Battlegroup Fehrmann Tiger v. three British Comets, 3RTR

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by SDP, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    I had hoped TTS would be on the shelves for the 75th anniversary but I’m afraid it has been ‘covided’. Amazon’s availability date is not reflecting this. I am hoping for June. Pity it didn’t make the 75th anniversary, but compared to the rest of the misery and inconvenience being spread by the virus this is microscopic.
     
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  2. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    And three days later...
    15 April 1945.jpg
    A Comet tank of 11th Armoured Division passes the camp gate at Bergen Belsen concentration camp, 15 April 1945.
    (Courtesy Wikimedia)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
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  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Understood to be a 3RTR Comet (just wish I could remember the reference).
    A sad and traumatic day for all those involved - dad was still having nightmares about it in the 1960s
    RIP all those who died in the Holocaust and, indeed, elsewhere in WW2.
     
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  4. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    I remember seeing somewhere something my grandfather wrote about Belsen... and just found it, written at the foot of page 389 of Montgomery of Alamein. He mentions the date as being 13th April, obviously didn't remember the exact date, but he didn't forget the camp... Excerpt Belsen.jpg
     
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  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Another photo of Tiger F01 - posted on Facebook yesterday.

    IMG_5390.JPG
     
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  6. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    I love the expressions on the faces of the two tankies looking at the camera; the one posing on the right, "look what I caught", the one on the left, "shit, I'm not getting back in my tank"..:D
    Great photo! Again, I wonder if the incident was really like the one portrayed in Warriors of the Working Day, where they are ordered to go look for the Tiger, confirm by radio that they were advancing, then, not realising the radio was still broadcasting, saying amongst themselves, 'screw that for a game of soldiers, we'll stay here where it's nice and safe', or something similar, then 'oh crap, Tiger! Gunner, fire! fire!' - can't remember the exact words used in the book offhand, but that's the gist! The stuff that legends are made of!
     
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  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I would need to check but I'm reasonably sure Langdon was not totally believed when they reported the Tiger. I'll look up the incident in his book and post images later. WFWD is surprisingly accurate for a 'novel' :)
     
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  8. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    I really enjoyed it, just wished it were a bit longer! The incident with the tank left abandoned in the town whilst the crew live it up in the chateux and the REME captain certainly seems to coincide with my grandfather's 'stop-off' at Haute Épine, although he didn't get away with it!
     
  9. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Langdon wasn’t believed when F01 was first seen by him the day before its destruction by Sgt Harding. I suppose RHQ had in previous months become so used to German tanks being wrongly identified as Tigers that disbelief was the immediate instinct! F01 must have been the first Tiger encountered for some while. It would be interesting (well, slightly interesting) to know when 3RTR had last encountered a Tiger.
     
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  10. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    F01 is well off the Ostenholz road and in its final position having been dragged there, presumably by a 3RTR Sherman ARV. Other photos of F01 show the tank in this location. Would F01 need to have had its drive disconnected for a Sherman ARV to be able to move it? The 3RTR personnel in the photo don’t look like tank crew as none are wearing ‘zoot’ suits or carrying side arms. Perhaps they were from HQ Squadron getting in some military tourism.
     
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  11. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Going by the WD, 18th July '44.
    2200; Fired on by approx 3 Tiger and Panther tks from ridge in area 063635 – 067628.
    2215; 6 Sherman tks of unit knocked out.
     
  12. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    18 July was during GOODWOOD and I suspect the 3RTR crews never saw the Tiger/s that knocked out their tanks.
     
  13. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    That would make sense especially as Fred Preston was HQ Squadron Recce Troop.
    There are quite a lot of tell tales on the various photos so it should be possible to put them into time order. I also think there are now 11 known photos - not the 10 mentioned by Stephen White on the 3RTR Facebook page (I've got another where there is a chap standing just in front of the Turret which I think also came from Bovington).
     
  14. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    In the photos and film taken of B Squadron 3RTR tank maintenance at Schwarmstedt on the 13th, none of the crews are wearing the suits, all in battledress. Maybe the weather was a bit warm?
     
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  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    The sheer number of 'tourist' photos of F01 certainly confirm it as a 'special event'.
     
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  16. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Tigers in NW Germany became a VERY rare species during April 1945. The confirmed ones came from training units and were
    • six of BG Schulze from Fallersleben
    • two of BG Grosan from Fallersleben
    • two of BG Bennigsen from Putlos
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  17. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I need to check but didn't two of the Schulze Tigers become Grosan Tigers, one of which was F01?
     
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  18. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Maybe...not entirely sure about that:
    5th Recce Regiment Intel Summary No 5 (BLA) dating April 27th 1945:
    Forest Munster, gen Area 6098, although passed several days ago by Allied tps was recently combed for enemy in hiding
    This was done three times and third time through 6,000 PW, 10 S.P. guns and one TIGER were captured.

    The other one known to me was earlier found at BISPINGEN

    But at least it weren´t more than 10 specimens left alltogether
     
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  19. Roddy1011

    Roddy1011 Senior Member

    Saw the post ref T-335947...I hold the following on this veh fm 3 RTR:

    - 5 Feb 45 - Veh used by Regt in the D & M School, RAC Trg School, Belgium - Regt War Diary, TNA File WO171/4708 -
    - May 45 - Veh noted near Lubeck, Germany - BTM pic -
    - 2 Aug 45 - Veh HO to 171 Veh Pk - Regt War Diary, TNA File WO171/4708
     
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  20. S54

    S54 Junior Member

    Yep agreed a 'Zoot Suit' would indeed be a tad warm, even in April!
     
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