Wednesday 25 December 2019

Tiger II Intel

Military Mission in the USSR
August 25th, 1944

To the Chief of External Affairs of the NKO, Major General Mister V.N. Yevstigneev

We have received a report on a new type of Tiger tank weighing 67 tons with serial number P280637 captured in northern France.

This tank is of typical German design with a rear engine and front gearbox, turning mechanism, and final drives.

Visually it resembles a large Panther tank. Its armour is made from the same type of cut and welded plates.

Attachment A includes a detailed description of the tank. I would be grateful for any data regarding the use of this tank on the Soviet-German front.

We will send you details and photographs as soon as they are received from England.

Colonel, General Staff, Head of Army Section, British Military Mission in the USSR.

Details of the new Tiger tank:
  • Mass: 67 tons
  • Overall height: 122 inches
  • Height to upper platform: 70"
  • Height of turret: 36"
  • Height of commander's cupola: 16"
  • Overall width: 143.5"
  • Width of the hull tub: 76.2"
  • Width of the superstructure, upper portion, front: 102.5"
  • Width of the superstructure, lower portion, front: 117.5"
  • Width of the superstructure, upper portion, rear: 113.5"
  • Width of the superstructure, lower portion, rear: 125.5"
  • Overall length: 286"
  • Length of the front sloped plate: 51.5"
  • Length of the muzzle brake: 23.5"
  • Width of the turret base: 99"
  • Turret ring diameter: 78 3/8"
  • Diameter of the turret ring gear: 73"
The turret can turn 360 degrees and is paired with the turret platform. The front of the turret is rounded and has an opening on the right side for a monocular sight and on the left for a machine gun. There are no other openings in the sides. A large rectangular hatch with a pistol port is present in the back, the same port as used on the Panther tank. The commander's cupola is of the same type as used on latest Tiger tanks. It has 7 openings for periscopes and is installed on the left side of the turret. In the front and left parts of the turret there are openings for an episcope. A round hatch is installed in the middle of the rear part of the turret.

Front turret
80 mm
Turret rear and sides
80 mm
25 degrees
Turret roof
42 mm
Front portion is horizontal, rear is tilted at 5 degrees
Side superstructure
80 mm
25 degrees
Superstructure roof
42 mm
Sloped plate
150 mm
40-45 degrees
Front plate
150 mm
55 degrees
Tub sides
80 mm
Tub rear
80 mm
25 degrees
The armour plates are connected and welded in the same way as on the Panther tank.


The suspension is composed of nine individual torsion bars per side. The road wheels are large, paired, with steel rims and rubber bushings, tightly packed together. The track is supported by the same wheels while it returns. No return rollers are used. The wheels are in two rows: five outer and four inner.
  • Height of the drive sprocket from ground: 29 "
  • Height of the center of a wheel: 21.5"
  • Contact surface length: 160"
  • Number of track links: 90
  • Main track pitch: 150 mm
  • Connecting track pitch: 100 mm
To improve ground traction, every other track link has five cleats made from 0.5" thick steel plates.


The main gun is an 8.8 cm KWK 43 tank gun in a large mantlet that turns in relation to the front of the turret. A model 43 coaxial machine gun is used. Another machine gun of the same type is installed in the front sloped plate like on latest Panther tanks.

Vision device

In addition to the episcope opening in the roof, there is an opening for a driver's periscope in the right side of the superstructure. 


We have not received information about the engine, but based on the engine deck it is also an HL 230 type like on the Panther. The gearbox has eight forward gears."


  1. Was this the Porsche turret (80 mm front armor, rounded?) Or just a mistake?

    1. Yes, it was the turret commonly known as the Porsche turret, but that's not to say that the British didn't have a lot of very sketchy Tiger II intel that they didn't discover was wrong until much late.r

  2. The Tiger IIs encountered in Normandy by the British (mainly from the 503rd and Panzer Lehr) were all Porche turretted.

  3. People keep talking about the Porsche turret even though he had nothing to do with the turret (both Tiger II turrets were designed by the Krupp) :D

    1. As the joke goes, Hugo Schmeisser having had nothing to do with the MP 40 lineage may be as famous as the gun itself. :v

  4. Wasn't the "Porsche" turret designed for use on both the Henschel & the Porsche hull?

    1. Kind of, it dates back to the first whack at a second generation Tiger - with a sloped 100mm glacis and other parts taken from the Tiger I & Panther. This was designated Tiger II but what we know as Tiger II was first designated as Tiger III.

      Only after that first attempt fell apart for various reasons did the Tiger III proposal take up the Tiger II name, but it more or less reused the original Tiger II turret until production & test issues reared their head. (I.e. just like the early panther mantlets, the rounded fronts were a shot trap - and they were a nightmare to make being one curved plate bent on special tooling)

      Generally speaking, Panzer turrets were designed entirely separate from the hull - the only thing the turret developers got from the hull developers were the turret ring diameters and hull capacities. (There are a few rare exceptions, the Pz IV had both halves produced by Krupp - and the VK 30.01(DB) Panther competitor had both hull and turret in-house from DB)