'Catch That Tiger' - Churchill's secret order that prompted the most dangerous mission of WW2

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by BlakePub, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    There's still the annoying detail that the Tiger unit's war diary states that 131 was lost on the 19th, two days before the 'actual capture'. Did I miss the explanation for that?

    The Boche can only count to three?

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    We've seen a German account on the 1940 section where they even put a date on a gravestone before their raiding party left. It must be the 'Blitzkrieg' mentality.

    Are you implying that the Tiger had been standing abandoned for two days before 48RTR pumped a couple of 6pdr. rounds into it ? If so, our Tom will be down on you like a ton of bricks !:)
     
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Are you implying that the Tiger had been standing abandoned for two days before 48RTR pumped a couple of 6pdr. rounds into it ? If so, our Tom will be down on you like a ton of bricks !:)

    Definitely not! ;)

    I'm just intrigued that there is contemporary documentary evidence of what happened to 131 that contradicts the accepted story (Gerry's even put the extracts on his NIH site). Knowing how Tiger tales can attract controversy, I find it a bit odd that I haven't really seen anything that deals head-on with that particular detail.
     
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Idler
    there were times - especially after a battle when we would ask - what day is this ?- and get the reply..." never mind that - what bloody month is it " - sometimes we had a clue
    when it was scorching hot - or freezing cold - and I would suspect that the Germans felt much the same - although we had some ideas of Saturdays when the Football results were broadcast by the BBc - that's when the Villa were winning most games....
    Cheers
     
  5. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    It is great that the tank museum stepped into this. In support of the almost universally accepted/correct sequence of events. Was it at the insistance of Messers Chester and Canning?

    Rich I agree totally If so, our Tom will be down on you like a ton of bricks !:smile:


    You most definetly dont want that. it is not a comfortable place:p Having beeen there myself.
    Matt
     
  6. Byrden

    Byrden Junior Member

    Here's some information that justifies a rivival of this old thread.

    I have studied the photos of "131" standing where the Germans left her, the battlefield map, and the more reliable accounts of the action.

    Using that marvellous tool, "Google Earth", which presents a solid model of terrain on one's screen and allows one to "fly" around it, I have tried to identify the spot where "131" was left.

    The photos were most helpful in this regard. They show critical details; a near-flat horizon visible in the distance behind the vehicle, a small hill to its right with larger hilltops visible behind it; and that "131" was near a pathway, on sloping ground.

    There is only one area on the battlefield of 21st April where all of those things can be seen. It is on the northernmost slopes of Djebel Jaffa. And that coincides neatly with the accounts of the battle, which have the German tanks pushing through at exactly that place.

    Now, we can make an interesting observation. The book "Catch that Tiger" tells us that Lidderdale's tank "cut around the end of a ridge" to approach "131" from behind. We can observe that this is impossible.

    The manoeuvre might be possible if "131" were located to the east of Djebel Jaffa, among the wadis. But it was actually sitting in a pass between Djebel Jaffa and Djebel el Mourhra (which you can see in the photos). There is no ridge. There is no way to get behind "131" except to go around Djebel Jaffa itself; a 3km journey behind German lines.

    David
     
  7. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Just more proof of the heroism of Lidderdale and his crew. They were probably the inspiration for the movie 'Fury'.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  8. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron

    I wonder how many copies of the book they have actually sold and whether all this grief was worth it?.....not, of course, that the average reader would know the difference between fact and fiction (that's not a criticism, just a likely valid comment).

    I find the whole thing very sad.
     
    dbf likes this.
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Just updating the link to Bov as it's changed:
    http://eee.tankmuseum.org/ixbin/indexplus?record=ART3798
    Seems to be a bit more info there than I remember too. The 80s letters from Lidderdale are interesting, not just in relation to the book, but as part of 131s story.

    Someone has placed a decent summary of Douglas Lidderdale's life here:
    http://www.lidderdale.com/gen030.html
    No hyperbole, and reads like they were working from a solid account, perhaps even the diary...
     
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    So who was operating the Churchill in support during that action ?
     
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Not fully digested that yet but the traditional tale introduced a date discrepancy with the German war diary as posted on Gerry Chester's site. Looks interesting...
     
  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    OK, I didn't have to go back too far... The German record has 131 being abandoned on the 19th, so the date discrepancy increases with the new [pretty solid] theory. The Bovvy page links to a full report on the claim which is well worth a read.

    Given the to-and-fro nature of some of the fighting, I suppose it might just be possible for 131 to have been abandoned on the 19th, then recovered by the Germans only to be abandoned again and lost on the 24th?
     
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  15. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I was talking today with an acquaintance and as usual we discussed a spectrum of military history.He remarked that he had visited Bovington,enjoyed it, and taken some first class photographs of Tiger 131.

    I referred him to this excellent thread on the Tiger and the technical report of Major Douglas Liddledale.....unfortunately I cannot find it in the thread which I think did have a link to it.

    Looking further into the debate,it appears that Noel Botham died in late 2012.

    Noel Botham | Wikiwand
     

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