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Brian Balkwill
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Dabei seit: 30.05.2008
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In writing a short history of 250031 for our upcoming book Tiger: A Modern Study of Fgst. 250031 we have come across the following:

The first Tigers issued had chassis numbers 250012-250031
250031 was issued to 2/501
According to Ron Klages 250031 was issued on 30th November 1942
In Tigers in Combat parts of 2/501 were sent to Southern France in October 1942
Again in TiC 2/501 on 9 Dec "The rest of 2/501 (3rd and 4th platoon) are ferried direct from Fallingbostel
to Trapani in Sicily.

As 250031 was one of the last 2 issued vehicles of the first production run, is it possible that it never went to France but was at Fallingbostel until its direct shipment to Sicily?

Any light you could throw on this would be of great help

Brian
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James Burns
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Hi Brian,

Don't have answeres to your questions but would like to point out for your research that the 712 had the later style hinged mud guards up front like the 833. It probably also had 1 piece side track guards but there are pictures of it to this day having both types on it. Seems the 1 2-piece guard gets moved around every time they transport the tank.

Looking forward to your book!

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James

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Matthias Radu
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Hello Brian,

so would 250 031 be the FgNr of Tiger 712? Then what is the significance or 250 058 connected to "112":



It is my understanding that "112" is former 712?

Matthias

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Brian Balkwill
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Hi Matthias

112 was painted on the vehicle after one of its many repaints at either Aberdeen or Sinsheim

A pretty exhaustive investigation in Richard Cox's Tiger without a Home states that original 112 and 712 were in fact different vehicles. 712 is definitely Fgst 250031 as this number is stamped internally in the two correct locations. The number 250058 stamped on the outside of the hull is the armoured shell number manufactured by D.H.H.V. While there is no proof he does further speculate that the turrent may have been replaced before capture due to the desperate lack of spares in Tunisia at the time.

On a different note if any of the members here have images they would like to submit for inclusion in the book there is still time. We are using these images in a timeline of the vehicle post-war. All images used will be credited and a copy of the book sent to the owner.

Regards
Brian

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Matthias Radu
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Hello Brian,

thanks for your reply. If I get you right, 250 031 is the FgStNr of the Aberdeen Tiger - numbered 712 when captured and "112" sometime afterwards, the original tac number not known so far.

What I try to figure out is the Fahrgestell-Nummer of the Tiger 712 at time of the capture. Since you mention "Fahrgestell-Nummer 250 058" in connection with a picture of "112" (which is the identical verhicle, numbered 712 at time of capture),

http://www.theresearchsquad.com/books.html

this caused some confusion over here.

In the end, 250 058 would NOT be the FgStNr. of 712, but 250 031, correct?

Cheers

Matthias

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Brian Balkwill
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Hi Matthias

You caught me out - when I originally built that page I used the wrong number (I blame Lee smile ) We corrected the book title but I missed the website.

I have corrected it - many thanks for pointing it out

I have extracted the following from Tiger Without a Home which may give some clarification as to 712's previous numbers:

"Their presence reveals that Tiger 712 had been assigned at least two other tactical numbers before its capture. The first beginning with a pair of twos, with the last
digit remaining undetermined (221). The second beginning with an eight, followed by a two, with its last digit also open to conjecture (821).

Hope this helps

Regards
Brian

Dieser Beitrag wurde schon 1 mal editiert, zum letzten mal von Brian Balkwill am 04.06.2008 14:23.

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James Burns
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Brian, we know that the 2 Kompanie tanks originally ended in either 1 or 3. Since we have photos of 823 blown up, we can deduce that this would be 221/821/712. There's a photo from the rear of a 22X tank, wonder if it's the 712?

Have you been able to examine the turret yourself?

Always thought it was 813 as my untrained eye examined several photos! Augenzwinkern

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James

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Brian Balkwill
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Hi James

We have examined every inch of the tank we could get to. Its difficult to tell what previous markings were on the turret as many layers of paint have been removed/added over the years. There is no data plate in the turrent (it was swiped soon after capture in Tunisia), so no help there. Sadly unless more wartime images show up its probably something that will remain a mystery.

Brian

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James Burns
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Are there any photos showing the back of the rommelkiste of 712?

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James

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James Burns
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Anything new on the book Brian?

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James

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David Byrden
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Dabei seit: 27.09.2009
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The question of this Tiger's original number remains open.

Zitat:
Original von Brian Balkwill
"Their presence reveals that Tiger 712 had been assigned at least two other tactical numbers before its capture. The first beginning with a pair of twos


Can anyone tell me where this middle '2' was seen? I can't find it in any photo. I don't have the "Tiger without a home" book.

The original number of this tank was one of 21, 211, 221, 213 as we can deduce now.

Looking at the wartime photos of the tank painted as 712, I think that three reasonable assumptions could be made, and they would lead to an answer;


[1] When the 2nd company were numbered as the fake 8th company, only their first digits were altered. Changes to the remaining digits happened only when the companies were combined as the 7th, leading to duplicates.

[2] The central '1' on this tank is thicker than the other two digits. Therefore it was painted by another hand at another time. It's an original.

[3] The artists centered all other turret numbers in the available space. They would not have crowded this tanks' number up against the vision port while leaving lots of empty space on the other side.

If any of the above are wrong, please say so?



David

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Hartmut von Holdt
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I think there is an error in the report and there was no former "2" on second position. He ment probably that there was a "2" under the "8". And that is what we can see on the Fotos.

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Allen Dail
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Page 29 & 31 tiger without a home. " there were three other digits partially visible on the right side of the turret. The first was an eight, which had been painted just under starboard seven. In turn,the eight had itself had been painted directly over thr fainter remains of a two. The third number was also a two painted under the starboard one."

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David Byrden
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Thank you.
That makes it 221. Here, the position of the first 2 is known;



and suggests that there was already a 721, which would presumably be the former 121.

David

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verwirrt

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Well, why not?

There is a faint indication of the first 2.

David smile

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Hartmut von Holdt
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The report says that the third digit was a "2" under the "1" or what? It was 712, not 721

I am allways confused of the report and i believe there is an error in it.


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David Byrden
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I interpret it like so;

The first hidden digit = the 8 in position 1
The second hidden digit = the 2 in position 1
The third hidden digit = the 2 in position 2

David

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Jerry Mumot
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Zitat:
Original von David Byrden
The question of this Tiger's original number remains open.

The original number of this tank was one of 21, 211, 221, 213 as we can deduce now.
David


Agreed.

Zitat:
Original von David Byrden
[2] The central '1' on this tank is thicker than the other two digits. Therefore it was painted by another hand at another time. It's an original.

[3] The artists centered all other turret numbers in the available space. They would not have crowded this tanks' number up against the vision port while leaving lots of empty space on the other side.
David


The numbers were painted using stencils, hence the uniform appearance. It seems both companies used the same stencils.

But it seems they didn't have all the stencils anymore with them in March 1943. Tiger 724 looks like it has "2" in the regular (old) shape but "4" is totally different (painted by hand or, more likely, using the new stencil). Tiger 712 has "1" in the regular shape but the shape of "2" is different. At least "1" and "3" look the same on every tank.

They probably made a new stencils quickly and didn't care whether they match perfectly.

Regards

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Returning to the question of this tank's tactical numbers:



We have this photo proving that Tiger "712" was "21".



In fact, careful examination of the left side of "712" shows that the "1" digit in "712" is the same digit from "21".

But we also have the claim, in "Tiger without a home", that a "2" existed under this "1".

I have enhanced the best available photos of both sides of the turret but I cannot see a "2" under the "1". I can only assume that the author discovered it by removing paint.

If this is true, then the Tiger was "221" as well as "21" !

Strange as it may seem, this theory fits the evidence. There are two things that support it:

1. At the Robaa attack a Tiger (231) was destroyed and another Tiger was damaged so badly that we never see it again. We don't know the number of this ruined Tiger. From the account of the battle we know that it was near the front of the attacking column, which consisted of the 2nd company.

Now, it is reasonable to imagine that the company commander's tank "21" would be near the front of the attack. Suppose that "21" became badly damaged and could not be used again. Then the company commander requires a replacement tank. Suppose he requires Tiger "221" for himself. Then it would be renumbered as "21". And so that explains these two numbers of our Tiger.



2. If you look at the numbers painted on these Tigers of the 501, you will see that they are approximately near the middle of the available space. The space extends from the vision port to the pistol port, and the artist places himself in the middle of that.



But look at the number "21" painted on our Tiger. We can see the left side, and we know where it was on the right side because we can see the "1".



On both sides, the number "21" is strangely placed to the left of the available space. Take this photo; the number "8" takes the same place as the old number "2", and the "1" has remained, therefore the number "21" is crowded against the pistol port.

In fact, if the leading "2" is preserved, there is room to fit "221" on both sides. We can explain this; somebody took "221" and changed it to "21".

What do you think?

David

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Allen Dail
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Hello David that is just as good as a Theory as we have so far I had the discussion with you when the new pics of 21 showed up and was going by the Tigers Without a Home theory of 221 to 821 and finally 712.
So your new theory of it being 221 then then as 21 to replace lost original 21 at Robaa and then 712 and no 821.
Or this 221 to 21 then 821 and finally 712.
Regards Allen

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David Byrden
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Zitat:
Original von Allen Dail
So your new theory of it being 221 then then as 21 to replace lost original 21 at Robaa and then 712 and no 821.
Or this 221 to 21 then 821 and finally 712.
Regards Allen


There was an "8" on it!
I propose this sequence;

221 -> 21 -> 81 -> 712

The account in "Tiger without a home" seems very assured:

"The first beginning with a pair of twos, with the last
digit remaining undetermined. The second beginning with an eight, followed by a two"

Of course he could not determine which digits appeared together, so he could not be sure of the complete numbers, but when he tells us the "7" was on top of "8" and that was on top of "2", we know from independent research that he was correct. So I believe him about the "pair of twos".

David

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I've recently been looking at better copies of the photos, and thinking about the numbers of this Tiger.

I now doubt that it was ever "21". We certainly have no photos of it numbered "21".

I've summarised what I think is the story of Tiger 712.

David

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