Pz Kpfw Tiger Ausf. B "Tiger II"

By Christian Ankerstjerne

Experiences

The following documents was made by 506. Panzer-Abteilung in preperation of a visit by Albert Speer between 26 September and 1 October 1944. Of special interest is the point made about using combat tracks, rather than transport tracks, for train transportation.

Subject: Items from the visit by Reich minister Speer.

Experiences With the Panzerkampfwagen "Tiger" B

Since 15 September 1944, the battalion has been fully equipped with the Panzerkampfwagen VIB. The soldiers are satisfied with the new vehicle. The problems experienced so far has been teething problems, and once they have been fixed, the Tiger B is the heavy tank.

The following mechanical malfunctions has arisen after 50 to 100 kilometers of travel:

  • 12 final drive housings.
  • 10 track tension devices.
    • Fork lever broken.
    • Spindle broken off.
    • Spindle thread sheared off.
  • 4 sprockets, teeth sheared off, whereby 50% of all sprocket teeth has been heavily worn.
  • 1 final drive intermediate shaft, all grooves twisted, so that the housing could only be removed by cutting through the intermediate shaft (80 mm). While disassembling the other housings, the grooves were also found to be more or less twisted.
  • 6 transmissions with gear switching delays.
  • 1 steering gear.
  • 1 engine, water in cylinder.
  • 1 torsion bar broken.
  • 1 fuel tank, leakage from spot welded area, causing fuel loss; was likely the cause of two previous fires at the training ground.

Combat Damage From Action Against British Paratroopers at Arnhem

  • 1 total write-off due to mortar hit at the rear deck. Shrapnel penetrated the fuel tank through the ventilation opening. Ingition of the leaking fuel, tank burned out.
  • A second tank was similarly hit in the ventilation and fuel tank, but did not catch fire.
  • 1 hit of unknown caliber to the turret roof caused a scratch in the armor. Sendt for homeland repair.

Suggestions for Improvement

  1. Track links of the same type as the Tiger I, as the removal of a double track link causes the track to be too short for the track tensioning spindle.
  2. The track deflector is insufficient. It is made from 12 mm steel sheets, which is welded laterally onto the hull. The distance from the hull to the transport track is only eight mm. When unloading and driving with the transport tracks, the idler sheel must be placed in the foremost position, whereby the transport track is too long. If a track link is removed, the track is too short. The consequence of driving with the long track is that the track is pulled off the drive sprocket when turning, breaking the final drive. When driving with the short track, the idler wheel fork or track tensioning spindle breaks. Transportation with the combat tracks is recommended, considering that Tiger I's has been transferred from Russia or Kassel with combat tracks.
  3. Make the turret telescope turnable.
  4. Armor protection for the upper fuel tank.
  5. Reinforce the track tensioning device.
  6. Change the intermediary drive shaft.
  7. Add a layer of reinforced concrete to the roof in front of the commander's cupola.
  8. Faster supply of the spare parts that show heavy wear. The original supply has already been used up. For example, four tanks can't be repaired due to broken track tensioning devices.
  9. Final drives, track tensioning devices, final drive intermediary shafts, gears, gear screws.

Issue History

Month Pz.Lehr Div. Ers.heer Wa.Prüf. Pz.Ers.Abt.500 501 503/FHH 505 506 507 509 510 511 SS 101/501 SS 502 SS 503 Total
1944
February 5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5
March - 3 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3
May - 4 6 - - - - - - - - - - - - 10
June - - - 4 6 12 - - - - - - - - - 22
July - 1 - - 25 14 6 - - - - - 14 - - 60
August - 2 - - 14 - 39 17 - - - - - - - 72
September - - - - - 43 - 28 - - - - 11 - - 82
October - - - - - - - - - - - - 14 - 4 18
November - - - - - - - 6 - 9 - - 20 - - 35
December - - - - - - - - 6 - 36 - - - 6 48
1945
January - - - - - - 6 - - - - - 6 - 29 41
February - - - - - - - - - - - - - 27 - 27
March - - - - - 5 - 13 15 - 6 8 - 4 - 40
Total 5 10 6 4 45 69 51 64 21 9 42 8 65 31 39 466

Technical Information

Pz Kpfw Tiger Ausf. B "Tiger II"
Crew
Crew
  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Radio operator
  • Driver
Physical Characteristics
Weight 69.8 t
Length 10.286 m
Width 3.755 m
Height 3.090 m
Firing height 2.260 m
Ground clearance 0.480 m
Ground pressure 1.03 kg/cm²
Armor
Hull, front 100-150 mm
Hull, sides and rear 80 mm
Hull, top 40 mm
Hull, bottom 25-40 mm
Turret, front 180 mm
Turret, sides and rear 80 mm
Turret, top 40 mm
Performance
Maximum speed 35 km/h
Road speed 15-20 km/h
Cross-country speed 15 km/h
Maximum grade 35°
Trench crossing 2.5 m
Vertical obstacle 85 cm
Fording depth 160 cm
Fuel capacity 860 l
Mileage (road) 6.14 l/km
Mileage (cross-country) 9.56 l/km
Cruising range 140 km
Cross-country range 90 km
Turning radius
  • Minimum: 2.4 m
  • Maximum: 114 m
Engine
Make and model Maybach HL 230 P 30
Type Water cooled
Cylinders 12
Displacement 23 000 cc
Fuel Gasoline
Max. governed speed 600 rpm
Net h.p. 2500
Armament
Main weapon 8,8 cm Kw K 43 (L/71)
Secondary weapon M G 34
Ammunition Storage
Main weapon 80
Secondary weapon 5850

Additional Reading

Web Links

Pz Kpfw Tiger Ausf. B photographs (external link)
Photographs of the Pz Kpfw Tiger Ausf. B at Panzerphotos.
Jagdtiger
Information about the Jagdtiger.
Schweren Panzer-Abteilung Tiger
Organization of a heavy Tiger battalion.

Books

Sources

  1. Heereswaffenamt. Tiger Ausführung B : Handbuch für den Panzerfahrer - Heft 2. Berlin : Oberkommando des Heeres, 1944. 50 p. D 656/43.
  2. JENTZ, Thomas L. Germany's Tiger Tanks 3 : Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics. Atglen, PA : Schiffer Military History, 1997. 175 p. ISBN 0-7643-0225-6.
  3. JENTZ, Thomas L. & DOYLE, Hilary Louis. Panzer Tracts No. 6 - Schwere Panzerkampfwagen : D.W. to E-100, including the Tigers. Boyds, MD : Panzer Tracts, 2001. 60 p. ISBN 0-9708407-1-3.
  4. JENTZ, Thomas L. & DOYLE, Hilary Louis. Germany's Tiger tanks - VK45.02 to Tiger II: Design, production & modifications. Atglen, PA : Schiffer Military History, 1997. p. .
  5. SCHNEIDER, Wolfgang. Tigers in Combat I. Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, 2004. 424 p. ISBN 0-8117-3171-5.
  6. SCHNEIDER, Wolfgang. Tigers in Combat II. Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, 2005. 366 p. ISBN 0-8117-3203-7.
  7. SPEER, Albert. Bericht über die Reise nach den Westgebieten vom 26. Sept. - 1. Oktober 1944. Berlin : Reichministerium für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion, 1944. 22 p. -.