Hope your cake wasn't too soggy this year...it was the siren song of the cake that lured you the tea tent after all
Leaving the cases where the track can be shown, through witness marks, to have fouled the hull fittings, I am curious to explore the dynamic situations that could explain track failure. Did the tracks fail passing above the roadwheels or when between the sprocket and first road wheel or between the last roadwheel and idler?
Tank designers refer to "catenation", a term borrowed from molecular biology, to describe the way tracks behave and interact with the running gear. Obviously the track is fixed in relation to the sprocket, while the idler acts as an equalising pully, hence the upper returning track is free to flap about. When the suspension is in compression the slack in the track gathers under its own weight (in full size vehicles) on the return side. When the suspension decompresses the slack is effectively pulled back around the idler. As this is always against the dynamic tension of the rotating sprocket, the transitory shock loads can be quite severe. This can be made worse by the relativey small diameter of the idler, so that the tangential loads through the track castings lead to failure. This might have been partly why the larger idler was adopted from Oct 1944 (plus better cleaning characteristics). The tracks on real Panthers seem to have been pretty reliable, the roadwheel tires being more prone to failure. Moreover an unacceptable "pitch resonance" discovered by Prof Lehr in the prototypes led to shock absorbers being fitted to all production series Panthers.
Fitting shock absorbers to the second and seventh suspension arms (internally!) might mitigate the shock loads and increase track life...alternatively drive slower.
This is quite an arcane subject, but it is always interesting to see how real-world solutions can be applied to scaled down, but just as real, problems!