In yesterdays post I showed the crew of the Tiger I have just completed.
Well today's post is about puting a name to a face. OK so they are not actually the real people but this is a model representation as is everything in miniature so use a bit of imagination!
Starting with the aimer/gunner, this is SS-Unterscharführer Karl Wagner, SS-Sturmmann Günther Weber as loader, SS-Unterscharführer Heinrich Reimers is the driver and SS-Sturmmann Rudolf 'Rudi' Hirschel is the missing crewman, obviously either inside listening to the radio or gone for a wee! I will be adding 'Rudi' soon to complete the crew.
These men were all part of a crew which had an amazing record which was brought to an abrupt end through a shell of a Canadian Sherman. This knocked out the tank but it is not certain if this killed the men inside or just stunned them. Either way, a few seconds later, the main fuel tank, which was probably ruptured by the first hit, exploded and set off most of the stored ammunition in the tank. This blew off the turret and it landed not so far from the tank but left all of the crew dead inside.
This was in tank 007 which was one of Wittmann's main command tanks but he did swap to others (like 222 in my model) when his were unservicable.
Around 1300 on 8th August 1944 5 men of outstanding skill and bravery perished inside one of the most efective machines of the war but the legend of one of the greatest Panzer Aces of WWII was born.