Out To Catch a Tiger!

The clock audibly ticks down and as it does so you check to see what you are up against and where you come in the tier ranking.  In your mind you have four fundamental objectives.  Four basic objectives shared by virtually every player in the battle.  1. To stay alive as long as possible. 2.  To inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible. 3. To destroy as many enemy tanks as possible. 4. To help your team to secure a win and thus increase the benefits of your efforts.  But of course along with these you also have a mind to complete the additional ‘Operations’ that were selected. ‘Ops’ which thankfully generally go along with your four basic objectives. Surviving, damaging, destroying, winning.  After all isn’t that all part of the normal game play?

winston-churchillBut what if it wasn’t a game, but was real life? What if instead of four basic objectives you had only one?  And what if that one objective – one operation – didn’t include damaging or destroying the enemy tanks but instead was to actually successfully capture and return in one of them? And what if that objective had been given to you by Winston Churchill himself?

And what if that one tank was the infamous Tiger?

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It sounds a little fantastical doesn’t it?  As fantastical as the idea of having it ferried back to England on an unarmed cargo ship and then – when the ship came under fire from a German U-boat, climbing in the thing and using it to fire back at the U-boat?

Well, as fantastical as that might all sound that is (as the picture below proves) exactly what happened!

catch-the-tiger-picture-from-the-book-tiger-131-just-after-it-was-captured
Picture credit : The Mirror UK online and originally the book ‘Catch That Tiger’ by Noel Botham and Bruce Montague with David Lidderdale.

Such was the impact of the Tiger tank during WWII and such was Churchill’s desire, even Churchill’s need, for us to capture one in order that the Brits (and thus the Allied forces) could come up with a way of destroying them and ending their reign of terror.

And so the job fell to one Major Douglas Liddcatch-the-tiger-picture-from-the-book-unsung-hero-douglas-lidderdaleerdale and his team.

Major Lidderdale had already gained a reputation as a brilliant young military engineer with an extensive knowledge of tanks. A reputation which convinced the powers that be that he was the right man for the job.

And as for the Tiger tank it too had already gained an incredible reputation. Especially since in one day alone Tiger tanks had destroyed 100 allied tanks with many many men burning to death as a result of it.

So why am I writing about this?  Well, it seems to me – and yes this is of course my own opinion – that there are basically three types of people who play World of Tanks™.  Those who simply like ‘shoot-em-up’ games.  Those who like ‘shoot-em-up’ games and who have a keen interest in the military and/or warfare and/or in tanks specifically. and, Those who have a military background and who like ‘shoot-em-up’ games.

And I reckon that if you fall into either of the last two categories (and judging from some of the conversations that I have had with some folk in the clan, some of you do)  you could very well be interested in both the article that prompted me to write this piece and the book which prompted that article.

And if that is you then you can read that article and find out more about that book by clicking here –> ‘Catch That Tiger

And before closing I just want firstly to assign credit to the mirror.co.uk for the information within this piece and for the pictures used within this piece and secondly I want to ask you for your feedback.  Do pieces like this interest you?  Should we include them on the blog?  What else would you like to see included within the blog?  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your feelings below.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Out To Catch a Tiger!

  1. Fascinating stuff kevin wouldn’t this be a great script for a movie ?. I often wonder if people back then were just fundamentally different from people today in that the sorts of missions they were charged with carrying out often enough almost guaranteed death yet these brave souls were game for it nonetheless absolute heroes in my opinion and as a socialist myself I must say im eternally grateful for the sacrifices they made in the fight against fascism.
    Yet again another great blog kevin and to answer your question yes please we want more 😃.

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    1. Hey Liam,

      I agree, it really would make an excellent movie. And now that the secrecy around it has been lifted and it has been published in a book it has more chance of becoming one.

      As for folk back then being fundamentally different from people today, I would so dearly like to be able to say that I think that it was the mutual adversity that they all faced which made them different and which inspired such heroism. And that I imagine we would all respond in similar ways if we faced the same kind of mutual adversity today. But sadly – the way the world seems to be going – I am not so sure I believe we all would. But thankfully I do still believe many of us would and I totally agree with you about being eternally grateful and having great respect for those who did serve in this way in the past.

      And it puts me in mind of something (I think) Thomas Paine – one of the Founding Fathers of America – said.

      These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

      Glad you liked the post 🙂
      Kevin

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  2. Yet another enjoyable read, from your pen (keybord) Kev. Good stuff.

    Perhaps a 4th type of gamers exists in WOT? People Who are interested in history (says the WOT playing historian).

    I will be the first to admit, that the historical elements in WOT, are pretty limited (apart from the histiography of the tanks themselves and some of the tank aces).

    Some maps, such as “Siegfried Line” does however incorporate elements that are true to the real Siegfried line

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    1. Hey Jes,

      Yes, folk who are interested in history should also be included. As for the “Siegfried line” incorporating elements that are true, I think other maps probably do too. I know that several at least are based on real war arena’s from the past. As to how realistic they are I am not quite sure. And I have to be honest and say that like a lot of ‘based on a true story’ movies details are changed under what is commonly termed as ‘creative license’ in order to increase appeal, or enjoyment.

      And as for ‘historians’, well even if Tolstoy once said, “Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no-one has asked them.” “God bless the ‘historians'”, is what I say. There is an old truism/saying – which is often wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill – which reads “History is written by the victors.” Well I say, “Yes, very often, ‘history is written by the victors’ but thankfully over time it is also proofread and corrected by historians”

      Glad you liked the post buddy.
      Kevin

      Like

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