Original German WWII Tigerfibel Tiger I Tank Manual

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. All examples of this manual are rare, but complete excellent condition examples are unheard of, but we found one! Yes, this is a complete, excellent condition, authentic German Pre-1945 printed Tigerfibel. It has fold outs and all pages are intact and in wonderful vibrant condition.

The Tigerfibel and Pantherfibel were crew instruction manuals for the German tanks of World War II, the Panzer VI Tiger heavy tank and the Panzer V Panther medium tank.

Like other manuals designated as Fibel (basic primer), they were apparently intended to summarise what the crew needed to know for day-to-day use of the tank, and to capture their interest. It is well illustrated in comic-style and much of the text is written as poetry in a humorous manner. The Fibel is remarkably different from the typical tedious style of a German tank manual of that period.

The manuals were approved by Heinz Guderian, the Inspector-General of Panzer troops. In the case of the Panther manual, he issued his approval in the manual's rhyming style, ending with the words, Die Pantherfibel ist genehmigt; wer sie nicht kennt, der wird erledigt (roughly "The Panther primer is approved; who knows it not will be removed.")

The Tiger 1 was a complex and expensive machine, prone to break down in places where repair or even retrieval might be impossible. Lt. Col Hans Christern, in charge of training Tiger crews, realised that a manual written by soldiers might be an easier read than the dull booklets authored by the manufacturers.

Lt. Josef von Glatter-Goetz, charged with writing the book, decided to use colloquial speech, rhymes and comic-book illustrations. He named this manual, officially known as D656/27, the Tigerfibel or Tiger Primer.

PFC Gessinger and Non-com officer Wagner drew the illustrations, personifying the tank as "Elvira Tiger", a young lady. The Tigerfibel became known as a souvenir worth collecting. Many copies have therefore survived the war.  

The Tiger I  was a German heavy tank of World War II that operated beginning in 1942 in Africa and in the Soviet Union, usually in independent heavy tank battalions. It gave the German Army its first armored fighting vehicle that mounted the 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun (derived from the 8.8 cm Flak 36). 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. After August 1944, production of the Tiger I was phased out in favor of the Tiger II.

While the Tiger I has been called an outstanding design for its time,[11] it has also been called over-engineered, using expensive materials and labour-intensive production methods. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and breakdowns and was limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable.[13] It was difficult to transport and vulnerable to immobilisation when mud, ice, and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk-pattern road wheels, often jamming them solid. This was a problem on the Eastern Front in the muddy rasputitsa season and during periods of extreme cold.

The tank was given its nickname "Tiger" by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the Tiger II entered production. The initial designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (literally "armored combat vehicle VI version H", abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H) where 'H' denoted Henschel as the designer/manufacturer. It was classified with ordnance inventory designation Sd.Kfz. 182. The tank was later re-designated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943, with ordnance inventory designation Sd.Kfz. 181.

Today, only seven Tiger I tanks survive in museums and private collections worldwide. As of 2021, Tiger 131 (captured during the North Africa Campaign) at the UK's Tank Museum is the only example restored to running order.
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