The Tiger I was a German heavy tank used in World War II, produced from late 1942 as an answer to the unexpectedly formidable Soviet armour
300px-Bundesarchiv Bild 183-J14953, Sizilien, Panzer VI (Tiger I)-1-
encountered in the initial months of Operation Barbarossa, particularly the T-34 and the KV-1. The Tiger I design gave the Wehrmacht its first tank mounting the 88 mm gun, which had previously demonstrated its effectiveness against both aircraft and tanks. During the course of the war, the Tiger I saw combat on all German battlefronts. It was usually deployed in independent tank battalions, which proved to be quite formidable.

While the Tiger I was feared by many of its opponents, it was over-engineered, expensive and time-consuming to produce. Only 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. The Tiger was prone to mechanical breakdowns and in 1944, production was phased out in favour of the Tiger II.

The tank was given its nickname Tiger About this sound listen (help·info) by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘Panzer VI version H’, abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H), but the tank was redesignated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943. It also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181.

Today only a handful of Tiger Is survive in museums and exhibitions worldwide. Perhaps the most notable specimen is the Bovington Tank Museum's Tiger 131, currently the only one restored to running order.


Heavy tank
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1942–1945
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Henschel & Son
Designed 1942
Manufacturer Henschel
Unit cost 250,800 RM [2]
Produced 1942–1944
Number built 1,347[Notes 1]
Weight 56.9 tonnes or 62.72 tons
Length 6.29 m (20 ft 8 in)

8.45 m (27 ft 9 in) (gun forward)

Width 3.55 m (11 ft 8 in)
Height 3.0 m (9 ft 10 in)
Crew 5

Armour 25–120 mm (0.98–4.7 in)[3][4]


8.8 cm KwK 36 L/56

92 rounds (106 and 120 rounds for some modifications)



7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34

4,800 rounds

Engine Maybach HL230 P45 (V-12 petrol)

700 PS (690.4 hp, 514.8 kW)

Power/weight 12.3 PS/tonne
Suspension torsion bar


110–195 km (68–121 mi)

38 km/h (24 mph)

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