The Entwicklung series, more commonly known as the E-series, was
a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardised
series of tank designs. There were to be standard designs in six
different weight classes, from which several specialised variants
were to be developed. This was necessitated by the extremely
complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and
The E-series designs were simpler, cheaper to produce and more efficient than their predecessors, however their design involved only modest improvements in armour and firepower over the designs they were intended to replace, such as the Hetzer, Panther G or Tiger II, and would represent the final standardisation of German armoured vehicle design where the American M26 Pershing, the British Centurion Mk 3 and Soviet T-44 tanks, which would have been the Entwicklung series’ contemporaries and likely opponents.
The E-5 was supposed to be 5-10 tonnes in weight and form the
basis of a family of light tanks, reconnaissance vehicles, tank
destroyers and armored personnel carriers.
The E-10 design was developed as a replacement of the Panzer
38(t) and the designs based on it. The 38(t) chassis was enlarged
and redesigned. This new design was to be called PzKpfw 38 (d), d
standing for deutsch (“German”) as opposed to (t) for tschechisch
(“Czech”). The designs based on this new chassis would all be in
the 10 to 25 tonnes weight class.
The intention was to create several new light tank destroyers as
a replacement for the Jagdpanzer 38(t), as well as a new family of
Waffenträger armed with heavy anti-tank guns.
The E-25 designs, in the 25-50 tonnes weight class, were to be
the replacements of all Panzer III and Panzer IV based designs.
This family would include medium reconnaissance vehicles, medium
Jagdpanzer and heavy Waffenträger.
The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a standard medium tank,
replacing the Panther and Tiger I and the conversions based on
these tanks. The E-50 hull was to be longer than the Panther, in
fact it was practically identical to the King Tiger in overall
dimensions except for the glacis plate layout. Compared to these
earlier designs however, the amount of drilling and machining
involved in producing these standardpanzers was reduced
drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper
to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing
their predecessors’ complex and costly dual torsion bar system. As
indicated by its name, the weight of the E-50 would fall between 50
and 75 tonnes. Its maximum speed was planned as 60 km/h.
Other sources shows that the E-50 Standardpanze Schmalturm would
have been used, with a variant of the 88 mm L/71 gun. Either a
higher velocity round or a higher caliber cannon. The turret would
be a variant of the early panther Turrets. The Engine was an
improved Maybach HL234 which had 900 hp to 1200 hp with
supercharging. Maximum speed was supposed to be 40 km/h. In many
respects it was almost identical to the Panther II besides with the
conical spring system.
The E-75 Standardpanzer was intended to be the standard heavy
tank to be used as a replacement of the Tiger II and Jagdtiger. The
E-75 would have been built on the same production lines as the E-50
for ease of manufacture, and the two vehicles were to share many
components, including the same Maybach HL 234 engine. The E-75
would have had much thicker armour however, and in fact compared to
the Tiger II the E-75 had improved hull armour all round. As its
name indicates, the resulting vehicle would have weighed in at over
75 tonnes, reducing its speed to around 40 km/h. To offset the
increased weight, the bogies were spaced differently than on the
E-50, with an extra pair added on each side, giving the E-75 a
slightly improved track to ground contact length.
According to some sources, the similarities between the E-50 and
the E-75 went further; they were to be equipped with the same
turret and 88mm L/71 or L/100 gun, along with an optical
rangefinder for increased long range accuracy (German scientists
and engineers had successfully designed a ‘schmal’ or narrow turret
and infra-red lighting and sights for use on the prototypes of the
Panther F as the war drew to a close). Other sources however,
indicate that the E-75 was to be fitted with the much larger Tiger
II turret, which could be adapted to accommodate an even more
powerful high velocity 10.5 cm gun.
Many sources indicate that the E-75 had 185mm – 80mm of armor.
The original complex suspension by torsion bars was simplified with
bogies. The standard Tiger II turret was equipped with 12.8cm KwK
44 L55 gun. The Engine was an improved Maybach HL234 which had 900
hp to 1200 hp with supercharging. Maximum speed was supposed to be
40 km/h. with these impressive facts, no allied tank or anti-tank
gun could defeat this tank unless if shot several times at the 80mm
are.(like the Vk.1602 leopard or the Sd.Kfz. 121 Pz. Kpfw II Ausf
L. “Luchs(Vk.1301)light tanks).
The E-100 was to be a superheavy combat tank like the Maus,
developed from an enlarged Tiger II chassis. It was to be fitted
with the same turret as the Maus, although plans are also existed
for two further turret designs. Development and building of a
prototype E-100 started in 1944 but was largely abandoned after
Adolf Hitler ordered an end to the development of the Maus.
Only the chassis was finished. It was taken to the United
Kingdom for evaluation purposes and eventually scrapped.
The turret of the tanks had three versions. One was a Tiger II
version, another was the Maus turret, and the last one was the
Krupp turret. The Maus turret housed 150 or 170 mm KwK gun +
secondary 75 mm KwK gun. The Krupp turret housed the deadly 128 mm
KwK gun + secondary 75 mm KwK gun. The Tiger-Maus Variant only had
a 128 mm KwK 44 L/55 (75 rounds). Amour was 240mm-40mm.
Development drawings have been circulated for E-100 variants
including an E-100 with a twin 55-mm anti-aircraft turret
(Alligator) and a tank destroyer mounting a 152/170mm gun
(Krokodil). Although the subject of models and much discussion, it
is not clear whether these would have proceeded to production with
the E-100 itself.