Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

All about Tiger II's reliablity, mobility and mechanial stamina!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • All about Tiger II's reliablity, mobility and mechanial stamina!

    I'm intrested in learning all about this single part of this tank!

    I'm very intrested in the Königstiger, mainly becouse it stands out so much in some ways from other WWII tanks, mostly its weight I guess. There's also so much weird information... the mobility, reliability and mechanical stamina of this tank is confusing to me. I guess these questions leads to a main one: how much problems were there with this tank.

    I don't have a detailed book on this tank, but I plan to getting some. I'm sorry if I annoy by not simply buying a book and finding the answer myself, but I guess I'm very eager... plus I might learn things one or two books might leave out!

    Anyway, the conflicting information I've read so far...

    First, on its mobility...

    Panther3485 stated that both the Tiger 1 and II had good mobility for their weights, and this seems like a well-rounded answer. However, in a thread on some forum (thread's called "In defence of the King Tiger") the writer states that german testings indicated that the Tiger II had equal or better than every other enemy tank tested, and better than every german tank previously built. I guess they don't mean acceleration and top speed, but ability to turn, climb obstacles, harsch terrain etc. This writer also stated that the Tiger II tank crews loved this tank for its mobility over any terrain. Somewhere on a forum an user stated that in the 60's he drove an AFV in the military which had almost exactly the same tonne/hp ratio as the Tiger II, and he said in his opinion that ratio was totally OK. Neither good or very bad. (I've forgotten which forum and what AFV it was...)
    Then ofcourse, many state all over the internet that Tiger II had bad, or even terrible mobility.

    //To change the subject a bit, I'd also love to hear information about how the crews thought of this tank, in all areas!//

    And moving on to reliability!

    I've read that initial reliability was very poor due to leaking seals and gaskets and some parts of the transmission that proved to badly need reinforcement in order to get some kind of mechanical stamina. However, after the improvements were done quickly, its reliability rose and it was generally a more reliable tank than the Panter. In the "In defence of the..."-thread, the person states that it was mostly more reliable than the Tiger 1. Panther3485 states that its reliability was somewhere between the Panter and the Tiger 1. Also, I want to ask if I'm correct with the understanding that 'reliability' is all about tanks breaking down out of the blue due to mechanical errors, while 'mechanical stamina' refers to how long things hold togheter before being worn out...?

    Therefore, a tank can have good reliability but bad mechanical stamina...?

    The last thing I wanna touch is its mechanical stamina.

    This is the most confusing one for me and also the most intresting. I've read about people on this forum saying how 10 Tiger II's broke down just from driving 1 mile from the railcars! On Christian Ankestjerne's website "Panzerworld" there's a letter from Tiger II's crews, giving a long list of problems arisen after 50 to 100 km of travel.

    http://www.panzerworld.com/pz-kpfw-tiger-ausf-b

    This letter is also pretty much the only thing I've ever come across, were the crews of the Tiger II mentions their opinions on the tank. Here the crews seem very positive but maybe they didn't want to sound like they had weak moral and belief in their new tank...? Maybe they didn't want to hurt the designers feelings...

    In my book "The combat history of the 503 heavy battalion" all it says on the crews opinions on this tank is how one of the writers when first seeing the Tiger II, worried for the transmission, though happy with the frontal armor.

    However, later in the book, the reliability of the Tiger II seems good, and the mechanical stamina... I don't know what's concidered a good such in WWII.

    They were in Hungary and the battalion were made up of Tiger II's. They had been in employed and involved with heavy fighting for every day for 2 weeks and during this period the tanks had been driven between about 400 to 500 km with zero maintenance due to everyone being too busy. All the tanks had "held up fine" to a certain point when suddenly nearly all of them broke down.

    So please come with your own knowledge and enlighten me. I'd really appreciate it.

    I also like to say I really wonder how there can exist such different information about this tank on these subjects. If you like history you like history... which is the truth about what's happened. Nothing else.
    Last edited by Erik_90; 06 Feb 14, 11:26. Reason: Noticed an error in the text

  • #2
    I've only read negative things about the Tiger II's reliability and movement. It used a similar engine as the Tiger I but it was much heavier.
    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

    Comment


    • #3
      Stand by for Mkenny on the warpath in 3... 2 ... 1...

      They were obviously mobile enough to do some serious damage. People who have never been around tanks much might be unimpressed with the readiness figures for the Tigers, until they look into some of the real Lemons of that war... or tanks on the average.
      Even today, they shed tracks, wear out components faster than they should, and all sorts of things have an annoying habbit of just falling off them.

      It was a handful, no doubt about that. The Tiger I was declared obsolete by the Germans themselves in 1944 and the Pershing was superior yet much lighter. The Tiger II was naturally superior but even that type was out-classed but the JS-3.

      Its a fascinating relic, and how it might have fared in the post-war battlefield is a topic I'd like to go into someday... but like the Spanish Galleons, it had it's faults.

      No matter how nice you make it, at tank is still just a tank, and there is only so much it can do.
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
        Stand by for Mkenny on the warpath in 3... 2 ... 1...
        Okay, I don't want some kind of "heated" argument. I am not trying to defend this tank mindlessly. I'm not baised. I'm very anti all such things when it comes to history, becouse as I said in the main message... history is all about the truth. It's unbelievable childish to be 'baised' when it comes to history. I can't even imagine how someone can be that.

        Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
        the Pershing was superior yet much lighter.
        I've wondered why the second generation german tanks were so big. The Panther and the Tiger II looks like they could have been made smaller. The hull sides are very large, we can see that the US and Russian tanks had smaller hull sides.

        Comment


        • #5
          Unlike the Soviets, the Germans put a tactical importance on the 5 man layout and ~80+ ammunition capacity. This took a lot of internal space.
          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by smaragdvärld View Post
            I'm intrested in learning all about this single part of this tank!

            I'm very intrested in the Königstiger, mainly becouse it stands out so much in some ways from other WWII tanks, mostly its weight I guess. There's also so much weird information... the mobility, reliability and mechanical stamina of this tank is confusing to me. I guess these questions leads to a main one: how much problems were there with this tank.

            I don't have a detailed book on this tank, but I plan to getting some. I'm sorry if I annoy by not simply buying a book and finding the answer myself, but I guess I'm very eager... plus I might learn things one or two books might leave out!

            Anyway, the conflicting information I've read so far...

            First, on its mobility...

            Panther3485 stated that both the Tiger 1 and II had good mobility for their weights, and this seems like a well-rounded answer. However, in a thread on some forum (thread's called "In defence of the King Tiger") the writer states that german testings indicated that the Tiger II had equal or better than every other enemy tank tested, and better than every german tank previously built. I guess they don't mean acceleration and top speed, but ability to turn, climb obstacles, harsch terrain etc. Somewhere on a forum an user stated that in the 60's he drove an AFV in the military which had almost exactly the same tonne/hp ratio as the Tiger II, and he said in his opinion that ratio was totally OK. Neither good or very bad. (I've forgotten which forum and what AFV it was...)
            Then ofcourse, many state all over the internet that Tiger II had bad, or even terrible mobility.
            This writer also stated that the Tiger II tank crews loved this tank for its mobility over any terrain.

            //To change the subject a bit, I'd also love to hear information about how the crews thought of this tank, in all areas!//

            And moving on to reliability!

            I've read that initial reliability was very poor due to leaking seals and gaskets and some parts of the transmission that proved to badly need reinforcement in order to get some kind of mechanical stamina. However, after the improvements were done quickly, its reliability rose and it was generally a more reliable tank than the Panter. In the "In defence of the..."-thread, the person states that it was mostly more reliable than the Tiger 1. Panther3485 states that its reliability was somewhere between the Panter and the Tiger 1. Also, I want to say that am I correct with the understanding that 'reliability' is all about tanks breaking down out of the blue due to mechanical errors, while 'mechanical stamina' refers to how long things hold togheter before being worn out.

            Therefore, a tank can have good reliability but bad mechanical stamina...?

            The last thing I wanna touch is its mechanical stamina.

            This is the most confusing one for me and also the most intresting. I've read about people on this forum saying how 10 Tiger II's broke down just from driving 1 mile from the railcars! On Christian Ankestjerne's website "Panzerworld" there's a letter from Tiger II's crews, giving a long list of problems arisen after 100 to 150 km of travel.

            http://www.panzerworld.com/pz-kpfw-tiger-ausf-b

            This letter is also pretty much the only thing I've ever come across, were the crews of the Tiger II mentions their opinions on the tank. Here the crews seem very positive but maybe they didn't want to not sound like they had weaker moral and belief in their new tank...? Maybe they didn't want to hurt the designers feelings...

            In my book "The combat history of the 503 heavy battalion" all it says on the crews opinions on this tank is how one of the writers when first seeing the Tiger II, worried for the transmission, though happy with the frontal armor.

            However, later in the book, the reliability of the Tiger II seems good, and the mechanical stamina... I don't know what's concidered a good such in WWII.

            They were in Hungary and the battalion were made up of Tiger II's. They had been in employed and involved with heavy fighting for every day for 2 weeks and during this period the tanks had been driven between about 400 to 500 km with zero maintenance due to everyone being too busy. All the tanks had "held up fine" to a certain point when suddenly nearly all of them broke down.

            So please come with your own knowledge and enlighten me. I'd really appreciate it.

            I also like to say I really wonder how there can exist such different information about this tank on these subjects. If you like history you like history... which is the truth about what's happened. Nothing else.
            For a high quality single reference on each of the three types you mention (Tiger I, Panther and Tiger II), it's hard to beat the Jentz volumes. There are also some extremely good volumes in the Spielberger series.

            I have these books and have read them numerous times, in addition to many other references on these German tanks, and I've been a keen student of WW2 armour for more than 40 years.

            I will not say that I know it all - far from it, I am still learning and will continue to do so - but what I will say is that the opinions I express are based on my readings of the abovementioned references and a good many others, combined with many years of research, building highly detailed scale models and general interest in the topic.

            For my opinions, I place greatest trust in the likes of Jentz and Spielberger and will be more than happy to stand on that knowledge while at the same time being open to fresh reliable information if it comes to light.

            You need to ignore some of what you read on the net, and take a lot more yet with a pinch of salt. This involves being selective; deciding on the veracity and value of sources, which is not easy for a person who is relatively new to the subject. Just remember that much of the opinion you will read on the net is based on lack of accurate information, misunderstandings, prejudice, agenda-pushing, acceptance of 'dodgy' sources and just plain old-fashioned ignorance.

            Indeed, some people on forums are just there to blow hot air out of their arses for whatever pleasure they can get. I'm sure you've noticed that already, being the perceptive young chap you are. (Speaking in general terms, guys, not pointing to anyone in particular on this thread. )

            We have to learn to sort the wheat from the chaff, if we are to be really serious about a subject.


            Originally posted by smaragdvärld View Post
            " ... It's unbelievable childish to be 'baised' when it comes to history. I can't even imagine how someone can be that."
            Then you need to expand the horizons of your imagination very considerably because many people are biased to a greater or lesser degree when it comes to history. Probably, there are more biased than unbiased people if you include the lesser degrees of bias which tend to be unconscious anyway. Indeed, a few people have expressed the opinion that everyone is biased; that there is no such thing as an unbiased historian. Make what you will of that.

            Originally posted by smaragdvärld View Post
            " ... I've wondered why the second generation german tanks were so big. The Panther and the Tiger II looks like they could have been made smaller. The hull sides are very large, we can see that the US and Russian tanks had smaller hull sides."
            Cult Icon has given a very good answer to this question and I think he has covered a major part of the reason. Going for bigger and more powerful guns, compared to most opponents at the time, was also a contributing factor that combined with his observations. There were ways around some of these issues that could help keep a tank relatively compact but the Germans did not pursue that approach as far as some others.
            Last edited by panther3485; 06 Feb 14, 04:17.
            "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks everyone for your replys, with extra thanks to Panther3485! Now I know which books I'll get to learn all I want about the Tiger II.

              And on the topic of baised historians and everyone else into it, I realise I was too harsch... I also realise I might be a tiny bit "baised" myself! As the tank I find the most intresting of the entire WWII is the Tiger II, I guess I am a bit "supportive" of the positives of this tank. Even if I'm actually more impressed with the designs for the Pershing and the Centurion becouse they're smaller in size and look much more modern and smarter.
              The Königstiger still looks way cooler though.
              Last edited by Erik_90; 06 Feb 14, 11:51.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by smaragdvärld View Post
                Okay, I don't want some kind of "heated" argument. I am not trying to defend this tank mindlessly. I'm not baised. I'm very anti all such things when it comes to history, becouse as I said in the main message... history is all about the truth. It's unbelievable childish to be 'baised' when it comes to history. I can't even imagine how someone can be that.



                I've wondered why the second generation german tanks were so big. The Panther and the Tiger II looks like they could have been made smaller. The hull sides are very large, we can see that the US and Russian tanks had smaller hull sides.
                Mike usually holds fire till one of the idiots pop up to try telling you about the uberpanzers and blue eyed sons of the nibulung that rode in 'em. If he does engage, trust me, MK knows as much, if not more than most... you'll learn a lot.

                The long toll of the brave
                Is not lost in darkness
                Over the fruitful earth
                And athwart the seas
                Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                Unquenchable forever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by smaragdvärld View Post
                  Even if I'm actually more impressed with the designs for the Pershing and the Centurion becouse they're smaller in size and look much more modern and smarter.
                  The Königstiger still looks way cooler though.
                  Sounds odd to me, IMHO the Tiger II is one of the dumpiest-looking tanks of the war.

                  But, , yeah, Cult Icon made a good point. This tank was said to have been designed from the inside out. This is how they made sure the crew had plenty of room to do their jobs and could get out of there when it came time to bail out.
                  That takes up a lot of space too, but you can't **** away good crews when you are loosing the war and your best instructors keep getting sent to the front.
                  "Why is the Rum gone?"

                  -Captain Jack

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    An interesting note: The rear turret ammunition stowage was frequently not used by crews as they recognized the danger it represented if hit. Experienced crews often left those two racks unfilled opting to just carry ammunition lower in the hull.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                      Sounds odd to me, IMHO the Tiger II is one of the dumpiest-looking tanks of the war.
                      Haha I understand what you mean. Well, many people seem to think the Tiger II is quite the looker, big or not. But yeah, if it had the same turret but a lighterish-looking hull, it'd look even better to me.

                      Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                      But, , yeah, Cult Icon made a good point. This tank was said to have been designed from the inside out. This is how they made sure the crew had plenty of room to do their jobs and could get out of there when it came time to bail out.
                      That takes up a lot of space too, but you can't **** away good crews when you are loosing the war and your best instructors keep getting sent to the front.
                      So was it crew space, a rule for designing the tank to carry 80+ rounds or simply the driveshaft going through the bottom of the tank, that caused it to be so large?

                      I'm sure that if the US or Sovjet designers would have designed the TII the hull sponsons would've been maybe half their heights, as it seem they were big into reducing this area of their tanks. The Pershing doesn't even have any hull sponsons! (ever seen a picture of it without those side skirts? Look real funny. Sort of like a fluffy cat that got shaved)
                      Though this would probably mean TII would need its transmission in the back. Hilary Doyle says during "operation think tank" that the German military disliked the thought of using that themselves.

                      But if I could be the designer, this would have been the main change I'd do to the Tiger II! Rear drive for the sole reason to have a little bit lower hull.


                      Offtopic but an observation: The US and Sovjet designers were really heading in similar paths as to how the overall design of their tanks looked, in many ways, I think.
                      Limited hull sponsons, rear drive, turret close to the front with maybe the turret shield being above the front armor slope...

                      If we then look at the Germans plans for future tanks, the E-series with the E-50 and E-75 probably as the main force, their designs are very different from the others (in terms of looks).
                      Last edited by Erik_90; 07 Feb 14, 07:35. Reason: Saw an writing error

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The 'realiabilty' thing has recently been the subject of claims that Tigers suffered no worse than any ordinary tank. If you look at any German Unit tank returns once the fighting starts the numbers decline rapidly in the first few days.
                        That is a lot of vehicles are quickly damaged and sent for repair and a balance is reached where the numbers going into repair each day match the numbers being put back into action.
                        So (say) 100 tanks sink to 60 after 4 days and stay roughly at that level until the fighting ends. That is pretty much the pattern I can see in NW Europe. It may be mechanical unreliabilty figure large in these repairs but there is no way of knowing for sure. For certain all the panzers from Pz IV to TII were straining with engines designed for lesser beasts. It cant have been a positive.
                        Now for Tiger it is not uncommon to see a kp. of a nominal 14 tanks having only half in action on a rotating basis.

                        For example 2/SS 102 had 14 Tigers on charge July 1944. It admits only 1 loss on July 10th.
                        3 days it has 3-5 Tigers in action.
                        19 days it has 7-8 Tigers in action.
                        8 days it has 9-11 Tigers in action.

                        The only comparable Allied declines (i. e. steep drop in starting numbers)would be 11th AD for the opening day of Goodwood and 4th CLY on June 13th..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Russians' report on the example they captured, was less than complimentary.
                          http://english.battlefield.ru/was-th...ally-king.html
                          However, as their time in service increased, their reliability appears to be inline with other German tanks.
                          "Reliability was improved over time with the continuous introduction of modified seals, gaskets and drive train components, driver training, and sufficient maintenance. Statistics from 15 March 1945 compare the availability of Tiger IIs with respect to other tanks: 62 percent of Panzer IVs, 59 percent of Tiger IIs and 48 percent of Panthers were operational by this period of the war."
                          Jentz

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry to bump this thread but I found something intresting which I'd love to see some opinions for. user "LV" wrote this on "axishistory" forum:

                            This may be a doomed effort, but I'll give it a try.

                            Jentz gives the following figures: drive sprocket effective diameter: 870 mm, gear reduction of the final drive: 1:12.56.

                            As the sprocket diameter is 0.87 m, its circumference is 0.87 m multiplied by π. The result is ~ 2.733185 m. This is the distance a Tiger II rolls forward every time the sprocket spins a full circle.

                            The final gearing reduces the engine revolutions in the ratio 1:12.56. If the engine has 3 000 revolutions a minute, then the final drive will drive the sprocket with a speed of ~ 238.8535 rpm.

                            If the sprocket revolves 238.8535 times a minute, then it means that the tank travels ~ 652.8308 meters in the same amount of time. When this is multiplied by 60 and then divided by 1 000 you get the result in km/h. The result is: ~ 39.1698 km/h.

                            But because the engine revolutions were restricted to 2 500, it means that the actual top speed was lower than the above result. At 2 500 rpm, the top speed would have been ~ 32.64 km/h.

                            If these calculations are correct or nearly correct, I would say that it's not very surprising that the Soviets were not able to reach "the vehicle's top speed"while testing Tiger II in Kubinka.

                            Correct me if/as I'm wrong

                            LV


                            End quote.

                            This would mean that all Tiger 2 stats in books are really off.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The other poster seems to neglect the transmission's 8th gear ratio, which Jentz doesn't seem to list, but he does get reasonably close to the top speeds. He could've saved himself some work, though, because in Jentz's appendices, Henschel explicitly lists the speed at 3000 rpm as 41.5 kph while in the text of the book Jentz says the top speed at 2500 rpm as 34.6 kph. A quick check of the usual sources reveals that, depending on if they use the governed rpm limit or not, they may differ. Also in Jentz's appendices, WaPrüf 6 say the highest speed is 42 kph, Spielberger agrees the top speed was 41.5 kph, while Chamberlain and Doyle claim 35 kph.

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X