First Battleday March 27, 2004 Allies Axis Sherman 76 King Tiger (Eric) Pershing (Marty)
First Battle Allies vs. Axis Tiger 1 #F02 and Tiger I #321
Approaching a small village on the Western Front, an Allied scout unit spotted a small Axis unit entrenched just outside the farming village in rolling pastureland. The scout’s report estimated the Axis strength at half the advancing Allies and a surprise attack was planned to overrun the entrenched enemy forces. The Allied unit consisted of a Sherman 76mm and a new Pershing supported by infantry and several artillery pieces. Because of the plan for surprise, the Allied artillery pieces would not have time to be brought to bear. Upon approach the Axis were taken by surprise, infantry scrambling and the units only King Tiger cranked its engine and brought its gun to bear the oncoming onslaught.
Using cover of hedgerows and trees the Allies closed to 750 meters. The Allies then began the exchange with the Axis scoring initial hits on the King Tiger's flank, the Sherman and Pershing advanced cautiously while the King Tiger remained in defensive position attempting to ascertain the enemy's direction and strength. The Allies closed to 350 meters where infantry began to engage. The Sherman and Pershing began flanking maneuvers to punch through the resistance providing a hole the infantry support could get through. The King Tiger scored hits on the Sherman but could not slow the Allied assault.
The King Tiger began a slow retreat attempting to find cover amongst the trees. The Pershing approached to within 300 meters punching two rounds in the side hull disabling the engine while the Sherman hit the front glacis and punctured the turret armor at 200 meters causing the ammo to cook-off destroying the tank. Both Sherman and Pershing remained operational and spearheaded through the entrenchment with infantry support cleaning up. The small farming village was liberated within 5 hours that day.
Second Battle Allies vs. Axis Just as the thaw of winter in Northern Europe was approaching, a campaign of the Axis advance was intercepted by an Allied counterstrike. Being of clear conditions, the sighting across the plains began an exchange of fire at 1900 meters between the Axis and Allied armor divisions testing their range. With no progress in the exchange as fog was setting in, the Allies decided to press an advance. The Axis sensed their plan and decided to dig in being more familiar with the terrain. The Sherman commander realizing they were out-ranged by the new King Tigers, his group of Shermans began an aggressive flanking maneuver at full speed. The Pershing commander radioed his Pershings would cautiously close providing support fire. The King Tiger unit began a retreating maneuver to avoid being flanked whilst engaging the quickly approaching Shermans.
In one eye-witness account by the Axis commander, both his King Tiger and the Sherman exchanged several hits at 1200 meters slowing the Sherman’s advance while the Pershing support fire scored on the King Tiger’s flank at some greater distance. The retreat maneuver put distance between him and the Pershing while engaging the aggressive Sherman. The commanders King Tiger was chased to a ravine some 300 meters away in which the Sherman entered to close the distance and whereby both would be shielded from fire. The King Tiger with limited movement in the ravine experienced mechanical trouble with its turret rotation and relied on changing gun direction with the tracks.
Both the commanders King Tiger and the Sherman exchanged fire in the ravine at 750 meters with no successful hits while the Pershing, without a clear shot, closed the distance. The Sherman in its pursuit within the ravine received a hit from the King Tiger at 500 meters penetrating the front glacis causing the Sherman drive out of control going up the steep side of the ravine and toppling over on its turret disabled but not destroyed. The Sherman crew was seen bailing out some time later. The Pershing closed to killing range but could not seem to penetrate the King Tiger armor since it had depleted its armor piercing rounds. The commander of the King Tiger could not bring his gun to bear on the Pershing, as the main gun could not negotiate the steep side of the ravine. He ordered his crew to evacuate the vehicle before the Pershing got too close for a point blank shot.
The battle was ended prematurely with all vehicles operational but damaged and some mechanical difficulties.
Axis Axis Tiger I #321 (Marty) Tiger I #F02 (Eric)
First Battle At 1000 meters a fierce exchange began with both Tigers on the move attempting to stay out of the front of the others gun barrel. As the hits were exchanged maneuvering from behind brush, Tiger F02 became crippled when its track loosed from the teeth of the sprocket. Being forced to fight immobile, Tiger 321 out-maneuvered the F02 gunner and achieved a KO.
Second Battle At 1400 meters a fierce exchange of fire began with Tiger F02 in retreat and Tiger 321 in pursuit. Distance increased to 2000 meters between the assailants where Tiger F02 had a slight range advantage and scored hits as it retreated. Tiger 321 had its drive crippled from previous damage and crawled at a pains-taking pace. Tiger 321 could not close the distance fast enough to score a hit. Tiger F02 at comfortable distance remained just out of range of Tiger 321 and eventually picked it off.