Volume 1: Grosstraktor to Tiger 231, 1926-1943
This first volume explains what foreigners knew about Germany’s heavy tanks from 1926 to 1943; how the British decrypted signals about Tigers months before confirmation in the field; how the Soviets fought Tigers for eight months before telling their Allies; how the Western Allies fought Tigers earlier than they realized; how the French were the targets of the first deep battle involving Tigers, but the Americans captured the personnel and components, while the British captured the imagery.
The capture of Tiger 231 is stranger still. The British claimed it, but a Canadian commanded the company that first fired on it, and a Canadian engineer was first to exploit it. Although it lay within Allied lines, the Germans demolished it. They rated the demolition as thorough, but two British technicians heroically and accurately analysed the wreck. Yet their intelligence would be overtaken by propaganda and political spin proved more enduring, even today.
Volume 2: The Tunisian Tigers
The second volume tells the story of Tigers on the Western front from February to April 1943: the Tigers leading the greatest Axis counter-offensive of the Tunisian campaign, through Faid, Sidi Bou Zid, and Sbeitla, on the way to American abandonment of Kasserine Pass; the counter-offensive against the British from Sidi Nsir to Hunts Gap; the “Tiger graveyard,” where seven Tigers were demolished; the American claims to knock out Tigers at El Guettar Pass, where Tigers never fought; how Tigers saved Maknassy Pass, but went unobserved by the Americans; the American claim to knock out a Tiger in between these passes, and the match with Tiger 213; the reasons why Tiger 213 was never reported higher than company echelon; the daring German spoiling attack near Medjez; the failed British counter-attacks against a Tiger at Djebel Djaffa; the strange abandonment of this Tiger without demolition; the British failure to exploit this Tiger; and American acquisition of Tiger 712, its restoration, enshipment to America, and subsequent neglect; the huge British and French offensive across Goubellat Plain, and how Tigers contributed to its defeat; and Tiger 731’s final battles, its demise, its capture without demolition, and the reasons why its capture went unrecorded.