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For the Steel Division II unit see SD2:Bef. Tiger

Bef. Tiger is a German Tank unit and the predecessor to the Tiger II. The Tiger is one of the most iconic vehicles of the Second World War and symbolises the "bigger & better" doctrine pursued by Nazi-Germany in tank design and other areas. While it was over-engineered, prone to breakdowns, fuel-hungry, expensive to produce and maintain and presented many logistical difficulties, the Tiger was a fearsome sight to behold on the battlefield, as it sported a powerful gun capable of defeating all Allied armour and was clad in 3.9 inches of frontal armour.

This unit is an elite Befehlstank, a command tank equipped with communication equipment amongst others. It retains all the combat capacities of a normal Tiger tank, but in addition has a leadership ability.

Background[]

Main article: Tiger

The legendary heavy tank of the Third Reich had a long development history. Its origins lie in the Waffenamt's 1935 request for a new tank capable of going against French Char 2C and Char B1 heavy tanks, with the various designs proposed by Henschel, Porsche, and Krupp coalescing into a 54 ton heavy tank bearing the 8.8 cm KwK 36 L/56 tank gun that entered production in August 1942. The immense weight of the Tiger, a result of the increase in armour ordered after the experiences of Fall Barbarossa and engagements with T-34 and KV-1 tanks, resulted in a design that pushed the limits of German engineering to the breaking point.

The Tiger proved to be a deadly adversary when properly maintained and manned by experienced crews. The combination of a powerful main gun, thick armor, and a powerful engine - Maybach HL 210 P45 650 HP (HL 230 P45 700 HP from the 251st produced) - made it a deadly predator, stalking the battlefields. Fortunately for the Allies and Soviets, the Tiger was prohibitively expensive to construct, with only 1 347 produced before production switched to its younger sibling, the Bengal Tiger, in 1944. . The last 54 Tigers produced in 1944 (before production switched to the Tiger B or Königstiger) were actually refurbished hulls mated to whatever functional turrets and components remained in stock.

The Tiger followed a rather conventional design and has a rather box-like structure instead of sloped armour as was introduced in the Panther. Less effective, the Tiger's armour nonetheless proved to be nigh impervious to most Allied anti-tank fire at the time. When first encountered in Tunisia, 1942, the heavy tank was virtually impervious to British 6-pdrs. This prompted the Allies to introduce more powerful anti-tank weaponry such as the 17-pdr and the 76mm. Its key shortcomings were the lack of sufficiently trained crews, especially as the war progressed, and the high costs of manufacture.

The Tiger Befehlpanzer combines the protection and firepower of a Tiger with the enhanced radio and communications necessary for command tanks.

Strategy[]

Unsurprisingly, the Bef. Tiger is fielded by Panzer-Lehr, home to Germany's most powerful tanks in abundance. The Bef. Tiger is everything the Tiger is for the same price, but has a leadership ability on top. This makes it a common pick in a Panzer-Lehr battlegroup. While its AT capacities are inferior to that of the Panther (and the Bef. Panther), its gun is still more than capable of destroying most Allied tanks with ease and with deadly accuracy (as an elite unit). It is also very potent against soft targets, unlike the Panther's gun. In short, the Bef. Tiger is a powerful and effective command tank that can turn the tables in phase B, especially since Panzer-Lehr will have taken a beating in the preceding phase.

Its 12 frontal armour gives it adequate protection against 75mm-armed shermans and 6-pdrs, but the more heavy Allied anti-tank guns will present a threat. Its sides and rear armour are also quite armoured for a tank, making flanking attacks slightly less effective.



Panzer lehr.png
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