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"Who Killed Michael Wittman?"

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by 14CavM60A1, Jan 3, 2011.

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  1. 14CavM60A1

    14CavM60A1 Member

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    Our Canadian "Knowledge Network" is televising a one hour special on Battlefield Mysteries entitled "Who Killed Michael Wittman" on Friday 18 Feb @ 1900 hrs.
    It says: "Norm Christie investigates the real and often unknown stories behind history's most significant battles. In this episode, we're introduced to the Nazis' greatest tank commander Michael Wittmann, who had more than 138 kills to his name before he was killed in battle in 1944. Norm Christie investigates the various claims of who fired the deadly shot."
     
  2. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    He was sent on a fools mission with Platoon of Tigers (Maybe 4 or 5) and was caught in a cross fire by Canadian Shermans while crossing an open field, all the Tigers were lost and Whitman and his trusty crew went with him, I have seen this program and it was very good. I am not sure if the Shermans had Fireflys attached but if they did it seems that at the range the Canadians opened fire that the 75mm guns could have destroyed these AFVs, so I am assuming that it a
    was the fireflys that took them out.
     
  3. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    yep, good programme ..also features the Taylor of 'Then + Now' notoriety..and demonstrates convincingly how the much-vaunted Tiger and 'ace' commander could be easily out-manoeuvred and beaten by a few Shermans ..only a handful of the 120 or so Tigers deployed in Normandy made it back across the Seine...
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    and to the point of it, he was NOT Germanys greatest tank commander, not even in the W-SS. if we are going strictly by "kills" which often could not be confirmed.
     
  5. Paul Errass

    Paul Errass Member

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    Good point Erich !!
     
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  6. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    I wonder who was the Greatest Tank Commander ?, it seems that every book metions Wittman and if some one has beaten him into first place they have been overlooked by history and the writers, I wonder who was credited on the Allied side with such an accolade, you might find a Russian who the Soviets have pumped up, I think that we dont credit or own as much as the Russians or Germans Did, all I read about from our side is Stan Hollis and Audie Murphy (I am not being funny here, they were very brave men) but I would like to see some one like a commander of a M18 or a Firefly who has destroyed a large number of enemy AFVs, joking aside it would probably go to a Typhoon pilot.
    Regards Yan.
     
  7. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Trooper Joe Elkins in a Sherman Firefly. Elkins took out three Tigers that day one of them was Wittmann. August 8th 1944.

    Mr Ekins, of Rushden, Northants, was serving with the 1st Northampton Yeomanry. The same regiment as my father, who took part in the same engagement. He saw the three Tigers brew up.

    [​IMG]

    Joe Elkins today now 86
    Described as an ordinary guy who was in an extraordinary place and did an extraordinary thing.
     
  8. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Three Tigers in one engagment is a great achivement, Bravo those Guys.
     
  9. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    If going just on accepted kills - the 'greatest' German tank ace was not Wittman but Kurt Knipsel;

    Kurt Knispel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    who IMHO was also a better tanker than Wittman.

    Wittman was quite a way down the list;

    Tiger I Information Center - Tiger Aces

    For the allies you might want to consider;

    Lafayette G. Pool (US)
    Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters (Canadian - and Commander of the unit that claims the kill Joe Ekins also claims)
     
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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  11. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    aaw - he was kinda cute, wasn't he?
     
  12. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    He did take out 3 Tigers ( and 1 Pz 4 later on) but the problem is..Wittmann's unit lost 5 Tigers in a matter of minutes in its attack across open country, and the position of Wittmann's tank placed it far closer to a Canadian Sherman unit than 3 other Tigers nearer Elkins Firefly
     
  13. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    History Television did a good documentary on this, positioning all the known players at that time in that area. Well done, I thought.
     
  14. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

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    Yes the History channel did a good documentary on this. I they clearly point out that the Canadians were the ones that took out Wittman
     
  15. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    What is the maximum range that a 75mm Sherman could knock out a Tiger with one shot ?,
     
  16. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Details here;

    Tiger 1 Heavy Tank 1942-45 - Google Books

    Summary 900m in the right place, although that's just penetration, not necessarily a KO.
     
  17. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Thanks Nigel, I seen the program about Wittman as I eluded to earlier, and I cant remember the range the Canadian Shermans took on the Tigers, but I am sure it was not more then 900m more like 500 to 600m.
     
  18. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    still a pretty good shot though - There may also have been limited supplies of different AP rounds available with better performance, not sure at that exact period.
     
  19. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    When I see the name"wittman",I am drawn to the man,it's hero worship,or something similar.He was wonderful.I think I will join his'fan club',just like the seemingly thousands of other hero worshipers before me.I have butterflies not dissimilar to when I met my ex mrs,for the first time,just writing this!.I think his kills have been seriously underestimated,he was a good tank captain IMO,cheers.
    P.s.is it possible to buy a rubber blow up dolly of him?,or Rommel lol.:)Just joking guys,lol.:)
     
  20. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Has anyone give a mention to his Gunner (Balthasar Woll) I read that his skill as a Gunner was the main reason for Wittmans large number of kills. he was promoted to a Tank commander in Normandy and was wounded, lucky promotion if he was still Wittmans Gunner he would have not survived the war.
     
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