Tiger 2 – Konigstiger, Bengal Tiger, King Tiger, Royal Tiger

King Tiger 213 - December 44 Historical Museum - La Gleize, Belgium.
King Tiger 213 – December 44 Historical Museum – La Gleize, Belgium.

Tiger II is the common name of a German heavy tank of the Second World War. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, often shortened to Tiger B. The ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 182. It is also known under the informal name Königstiger (the German name for the “Bengal tiger”), often semi-literally translated as the King Tiger or Royal Tiger by Allied soldiers.

The design followed the same concept as the Tiger I, but was intended to be even more formidable. The Tiger II combined the thick armor of the Tiger I with the sloped armor used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost seventy metric tons, was protected by 100 to 180 mm (3.9 to 7.1 in) of armor to the front, and was armed with the long barreled 8.8 cm Kampfwagenkanone 43 L/71 gun. The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer.

The Tiger II was issued to heavy tank battalions of the Army (Schwere Heerespanzerabteilung – abbreviated s.H.Pz.Abt) and the Waffen-SS (s.SS.Pz.Abt). It was first used in combat with s.H.Pz.Abt. 503 during the Normandy campaign on 11 July 1944; on the Eastern Front the first unit to be outfitted with Tiger IIs was the s.H.Pz.Abt. 501 which by 1 September 1944 listed 25 Tiger IIs operational.

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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History