Germany tried its hand at heavy tank development prior to World War 2 in the early 1930s, producing five examples of the plodding, multi-turreted "Neubaufahrzeug" heavy tank series. These steel beasts, however, ran contrary to the expected successes of the "blitzkrieg" method of waging war which directly limited interest and their overall impact. However, as World War 2 became fully entrenched in the daily lives of Europeans, thought was once again passed to heavy tank development for the German Army - this also prompted by the arrival of evermore powerful Soviet breeds. Beyond its well-noted early light- and medium-class Panzers, there were the excellent Tiger I and Tiger II tanks of 1942 and 1943 respectively. Not one to sit on its laurels, German authorities sought even more powerful types during the latter stages of the war - "Super Heavy Tanks" - and this included the Panzerkampfwagen (PzKpfw) E-100 development - otherwise known as the "Tiger Maus" ("Tiger Mouse").
Design of the E-100 ran the conventional route of a track-and-wheel system fitted to a heavily armored hull with engine at the rear and a 360-degree traversing turret at the center of the hull roof. Henschel was charged with its development which, by mid-1943, was in direct competition with Porsche who had already secured a development contract for its super-sized 188-ton Panzer VIII "Maus" heavy tank. The Henschel design was to be "lighter" in form, initially covering some 155-tons of armor, weaponry and systems though its size and weight still limited it along European village roads and across its archaic bridges. The E-100 was allotted the same turret design of the Porsche Maus project, hence its informal name of "Tiger Maus". Additionally, the Tiger Maus would use many off-the-shelf components available from existing German stocks to speed up its initial development and subsequent production as well as expected in-the-field maintenance.
Authorities had yet to settle on the tank's primary armament and thought was naturally given to match or surpass existing Soviet designs which had now incorporated the powerful 122mm main gun. As such, the 128mm PaK 44 L/55 series gun system was a frontrunner to be the E-100's main gun armament of choice. However, it was also noted that the 150mm KwK 44 L/38 and 173mm KwK 44 series artillery guns were also being considered during development. Any of these fittings would have given the E-100 a definite edge on the battlefield - in both range and penetration values at any angle of attack. Amazingly, the vehicle was also expected to be outfitted with a 75mmm KwK 44 L/36.5 field gun in a coaxial installation, being able to deal with short-ranged armored targets with relative ease. Infantry threats were to be countered by a 7.92mm MG34 general purpose machine gun, presumably mounted on the turret roof.
Despite best efforts, the E-100's prototype development proceeded at a slow pace and this led to just the single incomplete example being captured by advancing British forces in 1945. At this point, the chassis, hull and wheel system were in place though little else was fabricated by the end of the war. The British loaded the hull onto an awaiting trailer and brought it to engineers for further study. Beyond that, the E-100 was scrapped for its metal and other useful material, formally signaling her end.
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