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Panzer VI Ausf B


German heavy battle tank Panzer VI Ausf B Tiger II (Part II)
Production, service, specifications, statistics and 3D model.

PzKpfw VI Ausf B Tiger II (Henschel)
PzKpfw VI Ausf B Tiger II (Henschel)

t_arrow2to Part I of 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

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.

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

While the armor protection of King Tiger offered to be virtually safe 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 Tigers were abandoned by their crews.
But if the King Tiger was used considering it was a very effective vehicle and was able to destroy many numerous 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).

button go Here to Part III: Tiger II: Firepower, Protection, Mobility.


Animated 3D model King Tiger tank (Henschel)


Specifications King Tiger

Specifications:

Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tiger Specification
Typeheavy tank
EngineMaybach HL230P30 12-cylinder petrol engine developing 700 hp (522 kW)
Gearbox 8 forward, 4 reverse
Crew total5
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 radius72 miles
Cross-country radius48 miles
Vertical obstacle 2.78ft
Trench crossing 8.2ft
Fording depth 5.25ft
Turning circle 16.4ft
Gradient 35°

Armor:

Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tigermmangle
Turret front180
Turret side8021°
Turret rear8021°
Turret top4078-90°
Porsche turret front60-110round
Porsche turret side8030°
Porsche turret rear8030°
Porsche turret top4077-90°
Superstructure front15050°
Superstructure side8025°
Superstructure top4090°
Hull front10050°
Hull side80
Hull rear8030°
Hull bottom25-4090°
Gun mantlet100-110Saukopfblende

Armament and Equipment:

Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tigerspecification
Main armament 8.8cm KwK43 L/71
Rounds72
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° armor plates of the main gun:

RangePzgr39-1Pzgr40/43
Penetration 100 m203 mm237 mm
Penetration 500 m185 mm217 mm
Penetration 1,000 m165 mm193 mm
Penetration 1,500 m148 mm171 mm
Penetration 2,000 m132 mm153 mm

Production:

Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B (SdKfz 182) King Tigerfigures
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 King Tiger tanks:

YearAvailableProductionLosses
pre-1939---
1939---
1940---
1941---
1942---
1943-1-
1944-37651
194518382 (Jan-Feb)6 (Jan)
TOTAL-45957


Animated 3D model King Tiger tank (Porsche turret)


t_arrow2to Part I of King tiger tank

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