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"During World War II --No, even in modern time, this tank is famous around the world!"
―Yukari

The Tiger I (its official designation being Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E) was a German heavy tank, and one of the most famous and well-known armoured vehicles of all time. In the anime, it appeared in a flashback in Episode 5, and was first seen during Episode 6.

Background

The Tiger's development began before the war, in 1937, as the Wehrmacht acknowledged that there would be the need for a heavy tank suitable for breakthrough operations; however, work on prototypes failed to prove completely satisfactory until the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, in the Summer of 1941. Meeting the then-formidable Soviet tanks like the T-34 or the KV-1 (with the latter possessing armor that could not be reliably penetrated by anything other the FlaK 18 88 mm gun) led to an urgent need of tanks better armoured and with better fire power.

Both the Henschel and the Porsche firms submitted prototypes, both of which shared a Krupp turret on different hulls; the Henschel prototype proved superior to the mechanically unreliable and sluggish Porsche prototype, and therefore was accepted for production as the PzKpfw VI Tiger tank. It went into mass production in August 1942. 1,355 vehicles were built before it was phased out of production in the August of 1944 in favour of the superior Tiger II.

The Tiger (weighing some 50 metric tonnes) was almost twice as large as the earlier Panzer IV. Although it featured very thick armour (reaching up to a maximum of 200 mm around the gun's mantle) and a big and powerful gun (an 88 mm gun which is widely believed to be a variant of the FlaK 18, yet actually was a parallel design), it was by no means particularly slow, thanks to its powerful Maybach engine. To support such a massive weight, a torsion-bar suspension with the wheels arranged in a peculiar Schachtellaufwerk (overlapping) design was adopted, with very wide tracks to reduce ground pressure.

While powerful and very resilient, the Tiger was also quite a troublesome tank: its weight meant that it was unable to use most bridges, the turret traverse was slow, and, although better than its failed Porsche counterpart, it suffered from reliability problems throughout its career; Tiger units rarely completed a road march without having some tanks suffering breakdowns. The tracks and road wheels ensemble proved difficult to maintain, especially in harsh climate conditions (being very susceptible to mud and ice), and recovery on the battlefield was also quite problematic. More importantly, as the war dragged on, its price (in money and resources) was very high, costing as much as four times more than the ably-performing StuG III.

Tiger-Tanks-2

Tiger I Ausf. E

Despite this, and despite the fact that the first tanks were rushed to the front line too early (near Leningrad, on September 1942), the Tiger soon rose to prominence on all the battlefields it went to. Usually employed in separate heavy tank battalions, it proved both impenetrable to almost all the Allies' weapons(during its time) at anything other than point-blank range: only improved guns like the OQF 17-Pounder, the 90 mm M3 and the 122mm D-25T ever managed to reliably defeat its frontal armour. It was also capable of destroying all the enemy's tanks at extreme ranges: there are reports of Tigers knocking out enemy tanks at distances up to 4 km (2.5 miles), a feat made possible due to its excellent optical sights. Tanks that made up the backbone of the Allies' armoured forces (M4 ShermanT-34, etc.) often had to resort to flanking tactics to overcome such enemies, with the prospective losses of some, if not most, of their own forces.

In Girls und Panzer

Anime

Kuromorimine employs some Tiger I tanks, of which one is Maho's own command tank, a model of January / February 1943, sporting the recognisable rounded exhaust caches and Feifel sand filters of the first version. When Miho was still a Kuromorimine student she also commanded a Tiger I. The tank commanded by Maho is based upon Tiger 212, a vehicle that historians theorize was commanded by German tank ace Michael Wittmann. Maho's tank could be considered the chronological "final boss" of the series, though it's not technically the strongest tank, which would be the Maus.

With only one tank in Ooarai's arsenal with comparable weaponry and protection (that being the Tiger (P)), the Tiger's technical advantage was largely offset by Ooarai's use of daring and unconventional tactics, and their superior manoeuvrability; thus, they were unable to take advantage of their superior armament, although their protection served them well.

During the last showdown between the two Nishizumi sisters, the superior mobility of the Panzer IV enabled Anglerfish Team to use a last-ditch tactic to drift up to the Tiger's rear, its only vulnerable point, and defeat it with a point-blank shot. This strategy, whilst effective in the end, was an extreme risk: it is possible that a shot could have penetrated the tank from the front. A shot to the side could also have proven effective, although previously a shot to the side plate is seen to bounce harmlessly off.  

Little Army 2

During the events of Little Army Volume 2, the Tiger I is the first tank acquired by Bellwall Academy's Sensha-dou team, under the leadership of Emi Nakasuga. The Tiger I was restored by Hitomi Yuzumoto, and first saw action against the Kashiwaba Sisters during a race. It had its first actual battle against West Kureouji Grona Academy, where it experienced some mechanical failures, particularly with its tracks, but ultimately triumphed over the enemy team, knocking out the Infantry Tank A43 "Black Prince" that led the opposing team.  

During the commemorative cup, it first saw action against Gilbert High School.  

Trivia​​

  • The Tiger was operated by many "Panzer Aces", some of which have survived the Second World War.(i.e Otto Carius)
  • The Tiger that is commanded by Maho Nishizumi is Tiger 212 in which German Waffen SS Panzer Ace, Michael Wittmann, commanded in Villers Bocage. In the fierce fighting, he took out an entire Armoured Motorized Company, 15 tanks, and extra Artillery Pieces and Anti-Tank Guns in the period of 15 mins. After the battle, he was awarded with the "Knights Cross with Oak leaves and Swords" by the Fuhrer himself. But during the battle there was a chance to instantly kill "The Black Baron" with one shot, but opportunity was missed because although a Cromwell Tank was in the vicinity, it didn't had its Gunner inside the tank. Luckily enough, 'The Black Baron" did not notice them.
  • The Tiger that is commanded by Miho Nishizumi during the last championship is Tiger 217 in which German Wehrmacht Panzer Ace, Otto Carius, commanded during the battle of Malinava and destroyed alongside Albert Kerscher destroys 17 tanks (including the new IS-2).
  • This Tank was operated by Maho Nishizumi in every match of the 63rd Sensha-do championship, Miho Nishizumi in the final match of the 62nd Sensha-do championship, and Emi Nagasuka during the Commemorative Cup.
  • There is only one Tiger still operational in the world, the Tiger 131 at The Bovington Tank Museum.

More about Tiger I

Gallery

Tanks
Light Tanks and Tankettes Panzerkampfwagen IIPanzer 38(t)CrusaderM24 ChaffeeM22 LocustT-70Type 95 Ha-GoType 97 Te-KeBT-42AMR-35R35FT-17CV L3/337TPTK Tankette
Medium Tanks Panzerkampfwagen IIIPanzerkampfwagen IVPanzerkampfwagen V "Panther"Matilda II Centurion Mark IM3 LeeM4 ShermanT-34T-44Type 89 I-Go/Chi-RoType 3 Chi-NuType 97 Chi-HaSomua S35Carro Armato P40M13/40

Heavy Tanks Panzerkampfwagen VI "Tiger"Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B "Tiger II"VK45.01 Porsche TigerPanzerkampfwagen VIII "Maus"Churchill Mark VIIBlack PrinceIS-2KV-2M26 PershingRenault B1 BisCarro Armato P40
Tank Destroyers Sturmgeschütz IIIJagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer"Jagdpanzer IVJagdpantherElefantJagdtigerT28 Super Heavy TankSemovente da 75/18
Self-Propelled Artillery Karl-Gerät Mortar
Main Battle Tank Type 10

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