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Sturmtiger – The Tiger with a 380 mm Rocket Launcher

The Sturmtiger was Germany’s answer to the problem of fighting troops in urban environments – deny the enemy usage of a building or fortification by simply turning it to rubble.


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Isabella White

a year ago | 1 min read

Sturmtiger – The Tiger with a 380 mm Rocket Launcher

The Sturmtiger was Germany’s answer to the problem of fighting troops in urban environments – deny the enemy usage of a building or fortification by simply turning it to rubble.

We say “simply”, but such a task was anything but simple. In fact, it required a 380 mm rocket launcher and 70 tons of armor, tracks and engine just to have a chance.

The Sturmtiger, officially designated the Sturmmörserwagen 606/4 mit 38 cm RW 61, was an assault gun built on the chassis of the already-powerful Tiger I. It was specially designed to survive the brutal conditions of urban warfare while demolishing city structures.

As such, few vehicles from the Second World War match the power, armor protection and sheer scale of the Sturmtiger.

Only 18 of these mighty beasts were built, with just two still around today. This is the story of the Sturmtiger.

Background

After experiences in Stalingrad in 1942 and 1943, the German High Command (OKW) started reviewing ideas to address complaints from those in the field about the need for an armored vehicle specifically designed to fight in urban environments.

Such a vehicle was needed because threats can come from all directions in these areas. This, combined with reduced vision and space to maneuverer make towns and cities a tanker’s worst nightmare.

Any tanks that do survive the gauntlet of urban combat have the next problem of not having enough firepower to knock down structures occupied by defenders.

Places like the infamous Pavlov’s House or the Grain Elevator in Stalingrad conjured up vivid nightmares for Wehrmacht commanders, as conventional ordnance did not have the precision nor power to take them down.

The Germans had developed assault guns for these conditions before, namely the Sturm-Infanteriegeschütz 33B and the Sturmpanzer IV (Brummbär), both of which were armed with a 150 mm weapon.

However, they needed something with more armor and a bigger gun.

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Isabella White


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