The King Tiger also known as the Tiger II was a German heavy tank of WWII. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, often shortened to Tiger B. The ordnance inventory designation was Sd. Kfz. 182. It is also known under the informal name Königstiger translated as King Tiger.
The design followed the same concept as the Tiger I, but was intended to be even more formidable. The Tiger II combined the thick armour of the Tiger I with the sloped armour used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost seventy metric tons, was protected by 100 to 180 mm (3.9 to 7.1 in) of armour to the front, and was armed with the long barrelled 8.8 cm Kampfwagenkanone 43 L/71 gun. The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer.
The Tiger II was issued to heavy tank battalions of the Army (Schwere Heeres Panzer Abteilung - abbreviated s.H.Pz.Abt) and the Waffen-SS (s.SS.Pz.Abt). It was first used in combat with s.H.Pz.Abt. 503 during the Normandy campaign on 11 July 1944; on the Eastern Front the first unit to be outfitted with Tiger IIs was s.H.Pz.Abt. 501 which by 1 September 1944 listed 25 Tiger IIs operational.
The first combat use of the Tiger II was by the 1st Company of the 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion (s.H.Pz.Abt. 503) during the Battle of Normandy, opposing Operation Atlantic between Troarn and Demouville on 18 July 1944; losses were two from combat, plus the company commander's tank which became irrecoverably trapped after falling into a bomb crater made during Operation Goodwood.