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The Tiger Project: Book Two - The Tank Museum
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The Tiger Project: Book Two

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This book is the second in a series that will delve in to the inner workings of Germany's most fearsome panzers of the Second World War, the Tiger and Tiger II. There are many books already in publication that deal with various aspects of the Tiger series of tanks but few include more than minimal biographical information of the men who crewed these battlefield behemoths. Based mainly on interviews, personal diaries, and recollections, the series will present to the reader the German Tiger and King Tiger crewmen as soldiers who had the opportunity to serve as a member of a crew and unit that fielded an extraordinary and deadly weapon.

The series will include all levels of soldiers from the Tiger-abteilung commanders, down to the drivers, loaders, gunners, and radio-operators. As with the first book in this series covering the experiences of Alfred Rubbel, this second book is strictly the story of one man: Horst KrAnke. The story combines the experiences of KrAnke with approximately 400 photographs (most which are unpublished), hand-drawn maps, and original documents, to tell the story of a veteran of Germany's elite panzerwaffe and feared Tiger tanks.

His initial experience was in training with Panzer Ersatz Abteilung 5. From there he was assigned to Panzer Regiment 6, of the 3rd Panzer Division and experienced the opening of the war in Russia. KrAnke was in action on the Eastern Front through the end of 1942 at which time he was sent back to Germany to attend officer cadet and then officer's schools.

Upon his return to the front and Panzer Regiment 6 he was sidetracked by an old comrade and was incorporated into schwere Panzer Abteilung 503. At that point, Horst was introduced to the new Tiger tank and served with a Tiger unit, transferring to schwere Panzer Abteilung 505 to serve with his brother, until the end of the war.