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So the Allies may have lifted a few of their better vehicles in an effort to see how best to destroy them and, in many cases, how to rip off the technology to use for American equipment. A German Tiger in Sicily, Army photo. During the North African campaign in World War II, a small group of engineers, some of them with little combat experience, were sent on a dangerous mission, to capture one of the feared Tiger tanks in combat.
The four men were on the mission under the direct orders of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Hunting went badly at first. The crew arrived in North Africa in February Heavy combat in Tunisia caused a lot of Tiger tanks to be wounded, but most were destroyed by British troops or withdrawing Germans before they could be captured.
But the big day came on April 21 when the men spotted a Tiger with a jammed turret. They raced their Churchill Tank around the back of the Tiger and attacked the crew, killing them with machine guns, and captured the Tiger. Robert Hoover, one of America's greatest test and fighter pilots, is in the bottom row, second from right. Photo: U. S Air Force. Bob Hoover was one of the most legendary show and fighter pilots in history , flying hundreds of airframes over his career. But his most impressive flight was probably the one he was never scheduled to make, an escape from Nazi lines in his captors' plane.
Hoover was a decorated ace with 59 missions under his belt when he was shot down and captured. He escaped the prison after staging a fight and managed to get some food and a gun from a friendly German farm wife.
He used the pistol to steal some bicycles and made his way to a nearly abandoned airfield where he and a friend stole the legendary Focke-Wulfe fighter plane and flew it back to England. So, yeah, a radar station isn't a vehicle.
World War II: The Allied Invasion of Europe
Operation Biting , as it was known, was successful and the paratroopers escorted a British radar technician to the German installation, attacked it while the tech removed the most vital components, and then withdrew on foot with two German technicians as prisoner. They left France via boat. German MeB Komet. Air Force photo. In , the Allied governments were jockeying for the best post-war prizes and intelligence grabs even as the war was still being fought.
Army Air Corps Col. Currently three Jagdtigers survive around the world. One is at the U.
Many Tank Destroyers built on tank hulls were successes for Nazi Germany. In the German high command decided to have a Tank Destroyer created using these tried and tested methods, but in a different league in terms of power. The vehicle was to mount the mm naval gun, and would boast very heavy armor. The Tiger I and Panther chassis were considered, but no tank was shown to be suitable for the gigantic weapon.
That changed in , with the development of the Tiger II tank. Two prototypes were built, one with a Porsche suspension pattern that consisted of eight wheels, and one with Henschel nine-wheel pattern, the one used on the Original Tiger II. Both vehicles were finished in , and were given the designation 'Jagdtiger'.
The Jagdtiger mounted a boxy, fixed casemate at the center of a lengthened King Tiger chassis, similar to. This casemate featured very heavy armor, about mm thick on the front, while the glacis plate featured the standard Tiger II mm layout.
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This heavy armor added serious weight to the vehicle, and the hp Maybach V12 engine proved very underpowered, resulting in a poor power-to-weight ratio. This in turn strained parts and caused poor speed and off-road capability, as well as reliability and efficiency. These problems were so severe that the majority of vehicles lost were due to these problems, rather than enemy fire.
The armament of the Jagdtiger was the immensely powerful mm naval gun, which was 55 calibers long. The gun fired separate-loading ammunition, which made a second loader necessary. The cannon fired AP shells, which used their sheer kinetic energy to penetrate and smash enemy vehicles. The weapon was mounted on a limited-traverse. The German army ordered around Jagdtigers, however only 80 were produced.
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Production ran from December of to April of , and vehicles were produced at the Nibelungenwerk facility in St. Only two heavy tank-hunter battalions received the vehicle. One Jagdtiger commander, Otto Carius, lead a company of the th battalion. He stated in his memoirs that operation of the vehicle was difficult due to the fact that allied air superiority rendered any movement dangerous, especially due to the Jagdtiger's size.