Dicker Max

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RANK 4 FRANCE
Somua SM PACK
germ_pzsfl_iva_dickermax.png
GarageImage Dicker Max.jpg
Dicker Max
AB RB SB
4.0 3.7 3.7
Research:14 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:55 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The 10.5cm K18 Pz.Sfl.IVa "Dicker Max" is a rank II German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB) and 3.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.57 "Battle March".

The Dicker Max is a open-topped SPG with a 105 mm (10.5 cm) cannon, based on the Pz.IV E chassis. The 10.5 cm artillery gun is not only more effective than the StuH's 10.5 cm howitzer, but it is very consistent in terms of the results: hits that usually devastate the enemy. Its 14 second reload is not bad either, for a gun of its size, 4 seconds faster than the StuH, and over twice as fast as the KV-2's. The 105 mm HE round can also be effective on many lightly armoured vehicles like the M18 Hellcat.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull50 / 20 / 20
Turret30 / 20 / 20
Crew5 people
Visibility90 %

The survivability of the Dicker Max is very inadequate. The all-round armour is very thin and poorly angled, varying from 20 mm to 50 mm, which is not enough to stop any rounds other than rifle-calibre bullets. Post-penetration survivability is bad, crew members or critical components (eg. gun breech, engine) will usually get destroyed, crippling the tank. It is also open-topped, meaning any plane with a gun can kill you. Fire from above will usually hurt or knock out all your crew members, and damage exposed modules like gun breech and ammo. Common aircraft like the P-47 can do this in just a few seconds with machine guns alone. The only plus side is perhaps that the 5 crew members are spread out on the hull sides, meaning it might take a few shots to destroy the Dicker Max using solid shots (eg. Sherman Firefly). Unfortunately vehicles firing explosive-packed shells (eg. ISU-152) still have no problem knocking out the Dicker Max in a single shot. Therefore, you not only have to avoid ground vehicles, threats from the sky must also be considered, which makes the Dicker Max a challenge to play.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides (Slope angle) Rear (Slope angle) Roof
Hull 12 mm (77°) Front glacis
50 mm (20°) Lower glacis
50 mm (14°) Driver ports
20 mm 20 mm (9°) 12 mm
Superstructure 30 mm (14°) Front
50 mm (16°) Gun mantlet
20 mm (21°) 20 mm (9-17°) 10 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • The roof of the superstructure does not fully cover the top, thus still exposing the crew members.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB31 / 6 km/h
RB and SB28 / 6 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
1 back
Weight22.0 t
Engine power
AB343 hp
RB and SB180 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB15.6 hp/t
RB and SB8.2 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 31 6 22 256 343 11.64 15.59
Realistic 28 6 159 180 7.23 8.18

The mobility of the Dicker Max is its biggest weakness. Powered by a weak 180 hp engine, the vehicle features a very low power-to-weight ratio resulting in sluggish acceleration even on hard surface, soft terrain only worsens the situation. The top speed is very limited although it is based on a Pz.IV chassis. The hull traverse is absurdly terrible, comparing to the agility of the Pz.IV, the Dicker Max barely turns on its tracks. Forward/backward jerk helps a little, though not a lot. Reverse speed is slow as always. All these aspects are further weakened as the Dicker Max usually drives in its most suitable environment: hills.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 000 → 1 236 Sl icon.png
RB1 210 → 1 496 Sl icon.png
SB1 630 → 2 016 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications14 060 Rp icon.png
33 500 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost860 Ge icon.png
Crew training16 000 Sl icon.png
Experts55 000 Sl icon.png
Aces270 Ge icon.png
Research Aces250 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
60 / 110 / 150 % Sl icon.png
130 / 130 / 130 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
920 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 200 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
620 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
620 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 500 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 500 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
920 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 200 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
620 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
920 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 200 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
620 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
105mm_kwk_46_APCBC_ammo_pack
Research:
620 Rp icon.png
Cost:
1 500 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png

Like always, Parts and FPE come first to increase the survivability.

For a newly acquired Dicker Max, consider unlocking all mobility modifications early. Because its sluggishness is its biggest enemy, the Dicker Max can often lose the chance of firing simply because it cannot turn its hull quickly/climb up a small slope in time. This is more noticeable when the Dicker Max is getting flanked/circled. Even a heavy tank like M6A1 can easily drive around a stock Dicker Max and avoid its gun.

The next modifications to research can be the gun aiming drives, to speed up the targeting process as well as enhancing the accuracy of the cannon. This is critical for a sniper like Dicker Max as it relies on precision at long ranges.

Other modifications like the Pzgr.rot may not be as important: the stock shell is already lethal for common opponents such as T-34 and M4, the researchable round is only useful against heavy targets like M4A3E2.

Armaments

Main armament

Ammunition26 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
13.0 → 10.0 s
Vertical guidance-15° / 10°
Horizontal guidance-8° / 8°
Main article: K.18 (105 mm)

The reason why Dicker Max shines as a sniper is the 105 mm cannon. The stock shell offers a good amount of penetration of 133 mm at 1,000 m, filled with more than 300 g TNT equivalent for an explosive filler, meaning the Dicker Max can frontally penetrate the majority of opponents and take them out in one hit them at a comfortable distance. The researchable shell takes a step further by having improved explosive mass and ricochet angles, easing the killing of heavily armoured tanks like KV-85, M4A3E2, and ARL-44. The reload time of ~15 seconds is slow but usual on such a big calibre.

Apart from the cannon itself, other aspects of it further improve the lethality of Dicker Max. The most noticeable feature is the amazing -15° gun depression. This angle is enough to hull-down on most slopes in most maps where vehicles with around -10° depression cannot hull-down (eg. M4). By hiding behind hills, the Dicker Max can conceal its weak body and only expose its destructive cannon.

The gunsight is also a huge advantage. While most WW2 era tanks are equipped with scopes of ~3.5x zoom, the Dicker Max has a 9x zoom scope which is even higher than the binoculars, meaning it can conveniently pick a spot that is far away from the frontline and destroy targets one by one. Through this nice sight, a tank 1,000 m away can seem like it is only 500 m away, making it very friendly to aim for weak spots. Even if the target realises that they are being shot at, they usually fail to land hits for ~2 shots in RB as most players cannot aim accurately at distant targets, and their poor 3.5x zoom makes aiming even harder. By utilising the great gun depression and gunsight to loom behind hills, the Dicker Max protects itself with distance and concealment to compensate its poor armour.

The only downside of the Dicker Max's firepower are the limited horizontal traverse and the elevation. Both of these require the tank to constantly adjust the hull in order to target which may or may not expose itself to an observing enemy.

105 mm K.18 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 26 -15°/+10° ±8° N/A 10.6 14.6 17.8 19.6 20.9 13.00 11.50 10.60 10.00
Realistic 7.1 8.4 10.2 11.3 12.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
PzGr APHE 155 153 144 133 123 114
Gr.19 HE 23 23 23 23 23 23
Pzgr.rot APCBC 187 184 174 162 151 141
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
PzGr APHE 822 14 1.2 19 238 47° 60° 65°
Gr.19 HE 835 15.1 0 0.1 1,850 79° 80° 81°
Pzgr.rot APCBC 822 15.56 1.2 19 357.5 48° 63° 71°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Dicker Max
Full
ammo
Ammo
part
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
26 Projectiles
Propellants
14 (+12)
14 (+12)
(+25)
(+25)
Yes

Usage in battles

As with any open-topped SPGs (such as the Marder IIIs), this is not a vehicle to charge the opponent with. However, one that can very effective at long ranges and from behind cover. An alternative play style for these vehicle in a closer range is supporting standard tanks by watching their flanks. It is NOT a fast vehicle, especially in realistic and simulator battles, but once it finds a place to stop and take aim, its gun is a very, very efficient anti-tank weapon, comparable to that of the mighty KV-2 turreted assault gun. Its most notable feature is its extreme gun depression, over -15° to +10°, which allows this tank to take advantage of great hull-down positions behind hills, becoming near-invisible in RB and SB at distance. Its weakness however, is rather obvious: the crew compartment is thinly armoured, which means basically anything can penetrate it can cause havoc for the tank commander and his crew. Combined with its slow acceleration, this is a vehicle to be used in a tactical manner in both offensive or usually, defensive combat.

With only 50 mm of armour at a battle rating of 4.3, the Dicker Max can be defeated frontally by any vehicle of its rank, even at some range. It is particularly vulnerable to SPAAs with a high rate of fire (heavy machine guns can penetrate the rear, or shoot down into the cabin should the opportunity present itself) and large-calibre shells.

After staying at one spot and scoring a few kills, you might want to consider relocating, even moving a short distance to a neighbouring cover i enough. This is because after a while, enemy tankers will know your position and direct their supporting aircraft towards your location. Airplanes are a devastating threat for the Dicker Max, especially their guns and bombs. Relocating can thus foil the attempts by incoming planes to target your original firing spot. You need to anticipate this move, as the Dicker Max does not have the good mobility to drive to anywhere in time.

Enemies worth noting:

  • T55E1: this wheeled tank destroyer can be very annoying to deal with. Although it is thinly armoured thus can get easily destroyed by the Dicker Max, an experienced T55E1 commander will utilise its superior mobility. It is arguably one of the fastest and most agile vehicle at the BR, in conjunction with its low profile, it makes it fairly hard for a Dicker Max to target it effectively given Dicker Max's slow-aiming gun and poor mobility. It is almost impossible to fight back if a T55E1 manages to flank and circle a Dicker Max.
  • KV-1E: this model of the KV-1 is fitted with additional armour plates, significantly boosting its protection even against Dicker Max's big cannon. When a KV-1E is angling or at a distance (or both) it is extremely challenging to score a successful penetration. The front and side of the hull and turret can usually shred off incoming shells. Effective ways to penetrate it is to shoot at the frontal plate or hull/turret side when the KV is not angling, or to target the rounded gun mantlet where it is only 75-90 mm thick, however this requires very high precision as the vertical areas it may penetrate are quite small.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent penetration with both stock and researchable rounds.
  • Large explosive filler guarantees the destruction of the targeted vehicle, even for the most armoured foes like the M4A3E2 and the IS-1
  • One of the best gun depression (-15°) allows it to adapt any terrains with great ease and hide behind hills
  • Outstanding gunsight zoom (9x) meaning it can comfortably engage targets from long range, thus avoiding exposure to enemy fire
  • 5 crew members are spread out along the sides, meaning it is hard to get taken out by a single shot by most rounds
  • Easily hidden when hull down

Cons:

  • Terrible mobility regardless of road quality: slow top speed, abysmal hull traverse, poor reverse, sluggish acceleration. Responds slowly to fast targets like T55E1
  • Rather limited horizontal gun traverse of 16°
  • Inadequate gun elevation of only 10°, meaning it cannot target properly when the opponent is above the Dicker Max
  • No armour protection: low thickness around the vehicle. Can get penetrated by any gun
  • Open-topped design makes it very vulnerable to strafing aircraft
  • Reload speed is twice slower in average than its opponents
  • Stock shells tend to ricochet on rounded armour (eg. turret cheeks of IS-1)
  • Slow muzzle velocity gives the shell a noticeable drop, long range sniping can take time to get used to
  • Large side profile

History

Development

The role of the "assault gun" in the German army in World War II gave the infantry an upper hand in assaulting fortification. However, heavy bunkers could withstand large punishment from artillery and closing up to the bunker for a closer shot exposed the assault guns and artilleries to defensive artillery weapon. A weapon was needed to fight bunkers at an extreme range that the bunkers and other defensive weaponry would not be able to return fire, something with a very heavy gun to destroy these bunkers. Krupp began development of such a vehicle in 1939, but such a vehicle soon became unnecessary with the conclusion of the Battle of France. Thus, the project shifted from a heavy "assault gun" to a tank destroyer. Two of these vehicles were built in January 1941 and were presented to Hitler in March 1941. It was hoping that if proved favorable, the vehicle would be able to be put into service and production by Spring 1942.

Design

The vehicle design during its development was called the 10 cm K. (Pz. Sfl. IVa) and the 10.5 cm K (gp.Sfl.). Another name it was called was Dicker Max (Thick or Fat Max). The design took a Panzer IV Ausf. E chassis and removed the turret to add an open-topped superstructure on top to hold the heavy 10.5 cm gun. The design had armour around 50 mm in the front angled at 15 degrees. Armoured compartments were present in the vehicle rear to protect loaders from overhead attacks. The front has a false driver port present on the right side of the vehicle with the real one on the left, whether it was there to deceive enemy fire or simply a design oversight is unknown. The commander, gunner, and loaders all have their own sights available to them to observe the landscape for targets. The engine is the 180 hp Inline-6 Maybach HL66P. Though the prototype vehicles used the Panzer IV as the basis, it is predicted that in production, the vehicle would use the Panzer III instead due to increased mobility of the suspension and running gear.

Combat usage

Trials with the two prototypes Krupp produced were done by Anti-tank Battalion 521. The battalion took the vehicles with them during Operation Barbarossa. One was destroyed due to catching fire and an ammunition explosion, but the other was able to last until the end of 1941.The sole vehicle also saw use in the German offensive Case Blue in Summer 1942, but it was not reported to be operational by the battalion afterwards. Opinion of the vehicle was that it was unsuitable for participation in a frontal assault due to its low armour and manoeuvrability. The gun was deemed effective in supporting an infantry assault and knocking out tanks, but the heavy muzzle blast caused large dust to obscure the gunner view, requiring an observer to watch where the shots land. No reports were made on engine and transmission problems, but there were issues with the brake system. Due to these issues, the Dicker Max did not see mass production for widespread usage. Thus, only the two prototypes were made before interest in the project dropped.

Media

Skins
Images
The Dicker Max showing off its amazing gun depression.
Videos

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


Germany tank destroyers
Based on Pz.38(t)  Marder III · Marder III H · Jagdpanzer 38(t)
Based on Pz.I  Panzerjäger I
Based on Pz.II  15cm sIG 33 B Sfl
Based on Pz.III  StuG III A · StuG III F · StuG III G · StuH 42 G
Based on Pz.IV  Jagdpanzer IV · Panzer IV/70(V) · Panzer IV/70(A) · Brummbär · Dicker Max · Nashorn · VFW
Based on Pz.V  Jagdpanther · Bfw. Jagdpanther
Based on Pz.VI  Sturer Emil · Ferdinand · Jagdtiger
  JPz 4-5 · Waffenträger · VT1-2
Wheeled/Half-track  8,8 cm Flak 37 Sfl. · Sd.Kfz.251/10 · Sd.Kfz.251/22 · Sd.Kfz.234/3 · Sd.Kfz.234/4
Rocket/Missile  15 cm Pz.W.42 · RakJPz 2 · RakJPz 2 (HOT)