Tiger 1....... Gruppe Fehrmann April 1945

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FRANCY RITTER
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Tiger 1....... Gruppe Fehrmann April 1945

Post by FRANCY RITTER » 23 Mar 2005 09:48

History of the Gruppe Fehrmann

"........In the beginning of 1945, Kampfgruppe Schulze and Oberleutnant Fehrmann formed a division of six Tiger I and five Panther tanks with the intention of going into the Ruhr area. The Tiger tanks were commanded by Oberleutnant Ferhmann and were designated with 'F' to denote their 'Gruppe' commander hence F01, F02, F03 and up to F13.

On the 6 th April 1945, the group reached the river Aller near Rethem when one Tiger was lost due to a mechanical failure. The fallowing day, the company reached Nienburg and a Grenadier Division was attached to them. On the 9th April, the Panthers entered the town of Wiethesheim where they engaged in a fierce battle with the allies. Out of the 5 Panthers, only one returned along with the commander.

During the counter-attack, Tiger F02 got a PIAT hit on the right side of the turret and another that damaged the gun mantlet. Two other Tigers continued the thrust where they eventually captured 30 British paratroopers. Fehrmann's Tiger F02 returned to Fallingbostel where a replacement mantlet was fitted.
11th April 1945 saw the remaining tanks entering enemy controlled territory to Buckeburg. Along the way, two Tigers got stuck in the mud and when a Panther tried to recover them, it too got stuck. With no other way to recover them, the tanks were destroyed and their crews eventually captured by the allies and Fehrmann along with them.

On the same day, two other Tigers were involved in a tank battle with US tanks, F13 (commanded by Feldwebel Bellof) was destroyed along with her crew. F05, commanded by Kampfgruppe Schulze destroyed 3 Shermans and a scout car then retreated to Wendthagen ......."
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Post by H.v.Holdt » 23 Mar 2005 10:30

Thank you for your article!

What I don´t understand is the numbering system than. If they had 6 Tigers and 5 Panthers it would made 11 tanks.

We know Tiger #F13 and we know Tiger F02 for example. How were the numbers F01 to F13 distribute to the tanks?


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Post by FRANCY RITTER » 23 Mar 2005 12:57

they are not informed.... very difficult to have news on the Gruppe Fehrmann...


illustration by Jean Restayn.
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Post by FRANCY RITTER » 23 Mar 2005 16:17

Abandoned Tiger F13 (Commander Feldwebel Bellof)
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Post by FRANCY RITTER » 23 Mar 2005 16:51

A tank of the "3Rd Royal Tank Regiment" it surpasses a Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger in the middle of the street..and other Tiger damaged from "Royal tank".
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Post by H.v.Holdt » 23 Mar 2005 22:22

Yes, now we see the complete "Fehrmann" Tiger photo collection from Schneider´s TIC 2.

Can you post some images of "Fehrmann" Panthers too please :)


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Fehrmann Panthers

Post by FRANCY RITTER » 24 Mar 2005 08:34

Sorry luca.... I have only one small pic. :(
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Ferhman Tiger 1 turret numbers

Post by babylonjohn500 » 26 Mar 2005 09:35

Could anyone tell me please what the colour of the turret numbers were on the turrets of this units Tigers

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Post by J.Steiner » 19 Apr 2005 01:06

Likely red with a white outline, as per the drawing a few posts up.

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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 19 Apr 2005 13:36

For the Panthers of this KG watch here :

http://panzer-archiv.marcof.de/forum/vi ... php?t=1140

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Post by hchris » 19 Apr 2005 18:18

Excellent topic, very interesting! Thanks for posting!

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Post by FRANCY RITTER » 26 May 2005 15:16

Other photos of the Tiger I F 13 :)
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Post by RB » 26 May 2005 16:01

Interesting Tigers: steel wheels and early-type commander's cupola on the same Tiger I...

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Post by FRANCY RITTER » 26 May 2005 16:49

Yes RB you have a reason. :D

Very nice mode :o l... scale 1:35, of Tiger I F13........ constructed by Jens Frederiksen
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Post by FRANCY RITTER » 25 Aug 2005 09:21

Additional INFO. by Robert Lu http://www.track-link.net/forum/research_ww2/2545

The numbers of the Tigers were:

F01, F02*, F03, F04, F05, F13(according to "TIC 2")

or...

F01, F11, F12, F13, F14, F15(according to "GP"25 and "AFV News 26/1")

So far only shots of "F01", "F13" and an un-ID'd one have be found as far as I
know.

"F01" has Zimmerit on its turret only ("TIC 2" p.406). Apart from this and the
road wheels being replaced with steels and the idlers perhaps replaced with the
later smaller type, its for all intents and purposes an Early (see "GP25"
p.122).

"F13" has fine zimmerit on the turret and a heavier style on the hull for a
change.

*Re "F02" - Be v.careful!!
In "Tigers in Combat 2" the Fehrmann section goes on about Tiger "F02" and even
provides a picture on page 406, where Schneider calls out the bottom shot as
"F02"...but, look closely - he's got it wrong here...This tank is in fact "F01".
Look at the top phot on 407 which is obviously the same vehicle and its clearly
got "F01" on the turret! Also got to p.52 of Green's book for a side view -
check the picture of "F01" in the bottom corner and compare details you will see
that "F01" is actually the same tank in "TIC2" on p.406 wrongly labelled as
"F02"...So sadly really not 100% sure of "F02" even existing at all if this is
the only proof. My money is therefore on the second list of numbers for their
Tigers not "TIC2"s.

Sadly the call-sign system used on the Panthers is unknown as only "Red S" has
been photographed.

As for paint schemes, it is always very hard to tell from the b&w pics, but
Schulze's Panther G appears to be in heavy 3 colour or possibly even amubsh,
while shots of "F01" and "F13" are probably Pz. Grey (or maybe even Olive Green,
but tough to tell especially as its so dusty).

There was a letter to the editor was in the April 1986 issue of Military
Modelling from David E. Brown (now of Experten Decal fame), re two shots from
his collection that were taken of "F13" (and Panther G "8"/"8R" now known to be
"S"), by a RAF veteran Mr.Fred Hawkins in July 1946. In it, Fred's clear
recollection is that the vehicle's most striking feature was its colour -
"overall dark panzer grey" with a handpainted red and white outline callisgn.
But veteran's accounts are always worthy of slight scepticism so no disrespect
to Fred, while it may well be on the money, it may well be a little sus. From
the b&w pics of "F13" almost any colour could be argued for the Tiger itself,
and the turret numbers do look very pale to be red, which usually shows up very
dark in b&w esp. ortho film where it is virtually black...so your interpretation
based on Fred's comments and your own gut feeling from the shots will be as
valid as anyones...

Re their short history;

From p.404 of "TIC2", they were joined with 5 Panthers used at the Oerbke camp
of Panzerlehr Division's training school at Fallingbostel, and together formed
an ad hoc Kamfgruppe under overall command of Major Paul Schulze in April '45.
They were tasked with making contact with the Div. trapped in the Ruhr pocket.

The first Tiger was lost on April 5 1945 with gearbox problems near Rethem. The
Panthers led by Major Paul Schulze were lost in a daylight attack around the
eastern outskirts of the town of Buckeburg, near Bad Eilsen - about 65km
northeast of Paderborn training grounds.

The group had moved to woods near Wiedensahl on the 8th and launched an attack
against the British bridgehead on the Weser near Wietersheim but lost 4 of the 5
Panthers in the process with only Schulze's own vehicle an Ausf. G remaining by
noon (callsign red "S" on the glacis and possible on the turret sides too). They
were also "supposedly" IR-equipped or capable, but no known pics show it fitted
to be certain. They were KO'd on the 8th April '45 by lead elements of the
5.Arm.Div., US 8th Corps of the Inith Army.

Although with Fehrmann's 5 remaining Tigers, Schulze in his last Panther
repeated the attack but they were met by elements of the British 5.Airborne Div.
now dug into roadside trenches. A PIAT shell hit the turret of Fehrmann's "F01"
and damaged the traversing gear and while 2 other Tigers moved up to flank it,
it retreated to a nearby hill. The 5 Tigers then returned to Frille with around
30 POWs.

Tiger "F01" returned to Fallingbostel for repairs, while the remaining 4 Tigers
and Schulze's Panther again clashed with lead elements of US 5.Arm.Div. near
Buckeburg on the 11th losing 2 Tigers, Schulze's Panther G (Red "S") and 2
halftracks in the process. Schulze escaped and jumped into one of the 2
surviving Tigers but Fehrmann was captured. Soon after, another Tiger (Fwbl.
Bellof's - "F13") was KO'd too.

"Schulze's Tiger" - now the last remaining (apart from "F01" back at
Fallingbostel), was still behind US lines now retreated to Achum and became
engaged in another fire fight with more US 5.Arm.Div. armour, KO'ing 3 tanks and
an A/C, though sustaining numerous hits in the process with the gunner slightly
wounded too. Finding a map in a US tanker truck, he set out for German lines
breaking a US roadblock and KO'ing more US armour while releasing 200 German
POWs, some of whom joined him in US trucks in an effort to get back. But he ran
out of fuel near Bad-Nennoff and set a charge and destroyed the Tiger.

Franzen's "F01" which had earlier returned to Fallingbostel with the damaged
turret gear was ready to go again on April 12, and was cobbled into the hastily
formed "Kampfgruppe Grossan" along with a couple of other scrounded Tigers. It
advanced toward the Brithish near the Essel Froest after Crossing the Drebber
stream, encountering 3 Comets of 1.Troop, A Sqn, 3.Bttn.,3.RTR/11. Arm.Div. in a
firefight - destroying 1 of them and an armoured car. Both sides withdrew for
the night but the next morning the Tiger took out an APC then had an arty
barrage called in on it, so it snuck into the woods. Creeping back on to the
road again to feel out the British tanks, "F01" was hit in the left rear side
from about 100 yards by the Comet of Sgt.Harding of C Sqn. Who had moved into a
flanking position in the trees and was later to receive the Military Medal for
this action. As the Tiger began to cook off, the crew all managed to bail out
safely, though each with minor burns, and made their way back to Fallingbostel.

The best references I've found are:

"Tigers in Combat 2" has a section at the back on pp.404-408.

"Tiger Tanks" by Michael Green does also on pp.50-52("F01" is also seen on
pp.21, 24 as well as 52!). Note though it is the same text taken from the issue
of AFV News below.

Plus an old AFV News issue Jan-April'91 (Vol.26/1) by Giuseppe Finizio
pp.2-5(Though this account is the best to date, it is sadly based on info,
photos and research that he received from David Brown to whom he sadly gives no
credit).

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