GERMAN TIGER 1 (SdKfz 181).
The Tiger I was a German heavy tank used in World War II, from late 1942 until the German surrender in 1945. The tank design served as the basis for other armoured vehicles: the Sturmtiger heavy self-propelled gun and the Bergetiger armoured recovery vehicle.
The Tiger's crew training manual, the Tigerfibel, became a souvenir item after the war.
The tank was given its nickname Tiger 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. The tank also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181.
The Famous TIKI Tiger No.812
(note the wooden steps to mount the tank)
Tiger at Rest.. note the mounting steps at the side.
Tigers in winter camocrossing a Soviet anti tank ditch...note the german soldier on the left holding a Russian PPsh41 machine pistol over his shoulder.
We could only dream of having a Tiger Tank in the back garden even if it was in this condition.
Tiger changing to narrow tracks for transite by rail cars.
DESIGN HISTORY - TIGER 1
The Tiger differed from earlier German tanks principally in its design philosophy. Its predecessors balanced mobility, protection, and firepower. They were sometimes outgunned by their opponents.
The Tiger I represented a new approach that emphasised firepower and armour at the expense of mobility. Design studies for a new heavy tank had been started in the late 1930s, without any production planning. The real impetus for the Tiger was provided by the quality of the Soviet T-34. Although the general design and layout were broadly similar to the previous medium tank the Panzer IV, the Tiger weighed more than twice as much. This was due to its substantially thicker armour, the larger main gun, and the consequently greater volume of fuel and ammunition storage, larger engine, and more solidly-built transmission and suspension.
The Tiger I had frontal hull armour 100 mm thick and frontal turret armour of 110 mm, as opposed to the 80 mm frontal hull and 50 mm frontal turret armour of contemporary models of the Panzer IV. It also had 80 mm thick armour on the sides and rear. The top and bottom armour was 25 mm thick; later, the turret roof was thickened to 40 mm. Armour plates were mostly flat, with interlocking construction. The armour joints were of high quality, being stepped and welded rather than riveted.
The tank was too heavy for most bridges, so it was designed to ford four-meter deep water. This required unusual mechanisms for ventilation and cooling when underwater. At least 30 minutes of setup was required, with the turret and gun being locked in the forward position, and a large snorkel tube raised at the rear. Only the first 495 units were fitted with this deep fording system; all later models were capable of fording only two meters.
The rear of the tank held an engine room flanked by two floodable rear compartments each containing a fuel tank, radiator, and fans. The petrol (gasoline) engine was a 21-litre 12-cylinder Maybach HL 210 P45 with 650 PS (641 hp, 478 kW). Although a good engine, it was inadequate for the vehicle. From the 250th Tiger, it was replaced by the uprated HL 230 P45 (23 litres) of 700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW). The engine was in V-form, with two cylinder banks at 60 degrees. An inertial starter was mounted on its right side, driven via chain gears through a port in the rear wall. The engine could be lifted out through a hatch on the hull roof.
The engine drove front sprockets, which were mounted quite low. The eleven-ton turret had a hydraulic motor powered by mechanical drive from the engine. A full rotation took about a minute. The suspension used sixteen torsion bars. To save space, the swing arms were leading on one side and trailing on the other. There were three road wheels on each arm, giving a good cross-country ride. The wheels had a diameter of 800 mm and were interleaved. Removing an inner wheel that had lost its tire (a common occurrence) required the removal of several outer wheels also. The wheels could become packed with mud or snow that could then freeze. Eventually, a new 'steel' wheel design, closely resembling those on the Tiger II, with an internal tire was substituted.
The tracks were an unprecedented 725 mm wide. To meet rail-freight size restrictions, the outer row of wheels had to be removed and special 520 mm wide transport tracks installed. With a good crew, a track change took 20 minutes.
The internal layout was typical of German tanks. Forward was an open crew compartment, with the driver and radio-operator seated at the front, either side of the gearbox. Behind them the turret floor was surrounded by panels forming a continuous level surface. This helped the loader to retrieve the ammunition, which was mostly stowed above the tracks. Two men were seated in the turret; the gunner to the left of the gun, and the commander behind him. There was also a folding seat for the loader. The turret had a full circular floor and 157 cm headroom.
German Tiger 1 passing by a French Framhouse.
On 21 April 1943, a Tiger of the 504th German heavy tank battalion with turret number 131 was captured on a hill called Djebel Djaffa, in Tunisia. Shots from Churchill tanks of the British 48th Royal Tank Regiment had jammed its turret traverse, injured the commander, and the crew bailed out.The tank was repaired and displayed in Tunisia before being sent to England for a thorough inspection. The Western Allies, however, did little to prepare for combat against the Tiger despite their assessment that the newly-encountered German tank was superior to their own. This conclusion was partly based on the correct estimate that the Tiger would be produced in relatively small numbers.It was also based on the doctrine of the United States Army, which did not place emphasis on tank-versus-tank combat, relying instead on the use of tank destroyers.
In contrast, the more experienced British had observed the gradual increase in German AFV armor and firepower since 1940 and had anticipated the need for more powerful anti-tank guns. Work on the Ordnance QF 17 pounder had begun in late 1940 and 100 early-production guns were rushed to North Africa help counter the new Tiger threat. So great was the haste that they were sent before proper carriages had been developed, and the guns had to be mounted in the carriages of 25-pounder gun-howitzers.
Efforts were hastened to get Cruiser tanks armed with 17 pounder guns into operation. The A30 Challenger was already at the prototype stage in 1942, but this tank was poorly protected and unreliable, and was fielded in only limited numbers. The 17 pounder-armed Sherman, the Sherman Firefly, was a notable success even though it was only intended to be a stopgap design. Fireflies were successfully used against Tigers (in one famous engagement, a single Firefly destroyed three) and over 2000 were built during the war. Six different, 17-pounder-armed, British tanks and tank-destroyers would see combat.
On 25 September 1951, the captured tank was officially handed over to the Bovington Tank Museum at Bovington Camp in the UK, by the British Ministry of Supply. In June 1990, preparations were made for restoring the Tiger to full running order. In December 2003, Tiger 131 returned to the museum with a fully operational engine after extensive restoration by the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO).
The captured Tiger of 1943 - Tiger 131
You can visit Tiger No. 131 at Bovington
DID YOU KNOW
Jean Paul Sartre.
"Only rich men make War, and only poor men pay the price".
French Writer and Philosophist 1905 - 1980
German Tiger II. (SdKfz 182)
Tiger II is the common name of a German heavy tank of the Second World War. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B and the tank also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 182. It is also known under the informal name Königstiger (German for the Bengal Tiger), often literally translated by the Americans as King Tiger, and by the British as Royal Tiger.
The design followed the same concept as the Tiger I, but was intended to be even more formidable. The Tiger II combined the thick armor of the Tiger I with the sloped armor of the Panther. The tank weighed 68.5 (early turret) to 69.8 (production turret) metric tons, was protected by 150 to 180 mm of frontal armor, and was armed with the 88 mm KwK 43 L/71 gun. The very heavy armor and powerful long-range gun gave the Tiger II the advantage against virtually all opposing Allied and Soviet tanks. This was especially true on the Western Front, where the British and U.S. forces had almost no heavy tanks to oppose it. The M4 Sherman was unable to penetrate the front even at point blank range and the M26 Pershing (using tungsten HVAP ammunition) and IS-2 (using steel shot) had to come within 1300 m and 200 m respectively.The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer.
A Nice coloured photo of a disabled King Tiger.
Panzer VI Tiger II Porsche Turret Version.
Initially two designs were provided, one by Henschel and one by Porsche. Both used a turret design from Krupp; the main differences were in the hull design, transmission and suspension.
The Henschel version used a conventional hull design with sloped armor resembling the layout of the Panther tank. It had a rear mounted engine and used nine overlapping road wheels per side, mounted on transverse torsion bars, in a similar manner to the original Tiger. To simplify maintenance, however, the wheels were overlapping rather than interleaved as in the Tiger I.
The Porsche hull design had a rear-mounted turret and a mid mounted engine. The suspension was the same as on the Jagdpanzer Elefant. This suspension had six road wheels per side mounted in paired bogies sprung with short longitudinal torsion bars that were integral to the wheel pair; this saved internal space and facilitated repairs. The Porsche version had a series-hybrid power system where the gasoline engines powered electrical generators which in turn powered electric motors which turned the sprockets. This method of propulsion had been attempted before on the Tiger (P) (later Elefant prototypes) and in some U.S. designs, but had never been put into production. The Porsche suspension would later be used on a few of the later Jagdtiger tank hunters.
Henschel won the contract, and all Tiger IIs were produced by the firm. Two turret designs were used in production vehicles. The initial design is sometimes misleadingly called the "Porsche turret" due to the belief that it was designed by Porsche for their prototype. In fact this turret was simply the initial Krupp design for both prototypes. This turret had a rounded front and steeply sloped sides, with a difficult-to-manufacture curved bulge on the turret's left side, to accommodate the commander's cupola. Fifty early turrets were mounted to Henschel's hull and used in action. The more common "production" turret, sometimes called the "Henschel" turret, was simplified with a flat face, no shot trap (created by the curved face of the initial-type turret), less-steeply sloped sides, and no bulge for the commander's cupola.
The track system used on the Tiger II chassis was a unique one, which used alternating "contact shoe" and "connector" links—the contact shoe link had a pair of transverse metal bars that contacted the ground, while the connector links had no contact with the ground.
The Tiger II was developed late in the war and made in relatively small numbers. Like all German tanks, it had a gasoline engine. However, this same engine powered the much lighter Panther and Tiger I tanks. The Tiger II was under-powered, like many other heavy tanks of World War II, and consumed a lot of fuel which was already in short supply.
The Tiger II would serve as a basis for one production variant, the Jagdtiger, and a proposed Grille 17/21/30/42 self-propelled mount for heavy guns that never reached production.
PANZER III. (Panzerkampfwagen III)
Panzer III is the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the 1930s by Germany and used extensively in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen III (abbreviated PzKpfw III) translating as "armoured battle vehicle". It was intended to fight other armoured fighting vehicles and serve alongside the Panzer IV. However, it soon became obsolete in this role and for most purposes was supplanted by the Panzer IV, though some Panzer IIIs would continue to be used for infantry support until late in the war.
Panzer Grenadiers taking advantage of cover from a PzIII.
040308 Pz.III's being assembled in the factory.
On January 11 1934, following specifications laid down by Heinz Guderian, the Army Weapons Department drew up plans for a medium tank with a maximum weight of 24,000 kg and a top speed of 35 kilometres per hour (21.75 mph). It was intended as the main tank of the German Panzer divisions, capable of engaging and destroying opposing tank forces.
Daimler-Benz, Krupp, MAN, and Rheinmetall all produced prototypes. Testing of the prototypes took place in 1936 and 1937, leading to the Daimler-Benz design being chosen for production. The first model of the Panzer III, the Ausf. A, came off the assembly line in May 1937, and a total of ten, two of which were unarmed, were produced in 1937. Mass production of the Ausf. F version began in 1939.
Between 1937 and 1940, attempts were made to standardize parts between Krupp's Panzer IV and Daimler-Benz's Panzer III.
Much of the early development work on the Panzer III was a quest for a suitable suspension. Several varieties of leaf-spring suspensions were tried on Ausf. A through Ausf. D before the torsion-bar suspension of the Ausf. E was standardized. The Panzer III, along with the Soviet KV heavy tank, was one of the first tanks to use this suspension design.
The Panzer III was intended as the primary battle tank of the German forces. It outclassed most of the tanks of the time However, when it initially met the KV and T-34 tank designs it proved to be inferior. To meet the growing need to counter these tanks, the Panzer III was upgunned with a longer, more powerful 50-millimetre (1.97 in) cannon and received more armor although this failed to effectively address the problem caused by the KV tank designs. As a result, production of self-propelled guns, as well as the upgunning of the Panzer IV was initiated.
In 1942, the final version of the Panzer III, the Ausf. N, was created with a 75-millimetre (2.95 in) KwK 37 L/24 cannon, a low-velocity gun designed for anti-infantry and close-support work. For defensive purposes, the Ausf. N was equipped with rounds of hollow charge ammunition which could penetrate 70 millimetres (2.76 in) to 100 millimetres (3.94 in) of armor depending on the round's variant but these were strictly used for self-defense.
The Japanese government allegedly bought two Panzer III's from their German allies during the war. Purportedly this was for reverse engineering purposes, since Japan put more emphasis on the development of new military aircraft and navaltechnology and relatively little on the development of new tanks. The vehicles apparently weren't delivered until 1943 however, by which time much of the Panzer III's technology had arguably already become obsolete.
German Pz.III's being loaded or off loaded at the docks.
Pz.III. No. 633 driving past a forgotten artillery piece.
Another Pz.III in the snow manoeuvering round a farm building.
Another photo of a Pz.III sporting a Custom Snow effect.
Pz.III's being supported by Grenadiers from the famous 'Ghost Division'
Rommel aboard Pz.III. No.221 in the Afrika Campaign.
Above a Pz.III with Schurzen.
The Panzer III was intended to fight other tanks; in the initial design stage a 50-millimetre (1.97 in) cannon was specified. However, the infantry at the time were being equipped with the 37-millimetre (1.46 in) PaK 36, and it was thought that in the interest of standardization the tanks should carry the same armament. As a compromise, the turret ring was made large enough to accommodate a 50-millimetre (1.97 in) cannon should a future upgrade be required. This single decision would later assure the Panzer III a prolonged life in the German army.
The Ausf. A to early Ausf. F were equipped with a 3.7 cm KwK 36 L/46.5 which proved adaquate during the campaigns of 1939 and 1940 but the later Ausf. F to Ausf. J were upgraded with the 5 cm KwK 38 L/42 and the Ausf. J¹ to M with the longer 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 cannon in response to increasingly better armed and armored opponents.
By 1942, the Panzer IV was becoming Germany's main medium tank because of its better upgrade potential. The Panzer III remained in production as a close support vehicle. The Ausf. N model mounted a low-velocity 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 cannon - the same used by the early Panzer IV Ausf. A to Ausf. F models.
All early models up to and including the Ausf. F had two 7.92-millimetre (0.31 in) Maschinengewehr 34 machine guns mounted coaxially with the main gun, and a similar weapon in a hull mount. Models from the Ausf. G and later had a single coaxial MG34 and the hull MG34.
The Jagdpanzer 38(t) (Sd.Kfz. 138/2), after World War II known as Hetzer ("baiter"), was a German tank destroyer of the Second World War based on a modified pre-war Czechoslovakian Panzer 38(t) chassis.
The name "Hetzer" was at the time not commonly used for this vehicle. It was the designation for a related prototype, the E-10. The Škoda factory for a very short period confused the two names in its documentation and the very first unit equipped with the vehicle thus for a few weeks applied the incorrect name until matters were cleared. However, there exists a memorandum from Heinz Guderian to Hitler incorrectly claiming that an unofficial name, Hetzer, had spontaneously been coined by the troops. Post-war historians basing themselves on this statement made the name popular in their works. It was never the official name like the other animal names were.
A German Hetzer in a three stage camo.
Hetzer in a Tri Colour Camo.
The Jagdpanzer 38(t) was intended to be more cost-effective than the much more ambitious Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger designs of the same period. Using a proven chassis, it avoided the mechanical problems of the larger armoured vehicles.
It was better armored than the earlier Panzerjäger Marder and Nashorn with a sloped armour front plate of 60 mm sloped back at 60 degrees from the vertical (equivalent in protection to about 120 mm), carried a reasonably powerful gun, was mechanically reliable and small and easily concealed. It was also cheap to build. Its main failings were the cramped working condition of the crew and the gun mounting, which had a more limited traverse to the left.
The Jagdpanzer 38(t) succeeded the Marder III (based on the same chassis) in production from April 1944; about 2584 were built until the end of the war. Its purpose was to equip the Panzerjägerabteilungen (tank destroyer battalions) of the infantry divisions, giving them some limited mobile anti-armour capability. After the war Czechoslovakia continued to build the type and exported 158 vehicles to Switzerland. Most vehicles in today's collections are of Swiss origin.
Also, by special order of Adolf Hitler in November 1944, a number of Jagdpanzer 38(t)s were refurbished straight from the factory with a Keobe flamethrower and accompanying equipment instead of the normal gun. The flame projector was encased in a metal shield reminiscent of that of a gun barrel, and easily prone to damage. Less than 50 of these vehicles, designated Flammpanzer 38, were completed before the end of the war, but they were used operationally against Allied forces on the Western Front.
Further variants were a Hetzer carrying the 150 mm sIG33/2 Howitzer, of which 30 were produced before the end of the war, and the Bergepanzer 38(t)Hetzer, a light recovery vehicle of which 106 were produced. Plans were made to produce other variants, including an assault gun version of the Hetzer carrying a 105 mm main cannon, and an anti-aircraft variant mounted with a flak turret. The war ended before these proposed models were put into production.
A 38cm Sturmtiger
History of the Sturmtiger
It's 1945 and the Allies are moving into Germany from multiple fronts and they are desperate to end the war that has already cost every combatant dearly in men & material. But Germany will not break easily and is determined to prevent defeat. The Wehrmacht is now fielding new, more powerful weapons that they believe will equalize the battlefield and turn the tide of the war...including the 'Sturmtiger'. The Sturmtiger was based on the late model Tiger I, keeping its hull and suspension. The front of the Tiger's superstructure was removed to make room for the new fighting compartment housing the rocket launcher/mortar. This was located directly at the front of the vehicle, giving it a boxy appearance. Compared to the regular Tiger tank, the Sturmtiger was much shorter, only 6.28 meters compared to the Tiger's 8.45 meters, due largely to the fact that it hadn't the main gun 88mm of the latter. It also was slightly less tall than the standard Tiger, 2.85 to 3.00 meters. Since the Sturmtiger would be used in an urban environment, during close range street fighting operations, it needed to be heavily armored to survive. Its frontal armor therefore was 150 mm thick, as well as sloped, while its side plates were still some 80 mm thick. This pushed the weight of the vehicle up from the 57 tons of the regular Tiger to some 68 tons.
The main armament was the 380mm Raketenwerfer 61 L/5.4, a breech loading rocket launcher/mortar, which fired short ranged rocket propelled projectiles. These projectiles were roughly 1.5 meters in length and could either contain a high explosive charge of 125 kg or a shaped charge for use against fortifications, which could penetrate up to some 2.5 meters of (reinforced) concrete. The stated range of the former was 5650 meters. The weight of the complete rounds was 345-351 kilo. A normal charge first accelerated the projectile to 45 m/s, the 40 kg rocket charge then boosted this to about 250 m/s.
The design of the rocket launcher caused some problems, as the hot rocket exhaust could not be vented into the fighting compartment but neither could the barrel withstand the pressure if the gasses were not vented. Therefore a ring of ventilation shafts were put around the barrel which channeled the exhaust and gave the weapon somewhat of a pepperbox appearance.
Because of the bulkiness of the ammunition, only 14 rounds could be carried, of which one was already loaded, with another in the loading tray. The rest were carried in two storage racks. To help with the loading of ammunition into the vehicle, a loading crane was fitted at the rear of the superstructure, next to the loading hatch. Even then, the entire five man crew had to help with the loading.
At the loading hatch's rear was located the 90 mm NbK 39 Nahverteidigungswaffe, which was used for close range defense against both armored vehicles and infantry. This could be used in a 360 degree circle around the vehicle and was basically a short range A grenade launcher is a weapon that fires, or "launches" a grenade. For defense against infantry attacks, there was a mount in the front for a 7.92mm The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG34, was a German machine gun first issued in 1934, considered by many to be the first modern general-purpose machine gun. It was used as the primary infantry machine gun during the 1930s, and remained as the primary tank and aircraft defensive weapon. It was intended that it would be replaced in infantry service by the related MG42, but there were never enough of the new design to go around, and MG34s soldiered on in all roles until the end of World War II.
The origional role of the Sturmtiger was intended to be a heavy infantry support vehicle to aid attacks on heavily fortified bunkers and built up areas. By the time the Sturmtiger was available the German cause was turning for the worst, the German Wehrmacht was on the offensive but the defensive The original role of the Sturmtiger was intended to be as a heavy infantry support vehicle, to help with attacks on heavily fortified or built-up areas. By the time the first Sturmtigers were available however, the situation for Germany had changed for the worse, with the Wehrmacht being almost exclusively on the defensive rather then the offensive.
Three new Panzer companies were raised to operate the Sturmtiger: Panzer Sturmmörser Kompanien (PzStuMrKp) 1000, 1001 and 1002. These originally were supposed to be equipped with fourteen vehicles, but this figure was later reduced to four each, divided into two platoons. PzStuMrKp 1000 was raised on 13 August 1944 and fought during the Warsaw Uprising.
The Warsaw Uprising was an armed struggle in the Second World War by the Polish Home Armyto Liberate Warsaw from German Occupationand Nazi Rule. It started on August 1 1944as part of a nationwide uprising,"Operation Tempest".
The Polish resisted until October 2nd. (63 days in total) the Germans use two vehicles for this action PzStuMrKp 1001 and 1002 followed in September and October, both these same vehicles served during the Ardennes push.
After this offensive, the Sturmtigers were used in the defense of Germany, mainly if not exclusively at the Western front. They proved to be excellent defensive weapons, hard to destroy except by air attack or heavy artillery bombardment. Few Sturmtigers were therefore destroyed by enemy action, with most being destroyed or abandoned by their crews after either a mechanical breakdown or because of fuel shortages
Rare Footage of a Sturmtiger firing
Guess the tank type competition.
A interesting photo sent in by Peter Symonds of Nottingham...the one at the front is a Porsch Tiger (one didn't get turned into a Ferdinand and fought at Kurst...probably only for 10 minutes before it broke down) and the tank at the rear of the railcar is a first production Panther (with a PzIII cuppola and storage bins added) which also only lasted about 10 minutes until the Soviet infantry dealt with it because Hitler ordered them into battle without Mgs fitted.
Sturmgeschütz is a German word for "assault gun", usually abbreviated StuG. The vehicle was a leading weapon of the Sturmartillerie, a branch of the German artillery tasked with close fire support of infantry in infantry, panzer, and panzergrenadier units. StuGs were very successful in their intended support role and destroyed, among others, many bunkers, pillboxes and other defences. Destruction of enemy tanks was its main priority, however, and it is estimated that by 1944 StuG battalions had destroyed 20,000 enemy tanks.
The StuG is not generally considered to be a true tank because it lacks a turret. The gun was mounted directly in the hull, in a casemate-style fashion, with as low a profile as was possible to reduce vehicle height, and had a limited lateral traverse of a few degrees in either direction. Thus, the entire vehicle had to be turned in order to acquire targets. Omitting the turret made production much more simple and less costly, enabling greater numbers to be built. The lower vehicle height was meant to give a "StuG" designated vehicle a significantly shorter vertical profile as compared to contemporary tanks, making the StuG more difficult to hit and easier to protect in hull defilade.
Most assault guns were mounted on the chassis of a Panzer III (which had become obsolete as a tank) or Panzer IV, with the resultant model being called either a StuG III or StuG IV respectively. The StuG was one of the most effective tracked vehicles of World War II, and over 10,000 of them were eventually produced.
030308 Stug with troops relocating in a Wintery Landscape
A Stug in Greece...Looks like Athens?
The Panther was a tank fielded by Nazi Germany in World War II that served from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. It was intended as a counter to the T-34, and to replace the Panzer III and IV, though it served along with them as well as the heavier Tiger tanks until the end of the war. The Panther's excellent combination of firepower, mobility, and protection served as a benchmark for other nations' late war and immediate post-war tank designs and it is frequently regarded as the best tank design of World War II.
Until 1944, it was designated as the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther and had the ordnance inventory designation of Sd.Kfz. 171. On 27, February 1944, Hitler ordered that the Roman numeral V be deleted from the designation.
The Panther tank was a compromise of various requirements. While sharing essentially the same engine as the Tiger I tank, it had better frontal armor and firepower, and was lighter overall and thus faster, and could handle rough terrain better than the Tigers. The tradeoff was weaker side armor, and so the Panther proved to be deadly in open country and shooting from long range, but vulnerable to close-quarters combat.
The Panther was also far cheaper to produce than the Tiger tanks, and only slightly more expensive than the Panzer IV, as its design came to fruition at the same time that the Reich Ministry of Armament and War Production was making great efforts to increase war production. Key parts of the Panther tank, such as its armor, transmission, and final drive, were compromises made specifically to improve production rates and address Germany's war shortages, whereas other parts such as its highly compact engine and its complex suspension system remained with their elegant but complicated engineering. The result was that Panther tank production was far higher than what was possible for the Tiger tanks, but not much higher than what had been accomplished with the Panzer IV. At the same time, the simplified final drive became the single major cause of breakdowns of the Panther tank, and was a problem that was never corrected.
The Panther tank arrived in 1943 at a crucial phase in World War II for Germany. Rushed into combat at the Battle of Kursk before its teething problems were corrected, the Panther tank would thereafter only be fighting outnumbered in Germany's steady retreat against the Allies for the remainder of World War II. Its success as a battlefield weapon was thus hampered by Germany's generally declining position in this war, with the loss of airpower protection by the Luftwaffe, the loss of fuel and training space, and the declining quality of tank crews. Nevertheless, the Panther tank demanded respect from the Allies, and its combat capabilities led directly to the introduction of heavier Allied tanks such as the IS-2 and the M26 Pershing into the war.
German Panther disguised as an American Tank.
A Panther heavily covered in branches in an urban invironment.
Panthers being loading onto flatcars for the Bulge offensive.
Panther "Night Hunter" - Fitted with an Infra Red Night Device
Panther - MAN Production Factory
Panther - Troop Break
Panther - Turret in a fixed position ITALY
Panther in Tri Colour
Jagdpanther ''Hunting Panther'' - War Museum London
The Jagdpanther ("Hunting Panther") was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Gemany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. Many military historians consider the Jagdpanther to be the best tank destroyer of World War II.
A heavy tank destroyer design based on the 88 mm Pak 43 gun and the Panther tank chassis was ordered in late 1942 as design SdKfz 173. Production started in early 1944; at the same time Hitler specified the Jagdpanther ("hunting panther") name.
To accommodate the heavier-calibre gun, much as on previous Jagdpanzer-style unturreted tank destroyers, the sides of the Panther tank were extended up into an integral, turretless fixed casemate as part of the main hull itself to provide a roomy interior. Both the Panther Ausf. G and Jagdpanther had side armor of increased elevation to enhance this effect even further and to harmonize production.
It was armed with an anti-tank version of the same long-barreled 88 mm gun as the Tiger II and a 7.92 mm MG-34 machine gun in the front glacis plate for local defence. The Jagdpanther had a good power-to-weight ratio and a powerful main gun, which enabled it to destroy any type of Allied tank. Because it was based on the existing Panther chassis, the vehicle did not suffer too many mechanical problems. It was manned by a crew of 5, a driver, radio-operator, commander, gunner, and a loader.
Two variants can be distinguished, one with a welded steel band around the main gun mantlet and the other with a bolted-on band. The versions with the bolted-on ring were equipped with Pak 43/4 gun. Early Jagdpanthers had a monobloc gun barrel and two vision openings for the driver, whereas late versions had only one.
Around 392 Jagdpanthers were produced in 1944 and 1945. They equipped heavy antitank battalions and served mainly on the Eastern Front, although significant numbers were concentrated in the West for the Ardennes Offensive. They were first encountered in the west in very small numbers late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654th Heavy Antitank Battalion (schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung) deployed about 12 Jagdpanthers against British units.
A Jagd Panther in Tri Colour Camo... Look no Zimmerite!
PANZER SELBSTFAHR Pzfsl.II Tracked Cannon Car.
Used in the Afrika desert campaign by Rommels troops.
Pz.fsl.II 'shot up' desert campaign.
Goliath - Leichter Sprengladungstrager
The Goliath tracked mine is a caterpillar-tracked vehicle, approximately four feet long,
two wide, and one foot tall. It carried 75-100 kgs of high explosive and was controlled
by a specialised soldier controlling the mine via a cable and control box.
The tracked mine was driven and parked next to the intended target whether it
be an enemy bunker or tank.