King Tiger front armour invincibility..

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fishfingers2
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King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by fishfingers2 » 16 Dec 2012 23:01

I remember reading somewhere a while back about the war (I forgot what) and I stumbled across something that stated that the front armour of the King Tiger (Tiger II) was never penetrated during the entire war. The tanks fell victim to flanking shots, sheer concussion from HE shells, mechanical failure etc. but never was destroyed by an enemy shell that went through the glacis. Can anyone confirm this?

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Alejandro_
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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by Alejandro_ » 17 Dec 2012 12:19

There are a few books with that reference. You can find it in Osprey volume on Tiger-II:

The authors have been unable to find any photographs or other proof of the frontal armour of Tiger IIs being penetrated during combat.

Osprey New Vanguard, Tiger II, by Thomas L. Jentz, Hilary L. Doyle, Peter Sarson and Lee Johnson (1993), pag 36.

There is a photo that has been discussed in many forums, and that shows a possible front penetration in the turret. See below. No photo of front hull penetrations has been found.

Image

fishfingers2
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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by fishfingers2 » 18 Dec 2012 23:04

Was the general consensus that the most likely culprit was the British 17pdr AT gun? If I'm not mistaken that dark mark on the hull (the tank's left) is a groove left by a failed penetration.

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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 19 Dec 2012 02:21

The mantlet and glacis were the same thickness ,though after the 51st turret the mantlet was slightly thickened, but the glacis was much more sloped , therefore effectively alot thicker.
The Russians busted up one pretty good during some tests, the glacis was hit multiple times with I believe 122 and 152 mm AP and was cracked and holed several times.. I can't find the link ATM, it has been linked on the forum many times before. As has this topic been discussed many times before.

specs are here

http://www.fprado.com/armorsite/tiger2.htm

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Alejandro_
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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by Alejandro_ » 19 Dec 2012 22:22

The photo has been studied in a few forums. The tank belonged to SPzAb 503 and had the tactical number 301. The tank was destroyed in August 44 in the area of Sailly. There were 2 armoured units belonging to US Army: 813 TD Btn and 749th TBn. The former was equipped with M10 and the later with Sherman. I would not be surprised if crews used the Tiger as a target.

The Russians tested a sample captured sample. When hit by 122 and 152mm rounds chunks came off and welds broke. However, this was a test and not combat.

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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 19 Dec 2012 22:51

I very seriously doubt thayt was a penetrative hit , given it is at the outer edge of the mantlet and such an area would have the turret armor behind it to back it up.

From the looks of the photo that KT also took a hit from the same weapon, through the Bow MG port, that critical hit probably would have either rendered the tank effective through crew loss and secondary damage.

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LWD
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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by LWD » 19 Dec 2012 22:54

On the other hand edge effect would considerably weakend the mantlet in that area.

ChristopherPerrien
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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 19 Dec 2012 23:06

Really from the looks of photo , there appear to be TWO hits on the Bow-mg port,, Given that is total of 7 shots, and 5 are within about a foot of each other and two are perfect, that is dam good tank shooting. :milwink:

Too bad, we don't have an account from the tank or tank crew that did this. Would be interesting reading.

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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Dec 2012 23:23

ChristopherPerrien wrote:

Too bad, we don't have an account from the tank
We do..................

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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by Michael Kenny » 20 Dec 2012 01:25

This is Tiger II number '301' from sPzAbt 503
The 503 combat history says it was hit 5 times frontaly on 26.8.44 whilst in action against US troops near Fontenoy. Now as well as the 5 hits you see in the above pic there are another 5 not visible in the shadow on the lower bow plate

In his book '45 Tigre en Normandie' Didier Lodieu writes:

Un veritable ouragan de fer et de feu enveloppe les quatre mastodontes de la 3/503 le Tiger 301 est touche puis brule Quatre members de lequipage reussisent a s'en sortir mais le cinquieme. le radio Ricke est blesse. Ill meurt un peu plus tard.

Google says that is:

A real hurricane of steel and fire envelops the four beasts of 3/503. Tiger 301 is hit and burns. Four members of the crew manage to escape but the fifth, the radio operator Ricke is wounded. He dies a short while later.

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Ironmachine
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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by Ironmachine » 20 Dec 2012 08:58

ChristopherPerrien wrote:The Russians busted up one pretty good during some tests, the glacis was hit multiple times with I believe 122 and 152 mm AP and was cracked and holed several times.. I can't find the link ATM, it has been linked on the forum many times before.
It can be found here: http://english.battlefield.ru/was-the-t ... -king.html
Alejandro wrote:The Russians tested a sample captured sample. When hit by 122 and 152mm rounds chunks came off and welds broke. However, this was a test and not combat.
Penetration was also achieved:
4. Armor-piercing projectiles from the BS-3 (100 mm) and A-19 (122 mm) gun completely penetrated when impacting the edges or joints of the "Tiger-B" tank's front hull plates at ranges of 500-600 metres.
5. Armor-piercing projectiles from the BS-3 (100 mm) and A-19 (122 mm) gun completely penetrated the "Tiger-B" tank's front turret plate at ranges of 1000-1500 metres.
but as you say, that was not combat.

Regards.

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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by Alejandro_ » 21 Dec 2012 23:58

Here is a diagram showing impacts on Tiger-II hull at Kubinka.
041frag1.jpg
http://u-96.livejournal.com/2859672.html
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Last edited by Marcus on 22 Dec 2012 12:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by egonzinc » 22 Dec 2012 00:08

Not sure if there was armour penetration, but I recall reading of a friendly fire incident when some 88s in Cagny inadvertedly shot at some Porsche type Tiger II during Operation Goodwood. I remember the Tiger IIs retired, but do not recall the actual damage, if any, to the tanks.

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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by Michael Kenny » 22 Dec 2012 06:56

egonzinc wrote:Not sure if there was armour penetration, but I recall reading of a friendly fire incident when some 88s in Cagny inadvertedly shot at some Porsche type Tiger II during Operation Goodwood. I remember the Tiger IIs retired, but do not recall the actual damage, if any, to the tanks.
It is claimed that 2 Tiger 1 were hit in error by 8.8cm guns and knocked out to the north of Cagny on 18/744.
At the time the commander of these Tigers( von Rosen) was so rattled by the losses he called of his attack and retreated.
However some 20 years later von Rosen heard there were 8.8 cm guns in Cagny and he re-wrote history and claimed the Tigers were victims of 'friendly fire'.
It is important to note the only 'evidence' of this is Rosen's 1966 revisionism.
There is also a claim the Tiger II rammed by a Sherman was (at the very moment of impact) hit by another myopic 8.8cm crew.

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Re: King Tiger front armour invincibility..

Post by fishfingers2 » 22 Dec 2012 11:15

Alejandro_ wrote:Here is a diagram showing impacts on Tiger-II hull at Kubinka.

Image

http://u-96.livejournal.com/2859672.html
Wasn't the 152mm a howitzer calibre? Why use it for armour testing?

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