The Elefant is a guest vehicle of The Tiger Collection as is one of only two surviving examples in the world. The Tank Museum are very excited to display it in Europe for the first time since the Second World War.
History of the Elefant
When Ferdinand Porsche’s design for Tiger I was cancelled in October 1942, he had already produced a hundred hulls, which were stored at the Nibelungenwerke factory in Austria. It was decided at a Fuhrer meeting, that these should be converted to become a tank hunter or heavy assault gun. The hulls were reworked by Eisenwerke Oberdonau in Linz, Austria and were returned to Nibelungwerke for assembly and fitted with the new Krupp 8.8cm Panzerabwehrkanone 43/2 (8.8cm PaK 43/2). The Panzerjager, was first demonstrated in March 1943, and it was ordered that they should be completed as soon as possible. The Nibelungenweke finished production of the 90 vehicles by May 1943.
The engine for the ‘Ferdinand’ was a petrol electric combination, with 2 Maybech HL 120 TRM engine driving two Siemens Schuckert Type K58-8 generator sets, supplying electric power to two Siemens motors that drove the two rear sprockets.
After suffering with some design flaws during the Battle of Kursk, August 1943, the Panzerjager were modified and re-issued in 1944 as ‘Elefant’.
Elefant in The Tiger Collection
The Elefant on display in The Tiger Collection was loaned to The Tank Museum by The United States Army Center of Military History. The vehicle was captured by the American’s in Italy during the campaign at Anzio-Nuttuno in May 1944. After some mechanical problems, the vehicles was abandoned, but not before its crew had secured the Elefant with hand grenades and mines, to prevent it falling intact into enemy hands.
It was later shipped to Aberdeen Proving Ground in the United States for examination and is now only one of only two Elefant’s to have survived the war. The vehicle no longer runs, but was restored to display condition by the team at Fort Lee, in 2007-2008.
See the Elefant in The Tiger Collection, opening April 2017.