After having experienced transmission problems around Paris, which were repaired, the commander of Tiger Ausf. B Turmnummer 334, Heinz Gärtner, ordered the tank blown when the sound of enemy troops was coming near.
The charges were set and after 60 seconds, flames burst out of the engine compartment and cupola, blowing of the hatch.
But that's not that interesting. What makes this Tiger Ausf. B interesting are the following points.
I was looking for some other features but then I noticed an oddity, this Tiger Ausf. B has a Schnorkel Pot covering where the Teleskoprohr should have been.
That is strange, as so far the s.Pz.-Abt. 503 is known to have received an earliest Fgst. Nr. of 280023, as listed in TiK 2's chapter on "Vehicles issued to units".
That does not fit in with a Tiger Ausf. B having the Schnorkelpot, this was discontinued before March 1944, roughly around Fgst. Nr. 28008~14.
Or better said, 9 vehicles before the first known to have been issued to the s.Pz.-Abt. 503.
There is another early feature, this Tiger Ausf. B has the sheet metal heat guards around the exhausts, a fitting that was in production until May 1944, ending around Fgst. Nr. 280020.
So, we have a very early Tiger Ausf. B here, end of story.
No, far from it. Looking at the tracks, these are clearly the 3rd type Kgs 26/800/300 tracks, introduced with the 9 teeth sprocket, in May 1944. That does NOT match at all with the Tiger Ausf. B have a Schnorkelpot and heat guards on the exhausts.
Other features that put it in later production months:
- Notch in the upper edge of the glacis in front of the radio-operators periscope was introduced in April 1944
- Also starting in April 1944 the hull side extensions front and rear were cut
- The Turmfugenschütz was also entered into production in 1944
So, it doesn't fit, according to current production modifications understanding