Nazi Super Tank - P-1000 Ratte - [ Largest Tank EVER ]
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In 1941, the German war effort was looking for a new type of tank to combat the rise of soviet armor. A tank that would be able to not only take out the best of the USSR but also take hits without flinching. The study would eventually lead to the development of the 200-ton tank - Panzer VIII Maus.
And like all insane ideas during the Nazi reign - when it reached hiters desk, it was instantly approved. On 23rd of June, 1942, the director of Krupp, Edward Grotte, suggested that they could build a 1000-ton tank. It would dubbed a new category of tank, called a land crusier or Landkreuzer , that would weld surplus battleship guns, have 25 cm thick armor and be its own anti-aircraft gun platform.
The P-1000 would have been huge. With a weight of 1000 tons, it was five times bigger than the heaviest NAZI tank of the war, the Panzer 8.
Its weight would have been roughly divided up into 300 tonnes of cannons, with the main gun weighing a casual 100 tons, 200 tonnes of armor, 100 tons of steel track, and the rest held over for engine, crew and cargo. The tank would have been able to hold several motorcycles for scout missions, a infermany, and had its own internal toilet system.
To carry the weight over the ground, and not just sink into a crater, the mass would be spread over six 1.2 meter treads - although even with all this effort the weight of the tank would have obliterated any sort of ground from roads to farms to buildings.
Its actual size was staggering as well, at 39 meters long gun to tail, 14 meters wide and 11 meters high - as big as a four story building. This hight and 2 meter ground clearance would mean it would be able to cross most rivers without any issues .
To power the tank, it would have two desiel engines used in U-boats, with 8400 horse power, with 16 thousand horsepower requires to move the gigantic steel monster. Snorkles located across the frame would supply the engines with oxygen in the case of a river crossing.
The primary weapon of this super tank would have been two 280mm naval guns, the ones left after the planned refitting of the Scharnhorst class battleships. They didn’t want to use 3 gun turret because with the middle gun removed there would be more room for ammunition, sighting and reducing the weight of the tank by 50 tonnes. The cannons would have fired the same shells used by battleships or would have had special armor piercing rounds and high explosive rounds - for dissolving enemy amour or plowing up ground fortifications respectively.
The tank had several other cannons on board, such as a single 128 mm anti-tank cannon, most likely the Pak 44, or rather it’s subvariant KwK 44 used later on the Yagdtiger and Maus, and planned for the E-100 tank. Apart from that there were two turrets in the back equipped with the same gun, and 4 turrets with either double 20 or 37mm anti-air autocannons or quad 20mm guns along with the several machine guns. Its not clear how many crew this tank would have required, but juding by the smaller 200 ton Panzer VIII Maus requiring 6, we can imagine this larger brother would be 20 to up to 41 men, with a commander, multiple gunners and loaders, drivers, radio operators, engineers and scouts, as well as a doctor for the infirmary.
With all these guns, armour and internal toilets, the tank itselve would have only been able to move at a top speed of 40 km/h and have a range with its fuel tanks of 190 km. Even this however, was highly unlikely and doubted from the start Likely it would have required a support convoy, escorts and supply lines much like we see today in a carrier group.
The answer to the question where it would be deployed is quite obvious - Eastern front or Belgium, Netherlands and northern France because of the simple fact that it could traverse mostly, if not strictly, across flat terrain due to it’s weight and dimensions.
The other important question is how it would be deployed, and we can only speculate, but most likely Germans would use it as a mobile heavy artillery platform, using it to destroy enemy bunkers, fortresses, and heavily defended positions. The use against enemy armor is highly unlikely because of the very slow speed and agility, but it could be used as a medium to long range support for the armored units on the battlefield, with extremly accurate fire that could be coordinated during the assault.
But the main question is... would this incredible tank actually work?
All Comments (21)
I really wish the Germans were actually able to fully build this monster tank. Just one. Never used in combat but fully finished and operational. And then captured intact by the Allies. And then preserved and put on display in a museum for all of us to see and enjoy today in real life. In fact the tank itself IS the museum.
You can really see Hitler was a ww1 vet in his approval of this design.
The problems with this tank are related to mobility and airpower. Neither of which would apply to trench warfare.
The 1000-ton weight was very optimistic. The turret mechanism was 600 tons all by itself. Also, entire turret mechanism was too tall to fit inside the tank’s hull.
This thing looked so fantastic. I wish they produced just 1 piece of this machinery so that we could see it in a museum somewhere. It would've been so awesome despite being useless :D
Impractical, but those shells would have certainly instilled fear on the enemy
I like how the name "Ratte" really fits this beast. Ratte means rat in german, with rats usually being larger than mice, so the "Ratte" was the bigger version of the already enormous "Maus"
Wow he mentioned this. That´s what I get from not watching the video fully before commenting :I Eh, point still stands
Hitler: You see that battleship?
Hitler: I want it on the land
Great concept on paper, "indestructible tank carrying a battleship gun", but on reality , it just a sitting ducks for an enemy bombers.
The funny thing is if the Nazi's actually made this tank they would've never been able to move the thing. It's weight was only the minor issue. Finding the Fuel would've been the problem
The Ratte always struck me as something the Galactic Empire from Star Wars would have created.
We never knew it ever Existed The Land Cruiser .
The Story is represented beautifully.
Love that you are doing Tanks also.
I have watched so many videos about this tank design over the years and you have taught me things about this tank that I did not know. I absolutely love your animations and everything about your channel. Please continue to do excellent work, and I will happily be watching. You also taught me new things about this tank that I had no idea about. And I have dedicated a very good deal of my time to knowing about this tank masterful work keep it up.
Kind of amazing they just kept going for bigger and bigger. I thought the Bismark and Tirpitz was just thier big battleships till I found out they had plans for progressively bigger and bigger ones
WWII signaled the death of huge war machines. The only survivor was the aircraft carrier, and that was only because it could surround itself with fighters to defend the ship from air attack. This thing would have been taken out by dive bombers during its first deployment. Additionally, battleships regularly suffered damage when firing their main guns too often. I doubt the structure of this monster could withstand repeated firing without coming apart at the seams. Would have been amazing to see, though.
I have always imagined the Ratte as some form of mobile coastal artillery that is scattered throughout the Atlantic wall
I have a feeling, that if the P.1000 "Ratte" ACTUALLY GOT PRODUCED, it would be a EXTREMELY RARE SIGHT. It probably would be used only for observation posts, and defensive positions, and only would have been seen around late in the war, such as The Defense Of Berlin. Maybe it would have been seen at Stalingrad or somewhere in France or possibly at the Siegfried Line.
I'm happy to see you included the SuperTrain from a couple months ago in this video 😁
I would say that if you were going to use something like that as artillery to support your Frontline operations far away from the action, then that's perhaps not a bad idea. A large piece of powerful, mobile artillery that is accurate, Powerful and hard to kill from the back lines would be a nice weapon to have, especially against advancing Ruskies.
Back in 1931, Edward Grotte proposed to the Soviet Union a project for a TG-5 tank weighing more than 1000 tons.
going from what is shown in the video, the gunnery crew alone would surpass the 20 crew.
12 crew for the secondary battery, 12 crew for the anti-aircraft cannons, at least 3 crew for the hull cannon
and probably somewhere between 20 and 35 crew for the main turret...
And that is not taking into account drivers, commanders, medics, engineers and possibly mounted infantry.