National Socialist Heroes in History: Michael Wittmann, Waffen-SS Panzer Commander
Audio feature is on the life of SS Panzer commander, Michael Wittmann.
Michael was a Bavarian farm boy who wanted to join the newly created German army in 1934. He then had a chance to transfer to the elite Waffen SS and eventually, in 1943, earned his way into the command of one of the most formidable weapons in modern warfare, the feared Tiger I battle tank! As a battalion commander, he led his troops into battle on many fronts of the European theater of the Second World War.
Wittmann was in Poland in 1939, France in 1940, the Balkans and then Russia (Barbarossa) in 1941. He fought in the largest tank battle in history at Kursk in 1943, where he started creating the legend of the ‘Black Baron’ (from the color of the Panzer units’ sharp looking uniforms). He was transferred to the Normandy front and set new standards in operating mechanized units before being killed on August 8, 1944.
Michael Wittmann was a highly decorated soldier and personally admired by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. His exploits were in the newspapers, magazines, and newsreels. But most importantly, he was loved by the German people, and it was for them that he died.
This is the true story, a story of great highs and also of tragic lows, of a hero, ‘Michael Wittmann’ – (A Tiger on the Loose)…