Bravest Act on the Axis Side.

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by Gerard, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    We have an Allied Bravery Thread and so in the spirit of fairness we need an axis one.

    As an opener I'd like nominate SS-Haupsturmfuhrer Michael Wittmann and his actions around Villers-Bocage as a fine example of Bravery. Here is an account of the action from Achtung Panzer! - Michael Wittmann!

    On 13th June 1944, a week after D-day, following a drive from Beauvais under repeated air attack, 2nd Kompanie of sSSPzAbt 101 led by Michael Wittmann had 6 Tigers located in the area of Hill (Point) 213 ahove Villers Bocage. His orders were to stop the advance of the 22nd Armored Brigade of the British 7th Armored Division (the famous 'Desert Rats') from advancing through the township, outflanking the German line and gaining the road to Caen. Wittmann's company hidden behind a hedgerow spotted the enemy column, which passed him at a distance of 200 meters. At about 8:00am, Wittmann attacked the British column on the main road, while the rest of his company (4 Tigers as one brokedown) attacked the British forces around Hill 213. Soon after, Wittmann destroyed Sherman Firefly and Cromwell IV and headed south to attack the rest of the enemy transport column. After knocking out 8 half-tracks, 4 Bren Carriers and 2 6 pdr anti-tank guns, Wittmann reached the crossroad with the road to Tilly-sur-Seulles. At the crossroad, he destroyed 3 Stuart tanks from recon unit and reached the outskirts of the town of Villers-Bocage. While in town, Wittmann destroyed 4 Cromwell IV tanks and single half-track and turns into Rue Pasteur. Following up the street, he knocked out Cromwell IV and Sherman OP tank, reaching the main street of Villers-Bocage. At the end of Rue Pasteur, Wittmann's Tiger was hit by Sherman Firefly from B Squadron and he decided to turn back as being too far forward without any infantry support and in a build-up area. He turned in the direction of Caen to join the rest of his company. On his way back, Wittmann's Tiger was attacked by another Cromwell IV, which he destroyed as well. Back at the Tilly crossroad, British soldiers from 1st Rifle Brigade opened fire at Wittmann with their 6 pdr anti-tank gun, immobilizing his Tiger. Wittmann and his crew managed to escape on foot towards the Panzer Lehr positions 7km away near Orbois. The rest of his company at the Hill 213, destroyed the rest of the A Squadron of 4th County of London Yeomanry Regiment ("Sharpshooters") including 5 Cromwell IV and Sherman Firefly, while capturing 30 men. During this short engagement, Wittmann's company destroyed 4 Sherman Firefly, 20 Cromwell, 3 Stuart, 3 M4 Sherman OP, 14 half-tracks, 16 Bren Carriers and 2 6 pdr anti-tank guns. Wittmann's attack was followed by another one by Tigers of Hauptsturmfuehrer Rolf Moebius' 1st Kompanie of sSSPzAbt 101 and Panzerkampfwagen IV tanks from Panzer Lehr but was repulsed by anti-tank guns from 22nd Armored Brigade. Following day, British withdrew from the town leaving it to the Germans, who occupied it for next two months. The British drive on Villers Bocage and Caen was stopped cold by Wittmann's attack and following actions.
    The organisation that Wittmann was a part of was a despicable one but the man's individual bravery is unquestionable.
  2. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    imo paulus was brave to surrender,if he shot himself even more jerries would have died in the snow.he did the christian thing,not the nazi thing,yours,lee.
  3. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    imo paulus was brave to surrender,if he shot himself even more jerries would have died in the snow.he did the christian thing,not the nazi thing,yours,lee.
    Thats one straight out of left field Lee and indeed you are right. He didnt care that Hitler promoted him to Field Marshal hoping that he would top himself. Good post!

    Anyone else got any examples of Axis Bravery? :D
  4. deadb_tch

    deadb_tch the deadliest b#tch ever

    U can criticize me but after reading about Kriegsmarine U-boat squads I would nominate every man served on U-boats.. :))

    PS: Wittmann was greatest.. :)
    James S likes this.
  5. jacobtowne

    jacobtowne Senior Member

    The Ordeal of Fighter Ace Saburo Sakai

    During one of his air group's first missions in the Guadalcanal Campaign in August, 1942, Saburo Sakai, flying a long-range Zero fighter from Rabaul, was seriously wounded in combat with Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers from USS Enterprise's Bombing Squadron Six (VB-6). Mistaking SBD Dauntless dive bombers, with their rear gunners, for American F4F fighters near Tulagi, Sakai attacked an SBD flown by Ensign Robert C. Shaw. Sakai fired 232 rounds at the SBD but with its armor, self-sealing fuel tanks and twin machine guns in the rear cockpit, the dive bomber proved a tough adversary. A blast from the SBD rear gunner, Harold L. Jones, shattered and blew away the canopy of Sakai's Zero.

    Sakai sustained grievous injuries from the return fire. He was struck in the head by a .30 caliber bullet, blinding him in one eye. The Zero rolled over and headed upside down toward the sea. Unable to see out of his remaining good eye due to blood flowing from the head wound, Sakai's vision started to clear somewhat as tears cleared the blood from his eyes and he was able to pull his plane out of the steep seaward dive. He considered crashing into one of the American warships: "If I must die, at least I could go out as a Samurai. My death would take several of the enemy with me. A ship. I needed a ship." Finally the cold air blasting into the cockpit revived him enough to check his instruments, and he decided that by using a lean fuel mixture he might be able to make it back to the airfield at Rabaul.

    Although in agony from his injuries, including the head wound from a bullet that had passed through his skull and the left side of his brain, leaving the entire left side of his body paralyzed and one eye sightless, Sakai managed to fly his damaged Zero in a four-hour, 47-minute flight over 560 nautical miles back to his base on Rabaul, using familiar volcanic peaks as guides.

    When he attempted to land at the airfield he nearly crashed into a line of parked Zeros but, after circling four times, and with the fuel gauge reading empty, he put his Zero down on the runway on his second attempt. After landing, he insisted on making his mission report to his superior officer before collapsing. A squadron mate drove him, as quickly but as gently as possible, to the surgeon. Sakai was evacuated to Japan on August 12, where he endured a long surgery without anathesia. The surgery repaired some of the damage to his head, but was unable to restore full vision to his eye.

  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Good one JT.

    I don't hold with the Wittmann mythology as I find it's been too distorted in the first place by Goebbels's propaganda machine.
    I'd definitely go along with the U-Boat men who fought a relatively clean war sometimes in the most isolated circumstances imaginable, the very thought of Submarines, axis or allied, chills me.

    The force that landed on Eben Emael and those that took part in the Fiesler Storch based attacks (Operations Niwi & Hedderich) in 1940 have a fair few members that stuck in my mind, there's perhaps an extra layer of bravery involved when the technique being tried is so very new.

    Individuals are quite tricky... How about von Stauffenberg?, whatever the motivation that took balls.
  7. deadb_tch

    deadb_tch the deadliest b#tch ever

  8. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Yep agreed about Stauffenberg and the others too. The Kriegsmarine in general and especially at the end evacuating nearly 1 million from the Eastern Provinces. Another was General Walther Nehring who managed to get the majority of his 3 Divisions, originally encircled in the russian attacks through Poland to safety near Breslau. He didnt buckle under pressure.
  9. deadb_tch

    deadb_tch the deadliest b#tch ever

  10. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    What about the Kamikaze? That was bravery beyond the limit between life and death
  11. Christos

    Christos Discharged

    I have a genuine Axis candidate for the bravest act by an individual in the pursuit of the Axis cause in WWII.....

    "At 0245, February 23rd, the Roer River line, thirty five kilometers long, burst into a ball of fire. It was one of the heaviest barragea of the war.

    Big guns, ranging from 75mm to 240mm; heavy and light mortars; rockets; direct fire from tanks; .50 caliber machine guns and 40mm anti-aircraft guns- EVERY weapon the Americans had hurled against the enemy in a 45 minute deluge of bullet and high explosive designed to stun, kill, or drive him from his positions. Men who were there who had been through many barrages; their testimony is that this was the biggest one they EVER saw. Ninth Army alone had more than 2,000 artillery pieces firing 46,000 tons of ammunition.............

    "In the middle of it all", a lieutenent in the 84th wrote,

    ".......a lone German machine gunner decided he'd had enough.....he fired a long burst of tracers at his tormentors....."

    ".....waves of flat trajectory rounds, tracers, every tank, every machine gunner that was possibly within range....waves of tracer and rounds SWEPT towards his hole, engulfing it in a single continuous explosion.......Captain George Gieszl commented, "Now thats an awfully dead German..."

    WHOEVER this man this late stage of the war.....considering the strength of the forces opposing him.....It is my submission to you all that there was no braver act by ANY individual, but this one just happens to be on the Axis side! Source from Steven Ambrose "Citizen Soldiers", Page 408...

    Thankyou all!!
  12. Christos

    Christos Discharged

    so...any more?....we may have a winner ALREADY....yes?
  13. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    of course,ambrose was wonderful.brilliant historian too.yours,lee.
  14. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    of course,ambrose was wonderful.brilliant historian too.yours,lee.
    Ambrose met with some controversy before his death due to embellishment of historical facts but Citizen Soldiers is a good book to read.
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    so...any more?....we may have a winner ALREADY....yes?
    I'm not sure that we are looking for an actual winner, we are looking for what people think was the bravest act and by doing so build up a collection for people to read about. :) Good post Christos
  16. Christos

    Christos Discharged

    to 'win' was not the thing i had in mind....only to encourage more posts....nothing wrong with throwing out the line for a bite now and again is there?....Ha Haaaa!!!!
  17. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    of course,ambrose was wonderful.brilliant historian too.yours,lee.
    Yes indeed Lee so tell me, what books do you like by him?:)
  18. Christos

    Christos Discharged

    I do think Lee's comment may have been with his tongue in his cheek!
  19. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Oi!! This is the AXIS thread!! Unless Britain joined the Axis we dont want no silleee EEEEEnngleesh Keniggits here! Now go away or I will Taunt you a second time!! :)
    A-58 likes this.
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I've moved allied references to the right thread.


    I'll rename the threads slightly as they show roughly the same cut off title on the portal.

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