Grossdeutschland's 13TH Tiger Company

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Postby Saxondog » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:35 am

Early in the Russian campaign when Tigers were first deployed Grossdeutschland Division was equipped with a TIGER COMPANY,THE 13TH COMPANY of 9 early model Tigers,they were Grey in color with rubber lined road wheels and Feifel tropical air cleaners.

Grossdeutschland was one a but a few units to receive their own TIGER COMPANY.This was a wise choice,the 13thcompany 9-Tiger strong lost no Tigers between FEB.1943 When formed until KURSK,even during the battles around Kharkov.They did suffer some mechanical beak downs but lost no Tigers.

Between March 7th-19 the 9th fought with cunning and discipline as they battled around Paltawa-Belgorod,Their were good reports of Tigers getting penetrating hits at 1000metres with frontal hits against Russian T-34'S.Another report of a GD scout patrol consisting of two Tigers encountering 20 Russian T-34 to their front and others attacking from the rear.

Both Tigers were hit at least 10 times by mainly 76.2mm at ranges from 500-1000metres with no penetrations.These two Tigers managed to knock out 10 Russian tanks in 15 minutes.This is but one account of the Battles prior to KURSK where the new Tigers proved their value,and a good reason why the Germans felt they could defeat the Russians superior numbers in the coming Kursk offensive.

During March the Tigers Knocked out over 40 Russian vehicles without a single combat lose.Their were equipment failures but the 13th company had excellent support units that were constantly in the front lines ready to recover equipment and to repair on the battlefield those Tigers with minor issues. By March 31 only One operational Tiger remained,in APRIL 13th Company was pulled back to regroup and repair their Tigers,none had been lost. But all were in need of repairs,also during this time 13th company received repairs to all tanks in the Grossdeutschland Division and on May 13th six more Tigers were delivered,the same early models as the first nine.

Now 13th company had 15 Tiger in 4-platoons.They continued to have engagements with Russian tanks but the 13th was deployed in a defensive position.At 0400hrs 7th July the battle for Kursk began,there are mixed reports of Grossdeutschland advancing 20miles as a division with the Tiger company destroying some 60 Russian Tanks for a lose of 6-Tigers,They continued fighting until 18th July when Grossdeutschland division and the 13th company were transferred to Army Group Center seeing action again on 25th July.Between then and 14th of August the Tigers saw limited action.This ends the beginning History of the 13th company Grossdeutschland Divisions first Tiger company.

They proved repeatedly that they were a force of skill and cunning.After 14th of August the 13th company was re-designated and assigned to III Battalion newly expanded Panzer regiment GROSSDEUTSCHLAND.They fought bravely earning their place in History,the elite HEER division.Fighting the entire war on the Eastern front.

Their are many more Battles but to me these early Tiger Deployments were the most remarkable,and proof that given the right weapon,moral,and training a small group can overcome larger numbers of men and equipment,the original 13th Company was such a unit. I hope this may be of interest to some,Blake
details,fuel cans,light conduit,grenade bracket 020.jpg
My Tiger S13 of 13th company Grossdeutschland Division
Early Grossdeutschland Tiger
Grossdeutschland Tigers on the move March 1943
Last edited by Saxondog on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected spacing
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Postby Mad Fox » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:17 am

Very interesting read Blake thanks for sharing :D

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Postby DavidByrden » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:21 pm

Thank you for the history. But these Tigers were not grey.

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Postby Ad Lav » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:24 pm

I spoke to Felix from Axels in Germany recently and he too confirmed they would have not been grey.

Can’t remember the exact colours, I have them written down somewhere. Tropen?
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Postby Jimster » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:36 pm

Thanks for that info. The very very earliest Tigers hold my greatest interest.

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Postby DavidByrden » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:09 pm

Their original colours were the "tropical" ones, just like Tiger 131 at Bovington.
But their turret bins were Dunkelgrau or perhaps black. At that time the bins were supplied to the units separately from the tanks, and apparently GD didn't bother to paint them. Not until much later.

The photo above labelled "March 1943" cannot be from March because the tank has spare track links on the turret, therefore it's one of the May deliveries at the earliest.

Last edited by DavidByrden on Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby midlife306 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm

Ohhh I love this forum

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