This book is the first in a proposed series that will delve into the inner workings of Germany’s most fearsome panzers of the Second World War, the Tiger and Tiger II. There are many current books 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 the German Tiger and King Tiger crewmen as soldiers who had the opportunity to serve as a member of a crew and units that fielded a truly 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. This first book is devoted solely to Alfred Rubbel, who served with the Panzertruppe on the Russian front from the opening of Operation Barbarossa through to the end of the war. When the new Tiger-abteilungs were raised, Rubbel was assigned to one as a newly commissioned officer. Throughout his years in the panzers he experienced both the elation of the opening successes of Barbarossa and the demoralizing withdrawal back over the borders of the Third Reich. Combining his military experiences with over 200 photographs, the majority of which are previously unpublished, creates a very readable account from an everyday soldier who also happened to have the privilege of serving in one of the most successful tanks ever produced.