July 18, 2014


There is a well known photo and video, where King Tigers are lined up in a field and then inspected by a mounted officer.

King Tigers

The King Tigers in the photo and video belong to schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503. The Battalion was established on April 16, 1942 and at the end of the year it was sent to southern Russia. In July 1943 it took part in the Kursk offensive under the command of Armeeabteilung Kempf. In May 1944 the Battalion leaves the Eastern Front and is rebuilt to its authorized strength. The First Company of the Battalion receives the new Tiger II. The Battalion took part in the Normandy battles and was destroyed during the subsequent retreat to the Seine river.

The Battalion was reconstituted at Paderborn, where in September 1944 it received 45 new Tiger II tanks. It was during this occasion that a demonstration was staged for the weekly newsreel. The officer conducting the “pass-in-review” is Leutnant Freiherr von Rosen, commander of the 3rd Company. Richard Freiherr von Rosen was a distinguished Tiger commander. After the war he joined the Bundeswehr and reached the rank of Generalmajor. 


Schneider, Wolfgang. Tigers in Combat I. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2004.

Photo attribution
Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1975-102-14A/Hamann/CC-BY-SA-3.0-de, via Wikimedia Commons