The Last Panther - Slaughter of the Reich - The Halbe Kessel 1945 by Wolfgang FaustWhile the Battle of Berlin in 1945 is widely known, the horrific story of the Halbe Kessel remains largely untold.
In April 1945, victorious Soviet forces encircled 80,000 men of the German 9th Army in the Halbe area, South of Berlin, together with many thousands of German women and children. The German troops, desperate to avoid Soviet capture, battled furiously to break out towards the West, where they could surrender to the comparative safety of the Americans. For the German civilians trapped in the Kessel, the quest to escape took on frantic dimensions, as the terror of Red Army brutality spread.
The small town of Halbe became the eye of the hurricane for the breakout, as King Tigers of the SS Panzer Corps led the spearhead to the West, supported by Panthers of the battle-hardened 21st Panzer Division.
Panzer by panzer, unit by unit, the breakout forces were cut down – until only a handful of Panthers, other armour, battered infantry units and columns of shattered refugees made a final escape through the rings of fire to the American lines.
This first-hand account by the commander of one of those Panther tanks relates with devastating clarity the conditions inside the Kessel, the ferocity of the breakout attempt through Halbe, and the subsequent running battles between overwhelming Soviet forces and the exhausted Reich troops, who were using their last reserves of fuel, ammunition, strength and hope.
Eloquent German-perspective accounts of World War 2 are surprisingly rare, and the recent reissue of Wolfgang Faust’s 1948 memoir ‘Tiger Tracks’ has fascinated readers around the world with its insight into the Eastern Front. In ‘The Last Panther,’ Faust used his unique knowledge of tank warfare to describe the final collapse of the Third Reich and the murderous combat between the German and Russian armies. He gives us a shocking testament to the cataclysmic final hours of the Reich, and the horrors of this last eruption of violence among the idyllic forests and meadows of Germany.
King Tiger during the Battle of Berlin
Reichstag King Tiger I found out about this tank by reading the caption of a painting. It was ordred to take up a position and defend the Reichstag buildings and destroyed 30 Ts in the process. The commander of the tank was Untersharfuhrer Georg Diers. Does anyone have any more information on this tank or inncident? Any information about King Tigers making a last stand in Berlin?
Any information about King Tigers making a last stand in Berlin? and I'm totally enthralled with the battle of Berlin and this story really intrests.
can do all things kjv
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Your current wishlist is not saved. Please Log in to save it. Two turret designs were produced with Porsche and Henschel competing for the contract. As the first Henschel chassis rolled off the production line, only the turret originally destined for the rejected Porsche project were available. On the Eastern front, its combat debut came on the 12th August by the st Heavy Panzer Battalion s. Courier Service also available - view details.
Jump to content. Let's not forget that the Germans were capable of lowering the mm Flak guns atop the Flak Towers to engage the Soviet armor below, albeit they had to be a ways away. Most of the vehicular casualties suffered by the Soviets were caused by Panzerfaust-armed Volkssturm and Hitlerjugend. DBL, on Dec 07 - , said:. Apparently also Mark V tanks. DBL, on Dec 08 - , said:.
Tank photos from Dan Fong, 3AD. Joseph Maduri of Massachusetts, commander of the Super Pershing, is shown in portrait at right and in middle of group photo. Corporal John P. Irwin of Pennsylvania, the tank's gunner, is at right in the group. Crewman at far left is believed to be "Pete" last name not yet known.