Today Tiger 131 is probably the most famous tank in the world. Of the six surviving Tiger I’s, it is the only one numbered 131.
Tiger 131 is the most famous tank in The Tank Museum’s collection and arguably the most famous tank in the world.
The thirty-third Tank Chat, this time presented by Curator David Willey. Including a fascinating insight into pre-Second World War German tank production and how the Panzer III worked alongside it’s fellow Panzers.
Originally known as the Ferdinand, then later renamed Elefant, 90 of this heavily armed and armoured vehicle were built, seeing service in the Soviet Union, Italy and Germany.
Known variously as the Tiger Ausf. B, Tiger II or Königstiger (the British also referred to it as the ‘Royal Tiger’), 489 Tiger IIs, were produced at the Henschel assembly plant, between January 1944 and March 1945. However, despite lacking
Most members of the Tiger family were armed with an anti-tank gun optimised for armour penetration. However there was one exception. The Sturmtiger was fitted with a 38cm calibre weapon that had a very different role.
The driver’s hatch on Tiger 131 was replaced in May 1943 by the British after capture. The result of this early repair was that Tiger 131 spent several years with an incorrect part fitted.
The Tiger combat debut took place in August 1942 on the Eastern Front. It was not a success, with three of the four breaking down.
Tank construction has always been a labour intensive, expensive process. The need to manufacture far larger numbers during the Second World War saw the warring powers adapt existing factories for the job.
The attacking German forces at Kursk amassed 777,000 men and around 2500 tanks and assault guns. This was about 70 per cent of all their tanks on the Eastern Front.