Ferdinand (Elefant) Panzerjäger

Tank museum in Kubinka, Hall N6 (Auto and armored Nazi Germany – Third Reich) exhibit list

German heavy self-propelled gun SU-88 “Ferdinand” / “Elephant” (as the soviet classification),  1943 (covered heavy self-propelled gun), serial

The Elefant (German for “elephant”) is a Schwerer Panzerjäger (German: “heavy tank-hunter”)—a tank destroyer. It was built in small numbers in 1943 under the name Ferdinand after its designer Ferdinand Porsche, using tank corps that had been produced for the Tiger I tank requirement but was rejected in favour of a Henschel design.

In late 1943 and early 1944 self-propelled guns, were modernized and became known as “Elephant.” (An order to rename the AG came February 27, 1944)
German classification names – 8,8 cm StuK 43 Sfl L/71 Panzerjäger Tiger (P), Sturmgeschütz mit 8,8 cm StuK 43 and  Sd.Kfz.184.
Heavy tank destroyer Assault gun ‘Ferdinand’

Ferdinand (Elefant), a tank destroyer in Kubinka museum

Ferdinand (Elefant), a tank destroyer (Kubinka tank museum 2006 archive)

Tactical and technical characteristics of Assault Gun Ferdinand / Elefant:

  • Weight — 68 tons
  • Crew — 6 people (driver, radio-operator, commander, gunner, two loaders)
  • Overall dimensions (length x width x height) – 8180 х 3430 х 3000 mm.
  • Weaponry:  cannon – 8.8 cm Pak 43/2 L/71, also known as StuK 43/1 ,  caliber – 88 mm., ammunition- 63 shots
  • machin gun MG-34 (Elefant only)  – 1 piece, caliber – 7,92 mm.,  ammunition – 2000 shots
  • The armor protection:  front and turret – 200 mm.
  • Engine power – 600 (2 x 300) hp
  • Maximum speed — 20 km / h
  • Cruising on the highway — up to 120 km
  • Depth overcome the water barrier — 1.2 meters

Ferdinand / Elefant design features:

Base – heavy tank Tiger (P).

The overall layout – typical for self-propelled units. Weapons – gun installed on the machine and has a horizontal firing angle 24 °, elevation 15 “declination -7.5”; Linkage screw gun; the panoramic sight.

Armory protection – from rolled armor plates; the head-on parts made of the body (of the two armor plates), connected by a screw-type “goujon”

Chassis – two gasoline engines “Maybach”, coupled with a DC generator voltage 385 V, power 210-260 kW; each engine has a separate power supply, cooling, lubrication, ignition and starter; Power Train – electromechanical; suspension with longitudinal torsion bars, rubber stoppers stroke balancers; the rollers with internal shock absorbers.

Additional photos:

Note that there are NOT a machine gun at the front desk (installed latter at Elefant model after the modernization)

The first use of Ferdinand was on the Northern front of the Battle of Kursk and was very unsuccessful for Germany. The Wehrmacht lost many Ferdinand self-propelled guns. The exhibit, located at the Kubinka Tank Museum, was also captured as a trophy at the Kursk Bulge.