Tiger 1 Tank, Germany and the T-34, Soviet Union.


The Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I was a heavy tank of World War II, developed by Nazi Germany. Originally developed under the name of Pzkw VI Ausf. H after a request by the OKW (High Command of the Army), the resulting project emerged the Elefant, the Sd. Kfz 181 Tiger I and, later, the Tiger II or Königstiger, the Jagdtiger (tank destroyer version with a barrel 128 mm) and Sturmtiger, a car designed for urban combat equipped with a mortar fired a naval origin propelled projectile 380 mm rocket. The Tiger I was used from late 1942 until the German surrender in 1945. Ferdinand Porsche gave him his nickname. The operating crew training, the Tigerfibel, became a collector’s item. There were approximately 1350 of these tanks.
On 7 July 1943, a single Tiger tank commanded by SS-Oberscharführer Franz Staudegger Staudegger.jpg from the 2nd Platoon, 13th Panzer Company, 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler.svg engaged a group of about 50 T-34s around Psyolknee (the southern sector of the German salient in the Battle of Kursk). Staudegger used all his ammunition and claimed the destruction of 22 Soviet tanks, while the rest retreated. For this, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross.

Franz Staudegger was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross for his actions in the Battle of Kursk. In 1944, he fought in the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He survived the war and died age 74 on 16-05-1995 in Frankfurt.
The US Army did little to prepare for combat against the Tiger despite their assessment that the newly-encountered German tank was superior to their own. This conclusion was partly based on the correct estimate that the Tiger would be encountered in relatively small numbers.

The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II. In June 1941, Germans had great difficulty destroying T-34 in combat, as their standard anti-tank weaponry proved ineffective. Early-war T-34s proved to have effective armour, firepower, and mobility, drawbacks include poor crew comfort, vision devices, and internal layout. In 1941, the thick sloped armour could defeat all German anti-armour weapons except the towed 88 mm flak guns at normal combat ranges. By mid-1942, the T-34 had become vulnerable to improved German weapons and remained so throughout the war, but its armour protection was equal or superior to contemporary tanks such as the M4 Sherman

M4_Sherman_tank_-_Flickr_-_Joost_J._Bakker_IJmuiden or Panzer IV. 

The Soviet industry would eventually produce over 80,000 T-34s of all variants, allowing steadily greater numbers to be fielded as the war progressed despite the loss of thousands in combat against the German Wehrmacht.


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