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REVIEW
Bergepanzer Tiger I
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ARMORAMA
#406
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, December 03, 2016 - 10:58 PM UTC
Andrew_Jerome shares with us a video review of the Bergepanzer Tiger I from Dragon Models in 1/35th scale.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
KoSprueOne
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Myanmar
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Posted: Saturday, December 03, 2016 - 11:14 PM UTC
Thanks, Andrew. This is the one kit of these kits that I do not yet have.




Andrew_Jerome
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California, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 01:19 AM UTC
I recommend that you get it! It is a nice kit is you overlook the tracks. If that doesnt bother you then this is a self sufficient model with no need of aftermarket!
Vemmadave
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: April 17, 2013
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 02:34 AM UTC
Thanks Andrew, the only thing about the new box art is some of the painting is omitted which Dragon does so you lose some of the artist's art. What a shame!
KoSprueOne
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Myanmar
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 03:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I recommend that you get it! It is a nice kit is you overlook the tracks. If that doesnt bother you then this is a self sufficient model with no need of aftermarket!



Ok, good to know.




Taeuss
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Manitoba, Canada
Joined: January 03, 2016
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 07:23 AM UTC
When you think about it, this was a tremendous waste of a Tiger and little wonder that no others were converted for something as largely purposeless at that stage of the war as a demolition delivery vehicle.
deathdork
Joined: March 26, 2007
KitMaker: 265 posts
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 08:10 AM UTC
Is it settled that this was a one off? Is it also settled that this was not a recovery vehicle? Never seen any material on the actual charge it was supposed to deliver.
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 10:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Is it settled that this was a one off? Is it also settled that this was not a recovery vehicle? Never seen any material on the actual charge it was supposed to deliver.


There is not too much info on this vehicle. We do know that only one example was ever recovered and the timeline and features would indicate Pz.abt 508 modified this one tiger whose main gun was damaged. This answers the question "why bother to convert a tiger?" The answer is simple: convert an otherwise useless vehicle to perform a useful function - what we believe to be a charge layer/demo vehicle and perhaps a light recovery vehicle.
Mannloon
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: May 18, 2015
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Posted: Sunday, December 04, 2016 - 11:27 AM UTC
This is a strange kit. It's basically 6700 with a new sprue for the crane and then the old incorrect Magic Tracks from 6253.
Andrew_Jerome
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California, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 04:27 AM UTC
Most facts point toward this vehicle not being a recovery vehicle. It might have been, but the Tiger experts do not think so.
Byrden
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Wien, Austria
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 04:34 AM UTC
I think that it was. My reasons;

- Towing hitch added to front
- Towing hitch added to rear

David

jimz66
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Connecticut, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 06:45 AM UTC
You should photograph the sprues and All pages of the instruction sheet to put in the review
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 06:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I think that it was. My reasons;

- Towing hitch added to front
- Towing hitch added to rear

David



I agree, with the caveat "light" recovery. Certainly a Tiger no longer fit for combat could pull Panzer IVs or Stugs, Staff cars, etc. out of ditches or what have you. As for charge laying? We will probably never know! Such a secretive and mysterious vehicle! If David doesn't have the complete answers, no one else will, that's for sure.
Taeuss
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Manitoba, Canada
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 07:39 AM UTC
I remember seeing some model company that remarketed older Tamiya kits and it had the BergeTiger with a crewman using the crane to tow out a 251. Laughable. The crane couldn't carry much and what form of explosive charge it was designed to carry in no way reduces the sheer loss that was represented by taking a gun tank out of the line in order to drop off explosive charges. And for what? The Wehrmacht was on the defensive by then, so what fortifications or emplacements was it intended to destroy?
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 09:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I think that it was. My reasons;

- Towing hitch added to front
- Towing hitch added to rear

David




This beast has all the equipment that the early T-34 armored recovery vehicles had. Imagine you were a motor sergeant who wants to do simple recovery from an armored vehicle. And maybe you lost your Famo and even your jib hoist. Under those circumstances this is probably the field expedient that you would come up with.

And don't give me "loss of a gun tank" Under combat circumstances giving up one tank so you can recover and repair the rest is not a bad trade. Think like a tank mechanic.
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 11:25 AM UTC
I don't know how much credence we can lend to it but the "Tigers in combat" book indicates the pz.abt 508's diary states "one tiger converted to demolotion and charge laying vehicle. Certainly they had Borgward IVs in their inventory so it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that a Command tank lost in combat and unable to be "re-gunned" could be used in such a way . As for being in retreat, well we know Borgwards and Goliaths were used right up to the final days of the war. It is possible the crane could lower a Borgward charge in front of some road obstacle or such, and with it's front and rear tow bars, perhaps double-dutied as a recovery or repair vehicle. Although it is supposed to take three Famos to tow a Tiger, a lone "bergetiger" could certainly tow small and medium vehicles, or drag halftracks out of the way. Certainly the story of the "whatever" Tiger I is not over yet!
I believe David Byrden and others have noted the small geared crane on the back of the turret in the photo is in fact a US crane truck driving by in the background of the picture and incorrectly interpreted by Italeri.
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 11:40 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I remember seeing some model company that remarketed older Tamiya kits and it had the BergeTiger with a crewman using the crane to tow out a 251. Laughable. The crane couldn't carry much and what form of explosive charge it was designed to carry in no way reduces the sheer loss that was represented by taking a gun tank out of the line in order to drop off explosive charges. And for what? The Wehrmacht was on the defensive by then, so what fortifications or emplacements was it intended to destroy?


*****
Well that box art certainly sounds like fantasy lol. Demolotion vehicles were used right up to the end of the war - but perhaps by this time they were more being used to blow obstacles blocking retreat! The crane has never been documented fully erect and we know the little crane on the turret rear is a figment of the imagination - in the original pic the crane is actually on an Allied vehicle driving through the background. The tow bars, or spreader bars on the front and rear could definitely be used to tow and push vehicles like trucks, APCs and medium tanks.

We can also surmise - if we believe the 508's diary- that a gun tank was not taken out of service but rather a damaged command tank that could not be re-armed was repurposed and modified in the quaint way we've seen. Anzio was certainly not the place to hang around waiting for a turret delivery.
Byrden
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Wien, Austria
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 11:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

taking a gun tank out of the line in order to drop off explosive charges.



It wasn't a functioning gun tank, the turret was burnt and unrepairable.

Also, it wasn't a Command tank. It was an ordinary Tiger, one of the one that were built as Command tanks but converted back.

See http://tiger1.info/models/products-page/DR6850

David
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 - 01:44 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

taking a gun tank out of the line in order to drop off explosive charges.



It wasn't a functioning gun tank, the turret was burnt and unrepairable.

Also, it wasn't a Command tank. It was an ordinary Tiger, one of the one that were built as Command tanks but converted back.

See http://tiger1.info/models/products-page/DR6850

David


***
Ah! I was curious as to the ex-pot antennae holder on the roof. That explains it!
Taeuss
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Manitoba, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 01:07 AM UTC
Even if it was a Tiger with a burnt-out turret I would think that even late in the war surely spares, even taken from another donor tank, would have been available. As to using it as a recovery vehicle: we'll ignore that there were strict orders forbidding this practice as Tiger's were infamous for transmission and final drive problems. That's why Bergepanthers were so invaluable as they could tow a Tiger and, weighing tons less, had the good possibility of managing without damage to itself. The turret-mounted crane is laughable as even with the reduction gears the crane wouldn't be able to do much useful that would justify the work. You don't convert a vehicle for a one-off. What that purpose was is a true mystery. If it was actually a recovery Tiger then it would have made more sense to pull the turret at the same time that the gun was removed. I think that Dave would agree on that at least.
Byrden
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Wien, Austria
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 01:45 AM UTC
At the time of the conversion, the battalion had thirty-seven Tigers plus three unrepairable damaged ones. A thick-skinned demolition charge layer may have seemed more desirable than one more Tiger.

David
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 07:49 AM UTC
There were orders to be sure but in times of combat we know that single famos and single tigers would attempt lone recovery and there are at least a couple of pics to show this. I also find a lot of people say "The bergetiger would never tow a tiger", etc. The 508 had more than just tigers that needed recovery...not to mention war booty. We must also be wary when we assume or surmise by saying things like "even it was burned out surely it was better to use it as a donor tank". This flies in the face of fact: we already know that pz.abt for whatever reason opted as for a one-off conversion rather than retain it as a donor tank. The statement "You don't make one off conversions" also holds no truth as we have dozens of examples to show this: everything from the bergetiger(?) to the fuel drum carrying Kubelwagen. Let us not be contrarians for the sake of it but rather engage in meaningful dialogue. Why is the crane "laughable"? I work with cranes every day and a crane (or jib, really) this size should have no problem lowering a 700lb Borgward load. I am not saying I believe it was a charge layer but it is definitely possible. Don't forget the diary statement that alludes to just that, also.


As for why not pull the turret...well then the field shop would have to source steel, cut it, and plug the hole...perhaps not ideal considering the situation at Anzio. Or perhaps the turret could still rotate which could assist positioning the weird little crane/jib. Bizarrely it appears the crane operator would need to be out of the tank to use the crane. I wonder would the tank back up to the "target" and rotate the turret so the operator could at least be halfway inside the driver's hatch? This mystery vehicle is certainly excitingvto discuss, anyway. Perhaps one day an "in action" photograph will appear!!
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:19 AM UTC
Like I said in my post, "think like a motor pool warrant officer/NCO" not a pedantic historian. What do you need and what can you make with what you have?

Screw orders. I need that tank towed and all I have to do it with is this tank, and the enemy is readying a counter attack and it's raining and my sausage was cold and my socks are wet.

I don't want excuses, I want results. Panzer vor!
Jmarles
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:25 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Like I said in my post, "think like a motor pool warrant officer/NCO" not a pedantic historian. What do you need and what can you make with what you have?

Screw orders. I need that tank towed and all I have to do it with is this tank, and the enemy is readying a counter attack and it's raining and my sausage was cold and my socks are wet.

I don't want excuses, I want results. Panzer vor!


***Indeed, and the Germans were certainly getting their butts kicked pretty good at Anzio. TBH the so-called bergetiger would be ideal to recover Borgward demo vehicles which were often damaged or broke down in the course of their duties. Perhaps the berge was even an improvised Borgward control tank - making it a "triple duty vehicle"!
Byrden
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Wien, Austria
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Posted: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 12:29 PM UTC
It was a Borgward control tank before the conversion. Not after.

David