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History of Tanks - Tiger II

The impenetrable King Tiger.

The Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, more commonly known as the Tiger II or King Tiger, was a German heavy tank used during World War II. As the name suggests, the Tiger II was a successor to the Tiger I, taking what the first Tiger tank offered and improving upon its designs.

Development of the Tiger II started in 1937 with a request for a new tank design. This resuled in Henschel winning the design contract. The German transportation company proposed a conventional hull design coupled with the sloped style of armor common on the Panther. Their hope was to create a heavy tank that could withstand whatever the Allies threw at it.

The King Tiger was one of Germany's last tank success stories, boasting sturdy armor that the Allies struggled to penetrate.

In World of Tanks, the Tiger II is a Tier 8 tank available down one of the best German tank lines in World of Tanks. While it doesn’t offer decent camouflage or side-scraping potential when facing higher tiers, when the Tiger II is top tier, it will often decide the outcome of the match.

The turrets on the Tiger II were designed to mount the extremely accurate and powerful 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 gun. In World of Tanks, this gun is mounted on the stock version and allows up to 420 damage with HE shells and a competitive 320 damage with AP.

During testing, it was discovered that the 8.8 cm KwK could hit a target approximately 2x2 in size at a range of 1,000 meters with one hundred percent accuracy. It was only when this range was increased that the chances of hitting the target dropped.

The stock gun on the Tiger II was formerly 8.8 cm before Krupp proposed upgrading to the 10.5 cm KwK.

While the accuracy wasn’t reflected during combat, the Tiger II still boasted formidable precision. This precision wasn’t the only attribute that made the Tiger II such a threat. The sloped frontal armor of the Tiger II prevented nearly all frontal attacks, as was evident during the Western Front where the Allied forces were unable to engage it head-on.

In World of Tanks, an ideal strategy when facing the Tiger II is to attack it from its sides and rear, as the frontal armor is significantly stronger. However, the turret lacks noteworthy armor thickness, meaning a hull down position is not advised. 

While the turret isn't strong, the frontal armor of the Tiger II allows it to attack enemies head-on.

Though the Tiger II is one of the heavier tanks (weighing almost 70 tons), it was able to maintain a respectable speed of 38 km/h, a speed equally matched by its in-game counterpart. Unfortunately, this speed is far from efficient in World of Tanks, as the Tiger II struggles to reach ideal positions and can encounter problems while avoiding flanks.

In the past, several upgrades were proposed for the Tiger II, with Krupp wishing to mount a new, more powerful main weapon—the 10.5 cm KwK L/68—an armament available as the final gun module in World of Tanks.

Discussions also centered around upgrading the engine, increasing its power between 800 or 900 PS. However, no upgrades were able to be completed on the Tiger II before the war came to an end.

Due to the limited numbers produced, the Tiger II was used sparingly in battle and only worked well in Heavy Battalions. 

As far as its combat history, only a handful of Tiger II tanks were ever produced, which limited its involvement in the war. This limitation resulted in the Tiger II only seeing use in Heavy Battalions, such as the Heavy Panzer Battalions.

One significant battle occurred with three Tiger II tanks that were ambushed on the road to OglÄ™dów. Oskin, a USSR tank commander, managed to take down three King Tigers using nothing but his T-34. This amazing feat showed the Allies the Tiger II wasn't invincible.

With a few surviving Tiger II tanks around the world, fans of the German creation can still see one in person. As gamers, however, we're lucky enough to experience the power of the Tiger II in World of Tanks without ever having to leave our seats. What do you think of the Tiger II and its performance in World of Tanks? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Sam Chandler

Sam loves all things shooters, whether it's a cheeky chicken dinner in PUBG or diving into a raid in Destiny, he'll be there.