To stop a Tiger tank

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Senior Airman
Dec 1, 2005
Prescott Arizona USA
Lot of talk about the German Tiger Tank ...

But what was the "tactic" to stop one if you came up on one ... Is what I would like to know is a tank to tank fight...And what "rig" was the best to use for this ...

Man it most of been scary to come up on one of these monsters in any thing the Allies had ...

Have a good day

In North Africa, the Allies would retreat from any attack made by Tigers and lead them on to a minefield to disable them. Once disabled the Allies would pound the assault with artillery until the enemy armour had been destroyed.

In Northern Europe, a diamond four of Shermans could be used ... if the Tiger engages from the right and destroys the Sherman at the front, then the Sherman at the back about turns and attempts to flank the Tiger, while that on the right turns head long into the Tiger and that on the left continues past the first wreck and attempts to flank the Tiger the other way...this gives the Tiger crew a three pronged attack to deal with...

Or, even better, use artillery and TacAir. Your best anti-Tiger AFVs would be the Sherman VC Firefly and M36 Jackson.
From: On the Tiger Tank…

The first of the new German Heavy tanks to be destroyed in this theatre was accounted for by 6-pdrs (57mm) of the [unnamed] Antitank Bn. (British).
The emplaced 6-pdrs opened fire at an initial range of 680 yards. The first round hit the upper side of the tank at very acute angles and merely nicked the armor. As the tank moved nearer it turned in such a manner that the third and fourth shots gouged out scallops of armor, the fifth shot went almost through and the next three rounds penetrated completely and stopped the tank. The first complete penetration was at a range of 600 yards, at an angle of impact of 30 degrees from normal, through homogeneous armor 82-mm (approximately 3-1/2 inches) thick. Ammunition used was the 57mm AP semi AP solid shot.

What about a US M-8 Greyhound (37mm) armored car destroying a Tiger tank?
Impossible! Maybe not…

The ability to destroy a Tiger I from other than the front is described in a wartime report from the 7th Armored Division while in Belgium in December of 1944:

While northern and eastern flanks had been heavily engaged, the northeastern section had been rather quiet. The only excitement there had been was when an M8 armored car from "E" Troop destroyed a Tiger tank. The armored car had been in a concealed position at right angles to run along a trail in front of the MLR. As the tank passed the armored car, the M8 slipped out of position and started up the trail behind the Tiger, accelerating in an attempt to close. At the same moment the German tank commander saw the M8, and started traversing his gun to bear on the armored car. It was a race between the Americans who were attempting to close so that their puny 37-mm would be effective in the Tiger's "Achilles heel" (its thin rear armor), and the Germans who were desperately striving to bring their "88" to bear … Suddenly, the M8 had closed to 25 yards, and quickly pumped in 3 rounds… the lumbering Tiger stopped, shuddered; there was a muffled explosion, followed by flames which bellowed out of the turret and engine ports, after which the armored car returned to its position.

If an M8 can knock out a Tiger, what chance could a Tiger II have against an M5 (UK Stuart VI)?
This is one atypical encounter:

Dennis Riva, a fellow tank buff, remembers the wartime story of an M5A1 light tank veteran, whose vehicle came across a Tiger II tank traveling in a ravine between two small hills. The light tank was quickly moved onto the rise paralledl and above the Tiger. The crew of the light tank then fired four to five rounds of 37mm ammo into the Tiger's thin upper rear engine deck. As the smoke started to pour out of the Tiger's engine the German crew took flight.

Even artillery could be an effective counter to the Tiger tank:

From a US War Department Intelligence Bulletin (dated January 1945), comes the following conclusions from the 2nd New Zealand Division fighting the German forces equipped with Tiger I tanks in Italy:

The concentration of field artillery to counter Tigers is effective. Even if a brew-up [destroyed vehicle] does not result, the tank is invariably withdrawn. It appears obvious that the tank crews do not like the shell-fire, as the possibility of damage to vital parts (tracks, suspension, bogies, wireless aerials, outside fixtures, electrical equipment, etc.) is always present.

Ok, ok at least we KNOW that rifle fire never knocked out a Tiger… right!?!?
Well, not exactly.

A Soviet view of the capture of their first Tiger tank is recounted in an extract from an article by the military historian Dr. Giuseppe Finizio:

In Romanovsky's [A Soviet Lieutenant General] version published for the first time in Operatsiya Iskra (Spark), Lenizdat 1973 and reprinted in Leningrad Does Not Surrender by N. Kislitsyn and V. Zubakov, Progress, 1989): "I was informed that an unusual enemy tank was moving through the corridor. Our light guns fired at it, but even direct hits could not stop the heavy, obviously strongly armoured vehicle. The German tank was heading for Schusselburg and at the time our 18th Infantry Division was approaching the road. The tank came under heavy direct fire. The shells did not cause dameage, but the driver, evidently taking fright, turned off the road and tried to get away towards Sinyavino. As it turned, the tank got stuck in a peat bog.

And that's how the Soviets captured their first Tiger tank… with just infantry!

Tiger '313' of s.Pz.Abt 503 was flipped over by the sheer force of the huge aerial and naval bombardment that opened Operation Goodwood south of Caen on 18 July 1944. Following the bombing Ltn. von Rosen reported of the 503's assembly area - " the ground had been churned up - there were no streets or roads, no houses left standing. It was hard to make out anything - everything was unrecognisable."**
Nonetheless eight Tigers of 3./Kp. were available for action - after being dug out - to lead a counter-attack against the British advance. Two Shermans of the 23rd Hussars were among the first to be taken out. Although disconcerted to discover that the blasts from the bombing had knocked the barrels out of alignment with the sights, the Shermans were eventually knocked out after several attempts. One of the British tanks had its turret torn off by an 88mm round.....

The M36 'Jackson' was a U.S tank destroyer with a 90mm cannon. And the Sherman Jumbo wouldn't stand a chance.
Well, in terms of episodes I think that more than a Tiger was disabled by 'cocktail Molotov', probably the most cost-effective way to destroy a tank...assuming to have a nearly suicide assault man.
And certainly not the norm, but I believe that a Brit received the Victoria Cross for singly disabling a Tiger with a grenade in the engine coolant fans.

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