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FRI-022 The First Tiger Tanks book
FRI-022 The First Tiger Tanks book
By spring 1942 the prototypes of both tanks designated as PanzerkampfwagenVI, VK4501(P) Tiger (P) (by Porsche) and Panzerkampfwagen VIAusf. ?, VK3601(H) Tiger (?) (by Henschel) were ready for tests. On April 20-21 both types were demonstrated to Hitler and other high-ranking officials of the Third Reich, and in May were tested at the Berk testing grounds.
As the result of those tests, Wehrmacht has received new tanks designed by Henschel, designated as Pz.Kpfw.VI (Sd.Kfz. 181) TigerAusf.Hl.
In the end of July 1942, the mass production of the new tank has started at a Henschel plant in Kassel. In August and the first decade of September the first nine Tiger tanks left the factory. In Western sources they are often called pre-production types (factory numbers 250002, 250010, 250001 - was the prototype number). All these vehicles had a number of exterior details different from the later machines. All of them were shipped to the Eastern Front and most of them were lost there.
This issue is dedicated to the history of construction and combat use of the nine pre-production Tiger tanks.
44 pages, 56 photographs, 6 drawings, 7 color profiles
1. The general view of the first Tiger tank prototype. The armor protection of the front part of the tracks is clearly seen (in the raised position) and the engine's air intake pipe installed for fording rivers. Later, the equipment for under water driving was installed on the first 495 mass produced Tigers
2. Tiger ? 112 is on the railway platform. Mga Region, end of the September 1942. There is a Pz III box on the top of the turret
3. One of the nine Pz III Ausf. L tanks from sPzAbt 502. Note a picture of a white mammoth -the battalion's emblem - on the left side of the front armor plate - September 1942
4. Another photo of the same Tiger. April 1943. The leftovers of the winter camouflage are deary seen, there is no battalion's emblem on the front armor plate
5. Tiger from sPzAbt 502 with tactical number "2". April 1943. The designation of the armor plate patch at the driver's sight is unknown
6. Tiger ? 100 at the captured weapons exhibition in the Central Recreation and Culture Park named after M. Gorky. Moscow, June 1943. The slots for extra tracks are clearly seen at the lower front plate of the hull, as well as a horseshoe welded to the front armor plate "for luck"
7. Tiger tank ? 121 that was captured by Red Army units in January 1943. The vehicle has winter camouflage with wide white lines over base gray color RAL 7021 Schwarzgrau
8. Tiger tank ? 111. In the vicinity of Mga, September 1942. The vehicle is repainted in lighter gray RAL 7005 Mausgrau over first coat of darker gray RAL 7021 Schwarzgrau
9. Tiger ? 3 in winter camouflage. February 1943. The vehicle is equipped with a Pz III type box
10. Very rare shot - a top view of a pre-production Tiger tank. Moscow, the captured weapons exhibition. June 1943. On the photo the Tiger is surrounded by Pz.IV tanks
11. Another rare shot - a top view of a pre-production Tiger tank. Moscow, the captured weapons exhibition. June 1943. On the photo the roof of the turret and engine compartment are clearly seen on the photo
12. Tiger tank "? 100" view from the starboard. Moscow, the captured weapons exhibition. June 1943. The antenna cover is seen along the side of the hull and slot for a toolbox installation on the right side of the turret (the box itself is missing)
13. The general view of Tiger tank "? 100". Moscow, the captured weapons exhibition, June 1943. 88-mm tank KwK gun shells mounted on the roof of the hull. Note the peak on the mask of the gun for the gun sight's protection from precipitation
14. Tiger Tank "?100" was transferred to Kubinka testing grounds after its presentation at a captured weapons exhibition. The spare tracks are already missing on the tank. The arrow shows a U-shaped hook on the starboard of the hull. Possibly it was used for attachment of a tugging rope.
15. Members of American military delegation are examining shot up Tiger tank "? 121", that had been put on display at the captured weapons exhibition. Moscow, the Central Recreation and Culture Park named after Gorky. June 1943