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Item Number: WS396(SE)

PzKpfwVI ‘KURSK TIGER’ Hull #S32

On the eve of battle, 4 July 1943, Das Reich could muster 48 x Panzer Ⅲs… 33x Panzer Ⅳs… 8 x Panzer Ⅲ Command Tanks… 18 x Captured T34s… 33 Stug Self-Propelled Guns plus 10 Marder SPGs and… just 12 x Tigers. Overall, the Germans deployed four armies alongwith a large proportion of their total tank strength on ‘Operation Zitadelle’. In preparation for this mammoth battle a total of 259 ‘Panthers’ and around 211 ‘Tigers’ were used including those attached to the Ⅱ SS Panzer Corps. Although the battle began well for the Germans their attack soon faltered as they drove deeper into the salient and encountered stronger and fiercer Russian opposition from the well-prepared Soviet defences. In addition, the Western Allies, Britain and America, began the invasion of Sicily and Hitler was forced to divert some of his badly-needed forces to counter this new Allied threat in the Mediterranean. One of the units sent south was Das Reich’s fellow Waffen SS Division ‘Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’ which handed over the remainder of their ‘Tigers’ to Das Reich as they departed. The Battle of Kursk proved to be the last strategic offensive that the Germans were able to launch on the Eastern Front. And even though their newest and best tanks, the Panthers and Tigers achieved spectacular ‘kill-ratios’ against the enemy there were simply not enough of them to overcome their Soviet opposition. This latest King & Country ‘TIGER’ is a worthy addition to any collector interested in the mighty struggle that was the war on the Eastern Front.

Notice: Each of our 'Kursk Tigers' comes beautifully packaged in its own sturdy, full-colour presentation box together with a special numbered certificate (001-250) for both Special Editions.

The Panzerkampfwagen VI better known by its nickname ‘THE TIGER’ was one of the most powerful tanks to see action during the Second World War.  Conceived as a response to the heavily armoured Soviet tanks the Germans encountered after their invasion of Russia in June 1941, the ‘TIGER’ completely outclassed all its opponents at the time of its introduction.  Its formidably thick frontal armour was almost impossible to penetrate with all existing anti-tank weapons systems of the period. Armed with a superb tank version of the 88mm KwK 36 Flak Gun, it was capable of destroying enemy targets at well over 2 kilometres.  There were even some reports of ‘kills’ at almost 4 kilometres!  Being a heavy armoured ‘breakthrough’ vehicle it was often employed as the spearhead of many German offensives.

Our latest ‘Tiger’ model is painted in the two-colour camouflage scheme of ‘Dunkelgelb’, a kind of tan/yellow and ‘Olivgruen’, a dark olive green, first introduced in February 1943. The great majority of the ‘Tigers’ that took part in ‘Operation Zitadelle’, the German codename for the assault on the Russian salient during the Battle of Kursk were camouflaged in this manner.  Like K&C’s previously released ‘Winter Tiger 1’ this latest model also includes all of these original features:  ALL-METAL HULL, TURRET and 88mm MAIN GUN… MOVING FLEXIBLE METAL TRACKS… ROLLING WHEELS with FULL SUSPENSION… FOUR OPENING HATCHES plus TWO COMPLIMENTRARY ORIGINAL CREW FIGURES. Our latest ‘KURSK TIGER’ represents one of two from the Heavy Tank Company of the 2nd. Waffen SS Panzer Division ‘DAS REICH’ which was equipped with Tigers.

Both ‘Tigers’ belong to the SS Panzer Grenadier Division ‘Das Reich’ which formed an integral part of the ⅡSS Panzer Korps which fought in the southern sector of the Kursk battle.  Each ‘Tiger’ is painted in the slightly different 2-colour camouflage pattern typical of ‘Das Reich’ vehicles during this period of the war on the Eastern Front.

The Battle of Kursk was one of the most important World War Two battles fought on the Eastern Front between the forces of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the summer of 1943.  It also became the largest ever tank battle in history and resulted in a Soviet victory.
The battle began with the launch of a huge German offensive ‘Operation Citadel’ to eradicate the ‘Kursk Salient’ which bulged into the German line near the city of Kursk in, what was then, south western Russia.  The German plan was to attack the salient from north and south simultaneously using their massive artillery, infantry and armour formations to obliterate the defending Red Army.  Among the German armoured divisions taking part in this operation were the three premier Waffen SS divisions, ‘Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler,’ ‘Das Reich,’ and ‘Totenkopf’, with a fourth division ‘Viking’ held in reserve.  All formed part of  the ⅡSS Panzer Korps.

Spearheading this huge armoured assault was Germany’s newest and heaviest tank, the Panzerkampfwagen Ⅵ better known of course as… ‘THE TIGER’.  Initially seeing action in North Africa in 1942 and then later on the Eastern Front, it was the first German armoured vehicle to mount the impressive and already battle-proven 88mm gun, which was itself derived from the 88mm Flak 36 gun.  Eager to make use of this powerful new weapon, the ‘Tiger’ was pressed into service much earlier than had been planned and suffered accordingly with a number of technical problems.  Although achieving some spectacular successes in the early stages of the battle, even the strength and power of the ‘Tigers’ was not enough to break through the multiple lines of Soviet defences.  At the same time, the Western Allies invaded Sicily forcing Hitler to divert troops then training in France to meet this new threat rather than using them as a Strategic Reserve on the Eastern Front.  Faced with this conflict, Hitler had no choice but to cancel the Kursk offensive after only a week and pull his forces back including his mighty ‘Tigers’.
Notice:  This KURSK TIGER is packaged in a sturdy, custom-designed, full-colour presentation box and with a numbered certificate limiting each model to just 250 pieces.

Released in NOVEMBER 2023.