The Schwere Panzer Abteilung 508 was formed in August 1943 and was sent to Italy. It fought the Allies at Anzio and through Italy suffering heavy casualties. It was disbanded in February 1945 and transferred to Germany for training with Tiger II, this did not happen and they fought as infantry at the end of the war.


Major Helmut Hudel (? Jan 1944 - ? May 1944)
Hauptmann Joachim Stelter (? Aug 1944 - 12 Feb 1945)

Area of operations

Italy (Aug 1943 - Feb 1945)

Campaign New issue Transfers in Transfers out Combat loss Type of tank
Italy 84 8 19 73 Tiger I


Holders of high awards

Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- Lippek, Heinrich, 05.06.1944 [Date of Action] (554), Obergefreiter, 2./Pz.Abt. 508
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (6)
- Franke, Fritz, 28.02.1945, Oberfähnrich, 1./s.Pz.Abt. 508
- Kallfelz, Karl-Heinz, 01.05.1945, Oberleutnant, 2./Pz.Abt. 508 (1)
- Mayer, Kurt, 15.12.1944, Leutnant, 1./Pz.Abt. 508
- Schilbach, Heinz-Dieter, 28.11.1944, Oberleutnant, 1./Pz.Abt. 508
- Stein, Kurt, 25.08.1944, Oberleutnant, Pz.Abt. 508
- Stelter, Joachim, 08.11.1944, Hauptmann, Pz.Abt. 508

Tiger tank from Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 508 on its side in a ditch north of Rome
(Courtesy of Imperial War Museum)

Tiger, Sherman and Nashorn in Italy
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)


1. He belongs to a group of soldiers who have "credibly proven" ("glaubhaft nachgewiesen") to have been awarded the decoration. The "Nachauflage" (1992) [addendum/2nd ed.] of the book by Horst Scheibert lists 50 recipients like that. 11 of them have been listed in the new standard work by Patzwall/Scherzer (2001,2003,2007) in the meatime and therefore can be regarded as confirmed. To enable further research, open for final confirmations as well as for rejections/proof of the contrary the status of the remaining 39 soldiers should be regarded as "credibly proven" per Scheibert and therefore this group is listed here for the time being.

Sources used

Ron Klages - Trail of the Tigers
Wolfgang Schneider - Tigers in combat (2 vol)
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Gordon Williamson - German Army Elite Units, 1939-45

Reference material on this unit

Kurt Hirlinger - Panzer Abteilung 508: Erlebnisse Erinnerungen 1943-1945
Axel Urbanke & Hans Becker - Als Panzermann in Afrika und Italien 1942-45: Panzer Regiment 8 und schwere Panzer-Abt. 508