The Tiger II is a German heavy tank of the Second World War. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf B, often shortened to Tiger B. The ordnance inventory designation was SdKfz 182 (SdKfz 267 & 268 for command vehicles). It is also known under the informal name Königstiger (the German name for the Bengal tiger), often translated literally as Royal Tiger, or somewhat incorrectly as King Tiger by Allied soldiers.
The Tiger II was the successor to the Tiger I, combining the latter’s thick armour with the armour sloping used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost 70 tonnes, and was protected by 100mm to 185mm (3.9” to 7.3”) of armour to the front. It was armed with the long barreled 8.8cm KwK 43 L/71 anti-tank cannon. The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger anti-tank vehicle.
The Tiger II was issued to heavy tank battalions of the Army and the Waffen-SS. It was first used in combat by 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion during the Allied invasion of Normandy on 11 July 1944; on the Eastern Front, the first unit to be outfitted with the Tiger II was the 501st Heavy Panzer Battalion, which by 1 September 1944 listed 25 Tiger IIs operational.
Development of the heavy tank had been initiated in 1937 with the initial design contract awarded to Henschel; another contract was given to Porsche in 1939. Both prototype series used the same turret design from Krupp; the main differences were in the hull, transmission, suspension and automotive features.
Henschel won the design contract, and all Tiger IIs were produced by the firm. Two turret designs were used in production vehicles. The initial design is often misleadingly called the Tiger II (P), after the “Porsche” turret due to misbelieve that it was designed by Porsche for their prototype; in fact it was the initial Krupp design for both prototypes. This turret had a rounded front and steeply sloped sides, with a difficult-to-manufacture curved bulge on the turret’s left side to accommodate the commander’s cupola. Fifty early turrets were mounted to Henschel’s hull and used in action. In December 1943 the more common “production” turret, sometimes erroneously called the “Henschel” turret, was simplified with a significantly thicker flat surface to ease manufacturing and to add room for additional ammunition storage.
The Tiger II was developed late in the war and built in relatively small numbers due to severe disruption by Allied bombing raids. Only 492 units were produced.
- Tiger II with “initial” or “production” turret with Zimmerit.
- Choice to build with or without tank interior
- All round, full detail track links
- Optional mud guards & accessories
- Optional photo-etched air-intake grille
- Open or closed command & crew hatches
- 5 Panzer crew figures included
Product Code: 280100
Number of Parts: 254 pieces / 6 sprues + photo-etch + 2 magnets