Weapons 11/12/19 “mouse”: what became the most invincible tank Hitler

In the exposition of the Museum of Armored in Kubinka is a unique exhibit – the only copy in the world of the heavy tank Panzerkampfwagen VIII, who though a mockery was called “Maus” (“mouse” in German). Fortunately, the brainchild of the designers of the Third Reich never took part in the battles against the red Army.

the Order supertank

In 1942, Hitler became clear that the plan “Barbarossa”, which included instant capture of the Soviet Union, failed. In order to re-gain combat advantage, the Wehrmacht required non-standard technical solutions, or as they were called in the office of Goebbels, vundervaffe. The führer demanded from engineers to create a super-weapon – an invincible tank, a kind of “mobile bunker”.
the development came from the famous designer Ferdinand Porsche, at that time Chairman of the German Panzer fee. Before him stood the task to build a war machine not to attack, but first and foremost, to strengthen the defense. By the way, just at this time turned a Grand Rzhevskaya battle, which is being supported by elaborate fortifications, the Germans destroyed an enormous number of Soviet troops.
it is Worth noting that not everyone in the Wehrmacht shared the enthusiasm for the new technology. So, Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, examined in 1943 in front of the highest officials of the Third Reich wooden model super-heavy tank, also known as Porsche Typ 205, criticized her for the lack of machine guns for close combat.
“fierce debate broke out as all those present, except me, found “mouse” is great. He promised to be huge,” said Guderian later in the pages of “the memoirs of a soldier”.


Two working prototype Pzkpfw.VIII Maus was released in 1943 and 1944, the plant of the company “Alkett”. The tank had a length of 9 meters, and the height and width of 3,6 meters. The main armament was a 128 mm PaK 44 anti-tank gun. To control the “mouse” had a crew of 6 people. The designers have carefully worked on the protection and use of achievements made in the study of Soviet heavy tank KV-1, against which the fascist artillery was almost powerless. “Skin” “mouse” consisted of armor with a thickness of 180 to 200 mm.
to move a car weighing almost 189 tons, required a heavy-duty engine – after testing several options, the engineers stopped the engine Daimler-Benz MB 509 the power of 1080 horsepower. Supertank was able to pass 13 miles an hour – almost 4 times less than, for example, the famous T-34.
sea trials at the plant were successful. By the way, never ground tanks such weight didn’t move on the ground. However, before serial production of “vundervaffe” is not reached. The shortage of resources Germany did not have production facilities in order to put a supertank on the conveyor, so Adolf Hitler personally scrapped the plans to release ten “mouse”.

the fate of “the mice”

In April 1945, the two put on caterpillar models Panzerkampfwagen VIII were in Kummersdorf polygon 30 km South of the German capital. When the polygon approached the red Army, the German command ordered to blow up both the “mouse”, so they have not got to the enemy. The Russians dismantled the blasted machine into its individual parts and assembled them into a single sample, which in 1946 was sent to the Soviet Union as a trophy. This instance is now exhibited in Kubinka.

There is also do not have sufficient historical evidence version described in the book of the authors “Design of combat vehicles” (published in Leningrad in 1988). According to her, the Germans launched three supertanka, of which only one remained at the site. The second allegedly took the building of the General staff in Zossen, and the third immediately before the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. These “Mouse”, as implied, was destroyed by the Soviets.
Now Pzkpfw.VIII Maus can be found in popular tank games-simulators, where he is the invincible tank.

Russian Seven

© Russian Seven

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