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Tiger Tank - Various variants

Tiger Tank - Various variants



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Published by Meor Amri
This is a short history of the various Tiger tank variants made
This is a short history of the various Tiger tank variants made

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Published by: Meor Amri on Aug 22, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Wargames Section:
Tiger Tanks Section:
Main Battle Tanks Section:
Main Battle Tank Prototypes:
Panzerjäger Tiger (P) "Ferdinand"/"Elefant"(SdKfz.184)
Although the Porsche prototype had lost the Tiger production competition to the Henschel VK 4501(H) prototype,ninety Porsche vehicles were ordered from the Steyr-Daimler factory at Nibelungen as a hedge against possible delays inproduction of the Henschel-built Tiger. The VK 4501(P) prototype had been developed from Porsche's earlier VK3001(P)project and used the same basic powertrain which consisted of two air-cooled gasoline engines driving electrical generators.These generators drove two electric motors which provided power to the tracks. In the event, the air-cooled engines provedto be a source of continual problems, while the electric motor drive system used an enormous amount of copper (which wasa critical war material). These factors, as well as the superior handling and more familiar mechanical layout of the Henschelprototype, had resulted in Henschel receiving the Tiger production contract. Because of the problems in the Porschepowertrain design, the German Army did not want to put the vehicle into service. The prototypes were relegated to thetraining role; however, some use had to be found for the ninety chassis in storage in Nibelungen. It was determined thatthese chassis were suitable for conversion into the tank destroyers; mounting a long-range, high powered anti-tank gun.During 1942, eighty-five of the Porsche chassis were scheduled to be moved from Nibelungen to Alkett for conversionto the tank destroyer role. Dr. Porsche personally supervised the design work and the resulting vehicle was nicknamed
(Porsche's first name) in his honor. The vehicle's official designation was
Panzerjäger Tiger (P)"Ferdinand" (SdKfz.184)
, although it was better known as the
Jagdpanzer Ferdinand
.the troublesome air-cooled engines of the VK 4501(P) were discarded and replaced with 300 hp Maybach HL120water-cooled engines, while the electric drive system was retained. The engines were moved from the rear of the hull to thehull center so that the superstructure for the anti-tank gun could be set at the rear of the vehicle along with the track drivesprockets. The frontal armor on the hull was increased to 200 mm with the addition of bolted-on armor plates, and the newsuperstructure had 200 mm of frontal armor. Side armor was 80 mm except for the lower hull which had 60 mm armor. Therear armor was 80 mm thick. The main armament consisted of an
88 mm PaK 43/2 L/71
cannon, which was a longer andmore powerful version of the main gun used on the Tiger I Ausf E.
The Jagdpanzer Ferdinand - Massive front armor of up to 200 mm and the powerful 8.8 cm PaK 43/2 L71 as maingun. Kursk, 1943.
Page 1 of 4PzKpfw VI TIGER - Variations8/22/2008file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger-variations.htm
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°
Upper Hull
80 mm @ 0°
Upper Hull
80 mm @40°
Front Upper Hull
100 + 100mm @ 9-12°
Lower Hull
60 mm @ 0°
Lower Hull
80mm @ 0°
Front Lower Hull
100 + 100mm @ 30-35°
Source: Achtung Panzer! web site:www.achtungpanzer.com
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The only major variant of the Tiger I Ausf E to reach production was the Sturmtiger, built on a late Tiger I chassis withsteel-rimmed roadweels. With 150mm of front armor, the Sturmtiger was virtually impossible to penetrate with any Alliedtank ammunition. The vehicle was intended to destroy fortified positions and buildings with its huge weapon. From late1943, a total of 18 Tigers were converted to carriers for 38cm assault mortars, and designated
38 cm RW61 auf Sturmmörser Tiger
, though more usually known as the
(assault Tiger).These vehicles had their turrets removed and a built-up fixed superstructure substituted. Derived from the barbettesfitted to self-propelled anti-tank guns, the structure had front and side walls angled at 30 degrees to the vertical. Their mainarmament was adjustable in elevation through an 85 degrees range, from horizontal to almost vertical, and through 20degrees in traverse, both adjustments being made manually, via a worm-and-wheel /rack and pinion drive, and was aradically different design from that of any similar projector seen before. It used a cunningly conceived obturator to deflectthe propellant gases through the space left between gun tube and liner, expelling them through a perforated ring at themuzzle and thus eliminating much of the recoil. The 38cm assault mortar fired 330kg (725lb) HE projectiles, fitted withstabilizing splines, out to a range of 6000m. The projectiles were too heavy for the crew to lift, and a small crane was usedinstead. Fully loaded, the Sturmtiger carried 13 rounds, one in the gun tube and 12 more in the side panniers. The mortartube could only be loaded at zero elevation and zero azimuth, so the rate of fire was rather slow. The whole operationrequired four men, including the gunner, while the entire crew consisted of seven. A single 7.92mm MG34 machine gun wasfitted in a ball mount in the front plate.
Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf.B "Jagdtiger"
German Army policy during mid-1943 was to develop a self-propelled gun mount based on each new tank chassisdesign. This allowed the Germans the capability of mounting a much larger weapon on the chassis than could be fitted into a
The 38 cm RW61 auf Sturmmörser Tiger being examined by US troops.Jagdtiger, of schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 512.
Page 3 of 4PzKpfw VI TIGER - Variations8/22/2008file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger-variations.htm

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