Willem Vandenameele

Willem Vandenameele

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Tiger II Tank 213 La Gleize

War

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Public | DutchFrench

Source: tankphotographs

This Tiger II nr 213 by Obersturmführer Dollinger is one of the vehicles left behind by Peipers 1st SS Panzer Regiment in 1944 when he had to withdraw from la Gleize. Instead of playing a defensive role, the type was misused as a breakthrough tank. The Kampfgruppe Peipers had to leave about six tanks. The Americans with their M4 Shermans and M10 Tank Destroyers entered a duel with the Tiger II (tower number 213) during the siege of La Gleize and managed to hit the cannon run in half.
Tiger 213, Tiger 221 and a Panzer IV tank defended the Werimont farm near la Gleize. On 21 December 1944, the American tanks of Task Force McGeorge and Task Force Lovelady of the 3rd Armored Division attacked la Gleize.


Around noon, Dollinger in tank 213 and Georg Hantusch in tank 221 opened fire on fifteen American tanks that came out of the direction of Roanne, but they didn't destroy one. The Americans shot back and damaged the course of Dollinger's tank. Hantusch's tank was also severely damaged and both crews had to leave the tanks behind. Dollinger was injured in his head and sought shelter in the basement of the Werimont farm when Kampfgruppe Peiper withdrew from la Gleize.

When the battle was lost, Peiper left 135 armoured vehicles in the vicinity of la Gleize, including the Tiger 213 by Obersturmführer Dollinger, who now stands in front of the museum.

Tiger II' 213' was left at the end of the Battle of the Ardennes in a meadow behind Wérimont's farm. In 1945 the wrecks of the Germans were destroyed by the American genius and collected. In July 1945, the Königstiger' 213' was salvaged by three Sherman tanks. During towing the tank shifted, which made so much noise that Madame Jenny Geenen came out. She has exchanged for a bottle of cognac. Now the tank has a place for the Museum December 1944, which is located in the ancient presbytery of the town of La Gleize.

At the end of 1951, the Tiger II was towed a 50 metres using another Sherman disposal tank to its current location. In 1971 the tank was sprayed in the grey-blue colour of the German tanks from 1940. All that time the Tiger II has only had a three-quarters cannon. It was restored in 1972 and the tank was sandblasted and repainted. This operation was subsequently repeated twice more until 1993.
Over the years, more and more people have been restored to the tank, such as shutters, mudguards and walkways. The interior was also refurbished as much as possible. In 1996 it was decided to place the tank on a new surface. In that year the tank was again sandblasted and painted. Thanks to many volunteers, the Tiger II has been preserved and is a unique piece of military remains from the Battle of the Ardennes.

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