I think that already everyone has seen this tank or its replica’s in movies about World War II. It’s probably the most famous example of the German technology of those years. Despite all the fame of “Tigers”, a very little number of them survived till nowadays. In total, seven tanks of this type, including two in Russia, remain in museums throughout the world. Both the Tigers, found in Russia, are located in the Moscow region: the first in the Museum of Armored Vehicles in Kubinka, the second – in Lenino-Snegiri Military history Museum.
The Tiger tank in Snigiri Museum was found by the military archeologist Yuri Nikitin on Nakhabino proving ground in 1973. For a long time, it was believed that the Tiger was brought to the proving ground directly from the Leningrad front, from the village of Sinyavino, but this information is not true. After moving to the Soviet proving ground, the tank was used as a target for testing the armor-piercing ability of ammunition. When the Tiger was found in the swamp there were five American “Shermans” next to it, also a seriously damaged Panther as well as some old Soviet tanks. The Shermans also can be seen on the same site where the Tiger is situated now.
The Tiger was in very poor condition when it was found, however, its finding was a great success, even then it was a rarity. After its finding, it was brought to the Snegiri Museum, which was opened several years ago and is situated ca. twenty kilometers from the Nakhabino proving ground.
In 1994, on the same proving ground, they discovered the remains of a second Tiger: suspension, caterpillars, and bath. Later, they were sold to a collector from Germany and what happened to them furtherly isn’t well-known.
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Now the tiger stands on the open air surrounded by other military equipment. Despite the fact that the Museum is dedicated to the great Patriotic war, the site collected weapons of different years. There are guns, tanks, missiles, and much more.
The inside of the Tiger is completely empty and the outside is riddled with holes from shells.
Access to all the vehicles is free. You can climb on everything and touch every detail. Especially children run methodically from one tank to another. Thought, should there have been more remaining Tigers in large numbers machines such an approach is justified, however in the case of such unique exhibits, the storage should be organized more carefully. This also applies to some of our tanks.
At the beginning of the year 2000’s, a very murky story happened with this Tiger. In 2001, the Governor of Saratov region asked to borrow the tank in order to celebrate a war anniversary, but after that, the government of Saratov region refused to return the Tiger tank and placed the tank in a local museum of victory. Thought, it ended with a trial and restoration of justice since the tank was returned to the Snegiri museum, but – in my opinion – maybe it could’ve been better if it remained in Saratov, since there the conditions for the preservation of the Tiger tank was better.