The latest update introduces the History; a way of viewing past changes such as Clan creation, position changes, along with players who joined or left.
Clan members can see who made the change to their own Clan, while players not enlisted in the Clan can only see what change was made and when.
Future additions to Clan history include Global Map stats and Stronghold battles.
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Hot on the trail
The British obtained some information by the fall that cleared up the situation. An appendix to Technical Information Summary #186 published on October 11th, 1945, contained a summary of the minutes of a meeting between Porsche, Hitler, and Speer held on June 9th, 1942.
After discussing the installation of an 88 mm L/71 gun into the Tiger (P), the conversation moved on to a tank with a 128 or 150 mm gun in a rotating turret with a 75 mm coaxial gun, or an SPG with a 180 mm gun, 200 mm of armor in the front, and 180 mm in the sides.
Diagram of the Daimler-Benz MB 509.
A summary of the history of the Maus’ development followed. Porsche and his electric transmission specialist Otto Zadnik decided to reuse the same idea tried on the Ferdinand, but with serious changes. Contrary to Speer’s desires, Porsche decided to use a diesel engine.
Daimler-Benz could not hold up their end of the bargain. In November Porsche learned that it would not be possible to get an engine in time. He had to use an MB 509 gasoline engine after all (called DB 509 in the document). The design of the transmission had to change slightly in order to accommodate it.
In late 1942 the German Ordnance Directorate attached a curator to the project, Colonel Henel. His job consisted of traveling to various subcontractors to threaten them with fines and punishments if the orders were not fulfilled in time. For instance, Henel turned up in Stuttgart on December 13th, 1942, and demanded that the hull of the Maus be ready for trials by May 5th, 1943. His demands had no effect and his visits were considered quite amusing.
Overall layout of the Maus tank.
In early January of 1943 Porsche was summoned to Berlin to show Hitler a model of the tank. The Fuhrer liked it but did not make any specific requests or comments.
By January 12th the work was separated in the following way. Krupp was responsible for the hulls and turrets, Daimler-Benz was building the engine, Siemens-Schuckert built the electric components, and Skoda handled the suspension and running gear. The final assembly would take place at the Alkett factory.
Work began, but heated discussion continued. Heinrich Kniepkamp was categorically against this design, insisting that it would be far too unreliable. Colonel Henel, on the other hand, tried to add more features to the design, claiming that it was mandatory for the tank to have a flamethrower with a 1000 L fuel reservoir.
Weight calculations dampened the Colonel’s enthusiasm. The flamethrower would have made the already overweight tank much heavier. In addition to the gun mount, the suspension would have to be redesigned. The latest German designs were already using torsion bars, but Porsche didn’t want to risk it. He ordered a simple volute spring suspension from Skoda.
A suspension bogey and track segment.
A cooling system was tested at the Stuttgart Technical Institute under the supervision of Professor Kamm. Its effectiveness was deemed satisfactory.
Work was well underway. Speer arrived at Stuttgart on April 6th, 1943, and inspected the model of the tank for half an hour. An order arrived on April 10th to move the model to Berlin so it could be shown to Hitler, but canceled on April 16th. Hitler finally had a chance to personally see the model on May 14th.
Upon seeing the tank, he remarked that it looked like a child’s toy and ordered the installation of a 150 mm gun. The author of the report expressed doubt that Hitler would have given this order purely from an aesthetic point of view, but development of a 150 mm gun for the Maus was indeed performed.
A Maus track link.
The MB 509 engine arrived at Stuttgart on July 16th just as the cooling system was ready. By all accounts, the conversion of the engine from an aircraft model to a tank one was not difficult, but a decision was nevertheless made to assemble the second Maus prototype with the MB 517 marine diesel.
Everything seemed to be going well. Alkett began working on assembly of the first prototype on August 1st, 1943, when the first bad news arrived. Krupp would be unable to meet its deadlines due to heavy bombing. The first hull was finished by mid-September, but the fall of 1943 proved fatal to the Maus.
An American soldier at the Krupp factory measuring the dimensions of a Maus hull. Bombing of the subcontractor factories killed the project.
A Maus tank (the specific vehicle is not identified in the document, but this was the Maus I) entered trials on December 23rd, 1943. As the turret did not yet arrive, a 55 ton dummy weight was installed instead. Suspension springs broke during trials, the exhaust pipes rusted quickly due to low quality of metal, there were issues with the electric transmission. Nevertheless, the trials were considered a success and the tank was sent to Böblingen for further trials.
The tank arrived at the proving grounds on January 10th, 1944. It showed itself well when personally driven by Otto Zadnik. Witnesses claimed that it was capable of any maneuver that the Panther tank could pull off. Of course, this did not include the top speed.
A diagram for the Maus turret as built (left) and with a prospective rangefinder (right).
The turret arrived on May 3rd. The gun, traverse mechanism, and other components arrived a few days later, and assembly was completed by June 9th. Subsequent trials showed that mobility improved, as the turret was a little lighter than the 55-ton dummy. The tank remained at Böblingen until early October when orders were given to move it to Kummersdorf.
Meanwhile, work on the Maus II continued. The tank arrived at Böblingen on March 20th, 1944. The engine was only ready in September. Test bench trials showed impressive results. The engine arrived in Böblingen in early October. It was immediately installed in the tank, which was shipped to Kummersdorf without additional trials.
A Maus hull at the Krupp factory.
In World of Tanks, Karelia is a summer map known for its mountainous sides and long valley. It appears in the random battle mode (except in the encounter battle type) and is especially popular with tank destroyers and other snipers due to the numerous vantage points over the valley.
In real life, Karelia is a region that is currently spread across the border between Finland and Russia. Historically this wasn’t always the case though. In the distant past, Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden. This changed in 1809 when the Russians, who were worried about its close proximity to their capital, Saint Petersburg, conquered Finland and incorporated it into the Russian Empire.
Searching for players on the Clan Portal can help with recruiting new Clan members and expand your Clan. Search results include all active players and their main stats.
Tank destroyer line:
The Swedish tank destroyers are swift, well-armed, and excellent at keeping low profiles. They lack armour protection, though at higher tiers this is somewhat mitigated by extreme sloping.
Low Tiers II — IV:The Pvlvv fm/42, Ikv 72 and Sav m/43 (tiers II–IV) are the bread-and-butter low-tier TDs. They deal impressive damage if they secure good vantage point and have allied support to keep them safe. They can’t count on their armor, but make up for it with above-average maneuverability and decent guns, while small silhouettes reduce the chance of being spotted.
Medium Tiers V — VII:Sitting at tiers V–VII are three textbook snipers: Ikv 103, Ikv 65 Alt II and Ikv 90 Typ B. They are good on maps with hills and ridges thanks to solid gun depression and elevation angles. The Ikv 103 comes with a set of two 105mm top guns, equipped with HEAT shells.
High Tiers VIII — X:Tiers VIII–X introduce new gameplay mechanics: Travel and Siege modes. Once you reach tier VIII’s UDES 03, there’s one simple rule: avoid firing when going at full speed; in Travel mode, it’s the worst of its tier (but considerably better at it than its brethren at tiers IX–X).
Just find a favorable spot and empty your gun in Siege mode, because that turns the UDES 03 into the most formidable TD tier VIII has ever seen. Top-tier Swedish tank destroyers, the Strv 103-0 and Strv 103B, demand rapid decision making. The Strv 103B is similar to some tanks in Armored Warfare with its front grille, that causes HE and HEAT shells to detonate before it hits the main armour.
The grille also can make it tricky for small to mid-calibre AP shells to penetrate the tank because of the incredibly sloped main armour. If you’re in Travel mode, use speed to your advantage and don’t even think about shooting—save it for Firing mode once you’ve secured a good position. With their highly regarded damage making capability, you should be able to rack up hits with uncanny frequency.
Translated by peter samsonov
The final squeak
The Maus is first mentioned in the DRAC (Director, Royal Armoured Corps) Technical Intelligence Summary for May 1945. The description is rather brief:
“Developments in German tank design appear to have been mainly limited to the super-heavy class. Three equipments falling under this heading have so far been examined as follows: …Maus (Mouse). This is a tank with an estimated weight of 200 tons mounting a 12.8 cm Kw.K.82 (L/55) and a co-axial 7.5 cm Kw.K.44 (L/36.5) in a turret with 360° traverse.”
The summary also described the E-100 tank and Grille SPG, but there was likewise little information on those vehicles.
Officers of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and three sets of Maus armour parts, Krupp proving grounds in Meppen.
It did not take long before additional information became available. Three Maus hulls and turrets were found at the Krupp proving grounds in Meppen. They were empty, but a mounting with a 128 mm and a 75 mm gun was presumably associated with them. Documents found at the proving grounds indicated that the gun used to be called 12.
8 cm KwK 44 (Maus) and was later renamed 12.8 cm KwK 82. The documents also indicated that this tank was not produced in large numbers and no more than six sets of hulls and turrets had been built. The three sets at the proving grounds were taken there for penetration trials.
The report indicated that the design of the hulls and turrets differed from the latest German developments. The plates were interlocking and the number of angled surfaces was minimal. The tank effectively had spaced armor along the sides, as the skirt armor descended past the fighting compartment floor.
The engine was not in the rear, as usual, but in the middle, between the fighting and driver’s compartments. The transmission was in the rear. There were no transmission components in the hull, but the report author assumed that the transmission would be electric, like on the Elefant tank destroyer.
British measurements of the Maus’ armour. Some measurements are approximate.
The British didn’t have time to weigh and measure the parts before the report was written. The estimated mass of the turret was 34 tons, and the whole tank weighed about 200 tons. The dimensions of the turret, hull, and tracks were also approximate.
The British were in a rush to obtain information about the tank and didn’t check their sources thoroughly, questioning anyone who they could get their hands on. For instance, the main source of initial reports was an engineer who worked at the proving grounds.
There was only one issue: he had no experience with the Maus and in fact no experience with tanks at all. His specialty was concrete and his job was to build an underwater test drive course for the tank. Everything he knew about the Maus was based on rumors, and so one should not be surprised that his information was not entirely correct.
According to the source, work on the project began in the spring or summer of 1942 with the support of the Minister of Armaments and War Production Speer. The tank was allegedly called Mammut (Mammoth). In 1943, the engineer in question was tasked with building an underwater driving course that could hold a 200-ton tank.
This was a very interesting task, as the mass of the Mäuschen tank (Little Mouse) was only 100 tons by then. From conversations with military representatives and other engineers, he learned that the new tank would have a diesel MB 517 or gasoline DB 603 engine, an electric transmission, parallel torsion bars like the Elefant, and protection from poison gas. The crew numbered 6-7 men.
According to the engineer, one Maus was built and tested in Linz, Austria, where it remained until the end of the war. As for the project as a whole, Hitler canceled it in early 1944 due to excessive cost and a shortage of copper.
A more reliable source was also questioned, but even he could not give precise information about the project. According to Kurt Arnold, the head of the Henschel proving grounds, the tank was initially supposed to weigh 150 tons, but it grew to 200 tons during development.
The Maus was powered by two 850-1000 hp engines which never reached the required level of reliability. The tank could only be moved across large distances by rail. The armor was 190-210 mm thick and additional 90 mm thick plates protected the suspension.
With no other sources of information, the British continued to inspect the components and assemblies available. Specialists noted that the wide tracks severely limited the amount of space inside the tank. Even though the space between the upper sides was 3645 mm wide, the distance between the lower sides was just 1155 mm. This limited the height of the fighting compartment, as the turret basket floor could not be lower than the panniers.
The hull consisted of four sections separated from each other with 20 mm thick bulkheads. The driver’s compartment was located in the front. As mentioned above, the British could only guess as to the number of crewmen located here. The 100 mm thick compartment roof had a 900 by 380 mm oval opening cut in it for a hatch.
Maus hull layout. Note the number of question marks.
The engine compartment was situated behind the driver’s compartment. The roof over it was missing, but the British estimated that the armour would be 60 mm thick here. The engine was presumably mounted in the middle of the compartment with fuel tanks along the sides. The engine compartment was separated into six sections, but the British could not guess what they were used for.
The fighting compartment was next. Its roof consisted of four 60 mm thick plates welded together. As the fighting compartment was completely empty, it was hard to say anything definite about it. Finally, the rearmost compartment was reserved for the transmission.
Having measured the hull, the British estimated that it weighed about 68 tons.
The turret was described as “a massive structure, incredibly tall for its width and length”. Its mass without any components was estimated at 34 tons. Its curved front armor was compared with that of the King Tiger, mistakenly attributing its design to Dr. Porsche.
An opening for the gun was cut in the front of the turret, shifted to the right from the central axis by about 200 mm. This allowed the specialists to estimate the size of the gun mantlet. The floor of the turret was welded together from two 93 mm thick plates with localized weak spots.
A drawing of all known parts of the Maus fitted together. The British had no information about the design of the running gear and gun mantlet.
The tank’s armor was only rolled. It was difficult to measure the thickness of such thick plates, but the measurements made by British specialists did not noticeably differ from those later made by the Soviets.
The guns meant for the Maus were tested separately. There was no muzzle brake installed on the 12.8 cm KwK 82 L/55, but the author did not eliminate the possibility of other barrels with threading for a muzzle brake being found later. The horizontal sliding breech opened to the right.
A standard electric firing mechanism was used. The main gun was located in the left part of the dual gun mount. It had to be shifted very far back in order to balance it. The recoil brake and recuperator were located above the barrel. The overall length was 7020 mm, the rifled part of the barrel was 5533 mm long.
The same Maus, view from above.