How manual for Nazi tank is a best-seller

Bournemouth Echo: TANKS A LOT:  Jonathan Falconer, right, of Haynes with, front, historian David Fletcher, workshop manager Mike Hayton, left, and curator David Willey at Bovington Tank Museum TANKS A LOT: Jonathan Falconer, right, of Haynes with, front, historian David Fletcher, workshop manager Mike Hayton, left, and curator David Willey at Bovington Tank Museum

A MANUAL detailing the workings of one of Adolf Hitler’s last working Nazi tanks has been revealed as a surprise Christmas bestseller.

The fully-illustrated Haynes Manual, compiled by historian David Fletcher, Bovington Tank Museum curator David Willey and museum workshop manager Mike Hayton, details the workings of the Tiger 131 tank.

It is one of Bovington Tank Museum’s prized exhibits, as it is the last example of a working Tiger in the world.

Haynes’ editorial director Mark Hughes confirmed: “Our Tiger Tank manual has been a fantastic seller both here and in North America, and now there are several foreign language editions too – including German.”

The foreword was written by Peter Gudgin MC who, in 1942 as a young lieutenant commanding a Churchill tank, came face-to-face with Tiger 131... and lost.

As it turned out, this would become the last time a Tiger 131 roared in anger, as it was captured later in the battle.

The 55-ton tank, boasting a fearsome 88mm gun, had been paraded past Hitler almost a year earlier on his birthday.

Mr Willey said: “Tiger 131 is probably our most famous exhibit, not least because the tank itself has an almost mythical reputation. In undertaking this project we’ve taken a much more sober and practical view of the vehicle.”

The Tiger Tank Owners’ Workshop Manual is available from the Tank Museum and bookshops.

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