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Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

Article about: True, I hope you can trace it back to either Panther or KT, but I doubt that GI would take it as a souvenir being a rather non descriptive piece unless you are a panzer hobbyist. There were

  1. #1

    Default Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    Hello to all....This is pretty wild. The other day I was helping my mother move some boxes of stuff she was going to sell at her garage sale. Quite a bit of it belonged to an old friend of hers who passed away about a dozen or so years ago. He was something of a pack rat/hoarder type, and had no living relatives. As such she was in charge of his estate. All kinds of stuff, lots of tools, hooks, rusty things. In one of the boxes filled with winches and pulleys, something caught my eye. It was not even the object that stood out at first but rather its color. The unmistakable late war German Dark-sand Yellow used on armor and vehicles. As my eyes adjusted I almost fell over. It was the unmistakable U towing shackle and bolt found exclusively on Panthers and King Tigers.
    It is rather chipped up in the paint dept., but nonetheless unmistakable. And rather heavy. Having built models for many years, this was one of those parts that was easily lost or broken and very small in 1/35 scale. To actually have one in reality puts it all in perspective. So gentlemen the question is this: How much could this conceivably be worth?? Much as I would like to keep it, I think the money could be very helpful to her. Being that these were often lost on wartime photos, I have to imagine that there are not many around. And considering the prices on various other artifacts of much more common items have gone up considerably in recent years, how does one put a price on this? Lets face it: Lots more collectors can say they own a panzer uniform as opposed to a piece of an actual panzer...let alone one of the big cats. I will post some photos in the next few days, my camara is busted so I will have to visit my brother to do this. For right now I'm attaching a couple of photos of the Patton Museum King Tiger, just so we are all on the same page. By the way, It is not just the u shackle but the bolt with the unique end piece that holds it on the tank. And once again, this is unique to Panthers and King Tigers. Tiger I's were rather different.
    Gentlemen, any thoughts would be truly appreciated!Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing ShackleHelp!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    What an fascinating tale, well done on positively recognising this part of a panzer tank! I bet it's worth a lot of money, can't wait for the photo's!
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    Hard to put a price tag on something like this as it is the first of its kind to be offered. it depends upon the person who would collect heavy armour vehicles and what it would be worth to him. I cant say there is a current market for "U Bolt hooks,,but someone is bound to pay something for it. I almost thought by reading your description that it looked like you found the whole tank in a box...that would be some find!
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    Were those specific to the Tiger? That design is used today. I know that U Bolts are used everywhere on tractors, tow vehicles, bulldozers etc... Is it marked with a specific Panzer mfg part #?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    True, it would be very hard to tie it to King Tiger or Panther unless they were specific size. Also prime movers and majority of tracked vehicles used them as well.
    Plus size and weight don't make it a perfect souvenir.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    Thanks for the replies guys! First off there is the late war dark yellow paint that caught my eye. Secondly, the bolting lock is really key here. I probably would not have been to certain myself if that was not there. Thirdly, I have spent an enormous amount of time researching German armor. This specific u ring is really unique to those 2 tanks. Trust me, photos will be up very soon, and I will try to post more on vehicles as a comparison. And I have every intention of trying to have this verified by one of the major war museums or private collections. Also I will take measurements comparing it to scale thickness of lower hull armor. Thanks again for all of your thoughtful replies!

    P.S. Larry-- Considering the amount of junk in my mothers garage, thats not entirely impossible...

    ZigZag--There are marking which are rather worn, appears to be a W, a couple L's and possibly a 2...I am working on that too!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    Try Jentz or Spielberger books for drawings - there might be one. IMO, it was not specific to KT or Panther, but recovery / winch equipment in general. Remember that French used Panthers post-war and had to utilize similar recovery / towing equipment making the u-hook universal fitting.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    meyle77--I beat you to that one, I have and it appears to be a ringer. And in this case I do appreciate the healthy cynicism. However the germans tended to have towing links that were very specific to classes of tanks ie: heavy, Med. etc. Further more the Tiger I for instance had 3 or 4 variations on these shackles, were the Panther and King Tiger were more standardized to share more parts. Thanks!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    I know that Panther and KT along with Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger and Bergepanther shared common parts, but those hooks were in use prior to their entry into service from 1943 onwards. Heavy 18ton primer movers used them as well as original recovery vehicles for Tiger tanks - (3 were needed). I am pretty sure there was not a standard for the u-hook and many types were used, hence assigning any particular one to a vehicle will be hard.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help!!! Panther / King Tiger Towing Shackle

    I can honestly say that particular style is unique to the panther series. Having gone through thousands of photos on that. I'm a bit like one of those freaks who knows NY Yankees baseball stats going back to the 30's...except with german armor. Trust me modelers are a insane and nitpicky lot. Further more, and this is really just conjecture, but I live in New York state. My guess is this would have been brought home as a souvenir by a G.I., a memento perhaps of the big cat that he bagged in Europe. Doubtful that a prime mover or BergePanther would have had the same conversation value. Keep in mind, the mystique of these big tanks was very high in the average serviceman's mind. However that being said, we have covered as much as can be said till I produce photos and some solid stats. Thanks

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