Difference between revisions of "Ferdinand"

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The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} German tank destroyer {{Battle-rating}}. This vehicle was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before [[Update 1.41]].  
 
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} German tank destroyer {{Battle-rating}}. This vehicle was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before [[Update 1.41]].  
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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.
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat?''
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<!--Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat?
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If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.-->
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'''Armour type:'''
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* Rolled homogeneous armour
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{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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! Armour !! Front (Slope angle) !! Sides (Slope angle) !! Rear (Slope angle) !! Roof (Slope angle)
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|-
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| Hull || 100 + 100 mm (6°) ''Front plate'' <br> 80 mm (85°), 100 + 100 mm (35°) ''Front glacis'' <br> 80, 100 mm (38-39°) ''Lower glacis'' || 80 mm || 80 mm (7-43°) ''Top'' <br> 80 mm (5-62°) ''Bottom'' || 20 mm ''Hull roof'' <br> 80 mm ''Engine deck''
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|-
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| Superstructure || 200 mm (20°) ''Casemate front'' <br> 60 + 80 + 200 mm ''Gun mantlet'' || 85 mm (28-29°) || 80 mm (20°) || 30 mm (87°)
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|-
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|}
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'''Notes:'''
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* Suspension wheels are 25 mm thick and tracks are 30 mm thick.
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* The hull roof is some part 20 mm thick in areas while it is 80 mm thick more in the center area.
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* Belly armour is 20 mm thick.
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* Hull underside right above tracks are 25 mm thick.
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* 30 mm RHA plates separate the engine compartment from the front and rear crew compartments.
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* A 30 mm RHA plate separates the driver and assistant driver.
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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 necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.''
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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.
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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.
  
 
=== Mobility ===
 
=== Mobility ===
''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability as well as the maximum speed forward and backward.''
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''Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability as well as the maximum speed forwards and backwards.''
  
 
== Armaments ==
 
== Armaments ==
 
=== Main armament ===
 
=== Main armament ===
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''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.''
  
During the development of the two models of the Tiger tank by Porsche and Henschel, Hitler had excitedly demanded a tower design which was big enough to incorporate the 8.8cm KwK L / 17. This could not be implemented and so it was decided on September 22, 1942 to develop an assault gun with 200 mm frontal armor and the long 8.8 cm cannon on the chassis of the Tiger (P) immediately and part of the Porsche Tiger Production was diverted for this vehicle.
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== Usage in battles ==
 
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<!--Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).-->
Porsche lost to the company Henschel with the development of its too complicated and error-prone design of the Tiger tank. Professor Ferdinand Porsche's influence with Hitler was great, however, as his unusual technical ideas on the Führer had a fascinating effect. So it happened that Porsche was allowed to start on behalf of Hitler with the construction of their own vehicles, so that there were 90 more or less finished chassis, which were then practically unusable.
 
 
 
Only two of the Porsche tigers were completely completed, but suffered from the too complicated technology and were never frontreif. In order to avoid wasting all the other chassis, the heavy Jagdpanzer Elefant was to be created by replacing the unreliable Porsche diesel engines with proven Maybach carburetor engines. The new 8.8-cm Pak43 / 2 anti-tank gun, which was developed from the 8.8-cm Flak 18/37, should serve as an armament.
 
 
 
The company Alkett was chosen to design and build this tank destroyer 'Ferdinand' (after Professor Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, as mockery of the troupe on its unspeakable design), while the Nibelungenwerke should deliver the complete chassis.
 
 
 
Despite a lack of parts for the chain suspension and lack of trial runs, Hitler ordered on 6 February 1943, 90 Jagdpanzer Ferdinand as soon as possible and under all circumstances to build for use at the front. This led to the fact that the Nibelungen works instead of Alkett completely produced by Hitler as Jagdpanzer 'Elephant' vehicle.
 
 
 
All 90 vehicles were ready by the end of May 1943 to be used for the great summer offensive in the Kursk Battle, along with the Tiger tanks and the new PzKpfw V Panther also scheduled for this date.
 
 
 
The tank of the Jagdpanzer Elephant was the one of the Tiger (P), however, additional 100mm armor plates were riveted to the front, and an additional rear part to support the  superstructure and to mount bleeders for the cooling air of the rearmost electric motor.
 
 
 
Within the superstructure was the long 8.8 cm cannon with a limited straightening area. The Tiger's (P) combat room, originally set up in the middle, was not suited to hold the long cannon with 50 rounds of ammunition. Therefore, the tank had to be fundamentally changed, with the two new engines were relocated in the middle and the fighting room came to the rear and only at the rear of the electric transmission.
 
 
 
The sides of the box-like structure were bevelled as well as possible and the cannon still protruded 1.22 meters ahead.
 
 
 
A secondary armament was installed only in late 1943, when the vehicles returned from the front were rebuilt and received a machine gun in the front fuselage. The superstructure was changed at the same time to equip the commander with a dome. In this way, 48 Jagdpanzr Elefant were rebuilt and then used in Italy.
 
 
 
The tub was flat like the Tiger tank up and the construction was very spacious. The crew boarded the Jagdpanzer through a large, round hatch on the back. Otherwise, there were virtually no openings in the strong armor and all joints overlapped and were welded.
 
 
 
Steel rims were used for the wheels of the track drive, which led to some suspension and a quiet ride. Therefore, support rollers were not necessary and the front idler was mounted slightly higher so that the vehicle could better climb over obstacles.
 
  
The two Maybach engines gave their power to a Siemens Suchert dynamo, which powered the two electric motors behind, which in turn moved the drive wheels. The control had to be supported by hydraulic motors, but no gearshift was necessary, which made the work easier for the driver.
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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 TD's like the SU-152 and ISU-152.
  
''Innerhalb des Überbaus befand sich die lange 8,8-cm-Kanone mit begrenztem Richtbereich. Der ursprünglich in der Mitte angelegte Kampfraum des Tiger(P) war nicht geeignet, die lange Kanone mit 50 Schuss Munition aufzunehmen. Deshalb mußte der Panzer grundlegend verändert werden, wobei die beiden neuen Motoren in die Mitte verlegt wurden und der Kampfraum nach hinten kam und erst ganz hinten das Elektrogetriebe.''
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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.
  
''Die Seiten des kastenförmigen Aufbaus wurden so gut wie möglich abgeschrägt und die Kanone ragte trotz allem immer noch 1,22 Meter vorne über.''
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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.
  
''Eine Sekundärbewaffnung wurde erst Ende 1943 eingebaut, als die von der Front zurückgekehrten Fahrzeuge umgebaut wurden und ein Maschinengewehr im vorderen Rumpf erhielten. Der Überbau wurde zur gleichen Zeit verändert, um den Kommandanten mit einer Kuppel auszustatten. Auf diese Weise wurden 48 Jagdpanzr Elefant umgebaut und anschließend in Italien eingesetzt.''
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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.
  
''Die Wanne war wie beim Tiger-Panzer oben flach und der Aufbau war sehr geräumig. Die Mannschaft stieg in den Jagdpanzer durch eine große, runde Luke auf der Rückseite ein. Sonst gab es praktisch kaum Öffnungen in der starken Panzerung und alle Stoßstellen überlappten und waren verschweißt.''
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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.
 
 
''Stahlfelgen wurden für die Laufrollen des Kettenlaufwerks verwendet, was zu etwas Federung und einer ruhigen Fahrt führte. Deshalb waren Stützrollen nicht notwendig und das vordere Leitrad war etwas höher angebracht, damit das Fahrzeug besser über Hindernisse klettern konnte.''
 
 
 
''Die beiden Maybach-Motoren gaben ihre Kraft an einen Siemens-Suchert-Dynamo weiter, der die beiden hinten liegenden Elektromotoren mit Strom versorgte, welche wiederum die Triebräder bewegten. Die Steuerung mußte noch durch Hydraulikmotoren unterstützt werden, allerdings war keine Gangschaltung notwendig, was die Arbeit für den Fahrer einfacher machte.''
 
 
 
''<code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.''
 
 
 
=== Additional armament ===
 
''Some tanks are armed with several guns in one or more turrets. Evaluate the additional weaponry and give advice on its use. Describe the ammunition available for additional weaponry. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage. If there is no additional weaponry remove this subsection.''
 
 
 
=== Machine guns ===
 
''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft, but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.''
 
 
 
== Usage in battles ==
 
The "Jagdpanzer Elefant" is in Battle like a "Bunker" with Chain drive. It is very hard to attack with this Vehicle. The best Way to use it is, take cover behind a Buildung where you cant get shot from the Side, and then cover a Sector.
 
 
 
Try to hide your Gun Barrel! It is most important to stay in Battle with an working Gun. If your Gun gets shot, the Enemy will Push you to Death.  
 
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
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* The armour is 200 mm thick on the front of the tank very few tanks can penetrate it  
 
* 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
 
* Powerful 88 mm Pak gun with two loaders makes it able to destroy multiple targets in a short time
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* 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
 
* Thanks to the transmission, Ferdinand can go backward as fast as it can go forward
* The transmission is in the back of the tank
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* The transmission is rear-mounted, meaning a frontal penetration could still leave the tank in mobile condition
 
* Good natural steering
 
* Good natural steering
 
* Good optics for sniping
 
* Good optics for sniping
 
* 6 crew members make it difficult for opponents to knock it out
 
* 6 crew members make it difficult for opponents to knock it out
* The Ferdinand can fire over high obstacles without problem
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* Comes with a Bicolor camouflage
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
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* The tank loses speed and momentum when turning
 
* The tank loses speed and momentum when turning
 
* The hull's thin cheek armour's effectiveness decreases when angling
 
* The hull's thin cheek armour's effectiveness decreases when angling
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* Lower glacis is vulnerable to enemy fire
 
* The front armour is not angled  
 
* The front armour is not angled  
 
* Slow due to its heavy weight  
 
* Slow due to its heavy weight  
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* Doesn't like hills and other obstacles
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* Flat surface on top of tank underneath the gun is vulnerable if an enemy is above you
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* Less effective in urban combat maps (easily outflanked)
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
''Story behind the Scenes:''
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<!--''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ground vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article.''-->
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===Development===
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During the program to create what will end up being the [[Tiger H1|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 [[PaK 43 (88 mm)|88mm Pak 43 anti-tank gun]]. These new tank destroyers were then called the '''Ferdinand''', after its designer Ferdinand Porsche.
  
''The Jagdpanzer Elephant were assigned to the Heavy Tank Hunters Departments 653 and 654 in April and May 1943. These units fought at Kursk during the short German offensive and later in summer and autumn helped to fill in front gaps in this section of the Eastern Front.''
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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 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.
  
''It was noticeable that the elephant was dispatched in a hurry before any technical problems were resolved and the crews had enough time to familiarize themselves with the vehicles. As soon as the elephants attacked, many were left with technical failures.''
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===Combat usage===
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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 it's 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".  
  
''Nevertheless, during the Panzer Battle of Kursk, the two Panzerjäger divisions successfully led the first attack and broke through the Soviet lines of defense. Although the vehicles were armed with the strongest available cannon, they had not received self-defense weapons. Thus, Soviet infantry could put many of them in the rear lines out of action because their crews could not defend.''
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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 ([[Pz.IV G|Panzer IV]] armour recovery vehicle) to tow one from the front lines. More Ferdinand was 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.  
  
''The advantage of the Jagdpanzer Elephant lay in its large cannon and thick armor, so that it could fight enemy tanks at very long distances, while it was itself invulnerable against any frontal fire.''
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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.
  
''But this advantage was associated with extremely high ground pressure, so that the vehicle easily stuck in difficult terrain. Therefore roads, paths and terrain had to be explored before the march or combat mission.''
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===Survivors===
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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".<ref name="FerdinandTankMuseum">The Tank Museum. "THE TIGER COLLECTION – THE TANKS, THE TERROR & THE TRUTH." Tank Museum. N.p., 02 Nov. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016. [http://tankmuseum.org/year-news/bovnews53673 Website].</ref>
  
''However, when used as 'mobile bunkers' in defense, they were successful.''
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=== In-game description ===
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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.
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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 two units were pulled from the front line in late 1943 to overtake the vehicles. Subsequently, only the 653rd Panzerjäger Abteilung was re-equipped with the converted vehicles and a separate company assigned to the 614th Panzerjäger Abteilung.''
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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 Panzerjäger Elefant could not fix its bad reputation from the catastrophic debut at Kursk but the remaining vehicles were used in 1944 in Italy. The lack of spare parts, its size, technical unreliability and immobility led to numerous failures and some were also captured by Allied troops.''
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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.
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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.
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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.
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==
''An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.''
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<!--''Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.''-->
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Skin and Camouflages for the [https://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?vehicleCountry=germany&vehicleType=tank&vehicleClass=tank_destroyer&vehicle=germ_panzerjager_tiger_P_ferdinand Ferdinand] in Warthunder Live.
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
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== External links ==
 
== External links ==
''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
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<!--''Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:''
  
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 
* ''topic on the official game forum;''
 
* ''encyclopedia page on tank;''
 
* ''encyclopedia page on tank;''
* ''other literature.''
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* ''other literature.''-->
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* [[Wikipedia:Elefant|[Wikipedia<nowiki>]</nowiki> Elefant]]
  
 
{{Germany tank destroyers}}
 
{{Germany tank destroyers}}

Latest revision as of 23:59, 31 May 2019

Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Ferdinand
germ_panzerjager_tiger_p_ferdinand.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
6.7/6.3/7.0BR
6 peopleCrew
Mobility
65.0 tWeight
8 forward
4 back
Gear box
Armament
88 mm PaK43 cannonWeapon 1
50 roundsAmmunition
-8° / 14°Vertical guidance
-14° / 14°Horizontal guidance
Economy
78 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
230 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png12 150 / 15 163/10 370 / 12 941/7 120 / 8 885Repair
65 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
230 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
990 Ge icon.pngAces
x 1.84 Rp icon.pngReward for battle

Description

GarageImage Ferdinand.jpg


The Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Ferdinand is a rank IV German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 7.0 (AB), 6.3 (RB), and 6.7 (SB). This vehicle 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.

General info

Survivability and 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.

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.

Mobility

Write about the mobility of the ground vehicle. Estimate the specific power and manoeuvrability as well as the maximum speed forwards and backwards.

Armaments

Main armament

Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: {{main|Name of the weapon}}. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.

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 TD's 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

Pros:

  • 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 Bicolor camouflage

Cons:

  • 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)

History

Development

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 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 centre 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 it's 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 Ferdinand was 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.

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]

In-game description

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.

Media

Skin and Camouflages for the Ferdinand in Warthunder Live.

See also

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.

External links


Germany tank destroyers
Based on Pz.38(t)  Marder III · PaK40/3 auf Sfl.38 Ausf. H · Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer
Based on Pz.I  4,7 cm Pak(t) auf Pz.I Ausf.B
Based on Pz.II  Sturmpanzer II
Based on Pz.III  Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. A · Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. F · Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G · Sturmhaubitze 42 Ausf. G
Based on Pz.IV  Jagdpanzer IV · Panzer IV/70(V) · Panzer IV/70(A) · 15cm Sturm-Panzer 43(L/12) IV "Brummbär" · 10.5cm K18 Pz.Sfl.IVa "Dicker Max" · 8,8 Pak 43/1 Sf."Nashorn"
Based on Pz.V  Jagdpanzer V Jagdpanther · Befehlswagen Jagdpanther
Based on Pz.VI  Pz.Sfl. für 12,8 cm K40 "Sturer Emil" · Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Ferdinand · Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger
  Hanomag-Henschel JPz 4-5 · Waffenträger Krupp-Steyr mit Pak 43 · Versuchsflakwagen
Wheeled  8.8cm Flak 37 Selbstfahrlafette auf 18 ton Zugkraftwagen · Sd.Kfz.234/3 · Sd.Kfz.234/4
Rocket/Missile  15 cm Pz.W.42 (15 cm Nb.W.41) auf Sf. · Raketenjagdpanzer 2 · Raketenjagdpanzer 2 (HOT)

  1. The Tank Museum. "THE TIGER COLLECTION – THE TANKS, THE TERROR & THE TRUTH." Tank Museum. N.p., 02 Nov. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016. Website.