Catch That Tiger by Noel Botham and Bruce Montague

I’ve loved tanks since I was a little kid. I’ve never been a true tank geek, but I can recognize a lot of tanks and have my favourites. Like most kids (aged 4-90) I have always held the Tiger Tank in awe. So much so that I had to eventually make the pilgrimage to the Bovington Tank Museum with a good friend of mine. It was a five hour drive in each direction but the journey home seemed to take about an hour. That’s how much we were buzzing after a day looking at some of the most beautiful pieces of heavy metal ever made. T131 is the jewel in the crown of Bovington. Standing there and comparing it to the other WW2 tanks really lets you imagine how scary it must have been to face. Needless to say I was looking forward to reading this book about how it got there.

Like most audacious British plans in WW2 this one was the brainchild of Winston Churchill. Send a small group of engineers to Africa to steal a Tiger from the most elite tank crews in the world. I’m not going to spoil it for you but in you have ever read Commando War Stories in Pictures then this part of the book will really appeal to you.

This is not a work of fictional work, it is based on official documents and the journals of the soldiers involved. There are some really interesting references to both Bletchley Park and the Intelligence services during the war. Getting a sixty tonne tank back to London with every German u-boat and plane in the mediterraneanĀ north atlantic proved to be an adventure in it’s own right.

There were a couple of times when I got a tad bored of the back story elements of a personal nature but generally I found this a fascinating read. The parts where the British tank drivers compare how the Tiger runs to the Allied tanks they are used to were amazing to read. If you are a tank geek and have not read this then you must go out and buy it now.


4 thoughts on “Catch That Tiger by Noel Botham and Bruce Montague

      • The Tank Museum where the Tiger was sent, has been restored, is run, and is the centre for the Royal Tank regiment, who actually [ it has always been stated ] captured ‘ 131 ‘.

        I have been trying, ever since the book’s release, to find out if these ‘ revelations ‘ are sound. The Tank Museum says its bullcrap. The main author says its true, although they embelished it to make it more readable for the masses.

        If so, they shot themselves in the foot, coz no one belieles it.

        The original diaries, its said to be based on are the proof, but to-date the grandson has failed to release them.

        If you are able to provide undisputable proof the ‘facts’ in the book are correct, please let me know. I am trying to name the crew, and if the story in this book is correct, then the authorities definately know the names of some of the crew.


  1. I am afraid I have to agree with the naysayers. Over 10 years I designed and built a 1/5 scale Tiger tank with a home built 150cc V12 petrol engine. Following completion, I displayed TIger 141 at the Deutsches Panzer Museum in Germany and at the Model Engineering Exhibition in London. Over the build I have read hundreds of historical articles and books on the Tiger.

    I doubt this book it is historically accurate. One stand out is the account where the hero of the story fires the Tiger’s gun from the deck of a British transport ship at a a surfaced U Boat that was under attack from Beaufighter’s.

    Very hard to believe a British ship commander would allow such an extraordinary thing to happen.

    Having said that, ‘Catch A Tiger’ is a rollicking story, and we all like stories.


    Gerard Dean

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