NQM Tiger(s)

The inevitable has happened – the Ostfront campaign has reached summer 1943, and I am going to need more than one Tiger (and also a few Panthers). A while back, I reviewed Dennis Oliver’s excellent  Tiger I, German Army Heavy Tank, Eastern Front, Summer 1943. Published by Pen and Sword (2019). It is but one of a plethora of books on Tigers. The following text is based on Nierhorster (see sidebar) and Lexicon der Wehrmacht, supplemented by Oliver (2019). At NQM Corps Scale Orbat,  a battalion is one tank (Sp3) but the Tigers will often be fighting at SP2 or 1, particularly if they are accompanied by an (Sp1) Pz III.

Pz III J PP“I’m a Tiger!”. This should probably be modelled as a Pz III Ausf N to serve with Tigers, but I’m not picky!

In the Campaign so far, we have only seen  two heavy battalions appearing at, VORONEZH with SS Panzer Regiment 2, and again with 502 schwere Panzer Abteilung (sPzAbt 502) at second BRYANSK. Historically, there were really only ever eight heavy battalions that served on the Ostfront at army level, with a further three SS regiments and one company-sized unit for Großdeutschland. There was a good deal of shunting around of crews and tanks, with some battalions starting at only company strength for parts of their operational history, and early on being a more-or-less even mix of Tigers and Pz IIIs. I have not detailed Tiger IIs being introduced from 1944, as there will be plenty of time for that. Here is a brief historical operational summary :

 Schwere Panzer Abteilung 501 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1  Vet,Had), 1PzIII (Sp1  Vet,Mad)

Arrived on the Eastern front on 1 Jan 1943 from Tunisia. Operated around VITEBSK under AG Centre and 4th Army in Jun 1944. On December 21, 1944, the battalion was incorporated into the XXIV Panzer Corps as schwere Panzer Abteilung 424.

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 502 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1  Vet,Had), 1PzIII (Sp1  Vet,Mad)

Operated around LENINGRAD from Aug 1942 to Sep 1943, then transferred to Belarus. on 5 Jan 1945, was redesignated as schwere Panzer Abteilung 511.

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1  Vet,Had), 1PzIII (Sp1  Vet,Mad). After May 1943 1 Tiger I (Sp3  Vet,Had)

Under command of 4 Panzerarmee from May 1943 by which time all Pz IIIs had been transferred out, operating around ROSTOV, then KHARKOV. Transferred to III Pz Corps on 2 Feb 1944. Moved to France in Jun 1944.

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 504 :

Operated in Tunisia, Sicily and France. (See Lexicon der Wehrmacht).

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 505 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1  Vet,Had), 1PzIII (Sp1  Vet,Mad)

Initially, a white charging bull was replaced by a Knight with levelled lance on a caparisoned horse (see below)

Arrived on the Ostfront on 6  May 1943 around ORYEL and took part in Operation Citadel the SMOLENSK and VITEBSK. This battalion initially had equal numbers of Pz IIIs, with surviving Pz IIIs being converted to ammunition carriers, being used “well into 1944” (Oliver, 2019).

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 506 :

1 Tiger I (Sp4  Vet,Had)

From 20 Sep 1943 operated around ZAPAROZHE, under command XVII Armeekorps, PAVLOVKA, then DNIEPR and KIROV ROG. Had 4 companies, so consider giving it (Sp4) at full strength.

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 507

From Jun 19431 Pz V Panther (Sp3-1  Vet,Had) – May 1944 1 Tiger I (Sp3  Vet,Had)

Initially planned as a Tiger battalion, they instead received Panthers in Jun 1943 and became 1 Abt, 3 PzRegt under command LVIII Reserve Panzer Corps. Receiving Tigers in May 1944 in AG North Ukraine under command 1 Panzerarmee. As a side note, they also converted beute Panzer (Captured Shermans) into recovery tows. They can have one if they capture it in the campaign!

© Mar 15, 1997 by Christophe Jacquemont used without permission.

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 508 :

1 Tiger I (Sp3-1  Vet,Had)

France, Italy, ANZIO. Received Panthers first before receiving Tigers.

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 509 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1 or 2 Vet,Ha,Hd)

From Sep 1943 operated around The Ukraine in AG South  and fought at 2nd KIEV under 2 SS Panzer Division “Das Reich” and 25 Panzer Division, then transferred to AG Centre in Jun 1944 and then to IV SS Panzerkorps and BUDAPEST.

Schwere Panzer Abteilung 510 :

1 Tiger I (Sp2-1  Vet,Had)

From Jul 1944  around KAUNAS in AG North attached to 14 Pz Div in Oct 1944. Fought in Lithuania and the Courland Pocket. See summary below for unit shield.

SS Panzerregiment 1 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1-3 Vet,Had)

Initially, the SS Tiger regiments were raised  at company strength, receiving Tigers until they were at battalion strength, but often well below that. Lexicon der Wehrmacht gives a blow by blow account.  On 9 Feb 1943 the regiment detrained at KHARKOV and went on to fight at KURSK under command of  1 SS Panzergrenadier Division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. See summary below for unit shield.

SS Panzerregiment 2 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1 or 2 Vet,Had)

Tiger I PSCTiger I in the colours of SS Panzerregiment 2 under command of “SS Das Reich” at KURSK.

Under command 2nd SS Panzergrenadier Division “Das Reich until March 1944, when survivors transferred to the Netherlands. Fought at KURSK.

SS Panzerregiment 3 :

1 Tiger I (Sp1 or 2 Vet,Had)

Operated under command 3 SS Panzergrenadier Division “Totenkopf”. Never more than 18 Tigers strong.

©Yesthatphil. Used with permission.

Yesthatphil already has a very nice Tiger , which will do nicely for the Heer schwere Abteilungen. It may need supplementing if we ever refight the Southern arm of KURSK again.

Text & Images Copyright © 2001 by William Marshall used without permission.

Army or Corps headquarters that include a sPzAbt should also include the following units :

Workshop : Famo with optional trailer (L3, Vet, LaMd) –can use trailer as Log (L3, Vet, Lad

Syborg SdKfz 9 with Converted Famo and Sonderanhanger 116

Logistic : Munitionsträger (L3, Vet, La,Md) or Maultier (L3, Vet, La,Ld)


  1. Originally, I had “Bergetiger” here as an option, but after reading this excellent article, I agree with the author, Gary Zimmer, that the sole example found in Italy is more likely to be a field expedient for placing demolition charges, so effectively a combat engineer vehicle. Maultier Mercedes PSC


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

4 responses to “NQM Tiger(s)

  1. A nice concise review, Chris! 🙂 The Osprey New Vanguard on the Tiger I is not a bad book and also list the units equipped with them (same goes for their Tiger II book). I only have one Tiger I and one Tiger II so am not a big Tiger user! If I have to use anything heavy late on I prefer a Jagdpnther! I like the pic of the Sherman recovery tank!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hoping this post won’t turn into a meeting of “Tiger Fanciers Anonymous” 🙂
    As in … “I used to own 25 Tiger IIs but have kicked the habit, I just build Bob Semple Tanks now.” 😀

    The beute Sherman was a happy find.

    Regards, Chris

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha, brilliant! 🙂 I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a 3-D printed Bob Semple tank somewhere, but for my Crimson Skies ground forces project (if it takes off, excuse the pun) I’d like to get hold of a Disston tractor!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great Post. Not a “square box” Tiger fan. Must prefer the sleeker lines of the Panther.

    Liked by 2 people

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