The Landkreuzer P.1000 "Ratte" (translating to "Rat") was a proposed super-heavy tank design of the German Krupp concern with origins in 1942. Hitler gave this mammoth undertaking his direct blessing as the program set about to create the most powerful tank ever devised for the modern battlefield. It was an ambitious undertaking to say the least and - should it have been completed - would also have become the largest tank ever produced without doubt. Albert Speer, the German Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich, saw the fruitlessness of such an endeavor and cancelled the P.1000 in early 1943. As such, the Ratte never made it off of the drawing boards.
Externally, the P.1000 would have dwarfed any other tank in production at that time by a long mile. The immense size would have been something to behold with as many as eleven large road wheels affixed to either track side. The tracks themselves would have measured nearly four feet in width. The hull would have been largely conventional in design and construction by 1942 standards with flat skirted side armor and an angled front and rear hull armor facings. Armor at certain points would have reached between 150mm and 360mm in thickness. The turret would have also sported ballistics deflecting armor for maximum protection. Dimensions were pretty impressive with the P.1000 sporting a height of 11 meters, a width of 14 meters and a length of 35 meters. The overall operational weight was expected to reach 1,000 tons (2,000,000 lb).
To propel such a behemoth across the battlefields of Europe, Krupp suggested the use of either 8 x Daimler-Benz MB501 20-cylinder marine diesel engines developing an estimated 16,000 horsepower or 4 x MAN V127Z32/44 24-cylinder marine diesel engines of 17,000 horsepower output. The former engine type was utilized in existing German E-Boat systems while the latter was prominent in U-Boat submarine designs. Though an optimistic top speed of 25 miles per hour was envisioned, this was suspect with all things considered. Durable operational range was also of concern, though a hefty 120 miles was entertained. It is assumed that the P.1000 would have been extremely limited in most facets of its general operation - speed, range and reliability - leading many to doubt its true effectiveness in live fire use.
As it stood, the Landkreuzer P.1000 proved just another tangent for Adolf Hitler to commit valuable wartime resources and engineering manpower to. On paper, the P.1000 was a true threat with enough firepower and inherent armor protection to both destroy anything on the modern battlefield and survive most anything thrown in its direction. In reality, the system would have not added much in the way of changing the downward-spiraling German fortunes by the late-war months. The sheer size of the P.1000 would have extremely limited its tactical use and battlefield effectiveness and off-road travel would have proved impossible, more than likely limiting the tank system to operations as a static, fixed defensive weapon protecting a portion of territory within range of its guns. Weight alone would have forced many-a-European-road to simply crumble under the mass of its wheels. Additionally, no bridge in Europe would have supported the passing of the P.1000 requiring transport by railway cars constantly under attack from Allied fighters - however, even railway transport was not really a viable transport form for such a large and heavy vehicle - her width alone would have precluded such use. Furthermore the use of multiple engines in a joined complex arrangement within one hull would have proven a maintenance nightmare for accompanying crew not to mention headaches for when in search of useful spares. With that said, if used at all in combat, the P.1000's reach would have been severely limited by these inherent design restrictions.
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FIRE SUPPORT / ASSAULT / BREACHING
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.
114.8 ft (35 meters) Length
45.9 ft (14 meters) Width
36.1 ft (11 meters) Height
1,999,998 lb (907,184 kg) Weight
1,000.0 tons (Heavy-class) Tonnage
8 x Daimler-Benz MB501 20-cylinder marine engines developing 16,000 horsepower OR 4 x MAN V12732/44 24-cylinder marine diesel engines developing 17,000 horsepower driving track-and-wheel arrangement. Drive System
25 mph (40 kph) Road Speed
2 x 280mm 54.5 SK C/34 naval guns in main turret
1 x 128mm KwK 44 L/55 anti-tank gun (possibly in hull bow mounting).
8 x 20mm Flak 38 anti-aircraft cannons (possibly in four dual mountings at rear).
2 x 15mm Mauser MG 151/15 autocannons (possibly in smaller turret atop main gun turret).
Dependent upon ammunition carrier.
Landkreuzer P.1000 "Ratte" - Base Series Project Designation.
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