Pocket Tiger – The VK 3601H

This Henschel medium tank is a familiar sight in most battles. The VK 3601H is one of the most common Tier VI tanks and an common opponent for mid-tier credit-farmers. The “pocket Tiger” is a powerful and forgiving vehicle and is especially suitable for learning core principles of the game like armor-angling and flanking. The VK 3601H is a late love of mine and how I missed it for so long I still do not know.

M26/46 Pershing/Patton front armor uploaded!

Introduction

For me, the 3601H was always a bit funny and somehow cramped-looking tank. A newborn Tiger tank in an interim form. Private joke: we call it “rose-bowl” (or something similar in my native language) because of the funny boxes on the engine deck. Despite the seemingly embarrassing nickname I learned to respect the 3601H in my first real tank, the M4A3E8. It was a force I could not deal with purely by firepower. The 3601H, along with some other tanks, forced me to look for flanking opportunities, to learn the tricks of close combat and circle-strafing, to fight and fire on the move whenever it’s possible.

It’s a clear sign of the overwhelming popularity of German armor on EU servers that my most killed tank in Tier V and VI is the PzIV and the VK-H (guess what it is in Tier VII…). On the other hand, the 3601H is a great trainer for future German heavy tank drivers because it can teach almost everything you need to know in this game. The 3601H is a greyzone tank; it can be played like a heavy in its Tier and lower,  a pocket Tiger tank. You can play it like a medium in higher Tier battles. It doesn’t function perfectly in those two very different roles, but it does well enough.

As one of the first heavy tank attempts of the Germans, only one VK 3601H hull was ever built. The work went on the Tiger tank. Picture taken from Germany’s Tiger Tanks D.W. to Tiger I of Jentz and Doyle

The VK3601H is a good all-rounde tank and one which can be a threat even to Tier VIIIs in the right hands. All right, let’s see how to play the 3601H and how to defeat it. Whether you drive it or fight it we have some tips for you. Let’s forget the gold-ammo firing noob-stomper wallet-warriors in public games for a minute. They are such a rare sight, the real face of the 3601H is not theirs.

Gameplay

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21 responses to “Pocket Tiger – The VK 3601H

  1. I don’t see why everyone likes the damn gun so much. Sure it has decent Alpha for the tier and the penetration SEEMS ok in the numbers, but then every shot that doesn’t either miss or bounce, both of which happen a ton, it hits a module and does all of 0 damage. It’s highly inaccurate and takes ages to aim. I’ve never hated a gun more in my life. Hell, I hit more with my KV2 152mm so there’s something fishy going on.

    It’s like I’m playing a different game from all of you. What’s going on?

  2. I did love that tank!

    But 2 things.. :

    – doesnt the rose bowl work as spaced armor? (a 2nd layer of armor)
    -> i did bounce with my SU152 trollcannon with an AP round from that part of its armor, the distance was ~15m and the angle was almost perfect 90° from the side. The penetration ranges from 101-169mm.

    – The gun shild, because the 3601(H) features differrent gun shields with different guns
    have a look at these:

    and the L/70 gun shield
    -https://wotarmory.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/vk-3601h-armor-scheme.jpg

    the 88mm gun shield
    -https://wotarmory.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/vk-3601h-turret-shot-trap.jpg?w=549&h=439

    The 88 gun shield looks much thicker around the gun, A LOT thicker actually.
    What i guess is, that the bouncyness we all learned to fear comes from there.

    Regards 🙂

    • I know that the two gun shields a bit different, but the 88 mantlet was penetrated just as with 85mm of the KV by the seemingly reinforced part. Although today I got hit by a ISU-152 there and nothing happened. I will check them out.

      • Yea, i had the same issue, i bounced with my T30 from the front of the 3601H. Something has to be wrong there..

  3. The VK36 is to be reclassified into a heavy in some later patch. Overlord confimed it, and at the same time told that it’s not high on the priority list.
    (my guess: patch with 2nd GER TD line)

      • Buff the konisch gun to ~ 200dmg, or give the 88 a round with better penetration (maybe simply its APCR round with 171 pen) – TX meds show that this “works”.
        Since 1,45x more MM-weight is pretty much a decent gun has to mountable on the VK.

        Any news from the mantlet issue? 🙂

      • Well, we have tried out again but hastily, Patton killed it with 2 penetrating shots through the thickened area. I do the M46 turret/TD E-100 now.

      • Where i guess the Super thick area is where the thick mantlet crosses the 160mm mantlet ring from your testing picture (the area above the Gun). That might be the answer. Damn the armor of this tank is still a mystery..

  4. Surprised you find the armour on mantle so low, I’ve seen VK3601’s beat dumb tiger P’s by face hugging – tiger P shoots mantle and bounces, VK shoots tiger P commander hatch. Repeat 3 of 4 times and tiger P is dead while VK has bounced every shot.

    • 160 for seven shots is not low, it’s easily up to 180-200mm effective armor. But the rest is not too strong, I usually penetrated the mantlet with 76mm M1A1, just avoid the edges.

  5. Just had another shoot out with the Pocket tiger on 100-200m, always shooting its front armor. Something has to be missing in the report. This pocket is just too bouncy. Bouncing 2 shots (maybe there was a third one) of the 88 L71 on the front at 90° is just too much.

    Regards

    • I will check the replay later, its at a friends account, however im not sure if its possible to see how i hit him..!

      • Battle recording was disabled on that copy of WOT 😦

        Its on now, i will keep my eyes on 3601H.
        You will hear from me.

        But maybe.. is it possible that only one shell of the gun testet penetrated the ring only 1 time? maybe its WOT equivalent (of the gun shield ring with the armor behind) is 200mm (shield + turret).

        2nd explanation would be that the extremly angeled part of the 88 mantlet (the transitional part to the seemingly thick gun carrier)

        Flower tubs has to have a secret aswell 🙂

        Regards

    • Yeah, every VK3601 (H) that does not have me behind the wheel seems to stop a surprising amount of perfectly lined up shots. At medium range, it becomes a gamble to attack it with tier VI guns (bounced something like 8 76mm M1A1 shells in a row at ~150m)

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