King Tiger (Porsche), Early, No Zimmerit - The King Tiger (Porsche), Early, No Zimmerit is a bit of a misnomer. These vehicles were called the Königstiger which is German for the Bengal Tiger in keeping with naming German armored vehicles after cats. The vehicle was also not designed by Porsche! The turret was designed by Krupp for the Porsche hull that was in competition for the heavy tank contract with Henschel. There were 50 of these turrets made and they were used on the first 50 Tiger II tanks issued. They first saw
combat in Normandy a couple weeks after the initial landings. The zimmerit was an anti-magnetic coating designed to prevent Soviet magnetic mines from being attached to the tanks. Early production vehicles did not always have this coating. These vehicles operated in platoons of four tanks, with three platoons in a company, with two headquarters tanks for a total of 14 tanks per company. There were three companies plus three battalion headquarters tank for a total of 45 heavy tanks per battalion. Most battalions were at full strength only for a short time as they were often broken up into smaller units to fend off attacks from different directions. Replacements were often slow in coming so units often did operate understrength.