The tank-battle of 6. March 1945 in the destroyed city center of Cologne is one of the great battles of the Second world war, it is also not a tactical feat. It is a normal murderous battle – the special feature here is that the struggle of a German tank against the invading Americans, has been filmed up close and live. The event was at the Cologne Cathedral, the most famous tank duel of the war.

Rare pictures

even Though both sides of the camera teams used in the front line, such shots are very rare. Often, individual close-UPS were taken shortly after a fight, and later sent with the Live-recordings from a greater distance cut together.

Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I – why the most powerful tank of the war was a bad design By Gernot Kramper

for nearly 75 years after the events, it was an ancient injustice of betting. Clarence Smoyer, the last known Survivors of the battle, was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery. The 96-Year-old should receive this award, actually in 1945, but his good heart, cost him the medal. A few days after the battle, the son of a Rabbi shared his candy with Cologne’s children. However, he was caught by the military police. You reported him, and because of the Frater-nization with the enemy it came to the awarding of the Bronze Star.

In the Second world war there was heavy fighting around Cologne, on 6. March was to decide the battle already. The order of the day for Smoyer and his comrades was: “Gentlemen, i give you cologne. Let’s knock the hell out of it.” The German resistance was not able to turn the tide, he could only delay the advance of U.S. troops. The remaining defenders had no Chance. However, this General assessment of the individual GI bit. “We knew that they would defend the city,” said Smoyer to the “Army Times”. He remembers the Molotov cocktails that were hurled from the roofs, and to the threat posed by the German Panzerfaust rockets. The invasion of Cologne was thanking of several war reporting and reporters accompanied, so the battle is documented in the Dom so well.


The rights of a Sherman is hit. The crew of the second tank wants to help the Wounded.

©US Army Commons

The soldiers of F company of the 32. Tank regiment were extremely cautious as they spread out in the direction of the Duomo and the Central station. The houses were in ruins and the streets were covered by a mountain of Debris. Everywhere in the houses, the German sniper could be hiding protect. Two Sherman tanks accompanied the group. Suddenly, two grenades fell in the Sherman on the right side – smooth shots. The tanks burned, the crew members tried to save themselves. Three out of five died. Hardly more than 300 metres further on, a single German tank had opened from the Panther type for the fire. The Sherman is the standard tank of the Americans. He was fast and agile, but its armament and armor could not compete with the larger German tanks. It was hopeless to try with the Sherman, the front armor of the Panther could not. The second Sherman withdrew.

the first heavy US tank

However, on the road parallel to the E-company of the 32 went. Tank regiment before. They were accompanied by a Pershing tank, in the Smoyer was shot. The Pershing was the first heavy US tank, took the models of the Cold war in advance. Its 90 mm cannon and armour, put him on a level with the armoured giants such as the German Tiger II, or the Soviet Stalin II tank.

the Second world war, The tin openers – the Hs 129 should be the strongest tank Buster of the war, to be worked By Gernot Kramper

After the disastrous experiences in Normandy and the Ardennes, the US army feverishly on the Pershing. The tank in Cologne was one of the first 20, the reached the field of battle.

The German crew of the tank was in a hopeless situation, the bridges over the Rhine were blown up, they couldn’t pull back. Nevertheless, they did not have. The Americans assumed that the Germans would fight to the end.

Deadly Surprise

But apparently, the tank men were alone, and without infantry. The commander of the Pershing, Robert Early, was able to get out and explore on foot off the road for a good attack position. Early was able to plan its use so quiet that he could even assign a camera team, a Position. When the Pershing came in for a shot, he looked carefully in the tube of the Panthers, said Smoyer. However, the German commander of the Panthers, Wilhelm Bartelborth, should have hesitated. The Pershing was the German unknown, and he didn’t look like the other US tanks. The daughter of the German commander, later reported in a documentary that her father had kept the Pershing first, for a German tank. This fatal error was the Chance for Clarence Smoyer. The gunner of the Pershing fired first, on a building, the debris disabled the opponent. The Germans then retreated in the direction of the Cathedral. This Smoyer hit the Panther several times, until he burst into flames. Two Germans died in the tank, three men managed to escape, badly injured from the burning wreckage, died shortly afterwards in hospital.

the Second world war, The Nazis killed her husband, as this angry woman bought a T-34 and drove to the Front

As Mariya Oktyabrskaya learned that her beloved husband had fallen, grabbed it an indescribable anger. She scraped together the money for a T-34, and asked Stalin personally to the German fight. The Woschd said: Sure!

Gernot Kramper

sources: “Spearhead” – Adam Makos, tank duel at the Rhine

see also:

The Nazis killed her husband, as this angry woman bought a tank and drove to the Front

Ardennes-Offensive – in a small village in Hitler’s last attack

failed So miserably in the last attempt failed, to rescue the soldiers in Stalingrad

Tiger I – why the most powerful tank of the war a failure, was

The can opener – the Hs 129 should be the strongest tank Buster of the war,

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