The offset handle on the loader's lid makes this is a late production type. Schneider tells us that 501 received 6 Tiger I's on 25 Jun 1944, which we would expect to be late production types, but I know of no photos of them. Schneider also tells us that all 501's Tiger I's were gone by 05 Jul 1944. The lack of leaves on the trees in this photo are not compatible with a June/July date.
501 used shorter wider numbers than these. The style matches that used in 506. This has to be a replacement '10' belonging to 3./s.Pz.Abt.506.
The photo above is from Schneider's 'Tiger in Kampf III', captioned as belonging to s.Pz.Abt.501. The number is definitely '10'. The number size is consistent with 501 rather than 3/506, as is the style of the digit '1'. The addition of wire along the sponson sides is again consistent with 501 but not 506.
Back in 2008, it was suggested that the Tiger on the left of the photo below was a member of 1Kp rather than the '224' it remains in the gallery. The visible number suggests that we are seeing '10' again here.
Original von Chris Brown
This pic is in the gallery assigned as #224 on the left of this pair of tigers
A close up of this image from 'Panzer Colours 3/Culver' suggests it is a 1.Kp Tiger
In the negative the first digit has a straight back and narrow bottom so looks like a '1'.
The second digit is rounded top and bottom so is neither a '2' nor a '3', hence is a '0'.
The third digit is round topped and must also be a '0' as 501 does not have the #102 according to 'Tigers In Combat I/Schneider'.
Does anyone have any comment or other pics of this Tiger to confirm / disprove the suggestion that this is #100?
In his earlier book 'Tiger in Kampf I', Schneider states that on its reconstitution 501 used standard three-digit numbers, specifying '100' for the 1Kp chief and '200' for the 2Kp chief, etc. It now seems that, as in Tunisia, 1Kp used '10' rather than '100'. Which begs the question of whether in the gallery photo of '200' are we actually seeing '20'?
It's interesting that some of these "early Mid" Tigers, with a small pistol port, got issued as Befehlstigers. I was wondering if they all got caught in the batch of 18 that were converted back to normal tanks.
You know what I don't see in that photo? S-mine base plates.
Another interesting point; a non-standard headlight socket.