Talk:Tiger I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated C-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Germany (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Germany, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Germany on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

Penetration figures[edit]

Some of the figures in the below paragraph I think are wrong:

"Tigers were capable of destroying their most common opponents, the American Sherman, or British Churchill IV at ranges exceeding 1,600 m. In contrast, the Soviet T-34 equipped with the 76.2 mm gun could not penetrate the Tiger frontally at any range, but could achieve a side penetration at approximately 500 m firing the BR-350P APCR ammunition. The T34-85's 85 mm gun could penetrate the Tiger from the side at over 1,000 m It could also penetrate 100mm from 1km away=Tiger frontal kill. This does also not mention the gun's HVAP ammo. The IS-2's 122 mm gun could destroy the Tiger at ranges exceeding 1,000 m from any aspect. It could penetrate 100mm from over 2 km away but with some leeway for angle this should still be higher than 1000m.

The M4 Sherman's 75 mm gun could not penetrate the Tiger frontally at any range, and needed to be within 500 m to achieve a side penetration. What about British supply of M71 APCBC shot? The British 17-pounder as used on the Sherman Firefly, if firing its APDS round, could penetrate frontally at over 1,500 m. The US 76 mm gun, if firing the most common APCBC ammunition, could not penetrate the Tiger frontally at any range yes it could, with penetration figures I have seen saying around the same for the 85mm., and needed to be within 1,000 m to get a side kill. However, if the 76 mm was firing HVAP ammunition (usually in short supply), frontal penetrations were possible at 1,000 m."

The Sanctuary Sparrow 07:41, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Cite some sources for your figures and we'll correct them. Otherwise we can't. DMorpheus 16:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Using this site throughout.
  • Using APBC BR-365 ammo Soviet 85mm can penetrate 102mm of armour at 0 degrees from 1000m. APCR BR-365P ammo can penetrate 110mm at 1000m. Zaloga gives a higher figure for this in his medium tanks book but calls it HVAP so I don't know if that is any different.
  • Using AP BR-471 IS-2's gun can penetrate 118mm at 2000m and 0 degrees. The APBC ammo for it can penetrate 129mm in same conditions.
  • Concerning M71 shot for the 75mm, I first learnt about it from Wikipedia itself:
"A much improved anti tank shell was developed. This was a APCBC (Armour Piercing Capped, Ballistic Cap) shot design. It had a muzzle velocity of 2,600 ft/s (790 m/s) as opposed to 2,030 ft/s (620 m/s) for the older M61 APC shell. US documents1 showed the round as available for both the M3 75 mm and ROQF 75 mm. Other sources2 indicate the shell saw use by the British only. The performance of the new shell was a vast increase: penetrating 102 mm at 500 yards (460 m) at 30 degree angle of impact. Actual availability and usage of this round is unclear. According to some British tables M72 AP had a penetration performance of 114 mm at 100 yards and 102 mm at 500 yards, so it is possible the 30 degrees angle of impact is a transposition error for 0 degrees. This is interesting as US M72 has a penetration performance of 101 mm at 100 yards."
I tried to find out more about this when I went to Bovington Tank Museum but didn't have the time.
  • For the 76mm, using AP M79 shot, it can penetrate 109mm at 457m at 30 degrees, so at 0 degrees I'd be guessing about 500-600m for a frontal kill? M62 APCBC ammo can penetrate 93mm at 457m at 30 degrees, so I'd be guessing about 200m for a head-on frontal kill.
I've chosen this source as it seems to hook up nicely with others I have seen. I know the results would be different if we took in hand face hardened armour but since most of the figures are for rounds with ballistic caps the results wouldn't be too different.
Phew. The Sanctuary Sparrow 07:54, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Whoa actually I've just read a book about the Tiger in combat and apparently the 76mm shot could only penetrate at really short (100mm) range. This seems kind of odd to me, as most penetration tables I've seen say it can penetrate about 100mm at 500m. The round does have a ballistic cap so the FH armour shouldn't present too much of a problem, and if it did surely the closer one gets the more likely it is to shatter.
???? Perhaps an expert would like to help out. The Sanctuary Sparrow 16:30, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Afaik performance of Soviet AP shells was inconsistent during entire war due to poor gunpowder quality - some shipments of shells lived up to the specs, some didn't. Also, ballistic cap isn't the same as piercing cap - it's soft and improves aerodynamics only, not penetration (APBC is not APC, nor APCBC) (talk) 21:33, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Tank Killer[edit]

I think this section seriously needs to be reworked. In regards to the Normandy Infomation it contains many errors. The Germans had around 2500 tanks deployed (roughly over 900 Mark4s, 650 Panthers, 600 StugGs, 120 Tiger 1s and 200 other tanks). Thus the 1400 tank figure is incorrect and on top of that has no source to back it up. The 2500 tank figure and the rough breakdown is from the book "British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944" By John Buckley.

Also there is no source for the Allied/German tank losses being 3:1 in any way. Allied losses were not far above German tank losses at the end of the campaign. According to US reports tank losses were roughly 1,537 and British Tank losses were Total = 1,568. That comes out to about 3100 tanks lost. German losses are hard to find but very few of their tanks made it out of Falaise. Most source put it over 1800 tanks lost and usually over 2000 tanks lost. At best you are looking at 1.5:1 ratio, and if losses were higher then 2000 below a 1.5:1 ratio. So in effect a 3:1 ratio is not possible and though I don't plan to debate this on the main page, I feel the Tank Killer section should be edited to remove many of the unsupported facts that is present in the article. Thus until the author can provide some sources to back up the supposed 3:1 ratio and the 1400 tank statistic I will remove that section of the Tank Killer section. No need to create new myths about WWII. 00:33, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Wokelly 00:31, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Don't forget that many, many german tanks were lost to allied airstrikes (both hard and soft kills), while most of allied tanks fell prey to german (anti-)tank guns. (talk) 22:23, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Source? I don't think Allied aircraft knocked out many German tanks. They kept them from getting built and from getting supplied, which is just as good. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 16:14, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Post campaign analysis made by the air force confirmed that the majority of tank destroyed in Normandy was not because of the air force.
It is in fact a myth, which still persists to this day even though there is no evidence to support the exaggerated claims made by the air forces. --EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 09:34, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Methinks that "post campaign analysis" must be about hard kills only. Also a lot of german memoirs state many tanks directly lost to allied airpower, many lightly damaged (or not damaged at all) tanks abandoned and whole panzer divisions paralysed w/o any fuel supply (talk) 21:23, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
A British study of their famed rocket Typhoons showed that the average Typhoon pilot had only about a 4% chance of hitting a tank when firing the ENTIRE barrage of 8 rockets at the tank. Of course, the rockets probably killed everything else around the tank, but hitting the tank itself was very hard with these unguided rockets. So the safest place to be during a rocket Typhoon attack was buttoned up inside the tank. The same British study, however, also noted that the German tankers frequently abandoned their tanks, undamaged, and fled when under aerial assault. They attributed this to the German tank crews being too inexperienced to understand that the air attacks were unlikely to destroy the tank. Experienced tank crews did not do this. The British and American fighter bombers, unlike the Soviets and German fighter bombers on the Eastern Front, did not have very good or very accurate weapons to destroy tanks. So yeah, I was greatly shocked when I researched all this hard data, looked up all the references. It goes against all the standard mythology of Allied air superiority on the Western Front. But it's true - the airpower of the Western Allies mainly served to disrupt the movement of the German panzers, and destroy their supplies and support troops - the soft targets. The US jabos especially free hunted all over France, which seriously disrupted the German tank/troop/supply movements. Strafing was probably about as accurate as the British-American fighter bombers could get with the weapons they carried - this required hitting the tank's engine deck, which would disable it. The Germans on the other hand had these very accurate anti-tank cannons (e.g., Rudel in his Stuka), and the Soviets had these wide area dispersal bomblets with shaped charges that were pretty lethal. Will supply references when I get a chance.... DarthRad (talk) 22:42, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

OK, here it is - a really good, eye-opening book about Allied tactical airpower in Europe (focuses more on the British side) "Air Power at the Battlefront" by Ian Gooderson 1998. A direct quote from p. 119:

The retreat to the Seine clearly reveals the limitation of Allied air-to ground weapons against tanks, particulary the 3 inch rocket. Only ten out of 301 tanks and SP guns examined, and three out of 87 armoured troop carriers examined, were found to have been destroyed by this weapon - these figures must be compared with the 222 claims of armour destruction made by Typhoon pilots alone. In contrast is the marked effectiveness of cannon andmachine guns, and to a lesser extent bombs, against soft-skin transport vehicles. By destroying large numbers of these, thus blocking roads and increasing congestion, the fighter-bombers indireclty caused the abandonment of many tanks.

On the accuracy of bombs and rockets and machine guns/cannon (p. 74-77):

The free-fall bombs and air-to-ground rockets of 1943-45 were highly inaccurate and barely adequate for use against precision targets. This was suspected at the time, and eventually proven in a series of Army and RAF ORS investigations.

The British 3 inch rocket was very difficult to place accurately, and delivering it with a fair chance of hitting its target demanded considerable skill. Due to their weight, and how it was distributed, the rockets had a curved trajectory which meant that they needed to be fired within a range of 1,000 to 2,000 yards. Beyond that range the trajectory curve was so severe as to make accurate firing almost impossible....

Average Typhoon pilots in trials, firing all eight rockets in a salvo, had roughly a four per-cent chance of hitting a targe the size of a German tank. On operations, with targets camouflaged and difficult to identify, and with pilots under anti-aircraft fire, accuracy could be further reduced....

Also in 1945 ORS and TAF examined the accuracy of Typhoon bombers in operations between October 1944 and April 1945.....The average radial error for these attacks was 158 yards, with only 50 per cent of the bombs falling within 130 yards of the target....

The most accurate weapons possessed by fighter-bombers were their cannon and machine gun armament... [data presented on # of hits in 10 feet square target]....

DarthRad (talk) 08:15, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

People are using a "closed definition" of "tank being lost" = tank destroyed. Airstrike and artilhery rendered a good bunch of german armor useless. And a useless tank is a lost tank, but far from being an "destroyed tank". Example: (1) Carpet bombing, like Artilhery barrage, barely know what they are hitting with their bombs / shells, so if they destroyed 10 or 100 vehicles they wouldn´t know; (2) A "missed" rocket that only hits the tracks of a tank, may render it useless if there is no replace / repair to that track (forcing scavenger sometimes). Same for hitting supply depots. Tank without armor / fuel is a useless tank, so a lost tank (Ardennes being an big example on this case). As a professor once said "the weakness of the tiger, wasnt the tiger, but the supply cars he needed for ammo /fuel". Also, "left the tank on aerial attack duo inexperience", should read Hans Ulrich Diaries and see how easy it was for an airplane destroy an tank. Personally i think such person should stop writing, get into an tank and ask an "simulation" air attack to see how "pleasant, safe" the tanks looks (knowing that even 37mm canons were able to cut the upper armor like a hot knife cuts butter). PHWeberbauer —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Funny stuff[edit]

Wikipedia is funny. Soviet records are not accepted and german are accepted, especially considering how germans were exposed during battle of Kursk for their manipulation with losses record. Again, wikipedia gets funny sometimes, so many tiger fans, it is simply amazing how some people are gettting such a hard time accepting that it was Soviet IS-2 that was the most powerful tank of WW2, at least in a tank vs tank duel or tank vs tank engagements. Heinz Guderian's order not to engage soviet heavy tanks in open tank vs tank battles and orders to act only in ratios of no less than 2 to 1 in favor of tigers is not enough for someone, still not convincing? And why is it mentioned at the end of article about 10:1 losses to Tigers. Should it not note that it was on western front? Should it not say it was against MUCH lighter tanks? Why does it not mention that a lot of those kills are due to german's better crew training? Once again, Wikipedia still remains a biased source if you ask me, ok, you want to state some fact, but hey, state the whole picture, not just what makes Tiger look good. As for citation that SU-152 was penetrating Tigers, or, rather ripping turrets off even with anti-concrete projectile exactly how it says, through sheer force, go to SU-152 article, everything is there. And the fact that SU-152 was not a stopgap against german tanks is first of all obvious, since it is a HUGE overkill againt any german AFV of the war in terms of direct hit and it was mentioned not once in British documentaries, which are avaliable on YOUTUBE. Also, could someone please tell me how to cite sources, because I added some information, for which I have sources, but can not source it. In a nutshell, real short introduction. (talk) 03:42, 3 June 2008 (UTC)Pavel Golikov

First, a friendly reminder that new comments should go on the bottom of the talk page. If you're going to contradict the German numbers, please provide a reliable source stating otherwise. From what I understand, it was common practice to only include the tanks that were completely destroyed in the losses, while those that can be recovered and repaired are not (much the same as in the US Army). That likely addresses the discrepancy between Soviet and German figures. As for the 10:1 ratio, it clearly states that even a ratio that high would not be sufficient for the Tiger to defeat the Allied production capability. As for comparing weights of tanks, the Sherman was actually a few tons heavier than the main Soviet tank, the T-34. The Sherman Firefly was actually over 6 tonnes heavier, and the Churchill was 12 tonnes heavier. And if you're going to reduce it all to crew training, you might as well not include any statistics about combat performance, because without the crews, they're worthless 30 tonne+ paperweights.
As for adding sources, you can use a basic <ref> "Place source information here" </ref> template. There are other, more specific templates for online citations, as well as books, etc. Parsecboy (talk) 04:04, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Welll, if we go into Churchill, then we should include IS-2 :), which was singnificantly more powerful than either Tiger or Churchill. What I was saying about sources is that we should include BOTH German and Soviet. Germans were notorious for including every tank that was hit (not necessarily destroyed or seriously damaged) as a sovit casualty, hence a huge ratios in favour of germans, which of course were nowhere near close. (talk) 04:55, 8 February 2009 (UTC)Pavel Golikov.
That seems perfectly fine to me. If you've got the data (and sources too), by all means, add it to the article. Parsecboy (talk) 14:05, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Funny stuff is that most soviet claims are based on... soviet papers, more precise, soviet "official numbers" (since others, may have disapeared). Not to mention they are in.... russian. Soviet numbers aren't reliable because of two main factors: 1) heavy propaganda use; and 2) fear from Stalin wrath (oh, did u forgot that he actually "made people who displeased him dissapear"?). Also, another "funny" fact is that you come in and throw a TANK KILLER in a TANK article. The SU-152 (Beast killer) is a Tank destroyer, not a tank. Also, if you want to toss it in, toss it against a the Jagdpanther or Jagdtiger (german tank killers which opened a hole far bigger that the SU-152). Them, you come with the soviet "superweapon" IS-2, of course, forgetting that it was more a "bunker destroyer", that actually a tank (low fuel, low ammo, low fire rate). How many IS-2 hitted a tank at 1km? That was a LUCK shot, it is the same a Hummel self propelled artilery to hit directly a tank. But them, most people here still believe that in WW2 the "tank-tank engagements" where the primary tank role (ROFLMAO!). Oh, and what IS-2 build you are talking about, the crappy first one renamed to 12wtf? that a Panther gun could penetrate at 700m, or that fantastic utopic one that said to exist at the end of the war (that seem to exist on Wikipedia too), but none never saw on battlefield (like the "miraculous" IS-3)? - PHWeberbauer —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Removed comparison to Stugs[edit]

I have removed a comparison to Stugs as it was only comparing apples to oranges. The vehicles had different battlefield roles and any comparison of tank kill-ratios is meaningless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree in part, nevertheless, you added some speculative content with no citations. I reverted but we should discuss. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 17:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

You both have a point. Making a comparison between two vehicles, which are used by different arms of service in different roles, might imply that it is better to either have only antitank artillery or only tanks on the battlefield: either conclusion is incorrect, and the argument is somewhat oversimplified. Specifically:

  • the tank kill-ratios also measure survivability[citation needed]
  • it is reasonable to to conclude[weasel words] the Tigers lasted long and destroyed far more materiel per tank than average contemporary tanks like the Pz III or Sherman[citation needed] (unbalanced comparison of a mid-war heavy tanks to a lightish pre-war medium tank and an early-war medium tank)
  • One measure of cost-effectiveness, therefore, would be whether the Tiger's kill ratio was four times as high as the Sturmgeschutz III[citation needed]

 Michael Z. 2008-11-25 19:01 z

Yes, I believe the history of the original content was a classic wikipedia-ism in which someone claimed the Tiger was a superweapon, reverts and debates ensued, and the Stug comparison was where we ended up. Far from a perfect outcome. I look forward to a more sensible edit. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 19:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
How about a comparison with other mid-war heavies(german apples vs. russian/british/american apples)? The points about overengineering and price is already made, so its probably not as important?

GM250 (talk) 12:19, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Slanted armour[edit]

The following statement is wrong

The flat armour plates were unsophisticated in comparison to the sloped armour of the Soviet T-34, requiring a massive increase in weight to provide for sufficient protection.

Both theory and practice shows that slanted angle of armor is usefull only for calibers less then the armour thickness. E.g., T-34 has armour (forward plates) of around 50 mm, that effectively reflected shells of German AT and tank guns of the time (mostly 45 mm caliber). But for shells bigger the this, notably 88 mm, slanted armor was a waste of space and weight.

As it was relatively easy to increase AT calibers the Tiger designers didn't use the slanted armor. And indeed the Tiger's armour was practically inpenatrable for most of the Russian and Alies AT guns. Сергей Олегович (talk) 08:09, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Great! Can you provide a source so it can be changed? Also, why did the later design of the Tiger II use slanted armour? Hohum (talk) 17:02, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes there is an article on the subject from which I learned the staff. Providing link will take some time though. Will try to do it tomorrow. As for Tiger II, maybe the armour of the latter was thick enough (i.e. close to popular calibers of the time) to make slant usefull again. Сергей Олегович (talk) 18:35, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Sloped armour saves weight — it is a more efficient way of enveloping a certain volume — and that is precisely the reason it was applied.--MWAK (talk) 17:33, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Erm... no. You're thinking of curved armour. Look up sloped armour for the reasons to use it. Brutaldeluxe (talk) 03:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
From that very article "One of these is a more efficient envelopment of a certain vehicle volume by armour." However, that article is severely lacking in references. Hohum (talk) 03:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes you're right, but still not the only reason to use it. Brutaldeluxe (talk) 17:56, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

IS 2 with 122 mm[edit]

The following phrase could be be misleading:

The IS-2's 122 mm gun could destroy the Tiger at ranges of up to 1,500 m including frontal aspect, for comparison, Tiger could penetrate IS-2's armor at ranges of up to 1000 m.

122 mm was a naval gun with the trajectory not flat enough, hence it took precise distanсe measurment to hit the target at all. That was not alwais possible in real combat conditions and less then perfect Russian optics. Second, the 122 was separately loaded with the projectile weight of 25 kg (50 lb) that resulted in slowing down effective firing rate to less then 2 per minute. Third, the turret was initially designed for the 85-мм Д-5Т gun (same as T-34-85); installing 122 mm gun made the turret unbalanced i.e. It was difficult to train on slanted terrain. That all resulted in diminusing the practical comat value of IS2 with 122 mm. Сергей Олегович (talk) 08:49, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Article is Over-Pictured[edit]

It seems some people are flipping going through the Wikimedia, German Federal Archive pictures, and randomly adding any pictures they happen to take a fancy to. For example, I'm at a loss as to what exactly the point of this one is.

A Tiger I scans the featureless steppe of Soviet Russia, June 1943

Pictures should illustrate a particular point made in the text. Those that don't should be removed or replaced. I've already taken out a picture of Tiger 131 as it duplicates a picture in the 'Surviving Vehicles' section.Catsmeat (talk) 08:56, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

the ogg file[edit]

You have linked to "" It does not sound like the german word "Tiger". It sounds like "iger". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

As a native speaker I assure you this is definitely German, albeit not very clearly pronounced (sounding more like "ti-ga" and not "ti-gerr". But the "t" is there. (talk) 08:58, 25 May 2011 (UTC)koookeee213.61.58.164 (talk) 08:58, 25 May 2011 (UTC))

Fey's claims.[edit]

Is this article the correct place for a point/counterpoint of Fey's claims about Tiger combat? In his own book (primary source of a witness?) he claims one thing but counter sources contradict. Since it's a minor detail that is contested, how about we just leave it out, or just have a couple of sentences with links to the contradictory references? A whole paragraph seems excessive and mostly irrelevant to the main article. Hohum (talk) 23:32, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

If Fey's claim stays in then the evidence refuting it is equally important. The claim is a staple of Tiger articles but the contrary evidence never gets a mention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjkenny (talkcontribs) 02:54, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but the entire paragraph could be replaced by something like the following:
"On 8 August 1944 Willi Fey from the 1st Company of sSSPzAbt 102 claims he engaged a British tank column, destroying some 14 out of 15 Shermans.(inline references) but this is disputed.(inline references)"
The entire paragraph might belong in an article about Willi Fey, but not here. Hohum (talk) 04:21, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

British vs American English[edit]

Based on the frequency of the spelling of Armour/Armor in the main text, I'm marking this article as being in British English, so we have some sort of standard. I'm not going to make any mass replacements, just giving us somewhere to start from, and promote some discussion. For anyone who does make changes, please remember not to alter the existing spelling of reference books, quotations etc. Hohum (talk) 01:53, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Boldly changing article to British spelling from now on. Hohum (talk) 17:56, 8 July 2009 (UTC)


I'll add this here first, so the article remains largely as it is until we have come to a conclusion. This is my contribution to edit and add information to the introduction.

The Tiger I was a German heavy tank used in World War II, produced from late 1942 as an answer to the unexpectedly formidable Soviet armour encountered in the initial months of Operation Barbarossa, particularly the T-34 and the KV-1. The Tiger I design gave the Wehrmacht its first tank capable of using the 88 mm gun, which had previously demonstrated its effectiveness against both aircraft and tanks. During the course of the war the Tiger I saw combat on all German battlefronts.

The tank was given its nickname Tiger listen (help·info) by designer 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), but the tank was redesignated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943. It also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181.

While the Tiger I was feared by many of its opponents, it was mechanically unreliable, expensive and time-consuming to produce. The Tiger I followed the standard internal layout of previous German AFV's. Only 1355 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. In 1944, it was phased out in favour of the Tiger II. Employment was usually in separate tank battalion's where the Tigers represented a formidable force against whom they were to oppose.

Today only a handful Tiger I remains in museums and exhibitions worldwide. The most notable specimen is perhaps the Bovington Tank Museum's Tiger 131 , currently restored to running order. GM250 (talk) 10:07, 24 August 2009 (UTC) Please give useful responces :) GM250 (talk) 10:07, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

I'd take out "The Tiger I followed the standard internal layout of previous German AFV's." It doesn't really fit in that paragraph, and I'm not sure if that detail is important enough to go in the intro. Also, I'd put "They were usually deployed in independent tank battalions, which proved to be quite formidable." at the end of the first paragraph. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:01, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable, I was just trying to get more information from the whole article into the intro. I'll look into it tomorrow, thanks for the feedback GM250 (talk) 10:46, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Mobility and Firepower[edit]

Oh dear, this Wiki article is seriously messed up, as usual, by armor enthusiasts who haven't bothered to actually read any of the major reference texts.

Here's the worst passage:

"In the Normandy campaign, it could take four to five Shermans to knock out a single Tiger tank by maneuvering to its weaker flank or rear armour; the Soviet T-34s fared similarly against the German tanks, as had the German Panzer III earlier against the Soviet heavy tanks. An accepted Allied tactic was to engage the Tiger as a group, one attracting the attention of the Tiger crew while the others attacked the sides or rear of the vehicle. Since the ammunition and fuel were stored in the sponsons, a side penetration often resulted in a kill. This was a risky tactic, and often resulted in the loss of several Allied vehicles. It took a great deal of tactical skill to eliminate a Tiger, if a more powerful tank (such as the Soviet IS-2) or a heavy assault gun was not available."

This passage meanders all over the place and is patently incorrect. First of all, the only place that Tigers were in action in Normandy were against the British. The British fortunately had the Firefly, which could knock out the Tiger I at the same ranges, front or side, as the Tiger could knock out the Firefly (see Jentz's Tiger Combat book, with German and British range penetration data). The Firefly didn't need to maneuver around to knock out a Tiger I.

The Fireflies had worse armor, obviously, but the 17-pounder was much better than the Tiger I's 88mm gun, (and better than the IS-2's not-so high velocity 122mm gun) which is how that came about. One shot, one kill, was the rule for the Tiger-killer Fireflies, e.g. the demise of Michael Wittmann - why no section on his death in this article? All Wiki articles about the over-rated German tanks of WWII need to have at least one photo of a knocked out tank of the type in the Wiki article - Can we make this a WIKI RULE? I think I'm gonna post the photo of Wittman's blown up Tiger I, with turret lying next to the chassis.

So, no, it didn't always take a lot of tactical skill to eliminate a Tiger. You didn't need an IS-2. Wittmann conveniently drove right into an ambush by Fireflies.

I vote to delete this entire section, please....

DarthRad (talk) 22:01, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, it's unreferenced, and does need a rewrite. However, I believe even Firefly/M4/M4/M4 troops facing Tiger/Tiger/Tiger.. (or more likely, Tiger+Stug) would tend to lose several M4s for each Tiger knocked out. Tiger crews would tend to be less green (or veteran) compared to fresh-from-D-Day Allied crews, and probably engaged each other well inside the range at which either gun would penetrate the opponent, making gun accuracy, sight accuracy, the ability to lay on targets quickly, more important than how much extra overpenetration they might achieve. Plus the allies tended to be attacking defensive positions (which the Germans excelled at defending), or being caught on the move during German counterattacks.
The whole of chapter 13 of this book is excellent material: (Jarymowycz, Roman (2001). Tank Tactics: from Normandy to Lorraine. Boulder: L. Rienner Publishers. ISBN 9781555879501. )
A particularly good quote (there are several others): p. 274.

Another way to kill a Tiger was by maneuver. A troop of Shermans, having found a Tiger, would fix it with the Firefly. While the Tiger and Firefly jockeyed for position, the remaining three tanks would go around the flanks and try to close to an advantageous fire position.

Although, part of this is made possible by the Allies simply having far more tanks. It also somewhat contradicts the idea of Fireflies relying on one shot, one kill, except in point blank ambushes - and since the average tank-tank engagement range was 700-900 yards according to the book I just cited, this probably wasn't common.
Wittman shouldn't have a whole section in this article. there is a whole article about him and another about Villers bocage to link to from a few sentences, unless you were being sarcastic/ironic/parodying. Hohum (talk) 23:18, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Wittmann sure got "fixed" by a Firefly.

DarthRad (talk) 08:22, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

What has that got to do with what I just wrote? Hohum (talk) 17:48, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
A troop of Shermans, having found a Tiger, would fix it with the Firefly. 

Just thought that was a unique way to put it. So much hyperventilating about how terrific the Tigers and Panthers were. The Sherman Firefly gets almost no respect for what it could do. As Zaloga outlined so well in his book "Panther vs. Sherman", the outcome of tank battles had more to do with the tactical situation at the VERY START of the battle, something that the tankers themselves often had no control over. The nightmare scenario for all tanks was to be on the offensive and then get ambushed by a well prepared enemy. No matter how good the tank was, it was going to be a bad result for the ambushee. That's what Villers-Bocage was all about - Wittmann ambushed the British there; the British and Canadians returned the favor along the Caen-Falaise road.....

DarthRad (talk) 22:19, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't take people waxing lyrical about their favourite, or most reviled tank, to heart, or seriously. I prefer to read about what actually happened from the analysis of military experts like Jarymowycz. The best that can be said of the M4 was that they were reliable, there were a lot of them, and there was a ready supply of more. The Firefly was the best of a mediocre job. Tigers and Panthers were far more dangerous; tending to have far more experienced crews (until the final year), and had the advantage of defending (later in the war), but were less reliable. So, I agree; it's unfair to give no credit to the Firefly - it was a lot better than an M4, or to say the Panther or Tiger were terrific - without qualification of their significant faults.
I am a little wary of Jentz and to a slightly lesser degree, Zaloga when it comes to combat analysis - they are both clearly very well versed with the tanks themselves, but I don't consider them authorities on combat performance. Hohum (talk) 22:53, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Ah, but then would you also say the same thing about the T-34? That it was a mediocre tank and there were a lot of them? Because, you see, the one thing that Jentz's books prove from all the very precise range penetration data in them is that the T-34-85 and the 76mm M4 Sherman were very close technically in terms of their firepower and armor when it came to fighting the German tanks. And yet, it is quite impossible to get anybody to say anything bad about the T-34, or to even be lukewarm about them. The 75m M4 Sherman was very close to the 76mm T-34, and had the edge in functionality because it had a 3-man turret.

Why indeed did the Soviets build some 80,000 or whatever of the T-34s? Answer - because the Germans knocked out at least 75,000 of them! Read just about any book written by any German tanker, and basically by 1942, the Germans were shooting up the T-34s like ducks. See T-34, shoot T-34, blow up T-34, repeat, etc. - that's the essence of every German tanker story.

And yet, all I ever see are all these posts about how the T-34 was the greatest tank of all time! Not.... It was a formidable tank in 1941 (just like the Tiger I would be in 1942-1943), but by 1942, the Germans had figured out how to kill the T34, and the M4 Sherman had appeared and the two tanks basically tracked each other in capability for the rest of the war.

Oh yes, the two tanks were mechanically very different, the T-34 had some advantages and the M4 had some advantages. There is a lot posted about how reliable the T-34s were. Not....again.... Compared to the 150km limit of the Panther's final drive, the T-34s were a lot more reliable. But they were certainly no where near as reliable as the M4.

The Firefly was a known Tiger I killer. The 17 pounder was designed for that purpose pretty much. As an anti-armor tank, the Firefly was deadlier than the Soviet IS-2, with its lumbering, slow firing two piece ammunition. And the Firefly was WAAAAAY better than the T34-85. Not even close.

So now, am I waxing lyrically about the Firefly? No, the tank lacked sufficient armor, like all the M4s. The reason nobody can figure out who killed Wittmann is that the Canadian tankers who in all probability killed him were themselves killed in battle in the next several days afterwards. This was a big problem for the Fireflies.

Wittmann died because the tactics he used, charging headlong into battle heedless of the risks, worked for the AFVs that the Tiger I faced in the 1942-43 period. It didn't work so well in 1944, did it? That's why the Germans had stopped making the Tiger I by the time Wittmann was killed. It had become.....gasp.....dare we say it ....OBSOLETE..... for the purpose that the Germans intended it to be, a tank superiority weapon, a breakthrough tank they could use to plow into enemy formations heedless of risk, just totally crushing the enemy tanks. No....the Tiger I really couldn't do that anymore in 1944.

I am just trying to be objective here and go by hard data.

That's why I like Jentz and Zaloga. They do try to back up what they say with studies done by the major armies - the German, British, and US Armies all did lots of tank studies during WWII, and Jentz and Zaloga quote those studies extensively.

DarthRad (talk) 01:45, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

You could try to write this in a serious and informative setting, instead of bashing what other people has written? The wikipedia pillars, are you familiar with them?

GM250 (talk) 06:40, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I think the Five Pillars are great! Have I violated any here? I don't think I have insulted anybody or engaged in personal attacks. I think I am trying hard to be objective - interpreting history is always subjective, and there are always disagreements, even among professional historians. And few of us here are professional historians. As for writing down some of this stuff - I've recently been re-writing a big chunk of the Panther tank article. Hohum and DMorpheus have been involved in a lot of re-edits in that one. Have not tried to fight them in these re-edits, but tried to work with them, as I've found the great majority of their edits to be helpful in improving the clarity of the article.

The hard part of agreeing on what is true about history is that even the professional historians often do not agree on the facts. And the accepted views of history do change, as new information is discovered, and history gets re-interpreted. A lot of the common misconceptions of WWII history were set down by participants in the war, who definitely had a POV, axes to grind, and reputations to protect. Autobiographies and immediate post-war references thus have to be treated especially with caution.

My main complaint about Wiki tank articles has been that there has been just too much emphasis on how terrific the Panthers and Tigers and T34s and IS-2 tanks were and how terrible the British and American tanks were. Any close reading of the hard data would show that the Panthers and Tigers and IS-2s had major flaws, and the T34 was no better than M4 Shermans when fighting the German tanks. The contributions of the Firefly and Panzer IV and StuG IIIs tend to get ignored. Certain books have in particular helped to propagate some of these myths - "Death Traps", an autobiography by Belton Cooper, is one of the worst offenders of all time. The Wiki article on the M4 at one time had a major chunk in it quoting all the disinformation from that book - glad to see that this reference has been mostly debrided from the M4 article.

There is a lot of tank literature out there - it's not possible to read them all, but it is possible to try to sort out what is hard data and what is not, and to get secondary references for controversial "facts" or events. When Jentz puts down in his Tiger book that the British and German Army range penetration data showed that the Firefly could punch through the frontal armor of the Tiger I at nearly the same range as the Tiger I could punch through the frontal armor of the Firefly, this is hard data, and deserves more consideration in how we view these tanks.

And in the end, if even the professional historians cannot agree about something, the Wiki article should just say that - that there is no consensus about the truth of the matter. An excellent example of this is the current Michael Wittmann article - the people working on this one have done a terrific job of sorting through all the controversies and explaining why the cause of his death is so controversial.

DarthRad (talk) 16:09, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure we could both wax lyrical about this, but we ought to keep in context of improving the article, so I'm not going to discuss the relative merits of M4s and T-34s. One thing that is often missed regarding tank effectiveness is gun accuracy, effectiveness of gunsights, quick accurate traverse, crew vision, crew comfort, "smokeless" propellant, target size - these normally get overshadowed by penetration, armor and sometimes mobility. It's not the easiest information t find though.
I don't recall any wilful breaches of the five pillars, or intentional rudeness among the current editors of this article. Hohum (talk) 17:55, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
it might just be me who overreactet, just disregard the second part of my previous comment. :) GM250 (talk) 09:37, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Another aspect of tank mobility is often under mentioned. Speed of turret traverse. A sherman firefly with a 360 degree turret traverse in 15 seconds would put a tiger I with its 1 minute full traverse at a critical tactical disadvantage, especially in open terrain. Irondome (talk) 00:39, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


Shouldn't for example the elephant be mentioned here since they were offspring of the porsche prototype alternative? GM250 (talk) 13:07, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

The Elefant is mentioned and linked in the design section. This seems logical to me, since it's a variant of a prototype design that wasn't subsequently used for Tiger I's. i.e. it's not a variant of a Tiger, it's a variant of something that didn't ever become a Tiger. Hohum (talk) 18:01, 4 September 2009 (UTC)


Have deleted the two generic German Federal Archive pictures from this section - they didn't really add anything to illustrate the mobility problems of the Tiger I. Added a great photo from Schneider's book demonstrating the main drawback of ALL heavy tanks in Europe. Europe has lots of rivers, lots of bridges, and most of them could not hold the Tiger tanks (or any other heavy tank, for that matter).DarthRad (talk) 13:00, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Added another photo of a mobility kill. I do not think I am being excessive here. Just go through Schneider's Tigers in Combat books sometime - after annihilating vast swathes of enemy tanks, the Tigers would wipe themselves out in the stupidest and most ridiculous ways possible. His two books document what happened to every Tiger in WWII, and there were lots of self-inflicted mobility kills. Falling into a dales, cesspools, and thru bridges were just some of the ways they destroyed themselves. Falling into bomb craters and getting stuck in rubble were great favorites, mainly because there were a lot of craters and rubble.

Help me! I've fallen and I can't get up!!! DarthRad (talk) 15:38, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Again, "the stupidest and most ridiculous ways possible".. POV?? Especially since this is "the main drawback of ALL heavy tanks in Europe." Also you upload pictures which are copyrighted? I really welcome your opinions and sources, don't get me wrong, but you come out a bit "strong" sometimes.

GM250 (talk) 19:17, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

As I've pointed out for all the copyrighted photos I've posted, no photograph in the public domain illustrates the points that these photos make about these tanks. For an article on the Tiger tank to be fair and balanced, there needs to be an explanation for why they were not more effective. Tiger tank battalions had kill ratios as high as 12:1 against Allied tanks. There is widespread acknowlegement of the lethality of the Tigers against Allied tanks - I have no problems with this fact.

With such high kill ratios, the question is, why couldn't the Tigers just wipe out all the Allied tanks? In what areas did they fail? The usual story - that there were too few of them, is hardly the complete story. The full answer includes things such as they couldn't get to the battlefield easily, and when they got there a significant number would have broken down, and then any Tigers that either broke down, fell into a hole or got trapped in rubble, or were otherwise disabled during combat frequently had to be abandoned and/or destroyed.

The photo I posted Tigers in a Dale, with the accompanying text from Schneider's book, illustrates the point of the Tigers' immobility perfectly. Michael Wittmann gets an entire Wiki article about his accomplishments with the Tiger tanks!! Well deserved. What about the poor battalion commander of 3./schwere Panzer-Abteilung 504 who, according to Schneider, was placed under arrest for 6 weeks for not getting his Tiger tanks to the battlefield on time? It wasn't his fault - they were probably marching as fast as they could, thus the failure to retrieve 6 Tigers lost from these "gravity kills".

Yes, I do have a strong POV about this - it is a reaction to all the constant superlatives about how great the Tiger tanks (and Panther tanks) were. Not enough gets posted about their failings.

The photos that I've posted are of a historic nature. They graphically illustrate something that is only briefly mentioned in the Wiki article about the mobility problems of the Tiger tanks. Go through Schneider's books sometimes, line by line, and find out what happened to all these Tigers. Some were knocked out, but a truly amazing number would get stuck in some bomb crater or on top of rubble, or suffer some repairable damage, and be lost to the German Army.

This is not some minor issue about the Tiger tanks, to be described only in a brief text comment. No, this was a major, huge, gigantic part of why the Tiger tanks failed on a strategic level as weapons, ultimately.

The author of the two Tigers in Combat books, Wolfgang Schneider, is an active duty German army officer, who had previously only written technical articles in military periodicals. He was able to acquire these fantastic photos of the Tiger tanks by contacting the Tiger veterans, or their survivors (in Tigers in Combat II, Schneider even has photos taken by Michael Wittmann himself, obtained from his widow) - the majority of the photos in his books are from these veterans, which is why they have not made it into the public domain.

If you read Schneider's text, it is possible to sense a certain German nationalism, as he speaks out in many passages about the mistreatment of German soldiers. He clearly was not setting out to make fun of the Tiger tanks, as perhaps you think that I am.

Schneider states in his preface that he wanted to document the combat history of the Tiger tanks, and he has, in his two books (and several other books since), in immense detail. And in the process, together with all the fantastic photos that he was able to acquire, he has also thoroughly documented all the weaknesses of the Tiger tanks.

It is only an honest and balanced portrayal of the Tiger tank to show why and how these tanks failed. That the Tiger tank was a strategic failure for Germany was essentially the same conclusion of Sledgehammers a book written by Christopher Wilbeck, an active duty US armor officer. DarthRad (talk) 19:50, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

"With such high kill ratios, the question is, why couldn't the Tigers just wipe out all the Allied tanks? In what areas did they fail?" Because they faced several tens of thousands of Allied tanks, and a manpower and manufacturing capacity that far outstripped them. Hohum (talk) 20:35, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
That's the "there were too few of them" argument. The whole gist of my last post was that there was much, much more to the story of why the Tiger tanks failed than that argument. The book Sledgehammers does a much better job than I could possibly do to analyze all the problems of the Tiger tanks. It's a must read for all serious Tiger tank historians, as are Schneider's books. DarthRad (talk) 20:41, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
It the final answer really, numbers count. It didn't matter if Germany made many Stugs, Pz IV's, or whatever - the odds were finally, simply, too steep. Within that final reality, were Tigers flawed? Yes, but they were also very dangerous, as were Panthers, Pz IVs, Stugs... I have the Schneider books and a pile of others, but it sounds to me like you've come away with a specific, narrow POV from Sledgehammers. Hohum (talk) 21:01, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I thought you didn't want to argue about the merits of these other tanks as this is the discussion page for the Tiger I. So I won't comment on the other tanks. Also, you did make the following comment earlier:

One thing that is often missed regarding tank effectiveness is gun accuracy, effectiveness of gunsights, quick accurate traverse, crew vision, 
crew comfort, "smokeless" propellant, target size - these normally get overshadowed by penetration, armor and sometimes mobility. It's not the
easiest information t find though. 

So what about mobility and mechanical reliability? What if the biggest drawbacks of a tank which limited its effectiveness were its propensities for breaking down mechanically and getting lost falling into bomb craters, cesspools, thru bridges, and getting stuck on rubble? Europe was filled with rubble and bomb craters. Schneider's books are literally filled with photos of Tigers stuck in craters, mud, and on top of rubble piles, and also of broken down Tigers. I counted 4 photos of Tigers that broke thru bridges. I wouldn't even want to try to count how many photos of other disabled Tigers are in his books.

This is the great dichotomy of the Tiger tank that I find so fascinating, something that Tiger aficionados are loathe to admit. The Tiger was a very lethal tank, but, like the elephant scared by a mouse, it could be disabled or lost for the silliest reasons. More than anything else, going through Schneider's book, seeing photo after photo of completely helpless Tiger tanks, is striking for this reason.

I have posted another photo from Schneider's Tigers in Combat II. It has significance beyond the mobility issue in regards to combat vs. the M26 so I put it in the "Combat Examples" section. The M26, which Belton Cooper extolled as being the tank that would have ended the war earlier for the US in his book "Death Traps" was hardly invincible against German tanks. Strangely enough, Cooper never mentions this kill of an M26 by a Tiger tank in his book.

This photo Tiger I - M26 Killer, demonstrates the fascinating dichotomy of the Tiger tanks - that they were such lethal tank killers, and yet were completely helpless against things such as...... a pile of rubble? DarthRad (talk) 22:58, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

"were Tigers flawed? Yes". Hohum (talk) 02:20, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Are other AFV's from that era? Yes. As far as I can tell this image does not say anything against or for the Tiger I's mobility. It's a mobility kill yes, but not an particularly bad mob. kill. If I'm not mistaken its a house and alot of Telegraph wires - that completely changes the setting from "a pile of rubble". DarthRad - Every tank can be lost for "silly" reasons - If you dig deep enough youll probably find Abrams /Leclercs/ Merkava's about 40 years younger and advanced lost for the same thing. GM250 (talk) 06:38, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
You are quite correct about that - I found a quite silly looking photo on the Internet of a Merkava tank standing on its nose not too long ago - it looked like it had fallen off a cliff accidentally. And I know that an M1 accidentally drove off a bridge into a river in Iraq in the middle of the night during the invasion of 2003, drowning the crew. No photos of that have ever appeared, but it happened. However, those incidents weren't really "mobility kills" - they were just driving accidents. And I don't believe that anybody has two entire books full of "mobility kills" of any one tank other than the Tiger, which was uniquely underpowered. Schneider's photo collection really is quite striking. Some of the situations that got the Tiger tank stuck may have also trapped modern tanks. Those bridges would have definitely collapsed under a modern tank's weight also. However, I am fairly certain that modern tanks would have had the power-to-weight ratio to escape from that dale, and also from that rubble pile and many other such situations that trapped Tiger tanks. As for that rubble pile, all accounts that I have ever read about the event say the Tiger got stuck on the rubble and not because of telephone wires. It seems to have been a very well documented event, as the M26 was being closely watched as part of the Zebra Mission. How does a tank get stuck on rubble? I don't know - probably it drove on top of a large and solid piece of rubble and got its hull wedged on top of this piece. Again, the low power to weight ratio would have hurt the Tiger in this situation; modern tanks would have faired much better. Schneider has other photos labeled as "Tiger stuck on rubble". The whole point of these photos is that the Tiger had serious problems negotiating all types of rough terrain, being as underpowered as it was. ;) DarthRad (talk) 08:16, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
If you entangle your drive sprocket in wire there's no help with a million horsepower, all you get is a bigger lump of wire in there. Thats the issue i have with that particular photograph. Well, the telegraph wires may have dropped onto it later on, the image says nothing in the time perspective. :) Being a former driver of AFV's myself, I know first hand what happens if you don't connect the caterpillars to the ground. I do agree to the power to weight issue with the Tiger I(and II) though, this probably had an effect on the breakdownratio aswell as you state. GM250 (talk) 08:39, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Overmatch and Shattergap effects on Tiger I that should be worked into the article[edit]


The armor of the Tiger I was not well sloped, but it was thick. Here is where many fail to understand that, in terms of World War II tank warfare, thickness was a quality in itself, since armor resistance is mainly determined by the ratio between armor thickness and projectile diameter (T/d). The T/d relationship regarding armor penetration demonstrates that the more the thickness of the armor plate overmatches the diameter of any incoming armor piercing round, the harder it is for the projectile to achieve a penetration. On the other side, the greater the diameter of the incoming projectile relatively to the thickness of the armor plate which it strikes, the greater the probability of penetration. This explains why the side armor of the Tiger I, being 80 mm thick, was so difficult to be penetrated at combat ranges by most Allied anti-tank and tank guns, whose calibers were overmatched by the thickness of the Tiger I armor.


Another fact that helped the Tigers a lot was the shatter gap effect which affected allied ammunition. Shatter gap effect is when a higher projectile velocity within a certain velocity range will not lead to a deeper penetration but destroy the projectile itself instead.[1] This phenomenon plagued the British 2 pounder in the desert, and would have decreased the effectiveness of U.S. 76mm and 3" guns against Tigers, Panthers and other vehicles with armor thickness above 70 mm. It should be noted that the problems with the 76 mm and 3" guns did not necessarily involve the weapons themselves: the noses of US armor-piercing ammunition of the time turned out to be excessively soft. When these projectiles impacted armor which matched or overmatched the projectile diameter at a certain spread of velocities, the projectile would shatter and fail. The theory on shatter gap is that at certain velocities, there are certain impact forces on the projectile nose. If the velocity is increased and the armor thickness is held constant, the round moves armor out of the way faster, which leads to increased inertial forces on the ammo nose. If the projectile nose is too soft, such that it absorbs much of the impact energy, the nose can shatter and break up. U.S. and Russian ammunition fell into the shatter gap nose hardness range (less than 59 Rockwell C). While British ammunition was harder than the threshold, some characteristic of the projectiles made it vulnerable to shatter gap. With regard to Tiger armor, shatter gap normally occurs when the armor thickness is close to, equal to or thicker than the projectile diameter. U.S. 76mm APCBC hits on Tiger armor would fall into this category. If 76mm APCBC hit the Tiger driver plate at 12° side angle, the resultant resistance would equal 109mm at 0°. With shatter gap, rounds fail when they have 1.05 to 1.25 times the armor resistance, which would result in M10 failures from point blank to 550 meters range, and then penetrate from 550m to 750m. On M10 hits against the Tiger side armor at 30° side angle, the resistance would equal 103mm at 0°, and M10 hits would be expected to fail from point blank to 800m, and then penetrate from 800m to 1000m. U.S. Navy tests during WW II against 3" armor at 30°, using 76mm APCBC, resulted in 50% penetration at about 2069 fps impact, and then the hits failed from 2073 fps through 2376 fps.

[1] Chang, Albert L. and Bodt Barry E., "JTCG/AS Interlaboratory Ballistic Test Program — Final Report", Army Research Laboratory - TR-1577 - December 1977 p. 12 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

This doesn't seem specific to the Tiger I, and would only rate a brief mention, if any, in this article. It might fit into an article about armour penetration, or terminal ballistics in WWII - which sound rather niche to even exist, perhaps add it to the history section of the relevant gun round article APCBC - which does need expanding. Hohum (talk) 21:53, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
This is more of a deeper background information for understanding armour piercing, and reworking this into a paragraph about armour penetration seems, like User:Hohum proposes, a good way to improve this article further. GM250 (talk) 07:10, 6 October 2009 (UTC)


its doubted that staudegger used a tiger during is action. its likly that it was a panzer IV . —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 21:42, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

You need to provide a WP:RELIABLE, WP:VERIFIABLE reference, not your bare opinion. Hohum 21:48, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

tiger I E gunperformance[edit]

i guess Spielberg, Tiger p211 states 2000m frontal penetration and 2500m when 90°angel. also no frontal penetration by t-34/76. and up to 4000m penetration on side and back —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 21:34, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

(previous post moved from my talk page, since it's only about this article)
Please provide a proper reference, I can't find a book about the Tiger tank written by Spielberg, but I have provided one in the article by Jentz, who is probably the foremost authority on German armor. Hohum 21:46, 4 February 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 23:17, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Jentz cites a Wa Prúf 1 report which assumes the target tank was at a side angle of 30 degrees. What does Spielberger give as a source, and does he give angle details? Hohum 00:23, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

its called "sichere durschlagsfähigkeit", i guess this means without restricton of angel, and 2500 meters with 90°angel... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 00:32, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

We could include Spielbergers numbers too, but then they would be the only figures tested under different conditions, while the rest are all at 30 degrees. So we'd have to note the testing differences in the article as well - and it's already a complicated set of numbers. I think it would unnecessarily confuse the average wikipedia reader, and not add anything useful. Hohum 00:43, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

For comparison if the Panzer IV G can do this to a T-34:

At ranges up to 1,200 metres, the T-34 is cleanly penetrated at every angle that it is hit by the Pzgr.39 fired from the 7.5 cm Kw.K.40 L/43 (Osprey Military New Vanguard 39) Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf.G, H and J 1942-45 pg. 33 and (Schiffer Military History) Panzertruppen The Complete Guide to the Creation & Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942 pg. 243

then the Tiger I with its more potent weapon surely can do better than 1,400 meters against the T-34. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:00, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

While you have provided references for the Panzer IV, making the conclusion that the penetration figures for the Tiger's 88 must be more than figures supplied by Wa Pruf, and included in a secondary source, is WP:OR, and not usable. Wikipedia requires verifiability, not "truth" (WP:V). Hohum 02:07, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

maybe a simple sentence saying under this conditions better results are possible... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 01:18, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't see how that adds value to the reader. In the article for the gun itself, it might be more relevant. Hohum 02:07, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

than the reader knows that the tiger can knock out a t-34 at a range of 2500 meter through the front. but if u dont want than not, i only brought other numbers —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 02:14, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

btw iam not the ip, was good timing... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 02:19, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to make a change to the gun description text to remove the text, "The Tiger's gun had a very flat trajectory". This is an extremely misleading statement that is not consistent with how other guns are described in Wikipedia. To a naive reader they would assume that there was something special about the 88mm gun to give in a "very flat" trajectory, which is not true. The trajectory is not any flatter than equivalent guns of the time period (US 90mm, British 3.7") and actually less flat than guns like the Soviet 100mm. But none of those are described as "flat" or "very flat". In fact, the term "flat" or "very flat" trajectory doesn't seem to be used with any kind of consistency and thus adds more confusion than explanation in describing the tank. Pmw2cc (talk) 17:38, 9 February 2012 (UTC)


can i add figures of t-34/76 penetrating ranges? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blablaaa (talkcontribs) 01:54, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


While we all more or less know the production figures for T-34s and Shermans, I do not really see the point in comparing them to the Tiger. Comparing mediums to heavies does not make any sense – KV1s and the like clearly would be more suitable. (talk) 13:39, 19 May 2011 (UTC)koookeee

I believe including the figures is appropriate. Indeed, the machines are of different classes, but the numbers are important because they are a part of any good analysis of the role the tiger as well as its adversaries performed. Namely, the article clearly gives the message that there was a difference in thought on AFV's between the Germans and the Soviets and the Americans. The Soviets and the Americans decided to emphasize large quantities of lighter and cheaper medium tanks, while the Germans gambled on a smaller number of more technical and capable machines such as the Tiger and Panther. For that matter, including Panther figures may be good too. There is also nothing wrong with including KV-1 (maybe IS also?) figures. But most importantly: If we do include figures, they must be correct. 58000 is for Shermans of all modifications. These varied widely, with different (cast vs. welded) hulls, different turrets, different suspensions on some versions, and different armaments. This is fine since technically this was all some version of the M4 Sherman. The 34000 figure is for 76MM ARMED T-34 TANKS and DOES NOT INCLUDE the ~22600 (or ~30,000 by another source) T-34-85 versions built BEFORE the end of the war. YEs, the T-34-85 had a completely new turret and gun, but this was retrofitted onto the old hull and was viewed as just a new version of the same vehicle. If we do not consider the T-34-85 as a T-34 tank, then the 1943 version of the T-34 with the new cast turret with a commander's cupola but with the old gun must be considered separate as well. And the Sherman figure must then also cover the basic, early configurations with a 75mm gun only. If the 58000 figure is given for Shermans, then the T-34 figure should ALSO be 57000-58000 tanks with the phrase "of all modifications" being added for clarity. The figures currently present in the article give the illusion of T-34 production being significantly lower than M4 production. It is a common figure in cold-war era western publications perhaps due to propaganda, perhaps due to a lack of clear Soviet figures being available at the time. In any case, this is erroneous and needs to be fixed. I didn't fix it myself, thinking it should be discussed here but I will consider fixing it in the future. The T-34 article has, to my knowledge, correct figures with sources: -Lyosha D. Jan 5 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

I completely agree with your point in giving the correct numbers, and I have never heard of not including the T-34/85 numbers in total production numbers for the T-34. The funny thing is, I hardly remember articles which compare the figures for produced PzKpfw IIIs and IVs to the numbers given for the Sherman and/or T-34, which would be more appropriate. Even the Panther, as a rather heavy medium tank, has a respectable production number compared to the PzKpfw IV (keeping in mind that the latter was in production for more than twice as long). As it stands, I would dare to say that the production numbers for the IIIs and IV were far too low, not those for the Tiger. My point is that if enough IV’s had been around, the Tiger wouldn’t have been needed so badly. If you want to highlight industrial capacity or complexity of design, then why not compare the Tigers produced to the number of 1.350 (or so) Pershings manufactured in just 6 months... ( (talk) 16:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)) Koookeee

Tiger I kills/losses[edit]

An editor has queried the number of Tiger I kills/losses. He may be correct that the numbers used in the source are heavy tank batallion totals, which used both Tiger I and Tiger II tanks. However, breaking 3rr is not an acceptable way of doing this.

I have Panzertruppen I and II by Jentz, and Tigers in Combat I and II by Schneider. They have complete casualty totals by date for model / unit / date. I'll see if I can collate the numbers without conducting OR.

On another tack, is the kill / loss ratio *relevant*? Tanks fight more than other tanks, and take losses from other sources, so it could be a very deceptive statistic. (Hohum @) 15:40, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Neither is it acceptable to dismiss a valid edit just because you did not bother to check if it was correct.
A simple glance at the linked site would have revealed the mistake.
I can not understand how you can delete it and claim it was 'opinion'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjkenny (talkcontribs) 16:04, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Please comment on the content issue, so we can move forwards. (Hohum @) 17:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Screwed up an edit[edit]

Im sorry. day 2 on wiki for me as a contributor rather than a consumer. I tried to edit a detail of the kill of Tiger 131. Tried to put a wiki page- link to the 6 pounder main gun that the Churchill type used by that unit was armed with. Its all gone wrong :( I would have provided a verifiable link to evidence this. It was my first attempt at an edit with a wiki page link. I will back off editing pages till I know what I am doing. Please accept my apologies. Irondome (talk) 02:37, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

No worries. I have fixed it. "[[Ordnance QF 6 pounder|6-pounder]]" is what you needed.
Here's the help article on linking: Help:Link (Hohum @) 18:46, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks mate. Appreciated. Irondome (talk) 22:50, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Early actions section and "Winter Storm"[edit]

Just made a few minor additions to Early Actions. Expanded eastern front use added Tiger first use on southern front and Winter Storm operation. Seems to be a myth going around that Tiger was used in OWS. They arrived too late but were used on the Don in Jan-Feb. Hope its ok. Figuring out how to insert references now :) Will begin inserting refs as soon as Im confident in doing it. Irondome (talk) 01:14, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

The penetration figures are dreadfully bad mistaken, and badly lacking critical information.[edit]

"From a 30 degree angle the Tiger's 88mm gun was capable of penetrating the front glacis plate of an American M4 Sherman between 1,800 and 2,100 m (1.1 and 1.3 mi),[19] the British Churchill IV between 1,100 and 1,700 m (0.68 and 1.1 mi), the Soviet T-34 between 800 and 1,400 m (0.50 and 0.87 mi), and the Soviet IS-2 between 100 and 300 m (0.062 and 0.19 mi).[19]"

The American Sherman had two variations on armor specification. The original M4 series (1,200 vehicles) used casting techniques which had been inferior to wielded. Poor quality ore also reduced the BHI by as much as 10%. The M4 was specified to have 51mm of upper frontal armor sloped at 56 degrees for an effectiveness of 76mm. The second major variation was the M4A2 model which used 63mm of armor sloped at 64 degrees for 81mm of effective armor. In addition, this armor was graded at a high BHI and used wielded techniques which further enhanced the effectiveness of the package. The A4 made further additions, such as slabs of wielded on plate to choice areas which covered a good portion of the crew compartments.

The T-34 suffered many of the same issues of poor quality ore, although not the same casthull that original M4 used.This was a particular problem in the Soviet Union, but due to lack of records it's impossible to get a consistent number, particularly because each plant had its own supplier who refined the ore to their own specification. The design however was 45mm of armor sloped at 45 degrees for 73mm of effective protection. This is clearly less than the M4, yet claims in the article state the T-34 wasn't penetrated beyond 800-1,400m which clearly was not the case.

The Churchill V is also an issue, as its armor was not uniformed at all. It varied greatly from 30mm to 105mm on the upper glacis (Right side had more armor than the left, the HMG box was 50mm, and the seam was 30mm.) which makes such claims entirely misleading as no clarification is given.

To further this, the Tiger used both Pzgr 39 and Pzgr 40 shells which had very different performances in penetration, accuracy, and ease of production.

The Soviet T-34 equipped with the 76.2 mm gun could not penetrate the Tiger frontally at any range[citation needed], but could achieve a side penetration at approximately 500 m firing BR-350P APCR ammunition.[citation needed] The T34-85's 85 mm gun could penetrate the front of a Tiger between 200 and 500 m (0.12 and 0.31 mi),[19] the IS-2s 122 mm gun could penetrate the front between 500 and 1,500 m (0.31 and 0.93 mi).[19]

From a 30 degree angle of attack, the M4 Sherman's 75 mm gun could not penetrate the Tiger frontally at any range, and needed to be within 100 m to achieve a side penetration against the 80 mm upper hull superstructure.[19] The British 17-pounder as used on the Sherman Firefly, firing its normal APCBC ammunition, could penetrate the front out to 1000 m. The US 76 mm gun, if firing the APCBC M62 ammunition, could penetrate the Tiger side armour out to just over 500 m, and could penetrate the upper hull superstructure at ranges of 200 m. Using HVAP ammunition, which was in constant short supply and primarily issued to tank destroyers, frontal penetrations were possible out to just over 500 m"

This is the other big area of inaccuracy. The T-34 was initially equipped with the the L/11, not the F-34, a gun that was used for the defense of Moscow, and only around only 300 units.The L/11 was capable of 62mm of penetration against nonsloped armor at 500m using BR-350. Soon after the war the T-34 began being upgraded to the L/41 which with the BR-350A, could achieve 69mm of penetration at 500m against nonsloped armor, and 92mm with the BR-350P under the same conditions. Shortly after the battle of Kursk in 1943, the 85mm L/53 began showing up. This gun was an improvement, able to penetrate 93 of 30 degree sloped armor at 500m, and 121mm with the BR-365P APCR.

The M4 on the other-hand used the L/40 M3 75mm which could penetrate 70mm of 30 degree sloped armor at 500m with the M61 APC, and 100mm with the APCBC M61 under the same conditions. This was upgraded to the M1A2 76 mm by 1943, but due to logistical issues was not wide spread until mid 1944. This gun was capable of penetrating 98mm of armor at 30 degrees at 500m with M62 APCBC ammunition, about twice the average tank engagement range noted by the Canadians. With HVAP it was able to achieve 158mm. During the 1944 Overlord and Dragoon campaigns, all US tanks received five such HVAP shells to deal with heavy armor they encountered. This was sufficient in defeating the Tiger I tank at 450m and 1,900m respectively. The 75mm with standard AP, was not able to achieve penetration frontal, but could pierce the flat 60mm side armor at 700m and 1,100m with APCBC. (talk) 20:58, 5 May 2013 (UTC) Jade Rat

Tiger Costs[edit]

Why is the price of the Tiger marked at 250,800 RM? This number has been around a long time but it's dreadfully inaccurate.

As you can see, the Tigerfibel states:

"Der Tiger kostet mit allem drum und dran 800 000 RM . Und 300,000 arbeitsstunden. Und 30,000 menschen mussen einen gazen wochenlohn geben. 6,000 menschen einen woche schuften, damit du einen Tiger bekommst. Sie arbeiten alle fur dich."
"The Tiger costs 800,000 Reichsmarks with everything finished. It takes 300,000 working hours, and 30,000 people worth of wages. 6,000 people work hard a week, so you get a tiger. They all work for you!"

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Because Zetterling is a better Secondary source than the Tigerfibel is as a Primary one. (Hohum @) 19:22, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
250.800 Reichsmark is just the basic vehicle without armament, optics and other equipment like radios. Panther is listed as 117.100 and Panzer IV as 103.462. This data and multiple others was shown in Waffen Revue 8, page 1307ff and sourced to an official document of February 1943. --Denniss (talk) 12:45, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Shatter Gap[edit]

In the armor section, the article says that since the tiger's armor was unsloped, it was heavier than necessary. Not only is this mathematically incorrect (See the article on angled armor.), it also lent the Tiger an advantage against allied high velocity guns, through the "shatter gap". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rabbitflyer (talkcontribs) 03:36, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).