Knocking Out A King Tiger

David Fletcher looks into the story of one of the first Tiger II (King Tiger) being knocked out in Le Plessis Grimoult, using only luck and a two inch mortar. 

These pictures, we are told, show a Tiger II knocked out in Le Plessis Grimoult, Normandy, on 7thAugust 1944. The story is that a platoon from A Company, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, commanded by Major Harry Parker wandered into the place and came across two Tiger tanks, one being resupplied with ammunition from a lorry parked alongside along with another tracked vehicle present.

A black and white photo of the rear of a King Tiger Tank with a uniformed man pointing at the side of the tank.
A black and white photo of a damaged King Tiger Tank with explosion damage.

Being armed with nothing more deadly than a two inch mortar, the crew, Lance Corporal Caswell and Private Taylor, lobbed a round into the back of the lorry, and the resulting explosions dislodged the turret of the German tank and set off an internal explosion. At which point the other Tiger appears to have cleared off.

It’s a remarkable story. It must be one of the first times a Tiger II was encountered by British troops in France, and the turret and gun are said to have been taken back to Britain. The Tiger II was a tank otherwise hardly known to the Allies at this time. It is one of the earlier models, with the Porsche style turret.

It seems like a remarkable action for in infantry platoon, and we need to thank the Regimental Museum of Cornwall for their help in compiling this story.

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