Dragon DRA60142 Limited Edition German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. B Heavy Tank - schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 501, Ardennes, 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 limited edition 1:72 scale replica of a German King Tiger is outfitted with a Henschel turret and bears the insignia of schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 501, which fought in the Ardennes during late 1944. Sold Out!
Length: 5-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: January 2005
Original Issue Price: $49.99
Historical Account: "Towards the Blue Horizon" - Schwere SS-Panzer Abteilung 101 was formed in July 1943 around a cadre drawn from the SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and was subsequently attached to I SS Panzerkorps Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. It was later attached to SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and sent to Italy in August 1943. Two of the companies were then sent to the eastern front where they remained until April 1944.
Later on, the unit was assigned to SS Panzer Division Hitler Jugend, where it fought the allies in Normandy, suffering heavy losses in the process. It was refitted with Tiger II (Köningstiger) tanks in September 1944 and redesignated schwere SS-Panzer Abteilung 501. sSSPzAbt. 501 participated in the failed Ardennes offensive before being sent to the Eastern front where it was completely destroyed.