from a cast front, with rolled armor on the sides and rear. A grenade projector was to be installed in the roof. The turret was electric powered and was to make a full rotation in 16 seconds.

The 8 hp auxiliary engine provided starting power, maintained the high pressure in the fighting compartment, and charged the batteries.

Fording

Air supply was provided to the crew and the engine by a chimney.5 It allowed for the Maus to ford rivers 24' / 8 m deep.5,6 A second Maus was to provide electrical power to a fording Maus.5 Then once the first Maus reached the other side it would do the same for the second Maus.5

Prototype

On January 4, 1943, a scale model was shown to Hitler.5

Production

Plans for production was to be initially five per month and this was raised to ten per month.5

  • Maus: 16, 2 prototypes2
    • Manufacturer: Alkett2

Usage

Both prototypes are reported to have been blown up at Kummersdorf before the Russians overran the facility. However, one is now at the Russian Tank Museum in Moscow.6

Specifications

  Maus
Crew 51,2,6, 63,4,5
Radio FuG52
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 180-188 tons3, 188 tons1,2,4,6
191,000 kg1,6
Length w/gun 29' 8"5, 33' 1"4,6 33' 1.2"1
10.08 m4, 10.09 m1,2,6
Length w/o gun 29' 7"4
9.03 m4
Height 12'1,4,5,6
3.66 m1,2,4,6
Width

12'4, 12' 0.5"1,6, 12' 1"5
3.67 m1,2,4,6

Ground clearance 54 cm
Ground contact length 5.88 m
Ground pressure 20.6 psi
1.45 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter 6' 1"
3 m
Armament  
Main 1: 128 mm1,6
1: 128 mm KwK44 L/552
1: 15 cm KwK 44 L/384,5
1: 150 mm3
OR 1: 12.8 cm K5
Secondary - coaxial 1: 75 mm1,3,6
1: 75 mm KwK44 L/36.52,4,5
MG 1: 7.92 mm MG1
1: 7.92 mm MG342
1: 7.92 mm / 0.312" MG6
1: MG5
2: MG3
MG - antiaircraft 1: 7.92 mm MG344
MG - coaxial 1: 7.92 mm MG344
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 15 cm: 504
128 mm: 68, 322
Secondary 2002
MG 1,0004
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 50 - 2403, 2006
Hull Front, Upper 2005, 200@55°2, 200@35°4
Hull Front, Lower 200@35°2, 200@60°4
Hull Sides, Upper 180+100@0°2, 180@90°4
Hull Sides, Lower 180@0°2
Hull Rear 160-165@90°4, 180@38°2 & 180@30°2
Hull Top 40-80@90°2
Hull Bottom 40-100@90°2
Turret Front 2405, 240 round2,4
Mantlet: 240 Soukopfblende2
Turret Sides 200@30°2, 200@60°4
Turret Rear 200@7°2, 200@60°4
Turret Top 40@90°2, 60@0°4
Engine (Make / Model) Daimler-Benz5
Daimler-Benz MB 5091,4,6
Daimler-Benz MB5174
MB5092 or MB5172
Cylinders MB509, MB517: V-124,6
Net HP 1,2003,4,5
MB509: 1,0802,6
Transmission 2 forward, 2 reverse.2
Fuel type Early: Gasoline5
Late: Diesel5
MB509: Gasoline4,6
MB517: Diesel2
Octane  
Capacity 1,056 gallons4
4,800 liters4
Performance  
Traverse 360°, electric
Speed - Road 12 mph5, 12.4 mph1,6, 12.5 mph3,4
20 kph1,2,4,6
Speed - Cross Country 7 mph4
11 kph4
Range - Road 115.5 miles1, 115.6 miles6, 118 miles5, 119 miles4
186 km1,2,6, 190 km4
Cross country: 60 miles4, 97 km4
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -7° to +23°
Fording depth 24'5
Trench crossing 13' 9"
Vertical Obstacle 2' 2"
Suspension (Type) Sprung on coil springs5
Wheels each side 245
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 1.1 m
Track centers/tread 2.33 m

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  5. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  6. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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