This week won’t pass without new post. I own an explanation for the delay. Well, summer holiday came, and the staff scattered in every possible direction. Seasonal work, heart and wallet problems, vacation for the lucky ones. For now, it’s only me around here, and I cannot do Photoshop, yet. I haven’t forgotten those guys who asked for the VK Ausf. B. The last poll the E-100 had won was pretty close, so here you go. To everyone else, give me ideas, what do you want to see. WoT Armory is back with the VK 4502 (P) Ausf. B protection report.
But first, there was another reason for I was so hesitant to write this article. I feel, that the format and the language exhausted themselves. It’s not easy to write always intriguing stuff about several dozen changing parameters with a custom ingame appearance. If you don’t mind, this work will lack the creative upbeat, and I have to tell, that I have never driven the Ausf. B. I can present the armor results, but the rest of the information comes from consultation with actual drivers and forum post research. I would appreciate, if real Ausf. B owners completed this summary and helped new players out.
I would like to share a read with you. A year ago I found an interesting E-Book about heavy tank doctrines and usage, German Tiger tanks particularly. This book highlighted the real purpose of the German heavy tank from World War Two for me, and it shatters delusional, revisionist fantasies about “more Tiger tanks scenarios”. I won’t spoiler the whys and wherefores, but I want to make one thing clear. German heavy tanks were meant to be offensive weapons. Concentrated heavy tank battalions (the so called “Schwere Panzer-Abteilungen” with their three-digit identification numbers) helped to achieve the initial, tactical breakthrough. To complete the operational success, these battalions had to defeat the supposed enemy armored counterattack. Tigers were designed to fight and defeat enemy armor, unlike allied tanks.
The origins of the King Tiger
The unexpected superiority of the Russian armor caused a serious turmoil both in the Panzerwaffe and the industrial hinterland. The events in Russia blew away obsolescent prototypes like VK 3001 and 3601. However, the Germans wanted more than just a match for the masses of new soviet tanks, they aimed for future superiority. The Henschel-design was chosen, because the more conventional set-up could be built faster and with less mechanical risks, and time is essence at war. The exotic solutions like electric drives the Porsche-bureau forced were immature, and the forward-turreted VK 4502 Ausf. A and the rear-turreted Ausf B stuck in proposal/mockup stage.
Tigers became widespread, when Germany forced to be on strategic defense, and their most typical and succesfull deployment was on company-level (dozen tanks or so). These parceled small units, platoons and companies acted as anti-armor reserves to avert or slow down enemy breakthroughs, to spearhead counterattacks. If you are a traditional German heavy driver, your purpose must be not only to stall and defeat the enemy armor at long-range. You have to know, when the time is right to become aggressive and smash through the enemy lines.