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I Saw Our Shells Bounce off a German Tiger

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I Saw Our Shells Bounce off a German Tiger

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I Saw Our Shells Bounce off a German Tiger This story in a nutshell an incident in the fighting between a British composite force of tanks, guns and infantry, and Erwin Rommel's troops driving, towards Thala is told by Alan Humphreys, Reuters Special Correspondent on the Tunisian Front.

We held our positions on high ground north of the Kasserine Pass until dusk, when we were ordered to withdraw because the Germans were winkling us out.

As we did so the enemy fired everything they had at us, including 105-millimetre guns. The shelling was very heavy and accurate. Later, undeterred by heavy rain, German tanks penetrated the pass and advanced towards Thala, some 40 miles to the North West, headed by a number of Tiger tanks.

Though the moon was at full, rainclouds had reduced visibility, adding to the difficulties of the anti-tank gunners. To ensure that he was not tiring at dur own tanks, the British battery commander went out ahead of our guns.

A tank approached along the road, but rattled to a stop at the British officer command, Halt! The officer then identified a German Mark VI (Tiger) tank. Fire! he shouted to his battery, at the same time diving for a ditch. One man jumped from the Tiger tank and also dived into the ditch at the same moment as the British officer. Each went a different way however, the British officer dashing back towards his guns the German racing to the tanks following up behind. The battery, although only at 40 yards range, fired a five rounds before the remainder of the crew of the Tiger tank jumped out. One gunner, speaking of the action, told me, The first shell from our six-pounder bounced off and went straight up in the air. I followed its flight, but I could not see the rest. I think several other shells also just bounced off the Tiger tank.

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German Tiger (Mark VI) tank

German Tiger (Mark VI) Tank, referred to in this and the following page, is armed with an 88-mm. gun and two 7'92-mm. machine guns. These photographs of one captured in Tunisia, show (left) the enemy practice of fixing old or spare tracks across the front of the tank so provide extra protection. Right, side view showing use of overlapping bogie wheels in suspension. The complete tank weighs over 55 tons. Photos, British Official

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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