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Tanks on Safehold

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Castenea   » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:28 am

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Michae wrote:I've been re-reading through Fiery Trials and I'm wondering given the amount of Automotive manufactories popping up in various nations,if it's possible to re-produce some of the better tanks of WW2? As I'd love to see the first Charisian Panzer Division in action. I chose WW2 tanks as I think anything else might be pushing the boundaries more than they'd like,and plenty of good Medium tanks in there to pick from,including my personal favorite medium,The German Panther tank..

Only problem with building any WWII tank on Safehold will be engine packaging. Without electricity power trains are limited to steam or some very interesting diesel systems. While diesels can work I would expect steam engines to be used to power the tanks, and steam engines tend to be very bulky for their power output. The bulky, smoky engines will put limits on uses of tanks as will the lack of electricity and radios. We could see some very interesting heavy tanks though Think British mark IV or German AV tanks of late WWI
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:57 pm

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Michae wrote:I've been re-reading through Fiery Trials and I'm wondering given the amount of Automotive manufactories popping up in various nations,if it's possible to re-produce some of the better tanks of WW2? As I'd love to see the first Charisian Panzer Division in action. I chose WW2 tanks as I think anything else might be pushing the boundaries more than they'd like,and plenty of good Medium tanks in there to pick from,including my personal favorite medium,The German Panther tank..


Are you kidding? Panther? Medium? Her weight was almost 45 tons. She was considered "medium" only due to Germany's weird "gun classification", which stated that any tank with 75-mm gun must be "medium" (yeah, 75-ton Char 2C would also be "medium" here).

Overweight, ridiculously unreliable, borderline-blind, with brittle, inefficient armor and hopelessly overcomplicated, it was the disaster on tracks.

Those fairy tales about German wunderwaffles became really annoying, you know...
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by isaac_newton   » Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:06 am

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Dilandu wrote: SNIP Panther tank SNIP
Overweight, ridiculously unreliable, borderline-blind, with brittle, inefficient armor and hopelessly overcomplicated, it was the disaster on tracks.

Those fairy tales about German wunderwaffles became really annoying, you know...


don't hold back Dilandu - tell us what you really think :-) :-)
Last edited by isaac_newton on Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Silverwall   » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:09 am

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Just to add that without radio tanks are really only useful in breaking through trench warfare.

As the French found in 1940 you can't control tanks in maneuver warfare even with motorized dispatch riders. German tanks in 1940 were on average worse than the allies in all but one way. Every tank had at least a radio receiver and most commanders from platoon up had both a receiver AND a transmitter.

Also if you want to make good use of tanks you also need at least motorized infantry and artillery and again with no radio you are kinda screwed controlling things beyond the visual range of the local farmers field you are driving across.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Erls   » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:11 am

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Silverwall wrote:Just to add that without radio tanks are really only useful in breaking through trench warfare.

As the French found in 1940 you can't control tanks in maneuver warfare even with motorized dispatch riders. German tanks in 1940 were on average worse than the allies in all but one way. Every tank had at least a radio receiver and most commanders from platoon up had both a receiver AND a transmitter.

Also if you want to make good use of tanks you also need at least motorized infantry and artillery and again with no radio you are kinda screwed controlling things beyond the visual range of the local farmers field you are driving across.


There are inventive ways that Tanks could use to communicate with each other. Think about how Naval ships used to communicate before radio - they used flags. It wouldn't be impossible for tanks to have small "masts" (iron poles) that flags could be run up to give commands. And really, the basic commands would be things like: Directional, Stop/Go/Back, Formation (line, wedge, echelon), etc... A tank could easily store the 15-20 flags required to handle the majority of orders. Especially if tanks on Safehold are wider than on Earth, it would be easy to add a dedicated spotter/signal person to the crew. Again, this wouldn't be ideal, but would be functional and work.

Additionally, if Charis can build tanks, they could certainly build personnel carriers for infantry as well as towed artillery. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Charisian Cavalry becomes Mechanized Infantry/Artillery/Armor, while there are dedicated Tank Brigades assigned to Armies that the Army Commander can deploy as necessary. Who knows, maybe each infantry division would be given a Tank Regiment as well.

There is no reason to assume that, without radio, work-arounds cannot be created for tank warfare. Think about the Zeppelins - they could easily be spotters for movement warfare and trail banners and/or send flares to give the ground forces a rough knowledge of what is ahead.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by zyffyr   » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:06 am

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Erls wrote:There are inventive ways that Tanks could use to communicate with each other. Think about how Naval ships used to communicate before radio - they used flags. It wouldn't be impossible for tanks to have small "masts" (iron poles) that flags could be run up to give commands. And really, the basic commands would be things like: Directional, Stop/Go/Back, Formation (line, wedge, echelon), etc... A tank could easily store the 15-20 flags required to handle the majority of orders. Especially if tanks on Safehold are wider than on Earth, it would be easy to add a dedicated spotter/signal person to the crew. Again, this wouldn't be ideal, but would be functional and work.


There are several critical difference that allow flags to work for Naval warfare but leave them functionally useless for directing Armor.

1)Line of sight -
A naval taskforce generally doesn't have to worry about part of the unit on the other side of a hill - even a mound of dirt or a wall a few feet taller than the tank is going to be an issue. Smoke and night fighting are the only major impediments.

2)Command complications -
The variety of commands you are likely to want to issue in a ground fight are far more varied than in a navy fight. Naval battles generally don't need to issue commands like "3rd squad swing around behind that hill to look for their artillery", and due to the differences in speed/maneuverability/distances when you DO need to issue them you can do a fully spelled out semaphore massage.

3)Keeping track of the commander -
In general, naval battles are fought in formations and each ship knows where they are supposed to be. That means that the ships spotter has a fair idea where they should start looking to find the command ship for messages. Nice neat formations in a tank battle pretty much mean either "our opposition is too weak to hurt the tanks" or "I am playing Warhammer 40K"
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:10 am

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Silverwall wrote:
As the French found in 1940 you can't control tanks in maneuver warfare even with motorized dispatch riders.


French tanks were NOT supposed to be used in maneuver warfare. Definitely not the 2-men ones. Both the Renault and Hotchkiss machines were planned as infantry support tanks, which would advance in direct combination with infantry, and clear the way for it by destroying machineguns & providing suppression fire. If you want a bit more elaboration, they are not even tanks; they are armored infantry, tracked exoskeletons for infantrymen.

Radio for them would essentially be useless. Their main communication partners would be infantry - which is not radio-equipped anyway.

Tanks that were supposed to use in maneuver warfare - like Char D1/2 and Somua S35 - were provided with radio sets. They were "cavalry" tanks. Yes, the Hotchkiss also was "cavalry" machine, but it was mainly due to the lack of alternatives; French industry could not produce enough Char D or Somua S35 in time, and smaller, cheaper Hotchkiss were viewed as affordable alternative (despite not having radio).
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:14 am

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Silverwall wrote:Just to add that without radio tanks are really only useful in breaking through trench warfare.


Which is essentially the main function of tanks. Any attempt to organize any kind of "deep mechanized breakthrough" in Safeholdian condition is doomed by definition, because without at least wire communication, any such attempt would die in agony of collapsed logistic & total loss of understanding where exactly who is. Mechanized armies of blietzkrieg era requires fast, constant, well-planned logistic to stay efficient; without fast communications, it would led to enormous mess.

So just don't try to do impossible, and use tanks on Safehold for the role they are suited; to locally break the enemy defenses.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:46 pm

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Silverwall wrote:Just to add that without radio tanks are really only useful in breaking through trench warfare.

As the French found in 1940 you can't control tanks in maneuver warfare even with motorized dispatch riders. German tanks in 1940 were on average worse than the allies in all but one way. Every tank had at least a radio receiver and most commanders from platoon up had both a receiver AND a transmitter.

Also if you want to make good use of tanks you also need at least motorized infantry and artillery and again with no radio you are kinda screwed controlling things beyond the visual range of the local farmers field you are driving across.


You can't control them but against a fixed target that's not important. Trench warfare as you say (not that it's going to happen), but reducing any sort of fortification. Tanks have the maneuverability to be hard for artillery to hit. Unless the defenders have pre-registered the approaches a tank can shoot and scoot with very little chance of being hit until the other side develops the bazooka.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:50 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
You can't control them but against a fixed target that's not important. Trench warfare as you say (not that it's going to happen), but reducing any sort of fortification. Tanks have the maneuverability to be hard for artillery to hit. Unless the defenders have pre-registered the approaches a tank can shoot and scoot with very little chance of being hit until the other side develops the bazooka.


Tanks are not very useful against large fortifications. Too many engineering obstacles, like moats, dragon teeth, multi-layer minefields. Large forts are targets for siege artillery, not tanks. That's actually why nowhere was enthusiastic about armored tracked machines before WW1: against forts, heavy siege guns are more useful, and until WW1 it was assumed that fieldworks would be mostly a hindrance than a barrier.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top

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