SS PANZER BATTALION 501
Tigers in the Ardennes
Autore: Christian Dujardin, Hugues Wenkin
DISPONIBILE FINE SETTEMBRE 2023
The Peiper Kampfgruppe was the spearhead of the 6th Panzer Army. Most often mentioned for its actions on Ardennes soil, today the Gepanzerte Kampfgruppe "Peiper" remains an object of interest for its actions during the engagements between Stavelot and La Gleize, as well as the engagement of its Tiger II against the American armoured units.
Although the unit had exceptional crews, including some of the most emblematic aces of the Panzerwaffe, and benefited from the element of surprise, it suffered a bitter failure in the Ardennes. How could a vehicle considered to be among the most powerful of the conflict suffer almost 100 percent losses? In hindsight, can we speak of a tactical failure?
This study, carried out by a duo of Ardennes authors experienced in this episode of the Second World War, meets the dual objective of reconstructing the facts and explaining why, in the end, the Tiger tank battalion N°501 (schwere SS-Panzer Abteilung 501) was able to survive the Battle of the Bulge. It includes a summary of their confrontations, a history of the unit, as well as a tank-by-tank analysis of the causes of destruction. In total, the authors found sixteen different examples, and the machines lost one by one in the Ardennes make it possible to follow the unit's course throughout the conflict.