When you discuss tanks of the Second World War, the first one most people think of is the Tiger tank. And the arrival of an actual Tiger on the battlefield could cause some panic, because the fear was it was almost impervious to most allied anti-tank weapons.
Later models had anti-mine paint known as Zimmerit and in 1944 a Tiger II was developed with even more powerful armour and firepower, but was even heavier. It was a tank much feared by Allied troops; whether they were tank crews or infantry.
In Normandy there was almost a ‘Tiger fear’ when every tank encountered was thought to be a Tiger I.
The arrival of an actual Tiger on the battlefield could cause some panic, because the fear was it was almost impregnable.
In addition it was massively over engineered; it guzzled fuel and it had engine and mechanical failures. It was not easy to fix the engine, and by 1944 Russian anti-tank guns could knock it out and in both American and British forces Sherman tanks were up-gunned to take it on, but more importantly new anti-tank gun ammunition was capable of penetrating its armour.
The British artillery also developed tactics to break up Tiger assaults. But both the Tiger I and Tiger II remained in the vanguard of German armour battles right up to the collapse of the Third Reich at Berlin in 1945.
The Tiger I and Tiger II remained in the vanguard of German armour battles right up to the collapse of the Third Reich at Berlin in 1945.
Yet despite the fact that it is such an iconic tank, only six remain: one at Bovington Tank Museum, one in the US, two in France, and two in Russia. In addition there is one restored and made up from parts of various Tiger tanks in Germany, with another similar one to follow soon.