Wittmann's Tiger 212's First Discoverer is...?

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Wittmann's Tiger 212's First Discoverer is...?

Joined: September 30th, 2006, 1:19 pm

October 9th, 2006, 3:15 pm #1

With regard to the first discovery of Tiger 212 as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of Villers-Bocage among all the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101, to whom should we give credit for it worldwide? It seems to me that the honor should go to Barry Crook based on one of his writings in the forum discussions here in 2002, around July. Is there anyone who could say no to my proposal with some sound basis? Such an opposition would be altogether not impossible to be sure, as I have not read and certainly cannot read all the relevant stuff just in order to check who mentioned it for the very first time. Maybe no one cares at all pertaining to this matter and even Barry Crook himself not too much; however, still I would like to confirm who that person of some achievement actually is for the sake of an official record.


Hi, I am one of those people who have spent many hours in researching Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B and in Korea there are a few of them. During the last year after encountering Dragon's box-art for its new Tiger I kit of 1/35 scale which depicts sSSPzAbt101's Tiger 212 apparently as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B, I finally decided to write an article against such "misunderstanding." Because I thought that even the artist of this major company, Volstad, still assumes Wittmann fought in Woll's panzer with Woll, then Woll himself a tank commander, as his gunner again and someone should correct this myth: A persistent myth since perhaps Paul Carell's book "Invasion! They're Coming!." Of course owing to Agte's book on Wittmann, Tiger 212 had been accepted to me as still Woll's panzer without any doubt at that time.



On my part, I had initially regarded Tiger 231 as Wittmann's tank for quite a long time being heavily influenced by some Japanese researchers. But right then I started to contemplate a possibility of Hantusch's 221 as Wittmann's vehicle for a couple of reasons. So I finally posted an exposition as the part 1 suggesting such possibility strongly for Korean WWII enthusiasts, of course in Korean. When I prepared the part 2, however, as several books arrived including "Tiger I in the Western Front" and "Tigers in Combat II"--then I ordered a number of books in a hurry for some possible reference to this writing project although I did have already almost all the published material dealing with Wittmann's career as the major theme--I suddenly found and had to face a single photo of Tiger 221 destroyed and this one posed the most serious threat to my theory immediately.



Its damaged Zimmerit trace on the left hull side doesn't match well with that of Wittmann's Tiger in the town of V-B even with a consideration of certain time gab, for no addition of Zimmerit was ever possible. Still being not 100% sure, I began to reexamine every graphic datum I had thus far regarding the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 so desperately. And at last I came up with a shocking discovery that the Tiger behind Tiger 211 on the road N316 outside Morgny might be the very same tank in the center of V-B!!! And years ago, to be honest totally, I already "deciphered" the correct sequence of Tigers on that particular road march as 205, 204, 211, 212,--that is, not 213 like some assumed--214, 221, etc., from a careful photo analysis. Thus Tiger 212 should be the Tiger of Wittmann during the Battle after all!!! Such discovery was made through a time-consuming close inspection and comparison of the camo-like light and dark, irregularly shaped portions on the frontal spare tracks of both Tigers!



Of course the peculiar marking system of sSSPzAbt101, especially of the 2nd company was already figured out also by myself more than 10 years ago in which 205 and the 1st and the 3rd platoon panzers put the unit insignia on the square section with Zimmerit removed on the right side of the frontal plate; yet 204 and the 2nd platoon Tigers directly over the coating on the same side. And every one of them, unlike the 1st company, with no tactical sign on the other side of the frontal plate. However ironically this knowledge hindered my discovery or at least slowed it down because from the remaining photos of Wittmann's panzer I initially concluded--probably too hastily--that it does not reveal any trace of the square section without Zimmerit. I thought if such section were there the unit mark would be almost intact like some comparable cases of the 1st company tanks destroyed there.



That's why I tried to find out Wittmann's forced choice among only 204, 221, 222, 223, 224 at first. And based on my studying of the available pictures until then, 204, 222, and 223 could not be the one for sure. By the way, the fact that the Tiger towing 231 is none other than 222 is actually one of the oldest discoveries on my part. (Well now, if I have accidentally given you or at least seem to try to give you so far an impression that I have had everything right for a long time and that I am a genius of some sort, that is absolutely not true and not my intention at all. Indeed for an equally long time I have had numerous false assumptions and made wrong conclusions. For instance, up until I read Agte's book I asserted that Wittmann's original Tiger was not 205 but 204 as 04 was the number for company commander's tank. Also it had been my long conviction that Wittmann's last Tiger had its numerals 001, not 007 since I believed that "7" in the photo must be a bent shape of "1" on that rather thin stowage bin.)



And between 221 and 224, I preferred 221 as the most plausible case, since Hantusch and Sowa both of them are of the 1st Halbzug of the 2nd Zug; so when Hantusch is absent for some reason, Sowa must have been allowed to lead this smallest unit in the Tiger 221 even 222, his original panzer, is still operative. This was important because as I said I had known that the towing Tiger is 222 and its towing 231 took place surely soon after the first day of the Battle. Upon arrival, Wittmann sent one officer to the HQ of PzLDiv for liaison and I was almost certain that it was Hantusch who went there--never in a Tiger as some wrote without much thought but--in a car, Schwimmwagen perhaps, or more likely in a motorcycle with its sidecar and at least bringing one of his own trusty subordinates with himself as well for some multiple purpose, i.e., as an orderly, a security guard against Jabos, and a radioman during the move, etc.



So I found out more later that indeed both came back to their own unit with Wittmann and his surviving crew after the morning battle and then Hantusch, as his Tiger 221 was no more existing, naturally took over a late comer 222 instead, again in all probabilities. And, lo and behold, two of them, Hantusch and the radio operator of his Tiger appeared on 222 still with their English goggles--owing to the open drive yesterday--on their caps very next day when towing the 231!!! As for Wessel, he was also gone for the liaison mission like Agte argued; however it was my conviction from a number of reasons that he had then already arrived at the HQ--not of PzLDiv, so Agte confused, but--of 1SSPzKor at Baron at that time. Thus even his Tiger 211 was on the front in the morning of 13th--which I doubt and unlike such implication in Agte's book, here I strongly suggest the presence of 231 as one of 5 or 6 Tigers that day--he must not be its commander.



My overall theory and conjecture sounded very good then--perhaps still are partly--however, as has been proven now, the crux of the matter, i.e., identifying the genuine numerals of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B was fatally missed. (To elaborate, as a matter of reference, in spite of the fact that Wittmann used Tiger 212 the followings are still can be true: first, Wessel was the one who went to the HQ of 1SSPzKor and secondly, Hantusch was sent to the HQ of PzLDiv at Orbois with his radio operator at least and after returning to the 2nd company they rode in 222 very next day towing 231. Wittmann's choice of 212 only tells us that Sowa got the Tiger of Woll temporarily for some reason; perhaps as his tank had a mechanical trouble and Woll got wounded due to some accident around 11th or 12th--or Woll may become eventually sick out of some light wound caused by one of those Jabo attacks, probably on 10th.)



Anyway after the shocking development happened rather swiftly I planned to write the part 2 of my writing in a new direction pertaining to this new discovery. As certain dramatic effects require excellent illustrations and thus a number of more clear photos were needed--the related photos in Agte's book for example are somewhat poor in their quality--I began to search more energetically and started to make visits even to any informal internet sites for AFV fans and modelers, i.e., sites without having any particular title or theme with regard to Wittmann and the battle of V-B, especially seeking for a large picture of 212 on that road march in particular. And I thus happened to visit this forum site also for that; yet to my total amazement, I found that what I just then discovered newly had been already dicussed fully starting in the year of 2002 if not 2000, and confirmed firmly in 2004 if not 2002!!!



Of course now I am talking about some series of fantastic writings, so-called treads, regarding this matter in various forum dicussions among you the international enthusiasts: Especially Barry Crook, Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny, et al. Particularly I noticed certain importance of a tread in 2000 with the beginning post of "Wittmann's Tiger 007" as a genuine starting point and a tread in 2002 under the post "The Continuing Quest for Wittmann's Tiger Number..." as a point of breakthrough and finally a tread in 2004 of "Tiger alert on History Channel tonight!" as the final confirmation. (There must have been some other treads also, at least partly dealing with this matter but I haven't had enough time to search all of them thoroughly. So if there are some more important that I should look into, please let me know even now.)



To add some more, among the treads, notably in the tread of 2004 mentioned above the way Barry Crook displays the identical nature of Wittmann's panzer and the Tiger 212 on the road march through the graphic comparison of some specific camo pattern sameness on their left frontal plates interested me the most as I couldn't do that due to not-so-good quality of a 212 frontal photo I had: not quite good enough for such comparison of camo patterns but barely good enough for the comparison of some bright or dark portions of the frontal spare tracks in various sizes and degrees. Or perhaps my foreknowledge, I mean my prejudice, may have played some role subconsciously even to the last minute blinding my eyes on the frontal plate. Also Barry Crook seems to be the one who first proposed a possibility of the towing Tiger as 222 on you guys' part around 2002.



Truly, before my encounter with the discussions here, I must confess that with regard to this specific matter at least I didn't think of Western researchers much as a whole in terms of scrutiny and rigor in their analyses. I had made numerous attempts to read through various descriptions of the Battle and about the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 in many articles, books and formal internet sites--yet in English or English translation only as my German is very poor and French just null; however I had almost always been disappointed somewhat or greatly as most of them failed to recognize what I had recognized fairly a long time ago then and even made some poor mistakes like perceiving a sPzAbt503's Tiger as that of sSSPzAbt101, etc. Most assuredly, there have been some exellent books for this subject without any major flaws like Taylor's book "V-B Through the Lens"; yet still always with some sort of limitation--in the case of Taylor's book, it was persuasive only until I upheld a possibility of 231 as Wittmann's Tiger.



However, just after my encounter with you people's such amazing forum discussions a certain sense of discouragement, if not of self-dissappointment, surfaced with some heavy impact to be frank with you fully. First experiencing such exhilarating discovery all by myself only through time-consuming rigorous works and then very soon afterward becoming forced to have a perception that I missed the chance to discover Wittmann's Tiger as 212 in the battle of V-B for the very first time, struck me hard indeed. So that made me eventually give up the writing of something as a new part 2 in around March of this year--for reference, the part 1 was posted on the 17th of January in Korea. And as some other important things for my living came up, all things having to do with researching Wittmann and sSSPzAbt101 were then sadly abandoned.



Now more than half a year has passed since that time and again I am able to afford some time for my various hobbies including, say, Wittmann Study. In retrospect, I think I was extremely foolish and so narrow-minded out of some sort of selfishness; I should have openly acknowledged your--also hard won--discovery with warm congratulation immediately afterward and introduced all things to Korean folks fast. Well, my poor excuse was somehow I anticipated some other Koreans would do the job soon or later since I also noticed at that time some Korean modelers including German panzer enthusiasts visit this site placing the pictures of their works here in the gallery section for instance. But as far as I know no one in Korea has done anything yet about you guys' acheivement for Korean military modelers and WWII buffs. So though late, now I am very willing to do that job myself.



Before I do that, I would like to make really sure whether among you guys Barry Crook can be rightly regarded as the one who first made this discovery or, say, initiated the finding at least in 2002. More, If that actually happened even before that time period according to your own self-understanding, as I could have failed to notice your some other significant treads, please correct me too. Further, I have also figured out there are some more Internet forum sites discussing German army's all sorts of stuff in depth, e.g., Feldgrau.com, Axis History Forum, etc., only after this incident. Yet so far I've been unable to find out any other people or any other discussion forums mentioning this matter clearly before yours; but again, as I am not capable of searching and examining every single case in all those forum sites, please let me know if there is someone else or some other discussion tread that I should perceive before my writing introducing Barry Crook as the first discoverer and Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny as crucial role players to Korean people.



Regarding the box-work of Dragon's Tiger 212, as now I know from the very last discussion, thanks to Paul Alderton, that the artist Ron Volstad has been around this forum too, another question seems to have disappeared; so he has also read you guys' discussions and recognized the true identity of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B right from here!!! However still, up until this moment I assume most Korean WWII German panzer buffs who have perchased this kit and educated themselves only with some limited material upto the book by Agte on Wittmann would have been in some sort of confusion due to this "mystery" of Tiger 212's presence on the road to V-B. Well, why don't we correct this situation? As for me, since the end of September some active participation to several forums, of course including here's, has been intended and indeed already a few attempts have been made. Wow, it has been too lengthy; thanks for reading this far.



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Joined: May 19th, 2006, 11:59 pm

October 9th, 2006, 6:41 pm #2

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Joined: June 25th, 2005, 2:52 am

October 9th, 2006, 11:27 pm #3

With regard to the first discovery of Tiger 212 as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of Villers-Bocage among all the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101, to whom should we give credit for it worldwide? It seems to me that the honor should go to Barry Crook based on one of his writings in the forum discussions here in 2002, around July. Is there anyone who could say no to my proposal with some sound basis? Such an opposition would be altogether not impossible to be sure, as I have not read and certainly cannot read all the relevant stuff just in order to check who mentioned it for the very first time. Maybe no one cares at all pertaining to this matter and even Barry Crook himself not too much; however, still I would like to confirm who that person of some achievement actually is for the sake of an official record.


Hi, I am one of those people who have spent many hours in researching Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B and in Korea there are a few of them. During the last year after encountering Dragon's box-art for its new Tiger I kit of 1/35 scale which depicts sSSPzAbt101's Tiger 212 apparently as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B, I finally decided to write an article against such "misunderstanding." Because I thought that even the artist of this major company, Volstad, still assumes Wittmann fought in Woll's panzer with Woll, then Woll himself a tank commander, as his gunner again and someone should correct this myth: A persistent myth since perhaps Paul Carell's book "Invasion! They're Coming!." Of course owing to Agte's book on Wittmann, Tiger 212 had been accepted to me as still Woll's panzer without any doubt at that time.



On my part, I had initially regarded Tiger 231 as Wittmann's tank for quite a long time being heavily influenced by some Japanese researchers. But right then I started to contemplate a possibility of Hantusch's 221 as Wittmann's vehicle for a couple of reasons. So I finally posted an exposition as the part 1 suggesting such possibility strongly for Korean WWII enthusiasts, of course in Korean. When I prepared the part 2, however, as several books arrived including "Tiger I in the Western Front" and "Tigers in Combat II"--then I ordered a number of books in a hurry for some possible reference to this writing project although I did have already almost all the published material dealing with Wittmann's career as the major theme--I suddenly found and had to face a single photo of Tiger 221 destroyed and this one posed the most serious threat to my theory immediately.



Its damaged Zimmerit trace on the left hull side doesn't match well with that of Wittmann's Tiger in the town of V-B even with a consideration of certain time gab, for no addition of Zimmerit was ever possible. Still being not 100% sure, I began to reexamine every graphic datum I had thus far regarding the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 so desperately. And at last I came up with a shocking discovery that the Tiger behind Tiger 211 on the road N316 outside Morgny might be the very same tank in the center of V-B!!! And years ago, to be honest totally, I already "deciphered" the correct sequence of Tigers on that particular road march as 205, 204, 211, 212,--that is, not 213 like some assumed--214, 221, etc., from a careful photo analysis. Thus Tiger 212 should be the Tiger of Wittmann during the Battle after all!!! Such discovery was made through a time-consuming close inspection and comparison of the camo-like light and dark, irregularly shaped portions on the frontal spare tracks of both Tigers!



Of course the peculiar marking system of sSSPzAbt101, especially of the 2nd company was already figured out also by myself more than 10 years ago in which 205 and the 1st and the 3rd platoon panzers put the unit insignia on the square section with Zimmerit removed on the right side of the frontal plate; yet 204 and the 2nd platoon Tigers directly over the coating on the same side. And every one of them, unlike the 1st company, with no tactical sign on the other side of the frontal plate. However ironically this knowledge hindered my discovery or at least slowed it down because from the remaining photos of Wittmann's panzer I initially concluded--probably too hastily--that it does not reveal any trace of the square section without Zimmerit. I thought if such section were there the unit mark would be almost intact like some comparable cases of the 1st company tanks destroyed there.



That's why I tried to find out Wittmann's forced choice among only 204, 221, 222, 223, 224 at first. And based on my studying of the available pictures until then, 204, 222, and 223 could not be the one for sure. By the way, the fact that the Tiger towing 231 is none other than 222 is actually one of the oldest discoveries on my part. (Well now, if I have accidentally given you or at least seem to try to give you so far an impression that I have had everything right for a long time and that I am a genius of some sort, that is absolutely not true and not my intention at all. Indeed for an equally long time I have had numerous false assumptions and made wrong conclusions. For instance, up until I read Agte's book I asserted that Wittmann's original Tiger was not 205 but 204 as 04 was the number for company commander's tank. Also it had been my long conviction that Wittmann's last Tiger had its numerals 001, not 007 since I believed that "7" in the photo must be a bent shape of "1" on that rather thin stowage bin.)



And between 221 and 224, I preferred 221 as the most plausible case, since Hantusch and Sowa both of them are of the 1st Halbzug of the 2nd Zug; so when Hantusch is absent for some reason, Sowa must have been allowed to lead this smallest unit in the Tiger 221 even 222, his original panzer, is still operative. This was important because as I said I had known that the towing Tiger is 222 and its towing 231 took place surely soon after the first day of the Battle. Upon arrival, Wittmann sent one officer to the HQ of PzLDiv for liaison and I was almost certain that it was Hantusch who went there--never in a Tiger as some wrote without much thought but--in a car, Schwimmwagen perhaps, or more likely in a motorcycle with its sidecar and at least bringing one of his own trusty subordinates with himself as well for some multiple purpose, i.e., as an orderly, a security guard against Jabos, and a radioman during the move, etc.



So I found out more later that indeed both came back to their own unit with Wittmann and his surviving crew after the morning battle and then Hantusch, as his Tiger 221 was no more existing, naturally took over a late comer 222 instead, again in all probabilities. And, lo and behold, two of them, Hantusch and the radio operator of his Tiger appeared on 222 still with their English goggles--owing to the open drive yesterday--on their caps very next day when towing the 231!!! As for Wessel, he was also gone for the liaison mission like Agte argued; however it was my conviction from a number of reasons that he had then already arrived at the HQ--not of PzLDiv, so Agte confused, but--of 1SSPzKor at Baron at that time. Thus even his Tiger 211 was on the front in the morning of 13th--which I doubt and unlike such implication in Agte's book, here I strongly suggest the presence of 231 as one of 5 or 6 Tigers that day--he must not be its commander.



My overall theory and conjecture sounded very good then--perhaps still are partly--however, as has been proven now, the crux of the matter, i.e., identifying the genuine numerals of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B was fatally missed. (To elaborate, as a matter of reference, in spite of the fact that Wittmann used Tiger 212 the followings are still can be true: first, Wessel was the one who went to the HQ of 1SSPzKor and secondly, Hantusch was sent to the HQ of PzLDiv at Orbois with his radio operator at least and after returning to the 2nd company they rode in 222 very next day towing 231. Wittmann's choice of 212 only tells us that Sowa got the Tiger of Woll temporarily for some reason; perhaps as his tank had a mechanical trouble and Woll got wounded due to some accident around 11th or 12th--or Woll may become eventually sick out of some light wound caused by one of those Jabo attacks, probably on 10th.)



Anyway after the shocking development happened rather swiftly I planned to write the part 2 of my writing in a new direction pertaining to this new discovery. As certain dramatic effects require excellent illustrations and thus a number of more clear photos were needed--the related photos in Agte's book for example are somewhat poor in their quality--I began to search more energetically and started to make visits even to any informal internet sites for AFV fans and modelers, i.e., sites without having any particular title or theme with regard to Wittmann and the battle of V-B, especially seeking for a large picture of 212 on that road march in particular. And I thus happened to visit this forum site also for that; yet to my total amazement, I found that what I just then discovered newly had been already dicussed fully starting in the year of 2002 if not 2000, and confirmed firmly in 2004 if not 2002!!!



Of course now I am talking about some series of fantastic writings, so-called treads, regarding this matter in various forum dicussions among you the international enthusiasts: Especially Barry Crook, Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny, et al. Particularly I noticed certain importance of a tread in 2000 with the beginning post of "Wittmann's Tiger 007" as a genuine starting point and a tread in 2002 under the post "The Continuing Quest for Wittmann's Tiger Number..." as a point of breakthrough and finally a tread in 2004 of "Tiger alert on History Channel tonight!" as the final confirmation. (There must have been some other treads also, at least partly dealing with this matter but I haven't had enough time to search all of them thoroughly. So if there are some more important that I should look into, please let me know even now.)



To add some more, among the treads, notably in the tread of 2004 mentioned above the way Barry Crook displays the identical nature of Wittmann's panzer and the Tiger 212 on the road march through the graphic comparison of some specific camo pattern sameness on their left frontal plates interested me the most as I couldn't do that due to not-so-good quality of a 212 frontal photo I had: not quite good enough for such comparison of camo patterns but barely good enough for the comparison of some bright or dark portions of the frontal spare tracks in various sizes and degrees. Or perhaps my foreknowledge, I mean my prejudice, may have played some role subconsciously even to the last minute blinding my eyes on the frontal plate. Also Barry Crook seems to be the one who first proposed a possibility of the towing Tiger as 222 on you guys' part around 2002.



Truly, before my encounter with the discussions here, I must confess that with regard to this specific matter at least I didn't think of Western researchers much as a whole in terms of scrutiny and rigor in their analyses. I had made numerous attempts to read through various descriptions of the Battle and about the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 in many articles, books and formal internet sites--yet in English or English translation only as my German is very poor and French just null; however I had almost always been disappointed somewhat or greatly as most of them failed to recognize what I had recognized fairly a long time ago then and even made some poor mistakes like perceiving a sPzAbt503's Tiger as that of sSSPzAbt101, etc. Most assuredly, there have been some exellent books for this subject without any major flaws like Taylor's book "V-B Through the Lens"; yet still always with some sort of limitation--in the case of Taylor's book, it was persuasive only until I upheld a possibility of 231 as Wittmann's Tiger.



However, just after my encounter with you people's such amazing forum discussions a certain sense of discouragement, if not of self-dissappointment, surfaced with some heavy impact to be frank with you fully. First experiencing such exhilarating discovery all by myself only through time-consuming rigorous works and then very soon afterward becoming forced to have a perception that I missed the chance to discover Wittmann's Tiger as 212 in the battle of V-B for the very first time, struck me hard indeed. So that made me eventually give up the writing of something as a new part 2 in around March of this year--for reference, the part 1 was posted on the 17th of January in Korea. And as some other important things for my living came up, all things having to do with researching Wittmann and sSSPzAbt101 were then sadly abandoned.



Now more than half a year has passed since that time and again I am able to afford some time for my various hobbies including, say, Wittmann Study. In retrospect, I think I was extremely foolish and so narrow-minded out of some sort of selfishness; I should have openly acknowledged your--also hard won--discovery with warm congratulation immediately afterward and introduced all things to Korean folks fast. Well, my poor excuse was somehow I anticipated some other Koreans would do the job soon or later since I also noticed at that time some Korean modelers including German panzer enthusiasts visit this site placing the pictures of their works here in the gallery section for instance. But as far as I know no one in Korea has done anything yet about you guys' acheivement for Korean military modelers and WWII buffs. So though late, now I am very willing to do that job myself.



Before I do that, I would like to make really sure whether among you guys Barry Crook can be rightly regarded as the one who first made this discovery or, say, initiated the finding at least in 2002. More, If that actually happened even before that time period according to your own self-understanding, as I could have failed to notice your some other significant treads, please correct me too. Further, I have also figured out there are some more Internet forum sites discussing German army's all sorts of stuff in depth, e.g., Feldgrau.com, Axis History Forum, etc., only after this incident. Yet so far I've been unable to find out any other people or any other discussion forums mentioning this matter clearly before yours; but again, as I am not capable of searching and examining every single case in all those forum sites, please let me know if there is someone else or some other discussion tread that I should perceive before my writing introducing Barry Crook as the first discoverer and Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny as crucial role players to Korean people.



Regarding the box-work of Dragon's Tiger 212, as now I know from the very last discussion, thanks to Paul Alderton, that the artist Ron Volstad has been around this forum too, another question seems to have disappeared; so he has also read you guys' discussions and recognized the true identity of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B right from here!!! However still, up until this moment I assume most Korean WWII German panzer buffs who have perchased this kit and educated themselves only with some limited material upto the book by Agte on Wittmann would have been in some sort of confusion due to this "mystery" of Tiger 212's presence on the road to V-B. Well, why don't we correct this situation? As for me, since the end of September some active participation to several forums, of course including here's, has been intended and indeed already a few attempts have been made. Wow, it has been too lengthy; thanks for reading this far.


Without going back and re-reading all of the VB posts, I do remember that there was a great deal of work on this subject that was/is occurring off of Missing-Lynx between Barry Crook, Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny and others. Barry may have been the first to categorically state that Wittman's VB mount was 212 (I do not recall and I haven't the time to go back and read the posts), but he may not have been the "one" who actually came to that conclusion. This is not, of course, to take anything away from Barry whose skill and talent at dissecting photos is top-notch, which, combined with his encyclopedic knowledge of western front panzers and his (apparently) monumental library, has led to some of the greatest posts that ML has seen. My recollection is that it was a collaborative effort, some part of which, at least occurred through back channels (via private e-mails and personal communication - such as Barry's visit with Yann several years ago). So, it may not be accurate to try to single one person out as the "discoverer". And who's to say that there is not a group of people on another listserv or who meet in person who have not come to the same conclusion independently and longer ago?

Sam


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Joined: August 28th, 2001, 4:56 pm

October 10th, 2006, 1:39 am #4

With regard to the first discovery of Tiger 212 as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of Villers-Bocage among all the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101, to whom should we give credit for it worldwide? It seems to me that the honor should go to Barry Crook based on one of his writings in the forum discussions here in 2002, around July. Is there anyone who could say no to my proposal with some sound basis? Such an opposition would be altogether not impossible to be sure, as I have not read and certainly cannot read all the relevant stuff just in order to check who mentioned it for the very first time. Maybe no one cares at all pertaining to this matter and even Barry Crook himself not too much; however, still I would like to confirm who that person of some achievement actually is for the sake of an official record.


Hi, I am one of those people who have spent many hours in researching Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B and in Korea there are a few of them. During the last year after encountering Dragon's box-art for its new Tiger I kit of 1/35 scale which depicts sSSPzAbt101's Tiger 212 apparently as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B, I finally decided to write an article against such "misunderstanding." Because I thought that even the artist of this major company, Volstad, still assumes Wittmann fought in Woll's panzer with Woll, then Woll himself a tank commander, as his gunner again and someone should correct this myth: A persistent myth since perhaps Paul Carell's book "Invasion! They're Coming!." Of course owing to Agte's book on Wittmann, Tiger 212 had been accepted to me as still Woll's panzer without any doubt at that time.



On my part, I had initially regarded Tiger 231 as Wittmann's tank for quite a long time being heavily influenced by some Japanese researchers. But right then I started to contemplate a possibility of Hantusch's 221 as Wittmann's vehicle for a couple of reasons. So I finally posted an exposition as the part 1 suggesting such possibility strongly for Korean WWII enthusiasts, of course in Korean. When I prepared the part 2, however, as several books arrived including "Tiger I in the Western Front" and "Tigers in Combat II"--then I ordered a number of books in a hurry for some possible reference to this writing project although I did have already almost all the published material dealing with Wittmann's career as the major theme--I suddenly found and had to face a single photo of Tiger 221 destroyed and this one posed the most serious threat to my theory immediately.



Its damaged Zimmerit trace on the left hull side doesn't match well with that of Wittmann's Tiger in the town of V-B even with a consideration of certain time gab, for no addition of Zimmerit was ever possible. Still being not 100% sure, I began to reexamine every graphic datum I had thus far regarding the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 so desperately. And at last I came up with a shocking discovery that the Tiger behind Tiger 211 on the road N316 outside Morgny might be the very same tank in the center of V-B!!! And years ago, to be honest totally, I already "deciphered" the correct sequence of Tigers on that particular road march as 205, 204, 211, 212,--that is, not 213 like some assumed--214, 221, etc., from a careful photo analysis. Thus Tiger 212 should be the Tiger of Wittmann during the Battle after all!!! Such discovery was made through a time-consuming close inspection and comparison of the camo-like light and dark, irregularly shaped portions on the frontal spare tracks of both Tigers!



Of course the peculiar marking system of sSSPzAbt101, especially of the 2nd company was already figured out also by myself more than 10 years ago in which 205 and the 1st and the 3rd platoon panzers put the unit insignia on the square section with Zimmerit removed on the right side of the frontal plate; yet 204 and the 2nd platoon Tigers directly over the coating on the same side. And every one of them, unlike the 1st company, with no tactical sign on the other side of the frontal plate. However ironically this knowledge hindered my discovery or at least slowed it down because from the remaining photos of Wittmann's panzer I initially concluded--probably too hastily--that it does not reveal any trace of the square section without Zimmerit. I thought if such section were there the unit mark would be almost intact like some comparable cases of the 1st company tanks destroyed there.



That's why I tried to find out Wittmann's forced choice among only 204, 221, 222, 223, 224 at first. And based on my studying of the available pictures until then, 204, 222, and 223 could not be the one for sure. By the way, the fact that the Tiger towing 231 is none other than 222 is actually one of the oldest discoveries on my part. (Well now, if I have accidentally given you or at least seem to try to give you so far an impression that I have had everything right for a long time and that I am a genius of some sort, that is absolutely not true and not my intention at all. Indeed for an equally long time I have had numerous false assumptions and made wrong conclusions. For instance, up until I read Agte's book I asserted that Wittmann's original Tiger was not 205 but 204 as 04 was the number for company commander's tank. Also it had been my long conviction that Wittmann's last Tiger had its numerals 001, not 007 since I believed that "7" in the photo must be a bent shape of "1" on that rather thin stowage bin.)



And between 221 and 224, I preferred 221 as the most plausible case, since Hantusch and Sowa both of them are of the 1st Halbzug of the 2nd Zug; so when Hantusch is absent for some reason, Sowa must have been allowed to lead this smallest unit in the Tiger 221 even 222, his original panzer, is still operative. This was important because as I said I had known that the towing Tiger is 222 and its towing 231 took place surely soon after the first day of the Battle. Upon arrival, Wittmann sent one officer to the HQ of PzLDiv for liaison and I was almost certain that it was Hantusch who went there--never in a Tiger as some wrote without much thought but--in a car, Schwimmwagen perhaps, or more likely in a motorcycle with its sidecar and at least bringing one of his own trusty subordinates with himself as well for some multiple purpose, i.e., as an orderly, a security guard against Jabos, and a radioman during the move, etc.



So I found out more later that indeed both came back to their own unit with Wittmann and his surviving crew after the morning battle and then Hantusch, as his Tiger 221 was no more existing, naturally took over a late comer 222 instead, again in all probabilities. And, lo and behold, two of them, Hantusch and the radio operator of his Tiger appeared on 222 still with their English goggles--owing to the open drive yesterday--on their caps very next day when towing the 231!!! As for Wessel, he was also gone for the liaison mission like Agte argued; however it was my conviction from a number of reasons that he had then already arrived at the HQ--not of PzLDiv, so Agte confused, but--of 1SSPzKor at Baron at that time. Thus even his Tiger 211 was on the front in the morning of 13th--which I doubt and unlike such implication in Agte's book, here I strongly suggest the presence of 231 as one of 5 or 6 Tigers that day--he must not be its commander.



My overall theory and conjecture sounded very good then--perhaps still are partly--however, as has been proven now, the crux of the matter, i.e., identifying the genuine numerals of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B was fatally missed. (To elaborate, as a matter of reference, in spite of the fact that Wittmann used Tiger 212 the followings are still can be true: first, Wessel was the one who went to the HQ of 1SSPzKor and secondly, Hantusch was sent to the HQ of PzLDiv at Orbois with his radio operator at least and after returning to the 2nd company they rode in 222 very next day towing 231. Wittmann's choice of 212 only tells us that Sowa got the Tiger of Woll temporarily for some reason; perhaps as his tank had a mechanical trouble and Woll got wounded due to some accident around 11th or 12th--or Woll may become eventually sick out of some light wound caused by one of those Jabo attacks, probably on 10th.)



Anyway after the shocking development happened rather swiftly I planned to write the part 2 of my writing in a new direction pertaining to this new discovery. As certain dramatic effects require excellent illustrations and thus a number of more clear photos were needed--the related photos in Agte's book for example are somewhat poor in their quality--I began to search more energetically and started to make visits even to any informal internet sites for AFV fans and modelers, i.e., sites without having any particular title or theme with regard to Wittmann and the battle of V-B, especially seeking for a large picture of 212 on that road march in particular. And I thus happened to visit this forum site also for that; yet to my total amazement, I found that what I just then discovered newly had been already dicussed fully starting in the year of 2002 if not 2000, and confirmed firmly in 2004 if not 2002!!!



Of course now I am talking about some series of fantastic writings, so-called treads, regarding this matter in various forum dicussions among you the international enthusiasts: Especially Barry Crook, Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny, et al. Particularly I noticed certain importance of a tread in 2000 with the beginning post of "Wittmann's Tiger 007" as a genuine starting point and a tread in 2002 under the post "The Continuing Quest for Wittmann's Tiger Number..." as a point of breakthrough and finally a tread in 2004 of "Tiger alert on History Channel tonight!" as the final confirmation. (There must have been some other treads also, at least partly dealing with this matter but I haven't had enough time to search all of them thoroughly. So if there are some more important that I should look into, please let me know even now.)



To add some more, among the treads, notably in the tread of 2004 mentioned above the way Barry Crook displays the identical nature of Wittmann's panzer and the Tiger 212 on the road march through the graphic comparison of some specific camo pattern sameness on their left frontal plates interested me the most as I couldn't do that due to not-so-good quality of a 212 frontal photo I had: not quite good enough for such comparison of camo patterns but barely good enough for the comparison of some bright or dark portions of the frontal spare tracks in various sizes and degrees. Or perhaps my foreknowledge, I mean my prejudice, may have played some role subconsciously even to the last minute blinding my eyes on the frontal plate. Also Barry Crook seems to be the one who first proposed a possibility of the towing Tiger as 222 on you guys' part around 2002.



Truly, before my encounter with the discussions here, I must confess that with regard to this specific matter at least I didn't think of Western researchers much as a whole in terms of scrutiny and rigor in their analyses. I had made numerous attempts to read through various descriptions of the Battle and about the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 in many articles, books and formal internet sites--yet in English or English translation only as my German is very poor and French just null; however I had almost always been disappointed somewhat or greatly as most of them failed to recognize what I had recognized fairly a long time ago then and even made some poor mistakes like perceiving a sPzAbt503's Tiger as that of sSSPzAbt101, etc. Most assuredly, there have been some exellent books for this subject without any major flaws like Taylor's book "V-B Through the Lens"; yet still always with some sort of limitation--in the case of Taylor's book, it was persuasive only until I upheld a possibility of 231 as Wittmann's Tiger.



However, just after my encounter with you people's such amazing forum discussions a certain sense of discouragement, if not of self-dissappointment, surfaced with some heavy impact to be frank with you fully. First experiencing such exhilarating discovery all by myself only through time-consuming rigorous works and then very soon afterward becoming forced to have a perception that I missed the chance to discover Wittmann's Tiger as 212 in the battle of V-B for the very first time, struck me hard indeed. So that made me eventually give up the writing of something as a new part 2 in around March of this year--for reference, the part 1 was posted on the 17th of January in Korea. And as some other important things for my living came up, all things having to do with researching Wittmann and sSSPzAbt101 were then sadly abandoned.



Now more than half a year has passed since that time and again I am able to afford some time for my various hobbies including, say, Wittmann Study. In retrospect, I think I was extremely foolish and so narrow-minded out of some sort of selfishness; I should have openly acknowledged your--also hard won--discovery with warm congratulation immediately afterward and introduced all things to Korean folks fast. Well, my poor excuse was somehow I anticipated some other Koreans would do the job soon or later since I also noticed at that time some Korean modelers including German panzer enthusiasts visit this site placing the pictures of their works here in the gallery section for instance. But as far as I know no one in Korea has done anything yet about you guys' acheivement for Korean military modelers and WWII buffs. So though late, now I am very willing to do that job myself.



Before I do that, I would like to make really sure whether among you guys Barry Crook can be rightly regarded as the one who first made this discovery or, say, initiated the finding at least in 2002. More, If that actually happened even before that time period according to your own self-understanding, as I could have failed to notice your some other significant treads, please correct me too. Further, I have also figured out there are some more Internet forum sites discussing German army's all sorts of stuff in depth, e.g., Feldgrau.com, Axis History Forum, etc., only after this incident. Yet so far I've been unable to find out any other people or any other discussion forums mentioning this matter clearly before yours; but again, as I am not capable of searching and examining every single case in all those forum sites, please let me know if there is someone else or some other discussion tread that I should perceive before my writing introducing Barry Crook as the first discoverer and Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny as crucial role players to Korean people.



Regarding the box-work of Dragon's Tiger 212, as now I know from the very last discussion, thanks to Paul Alderton, that the artist Ron Volstad has been around this forum too, another question seems to have disappeared; so he has also read you guys' discussions and recognized the true identity of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B right from here!!! However still, up until this moment I assume most Korean WWII German panzer buffs who have perchased this kit and educated themselves only with some limited material upto the book by Agte on Wittmann would have been in some sort of confusion due to this "mystery" of Tiger 212's presence on the road to V-B. Well, why don't we correct this situation? As for me, since the end of September some active participation to several forums, of course including here's, has been intended and indeed already a few attempts have been made. Wow, it has been too lengthy; thanks for reading this far.


Siegyoung,
I would whole heartedly agree with everything Sam said regarding this finding. I'm not sure any one person could be singled out as the "discoverer" of 212, it was, again like Sam said, a collaborative effort. While I don't remember every post, I would say that you listed the principle contributors; Barry, Yann, James, and Michael. There were of course others who chipped in but it is my feeling that these four are most responsible for "uncovering" Wittman's mount in VB.

Regards,
Mike
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Joined: May 29th, 2002, 1:30 pm

October 10th, 2006, 1:24 pm #5

With regard to the first discovery of Tiger 212 as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of Villers-Bocage among all the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101, to whom should we give credit for it worldwide? It seems to me that the honor should go to Barry Crook based on one of his writings in the forum discussions here in 2002, around July. Is there anyone who could say no to my proposal with some sound basis? Such an opposition would be altogether not impossible to be sure, as I have not read and certainly cannot read all the relevant stuff just in order to check who mentioned it for the very first time. Maybe no one cares at all pertaining to this matter and even Barry Crook himself not too much; however, still I would like to confirm who that person of some achievement actually is for the sake of an official record.


Hi, I am one of those people who have spent many hours in researching Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B and in Korea there are a few of them. During the last year after encountering Dragon's box-art for its new Tiger I kit of 1/35 scale which depicts sSSPzAbt101's Tiger 212 apparently as Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B, I finally decided to write an article against such "misunderstanding." Because I thought that even the artist of this major company, Volstad, still assumes Wittmann fought in Woll's panzer with Woll, then Woll himself a tank commander, as his gunner again and someone should correct this myth: A persistent myth since perhaps Paul Carell's book "Invasion! They're Coming!." Of course owing to Agte's book on Wittmann, Tiger 212 had been accepted to me as still Woll's panzer without any doubt at that time.



On my part, I had initially regarded Tiger 231 as Wittmann's tank for quite a long time being heavily influenced by some Japanese researchers. But right then I started to contemplate a possibility of Hantusch's 221 as Wittmann's vehicle for a couple of reasons. So I finally posted an exposition as the part 1 suggesting such possibility strongly for Korean WWII enthusiasts, of course in Korean. When I prepared the part 2, however, as several books arrived including "Tiger I in the Western Front" and "Tigers in Combat II"--then I ordered a number of books in a hurry for some possible reference to this writing project although I did have already almost all the published material dealing with Wittmann's career as the major theme--I suddenly found and had to face a single photo of Tiger 221 destroyed and this one posed the most serious threat to my theory immediately.



Its damaged Zimmerit trace on the left hull side doesn't match well with that of Wittmann's Tiger in the town of V-B even with a consideration of certain time gab, for no addition of Zimmerit was ever possible. Still being not 100% sure, I began to reexamine every graphic datum I had thus far regarding the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 so desperately. And at last I came up with a shocking discovery that the Tiger behind Tiger 211 on the road N316 outside Morgny might be the very same tank in the center of V-B!!! And years ago, to be honest totally, I already "deciphered" the correct sequence of Tigers on that particular road march as 205, 204, 211, 212,--that is, not 213 like some assumed--214, 221, etc., from a careful photo analysis. Thus Tiger 212 should be the Tiger of Wittmann during the Battle after all!!! Such discovery was made through a time-consuming close inspection and comparison of the camo-like light and dark, irregularly shaped portions on the frontal spare tracks of both Tigers!



Of course the peculiar marking system of sSSPzAbt101, especially of the 2nd company was already figured out also by myself more than 10 years ago in which 205 and the 1st and the 3rd platoon panzers put the unit insignia on the square section with Zimmerit removed on the right side of the frontal plate; yet 204 and the 2nd platoon Tigers directly over the coating on the same side. And every one of them, unlike the 1st company, with no tactical sign on the other side of the frontal plate. However ironically this knowledge hindered my discovery or at least slowed it down because from the remaining photos of Wittmann's panzer I initially concluded--probably too hastily--that it does not reveal any trace of the square section without Zimmerit. I thought if such section were there the unit mark would be almost intact like some comparable cases of the 1st company tanks destroyed there.



That's why I tried to find out Wittmann's forced choice among only 204, 221, 222, 223, 224 at first. And based on my studying of the available pictures until then, 204, 222, and 223 could not be the one for sure. By the way, the fact that the Tiger towing 231 is none other than 222 is actually one of the oldest discoveries on my part. (Well now, if I have accidentally given you or at least seem to try to give you so far an impression that I have had everything right for a long time and that I am a genius of some sort, that is absolutely not true and not my intention at all. Indeed for an equally long time I have had numerous false assumptions and made wrong conclusions. For instance, up until I read Agte's book I asserted that Wittmann's original Tiger was not 205 but 204 as 04 was the number for company commander's tank. Also it had been my long conviction that Wittmann's last Tiger had its numerals 001, not 007 since I believed that "7" in the photo must be a bent shape of "1" on that rather thin stowage bin.)



And between 221 and 224, I preferred 221 as the most plausible case, since Hantusch and Sowa both of them are of the 1st Halbzug of the 2nd Zug; so when Hantusch is absent for some reason, Sowa must have been allowed to lead this smallest unit in the Tiger 221 even 222, his original panzer, is still operative. This was important because as I said I had known that the towing Tiger is 222 and its towing 231 took place surely soon after the first day of the Battle. Upon arrival, Wittmann sent one officer to the HQ of PzLDiv for liaison and I was almost certain that it was Hantusch who went there--never in a Tiger as some wrote without much thought but--in a car, Schwimmwagen perhaps, or more likely in a motorcycle with its sidecar and at least bringing one of his own trusty subordinates with himself as well for some multiple purpose, i.e., as an orderly, a security guard against Jabos, and a radioman during the move, etc.



So I found out more later that indeed both came back to their own unit with Wittmann and his surviving crew after the morning battle and then Hantusch, as his Tiger 221 was no more existing, naturally took over a late comer 222 instead, again in all probabilities. And, lo and behold, two of them, Hantusch and the radio operator of his Tiger appeared on 222 still with their English goggles--owing to the open drive yesterday--on their caps very next day when towing the 231!!! As for Wessel, he was also gone for the liaison mission like Agte argued; however it was my conviction from a number of reasons that he had then already arrived at the HQ--not of PzLDiv, so Agte confused, but--of 1SSPzKor at Baron at that time. Thus even his Tiger 211 was on the front in the morning of 13th--which I doubt and unlike such implication in Agte's book, here I strongly suggest the presence of 231 as one of 5 or 6 Tigers that day--he must not be its commander.



My overall theory and conjecture sounded very good then--perhaps still are partly--however, as has been proven now, the crux of the matter, i.e., identifying the genuine numerals of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B was fatally missed. (To elaborate, as a matter of reference, in spite of the fact that Wittmann used Tiger 212 the followings are still can be true: first, Wessel was the one who went to the HQ of 1SSPzKor and secondly, Hantusch was sent to the HQ of PzLDiv at Orbois with his radio operator at least and after returning to the 2nd company they rode in 222 very next day towing 231. Wittmann's choice of 212 only tells us that Sowa got the Tiger of Woll temporarily for some reason; perhaps as his tank had a mechanical trouble and Woll got wounded due to some accident around 11th or 12th--or Woll may become eventually sick out of some light wound caused by one of those Jabo attacks, probably on 10th.)



Anyway after the shocking development happened rather swiftly I planned to write the part 2 of my writing in a new direction pertaining to this new discovery. As certain dramatic effects require excellent illustrations and thus a number of more clear photos were needed--the related photos in Agte's book for example are somewhat poor in their quality--I began to search more energetically and started to make visits even to any informal internet sites for AFV fans and modelers, i.e., sites without having any particular title or theme with regard to Wittmann and the battle of V-B, especially seeking for a large picture of 212 on that road march in particular. And I thus happened to visit this forum site also for that; yet to my total amazement, I found that what I just then discovered newly had been already dicussed fully starting in the year of 2002 if not 2000, and confirmed firmly in 2004 if not 2002!!!



Of course now I am talking about some series of fantastic writings, so-called treads, regarding this matter in various forum dicussions among you the international enthusiasts: Especially Barry Crook, Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny, et al. Particularly I noticed certain importance of a tread in 2000 with the beginning post of "Wittmann's Tiger 007" as a genuine starting point and a tread in 2002 under the post "The Continuing Quest for Wittmann's Tiger Number..." as a point of breakthrough and finally a tread in 2004 of "Tiger alert on History Channel tonight!" as the final confirmation. (There must have been some other treads also, at least partly dealing with this matter but I haven't had enough time to search all of them thoroughly. So if there are some more important that I should look into, please let me know even now.)



To add some more, among the treads, notably in the tread of 2004 mentioned above the way Barry Crook displays the identical nature of Wittmann's panzer and the Tiger 212 on the road march through the graphic comparison of some specific camo pattern sameness on their left frontal plates interested me the most as I couldn't do that due to not-so-good quality of a 212 frontal photo I had: not quite good enough for such comparison of camo patterns but barely good enough for the comparison of some bright or dark portions of the frontal spare tracks in various sizes and degrees. Or perhaps my foreknowledge, I mean my prejudice, may have played some role subconsciously even to the last minute blinding my eyes on the frontal plate. Also Barry Crook seems to be the one who first proposed a possibility of the towing Tiger as 222 on you guys' part around 2002.



Truly, before my encounter with the discussions here, I must confess that with regard to this specific matter at least I didn't think of Western researchers much as a whole in terms of scrutiny and rigor in their analyses. I had made numerous attempts to read through various descriptions of the Battle and about the Tigers of sSSPzAbt101 in many articles, books and formal internet sites--yet in English or English translation only as my German is very poor and French just null; however I had almost always been disappointed somewhat or greatly as most of them failed to recognize what I had recognized fairly a long time ago then and even made some poor mistakes like perceiving a sPzAbt503's Tiger as that of sSSPzAbt101, etc. Most assuredly, there have been some exellent books for this subject without any major flaws like Taylor's book "V-B Through the Lens"; yet still always with some sort of limitation--in the case of Taylor's book, it was persuasive only until I upheld a possibility of 231 as Wittmann's Tiger.



However, just after my encounter with you people's such amazing forum discussions a certain sense of discouragement, if not of self-dissappointment, surfaced with some heavy impact to be frank with you fully. First experiencing such exhilarating discovery all by myself only through time-consuming rigorous works and then very soon afterward becoming forced to have a perception that I missed the chance to discover Wittmann's Tiger as 212 in the battle of V-B for the very first time, struck me hard indeed. So that made me eventually give up the writing of something as a new part 2 in around March of this year--for reference, the part 1 was posted on the 17th of January in Korea. And as some other important things for my living came up, all things having to do with researching Wittmann and sSSPzAbt101 were then sadly abandoned.



Now more than half a year has passed since that time and again I am able to afford some time for my various hobbies including, say, Wittmann Study. In retrospect, I think I was extremely foolish and so narrow-minded out of some sort of selfishness; I should have openly acknowledged your--also hard won--discovery with warm congratulation immediately afterward and introduced all things to Korean folks fast. Well, my poor excuse was somehow I anticipated some other Koreans would do the job soon or later since I also noticed at that time some Korean modelers including German panzer enthusiasts visit this site placing the pictures of their works here in the gallery section for instance. But as far as I know no one in Korea has done anything yet about you guys' acheivement for Korean military modelers and WWII buffs. So though late, now I am very willing to do that job myself.



Before I do that, I would like to make really sure whether among you guys Barry Crook can be rightly regarded as the one who first made this discovery or, say, initiated the finding at least in 2002. More, If that actually happened even before that time period according to your own self-understanding, as I could have failed to notice your some other significant treads, please correct me too. Further, I have also figured out there are some more Internet forum sites discussing German army's all sorts of stuff in depth, e.g., Feldgrau.com, Axis History Forum, etc., only after this incident. Yet so far I've been unable to find out any other people or any other discussion forums mentioning this matter clearly before yours; but again, as I am not capable of searching and examining every single case in all those forum sites, please let me know if there is someone else or some other discussion tread that I should perceive before my writing introducing Barry Crook as the first discoverer and Yann Jouault, James Blackwell and Michael Kenny as crucial role players to Korean people.



Regarding the box-work of Dragon's Tiger 212, as now I know from the very last discussion, thanks to Paul Alderton, that the artist Ron Volstad has been around this forum too, another question seems to have disappeared; so he has also read you guys' discussions and recognized the true identity of Wittmann's Tiger in the battle of V-B right from here!!! However still, up until this moment I assume most Korean WWII German panzer buffs who have perchased this kit and educated themselves only with some limited material upto the book by Agte on Wittmann would have been in some sort of confusion due to this "mystery" of Tiger 212's presence on the road to V-B. Well, why don't we correct this situation? As for me, since the end of September some active participation to several forums, of course including here's, has been intended and indeed already a few attempts have been made. Wow, it has been too lengthy; thanks for reading this far.


Dear Siegyoung

I seriously doubt anyone can confidently claim to have identified which Tiger Michael Wittmann commanded at Villers-Bocage, at least not at this stage. Certainly I am not sure enough to suggest Wittmann's Tiger was “212”. The discussions in this DG many years ago instead established two things:

That “222” was not his mount, as has been claimed in print by Agte, Schneider and others.

That “212” became an option by default.

In 2000 many people quite understandably assumed Witmann’s mount at V-B was “222”, due to the published claims by Wittmann authorities, Agte and Schneider. This included James and Yann. I did not however subscribe to this viewpoint due to the amount of other errors by Agte and Schneider in particular (eg the claim "007" was a mid version).

It was in the course of defending Daniel Taylor's suggestion “231” may have been Wittmann’s mount, that I pointed out two things:

The first was the likelihood the Tiger seen towing “231” after the battle was numbered "2-2" and in all likelihood was a very pristine “222" - far too pristine to have seen the sort of combat Wittmann was involved in:







The second was my doubt the theory the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B was “222", due in part to the above and also because of the faint similarities it bore to a Tiger of 1. Zug, seen near Morgny:





Both Yann and James gratiously accepting these viewpoints and it was Yann who in fact put further definitive evidence forward to support my case. For example, while I pointed out that the Tiger towing “231” appeared to be numbered “2-2” and by default would most likely turn out to be “222”, Yann identified that the style of 101.SS insignia applied over the Zimmerit was a 2. Zug trait, thus confirming without any doubt my original proposition it was "222" was correct.

Yann also found better photos of the 1. Zug Tiger at Morgny, which helped establish its actual number as “212” (bare in mind the photos posted here are low res, so do not show the details so well). As the tell tale camouflage similarities I had previously alluded to also proved indeed to match the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B, it could thus be confirmed it was “212” after all, not “222” as had been theorised previously.

Essentially without the interest and input of several people, most significantly Yann and books by Agte, Schneider and Taylor, the doubts and impressions I expressed originally would not have been so convincingly proven, so it was indeed a collective effort.

I should add however, I still maintain “231” is no less likely an option as Wittmann’s mount during the battle as “212”. While “212” was KO’ed in a location that matches Wittmann's account, “231” is also seen at a location along the path Wittmann took, although the exact location it was actually disabled remains to be identified. As the photos suggest to me it is photographed close to the edge of V-B, it is quite plausible it was disabled within the town limits, as Wittmann had stated.





It is also photographed being towed away close to a location where the British accounts state an AT gun disabled a Tiger (Tilly Junction). Wittmann's own account states his tank was disabled by an AT Gun hit to the running gear. The clear AP hits on the bow and glacis of “231” also correspond to the accounts of his rampage, as well of course the fact it was ultimately immobilised.



As an anecdote, its interesting to also note Wittmann was filmed in this very same Tiger some weeks later, soon after his award for the V-B action. I sometimes wonder if there was a reason why he would choose this particular Tiger for posterity. Maybe it was just handy, or maybe it (and its crew ) held some particular sentimental significance to him...?



For the record its worth noting here something Yann and I have also discussed in the past is the style of number found on "212". Like other vehicles of 2. Kompanie's 1. Zug, this Tiger "212" did not carry medium-sized red and white numbers as the DML box art and decals incorrectly display, but instead carried bolder, very pale numbers; the colours of which are yet to be positively identified:





Tigers "211" and "214" reveal the sort of style used by the 1. Zug for comparison:





A possibility is they were pale blue with paler yellow or white outlines. Another theory is they were yellow with white outlines...

Cheers
Baz


.
Last edited by daintree on October 10th, 2006, 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 1st, 2002, 6:54 pm

October 10th, 2006, 8:29 pm #6

Great post Baz. If there's no further acknowlegement the effort you put into that one, it'll be one more demonstration of why so many of the most generous contributors no longer contribute here.

Manus
Last edited by M. Gallagher on October 10th, 2006, 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 18th, 2004, 8:47 pm

October 10th, 2006, 9:19 pm #7

Dear Siegyoung

I seriously doubt anyone can confidently claim to have identified which Tiger Michael Wittmann commanded at Villers-Bocage, at least not at this stage. Certainly I am not sure enough to suggest Wittmann's Tiger was “212”. The discussions in this DG many years ago instead established two things:

That “222” was not his mount, as has been claimed in print by Agte, Schneider and others.

That “212” became an option by default.

In 2000 many people quite understandably assumed Witmann’s mount at V-B was “222”, due to the published claims by Wittmann authorities, Agte and Schneider. This included James and Yann. I did not however subscribe to this viewpoint due to the amount of other errors by Agte and Schneider in particular (eg the claim "007" was a mid version).

It was in the course of defending Daniel Taylor's suggestion “231” may have been Wittmann’s mount, that I pointed out two things:

The first was the likelihood the Tiger seen towing “231” after the battle was numbered "2-2" and in all likelihood was a very pristine “222" - far too pristine to have seen the sort of combat Wittmann was involved in:







The second was my doubt the theory the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B was “222", due in part to the above and also because of the faint similarities it bore to a Tiger of 1. Zug, seen near Morgny:





Both Yann and James gratiously accepting these viewpoints and it was Yann who in fact put further definitive evidence forward to support my case. For example, while I pointed out that the Tiger towing “231” appeared to be numbered “2-2” and by default would most likely turn out to be “222”, Yann identified that the style of 101.SS insignia applied over the Zimmerit was a 2. Zug trait, thus confirming without any doubt my original proposition it was "222" was correct.

Yann also found better photos of the 1. Zug Tiger at Morgny, which helped establish its actual number as “212” (bare in mind the photos posted here are low res, so do not show the details so well). As the tell tale camouflage similarities I had previously alluded to also proved indeed to match the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B, it could thus be confirmed it was “212” after all, not “222” as had been theorised previously.

Essentially without the interest and input of several people, most significantly Yann and books by Agte, Schneider and Taylor, the doubts and impressions I expressed originally would not have been so convincingly proven, so it was indeed a collective effort.

I should add however, I still maintain “231” is no less likely an option as Wittmann’s mount during the battle as “212”. While “212” was KO’ed in a location that matches Wittmann's account, “231” is also seen at a location along the path Wittmann took, although the exact location it was actually disabled remains to be identified. As the photos suggest to me it is photographed close to the edge of V-B, it is quite plausible it was disabled within the town limits, as Wittmann had stated.





It is also photographed being towed away close to a location where the British accounts state an AT gun disabled a Tiger (Tilly Junction). Wittmann's own account states his tank was disabled by an AT Gun hit to the running gear. The clear AP hits on the bow and glacis of “231” also correspond to the accounts of his rampage, as well of course the fact it was ultimately immobilised.



As an anecdote, its interesting to also note Wittmann was filmed in this very same Tiger some weeks later, soon after his award for the V-B action. I sometimes wonder if there was a reason why he would choose this particular Tiger for posterity. Maybe it was just handy, or maybe it (and its crew ) held some particular sentimental significance to him...?



For the record its worth noting here something Yann and I have also discussed in the past is the style of number found on "212". Like other vehicles of 2. Kompanie's 1. Zug, this Tiger "212" did not carry medium-sized red and white numbers as the DML box art and decals incorrectly display, but instead carried bolder, very pale numbers; the colours of which are yet to be positively identified:





Tigers "211" and "214" reveal the sort of style used by the 1. Zug for comparison:





A possibility is they were pale blue with paler yellow or white outlines. Another theory is they were yellow with white outlines...

Cheers
Baz


.
Hi Baz,

Nicely put together. Expect e-mails from the MORON any minute now hehehe...

I admire your energy though, I don't have much left myself right now !
I fear the new stuff that has come up recently may be bringing us back to square one...

I got your e-mails. Sorry for the lack of contact, life's been mad. Will be in touch asap now my email 's working again.

For Siegyoung :

original thread about '212' is currently on page 617 (July 2000).

But remember : what was 'true' yesterday, may not be true tomorrow...

Yann
101XXXyann@wanadoo.fr (delete XXX)


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Joined: May 19th, 2006, 11:59 pm

October 10th, 2006, 9:35 pm #8

Dear Siegyoung

I seriously doubt anyone can confidently claim to have identified which Tiger Michael Wittmann commanded at Villers-Bocage, at least not at this stage. Certainly I am not sure enough to suggest Wittmann's Tiger was “212”. The discussions in this DG many years ago instead established two things:

That “222” was not his mount, as has been claimed in print by Agte, Schneider and others.

That “212” became an option by default.

In 2000 many people quite understandably assumed Witmann’s mount at V-B was “222”, due to the published claims by Wittmann authorities, Agte and Schneider. This included James and Yann. I did not however subscribe to this viewpoint due to the amount of other errors by Agte and Schneider in particular (eg the claim "007" was a mid version).

It was in the course of defending Daniel Taylor's suggestion “231” may have been Wittmann’s mount, that I pointed out two things:

The first was the likelihood the Tiger seen towing “231” after the battle was numbered "2-2" and in all likelihood was a very pristine “222" - far too pristine to have seen the sort of combat Wittmann was involved in:







The second was my doubt the theory the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B was “222", due in part to the above and also because of the faint similarities it bore to a Tiger of 1. Zug, seen near Morgny:





Both Yann and James gratiously accepting these viewpoints and it was Yann who in fact put further definitive evidence forward to support my case. For example, while I pointed out that the Tiger towing “231” appeared to be numbered “2-2” and by default would most likely turn out to be “222”, Yann identified that the style of 101.SS insignia applied over the Zimmerit was a 2. Zug trait, thus confirming without any doubt my original proposition it was "222" was correct.

Yann also found better photos of the 1. Zug Tiger at Morgny, which helped establish its actual number as “212” (bare in mind the photos posted here are low res, so do not show the details so well). As the tell tale camouflage similarities I had previously alluded to also proved indeed to match the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B, it could thus be confirmed it was “212” after all, not “222” as had been theorised previously.

Essentially without the interest and input of several people, most significantly Yann and books by Agte, Schneider and Taylor, the doubts and impressions I expressed originally would not have been so convincingly proven, so it was indeed a collective effort.

I should add however, I still maintain “231” is no less likely an option as Wittmann’s mount during the battle as “212”. While “212” was KO’ed in a location that matches Wittmann's account, “231” is also seen at a location along the path Wittmann took, although the exact location it was actually disabled remains to be identified. As the photos suggest to me it is photographed close to the edge of V-B, it is quite plausible it was disabled within the town limits, as Wittmann had stated.





It is also photographed being towed away close to a location where the British accounts state an AT gun disabled a Tiger (Tilly Junction). Wittmann's own account states his tank was disabled by an AT Gun hit to the running gear. The clear AP hits on the bow and glacis of “231” also correspond to the accounts of his rampage, as well of course the fact it was ultimately immobilised.



As an anecdote, its interesting to also note Wittmann was filmed in this very same Tiger some weeks later, soon after his award for the V-B action. I sometimes wonder if there was a reason why he would choose this particular Tiger for posterity. Maybe it was just handy, or maybe it (and its crew ) held some particular sentimental significance to him...?



For the record its worth noting here something Yann and I have also discussed in the past is the style of number found on "212". Like other vehicles of 2. Kompanie's 1. Zug, this Tiger "212" did not carry medium-sized red and white numbers as the DML box art and decals incorrectly display, but instead carried bolder, very pale numbers; the colours of which are yet to be positively identified:





Tigers "211" and "214" reveal the sort of style used by the 1. Zug for comparison:





A possibility is they were pale blue with paler yellow or white outlines. Another theory is they were yellow with white outlines...

Cheers
Baz


.
n/t
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Joined: April 26th, 2005, 9:25 am

October 10th, 2006, 9:54 pm #9

Dear Siegyoung

I seriously doubt anyone can confidently claim to have identified which Tiger Michael Wittmann commanded at Villers-Bocage, at least not at this stage. Certainly I am not sure enough to suggest Wittmann's Tiger was “212”. The discussions in this DG many years ago instead established two things:

That “222” was not his mount, as has been claimed in print by Agte, Schneider and others.

That “212” became an option by default.

In 2000 many people quite understandably assumed Witmann’s mount at V-B was “222”, due to the published claims by Wittmann authorities, Agte and Schneider. This included James and Yann. I did not however subscribe to this viewpoint due to the amount of other errors by Agte and Schneider in particular (eg the claim "007" was a mid version).

It was in the course of defending Daniel Taylor's suggestion “231” may have been Wittmann’s mount, that I pointed out two things:

The first was the likelihood the Tiger seen towing “231” after the battle was numbered "2-2" and in all likelihood was a very pristine “222" - far too pristine to have seen the sort of combat Wittmann was involved in:







The second was my doubt the theory the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B was “222", due in part to the above and also because of the faint similarities it bore to a Tiger of 1. Zug, seen near Morgny:





Both Yann and James gratiously accepting these viewpoints and it was Yann who in fact put further definitive evidence forward to support my case. For example, while I pointed out that the Tiger towing “231” appeared to be numbered “2-2” and by default would most likely turn out to be “222”, Yann identified that the style of 101.SS insignia applied over the Zimmerit was a 2. Zug trait, thus confirming without any doubt my original proposition it was "222" was correct.

Yann also found better photos of the 1. Zug Tiger at Morgny, which helped establish its actual number as “212” (bare in mind the photos posted here are low res, so do not show the details so well). As the tell tale camouflage similarities I had previously alluded to also proved indeed to match the KO’ed 2. Komp. Tiger in V-B, it could thus be confirmed it was “212” after all, not “222” as had been theorised previously.

Essentially without the interest and input of several people, most significantly Yann and books by Agte, Schneider and Taylor, the doubts and impressions I expressed originally would not have been so convincingly proven, so it was indeed a collective effort.

I should add however, I still maintain “231” is no less likely an option as Wittmann’s mount during the battle as “212”. While “212” was KO’ed in a location that matches Wittmann's account, “231” is also seen at a location along the path Wittmann took, although the exact location it was actually disabled remains to be identified. As the photos suggest to me it is photographed close to the edge of V-B, it is quite plausible it was disabled within the town limits, as Wittmann had stated.





It is also photographed being towed away close to a location where the British accounts state an AT gun disabled a Tiger (Tilly Junction). Wittmann's own account states his tank was disabled by an AT Gun hit to the running gear. The clear AP hits on the bow and glacis of “231” also correspond to the accounts of his rampage, as well of course the fact it was ultimately immobilised.



As an anecdote, its interesting to also note Wittmann was filmed in this very same Tiger some weeks later, soon after his award for the V-B action. I sometimes wonder if there was a reason why he would choose this particular Tiger for posterity. Maybe it was just handy, or maybe it (and its crew ) held some particular sentimental significance to him...?



For the record its worth noting here something Yann and I have also discussed in the past is the style of number found on "212". Like other vehicles of 2. Kompanie's 1. Zug, this Tiger "212" did not carry medium-sized red and white numbers as the DML box art and decals incorrectly display, but instead carried bolder, very pale numbers; the colours of which are yet to be positively identified:





Tigers "211" and "214" reveal the sort of style used by the 1. Zug for comparison:





A possibility is they were pale blue with paler yellow or white outlines. Another theory is they were yellow with white outlines...

Cheers
Baz


.
Hi Baz,

thanks for bringing the pieces together once again - and for raising some doubts on the "212 = Wittmann's mount"-theory. What makes me think is the point that MW'S loader on that day had been SS-Strm. Günter Boldt. Boldt has been identified being the crewman next to MW on the Wochenschau film - on Tiger 231:



Now, Boldt is known to have been killed on July 20th 1944 at the Bourguébus ridge, south of Caen. He managed to bail out of the burning Tiger badly wounded, only to pass away shortly afterwards. The only known loss for SS101 on/around this date at the Bourguébus ridge is this Tiger:



This Tiger has been identified over here as being 231!

The plot thickens that Boldt had been a regular crewmember of 231 - while the commanders often swapped tanks, this does not apply to the rest of the crew, as it seems (at least not for loaders, drivers and r/os).

A hint for 231 being MW's mount on June 13th, it seems.

Hi Yann,

would you mind to elaborate on the new findings which put us back at the start, please . Is this related to Daniel Taylor's update in ATB Mag. #132?

Cheers

Matthias
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Joined: August 25th, 2005, 4:49 am

October 10th, 2006, 10:14 pm #10

These are some of the things why i still believe that Tiger 231 was the one Wittmann used.

I have a big respect on the effort for working out Tiger 212 could be the one Wittmann used at VB. The cammo comparsion is still a very strong point, but i allways thought this is NOT the definitiv proof.

I did never understand why this point was a bit "untouchable" here on the board and other variations/conclusions were marked as not rational.


Hartmut
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