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Tiger 1 Tank used in Ardennes offensive December 1944

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  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Tiger 1 Tank used in Ardennes offensive December 1944
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 9:43 PM

Looking for advice on which German Tiger 1 Tank was used during Ardennes offensive, December 16, 1944 – January 25, 1945 in Battle of the Bulge. Have initially selected Tamiya Tiger 1 Late Version, Item #25401 that went into production January 1944, but there are several models and variations available. Do we have any World War 2 Armor historians?

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:02 PM

I would go with this kit the reviews of it are really good. I have the early eastern front version with full interior and it's just amazingly done.

http://store.spruebrothers.com/product_p/rfmrm5015.htm

Clint

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:55 PM

Wow I never heard of this model manufacture… But it looks perfect. Thank you.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:11 PM

The rye fields in Eastern Europe were the major battlefields on the Eastern Front in WW2.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by Davja on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:20 PM

Sergeant

Wow I never heard of this model manufacture… But it looks perfect. Thank you.

 

Check out their Panther G in this thread here.  

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/3/t/179218.aspx

I have the kit myself, it's on the back burner until I can get my painting down again.

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:59 PM

AFAIK, the only unit that was equipped with Tiger I's during the BoB was Schwere Panzer Abteilung 301 (Funklenk, Borgward IV command vehicles). Most of the 31 vehicles of the battalion were issued from maintenance stocks, only 4 new ones of the very late type were directly issued in Sept 44, 6 other new ones that came from sSS PzAbt 103 were transferred in Oct 44. This resulted in a "disparate mix of equipment consisting of different variants of this tank." The tanks of the battalion had different color schemes due to their different sources. All had Zimmerit. (Tigers in Combat, Vol 1, page 15, (ppb edition)).

A photo on page 405 of BoB Then and Now shows a KOed early model with drum cupola, but refitted with late model steel wheels, as seen in this photo of the same vehicle, taken at Oberwampach, 10 km east of Bastogne; 

http://oralhistoryaudiobooks.blogspot.com/2013/01/oberwampach-jan-18-19-1945.html

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:21 AM

I noticed your intro post which mentioned your dio. Are you sure the tank in question is not a Tiger II. Most heavy tank detachments had switched to that type by the end of 44. I had never even heard of the unit Ixion mentioned, but thats the sort of unit that was still useing the Tiger I, mix and match.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 11:06 AM

I was under the impression that Schwere Panzer Kompanie Hummel was equipped with Tiger Is and attached to Schwere Panzer Abteilung 506 as 4. Kompanie for the Ardennes offensive in 1944/1945. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 11:45 AM

I would go for this Tiger I kit with full interior

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/1016365-rye-field-model-rm-5010-tiger-i-middle-production

Most of the front line armour for the Ardennes offensive would be the Panther G (see my build) and the Tiger II.

If you went with the Tiger II then the best option would be Meng Models' Tiger II with the add on interior kit.

I would also recommend Friuls tracks for these rather than the kit tracks as they actually sit onto the running gear just like real ones due to their weight and are much easier to put together!

 

James

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 12:32 PM

You're right Stik, Kompanie Hummel was involved too. In fact, according to Ron Klages, Hummel was the only one that actually saw combat. While the 301st was assigned to 9th Panzer Division, it never made it into the BoB fight at all. So scratch the 301st...

In my own defense, I was tripped up my references, (or not having enough)... The photo I linked and another of the same vehicle in Battle of the Bulge, Then and Now, was identified as belonging sPzAbt 301(fnk) but it is stated as belonging to Kompanie Hummel on page 134 of Tigers on the Western Front, now I don't know which reference to believe....somebody is wrong here. Huh?

There's another problem with this photo however. While the caption on page 134 of Tigers on the Western Front states it as being in Oberwampach, Luxembourg, this town is far outside of the operational zone map of Kompanie Hummel as shown on page 135.

Ron Klages on Feldgrau.net summarises the actions of the two units, Hummel and the 301st, apparently the 301st never got into action in the first place, being stopped by blown-out rail lines from reaching it's intented area of operations;

"There were only 2 units with Tiger Is in the area of the Ardennes but only one of them saw action in the battles.

On 18 December 1944 schwere Panzerkompanie "Hummel" was assigned to schwere Panzer-Abteilung 506 as it's 4.Kompanie. At this point it had 8 Tiger Is while the balance of 506 had 47 Tiger IIs. These Tiger Is did fight in the battles in the Ardennes and on 17 January 1945 1 of the Tiger Is that had been damaged in battle was destroyed by the crew since it could not be recovered prior to the withdrawal. "Hummel" stayed with 506 until 16 February 1945 when they left with 5 Tiger Is to operate as an independent unit the remainder of the war.

schwere Panzer-Abteilung (Tiger/Fkl) 301 with 29 Tiger Is received word on 15 December 1944 that they were to be attached to the 9. Panzer-Division. They assembled in Niederaussem to entrain for transport which was scheduled to begin on 20 December 1944. On 22 December 1944 members of the unit Stab went into the Eifel to establish contact with the HQ of the 9. PD, which was scheduled to relieve the 2. PD fighting near Celles. However, before the rail transport of the Tigers could happen, all of the rail lines had been destroyed so on 25 December 1944 301 was released from it's attachment to the 9.PD. The Tigers were unloaded and 301 moved to Nörvenich where it became an Army Group reserve of the LXXXI. Armee-Korps. During the first half of 1945 301 carried out repairs and maintenance to their equipment as well as personnel reorganization. Hence they never took action in the Ardennes actions. In fact they did not enter action untill 20 January 1945 at Waldfeucht aganist the British in the Rhineland operations. At this point they had 27 Tiger Is. It appears the reduction of 2 was the result of 2 Tiger Is being sent to Maintenance in early January 1945. When they went in combat in the second half of January 1945 they had 52 BIVs on their roster. However it appears that the demo tanks were never used again although there were orders for them to be used to destroy bridges over the Ruhr River on 10 April 1945. This order was recinded so the demo tanks were sent back to the supply unit."

 

It's so much fun trying to decipher the actions of these obscure, ad-hoc, poorly documented units....Confused ...especially when so much contradictory information abounds. 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:16 PM

Someone needs to delve into the German archives to see if the batallion diary still exists or any survivors or families who might know more. Personal diaries, letters and survivors are the cornerstone of information that might not have been recorded officially.

For instance, The Panther G I am building is a direct copy (as best I can do) or a recovered survivor that is in my storage unit awaiting our restoration to full operational status.

The first information that we have an an unusual version of the Panther G  came once all the mud and water was removed from the interior and we noted that quite a lot of damage around the interior of the turret had been done. On the exterior there is no indication of any combat arction or damage. Where there should have been a 3 round main gun ammunition bin a plate had been welded over the gap and evidence that something had been ripped off the firewall above it.

Once the ID plate had been uncovered it was noted that there was an "F" hand stamped after the build number and the exterior showed no turret number (there will be on my build as I can identify where it was going to go) and the Munchenberg Panzer Division insignia on the front Glacis.

Now I had an area, a build number and date and the outfit. With that, our group researcher was packed off to Berlin (not far away) to the archives and later down to Freiberg.

This Panzer had attracted our attention more than the 2 Tiger II's and other vehicles puled out of the lake as it showed no turret number and no damage and there were a couple of changes to the turret top exterior that were different to the normal Panther G.

Our researcher came back to us in a state of excitement with the news that this and 9 other Panther G were fitted with night fighting equipment and sent to the PD Munchenberg and took part in the battle of the Seelow Heights and Battle of Berlin. This vehicle turns out to be the only survivor of this company as it was subjected to sabatage (sp?) in the factory by slave labour. The left hand drive sprocket jammed while being taken off the train and was then taken to the division repair depot from where it was dumped into the lake when the Russians broke through the seelowe Heights along with all the other vehicles in the repair depot to deny them to the Russians.

To confirm this we set about removing the track and drive sprocket followed by the final drive cover.

This photo is of the kit and how the vehicle looks with the drive sprocket in place.

This is also the kit with the final drive reduction gear.

 

On removing the cover the middle cog just dropped out on to the floor, just missing some toes! It hadn't been bolted into place and this then confirmed that the entries into the division diary were correct and thus we were able to trace the vehicle from factory to the Munchenberg repair depot. THis includes dates and times!

The night fighting gear was ripped out before the Panther was dumped - After all it was secret stuff, but the other 9 Panthers aquitted themselves welol, causing mayhem and chaos at night as they were able to "see" about 600m. 

I might be able to recreate the installation of some of the night fighting equipment, but the added cable runs and junction boxes might detract from my overall vision of the completed model. besides, I don't know if the junction boxes supplied in the bronco set I am using are correct but I have managed to get the correct generator that was fitted into the area where the 3 round main gun ammunition bin was and I will fit that for a start!

The 10 Panthers were split into a 2 platoon company with 5 Panthers in each company. the panther designated 115 found itself in the repair depot and then in a lake!

Isn't history fun!

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 7:48 PM

Bish, I’m very glad you chose to share your profile. My Uncle Harold Harrison Schopp was a Flying Officer in the 153 Squadron of the Royal Air Force and Pilot of an Avro Lancaster Bomber. He died December 17, 1944 when his plan collided with another in the fog on their way back from a bombing mission over Germany. He was based in Kirmington, North Lincolnshire. Uncle Harold was able to have his crew of 6 bail out, but he had to ditch the crippled plane at sea off the coast of France. Some day I plan to build a model of the Lancaster Bomber, one of the best designed plans of World War 2 thanks to Roy Chadwick.

Love all things British including the military, Atlantic Salmon flies, landscape, architecture and detective movies.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 8:07 PM

I really am amazed by the depth of information regarding my request, clearly I dropped a little history bomb by asking this question. It seems that whichever event I decide to recreate in a diorama about the Ardennes 1944 offensive will determine what German division was involved and therefore which Tiger Tank the Allied forces had to face. So first things first, I need to finish my reading.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 9:23 PM

Tigers actually played a minimal role in the Ardennes offensive. They used too much fuel, were too heavy and large for the road network in the Ardennes, and were prone to breakdowns. They were often at the end of columns for this reason. The Panther and Mk.IV were far more numerous. As were Stürmgeschutze, Jagdpanzer IVs, etc. 

Also, aside from a few divisions such as Grössdeutschland (not present at the Bulge), most panzer divisions had no organic Tiger unit. Instead, the heavy tank battalions (schwere panzer abteilung)  were a Corps or Army level asset. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:28 AM

Stikpusher, you make a good point, the more I read about the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge and for that matter Operation Overlord the more I see that other German tanks like the ones you mentioned were more often used. I think my fascination with the Tiger Tank was it’s sheer size, armor and the 88 mm gun. The only way for the Allies to stop one of these monster tanks was from behind, or underneath and to do that several Sherman Tanks would be lost.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:51 AM

Yes and no. The Tiger is a fascinating tank to study. It was imposing, but not invincible. Especially by the second half of 1944. The appearance of the Sherman Firefly gave the British a tank that could engage the Tiger at equal range with a chance of a kill. While it could not take the hit, (only the Sherman Jumbo could endure a hit from the 88mm KwK 36) it changed the Battlefield equation.  For US forces, the appearance of 90mm gunned vehicles like the M36 GMC, and T26 Pershing a few months later had the same effect. And under favorable conditions, Shermans, like the T-34/76, could exploit terrain and vegetation to get in close for a flank shot where the Tiger was not as well armored and more vulnerable to their medium velocity guns.

The Soviets were well ahead of the learning curve by that time, having introduced the upgunned T-34/85 in early 1944. Not to mention the fearsome IS tanks with their 122mm main guns in summer 1944. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:06 AM

Sergant, when you do your reading, be aware that for the most part Tigers and Tiger II's were not assigned to Divisions. There were a few cases but they were few. The spearhead unit of the German assault was KG peiper, lead by Jochim Pieper, this was an SS unit from the 1st SS Pz Div. It had Tiger II's assigned to it from the 501st SS Heavy tank Detachment. This is probably the part of the German attack that best known and most written about.

If your reading indicates the tank in question was from a Pz Div, then its possably it could be a Pz IV or a Panther.

It is very easy to get hooked on those big tanks, and understandable, even the troops in WW2 did so. But when you look at how many were built, less than 2,000 of both types of Tiger, you can see they were only a small part of the German tank forces.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:12 AM

Sergeant

Bish, I’m very glad you chose to share your profile. My Uncle Harold Harrison Schopp was a Flying Officer in the 153 Squadron of the Royal Air Force and Pilot of an Avro Lancaster Bomber. He died December 17, 1944 when his plan collided with another in the fog on their way back from a bombing mission over Germany. He was based in Kirmington, North Lincolnshire. Uncle Harold was able to have his crew of 6 bail out, but he had to ditch the crippled plane at sea off the coast of France. Some day I plan to build a model of the Lancaster Bomber, one of the best designed plans of World War 2 thanks to Roy Chadwick.

Love all things British including the military, Atlantic Salmon flies, landscape, architecture and detective movies.

 

 

And thank you for shareing that. I once had the pleasure of climing inside the BBMF Lancaster, i have a pic of me in the pilots seat. Impressive aircraft but not somthing i would want to be in over Germany, those were very brave men

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:22 PM

Ixion, I read your story by Arnold Brown about the battle of Oberwampach. I understand you wanted me to see the Tiger Tank, but Arnold’s experience was so interesting to me because I was a radio sergeant with an M109 155mm self-propelled Howitzer battalion. Thank you for sharing his story.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:36 PM

Bish, is the Tamiya #35181 a good choice in 1/35 scale for the Panzerkampfwagen IV tank used during the Battle of the Bulge?

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:55 PM

Sergeant

Bish, is the Tamiya #35181 a good choice in 1/35 scale for the Panzerkampfwagen IV tank used during the Battle of the Bulge?

 

The PZ IV Ausf J was in service by then and was the last variant of the Pz IV in production. That kit is the first version, notice the 4 top rollers. By the time of the Ardenne a modified version was in production, one difference being it had only 3 top rollers, but the earlier version would have still been in use. Depends if you want to model a specific vehicle or are happy to go for somthing generic.

155 arty, thats a big mother of a gun.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:21 PM

Bish, this is a Tamiya 1/35 scale model of the M109 155mm Shelf-propelled Howitzer that my Battalion had when I was in the Army. It was Vietnam era armor and would do almost everything a tank could do.

Tamiya 1/35 scale model of Panzer IV Ausf J

Not sure if my pictures will be posted, or how do insert them.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Friday, September 21, 2018 2:13 AM

No, can't see your pics. Are you useing a seperate hosting site, you can't link pics directly from your computer.

British army still had the 109 when i joined up but had been replaced by the time my battalion went into the armoured role. I have seen the AS 90 in action, very similar layout to the 109.

That Tamiya kit should be a nice build. I have that one in my stash and have built a couple of other based on that.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, September 21, 2018 2:49 AM

 

Bish, I’ve been reading in The Panzer IV: Hitler’s Rock (Images of War) by Anthony Tucker-Jones. But first let me correct something I said about the M109 155mm Howitzer, it’s not a substitute for a tank, it’s armor was never intended to take the punishment of a battle tank.

 

The Tamiya kit I mentioned (the J version) of Panzer IV has 4 rollers instead of 3, so something is not quite right with the Tamiya model if I understand what you said earlier.

 

Regarding my pictures; I did try to paste  them direct from my computer as you thought, so how do I get the right software or application to insert pictures in this forum?

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Friday, September 21, 2018 4:52 AM

No, the Tamiya kit is fine for a slightly earlier Ausf J. By this stage of the war the Germans were making changes to vehicles almost daily. These changes were often minor and did not warrant a change in designation. As well as top rollers, the exhausts were changed and sheet metal side skirts were replaced by mesh.

Youcan see the different exhausts and mesh screens here.

For the pics, you need a seperate hopsting site. I use Flickr, but there plenty out there. there are a few discussions on here as earlier this year one of the bigger ones had some major issues.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, September 21, 2018 2:51 PM

Bish, is this the way you attach pictures?

https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1867/43018158490_3b0a1fcf6d_o_d.png

If you can see this picture it’s me onboard the USS John King DDG-3 in 1965. I was in the US Navy for 6-years and finished my enlistment as Petty Office Second Class, working with Automated Combustion Control systems (Boiler Tender and Repair). Then I went to college to become an electronics technician with a particular interest in radio and telemetry, joined the Army as a radio sergeant finished my enlistment in 1975.

 

This was way before I went to college to become and architect and construction manager.

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, September 21, 2018 3:14 PM

 

Handsome kid. Thank you for your service. Hey, I'm an architect too, semi-retired working from home. I was 1A in 1974 but no one was getting drafted then and I planned to go to college. My class was full of guys who were Vietnam vets, and they were a hard working and studying bunch. Taught me a lot of self-discipline as friends.

I opened your link and downloaded the .png to my desktop. Then I uploaded it to Fotki, which is the photo sharing site I use. From there I copied the URL and pasted it here using the little image button in the toolbar above the repies window.

Bill

 

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, September 21, 2018 4:01 PM

Thank you Bill for the compliment and the instructions for attaching photos. I hope you realize this picture is not what I look like today. My wife and I are retired in our 70’s but still pretty healthy. Architecture and construction have been my daily work for many years. I built senior living and medical centers from 25,000 to 280,000 square feet in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. I also designed 35 residential custom homes in Oregon and Washington. I specialized in BIM Architecture software.

https://www.autodesk.com/solutions/bim/research-building-design/architecture?mktvar002=758623&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_Yeq-fzM3QIVC9VkCh3R7gdMEAAYASAAEgKkefD_BwE

This is what my wife and I look like today... A little worn around the edges after working nearly 55 years.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1953/30958195748_50e5a81c21_o_d.jpg

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, September 21, 2018 4:08 PM

Still not showing up. You don't look a day older. Is she your business partner? Mine is.

I've worked since 1979. Residential for a couple of years but it was not my interest. Highrise construction at a series of firms, starting at SOM for 10 years.

Short stint in a large construction firm as a PM, then we've been creating architectural graphics since 1995.

www.debranicholsdesign.com

I don't look like that either.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: NEVER USE PHOTO BUCKET - IT'S A THREAD WRECKER.
Posted by disastermaster on Friday, September 21, 2018 4:19 PM

Good genes.

Y'all still looking mighty fine here.

                                        https://i.imgur.com/OTz8Cg2.gif

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b232/gluetank/Sherman%20M4A3E2%20Assault%20Tank/th_M4A3E2Icon.jpg  http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/3/t/134935.aspx?page=11

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