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Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche turret Königstiger
(Henschel and Porsche turrets) (GBX14)

Tiger II, Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B, Sd Kfz 182.

Even as the Tiger IE was proving itself on the battlefields of the Eastern front the German high command had already begun requesting an even more powerful heavy tank. Henschel and Porsche were asked to provide designs.

Königstiger (GBX14) Königstiger (GBX14)

Krupp designed a new heavy 8.8cm tank gun based on the ballistics of the Rheinmetall 8.8cm Flak41 gun.

The new gun shared much of the performance of the FlaK41, but due to its requirements as a tank gun much of the physical design changed to fit it into a turret.

Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret
Porsche (front) and Henschel (rear) turrets

The two different designs had many differences in the hull, transmission and suspension. Porsche maintained it focus on electric transmission as they had with their Tiger I prototype (which eventually became the hull of the Ferdinand/Elefant). Their design was rejected in favour of the Henschel prototype.

GBX14 contents
The Henschel version used a conventional hull design with sloped armour resembling the layout of the Panther tank. It had a rear-mounted engine and torsion bar suspension similar to the original Tiger. To simplify maintenance the wheels were overlapping rather than interleaved as in the Tiger I.
Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche Turret
Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche Turret All Tiger IIs were produced by Henschel. Two turret designs were used on the Tiger II. The initial design is sometimes called the "Porsche turret" due to the belief that Porsche designed it for their prototype. This turret is in fact simply the initial Krupp design for both prototypes, however Krupp did start initial production of this design under Porsche’s instructions.
Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche Turret Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche Turret

This turret had a rounded front and steeply sloped sides, with a curved bulge to accommodate the commander's cupola, which proved a weak point in the armour. The under curve of gun mantlet also acted as a shot trap deflected shots down into the weak top armour of the drivers position. Fifty early turrets were mounted on Henschel's hull and used in action.

Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche Turret
Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche Turret Königstiger (GBX14) with Porsche Turret
Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret

The more common production turret, sometimes called the "Henschel" turret, was simplified with a flat face to eliminate the shot trap. It has less-steeply sloped sides and no bulge for the commander's cupola. This made it internally larger and allowed for additional ammunition stowage.

Like all German tanks, it had a petrol/gasoline engine.

This same engine powered the much lighter Panther and Tiger I tanks (690 hp Maybach engine). The Tiger II was underpowered and consumed a lot of fuel, which was already in short supply.

As one of Hitler’s wonder weapon it was rushed quickly into combat with little postproduction testing. This resulted in a number of mechanical issues hindering its performance in the field.
Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret
Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret

Among the problems were steering control breakages, the engine was prone to overheating and failure, and the drive train was overburdened and would fail is not treated with care.

The Tiger II's 8.8cm armament could destroy most Allied armoured fighting vehicles at a range far outside the effective range of the enemy's vehicle armament. When running well the Tiger II was remarkably agile for such a heavy tank.

Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret

Under good circumstances its low ground pressure meant it was as manoeuvrable as the much lighter Panzer IV. Its excellent suspension provided a smooth ride and made it an excellent gun platform.

The Tiger went into production in early 1944 and a total of 487 (of 1500 ordered) were made before the end of the war.

The first use of the Tiger II in combat was in Normandy on 18 July 1944 with schwere Panzerabteilung 503. It was first used on the Eastern Front on 12 August 1944 with schwere Panzerabteilung 501 against the Baranov bridgehead across the Vistula River in Poland.  

It later fought in the Ardennes Offensive, the Soviet offensive into Poland and East Prussia in January 1945, the German offensives in Hungary in 1945, the Seelow Heights in April 1945 and in Berlin at the very end of the war. It was issued to every heavy tank battalion except the 510.
Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret
Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret

In Flames Of War

The Königstiger can be taken a support choice for most German companies in Festung Europa as part of the Heavy Tank Platoon. They get Tiger Ace skills giving them the chance of some quite remarkable abilities.

Currently only the Porsche turret version is available to field in Festung Europa, but hang on to that Henschel turret as it will have a little more front armour when it is available to field.

The Königstiger (Porsche) is Fully-tracked and has Front Armour 14, Side 8 and Top 2. It has a Co-ax MG, and a Hull MG. However it is Overloaded, a Slow tank and its turret has Slow traverse.

It is armed with the 8.8cm KwK43 gun with a range of 40”/100cm, ROF 2, AT 16 and FP 3+.

Decals available separately.

Designed by Evan
Painted by Jeremy and Dion

Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret
Henschel (front) and Porsche (rear) turrets
Henschel (rear) and Porsche (front) turrets
Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret
Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret Königstiger (GBX14) with Henschel Turret

Last Updated On Thursday, June 11, 2009 by Wayne at Battlefront