Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tank Duel in Cologne

I have encountered this 10-minute long rather remarkable short documentary titled "Battle for Cologne" before now. However, with my ongoing obsession with German tanks of World War Two thus far this year, I was roaming across Youtube this past weekend and encountered it once again. For reasons I cannot fathom, I have not previously shared this here. Tonight I am finally getting around to sharing it here. This is perhaps the most famous tank duel in history if for no other reason than it was filmed and photographed more than any other in history. It featured a German Panther tank versus two American M-4 Sherman tanks, of which it destroyed one of them in a single shot, killing three of five crew members and forcing the other tank to retreat. An American M-26 Pershing tank came to their aid and hit the German tank thrice, killing one of five crew members. The "Battle of Cologne" occurred on March 6, 1945, in a final stand for the Germans. The dead German gunner can be seen, legless, laying dead atop the turret of his tank as the second shot from the Pershing tank hit as he was exiting the turret a few seconds too late. Another, more detailed analysis using the same footage, but with the addition of some computer animations and more accurate analysis can be viewed below.
*NOTE: there is some graphic violence in this historic footage as the Sherman tank commander (who died a short time later) can be seen sans the lower part of one leg stumbling out of his tank and a dead German sans both his legs can be seen atop his tank as fire erupts out the hatch next to his remains.

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