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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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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.
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http://www.network54.com/Forum/47207/th ... iger+I+pic
http://www.network54.com/Forum/47207/th ... e+509th---
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... r#p1396609
Show the French forum link please.
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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.