Tag Archive for 'tiger'

Pz. Kpfw. “Tiger” (8.8 cm Kw. K. 36 L/56) (Sd. Kfz. 181): Heavy Tank “Tiger”

Pz. Kpfw. "Tiger" (8.8 cm Kw. K. 36 L/56) (Sd. Kfz. 181): Heavy Tank "Tiger"

The Pz. Kpfw. VI was introduced into service by Germany in the latter part of 1942.

Its construction incorporates a notable departure from past German practice in that the superstructure is welded to the main hull instead of being bolted. The use of heavy armor called for flat plates wherever possible, resulting in a simple box-like contour. Another interesting development in construction involves plate interlocking, secured by welding, in addition to the normal step jointing. This has no doubt been made necessary by the use of thicker armor, which ranges from 102 mm in the front nose plate to 92 mm in the cast steel gun mantlet, and 80 mm in the side superstructure.

The hull is divided into four compartments. The floor of the fighting compartment is suspended from and rotates with the turret. The turret is centrally mounted between the hull side plates. A circular fixed cupola, with an inside diameter of 20 inches, is mounted in the turret roof.

The suspension consists of front sprocket, rear idler, and eight triple, rubber-tired bogie wheels 31 1/2 inches in diameter sprung on torsion bars. The wheel assemblies straddle each other in such a manner that the outer rims of four of the wheels on each side may be removed to accommodate the narrow (20 1/2 inch) transportation track. For combat a wider (28 1/2 inch) track is utilized.

The mechanical layout follows orthodox German practice. The Maybach, V-12, 642 hp. engine is mounted centrally at the rear.

The armament consists of an electrically fired 8.8 cm Kw.K. 36 with coaxial 7.92 mm MG 34 in the turret, a ball-mounted MG 34 in the vertical plate, a 9 mm machine gun stowed, six smoke generators, and three mine throwers mounted on the superstructure roof. The existence of a Model “P” has also been reported.


Weight (in battle order)         63 tons
Length (excl. gun) 20 ft., 8 1/2 ins.
Width 12 ft., 3 ins.
Height 9 ft., 4 3/4 ins.
Ground clearance 17 ins.
Tread centers 9 ft., 3 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 12 ft., 6 ins.
Width of track 28 1/2 ins.—20 1/2 ins.
Pitch of track 5 1/8 ins.
Track links 96
Fording depth 96 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 87 miles
     Cross-country 53 miles
     Roads 25 miles
     Cross-country 15 miles
     Front plate 102 mm at 70° to horiz.
     Sides 80 mm at 80° to horiz.
Armament 8.8 cm Kw.K 36
2 MG 34’s
M.V. 2624 f/s
Wt. of projectile 21 lb.
Ammunition 8.8 cm 92 rds.
MG’s—5100 rds.
Engine Maybach HL 210, V-12, 642 hp.
Transmission Preselector, hydraulic—8 speeds forward, 4 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, hydraulic
Crew 5

German: p. 38

Sturmmörser: 38 cm Rocket Projector on Tiger E Chassis

Sturmmörser: 38 cm Rocket Projector on Tiger E Chassis

This equipment consists of a 38 cm rocket projector (Raketen Werfer 61) mounted on a modified Model E Tiger I chassis (see p. 38). A heavy rectangular superstructure of the type used on the German self-propelled guns replaces the normal superstructure and turret of the Model E. The rocket projector is mounted in the front plate of the superstructure, offset to the right of center. The superstructure is made of rolled armor plates and is of welded construction with the side plates interlocked with the front and rear plates. A heavy strip of armor is used to reinforce the joint between the front plate and glacis plate on the outside. Armor thickness varies from 40 mm to 150 mm.

The main armament, which fires a splined projectile 58.6 inches long (see page 354.2), differs radically in design and construction from any weapon previously examined. The barrel consists of a cast outer jacket, and a spaced liner of 1/2-inch steel. The latter, which is 74 1/4 inches long, is rifled, having nine grooves with right hand twist, one turn in 17.6 calibers. At the extreme rear, the grooves widen to aid in positioning splines near the base of the projectile. The liner is held in place by four steel blocks at the rear, and a perforated ring at the muzzle end. This ring has 31 equally spaced holes around its face. The breech mechanism is a horizontal sliding plate 2-5/16 inches thick opening from left to right.

The propellant gases are deflected between the tube and liner by an unusual obturator, and escape through a perforated ring at the muzzle. The metal obturator comprising a thin “L” shaped outer ring, a heavier “L” shaped perforated inner ring, and a spacer ring, fits into a circular recess in the front face of the breech plate. When the projectile is fired, the propellant gases pass through the ports to the chamber between the inner and outer rings. The face of the outer ring is forced against the rear face of the tube, and the sides against the recess in the breech plate, thereby obtaining the gas seal.


Weight (in action) (estimated)       68 tons
Length (overall) 20 ft., 8 1/2 ins.
Width (overall) 12 ft., 3 ins.
Height (overall including stowage crane) 11 ft., 4 ins.
Height (overall less stowage crane) 9 ft., 3 ins.
Ground clearance 17 ins.
Tread centers 9 ft., 3 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 12 ft., 6 ins.
Width of track 28 1/2 ins.—20 1/2 ins.
Pitch of track 5 1/8 ins.
Track links 96
Fording depth 70 ins.
Theoretical radius of action
   Roads 87 miles
   Cross-country 53 miles
   Roads 25 miles
   Cross-country 15 miles
Superstructure Armor
   Front plate 150 mm at 45° to vertical
   Projector mantlet (average) 69 mm rounded
   Projector shield (average) 150 mm rounded
   Side plates 84 mm at 20° to vertical
   Rear plate 84 mm at 10° to vertical
   Top plate 40 mm
   Spherical cradle 100 mm rounded
Ammunition (Rds.) 12
Engine Maybach HL 210, V-12, 630 hp.
Transmission Preselector, hydraulic—8 speeds forward, 4 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, hydraulic
Crew (unconfirmed) 7
Caliber 380 mm (14.96 ins.)
Length of tube 81 1/8 ins.
Length of liner 74 1/4 ins.
Thickness of liner 1/2″
No. of grooves 9
Width of grooves 0.4 in.
Width of grooves at rear 1.06 in.
Depth of grooves 0.2 in.
Twist of grooves Right hand, one turn in 17.6 caliber
Max. range (horizontal) 6,179 yds.
Firing mechanism Continuous-pull
Traverse 20°
Elevation (approx.) 85°
Depression (approx.)
Ammunition H.E. (R. Sprenggranate 4581)
  HEAT (R. Hollandungsgranat 4592)
Wt. of projectile* 761 lbs.
*Weight zones are marked to the nearest 5 kg. (12 lbs.)

German: p. 38.3-38.4 (June 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)