103rd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion
|103rd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion|
|Active||August 1944 - May 1945|
|Part of||III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps|
103rd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion (abbreviated s.SS-Pz. Abt. 103) was originally formed on 1 July 1943 as the II.Battalion, 11 SS Panzer Regiment and sent to Yugoslavia to fight as infantry, however, at the end of November, the battalion was converted back to the Tanks.
The Battalion was then issued six Tiger I tanks in February for training, but then ordered to give them to another unit in March 1944. Another six Tiger Is arrived at the training grounds on 26 May and four more in August. On 20 October, all ten Tigers were given to the training unit and the 103rd was outfitted with the Tiger II before being ordered to the Eastern Front, as part of the III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps. On 14 November 1944 the 103rd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion was Redesignated 503rd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion (abbreviated s.SS-Pz. Abt. 503). The 503rd had a total of 39 (instead of the full complement of 45) Tiger IIs and was loaded on to trains on 27 January 1945, and sent to the Eastern Front in the Army Group Weichsel sector. By 15 April 1945, the 503rd reported a total of 12 Tiger IIs, of which 10 were still operational.  The 503rd ended the war fighting in the Battle of Berlin as part of Kampfgruppe Mohnke.
The (103rd/503rd) SS Heavy Panzer Battalion over its history lost 39 tanks and destroyed 500 enemy tanks, a kill ratio of 12.82.
Knight's Cross recipients
There were four members of the Battalion awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
- Karl Brommann, Untersturmführer (credited with 66 destroyed tanks)
- Friedrich Herzig, Sturmbannführer
- Karl Körner, Hauptscharführer (credited with 102 destroyed tanks)
- Oskar Schäfer, Untersturmführer (credited with 50+ destroyed tanks)