Tuesday 14 July 2015

Tiger Duel

"Award order
  1. Name: Nugayev, Nagjim Nugmanovich
  2. Rank: Junior Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: deputy gun commander, 1669th Tank Destroyer Artillery Regiment
    is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.
  4. Year of birth: 1910
  5. Nationality: Tatar
  6. Party affiliation: VKP(b) candidate since July of 1943
  7. Participation in the civil war, subsequent actions in defense of the USSR, and the Patriotic War (where, when): Patriotic War, Voronezh and Steppe Fronts, May 1943.
  8. Wounds or concussions in the Patriotic War: wounded on October 5th, 1943.
  9. In the Red Army since: October 1941.
  10. Recruited by: Shahrizyab recruitment office, Uzbek ASSR.
  11. Prior awards: For Bravery medal on October 16th, 1943, by order regarding the 1669th Tank Destroyer Artillery Regiment.
Brief and specific description of personal heroism or achievements: On October 5th, 1943, the enemy attempted to liquidate our foothold on the west shore of the Dniepr and capture Borodayevka with a large amount of infantry reinforced by tanks and aircraft. A Tiger tank, two medium, and one light tank were moving towards Junior Sergeant Nugayev's gun. The crew met the enemy heroically. A few shots, and the light and medium tanks were destroyed. However, the Tiger was almost at the gun, firing from its cannon and machineguns at 100-150 meters. The Tiger was knocked out by the gun. The enemy's attack failed. Nugayev was heavily wounded and sent to the hospital. In total, gunner Nugayev's gun destroyed three tanks in July of 1943, two cars, ten machineguns, up to 100 fascists, and suppressed the fire of three mortar batteries.

He is worthy of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal."

CAMD RF 33-793756-34

Well well, that's quite an action-packed sequence, prime for Hollywood! Sadly, not all the details are here, like what kind of gun he was using. The choices are slim though, tank destroyer artillery units used 45 or 76 mm guns, so in this case it was most likely a ZiS-3.

Since a Tiger was mentioned, it's time to ask our good friend Wolfgang Schneider to confirm the fact. SS Panzer Regiment 3 was just rooting around west of the Dniepr around this time, let's see what happened to them.

"5 October 1943: Operational tanks: 5. In the days that follow, the company is employed sporadically in screening positions along the main line of resistance.
7 October 1943: The company is assembled in Usbenskoje.
8 October 1943: Support of a counterattack through a side arm of the Dnjepr and capture of the Kolerda Peninsula. One Tiger suffers an internal main-gun explosion.
9 October 1943: An enemy penetration west of Tschikalowka is cleared.
10 October 1943: Operational tanks: 2."

Well, that matches the description. Along with the dramatic gun explosion Tiger, two Tigers are lost in an unidentified way over these five days. It's likely that one of them met its end in front of Nugayev's gun.


  1. Also very questionable thing is how Tiger was destroyed. If its front hull made towards to the Sergeant Nugayev's gun its hard to believe it should be destroyed by penetration by standart shell even from the 100m. Since the tank fired at him there wasnt time to aim on the weakspot, the tank was probably penetrated with APCR, demaged by rapid fire to the weakspots or penetrated to the hull side.

    1. I doubt it was an "honest" penetration. There are other instances of Tigers knocked out frontally by ZiS-3 fire, likely from spalling and transmission damage. Tiger or not, no crew likes to stick around in a disabled tank in the middle of an AT gun belt.

  2. or more likely, no TIGER was hit at all. Soviets frequently misidentified Pz4h for TIGERs. At Kursks, the soviets made some extravagant claim in that they "have had destroyed over 3000 german tanks, and among them no less than 700 TIGERs".
    Actual TIGER losses were 12 during operation Citadel. So the russians overclaimed almost 60 times for every real loss when dealing with TIGER in July 1943. Oct.1943 isn´t far from July...

    1. Soviets say Tigers were destroyed, Germans say Tigers were destroyed, but you come to the conclusion that no Tigers were destroyed?

  3. Due to the extreme overclaim caused by a soviet TIGER mania, the chances that a soviet TIGER kill claim in 1943 can be confirmedly attributed to a TIGER loss are actually less than 1 to 50.
    From this, it´s justified to be sceptical.

    You´d need to study all claimants for the day in question, rather than preselecting one and ascribing the event as a match.
    Plus, not all damaged TIGER´s were caused by enemy action. Frequently, TIGERs reported mechanical issues which rendered them temporarely unservicable.

    1. If you find any other claims, you're welcome to point them out. I didn't.

  4. Then You argue based partly upon the fact that You don´t know.