TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



1. Remote Controlled Demolition Vehicles

a. GENERAL. Three main types of remote controlled demolition vehicles in use by the German army have been identified. These are the Goliath which is line controlled, the B-IV controlled by radio, and the N.S.U.-Springer which has not been encountered in the field. These vehicles have been unsuccessful in action; they usually have been stopped by small arms fire.

b. GOLIATH. (1) General description. This vehicle has been produced in two models; one driven by a gasoline engine; the other by an electric motor. The two models have roughly the same external appearance and resemble miniature versions of the type of tanks used during the war of 1914-1918. The Goliath's hull is divided into three compartments by transverse bulkheads. The explosive charge is carried in the front compartment; the engine (in the gasoline driven version) and control gear are in the center, and the drum carrying the coiled cable is in the rear compartment. In the electrically driven model, a battery and motor are carried in sponsons on both sides. Hinged steel covers give access to the cable compartment and the engine space. The vehicle is driven by front sprockets. There are four bogie wheels, mounted on lever arms with simple coil springing, and a rear idler. A small jockey wheel is mounted between the driving sprocket and the first bogie wheel on each side.

(2) Specifications.

Length   . . . . .   5 feet 3 inches.
Height   . . . . .   2 feet.
Width   . . . . .   2 feet 10 inches.
Total weight   . . . . .   800 pounds (approximately).
Weight of explosive charge   . . . . .   200 pounds (approximately).
Speed   . . . . .   5 to 12 miles per hour.
Power plant:
    Gasoline engine Model   . . . . .   2-cylinder, 2-cycle in-line engine with chain drive
    Electric motor Model   . . . . .   Two 12-volt Bosch starter motors geared to driving sprockets.

(3) Operation. The Goliath is transported to the front line on a two-wheeled trailer. After it has been unloaded from the trailer and started toward its target it is controlled through the three-core cable, about 2,000 feet long, which unwinds from the rear and is connected to the operator's control panel. In the electrically driven type, this control is direct to the motors which drive each track individually. In the gasoline-driven model, the control operates magnetic clutches which control the tracks. There is no provision for reversing the vehicle. The charge is fired by a dry cell battery in the control unit. Firing is initiated by throwing a switch on the control panel; the firing circuit runs through the two outer wires in the three-core cable. The Goliath is expendable and is destroyed when its demolition charge is set off.

c. B-IV. (1) General description. This radio-controlled demolition vehicle, larger than the Goliath, also has been generally unsuccessful. The hull of the B-IV is constructed of poorly welded 8-mm armor plate. It is divided into an engine compartment at the rear, a driver's compartment on the right front, and a radio equipment compartment on the left front. The vehicle is fully tracked, with front driving sprocket, five bogie wheels, and a rear idler on each side. A six-cylinder gasoline engine is fitted in the left-hand side of the engine compartment; two gasoline tanks are on the right, and in the center is the hydraulic mechanism for operating the engine under radio control.

(2) Specifications.

Length   . . . . .   12 feet.
Height   . . . . .   4 feet 6 inches.
Width   . . . . .   6 feet.
Total weight   . . . . .   4.5 tons.
Weight of explosive charge   . . . . .   800 pounds.
Armor thickness   . . . . .   8 mm.

(3) Operation. The B-IV is driven under its own power to the line of departure near the target, usually an emplacement or pillbox. The control transmitter of the radio equipment, retained by the driver when he dismounts, is used to steer the vehicle to its destination. In contrast to the Goliath the B-IV is not expendable, but deposits its load of explosive at the target and returns. The TNT demolition charge is in a container which rests on the sloping front of the vehicle. The charge is released either directly by radio control, or by a trip mechanism which operates when the vehicle is reversed.

d. N.S.U.-Springer. (1) General description. This vehicle has not been enconntered in action, but it is known to be a remotely controlled demolition vehicle of intermediate size. Lightly armored, it probably is no less vulnerable to attack than the Goliath or B-IV.

(2) Specifications.

Length   . . . . .   9 feet 3 1/2 inches.
Height   . . . . .   3 feet 10 1/2 inches.
Width   . . . . .   3 feet 7 inches.
Total weight   . . . . .   2.25 tons.
Weight of explosive charge   . . . . .   661 pounds.
Armor thickness   . . . . .   5 to 8 mm.
Remote control range   . . . . .   2,200 yards (Approximately).
Manually controlled range:
    On roads   . . . . .   149 miles.
    Cross-country   . . . . .   87 miles.


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