[Lone Sentry: German WWII Tiger Tank Battalions, schwere Panzer Abteilung]


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German WWII Tiger Tank Battalions (schwere Panzer Abteilung)

During WWII, German Tiger tanks were primarily organized into special schwere Panzer Abteilung (roughly "heavy tank battalions"). Ten Wehrmacht and three Waffen-SS schwere Panzer Abteilung were formed.

s.Pz.Abt. Equipped
Remarks Notable
s.Pz.Abt. 501 (later redesignated s.Pz.Abt. 424) Tiger I & Tiger II Crouching Tiger Formed May 1942. Sent to North Africa with Tiger I and Panzer III tanks in late 1942 and early 1943. Surrendered with the German defeat in Tunisia. Reformed. Sent to Eastern Front in November 1943. Largely destroyed in Russian offensive in summer 1944. Reformed and issued with Tiger II. Returned to Eastern Front. Redesignated s.Pz.Abt. 424. After heavy losses, disbanded in early 1945.  
s.Pz.Abt. 502 (later redesignated s.Pz.Abt. 511) Tiger I & Tiger II Mammoth Formed August 1942. Sent to front near Leningrad in August 1942. First Tiger unit into combat. (2nd Ko. was attached to s.Pz.Abt. 503 and eventually became 3rd Ko. of s.Pz.Abt. 503.) The unit fought on the Eastern Front until the end of the war. Renamed s.Pz.Abt. 511 in January 1945. s.Pz.Abt. 511 picked up several Tiger IIs late in the war. Otto Carius
s.Pz.Abt. 503 (later redesignated s.Pz.Abt. Feldherrnhalle) Tiger I & Tiger II Tiger head Sent to Russia in January 1943. Fought in southern Russia. Received new Tigers in spring 1943, and fought in Battle of Kursk and later with Panzer Regiment Bäke near Cherkassy. Withdrawn in April 1944 and refitted. Sent to Normandy with Tiger Is and Tiger IIs. Destroyed in Normandy and the German retreat. Equipped with Tiger IIs and sent to Hungary. Renamed s.Pz.Abt. Feldherrnhalle in December 1944. Kurt Knispel, Freiherr von Rosen, Walter Scherf
s.Pz.Abt. 504 Tiger I   Formed January 1943. 1st Ko. sent to North Africa, surrendered with other German forces in May 1943. 2nd Ko. fought and destroyed in invasion of Sicily. Withdrawn and reformed. Transferred to Italy June 1944. Fought at Anzio. Remained in combat in Italy until end of war.  
s.Pz.Abt. 505 Tiger I & Tiger II Bull; later a charging knight on horseback Formed January 1943. Fought at Kursk with 9th Army. Withdrawn July 1944 and refitted with Tiger II. Returned to Eastern Front. Fought in East Prussia until end of war. s.Pz.Abt. 505 used a distinctive marking of a charging knight on horseback on many of its tanks.  
s.Pz.Abt. 506 Tiger I & Tiger II "W" with Tiger and shield Formed July 1943. Sent to Eastern Front in September where fought along Dnieper and at Krivoi-Rog. Pulled out and refitted with Tiger II in August 1944. Fought around Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. s.Pz.Kp. Hummel equipped with Tiger I was attached in November 1944 as 4th Ko. Fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Surrendered in Ruhr pocket in April 1945.  
s.Pz.Abt. 507 Tiger I & Tiger II Blacksmith hammering a sword(?) Formed September 1943. Sent to Eastern Front in March 1944. Fought at Tarnapol, Vitebsk, and Narev. Withdrawn in February 1945 for refitting with Tiger II. Fought near Paderborn before pulling back. Ended the war in Czechoslovakia where it surrendered.  
s.Pz.Abt. 508 Tiger I Bison Formed August 1943. Fought in Italy at Anzio. Turned remaining Tigers over to s.Pz.Abt. 504 and withdrew in February 1945.  
s.Pz.Abt. 509 Tiger I & Tiger II Tiger head in shield(?) Formed September 1943. Issued Tiger I and sent to Eastern Front. Fought on Eastern Front until withdrawn to re-equip with Tiger II. Received Tiger II by January 1945 and dispatched to Hungary. Surrendered to U.S. troops near Linz, Austria.  
s.Pz.Abt. 510 Tiger I Standing bear in shield(?) Formed June 1944. Received Tiger I in June and July. Sent to Eastern Front where the unit fought in East Prussia and Kurland until end of the war. end of war.  
s.SS-Pz.Abt. 101 (later redesignated s.SS-Pz.Abt. 501) Tiger I & Tiger II Crossed keys in shield Formed July 1943. Components remained with LSSAH in Italy and on the Eastern Front until withdrawn. By April 1944 the unit was complete and equipped with Tiger I. The unit fought in Normandy, notably at Villers-Bocage. 1st Ko. was withdrawn and equipped with the Tiger II and sent back into battle in France. The unit was destroyed in Normandy during the German retreat. In September 1944, the unit was redesignated s.SS-Pz.Abt. 501. The unit was re-equipped with Tiger IIs and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. In 1945, the unit was transferred to Hungary. Heinz von Westernhagen, Michael Wittmann
s.SS-Pz.Abt. 102 (later redesignated s.SS-Pz.Abt. 502) Tiger I & Tiger II Lightning rune Formed October 1943. Fought in Normandy. Destroyed in German retreat. Withdrawn for refitting in September 1944. Redesignated s.SS-Pz.Abt. 502. Received Tiger II in February-March 1945. Sent to the Eastern Front.  
s.SS-Pz.Abt. 103 (later redesignated s.SS-Pz.Abt. 503) Tiger I & Tiger II   Formed November 1943. Trained with Tiger I. Redesignated s.SS-Pz.Abt. 503. Outfitted with Tiger II and sent to Eastern Front in January 1943. Karl Brommann, Karl Körner


• Jentz, Thomas L. Germany's Tiger Tanks Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglan, PA, 1997.

• Jentz, Tom and Hilary Doyle. Tiger I Heavy Tank 1942-1945. Osprey, London, 1993.

• Restayn, Jean. Tiger I on the Western Front. Histoire & Collections, Paris, 2001.

• Schneider, Wolfgang. Tigers in Combat Volume I & II. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc., Winnipeg, Canada, 1998.

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