Dragon DRA60253 German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. A Heavy Tank with Road Signs - 3./schwere Panzer Abteilung 503, Szarkerestes Sector, Hungary, 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 1:72 scale replica of a German King Tiger was attached to 3./s.Pz.Abt.503, which fought in the Szarkerestes Sector of Hungary in 1945. Comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity and display case. Sold Out!
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2.5 inches
Release Date: May 2006
Original Issue Price; $59.99
Historical Account: "Final Ally" - The Battle of Budapest was a siege lasting from December 29th, 1944 to February 13th, 1945, in which Soviet forces captured the city of Budapest from German SS and Hungarian forces defending the capital. It was one of the bloodiest sieges of the war, being comparable, in terms of casualties, to the sieges of Berlin and Stalingrad.
The German counteroffensive to relieve Budapest started in the eastern suburbs, advancing through the town of Pest, making good use of the large central avenues to speed up their progress. The defenders, overwhelmed, tried to trade space for time to slow the Soviet's advance to a crawl. They ultimately withdrew to shorten their lines, hoping to take advantage of the hilly nature of Buda.
On January 1st, 1945, the Wehrmacht launched Operation Konrad, trying to launch an offensive through hilly terrain north of Budapest and break the siege. Simultaneously, Waffen-SS forces struck west of Budapest, trying to gain tactical advantage.
Two days later, the Soviet command sent four more divisions to meet the threat, stopping the offensive less than 20 kilometers north of Budapest. On January 12th, 1945, Wermacht and Waffen-SS forces were forced to withdraw - Operation Konrad had failed.