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 Tiger I Replacements in "AFRIKA" Query

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PostSubject: Tiger I Replacements in "AFRIKA" Query   Sun May 18, 2008 12:35 am

The query posed:

I had always been under the assumption that all Tigers that came to North Africa were Initial production variants. I saw several photos of a 504 Tiger which was captured in Tunisia by a unit from the British First Army. These photos appear in the Squadron/Signal publication "Tiger in Action". This particular unit has the loading/escape hatch and the exhaust shrouds clearly are those of the late early production or early mid production phase. Could these be replacements for lost units? I'm no great expert on North Africa, but I had never heard of either the 501 or 504 receiving replacements. Any information you could share about Tigers in North Africa would be appreciated. I am in the process of building a diorama with Tigers, but determining the accurate vehicles to model is a bit difficult as model companies often use a great deal of license when creating their products.
Thank you,
Mitch Hannah

Hello Mitch,

1Kp./schwere Panzer Abteilung 504… are you referring to the Tiger I that is currently on display at Bovington now?

Next, currently I have a 645 page book on Tigers in AFRIKA at the publishers for printing release in October… but it appears to be expanded to some 700 pages before publication with additional illustrations / line drawings / color plates and photos.

Let me give you some specifics in another eMail if this is OK as I just returned home? OK?

Thanks for your inquiry,

B. G. Eady
NACHT

Caption says it's turret number 131, and it has British 1st Army shield painted on left rear mud guard.
Reply at your convenience.

Mitch Hannah

The two photographs from Squadron Signal Armor #27 on the Tiger I in Action (These are actually my copies of the ones in the Squadron In Action on the Tiger I and might be a little bit clearer?)




___________________________________________________________________________________

Mitch,

Myself and the AANA members can add to the bit of information I'll post below... but only the first company of schwere Panzer Abteilung 504 was sent to Africa... these were not replacements but another group of Tiger I's that were added to support operations in Tunisia.

131 is a 1.Kp. of schwere Panzer Abteilung 504 Tiger I that is now the single most visited exhibit at Bovington Tank Museum in England and it was restored over the course of several years and unveiled back in operating/running condition a few years back...

British Bovington Tank Museum Tiger I # 131

Before Renovation Color Photo:



History of Tiger I #131

The world's best known Tiger I tank (vehicle number 131) resides at the British Army Tank Museum, located in the beautiful rolling countryside of Southern England. Much of the information and many of the pictures in this book and others are based on wartime research done on this single vehicle.

George Forty, ex-director of the British Army Tank Museum discussed the history and future plans for their vehicle:
This famous example of the Tiger tank, production number 250112, was completed by the Henschel plant at Kassel in February 1943. It was issued to 504 Heavy Tank Battalion which it served in Third Platoon of number 1 Company.
It was captured, in Tunisia, on 21 April 1943 following an action with 48th Royal Tank Regiment. It would seem that the Churchill tanks of 4 Troop, A Squadron 48RTR were not aware of a Tiger in the vicinity during this action at Medjez-elBab and the shots that put the German tank out of action were entirely fortuitous. One round from a Churchill's six pounder gun struck the underside of the Tiger's 88mm gun. Deflected downwards, it chipped a groove in the bottom ofthe mantlet and buried itself in the turret ring, causing the turret to be jammed in the forward position. Incidentally, the blow seems also to have wrecked the tank's radio.
A second round fired by this Churchill struck the boss ofthe mantlet pivot on the left side ofthe turret. It carved a big chunk out of it and then ricocheted upward, taking off the top smoke discharger pot and whistling past the commander's hatch. There is no reason to suspect any more damage to the tank, which was still in running order, yet the crew immediately abandoned their tank and made off. At the same time, the crews from some German tanks in the vicinity also made their escape.









For a while the tank remained where it had been abandoned, acting as the focal point for a collection of captured equipment, but in due course it was removed to Tunis, tidied up in First Army workshops and even painted with the appropriate British markings.

This is the front detail marking...



Here it was inspected by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill and King George VI during their visits to the area following the Allied victory. Later the tank was brought back to Britain on the merchant ship SS Ocean Strength. It was exhibited to the public on Horse Guards Parade in London and then despatched to the School of Tank Technology at Chertsey where it was subjected to Armored Corps Gunnery School at Lulworth, presumably undergoing firing trials, which resulted in the famous, and oft quoted report. Unfortunately, this activity caused damage and loss to many components, while the engine itself was cut open for instructional purposes.
After the war the School of Tank Technology was transferred to the RAC Centre at Bovi ngton Camp and its collection of enemy tanks, including the Tiger, was incorporated into the Tank Museum collection then being re-established after its wartime suppression.

As an exhibit, the Tiger has always been 'most' popular as more visitors come to look at it than any other single exhibit and there were even stories of it being haunted by the spectre of Herman the German.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger I Replacements in "AFRIKA" Query   Sun May 18, 2008 1:21 am

Very helpful.
Thank you very much.
Mitch Hannah
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PostSubject: Additions...   Mon May 19, 2008 9:32 am

To share our communication via email to the AANA for additions...

BG,

I did think all Afrikan Tigers looked that way. I should have realized 504's tanks came later and could have been different. As I understand it the 501 was initially attached directly to DAK, and 504 was actually attached to 7th Panzer Regiment from 10th PD. I know the 10th came to Afrika much later than the 15th or 21st.
Thank you for all the great information.
Mitch

________________________________________
From: Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org [mailto:Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 04:34
To: 'Mitchell Hannah'
Subject: RE: Tigers in AFRIKA.. the 504...
Mitch,

I’ll post you over the KStN for the sPzAbt 501 and the 1Kp./sPzAbt504 and the vehicle numbers…

We only scratched the surface in your query but it is 3:21 in the morning here in the states! I need some time to add more info to your query but need some zzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

I hope that you do not mind too much being a bit of a test user for the Public side of the mini-forum? Please do not share this URL address as this is only a temporary testing site and we want to share the full version of Community Server 2008 with our new forum to go online.

Hope you will help with this and I’ll add more for information and drawings. We have a lot to add to our website that you cannot see to date.

The trick is the organization and how with the entry of the 1 Kp./s.Pz.Abt.504 the 501’s Tigers were merged into a newly formed entity in the 10./PD. The Tigers were renumbered and the whole thing gets confusing unless you have a couple of charts to see the structure…

This is what you thought all “AFRIKA” Tigers looked like with the exception of the various exhaust shields… correct?



Kstn…





But I have additional photos of the 1Kp/sPzAbt 504 Tigers in AFRIKA that you may never have seen? Do these or would these help? Here is 142 and you can see the production changes over or from the earliest Tiger I’s in AFRIKA…



Thanks!

BG

NACHT

From: Mitchell Hannah [mailto:mitchellhannah@charter.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 2:24 AM
To: Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org
Subject: RE: Tigers in AFRIKA ... 1Kp./schwere Panzer Abteilung #131

And I can post to the public area. Yes, everything seems to work fine on your forum. I use Mozilla too, so your current forum settings are compatible with it as well.
Mitch

________________________________________
From: Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org [mailto:Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 03:02
To: 'Mitchell Hannah'
Subject: RE: Tigers in AFRIKA ... 1Kp./schwere Panzer Abteilung #131
Mitch,

Maybe this will help as I am linking you to our AANA Mini-Forum and a Public area question/answer section…

http://privatefor-aana.bigforumpro.com/public-area-messages-only-f9/tiger-i-replacements-in-afrika-query-t89.htm

This is a sort of test to see if you can read the thread??? Please let me know as this is not a PUBLIC Forum yet…

Thanks and I am adding some more to answer properly your question and maybe some interesting additions,

B. G.

From: Mitchell Hannah [mailto:mitchellhannah@charter.net]
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 3:30 PM
To: Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org
Subject: RE: Tigers in AFRIKA ... 131

Certainly
Mitch

________________________________________
From: Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org [mailto:Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org]
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 14:05
To: 'Mitchell Hannah'
Subject: RE: Tigers in AFRIKA ... 131
Mitch,

I hope that you do not mind me being less formal? I’ll post you some photos back and give you a bit more shortly as have to find the Squadron on the Tiger in packed boxes to give you exact information per your photo query and probably can include some more photographs of the same vehicle I believe that I have around 30 in our collection of 131 after capture and then many more when in England.

Is this OK?

BG

NACHT
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PostSubject: Additional Comments...   Mon May 19, 2008 4:17 pm

Mitch,

I tried to answer your query but have placed some internal drawings for our AANA Membership to review and approve for additional sub-variant type explanation within the 501 & 504 specifically. Could you introduce yourself to the AANA Member group? They could also add additional comments or possibly give further assistance in your query...

Also look to a late March of 1943 timeframe for your proposed diorama or modelling project as to having both 501 & 504 Tiger I's unified within a single project to portray the changes in the Early form of AFRIKA Tiger I that I am trying to share.

I have seen your name in request of information at a few modelling forums over time but would like for you to share a bit if you could about your project and also about your interests in the campaign. Would you be amenable to this please?

Other members of our group will be most happy to add to this thread and possibly even answer more!

Thanks,

Nacht

From: Mitchell Hannah [mailto:mitchellhannah@charter.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 11:56 AM
To: Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org
Subject: RE: Tigers in AFRIKA.. the 504...

What I have in mind is a Tiger from the 501 and from the 504 together. Now that I know 504s are something in the Mid Production area I know more clearly which kits will actually fit the types involved. I have several pieces that are Afrika compatible, but I plan to stay with the tanks for this one. I had in mind something from just before or just after Kasserine. I have a Panzer IV Auf. D and some other pieces I plan to use for something in the Tobruk time line at some point.
Mitch

________________________________________
From: Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org [mailto:Nacht@AfrikaKorps.org]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 05:14
To: 'Mitchell Hannah'
Subject: RE: Tigers in AFRIKA.. the 504...
Mitch,

I need some zzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s but will post you some more materials at the Mini-Test forum later today if you would like for me to as I have a lot stuff on the Tigers in AFRIKA…

What are you modelling or the timeframe might help me to get a target of photographs / drawings in line with your project…

Would this also help?

BG
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PostSubject: The rest of the story   Tue May 20, 2008 1:38 am

Hello everyone.
I originally queried Nacht about the Tigers of Afrika, and am looking for information and/or photos of specific vehicles from 501 and 504 battalions with plans to build a diorama set shortly before or after Kasserine featuring a vehicle from each unit.
My name is Mitch Hannah. I am no expert on North Afrika, but I have some knowledge of it. My area of most extensive knowledge within the German regime is the police and security organizations particularly the ReichSicherheitsHauptAmt. I've never been published, but I researched and wrote a complete outline of all the leadership and offices of the RSHA throughout the war detailing the changes in various functions. I have some knowledge of the German language. As for theaters I'm more familiar with Northwest Europe in the 1944-45 era. I have almost always built panzers in modelling because panzers have character. Shermans are just tanks. Panzers are works of art that were ahead of their time.
Why model Germans in Afrika? If Erwin Rommel was nothing else he was a man of honor. He was as different from the men like Heydrich, Kaltenbrunner and their kind as daylight from dark, and to accomplish what he did in North Afrika with what resources he had was rather remarkable.
I would greatly appreciate any help you could render, and I appreciate the use of your forum, and will try to remain as unobtrusive as possible.

Thank You,
Mitch Hannah
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PostSubject: Tiger Intro Video   Wed May 21, 2008 9:28 pm

Mitch,

I'll share this as a sort of filler until my AANA Colleagues give me some clearances to share and approve my drawings for the Tigers in AFRIKA book...
Here is the Preview of the 1 Kp. schwere PzAbt 504's #131 at Bovington for her inaugural Public run... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzLRbDzk3mk&feature=related

Here is the opposite side or interior in: How To Drive A Tiger I and is actually inside #131...



Here is the story of the Bovington's Tiger I #131



and how it was hit...



A bit of Tiger I to review some variants and the production methods... field employment methods, etc...



I hope you enjoy...
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger I Replacements in "AFRIKA" Query   Thu May 22, 2008 9:47 am

Very nice.
Mitch
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