German World War II armored fighting vehicles gallery


Heavy tank armed with 88 mm gun

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Tiger II was the latest standard German tank of WWII. Its development started in 1941. Henschel and Porsche companies were competing to create the design. It was the Henschel proposal which was eventually selected for production. First three prototypes of new tank were completed in January of 1944 and serial production was to start immediately. New tank received designation Tiger Ausf. B but is also frequently referred to as Tiger II or Königstiger (Bengal tiger).

The chassis of the new tank had nine axes with one double-disk road wheel on each of them. The hull had a sloped front armor. It was powered by 23 liter Maybach HL 230 P30 petrol engine with maximum output of 700 hp. It had a mass of 68,5 tons. Maximum speed was 38 km/h but off the road it could only travel at 15 – 20 km/h. First 50 tanks were fitted with so called “Porsche” turret which had a rounded front wall. Later serial turret had flat front and was overall easier to manufacture. Tiger II was armed with very effective 88 mm KwK 43 L/71 gun.

On paper, the Tiger II was a super war machine. The most widespread allied tank, the Sherman, was not able to penetrate Tiger II`s front armor even from zero distance! German was however able to knock out Sherman at ranges exceeding 2,5 km! However, in reality Tiger II suffered from problems like overburdened drivetrain and engine, huge fuel consumption, inexperienced young crews (etc.) which reduced its actual combat value. On top of that, only 489 were ever produced.