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.
The Tiger I was armed with an 88mm gun. The Tiger II was also armed with an 88mm gun. However, if you tried to fire a round for one through the other, it wouldn’t fit. Why should this be?
One of the most distinctive features of the Tiger family is the interleaved and overlapping road wheels.
Part 1 of this series looked at the development of the Tiger I and Elefant. It can be found here, The Tiger Family Part I. In Part 2 we will consider the Tiger II, or King Tiger branch of the family.
The Tiger I was 3547mm wide and this posed a problem for its strategic mobility. The most efficient way to move tanks long distances during the 1940’s was by train, but the Tiger, with its operational tracks, was too wide.
In the Tiger Collection you may notice that the exterior of the Jagdtiger and Production Tiger II have an unusual texture. This is Zimmerit – a protective layer to decrease the magnetic properties of the tank’s armour.
For the new Tiger Collection, The Tank Museum’s Jagdtiger and Tiger II with pre-production turret were repainted to show how they looked when they were captured in 1945. Both tanks are now painted in RAL 7028, known as Dunkelgelb.
The Tiger II with Production turret on display in the Tiger Collection was built in July 1944 by Henschel and given Fahrgestell Nummer (chassis number) 280093.
Both turrets used on the Tiger II were designed and built by the Krupp company. So why are they so often called the ‘Porsche’ and ‘Henschel’ turrets?
David Fletcher looks into the story of one of the first Tiger II (King Tiger) being knocked out in Le Plessis Grimoult, using only luck and a two inch mortar.