Initial Tiger ll question

Some of the initial Tiger ll’s (“Porsche Turret” production) had exhausts very similar to that of the previous Tiger l. I believe they might have been in Abt. 503, in Normandy. Does anyone have more detailed info on these, re: how many, and which company?

:smiley: :canada:

The first unit to be issued the new Tiger II was the 1st Co. sPzAbt 503 at the Ohrdruf railway station on June 16th, 1944. Since only 12 vehicles were issued, (the remaining 2 vehicles were Tiger I) this would account for most, if not all, of those vehicles with the straight exhaust pipes. The graph of production variations in VK45.02 to Tiger II showing this type of exhaust ends in mid March, so most likely the entire production for the month includes some with curved exhaust.

1 Like

Don’t know if this will help, but this one looks like one of those early King TIger’s, knocked out in the village of Chateaudun, 1944.




Tiger 11 of Panzer Lehr has the later, curved exhaust.


So…it’s safe to assume that all the Tiger ll’s (Porsche turret) issued to 1/503, which they had in Normandy, were equipped with the Tiger l exhausts.
:smiley: :canada:

1 Like

This is really good info for a project I have planned - a detail that could easily have been overlooked!

There’s always the exception. This is vehicle #8, issued to the Panzerversuchstelle Kummersdorf for testing. As the caption states, it has curved exhaust, so this shows that even among the earliest vehicles there is a mix of both types.

I believe that this photo is a movie still, which is how Jentz knew it had the curved exhaust without it being visible in this frame.

Since the 1st Co. 503rd was the first to receive the new vehicles and there were less than 12 built with the straight pipes, (approximately) yet at least this one, #8 had straight pipes. I can’t find any combat photos of the vehicles with straight pipes, and none of the references I have mentions exhaust type in unit’s vehicle descriptions. It is also possible that the exhausts on number 8 were switched out at a later date during servicing the vehicle, we just don"t know. I would like to think that most of the straight pipe versions went to the 1st Co., but maybe some of these vehicles were not initially issued to units due to mechanical problems and were held back for repair before being issued. Here again, we don’t know, because I doubt any publication documents vehicle allotment and states the exhaust type.

Even though this is a front angle, if it had the later curved pipes, wouldn’t the tops of them be just visible over the engine deck?
:smiley: :canada:

Why would Jentz state that they had curved pipes if he didn’t know?
In the first photo I posted, it states that some, not all, of the production series Tiger Ausf.B completed in January through March 1944 still had straight exhaust pipes. The protypes had curved pipes too.

Maybe the pipes are bent, like this photo.

After stuffing a schurtzen section between the pipes, the right pipe does not extend above the engine deck anymore.

These don’t appear to be even either, or is it just perspective?

5 of the early Tigers went to sPzAbt (Fkl)316. Tiger # 280004, tactical number 12, is one of them, subordinated to the Panzer Lehr Division, as is number 11 posted above by SableLiger. According to page 26 of German Remote-Control Tank Units 1943-45, the Tigers were issued to them in March, making them the first units to receive the new vehicles. This statement contradicts the statements I quoted from page 234 of The Combat History of sPzAbt, 503 I posted above.

Even when you have lots of references, and I do, they aren’t always right! :wink:

In any case, if the first Tiger IIs issued went to sPzAbt (Fkl)316 in March, where are all the straight pipes? Maybe there weren’t very many of them at all? Sorry, but I didn’t throw down for the JJ Fedorowicz Combat History of sPzAbt 316 (Fkl) when I had the chance and I no longer have the same book connections I had a decade ago. But if there are any photos of these elusive cats, they are probably in this book.

I thought that aside from sPzAbt 316, there was one company of sPzAbt 506 reequipped with Tiger Its in the later stages of the Normandy campaign.
Didn’t sPzAbt 503 serve primarily on the Eastern Front, and not in Normandy?

The 503rd was attached to Panzer Regiment 22 on July 8th, together they formed the armored operational reserve of the 21st Panzer division. Their first engagement was with 3/Co. in a counterattack on July 11th between Couberville to Colombelles. Further actions throughout July NW of Troarn, arriving at Mailly le Camp to receive their Tiger IIs on July 31st. Continued actions in France through the end of August, then leaving for retraining at Paterborn on Sept. 6th, then on to Budapest on Oct. 13-14.

The image Biggles50 posted is of the 506th. The units that received the 50 pre-production turreted Tigers are as follows; 5 to sPzAbt 316(Fkl), 12 to 1./sPzAbt. 503, 12 to 3/ 503, 15 to Heeres Waffenamt and 6 to Pz Ers Abt 500. The 45 Tigers the 506 received were shipped from the “Heeres Zeugamt”, (I assume that means from the Waffenamt?) in August-Sept. and loaded onto trains on Sept.22, bound for Arnhem. -Panzer Truppen, vol 2, page 171. Waffennamt photos anyone? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The 3/503 was withdrawn from the fighting in Normandy to be re-equipped with Tiger II (P), but did not rejoin the battle. The 506th did not operate in Normandy. So far, the only photo I have seen of this Tiger variant is the one on the flatcar of the 506th.

Thanks for the correction Paska. I was getting the units confused. It’s been a few years since I read up on which one was where.

Believe me, I don’t keep all this stuff straight in my head. I stumble my way through the books as best I can, but there’s always things I miss or screw up, especially on the first run through. Then we get tripped-up by mistakes in our references, like I just demonstrated. :roll_eyes:

Then there are simply gaps of knowledge, not just due to our own lack of the proper books, but the absolute lack of documentation in general. Try to find any information about Panzer Ersatz Abteilung 500. Not getting very far on that one…


Correct me if I’m wrong; I believe 503 was the first heavy Abt. to be equipped with Tiger ll (“Porsche turret”). If so, would all, or most, of their Abt. be equipped with the early production of that model, aside from several Tiger l’s that completed their companies? I was planning a dio where Tiger 122 is rammed and disabled by a Sherman from Irish Guards near Cagny, during “Goodwood” (in 1/72 - I just received Flyhawk Tiger ll (P) with Zimm) and I’m researching that action.
:smiley: :canada:

From Tigers in Combat page 132, (paperback)

On page 397, under Panzer Kompany 316 (Fkl).

So the 316th delivery predates that of the 503rd. More importantly, take a look at what I found on the next page;

I’ll see what I can find on the action you wish to model.

I found this, a bit too fuzzy to be definitive but maybe a better one exists elsewhere.

Tiger 334 of the 503rd is another.

Not much help here, but another photo of 122.

A David Pentland painting of the event.

Better quality of the above.


More photos here and you might want to read the accompanying text as well;


Thanks, very helpful. I do have some comments:

This picture was taken much later, probably the end of July when 503 was re-equipped, as 3rd co. didn’t have Tiger ll’s during the Cagny action…only Tiger l’s.
All the photos were taken probably months (years) after the action judging from the collapsed suspension ot the Tiger, and the odd matkings on both tanks:
The cross on the Tiger is in an odd place on the hull side when it should be central on the turret, as the other pics of 503’s Tiger ll’s. Cranston’s painting looks very accurate:

These accounts, plus others I’ve read, state that the Tiger’s gun was almost traversed all the way, but was blocked by the proximity of the Sherman. Some time later, a demo charge was placed in the Tiger to permanently disable it, which apparently blew off the crew hatches, and the transmission access hatch as well, in addition to cracking the welds of the glacis and front hull. Someone probably played with the manual turret traverse and turned the turret to a new position (before demo). That’s my theory. :thinking:
:smiley: :canada:

1 Like

I included the photo of the third company during firing practice simply to demonstrate that the exhaust pipes could show up much later and outside of the first company.

There appears to be at least two conflicting accounts of the incident, depending on which side one believes. I don’t have a dog in this fight so I’m not going to pass judgement on who is correct. We still have not answered the question about the exhausts and we may never know the answer. I was hoping that others might have additional information, as the Axis History forum demonstrates that there is more information available. But so far…:cricket:

And some Porsche turret Tigers with old exhausts had one-piece gun barrel. and some had two-piece. And some with newer exhausts also had one-piece barrels, and some with two-piece. And I also found that some 503 Tigers had the cross painted on front hull, as 122 above - 323 (or 322) also had the cross in this position, but the majority had it center turret. So…go figure! :exploding_head:
:smiley: :canada:

I don’t know much about the intricacies of the Tiger II series, but I always thought that ramming one was pretty ballsy stuff.


The tracks are the weakest point of any tank, no matter how heavy the armor is - Wittmann was immobilized by a 6 lb’er at Villers Bocage. Break the track, and immobilize the tank! Still…takes balls!
:smiley: :canada:

1 Like