Dragon DRA60048 German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. B Heavy Tank with Henschel Turret and Zimmerit - schwere Panzer Abteilung 506, Andler, Belgium, 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, assigned to
sPzAbt. 506 deployed to Andler, Belgium in 1944, is outfitted with a Henschel turret and has been slathered with a layer of zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste. Sold Out!
Length: 5-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: January 2005
Original Issue Price: $16.99
Historical Account: Schwere Panzer Abteilung 506 was formed in July 1943 around a cadre from the 9th Panzer Division. It fought with Heeresgruppe Mitte at the River Dnieper and later at Krivoi-Rog. Afterwards, the unit was sent to Germany, where it was refitted with Tiger II (Königstiger) tanks in August 1944. It fought the Allies near Arnhem (during Operation Market Garden) and again at Aachen.
In November 1944 it was strengthened with a fourth company, known as the
Schwere Panzer Kompanie Hummel, which was used as a heavy support unit whenever it was needed. It later participated in the Ardennes Offensive (as the only tank battalion from the army) in December 1944 and eventually surrendered to the Western Allies in the Ruhr pocket in April 1945.