Panzer 58

1. Would you like to see one of the Panzer 58’s in-game?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

2. If yes which variant or variants would you like?
  • All
  • Panzer 58 90mm
  • Panzer 58 20 Pounder
  • Panzer 58 105mm
  • I voted no to the first question

0 voters

Panzer 58:

Brief Summary:

The mysterious Swiss Panzer 58 has been surrounded in misconceptions and misinformation from wargaming for a long time. The first domestically produced medium tank of Switzerland has an interesting history in the creation of the eventual 12 tanks that make up the Panzer 58 going from a 90mm concept with a pike nose to the famous 20 pounder prototype still on display and lastly the batch of 10 105mm Panzer 58’s.

History:

The Aftermath of the Second World War left Switzerland in a predicament although neutral it’s government knew it only took one spark from the west or east and a new war would erupt it also knew that the foreign powers would try to get it to align to their side in the upcoming cold war. By the time of the 1950’s the Swiss government was in need of new tanks to replace it’s aging Panzer 39’s and also bolster it’s G13 tank force with a newer medium tank after seeing the Soviets introduce the IS-3’s in Berlin 1945. Since at the start of the 1950’s no medium tank to the requirements the Swiss government needed it sort to develop it’s own in the meantime. The idea was for a medium tank with good mobility, armour a good armament which proved to be a challenge to design from a nation that had previously only bought from the export market and only dabbled into minor tank destroyer designs of the Nahkampfkanone I and II. Initial designs for the project referred to as the 30ton Panzer or the KW 1950 which had a 600 horsepower engine a maximum width of 3 meters to navigate through the terrain of Switzerland and a maximum armour protection of 65mm thick in the front which was at a 65° angle designed in the similar pike fashion of the IS-3 meaning it was roughly as well protected as the IS-2 but not as well protected as contemporary medium tanks such as the American M48 Patton and the Soviet T-54 however for it’s weight it was adequately protected for it’s purpose. This design also sported the option of four different main armaments with two being the 90mm L/62 and the other the 90mm L/70 and the latter being the 105mm L/53 and 105mm L/60 and armed with a secondary 7.5mm machinegun. The sides of this design where only 20-40mm thick and the hemispherical turret would of been 65mm thick frontally and 45mm thick on the sides, the proposal design also showed the gun to have a -10 degree angle of depression however this design didn’t come to be.


KW 1950 (“30ton Panzer”)

Although the Swiss were not satisfied with the 1950 variant they quickly went back to the drawing board and came up with the KW 1952 which was produced and armed with the 90mm L/60 rifled gun and a secondary armament of a 7.5mm machinegun, the tank featured torsion suspension and had 4 crew. The tank lost it’s pike nose design in favour of a sloped 60mm frontal plate, the sides were increased to a maximum of 45mm of armour and the rear was 35mm thick, the turret was increased to 70mm of frontal protection whilst the sides were 45mm thick and the rear 35mm thick. The engine remained the German Maybach 600hp Diesel engine and the transmission also derived from the Tiger tanks. The weight of the tank remained roughly 30-33 tons giving the power to weight ratio of between 20-18.18hp/ton and the maximum speed of the tank was 45km/h. One prototype of the tank was built including a mock tank alongside however the Swiss were not satisfied and ordered the increase in armament and weight of the vehicle. This and all the later prototypes and tanks for the Panzer 58 project were built by Eidgenossische Konstruktionswerkstatte.

KW-30-2-1.jpg.ac61039df4ac95ed30fe33e0fa45cc9b
KW-30-1.jpg.d4d65bbf12b081c8badc91554353c186 The KW 1952

Later on in the decade the next prototype the KW 1957 (also known as the first Panzer 58 prototype) was produced armed with a model 48 90mm and a secondary armament of a 20mm Oerlikon autocannon. The tank was rounded to the style of the M48 Patton and had side skirts. this prototype didn’t last long as it was evaluated alongside the M48 Patton in 1957. The second prototype Panzer 58 which still exists today was armed with a 20 pounder as the Swiss had been ordering and using Centurions since 1955 and tested their own prototype with the gun due to having spare parts whilst the side skirts were removed.


1826304121_KW90572.jpg.809bec465146e72ad3e059234e2bfe1e First Panzer 58 Prototype KW 1957
rl6xZmg.jpg.44fce2d3db4af35806dc9c323b88e44f
2nd Panzer 58 prototype

After these the Swiss had finally produced a batch of 10 Panzer 58’s between 1957-1958 all armed with the 105mm L7 whilst the 20mm remained however was removed later. the Panzer 58’s were powered by a Mercedes Benz 600hp engine and a battle weight of 35 tons, the tanks kept a crew of 4 and were much better equipped to deal with any tank of the time. The Panzer 58 is sometimes wrongly said to be influenced by the Indian Panzer, the Panzer 58’s development however despite looking similar and being developed around the same time period the Swiss designers had taken ideas from other tanks of the time period such as the IS-3 in their first concept to the Patton shaped hull on the Panzer 58’s. The later Panzer 58’s saw limited service in the army as all 10 of them would be converted into the Panzer 61 and eventually would loose their 20mm autocannons.

1193676979_Panzer58.jpg.b31c294a59a5b725013aafd7f70a36b1
Panzer 58 105m in service

Specifications:

Dimensions (L-W-H): 9.45x3.04x2.65m (31’ x 9’11’’ x 8’8’’ ft)

Total Weight: 35 tons

Crew: 4 (Driver, Loader, Gunner, Commander/Radio Operator)

Propulsion: 8 cylinder V90° MTU Mercedes Benz 837, 600hp engine

Power to Weight Ratio: 17.14hp/ton

Suspension: Torsion Bar Suspension

Top Speed: 50km/h (31 mph)

Main Armament: 1st prototype: 90mm “Kanone 1948”
2nd prototype: 84mm QF 20 Pounder (Panzerkanone 1958)
Tanks 3-12: 105mm Royal Ordinance L7 (44 Rounds) (105 Panzerkanone)

Secondary Armament: 6x 80mm smoke grenades (2 rounds per tube)
1x coaxial 20mm Oerlikon 240 rounds
1x roof mounted 7.5mm MG 29 3400 rounds

Night Vision: N/A

Armour: 70-138mm front hull
120-193mm turret front
30-40mm sides/rear hull
65-40mm sides/rear turret

Production: 12 vehicles (2 prototypes + 10 production batch)

Sources:
Panzer 58 and Its Development - Tank Encyclopedia
Panzer 58 - Wikipedia
Panzer 58 (Pz 58)
The development of the KW 30 and the Panzer 58 – Status Report
Swiss Tanks – Part 1 | For the Record

6 Likes

The production version of the Panzer 58 was equipped with the 8,4cm Pak 55. And the photo called ‘Panzer 58 105m in service’ is actually a Panzer 61. Details are unknown as the hull number is obscured, but it is presumed to be an early production version of the Panzer 61 or the Panzer 58 upgraded to the Panzer 61.

1 Like

This isn’t actually the second one.

If the KW 30/57 I is the first (images below), then the KW 30/57 II is the second.

KW 30/57 I:

  • 90mm Kanone 1948
    asphEUA

KW 30/57 II:

Panzer 58 prototype (prototype 3):

Sometime during the early production of the first actual Panzer 58s, some still mounted the 90mm, and were later rearmed to the 20 pounder:

i’m unsure as to whether what @T50B_BlackEagles said is correct, that the Panzer 58 (as designated the Pz 58) never had the L7 105mm. I assume the confusion stems from the fact the early Panzer 61s were little more than the Panzer 58s upgunned, and so confusion started over whether they were still Panzer 58s? I don’t actually know though, I just know I haven’t seen any images of the supposed up-gunned Panzer 58s.

The user CaID had a bunch of really well researched posts on Swiss tanks on the old forum but he says the Panzer 58 did have the 105mm (from 1961). But then this Swiss page says all 10 production tanks had the 20 pounder…

Someone needs to contact a Swiss museum or something lol

(but otherwise +1)

2 Likes

+1 to all for an independent Swiss tree!

3 Likes

Wow, the coaxial 20mm looks interesting, definitely useful if you whiff a shot. If it plays similar to the AMX-30 then sign me up!

Actually, sign me up either way, it’s a cool tank(s) no matter what.

2 Likes

If it’s confirmable in entirety that there were fully functional prototypes and/or saw active service I don’t see why not.

Military magazines at the time say it was equipped with Flab Kan, I think they probably refer to the 20mm Flab Kan 54.

image
Here is the M+0871 prototype with a fume extractor-equipped main gun. As far as I know, the 90mm gun and 20pdr mounted on the Panzer 58 do not have fume extractor. Does anyone have any information about this?

You’re right, this’ll be an L7 105mm

1 Like

Perhaps the 105mm was mounted on a prototype of the Panzer 58 as an experiment before being upgraded to the Panzer 61?

I think that’s entirely likely, especially as all 10 production Panzer 58s got upgraded to Panzer 61 standard at some point. But also considering the first Panzer 61s really only just had a new engine and new turret traverse mechanism, they’re really identical from the front, and it makes them very hard to distinguish in photos. But until we see photos of the initial production Panzer 58s with the 105mm, I think they just had the 20 pounder. [what’s even more annoying is that looking up Panzer 58 only returns results from WoT]

Although, I think the canvas over the gun mantlet seems to be Panzer 61-specific (or maybe just L7 specific?). That seems to be an okay way to identify them?

What’s strange is that your photo is the M+0871, which is the KW 30/57 II. Which implies it was either upgraded to the Panzer 58 standard, and then to the Panzer 61, or maybe it just served as a testbed for the Panzer 61 upgrade? (which is what you said lol, just realised)

1 Like

Totally in favor, in fact it would be interesting if the Panzer 61 and Panzer 68 were also added to the German tech tree.

Switzerland should be released as its own TT

4 Likes

The only relation is that they both speak German (although Switzerland has 3 languages, and its ‘German’ is very different to standard German). That’s not a good argument. Switzerland should be its own tree, possibly with Austria, or if it absolutely has to be a sub-tree, with France.

2 Likes

If putting it into Germany doesn’t hold, putting it into France holds even less…

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It could really be added to the country that had the most need in that range of Br… On the other hand, I am not sure that a Swiss tech tree could be made, even combining it with Austria, since it would be a copy paste of a very large amount of vehicles, and only the Panzer 58, 61 and 68 would be different, and in any case the Kurassier should be eliminated in Germany and France, and added to that tech tree.

That is a statement that radiates ignorance, as Switzerland would have arguably the most unique ground tree of any nation that isn’t yet largely represented in game.
Their aviation side wouldn’t be bad either…

Being informed on a nation’s capabilities before making such statements as saying it would be largely copy paste is ill advised, it spreads misinformation without even being aware of the fact.

4 Likes

Es sieht ziemlich interessant und verlockend aus.
FÜR, natürlich.

1 Like

Well, make me a list of Swiss vehicles to make a complete tech tree.

Hm, I find this quite irrelevant.

Do we have enough (unique) vehicles together to make a Finnish or Hungarian Sub-tree?

I think most tech trees bar the largest (US & RUS) feature more or less copy paste vehicles, the Swiss would not be too far off from that policy, especially with the Swiss conversions which sometimes differ quite significantly from the originals…