JagdTiger 331, formerly at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG), is one of three surviving JagdTigers in the world, the others being at Kubinka, Russia and Bovington Camp, UK. It's capture has been well documented and recounted in books and on the Internet.
It was from the third company of Schwere PanzerJager Battalion 653 and engaged U.S. Army forces in March 1945. JagdTiger 331, 323 and 234 were formed into a kampfgruppe and battled with U.S. Army armored units north of Neustadt, Germany. There they had slowed down the U.S. advance after knocking out 25 vehicles after which JagdTigers 331 and 323 then retreated into Neustadt. JagdTiger 331 either ran out of gas or broke down in front of No. 70, Landauer Street with 323 set up across from it. JagdTiger 323 was abandoned because of either transmission or cooling system failure and 331 eventually ran out of ammo.
JagdTiger 331 was disabled by its crew before they abandoned it. The conventional theory is that the crew of 331 drained the recoil cylinders of fluid and fired the last round which jammed the gun into full recoil before abandoning it. However, close inspection found no damage to the breech, breech guard, recoil cylinders or rear wall that would have occurred had that happened. What appears to have happened is that the crew did drain the oil from the recoil cylinders and the weight of the breech simply pulled the gun out of battery.
JagdTiger 331 was eventually captured by U.S. forces, refueled, placed on a trailer, transported back and eventually sent to APG where it was examined and evaluated. It became a part of the Ordnance Museum collection until being sent to the National Armor and Cavalry collection at Fort Benning, Georgia in 2012.
JagdTiger 331 was built in October 1944 with the chassis number 305020. During its battles with U.S. forces, it sustained numerous hits to the front, the most notable to the gun mantlet which took out a huge chunk. At some point, either from damage sustained in battle or after, it suffered a left final drive failure which necessitated the removal of both sprocket rings from the drive sprocket so that it could roll on its track.
When the APG Ordnance Museum lost its enclosed space due to the needs of the Vietnam War, the vehicles were put outside in a field and there they sat for many years exposed to the elements. The interior of the JagdTiger deteriorated over the years to the condition seen in the photo galleries below.
Click on the links below to see interior and exterior photos of the Aberdeen Proving Ground JagdTiger now at Fort Benning. Use your back button to return to this page to see each gallery. Hover your cursor over each photo to see captions.