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King Tiger Intel

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 "Memo on the new "King Tiger" (Koenigstiger) heavy tank and methods of combat against it

Elements of the 1st Ukrainian Front captured 4 King Tiger tanks near Szydłów on August 12th, 1944, one of which was functional. 2 non-functional King Tiger tanks were captured near Korozvenka on August 15th, 1944. 

Preliminary characteristics of the King Tiger tank are as follows:

  • Type of tank: heavy
  • Combat weight: 68 tons
  • Length with gun forward: 10.5 meters
  • Width: 3.7 meters
  • Armour:
    • Front: 180 mm
    • Side: 80 mm
    • Roof and floor: 40 mm
  • Armament:
    • One 88 mm gun
    • Two machine guns
  • Ammunition capacity: 60 rounds
  • Engine: Maybach (gasoline)
  • Engine power: 600-650 hp
  • Top speed: 40 kph
  • Cruising range:
    • 100 km cross-country
    • 140 km highway
  • Suspension: torsion bar
  • Number of road wheels: 9 per side
  • Track width: 800 mm
  • Radios: two (one for the commander)
  • Crew: 6
    • Commander
    • Gunner
    • Loader
    • Junior driver (also radio operator)
    • Mechanic-driver
    • Machine gunner/radio operator
Preliminary information suggests that the King Tiger tank is used as a breakthrough tank. For instance, in battles on August 12th-15th 8 King Tiger tanks fought ahead of T-4 tanks. Individual tanks guarded the flanks. 

Comparative characteristics of the "King Tiger" and T-6 Tiger:

 

King Tiger

T-6 Tiger

Type of tank

Heavy

Heavy

Weight

68 tons

56 tons

Length with gun

10.5 m

8.5 m

Width

3.7 m

3.6 m

Armour thickness

 

 

Front

180

100

Side

80

62-82

Rear

80

82

Floor and roof

40

28

Armament

One 88 mm gun

One 88 mm gun

 

Two machine guns

Two machine guns

Ammunition

60 rounds

86 rounds

Engine

Maybach

Maybach

Top speed

40 kph

44 kph

Cruising range

 

 

Off-road

100 km

100 km

Highway

140 km

140 km

Suspension

Torsion bar

Torsion bar

Road wheels

9 per side

8 per side

Track width

800 mm

720 mm

Radios

Two

One

Crew

6

5


Keep to the following guidelines when fighting the new tank:
  1. All methods used against the Tiger and Panther tanks can be used against the new tank.
  2. The gun, foundation of the turret, running gear, rear armour, and turret roof are the most vulnerable parts of the new tank.
  3. The side armour can be reliably penetrated by 57-76 mm guns and higher. 57, 85, as well as 122, and 152 mm guns of IS tanks are the most effective.
Conclusions:
Comparing data shows that the King Tiger is a modernized version of the T-6 Tiger tank with thicker armour (180 instead of 100 mm) which increased the weight from 56 to 68 tons.

Chief of Staff of the Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the 1st Belorussian Front, Colonel Ulyanov.
Chief of Intelligence of the Staff of the Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the 1st Belorussian Front, Major Pokalchuk
September 19th, 1944"


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