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"New German Tanks" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. military report on new German tanks, including the Panzer VI "Tiger", was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 18, Feb. 11, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Several new types of German tanks have been reported to be in existence.

a. Mark I (C)

No details are known but it is probable that this is a redesigned Mark I intended for airborne or landing operations. The original Mark I tank weighed about 6 tons.

b. Mark II Special

The original Mark II tank (weight about 9 tons) has for some time been considered obsolescent as a combat tank. The new tank probably has thicker armor and a more powerful engine. One of the most important features is that it is reportedly armed with the long-barrelled 50-mm gun which is used in the new Mark III tanks. The result should be a comparatively light, fast tank with adequate striking power, probably suitable for use as a tank destroyer.

c. Mark VI

This is a heavy tank. No details other than the actual nomenclature are known, but it seems probable that this model is an entirely new departure in German tank design. It has been anticipated for some time that the Marks III and IV might be superseded by a new type incorporating the best features of each model and introducing features borrowed from British and possibly American designs. Having obtained a tank gun of first quality in the long-barrelled 75-mm tank gun (40), the weapon mounted in the new Mark IV tanks, it is probable that this weapon or an 88-mm weapon is the principal armament. The basic armor may be as thick as 80 or 100 mm, and spaced armor, at least in front, is probably incorporated. There may also be skirting armor. Face-hardened armor is probably used, and the speed is not expected to be under 25 mph.

Reports of a German heavy tank have been received over a considerable period of time. Apparently the most recent is the statement of a German captured in Tunisia. According to the prisoner, he belonged to an independent heavy tank battalion, which consisted of a headquarters company and two armored companies. Each armored company was equipped with nine 50-ton tanks. The tanks were armed with 88-mm guns and were capable of a speed of 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) an hour. Whether or not this is the Mark VI tank is not known.


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