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The Tank Museum's King Tiger Porsche

VEHICLE HISTORY: TIGER II (Pre-Production)

January 17, 2017
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The massive Pre-Production Tiger II represents the high point of wartime German tank design. It is one of two Tiger IIs in The Tiger Collection. 

The longer 88mm gun was even more powerful than that on its predecessor, Tiger I and there was no Allied tank that the Tiger II could not destroy. 

A Tiger II knocked-out whilst replenishing, by 5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Le Plessis Grimoult, Normandy, August 1944.

A Tiger II knocked-out whilst replenishing, by 5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Le Plessis Grimoult, Normandy, August 1944.

The Tiger II (or King Tiger) with its distinctive sloped turret (P-2 Turm) designed by weapons manufacturer Krupp, was used in the first 50 vehicles produced. The tank was a result of an order from Hitler to fit the long barrelled Flak 41 88mm Rheinmettall gun into a heavy tank. Krupp went onto design their own 88mm gun known as 8.8cm KwK 43 (L/71), which had an effective range of 10km (6.2 miles). This turret design was replaced in December 1943 by another simpler design.

The Tiger II was powered by the Maybach HL 230 P30 engine which produced 700 bhp, but was considerably underpowered due to the power to weight ratio being a mere 8.9 hp per tonne.

The Tank Museum’s Tiger II, Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf B (Sd Kfz 182), is the second of three trial vehicles that were produced late in 1943.  It is fitted with an early style turret often inaccurately referred to as the ‘Porsche’ type – all the turrets for the Tiger family were designed by the arms manufacturer Krupp. The first 50 turrets had thick, rounded armour at the front that created a shot trap. A new and simpler model turret was designed that was fitted to the remaining 442 tanks.

The vehicle was captured by the British at the end of the war and evaluated at the School of Tank Technology.

 

Crew:                                                          5

Maximum Armour:                              150 mm (5.9in)

Max sustained speed on road:        38 Km/h (23.6 mph)

Weight:                                                      68.5 tonnes (67.4 Imp tons)

Weaponry:                                                8.8cm/88 mm KwK 43 main gun; 2 x 7.92 mm MG 34 machine guns

Range (on road):                                   170km (105.6 miles)

Fuel Capacity:                                         860L (189 Imp Gallon)

Service dates:                                          1944 – 1945

Manufacturer:                                        Henschel and Sohn

See the Pre-Production Tiger II in The Tiger Collection, opening April 2017. 

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