Concept and development
The Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger II Ausf. B “Königstiger” (Sd.Kfz.182) / VK4503(H) was the most powerful combat tank produced and deployed during the World War II. Up to the end of the war, the Allies did not introduce anything that could effectively counter it on the battlefield.
The Tiger II combined a powerful and effective gun with think sloped armor that was virtually impervious to any Allied tank or anti-tank gun. The result was battlefield history.
Planning for the Tiger II started as early as May 26th of 1941, a year before the Tiger I entered production, when Adolf Hitler meet with officials responsible for the armament development including panzer development.
In January 1943, Hitler ordered the new Tiger to be armed with a long barreled 88mm L/71 gun and have 150mm frontal armor and 80mm side armor.
Front and side plates were to be sloped and interlocked, resulting in a design similar to the then-new PzKpfw V Panther (Sd.Kfz.171).
Once again, Henschel and Porsche were ordered to develop the new vehicle as both companies had started work on heavy tank designs in 1937 and 1939 respectively.
Porsche provided two projects that were based on the previous VK 4501(P) design and were designated VK4502(P).
The first one, Typ 180 (Turm Vorne) A/B, had its turret mounted centrally, while Typ 181 (Turm Hinten) A/B/C, had its turret mounted in the rear with a mid-mounted engine (similar in layout to the modern Israeli Merkava main battle tanks).
Both designs shared the same chassis and hull, along with all the other components and gasoline-electric system of VK4501(P).
Both designs were extremely similar, with the only difference being the location of the turret and some mechanical components. Only wooden mock-ups were produced.
The majority went to Wehrmacht units, while some 150 were assigned to the Waffen SS. The first Tigers II tanks reached schwere Panzer Abteilung of both Wehrmacht and Waffen SS as early as February 1944.
The original role of heavy tank battalions was to engage, breakthrough and destroy enemy armor on the offensive, but the changing war situation saw their role relegated to the defensive.
Units were refitted with King Tigers at the training centers, where crews became familiar with their new tanks through training.
Even when Tiger II was lost, crew survival was high and surviving experienced crews were quickly deployed with a new tank.
The first five production King Tigers were issued to Panzer Lehr Division (Panzer Kompanie Funklenk 316), but were not used in combat. The first time the Tiger II saw action was in May 1944 near Minsk, followed by another action (of schwere Panzer Abteilung 501 commanded by Oberstleutnant von Legat) in July 1944 at Sandomierz in Poland.
Only two companies of schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 commanded by Hauptmann Fromme, equipped with Tiger II tanks (with Porsche turrets), were committed to the fighting in Normandy, where their mechanical problems and Allied fighter-bombers as well naval gunfire proved fatal and, by the end of August 1944, all were lost. Tiger II tanks of schwere Panzer Abteilung 506 commanded by Major Lange, saw combat during the “Market Garden” operation in Holland in September of 1944. King Tigers also took part in the Ardennes Offensive, serving with schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 501 (Kampfgruppe Peiper).
On the Eastern Front, Tiger II tanks took part in the fighting in Hungary and in central Poland in 1944 and 1945. The Tiger II saw combat on both Western and Eastern Fronts, where it proved to be a superb weapon and worthy opponent when operated by an experienced crew and properly maintained.
A small number of King Tigers also defended Berlin in April and May of 1945. A Tiger II from schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 was also the last German tank to be destroyed in the war. It was blown up by its crew in Austria on May 10, 1945.
|Engine:||Maybach HL 230 P 30 / 12-cylinder / 700hp|
|Fuel Capacity:||860 litres|
|Lenght:||7.26m (w/o the gun)
10.28m (with the gun)
|Width:||3.65m (w/o aprons)
3.75m (with aprons)
|Armament:||88mm KwK 43 L/71 & 3 x 7.92mm MG34/42
(1 x MG – hull)
(1 x MG – coaxial)
(1 x MG – cupola)
|Ammo:||88mm – 80 (Porsche) / 86 (Krupp) rounds
7.92mm – 5850 rounds
|Armor (mm/angle):||Front Turret: 180/9
Front Porsche Turret: 60-110/round
Front Superstructure: 150/50
Front Hull: 100/50
Side Turret: 80/21
Side Porsche Turret: 80/30
Side Superstructure: 80/25
Side Hull: 80/0
Rear Turret: 80/21
Rear Porsche Turret: 80/30
Rear Hull: 80/0
Top / Bottom Turret: 40/78 / 40/90
Top / Bottom Porsche Turret: 40/77 / 40/90
Top / Bottom Superstructure: 40/90
Top / Bottom Hull: 40-25/90
Gun Mantlet: Saukopfblende
|Penetration of Armor Plate at 30 degrees from Vertical.|
|Pzgr.39 (APCBC) – Armor Piercing Composite Ballistic Cap|
|Pzgr.40/43 (APCR) – Armor Piercing Composite Rigid (Tungsten Core)|
The King Tiger in Flames Of War
Super-heavy tanks and heavily-laden assault guns often overload their engines and suspensions, making them very poor at crossing obstacles.
When required to take a Bogging Check to cross Difficult Going, an Overloaded vehicle becomes Bogged Down on a roll of 1 or 2, rather than the usual 1. An Overloaded vehicle must re-roll successful Skill Tests to cross Very Difficult Going.
Most tanks were either fitted with power traverse or had turrets that were light enough to be quickly swung by hand. Some designs suffered from heavy turrets lacking power traverse.
Tanks with slow traverse add +1 to the score required to hit when shooting any turret-mounted weapon except an AA MG at targets that are entirely behind a line drawn across the front of the tank’s turret before they rotate their turret to face the target.
Teams from a Fallschirmjäger Platoon have a 3+ Save while Mounted on Königstiger (Henschel) tanks as Passengers. They do not need to Dismount Under Fire when hit. They can remain on the tanks instead.
Tiger Ace Skills
Remember to roll for your Tiger Ace Skills before each game (see page 244 of the rule book).
A Company Command Königstiger tank always has two Tiger Ace Skills (see page 244 of the rule book).
King Tiger from Battlefront Painted by WarStuft
The model I did was the Porsche Turret variant from Battlefront Miniatures.
The oginal kit includes booth types of Tank Turret Henschell and Porsche Turrets and BF serves another kit with a single KT with Porsche turret and a team of FalschirmJagers miniatures to be used as Tank Riders.
Those ones are high quallity resin casted stuff, whith crispy details as it´s usual in Battlefront kits.
For the painting process I used :
- Grey Acrylic Primer from Ak Interactive.
- Dunkelgelb Modulation Set from Ak Interactive.
- ResedalGrün from Ak Interactive.
- RotBraun from Gunze.
- Rusty Streaks from Ak Interactive.
- FlatBrown and Acrylic black wash for scratchs and sponge chipping.
- Enamel washes from Ak Interactive.
- Pigments Fixer from Ak Interactive.
- Glossy and Matte Acrylic Varnish from Vallejo.
- Micro Set and Micro Sol.
- Odour-less White Spirit.
- Acrylyc Thinner from Vallejo.
- Iraqui sand for highliting chipping and and some dust effect under the SchurZen and chasis.
- Brown sand ….etc.
The pattern I used was the soft edges tritonal, typical in Late Period in German Army vehicles. Using ResedalGrün and RotBraun.
I used and Harder & Steimbeck Ultra airbrush 2
For the modulation I used a not real modulation technique, who increases the contrast of the miniature.
Camo pattern is made with low presure to have thin lines and paint diluded with Ak thinner as milk viscosity..
Tank Crew was painted with Black suit and red teaches, usual in german tank units members.
Chiping & Scratches I modelled mixing Black wash with Flat brown, then added carefully with a blister sponge. Scratches with a ” 0″ brush.
Then with Iraqui sand, I did for the highligting process.