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"German Heavy Tank -- PzKw 6" from Tactical and Technical Trends

An early U.S. report on the German heavy Tiger tank, PzKw. 6, from Tactical and Technical Trends, May 6, 1943. The Tiger tank was first encountered by Allied troops in North Africa in late 1942. The same diagrams were repeated in the article "New German Heavy Tank" in the June 1943 issue of Intelligence Bulletin.

[Editor's Note: The following article is wartime information on enemy equipment published for Allied soldiers. More accurate data on German weapons and equipment is available in postwar publications.]



This tank has already been described in Tactical and Technical Trends (No. 20, p. 7). The accompanying sketch of the tank is based on photographs of a PzKw 6 knocked out on the Tunisian front.

The suspension system, which has only very briefly been described in Tactical and Technical Trends, is shown in the sketch below. The track is made of metal. To the far right in the sketch is the front-drive sprocket and to the far left, the rear Idler. There are no return rollers since the track rides on top of the Christie-type wheels, which are rubber rimmed. It will be noted that there are eight axles, each with three wheels to a side, or each with one single and one double wheel to a side. There are thus 24 wheels, or 8 single wheels and 8 double wheels, on each side of the tank. The system of overlapping is similar to the suspension system used on German half-tracks.

[Suspension System of PzKw 6, Tiger]

The tank is provided with two tracks, a wide one (2 ft, 4.5 in) and a narrow one (just under 2 ft). The wide track is the one used in battle, the narrow being for administrative marches and where maneuverability and economy of operation take precedence over ground pressure. The dotted line in the sketch of the suspension system indicates the outer edge of the narrow track. When the narrow track is used, the eight wheels outside the dotted line can be removed.

[Heavy Tank -- PzKw 6, Tiger]

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