In July 1945 the Americans cleared out the swathes of German militaria, however Tiger '213' was bought by Madame Jenny Geenen-Dewez from the American troops for a bottle of Cognac.
This Königstiger no. '213' (chassis no. 280273, built Oct 1944) belonged to Helmut Dollinger of the Panzer Division LSSAH, or more specifically, the detachment "Kampfgruppe Peiper" commanded by the skilled Jochen Peiper.
It was knocked out alongside SS Untersturmführer Georg Hantusch's Tiger II no. '221' during an engagement with 15 US Sherman tanks, en route from Roanne at the Werimont Farm on the outskirts of La Gleize on the 22nd of December 1944.
The Tigers opened the engagement however their 88s were unable to land any hits before the rapid reaction by the Shermans, in which they turned to face the Tigers and unleashed rapid fire at the heavily outnumbered SS Tigers, also hitting and suppressing the Observation Post set up in the farmhouse nearby.
The volley of Sherman shells jolted Ustuf. Hantusch's King Tiger so violently that it disabled the sensitive electronic firing system in the tank and also lightly wounded Ustuf. Hantusch, at which time the crew was forced to bail out.
Shortly thereafter Ostuf. Dollinger's Tiger II received a freak hit which completely amputated the front 2/3rds of the long 88mm KwK barrel, rendering it useless and forcing the crew to bail out.
Both crews found shelter in the cramped Werimont Farmhouse cellar with fellow SS men and wounded friendly and American troops.
All of Kampfgruppe Peiper's vehicles including Tigers '213' and '221' were left behind following the escape of Stubaf. Peiper on the night of the 24/25th with his remaining men.
It was towed to the centre of the town and later had its signature 88mm replaced. It remains outside of what is now the 'December 44 Historical Museum La Gleize' and is under their care along with a wealth of German equipment.
Stay Connected with Us
It sits proudly and intimidatingly as a monument for the fate of Kampfgruppe Peiper and many of their men during the Battle of the Bulge.
La Gleize, Belgium.
December 22nd - 25th, 1944.