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On special request, I’ll be having a look at the Jagdtiger this time. I walked into this beast at the Tank museum in 2013. The Jagdtiger is based on the hull of the Tiger II and has  the most powerful gun of World War 2 in the form of the 12,8 cm PaK 44 which is actually the same gun as used on the experimental Maus tank. With its 150 mm thick glacis plate and even thicker casemate (250 mm) the Jagdtiger could withstand almost anything.

Close up of the glacis plate still showing remains of Zimmerit paste

Only 88 vehicles of this type were ever constructed from 1943 onwards. Not only is this vehicle special because it is one of only three left in existence, but the more since it features an alternative running gear designed by Dr. Porsche. Unlike the normal model Jagdtiger where multiple torsion bars run perpendicular across the hull, this vehicle has self contained suspension units or ‘bogie pairs’. These pairs of two road wheels each were fitted with longitudinal torsion suspension. Only eleven hulls were produced sporting this system of which this is the fourth (Fgstl.Nr. 305004).

Porsche’s suspension design cut down production time and cost compared to the standard Henschel suspension. Since the bogies were externally mounted there was no need for the time consuming process of milling holes in the lower hull. Instead, the suspension bogies bolted on to the hull directly. Moreover, the suspension increased ground clearance and saved one tonne in weight. The suspension, however, proofed to be unreliable and exaggerated pitching movement of the hull. On this specimen one of the bogies broke off during trials by Wa Prüf 6 and was never reattached.

This specimen was captured at the Sennelager proofing grounds in Germany. Since the Jagdtiger wasn’t available until very late in the war, it only saw action in Germany and Austria in the last months of the war.

As part of the The Tiger Collection this vehicle has been repainted in a base coat of Dunkelgelb (dark yellow that is) in 2017. Read more about The Tiger Collection here!

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