THE TIGER TANK "Konigstiger"
German development for a heavy tank began in the late 3o's. With the successes of the Panzer tanks, however, further plans ceased. In 1941 the need arose again after Germans, and Hitler, became aware of the Allies "heavier" tanks such as the French CHAR B1 and the English Matilda 1. The new German tank would call for a more powerful gun, heavier armament and a speed of 45 miles on the open road. The gun they chose was the 88 mm anti aircraft canon already being used. Two German firms, Henschel and Porsche, were to develop and submit plans for a chassie that would handle such a tank. Another firm, Krupps, ( yes, the coffee maker ) would develop a turret that would be able to fit on either of the chassis chosen by the military. The name chosen for this new beast was to be The " KING TIGER " tank or Konigstiger. The barrel of this new tank would be 2o feet long increasing it's accuracy and velocity. The higher velocity of the round alone would increase it's accuracy, taking less time to reach a moving target at a long distance. Learning from the Russian tank the t34, it's armor would be sloped in order to deflect direct hits on it's thickened shell. The compartment in the turret would be able to house up to 5 crew members and would be able to store up to 80 rounds of ammo. The tank's track would be two and a half feet wide. The problem with King Tiger is that Germans decided to use an engine already being used on it's panzers, the MAYBACK V12 gas powered engine. With the increased weight of the King Tiger, close to 70 tons, this engine made it severely underpowered and fuel consumption was also increased because of it. This was bad for at the end of the war Germany's fuel resources were in short supply. The tank would consume 500 litres per 100 kilometers. In my calculation that would be Appx. 2 gallons of fuel per mile. In addition to that the new tank could obtain speeds of 40-45 mile on a open road, but cross country it was only able to get about 17. The tank was made in limited number and was put into use in 1944 primarily for offensive operations. It saw service in Normandy, Market Garden, and The Ardennes Offensive, The battle of the bulge.