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Schwere Panzerabteilung 507
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History of this heavy tank battalion start in May 1943 by redesignation and reorganization of I./Panzer-Regiment 3, stationed in Wien-Mödling. In June 1943, unit was redesignated back to I./Panzer-Regiment 3 and equipped with PzKpfw V Panther tanks, but in 28th September 1943, final redesignation occured, and unit was officially named 507th Heavy Panzer Battalion (schwere Panzer Abteilung 507 in German, abbreviated to sch.Pz.Abt.507). As usual, unit was consisting of one HQ staff company, three tank compaines and one workshop company, supported by several supply and support detachments. After forming up the personnel, unit was sent to Wezep/Zwolle in Netherlands, where it started to receive PzKpfw VI Tiger heavy tanks. Between 23th December 1943 and 25th February 1944, sch.Pz.Abt.507 accepted 45 Tigers, with another six Tigers arriving in early March 1944, bringing the strenght of the unit to 51 Tigers. Shortly after that, sch.Pz.Abt.507 was sent to Eastern front, particularly into Lvov area, where it entered active service.

Between 24th March and 2nd April, sch.Pz.Abt.507 was heavily engaged in battle against Soviet forces, and lost seven Tigers - six to enemy action and one destroyed by it’s own crew after being disabled. Losses were replaced by delivery of six Tigers in April 1944, and another six Tigers brought total strenght of the unit to 55 Tigers (one Tiger lost on 7th April). On 31th May 1944, sch.Pz.Abt.507 was transferred under command of Army Group North Ukraine as a part of 1st Panzer Army with 45 operational Tigers.

Between 30th June 1944 and 2nd July, sch.Pz.Abt.507 was transferred to Baranovichi area and again was engaged in heavy fighting, losing ten Tigers in action (7 of them in a single day on 20th July. Nevertheless, unit’s numbers were boosted by delivery of total 12 Tigers (six of them transferred from sch.Pz.Abt.506) to 55 operational Tigers. Unit then from 14th January 1945 participated in battles around Vitebsk and Narev, where it was able to deal severe damage upon Soviet forces, but suffered heavy casualties. Up to 22 Tigers of the unit had to be blown up by explosives on eastern bank of Wisla river because there were not enough ferries to get tanks across the river.  On 1st February 1945, sch.Pz.Abt.507 had only seven Tigers, none of them operational.

On 6th February, two companies of the 507th were sent back to Germany (remaining company returned some time later without any operational tank). In Seeneläger, it received 21 PzKpfw VI Ausf.B Tiger II heavy tanks. With these tanks, unit then fought American forces in central Germany. Sch.Pz.Abt.507 Königstigers were responsible for halting American assault near Paderborn, conducted by Task Force Welborne from 3rd Armoured Division. Germans inflicted heavy losses on American armour, and amongst the casualties was even 3rd Armoured Division’s commander, General Maurice Rose.

Between 11th-17th April 1945, surviving personnel of the unit was relocated to Prague-Milovice, where it was redesignated Panzer-Abteilung 507, supposed to be equipped by Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer tank destroyers. Ten of these vehicles were accepted on 6th May 1945, and were subsequently used in attempt to breakthrough to US-occupied western Czechoslovakia in order to surrender to US forces. This happened on 12th May 1945, and remnants of the unit surrendered to American troops, only to be handed over to Red Army shortly after. At the end of Second World War, sch.Pz.Abt.507 combat records claimed more than 600 enemy tanks and armoured vehicles destroyed, in exchange for 104 own tanks lost.

Author: Jan “RayPall” Kozák

In one of the future updates we will introduce "507th Heavy tank battalion" emblem

Decal made by Branislav 'InkaL' Mirkov

See you on the battlefield

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