Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie 8.SS 42/43 

There are some dates in "Tigers in Combat" which may help.
20 April 1943 : General Kruger's speech.
"Tiki" has solid white numbers on this date.
We have not seen any other DR Tiger with solid white numbers. We know that "832" did not have solid white numbers at any time. Probably "Tiki" was marked up specifically for the ceremony.
24 April 1943 : Himmler's visit.
At least three Tigers have hollow white digits on this date.
Now, here is my theory:
 ALL of the Tigers got hollow white digits between 20 and 24 April, including "Tiki" which became "833".
Why do I say that? Could Tiki not be "812" on 24 April?
Look at the complete list of hollow white numbers. There are 3 platoons with 2 Tigers each. They are numbered in a simple pattern.
802
811
813
821
823
831
833
If "Tiki" was still "812" on the 24 April, then this pattern would be broken.
So, I am concluding that a complete renumbering of the entire company took place between 20 April and 24 April.

Staff Tigers:
TIC2 speaks of the original Staff Tigers as "801" and "802". The photos tell us that this is wrong.
It says that the "Chefpanzer", which we would conclude to be "800", sank on 25 February.
In March it says that "801" was in action, which is credible. But it also says that "801" used to be "802". Again, the photos disagree. I think that somebody's memory was bad about this issue.
The remaining Staff Tiger should have become "802" in the renumbering in April. We have one photo of "802" which is said to be taken on 1 May.
So I must conclude that this is one of the errors in the TIC books.
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie 8.SS 42/43 

Zitat: 
Original von Hartmut von Holdt
The plan for summer 43 was probably to number the command Tiger 801 and 802 and thats the reason we see the 802 on former 801 and the awaitet old 800 was planed as the new 801.


Is it possible that this Tiger was already renumbered as 801 when it sank underwater?
Zitat: 
Original von Hartmut von Holdt
"Das Reich" paint new numbers on all Tigers just for one day when Himmler inspected the Kompanie.


Are we sure of that?
It does look like a "rush job"... the broken template numbers are not connected, and "823" was painted without obscuring the old "832", but are we sure that this renumbering happened for Himmler's visit?
Zitat: 
Original von Hartmut von Holdt
"Tiki" was 812 but renumbered for a day to 833 and a day later to S34.


I don't have the book that you are reading. Was it really just one day? I thought that the Snumbers were used because new Tigers arrived. Certainly these new Tigers were not added on to the end of the sequence, they have low numbers like S12 and S14. So, did all of this happen the day after Himmler's visit?
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie 8.SS 42/43 

I believe this to be 811.
I can rule out most of the Tigers but there are a few good candidates. The evidence for 811 isn't strong enough to warrant a Gallery move but I would put money on it.
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie SS PR.2 

Is it possible for me to rearrange the galleries to represent the different periods? At the moment there is confusion about what number is from when.
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie SS PR.2 

This one seems to be "S11".
We can only vaguely see a "1" in its number, so the options are "S11", "S13", "S21" if it's from the Kursk time frame. I am referring to my chart of the original DR Tigers with no turret spare tracks:
800 = 801 = S01
801 = 802 = S02
811 = 831 = S33
812 = 833 = S34
821 = 813 = S11
822 = 811 = S13
831 = destroyed
832 = 823 = S24
841 = 821 = S21
842 = destroyed
I am identifying it as "S11" because it has the "flat" mantlet. We can see the notch in the lower far corner.
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie SS PR.2 

This is a Bundesarchiv photo of the demonstration for the SSReichsfuhrer.
We have other photos showing that Tigers "811" and "823" were present; they can both be identified by camouflage markings in this photo (compare to "S13" and "S24").
This is gallery size. I'll post details if you need.
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie SS PR.2 

Here's a matching light patch over the driver's visor on both "811" and "S13".
Confirming the sequence 822 > 811 > S13
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie SS PR.2 

I believe that the April tank "813" is actually the tank "821" / "S11". Witness the slight curve of the front mudguard. If we assume that its Balkankreuz is not applied yet, we have a dark patch matching "S11".
So that gives us all of the April numbers except for two.
I notice a pattern beginning to appear; the tanks always stay within their own platoon when the "S" numbers are applied. Also, Tiger numbers from April always end in "1" or "3".
Therefore we can speculate about the complete April numbering:
800 = 801 = S01
801 = 802 = S02
811 = 831 = S33
812 = 833 = S34
821 = 813 = S11
822 = 811 = S13 (no proof)
831 = destroyed
832 = 823 = S24
841 = 821 = S21 (no proof)
842 = destroyed
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie SS PR.2 

Re. the above suggestion, I wonder what you all think of this proposed chart of the renumbering?
It does not include the numbers of April 1943 (digits with stencil breaks, with a leading "8") nor the numbers of August 1943 (when additional Tigers had been donated by LSSAH). This is simply the original numbers mapped onto the June 1943 numbers.
800 = S01
801 = S02
811 = S33
812 = S34
821 = S11
822 = S13
831 = destroyed
832 = S24
841 = S21
842 = destroyed
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie 8.SS 42/43 

Who's this?
The tank is still in its winter whitewash, so we need only consider the original Tigers received by DR up to March 1943. This is our tencandidate list:
800
801
811
812
821
822
831
832
841
842
The wreck is not on a boulevard, so we can rule out 831. We can also eliminate Tigers which we know to survive past March to be renumbered; 812 will become S34, 832 will become S24, 811 will become 831.
800
801
821
822
841
842
Looking for an identifying mark on the wreck, we find two items that could be the upper hole in the trunnion;
Without knowing which is the real hole, we can say that neither of them match the hole in Tiger "821":
We can also peer between the crewmen and see that the right mudflap on the unknown Tiger seems to be undamaged, different to the mudflap on "822" which developed a significant droop;
The wreck has an MG hole in the mantlet and is therefore not the company's Befehlstiger "800". We are left with :
801
841
842
"801" had some damage to its right hand mudflap; the top of the folding part is missing or bent, exposing the hull side;
The wreck had no damage at this place, therefore we are left with:
841
842
Tiger "841" survived long enough to have weathering marks on its whitewash, which I don't see on the wreck, looking at the righthand hull front.
The only candidate not ruled out is "842".
This is not a strong identification since I have not found any matching features, and of course somebody could renew the whitewash if he were so inclined. But there is only one photograph of "842" and it shows the opposite sides of the tank.
So let's put this down as a probable 842 ?
David


Thema: Photo locations 

This one can be located because Kharkiv had 4 tall chimneys in an industrial park, all of which are in the photo (and confirmed as such by a couple of buildings):
In fact, parallax of the chimneys is sufficient to locate the spot.
The chimneys no longer exist, but they can be seen on German reconnaissance photos of Kharkiv.
The tank is on a railway platform at about 49°59'34.62"N 36°12'14.41"E
David


Thema: Ergänzung zur Gallerie 8.SS 42/43 

I propose a rearrangement of the gallery for this unit.
The current gallery is confusing because we have the same Tiger under two numbers ( 812 / 833 ) and we have two Tigers under the same number ( 831 ).
The reason is, these Tigers were renumbered in April 1943. The old numbers and the new numbers started with "8" but in general they were different numbers.
It's possible to follow some of the Tigers through this change:
811 > 831
812 > 833
832 > 823
but in most cases we don't know which Tigers are which, and the current gallery does not illustrate the situation.
David


Thema: Tiger tactical numbers 

"722" was listed in the company's strength report on 13 April. In fact, my first diagram represents exactly the report, as reproduced in "Combat tactics" by Doyle and Jentz.
So, by 13 April they had lost 3 Tigers of the eleven.
And six days later they had lost another 4 Tigers. They got a gift of a Tiger "111", perhaps this fresh Tiger became the new company command?
David


Thema: Tiger tactical numbers 

An interesting list!
We are speculating here, of course, but it's possible that the shape of the renumbering operation will become clear to us.
Here is my list of the Tigers that remained after Operation Ochsenkopf:
01 02 111 112 121 131 132 81 813 841 ???
I don't know why you listed 141 as a survivor? We can see 813 escaping.
There is a mystery Tiger at the end. There is one Tiger badly damaged on the Robaa road, I think that it's "21" but it could be "221". In any case, it is not a likely candidate for fighting again. So I was suggesting that this mystery Tiger was 250059.
Here is the renumbering that we are sure about :
01 > 01
02 > 02
111 > 71
112 > 724
121 >
131 > 731
132 > 732
81 > 712
813 >
841 >
??? >
Now, I am not sure that we can complete the mapping by putting old platoon leaders in command of the new platoons.
Is it always necessary to have more experience, or a higher rank, to get the command of a platoon?
Also, it's possible for a crew to take somebody else's tank. Surely it was the commander of Tiger "11" who took over Tiger "71"?
Also, with only eleven Tigers remaining, we have more platoon commanders than platoons.
And it's also possible that a platoon commander could be killed or wounded, even if his Tiger survived. Many crew were injured at Hunt's Gap. Lt. Vermehren was injured, therefore we cannot assume that "121" became a platoon command tank. But we don't know about the other platoon leaders.
I think that we need more photos to complete the list.
David


Thema: Tiger tactical numbers 

In the diagram I marked 711 and 714 as "undocumented", so the answer is no.
David


Thema: Tiger tactical numbers 

This is interesting.
How do you know that 241 became 714, or that 121 became 721 ?
Why do you have 141 as a survivor of Hunt's Gap? Who is the exploded hull in the mud?
David


Thema: Tiger tactical numbers 

But it is peculiar that this author would state so clearly that there was a "pair of twos" followed by an unknown digit.
There was the opportunity then to sand the paint off the tank, which could reveal things invisible in photos.
In any case, this does not greatly affect the subject of my post. If this Fort Benning Tiger was always "21" then the Tiger "221" must be the one badly damaged, and once again we must ask why it was assigned a new number in the diagram.
David


Thema: Tiger tactical numbers 

Zitat: 
Original von Hartmut von Holdt
We never had seen Tiger 221 so far


From the book "Tiger Without a Home" :
"Tiger 712 had been assigned at least two other tactical numbers before its capture. The first beginning with a pair of twos, with the last digit remaining undetermined"
This "pair of twos" is not visible in any photo, but the author or his interviewee had firsthand knowledge of the tank, and we have no reason to mistrust them. Certainly this report is not contradicted by knowledge that we got from other sources.
So, this Tiger in Fort Benning would be "221". From our other research we had already concluded that it must be either "221" or "21", or else the renumbering was more complex than we think.
Now, if this was "221" then we still need a "21".
In the 2.company attack on Robaa there was one Tiger knocked out on the site, and one Tiger badly shot up but taken away. We have diagrams of the damage on the removed Tiger. We can see all the other 2.company Tigers at later times, and they don't have this damage  except for "21" which we never see again.
So that's why I said the original "21" was badly shot up.
David


Thema: Tiger tactical numbers 

Still thinking about the Tigers and their numbers.
We know now that the original "21" was badly shot up. It was recovered but probably left in a workshop. We certainly don't have any photos of it after its battle. Perhaps it was never made operational again. Tiger "221" became the new "21".
Now, the usual German practice was to count tanks on their strength reports so long as the tank was still in their hands. When this battalion reported eleven surviving Tigers at the time that they joined the 504th, I assumed they were counting the old "21" in the eleven. Certainly we know that they had lost nine other Tigers out of twenty. Only with "21", I thought, is it possible to have eleven Tigers remaining.
But this chart raises a question.
It seems that they organised and numbered their Tigers to have 11 operational Tigers. The first two platoons are full strength, and the third platoon is smaller because they ran out of Tigers there.
If the damaged Tiger "21" is on this chart, it's not in the third platoon; we know who those two Tigers are. It would have to be in the first or second platoon.
The question is: why would you assign a role to a Tiger that is full of holes? A Tiger with penetrations of the turret and hull? Was it reparable?
This question may be answered by a curious entry in the book "Trail of the Tigers" by Ron Klages. It states that not 20, but 21 Tigers were delivered to s.Pz.Abt.501. The final Tiger is one that we have not noticed in photos. It was, according to the book, delivered on 9 December 1942, and its chassis number was 250059.
That is a much higher chassis number than those of the other 20 Tigers. This mysterious Tiger, if it existed, would have a large tactical number painted on it, but it would look different to the other Tigers of this company. It would have a turret side hatch and extended front hull.
So, is this an error in Ron's book, or did this extra Tiger arrive? Because it would neatly answer the question that I asked above.
There is a list of Tigers found in Tunisia by a British officer. We can recognise many of the tanks listed in it, although there are a few obvious errors and much missing information.
One item in the list is a Tiger with chassis number 250059, manufacturer "dkr", year of manufacture 1942. It was found with its turret missing, demolished.
If these are two errors, it's a curious coincidence that the chassis number matches.
Is this Tiger sitting in front of our eyes, somewhere in the organisational chart that I drew?
David


Thema: Help needed on Aberdeen Tiger 

Zitat: 
Original von Allen Dail
So your new theory of it being 221 then then as 21 to replace lost original 21 at Robaa and then 712 and no 821.
Or this 221 to 21 then 821 and finally 712.
Regards Allen 

There was an "8" on it!
I propose this sequence;
221 > 21 > 81 > 712
The account in "Tiger without a home" seems very assured:
"The first beginning with a pair of twos, with the last
digit remaining undetermined. The second beginning with an eight, followed by a two"
Of course he could not determine which digits appeared together, so he could not be sure of the complete numbers, but when he tells us the "7" was on top of "8" and that was on top of "2", we know from independent research that he was correct. So I believe him about the "pair of twos".
David


Thema: Help needed on Aberdeen Tiger 

Returning to the question of this tank's tactical numbers:
We have this photo proving that Tiger "712" was "21".
In fact, careful examination of the left side of "712" shows that the "1" digit in "712" is the same digit from "21".
But we also have the claim, in "Tiger without a home", that a "2" existed under this "1".
I have enhanced the best available photos of both sides of the turret but I cannot see a "2" under the "1". I can only assume that the author discovered it by removing paint.
If this is true, then the Tiger was "221" as well as "21" !
Strange as it may seem, this theory fits the evidence. There are two things that support it:
1. At the Robaa attack a Tiger (231) was destroyed and another Tiger was damaged so badly that we never see it again. We don't know the number of this ruined Tiger. From the account of the battle we know that it was near the front of the attacking column, which consisted of the 2nd company.
Now, it is reasonable to imagine that the company commander's tank "21" would be near the front of the attack. Suppose that "21" became badly damaged and could not be used again. Then the company commander requires a replacement tank. Suppose he requires Tiger "221" for himself. Then it would be renumbered as "21". And so that explains these two numbers of our Tiger.
2. If you look at the numbers painted on these Tigers of the 501, you will see that they are approximately near the middle of the available space. The space extends from the vision port to the pistol port, and the artist places himself in the middle of that.
But look at the number "21" painted on our Tiger. We can see the left side, and we know where it was on the right side because we can see the "1".
On both sides, the number "21" is strangely placed to the left of the available space. Take this photo; the number "8" takes the same place as the old number "2", and the "1" has remained, therefore the number "21" is crowded against the pistol port.
In fact, if the leading "2" is preserved, there is room to fit "221" on both sides. We can explain this; somebody took "221" and changed it to "21".
What do you think?
David


