Why did the Germans choose the inter-leafed tank suspension?
The Germans seemed to get it right when they designed the suspension on the Panzer III and IV, but then they switched up and started producing their heavier tanks with this complicated inter leafed suspension design. I hear that the Panther and Tiger tanks had a very comfortable ride, and maybe the design absorbed most bumps, so that the chassis would remain steady when moving, so that the gun would tend to remain on target better and they could shoot more accurately on the move. At least thats my theory on why they stuck with this design.
But, there were/are other ways to stabilize the tank's main gun, so I think they couldve stuck with the standard, simpler design of the Panzer 3 and 4.
The disadvantages of this design seem to greatly outweigh the advantages. Debris would often get stuck in between the wheels and cause problems, plus they supposedly would freeze up with ice stuck between the wheels, and all that stuff had to be removed. Plus, if a wheel was damaged, you'd have to remove a few other wheels to get to the problem wheel to replace it, and sometimes, you'd even have to remove wheels on the other side of the tank to remove a wheel on one side! That seems a bit ridiculous....... Imagine how many tanks were left behind and lost because they didnt have time to take off all those wheels to fix one broken wheel!
That wasnt the only problem with the German heavy tanks either.