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Wittmann, Michael

Date of birth:
April 22nd, 1914 (Vogelthal-Upper Palatinate/Bavaria, Germany)
Date of death:
August 8th, 1944 (Gaumesnil/near Cintheaux/Normandy, France)
Buried on:
German War Cemetery La Cambe
Plot: 47. Row: 3. Grave: 120.
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, Third Reich)

Biography

Credited with a final total of 138 tanks and 132 AT guns destroyed.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmmann (Lance Corporal)
Unit:
17. / Leibstandarte-SS "Adolf Hitler"
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 13. März 1938
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Sturmmann (Lance Corporal)
Unit:
17. / Leibstandarte-SS "Adolf Hitler"
Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Unterscharführer (Junior Sergeant)
Unit:
Sturmgeschützabteilung / SS-Division "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
July 12th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Unterscharführer (Junior Sergeant)
Unit:
Sturmgeschützabteilung / SS-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
August 20th, 1941
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Schwarz
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Unterscharführer (Junior Sergeant)
Unit:
Sturmgeschützabteilung / SS-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
September 8th, 1941
Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant)
Unit:
Sturmgeschützabteilung / SS-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
November 21st, 1941
After 25 "victims"
Silver version.
Panzerkampfabzeichen (ohne Zahl)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant)
Unit:
Sturmgeschützabteilung / SS-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
August 1942
Medaille
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant)
Unit:
Sturmgeschützabteilung / SS-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
August 1942
Cross to the Order for Bravery 2nd Class
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 13th, 1944
SS-Untersturmführer Wittmann in a SS-Panzerdivision on January 9 destroyed his 66th enemy tank with his "Tiger"-tank on the eastern front.
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer 13.(schwere) / SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
January 14th, 1944
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Wittmann's Knight's Cross recommendation reads as follows...
"SS-Hstuf. Pfeiffer, Führer headquarters, with request for delivery to SS-Obergruppenführer Dietrich, subject:
Awarding of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross to SS-Untersturmführer Wittmann, Michael, Zugführer in 13.(s)/SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 LSSAH on 8 and 9/1/1944 for outstanding bravery during penetration by Russian Tank Brigade near Sherepki (see daily report). 56 tanks destroyed himself as platoon commander from July 1943 to 7/1/1944, several KV-1, KV-2, Shermans, the rest T-34s.
On 8/1/1944, following penetration by Russian Tank Brigade, stopped attack with his platoon and himself destroyed 3 T-34s and 1 assault gun. Another 6 T-34s during another armoured were also destroyed; thus 10 by him alone. Now 66 tanks destroyed. Personal info SS Untersturmführer Wittmann, Michael, position: SS Officer, unmarried. Born 22/4/14 in Vogelthal, Upper Pfalz. Father: Johann Wittmann, Ingolstadt, Danube, Baselstr. 34 Decorations: EK I, EK II, Wound Badge Black, Tank Battle Badge Silver.
Signed Wisch, SS Oberführer and Division Commander of the 1st SS-Panzer-Division LSSAH."
2571st Award.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lieutenant)
Unit:
Zugführer 13.(schwere) / SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
January 30th, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Awarded the Oakleaves after raising his total of destroyed tanks to 114. He was particularly successful on two days in early 1944...
13.01.1944, where he destroyed 19 T-34s and 3 heavy assault guns and thus raised his total to 88 tanks destroyed.
06.02.1944, where as part of the relief efforts towards Cherkassy he destroyed 9 tanks.
380st Award.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
SS-Obersturmführer (Lieutenant)
Unit:
Chef 2. / schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501 / SS-Panzer-Regiment 1 "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler"
Awarded on:
June 22nd, 1944
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
Awarded after his famous rampage in Villers-Bocage, where he destroyed 13-14 tanks, 2 AT guns and 13-15 other vehicles. By his actions this day he played a decisive role in halting the advance of the 7. Armoured Division.
71st Award.

Sources

  • Photo 2: Jeroen Koppes
  • Photo: Wilco Vermeer (portrait)
    - Tessa de Jong (grave)
  • - MOONEY, PETER, Waffen-SS Knights and their Battles, Schiffer Military History, 2016.
    - THOMAS, FRANZ & WEGMANN, GÜNTER, Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945, Biblio-Verlag, 1998.
    - Kwasny A., Kwasny G., Die Eichenlaubträger 1940-1945 (CD), Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage-Waddenhausen, 2001
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - Federl, C., Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Panzerdivisionen 1939-1945, VDM Heinz Nickel, Zweibrücken, Germany, 2000
    - Agte, P., Michael Wittmann and the Tiger Commanders of the Leibstandarte, J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing Inc., Winnipeg, Canada, 2005
    - Levèvre, E., Panzers in Normandy - Then and Now, After the Battle 1983, Battle of Britain International Limited, London, England, 2002
    - Butler, R., SS-Leibstandarte – The History of the First SS Division 1933-45, MBI Publishing Company, St. Paul, U.S.A., 2001
    - Helden der Wehrmacht, Sammelband (Miscellany), FZ-Verlag GmbH, München, Deutschland, 2000
    - Berger, F., Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern – Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges, Selbstverlag Florian Berger, Wien, Österreich, 2002/03
    - Axis Biographical Research
    - Lexikon-der-Wehrmacht.de
    - Wikipedia.org
    - Panzerace.net
    - Achtungpanzer.com
    - Waffenhq.de