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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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重戦車ティーガーⅠ Ⅵ号戦車 (WWII Tanks: Tiger I - Heavy Tank)

196 タグ追加 保存
raychen0918 2019 年 8 月 31 日 に公開
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