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How Were Panzers Fueled?

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  • Member since
    February, 2018
How Were Panzers Fueled?
Posted by milwaukeejohn on Sunday, June 03, 2018 5:39 AM

I am having a heck of a time finding good information, including photos, of how WWII panzers were fueled in the field, before a major offensive, in rear areas, etc. I assume that basic jerry cans were primarily used in the field, but what about in staging areas before an offensive? Did they use trucks or stationary oil tanks?

I’d appreciate any help that you all can give me.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, June 03, 2018 9:39 AM

milwaukeejohn

I am having a heck of a time finding good information, including photos, of how WWII panzers were fueled in the field, before a major offensive, in rear areas, etc. I assume that basic jerry cans were primarily used in the field, but what about in staging areas before an offensive? Did they use trucks or stationary oil tanks?

I’d appreciate any help that you all can give me.

 

Metric equivalent of a 55 gallon drum and jerry cans.

https://www.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=TAMS2126&P=FR&gclid=CjwKCAjwo87YBRBgEiwAI1LkqS9DbvtbOGs4AYespFIFpX89LFp571iplLyZLHWTAAUODT0uCz4XyRoCX7MQAvD_BwE

  • Member since
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Posted by Ixion on Sunday, June 03, 2018 11:46 AM

Google; refueling panzers will bring up several images.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, June 03, 2018 2:26 PM

Hello!

The metric equivalent is a 200 Liter (Drum is Fass in German). To refuel is "betanken" in German. Try lookin' for that, maybe you'll find something interesting.

Here's one that I've found right on:

http://histomil.com/viewtopic.php?t=9019

I thas, among others, this:

and this:

Hope it helps, have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 2:53 PM

Pawel

 


That's a fascinating photo.  Those appear to be purpose-built cars (with double-axle bogies, too)  Yet, the delivery hose appears to be a gravity siphon terminating in a 50mm hose with no valves or nozzles or anything of the sort.

Note that the top hatches are all open, too, and that all the cars have a dip tube running up out of the top and coming down to . . . something, a hose, per the closest one.

Talk about Rauchen verbotten.  Hey, Hans, einen Trichter für diese Kanister bringen.

The more one see, the less one knows . . . o_O

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Saturday, June 09, 2018 4:22 PM

    Hadn't gave much thought to this part of the logistics of war, MAYBE Trumpeter or Dragon will pop a liquid vessel rail car. Sure would make a cool dio.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, June 09, 2018 6:34 PM

CapnMac82
That's a fascinating photo. Those appear to be purpose-built cars (with double-axle bogies, too) Yet, the delivery hose appears to be a gravity siphon terminating in a 50mm hose with no valves or nozzles or anything of the sort. Note that the top hatches are all open, too, and that all the cars have a dip tube running up out of the top and coming down to . . . something, a hose, per the closest one. Talk about Rauchen verbotten. Hey, Hans, einen Trichter für diese Kanister bringen. The more one see, the less one knows . . . o_O

Hello Capn!

Did you wonder how, after putting one end of the hose in the tank, did they start the flow of gas? I mean other than sucking hard on the other end of the hose? Oh yeah, that's being done more often than one would think, a testament of non-toxicity of petroleum!

Have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:06 PM

Pawel
did they start the flow of gas?



If the dip tube goes to the bottom of the tank car, it's still above the delivery end of the hose.
So, the pipe is going to be a bit like a manometer.  Take the end of the hose up the ladder, pinch off the end, and bring it to the bottom.  Release the pinch, the siphon effect thus cxreated ought to flow the product out.

What's striking is, given a general German inclination to over-engineering everything, the lack of valves, nozzles, guagues and the like is pretty striking.

However, the number of 18-22 y/o in military service who have to be told not to swallow gasoline while siphoning it having a long and oft-repeated history.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:25 PM

It is just like doing an irrigation siphon tube:  cap the end of the hose with your palm, and someone on top of the car pumps the hose a few times up and down and you got flow.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 4:32 PM

Hello Capn!

CapnMac82
What's striking is, given a general German inclination to over-engineering everything, the lack of valves, nozzles, guagues and the like is pretty striking.

I've been working with Germans for like 15 years now, and I have to tell you that the tendency you're talking about mostly comes to the forefront when a given set of Germans has too much times and/or money on their hands. In a pinch they go for much simpler solutions. One cannot rule out the possibility that those tanker cars are captured war prizes.

It's worth noting, though, that the German POWs were famous for their excellent ability to improvise. I've heard (in Germany) that the guards were instructed not to let the prisoners put their hands on anything, even a spoon could be put to a use that was undesirable by the guards.

My theory, of course, is that it's the closeness of Poland and the presence of Polish genes in the population allows them to do that!

Thanks for reading and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, June 16, 2018 8:01 PM

LoL!
Pawel, it was probably inapt of me to apply a nationality, and not specify in an engineering history sense of such meaning.

After all, even now in the 21st century we have to remind the NCOs to teach the new recruits to not drink the gasoline if siphoning by mouth Smile

I mean really.  It was only today that I noticed that those are not German, but American jerry cans

I freely admit I had not considered captured/appropriated rail stock.  The "standard" 1435mm rail gauge was anything but standard in the 40s; 1500, 1400, 1450 gauges were also in use (mostly to limit invading armies from using rail).

The mystery remains unresolved.

Hmm, so, was there a dedicated Opel, or the like, tanker truck?

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, June 16, 2018 8:47 PM

Now that would be an interesting thing to stumble upon in your treetop skimming Tyhoon.,.

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:44 PM

Was there a possibility that they may have already just driven some tanks up to the train and fueled them directly?  These might be eserve cans that would be loaded on trucks to follow the tanks at a distance.

Over at Korat there was a convoy of local tanks, trucks and jeeps that would hit the P.O.L. area every day, each one towing a buffalo trailer.  The vehicles would fill up on theri respective fuel and then fill their trailers with gas.  This went on for a long time until someone finally asked why the tanks are hauling gas and for that matter everyone was doing it.  The jeeps were supposed t act as security for the convoy but they just stayed in the column when they left.  A couple days later the Security Police jee[ that worked town patrol followed them at a distance and discovered that they were selling the extra fuel downtown to the local gas stations.   As far as siphoning goes for a time we had to siphon fuel from other A.F. vehicles to fuel our jeep.  Normally we would just approach a group of trucks or buses with our lights out, slip between them grab some gas and disappear into the night  We had to so this unti the Army found out that we had one of their jeeps they left unattended downtown.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, June 17, 2018 10:10 PM

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Monday, June 18, 2018 2:11 AM

CapnMac82

LoL!
Pawel, it was probably inapt of me to apply a nationality, and not specify in an engineering history sense of such meaning.

After all, even now in the 21st century we have to remind the NCOs to teach the new recruits to not drink the gasoline if siphoning by mouth Smile

I mean really.  It was only today that I noticed that those are not German, but American jerry cans

I freely admit I had not considered captured/appropriated rail stock.  The "standard" 1435mm rail gauge was anything but standard in the 40s; 1500, 1400, 1450 gauges were also in use (mostly to limit invading armies from using rail).

The mystery remains unresolved.

Hmm, so, was there a dedicated Opel, or the like, tanker truck?

 

Those are early USA cans from 1941/42 which had cam lock lids, but the Army engineers redesigned them for a round threaded lid.  They are probably Russian Lend Lease cans.  The British copied the German cans.  The USMC kept the cam locks with the "Conco" cans made 1941-1944 and the US Metal Company cans marked USMC.

https://olive-drab.com/od_mvg_jerry_can_metal_gas.php

https://olive-drab.com/od_mvg_jerry_can_markings.php

Edit:  I noticed the date of the photo, June, July 1941 so those are obviously a variety of German can not normally seen for use by the Germans.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 18, 2018 2:33 AM

The original German 20l can design had an “x” stamping like the later US design. But it had the same base and spout as the later design as with the later design with the different stamping.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, June 18, 2018 3:09 AM

CapnMac82

LoL!
Pawel, it was probably inapt of me to apply a nationality, and not specify in an engineering history sense of such meaning.

After all, even now in the 21st century we have to remind the NCOs to teach the new recruits to not drink the gasoline if siphoning by mouth Smile

I mean really.  It was only today that I noticed that those are not German, but American jerry cans

I freely admit I had not considered captured/appropriated rail stock.  The "standard" 1435mm rail gauge was anything but standard in the 40s; 1500, 1400, 1450 gauges were also in use (mostly to limit invading armies from using rail).

The mystery remains unresolved.

Hmm, so, was there a dedicated Opel, or the like, tanker truck?

 

The Germans did have dedicated tanker trucks used by the Airforce, but i have never seen images of them being used by the army. It does seem strange to me that the Germans would not have used dedicated fuel trucks for the Panzers seeing how they are used today. Trucks like the Kfz 385 were based on chassis that were used by the army for other purposes. Maybe it was felt that production of tankers should be kept for the airforce as the tanks could simply be re-fueled from drums. Or maybe there is just no photographic evidance of it.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Monday, June 18, 2018 12:59 PM

I have to admit that the first posts regarding armor refueling were interesting, but the info on jerry cans I find fascinating. I knew I'd seen different styles, but didn't know the background on their development. I have an old water can that's marked under the handles with the mfr.: Samco and then U.S, W and 42 marked vertically next to the mfr name.

Keep coming with the info guys! It's all very interesting whether it applies to my projects or not. Love this stuff.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, June 18, 2018 2:14 PM

My guess- aircraft operate from airfields, which can have fuel storage tanks, service roads and access to railroads.

Armor might operate from a fixed base, but in a war, by its nature, it will be moving through difficult terrain. A fuel truck could potentially reach armor that's deployed, but then they have to return somewhere to get more fuel.

How about a 251 based fueling vehicle?

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, June 18, 2018 2:44 PM

M1GarandFan

I have to admit that the first posts regarding armor refueling were interesting, but the info on jerry cans I find fascinating. I knew I'd seen different styles, but didn't know the background on their development. I have an old water can that's marked under the handles with the mfr.: Samco and then U.S, W and 42 marked vertically next to the mfr name.

Keep coming with the info guys! It's all very interesting whether it applies to my projects or not. Love this stuff.

 

Copying of the German cans by the US and UK is larley thanks to American engineer Paul Pleiss. He got his hands on 3 of the cans in 1939. In 1940 he was in the UK and gave one to the British who had already seen in Norway. The Russian later also copied them. It says somthing about the design that its still in use today 80 years after it was designed.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, June 18, 2018 2:46 PM

GMorrison

My guess- aircraft operate from airfields, which can have fuel storage tanks, service roads and access to railroads.

Armor might operate from a fixed base, but in a war, by its nature, it will be moving through difficult terrain. A fuel truck could potentially reach armor that's deployed, but then they have to return somewhere to get more fuel.

How about a 251 based fueling vehicle?

 

I am surprised they didn't turn a 251 into a fuel truck, its probably about the only role it didn't play.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Monday, June 18, 2018 4:42 PM

Yes, eighty years and still in use. No reason to reinvent the can when what you've got works so well.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 18, 2018 6:26 PM

Tactical doctrine is usually to establish a fueling point a short/safe distance to  the rear of lead elements. Then vehicles are rotated back to that point to refuel. Restocking with rations, water, ammo, may also happen in that same general area.

Other fueling procedures may include setting up a fueling point along a route and having convoys refuel there during their route march.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Monday, June 18, 2018 7:13 PM

Wonder if any of Guderian's writings touch on his concepts for trains?

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 18, 2018 9:50 PM

CapnMac82

Wonder if any of Guderian's writings touch on his concepts for trains?

 

I would imagine so. A mechanized army needs far more logistic support than a foot or horse army. The German staff studies were always thorough. They war gamed extensively in the 30’s, and the occupations of the Rhineland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia were in essence ever larger full scale non combat dress rehearsals.  The Germans developed a recovery program for disabled vehicles well before all other combatants in WWII.

The US Army devoted lots of study as to the optimum ”tooth to tail” ratio of combat troops to support troops.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 6:58 AM

CapnMac82

Wonder if any of Guderian's writings touch on his concepts for trains?

 

I don't recall it being mentioned in Achtung Panzer, though it has been a few years. But i am sure after the experiances that Stik mentions, it must have been considered. I don't reacll if it was the drive into Austria or Czechoslovakia, but the Germans had issues with tanbks, at the time the little Pz I's and II's breaking down on the long road march. It was from this experiance that they started moving vehicles over long distance by truck and train. I am sure the issues of fuel supply would have come up as well. These operations were a great way for the Germans to learn before putting them to the test for real.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Peter Smith on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:37 AM

The bogie design and basic construction on the tank wagons suggests to me not German.  They tended to have more substantial external frames on their bogies and more of a chassis on their tank wagons IIRC.  Possibly French.

Whoever's they are, they look like the type of wagon used for bulk haul of fuel from ports and refineries to tank farm distribution centres.  They probably have bulk unloading connections underneath, out of shot: far too large for filling cans.  So they're being used for a purpose for which they were not designed.  Hence the improvised unloading.

But with the long distances to the Ostfront (date suggests East), rail bulk transport would have made sense.

There is a film clip on The World At War of large numbers of jerricans being offloaded from a cargo ship by sling net and stacked by hand in the beds of several 3-axle 10-tonne trucks each pulling a drawbar trailer.  Probably somewhere in Germany as the trucks belonged to Deutche Reichsbahn, the railway company.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 12:31 AM

Here is the US Army doing the same thing as the Germans in 1941 at the 1941 Louisiana Maneuvers:

https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/these-1941-war-games-decided-how-the-army-fought-world-war-ii

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Peter Smith on Sunday, July 08, 2018 12:43 PM

Just annunced By Dnepro Models, an Sd.Kfz 384 6x4 tanker.  Although at their usual high price: expect £80 or more.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, July 08, 2018 2:44 PM

Well, well, isn't it a beauty? American influences in the design are readily visible!

Thanks for sharing and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

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