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Elefant

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"This is Elefant, We've been taken out by M3!"
―Elefant Crew

The Ferdinand/Elefant, officially named as Panzerjäger Tiger (P), (ordnance inventory designation Sd.Kfz. 184) was a German tank destroyer built upon the chassis of the modified Tiger (P) heavy tank.

Background

Ferdinand Modification

In 1942, the Porsche's Tiger (P) prototype had lost the weapon competition against Henschel's Tiger H for a new heavy tank project, which would be called Tiger I. After the existing 100 chassis were originaly built for Tiger (P), it was decided to use them as basis for a new tank destroyer armed with the new 8.8 cm PaK 43/2 L/71 gun in 1943 and were given the name Ferdinand.

Because the Porsche design had the engines in the middle of the vehicle, the fixed casemate was put in the rear; this caused the driver and the radio operator in the forward section of the hull effectively be separated from the other four members of the crew, being accessible only from intercom. The two Maybach HL 120 engines were connected to the tracks through a peculiar. It was equipped with additional 100 mm plates fixed in the front hull and casemate, increasing the total armor thickness to 200 mm.

Elefant Modification

The Ferdinand proved its prowess in the Battle of Kursk, showing its excellent firepower and great protection. However, the fighting withdrawl that followed after Kursk took a heavy toll on these vehicles. Therefore, in late 1943, all remaining vehicles were recalled back to factory for a modernisation program.

The modifications included amongst others the addition of a bow MG 34 machine gun for anti-infantry purpose, a cupola for the commander, and major overhaul of the engines and the tracks. During this modernisation program the order was given to have the vehicles renamed to Elefant thought that change did not come as a result of the upgrades and by time the name was in effect some vehicles had not been modernised.

Although the sheer weight of the vehicle made its use sometimes difficult, and some mechanical issues were never completely dealt with, the Elefant was still considerably successful for countering Allied armor thanks to its lethal 88 mm gun and its excellent armor. However, it was superseded by improved designs such as the Jagdpanther, which had the same firepower without most of the Elefant's disadvantages,

In Girls Und Panzer

Kuromorimine Girl's High School

Kuromorimine Girls High School has an Elefant, solely designated as a dedicated tank hunter with strong overall frontal armor.

The Elefant served as a breakthrough and force multiplier tank in the initial phase during the finals against Ooarai Girls High School. However, after Ooarai relocated to the urban scenario, the Elefant's size and poor maneuverability are the main disadvantages: Rabbit Team's M3 Lee managed to flank the Elefant to the rear, while the buildings blocked its movement from turning around. M3 Lee managed to shoot the rear armor but was too thick for the iss guns, but thanks to Saki Maruyama's advice, Team Rabbit was capable of defeating it by firing at the hatch used to discard the empty shell casing.

Bellwall Academy

The Elefant was one of the tanks purchased by the Kawashiba Sisters, as-per Emi Nakasuga's request. It is commanded by Doi Chifuyu, who uses the heavy gun to pick off tanks from long rang, providing support for her allies from afar. Despite the tank's large profile, Doi consistently uses the tank in ambushes and hit-and-retreat tactics, destroying a tank and then pulling back before her enemies can pursue her. However, its weaknesses are clearly shown when fighting in an urban environment, as it can be easily flanked and knocked out by lighter tanks.

Gallery

Reference

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