BERGETIGER - WHAT FOR

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
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VALLOIS OLIVIER
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BERGETIGER - WHAT FOR

Post by VALLOIS OLIVIER » 26 May 2010 07:58

Good morning,

a debate is raging on a french forum.. What is the "raison d'être", what is the primary task of the Bergetiger.

Was it a recovery tank ? or was it, as some seems to believe destined to assist pioneers in mining and demolition tasks?

Your advices and help much appreciated..

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Christoph Awender
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Re: BERGETIGER - WHAT FOR

Post by Christoph Awender » 26 May 2010 12:17

Hello

The primary task of a Bergepanzer (recovery tank) is to recover tanks either from the battle field when they were damaged for example, or out of fuel, mechanical breakdowns, accidents etc....
The primary task of a Bergetiger is to recover Tiger tanks because the recovery vehicle should at least be as powerfull as the vehicle he has to tow.

/Christoph

Otis
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Re: BERGETIGER - WHAT FOR

Post by Otis » 26 May 2010 20:27


Alanmccoubrey
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Re: BERGETIGER - WHAT FOR

Post by Alanmccoubrey » 26 May 2010 21:37

Really the only genuine Bergetiger was intended for the recovery of the Elefant.
Alan

Dubliner
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Re: BERGETIGER - WHAT FOR

Post by Dubliner » 26 May 2010 23:11

I think Holger Erdmann's theory is correct about this vehicle. His theory was that the vehicle was used by the werkstatt of s.Pz.Abt.508 as type of maintenance area tractor/schlepper. The vehicle would be more than capable of pushing around damaged Tigers and Panthers, and the fittings on the front glacis plate support this theory. For the maintenance area tractor/schlepper role, keeping the turret makes sense because it would have given the vehicle more traction in the muddy Italian spring of 1944. Moving around damaged Tigers in various stages of repair in those conditions would have been a difficult job. Having a vehicle dedicated to this service would have freed up a number of SdKfz.9 and s.Pz.Abt.508's lone bergepanther for other tasks, like recovering damaged vehicles at the front. The crane could have used to remove of engines, drive sprockets and main guns.

I doubt anyone in Berlin would have approved converting a Tiger into a maintenance yard tractor in 1944, however, if a gun-less specialized 'charge laying' field conversion from a short lived experiment had evolved into a very useful werkstatt schlepper then there is always the chance higher ups in the chain of command in Italy could have taken a blind eye to it. This would explain the 'charge laying' story in the s.Pz.Abt.508 unit history and why there are not a lot of pictures and documents from the German side floating around on the vehicle. It is also possible that the 'charge laying' story was just a cover story for converting damaged Tiger into a schlepper.

Finally, the fittings on the front of the vehicle remind me of the fittings of the German Leopard 2A4 tractor 'Tigerente' currently being used at STZ 850 facility in Darmstadt. There is no official Leopard 2A4 tractor/schlepper, but the niche need was still great enough to justify the existence of a special conversion. Having seen photos of 'Tigerente' pushing around a Leopard I Bergepanzer at Darmstadt, I can see how potentially valuable a Tiger fitted out in a similar fashion as the Anizo 'BergeTiger' would have been to the werkstatt of s.Pz.Abt.508.

The following is a image of 'Tigerente' from the Lobitz's great Tankograd book.

Image

Regards,

Chris Ballance

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