Pz. Kpfw. VI (B) “Tiger” für 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 L/71 (Sd. Kfz. 182): Heavy Tank (“King Tiger” or “Royal Tiger”)

Pz. Kpfw. VI (B) Tiger für 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 L/71 (Sd. Kfz. 182): Heavy Tank (King Tiger or Royal Tiger)

This heavy tank designed for defensive warfare or for penetrating strong lines of defense made its combat appearance in 1944. It is distinguished by heavy frontal armor and by the employment of the heaviest German gun to be used in a turret with 360° traverse—the 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 (L/71). This gun has a muzzle velocity of 3,280 f/s, and firing an A.P.C.B.C. projectile weighing 22.4 pounds against 30° homogenous plate has a reported penetration of 6.3 inches at 1,000 yards.

The hull and superstructure are of single-skin welded construction with interlocked joints. The hull front is formed of a single sloping plate 150 mm thick, and a lower nose plate 100 mm thick. Each of these plates is set at an angle of 50° from the vertical, resembling in design the Panther rather than the earlier Tiger. The pannier side plates, 80 mm thick, are set at a 25° angle and also resemble those of the Panther. The turret is located sufficiently back of the angle of deflection to be clear of direct hits on the front plate. The rounded front is 180 mm thick.

At the rear of the vehicle is a Maybach 60°, V-12, gasoline engine of 600 horsepower. The transmission, steering, and final drive are similar to those of the Tiger E. The suspension is made up of nine torsion bars on each side to carry the tank on steel tired road wheels. Five of these overlap the four internal ones. Every alternate track link has two ground contact bars.

This tank mounts the 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43 (L/71), two M.G. 34’s, an antiaircraft machine gun, and a smoke projector. A commander’s version of this tank was also manufactured.

The transport trailer for this tank is described on page 62.2.


Weight       75 tons
Length 23 ft., 10 ins.
Width (overall) 12 ft., 7 ins.
Height 10 ft., 2 ins.
Ground clearance 1 ft., 5 ins.
Tread centers 9 ft., 4 ins.
Ground contact
Width of track 32.5 ins.
Pitch of track 5.9 ins.
Track links 90
Fording depth 69 ins.
Theoretical radius of action
   Roads 106
   Roads 23.6 m.p.h.
   Cross-country 10 m.p.h.
   Front glacis plate 150 mm
   Sides 80 mm
Armament (1) 8.8 cm Kw. K. 43; (2) 7.92 mm M.G.’s; (1) A.A. M.G.; (1) smoke projector
Ammunition (Rds.)—88 mm 80
Engine Maybach HL 230
Transmission 8 forward speeds; 4 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, hydraulically operated
Crew 5

German: p. 38.2 (August 1, 1945)

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