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his may be by far one of the most effective ideas of how to deal with infantry without the use of any fire weapon. The Kugelpanzer, or (Rolling tank) came by after the First World War. German engineers were trying to figure out a solution to actually push through no man’s land or, better yet, clear a path for the infantry. The tank would act as a shield for infantry against machine guns, make a pathway, and destroy any obstacles ahead.

Such ideas actually came in large quantities after the First World War with concepts such as the Tumbleweed tank from the Americans in 1936 and even during the First World War with concepts such as the Treffas-Wagen in 1917 even if the First World War was meant to be the war to stop all wars, everyone knew that the 20th century will see at least another war.

The tank, or vehicle as you would like to call it, was manufactured by the famous Krupp company as a means of having one man scout the battlefield up ahead without endangering his life. The first prototype actually allowed an MG 42 or even 34 to be placed right under the visor whole. This would allow the driver to defend himself if necessary.

With a height of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) and a length of 1.7 meters (5.5 feet), it was just enough to fit an average-sized person as well as a small single-cylinder 2-stroke engine that would propel the tank at a top speed of 8km/h (4.9 mph) which for the size of the tank is quite slow indeed.

Side view of the Kugelpanzer at Kubinka museum

What you are looking at is the door or, better said, the hatch, which would allow the driver to enter and exit the tank. Sadly there are very few to almost no pictures from the Second World War or pre-war era depicting the Kugelpanzer. The one you can see above was stolen by the Russians in the Second World War and hidden in the Kubinka museum until 2017, when they decided to outcast the truth.

From records found by historians, there was only one tank produced, which is the exhibit that was captured by the Russians. The reason for not going through with production was that the German army realized that the Second World War would be much more focused on armored warfare. Therefore, the 5mm armor of the Kugelpanzer would prove ineffective as it could be taken down by even infantry 20mm guns or heavy 12.7mm machine guns.

What is even more interesting is that even to this day, the metal used to produce this tank is still unknown, and the Russians will not allow a metallurgical sample to be taken in order to analyze the metal. The reason why I have not mentioned the year of production is that there is no record of when it was produced.

Sadly there are a lot of gaps as there is not much information available about this very interesting tank as well as the design that it has brought to the game. I also believe that if this tank had arrived during the First World War, it would have had great potential to be efficient.

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