A T26E3 Pershing tank cautiously enters a German village in April 1945. Intel has reported the presence of heavy German Panzers in this sector. Specifically, Tiger II “King Tiger” tanks.
If the Pershing crew can gain the element of surprise they will have a good chance of emerging victorious in this battle. The large King tiger could only hide in certain areas and by now the American tank crew has become familiar with the tactics employed by Tiger II crews. Bombed out buildings, barns, piles of rubble, mysterious looking piles of brush and fallen trees are just some of the places a Tiger could be lying in wait, already alerted to the approach of the Allied forces.
Both sides often employed ambush tactics if there was enough advanced notice to locate and prepare a good ambush position.
On this day, the American crew was unaware of the fact that only about 18 – 20 Tiger tanks in total were in service in Eastern Germany. Many Tigers and Panthers were either already destroyed or were at a repair depot somewhere being repaired and re-fitted. Fuel shortages left some otherwise serviceable Panzers sitting idle.
This crew will engage one Tiger tank on this day, but the Tiger will suffer a mechanical issue with its transmission. The German crew will abandon their Tiger and set it on fire before any real battle can develop. Both crews will survive the following days and weeks to return to their homes following Germany’s surrender.