- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Ferdinand (Sd.Kfz. Index: Sd.Kfz. 184) is a rank IV German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 7.0 (AB) and 6.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.
A formidable 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.
Survivability and armour
- 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°)|
- 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.
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 chance it will penetrate 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 Ferdinand's fighting capabilities or igniting one of the ammunition racks.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|88 mm PaK43||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|38||27 (+11)||15 (+23)||8 (+30)||1 (+37)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
Usage in battles
The Ferdinand's natural role is as a long-range sniper thanks to its excellent firing range and frontal armour of more than 200 mm. Due to the frontal armour, this tank destroyer should always face the enemy to make use of it. Even though the Ferdinand is a heavy tank destroyer, it can rapidly drive backwards, which allows it to reposition more quickly than Red Army TDs like the SU-152 and ISU-152.
In a team, the Ferdinand acts as a heavy sniper, taking out enemies from afar while being almost immune to any tank shells. However, don't get too close to front-lines, since an enemy tank could slip through and flank the Ferdinand, which would put it in real danger.
Another possibility is as a front line brawler once most of the enemies have been cleared out. While it is not recommended, with flanking support of allies, the Ferdinand can venture further into enemy lines and take out everything that comes your way, but still watching for light tanks that will try to exploit the limited gun traverse to hit from the sides.
The most dangerous enemies of the Ferdinand are medium tanks and light tanks which can slip behind the Ferdinand since the back armour is weak. The Ferdinand has bad manoeuvrability and turning around is very slow.
IS-2 heavy tanks are a real threat to Ferdinand, as well as TD's of the same rank when firing sideways. Always face your armour frontally and take cover when possible.
Pros and cons
- The armour is 200 mm thick on the front of the tank very few tanks can penetrate it
- Powerful 88 mm Pak gun with two loaders makes it able to destroy multiple targets in a short time
- Has the unique advantage of having its main gun mounted higher than other tank destroyers, can shoot over obstacles when others can't and can exploit tall hull-down positions
- Thanks to the transmission, Ferdinand can go backward as fast as it can go forward
- The transmission is rear-mounted, meaning a frontal penetration could still leave the tank in mobile condition
- Good natural steering
- Good optics for sniping
- 6 crew members make it difficult for opponents to knock it out
- Comes with a bicolour camouflage
- The tank loses speed and momentum when turning
- The hull's thin cheek armour's effectiveness decreases when angling
- Lower glacis is vulnerable to enemy fire
- The front armour is not angled
- Slow due to its heavy weight
- Doesn't like hills and other obstacles
- Flat surface on top of tank underneath the gun is vulnerable if an enemy is above you
- Less effective in urban combat maps (easily outflanked)
During the program to create what will end up being 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 45.01 (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 88 mm 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 centre rather than the rear. The armour bolted onto the front plate gave the Ferdinand an armour thickness of 200 mm. Plus, with the 88 mm 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 km/h 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.
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 defence 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 Ferdinand's anti-infantry capabilities were essential "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 is 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 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 heavyweight impeded its mobility on the rough terrain and the use of bridges and roads. After Italy, the Elefants didn't see much use due to the 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 claimed 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.
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 Ordnance 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".
The Ferdinand self-propelled artillery gun was developed in 1942 to 1943 from the experimental VK 4501 (P) tank, which was developed by Porsche but never entered military service. In 1943, the company Alkett built 90 of these guns.
The gun's layout was quite unusual, with the crew compartment placed at the rear of the spacious cabin. The driver and radio operator were located in the front part of the cabin, and a direct connection between this compartment and the crew compartment was impossible due to heat-resistant metal partitions installed between the two compartments, where the engine and other equipment were located.
The Ferdinand was equipped with an 88 mm rifled 8,8 cm Stuk 43 gun with a long 71 caliber barrel. This gun was specially adapted to be mounted on the PaK 43 self-propelled anti-tank gun. The gun had excellent ballistics and at the time of its release was the strongest weapon available for tanks and self-propelled guns. Even until the end of the war, it could easily hit all types of armored vehicles. The vehicle's frontal armor had a thickness of 200 mm. Its total weight was 68 tons.
The self-propelled gun saw its first combat operation at the Kursk Bulge, as a part of the 653rd and 654th tank destroyer divisions. From July to November 1943, these divisions destroyed 582 Soviet tanks, losing 43 of their own vehicles in the process.
Serious shortcomings of this tank destroyed included its lack of machine guns for defense against infantry attacks, low speed and maneuverability, and low maximum range.
However, the German military valued the controllability and survivability of the vehicle's engine and transmission. A suspension with longitudinal torsion bars was much easier to maintain and repair when compared to a staggered torsion bar suspension, but it was very difficult to manufacture and less reliable in the field.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- [Historical] Paper Giants - the heavy tanks of Ferdinand Porsche
- [Special] Ferdinand Porsche and his Tank Destroyer
- [Wikipedia] Elefant
- The Tank Museum. "THE TIGER COLLECTION – THE TANKS, THE TERROR & THE TRUTH." Tank Museum. N.p., 02 Nov. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016. Web Archive.
|Germany tank destroyers|
|Pz. I Derivatives||Panzerjäger I|
|Pz. II Derivatives||15cm sIG 33 B Sfl|
|Pz. 38(t) Derivatives||Marder III · Marder III H · Jagdpanzer 38(t)|
|Pz. III Derivatives||StuG III A · StuG III F · StuG III G · StuH 42 G|
|Pz. IV Derivatives||Jagdpanzer IV · Panzer IV/70(A) · Panzer IV/70(V) · Dicker Max · Nashorn · Brummbär · VFW|
|Pz. V Derivatives||Jagdpanther G1 · Bfw. Jagdpanther G1|
|Pz. VI Derivatives||Sturer Emil · Elefant · Ferdinand · 38 cm Sturmmörser · Jagdtiger|
|Wheeled/Half-track||8,8 cm Flak 37 Sfl. · Sd.Kfz.251/9 · Sd.Kfz.251/10 · Sd.Kfz.251/22 · Sd.Kfz.234/3 · Sd.Kfz.234/4 · 15 cm Pz.W.42|
|ATGM Carrier||RakJPz 2 · RakJPz 2 (HOT) · Wiesel 1A2|
|Other||Waffenträger · M109G · JPz 4-5 · Raketenautomat · VT1-2|