Dragon DRA60106 German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. A Heavy Tank w/ Porsche Turret & Zimmerit - schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Normandy, July 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
In January 1943, a new Tiger tank was ordered by the Waffenamt, this time with a turret large enough to mount the fearsome 8.8cm L/71 gun. Besides improving its tank killing capabilities, the new Tiger was also intended to be more survivable on the battlefield. To achieve this, the thickness of the frontal armor was increased to 150mm, while the side armor remained constant at 80mm. A wooden mock-up showing the immense size of the vehicle was displayed on October 20th, 1943 and immediately became the center of attention to all that saw it. Production of the vehicle began soon thereafter in November 1943 although the first 50 vehicles sported the Porsche turret with its curved front plate.
On December 6th, the Waffenamt deemed that the shot-trap formed by the turret be eliminated. This was achieved by Henschel re-designing the turret and gun mantlet, in such a manner as to decrease the frontal area while at the same time incorporating a bell-shaped mantlet. By March 1945, 489 Royal Tigers (a.k.a. Konigstigers or "King Tigers") had been produced. Apart from five vehicles issued to the Feldherrnhalle division, all of the Tiger II heavy tanks were assigned to independent schwere Panzer detachments due to the tank's staggering size and weight, as well as its relatively slow rate of maneuver.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a German King Tiger is outfitted with a Porsche turret and was attached to the sPzAbt. 501 operating in Normandy during July 1944. Sold Out!
Length: 5-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: April 2005
Original Issue Price: $16.99
Historical Account: Schwere Panzerabteilung 501 was sent to North Africa following the Allied landings in Northwest Africa. The first tanks arrived in Tunisia in November 1942 while the second kompanie, was used for the occupation of Vichy France. It surrendered in Tunisia in May 1943 but was reformed later in September 1943 from the cadre of troops that had been withheld from Africa.
Afterwards, schwere Panzerabteilung 501 was dispatched to the eastern front in November 1943 and fought at Vitebsk and Gorodok. It was refitted with Tiger II (Konigstiger) tanks in July 1944 and then attached to Heeresgruppe Nordukraine. The unit fought at Radom, Sandomierz and Kleice before being disbanded and used to form schwere Panzerabteilung 424 in December 1944.