When was the tiger tank decommissioned?

Tanks return to the Hainberg

You just have to be persistent, sometimes even when dealing with authorities, including those in the Bundeswehr. And because Lieutenant Colonel a. D. Gerd Höhn mustered this tenacity, he managed to acquire armored personnel carriers discarded by the Bundeswehr for his "Cold War Documentation Center" in the Hainberg area.

There are three vehicles, three tanks like the ones used by the Mellrichstadt Panzergrenadier Battalion itself: a HS 30 armored personnel carrier (long, with 20 mm cannon), a Hotchkiss SPz (short, with 20 mm cannon) and a Hotchkiss SPz (short) that was used as an ambulance. In the "Cold War Documentation Center", the vehicles are expected to find a new and worthy location in spring 2015, thereby enriching the centre's holdings with spectacular objects in the outdoor area.

The Hotchkiss SPz (short) and SPz HS 30 (long) armored personnel carriers were in service with the German armed forces from 1958 to the mid-1980s. The 352 Panzer Grenadier Battalion in Mellrichstadt was also equipped with it. When the SPz HS 30 was also taken out of service in the Hainberg barracks around 1973, one specimen remained in the garrison. There it was clearly placed just behind the guard and in front of the kitchen building.

Discarded Hotchkiss and HS 30s came to the Münsingen military training area, where they were used as hard targets for fighting tanks by the training troops. During such an exercise, veteran soldiers of the Pz-Gren-Btl 352 recognized "their" tanks and made sure that three of them came to our area, namely to Wildflecken in the barracks, intended for later installation in the Mellrichstadt barracks. In wild spots, however, they lumbered out in the open for eight years, exposed to all the weather.

The three armored vehicles, now only to be regarded as gutted dummies, were by no means easy to get for the documentation center. The persistent insistence of OTL a. It was thanks to D. Gerhard Höhn, chairman of the comradeship and friendship group of the Mellrichstadt garrison and at the same time head of the documentation center, that the vehicles came into the possession of the documentation center from the Wildflecken commandant for a scrap price of 3,000 euros. But that was still a lot of money for the club, and without Reich GmbH as a sponsor it would not have been possible to raise the money for the three vehicles.

For the documentation center, the tanks are much more than junk. At the moment, however, they are not in a presentable condition and have been placed in halls for the time being. But Gerd Höhn and his friends want to fix the vehicles inside and outside over the autumn and winter, which means above all to remove rust and paint. You can also use the workshop of the Mazda Reß company, the former weapons workshop, where you will find optimal conditions for the renovation work. However, the tanks will never be able to carry weapons again, even if they keep their 20 mm cannons.

Without the help of the companies Tiefbau Streck-Eisenmann and Rottmann Fuhr- und Baggerbetrieb and their low-loaders, the transport and storage in a hall on the Hainberg site would not have been possible. Christian Herbig also made his 10-ton truck available for the transport of various items from the former Bundeswehr inventory. Gerd Höhn also warmly thanked these helpers, namely Günther Schumm von Streck-Eisenmann and Bernhard Rottmann and sponsor Karl-Hermann Reich, at the snack that his association had prepared. He described this day as a big day in the club's history and was pleased that the difficult transport with the monsters weighing many tons had gone off without accidents.