Questions for the experts

Was the Tiger II Porsche Turret used on the Eastern Front, or just in the west. If so, what unit.

Was the Panzer III aufs M used in North Africa? If so, what unit.

When the 503rd Schwere Panzer Abteilung was reequipped at Paderborn in August, 1944, two of its “Porsche” turreted tanks, which had broken down at Mailly le Camps, east of Paris, were recovered and returned to the unit. These served with the battalion when it went to Hungary in October. One is known from photos under the name Annaliese, and it was in service long enough to get a winter paint job.
From photos and issue records, we can account for about 31 of the 50 tanks built with the early turret (bear in mind that most tanks never get photographed). The rest had been used in trials and training, and were eventually upgraded and issued to combat units on a piecemeal basis alongside tanks with the production “Henschel” turret. Issue records do not distinguish them, and they turn up randomly in (mostly blurry) photos. The best quality photos are from the Army 503rd in Normandy (first and third companies), the five issued to Panzer Lehr Division (also in Normandy), and a couple known to be issued to the Army 506th near Aachen.

I am no Panzer 111 expert, but it is my understanding that Ausf M were in North Africa, and indeed some were converted to Ausf N spec by the fitting of the short 75mm gun. The matter is complicated as the Germans really only distinguished the tanks as being either “Kurtz” or “Lang” and did not make much reference to their Ausf designation.

Yea, it makes it hard to get accurate information and figure things out. Thanks for the help.

There were a couple of “Porsche” turreted Tiger IIs at Arnhem, SPz Abt 506 I think. Pz III ausf N were in Tunisia. But these tanks were issued to Spz Abt alongside Tigers, so it doesn’t conclusively prove that Ausf M were in North Africa.

The Haynes manual on the Panzer 111 @ p140 makes reference to a British report on a completely burned out Ausf M being found in April 1943 citing that as proof that at least some Ausf M made it to North Africa.