Tiger Day X at Bovington Museum was blessed with good weather for the event. The museum was full of enthusiasts waiting to see Tiger 131 in action. The tank was captured in the Tunisian desert, April 1943. It was the first intact Tiger tank captured by the Allied forces. The Tiger was disabled by a lucky shot from a Churchill tank. The round hit the Tiger’s gun barrel and ricocheted off, lodging itself in between the hull and the turret, jamming it. The crew then abandoned the tank. This was originally thought to have happened at Djebel Djaffa.
However new research by Dale Oscroft, son of one of Sherwood Foresters who fought in the action shows that Tiger 131 was actually captured some 15 miles from Djebel Djaffa. The Sherwood Foresters had attacked a place called Gueriat el, known as Point 174, on 24 April 1943. It was in this action that Tiger 131 was disabled by the shot from one of the Churchill tanks that was supporting the Foresters. Read the full story on the Tank Museum’s website Click hereThe capture of the Tiger Tank was an opportunity for the Allies to see what type of tank they were up against. It was repaired so that it could be compared to the Allied tanks and was inspected by many of the top brass including King George VI. The tank stayed in Tunis until October 1943 when it was transported to England where it was evaluated. It was transferred to the Bovington tank museum in September 1951. Jon Phillips brought along one of the vehicles from his collection to Tiger day, the Stug III Ausf D. This was also captured by the British in North Africa, at the battle of El Alamein. It was also was sent to England for evaluation. After examination testing the vehicle ended up on the Pirbright fire ranges. Years later it was recovered from its resting place, in somewhat of a sorry state with a lot of parts missing and joined the Kevin Wheatcroft collection. Jon purchased the Stug in 2913 and started collecting parts and restoring the vehicle.As well as the Tiger and the other WW2 tanks on Tiger day, there was a great display put on by some post war tanks, plenty of dust being kicked up. Throughout the day the American cargo carrier proved very popular taking people for rides around the arena.