In 2015 Tiger 131 took a two-week trip to star alongside Brad Pitt and one of the Tank Museum’s Shermans in the film Fury.
As Tiger 131 is the only one of its kind still running in the world, and its appearance has been a significant part of Director David Ayer’s desire to ensure the utmost authenticity in his new project.
The negotiations for use of the Tiger went on right up to the date the tank was to move to the set. The period the Tiger could be away from the Museum, the amount of usage down to starts, stops, gear changes and track mileage, who had access to the vehicle, security and stabling had all been covered off.
For the staff, a new team was travelling with the Tiger to join the crew that had been rotating onto the set since the Sherman had travelled up months earlier. The film company had also hired the Chieftain Recovery vehicle in case any of the tanks broke down or became bogged on the set, so there was a number of staff available to operate this.
While using the Tiger caused some anxiety at moments, with difficult decisions such as having cast members in the turret being made on set, it was an amazing experience for the Museum staff to be involved. The Museum always aspires to be the consultative and authoritative source on historical armoured vehicles and were honoured to be asked to help on Fury.
David Ayer said, “It was a privilege to have Tiger 131 on my film set. The staff of the museum was incredibly gracious, and I am excited to share such an historically important machine with a world audience.”
Fury follows the crew of a Sherman tank in April 1945, staring Brad Pitt as the commander. Find out more about the making of the film and the Museum’s part in the production at The Fury Exhibition. The Sherman ‘Fury’ will be running alongside Tiger 131 on Tiger Day in April and September.