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June 02, 2005

A new "special friend" of the Castle.

Send the Armorer pics like this, as SezaGeoff does, and you too, can be a Friend of the Castle!

Regarding the discussions about tanks and who had what operable Tigers where, Geoff sent along this pic he thought (correctly) I might find interesting - from the French tank museum at Saumur. It is an early model Jagdpanzer IV(you can tell by the vertical armor plate vice later models, which were lower and sloped), a German tank-hunter used in the last year of the war.

This one having been hunted a bit itself... that is a solid shot with tracer armor piercing round stuck in the glacis. There's a gouge from another hit... and then there's all that cracked and broken armor. Any crewmen on that side of the vehicle had soiled trousers, if they survived. Of course, there was a tendency on the battlefield to put "insurance shots" into armored vehicles that weren't obviously dead, as in a catastrophic kill. It was not unusual (especially with Geman vehicles which didn't burn as readily as US vehicles, being fueled with diesel and not gasoline) to have many extra holes in them as tanks passing by on their way elsewhere made sure for themselves.

This grouping of shots however, strikes me as an indicator of a duel between this vehicle and one or two other Allied tanks or anti-tank guns. Perhaps a first hit (the large hole on the lower portion) on the transmission housing immobilizing the vehicle followed by subsequent shots until the crew bailed or the Allied crew/s were satisfied the vehicle was no longer a threat. Perhaps CAPT H has some thoughts on the possibilities?

Hi-res, click here.

He sent along this commentary:

I mentioned the Musee des Blindes at Saumur in France in the comments. One of the exhibits in the German Hall was a Jagdpanzer that had been taken out by multiple hits of AP. One was still stuck in the glacis! Apparently the US soldiers took it over afterwards and used it for a while, which explains the steel plate where the MG was. I thought you might like to look at the picture.

And he's correct! I think the plate over the MG he's referring to is actually just the normal construction for the early version of this vehicle (see the pics in the article linked to above), but who cares? Kewl pic of a vehicle that saw real action, unlike most of the vehicles and aircraft you'll find in US museums. Not a slam on US museums, but we didn't tend to bring our own shot-up stuff back. And precious little of the other guy's stuff. By contrast, the Europeans, pretty much always being the Home Team last century, had lots of stuff to pick and choose from, without the transport costs.

Thanks, Geoff! Oh, and Geoff, my email box has high capacity and I have broadband access... no worries!