About this detail of the Tiger
The Turret Manual is a booklet published in 1944 with comprehensive diagrams of the turret and explanations of how it works. Parts of this manual appeared in the book "DW to Tiger 1" but it has not been published entire to my knowledge.
The text of the manual comprises about 54 pages, and I will gradually translate it into English.
The section here is found on pages 8 to 11, and is an overall description.
2. Turret and turret joint a) Turret*) Diagrams 1 through 9
The 360° rotating turret is seated on the ball race. The turret front face is sloped at 85° to the horizontal, the turret walls stand perpendicular to the horizontal. The turret walls are made of a bent steel plate with a wide extension at the front, in which the turret front plate is contained. The drum mantlet is arranged within the front plate. The plate has a rectangular cutout and protective bulges at left and right that fill the side gaps between front plate and mantlet, and that protect and support the trunnions welded into them, on which the drum mantlet is carried. Located in the turret walls at front left and right are vision slits with protective glass, at rear left an MP port with plug, and at right an escape hatch. The turret is closed on top by the turret roof, with the commander's cupola screwed into it at rear left. On the right side is an access hatch, with a locking hatch cover. A periscope is located in front of the hatch. In the middle of the turret roof is an opening for the ventilator (diagram 10), covered with an armoured disk.
*) Note: for turret protective shield see HTV-sheet 9, dated 1.5.44, S. 143 For exchanging turrets see HTV-sheet 9, dated 1.5.44, S. 144
For underwater travel, the armoured disk is covered by a hood, attached to a flange with six flat-headed screws and wing nuts. A sealing ring arranged in the hood makes a watertight seal. A supporting ring is welded to the bottom of the turret walls, carrying the turret on top of the ball race. A rotating close-defence weapon for different kinds of munitions (diagram 64) is located in the turret roof. Three supporting trunnions are provided for lifting and installing the turret.
b) Turret joint Diagrams 1 to 15
The attachment of the turret and hull is called the Turret Joint.
Associated with the Turret Join are: 1. The toothed ring 2. The turret bearing race 3. The sealing tube 4. The support ring and cover plate 5. The turret fastening 6. The clock indicator 7. The rotating platform
1. The toothed ring serves to turn the turret via the rotation gear. It has internal teeth with 240 teeth at a circumferential spacing of 9 pi. The toothed ring is screwed to the hull and the inner ball race by 48 hex screws and 8 M16 cylindrical screws respectively.
2. The bearing race, of outer diameter 2100mm, consists of two steel rings provided with ball channels, between which run the supporting ball bearings and spacer balls or, in newer vehicles, spacer rings. (113 supporting bearings of size 40mm, 113 spacer rings of size 55mm).
The rotating outer ball race (Outer Ring) is seated in the turret support ring and fixed to it by 34 hex screws and 7 cylindrical screws.
The fixed inner ball race (Inner Ring) is seated in the toothed ring. It is screwed to the toothed ring by 8 M16 cylindrical screws and to the hull by 40 M16 hex screws.
The hex screws that attach the ball race to the hull via the supporting ring are provided with impact sleeves. During shocks or projectile impacts on the turret, the sleeves will absorb the force and prevent the screws being wrenched out*). Between the turret wall and outer ball race there lies a sealing ring screwed to the gear ring, to prevent the entry of dirt and sand into the ball race.
3. The sealing tube is placed in the circumferential groove of the gear ring. It serves to seal the turret joint for underwater travel. The tube can be filled with air through a valve located at the front left, thus sealing the gap between gear ring and turret wall. Water that penetrates into the ball race can be drained through a hole in the left of the gear ring, which has a drain tube with a screw cap.
4. The turret supports itself with its supporting ring on the ball race. The cover plate for the toothed ring is fastened to the supporting ring. A box is fixed to the front right of the supporting ring, to which the elevation gear, bridge and loader's seat are screwed. The handwheel for the elevation gear and the firing trigger are arranged on a cardan shaft in a sleeve leading to the bridge. Also, the gunner's seat and a footrest are fastened to the bridge. The box for the balance spring is located at the rear left of the supporting ring. The controls for the hydraulic drive of the turret rotation gear are arranged on the turret floor and supported by the knee shield fixed to the cover plate. The rotation gear is placed at the left of the supporting ring.
5. The new pattern of turret lock (diagram 9) is a toothed arc and can lock the turret in any desired position. The lock base is screwed to the front left of the supporting ring. It incorporates the toothed arc and its handwheel.
*note: the impact sleeves can be effective only if, after an impact has distorted a sleeve, the enclosed screw is further tightened.
To fasten, the toothed segment is sunk into the toothed ring by turning the handwheel to the right.
6. The clock indicator (diagrams 11, 11a & 12) is split between two housings. Housing 1 is on the cover of the turret rotation gear, housing 2 is located on the cover of the bevel gear of the manual drive. The clock indicator is driven from the turret rotation gear by a pinion shaft. Gear wheel 1 of the indicator is fastened to gear wheel 1 of the indicator drive, which is fixed rigidly to the pinion shaft. A turn of gear wheel 1 carries over gear wheel 2 and the cardan shaft, the worm gear, the worm gear wheel, the indicator shaft and the pointer. The position of the pointer can be read from the numbered disk. The disk, like the toothed ring in the commander's cupola, has divisions numbered from 0 to 12.
7. The rotating floor (diagrams 13, 14 & 15) hangs by one pillar from each of the supporting ring, the turret rotation gear and the turret bridge. At the left rear of the floor is the box for the balance spring. The space under the floor is accessible via a hatch. The hydraulic drive for the turret rotation gear and the hydraulic drive controls, which serve as a footrest for the gunner, are located on the floor. The rotating floor is guided by its central ring against the slip ring transfer unit, and bears a cover and guard plate to protect the guide and the transfer unit. The turret joint protector, installed in a later redesign, prevents projectiles entering the turret gap.
3. Drum mantlet Diagrams 6, 7, 22-24
The drum mantlet serves to hold the barrel sleeve with 8.8cm barrel, the recoil buffer and pneumatic recuperator, the MG24 and also the telescopic sight mounting. The drum mantlet (diagram 16) is formed into a shield at the front and has holes bored for each of the barrel sleeve, the MG34, and two borings for the binocular telescopic sight (TZF 9 b).(The latest version of this article)