Dragon DRA60003 German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. B Heavy Tank w/ Henschel Turret - schwere Panzer Abteilung 505, Eastern Front, 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 Henschel turret and bears the insignia of schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 505. Sold Out!
Length: 5-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: January 2004
Original Issue Price: $12.99
Historical Account: The 505th was the last independent battalion created with the old organization of 20 Tigers and 25 PzKpfw III. Formed in February 1943, the 505th received several Tigers and the rest in March with 25 Pzkpfw IIIs. The unit was loaded on rail cars on 29/30 April 1943 and sent to Heeres Gruppe Mitte on the Eastern Front, where it was ordered to upgrade to the new organization, and received 11 Tigers that were shipped from the ordnance depot between 8 and 10 June 1943. It took part in Operation: Citadel as part of Feldmarschall Model's 9th Armee. At the start of the Kursk offensive on 5 July 1943, the unit had 31 Tigers and was joined on 9 July 1943 by 3.Kompanie which was formed in April and received Tigers in June. The 505th lost only four Tigers during the Kursk offensive but lost a further six by the end of July 1943.
After the Kursk offensive, sPzAbt 505 was moved to the Smolensk area. During the fall of 1944, sPzAbt 505 was equipped with new version Tiger Is, which had cast cupolas, zimmerit, and the new steel-rimmed wheels developed for the Tiger II Ausf B Koenigs Tiger. The 505th was ordered out of the Eastern Front on 7 July 1944, to rest and refit at the troop grounds at Ohrduf. By early September, 1944, sPzAbt 505 had been equipped with new Tiger II Ausf Bs. sPzAbt 505 was used with 24th and 25th Panzer Divisions, initially against the Narev bridgeheads in the 1944 Russian offensive into East Prussia. The battalion fought in East Prussia until the end of the conflict.