Elefant/Ferdinand Heavy Tank Destroyer

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:50 pm

Germany’s Elefant/Ferdinand Heavy Tank Destroyer was an excellent tank when it came to destroying other tanks at long range, but it wasn’t very useful as an assault gun.

It hade no defensive capability at close range, and its 34.6 inch (8.8 centimeter) STuK 43/2 L71 gun had limited traverse.

The 64-ton Ferdinand, which was named after Ferdinand Porsche, who designed it, was not very effective at Kursk, when almost all of these heavy tank destroyers were defeated by Soviet tank-killers.

Adding a Maschinengewehr 34 (MG34) machine gun to the tank helped to improve its assault capability, but it remained mostly effective as a long range weapon.  There is a story about an Elefant knocking out a Soviet T-34 from 3 miles (4.82 miles) away.
Elefant/Ferdinand Heavy Tank Destroyer. Source: Tanks of World Wars I and II by George Forty
About half of the Ferdinands also had cupolas for the commander added to them.

Nazi Germany


Active: 1942
Crew: 6
Weight: 64 tons (65,000kg)
Length: 26ft 8in (8.14m)
Height: 9ft 9in (2.97m)
Width: 11ft 1in (3.38m)
Weapons: Main – 3.46 in (8.8cm) gun, Secondary – 0.312 in (7.92mm) machinegun
Armor Maximum – 7.87 in (200mm)
Engine: 2 x Maybach HL 120 TRM V12 gasoline, each developing 300hp
Speed: 18.6mph (30kph)
Range: 93.2 miles (150 km)