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Tiger 131


Scammell4199
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I've just read the latest issue of CMV, and have some questions regarding Bovington's Tiger.

The article states that the vehicle was "retired to save its deteriorating condition from becoming irreparable"

Correct me if i'm wrong, but as I always understood it, one of the conditions of the lottery grant to restore it was that the tank was used. Furthermore what was the point of carrying out a full, and surely very expensive, restoration if the thing is going to be retired, you could have made do with an external restoration.

I recently heard on the grapevine that the Tiger has been through 4 engines, and when it was so called "retired" the engine was inhibited. Then sometime later when an attempt was made to start it, not all the inhibiting oils were succesfully purged and upon starting, two cylinders were broken through hydraulic lock, so that's one of the engines.

Going back to the CMV article, a £40,000 appeal is now underway to restore the vehicle to working order.....again. A weekly warm up and short run round the museum track would have done wonders in maintaining the vehicle in fine fettle, with a minimum of wear and tear. Surely one of the now most rare and valuable pieces of military hardware deserves better. As I said before, correct me if i'm wrong.

 

Richard

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Hi all

It seems that in the not to distance past the British WW1 tank was run as the flagship untill it deterorated via stress cracks in the main frame, then as another crowd puller and obtainer of lottery monies the Tiger was promoted as flag ship for the museum,and some of the tales (some must be true) that eminated from that restorationare beoyned belief. Now we know that German engineering is very complicated and the engines were prone to faliure (but how many hours has it run ??) and i am sure a a suitable maybe more modern type could be found.

 

Also please remember not all reguard the Tiger worthy of spending monies on.

 

Ashley

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I think this subject has been covered before in

 

MV Chatter The Tiger 131 Appeal 2010
dated from 9-1-10 to 25-1-10, -now around page 5 I think.

 

I have not read what was said in CMV but in the past it has been noted for a certain degree of lax editiorial control- even sensational copy.

 

I am fairly certain if the above mentioned thread is read in particular what John Pearson contributed a fairer picture of the problems with the Bovington Tiger 1 will be aparent.

 

I have now read the article in the current CMV and I get the distinct impresion the CMV is a victim of lack of editorial control- or more likely being fluffed by either or both of the publicists involved with the matter, ie Dan Snows TV company or Tank Museums publicity and corporate department. Perhaps editors should make it apparent who initiated the article in question, which at least would allow the reader to take an informed viewpoint of the sensationalism of an article.

 

Steve

Edited by steveo578
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C'mon we all know that there is no such thing as 'irreparable' damage, especially not on a vehicle as heavily built as a Tiger I. Stress fractures in a near 100 year old machine built of riveted thin plate armour is however quite understandable... As steve said, the article sounds rather suspect to me.

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I have just read the CMV article. Bit of fuss about nothing perhaps???

They are trying to raise money so it is worded to get attention but is not actually inaccurate, I think. The line everyone seems to be writing about is:

"retired to save its deteriorating condition from becoming irreparable"

Well, that is true, once you stop restoring, it starts deteriorating doesn't it? As I mentioned previously, the fan drives were a make up from commercial components that have broken up. If you keep using it and drive shafts flail around, it will certaiinly cause irreparable damage, wont it? While the engine is out, it is being given a full check over, inside and out to see how it is going: better to find a crack etc rather than let it fly to pieces, isn't it, even if you don't suspect a crack is there in the first place. You must remember that the Tiger was notoriously unreliable and I do not mean that it would lose its spark or foul up its plugs: I mean the crankshaft snapping or the whole thing seizing up. To keep it as cool as possible, it was run with as rich a mixture as it would run on without eight-stroking. The excess petrol acted as an internal coolant, not a cleaver idea when the Germans had such reduced fuel supplies but if you ran the engine with a weak (lean) mixture, it seized up!

Anyway, appeal is going OK so far as I know (I spin spanners, not shuffle papers!) so hopefully everything will be ok again soon as possible. The restored Jagpanther from Pirbright range is taking the Tiger's 'place' at Tankfest this year.

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John Pearson

Bit of fuss about nothing perhaps???

 

 

I tend to agree.

 

The problem I have with the copy is that had CMV titled the article as an appeal for funds as opposed to presenting it as news I doubt any-one would have re-acted adversely, it could be compared to an extent to last years controversy between the Disasters Emergency Committee and the BBC over the appeal on the Gaza crisis. A charity (and of course the Tank Museum is one) should never generate copy that could be misconstrued as news and more importantly magazines/forums and other media organisations should not allow them to do so, it is damaging to both parties.

 

Steve

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What's wrong with taking a unique running vehicle out of use to save further deterioration whilst raising funds for a full restoration to running order? Surely that is better than running it into the ground resulting it never being seen run again. As the only running version in the world, I can quite see why the Tank Museum have taken this option. You never knw, if the funds become available in a short period of time, then the Tiger will be back in action again within a couple of years or so. After all, in the preserved aviation world, aircraft are often taken out of service for a while for a deep strip down and service - often back to component parts and then restored to fly once more. I know of one particular Spitfire, the world's only flying PR.XI, which has gone through that this winter and once back in thhe air for this summer, will actually be more original than ever.

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I agree with Alastair, whilst the Tank Museum doesn't have their money, one thing we can learn from Mr Littlefield and Mr Wheatcroft is nothing is irreparable, its just a case of how much money and effort you want to throw at it.

Thanks to John for a bit of clarification, at least now we can understand its out of action due to the fan drives.

To those who say it shouldn't be restored at all, I fully agree that there are many British vehicles worthy of attention, but the Tiger is a vital link in the story of armour evolution, and now that the effort has been made to restore it to running condition in the first place, I think that every effort should be made to keep it so.

 

Richard

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Scammell4199

To those who say it shouldn't be restored at all, I fully agree that there are many British vehicles worthy of attention, but the Tiger is a vital link in the story of armour evolution,

 

 

It is interesting historically but I query whether it is a vital link in armour evolution- in effect a Tiger 1 is an evolution of the comparitively primitive Panzer 4- basically a P4 with obesity:-D it was not revolutionary like a Renault FT T34 or a Stalin 3 or half a dozen other designs and its historical place in the tank museums collection is not conditional on whether it is a runner.

 

Steve

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Especially when the Tank Museums prime focus is British Tanks and there are a few gaps in the display collection that could be filled with a relatively small investment, A30 Challenger springs to mind and Cavalier to a lesser degree.

 

Having said that, the Tank Museum can not survive purely by pandering to enthusiasts. They have to attract the public in very large numbers and a running Tiger will have much more effect than two more static tanks. After all, it's prompted a couple of threads on here!

 

Personally, I would rather see a few of those gaps filled but that's just my personal opinion and in no way a criticism of the Museum. It is still the best tank museum in the world in my view.

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It is interesting historically but I query whether it is a vital link in armour evolution- in effect a Tiger 1 is an evolution of the comparitively primitive Panzer 4- basically a P4 with obesity:-D it was not revolutionary like a Renault FT T34 or a Stalin 3 or half a dozen other designs and its historical place in the tank museums collection is not conditional on whether it is a runner.

 

Steve

 

I agree Steve, however it doesn't always boil down to numbers, the Tiger I was feared and all other German AFVs were Tigers in the eyes of our guys on the ground in Normandy. I think if it hadn't been christened and had simply been a MkVI the legend wouldn't have been so persistant.... just my thoughts.

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Adrian Barrell

..............After all, it's prompted a couple of threads on here!

 

 

Hi Adrian

 

I prefer to keep off the content of the previous posts on this subject, although this could have been amalgamated with "tiger 131 appeal 2010", which would have made all the previous views apparent and would avoid repeating posts.

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ajmac

I agree Steve, however it doesn't always boil down to numbers, the Tiger I was feared and all other German AFVs were Tigers in the eyes of our guys on the ground in Normandy. I think if it hadn't been christened and had simply been a MkVI the legend wouldn't have been so persistant.... just my thoughts.

 

 

My point was about its lack of technical inovation not its numbers -although the production numbers were not that great.

 

Its an interesting theory that the name itself added to its prowess-similar theory has been put forward about aircraft between Britiain and Germany the British prefering agressive names such as Spitfire,Hurricane & Typhoon whereas Germany stuck with numbers ME109 FW190 etc. Personally I don't think it makes much difference, British soldiers were fearful of Panzers from the first battles in 1940 and first impressions were impossible to shake off indeed it was consistantly thought that the Panzerwaffe was armed with "super tanks" from the blitzkreig in the West in 1940.

 

Steve

Edited by steveo578
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I just think it silly to have spent all this time, effort and money getting it running, and then to just leave it. But as we now know its out of action due to failed fan drives, which it sounds from John's post will be rectified in due course.

As far as the case for wether it should recieve attention over a British vehicle, the very existence of tanks like the Tiger and Panther are in part why bigger british tanks were developed, thats what i was getting at with my 'story of tank evolution' remark.

 

Richard

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The Tiger is an incredibly important link in the development of the Tank. As has been previously stated, The first GREAT tank that we developed, the Centurion was built to counter this tank. It was feared greatly by it's adversaries and was technically advanced. It was certainly not obese...

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The Tiger is an incredibly important link in the development of the Tank. As has been previously stated, The first GREAT tank that we developed, the Centurion was built to counter this tank. It was feared greatly by it's adversaries and was technically advanced. It was certainly not obese...

 

Steve,

Breath deeply and move to another thread...:-D

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berna2vm

The Tiger is an incredibly important link in the development of the Tank.

 

 

Ok I'll defend my position, rather than an important link it could be said that the Tiger 1 [VK4501(H)] was the culmination of a re-action to the Matilda 1 and 2 which is reputed to have impressed the OKW and Adolf himself for its near invulnerability in the June 1940 campaign. To this end the Germans embarked on the development of VK3001(H) and further developed into VK3601(H), both also known as PzKfw VI and the parallel development of VK3001(P) Leopard. The Tiger 1 design order was let a month or so before the start of Barbarossa and had the Wehrmacht not encountered KV -especially the KV2, the weapon of choice for the Tiger would have been the KWK 7.5cm L70 or a taper bore weapon similar to the 7.5cm PaK 41 and its all up weight would have been nearer the 45ton of the planned VK3601. As it was the only thing that could deal with the KV (and the Matildas a year earlier) was the 8.8cm Flak 18, so influence by the panic of the Red menace this gun was re-configured for the Tiger- a gun which was an over-weight dead end and was never used on any other tank or SPG, unlike other German cannons which were often used on several tanks-SPGs.

 

To sum up the Tiger design it was over weight at 12ton over the design (so it is clinically obese which is never good for a cat;) ) which affected transmission and motor and required a redesign of the suspension hence the asymmetric track and extra layer of interleaved wheels. Additionally the use of an extra set of narrow (probably the original) track for transport could hardly be classed as innovative or inspired.

 

Because of the date of production it could not benefit from radical T34 design and therefore had very conventional armour thickness and layout -it had a very similar hull form to the Panzer 4 with 100m frontal armour at almost vertical inclination. (Same as a 1941 Churchill 1 tank).

 

To be innovative it should have led to an improved tank but in reality production ended in 1944- with no direct successor. The tiger 2 was in effect a super panther.

 

With regard to Centurion, of any German tank that was of influence, it was the Panther which British experts were allowed to view after Kursk (indeed in a rare moment of Anglo-Soviet co-operation a captured Panther D is thought to have been handed to the British along with a KV1 and T34/76). It is significant that apart from the obvious sloped Glacis plate the weight of the Cent. was originally planned to be 45 ton- the same as the Panther, but even then no British-US or even Soviet tank was influenced in the triad of firepower-mobility-protection directly by German tanks.

 

After 1945 the Cent. was re-armed with a 20pdr gun which may have benefited from the captured 8.8cm KWK43 but even that is a stretch. The prime influence on British armour post war was the Stalin 3.

 

Steve

 

Ajmac

Steve,

Breath deeply and move to another thread...:-D

 

Sorry Alastair I was already working on the post I think I'll go and take my blood pressure and lie down.:-D

Edited by steveo578
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I work at a mechanical design consultancy in Bristol and we also have a large workshop. John, if the museum are having problems sorting a solution to the fan drive problem, send me what information you have and any photos, scans of the Tigers manual etc, and i'll see what I can do about sourcing / designing a replacement.

 

Email me on: richard.fryer@sewardwyon.co.uk

or call to discuss on 0117 932 7565

 

Richard

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I do know that the Tank museum has plans to restore the crusader to it formal glory but plans do change, they have just received a cast hull sherman which they had out on loan, it was recovered from the range by John pearson and other members on this forum many years ago.

Big Al

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The Tiger 1 design order was let a month or so before the start of Barbarossa and had the Wehrmacht not encountered KV -especially the KV2, the weapon of choice for the Tiger would have been the KWK 7.5cm L70 or a taper bore weapon similar to the 7.5cm PaK 41 and its all up weight would have been nearer the 45ton of the planned VK3601. As it was the only thing that could deal with the KV (and the Matildas a year earlier) was the 8.8cm Flak 18, so influence by the panic of the Red menace this gun was re-configured for the Tiger- a gun which was an over-weight dead end and was never used on any other tank or SPG, unlike other German cannons which were often used on several tanks-SPGs.

 

What a lot of people don't realise is that if you look at ballistics tables for the 75mm L70 and 88mm (L56?), once you get up to ranges in excess of ... erm I think 1600m - it's been 40 years since I read them. Were they called Bellona Prints? They may still be buried somewhere at the back of a cupboard.

 

Where was I? Oh yes. Certainly by 2000m the 75mm L70 started to outpenetrate the 88m L56 as the greater air resistance took more effect. The 88mm L56 was designed to throw shell up not shot out.

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