Tiger II is the common name of a German heavy tank of the Second World War. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B and the tank also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 182. It is also known under the informal name Königstiger (German: Bengal Tiger), often literally translated as King Tiger and by the British as Royal Tiger.
The Tiger II combined the heavy armor of the Tiger I with the sloped armor of the Panther. The design followed the same concept as the Tiger I, but was intended to be even more formidable. The Tiger II chassis supplied the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer. The Tiger II weighed 68.5 (early turret) to 69.8 (production turret) tonnes, was protected by 150 to 180 mm of frontal armor, and was armed with the 88 mm KwK 43 L/71 gun.
The very heavy armor and powerful long-range gun gave the Tiger II the advantage against virtually all opposing tanks. This was especially true on the Western Front, where the British and U.S. forces had almost no heavy tanks with which to oppose it. In a defensive position it was difficult to destroy. Offensively it performed with less success, and its performance was a great disappointment to Hitler when it first saw action.
The Tiger II performed very well against Allied and Soviet tanks being able to penetrate the front armour of the M4 Sherman, M26 Pershing and IS-2 at respectively 2500 m, 1800 m and 1200 m. Defensewise the M4 Sherman was unable to penetrate the front even at point blank and the M26 Pershing and IS-2 had to come within 1300 m and 200 m respectively.
The Tiger II was widely photographed due to its large size and propaganda value.
Picture taken in the Panzermuseum Munster, Germany.