二战武器——“狮”式坦克

Panzerkampfwagen VII Löwe (Lion)



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The development of super heavy tank started as early as 1941, when Krupp started the studies of superheavy Soviet tanks. In November of 1941, it was specified that the new heavy tank was to have 140mm front and 100mm thick side armor. The vehicle was to be operated by 5 men crew - 3 in the turret and 2 in the hull. This new panzer was to have maximum speed of some 44km/h being powered by 1000hp Daimler-Benz marine engine used in Schnellboot (torpedo boat). The main armament was to be mounted in the turret. The weight was to be up 90 tons. In the early months of 1942, Krupp was ordered to start the process of designing new heavy tank designated PzKpfw VII Löwe (VK7201). Its design was based on previous project by Krupp designated VK7001 (Tiger-Maus) and created in competition with Porsche's designs (including first Maus designs).VK7001 was to be armed with either 150mm Kanone L/37 (or L/40) or 105mm KwK L/70 gun. Lowe was to utilize Tiger II's components in order to simplify the production and service.


Designers planned to build two variants of this streamlined vehicle with rear mounted turret. Light (leichte) variant would have frontal armor protection of 100mm and it would weight 76 tons. Heavy (schwere) variant would have frontal armor protection of 120mm and it would weight 90 tons. Both variants would be armed with 105mm L/70 gun and coaxial machine gun.It is known that 90ton schwere Löwe was to have its turret mounted centrally and in overall design resembled future Tiger II.Variants of Löwe were both to be operated by the crew of five. It was calculated that their maximum speed would range from 23km/h (schwere) to 27km/h (leichte).


Adolf Hitler ordered that the design Leichte Löwe was to be dropped in favour of Schwere Löwe. Lion was to be redesigned in order to carry 150mm L/40 or 150mm L/37 (probably 150mm KwK 44 L/38) gun and its frontal armor protection was to be changed to 140mm. In order to improve its performance, 900-1000mm wide tracks were to be used and top speed was to be increased to 30km/h.



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In late 1942, this project was cancelled in favour of the development of the Maus. During the development of Tiger II, designers planned to build redesigned version of Löwe (as suggested by Oberst Fichtner), which would be armed with 88mm KwK L/71 gun and its frontal armor protection would be 140mm (as planned before). Redesigned Löwe would be able to travel at maximum speed of 35km/h and it would weight 90 tons. It was to be powered by Maybach HL 230 P 30, 12-cylinder engine producing 800hp. Löwe would be 7.74 meters long (with the gun), 3.83 meters wide and 3.08 meters high. Löwe would be operated by the crew of five. It was planned that Löwe would eventually replace Tiger II.


From February to May of 1942, six different designs were considered, all based on the requirements for Löwe. On March 5/6th of 1942, order for heavier tank was placed and project Löwe was stopped in July of 1942. Löwe project never reached the prototype stage but it paved the way for its successor's development - Porsche's Maus.


从未露面过的帝国雄狮—Panzerkampfwagen VII Löwe“狮”式坦克


图1:当年后置炮塔“狮”式坦克的外型设计铅笔素描


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超重型坦克的发展早在1941年就已经开始了,当时克努伯公司开始研究苏联的超重型坦克。据资料记载,在1941年11月出现的这种坦克(据我推断指的是“狮式”的前身)具体到应该拥有厚达140毫米的前装甲和100毫米的侧装甲。它可以由5名成员来操纵——三名炮手和两名驾驶人员。这种新式坦克的最高速度可达44千米/小时,它配备了拥有1000马力的戴姆勒——奔驰生产的用于“快速战舰”(德语Schnell Boot应该就这么翻译)的海军引擎。其主要设备均安置于炮塔之上,其车体重量达到了90吨。在1942年初,克努伯接到上面的命令开始新式重型坦克PzKpfw七号战车“狮式”的设计计划(VK7201)。它的设计基于克努伯耗资巨大的VK7001计划(“虎”式和“鼠”式的设计计划),是由于与保时捷公司设计(包括”鼠“式的最初设计)的竟争而产生的。VK7001计划将在坦克上安装150毫米Kanone L/37(或 L/40)或者是105毫米KwK L/70火炮。“狮式”将会采用虎王(Tiger II)的结构来更好地适应当时现有的生产设备和维修供给系统。



设计师们计划建造两种具有流线型车体并且拥有后置炮塔样车版本。轻型(Leichte)样车拥有100毫米的正面装甲保护,重量达到了76吨。重型(Schwere)样车拥有120毫米的正面装甲保护,总重量达到了90吨。两种样车都将安装105毫米 L/70 火炮和共轴机枪。而据说90吨重的重型样车将会把后置的炮塔改为中置,综合设计方案类似于即将生产的“虎王”。两种样车都是由5名成员操纵。根据理论上的计算“狮”式坦克的最大速度应该是23千米/小时(重型)和27千米/小时(轻型)。




但是阿道夫·希特勒更喜欢的是重型版本的“狮式”而非轻型版本。他命令将“狮式”重新设计以便其有能力装备150毫米的 L/40 火炮或者是 150毫米 L/37 火炮(也可能是150毫米 KwK 44 L/38火炮),并且要求改良后的“狮式”的正面装甲必须达到140毫米。为了提高机动性,新的“狮式”采用了900至1000毫米的宽大履带,其最高速度将增加到30千米/小时。





图2:中置炮塔“狮”式坦克的侧面外部结构图




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1942年末,为了研发“鼠”式坦克,此项计划被迫取消。在研发“虎王”坦克的过程中,设计师们计划重新设计一种版本的”狮“式(由费谢特那上校提出的建议)。这种”狮“式将装备88毫米 KwK L/71 火炮,其正面仍然采用原计划的140毫米装甲。新设计的”狮“式将能够达到35千米/小时的最高速度,其重量为90吨。它的动力来源于800马力的迈巴赫 HL 230 P 30.12 12缸引擎。新的”狮“式车长为7.74米(含炮管)、宽3.83米、高3.08米,也是由5名成员操纵。按计划新”狮“式将最终取代”虎王“坦克。


从1942年2月至5月,一共有6种不同的方设计案被军方考虑,所有的方案均是以“狮”式坦克的需求为基础的。在1942年3月5日和6日,上面提出要求希望生产出更重的坦克。1942年7月,“狮”式计划终于停止了。尽管“狮”式没有真正实现量产,但是它却为其后继产物——保时捷“鼠”式坦克的出现铺平了道路。

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