Evidence suggests that there were four key strikes to Tiger 131 before it was captured, although the order they landed can never be known.
We now believe that Tiger 131 was abandoned during fighting on Point 174 on 24 April 1943, when German tanks counter attacked the 2nd Sherwood Foresters.
The Tiger combat debut took place in August 1942 on the Eastern Front. It was not a success, with three of the four breaking down.
Part II of the story of the restoration of Tiger 131 to running order. After disassembly, restoring and reassembling the hull and suspension was the next step.
Every effort has been made over the years to identify an Allied tank that was similar to the German Tiger. None have ever really been successful although a few tanks came close, notably the T1E1.
Tank construction has always been a labour intensive, expensive process. The need to manufacture far larger numbers during the Second World War saw the warring powers adapt existing factories for the job.
These pictures have invariably been identified as an improvised Tiger recovery vehicle, photographed in Italy in 1944, but is it? Renowned tank historian David Fletcher examines the myth.
Tiger 131’s restoration was a long and expensive project, but one that would make the vehicle the most infamous tank in the world. This article starts from the beginning of the restoration progress – the disassembly of the tank.
The Soviet defenders in the Kursk salient had over 1.3 million men, 3500 tanks and 28,000 pieces of artillery and anti-tank guns plus more in reserve. They also built anti-tank strongpoints, bunkers and ditches and laid hundreds of thousands of
Part 1 of this series looked at the development of the Tiger I and Elefant. It can be found here, The Tiger Family Part I. In Part 2 we will consider the Tiger II, or King Tiger branch of the family.