|Beitrags-Nr.: 208843 | Verfasst am: 27.08.2017 - 12:02 Titel: Panzer VI 'Tiger I' (231) Pz. Abt. 503
|Hello! I bet all of you know about this famous photo.
The tank “231” of Leutnant Zabel from sPzAbt 503 was hit 252 times by fire from all calibres during combat near Ssemernikovo.
The tank was able to be driven a further 60km and returned to the unit. Later, the tank was returned to Germany (note thetransport tracks), only the turret could be salvaged and was used as a training pillbox at Paderborn.
Leutnant Zabel... reported this attack near Ssemernikovo kolkhoz:
The combat group Sander had to face a very strong enemy when attacking the
collective farm west of Ssemernikovo. The Tiger attacking as advance platoon
left the lighter tanks behind, and attracted all the enemy fire. The tanks received
hits on the front and to the right-hand side. The enemy, with tanks, AT guns and
AT rifles opened fire at a great distance. My Tiger received a 7.62cm hit in the
front of the driver’s position. The spare track links fixed there with an iron rod
were ripped off. In the tank we noticed a bang and a slight shaking. The nearer
we came, the stronger the bangs and shaking from the 7.62cm hits became.
At the same time we noticed considerably high dust clouds from artillery ground
impacts near the tank. Further on, the crew noticed a somewhat lighter bang
followed by a burst of yellow smoke, most likely a hit from an AT rifle.
A short time later we received a hit from a 4.5cm AT gun on the cupola.
The brackets of the bullet-proof glass were smashed. The glass vision block
jammed and became opaque caused by heat from the explosion. A further
hit destroyed the brackets and the hatch fell into the turret interior. There
was dense smoke in the fighting compartment and the area became very hot.
The loader’s hatch was jammed and stood slightly open and it received a number
of hits from AT rifles demolishing the hinges and brackets.
After the battle two 4.5cm AT guns and 15 AT rifle hits were counted on
On both days of the attack the enemy destroyed our machine guns. The
smoke dischargers on the turret were also destroyed. The smoke in the turret
caused so much trouble that the Tiger was not ready for action for some time...
...all crew members nerves were frayed, we lost our sense of time. We felt
neither hunger nor any other needs. Despite the fact that the attack lasted for
more than six hours, all men in the tank felt the time had gone by in a flash.
After a further 7.62cm hit on the mantlet the gun mounting bolts sheared
off. The recoil brake lost its fluid and the gun barrel remained in rear (recoiled)
position. Due to electric problems the breech block could not be shut. Due to
shocks inflicted by further hits the radio system failed and the steering levers
were jammed. When the exhaust cover was destroyed, the engine caught fire.
This fire could be extinguished by the fire-fighting system. Further hits loosened
some turret ring screws. The turret traversing system failed temporarily...
We counted 227 hits by AT rifles, 14 hits by 5.7cm AT guns and 11 hits by
7.62cm AT guns. The right suspension was heavily damaged by shelling. The
connecting pieces for several running wheels were ruined, two torsion bars were
broken. A rear idler wheel bearing was damaged.
In spite of this damage the Tiger was able to be driven for further 60km. The
hits inflicted cracks to some weld seams. A fuel tank began leaking due to the
heavy shocks. We noticed a number of impacts in the track links, which however
did not particularly impair mobility.
Subsequently, it can be said that the armour on the Tiger had come up to our
Signed Lt. Zabel