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The Tiger from Poznań (Hardback)

WWII Russia & the Eastern Front Tanks Memoirs Military Poland in WWII

By Richard Siegert
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 50 black and white illustrations & maps
ISBN: 9781526779175
Published: 31st August 2021


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In the Second World War, Poznań 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.

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About Richard Siegert

Richard Siegert was born in 1922, in the small German town of Auscha (Kreis Leitmeritz). In 1941, he joined the Wehrmacht and trained as an infantryman and armoured vehicle driver in the 108th Panzer Grenadier Battalion. During Operation Barbarossa he fought on the frontlines in the Vitebsk region (now Belarus) and was injured on Christmas Eve 1943 after his vehicle was hit by a shell from a T-34 tank.

Following the German retreat, he found himself in Poznań and incorporated into the Festung’s (fortress) garrison, where he became the gunner of the only Tiger-type tank left fighting in the city. After the surrender, he spent 4 ½ years in Soviet captivity and later wrote down his memoires as a keepsake for his family. They were first published in 1986 under the title Posenkämpfer.

Richard Siegert died in February 2012.

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