HC Deb 06 March 1945 vol 408 cc1797-8
1 Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) the calibre of the gun mounted on the German Royal Tiger tank together with the weight of its projectile;

(2) which British tank in action mounts a gun equal in calibre and weight of shot to the German 88 mm. gun mounted on the Royal Tiger tank;

(3) the front armour, size of gun and weight of shell used in the biggest Russian tank, together with the total weight thereof; and whether there is a British tank at least equal in gun power and armour.

The Secretary of State for War (Sir James Grigg)

I gave the hon. Member the particulars he asks for about the Royal Tiger in the reply I gave him on 16th January. It would clearly not be in the public interest to give details of British and Allied weapons being used against the enemy.

Mr. Stokes

Is it not a fact that we have nothing at all equal to the gun on the Royal Tiger that is capable of piercing 5½in. of armour at 2,000 yards, and that the Russians already have a tank with a 5-inch gun on it?

Sir J. Grigg

The hon. Member is giving information, but as he said I did not give him the details about the Royal Tiger, this is my answer to the Question he asked on January 16th as to the calibre of the gun and the weight of the projectile: We have not yet received the complete details of the King Tiger. I understand, however, that it carries an 88 mm. gun firing a projectile weighing 22.4 lbs. …" [OFFICIAL REPORT; 16th January, 1945; Vol, 407, c. 17.]

Mr. Shinwell

Is it not true that in spite of our limitations, we seem to be doing very well on the Western Front?

Sir J. Grigg

I was under that impression; the only evidence to the contrary is from the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes).

General Sir George Jeffreys

Can the right hon. Gentleman say, approximately, how many of these German Tiger tanks have been knocked out by our armoured fighting vehicles and anti-tank guns, and how do they compare in manœuvrability?

Sir J. Grigg

I will see if I can get figures about the first part of the question. With regard to manœuvrability, which I regard as a much more important quality than mere size, there is no comparison.

Mr. Stokes

Arising out of the Minister's second reply, is he aware that I have a letter in my hand dated 6th February from soldiers at the front complaining that there is absolutely nothing among our armour equal to the Tiger?

Sir J. Grigg

I will, on the appropriate occasion, which will arise fairly soon, produce the authoritative opinion of the soldiers about the comparison of the British and German tanks.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Would it be possible for one of these tanks to be placed in the tea room for the benefit of the hon. Member?