What Is a Tiger II Tank?


Quick Answer

The Tiger II, also known as the Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, Tiger B or King Tiger, was a heavy tank used by Germany in World War II. It mixed design concepts from the original Tiger I tank with those of the Panther medium tank.

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Full Answer

The Tiger II was used by the heavy tank battalions of the German Army between 1944 and 1945. It was first used during the Normandy campaign in July of 1944. Because the tank entered the war relatively late, only a small number were produced; 1,500 were originally ordered, but Allied bombing campaigns in Germany heavily disrupted the production. In the end, only 492 were built, most of these in 1944.

The Tiger II was very effective on the battlefield because the armor was heavy and the range of the guns was longer than that of most Allied opposition. However, mechanical defects sometimes caused them to break down, leading German troops to destroy them rather than let them be captured and studied by the Allied forces.

Only a few of these tanks remain intact today. They are in the possession of national museums and private collectors.

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