By Richard Siegert
In the Second World War, Poznan was a key river crossing and railway junction on the Polish-German border. When the alarm was given indicating the Red Army's approach in January 1945, the city's 80-100,000 German civilians were speedily evacuated, leaving a garrison of some 15,000 men, mostly poorly-armed infantry, to face the rigours of a siege conducted by a massively superior and ruthless enemy anxious to acquire this transport centre, which was vital for the advance on Berlin.
This is the account of Eastern Front veteran Richard Siegert, the gunner and later commander of the defenders' sole Tiger tank.
Since the death of the driver in a futile attempt to escape from a PoW camp in Russia just after the end of the war, Siegert is the only survivor of that crew able to pass its record on to posterity. His account details how the crew fought gallantly against impossible odds, even when the Tiger was immobilised and could only act as a stationary anti-tank gun post or pillbox during the last heroic days' fighting for the citadel.