World War II, the German tank that was designated the Panzerkampfwagen
VI-B Tiger II, or more commonly known as the "King Tiger" was a much
feared weapon by Allied Forces, because of its powerful 88mm main gun
and thick armor plate. Germany began development of this tank in
February 1943, in order to counter the increasing threat of Russian
tanks. During its development stage, both the Henschel and Porsche firms
introduced rival prototypes that incorporated different turret
configurations. The Porsche designed turret had a very distinctive
shape, with a rounded front section and narrow shell, when compared to
the rather angular Henschel offering. The turret frontal section armor
was 100mm thick and 80mm for the side panels, and it mounted the Type 43
L71 88mm high velocity main gun. Power for this massive tank was from a
Maybach HL230 P30 V-12 cylinder, liquid cooled engine developing 700
hp. Porsche had produced 50 turrets for their version of the tank prior
to the official adoption of the Henschel model for mass production.
Evaluation had revealed that the Porsche turret lacked armor thickness,
and required complex tooling due to its rounded contour sculpturing.
However, the superior performance of the tank allowed the completed
Porsche turrets to be deployed to the front. When combined with the
Henschel turret version, a total of less than 500 King Tiger tanks were
ever available for combat.