Monday 5 February 2018

Ferdinand Intel

"Report on new types of tanks and SPGs based on POW interrogations and intelligence reports as of July 20th, 1943

1) Ferdinand SPG
  1. Mass: 67 tons
  2. Crew: 6
  3. Hull length without gun: 7 meters
  4. Height: 3 meters
  5. Width: 3.5 meters
  6. Track width: 0.75 meters
  7. Clearance: 0.5 meters
  8. Turret armour thickness:
    1. Front: 200 mm
    2. Mantlet: 110 mm
    3. Turret side: 95 mm
    4. Turret rear: 85 mm
    5. Turret roof: 45 mm
  9. Hull armour thickness:
    1. Front: 170 mm
    2. Side: 160 mm
    3. Floor: 40 mm
  10. Armament: 
    1. 88 mm gun: one
    2. Gun length: 7 meters
    3. Gun mount: ball mount in the turret
    4. MG-42 machinegun: one
    5. Turret: immobile
    6. Observation devices: periscopes for the commander, driver, and gunner. No vision slits.
    7. Shells: 90, of those:
      1. 20 AP (white tip)
      2. 70 HE (yellow tip)
    8. Machinegun rounds: 2000
  11. Engine group: 
    1. Maybach HL 120 TRM: two
    2. Power of one engine: 300 hp
    3. Fuel: gasoline
    4. Cooling: water
    5. Fuel capacity: 1100 L (2 tanks)
    6. Oil capacity: 70-80 L
  12. Transmission and suspension:
    1. Drive sprockets: rear
    2. Idlers: front
    3. Final drive: electric
    4. Road wheels: 6 per side
    5. Road wheel diameter: 800 mm
  13. Communications:
    1. External: radio transmitter and receiver
    2. Internal: radio microphone
  14. Mobility:
    1. Top highway speed: 20 kph
    2. Average highway speed: 10 kph
    3. Range: 100 km
    4. Maximum grade: 30 degrees
    5. Maximum fording depth: 0.7 m
Location of the primary components:

The crew consists of six men: the commander, the gunner, the mechanic-driver, the radio operator, and two loaders (see diagram). The driver is placed to the left of the central axis. The radio operator sits to his right. In the fighting compartment, the commander sits to the right, with a loader behind him. On the left side, there is a gunner with a loader behind him.

The engines are placed in parallel in the center of the hull. One fuel tank is placed to the left and to the right of the engines. Each engine powers a dynamo, which drives and electric motor, which powers one of the drive sprockets.

Ferdinand heavy guns are used by independent anti-tank squadrons. A squadron consists of 3 artillery companies, an HQ company, and a repair company. Each artillery company consists of 3 platoons of 4 guns each. In total, there are 14 guns in a company, and 44 guns in a squadron plus one T-3 tank.

Methods of combat against the Ferdinand:

When choosing a means of combating the Ferdinand, consider its weakness, specifically: slow movement speed, difficulty in firing on the move, inability to fire indirectly, limited visibility (especially to the sides), unprotected and vulnerable suspension.

The most effective methods are as follows:
  1. Concentrate fire of AP-I shells on the gun mount and the fuel tanks that are located in the center of the hull along the sides.
  2. Concentrate artillery fire of all calibers on the suspension, tracks, drive sprockets, idlers, road wheels, observation devices, and floor.
  3. Throw anti-tank grenades and erect mobile minefields to strike at the suspension and the rear turret hatch.
  4. Throw bottles with incendiary fluid at the engine deck, placed in front of the turret, into the open rear hatch, into the gun mount, and onto the turret roof.
All of these methods have been proven in combat and are effective."

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