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German Tank ACE "Normandy 1944"
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- German Tank ACE NORMANDIË 1944
Michael Wittmann (April 22, 1914 – August 8, 1944) was a German Waffen SS tank commander during the Second World War. Wittmann would rise to the rank of SS-Hauptsurmführer (captain) and was a Knights`s Cross of the Iron Cross holder.
He was credited with the destruction of 138 tanks and 132 anti-tank guns, along with an unknown number of other armoured vehicles, making him one of Germany's top scoring panzer aces, together withJohannes Bölter, Ernst Barkmann ,Otto Carius and Kurt Knipsel who was the top scoring ace of the war with 168 tank kills.
Wittmann is most famous for his ambush of elements of the British 7th Armoured Division, during the Battle of Villers-Bocage on 13 June 1944. While in command of a single Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger he destroyed up to 14 tanks and 15 personnel carriers along with 2 anti-tank guns within the space of 15 minutes.
The circumstances behind Wittmann’s death have caused some debate and discussion over the years, but it has been historically accepted that Trooper Joe Ekins, the gunner in a Sherman Firefly, of the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry was his killer.