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  #1  
Old 05-11-2007, 06:25 PM
Fulix Fulix is offline
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The Tank Duel, Koln 1945

I persent you some footage and info about a famous (i think most of you have seen the footage) tank duel ocurred at Cologne, Germany 1945.

ATTENTION: footages are somewhat graphic.

http://www.dumpalink.com/videos/Wwii...duel-5524.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oDnst7fAEU
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...16787641857936
(why is not possible to embed videos, on this forum?)

Some reviews of what happen:

Tank duel at the cathedral - March 6, 1945


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The US troops advance on the Cologne center and the cathedral, it's about 14 o'clock.

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The troops see a german tank near the cathedral, but they think it's knocked out.

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Suddenly a shell from the german tank hits the leading US tank. A member of the crew wants to flee from the tank.

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The tank smokes from the inside. The hit had cut off one of the soldiers legs.

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Behind the first out-creeping soldier a second soldier falls down from the tank.

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The crew of another US tank tries to help the other soldiers.


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Another US tank fires from another direction toward the German Panther. The first shot hit the German tank in the bottom and cut off the commander's legs.

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A crew member of the german tank flees.

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The german crew member is running away. In all three of the crew bailed out but the shrapnel had got them.

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Another shell is on the way to the german tank.

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The shell a short time before the hit.

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The shell a short time before the hit.

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And a third shell appears.

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Again a hit.

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The german Panther tank is on fire, the tank commander is burning up with the tank.

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4 crew members die in or outside of the tank.

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The tank burns inside, so one can see the impact holes, one under the gun shield and two on the side.

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The burning German tank. The US tank which was hit by the german tank is located in the road going to the right side. The german driver got to the back of the building where he fell, the bow gunner fell over a bicycle and lay there, the gunner went down nearby.

Quote:
The next days US soldiers examine the destroyed german tank.
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2007, 06:29 PM
Fulix Fulix is offline
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Quote:
The German tank in front of the cathedral.

Quote:
View from the cathedral onto the combat place:
1 - the destroyed german tank in front of the cathedral
2 - the destroyed US tank was located here
3 - in this road there was the US tank, which destroyed the german tank


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1- Cathedral
2- Panther
3- Pershing destroying Panther
4- Outside picture Sherman position
5- Church St. Andreas
6- Street today "An den Dominikanern"

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The crew of the US tank which fired at the German tank - Top Left Cmdr Robert Early, Gunner Clarence Smoyer, Asst. Gunner John Deriggi, Asst Driver Homer Davis, Driver William McVey.
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The German tank was the only german tank in the city center at this time. The other german units had already left this city side and withdrawed to the other Rhine riverside. During the senseless tank duel 4 crew members of the German tank and 3 crew members of the US tank die

Photos courtesy of:
The U.S. Army 3rd Armored Division History website
Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society
The Third Armored Spearhead Division website
Movie "Allies Drive Across Rhine To Victory" by Universal Studios
More to come...
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2007, 06:34 PM
Fulix Fulix is offline
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Another footage "review":

COLOGNE PANTHER STILL-FRAME SEQUENCE
Sgt. Jim Bates's Classic Movie Camera Work



Quote:
Frame 1 - The Panther has been hit once on the sponson, from the direction of the arrow. The camera began rolling only seconds after this first shot. Smoke is coming from the cupola and forward hatches. Given the position of the turret, pointing directly at the Pershing, it is reasonable to assume that the loader was killed or disabled by that first shot. This may explain why the Panther did not return fire. Most remarkable about that first shot was the fact that gunner Clarence Smoyer fired as the Pershing was moving.

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Frame 35 - 1.5 secs later, a crewman (arrow), probably the tank commander, emerges from the cupola.

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Frame 57 - He makes it half way out...

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...when there's an internal explosion.

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Frame 96 - By the time the camera pans back (1.5 secs later), he's hidden by smoke. Did he get out, or fall back inside? Was he shot? Meantime, a figure is emerging from the radio-operator's hatch.

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Frame 97 - He continues to emerge from radio-operator's hatch.

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Frame 110 - He steadies himself by grabbing the turret side.

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Frame 127 - He falls or jumps behind the tank.

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Frame 173 - Another man climbs out, through the driver's hatch.

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Frame 192 - He is about to fall or jump behind the tank, while the first man staggers to his feet.

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Frame 206 - A third man starts to climb from the cupola as the second falls head-first off the tank (with his legs in the air).

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Frame 220 - ... and the first man TURNS BACK to help him.

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Frame 234 - The third man continues to emerge from the cupola, while the other two are together behind the tank. Perhaps the second man (who fell head first) is seriously injured.

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Frame 244 - A second round from the Pershing (actual tracer at arrow) streaks toward the Panther, as the third man nearly clears the cupola, and as the first and second men are heading towards the Cathedral (across the square behind the Panther).

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Frame 245 - ... hitting the underside of the mantlet, where the shell disintegrates but still penetrates to the interior.

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Frame 246 - The Panther is obscured by smoke, and the cameraman loses the plot for a couple of seconds.

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Frame 282 - Another crewman is leaping from the front of the Panther. Is this the man who was nearly out of the cupola when the second shell hit, or did he come from a forward hatch?

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Frame 298 - He hits the ground running.

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Frame 318 - ... and sprints away to the right.

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Frame 410 - Three seconds later, another figure can be seen staggering towards the Cathedral.
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:37 PM
Fulix Fulix is offline
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Quote:
Frame 451 - The Panther's ammunition is exploding.

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Frame 594 - Then 14.5 seconds after it's previous shot, the Pershing fires for the third time, hitting between track & sponson. This shot would have passed behind the radio-operator's seat & through the gunner's station if he had still been inside.

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Frame 616 - ... and, a second later, there's a huge internal explosion.

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Frame 652 - The Panther burns, with the glow clearly visible from the two penetrations and the gunsight aperture.

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Frame 1009 - The fire and internal explosions continue.

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Frame 1150 - Last frame of the sequence. All over in 48 seconds! So, did FOUR men escape, leaving one (the loader?) dead inside? Three are clearly seen heading for the cathedral (where they were later captured by the Americans?), but did a fourth, seen sprinting AWAY from the cathedral in frame 318, escape too?

Quote:
Unidentified 3AD soldiers inspect the Panther about two days after it had been destroyed. The Cologne Cathedral is in background. At this point, 3AD troops had shifted the tank's turret counterclockwise, possibly to prevent the barrel from being an obstruction to passing vehicles.










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  #5  
Old 05-11-2007, 06:44 PM
Fulix Fulix is offline
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The two accounts do not match. They got differents points of views and, well... the second one it's a bit of a guessing game.

But here is the real deal. An account of the Seageant that took the photos:
Quote:
The following is a copy of an article written by Sergeant Jim Bates, the frontline photographer that took the pictures on these pages. Sergeant Bates won the Bronze Star during the fighting in Cologne. The account follows:

"The greatest part of my life was in Cologne, Germany. It was my finest moments at Combat Photography when I joined the Third Armored Division in its capture of Cologne, Germany. It was this action that earned me a Bronze Star Medal to go with my Purple Heart. It was the tanks backed by the 36th. Armored Infantry Regiment that did the house to house fighting and clearing the area. In the center square in front of the Cathedral was a German Tank that a Sherman tank thought was disabled but the tank put a shell through the Sherman and killed three men in it. A Tank Commander named Robert Early from E Company 32nd. Armored Regiment went on foot to investigate. I asked to go along and we went on the mezzanine of a building and saw the German tank. Sergeant Early told me to stay there and he would come back in his tank and try to put the German tank out of commission. He told me that I could photograph it. He had one of the new M-26 Pershing tanks with a 90mm gun. Sgt. Early said he would turn into the square under me, stop and fire at the German tank. When his tank came into the square, the German tank began to traverse its gun. Cpl. Clarence Smoyer, the gunner, did not wait for his tank to stop but fired before the Mark V's gun was aimed at him. His first shot hit the German tank in the bottom and cut off the tank commander's legs. After the next shot, three of the crew bailed out but the shrapnel had got them. My pictures show the tank commander burned up with the tank, which was still smoldering the next morning. The driver got to the back of the building where he fell dead. The assistant gunner fell over a bicycle and lay there dead. The gunner went down nearby. All had been killed."
Summarizing, 2 Americans from the knocked out Sherman tank were killed. One got away (we can see on the vid; he's the one who jumps from the turret straight to the ground), another one manage - the German Panther's round cut off one of his legs - to suvive from his wounds (from Time Life Books 1976). The two others never manage to get out.

All the Panther's crew died. The first shot cut off the commander legs, and he never manage to get out. He was burned alive. The crew member that manage to baill out, later died from shrapnel wounds.

Very sad accounts.

R.I.P. to all.

(sorry about the avalanche of pics...)
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2007, 07:13 PM
tamigawa tamigawa is offline
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great reconstruction
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:54 PM
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sam_dwyer sam_dwyer is offline
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Great post, thanks, although i do believe some of the Panther crew lived.

Here's a rather gruesome shot from the sequence, a victim of the Panther firing first:


Sam
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:55 AM
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hoolyahn hoolyahn is offline
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Interesting account. Had seen the footage but never knew what really happen.
Thanks for sharing

Julian
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2007, 01:35 PM
Fulix Fulix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_dwyer View Post
Here's a rather gruesome shot from the sequence, a victim of the Panther firing first:


Sam
RIP.

Impressive photo. Thanks for the contribution, Sam.
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:31 PM
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lquah lquah is offline
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Paulo

Superb research and thanks for taking the time to wirte up the battle account Sometimes I get too carried away building bits of plastic and don't realise the true horrors of war

It must have been hell to lose a leg and immediately have to bail out on one leg

Lawrence
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