For the Record: Saumur Tiger II to Appear on Rétromobile autoshow
Thanks to Flyingd for this one. Hello everyone, according to the news published on the Saumur site, the only running Tiger II in the world (from Saumur) will appear in early February 2015 in Paris on the Rétromobile autoshow event, taking place from 4.2. to 8.2. along with another tank from Saumur, the early AMX-30. This expo, taking place at Parc des expositions de la Porte de Versailles is dedicated to showing vintage vehicles of various ages. This particular Tiger II was captured in France, as the Retromobile site article explains: In late August 1944, 14 Tiger II tanks were transported by rail convoy from their delivery point at the Camp de Mailly to the East of Paris. The squadron then moved towards Beauvais. On 23 August, they were sent to the front at the US bridgehead at Mantes-sur-Seine. Half of the tanks broke down on the way; the others arrived in the Vexin region, 5 kms from the American front. The Tigers were engaged in battle on 26 August at Fontenay-St-Père, and on 28 August they were deployed once more at Sailly. Surrounded in the village, our Royal Tiger managed to escape northwards, crossed the Montcient bridge, and toiled up the slope. Totally exposed, the giant was soon spotted by the Americans. It tried to avoid the intense artillery fire by advancing in zigzag fashion. Once on the plateau between Sailly and Montalet, a small area of woodland afforded temporary shelter, but the Americans promptly focused their fire power on the wood. The hunted 70-ton Tiger hurtled forward at full speed, crushing everything in its path. It crossed the entire wood, clearing a path that would be visible for a long time after. When it reached the edge of the wood, the oveheated engine broke down. The crew abandoned the tank under machine gun fire and did not take the time to sabotage it. Besides three destroyed in combat, most of the tanks in this company would be abandoned (because of mechanical failure or lack of fuel) and sabotaged.
Our Royal Tiger remained forgotten on the edge of the wood until a free French military unit came to collect it. It is thought that it was then taken to AMX at Satory to be reconditioned. In early 1945, this tank, along with other German machines, formed a French armoured squadron made up of captured tanks scheduled to be deployed during the German campaign. Following this it was taken back to Satory before being moved to the Musée des Blindés in Saumur under the supervision of Colonel Aubry. In any case, if you are in Paris in February, you might want to check it out!