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Posted on Jan 10, 2005 in History News

Mailbag: Identify this vehicle

Editorial Staff

Click for a larger image. 

We have had many many guesses on this picture.  Most incorrect answers focused on the distinctive exhaust system, which led many to guess the it was a Tiger tank.  However, the fixed superstructure in this picture would preclude that option (a bit hard to see clearly in the magazine).  

A great deal of guesses were based on a fixed superstructure vehicle, the Jagdtiger (Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Ausf. B Sd. Kfz. 186).  However, there are several notable points which would eliminate that model.  The most obvious are the sloped sides and rear of the Jagdtiger’s hull and a different exhaust layout.  See a 3D view here.


Thus, we are left with the correct answer, which was a 38cm RW61 auf Sturmmörser Tiger (Sturmtiger).  The most distinctive part of the Sturmtiger (from this picture) is the crane that was used to load ammunition.  In the picture above, the crane is located just above the left rear exhaust (it points up to it).  The crane was needed to lift the heavy mortar ammunition.  A very rare vehicle, only a handful were ever converted from Tiger I’s.  You can learn more about this vehicle at Achtung Panzer.  More 3d images here.  A great model here. Another fine model here.

A shot of the barrel of the mortar on the Sturmtiger. [Bovington Tank Museum]
Pic by A.J. Summersgill.

The first 5 correct respondents will be listed in issue 10 of our magazine.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Here is the list if you just can’t wait that long. 🙂

Listed in no particular order:

David Flanagan

Jerry D. White

Wayne Cassell

Tim Lynn

E. Lee Williams

If you have any pictures of this vehicle you’d like to send to us, we can post them here to help with the identification.  This one is pretty rare, thus pictures are hard to find!