That is a photo from the trainings field for Hungarians in Poland.
On the full pic theres a Tiger with steel wheels following the early Tiger in question. Probably the author believes that this following Tiger is the well known 214 seen in Hungarian service. But i doubt this and would say it was training Tiger 114.
Our Tiger here had a Balkenkreuz on the turret and that makes him to a 3.Kompanie tank.
This pic has been posted on Wehrmacht Awards, from the Bode Collection.
The first digit, a #2, can be seen on the turret side. A number of matches can be made to existing photos of #222 - both flaps droop, the hull cross position is low in relation to the skirts and small impact marks on the driver's plate match. The track links previously on the front plate are missing.
This pic of “Silo” is in the gallery as a 3.Kp Unknown. The combination of S-Mines, mantlet and track link stowage matches none of the known Tigers in 3.Kp.
A new copy has been posted on Ebay this week which shows a turret number in the area which would be covered by track links, suggesting that the links stowage may be a field modification, applied after the Tiger was already numbered.
The digits visible look like ‘01’, which would make this #301.
The only turret numbers on the 3.Kp establishment containing a zero are #300 and #301. The following digit is not a second ‘0’.
To confirm the identification, excluding the turret links stowage, this Tiger matches the known features of #301 but no other Tiger in the company.
Hi David I'm curious as to why you believe 123 (1) is an earlier build?
The remains of the tool box mount has been utilised as a Jerry can holder on 123(2)
123(1) has the turret side hatch.
Whilst the oft photographed 123(2) has 2 pistols ports.
There are other features of 123(2)
that would place its build before or concurrent with 123(1).
What period do you put the build of 123(2)?
First of all, let me point out that 123, currently on Ebay, is also in this gallery photo:
Now, as to the dates of build; they were completed within weeks of each other at the most, and it's possible that some production changes were made out of strict sequence. The later hull may have been assigned an earlier turret. It's also very possible that the turret on 123 is not its original turret.
What else do you see in 123 to make it the earlier one?
I agree the build dates are very close.
Later style Front guards.
Possibly a shovel on the front glacis
The aforementioned turret escape hatch.
123(2) has some features that put some of the hull plates as been initially manufactured for vorpanzer fitment.
Is it therefore likely that given the closeness of their manufacture that they would have both been delivered to 503 around the same time?
If we accept the pics of 123(1) date from around Jan Feb 42, what happened to it in the lead up to Kursk?If you examine the circa Kursk pics of 123(2) it appears that there are remnants of white wash, in particular on the mantlet and underside of the barrel.
Which would indicate that it too, saw service in Winter early 43.
If this was the case, what number did it carry?
If you examine pictures of 111 it originally had 2 tool boxes mounted on its front guards, in the frontal pics of 123(2) you will notice a tool box with rounded corners of similar shape has been fitted to the front upper hull near the radio operators hatch.
Did 111 become 123(2)?
If so what became of 123(1)?
Tiger 111 seems to have a hit on the rear left hull side, which I don't see on 123.
The toolboxes are the ones normally stored on the rear hull wall. Some of the Tigers delivered in Winter '42 had very inadequate means to attach these boxes, so it's possible that more than one crew had to find another place to keep them.
This pic from an old e-auction is a match to the existing gallery pic of #III.
There is a discontinuation between the 2nd and 3rd skirts.
This further pic is also from an old e-auction and is probably also #III. The Co-axial MG opening appears to be plugged, indicating a Befehlswagen. The double weld marks on the bow were for track link stowage brackets, photos of #I show no track link stowage on the bow. The mantlet in not uparmoured, eliminating #II, and there is a shadow covering the gunner's sight - as cast by a rain visor - and the existing gallery pic of #III shows such a rain visor
Here is a later copy from ebay in better definition where the turret number seems to be x01.
This extract from Trojca's book 'Tiger Technical and Operational History' confirms the number. Intriguingly Trojca gives this Tiger the two digit #02.
The existing gallery pics of #301 have no turret track link stowage, so these are either a retrofit or we have a different Tiger. As observed previously with the battalion, if all were fitted the links would obscure the turret number.
As suggested on the first page of this thread, this Tiger is a match, note the wispy camo on the driver's plate. EDIT: having accessed this photo in higher resolution at the Archive of Modern Conflict, conclude that this is probably not a match for #301