Tiger P Tank by Ferdinand Porsche vk 45 01 P with 8 8 cm Gun
Tiger P Tank by Ferdinand Porsche vk 45 01 P with 8 8 cm Gun

Tiger P Tank by Ferdinand Porsche: vk 45.01 P with 8.8 cm Gun

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Table of Contents

Tiger P Tank by Ferdinand Porsche: vk 45.01 P with 8.8 cm Gun – Key Points

  • Development by Porsche: The Tiger P Tank was developed by the Ferdinand Porsche Company in 1942, featuring a new gasoline engine, capable of 310 hp.
  • Hull Redesign: The tank’s hull was redesigned for functionality, with increased armor thickness and modifications to accommodate the transmission and engine cooling systems.
  • Suspension System Overhaul: The tank’s suspension system was significantly altered, with the removal of support rollers and the addition of road wheels with internal shock absorption.
  • Production Challenges: The Tiger P faced numerous production issues, particularly with its engine and cooling system, which were highlighted during testing.
  • Transmission Changes: There was an initiative to shift from electric to hydromechanical transmission, but this was not fully realized in production.
  • Unproduced Armament: A proposal for a 10.5 cm KwK 16/775 gun by the Skoda design bureau was drafted but never advanced beyond the initial design phase.
  • Urgency in Production: The urgency to produce the Tiger P was a response to the German military’s need for a heavy tank capable of countering advanced Soviet tanks like the T-34 and KV.
  • Competition with Henschel: The Tiger P was in competition with a design by Henschel, and despite initial production, it was eventually converted into the Ferdinand tank destroyer.
  • Historical Clarifications: The article aims to correct historical inaccuracies about the Tiger P, particularly regarding its transmission system and production history.

The Evolution of the German Heavy Tank Program During World War 2

The onset of the German heavy tank initiative traces its roots back to 1937. Despite the early commencement, the program experienced delays due to continuous modifications to designs of tanks that had not yet been produced. Addressing this challenge, Porsche K.G. took the initiative in December of 1939 to commence work on the Typ 100 heavy tank, also recognized as the VK 30.01(P).

This endeavor led to the conception of another distinguished tank, the VK 45.01(P), alternatively named the Pz.Kpfw. Tiger P.

Often referred to as the Porsche Tiger P, this vehicle was eventually incorporated into service.

Given a different trajectory of events, this tank might have been recognized as the principal German heavy tank during the Second World War.

German Tank Evolution: The Heavier Weight, Same Dimensions and 8.8 cm Gun

In the lead-up to the anticipated conflict with the USSR, Germany saw the birth of the VK 30.01(P), marking its first attempt to blend thick armor with a formidable offensive capability, enabling it to tackle counterparts of its class.

In March 1941, while the weaponry for this nascent machine was yet to receive the green light, discussions shifted towards arming it with even mightier firepower. The backdrop for this was the ambiguous intelligence Germany had about the Red Army’s tanks, with some reports suggesting tanks exceeding 100 tons.

The German tank’s designers didn’t stop at its initial armament, the 8.8 cm Flak 18. Their search for dominance led them to contemplate other formidable options: the 10.5 cm KwK L/47 and the 8.8 cm KwK L/56—distinguished by its heightened muzzle velocity.

By May, another contender emerged: the 8.8 cm KwK L/71, which drew inspiration from the ballistics of the Flak 41 AA gun.

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