#1 August 8, 1944: The Death of Michael Wittmann by PzLdr 08.08.2014 18:23


Michael Wittmann, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer [Captain], and leading German tank ace, is killed in combat in Normandy, France. Wittmann, holder of the Knight's Cross with Swords and the Wounds badge, engages eight British Sherman tanks, including several Sherman 'Fireflies' [equipped with a 17 pounder cannon] with his Tiger 1 [#007]. Wittmann destroys at least three Shermans before his own tank is destroyed.

Wittmann, a veteran of the German Army joined the Waffen SS in 1936, and served in both Sturmgeschutz III and Panzer III units through Poland, France and the early phases of Barbarossa. By the time of Citadel, Wittmann had been commissioned a Sturmfuehrer [2d Lt.] after attending Bad Tolz. He was in command of a Tiger platoon at Zitadelle, and destroyed numerous tanks, artillery pieces and other vehicles on the Kursk battlefield and afterwards.

In 1944, Heavy Panzer Battalion 101, attached to 1SS Pz. Korps arrived in France, with Wittmann in attendance, along with his crew from Russia, including SS Sgt. Balthazar "Bobby" Wohl, his ace gunner. At Villers Bocage, Wittmann attacked the 'Desert Rats' the 7th Armored Brigade. In 15 minutes he stopped them cold, destroying over ten tanks and numerous 'soft' vehicles;the high point of Wittmann's war. After his death, his body was not discovered until well after the war. He and his crew are buried in France [but not Wohl. He had been given his own tank prior to Wittmann's death]

Wittmann was credited with over 140 enemy tanks destroyed, as well as numerous tracks, trucks, Katushyas and artillery pieces. He was on of, if not the, greatest tank commanders in history

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