Panzer VI Tiger

Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf E (Tiger I)
Service, specifications, statistics and 3D model of the heavy German Tiger tank of World War II.

Tiger I
Tiger I

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Combat service

The first unit, which was equipped with the Tiger tank was the first platoon of 502 heavy Panzer Abteilung (detachment), which was hurriedly assembled and rushed in action to the Leningrad area in August 1942. Personally planned by Hitler in detail, the operation ended in disaster, and the Russians were early informed about the new German heavy tank.

Despite this, its appearance for the Allies was a shock, and the Tiger tank soon earned the reputation of being the greatest threat on the battlefield. For example, in 1944 in France, the single Tiger tank of Michael Wittmann stopped a whole division and knocked-out 25 Allied tanks before being destroyed.
In general, the Tiger tank was more effective in the defense instead of attack, because the great power of the gun over long distances combined with good armor was the full potential.

Usually the Tiger I was the equipment of special heavy tank detachments with 30 vehicles each. But the Pzkpfw VI Tiger I was also issued to the heavy tank detachments and heavy tank companies of three Waffen-SS divisions, and to the Grossdeutschland Division. Still in service at the end of the war, the Tiger tanks had taken a heavy toll of enemy armor on all fronts.

Wittmann with his Tiger and crew
The most successful tank crew of all time: Wittmann with his Tiger and crew in Russia in January 1944.
Tiger tanks (together with King Tiger) knocked-out a minimum of 10,300 enemy AFVs along with, just as crucial, an incredible 11,380 anti-tank and artillery guns throughout WW2. This was gained for the destruction of 1,725 Tiger tanks, which includes a huge amount of strategic as well as operational losses, i.e. broken down, destroyed by crews, abandoned, and so on.
When wiped out artillery, AT guns, AFVs, infantry soldiers, as well as other equipment and weapons are listed, the Tiger I tank most likely done the best kill-to-loss ratio of any tank in modern military history. There’s no question that the Tiger tank’s triumph had been mainly because of its effectively all-round protection; and not just a good frontal armor like the Panther tank for example.

For comparison, average number of hits to knock out each type of tank:

Tank TypeAverage number of hitsAverage number of penetrations
Tiger I4.22.6
Panzer V Panther2.551.9
M4 Sherman1.631.55
Panzer IV1.21.2

Comprehensive investigation displays the Tiger I in fact gained a better Kill-to-loss-ratio compared to the King Tiger. But this had been as a result of strategic circumstance in 1945, which ended in numerous King Tiger’s being wrecked by their crews to avoid capture or abandoned.

Users: Germany.

Animated 3D model PzKpfw VI Tiger I

Specifications Tiger tank


PzKpfw VI Ausf E Tiger ISpecification
Typeheavy battle tank
Engine Maybach HL210P45 (later HL230P45) V-12, water-cooled gasoline engine with 700 hp
Gearbox 8 forward, 4 reverse
Length 27 ft 8.68 in
Width 12 ft 1.67 in
Height 9 ft 7.35 in
Weight57 tons
Maximum Speed23.6 mph
Cross-country speed12.4 mph
Fuel consumption per 100 miles 912 litres on road, 1,360 litres cross-country
Fuel534 litres
Road radius87 miles
Cross-country radius62 miles
Vertical obstacle2 ft 7.5 in
Trench crossing5 ft 10.9 in
Fording depth3 ft 11.2 in
Turning circle2 ft 20.5 in
Climbing power35°


PzKpfw VI Ausf E Tiger Immangle
Turret front100
Turret side80
Turret rear80
Turret top2581-90°
Superstructure front10010°
Superstructure side80
Superstructure top2590°
Hull front10024°
Hull side60
Hull rear80
Hull bottom2590°
Gun mantlet100-110

Armament and Equipment:

PzKpfw VI Ausf E Tiger ISpecification
Main armament8.8 cm KwK36 L/56
Traverse 360°
Elevation -9° to +10°
Muzzle velocity Pzgr39 773 m/s
Muzzle velocity Pzgr40 930 m/s
Shell weight Pzgr39 22.49 lbs
Shell weight Pzgr40 16.09 lbs
Secondary armament 7.92mm MG 34 in hull front (traverse 15° left to 15° right, elevation -7° to +20°), 7.92mm MG 34 coaxially to gun (together 4,800 rounds), later additional anti-aircraft machine-gun on the cupola
Radio FuG5 (upt to 2.5 miles range)
Telescopic sight TZF9b, later TZF9c (up to 2.5 miles aiming)

Penetration mm at 30° armour plates of 8.8 cm KwK36 L/56:

RangePzgr39Pzgr40 (limited numbers)
Penetration 100 meters120 mm171 mm
Penetration 500 meters110 mm156 mm
Penetration 1,000 meters100 mm138 mm
Penetration 1,500 meters91 mm123 mm
Penetration 2,000 meters84 mm110 mm


PzKpfw VI Ausf E Tiger Ifigures
Productionfrom July 1942 to August 1944
Price per unit RM 260,000 RM (RM 300,000 fully equipped) = c.$ 117,000 ($ 135,000) = c. £ 29,250 (£ 33,750 )
Total production figure (all) 1,354

Service statistics of PzKpfw VI Ausf E Tiger I:

pre 1939---
194365 (1.1.)647307
1944395 (1.1.)623783
1945245 (1.1.)-62 (only Jan.)
TOTAL- 1,343 "1155"

Monthly production figures PzKpfw VI Ausf E Tiger I:


Video of a Tiger I H1 in action with computer games

In addition, the following video of action with the Tiger I H1 in a ‘Realistic Ground Battle’ of the free2play game War Thunder:

Who does not know the F2P tank and plane war game War Thunder can download it from here for free:


t_arrow2to Part I of Tiger tank

References and literature

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two (P.Chamberlain, H.L.Doyle)
Kraftfahrzeuge und Panzer der Reichswehr, Wehrmacht und Bundeswehr (Werner Oswald)
Krieg der Panzer (Piekalkiewicz)
Operation Barbarossa: the Complete Orgnaisational and Statistical Analysis, and Military Simulation, Volume I – IIIB (Nigel Askey)
Panzer und andere Kampffahrzeuge von 1916 bis heute (Christopher F. Foss, John F. Milsom, Colonel John Stafford Weeks, Captain Georffrey Tillotson, Richard M. Ogorkiewicz)
The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II (Chris Bishop)
Operation Goodwood: July 1944 – A Corridor of Death (P.Moore)
Tigers in Combat I + II (W. Schneider)
Sledgehammers: Strength and Flaws of Tiger Tank Batailions in WWII (C.W.Wilbeck)
Elefant – Jagdtiger – Sturmtiger (Wolfgang Schneider)
Tiger tanks (Michael Green)

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2 thoughts on “Panzer VI Tiger”

  1. Your claims for the Tiger’s kill counts are bogus.

    More than enough work has been done to argue the contrary:


    The Tiger was not as effective as your article portrays it. Not even close.

    1. I guess you should read some good standard reference books like ‘Soviet tanks’ (J.Zaloga), Operation Barbarossa Vol. I (Nigel Askey) or Tiger tanks (Michael Green) before you claim such dubious claims with references to trash forums or dubious websites.
      These claims are so likely as the Soviets claimed to knock out 700 Tigers alone during the Battle of Kursk (=) or British Typhoon pilots reported 252 Panzers destroyed during Operation Goodwood, but Allied research teams later found just 10 knocked-out by planes.
      For this reason, all successes reported by crews or subunits on enemy vehicles destroyed were reduced by a factor based on experience. These reduced figures were then included in the statistics issued to the higher military staffs for their work – and not for war propaganda!
      Unfortunately, there are always contemporaries – especially on the Internet – who want to distort or question facts and statistics with hypocritical argumentation in order to make themselves interesting, rehash old familiar facts or pursue other interests.

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