Introduction - What's New - Site Map
Panzer Profiles - Additional Information
Vehicles of the Wehrmacht - Military Links
Bron Pancerna - Forum

VK3001(H) / PzKpfw VI (Ausf A)
VK3601(H) / PzKpfw VI (Ausf B)

VK3001(H) with concrete rings to stimulate the turret.
VK3001(H) with concrete rings to simulate the weight of the turret.

On September 9 of 1938, Henschel received the permission to continue their work on new medium tank in continuation with DW development. Work on VK3001(H), which was further development of DW II, started. Two similar designs were created, lighter (32 tons) VK3001(H) and later on heavier (40 tons) VK3601(H). Both resembled Panzerkampfwagen IV in their hull design but their running gear was of a new design that consisted of overlapping road wheels. Medium VK3001(H) tank and heavy VK3601(H) tank had many common parts what would make their production and service much more easier.

Only four VK3001(H) prototypes were produced, two in March of 1941 and other two in October of 1941. All were completed in 1942 by Henschel. In the early 1942, one prototype VK3601(H) was build along with 5 prototype chassis. Originally, it was intended to mount VK3001(H) with a turret armed 75mm L/24 or 105mm L/28 gunm but none of the prototypes were actually fitted with turrets. VK3601(H) was to be armed with 75mm KwK 42 L/70 (Gerat 725), 88mm KwK 36 L/56 (mounted in VK4501(P) turret) or 105mm L/20 or L/28 gun, but just as VK3001(H), it was never armed with any weapons.

VK 3601(H) during tests.

Both designs were completed as prototypes but their further development was cancelled in 1942 in favour of the development of VK4501(H) - Tiger I. Turrets produced for both designs were never mounted and instead in 1944, 6 VK3001(H) turrets were used in permanent fortifications - Panzerstellung/Turmstellung of the Atlantic and West Wall. Their running gear which was later on modified and used a base for Tiger and Panther's running gear.

In March of 1941, two VK3001(H) were ready and from August of 1941 to March of 1942, were converted into 128mm Pak 40 L/61 gun carriers - Selbstfahrlafette 12.8cm. Other two prototypes that were completed in October of 1941, remained in Henschel's factory in Haustenbek and were used as recovery, training and test vehicles. VK3601(H) prototypes were used as recovery and towing vehicles.VK3001(H) and VK3601(H)'s design led to the subsequent development of Henschel's Tiger I.


Medium Tank
Heavy Tank
Crew:5 men5 men
Engine:Maybach HL 116 / 6-cylinder / 300hpMaybach HL 174 / 12-cylinder / 550hp
Speed:Road: 25-35km/hRoad: 40km/h
Range:Road 150km
Lenght:5.81m 6.05m
Armament:75mm KwK 37 L/24
2 x 7.92mm MG34
105mm KwK L/28
2 x 7.92mm MG34
75mm KwK 42 L/70
2 x 7.92mm MG34
88mm KwK 36 L/56
2 x 7.92mm MG34
Armor (mm/angle): Front Turret: 50/
Front Superstructure: 50/10
Front Hull: 50/13.5
Side Turret: 30/
Side Superstructure: 30/0
Side Hull: 30/8
Rear Turret:
Rear Superstructure: 50/0
Rear Hull: 50/5.5
Turret Top / Bottom:
Superstructure Top / Bottom: 25/
Hull Top / Bottom: 20/90 / 35/20 & 22
Gun Mantlet:
Front Turret: 100/10
Front Superstructure: 100/8
Front Hull: 100 & 60/23 & 60
Side Turret: 80/0
Side Superstructure: 60/0
Side Hull: 60/0
Rear Turret: 80/0
Rear Superstructure: 60/0
Rear Hull: 80/0
Turret Top / Bottom: 26/90
Superstructure Top / Bottom: 26/90
Hull Top / Bottom: 26/90
Gun Mantlet: 100/0

12.8cm Selbstfahrlafette L/61
(Panzerselbstfahrlafette V)
"Sturer Emil / Stubborn Emil"

VK3001(H) with 128mm gun.

Design of Selbstfahrlafette 12.8cm was based on Henschel's prototype of Panzer IV' successor - VK3001(H). In March of 1941, two VK3001(H) were ready to be converted into heavy anti-tank gun carriers - Panzerjagers. Rheinmetall-Borsig provided the 128mm PaK 40 L/61 gun for the main armament, which was developed in 1939, from 128mm Flak gun. Both chassis had to be modified in order to mount heavy 128mm gun. Major modifications consisted of the enlargement of the chassis (addition of one road-wheel, extension of the hull) and addition of the heavily armored open-top compartment mounted over the engine compartment. Fighting compartment was mounted in the rear of the vehicle and housed powerful 128mm anti-tank gun with limited traverse of 7 degrees to the left and to the right. Space inside the fighting compartment operated by the crew of five, allowed storage for only 15 to 18 rounds. One 7.92mm MG34 was mounted in the hull for local defence.

128mm VK3001(H) in Russia

From August of 1941 to March of 1942, Rheinmetall-Borsig and Henschel produced two prototypes, which were troop tested in Russia in mid 1942. Both prototypes performed successfully but the development of this project was cancelled in favour of Tiger I. One of Selbstfahrlafette 12.8cm (pictured above) saw service with 521st schwere Panzerjaeger Abteilung and second one with 2nd Panzer Division as late as July of 1942. One of two prototypes (from 2nd Panzer Division) was destroyed in combat, while other one (from 521st sPzJagAbt with 22 kills rings painted on the gun barrel) was captured intact in January of 1943 in Stalingrad area. It was shown at the captured equipment exhibitions in Moscow's Gorky Park in 1943 and 1944. Vehicles were named "Max" and "Moritz" after characters in Busch's classic children's story. Today, the one captured by the Red Army can be seen in the Museum of Armored Forces in Kubinka (Russia).

128mm VK3001(H) in Russia


Crew:5 men
Engine:Maybach HL 116 / 6-cylinder / 300hp
Armament:128mm PaK 40 L/61 & 7.92mm MG34
Ammo:128mm - 15-18 rounds
7.92mm - 600 rounds
Armor (mm/angle): Front Hull: 50/13.5
Front Superstructure: 50/8
Front Turret: 50/14.5
Gun Mantlet: 50/40
Side Hull: 30/0
Side Superstructure: 30/0
Side Turret: 15/10
Rear Hull: 30/45
Rear Superstructure: 15/16
Rear Turret: 15/14.5
Hull Top / Bottom: 20/90 / 35/20 & 22
Superstructure Top / Bottom: 15/90
Turret Top: open

Penetration of Armor Plate at 30 degrees from Vertical.
Ammunition:100m500m 1000m1500m2000m
Panzergranate 39201mm176mm150mm132mm120mm
Pzgr.39 (APCBC) - Armor Piercing Composite Ballistic Cap

VK3001(P) Leopard
Porsche Type 100

In 1937, along with Henschel, Porsche was given the task of build the medium tank that would replace Panzerkampfwagen IV. Its design was supposed to be capable of being armed with 75mm L/24 or even if possible 105mm L/28 gun and one 7.92mm MG34 for local defence. VK3001(P) was Porsche's first design since 1927's Grosstraktor I and its drawings were finished by September 5th of 1939 by Porsche's Chief Engineer Karl Rabe.

Prototypes were supposed to be fitted with turrets manufactured by Krupp. Porsche considered arming the vehicle with 105mm KwK L/47, 105mm KwK L/52 gun and finally with 88mm KwK 36 L/56 gun (developed from 88mm Flak 36 gun). Six turrets armed with 88mm guns were ordered in April of 1941, but none were produced. Leopard's turret was similar in appearance to that used on Tiger(P) and Tiger. Porsche planned to power VK3001(P) with gasoline-electric power/drive system (two air-cooled Porsche Typ 100 engines by Steyr and electric transmission). Only one or two turretless prototypes were completed by Nibelungenwerke in St.Valentin, Austria in late (October) 1941, out of 3 hulls originally ordered. Although many problems were encountered with its advanced power and drive system, prototype(s) performed well. During tests prototype(s) reached maximum speed of 60km/h but its fuel consumption was 170 liters per 100 kilometers. In order to solve the engine problems, Porsche designed diesel engine (Porsche Typ 200) but it was never produced.

VK3001(P) program was abandoned and two prototypes were used extensively in the development of VK4501(P) - Porsche's Tiger, which started in July of 1941. In order to transport VK3001(P) tank, Porsche designed special tank transporter (Panzertransporter Porsche 142), but this project was also abandoned. Tests continued until May of 1942, but VK3001(P) never went into production just like VK3001(H) and VK3601(H).

VK3001(P) Leopard


Crew:5 men
Engine:2 x Porsche Typ 100 / 10-cylinder / 210hp
Armament:75mm KwK 37 L/24 & 7.92mm MG34
105mm KwK L/28 & 7.92mm MG34
Armor (mm/angle): Front Turret: 80/21.5
Front Superstructure: 75/15
Front Hull: 75/20 & 45
Side Turret: 60/0
Side Superstructure: 60/0
Side Hull: 60/0
Rear Turret: 60/0
Rear Superstructure:
Rear Hull: 40/31.5 & 0
Turret Top / Bottom: 40/10 & 15
Superstructure Top / Bottom: 26/90
Hull Top / Bottom: 26/90
Gun Mantlet: 80/0


George Parada