Here is a short video showing off the new “Tiger Collection” Exhibition at the Bovington Tank Museum.
Over at The FirearmBlog (TFB), contributor Nathaniel F has written a post examining the peculiar myth of P-47 fighter bombers “bouncing” .50 cal bullets into the bottom hulls of Tiger tanks during the fighting in the ETO in 1944-45. The piece is in response to this clip from a TV show documentary.
As a researcher and history enthusiast, one of the issues I often have to wrestle with is that of eyewitness accounts, specifically when to trust them and when not to. That subject itself is one for another time, but today I want to look at a specific example of an eyewitness account as an illustration of how they can be misleading to someone trying to reconstruct historical events.
The account in question is this one, apparently from an unknown television documentary, in which a former P47 pilot describes attacking German tanks by bouncing bullets off the ground and into the underside of the tank’s hull.
Instead of a Photo of the day, today we present a Document of the day. This one is chosen more for entertainment value than anything else. Over at the Sturgeon’s House forum, regular contributor Priory_of_Sion found this browsing through the online content at the CIA.gov reading room website. This unusual memo from 1950 states that the Syrian government had ordered 50 Tiger Tanks and 20-30 Panther tanks from France. It also notes that “some Tiger tanks were observed being driven in the streets of Damascus.” We guess the trend of identifying Panzer IV tanks as “Tigers” didn’t end with WWII! (the only former German tanks operated by Syria following WWII were relatively small numbers of Panzer IV and Stug III.)
Amazon is listing a January 19 release date for Tigers In Combat: Volume III: Operation, Training, Tactics by Wolfgang Schneider. This book is a follow-up to his popular volumes Tigers in Combat I and Tigers in Combat II. This is a substantial book, being a hardcover of 520 pages. For those interested in the big German cats of WWII, this is probably a must have item.
Tigers in Combat Vol 3 closes the gap between the unit histories of volumes 1 and 2 and the technical descriptions in the Jentz and Spielberger books. For the first time, efforts are described in detail of what was taken to create units and what was required to keep the Tiger tank in action regarding handling and operating the vehicle. Other chapters deal with crew training and specific tactical aspects to employ such a heavy tank under all fighting conditions. Further aspects are covered, such as the protection level of the Tiger and reasons for losses – as well as propaganda work with this famous beast. Due to the usage of more than 1,200 photos and drawings, even complex crew tasks and procedures are illustrated in a way that non-Tiger crewmen will be able to comprehend.
This photo has been making the rounds at some of the military history forums. A German WW2 Tiger tank with two captured Soviet machine guns mounted on the rear engine deck.
Today’s photo of the day is of a German Tiger tank undergoing repairs to the roadwheels and suspension. This photo gives a pretty good idea of the amount of work that went into repairing a vehicle with overlapping roadwheels.
This photo is borrowed from the “Good Old Fashioned Tank P*rn” thread at Tank-net.com
David Lister at Overlord’s blog has posted an article about an action involving Tiger tanks in North Africa called “Tigers for Breakfast“.
By January 1943 the war had turned against Germany. At this point the allies were pushing the Germans from two sides in North Africa, including in Tunisia. On the 31st two companies of infantry and two troops of six pounder guns were dug in covering the road leading to Robaa. They were on an area of rocky rough terrain on the side of the hill, with the German lines somewhere to their front. At about 0600, in the pitch darkness reports start to filter back from the infantry that they can hear tank movement to the front. Immediately the two troop commanders of the AT guns leapt out of the truck they’d been sleeping in and struggled up the hill. The Lieutenant for the 2nd Troop in his haste just threw on a greatcoat over his pyjamas before dashing to his troop. Lt Stanley Edwards of 1st Troop however had only to pull on his boots.