The Panzerkampfwagen VI, or Tiger I, was the best tank of World War II for three reasons: 1) its 88-mm gun, 2) massive armor, 3) its highly-trained and experienced tank commanders and gunners. These three tank features made of this German steel mastodon one of the most leathal weapons of this armed conflict.
The main armament of the Tiger I was an 8.8-cm Krupp KwK 36, which was a rifled gun that had the highest muzzle velocity of all WWII tank guns, with over 800 m/s, firing PzGr (armor-piercing composite rigid) and HI Gr.39 (High Explosive anti-tank) ammunition; it could knock out a Russian T-34 from a distance of 3,000 m (3 km), whereas a T-34 had to approach to a distance of 750 m and attack from the flanks in order to be able to inflict any damage on the Tiger. This German gun was fitted with a Leitz Turmzielfernrohr TZF 9b sights, rendering it an accurate weapon.
The Panzerkampfwagen VI had 120mm-thick steel armor on the frontal turret, 100mm-thick on the glacis plate (frontal hull), and 80mm on the turret and hull sides; the T-34 and Sherman tank rounds simply bounced off when they hit the Tiger I’s frontal armor.
Just as the top 20 aircraft aces of the war were Germans, the top 20 tank aces were also Germans as men such as Kurt Knispel (gunner), Michael Wittmann (commander), and Otto Carius (commander) destroyed over 150 enemy tanks each!
Tiger I beats T-34, Cromwell, Churchill Mk VIII and Sherman tanks (Video: spottydog4477)