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Porsche and Henschel submitted prototype designs, each making use of the Krupp-designed turret.
They were demonstrated at Rastenburg in front of Hitler. Expecting an order for his tank, Porsche built 100 chassis.
H) where 'H' denoted Henschel as the designer/manufacturer.
It was classified with ordnance inventory designation Sd Kfz 182.
This concept was already common on German half-tracks such as the Sd. The VK 36.01 (H) was intended to weigh 40 tonnes, with 100 mm (4 in) of armour on front surfaces, 80 mm on turret sides and 60 mm on the hull sides.
The VK 36.01 (H) was intended to carry a 7.5 cm L/24, or a 7.5 cm L/43, or a 7.5 cm L/70, or a 12.8 cm L/28 cannon in a Krupp turret that looked similar to an enlarged Panzer IV Ausf. The hull for one prototype was built, followed later by five more.
A redesigned turret with a lower cupola was the most significant change.
To cut costs, the submersion capability and an external air-filtration system were dropped.
The initial designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘‘Panzer VI version H’’, abbreviated Pz Kpfw VI Ausf.
The Germans were shocked to encounter Soviet T-34 medium and KV-1 heavy tanks, and,.
An immediate weight increase to 45 tonnes and an increase in gun calibre to 8.8 cm was ordered.
Henschel built two prototypes: a VK 45.01 (H) H1 with an 8.8 cm L/56 cannon, and a VK 45.01 (H) H2 with a 7.5 cm L/70 cannon.
On 22 June 1941, Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union.
was a German heavy tank of World War II deployed from 1942 in Africa and Europe usually in independent heavy tank battalions.