Dragon DRA60144 German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. A Heavy Tank - "Anneliese", schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 "Feldherrnhalle", Szrakerestes, Hungary, January 1945 (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 Porsche turret and bears the insignia of schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 503 "Feldherrnhalle", which fought in the Szarkerestes Sector of the Eastern Front during January 1945. Sold Out!
Length: 5-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: January 2005
Original Issue Price: $49.99
Historical Account: Formed in late 1942, schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 fought until the bitter end on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. It saw action in the attempted relief of Stalingrad, the tremendous tank engagements at Kursk, and the savage fighting to relieve German units encircled at the Tscherkassy Pocket. It was then employed at Normandy in 1944, finishing the war in the final, desperate fighting in Hungary and Austria in an effort to buy time for other German units to escape to the west. This independent heavy tank battalion was issued with both the Tiger I and the King Tiger heavy tanks, the latter equipped with both the Henschel and Porsche turrets.