“Ivan’s artillery had gotten the range on our Tiger and his shells were falling all around us. I heard the expected order on my earphones and I started to reverse our tank. The Tiger bobbed slightly and then burrowed back into the snow.
I saw before us our tracks in the snow, and then a pair of boots. ‘Driver halt!’ I heard the order ring in my ears, and then there was a deathly silence. ‘Franz?’ I asked the radio operator. ‘What are those boots ahead?’
Now I heard in the earphones. ‘Those poor boys. We’ve run over two of them.’
I couldn’t fully grasp what had happened. The horror of it chilled and choked me. The attack continued. Later we established the tragic details.
The infantry with us had taken cover from the artillery fire behind the Tiger and had failed to react quickly enough when our tank reversed. One of them was only 18.”
– Hubert Gargenberger. 507th Tiger Battalion. Eastern Front. 1944.
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.