Tag Archive for '88mm'

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Pz. Jäg. “Tiger” (P) “Elefant” für 8.8 cm Pak 43/2 (Sd. Kfz. 184): S.P. Antitank Gun—”Elephant”

Pz. Jäg. Tiger (P), Elefant, für 8.8 cm Pak 43/2 (Sd. Kfz. 184)

The “Elephant,” weighing 72 tons, was the first of German heavy self-propelled antitank guns to be manufactured. It was designed and built under the supervision of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and was first introduced under the name of “Ferdinand” in the Summer of 1943. The vehicle is actually improvised to utilize an unsuccessful tank produced by Dr. Porsche. Ninety of these vehicles were so converted. The armor is approximately 8 inches thick in the front of the hull and the sloping fighting compartment. The sides of the hull are 2 1/2 inches, the fighting compartment 3 3/4 inches thick; while the rear plates of the hull are 4 1/3 inches, and the fighting compartment 3 1/3 inches. The roof of the fighting compartment and belly plates are approximately 1 1/2 inches thick.

The “Elephant” is powered by two 12-cylinder Maybach H.L. 120 T.R.M. engines mounted centrally in the hull. From the engine the drive is taken forward directly to generators and thence to electric driving motors having a capacity of 230 Kw. at 1,300 r.p.m. which are mounted across the rear of the vehicle, under the floor of the fighting cab.

The suspension consists of six dual bogie wheels 26 3/4 inches in diameter on each side, mounted in pairs on stub axles which are bolted and welded to the hull; rear drive sprocket, and front idler. There are no return rollers.

The armament consists of a long-barreled 8.8 cm gun, with muzzle brake. It has an overall length of 22 feet, 11.63 inches, of which 13 feet, 1 1/2 inches projects beyond the mantlet. The gun is mounted on trunnions 8.8 cm in diameter which are located inside the ball joint in the front armor plate of the fighting compartment. The maximum elevation of the piece is 25°; traverseis 12° left and right.


Weight       72 tons
Length 22 ft., 11 ins.
Width 11 ft., 5 3/4 ins.
Height 9 ft., 10 ins.
Ground clearance 19 1/2 ins.
Tread centers
Ground contact
Width of track 25 1/2 ins.
Pitch of track 5 ins.
Track links
Fording depth
Theoretical radius of action
   Roads 65 miles
   Cross-country 35 miles
   Road 12.5 m.p.h.
   Cross-country 6-9 m.p.h.
   Front plate 200 mm
   Sides (hull) 60 mm
Armament 8.8 cm Pak 43/2
MG 34
Ammunition 8.8 cm gun—70-90 rds.
MG—2,000 rds.
Engine 2 Maybach HL 120 TRM, 320 hp. each
Transmission Gas-electric, D.C. current, 650 amps @ 385 volts.
Steering Field control
Crew 6

German: p. 39 (August 1, 1945)

Pz. Kpfw. VI (B) “Tiger” für 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 L/71 (Sd. Kfz. 182): Heavy Tank (“King Tiger” or “Royal Tiger”)

Pz. Kpfw. VI (B) Tiger für 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 L/71 (Sd. Kfz. 182): Heavy Tank (King Tiger or Royal Tiger)

This heavy tank designed for defensive warfare or for penetrating strong lines of defense made its combat appearance in 1944. It is distinguished by heavy frontal armor and by the employment of the heaviest German gun to be used in a turret with 360° traverse—the 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 (L/71). This gun has a muzzle velocity of 3,280 f/s, and firing an A.P.C.B.C. projectile weighing 22.4 pounds against 30° homogenous plate has a reported penetration of 6.3 inches at 1,000 yards.

The hull and superstructure are of single-skin welded construction with interlocked joints. The hull front is formed of a single sloping plate 150 mm thick, and a lower nose plate 100 mm thick. Each of these plates is set at an angle of 50° from the vertical, resembling in design the Panther rather than the earlier Tiger. The pannier side plates, 80 mm thick, are set at a 25° angle and also resemble those of the Panther. The turret is located sufficiently back of the angle of deflection to be clear of direct hits on the front plate. The rounded front is 180 mm thick.

At the rear of the vehicle is a Maybach 60°, V-12, gasoline engine of 600 horsepower. The transmission, steering, and final drive are similar to those of the Tiger E. The suspension is made up of nine torsion bars on each side to carry the tank on steel tired road wheels. Five of these overlap the four internal ones. Every alternate track link has two ground contact bars.

This tank mounts the 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 (L/71), two M.G. 34’s, an antiaircraft machine gun, and a smoke projector. A commander’s version of this tank was also manufactured.

The transport trailer for this tank is described on page 62.2.


Weight       75 tons
Length 23 ft., 10 ins.
Width (overall) 12 ft., 7 ins.
Height 10 ft., 2 ins.
Ground clearance 1 ft., 5 ins.
Tread centers 9 ft., 4 ins.
Ground contact
Width of track 32.5 ins.
Pitch of track 5.9 ins.
Track links 90
Fording depth 69 ins.
Theoretical radius of action
   Roads 106
   Roads 23.6 m.p.h.
   Cross-country 10 m.p.h.
   Front glacis plate 150 mm
   Sides 80 mm
Armament (1) 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43; (2) 7.92 mm M.G.’s; (1) A.A. M.G.; (1) smoke projector
Ammunition (Rds.)—88 mm 80
Engine Maybach HL 230
Transmission 8 forward speeds; 4 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, hydraulically operated
Crew 5

German: p. 38.2 (August 1, 1945)