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  • World War II Tech: the Tiger I - Panzer VI Heavy Tank

  • The legendary German Tiger I has a reputation as a machine feared by the Allies,

  • combining lethal firepower and excellent armour.

  • The need to replace the Panzer IV goes back to 1938,

  • when several prototypes were built.

  • In 1941 an order was placed with Henschel for the VK 36.01

  • with a specification of good armour protection, a powerful gun

  • and a maximum speed at 40 km/h or 25 mph

  • The tank had to be larger and an order was placed in May 1941

  • for a 45-ton tank called the VK 4501

  • It was armed with an 8.8 cm gun

  • The deadline for the prototype would be on Hitler's next birthday (April 20th 1942),

  • forcing several elements of the design to be rushed

  • Once completed it would be named the VK 4501 (H)

  • The H standing for Henschel

  • In competition, Porsche had created its own design:

  • the VK 4501 (P), to the same requirements

  • With both designs meeting the deadline of Hitler's birthday

  • the Henschel design was selected for production

  • Designated as the Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E

  • but eventually the final design will use a mixture of the partsfrom previous prototypes by Henschel and Porsche

  • The Krupp turret and gun would stay the same

  • The crew of the Tiger tank numbered five,

  • including the commander, gunner, loader (who sat in the turret)

  • and the driver and radio operator in the hull

  • The armor was very thick, from 25 to 120 mm

  • offering excellent protection

  • For traveling on cross-country or preparing for combat, wider tracks were fitted improving traction

  • On 1943 the 55-ton tank was powered by a V12 Maybach HL230 P45 gasoline engine

  • providing 690 horsepower or 515 kilowatts

  • This was quite underpowered and the tank had a top speed of 38 km/h or 24 mph

  • One over engineering problem with the tank was the overlapping wheel suspension

  • which became clogged with mud

  • and on the Eastern Front this was especially dangerous,

  • as the mud froze completely immobilizing the tank

  • The armament of the Tiger I was its deadly 88 mm KwK 36 gun

  • capable of penetrating american M4 Sherman armor

  • and two MG34 or MG42 machine guns:

  • one coaxial in the mantlet and the other in a ball turret within the hull

  • Smoke discharge canisters were also positioned on both sides of the turret

  • The Tiger I first appeared in Tunisia (North Africa) in late 1942

  • their appearance shocking the British forces

  • They were used on all fronts, including Italy, Normandy and the Eastern Front

  • It was only until mid-1944 that the Allies could produce tanks

  • that could have effectively engaged the Tiger tank

  • such as the British Sherman Firefly and the Russian T-34/85

  • Only 1.350 Tiger I were built with production between August 1942 and August 1944

  • Other rare variants include the Befehlspanzer Tiger, which was a command tank

  • and the Sturm Tiger, which featured a large self-propelled mortar

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World War II Tech: the Tiger I - Panzer VI Heavy Tank

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二戰坦克:虎I-重型坦克 (WWII Tanks: Tiger I - Heavy Tank)

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    raychen0918 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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