Tiger I Ausf E - Tank Ace Kurt Knispel (Spz.Abt 503 Russia, 1943)


Le Teich, France

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Personal tank of Kurt Knispel, Russia, 1943. WW2 Top Tank ace with 168 confirmed victories he remains also the all-time Tank ace in History. Born 20 September 1921 in Salisfeld (Salisov), Czechoslovakia, he was called up on May 15, 1940 to the 4th Company of the Panzerersatz-Abteilung 15 in Sagan. After training from November 1940 to November 1942 he served with the 29th Panzer Regiment (12th Panzer Division) as a loader, and later gunner of a Panzer IV. From July 1941 he was on the Eastern Front, but retired because of illness from 19 November 1942 in a field hospital to April 1943, and joined a Tiger tank crew, with the Spz Abt. 503, until the end of the war on the Eastern Front. He was mentioned in April 1944 as a gifted gunner in a Wehrmacht report, a rare feat for a non-officer after he destroyed 101 tanks. In May 20, 1944, he was awarded the German Cross (Gold) but was never promoted because of his distrust of Nazi officers, especially over bad treatment of POWs. Severely wounded on 28 April 1945 (shrapnel) when he commanded a Tiger II he died two hours later in a field hospital. His remains were found in 2013 near Vrbovec, and he was buried in the German military cemetery of the Central Cemetery Brno. He scored 42 victories as a tank commander and had 30 unconfirmed kills adding to his impressive total, so a potential 198 victories.

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panzer tiger ace russia 1943 kurt knispel

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