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Generalleutnant der Reserve Hyazinth Graf Von Gross-Zauche Und Camminetz
Generalleutnant der Reserve HYAZINTH GRAF STRACHWITZ VON GROSS-ZAUCHE UND CAMMINETZ * 30.07.1893 in large Stein/Schlesien + 25.04.1968 in Winkl at the Chiemsee Knight cross 25.08.1941 Oak leaves (144) 13.11.1942 Swords (027) 28.03.1943 Diamonds (011) 15.04.1944 Tank combat badge in gold (4th stage) Citation in the Wehrmacht Report German Cross in Gold Wounding Badge in Gold
"Des Teufels General"
("The Devil's General") By Wild Bill Wilder and Fabio Prado.
Those who have even a cursory knowledge of the use of armor in World War II immediately recognize the name of Michael Wittmann. He, with his daring solo attack on units of the British 7th Armored Division at Villers Bocage on June 12th, 1944, would go down in history as one of the best "tank aces" of the war. There were, however, numerous other tank commanders that, though largely unknown, performed almost miraculous service in the Panzerwaffe. Such a man was Generalleutnant Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Comminetz. His service to Germany was mostly on the East Front against the Russians. That in itself could account for the fact that so many westerners have not heard the name. He would eventually become known as simply "der Panzergraf". This name came primarily as a result of his aristocratic and military heritage. Born on 30 July 1893 to a wealthy family in Upper Silesia, Graf (Count) Strachwitz (whose Christian name, by tradition in his family, was given to first born sons for over 700 years in homage to Saint Hyazinth) attended military school in Berlin and in 1912 joined the Regiment Garde du Corps as a commissioned officer. The unit was a very socially exclusive one, being the most senior regiment of the Prussian Army. Graf Strachwitz distinguished himself in sports before the First World War, and saw action as a junior officer, being captured during a patrol early in the war and spending long years in captivity after a death sentence (for wearing civilian clothes on the patrol) was commuted. Nonetheless, he had time enough to win both the Iron Cross II Class and I Class. Another of the Panzer Graf's character traits was an almost inordinate boldness. He had no hesitation in doing the most unconventional if the situation demanded it. When the First World War did break out, Strachwitz was one of the first to offer himself for service. He specifically requested longrange patrol work behind French lines. His performance, though brief, was spectacular. It read like a novel. He was able to secure and pass on valuable intelligence on the enemy and also performed various acts of sabotage against the French. He had a number of close calls, barely escaping capture. On one occasion he and his men found themselves soaked to the skin in one of their operations. They stripped to dry themselves and their uniforms when they came under attack by French colonial forces searching for them.
file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action.htm
Strachwitz had been promoted to Colonel and was leading a battalion of tanks across the Bug River. his panzer regiment. commander of the Southwest Front. Strachwitz. found himself cut off from their own forces and in a well-garrisoned French town. Having been taken prisoner in civilian attire. After six days of fast advances. By the beginning of Barbarossa. that was true. The Germans had been stopped. He became a lower ranking officer in the 2nd Panzer Regiment. "Tanks must not be allowed to stand still. This type of action fit the Count's personality well. The Germans were hit hard repeatedly from both the north and the south in the Dubno area as the Soviets sought to cut off the leading German columns and annihilate them. He and a number of his tanks quickly shattered some initial Soviet defenses and entered the rear area of the enemy's lines. With German tanks running amok in their rear. orchestrated by General Mikhail Kirponos. Between the wars. the leading German tank columns of the 1st Panzer Group came under attack from a sporadic and poorly executed counterattack by four Russian Mechanized Corps. When moved to a POW camp. but was acquitted. but not so. burning tanks and fiery explosions. Gen. His health deteriorated rapidly. The Count served with that unit in battles in Poland. had hitched a ride with him. but it turned out to be only a temporary delay. Even though the last two days had been filled with fighting. though more numerous and at times more powerful than the German ones. the invasion of Russia. He served with the latter regiment in Poland. Though always courteous and respectful. creating havoc. their mobility and potential. Strachwitz was put on trial as a spy. It seemed that the Russians had gotten their fill of battle and were ready to back off. His divisional commander. He performed well as a tank commander and his boldness knew no bounds. They must be permanently on the move and always led from the front". strode forward with confidence toward the sentries posted at the entrance to the town and demanded to speak to the French commander. He was captured with the idea of armored forces. Again in faultless French he announced to the French officer that unless he surrendered the garrison to him at once. it was apparent that the major effort by the Russians had failed. France and the Balkans. and after a time he left the military to run the family estate (Grossstein). he attended exercises of Reiter (Cavalry) Regiment 7 and Panzer Regiment 2 during the 1930s. were poorly led and fed piece-meal into the fight. As the enemy tanks and infantry began withdrawing under the cover of night. Strachwitz was a fighter.htm 8/22/2008 . Knowing if he turned to flee. He never let fear or adverse circumstances control his efforts. the Count took his commander to a rendezvous point with the rest of the divisional command and was off immediately. III tanks Strachwitz would account for over 300 trucks and other pieces of Russian equipment. the officer capitulated and had his men lay down their arms. His application was accepted and he joined a large number of young Germans who would form the beginnings of Germany's first "Panzer" division. In 1934 he attended some Army maneuvers of the newly forming German Army. This dictum ruled his life as a tank commander throughout his career. the "Panzer Graf". It was estimated that with a platoon of PzKpfw. in his command tank. the Count. nevertheless sent to a penal colony instead of a prisoner of war facility. Graf Strachwitz helped in the defense of Silesia against Polish incursions. hidden nearby would open fire. he would be cut down by a hundred French guns now trained on him.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 2 of 13 The Count was able to procure civilian clothes for himself and his men (he spoke fluent French). he attempted to escape but suffered serious injuries. in the turmoil that was post-war Germany. led his men to hiding places near the file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. He was. It would be the largest single battle of tanks in history until the battle of Kursk two years later. As a reserve officer. the soldiers panicked and headed east at top speed. So he dismounted from his tank. Walthar Nehring. It only took a moment for him to decide that this would be the branch of the military in which he would serve. The Russian tanks. they were followed closely by tanks of Strachwitz's battalion. During the campaign in France. France and the Balkans. By the afternoon of the 29th. During this time Strachwitz had retained his commission as a reserve officer in the Reichsheer's Cavalry Regiment. seemingly impervious to weariness and fatigue. Once on the opposite shore. but was captured shortly after. Finally he feigned madness in such a way as to be committed to an asylum where he spent the remainder of the war. After a moment's hesitation. He showed the enemy no mercy. Early on he established a premise that he maintained throughout the war.
Strachwitz and his panzers became a big part of the defenses. waiting for the dawn. the Großdutschland division needed capable men like von Strachwitz to lead their tanks against a numerically superior Russian Army. On that occasion his tank and those of his men made a deep penetration to the Russian airfield. Having only a handful of tanks. Waiting can be perhaps the most trying element of war. It had been instituted in September 1941. this time with the topnotch Gross Deutschland Division. Being the key to movement to the east or west. this time in the boiling "kessel" known as Kharkov.htm 8/22/2008 . the German Cross in Gold. He continued to pursue the Russians as they sought to leave the battlefield and before the day had ended. It was to be awarded in cases of bravery that went above the reach of the Iron Cross 1st Class but not quite to the level of the Knight's Cross. As the German 88's cracked sharply in the early morning. not allowing them to fire until the right moment. The Count ordered his tanks to hold their positions. By 1942. halffrozen Germans within the Russian trap. when the Russian's forces began stirring. They were headed right toward him and his forces. He would not be at Stalingrad when the rest of the German forces surrendered to the Soviets. He was soon back in the thick of battle. It had a two-fold purpose. His tanks and men seemed to be always supplied. That was because the Count made one and another foray into and beyond Russian front lines to get the supplies he needed. As the winter slammed into the fearful. Within minutes over 18 enemy tanks were destroyed. but the Count's men were well disciplined and waited for the order to fire. It was a phenomenal exhibition of courage and cunning in the most adverse of circumstances. Late one evening Strachwitz was visiting one of his advanced observation posts and saw for himself the sudden appearance of dozens of Russian tanks as they crested the hill and descended into the valley. the Russian tanks cranked their engines and began to move. Strachwitz got his forces in order. Once Strachwitz had been nursed back to health. It had been the Soviet artillery that had been one of the more serious problems in the earlier fighting and the Count was going to make sure that these guns would not be used against his brothers in arms again. His tank would be the first piece of German armor to enter the city of Stalingrad in the fall of 1942. he laid an ambush with four of his panzers deep inside Soviet lines. Kharkov became one of the most contested cities in military history. Strachwitz and a few others were awarded this medal after having already received the Knight's Cross in recognition of their continued valor and service to their country. A few days later Strachwitz was seriously wounded and evacuated by air. As was his custom. The Count was also present when the German Sixth Army found itself suddenly cut off and in danger of extermination. When the Soviet armor finally stopped. he was given the command of one of the newly forming schwere Panzer Abteilungen (heavy tank battalions). During this period he would be given the Oakleaves to add to his Iron Cross when he set up the perfect ambush for encroaching Soviet tanks. it was a disaster for the Russians. Even the skills of the Count could not keep his crews invulnerable. In the long run. When it came. Strachwitz would be the recipient of another rarely given German medal. the entire Soviet tank force had been file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. When it came. Before the end of the year. The Tigers of the Großdeutshland Heavy Battalion still had not been detected. The Russian tanks never expected the enemy so deep in their own rear. Strachwitz launched yet another attack. It was early 1943 and General von Manstein. against the Fuhrer's directive. In a series of brilliant maneuvers the tanks of the Count accounted for over 100 enemy tanks without losing a single one of their own. Once more the audacious master of deception had fooled the enemy. Sheer weight of numbers began depleting Strachwitz's tanks and men. He would then take the city back for himself. There he wrought more havoc with estimates as high as 150 aircraft destroyed during the battle. Strachwitz held his tanks in check. "Tiger" tank. There seemed to be no end to them. being awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 25 August 1941. At first light. however. After fighting in the Stalingrad area. the Count would not allow this. Graf Strachwitz (holding the rank of Major) commanded the first battalion of Panzer Regiment 2. he had his men hide and make their tanks blend in with the countryside. As one after another of the enemy's armor appeared and approached. As was his custom. however. the gates of hell seemed to open up before the Russian tank crews. and the German group destroyed 105 Russian tanks in less than an hour. the enemy would overpower the German Sixth Army. Again the enemy suffered heavy casualties from the iron hand of Strachwitz.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 3 of 13 Russian bivouac. von Strachwitz commanded as an Oberst the Panzer Regiment of the elite Panzer Grenadier Division Großdutschland. they cut a path of death through the Soviet tanks. The tank crews still alive immediately began to withdraw their vehicles. equipped with the new monster. It would swap hands four times during the German-Russian conflict. On one occasion. without the loss of a single panzer. He seemed to lead a charmed life and was always in the van of the advance. skillfully evacuated Kharkov and let the enemy overextend himself. the Panzerkampfwagen VI E. the Count was known to all as "der Panzergraf". When the first rays of daylight began to change and pierced the blackness. crushing the enemy and penetrating to the enemy artillery positions.
entering the town and capturing it. Generalleutnant "Papa" Hoernlein. on 28 March 1943. Off the record. He became famous for his rapid advances. he became the 144th soldier to be awarded the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. on 15 April 1944. as he was by then known) was an Oberst and given command of Panzer Regiment Großdeutschland. Strachwitz continued on his war odyssey. the Panzer Graf had his tanks open fire. fighting hand-to-hand against Russian infantry until his crew had repaired the tank. and to cut down it in the event of resistance. In Army Group North a new saying arose. thought he was surrounded by a much larger force and surrendered his entire corps. "Strachwitz is here . attacking a column of hundreds of file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. including the Knight's Cross on August 1941 and Oakleaves on 13 November 1942. In November 1943. Only a handful of German soldiers and tankers would be awarded this highly distinguished medal during the war. Strachwitz belonged to an old military family with estates in Silesia. Strachwitz left the Großdeutschland on what were termed grounds of ill health in the official record. still conducting himself as a warrior instead of a military paper-pusher. Laughing. and with promotion to Generalmajor d. Soon dozens of Russian tanks were left twisted smoking hulks. Strachwitz answered them.R. When the time was right. By January 1943. Strachwitz took a small force of ten Tiger tanks and fifteen half-tracks full of Panzergrenadiers in a large loop around Tuccum. and Diamonds on 15 April 1944 when commanding a battle group in the sector of Army Group North. It created havoc among the Russian tanks. but also as being inflexible. Being recalled to active duty after extended sick leave in January 1944. "Nice going. He was awarded all the grades of the Iron Cross. with more Germans at the front of his column. Originally a cavalryman. Not long after followed the award of the Swords to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. reaching Riga. Leaving some infantry and halftracks to control the situation. breaking through enemy lines and disrupting enemy headquarters and supply units. noticed the Panzer Graf sitting atop the turret of his Tiger and shouted.Once again his tactical brilliance came to the fore. and fought during the campaigns in Poland and France. executed victories far out of proportion to his resource. all lined up neatly. "You're not talking to a lieutenant.htm 8/22/2008 . In late 1944 the Count. George Forty details a series of actions with Strachwitz in his Tiger for which he would receive the rarely awarded "Diamonds" addition to his Iron Cross. Strachwitz continued to shore up the crumbling German defenses. I'm only a general". Only one of the Tigers suffered any significant damage. Graf Strachwitz went on to become the 11th soldier of the German Armed Forces to be awarded the Diamonds to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Strachwitz and his men finished off the rest. Scraping together whatever he could to form "Fire Brigades". to stop Hitler at the aerodrome of Poltawa with a quota carefully selected of the division armored under the command of von Strachwitz. the Generals Hubert Lanz and Hans Speidel and colonel Hyazinth Graf von Strachwitz decided with the headquarters of the group of armies B in Walki in Russia. not open to compromise. He positioned his four Tiger tanks well and watched as the Russian tanks rolled onward. but it was repaired by German mechanics brought forward by Strachwitz before darkness came. Graf Strachwitz has been described as a good tactician at the battalion and regimental level. he made his reputation on the Eastern Front. exploiting with small battle groups to fight Russian armor. He served during WWI and with the Freikorps. headed north surprised a Soviet armored Corps by getting behind it. When isolated from friendly units he also showed courage outside his vehicle. for his part in the counterattack at Kharkov. They thought they were being fired on from the front and did not realize the shells were coming from their flanks. On one occasion he was the first to cross a river bridge. but he was then in Africa. tension existed between Graf Strachwitz and GD's divisional commander. However.he'll sort it out!" This was the cry of more than one battlefield commander when the Panzer Graf came to the rescue. which it was obviously necessary to take into account. On 13 November 1942. used the captured enemy fuel and supplies from a Russian supply area. From there he took a small force. He briefly commanded the 1st Panzer Division during this time. Colonel Count Strachwitz von Gross Zauche und Camminetz was the most decorated regimental officer of the German panzer army in WWII. But Hitler landed against any waiting in Saporoshe and not with Poltawa. In 1943. the Swords on 28 March 1943. Some veterans feel that the true reason for his leaving lied there. In an effort to recapture the Latvian port near Riga. (der Reserve). The Russian commander. Lieutenant!" Strachwitz wore no rank badges in combat. The Field-marshal Rommel was also informed of these plans. Surprising an entire battalion of T-34s in the town. he availed himself of the gunnery officer of the battleship Lutzow and had the big 11" guns destroy many of the Russian tanks.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 4 of 13 destroyed. A group of high ranking German officers later entered the city. This was a favorite tactic of the Tiger tank commanders. Again and again he was able to accomplish the impossible. "der Panzergraf" (The Armored Count.
his disciplined crews were able to destroy many Russian tanks during the fighting for Kharkov. including tanks. The Panzertruppen were forced onto the defense and with rare exceptions had no choice but to continuously react to their opponents moves. including many broken bones and a fractured skull. and he was never used as a real divison commander. Here he took part in the first offensive to reestablish contact with Army Group North which had just been encircled for the first time. he was badly hurt in an automobile accident. Still on crutches. he was a great armor commander. From September 1944 the various elements of Gruppe Strachwitz were used to cover the retreat of Army Group North into the Courland Sector.htm 8/22/2008 . he would go on to lose his wife while in captivity. the Russians launched a major offensive against the weakened Germans forces in both Heeresgruppe Mitte and Süd. As a result of this action. the good count was not about to succumb to an untimely death outside of combat. After forming one of the first Tiger battalions. In spite of the severity of his injuries.000 Soviet prisoners. Wounded no fewer than fourteen times during the war. Von Strachwitz commanded the 1st Panzer Division and later as armor commander he was sent to Army Group North. 28 batteries of artillery and dozens of vehicles. and Strachwitz remained in West Germany upon his release from US custody. Strachwitz and his small Kampfgruppe would take 18. and officers of the Bundeswehr held a watch at his coffin as a sign of recognition for his outstanding military career.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 5 of 13 Russian trucks and guns. he formed a new command of anti-tank fighters at Bad Kudova. SP guns and many trucks. 1. Such actions seem impossible to many westerners who fail to grasp the enormity of the war in the east. Introduction: After Operation "Zitadelle" (the Battle of Kursk) failed to achieve its objectives. No new tactics are revealed in the following reports. He eventually surrendered to the western Allies by traveling to Bavaria. The Panzer forces. which had already become very proficient in the counterattack tactics. Having lost two sons during the war. His determination brought him back into the action just before the end of the war. now had to fight against overwhelming odds. and when Strachwitz did not have to deal with equal or superior ranked officers. His Silesian estate was taken by the Russians. where he lived until 1968. while being driven to the headquarters of one of the divisions under his command. But in a situation where a battlegroup could operate independently. just the realization by most of the Tiger-Abteilungen commanders that in order to survive. Tigers had to fight in the same way of the other. These qualities limited his success with larger units. he survived the front. he settled on an estate in Bavaria in 1951. Großdeutschland Tigers after "Zitadelle" The Tiger tactical number B01 of th 10th company of the III Abteilung of the "Großdeutschland" Division passes in front of some divisional vehicles. Although von Strachwitz was a wonderful tactician at the battalion and regimental level. Very late in the war. He lies today in Grabenstätt. Germany. After a brief journey to Syria to help organize the military there (and his subsequent flight from Syria after the ruling power was overthrown). In many cases the commanders of the units to which the Tiger-Abteilungen were attached did not even grasped the most fundamental concepts of the Tiger's capabilities or the basic principles of tank file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. lighter Panzers. he was inflexible at times and unwilling to compromise.
W.Kompanie/schwere Panzer Abteilung 501 (10 Tigers).Kompanien/III.Kp/Pz.Rgt. and all the vehicles for the Stab .(Tiger) Abteilung/Panzer-Regiment Großdeutschland. Additional units with Tigers sent to the East Front in the latter half of 1943 included the 3. schwere Panzer-Abteilung 509. and 2.Kompanie/schwere Panzer-Abteilung 505. : Not a single operational Tiger (this was formerly the 13. About midday. wrote the following report on how they were greatly hampered by not having their Werkstatt-Kompanie and other necessary services: 14 August 1943 . they were frequently handicapped by the incompetence of their own higher commanders. This Tiger is completely camouflaged and with spare track links on the front plate.Kp. and 11. The trains were unloaded at Nisch. In mid-August.htm 8/22/2008 . the Stab. The third (heavy) Abteilung of the Panzer-Regiment Großdeutschland was formed on 1 July 1943. the columns from the last transport arrived at the command post.(Tiger) Abteilung/Panzer-Regiment Großdeutschland . Major Gomille. commander of the III. On 31 August 1943.Kompanie of the III. : Complete (except for one Tiger still in Germany) 11. schwere Panzer-Abteilung 506.Kompanien/schwere Panzer Abteilung 101/SS-Panzer-Grenadier Division "LSSAH" and schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501 . Missing: The entire Stabs-Kompanie and Werkstatt-Kompanie (minus one Zug ). to form the new schwere Abteilung. the Stab. ).10 and 11.D.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 6 of 13 tactics.G. and 3. the Stab./schwere Panzer Abteilung 504 (11 Tigers) were transferred. causing a road march of 110 kilometers.Abteilung command post in the forest 2 kilometers southeast of Jassenowole.2.Kompanie/schwere Panzer Abteilung 502. Ten Tigers had fallen out due to major and minor mechanical file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action.P.Kp. Not only did the Tiger-Abteilungen have to fight against overwhelming odds. Above: Tiger I (tactical number B12) of the 11th company of the III Abteilung of the Großdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division during August and September 1943 in the region of Achtyrka-Kharkov-Poltava. : 4 Tigers and most of the equipment for the maintenance group burned out during transport. the 1.Ssirowatka. 2.Kompanien were operational on the evening of 14 August 1943. 10. Three Tiger-Befehlswagen and 13 Tigers from the 10.(Tiger) Abteilung /PanzerRegiment Großdeutschland joined the division at the front. Tigers from the 3. Großdeutschland Tigers In Action: After "Zitadelle".Kp. of the Aufklaerungs-Zug without weapons 10. Großdeutschland Tigers covered the German retreat towards the new lines for the defense on the Dniepr. The general condition of the Abteilung was: Stab : 3 Tiger-Befehlswagen 7 S. 9. and 11. and from 3.
Kompanie . commanded a Kampfgruppe consisting of Panzer-Regiment Großdeutschland ( Tiger Abteilung. The entire electrical firing circuit for the main gun was knocked out by the hits and several vision blocks were destroyed or broke out of the weak holders. and a PantherKompanie ). His Tiger was hit eight times by 12. They were to go into action toward Belsk (30 kilometers southwest of Akhtyrka). At 06:30 hours. One hit penetrated the hull side. the Abteilung was subjected to raging fire out of the right flank from the edge of the village from numerous. The Panzer-Regiment was escorted by the Sf.2 cm shells from the assault guns on T-34 chassis. It was thought that the enemy would reinforce this bridgehead with stronger forces and advance toward the north in order to envelop our own bridgehead at Akhtyrka from the west. The lack of any services necessary for maintaining a Panzer unit became increasing critical during the following days in action.Abteilung and Panther-Kompanie ./Artillerie-Regiment Großdeutschland . Leutnant Jantzke (leader of the Abteilung Aufklaerungs-Zug ) was sent out on a scouting patrol to determine the condition of the roads and bridges as well as the terrain in the entire sector up to Belsk. Tiger tactical number A02.htm 8/22/2008 . where the Russians had already crossed the Vorskla with their forces. the Abteilung came under heavy anti-tank gunfire from the ridge line east of the north edge of the village. The Abteilung turned to the left and gained the ridge line. However. the turret was hit six times. the Kampfgruppe set off in the following formation: Tiger-Abteilung in the lead. commander conference at the southwest exit from Jassennowoje.Kompanie was assigned to provide covering fire while the 11. Bergezug (recovery platoon) and repair parts. 1943. repair services. The Abteilung advanced toward Grun along both sides of the road. while two hits caused fractures and small pieces to break off. very difficult to negotiate and running across the direction of attack. 9th company. no matter what. 15 August 1943 . which was ordered to advance through Grun and Budy to Belsk and destroy the enemy that had broken through the front. commander of the 10. From here two deep ravines. Hauptmann von Villebois. the first Tiger ran onto mines which caused only light damage.Sf. By nightfall.ArtillerieAbteilung . When crossing both ravines. three of which caused only small dents. which were to provide flank protection for the leading Tiger-Abteilung . so that it wasn't possible for the Werkstatt to repair it.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 7 of 13 problems during the march from Nisch Ssirowatka to the Abteilung command post. the Abteilung moved out of the assembly area toward the southwest with an assignment that Grun was to be held. This enemy force wasn't completely silenced until after a lengthily firefight. I. Aufklaerungs-Abteilung (mot) . the Abteilung had arrived at Persche Trawnja (5 kilometers northwest of Grun). and II. The operations officer of the division. About 18:30 hours. Oberst von Natzmer. About 1 kilometer north of Grun. where the Abteilung and other elements of the division prepared to attack the next day.Kompanie immediately continued to attack. the enemy had already taken Grun and had sent out his reconnaissance patrols further to war the north. the main body of the 10. Panzer-Grenadier Division Großdeutschland. had to be crossed. The first major effects were already appearing that were caused by the Abteilung having to go into action without any supply. The sixth hit broke out a large piece (about two hand widths) from the turret armor that flew into the fighting compartment. The weld seam on the hull was sprung open for about 50 cm from the location of the penetration. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action.At 04:00 hours.Abteilung. followed by the I. III Abteilung. The Abteilung t hen received an order to attack along the edge of the village of Grun. was severely wounded during this action. excellently camouflaged heavy anti-tank guns and several assault guns on T-34 chassis. For this purpose. Orders came in from the Regiment at 12:00 hours for the Abteilung to be prepared for action by 03:00 hours the next day.
the Abteilung commander had previously scouted the assembly area and the terrain over which the attack was to occur. Personnel Losses: One man wounded (bomb fragment). Results: Five anti-tank guns destroyed. On the previous day. FKLKompanie 311 . Results: 21 anti-tank guns. Five operational Tigers. Equipment Losses: Eight Tigers on mines.htm 8/22/2008 . The enemy was destroyed without a single loss.(Sf. and the rest from mechanical failure. After filling up with ammunition and fuel. one officer severely wounded. 16 August 1943 . the Panzer-Regiment started their own attack. Five Tigers were lightly damaged. while three Tigers were immobilized with major damage to the tracks and suspension. the Abteilung turned toward the right and entered the village. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. and advanced up to the south edge of Grun without encountering any enemy resistance worth mentioning.Abteilung was assigned the task of screening the right and left flanks of the Tiger-Abteilung .)/Artillerie-Regiment Großdeutschland were attached to the Panzer-Regiment ( Tiger-Abteilung. Four Tigers were operational in the evening. After leaving the city of Akthyrka. The minefield was so thick that most of the Panzers hit three or four mines at the same time. The north edge of Budy was stubbornly defended by Russian anti-tank and anti.aircraft guns. For this attack.The division was supposed to advance from Akhtyrka toward the southwest through Kaplunowka and Parchomokowa in order to gain contact with the SS units advancing south of the Merla. the Abteilung continued the attack toward the southwest.Panther-Kompanie ). Mines were not expected in the first sector to be attacked. eight Tigers hit mines simultaneously. The middle of Belsk was reached at about 01:00 hours after. and gun). Seven Tigers fell out due to mechanical failures (engine.)/Artillerie-Regiment Großdeutschland .March from Belsk through Grun to the forest 2 kilometers southwest of Akhtyrka.(Sf. transmission. one Tiger from mines.Panzer-Grenadier-Division on the right and elements of the 7. the Abteilung received anti-tank fire from the west and southwest edge of BoichOsero. Equipment Losses: Six Tigers damaged by enemy action (five by hits and one by mines).Abteilung. destroyed two assault guns on T-34 chassis in a short fight. Five Tigers had fallen out due to damage caused by hits. Now the Abteilung still had six operational Tigers. Driving in the lead. while the Panthers had orders to provide covering fire for the Tigers from favorable firing positions overlooking the rolling terrain. and continued to advance with the right wing along the road. the Fuesillier-Regiment Großdeutschland attacked the enemy-occupied village of Boich-Osero. 18 August 1943 . Elements of the 10.1 (3 kilometers northeast of Michailowka) as quickly as possible. the I. anti-aircraft guns and artillery pieces. The Panzer attacks had been excellently supported by the II. 2. and three officers and three men lightly wounded. While the simple wooden box mines caused only superficial damage. and one armored car destroyer. These were all German wooden box mines under which the enemy had sometimes laid one or two heavy shells (apparently 21 cm) to increase the explosive effect. 17 August 1943 . because on the previous days the enemy had continuously pulled in new forces and had attacked with tanks and infantry almost without interruption. of which two were Befehlswagen .PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 8 of 13 After reaching the cemetery. was sent by the division to another location to provide security. about 08:00 hours. Personnel Losses: One man killed. driving in the lead with the last three Tigers that were still combat operational. about 19:00 hours the Abteilung started off again toward Belsk. after a short barrage from the artillery. The terrain was very suitable for a Panzer attack due to very rolling hills. While going into firing positions. turned at the road from Grun to Budy.(SPW) Battalion/Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment Großdeutschland and the II.10 operational Tigers. attached to the Abteilung . additional anti-tank guns were destroyed and a mine barrier cleared without any further losses. the mines coupled with shells resulted in heavy damage. I. The Abteilung did not get into further action on this day because of the mine damage. eight tanks and assault guns.Panzer-Division o n the left provided flank protection for Großdeutschland . The Tiger-Abteilung had orders to drive in the front on a wide front along the right side of the road from Akthyrka to Michailowka to break through the first Russian position and gain the important heights by Point 171. In order to deceive the enemy about our intentions. About 08:30 hours. The I.
The four operational Tigers of the Abteilung . These four Tigers were employed at the left front of the formation during the attack on Parchornowka. After knocking out two T-34 tanks. the Abteilung commander took over the Panzergruppe (two Tigers. With the aid of these two Tigers. While one group of Panzers was positioned in an especially threatened sector of the Fuesilier and Grenadier-Regiments . the other damaged Panzers were able to be towed behind the new main defense line by Kotelwa. the rest having fallen out from hits or mechanical breakdown. and one PzBefWg. two of them had problems with their transmissions and electrical generators. 26 August 1943 . 20 August 1943 . Three Tigers had suffered mechanical breakdowns. While the enemy penetration into the Grenadier-Regiment was brought to a halt by an immediate counter attack in which four enemy tanks were knocked out. the Abteilung commander held back all of the rest of the Panzers near his command post. any Panzers that were not fully operational had to be sent to Kotelwa in order to ensure that all Panzers could be pulled back behind the new main defense line during the maneuvers planned for that evening to break off contact with the enemy. Results: 25 tanks and 7 guns destroyed. all the operational Panzers from the Regiment arrived under the command of Major Gomille. one wounded. joined up with the Regiment . and gun by 7. Equipment Losses: One Tiger hit on the gun. 12 heavy anti-tank guns. the maneuvers to break contact were initiated.Panzer-Division to the left of Großdeutschland . three PzKpfw III lang. nine Panthers. no enemy tanks were located there when our own Panzers attacked to relieve the left-hand neighbor. one Tiger was sent in and destroyed six heavy anti-tank guns and numerous anti-tank rifles. Five enemy tanks were knocked out by the two remaining operational Tigers. three Flammpanzer. In the sector of the Grenadier Regiment . One of the Tigers broke down from engine and transmission failure in Kotelwa. sight. both of these Tigers had to be sent farther toward Kotelwa because the enemy had broken through directly east of Kotelwa with tanks and infantry.htm 8/22/2008 .During a localized counterattack. the enemy started to attack our weak lines with several tanks and very strong infantry.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 9 of 13 19 August 1943 . About 17:00 hours. At the same time. 22 August 1943 .After giving up the five Panthers. three PzKpfw IV lang. The round clearly penetrated the left side of the superstructure by the driver. one Tiger was knocked out by a hit from an assault gun on a T-34 chassis.62 cm rounds so that it was no longer combat operational. During the afternoon.During late afternoon.During the night of 24/25 August. the division moved to to the west and southwest and prepared to defend an area in the general line about 2 to 3 kilometers west of the Parchornowka to Bugrowatij road. the enemy broke through the 7. About 1300 hours. which had arrived in the new bivouac area for the Regiment at Budischtscha at about 11:00 hours.). However. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. In this battle against a strong Russian anti-tank front. Only two Tigers were still operational. directly Northwest of Parchornowka. under the command of Oberleutnant Arnold. After this strong anti-tank gun position was destroyed. Results: 12 tanks. where the enemy quite stubbornly defended the edge of the village with anti-tank guns and T-34 and KV-1 tanks. Only two Tigers and five Panthers were left with the Abteilung commander. Both Tigers were recovered.On this day. the other Tiger was hit in the suspension. the unit moved south and gained contact with SSDivision Totenkopf . 24 August 1943 . Five Tigers were operational in the evening. Equipment Losses: One Tiger heavily damaged (superstructure side penetrated). three PzKpfw IV kurz. after intensive effort lasting until dawn. About 23:00 hours. Operations were restricted to repulsing several enemy tank attacks. the attack advanced toward Parchornowka. 23 August 1943 . This was almost all of the operational Panzers in the Regiment . east and northeast of Michailowka (12 kilometers of Southwest of Akthyrka). and six light anti-tank guns destroyed. Personnel Losses: Three men dead. on orders from the division. ready to attack at any time. the Abteilung commander on the morning of 26 August remained in possession of only two conditionally operational Tigers. the guns on two Tigers damaged.
1 Tiger is lost in action. 28 operational.6 Tigers are lost in action.6 Tigers lost in action.SS.Rgt. destroyed by crew. 27 September 1943 . 8 March 1944 . Late October 1944 .7 Tigers are lost in action.10 Tigers written off. 9 October 1943 .Lehr) that were to be delivered to III.1 more Tiger is lost. 8 . 23 October 1943 . 13 December Großdeutschland.8 Tigers are lost in action. 18 October 1943 .Großdeutschland are captured by the Russians while being transported by train. 5 August 1944 . 16 November 1943 .Pz. as above.Panzerdivision Totenkopf.7 Tigers are lost in action. 24 operational.1 Tiger lost in action. 1 November 1944 . 10 March 1944 .SS.6 Tigers delivered.8 of 15 Tigers operational.13 Tigers are lost. 20 April 1944 .Arrival in Gumbinnen area. 7 either destroyed by crew or by aerial attacks. 6 May 44 . 21 December 1943 . 2 transferred to 3.Panzerdivision Totenkopf.3 Tigers are lost in action. 6 March 1944 .6 Tigers delivered. combat in the vicinity of Kirovograd. 20 October 1943 . 1 June 1944 . 6 August 1944 .aerial attack .Abt. 23 Tigers on hand. 10 June-26 July 1944 . 9 October 1944 . 19 out of 34 operational. 29 September 1943 .8 Tigers delivered.3 Tigers destroyed by crew.2 Tigers are lost in action . 9 .6 Tigers delivered. taking part on the action near Krivoi Rog. 18 May 1944 . 19 operational.Rest and Refit near Bacau.Transferred to Chisinau area. 20 operational. to avoid falling into enemy's hands.5 Tigers are lost in action.15 November 1943 .23 August 1944 . 1944 The unit is designated as schwere Panzer-Abteilung file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. 4 transferred to 3. 21 March 1944 . By the end of March 1944 . 1 October 1944 .6 Tigers delivered.Withdrawal across the Dniepr near Kremenchug. 13 operational. 12 Tigers delivered.htm 8/22/2008 . either lost in action or destroyed by crew.4 Tigers put out of action by JS-2 Stalin heavy tanks.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 10 of 13 9 September 1943 .2 Tigers are lost in action. and 10 Tigers (ex-Pz. unit refitting during November-December 1944. September 1944 .7 Tigers operational.11 out of 33 Tigers operational.4 Tigers are lost in action. Immediately sent to combat.
Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 . one of these two Tigers hit the second tank under the gun.6 Tigers lost in action.The remaining Tigers of schwere Panzer-Abteilung Großdeutschland make their last stand.4 out of 11 Tigers operational. Apparently this armor-piercing shell didn't penetrate through because the Tiger was standing at an angle from the target. In addition to sending new units to the East Front. Operational: 17 Tigers.5 cm anti-tank gun shells that robbed him of his sight. and then continue to advance. the second Tiger had taken the lead and fired three shot at the enemy tank. were quickly destroyed in spite of the difficulty of seeing the targets. This round penetrated. In the meantime. The enemy tank was knocked out of action by a shot which penetrated the gun. 502. PzKpfw VI Tiger I E versus JS-2 "Stalin" Heavy Russian Tank Tiger I. the Tiger itself was hit by a 12. February. The anti-tank guns. immediately setting the enemy tank on fire. 1 February 1945 . When the round was fired.Pz. Russia. 19 March 1945 . Numerous undamaged anti-tank guns fell into our hands.htm 8/22/2008 . both the schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 and 506 were issued new Tiger I and refurbished in rest areas behind the front in early 1944.Abt. He immediately gave the fire command: " Panzergranate! Cupola sight! Fire!" At the same time he was hit twice by 4. Some of the anti-tank guns were destroyed by hits and some were rolled over. 2 transferred to s.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 11 of 13 16 December 1944 .2 cm shell on the front below the radio operator's section. In spite of poor visibility. sPzAbt. decimated in March and April. the Josef Stalin tank pulled back behind a small hill. About 12:15 hours. Incorporated into the division's Kampfgruppe.4 Tigers delivered. After the lead Zug of the Tiger Kompanie advanced 2 kilometers through the forest. was sent back to Germany and then employed on the invasion Front. 1944. During a short firefight.505. and a narrow trail forced the Tiger-Kompanie to advance in a single row. the Zug leader suddenly noticed knocked-down trees and saw a large muzzle-break (Josef Stalin) directly in front of him. The rate of fire of the Josef Stalin tanks was comparatively slow. defending the Balga pocket in East Prussia. which were pulled forward into position by the enemy within three-quarters of an hour after entering the woods. In the interim. together with an Infanterie-Batallion the Tiger Kompanie started to attack. The September 1944 issue of the Nachrichtenblatt der Panzertruppen included a report from a Tiger-Kompanie that had knocked out numerous Josef Stalin tanks in a short period: The Tiger Kompanie was ordered to throw out the enemy who penetrated into a wood. a second Tiger of the Zug driving through the woods pulled up on line with the Zug leader's Tiger. January 1945 . the Zug leader started the firefight at a range of 35 meters. The schwere Panzer-Abteilung 507 in March and schwere Panzer-Abteilung 510 in July were the two last units to be completely outfitted with the Tiger I and sent to the East Front. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. The Russian infantry fled their positions as soon as the Tigers appeared. A second Josef Stalin tank attempted to cover the first as it pulled back. The thick forest caused extremely poor visibility (50 meters). In response.
In connection with this it may be stated that the Josef Stalin tanks not only can be penetrated from the flanks and rear by Tigers and Panthers but also by the Pz. village. 6. The enemy crews lean toward evacuating their tank immediately after the first shot is fired at them. rapidly (leaf-frogging by bounds) and under covering fire. 8.Kpfw. 5. 4. Many times tank-versus-tank combat will be decided. Employment of single Tigers means their loss. In regard to Point 8 . and search for the IS-2 in Comparison with Its German Counterparts page. 4. three Tigers should not flee from five Josef Stalin tanks only because they can't start the firefight at full Zug strength.. 7. and the "security" of the crews of the Tigers. a few Tigers can't drive up on a ridgeline to observe the terrain. The Josef Stalin can also be knocked out. just like other Panzers. ISBN 0-7603-0524-2 file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. With regard to points 5 and 6 . Remarks by the Generalinpekteur der Panzertruppen: 1. however. even if a penetration of the frontal armor can't be achieved at long range. pay a visit to the Russian Battlefield website.2 cm tank guns and 5. Instead. a firefight with Josef Stalin tanks should not be undertaken in less than Zug strength. just like 9. Statements like "thick fur". Bibliography 1. For those interested in knowing the Russian side of the Tiger I versus JS-2 controversy.This statement is correct. Salamander Books Ltd. 2.were definitely not unknown in this Tiger-Abteilung . which have become established phrases by other units and also partially within the Panzertruppe . Also. to blind the Josef Stalin by firing Sprenggranaten (high explosive shells). three Tigers received direct hits and were destroyed by 12.At a time when there are 12. (A different Tiger-Abteilung reported that the front of a Josef Stalin tank can be penetrated by a Tiger only at ranges less than 500 meters. "impregnable".heavy inclined armor plus a 122 mm D-25T gun.that Panzers should only cross a ridgeline together. Thomas L Jentz.2 cm shells. When a Tiger appears. ISBN 0-7643-0225-6 An Illustrated Guide to World War II Tanks and Fighting Vehicles. Hilary Doyle and Peter Sarson. after the first hits are registered. the Josef Stalin tanks let themselves engage in a firefight only at long range (over 2000 meters) and also only when they themselves are in favorable positions on the edge of of a wood. The Kompanie commander made the following observations that were derived from their experience in fighting Josef Stalin tanks: 1. 3. It has been proven to be useful.It would be desirable for the opponent to have observed the same attempt by all of our Tiger crews. In addition. In many cases. 2. or ridgeline. the Tiger can no longer disregard the tactical principles that apply to the other types of Panzers. it is especially important for Tiger units to pay direct attention to the general combat principles applicable for tank-versus-tank combat. Germany's TIGER Tanks . or else the Panzers must drive around the height .Tiger I and II: Combat Tactics.htm 8/22/2008 . must be wiped out and debunked. These experiences are in accordance with those of other Tiger units and are correct.7 cm anti-tank guns on the Eastern Front. In just such a situation. resulting in all but two of the crew members being killed. 3. The principles of Panzer tactics . 4. not by the number of tanks. 3. In regard to Point 7 . In regard to point 4 . Thomas L Jentz. Roger Ford. 5. ISBN 1-85532-337-0 The TIGER Tank. " An undestroyed Tiger may never fall into enemy hands!" This principle must be achieved by every crew member by exemplary operational readiness. Motorbooks International Publishers and Wholesalers. Osprey Publishing Ltd.) An attempt should be made to gain the flank or the rear of the Josef Stalin tank and destroy it with concentrated fire. In all cases the Russian strived to prevent a Josef Stalin tank from falling into our hands and with all means available attempted to tow the tank away or to blow it up.2 anti-tank/anti-aircraft guns on the Western Front and in Italy.IV and the Sturmgeschütze . most Josef Stalin tanks turn away and attempt to avoid a firefight. Cases will also occur which an entire Zug isn't always available. but much more by superior tactics. 2. ISBN 0-86101-083-3 TIGER I Heavy Tank 1942-1945.PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 12 of 13 The Josef Stalin 2 heavy tank .
6. Squadron/Signal Publications. Histoire and Collections.fprado. criticism. ISBN 2-908182-82-3 Every bit of information on www. news reporting. and/or research. comment. All Rights Reserved.htm 8/22/2008 . TIGER in action .PzKpfw VI TIGER I in ACTION! Page 13 of 13 5. scholarship.Armor Number 27. teaching. The ARMOR Site! is © Copyright 1997-2008 Fabio Prado . ISBN 0-89747-230-6 TIGER I on the Eastern Front. file://C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\tiger1_in_action. Jean Restayn.com/armorsite is for the purpose of information.