Gaso.Line Gas48605M German PzKpfw VIII E-100 Flakzwilling Anti-Aircraft Vehicle with Twin FlaK 43/ L71 Guns (1:50 Scale)
"We must do everything we can to promote anti-tank defense, and work just as hard to guarantee successful counter-attacks through the instrument of powerful tank forces of our own."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The Entwicklung (Standard) program, known as the E-Series, was conceived by Dipl Ing Heinrich Enrst Kneikamp, Chief Engineer of Waffenpruefamt 6 in May 1942. In April 1943, the Heereswaffenamt (Army Weapons Office) accepted his program and ordered many different manufacturers to start the planning and development of the Entwicklung (project/development) Einheitsfahrgestell general purpose chassis. It was designed to replace armored vehicles and tanks that were used by the German Army from 1945 onwards. All six basic designs of the E-Series would have standardized parts, making their production, maintenance and sevice easier as well as cheaper. In April 1944, Adolf Hitler cancelled any further development of the super heavy tanks and the unfinished E-100 was abandoned. The end of the war ended the development of the E-Series program, which was in various stages ranging from blueprints to prototypes.
In June 1943, the E-100 was ordered by the Waffenamt from Adlerwerke, as a parallel development of the Porsche 205 Maus. In 1944, Hitler put a stop to all development of super heavy tanks and the project went on to a very low priority, and only three Adler employees were available to assemble the protoype at a small Henschel facility near Paderborn. The chassis of the prototype was virtually complete when the war ended, with only the turret missing. For the initial test runs, a normal Tiger B engine HL230P30 had been fitted, with an Olvar transmission. The final version was to have had the HL234 motor and Mekydro transmission. A 15cm KwK44 gun was proposed as the final armament. Pictured here is a German E-100 Flakzwilling anti-aircraft vehicle, which mounts twin FlaK 43/ L71 guns on a standard E-100 chassis.
Historical Account: "The E Series" - The E-Series, or "Einheitsfahrgestell" Series, or General Purpose Chassis Series if you like English, began in April of 1943 with an order to various manufacturers to begin developing different weight classes of vehicles. The E-series was envisioned as a sort of fresh start for the panzer armies of Germany, an entire new wave of armored vehicles in all shapes and sizes. They ranged from the E-5 ultra-light tanks in the 5-10 ton range all the way up to the gargantuan E-100 series. The idea was a grander realization of what was attempted with the Koenigs Tiger and formative Panther II; a complete interchangeability of parts. Every piece of an ultra-light E-5 tank possible would be made to work in a super-heavy E-100 tank, greatly streamlining the efficiency of production, maintenance, and training. This was an impressive goal and one which has yet to be fully realized by any military to this day.
By the end of the war many vehicles in the E-Series had progressed well into the prototype phase, including a variety of light anti-tank guns. For the E-100, fate was less kind. Because of the terrible situation Germany found itself in by 1944, development of super heavy tanks was all but halted. A handful of engineers at the Henschel facility in Paderborn were allowed to continue assembling a prototype of the E-100 tank. They had nearly completed the chassis when the facility was overrun by the British and Americans in 1945. The chassis was carted off to England where it was eventually scrapped.
The legacy of the E-100 and the Krokodil are particularly sad considering that so much noise is made about the Maus when they were both clearly superior vehicles. Their greatly improved speed, even if a bit optimistic, places them leaps and bounds ahead of the Maus in terms of the usefulness they would have had on the battlefield.