This German Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.E Tiger tank was used in the movie Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. It has now been restored to a working condition again and used in Living History re-enactments at Military History events in America.
Panzerkampfwagen Ausführung VI – Tiger Tank replica built on Soviet Russian T-34/85 tank chassis
US Treadheads Living History Tank Crew Group
The mission of Treadheads is to preserve the machines, tactics and history of early 20th Century armored warfare. The all volunteer crew of this organization are dedicated armored professionals with more than 40 years combined experience in modern armored warfare. they are based in Balitmore, Maryland, America
The Treadheads restore, build, and crew period armored fighting vehicles, educate the public and reenactors about armored warfare/tactics and preserve the history of the men and machines that shaped warfare in the first half of the 20th Century.
A Tiger Tank ambush on the look out for KV-1, T34, Shermans, Cromwell and Churchill tanks
Their current project is the restoration of the German Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.E Tiger tank used in the movie Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. We recovered it from a field in northern Maryland this winter and worked hard bringing her back to life. 'Grendel' as we have dubbed her is built on a Russian T-34/85 that was built in 1943.
The T-34/85 saw action on the Eastern Front during World War II and was used by the East German Army after the war. With the limited amount of fully restored Tiger Ausf E tanks it is difficult to deploy a Tiger tank in living history events. This why most modern Tiger tanks are built on the bodies/chassis of other armored vehicles.
There is a Tiger in the woods on the prowl and you though bears were the most dangerous things lurking in the great outdoors.
The Treadheads realized the importance of bringing this Tiger Ausf E back to life so that the public, veterans, history buffs, living historians, and reenactors can get a feel for the Tiger Ausf E (Tiger 1). The Tiger tank involvement and myth surrounding it greatly impacted the events during World War II and even today is one of the most well known tanks of all time. This is why the Treadheads take great pride in restoring Grendel and bringing her to events for all to enjoy this piece of history.
They have chosen to focus on the 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion. This was a Wehrmacht Army unit and had no affiliation with the Nazi party. Hitler often deployed the Waffen SS units alongside Wehrmacht units because he feared mutiny from the regular army units. They have in depth surviving personal accounts from the men and officers of the 503rd to ensure the history we portray is as accurate as possible.
Tiger Tank replica 231 Grendel on the look out for Allied armour during a re-enactment event.
Tiger tanks spotted in Normandy
Dawn on 11 July did not improve visibility because of a thick mist 'eine Milchsuppe', as the Hohenstaufen described it. But high overhead a British artillery spotter plane appeared just as the 19th and 20th SS Panzergrenadier-Regiments were about to attack. The crews of the Tiger tanks with them feared the worst.
They quickly realized that the safest place would be in among their enemy. They charged the British positions, rolling over trenches. With an ironic admiration, they saw British anti-tank crews trying to bring their ineffective guns to bear. 'They're brave, the Anglo-Saxons!' one of them noted. The monster panzers suddenly emerged from the bank of mist. 'We had a scene in front of us of which every Tiger dreams,' a crew member wrote.
Barely a hundred yards away was a forward replenishment point with ammunition trucks and other vehicles, including tanks. 'Our commander called out: "Armour-piercing! Open fire!" .' Two Churchill tanks in front of them were traversing their turrets towards them, but the Tigers blasted them at close range and they both exploded into flames.
Operation Epsom Tiger Capture
The southern end of Fontenay was still held by the Panzer Lehr Division. The following morning, a Sherman of the Sherwood Rangers, 'on turning a corner in the centre of the village came face to face with a German Tiger tank trundling along the road. Fortunately the Sherman commander had an armour piercing shell in the breech of his 75 mm. gun which he released at 30 yards' range and then followed up with another six shells in quick succession, which brewed up the Tiger.'
The next day, the Sherwood Rangers cleared Rauray, after losing several of their tanks. Their greatest prize was an abandoned Tiger tank in perfect running order. They even painted their brigade sign of a fox's mask on it, but orders came down from XXX Corps headquarters that it must be sent back to England. It was the first to be captured intact in Normandy.