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King Tiger Intel

"To chiefs of staff and unit commanders
Personally to the chief of operations.

September 8th, 1944

Attached is information on the new German heavy tank "King Tiger" (Konigstiger) and methods of combat against it.

The Army commander ordered that the information is to be distributed to all officers and tank/SPG crews.

Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, Colonel Ganshin
Chief of the Army Staff Office, Captain Romanovskiy

Report on the new German tank "King Tiger" (Konigstiger) and methods of combat against it

Elements of the 1st Ukrainian Front captured 4 King Tiger tanks near Szydłów, one of them in fully working order, on August 12th, 1944. Near Korozvenki, two more nonfunctional King Tiger tanks were captured.

Preliminary characteristics of the King Tiger are as follows:
  • Mass: heavy
  • Combat weight: 68 tons
  • Tank length with gun forward: 10.5 m
  • Width: 3.7 m
  • Armour:
    • Front: 180 mm
    • Side: 80 mm
    • Rear: 80 mm
    • Floor and roof: 40 mm
  • Armament:
    • One 88 mm gun
    • Two machineguns
  • Ammunition: 60 rounds
  • Engine: Maybach (gasoline)
  • Engine power: 600-650 hp
  • Top speed: 40 kph
  • Range:
    • Off-road: 100 km
    • Highway: 140 km
  • Suspension: torsion bar
  • Number of road wheels: 9 per side
  • Track link width: 800 mm
  • Radio: two, one of them for command use
  • Crew: 6
    • Commander
    • Gunner
    • Loader
    • Assistant driver, also radio operator
    • Driver
    • Radio operator/hull gunner
According to preliminary information, King Tiger tanks are used as breakthrough tanks by the Germans. For example: during fighting from August 12th to 15th, King Tiger tanks drove ahead of T-6 tanks, and several tanks were on the flanks.

The most prominent weaknesses and methods of combat against this tank are:
  • Use all methods applied against Tiger and Panther tanks in combat.
  • The weakest parts of the new tank are the gun, turret ring, suspension, rear armour, and turret roof.
  • The side armour of the hull and turret can be reliably penetrated by 50-76 mm guns, especially by 57, 85, 122, 152 mm guns, and IS tanks.
Conclusions: based on the main characteristics, it is clear that the King Tiger tank is a modernization of the T-6 "Tiger" tank, with front armour thickened from 100 to 180 mm, which increased the mass from 56 to 68 tons."

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