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Old 01-19-2006, 10:15 PM
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Sosososososo!!! Here it goes! :lol: This first is from Karl-Heinz Turk!


Karl-Heinz Turk, Unterscharführer in der sSS-Pz.Abt.503

I have luckily survived many different battles not only on the Oder front, but also in Berlin. My tank was 2 of 6, which were sent to Berlin. We took up positions in the Eastern area, around the Reichsbank, "Abschnitt 'Norge'". My Tiger, and that of Diers, was repeatedly put into service in the Spittelmarkt and Vollstrasse area. We were able to knock out a massive number of enemy tanks on the other side of the Spree. Diers was later on ordered to move back towards the Tiergarten later on in the evening. I stayed behind, with my practically unmanouverable tank here at the old Reichsbank. I then recieved new orders on this day to drive towards Potzdamer Platz by way of Anhalter bahnof in order to fight of repeated Soviet tank advances in that defence sector. This was a difficult area to manover through due to the amount of bombed-out buildings and massive rubble and damaged electricity and street tram lines.

We were not able to reach Anhalter Bahnhof, due to massive Tank and Anti-Tank gun fire. I ordered the gunner to open up and told the driver to make a hasty retreat under the fire of our own gunner, which he did. We then took up position in (around) the Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse. We did this in order to conserve ammo and create a position of blocking fire to tie up the enemy from a distance, and to preserve ammunition, as we did not know when we could reload. Due to this, we were able to knock out many enemy tanks and block the area off. Due to the regular infantry and artillery fire from the Soviets, we were forced to keep our machine guns in action in order to ward off infantry attacks. During this action, we began to have problems with both of the onboard mounted machine guns (MGs). The noises of tank motors alerted us to the possibility of a early morning attack from the Russians. This was no mistake as the Russians began their attack during the morning, their tank guns blazing and causing havoc everywhere. They were somehow able to tow off all of the knocked out tanks from the previous day and repair them enough to take advantage in this attack. We shot at everything that came towards us,but recieved a deadly cover fire which caused numerous hits on the right track aand and on the side armor. After around an hour of this firefight, we were able to convince the Russians to turn around and then go home. We were sadly not even able to move at the end of this action.

After a discussion with the crew, I was able to make my way towards the Tiergarten in order to contact the Instandwerkstatt company to get a Bergepanther. To my luck, the only Bergepanther is commanded by Unterscharführer Piller, my Ex-Gunner. We then drove to Potsdamer Platz, where Piller and I were able to fix the tracks, all the while under rediculous artillery fire, in order for him to tow my Tiger II B to the Reichskanzelei. We are, after 3 hours, finally repaired and told that we can again take up position(the tank still has manoverability problems) in direction of Saarlandstrasse(which does not exist anymore.. the one that does is in the wrong direction). We take up our old position on the right side of the street. A new tank comes out of nowhere with 2 Luftwaffe officers and they instruct me to come with them to the new battalion command post in the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (we havent had any form of radio contact for a while). We are able to reach our new destination after a risky time moving through rubble and half-destroyed houses, we spent more time hiding from the artillery fire, as we did moving towards the end positon. Sturmbannführer wants to know the situation with all of the tanks, especially why I disengaged myself from the fighting for 3 hours.

After informing him of the entire situation, I am able to return to my crew with the command to search out and take up a certain position in the Potsdamer Platz, where I would be able to defend the entire area and also be virtually unseen by the enemy. In order to do this, I move my Tiger II B in front of a Protection wall which stands in by a U-Bahn entry for the Potsdamer Bahnhof. We are able to command the area from this position. the on-board machine guns are able to take everything under fire, as we move the Turret around to take every suspicious movement underfire. The on-board MGs have to take sewer drains underfire as the Russians attempt to outflank us by using the sewers to get in and around our position.

May 1, 1945: we begin to run low on munitions, and we are not sure where to get any more ammunition. The artillery fire dies down during the afternoon, and due to the lack of any form of information, I am forced to go to the nearby U-Bahn station in order to see what I can find. The U-Bahn was, much to my suprise, full of civilians, who with totally depressed and hopeless faces asked whether the war was over and who had won. I came across a Wehrmacht Captain, who I implored to inform me of the entire situation inside of Berlin.

Sadly, this "Captain" was only a Courier, who had accidentally put on the coat of his Commander. He was able to give me very much wanted information, from which I learned of the death of Adolf Hiter. And through him, I was told that a Pionier platoon of the Waffen-SS unit was positioned in our area. This platoon was reinforced by Volksturm and Hitlerjugend "reinforcements". I instructed the courier to go to them and retrieve the commander of the platoon and bring him to my position, which he did. During this, I released the Volksturm and Hitlerjugend from their service and they all went home. The only people from the pionier platoon who stayed, ended up following their Oberscahrführer to my point, as the rest had run off.

We recieved several reports of break-out attempts The only one that sounds promising was that from the Weidendammer Brücke. The Oberscharführer informed me that there was still several manouverable SPWs at the Reichskanzlei. We repaired one enough so that it could drive, and then headed towards Friedrichstrasse. We drove quick through the hellish night, and through this we were not able to see a huge shell hole which lay ahead of us, into which ourour SPW drove into. After this point, we were not able to remove the SPW from the shell hole, so after the loss of our completely unmanouverable Tiger II B and now this SPW, we were not sure what to do. Thank god that we had a Berliner with us who was familiar with the entire area, as he was able to direct us through a portoin of the U-Bahn, which was set under a half meter of water, from which we we finally emereged at the Weidendammer Brücke

The breakout took place on May 2nd, 1945 at around 12:15 (00:15) or so, as far as my memory serves me. A "Kingtiger"(Tiger II B) took point and a massive wave of soldiers and civilians attempted to take cover behind him. As far as I remember, right after we overtook the tank obstructions, we began to recieve heavy, if not murderous fire, which shot down just about everything which was not packed off into an armored area. A Luftwaffe officer was able to make a jump over the bridge without being injured. After we made our way through the blockade, we were able to hide ourselves in a building of the BEWAG. We spent an entire day and the following night in this building. During which we were able to find the clothes of foreign workers and then were able to make our escape per foot in the direction of Frohnau. I was able to make it over the Elbe at Rösslau (Kornhaus) after being taken prisoner 2 times by the Russians. The first time in Berlin and the second in Steutz an der Elbe. After my swim over the Elbe, I was forced to then swim over the Mulde. I was finally caught in Leuna by a group of American MPs after four weeks of eluding the enemies. I was then placed in an US-prisoner of war camp and then later on sent over the Rhine to the French, from which I was then returned to the "internment camp -Darmstadt".
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:28 PM
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Here is the report from Georg Diers! :lol:

Das Ende in Berlin 1945

Bericht des Unterscharführer Diers, Panzerkommandant der sSS-PzAbt 503


April 19, 1945: Retreat from Seelow, new positions taken up in/around Buckow (a town near Strausberg/Müncheburg). Damage to the tracks, repeated hits on and around the turret from a JS - 122. Were forced to take emergency actions, during this were able to knock out 13 tanks in 19 minutes.

April 20, 1945: Sent to the repair company in Hönow due to the track damage. Fire breaks out in the turret due to the quick welding and repair of the above mentioned damage. The Tetra-fire extinguishers, which were used to put out the fire, have damaged the sights and weapons.

April 21, 1945: The Russians have broken through our lines and we are forced to abandon our current position towards Berlin, by way of Marzahn (originally spelled as "Marzan", should be as written, "Marzahn"), Lichtenberg to Biesdorf, to the repair station of Krupp & Druckemöller.

April 22, 1945: Position in Biesdorf was abandoned in the early morning. We then travelled towards the Berlin suburb of Neukölln by way of Köpenick, Oberschöneweide/Spree. During this, we had to cross a bridge over the Teltow canal, where our gunner was able to knock out a JS - 122. This was probably the best shot I've ever seen, as he was only able to see a part of the left side of the enemy tank, this kill counted towards my 49th enemy tank killed. The crew radio is broken, we can only communicate with each other with a string. We then cover the tank ditch and defenses at Sonnenallee, which are facing the bridge. We recieve our last known meals from the Spieß, Oberscharführer Taube. We are then commanded to meet at the battalion command post (set up at the District court in Neukölln) , and are then given instructions for the defense of Bergstrasse, Richardstrasse and the Hertieplatz, we take up position across from the Post building. We recieve flyers that evening, all are from the OKW which report that "Bahnhof Köpenick" has been retaken.

April 25, 1945: The battle in Neukölln begins, the Russians attempt to attack by way of Bergstrasse and Berliner strasse. Another tank, which was dug in across from the Neukölln Post Office was shot to pieces. The commandant was wounded during the afternoon, and stayed where he fell, his eye was ripped out of the socket. He was eventually evacuated to a military hospital, but we are not sure where to find another Commander? We see a officer - also wounded -, wearing the uniform of a tanker, standing on the roadside, he then takes command of the tank. The tank then goes on the offensive towards the Berliner strasse where the Russians have been able to break through. The attack is made with troops from the "Charlemagne" division, who are attacking from the Hasenheide. We were then able to knock the Russians back and to stabilize the front to where it originally was, by which we were able to knock out many enemy tanks. After this, we were able to advance to Richardstrasse, where 3 enemy tanks -in Jahnstrasse- were knocked out, and after which we returned to Hertieplatz on the advice of the new Officer, who was a Berliner.

April 26, 1945: We recieve orders to change positions from Hertiehaus to Hermannplatz. We are, however, told to make our way to the Division command post -at Potsdamer Platz- due to the damage we recieved during the night. During this, we are subjected to an ambush by Katyusha rockets, the so called "Stalins Organ," by which our commander is wounded. He is then taken to the hospital at Anhalter Bahnhof and we travel on to the command post at Potsdamer Platz. We give our report to Kausch and Herzig. Dr. Cappell suggests that Oscha. Diers be returned to command the tank, he does, with the command to travel to the repair company, which is located in the Uhlandstrasse (Ku'damm). Everyone is happy that they are able to finally sleep. (in these past 2 entries (22 - 26. April), I am not sure if Diers actually was commanding the tank, or if he was riding along with it as the way it is written sounds as though he was originally the commander of the Tiger II B, but was then sent away, and then here on the 26th, returned to command the tank again)

April 27, 1945: We drive towards U-Bahn Station Mitte and secure Lindenstrasse and its corner to Kommandantenstrasse, which faces Belle-Alliance-Platz (Present day "Mehringplatz" at U-Hallesches Tor")

April 28, 1945: The Russians are using flamethrowers to dislodge the defenders of the Luisenstadtkirche, which is nonetheless successfully fought off.

April 29, 1945: Commanded towards Potsdamer Platz, in the direction of Saarlandstrasse and Anhalter Platz. Oscha. Karl Heinz Turk is positioned on the otherside of the street. "Ivan" takes the entire area of Potsdamer Platz under fire, they also attempt to swarm the positions around Anhalter Bahnhof with a tank attack, which is also successfully fought off. Whereby we are able to knock out another JS - 122 and several T-34s which are attacking from behind the Haus Vaterland, these knockouts enable us to block off the Saarlandstrasse from further enemy tank attacks.

April 30, 1945: The order is recieved to move towards the Reichstag. Turk and his Tiger II stay behind at Potsdamer Platz. During our ride towards the Reichstag, we are greeted by intense Russian radiotraffic, they have assuredly also heard our new orders. The Reichstag is completely bombed out, and there stands about 30 T-34s standing across the way in front of the Kroll Oper. After a quick instructions to the crew, we quickly round the corner and begin firing at this group of tanks, success is ours at this point.

May 1, 1945: We are instructed to stay around the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, and take control of all approaches from the Siegessäule and make an attack on the Russian forces dug in around the Kroll Oper, as there are still German wounded in the Opera house.

The Russians were able to make several successful recon sorties into the Reichstag, and have holed themselves up in the middle of the building, so that we are not able to dislodge them due to the bricked up windows and doors. We recieve orders to break out at 7p.m., we are able to reload and replenish our ammunition at the "Göring-Villa" in the Wilhelmstrasse (perhaps the Luftfahrtministerium??? sits on the corner of Wihelmstrasse and Leipzigerstrasse ).
I was then ordered to report to the Reichskanzlei, as i entered it, i had to run through many different hallways and other obstacles until entering an open area with a stairway leading down below the building. It is at this point that I saw several men throwing gasoline all over something, in an attempt to burn it, this resulted each time with a huge cloud of dirty and foul smelling smoke, and the Russians would immediately begin to shell the spot.

I then met Goebbels in the bunker, who instructed me that a break-out attempt would take place and that I should move towards Friedrichstrasse - Weidendammerbrücke and meet up with other forces who would also take part in the escape. There would be 3-5 other tanks taking part, and we should attempt to break out towards Oranienburg, link up with "Kampfgruppe" Steiner and we would then be sent to Schleswig-Holstein where we would wait for the inevitable link up with Allied forces coming from the west, who would then help us make a counter-attack to the east.

It was at this time that I learned that Adolf Hilter had married Eva Braun and then they had taken their own lives, and that it was more than likely the bodies which I had seen during my enterance.

We meet up at Friedrichstrasse S-Bahn Station, along with a large group of trucks and other vehicles as well as many troops who wished to take part in the break out. There was about 3-4 tanks, Sturmgeschütze, SPWs, and a large amount of LKWs (lorries). The Weidendammerbrücke, which lays before us, had been completely blocked off by tank traps during the initial defense preparement of Berlin. I entered the Station at Friedrichstrasse, where I was met by several other ranking SS- officials who told me that the commander of the tank regiment, Paul Kausch, was laying critically wounded in a nearby recon vehicle. As i returned to my vehicle, I was approached by many soldiers and others who asked if they could ride on our Tiger II during the break out attempt, we agreed and they eagerly climbed abroad the back deck of the tank.

During this another person came to us, someone of a higher rank - his rank wasnt known by us as he wore a long coat but was respected by the other troops around us - and asked if we would also take him, we agreed and he as well climbed onto the back deck of the tank. We were then forced to drive over the tank traps on the Bridge, as the area reserved for people to pass through was much too small for a Tiger II.

As we reached the first street - which i later found out to be Ziegelstrasse- we begin recieving murderous small arms fire from infantry and artillery. Everything and everyone on and around our tank was shot down, eviscerated or annihlated, even fixtures on the tank did not make it through the murderous barrage we encountered. The crew radio has failed again, the driver ignores this and keeps on driving as fast as possible, not seeing a large hole in the street. I was only able to communicate with the driver with help from the gunner, who told him to drive to the left onto the sidewalk around the hole. He did so, destroying many street lights and other fixtures, including the electric cables for the street tram. We keep on driving, eventually reaching another tank trap, at which we stop and suddenly a figure with a hat comes out of nowhere, much to my surprise. Not knowing who he is, I pull out my pistol and am ready to shoot him when I see the Totenkopf emblem and he informed me that he was a driver and an 2nd adjutant of Goebbels, who has something of an idea of Berlin and the streets.

>this interesting character, an Untersturmführer, had hopped onto the side skirts of the tank as it drove, and was then able to grab onto the turret, to which he held onto for dear life, as he was quite sure that the Ziegelstrasse would be heavily defended, thus saving his own life. We asked him where all the others who had been on our tank or had follwed us were, and he informed us that they all had been killed.<

We were then able to free ourselves from the Street Tram lines which we had been carrying with us, get around the tank trap and then carry on. Our new comerade was somewhat well informed and told us that the last man, who had recieved such quiet respect, was Martin Bormann and that no one, who was on our tank had made it through the murderous fire recieved from Ziegelstrasse. The Untersturmführer helped us navigate through the streets from Zuricherstrasse to Schönhauserallee, which were completely free of the Russians. We came upon a column of trucks, to whom we were not sure they belonged. We also saw several women washing themselves in a fire hydrant, and asked them to whom these trucks belonged, they told us that they were german, but this didnt interest us at all. We drive on towards the 2nd defense ring and the flak tower at Humbolthain, which was commanded by General Bärenfänger. General Bärenfänger instructs us to take position under the S-Bahnhof (the S-Bahn line in this area is actually above ground) but we ended up driving into a minefield. General Bärenfänger instructs us simply to put the tank out of action because the war was over and there was no more use for us to senslessly lose our lives and that we should make sure to get home safely.

AT this point we were confused and sad, as we had knocked out at least 39 enemy tanks with this Tiger II, and that was only the tanks which had caught fire, who knows whether it was more or not. With this last command, I (Diers) told the General about my orders from Goebbels, whereupon he informed me of that what General Krebs had arranged, and we were forced to destroy our beloved tank.

Crew Members of Diers tank #314; 3/schwere SS-Panzer Abteilung 503: Kommandant: Georg Diers, Richtschütze: Wolf-Dieter Kothe, Ladeschütze: Alex Sommer, Fahrer: Willi Kenkel, Funker: Bodo Hansen

Kevin

P.S. the past 2 posts here from me, are TRANSLATED text, which I found on www.panzer-archiv.de. For those who are of the very "cite everything" way of thought...
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[after learning he's going to be expelled]
Weensie: Listen, this is a serious situation. I mean, I'm kicked out of school. I don't know what I'm gonna do, man. My mom's gonna kill me.
Mitch: C'mon, she's not gonna kill you.
Weensie: Yes she is. See, I'm the first one to go to college in my family and when I left she said, "Weensie, if you screw this up, I'll kill you." She showed me the knife.
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:38 PM
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:57 PM
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Old 01-20-2006, 12:32 AM
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Ok, heres this about the last death throes of the sSS-PzAbt 503! Danzig will come soon but I need to sleep first! :lol:

Operations of the rest of the sSS-PzAbt 503

The reformation of the Battalion began on April 1, 1945 till April 15, 1945, this reformation was needed to upgrade the "preparedness" of the Battalion. During this time, the remains of sSS-Pz.Abt 503, 10 tanks, were stationed in Frauenhagen. During this time, they conducted a reformation of the Battalion into the SS-Panzer Regiment 11 "Hermann von Salza" of the 11-SS Freiwilligen Pz.Gren. Division. Its 2 battalions being stationed in Albrechtshöhe and Frauenhagen respectively. The reconstructed part of sSS-503 reported as the II.Battailion respectively. The remains of the Battalion HQ, which had made it out of Danzig, were returned to command this II. Battalion. The new intelligence officer, SS-Untersturmführer Robert Rohr, reporteted that Hauptsturmführer Natterer commanded the Batallion as the "stand-by" commander during this time. Once Sturmbannführer Herzig reappeared, he retook command of the Battalion. The Battalion was made up of only 19 Tiger II B's at this time.

The overall tank and assault gun strength of the Army group Vistula at this point was:

Panzer-Armee-Oberkommando 3:

11.SS-FrwPzGren "Nordland"
- SS-PzAbt "HvS"
-sSS-PzAbt 503: 10 Pz VI B einsatzbereit, 2 in langer Instandsetzung
- 7 Pz IV FlaK einsatzbereit, 1 kurzer Instandsetzung (repair)

In a letter from the former commander of the 1st company, 503 battalion, SS-Obersturmführer Max Lippert, who returned from the military hospital, to SS-Untersturmführer Kauerauf, residing as well in a military hospital due to massive wounds (read: traumatic amputation) after leading a mix-and-match company: (written on April 12, 1945)

"Hey Kauerauf!!!

Returned yesterday from the Hospital, found your letter from May 3 in my mail. As far as I can see, the amputation of your left foot was successful and as I am sure that you will survive the worst, you will undoubtebly return to normal, given your youth. I still wish you all the best, and get well soon!

Soso, just to let you know: youve made a mistake, Menke (Unterscharführer, Brommans driver) is not dead, he is still driving tanks. However, here is the casualty list from the 1st Company:

Around Arnswalde: Schaal, Jäger, Schlachta, Ludwigs, Knorr, Belde, Thies, Krenn, Martin, Peter, Franz R.
The I-Group (Instandsetzunggruppe) had to be put 2-times into action as infantry!
Around Danzig: Heinrich (Tank Commander), Nolte, Dietzen, Jeserer, Klünder, Kremann, Müller;G., Melzer, Fürbacher, Kofler and Grupe are missing
From Küstrin we are missing: Allmer, Fell, Fischer, Möller, Nottrott, and Sturm.

This is a list which will assuredly grow larger and larger.

Commanders which have fallen: Kaes (Jakob), König, Grimminger (Adolf OO)
Commanders which have been wounded: Meinl (Kurt), Schäfer, Johhannigmeyer (K-H), Belle and myself (Lippert, Max)

The battalion has been split into 2-parts, one in Danzig and the other on the Oder, but no worries, a reunification will happen soon enough! Brommann has ringed up 66 knock-outs and was mentioned the other day in the Army report, he has however lost an eye. Our effectiveness in this action was wonderful, and would have been much better had the tactical situation been better. But the brokenness with which it began, sits as a great disturbance with us, and hasnt shown an end yet. Worse yet is the fact that not a single tank has returned from Danzig, except for my own, of which is only a mixture of other tanks fitted together. The only originals are mine and that of Bender. I can hardly think of it because it is so sad. It is however quite quiet where we are now, all we do is take watch until something big happens. Haake (Untersturmführer, deserted from the troops - read later translation out of Danzig...) has gotten married, took off out of Küstrin, but has not shown up anywhere, he could have at least said something!"

Marching orders for the newly formed Battalion were distributed on April 16, 1945. These instructed a march towards Strausberg by way of Angermünde. The relocation of the 11.SS-PzGren Divsion followed this order on the 18th of April. Both sections were moved to positions southern of Seelow, and placed under the command of the 9th Army. The 1st Battalion was put under control of SS-Sturmbannführer Grathwohl and the 2nd stayed under control of SS-Sturmbannführer Herzig. In order to take up more effective positions, a night march is instituted, in order to make up for lost ground and to better camoflage and support the 9th Fallschirmjäger Division, as well as the LVI Panzer-Korps. As this was completed, the defense against an enemy attack of 70 tanks with the following destruction of 50 enemy tanks in the area around Buckow was successfully carried out by the newly arrived Panzer group. During this, a new form of Panzer tactics was put into use, the so called "Rammbock", which consisted of 1-2 Tiger II B and then 3 -4 StuG as the "core" element, which then was in turn secured by several infantry elements. This new deployment succeeded in defeating the enemy, and enabled the group to take up positions on the street around Buckow as well as knocking out around 64 enemy tanks. One friendly tank was lost, and another returned with damage.

Lothar Tilby: The damaged Panzer had damage to its drive train and to the aiming devices of the cannon

April 18, 1945: The 11.SS-PzGrenDiv makes numerous attacks eastwards of Strausberg. Tiger II B's of sSS-503 first put these previously used "Rammböcke" to use. One such is used in and around Grünow by SS-Hauptscharführer Körner, who from the onset has knocked out 7 Russian tanks and brought the following infantry attack to a standstill.

April 19, 1945: SS-Obersturmführer Müller was able to knock out 23 enemy tanks between Grunow and Bollersdorf. The Russians took the opportunity given to them as he retreated to reload ammunition, and attacked in force, which caused our tank force to be put back into action to cover Müller during his retreat. We were able to knock out many T34s and KW1s during this time. A counterattack was made at around 1pm (13h), under the cover of the partial platoon of SS-Uschaf. Körner in the direction of Bollersdorf. This attack caught the Russians off gaurd, as they were caught re-plenishing both fuel and ammunition. During this surprise attack, a majority of their tanks were shot up and very few were able to escape. Heavy fighting ensued this attack westward from Bollersdorf, whereby Körner and SS-Untersturmführer Schäfer were able to knock out numerous enemy tanks. The Russians lost in total around 70 tanks, eastwards of Strausberg. Körner was able to knock out a further 17 more enemy tanks during the battles around the city limits of Berlin, so that his number of knock-outs at that time was put at 101 Tanks and 25 PaK. Both he, Schäfer and Herzig recieved the Knights Cross on April 29, 1945 in Berlin.

Lothar Tilby: The Russians have broken through, attacked and encircled our shop company (Werkstattkompanie). 2 tanks which were on hand had to be rushed into service, one of which was lost during the first break-out attempt. The second attempt with ours resulted in 2 knock-outs. We were able to make our way to Berlin with the remains of the workshop company, and at the area around Berlin, we were able to knock-out another 2 Russian tanks!

April 21, 1945: The last battle ready elements of the SS-Pz Reg. 11 are employed around Petershagen and Friedersdorf. These elements consist of Tiger II B and StuG, which from hull-down positions, knock-out multiple Russian tanks. The commanding Army corps, LVI Korps, recieves on April 22, the order to defend Berlin.

Lothar Tilby, April 21, 1945: Our Funker, Horak, has been wounded for the second time during the towing of our tank. He was taken to the Medics.

Lothar Tilby, April 24, 1945: Berlin has been completely encircled by the Russians! The remaining tanks of the Battalion have been directed to their defensive positions in and around Berlin. The first action has already taken place, around the Mecklenburgischenstrasse, where 4 enemy tanks have been knocked out.

Lothar Tilby; April 25, 1945: New action around S-Bahnhof Heerstrasse
April 25, 1945: The 11. SS-PzGrenDiv makes a successful counterattack in the district of Neukölln. These are found in the areas defended by parts of the SS-PzRgt 11 around Hermannstrasse and S-Bahnhof Neukölln as well as with the group east of Neukölln under command of "Panzerkampfgruppe Kausch"


Lothar Tilby; April 26, 1945: Action around S-Bahnhof Halensee
April 26, 1945: The remnants of the 11.SS-PzGrenDiv as well as parts of the SS-PzRgt 11 take up position in the Tiergarten. The number of battle ready tanks and StuG remains at 8 vehicles. Each of thise will be put into place at important defensive areas of the city.


April 27, 1945: The Tiger of Unterscharführer Bender helps stabilize the front around S-Bahnhof Halensee. Another Tiger of the company is also dispatched to help him out, with a clear kill zone in the direction of the AVUS race-track. Other tanks of SS-PzRgt 11 have been positioned around Leipzigerstrasse.

Lothar Tilby; April 28, 1945: Defence commander Herzig and 4 other commanders from our Battalion have been decorated with the Knights Cross.


Lothar Tilby; April 29, 1945: Panzer Commander Unterscharführer Bender has been wounded in the stomach while outside of the tank. The new commandant is Unterscharführer Semik (later shown as missing)
Positions of the Tigers on April 29, 1945: Bahnhofs Westkreuz, Halensee as support for defending infantry. The Tiger at Westkreuz commands the entire area of the AVUS with its excellent southernly killyone. The new Main Battle Line is the Kurfürstendamm. Other Tigers from our Battalion block this street from the south. Diers and Turk secure the Eastern/southeastern flanks, other Tigers (Schäfer, Körner) from the Battalion support the southern front of the 18. PzGrenDiv around S-Bahnhof Westkreuz and Halensee and around the Kurfürstendamm. The command post of the sSS-PzAbt503 is at Zähringerstrasse, near Fehrbellinerplatz.

Lothar Tilby; April 30, 1945: 1 Russian tank knocked out around S-Bahnhof Halensee. Semik is wounded by a mortar shell while outside the tank, new commander is SS-Hauptscharführer Scholte.
The next day, Scholte, with his Tiger from the 1. Company, knocks out 5 Russian tanks.


Lothar Tilby; May 1, 1945: The last knock-outs, my tank/crew has knocked out 28 Russian tanks all together.
The Tiger of Untersturmführer Schäfer fom the 1./503 is supporting the troops around the Zoo and has knocked out many enemy tanks. The Tiger II B of Turk was shot to bits during the morning of May 1., and had to be rescued by the Bergepanzer from Unterscharführer Piller, who was later seriously wounded, and sadly taken into Russian captivity. The remaining tank strenght has dwindled to 3 Tiger II B's and a mixture of 6 Panzer - and StuG of SS-PzRgt 11. This number is accomodated by the 6-8 SPW of the SS-PzAufklärungsAbt 11. Massive congestion (traffic jam) around the Charlottenburger Brücke in Spandau. After the "failed" escape attempt up Friedrichstrasse, the next break-out attempt will take place in the direction of Spandau and the West, with the last remaining Tigers of the sSS-PzAbt 503, with the tanks of SS-Obersturmführer Lippert and Untersturmführer Schäfer. Both tanks are to take up positions around the bridge and cover the attack and escapees. The first attack takes place around 8:00a.m.. One Tiger takes point, the other takes up placement on the western bank. Fierce battles break out in Spandau, the break-outs are supported by the Tiger of Schäfer. Schäfer and another tank begin to push foward after a fierce firefight on the Bahndamm from Staaken and then southwards on the Seeburgerstrasse. It is then that they are engaged by a Josef Stalin tank from around 120m distance and a deserted 88mm gun, which had been taken over by the Russians. Both tanks are knocked out. 2 men of Schäfers tank crew don't make it out of the tank, and the 3 others are badly wounded. (Schäfer, who was badly burned, has only recently been able to remember with some detail what exactly happened).

May 3, 1945: The next break out takes place during the night with the Tiger II B of Obersturmführer Lippert with support from a FlaK-Vierling and another panzer. Lippert has to destroy his own tank due to a lack of gasoline.

Lothar Tilby: Break-out attempt from Berlin towards the West with the last Panzers of our Battalion. Our tank, commanded by Lippert, and the second by Knights Cross holder Schäfer - from the 3rd Company-. This break out has brought about some of the hardest fighting, the Russians employing an almost godly amount of firepower, causing us to lose a huge number of personell, vehicles and civilians. But similarly causing a massive amount of casualties against our enemies. Schäfer is knocked out during his second attempt, 2 of his men are dead, the rest are badly wounded. Further break-out attempts are worthless, the destruction of our own tank is drawing near, we are now the last tank of the Battalion!!
Major-General Mummert - Commander of PzDiv "Müncheberg", SS-Sturmbahnführer Herzig and Abt-Arzt SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Cappell make it on May 5, 1945 to about Ketzin on the Havel. Their group is then uncovered and encircled by the Russians. Only a few are able to break out and make it to the 12th Army, the rest, including Dr. Cappell are presumed dead.


Lothar Tilby: Obersturmführer Lippert disguises himself as an infantryman in his escape attempt towards the west. He is killed by a shot to the head. The high losses of our Battalion can be seen through the tank crews. In Berlin, 6 commanders, 3 radiomen, 2 loaders were used as replacements for men wounded or killed. Only Hans Klöckner and Lothar Tilby were in service from the beginning till the end!
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[after learning he's going to be expelled]
Weensie: Listen, this is a serious situation. I mean, I'm kicked out of school. I don't know what I'm gonna do, man. My mom's gonna kill me.
Mitch: C'mon, she's not gonna kill you.
Weensie: Yes she is. See, I'm the first one to go to college in my family and when I left she said, "Weensie, if you screw this up, I'll kill you." She showed me the knife.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2006, 12:57 AM
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Wow,

Kevin this is awesome.

Larry
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:03 AM
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Thanks Larry!

It didnt really take that much work, I mean I did get my B.A. in German for something I suppose :lol: The better part is about the fighting around Danzig, and how the Battalion came to the Oder front. I'll translate all that after I've slept some and post them all up tomorrow before the beer begins to flow

Kevin
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[after learning he's going to be expelled]
Weensie: Listen, this is a serious situation. I mean, I'm kicked out of school. I don't know what I'm gonna do, man. My mom's gonna kill me.
Mitch: C'mon, she's not gonna kill you.
Weensie: Yes she is. See, I'm the first one to go to college in my family and when I left she said, "Weensie, if you screw this up, I'll kill you." She showed me the knife.
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:06 AM
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Hi Kevin,

Heck I haven't even had a chance to read all this yet :lol:

Thanks, you'll be an excellent addition to the site! Welcome.
When you have a chance I hope to see some of your modeling talents as well.

Larry
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:57 AM
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Ok everyone, here is my newly finished translation of the actions of sSS-PzAbt 503 in Pomerania during "Sonnenwende" and the lead off to the action in Danzig (coming soon) and that in Oder/Berlin (already posted above...)

Pomerania - Baltic Balcony and "Sonnenwende"

sSS-PzAbt 103 recieved its first Tiger II Bs on October 19, 1944, they then recieved several others from their sister organization, the sSS-PzAbt 102. During this time, the Dutch, Norwegian and Danish replacements had to be returned to the Replacement battalions of the Waffen-SS. The return and replacement process continued before the planned Ardennes offensive, so that the sSS-501 would have first pick of battle tested and trained personell. Other replacements were sent back to the 11.SS-PzGrenDiv. The battalion was renamed as the "schwere SS - Panzer Abteilung 503" on November 14, 1944. A report from December 1, 1944 states that at this time, there were only 3 tanks ready for action. The battalion recieved a further 6 Tiger II Bs on January 11, 1945 and on the 12. and 16 of January, 1945 a further 3 per time. January 18 saw another delivery of 4 Tiger II and was followed by the delivery of 13 further tanks on January 25th. At this point, the sSS-PzAbt had a strength of almost 31 Tiger II Bs, this was almost an overload as they did not have enough trained crews, which caused a panic among the SS-replacement organizations, and a rush to train new men for these tanks. During this time, the new commander of the battalion, SS-Sturmbannführer Fritz Herzig, made his first appearance. He replaced the very unliked SS-Obersturmbannführer Leiner (the son-in-law of SS-Obergruppenführer Eicke). The reason for this immediate and sudden replacement was a dismissal request from 2 of the company commanders, 1st Company commander SS-Hauptsturmführer Birnschein and 2nd Company Commander SS-Obersturmführer Tehr, both of whom sent their complaints directly to the SS- Führungshauptamt. The result of this was the disposition of the much unloved commander, and of both of the company commanders, out of pure disciplinary action.

All of the new tank deliveries took place in Sennelager, Paderborn, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). 6 training tanks were also on hand, to train the newly arrived crewmembers. After this, the complete loading process of the sSS-PzAbt 503 took place on January 26, 1945. During this process, the battalion recieved orders that it had been placed under the control of Heeresgruppe Weichsel (Army group "Vistula"). The trains carrying the tanks and personell of the battalion began their journey towards the eastern front on January 27th. The battalion was split into 2 different groups while travelling through Berlin. The first group, with 12 Tiger II Bs, including the HQ company with SS-Sturmbannführer Herzig was directed towards Arnswalde; the other group was sent towards Küstrin - Landsberg. The entire on and offload procedure added to the confustion among the battalion. This is due to the fact that as the tanks were offloaded, every group of 4 tanks were put into action on the spot where they were unloaded.

As they were offloaded in Reetz, Pomerania, on January 28, 1945, the entire battalion was ordered by the Commander of Army Group "Vistula", Reichsführer-SS Himmler, to make an attack in the direction of Neuwedell-Kalies. Major General Munzel was ordered to carry out the attack. The offloading of portions of the sSS-PzAbt 503 took place in Kalies, and other parts of the battalion were then sent towards Küstrin and Gotenhafen. The 3rd platoon/2 Company, under command of SS-Untersturmführer Haake, was offloaded with 3 tanks and with the anti-aircraft platoon in Schnheidemühl (around Küstrin). At this point, his company was forced to change their tracks and apply winter camo in a hasty way so as to guard against a surprise attack from the Russians. After this was completed, 2 of the 3 Tigers were sent onto the main road as a precautionary measure, the 3rd was forced to stay behind due to technical problems. The following night was comprised of an attack from the 2 Tiger II Bs, with mounted infantry, towards the west. On January 29 and 30th, this small detachment of sSS-PzAbt 503 was able to take over Blumburg, Friedeberg, Landshut and reach Küstrin, from which the commander (Haake) just happened to be from! Both tanks were then placed under the command of the Fortress commander, and fought off many attacks from the enemy.

6 other Tiger IIs, which were offloaded in Mückenburg (Zug nr. 690739) were placed under the command of Major General Hausschulz, and were commanded to seal off Freideberg. The commanders did not follow this command, instead choosing to head towards Stolzenberg where they were as well put under the command of Munzel. The entry of the entire battalion into the theater of battle wasnt fully completed, and due to this, the part which had shown up was sent with 365 paratroops, 6 Tiger IIs and 1 "zwillingsflak" into a known enemy-free area as a precautionary measure. The Russians made an attack at the same time as this movement, the German paratroops being supported by a "heavy SS-Tank Battalion" (not only just the sSS-PzAbt 503, but also a Recon and a FlaK battalion) made their first attack during the morning of 30. January. The majority of this attack only disturbed Russian supply lines, the first enemy tank action being seen around Heidekavel. The 6 Tigers were taken by a surprise armor attack at around 4a.m. The counterattack was led by SS-Obersturmführer Max Lippert, who was supported by Fallschirmjägers. They were able to retake around 15 Km, destroying 80 enemy PaK, causing heavy losses among enemy infantry groups. During the attack, a large wooded area had to be skirted, but was still attacked by the Tiger II commanded by SS-Oberscharführer Dienersberger, who was killed by a shot to the head while using his MP to fight off Russian infantry. Another Tiger, under command of SS-Untersturmführer Brommann recieved so many PaK hits that he was forced to break off his attack, as by this time the entire group had pushed into an enemy PaK defence. SS-Unterscharführer Lindl, of the 1st Company, who was riding point, recieved 22 hits, but was still able to make it through the enemy fire, the tank of SS-Untersturmführer Meinl who was ordered to secure the left flank, was knocked out by a Russian tank, and began to burn immediately.

Even after all of this, the battalion was ordered to retreat towards Regenthin, the remaining parts of the sSS-PzAbt 503 being put under the command of the XI. SS-Panzer Corps.

Lothar Tilby, February 1, 1945: Attack met with enemy tank defense. Our tank took point, during which we hit a mine, which caused track damage. The tank of the Company Commander took over our part and supported us with cover fire as we changed tracks. Russians begin to fire mortars at us during this time. Losses: Löchner (back wound), Horak (thigh), Unkel (leg wound), Öhlse -Driver of the Company Commanders tank- (head wound, blind). All 4 were taken to the aid station, Klöckner and Tilby were also lightly wounded - further action. New crew: Commander - Grünhofer; Gunner - Klöckner; Driver - Tilby; Radioman - Breitenstein; Loader - Badke. Attack achieved goal, 10 Km were taken back.

Lothar Tilby, February 3, 1945: Work Shop Company is interned in Neuwedell due to small repairs. A large Russian recon force was uncovered and destroyed on the city limits. The new area of operations is Arnswalde.
The sSS-PzAbt 503 has now been moved over into a new front around Arnswalde. A Russian attack took place as the first elements of the battalion entered the Arnswalde suburb of Kopplinsthal. The newly arrived battalion was then placed under the command of Major General Hans Voigt. The battalion attempts to keep contact with its SS comrades who are fighting to the North. A hasty attack made by the 1./503 is able to free a pocket of surrounded infantry, sadly 3 tanks are lost during this action due to heavy Russian tank and PaK resistance. The last remaining Tiger, under command of Lippert, recieves damage to its drive system (report from Lothar Tilby). A second attack with 4 Tiger IIs takes place, but is stopped around Hohenwalde, and has to then defend against an enemy tank attack coming from Sammenthin, causing heavy losses for the enemy. The Tiger II of Brommann is once again damaged so heavily that it can not move again, and has to be recovered by 3 other tanks during the night.

The first element of the sSS-PzAbt 503, with its Commander and several other units and civilians, is on the 4th of February completely surrounded. The remaining Tiger IIs could have broken through the encirclement with great ease, but they would have been forced to leave the civilians and other troops behind. The reinforcement of this group from Kampfgruppe Voigt takes place on February 5th, thanks to the introduction of the "escort battalion of the commander of the army group vistula", commanded by SS-Obersturmbannführer Groß, many enemy attacks are thus turned away due to their intervention. The commander of the Kampfgruppe considered giving up but gave this up after the Tiger group threatened to take off and leave everyone behind. The encirclement of the sSS-PzAbt 503 in Arnswalde begins on the 6th of February, the Work-shop company being stationed in Stargard.

Lothar Tilby: Our tank is in for repairs in Stargard until the 20th. The battalion is stuck in Arnswalde and is given up as lost. Our tank has been sent to Berlin-Tempelhof for repairs, which might take several months. We take over a new tank in Berlin which only needs a few repairs.
In order to relieve the encircled elements in Arnswalde, SS-Untersturmführer Kauerauf recieves the order to remove 3 tanks which are being repaired in Stargard. After doing this, he recieves the order to break through the encirclement and relieve/rescue the entrapped group in Arnswalde. After heavy enemy action, the attack is forced to be re-routed towards Jacobshagen. The remaining tanks of the 11. Army are added as support to this relief force. Kauerauf recieves an order from Paul Kausch, commander of the SS-PzAbt 11 "HvS" on 2.8.1945 to isolate Russian resistance away from the Ihna-bridge (southwards from Jacobshagen) and to press towards Ziegenhagen and Klein Silber with 1 Tiger II and 3 StuG. This is only accomplished by the addition of 2 other Tiger IIs under command of SS-Obersturmführer Kaes, and 10 more StuG of the SS-PzAbt 11, and a company of Fallschirmjäger. This renewed attack finally begins to make headway during the afternoon, as the newly arrived StuG, under command of SS-Sturmbannführer Schulz - Streek destroy a PaK position around Ziegenhagen and after moving through Ziegenhagen, are able to knock out a 3rd JS - II. At the end of the day, the formation is comprised of 3 Tiger II, and 7 Fallschirmjäger. The command then comes to carry out a new attack through Klein Silber and further to the east, during which the tank of SS-Obersturmführer Kaes is hit and knocked out. SS-Untersturmführer Kauerauf is also heavily wounded during this attack. The relief of Arnswalde is achieved by parts of the 11. SS-PzGrenDiv, and thereby, a portion of the saved sSS-PzAbt 503 able to be sent by rail towards Danzig as reinforcement. The losses for the past several days are: 2 Tiger II Bs destroyed in Klein Silber through enemy anti-tank teams, the 3rd Tiger destroyed from its own crew after failure of the electrical system.

The 10. SS-PzDiv and parts of the sSS-PzAbt, was offloaded on February 10, 1945 in Stargard. The re-appointment of the Tigers, who had not been encircled in Arnswalde took place between Preußisch Stargard and Zachan. These elements were put under command of the 11. SS-PzGrenDiv and were to make up a part of the middle attack group for operation "sonnenwende". Several Tigers with support of the escort battalion of the RF-SS obliterate a Russian position, during which many T-34s are knocked out as well. The "Sonnenwende" operation begins after the introduction of the 3rd (german) Panzer-Corps and other reserve elements around Arnswalde. A following attack is planned around Küstrin - Landsberg in order to catch the Russians offguard and confuse their defense and counterattack abilities. The munition situation in and around Arnswalde proves to be a problem, as instead of 88mm tank ammunition, the remainder of the encircled tanks are given FlaK ammunition by their resupply airdrops. Only 16 Tiger IIs are on hand for combat on February 12, 1945. An attack which is to be made by the Führer-Begleit-Division, led by Hauptmann (Captain) Storck with 10 SPWs is to be made from their bridgehead at Fährzoll towards Arnswalde. This attack is successful, Storck is however heavily wounded. This attack helps with the entire advance of the 11. SS-PzGrenDiv and the evacuation of civilians, wounded and other units is covered by 8 Tiger IIs. The attacks in and around Landsberg had to be broken off due to the massive concentration of enemy tank forces. 4 battle-ready tanks are recovered from this last attack around Arnswalde, the tank of SS-Oberscharführer Körner had to be dragged to safety by SS-Untersturmführer Hoffmann.

February 17, 1945: The battalion recieves the order for immediate replacement in Danzig. The order is given to the elements outside of Arnswalde on February 18th, tragically, a Russian attack takes place during the transport of the already diverted elements towards Danzig. This causes the battalion to be split once again into 2 parts.

February 25, 1945: 14 action ready tanks, 25 others are currently in repair. 12 tanks, which were towed to Massow, have been loaded onto a train to be taken back over the Oder river for repair "Schadpanzerzug".

March 3, 1945: This so-called "Schadpanzerzug" (damaged tank platoon) jumps the tracks (due to the immense weight of the tanks, and poor choice of speed), killing 80 civilians who were riding along. The tanks which were still able to be driven were "emergency" offloaded and moved to Neuendorf, which was out of the way of the enemy. A Tiger II, which belonged to one of the Oberjunkers, was set on fire by the crew, thus blocking the road being used to move the tanks. The following tank, that of SS-Oberscharführer Körner, was only able to carry on after having to over-take a huge Lime tree. A second tank had to be put out of action at the city limits of Neuendorf.

All remaining tanks of sSS-PzAbt 503 are ordered to assemble in and around Gollnow. These are then assembled with other tanks and are to be sent to Pasewalk. This "Schadpanzerzug" was stopped due to track problems, but was quickly re-routed due to the actions of SS-Oberscharführer Körner on March 9, 1945, and were able to continue on to Pasewalk over Altdamm. Once reaching their objective, the tanks were not allowed to be unloaded, they instead served as security for the train which was used by the Reichsführer - SS, Himmler. The tanks were finally offloaded in Zerrenthin. One tank had to be sent to Berlin due to damage incurred through the mix up of coolant with fuel.

Lothar Tilby: We finally are sent back to the Oder front. The battalion is now comprised of 10 tanks. Horak returns to the battalion and our tank, we also have a new commander, his name is Bender.
At this point, there were 10 operational Tiger II Bs. 2 others had been sent to Berlin for repairs. According to a report from March 15, 1945, only one Tiger II was operational, but by March 27th, this had changed to 5.

March 28, 1945: 2 Tiger IIs of the 1st Company are put into action around Küstrin. One commanded by SS-Unterscharführer Hoffmann stuck due to lack of fuel in Kuhbrücke and the other of SS-Oberscharführer Reitert has to be given up due to damage to the tracks. Reitert and his crew are taken prisoner. The disposition of one other Tiger, which was left behind after running into a tree during the march from Lansberg/Warthe to Küstrin, is unclear as it was recovered and towed to Küstrin. The platoon commander, SS-Untersturmführer Haake takes an unofficial vacation from his troops, during which he is able to get married and is smuggled by his wife in a horse-drawn wagon towards the west.
__________________
[after learning he's going to be expelled]
Weensie: Listen, this is a serious situation. I mean, I'm kicked out of school. I don't know what I'm gonna do, man. My mom's gonna kill me.
Mitch: C'mon, she's not gonna kill you.
Weensie: Yes she is. See, I'm the first one to go to college in my family and when I left she said, "Weensie, if you screw this up, I'll kill you." She showed me the knife.
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:32 AM
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Alrighty! here's the last part, the operations in and around Danzig (some of it runs concurrently with that in Pomerania...)

Actions of the sSS-PzAbt 503 in and around Danzig

February 26, 1945: The movement of the remains of the sSS-PzAbt 503 took place at the same time as that of the 4th SS-Polizei-PzGrenDiv. The sSS-PzAbt 503 was tactically incorporated into the organization of the 4th SS-Polizei Division, but still recieved its orders from the 2nd Army HQ. The battalion was only provincially allowed to retain command, this being more centered around administrative duties within the battalion, as most of its tanks and other elements were to be divided among the different divisions and kampfgruppen of the Army. They were thus able to reach Wangerin on the 20th of February. 17 other Tiger IIs which were stationed in Danzig were divided among 4 battle groups, who were then put under the command of certain Infantry Divisions. At this stage, there was absolutely no chance for repair or extra parts for repairs. If a Tiger had to be given up due to technical problems, it would then have to be used until it could not do anymore and then blown up by its crew. SS-Hauptsturmführer Natterer, a old-hand officer, ordered the defence of the vehicles to the last man, this order being based on the fact that it had taken up so much time and materials to produce these tanks, that it would be a waste to just give them up. Ironically he was one of the first who allowed his tank to be destroyed voluntarily. Despite all this, there was a abundant supply of fuel and ammunition, also to make things easier, the Army staff asked to load 3-4 Tiger IIs onto a train, to act as a sort of "Panzer-Train" in order to make a break through to Gotenhafen. This was declined by SS-Sturmbannführer Herzig, because he found the idea of a "Panzer-Train" for one breakthrough to be tactically pointless.

The elements of sSS-PzAbt 503 present in Danzig during March 1945 were put into action around Dirschau - Pelpun - Ramhau - Schönberg - Gotenhofen - Zoppot - Oliva - Brösen - Gnieschau - Bastenhagen - Westerplatte - Danzig, Wald Bohnsack. The dead of the battalion were buried in a park by Olivaer Tor. Gotenhafen was reached by parts of the battalion at the end of February. They were then put under command of the XXIII, later the XXVII. Army Corps. During this time, Russian forces were able to break through at Neustettin and reach the Baltic See, thus splitting the battalion once again (read part on actions in Pomerania, this happened at the end of the first battle around Arnswalde). After knocking out 2 enemy tanks, SS-Obersturmführer Jakob Kaes, commander of the 2nd Company, is killed by a anti-tank rifle shot. A Tiger of the 1st Company, SS-Oberscharführer Heinrich, takes a hit through the air vent on the turret roof which kills the entire crew.

March 6, 1945: further battles around Gnieschau and Lindenhof. 2 battle-ready tanks are removed from action and sent behind the front as a large Russian tank group makes its approach. The gunner of one of the tanks, SS-Unterscharführer Reichl, knocks out both of the Russian pointmen. The tank commander then retakes the initiative and together with a Panzer IV and a 88mm FlaK gun, is able to knock out 57 enemy tanks. The enemy is nevertheless able to take over Preußisch Stargard and put the Corps HQ under danger of being overrun. Both Tigers make a hasty attack and force the enemy to retreat. During this, the tank of SS-Hauptscharführer Becker takes a hit to the motor and begins to burn, the crew is luckily able to bail out but are then taken prisoner.

March 20, 1945: Only 2 Tiger II are battle ready. 3 others are with the repair company.

March 21, 1945: first action around Bastenhagen. These continute unabated until the 22nd of March, in and around Groß Katz. A majority of the repair work done on the Tigers is done in and around the harbor in Danzig. The Russians are coming closer and closer, this is seen with the first sorties being made in and around Danzig by elements of the sSS-PzAbt 503, much of these are supported by naval gunfire from the heavy cruiser "Prinz Eugen."

March 25, 1945: Heavy bombardment of Danzig. 2 Tigers, commanded by Brommann and the battalion intelligence officer, SS-Obersturmführer König, make several recon sorties towards Zoppot. The tanks take up position in the city border town of Oliva in the direction of Zoppot.

March 26, 1945: Both tanks fight off many enemy tank attacks, several of which are supported by JS-2 tanks. A captured JS-2 tank from the Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 190 is also put into use as support. This tank was sunk in the harbor after it could not be used anymore. The battalion HQ has also been moved to where the corps HQ is, in castle Oliva. 4 Tigers are also moved during this to Gut Weishof, south of Oliva.

March 27, 1945: New action around Westerplatte and Heubude.

March 28, 1945: The Beach hall has been retaken and secured.

March 29, 1945: The tanks attempt to break through towards Krakau.

March 30, 1945: the majority of the remainder of the battalion is sent by ship by way of Swinemünde to the other portion of the battalion which is involved in the battles for Berlin. A majority of the tanks and other equipment has to be turned over to other troops who are staying behind in Danzig. The rest of the battalion, which is by now under the command of SS-Untersturmführer Städler are now being put into action as infantry. These instances take place on May 1, around Bohnsack; May 2-3, around Schnakenburg and on May 9th during the ceasefire, where the remainder of the sSS-PzAbt 503 was sent into Russian P.O.W. camps.
__________________
[after learning he's going to be expelled]
Weensie: Listen, this is a serious situation. I mean, I'm kicked out of school. I don't know what I'm gonna do, man. My mom's gonna kill me.
Mitch: C'mon, she's not gonna kill you.
Weensie: Yes she is. See, I'm the first one to go to college in my family and when I left she said, "Weensie, if you screw this up, I'll kill you." She showed me the knife.
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