The Tiger I was a German heavy tank of World War II that operated beginning in 1942 in Africa and in the Soviet Union, usually in independent heavy tank battalions. It was designated Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf H during development but was changed to Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf E during production. The Tiger I gave the German Army its first armoured fighting vehicle that mounted the 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun (derived from the 8.8 cm Flak 36). 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944.
Porsche and Henschel submitted prototype designs, each making use of the Krupp-designed turret. They were demonstrated at Rastenburg in front of Hitler. The Henschel design was accepted, mainly because the Porsche VK 4501 (P) prototype design used a troubled petrol-electric transmission system which needed large quantities of copper for manufacture of its electrical drivetrain components, a strategic war material of which Germany had limited supplies with acceptable electrical properties for such uses. Production of the Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. H began in August 1942. Expecting an order for his tank, Porsche built 100 chassis. After the contract was awarded to Henschel, they were used for a new turretless, casemate-style tank destroyer; 91 hulls were converted into the Panzerjäger Tiger (P) in early 1943.