“I saw muzzle flashes to the left through my tank optic. It could not be made out clearly except the Tigers of our neighboring company seemed intent on attacking. Our two Third Company Tigers moved up, and we soon spotted the enemy. Five tanks carefully camouflaged in gardens.
Because they were all concentrating on the Second Company Panzers, the Soviets offered us their side profiles as targets. The Second Company Tigers scored some hits in them, but several shells bounced off of the Russian Armor. So we knew these were heavy tanks we were facing.
Soon I could recognize them. Heavy self-propelled assault guns. If they maneuvered to turn those 12.2 centimeter guns to bare on us, we were in trouble. We fired round after round.
Every round hit. One blast of flame after another showed the effectiveness of our 88’s. When a couple of Russians attempted to abandon their tank, we fired between them with our machine gun.
It went off better than a training exercise with weeks of planning. Three assault guns were blown up, and our companion Tiger claimed three T-34’s destroyed. Then we came under anti-tank gunfire. Our turrets swiveled left. High explosive rounds. Sights, 2,200 meters. Fire. And an anti-tank gun was no more.
The same fate swiftly overwhelmed an anti-aircraft gun in the ground attack roll. When we took stock, our proud achievement was three heavy assault guns, four T-34’s, one anti-tank and one anti-aircraft gun.
That had been some six minutes.”
– Hubert Gargenberger, 507th Tiger Battalion. Eastern Front. May 1944.
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.