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King Tiger Tank under French road now insured for £2 Million
Posted: Dec 17, 2022
Experts have confirmed that the famous "lost" King Tiger Tank No 124 is to be insured for £2 million by Lloyds of London it can be revealed.
Following a final decision by the French courts in 2021 the ownership of the 65 ton WW2 monster has been resolved and the new owners have an obligation to make sure that the tank is fully insured.
This has involved having it officially valued for £2 million, and even now that figure may increase as more valuations are discussed.
The tank in question is WW2 King Tiger No 124 which was lost in combat in August 1944 during the retreat towards Paris. The Tiger II model SdKfz 182 belonged to the 101st SS Heavy Panzer Battalion, a unit who were at the forefront of the fighting to hold the advancing Allied forces back.
Some of the most famous tank battles in Normandy involved the 101st Panzer Battalion, including the famous battle for Villiers-Bocage undertaken almost single-handedly by tank ace Michael Wittmann. An action which resulted in him being awarded the Knight’s Cross which was presented to him, personally, by Adolf Hitler.
Whilst in combat near the French town of Fontenay St. Pere, King Tiger No 124, commanded by Fritz Zahnner, was advancing into a wooded area along a road when the tank came under attack by US fighter-bombers. Although not hit, the King Tiger fell into a shell crater where the crew bailed out, leaving the tank to be disabled later by Allied soldiers.
The turret and barrel of Tiger 124 were removed to make it safe – but the army left the tank in the road and the turret in a ditch nearby.
The turret remnants were recovered around twenty years ago, but, sadly, they were not looked after. Following a publicity stunt all the original camouflage Zimmeritt coating was removed; the turret was sandblasted clean and then the bare metal was painted yellow. Nobody can explain why this was done, but it has left historians and tank experts astonished at the lack of interest and care shown to it by anyone.
The location of the turret is now unknown but the exact spot where Tiger 124 lies has been recorded during a detailed survey undertaken by a team from the University of Paris.
The owners spokesman, Neil Ford, confirmed that the insurance has to be in place as part of the change of ownership and the value was reached following consultation with insurance industry experts, world renowned vehicle collectors and WW2 museum valuers.
We here at TankHistoria love to document, discuss, explain and simply ponder the fascinating history of the tanks and armored fighting vehicles that have clashed on the battlefields and drawing boards over the last 100 years.