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1 March 2017

Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger Ausf. H1



RANK III: Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger H1

Engine Power:   ~ 650 HP at 3.000 RPM
Top Speed:   ~ 45 km/h
Weight:   ~ 57.3 ton
Armour:   Hull: 102/82/82
  Turret: 102/82/82
Armament:   1 x 8.8 cm KwK 36
  1 x 7.92 mm MG 34

There were many tanks and armoured vehicles fielded during the Second World War, but only handful of them achieved legendary status. Today’s article will be about one of the most iconic tanks of the whole war, which earned the reputation of a merciless tank killer – the mighty Tiger. To be more precise, its original Ausf. H1 variant.

In the game, the Tiger sits on the rank III with the BR value of 5.7. There’s not really much of a point in repeating the story of its conception, told over and over again by a myriad of books and documentaries, so we’ll give you just a brief summary. The Tiger was the result of a long and painful development of the first German heavy tank. The development started in the 1937 and culminated in two prototypes – the VK 45.01(H) with conventional layout and the innovative VK 45.01(P) with the revolutionary gasoline-electric drive. The latter was however declined due to complexity and reliability issues and the VK 45.01(H) emerged victorious, with the first serial Tigers rolling out from assembly lines in August 1942.

The Tiger was built for two reasons – armour and firepower. The first factor was represented by the 100mm thick frontal and turret armour, combined with the 120mm thick turret mantlet, covering nearly the whole turret front. This level of frontal protection made the tank nigh invulnerable to nearly anything Allies could throw at it. At the time, even the 80mm thick side armour could be often pierced only at close range. In the game, you have no such luxury however. At the 4.7 - 6.7 BR range, you will meet plenty of opponents able to defeat your frontal armour, as the frontal plate is unsloped and relies only on raw thickness. But worry not, the “boxy“ nature of the armour allows you to effectively use angling to your advantage. If angled properly, the frontal armour will give you roughly 150mm of effective armour and the side armour will provide nearly as much. These values are enough to reliably shrug off most of tank guns at given BR range, provided you keep your distance.



As for firepower, the Tiger I has it in spades. At the time of its introduction, the 8.8 cm KwK 36 L/56 main gun was arguably the best tank gun in the world. It featured high muzzle velocity, flat shell trajectory and was able to knock out any contemporary opponent even at long range. This remained a deadly weapon right until the end of the war. In War Thunder, the gun is no less effective – the basic PzGr.39 APCBC round offers up to 165mm of penetration and at the range of 2000 meters is still able to pierce up to 116mm of flat armour. This means Tiger can easily dispatch most of its opponents on its given BR range and even the well armoured adversaries like the IS-2 mod. 1944 or the T-44 can be easily destroyed at closer range, given you’re able to exploit their weakspots. And since the APCBC round contains a hefty dose of explosive filler, a single penetration usually means either destruction or at least crippling damage. And in case you miss your first shot, don’t worry. With a fully trained and specialised loader, the loading time will be comfortable 7.9 seconds.

Alternatively, you can use the PzGr  APCBC round, trading some penetration for higher muzzle velocity and larger filler, or you can utilize the Hl.Gr.39 HEAT round with 110mm of penetration at all ranges.


PROS AND CONS OF THE VEHICLE:

 PROS:

  • Great gun
  • Thick frontal armor
  • One of the fastest heavy tanks

 CONS:

  • Low maneuverability
  • Unsloped armor on all sides
  • Transmission catches fire easily if struck

Despite the weight of 57 tonnes, the tank is quite mobile for its size. With its top speed of 33 kph (cross-country), it’s obviously not a speed demon. However the gasoline Maybach HL 210 P45 V12 engine, producing 650 horsepower when fully upgraded, gives the tank a power-to-weight ratio of 11 hp/tonne. Which is not bad for a heavy tank and allows the vehicle to accelerate fairly quickly. Additionally, the Tiger can pivot (eg. turning on the spot with tracks running at opposite direction), so you can angle your hull or turn the tank around without leaving cover.

In the real life, the Tiger excelled at long-range combat, utilizing its great gun while maximizing its own armour protection. In the game, this is also true – the best role for it is a long-range sniper, finding its niche on large open maps like Mozdok or Kursk. That however does not mean the tank is useless in close quarters combat! In hands of a skilled player, able to fully exploit an angling of the Tiger‘s armour and it's good rate of fire, the Tiger can be a surprisingly good brawler. Either way, never fall under an impression your Tiger is invulnerable! Especially the IS-2 with its massive, yet slow loading 122mm main gun can knock out your Tiger with ease at any range, so never forget to angle your armour and to maintain situational awareness to prevent being flanked!


User-made screenshots and content from live.warthunder.com


Combining sturdy armour, a great gun and adequate mobility, the Tiger is a very enjoyable heavy tank, which rewards tactical approach and long range gunnery, but can be also effectively used up close. While it’s not so menacing and fear-inducing like it was in 1942 at the time of its initial deployment, and it could never live up to nearly mythical (and sometimes exaggerated) reputation it gained during the course of history, it’s still a great heavy tank, allowing you to control your own legendary Tiger, if only virtual one.

Author: Jan ”RayPall” Kozák


Want to read more about the vehicles in War Thunder? Find other Vehicle Profiles on our website!

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