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Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

[WoT] Digging Through Archives: Tiger Tank Tactics Through the Eyes of Red Army HQ

Combat use of Tiger tank (by Germans) as an offensive unit

Battles in Belgorod area have shown that Tiger tank is quite vulnerable to artillery, but for antitank infantry and tank destroyers as well, especially in close combat. The most effective against it are 76mm (and less calibers) artillery rounds fired at Tiger's side armour at a range of 500m or less, especially from an ambush.

Note: 85mm AA gun is able to penetrate side armour from 1450m, front hull - from 1000mm.

In offensive operations Tiger tanks are used by Germans as infantry support and intended as breakthrough armoured vehicles.
Tiger tanks fight in small groups of 5-10 being in close cooperation with field engineers, infantry, and artillery, especially with heavy tank destroyer Ferdinand, groups of submachine gunners, antitank grenadiers; sometimes - as a part of larger tank units, fighting in the front lines.

Note: Tiger tanks organisationally are a part of heavy tank battalions.

When breaching the defensive lines after a series of thorough artillery and aviation strikes, Tiger tanks together with infantry, field engineers, and artillery move in extended line to the battle being supported by aerial forces. Almost in all Tiger groups there are assault self-propelled guns with the ratio to Tiger tanks of 1:3.

Drive a wedge into the defensive line Tiger tanks suppress long-distance targets (dots, mortar nests, etc) that prevent infantry from moving further.

Tiger groups are closely followed by support groups. When the vehicle unit suffers losses from enemy tank destroyers, support groups move forward and engage antitank troops.  At the same time long-distance targets are destroyed by assault guns and mortars. 

When the path is clear vehicles move forward in the designated direction. 

Having crushed the resistance of the main defensive line Tigers continue to exploit a success in the direction of main strike. Medium and light tanks follow the heavies moving into the created breakthrough path as a second line force, carrying tank-borne infantry. Tigers are also usually used on flanks of such pre-combat groups.

For the purpose of effective battle reconnaissance of defensive forces, first-line Tigers take advantage of terrain, showing only their turrets, thus taunting artillery and tanks (especially inexperienced ones). Having spotted fire nests or enemy tanks Tigers engage them from a distance of 1500-2000m.

Note: Tigers can act together with spotting aircraft thus enabling information interchange on the spotted targets (tanks and artillery).


So as to ensure effective defence against Tiger tanks, it's necessary:

a) to engage them only within effective fire range, avoid premature fire so as not to reveal own position before enemy vehicles come closer;

b) accounting for experience of Tiger tanks combat use it is advised to have mobile antitank groups (ambushes, fire pockets, etc) in direction of the expected main strike. Those groups should be camouflaged and by no means should not reveal their positions precociously.

c) with the aim of ensuring support to antitank troops provide for their cooperation with tank destroyers and mortar groups beforehand;

d) when attacking Tiger tanks and self-propelled guns the firepower of tank and artillery guns should be focused on Tigers, since medium and light tanks won't assault the defensive line without their support.

signed (HQ intelligence section deputy chief)
28 July 1943


  1. Thanks, Overlord! Another cool read! Quite enjoyed it as all I read here.

  2. Neat read.

    Kind of a shame that they have to play back field snipers in WOT.

  3. As you could see the Tigers were easily capable of fighting at long range, however the text mentions Tigers being fragile at close range...

    I enjoyed the reading myself, but Lord Azaghul I don't see your problem?

    1. 2nd Paragraph:

      "In offensive operations Tiger tanks are used by Germans as infantry support and intended as breakthrough armoured vehicles.
      Tiger tanks fight in small groups of 5-10 ...fighting in the front lines."

      The game really doesn't allow that to be effective...that's all I'm saying. Be nice to see some historical options w/ tiger vs period correct tanks!

    2. Still game allows fighting tiger as an assault unit if you are against t-34s/kvs/shermans. Higher tiers are less forgivable ofc.

    3. kird azaghul is demanding historical battles. When does it arribe?

    4. Never, it would make the Tiger tank way too powerfull, so "historical battles" by WG would be 1 Tiger (1 hp) vs 15 T-90 (1 million hp).

    5. "demanding" nonetheless...
      and did you ever hear of the Historical Battle Community?
      they did over 60 battles so far (different ones, ranging from early WWII to late and post WWII)

      and you do have to realise they use the historical loadout, so the tiger doesnt have the KT 88 and there are only 1-2 tigers in the battles they used them in (supported by pzIV's and such)

    6. Historical battles are one of the game modes planned for future, with RL module setups and more or less historical team rosters.

    7. the problem is that the game is fought entirely under 500 meters ... thus negating most of the point of armored combat. Most countries gun can pen at 500 meters, so this isn't a surprise. Shermans could pen a tiger if they got close enough, the point is in real combat they didn't get close enough. The game forces you to close to the very short range [for tanks] of 500 meters or often much less to hit your target.

      In game Tiger's are never "assault" worthy tanks, being prone to take damage from most tier 4 and up 75mm, 76mm and 85mm guns.

      The single biggest flaw of the game when comparing ANY historical documents to it is the range of actual combat vs the in game combat ranges. This heavily scews the numbers and presents a very invalid view of the tanks in combat.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Overlord, when your entry about Clan Wars future?

  5. Dear Overlord.

    It may be a mistake by me, but i expected the second german tank destroyer line introduced not far after the russian heavy line.

    as it stands, there seems no timeframe given for their release. i expected them to go live with 7.5, as there was a gap (those tanks are announced for really long time now), which was filled with tier 10 Mediums and TDs for all nations and other stuff, and 7.6 will be british Tanks, i dont see them even comming anymore.

    Is there a problem with the german TDs?
    Can you give a time/patch number when we can expect them to go live?

    thanks in advance.

    1. Nope, no particular problem. We have got that many vehicles to add, that just can do everything at once. Next update brings new tier 10s - meds and tds.

  6. 『 Note: 85mm AA gun is able to penetrate side armour from 1450m, front hull - from 1000mm.』

    Should it be 1000m?

  7. I'm going to reply for you Martin. They had to change the Tier 5 alternative TD, the Dicker Max, to something else. The reason for this was pretty clear in the fact it had the 10.5cm K18 gun, the same one you find as the top gun on the Tier 7 Jagdpanther. While I would've enjoyed German dominance due to this, I can at least agree that it'd have been overpowered to the point the gun would've been nerfed, and I don't want that for my Jagdpanther :C

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