Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Soldiers of sPz.Abt.508 in Italy

Two soldiers of schwere Panzer-Abteilung 508 used their spare time for sightseeing in Rome (Italy) with their staff car, 20 February 1944. This color side is interesting mainly because it provides an excellent view of the camouflage finish on the BMW 321 as well as the battalion emblem and the pink and black battalion pennant. In early February the Tiger tank battalion was sent to oppose Allied landings at Anzio. Transportation by rail ended at Ficulle in Italy, far from the enemy beachhead. Because Allied air superiority made further rail transport difficult, the battalion drove the remaining distance, via Rome. One Tiger caught fire on route and was destroyed in an explosion. Sixty percent of the Tigers suffered mechanical breakdown on the 200-kilometre (120 mi) journey through the narrow, winding, mountainous roads. By 14 February, the first company deployed piecemeal in the Anzio region near Aprilia (known as The Factory), as the second company arrived in Rome. This color slide itself is one of a series of color images of the Werkstattkompanie taken by Hans Becker. In the mid-1970s Becker's son loaned the slides to a model maker, who displayed them in the booklet "Modell Magazin - Foto Archiv". Since then the photos have appeared regularly in publications about the Tiger. Unfortunately the slides have not been returned to the son!

Source :
Book "Als Panzermann in Afrika und Italien 1942-45: Panzer Regiment 8 und schwere Panzer-Abt. 508" by Axel Urbanke and Hans Becker

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