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The Swiss Panzer 68


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#1 nitflegal

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 1712 PM

Out of curiosity, is anyone aware of any good references on the Swiss Pz 68 ourside of the usual internet sites?  I've been whiling away my weekends rereading my references on cold war armor and with the exception of the Type 74 the Pz 68 seems to be a black hole for information.  I'd be fine with books not in English but certainly there has to be something out there, right?

 

Matt


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#2 Colin

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 1727 PM

Nick did a couple of videos on the 61 and a few mentions of the 68 appear as I recall https://www.youtube....h?v=8xJz6Vy6Rvg


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#3 Przezdzieblo

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 0556 AM

Check Martin Haudenschild's article Die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Panzer 68 and Richard Ogorkiewicz's Swiss Battle Tanks (AFV Profile). Pz 61/68 fire control systems are mentioned in CIA-RDP84M00044R000200890001 document from CIA library.  I would also reccomend Stefan's site (IMHO it would not fit into definition of "usual internet site" ;)), with detailed descriptions on fire control of Pz 68, Pz 68/88 and it's gun (10,5 cm Panzerkanone 61, licence version of L7).


Edited by Przezdzieblo, 08 April 2020 - 0559 AM.

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#4 nitflegal

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 1624 PM

Check Martin Haudenschild's article Die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Panzer 68 and Richard Ogorkiewicz's Swiss Battle Tanks (AFV Profile). Pz 61/68 fire control systems are mentioned in CIA-RDP84M00044R000200890001 document from CIA library.  I would also reccomend Stefan's site (IMHO it would not fit into definition of "usual internet site" ;)), with detailed descriptions on fire control of Pz 68, Pz 68/88 and it's gun (10,5 cm Panzerkanone 61, licence version of L7).

Thank you!  I have the AFV profile but not the other references.


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#5 Arminius

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 1355 PM

IIRC it was inside a very cramped tank, with lots of small problems all around, and very expensive in the end.

 

Not sure from where I got that … maybe some old "Truppendienst" leaflet?

 

Hermann


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#6 Manic Moran

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 1814 PM

I didn't find the 61 to be excessively cramped, I don't think the 68's extra systems took up that much room.


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#7 Stefan Kotsch

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 0318 AM

But the commander's seat is really a disaster.  No seat, much more an oblique half small board without backrest. I found that remarkable.

 

Pz68-88_04.jpg


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#8 Manic Moran

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 1127 AM

Mmm. I don't recall specifically looking for it, but as I check my Pz61 video, there appears to be a folded-down backrest behind me as I'm sitting in the TC's position, folded down to access the grenade or flare racks (Can't recall which). It's not big, but it's there.


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#9 Wiedzmin

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 1212 PM

But the commander's seat is really a disaster.  No seat, much more an oblique half small board without backrest. I found that remarkable.

 

 

btw Panther has similar commander seat


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#10 Stefan Kotsch

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 1303 PM

I searched my archive.  In a photo from a manual, I saw a removable little backrest.  It was pulled out and was stuck in the back of the turret.  There was none in the Panzer 68 I was sitting in, so, this backrest must have been hidden somewhere. I should have taken more photos.


Edited by Stefan Kotsch, 17 April 2020 - 1304 PM.

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#11 CaptLuke

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Posted 20 April 2020 - 1208 PM

In his video, Nick wondered about the suspension on the Pz61/68 - I found some material about it in both Ogorkiewicz's Tank Technology and a series of old International Defense Review articles by Shreier called "The Modern Battle Tank"
 
Ogorkiewicz lists both total suspension travel (compression to the bump stop and rebound) for a number of modern tanks and the more important number of compression travel to the bump stop.
  • For total travel, the Pz61/68 is only OK; better than the Horstman on the Centurion/Chieftain, about the same as the AMX-30, slightly inferior the M60A1, and substantially less than the Leopard 1.
     
  • The characteristics of the bellvue washer suspension are somewhat different than torsion bars; measuring only on the travel that is compression to the bump stop, the Pz61/68 looks much better: it's advantage over Horstman is greater, it's slightly superior to the AMX-30 and M60A1, and much closer, but still inferior to the Leopard 1.
Shreier liked the disc compression suspension but talks about it's mixed bag of characteristics, since the suspension response is different than torsion bars, he calls it "heavily damped" in comparison.  Thus Shreier says:
  • The Pz61/68 will have very good performance on undulating terrain and will have less "jump" when firing the main gun, but . . .
  • The Pz61/68 will be noticeably inferior when moving over small obstacles, where the tank will be sluggish compared to torsion bar tanks
  • In general, the Pz61/68 suspension is stiffer against small shocks but softer against large shocks
Finally, Shreier thought the suspension system had great promise, but bad timing.
  • The great promise was from developed versions that combined disc springs and coil springs to get rid of the small obstacle problems noted above (these were test run on a Marder with good results) while keeping all the advantages of simple construction, simple installation, and no bars running underneath the tank.
     
  • The bad timing was that the development took place right when hydropneumatic suspension was coming into vogue, with a variety of possible benefits that disc springs were never going to match.  Shreier doesn't say it specifically, but the implication seems to be that the "conservative" approach was to stick with torsion bars and the "new-fangled" approach was to use hydropneumatic, so there was no constituency for developing the Pz61/68 approach.
I am neither a tank suspension expert nor do I play one on TV; I just know what I read in these articles but I thought it might be some interesting material to add to the Pz61/68 discussion.

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