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Post Info TOPIC: Treffas About Face?


Legend

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Treffas About Face?
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In the light of the discovery that the Steam Wheel Tank was the wrong way round, should we now consider the possibility that the Treffas Wagen also had its driving wheels at the rear and was steered by the small roller, or is it beyond doubt that the big wheels were at the front?



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Corporal

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you mean it could go both ways confuseconfuse



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Lieutenant

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The Treffaswagen was steered by the smaller wheel. The two larger wheels were powered and they are the front. You can see this by the drivers compartment of the prototype.

In the first photo you can see the step and handles for the driver to get in the front. You can see the driver's face inside the Treffaswagen. You can also see that the smaller (rear wheel) is turned sideways in the same photo.

Tony I



-- Edited by Tony I on Thursday 10th of June 2021 01:13:29 AM

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Legend

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I quite agree that the big wheels are the driving wheels. It's more a question of which is the front and which is the back.

This is my Wikipedia summing up of the info on the American Steam Wheel Tank:

Although it is often assumed that the vehicle was a tadpole configuration (with two driving wheels at the front), a senior Holt executive and the Aberdeen Proving Ground's report state that it was a delta configuration (with the large wheels at the rear), and that the vehicle drove like a conventional agricultural tractor.

That's citing Fred Crismon. (1992) U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Motorbooks International. p84.

So since the two vehicles are broadly similar, it seemed to me quite reasonable to expect them to behave in the same way.



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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.



Lieutenant

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What I can provide is photographic evidence showing the Treffaswagen driver is in the front, where the large wheels are. It is possible that the only photo they had to go by earlier was the other more famous photo. I can see the Holt guy assuming the German's configured the Treffaswagen like Holt's invention, and APG going along with it, I guess. Still, they are both wrong.

I can also bring to the table my extensive background with most things German from WWII era. All similar devices the Germans created had the larger, powered wheels in the front, and the smaller, steering wheel in the rear.

This is seen in the Lauster-Wargel LW-2 and LW-3, Alkett Minenraumer, and to a lesser extent, the Krupp Kugelpanzer (the driver sits betwen the two large powered wheels, and there is a smaller trailing wheel for stability.

Take notice of the Treffaswagen driver circled in yellow, and other similar vehicles from Germany.

-Tony



-- Edited by Tony I on Friday 11th of June 2021 01:25:01 AM



-- Edited by Tony I on Friday 11th of June 2021 01:27:07 AM

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Legend

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I don't have strong feelings about this, but it would be interesting to get to the bottom of it.

Fred Crismon says of the Steam Wheel Tank, "It has been generally assumed that a rear view is seen here, and that the large steel driving wheels were at the front. However, Mr. Louis Neumiller, a former Chairman of the Board at Caterpillar, remembers the vehicle undergoing tests and says the small wheels were at the front, farm tractor style."

Steve Zaloga is adamant that its large driving wheels were at the rear, and provides considerable documentary evidence:

https://landships.activeboard.com/t63071117/the-steam-wheel-tank-a-wikipedia-problem-help-needed/

https://landships.activeboard.com/t65990314/steam-wheeled-tank/



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Lieutenant

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RE: Treffas About Face? (Large Wheels Forward)
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James,

I am not talking about the American Steam Tank, Wheeled at all. I am tlaking only about the Treffaswagen. It should not be considered 'about face' like the other one. I see Steve's point that that vehicle most likely was small wheel in the front, etc.

But not the Treffaswagen. I have supplied a photo that shows the driver looking out of the front where the large wheels are at.

I am still working on the details of the armament. It seems there are some conflicting data online, not primary sources mind you. The details online state 4 man crew, 2 MG, and 1 canon. But the canon is listed as 20mm on one page and 57 on the others. I suspect it is the 20mm, but the romantics want it to be the same type as the A7V or something. I am also leaning towards the MG using the bulgeds found behind the large wheels on each side. That will put the crew in the larger compartment. I have to get measurements of it, but don;t think there is enough room for the 57mm.



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Legend

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RE: Treffas About Face?
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I understand that. What I was musing upon was my original question: that there is so much evidence that the Steam Wheel Tank's driving wheels were at the rear that it's not unreasonable to wonder if the externally similar Treffas was also configured that way. Not worth falling out about.



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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.



Lieutenant

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I guess it is a reasonable assumption. But it seems the layout the Steam wheel tank used was not conventional, problematic, and not realistic for most situations.

So far as German tech, I have accumulated vast amounts of reference material (pertaining to WWII and the inter-wars era) and like I said, have never seen such a layout.

Tony



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Corporal

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When I researched the Treffas, I also concluded that contrary to the delta tricycle configuration of the US Steam Wheel Tank, the Treffas had a tadpole tricycle configuration.

It is an interesting thought though, but the angled placement of the hatch, as well as the complete absence of viewing ports in the hatch itself, made me believe that it is a tadpole configuration. Then there's also the mention that the center of gravity was too much forward, causing the vehicle to flip. I doubt this statement could be true if the small wheel was at the front. 

It is a shame there is so little information available on the topic. I doubt however to what extent later German tricycle developments can be used to evalute the Treffas design, since the Treffas is generally conceived as an isolated and little-known prototype that did not influence any other designs that followed since the 1930s. It is also specifically mentioned at least once (by Werner Oswald iirc) that the Lauster Wargel 3 had no relation to the Treffass whatsoever.

If this is true or not can certainly be debated. The chance that some engineers that worked on them knew about the Treffass is quite high in my opinion, but in terms of technical knowledge or actual test reports, I don't think that any of that official material made its way into the later German designs.



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