Ferdinand: The Bastard Tiger

Ferdinand: The Bastard Tiger

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The Ferdinand (later renamed into Elefant) heavy tank destroyer (originally a Sturmgeschütz / Assault Gun) was based on the Porsche-Tiger chassis aka the rejected Tiger prototype. Only around 90 were produced yet despite its weight and other problems even a handful made it to the Battle of Berlin in 1945. In this video we look at the origin, armament, armor, mobility and various other aspects of the Ferdinand.

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Fröhlich, Michael: Der Panzerjäger Ferdinand Panzerjäger Tiger (P), Porsche Typ 131. Paul Pietsch Verlage GmbH & Co: Stuttgart, Germany, 2020.

Spielberger, Walter J./Doyle, Hilary L./Jentz, Thomas L.: Schwere Jagdpanzer: Entwicklung – Fertigung – Einsatz. Spezialausg., 1. Aufl, Motorbuch-Verl: Stuttgart, 2011.

Jentz, Thomas L./Doyle, Hilary Louis: Panzer Tracts No.9: Jagdpanzer: Jagdpanzer 38 to Jagdtiger. Darlington Productions: Darlington, Maryland, USA, 1997.

Töppel, Roman: Kursk 1943: the greatest battle of the Second World War. Helion & Company: Warwick, UK, 2018.

D 656/2: Panzerjäger Tiger (P). Instandsetzungsanweisung zum Fahrgestell ohne den elektrischen Teil. 1.5.43.

Pöhlmann, Markus: Der Panzer und die Mechanisierung des Krieges: eine deutsche Geschichte 1890 bis 1945. Ferdinand Schöningh: Paderborn, Germany, 2016.

Michaels, Conrad: Rüstungsmanagement der Ministerien Todt und Speer das Beispiel Panzerentwicklung/Panzerkommission. Aschendorff Verlag: Münster, Germany, 2020.

Glantz, David M./Orenstein, Harold S./Soviet Union: The Battle for Kursk, 1943: the Soviet General Staff study. Frank Cass: London, UK ; Portland, Oregon, USA, 1999.



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  1. Things I learned about this channel is prooaganda/holly wood movies are different frim facts I became more smarter and harder to manipulate with facts vs propaganda shiz.

  2. In your videos, for the same world you would frequently switch between German and English. This happens often with the numbers in a German weapon designation. For example, Kar. 98K. Almost always you say "Karabiner achtundneunzig ka." I think "ninety-eight k" would have been easier to understand, especially if the whole sentence before and after "98K" was in English. Another example: in your older video on Panzer II, you almost always said "Panzer Zwei." Again, I think "Panzer Two" would have been easier to understand. For German organization and unit names, pronouncing it in German (in addition to English) is fine, I think. But hearing "Maschinengewehr zweiundvierzig" and "MG-forty-two" (just an example) in the same video is probably not necessary. Thank you for the informative videos!

  3. I forget the YT video, but there is one claiming this is the worst tank ever. I mean… it's quite fine actually. What else where the Germans going to use in '43 with that kind of firepower? Plus you might as well make use of the resources wasted on the porsche tiger development. I also doubt a limited field of view bow gunner would do much to stop "supposed" infantry from coming from the sides. There's a reason Panzer Grenadiers accompany the tanks….

  4. I got scared hearing the name of the "February 1943" Ferdinand, I wasn't looking at the screen and thought he suddenly had started speaking in german, but nope, that was only it's name xD

    Then I looked at the screen, and saw that indeed the name was LONG!

  5. Awww, he left out the most funny part. Most of the Ferdinands were destroyed not by Soviets, not by their own crews due to damage from Soviet weapons, but by their own crews due to the engine problems.

  6. I think the reason for renaming it to Elefant was a rather bureaucratic one: we name our tanks and military vehicles traditionally after animals. Ferdinand is no animal.

  7. This is a theory I came up with about the name change to elephant. In 1940 Allied bombing killed an elephant in Berlin, and in 1944 bombing killed 7 more, leaving only 1 left. Maybe Mr. H was feeling sentimental and decided to name a tank after them.

  8. The problem is that electric generators weight a lot… i once tracked a 60 kw generator behind an army truck, it' was heavy.. it pushed the truck in the down ways.

  9. "We are losing the war, the Soviet war machine is pushing us further and further to Germany, we are in a dire situation!" Hitler: "We should rename that big tank "Elephant" get it? Elephants are big, and that's a big tank too, like a elephant!" ………."Yes my mein fuhrer you are so clever and wise….."

  10. holy crap dude you have 1700 hours in the game?! glad you like it I have 2100 hours though 😉 most youtubers who get sponsored don't really play the game, would be interesting to see you incorporate footage from in-game with no HUD into some of your videos on tanks and such, your videos to add another layer of visual elements, and it would be interesting since they have upgraded the graphics and such and it would be freaking awsome.

  11. Excellent vid. My first acquaintance with the "Elefant" gun was by playing Call of Duty Soviet campaign where the Soviet troops are yelled at by their commissars: "Out of the trucks and into the trenches!" and later: "Yuri, use your satchel charges and take out those Elefant guns!"

    Sorry for the bit of nostalgia as I wipe away a tear from my eye.

  12. Another excellent video. In a way it's a pity that you couldn't go into more depth on the thing's many reliability, overheating and bogging-down problems, which were much more serious than the lack of an MG. I am surprised it didn't have a cupola from the beginning as surely that would be most important for a heavy TD to help it acquire long range targets.

  13. @Military History Visualized: Excuse me for the tiny correction, but in your videos you seem to pronounce 'chassis' as 'tschassie' (/ˈtʃæsi/), not correctly as 'schassie' (/ˈʃæsi/), just as it is, I believe, also pronounced in German, since in both languages we use the French pronounciatiom of this French word.

  14. I think the Ferdinand is extremely underrated. Most of the reports come from people who primarily had to deal with its technical issues, and while those were undoubtedly really bad, they also had spectacular combat success.
    And many of the practical problems came from serious tactical and strategical abuse of these vehicles, or from flat out hopeless situations. You may say that this is a result of pursuing development strategies with too many low production vehicles like Ferdinand when higher numbers would have been better, which isn't entirely wrong, but much of it was preventable. In those occasions where they were used decently, they were nigh unstoppable. Simply fielding that amount of raw combat power by 1943 was a huge boon.

    For example in Operation Zitadelle the Ferdinand's "failure" was actually a consequence of its incredible dominance on the field, enticing them to advance too far and leave behind supporting troops who were unable to keep up against the incredible volume of artillery. In the process they were able to destroy ridiculous number of enemy armour. Just more cheaper vehicles would almost certainly have performed worse.

    All of this was a pretty good result to come out of an otherwise cancelled program. The real sin was to not make enough out of the experiences of the Ferdinand. To realise that they no longer had the opportunities to field such vehicles in their most effective ways, and that they definitely didn't need to go bigger.

  15. I suppose that the timing was not right to have foresight to suggest using the turretless hulls as a basis for recovery vehicles, considering what was needed to tow an unserviceable Tiger.

  16. The annoying bit about warthunder is all german tanks feel shit, because they're all fighting tanks that are 2-3 years younger than themselves. (except the kv1). So you're there in a tiger, fighting tanks that were basically designed to beat it.

  17. What's worse is that ALL these SP GUNS were designed & BUILT in "OKH TOY FACTORY."
    In 1941 the factory had orders for 6 VK 3001 P 1941 @ 3/4 million RM each and 100 VK-4501P @ 4 million RM each…of which 47 VK-4501P were to be completed in 1942 .

    Both tank prototype came to nothing and only 6 VK-3001P were completed along with 10 VK4501 plus another 90 hulls. At that time 252 PzIV were also scheduled to be finished in 1942 as well, but only 186 were actually completed.The factory lay out had 7 stalls where medium tanks could be completed but only 2 bays where heavy tanks could be built or modified.

    In 1943 when the elephants were modernized all 90 were converted in the two large bays but were completed from January to May 1943. In other words completely overhauling a tank took 1/3 time and effort as building new one.

    Through out this period Pz-IV production in the other 7 bays was supposed to reach 350 per month but was rarely got 250 per month. The calculated out put was 2 mediums for every heavy tank…..over the 9 bays , but the actual out put was only 1132 PzIV in 1943. this was 28% of target or >4000 medium tanks. Which meant the other 1881 came from the other suppliers….adding up to estimated 6000 Panzer IV in1943.

  18. When Porsche still making armored vehicles and tractors before moving on to the most successful car manufacturer in Le Mans and one of the top quality car manufacturer in the world.