The battle of Raseiniai: how one HF fought with a Panzer division of Hitler

Weapons 01/02/20 the Battle of Raseiniai: how one HF fought with Panzer division Hitler

Under the “unique tank battles” usually refers to cases where one tank crew fought against large numbers of enemy tanks and won. However, most of the stories written during wartime for propaganda purposes and does not withstand objective examination. Stories about the tank that was hit in one battle fifteen to twenty enemy vehicles and is easy to find. But when checking data, it appears that the enemy tanks is less than our tank was not alone, and attended the infantry and artillery. And this is only the case if such a battle really took place.

It’s not just about the red Army. The Germans have a message about how one “Tiger” was destroyed in an hour and a half fifteen-twenty Soviet tanks, too. Just Soviet history after the war, actively replicated and is still published, and with new details. And German stories, for obvious reasons, no one after the war was published. If you collect all the known instances which really can be considered unique, they will be quite a bit.

the First case occurred in 1939 in Poland. 1st light division of the Wehrmacht was faced with the 71st tank battalion of the Polish army, which was only wedgies. One of the Polish machines, armed with a machine gun instead of a 20 millimeter cannon in the first battle knocked out 7 German tanks. It was about the Czech tanks taken into service of the Wehrmacht as the PzKpfw.35(t). In three days of fighting, the crew of Sergeant Edmund Roman Orlik knocked out 13 German tanks. The poles reported a greater number of tanks destroyed, but the Germans only 13 confirm that for many.

During the fighting in France, 15 may 1940 a single French tank crew V. 1 in combat, shot down 4 German PzKpfw.I and 3 PzKpfw.II. German vehicles were armed only with machine guns and 20-mmsat guns, which pierced the French armor. These data confirm the Germans themselves.

During the first major tank battles of the great Patriotic war near the Lithuanian city of Alytus was the first clash with the Germans the Soviet KV tanks. A little later occurred the battle of Raseiniai.

In the Soviet sources, much has been written about the unique battle of Raseiniai, which was led by a single KV-2. The real details are few, even the names of crew members are not all known. As witnesses of the battle from our side, you can focus only on the data from the war diary of the 6th Panzer division of the Wehrmacht.

on June 24th and 25th Soviet tank KV-2 blocked the supply lines of division. In trying to destroy it involved two companies of PzKpfw machines.35(t) and PzKpfw.II. Czech tanks in their characteristics can be compared to the Soviet T-26, but the gun they were weaker. German “two” had a 20-millimeter gun. To penetrate the armor of the KV of the German cars didn’t stand a chance even at close range and the Soviet tanks could not come due to successfully obtaining a position among the marshes. KV was destroyed by a 88-mm anti-aircraft gun.

Another case is unique battle with the Soviet KV happened to those Czech tanks of the same 6th Panzer division near Leningrad. During the fighting in the district of Gatchina, the Germans faced a company of tanks KV under the command of Lieutenant Kolobanova. According to Soviet sources, the five KV knocked out 43 German PzKpfw.35(t) and PzKpfw.II, with 22 cars on account of the crew Kolobanova. Two cars in the battle was destroyed by the battering RAM. Soviet tanks had no losses and out of the fight when he ran out of ammunition. German data do not contradict this: in the day in the division is out of order for various reasons, not less than 45 armored vehicles, including broken and stuck in a swamp. Almost all the tanks were later recovered, irrecoverable losses amounted to 5 cars, one of them drowned in the swamp.

Severalsuch cases took place during the battle of Moscow, when in the battle of the Kholm-Zhirkovskiy Czech tanks the German 6th division was faced with the KV group, Lieutenant General Boldin. Accurate data is not preserved, but the situation was similar — a weak gun and thin armor of light Czech tanks did not give them a chance when confronted with HF.

Quite a lot of credible reports that the crews of the German “Tigers” destroyed in one battle more than ten Soviet tanks. Especially when we are talking about a clash of “Tigers” with the Soviet T-70. It’s the same thing that fight against the PzKpfw KV.35(t). Similar cases are described in the book of Otto Carius Tigers in the mud. Memories of a German tanker 1941-1944″, which itself was among the most successful tank aces. But the most unique and admits the fight that happened not on the Eastern front.

13 Jun 1944, Tiger tank commanded by Michael Wittmann in the battle near the French village of Villers-Bocage destroyed (German sources) 11 British tanks and 13 armored personnel carriers. And one tank “Cromwell” destroyed by ramming. Modern historians Musalimov E. and E. Chitrak dismantled that fight minute by minute and came to the conclusion that lost in combat, 13 tanks and 20 armored personnel carriers and armored vehicles, more than half accounted for by other crews. And in this fight personal account of one of the most famous tank aces (Wittmann officially have 138 wins) is overestimated almost twice.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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