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Academy 1/35 German Tiger-I Ver. EARLY "Operation Citadel" Tank ACA13509The German heavy tank Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E or Tiger I was the first German AFV to mount the 88mm KwK 36 gun. The Tiger I was produced from 1942 until 1944 with 1347 tanks built in total. The tank weighed around 56 tons and apart from the 88 mm KwK 36 was armed with two 7.92mm MG 34's.
After the Germans had encountered the Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks during Operation Barbarossa, it was decided to build a heavy and powerful tank to combat those vehicles. When the first Tiger I's were used on the battlefield, the tank was still at the prototype stage and a number of changes were made to the design over the course of production. The early Tiger I's were used in 1942 near Leningrad and many of those vehicles and transmission problems due to the vehicle's weight. The Soviets managed to capture one of the first Tigers which had been stuck in the ground and abandoned by its crew and used it to study the design.
After Leningrad, in 1943 units operating at Kharkiv received early Tiger tanks, and following that a great concentration of Schwere Panzer-Abteilung was prepared for Operation Citadel. Operation Citadel - the German offensive against the Soviet army in Kursk - began on the 5th of July 1943 and became the final strategic offensive that Germany launched on the Eastern Front.