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John Kettler

Panther leader outdid Wittmann's feat

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Never heard of this before, but thanks to brother George, I can now share this astounding story of superb soldiering, guts and elan with you. Even Hollywood couldn't come up with it! Not only did this guy clobber the foe, but his captures are stunning. During OPERATION NORDWIND in January 1945 10 SS''s Panzer Battalion A Company CO  Sturmbannführer  Erwin Bachman wrote a chapter in armored warfare which may never be duplicated. It took place during the battle for Herlisheim, France.

Regards,

John Kettler

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12 hours ago, John Kettler said:

story of superb soldiering, guts and elan

I don't know if this story can be confirmed or not, but it seems pretty odd to me that the commander would scout ahead and engage enemy tanks single-handedly.

Since this is a story about the SS, who knows if they might have been crazy enough to do that, but is it really superb soldiering? - or is it in fact just a story of a lucky fool?

A real superb soldier would assume that enemy tanks would be screened with infantry, and trying to pull off "Rambo" antics works better in movies than in real life. And a competent commander would realise he had a job to do - commanding his troops - and sent out a scout detachment instead.

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It was not unusual for a German armoured officer to scout the terrain ahead of an attack. That was considered a <good> thing to do.

I know of two German armoured commanders of the top of my head who routinely would do this. Bäke and Carius.
 

it would be easy to check the claims the tanks KOd  by referencing us unit reports. 
 

As to the chap engaging tanks with a panzerfaust. Whilst I’m not sure the boss taking unilateral action is a good thing generally it did appear to pay off in this case.  

 

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I recall a long time ago seeing an AAR following a surprise Japanese armor attack on a Pacific island. The individual Marine units (I recall) accounted for the destruction of ten times the number of Japanese tanks than actually took part in the battle.

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Posted (edited)
On 12/23/2019 at 10:46 PM, MikeyD said:

I recall a long time ago seeing an AAR following a surprise Japanese armor attack on a Pacific island. The individual Marine units (I recall) accounted for the destruction of ten times the number of Japanese tanks than actually took part in the battle.

I think that was not on purpose.

It was on Peleliu IIRC. The reason for the overstating of kills was, at least in part, due to the extremely confused nature of the battle and the fact that the US overkilled the light Japanese tanks so extremely that it was impossible to count the wrecks afterwards. They had litterally been shot to pieces.

@ John Kettler:

Yeah, it was an astounding feat. I read about it in the Osprey Volume coveringOperation Nordwind.

Also very informative second video! Military (non)visualized is a really good channel despite the hideous German accent that makes me cringe every time. I found the writings of Franz Kurowski always a bit shady. They have a distinct brown undertone.

Edited by DasMorbo

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40 minutes ago, DasMorbo said:

A quick glance at a strategic map and one more at the general state of the nation and the army should have been enough to recognize the futility.

You could say the same for the Russians taking a look at the map when the Germans were at the gates of Moscow maybe. During the war, most German soldiers probably had little grasp of how bad the situation actually was.

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3 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

You could say the same for the Russians taking a look at the map when the Germans were at the gates of Moscow maybe. During the war, most German soldiers probably had little grasp of how bad the situation actually was.

LOL, I deleted that part of my post because I didn't want to hijack the thread. Sorry!

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