Tank Armor - Tiger I vs. Panther

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Tank Armor - Tiger I vs. Panther

Post by Red »

Dear interested party,

The following is a discussion about the armor of the Panther tank in comparison with the Tiger I tank.
It orignated in the following balancing thread:
Panthers, are they ok?

There are advocates for the view that the Panther had a stronger front armor than the Tiger I, while there are also opponents to this view.

Let the discussion begin! :D

Posts: 140
Joined: 05 Oct 2020, 12:40

Re: Tank Armor - Tiger I vs. Panther

Post by Red »

In terms of Armor, I am a proponent of the view that the Tiger has the stronger armor compared to the Panther.

The base of my argument is the LOS thickness of the armor, which compares the thickness in terms of a full horizontal view. In practical terms, this certainly has severe defiencies, as the chance of a projectile impacting at an exact 90% angle from vertical is minimal. But it does provide for a standardised view of all the armor plates, and in case the impact angle changes, it would do so for all plates, meaning the relative thickness of the LOS thickness would still be maintained.

I used the information I found on the armor of the Tiger I and the Panther, calculated the LOS thickness (standardised armor) for each section and (roughly) approximated the coverage of each section based on diagrams. Then I used this to compute an average LOS for the front, side and rear. You find the computation attached, but just as a summary:

Average LOS thickness

Tiger I (1943 & later with 40mm top turret armor & 200mm mantlet)
Front : 191,4mm
Side: 70,5mm
Rear: 85,2mm

Panther (non-G or F/G Hybrid) - please note that I did not use the curve for the mantlet, but applied the angle of the armor plate behind it
Front: 156,8mm
Side: 45,9mm
Rear: 47,6mm

As a response to my calculation, it was noted, that "Panther had 80mm at 55 angle making it a 120mm, more than the 100mm at 9 angle of the Tiger 1, on the sides Tiger 1 had better armor than panther".

I replied, that one could also "compare the 80mm 55° plate of the Panther to the 62mm 80° angle plate of the Tiger I front? In terms of LOS, that's 139,5mm for the Panther and 357mm for the Tiger I."

It was then stated, that a projectile hitting the 62mm armor plate with 80° angle of the Tiger I front would "bounce" and then hit the 100mm plate which at a 9° angle.

To this I would like to say, that this might be correct, but also might not be.
Including deflections into the comparison increased the complexity of the comparison exponentially!

Some of the factors that would have to be taken into consideration when talking about deflections are at least:
  • Energy of the projectile
  • Shape of the projectile
  • Hardness of the projectile surface
  • Structure of the projectile surface
  • Composition of the projectile (in terms of different materials with different density and flexibility)
  • Shape of the armor
  • Hardness of the armor surface
  • Structure of the armor surface
  • Composition of the armor
Unfortunatley I do not have this information available to start and try to build a model for factoring in deflections in a consistent manner.
It also has to be note, that espcially the hardness and composition of the armor will vary from individual tank to individual tank and possibly within a tank, as steel is coming from different production runs is not neccesarily identical in this regard.
Also with regards to the structure of the armor surface, especially when talking about German tanks with Zimmerit coating, this becomes really individual for each spot.

So if someone has a model to adequately account for deflections, it would be very much appreciated if he or she could share it!

Now even if we throw out everything I just stated on how to adequatly account for deflections, and would just assume that only in case of an armor plate angled at 80° or more, there would be a deflection in 100% of the cases where the projectile would then travel parallel to the armor plate without losing any energy, in case of the Tiger I, this would mean that any front hit on the top part of the turret would be deflected and not harm the tank, as there is a 40mm armor plate with 80° angle there.
So in total, such an assumption would actually increase the average LOS thickness of the front armor of the Tiger I !

Happy to gather other and additional views!
Tank Armor comparison.ods
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Re: Tank Armor - Tiger I vs. Panther

Post by Warhawks97 »

I once made a topic linking various sites all about armor and weapons.

In particular this can be from interest:
https://wargaming.info/1998/us-army-194 ... JPvH7UzaUk
http://ww2f.com/threads/u-s-army-firing ... pdr.22102/

https://worldoftanks.com/en/news/chieft ... ur-part-1/
https://worldoftanks.com/en/news/chieft ... or-part-2/

these links are all about armor, allied shooting tests and their results. But also about types and strenght of armor and the used ammunition.

You already pointed out a lot what has to be considered.

- used material (ammo and armor)
- material strenght
- Armor plate BHN value (german steel was generally harder from 260 or 270 minimum BHN and higher while US steel was usually at about 210-240 BHN and thus softer)
- Shape of armor and the shot used
- Overmatching factor (ammo diameter in relation to armor plate thickness http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php ... rmatching/)
- Armor type (FHA or RHA https://community.battlefront.com/topic ... man-tanks/)
- ..... and so on.....
Build more AA Walderschmidt

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