Panzer VI Ausf B (part II)

Germany-flagGerman heavy battle tank Panzer VI Ausf B Tiger II (part II)
Production, service, specifications, statistics and 3D model.

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Animated 3D model King Tiger tank


Production

Manufacturing of the Tiger II, or Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger II Ausf B (SdKfz 182) to provide its proper name, got under way at Kassel in December 1943 alongside the Tiger tank, the initial 50 production vehicles being finished with the Porsche turret. All following vehicles had the Henschel turret, and a total of 485 vehicles were produced.

When the production ran at full-scale, it took no more than 14 days to complete a Tiger II and at Henschel usually always 60 tanks were on the assembly line. In total, only 485 vehicles were completed by March 1945 and over 600 tanks which could have been produced were lost as the result of Allied air raids on the manufacturing plants.

Service

line-up of King Tiger tanks

A line-up of King Tiger tanks, in the first battalion to receive them.

The first King Tigers were issued to training units in February 1944. The Tiger II first saw action on the Eastern Front in May 1944 and on the Western Front in Normandy in August of the same year.

Apart from 5 tanks issued to the Feldherrnhalle division in March 1945, all King Tiger were issued to independent heavy tank detachments of Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS. The King Tiger eliminated the Allied tanks with ease, in the East and West.

The King Tiger was delivered in the fall of 1944 in small groups of four to five vehicles to front units – as well as the Tiger I. The Tiger II destroyed his opponents with ease on the Eastern and Western fronts.

heavy tank battalion with Tiger II

A German heavy tank battalion with Tiger II (King Tigers) on the Eastern Front in November.

While the armor protection of King Tiger offered to be virtually save against all Allied tank guns, it was technically vulnerable and only cumbersome to move around the battlefield and to hide. Many were abandoned by their crews, as they had run out of fuel and no additional replenishment could approach.
In a quick combat action with forced withdrawal, which often happened on the Eastern Front in the last year of the war, many King Tiger were abandoned by their crews.
But if the King Tiger was used considering it was a very effective vehicle and was able to destroy a large number of opponents or keep them under control, without endangering themselves.

The Western Allies calling the tank the ‘Royal Tiger’ or ‘King Tiger’, while the Germans called it the Königstiger (King Tiger).


Specifications King Tiger

Specifications
Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tiger Specification
Type heavy tank
Engine Maybach HL230P30 12-cylinder petrol engine developing 700 hp (522 kW)
Gearbox 8 forward, 4 reverse
Crew total 5
Turret crew 3 (with 360° Commanders cupola)
Length 10.26m (33ft 8in) with gun; 7.26m (23ft 9.75in) hull
Width 3.75m (12ft 3.5in)
Height 3.09m (10ft 1.5in)
Weight 68 tons
Maximum speed 24 mph
Cross-country speed 10 mph
Fuel consumption per 100 miles road 680 litres; terrain 1,000 litres
Fuel 860 litres in 7 tanks
Road radius 72 miles
Cross-country radius 48 miles
Vertical obstacle 2.78ft
Trench crossing 8.2ft
Fording depth 5.25ft
Turning circle 16.4ft
Gradient 35°
Armour
Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tiger mm angle
Turret front 180
Turret side 80 21°
Turret rear 80 21°
Turret top 40 78-90°
Porsche turret front 60-110 round
Porsche turret side 80 30°
Porsche turret rear 80 30°
Porsche turret top 40 77-90°
Superstructure front 150 50°
Superstructure side 80 25°
Superstructure top 40 90°
Hull front 100 50°
Hull side 80
Hull rear 80 30°
Hull bottom 25-40 90°
Gun mantlet 100-110 Saukopfblende
Armament and Equipment
Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tiger specification
Main armament 8.8cm KwK43 L/71
Rounds 72
Traverse 360° (hydraulic)
Elevation -7.4° to +15°
Muzzle velocity Pzgr39-1 1,000 m/s
Muzzle velocity Pzgr40/43 1,130 m/s
Shell weight Pzgr39-1 10.2 kg
Shell weight Pzgr40/43 7.3 kg
Extreme effective range ?
Secondary armament 2 x 7,92mm MG 34 with total 5850 rounds
Radio FuG5 (range 4 km)
Telescopic sight TZF9b, later TZF9d (range up to 5.000 m)
Penetration mm at 30° armour plates of the main gun
Range Pzgr39-1 Pzgr40/43
Penetration 100 m 203 mm 237 mm
Penetration 500 m 185 mm 217 mm
Penetration 1,000 m 165 mm 193 mm
Penetration 1,500 m 148 mm 171 mm
Penetration 2,000 m 132 mm 153 mm
Production
Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tiger data
Production from January 1944 to March 1945
Combat delivery May 1944
Price per unit RM 321,500 = c.$ 145,000
Total production figure 489
Service statistics of all M4 medium tank series
Year Available Production Losses
pre 1939
1939
1940
1941
1942
1943 1
1944 376 51
1945 183 82 (Jan-Feb) 6 (Jan)
TOTAL 459 57

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Call of War
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