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Post Info TOPIC: Oberschlesien


Legend

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Oberschlesien
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I'm not known for posting on this part of the forum, but Dick Harley suggested to myself and Lothianman that this was worth drawing to the attention ofyou all. It was found on the Missing Lynx forum, http://www.network54.com/Forum/282066/thread/1347096077/Oberschlesienwhere the response has been, er, zilch.

I'm sure it won't be here.

Gwyn



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Major

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Great! A 1:1 wooden model !



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Legend

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Well, is it wooden? Why would you section a wooden model? Indeed, is it the Oberschlesien at all? Is there anyone living who knows?

Gwyn

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Legend

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I've only seen a few drawings of the machine, so know very little about it, but the turret is noticeably larger than illustrations show - especially in height. Whether or not it's wooden is guesswork, but there seems a discrepancy between the presence of a well-formed mantlet in the turret (as though cast) and the lack of provision (or obvious provision) for the hull gun to move. Could that indicate a mock-up?

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Legend

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I dont think this is a WW1 era photo this is really because of the raged edges and overall format, pictures like this seem more typical of the WW2 era, a private pic perhaps taken by a german in russia in the 1930s or later, perhaps a mock up of a BT type tank or something used for training purposes....

Cheerssmile



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or WWII Matilda ?

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Not in the least like a Matilda, either a I or a II.
Does resemble the BT range more.


It does resemble a Polish 10TP, also based on the Christie design.




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Colonel

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With all due respect to contrary opinions, I don't agree it is likely to be a training aid for something known. It's the wrong size and shape for any real/common tank - which means it was useless as a trainer (the point to my mind being that any trainer has to be as cramped and awkwardly shaped as the real thing).

It's too elaborate in irrelevant areas (e.g. front idler areas) to be a sort of demonstration tank for new recruits/open days. I think it is a serious design with the open holes left for inspection by high-ups and perhaps also for access while sorting out the mechanical runs, stowage, etc., always an important part of a mockup.

The castings could have been done by clay over a wooden or wire armature - or just carved wood. And the frontal MG is obviously moveable if pivoted very close to the aperture, as for instance to minimise splash.

What I do notice is the apparent construction - double armoured side inner and outer vertical plates, each side of the tracks, just like a Churchill (imagine you had a Churchill with an auxiliary turret on the front, and a KV-2 turret on top). This is an archaic design feature as seen also on Matilda (Infantry Tank Mark 2, not the earlier one), and indeed on their progenitors the rhomboids and the Whippets. I can't tell if it has sponsons overlying the tracks to allow a wider turret ring. But the whole thing looks to me like a heavily armoured assault/infantry support vehicle like Churchill or KV-2. Perhaps specifically for trench warfare - like TOG as well. Pity we can't see the rest of the main gun barrel to judge if it was a high velocity anti-tank piece or a howitzer.

Also, has anyone else noticed/does anyone agree with me that the frontal MG turret is offset from the midline. I wonder if that slot is just a viewing hole cut in front of the driver's position, or if it is intended for a Char B style howitzer?

Who the designer, constructor and client were - and they were not necessarily of the same nationality - I do not pretend to know and won't suggest. But Sweden may be worth thinking about.



-- Edited by Lothianman on Saturday 15th of September 2012 05:25:09 PM

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Legend

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Lothianman wrote:

Also, has anyone else noticed/does anyone agree with me that the frontal MG turret is offset from the midline. I wonder if that slot is just a viewing hole cut in front of the driver's position, or if it is intended for a Char B style howitzer?


I agree, it does look off-centre. Also, I wonder if that's meant to be a flamethrower rather than a machine-gun? The rest seems so elaborately built that to use what appears to be a featureless (and apparently quite wide-bore) tube in the secondary turret strikes a false note.



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Legend

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Lothianman wrote:

Perhaps specifically for trench warfare - like TOG as well. Pity we can't see the rest of the main gun barrel to judge if it was a high velocity anti-tank piece or a howitzer.


If you look closely at the top edge of the photo, you'll see the bottom half of the muzzle - so it's not a long-barreled gun.

You may be onto something with 'TOG': the two TOGs differed quite a lot from each other, with substantial changes to the shape of the hull and the replacement of an A12-Matilda-type turret with a larger effort, rather like a taller version of a cromwell turret.

The pics I've seen of TOG 2 show some resemblance to this tank, although there are clear differences - the hull 'turret' and the open mantlet, to name but two. However, the pics I've seen are of TOG 2 as it is now, at Bovington, with the long 17 pdr fitted, whereas it apparently had a 6 pdr at first.

So perhapsthis is an in-between stage en route from TOG 1 to TOG 2, but with various refinements still to be made - deleting the hull 'turret', building up the upper hull to full-width, and enclosing the mantlet.

Anyone for TOG 1.5?



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Legend

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I've just had a look at some pics of the Oberschlesien tank, and I'm thinking that this actually is one of them being built. True, there aren't many good pics of the Oberschlesien, butthe details thatcan be made out can be seen in the photo in Gwyn's post.

And these are only artists' renditions, so some details are bound to be off. But, to me, it looks like the genuine article.



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Legend

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The first image you posted is a very accurate rendition, based on the original plans (which are reproduced in Sturmpanzerwagen A7V) and bears very little resemblance to the ebay photo. The other drawings you posted bear even less resemblance. Unless the Oberschlesien was redesigned drastically, I cannot agree that the vehicle being built in the ebay photo has anything to do with it.

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Colonel

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Thanks - yes, it's a short but fat turret gun which reinforces the 1919-1920s feel even more ...

On the need to cut holes in a wooden model - I am reminded of the frequent inability of senior management of any kind to read a plan or to visualise a complex structure from drawings. Astounding, I know, but some people just can't do it. It's one reason why architects spend so much money on models to show their clients what the building will look like. In this case, I would expect the "crew" to be manning the "vehicle" when the Kaiser, or whoever the client was, came round ... hence the holes so the All-Highest could see what they were "doing" ...

On Roger saying that the tank bears very little resenblance - I agree that it is not the same as in the drawing - but it is structurally very similar. I also note, in particular, the way in which the track emerges from under armour on the front part of the top run but set some way back from the idler itself (like Matilda or, if memory serves, TOG but not Churchill - NB those are only comparisons, no suggestion it is any of those). That is a most unusual design feature.

Ignoring matters of detail, the only really serious differences from the side profile drawing shown above seem to me to be

1. The mockup (etc) has the lower front side armour cut away.
2. The mockup does not seem to have the side superstructure over the tracks fitted - but that could have been still to be added.
3. Ditto driver's little cupola - but ditto.

Looks to me like a variant of the Oberschliesen but not the one in the generally knonw plans?

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Legend

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Maybe it is a variant, but unless and until someone can categorically show different plans of the Oberschlesien that closely resemble what is in the ebay photo, or another photo clearly showing the same object plus something else to indicate strongly that it is the Oberschlesien or at least a German design of the same period, everything everyone has written so far (including what I write) is pure speculation. Nothing can be proved at this moment with the information as given. I am perfectly happy for this photo to be proven as the Oberschlesien, but that is the point - it has to be proven. Until then we may as well all argue over the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.



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Legend

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Roger Todd wrote:

Until then we may as well all argue over the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.


What sort of dance?



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Legend

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Well there's another argument you've started.

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Legend

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Oooooh dear! I didn't mean to start arguments of any kind. But thanks all for the very intelligent discussion.

Gwyn

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Legend

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Citizens,

I've been observing this discussion from afar, and trying to decide it it is the Oberschlesien.

(BTW, if you search Oberschlesien on the Forum, some v interesting stuff that I'd completely forgotten about comes up.)

There are some very detailed technical descriptions of this vehicle knocking about, and I've never known where they originated. All I can offer (and sorry if it's not new) is this drawing from British & German Tanks of World War 1 by Ellis and Chamberlain. It doesn't scan very well, and I've tried cleaning it up, but I could spend many hours doing that. The point is, I've posted it to see if it throws any light. Exasperatingly, to the right of the side view is part of what seems to be a front view which would probably be far more helpful. Has anyone ever seen the rest of this drawing?



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Legend

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There's a massive double-page spread of the original plans in Sturmpanzerwagen A7V (see below, reduced to avoid pissing them off over copyright if they see it). To the right is not a front view but a rear view. As I've said before, going by this set of drawings I do not believe that the object in the photo is the Oberschlesien. However, there was, I believe, an Oberschlesien II design (using different tracks with the drive sprocket at the rear) for which I have never seen drawings. If and until someone can produce such drawings, there is a vague chance the object in the photo is the Oberschlesien II. But until such confirmation one way or the other is made, I see little connection between the Oberschlesien and the object in the photo.

One of the reasons why I am sceptical (apart from the object bearing very little resemblance to the Oberschlesien drawings) is that the turret and particularly the turret gun-mounting simply don't look like anything from the Great War period. The mantlet and that boxy structure under the barrel look much later, 1930s even. They certainly look absolutely nothing like anything in any Oberschlesien drawings I've seen.



-- Edited by Roger Todd on Tuesday 18th of September 2012 11:46:59 AM

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Legend

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Ah. Thank you for that. It seems we are no forrarder, but it's all grist to the mill.

Might I enquire to which Sturmpanzerwagen A7V you refer? I've just had a google and am surprised at the number of books bearing that name.



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Legend

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This is it, I was too lazy to type it all out before:

Sturmpanzerwagen A7V: Vom Urpanzer zum Leopard 2



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Legend

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Much obliged.



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Major

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Just another guess: could this be a mockup of a Polish tank? I have read about an unfinished Polish multi-turret tank project called 25TP or something, of which various different designs existed.



-- Edited by kkfj1 on Friday 29th of March 2013 03:06:21 AM

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Hero

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Everything about the turret shouts Russian. An early mockup for a KV heavy tank?? A friend of mine is nuts on russian T34s, it all looks very same-ish. Funny shape vents and the cupola thingy.

My tank knowledge is very narrow... but when did they start using coaxial (hope that's right word) machine guns? Might help date it???

Just looked at this again.... I'm leaning towards a fake photo, but really don't know enough about Interwar/WW2 tanks to say if it's real or not. Looks like a churchill mockup with a front shield and gun photo shoped on to it. I'm also not keen on the lamp resting on the turrets gun pivot (The lamp is what I thought was some kinda russian style vent, so proves I really didn't look hard enough earlier). Would you leave a lamp resting on a wooden tank? I think the first thing that is needed is a bigger and better quality version of this photo.



-- Edited by MK1 Nut on Saturday 30th of March 2013 01:16:36 AM



-- Edited by MK1 Nut on Saturday 30th of March 2013 01:17:08 AM

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Legend

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Helen, coaxial is indeed the right word, but I don't see one next to the main barrel. The earliest coaxial fitment was probably in the Vickers Medium of the '20s, but I'm not quite sure that the MG was fixed in the mantlet: it may have been free to pivot vertically, independently from the 2pr barrel.

I think someone has written that at least one Oberschlesien was built/started, but if this was it, then where is the curved frontal armour, and what has happened to the twin cupolae for driver and, perhaps, commander at the front? The manlet also does not have a WW1 appearance, so interwar seems most likely.

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Legend

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kkfj1 wrote:

Just another guess: could this be a mockup of a Polish tank? I have read about an unfinished Polish multi-turret tank project called 25TP or something, of which various different designs existed.



-- Edited by kkfj1 on Friday 29th of March 2013 03:06:21 AM


Dick Harley and I (see post #1) like this idea.



-- Edited by Gwyn Evans on Wednesday 3rd of April 2013 09:30:43 PM

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Pat


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It might be an experimental design indeed, perhaps one of the multi-turreted ones as seen here:

http://forum.worldoftanks.eu/index.php?/topic/72234-the-multi-turreted-tanks/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20/25TP

http://ww2drawings.jexiste.fr/Files/1-Vehicles/Allies/5-Others/01-Poland/04-HeavyTanks/25TP.htm

It might as well not be a real tank at all but something built for a fairground. Sounds absurd? Well it could explain the "windows" cut into the plates and the odd look of the gun barrel, and then the following did / do exist as well:

http://www.gizmology.net/tanks.htm

http://lesemaschine.de/index.html?nr=20100716200518

http://www.mdr.de/blog/frankreich/panzer-im-parc-de-la-villette

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michimaya/6370752223/

http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/HU016505/boys-in-model-tank-on-merrygoround-1944

http://www.paintingsoncanvas.net/print-108214-7117771/czechoslovakian-children-playing-tanks-planes-merry-go-round-premium-photographic-print/

http://www.panzerbasics.com/index_files/90-john/john-01.htm

Regards, Pat



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Legend

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Well, it looks nothing like the KSUS proposal for the 20/25TP; any idea what the other firms drew?

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Legend

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No, but Wikipedia (help me - am I really relying on Wikipediano) says that a wooden mock-up was built of the PZInz version.

Gwyn



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Private

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I think this is a picture of a mock up of a Japanese O I series heavy tank.
What little information there is about the O-I indicates it was a multi-turreted tank with
a chassis similar in appearance to the TOG, possibly evidence of British design influence.
One was supposedly completed and sent to Manchuria.
The turret in the photo, particularly the gun mount, is not unlike that of other Japanese heavy tanks.
forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php
Compare the picture of the mock up to the drawing of the experimental ultra heavy O I tank at the bottom of this page:
japan.greyfalcon.us/O.htm
(japan.greyfalcon.us/pictures/oi4.jpg)
The style of the photo is consistent with the 1930's and 40's.
It is a pity there is no information about the history of the photograph.



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Legend

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I wondered about the Japanese OI as well, but the illustrations I've seen online do show a reasonable difference, so it's hard to say.

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Pat


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Identification here. It is supposedly a FCM F4, prototyped for WW2.



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Legend

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No, it's not the FCM F4, I've got drawings (Steel masters No 15) and it's not that. I still think it's a variant AMX Tracteur C design.

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Legend

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Here's the FCM F4 (Steel Masters No 15 June-July 1996).



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Legend

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I would say, Roger, that the mock-up looks more like the FCM F4 you have posted than the Tracteur C designs on the Chars Francais site, which are two-turret designs. Nonetheless, as you say, the F4 looks different.

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Legend

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My point earlier was that the rounded structure at the front between the horns looks like it could be a barbette for the small secondary turret, which I think is absent, otherwise why would the main gun be mounted so high in the turret? The Tracteur C's main gun is mounted high to clear the secondary turret in front. So is the gun on the mock-up. Without there being something in front of it for it to clear, why be mounted so high? Hence, I suspect there should be a secondary turret but it is not present as the mock-up is clearly incomplete anyway.

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Legend

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Fair enough. I still think it would be a fair deviation from the Tracteur C designs, though. It occurs to me that there appears to be a long vertical slot at the right side of the glacis plate, as though for a Char B1-style hull gun that had not been fitted. That however would raise the question, "where does the driver sit?", so it may be a red herring.

The position of the barrel at the front left of the hull would suggest that the driver ought to sit behind the slot, but if so why have such a strangely-shaped cut-out on the mock-up if it is presumably there to show inside the design?

More to the point, the norm for post-war French tanks was left-hand drive, so it would be strange to put the driver on the right - unless, that is, the photograph was printed from a back-to-front negative and we are seeing it the wrong way around?

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Legend

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I agree, but there seem to have been several variants of the Tracteur C, so who knows? On the other hand, there could also have been several variants of the FCM F4 - I've only seen those drawings I posted, but maybe there was a version much closer to the wooden mock-up? It's a baffling case so far...

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Legend

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Incidentally, in Chars de France (Jeudy) the Char de Forteresse project of 1939, from which the FCM F1 and AMX Tracteur C designs originated, is discussed. Jeudy notes that six designs were ordered, two each from FCM and AMX (which in general we vaguely know about) but also two from Rueil. I've never heard of Rueil, but it appears there was (or is, and even then I don't know if it existed before 1939) a Renault plant in the area of Paris know as Rueil, so I wonder if Jeudy used Rueil as an alternative for Renault?



-- Edited by Roger Todd on Friday 28th of March 2014 10:38:52 PM

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Commander in Chief

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http://scontent-b-fra.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/10152590_692466787465691_7205576349802282000_n.jpg



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