Tiger Tank Special.

Tiger Tank Special.

I am 12,500 words into the first novel of my new ‘Cold War’ series. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, will encompass the intelligence build up leading to the Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

But, I couldn’t resist having a break and visit the ‘Tank Fest’ at the Bovington Tank Museum. As usual, they put up a great show. For this Post, I want to cover the Tiger Tank, as Bovington has one of the few still running Tigers.

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The legendary Tiger Tank.

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When it first appeared, in 1942, it was a quantum leap in tank design.

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Torsion bar suspension supports the running wheels.

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Two battalions of Tiger tanks were despatched to Tunisia, including 17 from the 504th Heavy Tank Battalion, 

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This tank, 131, was the first tank of the third troop of the first company of the 504th.

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Looking into the turret from the escape hatch.

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The breech of the 88mm Gun.

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Close up of the breech.

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The radio operator and driver would have been down below in the main compartment of the tank.

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In the turret you would have found the loader, gunner and the commander, along over 90 rounds of 88mm ammunition

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The breech of the 88mm, KwK 36 L/56 gun.

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Powered by a Maybach HL230 P45 (V-12 petrol) engine.

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Weighing in at 57 tons, it could still manage a speed of 24mph.

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The exhaust covers. The exhaust would get so hot, it would melt the paintwork.

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Tiger’s air filters, certainly needed in dusty Tunisia.

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This Tiger ran for the first time, since the end of the war, in 2004. It was first seen at the ‘Tankfest’ in 2006.

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This particular tank saw action against Churchill tanks of A squadron, 48th Tank Regiment, in the Tunisian hills on 21st April 1943.

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Frontal armour of 100mm and frontal turret armour of 120mm, it was a formidable tank.

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Standing proud.

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It was knocked out by a Churchill from the 48th Tank Regiment, the shot striking beneath the barrel of the gun.

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See a Tiger 1, on the move.

My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my research and experiences with you.  I will continue with my new ‘Cold War’ series, supporting the writing of my new ‘Cold War’ series of novels, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany by the Warsaw Pact in the 80’s. ‘The Red Effect’. so keep your eyes peeled.

Photographs are copyrighted to Harvey Black

9 Comments

    1. No. The driver was receiving instructions from someone else. The commander was videoing the tank park as they reversed towards it. If you have never been to the Bovington Tank Fest, it is certainly worth a visit.

  1. Tiger with hull number 131 was an early production model. It was equipped with Mayback HL210 engine instead of HL230. There is only 1 hole for the engine crank at the rear clearly indicates that this particular tanks was equipped with Maybach HL210 engine. Those equipped with Maybach HL230 engines have 2 holes for the engine crank. I cannot quite remember what was the other hole for.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I will be at the Tank Museum next month, so will check it out. I don’t doubt what your saying and will change it as soon as it is confirmed. Thank you for your interest. Hope you found the pictures interesting. HB

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