German heavy tank “Tiger 2” Royal Tiger designed in January 1943 and armed with an 88-millimeter gun L / 71. The thickness of the frontal armor was increased to 150 millimeters, but the thickness of the side armor remained the same 80 millimeters, the tower had a straight frontal plate 180 millimeters. The body was made of rolled armored plates, connected in a spike and welded with electrodes.
The design of the heavy tank “Tiger 2” was similar to the body of the “Panther”. And some of the devices that were used in the Panther tank were used in the new Tiger 2 tank. For example, the frontal armor is located at an angle of 50 degrees to the vertical, the driving wheels were borrowed from the tanks “Tiger 1” and “Panther”, as the tank “Panther” had fans in the vicinity of the power engine.
To accelerate the start of the engine in the cold season, a thermosyphon heater, heated by a blowtorch, was installed, which was installed from the outside of the aft housing. The engine was started with an electric starter. If necessary, the engine could be started manually or by starting.
Serial production of heavy tanks “Tiger 2” “Royal Tiger” began in January 1944.
In March 1945, they introduced an uncompromising blowing of the barrel of the gun barrel. It was carried out by air from a special cylinder, which was injected with the help of the energy of the rollback of the gun.
German heavy tanks “Tiger 2” “Royal Tigers” entered the training units in February and May 1944, and in combat units only in June, 5 months after the start of production. Heavy tanks “Tiger 2” easily coped with their tasks both on the Western Front and on the Eastern fronts.
One of the first to receive new heavy tanks “Tiger 2” 503 battalion. On June 27, the battalion was sent to the Western Front, where part arrived only in early July due to constant delays on the railway. It took four nights to pass the remaining 200 kilometers to the front from the railroad’s disembarkation. After arrival, the battalion concentrated in the vicinity of Kahn, entering operative control of 22 tank regiments of 21 tank divisions.
The Battle of Normandy was in full swing. The first combat operation of the battalion was the liquidation of the enemy’s breakthrough near Kolombel. In this battle, the “Tigers” shot down 12 “Sherman”. Two “Sherman” were captured in good condition.
On July 18, the Allies launched Operation Goodwood. German positions in Kahn were attacked by 2,100 Allied aircraft. Aviation has become for the ally the most effective means of combating German tanks. As a result of an air raid in a company of 503 heavy battalions, one tank was burned and the other overturned by a close rupture of the air bomb. Only eight tanks did not get damaged, but only six of them were able to occupy combat positions. Soon, two “tigers were hit by the fire of an 88-millimeter cannon.” By the end of the day, there was only one serviceable tank in the 3rd company.
As for the 1st company, it, together with one battalion of the 22th tank regiment, was in contact along the Troarn-Kahn road. Heavy tanks “Royal Tigers” were in the epicenter of the offensive of the 8th British Corps. Three of his divisions Guards, 11 and 7 divisions attacked the German positions on the morning of July 18. The head sections of the 11th armored division at 7:30 moved from the initial line and for the first two hours advanced rapidly before they met the enemy’s stubborn resistance. Around the village of Kanyi, only four 88-mm antiaircraft guns from the 16 airfield division escaped the bombing strike of the Allied aircraft. The eleven of the eleven that appeared in the shelling zone of the “Shermans” were destroyed by these four 88 millimeter guns. It was 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when the Allied Guards Tank Division entered the village of Kanyi.
Other parts of the allies crossed the iron embankment of the Kan – Vimon road and tried to go further to Bourgia, they came upon a strong fire from the 22th tank regiment of the 503 battalion of the German army. The car, which was connected with the aircraft was destroyed, the first hours of combat. Meanwhile, the Guards and 7 armored divisions of the Allies were strongly delayed in the rear, as huge traffic jams formed at the passes through English minefields. with no support, the Allied 29th Allied armored brigade fell into a difficult situation, barely getting deeper into the defense. the only regiment of the 7th Allied armored division reached the brigade only by 5:00 pm when it had already lost up to 50% of its tanks.
On this day tankers of the 503 heavy tank battalion of the German army recorded 40 English tanks on their account. Own losses were 3 “Royal Tiger” and four tanks “Tiger 1”. Already in the first days after the landing, the Allies were dismayed to see that out of all their tank weapons, only English combat vehicles, armed with 17-pound guns, could somehow fight the “Tiggers”: the tanks “Sherman Firefly” and “Challenger”, ACU “Achilles” “and” Archer “.