panzer ace

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This drawing is dedicated to Otto Carius that passed away 2 days ago at the age of 92. Otto was one of the ace panzer commanders of Germany during WWII and his tank and tank destroyer units were accredited with more than 150 enemy tank kills mostly on the eastern front. He served decisively in heavy tank battalion 502 and 512 of the 21st Panzer Division in command of Tiger and JagdTiger units. Wounded a few times, Otto survived the war and ran a pharmacy shop called Tiger Apotheke. After the war, he wrote a book named “Tigers in the Mud”. 

The reference picture of this drawing is a screenshot from Fury the movie where the mighty Tiger is on search and destroy with the remains of an American Sherman tank burning in explosion from a distance. 

This is the most painstaking Tiger drawing I ever did on my iPad given the level of detail and complexity I decided to do. Hope you guys like it.

Greetings from China.

Otto Carius (born May 27, 1922-)

Awards:
das Verwundetenabzeichen

Winterschlacht Im Osten

Eisernen Kreuzes K2

Eisernen Kreuzes K1

das Verwundetenabzeichen (in silver)

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub

Panzerkampfabzeichen (Grade 2 in July 44 and grade 3 in Sept. 1944)

das Verwundetenabzeichen( in gold)

Born in:
Zweibrücken, Rheinland-Pfalz in Southwest Germany.

Years of Service:
1940 – 1945

Rank:
Oberleutnant

Combat record:

Operation Barbarossa

Battle of Narva

Defense of the Reich

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“Behind the scenes” footage with Michael Wittmann and his crew in Normandy taken after he was awarded Swords to his Knight’s Cross for his action on 13 June 1944, near Villers-Bocage, where the panzer ace led the most lethal tank attack against the British 7th Armoured Division. In under 15 minutes of battle, Wittmann and his crew devastated 12 tanks, 10 half-tracks, 4 carriers and 2 anti-tank guns.

2

“Behind the scenes” footage with Michael Wittmann in Normandy taken after he was awarded Swords to his Knight’s Cross for his action on 13 June 1944, near Villers-Bocage, where the panzer ace and his crew attacked a British armored unit, single-handedly destroying dozens of tanks, half-tracks and lighter armoured vehicles, and preventing an enemy breakthrough. The exploit made Wittmann a national hero in Germany and a legend in the annals of war.

Rudolf von Ribbentrop (born 11 May 1921-)

Awards:
Eisernes Kreuz K2

Infanterie Sturmabzeichen (in black)

das Verwundetenabzeichen (in black)

Vapaudenristin ritarikunta (Awarded for his actions in the Continuation War.)

Eisernes Kreuz K1

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Deutsches Kreuz (in Gold)

das Verwundetenabzeichen (in gold)

Born In:
Wiesbaden, Hessen, Germany

Years of Service:
1939-1945

Rank:
Hauptsturmführer

Poland 1939

France 1940

Finland 1941

Kharkov

Normandy

Ardennes

Defense of the Reich

Rudolf von Ribbentrop is the son of the German diplomat who later became Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Rudolf von Ribbentrop distinguished himself in the Continuation War.

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SS-Hauptsturmführer Heinz Kling.

Formation of a Schwere Abteilung Kompanie for the 1 SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte was formed in 12.1942, in which it received its first Kompanie of the newest and heaviest German battle tank, The Tiger I E in 1.1943. The man who commanded the Leibstandarte’s new Tiger Kompanie was SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Heinz Kling, a top quality man, who made quite a significant contribution to the success of the Heavy Tiger company. With outstanding gifts for command and organization, as well as for tactics and instruction, whose mastery of the Tiger tank, exemplary willingness and bravery, enabled the rest of the Tiger commanders to prove themselves whenever they saw action. The Tiger tank crews of the Leibstandarte developed a feeling of combat superiority, undoubtedly created and enhanced by the awareness that they were capable of operating the best and most potent tanks in the world. Heinz Kling was a dominant influence on the Tiger company of the Leibstandarte, and helped shape the careers of many of the successful Tiger aces, such as Michael Wittmann, a student of Heinz Kling, who was exceptionally well trained on the Tiger with Heinz Kling as his teacher. Heinz Kling commanded the Leibstandarte’s Tiger company the full 1943-45 span, from the Tiger I E early, mid and late production, to the even more powerful King Tiger II in the final days of the war, ending the war with an impressive 67 tank kills to his credit. Heinz Kling enjoys more historical fame as a Tiger tank leader than as a Tiger tank ace. His special place in the tiger tank is as a tutor, a gifted teacher and instructor, he would teach his Tiger commanders to fight in the armored battles and stay alive to fight again, he was idolized by his troops. Heinz Kling set the stamp of his leadership and personality on the Tiger tank battalion of the Leibstandarte. Historically, the 1 SS Panzer Korps Leibstandarte and Heinz Kling are inseparable, and it was his tutelage that developed some of Germany’s greatest Panzer aces. The quality of Heinz Kling’s training can be judged from one of the Leibstandarte’s Heavy Tiger company’s stellar personnel, one such top man was Michael Wittmann (138 enemy tanks and 132 anti-tank guns destroyed). Leading such men as Wittmann and others was a moving experience for commander Heinz Kling. He is remembered for putting his Heavy Tiger company first and himself second. Commanding the SS-Schwere Abteilung 101 Battalion was probably the high-point of his military career, for which he was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 23.2.1944. His place in history with the Tiger Tank is secure.

Untersturmführer Alfred Günther.

Untersturmführer Günther commanded the 3rd Company, 1st SS Sturmgeschütz Battalion, and became the first member of the unit to be awarded the Knight’s Cross on 3 March 1943. He was later transferred to the SS Schwere Abteilung  101 and commanded a Tiger tank in the 3rd Platoon, 3rd Company.He was killed when his Tiger tank was hit by an aircraft bomb on 15 June 1944.

His grave is in War Graves cemetery at La Cambe: Block 30 Row 8 grave 303.

Ich Hatt'Einen Kameraden.

(Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-King-047a-06)

Wittmann (left) with StuG III Ausf.A in Russia, July 12, 1941

Michael Wittmann was born on April 22, 1914, at Vogelthal, in the Oberpfalz. He joined the army in 1934 and was stationed at Freising with 10. Kompanie, Infanterie Regiment 19. In 1937 he enrolled in the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. By the outbreak of war he was an SS-Unterscharfuhrer, and commanded an armoured car in Poland and France. In the Balkans campaign in 1941 he was in command of an assault gun and was awarded the Iron Cross II Class in July. His first successes date from the Leibstandarte’s thrust into Russia. Coming under attack by eight Soviet tanks, he put six of them out of action. In September he earned the Iron Cross I Class during the advance on Rostov, having been wounded for the second time.
After being sent to the SSJunkerschule (officer cadet school) at Bad Tolz, Wittmann passed out an SS-Untersturmfuhrer in December 1942, and early in 1943 he was given commandof a Tiger I in 13. Kompanie of the Leibstandarte’s SS-Panzer Regiment 1. Thereafter his victories began to mountup, and his tally stood at 66 tanks alone on January 9, 1944. The day before he received his Knights Cross (awarded on the 14th) he destroyed a further 19 tanks and 3 heavy assault guns; and when he was promoted to SS-Obersturmfuhrer on January 20 his tank kills amounted to 117. He was awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross, awarded only two weeks previously, on the 30th. In April Wittmann became a company commander in schwere SS-Panzer Abteilung 101, with which his most notable exploit was at Villers-Bocage on June 13, 1944, against the British 7th Armoured Division. On June 22, he added the Swords to his Knight’s Cross (the 71st holder of this award) and shortly afterwards received promotion to SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer and was made commanding officer. When he was killed on August 8, near Cintheaux, Wittmann had been credited with destroying 138 tanks and assault guns and 132 antitank guns in less than two years.

Franz Staudegger (1921-1995)

Awards:

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Eisernes Kreuz K2

Eisernes Kreuz K1

Winterschlacht Im Osten

Born in:
Bleiburg-Unterloibach/Kärnten

Rank:
Oberscharführer

Combat Record:

Battle of Kahrkov

Battle of Kursk

Normandy

Ardennes

On 7 July 1943, a single Tiger I tank commanded by SS Oberscharfuehrer Franz Staudegger from the 2nd Platoon, 13th Panzer Company, SS Panzer Regiment 1 LSSAH engaged a Soviet group of some 50 T-34 tanks around Psyolknee in the southern sector of the Battle of Kursk. Staudegger used up his entire ammunition supply and destroyed 22 Soviet tanks, while the rest retreated. For his achievement, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross. The first Tiger tank crewman to be awarded the Knight’s Cross.

Staudegger ended the war in the 101st SS Heavy Panzer Battalion which was present at the Battle of Normandy in 1944 under the command of Michael Wittmann and was later involved in the Ardennes Offensive.

Dr. med. dent Franz Bäke (28 February 1898 – 12 December 1978)

Awards: 
Eisernen Kreuzes K2 1914

das Verwundetenabzeichen

Eisernen Kreuzes K1

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern

Born in:
Schwarzenfels (a part of Sinntal, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Hesse) in the kreis of Fulda in Hesse-Nassau.

Years of Service:
1915-1945

Rank:
Generalmajor

Combat record:

Verdun (1915) 

Invasion of Poland

Invasion of France

Invasion of Belgium

Operation Barbarossa

Operation Typhoon

Kharkov

Battle of Kursk

Battle of the Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket

Aumetz

After attending school and receiving excellent grades, Bäke planned on a career in medicine. In August 1914, the outbreak of World War I changed his plans. In May 1915, Bäke volunteered for the German Army. He was posted to Infanterie-Regiment Nr.3, based in Köln. After basic training, Bäke was transferred to Infanterie-Regiment Nr.11, which was in action on the Western Front. During his service with IR11 he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class for bravery in combat in the battles near Verdun for the towns of Fleury and Thiaumont.

In mid-1916, Bäke accepted an offer to become an officer candidate and was briefly transferred to Infanterie-Regiment Nr.10. In November 1916 Bäke was transferred to the artillery arm and served with Artillerie-Regiment zu Fuß Nr.7. In early 1918 he was wounded twice and was only returned to the front in September. After the armistice, Bäke remained in the army until his demobilisation in January 1919.

After his release from military service, Bäke returned to his studies in medicine. During his first semester in university, he was involved with Freikorps Epp, but soon turned his full attention to his studies. In 1922 he passed the state examination, and in 1923 received his doctorate in Dental Medicine, receiving the Dr.med.dent. professional prefix to his name. After receiving his credentials, Bäke established his own dentistry practice in Hagen, which became quite successful.

Bäke remained immersed in his dental practice during the tumultuous events of 1933 to 1936, but in early 1937 he applied to join the reserves, being accepted on 1 April 1937. Bäke was given his World War I rank of officer cadet and posted to Aufklärungs-Abteilung 6, a reconnaissance unit.

Bäke spent several years as a Prisoner of War, being released in 1950. He returned to Hagen and resumed his dental practice. He died in a car accident in 1978. The Bundeswehr provided an honor guard at his funeral.




Hugo Primozic (February 14, 1914 – March 18, 1996)

Awards:
Eisernes Kreuz K2

Eisernes Kreuz K1

Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub

Born in :
Backnang, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Years of Service:
1939-1945

Rank:
Zweiter Leutnant

Combat Record:
France 1940

Eastern Front 1942

Battle of Rzhev

Born in 1914 to a Slovenian father and German mother, On January 25, 1943 Oberwachtmeister (Staff Sergeant) Hugo Primozic, was the first NCO to be awarded the Oak Leaves after his destroying 60th Soviet tank.