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Post Info TOPIC: Austro-Hungarian A7V "Vakond" tank - fake or not?


Private

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Austro-Hungarian A7V "Vakond" tank - fake or not?
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Hello everyone! A few months ago I read one book, or rather a booklet, called "A Magyar királyi honvéd Haditechnikai Intézettől a HM Technológiai Hivatalig" by Hajdú Ferenc and Sárhidai Gyula. One of the authors - an officer of the Hungarian army several years ago. Despite the availability of bibliography, a number of inaccuracies and suspicious things made me think about the incompetence of the author and the credibility of his text. But about this in another topic (which will be even more interesting).

This book is devoted to a brief history of the design of Hungarian military equipment, dating back to the times of Austria-Hungary during WWI. One of the things that confused me in his book was this image showing a tank.

JalWjLg.png

I tried to translate the accompanying text using an online dictionary. If I understood correctly, then Austria-Hungary allegedly planned to start producing it's own variant of A7V Sturmpanzer at the Ganz plant located Budapest, simultaneously with Germany. But the presented vehicle in image differs from the known form of the German tank:
1) Another form of the forehead.
2) Other layout of the hatch in the side of the hull.
3) A wire-cutting\destroying device is installed on the front. It seems that similar has already been proposed for the German A7V.

This is the only known to me mention of any serious project of the Austro-Hungarian heavy armored vehicles in WWI, especially having such a strange illustration, reminiscent of a modern photomontage. On the other hand, Austria-Hungary produced under the license the Holt tractors, which became the basis for every tank development during WWI. Therefore, I admit that such a project could well be true.

What do you think about it? Is this fake or is this story reliable?

UPD: Thanks to Axis History forum, I found that there was a austro-hungarian project of "vakond" (mole) vehicle, supposed to be trench digger. Perhaps this is somehow connected with this hypothetical tank.



-- Edited by Watchdream on Wednesday 6th of December 2017 11:28:47 AM

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Legend

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Well, that was a bit startling at first, but I think I've got an explanation.

Before we start, we have to address Watchdream's statement that Austria-Hungary produced Holt tractors under licence in Budapest. It didn't. That's a claim that crops up from time to time. I've even seen one statement that Holts were built in Bucharest. But there was no manufacturing plant in A-H. Leo Steiner tried to set one up, but Holt pulled out at the start of the War. The USA even impounded a Holt that had been bought to work on the Emperor's estates.

Yet the drawing shows a Holt suspension with something very like an A7V hull superimposed. I don't't know any Hungarian, and all internet translations I've tried have been clumsy and unclear. However, this is what I suspect has happened here:

The Holts used by the Germans were privately owned vehicles commandeered by the A-H army. After inspecting them, Vollmer copied them, with the participation of several firms. Hundleby & Strasheim (1990} give a list of the firms involved; they are German, with one exception. "Vollmer could not successfully imitate the track. Therefore it was necessaryto involve the firm of Caterpillar-Holt [in Budapest]." But there was no such thing. C-H didn't open a plant outside the USA until 1952, and that was in Leicester, UK.

What I think happened (and what H & S must have misunderstood) is that the firm that developed the tracks was the engineering company Ganz of Budapest. I think that's what the illustration is saying. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganz_Works They were tram manufacturers and must have been called in for their expertise.

One translation of the caption is "It's called Blind tank plan, which the Ganz factory in 1917 should have been built by the German A7V." Not very clear, but I think the gist of it is that "Ganz designed this, which went on to be incorporated by the Germans in the A7V."

Vakond translates as "blind" or "mole". I'm not sure of the significance of that. Is it a link to some other A-H AFV of the same period? Does it lead us anywhere else?

Of course, in the USA, several artists drew illustrations of Holt tractors with armoured superstructures and declared them to be the tanks being used on the Western Front, accidentally or deliberately misleading the punters so that America or Holt could take the credit. Maybe that's what the creator of this illustration was doing for Ganz.

Feel free to discuss.



-- Edited by James H on Thursday 7th of December 2017 11:09:24 AM

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Legend

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I have a feeling we must have discussed this at some point. I think our artist above has combined several scattered bits of information.

Vakond.jpg



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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.



Private

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Many thanks for the answer, you confirmed my doubts. I believe that the details of such Austro-Hungarian projects can be found in the articles, which were published in the hungarian Haditechnika magazine by authors of my source. I can buy those only next year. Until that time, we can only speculate and think.
However, from the same source there is an even more mysterious thing - Liptak tank.

vs61aY0.png469x8Ie.png

If I correctly understood the text, it was the initiative project of Dr. Liptack, who was an important and wealthy specialist in Austria-Hungary of those years. As stated in the source, it was a banal attempt to install armor and armed turret in Holt tractor chassis. The story of Burstyn Motorgeschuetz was repeated, this project is also not interested in the army before the war. However, already during the war, Liptak proposed a second variant of own tank design and, apparently with his own money, created a model. But the project again did not interest the military. Photos of this model have been preserved.

U7ZPyny.pngD3iNcP9.pnggO4CiSe.pngy1UknAc.png

By the way, the moment that made me think about the competence of the authors is that as an illustration in the sorce - a murky photo of Holt G9. Could this be a mistake? Maybe the other tractor was actually used, not Holt? For example Clayton & Shuttleworth tractor, he is quite similar.

There are more interesting things from the same source - a "Hora Holt tractor" and a half-track armored car on its base.

DoggSQy.pngFxhjp2y.png

Any ideas, info? Maybe Austro-Hungarians were trying to copy Holt's tractor or convert captured vehicles?



-- Edited by Watchdream on Thursday 7th of December 2017 12:16:19 AM

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Sergeant

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Hello everyone!

It is not true that no caterpillar vehicles appeared in the Monarchy. Through the representation of the American company Holt in Budapest, in 1914, twelve tracked agricultural tractors of the American company Holt (model Holt-Caterpillar 1910 M.) were purchased. After the outbreak of the Great War, one copy of this tractor was handed over to the Germans.



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Sergeant

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Sorry, photo.1917  Holt.jpg



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Legend

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Krzysztof - I am not saying that there were no Holts in the Monarchy. But the few that there were were purchased and imported, not manufactured under licence in Budapest. I have long believed that Germany acquired two Holts from A-H.

 

 



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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.



Sergeant

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Yes, as I wrote earlier, only twelve tractors were purchased.
It is possible that it was planned at the Ganz plant in Budapest, to produce a Holt tractor without an American license (because the Great War lasted). There is no confirmation in archival documents.
Attached is a photo of a half-truck from "Raba" company (Hora-Holt).

Yours sincelery Chris.April 1916.jpg



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