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Militracks Mystery Tiger: What we Know

Over the last few days, the Militracks organisation have been hinting to the attendance of a very special guest, a Tiger I. As the first few photos began to surface on social media, people immediately began guessing as to the Tiger’s identity. Many suggested it must be either Saumur’s Tiger or the Tank Museum’s Tiger 131.

Update: scroll to the bottom for a post-Militracks update!

Tiger 221, Saumur

These guesses cannot be true, as Saumur’s Tiger is currently undergoing a full-blown restoration. It has been fully dismantled and is featuring in a special exhibition within the museum, as can be seen in the video below by Modelbaukönig.

Bovington’s Tiger 131, also, isn’t a viable option, being the star of the musum, this tank is probably far too precious for them for it to ever leave the UK. Just having starred at Tiger day spring, there is no reason for the museum to pull it out again.

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Mystery Tiger on it’s way to Militracks | Source: Jack of all Trades Facebook


With only a backside view to go on, and the assurance the Tiger is a late model, a third option was quickly proposed, is it Panzermuseum Munster’s PlasTiger? Probably not. This exhibit is far too fragile to transport, and very cumbersome to put together, as for one thing, all wheels have to be positioned separately and are not connected to the hull!

Tiger 231

There is yet another option. Many people have seemed to forget, before the “Plastiger” arrived at Munster, a real steel Tiger was exhibited there starting from 2013. The Tiger, also dubbed ‘Frankentiger’, had been constructed from many Tiger scraps. It’s best distinguished by its turret number being ‘231’, while the one of its plastic counterpart is ‘321’. 

Tiger 231 was removed from the museum by its owner, Herr Hoebig, in 2016 to create a driveable vehicle. Subsequently, this Tiger was, however, sold to the United States and photos later surfaced showing it at the docks in New Jersey.

Mystery Tiger Hull

As Tiger 231 is, as far as we know, currently resides in America, it is very unlikely to appear at Militracks. However, in the photos of the construction of said Tiger, a second hull was visible. also undergoing restoration. Although Tiger 231 has the incorrect early style of hull extensions, the second hull can be seen to have the late style. Could the Tiger attending Militracks this year, be the mysterious second hull we were all wondering about back in 2017?

In the last published pictures of the Militracks Tiger, this same style hull extensions can also be seen. Like Tiger 231, this is a late model Tiger with steel running wheels. The zimmerit is currently only applied to the gun mantlet.

Notable is the fact that additional tracks were fitted to the front, just as had been done on Tiger 231. This and other details strongly suggests that the same team worked on both Tigers.

Of course, this is all just speculation, and we will probably learn a lot more about this Tiger’s identity over the course of the weekend as Militracks takes place!

Post-Militracks Update

Last update: July 2023

Even after Militracks, the history of this vehicle remains shrouded in secrecy. What we do know is that the Tiger is being restored by SVO (Special Vehicle Operation) “Kurland Tiger”. This is by no means a new group, but I have only become aware of this by now. This is the same group that previously build the Frankentiger on display at the Panzermuseum Munster. Their expertise is the rebuilding/restoring Tiger tanks from little more than loose armour plate. They are currently carrying out Tiger builds for several collectors, among which are two Wheatcroft Collection Tigers.

Apparently, no single restoration has been brought to completion yet at this time. It has come to my attention that, to present a “complete” Tiger at Militracks, large assemblies from several ongoing Tiger restorations were used. According to Ackermans’ Facebook statement, the turret, hull and gun as seen at Militracks, will ultimately end up as part of different Tigers.