The Ratte was designed to be propelled by either eight 20-cylinder Daimler-Benz MB501 marine diesel engines, or two 24-cylinder MANV12Z32/44 marine diesel engines, generating between 16,000 and 17,000 hp, giving the Ratte a top speed of 40 km/h. The engine were to have been equipped with snorkels to allow the Ratte to move through deep water without drowning the engines, as it was impossible for the Ratte to cross conventional bridges due to its size and weight. The Ratte was designed to have three sets of tracks to support it's weight and two meters ground clearance.
The crew of the Ratte was projected to have been between twenty and forty-one men, while the armament was to comprise of two 280 mm 54.5 SK C/34 cannons in a dual turret, which would have a modified Kriegsmarine triple turret, located to the fore of the hull, one or two 128 mm KwK 44 L/55 tank cannons, the location of which is unknown, as some historians believe they may have been mounted in the primary turret with the main guns, however some believe they where instead mounted in smaller turrets on the tank's rear hull, and some illustrations of the Ratte show the tank cannons in a flexible glacis plate on the main turret. Eight 20 mm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft guns to defend against aircraft attack, since the Ratte would have been so huge, it would have vulnerable to Allied aerial attack, and two 15 mm MG 151/15 heavy machine guns mounted in the fore of the hull for defense against infantry and light unarmored vehicles.
The total length of the Ratte was to have been 39 meters, the width 14 meters, and the height 11 meters. The total weight of the Ratte was to have been over 1,000 tons, hence the name designation, "P.1000". The operational range of this behemoth was to have been 190 kilometers, and the armor thickness would have varied from 1500 mm to 360 mm at its thickest. The Ratte was also designed to feature a vehicle bay that would have been capable of holding two Kraftrad BMW R 12 motorcycles for reconnaissance purposes, several storage compartments, a compact infirmary and a complete onboard lavatory system. No variants were designed for the Ratte, however, a sister vehicle design, that of the larger Landkreuzer P.1500 Monster is confirmed to have too been developed, while a third, even larger Landkreuzer design is only rumored to have existed.
The concept of the P.1000 Ratte was brought into existence by the Krupp Steelworks company in 1941, following a strategic study of Soviet tanks, most notably the T-34 Medium Tank, and the was this same study by Krupp that lead to the designing of the Panzer VIII Maus. Director Grotte, special officer for submarine construction, proposed to Adolf Hitler on June 23, 1942, the construction of a 1,000 ton tank called the Landkreuzer. Hitler, enamoured with Grotte's proposal, ordered the Krupp company to begin designing the 1,000 ton tank in 1942. The first design drawings were completed on December 29, 1942, and the concept had been given the name Ratte. The turret of the Ratte prototype was completed shortly after in 1943. The project was cancelled however, in early 1943 by Albert Speer on account of production costs, before any were fully completed. The turret of the Ratte was then used as a stationary artillery battery until the end of the war.
- ↑ http://www.achtungpanzer.com/p-10001500-pzkpfw-ixx.htm
- ↑ Experimentals of War/Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=293