Debut: August 2015, Finished Feb 2017

 




   

.: Stephen Bromfield's Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I

Brand:

Tamiya

Scale:

1/25

Modelling Time:

too long

PE/Resin Detail:

none

Comments:

"Can't finish at present because it's too cold to paint"

Need some closing comments, Stephen?.RjT

Tiger I

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Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-299-1805-16, Nordfrankreich, Panzer VI (Tiger I).2.jpg
Tiger I in northern France, March 1944
Type Heavy tank
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1942–45
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Erwin Aders
Henschel & Son
Designed 1941
Manufacturer Henschel
Unit cost 250,800 RM [1]
Produced 1942–44
Number built 1,347[a]
Specifications (RfRuK VK 4501H Ausf.E, Blatt: G-330)
Weight 54 tonnes (60 short tons)
Length

6.316 m (20 ft 8.7 in)

8.45 m (27 ft 9 in) gun forward
Width 3.56 m (11 ft 8 in)
Height 3.0 m (9 ft 10 in)
Crew 5

Armour 25–120 mm (0.98–4.72 in)[3][4]
Main
armament
8,8 cm KwK 36 L/56
92 rounds
Secondary
armament
7,92 mm MG 34
4,500 rounds
Engine Maybach HL230 P45 V-12
700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW)
Power/weight 13 PS/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
Ground clearance 0.47 m (1 ft 7 in)
Fuel capacity 540 L (140 US gal) including reserve
Operational
range
110–195 km (68–121 mi)
Speed 45.4 km/h (28.2 mph)

Tiger I About this sound listen (help·info) is the common name of a German heavy tank developed in 1942 and used in World War II. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E, often shortened to Tiger. The Tiger I gave the Wehrmacht its first tank which mounted the 88 mm gun in its first armoured fighting vehicle-dedicated version: the KwK 36. During the course of the war, the Tiger I saw combat on all German battlefronts. It was usually deployed in independent heavy tank battalions, which proved highly effective.[citation needed]

While the Tiger I has been called an outstanding design,[5] it was over-engineered,[6] using expensive materials and labour-intensive production methods. Only 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and breakdowns, and limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable. It was also difficult to transport, and vulnerable to immobilization when mud, ice and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk-pattern road wheels in both rasputitsa and succeeding winter weather conditions, often jamming them solid. In 1944, production was phased out in favour of the Tiger II.

The tank was given its nickname "Tiger" by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘‘Panzer VI version H’’, abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H), with the H being for the designer/manufacturer, Henschel. It was classed with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 182. The tank was later redesignated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943, with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181.

Today, only a handful of Tigers survive in museums and exhibitions worldwide. The Bovington Tank Museum's Tiger 131 is currently the only one restored to running order.

Design history

Henschel & Sohn began development of a large tank design in January 1937 when the Waffenamt requested Henschel to develop a Durchbruchwagen ("breakthrough vehicle") in the 30-33 tonne range.[7] Only one prototype hull was ever built and it was never fitted with a turret. The Durchbruchwagen I's general shape and suspension resembled the Panzer III while the turret resembled the early Panzer IV C turret with the short barrelled 7.5 cm L/24 cannon.

Before Durchbruchwagen I was completed, a request was issued for a heavier 30 tonne class vehicle with thicker armour; this was the Durchbruchwagen II, which would have had 50 mm (2 inches) of frontal armour and mounted a Panzer IV turret with a short-barrelled 7.5 cm L/24 gun. Overall weight would have been 36 tonnes. Only one hull was built and no turret fitted. Development of this vehicle was dropped in 1938 in favour of the larger and better armoured VK 30.01 (H) and VK 36.01 (H) designs.[b] Both the Durchbruchwagen I and II prototype hulls were used as test vehicles until 1941.

The VK 30.01 (H) medium tank and the VK 36.01 (H) heavy tank designs, pioneered the Schachtellaufwerk - already common on German half-tracks such as the SdKfz 7 - overlapping and interleaved main road wheels for tank use.

The VK 30.01 (H) was intended to mount a low velocity 7.5 cm L/24 infantry support gun, a 7.5 cm L/40 dual purpose anti-tank gun, or a 10.5 cm L/28 field gun in a Krupp turret. Overall weight was to be 33 tonnes. The armour was designed to be 50 mm on frontal surfaces and 30 mm on the side surfaces. Four prototype hulls were completed for testing. Two of these were later modified to build the "Sturer Emil" (12.8 cm Selbstfahrlafette L/61) self-propelled anti-tank gun.

The VK 36.01 (H) was intended to weigh 40 tonnes, with 100 mm (4 inches) of armour on front surfaces, 80 mm on turret sides and 60 mm on the hull sides. The VK 36.01 (H) was intended to carry a 7.5 cm L/24, or a 7.5 cm L/43, or a 7.5 cm L/70, or a 12.8 cm L/28 cannon in a Krupp turret that looked similar to an enlarged Panzer IVC turret. The hull for one prototype was built, followed later by five more. The six turrets built were never fitted and were used as part of the Atlantic Wall. The VK 36.01 (H) project was discontinued in early 1942 in favour of the VK 45.01 project.

Combat experience against the French Somua S35 cavalry tank and Char B1 heavy tank, and the British Matilda II infantry tanks during the Battle of France in June 1940 showed that the German Army needed better armed and armoured tanks.[8]

The Porsche prototype

On 26 May 1941, Henschel and Ferdinand Porsche were asked to submit designs for a 45 tonne heavy tank, to be ready by June 1942.[9] Porsche worked on an updated version of their VK 30.01 (P) Leopard tank prototype while Henschel worked on an improved VK 36.01 (H) tank. Henschel built two prototypes: a VK 45.01 (H) H1 with an 88 mm L/56 cannon, and a VK 45.01 (H) H2 with a 75 mm L/70 cannon.

On 22 June 1941, Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. The Germans were shocked to encounter Soviet T-34 medium and KV-1 heavy tanks that completely outclassed anything the Germans were currently fielding.[10] According to Henschel designer Erwin Aders: "There was great consternation when it was discovered that the Soviet tanks were superior to anything available to the Heer."[11] The T-34 was almost immune from the front to every gun in German service except the 88 mm Flak gun. Panzer IIIs with the 5 cm KwK 38 L/42 main armament could penetrate the sides of a T-34, but only at short range. The KV-1 was immune to all but the 8.8 cm Flak guns.

An immediate weight increase to 45 tonnes and an increase in gun calibre to 88 mm was ordered. The due date for the new prototypes was set for 20 April 1942, Adolf Hitler's birthday. Unlike the Panther tank, the designs did not incorporate sloping armour, an innovation taken from the T-34.

Porsche and Henschel submitted prototype designs, each making use of the Krupp-designed turret. They were demonstrated at Rastenburg in front of Hitler. The Henschel design was accepted, mainly because the Porsche design used a troubled gasoline-electric hybrid power unit which needed large quantities of copper, a strategic war material that Germany had limited supplies of.[12] Production of the Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. H began in August 1942. Expecting an order for his tank, Porsche built 100 chassis. After losing the contract, they were used for a new turretless, casemate-style tank destroyer; 91 hulls were converted into the Panzerjäger Tiger (P) in the spring of 1943.

The Tiger was still at the prototype stage when it was first hurried into service, and therefore changes both large and small were made throughout the production run. A redesigned turret with a lower cupola was the most significant change. To cut costs, the submersion capability and an external air-filtration system were dropped.

Design

The Tiger differed from earlier German tanks principally in its design philosophy. Its predecessors balanced mobility, armour and firepower, and were sometimes outgunned by their opponents.

The Tiger I represented a new approach that emphasised firepower and armour. While heavy, this tank was not slower than the best of its opponents. However, at over 50 tonnes dead weight, the suspension, gearboxes, and other such items had clearly reached their design limits and breakdowns were frequent.

Although the general design and layout were broadly similar to the previous medium tank, the Panzer IV, the Tiger weighed more than twice as much. This was due to its substantially thicker armour, the larger main gun, greater volume of fuel and ammunition storage, larger engine, and more solidly built transmission and suspension.

Please go to Wikipedia, if you want any further information

Thanks Wikipedia!

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