Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Ferdinand

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

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General info

The Ferdinand in the Garage.

The Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Ferdinand (or just Ferdinand) is a Rank IV German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 7.0 (AB), 6.3 (RB), and 6.7 (SB). It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. A formidably armoured tank destroyer design, the Ferdinand can withstand most frontal shots when faced from a long distance, yet deliver a devastating attack with its 88 mm cannon.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The main role of the Ferdinand was as a heavy tank destroyer. The Ferdinand was quite good at killing T-34's at ranges before the T-34 could engage it. It is recommended to use this tank at long ranges and behind cover. It is a must to change your position and not loiter around the same area too long.

Vehicle characteristics

Tactics

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-tactics

The Ferdinand's front armour is superb with 100 + 100 mm on the largest spots, the front hull and casemate structure. However, these armour plates are not very angled so if in possession of a gun able to penetrate 200+ mm, there's a high change it will penetrate the Ferdinand's front.

If not, there are certain weak points in the front that could be used. The first are the side cheeks on the front hull, next to the 200 mm cumulative plates. These are only 80 mm thick and is angled so that they are ~120 mm effectiveness from the front. The lower glacis is also another 80 mm that provides ~120 mm effectiveness at their angle. These two points are nice weak points for weaker guns and other 88 mm guns.

The vehicle's *long* profile on the sides make it a very enticing target from a long distance. So it is very possible to flank the tank destroyer from its position and hit the tall casemate structure. With all the ammunition and 4/6 of the crew in there, there's a very good chance of crippling the Ferdinand's fighting capabilities or igniting one of the ammunition racks.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Heavily armoured front.
  • Excels at long range engagements.
  • Has the unique advantage of having its main gun mounted higher than other tank destroyers, can shoot over obstacles when others can't.
  • Rear mounted transmission.
  • Overall great vehicle to get hulled down on and repel enemy attacks.
  • Very rarely needs to move once in position.
  • Very good at suppressing enemies for friendlies to flank.
  • Has a unique transmission that allows it to move reverse as fast as it can move forward.
  • Comes with a Bicolor camouflage.
  • Gun optic has an enhanced level zoom.
  • 2 loaders, giving it faster reload speed from all long 88 equipped vehicles.
  • A formidable opponent in SB. Once they hull down in a good position they can become immovable.
  • Especially effective on maps like Kursk and El Alamein.

Cons:

  • As with most tank destroyers, it is very slow and not very maneuverable, so getting outflanked often proves fatal (Poor mobility and speed).
  • Doesn't like hills and other obstacles.
  • No sloped armour.
  • Lower glacis is vulnerable to enemy fire.
  • Cannot angle itself as it will expose the cheeks that are only 80 mm thick.
  • Flat surface on top of tank underneath the gun, vulnerable if enemy is above you.
  • Vulnerable to high-calibre HE shells (Russian 122 and 152 mm).
  • Less effective in urban combat maps (easily outflanked).

Specifications

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Armament

1 x 8.8 cm PaK 43 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 50 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -8°
  • Gun Elevation: 14°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 4.8°/s (Stock), 6.6°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 8.7s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 8.8 cm PaK 43 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 50 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -8°
  • Gun Elevation: 14°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 4.8°/s (Stock), 5.6°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 8.7s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 8.8 cm PaK 43 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 50 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -8°
  • Gun Elevation: 14°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 4.8°/s (Stock), 5.6°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Upgraded + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 8.7s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)

Ammunition

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39/43 235 232 219 204 190 176 APCBC 1000 10 0.8 28 108.8 +4° 42° 27° 19°
Sprgr 13 13 13 13 13 13 HE 820 11 0.1 0.5 935 +0° 11° 10°
Hl.Gr 39 110 110 110 110 110 110 HEAT 600 7.6 0.0 0.3 1100 +0° 28° 21° 17°
PzGr 40/43 272 270 250 228 208 189 APCR 1200 7.3 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Ferdinand.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
50 38 (+12) 26 (+24) 13 (+37) (+49) Yes

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader 1
  • Loader 2
  • Driver
  • Assistant driver

Total: 6 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides (Slope angle) Rear (Slope angle) Roof (Slope angle)
Hull 100 + 100 mm (6°) Front plate
80 mm (85°), 100 + 100 mm (35°) Front glacis
80, 100 mm (38-39°) Lower glacis
80 mm 80 mm (7-43°) Top
80 mm (5-62°) Bottom
20 mm Hull roof
80 mm Engine deck
Superstructure 200 mm (20°) Casemate front
60 + 80 + 200 mm Gun mantlet
85 mm (28-29°) 80 mm (20°) 30 mm (87°)

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 25 mm thick and tracks are 30 mm thick.
  • The hull roof is some part 20 mm thick in areas while it is 80 mm thick more in the center area.
  • Belly armour is 20 mm thick.
  • Hull underside right above tracks are 25 mm thick.
  • 30 mm RHA plates separate the engine compartment from the front and rear crew compartments.
  • A 30 mm RHA plate separates the driver and assistant driver.

Engine & mobility

Weight: 65.0 ton

Max Speed: 34 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 753 hp @ 2600 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.58 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 28°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ____ hp @ 2600 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 65.0 ton

Max Speed: 31 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 469 hp @ 2600 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 7.21 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 30°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ____ hp @ 2600 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 65.0 ton

Max Speed: 31 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 469 hp @ 2600 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 7.21 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 30°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ____ hp @ 2600 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°

Modules and improvements

History of creation and combat usage

Development

During the program to create what will end up be the Tiger I tanks, Henschel and Porsche competed against each other for the contract to build the tanks. Porsche further developed their pre-existing 45 ton prototype, the VK 4501 P, while Henschel adapted their 36 ton prototype (VK 3601 H) to create the VK 4501 H. Henschel won the contract, but Porsche was extremely confident that their design would win that around 100 of the VK 4501 P chassis were already constructed. Since the design lost, it was determined to use the chassis for the basis of a new vehicle, namely a tank destroyer to mount the new and formidable 88mm Pak 43 anti-tank gun. These new tank destroyers were then called the Ferdinand, after its designer Ferdinand Porsche.

The Ferdinand was a formidable tank destroyer design. Changes from the original VK 4501 P chassis was the movement of the engine towards the center rather than the rear. The armour bolted onto the front plate gave the Ferdinand an armour thickness of 200 mm. Plus, with the 88mm Pak 43 on a fixed casemate design, it could knock out any allied tanks before they could enter effective ranges against the Ferdinand. 91 of the VK 4501 P chassis were converted into the Ferdinand. The design was not without its flaw though, mostly concerned with the heavy weight of 65 tons and an unreliable engine with the gasoline-electric drive system. Two Maybach 12 cylinder HL120 TRM engines with 265 hp constant power output drove 2 generators which powered 2 Siemens-Schuckert electric motors with 230 kW power output. This resulted in a top speed of only 20 kph and a very low operational range of only 150 km. Other lesser drawbacks were the lack of all-around vision ports and machine guns, which would be later addressed due to combat experience. Nevertheless, the engine and weight drawbacks would plague the Ferdinand design throughout its service life.

Combat usage

The Ferdinand's combat debut was in the Battle of Kursk, with 89 vehicles available. The Ferdinand was optimized for destroying Soviet tanks at long ranges (over 3 miles or 5 km) with its 88 mm Pak 43/2 L/71 gun. The Ferdinand's flaws came to light during their movement; after advancing through Soviet defense lines, the Soviet infantry quickly recognized that it lacked peripheral vision blocks, a rotating turret (like most World War II tank destroyers for Germany) and the Ferdinand didn't even have a machine gun for anti-infantry purposes. Soviet infantry could hide in their trenches until the Ferdinand advanced the lines, then take out the vehicle with grenades and Molotov cocktails. Heinz Guderian remarked that the Ferdinand's anti-infantry capabilities was essentially "quail shooting with cannons".

Though the Ferdinand has great armour and firepower, most of the knocked out Ferdinands were due to anti-tank mines and mechanical failure. Damages to tracks forced the tank crew to exit the vehicle and repair it, and the 65 ton weight of the vehicle made armour recovery a nightmarish job, requiring five Bergepanzer IV (Panzer IV armour recovery vehicle) to tow one from the front lines. More Ferdinands were destroyed by their own crew to prevent capture than to combat losses due to the inability to easily recover these vehicles in a defensive war where German territory are gradually lost to the Soviets. Despite these drawbacks, the Ferdinands were much feared among the Soviet tankers, as the Ferdinand produced horrific losses among the Soviet armour corps. During the Battle of Kursk, the 653rd Heavy Tank Battalion claimed to have knocked out 320 enemy tanks, with the loss of 13 Ferdinands.

After Kursk, all surviving Ferdinands were recalled in September 1943 to be modified, which fixed most of the previous flaws. 48 of the 50 survivors were modified with a hull mounted machine gun, a commander's cupola, and anti-magnetic Zimmerit paste to counter Soviet magnetic mines. The armour and track width of the vehicle was also enlarged and brought the Ferdinand's 65 tons weight up to 70 tons. These modified vehicles are designated the Elefant. One of the Ferdinands unable to be converted to an Elefant due to battle damages began to be converted into a Rammpanzer Tiger or Rammtiger which was to be a breakthrough vehicle, though there is no evidence that it was completed or saw service. The Elefants then served in the Italian front against the Western Allies, but its heavy weight impeded its mobility on the rough terrain and the use of bridges and roads. After Italy, the Elefants didn't see many use due to low quantity. One company of Elefants saw action during the Soviet's January 1945 Vistula-Oder offensive in Poland, and the last few surviving vehicles were in combat at Zossen during the Battle of Berlin. The Ferdinand may have been the most successful tank destroyer employed during the entire war in terms of kills per loss, reaching an average ratio of approximately 10:1. This ratio could be given thanks to the armour and firepower of the tank destroyer, but in terms of operational capabilities the poor mobility, mechanical unreliability, and low quantity of these vehicles meant it had little impact in the overall strategic effect in the war.

Survivors

Today, two of these tank destroyers are left in intact conditions today. One Ferdinand was captured by the Soviets at Kursk and is now in display at the Kubinka Tank Museum. Another one, an Elefant, was captured by the Americans at Anzio, Italy. It was displayed at the US Army Ordinance Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia for many years and was restored to display condition in 2007. Currently, it is being loaned to the Bovington Tank Museum and is in the new exhibit "Tiger Collection".[1]

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

References

  1. The Tank Museum. "THE TIGER COLLECTION – THE TANKS, THE TERROR & THE TRUTH." Tank Museum. N.p., 02 Nov. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016. <[1]>.
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germ_panzerjager_tiger_p_ferdinand.png

Icon-country-der.png Ferdinand
Nation Germany
Type Tank destroyer
Rank 4
Battle Rating
7.0
6.3
6.7

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
65,000 kg
143,300 lb
Number of Crew 6
Hull armour thickness
200/80/80/80 mm
7.87/3.15/3.15/3.15 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
753 hp
469 hp
469 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
___ hp
530 hp
530 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
11.58
11.77
7.21
7.33
7.21
7.33
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
__.__
__.__
8.15
8.28
8.15
8.28
Max speed
34 km/h
20.9 mph
31 km/h
19.3 mph
31 km/h
19.3 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 88 mm PaK 43 Cannon
Ammo stowage 50 rounds
Vertical guidance -8°/14°
Horizontal guidance -14°/14°
Economy
Required RP 78,000 RP
Vehicle cost 230,000 SL
Crew training cost 65,000 SL
Max repair cost*
17,410 SL
7,000 SL
8,300 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
11d
9d
9d
Free repair time (Upgraded)
3d 16h
3d 03h
3d 03h
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