Whose Tiger is it?

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Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 10 Aug 2006 10:28

Hello Yann!

Well, due to your post 'm once again ambivalent about this 211/213 wreck. It still appears to me that the battalion's symbol is in a slightly different position (a little bit down) than in the "211" but the camo stains are very similar (if not identical). It's clear that the camo is like fingerprints. Could be "211"... I'm pretty sure that I can see the numerals ("21X").

As I wrote before I think that the Tiger described by Debusmann is "223". I'm 99% sure that the wreck from Peter Brassey's photo is from La Bu sur Rouvres. The description is ideal.

You do deserve a better evidence than my posts. The book is not protected by a copyright so I can just scan it and show it to you. Of course I can imagine that your Polish isn't much better than my Chinese but I'm sure that there is soem 100 guys on the forum who do understand Polish. Maybe one of them will be so kind to confirm what I say.

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101yann
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Post by 101yann » 10 Aug 2006 21:27

Hartmut,

I'm warming up to the idea that you may well be correct and that the "renumbered" 223 may have received the turret of the original 314.
Besides the turret LHS, it seems the camo spray on the gun sleeve is identical too (see below).

All in all, there are just too many similarities for this to be sheer coincidence.

Additionally, this turret has a pistol port and, as Mick reminded me, it also has the finer Zimmerit pattern not frequently observed on SS101 Tigers (only known egs to me : 313, 314 and that still unidentified 2.Kp Tiger near Rauray - the one with the straight hull extensions).

Now this defies logic !
Why would a 2.Kp Tiger (223) use a turret from the 3.Kp (314) and then have another 3.Kp Tiger renumbered as 314 again ????

It doesn't make any sense.

Now it should be noted that the Tiger wreck with traces of the number 314 at Cintheaux also has pistol port !
On this wreck, the Zim on the turret is almost complety gone, yet remnants of a number can still be seen. How come ?
My theory was that the paint from the original number had left a print on the turret surface - a kind of "transfer process" through the Zim.
But for this to happen, then the numbers would have to have been painted a long time before to leave such a print on the turret wall.

At any rate, I see traces of a "3", a "1" and a "4",making it "314".
As Mick demonstrated, the shape of the "4" is quite unique and unmistakeable.
311 is also most likely out as it had the rear travel lock (and thus no pistol port) and that 314 had a pistol port and no travel lock.
I would also argue that 311 is most probably the Tiger with the turret smashed by its side and the gun still resting on the hull at Evrecy after the bombing of June 15/16...unless Günther had swapped mounts earlier on.
Raasch's Tiger (official mount : 305) also got hit bu accounts state that a bomb hit the main gun so I doubt the latter would still be in one piece after that.
PS : for the record, the Evrecy Tiger has the rear travel lock as 311 did and...probably 305 too (but hard to be 100% sure)

anyway, more confusion all the time.
Just what we need !

Yann
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101yann
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Post by 101yann » 10 Aug 2006 22:21

Just had a thought :

Logically, we may have assumed that all 4 Tigers from the 4. Zug (Platoon) of the overstrengthed 3.Kompanie had been sent to the 1.Kp to make up its 3. Zug in late April 1944, so that 341 became 131, 342 >> 132, 343 >> 133 and 344 >> 134.

What if the Tigers were dispatched in no specific order or there had been an exception (s ?) and instead of the logical 344, the original 314 went to the 1.Kp to become 134 (no known photo exists to this day) , and 344 was renumbered as 314 at the same time, for some reason ?

Then at Normandy 134 would be damaged in action and recovered later and would happen to be one of the 3 remaining Tigers the 1.Kp had when it left Normandy in July.
The 2. Kp would get 134 (on top of another Tiger to be renumbered as 211) and its turret would be used for one of its damaged Tigers, ie. 223.
So we would have a turret first painted as "314", then "134" and finally "223".

I'm not sure this makes much more sense as it's getting late for me but that's all I can come up with right now !

Yann

Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 19 Jan 2007 19:40

I've come to a conclusion that Tiger 214 knocked out in Jort must be the original 214 and it is not a former 1st Company vehicle. One can plainly see that the battalion's symbol is exactly in the same place so it must be the same tank.

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This of course ruins the thesis that the Tiger Warmbrunn used north of the Odon is 214.

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Then which Tiger is it? 205 has a single sight hole, 204 has a battalion's symbol painted directly on the Zimmerit, 211 has one sight hole, 212 was for sure knocked out in Villers Bocage, 214 was knocked out in Jort, 231 was knocled out in bourgebous, 232 has a large zimmerit. All the Tigers of the 2nd platoon of the 2nd company can be excluded aswell as this platoon didn't remove Zimmerit in place of the battalion's symbol.

What is left are 213, 233 and 234. I would exclude 213 so it's either 233 or 234.

Now about this Tiger.

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As I wrote before I'm nearly sure that the digit in the middle is a "1" so it comes from the 1st platoon of the 2nd Company.

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It can't be 212 (knocked out in V-B) and it can't be 214 (knocked out in Jort). What is left are 211 and 213. The battalion's symbol is nearly in the same place as in the 211. But the photos of a good quality reveal that there is a difference.

Here are two pictures of 211.

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And this is another shot of 211 in my opinion.

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The camoflauged Tiger has a battalion's symbol in exactly the same place. What is more it has a single sight hole just like 211 and it appears to me that we can see a white digit painted on the turret ("2"). The camo stains on the right hand look the same. Those on the left appear to be different but it might be a question of the photo. Anyway the battalion's symbol is in the same place.

If this camoflauged tiger is 211 then the one without tracks can't be 211. The square is nearly in the same place but the symbol is more to the right.

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So the wreck without the tracks is most probably Hauptscharführer Höfflinger's 213.

In his account concerning 8th August Höfflinger says that he was driving west of the Caen-Falaise road more less parallel to the Wittmann's 007. Canadian veteran Radley-Waters wrote that they knocked out two Tigers south of Gaumesnil. One was slightly to the east of the road (mos probably Wittmann's) and the other one was in the rear and it stood directly on the road. Most probably that particular Tiger was Höfflinger's.

It is interesting that we can't see a Tiger standing on the road in the aerial photos. there is a simple explanation: it must have been removed by the allies as it blocked the road. The locals say that there was a wreck standing west of St Aignan. This is weird as this statement places that Tiger wreck in the middle of the allied lines. But maybe that tank was left there by the allies and maybe it was Höfflinger's.

The wreck without the tracks wasn't destroyed in the position that can be seen in the picture but it was towed and left like that.

Höfflinger's account provides no answer about the damages that his Tiger suffered. But it is likely that it received some hits directly in the frontal armor as it was exposing its frontal armor to the Shermans in Gaumesnil. The Tiger I think is 213 has such damages.

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Finally 213 is the Tiger that Höfflinger used in June.

And one more thing. My scans don't show that the camo stains on 211 and on the camoflauged Tiger are the same. But whe I watch those photos in the book using a magnyfying glass I can plainly see that the camo is identical. Those who have some books with those pics in very good quality may check themselves.

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Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Jan 2007 20:36

On the Tiger above you can see that the turret stowage bin has been 'blasted' upwards. This is what happens when the demolition charge in the engine is set off. The front left hand corner of the hull top plate is also deformed upwards. Clearly this Tiger was blown up by the Germans themselves so it is unlikely to be one of the 'Wittmann' Tigers.
It is difficult to identify these unmarked Tigers and we can easily fool ourselves into thinking we see numbers where none exist. It would be wise to be cautious when trying to pin numbers down.
The original photo has white arrows pointing to all the hits on the Tiger.
One on the lower bow plate.
One to the left of the drivers visor.
Three on the mantlet.

Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 19 Jan 2007 21:59

Well, most probably you are right about that the tank was abandoned by the Germans. As you wrote this supports the version that the tanks was knocked out during the retreat.

But I don't think we can say that this Tiger is "unmarked". Surely there are some white remains of the numerals which appear to be white (this is typical for the 1st platoon of that company). Those are not white arrows and not sun reflections. There is nothing left of the third digit and also not much left of the first (but something is visible especially when you turn on a better contrast - that shape might be a "2", but that's rather irrelevant as it is clear that the tank belongs to the 2nd Company). But the second digit, the one in the middle appears to be partially visible. Even without turning on better contrast a shape which looks like darkened "1" is visible. We can see that the Zimmerit is intact (maybe not in that scan) so it is not the Zimmerit that is the source of that white or light grey color. I think that it is a white 1 and if I'm right then the number of that tank must be 213. Those darkened remains are exactly in place where the numerals should be.

I understand that you agree with everything that I have written about the 211 and 214.

Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 20 Jan 2007 17:06

This is for those who still don't believe that the Tiger from Brassey's photo is the one from La Bu sur Rouvres.

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Suddenly, during watching through a binocular glasses I spot a camoflauged Tiger tank. It’s about 300 metres in front of me standing on a slight curve of the road (note that the road curves in the picture – Cyprek). We are to close to it to try an escape. The fact thast the road is on a lower level than the environment is worsening our situation as it doesn’t let us to maneuver. I order Majsterek to go back. We are moving very slowly. After a couple of seconds I decide to accept this unjust duel. I give an order to open fire. The first shell is a grenade as it was already loaded. It hits the Tiger’s armor creating a lot of red splinters (watch those tiny chips on the Tiger’s frontal armor – Cyprek). Then we shoot with a some anti-tank shells. All the shells ricochet. In the meantime Majsterek managed to withdraw the tank for about 100 metres. We are now covered by some thick trees and feel much safer.
I look ate the Tiger and can’t see any sort of reaction what makes me suspicious. I recall the fake German tanks that we saw today morning in St Sylvain. But this one can’t be a fake as I saw the ricochets.
I inform the squadron commander that there is a Tiger in front of me which doesn’t react for my fire. It seems that it’s a wreck. The squadron commander is informed by the Scots which were in the rear that this Tiger was knocked out by the Sherman which stands destroyed in some distance.
So for about 5 minutes we were fighting a knocked out Tiger . that’s a nice story – I thought – and we continued moving down the road.
We reached the unlucky Tiger. It’s destroyed indeed. In the fron, very very close to the floor it has a penetration done by a 17 pdr gun (just like the wreck from Brassey’s photo – Cyprek). My anti tank shells have done only small, long scars on the turret (just like in the photo – Cyprek). None of the shells managed to penetrate the turret’s frontal armor.
The only Tiger unit operating in the vicinity of La Bu sur Rouvres was the 2nd Company of the 101st SS HTB (according to Werner Wendt). I can't see the battalion's symbol on the right hand so I assume that it's an original 2nd Company Tiger (not a former 1st Company vehicle).

Then which one?

It's has two sight holes so 205, 204, and 211 are excluded as they are monocular.

212, 214, 221, 223 and 231 are excluded as their wrecks are known (I would add 213 to this).

232 has a differnet loader's hatch.

So there are 222, 224, 233 and 234.

If I assume that Uscha. Lötzsch (who still commanded a Tiger in the second half of August) still used his 233 during Tractable (Ustuf. Hanutsch used his 221 so why shouldn't Lötzsch use his 233) then the Tiger from Rauray (the one with the small Zimmerit) must be 234 as using the way of elimination I've come to a conclusion that it's either 233 or 234.

So I have 222 and 224 left. Unfortunately the only picture of 224 is useless.

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H.v.Holdt
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Post by H.v.Holdt » 24 Jan 2007 08:49

Count this in

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Tiger of 2./SS101 lost near Mons

Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 24 Jan 2007 12:36

I quite don't know why everybody claims that this one is 101st SS HTB .

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 24 Jan 2007 22:28

The above Tiger is 99% certain to be from SS 101. The information is not mine to post so you will have to take my word for it. It will be cleared up in a forthcoming book. The location is Mons in Belgium

Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 25 Jan 2007 14:28

According to Schneider this Tiger of the 2nd company was photographed in Rouen during the retreat.

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At that time the Company had a maximum of 4 tanks (It could have had three bearing in mind that the Tiger which I think is 213 was indeed abandoned in Livarot as Schneider says; what is more it might have lost some tanks on 16th august; but it had at least 2 tanks).

Those were commanded by:

-Hanutsch (most probably 221);
-Lötzsch (could be 233);
-Henniges;
-and Brandt.

It is possible that the other two tanks were 232 and 224.

The tank which is said to be from Rouen doesn't have a reflector just like the wreck from Mons.

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Bearing in mind that the 2nd Company had very few tank at that moment (maybe even 2!) it is highly probable that both pictures are showing the same tank.

What is more the Tiger from Rouen appears to have two sight holes.

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When we compare the battalion's symbol we can see that 232 has it in a very similar position (so does 223 but it was knocked out earlier and so does 205 but it is likely that it was lost earlier).

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I can't be 100% sure but I would say that the Tiger from mons is 232.

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Jan 2007 19:47

It is not 232.

Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 25 Jan 2007 21:29

It is not 232.
Of course it isn't. But what if I'm right?

Michael Kenny
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Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Jan 2007 21:50

The Tiger near Mons is not numbered 232.
As I said earlier the information about the numbers came from someone else.and is not mine to disclose. I can add nothing further on this Tiger.

Cyprek
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Post by Cyprek » 26 Jan 2007 14:08

This is where it was discussed.

http://forum.panzer-archiv.de/viewtopic ... &start=180

Mario says he can see the last digit and it appears to be 2. Personally I can say that there is something but I quite don't know what that could be (maybe zimmerit was burnt and we are looking at the remains of the last digit).

Basing on my knowledge 232 is very probable for the following reasons.

1) It is likely that 232 was one of the few 2nd Company vehicles that survived Normandy;

2) I strongly believe that the vehicle photographed in Rouen and the wreck from Mons are one Tiger. Usually lack of a reflector wouldn't be much for an identification. But bear in mind that 2nd Company could have had even 2 Tigers at that moment. This kind of damage appears in some 30% of wrecks. There is some chance that among those 2-3 Tigers that 2nd Company still had in late August were two lacking a reflector. but the probability that it wasn't that way is much bigger. That is why it is very likely that the Tiger from Rouen and the one from Mons are the same.

If we come to such a conclusion, then we have a battalion's symbol to compare. for whole I know there are 3 tanks that have it in a similar position: 205, 223 and 232. I think we can exclude 223 as it was most probably knocked out in Normandy, 205 is a monocular and I think that the tank from Rouen is a binocular. Then what is left is 232.

Now I think that the symbol is exactly in the same position. I have never seen two Tigers that would have that symbol in the same place.

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