Armor quality of the Tiger I

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
critical mass
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by critical mass » 02 Dec 2018 18:06

Avalancheon wrote:
02 Dec 2018 17:12
critical mass wrote:
02 Dec 2018 16:01
There were two 76mm guns used in the tests: the 76mm ZiS3 and the high velocity 76mm mod.38 AAA (76-мм зенитная пушка обр. 1938 г.).
Due to projectile break up, the AAA was as poor as the ZiS-3 against the TIGER.
They also tested the 45mm M-42 gun against the side, along with the 6 pounder gun. The 57mm ZiS-4 gun was tested against the front armor, and failed to make any penetrations.

tankarchives believed that it would have succeeded at a range closer than it was tested (I.E., 500 meters), but given the poor quality of Soviet ammo, this is highly unlikely. The 57mm shells would have shattered.
That´s my take, too.
Avalancheon wrote:
02 Dec 2018 17:12
critical mass wrote:
02 Dec 2018 16:01
The 85mm can perforate the TIGER. I don´t see any inconcurrance between the WaPrüf- and soviet test data.
Even the 76mm ZiS-3 could easily penetrate the TIGER frontally or from the sides -provided it had decent quality APCBC-HE (76mm Pzgr.39 rot) instead of the soviet domestic APBC-shell. The TIGER´s manual danger ranges against 76mm are based upon this german projectile quality.
Sorry, I simply can't agree with this assessment. The difference between the German and Soviet tests is too large to be ignored.

Why did the 30 degree obliquity in the Wa Pruef tests cause the 85mm guns range to be cut down so much against the Tigers? 1000 meters at 0 obliquity vs 200 to 300 meters at 30 degrees obliquity is a big difference.

Like I said to Peasant, I think it has to come down to different ammunition being used. Soviets were using special, shatter proof shells in their test. Whereas the Germans must have been using APBC shells, which tend to break up even at low obliquitys.
While differential shell quality (less so shell types, because none of the soviet wartime full calibre shells were shatter proof) can be a reason for variances, I really fail to see any disticnt incongruences.
Range is irrelevant, In terms of terminal ballistics we are interested in velocity. This downrange velocity correlates with a range.

For WaPrüf perforation at 30° and at 200-300m, the downrange velocity would be 775m/s +-5m/s according to 1944 range tables for the 85mm gun.
ARTKOM´s 1000m range at 0° represents a terminal velocity of appox. 710m/s according to 1944 range tables for the 85mm gun.

Of course, I don´t know if they both used the same range estimates from range tables but we know that soviet range tables were captured by the germans and used in this sort of comparisons, so this presumption is at least possible in my opinion.

More difficult are different defintions of penetration and I can only assume that the failure mode is identic here (discing/pluggin likely with broken penetrator).

So You have for the 85mm gun:
100mm @0° = 710m/s
100mm @30° = 775m/s, very approximately

or a ratio of 1.0:1.09 in terms of velocity (0° and 30°, respectively)

According to german rules for perfectly undeformable, pointed, capped APCBC-HE, if the thickness at 30° is 1.00 then the thickness at 0° = 1.23times (30°). The apparent ratio here is significantly smaller than would be expected for perfect penetrators, even if added with velocity exponents to match increased thickness. This only leaves two conclusions:

A) the range difference for 0° and 30° is not unfeasable but entirely possible
B) projectile break up "flattens"or "caps" performance of the 85mm projectile compared to Pzgr39.
C) the projectile break up at 1000m is less pronounced than the break up pattern at 200-300m (as could be expected due to higher striking energy at close range)

seppw
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by seppw » 03 Dec 2018 00:05

Image
Tiger, Kursk 1943 - 227 hits by AT rifles, 14 hits by 57mm guns and 11 hits by 76mm guns. The vehicle was driven for a further 60km with suspension and track damage from artillery.

seppw
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by seppw » 03 Dec 2018 00:11

Image
Turret hit by a 122mm and two 85mm shells.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Michael Kenny » 03 Dec 2018 00:27

seppw wrote:
03 Dec 2018 00:05
Image
Tiger, Kursk 1943 - 227 hits by AT rifles, 14 hits by 57mm guns and 11 hits by 76mm guns. The vehicle was driven for a further 60km with suspension and track damage from artillery.
Its a destroyed Tiger. Damage was so severe it was scrapped. Do not be fooled by wartime propaganda claims

seppw
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by seppw » 03 Dec 2018 00:46

Image
Side armor
85mm or 76mm?

Avalancheon
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Avalancheon » 03 Dec 2018 16:45

critical mass wrote:
02 Dec 2018 18:06
While differential shell quality (less so shell types, because none of the soviet wartime full calibre shells were shatter proof) can be a reason for variances, I really fail to see any disticnt incongruences.
Range is irrelevant, In terms of terminal ballistics we are interested in velocity. This downrange velocity correlates with a range.
Thats not entirely true. I touched on this earlier with Peasant. Even though the Soviets never adopted armor piercing caps for their shells, they did use a new manufacturing technique that lessened their propensity to shattering. 85mm shells were being mass produced in this way by February 1944, but it was probably being tested months earlier. Maybe only regular AP shells were made this way, and not APBC?

''In February 1944 the 85mm HVAP shot was perfected in time for the introduction of the T-34- 85 tank. Standard armor-piercing projectiles also were improved in design, but armor-piercing capped types were not produced because of manufacturing problems. Instead, circumferential grooves were machined on the ogive so as to give something like the action of a penetrative cap to prevent the shattering of the projectile on impact.'' -Soviet Armed Forces Review Annual - Volume 14, by David R. Jones. (Page 260)
critical mass wrote:
02 Dec 2018 18:06
For WaPrüf perforation at 30° and at 200-300m, the downrange velocity would be 775m/s +-5m/s according to 1944 range tables for the 85mm gun.
ARTKOM´s 1000m range at 0° represents a terminal velocity of appox. 710m/s according to 1944 range tables for the 85mm gun.

Of course, I don´t know if they both used the same range estimates from range tables but we know that soviet range tables were captured by the germans and used in this sort of comparisons, so this presumption is at least possible in my opinion.

More difficult are different defintions of penetration and I can only assume that the failure mode is identic here (discing/pluggin likely with broken penetrator).
Yeah, about that. I was reading the book, Demolishing the Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka. Apparently, the 9th tank corps of the Central Front captured a Tiger tank at Kursk and did ballistics tests on it. The results are surprising.

''From the front target aspect, not a single shell from any of the guns, fired from a range of 2000 meters, was capable of penetrating the tanks frontal armor. At a range up to 400 meters, the 45mm shell can disable the armament and jam the turret. From a range up to 400 meters, the armor piercing 85mm shell penetrates to a depth of 12-13mm and remains embedded.''

So once again, the mystery deepens. Why were the results so different from the other tests? Maybe they were firing at the thicker armor of the mantlet, or were shooting at an oblique angle (unlikely)... How could the 85mm penetrate at 1000 meters and yet fail at 400 meters? The only thing I can think of is shatter gap!

I have no idea what the title of this report was, or who signed off on it. Its only identifier is: TsAMO RF NSB inv. No 9989, s. 89. My attempts to contact the author were unsuccessful.
critical mass wrote:
02 Dec 2018 18:06
So You have for the 85mm gun:
100mm @0° = 710m/s
100mm @30° = 775m/s, very approximately

or a ratio of 1.0:1.09 in terms of velocity (0° and 30°, respectively)

According to german rules for perfectly undeformable, pointed, capped APCBC-HE, if the thickness at 30° is 1.00 then the thickness at 0° = 1.23times (30°). The apparent ratio here is significantly smaller than would be expected for perfect penetrators, even if added with velocity exponents to match increased thickness. This only leaves two conclusions:

A) the range difference for 0° and 30° is not unfeasable but entirely possible
B) projectile break up "flattens"or "caps" performance of the 85mm projectile compared to Pzgr39.
C) the projectile break up at 1000m is less pronounced than the break up pattern at 200-300m (as could be expected due to higher striking energy at close range)
It might be a combination of all those things. But needless to say, things are more complicated than I first thought. My discovery of a second Soviet test with the 85mm gun throws everything into question. The first test has it penetrating at 1000 meters, the second test has it failing at 400 meters. Theres something weird going on here.

Avalancheon
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Avalancheon » 03 Dec 2018 16:53

seppw wrote:
03 Dec 2018 00:11
Image
Turret hit by a 122mm and two 85mm shells.
Thats a good picture. tankarchives would probably call it German propaganda, LOL.

I wonder when and where this photo was taken? Or what range the hits came from?

The original photo can be found here. It has some Russian text that I cannot read.

http://www.brainparking.com/view/topic. ... =1&type=69

Yoozername
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Yoozername » 03 Dec 2018 18:06

This Tiger I mantlet has had at least two large pieces recovered from the damage. There may have been casting flaws but that can be said for most cast armor. Since the turret has been taken off the tank, I would assume that they intend to take the whole gun/mantlet off. I doubt they would try and weld back the mantlet. Note that there is one non-penetrating hit above the gunner's binocular sight hole. Perhaps multiple non-penetrating hits caused the cast armor to crack off. Depending on the effects inside on the sights and elevation mechanism, etc., this Tiger may have been somewhat operative?



cracked.jpg
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Last edited by Yoozername on 04 Dec 2018 15:27, edited 1 time in total.

whelm
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by whelm » 04 Dec 2018 03:06

Avalancheon wrote:
03 Dec 2018 16:45
critical mass wrote:
02 Dec 2018 18:06
While differential shell quality (less so shell types, because none of the soviet wartime full calibre shells were shatter proof) can be a reason for variances, I really fail to see any disticnt incongruences.
Range is irrelevant, In terms of terminal ballistics we are interested in velocity. This downrange velocity correlates with a range.
Thats not entirely true. I touched on this earlier with Peasant. Even though the Soviets never adopted armor piercing caps for their shells, they did use a new manufacturing technique that lessened their propensity to shattering. 85mm shells were being mass produced in this way by February 1944, but it was probably being tested months earlier. Maybe only regular AP shells were made this way, and not APBC?

''In February 1944 the 85mm HVAP shot was perfected in time for the introduction of the T-34- 85 tank. Standard armor-piercing projectiles also were improved in design, but armor-piercing capped types were not produced because of manufacturing problems. Instead, circumferential grooves were machined on the ogive so as to give something like the action of a penetrative cap to prevent the shattering of the projectile on impact.'' -Soviet Armed Forces Review Annual - Volume 14, by David R. Jones. (Page 260)
Image

Michael Kenny
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Michael Kenny » 04 Dec 2018 04:55

Yoozername wrote:
02 Dec 2018 17:24
It would be nice to know what did this damage, and at what range. I suspect this is something of a field test shoot. If you magnify the image, it seems that APCR type rounds are used against the turret front mantlet, leaving a distinctive ring around the holes, and the upper hull has been hit with AP rounds at least 85mm or perhaps larger. The upper hull hits show fragmentation damage around the holes. Perhaps the APHE pre-detonating? The side turret hit looks like some very large HE round set on delay perhaps. It has a distinctive fragmentation arc near the turret viewing port.

This picture clearly shows how thick, and sloped, the 'decking' is above the lower hull, supposedly 60mm. This is probably the best protected area on the Tiger I! It would have been reasonable to have this plate be 40mm and use that extra armor on the nearly vertical upper hull.

Image
A very well-known Russian Tiger at Snegiri. It is generally accepted it was used as a post-war target/test vehicle for new weapons.

http://ww2live.com/en/content/world-war ... yed-russia
Snegiri-Tiger (1).jpg
screenshot.2018-12-04 (2).jpg
screenshot.2018-12-04 (1).jpg

There are some very distinctive 'star' depressions on the lower bow plate.
screenshot.2018-12-04 (1)yu.jpg
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Yoozername
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Yoozername » 04 Dec 2018 18:41

Thats an interesting point I've never heard before. The fact that the front plates were all manufactured in a single lots would explain why they were of such a consistent quality, while other parts of the armor varied more widely in their strength.
Actually, I believe the lots were mass produced and had the better nickel-steel armor that Germany restricted later in the war.

Comparing the Soviet test pictures with battle damaged Tigers, I have yet to see anything like the lower hull damage seen in the Soviets test.

Avalancheon
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Avalancheon » 05 Dec 2018 15:50

whelm wrote:
04 Dec 2018 03:06
Image
Interesting. This proves that the Soviets were machining 360 degree grooves into the shell to control body breakage. Although the technique was less effective at this than they might have hoped.
Yoozername wrote:
04 Dec 2018 18:41
Actually, I believe the lots were mass produced and had the better nickel-steel armor that Germany restricted later in the war.

Comparing the Soviet test pictures with battle damaged Tigers, I have yet to see anything like the lower hull damage seen in the Soviets test.
The Soviet test results are somewhat unique. They not only contradict the results of other ballistics tests, but show the Tiger armor acting in an odd manner (shattering and breaking into pieces). To be fair, though, the lower front plate was an acknowledged weak point. Thats why the Germans welded pieces of track to the hull, in order to provide extra protection.

Yoozername
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Yoozername » 05 Dec 2018 17:24

The lower front plate was as thick as the nearly vertical front hull plates but had more slope AND the tracks. Can you cite a source for that?

Michael Kenny
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by Michael Kenny » 05 Dec 2018 17:38

Avalancheon wrote:
05 Dec 2018 15:50
Thats why the Germans welded pieces of track to the hull, in order to provide extra protection.
It was not welded but slotted in behind a horizontal bar. It was just another place to carry spare track-links.

whelm
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Re: Armor quality of the Tiger I

Post by whelm » 05 Dec 2018 21:46

Michael Kenny wrote:
05 Dec 2018 17:38
Avalancheon wrote:
05 Dec 2018 15:50
Thats why the Germans welded pieces of track to the hull, in order to provide extra protection.
It was not welded but slotted in behind a horizontal bar. It was just another place to carry spare track-links.
Results from testing by the British, they had no spare Tiger links so they used panther in it's place for the hull/turret.

Image

Nose
Image

Turret sides
Image

Code C is a dent with a bulge at the back.

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