History of SdKfz 186 Jagdtiger

The Jagdtiger ("Jagdtiger") was the most powerful armored vehicle of World War II, an evolution of the legendary "Konigtiger" (Tiger II) chassis (also known as "Konigstiger"). It carried a lethal main gun and was protected by heavy armor, but had overweight and production problems, resulting in a slow and cumbersome machine that was underpowered during missions.

As a result, their production level was less than 90, some of which were not even equipped with the expected main gun armament. No Allied tank could match the firepower of the Tiger Hunter tank destroyer whenever it found favourable conditions on the battlefields of WWII.

As the war in Europe heated up, the development of German tanks was in full swing. Gone are the days when the Panzer I and II series of light tanks, followed by the Panzer III and Panzer IV medium tanks, dominated the European battlefield. German engineers finally delivered their superb Panther series of heavy tanks, armed with a lethal 75mm main gun, to become the Wehrmacht's best all-around main battle tank.

Next is the heavier "Tiger" series, armed with the legendary 88mm FlaK anti-tank gun and extremely thick frontal armor. It was followed by the "Konigtiger" - a large tank with enhanced armor protection and an 88mm main gun that became the most powerful of all German tanks of the war.

Visually, her original King Tiger design is reflected in her sloping front glacis panels, partially rimmed wheels and rear engine. A key difference that identifies the Jagdtiger design is the fixed superstructure, with a thick shroud at the bottom of the barrel, and the sloping side panels of the superstructure.

The rigidity of this arrangement meant that traversal was very limited, and the crew was forced to point the entire tank at the enemy - a key disadvantage in any tank battle. This essentially makes the Jagdtiger a mobile weapons platform that acts as a more defensive device than an actual tank hunter/killer.

All things considered, for postwar Germany, the defensive design was actually a good fit for the defensive war it is now in.

The intrinsic value of the Jagdtigers is undeniable - their firepower is unmatched and their armor protection has proven to be excellent. However, all of this functionality comes at a price, and the inherent limitations of the Tiger King's design were quickly exposed.

The Jagdtiger strives to maintain a consistent and useful speed, especially off-road, which can hit a measly 9 mph in optimal conditions. This is more like the hulking tanks used in World War I than anything modern battlefields should have seen historically.

The lack of a removable powered turret was a real inconvenience to the crew, but ultimately reduced production time. Only about 40 large 128mm projectiles could be carried on board, which limited their long-term use in stand-up firefights, and the separate loading of projectiles and explosives resulted in a lower rate of fire than expected. The combination of a heavy chassis, hull and superstructure means the engine is working harder than it should and can easily lead to mechanical problems that affect reliability in the field. Combine this with restrictions on spare parts and the accessibility of those parts, and you can quickly create recipes for failure. The power-to-weight ratio also means that the engine uses more fuel than is tactically reasonable, severely limiting its operating range.

With all these restrictive elements, the Tiger Hunter really fulfilled its more logical role of being a defensive gun mount or supporting an infantry spearhead. It can be used to ambush a column of enemy tanks that appear on the horizon, or as an assault gun to support a ground attack.

However, after their position was overtaken, the guy was rendered useless. Additionally, a direct impact to the sides or a more fragile rear fairing (up to 80mm thick) could result in a destroyed or even paralyzed Jagdtiger through combined flank maneuvers, ultimately forcing the crew to surrender.

Some were blown up with explosives by the retreating crew.

Jagdtiger's tenure ended with the surrender of Germany in May 1945. Hitler was dead at this point and handed his power to trusted authorities - although when they saw the unconditional surrender of one or the other Germany brought the 7./8 VE Day celebrations. out in May. Jagdtiger was captured by the Allies and assessed for some time after the war.

From an Allied perspective, their powerful design is an interesting testament to the Jagdtiger never really having an answer. Their limited production and tactical prowess undoubtedly worked well in the hands of the Allies, running counter to the tactics of the German army, which was originally built on speed and numbers for eventual victory.

Speed ??and volume are not Jagdtiger's strong suits.

Only two Bundeswehr units have ever used Hunting Tigers - the 512 Heavy Tank Battalion and the 653 Tank Destroyer Battalion.

After all, the Tiger Hunt is not the tank destroyer it advertises at all. The system eventually did a better job of chasing and destroying faster-moving American, British and Soviet designs as a fixed artillery platform providing infantry support or as an armored and mobile "bunker".

Although no Allied armor could withstand the 128mm shells of the Tiger Hunt main battery, the Allies still had the advantage of being on the offensive when the Tiger Hunt fought.

SdKfz 186 Jagdtiger (Tiger Hunting) Specification


Nibelungenworks / Porsche / Henschel - Germany
85 units


- anti-tank/anti-tank

- fire support/attack/damage







7.61 ft (2.32 m)


79 tons (72,030 kg; 158,799 lbs)


1 x Maybach HL 230 P30 V-12 700hp liquid cooled petrol engine driving a conventional track and wheel arrangement.


Maximum Speed:

35 km/h

Maximum range:

75 miles (121 km)

Compare this entry to any other entry in our database


1 x 128 mm PaK 44 L/55 main gun.

2 x 7.92mm machine guns.


40 x 128mm shell.

3,300x7.92mm ammo.


SdKfz 182 "Tiger II" - basis for the development of the Jagdtiger tank destroyer.

Jagdpanzer VI - Based on the original development name of the Tiger II.

SdKfz 186 Jagdpanzer - Serial number base production model.

Panzerjager Tiger with 88 mm PaK 43/3 (SF) SdKfz 185 - Jagdoanzer with 88 mm gun recommended; four prototypes made.

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