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"Thick Skin of German Beasts" Topic

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371 hits since 14 Mar 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2020 10:24 p.m. PST

"German Tiger, Panther, and King Tiger tanks are some of the best known vehicles in the history of tank building and still occupy the minds of armoured vehicle enthusiasts. Their enormous size, thick armour, and long powerful weapons created a reputation of all-destroying and nearly invulnerable tanks. However, if everything is more or less clear with their size and armament, then the issue of armour is much more difficult. This is the first in a cycle dedicated to the creation of armour for the Tiger Ausf.H1, Panther of all variants, and the Tiger Ausf.B, their assembly, and trials of the armour in the USSR, USA, and Great Britain. To start, let us talk about rolled armour that the hulls and turrets of Tigers and Panthers were composed of almost fully.

German industry produced two types of rolled armour: homogeneous of medium hardness and surface hardened. Before production began, the company would present samples to confirm that it had the technological ability to produce armour of a certain quality.

The requirements for armour makers were set by the Supreme Command of Land Forces (Oberkommando des Heeres — OKH), the 6th department of the Weapons Agency (Waffen Prüfen 6, or Wa Prüf 6 for short). For homogeneous armour the requirements included chemical composition and hardness, ballistics trial conditions, and in some cases thermal treatment requirements. The armour was split into seven ranges, each of which with their own requirements: 5-14.5 mm, 16-30 mm, 35-50 mm, 50-80 mm, 85-120 mm, 125-160 mm, 165-200 mm. Of the listed categories the 5-14.5 range had special requirements, but since it was not used in the aforementioned tanks then it can be omitted…"
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