Location and info
Tiger tank, La Butte du Sap, 61120 Vimoutiers, Orne
Located on the D979 road to the east of the town Vimoutiers.
One of the most iconic tanks of WW2, this German Tiger I is a vehicle with an amazing story to it.
Now a French historical monument, Tiger 231 was abandoned by its crew in August 1944 near the town of Vimoutiers in the Orne region, around an hour drive south east of Caen and the Normandy landing beaches.
It’s believed it was heading for a fuel supply but ran out of fuel on the outskirts of the town, causing the crew to abandon it next to the Route Nationale 179 road.
With the Allied forces closing in around them the crew set off two explosive charges before leaving it, rendering the tank inoperable.
When Canadian forces advanced through the area the Tiger was bulldozed down a embankment where it remained for over 30 years before being bought by the local community in 1975 and put on display in its current location east of the town - just a few metres from its original resting place.
Several small restoration efforts have been made over the years but the vehicle is prone to the weather and nearly 80 years in the elements haven’t been kind to its structure. Several parts have been removed over the years including the engine access panels, both exhausts and the upper track guards. Inside, the engine and gearbox are missing.
This rare vehicle is one of only seven remaining examples in the world and the ‘Association for the Restoration of the Vimoutiers Tiger Tank in Normandy’ are trying to raise funds to protect this Tiger. Their website is currently offline, however.