On May 26th, 1941, during a meeting concerning the development of new weaponry, Adolf Hitler ordered both Dr.Porsche and Henschel to supply their designs for a heavy tank, which was to be ready in the summer of 1942. Krupp was in charge of supplying main armament and producing turrets for designs by both Henschel and Porsche. The project was known as the "Tigerprogram".
Henschel Tiger's development was based on previous designs of the VK 3001(H) and VK 3601(H), while Porsche Tiger's development was based on previous design of VK 3001(P) - Leopard. None of those vehicles entered production but they provided designers with valuable experience. The new 45-ton panzer was to be armed with a 88mm KwK L/56 mounted in a turret designed by Krupp. Development of Porsche's Tiger was progressing much faster than that of Henschel since Porsche worked on an independent project for heavy tank since autumn of 1940. Henschel was not that advanced and utilized as many already available components from its previous projects to complete its VK 4501 design.
In order to speed up the development of VK4501(P), components of VK 3001(P) were modified and used. The suspension was modified version of the suspension used in the VK 3001(P) prototype. It was made up of six road-wheels and lacked return rollers. Tracks had 109 links per side and were 640mm wide with track surface contact of 4175mm (4.175m). Tiger(P) was powered by two (air-cooled) Porsche Typ 101/1 engines mounted in the rear part of the hull. Gasoline engines drove electrical generators, which drove two electric motors, which provided power to the tracks.Gasoline engines were produced with defects and were repaired but remained unreliable, while electric system used copper, which was a critical war material. Drive sprocket was in the rear instead of the standard location at the front. Electric transmission system was used similar to that ofVK 3001(P).Overall gasoline-electric power/drive system with which many problems were encountered (such as engine fire) was utilized. Its power/weight distribution limited its cross-country performance and during trials, VK4501(P) prototype was often bogged down (especially in the soft ground) and had to be towed away by recovery vehicles.
Pictured here is a limited edition 1:144 scale German Befehlspanzer Tiger (P) heavy tank. Sold Out!
Length: 1-1/2 inches
Width: 1 inch
Historical Account: Ninety Elefanten were manufactured in just a few months during mid-1943. It was first deployed during the Battle of Kursk and, though destroying 320 Russian tanks, performed very poorly in other respects: many units broke down and they proved dangerously vulnerable to infantry, lacking a machine gun. They went on to serve in Italy in 1944 and the final units were involved in the Battle of Berlin.