Tiger II

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Overview

The Pzkpfw VI Koenigstiger (aka Tiger II, King Tiger or Royal Tiger) is perhaps the most powerful single ground unit in the game, and is the only super heavy tank in Spring: 1944. Its full designation is the Panzerkampfwagen (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) VI Tiger Ausf B, nicknamed the "Koenigstiger" (Bengal Tiger) by the Germans, King Tiger by the US and Royal Tiger by the British.

History

Although it has the same Panzer designation as the Tiger I, the Tiger II is a completely separate and independantly designed vehicle. When first encountered in 1944 it was a shock to the Allies; its incredibly thick and well-sloped frontal armour proved nearly invulnerable to any field gun the Allies could throw at it, while its 71-caliber KwK 43 88mm gun was even more powerful, long-ranged and accurate than the 56-caliber KwK 36 of the Tiger I, capable of destroying almost any Allied opponent before it could return fire. Wartime records show that in practice, Tiger II crews were able to hit a 2x2.5 meter target at 2000 meters 80% of the time. Between 1943 to the end of the war 492 Tiger IIs were built; 1500 were ordered but Allied bombing destroyed much of the Henschel plant. Like the Tiger I, it was typically deployed in independent Schwere-Panzer-Abteilungen (heavy Tank Battalions) of 45 tanks, consisting of three companies of 14 Tigers and three additional command tanks with extra radios. Although intended to break through enemy lines, Tigers found themselves more often used in defensive ambush positions, where their heavy guns and armor could terrorize advancing Allied armor.

Combat Performance

The Tiger II vastly outguns any contemporary combat vehicle able to be fielded by any faction, and is unrivaled in its armour thickness. Its only real weakness is against attack aircraft; bombs and rockets dropped by aircraft are still capable of easily defeating the Tiger II. Due to its immense size, it lacks maneuverability and can be outmaneuvered by Allied medium tanks that may get a shot at the weaker side or rear armor. However, the Tiger II will still withstand several flank shots from most Allied guns, and one shot at close to medium range will demolish most Allied tanks. The Tiger II is best suited to standoff battles, maximizing the advantages of its long reach and reducing the likelihood of flanking attacks. Its slower speed and thick armor also makes it an effective, if expensive, choice to provide direct support of infantry advances.


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