Villers-Bocage June 13, 1944-The Attack By Michael Wittmann

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Wolfkin
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Villers-Bocage June 13, 1944-The Attack By Michael Wittmann

Post by Wolfkin » 25 May 2002 21:08

I asked this question on a few other forums. I am just curious as to the responses I might get on this forum. Always excited to see any opinions from anyone.
I have read lots of different stories about this event. Some have been proven wrong and some have the right timing of events. Some of the things that are wrong and that are still being said as true but are not are:

-Michael Wittmann's second trip into Viller's Bocage, he did not make a second trip, he made one trip. After his Tiger was disabled, he and his crew escaped on foot. The second attack was made by Tiges of the 1st Kompanie, under Mobius.

-Bobby Woll as a gunner. I am still finding contradicting info on this one. It is known that Woll was given his own Tiger before Normandy, but as most of the Tigers in 2nd Kompanie were undergoing repair at the time, is it possible that Woll took that chance to be with Michael again?? Some say yes, some say no.

-The number of British Tanks knocked out by Wittmann. It has been said that this has been exaggerated. The British War Diary admits to the loss of 20 Cromwells, 4 Fireflys, 3 Stuarts and 3 Shermans, as well as 16 Carriers and 14 halftracks. But Wittmann did not knock out all of these as some books have said. Wittmann split the column when he attacked and then drove into Villers-Bocage, the rest of the column was attacked by the other 4 Tigers available in his 2nd Kompanie. Apparently some reports credit Wittmann with 9 destroyed Tanks in this action instead of the other often-quoted numbers. But was it more than 9 or less than 9? And that would mean that more tanks and vehicles were knocked out by his other 4 Tigers that are hardly mentioned in some books!

Don't get me wrong, I respect Michael Wittmann. He was one heck of a Panzer Commander and it took a lot of balls to do what he did. He is up there with Kurt Knispel, Otto Carius, Johann Boelter, Karl Mobius, Helmut Wendorf and Heinz Kling!! I am just trying to get the right story of what actually happened at Villers-Bocage.

Would anyone have some good info or maybe a timeline of events or something along that line for Villers-Bocage?? Thanks in advance guys!!

Wolfkin

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 25 May 2002 21:34

can't help you here either - but welcome to this forum as well ;)

Christian

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Wolfkin
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Hey Dude!!

Post by Wolfkin » 25 May 2002 22:56

Hello Ferdinand!

I have been checking out this forum for a while and finally got around to registering! Cheers dude!

Wolfkin

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 26 May 2002 10:45

Welcome to the forum.

/Marcus

Dan Feltmate
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.

Post by Dan Feltmate » 26 May 2002 11:28

Welcome to the forum![/code]

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 26 May 2002 15:12

Wolfkin,
you should take look at Agte's book.Huge book and detailled.

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Wolfkin
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Thanks guys!

Post by Wolfkin » 27 May 2002 02:16

Thanks everyone!

I have been on the lookout for that book, Patrik Agte- Michael Wittmann and the Tiger Commanders of the Leibstandarte, but it is hard to find!

Wolfkin

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 28 May 2002 08:18

Yeah you are right,
this damned book has not index!

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 02 Jun 2002 16:28

Wolfkin,

Welcome to the forum. Have a look at "Hitler's Enforcers" by James Lucas and the chapter about Michael Wittman. It might help you.

Regards

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admfisher
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Post by admfisher » 02 Jun 2002 21:20

Ok here we go,
the book is Panzertruppen II by Thomas Jentz.
Pg. 182
the account given is for the justification in awarding the Ritterkreuz to Wittman.

"On 12 July 1944, SS-Obersturmfuehre Wittman was ordered to secure the left flank of the Korps by Villers-Bocage because it was expected that the British armored forces who had broken through would strike toward the south and south-east. Panzer Grenadiere were not availble. Wittman arrived at the ordered time with six PzKpfw VI.
During the night of the 12-13 June, Kompanie-Wittman had to change position three times because of the very heavy artillery fire. In the early morning hours of 13 June, they were located near Point 213 notheast of Villers-Bocage with five operational PzKpfw VI.
About 0800 hours, the guard post reported to SS-Obersturmfuehrer Wittman that a strong colomn of enemy tanks was advancing along the Caen to Viller-Bocage road. Wittmann, who was under cover with his Tiger 200 meters south of the road, recognized a British armored battalion, followed by a British armored infantry battalion.
The situation requried quick action. Wittman coundn't give orders to his men, who were some distance away. Instead firing on the move, he immediatly charged with his Panzer into the British column. This rash attack split the enemy column. Wittmann destroyed four Shermans tanks at a range of 80 meters, positioned himself with his Tiger in and alongside the column at a range of 10 to 30 meters, firing in the direction he was driving. Within a short time he knocked out 15 enemy heavy tanks. Another six tanks were knocked out and the crews forced to abondon them. The escorting battalion mounted on armored half-tracks was almost totally destroyed. The four Panzers from Wittmann's Kompanie that were following behind took about 230 prisioners from here.
Well in advance of his Kompanie, Wittmann charged ahead into the village of Villers-Bocage. An enemy heavy anti tank gun immoblized his Panzer in the middle of the village. In spite of this, he still destroyed all of the vehicles within range and scattered the enemy unit. Afterward, Wittmann and his crew dismounted the Panzer, slugged through on foot to the Panzer Lehr Division about 15 kilometers to the north, reported to the operations officer, immediately, turned back with 15 PzKpfw IVs from the Panzer Lehr Division, and again struck toward Villers-Bocage. With his SchwimmVolkswagen, which in the interim had rejoined him, Wittmann slugged through to the 1.Kompanie, wich had been employed along the main road toward Villers-Bocage. After orinenting them on his impression of the combat situation, Wittmann sent the 1.Kompanie against the enemy tanks and anti tank guns that were still in the village.
Through his resolute actions, Wittmann destroyed a large part of the strong enemy spearhead (the British 22nd Armored Brigade) that was already advancing deep in the rear of our front and, by immediate decisivensess with the highest personal bravery, averted the strong danger threatening the entire front of the I.SS Panzer Korps. The Korps did not have any other reserve availble at this time.
Including the battle today, Wittmann has knocked out a total of 138 enemy tanks and 132 anti-tank guns with his Panzer."

So it appears he order the 1.Kompanie to attack the village on his return.

Hope this helps.
:D

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Wolfkin
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Reply

Post by Wolfkin » 04 Jun 2002 03:00

Thanks Tolga, Benoit and Adam!!

Heehee...I actually have the Panzertruppen Volumes One and Two, I forgot that there was a description of Wittmann at Villers-Bocage! I just got a book in that I ordered, The Panzers And The Battle Of Normandy by Georges Bernage, it has quite a bit on Wittmann and Villers-Bocage. Thanks again!

Wolfkin

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Post by Michael Kenny » 04 Jun 2002 11:44

Panzers In The Battle For Normandy is over 20 years old now and whilst an excellent book repeats the error of a second foray into Villers by Wittmann.You still find books being published with this error today. As for his tally of tanks that day, 4 RHQ Cromwells, 1 OP Sherman, 3 Stuarts, 1 Cromwell in Villers for sure. It then depends on where he joined the N175 for his final total. As A Squadron lost 4 Fireflys it is said Wittmann hit one of them and an unknown number of Cromwells on his way down to the Stuarts. But the bulk of A Squadron was at point 213 and photos show that some of these tanks on the road were abandoned intact(Dunlops RHA tank was set on fire later)It cant have been more than 3 or 4. If you look at the width of the N175 you can see that the often repeated myth that Wittmann knocked out the first and last vehicles on the road to trap the others isnt correct. The road is so wide this just isnt possible and if it was then obviously Wittmann then wouldnt have been able to drive his Tiger down beside these wrecks.As only one Firefly is shown in the photos taken the next day I would say the other 3 were taken for examination so they cant have been badly damaged if at all.At least one(I believe) is shown in a German photograph taken later after a technical examination. I hope this has been some help to you JF. M.Kenny.

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Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Jun 2002 21:01

Slight error there I mixed up Bernages 'Panzers And The Battle Of Normandy' with 'Panzers In Normandy Then And Now'.The latter is the old book.

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admfisher
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Wittmans road

Post by admfisher » 16 Jun 2002 23:05

In this book Steel Inferno : 1st Ss Panzer Corps in Normandy, there are two pictures of the famous road.
It shows a very compacted fighting area. With total destruction. Very good photos.

It looks as if some of the armed infantry vehicles were run over.


Here is amazon's link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... 21-6269556

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