"Johann's Tiger": It is April 1945, the last days of World War II in Europe as tank commander Oberleutnant Johann Kleist tries to keep his tank crew alive. Two days ago, Kleist and his company were overwhelmed by Soviet armor and infantry, and were forced to retreat as the only survivors. This e
Appearing in "Johann's Tiger"
- Johann Kleist - Commander
- Fat Bob - Gunner (Dies)
- Dolfo - Loader (Dies)
- Siegbert - Radio Operator/ Bow Machine Gunner (Dies)
- Nicolas - Driver (Dies)
- Russian army
- SS Feldpolizei
- Unknown German pilot
- Panzer III
- Panzer IV
- Tiger I
- Il-2 Sturmovik
Synopsis for "Johann's Tiger"
It is April 1945, the last days of World War II in Europe as tank commander Oberleutnant Johann Kleist tries to keep his tank crew alive. Two days ago, Kleist and his company were overwhelmed by Soviet armor and infantry, and were forced to retreat as the only survivors. This event, combined with Germany's defeat in hindsight, convinced Kleist and his crew to desert and retreat westward on their Tiger tank "Max" to surrender to the Americans while trying to avoid German patrols and the Soviets.
Kleist, however, does not intend to save himself; it is revealed through flashbacks that he had committed many atrocities under his command in the Eastern Front. This made him realize what he had become and Kleist planned to have himself killed in action to atone for his crimes -- after bringing his men to safety.
The tank crew arrives at a deserted farm house and settle there for the night. There, they discover three hanged German soldiers committed by SS Feldpolizeis for desertion. The next day, Kleist's men are found by the FEPOs and tried for treason; they were about to be hanged before their commander, who had ventured out alone earlier, kills the FEPOs.
Kleist's crew continues to drive their way to the West, but unfortunately encounter a large Soviet armored division full of JS-2 heavy tanks. They and their tank fight back while retreating, but are hopelessly outnumbered and inevitably taking severe hits; Siegbert becomes the first casualty from a surprise Russian shot to Max's side armour. As more Soviet tanks push forward Kleist sees the futility of winning and his chance to die in a blaze of atonement, but unexpectedly his crew push him out of the tank. Max is finally destroyed, but not without taking almost the entire Soviet division with it.
Kleist blacks out before waking up to find himself alone amid the carnage and what remained of his comrades. He then wanders wearily through the forest to find his own deathbed until he sees a group of soldiers. Assuming them to be Soviets, he charges down a hill with his Luger while goading them to kill him before tripping on the ground.
He looks up and is generously offered a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes. To his shock, Kleist realizes that they are Americans, a fate he had intended to leave his crew with. The irony is not lost on a horrified Kleist; His men had unwittingly doomed him to live out his remaining life with guilt.
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