Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

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Michael Kenny
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 17 Apr 2019 21:59

if Boldt was in the same Tiger as the film then it is 231 and there is a pic of it (taken in 1946) still in the field where it was knocked out.
Tiger nnn Verrierts.jpg
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headwest
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by headwest » 18 Apr 2019 13:18

Thanks MK

is 231 the one in the clip i posted? I have been reading alot about VB as well, and the info on 231 being towed. would that be the same 231 as here? I wish i knoew where Bourguebus ridge was or where this was taken

thanks much!

oh, probably another shot in the dark, but does anyone know when that film clip was taken and where?
Last edited by headwest on 18 Apr 2019 14:09, edited 1 time in total.

headwest
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by headwest » 18 Apr 2019 14:02

Interesting MK, I went back to the website you sent, and went to Borguebus, 1947, and found a couple areas around Tilly that were heavily hit and which look like tree lines and woods, and a slight ridge, wondering if this pic is there. the area is sort of south west of tilly? looks like that might have been a line

that site is awesome! i have been using it for everything in France, especially normandy area, Band of Brothers areas etc. this is exciting!

DC North West
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by DC North West » 22 Apr 2019 12:02

An excellent series of post all, welcome any guidance and feedback on these two questions please

1) Does anybody have an idea what is the vehicle (tank) on the right side of the photograph (RAF 9 August) from Michael Whittmann's Tiger 007? would it be a destroyed Tiger Hoflinger from the Western group or destroyed Canadian Sherman.

2) Marcus Cowper Tiger Tank book gives a detailed account of the events of the 8th August 1944 and the engagement of Sergeant Gordon’s VC Firefly No. 12, ‘Velikye Luki’. Does anybody know what ammunition the Firefly used, given I understand it was the first time into combat for the crew with the Firefly, having set it up using 5 rounds. Was this the first combat use of the 17 pound APDS round?
The Cowper narrative, points to Sergeant Gordon's Firefly, engaging the last 3 Tigers on the East side of the road, presuming that is correct, then who engaged and destroyed the lead Tiger Dollinger?

eindhoven
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by eindhoven » 23 Apr 2019 00:59

DC North West wrote:
22 Apr 2019 12:02
An excellent series of post all, welcome any guidance and feedback on these two questions please

1) Does anybody have an idea what is the vehicle (tank) on the right side of the photograph (RAF 9 August) from Michael Whittmann's Tiger 007? would it be a destroyed Tiger Hoflinger from the Western group or destroyed Canadian Sherman.
Yes I do. That would be the SS-Oberscharführer Peter Kisters' knocked out Tiger. Kisters pictured below
SS-Oberscharführer Peter Kisters.jpg
Remember that SS-Hauptscharführer Hans Höflinger was on Wittmann's left on the N158 itself rather than the open field, the Eastern Group if we use your terminology. Höflinger was lead followed by Rolf von Westernhagen and finally Heurich who moved out late. Höflinger pictured below.
SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Höflinger_final plate.jpg
You may be mixing Dollinger and Höflinger up. SS-Untersturmführer Helmut Dollinger was commanding the lead Tiger in advance of the Western Group and the farthest most Tiger knocked out that day. Dollinger was the Nachtrichtenführer for the Abteilung and had previously been the Abteilung Adjutant. Dollinger pictured below.
SS-Untersturmführer Helmut Dollinger.jpg
(Sources DVG, Bundesarchiv, my own bookplate)
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headwest
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by headwest » 23 Apr 2019 14:13

Thank you Eindhoven! Amazing again!

I was wondering if you had any info on the day the grave was discovered in 83? I read they were widening or doing road work? but the road looks awfully far from where his tank was hit.

I also read that local villagers buried them and not German troops, was this correct as well?

in the youtube "Black Baron" doc, a local farmer shows parts of 007. Were you able to see them as well?

and last (for now lol), the farmer who took the pic, i again read, that he had taken more pics but lost them. Do we know who this farmer was? is he still alive, or kids? is it the family who has the 007 parts? and are te tank parts still with the family in the video and can they be seen?

thanks much

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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Apr 2019 16:30

headwest wrote:
23 Apr 2019 14:13


and last (for now lol), the farmer who took the pic, i again read, that he had taken more pics but lost them.
They were last seen in possession of his sister but these were not the sort of photos I think could expect to pass down the generations. Ordinary normal folks don't share this obsession.
As for photos of the 'other' Tigers I suspect we already have them. By that I mean a couple of currently 'unknown' Tiger wrecks will turn out to be them.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 23 Apr 2019 17:03, edited 1 time in total.

DC North West
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by DC North West » 23 Apr 2019 16:40

Eindhoven,

Thank you, I did wonder about the vehicle on the road, it does make a lot of sense. I have attached a plan I found, dating back to 2003 on the locations of the Tigers, North is the bottom. My question about the lead Tiger East group, was based upon the Northamptonshire report, that the Firefly engaged the rear most Tiger first 314, then exchanged fire with the second Tiger 007 which the Turret was blown off (eg Michael Wittmann's Tiger is the conclusion) then the next Tiger which was quote driving around (they concluded the optics had been damaged by the Sherman 75 HE) finally it engaged a MarkIV. Therefore the lead Tiger 223 on the photograph would be too far North against that report. Only the photograph of 007 has the displaced turret to align with the Northamptonshire's account. So my principal logical conclusion was Tiger 223 was not engaged by the Firefly but the Canadians? Secondary conclusion, the Firefly engaged all 4 Tigers, with the Panzer IV wrongly identified, somewhat weak I grant you.
Having said that, anything is possible, Bovington has just released a youtube video, explaining, the 76 year old narrative for the capture of Tiger 131 is incorrect, it was captured by the Sherwood Forester Infantry 50 miles from were they originally thought. They are now looking at the capture of the SS 101 Abteilung Kingtiger 104 at Aux Marais.
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Apr 2019 17:14

The original air photo of the Tigers has several hundred vehicles (and a low-flying aircraft) on the LH side of the main N/S road. It would be very difficult to spot a Tiger among that crowd.
Screen.jpg
Cintheux 8-8-44 (1)g.jpg
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headwest
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by headwest » 23 Apr 2019 17:15

Thanks MK

Circling back to gunther boldt and your pic of 231 above. Was the location of that ever established with any accuracy?

I did find out that GB is buried in the cemetery MW is so in trying to piece his history together I imagine when he was able to exit the tank and make it out to a field that there were other german troops around to help him, or bury him depending on how long he survived. Also that his initial grave must have had identifying marks that lasted long enough for him to be identified and moved to the cemetery

I was trying to find a pic of his current gravestone but cannot find any

thanks much!

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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by DC North West » 23 Apr 2019 17:54

Michael thank you, it does put, the events of the 8th August in a true perspective, and why it has proved so difficult to nail down the full detail. Given the number of photographs of destroyed and abandoned Tigers all across Normandy, I am surprised, there were no photographs of this event, given the magnitude of five Tigers being destroyed. Advancing up the main road against two armoured divisions with a small force was not going to end well.

Given your knowledge, do you any information on what ammunition the Firefly was using that day?

eindhoven
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by eindhoven » 23 Apr 2019 19:09

DC North West wrote:
23 Apr 2019 16:40
Eindhoven,

Thank you, I did wonder about the vehicle on the road, it does make a lot of sense. I have attached a plan I found, dating back to 2003 on the locations of the Tigers, North is the bottom. My question about the lead Tiger East group, was based upon the Northamptonshire report, that the Firefly engaged the rear most Tiger first 314, then exchanged fire with the second Tiger 007 which the Turret was blown off (eg Michael Wittmann's Tiger is the conclusion) then the next Tiger which was quote driving around (they concluded the optics had been damaged by the Sherman 75 HE) finally it engaged a MarkIV. Therefore the lead Tiger 223 on the photograph would be too far North against that report. Only the photograph of 007 has the displaced turret to align with the Northamptonshire's account. So my principal logical conclusion was Tiger 223 was not engaged by the Firefly but the Canadians? Secondary conclusion, the Firefly engaged all 4 Tigers, with the Panzer IV wrongly identified, somewhat weak I grant you.
Having said that, anything is possible, Bovington has just released a youtube video, explaining, the 76 year old narrative for the capture of Tiger 131 is incorrect, it was captured by the Sherwood Forester Infantry 50 miles from were they originally thought. They are now looking at the capture of the SS 101 Abteilung Kingtiger 104 at Aux Marais.
Wish I was there to discuss. That is very old indeed. 223 Iriohn's Tiger was put forth back then as the number. Back then I argued that was incorrect and now it is believed to be 008 which was Dollinger's Tiger and coincidentally also a Befehlstiger just as was Wittmann's 007.

Regarding the firing order and the war diaries; I typically do not engage as it will always be a round robin and will always be speculative. As a former AT gunner, I've always found the engagement order as odd. The standard anti-armor practice would be to hit the first and last tanks, button them up, and eat up what's left in the middle. What does make sense about the firing order as reported however is if 2 to 3 units, without coordination, were indeed engaging these tracks at the same time.

A Squadron 1st Northamptonshire are in position to our lead Tiger and Iriohn's track but then we are leaving out B Squadron 144th Regiment Royal Armored Corps who are in the direct path of advance in Cramesnil. We also have B Squadron Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment in La Jalouise and A Squadron in Gaumesnil.

More on your questions regarding loadout in a minute.
Last edited by eindhoven on 23 Apr 2019 19:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by eindhoven » 23 Apr 2019 19:23

Michael Kenny wrote:
23 Apr 2019 16:30
headwest wrote:
23 Apr 2019 14:13


and last (for now lol), the farmer who took the pic, i again read, that he had taken more pics but lost them.
They were last seen in possession of his sister but these were not the sort of photos I think could expect to pass down the generations. Ordinary normal folks don't share this obsession.
As for photos of the 'other' Tigers I suspect we already have them. By that I mean a couple of currently 'unknown' Tiger wrecks will turn out to be them.
MK, are you sure about that regarding Serge's sister? During my research HIAG was involved. Serge took this one of '314' which was commanded by Kisters. Yes we do have photos of the others as well.
314 foto von Serve Varrin.jpg
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Michael Kenny
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Apr 2019 20:15

eindhoven wrote:
23 Apr 2019 19:23

MK, are you sure about that regarding Serge's sister?
Yann Jouault told me about the sister and he knew Serge personally.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Michael Wittmann starting Point Aug8 1944

Post by Michael Kenny » 23 Apr 2019 20:19

DC North West wrote:
23 Apr 2019 17:54
I am surprised, there were no photographs of this event, given the magnitude of five Tigers being destroyed.
The Tigers to the west of the road are the photos 'hiding' Given their position it is not possible no one took photographs of them. As I said my take is that photos were taken but they are at present marked as 'unknown'.

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