Kondor Gallery










© Kondor Gallery 2003
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Presents
KING TIGERS in ACTION
 

Background

Tiger! Tiger! Burning bright,
In the Forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
- William Blake 1757 1827

The Pzkpfw VI Ausf B Tiger IT, at just over 70 tons, was a massive and formidable fighting machine. Designed to dominate the battlefield, it did that successfully provided it was deployed so that its hard-hitting 8.8cm Kwk 431L71 could bring its devastating power to bear while keeping its adversaries out of reach.

It was the heaviest, best-protected, most powerfully armed tank of WWIT and its armour and firepower would measure up well to main battle tank standards of today.

Known also as the Konigstiger, or to the Allies as the "Royal Tiger", it inherited, by merit of its very name, the fearsome reputation already established by the Tiger I, with the added factor of being known to be bigger, better armed and more impregnably armoured.

"Tigerschreck"
The choice of the name Tiger for their most hard hitting and deadly tanks was a masterstroke on the part of the Heereswaffenamt - a name with powerful connotations, and able to trigger deep primal fears. Who, on coming close even to a captive tiger, has not felt awe and a certain apprehension in its presence?

To the Allied tank crews, at a disadvantage from the outset with their inferior equipment, it was all too easy to see the Tiger tank as a symbol of invincibility. It became a Chimera, an obsession, from the days of early encounters, where, in their anxiety, every enemy tank was seen as a Tiger.

The obsession persisted as late in the war as the Ardennes Offensive. There, the sound and fury of the Battle Group Peiper's Konigstigers, crashing from the woods to overwhelm their defences, shook American soldiers. "Paralysing", is how one young American soldier describes the feeling of seeing a Konigstiger charging from cover with its gun barking and machine guns blazing.

Such was the power of the Tiger to intimidate that although their numbers were reported to be in scores, Pz Abteilung 501 serving with Peiper's Battle Group had barely a dozen effectives in any one place at any time.

"Panzerschreck", the Germans called it. Tiger obsession, or worse, Tiger neurosis, became a problem for the Allied command, especially when previously reliable tank crews refused to confront a known Tiger presence as happened in Italy. Crews had to be given assurances they would have overwhelming superiority in numbers for any given attack - a situation the Tiger could not handle. Caught in a close range dogfight, it was a case of the Bear brought to bay by the Wolf Pack. Close air support especially was promised - a factor that largely negated the battle record of the big, slow tanks and resulted in their heavy losses.

Armour & Armament
On the Tiger IT the turret front armour was 180mm thick and inclined at ten degrees from the vertical. It was compounded with a specially designed mantlet which was immune to penetration or jamming.

The glacis plate was 150mm thick and inclined at fifty degrees. There is no evidence that this frontal armour was ever penetrated in battle. Even the deadly British 17 pounder, which when using a special APDS ammunition theoretically capable of penetrating the Tiger 11frontal armour, could not do so. Lower front hull armour was 100mm thick and inclined at an angle of fifty degrees from vertical. Even side and rear armour protection was sufficient to eliminate any serious threat from American 75mm or Russian 75mm anti tank guns.

The long and powerful Krupp 88mm Kwk 431L71 could outrange and outshoot the main armament of nearly all Allied tanks. Also, it was a very accurate gun, capable of first round hits at well over 1000 metres range.

Print Specifications

Main Print:

"KING TIGERS in ACTION" Limited Edition
Limited to 240 Prints, Certificate of Authenticity provided
Full colour, 930mm (width) x 690mm (height)


Array

"KING TIGERS in ACTION"
Limited Edition Print

signed by Artist and numbered

Limited to 200 Editions
Price: US$130.00 plus shipping


Array

"KING TIGERS in ACTION"
Limited Edition Print

signed by Artist and numbered

Limited to 20 Proofs
Price: US$195.00 plus shipping


Array

"KING TIGERS in ACTION"
Limited Edition Print

signed by Artist and numbered

Limited to 20 Remarques
Price: US$250.00 plus shipping

 

 



 


 

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