Search

88 Kill Rings on the Barrel of an Elite Tiger

War Park 2022-08-16 12:37 Beijing


This tanker is painting his 22nd kill ring on the tank barrel.


Tanks were then said to be the king of land based warfare. As a traditional land power, Germany maximised the effectiveness of tank warfare in World War II, and a number of famous tank aces emerged from within. Each of them displayed their proud achievements and legendary experiences. In order to demonstrate these achievements and convey deterrence, many teams painted their own vehicle kill signs, which is widely used in aircraft, artillery and even warships.


Dragon 1:35 scale Tiger tank model with Wittmann crew, S04 command tank with 88 kill rings


The biggest reason why the S04 Tiger tank is so well-known is due to the availability of a set of promotional propaganda photos of Wittmann and his crew. On January 10th, 1944, Wittmann was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross having destroyed 66 enemy tanks, and on the same day, he was recommended for Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves for destroying 88 enemy tanks. On January 14th, Theodor Wisch, the commander of the SS Division Leibstandarte (LSSAH), personally awarded the Knight's Cross to Wittmann. However, the Oak Leaves decorations was personally awarded in Berlin at the end of the month by Hitler himself. On January 16th, Wittmann’s gunner, Balthasar Woll, was also awarded the Knight's Cross. On the 18th, the SS Division Leibstandarte held a special award ceremony for the Wittmann team, most of what we are seeing here are the photos taken of Wittman’s crew and the S04 Tiger tank at the award ceremony.


On January 18th, 1944, the Wittmann crew drove the Tiger command tank S04 belonging to the company and came to the award site. Wittmann and gunner Woll's Knight's Cross were issued on January 14th and 16th, 1944 respectively. Wittmann’s record at that time (January 13th) had reached 88, so 88 kill ring markers were placed on the barrel. In the pictures, Wittmann’s crew can be seen dismounting from the tank before the award ceremony officially began.


The picture above shows that at the beginning of the award ceremony, Wittmann's unit reported to Lieutenant Colonel Joachim Peiper (back facing), Commander of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte, and that Wittmann saluted Piper on behalf of the crew. From left to right are Lieutenant Colonel Peiper, Second Lieutenant Wittmann, gunner Balthasar Woll, radioman Werner Irrgang, loader Sepp Robner and driver Eugen Schmidt respectively. Lieutenant Colonel Piper congratulated the members of the crew.


In the picture, Pieper was shaking hands with Woll, the gunner who won the Knight's Cross.


Pieper shook hands with other crew members. From this angle, we can see a tank destruction armband badge (Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelkämpfer) on Pieper. At the same time, we can clearly observe that the kill signs on the barrel consists of eight thick white circles (each lap representing 10 kills) and eight thin white circles (each lap represents 1 kill). There is a white abstract tank pattern in front of the thin circle, indicating that the result of the destruction rim is an enemy tank.


During the award ceremony, Wittmann's crew took many commemorative photos in front of the tank. In this picture, Weitman stood with his comrades-in-arms under the barrel marked with 88 kill. This pose is very consistent with the hobby model kit as presented in Dragon 6730.


Wittmann's crew gathered closely together and took a group photo under the barrel of the Tiger tank marking their great achievements. Wittmann looked up at the barrel, symbolizing great honour.



The whole crew stood side by side, symbolising unity, friendship and the life and death shared between his comrades-in-arms. Wittmann was placed in the center to highlight his leadership position.



The above two pictures depict the crew members proudly displaying the barrel of the S04 Tiger. Wittmann stood in front of the tank, while the rest perched up on the tank, highlighting Wittmann's respected position. Note that Wittmann has changed to wearing a cap at this time. Previously, he was wearing a small brim hat.


Major General Theodor Wisch, the commander of the SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte, also came to congratulate Wittmann and Woll on winning the Knight's Cross. Major General Wisch is seen speaking to Lieutenant Colonel Pieper (right), the commander of the Armoured Regiment, because the weather is cold. Pieper had put on a coat. The Wittmann crew still stood in front of the tank, as if waiting for the leader to speak.


Major General Theodor Wisch (in the middle with coat), the commander of the SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte, shook hands with Wittmann's crew one by one and congratulated them. Lieutenant Colonel Pieper (right), the commander of the armoured regiment, has put on an overcoat. Wearing a white cotton-padded jacket and holding a radio on the left should be a military reporter.


Major General Wisch talked to the Wittmann crew in front of the camera.


After the award ceremony, an officer (seen here in the middle wearing a motorcyclist's protective coat) who had accompanied the division commander Wisch and regiment commander Peiper, is seen talking to the two protagonists of the day, Wittmann on the left and Woll on the right.



In fact, not all the 88 tanks destroyed by Wittmann at that time are registered on this Tiger S04. He had about 10 kills as the commander of Panzer III. And with his 1331 Tiger in July 1943 during the German offensive at the Battle of Kursk, he achieved 30 kills. With the transfer of all the tanks to friendly forces of the 13th Company, it was transferred to Italy in late July, so Tiger 1331 also left Wittmann. In August, his tank was replaced with a brand-new Tiger S21, and his record reached 60 on December 6 after returning to the Eastern Front in October. Wittman began to be the commander of the 13th Company on December 30, 1943, and his tank was replaced by the company Tiger tank S04. According to the official history of the company, Wittmann was awarded the Knight's Cross after obtaining the 66th result on January 10, 1944, so the 66th to 88th results can be determined to have been obtained on S04, but the 61st to 65th results may have belonged to S21. To sum up, Weitman achieved at least 23 enemy tanks on the S04 Tiger tank, but no more than 28 at most.


This month sees the launch of War Park's Pieper review of Wittmann's six-man team and the S04 Tiger tank.


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-ax018-s04-wittmann-s-command-tiger-tank


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-ax018a-peiper-review-wittmann-s-tank-crew


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-ax018-ax018a-s04-wittmann-s-command-tiger-tank-and-crew




Original Chinese text on War Park weibo follows:


虎式精英炮管上的88个死亡圆圈

战争公园 2022-08-16 12:37 Posted on 北京

Editor's Note

授勋仪式照片最全!

The following article is from 装甲铲史官 Author 富台山赵子龙

装甲铲史官

.

不随波逐流,讲述特色战争历史。

●一名坦克兵正在他的座车炮管上画上第22个战绩环

坦克是陆战的王者,作为传统陆军强国的德国,在二战中将坦克作战的效用发挥到了极致,涌现出一大批著名的装甲王牌,他们每个人都拥有傲人的战果和传奇的经历。为了展示所取得的成绩和传达威慑力,很多坦克车组会在自身座驾上画以击毁标志,这种做法在飞机、火炮、甚至是军舰上都广泛使用。


●威龙35比例虎式坦克模型带魏特曼车组,有88个击毁标志环的S04指挥型。 

S04虎式坦克的知名度如此之高,最大的原因是魏特曼和车组成员的一组宣传照片。1944年1月10日,魏特曼因为击毁66辆敌军坦克的战果获得骑士十字勋章,同月13日因为取得击毁88辆敌军坦克的战果被推荐获得橡叶饰。14日,SS“警卫旗队”师师长提奥多尔·威施亲自为魏特曼戴上了骑士十字勋章,橡叶饰则需要等到月底前往柏林由希特勒亲自颁发。1月16日,魏特曼的炮手沃尔也获得了骑士十字勋章,因此在18日那天,SS“警卫旗队”师专门为魏特曼车组举行了一场授勋仪式,我们现在看到的关于魏特曼车组的合影以及“S04”号虎式坦克的照片大部分都是那次授勋仪式上所拍摄的。


●1944年1月18日,魏特曼车组驾驶着属于连部的“S04”号虎式指挥坦克,来到授奖地点。魏特曼和炮手沃尔的骑士十字勋章的签发日期分别为1944年1月14日和16日,魏特曼当时(1月13日)的战绩已经累计达到88个,所以炮管上标记了88个战绩标志环。图中魏特曼车组正争先恐后地跳下坦克,然后授勋仪式正式开始。

●上图为授勋仪式开始后,魏特曼车组向SS“警卫旗队”师第1装甲团团长派普中校(背身者)报告,魏特曼代表车组向派普敬礼。从左向右分别为派普中校、魏特曼少尉、炮手巴尔塔扎·沃尔、无线电员维尔纳·伊尔冈、装填手泽普·吕斯纳和驾驶员欧根·施密特。

●派普中校向车组成员表示祝贺,图中派普正与获得骑士十字勋章的炮手沃尔握手。

●派普与其他车组成员握手,这个角度我们可以看见他右臂上的一枚独立击毁坦克臂章,同时也能清楚地观察到炮管上的击毁标志由8根粗的白圈(每圈代表10个战果)和8根细的白圈(每圈代表1个战果)所组成,细圈前方还有一个白色的抽象坦克图案,表示击毁圈所展示的战果为敌方坦克。

 

●授勋仪式当中,魏特曼车组在引以为傲的座车前拍摄了许多纪念照,此图中魏特曼与战友共同站在标记了88个战果的炮管之下,这个动作造型与威龙6730模型中的兵人造型非常一致。

 

●魏特曼车组紧密地聚拢在一起,在标记着他们伟大战果的虎式坦克炮管下合影,魏特曼抬头凝视着这根象征着巨大荣誉的炮管。

●整个车组肩并肩地站在一起,象征着团结、友谊和战友生死情,魏特曼被安排在中间以突出他的领导地位。

 

●上两图都是车组成员在展示“S04”号虎式炮管上的战绩,魏特曼站在坦克身前,其余人则都爬上了坦克,从而突出魏特曼在整个车组中的地位。注意魏特曼此时已换了一顶便帽,之前他戴的是一顶小檐帽。

 

●SS“阿道夫·希特勒警卫旗队”装甲师师长提奥多尔·威施少将(中穿大衣者)也前来祝贺魏特曼和沃尔获得骑士十字勋章。威施少将与装甲团团长派普中校(右)在交谈,因为天气寒冷派普已经加套上了一件大衣。魏特曼车组则依旧站在座车前,似乎在等待领导发表讲话。


●SS“阿道夫·希特勒警卫旗队”装甲师师长提奥多尔·威施少将(中穿大衣者)与魏特曼车组一一握手并表示祝贺。装甲团团长派普中校(右)已经加套上了一件大衣。左侧身穿白色棉袄手持收音器的应该为随军记者。

 

●威施少将与魏特曼车组在镜头前谈话。

 

●授勋仪式结束之后,随同师长威施和团长派普同行的一名军官(中间身穿摩托车手防护大衣者)同当天的两位主角攀谈,魏特曼在左,沃尔在右。

 

其实魏特曼当时所击毁的88辆坦克并不是都在“S04”号虎式坦克上取得的,他在担任三号突击炮和三号坦克车长期间取得了大约10个战果,1943年7月在库尔斯克战役德军进攻阶段其座驾1331号虎式坦克取得了30个战果。随着7月下旬第13连被调往意大利之前将所有坦克转交友军,1331号老虎也离开了魏特曼,8月他的座车换成了崭新的“S21”号虎式坦克,自10月重返东线后截止12月6日他的战绩来到了60辆。魏特曼于1943年12月30日开始担任第13连连长,此时他的座车才换成了连部的“S04”号虎式坦克。该连的官方战史中记载魏特曼是在1944年1月10日取得第66个战果后获得骑士十字勋章的,因此第66到第88个战果可以确定是在“S04”上取得的,但第61到第65个战果则有可能属于“S21”。综上所述,魏特曼在“S04”号虎式坦克上所取得的战果至少有23辆敌军坦克,但最多不会超过28辆。


本月战争公园推出了派普检阅魏特曼车组六人+S04战绩虎式坦克。

76 views0 comments