Sunday 27 April 2014

Tigers for Dummies

In January of 1943, the Germans left two Tigers at Worker's Village #5. They left in a hurry, without bringing anything in the tank, including manuals. These manuals promptly fell into the hands of the Red Army.

"Translation from German

Overall short directives of using Tank VI, design H-1
July 14th, 1942

1. Tank hull.

Exit hatches, bottom hatches, and other covers, such as the pistol ports, must be free of sand and dirt used for waterproofing.

2. Engine.

The engine can be cold started by the electric starter. In order to start the engine as quickly as possible, one should use the electric fuel pump for 10-20 seconds. During the winter, it is necessary to let the engine warm up. Turn off the cooling fan while you do this! The engine may only be loaded when the temperature of the coolant water reaches 50 degrees.

With new or refurbished engines, it is necessary to replace the oil after 200, 500, 1000, 2000, and then every 2000 km. At this time, the oil filter should be extracted and cleaned.

3. Radiator.

The radiator should be filled with clean water. Before using the tank, check the level of coolant water. It should be high enough for the mesh bottom of the cap to be moist when the tank is horizontal. In the winter, add anti-freeze. When the tank is in motion, the water temperature should be 85 degrees.

4. Fuel tanks.

The fuel is stored in two tanks, to the left and right of the engine. These tanks are connected to the tanks in the engine compartment. The tanks must constantly be checked to ensure they are not leaking.

5. Drive Shaft.

The drive shaft joints should be oiled every 2000 km with a special high pressure oil injector. The drive shaft is lubricated with oil.

6. Gearbox and main friction clutch.

The selection of the gear and its activation are two independent processes.

  • Starting the engine: push the clutch in, push the starter button, release the clutch, and let the gearbox warm up.
  • Moving: place the gearbox lever into position. Moving forward is possible at any gear. Press down the clutch, push on the gas, and slowly release the clutch.
  • Preliminary selection of the gear: with a lever next to the steering wheel, select the desired gear. You do not need to push the gas. Gear selection can be done in any gear.
  • Stopping: the tank can be stopped in any gear. The gear lever may be enabled or disabled in positions 1-4.
  • Reverse: when in gears 1 through 4, the reverse gear can be selected by pushing on the clutch and moving the selection lever into reverse.
Do not leave your foot on the clutch. Use the clutch only when moving from stationary, stopping, or braking.

7. Steering mechanism and steering column.

When driving on roads, steering is done exclusively with the steering wheel. Two radii are on each side. The size of the radius depends on the gear. The smaller the radius, the lower the gear.

On narrow turns that cannot be achieved on low gears, turn the steering wheel to its limit and push the clutch. The tank will spin in place, with one track in one direction and another in the other. Accelerate by pushing the segmented button near the gearbox and pushing on the gas.

In emergencies, the steering levers may be used. Pushing on one stops a track, and the other track remains in motion with twice the RPM.

When motion is resumed after stopping the tank, ensure that the steering wheel points forward, otherwise the tank will begin rotating as soon as the engine is started.

8. Brakes.

Both tracks can be braked either together, or individually. The brakes are friction disks, and are activated by pushing the brake pedal. They can also be activated using the hand levers.

Steering may be done with the track brakes in emergency situations.

9. Running Gear.

The running gear must be carefully taken care of and kept free of mud, dust, and sand. Regularly oil all running gear components that need oiling with a greaser.

10. Tracks.

Make sure that the track pins are kept in place with a circular stopper. If it is absent, the track pins can be retained by using firm wire bent into the shape of the letter S, slipped through the hole in the end of the track pin.

Broken track links or pins should be immediately removed, and stoppers retained, as they are instrumental for the tank's ability to move.

When tightening the track, it must hang freely and lie on all road wheels except the first. The track is tightened with two screws near the rear idler wheels.

When installing new tracks, make sure they are not placed next to each other, but spaced out through the whole track. If the tracks are worn down, swap the left and right tracks. Replace heavily worn track pins and drive wheels. 

The idler should be movable by 100 mm. If this is not enough to tighten the track, remove one track link.

To repair a partially slipped track, remove a track pin near the idler wheel. By back and forth movement, the track is moved into normal position. Free the idler wheel, fix the lower part of the track, insert the track pin, and replace the track on the idler wheel.

In the event of a fully slipped track, place it flat in front of the vehicle and drive up on it until the rear part of it reaches the idler wheel. Put the front part of the track on top of the idler wheel and slowly spin the idler wheel backwards until the track is stretched. Then insert the track pin.

11. General driving instructions.
  • Do not drive when water coolant temperature is less than 50 degrees.
  • Do not drive when the tachometer hand is in the red zone.
  • Only use the 1st gear to climb and descend from steep hills, trenches, ravines, craters, and difficult to observe terrain. 
  • When going through flat terrain, use the 2nd gear.
  • Only go quickly on well observable terrain. On all terrain with poor visibility and the possible need of overtaking a vehicle, go slowly.
  • During extended marches in the summer, keep the engine below 2400 RPM.
12. Off-road driving.
  • In order to preserve fuel, it is necessary to carefully choose the route. If possible, direct the vehicle across easily traversible terrain (little elevation change, firm ground). 
  • When possible, avoid moist plowed ground, swamps, deep sand. 
  • When knocking over trees, ensure that the vehicle is not lifted by the roots of the tree. The last push on a tree that needs to be felled should be done with only one track.
13. General lubrication directions.
  • Engine
    • It is necessary to measure and refill oil daily. Do not allow excess oil. The tank required domestically produced motor oil.
    • When replacing oil, it is necessary to drain all oil from the engine and replace it with new oil. Make sure the oil is warm when you pour it in. Pour oil in through the oil valve. When changing oil, clean the oil filter.
  • Gearbox
    • The gearbox takes 32 liters of oil through the red cap in the rear. This amount of oil includes reserves for the steering mechanism. The oil levels should be checked in the top right every 500 km. When replacing the oil, clean the oil filter. The oil is replaced by disconnecting any connector below the drive and pumping it out with a hand pump.
  • Steeling mechanism
    • The steering mechanism shares the oil reservoir with the gearbox and does not require special refilling.
  • Final drives
    • The oil reservoirs in the front left and right can be reached through hatches. Approximately 8 liters of oil is required. Two openings are present in the lower part of the final drive, one to drain the oil, the other with a valve that limits the height of the oil.
  • Turret traverse
    • The turret traverse casing has a screw cap in the bottom part for draining oil, and one in the middle for filling oil. This cap can be used to measure the level of the oil. Fill in oil until the level of the cap.
  • Fan
    • The fan drive has an opening for measuring the oil levels. Do not permit the oil to run dry, as each of the 4 separate oil reservoirs must have sufficient oil. Only measure the oil levels when the engine is running.
  • Thick grease
    • When replacing thick grease, ensure that the grease press provides sufficient pressure for the old grease to seep out and create a barrier. That is the only way to ensure that new grease comes in clean with no debris.
  • Lubrication on assembly
    • All bearings, ball joints, mobile shafts and guides must be lightly greased. Immobile shafts, brake pads, and trunnions must be greased with collagen graphite grease.
14. Electrical wiring and its troubleshooting
  1. If the key is in and the lamps do not turn on in positions 0, 1, or 2, turn on the main battery switch.
  2. If the main battery switch is on and the lamps are not, check the fuses. If the fuses are burnt out, replace them.
  3. If the electric fuel pump does not work, examine the appropriate fuses, and replace them if necessary.
  4. The red starter light should only be on when the tank is started. If it remains on, the regulator switch is malfunctioning. Only a specialist should replace the regulator switch.
  5. If the automatic fire extinguisher wiring is faulty, it can be manually activated by pressing a mechanical button.
15. Automatic fire extinguisher

When a fire is detected and the extinguisher goes off, a red signal lamp turns on to notify the driver that the engine has caught fire. In order to remind him of this, the lamp is labelled "Engine fire, immediately idle". 

If the fire is severe and the heat sensors have not cooled off within 7 seconds, the second stage of firefighting begins, in parallel with the first. It can repeat until the extinguishers are empty. The signal lamp will turn off when the firefighting system turns off automatically. One fire extinguisher load weighs about 4 kg, with 2 liters of SV firefighting fluid.

16. Movement underwater

Before proceeding with movement underwater, inspect all hatches, caps, and grilles, to ensure that water cannot come through them into the tank. All hatches must be tightly shut. This is most important for hatches accessible only from the bottom.

Preparations for moving underwater
  1. Test and lock all hatches in accordance to paragraph 2 (Tank hull).
  2. Test the cover between the engine and fighting compartment.
  3. Set the turret to march position.
  4. Cover the gun with the muzzle case.
  5. Cover the slits in the turret using the waterproof strips.
  6. Cover the machineguns.
  7. Open the cover in the rear above the engine deck and extract the intake air hose.
  8. Tightly put together components of the air intake pipes and screw them into the appropriate opening.
  9. Loosen the stopper bolts on the exhaust caps.
  10. Switch the warm air pipes to the engine compartment.
  11. Switch the three-position fuel tank exhaust switch to the engine compartment.
  12. Close the air exhaust device.
  13. Open the cover between the engine and fighting compartment.
  14. Turn on and test the turret traverse.
  15. Turn off the fans immediately before submerging.
Leaving water
  1. Turn on the fans immediately after leaving water.
  2. Prepare the main gun and machineguns for combat.
  3. Remove the watertight strips from the turret slits.
  4. Open the bottom valve and pump out the water that seeped into the tank.
  5. Switch the warm air pipes to the fan compartment.
  6. Switch the exhaust switch to travel mode.
  7. Switch the three-position fuel tank exhaust switch to external.
  8. Demount and put away the air intake pipe.
  9. Tighten the stopper bolts on the exhaust caps."

Next is the labels for the automatic fire extinguisher diagram, but it is not very useful, as the diagram is not in the translated document. 

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