Table of Contents
- 1 Tiger 131 – Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. E
- 2 Panzerjäger Tiger – Tank Hunter Tiger
- 3 Königstiger or King Tiger – Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B
- 4 Königstiger with Henschel turret
- 5 Königstiger with Porsche Turret
- 6 Jagdpanzer VI – Jagdtiger
- 7 The missing Tiger – Sturmtiger or Sturmpanzer VI – ‘Sturmmörserwagen’
- 8 Visit
In April 2017 we visited the Bovington Tank Museum in the United Kingdom. The museum teamed up with the World of Tanks game organisation and has an special exhibition in the tank museum, the Tiger Tank Collection. It runs for two years, for us to visit the Tiger tank Family reunion.
Tiger 131 – Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. E
When the German Army was in need of a heavy tank both Henschel and Porsche took up the challenge and created a tank with the specified requirements. Although Ferdinand Porches tank had some modern, even futuristic ideas the Henschel tank was chosen instead of Porches. The Tiger was a fearsome tank, not the best on the field but with its thick armour and its devastating gun it brought great fear to its enemies, so much that some soldier called every German tank a Tiger. The Tiger or Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. E – Sd. Kfz. 181 – was in service from 1942 until 1945.
Panzerjäger Tiger – Tank Hunter Tiger
After Ferdinand Porsche lost its race for the tiger he used his chassis for another tank, a hunter which used a long 88mm gun which was later used in the King Tiger tanks. He named the tank after himself and named it Ferdinand. After an upgrade of armour and the upgrade with an machinegun in the hull for close combat the German Army renamed the tank ‘Elephant’. The Panzerjäger Tiger or Ferdinand / Elephant with designation Sd. Kfz. 184 was in service from 1943 until 1945.
Königstiger or King Tiger – Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B
The Königstiger was the upgrade of the Tiger tank, the King Tiger, or Royal Tiger had angled features and looked more like a Panther tank. It weighed almost 70 tonnes and used the long 88mm kWK 43/71 gun. It was also the basis for the Jagdtiger. It was in service from 1943 until 1945. Again Henschel won the contract and the initial design is misleading called the Porsche Turret. The turret was made by the Krupp factory and the first 50 tank were equipped with this turret. The simplified version is referred to as the ‘Henschel’ turret and is used in the following King Tiger Tanks.
Königstiger with Henschel turret
Königstiger with Porsche Turret
Jagdpanzer VI – Jagdtiger
Using the same chassis at the Konigstiger the Jagdpanzer named Jagdtiger was developed. This hunting Tiger used a devastating 128mm gun and weighed 71 tons. The base was lengthened to give a more stabilized gun platform. It had a fixed gun turret with an armour thickness of 250 mm, the tiger had 100mm and was already a rolling castle. Due to it weight it had lots of breakdowns and wasn’t suitable for urban warfare. Time caught up with the enormous Jagdtiger. When it saw action in 1944 the stretched out field of Russia were out of reach and the war was taking place on the borders of Germany. Air superiority was lost and the huge tank was a target for allied aircraft. The Germans produces about 80 of these tanks from 1944 until 1945. It is named Jagdpanzer VI, Jagdtiger, Sd. Kfz. 186.
The missing Tiger – Sturmtiger or Sturmpanzer VI – ‘Sturmmörserwagen’
The intention of the Bovington Tank Museum and World of Tanks game organisation was to get all versions of Tigers in one place. When we arrived in April in 2017 one spot was empty, the Sturmtiger had not arrived. We have no clue if it will arrive later or not at all. The Sturmtiger or Sturmpanzer VI – Sturmmörserwager was a rocket launcher on the Tiger tank VI base. It fired a 38cm rocket over a distance of about 6000 metres. The rocket could penetrate 2,5 metres of reinforced concrete and the tank was used as bunker buster of building wrecker. Due to its sloped hull it had frontal armour of 150mm.
We saw the Sturmtiger in the tank museum in Munster, Germany, so for now we can perform were the tank museum Bovington and World of Tanks did not succeeded at the Tiger Collection exhibition. We give you a LandmarkScout article with all surviving types of Tigers.
The Tiger collection is to be seen for the next two years in the Tank museum in Bovington, it just started when we arrived; it should be there until March 2019. Check the website if you want to be sure. The museum has a great set of tanks besides the Tiger collection, numerous World War One and World war two Tanks. Book a full day if you want to see it all.
More on the Tiger and King Tiger follow the links below