The first prototype for the Tiger tank was set to be ready for Hitler's birthday on April 20, 1942. The Henschel Company, competing against Porsche, produced the superior model, and by August of that year the formidable Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. H. was in full production. The Tiger excelled in situations where the crew could take advantage of its first-rate optical sights and its famed and justifiably feared long-range, 88mm gun on hard, open terrain. But when Hitler ordered the first Tiger tanks into action against the Russian army on August 29, 1942, it was a dismal failure. Not because of the quality of the tank, but because of Hitler's own shortsightedness; he sent too few tanks into an area of marshy ground completely unsuitable to the tank's weight and bulk (the original Tiger tanks tipped the scales at well over fifty metric tons and the Tiger II, which first saw combat in Normandy in July 1944, was near seventy). Despite its inauspicious debut, the Tiger would soon prove its worth on both the Eastern Front as well as against American and British forces in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France. Tiger Tanks at Wartakes readers behind the scenes, reviewing the history, design, and armament of the tank made to outgun its Russian counterparts. Including photographs, diagrams, and maps, this is the complete story of the Tiger tank.Green, Michael is the author of 'Tiger Tanks at War ', published 2008 under ISBN 9780760331125 and ISBN 076033112X.