Skip to comments.Tiger Tank Manual Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I Ausf. E (SdKfz 181) Model
Posted on 06/01/2011 5:56:47 PM PDT by dynachrome
The German Tiger I was the most feared battle tank of the Second World War. Its invincibility lay in its main gun and heavy defensive armour. Using the successful Haynes Manual format, the Tiger Tank Manual gives an insight into acquiring, owning and operating one of these awesome fighting vehicles. The Tank Museum's Tiger '131' forms the centrepiece of this manual, which includes full photographic coverage of the strip-down of '131' and its engine. Vivid personal recollections describe what it was like to command a Tiger in war.
(Excerpt) Read more at haynes.co.uk ...
(and other cool manuals)
Just in case I need a retirement project
I saw the Tiger I at the Patton Museum. That is an imposing piece of iron.
I’d rather they did an A-Team manual that teaches us how to up-armor anything into a tank (for the upcoming civil war).
Must. Have. One. Of. These.
In case you are interested, a very good novel starring the Tiger VI and the T34 is:
Last Citadel: A Novel of the Battle of Kursk by David Robbins
“From Publishers Weekly
Tigers and T-34s lock horns in this dramatization of the 1943 battle for Kursk, in southwestern Russia, the greatest tank battle in the history of armored warfare. In his fifth novel, Robbins (War of the Rats; The End of War) explores the maelstrom from the perspective of a rich ensemble cast. The Berkos are a family divided by politics: Dimitri Berko, the patriarch, is an old-school Cossack driving a T-34 under the command of his estranged son, Valentin, a fervent Communist; daughter Katya is a Night Witch bomber pilot. The Berkos square off against Luis de Vega, a Spanish captain fresh from Franco’s Blue Division, now in an SS tank brigade commanding the dreaded new Mark VI Tiger, a behemoth so heavily armored it is considered impervious to Russian guns. Caught in the middle of this is Abram Breit, a Nazi intelligence officer secretly funneling information to the Soviets. Separate plane crashes land Katya and Breit in the hands of the same Russian partisan band; meanwhile, Dimitri and Valentin are locked in suicidal combat with de Vega’s SS tanks and troops. Robbins’s writing might be tighter, but he livens his tale with striking incongruities: the final battle for Kursk takes place in a field of sunflowers. Serious WWII buffs may quibble with some of Robbins’s portrayals of battles, hardware and key figures. But the real story here is the duel between de Vega and Berko, both of whom are torn from their natural environments (de Vega from his bullfighting, Berko from his horses) by the war and made to serve ideologies that will destroy the ways of life they left behind”
Maybe Moriarity can sell you the one he and Oddball got from the SS guy.
Interesting data, but the T-34 was a better tank.
Probably safe to say the Germans would have been much better off not producing the tiger and using the resources for panther tank production instead.
The Soviet JS-2 model 1944 was a much better tank. Sloped armor 122mm cannon, and reliable. Of course we didn’t face these til Korea.
“Get off my lawn”
I saw an interview with a WWII German Tiger commander. He was in charge of three Tigers at Kursk.
He said his 3 Tigers destroyed 78 Russian tanks but still were in retreat. He also said the Russians were not good shots. They thought it was the fault of the guns but later learned the crew were just not well trained at marksmanship.
Sounds cool. Bump for later.
“It’s a piece of junk. the fuel system leaks all over the place! It’s a piece of junk!”
Cool photo! Was your dad American? Any thoughts on who blew it up? I could see either Germans - or probably Americans (with access to explosives, etc.).
My dad was in the Pacific, but along with his buddies thought a couple more nukes on the Soviets and then march in would have been the thing to do.
Not sure how diplomatic that would have been after they helped us whup the Germans! But sure would have prevented a lot of heartache down the road.
Daddy never mentioned the tank until he was in a nursing home and was going in and out as far as being cogent in his statements.
I brought him some pics of his outfit which was a combat Engineers Battalion. Daddy looked at it and we discussed it for a short time then Daddy said, “It may have been our outfit which blew it up”. He then laughed and for a short time was very clear in his mind.
He said they first met the Russians outside Berlin. At first they got along well with them but the Russians soon wore out their welcome by stealing American property, particular jeeps.
We had been allowing them to sign out for equipment but since they never returned it, that policy was stopped. Finally their Colonel, Leslie O. Scott told them no more jeeps or any other vehicles to the Russians.
The next day a couple of Russians came in and just took a jeep. We had a tank destroyer set up at the gate and the sergeant told the tank destroyer to blast them. The turret turned it’s gun on the jeep and the Russians who had been watching it, stopped the jeep and walked away.
I guess we finally had learned how to deal with them.
“Combat Engineers Battalion”
As soon as I saw that I knew who blew it! Good for them! Although I honor and respect these old guys that don’t tell their stories - I sure wish they would have.
My dad didn’t see a whole bunch of action on a Mine Sweeper in the Pacific so he would tell his limited range of stories. It wasn’t until my uncle’s funeral that I knew he had flown all 20-something missions as a bombadier over Germany.
I was regularly visiting an older couple from church, and noticed the maritime tattoos on the gentleman. I asked “So you were Navy during the War?”
“I know better than to ask - but I’ll just say thanks for your service.”
His wife piped up. “Harry drove a landing craft on D-Day - but he doesn’t like to talk about it.”
I shook his hand, and said “I guess thanks isn’t nearly enough! But it is all I have - and I’m honored to know you.”
Whenever we visited it was always on my mind what he must have gone through. But we talked about their kids, grandkids, the businesses he had started, etc. But always in the back of my mind was him at D-Day.
Just the thing; I’ve had one of these babies sitting out in the back yard for donkey’s years, but couldn’t figure out how to drive it...
My father was a combat engineer in the WWII European theater. Half the time they were commandos, advancing beyond the front lines, taking the river beachheads, and building the bridges in time for the troops to cross as the front caught up with them.
Certainly the German soldier was superior to the Russian soldier. The German soldier of WW II has to be considered one of the best in history (just looking at what they managed to pull off makes this clear).
However the T-34 clearly trumps every other tank in the war. The combination of good mobility, good armor, good firepower, and ease of production put it ahead of everything else. The T-34 introduced sloped armor, which was a huge advance in tanks.
The Tiger, while a deadly tank, was extremely expensive to build and had lots of reliability problems. The Panther was actually a superior tank because it learned from the T-34 and increased the mobility and armor protection (by adding sloped armor). It also, however, suffered from the same problems of reliability and expense.
The German quest for the ultra weapon very clearly cost them in terms of the ability to actually field a decent quantity of weapons.
Compare the production numbers of tanks in WW II (I’ll include the US, even though their mainstay tank, the M4, was lousy by comparison):
Panzer III 16311 (obsolete by the end of the war)
Panzer IV 13311
Panzer V (Panther)6557
Panzer VI (Tiger) 1368
Panzer VII (Tiger II) 569
(also another 13k or so tank destroyers)
As the above numbers indicate, the Germans had too many different types of tanks, and never really produced enough of them. The much vaunted Tigers were a small drop in the bucket of overall production. Panzer 4s remained their mainstay tanks until the end of the war, and they were clearly inferior tanks to the T-34. They were not really much better than a Sherman.
I left the British out because their tank production exhibited most of the failures of the German method and produced even fewer, worse tanks.
“It’s a piece of junk! The fuel system leaks all over the place!”
Have that sucker up on blocks in the side yard, and even the most anal neighbor won’t complain!
Not the seven T-34s my father told me he personally destroyed, the only time he ever spoke about his time on the Russian front. Destroyed by one GERMAN foot soldier in one day.
Good tech can’t overcome stupidity or poor training.
Take two armies with equal quality soldiers (which obviously wasn’t the case in WW II) and spend an equal amount on German tanks and Soviet tanks and the latter will beat the former.
Take two armies with equal quality soldiers (which obviously wasnt the case in WW II) and spend an equal amount on German tanks and Soviet tanks and the latter will beat the former.
The Russian military in WW II wasn’t exactly run by a bunch of geniuses. Their greatest general Zhukov, was pretty much a butcher who just feed his greater number of troops and materiel into the German meat grinder until he won.
Perhaps you didn’t notice I said spend an equal amount, not provide an equal amount. The T-34 was a lot cheaper and easier to make. It was also more reliable. Given these factors, you could field a lot more for the same cost, and an army working with them would have a significant advantage all else being equal.
The Panther was too complicated. They would have been better off copying the T-34 and arming it with the Panther’s long 75mm.
Not as complicated as the tiger.
They would have been better off copying the T-34 and arming it with the Panthers long 75mm.
Visually, the Panther hull shows considerable T-34 influence.
Initially, the Panther was unreliable due to being rushed into service too quickly.
Some of the Panther's long term reliability problems may have been eliminated with 10 - 15 fewer tons of armor plating thereby increasing mobility as well as extending engine and transmission life... especially since later in the war, the quality of the Panther's armor plate and quenching processes declined to the point where thick plate meant more spall than thin plate regardless of whether the plate was penetrated.
Eliminating the interleaved wheels in conjunction with lightening the tank would also have improved reliability and simplified maintenance.
What did he use to destroy them?
They used Aluminum engines, which were over-engineered, and prone to failure. Also, slave laborers have a tendency to commit sabotage.
Initially, the Maybach HL 210 aluminum engine was used but was quickly replaced by the cast iron, Maybach HL230. Reducing the weight of the Panther would have further reduced engine/transmission strain.
which were over-engineered, and prone to failure.
Not rushing to production could have eliminated many of the bugs.
Also, slave laborers have a tendency to commit sabotage
In addition to the effect of low morale on product quality. The overall (poor) quality of product produced by slave labor is a problem the German High Command with it's obession on absolute production numbers never seemed to recognize.
It could have been a panzershreck, but more likely a panzerfaust.
I read a very good book by a French soldier who was in the Waffen SS. He faught in the East and saw heavy combat. I recall him mentioning just how effective the panzerfaust was.
The Panther was significantly more complicated than the T-34 and the interlaced running wheels were a nightmare for both manufacture and maintenance. The relative number manufactured between T-34s and Panthers tells the tale. Just imagine the hell the world would have faced if the German could have built and crewed 22,000 of them!
I also think the Jagdpanzer concept was an excellent one - extending the life of obsolete chassis and turning them into AFVs well enough armored to survive a tank engagement and well armed enough to win.
Darn, if he was using a panzerfaust, he was right up there in their face. Must have been an urban environment. Though how those tank riders with their PPsHs missed him, I don’t know...
He didn't say. I was 9 or 10 years old and I was in awe of him just having the grit to face a tank much more seven of them. He never spoke of his battles again but I've seen the wounds on his body to know he was in the fight.
You should search the Bundesarchives for his records since it sounds like he should have been eligible for a tank destruction badge in gold
As the old saying goes, imitation is the best form of flattery. The Soviets sure copied the Jagdpanzer concept.
No smoking! The fuel syatem is rotten.
In 1970, I was part of a tech support group charged with fitting Cummins VT-8-460Bi diesel engines into the Spanish Army's 11 surviving Tigers, seven of which were Tiger Is and four of which were Tiger II Konigstigers.
In the end the Spanish reworked ten of the Tigers and left the last one original. That kicked open the door to supply the Spanish with a Diesel reengine package for their US-supplied M47 tanks.
Guy Sajer's 'The Forgotten Soldier'?
No the book was “ashes of honor” by Christian de la Maziere.
At first I did a Google search and came up with a large amount of unrelated hits. I then put the title in parentheses and then added waffen ss.
This time I got the info. The book was extremely good. I suspect it never was popular since the author was considered a traitor by the French and the SS is universally despised.
No matter, the guy came across as a decent person who was seduced by “National Socialism”, and joined the Charlemagne division.
BTW, the French Waffen SS troops were among the very best which sounds odd. The author’s Father was director of the French equivalent of West Point, I think it was called Saumoor or something similar.
I actually think the book should be required reading for any student of WWII. It gives information and a point of view not normally seen, but he makes no attempt to glorify the Nazis.
The tank is a piece of junk...the fuel lines leak everywhere.
Now, let’s see if they have a manual for an M10...
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