In The Odin Mission I refer to a Panzer Mk VI, which has prompted quite a response from keen-eyed observers of the Second World War, all pointing out the Mk VI Tiger tank did not come into service until 1942 and therefore could not have been in Norway in 1940. However, there were earlier panzers desgnated Mk V and Mk VI – the Panzerkampfwagon Neubaufahrzeuge – or, to give it its more manageable abbreviation, the Pz.Kpfw NbFz. ‘Neubaufahrzeuge’ means ‘new construction vehicle.’ It was a heavy tank made by Rheinmetall and Krupp with a 75mm gun, and in keeping with the panzer designation numbers, the Model A was designated the Pz V and the Model B the Pz VI. The Bs, or Mk VI variants, were used the Norwegian campaign but they were very unweildy and slow and were scrapped in 1941. Because they never went into full production and because they were scrapped, when the Panther and Tiger heavy tanks came out in 1942, they were given the Mk V and VI numbers instead. Anyway, attached is the original Mk VI, the NbFz Model B. This photo was taken in Lillehammer in 1940 which is why I included it in the book.
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James Holland is a historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of the best-selling historical novels, he has also written nine works of historical fiction. He regularly appears on television and radio, and has written and presented the BAFTA-shortlisted documentaries. Co-founder and Programme Director of the Chalke Valley History Festival, he has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum, and is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
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