Sunday 29 March 2015

Tiger II Trials: Ergonomics

The Soviet trials of the Tiger II, among other things, covered the comfort of the crew inside the tank.

"Evaluation of the workspace

The tank commander is placed in the fighting compartment (turret) to the left of the gun, behind the gunner. The tank commander controls the crew with the intercom or his voice, observes the battlefield, and corrects fire.
The commander's workspace is insufficiently comfortable. The footrest is positioned too high up in relation to the seat. The seat is fixed in height, and the observation devices are too high, forcing the commander to lift himself up in an inconvenient way to use them.
The observation devices placed in the commander's cupola provide the ability to observe a 360 degree zone. It is possible to observe terrain 1500 meters away from the observation devices.
Discovery of targets and fire correction is done through the fire correction scope at up to 3000 meters.

The gunner is placed to the left of the gun, in front of the tank commander, near the aiming mechanisms and sight. The position of the sight, aiming mechanisms, and seat is satisfactory. The hydraulic and manual turning mechanisms are convenient to use. The elevation mechanism, placed under the oscillating part of the gun is satisfactory. At elevations of +10 and higher, the position of the gun cradle impedes normal work.
Firing in place is possible and convenient when working with either traverse mechanism using the electric trigger positioned on the handle of the elevation flywheel. When firing on the move, it is much easier to use the hydraulic turning mechanism that can be operated with one's legs, and use one hand to turn the elevation flywheel and another to fire. Both left and right hands only perform one function, which increases the aiming speed and increases the effectiveness of firing from the move.

The loader is placed in the turret, to the right of the gun. The loader's seat is well placed, and its ball mount means it can be easily stowed aside to make room for the loader. The loader's workspace allows for rapid and convenient loading of the gun.
Loading of the gun is eased with the presence of a roller, placed in the turret bustle in such a way that it can be used at any position of the turret.
Taking shells from the rack on the right side of the hull is easy at angles of 0 degrees, 90 degrees and -90 degrees, but inconvenient at 180 degrees.
Taking shells from the rack on the left side of the hull is easy at angles of 180 degrees, 90 degrees and -90 degrees, but inconvenient at 0 degrees. The brass catcher and guard are well placed.
The visibility through the loader's periscope is insufficient.

The radio operator is placed in a seat in the right half of the driver's compartment. The radio station is placed in a special frame on top of the gearbox. The dimensions of the radio operator's workplace are sufficient to allow work with the radio station and firing the machinegun.

The driver is placed in a seat in the left half of the driver's compartment. The seat has two fixed positions. The tank can be driven with a closed hatch and an open hatch. In the latter case, the driver's seat can be lifted up. The steering wheel and accelerator pedal also have an upper position.


The concentrations of fumes in the fighting compartment are as follows:

Type of ventilation
# of shots
Time spent shooting (sec)
Concentration of CO in mg/L
Reduction of CO compared to no ventilation
Working engine
Engine and bore evacuator
Engine, fan, and bore evacuator

The ventilation only provides satisfactory working conditions if all are working at once. Excluding any one of them raises the fumes to unacceptable levels (over 0.4 mg/L). The most powerful ventilation system component is the fan placed above the gun breech."

CAMD RF 38-11355-2860


  1. Second Russian battlefield, one of main cause of low rate of fire of
    S-2 mm in IS is the concentrations of fumes in the fighting compartment, any chance you have this values for IS-2?

    1. Not for the IS-2, but I might have some for the IS-4. I'll look it up once I get back to my books.