Originally there was no secondary machine gun armament installed for protection from enemy infantry. The driver andradio operator sat at the front of the hull and the commander, gunner, and two loaders were located in the newsuperstructure. A large round escape hatch was fitted in the rear plate, with a small shell disposal hatch mounted inside thelarge hatch. Several vision slits and pistol ports were provided, but vision from inside the vehicle remained very poor.Additional hatches were installed in the roof, along with a ventilator and fan.The Ferdinands were issued to
in the spring of 1943. They were committed to action duringthe great Kursk offensive near Orel in Russia. In combat they proved to be effective tank destroyers when engaging targetsat long distances; however, their lack of secondary armament quickly became an urgent problem. Russian infantrymen wereable to put several of the vehicles out of action by close-in infantry attacks and, at one point, Ferdinand crews were firingMG 42 machine guns down the barrels of the main gun while the gunners searched out groups of Russian infantry with themain gun sights. The surviving vehicles were sent back to Germany for repair and modifications. Several modifications weremade: a cupola derived from the StuG III Ausf G self-propelled gun was installed on the superstructure roof, the toolstorage was revised, and a bow mounted MG 34 machine gun was added to provide the vehicle with a degree of self-defenseagainst infantry attack. A total of forty-eight Ferdinands underwent the modification programed, and were re-designated as
Panzerjäger Tiger (P) "Elefant
" - the change of the name was Hitler's suggestion, implemented by an order, onFebruary, 1944.These vehicles were re-issued to
, for use in Italy during early 1944. Once again they proved to besuccessful as long range anti-tank guns; however, in the hilly terrain of Italy they were even more ungainly than they hadbeen in Russia. The suspension proved to be highly vulnerable to mines, and a number of vehicles were lost due tomechanical breakdowns. A number of these broken down vehicles were towed to critical strong points and dug in for use asstatic defense positions. As such, they proved to be very effective in stalling Allied armor and infantry advances. In theevent, the lack of reliability and good maneuverability hampered the Germans in making the best of the excellent armamentof the Ferdinand/Elefant.
38 cm RW61 auf Sturmmörser Tiger.
The Panzerabwehrkanone (anti-tank cannon) 43 L/71.
Armor Data for the Panzerjäger Tiger (P) "Ferdinand"(SdKfz.184).
Front Side Rear Gun Mantlet
25 mm @ 0° +100mm(Round)
80 mm @28-30°
80 mm @20°
200 mm @ 20-25°
80 mm @ 0°
80 mm @40°
Front Upper Hull
100 + 100mm @ 9-12°
60 mm @ 0°
80mm @ 0°
Front Lower Hull
100 + 100mm @ 30-35°
Source: Achtung Panzer! web site:www.achtungpanzer.com
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