Even those who are not interested in military history are well aware of the German tank "Tiger" during the Second World War. This car was really very serious. Suffice it to say that the appearance of the "Tigers" at the front forced the fighters of all allied armies to develop quite specific methods of dealing with them. So why was this steel giant really so formidable?
The German Tiger had two important aspects that made it an extremely formidable adversary on the battlefield. Especially in the first half of World War II. We are talking, of course, about his armor and weapons. Let's start with the "clothes" of the tank. Until 1943, the armor of the German heavy tank, in fact, was unmatched and made the tank de facto invulnerable to most types of anti-tank guns. The frontal armor of the hull was 100 mm thick, the side and stern armor was 80 mm thick. Even by the standards of heavy tanks, this was a lot. At the beginning of the war, the field anti-tank artillery of the USSR and the Allies, as well as tank guns, could not do anything at all to the Tiger, with rare exceptions when exceptional conditions were formed.
Now, with regard to the weapon. The Tigers were equipped with an 88-mm KwK 36 L / 56 cannon, which installed (often from the very first hit) any light, medium and even some heavy tanks of the anti-Hitler coalition without any problems. Only the Soviet KV-1 could withstand the hit of a German 88-mm projectile, but in the long term, even this formidable vehicle had no chance against the Tiger. A powerful cannon, coupled with the already mentioned armor, turned the "Tiger" into a real avenging sword of the Reich.
In addition, the "Tiger" had a fairly comfortable, ergonomic interior, which affected the effectiveness of combat. Finally, only the best crews in the Reich armored forces operated these tanks. It is noteworthy that, unlike the Allies and the USSR, the heavy "Tigers" of the Reich were never positioned as breakthrough machines. Throughout the war, they were in the position of "reinforcement tanks for line units."
However, do not forget that the dominance of the "Tigers" in the food chain on the fields of World War II continued until about 1943. When the first IS-1s appeared on the eastern front, it became clear that German heavy tanks could no longer be feared. And when the IS-2 entered the fields, it turned out that the 88-mm gun of the German vehicle was not capable of penetrating the armor of the new heavy Soviet tank. Moreover, at the beginning of the war, the Soviet Union relied not on heavy, but on medium tanks and self-propelled guns.
The idea of the Soviet command was that there was no need to fight with German heavy tanks with tanks at all. The task of medium tanks is to break through positions and support the advancing infantry. In a maneuvering war (which was the Second World War), fast and maneuverable vehicles turned out to be much more valuable than heavy, but powerful, both tactically and strategically. For the Tigers, the Soviet command had in store an unpleasant surprise by 1943 in the form of a new SU-85 and the SU-100 that appeared a little later. Both self-propelled guns did an excellent job with 100-mm armor.
Finally, the Soviet KV-85 tank became a worthy rival to the Tiger. The medium T-34-85, which appeared in 1944, still had no chance against the heavy German 1 on 1. However, the mass character of Soviet vehicles and the reliance on infantry support made the Wehrmacht's heavy tanks easy prey. At the same time, field anti-tank artillery was developing. New guns and fundamentally new shells for them appeared in the Allied armies by the end of 1943, which also seriously hampered the work of the Tigers on the battlefield.
Ultimately, the small number and high price of heavy tanks in Germany played a cruel joke with her. The Allies and the USSR supplied more tanks and constantly improved their anti-tank artillery. After 1942, it became clear that the failed Blitzkrieg on the Eastern Front would sooner or later exhaust the resources of Germany, while the resources of the USSR, the United States and the British Commonwealth were virtually limitless. German engineers created a truly masterpiece steel killer, but they did not understand that in a real war, the decisive factor is not the presence of "expensive trinkets", albeit monstrous power, but a stable influx of "strong middle peasant".
Continuing the topic, you can read about because of what the German destroyed tanks "Tiger" the cannons are directed downward.