Elite Group

World War II
General 1/2

Photoshoots by:
Samer Kassis


Manufactured by Henschel, the development of the Tiger began in May 1941 . The first prototypes underwent trials in April 1942, and the production started in July 1942 until August 1944. The total of Tigers built were 1,354 tank.

A powerful 88MM KwK 36 L/56 gun was the Tiger's main gun capable of perforating almost any allied tank at that time. The gunner was provided with a TzF 9b binocular gun sight, then replaced later on with a TzF 9c with only one sight hole in the gun mantlet. The hull carried two Bosch headlights on the top, then changes were made deleting one of the bosch headlights ,with the remaining one being mounted in the center of the driver's front armor plate. Ammunition for the 88MM gun was store in bins beneath the turret basket in the hull floor and the side hull superstructure sponsons.It carried a total of ninety-two rounds of high explosive (HE) and armor piercing (AP) ammunition.

The Tiger consisted of a crew of six, and weighed 56 tons. Its speed was 37km/h, with a length of 8.46m, a width of 3.73m,and a height of 2.9m.

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photo2.jpg (16445 bytes)The Tiger II was developed to replace the Tiger I because of many mechanical problems that encountered the Tiger I during its service in the German army Furthermore its development occurred for a need to a larger weapon at this stage of the war. It was designed to carry the 88MM KwK 43 L/ 71 main gun. The production of the new Tiger II began in January 1944.

The Tiger II caused the Germans many problems due its heavy weight and large size especially while transporting and deploying it, but was mechanically better than the Tiger I. It carried many improvements: the diver's visor was replaced with a rotating periscope mounted in the front of the driver, the radio operator was provided with a fixed periscope mounted over the bow MG 34 machine gun mount. The turret had a large rear bustle instead of a basket, this bustle carried twenty-two rounds of ammunitions for the KwK 43 l/71 gun.The Porsche turret Armor was 110MM frontal and 80MM sides and rear. The Henschel Turret had a flat front plate of 180MM thick and 80MM sides and rear. The turret carried a coaxial MG 34 and a MG 42 atached to the cupola with a total of 7800 rounds of 7,92MM. Its weight was 69,4 tons and carried five crew.

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photo3.jpg (22055 bytes)The VK 4501 (P) prototype developed from the earlier VK 3001 (P) project lost the competition against the VK 4501 (H). This failure due to technical problems that encountered the VK 4501 (P) led to a stock of ninety chassis. The original name was Sturmgeschuetz mit 8,8CM PaK 43/2 (Sdkfz 184) and better known as Jagdpanzer Ferdinand and Later on as Elefant in Italy.

The main armament consisted of an 88MM PaK 43/2 L/71 Cannon. There was no secondary machine gun. The Ferdinand also had several vision slits and pistol ports but vision from inside remained very poor. The Ferdinands were issued to PzJagAbt 653 and 654 during spring of 1943 and participated to the battle of kursk in Russia. As a fact these vehicles prooved to be very effective as tank destroyers, but the lack of secondary armament made it vulnerable to close infantry attacks. After his battle the Ferdinand underwent several modifications. A total of fourty-eight modified Ferdinand's were used in Italy during early 1944 in the PzJagAbt 653.The Elefant weighed 68 tons and had a speed of 20 km/h. Its height was 3.00m,idth 3.38m, length 8.13m, and carried a crew of six men.

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photo1.jpg (18148 bytes)A heavy assault mortar capable of destroying fortified positions and made to be used in urban warfare. Based on the Tiger I chassis this huge gun was planned to be a 210MM gun . However no suitable weapon were available. As a substitute, a 380MM "Raketenwerfer "61 L/54 rocket launcher was chosen to be used in the Kriegsmarine as an anti submarine weapon.

Alkett began the development of this vehicle during 1943. The first prototype was out for demonstration in October 1943, and entered production in the mid 1944. It had a weight of 68 tons, a height of 3.45m(with crane included) a total length of 6.30m and a crew of five to six men.

The inside supply of ammunition contained a maximum of twelve rounds based on six stowage racks. Each projectile weighed 345 kg and was 1426MM long with a range of 5670m. Originally known as the 38CM RW 61 Auf. "Sturmmoerser Tiger" and commonly known as SturmTiger. This vehicle had a very efficient demolishing projectile, however it proved to be mechanically unreliable. It carried a 700 Hp Maybach HL 230 P45 gasoline engine.

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