History 12/03/20 Kurt Knispel: as Russian self-propelled guns destroyed the best tanker Hitler
For the conduct of night attacks, it was called “hunter tanks”. As panzerwaffe, Kurt Knispel is considered one of the best tank of the Second world war. During the fighting he destroyed 168 tanks.
Career tank sniper
Kurt Knispel was born in Czechoslovakia in 1921. In 1938, under the Munich agreement, the Sudeten territory was annexed to Germany. Knispel received the status of a “Sudeten German”, was obliged to join the German army. In 1940 he was enlisted in the tank corps and sent to the training gunner. By the autumn of 1940, Knispel already serving in the regular army. Fighting the way the German tankers began participation in operation Barbarossa, in the area of Leningrad, he was inciting his first tank T34. By the beginning of 1942, Knispel is one of the best tank crews of the regiment, for the difference was sent to the retraining of heavy “Tiger” tanks, that is tanks of this type, he will win most of their victories. In 1943, German ACE is involved in the fighting on the territory of Ukraine, which often uses the tactics of night fighting. This technique of warfare was used by many crews of “Tigers”- leaving in position the gunners took the guns on the sound of the engines of the enemy, a moment later, the commanders of the tanks were launched illumination flares that illuminated the enemy, and allows you to make an accurate shot. For Knispel such attacks was hunting – he was a good marksman and could hit targets at relatively long distances, and serious armor of the “Tiger” allows the crew to feel in relative safety. By 1944, Knispel received the title of Sergeant major and became the commander of the tank “king Tiger”, having to account to 101 victory.
an Awkward character
it would Seem that such a performance should be marked with the command however , in the Chronicles more often flashed the names Otto Carius or Michael Wittmann – jousting knights , officers of tank units of the SS. Such silence about Knispel associated with his character. As a soldier, he did not recognize the policies of the regime, which often caused clashes with other soldiers and officers. The case when Knispel stood up for prisoner of war and fought with the warden of the camp. Another time he robbed the food composition of the SS and hid the stolen food and alcohol in the bowels of his tank, and in the morning, on it, went to perform fighting tasks. Such antics were absolutely unacceptable, from the Tribunal, he was saved only by the commanders of family units, who appreciated his professionalism. Career growth and good premium list in such situations was simply not available. Suffice it to recall that Knispel four times represented to the knight’s cross, but the award thwarted by ordinary violations of military discipline.
From the Russian self-propelled guns will not go away
By the spring of 1945, on account of the German ACE, there were 164 destroyed tank. On 29 April, during the retreat, Knispel clashed with Soviet connections at the village Vlasotice. During the battle the “king tiger” German ACE came under fire from a Soviet self-propelled guns. No good armor, no missile skills did not save Knispel from defeat, climbed out of the wrecked machine, he along with other soldiers began to retreat to new defense lines. A group of tankers came under mortar fire, which put an end to the career and life of German ACE.
© Russian Seven
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