- Contributed by
- Essex Action Desk
- People in story:
- Corporal William (Bert) Beavis
- Location of story:
- Djebel Djaffa (Near Hell Fire Pass)
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 16 April 2005
I volunteered to join the Army but at first they would not take me because I was a bus driver and thought to be too old. I went back a month later and told them I was a Bus Conductor and they let me in. In 1942 I was based in Egypt, aged 28.
My task was to pick up tanks. One day I made a fantastic discovery. I approached the Tiger Tank that was sitting on top of a sand dune. I asked my crew to drive around it to see if anyone was inside. I would drop off on the blind side of the transporter with my 303. I fired two shots and there was no one inside. I returned to my unit, and was ordered to take the Tiger Tank to the Reme Workshops in Cairo.
This is where many would be repaired or kept. However this Tiger Tank was in perfect condition. The tanks would be assesed for their technology and to discover any weaknesses to fight back against the enemy. This was an impotant find.
I took the 60 ton tank on a 20 ton transport carrier and recovery vehicle. This was 200 miles away and I had a speed of 15 miles an hour. When I unloaded it, I found the transporter had a busted chasis with the weight of the tank. This event occured many months before the battle of Allermane, which was an important landmark.
I have never been given recognition for being the first person to capture a Tiger Tank, to this day.
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